Archive for April 28, 2011

Remember FDNY? Firefighters Are Pissed (As They Should Be)


Remember the firefighters — FDNY — who walked into the ashes of the twin towers on 9/11?  Remember how everyone thought of them as heros?

Ten years on, they’re fighting mad because the politicians who kissed their ass back then are trying to destroy them now:

The International Association of Fire Fighters has grown into a political powerhouse in the Nation’s Capitol and in state houses, county and city halls across the country.

Over the past decade, the symbolism of our profession and the image of our fire fighters and paramedics decked out in this union’s trademark gold and black have become one of the most sought after endorsements in politics at every level. We have grown what was a modest federal Political Action Committee (PAC) into one of the top federal PACs in the nation.

Last election cycle, FIREPAC was in the top 1.1 percent of the more than 7,100 federally registered PACs in terms of dollars raised and was the 10th largest PAC in candidate contributions. It was also one of the most bi-partisan PACs.

In total, we spent close to $15 million in the last election cycle on behalf of federal candidates and both political parties, helping to elect those who support us and defeat those who oppose us.

But the attacks launched at our members since the November 2010 elections have changed the landscape.

Extreme right-wing conservative and so-called Tea Party politicians are coming after fire fighters, paramedics and all public workers with a vengeance across the United States. They are attempting to take away basic American rights like collective bargaining and your right to negotiate for a good quality of life for your families. They are working to eliminate your pensions and retirement security. They want to silence your voice by gagging you with legislation they call Paycheck Protection. They are taking away the long-held right of dues deductions from paychecks to try to weaken the finances of our union. They want to hurt all unions and drive down wages and benefits with Right-to-Work laws.

Not only are extremist Republicans trying to destroy us — too few Democrats are standing up and fighting for us.

Over the past two years, politicians from both parties have failed to address our issues in Washington, DC. Now, anti-labor members of Congress and their allies are championing measures that would undermine pension security, tax employer-sponsored health benefits, force newly hired fire fighters into Social Security and attack federal fire fighters. And with no pro-fire fighter legislation likely to be advanced in the 112th Congress – it’s time to take a stand.


Bravo.  I am so on their side.

April 28, 2011 at 9:14 PM Leave a comment

Chris Matthews: “Stunned” About Continued Birther Stuff

Forest for the trees:  This would be Chris Matthews tonight on Hardball:

I was stunned so many were pushing the birther angle today.

That, after Chris Matthews and MSNBC pushed the birther angle all day.

April 28, 2011 at 7:05 PM Leave a comment

Millions for “Homeland Security” and Then, There’s This

Are we throwing millions of our “homeland security” tax dollars down a rat hole?  I think so.

We pay for body scanners at airports and big bad toys for the FBI and the CIA but we haven’t gotten our act together when it comes to this?

247 people on terror watch list buy guns in 2010

More than 200 people suspected of ties to terrorism bought guns in the U.S. last year legally, FBI figures show.

The 247 people who were allowed to buy weapons did so after going through required background checks as required by federal law.

It is not illegal for people listed on the government’s terror watch list to buy weapons. For years, that has bothered Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who is trying again to change the law to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists.

Gosh.  I wonder if the NRA has its hand in this (ah, yeah).

April 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM 1 comment

The Royal Wedding and Global Media Priorities

Food crumpets for thought — our tweet of the day, from Doug Sanders of Canada’s, The Globe and Mail:

April 28, 2011 at 5:32 PM Leave a comment

Fukushima in Alabama (Averted)

It is so, so telling that this news has not been part of the coverage of the terrible tornadoes in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia yesterday:

A nuclear power plant in Alabama that lost power after violent thunderstorms and tornadoes on Wednesday will be down for days and possibly weeks but the backup power systems worked as designed to prevent a partial meltdown like the disaster in Japan.

The Browns Ferry nuclear power plant, one of the biggest in the country, provides power to 2.6 million homes. It has three reactors that are similar in design to the Fukushima Daiichi reactors crippled by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11.

“The reactors will remain shut until we have restored the reliability of the transmission system,” said Ray Golden, spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority, which owns and operates the 3,274-megawatt Alabama plant.

One, the corporate-owned media doesn’t want to “scare” people and two, the powers that be want us to continue to believe that nuclear power is safe and “clean.”

If those generators had failed, we’d be looking at our own Fukushima right here in the good ol’ USA.

April 28, 2011 at 3:40 PM 1 comment

Awash in Money


Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday that its first-quarter profit climbed 69% to almost $11 billon, beating Wall Street estimates, as $100-a-barrel crude prices boosted the oil company’s bottom line to levels not seen since 2008.

For the quarter, Exxon Mobil’s profit rose to $10.65 billion, or $2.14 a share, from $6.3 billion, or $1.33 a share, in the year-ago period.


Stop and take that in:  $10.65 in the first quarter.  $10.65 BILLION in THREE MONTHS.

April 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM Leave a comment

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