Big article in International Business Times today by David Sirota and Lydia O’Neal about infrastructure privatization being pushed by Mike Pence and his examples of failure when governor in his home state. “Indiana has been a national leader in this area where you use private capital to build infrastructure,” Pence told one conservative radio host just after the 2016 election, signaling his eagerness to get started, but opponents of privatization have depicted Indiana as a heartland cautionary tale of get-rich-quick scheming and secrecy that led the state to sell off valuable public assets, which were then wildly mismanaged. To them, the Indiana story reveals the ideological zealotry of a politician who is now a driving force behind an infrastructure program that could radically reshape local economies and commerce in communities across the country, and for generations to come.
Hello MR Sam and crew,
My dad was one of the first hire employees of an agency created by the National Security Act of 1947, so our family lived in many foreign countries during my first fourteen years on earth including Germany, when I was 9 to 12 years old. At that time, the US Army sponsored Boy Scout troops across Europe for military and government dependents, and when I turned eleven I joined one in 1961. We left Germany in 1963 and ended up in Florida where, after getting settled in school, I joined a local troop in 1964. The differences between the two Boy Scout experiences were significant. In Germany we concentrated on earning as many merit badges as possible, we went on hikes, and we took part in weekend campouts regularly. During the six months I continued scouting in Florida, the only thing we did was practice marching. Meetings were held in a baptist church that usually featured holy-roller speakers claiming the Cubans were coming from 90 miles away, and we had to learn to duck and cover. It took a couple of months to convince my parents I wanted out, so they attended a meeting and the following month I joined an Optimist Club sponsored Conservation Club which was a huge improvement. Along with our monthly meetings, we went on several field trips and held bi-annual statewide week-long campouts. Oh, did I mention the club was about half female? What tRump did speaking at the Boy Scout jamboree was inculcate an extremely psychologically vulnerable group of adolescent males with a monstrous message that might-makes-right and bullies are best. While men’s rights advocates and rape culture degenerates must be proud after hearing tRump’s stump dump, liberals, women, and minorities are forced to live in a constant state of future fear.
Recently discovered some remnants of my past:
During the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), both major teachers’ unions — the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) decided to caucus separately from the rest of labor. They formed what became known as the neo-liberal caucus, endorsed Hillary Clinton early and funded her campaign lavishly. Has their endorsement of neo-lib, republicon-lite candidates resulting in the slow strangulation of the complete labor movement been since Reagan or has it accelerated just in the past two years?
Please see JACOBIN:
“Unfortunately, while the cancer may be most developed in the four breakaway unions, it isn’t confined there. It infects all too much of the institutional labor movement. But militant struggle against neoliberalism within the movement can stem the tide, such as Labor For Bernie’s success in keeping the AFL-CIO at least neutral in the primary. In the past year over one hundred local unions, several internationals, and countless rank-and-file activists endorsed Sanders and coalesced as Labor For Bernie in an upstart rejection of status-quo conservative unionism. To alter the old adage, the friend of our enemy is our enemy — labor activists must broaden the struggle to fight against not only corporations, but also corporate-minded politicians and unionists. Union members and leaders must do everything in their power to halt the march of neoliberal unionism, before they march the labor movement straight into its grave.
Please give Rep Barbara Lee her due for 16 years of persistance against the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Action by passing her amendment to repeal it. THE NATION quotes Peace Action Executive Director Jon Rainwater:
“The 2001 AUMF is the reason the U.S. has been involved in military campaigns in at least seven countries. It’s the reason we’ve allowed the war in Afghanistan to become America’s longest war. It’s the reason a whole generation has grown up not knowing a time without war. Representative Lee has championed opposition to endless war brought on by the 2001 AUMF since day one with her sole vote to oppose it. The adoption of her amendment to repeal it gives Congress a chance to reclaim its constitutional role as an arbiter of war and peace.”
The disaster that is the tRump administration was pointed out in a recent article in The American Conservative by Mark Perry titled “Tillerson and Mattis Cleaning Up Kushner’s Middle East Mess-Are the adults in the room being thwarted?” Probably the most revealing paragraph focuses on Jared Kushner and how totally unprepared he is for the position to the point of sabotaging Rex Tillerson and the DOD with his statements and actions. The most damning paragraph refers to Kushner as a “vacuous kid” and “31 year-old amateur.”
From the article:
A close associate of the secretary of state says that Tillerson was not only “blind-sided by the Trump statement,” but “absolutely enraged that the White House and State Department weren’t on the same page.” Tillerson’s aides, I was told, were convinced that the true author of Trump’s statement was U.A.E. ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, a close friend of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. “Rex put two-and-two together,” his close associate says, “and concluded that this absolutely vacuous kid was running a second foreign policy out of the White House family quarters. Otaiba weighed in with Jared and Jared weighed in with Trump. What a mess.” The Trump statement was nearly the last straw for Tillerson, this close associate explains: “Rex is just exhausted. He can’t get any of his appointments approved and is running around the world cleaning up after a president whose primary foreign policy adviser is a 36-year-old amateur.”
During this time of the Drumpf, GOP office holders are acting enabled to flex their power into the lives of opposing activists by complaining to their bosses who pressures the political protester to resign. The latest example is Saily Avelenda of West Caldwell, New Jersey, who was a senior vice president and assistant general counsel at Lakeland Bank in NJ. She opposed Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen through a opposition group called: NJ 11th for Change, a group that formed after the election of Donald Trump and has been pressuring Frelinghuysen to meet with constituents in his district and oppose the Trump agenda. He sent a fund raising letter to a member of the bank’s board and wrote a note on it that an activist against him worked at the board member’s bank. She felt the pressure and resigned.
This is where petitioning the government for grievances gets far too personal.
CNN is reporting that one senior administration official said Sebastian Gorka is expected to find an opportunity outside the White House soon. Another said it’s possible he would take another job in the administration, but added it’s more likely he will leave altogether. That official said Gorka was simply generating too much controversy for the White House and it ‘s hard to distinguish between his utterly absurd pronouncements and those of the Majority Report staff mocking him.
Do you remember when President Barack Obama was credited for Harry Reid applying the “nuclear option” on judicial nominees under the level of SCOTUS? Me either, but this morning, on MSNBC, that’s the one “big win” DAILY BEAST reporter Betsy Woodruff gave tRumpleThinSkin for Mitch McConnell eliminating the filibuster to confirm the executioner, Neal Gorsuch. Judging by the new commercial trumpeting the first 100 days of our “glorious leader,” our heads have spun completely off by all of the “winning” oozing out of the White House.
Happy April 5th to the Majority Report and listeners, First Contact Day to the Star Trek universe and my youngest daughter’s 43rd birthday in my much smaller universe; but to the topic of universal health care, opponents to a single payer plan point to higher taxes, but businesses won’t be required to pay for employees health plans so shouldn’t those employees get a pay increase commensurate with that savings minus any increase in business tax if any? I can’t recall that factor being extolled in health care coverage discussions.