Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
This greedy, unpatriotic company told their workers that their prospects for future employment would be jeopardized if they took part in the demonstration.
I have read about black listing before, but this is the first time I've ever heard of a company threatening such a thing in my life time.
I call on everyone in the United States to tell Whirlpool where they can stick their refrigerators if they move their refrigerator plant to Mexico.
You can do that by clicking here.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
There will be a big rally down in Evansville tomorrow to protest this move which will idle 1,100 American workers.
Whirlpool has warned its workers not to join the protest because it might result in other employers not hiring them in the future.
Whirlpool has made wonderful products in the past.
If Whirlpool moves its refrigerator division from Evansville, Indiana to Mexico, I will never again buy one of their refrigerators and will call for a national boycott of Whirlpool refrigerators.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Source: February 12 issue of the Friday Alert
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
By Jim Centner, SOAR Director
Thanks to the diligence of retirees and other progressive activists, we defeated the Senate’s attempt to shed their responsibilities and establish a commission to gut Social Security and Medicare. But we must be vigilant! The conservatives have persuaded President Obama to create his own commission to look at deficit reductions that would again put Social Security and Medicare in jeopardy.
We were successful last month. We defeated legislation that would have created an undemocratic commission that would have disenfranchised voters and hurt the political process. The conservatives and main stream media will continue to pressure the White House to act on the deficit. Addressing the deficit is one thing, messing with Social Security and Medicare is another!
SOAR is not opposed to the President creating a bipartisan fiscal commission by executive order as long as it is an advisory board to suggest and recommend needed changes to rescue our economy and deal with our long term debt. A commission should not be empowered to enact legislation. That is the responsibility of our elected officials. It is our responsibility to make sure a presidential commission does no harm!
Jim Centner, Director
Monday, February 22, 2010
One online source defines a McJob as "a low-paying, low-prestige job that requires few skills and offers very little chance of intracompany advancement".
McDonald's was never very happy about the use of this term.
In fact, the company bought the domain name "mcjobs.com" just to make sure that no one could use it.
But they forget to acquire "mcjobs.org" -- and the global union federation for food workers, the IUF, together with LabourStart, bought the name and today are pleased to announce the public launch of McJobs.org, the website for McDonald's workers around the world.
If you work in McDonald's, or know anyone who does, or are just curious, please do check it out:
Saturday, February 20, 2010
By C.L. "Connie" Entrekin, SOAR President
The White House Middle Class Task Force, led by Vice President Biden has re-leased a preview of its recommendations for strengthening the middle class. The full report is due out later this month. The Task Force proposed several policy initiatives to help middle-class families get ahead as the country continues to climb out of the greatest recession since the Great Depression.
The Middle Class Task Force held meetings around the country, resulting in several proposals to help middle-class families, including: (1) Nearly doubling the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for middle-class families making under $85,000 a year. (2) Limiting a student’s federal loan payments to 10 percent of his or her income above a basic living allowance. (3) Creating a system of automatic workplace IRAs. (4) Expanding tax credits to match retirement savings and enacting new safeguards to protect retirement savings. (5) Expanding support for families balancing work with caring for elderly relatives.
The ideas put forth by the Middle Class Task Force are the kind of steps we need to pursue to help hard-working families that have fallen behind due to the failed economic policies of the previous administration. Workers have seen their paychecks shrink, their jobs disappear, and the costs of health care and a higher education rise. Strengthening our middle class is essential to a strong economic recovery that puts people back to work and creates economic growth.
I applaud the work of the Task Force and hope Congress sees this as a great first step in revitalizing the middle class.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The list (which is constantly being updated but will stay at the same URL so bookmark it for easy reference) includes:
Over half of all Republicans in Congress: The list includes 110 GOP lawmakers, with 219 total Republicans in Congress.
Over half of all House GOPers: The list includes 90 House Republicans, with House GOP caucus numbering 178 members, according to the Clerk.
Nearly half of all Senate GOPers: The list includes 20 GOP senators, nearly half of their caucus of 41.
Link to list: http://thinkprogress.org/touting-recovery-opposed/
Monday, February 15, 2010
He died Feb. 4 at home in Wickliffe at age 86.
"Even though he was hard-nosed on what was the best thing for the members, he took the time to talk, explain and listen," Frank Valenta, former head of the Cleveland AFL-CIO and the steelworkers' old District 28, said Wednesday.
Banks was born in Hebbardsville, Ky., the third of seven siblings. Orphaned at 19, he brought his four younger brothers to Cleveland in 1943 and helped to support them by tending the blast furnace at Republic Steel. During the 1960s, he became what survivors believe to be the first black secretary and first black president of Local 1157.
About 1970, he became the first such assistant director of District 28. He joined negotiations around the country and conferences in Japan. Retiring in 1990, he became a board member of the local Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees and a legislative representative for the Alliance of Retired Americans.
On the side, he helped found an area chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, which works for racial and economic justice. He also sang in church choirs and quartets.
I first met George in Las Vegas in about 1997 or so. He was impressive for sure. I've never known anyone who dressed as impeccably as George.
George was the SOAR Executive Board member for USW District 1 (Ohio).
George and I were SOAR legislative interns during the 9-11 attack. We had to return home but then came back to Washington where I had some time to get to know him quite well. We went all over Washington in a big Dodge Van I had.
I remember taking him to the African American Civil War Memorial, which he really liked. More can be seen here if interested.
George Banks was one terrific, great Steelworker and SOAR member, and I am sure he's in a much better place......organizing, no doubt.
Friday, February 12, 2010
The health care problem remains on the center stage now that Anthem Blue Cross of California has unveiled rate increases of up to 39 percent for its 800,000 individual policyholders. The increases, which will take effect on March 1, far outpace the increases of 10 to 25% seen in previous years among most insurers offering individual policies. Kaiser Health News and The San Diego Union-Tribune report that as the economy slowly recovers, health insurance costs for those with individual policies continue to increase due to larger numbers of unemployed and those relying on government health care programs. As a result, "hospitals and doctors are passing on more of their uncompensated costs to patients with private insurance." The San Francisco Chronicle adds that "California physical, occupational and speech therapists are also taking issue with Anthem. The therapists said the insurer cut their reimbursement rates by 30 to 50% on February 1. In addition, the Chronicle reports that patients covered by other health insurers, including Health Net and Aetna, are reporting being hit with sky-high increases. "This is exactly the kind of news that proves we need health care reform immediately," said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance.
Social Security took in only $3 billion more in taxes last year than it paid out in benefits - a $60 billion decline from 2008, according to federal data. The recession is blamed in part, as it added to the hundreds of thousands of workers retiring or claiming disability. USA Today, using Congressional Budget Office numbers, reports that the impact of the recession is likely to reduce Social Security revenues again this year and next. The slide in revenues occurred sooner than Social Security actuaries had expected, for several reasons: Payroll tax revenue that was growing at a 4.5% average annual clip along with wages flattened out in 2009 because of rising unemployment and disappearing pay raises; the number of retired workers who began taking benefits increased by 20%; those taking disability jumped by 10%; and monthly Social Security benefits were raised 5.8% due to a spike in energy prices the year before. Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance, responded, "The overall surplus of the Social Security Trust Fund is still $2.5 trillion; this is not a cataclysm. We must look at the financial picture of Social Security as actuaries do, over the long-term, which would be over a 75-year timeline. We cannot allow privatizers to use temporary recessions - even deep ones - to ruin the system that has worked for millions of seniors over several decades."
Did you know that taking care of grandchildren and other dependents may entitle you to additional tax breaks? Or that many states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, offer additional tax credits, tax breaks, property tax and rental rebates, and tax freezes for seniors? In some cases, these tax breaks are refundable, which means you may be entitled to money back even if you don't owe any tax. Click on http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/02/04/10-tax-tips-for-seniors/ and http://www.unionplus.org/money/taxes for additional tips. "Seniors might not be aware of all the tax breaks they are allowed under the law," said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. "The rules change every year."
Thursday, February 11, 2010
When the home he lives in seems half the size.
When he and his spouse continually bump into each other.
When he and his spouse misunderstand each other.
When he finds himself under foot.
This usually takes place in the month of February, when the ground is covered with snow and it's cold outside and the sun seems to have left for good.
I'm sure there must be a name for this phenomenon, but anyway, that time is now.
I would appreciate hearing of any cure or solution.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
On another case, one juror who was holding up the jury decision was willing to change his vote simply because he was in a hurry to get home.
Can you imagine being a defendant in a case made up of jurors like these?
That experience in how our jury system works left me with an impression that criminal case juries should be made of professional jurors.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
The biggest snow storm that I can remember was in January 1967. We were living on Polk Street in Gary, across from Indiana University. I think it was on Thursday that I drove to work in Hammond at the NIPSCO gas meter shop.
It began to snow that afternoon and the wind was really blowing hard. We all left work early so we would be able to get home but the weather was just too bad so I stayed the night at a friends house in Highland, Indiana.
The following morning proved to be impossible to drive, so rather than stay a whole week end away from home, I decided to try to walk home.
I walked all the way from Highland, down route six to Glen Park. It was about six or eight miles. Many cars were stranded along the way but not a single car or snow plow was seen.
Gas stations along the way were full of people.
I'll never forget arriving home. What an experience it was.
Monday, February 08, 2010
Pelosi Statement on January Jobs Report
Friday, February 5, 2010
Contact: Brendan Daly/Nadeam Elshami/Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the January jobs report issued today by the Department of Labor. The unemployment rate dropped from 10 percent to a five-month low of 9.7 percent.
“Today’s jobs report marks a welcome step in the right direction for our economy and our families: the unemployment rate is going down. The Recovery Act, which Congress passed one year ago to pull our economy back from the brink of collapse, has already created or saved nearly 2 million jobs so far.
“Yet our work is far from over. This recession that President Obama inherited has taken the worst toll on our job market since World War II. Too many workers have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Leaders of both parties must work together to keep our recovery on track by helping small businesses create jobs, investing in our infrastructure and clean energy industries, and keeping police, firefighters, and teachers on the job. Congress will continue to act to build a new foundation for long-term prosperity.”
Half (22) of the Super Bowl MVP Awards have been given to Quarterbacks.
7 have been awarded to running backs
6 to wide receivers
2 to linebackers
2 to “signed”
2 to defensive ends
1 to corner back
1 to kicker
1 to defensive tackle
This tells me that most of the football fans don’t understand the game.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Thursday, February 04, 2010
In short, it is a budget plan which decimates Social Security and Medicare in the name of deficit reduction. The only thing new about this strategy, is the fact that Rep. Ryan isn’t shy about acknowledging that he believes seniors should foot the bill for our current economic nightmare.
Let’s see, seniors have to find private insurers who will accept their vouchers which will by definition cover less and less of what health care actually costs. In other words, let’s ignore any effort to reign in the skyrocketing costs of health care nationwide in favor of shifting all of those skyrocketing costs directly to seniors. This is a roadmap for disaster.
Under the Roadmap, the value of the voucher would be less than expected Medicare spending per enrollee in 2021, when the voucher program would begin. In addition, Medicare’s current payment rates for providers are lower than those paid by commercial insurers, and the program’s administrative costs are lower than those for individually purchased insurance. Beneficiaries would therefore face higher premiums in the private market for a package of benefits similar to that currently provided by Medicare.
Moreover, the value of the voucher would grow significantly more slowly than CBO expects that Medicare spending per enrollee would grow under current law. Beneficiaries would therefore be likely to purchase less comprehensive health plans or plans more heavily managed than traditional Medicare, resulting in some combination of less use of health care services and less use of technologically advanced treatments than under current law. Beneficiaries would also bear the financial risk for the cost of buying insurance policies or the cost of obtaining health care services beyond what would be covered by their insurance.
As for Social Security, the GOP Roadmap leads to the same privatization dead-end for seniors, who are already reeling from Wall Street excesses and collapse which have decimated their nest-eggs. Once again, just as we saw in President Bush’s failed privatization plan, long-term solvency isn’t the goal. The goal is to turn Social Security over to Wall Street through the creation of Social Security private accounts.
Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling describes it as a little “re-engineering” of the social contract.
That “re-engineering” would put your Social Security in the hands of the same Wall Street money managers the federal government just bailed out. What would your Social Security look like now, if we had privatized the system two years ago? Here’s what CAP reported back in 2008, before the worst of the economic collapse…
As a Center for American Progress Action Fund report found, under a Bush-style privatization plan, a October 2008 retiree would have lost $26,000 in the market plunge. If the U.S. stock market had behaved like the Japanese market during the duration of that retiree’s work life, “a private account would have experienced sharp negative returns, losing $70,000 — an effective -3.3 percent net annual rate of return.” And this doesn’t take into account the full plunge of the stock market, which dipped below 7,000 in March 2009.
As the Cunning Realist pointed out, failed investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were both “blue chips, the sort of companies that proponents of private accounts insisted any new system would be limited to.” Can you imagine the mess that would have occurred — and the leverage those companies would have held — had not only the financial system’s health, but the retirement accounts of untold seniors, been tied up in them?
The Center for Economic and Policy Research found that, “as a result of the collapse of the housing bubble, the vast majority of baby boomers will be approaching retirement with little wealth outside of Social Security.” Privatization opponents would have had seniors sacrifice that safety net as well.
Destroying Social Security and Medicare, under the guise of deficit reduction, isn’t about creating sound economic policy it’s just more of the same old privatization politics, rewrapped, repackaged and rejected by the American people just two years ago.
Are our collective memories really so short? Because the truth is…this roadmap puts America’s seniors on a highway to hell.
Source: National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
We need congress to pass a public option by way of reconciliation.
We need a congress where majority votes rule.
We need congress to get rid of the filibuster.
We need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.
We need a republican with enough guts to stand up to the republican party of NO.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
According to these articles, some observers have suggested that instead, the problem of sudden, uncontrollable acceleration may be caused by some undiagnosed problem in Toyota’s unusual electronic throttle system. This system does not use a traditional physical tether between the gas pedal and the engine, apparently relying instead on a wholly electronic “fly by wire” –type system.
Toyota denies that any evidence casts blame on this electronic throttle system. My recommendation is that the links to these stories be widely disseminated by email, so that Toyota owners may decide for themselves what course is safest for themselves and their families. At the very least, I suggest that Toyota owners follow up by continuing to monitor these issues carefully.