Terry Stulce (D-TN-03): The Minimum Wage Should Be a Livable Wage

I'm challenging Congressman Wamp to represent Tennessee's third district because I believe you deserve someone who will stand up for Tennessee values.  As one example, let's talk about the minimum wage.

Wamp has continuously voted AGAINST raising the minimum wage, while at the same time he has voted for increases in his own annual salary to the tune of over 30,000 dollars.  This is just plain wrong.

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Unions back key House GOP candidates

A Hillpiece today goes beyond anecdote and innuendo under hed Dem angst as unions split money.

In the lefty sphere, labor is the biggest dog that didn't bark in the night. Compared to Mike McCurry, say, it's got pitifully small space here in the last few months that I've been paying attention.

One reason (I'll put it no higher than that) may be the ambiguous relationship between labor and the Dems today. (It could also have to do with the AFL-CIO/CtW split, the bitter Sweeney/Stern rivalry, the persistance of labor rackeetering, or any number of other things.)

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Whole Foods the organic Wal-Mart?

Well-to-do liberals don't like to think of themselves as susceptible to the marketing gimmicks that sucker the less enlightened proles. We know that the products we buy are superior because they're packaged in rainbow/tye-die/rough-art wrap, with product names that incorporate words like natural, earth, green, etc. Obviously these products must be owned by progressives, and thus buying these products make the world a better place. If the companies break unions, dodge regulations, pollute, or even commit corporate crimes on occassion, well, all is mitigated by the feeling of superiority we feel over those who buy Western Family or Chef-Boy-Ardee. And the businesses that sell these products must be progressive in their own right, particularly if they have "the look."

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The Crisis of Market-based Healthcare

...and what frontline caregivers are doing about it.

(X-posted on dkos.)

Last week, the New York Times reported that the IRS recently kicked off a wide-ranging investigation into the business practices of not-for-profit hospitals all over the country. Under the pressures of increased competition and market consolidation in healthcare, over the last couple of decades not-for-profit hospitals have been acting more and more like any other business, cutting overhead, building economies of scale, increasing market share, etc. The question at the heart of the IRS investigation is whether there's really much of a difference anymore between the way in which the 84% of tax-exempt acute care hospitals in the U.S. administer patient care and the way that the other 16% of investor-owned hospitals do. As Republican Senator Charles Grassly notes in the article, as it now stands, "too many do little to nothing. Too often, it seems that tax-exempt hospitals offer less charitable care and community benefit than for-profit hospitals." If the IRS concludes that there isn't much of a difference, and that non-profit hospitals are acting just like their for-profit counterparts in their provision of patient care, then the case will exist for lawmakers to bolster standards and force non-profit hospitals to earn their tax exemptions by providing more charity care.

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YK06 Roundup - grassroots, netroots and labor

This roundup is a few days delayed, as I've only just got back from LA (more on what I was doing there at the bottom of this post). I suppose YearlyKos is old news by now, but better blog late than never. (Actually, is that true?)

For some time now, I've been telling myself that one of these days I'm gonna start properly blogging, like it's exercise--or like not-blogging is a bad habit. Well oddly enough, YearlyKos was not a good weekend to start turning over that leaf. Though the event was inspiring and what-all, these were rather adverse blogging conditions: few desks, uncomfy chairs, rarified electrical outlets, scarce non-gross foodstuffs, a noble-but-beseiged wi-fi network -- plus it's Las Vegas, one massive shiny blooping distraction. Part of me wants to see the next YearlyKos at a quiet, forested dormitory, with padded cubicles to which we could retire to get some work done. (Yes, that's the part of me that made no friends last weekend.)

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