Saturday, December 06, 2008

Republic Windows and Doors Has Factory Sit-in By Fired Workers

   A company closing its doors and firing its workers is no big surprise in the Republican/Bush economy. What is surprising though is that some 200 or so workers not only showed up to get their final paycheck, but they also had a sit-in in the factory.

  The United Electrical Workers were told on Wednesday that they would be jobless and the workers are protesting the firings since they did not receive a 60 day notice, which is required by federal law. The workers had also been told that they would not be getting their due vacation pay either.       

   This fiasco is being blamed on Bank of America, who apparently told the company that its best option was to close its door because the company could not get its line of credit from the bank any longer.      Source

  So, the workers went in Friday and decided to occupy the building until they are assured that they will be getting their vacation and severance pay.

   Workers also were angered when company officials didn't show up for a meeting Friday that had been arranged by U.S. Rep Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat.

  So the company broke the law by not giving workers their 60 day notice of a massive layoff. The company is attempting to steal both vacation pay and owed severance pay from its workers.

   Are we sure that this outfit isn't being run by George Bush and his cronies? It does have their trademark on it.

Political Humor: Saturday Edition

  Most of the late night talk shows were in re-runs this week, so not to much to offer. However, we do have a few from...

  Jay Leno:

    "In fact, do you know what the highest-paying line of work is in America right now? Jury duty."


"President Bush and his lovely wife Laura have purchased a new home in Dallas, Texas, worth $2 million. See, this is where President Bush has outsmarted everybody. People underestimate this guy. Five months ago, you would have had to pay $10 million bucks for that house, but thanks to his economic plan, he got it at a bargain. The man is a genius!"

"How does that work when the president applies for a home loan? Like, when they do a credit check, do they include the trillion-dollar deficit?"        Source

Obama's Weekly Radio Address: Biggest Public Works Plan Since Eisenhower

Good morning.

Yesterday, we received another painful reminder of the serious economic challenge our country is facing when we learned that 533,000 jobs were lost in November alone, the single worst month of job loss in over three decades. That puts the total number of jobs lost in this recession at nearly 2 million.

But this isn’t about numbers. It’s about each of the families those numbers represent. It’s about the rising unease and frustration that so many of you are feeling during this holiday season. Will you be able to put your kids through college? Will you be able to afford health care? Will you be able to retire with dignity and security? Will your job or your husband’s job or your daughter’s job be the next one cut?

These are the questions that keep so many Americans awake at night. But it is not the first time these questions have been asked. We have faced difficult times before, times when our economic destiny seemed to be slipping out of our hands. And at each moment, we have risen to meet the challenge, as one people united by a sense of common purpose. And I know that Americans can rise to the moment once again.

But we need action – and action now. That is why I have asked my economic team to develop an economic recovery plan for both Wall Street and Main Street that will help save or create at least two and a half million jobs, while rebuilding our infrastructure, improving our schools, reducing our dependence on oil, and saving billions of dollars.

We won’t do it the old Washington way. We won’t just throw money at the problem. We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve – by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world.

Today, I am announcing a few key parts of my plan. First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.

Second, we will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.

Third, my economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen.  We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.

As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President – because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.

In addition to connecting our libraries and schools to the internet, we must also ensure that our hospitals are connected to each other through the internet. That is why the economic recovery plan I’m proposing will help modernize our health care system – and that won’t just save jobs, it will save lives. We will make sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using cutting edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year.

These are a few parts of the economic recovery plan that I will be rolling out in the coming weeks. When Congress reconvenes in January, I look forward to working with them to pass a plan immediately. We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to save or create at least two and a half million jobs so that the nearly two million Americans who’ve lost them know that they have a future. And that’s exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States.

Thanks for listening.

  And later I'll have President Bush's ideas. Oh wait. Forgot. He has no ideas.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Blackwater Guards To Face Charges Next Week

  There may be a little justice in the world after all.

   From ABCNews

    Five Blackwater guards have been told to surrender to the FBI by Monday to face federal manslaughter and assault charges connected to the shooting deaths of 17 civilians at an traffic circle in Iraq last year, ABC News has learned.

The federal investigation revealed that two of the Blackwater guards did most of the shooting and are expected to face either murder or manslaughter charges, law enforcement officials said.

They identified the two as Dustin Heard, of Tennessee, a former Marine who joined Blackwater in 2004; and Paul Slough, of Texas, a former U.S. Army infantry soldier who joined Blackwater in 2006.

  This is good news for the Iraqi families who have had to go through this crap and I hope that these Blackwater troops get some long prison time.

Detroit Automakers: Myths And Facts

   We all know that the Big 3 automakers are trying to get money from the government in order to keep their doors open. That's nothing new.

   I've been browsing around today just looking  for some interesting tidbits when I ran across this story on the myths that we continue to hear about our automakers and what the actual facts are. I was surprised at a few of the stats.

Myth : Nobody buys their vehicles

Fact :  The big three sold 8.5 million cars in the U.S. last year. In the U.S. last year, GM outsold Toyota by 1.2 million cars and leads in sales this year by 700,000 vehicles. In 2007, GM was the global leader in manufacturing, not by much, over Toyota. GM sold 9,369,524 around the world, besting Toyota by 3,000.

Ford outsold Honda by about 850,000 and Nissan by more than 1.3 million vehicles in the United States last year.

Chrysler sold more vehicles here than Nissan and Hyundai combined in 2007 and so far this year.

Myth : They build unreliable junk

Fact :

The creaky, leaky vehicles of the 1980s and '90s are long gone. Consumer Reports recently found that "Ford's reliability is now on par with good Japanese automakers."

The independent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study scored Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Mercury, Pontiac and Lincoln brands' overall quality as high as or higher than that of Acura, Audi, BMW, Honda, Nissan, Scion, Volkswagen and Volvo.

J.D. Power rated the Chevrolet Malibu the highest-quality midsize sedan. Both the Malibu and Ford Fusion scored better than the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Myth : They build gas-guzzlers

Fact :

All of the Detroit Three build midsize sedans that the Environmental Protection Agency rates at 29-33 miles per gallon on the highway.

The most fuel-efficient Chevrolet Malibu gets 33 m.p.g. on the highway, 2 m.p.g. better than the best Honda Accord. The most fuel-efficient Ford Focus has the same highway fuel economy ratings as the most efficient Toyota Corolla. The most fuel-efficient Chevrolet Cobalt has the same city fuel economy and better highway fuel economy than the most efficient non-hybrid Honda Civic.

A recent study by found that the Chevrolet Aveo subcompact is the least expensive car to buy and operate

  There are a few more myth/facts to take a look at if you want to get a little more educated about our auto industry.   Read More...

Bill O'Reilly's Radio Show To End

   Billo the asshole will have one less media outlet to spew his bullshit on as his radio program will come to an end next year. He says that he is to busy to devote time to TV and radio. Whatever.

   See ya

Fox News Channel said late Thursday that popular cable TV host Bill O'Reilly will step down as the host of his syndicated talk radio show early next year.

The "The Radio Factor" — which began in 2002 and runs on more than 400 radio stations, as well as satellite operator Sirius XM Radio Inc. — will end in the first quarter of 2009, Fox said.

In a statement, O'Reilly said the workload has become too much, adding, "I can no longer give both TV and radio the time they deserve."

Employment Stats For November

  This is not a pretty picture, and I believe that December will not be so merry either.


Nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply (-533,000) in November,

and the unemployment rate rose from 6.5 to 6.7 percent.

November's drop in payroll employment followed declines of

403,000 in September and 320,000 in October, as revised.

Both the number of unemployed persons (10.3 million) and the unemploy-ment rate (6.7 percent) continued to increase in November.

Since the start  of the recession in December 2007, as recently announced by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of unemployed persons increased by 2.7 million, and the unemployment rate rose by 1.7 percentage points. Among the unemployed, the number of persons who lost their job and did not
expect to be recalled to work increased by 298,000 to 4.7 million in November. 
Over the past 12 months, the size of this group has increased by 2.0 million.

Children's Wish List For Santa: Jobs For Mommy And Daddy

   You know that the times are tough when you hear of children telling Santa Claus that they want a job for their mother and/or father instead of the usual request for toys.

   Here is my weekly look at America and our country from an overseas perspective.

Children Are Asking Santa
for Jobs for their Parents

This time Santa Clause is truly affected. As some children sit on his lap, they ask him for something other than a stuffed animal or the latest video game. They want a job for daddy or money to help mommy buy back their home.
Translated By Laura Lodesani
28 November 2008

Edited by Sonia Mladin

Italy - La Stampa - Original Article (Italian)
Joe Jackson, a nineteen year old young man, wears a red jacket and a Santa Claus hat: “I have met children who have broken my heart.”
This time Santa Clause is truly affected. As some children sit on his lap, they ask him for something other than a stuffed animal or the latest video game. They want a job for daddy or money to help mommy buy back their home. At nineteen years old, Joe Jackson wears the red jacket and the Santa Claus hat to cheer private and public events in South Carolina, South of the United States. He confesses all of his emotions: “Behind this beard one can see things that no one else can observe or feel. I have met children who litterally have broken my heart.”
The economic crisis is leading families to face one of the hardest Christmases of their lives. This means that Santa Claus, as a privileged confident, listens to what many children under the age of 11 have been requesting and it is much more than a Nintendo Wii or a Barbie doll. “Children trust Santa Claus and they open up to him, telling him things that usually they would not tell anybody else. They often ask to solve situations. They know that he can realize their dreams,” explained the Californian Timothy Connaghan who has played Santa Claus for fourty years, and in the past few, he has trained over 1,500 Santa Clauses in his “School for Santas.”
He has taught his students, for example, to remember that a good Santa Claus cannot promise money or jobs in order to realize Christmas dreams, “but he can say that things will get better.” Not only children have this form of optimism. Polls affirm that this Christmas season consumers will spend less money. Even at the Columbia Place mall, the local Santa Claus sees a decrease in people who go shopping. Mrs Manfield walks around the mall with Mahogamie, her four year old daughter who has asked Santa Claus for a Cinderella doll, Hanna Montana baloons and a famous TV series.
Her thirty year old mother has been looking for a job for the past nine months but she does not want to deceive her daughter’s expectations. She will try to buy the toys her daughter wished for. I only hope to find a bit of money. Meanwhile the little Mahogamie chats with Santa Claus about the mall and explained to him that she has been eating vegetables, she has been bathing and she has always been nice to her mother. “It is good to see her with Santa Claus- says Mrs Mansfield- my daughter has no idea of what has happened to me.” But Santa Claus materializes even in an surgery center in Louisiana. A group of volunteers have answered the 250 letters that children have been sending to Santa Claus.
Even here the signs coming from the children are other than usual: “They do not ask for Wii video games or for the Xbox- says Denise Griffiths, a volunteer- they ask for personal care products, school material and warm clothes.” As Timothy , the Santa Claus ‘trainer’, explains that we have to make sure that children leave us happier than when they came to us. “Children tend to absorb many of their parents’ worries. They do not always understand the type of worries and sometimes they embellish them. All a Santa Claus can hope for is to speak some optimistic words and to give the child the feeling that everything will be fine. Each time one of them leaves with a smile, it means I have done something good.”


Thursday, December 04, 2008

KBR Being Sued

   This is nothing new, but this story is just plain sickening.

Suit claims Halliburton, KBR sickened base  December 4th,2008

A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against contractor KBR and its former parent company, Halliburton, saying the companies exposed everyone at Joint Base Balad in Iraq to unsafe water, food and hazardous fumes from the burn pit there.

  But that is not the worst part.

         “Plaintiff witnessed the open air burn pit in operation at Balad Air Force Base,” the lawsuit states. “On one occasion, he witnessed a wild dog running around base with a human arm in its mouth. The human arm had been dumped on the open air burn pit by KBR.”

“Defendants knowingly and intentionally supplied and served food that was well past its expiration date, in some cases over a year past its expiration date,” the lawsuit states. “Even when it was called to the attention of the KBR food service managers that the food was expired, KBR still served the food to U.S. forces.”

  The list goes on and on, but here's something really morbid.

    The lawsuit also accuses KBR of shipping ice in mortuary trucks that “still had traces of body fluids and putrefied remains in them when they were loaded with ice. This ice was served to U.S. forces.”

  So how was this shit hidden from the auditors? Funny you should ask.

       “KBR prevented their employees from speaking with government auditors and hid employees from auditors by moving them from bases when an audit was scheduled,” the lawsuit states. “Any employees that spoke with auditors were sent to more dangerous locations in Iraq as punishment.”

  Remember that Vice President Cheney use to work with the former parent company of KBR, that being Halliburton, so these things should come as no surprise to anyone.

   To purposely give our fighting troops bad food and drinking water is beneath contempt. Contracts with this company should be terminated.

CEO's say Job Cuts Coming

  As if this is any kind of surprise?

  ATT is about to cut 12,000 jobs ( 4% workforce ) while DuPont says that it is letting 2,500 jobs go. Let us not forget United Airlines, which plans on furloughing 1,088 workers.

   While these job cuts were being announced, the Labor Department said that unemployment benefits have reached a 26 year high. 4.09 million people are claiming benefits.   Source

  But wait! There's more!

   A survey by The Business Roundtable says that...

   The majority of U.S. CEOs say they expect to cut workers in the next six months, according to a survey out Thursday that showed a rapid deterioration in the economic outlook from the nation's top executives.

Sixty percent of the CEOs said they plan to cut workers in the next six months. That was up from 32% in the third quarter.   USAToday

  Obama and his team will have their work cut out for them. Don't count on the Republicans helping out to much. A few Democrats, also.

Big 3 Automakers Back to Congress...

    Wednesday to beg for money once again.

    Senate Leader Harry Reid says that they do nor have the votes in the Senate to get money to the automakers. Not out of the $700 billion fund for the Wall Street crooks. That is pretty damned pathetic to give swindlers and cheats access to $700 billion for a product which does America no good, but we can't help one of our manufacturers?

Chrysler's Vice Chairman:

   "We're on the brink with the U.S. auto manufacturing industry. We're down to months left," Chrysler's vice chairman, Jim Press, told the AP in a separate interview. "If we have a catastrophic failure of one of these car companies, in this tender environment for the economy, it's a huge blow. It could trigger a depression."

   So, where might other finding sources come from?

   The Bush administration and auto-state Republicans and Democrats are pushing to help the automakers with aid from a different source: a previously approved $25 billion program that's supposed to be used to help them produce more environmentally advanced vehicles.

   The second half of Wall Street's $700 billion bailout is due to be released after the Bush Crime Syndicate request it. If I were Reid, I'd say sure you can have the money, minus $35 billion for Detroit.  Otherwise, no dough. Of course, Reid has no spine, so this will not happen.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Obama Purging Bush Ambassadors

  It's about time that President-elect Obama started getting rid of some of those crappy Bush people.

  Obama has sent notice to all politically-appointed ambassadors that they will have to vacate their positions on January 20, 2009.    Source

   A few more folks added to the unemployment line, but it's a good thing this time around. it's nice to see that Obama is beginning to clean house of the Bush cronies.

Saving the Big 3 for You and Me ...a message from Michael Moore


by Michael Moore  Wed Dec 03, 2008


I drive an American car. It's a Chrysler. That's not an endorsement. It's more like a cry for pity. And now for a decades-old story, retold ad infinitum by tens of millions of Americans, a third of whom have had to desert their country to simply find a damn way to get to work in something that won't break down:

My Chrysler is four years old. I bought it because of its smooth and comfortable ride. Daimler-Benz owned the company then and had the good grace to place the Chrysler chassis on a Mercedes axle and, man, was that a sweet ride!

When it would start.

More than a dozen times in these years, the car has simply died. Batteries have been replaced, but that wasn't the problem. My dad drives the same model. His car has died many times, too. Just won't start, for no reason at all.

A few weeks ago, I took my Chrysler in to the Chrysler dealer here in northern Michigan -- and the latest fixes cost me $1,400. The next day, the vehicle wouldn't start. When I got it going, the brake warning light came on. And on and on.

You might assume from this that I couldn't give a rat's ass about these miserably inept crapmobile makers down the road in Detroit city. But I do care. I care about the millions whose lives and livelihoods depend on these car companies. I care about the security and defense of this country because the world is running out of oil -- and when it runs out, the calamity and collapse that will take place will make the current recession/depression look like a Tommy Tune musical.

And I care about what happens with the Big 3 because they are more responsible than almost anyone for the destruction of our fragile atmosphere and the daily melting of our polar ice caps.

Congress must save the industrial infrastructure that these companies control and the jobs they create. And it must save the world from the internal combustion engine. This great, vast manufacturing network can redeem itself by building mass transit and electric/hybrid cars, and the kind of transportation we need for the 21st century.

And Congress must do all this by NOT giving GM, Ford and Chrysler the $34 billion they are asking for in "loans" (a few days ago they only wanted $25 billion; that's how stupid they are -- they don't even know how much they really need to make this month's payroll. If you or I tried to get a loan from the bank this way, not only would we be thrown out on our ear, the bank would place us on some sort of credit rating blacklist).

Two weeks ago, the CEOs of the Big 3 were tarred and feathered before a Congressional committee who sneered at them in a way far different than when the heads of the financial industry showed up two months earlier. At that time, the politicians tripped over each other in their swoon for Wall Street and its Ponzi schemers who had concocted Byzantine ways to bet other people's money on unregulated credit default swaps, known in the common vernacular as unicorns and fairies.

But the Detroit boys were from the Midwest, the Rust (yuk!) Belt, where they made real things that consumers needed and could touch and buy, and that continually recycled money into the economy (shocking!), produced unions that created the middle class, and fixed my teeth for free when I was ten.

For all of that, the auto heads had to sit there in November and be ridiculed about how they traveled to D.C. Yes, they flew on their corporate jets, just like the bankers and Wall Street thieves did in October. But, hey, THAT was OK! They're the Masters of the Universe! Nothing but the best chariots for Big Finance as they set about to loot our nation's treasury.

Of course, the auto magnates used be the Masters who ruled the world. They were the pulsating hub that all other industries -- steel, oil, cement contractors -- served. Fifty-five years ago, the president of GM sat on that same Capitol Hill and bluntly told Congress, what's good for General Motors is good for the country. Because, you see, in their minds, GM WAS the country.

What a long, sad fall from grace we witnessed on November 19th when the three blind mice had their knuckles slapped and then were sent back home to write an essay called, "Why You Should Give Me Billions of Dollars of Free Cash." They were also asked if they would work for a dollar a year. Take that! What a big, brave Congress they are! Requesting indentured servitude from (still) three of the most powerful men in the world. This from a spineless body that won't dare stand up to a disgraced president nor turn down a single funding request for a war that neither they nor the American public support. Amazing.

Let me just state the obvious: Every single dollar Congress gives these three companies will be flushed right down the toilet. There is nothing the management teams of the Big 3 are going to do to convince people to go out during a recession and buy their big, gas-guzzling, inferior products. Just forget it. And, as sure as I am that the Ford family-owned Detroit Lions are not going to the Super Bowl -- ever -- I can guarantee you, after they burn through this $34 billion, they'll be back for another $34 billion next summer.

So what to do? Members of Congress, here's what I propose:

  1. Transporting Americans is and should be one of the most important functions our government must address. And because we are facing a massive economic, energy and environmental crisis, the new president and Congress must do what Franklin Roosevelt did when he was faced with a crisis (and ordered the auto industry to stop building cars and instead build tanks and planes): The Big 3 are, from this point forward, to build only cars that are not primarily dependent on oil and, more importantly to build trains, buses, subways and light rail (a corresponding public works project across the country will build the rail lines and tracks). This will not only save jobs, but create millions of new ones.
  2.     You could buy ALL the common shares of stock in General Motors for less than $3 billion. Why should we give GM $18 billion or $25 billion or anything? Take the money and buy the company! (You're going to demand collateral anyway if you give them the "loan," and because we know they will default on that loan, you're going to own the company in the end as it is. So why wait? Just buy them out now.)
  3. None of us want government officials running a car company, but there are some very smart transportation geniuses who could be hired to do this. We need a Marshall Plan to switch us off oil-dependent vehicles and get us into the 21st century.

This proposal is not radical or rocket science. It just takes one of the smartest people ever to run for the presidency to pull it off. What I'm proposing has worked before. The national rail system was in shambles in the '70s. The government took it over. A decade later it was turning a profit, so the government returned it to private/public hands, and got a couple billion dollars put back in the treasury.

This proposal will save our industrial infrastructure -- and millions of jobs. More importantly, it will create millions more. It literally could pull us out of this recession.

In contrast, yesterday General Motors presented its restructuring proposal to Congress. They promised, if Congress gave them $18 billion now, they would, in turn, eliminate around 20,000 jobs. You read that right. We give them billions so they can throw more Americans out of work. That's been their Big Idea for the last 30 years -- layoff thousands in order to protect profits. But no one ever stopped to ask this question: If you throw everyone out of work, who's going to have the money to go out and buy a car?

These idiots don't deserve a dime. Fire all of them, and take over the industry for the good of the workers, the country and the planet.

What's good for General Motors IS good for the country. Once the country is calling the shots.

Michael Moore

P.S. I will be on Keith Olbermann tonight (8pm/10pm/midnight ET) to discuss this further on MSNBC.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Political Humor: Tuesday Edition

  I've had one of those very rare, very bad days, and I am sure that a few of you probably had a less then glorious  day your self.

  So instead of waiting till Saturday for the political jokes and such, here is an early addition for you.

   Come! Get a laugh!

     Jay Leno:

"Last Friday was, of course, Black Friday. And if you had money in the stock market, today is Black Monday. The stock market lost 679 points today. Not even a stock market, that's a flea market."

"Today was the big day for online shopping. This is known as Cyber Monday. Did you know that? And of course, tomorrow is Identity Theft Tuesday."

"And this week, they will flip the switch on the White House Christmas tree, which has over 25,000 lights on it, one light for every CEO that's looking for a bailout."            Source

Teacher Selling Ad Space On Tests

  Only in America:

   A calculus teacher in Rancho Bernardo, California has began to sell ad space on his test papers to make up for budget cuts in his supply budget.

   Teacher Tom Farber said that his budget was cut down to $316 when he needs more than $500 in order to print enough tests for the students to practice for other tests later on. The advanced Placement Exam, for instance.

  The going ad rate?

   $10 for a quiz

    $20 for a chapter test

   $30 for a semester final.

   Farber has managed to take in $350 thus far with most of the ads being inspirational messages from parents and others from local area businesses.  Source

  I think that this is a pretty neat idea on this teachers part. Maybe more teachers should follow Mr. Farber's lead and come up with some other means to offset the budget axe.

Blog Changes

As you may have noticed, this site has a different look.For some reason or another, my site changed its look without me doing anything to change it, so I've had to go back from scratch and re-do everything all over again.
There will be quite a few changes in the next few days, so far as the look is concerned. Sorry for any inconveniences that this might have.

Barack Obama's Cabinet Picks

   I've noticed that there seems to be all kinds of complaining on the Internet concerning those people who President-elect Obama has decided to place in certain positions within his administration.

   Many people, myself included, aren't to happy with Hillary Clinton as our Secretary of State, nor with Robert Gates in maintaining his current spot on the team.

   At first, I failed to see Obama's logic in keeping some of his picks at their current post, especially after having served under our disgraced President Bush. This made no sense to me. Why have the hawks and others on your team when many of these folks are responsible for a lot of our economic and war problems?

  After reading  many comments, I tend to agree with those who have thought this thing out. We need those assholes on Obama's team. As much as I hate to say that, that is a fact. Where would Obama get any experienced staff from if not from Washington, Labor Ready temp service?

   Let's face it. you cannot put someone in a homeland security position who has never dealt with any security issues. Bush did this and look what happened.

   We are stuck with what we have available to us. we can only hope that Obama gets his cabinet in line and that they do as is requested of them, by him. If they can't tow the line, out the fucking door, Clinton included. We have no time for bullshit any more.

  President-elect, remember one thing sir. Those Republicans that you will be keeping are still Republicans. They will take the talk that you want to hear and at the same time they will be looking for any chance to stab you in the back and to derail your agenda. History proves that beyond doubt. Carry a big stick and knock the shit out of them when it becomes necessary, sir.

  The Rude Pundit had something to say along these same lines.

But let's just say this as Barack Obama introduces his national security team and people huff and puff about whether they're hawks or not progressive enough or problem children or disappointing or what the fuck ever: Ultimately, the cabinet does the bidding of the president. Sure, they offer ideas and guide the departments. But they are policy implementers. Nothing less and nothing more. You have to be willing to go along with the boss to do the job, or you don't take it. And it's all a political game. If we know anything at all about Barack Obama, it's that he's one crafty motherfucker in the realm of politics.
If you wanted to, say, change the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our strategic relationships around the globe, who's gonna do it without pissing people off? Secretary of Defense Dennis Kucinich? Fuck no. You get the guys and gals who were proponents of the war in at least some way or have cozy goddamn Capitol Hill relationships. If the great and glorious David Petraeus and the shiny Robert Gates are saying, "Bring the troops home," then you've defused your enemies. It ain't Clintonian triangulation, which involved embracing a watered-down version of your opponents' beliefs. It's just fuckin' smart. The same goes for economic policy and it will go for domestic.
Yeah, if Obama lets his hawks run the place and make him break his promises, then we can squawk. But for now, can we just take a breath and see how it all works out?

  Let us wait to see if there is any change we can believe in before we tear our President down, shall we?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Will Cost Condell $36 Million

     Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., will pay out $36 million for accepting payments from both Medicare and Medicaid for more than 5 years under illegal terms, federal prosecutors have said.

The payments allegedly included improper loans to doctors and payments to doctors who performed medical services without written agreements, said U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, noting Condell, under the settlement, does not have to admit any liability.     U.P.I.

  How do these corporations get by without having to admit that they were stealing from the government programs?

Government Declares Official " Recession "

   Our inept, confused, Federal Government has now made it official. We are now in an official, government sponsored recession. Mark this date down somewhere!


It's official: The USA is in a recession that started in December 2007.

The committee of economists responsible for determining the dates of business cycles said Monday that they met by conference call on Friday, Nov. 28 and "the committee determined that a peak in economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in December 2007.

" The peak marks the end of the expansion that began in November 2001 and the beginning of a recession."

    Now that it is official, we can rest more easy.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

UAW And Auto-Workers

    I found THIS posted at Daily Kos.

    A retired auto-worker posted the diary and he has a few good ideas that might help the Big 3 in Detroit.

UAW Concessions Rank-N-File Will Gladly Make

by Public D   Sun Nov 30, 2008

By Gregg Shotwel, UAW Local 1753 (Retired)

Our Republican friends on the Hill want to make us take concessions until we’re earning less than foreign auto plants in Alabama. A fine how do you do. Trouble is, as soon as we reach parity with the Work for Less states, the competition will lower the limbo stick. And they’ll keep lowering it until all workers are face down in the dirt.

But many of us agree that the Job Bank is a hoax. At the last GM plant where I worked, management put forty people in the Job Bank and assigned one person to watch them do nothing. The rest of us had to work mandatory overtime to make up for the lost production.

Why would a company pay people to sit down and do nothing and then pay other employees time and half to make up for what the do-nothings weren’t doing? It doesn’t make sense unless you are keeping two sets of books. One for the company and another for the Center for Human Resources [CHR], a tax exempt non profit corporation that administers funds for Job Bank and reimburses salaries, benefits, and expenses for 30% of International UAW reps.

The purpose of the Job Bank was never to save jobs. The purpose was to silence protest. The Job Bank is in effect a hypnotic drug like Ambien. It puts workers to sleep while their jobs are outsourced. This isn’t an opinion, it’s a numerical fact.  The Center for Human Resources with the cooperation of the International UAW has overseen the reduction of hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs.

It’s counterintuitive to pay workers for not working. It’s like paying farmers not to grow crops. Unemployment is a drain on the economy. It’s nonproductive. It keeps all boats from rising by depressing wages. But for trickle downers there’s an upside: degrading workers curbs inflation. Likewise, Job Bank has an upside for the companies. It mothballs workers, gets them off the books, and curbs demand for real job security—meaningful work.

There’s only one reasonable solution to the wastefulness of Job Bank and unemployment compensation: work. We should jump on that concession with both feet. There is a lot of work to be done at GM since Hurricane Wagoner hit. The government could invest in rebuilding the manufacturing base just like the governments of Japan, Korea, China, and India have done. How long did it take the auto companies to retool at the onset of WW2? We’ve done it before and we can do it again. But this time let’s beat the the fossil fuel burners into cutting edge transports.

Under the current proposals by the Detroit Three, government loans would be used to close plants and cut jobs. How does it help communities or the larger economy to reduce the workforce and undermine the tax base? Any government assistance should be tied to job creation which is why we would gladly concede the Job Bank, a proven job killer, and replace it with a plan to create meaningful work.

Another concession we could gladly make is in the area of UAW appointees who get paid to keep the rabble unaroused. We could save a lot of money by kicking those slackers off the gravy train. For every UAW appointee carrying a clipboard GM has a white collar working hard to double the redundancy. We can afford to concede the UAW Appointees. Put them back on the line and reduce overtime in favor of full employment.

We can also concede the twelve hours of double time the Bargaining Chair gets to sit home on Sunday. Let’s concede that payoff. Instead of the company paying union offs to hide in their cubby holes, let’s put them back to work until they are called out and actively investigating a grievance. We don’t need union offs who are beholden to the boss.

While we’re at it, let’s give the anti union crowd one they really want: dues check off. Instead of having the company automatically deduct dues from our paychecks, make the union rep come around to each and every worker once a month and collect. Call it, the Accountability Check Off. Workers would pay their dues and the Union rep would hear what they thought of his or her job performance.

There are plenty of concessions UAW members are willing to make. We will give them Ron Gettelfinger’s mustache. We will give them Bob King’s phony apprenticeship. We will give them Cal Rapson’s rap sheet. We will give them Jimmy Settles extra chin. We will give them General Holiefield’s bag of wind.  We will give them Elizabeth Bunn’s deer in the headlight stare. We will gladly give up the Center for Human Resources and the hundreds of millions of payola connected to joint funds. We’d be glad to flush the waste out of the system.

But we won’t give up what we have earned. We won’t give up our pensions, benefits, wages, or work rules. And we insist that the United States finally live up to world class standards and provide health care for the whole working class.

Jobs with Justice has issued a call for a National Week of Action, December 7-13 >

As many predicted, the Wall Street Bailout has proven to be the gross give-away to the same financial bigwigs that have been pocketing millions while wrecking the real economy. Little or no benefit has gone to the working people and the real economy, at a time that we face the greatest economic crisis since the1930s. By the time Obama is sworn in, hundreds of thousands of additional people will lose their jobs, lose their homes and lose their health care.

     It's time for a "People's Bailout" that fixes the real economy, restores a voice for working people in challenging corporate greed, provides emergency help to the victims of the crisis and begins building a fair economy that works for all, addressing crises in housing, health care, jobs, retirement security and the environment.

     Jobs with Justice coalitions and ally organizations are calling for a Week of Actions around the country that educate and mobilize in support of a Peoples Bailout.

Immediately we call for:

    - Pass an economic stimulus/recovery package, on the scale of the emergency we face, that addresses emergency needs and supports jobs in the real economy;

    - Pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA);

    - Stop evictions due to foreclosures;

    - Emergency action so people losing jobs don't lose health care.

Lay the groundwork for a long-term recovery program including:

    - Green jobs and clean energy;

    - Restore worker justice, including EFCA and other reforms;

    - Health care for all;

    - Retirement security;

    - Re-regulate the finance system and make the speculators pay to clean-up their mess

     - Fair policies on Trade and Migration that honor workers here and abroad 

Jobs with Justice is calling for this national week of action across the country, in coordination with groups such as Institute for Policy Studies, US Action, American Friends Service Committee, National Community Reinvestment Coalition.  Visit for more information.

What you can do:

1) Contact your local JwJ coalition to get involved in activities in your area. We will post a list of actions next week.

2) Organize your own event. Visit to download an organizing kit and let us know what you are planning. ================================================================== 

The International UAW is notably AWOL from this call to action in defense of working people. The UAW’s inaction is all the more reason for rank & file members to support Jobs with Justice. This crisis isn’t about the privileges of the Detroit Three, it’s about all workers.

Stay Solid,

Gregg Shotwell

8 Year Old Arizona Murder Suspect Offered Plea Deal

   This case will be complicated just because of the boys age.


Prosecutors have offered a plea deal to an 8-year-old boy charged with murder in the shooting deaths of his father and another man in their eastern Arizona home, court records show.

Complete details of the offer weren't spelled out in a court filing posted Saturday on the Apache County Superior Court's Web site.

But County Attorney Criss Candelaria wrote that he has "tendered a plea offer to the juvenile's attorneys that would resolve all the charges in the juvenile court contingent on the results of the mental health evaluations."

Candelaria was responding to a defense motion seeking to block him from dropping one of two first-degree murder charges the boy faces in the deaths of his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy Romans, 39, earlier this month.

Defense attorney Benjamin Brewer argued in a filing Tuesday that prosecutors wanted the charge dismissed so they could refile it when the boy was older and pursue case in adult court.

  Mental health evaluations? I'll bet that this young man walks on the murder charges because the court is not set up to handle a child murder suspect in the first place.

    If the child is found incompetent to stand trial...

The court would be required to order efforts to restore the boy to competency, but if that couldn't be done within about eight months, the judge would be required by law to dismiss the criminal case and bar it from being refiled.