LEFT V. LEFT PART DEUX – The Nation’s Ken Silverstein continued to argue on Thursday that the Center for American Progress–Washington’s leading liberal think tank–is under the influence of its corporate donors, including Comcast, Wal-Mart, General Motors, Boeing, and General Electric. CAP responded: “We are fiercely and proudly independent in our work and strongly refute any inference to the contrary.” Silverstein maintains: “It’s not complicated. CAP should disclose its donors, corporate and otherwise.”
EVEN MEGYN KELLY IS PISSED — Fox News host Lou Dobbs and his conservative guest Erick Erickson caused a huge wave of backlash this week after claiming on Lou Dobbs Tonight that female breadwinners were “destroying” America. Both men wouldn’t budge even when Megyn Kelly, a working mom herself, called them out on her show for their offensive and sexist remarks such as “emo liberals are whining” and “we’re watching society dissolve around us.” The controversy stemmed from a recent PEW study that found women are the primary breadwinners in 37% of American households. Media Matters covered the story and UltraViolet is taking action by gathering support and drafting a petition demanding Fox News to get rid of Lou Dobbs and his misogynistic guests.
FACEBOOK FINALLY AGREES: RAPE ISN’T FUNNY — 60,000 tweets, 240,000 petition signatures, and 15 company suspensions later, Facebook has issued a policy change to buckle down on content objectifying women. #FBRape, a huge campaign by Women, Action, & the Media (WAM!) and the Everyday Sexism Project, prompted the policy change. WAM! previously released an open letter to the social media giant ordering the company to take a stance on rape content promoting domestic violence found on its pages. WAM! Executive Director Jaclyn Friedman says: “We are reaching an international tipping point in attitudes towards rape and violence against women. We hope that this effort stands as a testament to the power of collaborative action.”
Find out more at The New York Times, NPR, ABC News, Forbes, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and The Nation.
On Twitter, use #FBrape and tweet @womenactmedia.
OHIO VOTER FRAUD FRAUD – Advancement Project Staff Attorney and Top Wonk Donita Judge responds to Ohio Secretary of State John Husted’s latest attempt to perpetuate the voter fraud myth that conservatives are using to suppress the vote: “We are extremely concerned that the investigation will have a chilling effect on future voters and is being used as a scare tactic… We will continue to oppose these investigations.” Husted’s tie-breaking vote in the Board of Elections referred 39 cases of double voting to the Hamilton County Prosecutor for criminal investigation. Franklin County’s Board of Elections also voted on Monday to refer 90 additional cases for prosecution, despite the fact that not all members of the board had time to fully review all of the information. Current Ohio voting law permits voters to cast both an absentee and provisional ballot. In almost all of the 129 total cases, the double votes were discovered and thrown out so no actual fraud affected the election. Out of roughly 5.63 million votes cast in Ohio during the November 2012 presidential election there were a mere 156 cases of possible voter fraud, or 0.002 percent.
CRUEL AND UNUSUAL? — 12,000 prisoners are currently incarcerated in solitary confinement and other segregated housing units, according to a new ACLU report on the Federal Bureau of Prisons. These prisoners are locked in their cells for up to 24 hours a day, sometimes for years on end without any concern for the psychological implications on the inmates. Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project David Fathi: “It’s astonishing that the Bureau has steadily increased its use of solitary confinement and other segregated housing while failing to assess whether this expensive and inhumane practice has any effect on prison safety.” READ: the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s full report “Improvements Needed in Bureau of Prisons’ Monitoring and Evaluation of Impact of Segregated Housing.”
STOP THE KOCHS — On Tuesday, the Save Our News Coalition composed of progressive organizations like Greenpeace, Free Press, Common Cause, and The Other 98% led a day of action to oppose a potential Koch Industries takeover of the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. The buyout would be a financial steal for the infamously conservative brothers Charles and David Koch, not to mention a platform to further espouse their libertarian agenda.
Koch Industries claims that while it is their “longstanding policy not to comment on deals or rumors of deals” any newspaper they acquire “would be a marketplace of ideas.” Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy Executive Director Roxana Tynan reminded hundreds at the Los Angeles protest: “These are the folks who underwrite the Tea Party … who think that the gap between the rich and the poor is a good thing …”
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Hill, The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone, Salon, and Variety covered the story.
THE COST OF LOW WAGES — Wal-Mart’s low wages and lack of benefits for its employees will cost taxpayers $900,000 in food stamps and other government funded aid programs at just one Supercenter in Wisconsin alone.
A TARHEEL TASTE OF THINGS TO COME?? — Over 150 people were arrested Monday in Raleigh, NC at the fifth “Mega Moral Monday” protest spearheaded by the NAACP to rally against the Republican-led General Assembly’s reckless austerity. NAACP North Carolina chapter President Rev. William Barber told the demonstrators: “The people are awake now and we have decided to stand up. We are a movement. This is not a moment.” AlterNet Senior Editor Lynn Parramore‘s 80-year old mother was among the arrested. See her interview HERE.
Earlier this month Rev. Barber was jailed for praying.
FROM THE WONK WIRE …
… WILLFUL BLINDNESS SETS STAGE FOR FUTURE CRISIS: Finance and Economics Professor at Stanford and new Top Wonk Anat Admati co-authors a report on the real problem with the IRS scandal.
… THE GREAT DEMORALIZER: Case-Shiller Index author and Top Wonk Robert Shiller fears that austerity induced fiscal policy is damaging our nation’s collective morale. Shiller proposes a debt-friendly stimulus as a solution.
… FRAUDSTERS, PLUTOCRATS, and OPPORTUNISTIC CRIMINALS … oh and ALAN GREENSPAN: Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Top Wonk William Black blames Greenspan for the three most recent financial crashes.
Find out more at www.topwonks.org
ON OUR AGENDA …
TOP WONK AND PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRES QUESTION TAX BREAKS — Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Michael Konczal reports that over half of the $900 billion in tax breaks from this year will go to the top 20 percent of income earners. The Patriotic Millionaires react:
Chair of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Fred Rotondaro: “We have sadly another example of how public policy continues to help the well connected while ignoring average Americans and turning our nation into a two tiered society”
CEO of NuCompass Mobility Frank Patitucci: “The recent CBO report about ‘Tax Expenditures’ clearly documents the unfairness of our tax code. I am a relatively successful businessman that pays a 35% marginal tax rate on my annual income. Why? Because I earn regular income, rather than dividends or capital gains, and I haven’t figured out how to qualify for one of those tax expenditures. The tax system today favors the very wealthy, like Mitt Romney and Warren Buffet, at the expense of the small and medium sized business owners like myself. As a result job creation lags, and the economy continues to sputter.”
Founder and CEO of Men’s Wearhouse George Zimmer says it best: “What else is new?”
READ: The Congressional Budget Office’s full report “The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System.”
E-mail tips, news, and reactions to Hannah Hendler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share and Enjoy