Plugin to show you where politicians get their funding

Un peu de technologie…

Un jeune américain de 16 ans a écrit une application plug-in permettant à votre lecteur de Web d’identifier les contributions politiques que le politicien a profité pour être élus.

Il faudrait un équivalent pour le Québec, on pourrait vérifier le nombre de prête-noms que le politicien a reçu pour se faire élire.

Aux États-Unis, la démocratie de Washington ressemble plus à une oligarchie, aux États-Unis depuis que la Cour Suprême a donné la bénédiction aux entreprises de pouvoir financer sans limite leurs candidats préférés, ils n’ont même pas besoin de se cacher.

Le cancer généralisé de nos démocraties est la corruption étatique, après on se demande pourquoi l’économie fonctionne tout croche.

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The murky world of lobby groups bankrolling politicians is garnering more attention, but is there a way to find out which representatives are in the pocket without a lot of tedious research? A 16-year-old programmer has developed a browser plugin that, when you mouse-over the name of a US lawmaker, will serve up a list of which parties have donated to their campaign funds, and the quantities. Greenhouse (geddit?) is currently available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari -- although our lawyers have (probably) asked us to point out that the data is from the 2012 elections, so they may not be entirely up to date.


Extrait de : THIS KID MADE AN APP THAT EXPOSES SELLOUT POLITICIANS, By Hannah Ewens, Jul 7 2014

With US politics swimming in so much corporate money that it's pretty much an oligarchy, it can be hard to keep track of which particular set of lobbyists is trying to milk more cash out of health care, fossil fuels, and other very important issues from one week to the next.

But thanks to 16-year-old Nick Rubin, keeping track of just how much politicians have sold out has become a lot easier. He created Greenhouse, a new browser plug-in that operates under the motto "Some are red. Some are blue. All are green." The plugin aims "to shine light on a social and industrial disease of today: the undue influence of money in our Congress." It sounds like a bit of a lofty aim for an app, but it's actually pretty simple and effective—it provides a breakdown of a politician’s campaign contributions when that politician's name comes up in an article. It is currently available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari and is completely free. As you can imagine, reading about how your member of Congress voted in a recent health bill becomes all the more enlightening if you know how much money the health industry showered him in at the last election.

I spoke to Nick Rubin about the plugin, politics, and what he calls the "money stories" behind what you read in the news.

VICE: Hi, Nick. So how did you come up with the idea for Greenhouse?
Nick Rubin: Back in seventh grade, I gave a presentation on corporate personhood, and ever since then I’ve been really interested in that issue. I think the one problem is that the sources of income for members of congress haven’t been simple and easily accessible when people have needed it. More recently, I’ve been teaching myself how to code, and I thought that something like Greenhouse that puts the data at people’s fingertips would be a perfect solution. It really is the intersection of these two passions of mine—coding and politics. I made it after school and on weekends on my computer.


Extrait de: America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study find. The Washingon Times, April 21, 2014

America is no longer a democracy — never mind the democratic republic envisioned by Founding Fathers.Policy adoption

Rather, it has taken a turn down elitist lane and become a country led by a small dominant class comprised of powerful members who exert total control over the general population — an oligarchy, said a new study jointly conducted by Princeton and Northwestern universities.

One finding in the study: The U.S. government now represents the rich and powerful, not the average citizen, United Press International reported.

In the study, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens,” researchers compared 1,800 different U.S. policies that were put in place by politicians between 1981 and 2002 to the type of policies preferred by the average and wealthy American, or special interest groups.

Researchers then concluded that U.S. policies are formed more by special interest groups than by politicians properly representing the will of the general people, including the lower-income class.

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence,” the study found.

The study also found: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.