Day: February 15, 2011

Wisconsin Rises Against Scott Walker’s Threat Of National Guard Intervention Over Public Workers Losing Labor Rights

Wisconsin, the home of progressivism and Robert La Follette, Sr. a century ago, came through today in a proud tradition of backing labor rights and public employees, with thousands of people descending on the state capital, Madison, in peaceful protests against Governor Scott Walker’s threat of employing the National Guard, as he works to force through the loss of workers’ rights and heavy cuts in pay for state workers to cover health care and pension benefits guaranteed by contract! 🙁

High school and college students joined their teachers and professors, and other state employees, including firefighters, paramedics, police officers, prison guards and others joined them in a massive protest against the strong arm tactics being utilized by Governor Walker.

This may be the equivalent of an American “Egypt”, a beginning of public protest against a Republican Party on the state and national level attempting to destroy everything that has been gained since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal! 🙁

If Wisconsin is able to move ahead and destroy workers’ rights, then it will happen in Ohio, New Jersey, Florida and everywhere. This reminds those of us who remember what it was like in the 1960s when the American people marched for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam.

The quality of public service, and particularly of education of the future generation, will rapidly decline if the attack on workers’ rights by GOP governors is allowed to stand.

This is a battle for the future, while the GOP only is concerned about the elite upper class and the corporations! The country will never be the same if the right wing wins this struggle to return to the past of the 1920s and the Gilded Age! 🙁

Barack Obama’s And Sarah Palin’s Effect On The Republican Presidential Race

Here it is mid February, less than a year to the Iowa caucuses, and not one Republican has announced for President.

Instead, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence has announced that he will NOT run, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has indicated that while he will not run in 2012, he is leaving the door open for 2016.

Why is no one announcing?

Well, it may be that many potential candidates see a race against President Obama as a difficult one, which indeed it will be. While the Republicans gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives in 2010, that is no indication that they have an edge in the Presidential race, and the fact that they control the House makes the President able to use them as a foil, and Obama is certain, eventually, to attack the Republicans on domestic policy, and to use foreign policy as a bulwark for his campaign for re-election. It should not be surprising that Jeb Bush prefers to wait to 2016 when there would be an open race without an incumbent, if one assumes Obama has the edge for 2012.

Remember that Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bill Clinton won re-election despite BOTH houses being in the hands of the opposition party in the midterm election!

But also, the uncertainty about Sarah Palin, whether she will run, also muddies up the race.

Palin is looking weak in the polls, and it is hard to imagine she will give up the money making opportunities she now has to run, with the knowledge her earnings would be badly hit while she is a candidate for the White House. But she has just hired a top campaign strategist, and feels a need to react to every slight or criticism of her, including recent ones by fellow Republicans Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and John Thune. Since they are not leading candidates at this point, they have decided to gamble on light criticism or teasing of Palin, but others seen as more serious candidates, including Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, have, so far, avoided such criticism.

But Palin is the so called “800 pound elephant” in the room, and that, along with Obama’s growing strength and the feeling that he has an edge for re-election, is contributing to the fact that candidates so far are reluctant to stick their necks out and announce they are running.

Still, within the next three months, it will be necessary for candidates to announce themselves, in order to have a realistic chance to gain support and financial backing, so whether Obama looks as strong as he does now, or Palin stays out or comes into the race, the die is cast in the sense that announcement of candidacies can only be delayed so far without being seen as no longer serious contenders!

The Hypocrisy Of Mitch McConnell And Rand Paul! :(

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul, both from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, represent one of the poorest states in the Union, and yet both are believers in limited government and talk about balancing the budget no matter how much it hurts their own constituents.

But in actual fact, despite their rhetoric, Kentucky is a leading “welfare” state!

According to the conservative Tax Foundation, Kentucky gains back $1.51 for every dollar they send to the US government! Other so called “conservative” states also receive much more back than they contribute.

Imagine this: it is the “blue” states, that are accused of reckless budgets, who actually are cheated by the US government!

For instance, California gets back only 81 cents for every dollar sent to the national government, while Illinois gets 75 cents, New York gets 79 cents, and Connecticut even less with only 69 cents!

So the ‘blue” states are cheated in favor of the “red” states, even though they claim to be against welfare and handouts!

If it was not for the wealthier states contributing to Kentucky and other Southern and Western states that are poorer, those “red” states would be even worse off than they are!

But at the least, could we not expect Senators McConnell and Paul to be more honest and admit that they do truly believe in welfare and handouts, as long as their residents are not paying for it?

Anything less is HYPOCRISY! So what is new? 🙁

The Koch Brothers And Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia And Clarence Thomas

Charles and David Koch are billionaire brothers who are against environmental regulations and any government regulation in any area of the economy, and they have a close relationship with Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court.

Both Justices attended a conference sponsored by the Koch brothers and were paid expenses, and the Citizens United Case which allows unlimited corporate political contributions was the result in January 2010, which had a dramatic effect on the midterm elections this past November, leading to the addition of 63 new seats in the House of Representatives for the Republican Party.

Now Thomas is being asked to recuse himself from any Supreme Court review of the Health Care law passed last year, as his wife is involved with a pressure group working to undermine the law, along with the Koch brothers trying to overturn the law as well.

The Supreme Court is becoming a center of conflict of interest, and really a high level of corruption, as both Justices Scalia and Thomas are arrogant and have no sense of propriety in their behavior. When on the Supreme Court, Justices are supposed to avoid conflicts or influences that may poison or pollute the whole concept of fair justice.

Thomas and Scalia need to change their behavior, or they bring the reputation of the Supreme Court down into the gutter! 🙁