Friday, November 26, 2010

Tea Party Begins to Flex Political Muscle in Lobbying Arena – Boycotts of Firms Seeking Public Funds By Supporting Obama Planned – Impact Analysis

Tea Party Activist - Don't Tread on Me - Taking the Message to GE, image snowflakesinhell blog

US Newsreleased an article on November 22, entitled “Next Tea Party Target: Corporate America” noting that certain organizations within the Tea Party, notably Freedom Works and the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project, are planning to use their clout to push for boycotts of firms that actively supported and sought benefit from the Presidents Stimulus and other government projects. In the article, by Paul Bedard, the Tea Party members are now being tagged as “activist” and he is comparing their efforts of a boycott to push policy change from corporations similar to those of Jesse Jackson, with one difference – he feels that the Tea Party would have a greater impact.

Noting that, in general, Republican’s are viewed by some as being “in bed with” big business, however, when one views data from Open, General Electric is considered one of the “Heavy Hitters” in Political Contributions, with an obvious disparity favoring Democrats over the Republicans, which is not as disturbing as what money was spent lobbying for those same bills opposed by not only Tea Party members, but a large percentage of American’s.

A boycott by Tea Party Members, whom a Gallop poll recently exposed were made up of growing numbers of Indpenednets, who’s Congressional Candidates are viewed more favorably than Obama by a majority of Americans (Gallop Poll November 24th):

“Americans are as likely to want Tea Party-backed Republican members of Congress to have the most influence over federal policies in the coming year as they are to prefer President Barack Obama. The Democratic leaders in Congress rank last in this regard, behind the Republican leaders.”)

Therefore, as the Tea Party movement begins to become more cohesive as a political party or political force, one can understand what the implications are for the continued shenanigans of business as usual in the Beltway. The Tea Party continues to put all politicians’ “on notice” regardless of Party, based on concerns primarily driven by strict interpretation of the Constitution, and economics.

How pervasive is the Tea Party in the United States? Although one may look at both Massachusetts and California as hopelessly tied to one political party, the Tea Party’s can be found growing in both states. In the case of the 2010 mid-terms, for example, Massachusetts Democrat Legislators, who generally ran unopposed for decades, had to fight tooth and nail, raise the dead, and rely on last minute “get out the vote” initiatives by Community Organizations, in order to garner enough votes to maintain the status quo, for now. Politicians such as Richard Neal (MA2) were considered vulnerable for the first time in their Congressional History, and although beltway polling predicted a 74 point advantage for Neal, the reality was quite different. Although Neal did maintain his seat in Congress, it was by a 20 point, not 60 point advantage in a run against a political newcomer, Tom Wesley, running on grassroots activism with no financial support. Barney Frank over in the 4th District, was furious even upon winning the election as Democrat turned Republican, Sean Beilat, came within 10 points of besting Frank, who again, was used to huge 60% margins.

The Boston Globe’s, somewhat condescending article on the Tea Party notes that, although many candidates were defeated (they do not mention those candidates who were elected to the State Legislature, double the number previously held by Republicans), the Tea Party is Massachusetts intends to get more involved, including the inclusions of “candidate schools”.

Which, with growing influence and members made up of a variety of political backgrounds nationwide, growing acceptance by the general public, and a clear message (one that is direct and to the point) regarding the who, what and why’s of a boycott, those who feel they are immune from conservative activities (normally, in the past, Conservative Activists, were simply not as aggressive in tactics as their Liberal counterparts), will find that a new breed of Tea Party Conservatives may just have enough clout to push GE out of Washington.

The formation of a political party is a long process, one that is not instant, rather takes years, the Tea Party has shown itself to be formidable, although, for now, indentifying with the Republican ticket, as one which most closely aligns with their economic believes, it will bode well for all politician’s, lobbyist and corporation regardless of political party to pay attention to the growing clout of the Tea Party. They mean business, and the polls appear to back up the fact that they have the numbers to affect change.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Equal Paycheck Act, S3772 – Women’s Rights to Pay Equity Continue to Lag Behind Male Counterparts Due to Legislative Incompetence As If By Design

John F Kennedy Signs Equal Pay Act, yet another instance of show over substance when it comes to actual parity

On November 17th, the Senate voted against proceeding with S3772, the Paycheck Fairness Act, along almost straight party lines. The Act would allegedly mandate equal pay for women, who still lag behind their male counterparts earning only .77 cents for every dollar. Those arguing against the passage of this particular bill, including the Boston Globe’s Editorial Board, noted the language of the Bill was flawed, even though there is a need to remedy a pay gap. The bill would encourage lawsuits against all employers, which, in this economy, was considered an undue burden and “job killer”.

It is also a perfect example of how the status quo is maintained by politico’s, both men and women, in order for equal pay for equal work to remain out of reach, while at the same time allowing these politicians to appear to support women’s rights. “Throw a Dog a Bone” is an appropriate idiom to what took place in the Senate, during the Lame Duck session; with Democrats now crying foul due to Republicans not supporting this particular act. This set's up “women’s groups” to rally for the cause along party lines, and with 2012 on the horizon, the Democrats need every trick in the book to keep up appearances – so do the Republicans.

Those voting against the bill (roll call below), included a Democrat or two, and one can bet the House (or the Senate in this case) the Act had less to do with women actually achieving pay parity, than with the growth of the Federal government and ridiculous costly programs.

The Act can be read in its entirety here in PDF format: with particularly glaring segments of the Bill, by which any individual, regardless of gender, should have taken exception.

For example the language states: “Despite the enactment of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, many women continue to earn significantly lower pay than men for equal work. These pay disparities exist in both the private and governmental sectors.” Therefore, the Legislature admits that the government itself is guilty of gender discrimination, however, the language of the Bill then sets up an exclusion from compliance for the Government under the “Enhanced Enforcement” section.

In addition, there are provisions to set up additional governmental agencies to oversee investigation of complaints and training of women. Who would be responsible for this training and what would it include. Those who would qualify for funding include government agencies and community organizations. In order for those “entities” to be eligible for funds, they must:

“Carry out an effective negotiation skills training program that empowers girls and women. The training provided through the program shall help girls and women strengthen their negotiation skills to allow the girls and women to obtain higher salaries and rates of compensation that are equal to those paid to similarly-situated male employees."

Seriously, a direct quote from the bill (see PDF), that would teach women (and girls) negotiation skills in order to receive higher wages is the basis of this Act.

Frankly, the authors of the final piece of legislation (keep in mind, a Bill takes many forms from the original version in the House, to its final form in the Senate), should be summarily chastised for doing nothing for equal pay, rather, creating a nonsensical document that was doomed from the onset for one reason only – enslavement of a voting bloc.

Strong word, but this appears appropriate as the language of the Bill’s final version may have read somewhat differently – simply:

Women shall be paid wages equal to their male counterparts for performing the exact same job descriptions, in the public and in the private sector. Those private or public organizations that do not strictly comply will be a) fined, and b) forced to compensate the aggrieved employee back wages equal to the difference in wages paid to her male counterpart, for the time period beginning when the pay disparity began. Since wages are reported, along with job functions to the Internal Revenue Service, monitoring of these wages will be simplified. As all returns are computerized, software would be able to check firms and job descriptions against gender and wages. If an employee had a suspicion that she was not earning as much as her male counterpart a simple call to the IRS would either support or dismiss a case.

No need to hire a lawyer, no need to set up investigative arms (the IRS is already in place watching over wages and running audits), no need to teach negotiating skills or to fund community organizations to do the same.

Instead, mandate that women doing the same job as a male be paid the same, use the current government agencies that have the capability to monitor salaries in place as “watchdogs”, and supply a handy toll-free number for complaints. How many employers, understanding that an Act such as the aforementioned, which would monitor taxes and payroll would take the chance of facing fines, and not pony up the .33 per hour in order to comply?

In the meantime, women must wait for equality where equality is already mandated, simply because politicians, including women, would rather play politics with their lives, while attempting to enrich, not the victim,(who will surely vote for the party that at least "tried" to aid women - i.e. enslavement) but lawyers and community organizers.

That is the question that should be asked of each and every member of the Senate who will be in the 112th Congess, some of which voted on S3772:

Roll Call:

Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---58
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs ---41
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brown (R-MA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Nelson (D-NE)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wicker (R-MS)
Not Voting - 1
Murkowski (R-AK)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Clinton Run in 2012 – Speculation Rampant Despite Clinton Nay-Saying - Odd are She will Run (Analysis)

Clinton will she run if Palin announces? image libearlloc blog

Hillary Clinton, when asked about a 2012 bid for the Presidency in 2012 in a recent Fox News appearance indicated she had no interest in pursuing the Office of the Presidency, which reasons dictates, would put to rest any thoughts of a second Clinton run. However, although Secretary of State Clinton has stated, on more than one occasion recently that she has no desire to run for the Presidency, the speculation continues to run rampant – with good reason.

One the one hand, there are the conspiracy theorists and alleged White House leaks that indicate the current President is incapable of continuing running the nation due to medication use and severe depression. (Examiner, New York) While another take along the same lines suggests that Moderate Democrats are contemplating a coup of sorts in order to remove the President. (Examiner National) In the instance of these sorts of rumors, even if they were accurate, one would hope, for the sake of the nation, the President would not be forced to resign (under Article 25), rather would be persuaded to step aside, leaving Joe Biden “in charge”. One must stop and think about the prospects of a Biden Presidency, in order to truly appreciate the gravity of the situation, and the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

In addition to denying any plans (present) for a run at the White House, Clinton has also denied, she would replace Joe Biden in an alleged 2012 Obama-Clinton ticket(CBS News). The Secretary of State who was noticeably absent during the 2010 mid-terms – was doing her job - which requires she be out of the Country. This caused further speculation that she was distancing herself from the “scene of the crime” (otherwise known as historical losses for the Democrat Party). The fact that her husband, President Bill Clinton, was said to be campaigning for those incumbents who only supported Clinton in 2008, added fuel to the fire. (Telegraph).

A very interesting take on why Clinton will run can be found on the blog
”Death by 1000 in an article entitled “Unconventional Wisdom Barack Obama Can’t Win Won’t Run in 2012”. In this piece, the author offers a scenario where Clinton will run, simply because Obama is already contemplating ending his tenure after one term. Therefore, Clinton would have no choice but to run, as there are no other Democrats who would be able to step in and appeal to the broad spectrum that is the American voting bloc, and, after the decimation of the party by “progressives”, a moderate would be needed in order to at least bring the Party back to the center. Although one would think that Clinton would not, in this wise, be running for the Party that literally stole the election form her via Super Delegates, rather she would be running to help undo damage caused by the aforementioned.

Of course, there’s talk about 2016 being the year she might run, but this assumes that Barack Obama will do the following: move to the center and play well with the Republican’s in Congress who are about to undo everything he and the Progressives have done in the past two years. If this happens, and it is, according to pundits on the right and the left, impossible for Obama to be bi-partisan due to his stringent ideology, then the President may be successful in seeking a second term. However, as the public furor over every one of the administrations boondoggles builds, regardless of what he attempts to do to push himself towards the middle, the blame is in place in the minds of many. Take the TSA disaster for example: although Janet Napolitano (a.k.a. “Big Sis”) is taking the heat, she works for and was hired by Barack Obama who is ultimately being blamed. (Huffington Post)

From the beginning of his Presidency, Barack Obama has followed the Jimmy Carter blueprint for running a government, which to those who point to a Bill Clinton second term as an option for Obama, must clearly not understand that Clinton was nowhere near as left of center as either Carter or Obama. Additionally, Clinton cared (still does) about polls.

Rush Limbaugh has a theory as well regarding a Clinton run in 2012 and , although it appears to be a bit Machiavellian, it does offer one truth that has been consistent with Presidential candidates from the history of the nation – deny, deny and then run.

From the right, the left and the center, all eyes are on Hillary Clinton, and when the time is right (and it is not time, even though political junkies have imaginary lists of Republicans who will be running – resurrecting the those who ran in 2012 as “front-runners”), which will not happen until at the least June or July of this year (give or take a month), she will announce her intentions to run for the Presidency.

A consummate poll watcher, with Sara Palin leading the Republican field in the polls, and Mike Huckabee opining that ”Palin may well run away with the GOP nomination” (Washington Post), then the pie is sweetened, so to speak. In addition certain polls show Democrats standing by Barack Obama versus Clinton at this point in time with a fair margin of 20 plus points, others (commissioned by the right, so not to be taken seriously by the left) show just the opposite - it is simply too early. However, even six months is an eternity in American politics, and should Obama not bend to the will of the people (and specifically the Republican controlled Congress), making him, for all intents and purposes, even more unelectable than he is now, and should Palin throw in her hat into the ring, Clinton would be doing a disservice to herself, the remnants of her Party and the nation if she did not announce. Odds from this perspective are that Clinton will challenge Obama in 2012.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Saturday Night Life Slams TSA in “Soft Porn Advertisement” – Head of TSA ready to “redefine” procedures after Hillary Clinton scolds.

Saturday Night Live, as well as every late night talk host, has been having a field day with the TSA’s latest attempt at securing our airports; (perhaps they should try this method at checkpoints along both borders, specifically the Arizona border.) That said, when blatant incompetence, such as it is, reaches the heights of the comedically insane, there is nothing left for the TSA to do but retreat: (AP) The TSA head appeared to back down after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointed out the current flaws in the system:

Clinton, appearing Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," said she thought "everyone, including our security experts, are looking for ways to diminish the impact on the traveling public" and that "striking the right balance is what this is about."
She, for one, wouldn't like to submit to a security pat-down.
"Not if I could avoid it. No. I mean, who would?" Clinton told CBS' "Face the Nation."

Can anyone imagine this idiocy taking place under a Clinton administration? (That and a virtual laundry list of other nonsense which is in the same vein of stupid.)

Hillary Clinton on the TSA

Video from SNL below is hysterical - there is simply no defense for the TSA at this point.

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