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Member since: Wed May 27, 2015, 02:02 PM
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Journal Archives

Study: Yep, American Presidents Are Guided By Wealthy Elites

The idea that U.S. presidents look out for the wealthy and powerful over the mass of ordinary Americans is nothing new. But a new study claims to confirm that assumption with hard data while seeking to spur a conversation over the flagging health of American democracy.

Echoing a much-discussed paper out of Princeton last year that argued the U.S. is no longer a proper representative democracy, the book, "Who Governs?" is an exploration of presidents, public opinion, and manipulation.

James N. Druckman from Northwesten University and Lawrence R. Jacobs from University of Minnesota make the case that presidents from both Republican and Democratic parties mainly serve and are guided by the wishes of the wealthy and political elites and exploit public opinion in order to serve those ends.

The duo turn to previously confidential documents from presidential archives, interviews with White House officials, and previously unquantified data to argue that "elites do most of the deciding," since presidents purposefully aim to "shirk citizen control."


47% of Americans would have to Borrow or Sell Something to Cover an Unexpected Expense of $400

Financial security has been elusive for millions of Americans since the Great Recession ended. A new report (pdf) from the Federal Reserve demonstrates one way that this insecurity can manifest itself for people.

As part of its October 2014 survey, the agency asked 50,000 people if they could handle an unexpected “financial disruption” costing them $400. Just over half (53%) said they could “fairly easily handle such an expense” by using money in their bank accounts (checking or savings) or by leaning on a credit card.

But for 47% of respondents, $400 was a tougher problem to handle. Within this group, 14% said they simply couldn’t cover it. Another 10% would have to sell something, 13% would have to borrow money from a friend or relative and 2% would have to resort to a high-interest payday loan.

This finding was buried within the Fed report that otherwise offered a rosier outlook on the state of Americans’ financial status.


Hillary Clinton facing highest unfavorability ratings in 14 years: poll

The former secretary of state and 2016 candidate is facing her highest unfavorability ratings in 14 years, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday.

The presumptive Democratic presidential frontrunner was viewed favorably by 46% of people polled, compared to 50% who said they had an unfavorable view of the former first lady.

Just two months ago, in an April CNN/ORC poll, 53% of those surveyed said they had a favorable view of Clinton, compared with 44% who said they viewed her unfavorably.

According to CNN/ORC, the public has not had such an unfavorable view of Clinton since March 2001, when Clinton had just begun serving as a U.S. senator for New York.


Bernie Sanders is winning the Internet and changing the conversation

Bernie and Goliath

CBS President Les Moonves Stiffs His Valet Because He Only Has $100 Bills

CBS Corporation president and CEO Les Moonves, one of the world's highest-paid executives, was recently caught on camera not tipping his parking valet because he only had $100 bills on hand.

In a clip recorded as Moonves was leaving a party last week in the ritzy Bel Air section of Los Angeles, the CBS exec pulls out his wallet to tip the attendant, but looks at his cash and says, "Sh*t, I only have hundred dollar bills.” After a pause, the valet driver says something inaudible to Moonves and pats him on the back. Moonves responds, “I’ll get you next time. Cheers.”

The footage was captured and shared by celebrity news site Leave My Name Out on Thursday but gained attention Monday after Gawker and Page Six caught wind of the blunder.

Moonves raked in $66.9 million in 2013, making him the highest paid CEO in American media and one of the world's best-paid executives in any industry that year, The Hollywood Reporter wrote.


Seth MacFarlane brutally rips Phil Robertson and ‘Duck Dynasty’ during acceptance speech

MacFarlane made the comments after he was given the Louis XIII Genius Award at the fifth annual award show, aired on A&E Network, which also airs Robertson’s show “Duck Dynasty.”

“Let’s not forget I’m being declared a genius on a network that airs ‘Duck Dynasty,’ a show whose cast members believe hurricanes are created by gay marriage,” MacFarlane said. “I wish I was joking.”


Future FLOTUS: Jane O’Meara Sanders, Ph.D.

In all aspects of her career, Dr. Jane O’Meara Sanders has focused on transformational leadership and social change, choosing opportunities to make a real difference in her community.

Dr. Sanders earned her Ph.D. with a concentration in leadership and policy studies from Union Institute & University in 2000. She also attended Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management and Presidents Seminar.

In 2004, she accepted the position as president of Burlington College where she expanded the college’s social and economic involvement in the community and stressed the need for students to graduate as engaged citizens. Under her leadership, the college developed nine new undergraduate majors, and moved to a higher degree institution by establishing four Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and an Individualized Master’s Degree program. As part of her legacy, the college developed partnerships with Vermont Law School, the Vermont Woodworking School, University of Havana in Cuba and established an Institute for Civic Engagement.

In her final year as president, Dr. Sanders acquired a beautiful 32-acre lakefront campus and relocated the small college to historical buildings, resulting in a transformative achievement that will expand the college’s growth and collaboration with the community.

Dr. Sanders retired as president of Burlington College in the fall of 2011. In recognition of her many accomplishments, the college bestowed upon her the title of President Emerita, until now, a distinction only given to the college’s founder.

In 1996, Dr. Sanders was recruited to be Provost and Interim President of Goddard College, her undergraduate alma mater. Dr. Sanders guided Goddard through a difficult transition period focused on accreditation, governance and financial management. During her brief tenure, she also eliminated all debt and implemented two new master’s programs. The college rewarded her success by providing sponsorship to complete her doctoral studies at Union Institute & University.

In addition to her work in higher education, Dr. Sanders has spent much of her career in public service, primarily focused on community development. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Economic Development Authority and represents Vermont on the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission.

A former municipal department head in the City of Burlington, Dr. Sanders represented Burlington’s young people on all city issues, created a citywide vision for children and families, drafted legislative initiatives and addressed concerns such as youth unemployment, substance abuse and juvenile crime. She founded many programs and non-profits which continue today, such as The Children’s Place child care center/kindergarten, 242 MAIN teen center, CityKids after-school program and Kids Day. As a member of two mayoral cabinets, she was involved in many aspects of local government, including organizational, budgetary and political decisions.

Dr. Sanders has also worked in the private sector. She has run her own small business as a media and political consultant working on local, statewide and federal campaigns, and as a consultant on educational and system of care issues.


Obama Administration Opens Up Thousands Of Acres Of Public Lands To Coal Mining

On May 29, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management released a regional management plan for the Buffalo Field Office, the Wyoming office charged with managing the Powder River Basin, an area that supplies nearly 40 percent of U.S. coal.

Under the proposed plan, the BLM estimates that it will issue 28 new coal leases, which could open up the mining of 10 billion tons of coal over the next 20 years.

The United States burns around 900 million tons of coal annually — the amount of coal made available under the proposed Buffalo regional management plan is more than ten times that.

According to a report released by Greenpeace, if all 10.2 billion tons of coal made available by the leases was to be burned, 16.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere. That carbon, Greenpeace notes, significantly dwarfs any reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that would come from President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, often considered the president’s most robust action on climate change.


SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I will be voting AGAINST the USA Freedom Act

@SenSanders just told @KatieCouric that he will vote against the USA Freedom Act http://yhoo.it/1cubkOW #YahooLive

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