FACEBOOK UNFRIENDED — On Tuesday, Progressives United, MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, CREDO, Daily Kos, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, 350.org, and Presente announced they were boycotting Facebook ads for two weeks. The groups are protesting Mark Zuckerberg’s nonprofit FWD.us, which recently spent $1M+ on TV ads praising Sen. Lindsey Graham for supporting the expansion of the Keystone XL Pipeline and Sen. Mark Begich for supporting drilling efforts in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Zuckerberg’s FWD.us was founded last month to rally the tech community behind immigration and education reform. The FWD.us funded ads were reportedly designed to give vulnerable lawmakers political leverage among conservatives in their home states.
Anti-Facebook campaigns include: Hey Zuck (Progressives United & MoveOn), Seriously, Facebook? (Presente), Ditch Your Dirty Energy Ads Now; 70k+ signatures (LCV), FWD.us: Stop Running Ads Supporting Fossil Fuels petition; 20k+ signatures (CREDO), and Dislike and Share (Sierra Club). A coalition group including 350.org and CREDO also rallied outside Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park last Wednesday.
EPIC SEQUESTER FAIL — Economic Policy Institute reported that the $2.4 billion sequester cut to emergency unemployment insurance compensation would lead to a loss of 30,000 jobs due its effect on the spending of long-term unemployed workers. The loss of 30,000 jobs is about $3.8 billion lost in economic activity – or $1.4 billion more than what this sequester cut is supposed to be saving the government.
FACT — Americans under the age of 30 spend $43.5 billion every year paying back student loans, which is enough to buy 155,413 new homes (Progressive Policy Institute).
TAXPAYERS FUND THE McECONOMY — Nearly two million American workers employed by private companies that receive billions in government funding through contracts, loans, healthcare spending, and property releases are paid $12 or less an hour ($24,000 a year), according to a new analysis released by Demos yesterday. That is more than the total number of low-wage workers employed at Walmart and McDonalds combined ($1.4 million). Unlike their low-wage employees, senior executives at these private companies can receive government reimbursements of up to $736,000 per person towards their executive salaries, says the report’s co-author Robert Hiltsonsmith.
Low-wage American workers employed by these private companies include: hospital staff supported by Medicare, security guards working in public buildings, and contracted employees hired to sew military uniforms. THE PEOPLE INSIDE THE NUMBERS: “My name is Guadalupe Rodriguez and I work for a janitorial company that cleans the commercial area of Union Station, a federal property. For 19 years I have cleaned this building, yet I only get $8.75 an hour – without benefits. Throughout all these years, I have received increases only when the federal government raised minimum wage, which helps, but is not enough to live on…I hope the company I work for would offer me health benefits someday.” See Demos’s wage analysis in WaPo and HuffPo.
LEAD THE FUTURE (COME TO THIS COCKTAIL PARTY) — What do a policy guru and a Marvel Comics Editor have in common? Both are coming to the New Leaders Council annual fundraiser next Wednesday, May 15th, at The Liberty in New York from 7 – 9:30 p.m. Buy your tickets before they run out tomorrow. Hosted by The Agenda Project and many others.*If you are a member of press who would like to attend, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM THE WONK WIRE…
…Shareholders v. Jamie Dimon on May 21st: Former Chief Economist of the IMF and Top Wonk Simon Johnson says JPMorgan Chase’s upcoming shareholder meeting is likely to be “good news for Mr. Dimon…but bad news for the rest of us, again.” The bigger question is – can “a handful of traders and one inexperienced risk officer (with questionable authority)…effectively oversee a complex derivatives portfolio…”?
…BlackRock CEO is the New Welfare Queen: Director at the Institute for Policy Studies and Top Wonk Sarah Anderson discovers that Larry Fink’s compensation is subsidized by taxpayers. Fink used the ‘performance pay loophole’ to rake in $119 million in subsidized pay between 2009-2011. Insult to Injury: Queen Fink is lobbying for a 20% benefit cut to Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. Read the full report by Institute for Policy Studies and Campaign for America’s Future.
…Gangs of New York: Deputy Director of Democracy Programs at the Brennan Center and Top Wonk Lawrence Norden barred from New York Senate hearing…Standing Committee on Elections denies Norden chance to expose the truth about Albany’s rampant corruption problem.
…Give Sam Walton the
Nobel Booby Prize: Director at the New America Foundation and Top Wonk Barry Lynn shreds Charles Kenny’s praise for Walmart and calls for ending the mega-corporation’s “monopsony.” Barry Lynn tells PP why Walmart poses global political danger: “Indeed, what most worries me about Walmart is precisely it’s political sway. Here, after all, is a company that has real influence on 50 governors and most mayors, as well as on 100 senators and most members of Congress. It is also very adept at buying the support of non-profit community groups and even many environmental activists. We should pay a lot of attention to Walmart’s actions in Mexico – where it is apparently engaged in systematic subornation of officials at almost all levels of government.”
Find out more at www.topwonks.org.
ON OUR AGENDA…THE PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRES ARE HUGE IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. NO REALLY, WE’RE SERIOUS – On Tuesday, newly elected Czech President Milos Zeman praised the Patriotic Millionaires in his first speech to the Czech Chamber of Deputies. Direct Google translation: “I know it’s a drop in the ocean, 60,000 crowns a month…. After all, one of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett, urged the U.S. government to increase taxes… In the United States, the Club, is called Patriotic Millionaires…” See the full transcript (not in English).