Daily Clips: April 24th, 2015

It’s Not the 1 Percent Controlling Politics. It’s the 0.01 Percent.
Mother Jones – Dave Gilson.

Let this sink in: About 125 Americans control more than 40 percent of election contributions. Within this article there are a couple informative graphs which show how this trend has accelerated after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.
Washington Post – Dana Milbank

Washington Post op-ed columnist Dana Milbank, is joining the growing chorus of Democrats who are against the trade deal. His main point is that trade deals, like the TPP, are a major contributing factor to US inequality. He goes on to say that,
“Thea Lee, a trade economist who is deputy chief of staff at AFL-CIO, argues that 40 to 60 percent of that growth in income inequality [in the US] is because of globalization, including free-trade deals. That may be high, but even Peter Petri, a pro-trade finance professor at Brandeis University whose research is often cited by business, estimates 10 to 20 percent of the increase in income inequality can be attributed to trade overall.”
New York Times – Timothy Egan

As long as Citizens United stands, these are the type of headlines which will continue to write themselves. Egan argues that we are in the “invisible primary”, where Republican candidates audition to win the blessing of a few billionaires. With over a year and a half to go until the election, we know at this point the moneyed interests have narrowed their choices down to five candidates: Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Walker, and Bush. According to the Koch brothers, their support will go to the candidate “who has a more positive message for America.” Riiiiiight.
Vox – Ezra Klein

Klein’s article is based on the fact that although we are entering a time of unparalleled political polarization, more and more Americans are not identifying as Democrats or Republicans. This paradox, he figures, is caused by fear – we merely vote against the ‘other’. Already, we can see that the GOP’s strategy for 2016 falls very much in line with his thesis. They are not going to run against Hillary Clinton by offering different policy choices – they are going to scare the American public into thinking she is a political monster who will stop at nothing in seeking power. This fear-mongering will not just be limited to the GOP, either. Over the next 18 months, we will almost certainly hear Democrats, particularly Hillary Clinton, warn Americans about the grave dangers of a Republican controlled Congress and White House.

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Nick Cassella
Nick Cassella graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2014. After graduating, he worked on the Initiative 594 campaign before joining Civic Ventures, where he now manages Civic Skunk Works' social media presence.