Tag Archives: Idaho

Last chance to elect Romney!

28 Nov

Sheryl Nuxoll, brewing some bitter tea!

Yep, you read that headline right. The most toxic elements of the teabag loon parade have finally admitted that they really (no, REALLY) don’t care  about democracy. They just really (no, REALLY) want their guy to win. So what if he’s a hypocritical, vacillating windbag with no morals or ideals of his own, at least he called himself a Republican and tried hard to hate gays, women, and brown people on a regular basis. A wearisome wave of wingnuts have hatched a plan to stop that nasty Kenyan Socialist President in his tracks…THE 12th AMENDMENT. Oy ist mir! I have such a headache!

The idea (if it can be given such a noble label) has been floating around for a few days, but it took a state senator from Idaho to really crystalize things. Starting with a tweet (140 characters may be all she knows), Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, pushed an article on how to keep Obama from getting a second term. It boils down to having at least 17 of the 24 states that gave Romney electoral votes refuse to participate in the electoral process. That would eliminate a 2/3 majority of the states and (according to Nuxoll) throw things to the Republican-controlled U.S. House.

One teensy little problem with this plan. It won’t work. The majority required only matters in the House itself, after the Electoral College meets. If electors don’t show up, their votes don’t count, and the President wins by a >ahem< wider margin — oops. Reading is a pesky business. The right wing really only likes selected parts of the Constitution (or the Bible, for that matter), so perhaps we can forgive Sen. Nuxoll for her somewhat — shall we say — overenthusiastic efforts.

What’s more disgusting about this blatantly hopeless nonsense is what it says about the Republican mindset. Before the election we had Repbulican officials in Pennsylvania and Florida admitting that the only reason they were trying to stop “voter fraud” was to keep Democrats from voting and give Romney an edge. When that didn’t work (at all, given that both states went for Obama again), the whining babies of Lossville admit that they don’t care about the process, just the win. Who cares if the people voted for a President? We can use dirty tricks to steal the election! That mindset really says all we need to know.

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Wednesday Word of the Week: March 23

23 Mar

Bargaining, not bullying

This week’s word is: BARGAINING

the negotiation of the terms of a transaction or agreement – WordNet

Anyone who doubts the cynical political motives of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his ilk should be required to recite that definition 100 times. Walker (and other Republican Governors like him in thought but so far unlike him in success) maintains that public sector unions are so powerful that they run roughshod over state budgets. He and the Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate created the union-busting bill pretending that it was necessary as a way to balance the state’s budget. The core of the bill eliminates or restricts collective bargaining activities for public sector employees.

Before the odious bill was rammed through in a manner so dubious that a judge has already halted its implementation, working conditions for public sector employees in Wisconsin (and Indiana, and Ohio, and teachers in Idaho) were mostly governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

COLLECTIVE

involving all the members of a group – Macmillan Dictionary Online

BARGAINING

the negotiation of the terms of a transaction or agreement – WordNet

AGREEMENT

a decision about what to do, made by two or more people, groups, or organizations – Macmillan Dictionary Online

That’s right, according to Wisconsin Republicans, unions held all the cards because of a process that involved all parties to the negotiation. A process of negotiation. A process resulting in a decision made by all the parties together. The very definitions of these words put the lie to Walker’s claims.

If the public employees’ unions were being so unreasonable that the budget was truly at risk, then they would be hindering the negotiations. The state has the power to call an impasse and set its terms. If the unions don’t agree, they can strike. That’s what collective bargaining is all about. If Walker were interested in setting a hard line for what the actual budget could sustain, this is the course he would take. Instead, the bill clearly nullifies all three of these concepts neutering the workers’ ability to have any direct control over their working environment.

So if these anti-union actions aren’t about balancing the budget, what are they about? The answer is simple and chilling. These bills are all about political and commercial power. Walker and his nasty brethren are part of the wave of tea that stained America last fall. Funded by the likes of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers, these politicians are interested in shifting the already imbalanced investment in political campaigns even further to the Right. By crippling unions, which traditionally donate just Left of center, a major funding source for Democrats dries up. Scott Walker is willing to scuttle fair labor practices and reasonable benefits for thousands of workers just to make sure he can get re-elected.

Fortunately, America seems to be jolted out of its recent complacency by this mad power grab. Democrats and union leaders are joining forces to recall Republican senators in Wisconsin and shift the power in that state a bit out of Walker’s hands. So far, those efforts look promising. Governors and Legislatures across the country are watching to see what the backlash will be. Let us hope that it will be serious and sustained.

As Billy Bragg reminds us, there is power in a union. Without a formal agreement, negotiations mean nothing, as the British coal miners learned in the 1960s. Collective bargaining leverages the work of few to benefit many. In an age of increasing corporate greed and a shrinking middle class, we must rise up together and shame those who would silence us. With perseverance, the workers can insist on their rights. We can punish politicians who strike deals and pass bills to harm us.

Let’s hope that the recalls in Wisconsin work out for the people, not the politicians, and that a few Republican state senators suddenly find themselves practicing another kind of bargaining altogether.

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