Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Brendan Mullen Supports Keeping Jobs in America

A couple days ago, members of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) and the Alliance for Retired Americans came to the informational picket line made up of workers from the Cequent Towing company in Goshen, Indiana, who have been informed that the company is contimplating moving 450 jobs to Mexico.

Goshen is in Indiana Congressional District 3 and I really thought that the candidates running for congress near this district would show up in support of these workers.

Brendan Mullen came to the picket line and gave assurance to the workers that jobs would be one of his priorities if elected to congress. His appearance was very much appreciated by the workers. Although doing a lot of talking about bringing jobs to Indiana, Brendan's opponant, Jackie Walorski,  didn't see fit to make an appearance.

Many thanks to Brendan for lending his support to Hoosier workers.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Truth About Congressman Pence

Congressman Mike Pence is no friend to Hoosier women.  During his 12 years in the U.S. House, Pence has earned his reputation as a far-right extremist. He is intent on limiting lifesaving, preventive health care for women and restricting health care choices for victims of rape and incest.  He also wants to limit economic and educational opportunities for women, and his voting record shows what his agenda will be if he is elected Governor.

Cong. Pence co-authored HR 374, the "personhood" initiative, which would make some forms of contraceptives illegal and prohibit abortions in all circumstances, including rape and incest.  The proposal provides no exceptions to a prohibition against termination of pregnancy and would likely lead to the outlawing of birth control pills and IUDs.

Cong. Pence co-sponsored legislation that would have redefined rape to cover only "forcible" rape, eliminating some incidences of incest and rape from the list of crimes against women.  He joined Missouri’s Cong. Todd Akin in attempting to limit access to health services for rape and incest victims on Medicaid.

Cong. Pence voted against:

  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which addresses equal pay for equal work;
  • Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act;
  • Parental Leave for public employees;
  • Minimum Wage at $7.25/hour, which affects women disproportionately as they make up 62% of minimum-wage earners in our country;
  • Pell Grants for low income college students; Education and Head Start funding for our children;
  • Reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides affordable health care to children;
  • Social Security and Medicare, the safety nets for millions of older women.
Cong. Pence led the charge to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood for vital preventive health care services such as cancer screenings, STD testing, and family planning.  He threatened to "shut down" the Federal Government if he did not get his way.

Cong. Pence has voted to repeal requirements for insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions and for coverage for children up to age 26.  He compared the Supreme Court decision which upheld ACA preventive health services for women to the atrocities of Sept 11th.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rally in Goshen, Indiana

Rally Monday, October 29, 2012


Supporting Steelworkers--


Cequent, a manufacturer company in Goshen, Indiana is saying that they are moving to Mexico--

Help Save These Jobs

Stop Cequent of Goshen From sending our jobs to Mexico!

Rally & Informational Picket

Date: Monday Oct. 29th at 1PM est
Location: Gather in the parking lot of Menards in Goshen.
(1925 Lincolnway East (US 33), Goshen, IN)

See previous post

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Selling Out of America


Cequent Towing in Goshen, Indiana, announced to their employees and their union on October 18th that they had made a preliminary recommendation to shut down the Goshen facility and to move the work performed here in Goshen to Renosa, Mexico, for the purpose of securing lower wages and benefits for the employees producing the products made here in Goshen.

This recommendation was made even though the Collective Bargaining Agreement states:

During periods of layoff or reduced hours the Company shall not contract or outsource work customarily performed by the bargaining unit, provided the work can be performed by those employees.

 
The Union strongly protests the recommended move as it would violate the terms that Cequent Towing Products agreed to  in 2011.

 
On October 25th in their earnings statement the parent Company of Cequent Towing Products announced in their earnings statement that the Company had third quarter sales of  $335.9 million up 21% from 2011 third quarter earnings.

 
Goshen and the State of Indiana have given tax abatements to Cequent Towing Products for the last several years in order to create American manufacturing jobs here in Goshen.

 
To move this work to Mexico is the betrayal of not only the employees of Cequent but a betrayal of Cequent to this community after taking tax abatements from that same community.

 
This is not a distressed Company. This is a very profitable Company that simply wants to increase their profits at the expense of Goshen, Indiana, the United States and American Workers by exploiting low wage Mexican workers.

 
We urge the community and the State and Federal Government to engage in this struggle to maintain middle class jobs here in Goshen Indiana.

Undecided?


Undecided - You have got to be kidding me! I have voted in every Presidential election since I became old enough to vote.  Never in my lifetime, have the differences in the candidates on the issues pertaining to working class Americans ever been clearer. We have one candidate that caters to the rich and famous, who unabashedly campaigns on issues that will line the pockets of the wealthy while; depriving needed services to retirees, working Americans and the poor. The other candidate has demonstrated, through his first four years in office, that he is the President of all the people. He believes in a strong middle class and has promoted policies to rebuild a strong economy; that will enhance the quality of life of all Americans, not just a privileged few.

How can someone be undecided at this stage of the electoral process? Either you support the fated schemes of trickle-down economics, that created the worst recession since the Great Depression, or you support Barack Obama for reelection. We must give him the opportunity to continue the programs and policies that are lifting us out of the muck and mire left by eight years of failed strategies by the previous administration.

For too many years, many of us have been wedded to single issues or party loyalty when it came to presidential elections. It is time for us to come to grips with reality and vote for the candidate that best represents our interest. In this election, Barack Obama is that candidate. That is why I am voting to reelect him President. He has demonstrated that he deserves four more years!

Jim Centner, SOAR (Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees) Director

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Election Day is Rapidly Approaching

By the time you read this article, we will be less than two weeks away from what is probably the most important election of our lifetime. I know you all have heard this before. It seems like every election we say this and unfortunately, because of the world we live in, every election we mean it. Each election is a fight for our survival!

After listening to a year of campaigning from both parties, it is pretty clear that re-electing President Obama is in the best interest of working class America.  For retirees, he has pledged to protect Social Security and Medicare for years to come. He passed the “Affordable Care Act,” which provides much needed preventive screenings for Medicare recipients, closes the “doughnut hole” in the prescription drug program and extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.

To maintain a strong economy, President Obama is committed to re-building manufacturing. He has demonstrated his commitment to manufacturing by saving the auto industry and 350 million other jobs associated with auto assembly. His administration has placed tariffs on tires, steel pipe, paper and other goods that were flooding the American market in violation of our nation’s trade laws and that has put thousands of Americans back to work.

We all must remember where we were four years ago; on the brink of a depression. Yes, we are in a much better place today. The economy is starting to turn around. The unemployment numbers are falling and every day more and more Americans are going back to work. We have two choices on November 6; we can either continue on the path of recovery or go back to policies that created the worst recession since the Great Depression. The choice is clear.

Connie Entrekin, SOAR (Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees) President

Friday, October 19, 2012

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 10-19-12

Social Security Beneficiaries to Receive 1.7% COLA in 2013
More than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment for 2013, U.S. government officials announced on Tuesday. For the average retiree recipient, the monthly benefit will rise by $21, to $1,261. The level of taxable maximum earnings for Social Security will increase to $113,700 in 2013, from the current maximum of $110,100 in 2012. “The modest inflationary increase in Social Security benefits is good news for seniors, but it could soon be greatly overshadowed by troubling political and legislative developments,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are running on a platform that would badly damage Social Security for current and future retirees,” Coyle added. “They continue to perpetuate the false and corrosive myth that Social Security fuels our national debt, wanting workers and retirees to pay the price for a budget deficit they did not cause. The Romney-Ryan plan would cut benefits, raise the retirement age, and let Wall Street profit from a risky privatized system.”

“The second threat to Social Security will be a lame-duck session of Congress that will meet in November to consider cuts in federal spending,” he continued. To read Mr. Coyle’s full statement, go to http://bit.ly/RFpsEV. To see a letter, opposing the Chained CPI formula change cutting future Social Security benefits, and signed by the Alliance, go to http://bit.ly/R6Z1dQ. For an updated Chained CPI Alliance fact sheet, go to http://bit.ly/R4vsrb.

Alliance Members from Massachusetts Call in to Talk with Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren, candidate for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, joined a call with Mass. Alliance members on Thursday. Ms. Warren promised to protect and preserve Social Security and Medicare without cutting benefits. Also calling in and speaking: Joseph Kennedy, III, who is running for Congress in the state’s 4th Congressional District, AFL-CIO State Fed. President Steve Tolman, and Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling. Mr. Coyle moderated the call. Nearly 7,000 Alliance members participated!

FLARA President Fransetta Speaks on Behalf of Obama’s Medicare Plan on TV
Florida Alliance President Tony Fransetta was a panelist for the West Palm Beach CBS affiliate’s town hall event focusing on Medicare yesterday. The event highlighted the differences between plans presented by the President and the Romney/Ryan Campaign. The event, heavily promoted by the station in advance, can be replayed by going to http://bit.ly/Ob5NxX and scrolling down to Town Hall Videos on October 18. Dozens of Florida Alliance members attended the discussion.

Washington Post Writes about Effects of Raising the Retirement Age
In a Sunday Washington Post interview, Nobel laureate economist and Social Security expert Peter Diamond unloaded on those who think the simplest and fairest way to “fix” Social Security is to raise the retirement age. Seniors who retire early at age 62 would be particularly hard-hit by such an act. “What do we know about the people who retire at 62?” Diamond asked in the interview, before answering the question himself. “On average, they have a shorter life expectancy and lower earnings than people retiring at later ages.” To read the article, entitled, “There’s nothing ‘courageous’ about raising the Social Security retirement age,” go to http://wapo.st/WFQMY7.

Alliance Members Protest Paul Ryan in Syracuse - and Walmart in Washington State
About 130 activists, many of them members of the New York State Alliance, marched through downtown Syracuse, New York last week, holding signs and shouting slogans opposing any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. The activists chanted, “They say cut back, we say fight back!” The march, sponsored by the Alliance and nine other groups, including Citizen Action of New York, Disabled in Action, and several unions, began with a sendoff by Mayor Stephanie Miner outside of City Hall and wound through downtown. Eight people in wheelchairs set the pace at the front of the march.

Eric Kingson, a professor of social work at Syracuse University and co-director of the Social Security Works coalition, told the crowd that Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, (R), should apologize for supporting the Republican budget authored by congressman and vice presidential candidate Ryan. “We are here today to send a message that our Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are public trusts,” Kingson said. “They are not to be tampered with by those who want to privatize, means-test, deeply cut or cut them at all.” The rally ended with a song from the “Raging Grannies,” a group from Binghamton. To the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” they sang about protecting their benefits, with the chorus, “Holy moly, it’s our money; we paid when we were young.” Video from the event is available at http://bit.ly/SXUsoC. For pictures, go to http://bit.ly/Ueu5Lb.

Washington State Alliance members in Renton, WA also protested recently, supporting Walmart workers by participating in a rally on their behalf. Go to http://bit.ly/TxY2QS for pictures of that event. For pictures from the Texas Alliance’s rally at Rep. Hensarling’s office last week, go to http://bit.ly/TBIEmE.

Another Myth De-Bunked: FDR Never Promised Social Security Would be Voluntary
An e-mail containing misinformation about Social Security has been getting renewed attention in cyberland recently. This e-mail is about the history of Social Security, and uses lies to accuse politicians of mis-using Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s original plan for the program as a license to grow it beyond what was originally intended. In fact, FDR never said that Social Security would be voluntary, tax-deductible, or limited to $14 per year in contributions. More at: http://bit.ly/XuIzFq. “The Alliance strives to separate fact from fiction,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “And lies about Social Security are likely to be used by those who want to cut benefits.”

New South Carolina Alliance President
On Monday, South Carolina Alliance members at their state convention elected Donna DeWitt as their new president. “Welcome to Donna. We are very grateful to our outgoing President Julie Harbin for her years of hard work and significant contributions!” said Ms. Easterling.

For a printable version of this document, go to http://bit.ly/S2Y9oA.

Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A message from Bruce Springsteen

October 17, 2012

Dear Friends:

The election is coming up on all of us and we all have strong feelings about it. I’ve been getting asked a lot about where I stand, so for those who are interested, here goes.

This presidential election is different than the last one because President Obama has a four year record to run on. Last time around, he carried with him a tremendous amount of hope and expectations. Unfortunately, due to the economic chaos the previous administration left him with, and the extraordinary intensity of the opposition, it turned into a really rough ride. But through grit, determination, and focus, the President has been able to do a great many things that many of us deeply support.

Domestically, that record includes working to increase and expand employment for all, protecting our all important social safety net, passing guaranteed health care for most of our citizens, with important new protections for all of the insured, rescuing the auto industry and so many of the American jobs that go with it, protecting and enhancing the rights of women, and bringing us closer to full acceptance of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

In foreign affairs, that record includes following through on the removal of troops from the misguided and deceptive war in Iraq, and vigorously pursuing our real foreign enemies, especially the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Right now the opposition’s resort to voter suppression in so many states is not receiving as much attention as it deserves. I believe that all of us, of whatever views, should be opposing these anti-voter, anti-citizen efforts.

Right now, for the President to be effective in his next term he needs our increased support and he needs support in the Congress, where some sterling candidates, such as current Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, challenger Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and so many others, are fighting to make their constructive voices heard.

Right now, there is an ever increasing division of wealth in this country, with the benefits going more and more to the 1 percent. For me, President Obama is our best choice to begin to reverse this harmful development.

Right now, there is a fight going on to help make this a fairer and more equitable nation. For me, President Obama is our best choice to get us and keep us moving in the right direction.

Right now, we need a President who has a vision that includes all of our citizens, not just some, whether they are our devastated poor, our pressured middle class, and yes, the wealthy too; whether they are male or female, black, white, brown, or yellow, straight or gay, civilian or military.

Right now, there is a choice going on in America, and I’m happy that we live in a country where we all participate in that process. For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together. We’re still living through very hard times but justice, equality and real freedom are not always a tide rushing in. They are more often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. I believe President Obama feels these days in his bones and has the strength to live them with us and to lead us to a country “…where no one crowds you and no one goes it alone.”

That’s why I plan to be in Ohio and Iowa supporting the re-election of President Obama to lead our country for the next four years.

Bruce Springsteen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seniors Face Uncertain Future


                 Social Security Increase Good News, but Seniors Face Uncertain Future

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to a 1.7 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security.

“The modest inflationary increase in Social Security benefits is good news for seniors, but it could soon be greatly overshadowed by troubling political and legislative developments.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are running on a platform that would badly damage Social Security for current and future retirees.  They continue to perpetuate the false and corrosive myth that Social Security fuels our national debt, wanting workers and retirees to pay the price for a budget deficit they did not cause.  The Romney-Ryan plan would cut benefits, raise the retirement age, and let Wall Street profit from a risky privatized system.

“The second threat to Social Security will be a lame-duck session of Congress that will meet in November to consider cuts in federal spending.  Turning a blind eye to the budgetary impact of tax cuts for the wealthy, some in Washington are proposing devastating changes to the formula used to calculate the Social Security COLA.

“The current formula, used for today’s announcement, already badly understates the inflation experienced by seniors and disabled Americans, who make up the majority of Social Security beneficiaries.  However, the change some in Congress want would exacerbate this flaw in a way that is particularly damaging for women who, because of their greater life expectancy, receive benefits over a longer period of time.

“While today’s modest adjustment will provide some help for retirees, I am deeply disturbed that too many in politics see Social Security as yet another pension fund that can be raided to advance the interests of a select few.”

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.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Retiree Group Endorses Joe Donnelly for U.S. Senate

Yesterday, Alliance for Retired Americans members proudly endorsed Joe Donnelly for United States Senate from Indiana at a membership meeting and afternoon picnic in Anderson, Indiana.

Barbara Easterling, President of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said, “Joe Donnelly has consistently demonstrated a strong determination to improve the quality of life for older Americans. His views on issues such as making essential services in health care, transportation, and housing widely available and affordable to seniors exhibit his commitment to seniors and all Hoosiers.”
 
Charlie Averill, Alliance Executive Board Member (above left) said that "Joe Donnelly has been the best Congressman I've ever had. He's always kept working families and retirees as a priority and he'll make a great U.S. Senator."

The Alliance for Retired Americans represents four million retirees, older Americans, and community activists, including over 120,000 members in Indiana.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gregg-Simpson Ticket Endorsement


Today, Alliance for Retired Americans members proudly endorsed John Gregg for Governor at a membership meeting and afternoon picnic in Kokomo, Indiana.

Barbara Easterling, President of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said, “The Gregg-Simpson ticket has consistently demonstrated a strong determination to improve the quality of life for older Americans. Their views on issues such as making essential services in health care, transportation, and housing widely available and affordable to seniors exhibit their commitment to seniors and all Hoosiers.”

Easterling added, “As a State Senator, Vi Simpson fought many battles on behalf of middle class Hoosiers and women. She can be trusted to protect older Hoosiers’ interests as well.”

The Alliance for Retired Americans represents four million retirees, older Americans, and community activists, including over 120,000 members in Indiana.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stark Choices in Tonight's Debate

Retiree Leader: Stark Choices for
Medicare in Tonight’s Debate

The following statement was issued by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in advance of tonight’s vice-presidential debate.

“Tonight’s debate will address a fundamental question: does Medicare exist to protect seniors’ health or insurance companies’ wealth?

“Retirees, worried about losing their ability to see a doctor and fill a prescription, will tonight hear two diametrically different views on Medicare.  Vice President Biden can proudly tout the Administration’s landmark accomplishment of lowering the price of prescription drugs, giving seniors free access to life-saving tests and screenings, and strengthening Medicare’s finances by cracking down on wasteful and inefficient spending of tax dollars by private businesses.

“Contrasting this will be Rep. Paul Ryan, architect of a plan to dramatically change Medicare by steering seniors toward a risky voucher plan in which they would buy Medicare coverage directly from insurance companies.  The very reason Medicare was created nearly 50 years ago was to spare seniors the high cost and discriminatory practices of the private insurance market. Other than Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who believes that what insurance companies really need is more profit and more power over middle class Americans?

“Not only is Medicare one of the greatest differences between the two parties, but it is perhaps the area on which voters, particularly seniors, have been most shamefully misled.  Opponents of progress are trying to scare us into going back to a failed, broken health care system, one in which insurance companies reaped outrageous profits at the expense of those most in need. 

“Tonight, America’s seniors will need to choose between these two sharply divergent views of Medicare.”

###


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.

Romney Selling Out American Workers

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Men, Take My Advise

There is a terrible program on HGTV called House Hunters. Take some advise from someone with experience having a wife that watches this program faithfully…..it’s bad.

Ladies get too many ideas from this program that not only will put you in the poor house but will create such a chaotic experience that you may not be able to sit down for a week or two.

I knew this would happen to me, but there was nothing I could do about it once it started. Whatever the trend might be at the time, they’ll want it done.

If the trend is carpeting, they’ll want carpeting.

If the trend is hard wood floors, that’s what you’ll be stuck with.

You’ll never have a moments rest.

Take it from me, never ever allow your wife to watch House Hunters. Change the channel before it's too late.

Well, that's all I want to say. It’s good advise. Take it or leave it. But if you don’t take it, just remember, I gave you fair warning.

Now, I have to get back to sweeping our new hard wood floors.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

USW Founder Heads For A Better Place

George Edwards was born March 24, 1918 in Philip, South Dakota. His first award in life was the 201st birth certificate in the county. George grew up in a log and sod house in pre-school years. During WWII, George was stationed in Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he attended Officers Candidate School. After his discharge from the Army, he got his BA degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee before entering Oberlin Seminary where he took two years of theology with the intention of becoming a minister. He then took two years of law at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

In 1942, George joined Local 1104 of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) in Lorain, Ohio, and later that same year, attended the Founding Convention of the USWA as a guest. George was a Machinist.

George was founding Editor of the union newspaper, the “Lorain Labor Leader” which at one time was the largest labor publication in the State of Ohio. George held various positions in his Local Union including Trustee and Vice President. He served as President of the Lorain County CIO Council, but lost all leadership positions during the McCarthy era. He was also co-chair of the National Steelworkers Rank and File Committee in the 70’s. In 1981, he retired from U.S. Steel after 39 years, retiring as a Machinist Apprentice Instructor.

George was a Founding Member of SOAR, becoming a charter member in 1985. He organized SOAR chapter 20-15 where he was the chapter president since 1993. He became a SOAR Coordinator, and later the District 10 SOAR Executive Board Member. George was appointed SOAR Board Member Emeritus by United Steelworkers of America International President Leo W. Gerard. He has worked as a volunteer in the SOAR office in Pittsburgh since 1989, and was the Associate Editor of the “SOAR in Action” magazine.


George passed away yesterday, October 6, 2012 and will surely be missed by us all.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 10-5-12


Debate Highlights the Differences between Romney and Obama
The first of three presidential debates took place on Wednesday, with President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney both striving to gain favor with the middle class and seniors. “Mitt Romney continued to hide the details about how he’d repeal Obamacare and still keep all of its benefits for seniors, such as more affordable prescription drugs and free preventive care,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance. Coyle also said that Romney had relentlessly mischaracterized recent improvements to Medicare, “advancing his plan to gut traditional Medicare with a voucher-based scheme that gives more power and profits to the big insurance companies.”

“Even on a night when Obama wasn’t at his best, the President offered a more fair and honest path forward for seniors,” he continued. “Mitt Romney knows his explanations just don’t add up logically or mathematically and would hurt for the middle-class. He would take Medicare away from Grandma, and Big Bird away from her grandkids,” Coyle added - a reference to proposed cuts by Romney to public broadcasting in addition to Medicare.

Judge Halts Pennsylvania Voter ID Law
On Tuesday, a Pennsylvania judge declared that the state should not allow its harsh new voter identification law to take effect for the November election.  In his ruling, Judge Robert Simpson said that the state had not made sufficient progress towards supplying photo identification to voters, and therefore the law held a great potential to disenfranchise otherwise qualified voters.  Election officials may now request voters to show identification, but they may not turn away registered voters who had not been able to obtain the identification or force them to cast provisional ballots.  However, Matthew Keeler, deputy press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of State, said officials have not decided whether to appeal Tuesday's ruling. The voter ID law was passed by newly elected state leaders in Pennsylvania, one of whom said that the law would “allow Governor Romney to win the state.”

“A great injustice has so far been averted thanks to the Pennsylvania Courts and Judge Simpson,” said Coyle. “Pennsylvania seniors, many of whom do not have a driver’s license or other photo-identification, have been spared the hardship associated with getting one and the atrocity of disenfranchisement. Now we have to hope that there is no appeal that reverses the decision.”

Alan Simpson Strikes Again
Former U.S. Senator and co-chairman of President Obama’s deficit commission Alan Simpson told an audience on Tuesday that politicians talk too much about the poor and vulnerable for political gain, and that he regrets the way his opponents have used his commission’s recommendations. “Could you please cut out the babble? Would you quit talking about the poor, the vulnerable, the veterans, the old ladies going over cliffs, the hospices, the bedpans?” Simpson said at the event. According to Huffington Post (http://huff.to/Ptp2Qq), Simpson spent much of his time on the panel railing against those who have opposed the recommendations made by the Simpson-Bowles commission, formerly known as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The commission’s plan was mentioned several times at this week’s debate. Simpson also recalled his interaction with the California Alliance for Retired Americans. Earlier this year, the California Alliance handed out a flyer featuring images of young people and saying that Simpson was using the deficit as an excuse to gut Social Security; Simpson responded with a letter that was noted for its outrageousness: http://bit.ly/KyMQ1o.

“What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very young people that we are trying to save, while the ‘greedy geezers’ like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of crap.” Simpson wrote. “You must feel some sense of shame for shoveling this bullshit.” At the time, the Alliance responded with a press release (http://bit.ly/KTZKsS). On Tuesday, Simpson slammed AARP for resisting cuts to Social Security and Medicare. He also mistakenly encouraged audience members to visit www.fixthedebt.com, which belongs to a debt consolidation and credit repair company.

Connecticut Alliance Voices its Disapproval of Paul Ryan, Linda McMahon
The Connecticut Alliance “welcomed” Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan to Connecticut on Sunday, with members protesting his policies that would benefit the wealthy at the expense of Medicare and Social Security. The next day, the Connecticut Alliance hosted a demonstration outside U.S. Senate nominee/former Word Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon’s headquarters, focusing on her call to “sunset” Social Security. A video of McMahon saying that she would favor sunsetting - a policy allowing Social Security to expire if the law is not renewed, placing its long-term future in jeopardy - has been getting widespread attention recently (http://bit.ly/PBpuMg).

Barbara Easterling Addresses Postal Workers in Virginia
Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling was in Fairfax County, Virginia Wednesday to address the American Postal Workers Union. “Yes, we are labor activists.  Yes, we are seniors activists. But what we fight for goes beyond any one group of workers or any one age group,” she told the crowd.

Something on Your Mind? Write Letter, Win Pen!
Is there something you want retirees in your community to know about?  Take a moment to write a letter to the editor, and if it is published, the Alliance will send you a free, union-made “Retirees with the Write Stuff” pen. “Letters to the editor are free and are widely read,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “With the wealthy business interests we are up against, it’s nice to have an option that doesn’t cost anything.” Most recently, Adolphe Bernotas, Don Berry, Leon Burzynski, Barbara Cunningham, Doug Curler, Bentley Davis, Robert Dougherty, Jeanne Doyle, Raymond Ensher, Bob Felzke, John Forkan, Jr., Barbara Franklin, Tony Fransetta, Francis Giunta, Doug Hart, Doug Hill, Jan Laue, Bob and Joni Laurence, Jim Moore, Jody Oliver, James Parent, Dianna Porter, Carol Ring, Linda Silva, Donald Singer, William Stevens, Scotty Watts, Ethan West, and Charlie Williamscontributed to their local papers. If you have had a letter published, please e-mailaracommunications@retiredamericans.org.

For a printable version of this document, go to
 http://bit.ly/Wv8CvV.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Americans with Medicare Will Save $5,000 Through 2022

Americans with Medicare Will Save $5,000 Through 2022

Debate Showed Sharp Contrast

ALLIANCE FOR RETIRED AMERICANS 815 16th Street, NW, 4th Floor ¨ Washington, D.C. 20006 ¨ (202) 637-5399 ¨ www.retiredamericans.org For Immediate Release Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275 October 3, 2012 dblank@retiredamericans.org Retiree Leader: Debate Showed Stark Contrast Between Two Candidates The following statement was issued by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to the first presidential debate. “Tonight’s debate showed the stark contrasts between the two candidates on key issues of Social Security and Medicare. “President Obama reaffirmed his strong commitment to Medicare and Social Security, two great American success stories. Mitt Romney, relentlessly mischaracterizing recent improvements to Medicare, advanced his plan to gut traditional Medicare with a voucher-based scheme that gives more power and profits to the big insurance companies. In wanting to repeal new Medicare benefits for seniors, Romney chose ideology over facts: the Affordable Care Act is helping over 5 million seniors pay lower drug prices, and 19 million seniors have already received at least one free preventive test or service. “When discussing Social Security, President Obama stood up for workers and retirees, while Mitt Romney falsely linked Social Security to the federal budget deficit, wanting to make workers and retirees pay the price for a problem they did not cause. The Romney-Ryan plan would cut benefits and raise the retirement age to fund even more unneeded tax breaks for millionaires and corporations. “There has never been an election with such stark contrasts on fundamental issues of social and economic justice. President Obama will keep moving our nation forward, but Mitt Romney would roll back the clock on many decades of progress for Americans of all ages. “The Alliance for Retired Americans, a four-million member grassroots advocacy organization, will continue to educate and mobilize seniors across the country about these core differences.” ### 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.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Ah, Homegrown Sun Ripened Tomatoes

Here in Northern Indiana, we have at least one more week to enjoy homegrown, sun ripened tomatoes. Enjoy them while you can and remember to grab the green ones off the vines before a freeze. They'll ripen nicely in paper bags or covered by a newspaper. We'll have to wait until next summer to have this wonderful fruit.