Tag Archives: Robert Greenwald

Why Do Politicians Want To Cut Jobs? Budget Cuts Equal Job Cuts.

We are in a painful recession.  Too often it seems like DC hears more about the concern of billionaires who don’t want to lose their tax cuts, and too little about the parent of two who works long hours and barely is getting by.  And yet Congress votes on whether the billionaire will have more, and whether the working class parent will lose his or her job.  These are the votes presently occurring, and which are being treated like a drawn out political game.

The proposed Federal budget cuts are turning into another political sideshow. The process of the budget is being treated as a chess game, a battle over politics and procedure, and one that may go on for a long time still, narrated by talking heads throughout.

If you are an American in need of a job, or one afraid that your job will be cut in the budget proposals, it isn’t just a DC soap opera.  The reverberations of the proposed cuts are drastic and personal.  States and cities throughout the country feel the impact of the cuts through the stories of those waiting with every news cycle to hear whether their job, or hope of a job, will be slashed.

The City of Los Angeles is a perfect example of this harm.  Los Angeles is already affected by the recession with a whopping 14.5% unemployment.

The proposed federal budget cuts are not abstract to Los Angeles.  They would eliminate funding for job creation projects, projects needed to help Vets find work, and they could wipe out training services for youth hoping to find skills, or the homeless, hoping to break the cycle of poverty.

In Los Angeles, the community is not sitting back and letting these proposed cuts happen without a fight.  Next Wednesday, March 23rd, Angelinos will rally at the Federal Building in Downtown Los Angeles to say no to such cuts.  Cutting jobs is not the answer to recession budgeting.  It’s time that our government prioritized working people over billionaires.  

If democracy is to work, we have to hope that Wisconsin and Los Angeles, and the other communities that have had enough, send messages strong enough to penetrate the walls of Capitol Hill.  It’s time our government support those struggling to get by, and not just those with the money to access power in private backrooms.  It’s time we make it know:  budget cuts equal job cuts.  And America simply can’t afford to cut anymore jobs.

Meg Whitman: California is NOT for Sale

Meg Whitman truly believes that California is for sale. She has spent a record-breaking $140 million of her own money in an attempt to buy the state. But California isn’t just some eBay item Whitman can bid on.

Whitman has run 80,000 TV ads to promote her conservative version of a future for California. That one video above is fighting against the, at least, $60 million Whitman has spent buying up airtime and producing commercials for herself.

What else has Whitman spent her money on in this race? Here are some recent calculations. On staff and spouse travel, lodging and meals: $2,643,529. Fundraising events: $1,028,538. On campaign consultants: $11,085,653. On print ads: $4,247,724. On polling and survey research: $1,254,627.

In all of this tossing of money around like life is a game of Monopoly, Whitman’s true goal is an attempt to buy democracy. She’s acting on a belief that if she throws enough of her own wealth out to woe voters, she can buy their votes. As if California is up for auction and the deciding factor of who wins is who bids enough.

California is not for sale. Please share this blog and the above video with other Californians who cannot be bought.  

Supermarket Swindle: Brave New Films Joins the Grocery Worker Fight

(cross-posted from Working Californians)

We have gained an amazing new partner in the fight for a fair contract for the grocery workers.  Brave New Films, of “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Living” fame has created a new online campaign to help tell the story of the grocery workers and collect pledges from customers not to shop at the Vons, Raphs or Albertsons if they force a lockout or a strike.  Here is the first video:

You can sign the pledge here.

This is only the first of a series of worker profiles to help tell the story of working under a two-tier wage structure, or going without health insurance, not getting a raise for four years while the CEO’s salaries rose 216%.  As Robert Greenwald put it in a conference call, this is a campaign to “convince the gang of three that fairness is a value”.  He wants to “hold their feet to the fire until that happens.”

Brave New Films is giving these loyal and hard working employees a voice, like Charles Bingham, who is featured in this first clip.  Charles was born with an eye condition and he developed an infection while working at Ralphs.  Unfortunately, he was hired after the the strike and thus, despite having worked for the company for over 8 months, did not have health insurance.  He ended up going to the hospital, but left with a $8,000 bill, forcing him to declare bankruptcy.  His debt has now caused him to have to move out of his studio apartment and into a hotel.  If he had been cover like all workers were before the strike, this never would have happened.

Then there is Javier Ybarra, who has seen the power of his pay check demising over the years and now finds it “tragic” to work beside colleagues who are earning even less than him.  He works pay check to paycheck and “I scratch my head as I look over to my colleagues and wonder how they do it.” 

They now half jokingly refer to the lower tier workers as the B-Team, because it is second class.  Those post strike hired workers find a hard time being motivated to work hard compared to their coworkers who are making more.  They are now earning just a few cents over minimum wage.  They could go elsewhere, but as one worker on the call put it, then somebody else would just get hired.  It could be his son.  Instead he said defiantly, “somebody has to stand up and say something about that.”  He is standing up and now has an outlet for his voice.

Go watch the video and send it around to your friends and family.  I will be sure to post all of the new videos as the come out and track the progress of the “Supermarket Swindle” campaign.

Calitics Quarterly in SF is a big success

(Also, there’s still time to give some money in Q2. Go to our ActBlue Page. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

The good times just kept on rolling, until well, it got really freaking cold at Zeitgeist.  We had about 30 people there, who braved my overly optimistic weather forecasts and the contact highs to come out and have some beer and conversation.  Every once in a while it is great to just turn off the computer and meet some of those people that you talk to online.  Plus, the quarterlies brought in about $1500. Not bad for the beginning of what we hope to be a great tradition in California’s progressive politics

  In the photo, Jenifer Ancona (jra) is talking to Robert Greenwald and Brian Devine (Be_Devine).

I especially apologize to Robert Greenwald  of Brave New Films for not telling him that it can get kinda chilly at the outdoor venue.  My bad.  But, Robert did give us some really interesting information.  Apparently he is working on a new project Supermarket Swindle. Did you know that since 2002, the supermarket workers have gotten 0 pay raises? Yet, the CEOs have had raises up to 700%.  Pretty nice gig, huh?