Time for your weekly Professional Left Podcast with our own Driftglass and Bluegal, once again taking on our Villagers and their beltway conventional wisdom as only they can. Have a great weekend and enjoy the podcast everyone.
Featured in this episode -- Lemkin: Cokie's Law vs. Social Security..
You follow them on Facebook at The Professional Left Podcast with Driftglass and Blue Gal. And if anyone wants to wish them well, they're finally going to make it official and are tying the knot next week. Congratulations Fran and Driftie!
Representative Michele Bachmann has to be considered the favorite to win Iowa next year. But if Gov. Rick Perry dedicates himself to Iowa, he'll have a considerable chance of winning -- probably better than Representative Ron Paul.
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Representative Michelle Bachmann has to be considered the favorite to win Iowa next year. But if Gov. Rick Perry dedicates himself to Iowa, he'll have a considerable chance of winning -- probably better than Representative Ron Paul.
Read The Full Article:
So, Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Ames Iowa Straw poll. One might be tempted to say ?So what?? but it really is of a bit of importance. Think back the first time you really noticed Rep. Bachmann.For all the conventional wisdom of the GOP operatives that[...]
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Brubeck plays Richard Rodgers. Kind of perfect.
What are you listening to this fine Saturday night?
Although majority support for marijuana legalization is a good sign for this Colorado campaign, it should be noted that in 2010 the California marijuana legalization measure, Proposition 19, was ahead in early polling but ended up losing narrowly on[...]
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Chris Matthews has been on somewhat of a roll over the last week or so, asking why the labor unions in the United States aren't taking a page from these astroturf tea partiers and showing up in Washington D.C. to protest on the weekends and send President Obama a message that they're concerned about jobs and getting our economy back on the right track.
On this Thursday's edition of Hardball, The Nation's John Nichols pushed back at Matthews assertion that there aren't union members out there hitting the streets and protesting and talked about what's been going on in Wisconsin for months on end now. What he did not really respond to is why we're not seeing massive numbers of protesters in our nation's Capitol. Nor did he ask Chris Matthews why our national media has largely been ignoring the protests that have been going on in Wisconsin and across the country and in our Capitol for weeks and months on end now.
I wish Nichols had asked Chris Matthews why, when unions and other liberal groups have held rallies in D.C., they've been either largely or completely ignored by our national media. The AFL-CIO just held a rally to protest Wal-Mart last week in D.C. in conjunction with some other groups. Did we hear any of these pundits on cable television talking about it? Of course not. But if twenty of these astroturf "tea party" members show up somewhere, we've got at times more from the media showing up to cover the events than we've got protesters.
I think Chris Matthews needs to look himself in the mirror if he doesn't understand why it appears to most people who watch cable television and apparently to himself that there aren't large numbers of working people and union members taking to the streets and holding rallies and why it's completely dishonest and disingenuous to compare real grass roots and union protests who don't have any big money behind them to the astroturf events they love to hype so much.
I know of exactly one nationally syndicated show that does an adequate job of giving media coverage to protests by working people whether it be here in the United States or across the world, and that's Democracy Now. If Chris Matthews and the rest of our corporate media gave one tenth of the type of coverage she does week after week, day after day to the groups that are out there protesting, one, maybe more people would show up at them because they'd know about them in the first place. And two, maybe our politicians would pay a little more attention because sadly our politicians do seem to pay a lot more attention to our Villagers in the corporate media than they do to the working class that has been out there and voicing their grievances in public.
And that's not the fault of the dwindling number of unions we have left in the United States that Matthews apparently wants to blame here for not doing more so that our politicians quit ignoring their frustrations with the race to the bottom we've seen with their policies that are destroying what's left of the middle class in America. Unions are doing what they can. But they're surely not getting any help from Matthews and his ilk, which just makes it even more of an uphill battle. And segments like this one are harmful to that cause and not helpful with assigning blame where it doesn't belong.
Transcript below the fold.
MATTHEWS: Well, let me go back to John and then back to you, Josh.
I raised this issue about labor. And I`m labor. I like labor. And I think generally they`re a fabulous force for American life in the last 100 years. And if we didn`t have them, I don`t where we would be. We wouldn`t be anywhere good.
And my question is, why don`t they take up some of this animus, some of this excitement that the Tea Party has? Why aren`t they holding big demonstrations for jobs? It`s such a winner. You come to Washington with people in T-shirts in hot weather and they come in and they demonstrate, they speak, they get together, they have a tremendous sense of community and excitement.
And then the president gets the message and he can react to that. It gives him a foundation, you know, to bounce off and say, look, the people want jobs, I`m giving them jobs. I`m risking it, even if Republicans -- why don`t they do that, John? Why don`t they come out in the streets?
NICHOLS: Look, Chris, they did come out in the streets in Wisconsin in February and March. And it`s exactly what you described.
NICHOLS: There are people whose lives were changed by joining those mass demonstrations.
MATTHEWS: OK. Good.
NICHOLS: And the big frustration I have isn`t the Washington demonstration. It`s the fact that during these recall races, the Democrats, the Democratic strategists said, oh, don`t talk so much about labor rights. Soften the message. Dumb it down.
MATTHEWS: Oh, really.
NICHOLS: I think there`s a problem not only with labor, but with the Democratic Party not wanting to defend working people and labor issues.
MATTHEWS: Even unemployment?
NICHOLS: Even -- they`re lousy on it. This president -- you were just talking in that last segment, this president can`t get excited about unemployment. He couldn`t get energized and angry.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you.
Well, that`s a damning statement. Sir, that`s a tough, damning statement.
We`re going to listen to that woman for a while. Let that reverberate right now.
Some key allies of the Democratic Party say they won't participate in the 2012 convention in Charlotte.There's more in the article.
Thirteen unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO voted to sit out because the members objected to selecting a right-to-work state as a host.
"It's easy to understand why folks are disappointed and frustrated," acknowledged MaryBe McMillan, with the NC AFL-CIO. "But I don't think that sitting out this convention because it's in the least-unionized state is going to do anything to help the situation in North Carolina and make us a more worker-friendly state."
Oh well, time to say goodbye to gorgeous Gulf Coast sunsets, pan-seared grouper and pitchers of margaritas and resume that blogging thing again (geez, I go away for a week and the market goes insane - and of course, I wasn't able to take note of the brave sacrifice of our heroes in Afghanistan...I'm sure the Pentagon is doing a review to try and determine why the #@!! so many of them were in a single Chinook transport helicopter; I would hope so anyway).
In the meantime, here's some more spot-on commentary from Jon Stewart (hope the vid cooperates)...
(Laura Clawson)The Verizon strike is, of course, the work story of the week. Catch up with our coverage:
Show your solidarity with Verizon workers: Sign the petition. And if there's a picket line going on anywhere near you, think about bringing snacks or cold drinks.
But the Verizon strike isn't just something happening in isolation. It's an exemplar of the larger trend of corporations doing better as?and because?workers do worse. In 2010, corporate profits broke the previous record for proportion of the national income, while small businesses recovered only slightly after hitting a 17-year low in 2009. And workers?
Employees have always received more than half the total national income, until now. In 2010, the percentage of national income devoted to wages and salaries fell to 49.9 percent, and it slipped a little more to 49.6 percent in the first quarter of this year. That continued decline may help explain the economic worries of many Americans who have jobs but still fear they are falling behind.
The figure for wages and salaries reflects only what employees are directly paid, and does not include the cost paid by employers for benefits, which has been steadily rising over the years. It is thus not an accurate gauge from the point of view of employers, for whom a dollar spent on health insurance premiums is no less real than one spent on wages.
Adding the two categories together may provide a better view of the share of national income going to workers or being spent for their benefit.
The 2010 total, of 62.1 percent, is not close to the record low share of 54.5 percent, set in 1929, the first year for which numbers are available. But it is the lowest for any full year since 1965. In the first quarter of 2011, it slipped further, to 61.7 percent.
When Republicans want to make a deal ...
This is hilarious. Back when Ohio Republicans thought no one could stop them from taking collective bargaining rights from state workers, there was no talk of compromise on SB 5. Back then, it was all, "If you?re not on the bus, we?ll run over you with the bus." Now? The Columbus Dispatch, a supporter of Gov. John Kasich and SB 5, is very disappointed that the bill's opponents, with victory in sight, won't make a deal.
But it doesn't stop there. ModernEsquire at Plunderbund explains the Dispatch's real role in rumors of compromise talks:
A major Dispatch honcho who has a history of using his status within the Dispatch to make news that favors his politics and then have his paper report it and editorial pages applaud it, sets up a meeting with some labor leaders to work out a deal on SB 5. The meeting doesn?t go well, likely because neither Steiner or Curtin can really promise the labor unions anything because they have no clear authority to negotiate a deal that requires the involvement of the GOP legislature and Kasich, and frankly, they have little leverage given the current polling on the issue.
Then the Dispatch follows up the editorial advocating for someone to try to attempt a deal with a news story that such an attempt as advocated by the Dispatch was tried, but the labor leaders walked away ? never mentioning that one of the most influential figures at the Dispatch just happens to be behind the attempt to broker a deal and then the editorial lecturing labor to make such a deal.