Regulations Work

I had a brother-in-law who asked me “what regulation do you hate?” Yeah, what a sparking conversationalist, right? But putting his question through the modern politics Rosetta Stone I instantly knew that he was coming from a knee jerk libertarian, pro-business, anti-regulation place. Over and over again Republicans and Libertarians will cite “regulations” when the question of what to do about the economy or jobs comes up. Which regulations exactly? Eh, that’s not so clear. But obviously the EPA and the SEC, and any regulatory body that makes regulations that effect business should be suspect and probably dispensed with. Obviously.

They make it sound like all regulations are created just to annoy business, or worse created by COMMUNISTS who hate business and… I guess want to annoy it. It never seems to occur to them that 1. there are damn few COMMUNISTS anywhere, especially in elected office or government service, and 2. even COMMUNISTS, should they exist, like to eat. People in a position to regulate aren’t writing regulations for shits and giggles, they’re doing it for their health, or for their constituent’s health. For example, rules on what you can dump into the air and water.

In my lifetime I’ve seen the air over Los Angeles go from brown to blue. The Hudson River has life in it. The Cuyahoga no longer spontaneously combusts.

The Thames now has life in it again. And that’s apparently a fucking miracle next to what it was 60 years ago.

Why the DNC Often Sucks and We Suffer

Dan Lipinski is a Democratic Congressman from Illinois. He sits in a blue district in the Chicago region that Obama won by a 56-43 margin.

But he backs a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Additionally, the questionnaire indicates Lipinski opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; supports a measure that would have prohibited the U.S. Justice Department from undermining the Defense of Marriage Act; and backs a controversial conscience clause in major defense spending legislation seen to enable anti-LGBT harassment of service members.

This asshole is also anti-choice and voted against Obamacare (from the right, not that it didn’t go far enough).

This guy should be primaried to political death. But the DNC will probably protect his retrograde ass. And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

Chuck Schumer Can’t be Leader if he Rejects Iran Deal

You can’t have two masters. You’re either a member, and leader, of the thinking party of rational thought and government responsibility or you’re with stupid. If you reject the Iran deal because AIPAC has your balls in a jar, there’s no appreciable difference than if it was because you’re dependent on the Koch Bros. or the NRA.

If you can’t see that this deal is the best deal available and the difference between (a) dealing responsibly with a complex international situation with our allies or (b) going whole hog neocon Gen. Jack D. Ripper, then you are useless to the Democratic party and our nation’s best interests.

Schumer will never get another penny from me. MoveOn has a hold on any contributions to him.

Our country doesn’t need another Joe Lieberman in the Senate, and it certainly doesn’t need him as Democratic leader. The vast majority of Democratic voters — the people who elected President Obama in part because of our shared belief that war must always be a last resort — will not stand for it. Frankly, we thought Senator Schumer and other Democrats in Washington had learned their lesson after being misled into supporting a misguided war of choice in Iraq.

I have every faith that in 2016 Democrats will win back the Senate. Mark Kirk, Ron Johnson, Kelly Ayotte and Pat Toomey are the senatorial walking dead. Schumer would be walking into majority leadership in a split government with the GOP holding the House. He’d have an especially vital and important position in guiding a potential Clinton II administration.

How does he do that after embracing the same position on a vital Middle East matter as Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz?!! The stupidity of it all is inexcusable.

Christie Says Teachers Should Be Punched in the Face, Teacher Offers His Chin

Damaged Goods Christie is still running for president. I know, that doesn’t seem like it could be a thing, but he’s actually going to be debating other deluded GOPers even though Trump took his bully act. Christie responded to a question from Jake Tapper that the teacher’s unions should be punched in the face. Okay, it’s what it is. The stupid is so thick.

But a veteran teacher took Christie up on this fantasy and responded in such a way I though it should be reprinted in its entirety.

By Russ Walsh

In case you missed it, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, candidate for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination, declared Sunday on CNN that teachers unions need a “punch in the face.” Faced with low numbers in the polls and with being out-bullied by Donald Trump, Christie has decided to come out swinging — at teachers.

Of course the teachers union has no literal face, and the leaders of both major teachers unions, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers and Lily Eskelsen García of the National Education Association are women. I don’t think even a Republican candidate for president could get away with punching a woman in the face. Belittling them, yes. Berating them, yes. Taking away the choice of what they do with their bodies, yes. But not striking a woman, especially with a Hillary running on the Democratic side.

So, taking all this into consideration, I would like to step up and offer Christie my face to punch.

I am well qualified for the job. I have been a public school teacher and administrator for 45 years. I have been the president and the chief negotiator of my local teachers union. I have been sharply critical of Christie’s education policies on my blog. I deserve that punch in the face. I have earned it. Not only that, I live just a stone’s throw from the State House in Trenton, so I could meet the governor there at any time, if he ever happens to get back to New Jersey.

I am sure it would give Christie a boost in the polls and solidify his standing as a violent, bullying looney worthy of Republican voter support. It might even be enough to get him on the stage at one of the primary debates, where he could punch Wolf Blitzer in the face and garner even more support.

Better yet, forget the debate and let Trump and Christie duke it out in a steel-cage wrestling match.

No doubt Christie’s spin doctors will be out today declaring that he has no animus toward teachers, just teachers unions. Christie, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Andrew Cuomo and others seem to forget that a teachers union is made up of teachers and that while individual teachers may not agree with every action of their unions, those unions represent the desires and aspirations of millions of hard-working teachers across the country — imperfectly perhaps, but emphatically for the better of teachers and children and public education overall.

When teacher unions fight for better working conditions for teachers, they are also working for better learning conditions for children. When unions fight for job protections for teachers, they are also working to ensure that children have access to the best knowledge and the best instructional strategies available, unfettered by flavor-of-the-day ideology. When teacher unions fight for reasonable pay, they are fighting to attract high-quality candidates to the profession.

What has Christie’s teacher-bashing and vitriol against unions, his stripping of job protections, his attacks on pensions done for the children of New Jersey? How have his repeated attacks on teacher unions improved education for the children of New Jersey? How has his hiring of political hacks to bring unpopular education policies to the impoverished cities of New Jersey helped schoolchildren?

The answer is, of course, not at all. The children of New Jersey are worse off educationally than they were when Christie took office. And yet, those teachers he loves to hate keep soldiering on, doing their best in the face of intolerable and deteriorating conditions to provide a good education for New Jersey’s children.

If Christie wants to punch the teachers unions in the face, he needs to realize that he is punching every teacher in the face. He is punching each and every dedicated teacher who has been working to improve the lives of children for decades before Christie discovered that bashing teachers is a winning campaign strategy.

So, Governor Christie, here is my face. Take your best shot. I won’t hit back. I will just pick myself up, dust myself off and go back to being the best teacher I can be. To paraphrase Nathan Hale, “I regret that I have only one face to give for my profession.”

Beginning to Think HRC Not Quite Inevitable

What the NY Times has done to Hillary recently smacks of what they did to Al Gore in 1999-2000. Ask President Gore how that worked out.

The constant flak she takes, not just from her natural enemies in the GOP, but from the mainstream press and Beltway Gasbags is not surprising but raises an alarm with me that it’s going to be very hard to beat both your enemies AND the press.

The idiots on Morning Joe, my favorite Fox News show on MSNBC will never let up on her or even allow that she’s a human.

I don’t think for a moment that this will allow any of the GOP clown car riders into the WH in 2016. Demographics, logic and the innate intelligence of the American people (yeah, I wrote that) will ensure none of them will get any closer to the presidency than Mitt did. But the fact that so many of the Beltway Villagers grew up and made their bones in the 90s atmosphere of smirking and smearing the Clintons are still around and still pushing the Clinton rules, whereby anything goes when Bill or Hillary are involved, is alarming.

These people may not be actively helping the GOP (although some of the certainly are), but they won’t let truth stand in their way if they can destroy HRC.

They can turn a good person into a punch line and it’s just up to the voters to ignore them. Gore couldn’t overcome them in 2000 (notwithstanding winning the popular vote). Beginning to have an inkling that this inevitability is not iron clad.