Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, June 18, 2010

Republicans 1, Americans 0

Americans who work for a living, that is. The National Labor Relations Board consists of five people. In theory. In reality, the Board has had only two people for the past two years. Corporate prostitutes (i.e. Republicans) have been blocking every new nominee to the Board.

And now, to complete the circle, the Supreme Court has thrown out more than five hundred cases that were decided by this two-person board. After all, if a board is supposed to have five members, then a case that was decided by only two members doesn’t have the proper legal authority.

How’s that for circular reasoning? Kind of like stealing somebody’s wallet and then arresting him for vagrancy.

The Board has four members now. Obama used the recess appointment to fill two of its vacancies. So its most recent rulings are still valid.

A newspaper editorial blasted Republican obstructionism in general, saying that it scores points with the Republican base, but harms the country.

There you go. “The Republican base” and “the country” — two separate things.

And the five hundred working people whose cases — you know, livelihoods, ability to pay the rent/mortgage, doctor bills — were sent back to Square One would like to tell their Republican Overlords: “Fuck You Very Much you C$%#S&%!in’ M#!%&$F!#$in’ Sons of #$%&!#$&!%!!”

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Blogger jadedj said...

Yes well, we don't need no stinkin' governing. It would save a lot of dough, you know.

Tom, this is one of the more brainy, informative blogs...not to mention funny...and I look forward to the revelations contained herein...but...but, I am not sure how much more my blood pressure (heretofore know as, BP...har har har) can take. I can only consume so many pills, given my income level.

Do you have any good puppy stories in the works?

June 18, 2010 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Keep in mind, since Bush 41's presidency was taken out of the loop, Republicans have pursued a policy of keeping the government from working well, sometimes from working at all. That is, unless they perceive some short-term political benefit for themselves and/or the wealthy few and corproate interests who pay their way.

Just having a name like Labor Relations Board is enough to set conservatives' teeth to grinding. Their idea of labor is a Chinese peon fresh in from the countryside and grateful for a chance to make $1.80 for a 12-hour work day. Or, more recently, a long-unemployed American who once made $45,000 a year with some benefits who's now so desperate he'll push hamburgers across a counter for 50 cents over minimum wage and the chance to take a rootbeer float home with him now and then.

It would almost be worth going there to see hell's Republican Caucus.

June 18, 2010 at 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Holy Crap!!!
Tom you just gave me an education.
Good damn post..

June 18, 2010 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

jadedj: Thanks for your kind words. Sorry about your BP :)

A puppy story, that would make a nice change of pace. Let me see, I'm doing a YouTube search for Michael Vick and puppies, here's a -- oops! Uh, I'll have to get back to you :)

SW: I think that's an integral part of the Republican strategy -- make government agencies completely corrupt and ineffective, and then they can correctly say "see that, government doesn't work."

No doubt, a name like Labor Relations Board causes rightwing teeth to grind and blood pressure to skyrocket.

June 18, 2010 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Tim: Thanks!

June 18, 2010 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

The Republican agenda is clear: obstruct President Obama from making any accomplishments, then run against that lack of achievement in 2012. Sure, it's evil, but isn't evil what Republicans do best?

June 18, 2010 at 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well they made it almost impossible for Clinton to appoint a Federal Judge during his 8 years in Office


June 18, 2010 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I said it before and I'll say it again: Kent Brockman was right.

June 19, 2010 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

I remember how the Republicans squawked when Democrats blocked less than 10% of Crawford Caligula's most extreme appointments. They called it treason.

June 19, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Hmmm.... Republicans are indeed guilty of most all of the charges that have been leveled against them... just like the Democrats are guilty. It's that whole pot & kettle things...

I guess it then comes down to one's basic world view. Do you want a huge, inefficient, and often corrupt government providing for the nation outside of our constitutional framework, or do you want government to remain relatively small so as to enforce constitutionally mandated law and thereby protect individual liberties?

Reagan said it best when he said that the scariest words ever spoken were, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."

No thanks! Even during the hardest times in my life, I felt far more comfortable of digging myself out of the hole rather than have the government "help" by digging that hole deeper and thereby making me ever more dependent upon them.

June 19, 2010 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: Yup, that's their agenda. Thwart Obama from getting anything done, and in 2012 they can say "He hasn't accomplished a damn thing. Vote Republican."

Erik: They certainly did. And then when Dumbya came in -- "oh boy, look at all these vacancies we can fill."

Randal: Doh! You're right.

TomCat: It all makes sense when you remember the conservative philosophy. When the president is a Democrat, it's patriotic to hate him and obstruct every move he tries to make. When a Republican is president, the mildest criticism is treason.

TP: To quote from your favorite swashbuckling hero, "there you go again."

Yes, both sides have done this, but since Obama got elected, Republicans have raised this obstructionism to an all-time high. When GW Bush had been president for this same length of time, about one tenth this many of his nominees had been blocked. I don't remember the exact numbers; there was a news item a few weeks ago that I posted on.

I sort of enjoy your platitudes about rugged independence and digging yourself out of that hole all by yourself without any help from those meddling bureaucrats. But for most people, real life is more complicated than a platitude or an Ayn Rand novel.

If you're out there in the Wild West somewhere, building your own house with your bare hands, raising your own food and scaring off intruders with your shotgun, that's great. But most people don't live that way, and we can't all live in that Atlas Shrugged fantasy camp, where all the movers and shakers hide out in their secret canyon.

The NLRB (as well as lots of other government agencies) can be the only lifeline for an employee who's being held over a barrel by his/her employer. These trustfunded pampered sheltered Republican legislators who have such contempt for the NLRB probably have no idea what it's like to work for a living, have bills piling up, and/or be in a dispute with the boss (who has every conceivable advantage).

June 19, 2010 at 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

really cute puppy video:


June 19, 2010 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anon: Thanks. That's cool.

jadedj: Hope you'll check it out; it's just what you were hoping for.

June 19, 2010 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Mr. Harper, I think you will still find that most Americans do indeed prefer to rely on their own "rugged individualism" rather than to rely upon government, although the numbers are getting dangerously close to the tipping point of going the other way on this, thanks to progressivism.

It would seem that 48% of Americans are currently dependent upon government for at least some percentage of their income. While the Democrats cheer this as a great success and an example of their compassion, I find it disturbingly sad.

Far better to have had most people find a way to live within their means, work to improve themselves, and not give up and accept welfare dependency as a way of life.

Where the welfare system's supposed intentions were to TEMPORARILY help those in a crisis, nowadays it would seem that it has become a PERMANENT multi-generational life style.

What happens if we cannot change the attitudes of people in this country, Mr. H, and teach them the value and honor of living by one's own means? What happens when 51% and eventually 60 or 70% of Americans become dependent upon government for part or all of their income? Why would the remaining 40 or 30% of Americans continue to work to sustain the majority that no longer wishes to do so?

Government has a role, but the one as you seem to champion with the welfare state, is a deadly cancerous one for our nation.

June 20, 2010 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

TP: Getting back to the subject at hand [ahem] -- this post was specifically about the National Labor Relations Board, not the pros and cons of Ayn Rand versus Karl Marx.

Since the word "Labor" is part of this agency's name, I will assume that everyone who takes a dispute to this agency is somebody who works.

Therefore, this post and comment thread has nothing to do with "the Welfare State" or whether somebody depends on government handouts as part of their income.

If you think lowly working stiffs shouldn't have access to a government agency where they can resolve disputes with their employers, you're obviously entitled to your opinion. But come out and say it, instead of hiding behind a bunch of slogans about "rugged individualism" and "the welfare state."

June 20, 2010 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Don't you know it's TP's JOB to change the subject and put forth anti-government and anti-working class slogans? You won't catch him admitting the plight of those seeking unemployment compensation and other forms of aid was brought on by the Right's war on the middle and lower class by removing collective bargaining rights, offshoring jobs, opposing minimum wage, and slashing unemployment and fringe benefits, and gutting pensions. SOMEONE had to pay for those tax cuts and pay raises for the economic elite. So in order to distract from this class warfare they blame the victims. What about those people without job? Why, it's all their fault for not being rugged individuals and not wanting to improve themselves.

Wanna hear something REALLY frightening? "I'm from BP and I'm here to help."

June 20, 2010 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

When will Big Business become "rugged individuals" and "improve themselves" and not suck up tax-payers' resources with their big tax breaks, incentives, and subsidies, while at the same time cutting our jobs?

It seems they want all the rights of a person and none of the responsibilities. Socialized corporatism is what's taking us down.

That, and the evil "Daddy, Daddy," slimeball hate merchants. American fascism lives.

June 20, 2010 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Dubya, first I responded to your nonsensical personal attacks on Harper's "1979 again" post.

Second, I AM middle class and am absolutely of that group and in favor of the "little guys". It is the progressive agenda that creates higher unemployment and confiscatory taxation of the working man that is the problem.

Should there be recourse to address these problems? Sure! But it seems to me that having a government agency to help protect the people against the excesses of the government is a little ironic, if not downright asinine.

I don't want tax cuts for corporattions. I want fair tax laws, especially for the working middle and lower income classes. It is the progressives that are perpetrating the class warfare crap; not the right wing. The right is about reducing spending and draconian un-constitutional tax increases.

Further, it is your support for minimum wage that is the culprit for many of the ills of society in this matter. Is a $7.35 an hour wage a "livable minimum wage"? Why not make it $15.00?

The problem is that all of the small mom and pop businesses which drive our economy would at best not be able to hire more people, and likely would not be able to afford the workers they currnently have. They end up laying off people accordingly and the big companies end up moving operations overseas where labor is cheaper. How's that for progress because of a foolish liberal idea?

June 21, 2010 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I'm happy to know you are middle class. I hope you can stay there or even elevate your income. Unfortunately the numbers are against rising prosperity. I've shown the consequences of the Reagan Revolution and rise of conservative corporatism. There are way too many FORMER middle class Americans who lost their livelihoods to off shoring of their jobs through corporatist international trade agreements. Big Money has been manipulating government policies to the detriment of American workers. Liberalism had nothing to do with their losses.

Class warfare was instigated by the upper class ruling economic elite and has been prevailing ever since. They have the influence. We don't. Warren Buffet even agrees to this.

June 21, 2010 at 2:58 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Paine, FYI, Reagan spoke some of the scariest words in the English language when he raised his right and said, "I, Ronald Reagan, solemnly swear. . ."

T. Paine wrote: "It would seem that 48% of Americans are currently dependent upon government for at least some percentage of their income."

I don't know where you got that statistic, but it's nonsense. To get anywhere near that you'd have to count Social Security checks, railroad retirement checks, unemployment benefit checks, federal aid to education helping pay teachers, and so on.

It's a wildly misleading contention implying taxpayers must shell out for all these things. In fact, Social Security, railroad retirement and unemployment compensation are all savings plan payouts. They're a matter of people getting money back they already paid in.

June 21, 2010 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Anderson, you are kidding yourself if you think that programs such as social security are simply getting back what you paid into it. If such were the case, it would not be rapidly destined to being insolvent, sir.

June 22, 2010 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

If the scariest words ever spoken, by Reagan in 1986, were "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you," it sure seems there are a lot of politicians out there who WANT to be part of the government and who garner votes by saying they want to help us.

Reagan obviously wanted to be part of the government, or he never would have run for president.

So much of the right wing is now "anti-government", yet a number of their more vocal want to be elected so they can be part of the government. Uh... isn't this a sort of disconnect? Maybe among voters, but probably not among those running for office... for them it seems little more than yet another way for them to manipulate voters so they can keep or attain power.

Re. the subject of the thread, if you like having a weekend and having a limit on the number of hours you have to put in during a workday/workweek, thank unions. Those among us who want to take our country back to the 1880's have not a clue about that of which they speak.

I don't know what it is about the Republican party these days... they don't seem to like working Americans very much. As much as the GOP bleats about people being out of work, they seem to not want to keep people working at wages necessary for upward mobility in the socio-economic strata... and is that not one of the things they preach about most, pulling oneself up, using the system to create your own success or failure?

Kind of rings empty when so many jobs are outsourced and when the right-wing powers that be constantly attack the ability of Americans to make that kind of money necessary for pulling ourselves up.

You want Americans to pull themselves up? Then if you don't want to give them the tools to do it, stop trying to take away the tools we already have! Good grief...

Is this because the Republican politicians are the footsoldiers of about one-tenth of a percent of our country, i.e. the super-rich? It would seem so. And it seems these footsoldiers are so adept at hoodwinking so many millions of people.

If it really IS about the economy, both locally and nationally, why do so many people still vote GOP?

Maybe it's because the GOP likes to change the subject by introducing things like religion to distract people away from what the Republican party is really about. Heck, over time the GOP has come to = Christianity in the minds of many Americans. What a great strategy!

And as far as "rugged individualism" goes, it is a noble thing in many cases. We wouldn't be where we are today had there not been so many rugged individualists throughout history. That line of thinking applied a lot more a hundred years ago than it does today.

In today's America, with 300+ million people? People need to be getting together more to solve the nation's problems, not driving wedges into society to drive us all farther apart.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith

June 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Snave, I really do appreciate your well-considered comments. We don't always agree, needless to say, but I admire your ability to try and teach and persuade instead of lecture. (This is something that I myself need to work on a lot more, evidently.)

That being said, I take issue with your support of unions. I think unions are important and necessary in some aspects, but frankly they have grown too large and powerful and simply act as political action committees nowadays.

Our own beloved Oregon seems to be a case in point. The teacher's unions there have seemingly done far more harm than good in recent years. It is largely because of this that Oregon has had budget shortfalls and had to shrink the school year, correct?

I think that an overwhelming majority of teachers do an excellent job; however, when you get substandard teachers or those that have given up putting forth effort after having reached tenure, they are a drain and not helpful to the education of our children... and yet the unions protect them in their jobs.

Unions absolutely were vital once upon a time. Now they have basically replaced the bully monopolies and giant industries they were formed in which to fight against. SEIU and the UAW are particularly egregious in that account, sir.

June 22, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

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