Goodbye Cool Hand Luke

From The Sting to Slapshot, Paul Newman had audiences worldwide stop everything and take a seat and watch, to me he was a mans man in the line of Eastwood and early Bronson, he personified cool, but unbeknown to many, he was a very giving man, here's a snip from a dedication page on YouTube by Maureen52:
In 1982, Newman and his neighbor, A.E. Hotchner, started a company to market Newman's original oil-and-vinegar dressing. Newman's Own, which began as a joke, grew into a multimillion-dollar business selling popcorn, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce and other foods. All of the company's profits are donated to charities. By 2007, the company had donated more than $175 million.

In 1988, Newman founded a camp in N.E. Connecticut for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He went on to establish similar camps in several other states and in Europe.
It's been a tough week for all of us, and I apologize for not bringing this up sooner, I'll always think about him not staying down when he was getting beaten in Cool Hand Luke, I got a lot of beatings when I was a kid and even though there were always a group of them, I wouldn't stay down.

Paul Newman 1925-2008

The Story Of Newman's Own

Kucinich, Paul and Paulson Bernanke on bailout

From YouTube


Video: 1ST. Presidential debate

From Friday September 26th. 2008

Register to vote, let them know you do count

Joe's week of union news 9/27

Photo It was a tough week for all of us, especially hit the hardest were the men and women who work in the financial sector in New York City. While we had the US Treasury Secretary Paulson propose omnipotence in delving out our $700,000,000 in our tax money, we had one of our Presidential candidates use this as a wedge issue to stay away from the debate, and even lie to David Letterman. All this bullshit should go noticed and be spread. The fun and games for Wall Street are over. The losers are the hard working tax paying American citizens once again.

At least 25,000 are unemployed from the Lehman Brothers collapse, my heart goes out to them and their families, these are people from many walks of life, investors, traders, janitors and engineers, This was a travesty, and now it continues, with only one ending, we the people will give the ilk that got us into this mess our money.

An old friend of mine, Richie who was a Vietnam vet and former drug dealer stick-up man, that's right, he used to rob drug dealers, explained life to me many years ago. Having been clean for about 10 years at the time.

He said "we are all in the middle of the pyramid, slaves to paying for those many poor at the bottom and the tiny few at the top"

I wish I knew where Richie was today, I'd have to tell him we are getting closer to the bottom.

Yes from the first credit card you apply for you are signing your future away. Financial slavery is slavery nonetheless.

Picture from "Labor unions protest in NY against bailout"

From Joe's Union Review
  • Sunday fun, Uncle Jay explains Congress hard at wo...
  • McCain, Letterman, Bailout, Debates
  • Anti-Union Contractor Association Blasts Its Own M...
  • Los Angeles Unified School District Extends Its Pr...
  • No wonder McCain want's to cancel the election,......
  • Five Dangerous, Disastrous Things About the Propos...
  • A Letter From John Sweeney To The Senate
  • Senate must include real credit card reform in bai...
  • 100,000 E-Mails sent. Vote No Bailout
  • Emergency Labor mobilization on Bailout this THURS...
  • Let's Make A Deal - TransUnion class action settle...
  • Building And Construction Trades letter on bailout...
  • Italian PM To Sink Alitalia, Blames Union
  • Tula Connell from AFL-CIO Now blog: No Blank Check...
  • A blog for public works and project labor agreemen...
  • Why I got fired, a Sunday slideshow
  • From Union Review

    A few Weeks in (UNION) Review

    Here are the last couple weeks of stories to hit Union Review. As Joe pointed out in his "Labor links of the week," this was a very intense week for working people. There were many ups and probably and equal amount of downs.

    While Joe was focused today on what took place on Wall Street, I seemed to be absorbed with the Presidential debates ... The more I hear McCain the more I find him to be the most arrogant and obnoxious candidate ... ever. As working people are pushed down to the bottom each day, I get sick thinking how bad or worse it can get with McCain potentially being the president.

    Meanwhile, an organizing campaign that I have spent a lot of time on, reached at 10,000 mark. The Teamsters' School Bus and Transit workers have organized 10K-plus this week, and that was incredible to write about, watch, and be part of.

    As I used to say a lot around here, as many stories as there are out there, what I am doing on Union Review and what Joe's working on at his site can't possible cover them all. We need folks from every union, trade, etc., to get a username and password and spread out news and opinions of the union movement so that we can -- as Chuck would say -- educate, mobilize and organize!

    In Solidarity,


    From UnionGal:
    • I Joined a Union TODAY!! - 0 minutes agoIt's been years since I was in a union, Teamsters local 407 and that was REALLY briefly. But I was raised union and clearly, I believe in Solidarity. So, a friend today suggested that I join a un...
    • Women in The Workplace - 0 minutes agoLilly Ledbetter will be speaking tonight in Cleveland for Hard Hatted Women. I highly recommend sending a little green their way for all the amazing work they do with pre-apprenticeship programs for w...
    • IUOE Endorses.... - 0 minutes agoOBAMA Apparently, the entire union, just not local 18 in Cleveland, Ohio. You know, you can tell Sink how you feel about this. Here's the announcement: Operating Engineers Endorse Obama By Kate A....
    • Local 18 What Are You Thinking? - 0 minutes agoYou let McSame use you as a backdrop in Ohio while he spoke about the economy? And you did this so that you could FUCKIN' ENDORSE McSame? Did you miss what your brothers and sisters in local 317 s...
    • More Wall Street Welfare Talk from the Bush Administration - 0 minutes agoCash strapped communities all over the country are now feeling the pinch of the egregious Wall Street CEO behavior. Mostly, it's in the costs for their municipal bonds which have rising interest ...
    • In the Never Ending Saga of DC Public Schools... - 0 minutes agoI got this in my e-mail today. I'm drawing attention to it because it's a chance for parents to speak up (and non-parents) about the manner in which enrollment takes place. If you live near a ...
    • Another Airline Bites the Dust - 0 minutes agoThis time, it's due to the European Union, as Alitalia was erquired to be privitized. But don't you LOVE how the AP spins this one?: Barring a valid offer, Alitalia's extraordinary admini...
    • Shooting at Finnish School - 0 minutes agoMy family hails from Finland. Viitasaari to be more precise. My great grandfather came over to the US and then settled the family. We think my grandfather may have been born here, but aren't cert...
    • Out of Touch Elitist McSame - 0 minutes agoThis image lists the items owned by each of the two candidates for president. These are the big ticket items, cars, house, and for the McSames, an airplane. What's interesting in this image is th...
    • Kongsberg Automotive's Greedy Bastards - 0 minutes ago
    Assorted Links and Sites Of The Day



    Sunday fun, Uncle Jay explains Congress hard at work and the Bailout

    You can see more Uncle Jay at


    McCain, Letterman, Bailout, Debates

    McCain stiffs Letterman

    From Martin:
    Last night David Letterman lambasted John McCain for skipping an appearance on his show to go to DC and work on the economy. Letterman became especially upset when he caught McCain in a live feed from New York being interviewed by his own network's Katie Couric. McCain had personally told Letterman he was canceling because he was headed back to DC to handle the financial crisis. Whoops.

    Anti-Union Contractor Association Blasts Its Own Member for Winning PLA Project Under Budget

    by Charles Bradshaw

    I don't understand the Anti-Union Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Association. Apparently their rabid opposition to project labor agreements has totally blinded them. I commented on a letter to the editor that the government affairs person penned blasting an ABC member, Hensel Phelps for doing a poor job of outreach to small and local businesses on the San Joaquin County Administration Building project. This project is covered by a project labor agreement.

    Out of the $92 million contract award, she complains that less than ten per cent of the contracting dollars has gone to local firms.

    There are several things that make me wonder about the organization's focus.
    1. Why are they beating up on their own contractors? Isn't a contractor association supposed to promote and advocate for their contractors and not smear them in the editorial pages of local newspapers.
    2. According to San Joaquin County the engineers estimate was $109 million. The project came in at $92 million.
    3. Hensel - Phelps is a non-union contractor that bids, wins and is proud of its projects that are covered by project labor agreements. Hensel Phelps is not ashamed of this project, why is the ABC?

    Los Angeles Unified School District Extends Its Project Labor Agreement

    by Charles Bradshaw

    Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is extending its project labor agreement (PLA) for five more years until 2013. The LAUSD modernization project is considered by many as the largest public works project in nation. The project so far has a budget of $20.3 billion dollars. The LA Business Journal published the original story here.

    Like most good PLAs, this one includes local hiring provisions. This one is literally paying off for the community. Fifty percent of the local workforce are to be district residents. According to LAUSD "12,400 local workers on LAUSD projects have earned a total of $136.6 million in wages since July 2004."

    Other highlights of the construction program include:
    • 72 schools completed
    • Six new schools to open in September 2008
    • More than 16,500 modernization projects completed
    • One Billion in state funding garnered for new school construction and modernization by Facilities Legislation, Grants and Funding since 1998
    • More than 50 joint use agreements in place, with another 90 in development
    • In 2007, LAUSD inducted into the Green California Schools Hall of Fame
    As stated in a previous blog entry LAUSD is attempting to bundle many of the projects into a $7 billon school bond that will be on the ballot this November

    No wonder McCain want's to cancel the election,...

    ...um, I mean the debates.

    "I cannot imagine a position that's more selfish and more greedy," Obama said, addressing executives directly.

    "Do not make that mistake. You are stewards not only of your companies but also of workers and communities across this country who have put their trust in you," he said.

    "This plan cannot be a welfare program for Wall Street executives,"
    Thanks to Mr. Whitney for the text of the Obama speech, here's the video

    Where are the titans?

    A great article with some insight on some of the things that must be done can be read at Foreign Policy.com, in the story entitled "Seven Questions: How to Clean up Toxic Waste"
    Raghuram G. Rajan, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, says that the Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout plan is flawed and argues that the private sector needs to step in and help out—or risk a mammoth public backlash.
    The article concludes with this question
    But I’m sure you can sense that people are angry and they want their “pound of flesh,” so to speak?
    To which Mr.Rajan answers:
    Yes, but rather than focusing on penalties, we should make sure that the cost to the taxpayer is minimized and that there is burden-sharing. I don’t see any private-sector willingness to get together and say, “We’re the problem, and we’re going to be part of the cost.” The private sector should be willing to raise more capital on its own, and in a sense should be forced to do it before we put more public money at stake.

    Where are the titans of the financial sector at this point? Why aren’t they coming together in a room at the New York Fed and saying, “This is a severe crisis for the financial system and we are going to put up some of our own money to refloat the system.” They should find ways to ensure that the public is not giving a windfall to the financial sector, because it will actually hurt them in the long run. The taxpayer is not in a forgiving mood.
    I say, put down the golf clubs and park your yachts and show us the way, be "stewards not only of your companies but also of workers and communities across this country" as Mr. Obama put it so well.

    While I would like to just be posting your run of the mill working family stories, this situation takes precedence, and is the single most important issue to all of us. Hastily made decisions could possibly cause tremendous inflation, and cause starvation across our country. We must come to a common conclusion as to how we can help our economy, simply giving one person the power to dispense our tax money at will, without legal and Congressional oversight, is not the answer. We need our leaders both politically, in labor and in the private business sector to step up and look out for us.

    Five Dangerous, Disastrous Things About the Proposed Bailout and What You Can Do to Help Stop It

    Click above to go to the Alternet story

    A Letter From John Sweeney To The Senate

    Ripped from Working Life, by Jonathan Tasini

    I've just been given a letter that John Sweeney is sending today to every Senator. Here it it is.

    It makes all the right points, with this being the key nut graf:

    It proposes a grant of unlimited authority to the Bush Administration to spend $700 billion of the public's money to prop up whomever they wish on Wall Street, without any rules or independent oversight. It does nothing for families facing foreclosure or for working people hit hard by the economy, and it does nothing to hold those who caused this crisis accountable.

    Good on Sweeney.

    I would just hope, now, that we also move to what I've been suggesting for the past couple of days--a show of massive force in the streets.

    Senate must include real credit card reform in bailout package!

    From our friends at Consumers Union, the non-profit publishers of Consumer ReportsCredit Card Reform
    Senate must include real credit card reform in bailout package!

    https://secure.consumersunion.org/images/content/pagebuilder/13462.jpgStrong legislation to make credit cards more fair to you just passed the House and now must pass the Senate. Tell your Senator to include these reforms in any rescue package it passes!

    The Senate will vote THIS WEEK on a rescue package. The credit card reform bill should be included in any package that helps financial institutions out of the mess that some of them helped create.

    The provisions passed by the House this week prevent credit card companies from arbitrarily jacking up interest rates on your card debt, and provide for a fairer distribution of your payments to costly, high-interest debt first.

    Only days remain before Congress breaks for the year. Tell your Senators to support this provision now!
    Get E-Active, Send your message to Congress today


    100,000 E-Mails sent. Vote No Bailout

    "Today God said, "could you take my name off the bill" - Jay Leno

    100,000 letters sent to elected officials in 24 hours opposing bailout legislation

    VoteNoBailout.org was launched on September 22, 2008, in response to the Bush Administration’s attempt to rush Bailout legislation through Congress.

    In an astonishing response to its appeal, more than 100,000 letters were sent to elected officials within the first 24 hours through the VoteNoBailout.org email advocacy mechanism. People are circulating this appeal all over the internet on web sites, blogs and between individuals.

    A sample of the VoteNoBailout.org letter reads:

    “Congress has no right to give the White House and its Secretary of the Treasury the power to transfer the people's money to the richest bankers in the country. Vote No to the Bailout legislation. The Bailout legislation is being rammed through Congress in a matter of days.

    “This is an illegal power grab by the White House and their richest friends on Wall Street. The Legislation allows the Treasury Department to appoint the same bankers who created the crisis to administer and dictate the use of trillions of our tax dollars. It is also one of the biggest transfers of wealth from working families to the ultra-rich in the history of the United States.

    “Congress should help families stay in their homes. Wealthy executives should be forced to disgorge their obscene profits, fees and bonuses that made them ultra-rich while they ran the economy into the ground.”

    VoteNoBailout.org was initiated as a project of ImpeachBush.org. There will be daily updates for the media about the number of people who have sent letters to Congress opposing this unprecedented handover of the people’s money to the richest bankers and the assumptions of vast, new powers by the Executive Branch of government.
    Hillary and Chuck got my message

    Emergency Labor mobilization on Bailout this THURSDAY!

    From the E-mail, and my friends at METRO Labor communicators

    Dear Joseph,

    This Thursday at noon, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will join hundreds of members of the New York City Central Labor Council for an emergency mobilization on Wall Street to protest the current bailout package. As written, the package gives a blank check to the Bush administration and bails out corporate executives at the expense of working people.

    Please join us at Broad and Exchange Place at noon this Thursday.

    The current bailout package is unacceptable, and we must state our opposition loud and clear. To truly build an economy that works for all, any bailout package must:

    • Be governed by an independent board with transparency and effective public and congressional oversight.
    • Use the full array of financial and legal tools available to the government to stop foreclosures and restructure home mortgage loans for working families.
    • Address the causes of the crisis on Main Street in addition to the symptoms on Wall Street. Congress should pass a second stimulus package in its entirety.
    • Work to address the weaknesses in our financial regulatory system and corporate governance system that allowed this disaster to happen.

    Say NO to the blank check for the Bush administration.

    Join President Sweeney and hundreds of union members for an emergency mobilization at Broad and Exchange Place at noon Thursday.

    In solidarity,

    Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO


    for Thursday, September 25, 2008


    New York City's Labor Leaders To Propose "Seven Conditions for $700 Billion" Bush Big Bailout to provide stronger protections for working families and impose aggressive public oversight on financial institutions

    WHO: New York City Central Labor Council

    WHAT: Labor Rally Calling on Congress to Protect Workers In Bush Bailout

    WHEN: Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 12:00 p.m.

    WHERE: Broad Street and Exchange Place (Wall Street District, Manhattan)

    CONTACT: Carolyn Daly, NYC Central Labor Council 917-705-4740

    For more information, please contact the Central Labor Council at 212-604-9552 or visit www.nycclc.org.

    Got This from Talking Union
    NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 25, 2008 — With the country facing the biggest financial crisis of our time, threatening the homes, livelihoods, retirement savings and financial accounts of millions of working people, the labor movement of New York City today called on Congress to put responsible conditions on the risky Bush Administration “Big Bailout” plan before any action is taken to ensure government accountability and financial benefits for the American worker.

    The principals and members of the Central Labor Council Executive Board joined the national AFL-CIO and Change to win organizations to call on Congress to apply strict conditions and oversight to any plan that would bailout troubled businesses and risk worker’s hard-earned money. The Bush bailout proposal comes as the FBI announced it will investigate fraud at the companies whose failure led to the financial crisis, including such powerhouses as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, and American International Group.

    In rising anger, labor leaders proclaimed that “Wall Street’s crisis” has become “Main Street’s problem” as workers struggle to pay their bills, hold on to their jobs and keep their homes. The union delegation urged Congress to approve only a bailout plan that includes a payback and equity investment return strategy for working people who are footing the bill and addresses the concerns of our nation’s health care, education, energy, infrastructure and jobs crisis.

    In response to the growing concerns for worker’s needs, the Central Labor Council Executive Board today announced the following “Seven Conditions for $700 Billion Bailout Plan”:

    1.Tap Into Financial and Legal Tools to Stop Home Foreclosures. Use the full array of financial and legal tools available to the government to stop home foreclosures and restructure home mortgage loans for working families.
    2.Institute Aggressive Public Oversight. Any action of the $700 billion bailout must be governed by an independent board with transparency and effective public and congressional oversight.
    3.Stop the CEO Party Train. Restrict executive compensation at any companies that directly benefit from the bailout.
    4.Repeal the Bush Tax Cuts. Repeal of Bush tax cuts to finance the bailout; invest money towards national infrastructure investments in highway, bridge and rail maintenance and improvements, and improvements in public educational systems and preservation of public services, mass transit and health care services.
    5.Let Wall Street Pay for Wall Street’s Mistakes. Every company that benefits financially from the bailout must present a secure return investment plan.
    6.Prey on the predators. Crackdown on predatory lending practices by corrupt financial institutions by using full force of the law.
    7.Address Corporate Governance Imbalances. Work to address the disastrous weaknesses in our financial regulatory system and corporate governance structure that allowed our financial future to become so vulnerable.

    The Central Labor Council urged Congress and members of the New York Congressional Delegation to act quickly and responsibly, and hold those who caused our national financial crisis accountable.


    Let's Make A Deal - TransUnion class action settlement

    Well, almost anyone

    From The Consumerist:
    One Day Left To Register For TransUnion Class Action Lawsuit

    September 24, tomorrow, is the last day to register for the class action against TransUnion for selling consumer's private data to businesses without permission. If you held a credit card between January 1, 1987 to May 28, 2008, you're eligible to receive benefits. You can choose from one of three options:

    1) free credit report monitoring for six months, plus cash if there's any money left over in settlement fund and you still get to sue them if you want
    2) all the benefits of option one but you can't sue them any further.
    3) 9 months of credit monitoring, access to some free credit scores, and free use of TransUnion's mortgage simulator service - but no cash payment. For more information, visit the settlement site at ListAction.com or call 1-866-416-3470.

    ListClassAction [Official Settlement Site] (Thanks to Scott!)
    PREVIOUSLY: Massive TransUnion Settlement To Reveal Credit Scores (Photo: dbdbrobot)

    Here's the registration page

    Building And Construction Trades letter on bailout to Pelosi and Reid

    From the Building and Construction Trades site:

    Sep 23, 2008 - In a sharply worded letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Building and Construction Trades President Mark Ayers urges a rational and effective approach that benefit's Main Street as well as Wall Street.

    PDF Version of the letter or click below for JPG images

    Italian PM To Sink Alitalia, Blames Union

    By Bendygirl
    Crossposted on Uniongal

    I awoke this morning to the news that ANOTHER airline is biting the dust. This time, it's due to the European Union, as Alitalia was required to be privitized. But don't you LOVE how the AP spins this one?:

    Barring a valid offer, Alitalia's extraordinary administrator, appointed after the airline declared bankruptcy Aug. 29, said Alitalia's clock would stop ticking Oct. 1. Italian civil aviation authorities have indicated it might be even sooner.

    "I would say that we have until the end of the week," administrator Augusto Fantozzi told reporters in Rome on Monday. "Probably we will have time until next Tuesday, which means in effect that, as of today, Sept. 30th is the last day possible" of operation.

    He acknowledged that the airline's chances for survival looked bleak.

    "There are no prospects for a rescue in a reasonable time," Fantozzi told reporters.

    The government has already made clear that the offer by the group of Italian investors led by scooter-maker Piaggio chairman Roberto Colaninno was the last best chance for Alitalia's survival.

    The group had pledged to inject $1.4 billion into the bankrupt airline, sell off unprofitable assets and merge the rest with Italy's No. 2 carrier Air One. But the deal — like the offer by Air France-KLM last spring — was withdrawn amid union objections.

    What union objections?

    What unions?

    European Union?

    Was it an employee union?

    Instead, we get this line, blaming the bankruptcy on union objections. Morons. There's way more to this story than what AP thinks we need to know, and it starts with that 1st bolded paragraph and the line The government has already made clear...

    So, I went looking and found that Reuters had more:

    Facing the prospect of liquidating a symbol of national pride, sacking its 19,000 workers and seeing its slots go to foreign airlines, Berlusconi pinned the blame for the airline's predicament squarely on the pilots and flight attendants.

    "Soon the pilots and flight attendants will realize there's no alternative," he said. "I think the Italian people will be able to judge who is to blame if we don't find the solution immediately that I am still hoping for."

    Berlusconi is blaming the workers and their union for the failed attempt by the Italian investors to rescue the airline, but still no info on what the objections were to the deal, only that Berlusconi blames the pilots and flight attendants. Does that mean he doesn't blame the ramp agents, mechanics and other unionized Alitalia employees? Does this mean he'd rather see the airline dissolved and all these people out of work? Does this mean the union wants all it's employees out of work? What am I missing?

    That's when I read the BBC where they noted last month that the airline deal for an Italian investor would work only if the airline were split up and the union agreed to toss their membership into the wind and accept massive job cuts and the BBC went on to also say that:

    Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has made Alitalia's continued ownership by Italian interests a precondition of any rescue deal.

    However, experts have said the airline - of which the government owns 49% - can only survive in the future as part of some European alliance.

    The condition of the sale that Berlusconi set, Italian ownership, is what sinks this deal, not the union. Even the "experts" have told them this.

    With the government owning 49% and demanding Italian ownersip, it's impossible for the big airlines like Lufthansa or Air France to purchase the Alitalia, they are not Italian companies. These other airlines have expressed interest in a split up version, but that would mean that Berlusconi would have to give up his Italian only ownership demand and instead, think about the employees of Alitalia instead. The union has noted (in the Reuters piece) that they'd accept outside ownership. I'm guessing because the company would be less likely to be run into the ground by Berlusconi's demands.

    You know, if I'd just stopped and read that AP article, I probably would be thinking right now that unions are bad and I'd be confused, assuming that even the European Union is bad. Good thing I hunted around for more information and discovered that the intransigence of Berlusconi is really adding fuel to the fire of Alitalia. I hope he doesn't escape responsibility for this shit


    Tula Connell from AFL-CIO Now blog: No Blank Check on Bailout!

    This is directly from Tula Connell's DailyKos story:

    Congress: No Blank Check on Bailout!

    Only a few months ago, the Bush administration repeatedly bashed attempts by Congress to expand health insurance coverage to an additional 4 million children, saying the $35 billion involved was too much to spend.

    But now Bush is rushing to ram through a $700 billion corporate bailout—new estimates put the figure at up to $1.8 trillion—for companies whose greed outpaced their brains and plunged our nation into a financial debacle. (Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz concisely calls the disaster “the fruit of hypocrisy.”) The U.S. public isn’t buying it. Only 28 percent support the bailout plan as proposed.

    The bailout legislation that U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is insisting Congress pass immediately with no changes would give unprecedented power to a single political appointee: Paulson.

    It’s not bad enough that Paulson, the former Goldman Sachs chief, wants America’s taxpayers to buy millions of worthless bonds from U.S.-based companies—with no penalties and no oversight for the corporations responsible for this mess. He wants to load us with the same junk debt from foreign corporations—overseas corporations like UBS, which just so happens to employ Phil Gramm, economic guru for Sen. John McCain.

    As Attaturk writes on Firedoglake today:

    Phil Gramm, of course, is the architect of McCain’s response to the housing mortgage crisis (laughable as it was) this spring; he may still be his Treasury Secretary nominee. He is also vice chairman of UBS’s U.S. division and a lobbyist for UBS.

    Under the Bush administration and its McCain clone, it’s not surprising that Gramm would get bailed out. Because while he was in the Senate, Gramm introduced a bill to deregulate the financial industry, creating the monolithic commercial-investment banks that now are going under—and that are asking for us taxpayers to bail them out. Oh, and McCain was among the senators joining Gramm in pushing the bill to deregulate.

    Surely, McCain now must regret his actions?

    Nope. As Attaturk notes, this exchange took place just yesterday:

    Q: In 1999, you were one of the senators who helped pass deregulation of Wall Street. Do you regret that now?

    McCAIN: No. I think the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy.

    With 84 lobbyists from Wall Street on his campaign, McCain is so embedded in creating this crisis, he was still saying just last week that the fundamentals of the nation’s economy were strong.

    The AFL-CIO is urging Congress to step back, take a deep breath, and not pass the Paulson bailout plan as it is written. Take the time to get it right—and don’t give Bush a blank check. Such a plan must not be overseen by one political appointee, but by independent actors who are looking out for the public interest—not corporate bedfellows.

    In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), AFL-CIO President John Sweeney urges that any bailout contain a stringent set of conditions:

    • A moratorium on home foreclosures that gives homeowners a chance to restructure their loans.
    • An economic recovery and jobs package, including extended unemployment benefits, fiscal relief for state and local governments and a major investment in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
    • An immediate strengthening of current financial regulations and a commitment to further regulate our financial institutions to protect the public’s money when it is give to private companies.
    • Strong public oversight and transparency at the agency created to oversee the expenditure of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to rescue private companies.

    As Ian Welsh points out on Firedoglake, the Paulson bailout means the banks bailed out don’t have to change how they do business. In 2007, Wall Street paid itself bonuses equal to the raises of 80 million Americans, but we’re expected to pay $2,324 dollars each (every man, woman and child) to bail them out. And that’s only if the bailout stops at $700 billion.

    As written now, the Paulson bailout plan is totally unacceptable, as it contains no independent oversight or reasonable conditions on the use of taxpayers’ money. It is summed up well by both journalist William Greider and writer Richard Behan.

    Greider calls it an historic swindle.

    Behan, comparing Bush’s rush to pass the bailout with the Bush administration’s rush to the Iraq war, sums it up as “The $700 Billion Bailout: One More Weapon of Mass Deception.”

    A blog for public works and project labor agreements

    large contractors that have no sense of responsibility to the public that they are serving get no love. -Charles Bradshaw

    Charles Bradshaw, the owner/creator of Public Works Solutions contacted me about a link exchange, so I figured I'd check his site out.

    What I found was a guy who was dedicated to serving his community, by making sure that publicly funded projects in his area of California, get their moneys worth. He cites the Project Labor Agreement as a huge win for members of his community. Here's a quote from his about me:
    I have had the privilege of working with results oriented leaders that were fighting for things larger them themselves. The PLA provided labor peace for the construction projects, which modernized the maritime sector and expanded the Oakland International Airport. In addition to labor peace it brought hundreds of East Bay residents into the building trades.
    and continues in a fashion I truly admire:
    I despise poverty pimps and privileged whiners. Outreach programs that are 80% overhead that get no results and large contractors that have no sense of responsibility to the public that they are serving get no love.
    Checking around the site I notice quite a few cool things, a movie on the construction of the World Trade Center, another on the making of Disney Land, a lot of local politics, a lot of mention of local budget and prevailing wage, and then I get to the tag section, and click on the "unions" tag, awesome, there's a lot of news that I missed on my usual trolling through the internet, here's a few recent ones:
    Nice site Charles, I like seeing more people fighting for whats right in their areas, and it's nice to see that the Building and Construction Trades are getting respect from sites such as your own, for doing what is right for your community.

    The WTC Construction movie (18 Minutes)
    World Trade Center Construction, Part 1

    World Trade Center Construction, Part 2
    So go check out the site:


    Why I got fired, a Sunday slideshow

    This is good for anyone who believes that they have screwed up at work, your not alone

    Found this on DocStock


    Video: Joe Biden- Everything good started in union halls, ABC contractors first business group to endorse McCain

    Wow, found this at Democratic Underground, real nice to see Joe Biden's views on unions and the working class

    Anti-Worker, Associated Builders And Contractors, first business association to endorse McCain

    Just a little side note, while The United Association was the first Building and Construction Trades Union to back Barack Obama, on the other aide of this race, the staunchly anti-union Associated Builders And Contractors has the honor of being "the first business organization to back John McCain"(it happened about 2 months ago) stating that John McCain opposes union-only labor projects and opposes prevailing wage laws which make certain that individuals who work on publicly funded jobs receive the area standard wages.

    Both prevailing wage laws and Project Labor Agreements are proven time and cost saving measures that make sure that the public gets what it pays for.

    See the image below for ABC McCain ad


    Employee Free Choice Act- cutting through the suffocating atmosphere of threats, intimidation and illegal firings...

    Here's a great article I read at Campaign For America's Future
    Education Is Great, But We Need More UnionsAmy Traub's picture
    By Amy Traub, September 18th, 2008

    The American Dream is a middle-class dream. We occasionally fantasize about striking it rich or becoming famous, but Americans mostly aim to achieve and hold onto a middle-class standard of living. When the fundamentals of middle-class life — jobs that pay enough to support a family, access to health care, a safe and stable home, time off work for vacation and major life events, a good education for our children, and a dignified retirement — are within the reach of most Americans, the nation is stronger economically, culturally and democratically.

    Today the nation’s middle class is squeezed between rising prices for staples like gasoline, food and health care, and stagnant wages that don’t keep up. Plummeting housing prices have undermined the value of the single biggest asset most middle-class families own and millions risk losing their homes to foreclosure. The time-honored middle-class survival strategies: send more family members into the workforce, work longer hours, borrow more, and save less, are reaching their limits. Middle-class families are forced to tap into their retirement savings to afford a college education for their children. It is harder to get ahead, most Americans say, and easier to fall behind. We are moving away from an economy that enables working people to enjoy a middle-class standard of living. How can we reverse course?

    We need to create an economy in which more American jobs support a middle-class standard of living. To do that, working people – from janitors to journalists – need more power in the labor market.

    Some offer increased access to education and (re)training as a solution to securing middle-class jobs in competitive global labor markets. And yes, the public sector should increase support for public colleges and provide more generous grants to students so that young people can more easily attend college and older workers can acquire new skills. But education alone won’t solve the economic problems underlying the middle-class squeeze.

    If it were, college graduates would be doing better. And while educated workers are more likely than those without a degree to enjoy a middle-class standard of living, wages for most college graduates have grown sluggishly in recent years and their access to employer-provided health care and pensions has dropped.

    And then there are the tens of millions of Americans who work at jobs that don’t require a college degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that retail sales, food service, home health aides, janitors, laborers and landscapers will be among the occupations with the most available jobs by 2016. These occupations, as much as financial analysts or software engineers, are the jobs of the future. What are we doing to ensure that these jobs can enable working people to live the American Dream?

    Today, if you are a child-care worker or security guard (both also among the next decade’s most in-demand occupations), you are likely receiving low pay and poor benefits. But history tells us that it doesn’t have to be that way. In the early 20th century, when the booming manufacturing sector offered dangerous, low-paid work on assembly lines and factory floors, a wave of union organizing and bargaining lifted wages and improved benefits and working conditions. Those formerly awful manufacturing jobs have become the good jobs we now lament losing to overseas competition. To a large extent, today’s modern middle class is a legacy of those union advances, which set the standard for gains like employer-sponsored health coverage, pensions and paid vacation.

    Economists at the Economic Policy Institute point out that event though productivity grew briskly in the most recent economic recovery, hourly compensation didn’t keep up – even for those with a college degree. Instead, corporate profits ate up a record share of the nation’s gross domestic product. Despite relatively low unemployment, employees don’t have enough power in the labor market to secure wages and salaries commensurate with the economic growth they help create. This is largely because today’s labor movement is a shadow of its former strength – representing a mere 7.5 percent of private sector employees. Unions have historically been a potent vehicle for working people to exert labor market leverage. To make the economy work for working people and rebuild the middle class, they must become one again.

    No public policy would do more to revitalize the labor movement than the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007 and killed by a Senate filibuster. The legislation would streamline the process for organizing unions and bargaining a first contract, cutting through the suffocating atmosphere of threats, intimidation and illegal firings that prevent so many working people from joining a union today.

    The Employee Free Choice Act is a game-changer, directly attacking the systemic problem of employees’ lack of power in the labor market. The impact would boost low-wage service employees struggling to gain a middle-class standard of living as well as college-educated professionals trying to hold onto it. We can legislate universal health care, mandate paid sick days, raise the minimum wage or subsidize take-home pay with the earned income tax credit, but empowering people to join unions directly redistributes economic power back to working people, enabling Americans to win gains for themselves in the workplace. This isn’t to say that some or all of these benefits shouldn’t be written into law as well – in fact, a strengthened labor movement might also help build political will for those reforms – but rather that this legislation changes the balance of power in a way that many other reforms don’t.

    Globalization is the elephant in the parlor. International competition poses a formidable challenge to workers’ ability to exercise power in the labor market. Some are rightly concerned that raising wages and improving American jobs will encourage employers to move even more jobs overseas. But accepting ever-declining standards in a desperate bid to hold onto employment is a losing game for everyone. Instead, strengthening and expanding the middle class will ultimately require changing the balance of power worldwide – using international alliances and trade agreements to improve workplace standards everywhere. This isn’t an easy proposition. But reclaiming some power in our own workplaces is the necessary first step.
    Thanks Amy, I spotted this when I got a link to another important story at Campaign For America's Future, entitled "Where's Our Bailout?". Big thanks to The Man Common for squeezing out all the great sites for stories that matter, and opening our eyes to them.

    One Million Strong for the Employee Free Choice ActBe one in a million

    There are now over 690,000 signatures that will be handed to our new President and Congress when they take office, be one in a million, click the image on the right and add your signature

    Who's Against American workers and The Employee Free Choice Act
    Wow, there's a lot, click the image below to find out who.


    Video: Election 2008 results revealed by accident

    Warning for the really stupid: This is a parody

    Or maybe not, wish I noticed this a while back

    Here's another from way back

    Gap Unveils New 'For Kids By Kids' Clothing Line


    Battle in Seattle is the film Big Hollywood does not want you to see, starts tonight!

    50,000 union members led the charge
    Even after receiving great reviews, no big movie corporation would distribute this film. An independent studio, Redwood Palms Pictures, picked up the film and is working hard to get it seen broadly.

    I recall the Main Stream painting the protesters as a bunch of lunatics, while according to my recollection there were well look at where we are now thanks to the WTO's war on the majority of the worlds population.

    DEMAND Showings in you area

    I would like to thank Donna from Teamsters Local 237 here in New York for getting me this info, I desperately would like to see this film, you can help by demanding that it be shown in you area


    From the Who controls the world:
    When 50,000 union members led the charge on a rainy November 30, 1999 in http://whocontrolstheworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/wto11-yellow.jpgSeattle to speak truth to the power of the world’s biggest corporations, history was made. A devastating plan to expand the WTO’s power and the reign of corporate globalization over our lives was derailed.

    Common Sense on Media notes:
    Families can talk about the many social, political, and economic topics that the film raises, from concerns about corporate control of the media to the environmental ramifications of modern industry. Families can also discuss whether a film like this is made to provide answers or provoke questions. Do you think the filmmakers are playing favorites in their arguments and scenes? Is it OK for movies based on real-life events to have a particular bias toward one "side" or the other?

    Battle in Seattle opens in select cities on September 19. If the opening theaters are packed for the film’s first two weeks, it will get a national distribution - turning on a new generation to the joy, fun and power of the Seattle Spirit through the pleasures of a great film. You can show Hollywood that there is a real interest in films that celebrate the fighting spirit of working people.
    Here's what Union City, The Metro DC Labor Council has to say:

    “MOVIES CAN CHANGE THE WORLD”: “I’m not sure that a single movie can change the world, but movies can change the world,” actor-turned-director Stuart Townsend tells Union City. His new film Battle in Seattle, a drama about the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization, opens tonight in Washington. The film, which stars Woody Harrelson, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Andre Benjamin and Michelle Rodriguez, is being independently produced and distributed. “I wanted to make a film that will inspire people,” Townsend told Union City in a recent phone interview from California. “This film is not about politics, it’s about people; people who want good jobs, a clean environment and a economic system that puts people above profits. It’s about a moment when ordinary people stood up to the powers that be, and won. Seattle was a rare victory; it’s not often that the little guy wins, and for a whole week the world was watching.” Townsend’s pleased that the DC Labor FilmFest has included the local Battle screenings in this year’s line-up, noting that his effort is designed “to show Hollywood that there is a real interest in films that celebrate the fighting spirit of working people.” Click here for the full interview with Townsend.

    Here's some classic footage

    Battle in Seattle showtimes for New York, NY - Trailer
    ‎1hr 38min‎ - ‎Rated R‎ - ‎Action/Adventure/Drama‎ - 8 reviews:

    Rated 3.4 out of 5.0

    Lincoln Plaza Cinemas - 30 Lincoln Plaza, New York, NY - Map
    11:05am 1:05 3:10 5:30 7:50 10:05pm
    Angelika Film Center - 18 West Houston, New York, NY - Map
    11:00am 1:15 3:30 5:45 8:00 10:35pm

    You can read more at Who Controls The World


    25,000 job losses and there are no suspects

    In truth, no lessons are learned unless those responsible are held accountable

    At last nights Central Labor Council meeting in New York, the delegate of the Operating Engineers Local 94, the men and women who maintain the technological and environmental machinery in our superstructures, was explaining how badly he felt while running around the city trying to find positions for his displaced workers in the Lehman Brothers building. This one firm going out of business is like stabbing a knife in the hearts of over 25,000 working families in New York.

    Likewise, restructuring of the insurance giant AIG, who is the sole insurer on the construction project I am currently on, could potentially grind many construction sites to a dead halt. It's not very good news for anyone who relies on New York City for employment. So, who's to blame? I know I'm angry, and you should be too, just consider how much of our tax money is being spent to bail out all of these firms who have, through their predatory lending to anyone who could flip a burger, have wound up creating a new form of socialism, one where the hard working tax paying citizens are now sharing, sharing but with an exception, the only ones who are benefiting from our new socialization, are the ultra-rich, so here's my favorite article of the day. A day which I felt so bad for all the displaced workers in my city

    From the New York Daily News,
    Michael Daly
    Another major crisis, and as usual, there are no suspects

    Thursday, September 18th 2008, 1:23 AM

    Honda/Getty - Guard at AIG watches for trouble from firm's new owners - you and me.

    The big shots are never to blame.

    We fail to prevent the attacks on 9/11, but nobody is held responsible.

    We charge into Iraq, heedless of the consequences, and nobody is made to answer for it.

    Now, Wall Street implodes and nobody is held accountable.

    The people who precipitated the worst financial crisis in memory walk away megarich while the taxpayers are left to cover billions of bad debts.

    Once again, the big shots skate and the decent, honest, working people suffer.

    The top guys at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and AIG knew they were dealing shaky mortgages.

    They also should have known that some of the brokers were hustlers with a predatory eye for those made vulnerable by bad credit, old age or infirmity.

    The fact that these mortgages were so chancy was what made them so profitable - and the executives were thinking only of the short-term profit that generates the annual bonus.

    So, the same way drug kingpins launder the proceeds of street sales, the Wall Street firms bought up subprime mortgages and turned them into supposedly primo securities.

    They then overvalued these laundered mortgages and used them as collateral to leverage their firms beyond all reason.

    The immediate result was that top executives such as Lehman CEO Richard Fuld became as wealthy as in their wildest dreams and moved about as the titans they imagined themselves to be.

    Never mind that the fabulous profits originated in hustling decent souls such as 86-year-old Simeon Ferguson, a retired chef from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, who fell prey to a robbery disguised as a loan while suffering from dementia.

    Ferguson ended up with payments that exceeded his income, as did millions of other hustled homeowners.

    The individual result was the homeowner faced foreclosure.

    The cumulative effect was the laundered debt was deemed "toxic," which was what it had been all along.

    The firms became as hard-pressed as all those hustled homeowners. The government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then propped up Bear Stearns long enough for it to be sold.

    The feds seemed to draw a line and let Lehman go bankrupt. Then came word the government had decided to rescue AIG with $85 billion of our hard-earned money.

    In exchange, we get 79.9% of the firm, so I figured a taxpayer would be welcome at the AIG tower on Pine St.

    But, when I arrived at the gleaming lobby Wednesday and asked to visit the observation deck, a security guard had a one-word reply.


    I have been told the deck accords a dramatic view of Ground Zero, where nearly 3,000 innocents were murdered. I now remembered a line from the 9/11 commission report.

    "Our aim has not been to assign individual blame," the preface said. "Our aim has been to provide the fullest possible account ... and to identify lessons learned."

    In truth, no lessons are learned unless those responsible are held accountable, be it 9/11 or Iraq or the Wall Street implosion that seems far from over.
    Where is the outrage? Please remember, they want us to put one of the only social programs which does benefit the people, social security into the clutches of such scum bags as those who orchestrated the current crisis we are in. Remember that when you get out to the polls, remember that when you think of how we did as Bush told us after 9/11, as Giuliani told us, we spent money buying stuff to heal our country, we did as they asked. How many of us wish we had some of the thousands we tossed away for shit we didn't need, while they took our young to invade a country in a preemptive strike against a nation who had no ties to the terrorist who attacked my homeland. Remember that as the $550 Billion of our unborn grandchildren's tax money is spent, remember as our young people come back with an arm or a leg or both blown off. Remember that as we wonder why we gave the airline industries billions in bail outs, while they outsourced our jobs to far away lands, remember how they created more Government, that was supposed to protect us from invaders, while simultaniously encouraging more illegal immigration, remember that as we all have less health coverage, if any at all, as our safety net has shrunken as they took our money to subsidize the biofeul industry which is using our cheap corn poroduct and making the price skyrocket. Remember the poison animal feed that killed our cats and dogs, the Chinese made Heperin that caused our countrymens deaths, the poison toys that have taken over the shelves in the stores, the total and unequivocal removal of our Habeas corpus rights, how they allowed the mega corporations to destroy our way of life. How they gave tax incentives for companies to leave, how they created loopholes for the highest bidders.

    Yes they have socialized our country, we pay for all their misdeeds, we pay for those who do not on both sides of the spectrum.

    Remember all that as they continually divide us through their flickering box that has only 6 corporate owners , as does their periodicals, they don't want distention against their plans, they want dissension amongst ourselves. While we worry about words and lipstick, they have terrorized us all. The real terrorists use economics, fear and deception to divide and conquer us all.

    We have a chance to change the path we are heading in, even if it's only 1%, anything is better than more of the same. Get out and vote, show them you give a crap, or settle with the fact that you didn't do the littlest of your American rights, the rights that our forefathers fought and died for.

    Piss on your rules Nurse Ratchet, I ain't no little kid, I ain't no little kid. I want something done. I want something done, I want something done!!!!! - Cheswick, after Nurse Ratchet tells him about the rationing of cigarettes, he then gets carried away by a group of orderlies