Using data made available by the National Institute on Money in State Politics, I downloaded and compiled a history of political spending in state politics by anti-gun control interests like the NRA. I did this for all 50 states and for the years 2006-2012. My goal was to be able to answer a simple question: how much have anti-gun control groups been spending in each state? It is my hope that groups who are working to reduce gun violence find and are able to make use of this data.
The most recent Job Gap report was recently released by the Alliance for a Just Society. It is the latest in a string of Job Gap studies for which I was the primary number-cruncher.
The report looks at the availability of job openings that pay a living wage in five states – Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. It does so by determining the job gap – the number of people looking for work compared to the number of living wage job openings.
The Walmart located in Secaucus, NJ was one of at least 1,000 stores targeted by striking workers on the busiest shopping day of the year.
Despite being one of the largest and most profitable private employers, Walmart pays many workers so little that they can not support themselves or their families without public support. If you’re interested in learning more, check out: http://forrespect.org/.
Did you know that Walmart has received billions in public assistance? As if the company created good jobs or performed some sort of social good?! If you want to find out how much Walmart is getting from your state, visit http://www.walmartsubsidywatch.org/.
Dozens and dozens of strikers entered the store and performed Occupy-style “mic checks” for at least 45 min. One of the demands included that Walmart stop retaliating against workers for speaking out. The store security team was so overrun with protesters that they could not possibly escort them out of the store fast enough.
Here are some photos I took from the Secaucus Walmart strike: Read More
Let’s say you have an Excel file with names and sign-in information from some events you hosted over the past year. Some of the attendees came to more than one of your events. You want to send out email invitations to your next big shindig, but you don’t want to accidentally send more than one email to the same address. We can use an easy Excel function to get rid of duplicates. Read More
I spent five days on Cliff Island, one of approximately two hundred islands scattered across Casco Bay near Portland, Maine.
Cliff Island is remarkably beautiful and peaceful. It is home to a small community of roughly 75 year-round residents. Many live from the sea by fishing for lobster. Less than ten children attend classes in a one-room school house.
Most get to the island by passenger ferry departing from Portland. No cars are allowed on the ferry, and, as a result, Cliff Island has few cars. This is one of the secrets behind the island’s tranquility. Instead, residents and visitors walk, bike, or rely on golf carts to get around the small island.
Update: A few people asked for the specifics of where we stayed. I had a great experience and gladly recommend the Grey Ledge Cottage. Here is a listing.
Here are some of the photos I took from my visit: Read More
To illustrate the large difference in the amount of money needed to win a US Senate seat (quite a lot) and the amount needed to win a state Senate seat (much, much less), a recent Mother Jones article used some calculations that I thought were somewhat lacking – so I decided to make improvements.
To skip straight to the findings, click here.
I don’t disagree with the main thrust of the Mother Jones article, which is that super-PACs are setting their sights on state capitals, not just federal races, and certainly not just the 2012 presidential race. This is alarming because Read More
Today was May Day and though the day isn’t yet over, I’m pretty sure that Occupy Wall Street’s goal of “halting the flow of capital” wasn’t really achieved. That does not lessen, however, how awe-inspiring it was to see thousands of people take to the streets in support of labor and immigrant rights.
My photographer friend and I joined a couple of picket actions that happened in various locations throughout the city. The locations were mostly offices for large corporations that profit from exploitative working conditions or from repression or corruption. Read More