FEC Finds Right-Wing Film Group Free From Disclosure Rules – A little-noticed Federal Election Commission ruling that expands the definition of “media” to include a partisan film production group is the latest in a series of actions eroding legislative limits on the influence of money in politics.
“We’re really returning, seemingly inexorably, toward an entirely deregulated system,” said Thomas Mann, who studies campaign finance at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “It was a rather breathtaking decision.”
The commission voted June 10 to designate the filmmaker Citizens United a “press entity,” equating its often highly partisan work — including films attacking Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama — with the work of nightly newscasts.
The result, analysts say, is that the group is not required to disclose its role in sponsoring political projects or activities, or reveal the source of its funding. Thus, it becomes impossible to discern its influence in the political process.
Elect Me; I Can Kill Things! – Here’s a campaign ad for Republican congressional candidate Pamela Gorman firing a machine gun. She says she is a Conservative Christian. Who would Jesus shoot?
Tea Party Supporters and Republicans in Lockstep Against Issues That Affect Most Americans – Tea Party supporters and Republicans are also in close agreement on the things that don’t constitute serious threats: Unemployment; discrimination against minorities; the power of large corporations; the environment.
In summary, they believe:
· If you don’t have a job, it’s your fault.
· If you’re treated unfairly, it’s your fault.
· If our coastline is polluted and our seafood is poisoned, it’s not a corporation’s fault.
Tea Party supporters and Republicans are also in lockstep agreement on what they think constitutes the biggest threat to America’s well-being: the size of the Federal debt. But, as seen from the chart below, the biggest factor contributing to the future growing federal debt is the Bush-Era tax cuts for the rich, which Tea Party supporters and Republicans actually support. If the Bush-Era tax cuts for the rich are allowed to expire, they’d improve the deficit outlook by about $4 trillion over the next 10 years — and more after that. Tea Party supporters and Republicans are totally illogical. [It’s more about their strict father upbringing and believing everyone has full control of their own destiny – they don’t believe in luck or systemic causation.]
Read this analysis of what’s driving the deficit by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
U.S. Taxpayer Dollars Are Being Used to Buy Well-Connected Afghans Posh Villas in Dubai – Your hard-earned taxpayer dollars are also being used to buy well-connected Afghans posh villas in Dubai. Huge amounts of money [are] regularly being secreted out of Afghanistan by plane in boxes and suitcases. According to some estimates, since 2007, at least $3 billion (€2.4 billion) in cash has left the country in this way. The preferred destination for these funds is Dubai, the tax haven in the Persian Gulf. And, given the fact that Afghanistan’s total GDP amounts to the equivalent of $13.5 billion, there is no way that the funds involved in this exodus are merely the proceeds of legal business transactions.
Over the past nine years, Afghanistan has been a goldmine for quite a few adventurous businesspeople. The most successful of them are often related to members of the [Afghan] government, who give them unsurpassed access to the top decision-makers. And their financial transactions are, of course, far from transparent.
Here’s Your Chance to Help Expose Bad Deeds – There’s tons of you that watch news shows and hear people saying crazy things — or catch excellent news reports that get little cover elsewhere — and would love just for the sake of it to see them get broader promotion.
Do you watch a lot of political television? Do you know how to upload TV clips to YouTube? Or — do you watch a lot of political television and are able to find clips on YouTube quickly after someone else uploads them, and can toss us an embed link, or even do a brief analytical write-up?
Flat out: we’re not looking for people who are too partisan that they can’t write up a video without an analytical style. The reality is, most video clips speak for themselves, and they’re more effective if your own personal opinion isn’t inserted. But I know we have thousands of readers who catch brilliant news reports — and not so brilliant news reports — every single day. If this sounds like the job for you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Can be Stupid Sometimes – Science is confirming something successful politicians seem to know instinctively – support your local football team.
The success of major college teams in the two weeks before an election can have a measurable impact on how well incumbent politicians do at the polls, researchers report in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Events that government had nothing to do with, but that affect voters’ sense of well-being, can affect the decisions that they make on election day,” the researchers said.