So TJX lays off 1,400 workers in Massachusetts. So much for the union label. Keep going dems, one of those hands you’re biting is going to bite back. Please, tell me again how you’re for the working people? http://www.bostonherald.com/bu… After that, you can tell me why you’re against extending unemployment benefits now. Earlier this week, you were all for it. Playing politics, eh? Spare me the righteous BS. Please!
… try the dirty stuff. Here's the delightful story of a new coal-burning plant in Wisconsin: The stuttering start-up of the most expensive construction project in state history, the We Energies power plant complex in Oak Creek [WI], should be complete by the end of the month – one month later than projected. … An independent consultant has pegged the cost of the two-phase Oak Creek expansion at $2.33 billion. … Costs linked to the Oak Creek project have been among several factors that have led to higher monthly costs for We Energies' residential electricity customers, whose bills on average have risen $27 a month, or 38%, since June of 2005, the first month the utility charged for the Oak Creek project. A typical residential customer pays $99.43 a month, a total that is expected to climb above $100 a month for the first time beginning next month. And people are worried about the miniscule increase in electric bills from Cape Wind, a project with negligible environmental impact. So, the question is not whether we add more energy-making capacity — it's what kind. And unfortunately, we'll have to pay a bit more for more capacity in any event. Now, ask [...]
Formerly titled: “Thank You, Mr. President”
Like any major political event, there are multiple layers to the Thermidoran reaction to President Obama’s tax deal with the Republicans. On an individual level, what’s happening is the extraordinary failure of a President for whom, not just the majority of the country, but the majority of the planet had great hopes. On a party level, there are the Democrats finally drawing a line in the sand and figuring out what they stand for. On an ideological level, the idea that taxes can be continually cut and for no particular reason is finally being questioned. On a small “d” democratic level, we’re seeing something akin to the Tea Party movement; the people and their representatives are tired of being left out of the process by an aloof political class that just doesn’t get it.
Something is happening here, it hasn’t been clear because what’s happening–if it persists–is a sea change.
I just called Senator Kerry’s office to ask him to join Bernie Sanders in his courageous filibuster. They said that they have been getting many calls on this subject. I can’t say how disappointed I am in his response. His office said Kerry was going to vote for the “compromise” because otherwise unemployment insurance would run out and everyone’s taxes would go up.
A lot of Americans tend to see politics much like they see football: loud, brash, muscular and quite often, definitive. Indeed, the single most overused metaphor right now is that of Lucy, from Peanuts, as she convinces Charlie Brown, yet again, that she won’t pull away the football at the last moment… which of course she does. In this scenario the Republicans are Lucy and Obama is Charlie Brown, haplessly falling for her shpiel over and over.
Football is aggressive and charged and, whatever else you think about the game, it is an event: fans are guaranteed to walk away having felt witness to efforts of great pitch and moment. Or, in the immortal words of the (sadly) mortal George Carlin:
“In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.”
But Obama isn’t a football player. He’s a b-baller. Hoopster. He plays the rock.
Fundamentally. Different. Mindset.
Glide. Weave. Pass. Sinuous fake-out and soar! Dunk! So yeah, basketball is an event too, but with an entirely different M.O. I think this explains some, but not all, of Barack Obamas’ style. But even more so, the disconnect between what Obama is doing and what people expect of him is explained by this metaphor: Obama is shooting for two points while his ‘base’, ostensibly sensible people are looking for one single authoritative and game-clinching score like you might find in football. They’re growing impatience stems from the fact that each fight, be it stimulus or health care, DADT or the Bush tax cuts or whatever comes next, isn’t the overwhelmingly decisive political and moral victory they thought they were entitled to when they voted for the first basketball player to occupy the White House…
Bernie is doing it old-school right now on the Senate floor. He started at 10:25 this morning. If you’ve never seen a real filibuster, or even if you have, you can watch on C-SPAN2.
Yesterday, Scott Brown voted to block the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which is described as: a bill that would provide money for medical aid to ailing World Trade Center workers, dealing a blow to those sickened in service to the country. Republicans had previously stated that they would block legislation until the Bush tax breaks are extended. Scott Brown voted with Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership in blocking aid. If Scott Brown believes in holding the health care of 9/11 responders hostage until he can secure a 4 percent tax break for millionaires, then his priorities are completely out of whack. But this isn’t the first time Scott Brown has gone after 9/11 responders. Just one month after the 9/11 attacks Scott Brown was one of only three state representatives to vote against providing financial assistance to Red Cross workers who volunteered in the 9/11 recovery. TP: In 2001, you voted against 9/11 recovery workers, giving them aid, do you have any comment on this story? BROWN: Yes, it was a time when our budget was down. We had a lot of cuts unfortunately, and we had to take care of our own priorities first. TP [...]
I have been following closely the Boston Globe’s coverage of how Upper Crust Pizza owner Jordan Tobins has been stealing from his employees for years. First the Department of Labor investigated and nailed Tobins for wage theft and required him to pay 120 workers over $350,000 in back pay. Now AG Martha Coakley is following up on the DOL investigation.
Let me state this as bluntly as possible. Jordon Tobins is a common criminal, a thief who stole money.
Sousa and other immigrant employees eventually took their complaints about working conditions to the US Department of Labor. It launched an investigation last year and ordered Upper Crust to pay nearly $350,000 to about 120 employees for uncompensated overtime.
If I broke into Upper Crusts office and stole $350,000 from the company safe, I would be arrested, brought to trial and if convicted, would be doing time. Tobins steals $350,000 from workers and he is walking around free and living the high life.
And it gets worse. After being caught and at least being required to pay these worker the money he stole, Tobins comes back and is accused of doing it all again!
But Upper Crust demanded the immigrants surrender the government-ordered checks or lose their jobs, according to interviews with nine former employees. Two former cooks, in a lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court, have accused the Boston pizzeria of taking back thousands of dollars in overtime payments by slashing their wages.
One of the plaintiffs, Valdeir Pereira Pinto, started earning $455 for working 80 hours a week, according to copies of his paychecks and timecards submitted as part of the lawsuit. That is about $5.70 an hour, or $2.30 below minimum wage. Pinto said Upper Crust deducted more than $8,000 over several months – the full overtime payment he received – and then fired him.
Lock this common thief up.
Fabulous Vt. Senator Bernie Sanders’ speech on floor of senate http://tinyurl.com/2fwh6lm
As I’ve digested the goings-on of the last few days, I find myself thinking of… Jesse “The Body” Ventura??
Yes. Not Jesse Ventura the conspiracy theorist, or the guy who sometimes shows up on TV or radio to give his opinion on some current event. Nor am I referring to Jesse the governor or Jesse the mayor.
I’m going way back to the heyday of the World Wrestling Federation, when he was Jesse “The Body” Ventura and did the TV broadcasts with “Gorilla” Monsoon. Gorilla handled the play-by-play and Jesse provided color commentary and analysis. They were a very entertaining team, IMO.
What I remember that relates to the subject at hand (and I’m going totally from 20+ year old memory here) is this: Occasionally, one of the wrestlers would find himself in a precarious position, just inches from being pinned, possibly in much (feigned) pain, the match just about over (never mind that almost always something miraculous would happen and the oppressed wrestler would turn the tables and make quick work of his opponent). Gorilla would sometimes turn to Jesse and ask him what he would do if he found himself in such a predicament.
Jesse, without hesitation, would reply along the lines of, “Gorilla, I don’t let myself get into situations like that.”