It’s time to clean up the swamp.

I just released a new video showing how special interest donors spend huge amounts of anonymous “dark” money to rig our government in their favor. That dark-money spending has drowned our democracy in a “tsunami of slime,” and taken power out of the hands of regular people. It’s a massive problem. Watch the video to see why.

It all started with the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. After that ruling, a deluge of untraceable dark money helped corporations and far-right donors push political objectives that are too unpopular to survive on their own merits. Donors bankroll television ads…


Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

OK, I’m now officially very anxious about climate legislation. I’ll admit I’m sensitive from the Obama climate abandonment, but I sense trouble.

1. Climate has fallen out of the infrastructure discussion, as it took its bipartisanship detour. It may not return. So then what?

2. I don’t see the preparatory work for a close Senate climate vote taking place in the administration. Why not marshal business support?

3. Corporate America is still completely AWOL if not worse on climate in Congress. All the major corporate trade associations suck — all of them.

4. Groups and advocates are quarreling — My…


CREW opposition in Barr memo case is pretty devastating: ”the so-called prosecutorial decision is an invention of DOJ’s … to cover up and paper over the fact that the Attorney General was engaged in an effort to mislead the public about Special Counsel Mueller’s report.” See end of this page for the full memo.

Re DOJ’s claim that Barr memo should be kept secret as “predecisional”: “DOJ lawyers were engaged in what amounts to a thought experiment about a hypothetical case, with no chance of prosecutorial action.” …


Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash

As one of top 10 most bipartisan Democrats, let me say how often bipartisanship can be a suckers’ game.

Real bipartisanship is doing big stuff Americans of both parties like. Mitch bipartisanship is the La Brea Tar Pit for those big ideas.

Those controlling the Republican Party area mix of nutty conspiracy theory and creepy billionaire mischief — the economic welfare of Americans is not either’s priority.

And creepy billionaires are usually fossil fuel polluters, so good luck on climate. (Climate was bipartisan before Citizens United caused Lost Decade.)

Rest of corporate America needs to offset fossil fuel pressure on Republicans but so far corporate political effort on climate nil.


Here’s a great graphic by Brown University scientist Bob Brulle showing the $8.2 BILLION in anonymous money going into climate denial and obstruction. Gee, I wonder who that could be.

My Captured Court riff in the Amy Coney Barrett hearing revealed hidden money going in to Supreme Court briefs from Bradley Foundation and Donors Trust. Gee, look who shows up here in the graphic. (And Big Oil just won its Supreme Court case.)

And not to be too on the nose, but there’s the Exxon foundation. Well, well, well.

Creepy Heritage Action is there, too, which Mother Jones just outed claiming credit for Republican voter suppression bills popping up like mushrooms in state legislators. (I suggested ALEC helped — and look who’s here too!)

This is what that $8.2B…


The executive director for Heritage Action speaking privately to top donors about voter suppression bills.

Leonard Leo operated the dark-money court capture operation from his Federalist Society perch. It was a $250 million dark-money operation.

Down the hall (literally) was the Judicial Crisis Network, which took anonymous $15–17 million donations to fund campaign ads for the Supreme Court nominees the FedSoc-hosted operation selected.


Now that companies are speaking out against Georgia’s new Jim Crow 2.0 voting law, Mitch McConnell is suddenly interested in limiting corporate power.

This may be the most absurd statement of the year because it comes from the chief agent of the corporate right wing’s dark-money covert operation himself, Mitch McConnell:

The right wing dark-money machine has a recurring strategy of accusing others of what it itself is doing. They create false equivalency. Here they go again →

Republicans are happy to let the fossil fuel industry meddle in politics by spending millions in dark money to block climate legislation.

But companies saying they think Americans should be allowed to vote? “How dare they?!?!?” Republicans crow.

The good news: there’s a big whiff…


Senate Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan to ensure Rhode Islanders get the comprehensive help they need during the pandemic. Here’s what it does:


Mistake 4: Walking away from a fight.

The mistakes I have urged that we must not repeat are: failing to look back when you must; failing to address the toxic flood of dark money into our politics; failing to use or even give an honest look at obvious legal tools at our disposal; and now, the final one, just walking away from an important fight.

God bless Nancy Pelosi and her team, particularly Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, for getting the “cap and trade” climate bill passed by the House in 2009. It was a serious climate bill, the only serious climate bill ever passed by either…


Mistake 3: Ignoring The Tobacco Model

Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

Another missed climate opportunity in the Obama administration came from DOJ. It is well documented that the fossil fuel climate denial apparatus was developed from the tobacco industry’s scheme to deny its own product’s dangers. The tobacco denial operation’s people, organizations and tactics were taken up by the fossil fuel industry and switched over to climate denial. Consider the likelihood that there is a legitimate field of study comprising expertise in how tobacco is not actually bad for your health and how fossil fuel emissions don’t actually damage the planet’s climate.

Sheldon Whitehouse

U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, the Ocean State.

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