Joni Ernst, the GOP Response, and extreme disrespect

The Republican Party has shown a massive amount of disrespect towards this President. From members interrupting the President by saying “you lie” in the middle of another State of the Union address to holding him to different standards than they hold President Obama the sheer amount of disrespect shown by them is just disgusting.

Another example of this was Joni Ersnt and her official response to the State of the Union. In stating that she was not responding to the State of the Union but was instead giving a “GOP Address”, she basically confirmed what many of us have known for a while now. She, and the rest of the GOP, will not respect the office or even address the President in any meaningful way. It doesn’t matter to the GOP what he actually says. They are going to constantly push for their agenda despite the fact that he won two Presidential elections (showing that the country actually wants him to succeed).

One might say, but the GOP won in 2014 and they won big. That is true. Of course, they won gerrymandered districts built to retain the GOP control. They claim a mandate for winning but never accepted Obama and his mandate when he triumphed in 2008 and 2012. In fact, in another one of those older versions of GOP disrespect to this President they started from day one planning on how they could work to prevent anything he tries to pass to come to a fruition.

It is my opinion that President Obama deals with more disrespect than any other US President in history. I wonder why that is? It shouldn’t take more than two thoughts to figure it out.

Liberal Dan Radio 1/22/2015: A Wizard Did It

On the Thursday January 22nd, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Inflategate has caused a lot of discussion of the alleged repeated cheating by the New England Patriots. I will give my opinions on the matter and correct a lot of confusion there seems to be about it.

The State of the Union took place on Tuesday as well. I will review some of the highlights.

And in the bottom half of the hour I will have Wendy and Brock from A Wizard Did It to discuss their project and the impact that actions like those that took place in Paris can have on artists.

Those issues, headlines, tweet of the week, and more talk from the left that’s right at 8pm central on Blog Talk Radio.

Remember, you can support the show by contributing to my gofundme campaign.

Finally, if you are listening after the live broadcast you can leave your comments at the show thread on LiberalDan.com.

Shunning Hardees

Andy Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants. This company brings you Hardees, Carl’s Jr, Green Burrito, and Red Burrito. He had an article published in the Wall Street Journal about how his employees “shunned Obamacare“. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Of my company’s 5,453 eligible employees, only 420 actually enrolled. The other 5,033 opted to pay a penalty.

That is how the article starts. He has 5,453 employees who could sign up for “Obamacare” (a ridiculous statement in and of itself) and only 420 actually did. So what does he mean. What is he trying to say with the meaningless statement that only 420 of his employees “signed up for Obamacare”? In reality he later goes on and states that they signed up for Obamacare compliant coverage, a better explanation, but potentially dishonest.

But first let’s talk about who these employees are. Puzder states:

Among the Affordable Care Act’s many economic and political disruptions, the law has unintentionally encouraged employers to convert full-time jobs into part-time jobs. ObamaCare mandates that employers offer health insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours a week, or pay a penalty up to $3,000 an employee. But employers have no such obligation for employees who work less than 30 hours a week, making part-time employment less costly.

Let’s get this perfectly clear. The law does not “encourage” employers to only hire part time employees. The employers make the decision themselves to only hire part time employees to avoid having to either pay a per employee penalty or to cover their insurance. An employer that could hire X employees at full time but instead chooses to employ 2 times the employees at half the hours is not doing so because the law encouraged them to do so. They are doing so because they are cheap bastards who base their business decisions on greed. They do not wish to provide for the persons helping them make their profit. They want to pay out as little as possible and are using government regulations as an excuse to do so. They could hire these employees at full time and give them quality health insurance to make sure they can remain productive employees. However, they choose to do otherwise. That is their choice and no responsibility rests of government otherwise.

The last open-enrollment date for our company, CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc., was Dec. 4, 2014. As of that date, our company had approximately 20,000 employees, 6,900 of whom worked 30 or more hours a week and were eligible for ObamaCare-compliant health insurance.

So 13,000 of their employees are part time who do not get a full time wage. Nice.

Of the 6,900 eligible employees, 1,447 already had ObamaCare-compliant insurance through our pre-existing company plans. That left 5,453 employees eligible to sign up. A grand total of 420 actually enrolled. That’s a mere 2% of total employees, or 6% of eligible employees.

What Puzder fails to do is give us is information on those other employees who were eligible. How many of the 5,033 employees who chose to not sign up have a spouse with coverage through his/her company? How many of them live in states where the medicaid expansion was accepted and because of their low wages qualify them for Medicaid which has no premium requirements. How many of them simply qualify for Medicaid without the expansion. How many of them are under 28 and have parental insurance? He ignores such possibilities and suggests that it all must be because they are “rejecting Obamacare”. If an employee obtained a Medicaid policy that would mean the employee accepted a policy that is Obamacare compliant and as such would not have rejected Obamacare at all.

But look at the numbers. His company hires 65.5% of its employees at the part time level and as such avoids the decision to provide health insurance or to pay the $3,000 per head penalty for them. He likely knows that by making that decision those employees will likely be obtaining some sort of needs based health coverage like Medicaid. So in reality, it is likely that at least 75% of his company has some form of Obamacare compliant coverage and the rest of them may very well have that coverage as well via Medicaid, spousal, or parental coverage. But he wont give us that information. So not only is he a cheapskate (for running his company in such a way that almost 2/3 of his company are part time employees) but he is misleading at best and a liar at worse for leaving out the other vital information that would give us a clearer picture of how many actual employees of his are not covered by an Obamacare compliant plan.

So no, I will no longer be dining at Hardee’s or Carl’s Jr. I encourage you to refrain from their establishments as well. Don’t try and pass off your behavior on Obama and the Affordable Care Act. It wont fly with this consumer.

 

 

Why SCOTUS is wrong on HEIEN V. North Carolina

The Supreme Court ruled on Heien V North Carolina on Monday and the ruling to me is ridiculous by itself and also goes against stare decisis.

You can read the details of the case in the link. Basically a police officer stopped a car for having a broken brake light. However, had that police officer understood the law he was pulling the individual over on, he would have known that North Carolina only requires a car to have a singular working tail light. The only legal way for that officer to pull the car over would have been for both brake lights to be out. After the officer illegally pulled over the vehicle he determined that something was fishy and decided to conduct a search on the car. A passenger of the car had cocaine yet Heien was charged with attempted drug trafficking. Heien tried to suppress items found in the search because the search was not a legal search. A later court agreed but the Supreme Court reversed that decision and said that the search was reasonable.

So why is this ridiculous on its face? Well, clearly had the officer followed the law the vehicle would not have been pulled over and as such no search would have been conducted on the vehicle. The law should act as if no search was conducted since officer took actions that were not in compliance with the law. But the Supreme Court stated otherwise and in that decision stated:

And neither the Fourth Amendment’s text nor this Court’s precedents offer any reason why that result should not be acceptable when reached by a reasonable
mistake of law

SCOTUS, meet Arizona v Gant, a ruling  you made in 2009. Rodney Gant was detained and handcuffed in the back of a squad car. Police then searched his vehicle and found cocaine in the back seat in a jacket pocket. Now, the law allows for a search of a vehicle if an individual is not detained for reasons of officer safety and to protect the scene of any evidence they feel someone might try to discard. However, since Gant was already detained, there was no threat to the officers or any potential evidence and as such a warrant should have been required to search the car. So why did the officers search the car anyway? Well, according to one of the officers at the scene (Officer Griffith) “Because the law says we can do it.”

Under the ruling in Heier, it would seem to be such an argument would be valid because they are not supposed to be perfect, right? He believed the law allows for such searches and as such anything found by such a search should be admissible. But that was not the case in Gant. The Gant ruling talks about stare decisis and privacy rights. The Gant ruling talks about the dangers of how a law could be too broad and be harmful to the public good. Yet SCOTUS could find no precedent why the search in Heier was not acceptable? Really? Do they have short-term memory loss?

So what is the problem here? Some have said to me that if you don’t want the police to search your car and find drugs, don’t have drugs in your car. That may very well be a smart practice but it doesn’t deal with the main problem here and that is individuals dealing with a police force that is given more and more powers by government and by courts to take actions that should be considered unconstitutional against persons in this country.

What has this ruling done? Well, at its worst this ruling has basically said that as long as the officer is reasonable in his misunderstanding of the law that his searches can be considered reasonable. But since this search was actually an unreasonable search because it never should have happened, who is to say at what level is an officers understanding of the law is reasonable or not? In 2008 there were just under 800,000 police officers in this country. This ruling basically means that people living in the united states are subject to 800,000 interpretations of the law, regardless of how correct those interpretations are, as long as those interpretations are deemed “reasonable”. Instead of persons living here having to deal with 1 set of laws and their actual meaning, we have to deal with the 800,000 interpretations of them. And even if their actions are taken outside of the law, that doesn’t matter to SCOTUS. To them, the ends justify the means. And if a search that should not have been done was done, so be it. This is a horrible ruling and another slicing away at our freedoms and liberties. Or as SCOTUS put it in Heier:

Whether an officer is reasonably mistaken about the one or the other, the result is the same: the facts are outside the scope of the law.

Indeed. We should all be terrified.

Liberal Dan Radio 12/17/2014: Freedom loses

On the December 17, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Freedom has taken several hits this week. A Supreme Court ruling, Heien v North Carolina, has ruled that a search conducted after a police officer misapplies the law is a legal search. This, however, was not the case in Arizona V. Gant. I will discuss both cases and why I believe this is an elimination of freedom.

Sony pictures caved today and is refusing to release the movie after a group threatened to attack movie theaters that showed the movie. Several chains had already said that they would not be showing the movie previous to this anouncement. I will give my thoughts on this as well.

In other news, the GOP has shown their hypocrisy yet again. I will discuss how and why as well.

Those issues and more on Wednesday at 8pm central on Liberal Dan Radio, Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

I have made a change with my crowdfunding attempts and this year I am going with gofundme. Please check it out.

Liberal Dan Radio 12/10/2014: Bad Things

On the December 10, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

The torture documents were released by the Senate this week. Some call it a political ploy, others call it needed oversight. I will discuss certain aspects of the law and why we should consider ourselves to be a better nation than others.

An episode of Newsroom aired on Sunday and it caused a stir in feminist circles. People did not appreciate how Sorkin handled the topic of on campus rape. However, I believe the criticisms are misguided and I will discuss why.

I believe I also found a bug on healthcare.gov. I will go into that in more detail. Of course, bugs are meant to be fixed and are not an excuse to bring the whole thing down so calm down conservatives.

Finally, I have started a GoFundMe page in order to sell advertising for the show as well as encourage people to chip in and help support the show if they like it. So please, contribute.

Those stories, headlines, tweet of the week and more on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right:  Wednesday 8pm Central on Blog Talk Radio.

Liberal Dan Radio 10/29/2014: Lee Dugas LA01

In the final #RetakeCongress segment of this election cycle, Liberal Dan Radio will be returning to the point where I first entered into the political realm. Ten years ago, in 2004, I tossed my hat in the ring for Louisiana’s first congressional district. This year, one of the candidates seeking to represent the district in Congress is Lee Dugas.

This veteran of Desert Storm seeks to combat the GOP in its war on women and also fight their budget cuts that hurt the veterans they claim to support, Listen in to the show to learn more or you can call in to ask questions.

The show starts at 8pm Central so for more talk from the left that’s right, make sure to tune in.

Liberal Dan Radio 10/22/2014: Louisiana Elections

On the October 22nd, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio I will be discussing the ballot in Louisiana, various congressional races, the Senatorial election, and the Constitutional amendments.

I will also go into the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police endorsement of Bill Cassidy and why it is unAmerican.

Those issues, headlines, tweet of the week, and more talk from the left that’s right on Liberal Dan Radip: 8pm Central on Blog Talk Radio.

Liberal Dan Radio 9/10/2014: Ray Rice, Edwin Edwards, and Special Guest Joanna Schroeder

On the September 10, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

I will discuss the endorsement of unrepentant convicted felon Edwin Edwards for the 6th congressional district of Louisiana by the Louisiana Democratic Party. Previously I had stated my reasons for opposing his candidacy and what might happen if the state party went ahead and supported him anyway.

I will also have on the show previous guest Joanna Schroeder from the Good Men Project. We will discuss a variety of issues from the controversial nail polish and Cee Lo greens comments to the Ray Rice firing by the NFL.

Those issue, headlines, tweet of the week and more tonight at a special time, 9pm Central, on BlogTalkRadio.

A few comments on the Louisiana Democratic Party endorsement of Edwin Edwards

The Louisiana Democratic Party has endorsed unrepentant convicted felon Edwin Edwards for Louisiana’s 6th congressional district. The seat is an open seat with no incumbent because the current office holder is Bill Cassidy, one of the Republican challengers to Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu.

First, read this post about why I oppose the Edwin Edwards candidacy.  Now that the Louisiana Democratic party has endorsed him I have been getting grief from some fellow progressives about my refusal to jump aboard the Edwin Edwards bandwagon.

Some suggest that I oppose allowing felons back into society. That is false. I supported Malik Rahim for Congress when he ran against Bill Jefferson and Joseph Cao. He was a convicted felon but unlike Edwards, Rahim spent his post prison time helping others instead of helping himself.

And let’s just ignore for a second the fact that it is just wrong to support Edwards because of his criminal background that should not be trusted. Let’s ignore that supporting his candidacy is the ultimate “the ends justifies the means” statement. Let’s look at this from a purely political standpoint. Senator Landrieu is facing a difficult reelection campaign. All of her elections have been close, but this one is going to be the closest yet. Does she really need to have the baggage of an Edwin Edwards candidacy being used against her? I can imagine the Bill Cassidy or Col. Rob Maness ads now. “Look at Mary Landrieu, she is supported by Democrats. These same Democrats support convicted felon Edwin Edwards”. Democrats nationwide are struggling to keep hold of the Senate. Even if Edwards can pull off a win in this election, is one additional seat in the house worth losing the Senate? I don’t think so.

I lived in Maryland when the Edwards/Duke election took place. And had I been living in Louisiana and had I been of voting age I would have absolutely voted for Edwards against Duke. That time voting for the crook is important. This time there is no Duke. This time rejecting the crook is important. That election embarrassed Louisiana nationwide. And it wasn’t just because we had a Klansman running. It was also because that opponent of the Klansman was using the phrase “vote for the crook” to try and win. This will be another embarrassment to both Louisiana and Democrats. I wonder how many other Republicans will be able to leverage Democratic support for Edwards into political points. Look, it may very well be the case that Edwards could win and that his win would have no negative impact on anyone else running. But in this election I fear that we cannot take that risk. And I fear that the endorsement of Edwards by the Louisiana Democratic Party could very well be the nail in the coffin of the Landrieu campaign.

But now the second is over, and we should not ignore the fact that regardless of his ability to win that we should be rejecting the Edwards candidacy. The ends do not justify the means. Edwin Edwards to this day insists that he did no wrong. He is delusional. He is greedy. He is selfish. He needs to go away. At the end of the day I have two children. I have to be able to look them in the eye and set a good example for them. I cannot do so while supporting Edwards and I cannot support a party that endorses corruption like the Louisiana Democratic Party just did.

When I first heard of the possibility of an Edwards campaign I said that if the Louisiana Democratic Party endorses Edwards that I would cut my ties with the party. I intend to follow through on that promise. I can fight for progressive causes without waiving the banner of the Democratic party. Other states have benefited with a progressive third party pushing for progressive issue. I will still likely vote for and support progressive candidates despite their party affiliation. I will vote for Cedric Richmond and Mary Landrieu. But I refuse to do so as a member of a party that holds on to past corruption instead of building to the future. If it would be possible to be a registered Democrat nationally while rejecting the state party I would do so. But there seems to be no way to do that.

 

Update: I found out that you can change your voter registration online. If you do leave the party, tweet @LaDemos and make sure to use the hashtag #ILeftLADemos