Posts filed under ‘We the People’
Remember back in 2010 when Rahm Emanuel, then President Obama’s Chief of Staff, reportedly said liberals were “f*cking retarded?” And surely you know about the meme about how Democratic politicians don’t really have to act like Democrats or vote like Democrats because, after all, “where else do Democratic voters have to go?” I mean, they’re not going to vote Republican so they’ll keep voting Democratic, right?
No, they probably won’t vote Republican but they do have another place to go. They can go to their couch instead of to the polls.
What I’m hearing about November is Republicans are way more fired up than Democrats and lots and lots of Democrats have to vote in order to keep Republicans from taking the Senate. But this is precisely the kind of thing that makes Democrats take to their couch in utter frustration:
Democratic FEC Commissioner Joins with Three Republican Commissioners to Gut Political Party Contribution Limits
You probably heard about this yesterday:
The Supreme Court is Allowing Ohio to Cut Back on Early Voting. Now What?
On Monday, the Supreme Court decided to uphold a proposal from Ohio’s Republican legislature to scale back early voting hours in the state. The issue has been a flashpoint in state politics for a decade. But the net effect in 2014 is very hard to judge.
In short, the new early voting regimen would cut a week from the total amount of time that Ohioans can visit local polling places and cast a vote before election day on Nov. 4. It makes two key changes: 1) eliminating a week during which people could both register to vote and then vote, which offered campaigns a chance to easily expand their voter bases and 2) eliminating voting on the Sunday before election day, which makes it harder for churches to organize efforts to go to the polls. In fact, black churches were the plaintiffs represented by the ACLU in the suit that ended up before the Court, recognizing that “Souls to the Polls” programs would be disproportionately affected.
Race, population and early voting overlap heavily in Ohio. In 2012, counties with higher densities of black residents were also the ones that cast more early votes
In other words, Ohio Republicans, with the help of the U.S. Supreme Court, have just made it harder for people who tend to vote Democratic to vote in Ohio. That’s how Republicans win, by gerrymandering districts, my “miscounting” ballots and by putting restrictions on the right to vote so the poor, those working three jobs, seniors who might need help getting to a polling place, etc., can’t vote.
Here’s the way USAToday worded its headline:
Here’s MSNBC’s headline:
But, by far and away my favorite is Al Jazeera’s headline. It’s the most honest:
This is important given the doomsday scenario the “liberal media” constantly feeds us about how raising the minimum wage will cause businesses to lay people off, raise prices or even shut down altogether:
In January, the town of Seatac, Washington, put in to effect a new $15 per hour Minimum Wage. No ramp ups, no tiered implementation. One day it was the state standard, the next, the highest minimum wage in the nation.
Now, nine months on, we are witnessing one of the most dramatic recoveries in the Pacific Northwest.Last July, business owner Scott Ostrander claimed that the increased wage would force him to lay off staff, if not shut down his businesses.
I am shaking here tonight because I am going to be forced to lay people off. I’m going to take away their livelihood. That hurts. It really, really hurts. . . . And what I am going to have to do on Jan. 1 is to eliminate jobs, reduce hours — and as soon as hours are reduced, benefits are reduced.
Instead, his business, the Cedarbrook Lodge hotel, is expanding, adding 63 more beds to meet demand. Instead of layoffs, he needs to hire more people. And his story is not the only one.
Tom Douglas, who runs fifteen restaurants in Seatac, warned that a higher minimum wage would force the shutdown of a quarter of his restaurants. Instead, he is opening five new restaurants to meet demand. And this story is being repeated, over and over again, throughout Seatac.
Steve Lipsky’s tainted water well had already stirred national debate about the impacts of oil and gas production. Now it stars in a free speech dispute that has landed in Texas’ highest court – the biggest test of a state law meant to curb attempts to stifle public protest.
Now that corporations are “people,” they’re asking for rights beyond that. They want to take away We the People’s right to say things about them they don’t like: In a nutshell: Texan Steve Lipsky, who says the oil and gas fracking industry caused the water coming out of his well to be so contaminated he can light it on fire, is fighting an oil and gas industry effort to shut him up because they claim what he’s saying about them hurts their poor selves so much he should be silenced:
The case has reached the Texas Supreme Court.
Imagine if this goes to the U.S.Supreme Court and it rules that corporation are not only people, but they have more rights that we real people do. That they have the right to stifle speech when we complain about what corporations are doing to us.Something to think about NOW, before it’s too late.
As soon as the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions were handed down by the Supreme Court I knew it might be impossible to reverse them because as the minutes passed, rich donors poured money into the pockets of politicians, making them less and less likely to vote to overturn them:
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a constitutional amendment meant to reverse two recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign spending.
Senate Democrats needed 60 votes to end debate on the measure, but fell short in the 54-42 party-line vote.
Earlier this week, more than 20 Republicans voted with Democrats in a 79-18 vote to advance the amendment in order to force Democrats to spend the week debating the merits of the measure.
Republicans “forced” Democrats to spend the week debating the measure so they could lay around, doing nothing, as is their wont. They’re killing time until (at last) November 4, when they hope to regain control of the Senate and then, if they do, they’ll twiddle their fingers until the new electees are sworn in in January, 2015. If they don’t win control of the Senate in November, they’ll be furious and they’ll dig in their heels until November, 2016 so keeping Democrats busy with meaningless debates lets them off the hook.
The amendment … would have needed to win two-thirds support to pass the Senate, and then would still have needed to move through the House and be ratified by two-thirds of the states.
The 2010 Citizens United ruling struck down restrictions that had barred corporations and unions from spending money from their general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates. In McCutcheon, the court struck aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates.
Democrats argued the Supreme Court decision has allowed billionaires to flood the campaign spending system with “dark money” in order to buy election results.
Don’t you love it: “Democrats argued the Supreme Court decision has allowed billionaires to flood the campaign spending system with ‘dark money’ in order to buy election results.” That isn’t a partisan argument; it’s a fact: Political Donations Soar After Supreme Court Rules Against Campaign Contribution Caps. Too bad The Hill found it necessary to imply that’s some sort of dubious spin. It’s verifiable and if they cared about informing their readers, they’d have included data proving it to be true.
So, at this point, I don’t see how we stop our elections from being bought.
Labor unions have done a lot:
But we’ve still got work to do:
Larger version here.
We know the powers that be are working again us, right? No? Here’s an example: United Press International (UPI), a supposedly unbiased “news” organization, posted this headline today seemingly trying to scare people into thinking that unionization destroys football teams and thus, extrapolating, careers and lives:
- All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
- Paid Vacation
- Sick Leave
- Social Security
- Minimum Wage
- Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
- 8-Hour Work Day
- Overtime Pay
- Child Labor Laws
- Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
- 40 Hour Work Week
- Worker’s Compensation (Worker’s Comp)
- Unemployment Insurance
- Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
- Employer Health Care Insurance
- Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
- Wrongful Termination Laws
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
- Whistleblower Protection Laws
- Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
- Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
- Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
- Sexual Harassment Laws
- Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Holiday Pay
- Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
- Privacy Rights
- Pregnancy and Parental Leave
- Military Leave
- The Right to Strike
- Public Education for Children
- Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
- Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States
The pro-corporate propaganda is everywhere here in the U.S. It’s unescapable. And it’s being shoved down our throats every which to Sunday.
That said, Happy Labor Day and bravo to We the Laborers who keep this country running.