The Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of Tom Donohue, has gone from a well respected trade organization to an extremist political organization dedicated to corrupting American democracy by elevating the profits of big corporations over the well being of the citizens they serve. Recent examples of this corrupt behavior is the Chamber's spending of more than $100 million to defeat initiatives to protect the environment and provide affordable health care to everyone, and its massive attacks on democracy through the use of secret money in the 2010 election.
The Chamber is the biggest lobbying operation in the United States, spending billions of dollars on behalf of big business over the past decade to corrupt the political system. Polluters like Big Coal, Big Asbestos, and Big Oil only need call the Chamber to stop any accountability for their toxic destruction. Wall Street banks and CEOs need only make sure that they have paid their Chamber dues to ensure that they can continue to rip off the taxpayers. And killers like Big Tobacco need only form a partnership with the Chamber to ensure that they will be given immunity from lawsuits that seek accountability for the death and sickness of millions of Americans.
Tom Donohue has turned the once respected and even-handed Chamber into an extremist organization, bragging that the Chamber gutted the Clinton tobacco settlement, killed the Clinton health care plan, and scuttled previous oversight of Wall Street and the banking system. Now the Chamber is spending tens of millions on ads and lobbyists to repeal health care for all, protect polluters from accountability, and shield the financial industry from government regulation.
Sign On To This Campaign. Sign on to this campaign and your name will be added to the thousands who have complained about the conduct of the Chamber. We will send this letter letter to all the members of the Chamber board and others asking that they quit and condemn the Chamber.
Sign on to the campaign here
-By Bryce Covert
May 7, 2013- The factory collapse in Bangladesh has now claimed upward of 700 lives, making it the worst industrial disaster in Bangladesh and the most deadly one in the history of the garment industry. As has been widely reported, workers were hesitant to enter the building on the day of the collapse due to visible cracks in the building.
Since the disaster, many have urged large retail corporations to upgrade the working conditions in the factories from which they source their products. Three hundred large companies had previously refused to sign a pledge to do so before the collapse, citing costs. The need for low prices and fast production is driven in large part by American demand for cheap clothing. So how much would clothing prices rise for the average consumer if all of the costs of upgrading Bangladesh factories were passed on to them?
-By Mark Karlin
April 26, 2013- Marc Mauer is the executive director of The Sentencing Project, and the author of "Race to Incarcerate", which has just been released in graphic format, illustrated by Sabrina Jones, as "Race to Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling" (The New Press).
Mauer's knowledge about the prison-industrial complex in the United States - which has the highest percentage of incarcerated individuals in the world - is extensive. "Race to Incarcerate" is considered a landmark indictment of a system that locks the poor and minorities up with abandon, while largely neglecting support systems for reintegration back to society.
Furthermore, a large percentage of US prisoners are jailed for nonviolent drug "crimes," and they are largely black and Latino males. This creates a perpetual cycle of incarceration and re-incarceration for what one could argue are largely crimes of economic need or committed in environments where the only hope lies in drug use. And the imprisonment is at great cost to the American taxpayer, with funds that could be better spent improving the job prospects of those who are commodities for the prison-industrial complex.
-By Richard Eskow
April 21, 2013- Corporate interests and their elected representatives have created a world of illusion in order to resist paying a decent wage to working Americans. They'd have us believe that minimum-wage workers are teens from '50s TV sitcoms working down at the local malt shoppe.
It's a retro-fantasy where corporate stinginess creates minority jobs, working parents can't possibly be impoverished, and nobody gets hurt except kids who drive dad's convertible and top up their allowances with a minimum-wage job slinging burgers.
But then, you probably need to resort to fantasy arguments when you're arguing against a minimum-wage increase supported by nearly three-quarters of the voting public. That's also why it's important to demand that Congress allow an up-or-down vote on the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise it to $10.10 and then index it to inflation.
Here's the truth: Most minimum-wage workers are adults, the majority of them are women, and many are parents who are trying to raise their children on poverty wages.
-By Lynne Tuohy
April 9, 2013- A jury in New Hampshire has ordered Exxon Mobil to pay $236 million in damages after finding the oil giant liable in a long-running lawsuit over groundwater contamination by the gasoline additive MTBE.
Jurors sat through nearly three months of testimony in the longest state trial in New Hampshire history, but deliberated for only 90 minutes on Tuesday.
The state sought $236 million to monitor and remediate groundwater contaminated by MTBE — which travels farther and faster in groundwater than gasoline without the additive.
Addicting Info: Bank Of America Wrongfully Foreclosed On Service Members: Will Now Pay In The Millions
-By Lorraine Devon Wilke
April 8, 2013- It’s been a long slog for a group of service members fighting to keep their homes while serving in the military of this great United States. Between the years of 2006 and 2010, a particular group of over 300 military members were served foreclosure notices, resulting in the accrual of greater debt, home equity lost, and the general stress of wondering if one’s home was going to be pulled out from under them while on active military duty.
The Justice Department didn’t like the sound of what was going on and got involved and in 2011, a settlement was reached with Bank of America to compensate 142 of those military members for wrongful foreclosures. A win, certainly, but the investigation continued and after the Bank of America handed over information about additional foreclosures made between mid-2009 and 2010, it became clear that 155 more service members had been impacted. The Justice Department added these parties to the settlement, making the amount Bank of America (and to a lesser extent, Morgan Stanley) will pay out for illegally foreclosing on 300+ service members the robust amount of $36.8 million. From Reuters:
The battle for food sovereignty is a battle we cannot afford to lose.
-By Ronnie Cummins & Katherine Paul
April 8, 2013- Big Food’s greatest fear is materializing. A critical mass of educated consumers, food and natural health activists are organizing a powerful movement that could well overthrow North America’s trillion-dollar junk food empire. Savvy and more determined than ever, activists are zeroing in on the Achilles heel of Food Inc. -- labeling.
But as consumers demand truth and greater transparency in labeling, it isn’t just Big Food whose empire is vulnerable. The biotech industry, which makes billions supplying junk food manufacturers with cheap, genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, has even more to lose. Monsanto knows that if food producers are forced to label the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food products, they’ll reformulate those products to meet consumer demand for GMO-free alternatives. That’s why companies like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow, along with Coca-Cola and Pepsi, last year spent more than $46 million to defeat Proposition 37, California’s GMO labeling initiative.
-By Stephen C. Webster
April 7, 2013- Activists with the group Tar Sands Blockade published new videos on Sunday showing oil from the Arkansas pipeline rupture purportedly diverted from a residential neighborhood into a wetland area to keep it out sight and, most importantly, out of the media.
While it’s not clear if the oil was intentionally moved into the wetland, the company says it is cleaning pavement with power washing devices, which could cause some of the oil to be pushed off neighborhood streets and into other areas.
A letter sent by ExxonMobil to residents of Mayflower on March 31 claims the oil did not reach Lake Conway.