By Rebecca Band
California Labor Federation
You’ve probably heard it from a colleague, or maybe from a friend or family member:
“Kids these days… they’re just too ambivalent to care about labor unions or workers' rights.”
But as it turns out, that’s just not true. Young people are actually big fans of unions. Fully 61% of young people view labor unions favorably – and that’s more than 10 points higher than the national average, according to a new Pew poll. In fact, young people are the only age group that views unions more favorably than they view corporations.
By Norman Solomon
For more than a month, outrage has been profuse in response to news about NSA surveillance and other evidence that all three branches of the U.S. government are turning Uncle Sam into Big Brother.
Continuing to expose and denounce the assaults on civil liberties is essential. So is supporting Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers - past, present and future. But those vital efforts are far from sufficient.
By Robert Reich
A basic economic principle is government ought to tax what we want to discourage, and not tax what we want to encourage.
For example, if we want less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we should tax carbon polluters. On the other hand, if we want more students from lower-income families to be able to afford college, we shouldn’t put a tax on student loans.
Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, congressional Republicans are intent on doing exactly the opposite.
By Brian Goldstein
Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice
On December 14, 2012 Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Six months later, this incident remains seared in the nation’s consciousness. The tragedy at Sandy Hook joined the unfortunate list of other school shootings, like those at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School.
As Americans struggled to make sense of the tragedy, advocacy groups and policymakers in all levels of government developed political solutions they thought necessary to prevent this from happening again.
By Amanda Reiman
Drug Policy Alliance
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Behind a veiled claim of protecting the public, collateral sanctions continue to be heaped upon those arrested for using drugs. While these policies may be well intentioned, they are creating an inter-generational chain reaction that unjustly impacts entire communities for decades to come.
By Robert Cruickshank
The Merced Sun-Star lays out the current state of high speed rail politics in Congress, which is the same as it’s been since January 2011 – Republicans hate HSR and are doing everything in their power to kill it. What’s new are not the specific ways they are trying to kill it, but the rhetoric they are using. Central Valley Republicans, stung by unusually strong criticism of their anti-HSR actions by Valley institutions and newspapers, are trying to shift the blame onto the HSR project.
By David Dayen
The story I covered on Sunday about how the Romney-Ryan campaign would have to cut current Medicare benefits because of the box they’ve shoved themselves into by promising to “restore $716 billion in Medicare cuts” finally gets picked up by the New York Times in a front-page story. If the story gets a bigger platform, all the better. But I don’t think Jackie Calmes did a complete job of explaining this, so let me try again.
By Dick Meister
Billionaire corporate interests and other well financed anti-labor forces are waging a major drive to stifle the political voice of workers and their unions in California that is certain to spread nationwide if not stopped and stopped now.
At issue is a highly deceptive measure, Proposition 32, on the November election ballot, that its anti-labor sponsors label as an even-handed attempt to limit campaign spending. But actually, it would limit and severely only the spending of unions while leaving corporations and other moneyed special interests free to spend as much as they like.
Unions would be prohibited from making political contributions with money collected from voluntary paycheck deductions authorized by their members, which is the main source of union political funds.
Will Speaker John Perez Keep His Promise to Grassroots Democrats About Passing the California DISCLOSE Act?
By Carole Lutness
Last month there was great news for AB 1648, the California DISCLOSE Act. Speaker John Perez, who is a co-author of AB 1648, stood up in front of a couple of hundred activists at a Los Angeles County Democratic Party meeting and said, to a roaring round of cheers, that “we are going to get the DISCLOSE Act passed!”
This was fabulous news, because the California DISCLOSE Act is crucial to fighting back against Citizens United and unlimited anonymous spending in SuperPACS by making political ads in California clearly show their three largest funders. Without it voters will be crushed by the Chevron’s and Koch Brothers of the world.
Speaker Perez really has to make it happen because unfortunately, with huge opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce and its big-money corporate allies who would rather keep voters in the dark, it doesn’t look like there’s any Republican Assemblymembers that will vote for it, denying it the 2/3 vote it needs as it currently stands.
By Eva Paterson
Equal Justice Society
On August 13, the Equal Justice Society, the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and the Haas Diversity Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 13 of the country’s leading social scientists in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, urging the Court to uphold modest race-conscious admissions policies.
The brief cites studies, provided to the Supreme Court for the first time, showing that race-conscious admissions policies such as those used by the University of Texas at Austin result in a more diverse student body, which is essential to produce leaders able to compete in the 21st century global marketplace. The brief also explains how structural barriers inhibit educational opportunity.