When Congress was debating the first flawed and failed Wall Street bailout package in late September, the PBS news show “Now” spoke at length to Damon Silvers, AFL-CIO associate general counsel, about how to shape a better market-recovery package.
With a second version passed and signed, one that includes many of the same protections and provisions the AFL-CIO called for to protect taxpayers and working families, “Now” checked back with Silvers last week.
Silvers told host David Brancaccio that the taxpayers’ $750 billion investment in the financial bailout is better protected because
the public has a clear fixed claim on these banks to get paid back.
More good news for the California housing market as the Bay Area posts a jump in home sales on the heals of an announcement that Southern California also saw an uptick in sales and a downtick in prices. Bay Area home sales are up 45 percent since the same time last year and prices dropped 40 percent since hitting a high in the summer of 2007. It was the largest year-over-year gain in six years.
Actors are seeking some outside help in an attempt to move forward contract negotiations with major Hollywood studios. Jesse Russell reports:
In an attempt to get contract negotiations moving again members of the Screen Actors Guild voted this weekend in favor of bringing on board federal mediator for contract discussions. The contract covering 120,000 union members expired on June 30 and negotiations have been at a virtual standstill since that time. The main sticking point is the same issue that led to a strike by the Writer’s Guild earlier this year: residuals for content on new media such as cell phones and computers. The actors have yet to approve a strike but if federal mediation fails such a vote could occur. Studios have also been hesitant to green light many productions in case a strike does occur, but some did recently begin moving forward in a gamble to reduce the number of production holes in 2010. In 1980 screen actors walked off the job for three months. That strike led to a nearly complete nominee boycott of the Emmy Awards. The only nominee to attend was Powers Boothe.
By Doug Cunningham
In Virginia, Obama still has the momentum with polls showing him leading by 8-10 points. Dan Duncan of the northern Virginia AFL-CIO says union activists are working harder than ever to take Virginia from McCain.
[Duncan]: “Even though the polling numbers show us up by 8-10 points, we don’t take that for granted and we don’t take that as gospel. Our gut feeling is we’re within the margin of error. We’re working that way and we’re telling folks not to get complacent and they haven’t been.”
By Doug Cunningham
Teamsters President Jim Hoffa campaigned in Ohio Monday to turn out the union vote there for Barack Obama. Hoffa says jobs and the economy are the most important issues for hard-hit working families in Ohio.
[Hoffa]: “What is Obama going to do to help keep jobs in America? That’s what means the most to every American that’s out there. I ran into people today that are worried that their plant might close down, might move to Mexico. I think people want to have a new start. That’s why I believe Barack Obama’s gonna win in Ohio.”
By Doug Cunningham
The AFL-CIO is in the midst of its largest voter turnout effort ever – 250,000 volunteers working in 20 battleground states to turn out 13 million union votes for Obama. The AFL-CIO effort has targeted veterans, gun owners and retirees in key states. The labor effort to turn out the vote is also focusing on sixty U.S. House and twelve Senate races. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney says this is the largest get out the vote effort in the nation aimed at creating a political sea change for working people.
||Those “freedom fries” are looking pretty French right about now.
Looks like the dictum, “Work hard and get ahead,” is another myth gone bust, along with the other pretty bubbles that make up the American Dream.
A new three-year study deflates the notion of social mobility in the United States. Because the gap between the wealthiest and poorest is larger in the United States than in 30 other developed nations, our ability to improve our economic status is less than that of the United Kingdom. Stated another way: If you’re born in this nation, you have less chance of upward mobility than in England, our stereotyped epitome of the immobile, class-based society.
One of the key elements of John McCain‘s health care plan is a tax on employer-provided health care benefits. McCain’s health care tax would hit working families in the pocketbook and could lead to employers dropping health care coverage for as many 20 million workers.
In a new television ad (see video) by the Fire Fighters union (IAFF), members of that union ask:
Pay more taxes or lose coverage? No, thanks. Join us; let’s protect all of our families. Let’s fight McCain’s plan to tax our health care, together.
The 30-second ad is running in six battleground states—Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
Despite the Republican Party’s increased howls of alleged voter fraud, the reality is that its operatives often violate the law when it comes to election dirty tricks.
For example, over the weekend, the owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario on suspicion of voter registration fraud.
State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer resides so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that all signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California. His firm, Young Political Majors (YPM), collects petition signatures and registers voters in California and other states.