Should It Cost Less to Get Out of Jail if You’re Rich?

By: Saturday October 19, 2013 12:50 pm

Eric Amparan likes the system the way it is now. As a bail bondsman, he’s part of an industry that pulls in $2 billion in revenue every year. Eric lays out how he profits off of financial desperation in our latest video in the Prison Profiteers series:

Here’s how it typically works: If you’re booked into jail, you can either sit in a cell for months waiting for your trial — losing your job and missing your childcare commitments in the process — or you can pay bail to the court. Bail functions like a promise; the court will return it to you when you show up for your court date.

 

50 Years After MLK’s Speech, THIS Is the New Dream

By: Wednesday August 21, 2013 6:24 pm

Next week, it will be 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I Have a Dream” speech. He railed then against “the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination,” contending that the African-American was “an exile in his own land.” Yet he could not have imagined that Jim Crow would soon be replaced with another oppressive system: mass incarceration.

To Offset Disaster Relief, Curb the Drug War

By: Tuesday May 21, 2013 5:40 pm

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) says federal aid to his home state after the tornado should be offset by spending cuts elsewhere. We’ll see how well the ideological integrity holds up if offsets aren’t quickly found, but nevertheless, the question of how to fund disaster relief is increasingly urgent. It arose late last year when Superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast.

Though we cannot know whether man-made climate change was specifically responsible for either of those acts of nature, we do know federal spending to cope with extreme weather events has been rising. Indeed, from 2011 to 2013, the federal government has spent $136 billion on disaster relief.

Late Night: Would a White Girl Be Prosecuted for a Botched Science Experiment?

By: Thursday May 2, 2013 8:00 pm

By now you’ve probably heard about Kiera Wilmot, the 16-year-old Florida girl who botched a science experiment with a plastic bottle and toilet cleaner. The bottle ended up exploding, and though no one was hurt and no property damaged, Kiera was expelled from high school and is now being prosecuted as an adult for discharging a weapon on school grounds. She had an exemplary behavioral record up until that point.

Why Is Florida Atlantic University’s President Afraid of the Truth on Private Prisons?

By: Saturday March 2, 2013 12:48 pm

The debate over Florida Atlantic University’s decision to name a football stadium after a notorious private prison company has descended into deception.

This DEA Agent Went to Mexico to Beat the Drug Cartels. It Didn’t Turn Out Well.

By: Friday October 26, 2012 5:35 am

Sean Dunagan went to Monterrey, Mexico, to crack down on drugs. As an intelligence analyst for the Drug Enforcement Administration, he wanted to bring down the cartels and other trafficking organizations. He brought his family with him because Monterrey seemed like a peaceful, vibrant place to live. But things changed.

Sean saw that the drug war he was fighting was actually fueling more and more violence, creating the same kind of nasty black market that existed under Prohibition.

The Koch Brothers Must Have LOVED Monopoly as Kids

By: Wednesday August 22, 2012 7:00 pm

The Koch brothers don’t just have a gazillion luxury homes and boats. They’ve been using their wealth to shut out the voices of the 99% — pledging to spend at least $100 million on the 2012 elections. The pro-corporate policies they favor are, of course, antithetical to the public interest. But the TV ads they’re airing so far in this election make it seem like they’re on the side of regular Americans. “Maybe your family is like most, struggling to make it by…The private sector is not doing fine,” says Americans for Prosperity, an organization the Kochs founded and fund.

Kochs, Lies, and Videotape

By: Saturday March 31, 2012 5:20 pm

This week as I premiered my new film, Koch Brothers Exposed — the result of a year-long investigation on how two billionaires are using their wealth to corrupt democracy — Koch Industries has launched an attack on the film and me. The Kochs intimidate, they menace; they have a letter from their lawyer borderline threatening the media if it reports what’s in the film — and they always try to change the subject so their behavior can stay in the shadows: not only are they unwilling to accept my offer of a debate or interview, they also refuse to testify about their interest in the Keystone XL pipeline and may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into revealing their secret contributions to groups doing election work.

This time, the Kochs are using a technique I point out in the film: attacking to avoid dealing with the facts. They are dodging and distorting the truth to avoid confronting our findings on cancer, voting rights, civil rights, and more.

How? Let me count (some of) the ways.

Would a Koch Takeover of Cato Make War With Iran More Likely?

By: Tuesday March 13, 2012 3:30 pm

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, generally sides with the Right, but it has long shown an independent streak, sometimes bucking conservative orthodoxy on civil liberties, the war on drugs, and U.S. militarism. Will that change if Charles and David Koch succeed in their efforts to take over Cato?

FDL Membership Drive: So We Only Need to Answer to You

By: Tuesday March 6, 2012 2:50 pm

Perhaps the best case I’ve seen made for why it is important for you to become an FDL member stems from this recent story about the Democracy Alliance. The Democracy Alliance was started by a bunch of rich donors in 2005 to try to build a progressive movement. But they recently pulled funding for worthwhile organizations in order to focus money on the Democratic Party. We at FDL need to maintain our financial independence to continue what we do.

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