If he and his supporters have any sense at all, though, they will stop trying to “explain.” When people try to “explain” to those whom they have just offended not only why they should not be offended, but how their being offended is actually an unfair attack on themselves, it does not go well. (Just ask Virginia State Senator Steve Martin. Actually, don’t ask him, because he still doesn’t get it.)
When is it okay to start talking about the fact that Republican policies actually kill people?
The most obvious example is Republican support for our government killing people, explicitly and in cold blood. That’s what the death penalty is. State sanctioned killing of a citizen in cold blood. Regardless of your position on the morality or constitutionality of the death penalty, it is, quite simply, support for state-sanctioned death. And there is no better example of the bedrock principle for Republicans that the state should be allowed to kill its citizens.
How about Republican’s opposition to reasonable gun safety legislation? To the point of actively repealing gun safety legislation already in place when they take control of a state? Did you know that Missouri repealed background checks for gun purchases recently? And when it did, gun murders went up 25%?
“Hey, this legislation will cause more people to be violently murdered!”
“Great, let’s do it!”
“We calculated the number and characteristics of people who will remain uninsured as a result of their state’s opting out of the Medicaid expansion, and applied these figures to the known effects of insurance expansion from prior studies,” lead author Samuel Dickman said. “The results were sobering. Political decisions have consequences, some of them lethal.”
(This is particularly relevant and sobering for us here in Virginia.)
So again I ask, when can we start talking about the fact that Republican policy positions seem to revel in a culture of death?
Last night the “official” Republican response to the State of the Union address was delivered by Washington representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who didn’t engage in any distracting large motor activities.
Rodgers made the encouraging assertion that the current Republican Party “trusts people to make their own decisions, not a government that decides for you,” and then a bit later that “Republicans believe health care choices should be yours, not the government’s. And that whether you’re a boy with Down syndrome or a woman with breast cancer … you can find coverage and a doctor who will treat you.”
But obviously that is not at all what Republicans believe, as earlier in the day nearly all of them had voted to prevent women from choosing to access abortion care, and they regularly endorse efforts that would allow health care providers, in the guise of “religious freedom,” to refuse to treat people on the basis of their personal beliefs about those people. Most notably this “freedom” to selectively do one’s job has involved pharmacists who don’t believe that people should use birth control, but it can just as easily be invoked to refuse all kinds of medical care to all kinds of people, care like hormone replacement therapy, fertility and prenatal care, and cancer treatment.
Mary Daniel, Democratic Candidate for Virginia’s 33rd House District, announced Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro’s endorsement today.
In endorsing Daniel, Mayor Lazaro stated: “I am pleased to express my full support for Mary Daniel as our next Delegate for the 33rd District. As a local government official herself, Mary understands firsthand how the relationship between state and local government is a partnership on such important issues as job creation, transportation, and protecting our quality of life and environment. Mary also knows the impact of state mandates on local governments, and will fight to ensure local taxpayers don’t foot the bill for Richmond’s regulations.” Continue reading
Today, realistic Republicans are secretly praying that the Supreme Court will respond to the arguments presented in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases before it with a broad ruling finding a constitutional right for all Americans to marry the person they love.
That is the only way of avoiding a foreseeable future in which Republicans will be forced to either repeatedly alienate the rapidly growing supermajority of Americans who support equality, or repeatedly betray their own aging base, that angry 36% demanding the “right” to forcibly shove society into still the coat which fitted him when a boy.
If the Court announces a sweeping ruling in June that makes marriage for all the law of the land, GOP strategists can breathe a sigh of relief – they will then be able to deflect the rage of their base toward those nine rogue “unelected judges.”
The alternative future will be a punishing series of state battles over the next four, eight, twelve years and beyond, in which they will not have the luxury of avoiding the issue, however much they might wish they could do so.
In either case, marriage equality is inevitable.
If you want your party to live, pray hard.
Communism 101, capitalists own the means of production. Workers create value by producing products and services. Workers don’t own much of anything. They sell their labor power to their employer. In order to maximize profits, employers squeeze the most productivity out of the workers for the least wages and benefits possible. Capitalists and workers used to be two distinct poles of a dialectic.
Not any more. Republicans, the primary but not exclusive representatives of the owners of the means of production, are winning hearts, minds and elections. Politically, Republicans now also represent the worker. Republicans own the W-word. Take this defense of Bill Dean’s opposition to the now defunct metro phase II PLA. Please note that “[Y]your opinion” in the quote was my assertion that contractors object to the PLA because it reduces their ability to exploit the workforce.
As a merit shop subcontractor who has about 50 full-time skilled workers (it used to be more before the recession) that I consider my friends, family and valuable employees that I have invested millions of dollars in training in the latest safety and construction skills, I strongly disagree with your opinion.
…This project is already subjected to Davis-Bacon wage rates determined by the federal government with or without a PLA, so pay and benefits are a non-issue…
The buffoons are holding this project up over a non-issue because they need to pay their union masters back through the corrupt political system that appointed them to the MWAA board.
The writer must think we’re stupid to believe she spent millions to train 50 workers. Really? If she spent $2M, she spent an unbelievable $40,000 to train each worker who earnins from $15 to $23 per hour per the Davis-Bacon Act. Would any company spend that much to train low wage earners? Does anybody believe that “pay and benefits are a non-issue“? If so, see capitalism.
Meanwhile, Congressman Wolf has been working with Virginia Republicans to “screw labor and strip local control” of the MWAA for the past year, or longer. His recent comment that the PLA is “a festering sore” indicates that he has nothing to fear from the Democrats or labor. He can exhibit outright hostility with impunity.
Where do the Democrats stand? The LCDC web site reports that unions addressed the next to last LCDC meeting, including; teachers and school employees, service employees, flight attendants, AFLCIO, food and commercial workers, communication workers, air traffic controllers, and construction laborers. LUNA, the construction union that represents “5,000 construction workers in Loudoun” lobbied for union protections in the Metro Silver Line Phase II project. Too bad for them. The LCDC just threw them under the Metro train right onto the hot third rail.
After the MWAA killed the Project Labor Agreement (PLA), the message from LCDC leadership was capitulation. We fought hard for our “friends in Labor“, but we lost, and mass transit is more important, and by the way, it was only a 10% PLA bidding bonus for Phase II. Voluntary PLAs will be there, so suck it up, knock on doors, phone bank and get Democrats elected. Go Dems! Democrats may court the unions on the surface but they are not leading anything and are actually preventing inter-union organization efforts from gaining traction. Democrats do not represent workers and they have no choice but to capitulate.
Labor relations are subject to the fragile economics of the industries and broader economic fears. The teaching profession is being de-professionalized by a Democratic administration. The airline industry suffered bankruptcies and political assaults since Ronald Reagan busted the air-traffic controllers. Their union, PATCO was really “an organization of conservative, skilled white men; men with their eyes on corner lots in the suburbs where they could raise their young families.” PATCO endorsed Reagan and Reagan had cause to fire them because their generous contract barred them from striking. Reagan really stuck it to them by refusing to hire them back after the strike. When highly skilled white-collar workers became expendable, the game changed.
The conservative white-collar PATCO is a model for LCDC’s worker friends. The concept that the worker will own the means of production, that the people will be responsible for planning what society produces and how products are developed and manufactured doesn’t exist in the local body politic. There are land-use questions – walkable transit-oriented versus sprawling auto-centric – but Loudoun’s abominable “design” is so auto-centric that the idea that Metro will affect those critical done decisions is ridiculous. The development chaos that built Loudoun was outsourced to the real “corrupt political system”; the system that sells automobiles using images of Craftsman-style bungalows, but no longer manufactures those small well-built American-made homes. It now sells us plastic wrapped colonials with three car garages to house automobiles owned by workers who, while stopped in traffic, dream of returning home to the mythical bungalow that sealed the deal on the car.
We live in an endless cycle of dream and myth that never connects the harsh reality that the middle class is shrinking and most production takes place in developing countries where workers and natural resources are exploited. There are workers out there, but we dare not speak of them.
Meanwhile, the Republican black and white thinking unburdens voters from these complicated geopolitical issues. A fertilized egg is a citizen, marriage is between one man and one women (at one time), workers are bad – unless my company employs them, business is good and there is no such thing as pollution. Democrats want the same thing for the workers that the Republicans purportedly deliver, jobs, and nobody seems to want the real change that is required to build a stable, self-sustaining economy.
If “worker” wasn’t the W-word, maybe we could make some progress. For now, Scott Walker won, the PLA is dead, the people voted, and workers had better tighten their belts.
Links from Twitter, Facebook, and my blogroll.
- Shakesville‘s “Primarily Endless” is HILARIOUS. I love this series of posts, I love the artwork Liss does.
- Three from Think Progress: 1) Bradlee Dean, Rachel Maddow and Conservative Entitlement 2)Cantor ‘Puzzled’ That Obama Would Threaten To Veto The Latest GOP Tax Cut For Millionaires. 3) Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) advocates boycott of Coca-Cola to punish company for leaving ALEC
- Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota tweets a graphic about VAWA: The Violence Against Women Act has had bipartisan support over the years. Let’s work together to reauthorize it
- From HuffPo: Planned Parenthood Worried It’s The Target Of New Undercover Sting
- Another from HuffPo: Facing the facts of high premarital sex and abortion rates, Evangelicals decide to really talk about sex
- From AlterNet: How Darrell Issa and the Right Are Planning to Kill the U.S. Post Office
- From Truth Wins Out: Pro-equality Catholics urged to stand with American nuns, oppose Vatican bullying
“The Vatican also reprimanded Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying group founded by sisters. Both Network and the LCWR were cited for spending too much time caring for the poor and fighting economic injustice (topics that Jesus had quite a lot to say about, if my memory serves me) and not nearly enough time opposing — in fact, being “silent” on — women’s reproductive rights and LGBT equality (which, to my knowledge, Jesus never discussed at all).”
- From Mother Jones (warning, link is ad-heavy): Loudoun’s own Dominionist anti-LGBT Prison Fellowship Ministries (bleah) in the news!
- From the NY Times: Lawyers Find Obstacles to the Disabled, Then Find Plaintiffs – whether or not you agree with the tactics, the truth is that enforcing the ADA is making NY City more accessible. As the population ages, the importance of this will come home to a lot more people.
- Why does this matter? Landlords in Sarasota County Discriminating Against Disabled and Minorities. It’s hard to live your life if you can’t find a place to live. Sarasota’s powers-that-be are very clear that they don’t have enough staff to enforce the fair housing laws.
- It’s even harder to live your life if you can’t make a living: Rising Unemployment Rate for People With Disabilities.
- Access, housing, jobs: it all comes down to perception. From This Ain’t Living: Making Lives Valueless: People With Disabilities and Popular Perceptions
- While we’re talking about accessibility, this comes from the University of Buffalo: Could Universal Design Be the Next Mainstream Movement in Architecture, Planning?
- From the Girl With the Cane: Attn: Editor of the New York Post, re: Americans with Disabilities Act editoral.
- From the Seattle Times: Designers add more personality to cutting-edge prosthetic limbs. Making prosthetics something to envy rather than pity.
- And from Dave Hingsburger: The Benefits of Inclusion #116 (discussing his attendance at a performance of a mixed-mobility dance troupe)
- From the National Partnership for Women and Families: Latest state to require cruel & medically unnecessary measures before an abortion: Louisiana.
- From Blue Virginia: Loudoun Republicans Revealed Themselves in the 2012 General Assembly Session. Despite all their big talk about how they were going to focus on jobs and traffic, the Loudoun Republican Caucus focused mainly on guns and limiting women’s rights, and failed to bring home the transportation bacon.
- From Same Facts: The Romneys “struggled” in college, living off the sale of stock! (via @dailykos). Having a reliable source of funds is not struggling.
- From the Washington Post: McDonnell tries to Etch-a-Sketch his stance on abortion.
- Also from the Washington Post: Loudoun is on the fringe of making a historic error. Please, BOS, vote Yes on Metro. We need it.
- The Principal at PS 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn writes a letter to NY State Education Commissioner. (via @danielradosh)
- From Dances With Fat: For Fat Patients and Their Doctors.
- From Ms. Magazine: The UN has estimated that women do $11 trillion a year of unpaid work.
- From Jezebel: For the Millionth Time: The Morning After Pill Is Not the Abortion Pill.
- George Takei has a question for the Straight Folks.
- And finally, a reminder to please just bookmark Jim Rigby’s blog.
The media, and indeed many Democrats were quick to commend the Republican Party of Virginia yesterday for quickly and thoroughly denouncing the Loudoun Republicans’ zombie-Obama-headshot comic recruiting email. Indeed, many seem to think this is a sign of more civility in Virginia politics.
It’s not. It’s a whitewash. Plain and simple.
Because at the same time the Virginia Republican Party was issuing its very public apology and repudiation, it was dropping a last-minute $25,000 contribution in the coffers of the most odious Loudoun Republican, Dick “there’s no such thing as spousal rape” Black.
If the Republican Party truly believes these tactics are unacceptable, it will tell Dick Black to refund the amount of that contribution.