Franklin County Democrats

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

Browsing Posts published in September, 2016

Richard Eskow elaborates on the question How Much Will The War On Unions Cost You?

The decline of unions has probably cost you, or someone close to you, thousands of dollars since last Labor Day.

new study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that income for nonunion workers fell substantially as union membership declined. And it hasn’t fallen because of some immutable economic law. It’s a casualty of war – cultural and political war.Image result for Image, Rich man picking a pocket

If union enrollment had remained as high as it was in 1979, nonunion working men in the private sector would have earned an average of $2,704 more per year in 2013. The average non-unionized male worker without a college degree would have earned an additional $3,016, and those with only a high school diploma or less would have earned $3,172 more. (The differences were less striking for women because of workforce changes since the 1970s.)

Forget the “sharing economy”—get a union instead.

The decline in union membership is costing nonunion workers a total of $133 billion per year, according to EPI.

Canada resembles the U.S. in many ways, but union membership there hasn’t fallen like it has here. Why not? In a word, union-friendlier policies – the kind our country should be embracing, but isn’t.

We need unions. EPI’s study confirms that they play a key role in reducing economic inequality, which is a growing crisis. The pay gap between CEOs and average workers has skyrocketed in recent decades – from about 20:1 in 1965 to somewhere between 204:1 and331:1 today.

Unionization also narrows the racial wage gap, according to a new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

It’s easy to understand how unions benefit their own members. How do they help nonunion workers? EPI explains that nonunion employers “may raise pay for some workers to forestall an organizing drive.” They also respond to “the standards that unions help establish through politicking for labor-friendly policies,” and from the fact that unions are “a cultural force arguing for a ‘fairer share’ for working men and women.”

So the war on unions that didn’t seem to affect many folks has actually cost them thousands of dollars and a higher standard of living.  Most folks don’t even know they’ve been had.  Starting to feel like being stuck between Charles and David Koch on an escalator!  One distracts you with something else while the other picks your pocket.  Now you know what that game is costing you even if you don’t belong to a union.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published this opinion piece by Bill Romjue – Family Values?

ST LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
September 27, 2016 – Opinion
Family values?
By Bill Romjue
Twenty-five years ago Roy Blunt ran as a reform candidate for Governor of Missouri.  He castigated his primary opponent, Bill Webster and the Webster family for using public office for financial gain with a barrage of television ads, calling the conduct a “merry-go-round”.  Rbriberyoy lost that primary race, but his assessment of Webster proved to be accurate when Webster was indicted during the general election and lost badly to the late Mel Carnahan.
The question today as Roy Blunt asks Missouri voters for a second term in the United States Senate is what lessons has the one-time reformer learned from that experience?  Sadly for anyone concerned with keeping government free from corruption and improper influences the evidence is discouraging.
Roy soon became a college President in Southwest Missouri and when a deep red seat opened up in 1996, he edged out several Republican rivals to claim it. Within two years he was George W. Bush’s point man in the Congress and rapidly climbing the leadership ladder.  But that ascent left behind the instinct for reform.  By 2001 he was not above using even the most critical legislation to line the pockets of cronies and friends.  After questions from the press, his Republican colleagues had to remove a “gift” tax break to the tobacco giant formerly known as Philip Morris that Blunt had inserted into nine-eleven-inspired Homeland Security Legislation.  The tobacco giant’s lobbyist was Abigail Perlman who became his second wife the following year, six months after he divorced his first wife of thirty-six years.
Roy Blunt’s father was a long serving largely undistinguished legislator with a knack for inside politics.  But it has been in the family’s second and third political generations that living off of government connections has been perfected to an art form.  No other family in America has approached the exploitation of political influence for financial gain with so much ingenuity and enthusiasm.
It was Roy’s son Matt’s election as Governor of Missouri in 2004 that had enabled the family to really raise its financial game.  In a brazen display of raw politics in the first few weeks after the election, word went out to those who employed Democrats to look after their lobbying interests in Jefferson City that they would be wise to hire Matt’s brother Andy instead.  Despite lacking experience in state government, Andy Blunt partnered with an older Republican insider and used connections in his brother’s office to deliver the goods for a rapidly growing client base.  Soon sister Amy Blunt had also signed up as a lobbyist.  The growing Republican majorities in both legislative bodies brought them still more business even as Matt’s political career foundered over incompetence and evidence of an insider corruption scandal.  He wisely did not run for re-election in 2008.
But today four members of Blunt’s immediate family are lobbyists in Jefferson City and Washington.  Andy Blunt is still working the state legislature now representing thirty-seven clients even while running his father’s campaign.  Earlier this year Andy picked up a no-bid contract to protect the University of Missouri, still reeling from its recent leadership crisis, from reprisals by Republican legislators.  Daughter Amy lobbies in the State Capitol for clients of a Missouri law firm.  And son Matt and wife Abigail lobby the Congress where Roy Blunt serves as Missouri’s Junior Senator.
Are these the “family values” that are often championed by Missouri Republicans?   It’s apparently in keeping with a party that recruits candidates for the legislature with vague references to a post-legislative career as a lobbyist in Jefferson City.  Is this what so-called “public service” has come to?  If Roy Blunt is re-elected to the Senate, it will be a clear message to Missourians, indeed to all Americans that this shameless behavior is acceptable.  Even in a day when spouses of Senators and Congressmen routinely serve on the boards of giant corporations with significant interests in federal legislation, the Blunt family’s excesses stand out.
Harry Truman would likely have been appalled if a member of his family even suggested violating the sacred trust he held with his constituents.  Perhaps it’s time for Missouri to return to “Harry Truman values” and retire Roy Blunt and his family merry-go-round.
 
Bill Romjue was Nebraska State Director and National Political Staff for Bernie Sanders

 

 

debate-review-trump

Columnist Thomas Friedman reviews the debate performance of DJT and asks How Could We?

How in the world do we put a man in the Oval Office who thinks NATO is a shopping mall where the tenants aren’t paying enough rent to the U.S. landlord?

NATO is not a shopping mall; it is a strategic alliance that won the Cold War, keeps Europe a stable trading partner for U.S. companies and prevents every European country — particularly Germany — from getting their own nukes to counterbalance Russia, by sheltering them all under America’s nuclear umbrella.hacker-400-pound

How do we put in the Oval Office a man who does not know enough “beef” about key policies to finish a two-minute answer on any issue without the hamburger helper of bluster, insults and repetition?

How do we put in the Oval Office a man who suggests that the recent spate of cyberattacks — which any senior U.S. intelligence official will tell you came without question from Russia — might not have come from Russia but could have been done by “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds”?

How do we put in the Oval Office a man who boasts that he tries to pay zero federal taxes but then complains that our airports and roads are falling apart and there is not enough money for our veterans?

WIRED takes a look at the best memes from the first Presidential debate of the season,enjoy!

 And thus a meme was born.

For those who didn’t watch the debate (it’s not too late), the meme is in reference to the incessant and highly audible sound Donald Trump made trying to clear his sinuses as he spoke. In total, there were upwards of 50 times over the two-hour debate that Trump sniffled—and trust me I hate myself more than you hate me for actually counting. But I couldn’t help myself. Sure, in any other election, this sort of thing might have (and likely should have) been overlooked, but thanks to a gaffe-hungry public and the fuss made over Hillary Clinton’s health these last few weeks, tweeters seized the opportunity at karmic retribution for the Republican nominee.

PolitiFact has examined the many statements of both Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton prior to tonight’s debate.  To take this one with a grain of salt will require a trip to the feed store to carry out a salt block…

Tonight is the first Presidential debate of this election cycle and Andy Borowitz looks at how “The Donald” is working the refs in Trump Warns That Clinton Will Rig Debate By Using Facts…

At a campaign rally on Friday, Donald Trump warned that Hillary Clinton is scheming to “rig the debate by using facts” in their first televised face-off, on Monday.facts

“You just watch, folks,” Trump told supporters in Toledo, Ohio. “Crooked Hillary is going to slip in little facts all night long, and that’s how she’s going to try to rig the thing.”

“It’s a disgrace,” he added.

The billionaire drew a sharp contrast between himself and the former Secretary of State by claiming that his debate prep “involved no facts whatsoever.”

“I am taking a pledge not to use facts at the debate,” he said, raising his right hand. “I challenge Crooked Hillary to take that pledge.”

The hits on DT just keep on coming.  Between not making charitable donations he claims and using his charity (foundation) to pay his personal legal bills and portraits the Republican nominee is being exposed as less than a kind-hearted philanthropist.  This segment of the Rachel Maddow show is a shot to the solar plexus of dignity as The Donald gets busted once again using Veterans to further his political career.  It would be funny if it wasn’t.donald-trump-portrait

Remember how Donald Trump‘s bogus veterans group — whose chair claimed represents over 100,000 veterans — sold tickets for the GOP front runner’s eagerly anticipated foreign policy speech? Well, guess what?Rachel Maddow just exposed Veterans for a Strong America as consisting of just one guy, the supposed Chairman Joel Arends of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Oops.

 Not only that, it turns out Trump’s bogus veteran’s group also had its nonprofit status revoked by the IRS on August 10th…Not because it’s a fake group with no actual veterans in it, but because Arends hasn’t filed any tax returns in the past three years. But of course Arends, I mean Veterans for a Strong America, plans to challenge the IRS’s decision.
Watch Rachel Maddow hilariously take down Donald Trump’s bogus veteran’s group on Wednesday’s edition of TRMS.

The current TORTUNE magazine features a look at teh economic plans of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in  Is Hillary Good For Business?

As the race between Clinton and Trump tightens in the weeks before the election, many corporate leaders and other voters are asking the same thing: Who will be better for business? In a May cover story (see “Business the Trump Way”), Fortune took a deep dive into the real estate mogul’s record and his stated plans for the economy. And now we’re doing the same for Clinton. In this case, frankly, there is more of a public record to plumb. Business leaders, indeed, know more about Clinton than arguably any other candidate in recent memory, thanks to the quarter-century she has spent in the public glare, not to mention her personal outreach to many of them over that time. What gaps still exist they could fill by extrapolating from the first administration in which she served as a governing partner—her husband’s—which were surely the salad days for relations between Democrats and the private sector.Image result for Image, Hillary Clinton

In her loftiest expectations, say insiders, Clinton’s presidency would open with a bang by securing congressional approval for a massive investment in restoring the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Clinton has called the state of disrepair of U.S. roads, bridges, airports, and railways a “national emergency,” and experts agree. The quality of American infrastructure slipped from fifth worldwide in 2002 to 16th last year, according to the Council on Foreign Relations—and that rank will likely slide as spending fails to keep up with maintenance needs and an ever-expanding demand for more capacity. Clinton is calling for investing $275 billion in the effort over five years, with most of that spending going directly into transportation and other projects, and another $25 billion in capital for an infrastructure bank that would provide loans (and guarantees) to private-sector builders. Fixing broken roads and bridges is part of the aim; the spending would also provide construction jobs and contribute to faster economic growth.

The precise contours of a deal remain unknown. But the plan would center on forcing home at a discounted tax rate the $2 trillion in overseas profits that American companies have stashed abroad. Depending on the rate, that alone could yield the revenue to fund the infrastructure spending. Policymakers couldn’t stop there, however. They’d need to solve the rest of a tax code Rubik’s Cube to keep businesses of all sizes from revolting. Big business without overseas profits would demand that corporate rates come down across the board—a move that would create winners and losers as negotiators scrubbed preferences in the code to pay for the rate reductions. Small businesses that pay taxes through the individual side of the code would then demand their own relief. And so on.

Even if Clinton could somehow satisfy all these competing business interests, the tax holiday at the heart of the deal would alienate liberals, who would almost certainly view it as an unacceptable giveaway to a handful of rich multinationals. “It’s critical that we end all tax subsidies for corporations to outsource jobs,” says Damon Silvers, the AFL-CIO’s director of policy, noting that simply ending the companies’ ability to defer paying taxes on their offshore earnings would raise more than $500 billion, “money we need for infrastructure.”

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