Sunday Late Night: Why Aren’t We Hearing More About Gun Divestment?

By: Sunday April 14, 2013 8:01 pm

If gun death can be made a hideous way to make a buck in America, maybe gun makers will be hurt. But first we need to hear more about it.


Cory Booker’s Slip Reveals Role of Private Equity in Local Government Funding

By: Monday May 21, 2012 1:00 pm

Mayor Cory Booker said on Meet the Press yesterday he was “nauseated” by the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record with private equity firm Bain Capital. In a follow-up YouTube that looked like the kind of video hostage-takers make their victims record, Booker walked back the comments, saying that Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital is fair game for scrutiny. But cities have reasons to defend equity firms that help fund their projects.

Pension Funds Win Major Victory in BofA/Bank of NY Mortgage Backed Securities Lawsuit

By: Wednesday April 4, 2012 8:50 am

In the Bank of America/Bank of New York Mellon settlement with investors on mortgage-backed securities deficiencies, it appeared the banks were getting the upper hand with a friendly state judge, and some of the objections to the settlement from outside investors were struck down. But that all ended yesterday, when a US District Court judge allowed one lawsuit against Mellon to go forward in federal court, opening a new path.

Postal Service Wants to Eliminate 120,000 Jobs

By: Friday August 12, 2011 4:14 pm

Apparently, the postal service often makes dire predictions like this before contract negotiations. I doubt that 120,000 postal employees will be laid off in one shot. However, there’s at least a couple things to take seriously here.

First, the decline in mail volume is real. Practically every company with a monthly bill encourages their customers to pay automatically or online. That significantly reduces mail output. The move of Netflix to streaming from mail service is probably a big blow. The rise of email over personal letters is another factor. The postal service has become a way to get Amazon orders out and to get birthday cards with $10 wedged in them from grandparents to grandchildren.

It has become a less crucial communications factor in American life. And because the postal service operates under a mandate to serve every home in America, even ones in the most rural outposts, which simply cannot be reached without a federal subsidy, their budget is more and more difficult to reach.

US Reaches Debt Limit; Treasury Maneuvers

By: Monday May 16, 2011 9:50 am

Happy Debt Limit Day! The US government has officially reached the ceiling for the amount of debt it can float, $14.294 trillion. This does not yet mean that the government can no longer borrow money or fund operations, at least not yet. Tax dollars flow into the Treasury on a regular basis and can be used for ongoing operations. And there are a number of actions Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner can take to allow the space to keep the borrowing coming and meet the country’s financial obligations. Some have already been triggered, like ending state and local government bond issues. Today, Geithner begins to borrow from federal pension funds.

Judge Halts Implementation of Anti-Union Law in Wisconsin

By: Friday March 18, 2011 11:59 am

Wisconsin law requires that public meetings are announced with 24 hours notice, 2 hours if there’s some extenuating circumstance which prevents advanced planning. The meeting in question, the conference committee, actually had less than two hours notice. “I have been shown no rule that overrides the statutory requirement,” Judge Sumi said.

Wisconsin State Senators Remain in Illinois as Public Employee Battle Goes On

By: Friday February 18, 2011 7:05 am

It turns out that the average public pension for a Wisconsin public employee is around $24,500 a year, according to tax expert David Cay Johnston. In addition, the state pension plan gives 15% of its money every year to Wall Street money managers, which Johnston described as “a really huge high percentage.” But the pension battle, which has been totally distorted, is almost secondary to the attempted stripping of worker rights.

The War on Public Employees, Cont’d

By: Thursday January 6, 2011 11:30 am

Public workers have become the new demons ruining America, with their greedy pay and pension benefits. As this video from Brave New Films makes clear, that notion is just a load of crap. Pension benefits are not all that generous for the vast majority of workers; the average benefit for th workers in Prichard, Alabama (who were eventually cut off) was pretty much the size of Social Security, around $1,000 a month. They signed a contract to receive those benefits, a contract singed by both sides, but contracts only matter when they have to do with AIG credit default swaps.

GOP Governors Ready to Kill Public Employee Contracts

By: Sunday January 2, 2011 7:31 am

Governors like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker will clearly work to break existing contracts, add furlough days or basically do whatever possible to please the base by bashing public workers.

In Unfolding War on Public Employees, State Lawmakers and Media Likely to Do the Work Themselves

By: Monday December 27, 2010 4:00 pm

I don’t think states or municipalities need much help from the federal government in their desire to rewrite public employee union contracts. There has been a concerted effort for years to demonize and delegitimize public employee unions, from both Republican pols and the media in general. This has left a distorted impression about greedy union contracts and well-paid government functionaries. So the new class of Republican governors would certainly want to capitalize on that by pleasing the public, who now favor things like wage freezes (which Obama just instituted at the federal level) and furloughs and bigger pension contributions, punishing those workers. And they are animated by a general hatred of unions, which have maintained their strength in the public sector while fading away in the private sector.

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