In theory, Wisconsin has some of the strongest ethics and lobbying laws in the country -- legislators cannot accept even a cup of coffee from lobbyists or others who have an interest in the outcome of legislation -- but these laws are meaningless if the state ethics board does not take action to enforce them.
As sequester cuts start to bite a little harder, the Fix the Debt gang is pushing for a "grand bargain," deep cuts to earned benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare in exchange for some vague promises about "tax reform."
Last week, the Center for Media and Democracy and The Nation magazine worked together to publish a package in The Nation and a new online wiki resource on Pete Peterson and the Campaign to Fix the Debt, an entity we consider an "astroturf supergroup" with a huge budget working hard to create the fantasy that Americans care more about national debt and deficits than jobs and the economy. Fix the Debt is currently exploiting the "sequester" debate in Congress to encourage steep cuts to incredibly popular social programs like Medicare and Social Security.
Madison, WI -- One of the most hypocritical corporate PR campaigns in decades is advancing inside the beltway, attempting to convince the White House, Congress, and the American people that another cataclysmic economic crisis is around the corner that will destroy our economy unless urgent action is taken. Soon this astroturf supergroup may be coming to a state near you.
After Wall Street collapsed the global economy in 2008, nations around the world were thrown into political turmoil. In the United States, the 2010 election swept into office a group of radical governors and legislators who promised jobs on the campaign trail, but delivered political retribution instead.
The largest Democratic Party organization in the nation has called on Congress to support a 25% cut in Pentagon spending. The California Democratic Party -- which includes more than 2,000 representatives of the state's more than seven million Democrats -- adopted this policy in the past year in the face of threats by Republicans in Congress to refuse to allow the U.S. to increase its credit limit.
Last year, Americans witnessed an explosion in million-dollar checks from a handful of uber-wealthy people underwriting political campaigns and election ads. In 2012, there were also numerous efforts to make it harder for Americans to exercise their fundamental right to vote through restrictive voter ID legislation and limits on voter registration.
Missing the fiscal cliff? Don't know what to talk about at the dinner table?
Get ready, the Bipartisan Policy Center has predicted that on February 15, 2013, the U.S. Treasury will take in an estimated $9 billion in revenue, but is committed to pay out $52 billion.
You helped make the world a better place this year. You helped expose corruption and thwart efforts to distort our democracy.
1. You helped force 42 major corporations and 70 legislators to do something they did not want to do, leave the American Legislative Exchange Council.
When George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, Zimmerman -- who considered himself a neighborhood watchman -- almost certainly thought of himself as a "good guy."
In November, 45-year-old Michael David Dunn likely thought he was playing the role of the "good guy" when he confronted a vanload of teenagers for playing their music too loud, then fired nine shots into their vehicle after claiming he saw a shotgun barrel. 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was killed, and neither Jordan nor anyone else in the van had a gun.