Outsourced Cities, Brought to You by CH2M Hill

By Brendan Fischer and Seep Paliwal

When the town of Sandy Springs, Georgia, spun-off from Fulton County and established a brand new government, it didn't sign a Declaration of Independence; it signed a contract.

Dear WWII Vets, Forget About the Monument, They Are Gunning for Your Social Security

Apparently the only thing both Democrats and Republicans can agree on in Washington, DC, is that they can't deal with bad press involving Honor Flight vets.

This led to absurd images of Republicans -- who had shut down the federal government, including all monuments and museums -- rushing to "aid" veterans shut out by monument closures. In the most revolting display, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) publicly berated a National Park Service Ranger for a situation created entirely by Congress.

Case Study on Alpine Steel: Prison Industry Subsidized by Taxpayers to Compete with Local Businesses Fails Spectacularly

-- by Bob Sloan, Guest Contributor

"The taxpayers have been left holding the bag.... As a result of this I think there is going to be a lot more oversight."

Those were statements made by Nevada Assemblyman James Ohrenschall in an interview on Vegas Inc. September 21. Mr. Ohrenschall is the former chairman of the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee on Industrial Programs. At the time of that interview, the IFC Committee was meeting to investigate facts that prompted his concerns.

Profiting from the Poor: Outsourcing Social Services Puts Most Vulnerable at Risk

-- by Nick Surgey and Katie Lorenze

In a story most in the media missed, protestors gathered under the dome at the Mississippi state capitol earlier this year to oppose a bill that would allow the state Department of Human Services (DHS) to privatize everything from child protective services to nutrition programs for the elderly.

The Media's Disgraceful Acquiescence to Larry Summers' White House Boosters

-- by Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Selling Larry Summers as the successor to Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve Board is a tough job. The basic problem is that Summers has a dismal track record to overcome, while his main competitor, Janet Yellen, the current vice-chair, has an outstanding record.

Wisconsin Workers "Fight For Fifteen"

Wisconsin workers are joining the "Fight for Fifteen" -- better wages for those at the bottom of the U.S. payscale. Three cities in Wisconsin were among 58 across the United States where thousands of low-wage fast-food workers walked off their jobs to demand a living wage, safe working conditions, and the right to unionize without being penalized. The coordinated actions on August 29 constituted the largest fast food strike in U.S. history.

The "Other NRA," the National Restaurant Association, Pushes Preemption of Paid Sick Days

Today, the feisty advocates at the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), an organization founded in honor of the 73 employees of the Windows on the World restaurant who died on Sept. 11th, will be paying surprise visits to restaurants across the country that are members of the National Restaurant Association, including Capital Grille, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster.

Time to Celebrate! Pete Peterson’s “Fix the Debt” Flunkies Blow Their July 4 Deadline for Austerity

  • Topics: Economy
  • Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson's "astroturf supergroup," the Campaign to Fix the Debt, won't have much to celebrate this Independence Day weekend after missing its goal of achieving a "Grand Bargain" on austerity by July 4, 2013.

    Wisconsin Legislature, Failing to Create Jobs, Opts to Punish the Unemployed

  • Topics: Economy, Politics
  • Wisconsin's unemployed are being subject to a double attack by the state legislature. In the state that fell to 44th in the nation in job creation in March, a bill introduced to the Wisconsin State Assembly on May 24 would make it more difficult for jobless workers to collect unemployment benefits. Then, in what Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) called the "ultimate bait-and-switch," a hearing on that bill occurred at the same time as a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance that passed yet more changes related to unemployment insurance, which critics called even more extreme than the first.

    The Homeland Security Apparatus: Fusion Centers, Data Mining and Private Sector Partners

    This article is an extraction of material contained in "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's 'Counter Terrorism' Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street," published by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy.

    Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a nationwide "homeland security"/"counter terrorism" apparatus emerged. Components of this apparatus include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Counterterrorism Center, and state/regional "fusion centers." Fusion centers, by and large, are staffed with personnel working in "counter terrorism"/ "homeland security" units of municipal, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement/public safety/"counter terrorism" agencies. To a large degree, the "counter terrorism" operations of municipal, county, state and tribal agencies engaged in fusion centers are financed through a number of U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant programs.

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