What We’re Reading This Week – 2/28/14

What We're Reading This Week - 2/28/14

What We're Reading This Week

North Carolina’s Civil War – Michael Graff – POLITICO When North Carolina’s statehouse was taken over by extremists with deep-pocketed megadonor Art Pope’s backing, some Tar Heels fought back. Drawing upon their state’s rich tradition of civil disobedience and social justice activism, citizens came out Monday after Monday to make their voices heard, setting an example for activists everywhere.

Anatomy Of The Deep State – Mike Lofgren – Moyers and Company How can a government that’s demonstrated its ability to eavesdrop, incarcerate, and even assassinate its own citizens, and done so with striking efficiency, simultaneously be so mired in parliamentary dysfunction that it’s unable to address rampant unemployment and other social ills, or even keep itself open for routine business? Mike Lofgren explores this seeming contradiction, and what it means for the future of our democracy.

Best Supporting Industry – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington After an organized netroots handed them a resounding defeat on restrictive anti-piracy bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), Hollywood’s lobbyists are back with a vengance. A new report from our friends at CREW outlines how the industry has learned to sling dark money with the worst of them.

Where Have All the Lobbyists Gone? – Lee Fang – The Nation From disclosure statements alone, you might be tempted to conclude that corporate lobbying is at an all time low in our nation’s capital. Lee Fang digs deeper, pointing out that the influence industry is stronger than ever, but that its big money benefactors have learned how to hide from the public.

The Internet is ****ed (but we can fix it) – Nilay Patel – The Verge Don’t click if you’re offended by strong language, but this piece is a stinging review of how the Internet has become such a huge part of our daily lives, the threat posed by profiteering megacorporations and a government happy to enable them, and what folks like you and I can do to stop them. Highly recommended.

Groups Push Broadband Changes for Net Neutrality – Anne L. Kim – Roll Call Ever since an appeals court gutted net neutrality, Common Cause and our allies have been been calling on the FCC to reclassify broadband as a utility — just like water or electricity — to ensure a democratic and open Internet that’s here to stay.

And on the subject of net neutrality, if this week’s landmark deal between Netflix and Comcast left you confused, here’s a clear and succinct explanation of what’s going on from an unlikely source:

The Netflix Comcast deal is like if supermarkets told Coke to pay them or else they’d start watering it down.
CC:Indecision (@indecision) February 24, 2014 

See you next Friday!