Workers from the United Steelworkers and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union joined forces Wednesday to launch a thousand mile journey through six states to raise awareness of issues related to lockouts at American Crystal Sugar and Cooper Tires.
?From Fargo to Findlay: A Journey for Justice? is a joint project of the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). Locked out workers from American Crystal Sugar Company and Cooper Tire and Rubber Company will embark on a road trip from Fargo, North Dakota, to Findlay, Ohio, in order to focus attention on the most recent wave of greed-motivated corporate attacks on workers and their unions.
Eight members of the USW and BCTGM will travel over 1,000 miles through six states in six days, participating in rallies, fundraisers, and direct actions with local union members and allies along the way. The Journey for Justice will begin on Wed., Feb. 22, 2012, with a rally in Fargo and make stops in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana before concluding on Mon., Feb. 27, in Findlay.
American Crystal Sugar has locked out 1,300 union workers six months ago and Cooper Tires locked out 1,000 workers just after Thanksgiving.
On November 28th, Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. locked out 1,050 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) from its plant in Findlay, OH. The company hired replacement workers through Strom Engineering, the same contractor that supplies replacements for the Crystal Sugar lockout. In 2008, when Cooper Tire was in financial trouble, members of USW Local 207L made concessions worth $31 million to save their plant. Meanwhile, CEO Roy Armes saw his compensation more than double between 2007 and 2010 to over $4.7 million. Workers voted against the company?s unfair proposal and offered to keep working while negotiations continued. The company chose to lock them out instead.
This seems to be part of a regular pattern across the country. Companies are making record profits, paying CEOs and executives massive bonuses while pushing to make unions give up salaries, jobs and workplace rights.
American Crystal Sugar has made record profits in recent years and refuses to negotiate with the union workers unless they agree to a punitive offer in advance -- an agreement their members have already rejected twice.
Igor Volsky at ThinkProgress reports on today's Democratic hearing on birth control:
Democrats on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee held a special hearing Thursday morning in response to the GOP?s decision to prevent women from testifying in support of an Obama administration rule requiring employers to provide birth control without additional cost sharing. The committee invited just one witness, Sandra Fluke, the third year Georgetown Law student, who House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) dismissed as an ?energized? ?college student? who was not ?appropriate and qualified? to testify before his committee.Igor has more, including video.
Democrats received over 300,000 requests for women to testify on the issue, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during today?s hearing, and the GOP?s male-only contraception hearing was widely spoofed in the press and on late-night comedy shows. Fluke herself responded to Issa?s snub in jest, noting, ?Well, I will confirm that I was energized, yes? she said to laughter from the committee, ?as you can see from the reaction behind me, many women in this country are energized about this issue.? ?I?m an American woman who uses contraception, so let?s start right there. That makes me qualified to talk to my elected officials about my health care needs,? she added.
In her testimony, Fluke reiterated the story of her friend who was denied contraception coverage from Georgetown, despite technically qualifying for an exception that provided students who use birth control for health reasons with the benefit, and had to undergo invasive surgery.
The Affordable Care Act’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) is credited with providing comprehensive health coverage to nearly 50,000 Americans with high-risk pre-existing conditions, according to a report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services. The PCIP is a temporary program intended to make health coverage available and more affordable for individuals who are uninsured — and were likely denied coverage based on their pre-existing conditions — and are ineligible to receive Medicare and Medicaid. Once the health reform law is fully implemented, in 2014, insurers will be prohibited from refusing coverage to any American with a pre-existing condition.
Since its launch in November 2010, there has been an approximate 400 percent increase in PCIP enrollment — specifically amongst older uninsured Americans, who’s serious pre-existing conditions require more intensive and ongoing medical care — with the PCIP program attracting 8,000 new applications every month from August through November 2011.
PCIP enrollees are immediately granted access to the most basic medical treatments, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, prescription drugs, home health and hospice care, skilled nursing care, preventive health and maternity care, but because of the severity of many of the enrollees’ conditions, 78 percent of the total cost to run the program is spent on providing care for four types of potentially life-threatening medical needs, such as: cancer, circulatory diseases (i.e. coronary artery disease), degenerative joint diseases, and rehabilitative care/aftercare (i.e. radiation and chemotherapy).
In 2011 the Federally-administered PCIP served 628 enrollees with cancer, including 333 enrollees diagnosed with breast cancer, and covered more than 1,000 enrollees with a diagnosis of either ischemic heart disease or heart failure. Assuming that the risk profile of the Federally-administered PCIP population is reflective of the program as a whole, we estimate that the PCIP program served nearly 1,900 individuals with cancer and approximately 4,700 people with heart disease in 2011.
A recent study examined a sample of 1,485 enrollees in 10 state-based PCIPs and found that 18.7 percent of individuals had joint disease, 16.8 percent of individuals had diabetes or other disorders of the endocrine system, and 15.4 percent had cardiovascular disorders. The top five diagnoses or procedures by cost vary by State, but typically include cancers, ischemic heart.
Some states have had trouble getting the high risk pools off the ground and have either relied on existing state programs or offered patchy benefit packages“. The transition to the new pools has been less than flowing, with enrollment failing to meet the Obama administration’s projections, and while most states still have yet to exceed their operating budgets, at least nine have burned through their money and are currently requesting additional funding — Alaska has spent $13 million on just 45 people. Costs have also stunted enrollment rates, as premiums remain impossibly high, even after the federal government’s decision to reduce them in an attempt to appeal to more people.
What a brilliant video to go with this post!
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So the Susan G Komen Foundation has hired an expensive reputation consulting firm (the firm run by Mark Penn, who ruined Hillary Clinton's shoo-in candidacy for president in 2008 by not knowing how Democratic Party state caucuses work -- good luck with[...]
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President Obama, as you will read below, is in the middle of one his best polling days of the cycle. I'd love to think that this bump is owed to public revulsion as a result of last night's debate. But, clearly, that's not it, since virtually all of the respondents, across the board, were conducted before that train wreck even got underway.
So I'll leave it to some of the brightest lights in the left-of-center blogosphere, the readers of Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections, to take their shot at it in the comments.
For now, though, let's hit the numbers. First, the GOP primary numbers. In a rarity, they are less interesting than the general election numbers.
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Santorum 34, Romney 27, Gingrich 15, Paul 10Now, on that general election front, it is hard to find even a mildly pessimistic poll today for the president:
NATIONAL (YouGov): Santorum 34, Romney 25, Gingrich 16, Paul 10
GEORGIA (Rasmussen): Gingrich 33, Santorum 28, Romney 20, Paul 9
MICHIGAN (American Research Group): Santorum 38, Romney 34, Paul 12, Gingrich 7
PENNSYLVANIA (Franklin & Marshall): Santorum 45, Romney 16, Gingrich 9, Paul 7
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama d. Santorum (48-41); Obama d. Romney (49-39)A couple of thoughts, just past the jump.
NATIONAL (YouGov): Obama d. Romney (49-41); Obama d. Santorum (51-41); Obama d. Paul (49-37); Obama d. Gingrich (52-36)
CALIFORNIA (Field Poll): Obama d. Romney (55-35); Obama d. Gingrich (56-33); Obama d. Santorum (60-32)
PENNSYLVANIA (Franklin & Marshall): Obama d. Romney (41-33); Obama d. Santorum (45-37); Obama d. Paul (41-28); Obama d. Gingrich (47-31)
VIRGINIA (Rasmussen): Obama d. Romney (49-43); Obama d. Santorum (51-43)
WASHINGTON (PPP): Obama d. Santorum (52-40); Obama d. Paul (51-38); Obama d. Romney (53-38); Obama d. Gingrich (55-35)
You got that right. He or she is a real team player so hire him.
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In less than two decades, the United States has been converted into a Banana Republic.Like Glennzilla wrote: Liberty and Justice For Some. The rest of us are supposed to expect being shafted.As for Mary Schapiro, she deserve the worst public humiliation possible. But no "media star" (read: the ditto head parroting the govermin script on teevee) will ever go Jake Tapper on an elite representative of High Finance.
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A Wisconsin state representative who supported the state's voter ID law is now be accused of voter fraud himself.
A YouTube video titled "Proof Of Voter Fraud In The Wisconsin State Assembly" shows Republican state Rep. Joel Kleefisch getting out of his chair to electronically cast a vote for a member who was away from the Assembly floor.
Wisconsin state Assembly rule 76 clearly says that "[o]nly the members present in the assembly chamber may vote."
On Wednesday, WTMJ's Rob Koebel asked Kleefisch if he broke that rule.
"It depends on how you interpret the rule," Kleefisch replied. "The rule says you have to be present in the chamber. The bathroom counts as the chamber. And the parlor counts as a chamber if you are going to eat."
It wasn't immediately clear which member Kleefisch had been voting for or if that member had been in the bathroom or parlor at the time.
Democratic state Rep. Jason Fields told Koebel that the practice is common among both Republicans and Democrats.
"Yeah, it's done when you have a conversation with your seat mate to know where they are at," Fields explained.
For his part, Kleefisch dismissed the video as an attempt at character assassination of him and his wife, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R), who is facing a recall election.
"We are targets. My wife is under recall. We are targets," the Oconomowoc Republican said. "He shoots specific video of me when he could have shot 24 to 50 people at that time."
Recall elections for Republican Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four state senators appear likely to go forward after a judge recently denied Walker's petition for more time to review recall petitions. Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Board posted online more than 850,000 signed petitions calling for the lieutenant governor's recall.
What Newt did today was low even by his lousy standards.
He hastily called a news conference to politicize the deaths of two American soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan. Newt used the killing of those poor soldiers to score cheap political brownie points with his base.
Of course, for him, it was a twofer. Bash those evil Mooslims and the Commander in Chief with the evil Mooslim name in one fat swoop. (Pun intended)
" GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday a U.S. apology to Afghan authorities for burned Qurans on a military base was ?astonishing? and undeserved.Gingrich lashed out at President Barack Obama for the formal apology after copies of the Muslim holy book were found burned in a garbage pit on a U.S. air field earlier in the week"
Newt couldn't wait to jump on Obama for apologizing to the Afghans for that inadvertent book burning. There will be more to follow. Mr. Obama, the programmers over at FOX NEWS would like to thank you for giving them some red meat for their voracious viewers.
"The president apologized for the burning, but I haven't seen the president demand that the government of Afghanistan apologize for the killing of two young Americans."
In his rush to be first, Newt forgot that those soldiers were killed after Obama apologized to the President of Afghanistan. I suppose that if Newt or one of his cohorts were running things no apology would be forthcoming. Anger the Afghans even more and put more American lives at risk.
"There seems to be nothing that radical Islamists can do to get Barack Obama's attention in a negative way, and he is consistently apologizing to people who do not deserve the apology of the president of the United States, period," Gingrich said." [Source]
Newt should be apologizing to the families of those two dead soldiers. They will get a phone call from Obama. (If they haven't already) If Newt called, however, I am sure they would just hang up the phone.
Finally, the tape never lies.
If you dumbocrats want to learn how to cheat in politics you might want to start taking notes from your republican friends:
"Yesterday in Wisconsin, a hidden camera caught a certain Republican voter ID law advocate violating the assembly rules to cheat and vote for colleagues who were not present. This is also referred to as vote fraud."
Oh my! You mean to tell me that a republican voter ID law advocate was actually caught cheating, himself? Nooooo! [Source and video tape]
The cheating poli-trickster caught on tape actually looks like he uses Newt's personal trainer. Hey, maybe the guy was just reaching for a donut.
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