Coal miners told showing up for Romney filming “mandatory” but without pay

Coal mine workers in Ohio were told that attending, and apparently appearing, in a Romney ad was “mandatory.” Now ProgressOhio has filed a complaint with the FEC over campaign violations.

It says a lot about Romney, Murray Energy, the mine owner, and the desperate steps they will take to win this election. Forcing workers without pay to attend or appear in a campaign ad crosses all kinds of legal and ethical boundaries, and tips the hands of Romney   and an industry frantic to elect a candidate who believes in “clean” coal.

And what about “clean” coal? Bloomberg government analyst Rob Barnett says this, “We’re a long way off.”

The choice in November is clear: vote for big industry that opposes protecting workers, our air, water, and mountains, while supporting a candidate who thinks science, safety, our health, and global warming aren’t important, or elect a President who wants to create good jobs using renewable and safe energy, while protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, fish, and swim in, or the mountains we climb. It’s just that simple.

Listen to Marketplace’s report today.

Where are the families Romney wants to help?

NASA photo by Neil Armstrong

Last week Mitt Romney closed his acceptance speech for the Republican Party’s Presidential nomination with this,  “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans, and heal our planet. My promise…is to help you and your family.”

Governor Romney is right to want to help families. I looked around and the only families I know are living here on Earth, so shouldn’t Romney also want to work on healing our warming planet so families are stronger? Hmmmm.

Don’t ask me to “play nice”

A Facebook friend posted this graphic, said he thought the statements were true, but asked if anyone could verify.

The people who responded in opposition to Ryan’s policies were mostly women (I responded too), and provided links to legislation, historic perspectives, and personal experiences to back up their positions.

The poor man, Jim, (no last names here because I am feeling generous and don’t want to expose the guy’s knuckledragger politics) “dared” someone to prove that a “common form of birth control” would be banned got a firestorm of answers from both women and men which included links to the legislation Ryan sponsored, Supreme Court decisions, historic references and stories of  personal experience.

Poor Jim responded at times by primarily personally criticizing strangers who offered strong arguments in opposition to Ryan’s policies. At one point, perhaps because no one was coming to Jim’s aid, the mutual friend, a man, asked everyone to “play nice.”  And frankly, when the topic is women’s health and reproductive choices, it really pissed me off for a man to say we should “play nice.”

I am not going to “play nice” when it comes to protecting the hard won health care rights for me, my friends, my daughters, my granddaughter, and my nieces. “Playing nice” also puts the ability for families to plan when and if they have children (childless couples are families too) at risk.

Any person, be they  male, female, gay, lesbian, transgendered, pangendered, questioning, celibate, or heterosexual, who has a vested interest in the health of women, children, and families in our country, needs to do their homework. We must know the legislation Ryan and likeminded Conservatives support, and speak up with facts and information, not hot-tongued rhetoric that is no better than the factless refutations proffered by poor Jim.

I am willing to discuss and talk when someone disagrees with me. But being told to “play nice” when the conversation is vigorous, don’t even go there with me.

(You can get a jump start on the legislation and some keen analysis here with a link to the Sanctity of Life Act, analysis of Ryan’s positions and policies at The Daily Beast and Jezebel. If that doesn’t scare you senseless about the attack on women by Republicans, read Rep. Todd Akin’s stupefying comments on whatever “legitimate rape” is.)