A solemn and respectful Memorial Day tribute to all your fallen brothers at arms and mine, who's names appear on The Wall. May we never forget them, as they rest in peace.
The University of Washington announced earlier this week that it will embark on a comprehensive study of the effects of Seattle's new minimum wage law. The new law raised the minimum wage in Seattle to $11/hr on April 1, 2015 (up from $9.32/hr), it will rise to $15/hr for companies with more than 500 employees nationally by 2018. Part of the new city ordinance was a commitment to monitor the impact of the higher minimum wage and the city has contracted with UW to perform that evaluation. The press release announcing the five year study can be found here:
In a case not mentioned in the major print or broadcast media in the golden state the California Supreme Court, by a 4-3 vote, has ruled that an employee of a Domino's Pizza franchisee is not a joint or co-employee of the parent company and franchisor, Domino's Pizza. The case is Patterson v Domino's Pizza.
This decision by the California Supreme Court (CSC) is timely as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is reviewing the same issue relating to a claim by employees of a McDonald's franchisee. The General Counsel of the NLRB has ruled that the plaintiffs are "joint employees" of both the franchisee and McDonald's Corporation. Laura Clawson wrote a diary about the opinion of the NLRB General Counsel in the McDonald's case. Her diary is here:
It is my understanding that the full NLRB has yet to rule on the General Counsel's opinion, but It is very likely that the Democratic majority on the NLRB will agree. If the NLRB does agree, McDonald's will appeal in federal court.
People who signed up on the federal site, healthcare.gov, may not be eligible for subsidies. That's the premise of Halbig v Sebelius, a case currently at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and likely headed for the SCOTUS. If the plaintiffs are successful it could end subsidies for everyone who didn't sign up on a state exchange. The only mention I could find here at DKOS, regarding this case, was a reference in a front page post by Jon Perr who provided this link:
This will be a short diary, but I wanted to have something on record here regarding this case. With the recent focus on McCutcheon, even those who follow campaign finance law may have missed this case because the Court refused to grant certiorari, thereby upholding an Iowa law, and by extension the Tillman Act. The Tillman Act of 1907 makes it illegal for corporations to make direct contributions from their treasuries to the campaigns of candidates for federal office. Here is a link to an excellent summary of the case, The Bullet Democracy Dodged, from The Brennen Center for Justice by Ciara Torres-Spelliscy.
I know not everyone celebrates Christmas and that many parents don’t believe it is appropriate to have their children believe in Santa Clause. I respect all those who don’t celebrate Christmas as well as those parents who don’t bring Santa into their Christmas celebration. This diary is for those who do embrace the spirit of Santa Clause. I’d like you to share the most special Santa event that happened to you as a child or how you as a parent were able to create some Christmas Magic. Here is my story.
On November 22, 1963 I was a 16 year old high school senior. It started as a magical day.
We were scheduled to play the first football playoff game in the young history of my high school.
There is very active betting in England, and 100 other countries around the world, on the name of the new baby boy and heir to the English throne.
There seems to be a lack of understanding of the fundamental foundation of Social Security. It is wage insurance. Each participant insures a portion of their wages or salary depending on their income level and the payments made by each individual and their employers. Those insurance benefits are paid based on a formula depending on the payments made during their working life and age of the person at the time of retirement. What Social Security is not is an income redistribution program to transfer income from high earners to the less fortunate. FDR was very clear on this point and that is why Social Security has its own funding mechanism, separate from the income tax, and its own Trust Fund, separate from the general fund. It was FDR’s view, which I share, that Social Security should be an earned benefit and should never be allowed to be characterized as welfare. As FDR noted. “not the dole, never the dole”. The concept of wage insurance is a primary reason there is a cap on earnings subject to Social Security payroll taxes. The theory is that at higher incomes those individuals likely have other retirement income, pensions and investments, in addition to Social Security so there is an income amount above which “insurance” isn’t needed, and that’s why their is a cap. It’s also the reason that investment income isn’t subject to Social Security taxes. Investment income doesn’t stop when our wages or salary stop so it does not need to be “insured”. As FDR said “from capital nothing is asked and to capital nothing is given”.
The exclusive focus of this gift is to provide scholarships for students, it's not for research or operating expenses. Below is a paragraph from UCLA's chancellor announcing the gift.
"Mr. Geffen, a legendary entertainment executive and philanthropist, has established the $100 million David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund, which will cover 100 percent of the cost of tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses for a significant number of UCLA’s medical students. The fund will eliminate the sizable financial burdens that many new physicians face upon graduation from medical school. Doing so will enable them to pursue careers in medicine guided by their passions and interests—and the needs of our communities—rather than by their need to repay student loans."
This will be an amazing recruiting tool for the UCLA Medical School and my personal thanks to Mr. Geffen. I hope other philanthropists will follow his lead and establish similar scholarships to reduce the cost of medical education and free new physicians from the burden of student debt. Hopefully more medical students, free of debt, can become primary care physicians practicing in under served communities.
Matt Cain, All-Star pitcher of the San Francisco Giants, affectionately known as "The Horse" today pitched the 22nd MLB perfect game and the first in the 129 year history of the Giants franchise. For those of you who are not baseball fans in a perfect game none of the opposing players ever reaches first base, no hits, no walks, no errors. Cain struck out 14 and the Giants beat the Astros 10-0. As noted there have been only 22 perfect games in the entire 140 year history of Major League Baseball. There were several key defensive plays including a remarkable, diving catch by Gregor Blanco, the right fielder, in the seventh inning. Today was a very special day in San Francisco Giants history.
Today's game takes Cain's 2012 record to 7-2 with a 2.41 ERA and makes him a strong candidate to be the starting pitcher for the National League in the upcoming All-Star Game.
The AP is reporting that Al Armendariz, the senior EPA official for five major oil producing states, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas has resigned.
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