So Many News, So Little Time

1. What potent form of crack is WIVB smoking by hosting a second televised NY-27 debate between Chris Collins and Kathy Hochul at 10:30 pm on a weeknight? No one saw it, no one knows what happened, and I don’t get why they’d do that at all. Evidently, WNLO will re-broadcast it at 11:30 am today, so everyone who was getting ready to go to bed for work last night, will be at work and miss it today. (You can watch it here). Democracy! 

2. The other day I pointed out that Chuck Swanick is running as the candidate for homophobes. He confirmed it to Bob McCarthy, and “resumed” his campaign. From the sound of it, Swanick seems to be running in an effort to harm Grisanti, but some things I’ve read from Swanick supporters are quite negative towards Democrat Mike Amodeo, as well. It’s yet another episode of horrible people doing horrible things. I’ll add that the Conservative Party – the line on which Swanick is running – is embroiled in a dispute between its chairman Ralph Lorigo and some rank & file members to determine whether that entity will ever endorse Democrats again. Lorigo is pushing rule changes that would, e.g., ban the CP from ever again endorsing anyone with a Working Families Party endorsement. I have a better idea – let’s get rid of electoral fusion and these facile, patronage-laden cross-endorsements altogether! All these hacks would have to either find honest jobs or at least go hack it up somewhere else. 

3. While voter ID fraud is such an infinitesimally small problem that it hardly qualifies as a “problem”, it would seem as if the right-wing is busy registering voters in Virginia and then throwing some of the registration forms in a dumpster. Good luck to those new registrants trying to vote, right? 

4. Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital bought Sensata Industries in Illinois. 170 jobs will be lost in Illinois as Sensata relocates its operations to the People’s Republic of China. The people about to lose their jobs and livelihoods are protesting.  This should be a national story. 

5. Mitt Romney was caught on tape telling business owners to tell their employees how to vote

I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope — I hope you pass those along to your employees. Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well.

There’s a certain egotistical pathology at play here – people come to work for work, not to be lectured about politics. Much less threatened. Some CEOs have already taken Romney up on the idea, threatening to fire everybody if they don’t vote for the candidate from Michigan/Massachusetts/Utah/California. Not to be outdone, fascist front group “Koch Industries” sent this to employees of its subsidiary Georgia Pacific: 

While we are typically told before each Presidential election that it is important and historic, I believe the upcoming election will determine what kind of America future generations will inherit.

If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects, and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.

When you resort to threatening your employees to vote a certain way, you’ve crossed a line from free speech into intimidation. The 1st Amendment broadly protects political speech, but not threats.  Make no mistake – this is pure, unadulterated banana republic shit. 

6.  If you own any of these:


Then chances are you’re white, male, and over the age of 45. You think Sean Hannity is great, you hate that Bauerle tolerates gay people, and you think that Carl Paladino is God’s gift to politics. You read as either a primary or secondary news source. You stopped going to Free Republic a couple of years ago, but you think that Michelle Malkin has the right mixture of sarcasm and gravitas. Also, you completely freaked the fuck out when the country elected a black (you insist on calling him mixed-race or half-black) President in 2008. You believe that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, but was born in Kenya to devoted communists, and set up through a wide conspiracy – that’s taken place over 50 years – by Democrats, the SDS, Kenya, world Islam, Indonesia, the KGB, and an associated roster of communist cadres to take away the United States and replace it with a Leninist dictatorship. You self-identify as a tea party activist, but in reality you’re just a racist omniphobe who has – at least once – uttered the phrase, “keep the government out of my Medicare”. 

7. You know that funny line from the debate the other night, when President Obama explained how his administration helped ensure equal pay for women through the Lily Ledbetter Act – a law Romney would have opposed – and how Romney parried by explaining how he demanded a list of qualified women to hire for his cabinet in Massachusetts in 2002? Yeah, he didn’t ask for it. It was waiting for him when he took office. Another lie

8. So, as far as I can tell the right wing freakout over Benghazi has to do with what the Obama Administration said about what happened that day; whether it was a calculated terrorist act or a spontaneous thing that arose out of the protests about that idiotic anti-Mohammed “movie”. This is coming from a party that took us to war in Iraq over pretexts that changed as often as the direction of the wind? The day of the Benghazi attacks, there were protests over the movie. There were also protests over the movie in Cairo. The protest in Benghazi was around the consulate, while the Cairo protests were by the embassy. Instead of letting the government’s investigation continue, the right wing is politicizing an attack on Americans on American soil. It is a stark reminder of Obama’s speech where he said we’re one America. The Republican Party disagrees most strenuously, and their central platform since 2008 has been to disprove Obama’s assertion. 


  • 5. Couldn’t agree with you more – which is why unions, churches, and governments (like our city’s mayoral office) shouldn’t do it either.

    • Difference is an employer holds the power to intimidate with the implied threat of losing your job, unions and churches have no such leverage. I do agree government or the mayor have no business doing it either.

      • Union leaders can be pretty intimidating, too. You won’t lose your job if you publicly state you voted for the other guy, but you’ll face intimidation from leaders and their minions. It can make going to work every day pure hell.

        • I suppose that might be possible but I doubt this is a widespread problem. I have worked in management for a large health care system for over 30 years and have not ever heard of union intimidation of anyone regarding their vote. As you noted, “you won’t lose your job”, these Republican CEO’s are indeed implying a vote for Obama might actually impact your employment. This is not only pure nonsense but unethical and un-American.

          • Well, if we’re trying to put this in perspective, unions have been (proudly) gathering and busing the forces to the polls for decades for everyone to vote correctly, while the number of CEOs telling their workers how to vote is few and anecdotal. Plus, we have lawful termination laws – let’s get outraged when a CEO bites the hand that feed him and follows through with it.

          • You are correct on perspective but I don’t see how unions compare to management.  Unions advocate for their members, they are no different than any other advocacy group that seeks to improve conditions by taking part in the political process.  Their leadership is elected by members to represent their interests, a democratic process. CEO’s are appointed, not elected and have no business using their power to intimidate their employees in an attempt to influence elections.

      • There is intimidation beyond losing your job. The effects in a church are more subtle (and self-selecting), but your union boss can adjust your work schedule, give you crap assignments, slow your health insurance paperwork, lose your workman’s comp claim, and myriad other things to make your life miserable.

  • On #6, I posted yesterday about the number of signs down in the rural communities of the southern tier.I think the prevalence of ‘2012 America versus Obama’ signs and scarcity of signs supporting Romney says a lot about the lack of support or passion for this candidate.  Many rural voters certainly seem to dislike Obama but still can’t bring themselves to put Romneys name on their lawn, I think this is a bigger issue than is being reported and will impact the election nationwide.

  • Nice job, shoring up Barry’s Maginot Line of excuses for Benghazi, $4 gas, $ trillion deficits, 7.8% unemployment …

    Here’s a few more suggestions: “Honest… I ran out of gas. I… I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!”

    • There is no need to make excuses for Benghazi, this was a tragedy that Romney attempted to exploit for political gain that backfired on him. When the families of the victims tell you to shut up about it you should know you are on the wrong side of the issue but Romney is tone deaf. Gasoline peaked at well over $4 galon in June/July of 2008, not under Obama. Still this is a dishonest argument as gas prices are set on a global market, not by the president. Even more extraction has little to no impact on price since the oil companies will simply export the oil overseas. Finally,the deficits and unemployment numbers have been moving in the right direction, most reasonable people understand it will take more than 4 years to clean up the mess left by 8 years of failed Republican economic policies.

  • If only Republicans were so concerned about 3000 troops sent to die in Iraq on trumped up evidence so that Bush could play tough guy.   

  • “fascist front group” just makes me giggle.

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