Open thread April 12, 2019 Dan Crawford | April 12, 2019 5:57 am Tags: open thread Comments (10) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Have a nice day Susan Sarandon.
“There is no place to start our tour except Texas, where, if the rest of us are lucky, they’ve finished rubberizing the walls of the state legislature chambers. From CNN:
‘House Bill 896, introduced in the Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee, would remove the exception in the penal code for criminal homicide that applies to women and medical professionals and allow them to be charged with murder of an unborn child. The measure would be a blanket ban on abortion procedures in the state, allowing the state to enforce the bill “regardless of any contrary federal law, executive order, or court decision.” The landmark 1973 US Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade affirmed the legality of a woman’s right to have an abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.’
For years, the anti-choice movement would fumble and foozle around if you pressed them on their loose employment of words like “murder” by asking them what should happen to the doctor and/or the woman involved in the procedure. They seem to be losing that convenient ambivalence, at least in Texas.
‘Texas state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, a Republican who introduced the bill, argued that the legislation does “not specifically target women” nor is he “specifically criminalizing women,” but “equalizing the law so that everyone that is culpable or takes part in what I call murder … can be punished.” The hours-long hearing remained largely civil until the committee heard from its first panel opposed to the bill. “The bill authors know that this legislation is unconstitutional because of federal judicial precedent set by Roe v Wade,” NARAL Pro-Choice legislative intern Jasmine Wang said. “So even giving this bill a hearing is both a waste of time and resources.” Leach took issue with Wang’s testimony and went on to grill Wang on her stances on abortion. He also accused NARAL’s witnesses of “sniggering” and “laughing” during others’ testimonies.’
They’re feeling very emboldened these days, probably because of the ongoing stacking of the federal judiciary. “Fetal heartbeat” bills are advancing in eight states, including both Georgia and Ohio. In the latter, the bill is already on the desk of Governor Mike DeWine. From NBC News.
‘Ohio’s closely divided politics have slowed the progress of the so-called heartbeat bill as it has caught momentum elsewhere, forcing years of debate in the state where the movement originated. Five other states have now passed similar bans, two of which have been blocked by the courts. Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who took office in January, has said he will sign the bill, after former GOP Gov. John Kasich vetoed it twice. State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan, a Democrat from a storied Youngstown political family, shed tears during the debate, exasperated at a bill she said would harm Ohio and its future.
“I’m concerned that we will have companies that will choose not to locate here due to our oppressive laws. I’m concerned that doctors will leave the state of Ohio,” she said. “I’m concerned that our kids are going to leave, that we’re going to lose a large amount of young people who don’t want to live in an oppressive atmosphere.”‘
It’s here where I usually make a wisecrack about how these laws guarantee nothing but expensive and futile lawsuits that the state in question is bound to lose. However, looking at the current Supreme Court, I’m not sure those are very funny any more.”
People really need to pick a side.
“The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) describes itself as the largest “membership association of state legislators,” but over 98% of its revenue comes from sources other than legislative dues, primarily from corporations and corporate foundations. After the 2010 congressional midterm elections, ALEC boasted that “among those who won their elections, three of the four former state legislators newly-elected to the U.S. Senate are ALEC Alumni and 27 of the 42 former state legislators newly-elected to the U.S. House are ALEC Alumni.” (A full list of the Congressional freshmen who are ALEC alums can be found here.) 
ALEC’s agenda extends into almost all areas of law. Its bills undermine environmental regulations and deny climate change; support school privatization; undercut health care reform; defund unions and limit their political influence; restrain legislatures’ abilities to raise revenue through taxes; mandate strict election laws that disenfranchise voters; increase incarceration to benefit the private prison industry, among many other issues. 
ALEC is an “associate” member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country.”
And now, a Very Special Episode of our semi-regular weekly survey. For years, we’ve all been following the shenanigans of ALEC, the all-purpose wingnut legislation mill that provides identical bills for identical causes in different states at the same time. Now, thanks to USA Today and the Arizona Republic, we have a way to track precisely how widespread this underground legislative fungus really is.
‘A two-year investigation by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity reveals for the first time the extent to which special interests have infiltrated state legislatures using model legislation. USA TODAY and the Republic found at least 10,000 bills almost entirely copied from model legislation were introduced nationwide in the past eight years, and more than 2,100 of those bills were signed into law.
The investigation examined nearly 1 million bills in all 50 states and Congress using a computer algorithm developed to detect similarities in language. That search – powered by the equivalent of 150 computers that ran nonstop for months – compared known model legislation with bills introduced by lawmakers. The phenomenon of copycat legislation is far larger. In a separate analysis, the Center for Public Integrity identified tens of thousands of bills with identical phrases, then traced the origins of that language in dozens of those bills across the country.’
This is an extraordinary exercise in data journalism. I’d start engraving that Enterprise Reporting Pulitzer right now and avoid the last-minute rush. The basic dynamic in all the bills is fraud, with nasty real-world consequences. Read the whole thing.
‘The Asbestos Transparency Act sounds like the kind of boring, good-government policy voters expect their representatives to hammer out on their behalf to safeguard public health. Better transparency was one reason Colorado state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg said he introduced the bill in 2017, and again last year, at the urging of a tort reform group called the Colorado Civil Justice League and backed by insurance companies, including Nationwide Insurance. “Whenever you add transparency to the mix, it helps all consumers,” said Sonnenberg, a Republican.
But the bill had nothing to do with requiring companies to disclose to consumers what products contained asbestos or informing those who had been exposed to the cancer-causing mineral how to get help. It, in effect, cast corporations as victims of litigation filed by people harmed by asbestos. The model bill requires people battling the asbestos-triggered disease mesothelioma to seek money from an asbestos trust, set up to compensate victims, before they can sue a company whose product might have caused their cancer.’
Democracy cannot stand for long when it’s this kind of puppet show.”
“Democracy cannot stand for long when it’s this kind of puppet show.”
Want to restore democracy and put it on an unassailable basis — overnight? Try this: https://onlabor.org/why-not-hold-union-representation-elections-on-a-regular-schedule/
Why Not Hold Union Representation Elections on a Regular Schedule? Andrew Strom — November 1st, 2017
“Republicans in Congress have already proposed a bill [*] that would require a new election in each [private] unionized bargaining unit whenever, through turnover, expansion, or merger, a unit experiences at least 50 percent turnover. While no union would be happy about expending limited resources on regular retention elections, I think it would be hard to turn down a trade that would allow the 93% of workers who are unrepresented to have a chance to opt for unionization on a regular schedule.”
A la ALEC, the Republican party tries to force re-certification of already existing labor unions everywhere. Where are the Democrats pushing the converse — as Andy Storm suggests? Why doesn’t every Democrat push this? Automatic way to get wandering blue collar back — and set up a true social democracy in the Unites States that will immunize across the board against ALEC type garbage overnight! The average person will have equal political financing with any other force and almost all the votes.
Your refusal to actually read the legislation you keep touting as pro union is infuriating.
That legislation will kill unions and it is endorsed by ALEC and other anti-union forces.
“The letter also cites the growing number of union members who support the ERA. Some of the most influential members of the coalition include:
Heritage Action for America
Americans for Tax Reform
Americans for Constitutional Liberty
Concerned Veterans for America
National Black Chamber of Commerce
Center for Union Facts
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
American Conservative Union
The ERA (H.R. 2723) would enact crucial changes to National Labor Relations Board rules containing some loopholes giving labor unions lopsided power and leverage over workers. The legislation would ban the ability of unions to coerce or threaten workers, and would establish federal supervision over intra-union leadership elections—eliminating the “card check” system, which forces members to declare their opinions during an election.
The ERA would enable union members to choose whether their dues can be spent on political advocacy. It would restore workers’ rights to withhold personal information from being shared by union campaigns.”
And you and that schmuck Storm want to help them.
Shame on you.
Neither Strom nor I are proposing the ERA. We are mainly using the Republican proposal to illustrate there’s no reason for Democrats to fear doing something new — natural conservatism about changing the social contract — because the Republicans are already proposing the converse.
You make no sense. You and Storm push this Rep bill. Now you are saying Dems should try something new. You missed the card check filibuster?
Ya think the Rep Senate would pass or that trump would sign such a bill?
Y’know, like this one?
The way it works is: first, you raise the issue of regularly scheduled union certification elections at every private (non gov) workplace. This happens to encompass the Republican bill automatically because all-inclusive — not just workplaces whose union membership has rolled over 50% since the very beginning — we’ve been through this before.
Raising the issue pretty much guarantees the return of the blue collar vote to the Democratic Party. Democrats take over both houses and the presidency — pretty much guaranteed.
Then (after all that) you pass regularly scheduled certs into labor law and the country turns into German style social democracy overnight.
Read the fen bill. The only “regular elections” involved in it are chosen by the employers.
I’m beginning to worry about your reading comprehension.
I am not pushing the Repub bill — I am using that bill an example of Repubs requiring cert elections when it is to anti-union advantage — trying to make it seem oh, so reasonable and normal and everyday life for Dems to write a regular cert/re-cert/de-dert bill that works pro-union.
I cannot imagine for the life of me why Dems don’t grab this and run with it — take back all the lost blue collar votes (even if they only care about their votes, not them) — runaway with the 2020 election then turn USA into continental Europe style social democracy (one example: reining vampire drug monopolies).
Cannot imagine what Dems are waiting for. ?????????????????
I would review all of the union legislation that has been held up for decades as it would answer your questions.