Friday, May 06, 2011

Friday Mashup (5/6/11)

  • I give you the following from Mark Halperin’s sad excuse for a politics/news blog here, proclaiming that “Bam and Mitch (as in Daniels) Are Friends” (yeah, let’s see how long that lasts, I think to myself).

    In response, I give you the demonstration from Dem U.S. House Rep Jim Crowley here…

    …and once more, this from last night.

    See, the problem when you actually run part of the U.S. Congress, Orange Man, is that you can’t just shoot rhetorical spitballs. You actually have to govern (and I liked this too).

  • Next, I give you this item from the Bucks County Courier Times today…
    (Thumbs Down) To state Rep. John Galloway and two resolutions he introduced encouraging the state to support so-called project labor agreements (PLA) on all publicly funded construction projects.

    His argument that taxpayers will get more for their money if contractors are required to pay the "prevailing wage" to their workers is a lot of hot air. The cold truth is - Galloway's spiel is a union-bolstered ruse.

    The truth also is that PLAs knock small, local contractors out of the game. Small contractors can be more cost-efficient than big union contractors because they aren't saddled with onerous union rules that drive up the costs of the jobs they do.

    Galloway should serve the taxpayers who elected him and not the unions that want to eliminate the competition.
    I realize this newspaper’s august editorial board is never going to stop riding its anti-PLA hobby horse, so it’s incumbent on filthy, unkempt liberal blogger types such as yours truly to restate an argument I’ve made many times before, one of which is that (as noted in this Wikipedia article), non-union contractors can work in a PLA with union contractors; more follows…
    A Project Labor Agreement (PLA), also known as a Community Workforce Agreement, is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project.[1]

    Before any workers are hired on the project, construction unions and contractors have bargaining rights to determine the wage rates and benefits of all employees working on the particular project and to agree to prevent any strikes, lockouts, or other work stoppages for the length of the project.[2][3] The terms of the agreement apply to all contractors and subcontractors who successfully bid on the project, and supersedes any existing collective bargaining agreements.[2]

    PLAs are used on both public and private projects, and their specific provisions are tailored by the signatory parties to meet the needs of a particular project.[3] PLAs typically require that the contractor hire all workers through union halls, that nonunion workers pay dues for the length of the project and that the contractor follow union rules on pensions, work conditions and dispute resolution.[4] Many PLAs also require that employees hired for the project are referred by the union hiring halls, though most of these allow for alternate hiring mechanisms, including retention of a contractor's "core" or key employees.[2]

    On February 6, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order[5] encouraging the use of Project Labor Agreements on Federal projects of $25 million or more. According to the order, Project Labor Agreements promote efficient and timely completion of large-scale construction projects and prevent many of the problems inherent in such construction.[1]
    I got into more stuff concerning the proposed used of project labor agreements in the construction of the new Doylestown courthouse by Bucks Commissioner Diane Marseglia here.

    Actually, I have news for the Courier Times…by supporting PLAs and cost controls of large-scale construction projects, State Rep. John Galloway is “serv(ing) the taxpayers who elected him.”

  • Continuing, I give you the following from Repug U.S. House Rep Bill Huizenga of Michigan here…
    This week, at the dedication of a statue of President Gerald R. Ford, our 38th President, former vice president, U.S. Representative for 25 years and House Minority Leader for eight, he was praised as a bipartisan leader, a man who brought a country together in an economic and politically turbulent time.

    “Politics is a clash of ideas, not a blood sport,” Ford himself once said in a speech long after his Presidency.

    It is especially fitting that his statue was revealed in another, similar era: a divisive political climate as we fight over the best way forward on a budget, as our nation struggles with economic difficulties that have now surpassed those even Ford faced.
    As noted here, Huizenga has taken campaign funds from the family of Erik Prince, head of what was once called Blackwater. He also is chummy with the individuals behind Amway and once suggested that US intelligence agents who claimed there were no WMDs in Iraq were terrorist sympathizers (none of this stuff is illegal I know, to my knowledge, but let’s just say that it doesn’t paint a pretty picture). Oh, and Huizenga, along with all of his other Repug pals in the House, just voted for that horrific HR 3 bill from Chris Smith that attempts to redefine rape (here).

    I obviously didn’t see eye to eye with President Ford on many issues, but he commanded respect if for no other reason because of his lengthy government service noted above (as well as his Navy service – he endured some truly harrowing stuff in the South Pacific during World War II). Also (and unlike just about any other Repug out there now), he at least had enough of a sense of humor to play along with the ruthless (and hilarious) skewering he got from Chevy Chase on “Saturday Night Live” way back when.

    In short, I believe that, were President Ford still with us, he would no longer recognize (or have the patience for, probably) the hateful, misogynist, provincial, cartoonish bunch that now lay claim to the mantle of his political party, including Huizenga.

  • Finally, I came across this column at The Daily Tucker by David Bossie (here)…
    The strength of America comes from the power of the American woman. I have been married for over ten years and my wife Susan and I have four children together ranging in ages from five months to nine years. My wife is the rock of our household who holds everything together. Without her, the family bond that we share would not exist. Susan comes from a long line of conservative American women who not only keep the family unit together but, more importantly, keep our nation together.
    Of course, and that’s why he’s in charge of an organization that used to be named after a coarse, vulgar reference to a portion of the female anatomy.

    Bossie’s column is timed for Mother’s Day this Sunday, as we know, a day sponsored in this country by Julia Ward Howe (as noted here) in 1870 and originally intended to be recognized as “Mother’s Day for Peace” on June 2nd (Howe felt compelled to do something in response to the wars engulfing this country and many others, then as now sadly).

    So I’m sure you can appreciate that I think it’s more than a little disgusting for Bossie to claim to honor mothers, particularly when he violated the spirit of the peace effort upon which this day is based by doing the propaganda bit for Dubya’s Not-So-Excellent Adventure in Iraq here.

    All the same, I hope all mothers everywhere have a great day this Sunday (they should be honored each and every day besides just this one occasion).
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