December 9, 2008 archive

Updated: UE says Talks Continuing. (Republic Window Workers Win!)

Update again:  Looks even closer:

Leah Fried, a spokeswoman for the union representing the workers, said Tuesday that it was too soon to know whether the sit-in will be called off. She said that workers would have to vote to end the action but that negotiations among the bank, the company and union representative continued.…

The media appears to have jumped the gun.  UE says talks continuing.  Sorry.  Victory is close, but not yet here.

Talks that began at 1:00 pm today in Chicago are continuing. No settlement has reached at this time.

Yesterday, Bank of America issued a statement that it was willing to provide a “limited amount” of additional loans to Republic Windows and Doors to help resolve the plant occupation.

Late this afternoon some news organizations published stories, based on the bank’s statement yesterday, that are factually incorrect (an accurate account appears on the Chicago-Sun Times website).

We will provide updated information as it becomes available.…

“Bank of America is prepared to make these additional loans despite the fact that Bank of America is not obligated to pay Republic’s employees or make additional loans to Republic,” the bank¹s statement said.

Republic, its worker representatives and others are meeting this afternoon to try to resolve the standoff. The Bank of America spokeswoman said she did not know whether the bank¹s offer would be discussed at the meeting.…

This just means we keep up the pressure.  Victory is close!!

Agressive struggle!

Earlier report:

CHICAGO – Bank of America says it will extend credit to a Chicago window and door maker whose workers have occupied the factory for five days.

The bank said Tuesday that it’s willing to give the Republic Windows and Doors factory “a limited amount of additional loans.” That’s so it can resolve claims of employees who have staged a sit-in since Friday.…

Direct action works!  There’s a lesson here.  No more just taking it.  No more keeping our powder dry.  

We need more unions like UE:

The Preamble of the UE Constitution, unchanged since its adoption in 1936, articulates the principles that built our union and which make possible the kind of creative, bold action that has captured the attention of the nation and the world at Republic. “We…form an organization which unites all workers… and pursue(s) at all times a policy of aggressive struggle to improve our conditions.”…

Agressive struggle.  Yes!!!  Don’t you wish the so-called Progressive netroots followed that strategy?  

More, after the fold.  

Four at Four

  1. The CS Monitor reports the Supreme Court to decide who’s at fault for harsh antiterror tactics.

    The US Supreme Court this week takes up a case examining whether cabinet-level officials in the Bush White House can be held legally accountable for the administration’s controversial tactics in the war on terror.

    At issue is an attempt to force former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert Mueller to stand trial with federal agents, prison guards, and their supervisors. They are all named in a lawsuit filed by a Pakistani man who was held as a terror suspect for five months in solitary confinement in a US prison although there was no evidence connecting him to terrorism.

    A ruling is expected by June.

  2. The Guardian presents Climate change: The carbon atlas. “New figures published today confirm that China has overtaken the US as the largest emitter of CO2. This interactive emissions map shows how the rest of the world compares. Global C02 emissions totalled 29,195m tonnes in 2006 – up 2.4% on 2005.”

    Click on the graphic for the interactive carbon map.

Four at Four continues with Minnesota moose dying because of climate change and tracing the path of nuclear weapon proliferation.

The List of Crimes

The intentional manufacturing and exaggeration of evidence to justify the unnecessary, illegal, and immoral invasion of a sovereign nation. Resulting in the deaths of over 4000 American soldiers, countless innocent Iraqi citizens, the torture at Abu Ghraib prison, and costing American taxpayers upwards of a trillion dollars, as well as causing an irreparable stain on the reputation of the United States of America.

“Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence,”  Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

See: Senate Intelligence Report: Phase 2 (pdf)

Docudharma Times Tuesday December 9

Alabama’s Two Senators Are Trying To Kill The Auto Bailout Because?

They Don’t Like Unions Or Is There Some Secret Reason?  

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Chicago factory sit-in offers a window onto hard times

Pakistan arrests ‘mastermind’ of Mumbai terror attacks

Japanese recession much worse than first predicted

Ireland expected to rerun referendum on Lisbon treaty

Buildings burn as Greek riots escalate

Jacob Zuma thwarts efforts to force Robert Mugabe out

Last-minute shift could jeopardize Congo peace talks

Does Hebron clash signal new round of settler revolts?

Arms expert urges moderate approach on Iran

So, was the ‘lost’ city of Machu Picchu ever lost?

Washington Takes Risks With Its Auto Bailout Plans


Published: December 8, 2008

WASHINGTON – When President-elect Barack Obama talked on Sunday about realigning the American automobile industry he was quick to offer a caution, lest he sound more like the incoming leader of France, or perhaps Japan.

“We don’t want government to run companies,” Mr. Obama told Tom Brokaw on “Meet the Press.” “Generally, government historically hasn’t done that very well.”

But what Mr. Obama went on to describe was a long-term bailout that would be conditioned on federal oversight. It could mean that the government would mandate, or at least heavily influence, what kind of cars companies make, what mileage and environmental standards they must meet and what large investments they are permitted to make – to recreate an industry that Mr. Obama said “actually works, that actually functions.”

Mexico gang killings more than double in 2008

Drug cartels are fighting increasingly bloody battles among themselves

Associated Press

MEXICO CITY – Organized-crime slayings in Mexico more than doubled in the first 11 months of 2008, as powerful drug cartels fought increasingly bloody battles for control of trafficking routes and territory, the government said Monday.

Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said gangland killings rose by 117 percent to 5,376 as compared to the first 11 months of 2007, when there were 2,477 slayings. The government had previously not provided a total number for such killings and the figure came days after Washington began releasing funds from an anti-drug aid package.

Underscoring the brutality of the conflict, authorities on Monday reported that at least 18 people were killed in a single day in southern Guerrero state and two human heads were left in buckets outside the governor’s office.



Internal Warnings Sounded on Loans At Fannie, Freddie

Executives Were Told of Subprime Risk

By Zachary A. Goldfarb

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 9, 2008; Page D01

Internal Freddie Mac documents show that senior executives at the company were warned years ago that they were offering mortgages that could pose dangers to the firm, hurt borrowers and generate more risky loans throughout the industry.

At Fannie Mae, top executives were told it was necessary to develop “underground” efforts to buy subprime mortgages because of competitive pressures, although there were growing risks and borrowers often didn’t understand the terms of the loans, documents show.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has the documents, is holding a hearing today to discuss Fannie and Freddie’s downfall.

So where’s Dodd’s resignation?

I have a hard time suffering fools.   How dare anyone who has been in the Congress or the Senate for the last eight years criticize the big three.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

These corrupt and incompetent fools have mismanaged this country into bankruptcy.  Instead of oversight, they gave the same people who ripped off the system another 780 billion tax payer dollars without any plan or strings attached.  If anybody ought to resign because of gross mismanagement, it is the fools in DC.  


Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

State of the Onion XXIII

America the Ugly

Fruited Plains


At the edge

of forests healthy

for everything

but animals or trees

lie the fruited plains

blistered with toxins

alchemically nurtured

in a liquid

roughly water

strange brew

what’s inside of you

America Amerika

Groves of blemished trees

bearing produce

invisibly bruised

dripping venomous juices

like Snow White’s apple

We are fashioned

into laboratory mice

to ascertain

how much poison

we can consume

and remain vaguely human

while we are forced

to pay exorbitant fees

for what passes

as our health

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March 29, 2006

Late Night Karaoke

It’s An Open Mic

Planet P Project Why Me

The Greek police kill school student – big wave of mobilisations all over Greece

Original article, and editorial from Marxistiki Foni (Marxist Voice), via In Defence of Marxism:

On Saturday night, an officer of the Special Forces of the Greek Police killed a young 15-year old school student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Exarchia in the centre of Athens, (just 200 meters from the office of our paper). This is the modern “democratic” manner in which a police officer answered the usual anti-police slogans that a small group of ordinary and completely unarmed school students were raising against him. The police officer shot at the group of school students in an area where there are many coffeehouses full of people and at an hour (9pm) when there are many youth gathered together enjoying an evening out.

In memory of John Lennon, December 8, 1980

Open Thread

So I’m reading the NOLA blogs and I come across this from oyster over at Your Right Hand Thief, highlighting the music of New Orleanian glyn styler..

The older guy in the video made me think of David Vitter.

When it comes to sleaze, I think the video has nothing on the US Department of the Interior bureaucracy.  But that’s just my take.

Open thread is open!