Patterico's Pontifications

3/14/2024

Just a Little Foreign Interference…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:42 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Today:

…in a formal address on the Senate floor, [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer delivered a scathing speech, calling for a new election in Israel. Schumer was highly critical of Netanyahu, saying he is an “obstacle to peace” and that he has “lost his way” as Israel bombards Gaza amid a growing humanitarian crisis there.

Schumer made a point of saying not only is he the majority leader in the Senate but also the highest ranking elected Jewish official in the U.S.

“I have known Prime Minister Netanyahu for a long time. While we have vehemently disagreed on many occasions, I will always respect his extraordinary bravery for Israel on the battlefield as a younger man. I believe in his heart his highest priority is the security of Israel,” he said. “However, I also believe Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel,” he said.

“As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed — radically — since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past,” he said.

“At this critical juncture, I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government,” he said.

“I also believe a majority of the Israeli public will recognize the need for change, and I believe that holding a new election once the war starts to wind down would give Israelis an opportunity to express their vision for the post-war future,” he added.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked Schumer for his comments:

“It is grotesque and hypocritical for Americans who hyperventilate about foreign interference in our own democracy to call for the removal of a democratically elected leader of Israel…This is unprecedented. We should not treat fellow democracies this way at all.”

“Things that upset left-wing activists are not the prime ministers policies they are Israel’s policies. Make no mistake, the Democratic party doesn’t have an anti-Bibi problem, it has an anti Israel problem,” McConnell said.

“Only Israel’s citizens should have a say in who runs their government,” McConnell continued. “This is the very definition of democracy and sovereignty. Either we respect their decisions or we disrespect their democracy.”

Schumer is trying to appease the left-wing base in his party. Complaints have been intensifying that President Biden has not done enough to help the Palestinians (during an obvious humanitarian crisis) as well as pressuring him against providing arms to Israel. After all, there is an election coming up and President Biden will need all the votes he can get. Anyway, if the Israelis want a new PM, let them go about the business of electing one. However, Netanyahu officially started his sixth term at the end of December 2022.

Asking the question:

Putting aside that Dems would go nuts if Israeli leaders were openly campaigning for Trump, the thing with the Dems current tantrum meant to appease extremists in their base is they can’t explain what happens if they catch the car?

Israel is currently governed by a coalition government that includes all the big parties. All big decisions are voted on by the war cabinet. Replacing BN as the face will change exactly 0 Israeli policies. So then what happens?

Because the problem those left-wing elements of the base have is with Israel’s existence, not who is the current PM so BN’s removal won’t appease them.

It’s as if the hostages no longer exist or matter and that their freedom is not a priority. It’s as if Hamas is viewed as little more than a pesky group of disgruntled residents, not a vile terrorist group holding a people captive while threatening anyone who opposes their ironclad occupation.

And of course, there’s this. Why is Israel always the most vexing problem?

–Dana

Bernie Sanders Latest Proposal: 4-day Workweek With No Loss Of Pay For Workers

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:57 pm



[guest post by Dana]

About the bill:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., held a hearing Thursday on a bill he introduced to reduce the standard U.S. workweek to four days without loss of pay.

The bill, titled the “Thirty-Two Hour Work Week Act,” would reduce the standard workweek from 40 to 32 hours over the span of four years, including lowering the maximum hours required for overtime compensation for nonexempt employees. It would also require overtime pay at time and a half for workdays that last more than eight hours and overtime pay that would pay workers double their regular pay if their workday is longer than 12 hours.

Sanders on the details:

“Moving to a 32-hour workweek with no loss of pay is not a radical idea,” Sanders said in a statement. “Today, American workers are over 400 percent more productive than they were in the 1940s. And yet, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages than they were decades ago. That has got to change.”

“The financial gains from the major advancements in artificial intelligence, automation and new technology must benefit the working class, not just corporate CEOs and wealthy stockholders on Wall Street,” he said. “It is time to reduce the stress level in our country and allow Americans to enjoy a better quality of life. It is time for a 32-hour workweek with no loss in pay.”

Of course the obvious question is: how will this work? Employees will work 8 hours less per week, yet their pay will remain the same (as if they had worked that extra 8 hours). How will Mom & Pop smaller businesses afford this? If they can’t, the costs will be passed on to customers or a reduction in staffing, whether in a restaurant, shop, retail, or any sort of small business. However, when given an opportunity to explain to the public just how it would work, the multi-millionaire Sanders didn’t appear to want to answer the vexing question and instead played politics:

VAUGHN: It seems like Democrats want businesses to be taxed more, pay their workers —

SANDERS: Really? Is that what you think?

VAUGHN: They pay their workers —

SANDERS: Excuse me! Excuse me!

VAUGHN: I didn’t get to ask my question.

SANDERS: Ok, thank you. You wanna — hold it, Ok. We held a hearing on a 32-hour work week because what we have seen is that over the last 50 years, despite a huge increase in worker productivity, almost all of the wealth has gone to the top 1% while 60% of the people living paycheck to paycheck. Many of our people are exhausted. We work longest hours of any people in the industrialized world. I think it is time for a shortened work week.

VAUGHN: Let me ask you a question about that. Seems like Democrats want businesses to be taxed more, pay their workers more, lower prices, and now pay people not to work.

SANDERS: Really? That’s not my assumption. I don’t think so. You know what Democrats — you know what I would like to see?

VAUGHN: How are businesses going to survive that? That’s the question. How can businesses survive that? How can businesses survive all of those proposals?

SANDERS: When Mr. Bezos pays an effective tax rate lower than the average worker, I think we have a real problem in our tax system. I think that billionaires have got to start paying their fair share of taxes. Thank you.

He then turned around and walked into his office.

What a shame because I think a lot of people like the idea of a 32-hour workweek. A shorter workweek would allow families to spend more time together and employees to have more down time. What’s not to like? However, it has to be workable for all parties involved – including those writing the paychecks.

As a congressman observed:

“In reality, there is no free lunch,” Ranking Member Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said of the proposal.

“Workers will be the ones who would pay — not get paid extra. The government mandating a 32-hour workweek requiring businesses to increase pay at least an extra 25 percent per hour, would frankly destroy some employers.”

…Cassidy said many jobs would be shipped overseas or replaced with automation, or businesses would be incentivized to hire more part-time employees to avoid penalties associated with requirements for full-time workers.

“If this policy is implemented, it would threaten millions of small businesses operating on a razor-thin margin because they’re unable to find enough workers…Now they’ve got the same workers, but only for three-quarters of the time, and they have to hire more.”

The bill summary is here.

The bill is here.

–Dana


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