Talk this week has focused on the hailstorm of corporate money battering the political process, largely on the right and almost entirely courtesy the Citizen’s United court decision. In my weekly web column for The Washington Post, "Predator’s Ball," I explain how the Republicans’ reliance on corporate underwriting is no accident: It’s buying Republicans who support deregulation and lowering taxes on the richest.
Corporate cash also puts an interesting twist on the Ginny Thomas phone call to Anita Hill. As Bruce Shapiro writes in our most read piece this week at TheNation.com, "Clarence Thomas’s Ethics Problems, Then and Now," the apology demand came on the same day that the New York Times broke a major story about corporate backing of Mrs. Thomas’s political action group.
What, then, does the Citizen’s United decision and corporate cash mean for the mid-term and long-term health of our democracy? In a very important edition of our Breakdown podcast, D.C. Editor Chris Hayes and Nation contributor Professor Lawrence Lessig explain the real impacts of the Citizen’s United decision: Will any of the pending bills on campaign finance reform curb the effects of the Citizens United result? What can progressives can do to limit the damage from Citizens United this year and in 2012? Listen here, and please share widely.
Also this week …
BREAKING: Wikileaks Documents Confirm Nation Investigation.
In June, The Nation (with the support of the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute) reported that the three American hikers seized last Summer in Iran had actually been detained in Iraq. The report, by Babak Sarfaraz, made it clear that all three deserve a swift and immediate release. With two of the hikers set to go on trial next month (the third was released) the latest Wikileaks document dump offers definitive proof of The Nation story: A classified American military report asserts that the hikers were on the Iraqi side of the border when they were seized. You can read our original investigation here, as we continue to hold out hope that these reports could lead to the release of Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer.
MEDIA: Two television interviews Monday.
I’m excited for Monday, when I’ll be discussing the November 2 election in a conversation on GRIT TV with Laura Flanders alongside Hendrick Hertzberg of The New Yorker. It will be the first segment of The Nation on GRIT TV, our weekly collaboration. We’ll have video posted here by 5PM. Also Monday I’ll be on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, discussing the news of the day (and the coming election) between 6-7PM ET.
SLIDESHOWS: Election 2010, and Republican’s Gone Wild.
It would be funny if it wasn’t true: Our web team has put together a great slideshow of the craziest and most out-there policy proposals offered by GOP candidates this year. Some of those featured don’t have a chance, but others are winning with under two weeks to go. Next week we’ll be posting several more election slideshows, exploring which candidates have been helped – or hurt – by their support for progressive priorities like healthcare reform and financial reform.
VIDEO: Stephen F. Cohen On Stalin’s Forgotten Victims
Nation Contributing Editor (and my husband) Stephen F. Cohen was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday discussing his new book, The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag after Stalin. Stalin was responsible for one of the largest mass-killings of the 20th century—but as Cohen writes, this isn’t reflected in how he’s remembered, in Russia or here in the States. In this video, he explains why Stalin’s legacy remains so contradictory today, and the implications this legacy have for contemporary Russian society. "We know the story of people who survived the Holocaust," Cohen says, "but almost nobody has ever written about, or asked about, what happened to the survivors of Stalin’s terror." Watch here.
The two of us will be discussing the book this coming Wednesday at 4PM at The Harriman Institute in New York City. Admission is free and all the information is here. This is a very personal book for us, sharing untold stories about many close friends. I hope you’ll watch the Morning Joe clip, and join us this Wednesday if you can.
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Finally this week, I’ll be at the Fall gathering of the Social Venture Network this weekend, giving a talk about how we counter tough times by advancing a vision of a more just and democratic society. SVN is an important institution, working to build a community of business leaders committed to a just economy and a sustainable planet. In a week dominated by the negative influence of corporations in our politics, I’m honored to spend the weekend with a collection of leaders dedicated to business as a force for good. Join us this weekend, or find out more about SVN here.
As always you can follow me on Twitter – I’m @katrinanation – and leave your comments below.