Right-wing mega-donor Sheldon Adelson has just bought the biggest newspaper in Nevada

Robert Reich Facebook Post:

Right-wing mega-donor Sheldon Adelson has just bought the biggest newspaper in Nevada, the Las Vegas Review-Journal — just in time for Nevada’s becoming a key battleground for the presidency and for the important Senate seat being vacated by Harry Reid. It’s not quite like Rupert Murdoch’s ownership of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, but Adelson’s purchase marks another step toward oligarchic control of America – and the relative decline of corporate power.

Future historians will note that the era of corporate power extended for about 40 years, from 1980 to 2016 or 2020. It began in the 1970s with a backlash against Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society (Medicare, Medicaid, the EPA and OSHA). In 1971, future Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell warned corporate leaders that the “American economic system is under broad attack,” and urging them to mobilize. “Business must learn the lesson . . . that political power is necessary; that such power must be assiduously cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination—without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.” He went on: “Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.”

Soon thereafter, corporations descended on Washington. In 1971, only 175 firms had Washington lobbyists; by 1982, almost 2,500 did. Between 1974 and 1980 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doubled its membership and tripled its budget. In 1972, the National Association of Manufacturers moved its office from New York to Washington, and the Business Roundtable was formed, whose membership was restricted to top corporate CEOs.

The number of corporate Political Action Committees soared from under 300 in 1976 to over 1,200 in 1980, and their spending on politics grew fivefold. In the early 1970s, businesses spent less on congressional races than did labor unions; by the mid-1970s, the two were at rough parity; by 1980, corporations accounted for three-quarters of PAC spending while unions accounted for less than a quarter. Then came Ronald Reagan’s presidency, corporate control of the Republican Party, and a Republican-dominated Supreme Court and its “Citizens United” decision.

But in the early 21st century, a billionaire class emerged that didn’t want or need to share political power with large corporations. Their agenda was to reduce their taxes, enhance their wealth, and buy up the nation’s major assets. The Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, and about three dozen other oligarchs began to wrest power away from the Republican business establishment by funding their own candidates, buying their own media outlets, and even running for office themselves.

The rest is history. Or may be.

Source: Robert Reich – Right-wing mega-donor Sheldon Adelson has just…

The GOP’s worst nightmare could come true | Eclectablog

Who — besides Ted Cruz — predicted that Donald Trump would spend the second half of 2015 riding racism and xenophobia to the top of the polls thus allowing a supportive Cruz a chance to angle into the GOP nomination as the “reasonable” candidate?


Getting everything wrong seemed to be the one thing pundits did right in 2015including me, if I count.

I’d be a fool to venture any more predictions, so I will.

It’s still difficult to envisage Trump getting the GOP nomination and not because I expect Republicans to have too much sense to nominate him. A more likely probability is….

More here:

The GOP’s worst nightmare could come true | Eclectablog



One Wrong Move

Posted: 28 Dec 2015 10:46 AM PST

Back in November, Hanna Rosin started a ball rolling with her Atlantic cover story about the high rate of student suicides in Silicon Valley. Two high schools in Palo Alto have a 10-year suicide rate between four and five times the national average.

If students from wealthy families in one of the most affluent communities in the country are feeling driven to these sort of extremes– what the heck can that mean.

And it’s not just the issue of suicide. Rosin writes:

The rich middle- and high-school kids [Arizona State professor Suniya] Luthar and her collaborators have studied show higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse on average than poor kids, and much higher rates than the national norm.* They report clinically significant depression or anxiety or delinquent behaviors at a rate two to three times the national average. Starting in seventh grade, the rich cohort includes just as many kids who display troubling levels of delinquency as the poor cohort, although the rule-breaking takes different forms. The poor kids, for example, fight and carry weapons more frequently, which Luthar explains as possibly self-protective. The rich kids, meanwhile, report higher levels of lying, cheating, and theft.

Rosin pointed to huge pressure put on kids by their families, and Rebecca Rosen followed up with her piece, also at the Atlantic, “Why Affluent Professionals Put So Much Pressure on Their Kids.

Rosin’s conclusion is that affluent professionals find their own position fragile, and their ability to pass that position on to their children non-existent.

All of this results in what the economists Garey and Valerie Ramey of the University of California, San Diego, brilliantly termed “the rug rat race.” As they wrote in a 2010 paper, “The increased scarcity of college slots appears to have heightened rivalry among parents, which takes the form of more hours spent on college preparatory activities.” In their findings, the rug rat race takes place primarily among the most educated parents, because there simply aren’t enough spots at elite schools for less-educated parents to even really have a shot, especially as the competition accelerates. It’s for this reason that the most educated parents spend the most hours parenting, even though they are giving up the most in wages by doing so.

If you’re looking for one of the sources of the idealization of competitiveness that has leached into public education, well, here it is…

Follow this link for the rest of this blog post: CURMUDGUCATION: One Wrong Move

Do You Really Think The NRA Supports The 2nd Amendment To Keep Us Free? Think Again.

Do You Really Think The NRA Supports The 2nd Amendment To Keep Us Free? Think Again.

by mikethegunguy

One of the reasons often advanced to explain the success of the NRA in promoting pro-gun attitudes and laws is something known as the “intensity gap.”  According to this argument, the NRA wins because their supporters are more committed, more dedicated and more fiercely loyal to the organization and its goals, as opposed to the GVP movement whose supporters are only driven to express their support for more gun control after a mass shooting or other high-profile violence involving guns.

The latest iteration of this argument is the handiwork of Professor Gary Gutting, whose op-ed appeared today in The New York Times.  Gutting, who teaches philosophy at Notre Dame, claims that…

For the rest of this blog post, follow this source: Do You Really Think The NRA Supports The 2nd Amendment To Keep Us Free? Think Again.

Affordable Care Act – FAQ on How the Health Care Law Affects You and Your Family

From AARP:

Review these frequently asked questions about how the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) affects you and your family.

The AARP Daily News Alert will feature answers to a health care law “question of the day” throughout the month of December. Be sure to tune in throughout the month for more answers to frequently asked questions about the health care law.

If I buy or re-enroll in a health plan during the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period, when will my coverage start?

The Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period for 2016 health coverage is November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. If you are enrolled in a marketplace health insurance plan, your coverage ends December 31, 2015. To continue health coverage in 2016, you can renew or choose a new plan during the marketplace open enrollment period.

If you want your health insurance coverage to start January 1, 2016, you’ll need to sign up or renew your health plan by December 15, 2015. After this date, the day your coverage starts depends on when you enrolled or re-enrolled in coverage, as follows:

If you sign-up or re-enroll between…         Your coverage will begin…

November 1, 2015 – December 15, 2015         January 1, 2016
December 16, 2015 – January 15, 2016         February 1, 2016
January 16, 2016 – January 31, 2016         March 1, 2016

After I sign up for a health plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace, can I change my mind and sign up for a different plan instead?

For more answers to more questions go to this Source: Affordable Care Act – FAQ on How the Health Care Law Affects You and Y… – AARP

Detroit Public Schools: Another of Gov. Snyder’s man-made disaster


Detroit teachers protesting outside the Detroit school board offices against the predations of the Emergency Manager. Substance photo by Susan Zupan.  http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=3471

Detroit Public Schools:

Another of Gov. Snyder’s man-made disasters

Education levels the playing field, creates opportunity for all, and builds better communities in our country. However, the equal opportunity for education is being denied to Michigan’s black, Hispanic and special education students via a man made disaster.

Governor Rick Snyder is violating Brown vs. Board. A separate and unequal school system, an educational apartheid has been created in Michigan.

This apartheid has the greatest impact on special education and minority students.

Black school districts are under the authority of the Governor, and his appointees.

White districts are under the authority State Board of Education and their local elected Governance.

Under Governor Snyder’s management, educational test scores, and property values dropped in the districts he managed, in direct relationship to his policies.

In addition, under Governor Snyder, individuals who complain have been retaliated against or discredited. Before Emergency Management, Detroit, enjoyed the highest test scores of any district in the nation for poor students.Now, the Governor’s EAA has the worst test scores in the nation.

This suppression of diverse opinions was also seen in the Flint Water Scandal, another man-made disaster where Governor Snyder’s spokespersons discredited Dr. Mona Hannah-Attisha and Virginia Tech before the truth was finally revealed by leaked documents.


. Through mismanagement and retaliation, Governor Snyder is further creating educational refugees by making the public schools so unacceptable, and the morale, benefits of teachers so low, that it is driving staff and students away into charters intentionally.

2. This financial disaster is artificial. DPS was solvent until state intervention.
Before 1999 State Control DPS Had:
– Rainy Day Fund of $70 million
– Bonding Authority of $1.5 billion
– Surplus of over $100 million

—- Now, the district is $700 million in debt
—- To maintain control of Federal and local education dollars to have them to give corporate welfare to billionaires, and create more charters, he divides DPS in half by creating the EAA and proposing the DEC, the Detroit Education Commission. Meanwhile, here are some of the expenses under State control.
– $424 million of school funds to build a hockey stadium
– $40 million for marble and chandeliers at the Fisher Building
– $50 million per year to run his own district, the EAA
– $409 per square foot renovations, buildings closed the following year
– $350,000 settlement for student subjected to sexual solicitation
– $60 million to a out of town corporation to “evaluate teachers”.

— During this time, books were scarce
— During this time, children went without transportation
— Snyder tried to remove boiler engineers from DPS to save $5 million
— During this time, teacher pensions were not paid
— During this time, teachers took pay cuts.

3. Those who want a DEC, like the Skillman Foundation, Dan Varner, (Excellent Schools Detroit) and the Governor, simply want the power to have control over the lucrative contracts surrounding billions in Federal funds. It sounds nice to say, “we want excellent schools”, but these words are merely subjective “fluff talk” which mean absolutely zilch policy wise and only covertly satisfies citizens, while bamboozling voters and tax payers, yet is ultimately accountable to no one. So let us be honest. In truth, the State Board ALREADY has the power to close failing charter schools in every district state wide. Unfortunately, the Governor has stripped and continues to strip the State Board of some control in minority districts. Democracy dies. Emails and other documents revealed in the discovery process of a suit against the State show that Skillman Foundation and other Coalition members were given directions in 2009 to push students out of DPS, into charters, and work together to achieve a DEC-like appointed Board after voters rejected state control in 2005. In this way, non-taxpayers could be in control of the money. Yet, we clearly see that giving appointed persons control over billions of dollars and public infrastructure compromised public safety and opened the door to corruption.


  1. Strips Neighborhood Voice Taxation without Representation.
    Did you know every traditional public tax payer funded school that closes causes a $1000 drop in property value for every house in Detroit? Did you know every traditional public tax payer funded school that closed in your neighborhood caused a $20,000 drop in property value for homes in the neighborhood? Did you know that two schools closing in a neighborhood caused a $70,000 drop in property value for homes in the neighborhood? That said, when we are specific, then who should have a say in school closures: those who are directly elected to make that decision over their tax dollars by the residents, or appointed persons?
  2. Other districts have charters and public schools, but no other district has a DEC. This is a clear sign of being treated unequally and this violates the guidelines of equal opportunity for all to enjoy a public education as well as violating the Voting Rights Act. Yet, many, unfortunately, are ready to compromise the democracy many gave their lives for.


Those who wish to destroy public education have participated in violating the civil rights of disabled children, educational staff, citizens, parents, and most of all vulnerable students.
—a. Retaliation against parents, staff
—b. Impact – Children raped on their way to school in the EDUCATION DESERT created by Snyder.
—c. Public Safety Compromised – Pedophiles allowed into the school by Emergency Managers
—d. Caused property values to plummet.
—e. Financially devastated the district.

– PUT MONEY IN CLASSROOMS – Give money to teachers & kids!
– STRAIGHT TALK – No more fluff talk and covert and unethical power grabs over public institutions.



Taxpaying Residents United for Education (TRUE)


Published by Tammy Barbour