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Monday, April 16, 2012

Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Poster Competition

EMERGENCY TRAINING PROGRAMS


htthttp://www.noahswaterfundraising.com/CERT_04-21/


Certified Emergency Training Program is having a refresher class. Interested citizens are encouraged to find out more on how to prepare for community, state and federal emergency situations. Does you family have a plan in place? Check them out also for new courses . . . Ask for  Donna Nuzzi
DNUZZI@santa-clarita.com 

Todd and I went and learned plenty. The last day community exercise really made it a little more real.

Peace out, Minerva

Message from Dr Gene Dorio for this weekend

MESSAGE FROM OUR SANTA CLARITA VALLEY GERONTOLOGIST:

I would like to let my friends and colleagues know I have been honored in being named by columnist Steve Lopez to a panel at the


Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Sunday, April, 22nd.


The 4-person panel is entitled: “Final Choices: Extending Life or Prolonging Death?” and is comprised of gerontology experts from USC, UCLA, and the Coalition of Compassionate Care.

For many years, Robin (pictured) and I have attended this worthy two-day event, and this year it will be at USC. Not only is it dedicated to the reading public, but controversial issues such as end-of-life care are presented to mold ideas and extract solutions to improve quality of life for our elder seniors.

Many activities, especially for kids are on stage, and most everything is free. But tickets ($1 charge online) for panels run out very quickly when they become available one week before on April 15th. There will be over 500 authors, and many will autograph their books for you and your kids.

So look through the schedule:

http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/program-schedule/

and should you find something of interest and if it requires a ticket, be ready on April 15th to get them.

Every year we look forward to this thought-provoking family activity and I encourage you to participate. Certainly, this year will be a little different for me. My hope will be that you’ll not only come to the panel, but also browse through the festival with curiosity and amazement to see how all of us are truly creative and different.


Gene

Quote of the day . . .

Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.



~ Walt Whitman

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

TIM BEN BOYDSTON . . . Santa Clarita City Council Voting Day April 10, 2012

We received the following absentee ballot notice from Deanna Hanashiro who is supporting Tim Ben Boydston for Santa Clarita City Council. Todd and I don't live in the election area so we hope this helps people find their polls today . . .


Santa Clarita Election Day Polling Locations.

Vote by mail ballots must be received by close of polls at 8:00 p.m., April 10, 2012.

Mail your ballot to City Clerk, P.O. Box 925, Santa Clarita, CA 91380-9100 or you may return your vote to any of the polling locations shown no later than 8:00 p.m. Election Day.

Precinct #1, Valencia Library, 23743 W. Valencia Blvd, 91355

Precinct #2, Valencia United Methodist Church, 25718 McBean Prkwy 91355

Precinct #3, James Foster Elementary School, 22500 Pamplico Drv, 91350

Precinct #5, Pinetree Community School, 29156 Lotusgarden Drv, 91387

Precinct #6, North Park Elementary School, 23335 W. Sunset Hills Drv, 91354

Precinct #9, Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Cnyn Rd, 91350

Precinct #11, Bridgeport Elementary School, 23670 Newhall Ranch Rd, 91355

Precinct #14, Greenbrier Mobile Estates, 21301 Soledad Canyon Rd, 91351

Precinct #15, First Presbyterian Church of Newhall, 24317 Newhall Av, 91321

Precinct #17, Valencia Library, 23743 W. Valencia Boulevard, 91355

Precinct #20, Valencia United Methodist Church, 25718 McBean Prkwy, 91355

Precinct #22, The Master's College-Gym Lobby, 21726 Placerita Cnyn Rd, 91321

Precinct #25, Old Orchard II HOA Clubhouse, 23919 Avenida Entrana, 91355

Precinct #29, Valley View Community School, 19414 Sierra Estates Drv, 91321

Precinct #31, Hart High school--Auditorium, 24825 N.Newhall Av, 91321

Precinct #40, Wiley canyon Elementary School, 24240 La Glorita Circle, 91321

Precinct #42, Canyon Country Park, 17615 Soledad Canyon Road, 91387

Precinct #50, Canyon Country Park, 17615 Soledad Canyon Road, 91387

Precinct #51, Saugus High School, 21900 Centurion Way, 91350

Precinct #52, Lamppost Pizza, 27661 Bouquet Canyon Road, 91350

Precinct #56, Fountain Glen at Valencia, 23941 Decoro Drive, 91354

Precinct #59, Grace Baptist Church, 22833 Copper Hill Drive, 91350

Precinct #61, Skyblue Mesa Elementary, 28040 Hardesty Avenue, 91351

Precinct #64, Activities Center--Room 3, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, 91351

Precinct #67, Canyon Country Library, 18601 Soledad Canyon Road, 91351

Precinct #70, Canyon Country Library, 18601 Soledad Canyon Road, 91351

Precinct #76, Friendly Valley Recreational Assoc, 19345 Avenue of the Oaks, 91321

Precinct #86, L.A. County Fire Station #123, 26321 N. Sand Canyon Rd, 91351

Precinct #113, Scenic Hills HOA Clubhouse, 26207 Rainbow Glen Drive, 91321

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"What is the ALEC Corporation"

"What is the ALEC Corporation?"
Compiled by Minerva L. Williams


Today, under pressure from Color of Change Coca Cola and Pepsi have announced their dropping their membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council. Depending on who you read the American Legislative Exchange Council also known as (ALEC) Corporation http://www.alec.org/
is not a front group but a powerful group of businesses and corporation leaders who are "right wing" conservatives and members of a “think tank” that support “federalism, limited government and free markets”. To see a list of sponsors please visit: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Template:About_ALEC
.
ALEC is also said to be a " public/private corporation that stresses workers right, privatizing education, dozen of states are asking environmental agencies to stop their harsh regulating of air pollution, and an immigration advocacy group. They are not a lobby group, nor are they a nonprofit” according to DemocracyNow! They have a huge group of law firms http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Corporations#Law_Firms, PAC's, advocacy groups and public relation firms at their disposal.  

The conservative organization is also an advocate behind the national proliferation of "stand your ground" gun law in Florida that has sparked national scrutiny due to the death of teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.

According to ProPublic 23 states have adopted the “Stand your Ground” gun law they are as follows:


Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois (The law does not include a duty to retreat, which courts have interpreted as a right to expansive self-defense.), Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon (Also does not include a duty to retreat), South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington (does not include a duty to retreat), and West Virginia


Further one finds that they also supply pprison workers for the prison industrial employment programs throughout the United States while at the same time providing increased bottomlines for the corporations who use their services because the prisoners are being paid pennies on the dollar for the work done. This organization is also accused of finding legislation to keep more prisoners in prison to guarantee their corporate sponsors a captive workforce. The organization is also known to adopted state legislation with 800 modeled bills, however the authors of such bills are not indicated according to Lisa Graves, Executive Editor of Center for Media and Justice. http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/03/11393/resources-investigating-alecnra-gun-bills.



As of 2011Corporate Sponsors include all of the following:


• CenterPoint 360, W. Preston Baldwin - Chairman


• Altria Group, Daniel Smith


• American Bail Coalition, William Carmichael, Jerry Watson


• AT&T, William Leahy


• Bayer Corp., Sandy Oliver


• Coca-Cola Company, Gene Rackley


• Diageo, Kenneth Lane


• Energy Future Holdings, Sano Blocker


• ExxonMobil Corporation, Randall Smith


• GlaxoSmithKline, John Del Giorno


• Intuit, Inc., Bernie McKay


• Johnson & Johnson, Don Bohn


• Koch Companies Public Sector, Mike Morgan


• Kraft Food, Inc., Derek Crawford


• Peabody Energy, Kelly Mader


• Pfizer Inc., Michael Hubert


• PhRMA, Jeff Bond


• Reed Elsevier, Inc., Teresa Jennings


• Reynolds American, David Powers


• Salt River Project, Russell Smoldon


• State Farm Insurance Co., Roland Spies


• United Parcel Service (UPS)[2], Richard McArdle


• Wal-Mart Stores, Maggie Sans


to name a few. For a comprehensive list, please link: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Corporations



The Nation Magazine calls it the Koch Connection and details the account at www.thenation.com/article/161973/koch-connection

National Chairman is Mr. W. Preston Baldwin of Centerpoint360;

First Vice Chairman is Mrs. Sandra Oliver of Bayer Corp;

Second Vice Chairman, Mr. John Del Giorno of GlaxoSmithKline;

Treasurer, Mr. David Powers of Reynolds American; Secretary


Ms. Maggie Sans of Wal-Mart Stores.

Chairman Emeritus, Mr. Jerry Watson of Private Enterprise Board Members;


Ms. Sano Blocker of Energy Future Holdings;


Mr. Don Bohn of Johnson & Johnson;


Mr. Jeffrey Bond of PhRMA;


Mr. William Carmichael of American Bail Coalition;


Mr. Derek Crawford of Kraft Foods, Inc.;


Mr. Robert Jones of Pfizer Inc;


Ms. Teresa Jennings of Reed Elsevier, Inc.;


Mr. Kenneth Lane of DIAGEO


Members also include:


Mr. Bill Leahy of AT&T; Mr. Kelly Mader of Peabody Energy;


Mr. Richard McArdle of UPS


Mr. Mike Morgan of Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC;


Mr. Daniel Smith of Altria Client Services


Mr. Randy Smith of ExxonMobil Corporation;


Mr. Russell Smoldon of Salt River Project


Mr. Roland Spies of State Farm Insurance Co;


August 5th, 2011 legislative and business executives of the ALEC membership representing fifty states met to discussion the future of ALEC as reported by Democratic Now! See the following link: www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/secretive_corporate_legislative_group_alec_holds

Based on some media reporters, they say it is a means of supply a free market lower employment, keeping the corporations in America, supplying job opportunities and activities for the prisoners (especially those with life sentences), building prisoners self esteem, while providing manufacturing, call centers, and assembly line work that can make prisoners who have release dates an opportunity to increase their job skill base to stop recidivism http://www.alec.org/initiatives/cutting-crime-and-budgets/.

Can a forty-year behemoth organization continue to sustain such attitudes in the face of such recent exposure? We can only watch to see if other corporations change their positions.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Minerva L. Williams is a retired LA TIMES community educational event planner, marketing consultant, and journalist residing in the Santa Clarita Valley. She has strong interests in business, financial, and political stories for starters.  -----------------------------------------------


NOTES: All sites mentioned were contacted by Windows Internet Explorer 8:00 AM to 9:45 AM.


BACKGROUND REFERENCES researched 04/05/2012 all by Internet Explorer:

http://americasvoiceonline.org/blog/entry/under_pressure_from_colorofchange_coca-cola_drops_support_of_alec._pepsi_ou
Published April 5, 2012 by Americas Voice on Line. Retrieved 8:45 AM


http://j22.video2.blip.tv/12400009223082/Demnow-DemocracyNowFridayJuly152011475.mp4. Published July 15, 2011 by Democracy Now. Also includes the Pelican Bay prisoner hunger strike. ALEC presentation should be cued to ½ way for full story. Retrieved 9:20 AM


www.thenation.com/article/161973/koch-connection by Lisa Graves. “ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection”. Retrieved 9:30 AM
http://www.alec.org/; corporate website by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Retrieved 9:29 AM

http://www.alec.org/initiatives/cutting-crime-and-budgets/. “Cutting Crime and Budgets”, by published February 17, 2012. Representative Courtney O’Brien at cobrien@alec.org. Retrieved.10:32 AM


www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/secretive_corporate_legislative_group_alec_holds
Secretive Corporate-Legislative Group ALEC Holds Annual Meeting to Rewrite State Laws. Published August 5, 2011. Retrieved 9:25 AM


http://www.propublica.org/article/our-step-by-step-guide-to-understanding-alecs-influence-on-your-state-laws "Our Step-By-Step Guide to Understanding ALEC’s Influence on Your State Laws” by Lois Beckett. ProPublica has done an exhaustive research on ALEC and have over 51 entries. Aug. 1, 2011, 1:26 AM Retrieved 9:59 AM


http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/03/11393/resources-investigating-alecnra-gun-bills. “Resources for Investigating ALEC/NRA Gun Bills” by Lisa Graves editor@prwatch.org Published March 30, 2012. Retrieved 9:28 AM


http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Corporations#Law_Firms
 Source Watch for Center for Media and Democracy. Brendan Fischer Email: brendan@prwatch.org Published January 24, 2012 Retrieved 9:42 AM


http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Corporations
 Source Watch for Center for Media and Democracy. Published January 24, 2012 Retrieved 9:40 AM

American Progress Reports on 5 worst States for voting rights in 2011

If you have relatives in any of these states forewarn them of the tatics being used and have stronger GOTV drives to counter these circumstances the primary will be here in June 2012 so you only have two more months to strategize. For more detailed information on the story please read the following link:
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/04/voter_suppression.html 

Meantime, see you at the polls . . . Minerva and Todd

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Barbara Boxer's answer to the Cemex Situation, A Must Read . . .

FROM: KHTS News Broadcast:
Group Gathers Signatures to Block Cemex Mine


Wednesday, 04 April 2012 12:00





by Tim Whyte, SCVNews.com



The nonprofit Safe Action for the Environment Inc. has launched an online petition and letter-writing drive seeking support for Senate Bill S. 759, authored by Sen. Barbara Boxer to stop the development of a massive sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon.



KHTS News Brought To You By:







Boxer, D-Calif., has introduced the legislation to resolve a 12-year dispute over the proposed 56-million-ton CEMEX mine just outside the City of Santa Clarita.







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“We’re so grateful to Sen. Boxer for carrying this legislation to help protect the communities that would be adversely impacted by this mine,” said SAFE President Andrew Fried. “This proposed mine would cause unacceptable impacts to the environment, would worsen local air quality, and would severely diminish the quality of life for everyone who lives in the region.”



CEMEX and the City of Santa Clarita reached a truce in their dispute in 2007, agreeing to seek a mutually agreeable resolution. Boxer’s S. 759 would provide just such a resolution, by canceling the CEMEX mining contracts for the Soledad Canyon site and compensating CEMEX through the sale of federal lands near Victorville — properties that are currently on the Bureau of Land Management’s “Disposal List.”



“Sen. Boxer’s bill accomplishes the goal of that truce, and time is of the essence — we need to urge its passage,” Fried said. “It’s a win-win-win for CEMEX, the City of Santa Clarita, the residents who live near the mine and everyone who travels through the area who will no longer face the threat of 1,164 new gravel truck trips every day.”



To sign the petition or write a letter of support, residents can visit www.safe4environment.org and click on the “Sign Our Petition” and “Write to Support S. 759” buttons.



You can also sign the petition by going directly to the Care2 petition site, www.care2.com, and type “S759” in the search window.



Upon completion, SAFE’s petition will be shared with Boxer, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and the members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.



“Our goal is 5,000 signatures, and we’re over halfway there,” Fried said. “Many local residents have signed the petition, and we sincerely appreciate their support for this important legislation. We’re asking everyone in northern Los Angeles County to express their support, too, and help show Congress how vital S. 759 is to our region.”



Additional information about SAFE and its support of S. 759 is available at www.safe4environment.org.



Follow this URL for the SAFE petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/537/274/769/save-soledad-canyon-stop-the-cemex-gravel-mine





Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"How do I get in contact with the State Party?"

STATE CHAIRPERSONS OF QUALIFIED POLITICAL PARTIES


DEMOCRATIC PARTY
John Burton, Chairperson
THE CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
1401 21st Street, Suite 200Sacramento, CA 95811-5221
Phone: (916) 442-5707; Fax: (916) 442-5715
Email: info@cadem.org; Website: http://www.cadem.org/

Political County Central Commitee Headquarters

COUNTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE


DEMOCRATIC HEADQUARTERS

Eric Bauman, Chairperson

3550 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1203

Los Angeles, CA 90010

Phone: (213) 382-0063

Fax: (213) 382-1278

Email: info@lacdp.org

Website: www.lacdp.org REPUBLICAN HEADQUARTERS



1903 W. Magnolia Blvd.

Burbank, CA 91506

Phone: (818) 558-7600

Website: http://www.lagop.org



OR



13659 Victory Blvd. #594

Van Nuys, CA 91401

Phone: (818) 332-3731

Website: http://www.lagop.us



AMERICAN INDEP. HEADQUARTERS

Shawn Hoffman, Chairperson

P.O. Box 69301

West Hollywood, CA 90069

Email: hoffman2010boe@gmail.com LIBERTARIAN HEADQUARTERS

Bruce Dovner, Chairperson

P.O. Box 66808

Los Angeles, CA 90066-66808

Phone: (887)884-1776

Website: http://www.lplac.org

GREEN PARTY

Lisa Green, Co-Coordinator

EB Gendel, Co-Coordinator

P.O. Box 8222

Los Angeles, CA 90082

Phone: (310) 619-7714

E-mail: gplac-info@cagreens.org

Website: cagreens.org/lacounty/

PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY

Re-qualified in 2003.

Cindy Henderson, Chairperson

6199 Canterbury Dr.

Culver City, CA 90230

Unlisted Number

Email: coz42001@hotmail.com

Natural Law is no longer a qualified party





STATE CHAIRPERSONS OF QUALIFIED POLITICAL PARTIES

DEMOCRATIC PARTY



John Burton, Chairperson



THE CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY

1401 21st Street, Suite 200

Sacramento, CA 95811-5221

Phone: (916) 442-5707

Fax: (916) 442-5715

Email: info@cadem.org

Website: http://www.cadem.org/

REPUBLICAN PARTY



Ron Nehring, Chairperson



CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN PARTY

1903 West Magnolia BL.

Burbank, CA 91506

Phone: (818) 841-5210

Fax: (818) 841-6668

Email: chairman@cagop.org

Website: http://www.cagop.org



AMERICAN INDEPENDENT PARTY



Nathan Sorenson, State Chairman



AMERICAN INDEPENDENT PARTY

4836 Fleming Way

Olivehurst, CA 95961

Tel: (530) 329-8345

Tel: (707) 359-4884

Website: http://www.aipca.org

GREEN PARTY



Jane Rands, Liaison



GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA

716 W. Wilshire Avenue

Fullerton, CA 92832

Phone: (714) 325-5223

Email: jrands_liaison@earthlink.net

Website: http://www.cagreens.org



LIBERTARIAN PARTY



Kevin Takenaga , State Chairperson



LIBERTARIAN PARTY

P.O. Box 66808

Los Angeles, CA 90066-0808

Phone: (818) 782-8400

Toll Free: (877) 884-1776

Email: office@ca.lp.org

Website: http://www.ca.lp.org

PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY



C.T. Weber, , State Chairperson



PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY

1403 Los Padres Way

Sacramento, CA 95831

Phone: (951) 422-5395

Email: ctwebervoters@att.net

Website: http://www.peaceandfreedom.org



Natural Law is no longer a qualified party



Monday, April 2, 2012

POLL: Women Voters Abandon GOP In Key Battleground States

A word from Pemy Levy at TMP . . . POLL: Women Voters Abandon GOP In Key Battleground States


Pema Levy  April 1, 2012, 5:55 PM 29927

President Obama has emerged with an impressive lead in swing states around the country — thanks to women voters abandoning the GOP in droves, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll showing President Obama leading among women voters in the top dozen battleground states by a whopping 18 points — greater than the 12-point gender gap he won with in 2008.

POLL: Women Voters Abandon GOP In Key Battleground StatesOne month ago, the same poll showed Mitt Romney leading the president by 2 percentage points; but Sunday, the newest poll gave Obama a 9-point lead, 51 percent to 42 percent. The change, the poll indicates, comes from women:

“The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.”

Both Democrats and Republicans point to the battles over contraception coverage as a reason for the shift. Republican strategist Sara Taylor Fagen, a former political adviser to President George W. Bush, told USA Today that “The focus on contraception has not been a good one for us … and Republicans have unfairly taken on water on this issue.”

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina likewise pointed to the GOP’s hang-up on social issues. Most notably, Romney endorsed the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed employers to deny coverage of contraception, among other services, on moral or religious grounds. A poll commissioned earlier this month by EMILY’s List, the PAC dedicated to electing pro-choice, Democratic women, foundthat 48 percent of voters — including 53 percent among Independents and 40 percent among Republicans — would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported the amendment.

Romney pollster Neil Newhouse told USA Today that the numbers would narrow and that the drop was not Romney’s fault. He chalked the difference up to a partisan gender gap. That’s historically true — but not at the levels found in the poll. It showed: By 41 percent to 24 percent, women call themselves Democrats; men by 27 percent to 25 percent say they’re Republicans.

It may be a party-wide problem, but if the poll is any indication, Romney’s comments about getting rid of Planned Parenthood and have not done him any favors with women voters, either.

2012, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Women Voters

Pema Levy

Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.

FROM THE AFL-CIO on Obama's Accomplishments.. .

http://www.aflcio.org/Legislation-and-Politics/Political-Action/President-Obama-s-Accomplishments

President Obama's Accomplishments

Overview
As President Obama’s first term nears its end, it is time to take stock of his accomplishments, as well as to assess progress toward the goals not yet achieved since his historic election. During his first two years in office, the president made substantial progress in dismantling the dangerous legacy left by President George W. Bush and took many steps to put in place a truly progressive, pro-worker agenda.
When the Tea Party took over Congress in 2010, advancing a progressive agenda became almost impossible. But the president has regained his footing, speaking forcefully of the need to restore economic power to the 99%, and using his executive authority to get around Republican obstructionism.
Taking office during the worst economic downturn in a generation, Barack Obama took America from the brink of a second Great Depression by pressing Congress to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which saved or created 3.6 million jobs—and he could have done more if not for resistance from Republicans in Congress. Comprehensive health insurance reform, while far from perfect, gave the promise of health security to millions of our fellow citizens, a goal that had eluded Democratic presidents for nearly 100 years. And Wall Street reform, passed over the objection of almost every single Republican, is beginning to reverse decades of financial deregulation that put our entire economy at risk.
Recognizing that the ARRA had halted the collapse of our economy but had not been large enough to end the jobs crisis, in September 2011 President Obama proposed the American Jobs Act (AJA), which was designed to put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work repairing our nation’s infrastructure, and provide a new round of state and local aid to help keep teachers, firefighters and other public workers on the job.
Though most of the AJA fell victim to Republican filibusters (only the unemployment insurance and payroll tax holiday extensions were signed into law), the president has not given up: He intends to fight for the most important elements of the AJA during the remainder of his first term. The president also has proposed several major initiatives to revitalize domestic manufacturing, including tax proposals to reduce the incentives to offshore millions of good jobs to low-tax, low-wage countries.
More recently, spurred on by the Occupy Wall Street movement, and in a widely praised speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, the president shined a spotlight on the widening income gap and directly confronted the powerful and the privileged. President Obama called on the rich to pay their fair share in taxes, reaffirming his commitment to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire and proposing the so-called Buffett Rule to make sure millionaires never pay a lower effective tax rate than the people who work for them. He also has called on Congress to close the so-called carried interest loophole that taxes the incomes of private equity and hedge fund managers at a lower rate than ordinary workers.
Of course, working people have experienced some frustration, too. We were disappointed that action on the Employee Free Choice Act was delayed, and then sidelined, after Sen. Ted Kennedy’s tragic death cost the Democrats their filibuster-proof majority—and opportunities to advance labor law reform through other vehicles went nowhere. The Affordable Care Act is a critical first step toward quality health care for all Americans, but it remains a work in progress without the public option or Medicare for All. In addition, critical issues affecting workers’ ability to bargain healthcare benefits remain unresolved in the implementation of the act. Similarly, we were disheartened when President Obama got distracted by a fruitless debate over the budget deficit, spending the first eight months of 2011 in unproductive deficit talks with Republicans, even though their real mission was to make Obama a one-term president and to undermine Social Security and Medicare. And we opposed the president when he pressed ahead with the South Korea, Colombia and Panama trade pacts—despite the continuing murder of trade unionists in Colombia and the flawed Bush-era terms of those agreements. Finally, we remain concerned that too many important Obama administration initiatives to protect workers and the public—ranging from health and safety protections to rules implementing financial reform—have been stalled or weakened under pressure from business interests.
Three and a half years into President Obama’s first term, America is beginning to dig out of the 11 million jobs hole dug by George Bush and his pro-corporate, right-wing economic agenda. Nearly 3.8 million jobs have been created in the past 23 months and manufacturers have added 334,000 jobs. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finally is taking steps to level the playing field for workers who want to organize, and agencies that are charged with protecting the lives and livelihoods of workers, from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, now are led by competent individuals who are aggressively enforcing the law.
The labor movement, which played such a big part in President Obama’s 2008 victory as well as helping him pass key elements of his legislative agenda, has plenty to be proud of in the president’s first term in office. But there is much left to be done. This section includes highlights of the administration’s accomplishments for working families to date.
Download President Obama's accomplishments.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Word from Dr. Gene Dorio

Sometimes physicians take a break from their technical journals and find some scary stuff related to their own profession. The link below is from Consumer Reports concerning common medical devices (some implanted into patients) that have never undergone safety testing in humans!

I am very surprised doctors would allow their patients to be guinea pigs for these products, and I do believe false assurances have been given through the menagerie of government regulation and law. As well I'm doubly concerned since physicians always worry about verifying efficacy and side effects of new drugs, surgical procedures, instruments, electronics, etc. yet seemingly there is little oversight of some new technology.

Please read this and pass it on to friends, as we need increased awareness when scrutiny has been misplaced.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/consumer-reports-magazine/May-2012/medical-devices.html

Gene