5. The Power of Money

Feb-24-2012 | Comments Off

Bird’s Eye: It’s 40 years since Alan Price sang “We all want justice, but you’ve got to have the money to buy it.” (in Lindsey Anderson’s epic film:  O Lucky Man!) But things have changed, and now you can buy anything with money, not just justice. We start with a look at who the players are, the six mediopolies that control what we see and hear. We look at two pieces on how the very rich, the .01%, buy the presidency; and we end with a look at how they control the “facts” taught in school.

* Illusion of Choice Nation of Change (click through to enlarge chart)

Media has never been more consolidated. 6 media giants now control a staggering 90% of what we read, watch or listen to.

* Casino King Provides 84 Percent of Funds for Pro-Gingrich Super PAC   NationofChange

Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and his family have pumped $11 million into the pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC “Winning Our Future,” about 84 percent of the $13.1 million the group has raised so far.

And that doesn’t include the additional $10 million sources say the multibillionaire is expected to kick in to help his political ally and friend Gingrich become competitive again. Gingrich has fallen behind the two frontrunners, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and ex-Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, in national polls….

Without the Adelsons’ largesse, the PAC has raised $2.1 million.

* Super PACs Out-Raise Candidates, Thanks to Super Donors   NationofChange

Thanks to a small number of wealthy individuals, the outside spending groups known as “super PACs” that are working to put the four leading GOP candidates in the White House collectively raised more than the candidates themselves in January.

Candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul raised a combined $21.1 million for the month, according to Federal Election Commission records, while the four primary super PACs backing them raised $22.1 million. Donors to candidates number in the thousands, but they may only give $2,500 per candidate, per election. Super PAC donors, thanks to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision and a lower-cour ruling, can give unlimited amounts.

* From the Heartland: The Extreme Right’s War on K-12 Climate and Environmental Education   Wildlife Promise

America’s extreme right has been attacking climate change and environmental education in schools for decades using a variety of tactics aimed at keeping it from becoming core  knowledge our children have upon graduation.

The recent revelation that the Heartland Institute was pledged $100,000 in anonymous funds to develop a K-12 school curriculum to inject how controversial climate change science is is just one of these tactics.

It has been alleged, per a set of leaked internal documents, that the Institute, a free-market policy and advocacy organization, is again working to undermine K-12 climate change education. The leaked documents, which Heartland claims were illegally leaked and faked, are not needed to examine consistent tactics used by the extreme right to keep sound and needed climate change education out of America’s K-12 classrooms.

…The National Wildlife Federation today received a cease and desist letter from the Heartland Institute demanding that all references to Heartland’s so-called “Denialgate” leaked internal documents be scrubbed from the National Wildlife Federation website. However, the letter makes no specific legal accusations and the Heartland Institute continues to refuse to say whether the documents are legitimate, whether its reported plan to infiltrate America’s schools is true, or who is funding it.



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