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Showing posts from November, 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.…

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 …

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.

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 th…

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 …

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. W…

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.


Petition for Jobs Now

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


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.

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 V…

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 …

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.

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 b…

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.

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 …

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…