Almost 40% of private biz will lay off employees if min. wage increases

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Minimum wage

Woman holds a minimum wage sign before an Occupy Albany rally in NY on 5-29-12. Image via Mike Groll/AP.

Via Fox News:

WASHINGTON –  Thirty-eight percent of America’s private employers say they will lay off workers if Congress agrees to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, according to a new survey by the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm.

Fifty-four percent of employers who are paying their workers the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour say they would reduce hiring, while 65 percent say they would raise prices on their goods and services to offset the bumps in pay.

Of the 1,213 business and human resources professionals surveyed by Express Employment Professionals last month – which include whose who pay their employees the minimum wage as well as those who do not – 19 percent say they’d fire workers, 39 percent would reduce hiring and 51 percent would raise prices on their services to make up the salary costs.

I’m telling ya, the ‘good news’ (sarcasm) just keeps rolling in for the American worker under the policies (and proposed policies) of the Obama administration and their minions in Congress, doesn’t it?

Of course, Democrats will read the survey and spin the hell out of it with one or more of the following explanations/justifications:

1) Whatever losses in jobs will be “offset” by more people supposedly being “lifted” out of poverty if a mandatory minimum wage increase is passed.

2) Some people might lose their jobs, but other people will be hired elsewhere at the higher minimum wage rate (another variation of the “offsets” argument).

3) Most of these businesses could raise their hourly rates if they wanted to but they’re too greedy and don’t want to share more of their wealth with their employees.

4) It won’t be near 40% who lay off workers.  That number is just overblown.

5) WINGNUTS!  KOCH BROTHERS!!

And the beat goes on.

Of course, nationally, the likelihood that a minimum wage increase will pass is very slim – but it doesn’t matter to the left, whose sole purpose in bringing this up in an election year is to demonize Republicans and buy votes.   Modern Democrats don’t have much going for them in the way of actual success when it comes to policies and actions that lead to investment and job creation, but their sad predictability on this issue is always a sure thing.  The more strings on the American worker they can pull the better – not for the worker, but for the opportunistic left wing politician who strives to keep him/herself in power by any means necessary

Would love to hear from some private business owners in the comments about how raising the minimum wage would impact their workforce.  Thoughts?

Got cancer? Got #Obamacare? Good luck…

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**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

Among the many “benefits” brought to us by the Affordable Care Act has been the narrowing of provider networks. To deal with increased costs brought on by Obamacare’s increased coverage mandates, insurance companies are offering fewer doctors and hospitals on their approved lists. For many people, this has meant losing access to the physicians they liked, contra President Obama’s oft-repeated promise lie.

If you’re a cancer patient, you have a particular problem. We’ve met Edie Sundby, a stage-4 cancer sufferer who’s losing her provider network, thanks to Obamacare, but what if you were able to keep your doctors, but needed specialized or experimental treatment?

Under Obamacare, good luck:

Some of America’s best cancer hospitals are off-limits to many of the people now signing up for coverage under the nation’s new health care program.

Doctors and administrators say they’re concerned. So are some state insurance regulators.

An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington’s insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it’s in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more.

In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP’s survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their states’ exchanges.

Not too long ago insurance companies would have been vying to offer access to renowned cancer centers, said Dan Mendelson, CEO of the market research firm Avalere Health. Now the focus is on costs.

This is a marked deterioration of access to the premier cancer centers for people who are signing up for these plans,” Mendelson said.

Those patients may not be able get the most advanced treatment, including clinical trials of new medications.

Emphasis added.

The article mentions another problem, one that’s been noted since the Obamacare web sites went online: it’s hard to tell if the physician and hospital you want are included in the plan you’re looking at. Thus someone in Los Angeles  may sign up thinking they have access to a top-notch cancer facility, such as Cedars-Sinai, only to discover the truth after they develop cancer. Their only options then are to go elsewhere (if there is an “elsewhere”) or pay out of pocket, which may be financially devastating or downright impossible.

Later on, the writer quotes officials who feel these are not serious problems, that they can be worked out, but what about the people who need treatment now and used to be able to get it under the old system? Though the large insurance companies were nothing better than rent-seeking collaborators in Obamacare, I’m not blaming them for this; they’re just acting rationally in the face of increased costs, a problem created by government.

At the end, the writers report that the Obama administration has promised “closer scrutiny” of insurance companies, especially for cancer care, presumably to include the design of provider networks. Great. So the solution to a problem created by regulation will inevitably be more regulation, which will make the problem worse and a genuine solution more difficult, not easier. Here’s the process:

  1. Government creates a problem through bad regulation.
  2. Businesses respond logically to the problem, irking consumers.
  3. Consumers complain about the response.
  4. Government proposes more bad regulation to deal with the response, ignoring the core problem government itself created and creating new ones.

Rinse and repeat.

Meanwhile, the poor cancer sufferer keeps on suffering.

Thanks, Obamacare!

via Dana Loesch

RELATED: In the Elections Have Consequences category, Colorado Mountain College is cutting back on hours for part-time faculty to avoid the expensive new employer mandates under Obamacare. I wonder how many voted for Obama? Whoever you are, congratulations. You got what you voted for. (h/t Conservative Intelligence Briefing)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Did Obama threaten state governors?

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**Posted by Phineas

Not likely to be bullied.

Not likely to be bullied.

Via Moe Lane, that’s sure what it sounds like in the video below. Rick Perry of Texas was speaking as part of a panel at the Republican Governors Association late last February; the group had had a meeting (1) with President Obama, and what he told them left Governor Perry disturbed. Here’s the video, followed by a transcript.

“When you have governors, and we all compete against each other — we are the laboratories of innovation — and for the President of the United States to look Democrat and Republican governors in the eye and say, ‘I do not trust you to make decisions in your state about issues of education, about transportation infrastructure,’ — and that is really troubling,” he said.?

Perry expressed his own fears regarding Environmental Protection Agency restrictions choking off America’s energy production and a possible reduction in his state’s national guard.

“As a matter of fact, he [Obama] said at that meeting, he said, ‘If I hear any of you pushing back, making statements about Washington spends too much money, you’ll hear from me,” he said, adding, “I’m highly offended by that.”

Obama takes everything personally, doesn’t he? Criticize him or oppose his policies as part of the normal give and take of politics, and to him it’s a personal affront. And, if you offend him, perhaps by speaking out on behalf of the people of your state, by God you’re going to hear from Obama, himself!

That is the mark of a thin-skinned, petty personality. A punk. And weren’t the Democrats supposed to be against “bullying?”

It’s also telling about how he sees the governors: not as fellow heads of state and government, with their own experiences and perspectives to draw on (2), but as errand boys. It’s how someone who grew up in the Chicago thugocracy works. “Federalism? Just shut up and do what you’re told — or else.”

Perry’s remarks about the threat to the state national guards are well-taken, too; not only do the guard units provide invaluable reserves of skills, knowledge, and talent to fill out the military in wartime, but governors rely on their guard units to deal with all sorts of emergencies, from riots to disaster relief.

Seems to me Governor Perry and his colleagues were right to be perturbed.

Footnotes:
(1) I think this was the same meeting after which Louisiana Governor Jindal and Connecticut Governor Malloy went after each other a bit.
(2) Many of whom had far more executive experience prior to taking office and far better records of accomplishment in office than a certain president I can think of.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Startling: In image from space, North Korea seemingly disappears

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Kim Jong Un

North Korean ‘leader’ Kim Jong Un.

This depresses me beyond words:


Of the photo, the LA Times reports:

North Korea appears to be missing in an image taken from space.

NASA says of the nighttime image, taken from the International Space Station: “North Korea is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea and China. The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan.”

Capital city Pyongyang has a population of more than 3 million, yet is a tiny island of light.

The dictator-ruled nation is in the dark in more ways than one. Electricity is sporadic and unreliable, with those who have it often receiving power only a few hours a day, according to U.S. News & World Report. Citizens struggle with chronic fuel shortages. Most get their fuel for heating and cooking on the black market, Global Post reports, or go out and gather fuel — such as firewood — themselves.

Lisa Ling, a journalist who was imprisoned in North Korea, wrote about the nation and creeping change in 2012 in the L.A. Times. She noted that North Korea was as “isolated and backward” as South Korea was “wired and technologically advanced.” The average North Korean, she said, has no knowledge of YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.

As the article insinuated, where there is no shining light there is no power for the people of North Korea – in more ways than one.

I weep – and pray.

Asking for trouble: the Obama-Hagel defense budget

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**Posted by Phineas

U.S. Navy, post-Obama

U.S. Navy, post-Obama

Long ago, the Roman writer Vegetius wrote perhaps the wisest thing anyone has ever written regarding war and peace:

“If you want peace, prepare for war.”

In other words, if your potential foes know you are strong, that you are willing to use force to defend your interests, and that they are not likely to win, then they will not pick a fight with you.

President Obama and his dullard Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, have evidently never read Vegetius:

Stating that a postwar environment was the time to do some shrinking, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled a budget proposal Monday that reduces the Army to pre-World War II levels despite “a world that is growing more volatile, more unpredictable, and in some instances more threatening to the United States.”

“Our force structure and modernization recommendations are rooted in three realities: first, after Iraq and Afghanistan, we are no longer sizing the military to conduct long and large stability operations; second, we must maintain our technological edge over potential adversaries; and, third, the military must be ready and capable to respond quickly to all contingencies and decisively defeat any opponent should deterrence fail,” Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon today.

You can read the details in Bridget Johnson’s article, but, quickly, the Army would be reduced to 450,000 soldiers, the Marine Corps to 182,000, the Navy would be kept at 11 carrier battle groups (unless further cuts are needed), and, among other cuts, the Air Force would eliminate its entire force of A-10 “warthog” ground-support aircraft. I’m sure infantrymen everywhere are thrilled with that one.

Hagel’s opening statement is nonsensical: in one breath he proposes devastating cuts to our military capabilities, while, in the other, he claims (rightly) that the world is growing “more volatile, more unpredictable,” and “more threatening.” When he claims this configuration will allow us to defend ourselves from foes by relying on high tech, he ignores his own assertion that the world is unpredictable. Who knew on September 10th, 2001, in the wake of the Clinton-era defense cuts, that we would find ourselves in a war that required liberating and occupying two nations? While we are leaving Afghanistan and have left Iraq (God help them), we are still at war with a transnational terror group waging holy war against us. What if they should take over another country as a base (Syria? Mali? Iraq, again?)?  Do we then shrug our shoulders and say “No can do?” What if North Korea decides to invade the South, again? Those A-10s will be sorely missed, I guarantee it.

Those are just two among the myriad possible threats we face as dictators grow emboldened by our feckless leadership. When Ronald Reagan launched our military buildup in the 1980s, it wasn’t just to have plenty of ships and tanks on hand, it was to demonstrate a will to resist the world’s tyrants, so that they would make no miscalculation. The Obama-Hagel defense cuts, on the other hand send just the opposite message, one of weakness and a lack of confidence, of opportunity for the enemy because this administration is renouncing our traditional role as guarantor of a liberal world order.

And it’s deliberate. In an essay that now seems truly prescient, Charles Krauthammer made it plain that, for an ideology that sees American power as a problem, not a solution, for the world’s challenges, decline is a choice, one made in sacrifice to the desire to turn the US into a gelded European social democracy:

This is not the place to debate the intrinsic merits of the social democratic versus the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism. There’s much to be said for the decency and relative equity of social democracy. But it comes at a cost: diminished social mobility, higher unemployment, less innovation, less dynamism and creative destruction, less overall economic growth.

This affects the ability to project power. Growth provides the sinews of dominance–the ability to maintain a large military establishment capable of projecting power to all corners of the earth. The Europeans, rich and developed, have almost no such capacity. They made the choice long ago to devote their resources to a vast welfare state. Their expenditures on defense are minimal, as are their consequent military capacities. They rely on the U.S. Navy for open seas and on the U.S. Air Force for airlift. It’s the U.S. Marines who go ashore, not just in battle, but for such global social services as tsunami relief. The United States can do all of this because we spend infinitely more on defense–more than the next nine countries combined.

Those are the conditions today. But they are not static or permanent. They require constant renewal. The express agenda of the New Liberalism is a vast expansion of social services–massive intervention and expenditures in energy, health care, and education–that will necessarily, as in Europe, take away from defense spending.

This shift in resources is not hypothetical. It has already begun. At a time when hundreds of billions of dollars are being lavished on stimulus and other appropriations in an endless array of domestic programs, the defense budget is practically frozen. Almost every other department is expanding, and the Defense Department is singled out for making “hard choices”–forced to look everywhere for cuts, to abandon highly advanced weapons systems, to choose between readiness and research, between today’s urgencies and tomorrow’s looming threats.

That was in 2009, and now we’re seeing the inevitable product of that vast expansion of the welfare state. And the world is going to become much more dangerous because of it.

To paraphrase Vegetius, “If you want war, pretend your enemy wants peace.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

What would you think if #Obamacare were killing your mother?

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**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

For Stephen Blackwood, that horrifying possibility is not hypothetical.

Mr. Blackwood’s mother was diagnosed with cancer at age 49 in 2005. She needs the drug Sandostatin to have a fighting chance at survival. Though her policy with BlueCross/Blue Shield was expensive, it met her needs for a very expensive treatment, paid for the drug, and let her see any physician she needed. She and her family were satisfied with it.

Then along came Obamacare, and Mr. Blackwood’s mother lost her insurance. I’ll let him take the story from here:

The repeated and prolonged phone waits were Sisyphean, the competence and customer service abysmal. When finally she found a plan that looked like it would cover her Sandostatin and other cancer treatments, she called the insurer, Humana, to confirm that it would do so. The enrollment agent said that after she met her deductible, all treatments and medications—including those for her cancer—would be covered at 100%. Because, however, the enrollment agents did not—unbelievable though this may seem—have access to the “coverage formularies” for the plans they were selling, they said the only way to find out in detail what was in the plan was to buy the plan. (Does that remind you of anyone?)

With no other options, she bought the plan and was approved on Nov. 22. Because by January the plan was still not showing up on her online Humana account, however, she repeatedly called to confirm that it was active. The agents told her not to worry, she was definitely covered.

Then on Feb. 12, just before going into (yet another) surgery, she was informed by Humana that it would not, in fact, cover her Sandostatin, or other cancer-related medications. The cost of the Sandostatin alone, since Jan. 1, was $14,000, and the company was refusing to pay.

The news was dumbfounding. This is a woman who had an affordable health plan that covered her condition. Our lawmakers weren’t happy with that because . . . they wanted plans that were affordable and covered her condition. So they gave her a new one. It doesn’t cover her condition and it’s completely unaffordable.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Blackwood’s mother, in order to receive the treatment she needs, has to somehow come up with $14,000 on her own. Her case is currently on appeal with Humana.

And the next time…?

Apologists for the law will of course blame Humana, and, to be sure, I do not excuse them. The incompetence is infuriating, bordering on the Kafkaesque.

Still, none of this would be happening without that anti-constitutional monstrosity of  a law, which the Democratic Party shoved down the throat of a nation that did not want it, that was mostly satisfied with the insurance it had, and wanted them instead to deal with the economic crisis we were then facing.

But the progressives who knew so much better than we what we needed had other plans in mind, and so Stephen Blackwell’s mother now faces the very real, very frightening possibility that she will not be able to find insurance to cover the treatment she needs to stay alive, or that she might have to beggar herself and her family to get it.

Or do without.

Via Roger Kimball, whose final paragraph is worth quoting:

You won’t find chilly, insulated elites like Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama admitting it, but the blood of Mrs. Blackwood and millions of other Americans harmed by their thoughtless legislation is on their heads. Obamacare is a totalitarian scheme masquerading as a humanitarian enterprise.  Its human cost is incalculable, but already, just a few months in, we’re beginning to get a sense of the suffering it will cause.  When your treatment for cancer is disallowed, when your daughter cannot get the medicine she needs, when your mother’s insurance is cancelled, will you still go gently into that good night of liberal sanctimony? Or will you finally realize that when Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America,” this might not have been the beneficent program The New York Times and other such outlets led you to believe?

The Democrats deserve every bit of electoral hell coming their way, and so much more.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Democrat #MIsen candidate attacks cancer victim, TV stations, over #Obamacare ad

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Rep. Gary Peters

Despicable.

So Obamacare and the lies its proponents have repeatedly told about it has become so toxic for Democrats in an election year that a Michigan US Senate candidate – who is currently a representative in the US House – is not only trying to silence a cancer victim, but also is threatening a TV station’s licenses for running her an ad that features her story:

Julie Boonstra, a cancer patient who was kicked of off her health plan due to Obamacare, lashed out at Rep. Gary Peters (D., Mich.) on Saturday after lawyers for his campaign demanded that Michigan broadcasters cease airing ads featuring her story.

Boonstra, a Michigan resident, was diagnosed with leukemia five years ago. She was recently kicked off of her healthcare plan due to regulations passed as part of President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Peters voted in favor of.

After relating her story publicly in an ad produced by the advocacy group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), Peters dispatched lawyers to prevent the spot from running on local television stations.

Boonstra, who says she is now struggling to pay out of pocket for her rising healthcare costs, told the Washington Free Beacon she is stunned by Peters’ efforts to censor her story.

“I’m appalled. I’m appalled as a mom, as a woman, and as a cancer patient, as someone living with cancer … who has stood before this nation to say, ‘I cannot afford that out of pocket expense,’” said Boonstra, who said she was given a 20 percent chance of surviving her disease. “As a Michigan resident, to silence my voice, I’m absolutely appalled.”

Peters, who is running for a seat in the Senate, instructed his legal council earlier this week to demand that stations stop running the AFP ad until additional evidence of the cancer victim’s claims could be produced.

[…]

Boonstra attempted to confront the congressman at his door, but he did not answer when she knocked.

“I just went up to his house and knocked on his door,” Boonstra recalled. “I would like to meet with him, but he did not answer. I know someone was home, so I left a letter there for him.”

Boonstra wrote in her letter, “I don’t understand why you’re trying to silence my voice. I have every right to speak out and don’t understand why you’re doing this.”

A spokesman for the Peters campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

The Washington Examiner has more:

Media organizations investigating the ad’s claims note that Boonstra was able to find comparable new insurance under the law; the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog gave the ad “two Pinocchios” (as compared to four for President Obama’s claim that people could keep their insurance under the law).

But Boonstra, in response, told the local Dexter Leader newspaper that though she has no idea whether she will break even with her new plan, as the fact-checkers claim, the uncertainty of having to restructure her health care while coping with a deadly disease is damage enough.

“People are asking me for the numbers and I don’t know those answers — that’s the heartbreak of all of this. It’s the uncertainty of not having those numbers that I have an issue with, because I always knew what I was paying and now I don’t, and I haven’t gone through the tests or seen my specialist yet,” she said.

“People don’t have that certainty — they don’t have the stability of knowing every month what they’re going to be paying now and it’s the ability to actually have that sum of money to pay. People don’t have these out-of -pocket expense moneys.”

And that’s the issue. She was on a plan that she liked, that she felt could help save her life, and then it was cancelled because of Obamacare – which Peters voted for.  That she got to keep her doctor under the “new” plan, as the fact checkers note, isn’t the point of the ad. Will she get the exact same coverage? What about prescriptions? These are uncertainties that no one should have to go through, let alone someone in an already extremely stressful situation who is facing a life-threatening disease who knew exactly what she was getting with the plan she was on – which she wanted to keep.

Rep. Peters is a disgusting bully for trying to silence Boonstra and for using government threats in an attempt to get TV stations to stop running an ad he doesn’t like.   If you agree, make sure to tweet him and politely – but firmly – tell him so.

Related:

WH: Min. wage hike wouldn’t lead to up to 1 mil job losses like CBO predicts

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Obama confused

Math easily confuses this administration.

Via the Washington Free Beacon:

A top White House economist says that President Obama’s minimum wage increase will have “zero effect” on employment, despite a CBO report that the proposed hike would likely eliminate 500,000 jobs.

“Our view is that zero is a perfectly reasonable estimate of the impact of raising the minimum wage on employment,” Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman said on a conference call with reporters shortly after the report came out.

Furman said the CBO was out-of-step with the White House’s views on the proposed 40 percent hike, though he praised the report for highlighting wage boosts that will accompany the hike.

“Sometimes you have respectful disagreement among economists,” he said of the parts of the study that did not confirm White House rhetoric about the $10.10 wage.

The CBO report found that the wage hike leave up to 1 million workers unemployed, and that the vast majority of benefits would go to middle class earners rather than those living below the poverty line.

“The $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers,” the CBO said. “As with any such estimates, however, the actual losses could be smaller or larger; in CBO’s assessment, there is about a two-thirds chance that the effect would be in the range between a very slight reduction in employment and a reduction in employment of 1.0 million workers.”

Waiting – just waiting – for anyone in the administration, or a Congressional Democrat, to spin this the same way they did a week and a half ago when another CBO report provided troubling numbers on future employment in the US as a result of the eventual full implementation of Obamacare. National Review’s Jonah Goldberg wrote at the time:

The Congressional Budget Office issued a politically explosive report this week, finding that Obamacare will reduce the number of hours Americans work by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs. This is different from killing 2.5 million jobs, Obamacare defenders are quick to insist. This will be a shortfall on the supply, not demand, side. In other words, people with health insurance will opt not to work in certain circumstances if they know they won’t lose their coverage.

Democrats insist this is a boon. Indeed, many are talking about it as an act of liberation (which reminds me of an eleven-year-old headline from theOnion: “IBM Emancipates 8,000 Wage Slaves”).

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says the CBO report vindicates Obamacare, because “this was one of the goals: to give people life, a healthy life, liberty to pursue their happiness. And that liberty is to not be job-locked, but to follow their passion.” […]

Right. “Job-locked.” How dare you be obligated to have to work for a living to pay your bills and be a responsible adult. You follow YOUR passions, while the rest of us go to work to pay for them!  Those of us who haven’t lost our jobs once the minimum wage is raised, that is …

(Hat tip: Memeorandum)

Related: From PJ Tatler – WH: Employers Can Prevent Job Losses After Minimum Wage Hike by ‘Accepting Lower Profit Margins’

Sobering: UN report finds “‘abundant evidence” of mass torture in North Korea

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Kim Jong Il and  Sec. of State Albright

Kim Jong Il and Sec. of State Albright in Pyongyang – 10-24-2000.

Via CNN:

A stunning catalog of torture and the widespread abuse of even the weakest of North Koreans reveal a portrait of a brutal state “that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” a United Nations panel reported Monday.

North Korean leaders employ murder, torture, slavery, sexual violence, mass starvation and other abuses as tools to prop up the state and terrorize “the population into submission,” the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea said in its report.

The commission traced the abuses directly to the highest levels of the North Korean government while simultaneously blaming world leaders for sitting on their hands amid untold agony.

“The suffering and tears of the people of North Korea demand action,” commission Chairman Michael Kirby told reporters.

The group said it would refer its findings to the International Criminal Court for possible prosecution. It also sent a letter warning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he could face prosecution for crimes against humanity.

[…]

The U.N. panel released its 400-page report after hearing from more than 320 witnesses in public hearings and private interviews.

You can read the full report here.

Many have long suspected that when and if the time comes and the lid is lifted wide open on the DPRK, its story fully told, we’ll see and read about horrors on a scale so massive that we’ll weep loudly in outrage over our decades-old feckless policies against the brutal tyrants there who have carried out the widespread abuse and torture of its citizens.

I pray I’m wrong, but fear I am not.

#NCPOL: NCDP Chair to nominate anti-Semite w/ sexual harassment issues as exec. director (UPDATED)

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Popcorn

Grab the popcorn! This is gonna be very entertaining ….

Hey, don’t take my word for it. Via the Raleigh News and Observer (bolded emphasis added by me):

A day after ousting the executive director, the chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party appears poised to nominate former civil rights and Nation of Islam leader Benjamin Chavis to the post, a contentious pick that may not earn support from party leaders.

Democratic Chairman Randy Voller said Monday he would name an executive director Wednesday who is a “North Carolina native and national leader.” The party’s First Vice Chairwoman Patsy Keever said Voller intends to name Chavis, who also served as executive director of the NAACP before being ousted nearly two decades ago amid a sexual harassment scandal.

“That is Randy’s intention,” she said.

Party attorney David Harris refused to offer details about the announcement. Over the weekend, a Twitter account in Chavis’ name posted: “I am now preparing to return to North Carolina. I want Democrats to win big: 2014 in NC & across America.” Voller promptly re-tweeted it.

If Voller selects Chavis, the state’s executive council must vote to confirm the pick.

Voller, the former Pittsboro mayor, abruptly fired the party’s day-to-day manager, Robert Dempsey, on Sunday, throwing the party into turmoil just as it sought to regain footing after falling from power and enduring months of questions surrounding its own sexual harassment complaint.

[…]

Chavis is a longtime civil rights advocate who was jailed for four years in 1970s as a member of the Wilmington 10, a group convicted but later cleared in a fire bombing that spurred a race riot in the city.

He became leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1993 but served less than 17 months after being ousted for striking a secret deal to pay an employee $332,400 to settle her sexual harassment claim.

Chavis, an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, later converted to Islam, taking the name Benjamin Muhammed. In 1997, he became second-in-command to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, leading the organization’s East Coast ministry, according to reports at the time.

Three years later, a woman connected to the Nation of Islam alleged in a lawsuit he sexually harassed her. It was settled in 2006, and the woman received $135,000 from the temple. Chavis did not pay any sum to settle the case, and he made no admission of liability.

Chavis did not respond to emailed questions.

Well, in his defense, he HAS been busy … editing his Wikipedia page. Wonder why? /sarc

The Chavis issue isn’t the only one confronting the NC Democratic Party this week. In fact, after just a day and a half, things already don’t look good:


Considering all the racial/misogynistic demagoguery and serious attempts at deliberately “crippling” the NC GOP-run state government by NC Democrats over the last year or so – in concert with the Moral Monday movement (the more cleaned up NC version of Occupy Wall Street), I don’t feel one bit sorry for the lot of them. They’ve frequently accused the NC GOP of bringing “national embarrassment” to the state, and most of the time it’s been over issues state liberals have embellished. Well, now’s their turn to shine in the national spotlight, to answer for stupid decision-making.

And I, for one, will be watching and chuckling, with popcorn in hand.

Update – 2/12/14 8:15 AM: As of last night, the party’s executive council, after a heated conference call, delayed plans to nominate Chavis:

The party’s executive council, a 51-member body that must be consulted before hiring a new director, met via a conference call Tuesday night. Voller did not address Dempsey’s firing. However, he did say that he began talking with Chavis when he learned the North Carolina native and civil rights leader was planning to move back to the state.

“Our main concern is to turn anger into action,” Voller said, referencing the discontent Democrats and others have displayed through the Moral Monday protests. He said Chavis could help the party “win elections from Sen. Kay Hagan on down to county commissioners.”

But, he told those on the call, “I’m not submitting his name at this point.”

During a sometimes contentious, nearly two-hour conference call, Voller struggled to get the council to approve the appointment of an interim director, Casey Mann, as members talked over one another and the conference call system struggled to determine which line was muted or not.

Mann was finally confirmed and the meeting was called to a close shortly afterward.

Voller originally said he hoped to have a face-to-face executive council meeting in Greensboro 10 days from now. Later in the call, he and other members said that meeting could take as long as 30 days to organize.

As they say, stay tuned! ;)