Feed on


Just like Walmart, McDonald’s counts on these taxpayer subsidies to prop up their poor wages:

Nancy Salgado has worked at McDonald’s for 10 years and struggles to support her children with a wage that keeps her under the poverty line. So she called the fast-food behemoth’s employee hotline, known as McResources, in hopes of finding help making ends meet.

But instead of getting any company assistance, the McDonald’s operator suggested Salgado try food pantries, federal food stamps and Medicaid.

The conversation – which was recorded and released to the public Wednesday by labor advocacy group Low Pay Is Not Ok – comes as attention is growing around the taxpayer burden of so many low-paid workers in the fast-food industry.

A report released earlier this month written by economists at UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that more than half of families of fast-food workers receive some form of public assistance, costing the nation $7 billion a year.

Go, Sen. Warren!

This past weekend, the Department of Justice slapped a record fine on JPMorgan Chase for packaging and selling the mortgage-backed financial products that helped cause the financial meltdown. But Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants the administration to know that fines are not enough. On Wednesday, she called on Wall Street regulators to hold all those responsible for the 2008 crisis accountable.

In a letter to the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Officer of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Warren lauded the overseer of the TARP bailout program for cracking down on financial industry players who wasted, stole, or abused the federal emergency funds doled out to banks during the financial crisis, and implied that the three banking regulators should also punish individuals who helped cause the financial meltdown.

Although the budget for TARP’s inspector general was “a small fraction of the size of the budgets and staffs at your agencies,” Warren pointed out, the program’s watchdog has brought criminal charges against nearly 100 senior executives; obtained criminal convictions on 107 defendants, including 51 jail sentences; and suspended or banned 37 people from working in the banking industry.

How about you guys, Warren asked. She called on the Fed, the SEC, and the OCC to provide records on the number of people the agencies have charged criminally and civilly, the number of convictions and prison sentences they have obtained, the number of people banned or suspended from working in the industry, and the total amount of fines leveled against Wall Street ne’er-do-wells.

Former Pakistan PM: No U.S. drone collusion

I find this hard to believe:

Former Pakistan PM, security officials deny US drone collusion (via AFP)

Pakistani security officials and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Thursday denied a report that they had approved US drone strikes on the country’s soil. The Washington Post on Wednesday quoted leaked secret documents as saying Pakistan had…

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In case you didn’t already know

That Ed Rendell is corrupt and connected to the Mob, now you do. But most of us here already knew that.

Interview with Russell Brand

Fucking A, Russell!

Actor-slash-comedian-slash-Messiah Russell Brand, in his capacity as guest editor of the New Statesman‘s just-published revolution-themed issue, was invited to explain to Jeremy Paxman why anyone should listen to a man who has never voted in his life.

“I don’t get my authority from this preexisting paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people,” Russell responded. “I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity.”

And with that, the first shots of Russell’s revolutionary interview were fired.

>Over the course of the following ten-or-so minutes, Brand and Paxo volleyed back and forth over subjects ranging from political apathy, to corporate greed, to gorgeous beards.

Throughout the interview, Brand repeatedly dodged Paxman’s efforts to trivialize his message — at one point Paxman literally called Brand a “very trivial man” — until finally, even the entrenched newsman appeared to relent against the rushing tide of Brand’s valid arguments.

After Brand reminded Paxman that he cried after learning that his grandma too had been “fucked over” by aristocrats, the Newsnight host was stunned into silence.

“If we can engage that feeling and change things, why wouldn’t we?” Brand crescendoed. “Why is that naive? Why is that not my right because I’m an ‘actor’? I’ve taken the right. I don’t need the right from you. I don’t need the right from anybody. I’m taking it.”

Oh dear

Republican officials so often confuse themselves with monarchs.

Stop watching us


So the cortisone shot I got in my knee did help with the tightness, but now I have actual pain. Ironic, huh?

Worse than that, I am now getting HORRIFIC cramps in the leg where I got the shot (think worst charlie horse you ever got times ten), so bad that I can hardly sleep.

I hate not being able to sleep.

Turns out this is just one of those side effects that are worse than the thing they were treating you for in the first place. Remember, the doctor told me the worst that could happen was that the shot wouldn’t do anything. He was wrong.

Virtual schools: Cyber pie in the sky?

Virtual Schools: Cyber Pie in the Sky? (via LA Progressive)

Sandy Hellebrand was concerned. She needed to find a school that could educate her son Gabriel, who has autism and was about to enter high school. Hellebrand thought she had found the perfect solution: She would enroll Gabriel and her two younger children…

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US jury rules against Bank of America in mortgage case (via AFP)

A federal jury Wednesday concluded that Bank of America defrauded mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a lending program that fast-tracked mortgages ahead of the housing bust. The jury’s ruling sets Bank of America on course for a…

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