September 28, 2012 – Conservatism & the Right in American Politics; Tracking Campaign Contributions

In the first half-hour of this program, my guest is Thomas Frank, author of Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right, and What’s the Matter with Kansas? In Pity the Billionaire, Mr. Frank responds to the question, “How is it possible that the disastrous collapse of the free market economy in 2008 could have heralded a popular revival—of the right?” The conclusion he reaches is both surprising and profound.

In the second half-hour, we’ll talk with an editor of The Center for Responsive Politics. Through their website, OpenSecrets.org, they track money in politics. Their mission:

“The Center for Responsive Politics is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government. In short, the Center’s mission is to:

  • Inform citizens about how money in politics affects their lives
  • Empower voters and activists by providing unbiased information
  • Advocate for a transparent and responsive government.”

Further resources for Thomas Frank:

One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy by Thomas Frank
The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves, and Beggared the Nation by Thomas Frank
The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism by Thomas Frank
Boob Jubilee: The Mad Cultural Politics of the New Economy: Salvos from the Baffler by Thomas Frank (and others)
Commodify Your Dissent: Salvos from The Baffler by Thomas Frank (and others)

Resources mentioned on the program:

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns
National Institute on Money in State Politics – Follow the Money.org