The Democrats Are Dead And Buried, Which Means The Rest Of Us Are In Big Trouble

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NPR Saturday Edition crystallized why, in my opinion, the Democratic Party is dead and buried. It lost voters to Trump and even after those same voters feeling betrayed by Trump–or even still hanging in there with him–the Dems won’t get those voters back.

Here are three laid off steelworkers in Alabama, all Democrats I believe, who talked about how job searches and job retraining worked for them, why two of the voted for Trump, and more importantly how the see Congress (and they’re in a Democratic district) has failed them. I’ve selected some quotes to post.

SIMON [show host]: Bo, you’re 49.

EDWARDS: Yes, sir.

SIMON: So what happened when in your late 40s, you go to look for a job and people see, oh, gosh, this guy did something important and dangerous, he’ll be a good employee?

EDWARDS: Being my age, the first thing they look at, they go, oh, he’s 50 years old. And they discriminate because of age because, oh, this guy don’t have much more left in him. And then if you do get past the first part of the interview, and you go in and you have a physical, you know, they want to know, oh, what kind of medications are you on?

Well, guess what? OK, I’ve got some health issues. You know, you have to tell them what kind of medications. And then, oh, Mr. Edwards, we’re sorry. We don’t have a position for you at this time.

SIMON]: Diane, you’re in a job retraining program.

WOOD: Yes. I’m taking culinary arts at Wallace State Community College right now.

SIMON: So what’s the price difference between what you were earning and what you bring in now?

WOOD: Probably about $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

SIMON: That’s the difference?

WOOD: Yes, sir.

SIMON: That’s a lot of money.

WOOD: Yes, sir.

POWELL: I cannot type. Siegfried [referring to himself in the 3rd person] has very little computer knowledge. Somebody showed me a brochure from U.S. Steel that I was doing something. I say, heck, you know, you do the same thing for 20 years, you know, GFB, GFB, you know, the keyboard always wear out on those three keys. But it might have looked technical in the book, but it was just the same thing that we were trained.

So I knew that I had to retrain myself, especially on that computer. And once I started it – I got in the game too late. And the young people I was in school with, they still had their earbuds in their ear, and they were doing stuff on their phone. And I was, like, sitting in front of the class. And I’m like, OK, is this guy going to slow down so we can ask a question?

SIMON: The former steelworkers seem resigned and regretful now, but when you ask, they’ll say they’re angry at U.S. Steel for shutting the blast furnace in Fairfield when they say it still made money and the U.S. Congress for not protecting their jobs from foreign competition.

WOOD: Do you think Congress could have done different? I always think Congress could do different, so I don’t have the anger in me. I think things could have been different if they were done differently, but there is no anger in me.

EDWARDS: There’s a major disconnect from your working families and your people in Washington. They do not understand the working man. You know, I got an 18-year-old daughter who’s just graduated high school. College is coming up. Here I am in a situation where I have lost my job. Well, I have a child that needs to go to college. And I need to be able to provide for my household.

So what do I do? I’m in a catch-22 situation. I like Donald Trump. I’m a union man and I’m saying that I like Donald Trump. That’s completely 180 degrees from what a union man would say, but he understands us a little more right now, I think. I and my family growing up were Democrat all the way – Democrat, Democrat, Democrat – but the Democratic Party has got away from the working man.

POWELL: I think the reason Trump is so popular – I like to fight, though. It’s about time for the fight. The country had got to a point where it was – it needed somebody to show the fight. God, I hope this not racist, but every gas station you pull in, every hotel, I am still waiting for one that I see an American face behind. So where is that American face at? I’m missing something.

Everybody read that? “The Democratic Party has got away from the working man.” “It’s time for the fight.” It’s clear that these people knew nothing about Trump’s background and, they didn’t care. They just heard his (phony words) and bought in to them out of hope, because he was the only one of the two presidential candidates talking to their hopes and their fears. Hillary Clinton was all about job equality for women when she wasn’t pushing the college expenses and health plan ideas stolen from Bernie Sanders. Her hollow words fell on the deaf ears of middle-aged people struggling to make a living–even find a job–while trying to provide for their families.

And remember Siegfried Powell, who put himself in a retraining program that didn’t work out? Here’s their Democratic congresswoman, Terri Sewell, talking about her the job training program she’s pushing.

“I have my own program called Project READY. Ready stands for Realizing Everyone’s Ability to Develop Yourself. It’s about putting together all of the resources – federal, state and local – to try to help retrain and focus my constituents on jobs that are here now and the jobs that we’re trying to recruit in the future.

It’s actually not a government program, that’s the whole point. The reality is that we’re actually leveraging resources that are already being spent locally, federally and statewide. So we bring together the Alabama Career Center. We bring together, you know, Jefferson County industrial development training as well as Jeff State and Lawson State. And we try to – these are community colleges that are located here – trying to leverage the resources that we were already have.

But it’s also important that we don’t sell a bag of goods. Look. There are a lot of jobs that are not going to come back to America, but that doesn’t mean – or back to the Deep South – but that doesn’t mean that we don’t promote the opportunities that are coming this way. I think that it’s so important that we leverage the fact that we have Mercedes Benz and Hyundai and all of these amazing manufacturing opportunities to retool, meaning the future of work is automation.

So we have to be able to get our workers trained and – for the jobs that are here now and the jobs that are here in the future. But look. I’m not going to make any excuses. The Democrats lost the last election. And if we do not listen to Americans and actually put forth policies that make sense for average everyday Americans, we’re going to be in this quandary again in four years.”

The three ex-steelworkers, one aged 50 and the other two in their late 40s, aren’t going to be hired by Mercedes Benz or Hyundai, and those jobs wouldn’t pay anything near the $40,000+ they were earning an union steelworkers. Diane is training to be a chef, and her starting salary in a small town in Alabama–or elsewhere–is most likely going to be minimum wage, or perhaps $11 an hour. Bo and Siegfried both have their ages and lack of marketable skills for “the jobs that are here in the future” against them. Sewell and the rest of the Democratic Party have nothing to offer them, no words of hope, not even the phony “I’ll bring the jobs back” claim they voted their hopes on. And they sure don’t care about Trump’s ties with Russia or what really happened between him and James Comey.

And this is why I believe the Democratic Party is finished, why I believe that if the Democrats fail to remake the party from the ground up so that it is once again relevant to its traditional base of working class families and young adult voters–including students–it was never, ever regain control of Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court.

The lasting legacy of the Hillary Clinton’s and the DNC defeat in the 2016 Presidential Election. Yes, she won the popular vote. But if the Democrats had actually had a plan to win, they would have targeted the Electoral College vote. That’s what the Trump campaign did.

So, take a good look at the smug smiles of the glib Republicans now running the show: Trump, Pence, Bannon, McConnell, and Ryan. They will continue to remain fully responsible and in control of everything the federal government will inflict on us now and in years to come because there is absolutely no political party left to challenge and to beat them.

Obama WAS The Special Interests President

Barack-Obama-After-Presidency-Pictures

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/in-chicago-obama-tells-young-leaders-that-%E2%80%98special-interests-dominate-the-debates-in-washington%E2%80%99/ar-BBAha7Y?li=BBnb7Kz

 

The story headline “In Chicago, Obama tells young leaders that ‘special interests dominate the debates in Washington’” is is total crap. From day one Obama was all about pleasing special interests by funneling unrestricted bailout funds to Goldman Sachs and the investment/banking industries in general. Yes, TARP was a Bush initiative but Obama and his special interest lackeys, Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, made it like they were proprietors overseeing kids in a candy store, even giving out handfuls of candy, aka taxpayer funds, to kids like every day was Halloween night. The banksters knowingly and intentionally committed global financial fraud and not one CEO paid the legal price. We all paid for the bailout and not ONE institution was required to change how they do business to prevent it from happening again. Dodd-Frank? Please…

They’re still selling the same derivatives (under new names) and other unsafe “investment products” that are again propelling the financial industry to another meltdown. The housing bubble is building again (checked out home prices lately?) and once again it WILL burst.

Remember Obama’s pushing through of all those trade pacts? We’re now just learning of some of the secret offshore accounts owned by American citizens and corporations housed in Panama banks. Remember how he also tried to push the TPP and the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline? How about his months-long silence and hands off policy with the Dakota Access pipeline?  Additional construction of nuclear plants? Pushing charter schools to the detriment of public schools? The Obama presidency was all about special interests, except for the middle and low income classes. I guess we didn’t hold much special interest for him.

Obama didn’t do a damn thing to unify anyone. If he had, we’d have a Democrat in the White House, a Democratically-controlled Congress, and Merrick Garland, as flawed as he was, would be the 9th Justice sitting on the SCOTUS bench.

The Obama administration will not go down in history for what it was but for its failure to become what it could have been. If his “aspiration” was to unify Blue and Red states, why did he do so much to polarize all of us?

The USPS Can Deliver Us From Evil—Anti-Union Companies, That Is

We union-supporting liberals are faced with a major problem.  We loves us our online shopping and front door deliveries but, unfortunately, the Godzilla of online shopping—Amazon.com—like unions not one bit and hates union organizers even more.  Employee union activists are somehow fired for not performing up to job expectations.  Amazon loves it its young warehouse order processing and fulfillment workers but that love starts to get lost as those workers age past 50 if they’re employed long enough.  Time and warehouse supervisors wait for no age and so as workers age and their bodies naturally lose muscle tone, flexibility, and agility, they start to slow down on the job.  This slowdown is duly noted by supervisors and the aging fleet of warehouse workers as write ups placed in their files.  After the third write-up or so, this fleet of aging warehouse workers is forcibly retired, one by one.  I have no information on this but I would imagine amazon.com but claim those workers were fired for cause so it can fight their unemployment benefits awards. But again, I have no info on this.

Besides Amazon, of the three major ground delivery services, FedEx and UPS will not have a union in either of their houses. UPS just fired 251 employees—the first one for being  both a driver and a union activist and 250 other drivers for walking off their jobs to stand in solidarity with him.  I just signed a Working Families petition here to protest those firings and to demand that UPS give those 251 drivers their jobs back.  Which is the remaining ground delivery service where unions are strongly entrenched? The United States Postal Service and THAT, my friends, is the reason the Republicans put out a hit on it with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. The only way to have that act repealed is to flush enough Republicans from Congress and elect enough Democrats to control both chambers freed from the stall and filibuster tactics of the Republicans so the repeal bill can be signed into law by a Democratic President.  Sounds easy enough, right?

Now, I am aware that not all in the USPS administration and its supervisory staff are union-friendly.  But with that repeal of the union-busting law and the USPS’ ability to return to profitability, the USPS can once again start to grow its delivery business without having to close post offices and lay off workers, and the union will become a stronger bargaining unit.  Plus, we can start demanding of amazon.com and all online retailers that we prefer to have our goods delivered by the Post Office so they better start putting those delivery contracts in place. Pie in the sky? Well, the most beautiful sky is Blue which makes for some tasty pie.

Today’s Class Lesson: Rahm Emanuel Hates Teachers

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-teacher-strike-expected-to-go-into-2nd-day-20120910,0,4057997.story

Rahm Emanuel is a slime, despite the hummer bestowed on him by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in today’s editorial. .  http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/169329466.html

Emanuel is a slime because he’s never been about being a Democrat or ever had the people’s best interests at heart. He’s always been about money and the power money can bring. He’s also been about supporting corporate interests; just look back on his records with Clinton and Obama. And it speaks volumes about them that he was senior advisor to Clinton and White House Chief of Staff for Obama.  He was the pit bull for them both.

Make no mistake: this teacher’s strike is not about money, no matter how the media is intent on framing it. The two issues are reversing the education “reform” movement which has forced teachers to teach to test scores, and judging student and teacher performance solely on test scores. Many school districts have cut out the arts and even physical education from their curricula to focus exclusively on math and English test scores.  This is Obama’s primary focus too and he, and they, are wrong.

Emanuel is framing this strike as being over wages and hurting the kids.  The education of Chicago school kids are the last thing he’s concerned about.  He is no different than the Republicans (which, like Clinton and Obama he is more like than Democrats) or the Kochs or Rove or Adelson, or anyone of those guys. He’s out to privatize education, to move it all online, thus busting all the teachers’ unions, and handing the administrative contracts to his politically-connected business associates.  Instead of one teacher working with a classroom of 30 students, you’d have one online teacher handling 200-300 students.  What will be produced are generations of students who are not creative, have no experience or interest in the arts or exercise, or anything outside getting passing scores on standardized English and math tests—just perfect for jobs as low-paid service industry workers.

Emanuel’s other goal is to increase the number of chartered schools paid for by public taxes.  This is a core Republican goal because what wealthy parents wouldn’t want their child to go to an expensive, exclusive school on a poorer person’s tax dime? The Republicans pulled this same trick off in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Hundreds of unionized teachers were fired and then re-hired as non-union employees for lower wages.  It’s like being a $40 an hour union auto worker before the bailout, getting laid off, and then after the bailout being re-hired back into the same exact job for $12 an hour with the SAME EXACT LIVING EXPENSES YOU HAD BEFORE BUT CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO PAY.  Chartered schools providing better education than public schools is a myth that Emanuel is helping to perpetuate along with the Republicans.

The bottom line here IS money, but not for the teachers, but for the wealthy, political campaign contributors are trying to effect a hostile takeover of the American educational system.