AP’s Today in History for May 30th
Clean-up ends at New York’s Ground Zero, months after the Sept. 11th attacks; France’s Joan of Arc burned at the stake; Baseball’s Cal Ripken, Jr. begins his games streak; Bandleader Benny Goodman born.
Breakfast Tune Red Skies at Night – The Fixx – Banjo Cover
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
Freedom Rider: Biden Breaks His Promises
Margaret Kimberley, BAR senior columnist
Black people have nothing to show for a Biden presidency despite turning out in droves to put him in office.
Joe Biden has yet to make good on any campaign promise he made to voters. The $2,000 stimulus became just $1,400. There is no minimum wage increase. He promised a public option for the Affordable Care Act but now says that isn’t going to happen. He is cutting back on his infrastructure initiative, the American Jobs Plan, from $2.3 trillion to $1.7 trillion in order to placate Republicans and right wing Democrats. Biden said he supported a paltry $10,000 in student loan relief only to back away from that too.
So far his only positive policies are in regard to temporary tax benefits for families with children and additional unemployment payments. But that help is in danger as 22 states have said they will no longer accept this federal money. In typical fashion, Biden says his hands are tied and there is nothing he can do to help millions of desperate people. Apparently the federal government can’t figure out how to write checks anymore.
Biden supporters advocated the need for harm reduction in the campaign against Donald Trump. They knew that Biden was always on the right wing of the putative left party and made their case by raising the specter of another Trump term. But no one was honest about the true nature of the political system in the U.S. The sad fact is that dependence upon either wing of the duopoly is a losing proposition.
The absence of a strong and well organized movement means that harm reduction is always a fantasy. The Democratic Party establishment chose Biden to be the nominee and didn’t get the pushback that was needed against their backroom deal making. Unscrupulous Black operatives derided anything other than obedience to their bosses. We were told to go along and be quiet and that any other response meant the return of Trump. The lack of demands set us up for failure, propaganda about cutting poverty, and phony progressives taking a dive instead of standing up for the people. Black people have nothing to show for a Biden presidency despite turning out in droves to put him in office.
The moment is ripe to acknowledge that this system is a complete sham and exists only to help the 1% do as much as they can to oppress the 99%. We will live with a cycle of Republicans and Democrats who use different methods but always end up working against our needs.
Black politics will have to be recreated by people acting independently from the class of political misleaders. If not, we face a cycle of Democrats losing after they fail to make good on their promises, who are then followed by Republicans who sneak into office using voter suppression tactics which work when there is a lack of enthusiasm for the do nothing Democrats. It is time to get away from this vicious cycle.
This is not the moment for timidity. The faux progressives have to be called out as much as the Democrats most conservative members. They work together after all, each one willingly going along with their role which allows all of them to fool the rank and file into thinking that one side is good while the other is bad. If the Republicans are seen as the only enemy then we have already lost. They all must be seen as our adversaries whom we must oppose strongly and publicly.
This obvious fact is not lost on Nancy Pelosi or the rest of the leadership. They keep the Capitol building off limits and use the Trump supporters’ January 6 riot as their excuse. What they really fear is that the left may learn a lesson about bringing their demands directly to Washington. The House of Representatives recently approved $1.9 billion for the Capitol police force, an unnecessary sum of money that will be used to keep out the left and not Trump dead enders.
If history is any guide, the Democrats will lose their razor thin margins in the 2022 midterm elections. Should that be the case, Biden’s obfuscations will be the cause. The Trump trauma will have diminished and millions of people who made great efforts to vote for Biden will instead ask what he has done for them lately.
Regardless of the outcome, the tired notion of harm reduction must be thrown into the trash can of history along with the democratic party. No one should be shocked when the only promises kept are those made to the donor class. Biden’s only truthful statement was saying that nothing would fundamentally change.
- America’s cops are having their Harvey Weinstein moment
- Historian: The real patriots invaded the nation’s capital fifty years ago
History News Network
- Jeff Bezos Weaponizes the Washington Post Homepage
ANDREW PEREZ & DAVID SIROTA
- Corporations Are Still Funding the GOP Campaign to Roll Back Voting Rights
WALKER BRAGMAN & ANDREW PEREZ
- ‘Fact-checking’ takes another beating
This isn’t going to be a long one. The way private-equity and other takeover artists today work is simple. They buy a company up and then load it up with debt to pay for having bought it. They generally take healthy companies (ToysRUs was running a profit), then once taken over slash and cut. The business will often go bankrupt, if it doesn’t it is a shadow of its former self; its products are worse, it has few employees and so on.
This is now being done to the Chicago Tribune Newspaper.
Just a couple days ago, Tribune had no debt, $250 million in cash and had trimmed expenses by more than 30% in one year.
Now owned by Alden, Tribune has $278 million in debt and is looking to cut more, via buyouts offered to newsroom employees. https://t.co/HQehCTplww
— Jon Harris (@ByJonHarris) May 26, 2021
I don’t think a lot of commentary is necessary. This should be illegal. You should not be able to stiff the company you bought with a huge loan to pay off your expenses buying it out (and also pay yourself bonuses in the tens of millions.)
Just make it illegal. It has destroyed innumerable companies, and the overall affect is to reduce employment and reduce economic activity. It’s nothing but damage to the economy at this point. Private Equity doesn’t take over badly run companies and make them better now (if it ever did, which is questionable), it just damages or destroys companies so that the people who take them over can have a third super-yacht and a tenth vacation home, and in many cases, be invited to the island run by whoever has replaced Epstein.
These people literally act as parasites. Make what they do illegal, and find a way to take back their stolen wealth.
Something to think about over coffee prozac
Obama Labor Secretary & Former DNC Chair, Tom Perez, Just Joined an Anti-Union Law Firm
BY ANDREW PEREZ & WALKER BRAGMAN, JACOBIN MAGAZINE
Former Obama labor secretary Tom Perez announced on Thursday that he’s joining the law firm Venable LLP, whose website boasts that its lawyers “regularly counsel and train clients on union avoidance.”
Perez, who was the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair until January, joins a growing number of Obama officials who cashed in their government experience with jobs at union-busting companies. That list includes press secretaries Jay Carney, who became the top flack at Amazon, and Robert Gibbs, who spent several years as a top flack for McDonald’s. Obama senior advisor David Plouffe served as policy chief at Uber, while former senior adviser Valerie Jarrett has a board seat at Lyft.
Rather than avoid issues he oversaw as labor secretary, Perez said in a press release he will be working specifically on those issues.
“Venable’s attorneys are at the forefront of helping clients navigate dynamic regulatory, policy, and labor and employment issues,” Perez said in Venable’s press release announcing his hiring. “I look forward to joining them in this important work.”
Michael Volpe, a cochair of Venable’s labor and employment practice group, said that Perez’s “unique background and insights on workplace matters will be invaluable to our clients.” Volpe’s firm biography notes that he has “broad experience representing corporate interests in union organizing efforts and campaigns.”
Perez served as assistant attorney general for civil rights under President Barack Obama, before serving as Obama’s labor secretary from 2013 to 2017.
Later, he served as DNC chair, after Obama and now-president Joe Biden reportedly worked the phones to help propel him to victory over progressive favorite Keith Ellison, who is now Minnesota’s attorney general.
Earlier this year, Perez applauded Biden’s choice for labor secretary, Marty Walsh, tweeting: “America needs a secretary of labor who will fight tirelessly to empower American workers and the labor movement. A union member and champion of workers’ rights, Marty Walsh is the right person for the job.”
Now, months later, Perez is joining a law firm that openly helps Corporate America crush unions.
“Recognizing that the goal of our clients is to prevent and manage their business risks, we regularly counsel and train clients on union avoidance, employee terminations, arbitration, and contract administration and interpretation,” Venable’s website says.
In another area of its website, the firm says that its “lawyers regularly advise and represent clients in connection with matters before the National Labor Relations Board, union negotiations and organizing, labor strikes, picketing, and corporate campaigns.”
One Venable partner’s firm bio brags that he “defeated a labor union bid for recognition as the collective bargaining representative after advising and coordinating the employer’s five-month anti-union campaign.”
Another Venable lawyer’s bio gloats that she secured a “favorable result for [a] corporation undergoing a Department of Labor investigation regarding violations of the Federal Labor Standards Act.”
According to Maryland Matters, Perez’s job at Venable is only part time, and he could still run for governor in Maryland in 2022.
Venable’s website says its lobbying thrives on its “deep bench and legal strength,” which “complement our reputation and relationships in Washington, D.C., giving clients a seat at the table and access to our powerful government network.”
The firm’s lobbying clients have included Lockheed Martin, Citadel LLC, American Airlines, and the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, which represents rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.
Venable regularly submits comments on behalf of their clients to regulatory agencies, including the Labor Department.
In 2011, Venable submitted a comment opposing the Obama Labor Department’s proposed “persuader rule,” which was designed to require employers to more thoroughly disclose their spending on anti-union consultants, on behalf of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, a front for corporate lobbying groups like the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.
Venable warned that the Labor Department’s persuader rule would deny “employers the needed legal advice to communicate with employees both before and during periods of union organizing, collective bargaining and strikes.”
The rule was finally implemented in 2016, but it was blocked by a federal district court judge. When Donald Trump took office in 2017, his administration quickly moved to rescind it.
The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a landmark labor bill proposed by Democrats, would codify the 2016 persuader rule.