Rats

With McCutcheon Ruling, An Activist Court Opts for Full-On Plutocracy

by John Nichols

Any doubts about the determination of an activist United States Supreme Court to rewrite election rules so that the dollar matters more than the vote were removed Wednesday, when McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission was decided in favor of the dollar.

The court that in 2010, with its Citizens United v. FEC decision, cleared the way for corporations to spend as freely as they choose to buy elections has now effectively eliminated the ability of the American people and their elected representatives to establish meaningful limits on direct donations by millionaires and billionaires to campaigns.

The C.I.A. Torture Cover-Up

The New York Times Editorial Board

It was outrageous enough when two successive presidents papered over the Central Intelligence Agency’s history of illegal detention, rendition, torture and fruitless harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects. Now, the head of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, has provided stark and convincing evidence that the C.I.A. may have committed crimes to prevent the exposure of interrogations that she said were “far different and far more harsh” than anything the agency had described to Congress.

How Pro-Austerity Groups Lost the Deficit Wars

A funny thing happened on the way to the fiscal cliff: real people fought back.

by Mary Bottari

Maya MacGuineas, David Cote, (C) and other members of the Fix the Debt steering committee ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on October 25, 2012. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

It’s debt ceiling time and the US economy is once again on the brink, held hostage by extremists hell-bent on forcing cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

Oh wait. That was last year.

Congress Slams Drug Czar’s Office for Relying on Marijuana Propaganda

By Marijuana Policy Project |  MPP
 

At Tuesday House committee hearing, deputy drug czar refuses to acknowledge that marijuana is less harmful to the consumer than heroin or methamphetamine

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of Congress grilled a representative from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Tuesday at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and slammed the office for failing to acknowledge key facts about marijuana.

MPP Calls on Pres. Obama to Fire DEA Head Michele Leonhart

By Marijuana Policy Project |  MPP
 

National petition calls on the president to replace DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart with someone who will uphold his mandate that administration decisions be guided by science instead of ideology and politics

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), is calling on President Barack Obama to fire the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele Leonhart, and replace her with someone who will uphold his mandate that administration decisions be guided by science instead of ideology and politics.

The Last Gasp of American Democracy

by Chris Hedges

This is our last gasp as a democracy. The state’s wholesale intrusion into our lives and obliteration of privacy are now facts. And the challenge to us—one of the final ones, I suspect—is to rise up in outrage and halt this seizure of our rights to liberty and free expression. If we do not do so we will see ourselves become a nation of captives.
 

Retirement Theft in Four Despicable Steps

by Paul Buchheit

The fear of running out of money in retirement is America's greatest financial concern. It's a fear greater than death.

Let's Get This Straight: AIG Execs Got Bailout Bonuses, but Pensioners Get Cuts

No one has accused city workers in Chicago or Detroit of bringing down the economy, but they could face pension cuts

by Dean Baker

As we passed the fifth anniversary of the peak of the financial crisis this fall, the giant insurance company AIG was prominently featured in the retrospectives. AIG had issued hundreds of billions of dollars of credit default swaps (CDS) on subprime mortgage backed securities. When these mortgage-backed securities failed en masse, AIG didn't have the money to back them up.

This would have forced AIG into bankruptcy. However Lehman had declared bankruptcy the day before and the world was still engulfed in the aftershocks. The Bush administration and the Federal Reserve board decided that they would stop the cascade of failing financial institutions and bail out AIG. As a result, the government agreed to honor all the CDS issued by AIG and effectively became the owner of the company.

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