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Entries in Liberals (409)


NHDP - Eagle Tribune: People are showing support for N.H. minimum wage increase 

Key Point:  "Opposition to establishing New Hampshire’s minimum wage at $8.25 appeared minimal outside the Statehouse yesterday...a recent University of New Hampshire poll showed 76 percent of respondents favoring the move. The bill has a diverse coalition of backers including churches, unions and advocates for women, children and poor people.

"People interviewed yesterday in Derry unanimously supported the move."

Eagle Tribune: People are showing support for N.H. minimum wage increase
February 12, 20013
By John Toole

Opposition to establishing New Hampshire’s minimum wage at $8.25 appeared minimal outside the Statehouse yesterday.

New Hampshire now follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the lowest in New England.

House lawmakers convened a hearing on House Bill 1403 that calls for establishing the minimum wage at $8.25 next year and $9 in 2016.

If the Legislature approves the measure, which Gov. Maggie Hassan supports, New Hampshire only would lag Vermont at $9.10 an hour. Massachusetts and Maine would remain at $8 an hour and $7.50 an hour, respectively.

The Business and Industry Association has lumped the proposed minimum wage with other bills the group said would “move New Hampshire backward, resulting in the Granite State becoming a a less welcoming place for businesses to start up, grow or locate.”

But a recent University of New Hampshire poll showed 76 percent of respondents favoring the move. The bill has a diverse coalition of backers including churches, unions and advocates for women, children and poor people.

People interviewed yesterday in Derry unanimously supported the move.

“I think $8.25 an hour is still kind of low the way the cost of living is and the economy,” Peter Grasso of Derry said.

Grasso remembered working a $4-an-hour minimum wage job with Kentucky Fried Chicken years ago, before he got a 10-cent raise after eight months.

Douglas Blair of Londonderry said he supports the proposed increase.

“It would get people out, accepting the low-end jobs,” Blair said.

Where the minimum wage is now kids won’t take jobs because they think they are worth more, he said.

“That would be a great thing,” said Ginny Parsons of Derry about the potential increase. “Everyone wants more money. It would be nice for them to raise it for once.”

Robert Maxwell of Londonderry said he supports the increase.

“Ask people who work a 40-hour-a-week job at McDonald’s or in food services, and see how they are living,” Maxwell said.

Randi Murphy of Derry agreed with Maxwell.

“Seven dollars and 25 cents is kind of hard to live off,” Murphy said.

Peter Crowley of Derry said he would definitely raise the minimum wage.

“People don’t make enough money to live on,” Crowley said.

Bill Jenkins of Concord said it’s a good idea.

“Given the economy and lack of money most people have,” Jenkins said.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Eve Breault of Derry. “My only problem is the people who are already working. Is my pay going up, too? Are we going to get a comparable raise also?”

But she’s on board with the increase.

“It’s about time,” Breault said. “You can’t afford to live in New England on the minimum wage now.”

Despite the Business and Industry Association’s opposition, businesses contacted yesterday showed commerce interests are split on the issue.

“This wouldn’t affect me,” said Francis Moreau, owner of Ace Upholstery Inc. in Salem. “I can’t get anybody at minimum wage “I’m not opposed to raising it. I don’t see how people can survive on the minimum wage.”

He sees potential benefits for his business.

“Maybe they’d be able to have something upholstered,” he said of workers in line for the increase.

Jim Desjardins, owner of Daisy Cleaners in Salem, said it really doesn’t affect his staff.

“They are well beyond minimum wage,” Desjardins said.

He also wonders how people make ends meet working full time at minimum wage.

“Clearly, people can’t live off the minimum wage,” he said.

Desjardins predicts the expense would be passed along to consumers, if the minimum wage is hiked.

He doesn’t expect business will suffer for cleaners like himself, because customers paying to have clothes cleaned typically are earning above minimum wage.

Blake Ruggerio, owner of Romano’s Pizza in Salem, wasn’t hanging on the results of the political debate.

“This doesn’t really affect me, so I have no opinion on it,” Ruggerio said.

He said he didn’t see it affecting the business.

“Most of the employees are getting more than minimum wage,” he said.

The owner of Signs Now New Hampshire in Pelham, Chuck Raz, didn’t see a big affect on his business or workforce.

“We don’t have anybody at that,” Raz said of the minimum wage.

Raz would prefer the politicians leave the pay issue to the market.

“Let the market bear what it can bear,” Raz said. “I’m against it. This is New Hampshire, you know. Live free or die.”

Dec082013 - Website wishes WI Gov. Walker dead 


AUFC - Why U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte Should Swiftly Confirm Mel Watt as FHFA Director, Put Consumers Before Big Banks


DATE: OCTOBER 29, 2013


SUBJECT: Why U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte Should Swiftly Confirm Mel Watt as FHFA Director, Put Consumers Before Big Banks

As you may know, this spring President Obama nominated long-time North Carolina Congressman Mel Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Administration. This nomination could receive its floor vote over the next few days. It could come as early as Thursday, October 31.


As you may also know, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is charged with oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both government-sponsored entities (GSEs). FHFA also has responsibility for a vast array of policy decisions that affect the housing market recovery including setting loan limits and fees for GSE-backed loans. There is also consensus among policymakers that both GSEs must be revamped to safely serve the mortgage market.


Despite these serious concerns, FHFA has suffered from the absence of a confirmed director for several years, one of the most important housing policy-setting positions in government. 


At a time when a nearly a quarter of American homeowners are “underwater” on their mortgage more than 5 years after the financial crisis erupted in 2008, it is critical for taxpayers, homeowners, communities, and the economy that someone is in charge of the FHFA that is fully committed to helping homeowners that are responsible but still struggling to get their heads back above water. That person is Mel Watt, who has a strong record of calling out risky misbehavior on Wall Street, standing up to unscrupulous mortgage lenders and standing up for Americans in low-income neighborhoods who do not have access to affordable housing.  It is because of Watt’s impeccable pro-consumer record that the big banks’ lobbyists are asking Senators like Kelly Ayotte who always lend them a sympathetic ear to block the nomination. 


The question is: will Sen. Ayotte do what’s best for consumers and homebuyers -- or continue to do the bidding of the big banks don’t want to be held accountable for bad behavior?  There has been NO credible argument made to deny Mel Watt an up or down vote on the Senate floor to this important post.  If Republicans stop Representative Watt’s nomination through the use of a filibuster they must be forced to explain why.  Sen. Ayotte must answer: why is Mel Watt the first sitting member of Congress since BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR IN 1843 to have his nomination blocked through use of a filibuster?


Why Watt deserves be confirmed immediately:  


Rep Watt brings 40 years of experience in housing and finance to the position of FHFA Director. Rarely have federal nominees brought such a breadth and depth of experience to a position.


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Rep. Watt has consistently sought reasoned balanced and bipartisan efforts in policymaking.


He has a history of working with colleagues across the aisle to sponsor legislation. Those efforts include co-sponsoring bills with other current House Financial Services Committee colleagues: Reps. Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia and Missouri’s Blaine Luetkemeyer. 


North Carolina’s senior U.S. Senator Richard Burr was one of the first to endorse his nomination. Massachusetts’ Senator Elizabeth Warren has also spoken to her support.  In addition, consumer organizations, civil rights groups and industry trade associations have all come out in support of the nomination.

What supporters of the Watt nomination have said:


Senator Richard Burr:

“Having served with Mel, I know of his commitment to sustainable federal housing programs and am confident he will work hard to protect taxpayers from future exposure to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I look forward to working with Rep. Watt in his new role to find new ways to facilitate more private sector involvement in the housing and mortgage markets.”


Senator Elizabeth Warren:

The President has made an excellent choice in nominating Mel Watt to be Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).  Congressman Watt is a thoughtful policymaker with a deep background in finance…The Senate should confirm Congressman Watt soon so he can get to work stabilizing shaky housing markets…”


National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Chair Erskine Bowles:

"a bright mind, great work habits and an understanding of how Washington works..."


Former Bank of America chairman and CEO Hugh McColl:

“What he brings to everything – doesn’t matter the subject – is an open mind. He has clarity of thought.”


National Association of Realtors® President Gary Thomas:

“The National Association of Realtors® commends the Administration on its nomination of Representative Melvin Watt for the position of Federal Housing Finance Agency Director…. We look forward to continuing our work with FHFA and Representative Watt upon his confirmation.”


National Association of Home Builders Chairman Rick Judson:

"We applaud the nomination of Representative Watt to this important position. After four years in conservatorship, the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stands at a crossroad. Rep. Watt brings years of experience to this position at a pivotal moment as our nation's housing market recovers. NAHB looks forward to working closely with Rep. Watt to help address the many complex challenges facing the U.S. housing finance system upon his confirmation by the U.S. Senate."


National Council of La Raza President and CEO Janet Murguia

“We commend President Obama for this strong choice for Director of the FHFA…Throughout his distinguished tenure in Congress, Rep. Watt has established himself as a strong advocate for vulnerable consumers and families experiencing needless foreclosures. This is a critical position that will help chart the course of the nation’s housing market at a time when credit is tight and foreclosures persist, especially for Latino families. We urge Congress to swiftly confirm Rep. Watt, who has the experience and acumen to help accelerate the housing recovery.” 



CEI Today: Questions for Yellen, shutting down credit repair, and liberal bigwigs rant about climate change

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
In the News Today


Forbes: Why Obama's Will Never Work As Specified

It’s not every day we get a new chair of the Fed. It is a time to check the fundamental bearings of the nominee and get some clarity on which direction she – and our next Fed chair, Janet Yellen will be the first woman to hold the post – plans to take monetary policy.

Scholars at CEI have done just that. They have assembled a list of questions for the nominee, who will take over the Fed in a different situation than any of her predecessors.

The money supply is at an all-time high – it has increased nearly 60 percent just since President Obama took office. The “recovery” continues to slog along, with millions of Americans no longer even looking for work. The debt ceiling must be exceeded again in January, and our nation’s fiscal house never has been in worse shape. > Read more

> Interview an expert


CREDIT REPAIR - JOHN BERLAU Don’t Let FTC Shut Down Legit Credit Repair Services


The FTC, while at times acknowledging the value of credit repair firms, holds them to an impossible standard of guaranteeing results that no other service business could meet. These actions prevent legitimate credit repair firms from forming or expanding to meet the vital needs of consumers and entrepreneurs seeking access to credit.

Forcing the credit bureaus to independently verify all such consumer info before publishing it would almost certainly result in a cutback of positive information that makes it easier for consumers to get credit.
> Read more


> Interview John Berlau

Gore, Browner, Van Jones, and Tom Steyer Speak on Climate Policy at Center for American Progress Conference

The intellectual quality of what was said ranged from embarrassing to disgraceful.  I listened to it, so you don’t have to.

John Kerry mentioned climate change and energy policy only briefly in his speech, even though he announced this spring soon after he became Secretary of State that climate change would be his main focus because it was the greatest national security threat faced by the United States.

Former Vice President Al Gore followed Kerry with an incredible rant.  Every big storm is further confirmation that the global warming crisis has already begun.  Gore seems not to have heard that extreme weather events in the United States have been at an historic low in 2013. > Read more

> Interview Myron Ebell




CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!


CEI President Lawson Bader

Alarmism is dangerous



Oct042013 Political Headlines - October 4, 2013

  • A hint of assent on debt ceiling: The first cracks seemed to appear in House Republican resolve to use the federal debt limit as a bargaining chip over President Obama's health care law and other GOP priorities.  Noah Bierman reports. 


  • A nicely packaged gift from Menino: Mayor Menino's transition blog will leave his successor with what should be the best practical guide to municipal government.  Lawrence Harmon details the blog. 


NIH website to open, enabling patients to again enter trials: The website, which facilitates patients seeking experimental treatments in clinical trials, was shuttered because of the government shutdown. Deborah Kotz reports.