Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obamacare contains billions of dollars in pork for Obama’s union allies

From Investors Business Daily. (H/T Jan)

Excerpt:

According to a new Government Accountability Office report, the federal government has so far handed out $2.7 billion out of a $5 billion program squirreled away in ObamaCare.

The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program is advertized as a way to “stabilize the availability of employer-sponsored coverage for early retirees,” according to a Health and Human Services memo.

The argument goes that companies are increasingly dropping retiree health benefits, leaving those who retire before becoming eligible for Medicare in a jam — either they face exorbitant rates for insurance or expose themselves to potentially catastrophic health costs.

[...]According to figures obtained by IBD, 10 of the top 12 recipients are either unions or public employee groups. In fact, the biggest single recipient was the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, which alone grabbed more than 8% of all the funds handed out so far. Other union beneficiaries include the United Food and Commercial Workers, the United Mine Workers and the Teamsters.

Meanwhile, almost half of the money doled out has gone to state and local governments, the GAO found.

[...]The problem is that these groups are the least likely to drop their retiree health benefits, calling the lie to the Obama administration’s whole “stabilizing” excuse.

In fact, over the past 10 years, the share of state and local governments offering retiree benefits increased — climbing to 83% from 80% in 2001, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation health benefits survey.

That’s at a time when private companies have been dropping retiree health plans to cut costs, with the share of large firms offering such benefits falling to 26% this year from 37% in 2001, the Kaiser survey shows.

So this ObamaCare money is really being used mainly to pay off unions and governments that would have provided these benefits anyway.

While the law forbids employers from using the funds for anything other than retiree health costs, money is fungible, freeing up union and government resources for other uses like, say, helping Obama get re-elected.

And what will the unions do with that money? IBD explains.

Excerpt:

United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, speaking on radio host Ed Schultz’s show last Monday, declared, “What we need is more militancy.” Asked to clarify, Gerard said: “I think we’ve got to start a resistance movement. If Wall Street Occupation doesn’t get the message, I think we’ve got to start blocking bridges and doing that kind of stuff.”

The Canadian union leader then denounced Americans’ 2008 election of Tea Party representatives to the House as “nut jobs,” and called for more force and illegality: “We ought to be doing more than occupying parks. We ought to start occupying bridges. We ought to start occupying the banks’ places themselves.”

[...]Two months ago another White House ally, Teamsters chief Jimmy Hoffa, openly called for his members to “take these sons of bitches out” in Congress, as Obama stood silently at his side. “They got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner,” he growled.

Hoffa’s Teamsters, it should be noted, have the most violent record of all labor unions, clocking in 454 incidents of violence since 1991, according to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research in Washington.

Then there’s the SEIU-linked Acorn, which has made OWS its latest cause. The Obama-tied group had supposedly disbanded, but now operates as New York Communities for Change (NYCC), using the strong-arm political tactics of community organizer Saul Alinsky.

Since it was discovered that NYCC was a prime funder and director of the Occupy movement, Fox News reports that the group has been shredding documents, firing staff, offering up alibis and surveilling Fox News personnel.

One starts to wonder: Is Occupy Wall Street a grass-roots movement, or a corrupt, violent organization whose real center is the Obama administration itself? One thing’s for sure: It isn’t interested in democracy.

You can see the full list of Occupy Wall Street crimes here – it’s up to 167 crimes right now, including rape. The unions are heavily involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests.

I’m concerned that the government is getting too closely involved with groups of people who are not peaceful and law-abiding.

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SEIU union thugs go on trial for racist attack on black conservative

Tea Party conservative Kenneth Gladney

Tea Party conservative Kenneth Gladney

Gateway Pundit has the background on the attack.

Excerpt:

After a health care town hall meeting in August 2009 St. Louis native Kenneth Gladney was beaten, kicked and called racist names by Rep. Russ Carnahan’s SEIU supporters. Gladney was beaten so badly that he was hospitalized for the night.

Gladney, a cancer survivor, was selected by the Carnahan supporters for the beatdown because he was handing out “Don’t Tread On Me” flags and because he was black.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported at the time:

Kenneth Gladney, a 38-year-old conservative activist from St. Louis, said he was attacked by some of those arrested as he handed out yellow flags with “Don’t tread on me” printed on them. He spoke to the Post-Dispatch from the emergency room of the St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, where he said he was waiting to be treated for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face that he suffered in the attack. Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack started.

The national media and NAACP ignored the hate crime.
Gladney didn’t fit the mold.

And here’s the latest update from liberal CBS News.

Excerpt:

Twenty-months after he claims he was beaten by two union activists, while he tried to sell conservative buttons outside a Congressman Russ Carnahan town hall forum on health care reform, Kenneth Gladney now has a court date.

The case against two Service Employees International Union members accused of attacking Gladney is scheduled for July 11th, according to St. Louis County Counselor Patricia Reddington.

SEIU members Elston McCowan and Perry Molens are charged with misdemeanor assault . Both men pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial.

Earlier, Gladney had complained that the delay in scheduling a trial was “political” and he pointed the blame at Reddington and fellow Democrat, County Executive Charlie Dooley.

Reddington countered that the delay was caused soley by the defendant’s request for a jury trial. Her municipal court system has no jurors, so she had to work with he state courts to set up a court room and a jury, Reddington said.

I think this an important story because it shows the true colors of the SEIU.

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San Francisco: average retired city worker paid more than average worker

From the San Francisco Chronicle.

Excerpt:

The average retiree from San Francisco city government earns an annual pension of $46,272, according to the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System. The average retiree who worked at least 30 years in city government earns an annual pension of $76,981.

The average pension for a retiree from the Fire Department is $108,552. From the Police Department? $95,016. And everybody else? $41,136.

The figures show most retirees aren’t getting anywhere near the fat packages that outrage many city residents – like the $264,000 pension paid to former Police Chief Heather Fong last year.

But city retirees are doing pretty well compared with working San Franciscans. Census data show the median family income in the city is $86,546. Per capita income is $44,373.

 

What a liberal dump.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , ,

If Obamacare is so great, then why do so many Democrats get waivers?

Investors Business Daily reports on who is getting exemptions from Obamacare.

Excerpt:

It’s bad enough that the administration has granted another 204 ObamaCare waivers. But even worse is that nearly one in five went to employers in the district of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House architect of the bill.

It was Pelosi who said Congress had to pass the Democrats’ health care overhaul so the country could find out what’s in it.

Seems that quite a few businesses in her backyard found out what is in it and decided they didn’t like it.

According to the Daily Caller, 204 waivers for a provision of ObamaCare were approved last month — bringing the total waiver count to 1,372. Out of that April number, 38 of the waivers “are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in” the Democrat’s hard-left San Francisco district.

The waivers, which the administration began granting only months after the bill was passed and signed, let employers avoid terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that require health care insurance plans to carry at least $750,000 in benefits before being exhausted.

This requirement, found in the thousands of pages that make up the ObamaCare bill, is too costly for many businesses that can afford to provide health coverage only through less comprehensive plans.

The owner of Tru Spa, one of the San Francisco businesses granted a waiver, told the Daily Caller both ObamaCare and new local laws have “devastated” businesses in the region.

The employers that were granted waivers in Pelosi’s district include Boboquivari’s, a restaurant that, reports the Daily Caller, “advertises $59 porterhouse steaks, $39 filet mignons and $35 crab dinners.”

“Then, there’s Cafe des Amis, which describes its eating experience as ‘a timeless Parisian style brasserie,’ which is ‘located on one of San Francisco’s premier shopping and strolling boulevards.'”

Also among the 38 are the four-star hotel Campton Place and the self-proclaimed four-diamond Hotel Nikko.

While Pelosi’s constituents are being protected from her party’s health care wreckage, another Democratic constituency is being taken care of, as well.

A coalition of groups operating under the name wheresmywaiver.com says that “50.26% of waiver beneficiaries are unionized, despite union workers only making up 11.9% of the workforce.”

The Service Employees International Union, whose former President Andy Stern was one of the most frequent White House visitors before he was named to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been well-represented on the waiver list.

So have the teacher unions.

Organized labor, of course, is a heavy donor to Democratic candidates and was among the groups that pressed hard for Congress and the president to ram ObamaCare through the legislature and into Americans’ lives.

If ObamaCare is so vital to our national well-being, why are these unions and employers in a heavily Democratic district seeking relief from the burdens it imposes?

And why would Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose brilliant thought process led him to say “the bill and I are one,” ask for a waiver for his hometown of New York City?

This is what happens when the government takes money out of the private sector and lets politicians spend it. Especially left-wing politicians who are not inclined to cut taxes and reduce regulations.

Related posts

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Sodexo files lawsuit against SEIU union for racketeering

Great news from Big Government.

Excerpt:

One of the largest food services and facilities management companies in the world, Sodexo is the provider of choice for most schools, universities, companies, hotels, prisons and other facilities that outsource their cafeteria and food catering operations, and for those that outsource industrial cleaning services.  SEIU has been incessantly battering Sodexo since 2007, in its desire to unionize some of its nearly 400,000 employees, many of them hotel and food service workers.  Exacerbating the tensions was a longstanding turf war between SEIU and UNITE HERE over hotel and casino workers, which often spilled over into SEIU’s antics prior to the settlement the warring unions reached this past summer.

Sodexo USA has filed the lawsuit in an attempt to halt the over-the-top harassment from SEIU, alleging that many of the acts are very serious and outside of the normal realm of union tactics, including acts of ” SEIU blackmail, vandalism, trespass, harassment, and lobbying law violations designed to steer business away from Sodexo USA and harm the company.” [emphasis added]

Aside from some of its usual corporate smear campaign tactics, certain organizers in the SEIU subscribed to some especially nasty, and frankly repulsive, tactics:

The complaint alleges that the SEIU, in face to face meetings, threatened Sodexo USA’s executives that it would harm Sodexo USA’s business unless they gave in to the union, and then carried out its threats through egregious behavior, including:

  • throwing plastic roaches onto food being served by Sodexo USA at a high profile event;
  • scaring hospital patients by insinuating that Sodexo USA food contained bugs, rat droppings, mold and flies;
  • lying to interfere with Sodexo USA business and sneaking into elementary schools to avoid security;
  • violating lobbying laws to steer business away from Sodexo USA, even at the risk of costing Sodexo USA employees their jobs; and
  • harassing Sodexo USA employees by threatening to accuse them of wrongdoing.

This country will be better off if we can stop thugs from extorting money from the productive sector of the economy. And that goes for ACORN and Planned Parenthood, too.

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