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Home country: USA
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Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
Number of posts: 14,201

About Me

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Archives

Kentucky Teachers Shut Down Schools After Public Pension Overhaul

Source: Huffington Post

Kentucky’s public pension system is among the worst funded in the nation. Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has prioritized reforming it since he was elected in 2015, and Republicans have taken up the issue since gaining control of both houses of the state legislature in 2016.

Teachers and public employees have fought the proposed changes, which have included transitioning new hires into a “hybrid” system that more closely resembles a 401(k). They argue that such changes would lead to steep cuts to their retirement systems and could violate their contracts with the state.

Educators have spent weeks protesting the proposed pension plans, and appeared to have derailed any potential reform earlier this week as Kentucky’s 2018 legislative session drew to a close.

But on Thursday afternoon, Republicans tucked many of their proposed changes into a piece of legislation relating to public sewage. And after mere hours of debate, both state legislative chambers approved the bill in late-night votes, with the state Senate voting around 10 p.m. to send the bill to Bevin’s desk.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kentucky-school-shutdown-pension_us_5abe4233e4b0f112dc9baeee

Once again, in a late-night stealth vote, Republicans vote to steal pensions from hard working people.

I found out something very alarming today at my county Dem Assembly.

One of our candidates for a US House seat is a major in the Army Reserve AND HE'S BEEN CALLED UP FOR POSSIBLE ACTION IN NORTH KOREA.

That's pretty scary and I will certainly be calling my US Senators and Representative about this on Monday.

We have to keep the pressure up because like many of you, I suspect Trump is going insane.

Amazon didn't kill Toys 'R' Us. Here's what did

Source: CNN Money

The company's biggest problem: It was saddled with billions of dollars in debt. That debt stopped it from making the necessary investment in stores. And that meant an unpleasant shopping experience that doomed the chain. The company told employees Wednesday that it would close or sell its US stores after 70 years in business.

Toys "R" Us' debt problems date back to well before Amazon (AMZN) was a major threat. Its debt was downgraded to junk bond status in January of 2005, at a time when Amazon's sales were just 4% of their current level.

A year later the company was taken private by KKR, Bain Capital and real estate firm Vornado. The $6.6 billion purchase left it with $5.3 billion in debt secured by its assets and it never really recovered.

The toy store faced several other big challenges at about the same time. There was the rise of big box retailers like Walmart (WMT), which now dwarfs Toys "R" Us in total toy sales. Last year toymakers Mattel (MAT) and Hasbro (HAS) each sold about $1 billion worth of their toys at Walmart, more than twice as much as what they sold through Toys "R" Us. Target (TGT) sold just about as many of their as Toys "R" Us last year.

Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/15/news/companies/toys-r-us-closing-blame/index.html

Bain Capital. You remember them?

That's right - Mitt Romney.

Bain is a predatory capital firm that buys companies that are having trouble, saddles them with loans that are impossible to service, then sucks cash from them until they die. Then, when they go belly-up, they lay off thousands of people whose lives are now devastated because a few billionaire freaks saw a chance to turn a quick profit.

Profits over people is not a concept we Democrats should stand for or even tolerate. Profit is fine, but when CEOs make 300 times what their people make, and when it is OK to destroy lives with predatory practices like this, then we need to increase regulation.

Isn't it interesting that banking regulations were just loosened, and with the help of some Democrats. It was a BAD policy move, that. No good will come from it.

In the meantime, wake up, get active with your local Dem party and start choosing good candidates that will act in your best interest, not Mitt's.

Here's an upbeat message from the grassroots

The Democratic party in my county had a meet-and-greet for candidates for state house and senate seats, the US House seat which is currently occupied by a radical right tea party guy, governor, attorney general and secretary of state.

There were a lot of people there, and I was very impressed by both the quality and diversity of candidates. Plenty of women running, strong candidates, and a minority woman. This was great, because my county is pretty white, and the fact an African-American woman is running for a state house seat in our county seat is awesome!

The message everyone had, and with which I certainly concur, is that we CAN flip these seats, particularly in this age of Trump.

So...get involved in your local Democratic party. They need you. More important, your community needs you. And, hey, if you want to run, now is the time! My thinking is Trump is going to weigh around these local Republicans' necks like a big, orange millstone.

Let's get out the vote. They might have boatloads of money, and the county you're in might have been a Koch machine for some time, but WE have votes and if enough of us vote, the money on the other side won't matter nearly as much. We did it with our county Board of Education - big out-of-state money came in opposing our side, and we got outspent by millions, but we won anyway.

So can you!
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