Weekly News Roundup 10/5



This edition of our weekly news round-up includes posts from our blog, videos, news about the presidential debate, and general news about money in politics – so keep scrolling down!


From our blog:

The New Kleptocracy - Part 1

The New Kleptocracy - Part 2

A two-part series that discusses how an ever-increasing centralization of power into the hands of a small group of elites is turning the United States from a constitutional republic into a kleptocracy.

Videos worth watching:

Noam Chomsky Discusses Activism, Occupy, The 2012 Election On The Matthew Filipowicz Show

Wolf-Pac state leadership volunteers - BotL Activism - Air Date- 9-26-12

Wake the F**K Up! (NSFW)

The Video Monsanto Does NOT Want You to See! Brought to you by Nutiva and Elevate

(another way money in politics is affecting our health)

News on the Presidential Debate:


Women Went Missing in Last Night's Presidential Debate

“Given all the unfettered candidate talking points and potpourri of disconnected issues, you’d think someone would have uttered the word “women.” But, alas, it went unsaid. In an election cycle where women’s hearts and votes are being fiercely battled over while our rights and needs are getting hammered by Republican vote after Republican vote, you’d think we might come up once. Nope.”

Expanding the Debate Exclusive: Third Party Candidates Break the Sound Barrier as Obama-Romney Spar

“As President Obama and Mitt Romney squared off for the first time on Wednesday night, Democracy Now! broke the sound barrier by pausing Obama and Romney’s answers to get real-time responses from candidates Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.”

Romney Admits Pushing Misinformation In Debate

“During Wednesday night’s president debate, Mitt Romney claimed that “half” of the green firms Obama invested “have gone out of business” and noted that “a number of them happened to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.”

Fact checkers — including this blog — quickly pounced on the claim, explaining that only a tiny percentage of firms that received grants or loans from the Recovery Act have actually filed for bankruptcy. And now, the Romney campaign itself is walking back the GOP presidential candidate’s claim.”

Fact-checking the Denver debate

“President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney threw a lot of facts and numbers at each other in Denver Wednesday night — details often so jarringly at odds that the two men seemed to be inhabiting two parallel universes.

Here’s POLITICO’s guide to sorting through some of the edgiest claims, and what the independent experts off the stage have had to say about what the two candidates claimed.”

Presidential Debate Fact-Check and Updates

“The New York Times provided live, comprehensive coverage and fact-checking of the first presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney in Denver.”

What you should know about Obamacare

“Romney just unleashed a long attack about Obamacare. Here are the facts you should know about the legislation.”

Romney plan would add to the deficit. Here's the chart that shows exactly how

As Obama, Romney Hold First Debate, Behind the Secret GOP-Dem Effort to Shut Out Third Parties

“As President Obama and Mitt Romney prepare to square off in Denver, Colorado tonight, we look at how the Democrats and Republicans manage to shut out all third parties from the presidential debates.”

The debate will be decided on Twitter

“Familiar point for those who sat through the Republican primary debates and the party conventions, but an important one nevertheless: The post-debate narrative, whether pro-Romney or pro-Obama, will play out first on Twitter.”



Other news:

Iceland’s Economy now growing faster than the U.S. and EU after arresting corrupt bankers

“So Iceland decided not to follow the rest of the world by bailing out the bankers. Instead, they chose to arrest them. Now their economy is recovering faster than the EU and the United States.”

Judge Nukes Montana’s Campaign Contribution Limits

Judge Charles Lovell, a Ronald Reagan appointee to the federal bench in Montana, issue a sweeping, nearly entirely unexplained opinion striking down Montana’s limits on contributions to political campaigns. So long as the judge’s decision is in effect, it means that wealthy individuals will be free to give unlimited sums of moneydirectly to candidates for state offices in Montana.”

Sociologist declares Republicans bad for America, world

“Republican strength in Congress increases the share of income held by the top 1 percent, but the president's political affiliation has no effect, declares an economic analysis oddly published in the American Sociological Review.”

Super PACs Distort per Capita Influence

“MapLight, a nonpartisan research organization that tracks money's influence on politics, has conducted an analysis of census data combined with the geographic origin of over $306 million in contributions to super PACs from Jan. 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012. The analysis found that a disproportionate amount of contributions comes from a few states.”

Billionaire Calls For The Rich To Battle Voter Suppression

“Eighty-year-old billionaire William Louis-Dreyfus took out a full-page ad in the New York Times on Tuesday to issue an urgent call to the wealthy.”

The Road To A More Progressive Senate In 2013

“The importance of a functioning, more progressive U.S. Senate has been starkly demonstrated over the last three-and-a-half years. While significant progressive victories have been achieved during President Obama’s first term, far too often progressive goals on job creation, health care reform, Wall Street reform, climate change, etc. were stymied or watered down in a U.S. Senate that is clearly broken.”

5 most-expensive House races

“Super PACs and other outside groups are plowing millions of dollars into a handful of too-close-to-call House races whose outcomes will go a long way toward determining the balance of power in Congress.”

From the Margins, Stein Seeks to Change Policy Discourse

“Green Party 2012 presidential nominee Jill E. Stein is running to use the campaign as an opportunity to use her party to change the national discourse on government policy.”

Stephen Colbert looks at U.S.A. in new book

“Fans of comedian Stephen Colbert will this week get another taste of his signature snark, via his latest book slated for release Tuesday. In “America Again — re-becoming the greatness we never weren’t,” Colbert tackles topics as wide ranging as energy policy, eating on the campaign trail and the Constitution.”

As super PACs link arms, mega-donors’ clout increases

“Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s pockets are deep enough to make him a force in any election he might decide to get involved with. But by sweeping away a host of federal campaign-finance rules, the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, along with related cases, gave Adelson unprecedented clout.”

Are we living in the United States of ALEC?

Most Americans haven’t heard of the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council, but we have a right and a responsibility to know what they’re up to. After all, they’re writing laws in all 50 states, everything from rolling back environmental regulations to gutting workers’ rights.

This might shock you; after all, don’t we elect legislators to write our laws? As it turns out, many of these same elected lawmakers are members of ALEC, which means that they’re colluding with huge corporations behind closed doors, rewriting laws that restrict your rights and make your community less safe.”

Exhausted Coloradans try to limit political ads

“The Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling two years ago unleashed a record flood of political spending this year.

With four weeks still to go, more than half a billion dollars has been spent on ads, eclipsing the total spent four years ago. Some voters in Colorado are fed up.”

Super PAC Supporting Pro-Gay Marriage Republicans Makes First Expenditure

“A super PAC set up to back pro-gay marriage Republicans appears finally to be joining the fray, releasing an attack ad targeting a challenger to Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.).”

One Way To Avoid Political Ads: Watch 'Dancing With The Stars'?

“It's no secret that TV watchers in swing states are getting flooded, bombarded, practically drowned in political ads.

According to data from Kantar Media, as of a week ago, nearly 700,000 political ads had aired throughout the country during the general election campaign. The estimated spending on those ads: $395 million.”


See you next week!

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