Monday Open Thread| Labor Day


Read about the history of Labor Day in the link below

Black History Where Labor Day Originated From Ohio Writes Robert Saffold, Stepfather Of U.S. Rep. Fudge Whose Parade Is Sept 5

[President Obama to speak in Detroit GM plant 1:15 pm EDT/12:12 pm CT

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30 Responses to Monday Open Thread| Labor Day

  1. Ametia says:

    By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, September 5, 4:42 PM
    CINCINNATI — Vice President Joe Biden, saying organized labor is under the most direct assault in generations, urged a major Ohio union gathering Monday to lead the way in fighting back.

    “It’s time to turn the tide in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida … and it seems to me that’s exactly what you’re doing here in Ohio,” Biden said, referring to a campaign led by Ohio unions that will try to overturn in a November statewide vote a Republican-pushed new law restricting collective bargaining for public employees.

    Biden said similar measures in other states are part of a “fight for the heart and soul of the labor movement.”

    “This is the fight of your life,” Biden told the annual AFL-CIO picnic at the Coney Island park along the Ohio River. He said organized labor helped build the middle class, and is under attack because it stands as a counterweight to those “with a different value set” who want to concentrate power.

    “It’s time that we stand up!” said Biden, in a loud voice. “This is about respect. This is about being treated as equals … It’s about the dignity of average, hardworking Americans … above all, it’s about basic fairness.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    September 05, 2011 10:42 AM What we used to know

    By Steve Benen

    Paul Krugman had an item this morning noting too many in economics have turned their backs on what they “used to know,” while too many policymakers have abandoned “macroeconomics 101.”

    Between Friday’s US job report and today’s economic news from the rest of the world, it’s hard to avoid the sense that things are going bust all over. Austerity is really biting, and the global economy is sputtering.

    Plus, Europe! Spreads are widening out drastically, again — and where is the [European Central Bank]? Still unwilling to concede that its move toward monetary tightening was exactly the wrong thing. And Munchau is right: if all of Europe is going to be engaged in fiscal austerity, with the ECB adding to the downdraft instead of fighting it, there’s no way the peripheral countries can make it.

    What gets me, always, is that there is nothing mysterious about this crisis; nothing is happening that someone who read Paul Samuelson’s original, 1948 edition of his textbook would find puzzling. And old-fashioned textbook analysis tells us quite clearly what we should be doing about it. Hint: not austerity.

    That last point is of particular interest, because it often seems overlooked. We’re not dealing with a mysterious economic challenge for which there is no clear answer; we’re dealing with a straightforward challenge in which the answer is obvious.

    In math and science, it’s a little easier draw hard, direct conclusions. If I said 5(a) + 2 = 22, and asked you to solve for a, the answer is obviously 4. It’s 4 regardless of party or ideology. Even if congressional Republicans don’t want it to be 4, we know it’s 4. There’s no room for argument.

    When considering how best to deal with this struggling economy — I say “this” because different economic downturns have different causes, and the details help drive the solution — it’s not quite as straightforward as solving for a, but it’s not too far off, either. In our case, we see an economy that lacks demand. We can then have a debate as to whether to increase demand (stimulus) or decrease demand further (austerity). “Old-fashioned textbook analysis” tells us which approach makes more sense.

    David Leonhardt recently touched on this general approach to policymaking.

    One of the tricky things about the subject is that almost nothing is certain in the way that, say, two plus two equals four. Economics — which is at root a study of human behavior — tends to be messier. Because it’s messier, it can be tempting to think that all uncertainty is equal and that we don’t really know anything.

    But we do. It’s just that the knowledge tends to come with caveats and nuances. Economic truths may not rise to the level of two plus two equals four, but they are not so different from the knowledge that the earth is round or that smoking causes cancer.

    The earth is not perfectly round, of course. Some smokers will never get cancer, while most cancer is not caused by smoking. Yet in the ways that matter most, the earth is still round, and smoking does cause cancer.

    Right, and austerity in the midst of high unemployment and weak growth makes economies worse. To use Krugman’s phrase, it’s something we “used to know.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Monday, September 5, 2011
    GOP Plan: Sabotage Good Government

    For a while now I’ve been writing about the idea that the best way to promote the liberal agenda is to demonstrate what good government looks like. So it came as no surprise when I read the article by Mike Lofgren (which has gone absolutely viral) that the core GOP agenda is to sabotage good government.

    A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

    A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.” This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).

    The media are also complicit in this phenomenon. Ever since the bifurcation of electronic media into a more or less respectable “hard news” segment and a rabidly ideological talk radio and cable TV political propaganda arm, the “respectable” media have been terrified of any criticism for perceived bias. Hence, they hew to the practice of false evenhandedness…

    This constant drizzle of “there the two parties go again!” stories out of the news bureaus, combined with the hazy confusion of low-information voters, means that the long-term Republican strategy of undermining confidence in our democratic institutions has reaped electoral dividends.

    He laid out the two-pronged process very well. First of all, Republicans make legislating impossible. And secondly, when they do so, the media creates a narrative of false equivalency about who is to blame. Of course, the specific poutrage contribution to all of this is their incessant screaming about President Obama being a “weak capitulator.” It rounds out the narrative quite nicely in crafting the idea that both sides are to blame.

    But given this GOP strategy, the question becomes, “What should President Obama do to promote the idea of good government?” The reality is that if he took the poutragers “advice,” he would draw lines in the sand and promote policies that have no way of getting the support of even a majority of Democrats (ie, single payer health care). That would not only ensure that nothing would get done, it would cement inertia and feed the idea that both parties do it.

    When you can get the poutragers to admit that this would certainly not sway Republican votes our way, they usually fall back on the idea that it would clarify the policy options. But as Lofgren points out, Republicans know the electorate better than that or they wouldn’t have employed this strategy in the first place. What they know that the poutragers don’t is that it would simply “undermine confidence in our democratic institutions” and therefore reap political gains for the Republicans.

    Anyone who reads here regularly is probably tired of hearing me use this 2005 quote from Obama. But it makes this point so clearly and shows that, rather than being naive about Republican obstruction, he came into office fully aware of the phenomena and determined to do something about it.

    I firmly believe that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, or oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. A polarized electorate that is turned off of politics, and easily dismisses both parties because of the nasty, dishonest tone of the debate, works perfectly well for those who seek to chip away at the very idea of government because, in the end, a cynical electorate is a selfish electorate…

    Our goal should be to stick to our guns on those core values that make this country great, show a spirit of flexibility and sustained attention that can achieve those goals, and try to create the sort of serious, adult, consensus around our problems that can admit Democrats, Republicans and Independents of good will. This is more than just a matter of “framing,” although clarity of language, thought, and heart are required. It’s a matter of actually having faith in the American people’s ability to hear a real and authentic debate about the issues that matter.

    As has been the case from day one of his Presidency, Obama is offering the people an alternative. It’s up to us as voters to decide if we deserve it.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Fox guest: For economy to recover, get rid of minimum wage

    Posted on 09.4.11
    By Andrew Jones
    Categories: Featured, Nation

    In the mind of business analyst Gary B. Smith, the only way the American economy will recover is “to ditch the minimum wage.”

    Appearing on Fox News’ Bulls and Bears Saturday afternoon, Smith was not holding back in his disgust on a key component of employee law. “Minimum wage is nothing more than a form of price of control,” he said. “So it’s not just wrong to say minimum wage is good. It’s irresponsible, particularly in this economy.”

    WATCH: Video from Fox News, which appeared on September 3, 2011

  5. Ametia says:

    44 Senate Republicans Sign Pledge To Oppose Any Director Of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Unless It Is Weakened
    September 4, 2011
    By Stephen D. Foster Jr.

    Republicans have simply gone pledge crazy. It’s the newest fad among Republicans. Rather than keeping their oath to protect the American people, Republicans would rather sign pledges to do what their corporate masters want them to do.

    When President Obama withdrew Elizabeth Warren as his nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, most people were outraged. Republicans, of course, were overjoyed. But Warren didn’t go quietly into the night. She picked former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to direct the bureau instead. But Republicans are not happy about this choice either. Cordray has a history of standing up for consumers against Wall Street and the big banks and when he challenges them, he wins. Cordray aggressively stood up to banks engaging in deceptive practices and rampant foreclosures, and ultimately saved residents of Ohio more than $2 billion

  6. Ametia says:


  7. Ametia says:

    September 04, 2011 12:40 PM
    Teamster’s Hoffa: President Obama Should Challenge Patriotism of Corporations Sitting on the By Heather

    On this Labor Day weekend, the topic of Labor Day was hardly mentioned on the Sunday shows, which were of course dominated by Republicans – as is par for the course week after week as to who the networks decide to bring on the air to frame the political debates for the upcoming week. One exception was CNN’s State of the Union where Candy Crowley talked to the Teamsters President Jim Hoffa about his take on what we need to do to solve the unemployment problem in America.

    Hoffa would like to see something akin to a WPA program, and for President Obama to call out these so-called American companies for their patriotism for hiring cheap labor overseas rather than putting Americans to work and for sitting on hordes of cash instead of putting that money back into the economy.

    Transcript via CNN:

    CROWLEY: Here to talk about what unions want for the economy and from President Obama, Jim Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union with 1.4 million members, I think I have that right.

    So you have met with the president recently. You’re going to see him again tomorrow on the sort of traditional Labor Day Detroit event. What you have told him that you want to see in a jobs bill?

    HOFFA: We want a bold plan. Labor wants a bold program that’s going to rebuild America.

    CROWLEY: Does that mean something expensive? Usually when people say, oh, I want a bold plan, it means something that pours a lot of money.

    HOFFA: The answer is, it’s going to challenge America. I mean, so far what we’ve done hasn’t worked. We’re still at 9 percent. So it’s not working. We need a bold plan. We have to look what happened with Irene. Look, we have to rebuild our roads, you know, basically our dams, our highways, everything has got to be redone.

    You know, our schools, we have got to start that. We need a WPA- type program. But most of all, what I think he has got to do is to challenge business. You know, this is not something that — you know, labor needs everybody to be in the game.

    And what is happening is everybody is saying, what is Obama going to do? And what obligation does American business have? They are sitting on trillions of dollars right now. They’re not spending money. We have lost 8 million jobs since ’08, and we have got to start challenging them to get into the game.

    So another faction of what he should be doing is putting in some type of a tax incentive to get them to spend money to get off the sidelines, get into the game and start spending some of that money here in America and put America back to work.

    It can’t be done just by the federal government. It has got to be done by all of us. And they have got to put aside labels to say Republican, Democrat. This is an American problem. And all of us can get together to solve this problem.

    So we have got to start spending money here and instead of building that next factory in Mexico, build it here.

    CROWLEY: Well, I want to talk about trade deals, because the president also wants a couple of free trade deals that I know you are opposed to. But so what you are talking about is perhaps a tax credit for businesses for every person they hire.

    HOFFA: Absolutely.

    CROWLEY: I don’t know if just heard, but Senator Jim DeMint said, you know, if they are going to hire someone anyway, sure, they will take the 5,000, but it’s not going to induce businesses to hire, because what they really see and what they really fear is the uncertainty of what health care is going to cost them, what they really fear is regulation that they don’t understand, how much bureaucracy they’re going to have to build in to their business and how much that will cost.

    Would you — do you accept that as a premise? Or do you think businesses are sitting simply on money, waiting for what?

    HOFFA: I think businesses are sitting on money. Look at Apple. They have $76 billion in their checking account. And they’re spending it.

    CROWLEY: Which they are allowed to have.

    HOFFA: But they are not doing anything with it. And instead of investing here, everything they do is in China or is in Asia somewhere. And the answer, look at Honda. Honda is building $1 billion plant, and they want to build it in Mexico. This is on the drawing board right now.

    CROWLEY: It’s cheaper there.

    HOFFA: Why isn’t it — well, we know that. But don’t they have an obligation to America to build it in America, to put people to work here instead of in Mexico? That’s what I believe.

    You know, this is really — I think the president should challenge the patriotism of these American corporations that are sitting on the sidelines saying, why do we have high unemployment but I am not going to hire anybody? You know, they have an obligation just like the federal government, just like Obama. We have all got to get into the game. And I don’t see that happening. So the trillions and billions of dollars that they have on the sidelines, they have money, Pfizer and General Electric, they have trillions of dollars overseas, let’s start repatriating that money. Let’s start a program to get America going again.

    The problem in America is not that we don’t have enough money. We have got more money than any other country in the world. The problem is American businesses are not spending it and not getting it in the game. That’s how we are going to get America going again.

    CROWLEY: I’m hearing tweets across the universe here because — I want to go back. Are you questioning the patriotism of Apple for sitting on money rather than hiring?

    HOFFA: Yes, I am.

    CROWLEY: Are you?

    HOFFA: Yes, I am. What is it with a company that makes — and they sell most of their products here in the United States. I mean, they’re the biggest — Apple, you have got Apple Stores everywhere else.

    They have been sitting on that kind of money and every time they do something, they do it in China, they do it somewhere else. There’s something wrong with that. Don’t they have an obligation?

    CROWLEY: They would tell you that the high price of labor and the high cost of health care and the high cost of environmental — you know, drove them out of the country.

    HOFFA: I don’t believe that at all. You know, we have companies here that make a lot of money like UPS. We have a number of great companies here that are functioning here that are union, Sikorsky, and they are doing very, very well.

    You can do it here. But the answer is, you have to have the incentive. And so many companies like Mr. Coffee and all of these other companies that have closed and moved to Mexico, they are wrong. They are unpatriotic.

    We have got to turn this around and say, hey, we are an American company, we owe an obligation to America, let’s put America back to work.

    CROWLEY: As you know, your counterpart at the AFL-CIO has suggested that perhaps the AFL-CIO would not be quite so focused on the re-election of the president but instead start sort of a 24/7 help for its members and getting them politicized, and perhaps local leaders.

    Are you happy enough with President Obama, who has done a lot of things, including allowing Mexican trucks in what appears to be a pilot program across the border, which you oppose, he is pushing for at least three free trade agreements, which you oppose, are you happy enough with him to fully invest in his re-election?

    HOFFA: We are going to have to. President Obama, we don’t agree with all of his policies. There are a number of things that we don’t agree with. But overall he has done a good job.

    Don’t forget, he took over the worst economy in 80 years when he took over in ’09. We had the crash of ’08. We lost 8 million jobs since then. It’s — you know, he’s going to have a very difficult time turning this around.

    When the alternatives are Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, it makes it real easy to make this decision.

    CROWLEY: So you — basically it’s better than what you see coming down the pike or…

    HOFFA: Those people are anti-union, anti-worker. They don’t believe in what I believe in. And I don’t think that we have a choice here. Because if you hear what they talk about, they talk about basically, you know, no taxes on business, cutting unemployment, getting rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

    When you cut through all of the rhetoric, that’s where you end up. And that’s not the American — what America wants and that’s not what the Teamsters want. CROWLEY: Essentially if you ask a tea party member, most of them, what they stand for, they would say smaller government, lower taxes, less federal spending, less regulation. Do you think that there are no members of the Teamsters or of unions in general that believe in that?

    CROWLEY: Is that such a horrid…


    HOFFA: I think when you explain it to them — I’m going to say there aren’t some Republicans in the Teamsters, I mean obviously there are, it’s a big union, there a lot of people, a lot ideas in the Teamsters union, but when you cut through it all and you start telling them, you know do you want somebody that will cut Social Security — do you want your Social Security?

    If you put it on that basis, they understand I want those things, those are the things I’ve worked for, those are the things I need and that’s what I expect of America. When you do it that way, and cut through this idea, the rhetoric that they have, the Tea Party does, then people realize what is at stake here.

    And we see what they have done in Wisconsin and Ohio. Once they get in, what’s the first thing they do? They go after collective bargaining for workers. That’s the first thing they do. They have tax cuts for the corporations, both in Wisconsin and in Ohio, that’s the first thing they do.

    So you kind of see where they are going. And when you explain that to people to say that’s where they are at and that’s where we’re at, I think most people will go with Obama.

    CROWLEY: Teamsters president Jim Hoffa, thank you so much for coming by.

    HOFFA: Great to be here.

  8. Ametia says:

    The White House Blog
    President Obama to Hurricane Irene Victims: The Entire Country is Behind You
    by Katelyn Sabochik on September 04, 2011 at 05:11 PM EDT

    Today President Obama travelled to Wayne and Paterson, New Jersey to tour areas damaged by Hurricane Irene. While visiting the Temple Street Bridge in Paterson, the President gave brief remarks reassuring the people of New Jersey and all those affected by Hurricane Irene that the federal, state and local governments would be there to help them rebuild after the devastating storm.

    The main message that I have for all the residents not only of New Jersey but all those communities that have been affected by flooding, by the destruction that occurred as a consequence of Hurricane Irene is that the entire country is behind you and we are going to make sure that we provide all the resources that are necessary in order to help these communities rebuild.

    And I know that there’s been some talk about whether there’s going to be a slowdown in getting funding out here, emergency relief. As President of the United States, I want to make it very clear that we are going to meet our federal obligations — because we’re one country, and when one part of the country gets affected, whether it’s a tornado in Joplin, Missouri, or a hurricane that affects the Eastern Seaboard, then we come together as one country and we make sure that everybody gets the help that they need. And the last thing that the residents here of Paterson or the residents of Vermont or the residents of upstate New York need is Washington politics getting in the way of us making sure that we are doing what we can to help communities that have been badly affected.

  9. Ametia says:

    Tony Blair is godfather to Rupert Murdoch’s daughter
    By Anita Singh
    9:59PM BST 04 Sep 2011
    The former prime minister was reportedly present in March last year when Murdoch’s two daughters by his third wife were baptised on the banks of the Jordan.

    The information was not made public and its disclosure in an interview with Mrs Murdoch in Vogue will prove highly embarrassing for Mr Blair.

    His close ties to the Murdochs could explain his reluctance to condemn the News International phone hacking scandal.

    In July, it was reported that he asked Gordon Brown to put pressure on Tom Watson, the Labour MP who helped expose the scandal, to drop his investigation.

    Mr Blair’s spokesman categorically denied the allegation.

  10. Ametia says:

    Ryan open to running for vice president
    By Tom Kertscher of the Journal Sentinel
    Sept. 4, 2011

    U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, who two weeks ago ruled out running for president in 2012, says he would consider running for vice president if asked, according to a Milwaukee TV news report that aired Sunday.

    WITI-TV (Channel 6) reported that Ryan said he would consider running as the vice presidential candidate if asked by the Republican presidential nominee.

    “I’m not going to focus on that only because it’s someone else’s decision, so what’s the point of answering that question?” the Janesville Republican said. “I’m focused on doing my job right and that’s so far away and it’s out of my control, so I just don’t spend my time worrying about it. I spend my time worrying about my job, which is balancing the budget, getting this debt under control and creating the conditions that will get jobs created in this country.”

  11. Ametia says:

    Raise a Toast to Labor and Piss on the Tea Party’s Grave

    As Labor Day rolls around again, I wonder how many more of these we’ll have. Once upon a time, labor and those who did the labor were something to be celebrated, not despised, disdained, and reduced to servitude. But that’s where we’ve come to: laborers are disdained, the unions that protect them objectified as the enemy, while the corporations unions protect them from are held up as champions – and not only that, but, obscenely, as people. If the Republicans win in 2012, will we still have a Labor Day, or will it become nothing more than a totalitarian mockery, akin to National Socialism’s celebration of motherhood and women?

    Serfdom and slavery do not seem to me things to be celebrated.

    It’s a sad state of affairs to contemplate as the wheel of the year winds down, as summer gives way to autumn. Labor Day is, for Americans, the symbolic end of summer, the start of the football
    football season. Endings are sad, and we seem to be facing so many endings. Not simply the end of laborers as folks to be celebrated and protected, but the end of our basic social compact and all sorts of protections – of the elderly, the sick, the poverty-stricken, children, women, veterans, the environment, our air, our water – the planet itself. And of the Constitution which guarantees us our “life” our “liberty” and “pursuit of happiness.”

    In many ways it seems like an end of order, and that is, after all, the goal of nihilism, to serve chaos at the expense of order. Chaos is the ancient enemy of the Heathens. It has special meaning to a surly old son of Odin like me. It’s almost as though there were some form of political Ragnarök in the offing, with the Tea Party as the forces of chaos unleashed, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann playing at the Midgard serpent Jörmungandr and the Fenris wolf. And the god of these chaos children is being invoked not as a healer but as a vengeful destroyer. We will be neither liberated nor saved, but consumed

  12. Ametia says:

    Postal Service Is Nearing Default as Losses MountBy STEVEN GREENHOUSE
    Published: September 4, 2011

    The United States Postal Service has long lived on the financial edge, but it has never been as close to the precipice as it is today: the agency is so low on cash that it will not be able to make a $5.5 billion payment due this month and may have to shut down entirely this winter unless Congress takes emergency action to stabilize its finances.

    Our situation is extremely serious,” the postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahoe, said in an interview. “If Congress doesn’t act, we will default.”

    In recent weeks, Mr. Donahoe has been pushing a series of painful cost-cutting measures to erase the agency’s deficit, which will reach $9.2 billion this fiscal year. They include eliminating Saturday mail delivery, closing up to 3,700 postal locations and laying off 120,000 workers — nearly one-fifth of the agency’s work force — despite a no-layoffs clause in the unions’ contracts.

    The post office’s problems stem from one hard reality: it is being squeezed on both revenue and costs.

    As any computer user knows, the Internet revolution has led to people and businesses sending far less conventional mail.

    At the same time, decades of contractual promises made to unionized workers, including no-layoff clauses, are increasing the post office’s costs. Labor represents 80 percent of the agency’s expenses, compared with 53 percent at United Parcel Service and 32 percent at FedEx, its two biggest private competitors. Postal workers also receive more generous health benefits than most other federal employees.

  13. Ametia says:

    The last Labor Day?
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: September 4
    Let’s get it over with and rename the holiday “Capital Day.” We may still celebrate Labor Day, but our culture has given up on honoring workers as the real creators of wealth and their honest toil — the phrase itself seems antique — as worthy of genuine respect.

    Imagine a Republican saying this: “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

    These heretical thoughts would inspire horror among our friends at Fox News or in the Tea Party. They’d likely label them as Marxist, socialist or Big Labor propaganda. Too bad for Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president, who offered those words in his annual message to Congress in 1861. Will President Obama dare say anything like this in his jobs speech this week?

    As for the unions, they are often treated in the media as advocates of arcane work rules, protectors of inefficient public employees and obstacles to the economic growth our bold entrepreneurs would let loose if only they were free from labor regulations.

  14. rikyrah says:

    So, where are the Latinos talking about how Perry is such a ‘REASONABLE’ Republica?


    Perry Courts Radical Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Continues Rightward Move On Immigration

    By Travis Waldron on Sep 5, 2011 at 9:00 am

    During his time as the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry has staked out one of the most reasonable and moderate positions on immigration reform in the entire Republican Party. He signed the Texas version of the DREAM Act, guaranteeing graduates of Texas high schools in-state tuition at Texas universities regardless of their immigration status. He has indicated support for a path to citizenship and criticized the idea of building a border fence.

    Perry even criticized Senate Bill 1070, the radical Arizona immigration bill that incensed immigration advocates and is currently facing legal challenges from the Justice Dept. “That’s not the right direction for Texas,” Perry said at the time. But yesterday, the bill’s biggest proponent, Maricopa Co. (AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, tweeted that Perry had personally called him to talk immigration, a move that highlights Perry’s slow and steady lurch right on immigration issues since he launched his presidential campaign:

    Since joining the race, Perry has walked back the elements of his immigration platform that are most controversial on the right in an apparent effort to dampen or avoid criticism from right-wing anti-immigration hawks like Arpaio.

    Perry has long stood by his support for the Texas DREAM Act and continued to do so early in his presidential campaign, making arguments that sounded similar to President Obama’s. But on The Mark Levin Show last week, Perry said he thought the federal DREAM Act was “nothing more than amnesty,” saying he was “absolutely against” the federal version, couching his support for the Texas bill by saying, as is his wont on controversial topics, “It ought to be a state by state issue.”

    Earlier this year, Perry indicated that if the U.S. achieved border security, he could envision a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are already here. But at an August event in New Hampshire, Perry changed his mind, saying, “You gotta come up with a way that clearly stays away from this issue of making individuals legal citizens of the United States if they haven’t gone through the proper process.”

    Perry isn’t the first Republican to move right on immigration in an effort to appeal to anti-immigration conservatives. In 2010, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who had been the party’s foremost supporter of immigration reform during the Bush administration, ran to the right to support completing the “danged fence” in order to appeal to conservative primary voters. Perry’s stance on immigration was perhaps the only moderate stance he holds, and it appears to be fading fast.

    • Anyone who “courts” that evil Arpaio will get no Latino votes here in AZ.

      • Why isn’t that scumbag Arpaino in jail? May he burn in the hottest hell!

      • I don’t know SG2. It’s not for lack of all us trying. He has clout and I think he has most GOP politicians in his pocket. The only ones who fight against him are Dems. The man is almost 80 and I keep hoping he didn’t inherit any longevity gene.

        I would never second guess the ultimate destination of anyone after death but for some like him I can hope….

  15. rikyrah says:

    Real History

    by BooMan
    Mon Sep 5th, 2011 at 01:16:55 AM EST

    One of the more pernicious myths current in our contemporary political discourse is the idea that George W. Bush was a strong leader who got whatever he wanted through Congress. The way this argument is usually made is highly misleading. First, we need to make a distinction between the times when Bush and the Republicans had control of Congress and when they did not. When Bush came into office, the GOP controlled the House and the Senate was split 50-50, with Dick Cheney breaking the tie. Ordinarily, new presidents come in with a lot of momentum and pass a lot of bills early on. Bush did not. His sole focus was on passing a tax-cut for the rich. He couldn’t pass it under normal rules because the Democrats had the filibuster. So he did the same thing that Obama did to pass the Affordable Care Act. He used the budget reconciliation process. The Senate deadlocked 50-50 and Cheney broke the tie.

    The President did not sign one other significant piece of legislation between his inauguration and the attacks of September 11. He did lose control of the Senate though. Sen. Jim Jeffords (R-VT) switched his allegiance to the Democrats and control of all the Senate committees flipped to their side.

    In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks the president was able to ram home the PATRIOT Act, a free trade agreement with Jordan, and win authorization to wage an endless War on Terror. Of course, the 9/11 attacks were a singular event and cannot be compared to anything President Obama has faced.

    In 2002, the president was mostly consumed with concocting a false pretense for invading Iraq, but he did manage to pass the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education bill, the Sarbanes-Oxley bill, and reluctantly create the Department of Homeland Security.

    It should be remembered that Teddy Kennedy helped pass NCLB and that Paul Sarbanes was a Democrat. It is significantly easier for a Republican president to increase the federal role in education than to reduce it, and the Sarbanes-Oxley bill was a reaction to the Enron/WorldCom scandal that passed 99-1 in the Senate and 423-3 in the House. It was hardly heavy-lifting, and it was instantly reviled on all the cable business channels.

    In 2002, the Republicans retook control of the Senate and from 2003-2006 had complete control of the legislative process. They again used the budget reconciliation process to cut taxes for the rich. They again wound up with a 50-50 tie. And Dick Cheney cast the deciding vote for a second time.

    The other major bill of 2003 created the Medicare Part D program, which was so unpopular on the right that Tom DeLay had to keep the vote open for hours while he threatened and bribed just enough of his members to assure its passage. While the bill was an obscene boon to the pharmaceutical industry, expanding Medicare is hardly a priority to the right.

    In 2004, the president, despite controlling Congress, did almost nothing. He signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and signed free trade agreements with Australia and Morocco.

    In 2005, his effort to privatize Social Security fell before the filibuster. Other than that, his big accomplishment was the loathsome Bankruptcy Bill, which was aided and abetted by Democrats like Joe Biden.

    In 2006, he accomplished almost nothing. His main accomplishment was covering his tracks and making it hard to try him as a war criminal by signing the Military Commissions Act.

    After the 2006 midterms threw control of both houses of Congress to the Democrats, Bush’s legislative record improves, but he was signing Democratic bills.

    The truth is that Bush was only able to pass his tax cuts with the absolute minimum number of votes and only by bypassing the filibuster. He expanded the Department of Education and Medicare (admittedly, in shitty ways) which is not a conservative priority. He utilized the fear from 9/11 to give himself an obscene amount of power, which he then abused. But he did not do a whole lot else legislatively to ram home a conservative agenda. Most of the damage he did was through how he ran the Executive Branch and how he acted as commander-in-chief. He was constrained legislatively by the filibuster. The only difference between Bush’s experience with Congress and Obama’s is that when Obama actually controlled Congress, he produced an avalanche of liberal legislation. Bush wasted his time on Terri Schiavo.

  16. Good Morning, 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors!

    Happy Labor Day!

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