Lonesome Tree in Sandhills

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law by President Obama, overturning the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in 2007 by specifically defining the 180-day deadline for filing complaints to begin anew with each discriminatory paycheck.

This Act is neither liberal nor progressive, it is JUSTICE & Lilly is OUR HERO!!

Thank you, Lilly Ledbetter, for being courageous & tenacious.

Lilly sued Goodyear Tire Co. in 1998 for discrimination in pay within 180 days of learning she had always been paid less than the men doing the same job.  Five years after the EEOC granted her permission to sue, a jury awarded her $360,000 in back pay, but the verdict was overturned on appeal by the 11th Circuit departing from 9 appellate courts in similar cases.

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision written by Justice Alito, upheld the 11th Circuit's decision applying the 180-day deadline for filing complaints to the first discriminatory paycheck. The 5-4 majority rejected an interpretation long-held by lower courts & the EEOC that each paycheck represented a fresh act of discrimination, and not when it was discovered by an employee.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is also OUR HERO for her oral dissent calling on Congress to reverse the Court's decision.  Last year the House bill was blocked on a procedural vote, but this year it went flying through... thanks to those millions of voters who sent a super-majority to Congress in November.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Continental Divide

The divisive political climate today is like the Continental Divide along the Rockies - impassable until Jefferson finessed political opposition to fund an expedition charged with finding a route to the Pacific for commerce & trade. Lewis & Clark - assisted by Sacagawea (aka Sacajewea), a Shonone Indian woman - explored the wild West & native tribes while finding a route through the Divide. Hopefully, we will rise above today's political Divide! "The divide between conservatives and liberals, locked for years in their respective echo chambers in talk radio, cable television and elsewhere in the media and on the Internet, presents no less of a challenge today to the promise of America than the question of race did yesterday." - Editorial in the Athens Banner-Herald on Jan 21. An echo of this concern: "The Nation's fatigue with negative, divisive politics...." was posted in Comments. We should heed Washington's warnings in his Farewell Address that ideological division would undermine & eventually destroy our Nation's unity. The level of civil discussion about government has sunk among people of all walks of life, even highly educated citizens, causing our great nation to become mired in political gridlock at all levels, resulting in HUGE COSTS to us all. These political "bookends" are visual proof we have lost our focus as a nation: New Orleans was & remains a wake-up call -- Ground Zero remains an eyesore 7 years after 9-11. The nation's immense infrastructure - water, rail, tunnels, bridges, ports, air traffic - while hidden from view, is sorely in need of rebuilding. U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Report & Plan to Rebuild America's Infrastructure was presented to Congress in 2007. Meanwhile China built the equivalent of several World Trade Centers plus high-speed railways. Washington's wisdom is echoed by Obama's call for everyone to set aside ideologies. Much like a large boisterous family, we may disagree on many ideas, but countries that remain focused & concentrate on solidly building & rebuilding infrastructure for future generations are economically rewarded.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Failing Grade for TARP

While the Golden Globe hands out cinema awards, I can think of at least 4 reasons Congress & Bush's Administration should receive a big fat 'F' for TARP:

1. failing to enforce use of the money as intended by Congress (extend credit),
2. failing to enforce transactional transparency for the money given (as agreed),
3. failing to immediately put an army of bank auditors inside the banks, and
4. failing to investigate CEO's for evidence of criminal malfeasance.

CEO's knew when they signed those 1-pg. agreements that TARP was a toothless tiger. These men did not rise up through the ranks to earn millions each year without learning something about politics both within their companies & with the Administration as well as the SEC.

Will someone with backbone & ethics please take the wheel now?
~ Informed citizens are necessary for a strong nation. ~