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louis c

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Home country: USA
Current location: Boston
Member since: Fri May 14, 2004, 05:52 PM
Number of posts: 8,652

About Me

IBEW----AFL-CIO

Journal Archives

Question--Who are the 5 (R) Senators that put Hagel through the filibuster?

The report out of Washington is that there will be an attempt at filibustering Chuck Hagel's nomination.

Assuming all the Dems stay in line, I can count McCain to vote against the filibuster (but against the nomination on the floor vote). What other Republicans have made a public statement that he or she will vote to break the filibuster?

We Need Higher Wages for Middle Class, Not Just Higher Taxes on the Rich

Redistribution of wealth, what an ugly phrase. It has all the connotations of Socialism and Communism.

In fact, what we need is income fairness. The same fairness we had in 1970's, when America's Middle Class was thriving.

How do we achieve it? The same way we achieved it in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's, with a strong union based private employment sector.

The trade imbalance, the outsourcing, the race to the bottom and the reduction in the average wage of American workers can all be traced to the devastation of America's Labor Unions.

When NAFTA and GAT first appeared, the Democrats (or more specifically, Bil Clinton) compromised with the Republicans (Free Trade was a Republican idea). The US Chamber of Commerce were staunch supporters. So were Banks, Multi-Nationals and almost every other organized group in America. Who was opposed? Speaker Dick Gephardt and Independent Ross Perot. But the only united group who warned of the devastation of these trade agreements and the decline of the American economy was organized labor. Now, we, as a group, are being punished for being correct, and the American middle class is suffering.

When we hear of the many individuals and families on food stamps or relying on Medicaid for their health-care, most Americans conjure up in their minds free-loaders and "takers". In fact, a vast majority of people on public assistance work for a living. The problem is that $10 an hour (or less) cannot subsist a family, even at a full-time job. Fewer and fewer businesses provide health care or benefits. Individuals at the work-place have no voice, as labor unions make up less and less of the work-force.

The same voices in the media who would not work a day without a contract, preach a chorus that would deny that same opportunity to the rest of us. I represent waiters and waitresses, bar-tenders, cooks, dishwashers, clerks, money counters and laborers. The average salary is about $15 to $20 an hour with health care paid about 60% by the employer and a 401K contribution. None of these individuals would possibly have those wages and benefits without the ability to collectively bargain for a contract. Can you imagine a help-wanted sign for a waitress or a dish-washer and the applicant going in and trying to establish a contract for his or her services? The only way that can happen is to bargain collectively, to pool our resources to hire an attorney, to elect an advocate from among the work-force, to have an international union with its institutional and political strength to back us up.

Wal-Mart and other "Big Box" stores purposely keep wages low in order to qualify its employees for public assistance. Instead of employees earning a living wage and benefits, they work at a company that makes billions of dollars in profits. Instead of these hard-working individuals paying taxes and being self-sufficient, they work hard and still become a drain on the Treasury. That's not their fault, or even Wal-Mart's, that's ours, because we, as a society, allow it. We're moving backward into the pre-union days of the 1920's. Those same politicians who want to destroy unions, and with it the ability of workers to speak and provide for themselves, also want to cut that life-line that keeps the working poor from living in poverty.

Think how much our deficit would shrink if the huge cooperations paid a living wage to its workers. Think about all our workers making enough money to pay taxes and provide for themselves with full-time jobs that paid a respectable and living wage.

There is, and always has been, only one way for this fairness to be universal in the American economy and that's to encourage workers to belong to a union.

John Boehner May Very Well be Correct---- The Republicans are Facing Political Annihilation

And I thank the President for it.

The Republican Party enthusiastically cultivated the Teabaggers in 2010. They acted like they were the wave of the future and the Republican Party was going to ride that wave. Unfortunately for the Republicans, those crackpots don't play ball. They have a different set of rules and governing "ain't" one of them.

Now the Teabaggers are part of the Republican coalition. They have the largest caucus in the Republican Party. Their ideas are extreme and outside the mainstream of American society. And the Republicans are now stuck between a rock and a hard place.

You see, the Teabaggers just didn't win congressional seats in 2010, they won Governorships and Legislatures. As a result, they redistricted themselves into safe Teabagger seats, not just Republican seats. And the Republicans that have half of a brain are also stuck in those far-right districts and are frightened to death of a primary contest from their right.

Now, Obama is set squarely in the responsible, sensible middle-left. Exactly where a majority of Americans are. The Democrats, although not all perfectly happy, want government to work and know how to compromise, especially within their own party. Oh sure, we might gripe a little, but we don't threaten to break away and destroy our party. We tend to try to change it from within.

They don't. They'd rather lose a Delaware Senate seat than support a squishy Rino. We'll support a Conservative Democrat in a Red state and chock it up to realistic politics.

Now, to the point. When Gun Safety Legislation appears, we'll settle for universal back-ground checks, where 90% of Americans stand. But the Teabaggers will hold that up in the House and scare the living shit out of Republican incumbents who don't toe the line.

Immigration will sound reasonable in the Senate and from the President's lips, but will be stymied with all kinds of insensitive rhetoric from the Teabaggers in the House.

The same on taxes and spending. Each time a reasonable compromise gets cut, the House will hold it up, with Teabaggers leading the way.

Finally, Republicans, like Boehner and McConnell will have to decide, "do we govern or look like we have been taken over by extremists?"

Once they make that "Hobson's Choice", they're all done.

Here's the way I see the philosophical and political, statistical break down in this country. 55% of this country believes in what we believe, more or less. When the chips are down, we can count on 55%, especially in the future.

The other 45% is not solid at all. I think 30% is traditional Republicans and the other 15% are Teabaggers. Crazy, screaming, idiotic, birthers, haters, deniers and uncontrollable, uncompromising lunatics.

As the issues get put forth, the Republicans are going to have to decide whether they want to side, in fear, with the Teabaggers or move to the center and risk having the Teabaggers form a third party.

If the former occurs, the Republicans will be an extremist, regional party that will be forever trounced in national elections as they watch themselves slowly fade away.

Or, they can choose the later, in which case they will dissolve right before our very eyes, instantly, and will, as Speaker Boehenr so eloquently stated, "be relegated to the dust bin of history."

My Mother is Very Religious, and I Am Not

I've been following some threads here at DU that I find troublesome. Criticizing President Obama for invoking God in his Inaugural Address, and the singing of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

I am not a religious person. I don't attend church and I doubt the existence of God. I think the Catholic Church should mind it's own business on social issues and I think the Christian Coalition is made up of people who are intolerant.

However, my beliefs belong to me and anyone who has a different set of beliefs than I do should be respected. I do not think more of someone who holds strong religious beliefs, and that includes all religions, but I do not think less of them, either.

Today, I was pre-planning my Mom's funeral arrangements. She's not sick and I expect to have her with me for a long time, but I did so as a matter of having the arrangements planned during a time that is less stressful and to pay for the services at a time that I know I can afford. As a result, the plan was that she have the service she wants. She will be buried with my late Father, she will have a Catholic Church Mass in the same Church in which she was baptized, received her First Communion, was Confirmed and Married. I discussed this with her in a matter of fact way, but I will not tell her the arrangements are already made. That may upset her.

Since I respect the wishes of my Mother, why would I deny that to any other person. The First Amendment doesn't outlaw religion, it prevents the Government Establishment of one. I have great joy and pride (and even more-so since 2008) in joining in singing God Bless America. I understand the historical nature of Religion in our culture and I try not to offend others with my own belief.

The President swears an oath of Allegiance on the Holy Bible, In God We Trust is on our money. These things will never change and these facts have little impact on our lives, religious or not. They are traditions embedded in our culture. It's not dogma, but an accepted practice. There are major battles ahead involving helping the poor and the middle class. Preserving the Social Services created by FDR and Lyndon Johnson. Those are the real fights and are actually part of the belief system of those we are trying to convince.

When we make an issue out of someone's deep seeded and long-held beliefs, we hurt our cause. We're trying to convince people to agree with us on major issues, and that means not looking to pick a fight where none exists.

A Simple Solution to Permanent Social Security Solvency

The cap is currently at $110,00. That means that once somebody reaches that level of income, they stop making contributions to the system.

Raise the cap to whatever it will take to make Social Security's projected solvency guaranteed for 25 years into the future. Have automatic increases in the cap any time the projection goes below 25 years.

This would always guarantee the Social Security system will be solvent from generation to generation.

Nancy Pelosi and I Think Alike on 14th Amendment Solution to Debt Ceiling

About a week ago, I posted my opinion that the 14th Amendment should be invoked in avoiding the debt crisis.

Some of my DU friends disagreed. Since that posting, former Speaker and current House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has come to the same conclusion as I did.

Does this change any body's mind here?

Link to Article (1/6/13):
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/06/14th-amendment-option_n_2420461.html


Link to OP (12/31/12):
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022105764

Teabaggers are, by definition, Anarchists

The literal definition of anarchists are people who despise government in any form and want it's demise.

Please read this Wikipedia definition of Anarchism and let me know if this is not an exact definition of teabagging Republicans?

Although Wikipedia associates Anarchists with the Left, politically speaking, the actual definition, in association with contemporary American politics, defines teabagging to a "T" (pardon the pun).


Link;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism

Report Circulating of Plan to Unseat Speaker Boehner.....Fox News

It may or may not happen, but their are some people speculating that the long knives may be out to get the inept, bungling idiot Boehner.

Link to article:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/02/boehner-could-face-rocky-vote-for-speakership-amid-republican-angst/

Link to Report of the plan from Right Wing Blog:
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/01/Sources-Enough-Republicans-willing-to-band-together-to-unseat-Speaker-John-Boehner-on-Thursday

Now it's Their Turn, "How Does Shit Taste?"

You see, they made the President (and by extension, his supporters) eat shit for four years. "He's a Muslim", "He pals around with terrorists". "He's a Socialist". "He was born in Kenya". "You Lie". "My goal is to make Barack Obama a one term President". These weren't just statements from "crackpots", but from elected officials and spokespeople for the Republican party.

Then there is the Hitler Mustaches and the awful comments from Teabaggers and their supporters. Adelson, Wynn, Trump, the Koch Brothers and on and on. Lies, ridicule, deception, hatred.

Now, he has 4 interrupted years more. He's way smarter than his opponents. Tonight, he has them over a barrel and they don't like it. Graham and McCain are crying on the Senate floor. They have to take a deal they don't like, and the President is rubbing their faces in the shit, and I love it.

I know, their's a lot at stake. I trust this President and he'll get a good deal. It's never perfect, but it will be damn good, considering the Repukes control the House and the teabaggers have a large minority.

My advice to all my DU friends is to not expect to get a 100% deal, but be happy at 80% and enjoy as the other side chokes while they eat the shit that they, themselves, excreted.

It is truly a Happy New Year


On Edit (1/2/13):

Wow, it was better than I could have even imagined. The fuck-up on the Sandy relief really showed the House Repuke leadership as inept and self-serving. The back-stabbing on the Cliff matter was amazing and it could get better. The Republican party could split into two parts, right before our eyes.

Again, my Republican friends who are in the hands of a political master, "HOW DOES SHIT TASTE!!!!!!!!

The validity of the public debt of the U.S.....shall not be questioned (14th Amendment)

The whole fourth section of the fourteenth amendment to the United Sates Constitution reads

Section 4:The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bonuses for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

It seems very clear to me that the United States government is responsible for all debts incurred which are a result of any duly enacted law by Congress, past or present. As a result, the debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional. This amendment, actually, makes it unlawful to even "question" such debt. I would interpret that to mean that law makers (and even private citizens) can't even intimate that a financial obligation of this country should not be paid.

When the debt ceiling debate starts, I hope we clarify the meaning of this amendment and let's see what the "strict constructionists" think of the meaning of the constitution now.

Link:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv

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