Daily Archives: November 14, 2011

Keith Olbermann: Mark Ruffalo on the delay of the Keystone XL

Environmental activist and actor Mark Ruffalo celebrates the Obama administration's decision to delay approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline while bringing focus to the next big battle: stopping hydraulic fracturing – hydrofracking – in the Delaware River Basin, a water source for millions of people.

Robert Redford: THANK YOU President Obama

On November 10, the Obama Administration announced that it would delay a decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The State Department will undertake a new and thorough review of the pipeline's true environmental costs — including climate change. NRDC trustee Robert Redford recorded this message thanking the President.

Wall St Journal: Ohio Voters Reject Public-Union Limits

-By Kris Maher and Jack Nicas

November 9, 2011- COLUMBUS, Ohio—Voters on Tuesday defeated by a wide margin a law that would have restricted the powers of unions representing teachers, police officers and other public-sector workers.

The law would have stripped the state's 350,000 public employees of most of their collective-bargaining rights and forced workers to pay at least 15% of their health-care costs. With 97% of precincts reporting, 61% of voters in a referendum voted against the Republican-backed law, known as Senate Bill 5, while 39% supported it

The vote was closely watched beyond Ohio as other states have debated whether to rein in public unions to help governments cut spending on wages and benefits. Unions have faced bruising battles with newly elected Republican majorities in various states this year. In Wisconsin, lawmakers passed a law restricting union rights, but they failed to do so in Indiana.

The Ohio law was passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, earlier this year. But opponents secured enough voter signatures to force a public vote before it could take effect.

The Guardian: Koch brothers: secretive billionaires to launch vast database with 2012 in mind

David and Charles Koch, oil tycoons with strong right-wing views and connections, look set to tighten their grip on US politics

-by Ed Pilkington

November 7, 2011- The secretive oil billionaires the Koch brothers are close to launching a nationwide database connecting millions of Americans who share their anti-government and libertarian views, a move that will further enhance the tycoons' political influence and that could prove significant in next year's presidential election.

Think Progress: Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Calls Unemployment Benefits A ‘Lifestyle’

-By Amanda Peterson Beadle

November 5, 2011- Despite the necessary aid that unemployment benefits provide for those who have been laid off (not to mention the boost they give to the entire national economy), Republicans continue to attack and deride people who collect those benefits. In September, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) dismissed unemployment benefits as “welfare for people that won’t work,” and an Ohio state representative suggested his state drug test all benefit applicants. (He got the idea from Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who signed a law in June requiring drug tests for all welfare recipients.)

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