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Leid Stories – 10.13.15

Paying Their Way to Poverty: How Ferguson Is Forced Into Bankruptcy

Money Talks: Behind the Most Expensive Presidential Race in U.S. History

In the immediate aftermath of the Aug. 9 killing of Michael Brown by ex-cop Darryl Wilson last year, Ferguson, Missouri, became yet another symbol of legalized and enforced social, political and economic apartheid in America. It was the basis for nationwide mobilization; it was an open admission in a slew of official inquiries and reports.

Civil unrest has died down with the promise of administrative “reforms.” But the majority-Black city of 21,000 is still in the grip of economic apartheid and headed for Detroit-style, imposed bankruptcy.

Dr. Walter Johnson, Winthrop professor of History and African and African American studies at Harvard University, discusses his in-depth study on economic apartheid in Ferguson.

Five Democratic presidential candidates will participate in a nationally televised Q&A session (host CNN insists it’s a “debate”) tonight in Las Vegas. The venue is the opulent, five-star Wynn Las Vegas resort and casino—an ironic twist for a political party that swears it’s about the working class. Yet, it is perfectly in line with where politics is right now.

Dave Levinthal, who leads the Center for Public Integrity’s reporting team on federal politics, discusses the 2016 presidential race, which by all indicators will be the most expensive in U.S. history.

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Lawrence Lessig to Explore a Run for President as a Democrat

Some people land gyrocopters on the lawn at the Capitol to protest big money in politics. Lawrence Lessig, the Harvard professor and democratic theorist, is thinking of running for president. On Tuesday morning, Mr. Lessig will announce that he will explore a protest bid for the Democratic nomination. If he can raise $1 million in small donations by Labor Day, …

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Deirdre Fulton – Ostensibly independent groups reported to have close ties to a candidate account for 96 percent of total outside fundraising

Representing a “fundamental shift in how presidential campaigns are funded in the United States,” so-called shadow campaigns are already dominating the 2016 election cycle, according to a new study issued Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice. The report, Shadow Campaigns: The Shift in Presidential Campaign Funding to Outside Groups, reveals that ostensibly independent groups—many of which in reality enjoy …

Dark Money Under Fire as Election 2016 Heats Up – Lauren McCauley

While Democratic candidates are lining up to denounce the huge influence that dark money is having on politics in the U.S., a new report says that 2016 presidential candidates are relying on such secret contributions “like never before.” In a speech before thousands, likely watched by millions more, Hillary Clinton formally launched her presidential bid on Saturday. During the address given on …

The Era of Dissolution – John Michael Greer

The last of the five phases of the collapse process we’ve been discussing here in recent posts is the era of dissolution. (For those that haven’t been keeping track, the first four are the eras of pretense, impact, response, and breakdown). I suppose you could call the era of dissolution the Rodney Dangerfield of collapse, though it’s not so much …

citizensunited

If We Don’t Overturn Citizens United, Congress Will Become Paid Employees of the Billionaire Class

I recently introduced an amendment at the Senate Budget Committee. It was pretty simple. It asked my Senate colleagues to begin the process of overturning the disastrous Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, and to bring transparency and disclosure to the political process. Here’s what I asked my Senate colleagues to consider: Are we comfortable with an American political system …