Political Articles from 2015
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear
by Frankin Spinney
Posted September 5, 2015
The time is ripe for a substantive political debate on a real issue.
The Presidential campaign will move into high gear on the day after Labor Day. But as it now stands, the American people are about to inundated with speeches and debating points over why it is time to rebuild America’s defenses, with most of the candidates beating their breasts in an effort to out-tough each other.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if at least one candidate stopped beating his or her breasts and spoke thoughtfully to the importance of moving our country onto a pathway away from blind militarism toward a more sensible grand strategy. More…
Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery”
by Jon Schwarz
Posted August 6, 2015
Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”
Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like Citizens United. I’ve added Carter’s statement to this list of politicians acknowledging that money controls politics. More…
Princeton University study concluding that the U.S. is an oligarchy.
64 Nations Say No to GMO, Yet US Government Nears Illegal GMO Labeling
By Christina Sarich
Posted August 1, 2015
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already declared that five of the major chemical herbicides used to grow GMO crops are either likely or definitely cancerous, yet the USA still makes secret trade deals that would allow biotech to push their genetically modified ‘food’ on Americans who don’t want to eat it.
Our right to know if we are even eating GMO crops is being taken away via legislation known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK) act. (This is officially known as the ‘Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.)
More than 60 countries have already passed mandatory GMO labeling laws, and many will ban GMO crops altogether this year if they haven’t already. You can see a great map of these GM labeling bans here. More…
The Kagans: Seeking War to the End of the World
by Robert Parry
Posted July 28, 2015
If the neoconservatives have their way again, US ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the US military will take out Syria’s secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the US Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending.
Like spraying lighter fluid on a roaring barbecue, the neocons also want a military escalation in Ukraine to burn the ethnic Russians out of the east, and the neocons dream of spreading the blaze to Moscow with the goal of forcing Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin. In other words, more and more fires of Imperial “regime change” abroad even as the last embers of the American Republic die at home. More…
Lobbyists Fundraising for Clinton, Bush, Rubio and Kasich Are Coworkers
by Lee Fang
Posted July 27, 2015
Just how incestuous is the small world of big money politics? The leading Democratic candidate and at least three major Republican candidates are all relying on members of the same lobbying firm to help them raise presidential campaign cash: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Akin Gump is hardly a household name, but the law and lobbying firm is famous in Washington for its ability to sell access to those in power. Akin Gump’s employee roster is filled with former members of Congress, and its client list is a veritable who’s who of elite interests, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Monsanto, Boeing, Chevron, Gilead Sciences, Pfizer and AT&T. The United Arab Emirates and Japan are among the foreign governments represented by the firm.
In presidential politics, lobbying firms influence candidates by soliciting sizable donations to allied Super PACs and by mobilizing large numbers of traditional campaign checks. The practice of collecting checks on behalf of a candidate is known as “bundling.” More…
The Movement to Fight Big Money Politics Now Has a Gold Standard
by Jon Schwarz
Posted Juily 26, 2015
The good news is that we may not be doomed to spend the rest of our lives thinking of disgusting things to which to compare the American political process. This week for the first time, 12 major U.S. public interest organizations jointly released a campaign finance reform agenda, which they are asking every presidential candidate to endorse.
The unprecedented coordination by the groups — including People for the Americay Way, Public Citizen, Democracy 21, Mayday and the Brennan Center for Justice — grew out of and builds upon a set of “Unity Principles” endorsed by 152 organizations including the AFL-CIO, MoveOn, Greenpeace and the NAACP.
And while simply creating a list of common demands is the baby step part of politics, there’s a reason parents get excited when their children first stand up and walk. More…
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