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.
Why did the Democrats lose this week in Massachusetts? Brave New Films put this question to Celinda Lake, pollster for the Coakley campaign, and Stephanie Taylor from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Forget the conventional wisdom about moving to the center versus moving toward the base: both parties have been bought and paid for by corporate special interests, Lake argues, and consequently, the Tea Party Patriots have become a more popular political force than either the Democratic or the Republican Party:
The Democrats didn’t lose the Massachusetts Senate race this Tuesday. They lost it over twelve long and agonizing months ago, well before anyone even knew there would be a Massachusetts Senate race in January of 2010.
To put a rough date on it, this race was lost for the Democrats sometime between the 2008 election and the inauguration, whenever it was that the Obama administration made the fateful decision not to challenge Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, AIG and the rest of the white collar criminals that drove the U.S. economy into the ground, and chose instead to appoint Wall Street’s most prominent boosters and apologists to his economic advisory team. It was compounded when the White House and the Democratic Congressional leadership spearheaded a healthcare reform strategy rooted in the false notions that the opponents of reform are operating in good faith, that legislation directly challenging the profit motives of one of the biggest industries in America can be achieved by consensus, and that the era of political partisanship is over. And as the Afghanistan war grows ever more disastrous, the political swamp the Democrats find themselves in today will become an inescapable quagmire, in the 2010 midterms and beyond.
When voters look at the Obama administration and the Congressional Democrats today, they see little of the ‘change’ they cast their ballots for last November. On healthcare, the White House has been outmaneuvered, out-organized, and outmatched by the health insurance industry from the very beginning, while the Democratic leaders in Congress have allowed the will of the caucus’ majority to be flouted and marginalized by a handful of industry-bought pretenders like Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman.
Failure over healthcare reform has been a shortcoming of political competence. Worse for the perception of voters in Massachusetts and elsewhere are the cases of the foreclosure crisis and re-regulation of the financial industry. In these cases, the administration has taken a timid stance, abdicating responsibility and even defending the status quo. These were failures not of competence, but of moral leadership. The upshot of this state of affairs in the minds of voters is the continuation of business as usual in Washington DC.
Ted Kennedy’s seat was lost this Tuesday not because voters abandoned Obama’s call for change, but because they continue to embrace it. The truth is that the mainstream of the Democratic leadership has forfeited its claims to that mantle. Voters continue to seek change, but they have found that the solution is not so facile as simply electing Democratic majorities to the House and Senate.
Obama famously instructed us that we are the change we are seeking. That message resonates now more strongly than ever, but only because we have discovered, to our dismay, that it is not to be found in Congress or the White House. This is the lesson coming out of Massachusetts this week: change will come, but its catalyst will not be found in Washington DC. It will have to come from us.
2009–a challenging year for us all. Thanks to your help and support, we were able to make a difference in the fight for social justice and take meaningful strides toward a more equal America for everyone.
With Rethink Afghanistan, we raised awareness about the realities of the war in Afghanistan and the need for new non-military solutions. Some 830,000 online views of Robert Greenwald’s documentary and over 100,000 petition signatures presented to Congress later, Brave New Films has become a major voice for the movement to question the Afghanistan war and our campaign has had an impact in the mainstream media and the national public discourse surrounding this war. Join us today as a Peacemaker as we step up our efforts and our demands to congress next year.
With Sick for Profit, we were able to expose the obscene profits of the healthcare industry’s worst villains: UnitedHealth Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Wellpoint. These CEOs raked in millions of dollars while denying ordinary people necessary health care. The fight’s not over yet. We need to stand up for real healthcare reform and against the corporate greed of health insurers.
We also launched two exciting new series:
Brave New Conversations features progressive opinion leaders and celebrities talking about the most pressing topics of the day. Subscribe and find out what Amy Goodman, Shepard Fairey, Tom Hayden, Billy Bragg, and former Afghan prime minister (and bravest woman in Afghanistan) Malalai Joya had to say about art, music, and war. Slated for the coming year: Jane Fonda, Oliver Stone, Tim Robbins, Tom Morello, and Janeane Garofalo.
Hundreds of thousands nationwide viewed Senator Sanders Unfiltered in its first season and heard from the senate’s most progressive member on up-to-the-minute topics every week. Senator Sanders called out the ways the Fed coddled Wall Street, which enjoyed a flood of enormous bailouts while credit to consumers, ordinary homeowners, and small business owners continues to be a trickle.
We couldn’t have brought you these important stories without your help.
Brave New Films is looking for a translation volunteer to join our team! Be a part of Brave New Films’ vision, as well as our new ‘Cuentame’ project created for the Latino community, and share in the exciting experience to make a difference on issues that affect us all.
We are looking for someone who is fluently bilingual (Spanish, English) to be able to translate material and be comfortable writing, reading, as well as speaking both languages. We are looking for someone who can intern at least 15 hours a week. Lend your talent to a great organization that is truly making a difference in people’s lives.
Every documentary film, including Uncovered: The Whole Truth about the Iraq War, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price and our most recent, Rethink Afghanistan.
Every commanding video campaign, including The Real McCain and Sick for Profit… all of our corporate exposés and all new behind the scenes footage showing how these videos were made and distributed.
We even have a limited edition version of the box set with original cover art designed and signed by Shepard Fairey — the artist whose iconic “Hope” image defined the Obama campaign!
That’s just the first five years. With your help, we can keep on exposing injustice and allowing our work to be freely available. This is the perfect holiday gift for a friend, family member, or your local library or school!
By getting our 5th Anniversary box set today, you’ll help guarantee our continued progressive action tomorrow (and remember, you’ll have one great gift for the progressive activist, collector or documentary filmmaker in your life!).
Here in Clatsop County, Oregon, we are just starting to fight a Wal-Mart super store from invading our beautiful area. Astoria is on the mouth of the Columbia River with a population of 10,000. The next town, about 3 miles south of Astoria, is Warrenton, population 4,600. There is wetlands all around Warrenton. Unfortunately, the City of Warrenton in enthralled with “Big Box” stores. There is a new super-sized Costco (the old one was too small) and a Home Depot. All this is along side a designated scenic by-way!
Now Wal-Mart is planning to grab their share of the wetlands, with the blessing of the city and most of the residents. Astoria will be hurt the most if this assault is accomplished. In the beginning of October, when the local newspaper finally announced that Wal-Mart was coming and it was a “done deal,” I was interviewed in the Daily Astorian about Wal-Mart and before I knew it, I said I would fight it. So to put my money where my mouth is, I enlisted help to fight it. It has been barely a month and we have come up with a name, Clatsop County Citizens for Responsible Development – CRD for short – distributed the Wal-Mart movie and did presentations to all three Chambers of Commerce, Warrenton City council and Astoria City Council, showed the movie for free at our locally owned movie theater, had a public meeting, formed a group with committees, got an experienced lawyer, an organizer who has experience with fighting Wal-Mart, and have an ever-evolving plan to beat them.
Now the hard part begins. Quite a few of us have been involved with recalling our county commissioners and fighting for over 5 years to stop liquefied natural gas (LNG). Some of the high stakes in these fights are the endangered Columbia River salmon that LNG import terminals and tankers will destroy. The experience of these other struggles will come in handy for keeping Wal-Mart out.
By Lori Durheim of Clatsop County Citizens for Responsible Development. For more information, you can email Lori at email@example.com
Here comes my coffee spit take for the day. Starbucks just settled its sixth labor dispute in the past three years! According to the settlement, Starbucks must now allow Minneapolis-area workers to discuss unions and post union materials in break areas, and the company can no longer kick union sympathizers out of its stores.
This is a huge win for the IWW Starbucks Workers Union, an organization of over 300 current and former Starbucks employees — the David to Starbucks’ caffeinated, union-busting Goliath. Though really, it’s a big win for all Starbucks employees, since unionization would enable workers to negotiate set hours, fairer wages and better benefits for everyone.
Angel Gardner, a Twin Cities barista and member of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union, said, “This settlement proves that Starbucks executives are not above the law and cannot block hard working baristas from making positive change. How can Starbucks claim that it maintains a positive work environment when one labor case after another exposes its lack of respect for employees?”
As I’ve written previously, it’s deceptive for Starbucks to pretend to offer workers adequate wages and benefits. The reality is Starbucks routinely prevents employees from working enough hours to qualify for the company’s health insurance, and the average barista earns $7.75 an hour. Then, when workers attempt to remedy this problem by forming a union, Starbucks violates labor laws by firing or intimidating them, going so far as to actively oppose the Employee Free Choice Act.
Director Robert Greenwald recently chatted with members of the International Documentary Association about his experience entering the world of political documentary filmmaking. Greenwald spoke at the company’s state-of-the-art Brave New Studios, watch the highlights from his speech.
If you’re in the Boston area, don’t miss your chance to see Director Robert Greenwald at the Making Media Now on June 5th. This year’s conference will focus on “Surviving as a Filmmaker in Tough Times,” and Greenwald will discuss what goes into creating documentaries like Rethink Afghanistan.
Other special guests include Sandi Dubowski, award-winning filmmaker of Trembling Before G-d and A Jihad for Love, Doug Block, award-winning director of 51 Birch St.,Jim Jermanok, producer, director & writer of Passionada and Em, Ruby Lerner from Creative Capital, Sheila Leddy from the Fledgling Fund, Alice Myatt from Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media, Andy Carvin of NPR, and more.
The conference will take place at Bentley University in Waltham, MA, from 9 AM to 6 PM. When you register through the Filmmakers Collaborative website and use the discount code mmn09bjrw, you will receive $10 off your registration. This conference is a week away, so register now!