Patterico's Pontifications


Bernard Sanders’ Unionized Campaign Workers Demand More Pay, Free Health Care

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:26 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Well this is certainly a fun story:

Unionized campaign organizers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential effort are battling with its management, arguing that the compensation and treatment they are receiving does not meet the standards Sanders espouses in his rhetoric, according to internal communications.

Campaign field hires have demanded an annual salary they say would be equivalent to a $15-an-hour wage, which Sanders for years has said should be the federal minimum. The organizers and other employees supporting them have invoked the senator’s words and principles in making their case to campaign manager Faiz Shakir, the documents reviewed by The Washington Post show.

The Sanders campaign is paying field hires a flat $36,000 salary, but these workers are allegedly facing six-day, sixty-hour workweeks, which brings the hourly rate down to around $11.50. Naturally, the workers, who are unionized and affiliated with the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400, have taken to heart the demagoguery of the angry old Marxist and are complaining that they are barely managing to survive, using payday loans to help through the hard times and struggling to afford food.

But I am not so sure that this is an instance of hypocrisy on the part of the Vermont Senator, at least not the traditional hypocrisy of “do as I say, not as I do.” The Bezos Bugle explains:

[O]n May 17, [campaign manager Faiz] Shakir convened an all-staff meeting, during which he recommended raising the pay for field organizers to $42,000 and changing the workweek specifications, according to an email he later wrote to staff. The union draft indicated he was seeking to extend the workweek to six days.

Shakir pressed for a swift vote so he could make budget decisions and decide how many field organizers to hire, according to his email.

The union rejected his offer, because the raise would have elevated field staff to a pay level responsible for paying more of their own health-care costs, according to the draft proposal the union was preparing this week. [emphasis added]

How do you like them apples? Senator-Medicaid-for-All ain’t springing for “free” healthcare and the earnest progressive field staff doesn’t want to jeopardize their access to Obamacare vouchers by taking in more salary. So naturally, they have a two-pronged demand: raise their pay to $46,800 and cover 100% of health care costs for any staffer who makes below $60,000. Mr. Shakir understandably complains that the campaign’s budget has already been drawn-up and approved based upon the original figures, and changes at this point would impact the number they can afford to employ. It is unknown whether or not the Senator has been apprised of the situation. The Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro campaigns also have unionized campaign staff, so it will be interesting to find out if they are facing similar challenges.

I have an idea for the Sanders campaign. How about the field staffers stay with their $36k salaries and Obamacare vouchers and just dial-back their work-week to 40 hours? That would keep them at the $15 per hour wage ($17.30 per hour, to be exact). Maybe if the campaign really is pressuring them to work more than 40 hours, the campaign can do the woke progressive thing and pay time-and-a-half for overtime. And if the campaign decides that this costs too much money and decrees that all Sanders workers limit their workweeks to 40 hours, then the workers will get a taste of how the world of private business actually works which might disabuse them of some of their dopier economic notions. Given that young workers in progressive campaigns have a sad predilection for — how to put it gently? — leading less-than-joyous lives, a 40-hour limit might encourage them to develop a personal life outside of their own little bubbles and make them happier and better-adjusted citizens.

In the meantime, though, it’s fun watching progressives hoisted on their own petards.


USS Boxer Destroys Iranian Drone In The Strait of Hormuz

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:34 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From President Trump:

“The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone, which had closed into a near distance, approximately 1000 yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down threatening safety of ship and ship’s crew.”

The president added that Iran’s drone “was immediately destroyed.”

Trump said the drone’s approach of the Boxer is “the latest of many provocative and hostile actions against vessels operating in international waters.”

He said the United States “reserves [the] right to defend our personnel, facilities, condemn iran’s (sic) attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce.”

Trump also called “on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the straight and work with us in the future.”

Here is the Pentagon’s statement:

At approximately 10 a.m. local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz.

A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew[.]

The USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, is part of a build-up of Navy ships in the region following Iran shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone and the seizure of a foreign oil tanker by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

And in further news about the U.S. and Iran: Contrary to chatter, President Trump said today that he has not appointed Rand Paul to serve as an emissary to Iran. He did say, however, that he respects the Kentucky senator and would listen to any ideas he has about increasing tensions in the region. Further, President Trump also disputed talk that he had plans to send an emissary to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


President Trump: Boy, I Sure Didn’t Like That ‘Send Her Back’ Chanting Last Night

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:05 pm

[guest post by Dana]

You’ve got to be kidding me! Has he seen the video??

[Ed. This is a full clip of his comments focusing on Rep. Omar, which is worth watching as you can clearly see his intentional build up in his attacks on her. You can start at the 3:38 mark for the shorter version]:

My immediate reaction to his claim is, why didn’t he interrupt his supporters and explain to them that we don’t deport U.S. citizens? And that is what he was asked by reporters about the “Send her back” chant:

“I was not happy with it. I disagree with it,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

The chant began as the president made a litany of attacks on Omar, part of his days-long onslaught against a group of four minority, progressive Democratic congresswomen.

Asked why he did not stop the chants, Trump responded, “I think I did. I started speaking very quickly.”

The president did not speak up to stop the refrain. After the chants began, he paused for 14 seconds, looked around with a neutral expression and waited for the crowd to quiet down before continuing his remarks.

Trump also said that he did not chant “send her back”.

And speaking of Rep. Ilhan Omar, she was approached by reporters today outside of the capitol and decided to block traffic on Independence Avenue so that she could answer their questions. She responded to questions about the “Send her back” chant at Trump’s rally last night:

“I am not [scared for my safety.] What I’m scared for is the safety for people who share my identity,” Omar told a gaggle of journalists on Thursday.

“This is not about me. This is about fighting for what this country should be and what it deserves to be.”

She also accused the president of being “a racist” and “a fascist”.

Meh. I can’t stomach either one of them. They’re both grifters in it for themselves.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with something to make you roll your eyes: The View’s Joy Behar asks her fellow members of the brain trust why Trump can’t be brought up on charges of hate speech following last night’s rally:


(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Trump Partied with Epstein in 1992

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 10:00 am

[Headline from DRJ]

ADDED — Breaking: Jeffrey Epstein Denied Bail.


Video unearthed by Morning Joe shows Donald Trump partying in 1992 with Jeffrey Epstein, his ‘pimp’ Ghislaine Maxwell and bevy of models during private party at the pedophile’s future ‘hunting ground’, Mar-a-Lago:

Just days after President Donald Trump declared that he was never friends with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, footage has emerged of the two at a private party back in 1992.

Producers at Morning Joe unearthed the video, which shows that Epstein was a guest of Trump’s at Mar-a-Lago in November of that year and was surrounded by a group of models and cheerleaders.

It was one of Trump’s final private parties before the financially-strapped real estate scion turned his residence into a members-only club.

It sounds like the Calendar Girls party or maybe the NFL cheerleaders.

That was 27 years ago when Trump was about 46. In 1992, George H.W. Bush was President, the Soviet Union dissolved, Johnny Carson made his last Tonight Show appearance, and John Major was elected UK Prime Minister. Ancient history, right?

But … what about Donald Trump in this 1992 Charlie Rose interview? Does he seem familiar in 2019?


GOP Congressman: ‘I’m A Person of Color’, ‘Time To Stop Fixating On Our Differences’

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:08 am

[guest post by Dana]

This happened while the House was considering a resolution to condemn Trump’s weekend tweets:

Ahead of Tuesday’s House vote to condemn as racist recent tweets by President Donald Trump about four Democratic congresswomen of color, a white Republican congressman asserted that he is a “person of color.”

“I think we’re going way beyond the pale right now. They talk about people of color. I’m a person of color. I’m white. I’m an Anglo-Saxon,” Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., said in an interview with Vice News on Tuesday. [“People say things all the time, but I don’t get offended,” Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Mike Kelly told VICE News before the blowup over Pelosi’s comments. “‘With a name like Mike Kelly you can’t be from any place else but Ireland.’”]

Kelly did not walk back his comments Wednesday, but instead said “It’s time to stop fixating on our difference.”

“My broader point in the five-minute long exchange was apparently lost, so let me say it again,” Kelly said in a statement to the Washington Post. “It’s time to stop fixating on our differences — particularly our superficial ones — and focus on what unites us.

“Attempts by Democrats and the media to divide and define us by race are harmful to our nation’s strength. We need to elevate our level of discussion, and I believe most Americans agree,” he concluded in the statement.


Government Spending Choices

Filed under: Environment,Government — DRJ @ 5:20 am

[Headline from DRJ]

Alaska village will install new river power generator:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A tiny Native village in southwest Alaska has turned to an emerging technology to transform the power of a local river into a sustainable energy source that’s expected to free residents from dependency on costly diesel fuel.

The village council in Igiugig is the first tribal entity in the nation licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to harness river water that’s not connected to a dam. That means the community of 70 is authorized to proceed with the complex project and that the system went through rigorous reviews by state and federal agencies, according to a U.S. Department of Energy official working with the village.

“It’s a huge milestone,” said DOE engineer Steve DeWitt, who manages the agency’s water power projects. He said a similar non-tribal system will be installed next year in New York City’s East River. But that river is tidal, not continuously flowing like the Kvichak River in Igiugig, he said.

The $4.4 million project is being paid for by state and federal funds, matching funds from the village and a development investment from Ocean Renewable, according to participants. Participants say U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, strongly supported the project and helped secure funding for it. Murkowski is the chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Committee spokeswoman Tonya Parish said Wednesday that Murkowski, fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King wrote to Energy Secretary Rick Perry last year to urge the Energy Department to fund the project.

Read the whole thing.

I don’t have the expertise to tell if this is a PC government boondoggle or a worthwhile and creative attempt to provide reliable energy to appropriate areas. I hope it is the latter but the Bridge to Nowhere (which may have been overblown) has made me think twice about government spending, so I want to know more.

By the way, I am not trying to pick on Alaska. This is an interesting project and, to me, it makes an interesting post.


Teenage Trend in Texas?

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 4:55 am

[Headline from DRJ]

I recently posted on a story about a teenager opening, licking and returning a Blue Bell ice cream container to a Lufkin, Texas, grocery store shelf. If two is a trend, this is a depressing and disappointing Texas teenager trend:

15-year-old Texas boy arrested for spitting in Arizona tea bottle, returning product to supermarket shelf

Police have arrested and charged a Texas teen after he was caught spitting into an Arizona Tea bottle and placing it back on a store shelf for someone else to drink.
Before police arrived, the teen reportedly told the asset protection manager he had spit in the drink.

The boy told police he put the tea back after taking a drink because it was “gross.”

Not cool. Stop it.


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