Saturday Links from The Political Carnival
In the fight to keep unions out of Tennessee, efforts were blocked to unionize workers with Volkswagen’s plant, a tactic which harmed their state and in fact, all ‘right-to-work’ states in the South. After that decision, Volkswagen’s works council said that the automaker would hesitate to expand in the U.S. South, dealing a devastating blow for future business in that state.
But, Governor Nikki Haley is amping up the anti-union rhetoric with impunity in South Carolina.
Haley said that, much like Tennessee, she would rather see her state have less jobs than jobs that come with unions.
According to Iacknowledge, Haley said,
“It’s not something we want to see happen,” after an appearance at an automotive conference. She added, “We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don’t want to taint the water.”
Haley went on to say,
“You’ve heard me say many times I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement. It’s because we’re kicking them every day, and we’ll continue to kick them.”
South Carolina’s unemployment numbers are nothing to brag about.
State Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, a former BMW executive appointed by Haley, said, “Companies that are traditional union companies don’t seem to come looking for an operation in South Carolina. I think our brand and our image precedes us in that regard.”
Volkswagen’s other plants are unionized. When you start ostracizing workers, productivity plummets. And in Volkswagen’s case, the company will unlikely consider any future business dealings in the South.
H/T: Make It Go Away whom you can follow on Twitter here.
Please welcome our newest guest contributor, "hardybear" from Free Range Talk freerangetalk.com. She was kind enough to offer to swoop in to help us out while we get our sea legs back following Paddy's passing. She's a sweetheart, a lifesaver, and a terrific journalist. Thank you from all of us, Ms. Bear!
Here's her first post, on homelessness:
Does the GOP even bother to include the modern American homeless population in their pithy 47% calculation?
It would seem that the homeless in one of Governor Nikki Haley's more prominent South Carolina cities of distinction -- her capital, in fact -- nearly had the long term hospitable choices of being detained then bussed far out of sight (and, ideally, pocketbook) or being forcibly herded into proposed 'emergency' shelters by hosts with guns. The third option was arrest.
The Columbia City Council unanimously approved the evacuation, er, Emergency Homeless Response measure on August 13, 2013. Within hours, police officers realized that they were to be charged with the duty of regularly chauffeuring its area's approximately 1,500 homeless belles, gents and children into real or implied lockdown.
You see, they threaten the fledging shoots of an economic upturn for the fortunate. The Have Nots are standing in the way of post-recession profit and some City Council leaders decided that the most disenfranchised of all should be 'held accountable'.
Along with many American cities damaged by the Bushee economy, Columbia rightfully seeks to revitalize its core. In this case, 181 prime acres of Capitol City land formerly occupied by the state mental hospital near their historic center. It may not have the number of zero's attached to say, a Hoboken, New Jersey development project ... but the City Council believes their Bull Street Development will lay golden eggs aplenty for the Makers if handled properly.
Which includes evicting the growing homeless population of Takers from their coveted Downtown. And keeping them out ... the Council ideally wanted armed police on guard to keep it clear of the unwashed/unwanted. There are even grandiose hopes for a multi-million sports $tadium. Revenue and dignified rebel yells.
Prudently, wiser minds and a public outcry prevailed. The Council's Draconian accommodation measures were rejected, reversed and evinced proper amounts of disgust by September 3rd. ||Free Times original story || A Richland county council member was quoted as saying they had barely avoided "concentration camps".
Now how might enough of these neatening 'shelters' for Columbia, S.C. have magically appeared, given both the city and state's much-touted dedication to fiscal responsibility? Never fear, the conservative members of the City Council proposed the perfect storm of Republican solutions: appropriate these homeless slackers' collective wealth, in the form of food assistance monies, disability benefits or any other government handouts the recipients might be mishandling.
Presumably they'd each be handed Seinfeldean Puffy Shirts in exchange.
Columbia Councilman Cameron Runyan*, the savant co-creator and champion of the homeless relocation program called the Emergency Homeless Response" [ PDF here: ] would know well the plight of the homeless in the historic downtown - he and his family proudly attend the First Presbyterian Church -- a stroll from the Bull Street development and re-gentrification project. Runyan said the city must maintain “a healthy tension” between caring for the homeless and holding them accountable.
According to The Free Times, Runyan has made this issue a personal crusade. || Story here || Not unsympathetic, he merely believes in the Lipton Brigade slash Randian boot-strap model of upward mobility, saying "We have to understand that the only cure for poverty is commerce. That is the only true response to poverty, to get people out of poverty. So if poverty is left unchecked, it will destroy commerce. So we've got to protect commerce to have a response to poverty."
Corporations may now be people, but in conservative southern climes commerce is clearly valued over y'all.
Southern-fried irony: Columbia threw itself a splashy 50th year celebration of their importance to the Civil Rights movement.
This week the Republican National Committee had their annual Winter meeting. Much was made of the libido remarks by former Governor Mike Huckabee, but he wasn't all the news from the confab. During this gathering attended by the mucky-mucks of the right wing party, the leaders revealed their new plan to retake the Senate and retain the House. They're going to become a party of the people. Yup, that's right. They're going to become you and me.
What I find interesting is their choice of spokesperson for this movement. A Black Republican senator from South Carolina. On the surface that sounds like an effort to be inclusive. To put a different face forward. And this senator, Senator Tim Scott must be considered somewhat of an expert in electioneering -- after all, he's a Black US senator from a red, southern state.
So how did he do it? How did he unlock the mysteries of a minority making it to the upper house in the US Congress? How did he woo the voters of his state? If he could make his miracle happen, maybe sharing this secret of success winning over those the GOP has generally left behind or ignored -- women, young people, minorities, immigrants, the unemployed -- the Grand Old Party might become Grand once again.
What's Senator Scott's winning strategy for the GOP in the 2014 elections and beyond?
According to The Hill:
“For us, for we the Republican Party, the great opportunity party, for us to see our greatest success in 2014 we are going to have to embrace people in a way that they deserve to be embraced. And I will tell you that as we embrace people in a new and fantastic way, we will encourage them to find the potential within themselves to maximize their potential,” Scott said.
Here's the video:
Note: Please go to this link if the video will not play.
In this video Senator Scott talks about his volunteering for jobs to get the feel for what regular people are going through. What did he pick for maximizing our potential? A stint as a janitor. A waiter. A grocery bag packer Somehow that hardly seems like maximizing one's potential.
Oh, and one thing Scott forgot to mention. He was never elected to his office. He got in by a gubernatorial appointment to fill out former Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) term, in 2012. So somehow his appointment makes him the guru to others seeking election to office? Hmm.
So it seems Senator Scott, who's up for reelection this fall in a real election, has never won the office that he's running for. Why not make him the "face" of for the GOP? But it does make you wonder, couldn't the GOP find someone who has a winning election formula and has a track record to prove it? Oh, that's right, they would be old, white and male. This is the new GOP and they're looking to show outreach and diversity, not chalky colored grey haired, gray- complected out of touch old white men.
The idea to "walk a mile in my shoes" to get the feel for one's constituency is a good one. But what Scott didn't tell you is that he wasn't living off of the wages those jobs pay. He wasn't trying to survive, pay for rent, provide heat, food, clothes, transportation, medical care, or any other of life's expenses with the money from those jobs. He was living off of his senate salary ($193,400/year) during that time. He was taking these jobs for the publicity, not survival. When yours and your family's lives depend on your earnings, then and only then have you walked that mile.
Oh, and how interesting the choice of jobs this Black man took to get a feel for what life's really like - working jobs where he claims his friends and neighbors worked. Really? Sweeping floors at a burrito joint, waiting tables and bagging groceries? Those are the jobs his friends and neighbors have? Though he's from the Charleston area, he lives in Washington most of the year and I don't think Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lindsay Graham or Ted Cruz -- his friends and neighbors -- are tackling too many of those jobs.
So the Republican fraud machine of trying to convince America that their elitist party is really one of the people couldn't be more lampooned with Scott's appearance than if it was a Saturday Night Live sketch. And sadly, what clown do the white extremists get to carry their water, Black Senator Tim Scott. No, he's not played by Jay Pharoah, he's just a fool who doesn't mind playing a role even Stepin Fetchit might have turned down in the '30s and '40s.
South Carolina Homelessness On the Rise
(from http://www.postandcourier.com/ June 26, 2013)
Being Homeless in Downtown Columbia, South Carolina, Might Be Against the Law
(from http://www.theatlanticcities.com/ - August 23, 2013)
This is a great article - written by Neil deGrasse Tyson:
America and the Emergent Space Powers
Plus there's interesting food for thought in this article on jobs:
This Week in the War on Workers: How 'Do What You Love' Does Us Wrong
And then there's CNN. Wow, just wow...
From Daily Kos / the Guardian / the Financial Times:
"CNN recently hit a 20-year low in prime time ratings in the United States, attracting an average of just 78,000 viewers across the whole day and 98,000 in prime time."
Can this really be? 78,000 viewers across the whole day???
All these YouTube videos through the past few years have completely changed my mind about the 'inevitability' of interspecies animosity. When I see what wonderful friends cats and dogs can be or horses and rabbits...you name it and there's a video which proves it can happen - just as we can have peace on earth between peoples of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds in spite of what the world's warmongers try to push on us.
Here's a video (via YouTube and Myrtle Beach Safari) about a wonderful friendship between an elephant 'Bubbles' and a dog 'Bella' and how it came to be:
The Political Carnival T-Shirt
Modeled by @suzannegypsy
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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