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Mountain of Petroleum Coke From Oil Sands Rises in Detroit – NYTimes.com

There may be no more important singular idea than the notion that corporations are persons.  Indeed, they are.

The Koch brothers continue to be the target of media attention and this time they are not strategizing or paying for it.  They are getting a freebee.  It appears that an environmental secretion from their pursuit of wealth function has piled up higher and deeper in the  eye of the media and in the middle of the “pristine” great lakes region.  Oil… of course.  Texas gold, or US black mud… or whatever earth exploiters and investors call it these days.  Environmentalists and world builders are colliding once again as they accuse one another about tree hugging the world on the one hand and exploiting it for  greed on the other.  In the meantime the real lesson at hand here goes unnoticed.

The key and central problem we see on the horizon today is not piles of environmental waste but the proverbial “free rider problem” which is as old as cave metaphors and necessary untruths.   It is big corporate money (to be sure corporate profits in the hands of ideologues) applied to our political discourse.  The NYTs points it out… but what are we to do?

“Assumption Park gives residents of this city lovely views of the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit skyline. Lately they’ve been treated to another sight: a three-story pile of petroleum coke covering an entire city block on the other side of the …”

via Mountain of Petroleum Coke From Oil Sands Rises in Detroit – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, ideology, lobbying, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, political corruption, Political Economy, profit motive and carcinogens, propaganda and spin, Public Health, Public Policy, regulations, , , , ,

The foreign-policy debate: Neoconservatism goes underground | The Economist

The London Economist, ever the sober and clear voice of the pragmatic business minded political middle, reports and deciphers the Romnian ideological Etch A Sketch which now sings a song of sober statesmanship and moderation in hopes of capturing the American Middle Class and undecided vote …

 

“WARMING up for last night’s foreign-policy debate, I was curious about what the neoconservative crowd was thinking these days, so …”

More via The foreign-policy debate: Neoconservatism goes underground | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Election 2012, geopolitical, International Relations, lobbying, News, propaganda and spin, Pundits, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, The Western Imagination, waging war, , , , , ,

On the Campaign Trail: A History of Political Consultants : The New Yorker

Top political consultants have been celebrities since the nineteen-nineties: Dick Morris, Ed Rollins, James Carville, Karl Rove. But the consultants I write about in this week’s issue of the magazine, Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter, were not celebrities. Although Whitaker and Baxter, who founded a company called Campaigns, Inc., in 1933, were the first and the most influential political consultants in American history, they are very …

More via On the Campaign Trail: A History of Political Consultants : The New Yorker.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Election 2012, lobbying, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, propaganda and spin, Pundits, , , ,

Opinions on Gay Marriage Unchanged After Obama Announcement – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Overview

Reports that the Democratic Party may add support for gay marriage to its party platform are in keeping with a significant shift of opinion on this issue among Democrats nationwide. Just four years ago, in 2008, only half (50%) of Democrats favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 42% were opposed. Support for gay marriage among Democrats has jumped to 65% today, more than double the percentage that is opposed (29%).

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted June 28-July 9, 2012, among 2,973 adults, finds that the partisan divide over gay marriage continues to widen. Just 24% of Republicans now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, which is only slightly higher than the percentage of Republicans who supported gay marriage in 2008 (19%).

Independent support for gay marriage has grown substantially since 2008. More independents today favor (51%) than oppose (40%) gay marriage; four years ago independents were divided evenly (44% favor, 45% oppose).

While President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage earlier this year drew significant news coverage and public interest, its effect on public opinion has been limited. Two consecutive national surveys conducted since May 9, when Obama made his announcement, show 48% in favor of allowing gay marriage and 44% opposed. This is virtually unchanged from a survey conducted in April, before the president’s statement.

But Obama’s announcement may have rallied the Democratic base – particularly liberal Democrats – to the issue. Democrats supported gay marriage by a 59% to 31% margin in April – that stands at 65% to 29% today. Most of this shift has come among liberal Democrats, 83% of whom now support gay marriage, up from 73% earlier this year.

via Opinions on Gay Marriage Unchanged After Obama Announcement – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Election 2012, Gender, Gender Policy, lobbying, News, symbolic uses of politics, Vote, ,

Republican Troops Keeping Ryan’s Budget Plan at Arm’s Length – NYTimes.com

Even as Mitt Romney and Representative Paul D. Ryan exhort Republicans to embrace their proposed Medicare changes and spending cuts, the party’s rank and file is growing less enthusiastic about the …

MORE  via Republican Troops Keeping Ryan’s Budget Plan at Arm’s Length – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Congressional Activity, Election 2012, lobbying, Medicare, News, political plots, Public Policy, Public Sector, ,

Guns in America: The NRA’s star may be on the wane | The Economist

ONE of the things Europeans find incomprehensible about America is its love of guns. There are two reasons they don’t get it. One is that …

MORE via Guns in America: The NRA’s star may be on the wane | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, ideology, lobbying, News, , , , , , ,

ALEC, a Tax-Exempt Group, Mixes Legislators and Lobbyists – NYTimes.com

Desperate for new revenue, Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation last year that would make it easier to recover money from businesses that defraud the state.

It was quickly flagged at the Washington headquarters of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a business-backed group that views such “false claims” laws as encouraging frivolous lawsuits. ALEC’s membership includes not only corporations, but nearly 2,000 state legislators across the country — including dozens who would vote on the …

MORE via ALEC, a Tax-Exempt Group, Mixes Legislators and Lobbyists – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, consumers, Election 2012, ethics, lobbying, News, political corruption, Public Policy, , ,

Trayvon Martin and America’s Gun Laws : The New Yorker

Just after seven-thirty on the morning of February 27th, a seventeen-year-old boy named T. J. Lane walked into the cafeteria at Chardon High School, about thirty miles outside …

MORE via Trayvon Martin and America’s Gun Laws : The New Yorker.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Death and Dying, Election 2012, lobbying, Public Policy, , , ,

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