The Senate has failed to advance legislation that would require independent groups to disclose the names of contributors who give more than $10,000 for use in political campaigns.
The measure, known as the DISCLOSE Act, died in a 51 to 44 vote on a procedural motion. It needed 60 votes to move forward.
The 1 percent have no shame. At a Hamptons fundraiser, donors proclaim their VIP cred and mourn that the masses get to vote. At the Supreme Court, justices reject Montana’s century-old election regulation with nary a hearing. And in Congress, the same Republicans who hailed Citizens United race to erase its promise of disclosure. These can be discouraging times for those who still believe in “one person, one vote.”
Last fall, I argued that the violent reaction to Occupy and other protests around the world had to do with the 1%ers' fear of the rank and file exposing massive fraud if they ever managed get their hands on the books.
We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise them honor, status, glory, and adventure. We promise boys they will become men. We hold these promises up against the dead-end jobs of small-town life, the financial dislocations, credit card debt, bad marriages, lack of health insurance, and dread of unemployment.
Health insurance executives breathed a sigh of relief when the Supreme Court upheld their favorite part of the Affordable Care Act (the part that is one of the least popular among the rest of us)—the individual mandate. And then, I’m confident, moments after they exhaled, they were on a conference call with their army of lobbyists and PR people to approve a strategy, developed months ago, to gut the provisions that the rest of us do like.
The bipartisan consensus on trade policy has extended across Democratic and Republican administrations for two decades, providing steady reminders of the reality that when Wall Street calls politicians of both parties answer. Trade debates have made coalition partners of Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush and Tom Daschle, Barack Obama and Paul Ryan.
"Too much money" sounds like an oxymoron, especially when applied to American politics. But in the last week, Republicans are beginning to learn that lots of money can have its downside. Thursday's story that Romney may have actively directed Bain Capital three years longer than he claimed – a period in which Bain Capital-managed companies experienced bankruptcies and layoffs – caps what must be the worst weekly news cycle of any modern American presidential candidate.
The heat backs up across the country, causing drought, wildfires, a mega-storm on the East Coast. More than 4,000 “hottest day” records have been shattered in the U.S. in the past month.
Mitt Romney’s mysterious financial holdings have been the topic of furious discussion this week, after a Vanity Fair investigation detailed how significant amounts of the Republican presidential candidate’s fortune may be parked in offshore bank accounts in low- or no-tax countries, allowing Romney to not only obscure how much he is actually worth but avoid paying the federal taxes he would otherwise owe.
Look up at your clock. By this same hour tomorrow, more than 1,500 US-born Latinos will have celebrated a milestone birthday, and turned 18. They’ll be eligible to vote in local, state and federal elections in their home states—but if that state is Texas, that right is under threat.