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U.S. President Barack Obama (L) stands behind AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka before he speaks at the AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, August 4, 2010.  REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLIT
Over the past year, the AFL-CIO has repeatedly said that its efforts to influence the course of the nation wouldn't end with electing Democrats, and that after the elections, it would remain geared up to fight for good policy. Since the election, the labor federation has made clear that preventing cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are at the top of the list of things to fight for. President Barack Obama's to cut Social Security benefits through the chained CPI poses an obvious challenge to the AFL-CIO, then: A fight for the good and popular policy is a fight against the president unions just fought to elect.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is clear that chained CPI is bad policy. But in an interview with the Huffington Post, he was a lot less clear what his federation and its member unions would do about that:

"I want to see more of the details. But we oppose the cuts," Trumka said. "We'll oppose the cuts. We will be talking to them about a number of things. Obviously I want to look at the whole deal before we make any decision." [...]

"Start off with the notion that a cut is a cut," he said. "So while you may be protecting some segments from the cut, there is still a lot of people who are going to get cut to pay for the difference between people making between $250,000 and $400,000. And we oppose those cuts because workers weren't part of the problem. We didn't cause the problem. But now we are supposed to always be part of the solution. ... We think that's a bad deal."

A bad deal, but not one Trumka is willing to say he'll flatly oppose. How bad would a deal have to be for unions to fight to blow it up? Given that Obama's concession on chained CPI already flies in the face of both good policy and the public's desire to protect Social Security and he offered it anyway, would he care if the AFL-CIO opposed his bad deal?

This is a disappointing stance from Trumka—it's like he's taking a page out of Obama's negotiating book. Even if there's a chance you'd accept something bad as part of a final deal, you don't gain strength by admitting it ahead of time.

Tell President Obama to take Social Security cuts off the table.

12:54 PM PT: Describing currently discussed deals as "hypothetical," an AFL-CIO spokesman affirms that "We will not support any cuts to benefits that working people have earned."

1:05 PM PT: And Trumka himself weighs in:

Tweet from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka saying "Appreciate your comments & passion - let me be clear: we are opposed to ANY cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid"

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't understand. (14+ / 0-)

    Now unions too are in the business of telegraphing low expectations?  What the hell's going on?

    •  Union leadership in this country is about as (20+ / 0-)

      connected to the needs of their membership as Democratic politicians are to the needs of the people in general.

      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

      by JesseCW on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:04:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Classic Trumka (14+ / 0-)

      Notice how successful the AFL-CIO has been in expanding the labor movement under his watch?

      Opulent facilities in several cities, six and seven figure salaries for "administrators" and "consultants"... peanuts for organizing, zero consequences for Village dems who consistently sell us out.

      He runs a political organization, not a labor movement... and not even very well.



      Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

      by chuckvw on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:13:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hard to believe this is the same Trumka (8+ / 0-)

        who was president of the UMWA when they took on Pittston in 1989.

        Doesn't seem to be any fight left in the guy.

        WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

        by JayRaye on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:17:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's something about the job (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayRaye, Frisbeetarian, teacherjon, corvo, AoT

          or the Village water. Sweeney took the job as the upstart firebreathing organizer from a resurgent SEIU. Fizzle.

          They forget their roots...



          Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

          by chuckvw on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:24:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And instead of leading the union movement (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Frisbeetarian, apimomfan2, chuckvw, corvo, AoT

            they actually put a damper on the union movement.

            Go to AFL-CIO website and try to find anything, anything about current organizing campaigns.

            It was on the issue of organizing that the Change to Win was formed and the affiliated unions left the AFL-CIO, but even they are not doing that much.

            Perhaps we need to begin to build alternatives.

            WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

            by JayRaye on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:33:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Trumka's a good guy, and a fighter (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bepanda, chuckvw, Jeff Simpson

          He's also surprisingly humble for someone who occupies his position. When I introduced myself to him once, I called him "Secretary Treasurer Trumka" (this was before he became president) and he said "no, it's Rich."

          He recognizes that he has to pick his battles, and that he can only go so far in criticizing the president because it's important for him to maintain a good relationship for the sake of his members. He recognizes that as bad as chained CPI is, raising the Medicare age or other proposals that the GOP wants would be a lot worse. At least chained CPI does not change the structure of the program, and can be patched or compensated for later on if necessary.

          Also, someone representing an organization as large and diverse as the AFL-CIO has a lot of factors to consider in a big deal like this. For example, he has to look out for the interests of federal workers, who are probably going to get screwed in any deal. He has to support any push for infrastructure spending and lobby to ensure Davis-Bacon protection for those projects. He has to be concerned about the impact of any deal on state governments and state govt. workers. So he can't only be thinking about social security...he has to be thinking about other things that affect his members.

          •  The AFL-CIO (4+ / 0-)

            Has long forgotten the CIO principles of organize, organize, organize.

            And has returned to the old AFL principles of pandering to democrats.

            When the union movement is organizing and fighting it does not have to go begging to politicians.

            The politicians, instead come begging to the unions for support.

            WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

            by JayRaye on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:07:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is how "incremental change" works (4+ / 0-)

            ...never in our favor. At some point you have to say, "Hey, stop cutting me or I'm leaving!"

            There are postal workers on hunger strike now. Labor, the working class and middle class are experiencing death by a thousand increments. As the titular leader of the the labor movement he has to think about the future of the movement and workers in general. Not just the members. He also has to know who his friends are. It's a tough job.

            I met Sweeney one time. He was a good guy, too.



            Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

            by chuckvw on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:18:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe he's too good of a guy. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuckvw, corvo, Laconic Lib

              Was John L Lewis such a good guy. He started the CIO with a fist fight!

              Under his leadership the CIO grew by millions and millions.

              WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

              by JayRaye on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:21:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  He played a tough game (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo, Laconic Lib, JayRaye

                during tough, complicated times... not unlike these times of ours.



                Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

                by chuckvw on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:27:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  The punch heard round the world: (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw, corvo, Laconic Lib
                Hutcheson [of the Carpenters] was one of the most vigorous exponents of craft unionism within the AFL, who not only opposed the organizing of industrial workers, but tried to prevent others from undertaking it. That conflict over the proper role of unions was symbolized by the famous punch — or shove — that John L. Lewis delivered at the AFL’s convention in Atlantic City in 1935 after Hutcheson interrupted a speech by a representative of the committee that was attempting to organize tire factory workers with a point of order. Lewis responded that Hutcheson’s point of order was “small potatoes,” to which Hutcheson replied “I was raised on small potatoes, that is why I am so small.” Lewis left the podium and, after some more words, knocked Hutcheson down, then relit his cigar and returned to the rostrum. The incident — which was also “small potatoes,” but very memorable — helped cement Lewis’ image in the public eye as someone willing to fight for workers’ right to organize. Lewis led the United Mine Workers of America and a number of other unions out of the AFL to form the Congress of Industrial Organizations two years later.

                WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

                by JayRaye on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:31:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  This history is fun to read but not entirely (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, Laconic Lib

                  correct.

                  The CIO was first formed within the AFL as the Committe for Industrial Organization.

                  The CIO affiliated unions were later kicked out of the AFL. They then became the Congress of Industrial Organization.

                  And thus commenced the greatest union organizing campaign this country has ever seen, millions upon millions joined the union.

                  And the rest, as they say, is history.

                  WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

                  by JayRaye on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:56:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We are many thousands strong (0+ / 0-)

                    And I am glad to say
                    We are getting stronger
                    And stronger every day

                    Join the CIO, Come join the CIO!

                    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

                    by JayRaye on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:30:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  the pick your battles thing doesn't hold water a (5+ / 0-)

            anymore. what makes you think that choosing chained CPI over Medicare age raises is going to prevent Medicare age raises from being proposed six months or a year or two years from now?

            A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:31:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  "He recognizes that he has to pick his battles" (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chuckvw, AoT, Laconic Lib, JayRaye

            -- oh really?  Isn't it about time he picked one?

      •  It's way more about the FED than Trumka (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, bobtmn, Laconic Lib

        The AFL-CIO is a federation, in which two huge public employee unions dominate by virtue of numbers.  Trumka has very limited power in himself.  And those unions are pretty much arms of the Democratic party rather than independant advocates for working people.  My union (CNA-NNU) is genuinely progressive and not tied too tight to the Dems and every time we try to push anything progressive through the Federation - single payer, Financial Transaction Tax, you name it - if it makes Dem office-holders uncomfortable, then those two unions - AFT and AFSCME - are right there to block it.

        "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

        by Chico David RN on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:39:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Trumka and Blankfein on the same page (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, aliasalias, Laconic Lib

      Wow, Obama must be feeling great about this. He's united everyone under the banner of supply-side economics.

      A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:28:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The narrative has been set. (6+ / 0-)

    There will be cuts.  

    Now it's musical chairs for everyone.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:02:08 AM PST

  •  I could spin it differently (8+ / 0-)

    Suppose the deal included a massive stimulus, card check, increased funding for social safety net and health programs, etcs. as well as chained CPI.

    Should the unions oppose it? NoBut of course the deal will not.

    It is a cop out from Trumka in that he knows the deal will not be good and he can and probably should oppose now.

    But I can see the spin being ok

    Maybe I have low expectations after Pelosi lied to our face on this.

  •  I keep getting an error message when i try to sign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:03:57 AM PST

  •  I'm guessing that the thinking (9+ / 0-)

    is that while they don't want this cut and certainly don't want Obama to have been the one to have first proposed it, if it's the only thing holding up an otherwise decent deal (or as good a deal we can expect), they're reluctantly willing to accept it. I think that this is also based on an unspoken assumption that, since this cut doesn't really start to kick in meaningfully for at least a few years, this gives us plenty of time to repeal it before then, if not make SS even better and stronger in a genuine, non-euphemistic way.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:04:02 AM PST

  •  Well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    magnetics, corvo, AoT

    Apparently it's been decided that everybody over 55 votes Republican in 2014.

  •  The unions have had their rights eroded (14+ / 0-)

    in the past few years without help from Democrats. I don't see why they continue helping out Democrats given the failures of the Democratic Party from the top down to do anything on labor issues.

  •  But But....this isn't a real deal... (6+ / 0-)

    it is intended to be killed?  They don't really mean it.

    MagiC!

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:09:10 AM PST

  •  Haven't you got the message yet? (6+ / 0-)

    Unions know what negotiation is. That's what they do.

    Negotiation means both sides give something up.

    It seems that everyone in the real world is treating such a concession as unpleasant but necessary. No doubt they also realize it's not going to be influential in the short term, and open to revision in the long term.

    They aren't betraying you. If anything, you're betraying them by refusing to recognize the reality that the Democrats don't control the House, and refusing to focus on the one thing needed, taking back the House in 2014.

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:18:19 AM PST

  •  Maybe Trumka Understands That In Order to Get (11+ / 0-)

    Some other important things, like extending UI, and stopping cuts in food stamps, Dems will have to concede SOMETHING. And the CPI deal MAY be a good trade off NOW, that will have NO effect NOW and can be reversed, eventually. While people on unemployment will suffer NOW when they lose it, and people on food stamps will suffer NOW when that support is cut, if no deal is made.

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

    by Beetwasher on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:19:20 AM PST

    •  to add to that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff Simpson, Beetwasher, Theston

      tax increases NOW could push us back into recession, while the offer Obama made included additional stimulus for infrastructure NOW.

      The deal includes an unfortunate cut, but the alternative is a huge dose of austerity.  How is that better?

    •  You're right! Let's concede the defense budget. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Willa Rogers, Laconic Lib

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:11:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So Nothing Constructive Except Snark? (0+ / 0-)

        This is real. Real people who will really be hurt, like now and won't be able to afford rent/mtg and food for their families when they lose UI.

        This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

        by Beetwasher on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 01:24:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's why the Cliff is the best deal out there: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, Laconic Lib

          The tax increases on incomes lower than $250,000 aren't likely to stand. Nancy Pelosi can't initiate a stand-alone bill herself, but she, the President, the whole damn party, can loudly advocate for Boehner (or maybe Cantor by then) to bring such a bill to the House floor. The Thugs would cave. What choice do they have? The GOP--the anti-tax party--can hardly be seen to be blocking tax cuts for 98% of all Americans. That would send them to the electoral wilderness for a decade.

          The across-the-board cuts in social programs like Head-start required by sequestration are painful, no question, as is the lack of an immediate extension of Unemployment Insurance. This time though, the Dems hold the only hostage the Thugs give a damn about: the Defense budget. We can trade some of it back, in return for most of the social cuts. Done right, we could still end up with substantial Defense cuts impossible to achieve otherwise.

          That's what real compromise looks like.

          When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

          by PhilJD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 01:54:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, You Obviously Know The Political Calculus (0+ / 0-)

            Better than Obama and Pelosi and got it all figured out, except for the part where people stop getting UI NOW and their lives may be ruined NOW.  So you're willing to trade pain and destroyed lives NOW to head off some pain that may or may not come 20 years down the road.

            No, that's not compromise, that's throwing people depending on food stamps and unemployment NOW under the bus NOW, while the Dems and Repubs bicker over a deal through Jan. Meanwhile, people starve and get kicked out of their homes NOW.

            You have no idea if the the Thugs would cave, and I imagine Pelosi and Obama are closer to the situation and have a better read than you do from the sidelines. They ARE batshit crazy. Really. They are.

            This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

            by Beetwasher on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 02:00:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The fact that they ARE able to do the political (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Laconic Lib

              calculus is what makes the charges of betrayal genuinely cogent.

              When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

              by PhilJD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 02:07:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  he Fact Is THEY Can Do It Much Better (0+ / 0-)

                Than you can, and know all the players and variables much better than you, so YOUR prognostications about what would and should happen should be taken in that context.

                This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                by Beetwasher on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 02:11:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, boy, another year of UI (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Willa Rogers, Laconic Lib

      another year until they hold it hostage for something else!

      Let's give in to them again, it worked so well the first time.

      A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:40:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Better to Let it Expire Then, I Guess? (0+ / 0-)

        And fuck all those who are relying on it? I don't get the sarcastic bullshit. This is real and it will happen now. People will lose UI and it will destroy lives. Now.

        This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

        by Beetwasher on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 01:25:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And it will happen again next year, and next year (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib

          and the next.

          So rather than playing the game, let's change the game. We can start by refusing to deal unless they move towards us.

          A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 02:31:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Vote Them Out, That's How You Change The Game (0+ / 0-)

            More Dems, take back congress. The batshit crazy Repubs will NEVER be reasonable. Period. And for now, we DO have the deal with them to get shit through Congress. That's just reality.

            Causing real pain and destroying lives in the short term to prove a point is not a good strategy. Getting rid of the Republicans is a better one. But for now, we need to look out for those who need help; people on Unemployment and food stamps whose lives may very well be destroyed if the cuts stand.

            This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

            by Beetwasher on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 02:36:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well then, enjoy having the SS and Medicare (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib

          age raised to 70 because that's what's probably coming next year.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:05:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  In between all the vitriol (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Theston, TomP

    that's being spilled...what's the deal here?

    •  Yes, all he did is retain his options. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chitown Kev

      Maybe he should have opposed it more strongly, but he basically said, I have not seen the whole plan.  Sounds like a bad idea.  

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:56:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I get so sick of all the Charlies in this world. (0+ / 0-)

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:22:24 AM PST

  •  Anothe closet fu**ing Republican. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    Send conservatives to FilthyLiberal.com for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:22:29 AM PST

  •  It's a good thing Boehner rejected the offer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    I don't understand why anyone is defending this crappy offer when there is no chance of it passing.

    And over the cliff we go

    Posted by Greg Sargent

    John Boehner, at his minute-long appearance before the cameras today:

    “Tomorrow, the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American — 99.81 percent of the American people. Then the president will have a decision to make. He can call on the Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”

    That appears to be a straightforward threat: If Obama doesn’t agree to raise tax rates only on income over $1 million, we’re going over the cliff. No other choice is offered. It’s one or the other.

    - more -

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

  •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2

    What the Hell is going on?

  •  DailyKos stabbed in the back by Richard Trumka! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Theston, apimomfan2, Laconic Lib

    I never thought I'd write that headline.

    When we were ahead, people at DailyKos said to fight like we were behind. When we were behind, people at DailyKos said to give up.

    by NoFortunateSon on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:25:52 AM PST

  •  AFL-CIO is a federation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, 2laneIA, Frisbeetarian

    Trumka, while fundamentally a decent guy, is largely powerless to force the member unions to do anything.  And the two largest unions in the Fed are AFSCME and AFT - public employee unions that are essentially arms of the Democratic party rather than independent advocates for working people.  So, when an incumbent Dem does something harmful to working people their reflex response is that protecting that Democrat is more important than advocating for working people.
    so when you are disappointed in the Federation, it's really the leadership of those two unions who drive the problems.

    "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

    by Chico David RN on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:27:05 AM PST

    •  Total Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

      Content free, reductionist caricature.  I have had harsh words for AFSCME in the past (I was an organizer for SEIU), but the picture you're trying to paint that these unions never attack Dems?  ALTERNATE REALITY.

  •  So people who actually are in the real world fight (4+ / 0-)

    day in and day out seem to be accepting given the circumstances but keyboard warrior (sl)activists here rant and rave and name call on how this is an epic sellout and the death of the party and how Pelosi is a traitor bitch sell out who should shut up and be slapped and how she's really rich so doesn't care about poor people.

    Interesting dynamic.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:28:38 AM PST

    •  Trumka is in the "real world fight" but I'm not? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      How much fucking money does he make? I'm currently supporting myself and my boyfriend on around 60K a year and my other partner who is a federal employee with type I diabetes may not be able to go out on disability in a couple years to protect her health and longevity if the COLA that determines what you get on disability is seriously fucked with. So I don't want to fucking hear about "keyboard warriors" and who is and is not "in the fight."

      A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:48:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And speaking of "the real world fight" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, Laconic Lib

      My boyfriend and I were on the front page of the FL Times-Union trying to prevent the theft of the 2000 election in Duval County, FL.  Was Dick Trumka?  

      Why don't we define what the "real world fight" is?

      A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:52:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The AFL-CIO Facebook page is (7+ / 0-)

    truly sad to view. They keep telling people to protest about the Republican attack on the social safety net and don't even mention the role that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional Democrats are playing in this. This attack only succeeds with the help of Democrats. Republicans alone can't get it done.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:29:52 AM PST

  •  Given the Lux diary, I think (0+ / 0-)

    I get it.  Disappointing, this whole thing, but this is one of those moments where there is going to need to be alot of noise on the ground to get anyone  with access to get involved.

    The liberty of democracy is not safe if people tolerate growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.---FDR

    by masslib on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:33:01 AM PST

  •  Another reason for declining Union Membership. (5+ / 0-)

    The timidity of its leadership.

    If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

    by MikePhoenix on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:35:12 AM PST

  •  Is there any way to get a petition over to Trumka (0+ / 0-)

    urging him to avoid this cut?  You can also message him directly on Daily Kos:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

    by poopdogcomedy on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:38:53 AM PST

  •  This better be part of some 3D chess game. (0+ / 0-)

    Were it not for corporate media and corpy libs playing along, SS would not be "in the room"; let alone "on the table".

    It's a given that the R's have wanted to destroy the safety net since FDR , that's their nature, it's the constant corrosion of greed-based corporate thinking that has lead to this.

    Hell, even NPR includes a stock market update every hour, on the hour.

    Corporations ARE GOD ...... jus' ax 'em.

  •  Or maybe, while a much less than optimal result, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Theston

    trading chained CPI for whatever else Obama gets in the deal (and no, there is no deal yet, so none of us know what is ultimately going to be in it) is not quite the apocalyptic betrayal of everything good and holy that one might assume from the tone of the last two days here.

    •  don't you see? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      apimomfan2, corvo, Laconic Lib

      That's the point... he's already traded it... BEFORE getting ANYTHING!

      •  No. He hasn't traded anything for anything yet. (0+ / 0-)

        Negotiation is a large part of what I do every day.  I won't claim to be the world's best negotiator, but I have a fair amount of experience at it.  Until there's a deal, there's no deal.  Things on the table can come back off the table.  This is infinitely harder when literally billions of people are watching every move, but if I was on the other side from Boehner, once he rejected the package I put out, I would feel no obligation necessarily to include everything in the rejected package in whatever comes next.  Where I would agree with you and others here is that Obama absolutely should not be negotiating against himself.  Obama made an offer and Boehner rejected it.  There should be no further offer from Obama until Boehner makes a credible counter, which as far as I know, he has not done.  Plan B obviously does not count.

        •  I would bet you a jillion dollars... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib

          that those cuts end up in ANY final agreement.  They ain't coming off, because Obama doesn't want them off!

          "I suspect that on Social Security, we've got a somewhat similar position,"-- Barack Obama, first debate w/Romney.

  •  I repeat myself. (4+ / 0-)

    Sadly, I saw this cave-in coming. My comment from Richard Trumka's diary Tell Congress: No Benefit Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

    Thank you and please don't cave in. (29+ / 0-)

    No one takes these pronouncements seriously because they think that past is prologue. The House Progressive Caucus is ignored because it always folds like a lawn chair in the end. Labor's priorities were ignored in the last four years because whoyagonnavotefor-Romney? And because it did not raise hell over the industry-friendly aspects of the ACA.  Andy Stern was on the CatFood Commission.

    Labor leaders and progressive groups must refuse to support any deal that contains these cuts, and mean it. If we learn to say no, we will get a bit more respect in future. There should be no mobilizing of the troops to sell cuts to earned benefits.

    It is a mystery to me why the whole conversation seems to be about whether the rich will keep their tax cuts as opposed to whether there need to be cuts at all. But Pete Peterson is funding another multimillion dollar campaign-(Fix the Debt-an apt name in some ways)-to sell austerity to a public that doesn't want it and desperately needs more spending not less.

  •  And what is the DK Community's stand? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2, corvo, Laconic Lib

    Will they apologize for savaging those of us who wanted to threaten a primary challenge?  For pointing out that Obama has been very clear about his desire to gut SS for a long time?

    Their 'we will support you no matter what' position has created the incentives for Obama to spit on the face of the left whenever it is convenient.

    Obama cheerleaders have no one to blame but themselves.

    -------------

    Obama finally speaks to drone victims:

    https://www.youtube.com/...

    •  Apologize? (0+ / 0-)

      How about I'll still laugh in your face.  

      The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:57:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They pulled this scam on (5+ / 0-)

    military retirees in 1994 - the Mills Act.

    It's a reverse Ponzi.  

    Say you get $100 a month.  The CPI says you need $10 a month more to keep up with the cost of living.

    With a chained CPI, you get $7.
    $3 x 12 months = $360.  Not too bad...

    The next year, the CPI says you need another $5.  But you're already $360 short of what you need.  
    When they calculate your chained CPI, it's based on the $107 a month, not the $110 you would have had if the Increase met the cost of living.

    So you've already lost ground.  Then compound interest takes over.  
    Each year, that percentage below CPI reduces your gross income to the point where your pension is still $100 - not nearly enough to meet increased costs.

    Poof!!! You're homeless!!!!

    The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers. - The Communist Manifesto

    by nolagrl on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:50:01 AM PST

  •  are dems campaigning for the GOP midterms? (4+ / 0-)

    looks like they are begging for a repeat of 2010

    it all looks so familiar

    energize for an election, let everyone down, act surprised about 2010

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:50:03 AM PST

  •  FWIW, the AFL-CIO is pushing members (3+ / 0-)

    to write to the president and Congress opposing the chained CPI and any other cuts to SS, Medicare and Medicaid. But Trumka has a lot of interests to consider that make it unwise to say categorically that he'd oppose a deal without seeing what else is in it.

  •  I'm disappointed in all this negative vibe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Simpson

    This negative vibe coming from here is really disappointing. I think it is very important to understand that, in front of the American people (47% Romney voters and 51% Obama voters), the President needs to show that  he is negotiating in good faith.

    The president has offered some cuts that will hurt his base. Regardless on how we feel about it, this fight will also go on in the American Public Opinion. And the president needs to sound reasonable, sincere and genuine. In my opinion he does.

  •  Looks like Trumpka's gone all bipartisan on us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    Who are these clones?

  •  Fight now, or forget about it. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, aliasalias, schnecke21, Laconic Lib

    If you won't fight a Democrat to protect Social Security, the most popular program--and one of the two most essential--for the nation's working people (especially since these cuts will also hit veterans, federal workers, and the disabled), then there is no program you will ever fight a Democrat on, and you may as well admit that your union is owned lock, stock, and barrel by one political party.

    Time to choose whether you're working for working families or the Democratic party.

    A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:27:24 PM PST

    •  We'll still be fighting, (0+ / 0-)

      long after you've forgotten about it.

      •  I can't forget about it. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm going to get hit by it.

        There's no way to "forget" something that affects your family's ability to survive.

        A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 01:13:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  your phrase, not mine. nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  And your posts will improve your situation how? (0+ / 0-)

          Demonizing Dick Trumka may make you feel good, but it isn't actually of any value. Let's even assume that Dick Trumka is reading your comments and agrees with your logic and does in fact agree that his "union is owned lock, stock, and barrel by one political party" ... then what? You protest elsewhere about someone saying you're just a keyboard warrior, not in the real fight, but it's true. As Jeff's sig says: "1.Whine! 2.? 3.Fail." And it's not just that your whining is ineffectual, but that it is based on a very shallow understanding and analysis.

          •  Should I provide you with a list of all the times (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laconic Lib

            I go down to Capitol Hill, whether with PDA or MoveOn or alone? Like last week, when I met with Rep. Conyers and others on a full employment bill he's sponsoring? A bill that would help labor quite a lot, actually?

            Or should I tell you about the work I did in 09-10 to get financing for green energy companies and energy efficiency projects, which would have created thousands of new green jobs? Of course, that was killed by Democrats in the Senate who wanted to appear centrist.

            Or do you want to hear about the progressive Dem I got into the state senate by 147 votes in 2010, when everyone had assumed she'd be beaten in a landslide? Thus replacing a Dem who had voted against a shift breaks law which required that businesses with over 50 employees give those employees a 15-minute break once every four hours. The incumbent Dem voted against giving employees one 15-minute break every 4 hours, which spurred my candidate to run. She was supposed to lose in a landslide, and due in part to my work, she won.

            Or do you want to hear about the work I did knocking on doors for Kerry in Clay County FL--a 76% Republican county--which resulted in an increase of nearly 3,000 votes over what was expected?

            Or do you want to hear about the work I did in Duval County, FL, protesting the horrific abridgement of voters', primarily black voters' rights in 2000?

            Do you want more credentials? I may not be powerful, but, by God, I've worked. Nobody gets to piss on my work.

            A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 02:29:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  "This is a disappointing stance from Trumka" (0+ / 0-)

    -- and yet so completely in character for him.

  •  I just need a place (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    to voice my disgust with Obama and Pelosi, and now Tumka. With democrats like these assholes, who needs republicans?  I've had it with this weasly gang of con-artists and self-serving plutocrats. We have lost our republic. The dystopia is here.

    In the wilderness, the one-eyed pig is king. - H.S. Thompson

    by whataboutthosesheep on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:47:26 PM PST

  •  Let's attack Dick Trumka and unions! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    So many cranks here ...

  •  Public Employee vs private sector citizen (0+ / 0-)

    This is what pains me about public unions.  Their interests do NOT line up with private sector workers in the same economic class.   They have their pensions, we don't.  They have their golden health plans, we don't.  Many of them do not even participate in Social Security.

    It is more important to Teachers and AFSCME to protect their own jobs , pension and benefits than it is to protect social security and medicare for the rest of us private sector losers.

    Even if they take a hit, they can make up for it later by shutting down our schools and public services.

    Public sector unions are undermining the private sector worker, including the private sector union member.

    Neither are they loyal partners to Democratic values.  They use the Dem party for power, not for principle.

    Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

    by bobtmn on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:01:38 PM PST

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