Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Conservatives: If Your House Catches Fire, Call the Heritage Foundation

Or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Or your local Republican headquarters. After all, those lazy government firefighters are part of a [eww] union. And we all know that unions have ruined America and are the biggest stumbling block to an economic recovery.

Of course there isn’t a lick of truth to any of that, since union membership is a tiny fraction of what it was during the prosperous 1950s and ‘60s. But this bullshit keeps getting spewed out every day by rightwing demagogues, and millions of inbreds keep faithfully repeating it, without even knowing what they’re saying.

Teachers’ and firefighters’ unions are currently the favorite punching bags of the Far Right. It’s clear why the Right doesn’t like teachers or their unions. After all, people who are educated aren’t the ones who sit around listening to Fox News and talk radio going “DUH. Yeah!!!”

But firefighters? Do these rightfucks think their OWN houses couldn’t burn? Or maybe if a rightwad’s house catches fire and the firefighters are risking their lives to save the rightwad’s home (and his life), he’ll be getting right up in their faces, saying “So, tell me about that nice fat pension of yours, you overpaid bureaucrat.”

The Senate Republican Policy Committee issued this statement:

“No state bailouts should be contemplated until the wages and pensions of public sector employees are brought into line.”

But by all means let’s keep showering trillions of dollars on failed corporations while their executives continue to pay themselves 7-figure bonuses.


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Blogger Snave said...

Tom, thanks for that link and for your good post.

I am a public employee, and I have gotten awfully tired of the increasing crap from the right wing demagogues over the last twenty years. I look forward to retiring in about five years if things work out, and to having whatever pension Republican lawmakers feel like leaving me with by then.

Those of us who have worked hard to get where we are in life, including lots of money paid out for the college education required to get our jobs, are being cut down by cretins who devalue education at every turn. This is if we are working in the public sector. I guess if you went to college and got some kind of advanced degree and work in the private sector you are allowed a free pass? That in that case, college was o.k.?

Public service itself has become devalued too over the years through this calculated right wing campaign. I don't know what their goal is, other than to privatize everything.

"Hello, this is Joe's Fire Department. What's your address? Oh, sorry, we can't come put out your housefire because you're two months in arrears on your monthly fire protection payments. You say you can't afford the payments? Sorry. Good bye."

August 11, 2010 at 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Tom, I have to hold my tongue. Really pissed here.
Ahem, I'll let a little out...
What about these damn wars...Bullshit wars I might add. Bring them troops home.God damn it!! Okay breath......
Close all the bases and stop pretending we're the successor of Britain in Nation Building.
Note to Author, I'm with ya on this Tom.

August 11, 2010 at 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

Unions appear to matter to the present Administration only as GOTV vehicles.

August 11, 2010 at 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well another nail in the coffin. For over 50 years Republicans and Business have managed to divide and conquer, disengage Union Pay gains from the rest of us, then bust them by importing illegal immigration while laughing their heads off watching Arizona get in a fit over it, and our government spending 100's of millions to build a useless fence.

But then many of these Unions kicked themselves by not realizing that one mob boss connection is worth a 100 Ken Lays.

At my last Job the Union Members were up in arms about the Treasurer making off with over 100,000 in funds and they being asked to cover it.

Especially since the Treasurer was the brother of the President.

The company quit the pension a few years ago and switched everybody (non union) over to the 401K.

By going after the Unions the Republicans will leave it to just two more groups that will still get Pensions.

CEO's and Congress


August 12, 2010 at 12:51 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Good points, Tom. One of the interesting things about right-wing pols is that they know very well firefighters, cops, nurses and others will take care of them when they're in need. The wing nuts might deserve only a single-digit salute, but these people will do their jobs well because they're professionals, have standards and value their self-respect.

Industrial union membership was about 45 percent in the 1950s. It's down now to about 7 percent. Does anyone this side of conservative extremist and U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donahue think we're all better off as a result? I sure don't.

If Donahue gets his way, America will have the same wealth distribution profile as Haiti. We're a long way down that road now.

August 12, 2010 at 1:26 AM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

From the article: Also, as Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research points out, many public employees don’t get Social Security. Overall, he says, “most public sector pensions do not provide retirees with an especially high standard of living.” Exceptions to this rule frequently include firefighters and police, particularly in New York. Then again, they risk their lives to protect the rest of us from lethal threats, which is more than you can say for CEOs like the former telecom executive who in 2007 retired with a $159 million benefit package.

And there you have it. Firefighters are the new boogeymen? Better hope the republican national headquarters doesn't catch fire...t'would be a shame to let it burn baby burn.

So, when will those republican lawmakers be taking a big fat voluntary pay cut?

Oh, never?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

August 12, 2010 at 3:50 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I'm shocked - shocked! - that the first responders that were on a pedestal as the most Americany of Americanistic Americans a few short years ago have been reduced to disposable props.

August 12, 2010 at 6:24 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Hmpph, calling the Heritage foundation. Unlike Tim, I won't hold my tongue :)Dammit, if your house catches fire, don't call anyone, let the fucker burn and insurance will have to pony up out of their pockets. See how long they dog the firefighters then. Or you could do the boot strap pulling up thing and pee on it yourself. I choose the former thank you very much. It will hit them where they would hurt the most.

August 12, 2010 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

You miss their logic here. If we stop paying firemen, then the liberals will have to stop setting all those fires to give the firemen jobs.

Th Conned-servatives are just saving us from ourselves.

August 12, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

Wow. Holy fuck. After 9/11 didn't the Right practically deitize cops and firefighters? Isn't being anti-firefighter/cop akin to treason?

How easy it would be for the Dems to turn this shit right the fuck around on these idiots! So easy, no one will do it.

Yeah...keep pumping brazillions of dollars into the war and the pockets of the corporations who continue to give us the high hard one right in the...well, you know.

Great post. How the fuck can these guys sleep at night. I'm beyond words. Well, not quite - but you get the point.

August 13, 2010 at 3:11 AM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

Forgot a thought...

And lordy help those pussies if they try to fuck me out of the pension I spent 21 years earning in the military.

Deep breaths...Deep, deep breaths.


August 13, 2010 at 3:18 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Thanks everybody for your comments.

I haven't been online much in the past few days. I should be back tomorrow or the next day.

August 13, 2010 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Special interests, the Republicans say. I agree. They are special and we should be interested.

August 13, 2010 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Jess The insurance companies won't pay off. They'll say it was somehow your fault. As for the bootstraps Bush made sure those were taken away.

Carlos Shhhhh! Don't give them any ideas. Retirements are about all that's left for them to rob. Unless of course you're a 99er then you can watch it evaporate before you make it to 65 or is it 66 or 70 (if they have their way)?

August 13, 2010 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Defense contractors and right wing politicians are the only ones who should profit from the government. But, as long as were discussing cutting wages, how about cutting congressional salaries by 15%?

August 15, 2010 at 3:35 PM  
Anonymous majii said...

If public employees make so much money and have such lavish pensions, why wasn't I rich after I retired from teaching high school for 33 years, and why was I only eligible to retire at 60%, instead of 90% after 33 years? My state's Constitution specifically prohibits any public employee from joining a union and engaging in any type of collective bargaining, yet I hear from the ditto heads here that public employee unions are the reason for businesses not doing well and for the state's budget problems. They watch entirely too much Fuchs Noose and listen to too many rw radio entertainers who don't know what they're talking about and are fully engaged in carrying water for the rw politicians.

What enrages me most about these "conservatives" who stridently oppose unions without really knowing why is that few of them would be willing to set foot inside of a high school classroom, stay on the job for 33 years, put up with all of the challenges that the job entails, and make much, much less than a low level Wall Street employee. They just don't have this level of commitment to seeing that all children receive the best education they possibly can. I'll even go further and say that they're too selfish to care anything about anyone else except themselves.

I'd also like to see them function without all of the services provided by public employees, services they have learned to take for granted and services they want to continue having access to but no longer seem to want to pay for.

August 21, 2010 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

I am not sure if you are ill informed or a liar. I am a public employee, against my will, and yes I like the benefits I get. I worked most of my life for private companies that had to provide a service or product that people had the free choice whether or not to buy, and our benefits were not as good. Public entities take $ from private business to pay themselves much better.

Your characterization of conservatives hating teachers is completely false. I went to enroll my son in school and they wanted to force him into classes below his educational level simply because of his age. We also don't get to pick our teachers.

If California spends almost $20,000 per student per year and we have so many poorly educated children... Get a clue. There is a problem. If they would give me that $20,000 I would get 5-10 other kids together and hire a damn good teacher and still be able to afford plenty of extra-curricular activities.

October 5, 2011 at 1:11 PM  

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