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No Matter the Weather, It’s Going to Be a Stormy September
We’re heading into the three quarter mark of the year before the year when the next round of serious elections will take place–fourteen months from now.
Politicking is getting serious from Capitol Hill to Anaheim to Sacramento. Polls are popping out everywhere, favoring whatever view analysts project to their audiences.
Are polls even relevant in an age where younger voters opt out of answering calls from unknown sources, probably because they’re too busy texting their friends? Who knows? Except for the dinosaurs of journalism who think horse race metaphors are relevant when the surrounding environs are on fire.
In DC, the questions are: will the GOP House, still lacking evidence of criminality, move to impeach President Biden AND can the nihilist faction of the Republican Party shut down the government?
In California, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign is about to get smacked down at the State Republican Convention in Anaheim, as Trump loyalists have the votes to change delegate selection for the 2024 nominating GOP convention. The fight will be mostly symbolic at this point, given that Never Back Down, the super PAC shadow managing DeSantis’ presidential campaign, ended its California door-knocking operations in August.
The recurring campaigns in support of or opposed to ballot measures concerning working conditions and pay in dialysis clinics may soon prove unnecessary. An emerging agreement between the SEIU State Council and health care industry players would secure the $25 pay rate and impose a truce on bills and ballot initiatives targeting dialysis clinics.
In recent years industry groups impacted by legislative actions have staged well financed referendums to undo laws. It’s going to be a little harder to play this game –often including campaigns seeking to muddy the waters about the topic ion question– in the future.
Recent examples of this opaque process intended to persuade voters to correct a “wrong” include regulations on fast food employers and oil drilling near homes and schools. The mere filing a referendum campaign freezes legislative actions until such time as a vote takes place.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 421, which –effective immediately– will require referendum advocates to be transparent about their intentions, the consequences of votes for or against the measure, and where support and financing comes from.
The Union-Tribune's political columnist, Michael Smolens highlighted an upcoming proposal at the State GOP convention to excise language in opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage from the state party platform.
This isn’t to say California party leaders and prominent Republicans — or even all platform committee members, for that matter — necessarily support abortion rights or same-sex marriage.
They just don’t want the party’s stand on those issues weighing down their candidates.
State GOP officials have long focused on California’s high taxes and concerns about its business climate. But there’s been a move to sharpen focus on pocketbook issues and other matters that affect the daily lives of residents, rather than engage in ideological cultural battles.
The thinking was this might help Republicans gain ground in Democratic urban and suburban areas they need if the GOP is going to improve its fortunes in California.
Given that repealing the GOP’s Proposition 8, banning same sex marriage, will be on the 2024 ballot, I’m fairly certain that horse has left the barn. Anything former Mayor Kevin Faulconer says or doesn’t say will carry the stench of his party’s vision for America.
Hardcore attitudes on those issues aren’t front and center in the Golden State, but those with a similar ideological bent are busy proselytizing about the need to torture students for coming out, drag queen grooming, and library books.
About the only thing Faulconer or any other California Republican can say will be to promise to smile while the Christofascists wreak their havoc.
Meanwhile in Washington DC…
Congress has a theoretical 19 days to work in September, and the “Freedom” faction of the House of Representatives is drawing a line, namely that shutting down the government isn’t such a bad idea in the quest for their demands. It doesn’t matter to them if the “reality” behind those demands are hallucinations as long as the damage they inflict serves to undermine democracy as we know it.
First up on their list is the impeachment of President Joe Biden. It matters not that there’s no evidence of illegality surrounding the man, the fact is they think he’s implemented policies they don’t like. Because they know best he must be punished. And there is the little matter of the former guy getting impeached, and how this means vengeance is required.
As Trump posted on social media:
“These lowlifes Impeached me TWICE (I WON!), and Indicted me FOUR TIMES – For NOTHING! Either IMPEACH the BUM, or fade into OBLIVION. THEY DID IT TO US.
Impeaching Biden will forever tarnish what’s supposed to be one of the checks and balances from the Constitution, and they’re also hoping it will nullify Trump’s transgressions in future histories.
The dirty little secret is that these freedom-loving fools don’t have the votes. Not to get articles of impeachment to the Senate, and not to unseat Speaker McCormick –the implied threat if they don’t get their way.
What’s problematic here is that a few closeted sane Republicans are going to have to cast their lot with Democrats in order for anything serious to get passed through the House. The “base” is waiting for those folk to out themselves as RINOs so they can be led to slaughter next year.
Don’t believe anything you hear until Joe Biden has a signing ceremony.
There have been 23 special elections for State legislatures this year. Democrats have overperformed Biden’s 2020 totals by an average of 8%. That’s kinda good for party in the White House under constant attack for a supposedly poor economy, gangs of drug smuggling immigrants raping good white Christian women, and allowing discussions of empathy.
Now there’s polling on the 2024 Presidential election, and Democrats are expected to be pulling their hair out and Republicans are supposed to deepen their faith in the Dear Leader.
A Wall Street Journal poll says that 73% of Americans think 80-year-old Biden “is too old to run for president.” An Associated Press poll claims 77% of all respondents and a super majority of Democrats think he is “too old to effectively serve” another four-year term.
At the Washington Monthly, Bill Scher looked back at the history of age-rated attacks on presidential campaigns, and didn’t find it to be a winning path.
After The Wall Street Journal polled voters on their concerns regarding age and mental fitness, it followed up with a North Carolina Democrat who wished there was another option for her party’s nominee. She said, “It’s 100% because of his age. He’s done a great job. He’s good right now. But somebody at the age of 80 has a high risk of things going wrong physically and mentally.” But when asked if the choice is Biden or Trump, she was clear: “I can’t say it strongly enough, absolutely Biden.”
That’s just one anecdote, but the logic is sound. If you are satisfied with the incumbent’s record, you will almost certainly stick with the incumbent.
I’ll bet Joe Biden wishes he weren’t so old on occasion.
I agree. But…
This is where an excellent piece by D. Earl Stephens, former managing editor of Stars and Stripes needs to be considered:
Yes, I wish Joe Biden was younger, but on a list of things that concern me heading into the most consequential election of our lives in 2024, this concern doesn’t even make my first, second or third page.
So, yes, I wish Joe Biden was younger …
But what I really wish … is that Republicans would keep their fat, grubby hands off the women in my country, mind their own damn business, and try to comport themselves with the respect and manners their daughters deserve.
And the story goes on for another sixteen “what I really wish” comments.
One other big trend in political journalism I’m seeing are the “Biden is campaigning from his basement” stories.
The President’s world tour over the past week shouldn’t be called campaigning, but it does speak to the drone of whining about his energy and stamina. And, while he didn’t make his stops into campaign rallies, the President was doing his job. Go figure.
The 2024 election is next year. The Biden campaign isn’t organized around pleasing reporters looking for a saucy story. And from what I can see at this point, they’re doing just fine.
Check out Biden’s YouTube site for what the campaign’s just started with:
A Taste of Monday News Snips
What Republicans Plan to Do to Labor If They Win by Hamilton Nolan at How Things Work
Instead of wondering whether Republicans have finally changed their hearts, please just refer to the policies mentioned above. These policies are a fair representation of the substance of the Republican Party’s agenda on labor. They intend to use every regulatory mechanism they can to weaken unions. They intend to make it harder for workers to organize and build power against corporations. They intend to make it easier for employers to flout safety laws and many other types of pro-worker regulations. They intend to make it harder to hold employers responsible for discriminating on the basis of religion or sex or race. They recognize that labor unions are legitimately powerful tools that can build an effective wall against the power of organized capital, and their overarching goal is to make it as difficult as possible for unions to grow or flourish or spread their protections to new workers. There is nothing “populist” or pro-worker about this agenda. Nothing. As on many other issues, the Republican Party waves a flag and a Bible to distract you from the fact that they are picking your pocket.
You do not have to be an expert on the arcane portions of labor regulatory policy to judge what is happening here. Just remember this simple rule: Anyone who truly cares about working people will do whatever they can to strengthen unions. Anyone who claims to care about working people while trying to weaken unions is full of shit. If you are drowning, you need a life raft. You don’t need a Federalist Society member standing on the side of a ship, yelling “Hey I’m very concerned about the fact that you’re drowning, but rather than a life raft, let me offer you this book about breath-holding techniques. By the way, my family owns the publisher.”
Ignore the bullshit and watch the policies. The policies are very, very bad.
Low pay, erratic schedules and monotonous tasks have long been a challenge for the nearly 8 million Americans working in retail, but the pandemic years have added a host of taxing new duties. Employees must cope with an uptick in shoplifting and customer orneriness. They manage online orders and run up and down the aisles to unlock items as quotidian as toothpaste.
A 2022 McKinsey study found that the quit rate for retail workers is more than 70% higher than in other US industries. And the Covid years made the problem worse. Before 2020, turnover for part-time retail employees — who make up the bulk of the in-store work force — hovered around 75%, according to data from Korn Ferry. Since then it’s shot up to 95% and hasn’t budged, which has at times led to understaffed stores.
As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues his endless assault on education in the state, including higher education, a growing number of Florida faculty are looking to get out of the state, according to the stunning results of a recent survey of faculty in Florida and three other states (Georgia, North Carolina and Texas).
In the survey of more than 4,250 faculty across the four states, nearly half of the 642 respondents in Florida — 46% — said they planned to seek employment in a different state within the next year, and 28% said they had already interviewed for a new position in another state. The results for Florida were much higher than the average for the four states.
Same survey…Different State…Same Result.
Texas’ political environment driving faculty to leave, survey finds Via Texas Tribune
The political climate in Texas is the leading contributor to professors' desire to leave the state, a new survey of more than 1,900 Texas faculty members found. More than a quarter of those professors said they planned to look for positions elsewhere in the country this year as a result of political interference and widespread dissatisfaction with the state of higher education in Texas.
The survey conducted by the American Association of University Professors and the Texas Faculty Association follows warnings from faculty and students that bills targeting tenure and closing diversity, equity and inclusion offices — prioritized by state leaders during this most recent legislative session — would negatively impact universities’ ability to recruit and retain professors.