As Chris Hayes noted at the end of his segment above, "Welcome, America, to the new Republican party." Which of course is exactly the same as the old Republican party before their ridiculous rebranding effort. This is the third time they've introduced legislation like this, only to have it fail time and again. Maybe they're hoping the third time's the charm.
On Thursday morning, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing regarding the innocuously titled Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, which would allow workers to choose between receiving overtime pay or additional time off in exchange for extra hours on the job. While supporters of the legislation say it would give employees the freedom to decide on their own how to use their overtime, critics argue that the power would really be in the hands of the boss.
“This legislation is based on smoke and mirrors,” said National Partnership for Women and Families senior adviser Judith Lichtman in her testimony before the committee. “It pretends to offer the time off people need, when they need it, but in fact, it is a pay cut for workers without any attendant guarantee of time.”
Speaking to MSNBC.com later that day, she described the legislation as an “Employers Flexibility Bill.”
“It’s the employer that gets to decide when and under what circumstances you can take this comp time,” she said. She also expressed concern that employers could pressure employees into taking comp time rather than pay. These employers could then also decide who to give overtime hours on the basis of who they would have to grant overtime pay or comp time.
Christine O'Donnell appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher this Friday evening during the segment immediately following his opening monologue and blamed her witch ad debacle on her advisers and wanted to get into it with Maher over whether it's fair or not to continue to blame Bush for the troubles with the economy we're still having today. Thankfully, her time was cut short since she was not a member of the panel on the show - or at least she wasn't until the Internet only Overtime segment.
As with all of his shows, Bill Maher always brings all of the guests back in for the on-line version only end of his show and listening to the stupidity that came out of Christine O'Donnell's mouth during this segment was just truly astounding. She was asked how she rectified her supposed "small government conservatism" with the intrusion into people's lives with her social beliefs, and she pretty much spent the entire rest of the segment tying herself in knots, not being able to explain the differences between or need for states' rights and when the federal government needs to step in, revising history, and just making crap up when it suited her.
The other guests who were uselessly trying to reason with her, which was pretty much impossible since you can't reason with someone who's head is thick as a brick, mainly looked like they were all just ready to bang their own heads on the desk by the time this thing was over.
I can honestly say I pity David Simon, Steve Schmidt, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Jim VandeHei, well, maybe not VandeHei, but the rest of them for having to sit through this debacle and try to argue with this know nothing teabagger.
If you've got HBO, set your recording devices for this show if you're not going to be home Monday night. It premiers at 9pm eastern time March 21st. Laura Clawson did a very good write up on this at Daily KOS -- Triangle: Remembering the Fire:
This is the week of the 100th anniversary of the Triangle fire, and tomorrow (Monday) night at 9:00, HBO is airing a new documentary. Triangle: Remembering the Fire is relatively brief, but it adds a great deal to the sketch, on several levels.
The documentary first places the Triangle fire in context: Less than two years earlier, garment workers had gone on strike in the Uprising of 20,000, making outrageous demands like a 52-hour work week and overtime pay.
Meanwhile, the fiercely anti-union owners of the Triangle factory met with owners of the 20 largest factories to form a manufacturing association. Many of the strike leaders worked there, and the Triangle owners wanted to make sure other factory owners were committed to doing whatever it took—from using physical force (by hiring thugs to beat up strikers) to political pressure (which got the police on their side)—to not back down.
Soon after, police officers began arresting strikers, and judges fined them and sentenced some to labor camps. One judge, while sentencing a picketer for “incitement,” explained, “You are striking against God and Nature, whose law is that man shall earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. You are on strike against God!”
The Triangle company held out, the workers went back, and the safety concerns they raised went unaddressed. That New York's garment workers had been fighting for better treatment, and that many of the fire's deaths might have been prevented had they succeeded, is a central part of the context Triangle: Remembering the Fire provides.
That context of struggle is crucial to understanding the fire's aftermath, in which New York instituted a range of workplace protections. Frances Perkins would later famously call March 25, 1911 "the day the New Deal began."
We don't teach this history in our schools, so I'm glad to see HBO doing this sort of documentary. It's important that we understand what it took to get so many of the things we take for granted right now and now easily we could go back to these days if we don't understand that the ultra-rich basically consider most of us a commodity that's expendable. And before you read the excerpt from the book below, a warning that some of it is not safe for work due to a few curse words. It's pages 186-191 of the book and recounts the incident at Triangle and the other strikes and the lifestyles of the Robber Barons around the time of the fire at the Triangle factory.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The rich are using the same playbook now that they did back in the early 1900's. Control the press so you propagandize the public, go after public education, use religious leaders to help your cause and trash unions.
Bill Maher and Jesse Ventura talked marijuana legalization, how to give third party candidates a chance in our elections, alternative voting, states rights, whether you can be religious without being a member of an organized religion and the Vatican's problems on Real Time. I thought it was a pretty good show all around tonight. I don't agree with Bill and Jesse on everything by any means but I sure as hell would enjoy the cable "news" shows more if more of them were half as informative as Bill's show was tonight.
For those of you without HBO, they'll have the Overtime segment posted a bit later on the Real Time web site if you'd like to watch it.