He made the trains run on time and controlled the Unions

image - October 23, 2003

Fascism is recognized to have first been officially developed by Benito Mussolini, who came to power in Italy in 1922. To sum up fascism in one word would be to say "anti-liberalism".

...............Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the "Right," a Fascist century."

Image Source Page: http://marxistleninist.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/glenn-beck-champions-u-s-pro-nazi-text/

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Terminator terminating State Employees

Governor Schwarzenegger orders thousands of layoffs and furloughs starting in February 2009. Schwarzenegger wants employees to take two days without pay each month until June 30, 2010.

Union leaders say the forced, unpaid time off amounts to 9%cut in pay..

A spokesman for the finance department said furlough days would save $1.2 billion or more.

The order mandates each department cut personnel by 10% and decide how many employees will lose lose their jobs..

The state employee unions promised a legal challenge.

As much as 20% of the workforce, employees with the least seniority will be sent "surplus" letters over the next 30 days, said personnel officials, although not all of them will lose their jobs.

Even though Schwarzenegger said everyone must share the sacrifice, it is unknown if any of Schwarzenegger's office staff are to be laid off.

S.E.I.U. local 1000 said the issue of layoffs and unpaid days off would be brought to the Public Employment Relations Board, claiming the order is an unfair labor practice because reductions in the workforce are is a subject of ongoing contract talks..

California's unemployment rate reached 8.4%, the worst in 14 years.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fools, Liars, and Right wingnuts

The right wing leadership, Fools and liars,

I realize this is a hard time to pick on you. You lost after trying to destroy the U.S. You were stopped while there was still something left. A mostly left, Union supporting black man has been elected to the presidency. Did I say you lost?

You have been lying for years, blaming the left and blaming the Unions while asking us not to look at the billionaires behind us with their hands in our pockets.

I know that the talk shows must paint Obama as the devil in order to get more of your hard earned money. Did they tell you, you lost?

While still blaming even a bad hair day on Clinton, now you have a need for Obama to be seen as a fraud, or a conspirator because otherwise your world view will be shattered.

Having lived so long in a world with no integrity or character keeps you from from being able to believe these characteristics can exist. No one can blame you after eight years of George Bush.

You lost, and you say your loss can be blamed on crooked dealing, dishonesty, a lack of character, and lies.

You are right, you lost because of crooked dealing, dishonesty, a lack of character and lies: yours. I left out incompetence to be nice.

We both know that truth is hard to explain from a right wing viewpoint, even harder for your base to understand, damaging to your candidates, and just too complicated for your voters.

Please try to stick to your game plan, don't speak truth, do worship Sarah Palin. Please make her your next candidate. Stick with the far right religious fringe. Please stick to your principles.

You need to stay the course, now that a Democrat is in power. You must push every fantasy, like the fairy tale about the $72.00 an hour UAW worker, you must keep pushing delusional fantasy as long as a Republican politician or talk show host is willing to talk about your dreams.

Stay the course, while there is no proof of your claims, no evidence, you have to keep on keeping on. You need to feed the talk show hosts.

Could we pretend we live in a world where we could, for a moment have a rational debate?

What has Obama done that is dishonest? Hold on: Do you have proof? OK....I see you don't have any proof, only belief. See?, you have to stick with the religious right, they will understand operating with belief and no proof. They certainly will be against any attempt to evolve into a better party.

Is there anything Obama has done about the election, his appointments, or even his birth certificate that have been proven illegal?

Did he send money to Blagojevich to buy a Senator? I guess Blagojevich explained that on the tapes when he said he wouldn't take gratitude.

No proof, no facts.

Isn't your job to find proof? Doesn’t America deserve facts? Are accusations enough to convict? Oh yeah, I forgot Guantanamo.

Until you come up with more than dire warnings of what Obama will do, even before he is in office, unless you come up with more than lies based on fantasy instead of facts you will be stuck with only one fact.

You lost.

We may be entering a depression at least as bad as the Great Depression and just maybe it is time to pull together behind our elected leader, look like Americans and use the truth when we know it.

Don't stop looking for the truth, the Democrats did not stop for eight years and see how that worked. Keep digging, investigate, that's how we are supposed to do it in America.

I know you didn't get any practice digging for truth from 2000-2008, or we might not be entering a depression.

You could come back if you learned how to tell the difference between talk shows and truth. You should at least look for truth so you can do a better job of hiding it the next time you are in power.

Don't forget, you lost.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

If the MSEA-SEIU was in Canada

If the MSEA-SEIU was a Canadian Union we Couldn't be blackmailed. Make no mistake about it, we are blackmailed every time we negotiate a contract.

Unions across the United States have made mistakes while bargaining contracts. Short term decisions, a raise this year, $50.00 for tools, or a night shift premium have contributed to our present crisis.

In the short term each goal was a good idea and helped some or all employees. The disaster of working only for short term goals was predicted in the 1940's by Walter P. Reuther, one of America’s great labor leaders, president the United Automobile Workers union (UAW) between 1946 and 1970. Reuther's early call for universal health was his one failure. Reuther built the UAW and foresaw the cost health care for Union members would make those benefits a target for cuts and attacks on Union members in the future. He built the UAW but sadly failed to get other Unions on board. In the early years the Unions saw health care as a Union benefit, something to be used as a recruiting tool to gain members.

Short term thinking was the norm up until the 1990's when the full implications of the anti-Union Reagan and Bush administrations started to have the effect the right was looking for: Unions became weaker, but while becoming weaker they were forced to look to the long term and think about health care for all, retirement for all because they were becoming the targets that Reuther had prophesied.

In Maine Union negotiations for short term goals alone are not responsible for putting us where the legislature is able use the threat of cutting our health care as a club to force contract concessions rather than negotiate fairly.

Unions are not to blame for a collapsing stock market, the housing market and the loss of over $12 trillion dollars in home equity and investments. This depression has killed consumer spending.

UAW workers don't earn $72.00 an hour, they earn nearly the same and in some cases less than non-union plants.

State employees don't get cost of living raises, but all these lies make reaching a fair contract more challenging.

Auto industry management, Bush deregulation, and Wall Street greed have put our Union and the State of Maine in the same place. A place where we can fight with each other or work together for the common good.

Where once a good job with benefits allowing a worker to provide for a family was seen as an honest goal, now the right paints anyone working for more than minimum wage as greedy.

At the same time an auto worker or a State employee is painted as greedy the right wingnuts have been screaming for tax cuts for the rich, bankruptcy for the airlines to break Union contracts, and they tried to get their hands on Social Security.

The Unions are not to blame for a dysfunctional, profit driven health care system in the U.S. If we operated under and paid the same as the Canadian system, Maine could be many millions of dollars if not hundreds of millions of dollars ahead of where it is now.

The companies in Canada still pay some dollars towards employee benefits but the the savings for health care could be as much as 50%, putting them in line with costs in Canada.

No government would ever use all of the savings wisely, but some of the savings would still go to workers as higher wages and to taxpayers as lower taxes.

Maine is also picking up part of the tab for many spouses and dependent children. The taxpayer would not have to carry health care costs in a Canadian model health care system.

Taxpayers would have the same health care as State employees and we would no longer be targets for having what everyone deserves.

Even with these additional savings Maine would still be facing serious problems. The Politicians have made a string of bad choices by putting off road repairs, stealing from pension funds, and betting the future on ever rising home prices that would bring in ever higher property taxes.

This is one of the most important contracts we have ever negotiated. It will be a tragedy if the example of good jobs with good benefits is made to to disappear through a depression caused by greed and crooked financial dealings of Wall Street, Reagan, Bush senior and George Bush.

For the most part the legislature is not bad, they don't hate Unions or State employees, but the situation is made worse by virtue of the fact that most legislators are looking for the easy way out. State employees paychecks are the easy way out.

The public thinks we get cost of living raises every year and raises every year. In one online forum they scream that we should only get a raise equal to the Consumer Price index. I wish! If we had gotten that size raise for the last six years we would have averaged 4% per year, not the 2% per year we actually received.

The public isn't told that State employees have in effect been taking pay cuts every year for over a decade earning less than inflation and still taking cuts in benefits.

Maine is partially in this disaster due to legislators who are wealthy, and unable to understand where their spending habits have put the State, the taxpayers, and the employees who serve them.

While the appropriations committee was cutting funds for foster children last year one legislator stood in a public hearing and asked me if no one had ever told me that State promises are no good. He was looking for a laugh and thought he was funny. So many of them do not understand what it is to work for a living.

We worry about possible demands that Union members give up previously negotiated wages and benefits while some legislators refuse to listen to ideas that could save the taxpayers millions. The Union and the legislature must start adopting the long view.

They don't feel the damage they are doing because Maine has a part time legislature and for the most part only those who can afford a legislators chump change salary can serve. They just don't understand.

As Union members look at their paychecks and wonder if they will be smaller next year, if they will have jobs next year, the legislature holds the club of health care cuts and lay offs over our heads.

Look again at that paycheck, the amount deducted for health care or paid by the State, with this money, the State has helped to pay the CEO of Anthem a multi-million dollar salary performing a job a small group of State employees could be hired to perform. They spend more millions renting buildings that landlords refuse to maintain while State owned property rots for lack of maintenance. Contracts are outsourced and the costs are never checked after the first year. They don't understand.

The Mainers that are State employees know where the waste is, where the money is going. We want to work with the State to save tax dollars. We see the waste, we love Maine, and we pay taxes too. A partnership could save millions.

Be ready to call your legislator this coming year and tell them you understand, you vote, your family votes, you pay taxes too, and if the citizens of Maine can not get a driver license, the roads go unplowed, the public will remember.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The South Shall Rise Again!

Kill the big three? Punish Unions for greed?

The American car industry is not dead, but we could be buying GM cars from South America if we don't do something now.

The $14, $15, or even $34 billion is probably only a down payment on what is needed to keep car making alive in the US.

If $34 billion on the table is only a down payment on what it will cost to save car manufacturing consider that we have spent nearly $400 billion bailing out banks that produce NOTHING except profits for those with money to risk.

Why is the right fighting against the bailout?

Payback, Payback, and Profit. Consider the recent election.

Michigan and Ohio are bluer and bluer every year.

The UAW has been earning Republican hate for a long time.

The last stronghold of the GOP is the south, home of right to work and the home of Japanese auto manufacturers.

Republicans are out to screw the Unions, Michigan and Ohio, and the big three.

They want payback for themselves and profit for the foreign manufacturers in the South. The Republicans don't care that bankruptcy for Detroit would mean a collapse of the U.S. auto industry, costing millions of jobs.

While the big three only employ about 250,000 the fallout would be huge, not to consider the blow to the

American image of leadership. The Republicans are so short sighted they don't think that the foreign transplants will lose and business. Shifting the country into an even deeper recession will most certainly damage their sales too. Republicans hate unions will punish them, no matter who gets hurt if they have the chance. .

Even if helping the industry that started the industrial revolution in the last century is not enough reason, why should we help rescue bad management and greedy unions?

Three million jobs, bread lines, the US as a third world country owing everything to China, is enough reason for a bailout. The loss of three million jobs would be bad enough, but even worse would be the death of the American dream of a job that earns security and can provide for the families of the workers.

It's not only the loss of jobs, the massive unemployment, loss of health care and pensions; it is the destruction of the American dream.

If we bail out banks and not companies that produce real goods it will mean the death of hope. I always thought my children could do better than I did, now I think they may be living with me as long as I can hold a job. We have spent $350 billion and if $34 billion buy time to recover, that's a bargain.

It is much more than the car companies and the UAW, there are many reasons to at least delay the fall of the big three. It is impossible to describe the damage the greed and incompetence the last eight years of both governmental and corporate mismanagement have caused.

In the recent past the executives of the big three have repeatedly laughed at and spent fortunes avoiding building high mileage cars and based their future on selling SUVs and luxury vehicles.

Now after being given a blindfold and a last cigarette there could be a last minute pardon, the Chevy Volt and the UAW are leading the way. The Volt could allow Chevy to jump ahead, the cars will become cheaper with production. The UAW is giving huge concessions in contract language and pay.

In 2009 UAW pay rates will be equivalent to non-union foreign manufactures in the US. Foreign manufactures still enjoy a huge advantage due to the nearly universal presence of national health care, dropping the cost of their cars by nearly ten dollars an hour per employee (for better health care) while their governments tax American car imports at up to 150%.

The big three need a bailout; they make real things rather than manipulate money.

The American working class created the suburbs, the highway system, the dream of a secure retirement whether it was social security or a good company pensions.

The middle class has been mugged repeatedly since the Reagan administration promoted the trickle down theory, while wealth has "trickled up" and poverty trickled down due in part due to continuing attacks on organized labor.

We can start by blaming both labor and management. Beg for billions, show up with three private jets, enough said about management?

The UAW compromised, cut wages to lower than a Toyota plant in Georgia, how can we blame Unions? The Union is willing to work for further compromises. The Republicans want to enforce bankruptcy, smash the Unions, and let the south rise again.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

California Dreamin"

How does our Union work? In the last two weeks I have been called on to represent two employees and I needed help. I called one steward and got advice. I called a second steward and I got history, I called a third and she told me I was on the right track. The members I was representing had been picked on by management with no expectation or a fight. When the employees came to me, I knew why I became a steward, why I believe in Unions. Look at what our brothers and sisters are fighting in California.

Another special budget session looms

Governor wants to “loosen” worker OT protections

Governor Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency Monday for the state of California, allowing him to call a “Proposition 58” legislative special session to both address the state's $11.2 billion current year revenue shortfall and enact an economic stimulus package.

The governor has proposed closing the budget shortfall through a mix of billions of dollars in program cuts, increased sales taxes and a 5 percent cut in state worker pay through unpaid furloughs, reduced holidays and changes in overtime calculations. So far no budget compromise has been able to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority to pass the legislature because a minority of legislators has refused to approve any tax increases along with budget cuts.

“We support efforts to fix California’s broken financial system. Unfortunately the governor’s plan doesn’t address the state’s underlying revenue problems,” said Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker. “Republicans are taking potential solutions off the table because they don’t want to raise taxes. But this is unfair to all Californians. The governor and these legislators need to take responsibility, make some tough decisions and find a balanced compromise that does not jeopardize crucial services.”

The governor’s stimulus plan is also flawed because his proposals would reduce a worker’s ability to obtain overtime and weaken protections for meal breaks.

“The governor thinks that picking on workers – by loosening overtime requirements and cutting lunch breaks – will help stimulate the economy,” Walker added. “But we know that’s ridiculous. Wall Street didn’t collapse because working people want to eat lunch every day. The governor and the legislature need to get real and work on serious solutions.”
Walker also said that Local 1000 stands ready to fight any attempt to circumvent the collective bargaining process by enacting legislation to force state workers to take furloughs and change overtimes rules.

The governor’s declaration, announced at a Monday news conference, follows a special legislative session that ended Nov. 25 with no action on the budget or the economy. Democrats proposed $8.2 billion in spending cuts and $8.2 billion in tax increases during the special session Schwarzenegger called last month, but Republicans rejected the package because of the taxes. Instead, they seek an economic stimulus program to boost the economy.

Schwarzenegger asked for both, offering essentially the same plan legislative leaders rejected last month. The governor specifically asked the two dozen newly sworn-in legislators to help end the gridlock.

Under Proposition 58, the legislature has 45 days to pass and send a bill or bills to the governor's desk addressing the state's budget crisis. If the 45 days pass and legislators have not passed bills to address the problem, they cannot adjourn or act on other bills until the state's fiscal emergency is addressed.

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Why do we have to fight for benefits?

Congress couldn’t reach an agreement to bail out the Auto Industry and the right placed the blame placed on the greedy Unions. The Senator from Alabama with three foreign manufacturers in his state wants American industry to die, the Republican Union haters are hoping that the big three will die before Obama gets sworn in.

True irony shows up when George Bush may be the white knight riding to save the day by ordering part of the original $700,000,000,000 to be spent on companies that actually make things instead of glorified accountants. (Apologies to accountants)

The right blames Unions and cites the demand for gold plated health care, retirement pay, and high wages. The non-union plants of Honda, Toyota, and Mercedes are the examples given to pin blame on the Unions.

The Unions are painted as so evil it would justify destroying the big three just to burn them out.Checking out the facts on wages brings out the truth; in 2006 GM reported the highest paid hourly GM workers received $27 an hour, somewhat less than the claims of $72.00 to $80.00 made on talk radio.

Workers in Toyota and Honda plants earn about the same. In 2007, Toyota's non-union plant in Georgetown, Ky., paid higher wages than UAW contracts, averaging $30 per hour with bonuses.Why do we keep hearing $72.00 and hour?

You need to be creative with math to get to a $72 an hour figure. First you add up all wages, then you add all pensions and benefits paid to retirees and only then do you divide by the current workforce.

The newcomers, Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes don't have more than a few hundred retirees. Leaving out the cost of retirees a US worker makes about the same as the non-union employee.

GM is $48 billion in debt, not due to the high cost of the employees and retirees; it is a failure to plan.

Necessary money that should have been invested to pay for the future was spent on dividends, private jets, huge bonuses for executives.Legacy costs add as much as $2,000 to the price of an American vehicle. Made in America vehicles could still be sold abroad if they didn't face VAT taxes that can add up to 150%, taxes that Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes don't face when they import to the US.

How can they make cars and afford to ship them to the US?In Japan and the EU there are guaranteed health benefits, pensions and retirement provided by the government.

The employers typically give six weeks or more vacation for every employee. When these costs are taken from the employer Unions negotiate over working conditions, training, without worrying where the money to pay for a hip replacement in old age will come from.

Union leaders in the US have been urging the US to support national health care for over six decades, starting in the 1940s.Do we solve this by breaking the Unions? cutting their wages, canceling their benefits, and throwing the retirees under the bus?

It has been shown that the UAW wages are not any higher than non-union workers. Secondly we have to consider what steps the Unions have already taken. In 2005 and 2007 the UAW agreed to freeze wages for four years and cut pay for new employees to about $14.

New company pensions were scrapped, new hires would invest in a 401(k), pay higher co-pays on health care, and lose paid holidays and benefits previously negotiated.

Cost of living increases were given up to help offset escalating health care costs. GM is currently in talks with the UAW to put of paying its share of the VEBA money meant to pay for the health care of current employees and retirees.The Union, traded raises while facing inflation in order to keep their health care, and that doesn't sound like greed.

The Union negotiated for the issues important to its members, issues GM management had been unable and unwilling to face for years.

The Union negotiated for Health care, a promise to freeze outsourcing and plant closings.The UAW forced GM to do what U.S. government and GM management refused to do: institute long-term planning, provide security over short-term profitability, and lifted most of the health care costs away from the employer, with the agreement that the Union would become responsible for maintaining the health care plan in the future.

The Union made sacrifices for the good of the employer in order to secure their employment.Bush, McCain and many Republicans have blamed unions for "gold plated" health care plans that are nearly as good as what both Bush and McCain get for free.

Do we need to break the hold of organized labor, reduce health care benefits, and slash wages?

Unions created the middle class. That is not to make the claim that Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes are trying to destroy unions, they are paying what would be a fair wage in a country that that provided health care, pensions, and cared for the elderly.

The US is a competitive society, how is it that the country has turned against the working class but not the hundred million dollar executive? The billionaire pays a lower tax rate than the janitor.

Tax rates for corporations are lower than at any time in history when loopholes are figured in.

The screams against a maximum pay, or a fair tax rate for these executives was so loud that there are no effective controls on companies receiving billions of dollars from the taxpayer, yet the Unions are painted as the living devil for trying to provide a living and a retirement for themselves.

If the employees had to cut wages and benefits enough save the auto industry it would mean accepting minimum wage, no benefits while dumping all retiree benefits and pensions. While we are at it why don't we do away with overtime?

The executives would stay rich, American cars would be cheaper and we would have rolled back society a hundred years.Henry Ford got rich by paying employees far above what was needed to hire employees. The idea was he wanted them able to buy the products they were producing.Enter your Email and receive updates by email

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Friday, December 12, 2008

$80.00 an hour

We can’t bail out the big three because the UAW bankrupted the big three; they raped and bankrupted the big three and now is the time to smash the Unions before they get into the Honda and Toyota plants. Translation: We must defend the foreign auto makers against a strong American work force.

Take this sentiment apart further and you get rage, rage that Democracy worked and the Republicans were thrown out. The American public is seen as stupid because they didn’t elect McCain and the right intends to punish the UAW, blaming Unions for failed management and a failed regulatory climate under the Bush regime. The right hates the American worker, loving only the money they can make for themselves.

John McCain set the example laughing at the idea of buying American. Before the run up to the presidential election John McCain described requirements that materials for the US navy be purchased from American companies as “ludicrous” and “disgraceful”. During a Senate debate McCain sarcastically said: “I know we’ll sleep better tonight knowing that all our carbon plates (for Navy ships) are made in America.”

For years the treasury has been looted, providing “incentives” to move American jobs abroad. Not only did the pharmaceutical industry move most drug manufacturing off shore, they made the taxpayer reward them for losing American jobs.

Why else would a fifteen billion dollar package, and yes, I expect more to come be fought over so harshly? Consider the fact that the UAW ran ads in swing states costing millions, while union members volunteered for the Obama campaign. Obama wants to provide federal aid to bail out the auto industries so Americans can keep jobs where they make real things, not just shuffle billions on paper. Obama supports what corporations see as the anti-Christ, the EFCA.

While there is hardly a peep about AIG providing “retention bonuses” of millions of dollars for a single years work to executives, the talk shows rant “These greedy union workers don't deserve taxpayer's dollars” Today it seems like common sense to say that no company can afford to pay lifetime pension and medical benefits or to support workers for up to two years if laid off.

What happened to the money that should have been invested to provide those benefits? Like so many defined benefit plans the funds were seen as a pot of gold to steal from with no risk. Year after year dividends and golden parachutes were handed out by underfunding future promises. The money was there and it would be there now if regulations had been in place to prevent using the funds as risk free betting money. Management always knew it was heads we win tails you lose.

The right wants to follow the same pattern as the airlines, the Republicans made it easy to, like the airlines, declare bankruptcy, shed their pensions, break their Union contracts with the help of the government and then continue to hand out millions in bonuses. The real reason is always to break the unions.

Unions are not perfect, but Unions didn’t ruin these companies and should not be punished. In order to pay for the wages and benefits, auto companies passed the cost to consumers and then instead of investing they handed out bonuses and more dividends while lowering the quality of their cars to make even more profit. Taxpayers have paid enough for these greedy auto executives. They think they are entitled. The big Three have been setting up foreign operations for years and if they want funds the first plants to close should be in Mexico, not the US.

Foreign companies come to America and provide quality autos and good paying jobs. Why won’t the UAW take the same wages? Why are these companies paying good wages? They had to be or their plants would have been unionized. Last year when the UAW had to compromise on health care, Toyota for no reason except greed lowered benefits to its non Union workforce. What happens to Detroit will happen to the South.

Destroying the big three will cause wages to fall or to stagnate in the imported factories because there will be no better model to compare to any longer. The employees in these companies will find that they are truly working in “right to work for less state”.

If it is the Union’s fault because of pensions, vacations, and healthcare then any company providing the same benefits will be in the same boat…..right? The German auto industry isn’t collapsing. In the US, Boeing just settled a contract with wage increases and job security clauses. Boeing stock is looking good on Wall Street. You also can’t depend on company profits to be shared. Caterpillar tractor made billions and then more billions, but when it came to contract negotiations in 2005 threatened to move to Mexico. I am certain Bush would have allowed them to write off the costs. The UAW was forced to sign a contract severely cutting wages and benefits for new hires even after years of increased growth and profit that supported good jobs.

There is enough blame to go around, we have seen the private jet flying, arrogant and inept management team, greedy stock holders, Union inflexibility at times, greedy stock holders, and a right wing press still reporting that UAW workers make $80.00 an hour. Spread the wealth, why blame it all on the unions?

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Around Maine and the Nation budgets and Unions

Will Obama support the Employee Free Choice Act?

When asked by the Daily KOS if Obama's support for the Employee Free Choice Act was still strong, Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said, "Yes."

Union members started to question the incoming president's commitment after confusion caused by Rahm Emanuel in November when he seemed to blow off questions about support of this labor priority. The right wing started rumbles that labor had been stabbed in the back and would be forgotten.

It seemed as if the incoming White House chief of staff had shown only weak or even no support for the chances of the EFCA and did not state the EFCA would be a priority.

Emanuel seemingly dodged the topic of the EFCA when asked and some were concerned, wondering if this meant that that Obama would delay or renege on his promises to labor groups.

Stories started in the blogosphere, asking if Obama would drop his support of the legislation.

Following the tradition of the Obama campaign the answer to the question was quick and direct, especially as the right would like nothing more than to stop the EFCA and paint the failure as as Obama lying to labor.

Will Obama support the EFCA................. YES!

If you think it is bad now, over at PolitickerME.com follow this link to read about

The worst is yet to come


to get a great story on what your future looks like as a State employee. Some great reporting, some very scary stuff. I recommend you ask all of your negotiation teams to read this article. It doesn't mean we work for free and donate our cars to the Maine Revenue Service, but you have to know how the legislature sees the future.

As usual TurnMaineBlue catches the good stuff. Bush can't be satisfied ruining the economy, ecology as he leaves office, he feels the need to attack Unions again. You need to put TurnMaineBlue on your favorites, they hit the best in both local and national level politics with a wide range of contributors.

As a state employee I can just see how most of the right would like to pass the same laws in Maine. Homeland security would declare the State parks to be too important to allow unionization.
Go to TurnMaineBlue for and read about........

Bush rules some Fed employees can no loner collectively bargain

President Bush issued an executive order on Monday that denies collective bargaining rights to about 8,600 federal employees..........

Mr. Bush said it would be inconsistent with "national security requirements" to allow those employees to engage in collective bargaining............

by: Gerald

Check out TurnMaineBlue and the whole post here

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

High Tech Maine Network Services

Dedicated to Bob, Dave, Duncan, John, and the rest of the bunch that never gets the credit for keeping the State of Maine's Network running. They may not be the face of IT in Maine but they are the brains that keep it going. With apologies to the men and women I may have left out.

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire datingback 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed in California, an archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet.Shortly after, headlines in the LA Times newspaper read: "California archaeologists have found traces of 200 year old copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers."

One week later, the Kennebec Journal, a local newspaper in Maine, reported the following:"After digging as deep as 30 feet in his pasture near West Gardiner,Kennebec County, Maine, Bubba Mitchell, a self-taught archaeologist and graduate of Colby College, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Bubba has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Maine had already gone wireless.Thank God for Bubba.Who said Mainers were hicks?

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bush Smash

Will we save the banks and let the ecology collapse?

Watching the Hulk on DVD reminded me of George Bush. Bruce Banner with his respect for science never got invited to the comparison. The Bush complexion in these dying days is turning slightly green while having even less capability for thought than the big green guy.Maybe he is just getting some bad pretzels.

Bush is acting like the enraged monster version of the Hulk, screaming "Bush Smash!" as the country wakes up from an eight year bad dream and throws him out. He is looting the treasury, smashing the furniture, ripping the doors off the palace, he is all rage and determined to leave nothing worth owning by the time the sons of bitches kick him out.

Politicians always pay off their friends when they leave office, but Bush isn't paying off favors. Yes he owes the mining, logging, banking, and oil industries, and his last minute “de”regulations, opening our wilderness to logging and mining, along with the destruction of pollution controls will go a long ways to return favors. Treasury secretary Paulson's is looting the treasury while refusing to say where the money is going, but even these hundreds of billions are not payback.

He is not paying favors, he is trying to smash those who threw him and his type out. If left in place by the next Congress these last minute acts of rage will do as much damage as he achieved in the eight years. The hope is to delay the the economy badly enough so the public will forget where the recession started. The right wing started calling this the "Obama Recession" even before the election. Talk radio will be dishing out the big lie every day until the next election.

In these last weeks we see the core of the right wing agenda and we see why they lost. The earth, the citizens of the U.S. and anyone not in their self appointed elite have no rights, deserve no respect, and will be destroyed in the attempt to leave nothing behind, except destruction for the new president and Congress. Neoconservatism never had any belief but power and now that the only power they have left is destruction they use it joyfully.

Bush’s legacy will be destruction. The war in Iraq, runaway climate change, a ruined economy, a world that has lost respect for the U.S., and an endless war on science will be his memory, not his library. Bush....... Library. When you put the two words in a sentence, library looks ashamed and tries to move to a better sentence.

Give Bush credit, he has been ignorant and destructive and he is staying the course until the last minute. Please do one good thing when you go George, take Dick Cheney with you.

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