Insidious Path to Oligarchy

Evidence has mounted that the presidential election of 2000 was probably stolen by George W. Bush in the days leading up to and following voting on November 7, 2000. Now fifteen years later, there are three, whose fingerprints were all over the effort, now standing in positions of power – one has already been instrumental in changing the way elections are held, a process now more chaotic and less democratic. The other two are running for president as Republicans. Chief Justice John Roberts was in the thick of the contested election in Florida in 2000. He was a known and treasured legal mind for conservatives. He had served in Reagan’s Justice Department, and as Counsel to the President in the 1980s. He was a nominee of George H.W. Bush to the US Court of Appeals. When an automatic recount began on election night, kicked off by the closeness of […] Read More

Robert Reich: Has America Finally Figured Out a Way to Rein in the Shocking Sums We Pay CEOs?

Most CEOs haven’t done anything special — except figure out how to get paid. The Securities and Exchange Commission just ruled that large publicly held corporations must disclose the ratios of the pay of their top CEOs to the pay of their median workers. About time. For the last thirty years almost all incentives operating on American corporations have resulted in lower pay for average workers and higher pay for CEOs and other top executives.  Consider that in 1965, CEOs of America’s largest corporations were paid, on average, 20 times the pay of average workers.  Now, the ratio is over 300 to 1.  Not only has CEO pay exploded, so has the pay of top executives just below them.  The share of corporate income devoted to compensating the five highest-paid executives of large corporations ballooned from an average of 5 percent in 1993 to more than 15 percent by 2005 (the latest data available). […] Read More

Six States Where GOP Voter Suppression Tactics Could Sway The Outcome

As another federal election cycle heads to a close, Jim Crow’s ghost rises. Anyone who pays attention to American election knows that the Republican Party’s favorite tactic to try on win on Election Day is to change the rules of who can vote and which ballots get counted. This is what happened in presidential elections in Florida in 2000, in Ohio in 2004, and it is behind 2014’s ongoing courtroom fights over allowing same-day voter registration, imposing tougher voter ID requirements, narrowing early voting options, and counting provisional ballots turned in at the wrong table, and on and on. As 2014’s campaigns enter its final stretch, federal and state courts are weighing in on a range of Republican-generated attempts to change the rules. These fights aren’t yet over, so it is hard to say whether this will be an election where most of these tactics will be shown the […] Read More

How Republicans Can Save Themselves—As the Party of Legal Weed

A modest proposal that might redeem the GOP (or at least make it a lot cooler): Seize the marijuana moment. Dear Republicans: Believe it or not (and you won’t), I am here to help. There is a path that can lead the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower out of the political wilderness, a path away from the nightmarish dead-end coalition of white racists and plutocrat zillionaires and back toward national relevance. It isn’t the path of fire-breathing ideological purity and permanent obstructionism and wild fantasies about defunding the entire liberal welfare state. I know that stuff feels good to you right now, but it feels good in roughly the same way that taking a massive drug overdose feels good, for the first minute or two. Sure, you can keep telling yourselves that the fact that you will still hold a majority in one house of Congress […] Read More

12 Numbers Which Prove That Americans Are Sick And Tired Of Politics As Usual

The American people are increasingly waking up to the fact that nothing ever seems to change in Washington D.C. no matter which political party is in power.  In fact, as you will see later on in this article, an all-time high 53 percent of all Americans believe that neither party “represents the American people”.  Over the past several decades, we have sent a Bush, a Clinton, another Bush and an Obama to the White House, but the policies coming out of Washington have remained pretty much the same the entire time.  The mainstream media would have us believe that the Republicans and the Democrats are constantly fighting like cats and dogs, but the truth is that the Republicans want to take us to the same place that the Democrats want to take us – just a little more slowly perhaps.  And behind the scenes, Republicans and Democrats have a […] Read More

2013: NSA: Dianne Feinstein breaks ranks to oppose US spying on allies

Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein, who has been a loyal defender of the NSA, demands a ‘total’ surveillance review The chair of the Senate intelligence committee, who has been a loyal defender of the National Security Agency, dramatically broke ranks on Monday, saying she was “totally opposed” to the US spying on allies and demanding a total review of all surveillance programs. California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein strongly criticised the NSA’s monitoring of the calls of friendly world leaders such as German chancellor Angela Merkel. Feinstein, who has steadfastly defended the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, added that both Barack Obama and members of her committee, which is supposed to received classified briefings, had been kept in the dark about operations to target foreign leaders. “It is abundantly clear that a total review of all intelligence programs is necessary so that members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are fully […] Read More

2013: How Christian Delusions Are Driving the GOP Insane

Why aren’t Republicans more frightened of the consequences of a shutdown and default? Part of the reason is magical religious thinking. Why aren’t Republicans more afraid? The entire premise of both the government shutdown and the threats to force the government into debt default is that Democrats care more about the consequences of these actions than the Republicans do. Republicans may go on TV and shed crocodile tears about national monuments being shut down, but the act isn’t really fooling the voters: The only way to understand these fights is to understand that the GOP is threatening to destroy the government and the world economy in order to get rid of Obamacare (as well as a panoply of other right wing demands). Just as terrorists use the fact that you care more about the lives of the hostages than they do to get leverage, Republican threats rely on believing they don’t […] Read More