Shedding Light On Dark Money: Why A Supreme Court Decision May Help Blunt The Undue Influence Of Wealthy Donors
Democracies should have respected political systems that serve as a source of pride for all citizens. When voters head to the polls, they should feel as though they are doing their civic duty. When they cast their votes, they should never feel as though they should be ashamed of their choice, even though they have a right to keep their pick a secret. Someone who supports a candidate or cause enough to donate money certainly should not feel compelled to hide his, or her, contribution. For those who donate thousands to millions of dollars to political groups, transparency should be a welcome opportunity to broadcast one’s funding of the political system and worthy causes. Unfortunately, the US political system is awash in so-called dark money. It is also saturated with slanderous and negative political messages. In a recent ruling, however, the US Supreme Court may well have helped lift the veil on dark money.
Candy cigarettes were introduced in the early 1930's, but fell out of favor with an American public increasingly concerned about the health risks of tobacco starting in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Although banned in more than a dozen countries, the production and sale of candy cigarettes remains legal in the United States. The dwindling number of producers making these products did, however, try to rebrand their confections by dropping the “cigarette” term after two national attempts to ban candy cigarettes in 1970 and 1991 as well as State level campaigns that ended with a sole ban in North Dakota. The verified concern with candy cigarettes is that they both desensitize children to the use of tobacco and essentially train them to use cigarettes. Today, candy cigarettes are not a threat to the general population, because they are not widely available, but the new phenomenon of vaping poses any equal, if not greater, risk.
The chief executive of Missouri-based Nostrum Laboratories has defended his decision to quadruple the price of an antibiotic used to treat bladder inflections by framing it as a moral decision. Nirmal Mulye described the $2,392 price tag for Nitrofurantoin as the product of “a moral requirement to make money when you can….” Men like Nirmal Mulye clearly do not understand the meaning of moral nor the meaning of ethical. Perhaps, if capitalism was a religious cult, economies did not exist to serve the needs of people, and all people were sociopaths, Mulye would be correct, but his thinking is twisted, short-sighted, self-serving, and, quite frankly, dangerous. Although one might argue business executives have an ethical obligation to employees and shareholders to ensure the sustainability of a business, Mulye was trying to deflect public outrage and rebrand price gouging as a common good. As shocking and inhumane as Muyle’s reasoning is, however, his statement is actually a rare moment of honesty from a titan of industry.
Hurricane Florence Strikes In Wake of 9/11 Reflections: Effective Disaster Relief Must Be A Top Priority For Government
September 11, 2001 is a day remembered by all those who witnessed the horrific acts of terrorism, as a well as heroism, that transpired on that day 17 years ago. For generations, it serves as a national holiday in memory of those whose lives were lost and those whose lives were forever changed by the tragedy as well as the wars that followed. There is an almost poetic irony that Hurricane Florence was barreling down on he East Coast of the United States as Americans reflected on the destruction of such a culturally traumatic event. What makes it even more ironic is the impact 9/11 had on the responses to past hurricanes. The aftermaths of Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina represented a colossal challenge that the US government failed to meet. In the wake of 9/11, the US government hyper-focused on its ability to respond to terrorist threats, but it failed to prepare for large scale natural disasters. It is a lesson learned that may well have been forgotten.
New York Times Opt-Ed Sends Trump On Witch-hunt: Right Wing “Status Quo” Is Not The Alternative to Change
President Donald Trump has reacted to the decision of the New York Times to publish a critical anonymous opinion piece written by someone from within his Administration as expected. He is furious. He wants the name and resignation of the person who wrote it. Not only that, he wants whoever is responsible in jail for treason. While his top lieutenants frantically work to soothe the President’s anger, and escape raged-fueled accusations, Trump has taken the highly unusual step of calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a criminal investigation into what is simply a matter of public dissent from within his Administration. Those who refuse to comply with his orders are sure to face threats of termination and legal action. Trump will stop at nothing to root out the employee who dared betray and humiliate him. After spending nearly two years categorizing the Russian election hacking investigation as a witch-hunt in an attempt to defect accusations, President Trump is now on a witch-hunt of his own.
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