Incoming Republican labor chair says organized labor has ‘lost its reason for being’

The Republican Party is not so much a political party these days as an extended experiment in self-trepanation.

The incoming chair of the congressional panel that oversees labor issues on Monday questioned the need for unions and said she wants to repeal various Obama administration labor policies.
Organized labor has “sort of lost its reason for being” because of the many laws in place to protect workers, said Representative Virginia Foxx, a 73-year-old Republican from North Carolina who will become chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce in January, in a telephone interview with Reuters

Other things that the new Republican Congress believes have lost their reason for being: environmental laws, political ethics laws, public schools, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, civil rights legislation, the press, a Supreme Court that rules in any manner other than the one they prefer, and all remaining sense

Continue reading “Incoming Republican labor chair says organized labor has ‘lost its reason for being’”

Democrats Rip GOP As Coal Miners Prepare To Lose Health Coverage

WASHINGTON ― With one day to go before the government shuts down, a handful of Senate Democrats marched outside the Capitol on Thursday night to demand Republicans include a one-year extension of health benefits for coal miners in the year-end spending bill. 

Despite a year of campaign promises to fight for the “working man” and vows by Donald Trump to keep coal miners employed, the president-elect has yet to chime in on the battle raging in the Senate. 

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) didn’t mention Trump by name but scolded his colleagues for touting promises in election ads that they are for the middle and working class but then backing down when miners stand to lose health benefits by Dec. 31. 

“‘We’re going to make sure that Continue reading “Democrats Rip GOP As Coal Miners Prepare To Lose Health Coverage”

Trump Only Getting One Intelligence Briefing Per Week, U.S. Officials Say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Donald Trump is receiving an average of one presidential intelligence briefing a week, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter, far fewer than most of his recent predecessors.  

Although they are not required to, presidents-elect have in the past generally welcomed the opportunity to receive the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), the most highly classified and closely held document in the government, on a regular basis.

It was not immediately clear why Trump has decided not to receive the intelligence briefings available to President Barack Obama more frequently, or whether that has made any difference in his presidential preparations.
An official on the transition team said on Thursday that Trump has been receiving national security briefings, including “routine” PDFs and other special briefings, but declined Continue reading “Trump Only Getting One Intelligence Briefing Per Week, U.S. Officials Say”

Trump zeroes in on RNC chair pick

The Republican National Committee may sit on Capitol Hill, but its fate is being decided in Manhattan, where the field of contenders to run it has narrowed to two leading candidates, Michigan GOP chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and Nick Ayers, a Republican operative currently serving as an aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

High in Trump Tower, dueling factions in President-elect Donald Trump’s orbit have lined up behind each of the candidates, according to half a dozen people familiar with the discussions.

The situation is fluid, transition sources cautioned: Others in the mix include RNC official Matt Pinnell and veteran Bush operative Mercedes Schlapp, whose names are being floated as potential co-chairs as the two sides work toward a solution.

McDaniel is the preferred candidate of incoming White House chief of staff and current RNC chairman Reince Priebus, who wants to hand over the reins to a fellow committee member. Continue reading “Trump zeroes in on RNC chair pick”

Portland To Tax Companies That Have Outrageous CEO-Worker Pay Gaps

In an effort to combat income inequality, Portland, Oregon, on Thursday became the first jurisdiction to adopt a tax penalty on companies with excessive CEO-worker pay gaps.

Under the new law, companies doing enough business in Portland to pay the city’s business fee will be taxed an additional 10 percent if their CEO makes 100 times what median workers earn ― and an additional 25 percent if they make 250 times more.

“This is meant to be a signal that these kinds of ridiculous [pay] ratios are unacceptable,” Portland’s city commissioner Steve Novick told The Huffington Post. “You do not do better as a company because you decide to pay outrages salaries to your CEOs.”

The law will go into effect next year, and Novick said the tax could generate up to $3.5 million in annual revenue for the city. 

Sarah Anderson, co-editor of Inequality.org at Continue reading “Portland To Tax Companies That Have Outrageous CEO-Worker Pay Gaps”

OSU Victim Skips Meeting With Donald Trump Over His Simplistic Reaction To Campus Attack

At least one victim of last month’s attack at Ohio State University refused to meet with Donald Trump Thursday when the president-elect visited survivors on the campus in Columbus.

Thirteen people were injured in the Nov. 28 attack, in which a student drove through a crowd of students and staff outside an engineering building, then slashed onlookers with a knife. A nearby OSU police officer shot the assailant to death less than a minute after the attack began.

Emeritus Professor William Clark was among those injured. He said he has no interest in meeting Trump while the facts of the case are still unfolding.

“Honestly, I didn’t see a real purpose to it in terms of me moving on,” Clark told The Columbus Dispatch.

“I was frankly a little put off Continue reading “OSU Victim Skips Meeting With Donald Trump Over His Simplistic Reaction To Campus Attack”

Arkansas’ Top Court Says Married Lesbian Moms Still Not Equal On Birth Certificates

The Supreme Court of Arkansas ruled on Thursday that the state can constitutionally refuse to grant lesbian couples a birth certificate that lists their child’s two mothers.

Arkansas state laws laying out how the Department of Health should handle birth certificates allow for the identification only of a “mother” and a “father.” The court said those laws were not in conflict with Obergefell v. Hodges, last year’s landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide.

“Obergefell did not address Arkansas’s statutory framework regarding birth certificates, either expressly or impliedly,” wrote Justice Josephine Hart, pointing out that the 2015 decision dealt specifically with the right to gay marriage and addressed birth certificates only in passing.

Under the Arkansas statutes, the three married couples who sued the Health Department were issued birth certificates that named only their child’s birth mother. The couples argued this violated their constitutional rights to due process Continue reading “Arkansas’ Top Court Says Married Lesbian Moms Still Not Equal On Birth Certificates”