Governor Corbett and unConstitutional GOP Policies wastes time and money.

              Another of Governor Corbett’s landmark policies was determined by the Commonwealth Court to violate the Pennsylvania State Constitution. His Human Services Block Grant Program got hit this time. Ths 2012 program, was said to give counties flexibility to spend Human Services funds where they most needed them. There was also another 10% slashed from their budgets.

Apperently it was so flexible in its interpretation of State Law that it went outside the bounds of the Constitution. Court reviews of laws presented by Governor Corbett and the Republican party are quite normal over the last 2 years. The Voter I.D., Act 13, stripped municipalities of the ability to establish their own zoning regulations. The elimination of the Adult Basic Health Care Program. It provided Health Care for working Pennsylvanians and partially paid for tabacco settlement funds. Republicans first attempts at reapportionment were all found unConstitutional.

Governor Corbett’s lawsuit against the NCAA was dismissed. His plan to privatize the Pennsylvania state lottery was rejected by the attorney general. The truth is the laws Governor Corbett is trying to pass are a waste if taxpayer money. The Governor’s office has spent almost $3 million on consulting firms for the lottery alone. If House Republicans would allow fair debate in the House these expenses could be avoided. During both the Act 13 and Voter I.D. debates, Democrats brought up the issue of Constitutionality only to be rebuked.

If Corbett’s liquor privatization and pension schemes get signed they will likely see court. Governor Corbett, just like Republicans nationwide care little for what the people want. It seems as if the Constitution only matters if it works in their favor and if not they stomp all over it. It is just a matter of time before they overwhelm the people and we are governed by the Koch Brothers.

Republicans are not job creators, useless law creators.

                  Over the last 5 years Republicans have done little to help the economy and in fact have impeded its recovery. The Sequester alone has cost several hundred thousand jobs; not to mention all the furloughs. They have worked with corporations to stop the will of the people and have made a mockery of our Government.

They believe in deregulation which directly led to the Financial Collapse, the Great Recession and the Housing Crisis. They have fought against reform in all of these markets, hurting our economy. They have not supported American ideals, leaning more toward a bigoted, short sighted corporate view of America. They have shot down Jobs Bill and Veterans Jobs Bills to concentrate on Anti-Abortion and Voter Regulation Laws.

The only way to make the ACA work is to work together. Republicans refuse and would rather destroy the middle class and social safety nets to prevent Tax Reform. They support the Citizens United Supreme Court decision but refuse to hold corporations accountable for their illegal actions. I and most other Americans do not think anyone is above the law or deserves a free ride. That is why not prosecuting CEOs of Too Big Too Fail Banks is a slap in America’s face.

I dont think our founding fathers imagined an American governed by corporations. Nor did they envision a Congress that would work against the countries best interests. But thus is where we are. Knuckleheads screaming for secession, yet they recieve more government money than anyone else. This is a country being held hostage by a party throwing a 4 year temper tantrum. Time for the rich white party to grow up.

Temp. Employees hiring marks a less committed relationship between Corporation and employee.

                One corner of the U.S. ecomomy is hiring prolifically, temp. Workers. Many large companies are moving towards hiring temp employees. WalMart, General Motors and PepsiCo are a few of the largest. There are currently 17 million temp.employees or 12% of the entire workforce in the nation.

The temp. hiring shows many employers are looking for cheap solutions. Temp. hiring has jumped abput 50% since the worst of the Great Recession ended. There are now 2.7 million temp. employees, the most on record since 1990. This trend is a way for companies to avoid paying employees well, as well as avoiding to provide Health Care for employees. These companies are making very high profits, but refuse to treat employees better. High bonuses go to CEOs while workers barely get raises.

Temps. recieve low pay, few benefits and zero job security. Temp. employment offers little stability and forces families into tougher situations. It causes employees to constantly change jobs, as well as shifts, making it difficult for families to adapt. Thess hiring tendencies show the true disconnect between corprations and people. WalMart alone is detrimental to government spending. WalMart is basically subsidized by our Federal Government. Low wages cause employees to qualify for Government Assistance, the SNAP Program, medical assistance and Home Heating Assistance. One WalMart store in Wisconsin cost taxpayers $900,00, one store.

President Obama over the last 5 years has presented Congress with a Jobs Bill and a Veterans Jobs Bill. The 2 Bills together would have created approximately 2 million more jobs, almost the same amount as Temp. employees. Senate Republicans Filibustered both and House Republicans unanimously voted against both Bills. Much to the chagrin of Republicans, President Obama and Democrats have the economy headed in the right direction. Republicans Union Busting Bills and lackadaisical approach to jobs is hurting the U.S. worker. Over the last 4 years, Republicans have produced 44 Anti-Abortion Laws and 71 Pro-Religious Laws, but zero JOBS.

Happy 4th of July, Independence earned through blood.

               HAPPY 4th of JULY!! The day our fledgling country declared its Independence from a colonial power. The day our founding fathers said enough was enough. The day we said no more to an oppressive regime. The day the American experiment began. Of course all of the rights we have today were earned with the blood of brave Americans and over our many years as a country more blood has veen shed to spread these freedoms worldwide.

Our Freedom to scream at our leaders, protest, although that seems challenged at times, to write what we want, religious freedom, freedom from tyranny among many other freedoms started that day. Our right to elect our leaders and elect different ones when they don’t do the job all started that day. All these freedoms that other countries would put you in jail for, we have. No other country has anything like our 2nd Amendment, however misinterpreted it is. Our Bill of Rights guarentees our Freedoms as an addition to our Constitution.

Republicans show blatant disregard for our Constitution. Stomping on 1st Amendment rights, our voting rights, workers rights and women’s rights. The Voter I.D. Law, which was model legislation from ALEC which is in cohoots with the NRA, as well as these Anti-Abortion Laws Republicans are attempting to pass nationwide. The Republicans show disdain for the office of the President, because they don’t agree with President Obama. Democrats are not perfect, the Monsanto Protection Act, is a complete joke, but they do more for the people than the Republican party.

Gettysburg is celebrating yhe 150th anniversary of what is probably the most pivotal battle of the Civil War. 50,000 Americans were killed or injured during this battle. This was the beginning of freedom for African Americans. African Americans were only considered 3/5s of a person in the Constitution. Our Country is not and never will be perfect. But our syste m of government has worked for a long time. To let it be hijacked by lobbyist working for corporate interest makes everything these men and women sacraficed for a joke.

So today while celebrating our independence remember the blood that has been shed. Thank your neighbors son who serves in the Navy. Thank your good friend who serves in the Air Force. Thank the man in the wheel chair for his Army service in Iraq. Thank the Marine you know or see for putting their life between you and those who despise the freedoms we have. The Marines are special to me because I was there, so I personally thank all of you service members for what you do. We are celebrating our county’s independence, but it was won with the blood of soldiers like these. THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!!!! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!! Have a great day and don’t drink and drive. Be careful with those fireworks as well.

Corporations are paying employees with debit cards whose fees push them below the minimum wage.

             The U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked the U.S. Department of Labor to look into the use of debit cards to pat employees to determine if federal action is necessary. The action was sparked by a Pennsylvania lawsuit against McDonald’s. McDonald’s paid the employee with a debit card. Heidi Havens, department spokeswoman for the DOJ would not comment on what the Labor Department is investigating.

The employee was paid with a debit card, it had bank fees that included $1 to check the employees balance, $1.50 to withdraw cash and $15 to replace a lost card. The employee was under the impression the pay was $7.44 an hour. The employee refused to use the debit card because the fee deductions could bring the hourly rate below the Federally Mandated minimum wage of $7.25. The Labor Department said if the fees do not bring the wage below $7.25 it does not violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The employee said the debit card was the only option to recieve pay. McDonald’s refused to use a paper check or direct deposit. Rather than incur the fees the employee quit. Mike Fusco, spokesman for JP Morgan Chase in New York City, said he couldn’t comment on a specific case. He did say his company provides debit cards as an option to recieve wages. He also said there are ways for employees to access their cash for free. He believes debit cards offer much more efficiency and fraud protection.

The suit that was filed seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages and asks for punitive, compensatory and liquidated damages, plus lega fees and litigation costs against McDonalds. It is against the companies ill-gotten gains contrary to justice, equity, good concious and Pennsylvania law.

What person wants a fee riddled debit card instead of a paper check or direct deposit. This is a freedom no one thinks about. I work for my check, I don’t want a card that takes away my money through fees. $7.44 is not much anyway and McDonald’s and JP Morgan Chase seem to have a scam going on. Obviously the politics are simple, Democrats are against it, Republicans are for it. Typical if it is corporation or people, Republicans choose corporations.

Supreme Court rules in favor of Big Business.

               A sharply divided Supreme Court made it more difficult for Americans to sue businesses for discrimination and retaliation. It led to one of of the Judges to call on Congress to overturn the courts action. The High Court ruled 5-4 in 2 major decisions.

                  The Court’s Conservatives ruled that a person must be able to hire and fire someone to be considered a supervisor in discrimination lawsuits. This makes it harder to blame a business for a coworkers’ sexism or racism. The Court then decided to limit how juries can decide retaliation lawsuits. It says victims must prove employers wouldn’t havectaken action against them but for the intention to retaliate.

In the first case, Maetta Vance, who was a catering specialist at Ball State University, accused a co-worker, Shaundra Davis, of racial harrassment and retaliation in 2005. Vance sued the school under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Vance said the University was liable since Davis was her supervisor. But a Federal Judge threw out her lawsuit, saying that since Davis couldn’t fire Vance, she was only a co-worker and since the University had taken corrective action, it was not liable fir Davis’ actions. The 7th Circuit upheld that decision and Vance appealed to the Supreme Court.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote both dissents for the Court’s Liberal wing. She said aloud in Court, “Both decisions dilute the strength of of Title VII in ways Congress could not have intended.” She also said the Supreme Court had corralled Title VII, a law designed to stop discrimination in work places.

But Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, said Davis must have the authority to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline Vance, in order for the University to be liable. He also said “We hold that an employee is a supervisor for purposed vicarious liability under Title VII if he or she were empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim. Becausr there is no evidence BSU empowered Davis to take tangible employment actions against Vance, the judgement of the Seventh Circuit is affirmed.”

The Conservative portion of the Supreme Court usually rules in favor of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a Republican lobbying group. These are obviously decisions that benefit big bussiness. Of course it is at the expense of the worker. Gutting Title VII removes most, if not all responsibility to protect their employees. Obviously it is up to Democrats to fix this, because Republicans and their corporate sponsors got a win. The people lost again.

              

Workers Compensation in Pa. is a cruel joke on the injured employee.

                   I got hurt at work. Lifting a cabinet with a co-worker, he slipped and I lifted it the rest of the way. I felt a tweak in my back. 4 and 1/2 years and 6 surgeries later I am still a mess. My last surgery was in November, I had a 2 level fusion and 2 disks replaced. I still have a tremendous amount of pain in my back, whole right leg, right knee, right ankle, both hips, both butt cheeks and my left knee. I wear a brace that goes from my foot to my groin to keep me from falling.

I have been on Workers Compensation for 4 and 1/2 years. My check was weekly and there were times I didn’t get it for several weeks. To compound that I never recieved a letter stating the reason for the amount I was being paid. The day of my last surgery they filed a petition stating that I could return to work immediately. The day of a 7 and 1/2 hour surgery. My lawyer said the only thing he could do for them not sending a paycheck was file a petition and that might not work.

At one point my leg would give out and I would fall as many as 20 times a day. I have tears all through my right knee, but they said that had nothing to do with the original injury, although the original injury was causing me to fall. My lawyer got a stipulation covering the nerve damage in that leg. That was considered a victory.

I am at the stage of settling. I am not going to be able to work anymore. Disability is where I am headed, although I was shot down the first time, lawyers said it was because of my age. My age, not my injury. The lawyer told me it could take over a year to get a decision, that is a year with no income or health care. Very exciting. Now to the real screw job I am going to get.

I get to walk with a cane and a large brace, live in pain the rest of my life and probably have a shorter life because of it and all I get is 10 years of Workers Compensation pay. I can collect checks for 500 weeks, a grand total of $200,000. The settlement, I should say the joke, is $100,000. The judge and my lawyer said this is a good amount. A good amount for the hell I have been through and will continue to go through. I am going to get $80,000 after the lawyer takes 20%. That’s what I get for the rest of my life.

Workers Compensation laws are set up for businesses. They are not for the injured. The deck is stacked against the person from day 1. We do not have a chance. I am going to find a way to change these laws. Not one more person deserves to be treated like this. I lost a pension and a job I loved. I lost. I don’t want others to have to go through this. If there is anyone out there who is organized for change in Workers Compensation laws please contact me. I will do what I can to help change them.