Richard Muller, a prominent physicist and climate change skeptic, has concluded after two years of research that the earth’s temperatures are rapidly rising. Ironically, his research was funded in part by the Charles Koch Foundation, a major funder of climate change skepticism. Muller had been among the few remaining hold-outs in the scientific community on this issue and was frequently cited by denialists. Read the full story here. To view data collected by the Koch-funded Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST) on which Muller worked, click here.
Big Banks take a hit as customers move funds to credit unions and community banks.
The Credit Union National Association reports that more than 650,000 new accounts were opened at credit unions in October of this year, as compared with 600,000 new accounts in all of 2010. Read the story here.
Senators introduce a constitutional amendment to overturn Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
This week, six Democratic senators introduced a constitutional amendment that would restore the power of Congress to regulate corporate campaign contributions. Last year’s Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case allowed corporations to claim first-amendment rights and to be treated as “persons.” The decision has resulted in massive flows of corporate money into political campaigning. Read the full story here.
Media coverage shifts from debt to jobs.
Ever since the global financial crisis began in 2007-08, Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman, Joseph Stieglitz, Robert Reich, and Jeffrey Sachs have been telling us that our short-term focus should be on unemployment, not debt. Nevertheless, the national debt dominated the media, especially during the debt ceiling showdown between Republican deficit hawks and the President in the spring and summer of 2011. The focus began shifting dramatically in the fall, however, as the Occupy Wall Street (aka 99 Percent) Movement turned the nation’s attention to income disparity and unemployment. A ThinkProgress analysis of media coverage at the end of July showed a ratio of about 15 mentions of debt to 1 mention of jobs. By mid-October, the ratio was about 1 (debt) to 20 (jobs), a stunning reversal that illustrates the power of popular movements. Read the full story here.