MSM

McClatchy: Warehousing Workers in Iraq

Adam Ashton/McClatchy: Military contractor in Iraq holds foreign workers in warehouses:
BAGHDAD — About 1,000 Asian men who were hired by a Kuwaiti subcontractor to the U.S. military have been confined for as long as three months in windowless warehouses near the Baghdad airport without money or a place to work. .. After McClatchy began asking questions about the men on Tuesday, the Kuwaiti contractor announced that it would return them to their home countries and pay them back salaries.

Sometimes all it takes is a little media sunshine - and a worker protest - to at least partially right a wrong. And as is too often the case, the offending company was a KBR subcontractor.

Video Diary: Fighting to Save Public Hospitals, Clinics

Are we witnessing a hostile corporate takeover of the United States of America? The Bush Administration has been quietly and incrementally liquidating our public health safety net in a manner reminiscent of the hostile takeovers so prevalent among corporations in the 1980s and 1990s.

A proposed set of arcane regulation changes unilaterally imposed by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) will go into effect between now and May 25, if not stopped by Congress. CMS estimates that the new rules will result in a "cost savings" of $15 billion dollars over five years. But who will benefit from these "savings"?

The rules changes will cause widespread cutbacks and closures of the emergency rooms, hospitals, and outpatient and school-based clinics currently serving most Americans. The cash raised by liquidating America's public health safety net is, according to the Washington Post, equivqalent to five weeks of war in Iraq. It represents just 3% of the $500 billion dollar bail-out the president has promised to financiers. It is money and effort taken from the American people and redistributed to wealthy corporate interests.