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Money For Prostitutes? Yes! Money For Auto Workers? Hell, No!

11 December 2008
David Vitter

David Vitter

Returning from a visit with a friend yesterday, the first face that greeted me when I turned on the TV was that of Republican Louisiana Senator, David Vitter.  He of the prostitute philandering scandal a few years ago was there expressing his outrage on behalf of the American taxpayers.  This man who was featured in my blog two days ago in the “Politicians Gone Wild” segment, was mostly pushing the Southern Republican line of “major cuts in workers’ wages” as the price of some sort of “bailout” for the Big 3.  Senator Vitter, in his pre-penance philandering days never seemed to meet a high-priced call girl who he didn’t think was worth her pay, but when it comes to hard working auto workers and their families, he expresses a sense of moral outrage at their temerity to demand a middle-class income.

Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich

Gov. Blagojevich

Today when the newest first-time unemployment claims were announced, 573,000, bringing the two-week total over 1 million jobs lost, the media continued its frenzy over the much-more sexy story of Blago the Clown’s fall from grace.  And, to be expected, they were weaving webs of innuendo to bring President-Elect Obama and his new team into the story whenever possible.  And let’s not forget that Jesse Jackson, Jr., was roundly criticized for defending himself in “too defensive” a manner.  What the hell is that?  Obama is being criticized for issuing “too tepid” a response, yet Jessie Jackson, Jr., is supposed to control his sense of outrage at having his political career tainted by a Governor Gone Wild.  No matter what anybody does, they can expect the news media to find fault.  It’s what they do.  I still contend that the mantra of every newsroom is, “Let’s go out there and make some news today!”

New Orleans, Unemployment Line

New Orleans, Unemployment Line

While Vitter helped lead the charge against unions yesterday with his fellow Republican Senators from the South, a study surfaced that may shed some real light on the whole sorry mess that we as citizens of “the greatest democracy in the world” are really up against.  In response to the FBI investigator’s statement that Illinois was certainly a contender for the “most corrupt state in the nation,” came to light a little known Federal report that rates exactly the most corrupt states in America.  Illinois finished a disappointing sixth.  At the top of the list – Surprise! Surprise! – is Vitter’s home state of Louisiana.  Next in the rogue’s gallery of corrupt states? Mississippi. It’s probably

Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell

all those “crooked-letters” in that little rhyme we learned back in elementary school.  Third on the list?  Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky.  I guess Senator McConnell should put his rock down before he launches that throw at Obama.  And not to be left out, fourth place goes to the home state of  Republican Senator Richard Shelby, Alabama.  That’s why we should listen carefully to the good advise of Senator Shelby when he speaks.  By the way, when this information about his home state was presented on Morning Joe, Scarborough sat stunned and silent.  Now, that’s a first!

Ninth Ward, New Orleans, 1930s

Ninth Ward, New Orleans, 1930s

The study bases its ratings, fairly I think, on the number of public officials convicted on corruption charges per capita.  For those of you who need a math lesson on what “per capita” means, that’s how many corrupt officials compared to state population.  Illinois – the fifth largest state in the US – does indeed look bad in raw numbers, but the number of taxpayers cheated per “corrupter” is much higher in those four Southern states.  As a son of the South, this hardly comes as a shock to me.  The well-heeled elite of The South and the politicians that they pay to represent them have turned their heads in the face

Picking cotton, Abbeville, MS 1997

Picking cotton, Abbeville, MS 1997

of grinding poverty since the days of the Civil War and perhaps beyond.  No region of this nation tolerates a greater poverty rate than The South.  It seems to be a sign of good government in Old Dixie to keep taxes low at the expense of basic human needs.  It is commonly shouted down here that people wouldn’t be living in poverty if they’d get up off their asses and go to work.  Of course this overlooks the fact that many are working at jobs that pay below the poverty level.  I guess it is also a slap at all those children who refuse to leave school and go back out and work in the cotton fields like the good “bleeps” used to.

Honda assembly line

Honda assembly line

While Southern states have paid Japanese and German car companies to come into their states by way of outrageous tax breaks and free land deals, not to mention subsidizing them further by paying the entire cost of constructing whole assembly plants, they are prepared to stand in the way of American car companies being subsidized by their own government.  Why isn’t somebody like Patrick Fitzgerald investigating the money trail in southern states that led to all these sweetheart deals for foreign car manufacturers?  Oh, that’s right, the Department of Justice is controlled by the Bush Administration.  I believe Dubya is a Republican, isn’t he?

Gov. Mark Sanford, (R-SC)

Gov. Mark Sanford, (R-SC)

Republican Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina has been parading about daily swatting down Detroit’s chances on every TV show he can.  Only David Shuster of MSNBC had the right

Sharecropper cabin, North Carolina

Sharecropper cabin

question for the stammering Sanford.  “Governor, what about the subsidies that your state gave to BMW to locate a plant in South Carolina?”  Sanford hemmed and hawed around, and then changed the subject.  When asked today on Morning Joe what advice he would give to the US Government based on his experiences as Governor of South Carolina, he pointed to what I guess are his proudest accomplishments: a 0% (that’s not a typo) tax rate for corporations, down from 5%, and a flat income tax on the good citizens of South Carolina.

billsA lot of people like the idea of a flat tax, especially people who make lots of money.  They proclaim it to be the only fair tax.  I see their point and understand why they feel that way, but I think they really don’t think it through.  Let’s say you are living at or below the poverty level now, maybe because you are retired and live on a fixed income.  Let’s say you make $750 per month from a pension or Social Security or maybe even an unemployment check.  Think deeply about how near to impossible it would be for you to live on $750 per month.  In Texas you would barely qualify for any assistance at all at this level – we’re talking no food stamps here.  Right now the Federal Government understands this and wouldn’t burden you with income taxes.  But under a flat-tax system of say 10%, you would have to pay $75 per month in taxes.  Now, you are living on $675 per month.

Poverty in the US

Poverty in the US

These figures aren’t outrageous or even overstated.  Literally millions of American families live on this amount or less every month.  Disabled persons who receive SSI payments from the Social Security Administration only get $603 per month, and they must prove that they are completely unable to work to get that.  That’s not much to live on.  Take away $60 of that and you’re down to $543 per month.  Now before all you right-wing libertarian types inundate my blog with your outrage against those who are in this predicament, wake up and watch the daily news.  In today’s economy there are few of us more than one or two paychecks away from this scenario.  This is exactly why I indict southern politicians who tolerate grinding poverty in their states, turning a blind eye to it and continuing to feather the nests of their rich contributors through tax cuts and corporate welfare.  They are hypocrites of the highest order.

pastor-preaching-pulpitI also indict the religious leaders in my region for instructing their followers to keep voting these thieves back into office in exchange for support of only two issues – a ban on abortions and a ban on same-sex marriages.  Shame on them!  They condemn their very own followers to generation after generation of poverty in the guise of these two insignificant issues.  I also charge them with hypocrisy in this because what they are really defending is their tax-exempt status under our governmental codes.  Think about how many of these “evangelists” live the high life and build great monuments to their success in which to “pass the plate” to gain their tax-free incomes.  They may fool their followers, but they don’t fool me.  They believe in themselves and they also believe that the Republicans are more likely to keep them in business than the Democrats.  I wish their leader, Jesus, was here right now to turn his whip on these modern-day temple priests.  Of course, they would call him a terrorist and have him put to death.  History just keeps circling back around.

The main thing I would like to stress here, other than my poor old cardio-vascular system, is that it is time for the American people to stop listening to the heartless Republicans who rule The South and return to the idea of one America that looks out for the good of all the people, not just the fortunate few who can afford to buy a voice in government.  It’s up to us to STAND UP and demand better, demand a government that takes care of THE PEOPLE first.


20 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 December 2008 7:40 pm


    Man…. you are on FIRE lately… and I couldn’t be happier. Keep it coming…

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
      12 December 2008 10:06 am

      To: Willpen,

      That’s because I’m FIRED UP! I’m madder than hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!

      Thanks for your support.

  2. starshine permalink
    11 December 2008 8:11 pm

    Mmmkay…let’s see if I can figure this out. The Wall Street collapse is the fault of poor people who couldn’t pay their mortgages. The Big 3 collapse is the fault of blue-collar workers. Yeah, okay, makes perfect sense. I just won’t pay attention to the multi-million dollar bonuses the CEO’s receive. ‘Cause that couldn’t be the problem!

    I emailed my Senator once, to complain about his voting against funding the troops. I received a standard “blah, blah, blah” email in return. Even worse, I ended up on the Senator’s mass email list.

    I think this time I’ll call his D.C. office.

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
      12 December 2008 10:04 am

      To: Starshine,

      Yeah, blame it on the little guy. He can’t fight back. That’s the Republican way. It’s been going on a long time now, but a compliant media and our nation’s religious leaders have been enabling these bozos election after election.

      Mrs. jack sent an e-mail of PROTEST to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, our George-Bush Republican Senator, and the same thing happened to her. Senator Hutchinson treated her like she was some sort of moron and began sending her e-mails en masse. It’s enough to make you crazy.

      Thanks for sharing your “excellent adventure the political process.”

  3. starshine permalink
    11 December 2008 8:22 pm

    “Kia certainly found plenty of incentives in west Georgia. When the company announced plans for its auto plant in early 2006, it came after intense courting from state and local officials, who offered the company tax breaks and other incentives totaling more than $400 million.”

    Guess how much Kia will be paying their west Georgia employees?,0,7326315.story

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
      12 December 2008 9:56 am

      To: Starshine,

      I guess it’s as close to minimum wage as they could get by with. It’s time for The Confederate States of America to stop pretending to be the most patriotic part of OUR nation. Their loyalties clearly lie with countries located in Asia and Europe.

      Thanks for the info about Kia in Georgia. Another sad case of a sell-out of the American workers by our elected officials. I guess that Republicans in the south consider their actions to low-ball their own states’ labor forces a real improvement over the old fashioned way of doing things: slavery!

      I am increasingly ashamed to be a real native-born son of The South!

  4. 12 December 2008 6:55 am Автомобильный форум
    ( Automobile Forum)

    [Left-Eyed Jack says: If you have any interest in what our Russian neighbors on the other side of the world are saying about the auto industry worldwide, you might like this. The site is written in Russian, but if you have FireFox’s add-on FoxLingo or other translation software, you can translate the whole site into English.]

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
      12 December 2008 11:11 am

      To: Antibiotic

      Thanks for the link!

  5. morelightthanheat permalink
    12 December 2008 2:49 pm

    Hmmm, it couldn’t be coincidental that the Sens. who are obstructing the process — gambling that someone else will blink first so they can blame the UAW — represent states with assembly plants that are non-union. I wish the Dems would call their bluff and force them to filibuster rather than just threaten to. Guess these fine representatives of the People (?) would actually prefer to let GM and Chrysler go under. Damn the consequences, full speed ahead in their goal of union-busting.

    The claims of $70-80 an hour wages are pure lies. But they sure make good sound bites. The truth would take more than 15 seconds. That figure represents the costs of pensions and benefits for retirees and their surviving spouses spread across a decreasing pool of workers. The fact that those previous workers paid into the pension fund for decades in many cases isn’t taken into consideration. Do these well-heeled Southern “gentlemen” really want those retired workers thrown to the wolves? If so, I would hope that they would be just as willing to have their retired colleagues subjected to the same treatment. I can just imagine the furor if We the People required them to take a big pay cut for the good of the taxpayers, can’t you? NOT!

    Keep up the good fight, Jack.

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
      13 December 2008 3:28 pm

      To: More Light Than Heat,

      Thanks for your input. There is an outrage taking place in Washington. It seems that the Republicans are dead-set on destroying the economy before they leave. Their hubris is beyond the pale. They absolutely refuse to accept the election only weeks after it’s over. They don’t get it and don’t care. One thing is crystal clear: they are doing everything they can to bust the UAW and every other union in this country. And their alliances with foreign governments against their own country and its workers smacks of treason. I’m sick of the pretended patriotism that comes out of my honey-mouthed neighbors here in the South. My ridiculous Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, also voted against workers Thursday night. I’m about to send her a few well-chosen bleeping words which she will promptly ignore. She has NEVER represented me since she got to Washington.

  6. starshine permalink
    12 December 2008 9:18 pm


    My first car was a used Honda Civic CVCC. Within a year the headgasket blew. I continued to drive it for a couple of years…man, could it fill a parking lot with smoke! Since then I’ve owned Fords and Volvos (Volvo, I think, is owned by Ford, right?). Anyhow, as of now, I’ll never own another import.

    Would you believe I called Chambliss’ D.C. office to ask them to take me off of their email list? I told them I had clicked “Unsubscribe” on five different occasions, but I still received email from their office. Then I told them that I have a friend who is on the board of PFAW (true) and he told me that PFAW had attorneys who would be more than happy to help me sue Chambliss for email spamming. 😀 The young lady choked, sputtered, and told me it would be taken care of. In the end, I cancelled my email account.

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
      13 December 2008 3:17 pm

      To: Starshine,

      Thanks for your accounts of bad foreign cars. I must admit that I have had foreign cars and most of them were quite good, but that doesn’t mean that I think the US car industry should be allowed to fall.

      Also thank you for sharing your experience with your shameful Senator Chambliss. I guess he doesn’t want to pass up any attempt to shovel his propaganda to anybody in Georgia. I’m about to fire — and I do mean FIRE — of an e-mail to my ridiculous Texas-high-hair Senator, Kay Baily Hutchinson, lambasting her for her heartless vote against the auto loan. Today it was revealed that GM will have to close two plants in Texas. I guess she didn’t even care about her own as much as she cared about being a Republican. I’ll let you know what happens.

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    3 February 2009 8:15 pm

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    if you deem my english bad… so be it, i’m just learning

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  9. lenkaalech permalink
    5 February 2009 1:53 pm

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    She either might have changed her name or she is out of the biz.

  10. DomygymnLoorp permalink
    15 February 2009 4:36 am

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    Nice forum!

  11. 21 February 2009 10:01 am

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  12. 29 June 2009 7:58 am

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  13. rytham singhania permalink
    11 October 2009 1:02 pm


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