How Sky-High CEO Pay Pollutes Our Planet — and Our Politics

Each year, the leaders of all the world’s nations gather to talk about climate change. Each year, people fighting for climate justice hope these leaders will forge an international agreement to address carbon emissions. Each year, they’ve been disappointed. Our...
Do the Rich Rule America?

Do the Rich Rule America?

Is America’s political system controlled by a small financial elite? One former president thinks so. Almost 40 years after he was elected, former President Jimmy Carter commented recently that our political system is now “an oligarchy with unlimited political...
The Drill Is Gone

The Drill Is Gone

When Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, the GOP’s battle cry from that race also prevailed. Remember “drill, baby, drill”? This country produced 3.2 billion barrels of oil last year, up 75 percent from 1.8 billion in 2008. The boom helps explain why, as...
Virginia Is for Dirty-Energy Lovers

Virginia Is for Dirty-Energy Lovers

If you live in Virginia and would like to shrink your carbon footprint, here’s what passes for good news: We’re now officially free to ban fracking. For two years, Old Dominion communities weren’t at liberty to prevent that kind of oil and gas drilling. After the...
The Political Calculations behind Growing Inequality

The Political Calculations behind Growing Inequality

Fifty years ago, average Americans lived in a society where less than $10 of every $100 in personal income went to the nation’s richest 1 percent. Our top 1 percent are now grabbing just under 20 percent of America’s income, double the 1963 level. How did...
The Return on Those Bad Bets on Romney

The Return on Those Bad Bets on Romney

Our billionaires suddenly appear bumbling after their Election Day losses. We’ll never know exactly how much America’s rich pumped into the 2012 campaigns. Hundreds of millions in “dark money” — contributions laundered through groups like...
Cleaning Up Campaign Finance

Cleaning Up Campaign Finance

If there were ever any hope that the Supreme Court’s right wing would temper its assault on clean elections laws, that hope recently slipped away. In a five-four decision issued at the end of June, the Court’s conservative majority — the same five...
Sabotaging Montana’s Campaign Finance Legacy

Sabotaging Montana’s Campaign Finance Legacy

As a Montana newspaper editorial succinctly put it: “The greatest living issue confronting us today is whether the corporations shall control the people or the people shall control the corporations.” That might sound like it was written in the wake of the...
Wisconsin’s Alien Seed

Wisconsin’s Alien Seed

“Scott Walker Wins Wisconsin,” screamed headlines across the country after the labor-bashing incumbent governor hung onto his job in the June 5 recall election. Well, yes…but no. Walker will get to stay in office for the rest of his term, but he...
Wisconsin Wakeup Call

Wisconsin Wakeup Call

We’re nice people out here in Dairyland. Just ask anyone — that’s our reputation. But the purple state of Wisconsin is a political microcosm of today’s divided America. The bitter battle over whether to recall our governor divided this state...
The Price of Democracy

The Price of Democracy

We pay a lot of money for health care in the United States, more per capita than anywhere else in the industrialized world. If you point out this inescapable fact to opponents of socialized medicine, they invariably respond that we get high-quality care in return....
Attack of the Billionaires

Attack of the Billionaires

It was a total lockdown. As jet after jet swept in surreptitiously with top brass and political decision-makers on board, every entrance to the site of the super-secret Coachella Valley planning summit was secured and patrolled by armed guards and helicopters. This...