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CVS to Raise Wages and Offer Paid Parental Leave Thanks to Tax Bill

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

Yet according to San Fran Nan this is only crumbs but I promise you the CVS employees think it is more than crumbs.

 

CVS Health will use a portion of corporate benefits brought by the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to increase wages for hourly employees and offer paid parental leave to full-time workers, according to CNBC.

The healthcare company, which has over 240,000 employees, will boost starting hourly pay to $11 an hour from $9 an hour, and full-time employees will be offered up to four weeks of paid parental leave.

In response to decreasing unemployment rates and a tightening labor market, many companies have announced bonuses and benefits for employees, results praised by President Donald Trump after the tax bill’s passage last year.

Our big and very popular Tax Cut and Reform Bill has taken on an unexpected new source of “love” – that is big companies and corporations showering their workers with bonuses. This is a phenomenon that nobody even thought of, and now it is the rage. Merry Christmas!

The announcement of wage increases at CVS and other companies, including Walmart, have been criticized by some, as they have argued that temporary bonuses are not enough to offer lasting benefits for the middle class.

The move comes as CVS’ fourth-quarter results exceeded expectations, and it prepares for a shareholder vote next month on its proposed $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna.

Earnings for the pharmaceutical company included a $1.5 billion benefit from the tax bill, but retail sales have continued to disappoint.

“As much as CVS is forward thinking and innovative in health, it is an extraordinarily unimaginative and backward-looking retailer,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, according to CNBC.

“This is one of the reasons why front-of-store sales are still in negative territory despite very weak prior year comparatives and a boost to sales from remedies for a particularly nasty flu and cold season.”

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Venezuela’s Annual Inflation Rate Has Reached Over 4,000 Percent

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

Venezuela the place DemocRats hailed as utopia when in fact Venezuela shows how much of a failure socialism really is.

This is what America would look like under Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton as president.

In 2017, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate rose to 4,068 percent, according to reports made by the opposition-led National Assembly.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the inflation rate has risen so rapidly that the government cannot print money fast enough to keep up with the demand. A U.S. dollar currently is worth more than 200,000 bolivars, the Venezuelan currency.

Some experts are concerned that the crisis will only continue to get worse. Omar Zambrano, former economist for the Inter-American Development Bank, said he believes the country now faces an ultimatum.

 

“The authorities have lost control, they can’t stop creating bolivars even if they wanted to,” Zambrano said. “This ends in two ways: Either we adopt the dollar or we go back to bartering.”

The Venezuelan minimum wage has also suffered from high inflation, yet is still only equivalent to $1 a month, according to a Reuters report. The government blames this situation on economic aggression led by the American government, however, the cause of this inflation seems to to be much more complex than that.

Tragedy: Victim in Accidental Drowning Identified as Older Sister of CNN’s Don Lemon

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

I want to offer my heartfelt condolences to Don Lemon and his family due to the loss of a sister and a daughter.

Authorities have now positively identified a woman who drowned Wednesday evening in Livingston Parish, Louisiana. L’Tanya “Leisa” Lemon Grimes, 58, was the older sister of CNN host Don Lemon.

Sad news…@donlemon‘s sister, L’Tanya “Leisa” Lemon Grimes, died in a tragic accident yesterday. She was only 58. May her memory be a blessing.

Local ABC News affiliate WBRZ reported:

A person drowned in a neighborhood pond Wednesday.

The person was found off Iberia Drive in the Livingston Trace subdivision south of the Juban Road exit on I-12. First responders and the coroner were on scene before 5 o’clock.

The victim has been identified as 58-year-old L’tanya Grimes of Denham Springs.

According to preliminary reports, there are no indications that there was foul play involved, and the drowning is being considered accidental.

Lemon is no stranger to personal tragedy and heartbreak — in 2010, during a broadcast about a church leader accused of sexually molesting young boys, the CNN host tearfully admitted on air he had been the victim of a pedophile.

He had been so consumed by the shame of the experience he hadn’t even been able to tell his own mother about it until years later, when he was in his 30s: “I am going to tell you something that I have never admitted on television. I was a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid.”

Lemon’s family released a joint statement regarding Wednesday evening’s devastating news:

The Lemon/Grimes family would like to thank everyone for their condolences and prayers at this time. Our family has suffered the tragic loss of L’Tanya ‘Leisa’ Lemon Grimes. We are leaning on each other for strength at this time. We appreciate privacy as we grieve the loss of our loved one.

Lemon is not expected to be behind the desk Thursday night on CNN, and he tweeted a message about his sister Thursday afternoon.

Tim Allen Puts Crosshairs on Political Correctness and Addresses Free Speech in New Docudrama

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

“Political correctness is tyranny with manners.”

― Charlton Heston

15th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Actor Tim Allen is quickly becoming an outspoken voice among conservatives, and he has joined the cast of “No Safe Spaces,” a film by comedian Adam Carolla and conservative radio host Dennis Prager that addresses the need for free speech on college campuses and in pop culture.

In 2009, Prager created PragerU, a website that centered on the discussion of various subjects from a conservative viewpoint.

Prager has now joined forces with Carolla in order to break down PC barriers on college campuses. The two are currently traveling around the country and speaking to various colleges about free speech.

“Nothing kills comedy quite like people who are constantly offended,” said Carolla in an article with the New York Post. “It’s impossible to be funny if we’re not allowed to poke fun at each other and that’s what’s happening with a new generation of people who seem to be offended for a living.”

Allen’s ABC sitcom “Last Man Standing” was canceled last year, and many believe it was due to the show’s focus on conservative values. However, Allen has continued to be outspoken about his beliefs in his project with Carolla and Prager.

Carolla fears that if people continue to become hyper-sensitive to a statement that may cause offense, the effects could be detrimental to society.

“If we can’t have fun with one another, then we lose our humanity. If free speech goes, then our basic freedoms will follow soon after,” Carolla said.

 

Obama’s Former Secretary of State Reportedly Delivered Stunning Private Message to Palestinians

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

If doing what Lurch Kerry just did is’t a crime it should be the bastard is a traitor.

As for Lurch saying he might run in 2020 he was set packing after the 2004 election I guess he wants to be a two time loser. 

 

Former Secretary of State John Kerry has reportedly undermined President Donald Trump in the Middle East.

The Trump administration hasn’t had any contact with the Palestinian Authority since announcing its plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But that didn’t stop Kerry from sending the Palestinians a message:

“Stay strong and do not give in to Trump.”

Kerry made the comment during a recent meeting in London with Hussein Agha, a close associate of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Furthermore, according to the report, Kerry, who worked under former President Barack Obama, asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the United States or the Trump administration in general, but to center his criticism on the president alone.

Kerry also reportedly told Agha he is “seriously considering” running for president in 2020.

James Mattis Issues a Grave Warning to Those Who Threaten ‘America’s Experiment in Democracy’

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

Mad Dog Mattis is a Warrior General and is not afraid to kick some asses as need be to keep  America and Americans safe.

On Friday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis discussed national defense strategy with reporters. He explained that protecting the U.S. is about more than “protecting geography.”

“America’s military protects our way of life, and I want to point out it also protects a realm of ideas,” he said.

Mattis cited threats from North KoreaIranChinaISIS and Russia and declared that although our military is strong, “our competitive edge has eroded.”

The defense secretary touted the importance of working with allies and shared that in his experience, he’s never fought “in a solely American formation.”

The Marine veteran also highlighted the military’s ultimate role:

Our military’s role is to keep the peace; to keep the peace for one more year, one more month, one more week, one more day; to ensure our diplomats who are working to solve problems do so from a position of strength and giving allies confidence in us. This confidence is underpinned by the assurance that our military will win should diplomacy fail.

While diplomacy is the preferred method of conflict resolution, after a four-decade career in the Marines, Mattis is well aware of the dangers posed to the U.S. However, he offered a grave warning to anyone who is considering a physical attack on America.

“To those who would threaten America’s experiment in democracy, they must know: If you challenge us, it will be your longest and your worst day,” Mattis declared.

He advised detractors to “work with our diplomats” because “you don’t want to fight the Department of Defense.”

Gov’t Shutdown Triggered Cut-Off of One Major Connection to Troops Overseas — Then Boeing Stepped In

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

Boeing is to be commended for offering to make sure our troops overseas were not deprived from their only source of entertainment and news.

When budget disagreements on Capitol Hill result in a shutdown of the government’s “nonessential” operations, it can often be surprising what qualifies as “nonessential.”

In 2013, then-President Barack Obama attempted to shutter open-air memorials, claiming that the manpower required to keep them clean was “nonessential.” President Donald Trump has worked with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to ensure that won’t happen.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted on Friday, as a result of this shutdown, the military lost access to one major connection between the U.S. and troops serving overseas — the Armed Forces Network — which, at some times, is the only network available:

I received this from a young infantryman serving in Afghanistan this morning. Sad that the men and women who have sacrificed so much are deprived of even the most basic connection to home bc Democrats are playing political games.

AFN, part of the Armed Forces Radio and Television Services, is designed to provide information, morale, and a taste of home to troops stationed overseas. The schedule includes everything from television series, movies, and sporting events — such as championship football:

It wasn’t long before Boeing, one of a number of companies that just announced bonuses coming as the result of the recent tax cuts, stepped up to make a very generous offer:

But as it turned out, Boeing wasn’t alone in thinking that American service-members deserved better:

Sanders did make sure to thank Boeing for being willing to step up:

As it should be.

Out of All 535 Members of Congress, Here Are the Ones Asking to Not Be Paid During Shutdown

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

I find it very interesting that there is only one DemocRat is this group of House Members asking to not be paid.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/@RepSeanMaloney/Twitter/Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Friday’s government shutdown put a lot of federal services on hold, and members of Congress still can’t agree on how to move forward.

The shutdown is a burden for many who rely on federal funds, including active duty military personnel. In fact, if Congress can’t figure things out soon, those service members might not take home a paycheck. On the other hand, members of the House and Senate still get paid. But not every representative on Capitol Hill is OK with that, and they’re speaking out about it.

Thus far, several members of Congress are requesting that their salary is withheld.

Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH):

My letter to the House CAO asking that my pay be withheld during the . Members of Congress should not be paid while 2 million troops are not.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS):

In light of the government , I’m asking for my pay to be withheld until the government is reopened.

Rep. Daniel M. Donovan (R-NY):

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO):

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY): 

ICYMI: I asked the House Chief Administrative Officer to withhold my pay during this shutdown. Until our military gets paid, I won’t get paid.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA):

Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ):

I am requesting that Congress withhold my salary until an appropriations agreement has taken effect.

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA):

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN):

If the military doesn’t get paid during the shutdown, members of Congress shouldn’t either. I wrote a letter to withhold my paycheck.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY):

Did you know that during a Members of Congress still get paid?! Not me. I told @CAOHouse to withhold my pay. It’s crazy to me that Members of Congress get paid while military service members do not.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY):

Members of Congress should live by the same laws as our constituents. I will be foregoing my pay during this government shutdown.

In addition, Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA), who served as a Navy SEAL, is donating his salary to a military-themed charity each day.

Taylor tweeted:

Congress shouldn’t be paid during this , just like some of you aren’t being paid & especially if our military & first responders are not. I will donate my salary to a military/veterans’ charity each day. Today’s pay will go to Vetshouse, Inc.http://www.vetshouseinc.org 

Amidst all the debate over the shutdown, these members of Congress are focused on making a difference. Their willingness to give up their salary reveals that they aren’t in for themselves, but that they are putting their country first.

Sec. Mattis Refused to Be Late to a Briefing — What He Does Next Defines His Commitment to His Job

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

When you are a Warrior General and are committed to your job you adapt you improvise and you overcome.

James Mattis

@ChiefPentSpox/Twitter

On Friday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis traveled to Johns Hopkins University to unveil the newest version of the National Defense Strategy. On the way, however, it looked as if his motorcade was going to be late for his scheduled appearance.

Instead of accepting the unacceptable, the retired Marine general got out and walked the last 15 minutes in order to arrive on time.

One of the biggest takeaways from the new National Defense Strategy is that the Department of Defense is pivoting to focus on maintaining a competitive military advantage to deter Russian and Chinese aggression.

Elbridge Colby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, said the main pillars of the new strategy include “peace through strength, the affirmation of America’s international role, the U.S. alliance and partnership structure, and the necessity to build military advantage to maintain key regional balances of power.”

 

Mattis Gives a Tactical Reason Why He Personally Wants to Talk to the Troops on the Ground

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H/T Independent Journal Review.

It is refreshing to see a Warrior General in charge of the Defense Department instead of some asinine political hack that doesn’t know their ass from their elbow.

James Mattis

Sgt. Amber Smith/Flickr

Secretary of Defense James Mattis explained why it’s so important for him to take trips and personally talk with service members as he did on Tuesday, when he traveled to Idaho.

Speaking to a press gaggle at Mountain Home Air Force Base, he said that because he is so high up in the chain of command, he wants to see the reality of his subordinates and not just his own.

“When I go to make the base visits, I’m going there to hear unfiltered, what is the reality that they face,” he said.

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: Yesterday Mattis visited Mountain Home Air Force Base, , where he met with base leadership and fielded questions from @USAirForce .

“The Department of Defense is a huge organization,” Mattis continued. “It’s spread around the world, and I need to go down and talk to the — the squadron commanders, the guys who are fixing the airplanes, the pilots and people like that in order to stay in touch with their reality. Not my reality, their reality.”

Mattis provided examples of the questions he asked the airmen, which included, “Are you getting the various parts you need in time? Do you have enough people, the right kind of skills there?”

“But it’s really to keep my finger on the pulse of the troops and their view of what’s going on in their world. It can get pretty remote the higher up you go in any organization,” he said.

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