AFL-CIO enthusiastically endorses President Obama for his full-throated support of labor

“I’ll place my bet on the American worker any day of the week”

Yesterday, Richard L. Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, sent out this statement:

This afternoon, the AFL-CIO’s General Board voted unanimously to endorse President Obama for re-election.

For many reasons, we are pledging to work with President Obama throughout the elections and in a second term. The bottom line is this: As president, Barack Obama has placed his faith in America’s working men and women to lead our country to economic recovery and our full potential. So we’re putting our faith in him.

Although the labor movement has sometimes differed with the president and often pushed his administration to do more—and do it faster—we have never doubted his commitment to a strong future for working families.

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What would you call a state that allowed employers to fire users of contraception? Arizona

Holy mother of goddess

It’s almost impossible to believe this is true but Republicans that control Arizona’s legislature are pushing through legislation that will allow employers to fire employees who use contraception.

You read that right: Legislation that will allow employers to fire employees who use contraception.

The Republicans who control the Arizona legislature are pushing through a bill that would make it OK for both religious and secular employers to deny coverage for contraception if the employers object for moral reasons.

But apparently that’s not all.

HB2625 in its current version also eliminates the following protection for employees:

“A religious employer shall not discriminate against an employee who independently chooses to obtain insurance coverage or prescriptions for contraceptives from another source.”

In the most recent version of HB2625 (see it here) that provision is removed (scroll down to the very end).

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Profound examples of how the Affordable Care Act is saving lives

How dare anyone call this evil?

This first video is about Zoe. She was born with half a heart. By the time she was 6 months old, she had already had two open heart surgeries and was half-way to using up her lifetime cap. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, she is alive and will grow old.

Here’s Zoe’s mom, Stacy:

Here’s insurance that you’ve been paying for for the past 20 years but, ‘Oh, don’t get sick. Don’t have a child that was born with a heart defect, because once you reach a certain limit, you know, we’re not gonna insure them anymore.’

I can’t even fathom what’s going through the minds that want to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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Michigan Republicans pass anti-union bill that saves no money simply to harass unions

What’s the polite phrase for “dick move”?

This past week, Michigan Republicans passed House Bill 4929 that prohibits school districts from doing automatic deductions from teachers’ paychecks to pay for their union dues. It was touted as a cost-saving measure by some. How much will it save?

See, that’s the thing: Nothing.

According to the most recent Senate Fiscal Analysis:

State: The bill would have no fiscal impact on the State.

Local: The bill likely would not result in either net costs or savings to districts. Payroll deductions for union dues are automated in the vast majority of districts.

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Tuesday afternoon Michigan Emergency Manager news round-up – 3/13/2012

In our last episode…

  • Detroit may avoid Emergency Manager by agreeing to a consent agreement
    This morning, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder presented a consent agreement to Detroit city officials. This is basically his last offer before imposing an Emergency Manager on Michigan’s largest city.

    Michigan Radio reporting news from the Associated Press:

    Councilman James Tate says the deal includes an advisory committee that would remove some power from elected officials. Tate says the consent agreement reads more like a “one-way edict.”

    If approved, the deal could keep the state from appointing an emergency financial manager in Detroit, which faces a $197 million budget deficit.

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Indiana House of Representatives passes Emergency Manager bill, heads to Governor to become law

There goes another one, just like the other one…

As I wrote about in January, the Indiana Senate decisively passed an Emergency Manager bill similar to but different than Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law. The vote was 48-1. Last Friday, the Indiana House passed the Emergency Manager bill unanimously, 96-0.

Local governments and school corporations in financial distress could ask a state board to appoint an emergency manager to fix their finances under legislation approved by the Indiana General Assembly Friday.

House Bill 1192 empowers an emergency manager appointed by the Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board to reduce spending, cut payroll and renegotiate contracts without first obtaining the consent of elected officials.

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Obama administration goes after China for unfair trade of rare earth metals (Updated with transcript)

It IS a matter of national security, actually

The Obama administration announced this morning that it is requesting a “consultation” with China with the World Trade Organization over unfair export restraints on rare earth metals, as well tungsten and molybdenum, materials used in a wide array of electronics including the burgeoning industry of electric vehicle batteries.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today that the United States has requested consultations with the People’s Republic of China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning China’s unfair export restraints on rare earths, as well as tungsten and molybdenum. These materials are key inputs in a multitude of U.S made-products and American manufacturing sectors, including hybrid car batteries, wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, steel, advanced electronics, automobiles, petroleum, and chemicals.…
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Can We Call Mitt Romney a Liar?

When Mitt lies, Atlas shrugs

You know the GOP’s favorite Karl Rove tactic: Take an opponent’s strength and make it his weakness.

This is how Vietnam evader George W. Bush beat war hero John Kerry. This is why Sarah Palin, who was vetted as well as a pair of shoes purchased online, says President Obama wasn’t properly vetted. This blurs reality and leaves the press reporting the distortion at a higher volume than the truth.

Now to the strange case of Mitt Romney. His greatest weakness is his inconsistency, his willingness to adapt to whatever Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson believe at any given moment.…

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