Archive for minimum wage

This Video Has GOP Shaking In Their Boots

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minimum wage

The issue is the minimum wage. If you watch nothing else today, or even tomorrow, you'll want to see this. The Republican Party has a huge reason to be scared. Very scared. The reason is demonstrated in this video. People of all walks of life, of all races and genders are fed up, mad as hell, and not going to take it (the GOP lies) anymore. THE RAW STORY:

A Florida GOP congressman faced pushback from his constituents over raising the minimum wage, with one man directly challenging him to work at a local fast food restaurant for a day, Think Progress reported.

“Lay your tie and your suit down, just for a day, 24 hours, and take a walk in my shoes,” Shaneeka Rainer told Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) in video taken from a town hall meeting in Tampa. “The people that I work with, we’re keeping the economy floating and going in the cycle. But the people that hire, they’re just paying money, just throwing money. But I’m actually working every day. So why wouldn't you support it?”

Watch Congressman Ross try to fake rage and school an Arby's worker. What he gets in return is a schooling himself, and the GOP is scared sh*tless you'll see this.

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No one said affordable health care would be free

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Obama you're welcome affordable health care obamacare

Affordable health care means just that: health care we can afford, not health care that's provided to us at no cost. Unfortunately, the vehement anti-Obamacare opponents on the right are pushing lies, and the news dee jays need to diligently call them out. The letters below refer to one case that is being exploited.

Like Barbara Garnaus did, there are Americans out there who become ill and then complain that they have to pay for health services. But some of the most vocal critics fail to put their stories into context. Garnaus, a cancer patient, wasn't covered at all. Obviously (at least to most people), the Affordable Health Care Act says you still have to pay for services, but in most cases, you get more bang for your buck.

It also means that some people are struggling to make payments because they are unable to earn enough money to afford much of anything in the first place. Increasing the minimum wage would help rectify the problem.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "For working poor, new health premiums can be a burden," April 14

The headline on this article is very misleading. The impression given is that Obamacare places an undue burden on low-income citizens.

This story is about someone — 63-year-old Barbara Garnaus — who went for years without any insurance, relying on good health and free clinics. Now she has cancer and has bought insurance under Obamacare.

Before healthcare reform, she probably would not have been able to obtain insurance at all after the cancer was diagnosed.

So yes, her $13.50 monthly premium is more than she paid when she had no insurance and was in good health, but it's a lot less than it would cost for the same healthcare without insurance, which is where she would have been without Obamacare.

Sure, paying premiums costs more than not paying them, but healthcare with insurance costs a lot less than healthcare without insurance.

Perry Valantine

Costa Mesa

***

A $13.50 monthly payment for health insurance is amazingly low. The Times should applaud the program that allows a person who could never afford healthcare to receive medical treatment for cancer.

The cost of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act isn't the source of Garnaus' troubles. Rather, she is struggling to pay for healthcare because of her extremely low salary.

Until hardworking Americans like Garnaus receive wages that allow them to pay for a place to live, housing, transportation and, yes, healthcare, they will struggle as she does.

But don't blame the Affordable Care Act — it has brought affordable healthcare to millions of previously uninsured Americans.

Jo Perry

Studio City

blame obamacare health insurance

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Raising Minimum Wage Doesn't Hurt Economy -- Ask Washington State

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Whenever you need to test a theory, it's best to look at history and see if there's something you can learn from it. It seems Republicans haven't taken the time to do their homework. They just have categorically declared war on the working class stiffs who are stuck with minimum wage jobs. Saying"no" for them is easier than saying "why not?"

So what are the facts about raising the minimum wage and how will it hurt us -- as the GOP town criers warn us? Perhaps a look at Washington State which has the highest minimum wage in the country will shed some light.

Let's look at Bloomberg:

When Washington residents voted in 1998 to raise the state’s minimum wage and link it to the cost of living, opponents warned the measure would be a job-killer.

You may be wondering how that worked out. 1998 is over 15 years ago. That's surely enough time for the experiment to provide definitive results:

In the 15 years that followed, the state’s minimum wage climbed to $9.32 -- the highest in the country. Meanwhile job growth continued at an average 0.8 percent annual pace, 0.3 percentage point above the national rate. Payrolls at Washington’s restaurants and bars, portrayed as particularly vulnerable to higher wage costs, expanded by 21 percent. Poverty has trailed the U.S. level for at least seven years.

Whoa there, all you GOP Chicken Littles. The sky didn't fall in? Payrolls expanded as did job growth. Poverty has fallen. The economy of the state didn't collapse. Mass destruction and corruption didn't reign supreme? How could the Boehners, Cantors, and Paul Ryans of the world be so wrong? They're part of the Republican hate machine.

How else do you describe their refusal to pass unemployment insurance extensions while 2 million are refused aid? How else do you interpret the GOP Conservative stance on not extending citizenship to those already here but without proper papers? If it was good enough for Reagan, why not for them?

So let's let history, not Republican histrionics, rule the day. Boost the minimum wage and let's pass the extension of long-term unemployment benefits. It's time to yell at the mad men in the Republican Party who don't know what they're talking about.

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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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Friday Links

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image: mbalifecycle.com

image: mbalifecycle.com

10 Strange and Wonderful Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around The World

The Dark Origins of Valentine's Day (NPR)

GOP Hypocrites Interfere With Private Business to Keep Union Out of Tennessee VW Plant

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Is in Trouble Thanks to Grassroots Pressure

Billionaire CEO To 99 Percent: Stop Whining, You'd Be The One Percent In India

How Money Changed Sochi

Rachel Maddow: Federal probe of NC toxic polluter could be bad news for Gov. McCrory

Ann Coulter: I can’t live in America

Meet the World's Filthiest River

Video Portraits: Life at Minimum Wage

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The GOP's Women's Offensive Offensive (NSFW)

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War on Women

So the GOP feels that they need help connecting with women. They're not alone. So do women -- and in a very big way.

HuffPo:

A majority of Americans -- especially female ones -- think the Republican Party is out of touch with women, according to a poll released Friday by CNN/ORC.

Fifty-five percent of Americans, including 59 percent of women, say the GOP generally does not understand the problems and concerns of women.

That amazing set of numbers should send off some alarm bells. You bet. The RNC Chairman Reince Preibus, has heard them, loud and clear. He's been organizing sensitivity training for his 92% male GOP national office holders -- of course this is all voluntary. It's only if they need it. And if you ask any Republican in either house of congress, they don't need it. They already are sensitive to women's issues. Funny how the Republican track record doesn't quite reflect that though. 

Can't you tell? Maybe looking at this chart will prove that point -- not!

Total Senate
100 (53D, 45R, 2I)
Women
20 (16D, 4R)
Total House
435 (201D, 234R)
Women
 78 (59D, 19R), plus 3 (3D) Delegates

The Democrats have three times more female representatives in the House and four times as many in the Senate. If women are more than half the total US population, isn't it clear there's a political disconnect between parties?

Here are some of the reasons women voters are staying away from the misogynistparty. The GOP has stopped the Paycheck Fairness Act which would mandate that women and men doing the same job and with the same seniority get paid the same amount.

The GOP has pushed through a bill that makes it a fire-able offence to inquire or discuss one's pay rate at work. In other words, they don't want workers to know what their equals are getting so they can report underpayments or make inquiries about their remuneration.

Oh, and how about the GOP "inserting" themselves between female patients and their doctors, forcing transvaginal ultrasounds, unnecessary procedures relating to abortion, and closing down or making access to abortion clinics nearly impossible in those states that still have any?

Let's not forget that the Republicans in the House are against raising the minimum wage. That's actually another gender issue as women are 47% more likely to hold a job that pays minimum wage than men according to The Week.com.

Did I forget the voting restrictions they're instituting in Republican-led states now requiring two forms of ID? Most women in this country change their last names to their husband's when they marry. Many times this results in a birth certificate with one last name, and a driver's license with another. Because of this discrepancy, despite having been allowed to vote for 20 or 30 years at the same polling site, women must now file a conditional ballot -- oftentimes not even counted after the polls close. Don't believe me? Ask Wendy Davis, a high profile, sitting Texas state senator who had to file a provisional ballot and face a possible recall to the polls two days later to prove she's really who she says she is.

The GOP has a funny way to entice female voters. It's like spousal abuse. They beat the shit out of them, treat them worse than dogs, then threaten to retaliate against them if they don't follow their orders. The fact that they have any female constituency in the Elephant Party is quite amazing. When you have to offer sensitivity lessons to your elected membership, you're definitely admitting you're doing something wrong.

Look at what the GOP's other majordomo has to say about the connection gap between his party and women:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in December that his fellow Republicans were making progress, but that "there are a lot more females in the Democratic caucus than there are in the Republican conference. And some of our members just aren't as sensitive as they ought to be."

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How Out Of Step Is The GOP On Economic Equality?

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OutOfStepw368h244

Evidently, according to a recent Pew Poll, the choice of whether you're rich or not is up to you. Yes, it's a choice according to the GOP. And who better to understand business and the economy than the Grand Old Party? Economics and defense are considered to be their hallmark strengths.

So, let's see whether we're rich or poor, lavishing in riches or struggling in destitution is a choice. (A hint: being poor to a Republican is like being gay to Ellen DeGeneres -- it's a choice.)

Here's some number collection from Pew Research (Jan 15-19, 2014):

WHICH HAS MORE TO DO WITH WHY A PERSON IS RICH:

Total     Rep.    Dem.   Ind.

Works harder than others:

 38%      57%     27%    37%

He/She has more advantages:

Total     Rep.    Dem.   Ind.

51%       32%     63%    52%

WHICH IS MORE TO BLAME FOR BEING POOR:

Total      Rep.   Dem.   Ind.

Lack of Effort:

35%      51%     29%     33%

Circumstances beyond control:

Total     Rep.    Dem.   Ind.

50%     32%     63%     51%

FAIR ECONOMIC SYSTEM IN AMERICA:

Total     Rep.    Dem.   Ind.

Fair:

36%      53%     25%    35%

Favors wealthy:

60%     42%      75%    60%

Can get ahead if work hard:

60%     76%      49%    59%

Hard Work no guarantee of success:

38%      20%     48%    39%

There you have the numbers. What stands out is that the Republicans think it's lack of initiative that causes poverty and low wages. Tell that to the full-time workers who struggle with minimum wage -- an issue the Republicans are reluctant to bring to a vote to raise. Our problems are jobs. More specifically good paying jobs. But to put that movement on the right path, we need to start by raising the minimum wage to make it a livable wage. That's something the Republicans just don't get.

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