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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 36,856

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

Delta to workers: Spend money on video games, not dues; union supporters outraged

Delta Air Lines is under fire for an anti-union flyer urging workers to spend their money on a video game system instead of union dues.

The Atlanta-based carrier, which is the least unionized major U.S. carrier, distributed a flyer in airport break rooms used by baggage handlers and other ground workers, according to the International Association of Machinists.

"Union dues cost around $700 a year,'' it says. "A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun. Put your money towards that instead of paying dues to the union.''

James Carlson assistant airline coordinator in the IAM's transportation department, called it a "juvenile, insulting'' message.

"The union-busting techniques have hit an all-time low,'' he said. "We are considering all options to combat that.''

The IAM lost a vote to represent the ramp workers in 2010, after the Delta-Northwest merger, and has been trying to collect enough cards for another vote since. The union is also trying to organize Delta's flight attendants.

Delta is fighting both efforts and has a website dedicated to the effort, with the URL "Don't Risk It, Don't Sign It.'' The union has a website, too.


Ohio bill would require re-implantation of ectopic pregnancies into the uterus.

A new Ohio bill would ban most private insurance coverage for abortions. Opponents say it would also ban effective methods of birth control.

One-fifth of representatives in the House, all Republicans, have signed onto House Bill 182 sponsored by state Rep. John Becker (R-Union Twp.) that would prohibit most insurance companies from offering coverage for abortion services.

“The intent is to save lives and reduce the cost of employers and employees health care insurance," Becker says.

The bill would ban nontherapeutic abortions that include "drugs or devices used to prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum.”

Becker says the bill also speaks to coverage of ectopic or tubal pregnancies where the fertilized egg attaches outside of the womb.

“Part of that treatment would be removing that embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus so that is defined as not an abortion under this bill," Becker explains.

“That doesn’t exist in the realm of treatment for ectopic pregnancy," argues says Jaime Miracle, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. "You can’t just re-implant. It’s not a medical thing."

She says, under this bill, women would have to wait until their very lives were in danger to get an abortion in the case of an ectopic pregnancy.


Marvel Studios Will Reveal Gay Character 'Soon' Says 'Avengers: Endgame' Directors

Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo are a hot commodity right now after directing two of the most successful films of all time. Everywhere they go, they get question after question about Avengers: Endgame and the decisions they made with the characters fans have invested years of their lives into with an ending that left more than a few confused.

One of those decisions that surprised a lot of people was Joe Russo appearing in a cameo during Captian America’s therapy group scene, where it was made clear that Joe Russo’s character was openly gay; The first we have ever seen inside an MCU film. When the Russo Brothers were asked in an interview with EW Morning Live about the future of the MCU and if we were going to see another openly gay character Joe Russo replied with:

“There is a gay character coming up in one of their films, and I think Kevin will make that announcement, I’m sure pretty soon.”


Ex-Miami Beach Pool Attendant Denies Knowing Anything About "Racy" Falwell Photos

Giancarlo Granda, the former Fontainebleau pool attendant whose business bizarrely received $1.8 million in loans from famous evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr., wants the world to stop calling him a "pool boy." He finds the term demeaning.

And, perhaps more notable, he officially denies knowing anything about alleged "racy" photos referenced in a Reuters story published yesterday. Reuters investigative reporter Aram Roston obtained a clandestine recording made by comedian Tom Arnold in which Donald Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen said he helped Falwell Jr. hide intimate photos that a lawyer "in Florida" had obtained. In the recording, Cohen — a man who has ostensibly seen his fair share of shenanigans — said even he found one of the photos to be "terrible."

Roston was also the reporter who broke the news that Falwell Jr. had mysteriously loaned Granda's business a ton of money and that Cohen was aware of a lawsuit involving Falwell and Granda. Reporters have, ahem, speculated that Granda was the Floridian who had obtained said photos and that Cohen might have leveraged the scandal to get Falwell Jr. to endorse the infamously lecherous and not-at-all Jesus-like Trump in 2016.

But today, Granda's lawyer, Aaron Resnick, denied Granda had anything to do with this.

"Giancarlo Granda has never had any communications with Michael Cohen (directly or indirectly)," Resnick told New Times via email. "He does not know Mr. Cohen. He has never met Mr. Cohen. Mr. Cohen is a convicted felon and admitted liar. Mr. Granda has no idea about the alleged “personal photographs” Mr. Cohen refers to in his taped conversation with Tom Arnold, which was published by the Washington Post Mr. Granda has never been involved in any negotiations directly or indirectly with Mr. Cohen. This includes any negotiations through legal counsel. Mr. Granda is not the person referred to by Mr. Cohen in the taped recording referenced in the Washington Post article. Any suggestion that he is that person is absolutely false."


Conservative Filmmaker Seeks to Disrupt Democratic Debates

Conservative filmmaker Ami Horowitz announced that he is running for president as a Democrat in an attempt to disrupt the party’s nominating process.

He’s seeking 65,000 donors, even at $1 apiece, so that he can be onstage at next month’s first Democratic debate.


Oakland: Witness says Almena laughed at Ghost Ship safety issues

OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) - A construction trades worker who once was a close friend of Ghost Ship warehouse master tenant Derick Almena testified on Tuesday that Almena scoffed at him when he told Almena that the building in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood was unsafe.

Rodney Griffin said when he told Almena in 2014 that he thought the warehouse, which also was called the Satya Yuga Collective, was a death trap, Almena laughed and said, "Ha, ha, we should called it the 'Satya Yuga death trap.'"

Griffin took the witness stand on the second day of testimony in the trial of Derick Almena, 49, and creative director Max Harris, 29, on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the fire during a music party at the warehouse at 1309 31st Ave. late on the night of Dec. 2, 2016, that killed 36 people.

Alameda County prosecutor Casey Bates alleged in his opening statement last week that Almena and Harris are criminally liable for the fire because there was no time and no way for the people at the party to escape since the warehouse didn't have important safeguards, such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and exit signs.


Uber, Lyft drivers plan to strike in more than a dozen major cities

New York (CNN Business)Ride-hailing drivers in more than a dozen cities plan to strike on Wednesday ahead of Uber's highly anticipated Wall Street debut.

The strikes are expected to happen across major US cities, as well as parts of the United Kingdom, Australia and South America. Participating drivers say they intend to send a message to Uber and its rivals: They want livable incomes, job security and regulated fares, among other demands.

In San Diego and Los Angeles, drivers are slated to cease working for 24 hours. In Atlanta, workers plan to log off ride-hail apps for 12 hours. And in New York City, there is a two-hour strike planned from 7 am ET to 9 am ET, which are busy commuting hours.

In addition to powering off their apps, drivers will hold rallies held in strategic places, such as outside local Uber offices.

The collective action comes on the heels of a March strike in several California cities over recent pay cuts, which took place before Lyft (LYFT) went public. That was organized by Rideshare Drivers United, a group that advocates for Los Angeles-based workers.

The same group planted the seed for Wednesday's protest, and many more local worker groups have announced similar strikes in solidarity. It is expected to be the biggest internationally coordinated effort against the ride-hailing companies to date.


Tweet of the Day


Nebraska Democrats hold onto Lincoln Mayor's office, flip City Council seat.


Following Following @Ready2Vote2019
Congrats to Leirion Gaylor Baird @Leirion4Lincoln on her amazing win tonight in Lincoln's Mayoral race! AND we flipped a city council seat with James Bowers winning!

#TurnNebraskaBlue #VoteBlue #DemForce #BlueWave

Gavin Newsom wants to end California taxes on diapers, tampons

Californians would no longer pay sales taxes on tampons and diapers under a plan backed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

He announced the new policy Tuesday flanked by female lawmakers who have tried to end sales taxes on diapers and tampons for years, arguing they should not be taxed because they are medically necessary.

Newsom also said he will add $130 million for childcare and will double a proposed tax credit for families with children under 6 from $500 to $1,000 when he unveils his updated budget proposal this week.

He’s framing the plans as an effort to help young families afford to live in the state, which has some of the highest living costs in the country.

“I don’t care how well you’re doing. It hits the pocketbook,” he said, referencing his experience buying diapers for his own four children.

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