I think this might be one of Jasiri X’s best videos yet and not just because it has a fresh hook. Fox News would have you believe that this is left vs right but that’s not the case. It’s the same fight we’ve been having that led to the Great Recession: it’s Wall Street vs Main Street. Even as the nurses, teachers, firefighters and prison guards of Wisconsin say they are willing to take a pay and benefits cut just so they can retain the ability to negotiate in the future, their governor – whose campaign some of the unions actually supported(!) — speaks of using negotiations only as a ploy to trick them. Fortunately for them, Gov. Scott Walker got punked and revealed his manipulative strategy of bad faith. One of the drivers of the recession was the fleecing of the American public via their mortgages. How long will the American people be pushed down and stripped of our basic means to live & work as our tax dollars go to fund wars we don’t support and prop up the wealthiest in our nation? How can we survive as a superpower if we fail to take care of those people whose work cares for our most urgent needs? How can we hope to grow our economy if the middle class is broke and broken?

Anyway, I’m gettin’ off my soap box. Here’s what Jasiri has to say about his vid:

Our latest video “American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires” was filmed on location in Madison, Wisconsin, where thousands of hard working Americans came together in unity to fight back against a Governor bought and paid for by Billionaires to break up Unions and deny workers collective bargaining and a living wage. “American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires” was produced by Cynik Lethal and directed by Paradise Gray.

My favorite words Jasiri’s spittin’ are below. Full lyrics after the jump.

Can main street get a bailout
Tell the president our checks weren’t mailed out
Tell the house of representatives and senate
And whatever business got the stimulus and spent it
Now they getting record profit that’s tripling with no limits
But they cutting jobs and unemployment benefits have ended
How we gone live with no income coming in
And the little help we get is cut from the budget then
What’s the role of government
Do workers stand a chance if multi billionaires are running it
Oh now you worried bout the deficit and cutting it
But when them banks needed billions you had enough for them.
Them car companies you had bucks for them
2 wars rebuilding 2 countries guess we stuck with them
the average citizen just ain’t lucky then
cause we be getting pimped so I guess we getting f*cked again

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Below is a collection of some nice offerings from the interwebs, Twitternets and our very own comments section backed by the musical stylings of the Song Du Jour. Go ahead, get some get right.

* Gadhafi/Gaddafi/Qadhafi’s Loyalists Clap Back on Protesters [WSJ]

* Barack Obama, Socialist Muslim, Wants to Ruin the Sanctity of Marriage for the Men and Women Who Hold It Sacred 50% of the Time [The NY Post]

* Since the Block is So Hot in North Africa, Speculators Are Shook and Wheat Continues to Plunge [Bloomberg]

* Is Chicago Past Racial Elections? (Just Indulge Us a Bit) [ABC 7]

* Rahm Emmanuel’s Victory Shows Crippled Leadership of Chicago’s Black Wards [Examiner]

* Anti-Abortion Billboard Targets Black Women Because Black Women Are Abortion Crazy–Like Boy Crazy, But with Abortions–and If They Don’t Receive the Benevolence of People Who Know Better, They’ll Just Keep Aborting and Aborting and…[HuffPo]

* Italy Asks for Help from EU for Fear of North African Refugees ‘Stinkin’ Up the Joint’ [The Canadian Press]

* Baron Davis Traded to Cleveland, Foresees a Lengthy Hamstring Injury in His Future [ESPN]

Penultimate Thought: If you request that I call you Triple A because you “get [your] advance in advance”, I’m gonna need you to account for that third ‘A’.

Final Thought: This Thursday is very special, JJPers. Have more sense than Qaddafi.

Thursday Open Thread

24 Feb 2011

Since we now have a Black judge on The SUPREME COURT who is now a MUTE, I thought I’d take today’s Black History moment to remember back when Black Judges had to be qualified and actually know how to discuss the law, and had meaningful, substantive careers before being appointed to the bench.

First up,William H. Hastie

William Henry Hastie, Jr. (November 17, 1904 – April 14, 1976) was an American, lawyer, judge, educator, public official, and advocate for the civil rights of African Americans. He was the first African-American to serve as Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, as a Federal judge, and as a Federal appellate judge.

Hastie was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of William Henry Hastie, Sr. and Roberta Childs. Hastie graduated first in his class, magna cum laude from Amherst College in Massachusetts, then earned a doctorate in juridical studies from Harvard Law School. He then became a professor at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. One of his students there was future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He also served as assistant solicitor for the Department of the Interior, advising the agency on racial issues.

In 1937, President Roosevelt appointed Hastie to the United States District Court for the Virgin Islands, making Hastie the first African-American Federal judge. This was a controversial move: Senator William H. King of Utah, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee called Hastie’s appointment a “blunder.”

Hastie served as a judge for two years. In 1939, he resigned from the court to become the Dean of the Howard University School of Law, where he had previously taught.

During World War II, Hastie worked as a civilian aide to the Secretary of War Henry Stimson. He vigorously advocated the equal treatment of African Americans in the Army and their unrestricted use in the war effort.

In 1943, Hastie resigned his position in protest against racially segregated training facilities in the Army Air Force, inadequate training for African-American pilots, and the unequal distribution of assignments between whites and non-whites. That same year, he received the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP, both for his lifetime achievements and in recognition of this protest action.

This was expected to be the end of his government career. But in 1946, President Truman appointed Hastie territorial Governor of the U. S. Virgin Islands—the first African-American to hold this position. Hastie served as Governor from 1946 to 1949.

In 1949, Truman appointed Hastie to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit—the first African-American appellate judge. Hastie served on the Appellate Court for 22 years.

As the first and most distinguished African-American on the Federal bench, Hastie was considered as a possible candidate to be the first African-America Justice of the Supreme Court.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy considered appointing Hastie to succeed retiring Justice Charles Whittaker. But political calculations prevented Kennedy from making the appointment. On the one hand, an African-American appointee would have faced fierce opposition in the Senate from Southerners such as James Eastland (D-Mississippi), chairman of the Judiciary Committee. On the other hand, on issues other than civil rights, Hastie was considered relatively conservative, and Chief Justice Earl Warren reportedly opined that Hastie would be too conservative as a Justice. Kennedy appointed Byron White instead.

Kennedy remarked that he expected to make several more appointments to the Court in his presidency and that he intended to appoint Hastie to the Court at a later date.

In 1968, Hastie became Chief Judge of the Third Circuit. In 1971, after only three years, he stepped down as Chief Judge, and also took “senior status”.


Constance Baker Motley

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Afternoon Open Thread

23 Feb 2011

Rachel Maddow Destroys Wisconsin’s Gov Walker

Good Afternoon.

As you go through the rest of your day, don’t forget JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.

hat tip-3CHICSPOLITICO.COM and others

1. Governor Walker is a LIAR.


Wisconsin’s Pension Fund isn’t in trouble.

In fact, Wisconsin’s Pension Fund Among Nation’s Healthiest

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has painted a dire picture of his state’s pension obligations, Wisconsin’s pension fund for public employees is among the nation’s strongest, according to a report by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

The Pew report, issued last year, concluded that Wisconsin is a “national leader in managing its long-term liabilities for both pension and retiree health care.” Walker has cited the fund’s lack of sustainability as grounds for his plan to revoke collective bargaining rights for state employees, but that proposal has sparked outrage among state employees and drawn tens of thousands of protesters to the state’s capitol.

“We’re going to ask our state and local workers … to pay a little bit more, to sacrifice, to help to balance this budget,” Walker said in a Sunday interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, adding that he would be forced to lay off 5,000 to 6,000 state employees if his budget plan was not approved, as well as a comparable number of local public employees.

But the Wisconsin pension fund is simply not in fiscal trouble. Its managers weren’t burned by subprime mortgage assets or mortgage-backed securities as the housing bubble collapsed. The fund also relies on an automated dividend system, which pays out benefits in years the system is making gains while restricting payouts in years when it takes losses. And while the pension fund had a rough year during 2008 due to stock market losses, it remains robust, both in terms of fundamental financial stability and in comparison to other state pension programs.

According to the Pew study, Wisconsin had about $77 billion in total pension liabilities in 2008. But according to that same Pew study, those liabilities were 99.67 percent “funded,” giving Wisconsin one of the four-highest of such ratios in the nation. Other states had funding ratios as low as 54 percent. For comparison, expert analysts and the Government Accountability Office consider an 80 percent level to be a good benchmark for pension fund stability, while Fitch Ratings considers 70 percent adequate.

He lied about the budget. He inherited a BUDGET SURPLUS that turned into a budget deficit because of TAX BREAKS that he gave to his friends.

2. He’s a paid stooge of the Koch Brothers.

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john mcwhorter and glenn louryOh yeah, you heard me right. You can watch it for yourselves though you might need to take a shower afterwards. It’s on the front page of the website even.

John McWhorter of the New Republic says on NyTimes’ Bloggingheads.TV that he’s “beyond Black History Month” and that it’s so “1945 or 1975”. He claims that Americans of all colors roll their eyes at BHM. It’s a ritual and a gesture but not educational.

Glenn Loury of Brown University says he believes Black History Month is “kitsch”, “corny” and “anachronistic”.  I don’t know where they found these brothers or what they paid them to say this. I also don’t understand why you would host a conversation like this and not offer one voice in support of Black History Month. Unless you had an agenda in mind.

I guess someone at the Old Grey Lady figures that now that there’s some black history being made every minute in the White House that we don’t need a whole month for them uppity nigras no more. Everyone knows everything they need to know about black history according to McWhorter.

bloggingheads nytimes front page

McWhorter and Loury may be willing to throw Black History Month under the very bus where we once had to ride in the back. I couldn’t disagree more strongly and am, in fact, outraged by the suggestion. At a minimum, Black History Month is crucial for young people growing up to understand the contributions of a still-stigmatized population. Furthermore, the success of Black History Month has encouraged other people. Other ethnicities now have months dedicated to their histories here and I’ve appreciated learning more about the challenges and triumphs of Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans for example. There’s even Women’s History Month. And I’m not opposed to say, Irish-American History Month or Jewish-American History — there was a time in America when Irish immigrants and their descendants faced vicious discrimination and their strength and courage should be known to all Americans. I’d say these days, we probably could use Muslim-American History Month to tamp down on mounting oppression against that demographic.

How can McWhorter says that he doesn’t believe that America is post-racial and then say in the same breath that Black History Month should be tossed aside. The way that we will overcome prejudice in this nation is through greater tolerance, understanding and yes, even celebration of each other’s cultures and contributions. It’s how we become one nation, indivisible. It’s how kids can see that people just like them — or like their friend sitting next to them — have met incredible obstacles to success and rose above them to do and be great.

Finally Black History Month makes sure that we never forget. A nation that does not know its history is doomed to repeat it and let us never forget the injustice and heartbreak visited upon us. In a time when there are actually conservative leaders who publicly assert that the founding fathers fought against slavery(!) or that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery(!!) or that Jim Crow segregation “wasn’t that bad”(!!!) or that the first black President of the United States somehow isn’t a citizen (!!!!) — Black History Month is needed more than ever to ensure that history isn’t ahem, white-washed or swept under the rug. African-American and really American history is under direct attack by those who would seek to diminish our accomplishments for their own socio-political purposes.

The struggle and success of African-Americans and those who supported them has inspired the entire world. We still have a long way to go, however. Both the poverty and the unemployment rate for African-Americans is twice that of whites. One in three African American children now lives in families that have trouble providing for them.

Are McWhorter and Loury, two privileged black men, really suggesting that those kids don’t need Black History Month? It’s special that they found a couple of uppity nigras to push down on the uppity nigras, ain’t it? The NY Times thinks we’re that stupid.

What do you think? Are you as appalled and disgusted as I am at this attack on Black History Month?

Below is a collection of some nice offerings from the interwebs, Twitternets and our very own comments section backed by the musical stylings of the Song Du Jour. Go ahead, get some get right.

With UN Condemnations and the Resignations of Top Officials, Gaddafi/Gadhafi/Qaddafi Is Feeling Real Tight Right Now [BBC News]

Guess Rahm Emmanuel Figured Out That Whole Residency Thing Because He’s the Boss of All Bosses in Chicago Now [ABC News]

Rhymefest in Run-off for Chicago City Council Seat, Hopes Election Will Be Settled In a Cipher [ABC News]

Malcolm X’s Daughter Facing Fraud and Identity Theft Charges [The AP]

Less Fiyah? Buju Banton Looking at 15 Years After Coke Case Conviction [Reuters]

Rihanna and Chris Brown Can Now Chit Chat Legally [The Daily Mail]

Today in Marijuana: Sweet, Sweet Cheeba Helps Cancer Patients Sleep, Enjoy Food [CTV]

Hot Off the Sh*t for Brains Presses! GOP Official in Maryland Thought It Would Be Cool to Name a Black Cow ‘Oprah’ and Has a Perfectly Non-Racist Explanation as to Why [The Baltimore Sun]

Wednesday, JJPers. Be encouraged! It’s closer to Friday than Tuesday. Or Monday for that matter.

Wednesday Open Thread

23 Feb 2011

Today’s subject is Ida B. Wells Barnett

Ida B. Wells: Crusade for Justice
by Jennifer McBride
Ida B. Wells has been described as a crusader for justice, and as a defender of democracy. Wells was characterized as a militant and uncompromising leader for her efforts to abolish lynching and establish racial equality. Wells challenged segregation decades before Rosa Parks, ran for Congress and attended suffrage meetings with the likes of Susan B. Anthony and Jane Addams, yet most of her efforts are largely unknown due to the fact that she is African American and female.

Ida B. Wells was born July 16, 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi, during the second year of the Civil War (Sterling 61). Her parents, James and Elizabeth Wells, were slaves, and thus Wells, a woman who devoted her life to promoting racial equality, was born a slave. It was from her parents that Wells developed an interest in politics and her unwavering dedication to achieving set goals. After emancipation, Jim Wells became heavily involved in politics. He was a member of the Loyal League (a local black political organization), he attended public “speakings” on the steps of the courthouse, and campaigned for local black political candidates (Sterling 65). Jim Wells’ fervent interest in racial justice and political activism no doubt inspired his daughter’s later interest in these same issues. Elizabeth Wells was a religious woman and a strict disciplinarian who dictated a strong work ethic. Both Jim and Elizabeth Wells emphasized the importance of education. After the Civil War, 90% of blacks were illiterate. Emancipation brought about the legalization of Negro education, and shortly thereafter, Negro schools were established throughout the south. Shaw University was established in Holly Springs in 1866 to provide education for the large, rural black community of the area (Duster 9). Wells along with her siblings and her mother (who wanted to learn to read the bible) attended Shaw University. She notes in her autobiography that “our job was to go to school and learn all we could” (Duster 9). During her years at Shaw, Wells developed an intense love of words. She reportedly read every book in the school library, from the novels of Louisa May Alcott and Charles Dickens to the Oliver Optic stores, a series of popular books for boys (Sterling 65). Early on in her education, Wells discovered a bias. At Shaw she learned mainly European history, and Wells notes in her autobiography that “I had read the bible and Shakespeare through, but I had never read a Negro book or anything about Negroes” (Duster 22).

In 1878, Wells’ life changed forever, as a yellow fever epidemic swept through the region, claiming the lives of both her parents and a younger sibling (Sterling 66). Wells was visiting her grandmother’s farm when the epidemic hit, and she was urged to remain in the country until the epidemic subsided. However, her devotion to her family prompted her to return home despite the warnings of doctors. In her autobiography Wells recalls her feelings at the time of the tragedy, “the conviction grew within me that I ought to be with them… I am going home. I am the oldest of seven living children. There’s nobody but me to look after them now” (Duster 12). Determined to keep the family together, Wells refused all attempts at splitting up her remaining siblings. Instead, she insisted on caring for her five siblings, despite the fact that she was 16, unemployed and poor. At the urging of the local Masonic lodge where her father was a member, she applied for a teaching position in the country. She adjusted her appearance so as to look older than her mere 16 years. She passed the qualifying examine and was given a position six miles away. Friends and relatives stayed with the Wells children during the week when Ida was away at school. In her autobiography, Wells describes the burden of her dual role and caretaker and provider, “I came home every Friday afternoon, riding the six miles on the back of a big mule. I spent Saturday and Sunday washing and ironing and cooking for the children and went back to my country school on Sunday afternoon” (Duster 17).

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Afternoon Open Thread

22 Feb 2011

hat tip-Prometheus 6:
Congresswoman Gwen Moore tells it like it is about a world without Planned Parenthood.

Good Afternoon.

As you go through the rest of your day, don’t forget JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.

The President’s last statement on Libya was on Friday. A lot had changed since then.

Here’s what the Prez said on Fri:

I am deeply concerned by reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever else it may occur. We express our condolences to the family and friends of those who have been killed during the demonstrations. Wherever they are, people have certain universal rights including the right to peaceful assembly. The United States urges the governments of Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests, and to respect the rights of their people.

Since that statement, the world’s real life and extra crazy Bond villain has sent gunmen in planes and helicopters against his own people, calling them rats on drugs. He and his son blame foreigners like Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and the BBC for the unrest in his country. Not their own iron-fisted policies. Like Mubarak before them, they promise tepid reforms while threatening violence against their own citizens.

I realize this is a sensitive time. But given the carnage in Libya overnight, it’s appropriate to send out Mama Clinton to give a spanking, but even more pressing for someone who represents a successful “revolution” expressing the will of a people empowered with hope and technology to give some encouragement to the oppressed people of Libya who seek to be free.

I’ve heard Clinton is set to provide some sort of statement later this afternoon. I’d urge Barack Obama to keep earning that Nobel Peace Prize. Gadhafi has called Obama “his son” and “a son of Africa” on the floor of the UN — there’s no question that direct statements from a son to a father calling for restraint are needed now. It’s not like Seif, Gadhafi’s playboy son, is going to tell daddy to spare the rod. It’s true that we’re losing perhaps the most perfect realization of an evil Bond villain (Ukrainian “nurse”, stunning & chic dictator fashion sense, personal all-female bodyguard force, giant tent he takes wherever he goes, ranting & fist-pumping etc), but hey, hopefully we’ll gain a democracy.

Certainly we have less leverage as a nation economically with Libya compared to Egypt. Obama’s personal moral force is respected worldwide. Now’s the time to get up in someone’s face and support the people of Libya’s attempt to take their country back from a cruel dictator. I’m with the Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. – it is critical that we be with people on this one because it’s not just about Libya (from Ben Smith at Politico):

“I would never ask us to intervene physically in Libya,” he said, but called on the Obama Administration to “take a strong position that what’s happening in libya must be stopped now…and to avoid giving the impression to the Arab world that the West “has only a materialist mind — they don’t care about human rights…except when it comes to their own interest.”

“You see them raising their voices about iran … because they have some interest in in Iran…. When it comes to other countries they don’t raise their voice,” he said, adding that the Arab and Muslim world won’t “trust america or the west if they behave that way.”

If Obama doesn’t personally speak up, it will undercut the moral authority he has worked so hard to cultivate in the region and throughout the world. You can’t watch innocent people getting cut in half by their own nation’s artillery — and say nothing — and think the homies will still pay respect.


hat tip-Booker Rising

“BLACK MAMAS DON’T PLAY” VIDEO OF THE DAY: Florida Mom Forces Son To Stand On Street Corner With GPA Sign

He had to work a different corner each day last week (hopefully this is being followed up with hands-on instruction since she has significant responsibility for why his grades are bad in the first place). “Ronda Holder is forcing her 15-year-old son, James Mond III, to stand on a street corner with a sign around his neck that says: ‘I did four questions on my FCAT [Florida aptitude test] and said I wasn’t going to do it…GPA 1.22…honk if I need education.’ Holder says her son will appreciate it some day.

Bad grades land teen on street corner: MyFoxTAMPABAY.com

Tuesday Open Thread

22 Feb 2011

Today, we’ll learn something about Henry ‘ Box’ Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom.

Henry “Box” Brown (1815-1879?) was a 19th century Virginia slave who escaped to freedom by arranging to have himself mailed to Philadelphia abolitionists in a wooden crate. For a short time he became a noted abolitionist speaker and later a showman, but later lost the support of the abolitionist community, notably Frederick Douglass, who wished Brown had kept quiet about his escape so that more slaves could have escaped using similar means.


Born into slavery in 1815 in Louisa County, Virginia, Brown was sent to Richmond in 1830 to work in a tobacco factory. There, he married another slave, Nancy, and the couple had three children. Brown used his wages to pay Nancy’s master for the time she spent caring for them. However, in 1848, his wife and children were sold to a slave trader and sent to North Carolina. Brown claimed that he was powerless to prevent this.

With the help of James C. A. Smith and a sympathetic white storekeeper named Samuel Smith (no relation), Brown devised a plan to have himself shipped to a free state by Adams Express Co. Brown paid $86 (out of his savings of $166) to Smith, who contacted Philadelphia abolitionist James Miller McKim, who agreed to receive the box. Brown burned his hand with oil of vitriol as an excuse for missing work.

During the trip, which began on March 23, 1849, Brown’s box traveled by wagon, railroad, steamboat, wagon again, railroad, ferry, railroad, and finally delivery wagon. Several times during the 27-hour journey, carriers placed the box upside-down or handled it roughly, but Brown was able to remain still enough to avoid detection.

The box containing Brown was received by McKim, William Still, and other members of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee. When Brown was released, one of those present remembered his first words as “How do you do, gentlemen?” He then sang a psalm from the Bible he had previously selected for his moment of freedom.

Brown became a well-known speaker for the Anti-Slavery Society. He was bestowed the nickname of “Box” at a Boston antislavery convention in May 1849, and thereafter used the name Henry Box Brown. He published two versions of his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown; first in Boston in 1849 and the second in Manchester, England in 1851. Brown exhibited a moving panorama titled “Mirror of Slavery” in the northeastern United States until he was forced to move to England after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. Brown toured Britain with his antislavery panorama for the next 10 years, performing several hundred times a year and visiting virtually every town and city over that period.

Brown stayed on the British show circuit for twenty-five years, until 1875. In the 1860s, he began performing as a mesmerist, and some time after that as a conjuror, under the show names Prof. H. Box Brown and the African Prince. Leaving his first wife and children in slavery (though he had the means to purchase their freedom) (see Ruggles); he married a second time, to a white British woman, and began a new family. In 1875, he returned to the U.S. with a family magic act. There is also a later report of the Brown Family Jubilee Singers.

The cause and date of his death are unknown.


The Resurrection of Henry Box Brown at Philadelphia, a lithograph by Samuel Rowse, depicted Henry Brown emerging from the shipping box into freedom in Philadelphia. The lithograph was published to help raise funds to produce Brown’s anti-slavery panorama. One of only three known originals is preserved in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond.

There is a monument to Henry “Box” Brown along the Canal Walk in downtown Richmond, Virginia in the form of a metal reproduction of the box in which Brown escaped.

Good Morning.

As you go through your day, don’t forget JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.


What the Speaker will look like if he can’t collect a check when he shuts down the Federal Government

No member of Congress should collect a check, either.

Yeah, I said it.  It is patently unfair that the ReThugs want to shut down the Government and hold it hostage to make the President and Democrats cave to their silly, gross and uneducational demands.

All they want is POWER.  Well, absolute POWER Corrupts ABSOLUTELY.

While the hoo-hah going on in Wisconsin under the FUBARing of newly minted Governor Scott Walker (hell, it took Ah-nold a few months before he effed up, so Walker’s screw up has to be Guinness World Record Worthy), the Crying Tan Man, along with his henchman, er, Majority Whip, Rep. Eric Cantor, are saying “We’ll Shut Down the Government if we don’t Get out Way.”

Remember when Newt Gingrich tried that shyt?  Bill Clinton laid that blame right where it belonged:

The 1995 “shutdown” of the United States federal government was the result of a conflict between Democratic President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment and public health. It took place after Clinton vetoed the spending bill which Congress sent him. Thereupon, the Federal government of the United States put non-essential government workers on furlough and suspended non-essential services from November 14 through November 19, 1995 and from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996 (see budget crisis). The major players were Bill Clinton, the Democrat then serving as President, and Newt Gingrich, the Republican then serving as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

As I recall, Newt threw a bitchfest because Clinton wouldn’t discuss the budget on Air Force One on their way to attend a dead foreign official’s funeral.  Newt didn’t care how inappropriate it was – he just wanted his own way and Clinton wouldn’t cave in.

In the following elections of 1996-98, Democrats won back some of those seats they lost in 1994 as a result of Newt overplaying his hand.  Unfortunately, that Democratic wave washed in the likes of Harold Ford and Artur Davis, but I digress.

The same scenario looms on the horizon, and get this; the players aren’t as smart as Newt was.  John Boehner and Cantor are in charge of driving this car off the cliff.  Look at what won’t get done if the government shuts down:

If a government shutdown occurs, thousands of government programs would shut down immediately, with workers and contractors losing their paychecks until funding started up again, at which point they would be paid retroactively.

If the House GOP’s spending plan is passed as is, economists estimate that 1 million Americans could lose their jobs. Boehner, who previously said “so be it” when presented with the possibility of public-sector job losses resulting from budget cuts, seemed to stand behind that sentiment on Thursday.

We’re already asking Orange Julius “Where are the Damned Jobs?” and his response is that if more people lose their jobs, “SO BE IT!”

And my response to that is “If the government shuts down, Mr. Boehner, you shouldn’t be able to collect YOUR CHECK, until people are able to return to work.”

In my home state, California, I remember when the State Legislature tried to skip town without passing a budget, adopting a “SO BE IT!” attitude towards state employees, promising to pay them with IOUs that banks howled they would not honor if presented to be cashed.

Then-State Comptroller; later Governor Gray Davis, took the following action:

He was the first Controller to withhold paychecks from all state elected officials, including himself, until the Governor and the Legislature passed an overdue budget. He also found and returned more than $1.8 billion in unclaimed property to California citizens, including forgotten bank accounts, insurance settlements, and stocks.[17]

I remember after he made that announcement to withhold checks, every state legislator returned from where ever the hell they were and passed a state budget within 24 HOURS.

The Elected officials sitting in Congress should be willing to do NO LESS.  You want to withhold functions while you shut down the government – fine, you can start with YOURSELVES.  Let’s see you go without a paycheck, and see how fast you’re willing to debate and agree upon a workable budget.

Republicans, stop treating us to your STUPID – it really BURNS.

Afternoon Open Thread

21 Feb 2011


Balloon Juice has done a couple of excellent posts about the happenings in Wisconsin.
Follow the maps:

A few days ago, Josh Marshall over at TPM published a map of how various States treat collective bargaining for public employees’ unions:

Deeper pattens emerge when you look at a map of Free States and Slave States as of 1857 when the Dred Scott Decision opened all US Territories (and all Free States) to Slavery:

What thing becomes clear—as you consider the modern Republican Confederate Party’s effort to attack workers, Unions, the Middle Class and their rights—is that their focus is all about the theft of labor. Stealing the labor of folks is a sure fire way to get rich and it has been since, well, forever. Fighting efforts to protect people from the theft of their labor is what the modern so-called Conservative and/or Gliberterian movements are all about.

What made slavery so damn profitable was the theft of labor. It served two important purposes: 1) Free labor from your slaves, and 2) the labor you steal from your slaves helps to suppress the demand for higher wages from the labor of workers that you must pay.

Slavery offered an elite class multiple ways to cut cost and steal labor. This system of labor theft has experienced two great threats in the last 150 years. The first was the Civil War, which ended the above ground buying and selling of humans and the theft of their labor. This was a major victory in the long fight for justice, but it was not long before gains were pushed backed.

Good Afternoon.

As you go through the rest of your day, don’t forget JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And continue to have a peaceful day.

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Who We Are

Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats


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Black Behind Coverage/Disclaimer

This is a personal weblog which does not represent the views of the authors' employers, clients nor vendors.

Ain’t Like All The Rest

Jack and Jill Politics is not affiliated with Jack and Jill of America, Jack and Jill Magazine, "Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill to Fetch a Pail of Water" nor any of the other Jack and Jills out there on the Google. Just so's you know.