Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republicans are Still Swifboating

You would think that once the election has passed and the Republicans have received their drubbing, they would change their tune. No way. Republicans are still writing articles, not about anything one would call an issue, but merely to denigrate and to defame the character of Democrats. They are swiftboating those scheduled to be elevated to powerful positions. Nancy Pelosi, for instance.

In an article where he attacks several Democratic luminaries, conservative Peter Schweizer says this about Nancy Pelosi:

What’s interesting about Nancy Pelosi is that she and her husband not only are very influential in the Democrat Party, they’re very wealthy. With Nancy Pelosi, her commitment to organized labor essentially ends when it comes to her own businesses. Nancy Pelosi and her husband own a Napa Valley vineyard that’s worth about $25 million. They grow very expensive grapes for very expensive wines, and they don’t use members of the United Farm Workers to pick their grapes. This winner of the Cesar Chavez award hires only hire non-union contractors.

Sounds bad, doesn't it? She's wealthy, so what is she doing in the Democratic Party? Furthermore, while she keeps talking about the rights of labor she does not use union labor in her own vineyard. What a hypocrite.

Yes, it sounds bad - until you check on the facts. I'm sure the facts are available to Peter Schweizer as well as to anyone else. Here are 2 appropriate facts that I found out by visiting Think Progress:

  • Pelosi Treats her Workers Better than Unionized Vineyard Workers - “The Pelosis pay more than union workers are paid in the same valley — that from the pastor at St. Helena’s Catholic Church, a well known advocate for farm workers who’s involved in labor negotiations with the same labor manager the Pelosis use. … Monsignor Brenkle says the Pelosis pay a $1.25 an hour more than workers at Napa’s biggest union winery. … Of the more than 300 vineyards, fewer than four are union, and most of the farm workers in the Napa Valley get paid better.”

  • Pelosi is prohibited by law from helping her workers unionize - If Pelosi wanted to have union workers, “she could not ask the union for a contract. It’s illegal and has been since 1975.” Marc Grossman of the United Farm Workers Union explains: “It is patently illegal for any grower to even discuss a union contract, which is the only way you can supply union workers, without the workers first having voted in a state conducted secret ballot election.”
OK, these are facts. But what does swiftboater Schweizer care about facts? His job is to defame Nancy Pelosi because she is scheduled to be the Democratic Speaker of the new House. He is presenting his facts in his way to "prove" that Pelosi is a hypocrite. Even if the swiftboating is answered, only those who read Think Progress and similar sites will have all the facts. Some damage is done. Schweizer is a success.

Swiftboaters are building a dark cloud above Nancy Pelosi. I'm sure that Republicans reading this article do not approve of such reprehensible behavior.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 30, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #197112

I like the conclusion of the ThinkProgress piece:

An ABC News reporter asked Peter Schweizer “if he had researched those facts before he called Pelosi a hypocrite.” Schweitzer responded, “It’s not my responsibility to go and find out how every single particular circumstance is handled on the Pelosi vineyard.” Why burden yourself with the facts?

Why indeed.

Posted by: LawnBoy at November 30, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #197115

What I want from Pelosi and the democrats is the following.

1) Balance the Budget.

2) Fix Social Secuirty.

3) Fix Medicare.

4) Eliminate Ear-Marks to really get at a lot of the corruption in Washington.

5) Secure the boarders.

6) AFTER fixing social security and medicare and balancing the budget, then and only then tackle a huge new social safety net…national health care.

Now, if they aren’t going to do any of the above…why should they remain in office? Are in of these big issues on her “100 hour” agenda? Will spending but cut right away?

I’m sorry to say….the democrats will most likely avoid all the real issues and focus on things minimum wage, stem cells, college credits, and anything else that envolves trying to put money in peoples pockets as a bribe to vote for them in 08.

Let’s work on the big things folks. Let’s insist that democrats BALANCE THE BUDGET, Fix our broken social programs BEFORE they start more, large, broken social programs.

Posted by: Stephen at November 30, 2006 6:12 PM
Comment #197131

“I’m sure that Republicans reading this article do not approve of such reprehensible behavior.”

i find such behavior more than reprehensible. i find it just short of libel, in every respect… but then, i am no republican.


good list. i would add to it, and would most assuredly order it differently - but still, good list.

Posted by: diogenes at November 30, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #197133

Stephen, I hope you also held the Repubs to the same standard. BALANCE THE BUDGET, indeed. Didn’t Clinton ( Democrat ) hand over a balanced budget to the current maladministration? So what happened? Forest, meet the trees.

Posted by: Ray at November 30, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #197138

i find it hard to believe that stephen can be held personally responsible for the failures of the previous congress. correct me if i’m wrong, but i believe that prior to the election, stephen stated that he would hold whomsoever was elected to these very same standards.

i can’t speak for stephen, but i would feel far better about *this* congress, which i voted *for*, if the democrats posting here would relay their positions on this list - or better yet, just endorse it.

i believe most of the list could easily be considered nonpartisan in nature - though #5 might be considered more of a conservative concern, and #6 a liberal one.

Posted by: diogenes at November 30, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #197144


Some reforming of the health insurance industry would help as well. Stop forcing insurers to pay for anything the hospitals deem as necessary. A doctor’s job is to do everything he can to save life…they are bound to the hypocratic oath. They are the worst people to have power over the purse-strings of insurers. Also they can put a cap on punitive damages to help lower the cost of liability insurance. Under res ipsa loquitur the burden of proof is already on the hospital when you are in their hands, so we don’t need a few runaway juries forcing everyone to pay more just to emphasize a point.

Also, add to that list campaign finance reform. I know it is too much to ask, but so is every good idea these days.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 30, 2006 7:35 PM
Comment #197157

how about putting a check on this current trend toward unbridled executive power?

i would suggest this congress now censure the president since they couldn’t pull it off before.

a censure would roll back the precedent he set with his injurious claim to unlimited executive power during a time of emergency. it would let future presidents know ahead of time that such blatant power grabs will not be tolerated at any time - particularly a time of emergency.

of course you know this would not satisfy me - yet it would require no investigations, and be a step toward ensuring the future of our system of checks and balances.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 30, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #197162


Yeah - we really do not need unions for farm workers, as Nancy Pelosi demonstates. I come to praise her for avoiding unionization.

The problem with unions is NOT their pay scales. It is their interference with management and thier push for unearned benefits. I am sure that is what Ms. Pelosi thinks too, since she pays them well.

If she ever leaves the Congress, she has a bright future as a consultant. Maybe WalMart can use her expertise.

Posted by: Jack at November 30, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #197175

Poor Walmart.

I just wanted to see what that would look like if I wrote it out. Pretty funny, eh? Of course they’ll be fine as soon as they go back to the basics. Destroying small business across America as they go.

There are actually quite a few small private vineyards (I know a few in Santa Ines personally) that pay very well for the most basic jobs. With the explosion of demand of CA wine came an explosion of innovation. That led to all sorts of specialties. Specialists are paid better, generally. It makes you love capitalism. The more people start developing distinct tastes in various wines, the more wineries will offer to pay better to produce a slightly better product, because a small edge in results becomes so important.

Still, we will ALWAYS need B & J, Franzia, and Walmart.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 30, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #197180

Paul thanks for getting the word out on Schweizer. Keep him in your crosshairs and let us know when he attacks with more dishonest propaganda. Getting the word out on these pathetic individuals is the way to stop them. Perhaps a running list of his ilk on the blog would serve us all well.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 30, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #197187


Good article. I find it funny (that giggly, unexplainable nauseous funny) that the Republican’ts comments lean towards their own diabolical desire to stifle any laws regarding wages and work conditions.

Even more laughable is the fact that IF Nancy Pelosi is rich she’s one of those who would raise taxes on herself. Jeeze I guess some rich folks know it takes money to keep our government solvent! Oh and you can only get money from people that have money, duuuuuh!

Please define “conservative” for me.

Since 1980 the word means shifting the tax burden onto the middle class. Er, uh, well, trickle down economy. Pelosi knows this! Pelosi and the democrats rule!

Two heart beats away. That’s why Republican’ts hate Pelosi. How many times have we heard, “you just hate Bush”?

It’s becoming funny in that “I might puke” kind of way. Not quite as bad as listening to Newt Gingrich say we might have to rethink freedom of speech but close.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 1, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #197194

My goodness, aren’t you liberals sensitive? When I consider all of the slanderous and libelous mischaracterizations of G. W. Bush, and our men and women in uniform, including movies about Bush’s assassination coming from the left wing Kooks, and then, you guys go ballistic over a little article about Nancy Pelosi’s vineyards, I have to chuckle!


Posted by: JD at December 1, 2006 1:49 AM
Comment #197196

Yeah. Whats the point of being management if you can’t push people around. Next thing you know workers might even demand respect and even saturdays off… hmmm. They already got that because of unions,didn’t they? I guess that makes your point.

Posted by: BillS at December 1, 2006 2:21 AM
Comment #197197

Another nice piece Paul

I’m slightly hopeful that most Americans are fed up with the rights tactic of throwing shit and hoping some it will stick. It is documented that Americans are increasingly just tuning out attack ads for example. It is important to call the Swietzers of the right out but keep reminding people that we face serious issues and it is a time for serious people to engage in serious debate. Maybe,just maybe we can get back to issues in public discourse. Of course some of our less cerebral trolls might have to find other hobbies. May I suggest going to the dump and shooting rats.

Posted by: BillS at December 1, 2006 2:49 AM
Comment #197201

Kansas Dem,

I always thought “trickle down” refered to Ron Reagan’s prostate condition, or the same thing as a sort of treatment that those it supposedly helped should expect.

The middle class has always borne the vast majority of the tax burden, it was the rich that simply recieved “relief”. Ahhh!

I think conservative today means preserving your assets by stealing from the poor and lower middle class, and using social agenda to divert attention away from the theft.

Posted by: gergle at December 1, 2006 4:29 AM
Comment #197208


Good article, but can we retire the phrase Swiftboating? It’s just seems kind of whiny and backward-looking to me. I think “lying” will do fine.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 1, 2006 7:04 AM
Comment #197212

Come on Libs…

None of this type of stuff is going to stop. Both parties have been doing this for a long time. Grow up, get used to it…it’s part of the game.

Posted by: cliff at December 1, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #197213

Paul- I would like to thank you an the others
here for you contributions towards the betterment
of the Democrats(including myself.) Your positive
support has helped many of us in the past several
months, keep the faith an stamina to get out the votes needed to carry this past election.
Thank You all

Posted by: DAVID at December 1, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #197216

sound like this guy tried to pull a Jayson Blair or a Mitch Albom. At least he didn’t go as far as pulling a Dan Rather.

Posted by: Brian B at December 1, 2006 9:16 AM
Comment #197220


You can treat your colleagues with respect and build good teams w/o the interference of unions. Unions often get in the way of effective team building. In a rapidly changing world, old job descriptions and duties often make little sense. Unions often want to perpetuate the old. They also make it difficult to work with high performers, since they tend to pull everyone down to the middle.

If you manage a big enough organization, somebody is not going to like you. Unless you are doing something very egregious, you do not want to empower that person to gum up the works. Yes, some people occasionally need to be pushed around. Mangement consistes of communication, modivation, analysis and the occassional shove.

I am in a dispute right now with a woman who wants to telecommute. I allow telecommuting in my office and even encourage it. The problem is that my miscreant employee has demonstrated that she doesn’t produce actual work from home. She complains that others are allowed to do what she cannot. I am glad that I have the authority just to be “arbitrary” and - yes - I do not want to surrender this power to the union. More precisely, I will not allow the union to substitute its judgement for mine. BTW - before you worry about this poor lady, she makes around 80K a year. Presumably she has options and I have the right to demand performance.

So in this case, Nancy Pelosi and I see the world the same way.

Posted by: Jack at December 1, 2006 9:54 AM
Comment #197221


Both parties have been doing this for a long time. Grow up, get used to it…it’s part of the game.
Oh, I get it. It’s OK because “all the other kids are doing it”. C’mon, that excuse is so lame. I quit letting my kid get away with it when he was eight years old.

Posted by: ElliottBay at December 1, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #197222

Actually I shouldn’t compare him to Blair, Albom or Rather. It doesn’t sound like he lied, he just didn’t give enough information for your liking.

Pelosi can probably pay non-union workers more because they work harder, and she can hire fewer workers to do the same job.

Posted by: Brian B. at December 1, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #197225


No, it’s not OK!!!

Do you really think either party is going to grow up and change their behaviour? There are plenty of slimy characters on both sides who will NOT change. It is myopic to think otherwise.

BTW - I taught my kids to think for themselves and pursue truth…we call it “learn to discern” (in other words, filter the crap out of what is going on out there. AND politically speaking, there was, there is and there always will be plenty of it floating around)

Posted by: cliff at December 1, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #197227


Very good post. I think it is apparent that the republicans have yet to realize an important mandate of this past election. That is, that the people are just plain sick and tired of sleazy tactics and hate induced propaganda, regardless of party affiliation.

Anyone with half a brain who bothers to follow the politics of this country at all realizes that such tactics are non-productive. I think we have been so inundated with and are now so aware of sleaze tactics that often it is recognizable as such right away by most people.

The republicans have been after Nancy Pelozi since day one. Instead of working towards a productive congress all their focus goes into belittleing the democratic party. It is no wonder they were the do nothing congress. So long as they retain this strategy they will remain the do nothing party. In todays politically aware world this tactic will most likely deem badly for them.

Posted by: ILdem at December 1, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #197229


I think your list is right on. I personally would change the order. Eliminating corruption would be #1 and health care would be #5.

I feel that until we have a hold on corruption there can be very little productive progress of any kind. Currently there are just too many money wielding lobbyists involved in the process of legislation. And too many legislators willing to deal with them.

Posted by: ILdem at December 1, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #197231


The politics of running this nation is not a game. Such an attitude of passivity only lends to the problem. No one should take it so lightly and just accept it. Without question and dissent from the norm there will never be change.

Posted by: ILdem at December 1, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #197242
Republicans are still writing articles, not about anything one would call an issue, but merely to denigrate and to defame the character of Democrats.

Ya mean kinda like the Democrats have been doing for the last 12 years?

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 1, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #197255


You don’t get it…

The game played is all the lies on both sides that WILL NOT STOP. It’s reality. The key is to look through it to the things that matter.

Don’t give me this passive attitude thing. I am anything but passive, these false claims will continue AND there will always be “question and dissent”.

The real problem is the discerning of truth and it has been lacking in America for a long time.

Posted by: cliff at December 1, 2006 1:39 PM
Comment #197258


“The politics of running this nation is not a game.”

you are dead right. problem is, you are one of the few that even seems to recognize this truth, much less, actually afford it the solemn respect such a consequential matter deserves.

this is why, directly after a given election, one hears such inappropriate, unproductive declarations as “we won, bite it” (or the like).

i must admit, i too treat politics too lightly, in ways. i watch an election like a superbowl - beer in hand, cheering on my guys. it’s honestly rather hard to refrain…


“…these false claims will continue AND there will always be “question and dissent”.

there should always be “question and dissent”… it’s patriotic, as well as part of the democratic process - as i’m sure you know.

“The real problem is the discerning of truth and it has been lacking in America for a long time.”

there often isn’t an objective truth. i think the real problem is the lack of effort on the part of the politicians, themselves, to seek and espouse the truth, rather than whatever they think the electorate will “buy” - that is, whatever will get them elected. in the end, they rarely follow through on their campaign promises anyway.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 1, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #197263


If all businesspeople were as good to their employees as Pelosi is then we would not need unions. But the business community is doing everything it can to hurt workers. They are outsourcing work, reducing wages and getting rid of benefits.

Workers need unions to fight for their rights, just as businesses have many organizations spreading propaganda and lobbying to make Congress do its bidding.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at December 1, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #197270

i think the real problem is the lack of effort on the part of the politicians, themselves, to seek and espouse the truth…Posted by: Diogenes at December 1, 2006 01:47 PM
I think the problem is that the “Slimeboat” approach proved to be an effective tool for politicans. You know, “If you can’t say anything good about yourself, smear your opponent”

It is the American people who have lost the interest in finding the truth and instead listen to sh!theads like Limpbough to distill reality into sound bites that give a feel good justification of their preheld beliefs.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at December 1, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #197273

yes, and i would blame the politicians for the disenchantment of the citizenry.

your average working man simply does not have the time to investigate whether politicians’ prevarications have any basis in reality.

thus, all a politician need do is to promulgate a slanderous lie once; pundits will spend the next week or two talking about it, analyzing it, repeating it… (and inevitably someone will denounce it, someone will reinforce it).

ultimately, it will matter little whether it is true or not (or even if the politician himself believed it). the average undecided voter will carry it with them to the polls, unless the other side launches their own assault, to counterbalance or redirect the first.

again, i blame the politicians

Posted by: Diogenes at December 1, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #197275


I can’t completely agree. I don’t believe it’s the politicans fault. I believe it’s the reaction of the people taht drives the politicans behavior.

It’s unfortunate that recent history clearly shows the American public as a whole responds more to negative ads. I do still expect the recipients of my vote to clearly express their positions, and that those positions primarily conform to my priorities. I will distinguish negative ads from proxy slime. It’s a difference in scale that I assign responsiblitiy to the politicians for.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at December 1, 2006 3:51 PM
Comment #197277


We basically agree…amazing…


Your own preheld beliefs are showing…

Posted by: cliff at December 1, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #197285

Today the Boston Globe, in an attempt to smear potential Republican 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is running a story about how the lawn service Romney uses has hired illegal immigrants. In spite of the fact that the owner of the company is legal and insists that his employees are legal, the Globe went to great lengths, sending reporters to South America, to run this story.

I guess one “reprehensible” turn deserves another…

Posted by: nchoosier at December 1, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #197288

Swift-boating means telling truthful things about a candidate’s military record, I reckon.

Posted by: Roach at December 1, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #197299

It’s ok to stand before congress and claim you fought in Camobodia (lie lie lie) but it’s wrong to tell the truth about your opponents record. It’s ok to the old CBS forged docutments bit, to Moore them, to em…but never let a group of vets tell the truth about a liberal candidate.

Heck, Kerry got up in detroit in 04 telling all those auto workers about his 3 SUVS and how much they love them. Then a week or so later he gets up and tells an environmental group how he opposes those SUV’s and doesn’t own any. Now, am I “swiftboating” Kerry by telling the truth about his lies?

The radical left has worked on smears, lies, and half truths every since the days of Kerry and the nam war. Look at “Neocon” Lieberman. Never have I seen democrats smear anyone more than Nixon or Bush except for perhaps Lieberman. And Lieberman is a solid, loyal, lifetime democrat who goes along with over 90% of the radical lefts agenda! Yet they tried very hard to “swiftboat” boat him and nearly succeeded.

And then they accept Harry Reid. Reid kept his Abroamoff money, stuffed a million bucks into his pocket from his “business partner” the mob connected lawyer in Vegas, and I hear his four boys are lobbiests. Talk about your culture of curruption and the left can’t even bear to hear someone point out that he’s corrupt!

I don’t see how a group of corrupt politicans from the left can end the culture of corruption that is enriching them.

Lets see if good old Harry Reid is willing to do away with Ear-marks, balance the budget, fix social secuirty, fix medicare, secure the boarder, establish national health care.

I’m guessing Harry will increase spending in such a way as to try and attract voters to the Democratic party and maintain his position of power.

Posted by: Stephen at December 1, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #197306


i think what we have here is one of those ‘chicken or the egg’ scenarios. i will at least concede that, regardless of who started it, *everyone* shares at least some part of the blame… (except me).


glad to see you’re finally coming around…


Posted by: Diogenes at December 1, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #197315

What Peter did to Pelosi is nothing compared to the nonsense the Boston Globe did to Mitt Romney.

Boston Globe v. Mitt Romney

Posted by: Keith at December 1, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #197326

I do not blame the politicians, they are trying to get elected or re-elected. They could though have a little more respect for something called truth! I actually blame the Press. These guys went through years of journalism school, call themselves journalists, and claim they are all independents and non-partisan in their views. What a bunch of crock!! Liberals hate certain journalists / writers / commentaters / radio talk show hosts, etc. because they are slanted conservative. Conservatives hate ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the L.A. Times, etc. because their reporting is slanted so far left. The truth is, journalists today do not try to remain non-partisan. They do not care whether or not their stories contain truth, or whether their stories are completely fabricated. It happens on both sides. Maybe Rush Limbaugh will become more liberal when the New York Times becomes more conservative!!


Posted by: JD at December 1, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #197332


The big difference is that Rush admits that he is conservative.

Posted by: Keith at December 1, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #197336


Sorry for the passive statement. To me it came across as a kind of matter of fact thing.

“You don’t get it…

The game played is all the lies on both sides that WILL NOT STOP. It’s reality. The key is to look through it to the things that matter.

Don’t give me this passive attitude thing. I am anything but passive, these false claims will continue AND there will always be “question and dissent”.

The real problem is the discerning of truth and it has been lacking in America for a long time.”

Just because something has been for a long time does not mean it always has to be that way. I can not count how many friends, casual aquaintenances etc responded in kind as to just how nauseated they are with attack ads at election time. I think a pretty good percentage of voters recognize them for what they are immeadiately and tend to ignore them. I think both parties have used these tactics for so long that they are not as effective as they used to be. Just look at the republican party this election. I do not think the reason they lost so many seats was due to the dems running attack ads. It was because their political agenda for the last six years has totally sucked _ss. And the voters are aware of exactly that. If anything their own attack ads hurt them more than helped them in that it made an allready blemished party appear even more slimey. I guess you could say the the voters are starting to see thru the bull and discern the truth because the over use of attack ads has been all but worn out.

I think we both recognize the need for voter awareness, with the difference being that I am probably a bit more optimistic than yourself.

Posted by: ILdem at December 1, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #197340


“you are dead right. problem is, you are one of the few that even seems to recognize this truth, much less, actually afford it the solemn respect such a consequential matter deserves.

this is why, directly after a given election, one hears such inappropriate, unproductive declarations as “we won, bite it” (or the like).

i must admit, i too treat politics too lightly, in ways. i watch an election like a superbowl - beer in hand, cheering on my guys. it’s honestly rather hard to refrain…”

Don’t get me wrong. I too enjoy election night immensley. It can be just as exciting as any world series or super bowl.

It is only human nature to celebrate when something you believe in with such passion comes to fruition. It is how one celebrates that is important. I enjoy victory as much as the next guy but I have always made it a point not to gloat. Gloating creates animosity and a loss of respect from the allready humiliated loosing side. There is nothing to be gained from humiliating them further. That is unless the person is a good friend and appreciates a little good natured banter. :)

Posted by: ILdem at December 1, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #197343


You are right in that the media is hardly non-partisan. But I don’t think the problem lies with the individual reporters commentators etc. That is with exception to the Limbaughs etc. It is the ownership of the particlar media outlet that determines the party leanings. The ownership dictates to what party their people must support in their writings. Most people that listen to the extremists are extremists themselves and as a result have little chance of being influenced by another source.

There should be truth in journalism laws just the same as truth in politics should be a required fundeamental. Perhaps this all falls under ethics reform.

Actually it is the fault of the media consumers for being gullible enough and not educated enough to recognize partisan reporting for what it is. And for supporting those media outlets.

Posted by: ILdem at December 1, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #197451


You can not fault the media consumers. Some do see through the blatant journalistic lies and refuse to accept such behavior. One fine example is Dan Rather’s firing, though there are those that still support what he did. However, the majority of Americans can not be in Iraq. They can not be in the back seat of a squad car on the streets of New York City. They can not be on an interrupted flight in which six Islamic clerics are removed for “praying”, (cough, cough!) In those instances, the facts need to be reported, not with bias, but just as they are. Truth is the seed that makes good journalists great journalists, not the ability to slant a story or completely make it up to fit an agenda. You are right, there should be ethics reform in journalism, but it needs to start from the importance of integrity of the individual journalist himself or herself, not from government intervention. When I write I certainly express my own opinion, but I give true examples to back up that opinion, not some falsification of facts. I’m not even a paid journalist! I would be even more careful if it was my livelihood!


Posted by: JD at December 2, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #197497


My experience is with building trades unions.Performance is rewareded by steadier work,advanceing to foreman or even superintendant. We do have protections from harrasment and unfair treatment but if you do not produce you are doen the road. All industries are different. We also have penion and vacation,healthcare for ourselves and dependants,a very good training program for apprentices and jurneymen wishing to add to their skills or learn a new technology. Our wages set the standard for non-union emploers also and help stabilize the industry. In an industry like ours there is a boom and bust cycle. What has happened in the past is during a long downturn wages sink and people find other work or young peoople do not go into it. Then when things pick up there are not enough skilled workers out there to fill the jobs.Wages jump. By keeping wages high enough for people to make a living unions help smooth out the economic bumps.This allows contractors to bid work years in advance with some degree of confidence.This is important to the economy.Companies that pay well,provide benefits and treat the workers decently do not need unions,granted. Those companies are also not winning bids from union companies based on their ability to treat their workers poorly but on other factors like efficiecy,willingness to take a smaller profit etc.
In California farmworkers are allowed to organize. This is not the case anywhere else in the country as far as I know. California has a state NLRB. Most often workers are supplied to the farmer by a “contractor” refered to as a coyote. They must kick back to the coyote out of their meager saleries. Re-read Grapes of Wrath only put in Spanish and pesticide exposure.Just last year CA. passed a law reguiring employers provde water ,shade and a break period to cool off after some farmworkers died from heat exhaystion. Kind of makes whining about not being able to telecommute seem paltry,doen’t it?They need a union.You would not believe some of the conditions they have to endure. And what happens if conditions get so bad no one will do the work? Crops rot,food prices soar,the haelth and economy of the country take a serious hit. The Farmworkers Union is small and struggleing but some day they will provide some needed stability,not to mention improved lives.
My point is that to generalize and say that unions are not needed based on one company or industry is not accurate. Unions play a vital role in helping maintain the balance between workers and industry. They have been beat back in recent years but are showing signs of gaining more ground. This will help the country and might even save it.

Posted by: BillS at December 3, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #197708

No, it’s not OK!!!

Do you really think either party is going to grow up and change their behaviour? There are plenty of slimy characters on both sides who will NOT change. It is myopic to think otherwise.

I remember shortly after the election, Media Matters ran an article debunking the claim that liberals were “just as bad” as republicans when it came to dirty politics and smear campaigns. Apparently many reporters were discussing how politicians smeared opponents in the November election, however they then said that both parties do it. The only problem is they only provided examples of Republicans doing it and didn’t show any Democrats.

Now this is just for the congressional election ads, but it seems to me modern Republicans are far worse than Democrats ever are when it comes to this sort of thing. Which party for example decided to start dealing with opposition by saying people who disagreed with them were “traitors” “terrorist sympathizers” “america-haters” “godless atheists,” etc.? Even when liberals do engage in partisan bickering, someone was keen enough to point out that liberals just do it using facts rather than lies.

So, to the cons who keep excusing any and all lies and immoral acts by Republicans by saying both sides do it equally, where is the evidence? Chances are the ten most malicious Democratic statements will be far better than hundreds of Republican ones.

Posted by: thom. at December 4, 2006 9:18 PM
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