Workers & Economic Inequality

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What the McCutcheon Decision Means for Democracy

Today, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling on yet another campaign finance case, McCutcheon v. FEC, taking yet another step toward deregulation in the wake of Citizens United. Blogger Zachary Bernstein explains what this means for voters. 

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Tags: supreme court, scotus, political candidates, pac, mccutcheon, elections, citizens united, campaign finance reform, campaign finance

Michael Mann On Keystone XL, Maine Senate Candidate Shenna Bellows & For Members: Suzanne Mettler

TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler joins Majority Report with Sam Seder to discuss the hidden policies that undermine democracy. Watch the video below.

Tags: suzanne mettler, submerged state

The More You Know: Regulating ‘Social Welfare’ Organizations

Advocates worry so-called "social welfare" groups can raise as much money as they want without the same standard of disclosure SuperPACs or campaign committees are held to, funnelling some of that money into elections. Now, we have clear examples of the secrecy 501(c)(4) groups can take advantage of, due to the release of two tax forms earlier this month, writes blogger Zachary Bernstein

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Tags: tax-exempt groups, tax reform, superpac, social welfare organizations, priorities usa, karl rove, election reform, crossroads gps, 501c4

The Filibuster Had to Be Killed

Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate and author of Sticks and Stones, penned a new piece this week about filibuster reform. In short, filibusters are anti-democratic, she says. In the piece, she also mentions fellow Moshe Marvit's Dissent article from May, stating, "almost 80 percent of the D.C. Circuit panels were majority or exclusively Republican appointees." The D.C. Circuit is "the federal court of appeals that is second to the Supreme Court in importance," and is the source of a major advantage for Republicans.

Read the full article at Slate

Tags: supreme court, slate, republicans, moshe marvit, filibuster reform, filibuster, emily bazelon

NSA paying U.S. companies for access to communications networks

TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman reports for the Washington Post that the National Security Agency pays U.S. companies hundreds of millions of dollars a year for clandestine access to their communications networks. 

New details of the corporate-partner project, which falls under the NSA’s Special Source Operations, confirm that the agency taps into “high volume circuit and packet-switched networks,” according to the spending blueprint for fiscal 2013. The program was expected to cost $278 million in the current fiscal year, down nearly one-third from its peak of $394 million in 2011.

U.S. spy network’s successes, failures and objectives detailed in ‘black budget’ summary

TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman reports for the Washington Post that in 2013 the U.S. will spend $52.6 billion on programs dedicated to intelligence gathering. 

"U.S. spy agencies have built an intelligence-gathering colossus since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001," Gellman discloses, "but remain unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats, according to the government’s top-secret budget."

Gellman reported previously for the Post on NSA privacy violations and on the PRISM program

 

Workers & Economic Inequality

Workers & Economic Inequality

In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.

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