|HealthcarePage 40 of 46 (6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46)|
|Well offsetting that bad news is this update, Obama hires a health Czar who is an expert in rationing and is on his way to North Korea to learn how to bend the cost curve on amputations with no anesthesia (todays news lol).|
Posted: 7/15/2010 8:15:06 PM
|Hail to heroic dear leader Kim!|
Posted: 7/26/2010 5:56:21 AM
|All real estate transactions are now subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax???|
Under the new health care bill - did you know that all real estate transactions are now subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax? The bulk of these new taxes don’t kick in until 2013 (presumably after Obama’s re-election). You can thank Nancy, Harry and Barack and your local Democrat Congressman for this one. If you sell your $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax. This bill is set to screw the retiring generation who often downsize their homes. Is this “Hope & Change” great or what?
Posted: 7/26/2010 10:19:17 AM
|I hope the Republicans take not just the House, but the Senate, too--this thing needs to be repealed before it can do any more harm. And that includes all these other provisions like this tax. It may have to wait, though, until we can get this jerk out of the White House. That's another reason to impeach him.|
Posted: 7/27/2010 4:45:31 PM
|Even if Republicans gain control over both houes, it's impossible they can obtain the majority necessary to overturn the bill.|
We’ve been flooded with queries about this one ever since the health care bill became law. At the last minute, Democratic lawmakers decided on a new 3.8 percent tax on the net investment income of high-income persons. But the claim that this would amount to a $15,200 tax on the sale of a typical $400,000 home is utterly false.
The truth is that only a tiny percentage of home sellers will pay the tax. First of all, only those with incomes over $200,000 a year ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) will be subject to it. And even for those who have such high incomes, the tax still won’t apply to the first $250,000 on profits from the sale of a personal residence — or to the first $500,000 in the case of a married couple selling their home.
I don't think y'all will have to worry about your homes unless you are making over $200,000 a year. But, I'm sure this is the topic of many uninformed radio talk shows today.
Posted: 7/27/2010 4:52:34 PM
So you have no problem with the 3.8% real estate sales tax?
Posted: 7/27/2010 5:10:36 PM
|Doesn't affect me one bit Paul. It doesn't affect the majority of Americans either. The tax is only on profits above $250,000 for a single person and $500,000 for a married couple who sell their mansion. We're talking about huge mansions here. I don't have the stats right here, but I'd say at least 90% of Americans aren't affected by this one bit.|
Posted: 7/27/2010 5:29:07 PM
|It will be just like every other tax, it will trickle down to everyone eventually. If you really believe that it won't effect everyone you have your head in the sand.|
Posted: 7/27/2010 5:41:51 PM
"Doesn't affect me one bit Paul."
The total tonnage of what you feel doesn't affect you would sink huge ships.........
Are you really that shallow, that unless it affects you, you don't want to look at the big picture?
All I can say is that as America slides down the slope to full govt control, I hope that you feel that the second amendment really never meant what it said, and you don't feel a need to protect yourself, as when it gets really bad, they will come for those who can't protect themselves first.
Posted: 7/27/2010 7:05:21 PM
Even if Republicans gain control over both houes, it's impossible they can obtain the majority necessary to overturn the bill.
If Mr. Obama had the stones to get into an all-out war with a Republican Congress, despite his mediocre popularity ratings, he could veto every repealer bill they presented to him. And they wouldn't have the two-thirds majority of both houses needed to override those vetos. But at that point, what would make him so sure he wouldn't be impeached? Or even impeached and convicted?
I don't see that happening, but if Obama loses both Houses of Congress, he'll have to be careful how hard he pushes. A hostile Congress can push back--all the harder, when a President's not protected by his popularity. Even a Republican majority in the House will open the way for a lot of hearings that could well hurt Obama's popularity even more, by exposing things his administration has done. And a Republican Congress could refuse to vote the funds needed for programs the President favors. His veto would be no good then--he can't veto a *refusal* to pass a bill.
Posted: 7/27/2010 9:14:37 PM
Are you really that shallow, that unless it affects you, you don't want to look at the big picture?
I do look at the big picture and realize the tax in question isn't astronomical and only affects a small few. Those few can afford such a tax when they sell their mansions. You complain that the health care bill is unfunded and then complain about it's funding at the same time. Don't talk to me about shallowness when you would prefer to leave 40,000,000 Americans without health care. Give me a break.
Good point Match. Obama can veto everything a Republican Congress sends him. But, I miss your point on what such a Congress could possibly "convict" him of. Did he pick his nose at the UN? Jk hahaha But, what could they convict him of?
Posted: 7/27/2010 9:32:10 PM
|Skooch if you just went and killed all those folks who won't be hurt by a tax increase you could get it all. Then lots of problems would be solved. THUGS and MORONS! And you and your kind are so corrupt and evil you can't even see it. It's like talking to the deaf.|
Posted: 7/27/2010 9:32:39 PM
|Just like in California, you over regulate and over tax those who create opportunity and jobs.... They'll just take it somewhere else.|
Same as all Americans, they will find somewhere else to put their business and wealth, and the government will lose out on getting any taxes.
Those that do keep their wealth here, will either get rid of people, or at the very least not hire new people.
I find it funny how people want to think that the 1%, 10% 20% what ever the percentage that will git hit with these crazy taxes, that they are just people who sit around and count their money. People live within their means, the more they make the more they risk, the less they make the less they will risk.
A guy looks at someone who owns a company, driving a Mercedes, as just some guy who is a fat cat and greedy, but they don't even consider that guys overhead, The lease or payment on his building (Business), His payroll, and other costs, his larger house... with his larger house payment, his larger electric bills... I think you get the picture.
Higher taxes will effect a guy making 300K a year as much as someone who make 40K a year. Taking 5K out of his pocket might be worse that taking 5 bucks out of yours. He may need to take 100 bucks out of the pockets of all his employees.
But if you never ran a business, you would never get this. I really believe that some think that people who make all this money just lay around in bed swimming in their cash.
Look at an athlete, do you think if he gets a multi million dollar contract, that he is going to continue living in his one bedroom apartment? And even though he may have an agent, and accountant, a lawyer, and perhaps a few other employees, he is not that guy who shows a 500K income on his books, but has a business full of employees counting on him.
Posted: 7/27/2010 9:58:46 PM
|Yeah Jack, California is still the richest economy in this nation. I don't look at the wealthy as the evil that you think I do. I do know they will use their wealth and greed to buy politicians. That, my friend, is corruption. So, if they have to pay a simple tax in the sale of their mansion, so be it. No country has ever functioned without taxes.|
Posted: 7/27/2010 10:36:49 PM
|Sure, a corporation may have money to lobby.... But you can't buy that, that can not be bought.|
And if you want to talk about lobbying and buying politicians.... Look no further than Unions. There is where you will find corruption, But the fact that corporations and unions, and special interests groups can guy a politician.... I suppose, there lies the corruption.... Washington.
Posted: 7/28/2010 1:23:02 PM
Skooch if you just went and killed all those folks who won't be hurt by a tax increase you could get it all.
You're getting dumber everyday. I think it's funny that you can't come up with anything intelligent to say, so you say the most off the wall, moronic stuff. If you can't debate, then just sit there and shut up. How does the quote go: Better to sit there and let them think you're an idiot than it is to open your mouth and prove them right. You keep proving me right everyday.
Posted: 7/28/2010 2:26:02 PM
|Skooch in the 3 largest tyrannies of the 20th century this is exactly what happened (Hitler with the Jews, Stalin with the landowner peasants, Mao with the business class). It was simply easier and more efficient to exterminate them than attempt to manage them. This is historically a slam dunk. 50 years ago the survivors of the Holacaust used to argue "it could/couldn't happen here'. Of course American born types thought they were quite "out there". Now I see it is just a matter of time. The promises made cannot be kept. The citizenry is stupid, dependent, and believes someone in the government cares for them (no offense). do you imagine your class would not kill to survive? of course they would, they steal daily from the productive members of society and one can see all forms of footage where union slugs, black panther slugs, and Dem slugs (redundant lol) threaten people they disagree with with violence. It's just a spark away.|
Posted: 7/28/2010 5:06:32 PM
|Are you saying you foresee the government exterminating those who disagree with them? Who's feeding you full of this crap? Your party is represented in Congress also. There is no way that a mass extermination is going to happen with the checks and balance system. But, if you want to live in that fear, then let me say that your tyranny is your delusions. That is as far fetched as possible in a democracy, which you failed to recognize while you were going on about Hitler, Stalin and Mao. You mentioned redundancy, bringing up those leaders in half of your posts is getting redundant.|
Posted: 7/28/2010 5:23:30 PM
|I think you've missed several points the posters to these boards have made for you and the other lefties to the point of boredom for us with functioning minds. Obamao doesn't follow rules or believe in checks and balances. We point out these exceptions daily. We point out the lies the left is willing to tell to get what they want. This makes our critique of previous dullard lefty presidents pale, this one does not believe in law, only power.|
Posted: 7/29/2010 2:24:53 AM
|It's those that fall in line with this progressive movement who wish to demonize capitalists, the free market, as some greedy SOB's. You are talking about your neighbors, the guy down the street that is Pursuing his Happiness, a small business owner who wants to make payroll to keep his 1- to 20 employees in a job. It's also the corporate CEO who has hundreds of employees to maintain, and he can't do that in the red. Making a profit is the name of the game. |
Acting like those who make a profit are evil, is the name of their game, of the progressives... that progression.... that transformation toward an American Socialism of complete government control and no individual rights.
This country is divided, and it's true, a Kingdom divided, will fall. But what is at risk? For those who believe in the Constitution and in the dream that our Founders dreamt, Socialism is not an option, Taking the rights away from the individual, to put into the hands of the politician is not that dream. To mandate volunteerism, rather than allowing individuals a choice to give, is also not the way they believed. It isn't the way we believe today. Because giving is a gift, something one gives from their own heart, mandatory giving is not charity, it's tyranny.
This Progressive movement that is pushing all this racism, hate, division, crap is only using it to hide what they are doing. A dictatorship is the end game, by taking one step at a time, they get closer to that end. Those who wish to stand up and ask questions, who wish to know why? Are their target.
I don't think all progressives are wanting this same end, but I also don't believe they know that those that are beyond them, farther left, pushing for this, are the ones calling the shots. If you are a Democrat, a Liberal, or even a progressive who is not wanting socialism, than you are not the ones we are talking about, but you better wake up, because while you act as their puppet to bash us, they will run right over you, right over your backs.
These Progressives are Socialists, but they are using the Anarchists, until they no longer need them, just like they are using the Democratic Party, until it is no longer needed, and I hate to burst your bubble, but they are using Racial and Class warfare as well, until they don't need minorities or the poor any longer.
They are telling you how bad capitalism is, how bad and greedy those are who make a profit, while they are the ones stuffing their pockets. Heck, they even use the large corporations, until it comes time to throw them under the bus.
I don't care what religion or non-religion you are, what race or class your are, what politics you find yourself supporting, we are all Americans, and if you don't find yourself, believing in that, being an American, believing in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, If you don't believe our Founders were Great Men, and that the Constitution makes us much different than all others, than I don't have your back. In fact, I will fight you all the way, to make sure this country doesn't find the Hope and Change this President is selling, The one that he and his Progressive movement wishes to progress us towards. The socialistic, tyrannical, dictatorship of a step back in time.
The American Dream is the Pursuit of Happiness, this is why people flock here. The progressive movement has slowly taken steps to take away individual rights, The freedom to choose, opportunity for all, to control us, so they can create the winners and losers. But the last (almost) 2 years, This has been a race, a full out sprint, Government is growing and taking over and the private sector is shrinking. Never has our government controlled so much, and never has the individual lost so many rights.
Posted: 7/29/2010 4:32:41 PM
|^^No one I've seen has demonized capitalists....only the corpratists....to call them would be a insult to anyone that believes in capitalism. When large corporations game the system so that it benefits their bottom line, and then when they gut the system, they rely on their customers to make them viable again, that's not capitalism, that's corporate socialism, or corporate welfare. |
I guess you like the present system where banks can suck a third of all savings in the US and hold you hostage if you don't want to lose whatever you have left.
I think you're just projecting exactly the tactic your side is taking towards your opponents, that gives you justification to believe that what you're doing is okay.
I swear, you sound like a typical right wing propaganda machine, any traces of independence has pretty much disappeared. Progressives this, progressives that...as if any progressive has ever done you wrong...I'm sure they haven't.
Posted: 7/29/2010 4:54:40 PM
Obamao doesn't follow rules or believe in checks and balances.
If you have evidence of Obama breaking any rules or laws, you should send the evidence to your congressman. Apparently he or she is not aware of such violations, becuase he hasn't filed the articles of impeachment. You're implying that your party is full of sissies and won't seek impeachment when Obama breaks rules. My gut is that you are just believing whatever Doushe Limbaugh tells you without thinking rationally for yourself. Do you really think Republicans on tghe Hill are going to let him get away with rule violations without making him pay for it.
Warrantless wiretaps, outting a spy, lying to America about the justification for war, etc., those are reasons to impeach. Do you have any juicy whoppers like those?
Posted: 7/29/2010 5:46:26 PM
When large corporations game the system so that it benefits their bottom line, and then when they gut the system, they rely on their customers to make them viable again, that's not capitalism, that's corporate socialism, or corporate welfare.
You mean like Fannie or Freddie? Or like the SEIU or any other union? And sure, some major corporations and banks have made some bad mistakes, or out right corruption like anyone else, including politicians and even Religious authorities.
People make mistakes, people get greedy. But the progressive movement is anti-capitalism, there is a difference. I'm not trying to protect anyone, there are bad CEO's as much as there are good ones. But it is attacking the free market, capitalism and industry in general that is what is on the minds of these progressives who want to take us down that path of socialism, even to a dictatorship.
Now you might be a progressive? I don't know, but if you are not for socialism, than you are not who I am talking about, but if you feel I am speaking about you?, Why is that? I believe there are plenty right wing nut cases, I'm not part of that, if you want to discus how evil the KKK or some religious cult that is a nut case, I'm right there with you.
But why is it you wish to stick up for the progressives who wish to transform America, unless you agree with them? Just wondering.
It's like unions, the concept of protecting the worker is not a problem for me, but the concept of using the worker as a ploy to gain social control I have issue with, and this is what is happening.
Have you seen the new Union labor ads about the Arizona law? comparing it to interment camps and the nazi holocaust. If you really believe Arizona is doing something other than protecting not only themselves but also illegals who are caught up in all this illegal activity, than you are making it what it isn't. Do you know how many of the illegals come here as slaves to the drug cartel? Are you one who jumps on this... as it's the fault of corporations hiring them as the main reason they come here, are you also one who wants to call an employer who won't hire an illegal a racist? The debate is a lie. The fact is that people (Not just Hispanics) are breaking the law, to come here. California, Texas and even New Mexico has done a lot to fix these issues, but what happened? It created a illegal highway in Arizona.... well, they want to fix that, and the Government should be on their side, not the side of the illegal who is breaking the law.
Posted: 7/29/2010 7:32:27 PM
|Sure, Fannie and Freddie qualify right up there with Shittybank, BofA, Goldman, AIG, GM, you name it, they are all guilty. And they were helped along by all the politicians (both parties) that they bought. Bad mistake? Seriously? It wasn't a bug, it was a feature....and anyone who thinks otherwise is ...well, not very wise.|
But your hatred of unions are clouding your brain, SEIU did not bankrupt anyone.
Show me something that shows that progressives are anti-capitalism. Your definition of "socialism" hardly qualifies as proof, nor do their demand for regulations....but real proof where they say "let's nationalize all the corprations"...you can't because its not there, and it's not there because that would be chaotic and no one wants to work that hard to maintain the lifestyle they already have.
Please link me to a labor union site that supposedly says such a thing. If you do, I will condemn it, because making shit up is one of the worst offenses for anyone to practice.
I'm not sure how we got onto the Arizona situation.....but I did drive through there last month, and have a traffic violation notice and a nice photo of myself that they mailed me for speeding through the state. Nice. Sure you're looking forward to that too, Imean you don't want people to break the law and all. Me, I rather avoid that, it will probably be the last time I drive through that state on purpose, though I have to say the scenery through Paige and the Canyons were nice, and you have to drive through the state to get to Monument Valley in Utah.
That's what I think of the Arizona law being a non-white person.....the same as getting a traffic ticket by video for being a fast-driving person. It's unwanted, and Arizonas have the right to let the people they don't like know exactly how unwanted they are, I get it. They want the right to be a-holes, let 'em.
Being an immigrant myself, I'm one who believes that everyone should go through a sane immigration system and earn their right and sense of security. People who have gone through the channel often resent those who don't so you're probably asking the wrong person. And no, I don't think anyone should hire another person without proof of citizenship, that's always been the law I knew until it changed in the 80's and when all the sudden it didn't seem to matter to anyone. I would like to see several things happen concurrently - Employers become criminally liable for checking work permits, and entry is streamlined and enforced, and cost of patrolling the border gets paid with reasonable entry fee imposed at the border.
Posted: 7/29/2010 10:43:02 PM
But your hatred of unions are clouding your brain, SEIU did not bankrupt anyone.
Do I disprove of what the Union bosses stand for... You bet. Like I said, they use the worker as pons for their own greed. And as militants for their Agenda.
Excerpted from Culture of Corruption, “Chapter 7: SEIU – Look for the union label”
Andy Stern rallied the Illinois delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in August 2008 with an impassioned salute to the working man Flanking Stern on stage at the Denver celebration: Chicago political machine kingpins Rahm Emanuel and Richard Daley. Stern roared about “rebalancing power between wealth and work” to “make sure everyone shares in the wealth of a growing economy.” Echoing Obama’s 2007 speech to the SEIU political action conference, union boss Stern condemned the old way of doing business and called on American to “turn the page” on behalf of hard-working Americans and their families.
But just two weeks before Stern and company gathered in the Mile High City to celebrate Obaman’s coronation,, the Los Angeles Times published an explosive investigative series about the SEIU, Although the series got surprisingly little attention from national news organizations, L.A. Times reporters exposed how one of Stern’s top protégés “shared in the wealth” –— by siphoning off hundreds of thousands of dollars in dues money for his personal enrichment and pleasure. Moreover, the paper alleged, Stern helped cover up the scandal. No wonder they keep urging us to “turn the page.”
The L.A. Times investigation zeroed in on Tyrone Freeman who, like Barack Obama, began his career as an urban community organizer. In Atlanta, Freeman quickly ascended the SEIU ladder. In 1994, Stern found him at a small Georgia chapter of the union, Local 1985, and brought him westward. Stern set his loyalist Freeman up as head of Local 6434, the sprawling home care workers’ chapter in southern California that represents an estimated 160,000 workers who make about $9 an hour caring for the elderly and disabled. Stern chose Freeman as part of his administration slate at the SEIU convention in 2008 and named him a national vice president in addition to the L.A. appointment. The move wasn’t an altruistic act of affirmative action. It was part of Stern’s grander plan to consolidate power by merging locals into statewide chapters.
With bigger membership rolls came bigger coffers, and with bigger coffers came irresistible temptations.
Freeman, the L.A. Times discovered, had piped $600,000 in union contracts to his wife’s video production and entertainment ventures. The local also paid his mother-in-law $8,000 a month to babysit his daughter and other union employees’ children; footed a $13,000 bill for membership at a Beverly Hills cigar club; covered $12,500 in tabs at upscale Morton’s restaurant in Burbank; and forked over $8,000 in union dues to cover expenses for Freeman’s Hawaiian wedding. Freeman’s spending orgy didn’t end there.
Stern’s protégé created a non-profit training shop called the “Homecare Workers Training Center” –— ostensibly to provide educational opportunities for nurses. In practice, the non-profit served as a conduit to subsidize a childcare business operated by Freeman’s mother-in-law. “Her business had been receiving more than $90,000 annually for the past several years from the training center that Freeman founded as a separate nonprofit and chairs, according to IRS filings and interviews” by the L.A. Times. The funding from her son-in-law constituted more than 10 percent of the nonprofit’s total yearly expenditures. Freeman’s wife, Pilar, and brother-in-law, Hernando Planells Jr., are listed in state documents as officers in the mother-in-law’s business.” Freeman’s ransacking of Local 6434’s treasury didn’t end with nepotistic favoritism. The Times also reported:
* A housing corporation that Freeman helped found as a nonprofit has not been granted the IRS tax-exempt status it sought and was suspended from doing business in California. It also has claimed on its website to have a “strong relationship” with the prominent California Community Foundation, which says it has no such relationship.
* The union spent at least $123,000 more on the fund-raising tournament at the Four Seasons Resort in Carlsbad than it received in reimbursements, according to Labor Department filings and interviews. Freeman said the event made money for the charity. The union’s expenditures included $100,000 in payments to entities associated with former professional football star Eric****rson, which have been suspended from doing business in California. The payments were listed as donations to nonprofits, not as fund-raising expenses.
* And a now-defunct minor league basketball team coached by Freemant’s brother-in-law received $16,000 for what the union described as public relations.
Freeman’s local also paid nearly $106,000 to a company called “The Filming Inc.” –— for which the Times could find no state incorporation record or IRS nonprofit listing, no business license, and no legitimate address –— and another $106,000 to Hollywood talent agency William Morris for “advice and counsel” in such areas as media and “membership awareness.”
Even more troubling, Freeman allegedly rigged his own election. In August 2008, the Labor Department began investigating charges from rank-and-file members that Freeman’s union local “made it nearly impossible for candidates not on his slate to qualify for the ballot, according to people familiar with the probe. The FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office also opened investigations. Former employees of Freeman’s nonprofit charity also alleged that the Stern protégé forced them to work on campaigns of political candidates in violation of federal law.
Even more damning, a key union source told the Times that, contrary to the denials of union brass, SEIU’s top officials were warned of Freeman’s plundering six years before the paper blew the whistle:
In response to the July  inquiries, [union spokesman Steve] Trossman had issued a statement on behalf of Stern that said the union had received no allegations about Freeman’s local. Freeman denied any wrongdoing.
The source, who said he was party to internal conversations about Freeman in 2002, told The Times last week: “The international knew that there were allegations of impropriety many years ago. This is not news to them.”
On Aug. 20, 2008, just days before Stern would join Democrats in toasting Barack Obama at the party convention in Denver, Stern’s protégé Tyrone Freeman stepped aside as head of Local 6434 and the chapter was placed in a temporary trusteeship. Stern’s office in Washington, D.C. released the announcement. “These allegations are of serious concern to all of us and we support Mr. Freeman’s decision to put the best interests of the members first,” Stern spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette wrote in an e-mail to the Times. But even as he relinquished his position, Freeman was apparently engaging in the strong-arm tactics he learned from Stern. Ten employees told the Times that they suffered retaliation after refusing to sign a petition supporting him as the scandal exploded. “Freeman’s lieutenants” at Local 6434 essentially pressured other members to sign a “loyalty oath,” one union member disclosed.
After dragging its feet and being forced to act to quell public embarrassment over the Times investigations, SEIU finally announced formal charges against Freeman “for engaging in self-dealing and financial malpractice in violation of SEIU’s Constitution and Local bylaws.” In November, Stern threw his underling under the bus. Freeman, whom Stern had groomed in his own image, was banned for life from the SEIU and ordered to provide $1.1 million in restitution to the union. A sanctimonious Stern issued a statement lamenting Freeman’s downfall: “Today’s decision sends a clear message across our Union…We are all accountable. Our members do some of the toughest jobs anywhere, and we will not tolerate any actions violating their trust or putting their interests at risk.”
But rank-and-file members weren’t fooled or mollified. An insurgent group called S.M.A.R.T. –— SEIU Member Activists For Reform Today –— blasted the union leadership:
Freeman didn’t come from nowhere. He was appointed by Andy Stern – for the third time…And there are many other locals where Stern has installed unaccountable appointees and, sometimes ignoring reports that they were out for personal gain…So Stern’s message to us is clear – he cares more about expanding control for himself and an ever shrinking inner circle than he does about building real power for working people, creating solid organizations, coming through on SEIU’s political pledges for the fall, or even the perception of our union and our movement as real, democratic, valuable and clean. He will only act when there is no other option, and he will never apologize.
As for Freeman, he glided into a new life as a Los Angeles sports agent –— where he uses his criminal involvement in defrauding low-wage workers as a selling point. His shameless biography on the website of the SMWW Sports Agency touts his “tireless commitment to lead the struggle for livable wages, decent housing and health care for all.” Burnishing his scandal credentials, Freeman adds: “I believe my recent personal experience evolving from turmoil, can be a testimony shared in preparing any athlete for the trials and tribulations of being a star.
Ruthless Andy Stern taught Tyrone Freeman and his southern California peers all too well. Rickman Jackson, another Stern administration protégé and former chief of staff to Tyrone Freeman, headed Michigan’s largest SEIU chapter before being “reassigned” for three years to a staff organizing job after the revelation of financial shenanigans tied back to L.A.’s Local 6434. While collecting a six-figure annual salary in Michigan, Jackson was drawing a second salary in California and accepted $33,500 in housing payments on a residence listed as the business address of Freeman’s bogus housing non-profit corporation.
Another Stern administration protégé, Annelle Grajeda, rose to power after the SEIU president installed her as president of the 80,000-member Local 721 in Los Angeles. She ascended to positions on the union’s state council and international executive board. Like Freeman and Jackson, Grajeda had been voted onto Stern’s official administration slate at the SEIU convention in 2008. The Times published damning details of how Grajeda’s ex-boyfriend, SEIU official Alejandro Stephens, collected multiple salaries and consultant fees from the union while also pocketing a salary as a Los Angeles County health services employee. Grajeda had arranged for her ex-lover to get an eight-month leave of absence from the job. He was fired after he refused to return to work. Grajeda quit her California posts after catching public flak and found a new job –— as special assistant to SEIU secretary-treasurer Anna Burger in Washington, D.C.! Her former chapter heralded the move up. Grajeda will now oversee efforts to “partner with the Obama administration” to secure more public funds for SEIU projects. What could go wrong?
Former SEIU 721 President Annelle Grajeda assumed her new role as special assistant to the International Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger for the Public Sector Mar. 9.
According to a staff announcement from the International Union in Washington, D.C.: “With more than two decades of service, Annelle has played a critical role in winning strong contracts for tens of thousands of union members, preserving trauma centers in Los Angeles County, fighting for health care reform, defeating ballot initiatives in 2005 that challenged working families’ livelihoods and uniting more than 80,000 workers into SEIU 721 for greater strength and a stronger voice for public service providers. She brings this wealth of experience and talent to the national level in her new role.”
…The International’s announcement went on to state “While there has been no finding of wrongdoing on Annelle’s part, she has decided to change the capacity in which she serves the Union in order to take on the challenge of developing quality public services at a time when funding is threatened like never before.”
In her new role, Annelle will expand SEIU’s work in the public sector partnering with the Obama Administration to secure more funds for key infrastructure projects and core public services including care for the elderly, health care, education and social services.
Tyrone Freeman, Rickman Jackson, and Annelle Grajeda were all groomed by Stern and personally appointed by him to the posts they exploited. But there’s no “three-strikes” policy in labor management. Like Obama, Stern has managed to pass the buck while pretending it stopped at his desk. Birds of a feather evade accountability together.
The L.A. SEIU debacles were just one stinking layer of Stern’s rotten onion. Corruption isn’t an anomaly at the SEIU. It’s a contagion. Cronyism isn’t the exception. It’s the rule…
Power and greed can show it's ugly head anywhere. Stern has no right going after anyone other than his own house.... But he does, because that is the game plan.
Now you may not agree with anything someone on the right reports, but this story is broke, and was reported by the LA Times, and you can't say they are in the pocket of the Conservatives. But yes, it came out just before the Democratic convention, and the mass media wasn't going to make anything of it.
As far as the SEIU the Progressives, being anti-capitalists.......
and again, it's not a report from one of your left.... Obama protecting media outlets.
We saw their fury throughout 2009: “Capitalism is Dead”, “Kill the Corporation”, “Bust up Big Banks”, “Greed Kills”, “Bank of America, bad for America”. the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) led an all-out assault on Wall Street – and on capitalism and corporations – coining words and phrases that have since become common staples in the vocabulary of the bank-bashing craze. That fury hit a fever pitch last March when word of the AIG bonuses went public. it was the SEIU out in front of the protests, at AIG offices, and bussing protestors to the homes of AIG executives.
The months that followed saw more of the same. In April, SEIU hailed the ousting of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner. That same week, it stepped up its battleplan with the Mother of all Corporate Campaigns against Ken Lewis, Bank of America CEO and Chairman – complete with videos, rolling billboards, smear sites, petition drives, letter campaigns, media blitzes and more, while it placed equal attention on Bank of America, forcing the company to respond with a $40 million image boosting campaign of television and print ads.
And by October, SEIU’s bank bashing crusade climaxed again at the American Bankers Association annual meeting, with its greatly publicized “Showdown in Chicago“, where some of the protestors dressed in Grim Reaper garb chased down meeting attendees, brandishing cleavers and butcher knives emblazoned with bloody-looking slogans such as “making a Killing” and “Greed Kills”. clearly, the aim was to intimidate, yet none of the media outlets apparently felt any duty to call out such theatrics. That event also featured a star-studded cast that included everyone from Andy Stern, to Anna Burger, Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO), the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Senator****Durbin (D-IL), FDIC Chair Sheila Bair, and even Armando Robles of the now infamous Serious Materials, which was recently featured on Stossel’s Crony Capitalism special.
In November came the much anticipated Goldman Sachs protest. While the event was promoted in advance by media outlets like Politico, it turned out to be more of a letter delivery than a protest. Nonetheless, Andy Stern was once again the notable headliner.
All told, there’s certainly been no shortage of bank bashing tirades. Labor unions like SEIU in particular have been especially dramatic in both prose and propaganda, as the photo and some of the videos referenced above demonstrate.
And now, as the Obama administration and liberal Democrats in Congress come to terms with the impact of the Scott Brown victory in the recent Massachusetts election on their progressive policy agenda, the gears in Washington DC seem to have shifted into regressive campaign mode. President Obama is making the rounds again in familiar town hall style, complete with the typical backdrop of carefully selected audience members placed atop tiers of risers, flanked by flags and slogans. Obama is now presenting an “I’m just a regular guy like you” sort of persona, as he refocuses his key issues on jobs and the economy.
But the telltale signs of big labor’s influence over the President’s agenda clearly surfaced on January 21st, when Obama announced a major crackdown on Wall Street banks.
“What we’ve seen so far in recent weeks is an army of industry lobbyists descending on Capitol Hill to try to block commonsense rules,” Obama said. “If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have.”
Sure, it’s an easy fight to pick. After the months of unrelenting populist rage against the perceived enemy that is the “Wall Street Fat Cats,” as the president refers to them, there would hardly be much pushback from the general public. Especially with all the anti-capitalist rhetoric and theatrics from the likes of progressive protestors, community organizers and labor unions. even Hollywood and the press have joined that bandwagon. but behind all of the ire is labor’s real agenda, one that is completely irrelevant to the majority of Americans.
Now, I am certainly not defending the practices of some of the banks – the behavior of some has been irresponsible and reckless. I think we all acknowledge that. but considering that labor unions like SEIU represent such a small minority of “the American People,” why have we seen such constant, organized angst on a widespread scale from SEIU? no other outfit has been anywhere near as visible or as aggressive as SEIU on this front. While everyone else made their points, said their peace and moved on after April, SEIU continued and escalated its attacks month after month. One has to wonder, how much of it is truly in the sincere interest of “protecting the American people”? (Especially considering that labor unions represent only a tiny portion of all Americans – and all of us have been greatly impacted by the financial crisis). And why no protests against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or the auto industry?
Even noted law firms, like Hunton & Williams, and Morgan & Lewis took notice, and published their suspicious of the sincerity of the labor union’s motives.
You could almost have predicted the storyline and its lead-up to the populist outrage. If you kept your eye on Andy Stern and the SEIU Master Trust.
In a 1972 book, “The Unseen Revolution: How Pension Fund Socialism came to America,” author Peter Drucker studies the role that government and labor union pension funds play in the financial sector. he described that unknowingly, the US over time has “socialized” our economy without actually “nationalizing” it, by way of the pension funds of America’s workers.
“Through their pension funds, employees of American business own today at least 25 per cent of the equity capital of American business. the pension funds of the self-employed, of public employees, and of school and college teachers own at least another 10 per cent more, giving the workers of America ownership of more than one third of the equity capital of American business. Within another 10 years the pension funds inevitably will increase their holdings and will, by 1985 at the latest, own at least 50 per cent of the equity capital of American business…these “institutional investors” together own the controlling interest in the company and, indeed, the company could not be financed unless the “institutional investors”-the pension funds –were willing to invest in it…”
(Click here for an article version of Drucker’s book, with contributions from Thomas Sowell and others)
Drucker went on to explain that the United States economic system actually has devolved from pure capitalism into more of a version of “decentralized market socialism,” citing General Motors and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union’s pension fund as among the first to foray into investment in the private capital market funds, as is now so common today. While Drucker wrote the book generally in support of the workers’ cooperative stake in private business, he warned then that private corporations would come to rely too much upon the pension funds, and the true incentive of self-interest normally created by Capitalism could eventually go away.
“the emergence of the pension trust makes final the divorce of traditional “ownership” from “control”…for the pension funds are not “owners.” they are investors. they do not want “control.” indeed, they are legally disqualified from “control.” the pension funds are “trustees”: it is their job to place the beneficiaries’ money in the most profitable investment. they have no business trying to “manage.” If they do not like a company or its management, their duty is to sell the stock. To sit on a board of directors, for instance, and accept the obligations of board membership, is incompatible with the duties of the trustee which the pension-fund managers have to discharge and which have been sharply and strictly defined in the Pension Reform Act of 1974.”
To be fair, the author later emphasizes that institutional investors should exercise their voice in representing their interests. Utilizing your proxy vote and providing feedback to the board as an active shareholder is a good thing! but as others have noted, the potential for abuse also exists, if union shareholders engage the board for purposes other than their pension investment interests. Drucker (and lawmakers in the 1970’s) expected that shareholders and their trustees would either engage to positively affect the stock, or they’d sell it if they didn’t like the company’s management. Perhaps it is this observation that SEIU’s Andy Stern has seized upon. Rather than sell the stock, maybe Stern wants to control the companies in which his pension trust is invested. it may have less to do with protecting pension investments and more to do with unionizing workers at those companies.
You Don’t Want a Union? this is my Baseball Bat & I call it “Shareholder Resolution”
Of all those companies that have been SEIU’s protest targets, most have been the very same corporations in which the $1.9 billion SEIU Master Trust and some of parent Change to Win Investment Group’s $217 billion are invested. Is it also coincidence that many of these corporations were also the very targets of SEIU unionization efforts?
In early 2009, Andy Stern and Anna Burger wrote to the White House and Congress, demanding a list of financial reforms be legislated immediately, including a central regulator, and control over executive compensation and bonuses. Then in April, SEIU Master Trust director Stephen Abrecht sent a letter to 29 financial firms in which the trust holds investments, demanding that the companies’ directors investigate more than $5 billion in paid bonuses that SEIU says were based upon false metrics. Among those firms on the list were AIG, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, PNC Financial Services and others.
Shortly thereafter, SEIU proposed a number of shareholder resolutions to the boards of many of the companies on that same list, requesting everything from ousting CEOs or board members to controlling employee compensation structures. meanwhile, outside on the streets, SEIU’s protests were often coordinated with company meetings and events. As banks and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce fought against the Employee Free Forced Choice Act legislation, SEIU levied shareholder resolutions against them and issued more demands to Congress for immediate consumer protection and financial reform.
When Anna Burger then testified in front of the Congressional Financial Services Committee in September, not only did she push for a central bank regulator and other financial reforms, but she concluded her testimony by calling for the unionization of bank workers, insisting that the bank workers could then “speak out in protection of consumers” without fear to prevent future crisis.
Not surprising, since SEIU has had its eye on unionizing bank workers for quite some time, placing repeated pressure on banks for years and conducting endless rounds of their infamous corporate campaigns.
I was also interested when SEIU celebrated the victory of Brazilian bank workers who in October had won a wage increase and other concessions after a 10-day strike there, through the efforts of SEIU’s partnering coalition Central Unica dos Trabalhadores (CUT). In November, SEIU sent a delegation of its own members down to Brazil to learn more about their partner union’s bank campaign.
Prior evidence of SEIU’s bank organizing attempts had already surfaced one year earlier after emails between Inga Skippings of SEIU and ACORN were publicized, revealing their collusion on the effort to unionize bank workers, since, as Skippings put it, “the banking industry is now being infused with billions of taxpayer dollars.”
“We need to get a handle on who these workers are, working conditions, etc.,” Skippings wrote.
“do you have ACORN members who work for banks or Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae? Is there anyway [sic] you could check? the banks we’re most concerned about are:
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Chevy Chase/B.F.Saul, BB&T, SunTrust, Bank of America/Countrywide, Wachovia/Wells Fargo, PNC Bank/National City, Citigroup
Please let me know and if you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them.”
Of course, after months of SEIU’s repeated and relentless attacks against Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, demands that Bank of America fire him, and finally a shareholders resolution to oust him, Lewis stepped down as CEO in September 2009, while Andy Stern took full credit for Lewis’ resignation on Twitter. SEIU even went so far as to demand that Kenneth Feinberg, in his duties as the newly created Pay Czar, stop all payments to Ken Lewis, after he’d already been ousted from the board.
But SEIU’s abusive wielding of its pension funds as a weapon doesn’t stop with the financial sector. In fact, this tactic was at play long before the financial crisis. One such example heated up in 2006 in SEIU’s campaign against Sunrise Senior Living centers. under the guise of protecting its pension investments, SEIU had demanded input on board decisions, including who they wanted appointed to the company’s board, a campaign that ultimately proved successful in forcing out several board members whom SEIU perceived as anti-union. Meanwhile, SEIU was coincidentally hard at work trying to organize workers at Sunrise facilities.
Other attempts, some successful, some not, have been made over the years in similar SEIU fashion. Just a few examples of their Pension Fund activism to note:
Institutional investors certainly have a responsibility to protect their pension funds, and no one faults anyone for doing so. but in SEIU’s case, there has often been a pattern of abusing that responsibility to achieve other goals. over the years, SEIU has teamed up with a multitude of co-investors and pension fund activists to gain unionizing and pay control from inside these corporations. this activity is rampant in the private sector companies, and much of it is not in the best interest of the taxpayers or the workers at these companies.
The financial reforms Obama has proposed of late match up nearly word for word with what’s been proposed by SEIU’s leaders. Much of what’s included in H.R 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009, also lines up with SEIU’s language. and in the midst of them all are the renewed calls to pass EFCA, the misleadingly named Employee Free Choice Act.
And all the while, SEIU has continued on its mission to use the shareholder resolution as a weapon against nearly every business in which their Master Trust has been invested…that is, if that business opposes the Employee Free Forced Choice Act.
So, who’s proposing the financial reforms – is it Obama, or is it SEIU? Who and what is all this legislation designed to protect, really? the American People? or just a few leaders in purple t-shirts?
SEIU & progressive groups stage a 3-day “Showdown in Chicago” at the annual ABA meeting. of course, when non-progressives protested the bailouts, they were shunned as “extremists” & a “dangerous mob”, but I digress…
As spoken by Andy Stern....
We're here today and in 30 states around the country, from Miami to Missoula, to say that it is time to end an economy that only work for some, and make this an economy that works for all Americans. Is that right?
I've got to tell you, I'm sick and tired of Ken Lewis and the Bank of America. They made $135 million in profits In the last 10 years.
WOW, Bank of America, a very large corporation, made less than a couple pro athletes.
Not to mention, they made less profit than the corrupt bosses of those who are going after them.
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