Last year, Americans witnessed an explosion in million-dollar checks from a handful of uber-wealthy people underwriting political campaigns and election ads. In 2012, there were also numerous efforts to make it harder for Americans to exercise their fundamental right to vote through restrictive voter ID legislation and limits on voter registration.
Missing the fiscal cliff? Don't know what to talk about at the dinner table?
Get ready, the Bipartisan Policy Center has predicted that on February 15, 2013, the U.S. Treasury will take in an estimated $9 billion in revenue, but is committed to pay out $52 billion.
You helped make the world a better place this year. You helped expose corruption and thwart efforts to distort our democracy.
1. You helped force 42 major corporations and 70 legislators to do something they did not want to do, leave the American Legislative Exchange Council.
When George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, Zimmerman -- who considered himself a neighborhood watchman -- almost certainly thought of himself as a "good guy."
In November, 45-year-old Michael David Dunn likely thought he was playing the role of the "good guy" when he confronted a vanload of teenagers for playing their music too loud, then fired nine shots into their vehicle after claiming he saw a shotgun barrel. 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was killed, and neither Jordan nor anyone else in the van had a gun.
You know you are not going to be seeing the brightest bulbs on TV defending America's loose gun laws the weekend after the mass slaughter of children. Even the NRA had gone dark, taking down its Facebook and Twitter accounts and refusing to respond to reporters.
As concerned workers come together across Michigan in protest, partisan politicians are poised to make one of the strongholds for America's blue-collar worker rights into a so-called "Right to Work" (RTW) state -- in accordance with the ALEC blueprint to change to state laws at the behest of some of the biggest corporations in the world.
As a news hound and a mom, I have an early morning routine for catching up on developments while getting the kid ready for school. I head downstairs, snap on the radio, start making coffee, and packing a kid-friendly lunch. The kitchen radio is permanently tuned to 1670 AM WTDY's "Sly in the Morning" show because I know that Sly has been up since 4 a.m. reading half a dozen state and national newspapers, scanning the front pages and the classifieds for the critical, the controversial, the funny, and the obscure.
Just a few days after a triumphal speech at the Reagan library, where Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker laid out his vision of a state without taxes and a privatized school system, Walker's name came up in a different context. In the sentencing hearing of top aide Kelly Rindfleisch.
Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney was caught on tape in another candid moment with big dollar donors. In an attempt to explain his stunning loss, Romney alleges that President Obama bribed the electorate with "gifts":
-- by Mary Bottari and Sara Jerving
The fossil fuel industry has paid a hefty price for the privilege of framing the political discourse about America's energy future. Hundreds of millions have flowed into campaign coffers from energy companies attempting to purchase complete freedom to drill, frack, and burn. Huge "dark money" groups, the Koch's, Karl Rove, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, join dozens of oil and gas industry associations in pouring money into television ad campaigns demanding "energy independence," while trashing wind and solar.