Clinton vs Warren in 2016?

There has been a lot of speculation recently about a possible Elizabeth Warren candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, challenging Hillary Clinton, who has been the presumptive nominee for many years now. I don't think that's likely to happen, but it does bring up some interesting issues. Like this: … [Read more...]

Report: Judicial Elections Undermine Justice

The Center for American Progress has a new report on the unprecedented amount of money being spent in state judicial elections, especially by third party corporate groups. The unsurprising conclusion is that the influence of that money undermines justice for criminal defendants and civil plaintiffs. … [Read more...]

Newt's Useless PAC

Mother Jones reports on the American Legacy Political Action Committee, set up by Newt and Callista Gingrich, which is now trying to fundraise based on opposition to Obama's Syria policy. The problem is that the PAC is taking in large amounts of money and distributing almost none of it. … [Read more...]

Private Prison Contracts Include Quotas

One of the great dangers of privatizing jails and prisons is that you give a huge profit motive to keep those facilities filled to the brim with inmates. A new report from In the Public Interest finds that many of the contracts between private corrections firms require that the government either keep them full or pay for the empty beds. … [Read more...]

Wingnuts: No Science Laureate for You!

If the anti-science agenda of America's right wing wasn't crystal clear by now, this should put the nail in the coffin. A bill to create up to three U.S. Science Laureates that was considered so non-controversial that it never even got a committee hearing was squashed when the wingnuts threw a fit about it last week. … [Read more...]

Koch Brothers Against Corporate Welfare. Well, Not Theirs.

Politico has an article about a virtually unknown group called Freedom Partners, which spent $250 million in 2012 supporting conservative causes with massive grants. A lot of those funds evidently came from the Koch brothers, which is hardly a surprise. … [Read more...]

Opposition to Summers Ramping Up

It's hard to believe that Obama could be so utterly tone deaf as to nominate Larry Summers to head the Federal Reserve Board, but that appears to be where things are headed. A broad coalition of groups is ramping up an opposition campaign to convince him not to do so. … [Read more...]

Halliburton Pleads Guilty to Shredding Evidence

This week in entirely unsurprising news: Halliburton destroyed evidence of their own culpability after the BP oil spill. They've now agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges for it and to pay a whopping $200,000 fine, which I assume will merely come out of petty cash. … [Read more...]

McDonnell Problems Hit Cuccinelli Too

You may be watching the gathering storm around Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University and a serious right wing nutjob, with as much glee as I am. But it looks like his problem of taking major kickbacks and benefits from a controversial company in his state may hit his handpicked successor, Ken Cuccinelli, as well. … [Read more...]

What Is ‘Primarily Political’?

The Inspector General for Tax Administration at the Treasury Department has issued a preliminary report on the IRS' targeting of Tea Party and "patriot" groups that applied for 501(c)(4) status. You can see that report here. The report does conclude that inappropriate criteria was used, but finds no evidence that it was anything other than bureaucratic incompetence that caused it: … [Read more...]

Adelson Hit With $70 Million Verdict

Sheldon Adelson, one of the world's richest men and now one of the primary money men for Republican politicians, has lost another major lawsuit. A jury awarded a man who had helped Adelson get a license to open several casinos in Macau a $70 million judgment. … [Read more...]

The Real IRS Scandal

The IRS has admitted that they targeted Tea Party and "patriot" groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for non-profit status over the last couple years, something that is clearly beyond the pale. The real question, which should be answered by the Inspector General of the Treasury Department who is investigating, is who authorized this and who knew about it. There is no evidence at this point that the White House had any role in it, but time and evidence will tell. … [Read more...]