Friday, September 30, 2016

Last Call For House Of Pain, Con't

And while the focus for many of us has been on Donald Trump's horrible antics, let's keep in mind even if Trump is soundly defeated, Republicans will most likely continue to control the House and will happily pass bills like these

The House voted 246-177 to delay by six months implementation of the Labor Department’s overtime rule. Republicans voted unanimously for the bill, along with five Democrats: Reps. Brad Ashford of Nebraska, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), who introduced an earlier bill to phase in the overtime threshold gradually over three years, voted against the six-month delay. The rule, set to take effect in December, will double (to $47,476) the salary threshold under which virtually all workers are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in a given week. The Labor Department estimates the rule will extend overtime coverage to more than 4 million employees and cost businesses about $1.2 billion annually.

Prior to the vote, Rep Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), who introduced the legislation, said the overtime rule “burdens hard-working small business owners” and “jeopardizes vital services for vulnerable Americans.” He warned that “time is running out” and said lawmakers should “provide more time to those struggling to implement this rule before an arbitrary and unrealistic deadline.” But Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said the rule will create about 100,000 jobs and noted that when the overtime rule was last updated in 2004 under President George W. Bush, “only four months” passed between the final rule’s announcement and its implementation (compared to more than six months for the new rule). Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) said the bill “takes money out of middle class Americans right before the holiday season.” He also objected to the bill being brought to the floor as an emergency measure.

And Senate Republicans are planning to go along, but...

Sen. James Lankford (R.-Okl.) introduced a companion bill Wednesday co-sponsored by Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.). Neither the House nor the Senate bill will likely go anywhere. The White House said Tuesday that President Barack Obama would veto Walberg’s bill.

So yeah.  Once again, this is why you want a Democrat in the White House.

Duterte Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap Con't

Philippines President Manuel Duterte has gone from Manila's Trump to Manila's Hitler in the space of about three weeks, and I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not an act.

President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday that he would like to kill millions of drug addicts in the Philippines, defying international criticism of his country’s bloody war on narcotics and escalating his brutal rhetoric with a reference to the Holocaust. 
“Hitler massacred three million Jews,” Mr. Duterte said after returning to the Philippines from a trip to Vietnam, understating the toll cited by historians, which is six million. “Now there is three million, there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.” 
Killing that number of drug users would “finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,” he said. 
Since Mr. Duterte took office in June promising a grisly campaign against crime and drugs, the Philippines has seen a surge in killings of drug suspects.

Well then.  Publicly advocating mass genocide as a final solution in the war on drugs seems a bit...much.

Philippine officials have counted about 3,000 deaths during the crackdown, about a third at the hands of the police. 
The police spokesman Dionardo Carlos said on Friday that the police had been overstating the number killed by the police. He said that the correct number was 1,120, not about 1,500, which the police had given earlier. He did not explain why the number had been revised. 
The police have also said that 1,500 nonpolice killings are under investigation and that hundreds of these also are believed to be drug-related. 
Responding to expressions of alarm about the killings from the European Union and other international bodies, Mr. Duterte said Friday that the European Union’s advisers on the issue were “pea-brained.” He criticized European officials for finding fault with his government while not doing enough to help migrants fleeing war-torn Middle Eastern countries.

“You allow them to rot, and then you’re worried about the death of about 1,000, 2,000, 3,000?” he said. 
Mr. Duterte complained that his foreign critics had depicted him as “a cousin of Hitler” and said that they were wrong to criticize him now that he was the country’s president. Doing so put all Filipinos “to shame,” he said. 
The president’s latest provocative remarks came days after he cast doubt on the Philippines’ longstanding military ties with the United States, announcing in Vietnam that the countries’ coming joint military exercises would be their last. Officials in his government later said that all military agreements with the United States were still in effect and that they were awaiting “clarification and guidance” from Mr. Duterte.

Well, if you want to avoid the Hitler comparisons, perhaps one shouldn't openly say that you're going to emulate his actions.


Board Of Disapproval

If you're such an awful presidential candidate that you make USA Today actually pick sides in the race against you (something the studiously bland, noncontroversial and neutral newspaper has never before done) then you might be Donald Trump.

In the 34-year history of USA TODAY, the Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. Instead, we’ve expressed opinions about the major issues and haven’t presumed to tell our readers, who have a variety of priorities and values, which choice is best for them. Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years. We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now.

This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.

From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.

Whether through indifference or ignorance, Trump has betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents since the end of World War II. These commitments include unwavering support for NATO allies, steadfast opposition to Russian aggression, and the absolute certainty that the United States will make good on its debts. He has expressed troubling admiration for authoritarian leaders and scant regard for constitutional protections.

That's as good as it gets for USA Today trying to save the Republic, for the paper still refuses to endorse any of the presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton.

Some of us look at her command of the issues, resilience and long record of public service — as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State — and believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president.

Other board members have serious reservations about Clinton’s sense of entitlement, her lack of candor and her extreme carelessness in handling classified information.

Where does that leave us? Our bottom-line advice for voters is this: Stay true to your convictions. That might mean a vote for Clinton, the most plausible alternative to keep Trump out of the White House. Or it might mean a third-party candidate. Or a write-in. Or a focus on down-ballot candidates who will serve the nation honestly, try to heal its divisions, and work to solve its problems.

Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.

I've got news for you.  Voting for either of the third-party candidates or a write-in (Hi Bernie!) isn't going to save the country from Trump: because of our electoral college system, only Clinton can do that.  It wouldn't kill the paper to say so, but I guess it would, sort of.

"Dear God don't vote for the actual fascist racist" is better than standing idly by, I guess.


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