Franklin County Democrats

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

Browsing Posts published in January, 2014

Jon Stewart and the Daily Show respond to the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.   This hilarious review of the last five years of the Grand Obstructionist Party and their two faced approach to governing really hits home.  By home I mean our own Congressman Blaine Lemmingmeyer of the 3rd District.  Here’s an excerpt from Blaine’s Bulletin that went out today.

As I sat in the House Chamber and listened to the president deliver his sixth State of the Union Address, I was struck by his willingness to divide the American people rather than bring us together. The president made it clear in his most political State of the Union Address to date that he plans to bypass Congress through executive orders and partisan political arm twisting to further a regressive agenda that most Americans have rejected.

I’m not much of a believer in polls, but when survey after survey by legitimate organizations show that the American people have lost faith in the president, I am frankly not too surprised. This administration has broken too many promises, especially when it comes to the economy.

The President’s poll numbers?  The latest has him at a 43% approval rating.  Not great, but a few points better than the approval rating of Congress which, to be fair, has gone up to 13%.  So congratulations Mr. Lemmingmeyer for the ability to, as scripture says “see a speck in the eye of another while ignoring the board in yours.”

Let’s get back to Jon Stewart’s analysis of the Grand Obstructionist Party and their brown eye on this issue of claiming to want to work with the President…

They’re really hurt!  They’re hurt!  Their feelings are hurt!  The President has hurt their feelings!  The only problem with their “we just wanna work with him” is that it’s total bullshit.  It’s bullshit.  Premium Grade A grass-fed free-range bullshit.  (wild audience cheering and applause)  Collected and packaged by hand.  No, hear me out!  It is bullshit collected and packaged by hand from the polished anuses of award-winning Texas longhorns that have been bred for peristaltic perfection so that each individual dookie meets the exacting standards of the American Bullshit Association!

 

 

 

From our friends at the Coalition for a Prosperous America…

 Voters by a 2-to-1 margin oppose Fast Track authority to pass trade deals, according to a new poll by Hart Research released today.

By a 62 percent to 28 percent, voters are against Fast Track, which would force Congress to make an up-or-down vote on trade deals, according to Guy Molyneux, a partner with Hart who presented the findings on a conference call with reporters. The poll results, said Molyneux,

…would set off alarm bells in any campaign in the country.

Republican voters are especially opposed to Fast Track, with 87 percent against it and only 8 percent in favor. That is significant since the bill is likely to move first in the House, which has a Republican majority.

Molyneux said the public is increasingly concerned about and opposed to trade deals. By a 2-to-1 ratio,  Democrats, Republicans and Independents all think trade deals hurt more than help the country. And voters’ top priority is preventing U.S. jobs from going overseas.

Fast Track elicits intense opposition from 43 percent of voters, who say they are less likely to vote for a member of Congress who supports it. According to Hart,

Demographically, opposition is very broad, with no more than one-third of voters in any region of the country or in any age cohort favoring fast track.

And in more great news for opponents of job-killing trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he opposes legislation to speed approval of trade deal. Bloomberg News reported,

“I’m against fast track,” Reid told reporters in Washington today. Asked whether he would block a floor vote on such a measure, he said, “We’ll see.” He said the Obama administration and top Senate Democrats are aware of his position.

“Everyone would be well-advised just to not push this right now,” said Reid, a Nevada Democrat.

Our State Senator Brian Nieves is once again trying to “nullify” federal gun laws and claim Missouri has “states’ rights” to enforce or not enforce whatever laws it chooses.  This would include having state law enforcement officials arrest any one for carrying out federal gun laws. 

This situation reminded me of a passage from Civil War Top Ten by Thomas R. Flagel.  This book ranks the best, worst, bolldiest, and the most important people and events of the war between the states.  Ranking number eight in his ranking for Causes of the Civil War, was The Growth of Sourhern Nationalism Through “States’ Rights.”

Effective movements have effective rallying cries.  All-encompassing slogans such as “Solidarity,” “Lebensraum,” and “Rule Britannia” have united disparate groups into powerful political entities.  Such was the case with “states’ rights” in the antebellum South.

In existence since the Federalist versus Anti-federalist contest over the U.S. Constitiution, the term achieved widespread populairity in 1828 and 1832 when Congress issued excessively high import tariffs against the wishes of several Southern states.  Thereafter, the states’ rights card became a popular Southern response to any unpopular national policy.

In reality. the federal government in 1860 was still a political runt.  The country had no national bank, no national currency, no income tax, a miniscule army, the lowest import tariffs in fifty years, and an annual budget of a humble $70 milliion.  Concurrently, states’ rights advocates , such as Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, were very selective in application of the mantra.  They demanded local supremacy over tariffs, slavery, and control of territories but called for a strong national government to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law, annex Texas, engage in a war with Mexico, and push for annexation of Cuba.

More of a catchphrase than a policy, states’ rights unified an otherwise divisive South.  Landed gentry and the landless, bankers and the impoverished, slave owners and sharecroppers develpoed a cohesive lobby, a “David versus Goliath” platform against growing Northern influence.

So Brian Nieves is governing by a catchphrase from the early 1800′s.  That does seem to fit the rest of the state GOP agenda of moving Missouri backwards in worker’s rights, education funding, and “gilded age,” take it easy on the rich tax policy. 

This strategy may be wearing thin as the landless, the unemployed, and the middle class realize they have very little common interest with the landed gentry, bankers, and CEO’s that get the most benefit from this strategy.  Did the Who have it right when they sang , “Won’t Get Fooled Again?.”

This month’s The Atlantic has a unique article on paid paternity leave and how it helps the entire family and society.   The Daddy Track argues paternit leave makes men more helpful at home, women more involved at work, and workplaces friendlier for all parents.

When Chris Renshaw told his co-workers that he was planning to take six weeks of paternity leave, they responded with overwhelming support. “It’s definitely looked at in a good light,” says Renshaw, 28, who lives in Northern California and was taking infant-care classes to hone his diapering and baby-bathing skills. “People have said, ‘That’s a great idea—take as much as you can. It’s time that you can be with your child.’?”

This would hardly be surprising if Renshaw worked for one of the legions of progressive tech companies in the Bay Area, but he’s a firefighter. His decision to take paternity leave, and his fellow firefighters’ enthusiastic reaction, is a sign of a new phase in our never-ending quest for work-life harmony.

As usual, California is at the vanguard of this shift. While the federal Family and Medical Leave Act has long granted up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to mothers and fathers in large and medium-size workplaces, in 2002 California became the first U.S. state to guarantee six weeks of paid leave for mothers and fathers alike, financed by a small payroll-tax contribution from eligible workers. Since then, Rhode Island and New Jersey have followed suit with four and six paid weeks, respectively, while other states are taking steps toward similar policies.* In Silicon Valley, many tech giants have gone above and beyond the government mandate: Google offers men seven weeks of paid leave; Yahoo, eight; and Reddit and Facebook, a generous 17.

For the inevitable chorus singing the old conservative scare song, “This will cost jobs”, California created a million jobs last year.

 

Democracy Now with Amy Goodman takes a look back at the life and music of Pete Seeger.  The folk music icon recently passed away but made many contributions to American life.  This hour long interview features interviews, audio and film footage, and of course music.

This week’s audio netcast:   There’s a lot of talk about the seamy side of politics in New Jersey, but author Terry Golway maintains that political machines used to do some good, at least in New York. Former Senator Alan Dixon looks back, also – at a career that began with the blessing of the Illinois Democratic machine. And Bill Press interviews Republican-turned-Independent Senate candidate Larry Pressler.

Fortnne magazine has released their list of 100 Best Companies To Work For.   Some of these sound like awesome places to work, the reasons for others seem a little thin.  What do you think?  Is your employer listed?

Here’s the top 3…

Rank             Company Name                     Job Growth No. of Employees
1 Google 20.1% 42,162
2 SAS 3.6% 6,588
3 The Boston Consulting Group 10.7% 2,552

All In with Chris Hayes this week featured an investigative report on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Many members of the Missouri House and Senate are members of ALEC including area legislator and Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives Tim Jones.  Tim Jones is currently a state co-chair of ALEC. This video features an interview with a Nebraska State Senator that was a member of ALEC but has since renounced his membership, along with a majority of the Nebraska legislature tells why he could no longer work with the group.

Andy Borowitz shares his exclusive story on New Jersey Mayors That Have Been Bullied By Chris Christie Forming A Support Group, and it’s a big one!

A support group for mayors bullied by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie held its first meeting today at the Prudential Center arena, in Newark.

Organizers of the gathering pronounced themselves pleased with the turnout, as bullied officeholders from all over the state filled the eighteen-thousand-seat venue.

The support group was the brainchild of Carol Foyler, the bullied mayor of Sea Ridge, New Jersey.

“All of these mayors have their own painful stories to share,” Mayor Foyler said. “We wanted to give them a safe space to do that.”

The event was interrupted fifteen minutes in, however, when power to the Prudential Center was abruptly cut off, plunging the arena into darkness.

A spokesman from Gov. Christie’s office said that the sudden power outage was part of a routine electricity study.

Social Policy contributor Rand Wilson shares “Just Cause”: Isn’t it Time for all workers to have more job security? 

The United States is alone among industrialized countries in allowing workers to be considered “at will” employees and dismissed for any reason – justified or not – unless protected by a union contract or individual agreement. Labor should seize the opportunity to champion the passage of “just cause” standards into state laws. It’s a labor law reform proposal that will appeal to all workers while putting employers on the defensive.

The next collective-bargaining battleground is likely to be the job-security provisions of union contracts, including the “just cause” clause. Instead of waiting for such an attack, labor should seize the opportunity to champion the passage of “just cause” standards into state laws. It’s a labor-law reform proposal that will appeal to all workers while putting employers on the defensive.

It’s long overdue. The United States is alone among industrialized countries in allowing workers to be considered “at will” employees and dismissed for any reason – justified or not, unless protected by a union contract or individual agreement. Governments such as France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom require employers to have a “just cause” to dismiss non-probationary employees. Just cause appeals to basic fairness, just as due process does in court. Workers who believe they have been fired unfairly have the opportunity to contest their dismissals before various types of industrial tribunals. In the U.S., such recourse is available only to public employees with civil service protection and/or union-represented workers with access to a negotiated grievance/arbitration procedure.

At-will employees have no job security: they can be fired for a mistake, an argument with a supervisor, a critical comment about the enterprise or management, taking a sick day, a complaint about working conditions or pay, or involvement in outside political campaigns – all activities that just-cause protected workers can take part in without worry.

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