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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

Obama in "can't lose" political chess match

Barack Obama has them right where he wants them.

When Obama's Bill reaches the Senate floor, it will be a measure to stop any increases in taxes on people making $250,000 or less. Or, in reality, a tax break for every American on the first $250,000 a year in income. It will also extend unemployment benefits to those people who have gone more than 6 months on the program without being able to find a job.

The Senate Republicans will either have to vote up or down on the proposal, or filibuster the bill. Just think of the headlines " Senate GOP Filibusters Tax cuts for the Middle Class...American families face the fiscal cliff". OH boy, good luck with that one.

Or, as is most likely, the Senate does not filibuster the bill and it passes, by, let's say, 73 to 27. Of course, all 27 are Republicans.

Now, to the House. Speaker Boehner has the choice to not take it up, and face the sole responsibility of the tax increases for the Middle Class, with the House GOP taking all of the blame. Or, Boehner can let the House vote, and one of two things can happen. The House rejects the bill because the House Republicans hold firm to the idea that if the wealthy don't get a tax cut, on one does. Or, more likely, the House votes to approve the bill with about 50 Republicans joining all, or almost all, of the Democrats in approving the bill. Obama signs the bill and is hailed as a political genius. This causes a severe rift in the GOP that could lead to a splintering of the party itself.

That's how I see it and I couldn't admire the President more for putting the fucking assholes in a box of their own making.

Now, please, Mr. President, don't let them out of this dilemma without making them cry "Uncle".

It is Much Too Soon to Discuss Changing Gun Laws After NY Shooting

The shooter in Webster NY that lured firefighters to his burning home owned a Bushmaster .223, the same weapon that was used in Newtown, Conn.

Although it has not been determined which weapon was used in the shooting ( he owned a shot gun, a pistol and the semi-automatic rifle) my guess it's the Bushmaster.

However, according to the NRA, it is too soon after the tragedy in New York to discuss new gun measures.

and if these fucking crazies with assault weapons keep these multiple shootings in the proper time intervals as ascribed by the NRA, there will never be a time to get to that discussion, never mind the actual changing of the gun laws to something more akin to a civilized society.

Link:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/2012/12/25/killer-firemen-had-semiautomatic-rifle/nT8sAMWgiwhQMhiXo73yLP/story.html

Ted Kennedy Jr. Announces That He Will NOT Seek Vacant Kerry Senate Seat....Boston Herald

Breaking News.

Ted Kennedy Jr. Will Not Run.

Link:
http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/us_politics/2012/12/edward_kennedy_jr_not_running_senate_seat

My Fiscal Cliff Prediction

We're going over and I don't think that's such a bad thing.

Some people will get hurt for the first week to 10 days, including the 2,000,000 people on long term unemployment (greater than 6 months). However, that can be fixed, retroactively, if the Republicans agree to it in a package.

Tax cuts, which start at under $250,000 will pass within the first week of the new Congress. Republicans can't vote against that. Spending cuts (without entitlements) will be instituted and a 1 year agreement on extending the debt ceiling will also happen.

What will stay is the estate tax increase, a large increase in capital gains and a far more progressive income tax system. The middle class will not get out of this completely unscathed, as we will see the return of the "payroll tax" for Social Security and Medicare.

This will be done without the 55 or so Republican teabaggers, which will signal Boehner's final stint as House Speaker.

Let's see how close I come to being correct on this.

Gallup Presidential Approval Poll...Obama Plus 22

Today's (12/22) daily tracking poll of the President's job approval numbers at Gallup are 58% approve and 36% disapprove.

I have 3 words for those numbers......"Wow Fucking Wee"

Gallup link:
http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx

President Barack Obama's Approval Rating is 56% to 37% Today at Gallup

A nearly 20 point gap between President Obama's positive numbers and his negative numbers in today's (12/21) Gallup Presidential approval daily rating.

Gallup has been less than sympathetic to the President, giving him his worst numbers during his re-election bid against Mitt Romney. As a result, there is a very good chance that the President's job approval numbers are even better than these.

Link;
http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx

Obama Holds Granddaughter of slain Sandy Hook School Principal---"My Mother Would be So Proud....."

"...to see President Obama holding her granddaughter. But not as proud as I am of her".

God Bless this President and his deep understanding of those of us who work for a safer more secure community. You can sense his sincerity. He is genuine and was obviously someone Principal Dawn Hochstrung admired, as was indicated by her daughter's tweet.

Link:
http://todaynews.today.com/_news/2012/12/17/15967157-slain-sandy-hook-principals-daughter-tweets-photo-of-her-baby-obama?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=3

Shock Poll---Obama Approval 54% to 38%---Plus 16 Points at Gallup

Matt Drudge always likes to use flashing siren lights to declare anytime poll numbers look negative for President Obama.

How's these numbers, Matty Boy? Approve 54% Disapprove 38%


http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx

What "Right to Work" really means

First off, it's not "Right to Work". It's really not even "Right to Work for Less". The true description of these various laws is "The Unions are forced to represent workers who refuse to pay dues or an agency fee".

For instance, somebody gets hired at a good job at good wages. Let me use my little union as an example. Mutuel Clerks are part of the group I represent. Those are individuals that sell tickets to horse and dog racing patrons on races delivered to Boston from around the country (in the Summer, we have live racing). We have just completed a long and costly negotiation that increased our pay to nearly $20 an hour. In the other tracks in New England, the pay ranges from $12 and hour to about $16 an hour. Most other tracks have either non-union shops or in-house associations with no affiliation to an international Union or the AFL-CIO. We are a closed shop and affiliated with both the IBEW and the AFL-CIO. Under our law here in Massachusetts you have to pay union dues to work at a "union shop" and be a member of the union. However, if you put your request in writing with the employer, you can opt-out of the union by paying an agency fee, which amounts to about 80% of the union members' dues. You still are represented by the union, you remain on the seniority list in your rightful place, you bid for jobs in accordance with the contract and you enjoy the wages and benefits that the union negotiates with the company. What you give up is participating in union meetings or voting in union elections or voting on the contract itself.

As far as the argument that some union members do not like a union donating their dues' money to candidates they don't like, that doesn't happen. It's prohibited nationwide by federal law. What a union does is have a separate, voluntary payroll deduction from a union employee into a separate, segregated political fund (PAC). That money can only be donated if authorized by a majority vote of the union members (or in some cases, their elected union reps). Union Dues money can never, ever be used for political donations of any kind. No one is coerced to pay into this (PAC) fund and any member can bring any union or union official up on charges before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) even if he or she thinks this law has been violated.

What right to work laws do, is allow the employee to enjoy all the benefits I have outlined here as a non-union member, but that employee doesn't even have to pay an agency fee. Pretty soon, the union is defending that individual, or itself, if that individual wants to put forward "nuisance charges" against the union. Human nature being what it is, other employes decide "why should I pay dues to defend those who don't pay dues. I'll opt out, too. After all, I can use the extra $500 a year". Although that's short sighted, and as you can see, that $500 a year has brought each individual thousands of dollars in wages and benefits they would not have enjoyed otherwise, this has a continuing, negative affect on the union. Fewer people pay dues, the union has less resources but the same amount of responsibility, and the union ends up in a "death spiral".

What if you could enjoy all the security of being a US citizen. Our country was protected from invaders, our children still had to be educated, our roads were built, etc. Yet, if you decided to, you could opt-out of paying taxes. Sure, some folks would continue to pay taxes. But the same type of person who would opt-out of paying union dues would opt-out of paying taxes. Pretty soon, the rest of us feel like idiots, and there would be no federal, state or local treasury. And as a result, there would end up being no country. That's the closest analogy I can make to this outrage of forcing unions to provide services to employees for free, while they enjoy all the benefits that we provide.

Don't the Republicans Know How to Negotiate?

The Republicans seemed shocked by President Obama's opening offer. There are no Medicare Benefit cuts or Social Security cuts in it.

No shitting.

I negotiate for a living and let me give you an example of one of the contracts I just did. The company wanted drug testing, we wanted raises in wages and benefits. Going in, I knew that drug testing was on the table. However, I only proposed wage and benefit increases. They countered with no wage increase and no benefit increases, but drug testing. After about 8 weeks of negotiating, we ended up with increases in wages that ranged from 12% to 22% over 3 years and an increase in the employer contribution to health and dental. In addition, the drug testing became a 3 strikes and your out program, with progressive discipline at each step. Step one required counseling paid for by the employer.

The example I use is this. I couldn't propose drug testing, it had to come from the company. I couldn't go back to my members (my base) and say the idea was mine. They put it forward, I amended it and could explain what we received in return for this concession.

If the Republicans want to cut Medicare and Social Security, they have to bring it up. If it comes from the Dems, the Repukes will never let us forget that we suggested it. Obama already said everything is on the table, but the other side has to put it there.

Obama's opening offer is "this is what we want, now tell us what you want".

It's simple negotiations 101.
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