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What has the Tea Party done for us lately?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5475

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:59 pm    Post subject: What has the Tea Party done for us lately? Reply with quote

Many people liked the idea of political outsiders organizing to resist the influence of the two parties and big money in political issues. Most of quickly came to the conclusion that the Tea Party was, in application of policies, an astro-turf organization, funded by corrupt folks like Tom Dulay and the Koch brothers. The facts about the policies that the Tea Party supports haven't reached the tin hat folks who watch Faux news, so it always interesting to update everybody with the latest "populist" efforts from the Tea baggers. Like their efforts to prevent child safety regulations being extended to farm children under 16, and the Obama administration's caving in to the wing nuts.

It was Hilda Solis, Labor Secretary, who proposed new regulations, in response to a repot by Human Rights Watch called "Fields of Peril: hCild Labor in US Agriculture." Here's an account of what happened:

Hilda Solis steps down as Labor Secretary. So how did she do?
Posted by Brad Plumer on January 10, 2013 at 11:08 am

On Wednesday, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced that she was stepping down. That prompted all sorts of Twitter snark: "we have a secretary of labor??" And so on.

Yes, people, I exist. (Ron Edmonds/Associated Press)

But, yes, the United States does have a secretary of labor! And now is as good a time as any to look back at what the Department of Labor actually does — and how Solis has fared during her time in charge. Here's a rundown of the big, important items:

— Managing job training and other unemployment programs. The 2009 stimulus bill included $67 billion for unemployment insurance benefits, job training, and other work programs. It was the Department of Labor's job to oversee that money.

So how'd it go? During Solis's tenure, 1.7 million people completed federal job-training programs. Workers in Kansas learned how to pave highways. And so on. But it's still not clear how much good these programs accomplished. Although many economists support job-training programs in theory, it's hard to gauge the effectiveness of the stimulus specifically — few good studies exist yet. Back in 2010, a New York Times investigation found that many retrained workers were still struggling to find work.

— Enforcing wage and hour laws. Shockingly, companies don't always follow the law when it comes to paying workers' wages. That's where the Department of Labor comes in. Solis made a point of reviving this wing of the agency, using stimulus money to hire hundreds of new enforcement officers. "There's a new sheriff in town," she declared in 2009. Last year, the department's wage-and-hour division recovered some $280 million in pay for 300,000 workers, a new record.

Solis generally gets high marks for this: "Under her tenure, there was a particular emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable workers—immigrant workers, teenagers, misclassified workers," says Kate Bronfenbrenner, a labor expert at Cornell. She explains that these workers are most likely to be wrongly classified as independent contractors or shorted on wages because they're either unlikely to speak out or afraid to lose their jobs.

— Enforcing safety regulations. The Labor Department includes both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Experts say that the people in charge of these offices can make a big difference to actual workplace conditions. And the consensus is that Solis was far more aggressive than her predecessor during the George W. Bush years, Elaine Chao. For instance, BP got hit with a record $87 million fine for its role in a 2005 refinery explosion.

Not everyone was happy with Solis' record, though. Mine-safety advocates criticized MSHA's failure to enact new rules after the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion in West Virginia, which killed 29 workers. “What regulatory scheme has grown out of Upper Big Branch that has changed mine safety?” J. Davitt McAteer, a former MSHA director told The Washington Post. “The answer is nothing.”

— Setting up new workplace regulations. The Department of Labor doesn't just carry out enforcement. It also constantly puts forward new rules. That process has long been quite sluggish, and Solis didn't do much to speed it up: A recent investigation by the GAO found that OSHA takes eight years, on average, to issue a new safety rule. That's far slower than most other regulatory agencies.

But in many ways, Solis has been constrained by both the White House and Congress. A key safety rule on silica dust for miners and construction workers has been bottled up in the Office of Management and Budget since 2011. Last year, the department proposed new rules that would have prevented children from performing agricultural work deemed dangerous. But after a fierce blow-back from farm groups and the GOP, the White House backed down, and Solis eventually withdrew the rule altogether.

Leading the charge against the rules? Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau, whose Board includes such noted family farmers as Monsanto, (affectionately called Monsatan by activists) DuPont and Archer Daniels Midland. The narrative? This would adversely affect family farms. The facts? Those rules would have only protected the 300,000 children under 16 who work as hired hands, or as the Farm Bureau would have it, independent contractors. Leading the charge for the Re-thugs--Denny Rehberg, Montana Republican. Endorsed by Tea Party Express. Multi-million dollar rancher who hired kids as young as 10 years old to herd his cashmere goats. Joined by Tea Party Caucus member Roscoe Bartlett, Maryland.

Follow the money. Talk populist, act on behalf of corporations. Fool many.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1860
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are just like beaglebuddy with his fireman issue, but worse, with you it's the T.E.A. party.
That makes 3 T.E.A. party bashing threads of yours on the first page alone.
Adding to one of your other threads instead would be nice.

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I don't drink the 'cool' aid, I drink tequila, it's more honest.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5475

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NW30--I certainly think the Tea Party is the worst thing to happen to politics since George Wallace. That's why I post information about what they are actually doing. Do you have a reason, with substance, to defend them? Or are you just an Obama hater? Substance? Do you have any?
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4313

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
NW30--I certainly think the Tea Party is the worst thing to happen to politics since George Wallace. That's why I post information about what they are actually doing. Do you have a reason, with substance, to defend them? Or are you just an Obama hater? Substance? Do you have any?


Like I've said before, I've been to a Tea Party meeting on Maui. They are just a bunch of old small business people who want the government out of their hair.

You are fantasizing if you think otherwise. You go to a Glenn Beck rally, and all they want is constitutional principles and respect for America's traditions. These are a bunch of well dressed, well intentioned middle American people who don't want big government intrusion. Check out Allen West, who's one of their hero's.

Mac, so far you have to ask yourself what has a liberal done for us lately?
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1860
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevenbard wrote:


Mac, so far you have to ask yourself what has a liberal done for us lately?


LOL, exactly!!!
They are still using the same old playbook, poverty, racism, war, you name it, listen to them, it's like nothing ever gets better.
On top of that, they, in general, have lost their sense of humor, other than them saying, "no we haven't, we laugh at conservatives, like you, all the time". But that is not humor, that's only a snide attempt at something they seemed to have lost.

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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3525

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve
tell us about the Tea Party leadership.
These folks aren't mad at those nice men in suits you saw in Maui.
They are mad because the Teas leadership sits there in a nearly do nothing Congress and literally does nothing at all, except vote to repeal the ACA forty times.

These leaders did come out and shut down our gov. Costing the economy billions and esp. hurting small biz. owners.

How about Bachman, Tea party hero? She isn't even the worst of them.
How about the fake filibuster where Factcheck found 44 untruths?
The Teas cheered that speech and insulted anyone who voted to save our country from them.
Maybe these are a few of the reasons some folks think the Tea leadership is the worst part of our gov.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3525

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just went online for some quotes from Tea leadership.
Dreadful hate talk and wrong facts.
Why would such nice men in suits vote for these clowns?
Because the tea platform is full of encouraging generalizations that have nothing to do with the leaders the Teas have chosen.

Some of the teas are not those nice men. Enough of them to elect some really poor politicians in fact.

I support their agenda and hope that America gets a third party whose leaders and voters implement the Tea platform. These are not those leaders or voters.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5969

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NW30 and Bard,

While I think that mac can be totally off-the-top in his hateful commentary toward you two, I find little to criticize concerning the depth of his awareness and knowledge on a myriad of important topics and issues that we face today. I truly admire what he brings to the table here. I wish I was so productive. Moreover, when it comes down to SF Bay and doing what is right there, few are so focused and diligent in their efforts.

Yet, when it comes down to the tea party and those that they elected to Congress as tea party favorites, what have those folks really accomplished, and what changes do they want to make for the future? mac and keycocker aren't wrong about the facts, or the poor outcomes we have been seeing from these tea party stars. More often than not, we see far too much in the way of social conservative thinking, and rather bold attempts to limit the freedoms of many Americans. What kind of plans do these folks have for the illegal immigration reform? Not much, because corporate farm interests aren't really wanting any changes.

You guys will need to do lot better in convincing me that the tea party has any real ideas to offer. Looking back, it's a dismal record.
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reinerehlers



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 1048

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an interesting conversation with my wife today that ended in me saying that if I lived in the US I'd likely vote liberal. I'd be hard pressed to do that here though. The nutty gun laws alone would keep me away from voting for Republicans.
NW30,
I most certainly do agree with your observation regarding the standard liberal tactics. The attachment of hatred to just about anything that one disagrees with is as digusting as the hatred they try to attach to just about everyone who opposes their viewpoint.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5475

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NW and Bard--not surprising that you didn't comment on the issue of safety for kids on farms, generally immigrants. That must mean that you support Tea Party politicians efforts to block safety regulations. The Labor Department only counted ten deaths in 2012, so it couldn't be that important. I guess that you're also oK with the Tea Baggers shutting down the economy, promising to do it again in January, and cutting food stamps--while maintaining payments for Republican farmers and ranchers. As long as the grass roots folks on Maui are being bedeviled by pesky regulations--to assure worker safety--anything the Tea Party crew in Washington D. C. do is just jake.
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