Walmart: Still Killing America one Infant at a Time

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos) Alright-- this could descend into hyperbole way too easily. But the fact is that Walmart is selling a bassinet that strangled 4 infants before it was recalled by the company that makes it-- and which has now killed two more, because it would be silly to take something off the shelves before you've exhausted the stock, after all.
The most recent death occurred last week on Thursday when six-and-a-half-month-old Kennedy Brotherton slipped between the mattress and the side railing after the mattress came loose from the frame, her aunt, Melissa Brotherton, told ConsumerAffairs.com in a phone interview.

Kennedy's body slipped through a space between the mattress and the railing until she dangled by her head on the lower bar of the railing and choked, according to Capt. Ron Copeland of the Shawnee Police Department in Kansas.

NJ-04: Smith Opposed Country of Origin Labeling on Meat Products

Cross-posted at Blue Jersey.

Josh Zeitz is the Democratic nominee in New Jersey's Fourth Congressional district. He is running against Republican Chris Smith, who has backed George Bush's economic and foreign policies and who serves as the chair of the anti-choice caucus in the House.

Chris Smith says that he wants to run on his record in Congress. Unfortunately, there are parts of his record that voters may find less than appealing. We are going to tell voters about some things Chris Smith doesn't want you to know about his record, like his vote against giving consumers all the information they need to make the right choices when buying food.

Salmonella in our vegetables is only the latest consumer safety crisis families have faced in recent years. From problems with drugs like Vioxx, Vytorin, and Avandia to poison in lead paint used in our children's toys and toxic substances in our toothpaste, our consumer safety protections have failed us. Consumer groups have been pushing for years to require all food imports to contain Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). One would think this is a fairly simple concept on which people in both parties could agree.

Incredibly, in 2005, Smith Opposed Country of Origin Labeling on Meat Products. The vote blocked the government from requiring labels that would tell shoppers from what country their meat comes. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) of food benefits American consumers and farmers. COOL provides U.S. raised products with a competitive advantage over foreign products because U.S. consumers, if offered a clear choice, choose fresh foods of domestic origin over foods of foreign origin.  

Origin information is essential to protecting consumers whenever specific health and safety problems arise that may be linked to imported foods. Risks include  diseases like mad cow disease in Canada and Europe.
(Associated Press, 6/8/05; Americans for Country of Origin Labeling, "Reasons for Labeling,"(link) ; CRS Report for Congress, "Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods: Current Law and Proposed Changes," 03/27/01; (link)) Smith, Christopher  (NJ/R) Y  2005 231 HR 2744 Failed 187-240

"Why did Chris Smith vote against protecting our food supply by requiring the labeling foreign food products clearly for consumers. Americans who prefer to buy American should be given that option, and Chris Smith's opposition to this measure is senseless," said Josh Zeitz Campaign Manager Steve D'Amico.

The campaign is entering a critical phase and we need your support. You can contribute at Josh's ActBlue page. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh's website to learn more about why we need to elect Josh to Congress.

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NJ-04: Smith Voted Against Ethics Reform

Cross-posted at Blue Jersey.

Josh Zeitz is the Democratic nominee in New Jersey's Fourth Congressional district. He is running against Republican Chris Smith, who has backed George Bush's economic and foreign policies and who serves as the chair of the anti-choice caucus in the House.

Chris Smith says that he wants to run on his record in Congress. Unfortunately, there are parts of his record that voters may find less than appealing. We are going to tell voters about some things Chris Smith doesn't want you to know about his record, like his opposition to ethics reform.

In 2006, Chris Smith voted against comprehensive ethics reform. The legislation would have banned travel on corporate jets, prohibit lobbyist gifts, and slow the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street. It would also require disclosure of earmarks so that special interest provisions receive public scrutiny. The measure applied to all special interest earmarks including the Alaska Bridge to Nowhere. It would force Members of Congress disclose if they had a financial interest in the earmark. (Vote 4448, 2006. Leadership Document, "Democrats Fight To Clean Up Culture Of Corruption; Republicans Fail To Change Washington," 9/14/06)

"Voters deserve to know why Chris Smith voted against banning corrupt lobbying practices and hidden earmarks," said Josh Zeitz campaign manager, Steve D'Amico.

If you'd like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh's website to learn more about why we need to elect Josh to Congress.

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Why Don't We Hear About Labor Issues Anymore?

Last week security guards working at Kaiser Permanente facilities in California went on strike to protest illegal anti-union activities on the part of their employer, Inter-Con Security.  Instead of hiring security guards directly in California, or using a union-friendly security contractor, Kaiser contracts with Inter-Con.  The strike lasted three days.

A few local TV news broadcasts covered the story, and there were a few newspaper articles announcing that there was going to be a strike.  But there was almost no actual coverage of the strike except on progressive sites and labor outlets.  What's up with that?  

Why does the media barely cover labor issues?  

(Continues)

I am proud to be helping SEIU spread the word about this strike.  sfs-234x60-animated-v2

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Why They (And You) Need A Union

Yesterday I wrote about the security guards who are striking at Kaiser Permanente because their contractor-employer is engaging in illegal tactics while trying to block them from forming a union.  The guards work for Inter-Con Security Inc., which is contracted by Kaiser to provide security services.

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