Archive for democracy – Page 2

VIDEO: "Post-Citizens United, conservatives look at [union decline] & smell blood." Unions support Dems. 'Nuff said.

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chart maddow unions v corps campaign spending smaller

I recently posted about WI Gov. Scott Walker suggesting stripping police and firefighter union rights. Without unions, workers suffer. (We all suffer.) They suffer because they have no rights to speak of, they can't fight for what should be their rights effectively, and their employers have no problem stomping all over them. That was made clear here: “Dignity… That was the message of the signs [the restaurant workers] carried: I am a man, I am a woman.”

Please take a look at why even conservatives should appreciate what unions do, and have done, for this country: What a difference a union can make! And that appreciation should extend to the U.S. Postal Service: “It’s called the U.S. Postal Service because it is a service, not a corporation.”

With that in mind, this clip is a must-watch. The entire segment is below:

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Melissa Harris-Perry:

All right. You got it? Unions not only gave us the weekends and health insurance.

Unions not only gave us the middle class.

Unions then gave that middle class a way to take part in the political process. In the significant part of the process that involves putting money into political campaigns.

And when union members get involved in campaigns, they tend to throw their considerable support behind Democrats. Not Republicans.

In other words, Republicans are trying to asphyxiate the Democratic party.

Here is the whole thing:

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Video Mid Day Distraction- Bastille Day fireworks in Paris

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Cartoons of the Day- Dysfunctional Democracy

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dysdem

Mike Smith

dysdem1

John Cole

dysdem2

Monte Wolverton

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Video- Jon Stewart "Captured" On Egyptian TV With Bassem Youssef

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This is so great, on so many levels. More about it here.

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VIDEO: Rev. Al Sharpton files lawsuit against Michigan Emergency Management system (aka financial martial law)

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what's the matter with michigan

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MSNBC:

On Thursday, Michigan’s Public Act 36 comes into effect and Detroit Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr becomes Emergency Manager (EM), granting him an expansion of his authority over the city, including the ability to unilaterally override collective bargaining agreements. However, a group of activists which includes PoliticsNation host Rev. Al Sharpton is working to strip him of those powers entirely. Sharpton’s organization, the National Action Network, has filed a federal lawsuit contending that the Emergency Management system is unlawful.

King Ricky Snyder's response to protests over stomping all over democracy by undermining voters?

“The old law went away, but we put in a new law that really was responsive to the issues that came up during that process,. And if you look at it, I’m also the elected official. I was elected by the people of Michigan. So there is an elected official in charge of that process, and I think that’s critically important.... It's not about excluding people, it's about teamwork... solving problems together..."

Said the elected official who gets to remain in power as he pulls the plug on other elected officials' power.

Teamwork my ass.

We've covered this story often, including this from earlier this month: MI Dictator, er, Gov. Snyder declares financial emergency in Detroit, will appoint emergency manager to take over.

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"Obamacare's other plus": Opening "the door to the democratic empowerment of millions of poor Americans."

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obamacare haven't been taken over by Soviets

There is an L.A. Times op-ed today by Nelson Lichtenstein about "Obamacare's other plus." It's a good read, so please link over.

If it is done right, the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) may well promise uninsured Americans a lot more than cheap, reliable medical care. It can also open the door to the democratic empowerment of millions of poor people, who are often alienated from much of the nation's civic life, by strengthening the organizations that give them a voice. [...]

But confusion, fear and ignorance among millions of potential beneficiaries can still doom the reform... Obamacare's success depends on maximum possible participation.

Lichtenstein then warns of an Affordable Care Act implosion if that doesn't happen.

And here comes the part where it becomes obvious why those on the right resent Obamacare so much. I mean other than their hatred of President Obama, not-rich people, and not-white people:

And here is where Obamacare's peril turns into a promise of enormous social and political benefit. As the poor, alienated and fearful realize that tangible benefits can be won through their neighborhood clinic, civic group or local trade union, and are drawn into civic life and grass-roots action, these organizations that are essential to the health reform's implementation will be strengthened as agents ofcivic engagement and citizen mobilization.

ding ding ding

This is not a case of creating more voters who will support Obama because of Obamacare. This is a 21st century example of Alexis de Tocqueville's 19th century observation that the health of American democracy depends on the vibrancy of numerous voluntary organizations.

Which must be one of the reasons we are still hearing that Paul Ryan thinks he can get Obamacare repealed.

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MI Dictator, er, Gov. Snyder declares financial emergency in Detroit, will appoint emergency manager to take over

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glitter crown

Let's recap what exactly the king dictator governor of Michigan has been up to.

King Ricky’s appalling financial martial law was, and apparently will continue to be, the legislation that allows one person (the emergency manager) to dictate all kinds of things without any input from voters. It renders local officials and voters powerless. For example:

  • He could do away with unions, with police officers, mayorships, you name it. You voted for someone and they won? Doesn't matter. OUT.
  • You like that school your kid goes to? Nevermind. GONE.
  • You cherish democracy and thought it would always be The American way? TOO BAD.

Then there's the GOP’s ongoing goal of crushing unions as a way of denying Democrats their political funding which would lead to eventual single party rule.

Governor Rick Snyder said that union busting is “pro-workers! It’s a good thing! This is a positive thing for unions!” Then the union busting “Right-to-work for work for less” measure was signed it into law. It’s important to remember that Michigan’s “Right to Work” law contains verbatim language from ALEC model bill.

But back to Financial Martial Law. It's ba-a-ack. Bloomberg:

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder plans to name an emergency manager to handle Detroit’s fiscal crisis, stripping power from local officials [...]

His decision may inflame opponents, as the administration of a white Republican seizes control of a place that is predominantly black and Democratic. [...]

Detroit... would be the sixth Michigan city put under state control [...]

Opponents say state takeovers disenfranchise voters by stripping elected officials of their power over municipalities or school districts, and may protect bondholders at the expense of employees, services and taxpayers... Some have said a takeover is racist because, along with Detroit, cities where almost half of Michigan’s black residents live would be under state control. Managers are already in charge in Allen Park, Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Flint and Pontiac.

Take a look at this segment of The Rachel Maddow Show from January 2012:

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what's the matter with michigan

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