Wisconsin workers are joining the "Fight for Fifteen" -- better wages for those at the bottom of the U.S. payscale. Three cities in Wisconsin were among 58 across the United States where thousands of low-wage fast-food workers walked off their jobs to demand a living wage, safe working conditions, and the right to unionize without being penalized. The coordinated actions on August 29 constituted the largest fast food strike in U.S. history.
Today, the feisty advocates at the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), an organization founded in honor of the 73 employees of the Windows on the World restaurant who died on Sept. 11th, will be paying surprise visits to restaurants across the country that are members of the National Restaurant Association, including Capital Grille, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster.
Wisconsin's unemployed are being subject to a double attack by the state legislature. In the state that fell to 44th in the nation in job creation in March, a bill introduced to the Wisconsin State Assembly on May 24 would make it more difficult for jobless workers to collect unemployment benefits. Then, in what Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) called the "ultimate bait-and-switch," a hearing on that bill occurred at the same time as a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance that passed yet more changes related to unemployment insurance, which critics called even more extreme than the first.
This article is an extraction of material contained in "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's 'Counter Terrorism' Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street," published by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a nationwide "homeland security"/"counter terrorism" apparatus emerged. Components of this apparatus include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Counterterrorism Center, and state/regional "fusion centers." Fusion centers, by and large, are staffed with personnel working in "counter terrorism"/ "homeland security" units of municipal, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement/public safety/"counter terrorism" agencies. To a large degree, the "counter terrorism" operations of municipal, county, state and tribal agencies engaged in fusion centers are financed through a number of U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant programs.
An odd couple made an appearance on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus recently: Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson and Madison's progressive Congressman Mark Pocan.
State Senator Glenn Grothman, Assistant Majority Leader of the Republican Caucus, is leading the charge to protect consumers from Wisconsin's rapacious rent-to-own industry. Governor Scott Walker's $68.2 billion budget bill contains provisions that would rollback common sense regulation of the industry, which has been in place since 1985.
An array of right-wing organizations in North Carolina are arguing loudly for Governor Pat McCrory to radically alter how corporations and people pay taxes in the state -- and the not-so-hidden hand behind the effort is North Carolina millionaire Art Pope, a close ally of the Koch brothers, who funds the groups and has been appointed as North Carolina's Budget Director.
A team of economists at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at UMass Amherst broke a huge story this week that was promptly picked up by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, and newspapers around the globe. The economists proved that the essential underpinning "of the intellectual edifice of austerity economics," as Paul Krugman put it, is based on sloppy methodology and spreadsheet coding errors.
In 2010, Governor Scott Walker ran for office on a simple message, that he would turn Wisconsin's economy around and create 250,000 jobs. There was good news for Walker in the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs numbers released April 2013. Although Wisconsin still ranked 44th in the country in terms of job creation, the staggering economy had created 64,500 more jobs since Walker took office than previously known. There was a large upward correction in the BLS jobs data stretching back more than a year that not only impacted Wisconsin, but many states.