If it accomplishes nothing else, Occupy Wall Street creates an extraordinary opportunity for a conversation about American values. This became clear to me yesterday morning as I was reading about the Values Voter Summit and tweeted:

#OWS 99% are value voters, too. #vvs

My thoughts had drifted from… Read full post »

A letter from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been making the rounds, asking other CEOs to join with him and “forgo all political contributions until Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally-disciplined, long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people.&rdqu… Read full post »

If you haven’t yet read it – and I admit I am late on this, as I am on nearly everything else – have a look at John Cassidy’s profile of Bridgewater hedge fund manager Ray Dalio in the July 25th issue of The New Yorker. Cassidy exerts most of his… Read full post »

Last Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Council announced its endorsement of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, developed by John Ruggie. The UN press release called it “an unprecedented step,” the establishment of “the authoritative global reference point” in qu… Read full post »

JUNE 5, 2011 12:52PM

On the Heroics at Home Depot

A video making the rounds on YouTube and on progressive blogs features the American Family Association’s Buddy Smith telling the story of his run-in with Home Depot Chairman and CEO Fred Blake at the annual shareholders meeting on June 2nd.

Smith, whose organization also runs a site calledRead full post »

MAY 19, 2011 10:58AM

God and Mr. Dimon

While protestors at the JP Morgan Chase annual shareholders meeting in Columbus, Ohio braved the rain and faced off with police, inside the McCoy Center there was a remarkable exchange.

“As a person of faith, my God believes you shouldn’t take advantage of people when they are down,&rd… Read full post »
First, a correction. In my last post about the 2011 proxy season, I wrote that shareholder resolutions requiring disclosure of grassroots political spending brought by AFSCME to Prudential and Bank of America had met with zero support. That is incorrect.

ProxyMonitor reported the zero vote tally be… Read full post »

Ernst & Young estimates in a new publication [pdf] that half of all shareholder proposals in 2011 will deal with environmental and social issues, and support for these proposals is growing. In fact, “83 percent of investors now believe environmental and social factors can have a significant… Read full post »

MAY 2, 2011 11:59AM

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

The trouble is, we’re not in Kansas anymore, and Kansas is no longer the place it used to be. The pursuit of Bin Laden has exhausted our treasure and killed thousands. It has transformed the state in countless ways and extended the reach of the state into our lives.

So this… Read full post »

APRIL 12, 2011 11:27AM

Citizen Investors and Citizens United

Home Depot’s Spring 2011 proxy report will include a proposal seeking shareholders’ say on political spending done by the corporation. This proposal is the first of its kind. Chances are it will not be the last.

If shareholders approve the resolution, where and how Home Depot funnels mon… Read full post »

Last week the Manhattan Institute launched ProxyMonitor, a site tracking shareholder proposals submitted to publicly traded companies via the annual proxy process. Right now, the site is limited to proposals made to Fortune 100 companies. Data goes back three years, to 2008. The site already offers s… Read full post »

Last week we learned that John McCain has joined the ranks of those calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Pollard, you will recall, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for espionage – specifically for passing tens of thousands, “possibly over a million” U.S. classified do… Read full post »
FEBRUARY 17, 2011 12:09PM

General Electric's F-136: Down but Not Out

Was I wrong. In a January post, I confidently stated that “newly elected House Republicans are not going to stop the F-136”. Yesterday they did, stripping funding for GE’s alternate propulsion system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from HR1, the continuing resolution for 2011.&nbs… Read full post »
FEBRUARY 10, 2011 3:07PM

A Brief for Mr. Kleisterlee

Last week, Vodafone Group announced that Gerard Kleisterlee would replace outgoing Chairman of the Board Sir John Bond. This should be welcome news for shareholders. The Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, which led a vote against Bond at last year’s Annual General Meeting, protested that the… Read full post »

Last Friday, Access Now put out a link to a petition urging Vodafone, Orange and all ISPs and mobile operators in Egypt to “get Egypt back online.”


We call on you to immediately open the Egyptian telecommunications networks. We ask that you stand firm against the Egyptian government and… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 22, 2011 12:49PM

A Connecticut Lobbyist In Obama's Court

There has been plenty of griping and grumbling over the past twenty-four hours about the President’s appointment of General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to lead the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. While he may be an idol of corporate America, Immelt appears to be an unlike… Read full post »

When announcing the appointment of General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt to lead the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness today, President Obama vowed to put “our economy into overdrive.” He meant what everybody took him to mean: we are now going to get things really go… Read full post »

Together T-ShirtWhat if the President of the United States gave a speech and all anybody could talk about the next day was the applause? That is not exactly where we find ourselves today, one day after Obama’s remarks at the University of Arizona last night; but it is hard not to talk… Read full post »

JANUARY 10, 2011 4:46PM

The Tinderbox Theory of the Republic

Glenn Beck favored radio listeners today with excerpts from his email correspondence with Sarah Palin over the shootings in Tucson.

Both correspondents were naturally eager to distance themselves from Jared Loughner's murderous rampage at the Safeway on Saturday, and say that they abhor violence. Th…

Read full post »

Christopher R. Albon has published a provocative piece on theatlantic.com, arguing that democracy in Zimbabwe has suffered “a major setback” due to WikiLeaks' activity, and that one of the leaked cables may have placed Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in serious political, if n… Read full post »

Sarah Palin may find common ground with Julian Assange after all. The founder of WikiLeaks is now officially trading on his celebrity: he has landed a 1.5 million dollar book deal.

The trouble is, now Assange will have to go from disrupting history to revising it. The man widely reviled asRead full post »

DECEMBER 25, 2010 3:11PM

Who Are the Real Anarchists Here?

You would think the bombings at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome last Thursday would have a sobering effect on some of Julian Assange’s most vocal American critics, especially those who have styled him a “terrorist” or “anarchist.”

The bombers in Rome identified… Read full post »

DECEMBER 23, 2010 7:02PM

Frost/Assange: An Exchange on Anarchy

Most Americans are probably tired by now of hearing about Julian Assange, but those still paying attention to his story could do worse than his interview with David Frost on Al Jazeera.

Now in his early 70s, Frost is one of the most capable interviewers on television today.

Frost gives Assange… Read full post »

Anarchists are back in the news again. I haven’t tracked down the first newspaper columnist to use the A-word with reference to Julian Assange, or liken him to “the anarchists of the early 20th century,†as Chas Freeman did in his New York Times editorial this past weekend. But the word…

Read full post »

I did a double take when I first read about the victims of the Cambodian stampede being taken to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh. For the past several years I've been working on a documentary film about another human stampede, which took place in 1913, in a town on Michigan’s Upper…

Read full post »

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