Articles of Interest

By Barney Frank, Guardian UK

Changing congressional rules is a good idea. But that won’t fix a Congress run by people who seek to render government ineffective

I recently participated in a panel convened by Esquire Magazine, in which they asked four retired members of congress –Senators Lott and Daschle, Congressman Livingston, and me – to make recommendations about how to improve the function of Congress, including syncing up the House and Senate’s schedules, eliminating gerrymandering and speeding up the confirmations of executive appointees. I agree with all of them.Read more »

By Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian UK

Industry giants are spending more than $25m to defeat campaigns for mandatory GM food labelling in the two states, in the runup to next month’s vote

Biotech and supermarket giants are spending more than $25m (£15.6m) to defeat ballot initiatives in two western states that would require labelling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

In Colorado, Dupont and Monsanto food companies are outspending supporters of mandatory labelling by 22-1 ahead of the 4 November vote, according to state campaign finance records.Read more »

By Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian UK

Industry giants are spending more than $25m to defeat campaigns for mandatory GM food labelling in the two states, in the runup to next month’s vote

Biotech and supermarket giants are spending more than $25m (£15.6m) to defeat ballot initiatives in two western states that would require labelling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

In Colorado, Dupont and Monsanto food companies are outspending supporters of mandatory labelling by 22-1 ahead of the 4 November vote, according to state campaign finance records.Read more »

By Emily Atkin, ThinkProgress

In the six days that early voting has been underway in Texas, election judge William Parsley on Sunday said he has only seen one potential voter turned away at his polling location, the Metropolitan Multi-Services Center in downtown Houston.

“An elderly man, a veteran. Ninety-three years old,” Parsley, an election judge for the last 15 years, told ThinkProgress. “His license had expired.”Read more »

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

Commenting on a recent student suicide at an Alaska high school, Alaska’s Republican Congressman Don Young said suicide didn’t exist in Alaska before “government largesse” gave residents an entitlement mentality.

“When people had to work and had to provide and had to keep warm by putting participation in cutting wood and catching the fish and killing the animals, we didn’t have the suicide problem,” he said. Government handouts tell people “you are not worth anything but you are going to get something for nothing.”Read more »

America used to be a country that built for the future. Sometimes the government built directly: Public projects, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, provided the backbone for economic growth. Sometimes it provided incentives to the private sector, like land grants to spur railroad construction. Either way, there was broad support for spending that would make us richer.Read more »

Republican Officials in Texas Knew Voter ID Law Would Disenfranchise 500,000 Before Bill's Passage
By Ross Ramsey, The Texas Tribune
25 October 14

Republican state officials working to pass a voter photo ID law in 2011 knew that more than 500,000 of the state’s registered voters did not have the credentials needed to cast ballots under the new requirement. But they did not share that information with lawmakers rushing to pass the legislation.Read more »

What Women Want
Women’s Issues Dominate 2014 Campaigns

Women are big this election season. No group is more courted. It’s great! The issues are important. Plus, we all enjoy the occasional pander.Read more »

Bernie Sanders: Purchase of Election by Chevron Shows We Have 'Oligarchy.'

By Jon Queally, Common Dreams

According to estimates, fossil fuel company is on track to spend $3 million in attempt to gain control of city council in Richmond, California

he Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders was in the city of Richmond, California on Thursday and said local elections in the city have become prime examples of how U.S. politics, at all levels, have become corrupted by the unlimited amount of money wealthy corporations and individuals can spend on campaigns.Read more »

By Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch

The evidence linking fracking to earthquakes continues to pile up.

A study by seven researchers from California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and the UK, The Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking, said “Unconventional oil and natural gas extraction enabled by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing [fracking] is driving an economic boom with consequences described from ‘revolutionary’ to ‘disastrous.’ The reality lies somewhere in between.”Read more »