Snap Judgments from the 2nd GOP Debate (a.k.a. “Fear the Walking and Talking Dead”).

Now with 100% more Carly!

Now with 100% more Carly!

WINNERS WINNERS CHICKEN DINNER!

Marco Rubio:  (energetic and laid down some pretty good smackdowns on The Donald. Now what will he do with the spotlight?)
Carly Fiorina: (even better smackdowns of The Donald, but she’s running for a Cabinet position or another Senate bid)
Rand Paul: (probably too late to help much, but he joined in on The Donald Dogpile with enthusiasm.  Lindsay Graham and Piyush Jindal give you two thumbs up!)

I’M A LOSER, BABY SO WHY DON’T YOU KILL ME?

Ben Carson: (Hey! Doc! You’re right next to the front runner and you’re in second place in Iowa.   Kick his ass!  You think if she were in your place Carly wouldn’t? )
Jeb Bush: (Because he stayed awake better than the first debate, but he couldn’t have been much worse).

MEH.

John Kasich: (if you want to move up in the podium positioning Johnny-Boy, you gotta say something worth remembering besides you wouldn’t defund Planned Parenthood)
Donald Trump: (Ever see a team get a big lead on an over-matched opponent and keep running up the score?  That was Trump.  Punching on Paul’s poll numbers and looks is dumb).

WHY TRY HARDER?  OR TRY AT ALL?

Chris Christie: (STOP LYING ABOUT MY RECORD!    Aw shit.  That was me lying about my record!)
Scott Walker:  (Like cheese?  Like beer?  Visit Wisconsin.  We’ve got lots of both.  Why am I here again?  Oh yeah. To stop Kasich from taking my spot here)

DEAD RAT STUCK IN A PIPE.

Ted Cruz:  (So you were happy when George Bush selected John Roberts for the Supreme Court but now you’re mad he did?  First rule of politics, Ted: Never apologize and never explain Look how well that’s been working for The Donald, the shark to your pilot fish).
Mike Huckabee: (Is there a church somewhere with a need to hire a Bible-thumping, fire n’ brimstone preacher because this guy knows nothing about the U.S. Constitution).

WON SIMPLY BY NOT BEING THERE

Ronald Reagan:  Because he’s dead and didn’t have to watch these losers stumbling around on stage claiming to be St. Ronnie’s secret love child.

Say, why are we on our second Repubs debate before the Dems even have their first?  Isn’t it about time Hillary and Bernie and Marty all got together to spread the boredom around?  Since they both come from states without pro football teams, Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb have nothing better to do this weekend.  Uncle Joe might even show up.  He’s always fun!

“My reason for not watching the GOP debate? Well, I’m dead, so there’s that…”

 

Here Comes the Pain

If you ain’t one of Us, you must be one of Them and we don’t like Them.

I was in the lunchroom trying to eat my soup before it got cold.   A pretty young woman who is a political junkie as much as I am smiled an even prettier smile and asked me oh-so-sweetly, “Jeff, do you think there’s any chance the Democrats can win in Ohio in November?”

I could have gone into the gory details at excruciating length, but I kept it short.  “Not a hope in hell.”   Her smile flipped over into a frown.   I didn’t want to dash her hopes, but I couldn’t lie either.

The  suffering is nearly over for the Democrats.  They knew going into 2014 with the sour mood of the voters and the uncanny ability of the Republicans to successfully make all the Democrats fault, they are  standing on the eve of a major wipe-out in November.   The pain is coming and blood will flow with the President and his party on the receiving end of most of it.

Though I’m on the Do Not Call registry, I get hit up by the Democrats for campaign cash because I’ve given in the past.  I get a call tonight for some kid trying to support Democratic candidates for governor and he starts reading from his script.

“Good evening sir, there’s good news for Democrats.  Our candidates for governor are up or close in several states.  Charlie Crist is leading Rick Scott in Florida.   Mary So-and-So is tied with Scott Walker in Wisconsin.   Democrats are on the move, but we need your generous support.”

“That’s GOVERNOR Douche to you!”

I interrupted the kid’s feel-good, happy talk before he could get to the part where I’m supposed to drag out my credit card and send him $50 bucks.  “Well, that’s great for you guys in Florida and Wisconsin, but I live in Ohio and here in Ohio the zombie running for governor is losing to John Kasich by 20 points.   If Kasich died between now and November, they could run Kasich’s dog against Ed FitzGerald and still win by double-digits.”  You could melt steel with the acidic disdain dripping from my lips.

Dead silence.  Sadly for this poor kid nobody prepped him in dealing with an irritated contributor.  He tried to regroup and continue the sales pitch of fairy dust and unicorns pooping rainbows, but I wasn’t trying to hear any of that noise and shut him down quick.”

“Look, I know you’re just trying to do you job and raise some money for the Democrats, but you’re not going to get me to believe things are all sweetness and light,” I said.   “The Democrats aren’t even trying in my state and when FitzGerald goes down in flames next month he’s going to take the whole ticket of other candidates down with him.  They are going to go down hard and lose big.”

It didn’t have to be this way.

Two years ago when President Obama was running for reelection,  I couldn’t go more than a day or so without somebody from the campaign calling, emailing or knocking on the door making sure they got out the vote and more importantly got the base fired up to vote.   Now here we stand less than a month away from an election that will decide the balance of power in Congress as well as statehouses across the nation and the blase indifference of the Democrats is frankly stunning to behold.  Nobody’s knocked on my door.  I barely see any yard signs.  Only the Republicans seem to have bought any commercial time to tell me how wonderful life is since Kasich became governor.   What’s the response from the other side?   Damned if I know.   They aren’t even making enough of an effort to even be considered embarrassing.

It’s as though the Dems have resigned themselves to getting worked by the Repubs.  Yeah, we’re gonna get bitch-slapped.   Going over the cliff.   Driving down a dark country road at midnight with no headlights.  Playing Russian Roulette with five bullets in the chamber.  No sense trying to fight fate.

There’s no shame in losing.  The shame is in not even trying to win.  If the Democrats have a plan to avoid being humbled and humiliated  it will take a far better political prognosticator than I to figure out what it is.

I don’t see any effort.  I don’t feel any sense of urgency.   I don’t have any feeling the Democrats are going to pull off a last minute save and deny the Republicans almost complete control.

The Republicans moved me out of the White House into a warehouse.

And they have plans for you and you and me too.   Lots of plans, and all of you who didn’t care today will care a lot tomorrow and tomorrow and the tomorrow after that.    If you’re a woman they have plans for your reproductive organs.  If you’re in a labor union they got plans to bust unions.   If you’re unemployed don’t look for any extensions of benefits.   If you’re a college student you’ve got no relief coming from those student loans.   If you’re Black there’s more prisons and less affirmative action coming your way.   If you’re gay they’re coming to shut down that marriage equality stuff.   There are lots of folks who are going to get what’s coming to them and the GOP is going to give it to them good and hard.

Sometimes shit has to get really bad before it can get any better and trust me when I say this:  when there’s nothing between the plans of the Koch Brothers and ALEC and all those other incredibly wealthy, incredibly greedy and incredibly vindictive bastards whom have been patiently waiting and plotting and planning for this moment, oh, what you got coming!

Just you wait…

Can Hulkbama Smash Not -So Puny Republicans?

“Hulkbama SMASH puny Mittens!”

Did anyone really think winning a second term would be easy?

If you’re paying any attention to the polls and the news and the pundits you would think the election was already over and Barack Obama should be choosing the words for his concession speech.  And let’s not mince words:  Obama had a terrible May and the news for June isn’t starting off any better with Mitt Romney and the RNC raising $76.8 million in May clobbering the president and the Democrats’ $60 million (my $25 bucks is in there somewhere, but they’re back begging for more).

There’s no spinning this as anything but bad news for the Democrats.  They knew after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling they would be behind a fundraising 8-ball, but they probably weren’t expecting to be this far behind already.   the only good news is with five months to go, there’s still time to get their base motivated and active.  The bad news the Republican base already is.

If elections were won in June there would be no reason to vote in November.   They aren’t and running from behind is a place Obama has been before.   No incumbent president has won reelection with the unemployment rate over 7 percent.  Right now it stands at 8.2 percent which is not good news for Americans looking for work or for the president’s chances of keeping his job either.

It was never going to be easy for Obama.  Hope and Change has run headlong into Disillusion and Reality.  No one man no matter how much he inspires or how much difference he said he would make can change the way politics work in America by himself.   Not everybody wants things to change.  When they don’t they push back against it and the Republicans have kept a united force against the president since he first took office.

The gloomy mood for Democrats deepened this week as the special election in Wisconsin to recall Republican incumbent Scott Walker fell dismally short and instead emboldened gleeful conservatives.

The recall flopped as most voters stayed home and most that bothered to show up backed the favorite son of the Koch Brothers over Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor Walker had beaten before to win the job in the first place.  The recall was backed by Walker’s enemies on the Left and wasted precious time, money and effort in a long-shot bid to oust an unpopular incumbent; though not as unpopular as they had hoped.

You really think “Slash and Burn” is a better motto than “Hope and Change,” Bill?

This was the equivalent of wanting a “do over” and because the election results don’t go the way you want doesn’t mean you’re gonna get a second bite of the apple.

Recalls should be reserved for high crimes, misdemeanors and illegalities in office. Scott Walker may be a dick with ears, but that’s not a good enough reason to overturn the will of the majority of Wisconsin voters.

I’m hardly surprised Walker won and Obama stayed out of the recall. The Left will barbecue the president’s butt over it, but this smelled like a loser from the jump. They should have known when Russ Feingold, a hero of progressives declined to run against Walker, he was trying to tell them something.

Yes, there will be an insufferable amount of giggling coming from fatheads like Limbaugh and Faux News, but c’est la vie. If you try to kill the king, you’d better take him down because if you don’t he’s going to make your lives hell on Earth and if anybody thinks Scott Walker will feel humbled or chastised by the recall, they’re high on crack. If anything, if he could run for the GOP presidential nomination he’d have a good shot at it as a bona fide conservative rock star.

Way to go Wisconsin labor and liberals.   Now we’re already hearing Romney has a good shot at taking Wisconsin away from Obama in five months. Such are the perils of overreach.

Elections have consequences and if the political winds were once blowing in Scott Walker’s face, they definitely are at his back now.

Though Obama chose not to throw his support behind Barrett, Bill Clinton threw his weight behind him, but that wasn’t enough to fire up the Democratic base, another worrying sign for the fall.

Bill being Bill means though he says he believes Obama will win by five or six points made headlines by going “off-message” and praising Romney for his time at Bain Capital at the same time when the Obama campaign has blasted him for killing jobs, not creating them.   The former president joined another Obama surrogate, Newark Mayor Cory Booker in undercutting the president by criticizing the attacks on Romney’s time as a vulture capitalist.

This snafu has delighted Republicans and dumbfounded Democrats wondering why Clinton and one of the party’s brightest rising young stars can’t seem to get on the same page as President Obama.

For Booker it may simply be inexperience as a campaign surrogate on this level.  But there’s no such thing as Bill Clinton misspeaking or going off message.  Bubba is one of the sharpest mind in politics and he doesn’t simply have brain farts where he says something off-the-cuff he has to back pedal from later.  Clinton says what he means even if he doesn’t always mean what he says.

This is just his way of tweaking Obama to remind him how much the current president needs the former president to have his back  if he wants to follow his footsteps to a second term instead of Jimmy Carter to one-and-done.

Never mind that.  Let Bubba be Bubba and enjoy his little joke.  Ultimately Obama’s fortunes will rise and fall not on who endorses him, but if  voters believe he’s done a good enough job for a second term.

There’s still plenty of time and it’s too early to get worried.   Obama could use a few wins, but with the Supreme Court on the verge of handing down its decision on healthcare reform, the signature achievement of his presidency, things may get worse before they get better.

“Thas’ right. I’m a bad mutha.”

Resistance Rises Against Republican Governors Union Busting Agenda

Resistance is futile? Surrender is worse.

If you’re a member of a public workers, teacher, police, fire or any organized labor group and you voted Republican, I have a question for you. With Republicans across the country moving heaven and earth to break, bust and destroy unions are you happy now???

New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie created the template as a budget hawk by balancing his budget by going after the unions.   Now newcomers John Kasich and Scott Walker in Wisconsin are playing follow the leader by ending collective bargaining, stripping state unions of the right to strike and cutting wages and benefits.

State governors have to do what they can to resolve their budget deficits, many of which run into the billions.  But doing it by breaking labor unions is reprehensible.   The right to enter collective bargaining with one’s employer is not a right that once taken away will be easily given back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good, so I have no problem with state workers in Wisconsin raising hell and standing up.

Several former members of the Super Bowl champions Green Bay Packers released a statement in support of their fellow Wisconsin union brothers and sisters:

“We know that it is teamwork on and off the field that makes the Packers and Wisconsin great. As a publicly owned team we wouldn’t have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans.

“It is the same dedication of our public workers every day that makes Wisconsin run. They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families. But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work.”

“The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class. When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards. Wisconsin’s long standing tradition of allowing public sector workers to have a voice on the job has worked for the state since the 1930s. It has created greater consistency in the relationship between labor and management and a shared approach to public work.

“These public workers are Wisconsin’s champions every single day and we urge the Governor and the State Legislature to not take away their rights.”

 

Rights taken away are hard to take back.

 

The NFLPA, now involved in negotiations with the NFL owners who may lock them out March 4 if a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t reached issued a statement in support of the Wisconsin workforce,  “The NFL Players Association will always support efforts protecting a worker’s right to join a union and collectively bargain. Today, the NFLPA stands in solidarity with its organized labor brothers and sisters in Wisconsin,”

President Obama cut to the chase saying,  “Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally seems like more of an assault on unions.”

The American media–the supposed “liberal” American media–ignores and ridicules the labor movement.   Think about it:  there are plenty of programs devoted to business leaders and their perspectives.  Who speaks for the working men and women?

It’s not the GOP.     Locally,  both the Republican governor and  Republican candidates for city council are declaring war against public employees.

Joseph Healy, an endorsed Republican who is a remodeling contractor, said he would go further, seeking cuts of up to 20 percent in wages and benefits from the city’s unions, including police and fire. City leaders should threaten to cut 10 percent of the jobs unless the unions agree to pay cuts, he said.

“I’d go right to the jugular and challenge the unions,” he said.

 

Chris Christie is the template other Republican governors are following.

 

“Right to the jugular?” Nice. Is there any doubt Republicans see organized labor as a blood enemy?   Here in Ohio almost  two thousand public employees dressed in red t-shirts, descended on the Ohio Statehouse to oppose Senate Bill 5.   The bill, supported by Governor Kasich and the Republican-controlled House and Senate would strip state employees of the right to collective bargaining and punish those whom go out on strike.

Unions have a mixed record, but so does business.   When I worked for the state of Ohio I had to pay union dues though I wasn’t a full-time employee with benefits.   I wasn’t crazy about having to pay into a union that didn’t fully look out for me.    However, the Republicans have declared war upon unions and the more they do the more I see the necessity of unions.    The default position of many whom are not in a union or dislike them is to write off the state employees as being selfish and unwilling to compromise in a time of economic hardship.    What Kasich, Walker and other GOP governors are doing isn’t about creating new jobs or a better economic environment.   Their  aim  is to destroy unions.  You  don’t help the middle class by attempting to bust a group of workers whom are middle class.    The logic of destroying jobs to create jobs is ridiculous.

The Republican Party: the friend of the working man. Yeah, right. Those two hands you feel on your shoulders and that slight, but growing pressure at your rear? That’s not your physician giving you an examination.

Workers in Wisconsin and Ohio have met the enemy and the enemy are Republican governors who eagerly and gleefully are pursuing a goal to break unions, privatize state agencies, slash social services and eliminate any health, environmental and workplace regulation that might impede with businesses wanting to do as they damn well please.    For the American labor movement this is their Egypt moment.    They can either stand up and protest, organize and make the Republicans pay dearly in the 2012 elections or they can do nothing and be steamrolled by right-wing governors pursing an aggressive union-busting agenda.
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. ~ “V” for Vendetta