Archive for employment

GOP Senators Vote Against US Pledge of Allegiance

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GOP

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all...

That's how the original Pledge of Allegiance goes. But the U.S. Senate, under the leadership of the Republican party, has undertaken to amend the age-old pledge. They're adding "except for minorities, the poor, and women."

It seems the GOP has determined there's a new meaning to phrases or words like "one Nation," "indivisible" and "liberty and Justice for ALL". It used to be that "All" means everyone. "Liberty and Justice" means freedom and fairness. Finally, "one nation" means united, as in the United States. Evidently, gone are the days...

Sadly yesterday the Senate Republicans, voted to trample their pledge. They voted down, as a unit, the Paycheck Fairness Act. Its purpose was to fix a wrong in our nation. It was to close the gap between wages of men and women doing the same job. And this bill would not cost anything. Here's what the proposed law would do, according to THE HILL:

The legislation punishes employers for retaliating against workers who share wage information, and puts the justification burden on employers as to why someone is paid less and allows workers to sue for punitive damages of wage discrimination.

So let's hear it for the patriotic Senate hypocrites from the GOP who swear by their patriotism yet feel it's important to trample on the very tenets of our Pledge of Allegiance. 

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Part-time Employment Or Part-time Insanity

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part-time

To hear the Republican attack machine in overdrive, the passage of the Affordable Care Act was the first step in turning America into a country of part-time employees. It was going to force companies, especially small businesses, into cutting full-time workers' hours back just to avoid having to pay medical benefits and coverage premiums.

Now these prognosticators with their B.S degrees in fortune telling - and BTW, in this case B.S degree stands for Bull Sh*t -- have ignored taking into account many contributing reasons why employers won't be cutting back hours of employees to any great degree. Sure, a small percentage might, but that's not likely. The cost of finding and training an employee you can trust is far greater than the insurance premiums. What employer wants 10 part-time employees coming and going when 5 full timers will be more reliable?

So here's some recent facts, brought to light by HuffPo:

The number of part-time jobs is actually shrinking, and full-time jobs are being created instead.

Specifically, the number of part-time workers in the U.S. fell in February to about 27.3 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. That number is down by about 300,000 since March 2010, when the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, became law.

Keep in mind, this change in employment numbers have come since the ACA has gone into full effect. And the news gets even better:

Meanwhile, the ranks of full-time workers have grown by more than 2 million within the past year to 117.8 million in February. The number of part-time workers fell by about 230,000 over that period.

It seems that at every turn, the Republican lie-generating machines and their public mouthpieces like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and their Tea Party cohorts, are being proven wrong. The ACA isn't perfect, but it's sure better than having done nothing. Now it's time to improve it, and the Republican party as a whole is starting to accept Obamacare and move toward fixes, rather than repeal. That's a great step and it could benefit us all.

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Don't Let This Nightmare Come True

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Nightmare

Nightmare

With a h/t to our own, Lucian Dixon...

Last night I had the most horrible of dreams -- a nightmare. Well, it was a nightmare in the sense that it caused me to wake up in a panicked state with a veneer of sweat across my forehead.

It went something like this. My son came home with a document -- the results of his psychological testing that was mandated in his application for a full time work position that he really wanted badly. He was a little concerned, so as a loving dad, I asked him what's up? He handed me a paper, the test results. Stamped across it was the word, "APPROVED."

Hell, I couldn't see anything the matter with that. I had more problems with his potential employer administering a psych test to see if he was qualified for this job -- the assistant director of IT for a middle-sized company. It wasn't anything that would have so great an impact that it required this kind of examination.

But it was done. And he was approved. So, the dream was going along just fine until my son asked me to look at the questions -- more of a profile assessment. My son was found to have all of the traits listed below, which were attributed to Psychology Today:

  • American exceptionalism and the need to protect it by strict immigration policies;
  • Anti-abortion under all circumstances (”Life begins at conception”);
  • Pro-capital punishment;
  • Pro-gun rights;
  • “Law and order” attitudes favoring harsh penalties for criminal behavior; Supporters of the “war on drugs;”
  • Anti-affirmative action;
  • Anti-reductions in nuclear weapons;
  • Anti-entitlements; anti-gay;
  • Anti-science (e.g., denial of evolution and climate change);
  • Belief in the promulgation of “Christian values” in schools, courts, and public ceremonies;
  • Reverence for people in uniform; given to patriotic display;
  • A fondness for military solutions to international problems;
  • Biblical certainty in matters of morality;
  • A conviction that those who disagree politically should be the objects of coercion; A view of oneself as beset by evil forces conspiring to take what one has;
  • The equation of compromise with “weakness.”

Oh my God. My son, whom I love, was a conservative. A friggin' Republican right-wing conservative! I panicked. What had I done wrong? I had raised him with love. I had never laid a hand on him and seldom even raised my voice with him. I had traveled with him to many countries to see and experience the world. We'd participated in many charity events. He was a good team player in baseball and soccer. He learned American Sign Language as his foreign language requirement so he could help those who might not be able to hear. He went to university and got his Bachelor of Science degree. He has a long-term girl friend. How could this happen to me -- or more importantly to him?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

And then I woke up. My son heard me yelling and rushed in, joining my wife with great concern. I hugged them both when I realized this was a dream. A horrible dream. My son never took such a test. And he assured me that he was still very much a left-leaning Democrat.

Now that should have been the end of it right there. But as with most good spooky stories, it's not.

In an email from Lucian to me which I read last night before retiring, was this study. And these qualities listed above are actually the traits Psychology Today compiled after vast studies and assessments, which best sum up today's right-wing conservative.

Oh, and the horror of it all? How can we survive with thinking like that running rampant among us?

I'd go back to sleep if I wasn't so worried about that dream becoming a reality.

Lesson here... don't go to sleep and let the right wing run free. Let's sleep but do it in shifts. It's the only protection we've got against mass insanity. That and our vote. Keep these Republican wackadoos from reaching office, local, state and national. Don't let the fact that the upcoming elections are "only" mid-terms. They are more important now than ever before. Get your asses out of your chairs and vote.

Don't say you weren't warned.

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Boehner Might Be Placed on Suicide Watch

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Suicide Prevention Boehner

Suicide Prevention Boehner

If you or I threaten to kill ourselves, it's not uncommon for concerned friends of relatives to band together and put the disturbed on a suicide watch. It's for their own safety. After all, committing suicide is not only a crime, but it's a loss of a valuable life. Despite the despair one goes through, suicide should not be an viable solution. But do the Republicans care? Truth is they actually haven't for years. Now their Speaker of the House is a case in point:

Now whether John Boehner is a man of his word remains to be seen. His record is iffy at best. But he has publicly spoken out against the passage of raising the minimum wage. And he's actually threatened to keep it from a vote. And he has said he'd rather commit suicide than take that action.

As reported by The HILL:

“I’ll commit suicide before I vote on a clean minimum-wage bill,” Boehner, then the head of the House Republican Conference, said at the time.

Now to be fair, he made this threat two minimum wage increases ago and has yet to act on it. The common wisdom is that people who talk about killing themselves are less likely to actually go through with it -- they're looking for attention. But the GOP head honcho has gone public with his threat, and rumors (mine) are that he must be watched carefully as the Democrats are about to circulate a discharge petition, which would force a floor vote on increasing the minimum wage. If it goes through, watch out. We may have the Tea Party holding Boehner to his words and force him to do what he's threatened -- kill himself.

Not that Democrats or Tea Party members would care if Boehner were to martyr himself by taking his life for political reasons, but I think the message it sends would not be a good one. If you can't win, kill yourself.

Do I take the Speaker at his word that he's actually going to act upon his threat? Hell no! But it does make you think that this is just more fake posturing on the ineffective Speaker's part. One more in a long line of hollow threats.

So, Republicans, if you care about Boehner's continuing in office, or even living, maybe now's the time to force the leader out of his office for medical and mental purposes. You can replace him with someone more stable... if you can find someone. In your dysfunctional, fractured party a sane replacement could be hard to find

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Bullying - Learned In School, Practiced In The Adult World - It Must Stop

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bullying

We've all been exposed in real life to bullying -- either as an innocent bystander, perhaps even as a swept-up in the moment participant or sadly as a victim. Let's be real with ourselves, even if we can't be with others. We're more likely to have contributed at some point than to have rushed to someone's defense. That doesn't make us bad. It means we're all human and we're all vulnerable. Nobody wants to be on the outside looking in. There are pressures many times to join in or be ostracized ourselves. So we take the weak or cowardly way out. The course of least resistance.

Like sucking our thumbs or picking our noses, we generally outgrow these dirty habits. Some of them are learned naturally, others in school. They generally start when we're young and vulnerable. That's where they're most likely going to be corrected. Yet for many, the bad habits continue on to later in life when the damage can be even worse.

If we don't find ourselves early enough, if we don't develop the strength to stand up for justice, fairness and tolerance for others not as well off or popular, the future isn't pretty. Below is a video that's worth looking at.

Bullying - Catch it early or it'll catch us: The translation at the end says,

"A day of work doesn't have to be like this. Nor a day at school. Bullying is learned!"

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The Headless Horseman Of The GOP's Sleepy Hollow(head)

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headless Tea Party horseman

When it comes to the government shutdown (again) over Obamacare, the Democrats are so lucky to have Reince Preibus speaking for the opposition. He's so ineffective in making a case, mealy-mouthed about the last shutdown, caught in a lie on national TV, and now THE poster child for the defective Tea Party fool.

Of course, it's a lot easier to look stupid when you face a tough-minded, resolute thinker like Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But she didn't pick the opposition, the Republicans did. Chairman P. beached their ship last general election, he's sure to hit the same sandbar next time around with the type of thinking like he displayed on CNN this past Sunday.

When people say a fish stinks from the head down, so do political parties. Here's the "head" of the Republican party. Take a sniff. Warning, you won't like the stench.

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The House That Hardly Ever Works, Even When It Does Work

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House calendar

Today I read that the House of Representatives only has seven more days scheduled of work this year. We're just at December 3rd and that leaves four weeks on the calendar, but only one week of work. Hmm. During 2013 the House had a total of 239 DAYS OFF. How overworked can they be? They just took the mantle of the least effective congressional session EVER!

Plenty.

For what promises to be the worst congress in history, passing fewer bills than EVER before, here's what lies ahead. A reduced schedule for the second session of the 113th Congress. According to HuffPo:

They have even more off days scheduled for next year.

The 2014 calendar for the House, released in October by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), shows members will only work 113 days. That's down from 2013, when House lawmakers were scheduled to meet for 126 days.

I hope their New Years resolution is to work harder and actually get something done. Certainly they didn't this time around and now they're so overworked they're cutting back their calendar by two weeks. Perhaps if they do even less next year, they can cut 2015 down to once a month meetings at Boehner's house. For the results we're seeing, that should be plenty of time.

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