Sunday, December 25, 2011

Romney: If I'm President, All College Grads Will Have A Job

Really?! What was Romney's employment record while Governor of Massachusetts?

Romney: If I'm President, All College Grads Will Have A Job; If Obama Wins, They Won't | ThinkProgress

California Soldier Shot at his Homecoming Party

America is a war zone just Afghanistan. And it's made that way by the proliferation of guns, drugs and a violent culture. Seems to me that we need to win the war at home before we can win any wars abroad:

An Army soldier recovering from injuries suffered in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan has been shot at his homecoming party, and family members say he's paralyzed and in critical condition.

Christopher Sullivan, 22, was shot late Friday while trying to break up a fight between his brother and another man at a San Bernardino, Calif., residence.
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Iran Stoning: Woman To Be Executed For Adultery

This monstrosity of a regime would not have happened had it not been for the U.S. government overthrowing the Iranian democracy in the 1950s. Now they are totally impotent in dealing with the Tehranian rulers:

Authorities in Iran said Sunday they are again moving ahead with plans to execute a woman sentenced to death by stoning on an adultery conviction in a case that sparked an international outcry, but are considering whether to carry out the punishment by hanging instead.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is already behind bars, serving a 10-year sentence on a separate conviction in the murder of her husband. Amid the international outrage her case generated, Iran in July 2010 suspended plans to carry out her death sentence on the adultery conviction.

On Sunday, a senior judiciary official said experts were studying whether the punishment of stoning could be changed to hanging.
There is some question whether she's guilty at all. This from 2008:
A lawyer for an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning has told a British newspaper she was tortured for two days before confessing on state TV to being an accomplice to her husband's death.

Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani's lawyer told the Guardian on Thursday that his client, a 43-year-old mother of two, was forced to give the interview, which was recorded in Tabriz prison where she has been held for the past four years.

"She was severely beaten up and tortured until she accepted to appear in front of camera. Her 22-year-old son Sajad and her 17-year-old daughter Saeedeh are completely traumatised by watching this programme," lawyer Houtan Kian said on the newspaper's website.

Video: Russia Protests are Reminiscent of 20 Years Ago

Raising the Minimum Wage

Despite the propaganda from free marketeers, raising the minimum wage benefits the economy. It also keeps us from being a third world nation. It is certainly no substitute for the higher paying manufacturing jobs that have been outsourced by companies wanting to take advantage of cheap labor abroad. The problem has been that businesses have tried to get around the raising of the minimum wage by hiring illegal aliens or outsourcing. Therefore the solution to the problem is a government that isn't beholden to the lobbyists of business interests. And that ain't happening with the current two-party system. We must begin the struggle to defeat the anti-labor argument by making the case that a well paid work force fuels the consumption that makes an economy grow. And that's good for business:

When low-wage workers have more money in their pockets, they have little choice but to spend it immediately on basic necessities like groceries, clothing and school supplies. And as demand for goods and services grows, businesses expand and hire; the increased spending resulting from the minimum-wage bumps in eight states on Jan. 1 will lead to an additional $366 million in economic output and create the equivalent of more than 3,000 jobs, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute. That's a shot in the arm our economy needs.

The minimum-wage increase is especially important when so many better-paying jobs in sectors like construction, manufacturing and finance have disappeared, and many families are left supporting themselves with lower-paid service-sector jobs. An analysis by the National Employment Law Project finds that while the majority of jobs lost during and after the recession were in mid-wage occupations, roughly three-quarters of the jobs added since job growth resumed are in low-wage occupations.

And things aren't going to improve any time soon: The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that seven of the 10 occupations with the most job growth between 2008 and 2018 will be low-paying positions. While we know our economy will have an increasing number of positions in home health care, food preparation and customer service, these jobs don't have to pay poverty wages. At one time, the manufacturing jobs that we now yearn for were dangerous, low-wage and undesirable. But we turned them into good jobs, with safer work places, higher pay, and a voice for workers.

Eight states will take a step in the right direction on Jan. 1 when they raise minimum wage rates to keep pace with inflation. But while more than 1.4 million workers will see their wages increase Jan. 1, millions more must depend on the stagnant federal minimum wage of just $7.25, or $15,000 a year for full-time work. The American people know this isn't right: A national poll conducted in November found that more than two-thirds of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour. It's a deeply popular idea that can help boost the economy while not adding to state or federal budget deficits.
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Feed America's hungry (and their pets), says nonprofit group

Food banks across...

the country kicked into high gear for the holiday season this week in an effort to feed America's hungry people. But a few instead homed in on an often overlooked casualty of hard times -- the family pet.

"It's the forgotten pets that go by the wayside," said Ann King, founder of an Atlanta-based nonprofit group called Save Our Pets Food Bank.

Appalled by tales of pet owners compelled to hand over their cats and dogs to shelters, King formed her organization in 2008 in an effort to provide cash-strapped owners a way to keep their canine and feline friends.

Mentally ill Flood ER as States Cut Services

Shameful. So much for healthcare reform. Well at least we have a payroll tax cut extension for two months. That should solve the problem. Or maybe we should listen to the Conservatives and Tea Partyers. They would say people flooding emergency rooms are lazy good for nothings. It's their fault they don't have a job. Suck it up. They should follow the example of Wall St. bankers. Look how well they're doing. You don't hear them complaining:

Across the country, doctors like Sullivan are facing a spike in psychiatric emergencies - attempted suicide, severe depression, psychosis - as states slash mental health services and the country's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression takes its toll.

This trend is taxing emergency rooms already overburdened by uninsured patients who wait until ailments become acute before seeking treatment.

"These are people without a previous psychiatric history who are coming in and telling us they've lost their jobs, they've lost sometimes their homes, they can't provide for their families, and they are becoming severely depressed," said Dr. Felicia Smith, director of the acute psychiatric service at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Full article