Why The Kochs’ Influence Matters: Punching In

Fight for $15 taking a toll

SeaTac update: Parking company fires workers who complained about not getting wage increase.


The Kochs own the House Republicans, and it shows

Not just Boehner: many House Republicans seemingly indifferent on unemployment insurance.

Is “Obamacare repeal fatigue” setting in? Yes. And yes.

House Democrats attempt discharge petition on immigration reform.

Discharge petition strategy aims to make immigration an issue in November.

Must read Facebook post: Robert Reich on why Koch Brothers’ influence matters.


On minimum wage, Demint and Co. can’t make their case

Richard Trumka: The facts are on our side in the minimum wage debate.

New report: If you work 40 hours a week on minimum wage, you can’t afford rent. In the United States. Anywhere.

Why a minimum wage increase is good for (all) women.


Finally: Dispatches from Walmart

Walmart manager speaks up about awful conditions at his store.

Key Quote: “There’s not enough time in the day to do it…They don’t have enough people to get the job done. And it shows. It shows on the shelves, in terms of the stock. You know, it shows with the morale of the associates. That definitely has issues.”

Get Health Insurance, Strengthen the Movement for Working Families. At. The. Same. Time.


It’s exhausting. We know.

Trying to counter the misinformation about the Affordable Care Act AND trying to highlight out the few corporate donors pushing the lies AND holding the media accountable for inadequate coverage AND…

…all of a sudden, there are only a few days left to sign up for coverage for this year.

March 31 is the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If you enroll before then, your insurance will start May 1. If not, you may have to wait until January 1, 2015.

Politics aside, this is the point of the new health care law: getting as many Americans as possible from fear and uncertainty of no coverage to the security of health insurance, thereby bringing down costs and making life better for all of us.

And while we’re bringing more people into the “insured” fold, we also have an opportunity to grow the movement that’s fighting to make our lives better in other areas: higher wages, paid sick days, and protections from indignity at the workplace.

That’s why Working America Health Care is working with GoHealth to bring affordable health insurance to uninsured Americans.

Enter your information at WorkingAmericaHealthCare.org and you can compare and contrast plans and enroll in minutes.

We also offer something extra: by signing up for a health plan through GoHealth, you’re invited to join Working America and gain access to added member benefits, like discounted dental and vision benefits and a personal health advocate to help you troubleshoot with your insurance company.

Plus, by becoming a Working America member, you have access to hundreds of benefits through Union Plus including discounts on car insurance, wireless service, legal assistance, and many more. A full list of Union Plus benefits available for Working America members can be viewed here.

But benefits aside, we all win when the movement for working families grows. By signing up for insurance through Working America, you’re also opting in to receive updates and opportunities to pursue goals we all share: raising the minimum wage, gaining rights at the workplace, countering corporate power at the ballot box, and changing the conversation about the value of work in our country.

So don’t delay! Sign up at WorkingAmericaHealthCare.org and find a plan that works for you. And if you’re lucky enough to have insurance, please email, share, tweet – whatever – this blog post to friends and family who might not be covered.

The Koch Brothers, the politicians, the talking heads–they’ll always be making noise. But let’s focus on the real goal: getting America enrolled, covered, and secure with health insurance.

Photo by italintheheart on Flickr

*The relationship with GoHealth does not include MA, RI, VT, WV, HI, WA, OR, and select counties in CO and OH. The personal health advocate service is not available in Hamilton, Lucas, Summit, Stark, Montgomery, and Mahoning counties in Ohio.

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Why Demint Is Ducking Public Debate With Trumka on Minimum Wage: Punching In

Boehner still blocking UI extension

Message to Speaker Boehner: It’s really not that hard to backdate unemployment insurance.

Labor Department also pushing back on Boehner’s claims on UI extension.


Exposing ALEC

6 ALEC model bills that are being used to attack public schools across the country.

Missouri legislators ignoring state’s neediest in favor of an anti-labor agenda.

How ALEC weakened retirement security.


In case you missed it: AFL-CIO’s Trumka challenges Heritage’s Demint to debate

President Trumka hears no answer from Demint on minimum wage debate.

Key Quote: DeMint’s mission isn’t particularly to convince the public of anything like opposing a minimum wage hike. It’s to convince elected Republicans to do so even though a majority of their constituents disagree. Publicly engaging a well-informed and eloquent advocate for working people who enjoys rising to meet a confrontation is in no way in DeMint’s interest.


Wages over wealth

Paul Krugman on why the Republican Party stands firmly against raising wages.

Pennsylvania coalition pushing to raise the wage despite Gov. Corbett’s opposition.


Finally: Make things right in Tennessee

5 reasons the NLRB must overturn the tainted Chattanooga Volkswagen election.


Workers on the Move at Las Vegas Casinos, NCAA Football Fields, Community Colleges: Punching In

11 ways to raise Americans wages.

Key Quote: “The labor movement has tried during each of the past four Democratic presidencies—those of Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Obama—to strengthen protections for workers in organizing campaigns. Each time, however, the unions failed to surmount the Senate’s supermajority threshold. Until they can, the most direct way to raise workers’ wages will remain a dead letter.”

Down with wage theft: fast food workers in 30 cities protest for overtime pay.

He used to love H.E.R., but now Common is standing with Nissan workers in Mississippi!

Las Vegas casino workers considering massive strike.

Republicans in House and Senate argue over unemployment insurance extension.

Chicago voters overwhelmingly support $15 minimum wage in non-binding referendum.

The latest on the NCAA unionization effort at Northwestern.

Will politicians needlessly blocking Medicaid finally be held accountable?

How President Obama helped women by fixing the overtime gap.

Finally: Organizing victory at Seattle Community College!

Projected Deficits Have Massively Shrunk. Has It Created Jobs? Punching In

Projected deficits have shrunk nearly $5 trillion since 2010. Has it helped spur job growth?

A Republican and a Democrat team up to crack down on Swiss bankers.

In Illinois primary elections, an exciting win for the Chicago Teachers Union.

If you’re ready to feel super nauseous, watch Target’s new anti-union training video.

Pennsylvanians are done with the Corbett agenda, so they’re fighting to raise the minimum wage.

Former Republican State Senator Dale Schultz on Wisconsin GOP: “I’m not willing to defend them any more.”

Key Quote: “It’s just sad when a political party has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. We should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.”

Related: Wisconsin legislature might not act on voting restrictions this year.

How public sector layoffs add to the racial income gap.

Finally: The defunding of public education will create a permanent underclass, says Julia Meszaros.

Moral Monday in Georgia! 39 Arrested in Medicaid Protest: Punching In

Moral Monday movement alive and well in Atlanta.

39 people arrested at Georgia state Capitol for protesting Gov. Deal’s blocking Medicaid expansion.

Key Quote: “We have people dying every day just because they don’t have access to health care. It’s morally repugnant to me. Sometimes you have to take dramatic action to get people’s attention.”

Why Republicans should support a higher minimum wage.

What’s paycheck deception? Another way to weaken union representation.

Fight over charter schools in New York City shows divides in progressive movement.

Four years after the Affordable Care Act passed, Republicans starting to think they should have their own health care plan.

Beware of “sneak laws.”

Letter: “Right to work” is a dangerous fraud.

Related: Ohio ranks in second for job gains in January. No “right to work” law needed.

Finally: Politico reminds us that some super rich people are still super out of touch.

5 Million Americans Now Enrolled in Private Plans Under Affordable Care Act: Punching In

Another Christie scandal. You’ve heard of Bridgegate, but what about Pensiongate?

Short Version: While trumpeting “pension reform,” the New Jersey governor placed retiree assets in the hands of hedge fund managers bankrolling his political career.

Letter: Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett attacks on public workers aren’t about fiscal responsibility.

Harry Reid and others directly calling out Koch Brothers. Why it’s a risky strategy.

Paul Krugman on Paul Ryan’s racial dog-whistling.

Key Quote: “American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.”

Senate committee expected to recommend the wind-down and ending of Fannie Mae.

10 tricks employers use to cheat workers out of overtime.

Why shouldn’t we believe Walmart’s claims that associates have advancement opportunities? Lots and lots of stories from associates who tried to advance.

Minimum wage increase advances in New Hampshire. And in Massachusetts.

Finally: Health Insurance Marketplace enrollments hit 5 million.

The Plan to Create 9 Million Jobs in 3 Years–Will It Get a Vote? Punching In

CPC “Better Off Budget” looks pretty darn good.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has a budget that makes a lot of sense.

Details on the “Better Off Budget.”

Key Quote: “The budget’s priorities are simple common sense. Its public investments are sensible, not lavish. Its tax reforms make the tax code fairer. The special interest subsidies it curbs are indefensible.”


“Rotten” banking culture.

Six years since Wall Street crashed the economy, and we’re only asking about banking culture now?


The facts on charter schools:

Study shows charter schools perform equal or worse than public schools.


Buckeye news!

Manufacturing in Ohio bounces back–without a “right to work” law. Hmm.

Whirlpool plant in Western Ohio will expand, create 400 jobs–without a “right to work” law. Hmm.

What the new American manufacturing industry looks like.

Ohio voting rights referendum cleared to start collecting signatures.


Finally: Deporter-in-chief ?

Ryan Campbell asks: Will Obama cut deportations? Or stand idle?

In Congress, Immigration On The Backburner. In North Carolina, Not So Much.


Here’s the truth: House Speaker John Boehner could single-handedly take steps to fix our nation’s broken immigration reform.

A bill passed by a wide bipartisan majority in the Senate, S. 744, has been sitting around since the summer. It contains a clear path to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented men, women, and children, many of whom are exploited by employers who take advantage of their fears of coming out of the shadows.

While almost no one considers this bill “perfect,” many Republicans and Democrats in the often contentious House are supportive of the bill. If Speaker Boehner brought S. 744 to the floor for a vote, it would probably pass with bipartisan support.

But he refuses to do so.

In February, when asked about the status of the immigration bill, Boehner kicked the can down the road:

“The American people, including many of our members, don’t trust that the reform we’re talking about will be implemented as it was intended to be…”


“Listen, there’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

In other words, until after the 2014 election, in which Boehner hopes his party will retain or expand control of the House and take over the Senate as well.

The Speaker is wrong about one thing: the American people want reform, and they don’t want to wait some amorphous time period just because Boehner and some of his colleagues “don’t trust” the federal government (which he works for, and is a leader of) will enforce this or any law. A gigantic majority of Americans, 79 percent say they will be “disappointed” if Congress does not tackle immigration this year.

That majority includes Working America member Theodosian Swain of Greensboro, North Carolina, who wrote this letter to the News & Record. We’ve reprinted it in full:

Congress wastes time as immigrants wait

I am writing in response to the article “Hopes low for immigration reform” (Feb. 7). The GOP stating that it will wait until the elections are over is just another political ploy for Congress to not get anything done. There have been people who have lived in this country for years who have become working members of society. Undocumented immigrants pay more than $200 million in sales tax every year and have basically become members of our community. This is just our political leaders telling us “tough luck” once again on measures that are important to the general public. We have people who want to become American citizens and are willing to work and contribute. Why wouldn’t we let them?

I’d like for people to look at this issue more practically and take in all the ramifications of passing a comprehensive reform bill. I think it’s possible for us to separate our politics from what needs to be done for our community. This is just the right thing to do.

Theodosia Swain

Text TIMEISNOW to 30644 and tell your member of Congress that it’s time to fix our broken immigration system.

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The Privatization of the Public Sector: Punching In

Privatization of public services on the march

How billionaires use minority groups to push an education privatization agenda.

The growing power of Michelle Rhee’s pro-privatization political arm, Stand for Children.


Booming business at Alabama shipyard fuels union campaign.

Key Quote: “The young kids, and there are a lot of them [at the shipyard], just don’t know anything about unions…They’re young and they’re not really scared of anything.”

The power of public worker unions in Southern organizing.

Exposing ALEC

Missouri considers bill to force disclosure of model legislation.

Wisconsin Republicans push voter restrictions, lobbyist-friendly bills ahead of election.

Hypocrisy much?

Epic takedown of Pennsylvania’s paycheck deception supporters.