The Supreme Court issued yet another blow against working Americans today in the case of Harris v. Quinn.
The high court ruled 5 to 4 - with the usual crew of Federalist Society ideologues in the majority - that unions representing home care workers don't have to collect fair share fees from workers they represent who are classed as public workers. This ruling forces union workers to subsidize nonunion labor.
This decision flies in the face of the Constitution's safeguards against uncompensated labor, impairment of contracts, and freedom of association. It even weakens the longstanding Abood v. Detroit Board of Education ruling that protects worker rights. It's almost like having a misnamed "right-to-work" law that applies to public home care employees.
Many folks feared today's ruling would be much broader. Some worried that the court would write a federal "right-to-work" law that would have decimated the rights of all workers - public and private, in all occupations. I am firmly convinced that warnings of nationwide labor protests warded off such a sweeping decision. There was serious talk on some websites of a major pushback by workers if a wider ruling was imposed. Then again, it's not like we shouldn't fight back anyway.
Monday, June 30, 2014
The Supreme Court issued yet another blow against working Americans today in the case of Harris v. Quinn.
Posted by Bandit at 11:41 AM
Sunday, June 29, 2014
A Supreme Court ruling this past Thursday opens up a whole new vista in the fight for the 99%.
The Supremes ruled 9 to 0 in the McCullen v. Coakley case that you can't pass a law establishing a "buffer zone" to prohibit protests near abortion clinics. In fairness, I believe it would be the correct ruling if every anti-abortion protester was peaceful. But - in light of violence by the likes of John Salvi III, Eric Rudolph, and other right-wing extremists - I have my doubts.
The ruling resulted from a lawsuit filed by anti-abortion activists who wanted to practice what they call "sidewalk counseling." Fair enough, but you do realize what the ruling means, don't you? McCullen v. Coakley reams a gaping Bazooka hole through any efforts to prohibit Occupy from doing anything Occupy has ever done.
Of course, all of this is lost on the lunatic Right - which has proven itself to be unresponsive to moderation. I had another Facebook brawl with one of their cultists this weekend. Someone on a Facebook forum brang up an important economic issue, and I felt compelled to patiently correct their misunderstandings of labor law. Most peeps responded positively to the information I posted. But one John Luebbers chimed in, spoiling for a fight.
The Lubester began attacking Occupy with false anecdotes - even though no mention of Occupy had been made previously. He claimed Occupy had "rape tents" - which is a lie. (No Occupy supporters have ever been implicated in any rapes.) Of course, there wasn't any provocation for Luebbers's meltdown. He flew off the handle just because that's what unstable maniacs like him do.
This public temper tantrum underscores the notion that we can't afford to play nice with the 1% and their violent mob.
But thanks to McCullen v. Coakley, we now have legal cover to up our game. The Evil Empire's tactics will be copied. Fight fire with fire. I am so over playing nice.
The Far Right doesn't think like we do. They don't understand facts and reasoning - preferring instead to stay stupid. Just about anyone else understands you when you post facts. But not the hateful scoundrels who make up Team Tyranny.
Posted by Bandit at 6:00 PM
Friday, June 27, 2014
Tim laments the downfall of a once-entertaining television program...
Posted by Bandit at 6:15 PM
Meet Jordan Haskins of Saginaw, Michigan.
Haskins is a rising Republican star, and he's the GOP nominee for a Michigan House seat. He's volunteered for the campaigns of major Republican candidates, and - as a diehard Tea Party conservative - he testified against a proposed Saginaw antidiscrimination ordinance.
And Haskins has racked up some felony convictions related to a very bizarre sexual fetish he has.
He's served time in Michigan and North Carolina. The charges stem from his habit of breaking into cars and starting them up to facilitate his sexual interest. According to a police report, "Jordan would remove the spark plug wires and sit in the car and masturbate while the motor was sparking and making noises." In a couple of incidents, he broke into county-owned mosquito control vehicles. In a different incident, he admitted to breaking into a city police car and masturbating in it.
Haskins is still on parole, but he says he's running for public office because "I want to be the Republican, the conservative candidate that says, you know, conservatism is for you. Because conservatism, real conservatism, true red-blooded American conservatism is about grit, hard work, loyalty, and traditional values. ... The 3 values that make up my stool of conservatism are faith, family, and freedom."
As for now, the Republican Party is standing by their embattled candidate.
Posted by Bandit at 4:22 PM
Now we know one way to get Fox News to zip its lip.
An anonymous Army official has now confirmed that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been cleared of desertion. The Army says there is no evidence whatsoever that Bergdahl is guilty of any misconduct.
Naturally, The Media has almost completely ignored this story.
Posted by Bandit at 11:06 AM
Friday, June 20, 2014
In the wake of the right-wing media's swiftboating of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sometimes it's easy to forget that the Far Right's treachery against America is not new. A Korean War POW received the Tea Party treatment 61 years ago - decades before there even was a Tea Party.
In 1953, Army Staff Sgt. Jack Flanary, 21, was released from a prisoner of war camp after almost 3 years. His hometown of Benham, Kentucky, planned a huge welcoming celebration and parade.
But the event was derailed by right-wingers just as it was getting underway. Right-wing windbags had falsely claimed that Flanary had collaborated with Red China during his years in captivity. The celebration's organizers heard of this at the start of the event and decided to call it off. The American Legion revoked a $50 savings bond they had promised to Flanary.
Luckily, the townsfolk didn't believe the right-wingers' lies. They immediately collected $500 in place of the rescinded savings bond. People donated various other items. Thousands of area residents celebrated Flanary's homecoming with a huge party that lasted until the following morning.
Fast forward 61 years. As of today, the fascist Tea Party is continuing to step up its smears against Bergdahl. This is a disgrace. In fact, it's such a disgrace that if the Republican Party doesn't face real, long-lasting political repercussions, maybe it proves Team Tyranny is right about one thing only: government really is the problem. Who needs a government run by the Tea Party?
Posted by Bandit at 12:46 AM
Thursday, June 19, 2014
I got home last night from a fact-finding mission in the Northeastern U.S., and there's lots of neet poo to report.
I noticed a plopping on the very first bathroom stop of the trip. Somebody threw an Ohio Lottery ticket in the toilet at the TA gas station in Octa, Ohio.
One LAP bunker blast was detected on this trip. In the hallway at a motel in Brattleboro, Vermont, some guy ripped a trouser sneeze.
Celebrity look-alikes included "Weird Al" Yankovic, Mr. Hooper, and Ron Jeremy. Plus, there was that old lady we thought was Konstantin Chernenko.
Also, at the Longhorn restaurant in St. Clairsville, Ohio, some old man bubbled.
Posted by Bandit at 3:39 PM
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Oh. My. Gosh.
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi) is one of these far-right incumbents who has a Tea Party challenger in the primary even though he's already so right-wing that a Tea Party opponent is just redundant. That Tea Party challenger - Chris McDaniel (not to be confused with a local far-right legislator of the same name) - topped Cochran in the recent primary, and now they face a runoff.
McDaniel has had at least a couple scandals during this campaign. First, his campaign operatives snuck into Cochran's wife's room at a nursing home and took photos of her for an attack video. Then, when McDaniel campaigners locked themselves in the Hinds County Courthouse on election night - suspiciously surrounded by ballots - they couldn't get their story straight as to what they were doing there.
Now Cochran has just made this election even more bizarre than it already was. While campaigning in the Hattiesburg area, Cochran said that when he was growing up, he did "all kinds of indecent things with animals."
Posted by Bandit at 10:13 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Last month's trek to Georgia yielded 69 (hey Beavis you said 69!) photos. Peep, weep, and oggle-beep...
Posted by Bandit at 10:41 PM
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Here's an electoral development that I just can't believe. But it's true, it's true, it's all true!
The Virginia primary was today, and as if powerful House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wasn't Tea Party enough, he had a Tea Party challenger in the Republican primary: some nobody by the name of Dave Brat. Well, the results are rolling in, and Brat has defeated Cantor in a stunner. A Daily Kos blogger calls it "one of the most shocking primary upsets of all time."
Brat is so extreme that this threatens the Republicans' grip on that seat - and it helps seal the Tea Party's hold on the GOP.
Never saw this one coming, did you?
Posted by Bandit at 8:22 PM
My fellow Americans. The June issue of The Last Word is now pub, but it's only a 4-page affair, thanks to the boredom of the past couple months.
Despite this, I still managed to fit some hilarity into this ish, such as a recent trip to Georgia, an uproarious special report on forfeited baseball games, a person peeing on a slide at a local park, and other important news!
So read The Last Word before it reads you...
Posted by Bandit at 12:28 PM
Monday, June 9, 2014
No surprise here.
The assailants in the deadly shooting in Las Vegas yesterday have now been identified as Jerad and Amanda Miller. Jerad Miller not only railed against Obamacare on his Facebook page but was also a fan of Tea Party groups like Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. He also appeared at Cliven Bundy's ranch to show support for him. Amanda Miller also supported right-wing causes.
How much worse will the Tea Party's war against America get before the government grows the gumption to rein it in?
Posted by Bandit at 1:36 PM
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014
This is the sad state of the right-wing blogosphere.
Team Tyranny has been on fire today with the emergence of 2 videos that purport to show President Obama chewing gum with all his might during a D-Day anniversary event. They painted the Commander-in-Chief as disrespectful.
Not surprisingly, it turns out both videos were doctored, and even an idiot can see it. In both videos, you can see the people in the background repeating their own motions, so it's clear the wingnutosphere just looped the clips over and over.
How babyish of them.
When the fascist Washington Times reported on this "story", at least one commenter called them out, saying, "Is that the video? The 5-6 second video run of him 'chewing', with the woman in the yellow hat who also appears to be chewing or exhibiting a facial tick, has been looped 5 or six times. Are you people really this nuts?" Yes. They are really this nuts.
The 3 remaining users of far-right website Free Republic have boasted of doctoring the video further. One Freeper suggested, "Somebody should photoshop the picture with him blowing a bubble." At least now if a photo emerges of Obama bubbling at the event, we'll know it was a fake too.
Is this what the conservative movement has become? Instead of coming up with fresh ideas or trying to fix their own broken movement, they spend their time trying to figure out how to make fake photos of the President of the United States blowing bubbles with bubble gum. That's their campaign strategy - when they're not swiftboating newly released POW's.
Posted by Bandit at 11:57 PM
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The right-wing firestorm against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has made one thing clear in recent days: The conservative movement as it exists today is not recognizably American or patriotic.
But this disloyalty is not new. I'm old enough to remember the treachery they committed in 1994 during the Michael Fay story. Fay - as oldsters like me may recall - was an American citizen living in Singapore. The right-wing dictatorship in Singapore accused him of vandalism, conducted a show trial, and sentenced him to be flogged with a bamboo cane.
The Far Right went ballistic - not against Singapore, but against America. They flooded newspapers with letters smirking about how the United States should follow Singapore's practice of phony trials and harsh sentences for minor crimes. This despite the fact that they were the first ones to defend far more serious crimes that plagued our region. The people who said I was a nut for demanding that violent neo-Nazi hate groups be prosecuted were the same people who demanded caning for someone accused of a far less serious crime (who may have been innocent anyway).
One local politician even sent fan mail to Singapore's government.
American conservatives displayed more loyalty to a right-wing foreign dictatorship than they did to America. And they had a captive audience too. This was a more conservative area back then, and imagine having to wade through their lies and treachery and having to listen to them running America down because it has "too much freedom" - day after fucking day.
These days - in smearing an American POW and demanding that he be left behind - the Far Right is displaying more loyalty to the right-wing outrage industry than they do to America. That's not patriotism. I'm firmly antiwar, but there's no excuse for the betrayal displayed by the Tea Party and the right-wing media.
If Team Tyranny hates America so much, they should leave. They'll be happier, and we'll be happier.
Another observation: I've already been criticized elsewhere for saying the right-wing thought police should leave the country, because that's supposedly stooping to their level. Something about not "understanding" our enemies. Actually it isn't stooping to their level, because the right-wingers have been unpatriotic - while our side hasn't been. They've been asking for it. Over and over - for years and years. Besides, if not fighting back against them is so effective, ask the Democrats what happened to them at the polls when they kept caving. Why don't you go look at my high school records to see what happened when I didn't fight back?
That changed your tune, huh?
Posted by Bandit at 1:25 PM
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
I hate war. I hate the usual reasons given for war, and I hate the destruction and death caused by war.
But there's no excuse for attacking a brave American prisoner of war over his war record. Naturally, the Republicans and the right-wing media are doing exactly that.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl - the only American soldier to be held as a POW in the Afghanistan conflict - was recently freed when President Obama negotiated a transfer in which 5 prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay death camp would also be released. Predictably, the Tea Party threw a temper tantrum about Gitmo inmates being released, and demanded a congressional investigation into the transfer.
The real scandal though was that Gitmo was still open. As one of his first acts in office, Obama signed an executive order to close the facility. So why in the fuck is it still open 5 years later?! Because - among other reasons - Congress blocked the effort to close it.
I guess the Tea Party realized they were looking stupid when they grumbled about the transfer itself, so they decided to up the ante. They've begun painting Bowe Bergdahl as a military deserter. No evidence, of course. Just wild Tea Party speculation.
The military's creed is to leave no soldier behind. In other words, even if Bergdahl was a deserter, that doesn't change the other facts of the story. Was the Obama administration supposed to leave an American POW in captivity forever? Plus, if there's reason to believe that Bergdahl deserted, that's what the Uniform Code of Military Justice is for. That's not what the Tea Party is for.
It gets stupider. Sarah Palin says that by securing Bergdahl's release, Obama is helping Osama bin Laden - even though bin Laden has been dead for 3 years.
The Defense Department has already discredited any claims that Bergdahl is a deserter. In fact, the Army promoted his rank. But the right-wing media has of course run with the ball by amplifying the desertion claims. In doing so, media outlets have even blurted out classified information. Tell me who's really putting the nation's security at risk?
In the meantime, Republicans plan to use this story as an electoral sledgehammer. The GOP itself has called it Obama's "Willie Horton moment." Like their Horton talking point in 1988, this one also appeals primarily to meth-heads. But the GOP chickenhawks may have bitten off more than they can masticate, since it's hard to see how anyone can win votes by assailing a POW's war record. I've criticized John McCain - but not for his war service.
It is downright unpatriotic to be calling a war hero a deserter.
Posted by Bandit at 12:28 AM
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Well, well, well, and well. What do we have here?
It seems that yet more evidence has surfaced proving that the Veterans Administration scandal - which the right-wing media tries to blame President Obama for - is actually the fault of George W. Bush.
Even Mother Jones magazine - which has otherwise largely abandoned its progressive legacy - has an article describing how the scandal started under Bush. Bush knew about the backlogs and secret waiting lists but refused to do anything about them.
In essence, Bush deliberately gutted the VA just to "prove" public health care doesn't work - thus advancing his political agenda. We already knew he was trying to push this agenda though, thanks to the 2007 scandal involving the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. That facility was not part of the Veterans Health Administration, but it became the site of severe patient neglect during the Bush years. Among other things, the center experienced infestations by rats and cockroaches.
The latest findings reveal that officials in the Bush regime falsified VA records. During this cover-up, one clinic amassed a backlog of over 3,500 patients.
Blaming the Obama administration for this scandal would be like blaming me when a local media outlet undercut its own coverage of what could have been a bombshell story about corporate wrongdoing. Some people would rather point fingers than find solutions.
Bush's involvement in the VA scandal is just another example of the conservative movement doing what it does best. It complains about government, gets into power, and then abuses government positions.
Posted by Bandit at 12:21 PM