Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in June, 2012

They’re back.  Despite having issues with sudden acceleration since 2004 and the deaths  of at least 34 people, including a California State Trooper and his family the recalls keep on coming.

With yesterday’s announcement of another massive recall of Lexus vehicles it’s just another reminder that whatever is wrong at Toyota is not fixed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it requested that Toyota, which owns the Lexus luxury brand, recall model year 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450 H vehicles “for a serious safety issue involving potential pedal entrapment by the floor mat.”

If the mat traps the gas pedal, the vehicle could speed out of control.

On Friday, Toyota said it was launching the recall, which affects 154,000 vehicles.

Safety regulators also warned the automaker that it might face another investigation as to whether the company “met its obligation to notify the agency and conduct a recall in a timely manner.” Previously, Toyota paid record federal fines of nearly $50 million for failing to promptly inform regulators of defects in its vehicles and for delaying recalls.

Recalls by themselves aren’t bad but when a company leads the nation in recalls for two of the last three years, Honda had the most in 2011, on a item integral to the safety of customers and their families, and worst of all – tries to hide their recalls it’s not just bad, it’s dangerous.

The Center for American Progress  features both the unique way of looking at Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling  illustrated here and how the Affordable Care Act will benefit women.

Over the next several days this blog will highlight the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.  I have been disappointed  by the inability of Democrats to get the word out so here goes.. 

Here are the top five ways Obamacare helps women in particular:

1. Women will no longer be denied insurance coverage for gender-related reasons. In today’s insurance market it is common for insurers to refuse to cover women because of gender-based “pre-existing conditions,” such as having had a Caesarean section or being the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. Thankfully, this practice will be outlawed under Obamacare in 2014. In the meantime, adults with pre-existing conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months can purchase affordable coverage through temporary Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans.

2. Women will no longer be charged more for their insurance coverage just for being women. Under a practice known as “gender rating,” insurers currently charge women higher premiums than men—up to 150 percent more—for identical health benefits. As a result, women now pay $1 billion more than men each year for the same health plans in the individual market. As of 2014, however, under the Affordable Care Act, gender rating will become illegal in all new individual and small group plans. continue reading…

Yahoo published this story on how corporate news icons CNN and Fox News had another “mistake” which reflects rheir conservative predisposition when reporting the news.  While Fox is known for not correcting “mistakes” that link Democrats to scandal, check the video Outfoxed for confirmation, their habit of believing their own propoganda caught them this time.  Enjoy this screen shot and don’t believe everything you see, especially on right-wing propoganda sites like Faux News.

Today’s MSN homepage features this story about falling gas prices. 

Gas is down 54 cents from its peak of $3.94 in early April thanks to a drop of more than 20 percent in the price of oil. The decline means Americans are spending roughly $200 million per day less at the pump. Yet the savings hasn’t encouraged people to drive — or spend — more this summer. They’re buying about 5 percent less gasoline than they did last year, even though a gallon is 18 cents cheaper.

 Hmm, what happend in early April that could have caused prices to fall?  Was it Grand Oil Party spokesman and our Republican congressman Blaine Leutkemeyer regurgitating oil company talking points about more drilling that may or may not have resulted in more oil ten years from now? 
Could it be President Obama’s action to begin investigating and enforcement actions against oil speculators.  Yes, the same issue raised by Senator Bernie Sanders and confirmed by the St. Louis Federal Reserve to be a major cause in the rise of gas prices.  President Obama stated,
“When gas prices go up, it’s like an additional tax that comes right out of your pocket,” Obama said at a White House press conference where he was flanked by Attorney General Eric Holder and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

“Congress should provide immediate funding to put more cops on the beat to monitor activity in energy markets,” said Obama. “This funding would also upgrade technology so that our surveillance and enforcement offices aren’t hamstrung by older and less-sophisticated tools than the ones that traders are using. We should strengthen protections for American consumers, not gut them.”

The package includes both administrative measures the administration can enact directly and measures requiring Congressional approval, and among other effects would:

-    Raise fines for “market manipulation” from $1 million to a maximum of $10 million per violation per day
-    Increase the Commodity Futures Trading Commission “surveillance and enforcement staff by 500 percent
-    And allow the CFTC to require trading exchanges make oil traders put up more of their own money when they trade

For those into the exact mehods of oil speculation please read the rest of the article, it’s fascinating.   For those that believe oil and bank sponsored Congressman will watch out for the best interests of their voting constituents or unicorns please visit Blaine Leutkemeyer’s website.

A couple of days ago I visited my favorite barber in Union and enjoyed the usual conversation centered on sports, local news, and a little politics.   The comment was made that it seemed everyone was busy.  This was a drastic departure from the condition of almost universal slowness existing a couple of years ago.  It was agreed that the current reality is not reflected in news reports.  Is this a local phenomenon or is the corporate media behind the curve again?  Are we hearing reality or Sean Hannity?

This month’s newsletter from the Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO) has some interesting stories regarding Ameren and their impact on your health.  Did you know a recent study states that the Ameren Labadie plant is causing up to 290 premature deaths per year?

On a lighter note, your truly is this month’s guest blogger with my piece, Solar Tariffs: Two Bites of the Apple, on the Obama administration’s recently announced tariffs on subsidized Chinese solar panels.

Who knows what might happen?  A Congress not beholden to fossil fuels could enact a program to develop the solar industry along the lines of Germany which recently produced solar power equivalent to twenty nuclear plants. Imagine a sustainable American solar industry that is thriving for both manufacturers and installers.

When the fail is so strong one Facepalm is not enough

Last month, after birther extraordinaire Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett’s investigation into President Obama’s birthplace produced disappointing results, leading him to say, “I consider the matter closed,” it was tempting to take him at his word. Unsurprisingly, Bennett now has a new crazy conspiracy theory about Obama that’s sure to keep his fellow birthers in a fever …

Secretary of State Ken Bennett says he’s convinced Obama was born in Hawaii, but he now believes the president fraudulently claimed to be born in Kenya so he could get into college. He also believes the president has spent millions of dollars since then to cover it up.

The co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign in Arizona, Bennett made the comments recently at an event where he pleaded for local Republicans to unite behind their party’s presumptive nominee for president. He told them a world under Obama is “just very, very scary.”

No, what’s “very, very scary” is these kooks are no longer relegated to radical right-wing message boards on the Internet along with their fellow UFO abductees but have risen to levels of power in the government such as Sect. of State of Arizona and leader of the Missouri House GOP in Jefferson City. They’re not fringe elements out in the ether anymore. They’re in charge!

This week’s Democrats for America Netcast features an interview with Michael Greenberger, former regulator with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission as he makes the case that since President Obama called out oil speculators gas has been declining in price.  He estimates that limits on speculation would result in $2.50 per gallon gasoline.

Of course with Congressman like Blaine Luetkemeyer doing all they can to distract from this fact, as noted in this blog last month – Luetkemeyer Propoganda Revisited.  Luetkemeyer has refused to sponsor legislaton to control this excessive speculation that hurts farmers, ranchers, commuters, and the working class the most.  Instead he chooses to parrot the drill baby drill chant while watching gasoline become our largest export.

Enjoy the netcast for those not afraid to stand up and fight!  Of course, feel free to share, particularly with your conservative uncle.

The cover of the current edition of Funny Times will be particularly entertaining for those that remember Charles Atlas and his promise to make sure you weren’t a 98 pound weakling.  Enjoy.

For advocates of worker justice or anyone that eats out  this story is an eye-opener.   This Yahoo story features this understatement…

According to a guide released earlier this year by a group dedicated to workplace justice, some of the most popular fast-food, fine-dining, and family-friendly restaurants in the United States — including McDonald’s, The Capital Grille, and The Olive Garden — are also the worst ones at which to work.

“We all enjoy eating out,” Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) writes on the website for its National Diners’ Guide 2012. “Unfortunately, the workers who cook, prepare, and serve our food suffer from poverty wages, no benefits like paid sick days, and little or no chance to move up to better positions. When the people who serve us food can’t afford to pay the rent or take a day off when they’re sick, our dining experience suffers.”

Sick people cooking, yeah that might diminish my dining experience.

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