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The U.S. government’s creeping war on journalists



  • A new poll reveals that three quarters of reporters agree the public isn't getting the information it needs.
  • The Presidency and the Press

David Sirota, Salon

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barack_obama.jpgBarack Obama (Credit: AP/Susan Walsh)

Thursday, August 21, 2014 | As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street, and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, a study released earlier this month revealed that many government information officers block specific journalists they don’t like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing “serious limitations on access to records” that they say have “impeded” their oversight work.

The data about public information officers was compiled over the past few years by Kennesaw State University professor Dr. Carolyn Carlson. Her surveys found that 4 in 10 public information officers say “there are specific reporters they will not allow their staff to talk to due to problems with their stories in the past.”

David Sirota is a senior writer for the International Business Times and the best-selling author of the books "Hostile Takeover," "The Uprising" and "Back to Our Future." 

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The Presidency and the Press, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • A  toxic relationship
  • Part 1: Nixon Is Gone, but His Media Strategy Lives On
  • Part 2: How Obama Administration-Controlled Media Is Used to Avoid Scrutiny from the Press


Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy


This is not a new development caused by, say, recent Supreme Court decisions allowing more money in politics, such as Citizens United or this month's ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC. As the data stretching back to the 1980s suggests, this has been a long term trend, and is therefore harder for most people to perceive, let alone reverse.

Brendan James, Talking Points Memo

AP Photo / Patrick Semanskypyki5gv7hpf2qwunerkw.jpg

April 18, 2014 | A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Brendan James is a newswriter at Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, he worked as a reporter at Yahoo! News and interned at Andrew Sullivan's blog The Dish. 

2014/07/1rev.pngFull story … 


This Revolutionary Moment, Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance

  • As we’ve covered in previous newsletters, there are now academic studies that demonstrate the lack of democracy in the US and that the government functions as a plutocracy that represents the needs and wishes of the wealthy elite. At the same time that the government is dysfunctional, we are experiencing multiple crises that demand immediate action.
  • The Fix Is In; The Revolution Is Coming
  • Thomas Paine, Our Contemporary



New Study Debunks Big Corporations' Argument About Taxes


  • "In the international arena, U.S. multinational firms have established themselves as world leaders in global tax avoidance strategies," Edward Kleinbard, a former chief of staff for Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation, writes.
  • Inversions are just the latest evidence. The rich want us to believe their wealth is good for us all.

Ben Hallman, Huffington Post

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n-CHIQUITA-large570.jpgChiquita Brands International Inc., is just the latest American company looking to escape the U.S. tax code by merging with a smaller overseas company. | Bloomberg via Getty Images 

08/19/2014 | Not long ago, the top executive at a large American drug company said that her company would be planting its corporate flag in the Netherlands, because the U.S. tax code is just so darn unfair.

Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, told a New York Times columnist that her bid to acquire a smaller Dutch company and move ownership abroad through a controversial tactic known as an inversion was forced by Congress, which has refused to lower corporate tax rates and make U.S. businesses "more competitive."

As a patriot, she resisted until it was clear she had no other choice, she said.

Ben Hallman: Senior financial writer at Huffington Post

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The rich want us to believe their wealth is good for us all, George Monbiot, The Guardian

  • As the justifications for gross inequality collapse, only the Green party is brave enough to take on the billionaires’ boot boys.
  • The U.S. Is Even More Unequal Than You Realized.


Kochonomics: Koch Goes Local


  • The Koch Brothers Are Rigging The System At The Local Level No Matter Who It Hurts
  • The Kochs’ Fig Leaf

Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund 

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Jeff%20Danziger%20%7C%20Koch%20Brothers-%20Spewing%20Their%20Garbage%20Against%20Us.jpgAugust 19, 2014 | Much has been written about the efforts of billionaires Charles and David Koch to exert influence at the highest reaches of government through shadow groups, lobbying, political action committees, think tanks, and more.

In recent years, the Koch brothers have expanded their efforts to another area as well: local elections and local government. Through their front groups, most notably Americans For Prosperity (AFP), the Koch network has waded into county tax debates, city transportation decisions, and even school board elections. As Eli Miller, director of the Ohio chapter of AFP, put it: “There is no issue we won’t get involved in.”

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is an independent nonpartisan education and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.

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The Kochs’ Fig Leaf, Think Progress


  • Americans For Prosperity Fesses Up To Their Dirty Agenda
  • The Koch’s goal is to keep the economic deck stacked in their favor and that means a government that only work for the wealthiest. And they will spend whatever it takes to protect their bottom line.
  • Series | Class War for Idiots, Part 1: The Roots of Stalin in the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party Movement