Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Banks, insurance companies, and the GOP can die in a fucking fire

One day, earlier this year, our neighbors across the street - an older woman and her daughter who had a developmental disability - suddenly moved away. When we got back from our vacation this week, we saw that the house was for sale as a foreclosure. Tonight, we learned why.

The woman had lived in the house for over 30 years. She raised 4 children in her home. One of her daughters apparently developed a drug problem, and the woman took out a loan on the house to help pay for her rehabilitation. She took out another loan to pay for another child's heart surgery. The woman, who was retired, saw her retirement investments go south when the economy tanked last fall.

This woman did everything right by her family, but the banks wouldn't even think about cutting her a break. No insurance company would cover her daughters' medical needs. And the GOP would never think about helping her out of a bad situation with loan restructuring or providing adequate access to health care.

And people wonder why I hate - hate - these fuckers.

Defending against wacko claims...

I don't know about you, but I have been spending a lot of time "arguing" with various folks over _________ (health care, cash for clunkers, obama the socialist, EFCA, etc) and it is getting tiresome....(probably the intent...) Very little of this time is actually spent discussing policy or details, it is mostly swatting down assorted bullcrap...

an example:
I was forwarded this piece of crap by a collegue:

> No more StarKist Tuna for me .....
> Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's home district includes San Francisco .
> StarKist Tuna's headquarters are in San Francisco , Pelosi's home district.
> StarKist is owned by Del Monte Foods and is a major contributor to Pelosi.
> StarKist is the major employer in American Samoa employing 75% of the Samoan
> work force.
> Paul Pelosi, Nancy 's husband, owns $17 million dollars of StarKist st oc k.
> In January, 2007 when the minimum wage was increased from $5.15 to $7.25,
> Pelosi had
> American Samoa exempted from the increase so Del Monte would not have to pay
> the higher wage. This would make Del Monte products less expensive than that
> of its competitors.
> Last week when the huge bailout bill was passed, Pelosi added an earmark to
> the final bill adding $33 million dollars for an "economic development
> credit in American Samoa "
> Pelosi has called the Bush Administration "CORRUPT" and many other things
> !!!
> How do you spell "HYPOCRISY" ? SHE'S SHAMELESS....

So I sent back a pretty basic reply, put together in minutes, that debunked the email:
>re: Slamming Nancy with unsubstantiated emails. This one started popping up sometime last year. I don't believe it.
>From urbanlegends.about.com:
>It's true that StarKist Tuna's former parent company, Del Monte Foods, is headquartered in California's 8th Congressional District, which Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi represents.
>It's also true that an early version of the Democrat-sponsored Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 exempted employers in American Samoa, where StarKist owns a large cannery, from mandated minimum wage increases.
>Lastly, it's true that the financial bailout bill passed by Congress in late 2008 included a two-year extension of the economic development credit originally granted to American Samoa in 2006.
>The remainder of the above message consists of uncorroborated claims and/or outright falsehoods. To wit:
> * Was Del Monte Foods a major contributor to Nancy Pelosi's campaign chest?
> Not according to public records listing Pelosi's largest campaign contributors.
> * Does her husband, Paul Pelosi, own $17 million worth of StarKist stock?
> Not according to Nancy Pelosi's financial disclosure statements for the past three years. Nor does he own stock in Del Monte Foods or H. J. Heinz Co. (a major Del Monte Foods shareholder), according to publicly available sources.
> * Was Pelosi personally responsible for the provision exempting StarKist from minimum wage increases?
> Unknown. There's no evidence that she was.
> * Was Pelosi personally responsible for the "earmark" extending American Samoa's economic development credit for two more years?
> Unknown. There's no evidence that she was.

I got this response:
Your friend mentions an "early version" of legislation that exempted American Somoa from the minimum wage increases. Does he mean that the enacted version does not? I'd be grateful if you can learn what he means and let me know, and also if you could ask him and let me know whether Pelosi voted for or against denying American Somoans the minimum wage hikes.

So I am forced to retort:
A 5 second check of the internet turns up the Dept of Labor website: http://www.dol.gov/ESA/minwage/americanSamoa/ASminwage.htm

which confirms that the new law includes a provision for the minimum wage to be gradually raised in the Am. Samoan Islands until it reaches the US standard. Thus making the min wage applicable to the Am. Samoas. What is interesting is that the previous admin. And congress had been the ones to exempt the islands in the first place, The previous regulation was that the min. wage was set by an appointed “council of industry.” No requirement was made for any base wage…

It really burns me that this “friend” is soooo concerned about the poor am. Samoan worker. Has he ever taken a stand for any other worker right issue? Does he boycott Shell for their hand in the murder of Ken Saro Wiwa? Does he wear Nike? Probably shouldn’t if he cares about labor conditions and fair pay…Does he boycott Starbucks, Dell, Victoria’s Secret and other companies for using prison labor? (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/07/what-do-prisoners-make-victorias-secret )What about products from Brazil, China or India, where there are more people living as slaves (and forced slave labor) today than in any time in history?

I don’t know if she voted for the final bill, but she probably did (which included min wage req)…and an earlier version did contain an exemption (which was a continuation of the policy put in by Bush and the Repubs when they had control, and also was tied up with Jack Abramoff, who lobbied extensively for the original exemption) but it was removed and a definitive path toward wage parity has been set. Does your “friend” realize that the opposition is the party that has most strenuously opposed this and would repeal it if they regain power? To claim that the Dems are against workers making minimum wage is rich, considering the other party’s pathetic track record on human and worker’s rights.

I personally think this line of baseless criticism is disingenuous.

What do you think fine readers of the OG? How did you spend your summer? Do you remember left wing wackos being able to hog the conversation when the other party was in office?