Part of the Bay Area News Group

Bipartisan praise for workforce bill

By Josh Richman
Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 12:31 pm in George Miller, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House.

Once in a while, Congress actually gets something done. (And how sad it is to have to start a news item this way.)

House Speaker John Boehner joined with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders Friday to sign H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a bipartisan jobs bill. The bill now goes to President Obama to be signed into law.

Boehner, Pelosi & Miller 7-11-2014“This is a very good job training and retraining bill that will help many people in America have better access to the kind of skills that are needed in today’s workforce,” said Boehner, R-Ohio. “What this bill does is consolidate a number of job training programs and provide flexibility at the local level.”

“This is a great opportunity for us to show that we can get things done, that we can listen to the American people, and work together on their behalf, because their priorities, frankly, are our priorities,” he added.

H.R. 803 streamlines the workforce development system by consolidating and eliminating programs, applying the same outcome standards to the remaining programs, creating smaller and more efficient state and local workforce development boards, giving states flexibility to address their own specific needs, aligning programs with economic development and education initiatives, and more.

Pelosi called the bill “a recognition that the American people are very talented. It’s a recognition that the private sector stands ready to work with the workforce to provide the training.”

American workers have many skills, but “need specific training to be a match, to meet the needs that the Speaker talked about, about those job vacancies. So this is really important in making sure we have a workforce for the 21st century – skilled and trained to meet the needs of the private sector and the entrepreneurial spirit of America.”

Rep. George Miller was at the signing too, as ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. He posted a Facebook item saying it was “great to be part of a rare bi-partisan group that put together a bill to modernize job training programs to help workers get the skills that are in demand.”

“Of course, Congress also needs to spend time creating jobs rebuilding America, but this training bill is a very important step that I support,” added Miller, D-Martinez.

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  • Marga

    Josh, why don’t you write about the deafening silence of our Bay Area delegation on the revelations that show spying of Muslim-American leaders? I’m frankly ashamed that people who have in the past fought for freedom of religion and equality such as Barbara Lee and Mike Honda won’t even comment when the FBI is spying on prominent Muslims, including at least one from California.

    And then there is the complete silence on the attack son Gaza. Eric Swalwell condones them, he wants Americans to stand with Israel as they commit gross human rights violations and war crimes – but we knew he was a man that lacked a moral core, so it’s no surprise. Barbara Lee and Mike Honda’s silence, however, speaks loudly.

  • JohnW

    Marga,

    When you refer to Israel committing “gross human rights violations,” I was wondering what you call all those rockets being fired by Hamas into civilian population areas in Israel? And, no, I’m not a knee-jerk defender of every move Israel makes.

  • Elwood

    When Eric Swalwell, Barbara Lee and Mike Honda are all on the same page, maybe they’re right and you’re wrong, Marga.

    Did that ever occur to you?

  • Marga

    JohnW, attacking civilians is a war crime, whether it’s done by Hamas or Israel.

    Swalwell’s condemns Hamas but supports Israel as it commits much wider war crimes and human rights violations. That’s my point.

  • Marga

    Elwood, Lee and Honda are silent so they can’t be right or wrong about anything. What they are being, are cowards.

    As for Swalwell, it’s a matter of values. He is right from the point of view that that is what benefits him financially. He is wrong from a moral point of view: condoning human rights violations and the violation of international law is wrong.

  • Elwood

    Marga dear, you must have sources which are unavailable to the rest of us.

    Won’t you please point out how Swalwell benefits financially from his point of view?

  • Marga

    That’s strange. You are posting here which suggests you have access to the worldwide web, and therefore to opensecrets.org where you can check who is contributing money to whose campaign. Surely you have the skills to use the site and see how much $ Swalwell is getting from pro-Israel groups.

  • Elwood

    Yeah, right!

    He and about 300 other members of Congress. There is not a lot of sympathy for Palestinian murderers in this country.

    Those who support the Palestinians tend to be of the lunatic fringe.

  • Marga

    There is certainly not a lot of sympathy for the plight of murdered Palestinian civilians, including children, in the hearts of people who line their pockets with the money of the pro-Israeli lobby. But that shows why we need public funding of elections – so the people who we elect represent the values of the community not of those who give them money.

    As for regular Americans, despite Israeli propaganda, I think most get the point that killing children to protest what their rulers are doing is morally corrupt.

  • Elwood

    It’s really simple, Marga. I think even you could understand this:

    When the rockets stop flying, the planes stop flying.

    Get it?

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Fascinating perspective, M. Hamas has made no efforts in what we would call civil defense for the population of Gaza nor does it make any distinction on the other side between soldier and civilian. Gaza’s stated rationale is that Israeli children grow up to be conscripts.

  • Marga

    Don’t make the mistake to equate Hamas with the Palestinian people who live in Gaza.

    The American government does horrible things to people throughout the world – and it’s as democratic government as it comes! Do you believe that any type of attack against Americans is morally justified because of what our government does? Was 911 morally right?

  • JohnW

    I’m sure the vast, vast majority of Palestinian’s in Gaza desperately want all this to end. Unfortunately, I don’t know how it is possible to not equate Gaza with Hamas. Israel’s objectives are (1) to defend their state and its people and (2) to get the people in Gaza to eventually turn on Hamas.

  • Marga

    The same way that I would hope people would not equate America with the CIA. But perhaps it’s not possible. Perhaps we all bear the responsibility of every person out government has disappeared, tortured and killed.

    As for Israel, you would think that after 40 years they’d figure out that when they punish Palestinians for the sins of their leaders, they just radicalize more people. Every mother they kill has a child who wants to avenge her, every child, a father or brother. This is not how anyone builds peace.

  • JohnW

    Polls indicate that Palestinian support for Hamas is slipping. As for the CIA, I’m reminded of the Jack Nicholson lines in A Few Good Men. People love to bash the CIA while bathing in the security it provides. As Col. Jessup said, “You want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.”

  • Marga

    Polls conducted during these attacks? really? Or prior to these attacks?

    Your belief that the CIA keeps us safe reminds me of the belief that you had to throw virgins into a volcano to keep it form erupting or my husband’s assertion that he keeps me safe from tigers, given that none have attacked me since we got married.

  • JohnW

    So, I reckon you would just abolish the CIA, or have them just analyze stuff they read in the newspaper. None of that nasty spying or covert operations stuff, right?

  • Marga

    Well, you tell me, John, what was the benefit that we got from our CIA-based wars in Central America? How is it that torturing nuns, and arming death squads helped us be more secure?

    The CIA is a tool, it could be use to get information as to what actual potential threats are up to – or it could be used to mess with people who stand on the way of corporations who shower our elected officials with money, from exploiting the people and resources in other lands. For some reason we’ve used it mostly for the second purpose, and it has definitely made us no safer than throwing salt over our shoulders would have. Actually, we’d probably be much safer if we defunded the CIA and just did that.

  • JohnW

    Defund the CIA? Great! When you refer to the CIA history of organizing coups in Latin America (and Iran), you should point the finger at the presidents who gave the orders. People love to hate the IRS for executing tax laws enacted by Congress. So, you’re hating the CIA for executing orders given by Eisenhower and others. We still need the IRS to collect the taxes according to the laws. And we still need the CIA for spying, intelligence gathering and, yes, covert operations. There is not a significant nation on the face of the earth that doesn’t have its own version of the CIA.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Fun facts about Hamas: it does not recognize Israel, it is committed to the destruction of Israel, it does not recognize any prior agreements made by the Palestinian Authority with Israel, it makes no distinction between civilian and non-civilian Israelis, it severely limits civil liberties in Gaza

  • Marga

    As I mentioned, the CIA is just a tool, but one that the US has used to create enemies rather than protect us from them. Of course those to blame are the Presidents who have used it in that manner – including Obama. But it doesn’t change the fact that your belief that the CIA keeps us safe is completely groundless. The CIA is used to create enemies – safety comes from being liked, not being hated.

  • Elwood

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” –George Orwell

  • JohnW

    I think you might moderate your position a bit if you ever had a chance to sit in on a couple of presidential daily briefings. But I agree that security has many components and that over-reliance on any one of those components yields bad results. I would not want to rely just on “being liked.”

  • Marga

    It’s worked for Switzerland :-)

  • Marga

    Except that George Orwell didn’t actually say that: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/List_of_misquotations

    It does point out, however, how oftenpeople base their ideology on baseless and false assumptions.

  • JohnW

    Even the Swiss have the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS), with a big focus on preventing terrorism. So, apparently they aren’t counting on everybody liking them. They also have compulsory military service.

  • Marga

    Is the FIS going around staging coups, training death squads and torturing intellectuals? My guess is not. If the CIA actually gathered intelligence, it might be useful – but I don’t think we have any evidence that it does that.

  • JohnW

    Oldie but goodie quote on labor vs capital from Honest Abe. The Supreme Court spin on this would be “Corporations are labor too.”

    http://www.upworthy.com/one-quote-from-abraham-lincoln-might-just-surprise-you

  • Elwood

    I don’t see the Orwell quote mentioned there, but it doesn’t matter. Most of those things are merely fine semantic quibbles.

    Anyway, good luck proving the negative that he didn’t say it.

  • Elwood

    Marga, are you deliberately wrong-headed, or does it just come to you naturally?

  • Marga

    Actually, the page does a pretty good job proving it :-)

  • Marga

    I am deliberately a liberal, which to sociopaths may look like the same thing :-)

  • Marga

    I guess we all have our definition of what makes facts ‘fun’.

  • Elwood

    You’re deliberately a liberal? Meaning you have to work at it? I can certainly understand that.

    Liberals look like sociopaths to me.

  • Marga

    Is “deliberately” that difficult a word? I already showed you how to use the WWW, do you now need me to teach you how to use the dictionary as well? Come on, Elwood! You are not /that/ obtuse, are you?

    But yes, to a sociopath, people who care for others would seem crazy.

  • JohnW

    Being a small country, they may not have developed those skill-sets. You’re not supposed to have evidence that the CIA is gathering useful/actionable intelligence. “Transparency” is not part of their mission statement.

  • Marga

    So we have to go on faith, and if that’s all we go on, then I rather just throw salt over my shoulder and call it a day :-)

  • JohnW

    Pretty much! Don’t consume the salt. Bad for the blood pressure.

    Would you have preferred that the CIA issue a press release each step they took toward finding bin Laden? Just one example.

    This country has engaged in spy craft since the days of Nathan Hale. So have all our adversaries and allies. Israel spies on us. We spy on them. Intelligence gathering was a big factor in defeating Germany and Japan in WW II. There were no press conferences or Snowden “leaks.”

  • Elwood

    The unemployment
    rate for black Americans is nearly double that of whites, and the
    amnesty legislation favored by Obama and the bipartisan permanent
    political class would hurt black Americans the most by flooding the
    labor market with more cheap labor. That is why Civil Rights
    Commissioner Peter Kirsanow wrote
    the Congressional Black Caucus to urge them to vote against amnesty
    bills that would make it more difficult for black Americans to enter the
    middle class.

    “Giving amnesty to illegal immigrants would only exacerbate this
    problem facing low-skilled men, who are disproportionately
    African-American,” Kirsanow concluded.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/11/Black-American-from-Baltimore-Where-Can-I-Get-Asylum

  • Marga

    That’s a great example of how the CIA’s antics make us less safe, not more.

    Bin Laden was pretty much a non-entity when he was killed, not doing much comparative harm. Polio, OTOH, can harm us greatly if it ever makes its way back into the US. We were very close of eliminating it altogether from the planet, like we did with smallpox, when the CIA had its brilliant idea to use a false vaccination program to get info on Bin Laden. So what happened? People in Pakistan no longer trust vaccination campaigns, there has been a surge of cases of polio, and the real danger of it makings its way back into America continues.

    Here is a good article about it, but you can find lots if you google: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-cia-fake-vaccination-campaign-endangers-us-all/

  • JohnW

    The unemployment rate among blacks has been double that of whites for the past 50 years — 20 years before Reagan’s amnesty for immigrants from South of the border.

    Peter Kirsanow was appointed to the Civil Rights Commission by Bush 43 because he is (a) black and (b) a conservative Republican. Ironically, unlike Kirsanow, Bush was and still is FOR immigration reform, including some type of normalization for people already here.

    As reported in the Britbart link. Laura Ingraham (who is a fire-breathing anti-immigration activist) trotted out “Elaine,” a black lady from Baltimore, who rightfully complains about the dangers of gang violence faced by her young daughter. That’s got nothing to do with immigration.

    Anti-immigration conservatives, who normally couldn’t care less about doing anything about black unemployment or inner city problems, now are suddenly bleeding hearts on the subject.

  • Elwood

    So all of the above makes it OK to add millions of uneducated low skill non-English speakers to the work force?

  • JohnW

    Didn’t say that. We have to control the flow of immigration. I won’t get into the whole discussion of what it takes to accomplish that. My argument was over conflating the issue of immigration with black unemployment rates.

    The only sources who are claiming that “amnesty” is a significant factor in black unemployment are those who, generally speaking, are not especially concerned about black unemployment — except when the subject provides a convenient backdrop to indulge in populist demagoguery about immigration.

  • Elwood

    ” My argument was over conflating the issue of immigration with black unemployment rates.”

    You can’t separate the two, John, regardless of how hard you spin it.