Saturday, November 28, 2009

Looking back -looking forward

The following letter was written by Ken Kovack, Legislative Director for the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) and appears here with his permission.

November 25, 2009

From: Ken Kovack, Legislation, Washington, DC Office

Looking back – looking forward:

During the last year of the Bush administration, as his ratings in the polls were dropping and the public mood for change was taking place, a historic election was in the making. At the same time our financial system and Wall Street was near collapse, companies “too big to fail” would be seeking government aid to bail them out of the enormous cost of their poor decisions impacting here, and around the world. Regardless of the situation CEO bonuses would be sought at taxpayers expense even as these executive decisions caused bankruptcies and higher unemployment with predictions by economists that the rise in unemployment would continue into the first and second quarter of the year 2010 before beginning to abate. The stark comparison here is that Wall Street and the bankers are again doing well as trickle down economics is not creating enough jobs, even with the stimulus dollars, to favorably improve the unemployment projections. Now, republicans and some democrats are angry at President Obama for not dong enough even as they make complaints about the increasing national debt. Be reminded of the following as you consider President Obama’s extensive efforts for bipartisan support.

Looking back, the Bush/Cheney Administration inherited from the Clinton/Gore Administration, the largest budget surplus on record. According to former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Alan Greenspan, Bush squandered the surplus in about a year stating, prior to his first tax cut, that we could cut taxes, continue to balance the budget and pay down our national debt. That promise failed.

The Bush/Cheney Administration was the only administration to lead us into two wars and continue to reduce taxes. That policy denied our government the resources necessary to conduct the two wars and the normal costs associated with running the government. There is more but let’s move forward.

After winning the race for the presidency, the Obama/Biden administration inherited the largest deficit in our nation’s history, two wars, increasing unemployment, a failed foreign policy, a Republican minority in Congress that voted overwhelmingly against the Obama/Biden stimulus plan and not one Republican voted for the first Obama/Biden budget proposal. (A reminder. Not one Republican voted for the first Clinton/Gore budget proposal that lowered the annual budget deficit by $40 billion.) In addition, all of us are familiar with the ongoing Republican opposition to health care reform that so many agree is vital to meeting the needs of ordinary Americans, the millions presently uninsured and the general economy. And I would be remiss if not reminding you that only five Republican Senators voted for the Fair Pay Act requiring equal pay for women employed performing the same jobs as men.

Where Do We Stand?:

It is not news to remind you that the voices of conservative Republicans in and out of Congress have stated that they hope the Obama/Biden administration fails. Two well known conservatives in the ranks of Republican opposition to President Obama, Floyd and Mary B. Brown, have suggested that he be impeached. Obviously, they want conservative Republicans in control of the White House and the Congress regardless of what their distortions of the truth and wishes for failure will cost the nation. We don’t stand with them. We don’t stand with those that distort the truth, raise our fears and oppose programs helpful to the general public. We stand for truth, justice, fairness and change. We are distressed that unemployment remains so high especially while Wall Street and the banking industry are again profitable.

As a nation of people we seem too often to be in a hurry to get things done, get where we are going and too often easily dissatisfied. Considering all the negatives that the Obama/Biden administration inherited are we asking for or expecting too much too soon? Put yourself in their shoes and perhaps ask, what would I do to improve our nations overall conditions while confronting the opposition. After eight years of getting the nation into a state of decline, is it reasonable to suggest that it will take more than a year to recover especially considering the constant opposition?

This President, I believe, wants to be a peoples President. Reaching out for bipartisanship in the interest of fairness and change has been offered in word and action without results. Looking ahead, the lack of Republican bipartisanship, at least meeting Democrats halfway, is evident in their actions, distortions and opposition votes as proof that the Obama administration will always have trouble in bringing about the changes in his campaign agenda. Americans voted for change. Bipartisan efforts are not working. Looking ahead, next years elections will require our continued and sustained involvement ever hopeful of a larger House and Senate majority to act on the promise of not only Health Reform now, but also to fulfill the administration agenda for Green Jobs, the economy, reform our education system and passage of the Employee Free Choice Act..

No one ever said reaching these legislative goals and successful elections will be easy. They never are. But success is always a hope as sometimes expressed in the statement regarding public policy, the harder we work the more success we can enjoy. This is additionally important because of next year’s national census that begins in March. House, Senate, Governor’s and state races, congressional redistricting and public funding are all part of the mix in which the Census has impact. Who will you want in office to make these important decisions?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Treat your paper carrier good

Well, I hope you all enjoyed a great Thanksgiving Day.

Receiving the South Bend Tribune on Thanksgiving brought back memories of my days as a paper boy in Hobart.

There were about twenty of us, all boys in those days, that delivered the Chicago Tribune. We would all meet in “the office” to fold our papers and stuck off from there. We could always gage how difficult the morning would be by the number of pages the newspaper had.

We all were well aware that the newspaper on Thanksgiving had the most pages of any paper all year, and didn’t look forward to that delivery and we tried our best to fill our canvas paper bags to the brim without room to spare so that we wouldn’t have to make another trip back to the “office”. Of course, that made the first several papers that much more difficult to remove from the bag. Plus, we weren’t able to heave them with as much ease or with as much accuracy as we could on the rest of the days of the year.

I tried to be more accurate in throwing the paper with customers who didn’t give me a rough time about paying their bill on collection day. And of course, those who weren’t cheap when it came to tipping got the best treatment.

Please be good tippers to your paper boy/girl. They get paid just peanuts for their hard work.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thank you Senator Bayh

Congratulations and thanks to all of you who attended town hall meetings, demonstrated, wrote letters, made phone calls, visited with your Senators, prayed, etc. etc. for meaningful health care reform.

This evening, all fair minded members of the U.S. Senate voted to begin the debate on the health care reform legislation that will mean so much for working Americans and retirees.

Special thanks to Senator Evan Bayh for voting the correct way.

And I must say shame shame to the right wingers who would vote no to health care reform strictly for political reasons.

Republicans continue to be the party of no.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Charlie is my kind of guy

For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving is home, food, and family. And for many of us, the inevitable polite conversation with the uncle who has squandered too many hours listening to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

How are you to survive an evening with your Uncle Mortimer?

You know, the uncle who looks vaguely like Dick Cheney. He worships Ronald Reagan, considers "French" an insult, and wants to know where Obama was really born. Neither he nor his wife, Aunt Minerva, ever tips more than ten percent.

Uncle Mort knows you're a "liberal," and he eagerly sits next to you at the Thanksgiving table, armed and ready with the usual conservative tripe. Not surprisingly, he starts with what's hot:


Thanksgiving Day: Gearing up for the Chat with Uncle Mort

Mort: You hear about Sarah Palin's new book?

Charlie: Uhhh...

Mort: She's on the march! Giving Republicans some backbone. Given the mess Obama has made of things, Americans are going to sweep Democrats out in the fall.

Charlie: We'll see. Didn't work out for Republicans very well in upstate New York.

Mort: You watch. A Palin-Beck ticket will cast out Obama and his socialist crowd. The turkey.

Charlie: Please, Obama's no turkey, he...

Mort: No, no. Pass the turkey. The problem with Barack Hussein Obama is that he's spending us into bankruptcy. And it hasn't worked!

Charlie: How long did it take you to get that shop of yours to turn a profit? Two, three years. So Obama inherits the worst economy since the Great Depression, two wars, a broken health care system, an economic hole that took years to dig - and you want miracles in 10 months? In fact, he staved off the crash and the economy is showing some signs of life. More needs to be done.

If it weren't for the Recovery Act, layoffs at your nieces' schools would be twice as bad. In fact, what we need is more federal help - for states, for jobs rebuilding schools and roads. We need more jobs programs, not less. The gravy...

Mort: More spending isn't gravy, America can't afford it.

Charlie: No, no, pass the gravy please.

Actually, we need more federal spending now. Unemployment could remain over 10 percent through all of next year unless Congress creates jobs. We need to put young people to work, aid states and localities to prevent layoffs of police and teachers, and expand investments in new energy and infrastructure to boost our economy.

We can afford it. Interest rates aren't soaring. And our debt and deficits will get worse if we don't get the economy going.

Mort: Ha! Your party is already going to create a one-trillion dollar deficit with its plan for a government takeover of all health care.

Charlie: It's funny you say that. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the health care reform legislation will lower the federal deficit by more than $100 billion over the next ten years.

And it's not just about cost. Aunt Mary is terrified about losing her job because she won't get insured with her current ailments.

Well, under the reform, insurance companies no longer can deny people insurance for pre-existing conditions, or cut them off of insurance when they get sick. We've got a stake in this right here around this table.

Mort: Baloney.

Charlie: I don't think that's on tonight's menu.

Mort: You know what I mean. Like "global warming," or does Al Gore call it "climate change" now? Nothing but an excuse for a giant Pelosi energy tax.

Charlie: Come on, you can't believe this stuff. You don't want America to remain dependent on foreign oil, running up foreign debts to buy oil from countries that help finance the terrorists.

You laugh about ice caps melting - but I can tell you farmers care, and now insurance companies are starting to charge higher rates because of the cataclysms to come.

We both want America to succeed. Well, the green industrial revolution will be the engine of growth over the next decades. Obama's saying let's invest in new energy, new technology, new efficiency - both to get us off of our addiction to foreign oil and to help lead this new revolution. That's the way America built its prosperity - and its middle class.

Mort: Yea, but private companies provide jobs, not government. We don't capture new markets with government spending.

Charlie: Yes, private companies will profit and expand. But government investment has always been key to our industries.

Think airlines out of World War II. The Internet, which started as a Pentagon program. Computers, and now biotechnology.

If we want to compete in the new energy field, we need public and private leadership to drive this forward. If we don't, our grandchildren will inherit a frightening world. And the countries that work to capture these industries - the Chinese, the Germans - will eat our lunch in the new economy.

Mort: I'll think about lunch later. Look, what we need now is leadership to get us out of this hole. Obama is taking us into a free-fall.

Charlie: Leadership? Please. Where is the leadership on the Right? Limbaugh said on Day One he wanted Obama to fail. This while the country was in the midst of an economic crisis and two wars. Conservatives decided from the beginning that they would bet on his failure, and obstruct everything he tried to do - spurning his offers to negotiate. They chose to be the Party of No.

Mort: We conservatives have a plan. Cut spending, cut taxes. Let's get back to small government, free markets. A strong military. Dithering over Afghanistan isn't what made America strong.

Charlie: I understand, we'll have to agree to disagree. But remember, we tried that way for eight years, and let's face it, the result was calamity.

The longest and deepest recession and the worst financial crisis since the 1930's. One of the worst foreign policy mistakes in American history - the preemptive war in Iraq.

An unprecedented rejection of fundamental human rights, a culture of sleaze, and Watergate-style abuses of power. Gilded Age economic inequality and a blind rejection of science.

And in the aftermath of one of our nation's worst natural disasters, Hurricane Katrina, there was sheer incompetence and indifference to human suffering.

The free-fall happened, and now we give thanks that the worst is over.

Next fall, Americans will have to decide if they want to go back that way. That's a debate I'll look forward to having.

Mort: Me too. We can agree to disagree. Pass me more of that turkey. I do agree it's particularly good this year.

Charlie: Thanks, I knew you'd like it. It's local and organic!


To all of you, whether your dinner companions shine red or blue, we at the Campaign for America's Future wish you a happy Thanksgiving.


Robert L. Borosage, Co-director
Campaign for America's Future

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Retirees Praise Reid Health Bill

815 16th Street, NW, 4th Floor ♦ Washington, D.C. 20006 ♦ (202) 637-5399 ♦

For Immediate Release Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275
November 19, 2009

Step in Right Direction, Seniors Advocate Says

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“The Alliance for Retired Americans congratulates Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for putting together a strong health care reform bill. The proposed legislation would make great strides in helping Americans of all ages better afford to see a doctor or get a prescription filled.

“Our nation’s retirees need lower prescription drug prices, the ability to get life-saving preventive screenings and testings, and an end to the Medicare Trust Fund-draining subsidies to the private insurance companies who run Medicare Advantage programs. Senator Reid’s bill offers solid progress in these important areas.

“We are pleased to see the bill include a public option. Because of Medicare, retirees know firsthand how important the public option is. Medicare is a great American success story. It has helped reduce senior poverty by two-thirds, and has shown a valuable role for the federal government in improving health care. A public option would be a refreshing alternative to the exorbitant premiums charged by the big insurance corporations who profit by denying care and discriminating against pre-existing conditions.

“As the bill moves through the Senate we will continue to oppose the taxation of health care benefits at any level. This would disproportionately harm retirees and older workers, as it may lead employers to eliminate or greatly reduce coverage for this age group. Moreover, these are individuals who sacrificed wage increases over the years in exchange for retiree health coverage.

“Grassroots activists with the Alliance for Retired Americans will continue to urge their elected officials to quickly pass a strong health reform bill. Millions of Americans need help right away. It is time for Congress to finish the job.”

The Alliance for Retired Americans is a national organization that advocates for the rights and well being of over 4 million retirees
and their families.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bishops Call For Withdrawal from Afghanistan

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Dear President Obama,

We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

We, Bishops of The United Methodist Church, whose names appear below, are deeply concerned about the escalating war in Afghanistan.

We call upon you to set a timetable for the withdrawal of all coalition forces by the end of 2010.

The war has now lasted over 7 years, and there is no end in sight. During that time, 911 members of the US military and 591 coalition forces have been killed. October was the deadliest month since the war began. Tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed in the war.

The position of The United Methodist Church is that "war is incompatible with the teachings of Christ." Our vision is a world in which people live together in peace and with mutual respect. Our Church, the third largest religious denomination in the United States, has 11 million members with 40,000 local congregations in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States.

We pray that you will take our concerns seriously. Several years ago, more than 120 Bishops issued a "Statement of Repentance" for our failure to speak out early against the war in Iraq. We do not want to make that mistake again of remaining silent in the face of another widening war.

We believe there is no path to military victory in Afghanistan. We believe that human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities.

We know that issues you face are difficult and complex. We pledge to uphold you with our prayers as you seek a just and peaceful resolution to the tragic war in Afghanistan.

God bless you.


Christian Alsted, Copenhagen, Denmark
Daniel C. Arichea, Jr., Paranaque City, Philippines
Thomas J. Bickerton, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
Bruce P. Blake, Winfield, Kansas
W. Earl Bledsoe, Plano, Texas
Heinrich Bolleter, Oberentfelden, Switzerland
Warner H. Brown, Jr., West Sacramento, California
Monk Bryan, Dallas, Texas
Minerva G. Carcaño, Scottsdale, Arizona
Kenneth Carder, Durham, North Carolina
Ray W. Chamberlain, Winchester, Virginia
Judith Craig, Powell, Ohio
Emilio J.M. de Carvalho, Luanda, Angola
Sudarshana Devadhar, Eatontown, New Jersey
Sally Dyck, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
R. Kern Eutsler, Mechanicsville, Virginia
Violet Fisher, Wilmington, Delaware
Elias G. Galvan, Scottsdale, Arizona
William Boyd Grove, Charleston, West Virginia
Grant Hagiya, Normandy Park, Washington
John Wesley Hardt, Dallas, Texas
Susan W. Hassinger, Schenectady, New York
J. Woodrow Hearn, Galveston, Texas
Kenneth W. Hicks, Little Rock, Arkansas
Robert T. Hoshibata, Portland, Oregon
John G. Innis, Monrovia, Liberia
Neil L. Irons, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
S. Clifton Ives, Portland, Maine
Alfred Johnson, Matawan, New Jersey
Peggy A. Johnson, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Charles W. Jordan, Upland, California
Rodolfo A. Juan, Baguio City, Philippines
Hee-Soo Jung, Chicago, Illinois
Charlene P. Kammerer, Richmond, Virginia
Kainda Katembo, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo
Deborah L. Kiesey, Mitchell, South Dakota
Walter Klaiber, Tuebingen, Germany
James Lloyd Knox, Gadsden, Alabama
Linda Lee, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Ernest S. Lyght, Charleston, West Virginia
Joao Somane Machado, Maputo, Mozambique
Marcus Matthews, Baldwinsville, New York
Felton E. May, Riverdale, New York
J. Lawrence McCleskey, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
Calvin D. McConnell, Portland, Oregon
Marshall L. Meadors, Jr., Anderson, South Carolina
Jane Allen Middleton, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
William W. Morris, Gallatin, Tennessee
Susan M. Morrison, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Albert F. Mutti, Kansas City, Missouri
Abel T. Muzorewa, Harare, Zimbabwe
Alfred L. Norris, Jonesboro, Georgia
William B. Oden, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Donald A. Ott, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Bruce R. Ough, Worthington, Ohio
Gregory Vaughn Palmer, Springfield, Illinois
Jeremiah J. Park, New Rochelle, New York
Sharon Z. Rader, Chicago, Illinois
Beverly Shamana, Los Angeles, California
Ann B. Sherer-Simpson, Lincoln, Nebraska
Leo A. Soriano, Davao City, Philippines
C. Joseph Sprague, Columbus, Ohio
Elaine W. Stanovsky, Denver, Colorado
Forrest C. Stith, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Lito C. Tangonan, Manila, Philippines
Mary Virginia Taylor, Columbia, South Carolina
Solito K. Toquero, Cavite, Philippines
Jack M. Tuell, Des Moines, Washington
Hans Växby, Moscow, Russia
Hope Morgan Ward, Jackson, Mississippi
Peter D. Weaver, Reading, Massachusetts
Timothy W. Whitaker, Lakeland, Florida
D. Max Whitfield, Albuquerque, New Mexico
William H. Willimon, Birmingham, Alabama
Joe A. Wilson, Georgetown, Texas
Rosemarie Wenner, Frankfurt, Germany
Joseph H. Yeakel, Smithsburg, Maryland

If you would care to sign on to this letter, go HERE

Monday, November 16, 2009

Religious Leaders - Keep your views to yourselves

Every excuse in the world is being presented by the right wing nuts to derail health care reform.
Much of it is being advanced by our so called religious leaders, especially the bishops of the catholic church (all men, by the way) who have been provided with darned good medical insurance by their parishoners.

Well, I'm calling upon them to keep their mouths shut during a worship service in regard to medical insurance for Americans.

If they want to write a letter or make a phone call to their congressional representatives, or demonstrate, that's fine.

But their record of preaching what should or should not be done with regard to social justice in America, frankly, isn't all that great.

Call Senator Bayh

I just found out the the daughter of one of our retirees recently went bankrupt because of healthcare costs.

Please take a few minutes to Call Senator Bayh's office to let him know that the people of Indiana want Health Care Reform with a strong public option.

The AFLCIO has furnished us with a toll free number that you can call 1-877-323-5246 or 1-877-3AFLCIO.

For those of you who really want to see change, call this number everyday.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Petition for Jobs Now

Please click on the petition to the right to enlarge it. Then, print it out and mail it to us.


Friday, November 13, 2009

I Feel So Much Safer - Right Wingers are such hypocrites

Todays South Bend Tribune reports that the Indiana State Police have arrested a 49 year old woman for growing 90 marijuana plants in her home. Gosh, now don't you all feel so much safer?
Such poppy cock.
Today, the weed enthusiasts will be dispersing literally millions of marijuana seed along the county roads in Indiana.
So much for our tax dollars being dumped down the holes of the right wing toilets.

Speaking of right wing poop - Could it be true that the Republican National Committee employees have had abortion coverage since 1991 as reported?

Such hypocrites the republicans are. Two faced. Speakers with forked tongues. And this from the party that was putting up such a fuss a week ago about any type of abortion insurance coverage being in the house health care reform legislation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Which Congressman side with Working Families vs. Insurance Companies

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kenneth J. Zeller
Joseph Breedlove

Reps. Carson, Donnelly, Ellsworth, Hill and Visclosky
Get A+ for Historic Health Care Vote,
Health Care Vote Shows Who Sides With
Working Families vs. Insurance Companies

(Indianapolis, IN, Nov. 9, 2009) – On the heels of an historic late night vote in the House of Representatives for a good, balanced health care reform bill, the Indiana AFL-CIO released its scoring of how our state’s U.S. representatives voted on HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

The legislation which passed Saturday evening by a vote of 220 to 215, would finally bring security and stability to our nation’s health care system. Working families would get much needed relief from skyrocketing health care prices by being able to choose between a public option and private for-profit insurance.

Indiana Congressional Health Care Scorecard

A+ /Sided with Working Families
Andre Carson
Joe Donnelly
Brad Ellsworth
Baron Hill
Pete Visclosky

F-/ Sided With Insurance Companies
Dan Burton
Steve Buyer
Mike Pence
Mark Sauder

“This is an historic victory that moves Hoosier working families one step closer to the passage of real health care reform, “said Ken Zeller. “Working families will remember who fulfilled the promises they were elected on and they will continue to stand with their Representatives who delivered.”

The legislation would also help small businesses access quality, affordable health care with lower rates and stable pricing from year to year. And it would lessen the burden of covering the uninsured by requiring employers to provide health care for their employers or pay into a common fund.

The House bill is also financed in a responsible way – it is fully paid for and would reduce our nation’s rising deficits. Furthermore, it does not attempt to pay for health care on the backs of middle class working families by increasing taxes on the health care that families are already struggling to pay for.

Once the Senate votes on its own bill, the two bills will be reconciled into final health care reform legislation.

Send Your Best Wishes to our Fort Hood Hero

by James Parks, Nov 10, 2009

Sgt. Kimberly Munley is a bona fide hero, having risked her life to stop the alleged gunman who killed 13 people and injured 30 at Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 5. Munley shot the alleged assailant, Maj. Nidal Hasan, four times, despite being shot herself. She currently is recovering from her injuries and is in stable condition.

Now her union, AFGE, has set up a site where you can send your best wishes to Sgt. Munley. Just click here and compose a message to her. Your messages will be collected and AFGE will deliver the messages to Munley on Friday, Nov. 20.

Munley, 34, is a member of AFGE Local 1920 and the mother of a three-year-old. She and her partner were the first to arrive at the Soldier Readiness Center, where Hasan allegedly opened fire.

AFGE President John Gage said Munley “acted with great heroism.”

Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, commanding general at Fort Hood, told CNN that Munley’s actions stopped Hasan cold and saved lives. He said Munley is a “trained, active first responder” who acted quickly after she “just happened to encounter the gunman.”
Source: AFL-CIO Blog

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Donnelly - Good for You

I was watching the debate on health care reform closely yesterday and gritted my teeth during the vote, preparing my mind to work my heart out to defeat Joe Donnelly in the next primary if he should end up voting the wrong way.
But alas, Joe came through for retirees and working families to bring us one step closer to reforming our deplorable health care system.

Congratulations Joe Donnelly and thanks so much for remembering who hired you. Now, keep it up. So far, your votes in Congress have been right on.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Republicans in Congress

Phone or email your Congressman today

The House will likely vote on their health care bill tomorrow, a bill that guarantees quality, affordable health care for all and gives us a choice of a public health insurance option. It meets all of our principles and deserves to be passed.

Yesterday, I participated in a conference call sponsored by the Alliance for Retired Americans. I learned a few things about the U.S. House of Representatives health reform bill HR3962 and want to share what I learned with you.

  • The AARP and the American Medical Association have both endorsed the bill.
  • The bill will strengthen the Medicare Trust Fund.
  • Without reform, in 2010, every couple will pay an additional $90 per year in their Part B premiums just to subsidize the so called “Medicare Advantage” private insurance plans.
  • The bill will begin to close the Medicare Part D Donut Hole. In 2010, those who find themselves in the Donut Hole would see a 50% decrease in their drug costs.
  • The bill would develop policies to more quickly allow those high tech biological drugs (such as cancer drugs) to become generic drugs.
  • Currently, an insurance company can charge premiums for a 64 year old eleven times what the premium for a 24 year old would be charged.
  • The new bill would eliminate the co pays (out of pocket costs) for preventive care.
  • Without healthcare reform, physicians face a 21% cut in pay.
  • The bill allows for bulk purchasing of prescription drugs for Medicare recipients.
  • It also allows Medicare to negotiate for prescription drug prices with the drug companies.
  • The new bill would develop incentives to reward affective transitional care from hospital to follow up physician care.
  • It would also have incentives to help reduce hospital infections.

If you haven’t phoned or emailed your congressman, please do so today because congress will vote on it tomorrow (Saturday). They need to vote for HR3962.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Congratulations to Georgia Pacific Workers

Today, the workers at the Georgia Pacific Gypsum plant in Wheatfield, Indiana won their election to be members of the United Steelworkers Union.

We need the Employee Free Choice Act so workers won't ever have to go through what this stinking company has put them through for the last three years.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Georgia Pacific Field of Dreams

Union members at the Georgia Pacific Gypsum plant in Wheatfield, Indiana fought a long and hard battle and finally ratified a labor contract last spring. Shortly before the ratification vote, a decertification petition was filed with the National Labor Relations Board by a small group which has opposed union representation from the very start. The USW filed several unfair labor practice charges that were settled by Georgia-Pacific and a 60 day posting time has passed which is now allowing for this decertification election.
These local members needed our show of support so on November 3, 2009, Steelworkers and SOAR members rallied outside the gate of the Georgia Pacific Gypsum plant in Wheatfield, Indiana.Georgia Pacific management is giving the same old speeches of past organizing campaigns filled with empty threats and promises. No matter how many boss's come and go our union contract protects their wages, benefits and working conditions.

Here's the company lingo:

"We have a new and better way of doing things, it's called MBM. Give us a year to put our new ideas into effect."........... Koch, owner, 2006

"Give me another year...if it doesn't get better, you can vote for a union next year."...Kurt Riggen, former Plant Manager, 2007

"I have a lot of ideas, give me one year to make imporovements. If it doesn't get better you can vote for a union next year."...Dave Sunberg, Current plant manager, 2009

A worker could ask him/her self three questions.
Has Georgia Pacific/Koch ever lived up to any of their promises?Was GP Wheatfield a better place to work before union representation?While Georgia Pacific management was looking to cut your wages and benefits while giving themselves raises and bonuses....Who's been fighting for you?The United Steelworkers!

Don't fall for Georgia Pacific's "Field of Dreams"
Vote Yes!

Monday, November 02, 2009

It's hard to be a Blogger, Georgia Pacific

In attempting to be a blogger, I'm not doing too good. I'm saying in so few words what otherwise could be said in so many. If any of you have details of a college course I could get that could teach me how to say in 1000 words or more what otherwise could be said in 10 words or less, please let me know.

Tomorrow, Tuesday November 3, we will have a short demonstration in Wheatfield, Indiana at the Georgia Pacific gypsum plant. The demonstration will be from 2:00 pm till 3:30 pm CST. The location is on Co. Rd. 1350 North in Wheatfield, just next to that huge NIPSCO generating station.

Even though Georgia-Pacific workers now have a first contract, they are still facing a decertification vote due to a small group who never wanted union representation.

GP workers need our support to finally put this behind them and to help give them the opportunity to build a strong active local union. The local union members have
fought long and hard together against an anti-union Georgia Pacific management. We can’t allow all their hard work to be for nothing! Please come and support these courageous workers one more time and send a clear message to Georgia Paific management that the union is here to stay!

Contact persons: Ted Sautter 219-793-5346 or Mike O’Brien 219-765-7778

See what I mean? Just not enough words. This could have taken a half hour to read.