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Why Jim Badasci 'Went Postal': How Bullying Bosses and Economic Devastation Are Behind America's Latest Workplace Shooting

Baldasci's shooting opens a window into Fresno, Calif.'s climate of soaring unemployment, scheming agribusiness oligarchs and Sean Hannity-inspired right-wing rage.

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I know what their response is: retreat into an imaginary future tense, where nothing can be disproved, and therefore their warnings that 70 million Americans will die because the government won't fund the Peripheral Canal is as valid as if I say they won't die, which is as valid as if someone else says that the Four Horsemen will align with the Age of Aquarius. Whatever, it's like trying to reason with the street people in Berkeley…

And then there's Rodriguez, the failed comedian who is being paid by agribusiness oligarchs to betray his own people, and in particular the United Farm Workers union, the real target of the Latino Water Coalition front group he heads up.

Rodriguez, an immigrant from Mexico, now gets paid to put a suffering Latino face on the same rallies where migrant workers are pressed into marching for their masters -- the failed comedian is reduced to performing in front of an audience that's literally paid to see him, or threatened with their jobs if they don't.

And he's performing his role as the Tio Tomás of Fresno County better than his masters could hope for. Rodriguez is so overzealous in his new collaborationist role that he's cooking up his own plans to out-anti-Obama his pals in the angry white Tea Party movement.

One plan he's working on is to use these same gang-pressed migrant workers, hundreds or even thousands, to form a giant "HELP" sign visible from the air, aimed at Obama. Another plan is a petition drive he wants to hold to rename Fresno County as "Nobama County."

Here's an excerpt from Rodriguez's appearance on Hannity's show a couple of weeks ago in nearby Huron:

Rodriguez: You know, we're not going to be farmers any longer. We're going to be selling firewood, because our trees won't last another six months without water. It's really a sad situation that those of us who choose to farm, my mother and my family in the central San Joaquin, perhaps the most fertile soil in the world, are now just sitting there ready to go on welfare or some other kind of support because we can't farm.

Hannity: Paul, this is so serious, and it's almost mind-numbing that this could happen. All right. So we showed the little Delta smelt, this little minnow fish that is now on the endangered-species list. Now, they literally have shut down -- you are getting, and farmers are getting, zero percent water. Their trees and their farms are dying. Is that right?

Rodriguez: Yes …

Incidentally,just over a week after Hannity's "The Valley Of No Hope" rally in Huron, the mayor of that town was arrested on charges of grand theft, real estate fraud, possession of stolen property and "a wide array of criminal activity." Hannity really knows how to pick 'em.

A couple of days after the Fresno Equipment Co. shooting, the big story making local headlines was about how scores of Fresno State Bulldogs fans were thrown out of the stadium during the football game against Boise State, accused of "politicizing" the game, which was broadcast live on ESPN.

Certain students, supposedly forming a group called "The Cause," wore pro-water T-shirts and waved pro-water signs for the cameras -- a classic PR stunt that smells of something subcontracted by Burson-Marsteller.

The reason the students were thrown out wasn't just because they had brought politics into a college football game, but because some of the signs and shirts used profane language against Obama.

Meanwhile, as Fresno continues to slash its police force and city employees, the county approved another $5 million tax subsidy for agribusiness landowners, even though the state budget can't pitch in anymore. For the super-rich in Fresno, there's no such thing as furloughs and shortfalls.