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      The Amazon goes, we go. This map doesn’t make it seem like it’s in danger, though it’s bad, but… So many #Climate emergencies worldwide, it’s hard to keep up. But #AmazonRainforest burning is stand-out global disaster. Every red dot below represents a significant fire pic.twitter.com/AZ6IaOO1Pv — John Gibbons (@think_or_swim) August 21, 2019 The Intercept ha […]
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Can we send a deep dish pizza to the Chicago teachers?

HONK!

They appear to be going on strike.  Oh, and Rahm Emannuel has continued to demonstrate his own particular brand of respect for working people, bullying and mean and nasssssty.  I hope the Chicago teachers have been paying attention to the way he treated Occupy.

So, the average teacher’s salary in Chicago is $76,000/year, which, to me, sounds fair for living in a big city like Chicago.  Rent ain’t cheap (about $2000/month in a decent neighborhood) and if you don’t want to commute hours and hours a day to work, you need to live pretty close to your school.  At that salary, your taxes are getting toward the hefty side.  But here’s the statistic that I found most shocking:

The school system, which employs about 25,000 teachers, announced contingency plans in the event of a strike, including a program to open 144 of its 675 schools with half-days of activities supervised by people other than unionized teachers. Officials said that program would also include meals — no small concern since 84 percent of the city’s public school students qualify for the free and reduced meals program.

WTF?  84% of Chicago’s public school children live at or below the poverty line and qualify for the subsidized school lunch program??  That’s fricking outrageous.  What is Rahm Emanuel doing about that?  Is he working with businesses and corporations in Chicago to make them pay a living wage?  Jesus Christ on a Cracker, this is just beyond derelict.  I realize that he’s only been mayor for a year but in that year, he seems to have spent more time suppressing the Peasants’ Revolts than actually working for them.

Maybe he’s just following Obama’s example.  As I recall, he sucked as a state rep for his little corner of Chicago.

Well, now is the time for both men to show their quality.  Time to step up and demand fair working wages for all of Chicago.  At this point, the teachers of Chicago are subsidizing those lunches with their substantial taxes.  It’s time for the wealthy to stop getting away with dumping all responsibility on the backs of the 99% who they are underpaying.

What say you, Rahm?  Be nice now.

Here is a link to the Chicago Teachers’ Union.  So far, they seem to have the support of working people in Chicago.  Now, they just need to hang in there.  I’m guessing they’re going to need more than pizzas to man the baricades and hold out longer than Rahm.

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Are there any Sane Republicans in South Carolina?

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer

Andre Bauer is the Republican Lt. Governor of South Carolina and is running to replace the current Governor, Mark Sanford. You know, the guy who told his staff he was going hiking on the Appalachian Trail and then went to visit his girlfriend in Argentina?

So anyway, Andre Bauer held a town hall meeting, and told this little parable about helping poor people:

“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better,” Bauer said….

Bauer’s remarks came during a speech in which he said government should take away assistance if those receiving help didn’t pass drug tests or attend parent-teacher conferences or PTA meetings if their children were receiving free and reduced-price lunches.

Not yet realizing that anyone would be troubled by this comparison, Bauer went on to say:

“I can show you a bar graph where free and reduced lunch has the worst test scores in the state of South Carolina,” adding, “You show me the school that has the highest free and reduced lunch, and I’ll show you the worst test scores, folks. It’s there, period.

“So how do you fix it? Well you say, ‘Look, if you receive goods or services from the government, then you owe something back.'”

Bauer said there are no “repercussions” from accepting government assistance.

“We don’t make you take a drug test. We ought to. We don’t even make you show up to your child’s parent-teacher conference meeting or to the PTA meeting.

Hey, that’s a great idea. I think we should drug test those earthquake survivors in Haiti. Give them a drug test before they get dug out of the rubble or get any medical treatment. That’ll show those deadbeats for being to poor to get themselves out of trouble!

Now that Democrats are calling for his head (not that they have much room to criticize), Bauer is scrambling to explain himself.

“Maybe the metaphor isn’t the best metaphor. I agree with them on that,” said the 40-year-old gubernatorial candidate. “But I think there are a lot of people that use issues like this to divide people and never offer solutions. The easiest thing to do is criticize someone for saying something, other than saying, ‘Maybe we should talk about this.'”

He also said that:

he did not mean food should be taken from children, but rather that their parents should lose welfare benefits.

OK, but wouldn’t taking welfare payments away from parents result in less for for their children? Anyway, get this–it turns out Bauer himself received government help as a child.

He noted he was a beneficiary of free lunches after his parents divorced when he was 11, so he’s not bashing the needy. But he said there’s a difference between those who are truly needy and those who are just lazy.

“I came from a broken home. I have been in this situation,” he said, noting that he spent today collecting shoes, blankets and other goods for victims of the Haiti earthquake. “Do I think poor people ought to be helped? Yes. I’m saying we’ve got to do things to break the cycle.”

I guess it’s OK to help people in Haiti after all. Those earthquake survivors must be more deserving and not as “lazy” as the poor people in South Carolina.

I wish I could talk to Lt. Gov. Bauer. I’d like to ask him if the bankers who got bailed out by the government to the tune of trillions of dollars should give something back for the help they got. Should they be drug tested too? Should we find out how their kids are performing in school and whether the bankers attend PTA meetings and parent-teacher conferences? Or should we maybe ask the bankers to help out some poor people? Should we do something to “break the cycle” of greed and corruption that the bankers have engaged in?

This is an open thread.

Saturday Morning News and Views: Populist Uprising Edition

Good Morning Conflucians!!!

President Obama was in Ohio yesterday trying to impersonate a populist.

“I won’t stop fighting for you,” he thundered in a campaign-style speech in economically sagging northeastern Ohio, remarks that provided a likely preview of the themes in his first State of the Union speech next Wednesday.

Trying to shore up public support, Obama urged people to “stand by me, even during these tough times.”

Like you stood by us Mr. President? When did you fight for us anyway?

Obama acknowledged that the healthcare overhaul — suddenly in limbo on Capitol Hill — had run into a political “buzz saw.” He dismissed concerns that his lengthy focus on healthcare meant he had taken his eye off the economy, the country’s No. 1 problem.

“Let me dispel this notion that we were somehow focused on that (healthcare) and so as a consequence not focused on the economy. First of all, all I think about is how are we going to create jobs in this area,” Obama said in Elyria, Ohio.

The president’s switch to a more populist tone followed his own admission in an ABC News interview earlier this week that he had lost a direct connection with everyday Americans.

I’m not so sure he ever had a connection with “everyday Americans”–those gun-toting bitter knitters? And those uppity women who don’t know their place? No, I don’t think so.

If Mr. Obama wants to make a “direct connection” with “everyday Americans,” he is going to have to give them more than “just words.” He is going to have to pretty much do a complete about face and become as “transformational” as he pretended to be when he was campaigning. He is going to have to stop impersonating Herbert Hoover and start impersonating Franklin Roosevelt. I’m really not sure if he is capable of that, but if he manages to do it, I’ll be the first to cheer him on.

From the Toledo Blade:

A defiant President Obama assured Ohioans yesterday that he will continue to fight for health care, banking, and energy reform despite recent political setbacks that some argue have endangered his agenda.

He made the promises at Lorain County Community College even as Ohio announced its unemployment rate had hit 10.9 percent in December, up from 10.6 percent the month before. The national jobless rate is 10 percent.

“I did not run for President to turn away from these challenges,” he told a town-hall meeting of about 1,300 people.

“I didn’t run for President to kick them down the road. I ran for President to confront them once and for all. I ran for this office to rebuild our economy so it works not just for the fortunate few, but for everybody who’s willing to work hard in this country,” he said.

Uh huh. Talk is cheap, Mr. President. Now lets see some action. Continue reading