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Need a new reason to hate Donald Trump? His speaker fee is a quarter million bucks

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Donald Trump earns roughly $250,000 per speech, and owes $265 million (maybe more) in debt.

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Lawrence Lessig on how to fix America's campaign finance corruption problem

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“Real reform will require changing the way campaigns are funded — moving from large-dollar private funding to small-dollar public funding,” writes professor Lawrence Lessig in a New York Times op-ed today. Basically, what if elections relied more on lots of little contributions from lots of different regular working people, instead of relying on a small number of huge donations from the rich and powerful, or the big and powerful institutions that serve their interests.

Democrats, for example, have pushed for small-dollar public funding through matching systems, like New York City’s. Under a plan by Representative John Sarbanes, Democrat of Maryland, contributions could be matched up to nine to one, for candidates who agree to accept only small donations.

Republicans, too, are increasingly calling for small-dollar funding systems. The legal scholar Richard W. Painter, a former “ethics czar” for President George W. Bush, has proposed a $200 tax rebate to fund small-dollar campaigns. Likewise, Jim Rubens, a candidate in the Republican primary for Senate in New Hampshire last year, proposed a $50 tax rebate to fund congressional campaigns.

Either approach would radically increase the number of funders in campaigns, in that way reducing the concentration of large funders that especially typifies congressional and senatorial campaigns right now.

The Only Realistic Way to Fix Campaign Finance [nytimes.com]

Argentine police raid programmer who discovered fatal e-voting flaws


Joaquín Sorianello found the defects in MSA, manufacturer of the Vot.ar e-voting system, and the next he heard about it was when the police came to his house, seized every piece of electronic equipment.

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Bernie Sanders is brilliant on inequality


"In the last 35 or 40 years, there has been an increasingly aggressive effort on the part of the top 1 percent to take it all. And that aggression has not been effectively countered by middle-class and working families."

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Duggars hired Huckabee’s political guru to manage PR for Josh's sexual molestation scandal

Mike Huckabee, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor, speaks during the third session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 29, 2012. JASON REED/REUTERS


Mike Huckabee, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor, speaks during the third session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 29, 2012. JASON REED/REUTERS

Why are the Duggar family's salacious tales worth following? Their ties to political power. Out this week, news that shows just how deep the connections between the Duggars and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee really are.

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Watch: “Rick Perry's Presidential Announcement (short version)”

By weird video humor expert Vic Berger.

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Anti-austerity parties soar in Spanish elections as Greece threatens default


Two new, anti-establishment parties (including one that grew out of the indignados movement -- a kind of Spanish precedent to Occupy) took key seats in regional and municipal elections in yesterday's Spanish election, which is a kind of dress rehearsal for the upcoming national elections.

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Which UK MPs rebel against the party, and with whom do they ally?


James Siddle has analysed the voting records of the incumbent MPs in the UK parliament to see how often they rebel against the party line, and who they side with then they do.

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Sweary guide to tomorrow's UK general elections


"The Coalition promised to do one thing above all else. Eliminate the fucking deficit (by 2016-17). Are they on track to do that? Are they fuck."

UK bigotry party hates Time Lords, too

UK Independence Party Nigel Farage is an equal-opportunity bigot, hating Gallifreyans just as much as he hates Bulgarians and Romanians.

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British austerity: a failed experiment abandoned by the rest of the world


Writing in the Guardian, Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman analyses the last five years of British austerity, using other developed nations in the EU and elsewhere as a benchmark for the growth we could have had -- it's not a pretty picture.

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UK Tories forged letter of support in the Telegraph from "5,000 small businesses"

David Cameron tweeted it and the Telegraph published the letter on the front page, listing 5,000 businesses who endorsed the Conservative Party in the General Election, many of which weren't businesses, weren't supporting the Tories, were repeat entries, or were individual employees of businesses who were incorrectly presumed to speak for their employers.

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What the UK Greens actually believe about copyright

Ed says, "After the twitter-sphere recently exploded with accusations about the UK Green Party's copyright policies, here is a reasoned response by Tom Chance, the former IP spokesperson for the Green Party, about what their policy actually is, and the reasoning behind it."

Obama moots mandatory voting


I agree that mandatory voting is a powerful check against moneyed interests hijacking the government, but Australia, which has both mandatory voting and preferential ranked ballots, has still managed to elect some fucking awful politicians.

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Clinton's sensitive email was passed through a third-party spam filtering service


It's been years since the spam wars were at the front of the debate, but all the salient points from then remain salient today: when you let unaccountable third parties see your mail and decide which messages you can see, the potential for mischief is unlimited.

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Help the UK Pirate Party write its 2015 election manifesto

A reader writes: "The UK Pirate Party is launching their 2015 crowdsourced policy platform for their manifesto leading to the 2015 general election."

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Internet-fired elections and the politics of business as usual


I've got a new Guardian column, Internet-era politics means safe seats are a thing of the past, which analyzes the trajectory of Internet-fuelled election campaigning since Howard Dean, and takes hope in the launch of I'll Vote Green If You Do.

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