The latest from the Dems...

Dateline: Wed 09 Mar 2011

 Got this in my email box. I appreciate the chance to have a conversation. Rather have it in Indy, but we have to start somewhere....

"Dear Ruth,

"We want to let you know about two exciting opportunities today and tomorrow to show your support for our Democratic lawmakers who are standing united for Indiana’s middle class.

"Tonight, you can hear directly from those lawmakers in a teleconference town hall from Urbana, Ill., where they are fighting for good-paying jobs, quality wages and public education.

"Here’s the information you can use to call in, hear from lawmakers and ask them questions about how you can help:

DATE: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
CALL-IN TIME: 5:55 p.m. (Central) / 6:55 p.m. (Eastern)
CONVERSATION BEGINS: 6 p.m. (Central) / 7 p.m. (Eastern)
DIAL-IN PHONE NUMBER: (916) 469-4760

You also won’t want to miss the “We Are Indiana” rally at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 10, at the Indiana Statehouse.

"Tomorrow’s event already is expected to draw 20,000 people who want to show their opposition to the destructive anti-worker agenda Republicans are pushing at the Statehouse.

"We hope you can join the conversation with lawmakers or the Statehouse rally – or both! – to make sure your voice is heard!"




Tell The Truth [Member] said:

You've got to get over this border phobia.

It's a tactic, Ruthie dear. I wouldn't have done it, but it seems to be working. Have you read some of this legislation? My God it's 1943 all over again. OK, maybe mid-50s.

The biggest case of legislative heartburn right now is not with Democrats. It's in the pit of the stomach of Speaker Bosma, who has a rightwing contingent inside his caucus, that he likely cannot control nor steer. And without whom, his total numbers dip below 50.

Harrison Ullman was right.

2011-03-09 10:18:34

Seneca [Member] said:

Democratic legislators are trying to protect working people from the tyranny of the majority. Republicans are trying to legislate that tyranny.

2011-03-09 10:46:08

Seneca [Member] said:

and put some of that tyranny in the state constitution.

2011-03-09 10:48:08

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Here's where these Indiana Republicans are coming from.....

Newt Gingrich. 1994. "Contract With America."

But the majority of thinking people soon figured out it was to be a "Contract On America."

Indiana Republicans are all about a "Contract On Indiana." Especially its working people.

2011-03-09 12:03:32

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

I am repelled at the idea I might have to idolize the poster boy for bad hairpieces. However, if the walkout scuttles onerous legislation like defunding Planned Parenthood, further restricting abortion, amending the Constitution to outlaw already outlawed gay marriage, or diverting public school dollars to charter schools, then I will salute the short fat bald loudmouth from South Bend.

(Harrison Ullman was always right.)

2011-03-09 12:23:42

Seneca [Member] said:

I'll take the short, fat, bald loudmouth over the tall, bald, sanctimonious loudmouth any day.

2011-03-09 12:27:40

cranky [unverified] said:

"defunding Planned Parenthood, further restricting abortion, amending the Constitution to outlaw already outlawed gay marriage, or diverting public school dollars to charter schools" - how is this an attack on working people or the middle class? I am sick of the Dems in IL.
I can't say the I am for or agin the above, but I am hearing inconsistent messages. If the majority is not the working middle-class, who is it?
I am not a fan of Bauer or Bosma, but it's high time to get on with the business in the statehouse and stop casting aspersions.

2011-03-09 14:45:58

Nicolas Martin [unverified] said:

Who pays the better-than-median salaries and lavish benefits of government employees? Mostly the productive middle class.

2011-03-09 21:41:21

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"I'll take the short, fat, bald loudmouth over the tall, bald, sanctimonious loudmouth any day."

Why do we have to call either "leaders." Why can't we get better people in the GA? (Answer: becasue voters respond to wedge issues and vote for loudmouths rather than thinkers.)

I think it was Mencken who said we get the elected leaders that we deserve. There's a dismal thought.

And Cranky, you don't ahve to be for or agin the issues that push myhot buttons, but you have to admit that the GA goons are not paying attention to Things That Matter.

Maybe we should look on the bright side: as long as the Dems are on strike, the GA is hamstrung from doing their usual damage.

2011-03-10 06:35:26

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

You can't get better people in the GA because they're bought and bossed and districted exactly the way they want. And we let them. It's the money, Tom. Only a handful of legislative races are competitive, and each of them takes huge money that is largely controlled by the legislative leaders--a/k/a lobbyist money.

In 1989, when Sec. of State Even Bayh was elected Governor, Joe Hogsett took over the SOS's office. He immediately started--**gasp**--doing his job. At the time lobbyists were very loosely regulated by the SOS--limp and incomplete annual reports were allowed. Joe cracked the whip. Legislative leadership exercised selective indignation, and within a year, lobbyist registration was moved to a commission appointed by and beholden to the legislature itself.

In Indiana, if you're a lobbyist, you can spend thousands on certain activities and fly under the radar. It's disgusting. Roam the Statehouse halls. Whores abound.

Anyone else need a history lesson? We get the government we pay for. Literally.

2011-03-10 13:11:59

Jason [unverified] said:

What we're seeing is a special interest group paying elected representatives not to do their jobs. It's a horrible precedent. At some point in their careers (probably very early on) these reps cared enough about the democratic process to get involved and invest substantial amounts of their own time and money to improve the system from within. What we're seeing is a total and complete circumvention, bought and paid for by the same types of people that bring our society overlawyerization, hedge fund deregulation, etc. Instead of ceding to the fact that they are the minority (in every way shape and form at this point) in a system designed to serve the greater will of the majority of the people, they are, as it was said earlier, 'taking their ball and going home.'

Maybe someday a piece of gun control legislation will be introduced which the majority of the citizenry is in favor of and the NRA will pay for a Republican minority to go hide in another state like a bunch of childish, petulant cowards. I wonder how people will feel then?

2011-03-11 01:20:57

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

What reps do you consider "these reps," Jason?

Your last example is wildly scary. But probable.

The die has been cast on a national basis. The 2009-10 Republican Senate used the "Senatorial Hold Privilege" or the Cloture rule, more than all previous sessions of Congress combined.

Further complicating things: a Senatorial "Hold" can be anonymous. At least on its face. Get ready for a federal walkout: in 2012, the Senate seats up for grabs are 2-1 Democratic, and retirement announcements are numerous. The US Senate is likely to go Republican, even if Pres. Obama coasts to another term.

For the wild-eyed and bushy-tailed among us, that means: Senate Judiciary Chairman Jeff Sessions. Lovers of liberty shudder, as we should.

We all grew up on the same civics homework: 50% plus one is a majority. Somewhere, that got lost.

I wish the Dems would come back. I wish they'd never left. But my hopes for the Indiana General Assembly rarely seep into reality. Have you eveer been in the gallery and watched the parade to the podium, of cheap suits and bad grammar? It's sad.

We was robbed.

2011-03-11 07:33:49

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I would have walked out, too (in my case, limped out, raising my cane in defiance).

Apparently, there must not be any federal statute that prohibits states from enacting laws that restrict collective bargaining by organized workers.

To try to pass these laws in Indiana and elsewhere is, in my opinion, unethical, immoral, and restrictive of personal freedom.

Just because the people in power in a governing body advocate for something that is patently anti-freedom does not mean that other legislators (who advocate for freedom) should passively stand by and watch it happen.

We saw that in Germany during the late 1930s-1945.

2011-03-11 12:35:00

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I just read this quote on another blog. It's from Ronald Reagan (that Marxist, socialist. far-left radical): "Where free unions and collective bargaining are lost there is no freedom."

Reagan made this remark in 1980. When Republicans running for office publicly evoke the name of their patron saint Reagan, I doubt if any of them utilize that quote.

2011-03-11 13:00:23

Jason [unverified] said:

Reagan also told PATCO that he was a lifelong member and friend to the AFL-CIO, and that he totally agreed with the plight of air traffic controllers and would fight to the end to ensure they were taken care of. The honesty of politicians isn't the core of the issue. Also, the workers' rights in question don't hold a candle to what the air traffic controllers dealt with on a regular basis. Apples and Oranges, IMHO.

If it was Republicans walking out we should say the same thing. It's just peculiar to me how people can be possessed of such moral fluidity. This isn't about campaign issues, it's about whether or not people actually believe in their government. If you don't like it, get out. They got out. In hindsight maybe we should be pleased?

2011-03-11 15:52:35

Nicolas Martin [unverified] said:

Not that it should matter in the slightest what Reagan had to say, but he was referring to the outright ban on non-state approved labor unions under the communists,

Unionization is quite different now than it was in 1980s. Then most union members were in private industry; but now most work for government. They are paid with money confiscated from taxpayers who have absolutely no say over contract negotiations. Those deals, often secret, are made by politicians who receive reciprocal bribes ("campaign donations") from the very unions with whom they "negotiate."

The government employee union members have median salaries that are considerably higher than those of the people who are forced to fund their contracts ("the disappearing middle class"), and far more lavish benefits.

2011-03-12 00:01:31

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Well, the "disappearing middle class" got screwed (is getting screwed) a long time ago by corporate outsourcing and businesses pulling out of American communities/avoiding American communities where there is any hint of union activity.

Now, the Republicans want to spread the pain into the lives of government workers' and teachers' families.

Working people - I don't give a ding-dong WHAT they do for a living - deserve a liveable wage and decent benefits.

If the "disappearing middle class" would get their faces out of their TVs and cell phones and start (as Woody Guthrie said) "agitating" - then they wouldn't be disappearing.

Kudos for the trade unions and teacher unions for their recent public protests at the Statehouse and admiration to the Demos who have bailed out on this Republican extremism.

2011-03-13 14:34:19

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