Today's Fair Shots - June 15, 2017

1-Resort to Violence Unacceptable

2-It's Official: Fox News Not 'Fair and Balanced'

3-Dallas, Fort Worth Mayors Worry About Effect on Canada of 'Buy American' Law

4-Call Cruz and Cornyn re: Health Care; Miracles Are Possible

5- New Friedrichs-style Case Makes Way to Supreme Court, Threatens Unions

6-Funeral Arrangements Posted for Correctional Officer Who Died in Line of Duty


1) The Texas AFL-CIO stands with the nation in condemning the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, and four others as Republican members of Congress engaged in softball practice yesterday morning.

  The gunman, disgruntled over the election of President Trump, was shot and later died. 

   It is never remotely acceptable to threaten or commit violence in politics. Our nation is built on respect for the processes of government, even if those processes do not always arrive where we want. We hope and pray for a full recovery by Scalise, the Majority Whip, who was listed in critical condition after surgery.

  The Times took note that one of the shooting victims is an aide to U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Weatherford. Two are Capitol Police, who were heroic in stopping what could have become a massacre:

  Two of those who suffered injuries were Capitol Police officers assigned to protect Mr. Scalise, the third-ranking member of the House Republican leadership team. Officials identified the two officers as Crystal Griner and David Bailey, both 32. Law enforcement authorities said in early reports that both officers had been shot, but they later said only one was wounded by gunfire.

  A friend of Zachary Barth, a staff member for Representative Roger Williams, Republican of Texas, posted a message from Mr. Barth on Facebook saying: "I got shot this morning at the baseball fields. But I am in the hospital and ok. Thank you for the thoughts and prayers."

  Matt Mika, 38, a former Congressional staff member and the director of government relations for the Washington office of Tyson Foods, was wounded in the shooting, according to a spokesman for the company. "Matt has worked for Tyson Foods for more than six years and we're deeply concerned about him," the spokesman, Gary Mickelson, said in an email.

  A friend of Mr. Mika's said that he had been shot twice in the chest, and that a bullet went through a lung. The friend said he was in stable but very serious condition...

  Among those who issued statements was Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who survived being shot in the head in 2011. Ms. Giffords said she was "heartbroken" by the shootings and praised the police officers who responded quickly at the baseball field.

   "It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you're a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer," Ms. Giffords wrote. "If you serve the institution of Congress, you're connected to your colleagues, current and former, by a shared sense of service to ideals far greater than yourself."

  She said: "This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy."

  Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/us/steve-scalise-congress-shot-alexandria-virginia.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

2) Fox News is no longer claiming to be "fair and balanced." 

  The right-leaning national news network dropped the slogan officially, The New York Times reports. It did not replace the slogan with the more truthful "unfair and imbalanced":

  "The shift has nothing to do with programming or editorial decisions," the network said in a statement. Instead, the slogan was dropped in part because of its close association with Roger Ailes, network's co-founder, former chairman and the originator of the phrase, who was fired in August in a sexual harassment scandal.

  The network said that "Fair and Balanced" was shelved as a marketing tool after Mr. Ailes's departure. In its place is a new motto: "Most Watched, Most Trusted."

  Another Fox slogan, "We Report, You Decide," also has been retired, although the network said that it returns occasionally.

  Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/business/media/fox-news-fair-and-balanced.html?ref=business

3) The mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth have heartburn over the recently signed "Buy American" law because of a potential impact on Canada.

  In quotes to the Texas Tribune, neither Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings nor Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price seemed primarily concerned about the potential for improving the U.S. job market or the strategic reasons for rebuilding capacity in the iron and steel industries within our borders. The bill author, Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, had a different take.

  Canada made a late play to kill the bill in the legislative session, employing lobbyists for that purpose. As noted here before, I love Canada. But I seriously doubt the cities overseen by Rawlings and Price view Canada's trade problems as a higher priority than our own.

  The law is real clear that in some circumstances, Texas projects may continue to use steel from Canada or, for that matter, from China. But if the modest preference for U.S steel falls within the parameters of a project, it's well worth asking why mayors of American cities would be so dead set against supporting American jobs:

  "I didn't like that [law]," Rawlings said in an interview on BNN, Canada's Business News Network. "I think it was pointed at China, but it has some repercussions here in Canada, and we need to go back and talk to [Abbott] about that."...

  ... Price said she was concerned with some of the unintended consequences the measure could have on "our positive Texas-Canada trade relationship" and planned to work with lawmakers to "explore potential changes to this law."

  "It is critical we support our strong trade relationship with Canada, while also promoting efforts to support the American marketplace and American jobs," she said...

  Creighton has previously said that the aim of his bill was not to penalize Canada but to ensure "foreign governments like China and Turkey can't create a foreign steel market that would gut the American market."

  "We stand firm for Texas jobs and manufacturers and against communist China flooding the market to hurt those stakeholders," he said.

  Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/14/north-texas-mayors-reject-protectionist-buy-american-iron-and-steel-bi/

4) I have almost zero confidence that it would do any good to call either U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz or John Cornyn to ask them to oppose whatever the Senate is concocting to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. 

  But out of duty and in the hope that one of them might do the right thing for the wrong reasons, here is the AFL-CIO's appeal to union activists to call your senator to stop what looks like a stealth move to take millions of Americans out of coverage:

  There are reports that Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate is moving behind the scenes to finalize a bill and hold a floor vote on Trumpcare before members of Congress leave for the July 4 recess. The legislation has been fast-tracked, meaning that it won't get the usual committee review before going to a floor vote. This would greatly shorten the time that the public (and members of Congress) has to read the legislation to determine exactly what it does and how many Americans it harms.

  These secret negotiations could strip health care from millions of Americans, just to pay for a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. Taking away the freedoms of working people in order to serve the wealthiest 1% isn't the path forward that the United States needs.

  Call today at 1-888-865-8089 and tell your senator to oppose Trumpcare legislation negotiated in secret that strips health care from working people.

  https://aflcio.org/2017/6/14/call-today-oppose-secret-negotiations-strip-millions-health-care

5) The New York Times recently took note of a case that appears to be a replacement for the Friedrichs case, which ended in a 4-4 tie last year following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

  This case, too, has the potential to decimate membership in public-sector unions in states that do not already have "right to work for less" laws:

  Unions again have reason to be nervous. Having already determined that the issue in the case warrants the court's attention, the justices will probably agree to hear it.

  And if Justice Gorsuch votes with the court's more conservative members, which seems likely, millions of government workers in more than 20 states could be allowed to opt out of paying for collective bargaining, depriving unions of vast sums of money and making them less powerful and effective.

  The case is the latest installment in a decades-long campaign by prominent conservative foundations to weaken unions that represent public employees...

  The union's president, Lee Saunders, said the case was an assault on the labor movement.

  "The corporate C.E.O.s behind this case want to take away the freedom of working people to join together in a strong union and negotiate a fair return on their work," Mr. Saunders said in a statement. "The rich and powerful interests behind this case are asking the Supreme Court to further rig the rules against working people and deny them the freedom to join together in a strong union to provide for their families, protect their communities and lift up the concerns of all working families."

  Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/us/politics/unions-come-into-the-justices-cross-hairs-again.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

6) Brother Lance Lowry of AFSCME Correctional Officers relays funeral arrangements for Shana Renee Tedder, who died tragically in the line of duty last week, as noted in Monday' e-mail:

Funeral service for fallen TDCJ Officer Shana Renee Tedder and AFSCME Texas Correctional Employee member are as follows:

VISITATION

Friday, June 16, 2017

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home

1615 South Fort Hood Road

Killeen, TX

(254) 634-2638

FUNERAL SERVICE

Saturday, June 17, 2017

12:00 pm

Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home

1615 South Fort Hood Road

Killeen, TX

An obituary is at this link: http://crawford-bowers-killeen.tributes.com/dignitymemorial/obituary/Shana-Renée%20Tedder-104874897