Thom's blog

What are the Rules of Engagement on the streets of America?

Had George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on a battlefield in Iraq – he would have been punished. But on the streets of Florida – Zimmerman walks free. The organization VoteVets.org points out today that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law gives more leeway to shooters on the streets of America than our armed forces have to deal with hostile insurgents in Iraq.

According to the Rules of Engagement

Funding for job retraining for Americans is 1/2 of what it used to be...

As nearly 13 million Americans look for a job – federal funding to retrain Americans workers and prepare them for the jobs of the 21st century are drying up. Funding for job-training programs across the country is down 18% from 2006 – even though there are six million more unemployed Americans today. Funding for counseling for the unemployed – like resume guidance and job interview coaching – is down 13%. In fact – fu

Is the boycott of all companies that give money to ALEC working?

Corporate donors to the Koch brothers-funded right-wing think thank known as the American Legislative Exchange Council – or ALEC – are dropping like flies. On Thursday – Kraft became the third major corporation to part ways with ALEC – joining Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

ALEC sponsors were put on notice this week, when the organization Color for Change called for a boycott of all companies that give money to ALEC. The group is

The banksters and technocrats, pushing austerity in Greece, now have blood on their hands

On Wednesday – a 77-year-old retired pharmacist walked up to the Greek Parliament building and shot himself in the head to protest the crippling austerity measures that are ripping apart that nation. The man – whose name has not been released – left behind a note reading, “I have no other way to react apart from finding a dignified end before I start sifting through garbage for food.”

His suicide prompted thousands of Greeks t

The minimum wage is not a living wage

Minimum wage workers are screwed. While Republicans in Congress want to drop or throw away the federal minimum wage – new data shows that the minimum wage in America is woefully inadequate. The current minimum wage is pegged at $7.25 – but given the price increase of pretty much everything over the last few decades – from healthcare to housing to education – that $7.25 doesn’t get you very far.

In fact – today’s minimum

Not only are the long-term unemployed screwed out of the American Dream – they’re also dying younger

The New York Times is reporting on a new study showing that the long-term unemployed (those out of work more than six months) are twice as likely to die within a year of unemployment as are those who are employed. Even 20 years after getting back to work – those Americans who experienced long-term unemployment in their younger years still have a 15% greater chance of dying early.

According to the study – a worker who lost thei

American Corporations pay the lowest taxes in the entire developed world!

Pay no attention to the lies already coming from the Right – corporations are paying less in taxes in America than they’ve paid in 40 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office – despite American corporations making enormous profits last year – their second best in a generation - they paid on average only 12.1% in federal taxes. That’s far below the 35% corporate tax rate that Conservatives claim is crippling business in Amer

The nation of Spain ground to a halt yesterday

Working people across that nation went on strike and took to the streets to protest an austerity budget being pushed by their new government. It’s the same sort of social unrest that’s followed austerity measures in Greece, the U.K., and Italy. And it’s the same sort of austerity budget that Republicans just passed out of the House of Representatives yesterday, approving multi-millionaire Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget. In a vot

Despite a bad year, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan got a 600% raise

Most CEOs who watch their corporation’s stock value drop in half get fired, or at the very least take a pay cut. But not if you’re a bankster. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was given a big fat check for $7.5 million in 2011 – a 600% increase from the year before – despite the fact that Bank of America’s stock dropped 58% over the year.

Not to mention – Bank of America had to pay out $335 million in a settlement against cha

It might not be too long before our economy gets screwed by Wall Street, again

The corporate corruption of our government is most glaring when it comes to regulating Wall Street. According to a new report released today by Public Citizen – lawmakers who oppose the Volcker Rule, which says banks can't gamble with your checking account money, receive on average four times more in campaign contributions from Wall Street than those lawmakers who support the Volcker Rule.

In total – Members of Congress opposing the

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