If everybody deserves a second chance, then shouldn't the same apply to stocks?
Most every company faces a major challenge at some point in its history that sends share prices tumbling and yields climbing. A few never recover, but the best ones regain their former luster with time and good decisions by management. Once-strong companies . . . → Read More: 3 "Fallen Angel" Stocks that Yield up to 15%
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Awwwwww. This is so cute!
After repeatedly being accused of participating in a legislative "war on women," Republican women in the House of Representatives announced Monday that they're forming a new caucus dedicated to raising their profile as female lawmakers and presenting a "unified voice" on issues that affect women.You can tell that the Women's Policy Committee is going to be great for women because it's got "women" right in the title! And isn't it so super awesome how there's going to be a caucus in Congress?for the first time ever?presenting a "unified voice" on issues that affect women? It's, like, historical! You know, if you don't count the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, which has been around since 1977 and considers bipartisanship (that means you too, lady Republicans) "the key to the Caucus' strength and success."
So why would the lady Republicans need their own caucus? Because that other caucus?the one that's been around for more than three decades?doesn't focus on the real issues that real women really care about. For example:
?When I am back home visiting with women in my district, the number one concern I hear is that the uncertainty in Washington about regulation, litigation and taxation is hindering their ability to innovate and create jobs,? said [Rep. Marsha] Blackburn in a statement.Isn't that the truth? Ladies, how many times have you been up late at night, balancing the household budget, when you thought to yourself, "Gosh, I can't even concentrate on how to pay the rent when there's so much uncertainty in Washington"? How many times have you been so distracted watching Junior's soccer game because all you can think is, "Dammit, I wish this school's soccer field was subject to less regulation! It could really use a damn oil well over there"?
Well, worry no more, because the lady Republicans are totally going to focus on that kind of stuff, instead of the silly special interest caterpillar claptrap that the other caucus has focused on for more than three decades. Such as:
The Pregnancy Discrimination ActSee? Not a single women's issue on that list! That's why the lady Republicans are clearly filling a void:
The Child Support Enforcement Act
The Retirement Equity Act
The Civil Rights Restoration Act
The Women's Business Ownership Act
The Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act
The Mammography Quality Standards Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act
The Violence Against Women Act
The Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology Development Act
Reauthorization of the Mammography Quality Standards Act
?The Women's Policy Committee was formed with the idea of better educating Members on the issues that impact women on a daily basis, whether they be mothers, daughters, or small business owners."Mothers, daughters or small business owners. You can tell from its list of accomplishments that the other caucus doesn't even think about mothers (The Pregnancy Discrimination Act) or daughters (The Child Support Enforcement Act) or small business owners (The Women's Business Ownership Act). That's why we obviously need the lady Republicans and their new Women's Policy Committee to offer a real "unified voice on issues that affect women." Such as:
And in case you were thinking maybe their new video (above) might list some of the specific policies the lady Republicans are totally going to focus on?once they find the time in their busy schedule of blocking renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, trying to defund Planned Parenthood, and opposing the Paycheck Fairness Act because it's so not fair to the menfolk to make them pay ladies equal wages?sorry to disappoint. The lady Republicans don't mention a single policy in their video, unless "giving families the freedom to succeed" is a policy. But at least they do say "women" a lot, and everyone knows that as long as you say "women" a lot, the policies you support or oppose don't really matter.
The UN's nuclear watchdog announced a deal with Iran to inspect their nuclear facilities, a day before a second round of talks between Iran and Western powers. Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the deal would be signed soon,[...]
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Republican defenders of Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital are torn between two incompatible positions. On the one hand, they know that companies like Bain are purely in business to make a profit?and to them, that's a good thing, regardless of the damage they cause in doing so. On the other hand, they also know that the politically astute defense of Bain is to argue that its efforts created jobs?even though that was never a goal that occurred to a single Bain investor, and the claim is unverifiable at best.
Even Romney himself seems torn, both acknowledging he was in it for the profits:
"Certainly, the objective of the private sector by and large is to create return on investment for shareholders to build businesses, and as part of that process, businesses are able to hire and grow. That's the nature of the free enterprise system."And also trying to spin himself as a job creator:
"The most recent attacks are really off target and I think they know. ... And of course they don?t mention a couple of other things. One is that we were able to help create over 100,000 jobs...."But confused, self-serving GOP rhetoric doesn't mean much. We wanted to find out what the American people believe.
Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 5/17-20. Registered voters. MoE: ±3.1% (no trendlines):
Q: When Mitt Romney worked in the private sector as the head of Bain Capital, do you think he was more concerned with making a profit or with creating jobs, or do you think he cared about both equally?Voters simply aren't fooled by Romney's attempts to belatedly tout his highly questionable claims about job creation?something I'm sure he never spent a moment even considering until his first run for Senate in 1994. Interestingly, independents are very close to Democrats on this issue, and very far from Republicans. Seventy-eight percent of Democratic voters think Romney was more concerned with profits, compared to just 6 percent who say jobs and 10 percent who say both equally. Independents break down quite similarly, at 64-7-23.
Making a profit: 57
Creating jobs: 12
Both equally: 25
Not sure: 6
GOP voters, though, seem as riven as Romney himself, with 28 percent saying Romney's chief aim was profit, 21 percent job creation, and 44 percent trying to split the baby and saying "both equally." The key point is, though, that the vast majority of voters think Romney was in it for the money. People simply aren't buying Romney's attempts to sell himself as anything other than a corporate profiteer.
P.S. As always, our approval and favorability numbers can be found on our weekly trends page.
Scott Walker has done a lot of bad things in his time as Wisconsin governor, but the big issue, for anyone who remains on the fence after his union-busting and his equal pay enforcement repeal and his voter suppression, has to be his poor jobs record. Dogged by Wisconsin having the worst job losses in the country under Walker, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, Walker found numbers he liked better and released them early, preventing comparisons with other states since those numbers haven't yet been released.
Wisconsin voters have to go to the polls with this in mind: Setting aside everything else, Scott Walker has not been good for his state's jobs economy. In a not-great national economy, Walker's Wisconsin has stood out as the worst, despite all of Walker's bragging about the 250,000 jobs he was going to bring to the state. A vote for Walker on June 5 is a vote to extend Wisconsin's jobs drought.
Don Racheter: Iowa GOP platform provision
"a shot at" Obama.There were a couple of minutes back when Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate that I actually thought the birther brigade would finally shut up. They had gotten everything they asked for. Against the counsel of some of his advisers, the president had done what no other president in history had done, no other presidential candidate in history had ever done. He had proved with verified documentation that he was actually, truly, really, really, really born in the United States, the offspring of an American citizen and thus eligible to serve in the office for which other American citizens in their millions had chosen him.
That should have been the end of the story. The president proved what anybody with half a brain and absent a racist political agenda already knew to be true. He was just as American as the rest of us. The amateur and professional purveyors of the Kenyan birth conspiracy tale and all its permutations ought right then and there to have dropped to their knees and apologized to everyone within earshot.
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It's nice to see this outlandish man exposed on national media. As I blogged yesterday, Pastor Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, NC recently told his congregation during a sermon that his solution to dealing with LGBTs is to[...]
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It's the stuff presidents are made of.
A British auction website has put up for sale a vial which it says was used to hold a sample of President Ronald Reagan's blood, drawn after Reagan was shot by John Hinckley Jr. on March 30, 1981.
The 5-inch glass vial has a green stopper, and "dried blood residue" is visible inside, according to the listing on pfcauctions.com. From the listing:
A 3½" x 1" white label has been affixed to the vial. It is printed, in purple ink, "REAGAN RONALD 940029 THOR / 610892572 AARON PRESIDENTIAL / SUITE 3/30/81 M 2/02/11 JAP." 940029 was Reagan's patient ID. AARON refers to Benjamin L. Aaron who was Chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at George Washington University Hospital where Reagan was in the Presidential Suite. THOR refers to thoracic. Reagan was admitted on March 30 1981 and M refers to male. The President's date of birth is incorrectly stated as "2/02/11" when his actual date of birth is February 6 1911.
The auction winner will also get a printed form on light green paper from Bio-Science Laboratories with further information, plus a letter of provenance from the current owner.
As of Tuesday morning, the high bid for the item was £7,587, or roughly $12,000.
John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, told Reuters in a statement that, "If indeed this story is true, it's a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase."
In the letter of provenance, the unnamed owner details how he or she came to own the vial:
"Her laboratory was the laboratory contracted by Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well as the George Washington University Hospital to handle blood testing as well as other types of testing," the letter states. "Her lab did the blood work and testing for President Reagan. The test tube and the lab slip that I have are for his blood work to be tested for lead on [Monday] 03/30/1981. The testing was completed and the test tube was sitting on my mother's desk. At the end of the week, she asked the director of her laboratory if she could keep the paper work and the test tube. The director of the lab told her no problem and really never gave it a second thought. It has been in my family ever since."
The owner claims that they contacted the Reagan National Library several months ago about the vial, and was told that the Reagan family was interested in the vial being returned.
"I told him that I didn't think that was something that I was going to consider, since I had served under Pres. Reagan when he was my Commander in Chief when I was in the ARMY from '87-'91 and that I was a real fan of Reaganomics and felt that Pres. Reagan himself would rather see me sell it rather than donating it," the letter concludes.
An accident that killed Nick Revetta, a U.S. Steel worker outside of Pittsburgh has gone unpunished, with not even the slightest citation being issued for an explosion that was the result of a leak gas pipe. It is an accident, and a death, that didn't need to happen, it seems. More than 50,000 Americans die every year because of workplace accidents or workplace-related illnesses. How many of them, like the death of Nicholas Revetta, could've been avoided and how many of them are never punished?
Early on the morning of Sept. 3, 2009, Nicholas Adrian Revetta left the Pittsburgh suburb of Pleasant Hills and drove 15 minutes to a job at U.S. Steel?s Clairton Plant, a soot-blackened industrial complex on the Monongahela River. He never returned home.
Stocky and stoic, Revetta was working that Thursday as a laborer for a U.S. Steel contractor at the same plant that employed his brother, for the same company that had employed his late father. Shortly before 11:30 a.m., gas leaking from a line in the plant?s Chemicals and Energy Division found an ignition source and exploded, propelling Revetta backward into a steel column and inflicting a fatal blow to his head. Thirty-two years old, he left behind a wife and two young children.
Nick Revetta?s death did not make national headlines. No hearings were held into the accident that killed him. No one was fired or sent to jail.
The details of the investigation are hard to believe:
?These deaths take place behind closed doors,? says Michael Silverstein, recently retired head of Washington State?s workplace safety agency. ?They occur one or two at a time, on private property. There?s an invisibility element.?
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, American workers are entitled to ?safe and healthful? conditions. Nick Revetta?s death and the events that followed lay bare the law?s limitations, showing how safety can yield to speed, how even fatal accidents can have few consequences for employers, and how federal investigations can be cut short by what some call a de facto quota system.
In the Revetta case, the Department of Labor?s Occupational Safety and Health Administration ? OSHA ? failed to issue even a minor citation to U.S. Steel, the world?s 12th-largest steelmaker and an economic leviathan in Western Pennsylvania. The company paid no fine, although current and former workers say that U.S. Steel?s contractors ? including Revetta?s employer, Power Piping Co. ? faced intense pressure to finish their work.
OSHA did look into Revetta?s death, as required by law. Michael Laughlin, a safety inspector from the agency?s Pittsburgh office, spent more than two months on the case, working tirelessly to find the cause of the explosion. Yet emails obtained by the Center for Public Integrity show that Laughlin?s requests for help went unanswered, and he was pulled off the investigation by a supervisor striving to meet inspection goals.
?My problem is at what point do we give up quality for quantity,? Laughlin wrote in an appeal to a higher-ranking OSHA official in Philadelphia in November 2009. ?I need some guidance because I'm torn and my spirit is broken because of the need to complete this case to the best of my ability."
The official advised Laughlin to ?relax? and use the weekend to ?go out and hit some [golf] balls!?
In the end, OSHA penalized only an insulation contractor that had been working in the area of the explosion. The contractor paid $10,763 in fines unrelated to the blast and was not implicated in Revetta?s death.
"The OSHA investigation that was done missed the point," says John Gismondi, a lawyer who represents Nick Revetta's wife, Maureen, in a lawsuit against U.S. Steel. "It wasn't the right type of investigation. They spent all their time on penny-ante stuff. How do you have a situation where all the pipes are owned or maintained by U.S. Steel, you have an explosion, a guy is killed and you have no violation? How is that possible?"
"I'm upset with U.S. Steel," says Maureen Revetta, 34, "but I think I'm angrier with OSHA. They're the government agency that's supposed to keep people safe ? It just seemed like they purposely didn't want to fine U.S. Steel."
Ten months after her husband's death, a second explosion rocked the Clairton Plant, sending 17 workers to the hospital. OSHA blamed the accident on a contractor shortcut approved by U.S. Steel, an allegation the company is contesting.
In a written statement to the Center for Public Integrity, OSHA said it conducted a "thorough investigation" of Nick Revetta's death. "It was determined [that] there was insufficient factual evidence that could support the issuance of citations specifically related to the root cause of the incident."
David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, would not talk about the Revetta case; nor would Robert Szymanski, head of OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office. Edward Selker, the now-retired OSHA deputy regional administrator who urged inspector Laughlin to go hit golf balls, did not return calls to his home. A U.S. Steel spokeswoman declined to comment. In a court filing, the company denied any negligence in the case.
The silence has shaken Revetta's former co-workers. "It just hasn't gone away," says John Straub, a U.S. Steel employee who has worked in Clairton since 1979. "Nobody has really explained to us exactly what happened. They tell us they don't know what the ignition source was. I was working in that same area a couple of weeks before the explosion. I look back and say, 'That could have been me.' "
Obviously, OSHA's effectiveness declined under George W. Bush, but is it moving back in the right direction? Are things getting better? Don't ask Maureen Revetta that question.