September 16, 2009

Getting warmer

This is Holden 22, where Don Blankenship's Labor Day inversion was held. The picture was taken when there was still a mountain there.

I had planned on leading with another topic today, but an item from Ken Ward's Coal Tattoo blog caught my eye.

Since Labor Day, I've written here and elsewhere about the contrast between the United Mine Workers of America and Don Blankenship's effort to present himself as the voice and protector of coal miners. The subject of Ward's post, an interview with union president Cecil Roberts on Living on Earth, is a case in point.

In contrast to Blankenship and allies, who are taking the position that climate change cannot be real because it may cut into their profits, UMWA president Cecil Robert admits that it's a reality that must be faced. Roberts said:

The union has never taken a position arguing against the science of climate change. We've engaged in the debate as to how to deal with it.

That realistic response to a problem from labor is a welcome contrast to the ruling class hissy fit we've been subjected to lately. It shows once again the need for workers to have a voice independent of their employers. It is also reason #9484 why we need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

SPEAKING OF HISSY FITS, here's Dean Baker on the opposition to a public option in health care reform.

WHILE WE'RE AT IT, here's Washington Post columnist Marie Cocco pointing out that we already have several public options and they're working pretty well. Senator Rockefeller said yesterday that he wouldn't support a bill without one.

STILL THERE. Cost of health insurance have increased faster than wages and inflation.

WONKY BUT IMPORTANT. Parts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dealing with TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), can be used to do interesting things like beef up emergency assistance for families or even create subsidized employment. The catch is that states have to be willing to do it. Here's info about the possibilities. This is something I'm going to be pushing for with folks in WV.


No comments: