GOP Hurts Middle Class with “Right To Work” Bill

Michigan passes public sector “right-to-work” law amid protests

12/11/12 By Bernie Woodall | Reuters

LANSING, Michigan (Reuters) – The Republican-majority Michigan legislature gave final approval on Tuesday to “right-to-work” restrictions on public sector unions in a state considered a stronghold of organized labor, as protesters chanted in the gallery and thousands rallied outside.

The House passed the measure making membership and payment of union dues voluntary for public sector employees such as teachers by a 58-51 vote. The Senate approved the same bill last week so it will now go to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who has promised to sign it into law.

The public sector law was the first of two expected to be approved by the House on Tuesday. The other covers private sector workers, including the large auto industry in Michigan.

More than 12,000 workers from throughout Michigan and the U.S. Midwest protested as the legislature voted, most gathered in freezing temperatures and a light snow outside the building to show their displeasure.

Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said the Capitol was closed to visitors when it reached capacity of 2,200. An estimated 10,000 people demonstrated outside.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/protesters-march-michigan-capitol-over-vote-054656984.html

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Right-To-Work Law

right-to-work law is a statute in the United States of America that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring.

Right-to-work laws exist in twenty-three U.S. states, mostly in the southern and western United States. Such laws are allowed under the 1947 federal Taft–Hartley Act. A further distinction is often made within the law between those employed by state and municipal governments and those employed by the private sector with states that are otherwise union shop having right to work laws in effect for government employees.

Opponents

Opponents argue that right-to-work laws restrict freedom of association, and limit on the sorts of agreements individuals acting collectively can make with their employer, by prohibiting workers and employers from agreeing to contracts that include “fair share fees“. This creates a free rider problem since unless non-union employees pay fair share fees, they are benefiting from collective bargaining without paying union dues. Thus, the services provided to them by the union contract are being subsidized by paying union members.

The AFL-CIO union federation argues that by weakening unions, the laws create a race to the bottom, leading to lower wages and worse safety and health conditions for workers. A race to the bottom can result in low-level equilibrium, where states are unable to raise labor standards for fear of capital flight. For these reasons, unions refer to right-to-work states as “right to work for less” states or “right-to-fire” states, and to non-right-to-work states as “free collective bargaining” states.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-to-work_law

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Senator Gretchen Whitmer Furiously Slams Republicans over Right to Work Legislation

Published on Dec 6, 2012

Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday blasted Republicans for pushing “right to work” legislation through the state legislature.

The fight begins today: http://www.facebook.com/RespectMIVote

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President Obama Denounces Right-to-Work Laws at Visit to Auto Plant

Published on Dec 10, 2012

President Obama, in Detroit, remarks on the looming fiscal cliff and workers’ rights.

” I just got to say this — what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. (Applause.) We shouldn’t be doing that. (Applause.) These so-called “right to work” laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics. (Applause.) What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. (Applause.)

You only have to look to Michigan — where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry — to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger America.  (Applause.)”

12/10/12 President Obama – Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant
Redford, MI

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46 Responses to GOP Hurts Middle Class with “Right To Work” Bill

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:45 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    President Obama holds a conference call with a bipartisan group of mayors and community leaders.

    12:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    GOP Hurts Middle Class with “Right To Work” Bill

    Michigan passes public sector “right-to-work” law amid protests

    12/11/12 By Bernie Woodall | Reuters

    LANSING, Michigan (Reuters) – The Republican-majority Michigan legislature gave final approval on Tuesday to “right-to-work” restrictions on public sector unions in a state considered a stronghold of organized labor, as protesters chanted in the gallery and thousands rallied outside.

    The House passed the measure making membership and payment of union dues voluntary for public sector employees such as teachers by a 58-51 vote. The Senate approved the same bill last week so it will now go to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who has promised to sign it into law.

    The public sector law was the first of two expected to be approved by the House on Tuesday. The other covers private sector workers, including the large auto industry in Michigan.

    More than 12,000 workers from throughout Michigan and the U.S. Midwest protested as the legislature voted, most gathered in freezing temperatures and a light snow outside the building to show their displeasure.

    Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said the Capitol was closed to visitors when it reached capacity of 2,200. An estimated 10,000 people demonstrated outside.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/protesters-march-michigan-capitol-over-vote-054656984.html

    • CR says:

      President Obama Denounces Right-to-Work Laws at Visit to Auto Plant

      Published on Dec 10, 2012

      President Obama, in Detroit, remarks on the looming fiscal cliff and workers’ rights.

      ” I just got to say this — what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. (Applause.) We shouldn’t be doing that. (Applause.) These so-called “right to work” laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics. (Applause.) What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. (Applause.)

      You only have to look to Michigan — where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry — to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger America. (Applause.)”

      12/10/12 President Obama – Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant
      Redford, MI

    • CR says:

      Gretchen Whitmer Furiously Slams Republicans over Right to Work Legislation

      Published on Dec 6, 2012

      Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday blasted Republicans for pushing “right to work” legislation through the state legislature.

    • CR says:

      Senator Gretchen Whitmer – Right to Work Fight is Far From Over

      Published on Dec 7, 2012
      Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer tells Michigan workers that the fight to stop Right to Work is far from over.

      The fight begins today: http://www.facebook.com/RespectMIVote

    • CR says:

      Statement on State House Approval of Right-to-Work Bill

      Dec 6, 2012

      Bill turns back clock on legislation signed by Gov. Romney in 1965

      U.S. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) today made the below statement after the Michigan House approved right-to-work legislation. In 1965, Rep. Levin authored the nation’s first comprehensive public employment labor relations bill as Chairman of the Michigan State Senate Labor Committee. That bill was crafted and passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis and signed into law by Gov. George Romney. INFORMATION FROM 1965 VOTES BELOW.

      “Before Governor Snyder and Republican legislators totally unravel the fabric of labor relations in Michigan on a path of blind partisanship, they should realize that the structure of collective bargaining for the private and public sector was crafted and passed into law on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis,” said Rep. Levin. “Our State faces many economic challenges. Management and Labor have developed increasingly a cooperative, instead of very adversarial approach, pulling together to meet the challenges. If the Republican leadership continues this plunge into deep divisiveness, it will lead increasingly to Michigan divided, not Michigan united. They must turn back.”

      Source: http://levin.house.gov/press-release/statement-state-house-approval-right-work-bill

    • CR says:

      The Truth About Right to Work for Less

      Right to Work Hurts Everyone

      Workers in states with right to work laws have a consistently lower quality of life than in
      other states—lower wages, higher poverty and infant mortality rates, less access to the
      health care they need and poorer education for their children.

      Lower Wages
      The average worker in a right to work state makes about $5,333 a year less than
      workers in other states ($35,500 compared with $30,167).1 Weekly wages are
      $72 greater in free-bargaining states than in right to work states ($621 versus
      $549).2

      Fewer People with Health Care
      21 percent more people lack health insurance in right to work states compared to
      free-bargaining states.3

      Higher Poverty and Infant Mortality Rates
      Right to work states have a poverty rate of 12.5 percent, compared with 10.2
      percent in other states.4 Moreover, the infant mortality rate is 16 percent higher
      in right to work states.5

      Lower Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Workers Injured on the Job
      Maximum weekly worker compensation benefits are $30 higher in free states
      ($609 versus $579 in right to work states.6

      More Workplace Deaths and Injuries
      According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of workplace deaths
      is 51 percent higher in states with right to work, where unions can’t speak up on
      behalf of workers.7

      Source: http://www.aflcio.org/content/download/4358/46418/version/1/file/rtw.pdf

    • CR says:

      Michigan Gov. Signs ‘Right To Work’ Legislation Into Law

      TUESDAY DECEMBER 11, 2012 IGOR BOBIC 5:49 PM EST – tpm

      Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced on Tuesday that he has signed so-called “right-to-work” legislation into law.

      “Both the public sector bill and the private sector bill have been signed,” Snyder told reporters at a press conference. “I have signed these bills into law.”

      Snyder declined to make the signing public.

    • CR says:

      Unions: Not All Is Lost In Michigan

      DECEMBER 11, 2012, 2:40 PM VAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO – tpm

      As Michigan Republicans pushed their controversial right to work legislation another step forward Tuesday, organized labor’s promise not to go quietly was realized.

      Unions have thousands of protesters at the state capital in Lansing to pressure lawmakers who voted on the bill that would make it illegal for unions to collect money from every worker in union shops, effectively stripping unions of their power to collectively bargain. Away from the protests, labor groups say they’ve found a way to unwind the Michigan Republicans’ attempt to write the law in a way that makes it impossible to be overturned at the ballot box.

      If the labor groups are right, the stage is set for labor to make a big political comeback after losing in the legislature.
      Upwards of 10,000 protesters were reportedly on hand in Michigan Tuesday as the state House passed versions of the right-to-work bill Gov. Rick Synder (R) has promised to sign. The scene was reminiscent of the large protests that drew national attention to Wisconsin in 2011.

      Labor leaders are convinced they’ve figured out how to break the Republican plan to make the right-to-work law referendum-proof, attempting to avoid the embarrassing rebuke of anti-union legislation Republicans suffered in Ohio after Democrats and labor defeated SB 5 at the ballot box. Greg Sargent explains:

      Republicans have tried to protect the law from going before the voters by attaching an appropriation to it; spending bills can’t be overturned by legislative referendum in Michigan. But union operatives think there is another mechanism by which the law can be challenged. According to one good government group’s analysis of the state constitution, there exists the option of the “statutory initiative,” which would be forced by the collecting of signatures equal to at least eight percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.
      A high-ranking labor source told TPM unions are ready to turn Michigan into the next Ohio.

      “If this bill is signed today, it will be Thunderdome for Governor Snyder and Michigan for the next two years,” the official said. “There are multiple options for a referendum, for the voters to have their say on this issue and all options are on the table, the fight is far from over.”

      From the start of the right-to-work fight, labor groups have promised to penalize Republican legislators and Snyder for pushing through right-to-work. The news that the law could go before the public for a referendum vote makes it easier for labor to keep that promise..

    • CR says:

      Can we have a liberal America without unions? History says no.’

      December 12, 2012 at 10:10 am Posted by Brad Plumer – washingtonpost

      On Tuesday, Michigan became the 24th state in the nation to enact a “right-to-work” law designed to weaken labor unions. Under the new rules, employees in unionized workplaces will no longer be required to pay unions for the cost of being represented. (Workers could already choose not to join the union.) Protests flared throughout the day, but in the end Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed the bill.

      Why does this matter? To get a better sense for the history of these right-to-work laws — and what they portend for the future of organized labor — I called Nelson Lichtenstein, a labor historian at University of California, Santa Barbara. His basic take: These laws drive a stake through the concept of solidarity, which is essential for unions to thrive.

      Brad Plumer: Where did these “right-to-work” laws come from? And when did conservatives start using them in order to weaken labor unions? Walk me through the history here.

      Nelson Lichtenstein: Go back to the 1930s, when the Wagner Act was created to allow the government to certify voluntary unions as the exclusive bargaining agent for a workplace. There was one thing the Wagner Act didn’t say anything about. If you’re the exclusive representation in a workplace, what about workers who don’t want to join? And employers could be quite clever in winning workers away from the union.

      So John L. Lewis and other unionists said we need to have a union shop. The employer hires the worker, and after they get the job, they have to join the union. (This was different from the closed shop, where if you want a job, you go to the union first.) Companies resisted this idea bitterly. But then World War II comes along.
      Unions are going to be patriotic, accept a no-strike pledge, let the government set wage levels. And in return, the government said, okay, we’ll give you the union shop. And union membership went up by millions of workers.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/12/can-we-have-a-liberal-america-without-unions-history-says-no/

  3. CR says:

    12/12/12

    “12-12-12″ Becomes Global Event

    12/7/12 yahoo

    Will Make History as the Most Widely Distributed Live Musical Event Ever
    Nearly 2 Billion People Around the Globe to Have Access to the Benefit Via Television, Radio and the Internet

    NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The producers of “12-12-12″ announced today that the concert at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2012, at 7:30 PM (ET) to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy, will have unprecedented and historic global distribution, similar to that of the Superbowl, the Academy Awards(R), and the Grammys(R).

    Nearly 2 billion people worldwide will be able to access “12-12-12″ on television, radio and the internet. The concert, presented by Chase, will be available to all 114 million television households in the US and to more than 400 million television households outside the country via networks and feeds in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

    Further elevating this event to its historic levels of distribution is live streaming on the largest online video services in the world, including YouTube, AOL, Yahoo, Hulu, and others. Combined, these video streaming services reach over 1.4 billion monthly unique users worldwide.

    In addition, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, with its 239 million monthly listeners and more than 48 million monthly digital uniques, will broadcast the concert live on its radio stations across the country, and will also video stream live on iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s digital radio service, and across the websites and Facebook pages of its 850 stations.

    It was also announced today that the Rolling Stones have joined an historic all-star line-up that already included iconic performers Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Roger Waters, Eddie Vedder, Kanye West, The Who and Paul McCartney.

    A new list of celebrity presenters was also released today, including Steve Buscemi, Jessica Chastain, Chelsea Clinton, Sean Combs, Billy Crystal, Leo DiCaprio, Jimmy Fallon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Karlie Kloss, Seth Meyers, Bobby Moynihan, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Susan Sarandon, Jon Stewart, Kristen Stewart, Quentin Tarantino, and Brian Williams.

    For more: http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/12-12-12-becomes-global-201946989.html

  4. CR says:

    US soccer<br />

    December 12, 2012
    U.S. Women vs. China PR Women
    8:30 p.m. ET
    BBVA Compass Stadium
    Texas, USA

    • CR says:

      U.S. WNT Beats China PR 4-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston

      The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated China PR 4-0 in the ninth game of the Fan Tribute Tour, Presented by Panasonic. Abby Wambach (2), Carli Lloyd and Amy Rodriguez scored the goal in front of a boisterous crowd at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

      Dec. 12, 2012 ussoccer

      HOUSTON (Dec. 12, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, led by Abby Wambach’s 149th and 150th career goals, posted a 4-0 victory against China PR in front of 15,643 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium in the ninth match of the 2012 Fan Tribute Tour, presented by Panasonic.

      Midfielder Carli Lloyd added her 43rd career goal during her 150th career international appearance, Heather O’Reilly assisted both Wambach goals and Amy Rodriguez added a late goal as the USA improved to 7-0-2 on the Fan Tribute Tour, a celebration of the team’s run to a fourth gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

      For more: http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Womens-National-Team/2012/12/WNT-Beast-China-PR-4-0-in-Houston.aspx

  5. CR says:

    Obama recognizes opposition as ‘legitimate representative of the Syrian people’

    12/11/12 6:41 PM EST By JENNIFER EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

    The United States will recognize a Syrian opposition group as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” President Obama said in an interview Tuesday, ratcheting up pressure on besieged leader Bashar al-Assad.

    “We’ve made a decision that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime,” Obama told ABC News’s Barbara Walters in the White House.

    The president’s announcement comes as one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputies, Bill Burns, takes her place at a meeting in Morocco with Syrian opposition leaders and their supporters. The Obama administration has long called on Assad to step down but had resisted taking as active a move as the president did on Tuesday.

    “It’s a big step,” Obama said. It comes on the heels of the movement’s recognition by the European Union and Great Britain last month.

    “Obviously, with that recognition comes responsibilities,” Obama said. The Syrian Opposition Coalition must “make sure that they organize themselves effectively, that they are representative of all the parties, [and] that they commit themselves to a political transition that respects women’s rights and minority rights.”

    • CR says:

      France: 100 countries back new Syrian coalition

      12/12/12 By By PAUL SCHEMM | Associated Press – 20 mins ago

      MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) — More than 100 countries on Wednesday recognized a new Syrian opposition coalition, opening the way for greater humanitarian assistance to the forces battling Bashar Assad and possibly even military aid, France’s foreign minister said.

      The formation of the Syrian National Coalition appears to be the step the international community has been waiting for to extend deeper assistance to the opposition, which before had been criticized for not being sufficiently organized or representative.

      French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called the “Friends of the Syrian People” conference meeting in Marrakech, Morocco “extraordinary progress.” He noted that the European Union is now renewing its weapons embargo on Syria every 3 months rather than annually to give them more flexibility as the situation on the ground changes.

      “We want to have the ability to continue or to change our attitude on this point — the fact that the coalition, which is asking for the right to defend itself — is now being recognized by a hundred countries, yesterday the U.S. and first France, I think this is a very important point.”

      The conference comes hours after President Barack Obama declared its new coalition was the “legitimate representative” of its country’s people.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/france-100-countries-back-syrian-coalition-140507665.html

  6. CR says:

    White House, Boehner quietly swap ‘fiscal cliff’ offers

    12/11/12 By Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 1 hr 0 mins ago

    President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner spoke Tuesday after privately exchanging a new round of rival proposals for keeping the economy from tumbling off the “fiscal cliff” on January 1, aides to both men told Yahoo News. The fresh discussion signaled a welcome bit of movement in negotiations that had appeared stalled for several days.

    “The Speaker and POTUS (the President of the United States) spoke by telephone this evening,” a White House official said on condition of anonymity. A Boehner aide said the White House had presented a new offer on tax cuts and revenue increases on Monday and that Republicans had returned with a counter-offer on Tuesday.

    The White House refused to offer details about its proposal. But the Boehner aide said the new offer brought Obama’s initial demand for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues down to $1.4 trillion.

    The step would still require raising tax rates on wealthier Americans, something Boehner has previously rejected. Obama has said any final deal must raise tax rates on the richest Americans.

    Boehner spokesman Michael Steel confirmed that the Speaker’s office had returned a counter-offer to the president but would not disclose many specifics.

    “We sent the White House a counter-offer that would achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs,” Steel said.

    Earlier Tuesday, the Speaker himself complained that Obama hadn’t been specific enough about the spending cuts he was prepared to embrace as part of a broader deficit-cutting plan.

    “Let’s be honest, we’re broke,” Boehner said on the House floor.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/white-house-boehner-quietly-swap-fiscal-cliff-offers-232921331–election.html

  7. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Perfect post, CR. GOP is bent on killing the unions. HOPE this can become a referendum that Michigan voters can overturn.

    • COS says:

      Hey CR and Kat. I feel so bad for the states with Republican governors. They are doing a lot of damage on the local level. I also hope that this can be overturned Kat.

    • CR says:

      Hi Kat & COS. It is sad to see the damage that the GOP are doing to people’s livelyhood.

  8. CR says:

    December 11, 2012

    Statement from NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor on North Korea’s Missile Launch

    North Korea’s launch today—using ballistic missile technology despite express prohibitions by United Nations Security Council resolutions—is a highly provocative act that threatens regional security, directly violates United Nations Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, contravenes North Korea’s international obligations, and undermines the global non-proliferation regime. This action is yet another example of North Korea’s pattern of irresponsible behavior. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region. Given this current threat to regional security, the United States will strengthen and increase our close coordination with allies and partners.

  9. CR says:

    MBA Purchase Applications

    Released On 12/12/2012 7:00:00 AM For wk12/7, 2012

    Highlights
    Purchase applications are piling up, rising 1.0 percent in the December 7 week for the fifth straight gain in a streak that points to strength for underlying home sales. Refinancing applications rose even more strongly, surging 8.0 percent.

    Low rates, being managed by the Federal Reserve, are a key factor behind the strength in mortgage activity. The average rate for 30-year conforming loans ($417,500 or less) fell a very steep five tenths in the week to a new record low of 3.47 percent. Watch for comments on mortgage rates and the strength of the housing market in today’s FOMC statement and follow up press conference.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=450988&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2012&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  10. CR says:

    Import and Export Prices

    Released On 12/12/2012 8:30:00 AM For Nov, 2012

    Highlights
    A drop in petroleum prices led to wide declines in import prices during November, down 0.9 percent with the year-on-year rate at minus 1.6 percent. Petroleum prices have pulled the year-on-year rate into the minus column now for six of the last seven months. Petroleum prices, down 3.6 percent on the month, are down 7.0 percent year-on-year.

    A look at finished goods prices shows declines for both capital goods, down 0.3 percent, and for consumer goods excluding autos which fell 0.1 percent. The year-on-year rates for both these readings shows only the slightest pressure at plus 0.3 percent for each. Soft prices for imports reflect softness in domestic demand.

    Reflecting softness in foreign demand are export prices which for finished goods, like they are for imports, showing no more than marginal pressure with capital goods up 0.2 percent for a plus 1.2 percent year-on-year rate and with prices for consumer goods excluding autos down 0.2 percent on both the month and the year. Total export prices fell 0.7 percent and are up only 0.7 percent on the year. Agricultural prices have been firm, up 10.0 percent on the year, but are up only 0.1 percent in November’s data.

    Today’s data point to benign readings for tomorrow’s producer report and Friday’s consumer price report. Today’s data also won’t give much ammunition to the inflation hawks at the Fed. Watch for assessments on inflation in today’s FOMC statement and press conference.

    For more: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=451428&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2012&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  11. CR says:

    12:00 PM ET
    President Obama holds a conference call with a bipartisan group of mayors and community leaders.

    • CR says:

      President Obama Talks Middle-Class Tax Cuts with Mayors and Their Constituents

      Megan Slack December 12, 2012 06:22 PM EST

      Today, President Obama held a conference call with a bipartisan group of mayors and community leaders from around the country to discuss preventing an income tax increase on middle-class families. Several of the mayors asked some of their constituents who had shared what a $2,000 tax increase next year would mean for their familes to join the call as well.

      Check out some photos and tweets from leaders who listened in from cities and towns nationwide below, or on Storify.

  12. CR says:

    Corporate ‘job creators’ reject GOP antics

    Dec 12, 2012 8:40 AM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    The Business Roundtable is not known for its moderation or sympathy towards Democratic economic ideas. On the contrary, the organization represents the chief executives of many of the nation’s largest companies, and has a reputation in D.C. for being a reliable Republican ally, especially on issues related to taxes, spending, and fiscal responsibility.

    It’s what made yesterday’s developments that much more noteworthy.

    The Business Roundtable, a group of the nation’s top CEOs, Tuesday urged lawmakers to consider raising taxes to avert the fiscal cliff, a shift for business leaders who had previously said they wanted all tax cuts extended for one year.

    “We urge you to step forward and demonstrate that principled compromise is once again possible and that the American political system that underpinned the economic success of our nation and others can function as designed,” the group said in a letter to House and Senate leaders. A similar letter was also sent to the White House. The chief executives of Boeing Co., Dow Chemical Co., American Express Co. and other large businesses signed the letters. [...]

    On Tuesday, Honeywell International Inc. Chief Executive David Cote explained the Roundtable’s change of heart: “We think that compromise and showing our ability to govern is more important than sticking to any particular ideological view.”

    Imagine that.

    The Honeywell CEO added, “We recognize that part of the solution has to be tax increases. That’s the only thing that allows a reasonable compromise to be reached.”

    The Business Roundtable’s new policy position comes two weeks after a series of business leaders and Wall Street executives also rejected Republican debt-ceiling efforts, arguing that another GOP-imposed crisis would be awful America’s private sector.

    Ordinarily, this would matter quite a bit to Republicans — after all, folks like those in the Business Roundtable are effectively the GOP base. But for now, the nation’s “job creators” are siding with President Obama, rejecting Republican antics, and leaving congressional GOP leaders in an awkward position.

    Continue reading this entry: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/12/15863211-corporate-job-creators-reject-gop-antics?lite

  13. CR says:

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and our Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  14. CR says:

    White House officials, business execs meet

    12/12/12 4:15 PM ESTBy BYRON TAU – POLITICO44

    A number of hedge fund managers and other Wall Street executives met with White House officials Wednesday, a source familiar with the meeting confirms.

    The executives met with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and other members of the White House team.

    CNN reports that Stefan Selig of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Jonathan D. Gray of Blackstone Group Management, and Jes Staley of JPMorgan Chase were among those those in the meeting.

    The sit down comes just one week after President Obama made a fiscal cliff pitch directly to business leaders at the annual CEO gathering at the Business Roundtable.

  15. CR says:

    FOMC Forecasts

    December 12, 2012

    Highlights

    The Fed lowered its forecasts for 2013 for GDP, unemployment, and inflation. GDP growth is still expected to improve moderately in 2014 and 2015 with unemployment coming down slowly. The Fed is forecasting that the unemployment rate will cross the new trigger of 6.5 percent unemployment for policy change in 2015-consistent with prior guidance of mid-2015.

    Source; http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=453285&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2012&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  16. CR says:

    American Companies Are Poised to Boost Capital Spending

    Dec 12, 2012 9:41 AM PT By Steve Matthews & Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    American companies are poised to put idle cash to work as demand rebounds in 2013 after spending slumped amid the slowdown in China and Europe’s recession.

    Manufacturers project they will invest more next year than this year, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s semiannual survey released yesterday. Orders for capital equipment excluding defense and aircraft rose 2.9 percent in October, the biggest increase since February, Commerce Department data showed Nov. 27.

    Apple Inc. (AAPL), Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) and Chevron Corp. (CVX) are among those announcing additional expenditure plans as economies stabilize, banks ease lending rules and some industries approach full capacity. Companies, excluding financial institutions, are sitting on a record $1.74 trillion in liquid assets that could be put to use, especially if lawmakers agree to avert budget cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January.

    “Businesses are flush and highly competitive and this will shine through in a revival of investment spending by this time next year if Washington can get it roughly together,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

    Spending on capital projects, those meant to increase productivity and capacity, will increase 7.6 percent next year, the biggest gain for any December survey going back at least seven years, according to the Tempe, Arizona-based ISM’s poll of purchasing managers. Last December, respondents forecast a 1.9 percent advance for 2012.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-12/american-companies-are-poised-to-boost-capital-spending.html

  17. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, December 13 , 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:45 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    White House Press Secretary Carney briefs the press.

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    President Obama and Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner meet to discuss the “fiscal cliff”
    White House

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:40 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts a Hanukkah reception
    Grand Foyer, White House

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      December 13, 2012

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      1:00 PM ET
      White House Press Secretary Carney briefs the press.

      7:40 PM ET
      President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts a Hanukkah reception
      Grand Foyer, White House

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      8:20 AM ET
      Golden Globe nominations announced
      Actors Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Ed Helms will announce the nominations for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California.

      10:00 AM ET
      Pakistan terror networks hearing
      A Senate foreign affairs subcommittees holds a hearing on terrorist networks in Pakistan and the proliferation of IEDs in the region.

      10:00 AM ET
      Senate Small Business Committee: Response to Huricane Sandy http://www.c-span.org/Events/Senate-Cmte-Looks-at-Hurricane-Sandy-Recovery-Efforts/10737436564/

      10:00 AM ET
      Lawmakers Tackle Medicaid Expansion
      House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) will conduct a hearing, Thursday, on the implementation of the Health Care Law’s exchanges and Medicaid expansion. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Lawmakers-Tackle-Medicaid-Expansion/10737436506/

      10:30 AM ET
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will discuss the fiscal cliff crisis and other issues when she speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Rep-Pelosi-Discusses-39Fiscal-Cliff39/10737436559/

      12:00 PM ET
      Superstorm Sandy relief briefing
      Congressional lawmakers will announce bipartisan tax relief legislation to help families and businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy

      1:00 PM ET
      White House Press Secretary Carney briefs the press.

      7:40 PM ET
      President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts a Hanukkah reception
      Grand Foyer, White House

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      8:20 AM ET
      DHS Official in Charge of Infrastructure Discusses Policy Priorities
      Suzanne Spaulding, Deputy Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, addresses how the government should be thinking about critical infrastructure projects through the lens of national security.http://www.c-span.org/Events/DHS-Official-in-Charge-of-Infrastructure-Discusses-Policy-Priorities/10737436567/

      10:00 AM ET
      Senators Examine Terrorist Use of IEDs
      Defense and State officials appear before Congress Thursday to update lawmakers on the proliferation of improvised explosive devices (IED) by terrorist networks in Pakistan. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Senators-Examine-Terrorist-Use-of-IEDs/10737436505/

      10:00 AM ET
      Senate Small Business Committee: Response to Huricane Sandy

      10:30 AM ET
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will discuss the fiscal cliff crisis and other issues when she speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill.

      12:00 PM ET
      Superstorm Sandy relief briefing
      Congressional lawmakers will announce bipartisan tax relief legislation to help families and businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy.

      1:00 PM ET
      White House Press Secretary Carney briefs the press.

      7:40 PM ET
      President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts a Hanukkah reception
      Grand Foyer, White House

  18. CR says:

    President Obama To Host Hanukkah Party On Thursday, With Menorah That Survived Sandy

    DECEMBER 12, 2012 obamaroodorama

    President Obama will celebrate Hanukkah with a White House reception this Thursday, Dec. 13, the sixth night of the eight-day holiday. Each year, the menorah used for the President’s candle-lighting is loaned to the White House, and has symbolic significance that ties in to the Jewish story of overcoming vast challenges. This year’s brass, 90-year-old menorah is being loaned by Temple Israel of Long Beach on Long Island, New York, which was decimated by Hurricane Sandy. A hurricane-surviving menorah is something of an Obama tradition: In 2010, the President’s guests lit candles on a menorah borrowed from a New Orleans temple, reclaimed after Congregation Beth Israel was ravaged by Katrina. (Above, the President and First Lady with the Katrina menorah)

    Thursday’s 7:40 PM Hanukkah reception in the Grand Foyer will be the second holiday event at which President Obama spotlights Hurricane Sandy. When he lit the National Christmas Tree last week, the President told a story about a group of neighbors on New York’s devastated Staten Island who banded together to create a community Christmas tree: “The tree has one message. It’s Christmas time, not disaster time,” he said.

    For more: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/12/president-obama-to-host-hanukkah-party.html

  19. CR says:

    Photo of the day: Natoma Canfield

    12/12/12 6:31 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

    The Ohio woman whose name become a rallying cry for President Obama in his fight for health care reform finally came to the White House on Wednesday to see a letter that she wrote, framed and placed on a West Wing wall outside the Oval Office. Natoma Canfield wrote to Obama in 2010 about her battle with cancer and how she could no longer afford to pay insurance premiums. He cited her letter as one of his inspirations while pushing for health care reform, called her after the Supreme Court upheld the law and met her for the first time in July this year. Obama promised at that meeting that Canfield, at right above, could come to the White House and see the letter.

  20. CR says:

    Jobless Claims in U.S. Decline to a Nine-Week Low

    12/13/12 By Alex Kowalski – Dec 13, 2012 5:30 AM PT

    First-time claims for unemployment insurance payments declined more than forecast last week to the lowest level since early October, adding to evidence the labor market is improving.

    Applications for jobless benefits fell by 29,000 to 343,000 in the week ended Dec. 8, the fewest since reaching a four-year low in the period ended Oct. 6, Labor Department figures showed today.

    Economists forecast 369,000 claims, according to the Bloomberg survey median. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls declined for a fourth straight week.

    Jobless claims have dropped 108,000 in the latest four weeks after a superstorm Sandy-related surge, indicating companies are comfortable with current staffing levels. To help encourage more hiring, the Federal Reserve said yesterday that it intends to keep policy accommodative until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent from the current 7.7 percent.

    “The U.S. labor market is looking a bit more resilient,” Gennadiy Goldberg, a U.S. strategist at TD Securities Inc. in New York, said before the report. “The labor market is still chugging along.” At the same time, the prospects of higher taxes and budget cuts in 2013 are “serving more as a drag to hiring than it is to firing,” he said.

    Estimates for first-time claims ranged from 348,000 to 380,000 in the Bloomberg survey of 52 economists. The prior week’s applications were initially reported as 370,000.

    A Labor Department official said as today’s figures were released that there was “nothing unusual” in the data. The effects of Sandy, which swept ashore on Oct. 29 and sent claims soaring in New Jersey and New York, have dissipated.

    The four-week moving average, a less-volatile measure of claims, decreased to 381,500 from 408,500.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-13/jobless-claims-in-u-s-decline-to-a-nine-week-low-of-343-000.html

  21. CR says:

    Cheaper gas drives down US wholesale price index

    12/13/12 By By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press – 3 mins 18 secs ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheaper gas drove down a measure of wholesale prices in November for the second straight month, a sign inflation remains in check.

    The producer price index fell 0.8 percent last month, the steepest drop since May, the Labor Department said Thursday. That follows a 0.2 percent decline in October. The index measures the cost of goods before they reach the consumer.

    Gas prices fell last month by the most in more than three years. Food prices, however, rose by the most in nearly two years, pushed higher by costlier beef and vegetables.

    In the past year, wholesale prices have increased 1.5 percent. That’s the lowest annual pace in four months.

    Excluding volatile food and gas, core producer prices ticked up 0.1 percent in November and 2.2 percent in the past year.

    Gas prices had risen sharply over the summer, pushing up both the producer and consumer price indexes. But since then, the cost of gasoline, home heating oil and natural gas has fallen back.

    Nationwide, a cost of a gallon of gasoline fell to $3.32 Wednesday, according to AAA, down 13 cents in the past month and nearly 50 cents since mid-October.

    Low inflation means consumers have more money to spend, which helps the economy. It also gives the Federal Reserve more room to keep interest rates low in an effort to spur economic growth. If prices were to begin rising rapidly, the central bank might be forced to raise rates in response.

    The Fed said Wednesday that it now plans to keep the short-term interest rate it controls at nearly zero until the unemployment rate falls to at least 6.5 percent and inflation isn’t expected to top 2.5 percent in the next two years.

    In a statement, Fed policymakers said that they expect “inflation over the medium term will likely run at or below its 2 percent objective.”

  22. CR says:

    US retail sales rebound, consumer spending gains traction

    12/13/12 9 minutes ago – Reuters Middle East – Jason Lange

    WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales rose in
    November in a sign that steady job creation is adding momentum
    to consumer spending in the fourth quarter.

    Sales rose 0.3 percent, the Commerce Department said on
    Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected an increase
    of 0.5 percent.

    A separate measure of sales that strips out automobiles,
    gasoline and building materials rose a more healthy 0.5 percent.

    That reading more closely follows the government’s gauge of
    consumer spending, which is a major component of economic
    growth. These so-called core retail sales were flat in October,
    a slight upward revision from the previously reported decline of
    0.1 percent.

    Economists had expected a 0.4 percent increase in core sales
    in November.

    The rise in overall sales was tempered by a 4 percent
    decline in receipts at gasoline stations, the biggest drop since
    December 2008.

    The Commerce Department said it had received indications
    from companies that superstorm Sandy had both positive and
    negative effects on November’s sales data.

    Motor vehicle sales rose 1.4 percent. Sales at electronics
    stores jumped 2.5 percent, while mail-order and Internet sales
    jumped 3 percent.

  23. CR says:

    Supreme Court Takes Up Prop 8: The Possible Outcomes

    DECEMBER 13, 2012, 8:45 AM 2242 SAHIL KAPUR – tpm

    The Supreme Court will take up a challenge next spring to California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure which amends the state’s constitution to hold that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

    The outcome could range from requiring all states to accept gay marriage or decreeing such bans constitutional. The justices could also dodge the issue. Here are the different ways the ruling could go.

    * All Gay Marriage Bans Are Struck Down
    * Prop. 8 Is Overturned
    * Prop. 8 Is Upheld
    * The Supreme Court Punts

    For more: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/supreme-court-prop-8-outcomes.php?ref=fpa

  24. CR says:

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  25. CR says:

    December 13, 2012

    Statement by the President on Ambassador Rice

    Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State. For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant. As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America’s interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel’s security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people. I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues. I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend. While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.

    • CR says:

      Rice thanks supporters

      12/13/12 9:15 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

      Those of you who know me know that I’m a fighter, but not at the cost of what’s right for our country.
      13 Dec 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
      U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, after weeks of remaining relatively silent in public about the controversy that surrounded her possible nomination as Secretary of State, let it rip on Thursday.

      After writing a letter explaining her withdrawal to President Obama, she penned an op-ed blaming manufactured charges and then took to Twitter to address her followers.

      “Those of you who know me know that I’m a fighter, but not at the cost of what’s right for our country,” she tweeted.

      “I don’t do this work for me. I do it because I believe in President Obama’s approach to the world, and I want to get things done,” Rice continued. “To all my followers: I appreciate you. We’ve still got a lot of work to do for the American people and the world. #Letsgo.”

  26. CR says:

    5:00 PM ET
    President Obama and Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner meet to discuss the “fiscal cliff”
    White House

  27. CR says:

    7:40 PM ET
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts a Hanukkah reception
    Grand Foyer, White House

    • CR says:

      December 13, 2012

      Remarks by the President at a Hanukkah Reception

      East Room

      7:50 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Good evening, everybody.

      AUDIENCE: Good evening.

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you for coming to the White House tonight to celebrate the sixth night of Hanukkah. (Applause.) It is truly an honor to host so many leaders from the Jewish community this evening. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren is here. (Applause.) And obviously I know I speak for all of us when we say that America’s support for our friend and ally Israel remains unshakeable during these difficult times. (Applause.)

      Many members of Congress and local government are here, and we want to welcome you. We are graced by two Supreme Court Justices, several members of my Cabinet and administration — so, everybody, be on your best behavior. (Laughter.)

      I want to thank the incredibly talented members of the West Point Jewish Chapel Cadet Choir for their service. (Applause.) They are incredible young people. Obviously we’re in awe of their service to our nation, and for sharing a couple of Hanukkah favorites with the Marine band.

      And finally, I’d like to recognize the rabbis and lay leaders who traveled from all over the country to be here. Thank you for sharing the holiday with us. We’re grateful. (Applause.)

      So tonight, as we gather to light the sixth candle of Hanukkah, we remember an enduring story of resilience and optimism. Over 2,000 years ago, a tyrant forbade the Israelites from practicing their religion and his forces desecrated the Holy Temple. So Judah Maccabee gathered a small band of believers to fight this oppression, and against all odds, they prevailed. And the Maccabees liberated Jerusalem and restored the faith of its people. And when they went to reclaim the Temple, the people of Jerusalem received another gift from God — the oil that should have lasted only one night burned for eight. That miraculous flame brought hope and it sustained the faithful.

      To this day, Jews around the world honor the Maccabees’ everlasting hope that light will overcome the darkness, that goodness will overcome evil, and that faith can accomplish miracles.

      The menorah that we’re using tonight and the man who will light it are both powerful symbols of that spirit. Six weeks ago, the Temple Israel Synagogue in Long Beach, New York, was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. But this 90-year-old menorah survived, and I am willing to bet it will survive another 90 years, and another 90 years after that. So tonight, it shines as a symbol of perseverance, and as a reminder of those who are still recovering from Sandy’s destruction — a reminder of resilience and hope and the fact that we will be there for them as they recover.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/13/remarks-president-hanukkah-reception

  28. CR says:

    ********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” Push Congress To Act -”

    ********************

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

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