Jimmy Williams used to lobby for the powerful National Association of Realtors. He tells us about the steady flow of donations that Congressmembers need, and how he wants to take down the crazy campaign finance system.
Source: The Friday Podcast: A Former Lobbyist Tells All
How Politicians Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison
Peter Schweizer explains how members of Congress profit from insider trading and use their political influence for their own financial gain. He reports on several current members of the House and Senate who have affected votes on bills or gathered information from briefings to benefit their financial portfolio.
Jack Abramoff is a former lobbyist who pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials. Abramoff also worked as businessman, movie producer and writer. Abramoff's lobbying and the scandals and investigation are featured in a documentary movie "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" and a political satire movie titled "Casino Jack".
Lawrence Lessig is a law professor at Harvard. He has been the lead counsel in important cases concerning copyright laws for digital content. His current work concerns institutional corruption.
Source: Lawrence Lessig interviews Jack Abramoff
Submitted by Tjadendevries on Sun, 11/27/2011 - 4:49pm
Watch the video ... Actually it's worse, when you look at it the right way
The L-Curve graph represents income, not wealth. The distribution of wealth is even more skewed. Quoting from a recently-published book by political philosopher David Schweickart,
If we divided the income of the US into thirds, we find that the top ten percent of the population gets a third, the next thirty percent gets another third, and the bottom sixty percent get the last third. If we divide the wealth of the US into thirds, we find that the top one percent own a third, the next nine percent own another third, and the bottom ninety percent claim the rest. (Actually, these percentages, true a decade ago, are now out of date. The top one percent are now estimated to own between forty and fifty percent of the nation's wealth, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 95%.)
Bob McChesney talks with Jacob Hacker, Professor of Political Science at Yale University. Jacob Hacker has made important contributions to public policy ideas in the areas of healthcare, social welfare and economic opportunity. Jacob has spent his career researching how the institutions of social protection work, practically and economically.
Paul Pierson is noted for his research on comparative public policy and political economy, the welfare state, and American political development. Pierson is Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley.
Whether or not you are aware of the ongoing nonviolent protest taking place at Liberty Park in New York, it is important to note that the protests are occurring for your sake, the sake of the 99% of Americans that are being abused by the corruption and greed of the 1% of Americans that control the wealth in our nation. OccupyWallStreet began on September 17, 2011, with the intent of protesting on New York's financial district to show that the 99% is no longer going to take the abuse. Since then, protesters have been at Liberty Park in New York day and night, despite wind, rain, and several arrests by the NYPD. In their efforts, they remain nonviolent, streaming footage on their livestream website for lack of press coverage. American mainstream media has deliberately chosen to ignore the ongoing protests, just as Arab mainstream media did during the Arab Spring revolutions earlier this year.
A lengthy article, but worth the read. If you don't have time to read the whole article right now, at least read the final paragraph - "But the arc of history does not bend toward justice through capitulation cast as compromise."
What Happened to Obama?
By DREW WESTEN - NYTimes.com
Drew Westen is a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.”
IT was a blustery day in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009, as it often seems to be on the day of a presidential inauguration. As I stood with my 8-year-old daughter, watching the president deliver his inaugural address, I had a feeling of unease. It wasn’t just that the man who could be so eloquent had seemingly chosen not to be on this auspicious occasion, although that turned out to be a troubling harbinger of things to come. It was that there was a story the American people were waiting to hear — and needed to hear — but he didn’t tell it. And in the ensuing months he continued not to tell it, no matter how outrageous the slings and arrows his opponents threw at him.
The stories our leaders tell us matter, probably almost as much as the stories our parents tell us as children, because they orient us to what is, what could be, and what should be; to the worldviews they hold and to the values they hold sacred. Our brains evolved to “expect” stories with a particular structure, with protagonists and villains, a hill to be climbed or a battle to be fought. Our species existed for more than 100,000 years before the earliest signs of literacy, and another 5,000 years would pass before the majority of humans would know how to read and write.
In this spoken-word performance video piece, we highlight Meg Whitman spending a record-breaking $140 million in her attempt to buy California. She is treating her campaign like an eBay bid on the state of California. Tell Meg Whitman California is NOT for sale.
With Ms. [Christine] O'Donnell's upset victory in the Republican primary on Tuesday, Mr. [Sal] Russo, the chief strategist behind an upstart group called the Tea Party Express, had racked up another win.
Mr. Russo's group is also under attack from Republican Party leaders in Delaware, who have accused the Tea Party Express of improperly collaborating with Ms. O'Donnell's campaign. Federal laws allow political action committees to support candidates independently, but they are not permitted to coordinate their spending with campaigns.
In the days leading up to the Delaware primary, Sal Russo hosted a radio fund-raiser, organized a political rally and pressed the case with reporters that Christine O'Donnell was the Tea Party's choice for the United States Senate. He also set off what he calls a "money bomb," pouring at least $250,000 into television and other advertisements promoting the little-known candidate.
During this election cycle, the Tea Party Express has spent nearly $1 million in Nevada alone - $547,000 to support Sharron Angle, the Republican Senate candidate, and $385,000 in opposing Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader. In Massachusetts, the group spent nearly $350,000 to back Scott Brown, now the state's Republican senator.