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Ten thousand production and warehouse workers for the farm equipment manufacturer John Deere will take a strike authorization vote September 12 across nine Auto Workers (UAW) locals in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas.

Strike authorizations at bargaining time are not unusual for John Deere workers, and they haven’t struck in 35 years, but there are reasons to watch this round of negotiations closely.

The last contract in 2015 passed very narrowly, by fewer than 200 votes out of 10,000 eligible voters, who traded rising health care costs for a small pay bump.

The largest Deere local, Waterloo Local 838, rejected that contract 2 to 1; Ottumwa Local 74 also turned it down. Hundreds of laid-off workers were allowed to vote on it, though—and with a hefty $3,500 ratification bonus, many of them, unsure they’d have a job to return to either way, took the deal.

This time around, UAW leaders plan to present Deere’s first offer along with the strike authorization ballot—a step forward from 2015, when workers voting on a strike authorization got no details about what was being offered.

The pandemic makes it an interesting time to bargain a new contract for John Deere. In many ways workers are in a strong position.

For one thing, the company is struggling to find enough workers to hire. Josh Saunders, committeeman for Local 865 at the Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois, attributes that to low starting wages and frequent layoffs with weak recall rights. “Before, this was the job to have in the Quad Cities,” he said. “Now they have trouble finding people.”




Sanders says Manchin not supporting Biden’s spending package is ‘not acceptable’

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said on Sunday that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) not supporting President Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package was “not acceptable.” 

“No, it’s absolutely not acceptable to me. I don’t think it’s acceptable to the president, to the American people or to the overwhelming majority of the people in the Democratic caucus,” Sanders told host Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

“This is a consequential bill. It is hard to put a bill like this together. At the end of the day, I believe we will,” Sanders told Bash.

Mentioning that he worked with Manchin on the passing of the American Rescue Plan earlier this year, Sanders said he was hopeful the Senate would pass the $3.5 trillion spending bill package. 


Hell if Bernies 3.5 trillion was for the military their would be severe injuries from the stampeed of congresscritters getting into the capital to vote on it.



movin to the beat. and horses! ty


Beautiful video, LD! Beautiful and sad.


Hello friends,

Heres a little compilation video of our stop by the WASP (womens airforce service pilots) WWII history musuem we stumbled across in sweetwater, tx.





didn’t play fr me. 😎 photos below tho



Not a suprise
The Pentagon spent $14 trillion after 9/11. Up to half of it went to for-profit defense contractors.

The US military has spent $14 trillion since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, with nearly $7 trillion of that total going to for-profit defense contractors, according to a new study from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International & Public Affairs.

The American government massively ramped up defense spending following the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings to support the “Global War on Terror” — including the invasion of Afghanistan —started by former President George W. Bush. The Brown University study found that the Pentagon’s budget grew more than 10% in the first year after 9/11 occurred.

Another recent report from Brown University’s Costs of War Project found that the pricetag for the global war on terror stands at over $8 trillion. The report attributes $2.3 trillion to the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zone, $2.1 trillion to the Iraq and Syria war zone, and $355 billion to other war zones. The war on terror has claimed up to 929,000 lives, including over 7,000 US service members and at least 387,072 civilians, the report said.

“What have we truly accomplished in 20 years of post 9/11 wars, and at what price?” Dr. Stephanie Savell, co-director of the Costs of War Project, said in a statement on the new report. “Twenty years from now, we’ll still be reckoning with the high societal costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – long after US forces are gone.”


Manchin Denies He Meets with Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Weekly But Says, ‘I Keep My Door Open for Everybody’

Yea as long as they have one of these for him

Paul ADK

What we need for Manchin and Simema are good old fashioned, HONEST ethics investigations. They are acting against their constituencies and therefore their self interests. Surely something is amiss.


T&R ORL!!!! 👍🏻🤗🎉🤩❤️



The transcript is at the link


Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee released a proposal Monday that helps pay for most of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social spending bill. In addition to raising the corporate tax rate on businesses making $5 million in income, the plan also includes taxes for wealthy individuals. Judy Woodruff discusses with the Chairman of the Budget Committee, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.



House Democrats on Monday presented a plan to pay for their expansive social policy and climate change package by raising taxes by more than $2 trillion, largely on wealthy individuals and profitable corporations.

But the proposal, while substantial in scope, stopped well short of changes needed to dent the vast fortunes of tycoons like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, or to thoroughly close the most egregious loopholes exploited by high-flying captains of finance. It aimed to go after the merely rich more than the fabulously rich.

Facing the delicate politics of a narrowly divided Congress, senior House Democrats opted to be more mindful of moderate concerns in their party than of its progressive ambitions. They focused on traditional ways of raising revenue: by raising tax rates on income rather than targeting wealth itself.

But the bill dispenses with measures floated by the White House and Senate Democrats to tax wealth or to close off avenues that the superrich have exploited to pass on a lifetime of gains to their heirs tax-free.

“It would be a monumental mistake for Congress to pass a bill that really exempts billionaires,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the Democratic chairman of the Finance Committee.

But what is not included is notable. The richest of the rich earn little from actual paychecks (Mr. Bezos’s salary as the founder of Amazon was $81,840 in 2020), so a surtax on income would have little impact. Their vast fortunes in stocks, bonds, real estate and other assets grow largely untaxed each year.

“The proposal is extremely modest in the area of structural change,” said Eric Toder, a co-director of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington. “Mostly, it is about raising rates on existing tax bases.”

In the Senate, Democrats are taking aim directly at accumulated wealth. The Finance Committee has proposed a one-time surtax on billionaires’ fortunes, followed by annual levies on the gains in value of billionaires’ assets, similar to the way property taxes are adjusted each year to reflect gains in housing values.

Mr. Biden’s expansive tax proposals, during his campaign and as president, did not include a wealth tax. But he and top senators had called for a variety of measures to more heavily tax inherited wealth and the investments of very high earners.

Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, a Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, conceded on Monday that large swaths of wealth in the country were tied up in assets, not large salaries. But he said many Democrats were leery of going too far.

“I am very suspect of a wealth tax,” he said. “I think it’s perceived as ‘soak the rich.’ I don’t think it is, but that’s how it’s perceived.”

Another item missing from the House plan: a measure to tax inheritances more aggressively. Mr. Biden and many other Democrats want assets such as stocks and real estate to be taxed when they are inherited by wealthy heirs, based on the gain in value from the time the original owner purchased them. Under current law, such assets face capital gains taxation only when they are sold, according to their worth when they were inherited, allowing all the gain in value over the lifetimes of the superwealthy to go untaxed as long as they are passed on to heirs.

But the new proposal faced a fierce lobbying campaign, led by rural Democrats like former Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Max Baucus of Montana. Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, the Democratic chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, left it out.

To some liberals, Mr. Neal’s pragmatism felt more like surrender.

“America’s billionaires are popping Champagne tonight as the House Ways and Means Committee — led by Chair Richie Neal — fails the president, fails the country and fails history,” said Erica Payne, the president of Patriotic Millionaires, a group of wealthy liberals that embraces much higher taxes on the rich.

Some Democrats expressed surprise on Monday at Mr. Neal’s political calculations.

“A wealth tax? I don’t know anyone who says that’s not working for them politically,” said Representative Donald S. Beyer Jr., Democrat of Virginia and a member of the committee.



The U.S. poverty fell overall in 2020, a surprising decline that is largely a result of the swift and large federal aid that Congress enacted at the start of the pandemic to try to prevent widespread financial hardship as the nation experienced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The U.S. Census reported that the official poverty rate rose slightly in 2020 to 11.4 percent, up from a record low 10.5 percent in 2019, but that figure mostly reflects cash payments to Americans. After accounting for all the government aid payments, the so-called supplemental poverty measure declined to 9.1 percent in 2020 from 11.8 percent in 2019.

The decline in the poverty rate means that millions of Americans were lifted out of severe financial hardship last year, the U.S. Census said. Poverty is defined as having an income of less than $26,200 a year for a family of four.

Extensive federal relief assistance passed during the coronavirus pandemic is widely credited by economists and policy experts for preventing another Great Depression. The stimulus payments provided $1,200 cash payments to most low-income and middle-class Americans last year, moving 11.7 million people out of poverty, the Census said. Another 5.5 million people were prevented from falling into poverty by the enhanced unemployment insurance aid.

The annual findings also showed the proportion of Americans without health coverage rose slightly in 2020, marking the fourth year in a row that the ranks of the uninsured swelled.