Saturday, December 02, 2006

“Families is where our nation finds hope, where our wings take dream.” - President Dubya

I got the sweetest email on behalf of our beloved leader. I found it quite touching and in keeping with the honored tradition of politicians speaking plainly and honestly with their constituents. I’m assuming you will receive it the same way...

******************************

Subject: Thank You For Your Correspondence About The NLRB
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 16:47:22 -0500
From: "White House Strategic Initiatives"
To: (ancient chinese secret)

On behalf of President Bush, thank you for your concern about the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent ruling on supervisory classification.

The NLRB is a federal agency created by Act of Congress to administer the National Labor Relations Act, and as such, its decisions are made independently. President Bush has made appointments to the NLRB consistent with his commitment to pro-growth policies that reward hard work and enterprise.

The success of the American economy further reflects the President’s commitment to the growth and prosperity of our Nation. Since August 2003, the US economy has created more than 6.8 million new jobs -- a tribute to the skill and dedication of the American worker and President Bush’s pro-growth agenda.

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

******************************

Nice, huh? I especially dig the somewhat Victorian capitalization of the word “nation” in the final paragraph. Makes it seem more Proper and Roosevelt-ish, which is especially Necessary and Respectable in these times of Great Turmoil.

Apparently, the office of Dubya hisself was responding to an email I sent through the good folks at American Rights At Work who are understandably pissed off by a recent decision by the NLRB that would be quite funny if it wasn’t so disturbing. Here are a few of the highlights (as stated by the ARAW in their press release)...

[...The] National Labor Relations Board’s new definition of supervisor significantly departs from past interpretations and could have the result of depriving millions of workers the opportunity to choose to unionize because they are classified as a supervisor. It is yet another decision by the current Board that sides with business, directly against the interests of workers...

[According to the NLRB...]
the assignment of routine tasks is sufficient to confer supervisory status, even if the assignment is a reflection of professional judgment and even if the employee in question has no input into the general allocation of work assignments. Dissenting Labor Board members aptly expressed their grave concern about the ruling, stating that, 'The result could come as a rude shock to nurses and other workers who for decades have been effectively protected by the NLRA, but who now may find themselves treated, for labor-law purposes, as members of management, with no right to pursue collective bargaining or engage in other concerted activity in the workplace…The majority’s decision thus denies the protection of the Act to yet another group of workers, while strengthening the ability of employers to resist the unionization of other employees.’

Well, so much for our esteemed president making policies to ‘reward hard work and enterprise.’ I had no idea the man was such a lying sack of shit. Anyway, the email I sent to The Dub which started this whole back-and-forth is as follows...

******************************

Millions of working men and women struggle every day to provide for their families. Now when they join together to form a union to have a say about their working conditions, benefits, and job safety, they not only find themselves up against stiff resistance from their employer, but the government, too.

The very agency that is supposed to protect a worker's basic right to form a union has once again taken away those rights, and moved instead to protect the interests of big business. Your appointees to the National Labor Relations Board decided to reclassify employees with limited supervisory duties as 'supervisors,' therefore stripping millions of workers of their right to form a union.

President Bush, hard-working men and women deserve better! I am outraged about this decision.

America has a duty to uphold and protect workers' rights to form unions and collectively bargain. It's time you reversed the course of your administration's path of destroying workers' rights and championing the cause of big business.

I urge you to take whatever steps are needed to restore our rights. Please take a pledge to start standing up for working men and women across the country.

******************************

Wow. Really shook my finger right in his fucking face, didn’t I? Geez, if he’s getting emails like that all day long, no wonder he walks around looking like he’s just been smacked upside the head with a two-by-four. But, yeah...that should take care of that. (Picture me adjusting my pants with a self-congratulatory snort, a la Barney Fife.)

Actually, you would be correct in assuming, based on the proper grammar and respectful tone used and the lack of my typical verbal j/o, that I did not compose the above message myself. It was one of those pre-written form thingies that we’re all sending all over the place these days. And in the prez’s defense, shouldn’t he be able to respond in a similarly non-personal fashion? Absolutely.

(And it’s certainly preferable to what our moronic senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, does, which is to mail out an actual letter – like, on paper and in an addressed envelope – in response to every email she gets. Or maybe she just really likes me, personally. But I doubt it, and it pisses me off to no end every time I get one. Hell, one day last week I got three of the fucking things at the same time about three different things. And every goddamn one of them sounded exactly the same...the printed equivalent of elevator music. It makes me wonder if our tax dollars are paying some bunch of flunkies – excuse me, supervisors – to sit down there printing out a hundred thousand of these stupid things that read like Charlie Brown’s teacher sounded, then stuff them into envelopes and mail them out. It’s the silliest waste of paper, postage and labor I’ve ever seen. I just hope she’s using her money and not ours to do it.

(You know, Kay, I’m not emailing you to ask what your thoughts are...you
have no thoughts. If you could figure out how to relocate your office so that your face is in Dubya’s lap underneath the Oval Office desk, you’d do it. We know this. You already come across to the nation as the head cheerleader from “Animal House,” which is embarrassing enough as it is. I don’t think any of us are expecting a surprise in the form of independent thought from you. The purpose of your receiving our messages is because...well, you’re supposed to represent us. So why waste our time and yours – not to mention all those resources – with the very redundant formality of physically sending out a form-letter response? Just send us a completely pleasant, thoroughly innocuous email auto-reply like the Commander In Chief does? See, it’s that kind of ‘skill and determination’ that got him where he is. If, by ‘skill and determination,’ I really mean “just the right balance of opportunism and stupidity.” But I digress.)

But the issue here isn’t so much all the emailing the G-Man and I have been doing lately. The larger issue is, of course, that blasted decision and the fact that these people have once again found a way to overturn decades of legislation by coming in the back door and changing the reality of the situation to fit an existing legal profile. They can’t change the law...therefore, they’ll simply redefine some of the words used in the law – very basic, specific, non-ambiguous words like “supervisor” – to make their agenda legally acceptable.

I think there are a couple different ways of looking at the ruling. The optimist might say, “Our nation’s economy is so prosperous – what with its ‘more than 6.8 million new jobs’ – that all companies should now be able to consider every last employee a supervisor! Oh, god bless us, every one.” Apparently, ‘the assignment of routine tasks is sufficient to confer supervisory status, even if the assignment is a reflection of professional judgment and even if the employee in question has no input into the general allocation of work assignments.’ Well, fuck me...I’m a supervisor! When did that happen? How did that happen? Whatever it was...Suck my ass, you lowly non-supervisor peons! True, being a supervisor means I can’t participate in union-related activities. But who needs that when you’re in fucking management?!? I’ll be getting more vacation days and a big, honkin’ raise and shit like that anyway, right? Right...?

Whereas the pessimist might say, “Hmmm...Now every employee can be considered management simply based on the fact that they get a paycheck. Which makes unions legally obsolete. And the only ‘bonus’ the new ‘supervisors’ will be getting is the opportunity to be fired for involving themselves in any organized labor groups because they have no protection from the government. Nifty. And quite ‘enterprising,’ indeed, on the part of whichever lobbyists thought this up. Look out, Bangladesh...you have competition...”

Here is what the NLRB’s own website says...

The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1935 to administer the National Labor Relations Act [Note: As with all legal-related issues, the NLRA is a long-ass, brain-melting smorgasbord of legalese. Enter at your own risk.], the primary law governing relations between unions and employers in the private sector. The statute guarantees the right of employees to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity with or without a union, or to refrain from all such activity.

Doesn’t sound to me, based on the definition provided by their website, that the NLRB is doing its job at all. It may, technically, be “independent,” but the members of the board who were appointed by the Dubinator – which is almost the entire board – were undoubtedly appointed because they possess the professional and political makeup necessary to perpetuate his administration’s vision. Which isn’t in itself all that noteworthy because every president would do the same thing. It’s just that I find it a little disturbing that the board’s decisions appear to be in violation of its own expressed purpose.

Anyway, with all the above nonsense aside, I’d now like to translate RoboDubya’s response to me in a more realistic fashion...

(ahem)

On behalf of President Bush, blahblahblahblahdeblah.

The NLRB is a federal agency created by Act of Congress to administer the National Labor Relations Act, which legally gives them a buffer from the perception that they might be functioning for the sole purpose of administering the current president’s objectives, which include promoting or creating scenarios that allow the maximum legal profit for corporate shareholders and executives, often at the expense of non-executive employees. President Bush has made appointments to the NLRB consistent with his commitment to imposing policy that contributes to the financial gain of the wealthiest corporations and individuals with whom he has been connected his entire life because he was fortunate enough to be born to the
Bush Dynasty, which includes brothers Jeb, Neil and Marvin, sister Dorothy, uncles Jonathon, Prescott Jr., and Bucky (and don’t we all have at least one Uncle Bucky...?), cousins Billy Bush and John Prescott Ellis, father George H.“no new taxes”W., grandfather Prescott, and great-grandfathers George Herbert Walker, Marvin Pierce, and Samuel P. Bush. To name just a few. Because the president understands the meaning of ‘hard work and enterprise’ as well as most average American citizens (or ‘supervisors,’ as we’ve taken to calling them). While his blood is an uncommon shade of blue, he nevertheless bleeds like everyone else. Just ask Uncle Bucky. But as for appointments the president has actually made to reward hard work and enterprise, there have been plenty. How about these folks for starters...?

a.) Who can forget Michael (doin’ a heckuva job, Brownie) Brown? He was the Director of FEMA until some unpleasant weather arrived in the gulf coast. Prior to that, he did a stint as head of an Arabian horse association. Not sure if that means it was an association of actual horses or a group of people that watched horses or what, but we’re sure some sort of emergency could have broken out at any time. Brownie was (presumably) there to take care of it when it did. Just like he did in New Orleans.

b.) John Snow became Secretary of the Treasury after his stint as CEO of CSX, a multi-million dollar global transportation corporation that was somehow able to make all its profits in three of the last four years “pre-tax” AND score an impressive $164 million in tax rebates…especially impressive considering the rebates were for taxes never paid. Enterprising, indeed! Why WOULDN’T he become Secretary of the Treasury...?
c.) Gale Norton was a former mining industry lobbyist before she became Secretary of the Interior. She’s thoroughly aware of what it takes to destroy the environment...!

d.)
Linda Fisher became “Deputy Administrator” (it’s a ‘supervisor’ of sorts) for the EPA after spending her previous years lobbying for Monsanto in opposition to having genetically modified foods labeled as such for consumers. A logical choice, don’t you think?

e.) Stan Suboleski was an executive with the A.C. Massey Coal Company which, according to the United Mineworkers, has one of the worst safety records in the industry. A.C. Massey is also the company responsible for the devastation of more than seventy miles of streams in eastern Kentucky when 300 million gallons of coal sludge spilled from one of its mines - the worst ecological disaster in the U.S. since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. It takes a lot of hard work to do something that big, which is probably why Suboleski was appointed head of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. As for enterprising, Suboleski’s appointment was made during a senate recess, which freed him from having to go through senate confirmation hearings. He was able to get started immediately! That’s hard work and dedication right there, folks...

f.) Then there’s our old friend, James Baker, who was recently appointed “Iraq Debt Envoy.” We don’t know what that is either, but we’re assuming it probably has something to do with debt, Iraq and being an envoy of some sort. Baker has made his name working for three previous Republican administrations, so you know he’s got a pretty kickass pension waiting for him. At any rate, in addition to being a longtime Washington scuzbag, er, supervisor, Baker served as chief legal adviser for
George W. Bush during the 2000 election campaign, oversaw (‘supervised!’) the Florida recount, and was instrumental in getting the Supreme Court to intervene. (Over 200,000 votes were not counted due to problems with punch card ballots. He’s a take-charge kinda guy.)

When not busy envoying debt to and/or from Iraq, Baker is also senior counsel to the Carlyle Group, a global investment company with close and celebrated ties to the Saudi royal family. And he’s a partner in Baker-Botts, a Houston law firm whose client list includes Halliburton and the Saudi royal family. He’s so good at supervision, vice-president Dick Cheney, who chairs the White House Energy Policy Development Group, commissioned a report on ‘energy security’ from the Baker Institute for Public Policy (Baker’s ‘think-tank’). Said institute then forwarded its recommendations to the vice president. Among the advisors to the policy recommendations...the late Kenneth Lay, former Enron CEO; Luis Giusti, a non-executive director(?) for the Shell corporation; John Manzoni, regional president of British Petroleum (BP); and David O'Reilly, chief executive of Chevron-Texaco. Much hard work and unbiased enterprise was undoubtedly involved.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But now you see what the president means when he talks about ‘pro-growth policies and agenda.’ ‘Growth’ is Washington slang for ‘profit.’ The president and his friends (and supervisors) intend to do a LOT of growing before his term is up...

The success of the American economy further reflects the President’s commitment to the growth and prosperity of our Nation. Though, when we use the words ‘success,’ ‘growth’ and ‘prosperity’ we don’t really refer to
this report from August which says, 'one in eight Americans and almost one in four blacks lived in poverty last year, a figure virtually unchanged from 2004 (according to a U.S. Census report). (The same report showed) 15.9 percent of the population, or 46.6 million, had no health insurance, up from 15.6 percent in 2004 - the fifth increase in a row.' However the good news is that 2005 'was the first year since President George W. Bush took office in 2001 that the poverty rate did not increase.' Now THAT’S success!

Since August 2003, the US economy has created more than 6.8 million new jobs, though we’re not sure how that compares to the number of jobs given away by outsourcing. But growth is growth, right? And there are a bunch of corporations who are way more prosperous now than they were prior to 2001. And that is most definitely a tribute to the skill and dedication of the American worker and President Bush’s pro-growth agenda. We think.

Thank you again for taking the time to write. Though it was a complete waste of your time to do so.

******************************

So that’s my take on Dubya’s “message.” Not that anyone asked. Oh, and while I can’t vouch for the total accuracy of the Bush family biographic links above, they do make for interesting reading...

Enjoy!

Labels: , , ,

3 Comments:

Anonymous wendy said...

Ok, yet again, this has inspired way more thoughts than I can put in writing. The one that stands out is how much fucking shit is the Bush administration doing that we don't know about? How many laws, policies, agencies are being reversed, made ineffectual, gutted that we will only find out about at some point in the future?

11:21 AM  
Anonymous wendy said...

From the Bush/Blair press conference on Dec. 7:

The reporter wondered whether the president is in denial about how bad things are.

"It's bad in Iraq," the president shot back. And after a moment's pause, he had more to say, adding:

"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die."


The man cannot freakin speak...

9:31 PM  
Blogger rama666 said...

Ha!

Thanks for passing that one along...I hadn't heard it. I hope like hell Cindy Sheehan gets hold of it and rips him a new one...

8:41 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home