Archive for the ‘labor’ Category

Transparency? Biden Appears At Union Event But Cameras Not Allowed

March 5, 2009

Gaffe-prone Vice President of the United States Joe Biden appeared before a union meeting today that did not permit the prying eyes of media cameras and microphones.

The Veep, who is well known for his ramblings and stupid remarks, has been coached repeatedly to stay on message and to adhere rigorously to prepared remarks as they scroll across the telepromter.  Now maybe he can escape a public event without putting his foot in his mouth by simply not allowing the media to record his outings.

Vice President Joe Biden addressed the nation’s largest union groups today as Congress is considering the heavily union-supported Employee Free Choice Act.

The AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting and newly appointed Labor Secretary Hilda Solis are both in Miami this week drumming up support for the bill that would give workers the option of unionizing by getting a majority of the workers to sign cards or a petition instead of holding secret ballot elections.

Biden addressed union members Thursday morning before heading to the Miami Intermodal Center, a transportation project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Know why nobody listens to Joe Biden?  Because he says stupid stuff, or isn’t recorded at all and certainly doesn’t have Obama’s ear….

Nobody listens to Joe Biden because he isn’t worth hearing….

Toby Hardin of the Telegraph in London wrote about an Obama news conference on February 10:

As reporters started giggling, Obama came close to conceding that Biden was indeed a joke. “You know, I don’t remember exactly what Joe was referring to, not surprisingly.”

Obama Confirms: Nobody Listens To Joe Biden

US Vice President Joe Biden gestures while US President Barack ... 
US Vice President Joe Biden gestures while US President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 21 in Washington, DC. That day the Veep made fun of the Chief justice for his inabiklity to recite the oath of office; which Biden flubbed himself despite a cue card….(AFP/Getty Images/Brendan Smialowski)

From Fox News:

Vice President Joe Biden’s office said Thursday it is honoring the wishes of the union to not have the press attend, which the AFL-CIO acknowledged after previously telling FOX News it was the vice president’s decision….

So much for transparency, but who’s messing with Joe?

Cameras have been banned from Vice President Biden’s address to AFL-CIO leaders in Miami Thursday. 

The vice president’s office said Thursday it is honoring the wishes of the union to have press cameras barred.

“Traditionally, the AFL-CIO Executive Council meetings are closed press. Each of its sessions this week have been closed press,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement. 

The AFL-CIO acknowledged Thursday that it was its choice to ban cameras after telling FOX News a day earlier it was the vice president’s decision. Alexander said the veep tried to change the rule but was denied.

“As part of its unprecedented commitment to transparency, Vice President Biden’s office asked that a change to the policy be made so that a pool of print reporters would be allowed to cover the speech and a full transcript of the vice president’s remarks will be sent out this afternoon.”

President Barack Obama doesn’t go anywhere without his TelePrompter:

Rush Limbaugh never uses a teleprompter….


Taxes an Obama Nightmare: Geithner’s, Daschle’s, Now More….

February 6, 2009

Labor Secretary-designate Hilda L. Solis on Thursday became the fourth senior administration nominee in a month to see their Senate confirmation slowed or scuttled over problems with their taxes.

A Senate committee abruptly canceled a confirmation vote on Ms. Solis after news reports that her husband, Sam Sayyad, had 15 outstanding state and county tax liens placed on his Los Angeles auto repair shop.

The White House said that Mr. Sayyad and his wife were unaware of the liens and that Mr. Sayyad had paid the county $6,400 on Wednesday to settle the debt.

However, the revelation compounded the political damage done by the failed nominations of former Sen. Tom Daschle to be secretary of health and human services and of Nancy Killefer to be “chief performance officer” in the White House budget office, both because of tax problems.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was belatedly confirmed last month after contentious hearings prompted by revelations that he had failed to pay self-employment taxes while working for the International Monetary Fund.

The problems are not limited to Obama appointees.

By David M. Dixon
The Washington Times

Al Franken, whose narrow election as senator from Minnesota is being challenged in court by Republican Norm Coleman, was slapped with $25,000 in penalties for failing to pay workers’ compensation for the company he established in New York. He also had to pay $70,000 in back taxes and penalties to 17 states, where he earned income between 2003 and 2006.

Mr. Franken has claimed that he paid taxes on all of his income to Minnesota and New York, where he lived. He said he is due tax refunds of $50,000 from those states.

The spate of tax problems, recalling similar issues with nominees in the past two administrations, has raised questions whether the U.S. tax code is so complex that even Washington insiders and their highly paid accountants cannot navigate the rules.

“The only indictment coming out of these … cases is our complex tax system,” said Pete Sepp, vice president for policy and communication for the National Taxpayers Union…

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Will Obama Help? Labor Seeks to Renegotiate Auto Bailout

December 24, 2008

The nation’s automakers are preparing to ask for wage and benefits concessions from their workers in early January to meet the conditions of a $17.4 billion federal aid package, but labor officials say they will seek to renegotiate the terms of the bailout rather than make those sacrifices.

The remarks by union leaders have set up yet another contentious battle in the auto industry.

In agreeing to provide federal assistance to General Motors and Chrysler, the White House demanded the firms cut worker compensation to the levels paid at the U.S. divisions of Toyota, Nissan and Honda. But Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, said earlier this week that he would seek to remove the wage-reduction provision of the loan, calling it “an undue tax on the workers” who have already made “major” sacrifices for the benefit of the auto industry.

Gettelfinger said that what is being asked of the autoworkers — who agreed to concessions in 2003, 2005 and 2007 — is “unrealistic.” He has said he wants to work with President-elect Barack Obama to remove the wage provision.

Public agree with auto bailout….so far.  From CNN:

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