Thursday, December 31, 2009
Many of these same Democrats were deeply disappointed when he voted against the House's version of health care. Not only did he vote against the House's health care bill, but he voted for the Stupak amendment which imposed restrictions on the use of subsidies contained in the bill to purchase health insurance policies which provided abortion services. (His vote against the health care reform bill, but for the Stupak amendment was actually more conservative than the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Conference backed the health care reform bill once the Stupak amendment was included.)
Recently Congressman John Boccieri met with a group of local Medina County Democrats to discuss his health care vote. His explanation of why he had voted against the health care was interesting.
Initially, when people called his office right after the vote to complain about his vote, his staff told them that Congressman Boccieri was concerned about the cost of the health care bill. When he met with the Medina County Democrats, his explanation was different.
During the meeting, he didn't mention cost, but talked about how the House bill would affect a particular company in Stark County. He claimed that the House bill could cost 600 jobs in Stark County, although he didn't really explain how that would happen. He also regurgitated a favorite GOP talking point about how the mandates in the bill could lead to people being fined without seeming to understand that the bill has to contain mandates to get enough uninsured Americans to buy insurance to make sure that premiums stay relatively low.
When asked what the bill would have to contain to get his support when it came out of a House-Senate conference committee for a final vote, he wouldn't answer. When asked why Medina County Democrats should continue to trust him, he didn't have an answer. He repeatedly told us how he was sacrificing time with his family to meet with us on a Sunday afternoon, even though he had chosen the date and the time. In short, he was defensive, evasive, and condescending.
Here's a news flash for Congressman Boccieri: you can side with the insurance companies on this bill, or you can side with the people, but you can't do both. You can either vote to stop insurance companies from denying people with pre-existing conditions health insurance or you can vote to allow them to continue such discrimination. You can either vote for a bill that removes caps from medical insurance coverage, or you can vote to continue to allow caps and the accompanying medical bankruptcies. You can either vote to help expand health insurance coverage to 31 million more Americans, or you can vote for the status quo. What you can't do is vote for the status quo and then tell us that we should continue to support you anyway. It's time for Congressman Boccieri to choose between people or insurance companies.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
According to the report, 58% of the health insurance market in Ohio is controlled by two companies. These companies are Wellpoint, which is run by Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Medical Mutual.
The report notes that from 2000 to 2007:
1. The cost of health insurance premiums for Ohio working families has gone up 76%;
2. The average annual combined premium for employers and employees went from $6596 to $11636;
3.Employers saw their portion of annual premiums go up by 75% while employees saw their share increase by 80%; but
4. The median earnings of Ohio workers increased by 9%, from $25017 to $27255.
(You can read the full report here.)
One of the favorite talking points for Republicans is that somehow Obama's plan for a public option for health insurance will "destroy" the marketplace. Well, guess what, in a lot of states, including Ohio, there is not much of a marketplace left to destroy.
Maybe what we need is some good, old-fashioned, Teddy Roosevelt-style, trust busting. Maybe its time, in fact, past time, to unleash the Justice Department's anti-trust division on some health insurance providers.
Monday, June 29, 2009
What's interesting about his rant againt Strickland is the fact that he totally ignores the fact that the Ohio General Assembly has to vote to raise taxes. Under Ohio's Constitution, the Governor doesn't have the power to impose taxes by executive fiat. They have to be passed by the Ohio General Assembly.
At the present time the Ohio General Assembly has one house controlled by the Democrats and the other by the Republicans. There is absolutely no indication that the Republicans who control the State Senate will vote for any sort of tax increase, including the proposals advanced by Larkin. Larkin thinks that Ohio should raise its sales tax by one cent and forego the last year of the five year reduction in the state's income tax passed by, yep, you guessed it, the Republicans in 2005.
Now, of course, Larkin doesn't even mention the fact that the Republicans in the State Senate would have to sign off on any tax increases. Nor does he mention the fact that it was the Republicans who got us in this mess in the first place. No, according to Larkin, all Strickland has to do is just ask the General Assembly to raise taxes and they will just jump to it.
Well, here's a news flash for Larkin, Bill Harris isn't going to support any increase in taxes. The Republicans in the State Senate aren't going to support any increase in taxes. How do I know this? Because if they won't support gambling to help raise revenue, they sure as hell won't support increasing taxes.
Strickland knows this, and he is unwilling to give the Republicans a campaign issue just to make people like Brent Larkin happy. You know, people who use to head editorial boards that endorsed Republicans like Bob Taft and Republicans running for the General Assembly.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
This got me to thinking about whether, back in 2005 when the General Assembly enacted a 21% across the board income tax cut, the Medina Library Board protested that action? Did it pass a resolution calling on Taft and the General Assembly not to make those cuts? Did they go on record opposing the cuts? Or did they just assume that those cuts would never impact them?
Right now the State doesn't have the revenue to do what it has done in the past for libraries or anyone else, for that matter. The 21% tax cut, phased in over five years, is costing Ohio about two billion dollars a year in lost tax revenue. We were told, of course, that those tax cuts would bring thousands of jobs into Ohio, which, of course, have yet to materialize. We weren't told, though, that it would end up crippling Ohio's state government.
So, here is my question, what was the library board's position in 2005? If they weren't concerned then, why should I, as a patron, be concerned now?
The theory is that sites like Newser and The Daily Beast, which link to articles on newspaper sites, are profiting from the aggregation without sharing the revenue with the linked to newspaper sites. Schultz argues that they are basically ripping off the newspapers which produced the original article.
The two men she quotes are proposing some sort of revenue sharing arrangement and a prohibition on aggregation sites linking to stories during the first 24 hours a story is up and running.
Another possibility would be to treat newspaper articles like recorded music. If a radio station plays a record, they have to pay the owner of the rights to the record a fee. They also have to keep records of what they play and when they play it. It is not a perfect system, but it prevents radio stations from making money off the efforts of others.
The problem, of course, is what to do about links to newspaper articles in sites, such as this one, that doesn't generate revenue. If we put a link in one of our posts should we have to pay? On the one hand we are benefiting from the work of others, such as Ms. Schultz, but on the other hand we are not making any money from her work.
In any event, it is a good article and brings up a lot of interesting points. You can go to www.cleveland.com and read the whole article.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
In 1982, Dick Celeste became Ohio's Governor. Following his election, the Democrats had control of the General Assembly and all the executive offices in the state. They also had the obligation to govern the state during a severe recession.
The Democrats bit the bullet and raised the state income tax. Celeste managed to get re-elected in 1986, and the Democrats held on to the House of Representatives, but in 1984, they lost control of the Ohio Senate. The Republicans used the campaign theme of the supposed 90% tax increase that Celeste had gotten through the General Assembly. It worked, and the Republicans haven't lost control of the State Senate since that election.
Douglas apparently believes that all Strickland has to do is come out for higher taxes and the Republicans in the Senate will just roll over and help raise taxes. There is absolutely no evidence that Bill Harris, and the rest of the Republican leadership in the Senate, will go along with that idea.
What is more likely to happen is that Strickland would come out for a tax increase, the Republicans would block it in the Senate, and the Democrats would lose both the Governor's race and control of the House in 2010. Such a result is way too high a price to pay to make editorial writers happy.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Is It Just Me, Or Do Southerners Who Come from Confederate States Tick You Off with Claims of Being More Pro-American?
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Judge James L. Kimbler reports that home foreclosures continued to climb during the first quarter of 2009 as compared to the first quarter of 2008. In the first quarter of 2008, there were 131 foreclosure cases assigned to Judge Kimbler's docket. In the first quarter of 2009, that number climbed to 149.
Although January of 2009 saw fewer foreclosure cases assigned to Judge Kimbler's docket than January of 2008, the other two months of the first quarter both saw more foreclosure cases assigned. In January of 2008, the number of foreclosures assigned to Judge Kimbler's docket was 44, while in January of 2009, the number of such cases was 43. In February and March of 2008, the numbers were 39 and 48 respectively while in 2009 the numbers for the same month were 45 and 61.
Friday, April 24, 2009
After witnessing the results of decades of tax cuts for the rich and stagnant wages for most employees as well as the crippling growth of government and private debt, we can say: Been there and done that.
Between 1979 and 2003 according to the Congressional Research Service, the income from wealth for the top 1% (interest, dividends, rent and capital gains) has risen from 37.8% of the pie to 57.5%. Today, it is clearly even higher. If that is not the definition of greed what is?
Wealth is being redistributed upwards in America, especially as the government with an employer-biased National Labor Relations Board undercut the ability of American workers to bargain collectively. We live in a society that rewards wealth and punishes work. A society created by the GOP and corporate Democrats.
When GOP officials talk of a free market economy they are talking about a government of, by and for the rich. They love the phrase "free market" because it conjures up pictures of the inevitable flow of the tides as the moon tugs on us. The fact is that a "free market" economy is an economy run by the financial sector for its ends: to create asset bubbles and dept dependency.
With each passing year Americans have and less ownership of their homes in the "loanership" society they are creating. For the first time they now own less than half their homes. In other words, the banks and the financial class now own more and more of our homes. Of course, personal debt is also at a record high.
The FIRE (Financial, Insurance, Real Estate) sector does not create real jobs in a real economy. Their jobs are strictly at the gaming tables of Credit Default Swaps and derivatives based on other dervatives based on other derivatives. (These three level gambling games actually exist! See A Demon of Our Design by Richard Bookstaber for the details.)
Successful economies are not Cuba's nor the recent American debacle. They are mixed economies where business and government each play an important - and necessary - role. I am a progressive who believe in market forces. I am also a progressive who sees hugely efficient, well-run economicl safety nets like Social Security and Medicare.
Unfortunately, the brand of extremism on display at the TEA rally has little concern for those safety nets, although I did see one sign:"Some help, yes, entitlements, No." While I would love to have had a discussion with the sign-holder about which programs to abolish, which people we should allow to suffer and die, I have learned a lesson. Most of these nice, well-meaning people are clueless as to what their slogans actually mean in practice.
Why do you think that their leaders almost never mention specific safety net programs? Could it be because they would be exposed as un-Christian, un-patriotic Americans? When these people are asked John Oliver (British correspondent for the Daily Show) type follow up questions they become agitated and frequently angry to the point of becoming violent. Clearly, many of the people at the rally were anxious about our economic times. Sadly, almost pathetically, they didn't recognize their own party's hand in all this.
This was not a meeting to assign accountablity for decades of failed GOP-plutocratic propaganda parading as policy. It was time to lambast an administration which has still not reached 100 days.
Incidentally, there are plenty of reasons to lacerate President Obama for continuing Bush's TARP program as Paul Krugman, James Galbraith and Michael Hudson and lots of other great Ph.D. economists do. But to scream at this administration for lowering taxes on nearly everyone in the crowd and trying to stimulate the economy seemed surrealistic.
But sadly, the rally was real. The puppet-masters in America's board rooms had summoned them to their grassroots-fabrication knowing of their inchoate anxieties about nearly everything - and they had come.
About the market speakers called "free." God did not make the capital gains tax 15% which is less than the Social Security and Medicare taxes on the first dollars every American earns. The capital gains tax and the lowering of the top marginal rates from 91% to the 30s did not occur because of planetary forces. It occured because the rich, the contributor class, made it happen with their minions in Congress - including plenty of corporate Dems. Their Gollumesque cries of "My precious, my precious, it's all mine" simply don't mesh with "We the people in order to form a more perfect society do hereby...." They just don't get it that we are our brother's keeper, that what happens to the least of us should matter to all of us philosophy and policies.
Do they not hear the gospel messages on Sunday? They don't even have a clue of how to answer this simple question: How is it that we are the only industrial society on earth not to have national health care. Perhaps because they haven't suffered from a lack of health care (I assume) the problem simply doesn't exist. They live in the bubble of Medina and the rest of the world is just so remote - and frequently - distasteful.
Incidentally, I did see a sign about "Government Greed" at the rally but none about the private greed mentioned over 200 times in the Bible. Nothing about a hedge funds manager earning $3.7 billion in a year and paying a lower tax rate, for most of it, than those who clean our bedpans.
It was odd that a crowd that clearly believes in personal responsibilty and working hard (I assume) helps a political party who policies punish work and reward wealth. Of course they try to sell the myth that if you tax the rich they will stop creating jobs. Did you know that the rich are a fragile group? That when we increase their taxes from 35 to 39% they become so disheartened and disconsolate they shut down their business. If they can't keep most of their money they simply see no reason to go on. If they make another $30 million and only keep $17, there is clearly no incentive to continue.
Remember, however, that the poor are very different than the rich: they need to be prodded to work. If we keep the minimum wage low, their hunger and physical needs will help "motivate" them to work.
Of course, rally speakers I heard said nothing about torture, aggressive wars, military waste, Social Security - especially private accounts, national health care, unemployment insurance, skyrocketing tuition costs for state schools. the budget problems of all local governments, the repeal of Glass-Steagall or the killing of the financial cops on Wall Street and Washington, what happened over the last eight years to cause this collapsel. And I heard nothing about the class warfare waged agains the middle class for decades. In fact, I don't believe I heard about anything good that taxes produce.
Nothing about the roads that got them there, the Park where they held the rally, the police protection, the education that some of them received.I never heard President Franklin Delano Roosevelt mentioned. The other Democratic president who had to save the "banksters" from their wretched self-dealing. A "socialist" who clearly saved capitalism and put our economy on a sound track for over 50 years until his reforms were unraveled by the money changers. Remember that FDR was the other Democratic president they called a fascist and socialist.
It would have been wonderful to hear someone recite part of FDR's first inaugural:
"The money changers have fled their high seat in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of our restoration lies in the extent to which we appy social values more noble than mere monetary profit."
Unfortunately, as one observer wrote, the money changers returned to Washington the following day on March 5, 1933. And so it was on January 21, 2009. And clearly it is up to Democrats to pressure our president to reject the advice of the Rubins, Geithners and Summers. They and the GOP Federal Reserve (See James Galbraith's research on how the Fed manipulates interest rates for GOP candidates) should be some of the last people we listen to. Saving THEIR economic system is not the same as saving a just economic system. The system (banks) they are putting on life support is one that has literally robbed American families of the fruits of their labors. It is time for an economy (and, of course, tax policy) that actually works to keep capitalism vibrant and not to preserve the privileges of the few.
Parenthetical: One well-intentioned minister talked of our Christian founders like Thomas Jefferson. They also had a Jefferson banner attached to the Gazebo. I guess he never heard of Jefferson's redacted bible. Redacted as in taking out all the miracles and leaving in the social message.
There were good and serious people at the rally who believe in self-reliance and that is a good thing. The problem is that these same people do not believe in self-reliance when bad things happen to them. They are more than happy that Social Security disability exists. Self-reliance is great when you are healthy because you can, with hard work, acquire money. But when the trials of Job come, you wish to live in a more compassionate society than the one the rally-holders envision. One with national health care.Some of the beliefs of the rally holders and GOP apologists in the media like Charlie Gibson are simply wrong.
Recently, the Plain Dealer ran an op-ed piece that said: "When taxes rise, revenues fall." Many apparently believe, despite Congressional Budget Office (CBO) evidence to the contrary, that less means more.. The "evidence" that cutting taxes actually increases them has a thin underpinning. When capital gains taxes were cut, revenue did go up for a while. Over time, of course, revenue drops. That why the non-partisan CBO indicates significant capital gains tax losses from permanently cutting the tax rate on them.
Why do you think that capital gains taxes did increase after a tax cut - at least for a short period? The CBO and others have pointed out the obvious: people rushed to realize their capital gains when they had the break. Capital gains only occur when you decide to take them. The timing is in your hands when to sell your stocks or other appreciated asset. It was simply a matter of timing and that over time, the Treasury would lose money.
Incidentally, I do believe taxes can be so high that people struggle to evade them with tax shelters etc. That is not the case when you are making small changes in the 30 percent area and not returning the top rates to the 90+%.
The Greed Party has only one issue left: taxes. After doing their best to destroy capitalism and our standing in the world no one listens to them about much of anything else. Their problem though is this syllogism they make: 1) The rich pay almost all the taxes 2) We must lower taxes
Conclusion: The only possible conclusion is that the TEA party was all about lowering taxes on the rich. That is a fair plutocratic proposition but it is rejected by many of the rich as well as the vast majority of the population. Of course, the vast bulk of the people at the TEA party (I attended and took copious notes) had no clue that they were working against not just the economic interests of consumer and industrial capitalism but against their own narrow economic self interests.
That in a society where over 70% of GDP is consumer spending that consumers (the middle class) must have enough to spend. They had merely been summoned by the economic elites to do their work, just as they do in their companies: for no or substandard wages.
At the end of the rally state representative William Batchelder III spoke. Clearly, the organizer and thinker behind the rally spoke last. The one with personal connections to Newt and other aspiring Republicans on the national stage. The chair person of the Ohio 1976 and 1980 Ohio Steering Committee for Ronald Reagan. As he spoke you recognized that he was facile, glib, skillful. I would guess he had 30 IQ points on the other speakers and 50 on the median score in the audience.
He made the point that the rally was not partisan and made a perfunctory attack on George W. Bush for not vetoing some spending bills.His most memorable line was: " “The answer to our economic problems will come from the private sector.”
First, I thought of George Washington's "doctors" applying more leeches to him on his deathbed. Clearly, the Ohio representative believed that we did not allow the banksters enough freedom to loot and pillage. Then I though of a more apt analogy for our sinking economy: the Exon Valdes.
There was the best and brightest of the Medina Republican Party standing on the bridge of the Valdes with Captain Joseph Hazelwood (George W. Bush) yelling: "Maintain course. Full speed ahead. Things are fine"Things are not fine and until the GOP explains the mistakes they had a hand in they will have zero credibility with the American voter.
A Democratic rally attendee
Monday, February 23, 2009
Their purpose is two-fold. First and foremost, they want to undermine support for President Obama's various initiatives to repair the damage done to our economy under Republican rule in the hope that they can keep the economy weak enough to hasten the GOP's return to power in 2010. And, second, they want to undermine FDR's legacy of having created a strong social safety net in the hope that they can head off any effort by Democrats to strengthen that safety net by new programs like national health insurance.
Because these GOPer's seem to have a lot of time on their hands since their trouncing last fall, because an idle mind is the devil's workshop, and because this very idleness may therefore be one of the causes of these attacks, it seems to me that an additional way to defend FDR and the truth about his record (apart from the excellent defenses already being mounted by DeLong and Krugman) is to create some new work for the GOP. What I am suggesting, of course, is that we open a new front in this rhetorical war they have started by forcing the Republicans to begin expending serious energy on defending a hero of their own.
You guessed it—I am talking about an effort on the part of the progressive blogosphere to remind Americans of the manifold deficiencies of Ronald Reagan. As I envision it, our effort would take the form of an essay contest sponsored by one of the progressive blogs, with the essayists being tasked with writing short, factual, and footnoted essays (with links to primary source material counting for bonus points) debunking the myth of Ronald Reagan as some sort of above-average president. The winning essays could then be used as the basis for special instructional units on the Reagan presidency to be used by our nation's high school teachers.
If one of the national blogs decides to sponsor this contest, I wish to stake my claim to the subject of Reagan's sorry record in combating terrorism. I will start by discussing Osama bin Laden, who cited Reagan's failure to have responded to the terrorist bombing of the 241 American servicemen in Lebanon in 1983 as having led him to believe that America had grown soft. I will then discuss Reagan's having traded TOW missiles for American hostages in the mid-80's, which led, of course, to the taking of additional hostages by the terrorists with whom he was trading. And I will finish with a discussion of Libya’s having bombed Pan Am 103 out of the sky over Scotland during the final month of Reagan's presidency (it happened on December 21, 1988 and was a grisly sort of going-away present to Reagan).
Please let me know when the contest begins.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
This proposal would involve amending the charter of the city of Brunswick. If this proposal were to come to fruition, it would necessitate a charter amendment on the ballot. The deadline set by the Secretary of State for the upcoming May 5th election is February 19th. This would give council sixteen days to complete this action in order to effectuate change this year.
Currently, the city of Brunswick has four ward councilmen and three at-large councilmen. The At-Large Council members represent the entire city, not just a ward. They provide a sort of checks and balance system within the council.
Some cities of similar size, i.e. Westerville, Oh, have a city council comprised of seven at-large members. A council of all at-large members ( perhaps five?) would be a more logical alternative than to eliminate two of the three at-large positions and keep the ward council members. The people of Brunswick would continue to be fully represented. Presently, if your ward councilman is not responsive, you still have the at-large council members. Of course, this would also necessitate a charter amendment.
Is Republican Mr. Delsanter’s stance a knee-jerk reaction to the city’s budget problems? Why hasn’t council done more cost cutting in the past? Is this a myopic glance at the overall budget deficit picture?
Or is his proposal an attempt to eliminate some people who just aren’t “on the same page” as Republican Mr. Delsanter? His proposed change would make life a lot easier for a city council that seems to be constantly embroiled in battles. Is he afraid of the outcome of the 2009 election? It appears that there is more to this proposal than he wants us to believe.
Monday, February 02, 2009
This attitude is why they have, since 2006, lost control of the Ohio Governor's office, a U.S. Senator from Ohio, the Ohio House of Representatives, and four congressional seats. Not to mention, of course, the Ohio Attorney General's office, the Ohio Treasurer's office, and the Ohio Secretary of State's office.
So, to our GOP commentator, keep bringing that good old Republican attitude to Ohio. It works for us.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
They point out that the United States had gone from the stock market crash of 1929 to 1979 without a speculative bubble. Then, from 1980 to the present time, there have been three bubbles. One in real estate in the late 1980s that caused the collapse of the savings and loan industry, and the two mentioned above. All of which happened on Greenspan's watch.
The authors argue that a lot of the problems were caused by Greenspan's arrogance in thinking that he knew more than most people, by his belief that he was "the smartest guy in the room." There could be other reasons, however. Could it be that Greenspan was pursuing policies that he thought would benefit the presidents who appointed him?
While George H.W. Bush lost his re-election in 1992, both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush won re-election. In both administrations, however, toward the end of their second terms, financial clouds loomed on the horizon, although obviously much worse in Bush's case than in Clinton's.
In any event, no matter what his motivations, Fleckenstein and his co-author make a compelling case that far from being a good thing, Greenspan's time at the Federal Reserve had very bad consequences for most Americans.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
In the 2004 general election, Bush received 48,196 votes and Kerry received 36,272 votes. In the 2008 general election, McCain received 48,189 and Obama received 40,924. Those figures would seem to indicate that nearly all of Medina County's growth in voters were Obama supporters.
WASHINGTON , D.C. – On January 27, 2009, Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH) voted in favor of S. 181 the Pay Act of 2009. This legislation reverses the May 2007 in , which made it substantially more difficult for Americans to pursue pay discrimination claims. Congresswoman Sutton was an original co-sponsor of H.R. 11, the underlying House legislation. With ’s strong support, S.181 passed the House by a margin of 250 to 177. The bill now goes to the desk of President Barack Obama, who has indicated he will sign it into law. Congresswoman Sutton released the following statement:
“Today is a wonderful day for women and all workers across America . But while we celebrate the passage of this critical legislation, it is disheartening that in this day and age, workers still face pay discrimination. It has been nearly 45 years since the passage of the and yet pay discrimination still exists. By passing this legislation we are ensuring that workers will be able to take action against companies that discriminate against them.
While this legislation is in honor of Lilly Ledbetter and her brave fight for equal pay, it is also dedicated to all the workers across our country who have been the victims of pay discrimination. With every discriminatory paycheck, workers receive less than they deserve, hurting their families and robbing their pensions.
When the is signed into law, it will overturn the unjust Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber. The Court held that Lilly Ledbetter would have had to have filed a complaint within 180 days of when her employer began years of discrimination against her - even though there was no way that she could have known that she was being discriminated against. This decision placed an unfair burden on workers, essentially protecting companies that discriminated against them.
With this law, a statute of limitations will no longer prevent workers from taking action against discriminatory employers. I am proud to support this important legislation for our country and I look forward to our President, Barack Obama, signing it into law.”
Lilly Ledbetter worked for nearly 20 years at a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. She sued the company after learning that she was paid less then her male counterparts at the facility, despite having more experience than several of them. A jury found that her employer had unlawfully discriminated against her on the basis of sex.
However, the Supreme Court ruled that Ledbetter had waited too long to sue for pay discrimination, despite the fact that she filed a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as soon as she received an anonymous note alerting her to pay discrimination.
While Ledbetter filed her charge within 180 days of receiving discriminatory pay, the court ruled that since Ledbetter did not raise a claim within 180 days of the employer’s decision to discriminate against her, she could not receive any relief. Under this Supreme Court decision, employees in Ledbetter’s position would be forced to live with discriminatory paychecks for the rest of their careers.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act clarifies that every paycheck or other compensation resulting from an earlier discriminatory pay decision constitutes a violation of the . As long as workers file their charges within 180 days of a discriminatory paycheck, their charges would be considered timely. This was the law prior to the Supreme Court’s May 2007 decision.
We have two thoughts about this proposal, which, for the record, we don't like, but understand that it may need to be done. The first thought is that only an Administration with ties to labor unions could make this proposal and have any chance of it being accepted by state employee unions.
The reason why is that a Republican administration, say like the Bob Taft Administration, would have no credibility with state workers. It would be seen by the unions as an attempt to use the state's budget problems as a way to hurt unions. Since the Strickland Administration has credibility with unions as being supportive of their aims, this idea won't be seen as having a hidden agenda.
Our second thought is that this is another example of Republican tax breaks helping the rich while screwing workers. Time and time again Republicans pass tax breaks because they will supposedly help grow the economy. Jonathon Chiat
refers to this as "The Big Con" in one of his books. Why is it a big con? Because there is no evidence that cutting taxes grows the economy. There is, however, plenty of evidence that cutting taxes leads to government deficits and cutting government programs.
So, in Ohio, in 2005, the Republican General Assembly and Governor Bob "I don't have a clue" Taft team up to pass a 20% tax cut spread over several years. This leads to huge shortfalls in the state's revenues, just in time for the Bush Depression, or, to be fair, perhaps, the Bush Great Recession, when demand for government programs increases substantially.
The bottom line: Like the state unions we see the necessity for what the Strickland Administration is doing, but we don't have to like it.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Medina County's Republican Commissioners Talk Layoffs, Raise Sewer Rates, and Want to Build a New Courthouse
Now, to be fair, one of the County Commissioners, Pat Geissman, has come out against building the new courthouse, at least at this time. She had a very good column in the Medina County Gazette spelling out her position. Interestingly, the other two Republican Commissioners, Steve Hambley and Sharon Ray, personally paid for an ad that told Gazette readers that they supported the new courthouse construction, but, unlike Geissman's column, didn't really give any reasons for their position other than to make statements with no analysis of why the statements were factually accurate.
Complicating the situation for the Commissioners is that a Republican Judge, John Lohn, has ordered the Board to fund his court at a certain level. If Lohn is successful in this effort, it could lead to other county officials seeking court orders to fund mandated services. All in all, it is a very interesting time in Medina County.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Here are some quotes from the article linked to above:
"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.
In an exchange with Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) about the proposal, the president shot back: "I won," according to aides briefed on the meeting.
"I will trump you on that."
Not that Obama was gloating. He was just explaining that he aims to get his way on stimulus package and all other legislation, sources said, noting his unrivaled one-party control of both congressional chambers.
Here's a difference between Obama and Bush. At heart, Bush was inherently not self-confident, so he had to bluster and bully to make up for his lack of self-confidence. At heart, Barack Obama is extremely self-confident, so he doesn't feel any need to bluster and bully. Therefore, he can deliver messages such as those quoted above without coming off as being mean or rude. It is, all in all, a very important character trait.
Example of Republican incompetence at the state level: cutting income tax rates by 21% over four years jeopardizing the state's finances.
Examples of Republican incompetence at the local level in Medina County : building a new courthouse while threatening the laying off county employees resulting in a Republican judge issuing a court order against an all Republican Board of County Commissioners.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE?
INFORMATION SESSION FOR POTENTIAL CANDIDATES
The Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce will host an Information Session for anyone in the County who would like more information about running for public office, whether as a candidate or to support or work on an election campaign. The one-hour meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 28, starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Medina Community Recreation Center.
In announcing the program, Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce President Debra Lynn-Schmitz pointed out that this is a non-partisan program. “Attendees do not have identify themselves or what position they are considering,” said Lynn-Schmitz. “We simply want to provide an opportunity to learn more for anyone who might be interested in public service, regardless of their political affiliation or the office in which they are interested.”
Medina County Commissioner Sharon Ray will be on hand for a brief presentation explaining what a potential candidate should consider. Ray will also be available for a Question and Answer session at the end of the meeting.
( Editor's Note: Even though the listed speakers are Republicans, we think that local Dems running for office in 2009 should attend this event. You can register online by going here.)
January 16, 2009
“Just as the recession has disproportionately affected certain industries, so too have certain states felt this downturn more acutely than others,” wrote Brown in a letter to Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “In
In December, Brown sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama advocating for specific priorities to be included in the final bill. The letter also was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
In the letter today, Brown outlined how stimulus funds could be most effectively allocated to alleviate the economic downturn. The letter was also signed by Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH).
“Factors like unemployment and foreclosure rates should be given great weight as stimulus funding is determined,” the letter continued. “The effects of the economic crisis have been uneven across the country. To be effective, our nation’s economic stimulus strategy should reflect this reality.”