Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Last Call For Look For The Union Label

With no major labor reform since the 1930s, Democrats are seizing on the opportunity to strengthen workers' rights -- including their ability to unionize.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the PRO (Protect the Right to Organize) Act, the most pro-worker labor reform in decades, according to the bill’s sponsors, by a vote of 225-206. Though it faces an uphill battle in the 50/50 split Senate, President Joe Biden has said that labor reform is one of his administration’s top priorities.

As a Presidential candidate, Biden stressed that he’d be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” Last week, while Amazon workers gathered in Alabama to vote to unionize, Biden called it “a vitally important choice.”

"As America grapples with the deadly pandemic, the economic crisis and the reckoning on race — what it reveals is the deep disparities that still exist in our country,” Biden said on Twitter. “I urge Congress to send [the PRO Act] to my desk so we can summon a new wave of worker power and create an economy that works for everyone.”

The PRO Act would strengthen workers’ right to strike for better wages and working conditions, strengthen safeguards to ensure that workers can hold fair union elections, and allow the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to impose fines against bosses who violate workers’ rights.

The House passed a version of the bill last year, but it was dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate. This time, Republicans are all but certain to filibuster the legislation that many major business groups oppose. The Chamber of Commerce says it would “destabilize America’s workplaces and impose a long list of dangerous changes to labor law.”

The PRO Act will never survive the filibuster, but the point is to bury the lie that Republicans are the party of the "working class" or even the white working class by making Senate Republicans vote to kill the strongest labor union laws since the New Deal.

Ideally of course it's supposed to make Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema flip on getting rid of the filibuster, too.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

The terrorist attack on the US Capitol on January 6th was just that: a terrorist attack. The Justice Department under Joe Biden is treating it as such, with the gravity of accusing white supremacist domestic terrorist militia Oath Keepers and founder Stewart Rhodes of directing an attempted insurrection to slaughter Congress in order to install Donald Trump into power.

U.S. prosecutors alleged Monday that Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was in direct contact before, during and immediately after the Jan. 6 Capitol breach with members since charged with plotting to prevent Congress from confirming the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In a late-night court filing, prosecutors alleged that Rhodes directed the right-wing anti-government group to rally during the riot to the southeast steps of the Capitol, after which several members forcibly entered the east side of the building.

Prosecutors said they had recovered a chat called “DC OP: Jan 6 21” on the encrypted Signal messaging app that “shows that individuals, including those alleged to have conspired with [others], were actively planning to use force and violence.”

Prosecutors said chat participants included Rhodes — identified only as “Person One” in the filing but whom prosecutors named in earlier court papers — and two charged Oath Keepers members: Jessica Watkins, 38, an Ohio leader, and Kelly Meggs, 52, of Florida.

U.S. authorities have charged Watkins, Meggs and eight other people who appear to be members or associates of the Oath Keepers, alleging a wider conspiracy to obstruct Congress amid rioting that led to five deaths and assaults on about 140 police officers. Charges have been brought against more than 300 defendants, but prosecutors led by the U.S. attorney’s office for Washington have not publicly charged anyone other than alleged rioters.

In the court filing, prosecutors said Rhodes, Watkins, Meggs and “regional Oath Keeper leaders from multiple states across the country” discussed plans in the chat for members and affiliates to come to Washington for events on Jan. 5 and 6 to “provide security to speakers and VIPs.”

Prosecutors said they found “no discussion of forcibly entering the Capitol until January 6.”

But they said the chat messages, combined with Rhodes’s previous statements, “all show that the co-conspirators joined together to stop Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote, and they were prepared to use violence, if necessary, to effect this purpose.

Who knows if they will be able to get convictions, but god I hope these assholes go to prison for a long damn time.

Retribution Execution, Con't

State GOP party machines are purging the insufficiently loyal to their golden calf Trump, as Idaho GOP lawmakers are set to run Republican Attorney General Lawrence Wasden out of Boise on a rail and claim the powers -- and funding -- of his office for themselves.

When the Texas attorney general sued to invalidate Joe Biden’s presidential victory in some states despite no evidence of widespread fraud, many said it had no chance.

But among Republicans, particularly in ultra-conservative Idaho, it was a fealty test to Donald Trump, and nearly every top-level Republican in Idaho indicated their support. The exception? Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who declined to join 17 other GOP attorneys general in the legal action in December. He cited his respect for states rights and said he wouldn’t appreciate others meddling in Idaho elections.

It was the last straw for a Republican-dominated Legislature long frustrated by Wasden. Now, lawmakers are trying to significantly defund his office by removing the attorney general as the primary defender of state agencies. If the effort succeeds, opponents say, it would essentially create a slush fund for political allies and Republican lawyers, costing the state millions of dollars in legal fees and possibly more if it loses in court.

It’s another example of the GOP turning on its own elected officials deemed not sufficiently pro-Trump or who are seen as straying from conservative orthodoxy.

In Georgia, the Legislature is considering election legislation that could restrict the role of the GOP secretary of state, who angered many Republicans by certifying Biden’s win. And Republican lawmakers in states like Ohio and Idaho have tried to blunt the emergency power of a GOP governor over COVID-19 restrictions.

But the conservative anger at Wasden had been building before Trump and the pandemic.

“What strikes me is that Wasden seems less partisan in his actions than what we see from other state attorneys general,” said Jaclyn Kettler, a Boise State University political scientist. “It can be a challenge if you’re not perceived as a strong party player.”

Wasden, who was elected Idaho’s top lawyer in 2003, has called some legislation from conservative lawmakers unconstitutional. The state has paid over $3 million in legal fees since 1995 — some of it after ignoring his advice and losing court challenges.

He warned that a proposed fetal pain abortion law would likely be found unconstitutional 2011. Lawmakers passed it anyway and lost a lawsuit in 2013, forcing the state to pay out $137,000.

Last year, Wasden said a law preventing transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificates wouldn’t hold up. Lawmakers still pushed forward, and a few months later, a judge rejected it.

He’s also angered Republicans by defending state-owned land and a constitutional mandate to maximize profit from logging, grazing and mining leases on that land to benefit schoolchildren. That can mean higher prices for those industries in mostly rural Idaho.

Legislation that passed the House on Monday would prevent Wasden from representing Idaho’s interest in state lands. Another bill allows agencies to hire private attorneys.

A third bill would prevent Wasden from investigating price gouging at the gas pump. It follows a $1.5 million settlement he reached with gas retailers in November after determining they gouged customers early in the pandemic.

The House also rejected Wasden’s $28 million budget request last week, so it will likely be cut before another vote.

Wasden, who is serving his fifth term, declined to comment on the legislation.
Republicans would rather destroy a member of their own party and the office they hold than be seen as insufficiently loyal to the false god they worship. 

They are all cultists, and dangerous ones at that.


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