Franklin County Democrats

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

Recently KETC Channel 9 featured a debate and discussion about Right-to-Work. Yoy can view it here...

Unfortunately, the legislature has yet to consider my Right-to-Country Club proposal which is based on exactly the same idea as Right-to-Work. Both proposals require an organization to provide their services for free to people that use a service but don’t want to pay for the service they receive. Here is my Letter to the Editor that appeared in the Washington Missourian…

To The Editor:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently reported “Missouri Republicans Are Loading Up on Tax Break Proposals.” There sure are some interesting concepts being advanced by the party of the wrinkled trunk. I particularly enjoyed this proposal…Ignoring reality

“Rep. Lyndall Fraker, R-Marshfield, wants to offer a sales tax exemption on initiation fees or dues on private country clubs.

“ ‘It’s just really hitting some of these clubs really hard,’ Fraker said.

“Fraker acknowledges that tax credits do take a toll on the state budget.”

This is indeed the kind of proposal that comes from a “change” election. In this case, Republican Fraker is fighting to shave off some of the hardship some rich folks feel when paying their country club dues. I’m sure most Missourians are OK with this. After all, most folks can afford to buy a few more school supplies or fund-raisers to make up for the lost revenue that the country club deduction costs the state.

Of course, another way of looking at this issue comes to mind. Instead of offering tax credits for rich folks to offset the expense of those pesky private country club dues, I propose a Right-to-Country Club. This law would allow members and former members to use country club facilities, the bar, the sauna, the golf course, the caterer, and other services and then be able to invoke their Right-to-Country Club and not pay for any of these services.

Let’s be clear, all Americans should have the right to hang out at the country club of their choice – whether they pay dues or not.

If my proposal sounds familiar, it should. The very same Republican Party that is pushing tax breaks for rich folks’ country club dues have already held hearings on Right-to-Work legislation. RTW would require unions to provide representation and bargaining services to anyone who chooses to work at a unionized facility, while allowing the member or nonmember to avoid paying for any of those services.

The fact is that asking an organization to provide services without compensation is ridiculous and obviously incompatible with a market economy.

What is good for the golden goose is good for the gander. Republicans like Justin Alferman, Dave Schatz, Paul Curtman and Kirk Matthews, who support Right-to-Work, should also embrace my Right-to-Country Club. I promise when Right-to-Country Club comes to the floor of the House for a vote, I will be there. I will also give these legislators all the credit for my idea.

Instant Classic. This week’s episode of Saturday Night Live features Melissa McCarthy recreating a typical press briefing by Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Save the cup of coffee until after you watch…

In the eight-minute sketch, a nearly unrecognizable McCarthy perfectly captured the frosty, often acrimonious relationship between Spicer and the press, the secretary’s brash and confrontational manner, his odd phrasing and the circuitousness of his answers to direct questions.Melissa McCarthy as Spicer

“I know that the press and myself have gotten off to a rocky start, and when I say ‘rocky start,’ I mean it in the sense of Rocky the movie because I came out here to punch you,” “Spicer” yelled.

“I’d like to begin today by apologizing on behalf of you to me for how you have treated me these last two weeks, and that apology is not accepted!”
“Spicer” also provided an accurate recap of Trump’s Supreme Court judge announcement: “When he entered the room, the crowd greeted him with a standing ovation which lasted a full 15 minutes, and you can check the tape on that. Everyone was smiling, everyone was happy, the men all had erections, and every single one of the women were ovulating left and right. And no one was sad, those are the facts forever.”

“Spicer” then fielded questions, barely, about the Muslim ban and Steve Bannon, using props to explain the executive order to the press.

Welcome back, we are glad to have you! This site has been the target of repeated hacks over the last several weeks. This has been resolved for now so we are happy to be posting again.

Let’s go to Crooks and Liars and this story about the Trump nominee for Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch. It appears Mr. Gorsuch, a man DT feels so strongly about he has urged Mitch McConnell to go “nuclear” if needed to get him on the court has a peculiar taste in friends and politics. The details are in SCOTUS Pick Neil Gorsuch Founded “Fascism Forever” Club In High School…

But the British tabloid Dailymail reports that Gorsuch founded an anti-liberal professor club called “Fascism Forever” while at elite DC Jesuit prep school.

Look how Dailymail puts it. Adorable:Neil Gorsuch

The club was set up to rally against the ‘left-wing tendencies’ of his professors while attending a Jesuit all-boys preparatory high school near Washington D.C.

The name may be inconvenient for a Supreme Court nominee facing a tough confirmation battle. However it also shows the depth of Gorscuch’s right-wing credentials – and his penchant for mischief while attending his exclusive prep school in the 1980s.

Labeling yourself pro-Fascism gives you deep right-wing credentials AND shows you off as a mischief maker!

I liked how Jon Grayson put it on his “Overnight America” radio show:

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.

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