By Jesse Russell
Pessimism is rampant at the Federal Reserve. A new report from the Fed forecasts economic growth in 2008 only being between 1.6 to 2.6 percent. Just five months ago those estimates were at 3 percent. The unemployment rate for the new year is also expected to bump up as high as five percent. Currently the rate is 4.7 percent. The pessimism at the Reserve echoes the sentiments of Americans in a new Washington post poll. 68 percent of Americans see the economy getting worse.
Illinois Senator Barack Obama wants to enhance No Child Left Behind by funding it with $18 billion. Jesse Russell reports:
One Democratic candidate has lauded President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act – but hefted criticism on the President for not injecting the proper amount of funding. Illinois Senator Barack Obama during a campaign stop in New Hampshire called the current failures in the educational system “morally unacceptable.” He criticized fellow democrats and presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards for not voting to support a bill that would have suspended enforcement of no child left behind if it wasn’t properly funded. To make up for it Obama said that as President he pledge $18 billion more dollars toward education. And to pay for it he would cut spending on Iraq, close tax loopholes for CEOs, and auction off federal surplus.
By Doug Cunningham
As you share the Thanksgiving holiday with the warmth and comfort of family there are families whose breadwinners are walking the picket lines in America on this holiday weekend. From nurses in Appalachia to Broadway stagehands to TV writers these families are putting their homes and hearths on the line to hold the line for workers everywhere. Richard Bank is Director of the AFL-CIO’s Collective Bargaining Department. He says the 800 nurses striking Appalachia Regional Healthcare aren’t just on the picket lines for themselves.
[Bank]: “We need to hold the line here. They’re holding the line on health care for everybody in their communities and by extension everybody in the United States. And if they can come out of this struggle as we all hope and expect they will with a fair and decent contract they will have struck a blow for everybody.”
Today is a good day to remember the nearly 700 nurses walking picket lines at Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) hospitals who won’t have the luxury of a well-stocked table.
So, before we O.D. on turkey taters or other turkey-laced addendums, let’s take a minute to help out these brave nurses this Thanksgiving. Click here to donate $25—the cost of a Thanksgiving meal—to the ARH nurses’ strike fund.
The members of the United American Nurses (UAN) union have been on strike in Kentucky and West Virginia since Oct. 1. They’re seeking a contract with safer staffing levels and higher patient care standards. The nurses are concerned that management’s staffing decisions and rampant mandatory overtime are preventing them from giving patients the best possible care. In contract negotiations, ARH proposed modest pay raises while demanding to cut holiday pay and increase health care premiums, effectively wiping out the raises.