Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The last few days -- and today -- are great times for political junkies and US political watchers. Lots of fun stuff happening -- makes me wish I was back in the game myself. And I mean directly back in the game, as opposed to this "objective-reporter" stuff I had been doing.

Anyway, yesterday was George W. Bush's last State of the Union address.

Also, yesterday, on the heels of Barack Obama's victory in South Carolina's primary, he has picked up a big endorsement from both Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy. The Kennedys!! Word is that the Kennedys were kind of turned off by the Clintons and their anti-Obama rhetoric, particularly spewed by Bill. Anyhow, there you go.

Today is the Florida Republican primary and it looks like it could be all over quickly for Rudy Giuliani. The former New York mayor was betting his hat on Florida and counting on a victory there to propel him to the nomination, figuring he would be a hard sell in Iowa (correct) and that Mitt Romney would probably clean up in New Hampshire (as it turned out, dead wrong). What they did not count on was the resurrection of John McCain, whose campaign seemed to be going nowhere for the longest time. But it took off right at the right time, when it counted.

And the Romney campaign has had its share of successes so far, though they probably ought to be doing better. It is shaping up to be a Romney-McCain fight in Florida right now and it all spells doom for Giuliani, who is likely to exit the presidential race on Wednesday. What a debacle that campaign has turned out to be, folks.

For election results tune in all the usual places, http://www.cnn.com/, http://www.msnbc.com/, and http://www.foxnews.com/. Also there's Miami stations like http://www.wsvn.com/ which I expect will have plenty of coverage. Same for http://www.cbs4.com/.

1 comment:

JUSTICE said...

Hillary’s Plan to Help Indiana Parents Balance Work and FamilyHillary Clinton has a bold plan to help Indiana parents manage the responsibilities of caring for their children and their aging parents, while meeting the demands of their work responsibilities.

More and more families are headed by two working parents, and today’s parents work longer hours than ever before. As a result, American parents have 22 fewer hours a week to spend with their kids than they did in 1969. A 2002 report by the Families and Work Institute found that 45 percent of employees say that work and family responsibilities interfere with each other, and 67 percent of working parents say they do not have enough time with their children.

Hillary Clinton believes that as these new challenges confront America’s families, our policies need to catch up. That’s why she has a work-family agenda for our modern economy. This bold effort will give Indiana parents the support they need to more effectively balance work and family obligations. And it will work in partnership with America’s businesses to ensure that pro-family work policies and increasing workplace flexibility helps improve American competitiveness and economic growth. Hillary’s work-family agenda includes:

A New $3,000 Caregiving Tax Credit. Hillary will offer a new $3,000 Caregiving Tax Credit to any person with substantial long-term care needs or to their caregivers. On average, unpaid caregivers pay more than $5,000 in out-of-pocket costs, often dipping into their savings or forgoing their own health care. The credit will not require a complex accounting of out-of-pocket costs, but instead would be available directly to any individuals with substantial long-term care needs or their caregivers. Hillary’s Caregiving Tax Credit would provide generous new assistance to at least 104,000 Indiana residents [CRS, 2007; Census 2007].

A New Long-Term Care Insurance Tax Credit. Hillary will offer a new tax credit to help those planning for their long-term care needs afford high-quality insurance policies that are right for them. This new tax credit will cover 75 percent of long-term care insurance premiums up to $1,500 per year for qualified long-term care insurance policies that meet strong new consumer protection requirements. The credit will reward middle-class families that take steps to prepare for their long-term care needs. Hillary’s new Long Term Care Insurance Tax Credit would benefit at least 180,000 seniors and near-retirees in Indiana [www.ahipresearch.org (p. 27)].

Paid Family Leave. Hillary will expand the Family Medical Leave Act to cover employers with 25 or more workers, a change that will provide legal protection for unpaid leave to 13 million additional workers. Hillary will also create a State Family Leave Innovation Fund to support the establishment and expansion of state-level leave programs for new parents and those caring for their aging parents. She will ensure that every state has a paid leave program by 2016. In Indiana, this proposal could impact many of the 2.2 million private-sector workers who do not have paid family leave [Institute for Women’s Policy Research].

Equal Pay for Equal Work. Today, American women earn just $.77 for every dollar men earn. And for African American and Latinos, the disparity is even worse. African American women earn .68 cents and Hispanic women earn only .57 cents for every dollar men earn. On average, the wage gap costs families $4,000 a year. As one of 16 female U.S. Senators, Hillary has championed this issue. She introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would toughen the penalties associated with violating the Equal Pay Act; strengthen the ability of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to crackdown on equal pay violations; prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share their salary information with their co-workers; reward model employers; and more. In Indiana, women who work full time earn 72.6 percent of what men earn [Institute for Women’s Policy Research].

Seven Guaranteed Sick Days for Full Time Workers. Forty-four percent of all workers in Indiana do not have sick leave. These workers must go to work sick or forgo pay when they become unexpectedly ill. Hillary will ensure that every full-time worker has access to 7 sick days. Part time workers will receive a proportional share. Part time workers will receive a proportional share. Hillary’s policy would impact the 1.2 million workers in Indiana without access to sick leave [National Partnership for Women & Families].
Increased Funding for Child Care. Hillary has worked to expand access and improve quality of child care in our country for decades. The Bush Administration has essentially frozen the level of child care funding for the last eight years. As a result, the real purchasing power of child care subsidies has fallen significantly. According to the Bush Administration’s own estimates, 300,000 children will lose child care assistance by 2010, and 150,000 have already lost child care assistance since 2000. Hillary believes we need to increase child care funding through the Child Care and Development Block Grant and return the program to it’s original intent: to serve working families. Hillary’s policy would help the 330,000 children under six in Indiana who need child care [National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies].