Secretary Geithner will address the Obama administration’s proposals to help get more Americans back to work and help reinforce long-term growth at home as well as efforts to build a more stable financial system and to strengthen the global economy.
Don't miss this chance to get up close and personal with one of the most important figures entrusted with getting the nation’s economy back on track.
- Tuesday, October 12: The Today Show
- Tuesday, October 12: Live with Regis and Kelly
- Wednesday, October 13: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Rice is professor of business and political science at Stanford University, a senior fellow at Hoover Institution, and author of the new book, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family. In addition, she is a member of The Commonwealth Club Board of Governors.
The New York Times published an article yesterday stating that the amount of money spent on television campaign advertisements by outside interest groups has more than doubled from what was spent in 2006. The article points not only to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling as a main reason for the more lax campaign finance regulations, but also to an array of other legal developments that have led to less regulation and less restriction regarding campaign financing.
NPR’s Fresh Air devoted Thursday’s show to the discussion of the new world of campaign finance that has been created as a result of the Citizens United decision. Terry Gross interviewed Peter Stone, of The Center for Public Integrity, Kenneth Vogel of Politico and Lee Fang of the liberal-leaning ThinkProgress to discuss new organizations that have been created since the ruling in order to finance advertisements for campaigns across the country.
The Oakland mayoral race recently had its own campaign finance drama. Oakland mayoral candidates Jean Quan and Rebecca Kaplan were denied their request to tighten rules on campaign finance spending before the Nov. 2 election. The two Oakland City Council members made this request to the Oakland City Council after the Sacramento-based Coalition for a Safer California announced it had exceeded the spending threshold of $95,000 allowed for an independent expenditure committee, in support of an Oakland mayoral candidate. Quan and Kaplan have alleged that Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata worked with the coalition to get the spending cap broken. Perata has denied this allegation, but admitted on Thursday to exceeding the spending ceiling. Perata says that City Attorney John Russo told him that the spending cap had already been broken. Russo denies having said this. Once the spending cap is broken, mayoral candidates are free to spend more than the voluntary spending limit of $379,000. Read the complete story from the Oakland Tribune.Join The Club and panelists Bob Edgar, Lawrence McQuillan and Jesse Choper to discuss this polemic topic, delving into the political controversies and the widely unpopular Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. This program will take place on Monday, October 11 at 6PM at The Club’s SF office.
In an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel, Rice says there was only a short window of opportunity when "the Soviet Union had to be strong enough to sign away its powers and rights but not strong enough to stop it." As a result, when the opportunity presented itself and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl went full speed ahead with plans for bringing together the two parts of the nation separated by the Cold War, the Bush administration supported his fast-track approach.
In fact, there was apparently only one moment of disconnect between the White House and the chancellor's office, when Kohl didn't consult with his American counterparts before he presented a list of 10 points to guide the reunification process. But that speed bump was soon left behind, and Kohl and his plans remained in good standing with Washington.
Read the full Spiegel article for more on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's surprising role, the Bush team's worries about Kohl's re-election chances, the centrality of NATO to American comfort about German reunification, and more.
Condoleezza Rice will speak about her life, work, and family in a special event at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Monday, October 18.
Yesterday, the first Monday in October, the Supreme Court started a new session. The court will be hearing an array of fascinating and controversial cases, and everyone will be interested to see how the most female Supreme Court of all time will vote on such heavy matters at lethal injection and lifetime prison sentences for juveniles.
The letter was submitted to Congress by FreeSpeechForPeople.org, a campaign devoted to the cause of reversing the ruling via a constitutional amendment.
The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 5-4 ruling permits corporations and unions to promote and finance the campaigns of electoral candidates up until election day. The ruling overturned longstanding campaign finance rules and regulations, and it elicited outrage in many and applause from many others, dividing the country largely along party lines.
The idea of “corporate personhood” was protested across the country by liberal think tanks and politicians. President Obama called the ruling “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”
Conservative think tanks and politicians applauded the court for overturning what they saw as years of unconstitutional obstruction to free speech. Mitch McConnell, Senate minority leader at the time, stated, “For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process. With today's monumental decision, the Supreme Court took an important step in the direction of restoring the First Amendment rights of these groups...”
This was the first Supreme Court case heard by Justice Sonia Sotomayer and the first Supreme Court case argued by then-solicitor general and now Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. So the issues of this ruling touch even the newest on the court.
On Monday, October 11 The Commonwealth Club will have its own debate on this topic. The superb panel of Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause, Lawrence McQuillan, director of business and economic studies at the Pacific Research Institute, and constitutional law expert Jesse Choper, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at UC Berkeley, will take on the question of the constitutionality of the recent ruling and discuss what is really electing our political leaders, money or merit?
By Camille Koue
The recent New Yorker article on The Family by Peter J. Boyer paints a much different picture than that of the dictator-obsessed, wage-war-with-prayer Family portrait described by author and journalist Jeff Sharlet in his new book C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. It’s Boyer’s good natured, supportive brotherhood, frat house made up of a well-intentioned, though sometimes naive, network of good-ol-boys, compared to Sharlet’s no-holds-barred, violent, win-or-die-trying secret bunker housing opportunistic, pulpit spewing religious fundamentalists.
The two images look very different and that is what makes Sharlet’s appearance at The Club on Oct 13 so interesting.
Boyer’s article describes the conservative Christian organization as a group of decent men looking to make the lives of others better by spreading the Holy Word, but definitely not by any means necessary. He describes how the leaders of the Family are open to other faiths, and denounce foreign policy that is too extreme.
Sharlet describes them as quite the opposite.
For example, one main contradiction of claims is that Boyer asserts that the leaders of The Family were instrumental in getting the Ugandan anti-gay bill, which would have punished homosexuality with death, withdrawn from the floor of the Ugandan Parliament. Sharlet has asserted that The Family leaders were instrumental in the writing of the bill and fueling the homophobic fire in Uganda.
While Boyer describes the secretive nature of The Family as a way for those tended toward humility to live out their religious work in an anonymous, inelaborate manner that suits them best, Sharlet contends that the secretiveness is calculated, its purpose to allow The Family to fly under the radar, doing whatever they want without anyone knowing while the organization gets more and more powerful.
In a response to Boyer’s piece in a recent Harper’s magazine interview, Sharlet quipped “Lazy reporting aside, the real danger of a piece like Boyer’s is that it perpetuates unexamined claims made by the Family.”
Come and examine these claims yourself and ask Jeff Sharlet your questions on Oct 13 at 6:30PM at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center.
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