Category Archives: Jobs

What they say vs. what we should hear…

Written by Scarabus


Raw Story


O’Reilly went on to predict that Romney would lose the election if he lost Ohio.

“How do you think we got to that point?” host Megyn Kelly wondered.

“Because it’s a changing country,” O’Reilly insisted. “The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore and there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff, they want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama.”

“The white establishment is now the minority,” he added. “And the voters — many of them — feel that this economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama, overwhelming black vote for President Obama and women will probably break President Obama’s way.”

“People feel that they are entitled to things. And which candidate between the two is going to give them things?”



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The passionate intensity of the fearful and ignorant!

Written by Scarabus

By reflecting on their images and their signs, you can learn a lot about the persons protesting the way the refugee children are being treated by the U.S. government. And what you learn is hardly flattering, either to the protestors or the nation itself.


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  1. The hard to read sign on the left says. “God save us all. Build the wall.” I guess this is analogous to the famous title of Frank Loesser’s song “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” You know, pray for God’s help but build your own defenses…just in case. Odd to see such tough posturing mujeres y hombres being so frightened of children! The sign on the right is a bit difficult to understand, suggesting that the guy holding it himself has difficulty understanding things. “Amnesty” is a code word, of course, a simple-minded substitute for mature understanding of incredibly complicated realities. I’m not sure whether the second line is addressed to the refugee children or to Americans who like hiring undocumented workers because they can pay them less, treat them worse, and still get done the work American citizens can’t or won’t accept. The “food stamps” thing makes no sense in this context. No one who gets food stamps can do so without providing evidence that he or she works (perhaps at Wal-Mart) or is actively seeking work. And no undocumented person can get food stamps regardless of work.
  2. What part of “illegal” do I not understand? I’m not sure. Of course if I don’t understand it, then I don’t know that I don’t understand it. I do at least know that stopping a public school bus on a public highway is illegal—even if the local police look the other way. And I know that these children are trying lawfully to obtain asylum. The government is acting lawfully to give them a proper hearing before either accepting or deporting them … as required by the law George W. Bush signed and approved of.
  3. “I pledge allegiance to the flag. I am proud to show the world that Americans are cruel, fearful, bigots.”
  4. These folks want to support the border patrol. They want to stop illegal immigration. Doesn’t make them special. Almost everyone wants to stop illegal immigration. The current problem involves legal pleas for asylum, plus legal procedures and hearings.
  5. How are you going to pay for increased border security if you won’t pay taxes? Republicans like to sneer about “tax and spend” Democrats. Meanwhile, they themselves spend even more (on illegal wars, subsidies to the already rich, etc.) while cutting taxes — for the wealthy. And then, of course, they blame Democrats for the size of the deficit.
  6. Enforce existing laws? We are enforcing existing laws. Your problem is that you don’t really know what the law is.
  7. These children are not “illegals.” They are following the law in seeking asylum.
  8. That yellow thing is the “Gadsden Flag.” You know, the flag dropped on the body of the ambushed and murdered policeman in Nevada. What was that about “legal” and “illegal”?
  9. We’ll grant you right not to be silenced. In return, you grant others the right not to be slandered, threatened, intimidated. Fair enough?
  10. Sheriff? Yeah. Arpaio. You want the sheriff who himself ignores the law to stop others from ignoring the law! D.H.S. is a Trojan Horse? Honestly, I don’t get it. The D.H.S. was created by the George W. administration. Are you saying that George W. Bush intends to destroy America?



Alito on religion: Hobby Lobby

Written by Scarabus



More vexing is the extension of the RFRA to corporations. Business owners now have a new basis for trying to evade anti-discrimination laws and their responsibilities to their employees. Religious liberty is already the rallying cry for conservatives looking for a legal way to discriminate against LGBT Americans; other business owners have tried to use religion to justify opposition to minimum-wage laws and Social Security taxes. Faith groups are already trying to capitalize on the Hobby Lobby decision out of court; on Wednesday, a group of religious leaders asked the Obama administration for an exemption from a forthcoming federal order barring federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to Alito, courts have no authority to “tell the plaintiffs that their beliefs are flawed.” Where, then, are the boundaries? How will courts decide which beliefs are “sincerely held?” Alito asserts that the majority opinion provides “no such shield” for other forms of discrimination, but we have to take his word on it. The language of the ruling may be limited to contraception, but there are no explicit constraints on its underlying logic.



This is why workers need to organize!

Written by Scarabus


Nation of Change


A Bold Shift in America’s Minimum Wage Debate


Jim Hightower
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Thursday 12 June 2014

At last, our political leaders in Washington are taking action for low-wage workers and the middle class, striking a bold blow for America’s historic values of economic fairness and common good.


“We did it — workers did this,” said Kshama Sawant. She has been a leader of Occupy Seattle, and then became the tenacious, articulate leader of a large grassroots coalition of low-wage workers called “15 Now.” Last year, Sawant was elected to the City Council by putting the case for the $15 wage floor directly to the voters.



Loon Toon

Written by Scarabus


While reading a story on ThinkProgress, I saw the ad below. It’s always fun to see the totally loopy wingnut ads that accompany stories on this very liberal blog. Being in the mood, I clicked on this particular ad to see what I’d find. As you can see from the excerpt of the story that follows, I wasn’t disappointed!


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Talk about slathering it on! “Money Morning” is the name of the organization paying for the ad (see below), but the phrase also reinforces the image: Here’s a seriously obese woman, “Bogarting” a drawn-down cigarette, holding a big glass of white wine—not “Joe Sixpack” style cheap beer, but the effete white wine of the “librul” elite—enjoying her “money morning.” [Homework question: Why use a white model rather than black? Why a woman rather than a man?]

Ironically, the following appeared at the same time, in the same block of ads at the bottom of the page:


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First ad: Accepting government benefits is naughty.

Second ad: Here are 14 more benefits you might be qualified to accept.



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New Study [The study is neither identified nor documented.] Shows Average American Pays $8,577 for Welfare

By MONEY MORNING STAFF REPORTS [Who’s responsible for this steaming heap of el toro ca-ca? We’ll never know, because no one was willing to put his or her name to it.]

It’s time for the government to admit facts: The war on poverty is a malicious, unsustainable conspiracy designed to destroy America’s middle-class.

Today there are 108.5 million Americans receiving some form of welfare, but only 101.7 full-time workers paying for these benefits, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.   [No explanation or documentation provided.]

While President Obama campaigned against the rich [Not sure when this happened. He certainly didn’t campaign against the rich in 2012. One can be for the middle class without also being against the rich.] and for a stronger middle class, the truth is his actions are part of a government conspiracy keeping poor Americans out of work and on welfare. [“Government”? That’s a hell of a conspiracy! According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2,800,000 persons work for the federal government.]

The end goal for Obama and the political elite orchestrating this scheme-career politicians with unlimited power and wealth- [Not a single person among the latest Forbes 400, all billionaires, is associated in any way with the federal government.] is a nation entirely dependent on Uncle Sam. 

And both Democrats and Republicans alike are involved. [And Independents? Libertarians?]

“What you are seeing in Washington is not a capitol that is hopelessly divided-it’s hopelessly interconnected,” New York Times Magazine Chief National Correspondent Mark Leibovich recently wrote. [Meaning what? Does “interconnection” = “conspiracy”?]

This conspiracy started 50 years ago when Lyndon B. Johnson initiated the “War on Poverty.”

“What I’m doing is taking from the haves and giving to have-nots,” Johnson said back in 1964. [No, LBJ did not say that. This is a bold-faced lie!]

The “giving” has been expanding ever since, today reaching its most critical level ever.

As Thomas Jefferson warned, “Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” [No, Jefferson never said that. This is another bold-faced lie. It first appeared in print in 1986!]


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Macroeconomics 101: guns or butter?

Written by Scarabus


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CHENEY: They peddle this line that now we’re going to pivot to Asia, but they’ve never justified it. And I think the whole thing is not driven by any change in world circumstances, it’s driven by budget considerations. He’d much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.

What Cheney apparently doesn’t realize is that many of the same troops that he claims the Obama administration doesn’t support rely heavily on the food stamps that he wishes to cut. A Defense Department review released last year showed that military families were more reliant on food stamps in 2013 than in any previous year, with over $100 million in food stamp spending at military grocery stores. “Food stamp usage at the stores has more than quadrupled since 2007 as the recession compounded the already difficult financial situation faced by military families,” ThinkProgress’ Deputy Economics editor Alan Pyke wrote last week.


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Lies, damned lies, statistics, and the right-wing media

Written by Scarabus


Top hits on a quick search for info about reactions to an employment item in the most recent CBO report on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


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  1. Forbes, the plutocrats’ must-read magazine, calls the ACA a “tax on work.” Whatever that odd characterization might mean (stop for a moment and think about it), it suggests the ACA will hurt workers. The CBO’s 2.3 million grows to 2.5 million.
  2. Politifact lowers the number to 2 million, but they say these are 2 million full-time jobs that will be cut.
  3. Wa-Po sticks with the 2 million number, and acknowledges that workers will voluntarily retire or reduce their hours.
  4. Reuters too goes with the 2 million figure, but they do acknowledge that this is an equivalency. They say “Obamacare [will] cut work hours”. They don’t explain WTF that means.
  5. Forbes tries again! They stick with 2.5, and they change “cut full-time workforce” to “reduce employment.”
  6. The Hill rounds up to 2.5 million, and says, “O-Care will cost 2.5 million workers.” They do modify that to “reduce worker hours,” and they do acknowledge the reductions will be voluntary.
  7. Fox is very clever. They say that “ObamaCare creates a ‘disincentive’ to work.” The cleverness is that they put this issue in a much wider context. Think about it. Why is SNAP bad? Creates a “disincentive to work. Why is unemployment insurance bad? Disincentive to work.
  8. Politifact repeats the same tune, apart from raising the figure from 2 million to 2.3 million.
  9. The Washington Times says Obamacare will “push 2 million workers out of the labor market.” They do acknowledge the reduction will be voluntary.


So what exactly did Director Elmendorf say?


Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader heard him say this:


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But here’s what he actually said:


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Quite a difference!


Amidst all this back and forth, keep your focus on availability of work, not on who’s doing the work.


I retired in 2009. That meant I was gone, but it did not mean my job was gone. It meant there was an opening for someone else.