Collective Bargaining

Ohio Governor John Kasich Comes Across As Maverick To Tea Party Right Wingers–His Problem If He Seeks The GOP Presidential Nomination!

Ohio Governor John Kasich is, in many ways, one of the most qualified potential Republican nominees for President, but already, he has made enemies with the Tea Party Movement right wingers who dominate the party, and are likely to control the nomination process in caucuses and primaries in the early months of 2016.

Kasich has so many credentials that make him an ideal candidate for the GOP, including:

Kasich comes from Ohio, the single most crucial state in Presidential elections, with the fact that every President elected in the past 50 years has won Ohio.

Kasich’s state, Ohio, gave us six Republican Presidents between Ulysses S. Grant in 1868 and Warren G. Harding dying in office in 1923.

Kasich has the advantage of having run a state government of substantial size, seen as a plus over someone who has only served in Congress, and particularly, the Senate.

Kasich, however, has had long experience in Congress, having served as a Congressman from the 12th district from 1983-2001, a total of 18 years.

Kasich served as Budget Committee Chairman in the House of Representatives from 1995-2001, making him very knowledgeable on economic issues.

Kasich also has worked as a journalist, for Fox News Channel, and for awhile, had his own show on that channel, and he came across as an interesting speaker and commentator, more so than most on that right wing channel.

Kasich also worked as an investment banker on Wall Street, so has business experience, which most politicians do not have.

Kasich won a two to one victory in popular votes in his reelection efforts for the Governorship of Ohio in 2014, after a much closer race for his first term in 2010.

Kasich has an engaging personality, and has avoided divisive rhetoric in his career, and does not come across as looney or crazy or purely stupid, as many other potential GOP Presidential nominees have managed to do.

Kasich has avoided identification with the Religious Right, while converting from Catholicism to Evangelical Protestantism.

During his Congressional career, Kasich supported the Assault Weapons Ban passed under President Bill Clinton, which angered the National Rifle Association; fought to cut government spending on what he considered wasteful programs; and worked to cut corporate tax loopholes.

Kasich has always come across as having an independent streak, so he has accepted Medicaid expansion, which most other GOP governors have rejected, and he is not seen as a Tea Party supporter.

Kasich also has, just this past week, avoided attacking the immigration executive order of President Barack Obama, showing understanding of the plight of illegal immigrants, who, as he said, did wrong, but that realistically, there is no way to deport eleven million people, and instead we should bring them in from the shadows.

Kasich has made enemies on his stand against abortion, and his crackdown on labor unions, with the latter’s rights to collective bargaining curbed by Kasich, but then soundly defeated by voters in a referendum by 61-39 percent, and he then backed off and accepted the defeat in a gracious manner.

No one is saying that Kasich is desirable in comparison to any potential Democratic nominee for President. All that is being said is that he stands out as preferable to an independent or a Democrat who might be disillusioned, and that he has an image which allows for the possibility of his being a serious contender for the White House, if only he can make it past the primaries and caucuses, which is a major obstacle to any potential Presidential candidacy on his part!

The Tea Party Out To Destroy All Progress Since 1900! Progressives MUST Fight To Retain Social Justice And Economic Advancements!

America has changed so much in the past 114 years, from the time of the Progressive Era, through the New Deal, the Great Society, and the time of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter. George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama!

America at the end of the Gilded Age was a selfish, greedy nation of the few elite wealthy victimizing the rest of American society.

But then came Theodore Roosevelt cracking down on big business; showing concern for labor; promoting the Food and Drug Administration; and vastly extending the concept of protection of the environment and conservation.

Then came Woodrow Wilson, who gave us the Federal Reserve Banking System; the Clayton Anti Trust Act; the Federal Trade Commission; and the first national labor laws.

Then came Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, changing our lives long term with Social Security; public works programs; bank deposit insurance; stock market regulations; the Tennessee Valley Authority; Federal Unemployment Compensation; and labor laws which gave workers and labor unions the right to collective bargaining.

Then came Harry Truman, who promoted integration of the armed forces and Washington, DC; advocated for national health care; and emphasized the need for national commitment to education.

Then came Dwight D. Eisenhower, who enforced civil rights enforcement; promoted federal aid to education; the development of an interstate highway system; and the development of a national space commitment.

Then came John F. Kennedy, who advanced civil rights; promoted the space program; started the Peace Corps; cracked down on the steel industry;  and advocated national health care for the elderly.

Then came Lyndon B. Johnson, who promoted massive civil rights laws; successfully passed Medicare and Medicaid; pursued a War on Poverty; massive increases in federal aid to education; began a national commitment to environmental and consumer legislation; and appointed the first African American to the cabinet and to the Supreme Court.

Then came Richard Nixon, who signed into law the Environmental Protection Agency; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the Consumer Product Safety Commission; and attempted wage and price controls to keep down the inflation level.

Then came Jimmy Carter, who further promoted civil rights; saw the need for an Energy Department; and became the third best environmental President after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

Then came George H. W. Bush, who signed into law civil rights legislation to promote disabled people.

Then came Bill Clinton, who promoted civil rights advancements; a greater commitment to education; and attempted a national health care program.

Finally came Barack Obama, who brought about ObamaCare; promoted great environmental expansion; advocated for equality of gays and lesbians including gay marriage; and started to take moves toward immigration reforms.

So much has been done by these twelve Presidents to advance social justice, and economic reform—eight Democrats and four Republicans.

But now, the 2014 Republican Party has been hijacked by the Tea Party extremists and the right wing radio talk shows and Fox News Channel and the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, and they have declared war on all humane, decent actions that have taken place in the past 114 years, including advocacy of destroying Social Security and Medicare and getting rid of national parks and all labor reforms and the rights of women and the poor!

This is all very shocking and unbelievable, but the battle for progressivism and the retention of the great work done from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama must be forthright and the battle for the future has just begun.  The Republican Party needs to be smashed and reconstituted, if the nation is to grow in the 21st century, rather than move backwards to the 19th century!

Labor Day: Too Many Americans Do Not Realize How Much Labor Unions Have Done!

We are living in a time of labor union decline, and attacks on organized labor itself, beginning with the Presidency of Ronald Reagan!

Too many people have no idea or regard for the importance of labor unions in American history, and the struggle for decent working conditions in our nation!

Without the labor struggles of the past, we would not have:

Minimum Wage and Maximum Hours
Eight Hour Work Day
Five Day Work Week
End of Child Labor
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Sick Leave
Vacation Pay
Paid Holidays
Right of Labor to Organize and Bargain Collectively
Progress toward Equal Pay for Women
Retirement Pensions and Health Care Coverage

There has been backtracking and attacks on organized labor by Republicans on the national and state level, and particularly in the South, labor continues to be under strong attack, as it has always been.

But to imagine an America where workers have no rights is, sadly, much of what American workers see today, including a new revelation—wage theft becoming a problem for millions of workers being exploited by their employers.

So those who fight for labor rights, led by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, need the support of all of us, even if we are not members of organized labor unions. Too much is at stake to remain silent!

Michigan Republicans Declare War On Organized Labor In State Where Labor Unions Became Nationally Significant In 1930s

The state of Michigan was the location of the great auto strikes during the Great Depression years of the 1930s, and their success led to the rise of labor unions as major factors in American society and politics for the next fifty years.

But the Republican Party continued to be anti labor over those decades, and Ronald Reagan coming to the Presidency thirty years ago, ironically a labor leader himself with the Screen Actors Guild, became the beginning of a concerted attack on labor,which has continued in the states with the “Bully” Republican Governors elected in 2010.

And now, Michigan Republicans have declared war on collective bargaining, and have rammed through the legislature a “right to work” bill, which will be signed by Governor Rick Snyder, despite massive protests at the state capital in East Lansing.

Those who believe in collective bargaining and the right of labor to organize must organize and fight over the next two years, not only in Michigan, but in many other Republican states, to defeat the Governors and the reactionary members of the legislatures, in order to regain their basic human rights to decent conditions of work!

The Riches Of Embarrassment In The Republican Presidential Field: Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry!

The Republican Party is in the midst of major riches of embarrassment about its Presidential field.

Herman Cain, already having displayed how inadequate a candidate he is in so many ways, adds to the riches of embarrassment when he cannot answer a simple question about Libya when asked, and seems totally confused and out of touch with reality. He is best at repeating his ill fated plan—9-9-9–when asked to explain himself on some issue. He also said he was for collective bargaining for workers one day, and then the next day says he considers collective bargaining to be collective hijacking! He also has the stupidity to ask Henry Kissinger to be his Secretary of State in his administration, as if Cain is about to become President tomorrow! And, of course, Cain forgets or does not know that Kissinger, as great as he might be considered to be by many diplomats, has been out of government for 34 years, and is going on 89 next year, and would be 90 years old in 2013, and therefore, a bit ridiculous to imagine him as a cabinet member at such an advanced age! Cain lives in his own reality, and he has demonstrated total incompetence to be President.

But then Michele Bachmann says the most inane things, and now has suggested that we should be socialist as China is, just the opposite of what she has always professed, and demonstrating no idea of what socialism is in the first place! Whatever she says makes one’s eyes roll, and she and Cain both endorsed waterboarding as not torture, despite so much testimony by people in the military who know it is torture, and produces no verifiable evidence helpful to national security.

And then Rick Perry, who cannot remember what agencies he wants to close, and now advocates a radical concept to “uproot, tear down, and rebuild” Washington, DC, when he cannot even run the state government of Texas adequately and competently, and has been a true disaster in debates and in his other public appearances!

These three candidate have no shame, no embarrassment gene, and seem to be running for the sake of their own warped egos, believing somehow that they are qualified to be sitting in the Oval Office!

They cannot leave the Presidential race soon enough, as they are making our past Presidents alive and dead look better all of the time, even those who were far from adequate in the office!

If this is the best we can do, America is doomed!

The Effects Of The Ohio Vote Against John Kasich Sponsored Attack On Organized Labor

The victory of public sector workers in Ohio against the law taking away labor union rights to collective bargaining yesterday is a blow to Governor John Kasich and a warning to other Republican governors in Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine and other states who had seen their 2010 victories as license for attacks on the middle class.

This is an issue which can help Democrats nationally and in the states to win back control of the House of Representatives, retain control of the Senate, and gain control of state legislatures and, eventually, the governor’s office.

It is also a sign that Ohio, the crucial state for Republicans nationally, with EVERY Republican President winning it on the way to victory since the beginning of the party in 1854, is open to a second victory by Barack Obama in 2012.

A win in Ohio would be a major step toward an electoral vote victory, and would likely mean that other “swing states” would join in reelecting Barack Obama. The odds of an Obama victory have been increased by what has happened in Ohio!

MASSIVE Victory For Workers’ Rights, Women’s Rights, And Voting Rights!

A massive victory for Democrats, progressives and liberals, and the American people, occurred tonight on the 2011 Election Day, and it augurs a progressive victory in 2012!

In three states, particularly, conservative Republican and Tea Party forces were set back in their power grab to take away basic rights of workers, women, and voters!

Ohio rejected the anti public union bill passed by the Republican legislature with the backing of Governor John Kasich by a vote margin of about 60-40, therefore restoring collective bargaining rights for police, firefighters, teachers and other public employees. This is a warning to Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Rick Scott in Florida, and Paul LePage in Maine, who also have been working against the rights of public employees, that the people will NOT tolerate the loss of labor rights won over the years, which have helped to grow and sustain the middle class! It also shows that conservative talk radio, Fox News Channel, and even the Koch brothers and other greedy, selfish, self centered billionaires are not going to be allowed to shape the country in their image. The Republican Party in Washington, DC should see this as a warning that if they continue to refuse to help job creation and just set out to defeat Barack Obama, they will pay the price in next year’s election!

At the same time in the conservative state of Mississippi, the proposed “personhood” amendment that would define a fertilized egg as a person was also soundly defeated by about 57-43 percent, a tremendous victory for women’s rights and Roe V Wade, and a strike against the extreme anti abortion fanatics who have no concern for the health and well being of women, and wish to take away their privacy rights!

And in Maine, we saw the defeat of legislation that ended the practice of allowing registration on the day of the election, a move being copied in other states to cut back voter registration and participation. This is another Republican and conservative attempt to cut back on voting rights with the false claim of massive voter fraud, which has never occurred anywhere in reality!

So it is clear that the conservative and Republican victories in 2010 and their abuse of power in the months since has been rejected. So in a way, it was necessary to have this occur to wake people up as to the need to be involved, to participate, to pay attention, to organize, and to realize that if one does not work at protecting their basic human rights, those rights can be taken away from them!

It is certain that the 2010 Republican victories will be overcome by a tremendous counter reaction in 2012, with 2011 being the first strikes against the right wing!

Two Judicial Decisions: Opposite Results On Gay Rights And Labor Rights!

Just in the past few hours, two judicial decisions have been announced that transform America in major ways.

In California, a Federal District Judge upheld a decision of a gay state judge which threw out the ban on gay marriage in the Golden State. This is a major victory for gay rights and gay marriage returning to California, although it is being appealed to the Federal Circuit Courts, and eventually will end up, in all likelihood, in the Supreme Court.

At the same time, the state Supreme Court in Wisconsin has upheld the state law taking away the right of collective bargaining for public workers in that state, which had been the leader in labor rights a century ago. The long fought battle by progressive and labor forces against the abusive legislation promoted by the Republican Party and Governor Scott Walker has been lost, and there are moves in other states to strip public workers similarly of hard earned rights to bargain collectively, and protect their benefits.

Many observers see this development in Wisconsin as the beginning of the total demise of the labor movement, while the event in California is seen as the promotion of human rights, but in a tentative way, as the critics will fight tooth and nail to preserve traditional marriage.

Human rights is a constant battle with wins and losses, but no final victory, but that is the story of American history, so the struggle for gay Americans and American workers must continue without any letup!

Police Officers, Fire Fighters, And The “Divorce” From The Republican Party

The Republican Party is involved in a nasty “divorce” proceeding from two groups that have been for a long time proud to be Republicans–police officers and firefighters, with the unions for both occupations regularly endorsing GOP candidates for President, Governor, Senator and other political offices. This “marriage” has been a good deal for the Republican Party, but no longer, thanks to GOP Governors across the country!

Other than the military, what other occupations are more respected as there to protect all of us in America than the police officers and firefighters, who like soldiers at war, sacrifice themselves daily and face dangers most of us have never experienced!

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, who recently ridiculed a police officer for having the gall to stop him and give him a ticket for reckless driving, has now signed legislation taking away collective bargaining from these loyal unions. A referendum to repeal this legislation is proceeding, and police and fire unions across the nation are actively working to overcome the despicable actions of the Ohio Republican Party, and also to work work against all the other GOP governors who are mistreating those who are there for us every day, loyal to their communities!

Even Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin was smart enough to leave police and fire unions out of his legislation to to take away collective bargaining rights from teachers, nurses, and other public servants, because of his awareness of their endorsement of his candidacy last year. But many police and fire fighters marched and demonstrated at the state capitol in Madison to show their support for those public workers under attack, and made clear their opposition to such actions by the Republicans in the Wisconsin state legislature.

Chris Christie in New Jersey, Paul LePage in Maine, Rick Snyder in Michigan, and now Rick Scott in Florida have also declared war on police and fire fighters, and so this will become a major factor in the Presidential Election of 2012 and in Congressional races and state races next year.

As Rachel Maddow of MSNBC said tonight, this issue could insure that Barack Obama is elected to a second term as President, and that the Democrats could make major gains in the states and in Congress, as a result of the stupid, inane actions by Republican politicians, who will now pay a heavy price politically!

But remember, also, that the Republican Party has ALWAYS been anti labor since the era after Theodore Roosevelt one hundred years ago, and sponsored the anti labor union law, the Taft Hartley Act of 1947, which led to a half century of GOP minority status in Congress until 1994!

The Republican Party is a leopard that has never, and never will, change its spots! Once a enemy of working people, ALWAYS an enemy of working people!

When will working people finally understand and stop voting Republican?

Disappointments With Barack Obama: Guns, Labor, And Bradley Manning

President Obama is overwhelmed with one problem after another, and with no break in stress and tension, as the world and the nation seem to be going from one problem to another.

Already, we have seen four major issues arise in 2011, which are bound to be among the top ten news stories of the year: the guns issue, after the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona in January; the uprisings in the Middle East, particularly Egypt and now Libya, leading to American involvement with NATO, the UN, and the Arab League, and Obama’s decision to intervene militarily against Moammar Gaddafi; the Wisconsin battle over organized labor, which has spread to other states as well; and the disastrous Japanese earthquake, ensuing tsunami, and the nuclear power plants emergency that followed those natural events.

So the ability of Barack Obama to do and say everything that one might feel he should, is, of course, unrealistic, but still there are three key issues that need to be addressed at some point soon by our President.

The first is to take strong leadership on the issue of the need for some greater regulation of guns, as since the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, and the killing of six others and wounding of thirteen, we have seen the murder by gun of close to 3,000 people. If this is not a national crisis, and with the additional murders of young black youths that we see in Chicago and elsewhere, then what is? It is hard to fight the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association, but the President MUST not sit on the sidelines as gun violence escalates, and the growing danger of political assassination of himself, or some other office holder grows by leaps and bounds as the economy continues to create a crisis atmosphere in regards to jobs and housing.

Secondly, Obama had said during his Presidential campaign in 2008 that he would march with labor if there was ever a threat against the rights of workers, but he has hardly spoken up, and certainly has not gone to Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, or Florida to speak up on the issue and to confront the “Bully” GOP Governors, including most infamously, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Rick Snyder, Mitch Daniels, or Rick Scott, who are destroying the rights of public employees, making them the scapegoat, as these governors favor the rich and the powerful, and set out to destroy collective bargaining. Obama will have to campaign on labor support in 2012, but he has been slow to react publicly with adequate words and actions!

Finally, there is the issue of Private Bradley Manning, who is accused of releasing and disseminating Wikileaks information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who is being held in inhumane conditions in the military brig at Quantico Naval Base in Virginia, stripped naked, not allowed to sleep normally, kept in solitary confinement, being mentally destroyed, all on the basis of accusations, but not yet coming to trial.

President Obama made a reference to Manning when asked at a news conference, that he had been assured that what was being done with Manning was totally appropriate, but that is clearly the furthest from the truth. It is clear that his mistreatment is an outrage that the President needs to stop immediately, and it is a tremendous disappointment that he seems up to this point to be totally insensitive to what is happening to Manning.

Urgent action on all three matters is needed, and hopefully, the first will be to relieve Manning of his inhumane treatment NOW!

Mr. President, we believe in you, but you need to take immediate action on all three of the above matters!