Skirmish lines in the class war

Political Heads Roll

Election results so far seem to favor neither Republicans nor Democrats, with both of them losing some important incumbents. The trend, if there is one to be distinguished so early, is that incumbent heads are rolling. That would gibe with the polls saying that Americans are highly dissatisfied with their ruling-class Congress. May 18 may clarify the trends, because four states: Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon, and Pennsylvania go to the polls. Right-wing Democrat Blanche Lincoln is being challenged in the Arkansas primary and Arlen Specter, who recently left the Republicans to run as a Democrat, is challenged in Pennsylvania. Hawaii holds a hot election May 22.

Seniors Threatened and Wooed

The Alliance for Retired Americans is sounding the alarm over the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform because some of the Republicans in the 18-person group have vowed to cut Social Security, Medicare and other “entitlements.” Part of this craziness is that such retiree benefits have nothing to do with the national debt. They are separate funds paid for by payroll deductions.

On the other hand, Democrats, who have good reason to fear that America’s seniors will continue voting against them, have launched the Seniors Task Force. It stands for senior priorities including: protection from scams and fraud; affordable health care; safe and livable communities; and economic security

Seniors Chopped

The Alliance for Retired Americans notes that Greece has already enacted legislation to cut pensions 14% and free retiree benefits for three years. Certain political figures in the United States are licking their lips at the prospect!

Labor Seeks Volunteers

The Texas AFL-CIO is looking for volunteers. If you are not already a union member, you might want to join Working America, then contact Texas AFL-CIO. They may ask you for a donation of $5, but it’s worth it. After joining Working America, write to ed@texasaflcio.org and ask to start getting a free labor news service.

Social Forum Growing

The US Social Forum has scheduled 1,000 workshops for June 22-26 in Detroit. Thousands of activists will converge there.

Texas and Mississippi Vie for Title

The Texas AFL-CIO notes that the Governor of Mississippi does not intend to stand by and let the Governor of Texas go unchallenged for stupidest politician on Earth. The Texas contender made headlines by saying that oil mega-corporation British Petroleum, currently draining oil into the Gulf of Mexico, has a “good safety record” and calling the malfeasance of the oil company an “act of God.” Now Mississippi’s Governor has said that the world’s largest ecological disaster has created a oil slick that is like the gasoline sheen commonly found around ski boats!

Texas Wins Again!

The State of Texas won yet another title when Lieutenant Governor candidate Linda Chavez-Thompson, a favorite from the labor movement, announced that her state has the highest proportion of workers earning the minimum wage. Nearly 475,000 Texans earned at or less than the federal minimum wage.