Starting at 10:00am in Pershing Square, marching to City Hall Map Join Us - Bring a sleeping bag, food, supplies, friends!
Are you tired of ..........?xml:namespace>
· Feeling like no one is fighting for working people?
· Ceos taking all our money?
· Corporations shipping our jobs out of the country?
· Companies escaping THEIR tax burden?
· Having no health care?
· Health care costs killing you?
· Making an economic decision to not utilize your Health Care?
· Having no retirement?
· Big business getting so big it seems to control everything?
· Gas prices with record profits for oil companies?
· Your hard work being exploited by a company?
· The banks exploiting the average hard working American?
· Being afraid to ask for a raise?
· The cost of living rising faster than your wages?
· Being laid off?
· Being over qualified for your job because you can't find a better paying one?
· Living pay check to pay check?
· Working in fear?
Friday, September 30, 2011
Starting at 10:00am in Pershing Square, marching to City Hall Map Join Us - Bring a sleeping bag, food, supplies, friends!
Thursday, September 29, 2011
When: October 1st, 2011
Where: In front of L.A. City Hall 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles CA,
Time: 10:00 AM
On September 27th, 2011, many friends participated in our democratic process
Occupy Wall Street
Here is the response, or let's say, how our government treats peaceful protesters. This should ANGER YOU!!!!!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Edwards said he was unemployed by choice after the success of his small start-up – a search engine. Turns out Edwards is the former Director of Consumer Marketing and brand management at Google.
In response, Obama took a cue from Elizabeth Warren: “So often the tax debate gets framed as ‘class warfare’ and look…as I said at the outset, America’s success is premised on individuals, entrepreneurs having a great idea, going out there and pursuing their dreams and making a whole lot of money in the process. And that’s great, that’s part of what makes America so successful. But as you just pointed out, we’re successful because somebody invested in our education, somebody built schools, somebody created incredible universities… We benefited from somebody somewhere making an investment in us, and I don’t care who you are, that’s true of all of us.”
If you agree with Doug Edwards and Warren Buffett that it’s time to ask millionaires to pay their fair share, click here to sign our petition.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Gov. Rick Scott Brags About Laying Off 15,000 Government Workers After Decrying Florida’s High Unemployment
In the next sentence, though, Scott touted another “success” — laying off 15,000 public sector workers, which of course increased the unemployment rolls in his state. Scott then declared, “government can’t create jobs”:
SCOTT: We’ve had plenty of success so far. Not enough…In Florida, unemployment rate’s gone from 12 percent down to 10.7. We’re still above the national average, but we’ve generated 87,200 private sector jobs — private sector! And we have 15,000 less government jobs in the state of Florida. [Applause] Government doesn’t create jobs.
Scott’s reminder that he laid of thousands of Floridians drew big applause from the conservative crowd. At least 600,000 government workers have lost their jobs since the recession began, but Republicans nevertheless keep scapegoating public employees who have shouldered more than their fair share of economic pain.
In fact, massive job losses in the public sector are one of the main factors keeping national unemployment so high. In August, a gain of 17,000 private sector jobs was completely negated by 17,000 public sector job losses. According to David Leonhardt, if state and local governments had continued to hire at their previous pace, they would have added half a million jobs to the economy. In other words, government austerity over the past two years “has cost the economy about one million jobs.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
History has shown that the only way you can get corporations to change their behavior is to create a crisis for them says SEIU Internationalapos;s Stephen Lerner. The self-described "friendly neighborhood union organizer" has some first hand experience creating crisis for corporations. He succesfully led the "Justice for Janitors" campaign and helped workers, many of them undocumented workers, organize a union. Lerner talks about how the same technique can be used to fight back and change the behavior of the nationapos;s super-rich, who have used their outsized influence to shape our government to their benefit and to the detriment of the poor and shrinking middle class.
PALIN: The president is way off on his math for one. And I hope that you will get into what the AP did in terms of fact checking. I so appreciate that they just wanted to get to their readers, some information that helps us make better decisions. And I appreciate that they called the president on some of these — you know, I call them lies. Because I think surely, the president is too smart to not have people around him with a calculator and can tell us truly what people’s tax rates are and what his proposals will result in new tax rates been.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Yesterday, seven protesters were arrested by the New York Police Department, despite being peaceful and not noticeably disrupting the normal activities of the city. The Wall Street Journal notes that the charges being brought against these demonstrators include “loitering and wearing [a] mask.” The Village Voice points out that the anti-mask law being used against demonstrators dates back to 1845, when farmers wore masks to conduct attacks against the police. The law was updated in 1965 to “prevent masked gathering of two or more people,” unless they are throwing masquerade parties:
The anti-mask law goes back to 1845, when tenant farmers used disguises (dressing up like Indians) to attack law enforcement officials, apparently. In 1965 the law was updated to prevent masked gatherings of two or more people, except in the case of masquerade parties. Whew.
Demonstrators took video of the arrests of some of the protesters. One of the protesters is simply wearing a plastic mask on the back of her head:
The occupation and protests on Wall Street are now entering their fifth day. Protesters are requesting on their website that people donate money for food for the demonstrators, and note that more than $9,000 has been donated so far.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Posted: 09/16/2011 01:09:06 PM PDT
SACRAMENTO - California's jobless rate grew for the second straight month in August to 12.1 percent, led by continued sluggishness in the construction industry, the state Employment Development Department said Friday.
The unemployment rate had been declining since March until it spiked back to 12 percent in July. California's rate is the second highest in the nation, behind Nevada's 13.4.
"I would say it's a flat market," said Brad Kemp, director of regional research with Beacon Economics in Los Angeles. "I just think we have to get used to the fact that slow growth is the path that we're on, and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon."
Nonfarm payroll jobs fell by 8,400 during the month, with the construction industry suffering the biggest decrease, down 7,200 jobs.
The unemployment rate was a slight improvement from a year ago, when it was 12.4 percent. During the 12-month period that ended in August, California gained 171,000 jobs, even as nearly 2.2 million residents remained jobless.
Kemp said the uptick in last month's unemployment rate shows the state should not expect any dramatic improvement for at least the next year.
Two factors are contributing to the slow recovery, he said.
First, employers began adding jobs last year when it looked as if the economy was rebounding. With uncertainty prevailing, they are absorbing those jobs before hiring again.
Also, any growth in private
industry jobs is being offset by public sector layoffs, as state and local governments adjust to lower revenue.
The state reported that six categories lost 17,500 jobs in August: construction; information; financial activities; educational and health services; other services; and government.
Five categories added 9,100 jobs last month. They were mining and logging; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; and leisure and hospitality.
"You've got to have a long-term vision of the economy getting better before you see employers making any significant moves," Kemp said.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
It is a very simple bill, which will eliminate the corporate tax which serves as a tariff that our American companies pay on goods they produce here in America. This bill will actually create jobs in America
The two-page bill changes the tax code to replace any mention of the current “35 percent” tax rate with “0 percent.” Corporations are already sitting on trillions in cash, so cutting their taxes would likely do very little to help the economy, but would balloon the deficit by depriving the government of about $300 billions in revenues annually. As the CBO found, cutting taxes on businesses “typically does not create an incentive for them to spend more on labor or to produce more, because production depends on the ability to sell output.”
But Gohmert’s plan is even more irksome considering that he’s spent the last few days attacking Obama’s jobs plan because it would prohibit employers from discriminating against people who have been unemployed. Gohmert appeared on various conservative media outlets to expose this “devilish detail,” saying on Sean Hannity’s radio show yesterday, via Political Correction:
GOHMERT: We have created in this bill a newly protected class, not on race, creed, color, sex — not even sexual orientation, this is a new one. It’s not religion, it’s a prohibition of discrimination in employment on the basis of an individual’s status as unemployed. By golly, if you apply for a job and you’re unemployed and you feel like you got discriminated against and not hired because you were unemployed, see a lawyer. You’ve got a claim under this bill.
So Gohmert wants to help unemployed Americans get jobs by eliminating taxes for corporations, but thinks helping those jobless directly is “devilish.” But at least his plan isn’t as half-baked as his colleagues’ plan to create jobs by curbing regulations on snakes.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Imagine if Obama had the courage to give a speech like this!!! I bet his rating would shoot through the roof.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
OBAMA: Now, I realize there are some in my party who don’t think we should make any changes at all to Medicare and Medicaid, and I understand their concerns. But here’s the truth: Millions of Americans rely on Medicare in their retirement. And millions more will do so in the future. They pay for this benefit during their working years. They earn it. But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program. And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it. We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Why Congress Won’t Pass A Jobs Bill: ‘Obama Is On The Ropes; Why Do We Appear Ready To Hand Him A Win?’
“Obama is on the ropes; why do we appear ready to hand him a win?” said one senior House Republican aide who requested anonymity to discuss the matter freely.
Public policy is not a zero-sum competition between “Republican ideas” and “Democratic ideas,” but electoral competition is a zero-sum battle for office. In a paradigm where the passage of major legislation counts as a “win” for President Obama then anyone who wants to see President Obama go down to defeat, then no major legislation can pass on a bipartisan basis. This is exactly the problem the White House had in trying to overcome GOP filibusters during the 111th Congress and the main problem they face in trying to reach bipartisan accords with the Republican-led House of Representatives in the 112th Congress. This is the fundamental reality of American politics today, but far too few people put it at the center of their accounts of what’s happening.
Today, Obama presented Congress with his jobs legislation. In his remarks, Obama noted, “There are some in Washington who’d rather settle our differences through politics and the elections than try to resolve them now. In fact, Joe [Biden] and I, as we were walking out here, we were looking at one of the Washington newspapers and it was quoting a Republican aide saying, ‘I don’t know why we’d want to cooperate with Obama right now. It’s not good for our politics.’ That was very explicit.”
Friday, September 9, 2011
What is Ryan so afraid of? Why is he limiting public appearances to pay-per-view events? Maybe he’s just a really busy guy, but more likely he’s avoiding town halls because he’s afraid of getting booed by his constituents again, like he was last spring after he proposed privatizing Medicare and cutting taxes even more for the wealthy.
Yesterday, Paul Ryan was true to form, reserving his time in the district for a private speech at a local Rotary Club banquet that charged $15 a head for entrance. This time, however, constituents who wanted to get some answers from Ryan weren’t deterred by the fee, gladly forking over the money for a chance to finally face their congressman and ask questions about the jobs crisis.
The constituents repeatedly pressed Ryan on his record and on his ideology. The first questioner guffawed when Ryan harped on the “debt crisis” in his prepared remarks, and asked Ryan why doesn’t he focus on the “good jobs crisis”. Ryan attempted to sidestep the question, saying that we have jobs crisis because we’ve run up a large debt.
That response must have struck a nerve, because the second questioner, a women further back in the audience, quickly interrupted Ryan to state that the unemployment rate has markedly increased since the first round of Bush tax cuts went through, and so has our debt. Essentially, she pointed out, we’ve been borrowing trillions so that we can fund tax cuts for rich people, and we’ve lost jobs in the process. Ryan had no answer for that.
Time after time, constituents asked Ryan a reasonable question and presented him with an opposing point of view, and time after time, police escorted them from the banquet. All in all, a dozen people were escorted out by police and three were arrested.
I’d be willing to cut Ryan some slack for refusing to answer questions at a Rotary Club appearance if he’d actually face his constituents in public. But as it is (and as one questioner noted), how can they give Ryan their opinions when he won’t talk to them in public?
Last month, a popular reform to grant the California Insurance Commission the power to review and regulate proposed insurance rate hikes died a quick death in the state Senate. Although the bill, Assemblyman Mike Feuer’s (D)AB 52, passed the Assembly and the Senate Health Committee, the legislation was put into suspension — meaning state senators took the bill out of consideration without a recorded vote. The California health insurance companies, as well as other health care industries, made AB 52 a top priority for defeat.
As ThinkProgress has reported, health insurance companies have concealed their lobbying efforts by funding many of the so-called “pro-business” trade groups in California, which have in turn lobbied or released letters opposed to AB 52. But a closer look at the health insurance lobby’s disclosure reports paints an even broader picture of their influence:
– State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D), the chair of the health committee, voted for AB 52 but told the press he could not support the bill in its current form. Hernandez’s income is boosted by about $69,000 a year in payments from Kaiser Health Plans, the state’s largest insurer (and one of AB 52′s most prominent opponents) in rent at an office building owned by Hernandez. The unusual arrangement might present a serious conflict of interest, but Hernandez’s spokesman told ThinkProgress that the rent payments began shortly before Hernandez entered the legislature, and that Kaiser maintains a community outreach center in the senator’s building.
– UnitedHealth Corporation, a large for-profit insurer with a presence in the Golden State, retained five different lobbying firms this sessions: Capitol Advocacy LLC; Carter, Wetch & Associates; Fernandez Government Solutions LLC; Thomas Advancy; and Terry M. McGann Inc. From January through May, the firm spent $221,481 on lobbying just in California.
– Kaiser Health Plans, the biggest spender of all the major health insurers in California, retained the lobbying firm Carpenter Hawkins Sievers LLC during the fight against AB 52. Last year, during the attempt by oil companies like Koch and Valero to repeal California’s clean energy laws, ThinkProgress profiled Carpenter Hawkins Sievers. Notably, principles at the firm worked for over a decade for the tobacco lobby to kill laws aimed at curtailing indoor smoking, smoking in public areas, and tobacco marketing aimed at children. Although Kaiser has touted itself as a company that encourages well-being, it is ironic that the insurer would hire slash and burn tobacco lobbyists.
A review of disclosure reports shows Kaiser Health Plans ($4,955,503), Anthem Blue Cross ($2,522,334), UnitedHealth ($1,021,376), HealthNet ($941,489), and Blue Shield of California ($724,412) as the insurers that have spent the most on lobbying since 2009 in Sacramento. The millions dropped on lobbying, like the tens of millions insurers have allocated for lobbying in DC and state capitals across the country, are premium dollars that could have been spent on actual health care.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Take a look at this compilation of news clips from around the country:
Regardless of the national media near-blackout, local news stations responded to what was happening in the own cities and towns, and we can at least take heart that on average, far more people watch their local news broadcasts over national network or cable news.
It’s strange that the national news whiffed on this story. After all, congressional approval ratings are at their worst in history – a meager 12% approve of the job Congress is doing, and it’s no secret why congressional poll numbers are sagging. Congress has turned away from jumpstarting the economy and toward negotiating just how much to cut from essential programs like Medicare and Social Security. Meanwhile, the anemic recovery of the past year has completely stalled, adding a net zero new jobs in August, and the unemployment remains stuck above 9%. The national news media has picked up on all of these individual facts, but they seem to have missed the wider narrative of voters actually pushing back on the ground against their representatives in Congress.
So now that the month of August is over, and Congress is heading back to Washington DC after their summer break, what do you think we should do to keep giving them the message to focus on jobs, not cuts?
Monday, September 5, 2011
1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend: Even the ultra-conservative Mises Institute notes that the relatively labor-free 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now. Yet in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century, labor unions engaged in massive strikes in order to demand shorter workweeks so that Americans could be home with their loved ones instead of constantly toiling for their employers with no leisure time. By 1937, these labor actions created enough political momentum to pass the Fair Labor Standards Act, which helped create a federal framework for a shorter workweek that included room for leisure time.
2. Unions Helped End Child Labor: “Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined” in U.S. history, with organization’s like the “National Consumers’ League” and the National Child Labor Committee” working together in the early 20th century to ban child labor. The very first American Federation of Labor (AFL) national convention passed “a resolution calling on states to ban children under 14 from all gainful employment” in 1881, and soon after states across the country adopted similar recommendations, leading up to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated child labor on the federal level for the first time.
3. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: “The rise of unions in the 1930′s and 1940′s led to the first great expansion of health care” for all Americans, as labor unions banded workers together to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers. In 1942, “the US set up a National War Labor Board. It had the power to set a cap on all wage increases. But it let employers circumvent the cap by offering “fringe benefits” – notably, health insurance.” By 1950, “half of all companies with fewer than 250 workers and two-thirds of all companies with more than 250 workers offered health insurance of one kind or another.”
4. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor unions like the AFL-CIO federation led the fight for this 1993 law, which “requires state agencies and private employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave annually for workers to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, seriously ill family member or for the worker’s own illness.”
And yet, despite the many benefits unions have provided the United States, right-wing politicians and business interests have for years sought to undermine the ability of Americans to organize to demand better pay, benefits, and conditions. From the anti-worker Taft-Hartley Act to the recent GOP-led efforts to kill public worker collective bargaining rights, these assaults have successfully decreased union membership over time. In the prosperous 1950′s, nearly one in three Americans was in a union. Today, it is closer to one in ten.
This has had a deterimental effect on the American middle class. As the following chart from CAP’s David Madland and Karla Waters demonstrates, as union membership fell from the 1970′s to the present, the middle class’s share of national income fell as well:
But Americans do not have to allow the assault on unions to succeed and the middle class to decline. As Wisconsin taught the nation, when people come together and organize, they can help beat back the attack on Main Street America. As you enjoy Labor Day today, think about what you can do to help the same labor unions that brought you the weekend, health care coverage, strong wages, and a robust middle class.