This video highlights some of the craziness around what extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans could mean in terms of spending. The average amount these tax cuts would give is $80,000, which would allow a rich American to hire the entire staff of the Jersey Shore to appear at a party, or it could pay one month of unemployment for 273 Americans. But when you look at the richest of the rich, say, CEOs of big banks on Wall Street, they would stand to gain even more, reaping between $700,000 and 1.6 million each from these tax cuts.
Extending tax cuts to the richest 2% of Americans would cost our country $700 billion in new debt. At a time when nearly 15 million Americans are out of work, and over 2 million are in danger of losing their homes, Congress’ priority needs to be the 98% of Americans who need the most support.
Tell Congress that they must NOT pass a tax cut for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.
Call Your Representatives now and tell them not to spend $700 billion on the richest among us. In this time of high unemployment and housing lost, we need to have better priorities!
Here’s the number for the House (202) 224-3121
Once you’ve made your call, visit here and share with us how it went and why you oppose tax cuts for the wealthy.
We have already seen the notes of appreciation start to come in from throughout the country.
Greg S. posted: “Congressman Grayson, the fact that the GOP worked so hard to defeat you was because you are right and you work for us. Don’t let January be the end. Let it be the beginning of a new Progressive movement, and please lead us there. You are respected and loved and we thank you! You are a truly great American!”
Kevin S. wrote: “I absolutely love Alan Grayson. This guy is a true American. He stands up for his/our rights, is for the average person, and tells it like it is. Obama/Grayson – 2012!!!!”
We’ve been coping by playing Brave New PacMan — that’s Progressive Against Conservatives Man.
Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly call YOU out by name and you won’t believe what they say! Reignite your progressive passion by showing them what you got.
We don’t want to spoil too many of the surprises. Play the new, free Brave New PacMan game NOW.
Drunken shootouts and debauchery, meaningless death and mayhem — the “Wild West” atmosphere created by the Bush Administration’s criminal initiation and execution of the Iraq War is the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks in part to the rapacious greed injected into war-fighting by the liberal use of for-profit armed “security” companies, a brutal, unaccountable and unreliable swagger is increasingly the face of the U.S. in conflict zones around the world. The latest Wikileaks dump adds a sickening granularity to what Brave New Films showed in our documentary, Iraq For Sale: the use of private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan makes a few people very, very rich, but it’s making the rest of us — Americans and local civilians alike — much less safe.
Summarizing the logs released by Wikileaks, the New York Times on October 25 made it clear that fat cat war junkies like Blackwater/Xe’s Erik Prince have sold the American people a toxic bill of goods:
For all the contractors’ bravado — Iraq was packed with beefy men with beards and flak jackets — and for all the debates about their necessity, it is clear from the documents that the contractors appeared notably ineffective at keeping themselves and the people they were paid to protect from being killed.
In fact, the documents seem to confirm a common observation on the ground during those years in Iraq: far from providing insurance against sudden death, the easily identifiable, surprisingly vulnerable pickup trucks and S.U.V.’s driven by the security companies were magnets for insurgents, militias, disgruntled Iraqis and anyone else in search of a target.
Shorter version: people died, are still dying, because of these Humvee-chasing war tychoons’ ineptitude and brutality, and the toll includes their own employees. Worse, even when we know that these Gordon Geeko’s of the war industry oversee a machine that’s killing and maiming innocent people (including U.S. soldiers!), our governments seem unwilling to do anything about it:
…But whatever the constellation of reasons — from war-zone jumpiness to outright disregard for civilian lives — the security companies are cited time after time for shootings that the documents plainly label as unjustified. This has blackened their reputation, even if it has not lessened the military’s dependence on them.
…Many of the companies apparently felt no sense of accountability. Contractors with a Romanian company called Danubia Global killed three Iraqis in Falluja in 2006, another report said, then refused to answer questions on the episode, citing a company policy not to provide information to investigators.
Some of these gun-wielding mercenaries seem to be doing their best to give the Cowboy gang from Tombstone a run for their money in alcohol-fueled carnage:
…And still more recently, in July 2009, local contractors with the 77th Security Company drove into a neighborhood in the northern city of Erbil and began shooting at random, setting off a firefight with an off-duty police officer and wounding three women, another report said.
‘It is assessed that this drunken group of individuals were out having a good time and firing their weapons,’ the incident report concluded.
I’m sure the women injured by the bullets didn’t have a very good time.
Because the U.S. has utterly failed to reign in the hired guns under their authority in Iraq, the saloon-and-pistols atmosphere has spread unchecked to Afghanistan. Remember Wackenhut? If you don’t remember the name, I’m sure you remember the photos of the great job they’ve done “protecting” the U.S. embassy there:
I’m fed up with being humiliated — of seeing our troops in combat zones humiliated! — by the behavior of these unaccountable, brutal mercenary companies. That’s why today, I called 202.224.3121 and told my representative that I want them to support the Stop Outsourcing Our Security Act and phase out the use of armed security contractors. I hope you’ll do the same.
You can learn more about the danger posed by these war profiteers by watching Brave New Foundation’s documentary, Iraq 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.
‘I support offshore drilling.’ With this position, Carly Fiornia is falling in line with her ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ comrades and continues her work to become the Sarah Palin of California.
In the latest video from Brave New Films, Carly shows us her history of supporting those who want to drill in particularly in the beautiful Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). She also takes a card from the Koch brothers playbook and thinks we should “have the courage to examine the science behind global warming”.
Enough! Haven’t we learned from the damage in the Gulf? Haven’t we seen enough unbiased documentation on global climate change? Don’t let Sarah, er, we mean, Carly drill on your California coastline!
In these economic times, California needs to focus on the creation of jobs.
Brave New Films has released the latest video in our series on Carly Fiorina, this video focuses on her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Carly Fiorina likes to tout her business experience from when she was CEO of Hewlett-Parkard, but leaves out the most important part of her track-record. During Fiorina’s tenure, she laid off 30,000 workers and shipped their jobs overseas to India and China.
Listening to the voices of those laid off workers will show you the Real Carly:
“After 21 years and 18 months shy of retirement, I was laid off…I lost about 50% of my retirement nest egg by believing what she was saying.” – Mike Angles, Laid-off Manager – Hewlett Packard
“The layoff was very hard. We’ve gone from two cars in the driveway and all things you would need…and now we are trying to remodify our loan…a matter of fact, now we’re on food stamps.” – Susan Walsh, Laid-offExecutive Assistant – Hewlett Packard.
In these tough economic times, we need to bring jobs to the state, not ship them overseas.
Christine O’Donnell has stolen from citizens even before getting into office. She has used up to $20,000 on rent, bowling and personal meals, and sees nothing wrong with this misuse of campaign funds.
We disagree. And so Brave New Films has called upon David Weiss, the United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, to investigate O’Donnell’s illegal usage of campaign funds and for her submitting of false reports to the Federal Elections Committee.
If we don’t stop corruption before candidates get into Congress, we will never stop corruption within Congress. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government deserves recognition for also being watchdogs for democracy in their work to bring attention to this issue. Americans have had enough of double talking politicians who claim to be “fiscally conservative,” but really are just about what fiscally benefits them and their friends.
There is disturbing evidence that Christine O’Donnell has broken the law, and voters deserve to have this situation investigated.
Conway spent an afternoon at the Pentagon on Tuesday undermining the president’s deadline for significant withdrawals starting in July 2011. He started by relaying the admonition of a lance corporal: “Sir, don’t let our country go wobbly on us now.” Then, he let it be known in no uncertain terms that none of “his” Marines would participate in a July 2011 drawdown:
“Finally, though I certainly believe some American units somewhere in Afghanistan will turn over responsibility to Afghan security forces in 2011, I do not think they will be Marines. …I honestly think it will be few years before conditions on the ground are such that turnover will be possible for us.”
The caveat given by Presidents Bush and Obama ad nauseum–”conditions on the ground”–has been widened so far that it threatens to totally neutralize the drawdown portion of the president’s Afghanistan strategy. The entire general officer corps seems to be comfortable openly deriding or dismissing the idea of a significant drawdown in July 2011. President Obama has no one to blame but himself that this keeps happening.
By allowing a string of major administration officials, from General Petraeus to Secretaries Clinton and Gates, to equivocate about July 2011 on Sunday morning talk shows immediately after the West Point speech, Obama, intentionally or not, telegraphed a lack of enthusiasm for the deadline to every stakeholder paying attention. In so doing, he let a narrative develop that the reason he included a deadline was because he had to speak to “multiple audiences.” Among military officials and Washington, D.C. power-holders, a interpretation took hold that the president was placating restless voters with assurances that we shouldn’t take too seriously.
Now, generals under his command openly deride the deadline as a political move. Conway is only able to show such open contempt for a meaningful deadline because Obama sat back and watched while this process took place. The general went so far as to say that the deadline is giving the insurgents “sustenance,” but that’s okay, because they’ll be shocked and demoralized when he and “his” Marines don’t go anywhere.
Just who is running the show here?
President Obama needs to come out right now and reiterate that there will be a drawdown that begins no later than July 2011 and that it will involve significant numbers of U.S. troops. In fact, he should go further: He should set a hard end-date for the combat mission that occurs no later than December 2011.
Right now, there are at least three generals–Petraeus, Conway, and Caldwell–working hard to frame the president’s July 2011 drawdown as something they can essentially ignore when it comes to extending a brutal, costly war that’s not making us safer. If the president doesn’t take the situation in hand and counter the Pentagon’s in-your-face campaign to neuter the drawdown component of the time-limited escalation plan, he risks getting outmaneuvered in the press just like he did when General McChrystal played hardball on last year’s strategy review.
Worse, he’ll have demonstrated to the generals that they, not he, run the show in Afghanistan. If the president doesn’t want this war to devour his legacy and corrode civilian control of the military further, he needs to act swiftly and decisively to get his generals back in line and get our troops home.
If you’re with the almost 60 percent of Americans who oppose the war in Afghanistan, join the tens of thousands of others fighting to end it at Rethink Afghanistan on Facebook.
Follow Robert Greenwald and Derrick Crowe on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AfghanistanDocu
But in case all of that was not clear enough, News Corp, Fox News’ corporate parent, recently gave $1 million dollars to the Republican Governors Association. One million dollars! That would be the Republican Governors Association’s largest corporate donation this election cycle.
As we at Brave New Films have long documented via our Outfoxed documentary and our Fox Attacks Campaign, Fox News exists to highlight fights and a mob wrestling of conservative voices. This only works when Democrats provide the necessary fodder. They need a Democrat to throw to the lion’s den, to cut off and to disagree with. It is the appearance of Democrats that allows for Fox to keep up the entertainment value of shouting and insulting. If Democrats refuse to appear on Fox, Fox loses its entertainment edge. And by losing its edge, it loses its audience. And by losing its audience, it loses its financial gain.
For too long we have played around. Democrats have argued that Fox News was a legitimate enough of an organization to appear on. They are not. And each time a Democrat appears on a Fox News program, they help provide entertainment value and audience draw. Agreeing to appear on Fox equals agreeing to support their financial gain and thus to support Republican candidates – to the tune of $1 million dollars.
With so much at stake in our country today, we can no longer afford to play such games. We can no longer afford to collude with an overtly conservative medium and financial entity that promotes bigotry, hate and inequality.
The word is out and the message is clear: Any Democrat who appears on Fox is supporting a financial structure that allows for Republican gain. And claiming the cover of “fair and balanced” is now as convincing as claiming that money doesn’t matter in politics. It’s time to draw a line. Fox News is a Republican support machine. They should never be treated as anything but that. And all Democrats must declare that they will no longer fund this right wing operation and that they will refuse to appear on any Fox News program.
Fox News isn’t a news organization. It’s not even just a propaganda machine any longer. It is a funding machine for the right wing, with the express financial focus of electing Republicans to office.
Turn off Fox and refuse to appear on their programs, or you might as well just sign a blank check to any Republican candidate of Fox’s choosing.