So as soon as I put up my 3 cheers for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House post about the Woman who might actually CLEAN UP the House, I knew I had to be wrong about her. I just knew it. You get that feeling in your gut.
But we'll give her a chance. She couldn't have made it if she weren't one tough woman. We'll let her show her stuff.
But read this.
This editorial in the Wall Street Journal killed me. I'll paraphrase, but most of it is dirct from WSJ.
Nancy Pelosi led the House effort in her first week in office to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. (So far so good.)
But the wage hike is exempt from the Marianas Islands, where in American Samoa companies like StarKist and Delmonte can tuna, where the going pay rate is $3.26 an hour. (Nanci's constituency is in San Francisco, so it still kind of makes sense, even though it's unforgivable. But read on).
A woman can get that kind of change unless she's been enslaved, in which case she might have paid $5000 a garment manufacturer for the luxury of working for them. Nutricious food, resort-style lodgings, swimming pool, and good wages were supposedly built into the contract.
But really the deal is that women who signed up for this were crammed into a poorly ventilated, humid hallway lined by tiny bunk beds with half-inch mattresses, no privacy for bath and toileting facilities that didn't work, and access to a pool filled with garbage and green slime. Of course women workers were physically and sexually harassed, used, and abused.
The proprietor of the facility, Kil Soo Lee, has finally been sentenced to jail, having lost his appeal. The now governor of this territory, American Samoa is the very same person who, as Lieutenant Governor, helped Mr. Lee set up the factory that made designer clothes. He made the company essentially tax exempt, meaning the "taxes" went somewhere.
The Wall Street Journal asks the following of our new Speaker of the House, the first woman, the first Chanel-suited, Prada-toting female to preside over the State of the Union at the President's address last week:
Is it honest to exempt American Samoa from the minimum wage requirement, especially with documented human rights abuses? Is it "advocating for the workers" to ensure that their pay is kept considerabley lower than their counterparts in the U.S.? In addition to House speaker, Ms. Pelosi can add "ethically challenged" to her resume.
See. This is why I hate politics. I can't stay romantic. I can't keep to Camelot very long when I read crap like this that I know is true. It makes me so down, so embarrassed to be an American when I want so much to love this country and EVERYTHING we stand for.
Come on, Nancy. You can do better than this. You have to do better than this. We're counting on you.