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The REAL Reason Unions Show Up at Town Halls!
HotAir ^ | 8-24-09 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 08/24/2009 3:13:29 PM PDT by kozanne

Why unions are “Astroturfing” health-care town halls posted at 2:18 pm on August 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey Share on Facebook | regular view

After enraged constituents started showing up at Congressional town-hall forums to oppose ObamaCare, the unions acted quickly to counterdemonstrate on behalf of the Democratic agenda item. In at least one case, union representatives used violence to intimidate and harrass ObamaCare opponents. The same union, which represents a large percentage of government workers and would be presumably immune from any health-care reform action, issued memos demanding volunteers to “drown out” opposition to ObamaCare. But why?

This report from the Detroit Free Press explains that the unions have a good reason — actually, ten billion good reasons:

Antilabor forces say it’s welfare for the UAW and Democrats’ union allies. Labor supporters say it falls short of what’s needed as tens of thousands of union members are pushed into early retirement as employers cut back health care coverage.

They’re both talking about a $10-billion provision tucked deep inside thousands of pages of health care overhaul bills that could help the UAW’s retiree health-care plan and other union-backed plans.

It would see the government — at least temporarily — pay 80 cents on the dollar to corporate and union insurance plans for claims between $15,000 and $90,000 for retirees age 55 to 64. …

Greg Mourad of the National Right to Work Committee called it “a shameless case of political payback,” saying Democrats and President Barack Obama are trying “to force the rest of us to pay billions to cover those unions’ health care.”

The money will be yet another bailout of Detroit, although the Obama administration and the Democrats have it flying under the radar, buried in HR3200: Thanks to Detroit’s twin auto bankruptcies and other concessions, the UAW’s voluntary employee benefit association, or VEBA, had to take stock of unknown value for $24 billion in claims, while adding thousands of early retirees to its rolls.

Outside experts estimate the funds have about 30 cents in cash for every dollar of future claims, with no guarantee of what its stock assets will be worth. Lance Wallach, a New York-based VEBA expert, says if the funds “don’t get something, they’re out of business in 12 years.” …

Key provisions in House and Senate proposals set aside $10 billion to pay some claims for early retirees covered by employers and VEBAs, before other cost-saving measures kick in. Critics call it a union giveaway, but the union says the money would keep companies from further slashing coverage.

That’s explicitly a bailout. It comes on the heels of tens of billions of dollars committed to GM and Chrysler, as well as politically-motivated bankruptcies that violated the rights of senior creditors in favor of the unions.

The unions have overcommitted and underresourced their health plans, and now Congress wants to surreptitiously bail them out from bankruptcy — all while making them more or less immune from the restrictions in the rest of the bill.

That $10,000,000,000 bailout certainly gives the unions a big incentive to crack heads and intimidate people into retreat on ObamaCare, doesn’t it? That’s the granddaddy of all Astroturfing efforts.

Update: My friend Warner Todd Huston wrote about this almost two weeks ago — be sure to read it.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 0bamacare; 111th; astroturf; bhohealthcare; brownshirts; impeachobama; seiu; townhall; townhalls; unionthugs
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I seldom start threads here, but I felt this information was too important not to pass around. Something to take to your town hall meeting if you want.
1 posted on 08/24/2009 3:13:29 PM PDT by kozanne
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To: kozanne
Q: How can you tell Grassroots from AstroTurf?

A: Look for the Union label.

2 posted on 08/24/2009 3:19:19 PM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (Our Last Best Hope: REPEAL THE 16th AMENDMENT!)
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To: kozanne
Here's where you find the provision:

Section 164 Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize a retiree reinsurance health fund up to 10 billion dollars to assist participating employment-based plans (unions, community organizers, etc.) with the cost of providing health benefits to retirees and to eligible spouses, surviving spouses and dependents of such retirees

Download it as a PDF and read it. Also read what the architect says...what his thoughs and beliefs are and what will surely be indirectly written into the bill and implemented over time.

The slumbering giant is stirring.


EZEKIEL EMANUEL AND OBAMA HEALTH CARE

(Must Read - Shocking, cited quotes by Emanuel)


OBAMA HEALTH CARE BY THE NUMBERS


OBAMA'S BRIDGE TOO FAR

A PETITION ON FACEBOOK FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RESTORATION

A 4TH OF JULY TEA PARTY SPEECH

3 posted on 08/24/2009 3:20:09 PM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: kozanne

Have a eighbor who is a member. He says they show up because they are on the clock. Clock in and are bussed out, clock out on their return. Paid to demonstrate.


4 posted on 08/24/2009 3:22:54 PM PDT by hoosiermama (ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW.......I am swimming with Sarahcudah! Sarah has read the tealeaves.)
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To: Jeff Head

It just makes me sick on so many levels. Of all the things you think the President of the United States might be, sneaky, corrupt and deceptive are not often part of that description.

But the exception is becoming the rule now. The important thing is that we tell EVERYBODY the truth.


5 posted on 08/24/2009 3:23:24 PM PDT by kozanne
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To: kozanne
They’re both talking about a $10-billion provision tucked deep inside thousands of pages of health care overhaul bills that could help the UAW’s retiree health-care plan and other union-backed plans.
6 posted on 08/24/2009 3:26:23 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: hoosiermama

On the clock of what, Obama Motors?


7 posted on 08/24/2009 3:26:39 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Barack Obama is a political suicide bomber and the Rats are political arsonists.)
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To: kcvl

And Sebelius is publicly egging them on. What’s in this for her?


8 posted on 08/24/2009 3:27:45 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Barack Obama is a political suicide bomber and the Rats are political arsonists.)
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To: kozanne

Follow the money.

That’s why Obama wanted to rush and ram this thing through without any debate or scrutiny. He didn’t want to give citizens time to follow the money.


9 posted on 08/24/2009 3:27:51 PM PDT by Choose Ye This Day (America is the best -- 20 million illegal immigrants can't be wrong.)
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To: hoosiermama

I suspected as much. Just like the Acorn crowds they bus in. Some of those poor saps are probably just that. Poor and someone’s offering a bus ride, food and a little money.


10 posted on 08/24/2009 3:28:52 PM PDT by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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bump for later


11 posted on 08/24/2009 3:29:06 PM PDT by boxerblues
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To: kozanne

Makes me wonder if he’s even running the show. Who’s behind all these ginormous bills? Who’s writing them? How did they make them all up so fast. Cap and trade, health care....yada yada.


12 posted on 08/24/2009 3:31:33 PM PDT by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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To: kozanne

Post as much as you want!


13 posted on 08/24/2009 3:35:49 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: kozanne

Yup. It’s all staged for The One. His Town Halls give his campaign workers the questions he wants to answer. Other Town Halls have handpicked attendees for the most part, and short shrift is given to the opposition. Why they don’t realize how transparent this is, I fail to understand. Maybe they will realize it in 2010.


14 posted on 08/24/2009 3:37:01 PM PDT by Paperdoll (DL Hunter/S Palin or S Palin/DL Hunter 2012)
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To: MsLady

“Makes me wonder if he’s even running the show. Who’s behind all these ginormous bills? Who’s writing them? How did they make them all up so fast. Cap and trade, health care....yada yada.”

I certainly don’t think BHO is smart enough to be behind any of this, he’s nothing more than a figurehead, empty suit, place holder. If he were the mastermind he’d do a better job selling his snake oil. He’s an epic fail if I ever saw one.


15 posted on 08/24/2009 3:37:21 PM PDT by Jenny217
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To: kozanne; All

The Purple People Beaters
Click Above For Link To The Thread

Click The Pic
Click The Pic


The Purple People Beater (sung to the tune of The Purple People Eater)

Well I saw the thing comin’ out of the left
It wore a union label, and yelled a threat
I commenced to shakin’ and I said “ooh-eee”
It looks like a purple beater to me

It was a S E I U union purple people beater
(S E I U union purple people beater)
A democrat, left-wing, union purple people beater
Sure looks strange to me

Well he came into town and he came up to me
I said Mr. Purple People Beater, don’t beat me
I heard him say in a voice so gruff
I wouldn’t beat you cuz you’re too tough

It was a S E I U union purple people beater
(S E I U union purple people beater)
A democrat, left-wing, union purple people beater
Sure looks strange to me

I said Mr. Purple People Beater, what’s your line
He said it’s beatin’ honest people and it sure is fine
But that’s not the reason that I came to land
I wanna beat people for Obama my man

Well bless my soul, pipe and club, union purple people beater
Weather underground, union purple people beater
(S E I U)
Union purple people beater
Sure looks strange to me

And then he swung his fists knocking people to the ground
He started to fight, kicking people around
He sung a crazy ditty as he swung his fists
Singing boop boop aboopa lopa lum bam boom

Well bless my soul, pipe and club, union purple people beater
Weather underground, union purple people beater
(S E I U)
Union purple people beater
Sure looks strange to me

And then he went on his way, and then what do ya know
I saw him last night on a TV show
He was fighting it out, a’really knockin’ em dead
Pushing down old ladys and kickin’ them in the the head

(clarinet solo)

Tequila


Posted By FReeper: Brookhaven

Click Here For:
The Original Purple People Eater



16 posted on 08/24/2009 3:41:16 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Jenny217
I don't think Obama is dumb by any means, but, there is no way he could come up with these kinds of bills this fast. He's most definitely not running the show.

The thing that bothers me the most is how many in congress are willing to just sign something they haven't even read.

17 posted on 08/24/2009 3:43:09 PM PDT by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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To: MsLady
The same people who wrote the patriot act.
18 posted on 08/24/2009 3:50:02 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Warning: Some words may be misspelled/ You will get over it / Klingon is my 1st language)
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To: kozanne

But, but if the Unions are going to be put on the good plan that Congress thinks it is too; why would they care?


19 posted on 08/24/2009 3:58:51 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...
Why unions are "Astroturfing" health-care town halls

20 posted on 08/24/2009 4:04:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: MsLady

“...someone’s offering a bus ride, food and a little money.

Or a few packs of Kools and some T-bird!


21 posted on 08/24/2009 4:05:05 PM PDT by Panzerlied ("We shall never surrender!")
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To: Aevery_Freeman

LOL!


22 posted on 08/24/2009 4:06:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: kozanne

Also, the public employee unions would have more due paying members if healthcare is public.


23 posted on 08/24/2009 4:09:05 PM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: kozanne
LEAVE MY KIDS ALONE! !

24 posted on 08/24/2009 4:12:57 PM PDT by Indy Pendance ("The beauty of the 2nd is that it will not be needed until they try to take it. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Union funds...pay for them to walk the picket lines, demonstrate etc.


25 posted on 08/24/2009 4:19:39 PM PDT by hoosiermama (ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW.......I am swimming with Sarahcudah! Sarah has read the tealeaves.)
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To: Panzerlied

Throw in a few dollars....Neighbor who is a union rep says they are paid for their time.


26 posted on 08/24/2009 4:21:16 PM PDT by hoosiermama (ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW.......I am swimming with Sarahcudah! Sarah has read the tealeaves.)
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To: hoosiermama

I remember 20 years ago when UAW members got paid election days off to vote and carpool their families and friends to the polls.

To paraphrase, what is good for the UAW is good for . . . ?


27 posted on 08/24/2009 4:22:21 PM PDT by Jacquerie (It is good that tyrants fear for their personal safety.)
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To: Jacquerie

Warner Todd Huston has more:

http://www.publiusforum.com/2009/08/14/union-pensions-getting-big-payoff-from-obamacare/

Union Pensions Getting BIG Payoff From Obamacare
August 14, 2009 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Budget, Business, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Government, Corruption, Health, Liberals, Socialism, Taxes, Unions, Warner Todd Huston |

-By Warner Todd Huston

It isn’t just out of the goodness of their hearts that Big Labor is gearing up to spend millions to help President Obama to jam Obamacare down the throats of the American people. The unions stand to get a big payoff of $10 billion to supplement their failing pension plans.

The President of the AFL-CIO recently announced that the union would jump into the healthcare fight to help out “working people.” John Sweeney also said that the healthcare fight is “the next big step in our march to turn around America.”

But unions already have their own healthcare plans and Obama promised — for whatever an Obama promise is worth — that union plans would be untouched by Obamacare. So, what are the unions in the fight for if it doesn’t really touch them?

The answer to that question appears in the House bill on page 65, section 164 where unions are to receive a $10 billion dollar infusion of taxpayer’s money to supplement their failing plans through a program called the “reinsurance plan.”

In his open letter, Sweeney said that one of the union’s goals was to seek “relief for company/union funds providing pre-Medicare retiree coverage.” This would be people that retired from the unions before they are eligible for Medicare. In other words, the union is looking for federal funds to relieve expenditures from his over extended pension plans.

Well, low and behold the House healthcare bill has included in it a “Reinsurance Program for Retirees” (section 164). This section stipulates that $10 billion will be set aside for this program of “reinsurance” for those older than 55 and not yet eligible for Medicare.

This program will reimburse eligible “retirees” for 80% of the costs of their medical care. This would go a long way to help unions defer costs to their own plans.

So, no wonder the unions are so hot to help Obamacare pass. It will be a boon to their overextended pension plans.


28 posted on 08/24/2009 4:36:40 PM PDT by kozanne
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To: kozanne

Frankly, the closest parallel that I am seeing to the brown shirts of Germany are the purple shirts of the SEIU.


29 posted on 08/24/2009 4:40:33 PM PDT by chb
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To: kozanne

Outside experts estimate the funds have about 30 cents in cash for every dollar of future claims, with no guarantee of what its stock assets will be worth. Lance Wallach, a New York-based VEBA expert, says if the funds “don’t get something, they’re out of business in 12 years.” …
+++++++++++++++

You hear more and more items like this. This country will implode if fiscal sanity is not restored but SOON.


30 posted on 08/24/2009 4:45:28 PM PDT by SeattleBruce (God, Family, Church, Country & the Tea Party! Take America Back! (Objective media? Try TRAITORS.))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

And Sebelius is publicly egging them on. What’s in this for her?
++++++++++

She’s old SEIU. For her it’s the socialist sisterhood.


31 posted on 08/24/2009 4:47:56 PM PDT by SeattleBruce (God, Family, Church, Country & the Tea Party! Take America Back! (Objective media? Try TRAITORS.))
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To: MsLady

Who’s behind all these ginormous bills? Who’s writing them? How did they make them all up so fast. Cap and trade, health care....yada yada.
++++++++++++++

There are tens of thousands of demonRAT lawyers in DC.


32 posted on 08/24/2009 4:49:08 PM PDT by SeattleBruce (God, Family, Church, Country & the Tea Party! Take America Back! (Objective media? Try TRAITORS.))
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To: MsLady

The thing that bothers me the most is how many in congress are willing to just sign something they haven’t even read.
+++++++++++++++

This should be illegal for bills over say $1 Billion in CBO status - or maybe just illegal. I can’t imagine any other profession getting away with what the congress critters are currently getting away with.

They are a national disgrace. They are a disgrace to freedom and to all who shed blood for this nation’s freedom.


33 posted on 08/24/2009 4:51:42 PM PDT by SeattleBruce (God, Family, Church, Country & the Tea Party! Take America Back! (Objective media? Try TRAITORS.))
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To: kozanne

$10 billion to supplement their failing pension plans.
++++++++++++++

That’s it dim bulbs, reward failure. Fast track AmeriKa to the bottom...

Pathetic.


34 posted on 08/24/2009 4:53:45 PM PDT by SeattleBruce (God, Family, Church, Country & the Tea Party! Take America Back! (Objective media? Try TRAITORS.))
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To: Fiddlstix

bump


35 posted on 08/24/2009 4:54:29 PM PDT by CPT Clay (Pick up your weapon and follow me.)
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To: kozanne
For over 70 years union money and votes supported union friendly legislation. Rats long ago regarded the arrangement as “honest corruption.”

Now, it is outright, bold corruption with taxpayer dollars.

It is a pity that it has taken so long for the people to stand up at townhalls and confront their Congressional tormentors.

36 posted on 08/24/2009 5:08:07 PM PDT by Jacquerie (Tyrants rightly fear the people.)
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To: kozanne

Extremely important. Somebody smarter than I please put that information into a sound bite to be used against the union thugs when they show up.


37 posted on 08/24/2009 5:09:50 PM PDT by WVNan ( (Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.: Sun Tzu))
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To: Jenny217

All the Socialists in Congress have had these bills written for years but there was always an opposition party to stop them in committee or veto them.

When the socialists took Congress and the White House and get Pelosi at the top in the House, there’s no stopping them...except We The People.


38 posted on 08/24/2009 5:10:00 PM PDT by hattend (Sarah Palin's mob minion - Mob Name: Hatman the Hitman)
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To: Fiddlstix

Most excellent fiddle. I remember that tune.


39 posted on 08/24/2009 5:13:09 PM PDT by WVNan ( (Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.: Sun Tzu))
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To: kozanne

They get time-and-a-half for the work.


40 posted on 08/24/2009 5:13:31 PM PDT by arthurus ("If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: arthurus

Maybe this on a protest sign along with the page and number: UNION PENSIONS GETTING BIG PAYOFF FROM OBAMACARE


41 posted on 08/24/2009 5:18:20 PM PDT by WVNan ( (Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.: Sun Tzu))
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To: SeattleBruce

If I did my job like that, I’d be fired. They obviously have absolutely no respect for there constituents or the constitution. And THEY want to know how much CEO’s of insurance company’s make? At least there stock holders are making some money back on there investments. What do we get? Less freedom, more of our money fleeced from our pockets?


42 posted on 08/24/2009 5:19:26 PM PDT by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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To: WVNan; Brookhaven; All
Thanks goes to FReeper Brookhaven
All I did was add some graphic to it.
43 posted on 08/24/2009 5:20:40 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: MsLady

And THEY want to know how much CEO’s of insurance company’s make?
++++++++++++

Right! Who’s holding THEM accountable?? Soon...11/2010.


44 posted on 08/24/2009 5:38:04 PM PDT by SeattleBruce (God, Family, Church, Country & the Tea Party! Take America Back! (Objective media? Try TRAITORS.))
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To: SeattleBruce

11/2010 can’t come soon enough. God only knows just how much damage will be done between now and then. I pray it’s just enough to destroy the left wing of the democratic party. I can live with the blue dogs, old school dems.


45 posted on 08/24/2009 5:41:45 PM PDT by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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To: kozanne

bump


46 posted on 08/24/2009 5:56:51 PM PDT by gibsosa
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To: kozanne

So most of us are working until well into our 60’s and end up subsidizing health care benefits for union workers who have retired in this mid-50’s? Sounds fair to me.

One more reason not to buy anything made by Government Motors.


47 posted on 08/24/2009 6:13:39 PM PDT by randita (Chains we can bereave in.)
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To: WVNan

Something like, “No way am I going to pay for union healthcare!”


48 posted on 08/24/2009 6:15:30 PM PDT by randita (Chains we can bereave in.)
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To: Fiddlstix
I wonder how many FReepers remember The Purple People Eater
49 posted on 08/24/2009 6:28:22 PM PDT by South40 (Islam has a long tradition of tolerance, ~Hussein Obama, June 4, 2009, Cairo, Egypt)
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To: Jeff Head

Good stuff. Keep up the good work.


50 posted on 08/24/2009 6:54:56 PM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (I want all communists to fail.)
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