Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Ford screws over workers, MTG needs to kicked out of Congress

Workers at a new battery plant being built by Ford will be paid near-poverty wages, according to a document obtained by the Detroit News. The plant is to be built in Marshall, Michigan, near Battle Creek, in partnership with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL).

The document submitted to the Michigan legislature said about three-quarters of the plant’s projected 2,500 employees, 1,900 workers, would receive pay in the range of $41,600 annually, or about $20 an hour. The $20 an hour would apparently include the expected benefits package, meaning the actual hourly wage would be even lower. The wage needed to provide basic necessities in Calhoun County is $19.69 an hour, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The median household income in Calhoun County is $53,286, so the net impact of the new jobs would actually be to lower median income in the area.

The report comes as company says it will allow for union recognition at the plant for the United Auto Workers through an expedited process known as card check, which requires a majority of plant employees to turn in a signed authorization card rather than holding an election. This was obviously a quid pro quo, with the union agreeing to impose the starvation wage scale decided on by Ford in exchange for gaining the right to collect dues from the battery plant workers.

That is disgusting.  We live in a world of corruption and we have crazies in Congress.  Phillip Bump (WASHINGTON POST) reports:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is not a person recognized for her nuance. This has never really been a problem for her; quite the opposite. Her political career is rooted in a Donald-Trump-like willingness to say pretty much anything and shrug at the consequences. In a sharply Republican district, it served her well.

But now Greene’s aspirations have shifted a bit. She’s gotten a taste of the power that can accompany elective office — something that was not on the table in the last Congress, where Democrats had a majority in the House and she was boxed out of committee assignments. Somewhat unexpectedly, Greene is a close ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), having worked to ensure his election to the top position in the House. And that means that she can’t do things like, say, advocate for dismantling the United States as it is currently constituted without facing a little blowback.

[. . .]

Here we fall into the trap of treating this all as serious when it isn’t. It’s just a more-complicated form of complaining about Democrats and treating them as unacceptable and un-American. Greene’s real frustration isn’t that Democrats are being too woke to her or whatever, it’s that there are Democrats at all. That America has a system of government in which we collectively agree to governance based on elections and that, in 2020, Greene’s party lost.

Greene would, in fact, love an America without New York or California or Illinois. She would love to live in a country made up only of like-minded people; that “everyone she talks to says this” about “national divorce” indicates that she already surrounds herself with sympathetic people. Why not make a country of them?

However Hannity might try to paper over it, Greene disagrees with the way in which America is a country based on collective decision-making and how those decisions are ones every American might sometimes dislike. Whatever she wants to call it or however Fox News frames it, she wants to change America into something else.

The difference between that and advocating secession is subtle.

Which is why she needs to be removed from Congress.  

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:

Wednesday, March 1, 2023.  The UN Secretary-General visits Iraq, Moqtada's forces occupy an abandoned area in Baghdad, Marjorie Taylor Greene and her pal Glenneth Greenwald remain jokes, and much more.

I know we've noted the 5,000 year old tavern recently discovered in Iraq several times in the last weeks but I don't believe we've noted a video report of it.  It is a big find and historically signficant.

Centuries ago, people gathered there.


Moqtada al-Sadr's militia likes to gather in an abandoned building in Baghdad but the PMF is apparently attempting to root out of the building.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, is visiting Iraq today.

AFP notes, "UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Iraq for his first visit in six years Tuesday in a show of 'solidarity' after a drawn-out political crisis in the country."  Guterres' last visit to Iraq was in 2017.   Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) reports:

“This is a visit of solidarity,” Mr Guterres said in a briefing with Mr Hussein after arriving at Baghdad International Airport.

“A solidarity with the people and the democratic institutions of Iraq and a solidarity that means that the United Nations is totally committed to support the consolidation of the institutions in this country.”

He said he was confident that “Iraqis will be able to overcome the difficulties and challenges they still face through an open and inclusive dialogue”.

Mr Hussein described the visit as important, praising the relations and co-operation with the UN special mission to Iraq and UN.

“We always thank the secretary general for his support to the political process and democracy in Iraq,” Mr Hussein said.

Moving over to the US, we're going to again note THE DAILY SHOW for Chelsea Handler's look at MTG.

Marjorie Taylor Greene: I have people come up to me and say crazy things to me out of the blue in public places that they believe because they read it on the internet.

Chelsea Handler:  Well if that's not the pot calling the kettle QAnon.  This woman thought 9/11 was a hoax, that the Clintons killed JFK Jr. and that Jews are in charge of space lasers.  But please, don't come at her with some crazy ideas -- she might believe them. 

MTG is still calling the kettle QAnon.  As Daniel Villareal (LGBTQ NATION) reports, Marjorie is whining that she was eating out and a woman and her son yelled at her:

“People used to respect others even if they had different views. But not anymore. Our country is gone,” she concluded. Last week, Greene called for a “national divorce” between blue and red states.

The last time the U.S. had such a division, it resulted in a 4 year civil war. The war killed over a million Americans, including soldiers, non-combatant civilians, and slaves.

In response to Greene’s tweet, [David] Hogg, now age 22, wrote a tweet directly tagging her Twitter screen name.

“@mtgreenee Man that sucks. I was attacked and screamed at in 2018 by an insane woman named Marjorie Taylor Greene. She had no respect for the privacy of me as an 18 year old school shooting survivor or my staff. She was self righteous, insane, and completely out of control,” Hogg wrote.

Ever notice that if Marjorie were a Drag King, she could impersonate Glenneth Greenwald?  It's the nose, right?  Maybe that's why he made her his hag?

The great Glenneth Greenwald has spoken -- or at least hissed -- Elizabeth Warren is a fool.  The thing about Glenneth and other foolish people is that they never realize they're foolish.  What prompted his fit?  The senator Tweeted the following:

Elizabeth Warren
Feb 24
In the 1990s, America had 51 major contractors bidding for defense work. Today, there are only five massive companies remaining. Defense contracting should be reworked to break up the massive contracts awarded to the big guys and create opportunities for firms of all sizes.

Glenneth reTweeted a mocking of her and then added this:

Replying to
Most Elizabeth Warren tweet ever.

In the mocking thread they go on and on about weapons.

Is Elizabeth really the fool or are they?

Now we actually pay attention to Iraq so I'm fully aware that defense contractors do much more than just defense.  They're hired by the Defense Dept so they're contractors for the Defense Dept.  But they may be doing something as basic as cleaning, they be part of a construction project, they can do any number of things.  The Government Accountability Office has noted that service acquisitions account for a big portion of the budget and has stressed that oversight is greatly needed.  

Was Elizabeth the fool or was the fool all the people who were so stupid -- including Glenneth -- that they didn't realize how the defense contractors work?

Excelsior University notes:

The use of defense contractors stretches back to the American Revolution. During that war, the Continental Army was inexperienced and ill-equipped, so contractors provided food, clothing, horses, wagons, weapons, and even scouting services. Today, the Department of Defense still requires the help of defense contractors for the U.S. military.

A defense contractor is a business organization or individual who provides products or services to a government’s military or intelligence department. These products and services can include technical support, training, weaponry, aircrafts, vehicles, communications support, logistics, and electrical systems.

Defense contractors often play a major role overseas, where they provide deployed troops with services such as language interpretation, perimeter security, weapon systems maintenance, and supervision of other contractors. During past US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have often made up 50% or more of the entire DOD presence, including military personnel.

If it's all too confusing for you -- and if you're a fan of Glenneth, it probably is -- you can refer to this primer from the US Defense Dept on their contractors.  We'll note this since it's about Iraq:

In Iraq, armed and unarmed security contractors have been employed to provide services such as protecting fixed locations; guarding traveling convoys; providing security escorts; and training police and military personnel. The number of security contractor employees working for DOD in Iraq and Syria has fluctuated significantly over time, depending on various factors. As of the fourth quarter of FY2022, DOD reported 941 security contractor personnel in Iraq and Syria, none of whom were identified as armed security contractors. 

Glenneth truly is an idiot.

Replying to
Only thing missing was this diversity angle but, with a tweet that perfect, who can complain?

That wacky Glenneth taking time out from giving Marjorie Taylor Greene a dry hump to provide laughs on Twitter.  As for the diversity angle -- it's built into contracts with contractors.  Does it hurt when you're that stupid, Glenneth?

And, for the record, the Tweet fits in perfectly with other Tweets the senator's been offering:

A study by found that corporations in the most concentrated sectors have been the most successful at expanding their profit margins on the backs of consumers. This is exactly why we need to enforce antitrust laws and increase market competition.

Or are those concepts beyond your limited vision and, sadly, even more limited knowledge base?

Maybe Glenneth could get off Twitter for 24 hours and work on composing an apology to the Iraqi people for promoting the Iraq War that destroyed their country and killed over a million people?  


The following sites updated: