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The Big Bird-Delphi connection

Published: Tue, October 16, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

The Big Bird-Delphi connection

Christie Mark, DCCC Chief operating officer, sent out an email in an attempt to drum up financial and personal support for the party’s candidates under the lead line, “What did Big Bird ever do to Mitt Romney?”

She then went into a brief narrative about how Republicans have been engaged in a two-year assault on PBS. The Democrat brain trust is making a presidential campaign issue out the possible loss of 40 percent of PBS’ funding, yet they act like ostriches when it comes to the fact that they have instrumented the loss of 30 to 70 percent of pensions, total health care and life insurance by the Delphi salaried retirees.

It’s laughable that the Democrats have made an issue of the prospect of PBS defunding by using Big Bird as some kind of a metaphor for Middle Class values. What about the real average hard working Americans who have been left in the wake of the administration’s ruthless disregard of the Delphi salaried group?

We are in that proverbial crunch time where fighting for every vote is crucial as the race for the White House tightens according to most scientific polls. The Mahoning Valley is the heart of Democratic support in this state and this state is the hinge pin of the door to the presidency for either of the main candidates.

To those of us who suffered the crushing consequences of Lykes’ ruthless exercise of bankruptcy sanctioned pension rape, I ask you to remember and strike a blow for these salaried folks so that they may not suffer similarly beyond what they have already lost. To those hard working folks from Denman and RG Steel who have lost their jobs and probably their legacy security, I ask you to stand with the Delphi salaried retirees. While those “blue” white collar workers weren’t union, their fight may serve as an ice breaker for your own pending issues.

I am asking the entire Valley to make the Delphi issue is own. When candidates’ callers ring your phone for the umpteenth time since Labor Day, take time to explain to these canvassers — Democrat or Republican — why the salaried retirees deserve their earned pensions.

To every individual who will cast their vote in this election, I am calling on you to remember that these people are truly your brothers and sisters in the workplace and when politicians come calling, in a loud voice tell them a singular message, “I am Delphi.”

I am counting on the strategists of both camps to get the meaning of that message and that fact will finally produce a definite action toward resolving the restoration of the pensions.

John Vogel, Mineral Ridge

Mary B. Smith left a legacy

Recently the Youngstown State University family, in particular, and the community, in general, were deeply saddened at the passing of Mrs. Mary B. Smith.

She was many things to many people, but to those of us who attended Youngstown College — especially those of us who were student athletes — she was a truly admirable lady. For those of us who were members of the football team, we remember her as being slow to see our faults but quick to discover our goodness. Speaking for myself, I thought of her as a second mother as she gave quietly of her time and efforts to ensure that my schedule each semester was complete and accurate, that I attended classes as I should, and that I put forth the effort required to complete my college education and become a contributing member of society.

She was a lady who was as honest with others as she was with herself. She was cheerful with us in difficult times and did her best to make sure that each of us was true to our beliefs. She was a leader with character and integrity; she was compassionate and empathetic for those in the community in most need.

I am a Coach Dike Beede Camp Fitch Football Training Camp survivor, as myself and 10 or so of my fellow teammates (1948-1954) like to say. Most of us are approaching or are 80 years of age; on each and every occasion on which we had the opportunity to see and visit with “Mary B.,” as we affectionately referred to her, we would gather around her to tell her how grateful and proud we were to have her as part of our lives.

There comes a time in everyone’s life when others look back to see if in fact we have made a difference — did we make things a little bit brighter, a little bit better for someone else? There is no doubt with regard to “Mary B.” She touched so many lives, and in doing so will live on forever.

Angelo Pezzuolo, New Castle, Pa.

The writer was a member of the Penguins football team, 1951-1955

The role of the vote in democracy

In Ohio, as in other states, the secretary of state has the responsibility to oversee the state’s election process. This year, rather than seeing our elected officials engaged in promoting and encouraging voter registration and turn out, the reverse seems to be occurring. We are witnessing vigorous efforts which are designed to reduce, rather than promote, turnout at our election poles. The nation’s elections in 2004 and 2008 resulted in record turn out, but were marked with reports of voter confusion at voting locations resulting in a national embarrassment for Ohio, Florida and some other states. Could Ohio, once again, see its election process held up for ridicule?

The secretary of state’s office needs to be held accountable for its activities in two specific regards. First, on their ability to encourage and educate Ohioans as to their duties and responsibilities in being enlightened and responsible voters. Tracking trends in voter registrations would give an indication as to how their offices are meeting that responsibility. The second method for calculating their effectiveness is reflected by the percentage of voters that actually turn out to cast their vote. Other industrialized and emerging nations are demonstrating better statistical results in these areas.

If this year’s fiasco, under the guise of addressing voter fraud, results in further embarrassment for Ohio’s election process, then the current secretary of state’s style and actions may negatively impact his career as a public servant.

Tom Flynn, Howland

More government meddling

I work part time for a major department store chain. The other day I attempted to sign up for health-care benefits. My company does not offer benefits to part time employees, but refers us to Starbridge, a limited benefits company. When I clicked on the link which provides benefit information, a notice appeared stating that this company does not meet the minimum requirement of the Affordable Care Act, which is $1.25 million. This statement follows: “Your health plan has requested that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services waive the requirement...” and states, “meeting this minimum dollar limit this year would result in a significant increase in your premiums or a significant decrease in your access to benefits.”

The next paragraph states “If you are concerned about your plans’ lower dollar limits on key benefits, you and your family may other options for health coverage. For more information, go to www.HealthCare.gov”

If this isn’t socialized medicine what is? Time for change this November.

Susan Kelly, Austintown


1UNCOMMONSENSE(523 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Sorry but I am not Delphi and this is one of the consequences of being salaried.

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2redeye1(5109 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Susan That is only the beginning . Just wait until it goes into full force. You and many others are really going to be surprised. I have read the whole bill , I found it online and believe me its scary.

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3300(573 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

It's funny that if it were up to the Republicans, the Delphi retirees wouldn't have received anything after the restructuring. If they think for one minute that Romney will help them out, they're delusional. It's thanks to the Democrats that they were even able to get a portion of their pension.

To the lady who works part-time, you should turn your complaints to your company. If it were not for their tremendous greed, you would have access to healthcare. The fact that someone who doesn't even work fulltime would identify with the Republicans is just as absurd as the Delphi retirees thinking the GOP will come their aid. Just so that we're all clear, the part-time worker is part of that 47% who pay no federal income taxes. I just hope she doesn't consider herself to be a "producer".

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4uselesseater(229 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Why does Big Bird and Sesame Street need any government pork?

Sesame Street makes a fortune licensing it's characters, products, likenesses, etc. How many Bert and Ernie toys, Elmo dolls, Street likeness goods and products have you bought over the years? Sesame Street profits from those, immensely.

A quick look at giant retailer Walmart's website shows 14 Sesame products in my local store and a whopping 475 available in total from Walmart bearing the name Sesame Street.

Yet, we are to believe Sesame needs or deserves funding, as if it "needs" it?

A quick view of their 2011 financials shows all sorts of intricate money structuring and odd ways to calculate things, as if to hide things in plain sight.

Sesame is another 501(c)(3) flush with money. Total assets in 2009, $289 million, up from $276 million the year before.

Page 13 of their financials lists investments:
$14.7 million in "domestic equities"
$12.6 million in "international equities"
$3.5 million in "equity hedge"

These are the same exact types of structures Romney has been pointed as being bad for being involved in (which I agree, these instruments are filled with fraud and amassing money in less than savory dealings).

Showing this indicates Sesame seems to be investing heavily in financial instruments outside of the US and hedging against losses with casino gambling $3.5 million hedge.

As of June 2011, Sesame had a net loss carry over "credit" of $8.3 million.

This is while 501(c)(3) aren't taxed and often have little taxable activities. In the financials Sesame only shows one line for taxes. "Provision for income taxes" which is a mere $73,000. Mind you, total assets of the company are $289 million and income for 2011 of $134 million.

What do we expect from an organization ran by H. Melvin Ming, a certified public accountant who somehow found it more profitable to make his bread and butter in the fake non profit sector than by working as a CPA.

Someone needs to go raid Walmart and look at the Made In declarations on Sesame goods.

I'll bet you that probably each and every Sesame branded good is made in China.

"In July 2007, Mattel recalled some of its "Dora the Explorer" and "Sesame Street" toys due to concerns about lead paint." Lead paint from China.

They even have Chinese language Sesame shirts:

Maybe we should ask Big Bird for his "papers"? Afterall, Sesame did produce a China focused movie with the Bird back in 1983. Perhaps Big Bird is actually a Pekin Duck?

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5eatlocal(5 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

300 you make me laugh. Your ideas are so one sided. How well have Democratic control of the Mahoning Valley worked the past 40 years? Factory closings, depressed economy, loss of population due to no jobs, many young people leaving the area because of no opportunities here! How has all of this been so great???? People need to look at ideas from both political parties, not that any Republican is the big bad devil! As for the Delphi pensions, the Democratic president structured the GM bankruptcy. His decisions led to the Delphi employees losing their pensions.

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6stewie(109 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

He structured the bankruptcy because if not, they would have gone into bankruptcy like the republicans wanted. Private entities would have bought them up, got rid of the pensions, got rid of the workers,sold the business off in pieces. No more G.M. , no more union, including delphi workers. No more valley, over 2million jobs gone. Just what the foreign car lobbyists paid the republican senators and congressmen for. Then they would be in control to lower workers wages to 9 bucks an hour. Not to mention the country going into a depression not a recession! You self proclaimed genius.

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7uselesseater(229 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

GM will never be a good deal. Bailout was wrong.

Government doesn't come bail me out come tax time. They never say "Sorry you had a bad year". Or sorry you made poor decisions. They just say pay, pay, pay.

GM is a problem. Government created the problem.

We had hundreds to thousands of vehicle manufacturers in this country not so long ago. We also had good rail lines in cities and competitors in local transit, now we have no rails and government owned monopolies with the transit funded by taxpayers who don't even use the bus systems.

Who are the geniuses that allowed this massive consolidation into the "Big 3" auto companies? Regulators on the federal level, intentionally wheeling and dealing and rubber stamping monopolies they created. Instead of a monopoly, we have, well a tri-opoly, the Detroit 3.

That was until consumers had import choices. Imports trounced the Big 3, initially with low costs and import games, but in past decade, they did so with far superior products. Business was the partner in creating the tri-opoly and is the entity responsible for fair import rules.

Sure, losing 2 million jobs wouldn't have been good. But what is stopping GM from going under again? GM has yet to repay the loan, and likely never will. Look at Chrysler, they've been through what? Three bailouts and fails over the past 30 years?

Detroit has been lost in time, stuck in 1960's muscle car mentality, a fading dinosaur of a bygone era. Sure, give them credit now, they are ripping off foreign designs and using models developed for other countries now. Problem with Detroit, old man leadership. They have the designers and the workers to produce superior products, but they keep doing mediocre and demand today exorbitant amounts for what are essentially a line of junk heaps.

All the folks whining and crying about pensions, WAA WAA! If you retired in the past 10 years, you shouldn't be expecting a pension and companies shouldn't have been continuing to have such ill planned plans. They were deemed unsustainable in the early 1980's and companies were sternly warned.

As always with the pension dependent group, how about you folks go research where your pension is invested and the financial practices and offshore deals those companies deal in.

Pensioners are owed something, but mind you, when you've drained all the liquidity from the working folks and drained the corporate coffers, what do you think happens? It fails.

The only way the pension racket doesn't fail is if a large liquidity gets invested in growth finance deals, which are all shady, offshore, self destructive, etc. Good for short term returns, terrible in the future.

Pension folks should love Romney since he's well versed in financial gimmicks that amass wealth. I'd wager to say your pension might even contain some investments in companies he's touched or structured.

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8eatlocal(5 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Well said uselesseater.

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9jojuggie(1607 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

The Cost of Obama’s Green Leap Forward
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On October 19, 2012 @ 11:45 am In The Point | No Comments
Obama’s Green Leap Forward was based around the same collectivist industrial impulse as Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Both Obama and Mao sought to radically accelerate industrial progress through top-down compulsion. China’s industrial revolution only succeeded when its products found markets in the West. Obama’s Green Leap Forward is doomed because most of the only people who want to buy Green are forced to do it or bribed to do it.
Heritage’s Foundry blog has some of the cost of Obama’s failed Green Leap Forward. (China has its own Green Leap Forward program, partly built on the subsidized Western Green market)
So far, 36 companies that have received federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy. The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.
Of the Dirty Green 36, Solyndra is the most well known, for its sheer scale, followed by Fisker, which between them cost taxpayers a cool green billion dollars. Then there’s more obscure companies like Johnson Controls, a bargain at a mere 300 million dollar loss, Abound Solar at only 374 million dollars, and Brightsource… at 1.6 billion dollars.

Obama’s Green Leap Forward has not led to energy independence, but to greater energy dependency. It hasn’t ushered in a solar utopia, but some expensive financial losses.
Mao’s Great Leap Forward benefited from total economic control and slave labor.

Obama’s Green Leap Forward is an attempt to impose a Socialist economic momentum through crony capitalism on a system that is still dependent on an open market. Subsidies can make products happen, they can make people buy them, but they don’t create a hermetically controlled system in which the entire process succeeds.


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