Tuesday, September 05, 2006

See you from Seattle

... but perhaps not until Friday. Tomorrow's travel day and our anniversary dinner in the evening; Thursday's an all-day outing to Mt. Rainier.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Postpourri: Nellie Connally, the killing of GWB, and the cracks showing in the TDP

There's still a few things to talk about before I get busy in town and out ...

Nellie Connally passed away yesterday. She was the last person left who survived the limosine ride through Dealey Plaza in November of 1963. The phrase "blood and roses" had a singularly stark meaning to her:

"It's the image of yellow roses and red roses and blood all over the car ... all over us," she told the Associated Press.

"I'll never forget it. ... It was so quick and so short, so potent."

(I have previously mentioned here that when we attended the state Democratic convention in Fort Worth earlier in the summer, we stayed in the same hotel where JFK slept on the last night of his life. We also, last summer, stood on the hill in the Texas State Cemetery where she will be buried, next to her husband.)

Speaking of the deceased, a British producer wll release next month a docudrama of the assassination of George W. Bush, to take place in 2007.

Expect (what else) Republican outrage.

Some recent discussions elsewhere point to a fissure developing in the Texas Democratic Party (specifically, between Democratic activists). Essentially the question is: should the organization spend the money it has recently been given by trial attorney Fred Baron on electing Democrats now or later?

Read those discussions and leave your thoughts on this question here (or there).

There's more video of Bush -- and also his wife this time -- talking about his alcohol consumption. Again, it seems obvious to me that the White House is falling down on the job of trying to conceal Bush's drinking problems.

Politics this weekend, grunge the next

This afternoon I will be the brisket judge at the Harris County AFL-CIO Barbecue Cookoff in Pasadena, and despite posting this information a handful of times online, have not yet been tempted to influence the contest in any way. (Rats.)

This evening in what used to be DeLay Country, the Fort Bend Democrats, together with many of our statewide slate of candidates, will flex their muscles in advance of the real competition in November. No county in the state more accurately demonstrates the possibility of flipping Texas from red to blue than this one. Republicans in Fort Bend remain sleepily complacent or actively depressed; Democrats are engaged, active, and working it hard.

Tomorrow, La Marcha, then the Impeachment Town Hall with Ann Wright, and the Clear Lake HQ grand opening.

Next week and through the weekend, Mrs. Diddie and I will be in Seattle celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary, and I'll post a bit from there.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy Labor Day

I'll be in Fort Bend County on Sunday and in Clear Lake on Monday, but the Friday afternoon news dump has me apoplectic:

President Bush this afternoon made another backdoor appointment to his administration. He used a recess appointment to install a lawyer who represented Wal-Mart with a long record of urging restrictions to the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA’s) overtime pay and other provisions to head up the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Paul DeCamp, who was grilled at an August Senate confirmation hearing, backed the Bush administration’s move to gut the FLSA’s overtime pay protections saying it presented:

... a window of opportunity, particularly in light of the federal elections of 2002, for the business community to achieve positive results that can bring the FLSA into the 21st century.

He even warned that if the overtime laws were not changed, millions more workers could become eligible for overtime. Strangely enough, he also said that it would not be “in the interest” of the workers who might earn overtime eligibility.

It is time to bring the FLSA into line with current notions of public policy. If reform does not come, then the risk and expense of collective and class action litigation may compel employers to reclassify millions of workers as non-exempt [i.e., eligible for overtime], a change that is in the interest of neither the employees nor their employers.

Enjoy your long weekend, and be sure to thank a union member for their forebearers, who fought to give us the 40-hour work week, paid vacation and holidays, health care, safe working conditions, and all the other things the corporations are now busy trying to take away by paying off the Republicans.