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Rep. Chip Roy: Trump is entitled to ‘call B.S.’ on ‘irresponsible swamp’ coronavirus relief bill’

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Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said Wednesday that President Trump is right to condemn the new coronavirus relief package, calling it just the latest example of Washington, D.C. ‘irresponsible swamp’ spending.

On Tuesday evening, Trump blasted as a “disgrace” the newly passed $900 billion COVID-19 relief plan, urging Congress to amend the bill and raise the amount of money in direct payments to Americans.

This bill is an irresponsible swamp bill. It is the fusion of an omnibus bill that is bloated with traditional excessive spending, on top of a relief bill that has a whole lot of stuff in it that honestly isn’t all that focused on relief,”This bill is an irresponsible swamp bill. It is the merger of an omnibus bill that is bloated with typical wasteful spending, on top of a relief bill that has a whole lot of things in it that frankly aren’t all that focused on relief,”Fox & Friends,”Fox & Friends,”

Roy said it was a ‘classic Democratic mechanism’ to try to lift the direct payments to people to $2,000 and pass the same law a second time, but claimed that it was important to address the whole bill.

On this stupid bill, the president’s right to call B.S. Both sides are at fault. … The American people don’t just want another check, they want us to do our job as they have to do when they sit around their kitchen table and small businesses have to do when they try to meet ends and the leadership of America in Washington refuses to do what they have to do,”The president’s right to call B.S. on this ridiculous bill. Both parties are at fault. … The American people don’t just want another check, they want us to do our job like they have to do when they sit around their kitchen table and small businesses have to do when they are trying to make ends meet and America’s leadership in Washington refuses to do what they have to do,”

“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,”I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple. In its present form, which contains $1.4 trillion in omnibus spending, Trump claimed that the relief bill had “almost nothing to do with COVID.”

“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it,” Trump said.

He noted that after their owners “suffered so grievously.” small businesses, especially restaurants, were not given enough money.

Republicans “repeatedly refused to say what amount the president wanted for direct checks,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, and applauded the president for calling for more money to be included in stimulus checks for the American people.

“At last the President has agreed to $2,000,” Pelosi wrote. “Let’s do it!”

Pelosi added that by “unanimous consent.” Democrats will be ready to put an amendment to a vote this week.

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Labor dispute continues as King Soopers, union remain at bargaining table

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Labor dispute continues as King Soopers, union remain at bargaining table

As Denver-area King Soopers workers walked the picket lines for a sixth day, negotiators for the union and Colorado’s largest grocery chain met Monday in contract talks that have been marked by each side accusing the other of unfair labor practices and refusing to bargain in good faith.

Heading into the fourth straight day of talks, union representatives said there had been little progress even though they “moved more than 12 offers back and forth” with the company. Company representatives said the Union of Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 hadn’t offered any new proposals on wages, health care or pensions Friday.

The meeting Friday lasted 68 minutes. It was the first bargaining session since Jan. 6 when the union rejected a proposal it described as “riddled with concessions” that King Soopers wants from workers.

“We spent the first day in negotiations listening to corporate executives scream, yell at the members and show utter disdain and disrespect for the workers,” Kim Cordova, union president, said in a video on the UFCW Local 7 Facebook page.

King Soopers spokeswoman Jessica Trowbridge said in an email Monday that the union “continues to choose rhetoric and confusion to distract from their failure to represent their members and allow the company to put more money in their paychecks.”

The company wants the union to let its members vote on the offer turned down by the union’s bargaining committee.

The strike involving more than 8,000 employees at 68 stores in Boulder, Parker and the metro area started Wednesday, a day after the union rejected King Soopers’ “last, best offer.” The proposal included $170 million in wage increases, health care benefits and bonuses ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 upon ratification of the contract.

King Soopers’ contracts with the stores on strike expired Jan. 8. Other contracts with King Soopers and City Market, both owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger, expire later in January and in February.

The UFCW Local 7, which represents 17,000 grocery workers in Colorado and Wyoming, agreed to extend contract talks with Albertsons, which owns Safeway and Albertsons grocery stores.

King Soopers has proposed increasing its starting pay to $16 an hour. The union called the proposal inadequate, saying it’s only 13 cents above Denver’s minimum wage. The union’s offer includes starting pay of $18.56 and the restoration of “hazard” pay that the company gave when the coronavirus pandemic began and ended a couple of months later, in May 2020.

Wages are important to Jay Burnham, a King Soopers employee for nearly 30 years.

“But the main issue right now, the reason we voted to strike, is because of unfair labor practices,” said Burnham, who works at a Glendale store. “They’re bringing people to stock shelves who are not part of the union.”

The UFCW Local 7 filed a lawsuit in federal court in late December that said King Soopers is using third-party staffing services to do union-covered work.

King Soopers filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on Jan. 10 that accuses the union of bargaining in bad faith.

“This is a real test of, not just wills, but market power,” Jeffrey Zax, an economics professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, said of the strike. “In the pandemic environment, the question of whether either party has an accurate assessment of their relative market power is an interesting one because market power has shifted.”

Worker shortages have given labor more leverage in the market, Zax said. Millions of people haven’t returned to their pre-pandemic jobs or quit because of concerns about COVID-19, lack of child care or the desire to find different work.

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Kirill Kaprizov steps up to get Wild hard-fought point against Avalanche

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Kirill Kaprizov steps up to get Wild hard-fought point against Avalanche

DENVER — The thing about star players is they tend to show up when their team needs them most. That’s what winger Kirill Kaprizov did for the Wild on Monday afternoon at Ball Arena.

After a controversial call gave the Colorado Avalanche the lead late in the game, the 24-year-old Russian promptly tied the score 3-3 to help the Wild force overtime. When they fell behind, there was no sulking on the bench from Kaprizov and his teammates, no feeling sorry for themselves.

Instead, the Wild responded with arguably their best shift of the game, earned an offensive zone draw in the process, and Kaprizov scored seconds after Ryan Hartman won the faceoff.

“I felt like my head was going pop off,” Wild coach Dean Evason said, crediting his team for its response after the Avalanche took the lead in the third period. “They held their composure. We yelled a few times and caught ourselves as a team. Things could go real sideways, and they didn’t.”

Though the Wild ultimately lost 4-3 in a shootout, the fact that they got a point out of the matinee felt like a win.

“I’m very, very proud of the way we competed,” Evason said. “If that could ended in a tie, that would have been better. But we did enough things to have success.”

Not surprisingly, Kaprizov was at the epicenter of the Wild comeback, scoring a pair of tying goals in the final 20 minutes. He always seems to shine brighter when the spotlight is on him.

“He’s on a mission every time he goes out there,” winger Jordan Greenway said. “When it comes down to the end, and there’s a little more pressure, he steps up, for sure. He’s been doing really good for us.”

Asked why he’s so effective in winning time, Kaprizov made it sound like it’s no big deal, replying, “You just focus more and play better in those situations.” That answer is actually fitting  considering how easy he makes the game look at times.

If Kaprizov was the Wild’s star on Monday, goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and winger Kevin Fiala deserve credit as best supporting actors. They helped keep the Wild in the game when it could have gone the other way in a hurry.

With starting goaltender Cam Talbot still out with a lower-body injury, Kahkonen got the nod once again for the Wild, and he continued to shine between the pipes.

While he allowed a pair of goals in the first period, those were largely due to the Wild taking a couple of careless penalties in succession.

Less than 30 seconds into the 5-on-3, winger Mikko Rantanen collected a loose puck on the doorstep, and promptly put the Avalanche up 1-0. Then, a couple of minutes later, rookie center Alex Newhook extended the Avalanche lead to 2-0 with a blast from the slot.

“You have to try and stay out of the penalty box as much as you can against these guys,” Kahkonen said. “We know that, and I think from then on, we did a good job of playing hard and playing the right way.”

After catching their breath at intermission, the Wild started the second period with a flurry, getting a goal from Fiala roughly 30 seconds in to cut the deficit to 2-1.

The tenor of the game changed midway through the second period when Greenway inadvertently made contact with goaltender Darcy Kuemper in the crease. While he initially stayed in the game, Kuemper left shortly thereafter in favor of backup goaltender Pavel Francouz.

“I haven’t looked at it,” Greenway said. “I think he was maybe out of the crease a little bit. I didn’t even really try to intentionally give it to him. I just skated through and ended up clipping him.”

Regardless of intention, Kuemper did not return to the game, and the Wild took advantage by peppering Francouz with shot after shot. It paid dividends early in the third period when Kaprizov finished off a pass from winger Mats Zuccarello to tie the score 2-2.

That set the stage for some controversy in the final minutes as MacKinnon scored to put the Avalanche in front 3-2. It was initially ruled no goal on the ice, and while replay never actually showed the puck crossing the goal line, the officials seemingly used logic to overturn the original call.

Though the Wild clearly did not agree with the officials, they used their frustration as fuel, and Kaprizov tied the score 3-3 less than a minute later. He launched himself full speed into the glass after scoring the goal, clearly excited to be a part of the

“It was good,” said Kaprizov, who admitted he wasn’t happy with his play in the first two periods of the game. “I was really excited to get those.”

Neither team scored in overtime, then in the shootout, Zuccarello, Fiala, and Kaprizov failed to score for the Wild. Still, the Wild walked away with their heads held high as they boarded the team charter back to Minnesota.

Asked if he was impressed with the way his team forced overtime in the end, Fiala replied, “Not impressed because I know my team.” He added that the Wild had no doubt on the bench that they could tie the game.

“We never quit no matter what,” Fiala said. “That’s a great thing about us.”

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Thousands gather as Denver’s Martin Luther King Jr. Marade returns to the streets after last year’s pandemic disruption

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Thousands gather as Denver’s Martin Luther King Jr. Marade returns to the streets after last year’s pandemic disruption

Wearing a purple shirt bearing the message “Proud of the Skin I’m In,” Denver resident Berlyn Borne carried two signs with her to the Martin Luther King Jr. Marade, including a framed drawing of King alongside Malcolm X and athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, fists aloft in their iconic pose from the 1968 Olympics.

“This one I bring every year,” she said.

Borne’s been attending the Denver Marade — in-person once again Monday after going virtual last year due to the pandemic — for about 25 years, and said she used to bring her two children when they were younger. But now that they’re 26 and 28, she takes pictures and video of the Marade to send back to them in Georgia, where they now live.

“Everybody can be a part of this,” she said, adding that she hopes the community gets involved just as people did during the civil rights movement. “We still need that same drive today, and take the same action that they took.”

Thousands of people gathered in Denver to honor King’s legacy and participate in the 37th annual march and parade along Colfax Avenue from City Park to Civic Center downtown.

Holding her 5-year-old daughter Lucille Jacobs, Emily Lay, who recently moved to the Denver area from Texas, said it felt “a little surreal” to be surrounded by so many people.

When asked what the day represents to her, Lay said, “My daughter is biracial. So it represents a world where she can be herself and not have to worry about any of the things that we had to worry about in the time of Martin Luther King Jr.”

The day’s events began at City Park, where a memorial statue of King stands, and local speakers and politicians reflected on the slain civil rights leader’s work and the progress that still has to be made.

“We have gone backwards, and as a generation, we have dropped the ball,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, noting that legislation passed in 19 states to restrict voting access shows his generation has dropped the baton from the previous generation.

“I have a dream today that you pick up that baton as you walk down Colfax Avenue today, and you realize the power of that baton that was handed off to us,” Hancock said.

Other Colorado elected officials at the event, including U.S. Sens. Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper, shared a similar message about the importance of protecting voting rights, especially as the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Democratic-sponsored legislation meant to counter Republican-led voting restrictions at the state level.

“This is a huge fight that we’re in right now. It’s a fight for our democracy,” Bennett said.

Keynote speakers included former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, who, while in the statehouse, repeatedly introduced legislation to establish an official Colorado holiday in King’s honor, and his wife and former state Rep. Wilma Webb, who successfully got legislation passed to create the state holiday in 1984.

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