Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Texas Secession Two-Step

Meanwhile, the right-wing nullification/secession train rolls on down the tracks towards 1861.

Texas already seceded once — in 1861, by popular vote in a statewide election. 
But the Texas Nationalist Movement wants a repeat a century and a half later, and thinks the March GOP primary is the place to start. 
The Nederland-based Texas independence group is circulating a petition aimed at getting a non-binding vote onto the GOP primary ballot over whether “the state of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.” 
Their goal? 75,000 signatures from registered voters by Dec. 1 — more than the 66,894 the Texas Secretary of State’s office says the group needs to get the language on the ballot. 
Even if the Texas Nationalist Movement gets enough signatures, such a vote would be little more than symbolic. Academics agree that Texas cannot secede from the United States, and point to a post-Civil War Supreme Court ruling, Texas v. White, as evidence. 
But that hasn’t stopped the Republican Party of Texas from rolling its eyes at the secessionists. Texas GOP communications director Aaron Whitehead said the Republican party certainly doesn’t welcome outside groups trying to doctor the party ballot. 
“Historically the executive committee of the Republican Party has chosen what goes on this,” Whitehead said, “and it’s party preference that it stays that way.”

Really?  You've got Republican presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum openly calling for revolt against Supreme Court rulings they don't like, GOP Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell openly calling for states to simply ignore EPA rules on power plants, and House Republicans led by John Boehner openly suing the Obama administration over the implementation of Obamacare.

Republicans are calling for nullification of the federal government on several fronts.  Why is secession suddenly out of bounds for you?  These guys are simply taking existing Republican rhetoric and turning it into action.

The end game for us is to have a binding referendum on Texas independence, much like the people of Scotland had in November of last year,” Patrick Miller, the president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, told the Tribune.

When you talk constantly about taking "your" country back, this is what you get.

The Walkering Dead, Con't

Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker (currently polling around two percent in the primaries) is going all in on destroying America's unions in order to save his collapsing campaign.

Seeking to revitalize his presidential campaign, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Monday fired a new shot at labor by proposing to prevent federal workers from collectively bargaining, create a national right-to-work law and eliminate the National Labor Relations Board
In a plan released by his campaign, Walker also called for requiring all unions to hold periodic votes so workers could decide whether they should continue to exist. If elected, he also would cancel President Barack Obama's Labor Day order that federal contractors provide paid sick leaveand work to end policies requiring some salaried workers in the private sector to receive overtime — saying in some cases they should get time off instead. 
"We must take on the big-government union bosses in Washington — just like I took them on in Wisconsin," the GOP governor said at a town hall meeting on the shop floor of construction equipment maker Xtreme Manufacturing. 
"Federal employees should work for the taxpayers — not the other way around."

At on point during his speech in Vegas he called collective bargaining itself an "expensive entitlement".  Walker's ideas are pretty bonkers, but hey, this is the 2016 GOP primary we're talking about here.

The real problem is how blithely the article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel dismisses Walker's radical destruction of unions as ever passing.

Many of Walker's ideas — such as dissolving the labor relations board and establishing a federal right-to-work law — would require changes to the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. Such changes have little chance of becoming law, said Joseph E. Slater, a labor professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio. 
The last major change to the act was in 1959. When Democrats had large majorities in Congress in 2009 and 2010, they tried to make the law more favorable to unions but couldn't get their changes passed. Walker's ideas would likely pass only if Republicans controlled the U.S. House and had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate — and even then it would be difficult, Slater said. 
"It's really just red meat for the base," Slater said. "None of that's going to actually happen. I'm not certain you could get even 60 Republicans (in the Senate) to vote for that."

It's cute that people still think that whatever red wave that would sweep any Republican into power in 2016, wouldn't keep the House and Senate in GOP hands, and that Republicans wouldn't dare eliminate the filibuster and merrily turn back 80 years of laws.

That would be almost amusing if it wasn't so amazingly tragic.


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