Apr 27 2011
The Right Hook, a weekly segment which covers the machinations of the right wing, from the Republican Party to the Tea Party Patriots, and beyond. By Chris Bennett
The Defense of Marriage Act is a Republican inspired effort to ban gay marriages in the U.S. According to ABC News, Paul Clement, the former solicitor general for George W. Bush resigned from the law firm King & Spaulding, after it resigned from defending DOMA in pending litigation. John Boehner, only appointed King and Spaulding last week because the Justice Department withdrew from defending DOMA last Feburary. King & Spaulding is foregoing billing fees of $520.00 an hour up to $500,000. And it is avoiding a planned protest at its headquarters in Atlanta, GA. But Paul Clement for his part is not foregoing anything. He’s moving on to the Bancroft firm to carry on his principled fight against civil rights. Bancroft firm is a better fit for Clement as it has more experience in curbing civil liberties. Bancroft’s lead partner Veit D. Dinh was one of the authors of the USA Patriot Act. And he sits on the board of News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdoch. And the site of the next protest will no doubt change to the Bancroft firm’s Georgetown offices.
The governor of Maine wants to get America working again. Especially, the children. Tea Party favorite Paul LePage backs changes to the state’s child labor laws. A new bill, LD 1346, eliminates the maximum number of hours a minor over the age of 16 can work on a school day. And the bill allows minors under the age of 16 to work up to four hours per day on a school day. Maine’s minimum wage is $7.50 per hour. The new legislation would make it legal for employers to pay workers under 20 years of age only $5.25 per hour for their first 90 days on the job. This is called a “training wage.” Defending the legislation, LePage said “I went to work at 11 years old. I became governor. It’s not a big deal.” Despite governor LePage clearly having received an inferior education, there’s another issue here: Maine’s tourism industry. It’s the biggest industry in Maine, at approximately $15 Billion. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, many of the table-waiting and ice-cream-scooping jobs are done by high school and college students. That’s where the whole 90-day “training wage” comes in. Most of the jobs in Maine’s tourist industry only last about 100 days per year. Students can work the whole summer for $5.25 an hour and maybe on that last paycheck of the summer, make the “full minimum.” It’s like a built-in incentive to work the whole summer. Or, to make like other Maine teens and join one of the largest out-migrations of youth in the country.
Arizona Tea Partiers have found a novel way to promote their own party and to cut federal government spending. According to the Phoenix New Times, there’s a bill to create a new vanity license plate featuring the Gadsden Flag. It’s on governor Jan Brewer’s desk, ready for her to sign. The Gadsden Flag is the adopted banner of the the Tea Party and features a snake coiled on yellow field. The motto is: don’t tread on me. Arizona drivers who want to self-identify as Tea Partiers can shell out $25.00 for the special plates. $17.00 of that fee would go to “promote Tea Party governing principles.” But there is another bill waiting which really could benefit the American taxpayer, if not Arizona drivers. It’s the License Plate Political Slush Fund Prevention Act sponsored by congressman Gary Ackerman of New York. Ackerman’s bill would cause any state that issues plates that supports groups advocating for defeat of political candidates to lose 15 percent of its federal highway funds. And anyone who’s ever driven through Arizona knows it’s one state that can’t afford to lose one penny of highway funds. If this bill gets signed, those yellow license plates won’t be hard to spot. Drivers will easily know who to thank as they tread on down the Great Pan-Arizonan Highway system.
Chris Bennett for Right Hook– Reality Based News and Views.