What the loss of a Democratic Senate will mean for our future depends on what President Obama is willing to stand up and fight for.
The corporate media picked a narrative about the election months ago, and they’re hanging on to it like a rabid dog on a chicken wing – and that’s the one about “President Barack Obama’s plummeting approval ratings.” Fact is, though the president’s approval ratings aren’t great, they’re higher than the lowest of any President since John F. Kennedy. Including Republican patron saint Ronald Reagan. Check it out for yourself, here.
But now we watch the corporate media urge the President to move right to “get things done.” Yeah! Push more of the same horrible Republican ideas that crashed the economy twice in 100 years because at least you can say you “got it done.”
The fact is, this election wasn’t a Republican “wave” – it was the triumph of money and apathy. Democrats lost because they didn’t give democrats anything to rally around, running away from a record – and a president – they should be embracing.
Progressive issues won in the deepest of red states. In ballot initiatives, Americans voted for higher minimum wages, legal pot, abortion access, sick pay leave, background checks on gun purchases and fracking bans… and then voted for representatives who stand in the way of all those things.
This Labor Day, to say that it’s a difficult time for American workers would be an understatement. Those not lucky enough to be born with a trust fund are still suffering the brunt of the economic disaster they didn’t create – and with President Obama’s penchant to “welcome” the same “Republican ideas” that destroyed us to begin with, there’s little to to suggest that the situation will improve any time soon.
While our “betters” in Washington sip from $350 bottles of wine as they plot the further destruction of the American Middle class, we need to remember that the Republican assault on organized Labor is an assault on ALL workers. A major new study from Harvard suggests that the decline of unions is responsible for a full third of the growth in income inequality for male workers. “Our study underscores the role of unions as an equalizing force in the labor market,” says Harvard sociology professor Bruce Western. Source: Mother Jones
President Obama likes to spread the erroneous platitude that, “Wall Street and Main Street rise and fall as one nation” when the entities unquestionably linked are Labor Unions and an economically-vibrant middle class.
graph from ThinkProgress
WATCH Rachel Maddow discuss the link between Labor Unions and the Middle Class with Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America:
|Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in AmericaLabor & Industrial Relations Books)|
This Labor Day, as those fortunate enough to have a job are celebrating a well-deserved day off, and millions others are travailing the uncertainty of life during 30 years of the Reaganomics War against the middle class, let’s not forget the workers who fought, bled and died to create a better quality of life for themselves, their families and those yet to be born.
Sadly, Faux News propaganda works 24-7 to convince the willfully ignorant that we live and die under the benevolence of the American Oligarchs who pay less in taxes than they have in generations, yet cry they pay too much… deceptively citing their percentage of tax revenue, yet neglecting the fact that the top 1% now control near 50% of the wealth… while their corporations don’t even have the decency to pay any taxes at all. These are the TRUE PARASITES… living off labor of working Americans. Con think tanks distract from these corporate crimes by inciting workers to fight amongst each other… lest we remember that everything good about our standard of living came as a result of the organized labor movement.
WATCH: STOP THE LIES… Public Service Workers Under Attack:
Labor Is Superior To Capital
Despite Abraham Lincoln’s assertion, “Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration”… the modern Republican agenda can be boiled down to 2 words: CHEAP LABOR.
If Capitalists can no longer exploit slaves, they will seek to pay workers the least amount they can get away with for the sake of profit. The history of Capitalism is merciless. It enslaved nations, split up families and left generations in poverty suffering with broken backs and broken minds.
Read the rest of this entry »
Republicans are great at branding because they have to be. They don’t have a record to stand on. …. They whine about “the Obama recession… or the Obama, Reid Pelosi Bailout,” because members of the so-called “party of personal responsibility” only stick to that motto when cutting people’s lifelines.
No one personifies this refusal to take responsibility for failure than Dick Cheney. The walking, breathing embodiment of the fact that Republicans have no allegiance to country or community, only power and profit.
Cheney isn’t a public servant who wants government to serve all citizens, rich and poor… He sought public office because he uses war like a substitute for Viagra.
He recently said that America shouldn’t spend money of social programs or infrastructure – just more war!
Now, Chickenhawk Cheney and the psychopathic daughter he’s trying to make relevant before his harvested human heart (…and yes… in true sociopathic form, the heart donor is irrelevant to Cheney) finally craps out are trying to blame President Obama for the civil war in Iraq.
But the troops weren’t withdrawn just because of a campaign promise. They left because the Iraqi government refused to let them stay.
It’s said that if you want to truly know a person, then meet their friends… and also look at who they admire.
That’s right… In her journals, Rand wrote glowingly that child murderer and dismemberer was a “real man” with “…no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people…”
Ayn Rand ideologues include Alan Greenspan, who publicly stated that his job was to create “worker insecurity” as a way of keeping the Serfs from rising up against their Sovereign Lords and whose “supply-side” economic fraud has plunged the world towards yet another Republican Great Depression while making a handful of people filthy rich; Clarence Thomas, who assigns Rand’s “The Fountainhead” as required reading for all his law clerks; Rush Limbaugh, who believes “some people were just born to be slaves“; Glenn Beck, who is literally building an Ayn Rand-inspired city; and Lyin’ Paul Ryan, who credits Rand with influencing his interest in politics. Recently, though, Ryan has tried to assert that his obsession with Ayn Rand was an “urban legend,” Seems her atheism upset the dupes he’s been trying to convince of his love of Jesus. Never mind the fact that we have him on tape singing her praises. One of the hallmark characteristics of sociopathy is believing everyone is stupid enough to fall for blatant lies – even when the sociopath is caught red-handed.
Normal people (non-Republicans) view Rand’s affinity for a self-serving, child murdering and dismembering psychopath as a “real man” as a window into a dark mind to be, at the most, analyzed but not emulated. Yet, Republicans idolize her - like she idolized Hickman.
We’ve now endured years of watching this sickness play out on a national stage with Ayn Rand Republicans undermining everything from education, health care to child labor laws –things healthy societies embrace as a matter of course.
Let these twisted souls convince each other that they are the pivots that turn the Earth’s access, but we must never reorganize our society to suit the sickest among us.
Personally, I hope right wingers make good on their threats and finally “Go Galt” on us. This is a reference to and Ayn Rand character in “Atlas Shrugged” who triggers the collapse of society by leading a strike of the elite.
It’s been a year since Republicans did their “autopsy” on why they lost the presidential election, which… forgive me… but aren’t autopsies done on dead things? Well, anyway…
Republicans found out that the stinking corpse that is conservatism doesn’t appeal to all sorts of people… black people… young people … lgbt people… female people… people who want to breathe fresh air…. People who like non-poisonous food… people who want to get paid a living wage… people with intellectual curiosity…. people who have empathy…. Basically, all normal people who aren’t pale, stale and male.
So… For a minute there, the GOP tried to rebrand itself as the party for everyone – by telling everyone just what lazy, welfare dependent parasites they are.
What do you think possible Republican Presidential candidates, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Scott Walker discussed when they presented themselves to their Sovereign Lord casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson?
What they did was try to convince a New Gilded Age Robber Baron that THEY’RE the best puppet he could pick to ensure government policy enables his rapacious addiction to wealth and power.
You see, while millions of Average Americans choose whether to pay rent or buy food … The bloated banquets of Adelson, the Koch Brother’s, Pete Peterson and the like, just don’t ever seem to fill them up – they also want the crumbs. They’re sick.
Yes, sick. You see, while there is nothing inherently wrong with being rich – there is something VERY wrong with a person hoarding wealth to the point that it could never be spent in 1000s lifetimes but they STILL grasp for more as their nation crumbles and their fellow citizens suffer around them.
Look at it this way, if a person hoards newspapers, or animals… everyone agrees that person is sick and needs help. But if a person hoards money, conservative politicians line up to kiss his ring. That’s not democracy. That’s oligarchy.
Washing already clean pots and pans in a closed soup kitchen sure has made Paul Ryan an “expert” in what goes on in the “inner city.”
As Ian Haney Lopez wrote at BillMoyers.com:
“Paul Ryan triggered a firestorm of recrimination this week. Speaking recently on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America radio program, the Wisconsin Republican and self-styled budget wonk linked poverty to “this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.”
Setting aside the factual claim — the notion that poverty is especially concentrated in America’s inner cities is an increasingly antiquated one — these comments elicited a quick and forceful rebuke from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who decried them as “a thinly veiled racial attack.” She explained: “[W]hen Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’”
Ryan has since backpedaled, protesting that race was nowhere in his thoughts: “This has nothing to do whatsoever with race. It never even occurred to me. This has nothing to do with race whatsoever.”
Yeah… right. Lyin’ Ryan says, “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”
See.. “Lazy inner city men” are the new “Welfare Queens!” – and they’re the ones to blame for the fact that billionaires aren’t trickling on us – NOT deindustrialization, divestment away from education and anti-poverty programs, “free-trade” outsourcing our jobs and factories, the systematic decimation of unions, and centuries of institutionalized racism and discrimination. Pay no attention to that record economic disparity and upward immobility behind the curtain!
In the right wing version of American history, Jesus dictated the Constitution to the founders… and then commanded everyone to rebel against the entrenched British Aristocracy to create an American one that used the Bible to keep everyone in their natural place.
In a recent appearance on the Global Evangelical Television, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said, “I think we got off that track when we allowed our government to become a secular government, when we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that He wrote the constitution, that’s based on biblical principles.”
Clearly, history (much less reality) is not a strong suit for the American Christian Taliban. The reality is that the United States would have never come to fruition if it weren’t for the radical Enlightenment principles that elevated reason over religious tyranny and superstition. But, that hasn’t stopped the scourge of faux-religiosity from forever trying to sicken our body politic by dividing people – and then insisting they’re just following orders from “God.”
And… since Jim Crow became a liability, gay bashing is a CONservative Christian’s holy sacrament. Fact is, for all their teabag-draped tri-corn hats, CONs just don’t grasp that it takes a level of maturity to actually function in a free, democratic, society of 320 million diverse people… some of whom are not straight, white, wealthy, men.
These are people who profess that their “freedom” hinges on being able to subjugate certain segments of the population… and, of course, call someone the f-word… or the n-word… without some liberal b-word getting all uppity.
Throughout history, the targeted groups may change, but today’s CONservatives are just the modern day heirs of those who believed they weren’t “free” unless they could literally own other human beings – and they had the Bible passages to back it up!
Republicans are in a bind on immigration reform. They don’t want to “appear” like they aren’t racist and xenophobic, because that might offend their racist and xenophobic base… but they also don’t want to “appear” like they’re against immigration reform because they’re desperately trying to dupe Latinos into voting for them… what to do?
Never mind the record-setting deportation of undocumented immigrants under President Obama. It doesn’t matter what the President really DOES – it matters what Republicans SAY he does.
Besides. Republicans really don’t want to do anything about immigration. You see – an undocumented worker is a nice, compliant, exploitable worker – what Republicans call “a good start.”
Funny, though. This “do nothing and blame the President” strategy is the same “idea” they’ve had since January 20th, 2009 when, as Robert Draper revealed in his book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives,” Republicans who were supposedly elected to do “the People’s work” conspired, as any enemies of America would, to block everything the President would try to do to remedy the disaster of “trickle down economics” – and then blame the President for the failures.
(Updated from a post that originally appeared Jan. 20, 2013)
This MLK day, as in years prior, people all over the country will learn that Martin Luther King, Jr. “had a dream” that black children and white children would one day play and go to school together without having to call National Guard to protect them from the red-blooded American conservatives who can’t deal with, among many things, non-white people and/or progress. With the election of our first black President, surely, we are told, King’s dream is now a reality… so much so, that we can can now congratulate ourselves on our evolution by adding a made-in-China MLK statue to the National Mall. Tragically, among the many myths we’re told in America, it’s no surprise that MLK has undergone the standard whitewash from which he’s been transformed from an anti-militarism revolutionary for social and economic justice into an orator who pondered, Rodney King-style platitudes about “why can’t we all just get along?”
Keeping with the whitewashed image, on King’s national holiday, most so-called “representatives” from sea to shining sea will give their standard speeches meant to, not rally us to change the structures that create poverty for the many and affluence for the few, but convince us that the status quo is working. This year, though, some are highlighting King’s call for the need for economic and social justice. For example, Sen. Ed Markey asked at Boston’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast, “What would Dr. King say about those in Congress that vote to deny unemployment insurance even as they delay investing in new jobs?”
Joan Walsh wrote in a piece for Salon titled, The radical MLK we need today, “Rather than remembering King solely as a civil rights leader, we must reclaim him as a radical advocate of economic justice, looking to lead a multiracial movement of poor people to complete the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. As King put it plainly, ‘What good does it do to be able to eat at a lunch counter if you can’t buy a hamburger?’ Post-integration, too many black people couldn’t sit down at integrated lunch counters and buy a hamburger; 50 years later, too many people of every race have the same problem.
Yet, conservatives insist that we now live in a “post-racial” nation. Laughably, the Republican National Committee even recently tweeted praise to civil rights icon Rosa Parks for “her role in ending racism.” The “divide and conquer” strategy conservatives utilize against the working class depends on people believing that racism is a thing of the past and structures put in place to remedy inequality are equally archaic. Therefore, people should not grumble when conservatives dismantle them.
The right wing Supreme Court killing part of the voting rights act is just one recent example of conservatives attacking the structures meant to create “a more perfect union.” According to Chief Justice John Roberts, “our country has changed.” Never mind that it changed as a result of things like… um… the Voting Rights Act!
King said himself, “The dispossessed of this nation – the poor, both white and Negro – live in a cruelly unjust society. They must organize a revolution against that injustice, not against the lives of the persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures through which the society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty.”
Let’s remember that the major “sin” that Shirley Sherrod committed in her 2010 speech to the NAACP was that she detailed her awakening to fact that real struggle was not “white versus black” but “rich versus poor.” Hence, the right-wing propagandists went to work editing her remarks so that her message of economic equality was replaced with the one where the conservative agenda of fomenting racial division was served.
Far from criticizing our broken system, conservatives of both parties have a vested interest in propagating King’s “dream” as simply the wish that, “men,” “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” This is a more palatable phrase the corporate-sponsored government can regularly regurgitate for the masses to swallow, while easily neglecting threats to corporate power like King’s call for “a national responsibility to provide work for all”, “the right of every citizen to a minimum income” and “the right to an adequate education.” (Read more about that in Aviva Shen’s article for ThinkProgress 4 Ways Martin Luther King Was More Radical Than You Thought)
WATCH: Georgetown University’s Christopher Chambers discusses the whitewashing of King’s message:
The sad truth is that income inequality is higher now than when Dr. King died in 1968 and the working class is worse off now than when King organized his first “Poor People’s Campaign,” in which he meant to confront the issues of jobs, income and housing.
Dedrick Muhammad, Senior Director of the NAACP Economic Department and Nicole Kenney, NAACP Economic Program Specialist posted at the NAACP website,
“Dr. King states, ‘There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it.’ We are currently funding three unpopular wars that, like the Vietnam War, are diverting a significant amount of dollars that could be used to aggressively combat poverty and provide opportunities to reclaim the American Dream. It is simply a matter of priorities. Therefore, in the spirit of Dr. King’s legacy, let us reevaluate our country’s commitment to the groups Dr. King sacrificed his life to protect- the economically vulnerable and recognize that advancing a strong middle class economy must have progressive policy as the center of the struggle (e.g., social safety net, government investment in opportunity and equity, and progressive taxation on the wealthiest of Americans). Let’s not commemorate Dr. King’s memorial without recommitting ourselves to fulfilling the vision he and so many brave men and women fought for – economic justice for all.”
King said, “We believe the highest patriotism demands the ending of the war and the opening of a bloodless war to final victory over racism and poverty.” Then, as it is now, ensuring that society works for ALL is the highest form of patriotism.