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Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)

This is chutzpah:

Mark Pryor has started an online petition aimed at raising voter support for a state minimum wage increase.
The Arkansas state minimum wage increase in question is to a whopping $8.50 an hour by 2017. Meanwhile, as a Democratic United States senator who gets to vote on the federal minimum wage, Pryor is opposing a bill to raise that to $10.10 an hour in three steps, saying it's "too much, too fast."

Actively campaigning on a small, slow state increase while standing in the way of a larger federal increase, saying that the line between an acceptable amount to require businesses to pay for a year of full-time work is somewhere between $17,680 in 2017 and $21,000 in 2015—that's just a special kind of disdain for the labor of low-wage workers.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:24 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Senator Straddle mounts the saddle (0+ / 0-)

    You can almost hear his internal monologue...

    "Gee... $10.10 an hour... my dog couldn't live on that. But, this isn't about my dog, is it? This is about me.

    "Moderate, moderate, how do I look moderate?  Anything Obama agrees to is extreme. So $10.10 is extreme, and too bad about my dog. Note to self: reduce Fido's kibble stamps next month, but not by too much.

    "Oh, look, here's a state proposal for an $8.50 minimum wage, three years from now when it'll be worth maybe $8.15. So, should I go for something in the middle? Lemme see, $8.50 plus $10.10, that's 18.60, split down the middle, that's $9.30 an hour...

    "But wait. If I come up with my own number, I'd have to explain how I got it. I can't say I got it by Straddle Calculus, that would sound bad. Plus, Arkansas GOP is already against $8.50, so that's already moderate.

    "Phew. $8.50 it is."

    •  I can't believe he's doing this for votes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He's really sticking his neck out to oppose this federal minimum wage increase. He's probably supporting the state increase because he feels he needs political cover for opposing the bill in Congress.

      I think we have to look elsewhere for his motives, because he isn't acting like someone who thinks he's got a political winner, but like someone who's trying to deal with a weakness in an election year.

      He's doing this to himself. Why?

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:03:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  15. That's the way... n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by unclebucky on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:18:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Triangulation was invented in Arkansas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RFK Lives, jfern, tgrshark13

    Was it not?  Invented and perhaps perfected by one William Jefferson Clinton?

    •  Supporting $10.10--lowest common Dem denominator (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fenway49, Dump Terry McAuliffe

      If party can't rally behind the most notable substantive proposal in SOTU, it won't ever rally behind more difficult causes.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:43:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Clinton's pal Dick Morris was a big force (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      behind triangulation. He's such a genius master of strategy and predictions that he predicted that Arkansas was safe Obama in 2008. Really.

      "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

      by jfern on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:54:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It will be interesting to see if anyone (0+ / 0-)

    actually signs Pryor's petition.  Progressives will not support such weak tea, and conservatives don't want any increase at all.  Pryor may find himself suspended in mid-air between the two political poles without any support.

    -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

    by gizmo59 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:37:42 PM PST

  •  Too Soon to Catch Up With "Sgt. Pepper." nt (0+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:44:16 PM PST

  •  Whenever I see this guy, I can't help conjuring up (0+ / 0-)

    that classic scene from Religulous:

    "Disturbances in society are never more fearful than when those who are stirring up the trouble can use the pretext of religion to mask their true designs." -- Denis Diderot

    by terremoto on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:50:52 PM PST

  •  Mark Pryor: Walmart employee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:54:49 PM PST

  •  Pryor, Landrieux, .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Some of these "Democratic" senators makes me wonder - are we really two countries?

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. Voltaire

    by Suvro on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:00:29 PM PST

    •  This is why we need a Progressive movement (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fenway49, tgrshark13

      in politics. These Dems don't really move the country forward. They drag it back into the past.

    •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We are most definitely two countries. I do not want the Republicans to take control of the Senate, but I won't shed too many tears when Pryor is retired.

      “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:37:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And now Manchin (0+ / 0-)

        He has joined the climate change deniers bandwagon!
        On a NPR FreshAir segment on the recent water pollution incident in Charleston, WV, the local reporter said that Manchin has opposed many of the regulations for his state.

        We really are two countries.

        Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. Voltaire

        by Suvro on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 07:42:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ark. pols have a tough mountain to climb: (0+ / 0-)

    Walton Mountain.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:15:36 AM PST

  •  Senators and Representatives (R, D, L and SD)... (0+ / 0-)

    You're being watched. Tell your team to be consistent or to submit their already signed letters of resignation.

    Cut the crap, Senator. Get on the fast track for the majority who see it this way:


    Got it?

    Ugh. --UB.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by unclebucky on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:18:19 AM PST

  •  Another alleged Democrat. (0+ / 0-)

    This clown is no Democrat and the sooner we all realize that, the better.

    I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one. Leo Gerard.

    by tgrshark13 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:18:39 AM PST

  •  Bums like this give Democrats a bad name (0+ / 0-)

    If he can't be primaried, he at least ought not be supported.  Certainly he doesn't do the party any good.

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:21:46 AM PST

    •  You gotta know southern, local politics. (0+ / 0-)

      Eliminate Mark Pryor, and we get Tom Cotton representing Arkansas, who is farther to the right than a rattlesnake.  He's fully Koch-funded, thus even as the incumbent, Pryor is struggling for help.  Mark is 'way too cautious, but that's the only way he can hold on.  And he's so far above Cotton he might well be a saint by comparison.

      Correlation does not equal causation.

      by lizpiper on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 02:08:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am absolutely unmoved by any of that garbage (0+ / 0-)

        A Senator who works at cross-purposes to the Democratic Party on things like the minimum wage does not deserve his seat.  Period.  And it doesn't matter what letter he has after his name...his presence completely undermines the party caucus and destroys the party's brand everywhere else in the country where we have real Democrats.

        A Blue Dog does the party absolutely no good if his presence in Congress so enfeebles the Congressional party's spirit that its vastly larger Northern base gets turned off and stays home in disgust at election time.  That's what unprincipled "Democrats" like Pryor do to the national party.  This argument assumes that the people owe something to their Democratic legislators, and not the other way around.

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:56:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Garbage? (0+ / 0-)

          A bit ugly, but thanks for playing.
          Pryor is up for election.  This is not a case of "better the devil you know", his opponent is on the Cruz model of baggers.  Cotton has a lot more money, from outside the state - the Kochs.  This is one of the elections that may help decide if the Dems keep a majority in the senate.   Do you really worry more about the purity of the party now?

          Correlation does not equal causation.

          by lizpiper on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:00:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Politicians who betray American workers (0+ / 0-)

            have absolutely no claim to be Democrats.  If they claim to be Democrats while voting against a minimum wage increase, they are not only scum, but lying scum.  

            And if you are willing to accept that kind of amorality from the party that is supposed to look after the broad swath of Americans, then you are not a Democrat, either.  

            Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

            by Big River Bandido on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 06:42:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The only legitimate objection to raising the (0+ / 0-)

    federal minimum wage is that every locale has a different economic reality.  But, why do we only hear rhetorical chicken little arguments from the righists if there were legitimate reasons supporting their positions? Even the disemployment argument is marginal at best so how did I (technical professional liberal/progressive non-economist) look at this?

    You can't support a household where I live (metrowest Boston burb , median home value $700k, median income $160k) without a wage significantly above $50k ($25/hr). Or, in my opinionated estimate about 1/3 median.  For MA in toto median income is $60k or $30/hour, US median is $53k or $27/hr.

    I don't know how much it costs to live in AR, but per the census AR has a median home value of $106k and household income of $40k ($20/hr). Rep Pryor seems to be looking at 1/3 of median, which aligns with my local experience.  

    I believe an immediate increase in minimum wage to $10.10 (i.e. 50% of the current AR median and 1/3 of the US) seems quite appropriate to not unacceptably disturb the AR economic realities while raising the average standard of living there, which is much lower than New England.  Longer term resolutions to income inequality will take more than this strongly needed bandaid, however.

    The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved. A.J. Ayer, Sir. "The Concept of Freedom "

    by Memory Corrupted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:56:46 AM PST

  •  actually...this may not be a bad idea for Pryor... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..."states rights" is still a strong mantra in parts of the South, including Arkansas; it may not be a bad political move, in my opinion, for Pryor to support a statewide initiative to increase the minimum wage while opposing the federal government "mandating" one.

    My personal preference sitting comfortably in my chair here in New York would be for a federal increase to at least $10; however...any increase in the federal minimum wage would be welcomed by this progressive...and any increase in the minimum wage in any state would be welcomed, as well.

  •  Not chutzpah. (0+ / 0-)

    This is how a Dem pol can stay employed in Arkansas. And in most other places in Deep Red country. Those people have voted solid R for a looong time based on this kind of appeal, for whatever motives they have personally.

    "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

    by bryduck on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:22:19 PM PST

  •  Remember what state he represents... (0+ / 0-)

    It's real capital is Bentonville not Little Rock
    of course I mean Walrkansas and it somehow keeps electing Democrats statewide and federal offices...

    "All great truths begin as blasphemies." George Bernard Shaw Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

    by theBCI on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:52:22 PM PST

  •  He's doing this because... (0+ / 0-)

    Arkansas is a red, red state (we gave y'all Mike Huckabee!  Is that like spreading measles?) and he's up against the Koch-funded, PaulRyanStyle bagger Tom Cotton.  Mark's been a senator for a while, as was his father before him, David.  We don't approve of everything Mark does, especially the baby steps, but we REALLY don't want the Kochroach Cotton.

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    by lizpiper on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 02:02:46 PM PST

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