Our post ABC News 2020 Democratic debate review continues.
We at The World As I Like It To Be podcast have watched the debate and extracted the most important moments and analyzed them from a political point of view.
With me is Denise from California.
Yesterday was healtcare. The debate over guns, Trump tariffs and Afghanistan policy is our topic for today.
Bernie Sanders took swipes at Joe Biden, substantive changes from current policy were announced, but I saw two problems.
One for Elizabeth Warren and one for the democrats in general during the debate.
Take a listen:
Workers on Strike
The nation’s largest auto union went on strike at the stroke of midnight on Monday:
The strike started at 11:59 pm Sunday night. The two sides did not formally meet Sunday after the union declared its intention to strike at a morning press conference, although union spokesman Brian Rothenberg said that the dialogue between the two sides was ongoing.
A new meeting of the two sides is set for 10 a.m. Monday.The union said that GM was putting profits ahead of employees who helped to turn the company around when it went through bankruptcy and federal bailout a decade ago.
The union is seeking higher hourly wages, lump sum payments and a better profit sharing plan. It also wants GM to agree to limit the use of temporary workers and give them a clearer path to permanent employment. In addition, the UAW says the two sides are far apart on other issues including health care benefits and job security.
One sticking point in the negotiations is the automaker’s tiered wage structure — workers who have been with G.M. since before 2007 earn about $31 an hour, most of those hired since then make much less, and so-called temporary workers are at the bottom of the wage scale at about $15 an hour. Benefits packages also vary.
The system was put into practice in 2007 as a way for G.M. to hire cheaper labor without cutting the wages of its existing employees. But workers say it is unfair and creates tension in plants to have people earn significantly more or less for doing similar work.
Remarkably according to the Times article the workers will still be paid (much less) during the strike
GM is said to have offered to make more than $7 billion in new investments in plants in the United States, add 5,400 jobs and increase pay and benefits.
Trump in with workers.
In an unprecedented move Politico is reporting, the Trump administration may side with the UAW in its strike against General Motors.
The effort, described to POLITICO by two people close to the matter, would effectively put the White House on the side of the UAW and could boost the president’s reelection chances next year in Michigan and Ohio. Some 48,000 GM workers went out on strike Monday demanding higher wages, more generous health care benefits and more job security than management has been willing to offer in a new contract.
One person close to the matter said National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro are both involved in the talks. This individual, who was not authorized to speak publicly, cautioned that discussions are still in early stages and that the White House may not be able to broker a deal.
In remarks to reporters Monday at the White House, President Donald Trump said “Federal mediation is always possible, if that’s what they want. Hopefully, they’ll be able to work out the GM strike quickly. We don’t want General Motors building plants outside of this country.”
The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the status of the negotiations, though Trump himself indicated he was sympathetic to the workers’ cause.
This would put the populous president with virtually no advisories other than GM.
The normally anti-union Republican party has given up all previous positions on unions, tarrifs, taxes, balanced budgets and more. So far not a peep can be heard from Republicans on this issue.
Trump v the auto industry
It’s important to note the Trump administration is already in a fight with the automakers after they agreed to join California’s emissions standards:
Four major automakers have reached a deal with California to increase gas mileage and greenhouse gas emissions standards, bypassing the Trump administration’s push to freeze requirements at 2021 levels.
Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen signed the deal with the California Air Resources Board, the state’s air pollution regulator, which had been at odds with the Trump administration for months. California has said it would exercise its powers to set more stringent pollution and mileage standards than the federal government has proposed.
The Trump administration reacted angrily to the end run, with Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Michael Abboud calling it a “PR stunt” and charging that California regulators “continually refused to produce reasonable and responsible proposals.”
The administration has sought to freeze Obama administration standards, keeping fleetwide new-vehicle mileage at 2021 levels of about 30 mpg. The administration says the extra expense to comply with the requirements will raise the price of new cars, making them unaffordable and depriving buyers of new safety technology. Many experts, including former EPA engineers, challenge the administration’s safety assertion.
The administration also has threatened to challenge California’s ability to set its own standards.
Energy companies sue Trump
This was not discussed in the podcast or the debate, but I want to note something of importance on this topic.
A coalition of energy companies calling themselves the Power Companies Climate Coalition have sued the Trump administration and EPA over planned roll back of emissions standards.
The group includes Con Ed, Exelon Corp, National Grid, PG&E Corp, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Seattle City Light, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and New York Power Authority. Together, they serve over 23 million customers in 49 states.
The coalition in its petition said they:
…have already invested heavily in adopting those technologies because their state governments passed laws requiring them to adopt large amounts of renewable energy such as wind and solar.
They go on to state Trump’s…
….Environmental Protection Agency’s ACE rule “fails to acknowledge the ways in which they and others within the power sector have already reduced their carbon emissions while maintaining reliability.”
Then importance of unions
Michael Moore on yesterday’s All in with Chris Hayes, discusses the importance of the working class union vote in the episode.
No one during the debate mentioned it, but blue collar workers in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio will be vital to both sides in this upcoming election.
Democrats have traditionally been on the side of labor and fortunately Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are being endorsed by some of the strongest unions nationwide.
But Trump’s choice to counter decades of Republican dogma regarding unions is a very good move on his part and could keep his hold on the rust belt.
Harris and Booker not using black media
On today’s podcast I question why the two black candidates in the race are not winning the black vote hands down. The debate briefly talked about issues of race and racism that were an easy lift for the black democrats.
But previous polls show Biden and Sanders, and in some polls Warren, are doing better than the two black senators.
Denise from California points out one of the failings of the campaigns was their lack of presence in black media.
Roland Martin’s recent episode discuss this very issue:
The Democrats and the Black Vote
Denise also sends a link to Roland Martin’s episode about the democrat’s problem, in general, regarding the black vote: