Thursday Links from The Political Carnival
Jobs, income inequality, minimum wage, and the economy in general are expected to be major topics that will likely be covered extensively by the media and in campaign ads in 2014.
Speaking of which, are any of you fans of Jeff Danziger's political cartoons? I love his stuff, both artistically and politically. Why, here's one on income inequality now!
Which leads us to his op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times on "where the jobs are." Please read the whole thing, because he has a lot to say and managed to say it in a relatively short piece.
Danziger simplified the issue so that even a Republican could understand it. He offered some real-life examples of how the "global economy" has affected all of us, including stories of people he knows personally or has simply encountered in his daily travels. And some of those people were woefully ignorant.
Here's an excerpt from the post, but again, this one deserves a read, so please follow the linky:
Over the last 20 years, countries around the world have ditched their communist governments, or at least turned their backs on strict communist economic principles. At the same time, India and other Asian nations have rapidly moved into global trade. This has meant billions more workers around the world competing with American workers to make stuff and offer services. At the same time, shipping has become more efficient and economical, and international communication has become cheap, instantaneous and simple. And since the international workers are willing to accept extremely low wages, they have the advantage. Around the world, subsistence farmers have transformed themselves into subsistence factory workers.
And during this entire period, what did the United States government do to meet this challenge? Nothing.
Happy New Year, Big Corporate Biz! Underpaid workers, among others, thank you, as do dying American industries.
As Danziger notes, "Perhaps unemployment is how we learn economics." That's us, alright, always learning the hard way.
The political game of chess continues and the bishop to King's pawn move is on the clock.
One of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act comes from the Democratic side. It's often loud-mouthed, twisted logic Montana's very own Mr. MaGoo, Senator Max Baucus. If only Jim Backus was still alive, he could play him in the Baucus Raucus Caucus Lampoon movie. Slappy Maxie is kind of the Senate's version of Leslie Nielson -- from Police Squad. You never know what's going on in his head.
Now following in his earlier steps to remove a political adversary by making him the ambassador to China (John Huntsman), Obama is returning to his playbook. He's nominating Max B to the ambassadorship of China -- a place where he can do little harm and be as far away from the furthering battles over the Affordable Care Act which Baucas opposes.
There's also a little bit more to this game plan. Obama knows that the current governor of Montana, Governor Steve Bullock will most likely appoint Lt. Gov. John Walsh to replace Baucus in the Senate. Walsh is already an announced candidate to fill the Baucus seat and his presumed opponent is Rep. Steve Daines. Leading into this recent move, this contest was considered to be one of the most competitive Senate races in the country.
This move with Walsh will give him added bona fides in his race as he will run as a sitting senator. It's a small thing, but it's certainly a great opportunity to increase his name value and recognition both statewide and nationally.
The chess game continues. This is one move that I can't find any shortcomings in. Democrats need to keep control of the senate, and this is going to help. It's no guarantee, but I like the chances of holding this seat democratic.
You can follow me on twitter: @linzack
Republicans are just like pet cats. "Oh, look, another shiny object."
Recently rounds of their Scandalgates include: Solyndra, the IRS, Benghazi, Obamacare, court packing, and now Iran. Those frisky felines just can't find enough distractions from doing their job, legislating. How about financial reform? Immigration? A crumbling infrastructure? Job creation? Illegal voter restrictions? Education funding
Why can't the Republicans accept peaceful means as an answer for settling conflicts? Why must bullets fly? Are they really that heavily into the back pockets of the current day military-industrial complex?
This past Saturday night, a long in the works agreement was finally reached on a first step agreement toward resolving a growing nuclear threat with Iran. Happy, happy, joy, joy! Not to the war-torn tribes of the Republican party.
This agreement is but a first step. Not a treaty. An agreement to outline procedures that could ultimately lead to a resolve of tensions, sanctions and normalization with a huge population in the tension packed Middle East.
Though Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu isn't happy, the rest of the world should be. If we go to war with Iran, all of the middle east will be pulled in and every power around the world (Russia, China, Japan, England) will be drawn into the conflict. This area is the hotbed, the potential flash point of a possible nuclear annihilation of the world. Any chance at peace in that region must be seriously exploited.
So this accord should be looked at in a positive light -- unless you're a Republican. When you're the party of war and conflict, peace becomes your enemy. And if the people of the US have tired of war, you have to keep up the ruse of a threat so you can still hold onto your popularity. That's the talking points now for the Republicans. But what they're really saying is they're against possible peaceful solutions when they can profit so much more by seeing US troops killed and so much blood and money pumped into their war machine.
This agreement is a baby step, the beginning of a long and most arduous journey. But we have to start somewhere, and firing the shot heard round the world isn't the best option. Not when talking, peacefully negotiating and bringing the world together focusing on facts, not rumors, is the result.
The Israeli's who are generally very reliable say Iran is but moments (figuratively) away from nuclear capabilities. But the English and French who gave GW Bush the intelligence that Saddam Hussein had WMD's are just as reliable. And their claims proved false. Do we need a war when we can peacefully approach and confirm the situation?
There are risks here, make no mistake. But when the argument against the first steps are "this is just a smoke screen or diversion from the failed rollout of Obamacare" you have to wonder what planet these critics are from. A diversion? I can't wait until Obama faces responsibility for the next blizzard, earthquake or hurricane that happens upon our shores.
Let's get real here. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Senators John Cornyn and Bob Corker are leading the charge of talking points that claim this agreement is merely a distraction for Obamacare. This pablum is coming from leaders of the fallen GOP party. This kind of thinking indicates they are all in need a LifeAlert bracelet -- "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up."
If these morons can utilize their talking points, maybe it's time the Democrats start pushing theirs-- play the racial bigotry card against the GOP. Republicans don't want peace because they don't want a Black president to get credit for eliminating chemical weapons in Syria, ending a war in Iraq and shutting down nuclear threats in Iran.
In the '70s, during the Viet Nam era, the popular chant of John Lennon's song became a peace mantra, 'All we are saying, is give peace a chance." Never truer than today. Let's give peace a chance.
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Lt. Col Barry Wingard is the lawyer for Gitmo detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. For their ongoing story + related topics, please click on the link below:
Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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