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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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Richard Eskow – The GOP Debate is What Oligarchy Looks Like

In the run-up to the first Republican presidential debate, a flurry of news stories about the candidates offered glimpses of oligarchy in action. Consider:   Jeb Bush’s largest Super PAC has already raised $103 million, most of it collected before he even officially declared that he was running for president. (That may explain the exclamation point in his “Jeb!” logo.) …

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John Michael Greer – The Suicide of the American Left

Regular readers of this blog know that I generally avoid partisan politics in the essays posted here. There are several reasons for that unpopular habit, but the most important of them is that we don’t actually have partisan politics in today’s America, except in a purely nominal sense. It’s true that politicians by and large group themselves into one of …

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Politicians from Both Sides of the Aisle: Corruption Has Destroyed America

Pervasive corruption in modern America has been thoroughly documented. There are some very juicy quotes from high-level insiders about corruption in the USA. Jon Schwarz has rounded up a good collection of recent quotes on corruption from both sides of the aisle: • “Now [the United States is] just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations …

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Patrick Martin – The oligarchs’ election

Reports filed earlier this month with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) confirm that the US political system is completely dominated by the super-rich. The figures are so staggering, and so at odds with the conventional claims that the United States is a democracy, that even the corporate-controlled media has been compelled to take notice. Below are some representative headlines that …

KEEPING DARK MONEY IN THE SHADOWS – Jon Hecht

With the Supreme Court knocking down regulations with a wrecking ball, the FEC out of commission, and an election heating up that will likely redefine the term “big money,”there are few avenues left for regulation of American elections. And now, Congress is set to close one off. On June 17, the House Appropriations Committee passed 2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations …

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How TPP Increases Corporate Power vs. Government — And Us – Dave Johnson

Power is the ability to control, to tell what to do, to get your way. Corporations have a lot of power over working people in our country now, and they might be about to get a lot more. The proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) tell us that it will have unprecedented “progressive” protections for the rights of working people, …