Is Crybaby Tim Griffin a Bigot too?

It looks like Griffin is comparing Black soldiers to animals in a zoo:
Karl Rove-protege Tim Griffin recently stepped down as U.S. attorney in Arkansas, realizing that his nomination would almost certainly be rejected by the Senate.

Griffin’s tenure was especially controversial because as former Research Director for the Republican National Committee in 2004, he allegedly engaged in the voter suppression of African-American servicemembers through a tactic known as “caging,” which is both illegal under the federal Voting Rights Act and unconstitutional.

At a speech at the University of Arkansas this week, a teary-eyed Tim Griffin defended his record. Like former Justice official Monica Goodling — who called caging just “a direct-mail term — Griffin attempted to dismiss the allegations. He laid the blame on the “Internet stuff” and made jokes comparing caging to tending zoo animals:

Obviously, I’ve seen the Internet stuff about caging. First of all, the allegations that are on the Internet and have spread through the tabloids are completely and absolutely false, number one. And ridiculous. Caging, as you may know, I had it looked up, is a direct-mail term for basically organizing returned mail. … And I’ll just say that it’s so untrue. … This is all made up and faux pas. I didn’t cage votes, I didn’t cage mail, I didn’t cage animals, I’m not a zookeeper.


Griffin dismissed the accusations but provided no evidence to support his claims, downplaying the severity of caging. But the allegations against Griffin are serious enough that Goodling briefed Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty on them before he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Griffin will now be joining Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign.

Way to jumpstart your campaign Fred. Can't say I didn't warn you that Griffin would be a huge issue for ya Freddy:

Unfortunately for Thompson, he seems to want to surround himself with many of the same bush players that are getting caught up in investigations:

The Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.) that Timothy Griffin, the former aide to Karl Rove who became one of the most controversial figures in the U.S. attorney firing scandal, is in talks with Fred Thompson's presidential campaign:

Backers look for Fred Thompson to use a June 2 speech to Virginia Republicans to step closer toward the race. Thompson allies have had discussions with Tim Griffin, the Arkansas U.S. attorney and Rove protégé, about taking a top job with the campaign.

Griffin, of course, was installed as the U.S. attorney for Little Rock last year. Emails from Kyle Sampson have shown that the Justice Department and White House were plotting to use a little noticed provision in the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization Bill to keep Griffin in place throughout Bush's term without the need for Senate confirmation. Alberto Gonzales has somewhat unconvincingly disavowed the plan.

All of this is may seem like small potatoes, as far as Griffin's involvement in the GONEzales saga, but there are likely more important reasons why Griffin is leaving his government job. In light of the politicization of DoJ and USAs by the bush administration, old stories of Tim Griffin's involvement in "CAGING" (illegally purging voter rolls) suddenly start to look like blockbuster stories to the average American:
Greg Palast joins Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

Greg Palast exposes true intent, cover up and criminal acts of Bush administration's US Attorney scandal. In summary, it's about wrongfully charging Democrats with made up crimes in order to influence the outcome of elections. In other words, it's about stealing elections or subverting our democracy. Just more evidence of the Bush administration's stated goal of turning America into a one-party state. Which comes pretty close to meeting the definition of treason.

Did he say treason? SNAP! I thought he said that...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

It should get interesting as Palast will now turn over to Conyers the many RNC Emails that they accidentally sent to him.

Yep, those incriminating Tim Griffin Emails. Tim Griffin is nothing more than a mini-me version of Karl Rove with a law degree. And thompson wants this piece of Republican junk to work on his campaign? It should be interesting as Fred Thompson tries to explain why one of his campaign workers might be found guilty of taking away Black soldiers right to vote in 2004.

Go ahead and run Thompson. We're just getting ready for you over here with a nice warm welcome to reality... Expect lot's more of this as you continue to open your big gaping piehole along the way.


How bad is the current Republican deathspin?

I think this Calitics story on the immigrants hired to run the California republican party really deserves some serious national attention. It is just way too funny on so many levels.
The California Republican Party, they of the anti-illegal immigration platform, have decided that some immigrants are here to do the jobs that Americans won't do - like be their deputy political director.

The California Republican Party has decided no American is qualified to take one of its most crucial positions -- state deputy political director -- and has hired a Canadian for the job through a coveted H-1B visa, a program favored by Silicon Valley tech firms that is under fire for displacing skilled American workers.

Christopher Matthews, 35, a Canadian citizen, has worked for the state GOP as a campaign consultant since 2004. But he recently was hired as full-time deputy political director, with responsibility for handling campaign operations and information technology for the country's largest state Republican Party operation, California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring confirmed in a telephone interview this week.

That's not all, look at the guy who hired him:

Matthews was hired by Michael Kamburowski, an Australian citizen who was hired this year as the state GOP's chief operations officer. But neither new official has experience in managing a political campaign in the nation's most populous state -- and as foreign citizens, neither is eligible to vote.

In fairness to the state GOP, I don't think any Americans really WANT to work for them.

Even the few republican supporters left must see the humour in this given the many right-wingnuts that are against all of the immigrants. Nevermind that they can't find any Americans to work for their party. The republican deathspin is that bad.

How long before republicans have to start looking out of country for candidates that aren't tainted with one of the dizzying numbers of scandals? Go read and comment.

Chris Shays Opposite World

According to tparty at MLN:
Lurita Doan, administrator of the General Services Administration, testified in front of Rep. Waxman's oversight committee in the House this past Wednesday.

Despite the fact that the White House's own investigator has called on her to be fired for her violation of the Hatch Act (specifically, trying to use her office to help GOP Senate candidates), and despite her conveniently horrible memory in a hearing earlier this spring, the decreasingly sane Chris Shays insisted on claiming she was being treated unfairly by the committee, not because she clearly violated the law, or because she refused to testify forthrightly... but because of her race:

SHAYS: Ms. Doan, I think you're a remarkable person. I think you're a beautiful person. I regret that you've been treated the way that you've been treated....

...You know what? I just want to thank you for your service. I hope it doesn't discourage other people like you to get into this. And I will say this to you, I find it -- and this is my own view -- but I find it when an African-American happens to be a Republican, somehow she is treated differently by Congress, and unfairly so.

He even quoted Thurgood Marshall in defense of Doan:

They talk about it being an interrogation. We had, last week, a Democratic member say, I have a lot of questioning, but I have to say that, after being here for 11 years, I hate it when witnesses are attacked. It bothers me, particularly when they are trying to do the best they can, in the words of Thurgood Marshall, "with what they have."

Full transcript of Shays' comments during the hearing below the fold.

Meanwhile... What was really happening to female minorities at the DoJ?

Can't say I'm surprised exactly.

According to a 2005 complaint submitted to the DOJ's inspector general's office, voter suppression kingpin Bradley Schlozman was purging female minority lawyers from the appellate section of the Civil Rights Division -- each of whom had been hired under Democratic administrations -- and replacing them with what he called "Good Americans".

-- Josh Marshall

Welcome to Chris Shays' opposite world... Where every republican is a blameless victim of everyone else that catches them lying.

Just a little update to be clear on exactly what Doan will be charged with:

Doan has violated the Hatch Act, among many other serious charges, and Chris Shays better pull his partisan head out of his petrified bushy ass and start calling Doan out for what she is.

Are you man enough to take responsibility for your party's actions, Shays? And quit playing the victim card... It is so obvious to everyone.

Your Tax Dollars At Work in Iraq: Surging Around the House

You tell me if they are coming anywhere near winning over the hearts and minds of these Iraqi people as you watch this weeks episode of Alive in Baghdad:


The Iraq Blame Game

And in the Iraqi Blame we have today's contestants:

The Pentagon blames al-Maliki:
"In its required quarterly report on security, political and economic developments in Iraq, covering the February-May period, the Pentagon also raised questions about Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's ability to fulfill a pledge made in January to prohibit political interference in security operations and to allow no safe havens for sectarian militias."

Joe neocon Lieberman blames Iran:
"Having fallen for the Iranian plot to gain control over Iraq, Lieberman now seeks to undo the damage by invading Iran. He is apparently unaware of public warnings that key Shiite leaders in Iraq would take up arms again in support of their co-religionists across the border."

Bill O'Liely blames CNN and MSNBC for reporting on Iraq:
"They’re not doing it to inform anybody about anything. The terrorists are going to set off a bomb every day because they know CNN and MSNBC are going to put it on the air. That’s a strategy for the other side. The terrorist side. So I’m taking an argument that CNN and MSNBC are actually helping the terrorists by reporting useless explosions."

Tony Snow blames the successful plan in place:
"During his press briefing yesterday, White House spokesman Tony Snow said the increasing chaos was a positive sign. The new levels of attacks “fit a pattern that we see throughout the region,” he said, “which is that when you see things moving towards success, or when you see signs of success, that there are acts of violence.”"

The White House blames high expectations:
"A September progress report on the U.S. troop increase in Iraq that President George W. Bush called an important moment for his war strategy is unlikely to be a "pivotal" assessment, officials now say.

Amid unrelenting bloodshed in Iraq and scant signs of progress by the Iraqi government in meeting political benchmarks, the White House sought to temper expectations of a rapid strides resulting from a security crackdown begun at the start of this year."

Bush blames Al Qaeda:
""I join Iraq's leaders in calling on all Iraqis to refrain from acts of vengeance and reject Al-Qaeda's scheme to sow hatred among the Iraqi people and to instead join together in fighting Al-Qaeda as the true enemy of a free and secure Iraq," said Bush, one of several US officials to blame Al-Qaeda."

But nobody, not in the failed bush administration, or the November '06 castrated GOP party, nor any of their few cheerleading supporters that remain, nobody blames the collosal failure of the actual policies that these neocon incompetents have put in place...

Nobody except Jon Stewart:

What a great idea! The idiots are making sure that everyone in Iraq has plenty of weapons to use in the middle of a civil war, while simultaneously adding more American soldiers to the mix for the Iraqi's target practice.

Now... Just who wins in this game? It sure isn't America or US soldiers.

Bush by the book on past pardons

NY Times on the Libby beat:
Judge Reggie B. Walton said today that he found no reason to postpone Mr. Libby’s sentence of two and a half years in prison for four felony counts. Defense lawyers had asked that he be allowed to remain free while pursuing appeals.

Judge Walton’s decision means that the defense lawyers will probably ask a federal appeals court to block the sentence, a long-shot move. It also sharpens interest in a question being asked by Mr. Libby’s supporters and critics alike: Will President Bush pardon Mr. Libby?

As for bushies' past record on pardons, well? I have already covered that a couple of times:
The only thing we have on record concerning pardons from Bush is something I caught in March from Newsweek:

Scooter's Pardon Problem - Bush By the Book

No (scape)goats in this book. But according to Isikoff and Hosenball at Newsweek this is what the (supposed) fall guy can expect:

Scooter Libby’s Pardon Problem :

"Those regulations, which are discussed on the Justice Department Web site at www.usdoj.gov/pardon, would seem to make a Libby pardon a nonstarter in George W. Bush’s White House. They “require a petitioner to wait a period of at least five years after conviction or release from confinement (whichever is later) before filing a pardon application,” according to the Justice Web site.


“You know, I get asked about pardons on a lot of different cases. And there’s a procedure in place,” he said at first. When Bush added that he has been telling members of Congress who have contacted him about the matter to “look at the facts in the case,” Cavuto followed up: “So what are you saying?”

“I’m saying … there is a process in any case for a president to make a pardon decisions. In other words, there is a series of steps that are followed, so that the pardon process is, you know, a rational process,” the president answered."

Get ready for prison now, Scooter...
You have plenty of time before sentencing to get your affairs in order NOW, so there should be no reasons to delay your entering the system as soon as the sentence is pronounced.

As a side note on this:
How strained must the relationship between bush and cheney be, when cheney has to make his plea for a pardon on the national news? Since when do Republicans take their "inner business dirty dealings" public like that? They usually do that stuff behind closed doors.
I would say that things do look particularly bad for Libby, and certainly for his band of merry traitors that don't want to chance Scooter flipping them to avoid prison. I have to start thinking about the possibility that MAYBE bush had nothing to do with the leaking, and as long as there is no pardon that line of reasoning might make sense. The reality is that as soon as bush does give a pardon to Scooter (if he does?), or anyone else that Scooter may flip, it is pretty much an admission of bushies' own guilt.

No matter how you look at it, there is no way to justify pardoning Scooter Libby without it being an admission of guilt by the President.

Any innocent President would be furious with Libby and wouldn't pardon him in a million years.

But Bush is not innocent. Libby lied for the President. And if Bush pardons Libby then we will know for certain that the President himself is the one that should be doing jail time for the crime that Libby covered up.

We shall see.

Yes, we shall. Unfortunately, we may have to wait for the dying days of this presidency to get the answer, as to the extent of bush's involvement in the leak.
The decision to send Libby to jail before an appeal doesn't change the possibility of a last minute out the door pardon from bush in the dying days of his present lame duck presidency, but it does put the screws to all those involved in the leak sooner rather than later.

And make no mistake about this: Any pardon from bush, now or later, is enough proof of bushies' involvement in this treasonous act against our nations' security.

CT Bob has more up on this...

Walton On Libby's End

Via Firedoglake, Walton discusses the "Four Morrison Factors" considering his decision to deny Libby's motions:
"Edmonds says inferior officers are directed and supervised at some level, and the author here was Scalia who authored dissent in Morrison. Scalia says if Morrison were removable at will then she is inferior. Here there is no question that Fitzgerald was removable at will by AG or DAG despite authority he was given. So based on Scalia, if we have the situation we have here, removable, Scalia I assume would have concluded inferior official and therefore he would have been part of majority in Morrison case.

That being the case, I will apply the four Morrison factors to this case. Subject to removal? Yes, even more than was Morrison. Second: were his duties limited? Was there a imitation on jurisdiction? Defense suggests the use of the term “related” makes for unlimited. But government points out Morrison case was to specific individual. But Fitz could only investigate and eventually prosecute related to leak, so this is a limitation on jurisdiction. Re limitation on tenure, while there was no specific date, there is a limit because once the investigation is done then his tenure expires.

So, these four factors are met and any differences are not large enough to be of note. This case seems further from a violation of the appointments clause than Morrison was. This is not a close issue in my view. I’ve already indicated my view on the other issues, and it is my view those are not close issues.

He is not a flight risk or danger to the community, but I don’t see the issues raised as close, so I deny his request to be released pending appeal. I will allow him to self report, but unless I am overruled, he will have to report.

I will rule on the obstruction charge sentence to 30 months, to perjury 24 months, to false statements 6 months, all to run concurrently.

Robbins: Ask for a stay the surrender pending filing motion.

Walton: Denied. Mr. Libby, you have right to appeal [boilerplate notification of right to appeal]."

1:34 PM Court Dismissed

Okay, so now the process goes to Bureau of Prisons, which will likely take six to eight weeks to process the matter and require Libby to report so he can begin serving his sentence.

This is the end, beutiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of all elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that that stands, the end

Yeah, the Morrison that Walton did not discuss:

Firedoglake has been updating and looking at the whys and whats of Walton's decisions:
At the risk of dampening the celebration, let me just say that Judge Walton’s decision to send Libby straight to jail is not, in any way, our victory. It is quite simply a victory for the rule of law.

If anything stood out from Pachacutec’s superb liveblogging, it was Judge Walton’s impatience with the suggestions the Defense kept making that Walton could be bullied into treating Libby differently. He was not going to be bullied by the Libby supporters (in addition to Michael Horowitz) who have sent threatening letters.

Disclosing that he has received many angry letters in response to the sentencing, wishing bad things to him and his family. He had thrown away a few, but then decided he had better begin to save them, in the event someone were to act on these threats, a record would need to remain.

And he was not going to be bullied by a bunch of lawyers with fancy credentials, either.

What are you still doing over here? (Oh yeah, your still listening to The Doors... heh) Go on over to firedoglake and jump in to the disussion!


Why are the Warmongers Always Wrong?

It's all just a little bit of history repeating...


Here is a Recipe for Disaster

Armed Residents On Patrol In New Haven

Determined to keep their neighborhood safe, some neighborhood men said they are forced to patrol themselves.

"We informed police that we're going to be doing armed patrols," said Avi Hack, one of the participants.

As if anyone needs to point out the obvious:
"Their presence on the street is a good idea, but the weapons, I don't think they should be carrying. I don't think they need them, really," said Tom Benson, a resident.

Residents patrolling GOOD! Neighborhood watch programs and volunteer foot patrols have proven effective time and time again.

But weapons in the hands of citizens that are not professionally trained and certified in how to deal with stopping criminals... OUTRAGEOUSLY FREAKIN' STUPID! Let me know when one of these yahoos accidentally kills an innocent bystander. I'll send them an "I told ya so!" letter so they'll have something to read while they are in jail.

The Anti-Immigrant Message Never Changes

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Just a little update on the ICE raids via HatCity Blog:
I've been closely monitoring the events surrounding the immigration raids in New Haven and it seems like the overflowing outrage from the Fair Haven community and Mayor John DeStefano made ICE blink, and I don't think Mayor Boughton is going to be happy with the results...

Read more at HatCity Blog...

Help Wanted: Prestigious Senate Career Opportunity

A prestigious opportunity for career advancement in the Senate:

The Democratic party is in search of a new Chairman (or chairwoman/chairperson) for the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Moderate Senators need only apply.(1)

The Chairman's responsibilities and Jurisdictions will include real oversight concerning failures of the Bush administration in providing security to our nation during times of war, illegal invasions, ongoing occupations, and natural disasters, as well as overseeing the bloated budget and operations of the largest branch of government ever to be created in the US governments' history through legislation authored under the Republican controlled Senate and House, and signed by the Republican pResident of the time.

Your main and immidiate responsibilities will include holding the needed hearings, directing sub-commitees and legislation needed to avoid repeating the previous disasters, corrupt practices, and failures that will be found with the propper direction and oversight of a NON-PARTISAN and ethical Senate leader.

Send all applications to Senator Harry Reid(2)

(1)Minorities such as moderate Republicans having no ties to far-right-wing radical organizations like the Neoconservative movement, the American Enterprise Instute, The Heritage Foundation, Energy Corporations, or the Bush administrations most recent policy proposals that are doomed to failure, are encouraged to apply to Senator Harry Reid for any consideration concerning this soon to be available position.

(2)Note to applicants: Please mark the subject of the Email as "Homeland Security" and refer to this x-posted Blog diary in the opening paragragh of the application. You will be contacted shortly before I post an "I told you so!" diary covering the flawed positons, election statement lies, and propaganda of the far-right-wing radical Neoconservative Joe Lieberman.

ReBlogged Since this position has yet
to be filled by a qualified candidate.

A New Babysitter For bush

Via Think Progress:
Ed Gillespie, the current chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, will step down from his position as the state’s party head in order to replace Dan Bartlett as counselor to President Bush. According to the Times-Dispacth, Gillespie “was reluctant to leave…but he answered the president’s pleadings.” Gillespie, a member of the inner circle of 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign, played a a key role for the White House in shepherding Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts through the Senate.

No word yet on whether Gillespie has the bottle or diaper duty for the Child in Chief.

cartoon via dhonig at My Left Wing

Delaying the inevitable

We'll have to wait until Thursday for Libby to be in the shackles he deserves:
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald urged a federal judge Tuesday not to delay former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence in the CIA leak case.


U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who sentenced Libby to prison for lying to authorities and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, has said he sees no reason to grant Libby's request. He did not set a date for Libby to report to prison, however, and scheduled a hearing on the issue for Thursday.

The defense is falsely claiming that they they "were unfairly prohibited from discussing the classified issues that were weighing on Libby's mind at the time and from questioning NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell about why she said lots of journalists knew Plame's identity."

Fitzgerald provides the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" answers to that:

On the classified information issue, Fitzgerald noted that defense attorneys did not call Libby or Cheney to testify to bolster Libby's defense, despite saying they would.

For someone that stonewalled an investigation into a treasonous conspiracy Libby got off easy. He should quit his whining and crying and just start serving the time.

If he really wanted to avoid doing the the time he would have told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from the very begining. As a lawyer, Libby knew that from the day he started lying to Patrick Fitzgerald.

I fully expect to see Libby crying and hear him calling out for his Mommy when he is dragged off to prison too. Sorry there Scotter, but your Momma cheney is too busy trying to lie us into another war to worry about you right now.

From Gitmo to Nuremberg

Hot on the heels of this recent court decision:
"The Fourth Circuit today held that this Administration violated the Constitution by holding Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri as an enemy combatant in a military brig without formally charging him for years."

Comes these statements from a former Nuremberg Prosecutor:
The U.S. war crimes tribunals at Guantanamo have betrayed the principles of fairness that made the Nazi war crimes trials at Nuremberg a judicial landmark, one of the U.S. Nuremberg prosecutors said on Monday.

"I think Robert Jackson, who's the architect of Nuremberg, would turn over in his grave if he knew what was going on at Guantanamo," Nuremberg prosecutor Henry King Jr. told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"It violates the Nuremberg principles, what they're doing, as well as the spirit of the Geneva Conventions of 1949."

King went on to talk about using torture as a means to gain information:
"The concept of a fair trial is part of our tradition, our heritage," [...] "That's what made Nuremberg so immortal -- fairness, a presumption of innocence, adequate defense counsel, opportunities to see the documents that they're being tried with."

King, who interrogated Nuremberg defendant Albert Speer, was incredulous that the Guantanamo rules left open the possibility of using evidence obtained through coercion.

"To torture people and then you can bring evidence you obtained into court? Hearsay evidence is allowed? Some evidence is available to the prosecution and not to the defendants? This is a type of 'justice' that Jackson didn't dream of," King said.

Neither did the Founding Fathers, nor any other American that believes that the Constitution is more than just a piece of paper to look at. In fact the protections from the government, and the courts they control, were written into there specifically to avoid these nightmare scenarios.

The United States Constitution specifically included the English common law procedure in the Suspension Clause, located in Article One, Section 9. It states:

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

The writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum is a civil, not criminal, proceeding in which a court inquires as to the legitimacy of a prisoner's custody. Typically, habeas corpus proceedings are to determine whether the court which imposed sentence on the defendant had jurisdiction and authority to do so, or whether the defendant's sentence has expired. Habeas corpus is also used as a legal avenue to challenge other types of custody such as pretrial detention or detention by the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement pursuant to a deportation proceeding.


Bus Drivers: Vote on Decertifying Union Fails

Previously reported in the NewsTimes on June 8th:

School bus drivers voted today on decertifying Teamsters Local 677, but the outcome of the vote might not be known for weeks.

A number of the votes cast today have been challenged, according to a press release from All-Star Transportation.


The vote would nullify the contract they voted 48-11 to ratify two weeks ago.

All-Star Transportation offers the moon, but as I said previously, this looks more like classic union busting techniques:
NEW MILFORD -- In the wake of a stalemate Friday over efforts to decertify Teamsters Local 677, it may be weeks before local school bus drivers learn the fate of their pay-enhancement contract with All-Star Transportation.


Mary Boland, a non-union bus driver from New Milford, said "36 voted to put the union out, 40 voted for the union. Two votes were challenged by the petitioner and NLRB, and another seven were challenged by the union."


Non-union drivers said they are hoping they will receive a 5 percent increase next year, with new drivers to earn $12.40 an hour and senior drivers $16.

I say "union busting" because it becoming clearly apparent that some people are doing everything they can to get rid of the union, and stalling the ratification of the contract that the union agreed to with All-Star.

I heard a rumour that All-Star is offering a 401k plan to them if they decertify the union.

First things first: Don't these drivers realize that they will be the ones funding the 401k, and not the company? What a great offer!

And second thing: Considering how the negotiations have gone so far it doesn't look there is much reason to trust All-Star to follow through on any offers, even offers that are meaningless.

And a third thing: Isn't it illegal for All-Star Transportation to be making offers to anyone but the union? (unless this rumoured 401k offer was sent through the union?)

And a last note: The drivers better not put too much hope in getting a fair shake at the NLRB. The bush administration has been stacking the NLRB with flunkies guaranteed to deliver to "corporate interests" time and time again.

Nathan Newman writing at TPM Cafe's labor issues arm, House of Labor, pretty much sums up how I feel about statements and actions from companies that are blatantly illegal:

If you wonder why I get angry when folks say nice things about corporate criminal union busters like Wal-Mart, maybe you should read the new report by American Rights at Work which details the extent and severity of that corporate crime wave, a crime wave where tens of thousands of workers are victimized each year with stolen jobs and crushed lives.

As this study highlights, a typical union organizing drive starts with a majority of workers signing cards in support of having a union. Yet in the course of the elections, corporations embark on full-scale illegal assault on their workforce:

  • 30% of employers fire pro-union workers.
  • 49% of employers threaten to close a worksite when workers try to form a union.
  • 51% of employers coerce workers into opposing unions with selective bribery or favoritism.

The end result is that despite starting almost every union drive with majority support, by the time the corporate wave of crime is over, only 31% of union elections end with a vote in support of the union.

I am pretty certain that the same can be said about companies interference in labor contracts after a union has been legally formed and represents employees in contract negotiations. Today's companies will say and do whatever they can to get what they want, and the NLRB has been quite generous in supporting anti-union activities since bush took power. Some people might even think it has been corrupted to the same degree as the Department of Justice has.