Monday, November 21, 2011
In its entirety, Wall Street firms have already spent more than $100 million in total this year on lobbying related to Dodd-Frank, according to The New York Times, with some success: Many experts claim that the Volcker rule -- a regulation aimed at curbing proprietary trading -- is so watered down it bears little resemblance to the former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's original proposal. A handful of Occupy Wall Street protesters recently launched "Occupy the SEC" in direct response to what they perceive as the weakening of the Volcker rule.
And bank lobbyists are fighting back. A notable financial services lobbying firm hatched a plan earlier this week to spend $850,000 on a variety of projects including "opposition research" on the occupy movement in an attempt to undermine it, according to Slate.
But banks may have more to worry about than just the Occupy movement. Cg42, a firm that consults with banks, estimates that big banks will lose $185 billion in deposits over the next year if they don't address consumer concerns. Consumers and lawmakers derided banks earlier this year for proposals to charge for once-free account services such as debit card use. Read More Here | Analysis
Pocan's right to worry about the prospect of more shenanigans from the same political insiders who ran fake "Democrats" in last summer's state Senate recall elections, proposed to amend the state constitution to make it dramatically harder to launch recall campaigns, and triggered the current recall a week early so the governor could collect unlimited campaign contributions from out-of-state donors.
But it won't work.
As hard as they may try to game the process, to weight it down with out-of-state money, to foster the fantasy that the governor's "reforms" are "working," the Wisconsinites are seeing through the gimmicks, fantasies and lies.
The new St. Norbert/Wisconsin Public Radio poll shows that Wisconsinites favor recalling Walker by 58-38 percent. The governor claims the St. Norbert poll is "notoriously inaccurate." Yet just last year the poll predicted his election and came within two points of predicting his winning percentage of the vote.
The governor will say anything, do anything to try to save his political hide.
But the people of Wisconsin are on to him. Democrats want him out. Independents want him out. In fact, more than 20 percent of Republicans now say they want to see Walker recalled.
Diane Hebert and Michigan Forward shared a link.
From its headquarters at 1241 N. Franklin Place on Milwaukee's lower east side, the low-profile Bradley Foundation gives away millions of dollars every year, acting like a venture capital fund for conservative ideas.
Less than a week after being elected governor, Scott Walker and his wife met privately with one of the most powerful philanthropic forces behind America's conservative movement.
It wasn't the Koch brothers - the bogeymen for the American left.
On Nov. 8, 2010, the Walkers broke bread at the upscale Bacchus restaurant in the Cudahy Tower with the board and senior staff of the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.
With more than $600 million in assets, the Bradley Foundation provides a cornerstone for the conservative movement in Wisconsin and across America. It has been the financial backer behind public policy experiments that started in the state and spread across the nation - including welfare reform, public vouchers for private schools and, this year, cutbacks in public employee benefits and collective bargaining.
Yet outside conservative circles, the foundation has kept a low profile. It receives a fraction of the attention given the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch and the Scaife family.
But the Bradley Foundation is in a different league: From 2001 to 2009, it doled out nearly as much money as the seven Koch and Scaife foundations combined.
Michael W. Grebe, president and chief executive of the foundation, said there's nothing secretive about his organization. Rather, Grebe likened the Bradley Foundation to the 1960s Green Bay Packers, who ruled the football world with a fearsome ground game and a deceptively simple running play, the sweep.
"We're going to run off tackle, right over there, and we're telling you we're going to run there and we're going to knock you on your butt and carry the ball down the field," Grebe said during an interview inside the foundation's headquarters near downtown. "There are no surprises." Read More Here | JSOnline
MINNEAPOLIS | Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:28pm EST
MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Target Corp. received six red-and-white Target bags full of petitions Monday signed by 190,000 people to protest stores opening for "Black Friday" sales at midnight, the morning after Thanksgiving.
The petitions, delivered by Target employee Seth Coleman to a representative at the retailer's Minneapolis headquarters, were the result of an effort started by Anthony Hardwick, an Omaha, Nebraska employee who said the store's decision to advance its "Black Friday" opening time interfered with family gatherings.
"Thanksgiving is a holiday for family to get together," said Hardwick, 29. "If you're having your employees show up at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, they're going to spend their day sleeping so they can get ready for the busiest shopping day of the year."
Target, Macy's, Gap, Kohl's, and Best Buy all plan to open at midnight on Friday morning in an attempt to boost sales. The stores have in past years started their Black Friday sales at 3 or 4 in the morning, but hours were moved earlier to boost sales and in response to customer demands.
Both Walmart and Kmart will be open Thanksgiving Day, as well as some Gap stores. Movie theaters and many drug and grocery stores are usually open on Thanksgiving.
In a statement, Target said that it valued and respected the rights of all team members to express their opinions.
"The decision to open at midnight on Black Friday was not one we took lightly," said Anahita Cameron, a Target director of stores human resources, in a statement. "As that is the busiest shopping day of the year, it is imperative that we be competitive. Our guests have expressed that they would prefer to kick off their holiday shopping by heading out after their holiday celebrations rather than getting up in the middle of the night."
Coleman, 29, a Target worker from Northfield, Minnesota, said he has been scheduled to work two shifts on Thanksgiving Day -- the first from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. to unload special sale items from trucks, and the second starting at 11 p.m.
Coleman started work at Target for $7.75 an hour a few weeks ago. He said that in past jobs working in delis he has had to work on Thanksgiving -- but he objects to working two shifts, which eliminates any possibility of time with family. Read Full Article Here | Target given 190,000 Black Friday protest signatures | Reuters
Northern California Grantmakers» Blog Archive » A Conversation With Van Jones: Understanding Movement Building–The Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street and Philanthropy
Blog Archive » A Conversation With Van Jones: Understanding Movement Building–
It’s Not a Movement, It’s a Swarm
Van Jones’ interest in making sense of the Occupy Wall Street movement evolved from his research in network building, brought about initially by a desire to better understand the Tea Party. As time progressed, and after the Arab Spring, it became clearer to him that something new was happening in the world when it came to movement building.
“How change happens, is changing…[We have to] recognize there’s terminology we don’t have. Occupy Wall Street isn’t a movement. It’s a swarm.”–Van Jones
What exactly is a swarm? It’s a leaderless movement that doesn’t need to depend on a charismatic top-down leader. Read Full Article Here | Van Jones: Understanding Movement Building