Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in June, 2013

In today’s Post-Dispatch Kevin Horrigan calls out the fake patriotism of the National RifleAmerican_flag : Bald eagle with american flag out of focus  Association with My Life In The NRA.

Boy, what a sap.

In the first place, it took months for my NRA gym bag to reach me. It was smaller than it had looked in the membership ad, barely big enough to hold two handguns and some extended clips. If you wanted to add a 100-round drum for your AR-15, you’d be out of luck. It was so flimsy that it ripped on me even before I had a chance to load it up with guns and ammo.

But the worst thing was the tiny white tag inside that said “Made in China.”

China! What about the guys who are stocking up on guns and ammo to fight off the godless commies? What happens when they find out the NRA is buying gym bags from the enemy?

I know it’s hard these days to find cheap Made-in-the-USA trinkets to give away to hapless suckers, but I expected better of an organization that makes such a big deal out of patriotism.

Big deal out of patriotism indeed.  This story reminded me of an incident a month ago while I was traveling through Washington, MO.  I was at an intersection, directly behind a car with the license plates of a certain state senator known for his blabbering on about guns, the constitution, and patriotism.  How ironic that these plates were hanging on a German made Audi!  Sure it’s a union-made vehicle but not one that creates many jobs in America.

I couldn’t help but wonder why this state senator never seemed to have any ideas that would create jobs.  It became perfectly clear – if he doesn’t care enough to support America at home why would he do it in Jefferson City?

Move to Amend’s We the People Amendment clearly states that artificial entities (organizations created by government) have no inherent rights under our Constitution. That’s the level playing field we need to ensure our right to self-governance.
Many “artificial entities” do good work — including unions, non-profits, and even lots of corporations. But when it comes to our Constitution, only human beings should be recognized as having inalienable rights.
But you might be asking, what about those unions? Well…
A Federal Appeals Court recently overturned a law requiring employers to post information informing workers of their rights, ruling that such a law was a violation of the corporation’s right NOT to speak under the First Amendment.
big_freespeech.jpgSo, according to the Court: The free speech of corporations trumps the free speech of organized Labor.
What about the union’s “free speech”? Or a worker’s right to free speech in the workplace?
Many people don’t realize that unions don’t currently enjoy the same legal rights as large corporations, and when push comes to shove, the courts consistently side with big corporations over workers’ rights.

In an article we recently published to Common Dreams, we discuss a specific form of judicial activism called Lochnerizing, which is when judges overturn democratically enacted legislation — legislation often passed to protect workers’ rights. 

When it comes down to brass tacks, unions are in the same position as the rest of us and should be a vital part of the movement to pass the We the People Amendment.
Until we make clear that only people have Constitutional rights, all protections we put in place to protect workers (or to protect small business, or community welfare, or the environment) will be in jeopardy of being overturned in court by a company with deep enough pockets to change our laws. 

We ask that you read our article, like it and share it so that more people join the discussion. Please take a few moments to post a comment and tell us what you think — and don’t forget to invite everyone to sign our petition and join the movement to amend!

In solidarity, Roman Collins & Laura Bonham For the Move to Amend Coalition

PS — Join us this week on Move to Amend Reports. Our guest will be Richard Monje, a longtime union organizer and newest member of Move to Amend’s National Leadership Team.
Move to Amend Reports airs live every Thursday at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern — tune in at http://blogtalkradio.com/movetoamend.

Compliments of MattBors.com

For more information read How Darrell Issa Manufactured The IRS Scandal.

 

From the Coalition For A Prosperous America…

You remember that article reprinted in our TR blog about Obama’s Covert Trade Deal, showing that the Obama  Administration is refusing attempts by Congress to attend trade  negotiations and refusing to release the draft text of the TPP?

Well, Miriam Shapiro of the U.S. Trade Representatives office responded with a letter to the editor.  The response was, frankly, baloney.

At  the president’s direction, United States trade negotiators are  providing more information and text to Congress, and doing so earlier…

I met with 22 Congressional offices last week.  None of them had seen the TPP language.  Merely sharing with a couple of committee chairs who then keep it  secret from everyone else is not “providing more information… to  Congress.”  Then Ms. Shapiro misleadingly wrote that her office was…

engaging  more broadly with stakeholders, including hundreds from nonbusiness  groups… and sharing more directly with the public in meetings,  briefings and on-site events at every Trans-Pacific Partnership round.

I’ve been in those telephone calls and in those on-site events.  They won’t tell you anything.  Government representatives report on generalities and refuse to answer specific questions.

They feed you words that resemble  information, but are not actually information. What are they hiding?  Is  the agreement that embarrassing?

Here are the countries who will be  part of the TPP: Japan, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Peru,  Malaysia, Vietnam, Canada and Mexico.

  • Vietnam    and Singapore have many state-owned enterprises.  Are they dealing  with those issues or pretending they are free market businesses?
  • Japan    is a currency manipulator, devaluing the yen by 30% in 6 months.   Japan’s tariffs are only 2.5%.  Will they deal with currency now that  Congress told them too?
  • All  the countries impose value added taxes   on our exports.  Past  Congresses told the USTR to fix this tariff.  Will they have done it?

We  can’t afford another bad trade agreement.  After all the other bad  ones, we’ve generated the worst trade deficit in the world, and in the  history of the world.

You have taken part in CPA’s action to tell Congress to say “No” to the TPP.  Can you tell a friend to do the same?

Here’s the link to tell a friend.  The more people who reach out the more we make our voices heard, the better of a chance we have to slow, and hopefully stop, another bad trade agreement.

 

Thanks,

Michael Stumo, CEO Coalition for a Prosperous America

ProPublica has released When Is It OK to Not Pay an Intern.  In a related note, the Fair Labor Standards Act, which banned child labor and set the 40 hour work week passed Congress this week in 1938.  Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the legislation into law.

What laws determine when an intern should or should not be paid?

The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, regulates minimum wage and overtime for U.S. workers, including interns. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing the law, and has a six-factor test [3] to determine whether interns at private sector employers must be paid minimum wage.

According to the Department of Labor, an unpaid internship must meet all these criteria:

  • The internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment
  • It’s for the benefit of the intern
  • The intern doesn’t displace paid employees
  • The employer doesn’t benefit from work the intern is doing, “and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.”
  • The intern isn’t promised a job at the end (unpaid “tryouts” aren’t allowed)
  • Both the intern and their boss understand its an unpaid position

With all the uproar over yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court to gut the Voting Rights Act much of the talk has been abut race and deservedly so.  I found this perspective from Too Much Online interesting.

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have just released their  annual financial disclosures. The disclosure forms don’t require the justices  to be particularly specific. The best we can tell, counting residences, all  nine justices hold  a good bit over $1 million in personal net worth.

All nine justices, in other words, sit comfortably within  America’s richest 2 percent, a little statistical tidbit that doesn’t seem to   interest our chattering class. This latest round of financial disclosures has garnered next to no commentary.

But think about this for a moment. Our current Supreme Court has more  gender and ethnic diversity than any high court in American history. We proudly celebrate  this diversity as a welcome sign of social progress. Yet we give no attention  at all to the Supreme Court’s absolute absence of class diversity.

On the nation’s highest bench, as almost everywhere else in  America, the rich rule. Democracy runs a poor second. More on the race this  week in Too Much

This week’s audio netcast from America’s Democrats.org features an interesting interview with Ryan Enos regarding the stability of the “Obama Coalition”.  Much has been made of the demographics in America favoring the Democratic party.  Indeed they do but it is not a sure thing and Mr. Enos describes some potential pitfalls.

 

The following blog post by United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard is a can of whoop-ass for the reasoning of the bankruptcy judge in the recent mine workers/Patriot Coal case. can of whoopass photo: Can Of WhoopAss Whoopass.jpg Check out the numbers of assets vs health care liabilities of the sham corporations created by Peabody.

June 17, 2013
Court Grants Corporations Impunity to Mug Retirees
Posted: 06/10/2013

When a kid snatches an old lady’s purse, it’s punished as a crime. But when a corporation manipulates bankruptcy law to deny thousands of retired coal miners benefits they labored their entire lives to earn, it’s endorsed by federal court.

Late last month, a bankruptcy judge sanctioned a scheme in which corporations create shill companies with a dram of assets and a sea of retiree responsibilities. Such a debt-burdened outfit quickly goes bust. Bankruptcy court, the judge said, can’t consider the intent of a company’s creation, but can approve a plan to reorganize it by betraying decades of promises to retirees.

Corporations have reneged many times before on pledges for pensions and retiree medical benefits. This, however, is a new twist on that old scam. It’s alarming because what the bankruptcy court approved provides a template for companies angling to reduce costs by abandoning their commitments to retirees. It’s a swindle that must be stopped.

Of course, lots of people get hurt in bankruptcies, not just workers. All kinds of creditors — from the local accounting firm to the big copy paper provider — get stuck with cents on the dollar owed. But this case, the Patriot Coal Corp. case, is different. That’s because Patriot’s bankruptcy was deliberate. Peabody Energy kneecapped Patriot on purpose at the outset. continue reading…

The June issue of the The Atlantic features Do President’s Matter?  A look at the foreign policy of America and the role of the Presidency.  This blog doesn’t focus on foreign policy but this interesting read includes a rating of  chief executive’s back to Teddy Roosevelt.  Missouri’s only President, Harry Truman received an A-.

What do you think?

Will Durst delivers his own brand of sarcasm with What Could Be More Democratic Than Spying on Everyone?

Dear US Citizen:

Please accept our most egregiously sincere apologies for the difficulties and Spy : Cartoon illustration of a spy wearing a hat and trenchcoatinconveniences the secret monitoring of your phone records and email and GPS units and foreign travel and bank accounts and yes, even your snail mail has evidently caused.

We here at the NSA strive for the perfection of our services, which depend on the chronic obliviousness of you, our valued customers. Unfortunately, due to one disgruntled deadbeat (who escaped to China to avoid government persecution- which is like joining the Army because you’re tired of people telling you what to do) you now know of our continuing efforts to keep you safe. That was never our intention.

When you are even tangentially aware of the absurd lengths the National Security Agency will go to keep you and your loved ones out of harm’s way, our mission has failed. If you knew half the crap we have to slog through here, your hair would curl, but that’s another story altogether.

Yes, we’re pretty much keeping tabs on everything everyone says and does, all the time, which we understand upsets a few of you. Folks. Don’t worry. Nobody’s actually listening to any of this stuff. We’re just used to collecting it. If it makes you feel any better, think of this whole enterprise as an exceedingly long, government- subsidized episode of “Hoarders.” You can trust us.

And seriously, anybody who didn’t suspect this kind of snooping was going on is not to be trusted with knives in the kitchen without a fencing mask. Privacy is soooo 20th Century.

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