Here are stories published today. 

Will 1 late credit card payment hike rate? | 2011-03-16

The rules are clear on rate increases, but there are other penalties for late payments.

Keep open old cards to boost credit scores | 2011-03-16

One easy way to boost your credit scores– keep open those old, zero-balance credit cards.

Best credit cards to build credit | 2011-03-16

Even with no credit history, you can begin building a base with these types of cards.


For Black folks, collective bargaining means equality in the workplace.

Now, this basic right is under attack in Wisconsin — and across the country.

Support the workers who are fighting back.

There was once a time in this country when Black folks would work 12-hour days for less money than their White co-workers who worked only eight. The key to leveling the playing field for Black workers was collective bargaining — and now Republicans around the country are attacking this basic right.

The right of workers to negotiate as a group for better wages, benefits and working conditions has been important for everyone, but it’s been especially meaningful for Black Americans. Before we could collectively bargain, we had little control over our working conditions and no protection from racial discrimination in the workplace.

That’s why it’s critical that we stand with the workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, and everywhere else collective bargaining is coming under attack. Please join us in sending a message of support to all those fighting this battle on the front lines. It takes only a moment:

In Memphis in 1968, Black sanitation workers worked in dangerous, inhumane conditions under abusive White supervisors for little pay. After two workers were crushed to death by a malfunctioning city garbage truck, the city’s Black sanitation workers sought to unionize. They demanded better wages, safer working conditions, and the right to collectively bargain for these things. They took to the streets of Memphis bearing signs that read, “I am a man.” During the strike, police attacked and jailed Black workers for peaceful protest. Months later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said that “all labor has dignity,” joined these workers on the front lines. He was assassinated while leading the effort to win collective bargaining rights for these workers.1

Collective bargaining has helped Black workers vulnerable to workplace discrimination win needed on-the-job protections. “Black workers have an interest in unions as all workers do, because they give them power in the labor market to improve working conditions, and allow them due process and fairness on the job,” says labor scholar Stephen Pitts. “Any sort of institution that allows due process procedures and reduces arbitrary behavior in decision making is positive for black folks.”2

More than just protection from discrimination, collective bargaining has won Black workers fairness in pay and advancement, access to health insurance and retirement savings, and basic worker safety protections.3 This is especially true for Black public-sector workers. Twenty-five percent of all Black college graduates work in the public sector, and government work is second only to health and education services in concentration of Black workers.4 As scholar Michael Honey points out, “The one toe-hold many black and minority workers (and especially women among them) still have in the economy is in unionized public employment.5

Now, Republicans in state legislatures around the country are attacking public employees’ collective bargaining rights. The battle began in Wisconsin, when Republican Governor Scott Walker offered a bill that would strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights. In response, thousands of regular people filled the state capitol in protest — with many camping out there for days or even weeks. To stop the bill and force Republicans to negotiate, 14 Democratic state senators left Wisconsin, (preventing Republicans from voting on the bill). Despite the overwhelming public opposition to the bill, Republicans were eventually able to pass the law using procedural tricks late last week.6 But the protesters in Wisconsin drew the world’s attention to this fight, and exposed the attack on collective bargaining rights as hugely unpopular and politically motivated. And right now they’re working to hold Republicans accountable in powerful ways.

Wisconsin is one of many states where collective bargaining is under attack. Republicans in Ohio just passed a law similar to Wisconsin’s, and states from Indiana to New jersey are prepared to follow suit.

Republicans say that their effort to roll back collective bargaining rights is necessary to curb spending in times of economic hardship, but that just doesn’t square with the facts. In no state are public employees’ salaries or pension benefits a major cause of their current financial problems.7 The Republican efforts are part of a strategy to attack public employees’ unions, which overwhelmingly give money to Democratic interests. Without the strength of the unions, many expect that President Obama and other Democrats will have a tougher time raising funds for the 2012 election.8

DePaul University law professor Terry Smith says that, “Dismantling bargaining rights will disproportionately affect African Americans.”9 This right has played a vitally important role in Black Americans’ move into the middle class. For Republicans, the economic well-being of Black folks (and all workers) is only collateral damage in a political battle. It’s shameful.

That’s why it’s important that we stand with the brave workers around the country fighting to preserve the right to collectively bargain in their states. They’re on the front lines, and your message of support will help them keep going even as circumstances get tougher. Please join us in telling these workers that you stand with them, and then ask your friends and family to do the same.

Thanks and Peace,

— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the team

March 15th, 2011

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1. “How Unions Helped Bring Economic Justice to Black Workers,” AlterNet, 2-25-2011

2. See Reference 1

3. “Gutting Unions Hurts the Black Middle Class,” The Root, 3-11-2011

4. “Black Workers Central to National Union Battle,” ColorLines, 3-1-2011

5. “It’s 1968 All Over Again and King’s Fight for Unions Is Still Essential,”

6. “Wisconsin Union Law to Take Effect on March 26,” Wall Street Journal, 3-14-2011

7.“Unions aren’t to blame for Wisconsin’s budget,” The Washington Post, 2-18-2011

8. “WI Senate GOP Leader Admits On-Air That His Goal Is To Defund Labor Unions, Hurt Obama’s Reelection Chances,” Think Progress, 3-9-2011

9. See Reference 3

Cost Estimate for H.R. 3, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

•Cost Estimate for H.R. 3, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

Cost estimate for the bill as ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on March 3, 2011, incorporating a Manager’s Amendment


A few words on the crisis in Japan …Philip Radford, Greenpeace

The nuclear situation in Japan continues to deteriorate. Our thoughts are with the people of Japan as they grapple with this crisis.

Like everyone else, I couldn’t stop following the news after I first learned of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. While these things are nothing new to the region, it was obvious that this was something bigger. The Japanese response has been nothing short of amazing, and it’s awe-inspiring to see the human spirit in action to help worldwide.

But sadly, the worst was far from over.

Within hours, reports started surfacing that the nuclear facilities at Fukushima had been seriously damaged. Soon our fears were confirmed.

Greenpeace is no stranger to the issue of nuclear power. In fact, monitoring nuclear testing off the coast of Alaska was our first mission. For nearly 40 years, we’ve been educating on the dangers of nuclear power as an unacceptable risk to humanity and the environment. Obviously, we’re concerned for the people of Japan as the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters unfold.

Many of our members have come to us with questions and concerns about this crisis. Could we face a similar disaster in the U.S.? What’s our country’s policy on nuclear power? These are important questions, and, we’ll be working to bring you the most up-to-date information. And we’ll continue to be the voice we have been for nearly 40 years — one committed to protecting and conserving the environment and to promoting peace.

To read more about our history and our work on nuclear energy visit our website at:

In peace and solidarity,

Philip Radford

Greenpeace USA Executive Director

P.S. Please forward this message on to any of your friends and family who are following the situation in Japan

Stand Up to the GOP’s War on Women

The anti-choice politicians running the U.S. House of Representatives are out of control – they’ve declared a War on Women.

They are working to end insurance coverage for abortion and make it as difficult as possible for any woman to access this care – even if it is necessary to save her life.

We’re fighting against a War on Women, and need your help to stop the attacks.

H.R.3 is one of two bills where anti-choice politicians tried to redefine rape. Thanks to massive public outcry, our opponents backed down on that front. But even without a rape-related provision, these two bills could change women’s access to abortion forever.

**H.R.3 would effectively block private-insurance plans from covering abortion care in the new health-care system and impose tax penalties on small-business owners and some other individuals who purchase private-insurance plans that cover abortion.

**H.R.358 would allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care, even when necessary to save a woman’s life.

Tell your representative that this anti-choice agenda goes way too far.

Congress introduces a lot of bills that, frankly, don’t go anywhere. But both of these bills are moving quickly and have been passed by key committees. H.R.3 just gained 221 cosponsors, which is enough to push the bill straight to a vote in the full House.

We cannot let these anti-choice attacks go unanswered. Please send an email to your member of Congress and help us oppose H.R.3 and H.R.358.

Your voice makes a difference. Please, take action now.

My best,

Nancy Keenan

President, NARAL Pro-Choice America