Friday, February 25, 2011

Middle Class Pays for Everything ! Almost !

House Republicans Vote to Cut Social Security Administration Dramatically

At 4:40 A.M. last Saturday, the House voted 235-189 in favor of a spending bill (H.R. 1) for the remainder of this fiscal year that would cut the funding of the Social Security Administration (SSA) by a total of $1.7 billion below what is needed to maintain promised service levels and current projects. This would shut down Social Security offices for one month of the seven remaining this year; eliminate 3,500 jobs; delay payment of earned benefits for hundreds of thousands of retirees, survivors, and disabled workers; and force SSA to ignore billions of dollars in overpayments that could be returned to the trust fund. The action came despite a veto threat from President Obama. A tally of how each House member voted on the spending bill is available at Earlier, last Friday, the House had voted 239-187 in favor of an amendment offered by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) to block Congressional funding for implementation of the health care reform law. A tally of that vote is now available at

Editorial : Why is it that"Cut the Budget" Always mean`s...the middle class ?

Democracy Under Attack ! You Bet`cha !

The War in Wisconsin !

by : Don Jones = Underdog

I`ve been following the war raging in Wisconsin. Most think of it as, big unions, hungry for more power. Not So ! It is actually a war save our way of life ! If this Governor Scott Walker, is a TEA party example ? I want no part of them. They are not only trying to deprive workers in Wisconsin their liberty's/rights. It kinda looks like it is a national attack by Republicans. Even here in Tennessee. Those states that went Republican last go round, are attacking free-democratic trade unions. They say, no collective bargaining. All the while it is camouflaged in balance the budget. Do not be fooled by this blatant attack on the working middle class ! Governor Scott Walker has been bought and paid, by the Billionaire brothers Koch. Governor Walker does not want to balance the budget, he wants to crush the union ! The Union in Wisconsin has already agreed to cuts. Gov. Walker wants blood ! What is Collective bargaining ? Definition = "Come let us sit down and reason together"! It has never been, do it my way or hit the highway ! The people of Wisconsin will help you Governor, if you want them too ? Gov. Walker is the point man in this war on the middle class. My guess is, he is a one term Governor ? I hope so. Americans do not like dictators ! Perhaps the people of Wisconsin, need to think about a recall of this tyrannical Governor ? I often wonder, how some of these so called elected representatives get elected in the first place ? President Obama said in a campaign speech, that he would walk the picket line with workers who were being declared war on. Mr. President, where are YOU ?Last night on the television news, I saw Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters are now getting into this war. All I can say is, it is about time. If we lose this war, we lose America ! I`m so tired of hearing that, "We do not need unions any longer". This event alone is proof enough that we do. If we lose now, who is next ? How about the American Association of Retired People (AARP) They stand up for the middle class. Ok, then we`ll go after Credit Unions. They are aimed at the benefits of the middle class. Alliance for Retired Americans, it goes on and on. We can have Unions, but they will be state unions. Think not ? Better think again. Unions were created out of necessity. Unions are the purest form of Democracy. Outlaw Unions, is to outlaw democracy in action. Have Unions made mistakes ? You bet`cha ! Has our Country/Democracy made mistakes ? You bet`cha ! I do not want to see either one of them lost. Both are the core of our American way of Life ! TEA party Republicans are dangerous. Be careful of those who come in sheep's clothing. Those State Senators in Wisconsin, who are hiding out, "God Bless You"! Standing up for Unions is to Stand up for America ! After all, We are a Union !

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coffee Shop Chatter !

Coffee Shop Philosophers

by : Don Jones =Underdog = Philosopher ?


I visited my local coffee shop this morning, Damrons Meat and BBQ. My usual rounds. They have the best sausage and biscuits in Tennessee ! The usual`s were all there. Politics and Goodyear seem to be the hottest subject lately. A lot of people will be affected by Goodyear's Union City Closing ! Including Damron`s. Everyone wants to blame someone for the plant closing and that someone seems to be "The Union" ! Not So ! Now Ricky and Pat are truly nice people, they just are not well informed as to the workings of free democratic trade unions. Ricky is retired from the military and Viet-Nam Veteran. I believe he is truly one of America`s hero`s ! Not only did he fly choppers in Viet-Nam and was subjected to agent orange and of course lead. He as well as others did their best to protect American interest`s and our freedoms. "Thank You" Ricky. Having said those facts, Ricky and Pat are Republicans. It seems it is what he and Pat believe. So be it ! It is the ideals, he fought for and defended. I have no problem with his political belief`s. I may not agree with him, but I have no problem with them. It is his God given right. Now Bob on the other hand blames the Union, and does`nt have a clue ! However he too, has the right, as an American to believe as he see`s fit ! Bob, so do I ! We do not agree on unions and probably never will. We can remain friends. Now Huey on the other hand, believes as I do, that free-democratic trade unions have in the past, the present and will in the future serve our United States of America well ! Men like John L. Lewis, Walter Reuther, Jimmy Hoffa, are pioneers in the free labor movement and are true American hero's. If you do not know who these men are ? I would suggest that you google them and find out. One of today`s Labor hero`s is, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. Google him also ! If you do not wish to join a union? do not join. In Tennessee we have a "Right to work Law" I call it a right to work for less. Simply stated, in Tennessee you do not have to join a union. I don`t agree with that law, however being a law abiding citizen, I honor it for others ! Just some thoughts from a coffee shop philosopher. I`m sure you do not agree with some of my philosophy, but will honor my right to it ? As I will your`s !

In Deo Fiducia Nostra

Friday, February 18, 2011

Unions Under Attack ! Tennessee Republicans Declare War !

Is There No End Too it ? Unions are Not The Enemy !

Tennessee Republicans take first swipe at teachers union
Vote to end bargaining rights comes day before Haslam plan
Feb. 17, 2011
Written by Chas Sisk

e-mail > <

Gov. Haslam will present his education reform package today. Related Links
Haslam seeks tougher teacher tenure, more TN charter schools
Haslam proposes no cap on charters, teachers to wait longer for tenure !

Thousands protest Wisconsin governor's anti-union bill

Republican lawmakers have pushed ahead of Gov. Bill Haslam in the race to shape the state's agenda on education and provoked a confrontation with Tennessee's biggest teachers union.
The state Senate took the first step Wednesday toward rewriting Tennessee's education laws this year, when a committee voted to reverse a 1978 law that gave teachers the right to bargain collectively through a union. The bill is one of several proposals being promoted in the legislature that would reduce the power of the 52,000-member Tennessee Education Association. They are being pursued without the backing of Haslam, who has been working for the past several weeks on education reforms of his own. "We're here to do the people's business," said Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, the bill's sponsor. "We don't need to wait until April to start moving bills." The Senate Education Committee voted on party lines 6-3 Wednesday to advance (Senate Bill 113), a measure brought by Johnson that would end the requirement that local school districts negotiate contracts with collective bargaining units organized by teachers. The Tennessee School Boards Association backs the legislation, and the TEA, which represents teachers in all 92 of the Tennessee school districts that have created collective bargaining units, opposes it. Supporters say the bill would end litigation over teacher contracts, make it easier to fire bad teachers and give teachers who are not members of the union more say in discussions over pay, classroom conditions and education reform. Opponents say the bill would strip teachers of their ability to negotiate with school boards, and it is little more than payback by Republicans for the TEA's past support of Democratic candidates. "I think it's unfortunate that that went right down party lines," said Jerry Winters, TEA's director of government relations. "We don't consider this an education bill. They need to be talking about the real issues facing teachers in this state, and if they want to say they've taken away teachers' voice and take credit for that, they can take credit." Scores of TEA members and retired teachers — as well as several conservative activists who support the measure — packed the committee meeting room and corridor outside to witness the vote. "It feels like every time I turn around they're taking another shot at us," said Christy Daniels, a ninth-grade English teacher in Coffee County who attended the committee meeting. The vote took place a day before Haslam presents his slate of education reforms, a package of legislation that he has been touting since taking office a month ago. Haslam says his reforms will focus on toughening tenure requirements and loosening restrictions on charter schools.
Haslam and Republican leaders in the legislature have said the two efforts are not at odds, but GOP lawmakers also have shown an eagerness to take on education bills beyond those that Haslam would propose. "We certainly want to work with the governor," said Hendersonville Rep. Debra Maggart, the House Republican Caucus chairman and a co-sponsor of the collective bargaining bill. "But there are three branches of government, and as legislators, we are certainly allowed to push for our own agenda." Haslam shows plan :
Haslam will unveil his education reforms at a news conference this morning in the Legislative Plaza office building. The governor has been putting his plan together without a state education commissioner. Haslam says he is conducting a nationwide search for candidates for the job, but one of the presumed front-runners, Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre, withdrew from consideration this week. Meanwhile, lawmakers have several bills dealing with education, many of them targeting the TEA. One measure, sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham, would strip the TEA and the Tennessee Retired Teachers Association of their seats on the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, replacing them with teachers chosen by the leaders of the House and Senate. Another, also sponsored by Gresham, would take away the TEA's seat on a financial literacy board. So far, the legislature has taken up only the collective bargaining bill. Johnson said he spoke with the governor before presenting the measure. "I've had a number of conversations with not only the governor, but with my leadership in the Senate," Johnson said. "He indicated he was fine with that. … At some point, we probably do need to sit down and map out how we're going to move forward with this stuff." Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said lawmakers would take up Haslam's legislation when it is presented Thursday but would not delay the collective bargaining measure to give the governor's package priority. "You have to start with one bill," Ramsey said. "We felt strongly this is the one we wanted to start with." Wednesday's vote sends the measure to the full Senate, which could vote on the matter as soon as next week, Ramsey said. Winters said he was not surprised by the measure's support in the Senate and expressed hope House Republicans will stop the measure. "There are some reasonable Republicans over on the House side that absolutely are not going to want to vote against the teachers of this state and the teachers in their district," he said. "This battle is not over." Winters also said the bill could poison efforts by Haslam to work with the TEA on tenure and charter school rules. "My sense is that this is not the kind of thing the governor would want to be going on in this state right now," he said. "I hope the governor will insert himself into the process before this comes to a floor vote in either the Senate or the House." But Haslam has been noncommittal — neither expressing opposition to the collective bargaining bill nor saying he would make it one of his priorities.
"I think that should be part of the discussion," Haslam said last week. "I'm not ruling it out. We'll wait and see."

Contact Chas Sisk at 615-259-8283 or
The Associated Press contributed.

Editorial : Not just Teachers Unions are being assaulted, all unions are being declared war on, by the Republican Party ! Wisconsin, Tennessee says "Thank You "! Tennesseans listen up, When free democratic trade unions lose, everyone lose`s ! Unions are not the enemy, Those who oppose them are ! See how your elected represenatives vote Here > <

Monday, February 14, 2011

Goodyear Union City Plant ~ Facts & Figures !

Think You`ll Mi$$ Goodyear Plant in Union City TN. ~ You Bet`Cha ~!
By: Don Jones = Underdog

First of all, listen up ! The Union did not cause Goodyear to make the decision to shutdown ! I make no apology for that statement of fact ! The biggest factor in the corporate decision to close the Union City Tennessee Plant was money, it is/was not the fact that we at Union City made too much money. It is the simple fact that, Goodyear has a plant in China and are at present building another one. You see, American Labor, union or non-union cannot compete with third world Chinese wages ! Our politicians have made it so lucrative for American Industry to pull up and go to other cheap labor country`s, not only does the move not cost them anything, you and I, as in tax-payers subsidize their move. It all began with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Then came SAFTA, it comes down to (SHAFTA) Our politicians today call it Free Trade. Not So ! It seems to this writer that our so called political leaders are selling our birth right`s for a few bowls of pottage. How many Tennessee family`s will be affected by the Goodyear Union City Closure ?(Obion County - 934)( Weakley County - 384) (Gibson County - 146)(Dyer County - 72) (Carroll County - 29) (Henry County - 23)(Lake County - 22) Kentucky Family`s (Graves County - 142)(Fulton County - 121)Calloway, and (surrounding County`s - 90) These are real working class/middle class people, such a tragedy. Payroll for GY Union City, $132 million dollars.The 2009 tax`s paid by Goodyear Tire and employee`s $4.5 million direct and indirect. Payroll for related jobs because of Goodyear employee`s $50 million ! Take this revenue out of the picture, not a pleasant thought. Between corporate America and our very own politicians, the middle class is being eliminated. I have more bad news, but will withhold it until tomorrow, too much bad news in one day is sickening, even for this writer.
In Deo Fiducia Nostra

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Corker Hit Man for Republican Seizure of Social Security

Good Ole Senator Bob Corker (R)Tennessee Just Wants to Cut the Budget ! Sure He Does ! Better be Careful...Social Security First !
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee last week began aggressively promoting a cap on spending by the federal government packed with reason and logic and teetering on shaky political terrain. As a deficit reduction measure, the legislation makes sense. But it doesn't preclude cuts in federal entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Search our databases. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who is co-sponsoring the bill, spelled out the risk in a press conference last week. "I guarantee you, in Missouri, in the not-too-distant future, there will be a 30-second commercial that says I'm trying to take Social Security away from seniors," she said. Of course, the creators of those spots, the prospects for which make the bill a hard sell in Congress, don't have to mention that one of the purposes of the legislation is to save Social Security from collapsing under the weight of unfunded liabilities. As of late last week, the legislation had no House sponsor. It is adamantly opposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and, in fact, no Democratic senators besides McCaskill immediately jumped on board. "Let's be honest," McCaskill said. "There's a lot of folks around here that wake up every day and they think the most important thing they got to do today is figure out how they get to stay here." What's creating all the risk is legislation that Corker has been promoting for months in dozens of presentations to editorial boards and other groups across Tennessee and beyond. The bill would create a cap on federal spending as a percentage of the gross domestic product, now at 24.7 percent, reducing it gradually over a 10-year period until it reached 20.6 percent, the average over the past 40 years. Reaching that goal would require some $8 trillion in spending reductions, according to the sponsors. The simplicity and directness of Corker's proposal, as well as its practicality, add to its appeal.
No specific cuts are included in the legislation, but neither does it exclude anything from the chopping block. It would simply attempt to enforce a degree of discipline on Congress -- a "straitjacket," Corker said -- by making it necessary to say "no." It would require the approval of two-thirds of the House and the Senate to exceed the cap in an emergency. If Congress failed to make the necessary decisions, the Office of Management and Budget would be empowered to make across-the-board cuts. With additional political muscle behind it, the approach could be groundbreaking. It also illustrates the talent Tennessee's junior senator has for seeking bipartisan solutions to pressing national issues in a Congress that seems almost hopelessly divided. By itself, it doesn't dig the country out of its record $1.5 trillion deficit this year. Passage of the bill would create towering political waves. But it would start a necessary conversation about uncomfortable subjects that has been put off for far too long.

Editorial : Better jump ship Senator McCaskill, Corker will sink you just like the Titanic ! I also like the way he has manipulated, so that the office of management and budget, Bureaucrats make the decisions, have`nt we been down this road before ?...Nice move Corker !

Right to Work Laws ! Actually, Right to Work for Less !

So-Called 'Right to Work' !

This is for my Friend Linda, in Alabama, Alabama and Tennessee have these so-called right to work for less laws already on the books ! Sad, But True ! Wake up and smell the Rose`s !

Legislators in at least 11 states are proposing laws that would prevent employers and employees from deciding to have "union security clause" agreements. These laws would require unions to fully represent workers who choose not to pay their share of the costs. If the union had to file a grievance or even go to court on behalf of a non-paying worker, the other workers would have to pick up the tab. By making unions weaker, these laws lower wages and living standards for all workers in the state. In fact, workers in states with these laws earn an average of $5,538 less a year than workers in other states. And that's just the start. Proponents give these laws the misleading title "right to work." "Right to work" for less is closer to the truth.

Learn More :

'Right to Work' for Less Laws : Q & A
> >

> <

The Truth About 'Right to Work' for Less :

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Governor Haslam ~ Not Too Interested, Would`nt you Say ?

Governor Haslam Very Busy ?

What Happened to Jobs, Jobs, Jobs ?

I wrote this to him 1/21/11

Dear Governor Haslam ; 1/21/11

I write you in regard to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Plant, in Union City Tennessee. There is a very real possibility that this plant will close in the near future. I am a concerned citizen, we do not need to lose any more jobs. There is currently 1,700 hourly employee`s and 300 salary employee`s employed at the plant. I`m not counting the satellite plants servicing the huge tire plant. That is another 400-500 people employed. Every politician, I heard, talked about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. I say, let us try to hold the ones we already have ? "A Bird in Hand is Worth Two in the Bush"! I am in communications with State Rep`s. Holt 76th. Sanderson 77th. They, like you are new kids on the block, (no disrespect intended) They too, believe it is imperitive to SAVE THIS PLANT ! Governor, This City and State need your help ! I am retired from that plant. I have no secret agenda. I just want it to be there and viable for years to come ! Both Terry Tennyson, Goodyear Plant Mgr. Union City and Ricky Waggoner, President USWA Local-878-L are working hand in hand to save this plant. In fact the cooperation between Union and Management, (because of these two men) may be unparalleled in working towards the same goal. I have also been in communications with Congressman Stephen Fincher, District#8-Tennessee. If I can be of any assistance, do not hesitate to contact me. Won`t you please HELP ? I do not have all the answers, but I have some. And surely between all of us, we can SAVE This Plant ? With warmest regard, I remain

Don V. Jones

I received this/His e-mail today 2/08/11 from our Governor !

February 8, 2011

Dear Don,

Thank you for writing to me and sharing your concerns. I appreciate hearing from you. After careful review of your letter, I have determined that the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is the appropriate agency to address this type of inquiry, and therefore have forwarded your letter to their office for consideration. My administration is committed to providing effective and efficient service. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact my office at
Again, thank you for taking the time to write. I hope to hear from you again on other matters of importance to you.

Warmest regards,

Bill Haslam (R) , Governor Tennessee

Editorial : Dear Gov. Haslam"Thanks for Nothing" ! While Rome Burned...Nero Fiddled ! Why not give him a call ? All you will lose is a phone call ! Waste of your time...? You Bet`Cha ! He passed the BUCK ! He Just Does`nt Care !

Badyear at Goodyear ?

A Good/Bad Year For Goodyear ?
February 07, 2011

Shares of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: GT) are moving 1.5% higher on strong volume today, on the back of some takeover chatter.

The Akron-based tire maker has been the subject of takeover rumors before, from Michelin, the French-based tire maker, as well as other auto-parts makers to complement their brands. David Tepper, of Appaloosa Management, has a 4% stake in the company, that was announced last week. Tepper filed a 13D, which is a passive stake, not an activist one. This means that Tepper believes there is value in the name, but is not going to do anything about with management. Tepper sees the values of Goodyear's (GT) financial strength, and perhaps others do as well. The company has roughly a 1.8 current ration, and it's EBITDA to interest coverage is greater than 5, meaning there's plenty of money coming in to pay off the company's debt. Wall Street expects the tire company to report 2011 earnings of approximately $1.38 per share, which would put the company trading at less than 10 times 2011 earnings. According to a research report from KeyBanc, the company has traded as high as 15 times earnings, and as low as 9 times earnings. This suggests there isn't much more room on the downside, and could be significant room on the upside.

If Union City TN. Close`s, Bad year for those who work there, but maybe they are expendable $ ? Top Goodyear Officers get bigger Bonu$ !

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Social Security / Cuts are Off The Table !

Harry Reid: Social Security Cuts are “Off the Table” !
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said this week that cuts to Social Security are “off the table” Reid’s comments come as House Republican leaders have been cranking up the rhetoric about raising the retirement age and cutting Social Security. “This is a big indication that Harry Reid and other Democrats in the Senate will protect Social Security. GOP’s Medicare Privatization Efforts Continue: According to the Associated Press, months after they hammered Democrats for cutting Medicare, House Republicans are debating whether to re-launch their quest to privatize it. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is testing support for his idea to replace Medicare with a fixed payment to buy a private medical plan from a menu of coverage options. GOP leaders will determine if the so-called voucher plan will be part of the budget Republicans put forward in the spring. Under Ryan's plan, those now 54 and under would get a fixed payment from the government when they become eligible at age 65. They would be able to use the voucher to buy a Medicare-approved private plan. The amount of the voucher would be based on total current Medicare spending and indexed to grow year by year thereafter. An Associated Press-GfK market research company poll last year found 51% opposed a voucher plan for Medicare, while 35% said they supported it. Opposition was strong among seniors and baby boomers. However, those born after 1980 favored the approach by 47% to 41%. “Rep. Ryan can try to dismantle Medicare, but seniors will not let him reach his goal !