The longest-serving Congressman in US history proposes a four fixes for American democracy

From 1955 to 2015, John D. Dingell served in the US House of Representatives, making him the longest-serving Congressman in the country's history: now, in the Atlantic, he warns that at the 2016 election "put the future of our country in mortal peril," and he proposes four measures to bring it back from the brink. Read the rest

Using information security to explain why disinformation makes autocracies stronger and democracies weaker

The same disinformation campaigns that epitomize the divisions in US society -- beliefs in voter fraud, vaccine conspiracies, and racist conspiracies about migrants, George Soros and Black Lives Matter, to name a few -- are a source of strength for autocracies like Russia, where the lack of a consensus on which groups and views are real and which are manufactured by the state strengthens the hand of Putin and his clutch of oligarchs. Read the rest

Congressional Democrats' first bill aims to end gerrymandering, increase voter registration and rein in campaign finance

HR1, the first bill that the new Democratic House of Representatives will vote on, is omnibus legislation that takes on some of the most pervasive scourges of representative democracy: vote suppression, oligarchic campaign financing and gerrymandering. Read the rest

America for sale: 38% of all election funding comes from 0.0001% of Americans (2,210 people account for 25% of the total)

0.5% of Americans given $200 or more in campaign contributions, accounting for 66% of all campaign funding, but that's nothing: only 0.0001% give $10,000 or more, and their donations are 38% of all the money sloshing around in US electoral campaign coffers. Read the rest

The dialysis industry just set a campaign spending record to fight California limits on pricing

At $111,000,000, the California dialysis industry's campaign spending against Prop 8 (which caps the price of outpatient dialysis) is now the most expensive in US history. Read the rest

Patagonia wants the outdoor industry to start a pro-public lands movement as powerful as the NRA

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has called on the outdoor industry to join him in backing politicians who believe in preserving public lands; his company has now backed Montana Democratic Senate incumbent Jon Tester (facing a Trumpian challenge from Republican Matt Rosendale, who espouses the cultlike belief that the Constitution bans the federal government from owning land, a belief that was spread by Cliven Bundy and a group of racist Mormon extremists) and Nevada Democratic Congressional incumbent Jacky Rosen with a 97 percent approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Read the rest

America, Compromised: Lawrence Lessig explains corruption in words small enough for the Supreme Court to understand

Lawrence Lessig was once best-known as the special master in the Microsoft Antitrust Case, then he was best known as the co-founder of Creative Commons, then as a fire-breathing corruption fighter: in America, Compromised, a long essay (or short nonfiction book), Lessig proposes as lucid and devastating a theory of corruption as you'll ever find, a theory whose explanatory power makes today's terrifying news cycle make sense -- and a theory that demands action.

Anaheim's living wage ballot measure pits big corporate donors against union money

Disney is Anaheim's largest employer and the city is something of a company town, with Disney exerting massive influence on the city government and engaging in strong-arm tactics to suppress media reports of the dirtiest of its deals, whereby the city financed much of the company's building projects and expansions while extending massive tax breaks. Read the rest

Supreme Court decision will rip away Dark Money's veil of secrecy

A procedural ruling by the Supreme Court this week will mean that the Federal Election Commission will be required to regulate "dark money" ads, forcing disclosure of the source of the funds for the ad. Read the rest

Our political upheaval wasn't caused by mob rule, but by institutions designed to preserve elite oversight

Even before the election of Donald Trump, America's pearl-clutching class has been invoking James Madison and his fear of "impetuous majorities" and his desire for "majority rule based on reason rather than passion," worried that the "adults" in the political halls were losing their grip and being forced into "extremism" by mob rule. Read the rest

Avowed "utopian anarchist" Elon Musk is also one of the top donors to the GOP "Protect the House" PAC

Elon Musk, an avowed utopian anarchist, is one of the top fifty donors to the Republican Protect the House PAC, having funneled $38,900 to support the group's mission of protecting Republican Congressional seats. Read the rest

The Peltzman model: a way to understand the kind of regulation Facebook might face from Congress

Sam Peltzman proposed a model of regulation where the profitability of firms is in tension with their customers' desire for low prices and politicians' desire to get votes. Read the rest

The Congressjerks who will grill Zuckerberg this week are a rogue's gallery of Facebook donation recipients

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to give Mark Zuckerberg a public drubbing on Wednesday morning, sticking up for America and sticking it to the reckless, feckless CEO of a giant digital monopolist who has distorted our discourse to sell us soap and only grudgingly feigned surprise when he was informed that his machine had also been used in an attempt to win an election by trickery. Read the rest

Don't give a dime to the DCCC, they'll just use to front DINOs and smear Justice Democrats

I donated to Democrats in 2016, so that means that the DCCC calls me about once a week to ask for money. I always tell them no, because I support Democratic candidates through organizations like Our Revolution -- the kinds of Democrats who stand up for working people, universal health care, a $15 minimum wage, investment in renewables and curbs on the finance industry. Read the rest

Blue Cross employees are instructed to donate to the boss's daughter, a "Democrat" who opposes single-payer

Gretchen Whitmer wants to be the Democratic governor of Michigan, and she has distinguished herself from her opponents Abdul El-Sayed, and Shri Thanedar by opposing single-payer healthcare and endorsing the broken, expensive, murderous private system, a subject she has deep expertise in thanks to being raised by Richard Whitmer, who built the family fortune during his 18-year tenure as president of Blue Cross of Michigan. Read the rest

Taking one cent, ever, from the NRA should disqualify you from ever running for office as a Democrat

New Jersey State Senator Jeff Van Drew wants to run for Congress as a Democrat; he visited 17-year-old Emily McGrath's school, Egg Harbor Township High, where McGrath questioned him about whether he'd taken money from the NRA; Van Drew said he hadn't, and he was lying. Read the rest

Progressive Democrats are using small-money donations to outraise establishment opponents with deep-pocketed millionaire backers

Progressive candidates, backed by the likes of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, Moveon, Our Revolution and Justice Democrats, are outraising Republicans (including Ted Cruz!) and establishment Democrats with the backing of the DNC and the Democratic Party establishment. Read the rest

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