Franklin County Democrats

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

Browsing Posts published in January, 2017

This week’s Democratic Radio:  

Richard Conleyredradio

Professor Richard Conley has a new book about presidential relations with Congress. This time, he says, they may not work out too well. And, he says, presidents who lose the popular vote aren’t usually successful.

Bruce Springsteen

We don’t usually have entertainers on the program, but we have a special guest this week, courtesy of the podcast “WTF with Marc Maron.” Bruce Springsteen talks with Marc about the irony of the very people the Boss writes about in his songs being hoodwinked by Trump.

Get Bruce Springstein’s new autobiography, Born to Run and make sure to check out Marc Maron at wtfpod.com

Raul Ruiz

Bill Press talks with California Democrat Raul Ruiz about prospects for the 115th Congress.

Jim Hightower

Searching for integrity in Trumplandia

Forbes magazine, one of many mouthpieces for the business class, brings us “Right-to-Work” Laws Explained, Debunked, and Demystified.

Accordingly, this seems an appropriate moment to set the record straight on what these laws are, in actuality, intended to achieve.stealing

Let’s begin by noting that many Americans continue to believe that unionism  is based around the concept of the ‘closed shop’ —an agreement between an employer and the union representing the employer’s workers requiring that the employer hire only labor union members or, if nonmembers are employed, they must become a member of the union within a stated period of time or lose their job.

 Not true.

The Taft-Hartley Act, passed in 1947, which amended the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, did away with the “closed shop” era in America during which an employee—who either resisted joining the union or lost his union membership as a result of failing to pay dues or some other violation—was required to be dismissed by the employer as a result of the worker losing, or never accomplishing, union member status.

But there was much more to this law.

The Taft-Hartley Act additionally required that employment agreements collectively bargained for to benefit union members would also be required to inure to the complete benefit of non-member employees, even though these employees elect not to join the union.

Already knew all of that? Excellent.

But did you know that Taft-Hartley further requires that the union be additionally obligated to provide non-members’ with virtually all the benefits of union membership even if that worker elects not to become a card-carrying union member?

By way of example, if a non-member employee is fired for a reason that the employee believes to constitute a wrongful termination, the union is obligated to represent the rights of that employee in the identical fashion as it would represent a union member improperly terminated. So rock solid is this obligation that should the non-union member employee be displeased with the quality of the fight the union has put forth on his or her behalf, that non-union member has the right to sue the union for failing to prosecute as good a defense as would be expected by a wrongfully terminated union member.

Sounds like the business world knows that RTW is a scam.  If any aspect of these corporate interests were forced to provide products or services without compensation the wails of government intrusion and even calls of communism would be ringing across the land.  Let’s recognize this corporate power grab as something they would never do to a fellow business.  Once again, in right-wing world the golden rule shall never be considered on any day except Sunday.

Uriah Heep summarizes the idea of making laws that endorse the taking of goods and services without compensation with their classic Stealing When I Should Have Been Buying…

So I stood on a ridge and shunned religion thinking the world was mine
I made my break and a big mistake stealin’ when I should’ve been buyin’
I was stealin’ when I should’ve been buyin’
I was stealin’ when I should’ve been buyin’ yeah
Stealin’ when I should’ve been buyin’

 

As Vice-President Joe Biden prepares to leave office it is appropriate to look back at his contributions.  The Atlantic examined the VP in The Biden Doctrine…

The Biden Doctrine, then, has four key components. 1) Don’t use force unless it counts and is sustainable. 2) Shore up and strengthen alliances—and build common cause on common projects with other global stakeholders. The world is changing and fragile and America can’t do all that needs to be done alone. 3) Have a sense of perspective, and think about proportional responses to threats—terrorism is not existential but nuclear exchanges are. 4) Relationships and the personal side of foreign-policy making—with allies and with enemies—is a key part of successful foreign-policy execution. It’s this fourth dimension of “personality realism” that represents the vice president’s biggest contribution, and the element perhaps most difficult for future leaders to mimic, though they would be wise to.

Andy Borowitz has the takeaway from the much discussed Intelligence briefings with the Twit n’ Chief…

“The hacker would often wake up in the middle of the night, in an addled and cranky state, and start tweeting,” an intelligence source said. “This disrupted sleep pattern is consistent with a suspect in the three-to-four-year-old age range.”Image result for Image, 4 YEAR OLD WITH COMPUTER

N.S.A. analysts who studied the vocabulary, syntax, and spelling of the tweets “determined beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are the work of a preschooler,” the source said.

While the intelligence agencies have yet to determine the identity of the hacker, the source stressed that a four-year-old capable of hacking the President-elect’s Twitter account poses “a serious national-security threat.”

“Based on these tweets, this particular four-year-old has a loose grasp on reality, lacks all impulse control, and is potentially very dangerous.”

Radio and TV host Thom Hartmann (Progress XM127) took to his blog to share his views on the future of Obamacare...

Yesterday on Capitol Hill Vice President Elect Mike Pence reassured Republicans that repealing Obamacare will be “first order of business for the incoming Trump administration”.Image result for Image, dog catching bus

But as Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer pointed out in a press conference yesterday, Republicans simply have no idea what they’re going to replace Obamacare with.

“My republican colleagues don’t know quite what to do, they’re like the dog who caught the bus. They can repeal but they have nothing to put in its place and that means so many good things go away.”

Repealing Obamacare altogether, and thus going back to letting the insurance company banksters rob us blind and then throw us off coverage when we get sick, would be a disaster, and the Republicans know that.

But they’ve spent the past 6 years telling their base and their donors that that’s exactly what really, really, really needed to be done, and they were so persistent that they actually got some people to believe them.

So now, they’re trapped.

Basically, the only real choice Republicans have now is to continue the giant con on their voters.

They’re going to make a few small tweaks to Obamacare — probably to the individual mandate because that’s the most unpopular part of the law — call it a “repeal,” and then rename the finished package something like “Trumpcare”.

Republicans will then declare victory and head home, having accomplished nothing but make an already compromised healthcare system even more compromised.

This will be a big missed opportunity, both for Republicans and the country.

Ultimately, the problems with Obamacare aren’t really problems with Obamacare per se – but problems with the whole idea of for-profit healthcare industry.

Seriously – Canada, Mexico, all the major European nations – even Costa Rica – are NOT having this conversation, because in all those places healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

We’re literally the only country in the world that lets rich banksters hold citizens’ health hostage in exchange for profits.

The sad reality is that most of what Obamacare really did was make a few changes to an already-corrupt private for-profit healthcare industry – good changes, certainly, but still within a for-profit system – and put the government on the hook for the political backlash to those changes.

It did some good things, but it left in place the major problem with the American healthcare system: we treat healthcare as a profit engine, not a human right.

Until that’s changed, nothing will really improve.

So if Republicans were actually serious about fixing Obamacare, they’d take this opportunity to do what Democrats should have done 6 years ago when they had the chance – they’d make healthcare a human right by either passing a public option or they’d do what the Swiss have done and require all health insurance companies to operate as nonprofits.

Or better yet, they’d lower the Medicare eligibility age to 0 and create a real national single payer health insurance system.

Those are the only real ways to fix Obamacare.

Can’t help but wonder will Mr. Puzder cut all ties to the fast food industry and his other investments if confirmed as Secretary of Labor?  After all, whatever he may lose on his investments will be compensated in stature and sense of accomplishment. Right?

You may be familiar with Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.  She often appears on the national political talk shows defending any and all things Republican.  Well Marsha had a fantastic idea – she would use her Twitter feed for a poll that would show once and for all that the American people are ready to take up the pitchforks to repeal the Affordable Care Act/ Obamacare.  GOPElephantcrap

What could be better?  Just post a slanted question about repealing Obamacare and wait for the thousands of tweets of people eager to return our health care system back to the way it was back in 2010 before the passage of Obamacare.  Not only would these tweets demonstrate the grassroots appeal of repeal but it would all be aglow in the twitterverse for everyone to see.  Brilliant!

Yahoo details what happened  in This Republican Congresswoman’s Twitter poll on Obamacare didn’t go very well for her…

A Twitter poll by ardent Obamacare foe Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., on whether the health-care law should be repealed backfired big-time Wednesday as lots more people — a whole lot more people — tweeted “No,” rather than “Yes.”

Blackburn posted the poll Tuesday, asking people their views on repeal, and requesting that they retweet their support for killing Obamacare if they favored repeal.

She also asked in that tweet what people want to see as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Do you support the repeal of Obamacare? RT if you do, and share what you want to see as the replacement.

When the poll closed Wednesday, a whopping 84 percent of the nearly 8,000 votes were for “No” on the question of repeal.
Talk about stepping in it…

The latest BradCast:

On today’s BradCast, hosted by me, Angie Coiro, it’s all about effective activism in 2017 — where we can at least hold our ground and maybe even gain a skosh more, in three critical areas.

Lisa Graves of The Center for Media and Democracy targets the fight against ALEC under Trump. Katie Klabusich, writer for The Establishment, focuses on reproductive, gender, and sexual freedoms. And Campaign for America’s Future‘s Dave Johnson talks NAFTA, TPP, and other trade compacts, and their potential impact on wages.

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