Nothing new here, in a way. Big money getting its way.
On the other hand, it is outrageous that anyone should be able to invade a public university’s hiring process, yes, even in return for donations. This is shameful. Rachel Maddow reports.
Apparently unsatisfied with simply buying politicians, the Koch Brothers have turned their attention and pocketbooks to purchasing economics professors of supposedly “public” universities and funding economic studies which support their extreme right-wing economic theories.
Here’s one of Lee Camp’s Best: 15 things you don’t hear on the corporate media
What’s the problem with fracking? This five-minute video tells you enough to justify making it a crime. The evidence is easy to uncover, our media is largely silent, we are poisoning our precious limited supply of fresh water at a horrifying rate, and our government policies encourage all of this.
Henry Giroux was featured on Bill Moyers’ most recent show, and he regret that we are headed toward “zombie politics.”
In his book, Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, author and scholar Henry Giroux connects the dots to prove his theory that our current system is informed by a “machinery of social and civil death” that chills “any vestige of a robust democracy.”
This week on Moyers & Company, Giroux explains that such a machine turns “people who are basically so caught up with surviving that they become like the walking dead – they lose their sense of agency, they lose their homes, they lose their jobs.”
What’s more, Giroux points out, the system that creates this vacuum has little to do with expanding the meaning and the substance of democracy itself. Under “casino capitalism,” the goal is to get a quick return, taking advantage of a kind of logic in which the only thing that drives us is to put as much money as we can into a slot machine and hope we walk out with our wallets overflowing.
Beware those nice people out in the business world. Although they are often taken advantage of, they can band together to create jauggernaut business operations. The following comment was written by David Sloan Wilson and Jonathan Haidt, and it appeared in Forbes:
Many people implicitly think that niceness is a virtue for the rest of life, but when it comes to playing business hardball, only the selfish survive. The message of Grant’s book is that this isn’t true, and he gives us both scientific evidence and entertaining profiles for understanding why. Grant divides people into three behavioral categories: givers, matchers, and takers. As their names imply, givers are sweeties who unstintingly share their time and talent, seemingly for the sheer pleasure of it. Matchers calibrate their giving to their taking, and takers take whatever they can get. Who does best playing business hardball? It turns out that the givers do best and worst. When they succumb to the depredations of takers, they become doormats and chumps. But when they manage to work with other givers, they produce spectacular wealth and share the collective benefits. In other words, the costs and benefits of prosociality in the business world are no different than for the rest of life.
We’ve already determined that the 2012 elections overall produced in the most expensive election cycle ever, costing an estimated $6.3 billion. Newly updated numbers that we released today in the Historical Elections section of OpenSecrets.org, though, show that the average “price of admission” went up as well. The average winner in a Senate race spent $10.2 million, compared to $8.3 million in 2010 and just $7.5 million in 2008. That’s an increase of 19 percent since 2010. Senate Democrats seemed to have to work particular hard to win their seats, spending an average of $11.9 million, compared to the average Republican winner who spent $7.1 million.
On the House side, there was a smaller but still quantifiable increase in the cost of winning. On average, a winner in the House spent $1.5 million, compared $1.4 million in 2010 and $1.3 million in 2008. In the House, it was Republicans who had to work a bit harder: The average winning House Republican had to spend $1.59 million to win a seat, a bit more than the $1.53 million spent by the average Democratic victor.
According to Lee Camp, little bits of comfort are getting in the way of the possibility of progress.
The first photo below is an HDR photo I took of the Lincoln Memorial 3 nights ago. Walking around DC, I’m mostly repulsed by the thought of what this city has become: Blatant corruption and warmongering hypocrisy. But I draw strength and hope from the glorious monuments on the National Mall.
Approaching crisis point for journalism and corruption – Bill Moyers talks with John Nichols and Robert McChesney
Bill Moyers, John Nichols and Robert McChesney are three of the people I admire most in the world. Here they are sitting at the same table discussing what to do about the massive corruption of our political system, specifically, the challenges faced by those who are trying to do responsible journalism to report on this travesty. These issues are discussed with precision in the latest book by Nichols and McChesney: “Dollarocracy,” a stunningly sober look at the situation (I’ve almost finished reading it).
Toward the end of this excellent video, McChesney and Nichols indicate that they are “optimists.” They argue that we are at one of those acute crisis points periodically faced by Americans and thus positive change is in our grasp. The authors further argue that it is becoming apparent that we need to make the case for publicly funded journalism. This is an approach taken by many functional governments, and it was one of the cornerstones of early America, a topic discussed by Nichols and McChesney in one of their previous books.