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The Republican Party in Virginia has resorted to what appears to be outright bribery in its ongoing effort to deny low-income residents in the state access to the Medicaid expansion authorized by Obamacare.
The Washington Post is reporting that Republicans offered to move Democratic state Sen. Phillip P. Puckett and his daughter into prestigious jobs in exchange for Puckett's resignation, which will flip the chamber into Republican hands. Pucket will officially accept the offer on Monday, the paper reported.
The Senate was on course to pass an expansion of Medicaid, as the law allows, while the House of Delegates, in GOP hands, aimed to block it. In such a scenario, Democrats hoped that Republicans would be blamed for the resulting government shutdown. With Republicans in control of both chambers, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) must now veto the GOP budget in order to force a showdown over Medicaid.
The apparent quid pro quo has sent Democrats railing.
“It’s astounding to me. The House Republican caucus will do anything and everything to prevent low-income Virginians from getting healthcare… They figure the only way they could win was to give a job to a state senator,” Del. Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) told the Washington Post. “At least they can’t offer Terry McAuliffe a job. I hope Terry continues to stand up to these bullies.”
Va. lawmaker to resign, paving the way for state jobs for daughter, self
Posted by cal04 | Sun Jun 8, 2014, 10:07 PM (15 replies)
In an analysis of employee feedback shared on Glassdoor over the past year, just one retailer comes in the top 25 for top marks on pay and benefits: Costco.
In fact, the company is ranked at number two on the list, although has the same rating — 4.4 — as the top rated company, Google. It also beats out some big tech companies, which are often thought of as paying well and giving workers good perks, like Facebook, Adobe, and Microsoft.
Costco has become known for paying its workers more than is typical in the retail sector, where median pay is $10.29 an hour. Its starting pay is $11.50 an hour and even the lowest paid positions report on Glassdoor that they make $11.80 on average. Across all positions, its average pay is nearly $22. It also offers benefits, with 88 percent of employees enrolled in company-sponsored health insurance.
On top of that, it offers significant room for advancement: 70 percent of its warehouse managers, who can expect to make about $22 an hour on average, started in the company’s lower ranked positions. This engenders high levels of worker loyalty, as its turnover rate is just 5 percent for those who have been there for more than a year.
Posted by cal04 | Sun May 25, 2014, 12:59 PM (2 replies)
Source: White House
In this week’s address, the President discussed actions to expand opportunity for more Americans, with or without the help of Republicans in Congress, including his Administration’s efforts to cut red tape for major transportation infrastructure projects. In the coming days, the President will meet with business leaders to highlight the importance of bringing jobs back to America and will also discuss the economic benefits of making it easier for tourists to visit and spend money at attractions in the U.S., which in turn helps local businesses and grows the economy for everyone. The President has called 2014 a year of action, and he will continue to do whatever he can to continue to strengthen our economy, create jobs and restore opportunity for all.
Here’s the problem: If Congress doesn’t act by the end of this summer, federal funding for transportation projects will run out. States might have to put some of their projects on hold. In fact, some already are, because they’re worried Congress won’t clear up its own gridlock. And if Congress fails to act, nearly 700,000 jobs would be at risk over the next year.
That’s why I put forward a plan to rebuild our transportation infrastructure in a more responsible way. It would support millions of jobs across the country. And we’d pay for it without adding to the deficit by closing wasteful tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas.
Now, the Republicans in Congress seem to have very different priorities. Not only have they neglected to prevent this funding from running out, their proposal would actually cut by 80% a job-creating grant program that has funded high-priority transportation projects in all 50 states. And they can’t say it’s to save money, because at the very same time, they voted for trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, weighted towards those at the very top.
Think about that. Instead of putting people to work on projects that would grow the economy for everyone, they voted to give a huge tax cut to households making more than $1 million a year.
Read more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/17/weekly-address-working-when-congress-won-t-act
Posted by cal04 | Sat May 17, 2014, 09:04 AM (10 replies)
Pope Francis called for “the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits” on Friday, arguing that the Bible demands an economic system that cares for the “poorest and those most excluded.”
Francis made the comments while speaking before a gathering of several United Nations agency leaders, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. As he reflected on the U.N.’s target for Future Sustainable Development Goals, the first Latin American pope asked those present to resist participating in an “economy of exclusion” and to strive to have “a real impact on the structural causes of poverty and hunger.”
“In the case of global political and economic organization, much more needs to be achieved, since an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens,” Francis said.
Francis grounded his argument in biblical the story of Zacchaeus, a rich (and likely corrupt) tax collector who dramatically altered his economic behavior after encountering Jesus Christ. According to Luke 19:1-10, Zacchaeus was overcome by Jesus’ kindness, prompting the wealthy man to publicly proclaim that he would give half his possessions to
Posted by cal04 | Fri May 9, 2014, 04:45 PM (13 replies)
Bill Maher tore into the Supreme Court's decision invalidating aggregate campaign contribution limits on an individual during an election cycle.
"They say the Constitution was created by geniuses so idiots could run it," the comedian and liberal political commentator said Friday on his HBO show "Real Time With Bill Maher." "I need to amend that. I think the idiots have found a way to break it. I do. I think the idiots have finally won over the geniuses."
He took particular aim at Chief Justice John Roberts for decreeing in the 5-4 controlling opinion that giving large sums of money to politicians doesn't give rise to quid pro quo corruption.
"Either he is a liar or he is too naïve to hold any important job, including -- and especially this one," he said. "This is like a legal ruling written by the Little Mermaid. Are you crazy?"
Bill Maher RIPS Supreme Court Ruling On Campaign Finance
Alex Wagner you rock!!
Posted by cal04 | Sat Apr 5, 2014, 04:13 PM (38 replies)
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) should know better.
That's the argument of a group of over 200 students, faculty and alumni of Yale Law School and Yale Divinity School, who wrote a letter to Coons on Monday asking him to change his surprising vote against Debo Adegbile, President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Coons got his J.D. from Yale Law and an M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School in 1992.
Coons voted against Adegbile because Adegbile's former organization helped with an appellate case involving Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer over 30 years ago. Because of constitutional issues with jury instructions, Abu-Jamal's death sentence was downgraded to life in prison.
"As students, professors and practitioners, your vote alarmed us," the group wrote to Coons. "It signaled a lack of respect for the fundamental American legal principle that all parties have a right to zealous representation, and sent a message that young people considering public service careers should avoid work on behalf of unpopular or marginalized communities and clients."
Posted by cal04 | Mon Mar 17, 2014, 10:47 PM (2 replies)
Youth activists held a rally on Sunday outside of the White House demanding President Obama stop construction of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands south across the country from Alberta, Canada to Texas.
About 1,000 were expect to turn out for the protest, many of them university students. An estimated 300 people locked themselves to the White House fence before being arrested by security. The protest comes just days after a report from the State Department’s Inspector General found that there was no conflict of interest in the fact that the contractor hired to write a Environmental Impact Statement on the pipeline also worked for major oil companies involved in its construction.
Rally organizers peg the number arrested at around 400. Buses were brought in to cart away those who’d been arrested:
Here’s a look at some photos from the protest:
Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/02/3350081/photos-keystone-protest-arrests/
Keystone XL Pipeline Protestors Create ‘Human Oil Spill’
Associated Press Susan Walsh
Read more: Keystone XL Pipeline Protestors Create ‘Human Oil Spill’
Today more than 1,000 youth from across the country marched to the White House from Georgetown University—where President Obama laid out his “climate test”—to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. Once at the White House, hundreds of youth were arrested while participating in a nonviolent civil disobedience sit-in. This protest was the largest youth act of civil disobedience at the White House in a generation.
Co-founder and Communications Director, 350.org
I just came back from the White House, where the police are still arresting the hundreds of students who are taking part in what will likely be the largest act of youth civil disobedience at the White House in a generation.
This is XL Dissent: a massive surge of protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and a powerful show of solidarity with all communities who are fighting the fossil fuel industry and confronting the impacts of the climate crisis.
Breaking: 400+ Youth Arrested at White House Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline
Today more than 1,200 youth from across the country marched to the White House from Georgetown University—where President Obama laid out his “climate test”—to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. Once at the White House, more than 400 youth were arrested while participating in a nonviolent civil disobedience sit-in. This protest was the largest youth act of civil disobedience at the White House in a generation.
Posted by cal04 | Sun Mar 2, 2014, 03:00 PM (50 replies)
Nine Colorado gay couples have filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court seeking to overturn Colorado's Constitutional ban on gay marriages.
Currently Colorado permits civil unions but the state Constitution bans gay marriage. The lawsuit filed Wednesday names Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver City Clerk Debra Johnson as defendants.
"Colorado law creates two classes of citizens: those free to marry the person they love, and those denied that fundamental right," the suit says. "Same-sex couples in Colorado are relegated to a second-class level of citizenship that denies their relationships the full panoply of rights enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples."
Even same-sex couples who have been validly married in other states are stripped of their marital status when they enter the state of Colorado, the suit says.
Posted by cal04 | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 02:48 PM (3 replies)
Source: Huffington Post
The Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler will once again seek to set rules that make sure broadband providers do not discriminate or block any content on the Internet, a senior FCC official said on Wednesday.
The FCC will not appeal a U.S. court decision last month that rejected a previous version of these rules because of the way the FCC had classified broadband providers, the official said.
But the court said the commission does have the authority to regulate broadband access under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the FCC will use that authority to review how it can bring back non-discrimination and no-blocking regulations while complying with the court order.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/19/fcc-net-neutrality_n_4815957.html
During a press call Wednesday, a senior agency official said Wheeler will not be attempting to reclassify Internet providers, nor will the FCC appeal the court’s decision.
Instead, Wheeler will start a new process and seek public comment to create rules that keep providers from blocking and slowing access to websites, the official said.
Wheeler will look to the agency’s Data Roaming Order — a set of 2011 rules that requires wireless companies to offer data roaming arrangements to each other on “commercially reasonable terms and conditions” — which a federal court upheld after Verizon Wireless challenged the rules, according to the official.
The FCC will also enhance the net-neutrality rules’ transparency provision, which requires Internet providers to be transparent about how they manage network traffic and was upheld by the federal court earlier this year.
Wheeler seems to have seized what he's called the court's "invitation" to act boldly under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act, which gives the FCC authority to regulate broadband infrastructure deployment. Under the FCC's reading of that statute, the agency can make rules on Web traffic discrimination because of the relationship between the free flow of information and the expansion of new technologies and services.
As it considers rewriting the net neutrality rules to more explicitly rely on Section 706, the FCC will simultaneously keep open the possibility of "reclassifying" broadband providers. Such a step would allow the FCC to regulate ISPs just like it does phone companies, and policy watchers say reclassification would grant the FCC unambiguous authority to regulate broadband providers with a blanket ban on traffic discrimination. Keeping reclassification on the table effectively gives the FCC a nuclear option to use as a deterrent against companies that want to prioritize Internet traffic.
A senior FCC official also hinted Wednesday that the commission would be using its Section 706 authority to investigate state-level laws banning the rollout of city-built broadband networks. Many cities, such as Longmont, Colo., and Chattanooga, Tenn., have tried to construct their versions of Google Fiber and to run them like public utilities — much to the frustration of incumbent cable companies and other large Internet providers that view the upstarts as potential competitors.
Posted by cal04 | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 11:56 AM (25 replies)
Source: Huffington Post
A federal judge ruled the state of Virginia's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, Attorney General Mark Herring announced via his Twitter account on Thursday.
A judge has ruled Virginia's ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen made the ruling late Thursday night.
Attorney General Mark Herring has said he will not defend the ban, saying it is in violation of the U.S. constitution.
Mike Valerio is following this breaking news and will have more information in our online newscast at 11 and on NBC12 News at 11:30 after the Olympics.
*ALERT* Equality marches forward in VA: Federal judge declares state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Issues stay pending appeal.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/13/virginia-gay-marriage_n_4785530.html?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067
Important to note: Injunction in VA #SSM case is stayed pending appeal meaning the ban will remain in effect while appeals are heard.
From ruling: "We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect."
From ruling: "VA's Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny VA's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry."
"VA law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits VA's recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions unconstitutional."
From ruling: "Laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process & equal protection guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of US Constitution."
From ruling: "Court stays execution of this injunction pending the final disposition of any appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted by cal04 | Thu Feb 13, 2014, 10:24 PM (32 replies)