The fierce urgency of now is the real significance of the “Moral Monday” movement. It’s that tens of thousands of people don’t want to wait until the next election cycle…they want their voices heard right now. It’s in some ways an outgrowth of Occupy and other movements built around the recognition that democracy—as it’s practiced in America right now—has failed to help the middle class.
The exciting potential of this Southern wave of protest can’t be overstated. The Moral Movement is spreading to neighboring states—to Georgia and South Carolina. In right-to-work states, teachers are standing up to attacks on education, and low-wage and agricultural workers are also organizing. Among the crowd at the Moral March in Raleigh were doctors, nurses and medical students in lab coats, demonstrating their support for expanding Medicaid. The Moral Movement’s ties to the labor movement—organized and unorganized—will be key.
Above all, the movement’s strength lies in continuing to emphasize solidarity across struggles. Forward together—not one step back!
According to Lafer’s report, “The Legislative Attack on American Wages and Labor Standards, 2011-2012,” within those two years 15 states passed new restrictions on union collective bargaining or paycheck deductions; 16 passed new restrictions on unemployment benefits; four passed new restrictions on state minimum wage laws; and four reduced limitations on child labor. The child labor changes range from a Wisconsin law ending limits on 16- and 17-year-olds’ work hours to an Idaho law letting 12-year-olds be hired for manual labor at their school for 10 hours a week. Lafer notes that a Idaho school district spokesperson said that would both cut down on labor costs and teach kids “you have to be on time” and “do what you’re asked …”
Not even a full day after he appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, North Carolina county precinct GOP chair Don Yelton has lost his job. Correspondent Aasif Mandvi interviewed the Republican leader about the state’s suspicious voter fraud laws, which opponents claim are nothing but thinly veiled rules constructed to limit minority votes. During Mandvi’s interview Yelton explained why the newly-enforced laws, which says all voters must produce a photo ID before voting, are not racist. He tried to prove his point, but failed miserably. He ended up explaining to Mandvi that one of his best friends is black; he expressed his confusion over why black people could call each other the n-word but he couldn’t and he justified the law, in part, by saying so be it if it “hurts a bunch of lazy blacks who just want the government to give them everything.” Nathan West, a spokesman for the Buncombe County Republican Party said local GOP leaders asked for Yelton’s resignation in “direct response to the interview,” according to Business Insider. Watch the full interview below.
Obama, Syria, the Democrats, and the 2014 elections
i don’t like to try to predict the future — because, well, i often end up being wrong. so much can change as a result of unforeseen events.
but anyway, i’m calling it now. If Obama ends up going through with an attack on Syria, the Democrats are going to get UTTERLY eviscerated in the next election, and, frankly, it will largely be for all the right reasons, even though the result, a GOP majority, will be a DISASTER.
Obama, Syria, the Democrats, and the 2014 elections
The popular movement in North Carolina led by the state’s NAACP chapter and marked each week with civil disobedience actions known as ‘Moral Monday’ protests swelled to their largest number yesterday, with organizers saying that as many as five thousand people marched outside the North Carolina State Legislative Building in Raleigh. Later, nearly 120 were arrested after refusing orders to disperse by police.
The latest arrests bring the total number to over 600 in the eight weeks since the protest movement began and occurred as those arrested in the first wave of protests faced trial at a nearby county courthouse.
As the local Charlotte Observer describes, the latest ‘Moral Monday’ protest took “labor issues, women’s rights and economic justice as their themes for the week” and “demonstrators hoped to halt what many described as ‘arrogant’ and ‘vindictive’ policies that favored the very wealthy and caused great harm to the state’s poorest and weakest.”
Here’s the Democrats for you — the friend of working people!
If 2 bullies approach you, and one of them threatens to beat you up unless you hand over $20, while the other one demands ‘merely’ $4, only a fool would call the latter bully their “friend.”
People who support the Democrats as the “lesser evil” in this respect are those who think “pragmatism” means just putting up with the “nicer” bully, rather than mounting a principled fight against all bullying everywhere, regardless of who is carrying it out.
The Senate passed a farm bill today that would, among other things, cut food stamp and nutrition assistance programs by nearly $4 billion over 10 years. The bill now moves to the House, where conservatives are probably going to take a cue from Republican Senator Ted Cruz and fight for much deeper cuts to food assistance programs, which make up the bulk of the farm bill spending. Somehow, we’re supposed to end up with one big compromise farm bill when this is all over. But how that’ll happen is still up in the air. No matter what, though, the rhetorical fight will probably focus on food stamps.
The Senate vote was pretty bipartisan — 66 to 27 — but that’s not likely to happen in the House, too. Many conservatives oppose the bill, which also addresses foreign aid, farm subsidies, and a host of other food-related spending measures, mainly because of the food stamp spending. A House version of the bill would cut spending there much more drastically, by $20 billion over 10 years.
For weeks now [protesters have been] getting arrested at the statehouse to demonstrate against the Republican majority’s legislative agenda.
Authorities arrested 151 people in the rotunda between the legislative chambers during the latest “Moral Monday” protest – the largest mass arrest since the N.C. NAACP began organizing the weekly civil disobedience events in late April.
The number is nearly the equivalent to the arrests at the four prior protests combined and brings the total above 300 this session. Police estimated the crowd at 1,000 – about five times more than the last protest – but organizers counted 1,600.
… The protesters’ list of grievances was as diverse as the crowd: education spending, voter ID, women’s rights, the elimination of the estate tax, private school vouchers and more.
Yesterday, Sen. Vitter of Louisiana offered up an amendment to permanently drop anyone ever convicted of a violent crime from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). According to Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Democrats in the Senate obliged him. The amendment is for a farm bill, which is currently being debated in the Senate.
The amendment would bar from SNAP (food stamps), for life, anyone who was ever convicted of one of a specified list of violent crimes at any time — even if they committed the crime decades ago in their youth and have served their sentence, paid their debt to society, and been a good citizen ever since. In addition, the amendment would mean lower SNAP benefits for their children and other family members.
So, a young man who was convicted of a single crime at age 19 who then reforms and is now elderly, poor, and raising grandchildren would be thrown off SNAP, and his grandchildren’s benefits would be cut. … Democrats accepted it without trying to modify it to address its most ill-considered aspects.
Two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, elderly or the disabled, and two-fifths of SNAP households live below half the poverty line.
Did you hear of the latest Obama scandal? Apparently the President had two marines hold umbrellas over his and the PM of Turkey’s head at a press conference….
This just goes to show how utterly asinine both the GOP and the military is in this country. Apparently it is prohibited under the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations for a male Marine to hold an umbrella during inclement weather; however, a female Marine is allowed to hold an umbrella, provided she do so only with her left hand.
So the scandal here, according to the GOP, is that Obama let a male Marine rather than a female Marine hold an umbrella over his head …
GOP hypocrisy on Medicaid and the “sanctity of life”
The GOP claims to be adamantly against using Medicaid dollars to help poor women obtain an abortion because of their deep commitment to the “sanctity of life.” Yet this is the same party which pushed a bill through the House of Representatives in 1995 to enable Medicaid recipients to obtain physician-assisted suicide services as a “cost-saving” measure … As one conservative advocate put it at the time, “Sick people are expensive. The dead are a burden on no one.”
GOP hypocrisy on Medicaid and the “sanctity of life”
The Boston Marathon bombings have prompted Republican calls to delay immigration reform and tighten the border. But self-radicalized Muslims can be born here. The solution: conduct background checks at the womb.
Wait. Is the entire Oklahoma legislature actually laughing at a straight-up, unabashed, unambiguous anti-Semitic insult?! These fuckers are so insulated from reality by their own bigotry that it really is nearly unbelievable …
The bill in question — SB 550 — overturns a 70-year-old ban on selling products at less than 6% above cost which was aimed at preventing big-box retailers from putting smaller competitors out of business with so-called “loss-leaders.”
In defending the bill, Rep. Dennis Johnson (R-Duncan), who is a small business owner himself, asserted that service will always win over price.
"[Customers] might try to Jew me down on the price," Johnson added. "That’s fine. You know what? That’s free market as well."
After it was pointed out to him that the phrase “to Jew down" might be considered offensive by, say, Jewish people, Johnson half-heartedly apologized.
"I apologize to the Jews," he said, to laughter from his colleagues in the House. "They’re good small business men as well."
It’s worth noting that there isn’t a single Jewish member in either house of the Oklahoma Legislature.
If one thing has been proven, viz., the horrific explosion of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant — which had been fined in 2006 by the EPA for lax environmental safety measures — is that the GOP is right: clearly there are far too many meddlesome health and safety regulations placed upon corporations in this country … SMH …