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Four Democrats Sit Out Critical Vote



When California‘s SB 810 — Single Payer Health Care for California passed through the California Senate‘s Appropriations Committee by a 6-2 vote last week, activists thought they had an excellent chance to get the “Medicare for All” bill passed by the full Senate.

Yesterday, however, four Democrats sat out the critical vote, leaving the bill short 2 votes of the 21 votes needed for passage. 19 Democrats voted yes, 15 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted no. And the key remaining four Democrats abstained.

SB 810 can be brought up again under “Reconsideration” next Tuesday, January 31, 2012.

Single Payer Now is urging that pressure be put on the 4 Democrats who didn’t vote:

The following 4 Senators abstained from even casting a vote on this extremely important piece of legislation.

Senator Alex Padilla (Pacoima/LA area)
Email: Senator.Padilla@sen.ca.gov
Phone: (916) 651?4020

Senator Juan Vargas (San Diego area)
Email: Juan.Vargas@sen.ca.gov
Phone: (916) 651?4040

Senator Michael Rubio (Fresno/Bakersfield area)
Email: Michael.Rubio@sen.ca.gov
Phone: (916) 651?4016

Senator Rod Wright (Los Angeles area)
Email: Senator.Wright@sen.ca.gov
Phone: (916) 651?4025

Check here to see if you are represented by these senators.

* * *

The Los Angeles Times
reports:

State lawmakers deadlocked Thursday over a controversial measure that would provide universal healthcare in California.

In a vote in which some Democrats did not participate, the measure received only 19 of the 21 votes needed for passage in the Senate, but it was put over for another possible vote next week. […]

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) noted that some people have argued there is no need for state legislation because the federal government has already approved an affordable healthcare system to begin in 2014.

But Leno said states are allowed to provide greater healthcare under that system, and that California should act because the courts are considering lawsuits to overturn the federal plan.

Leno said SB 810 is needed because healthcare premiums have increased five times the rate of inflation in the last decade and 12 million Californians went without coverage during some time last year.

“Clearly, the current system is not working for businesses, for employers, for employees, for families,” he said.

Link to original article from Common Dreams


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  • Sunnsea

    The point is to get the privates out of basic health care insurance.  The Federal law actually reinforces their position, making them even stronger, though they will deny it.  SB810 is vital to reducing costs of insurance to all Californians.

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States – California

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Message from Senator Leno – SB 810


Most of you have likely heard the disappointing news that our bill, SB 810, the California Universal Health Care Act, failed to move off the Senate Floor by January 31st, meaning it cannot advance further in the legislative process this year. Despite our unwavering advocacy, too few members were willing to cast votes in favor of SB 810 this year, including several members who had voted for the legislation before. Unfortunately this means that Californians will continue to have a broken health care system in dire need of change,…

Senator Mark Leno 31 Jan 2012 Hits:110 California

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A Story from Occupy Irvine


In December, on a cold Thursday afternoon, Trang Che appeared at Occupy Irvine with her neighbor and dear friend, Elaine Quillian, an octogenarian who calls her “little Sister.” Elaine is an active member of both MoveOn and Occupy OC. Trang was imminently facing eviction from her condo in 3 days and had heard that other Occupy communities had been able to help people in her same situation. She spoke elequently at GA about her plight–she told us how she came to this country…

Kate Fitch Frankel Nikolenko 30 Jan 2012 Hits:99 California

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URGENT – Help California Pass Single Payer on Tuesday


The California Senate is just 2 votes short to pass its single payer health care bill, SB 810 – the California Universal Healthcare Act, before the end of this legislative session on Tuesday. Four Democratic Senators have not voted either way on this bill.  Its author, Senator Mark Leno, can bring the bill up for reconsideration, as long as he knows that he has two more votes!! Most of us have family or friends in California. Many of these Californians may not know how important it is to call and email these…

Judy Hess | PDA Fresno 27 Jan 2012 Hits:736 California

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Single Payer Falls 2 Votes Short In California Senate


Four Democrats Sit Out Critical Vote When California’s SB 810 — Single Payer Health Care for California passed through the California Senate’s Appropriations Committee by a 6-2 vote last week, activists thought they had an excellent chance to get the “Medicare for All” bill passed by the full Senate. Yesterday, however, four Democrats sat out the critical vote, leaving the bill short 2 votes of the 21 votes needed for passage. 19 Democrats voted yes, 15 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted no. And the key remaining four…

Common Dreams 27 Jan 2012 Hits:429 California

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Stung by Bad PR, City Officials Adopting New Tactics to Suppress Occupy Oakland


“The government can always articulate rationales for why they’re prosecuting one person and not another.” Oakland officials have shifted tactics since conducting a series of violent assaults on Occupy Oakland in October and November in the glare of the national media. Oakland officials have taken a new tack in their suppression of the Occupy movement, one that seems addressed to the city’s public relations problems. Gone are the mass arrests, “less-lethal” weaponry and tear gas, replaced with a kind of “lawfare” on the few protesters who…

Susie Cagle | AlterNet 27 Jan 2012 Hits:158 California

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BBLV Letter to Rep. Capps


The Progressive Democrats of Santa Barbara visit your office today to ask you to join the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to support some important bills that are moving through the House. There is a growing crisis in the country that needs your immediate action. Income inequality is at an all-time high, with working Americans struggling to make ends meet. Are you going to support the millions of people who need help to survive or are you going to support the richest corporations and Wall…

Lois Hamilton | PDA Santa Barbara 20 Jan 2012 Hits:132 California

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Senator Leno’s Single-Payer Health Care Bill Clears Senate Appropriations


SACRAMENTO – The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Senate Bill 810 guarantees all Californians comprehensive, universal health care …

Office of CA Senator Mark Leno 19 Jan 2012 Hits:594 California

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States Take On Citizens United


Montana legal ruling a possible game-changer for states; California lawmakers introduce legislation to overturn Citizens United Montana is proving to be a potential catalyst for change in the potential challenge to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. As Roll Call reports: The Montana Supreme Court last week rejected a constitutional challenge to the state’s century-old prohibition on independent corporate campaign expenditures. That Montana statute was technically nullified when the U.S. Supreme Court threw out federal limits on independent corporate and union political spending in 2010. But unlike…

Common Dreams 07 Jan 2012 Hits:241 California

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Nurses to Join Call for Healthcare for the 99% On Monday


Rallies in Sacramento, Los Angeles to Challenge Insurance Giants, Seek Passage of Bill to Extend Guaranteed Care to All Californians A broad coalition of activists – including registered nurses, student nurses, medical students, seniors, physicians, members of the Occupy movement, and the recently formed Campaign for a Health California (CHC) – will hold marches and rallies Monday, January 9 in Sacramento and Los Angeles to step up the campaign to extend guaranteed healthcare coverage to all Californians. The actions will also promote passage of SB 810, which would establish a Medicare for…

National Nurses United 06 Jan 2012 Hits:508 California

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Occupy’s Rose Parade float: 70-foot octopus of corporate greed


Occupy protesters are busy finishing their float that will run at the end of the Rose Parade: a 70-by-40-foot octopus made of recycled plastic bags. The octopus, said activist Mark Lipman of Los Angeles, represents Wall Street’s stranglehold on political, cultural and social life, with tentacles “that reach into your pocket to get your money and a tentacle to get your house.” “This is the real Rose Parade, and the other is the Rose Charade,” said Pete Thottam, 40, an…

Hailey Branson-Potts | LA Times 30 Dec 2011 Hits:753 California

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Occupy Oakland protesters arrested at foreclosed home


OAKLAND — A dozen people linked to the Occupy Oakland movement were arrested Thursday at a foreclosed property in West Oakland. The property, located at 1415 and 1417 10th St., is listed as a foreclosed property for sale on the website indexpost.com, which lists foreclosures by state. The home, built in 1890, was occupied by activists from Causa Justa (Just Cause) and Occupy Oakland. It was not clear how long people have been living in the home. One report said people had been staying there since…

Kristin J. Bender | Oakland Tribune 30 Dec 2011 Hits:246 California

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Small Occupy Movements Across the Country Accumulate Victories


In a recent San Francisco Chronicle piece, “Occupy movement must move toward the center,” Tony Fels, associate professor of history at the University of San Francisco, writes that the Occupy “movement has reached a tactical dead end.” Demonstrators don’t have nicely packaged sound bites; there’s no go-to spokesperson; Occupy DC is one of the last camps standing. But the movement is far from dead. Here in California, the movement is exploding. In a recent study called “Diffusion of the Occupy Movement in California,” UC Riverside …

Rose Aguilar, Truthout | Report 27 Dec 2011 Hits:250 California

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Occupy Long Beach Stages Hospital “Die-In” in Support of Striking Nurses


The California Nurses Association and National Nurses United in Los Angeles and San Francisco have been battling with Sutter Health hospital management for three months over basic worker’s rights: they want better health care, staffing, and sick leave. On Thursday, they staged a one-day strike—their second—which reportedly attracted over 6000 nurses from nine hospitals, with a majority of workers striking. And on Friday, management announced that nurses who joined the strike on Thursday would not be allowed to return to work that…

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | Sourced from AlterNet 24 Dec 2011 Hits:394 California

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Occupy Protesters Take Aim at Rose Parade


Pasadena police and Tournament of Roses officials have been negotiating with Occupy leaders for several weeks to prevent problems. Protesters will be allowed to march after all the floats have gone. The Rose Parade has long been a magnet for protesters looking for global attention for their causes and grievances. Native Americans once threw a balloon filled with red paint onto the parade route to represent the spilling of Indian blood. AIDS activists interrupted the parade by staging a sit-in. One year, a Pasadena mayor wore…

Catherine Saillant and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times 24 Dec 2011 Hits:254 California

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Vice Chair, North Area of the San Diego County Democratic Party Tenders Her Resignation


Greetings of a rainy Monday, all! I have tendered my resignation as Vice Chair, North Area for the San Diego County Democratic Party. I will remain a member of the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee and a delegate therefrom to the California Democratic Party. I have done this because I cannot stay neutral during the coming Primary races, which being an Area Vice Chair requires. Many of you know that I have been very active in the local Occupy Wall Street movement, Occupy San…

Martha Sullivan | Ocean Beach Rag 16 Dec 2011 Hits:246 California

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  • This is how we celebrate Bill of Rights Day in Fresno – the 220th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Today, the homeless in Fresno experienced some of…

  • By a vote of 8 to 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors today (December 13, 2011) adopted a strong resolution calling on Congress to adopt a new set…

  • The Occupy Oakland action at the Port of Oakland this morning came off without incident.  It was successful in achieving its primary objective at two terminals where ships were waiting…

  •  LOS ANGELES — It took Los Angeles police less than 30 minutes last night to take down the Occupy Wall Street encampment that had spent the past two…

  • LOS ANGELES — Wall Street protesters declared a minor victory Monday when they defied a midnight deadline to leave their tent city encampment around City Hall and police…

  • Dear Frank, I have been involved with Occupy LA since its inception almost two months ago. Being there and partaking in creating a far reaching vision via participatory direct democracy has…

  • SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in the pepper spraying of seated protesters were placed on administrative leave Sunday, as the school’s…

  • Apart from the updates that a variety of readers sent yesterday about the affectless sadism of a UC Davis policemen, let me mention a few more links and resources: 1) Notice…

  • OAKLAND, Calif.— Riot-clad law enforcement officers cleared out a weeks-old anti-Wall Street encampment in Oakland just before dawn Monday, arresting dozens of Occupy demonstrators and clearing out tents…

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The GOP war on organized labor: Jan Brewer’s bid to be the Scott Walker of the


A FISCIST ATTACK on labor

The GOP war on organized labor: Jan Brewer‘s bid to be the Scott Walker of the West begins Wednesday

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Heads up people! This is the bid by Jan Brewer to be the Scott Walker of the West that I have been warning you about for months. Jan Brewer seeks to go well beyond the assault on collective bargaining rights that led to the pending recall election of Scott Walker in Wisconsin. She wants to do away with more than 100 years of civil service merit selection system protection to return to the spoils system of political patronage and the days of Tamanny Hall.

And once again, it the evil bastards at the Goldwater Institute, a partner of ALEC, that has drafted the model legislation. You can bet that their media arm at the anti-union Arizona Republic will be all for this.

Brahm Resnik from Channel 12 news reports Brahm Resnik blog – Sweeping bills attack public employee unions:

Arizona’s Republican Legislature could virtually wipe out public employee unions in a sweeping new package of legislation far broader than the collective-bargaining bills that shut down Wisconsin’s Capitol last spring.

The bills would:

Make it illegal for government bodies to collectively bargain with employee groups. Public safety unions would be included in the ban.

End the practice of automatic payroll deductions for union dues.

Ban compensation of public employees for union work.

Wisconsin’s collective bargaining law enacted last year made unions effectively irrelevant by limiting issues that could be bargained by a government and an employee group. Arizona’s bills would do away with collective bargaining entirely and also go beyond Wisconsin law by including public safety unions.

Coupled with Gov. Jan Brewer’s plan to do away with civil-service protections  for state employees, the new legislation could make Arizona ground zero for union protests during this election year.

The Goldwater Institute  worked with state lawmakers to draw up the bills. The libertarian think tank has churned out research and reports over the past few years highlighting what it views as excesses in public-sector employment.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was the guest of honor at Goldwater’s annual dinner last November. Walker had some advice for Arizona legislators when I interviewed him on “Sunday Square Off.”

The package of bills is scheduled for a hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday before the Senate Government Reform Committee.

Watch for more on this story on 12 News at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

I don’t know what the Occupy movement has been doing of late, but this is your call to action. The Madison Revolution in Wisconsin needs to be brought to bear on the Capitol in Phoenix. This assault on the working people of the American middle-class cannot be allowed to stand. It’s time to take a stand against the radical extremists of the right. They want Arizona to be ground zero? Bring it! Everyone to the Capitol on Wednesday.

Action Alert from the Arizona AFL-CIO below the fold.

Well, here we go again.  The Republicans in the Legislature have decided to go after Union workers again.  Instead of focusing on the creation of jobs and improving education for our children, they have decided you have no right to a collective voice. At this time we do not have the court’s decision on the last round of anti-worker bills they attempted to put into law last session, but the Goldwater Institute has called on their “friends” at the Legislature to try and make sure your freedom to belong to a Union is tied up in endless regulations and restrictions. Why does the Goldwater Institute want your rights compromised?

SB 1484
  Paycheck Deductions

SB 1485  Unions; Public Employees; Prohibitions

SB 1486  Public Employees; Activities; Unions; Compensation

SB 1487  Government Employees; Union Dues; Withholding

These bills are on the agenda for the Senate Government Reform Committee Wednesday, 2/1/12 at 9am, in Senate Room 3.  Please e-mail and call the following committee members to let them know you want a NO vote on these bills.  Ask them to focus on the agenda of the voters of Arizona.  Tell them we need jobs in Arizona and not restrictions on workers.

Government Reform Committee:

Chairman Rick Murphy: (602) 926-4444  rmurphy@azleg.gov  

Vice Chairman:  Lori Klein: (602) 926-5284 lklein@azleg.gov

GOP:

Frank Antenori:  (602) 926-5683 fantenori@azleg.gov

Judy Burges: (602) 926-5861 jburges@azleg.gov

Steve Smith: (602) 926- 5685   stevesmith@azleg.gov

Dem:

Steve Gallardo:  (602) 926-5830   sgallardo@azleg.gov

David Lujan: (602)926- 5829 dlujan@azleg.gov

In Solidarity.

Rebekah Friend

Executive Director

UPDATE: Here is Brahm Resnik’s report from Tuesday on Channel 12.


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The Violent Attacks On Organized Labor


Labor History Articles Labor, History Cast Unfavorable Glance at the Pinkertons: A Checkered Past
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Labor, History Cast Unfavorable Glance at the Pinkertons:
A Checkered Past

(This article was first published in the November/December 2006 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Offering a range of “private investigative” services, the Pinkerton Detective Agency was founded in 1850 and at first specialized in train robberies: the protection of railroad property. By the late 1860s, however, Pinkerton agents were protecting all manner of property — most notoriously when its ownership was at odds with organized labor.
A barge filled with Pinkerton goons received a rough greeting in Homestead, PA. This 1892 Harper’s Weekly illustration was based on a photo taken during the riot.

A barge filled with Pinkerton goons received a rough greeting in Homestead, PA. This 1892 Harper’s Weekly illustration was based on a photo taken during the riot.

“Pinkerton” survives to this day as part of an international security business, but is nothing more than a brand name, while the name itself maintains its strong historical associations with anti-worker movements that typically involved organized brutality.

A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Allan Pinkerton emigrated to the United States in 1842 at age 23. Trained as a cooper, or barrel-maker, the future detective had had to flee the United Kingdom because of his association with a radical group seeking to reform Parliament: Young Pinkerton was a well-known advocate of civil disobedience.

Settling near Chicago, Pinkerton started a cooperage. During a wood-gathering visit to a previously uninhabited island, he chanced upon a counterfeit-coin ring and alerted the authorities. This led to his appointment as a deputy sheriff and he soon had become Chicago’s first full-time detective. A few years later he left the city police force and started his own agency.

Working with the railroads was an ideal way to get one’s name before the public. In 1861, Pinkerton was given credit for uncovering an inauguration-train-stop plot against Abraham Lincoln. An impressed president hired the agency to spy on the Confederacy. Pinkerton operatives were known as a “secret service,” but were not the predecessors of the Treasury Department entity we know today, which did not begin to protect U.S. presidents until the 1890s.

The Agency’s Reputation

Pinkerton returned to Chicago after the Civil War and supervised the development of an impressive criminal database, including the world’s largest collection of mug shots. The agency’s logo, known as “The All-Seeing Eye,” is acknowledged as inspiring the term “private eye” to describe a private investigator or detective.

A lot of agency detective work, however, became “protective” work. With labor disputes often turning violent, several states had enacted laws to give businesses the authority to create or rent police forces.

Corporations desirous of ascertaining whether their employees are joining any secret labor organizations with a view of compelling terms from employers can [hire] a detective suitable to obtain this information.
— Pinkerton advertisement,
early 1890s

The Pinkerton agency’s first foray into strikebreaking took place at an Illinois mine in 1866, during which it provided “guards” to “protect” replacement workers. An armed force would escort scabs into a factory, plant or mine, while armed watchmen in towers would intimidate strikers.

Hundreds of strike-breaking operations were created during the 1870s, with some, such as the Baldwin-Felts Agency, openly boasting about organizer harassment and other “labor discipline services.”

One infamous “Pink” was James McParlan, who infiltrated the Molly Maguires, a secret organization of coal miners. Beginning in 1872, he was part of the “Mollies” for perhaps four years, and allegedly witnessed several incidents of terrorism in the coal fields. He later offered sensational testimony during murder trials, which ultimately led to the hanging of 10 men. Historians are divided on whether the “Mollies” were truly guilty and, if so, whether these 10 in particular were set up, possibly by McParlan. Pinkerton, no stranger to self-promotion, gave his favorable version of events in a book published in 1877: The Molly Maguires and the Detectives.

A year later, he authored Strikers, Communists and Tramps. The title is quite telling, and in the pages of the book he defended the use of his agents as strikebreakers, arguing that it was an extension of his original property-safety business and that opposition to unionism was a good way to “protect”workers.

Homestead and Other Riots

In late June 1884, Allan Pinkerton stumbled during a stroll on a sidewalk. He bit his tongue, developed gangrene, and died quickly thereafter, at age 64. His sons, Robert and William, took over the agency, whose reputation as a force against labor continued to grow. Pinkertons were alleged to have ignited the bomb that sparked Chicago’s deadly Haymarket Riot of 1886. At the very least this incident supported the notion that trouble often came on the heels of the Pinkertons. It made sense: Day-laborer “detectives” could perpetuate their own employment by inciting riots.

In the early 1890s, the iron and steel workers’ union was a strong one, with numerous contracts, including a threeyear agreement in the western Pennsylvania steel-mill town of Homestead. But even though the industry was healthy, Andrew Carnegie sought a wage reduction there. On July 1, 1892, with only a few days left under the contract, the union rejected the offer; the workers were locked out.

The Pinkertons were on their way, and they would not be welcome. “Our people as a general thing think they are a horde of cut-throats, thieves, and murderers,” Homestead’s mayor told newspapers, “and are in the employ of unscrupulous capital for the oppression of honest labor.” It was recalled how the agency had been used in nearby coal fields, in 1884 to protect Hungarians and Slavs brought in as strikebreakers, and in 1891 to protect Italian replacement workers hired to fill in for the then-striking Hungarians and Slavs.

The locked-out Homestead workers prepared to meet the Pinkertons on their own terms. A few days after the lockout began, a boatload of agents landed near the mill. A battle followed during which 10 men — including three detectives — were killed and three dozen wounded. After a 14-hour fight, the workers captured 300 agents and held them captive. A day later, the disarmed and disgraced Pinkertons were run out of town.

An angry Henry C. Frick, hired by Carnegie to run the mill with replacements, sought help from Pennsylvania’s governor. In a few days, the mill town of 12,000 was an armed camp. It stayed that way until the soldiers departed in late November, when the lockout officially ended in utter defeat: The union treasury was empty, and workers’ families were facing winter. Desperate workers went back in the mill, without a union.

Bad Publicity

Newspaper editorial writers used Homestead as an illustration of the plight of the common man, and the Pinkertons were seen as a tool of the unscrupulous corporation. The agency’s reputation never fully recovered; largely forgotten was the company’s role in the pursuit of outlaws such as Frank and Jesse James, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

By the early 20th Century, workers had achieved some governmental protections against thuggish strikebreaking practices. Union-busting tactics evolved, with the more successful anti-labor operations preparing large forces of replacement workers, sometimes skilled, and ready to travel where needed.

The Pinkerton company became mainly a security guard operation, with few public encounters with labor. Robert died in 1907, and William in 1923. Robert’s son, Allan II, a World War I veteran, led the agency until his death in 1930. The last of the line to lead the Pinkertons was Robert II, great-grandson of the founder. When he died in 1967, the private agency became a public corporation.

During the 1980s, the American Brands conglomerate acquired Pinkerton. In 1999, a European company, Securitas Group, absorbed the “brand,” and it soon had scooped up other big-name security firms. In 2003, Pinkerton, Burns, Wells Fargo, American Protective Services, First Security and others became Securitas USA.

Pinkerton Government Services, as the branch of Securitas is now known, has two divisions: Governmental Security and Homeland Security. A visitor to the company’s Web site learns about the “Private Eye” and the agency’s early days, but virtually nothing about strikebreaking.

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Go Home February 01, 2012 09:00 AM The GOP: Preaching the Prosperity Gospel By Tina Dupuy


One of the richest men in the country, ranking in the 0.006 percent of Americans, likes to accuse the President of creating an “entitlement society.” Mitt Romney, the heir apparent, next in line GOP nominee … is against entitlement.

When I hear “entitlement society” I think, “country club.” But When Mitt uses that phrase he doesn’t mean rich guys like him, given all the advantages of wealth, who are now enjoying its comforts – he means the rest of us. Yes, Mitt is against an “entitlement society” because that involves too many people and not just him and his ilk. It’s not the “entitlement” he contests – it’s the entire “society” part.

At the Monday Florida debate last week Mitt noted that under Gingrich’s tax plan Mitt would pay no taxes at all. Gingrich responded with, “Well, if that — and if you created enough jobs doing that — it was Alan Greenspan who first said the best rate, if you want to create jobs for capital gains, is zero.”

So rich people whose money makes their money (it’s literally capital gaining) are so fortunate they get to hire other people to pay taxes for them? Rich people with their alleged mythical power to create jobs even get to outsource their tax obligations to poor saps working for a living?

This is the prosperity gospel as a Super PAC-funded marketing blitz. Money is next to godliness and poverty is the fault of the poor for not being better people.

It’s as if Jesus were a CEO and the Romans job-killing communists.

“Contrary to the President’s constant disparagement of people in business,” former George W. Bush budget director Gov. Mitch Daniels said in his State of the Union response last week, “It’s one of the noblest of human pursuits.” This is one of those phrases you (usually) will only hear in business school (funnier if it was one of those rip-off for-profit colleges). Business is one of the noblest of human pursuits? Noble as in aristocratic? That phrase, “noble pursuits,” is usually applied to an avocation not paying much but rewarding in other ways: teachers; firefighters; nurses; foster parents; soldiers; community leaders; social workers; mentors; rescue workers; care givers; farmers. Or to anyone who’s honest, shows up every day and works hard. That’s a noble pursuit.

Are the wealthy really so sensitive they need Mitch Daniels to make them feel better about themselves in a spiritual sense? What they’re doing not only pays off with privilege and cash – it also has to be venerable from a moral perspective? How much reward does one group need? They own everything and they also need to be thanked?!

The rich are not just over-paid – they’re over valued. And generous welfare recipients.

As Senator Tom Coburn points out in his damning Nov. 2011 report, “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous,” we are a wealthfare state. It reads, “This reverse Robin Hood style of wealth redistribution is an intentional effort to get all Americans bought into a system where everyone appears to benefit.” In other words: We subsidize the rich by telling the poor to pay their fair share.

It’s been a strange three years under the Obama administration. First the GOP was against empathy. Yes, the party had to vehemently opposed seeing the plight of your fellow human beings because Obama was for it. Now their new hot button word? Fairness. Obama used the word fairness in his third State of the Union. And now the GOP has decided to be against fairness and celebrate inequality as being the thing that makes America great.

It’s as if Jesus were a CEO and the three wise men were shareholders.

The prosperity gospel is not America. It’s not democratic. It’s not even Christian. It’s greed warped into being a virtue by the greedy.

The rich aren’t better, they’re just richer.

Tags: Bain Capital, CEO, Diplomatic Relations, entitlement, George W. Bush, Mitch Daniels, Newt Gingrich, Obama Administration, Politics, Politics of the United States, Republican Party, Rich and Famous, State Of the Union, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints