Archive for November, 2012

The Republican Madness On Financial Disaster

Obama ups campaign on fiscal cliff, irks Republicans (via AFP)

So much for the misty eyed, pre-election nostalgia over President Barack Obama's last-ever campaign. A few weeks on, the re-elected US leader is dusting off just retired retail politics skills, hoping to outflank Republicans over the "fiscal cliff" -- an impasse over tax hikes and spending cuts that…

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Google enters debate on UN Internet control

Google enters debate on UN Internet control (via AFP)

Google has jumped into the debate over a UN telecom gathering set to review regulations affecting the Internet, claiming it is "the wrong place" to make decisions about the future of the Web. In a posting on its "take action" blog this week, Google said the December gathering of the UN's International…

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Twin Cities Walmart workers say they will walk off the job Black Friday to protest working conditions

APPLE VALLEY, Minn – On a day that’s considered to be the “Super Bowl” of shopping, some Walmart workers warn they’ll be walking off the job, including employees in Minnesota.

More than 1,000 protests are planned across the country, from Milwaukee to Chicago and in St. Paul, at the Walmart at 1450 University Avenue in St. Paul, Friday at 11 a.m.

Gabe Teneyuque, 30, an Apple Valley Walmart employee, says he will be among the protesters, as part of the group OUR Walmart, a national organization formed by frustrated workers, and says the planned walk-off isn’t about working on Thanksgiving night, but how employees are treated all year long.

He says he took a job in the electronics department last year to help support his parents, but working conditions he encountered were “eye opening.” He says many workers are afraid to speak out about their low wages, short hours, and changing schedules.

“Everyone goes there because the prices are good, but it’s got to come from somewhere and from what I have seen it’s not coming from the top,” said Teneyuque.

Teneyuque says he earns $9.00 an hour part time, and has been unable to secure a full time position with benefits, and many of his co-workers are in the same situation. This Black Friday, he hopes shoppers will encourage Walmart to improve conditions.

“Just by increasing wages and making health care affordable, Walmart can turn this country around, they have that power, to raise up the poverty level,” said Teneyuque. “Something we can live on and be comfortable, not be on food stamps, not having to worry about paying bills and feeding family.”

In a statement, Walmart says its’ pay and benefit plans are as good or better than retail competitors, including those unionized, and shoppers won’t notice any disruptions when doors open at 8 p.m., or at their big electronics event at 10 p.m., and Friday morning kickoff at 5 a.m.

“Black Friday for us is the Superbowl of retail , we have a great plan in place and we don’t feel like there is any other retailer set up to win like Walmart,” said Sarah Spencer, a Walmart spokesperson offering media an early Black Friday preview at the company’s Brooklyn Center store.

“They are nervous and they should be, it’s time,” said Bernie Hesse, an organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1189, the union supporting the Walmart workers in their protests.

“What I would say to folks is, economic choices are moral choices. When you shop not only do you want to get value, but also think about the worker in the store and the value they have,” said Hesse.

Walmart filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that UFCW’s involvement in the picketing is illegal.

In an email to KARE 11, Walmart said, “We recognize that not everyone is going to find what they are looking for in their job – that’s true of any workplace. The reality is that there are only a handful of associates, at a handful of stores scattered across the country that are participating in these UFCW made for TV events. Most of the numbers of people the UFCW claims at their events aren’t even Walmart workers. They are union representatives and other union members. The overwhelming majority of our 1.3 million associates are excited about Black Friday and are ready to serve our customers.”

Teneyuque isn’t sure what will happen when he walks off the job Friday, but says it’s worth the risk.

“The way I see it if a company like Walmart wants you gone, they will find a way, and that is what worries me, but I see the end gain, I see the future and what it can be,” he said.


(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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10pm Newscast 11-17-12Nov 20, 2012

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Chocolate Train Sets New World RecordNov 20, 2012

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What Do We Know About Voters Who Don’t Fit Neatly Into an Ethnic Box?Americans are getting all mixed up.

  ELECTION 2012  

Huffington Post / By Leighton Woodhouse


What Do We Know About Voters Who Don’t Fit Neatly Into an Ethnic Box?

Americans are getting all mixed up.

November 21, 2012  |  


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As anybody with a TV, radio or newspaper subscription can affirm, the big story coming out of the 2012 election is the long feared/eagerly awaited arrival of the Latino vote as a national political force capable of deciding a presidential contest. Latinos accounted for a record ten percent of the electorate this year, and something north of 70 percent of them cast their ballots for Obama. Meanwhile, fewer Latinos than ever before voted for the Republican candidate. With the Latino segment of the electorate poised to  continue expanding  for many election cycles to come, leaders of  both parties are tripping over each other to position themselves on immigration reform, and even in blood red states like Texas, GOP strategists are warning of  imminent doom  for their party if Republicans fail to break their cycle of addiction to racism, xenophobia and pandering to border-guarding lunatics.

The story is both accurate to a point and incomplete, as conventional wisdom is wont to be. Tavis Smiley, for instance, has highlighted the  grating irony  of black voters being left out of the punditocracy’s post-election anointing of the “new governing coalition,” following the second presidential election in a row in which African Americans broke records turning out to support Barack Obama. And when it comes to speculating about long-term electoral prospects, there’s another demographic category of Americans that’s getting glossed over in this mechanical extrapolation of the present into the future. Interestingly, it’s the one that Obama himself belongs to: multiracial Americans.

That’s not to say that mixed-race voters were a big electoral force in this election or any other national election in history. Nor is “mixed race” really much of a coherent ethnic identity in the first place (then again, neither arguably is “Latino” or “Asian”). As a demographic category, however, it’s going to be a significant factor for both parties to grapple with in future elections. It’s simply inevitable: About fifteen percent of new marriages nationally in 2010 were interracial, according to a  Pew study  published earlier this year. That’s more than double the proportion of the 1980s. Those couples are having kids, and those kids are growing up to become voters. Moreover, according to the study, quaint taboos against interracial coupling are pretty close to completely breaking down, with nearly two-thirds of Americans fine with the idea, so we can expect the phenomenon to continue and accelerate going forward: more multiracial couples, more mixed race kids. And in politics, as they say, demography is destiny.

Among the states in which interracial marriages are above twenty percent are, not surprisingly, deep blue states like California and Hawaii. But some of the most conservative states in the country are also on the 20 percent-plus list, including Alaska, Arizona and Oklahoma. Texas and Kansas aren’t far behind. Also above average are new and perennial swing states like Colorado, Virgina and Florida. The highest rates of interracial marriage skew west, where three of the  four states  with the fastest-growing populations in the country are located (or four of the four, depending on whether you consider Texas a Western or a Southern state). The bottom line is that mixed-race matrimony is a national phenomenon that cuts across the red-blue divide. As the children of those couples come into voting age, there will be more and more Americans in every part of the country who don’t fit into the tidy racial boxes that form the basis of the  long-term electoral prognostications being offered up by the dozens in the aftermath of Obama’s re-election.

Will mixed race voters help the Republicans or the Democrats? That’s a murkier question than you might assume, since Pew’s data shows sharper differences in terms of income and education  betweenvarious mixed-marriage demographic sub-groups (the parents of those voters-to-be) than between mixed couples and non-mixed couples as a whole; there’s little in the way of a uniform set of characteristics of interracial households to grasp onto.


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Ex-boxer ‘Macho’ Camacho shot in Puerto Rico

Ex-boxer 'Macho' Camacho shot in Puerto Rico (via AFP)

Former three-time world boxing champion Hector "Macho" Camacho was seriously injured after being shot in the neck in Puerto Rico, local media reported. Camacho, 50, was being driven in a car when he was hit in the head by a gunshot from another vehicle around 7:00 pm local time, the Primera Hora de…

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Democrats Pickup 8 Seats In Congress For A Total Of 201 Republicans Hold 234

Democrats sweep last undecided House races (via AFP)

Democrats claimed victory Monday in the final undecided House races of the 2012 election, as President Barack Obama's party picked up a total of eight seats to narrow the Republican majority. Two closely watched races in California saw Republicans Dan Lungren and Brian Bilbray concede defeat to Democratic…

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In The State Of Idaho The Private Prison Corporation Creates A Partnership With Prison Gangs To Manage The Prison Population For Higher Profit

By Adam Peck on Nov 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

A new lawsuit brought by eight inmates of the Idaho Correctional Center alleges that the company is cutting back on personnel costs by partnering with violent prison gangs to help control the facility. Court documents and an investigative report issued by the state’s Department of Corrections show how guards routinely looked the other way when gang members violated basic facility rules, negotiated with gang leaders on the cell placement of new inmates, and in one instance may have even helped one group of inmates plan a violent attack on members of a rival gang.

Rather than working with corporate headquarters or local authorities to combat the growing threat of gangs, CCA officials at the prison — the state’s largest, with more than 2,000 beds — used those same gangs as a way to control the rest of the inmates and save money:

The inmates also contend that CCA officials use gang violence and the threat of gang violence as an “inexpensive device to gain control over the inmate population,” according to the lawsuit, and that housing gang members together allows the company to use fewer guards, reducing payroll costs.

“The complaint alleges that CCA fosters and develops criminal gangs,” attorney Wyatt Johnson, who along with T.J. Angstman represents the inmates, said in a statement. “Ideally, the lawsuit should force this to come to an end.”

The CCA has operated the prison in partnership with the Idaho corrections department since 2000, at the beginning of a boom period when the number of inmates detained in CCA’s private prisons nationwide climbed nearly 50 percent between 2000 and 2009. States have invited private prison corporations to run some of their facilities as a cost-cutting measure, even though recent studies show that private prisons ultimately cost states millions more than public ones.

Private prisons are also experiencing a boom in the number of corruption complaints being leveled against them. In Arizona, lawmakers passed several pieces of favorable legislation after receiving more than $60,000 from industry lobbyists, in Alabama a judge likened one private facility to a “debtors prison,” and in Pennsylvania a judge was sentenced to nearly three decades in prison after it was discovered he had sent hundreds of younger residents into a privately-run juvenile detention facility in exchange for millions of dollars in bribes from the owners of those detention centers.