By Doug Porter
Republican Scott Walker’s idea for turning around his diminishing poll numbers is to go big with his anti-union cred.
At a speech in Los Vegas, the Wisconsin Governor proposed scrapping the National Labor Relations Board, making right-to-work the default national standard for workplaces, eliminating public employee unions, restricting automatic withdrawal of dues, and forbidding union organizers to access employees personal information.
In other words, he’s declared war. In the perfect world of Scott Walker, the US economy as far as employees are concerned would completely revert to the 1880’s. Yes, indeedy, get your beggars cups ready to catch whatever crumbs fall off the corporate tables.
From Fox News:
While Walker could enact some of the proposals via presidential executive order, others would require an act of Congress or changes in federal regulations. The goal, Walker said, is “to achieve fairness and opportunity for American workers.”
“This will not be easy,” Walker said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Many — including the union bosses and the politicians they puppet — have long benefited from Washington rules that put the needs of special interests before needs of middle-class families.”
Experts were taken aback by the scope of Walker’s proposals, which seek to undo decades of law and would gut the landmark National Relations Labor Act — adopted in 1935 and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the height of the Great Depression.
I think there’s a silver lining here. Walker’s bravado will undoubtedly inspire other GOP candidates to say “me too.” Good for them. I’m all for less confusion about where candidates stand.
Now, if we can just find a way to get the pundits of the press to challenge the notion that cutting taxes has anything to do with prosperity…
Countdown for Next Government Shut Down in Progress…
There are two weeks left for the Congressional leaders to find a way around a vow by insurgent Republicans to block any budget deal unless Planned Parenthood is defunded.
The GOP leadership is hoping to avoid a government shutdown by encouraging votes on non-budget related legislation allowing the rank and file to express their outrage over selectively edited videos purporting to show legally prohibited profit-taking in the sale of fetal tissues to researchers.
It doesn’t matter that the evidence was manufactured. The House Judiciary Committee couldn’t even be bothered to call a single witness from Planed Parenthood. These moves, along with so-called First Amendment Defense Act and the assorted outrageous promises being made from the presidential wannabes clown car, are [very dangerous] theater.
While the press will get into near-hysterics over a government shutdown (meaning the legislative authorization to spend money has expired), it’s worthwhile visiting the numerous other shutdowns over the past four decades, as Dylan Matthews does at The Washington Post. There are 17 experiences to re-visited by Matthews, 4 of them over issues related to abortions.
The last time the Congress malfunctioned in this matter, this issue at hand was stopping “Obamacare.” The president’s plan rolled out in fits and starts despite the theatrics, which garnered poor reviews from the public. Fortunately for Republicans, while US voters loathe the congress, they frequently fail to make the connection between voting for their representatives and the chaos on Capitol Hill.
My prediction: Planned Parenthood will ended up being funded and they’ll grow in political influence just in time for the 2016 elections.
The War on Gays in So Many Ways
The New York Times called out the GOP (it’s enshrined in the party platform) response to gay rights this weekend, with a powerful editorial on the First Amendment Defense Act, measure being cosponsored by 128 Congressmen and 36 Senators.
In reality, the act would bar the federal government from taking “any discriminatory action” — including the denial of tax benefits, grants, contracts or licenses — against those who oppose same-sex marriage for religious or moral reasons. In other words, it would use taxpayers’ money to negate federal anti-discrimination measures protecting gays and lesbians, using the idea of religious freedom as cover.
For example, a religiously affiliated college that receives federal grants could fire a professor simply for being gay and still receive those grants. Or federal workers could refuse to process the tax returns of same-sex couples simply because of bigotry against their marriages.
It doesn’t stop there. As critics of the bill quickly pointed out, the measure’s broad language — which also protects those who believe that “sexual relations are properly reserved to” heterosexual marriages alone — would permit discrimination against anyone who has sexual relations outside such a marriage. That would appear to include women who have children outside of marriage, a class generally protected by federal law. […]
Immigrant Policy Ideas Rotten to the Core
The Donald’s opening shot for his campaign has triggered a lot of incendiary rhetoric and little common sense about immigrants in the United States.
Today’s Union-Tribune includes a Washington Post story about an immigration reform group backed by business, political and religious leaders who’ll be running a major ad campaign this week aimed at trying to inject some reality into the discussion.
The National Immigration Forum Action Fund will air the ad in the coming days on CNN before, during and after the presidential debate that the network is hosting Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. The six-figure ad buy also includes time on MSNBC and Fox News Channel during their pre- and post-debate coverage, according to a spokesman for the group who shared details of the ad buy first with The Washington Post.
The ad calls out candidates Donald Trump, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, all of whom have voiced support for ending birthright citizenship or have suggested that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are rapists or other kinds of criminals.
Their words are mixed with clips from Reagan’s January 1989 farewell address, in which he harked back to his long-held belief that the United States is a “shining city on a hill” that should be welcoming to all people.
A Story SDPD Police Chief Zimmerman Doesn’t Want You to Know
Sunday’s paper included a transcript of SDPD Chief Shelly Zimmerman’s recent conversation with the Union-Tribune editorial board.
Two things struck me as controversial in the remarks made by Zimmerman. First of all, there was her broad stroke attempting to justify SDPD policies using the “Ferguson Effect” mythology. (Here’s my take on that.)
Secondly, Zimmerman set a standard for releasing video recordings of police incidents so high as to make all her previous comments about transparency look ridiculous. Whether or not there are unlawful, unjust, or simply unfair actions taking place involving police officers, the public will not be seeing any videos. Unless there’s a riot.
Q: And you would release a video if it was exculpatory to the officer. To prevent a riot, to calm the public down.
ZIMMERMAN: I would consider releasing it, yes, for public safety, such as a Ferguson or a Baltimore, some of the things that we saw, that’s where you have to weigh the due process of an individual for the public safety of our city.
The logic for her justification, drawn straight from the pages of Orwell’s 1984, is that the public is asking for protection of their privacy.
So here’s a little story (go to the links for details) of the kind of thing our Chief of Police wouldn’t want us to see. It happened to take place in New York, so we’re learning the truth as this story unfolds.
From National Public Radio:
The video released Friday by the New York Police Department shows retired tennis star James Blake leaning against a column outside his Manhattan hotel. Suddenly a plainclothes officer runs up to him, throws him to the ground and handcuffs him.
As the Two-Way reported earlier this week, the officer mistakenly identified Blake as a suspect in an ongoing investigation of identity theft.
James Frascatore, the officer who arrested Blake, has a history of excessive-force allegations. As WNYC reports, he was “named in five civilian complaints during one seven-month period in 2013.” And according to the Associated Press, Frascatore is part of two federal civil right cases “involving men who claim they were beaten, pepper-sprayed and falsely arrested.”
Supposedly this violent arrest (for the not-violent crime of credit card fraud) was the result of a photograph of the real suspect showing a strong resemblance to Mr. Blake.
Except that’s not true. The doppelganger wasn’t wanted, either. It turns out he wasn’t even in the country at the time of the arrest.
Shaun King at Daily Kos revealed the truth:
The New York Police Department trusted a man with enough racial profiling and brutality complaints filed against him to last a lifetime, Officer James Frascatore, to investigate an identity theft complaint that they believed focused on a black man that looked like tennis star James Blake.
Except, we now know the man they thought they were looking for had nothing to do with the identity theft at all. His name is Sean Satha and he is an Australian sunglass designer working for a popular company called Local Supply. Not only did Sean Satha have nothing to do with the identity theft, he wasn’t even on the continent when the NYPD was armed with his photo and began looking for him in a midtown Manhattan hotel lobby.
The NYPD claims a company called GoButler gave them Sean Satha’s photo, but they now admit that neither Sean Satha or James Blake had anything at all to do with this case of identity theft.
Remember, if this happened in San Diego, the police department’s current policies would have buried the truth.
Copwatcher/activist Catherine Mendonca responded to a recent article in Voice of San Diego about the police “trust us” policy with an open letter to the author citing a more local example of this kind of conduct.
Mendonca’s letter concerns allegations of police brutality during the arrest of protester Emmanuel Wimer, documented by a 10News story and video. The young man was arrested along with several legal observers and charged with inciting a riot.
Video does not lie, and it is clear that Zimmerman is taking every route possible to protect the SDPD officer in question and is not honoring the community’s request in being transparent and accountable.
As a community, we have proposed with allies for the City to adopt an Independent Community Review Board on Police Practices, demanded justice for Victor Ortega, killed by Officer Jonathan McCarthy and all of the lives stolen from us by every branch of law enforcement. Yet, there is still no word on our demands for the hundreds of families affected by the impunity of San Diego Law Enforcement and Zimmerman upholding the Blue Code of Silence.
On This Day: 1814 – Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the “Star-Spangled Banner.” The song became the official U.S. national anthem on March 3, 1931. 1847 – U.S. forces took control of Mexico City under the leadership of General Winfield Scott. 1929 – Gastonia, N.C., textile mill striker and songwriter Ella May Wiggins, 29, a mother of five, is killed when local vigilantes and thugs force the pickup truck in which she is riding off the road and begin shooting
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