Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XXXVI

-Given how the internet lit up like a pinball machine after a speech given by Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. in Detroit Sunday, I'm sure there are few who are unaware of the money quote (emphasis mine).

“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war,” Hoffa told thousands of workers gathered for the annual Labor Day rally.

“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march… Everybody here’s got a vote…Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” he concluded.

The most disappointing aspect is, as of Sunday evening, the White House declined comment.

I don't know the exact percentage, but I would say a fair amount of voters who call themselves Republicans are aligned with the Tea Party's belief of less government spending, less taxes and less government interference in our lives. As such, Hoffa's remarks were aimed at a significant portion of the American people. Mr. President, I may not support any of your policies and will work vehemently to ensure your defeat in next year's presidential election. But was I naive to take you at your word on Election Night 2008, when you said the following in your victory speech:

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

Well as my President, I would appreciate you not falling back on the same partisanship by allowing such thuggish rhetoric to go on without condemnation.

-Speaking of the President, it's fairly obvious to me the only job he's concerned about is his own. Nevertheless, he plans on going forth with the charade of unveiling his "jobs package" Thursday before a joint session of Congress.

Perhaps President Obama would be wise to heed the advice of those who, you know, have working knowledge in that area.

John Schiller, chairman and CEO of Energy XXI, said "if the government would get out of the way, from a regulation standpoint, and let us [XXI] do what we do good you'll see us continue to hire and grow this economy."

"I think that's a message from across the board," said Schiller.

Jon Faraci, CEO of International Paper, told CNBC "to create jobs what we need is demand. This economy is 70 percent consumer driven, so we need consumers spending some of their discretionary income if we're going to have demand that's gong to lead to more jobs. If we get demand, we’ll put more shifts on, our employees will be working more hours, and we’ll hire more people. Without demand we can have all the certainty in the world and all the clarity about regulation, but to me it’s not so much about confidence as it is about demand," explained Faraci.

Seriously, Mr. President, no one will be all that offended if you go ahead and scuttle your planned Thursday night speech. Besides, it'll give that much more time to prepare to watch the NFL team of which you are now a shareholder.

-If there's any wondering why the United States Postal Services faces possible default on a $5.5 billion trust fund payment, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) may have offered a helpful hint.

Labor represents 80 percent of the agency’s expenses, compared with 53 percent at UPS and 32 percent at FedEx

I wonder what kind of ruckus would ensue if the Postal Workers Union members were asked to contribute more to their benefits (i.e. health insurance, retirement, etc.), thus taking a step to prevent their employer's bankruptcy?


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