Unions work. Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly earnings of $1,041 in 2017, while those
who were not union members had median weekly earnings of $829. Read that again...yet union workers continue to be attacked in states like Iowa where "right to work" means "right to pay you less". But, I get ahead of myself. Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at some of the stories you've seen and other you may have missed. All laced with my commentary. Sometimes fun...often not so much. Ready? Let's go.
Senator John McCain
The chorus of hate coming from followers of "45" was amazing. Not going there. However statesmanship is something "45" doesn't and will not ever understand. However it was clearly on display during a week of mourning. It would be educational for the president to be schooled by his predecessors yet we know that is not...ever...going to happen. It is a shame and it tarnishes the richness of our nation.
It was a stunning win by the mayor of Tallahassee. Andrew Gillum won a three-way race to take his popular message to the voters this fall in Florida's gubernatorial election. And, it wasn't long before racists there, and across the nation, decided they didn't want nobody "like him" as governor. Just days after the primary voters in Florida were hit with a 78 second robocall narrated by a man speaking in a caricature of a black dialect with cartoonish jungle noises in the background. It ends with a disclaimer that it was paid for by The Road to Power, a white supremacist and anti-Semitic video podcast hosted by Scott Rhodes of Idaho. This is the same group that is behind robocalls to Iowans following the death of Mollie Tibbitts.
Welcome to America where you have the right to be an ass-hat. Add to that the "monkey" line coming from the GOP in Florida and there you have it. Tell me again why you vote Republican? Thank you Tim Lloyd for the cartoon! It's great to have you back.
Meanwhile in Texas
He really should have no shot at all but Beto O'Rourke is gaining on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and "45" is being mocked for saying he is going to hold a rally in Texas for Cruz whom he famously called, "Lyin' Ted Cruz". Polls show O'Rourke 4 points behind Cruz and money says he has out raised the incumbent. Texas has been "deep red" for decades but time there are changing as Latino voter numbers continue to swell. The three-term congressman is working hard in the Latino community and has the street cred to do it. Born and raised in El Paso O'Rourke connects and understands the dusty border towns along the Rio Grande. And, he has visited all 254 counties in the state, something most Democrats have never done. No matter the outcome of the election Beto O'Rourke will be a name that will crop up in Iowa....watch.
Speaking of Iowa
It's really too bad that Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) made the decision to link the death of Mollie Tibbitts to immigration. It's sullied her and her campaign. Even the father of Mollie has asked that people not "hijack" her name in fighting something that she supported. Meanwhile the governor keeps her silence refusing to hold regular press conferences. I've visited with others in the media and they too say this is a mistake. But, it worked for Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) so maybe that's the ticket to winning. Speaking of Sen. Ernst...she is divorcing her husband. That's too bad. Sources say this will be the second divorce for her husband. The first was when he divorced his wife, Ingrid to marry Joni. Gosh...how traditional.
It's not a pretty picture. Last week for our "Out to Lunch" segment for Insight on Business the News Hour I sat down with John Hale, an advocate on aging issues and care giving. (If you would like to hear that segment this is that link.) What is stunning about our conversation are the numbers of aging Iowans and the lack of care givers today and in the future. And there is the clear lack of leadership on the state level to address them. And, sadly, Iowa is not alone. It's a national trend. What is truly sad is that years ago Rep. Claude Pepper (D-FL) authored the Pepper Report out of congress that spoke to the issue of aging, care giving and the need to address the issue with legislation and money. However...
This touches every family in Iowa and the United States. If I were running for an office you can bet this would be a major issue because it clearly crosses party lines. You tuning in Fred?
After all this is the Labor Day Edition of Sunday Morning Coffee. In 1983 union membership for hourly and salaried workers stood at 20.1% today that number is 10.7% the lowest it has ever been. If we look at union households fifty years ago the numbers are even more stunning. Over 30% of workers, then, belonged to a union. And while union membership in the public sector (government) has been rather steady (something "45" and his minions hate) union membership in the private sector is, today, only 6.5%. Meanwhile public support for unions currently stands at 61% in a recent poll by Gallup.
Lot of data there so go back and read it again.
So what? So, you wonder why your paycheck can not keep up with inflation? You wonder why it's harder and harder to make ends meet? You wonder why it is that your boss can fire your ass for wearing the wrong color socks? The reason, and the voters in Missouri had the sense to deny the measure, is "Right to Work". Iowa is a "right to work" state that really means employers have the "right" to pay less, make you work harder, longer and in more difficult situations than those represented by a union or in states like...yes Missouri.
That is why every pro-business group from the Iowa Association of Business and Industry to the United States Chamber of Commerce love "right to work" and despise unions. More money for them...and less for you. What the hell are you thinking?
Tomorrow is Labor Day and I will proudly join my friends from the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL/CIO for the Annual Labor Day Parade that starts at the Iowa Capital at 11:00am and goes to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. If you are not in the Des Moines area but are in Iowa here is a LIST OF EVENTS from the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL/CIO. Go and march for a better life for you and your family and then get active in the vote this November. It all...matters.
This is what was going on yesterday. A birthday party for our granddaughter. Thirteen young girls at the messiest birthday party...evah. Jovie and her "crew" had a great time and her Mom...just caused other birthday parties to be...in a word...dull? Congratulations and what an event! The "young ladies" were from the neighborhood and from her softball team. Fun times!
Speaking of Events TODAY is FlashDineDSM, yes you can go to the Facebook Page. It happens each year on the Sunday before Labor Day. Folks to to, what was until this morning, a secret location bringing their food, wine and table decor to the party. It's going to be epic and if you are in the mood...join us. See you at the brand new Sherwood Events Center in Sherwood Forest, Windsor Heights. This is the first time (I think) it has been held indoors but with all the rain the area that had been picked would have been way too soggy.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend.
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