Jon Stewart, sounding more and more like a politician at the Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium with Bill O’Reilly.
omg what if jon stewart ran for something guys
he would so win
and it would be awesome
he would have my vote.
It’s how regular people can justify doing horrible things…or, just not doing anything.
(Not that everyone at the conference is doing evil things.)
Brilliant protest tactics: Learn from Philly environmentalists
The convention was called “Shale Gas Insight” and took place in the fortified Philadelphia Convention Center in downtown Philly. The convention hosted hundreds of vendors and representatives from just about every company involved in hydraulic fracturing, or “Fracking” as some call it.
The action, called “Sunrise Intervention” by local organizers, succeeded in bringing people together to face the industry on their own terms. For hours, industry representatives were forced to pass through an aggressive picket at the front entrance with banners, flags, drums, and chants. This was preceded by a “walk of shame” in which the delegates were verbally confronted for an entire city block in public view. As they approached the convention center, people physically blocked them from entering. To say the least, it became a venue for interesting conversation.
“I really valued the honesty on behalf of the delegates” said a bystander. At one point a group of uniformed charter school kids joined in the fun, taking pictures–laughing and pointing.
“We were hoping the delegates would get arrested for collaborating in environmental crimes” said one of the picketers when the police arrived. But they didn’t.
What a great way to truly show the greed & selfishness of fracking industry reps!
You would think that even if conservative lawmakers continue to deny our humanity and right to our bodies, they would at the very least understand that people being in control of their reproductive decisions is great for the economy.
25% of the world’s prison population is located in America. 50% of America’s prison population are non-violent offenders.
SlavePrison labor is extremely profitable for corporations and more than 90% of prisoners work in prison jobs.
The average inmate makes 9-15 cents an hour. If a prisoner were to work for an entire year straight (8,765 hours), they would make an average of $788-$1,314.
Romney to date has declined to identify the names of his top “bundlers” — those who gather checks from scores of donors on the candidate’s behalf.
“He is the first nominee in 12 years to withhold these names,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political money on the website opensecrets.org.
Read HuffPo for a scathing, but interesting, look into this story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/brian-ross-yacht-flag_n_1840479.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
Cost of Olympics vs. Landing a robot on Mars
Last year, over 850,000 people in America were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. Despite public opinion, the medical community, and human rights experts all moving in favor of relaxing marijuana prohibition laws, little has changed in terms of policy.
There have been many great books and articles detailing the history of the drug war. Part of America’s fixation with keeping the leafy green plant illegal is rooted in cultural and political clashes from the past.
However, we at Republic Report think it’s worth showing that there are entrenched interest groups that are spending large sums of money to keep our broken drug laws on the books:
1.) Police Unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal drug war grants to finance their budget. In March, we published a story revealing that a police union lobbyist in California coordinated the effort to defeat Prop 19, a ballot measure in 2010 to legalize marijuana, while helping his police department clients collect tens of millions in federal marijuana-eradication grants. And it’s not just in California. Federal lobbying disclosures show that other police union lobbyists have pushed for stiffer penalties for marijuana-related crimes nationwide.
2.) Private Prisons Corporations: Private prison corporations make millions by incarcerating people who have been imprisoned for drug crimes, including marijuana. As Republic Report’s Matt Stoller noted last year, Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest for-profit prison companies, revealed in a regulatory filing that continuing the drug war is part in parcel to their business strategy. Prison companies have spent millions bankrolling pro-drug war politicians and have used secretive front groups, like the American Legislative Exchange Council, to pass harsh sentencing requirements for drug crimes.
3.) Alcohol and Beer Companies: Fearing competition for the dollars Americans spend on leisure, alcohol and tobacco interests have lobbied to keep marijuana out of reach. For instance, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors contributed campaign contributions to a committee set up to prevent marijuana from being legalized and taxed.
4.) Pharmaceutical Corporations: Like the sin industries listed above, pharmaceutical interests would like to keep marijuana illegal so American don’t have the option of cheap medical alternatives to their products. Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now lobbies the government to relax marijuana prohibition laws, told Republic Report that next to police unions, the “second biggest opponent on Capitol Hill is big PhRMA” because marijuana can replace “everything from Advil to Vicodin and other expensive pills.”
5.) Prison Guard Unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars just like for-profit prison companies. In 2008, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association spent a whopping $1 million to defeat a measure that would have “reduced sentences and parole times for nonviolent drug offenders while emphasizing drug treatment over prison.”
RELATED: Why Can’t You Smoke Pot? Because Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of the War on Drugs
The U.S. is locking up more illegal immigrants than ever, generating lucrative profits for the nation’s largest prison companies, and an Associated Press review shows the businesses have spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying lawmakers and contributing to campaigns.
The cost to American taxpayers is on track to top $2 billion for this year, and the companies are expecting their biggest cut of that yet in the next few years thanks to government plans for new facilities to house the 400,000 immigrants detained annually.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Credit: Lam Thuy Vo / NPR