Sunday, March 30, 2014

Seattle’s political establishment seems to be following the lead of a socialist!

Socialist Alternative ^ | 3/27/14 | Patrick Ayers
“Onto the ballot – into the streets.” That’s the headline for the next big moment for 15 Now – a conference on April 26 to kick-off a mass campaign in Seattle to collect 50,000 signatures for a robust $15 minimum wage ballot initiative. Whether or not 15 Now will file those signatures in June, triggering a popular vote on November 4, depends on whether the City Council passes a real $15 minimum wage ordinance and will be decided by a democratic 15 Now conference in June. The credible threat of a winnable ballot initiative is the best tool – under the current conditions of a weak union movement and a historically low level of strikes – that working people have to push back attempts by big business and politicians to dramatically water down any effort for a $15/hr minimum wage. The April 26 Conference aims to launch dozens of new local 15 Now Action Groups as the basis for a powerful mass movement to, if necessary, overcome the millions big business will pour in to defeat a ballot initiative. Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s Socialist Alternative city councilmember, used the recent “March for $15 on March 15” to help mobilize for the April 26 Conference and put forward a new proposal for winning $15 in Seattle this year. Below is the thinking and strategy of Socialist Alternative.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Some right-wing business leaders are still openly opposing any increase in the minimum wage and loudly complaining that Seattle’s political establishment seems to be following the lead of a socialist!Sounds about right!

This Is How You’ll Feel When the GOP Wins the Senate!

Moyers and Company ^ | March 25, 2014 | Professor Marty Kaplan
It’s the morning after. You stayed up late watching election results on TV. By the time you went to bed, the Republicans had won five of the six Senate seats they needed to take control of both houses of Congress. As the networks called each state for the GOP, it felt like a trap door had opened beneath your feet, like a Munch scream, like a nightmare — a nauseating, slow-motion wreck you were powerless to prevent. Too rattled to sleep, you reached for the melatonin. Then, when you wake up in a sweat, the real nightmare begins. Republicans are jubilant. Their campaign was all about getting even. Now it’s time for some traffic problems in Fort Barack. It doesn’t cushion the blow when you find out how hollow their mandate is: Fewer than 20 percent of registered voters voted for them. This, in a country where 33 percent reject the idea of evolution. It only infuriates you more when you learn that the electorate was older and whiter than the country. And that the combined population of states where Republican senators ousted Democrats was less than the population of California. And that some victory margins were under a thousand votes. They won. It turned out not to matter that fact-checkers and satirists called Pinocchio, pants-on-fire and bullsh*t on their ads. Or that the economy is improving, millions of previously uncovered Americans now have health insurance and we haven’t gone to war in Syria, Ukraine or anywhere else neocons have been itching to entangle us. All that will matter is that the Senate Republican majority will be even more obstructionist than the Senate Republican minority, and they will have the House Republican majority as enablers. They will repeatedly repeal the Affordable Care Act. They’ll strip the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of staff and powers. They’ll outlaw abortion, gut food stamps even further, block a path to citizenship for 12 million immigrants and cut taxes on the 1 percent. The only thing stopping them will be Democratic filibusters. But fear of losing the next election will be on many minority minds, so a united opposition is not a given, and Democratic caving, depicted as high-minded bipartisanship, will no doubt send some odious Acts to the Oval Office. Which the president will veto, and which one hopes will lack the two-thirds required to override. The result — the most optimistic scenario — will be epic gridlock. White House initiatives will be dead on arrival in Congress, and Republican laws will be interred in the Rose Garden. This will be particularly good news for the plutocrats whose billions are now funding the 2014 national disinformation campaign; stasis is their friend. Last week, President Obama anticipated getting “clobbered” in the midterm elections. On Sunday, Nate Silver changed his Senate forecast from a tossup to a slight Republican advantage. Maybe these predictions will terrify enough Democratic donors to cough up now and enough Democratic voters to turn out in November. But are dystopian prophecies, including mine, ever really a deterrent? I’m afraid that not even the declaration by Oklahoma Republican Jim (The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future) Inhofe that he’ll be in charge of the Senate environment committee if they win; or the thought of Chuck (“There are a lot more Scalias and Thomases that we’d love to put on the bench“) Grassley chairing the judiciary committee, or of armed services and foreign relations manned up by Lindsey Graham and John McCain — won’t be enough to energize Democrats. The only way to increase the turnout of the base is to speak to its heartbreak. Drones. Spying. No tax on carbon pollution. No immigration reform. No gun control. No public option. No campaign finance reform. No bankers behind bars. Every Obama supporter has a list of disappointments with the administration, and a list of excuses for them — the Republican House, the NRA, political reality — that don’t cut it. Democrats won’t hold the Senate by getting a percent or two more of swing voters than Republicans, because it’s supporters, not undecideds, who turn out for midterm elections. Their only hope is to increase their passion. The young, the women, the blacks and Latinos who vaulted the president into the White House in 2008, and who had nowhere else to go in 2012, will not be rushing to the polls in 2014 unless President Obama gives them — gives us all — big reasons to fight for him, not just against them. Insiders tell me, “Just wait until after the mid-terms, he’ll be free to pull out all the stops.” But why should a full-throated Obama who’ll get nothing from a future Republican Congress be more appealing than an Obama who gets nothing from Congress now? In his 2014 State of the Union, he said he was going to act “with or without Congress.” What’s he waiting for? I’m sure someone has a spreadsheet showing that Democrats have a better chance of holding the Senate if Obama waits until after the election to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. Surely some operative has numbers saying that approving the Keystone XL now is his only hope of holding on to seats in Alaska, Louisiana, Montana and West Virginia. But polls about hypothetical presidential actions can’t forecast passion very well. Political wildfire is still, thankfully, unpredictable. I’d rather wake up on Nov. 5 sick at losing the Senate, but proud that Obama and the Democrats did all they could to make climate change, gun control, immigration and big money big issues, instead of losing because they were too afraid of losing to win.

Smokin’ Joe Biden: Higher Wages Are Good for Business!

PoliticusUSA ^ | March 29, 2014 | Sarah Jones
Vice President Joe Biden said Congress should raise the minimum wage because it’s good for people, business, women, and the economy. He thinks you ought to call your do-nothing representative and ask why they’re not passing a raise for the people. Smokin’ Joe also burned a certain Speaker by saying that Congress ought to do it because it’s what the people want. But I’m sure Joe knows that Speaker Boehner (R-OH) can’t be bothered with what the people want. After all, he’s got an itty bitty circus tent full of extremists’ egos to stroke in an election year, since they’re the only people who vote Republican anymore besides the party’s actual base — the top 1%. Republicans are very busy obstructing the economy to get back at President Obama for winning again. The Vice President got right down to business, “There’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty. But right now a worker earning the federal minimum wage makes about $14,500 a year. And you all know that’s incredibly hard for an individual to live on, let alone raise a family on.” Preach it, Joe. Biden laid out why raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would be good for the worker – they’d be making “$20,200 a year—and with existing tax credits would earn enough to bring that family or a family of four out of poverty. ” But heck, it’s not just the workers who would benefit. Nope. Business too. Joe pierced Republican hearts by pointing out that actually, fair wages are good for business, “There’s clear data that shows fair wages generate loyalty of workers to their employers, which has the benefit of increasing productivity and leading to less turn over. It’s really good for the economy as a whole because raising the minimum wage would generate an additional $19 billion in additional income for people who need it the most.” But… But… Maybe the entire American workforce are just bad negotiators, like Republicans say women are. So it’s their fault and too bad for them! Joe wasn’t having that either because it’s not just the workers. It’s the economy, stupid. “The big difference between giving a raise in the minimum wage instead of a tax break to the very wealthy is the minimum wage worker will go out and spend every penny of it because they’re living on the edge. They’ll spend it in the local economy. They need it to pay their electric bill, put gas in their automobile, to buy fundamental necessities. And this generates economic growth in their communities.” This is no fun. Now Republicans can’t justify punishing the hardworking American populace, pretending they’re unworthy of a living wage. In case Republicans need to hear it from those who are ostensibly their own kind, “And I’m not the only one who recognizes these benefits. Companies big and small recognize it as well. I was recently in Atlanta, Georgia, and met the owner of a small advertising company, a guy named Darien. He independently raised the wages of his workers to $10.10 an hour. But large companies, as well, Costco and the Gap—they’re choosing to pay their employees higher starting wages.” Then Biden pointed out that governors were doing this on their own — a cooperative, regional initiative the governors started as a go-around the do-nothing Republican-led House. Joe summed it up for the slow House, “It’s good for business. It’s helpful to the overall economy. And there’s one more important benefit. Right now women make up more than half of the workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage. Folks, a low minimum wage is one of the reasons why women in America make only 77 cents on a dollar that every man makes. But by raising the minimum wage, we can close that gap by 5 percent. And it matters. It matters to a lot of hardworking families, particularly moms raising families on the minimum wage.” Well, okay, we all know that talking about helping struggling moms is only going to make Republicans hate this idea more. Republicans have made it clear that women shouldn’t be working, so this is really their own fault. And since they think single mothers are the bane of America’s existence, the thing to do is ignore and punish both them and their offspring. But also, no contraception will be covered, thanks so much. Oh, wait. “And one more thing, folks—it’s what the American people want to do. Three out of four Americans support raising the minimum wage… ” Joe thinks you should ask your representatives what gives, “So ask your representatives who oppose raising the federal minimum wage—why do they oppose it? How can we look at the men and women providing basic services to us all, like cleaning our offices, caring for our children, serving in our restaurants and so many other areas—how can we say they don’t deserve enough pay to take them out of poverty?” Yes, do it. DO IT. Raising the minimum wage makes sense, it’s good for business good for people good for women and good for the economy. Call your do-nothing representative, write your local paper, tweet, and ask WHY NOT. Joe’s work here is done for today.



Poverty Plantation

The Devil!



Le Peeuu!



Like a ROCK!