So far this month, Popular Information exposed Trump's new "media company" as a $10 billion mirage, revealed how right-wing activists in Tennessee are trying to stop second graders from learning about Martin Luther King Jr., and documented how corporate greed is contributing to inflation.
Today, however, I want to hear from you. What are your hopes (and fears) for 2022? What topics would you like to see Popular Information take on?
You can leave your thoughts in the discussion thread linked below, starting now. I’ll be dropping by to participate in the discussion and answer your questions at 1 PM Eastern, for about an hour.
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Please investigate Joe Manchin for conflicts of interest beyond the dividends he receives from coal stocks. (His defence: It’s in a blind trust, which is no excuse, but it’s not going to be news.) His yacht; his money; there has to be more there. He’s undermining a multi trillion dollar bill for poorly justified reasons, and threatening the midterms, making Dems look like idiots. Could he have ulterior motives? He must know dems are appearing incapable of governing, which would be a goal of McConnell, not a democrat. He’s hurting his constituents in West Virginia who are poor and need the child credit. So why is he doing it? Thanks.
First, thanks again for the journalism you do here at Popular Information.
There are so many stories and themes that I appreciate that you do. But I think in 2022, one of the important things will be the kinds of work you did in your story in the truth about inflation a few weeks ago. Your story exposed, not only corporate greed and basically profiteering off the pandemic but also how the story of "rising inflation" was being reported unquestioned in much of the news and headlines.
In an election year, especially this first one post January 6, it seems there will be a lot lot lot of noise, fear, manipulation, and falsehood that will make it into the newstream, intentionally and unintentionally, as part of some politicians' desire to acquire or hold power at any cost, including that of democratic rights such as an accurately informed vote in a free and fair election.
So I guess I'm saying please continue what you are doing because the need for it is going to be in high in 2022.
I am curious as to what corporate ties or funding is related to the Supreme Court Justices and the Federalist Society that chose them.
My top concerns are, in roughly this order: protecting voting rights; locking up insurrectionists and those in the Trump administration and Congress who conspired with them; passing BBB; encoding Roe v. Wade into statutory law; and taking steps beyond what's in BBB to fight global warming.
VOTING RIGHTS. GERRYMANDERING. If we don’t get a handle on these two things, all is lost.
I am wondering how the ‘news/political operatives’ like Ingram and Hanity at Fox can be more fully exposed for breaching every journalistic norm? And whether the Fox station has violated norms of truthfulness associated with their right to broadcast under FCC rules? Where is the accountability for the privilege of using national airways paid for by ALL Americans?
And it’s not inflation. It’s corporate price gouging to increase corporate profit that then creates inflation at the retail level. I know you covered it, but it needs to become a drum beat.
My biggest fear for 2022 is that we will go another year without seeing little donnie doing time. The most perilous of times must be matched by the most serious consequences.
Don’t leave history to wonder why we kept wringing our hands and saying Ain’t it Awful.
Dems messaging is weak, ineffective, and inconsistent. A. They should focus on voting rights and show images of old people (men, women, all races) having their ballots discarded. Seniors vote. B. Infrastructure was a big deal. Dems don't sell it; C. Biden ran on decency. Dems should have viral, consistent marketing appealing to Mom's about decency and their kids and the future. GOP are effective culture war fighters, Dems aren't. There is no excuse for that.
#1 remains the same. Find out who paid off Brett Kavanaugh's debts. There has to be a paper/ electronic trail.
#2 Merrick Garland. He had ties to Federalist Society and let's get a clear look at the DoJ and its thus far seeming lukewarm response to Jan. 6 and the Trump family dealings including Duetsch Bank, Saudi Arabia, Russia.
I am wondering how Joe Manchin can best be exposed as the POS he is (on a bi-weekly basis)?
Also the new acronym for ‘22 is COOP (Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding).
Voting rights. It should be the top issue. Nothing else will matter if this is not dealt with. And so all the rest is noise without this. There is no country, no constitution, no USA without voting rights. Without voting rights the next years will make the past five look like a vacation.
Teaching faculty positions at US colleges have been increasingly staffed by adjuncts, around 70% in many cases. Why are there so few fully contracted faculty currently and how much of the budget is being consumed by administrative budgets in comparison? How many administrators actually have teaching experience and understand how their policies affect teachers, students and classrooms? What was the percentage of adjuncts 30 years ago?
Good news! For Republicans: Their direct, relentless assaults on the foundations of our democracy are steadily succeeding, as states suppress votes, gerrymander, and contrive ways to OVERTURN election results.
Yet, with the midterms just 11 months away, the Freedom to Vote Act -- which would counter that sabotage and achieve much more -- remains stalled out in the Senate, hostage to the filibuster.
Implementing and enforcing the Act could be a lengthy process. Republican midterm wins would/will be a massive catastrophe of historic proportions.
How come getting the Act passed PRONTO is not Job #1 for the Senate? For Biden? For all of us, who can be hammering our Senators & the White House about this?
MLK's reflection on the civil rights movement speaks directly to this: ". . . the greatest tragedy . . . was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."
Please apply your laser focus to this grave and worsening crisis, which is playing out in broad daylight as the clock runs out.
Always follow the money. Who funded the 1/6 insurrection, and the all the Big Lie shenanigans in its lead-up?
I enjoy reading your newsletters and the focus many bring to money in politics. I always wonder about the military budget. No matter how "bad" our debt is, there is absolutely no debate among Democrats or Republicans about throwing even more money to them (this year $25 billion or $68 million per day!). Yet for every new weapon system all I ever see is how excessive the cost per unit seems, how late it is, how it doesn't perform, how we need to spend more to fix the problem, etc. Is that true? Are the military contractors taking us for a ride? If so, which CEO's are milking us the most? Are hedge funds active in this space, maximizing their take while making the taxpayer foot the bill? Maybe my impression from the news is wrong and all is dandy in military procurement. Would love to see some analysis of this.
This might be more of a long-term idea but I'm concerned about the fate of the middle class in the US. There's a housing bubble and I see corporate investors snapping up properties all over the country., sustaining the boom and pushing ordinary people who want to live in those properties out of the market. Big corporations control more and more of people's lives, many hold monopolies on goods, services and information, wages are low, employment benefits hard to come by. It seems we're headed for a feudal system where "workers" are beholden to corporations for where they live, where they buy essential services and how much they pay for them. Nobody stands up for normal people. Instead, politicians of both parties look bought and paid for and refuse to do anything about breaking up the big monopolistic players. I believe capitalism is the best system but the US has lost the balance. For most of us normal people, hard work isn't paying off.
What are the 2-3 best actions one person can take to protect election integrity in 2022? If it is writing letters or contributing money, to whom should I write? And which organizations are being the most cost effective in protecting election integrity (or voter registration, which I believe are intertwined)
I find myself sometimes avoiding reading your articles because I can't take it. The word balance comes to mind. You guys are REALLY GOOD at digging, finding, exposing. And I'm super interested and so grateful for that! You haven't written about topics I've submitted here so I'm asking for a psychological addition to your work instead.
I know a lot of politicians and corporations are greedy or corrupt. However, there MUST be good ones, too, right? How is this balance reflected in your work? Are you ever mindfully acknowledging those that do right? Or is it a constant window into negative, horrible and bad truth?
In life there is balance. I truly appreciate your work but if you want me to read it consistently, you'll need to add a couple morsels of good once in a blue moon stuff to keep me going.
Heading into work and just wanted to say that I believe our biggest problem is that all media are not focused on the criminal nature of what GOP and right wing media are doing to undermine democracy. Too many times, major media presents the issue as having value on both sides.
Why isn’t the FCC acting to stop / limit “broadcasting” by Fox / OANN / Newsmax of all the lies and misinformation? Like regulating social media algorithms that “amplify” hate speech or violent threats, it seems to me that we won’t stop the current disintegration of our public discourse without returning extremism back to the fringe…
Your work on current high inflation and its roots in corporate greed is so vital, and the newspapers I read (the NYT and a local paper that relies on the USA Today aand AP networks for its national content) show no awareness of this. The NYT last weekend had a piece marveling that the stock market was going up despite inflation. (No, it's not despite but because of exploitative price increases/inflation, per your info. on what's feeding the high profits that are raising areas of the stock market.) And its front pages were showing how high inflation is, explaining it with the reasons those greedy corporations are claiming explain it all--supply-chain issues, scarcer products, labor shortages. All those are real, but as you showed, not enough to explain the rate of increase. Journalists are saying how bad the inflation is for Biden and for Democrats' election prospects. Huge stakes here. Very frustrating that national outlets aren't picking up on that important work of yours!
I am so grateful I found you! I deeply appreciate the attention to detail in all your reporting. Keep doing what your doing! Follow the money and stay safe while doing so!
Corporate malfeasance is top on my list. As a case in point: the insurer, UNUM, recently doubled the monthly premium for long term care from under $100/mo to over $200/mo. Many if not most of the insured are now retired and that increase is impossible to meet on a social security income. The 30 years we have paid into the plan will evaporate if we cannot afford the increase. We bought into the assurance that premiums would never increase. The company states that the increase is legal since it is all of the insured who are affected and has been approved by the attorney general. The CEO brings home $13 million per year. Many of us will have to drop the plan, kiss our old age security good by and walk away from $20-50K worth of premiums paid in over the last several
decades. The company offers to reduce premiums if the insured agrees to switch to a greatly reduced benefit. This is so wrong, yet it will be allowed to happen because corporate America owns the legislators.
Get to the bottom of the claims that notation and the lack of and or shortage of supplies and stock on the shelves is the fault of this President. Also - Please address the lack of brain power currently in the Senate , where an overblown budget for military gets passed but something for the public good doesn’t. And I do not want to see any words about how that huge military spending budget is the the public good.
You are one of the only news outlets I trust.
I think main stream media news is billionaire owned brainwashing propaganda. How can they be called news?
I won't watch it, I haven't watched the "news" in decades. Yet it's the news source for most Americans. This is what frightens me. Doesn't matter what the truth is, most Americans will never know because the billionaires control most of the news outlets. Scary
If feasible, would it be possible to look into how not telling the US's real history will continue to indoctrinate the next generations of youth and how this will leave our Democracy routinely in peril.
Or, dig in and find out why Manchin & Sinema do not want all voters, especially Black & Brown ppl to vote.
Or, why the fillibuster is part of the Confederate hold on our Democracy, still.
Great work as always Judd. I would like to see more about Manchin and Sinema as well. They aren't true democrats and their obstruction is ruining everything. It seems like they are more concerned with their own interests and making a name for themselves, rather than helping their constituents and doing what they were elected to do. Also what's going on with the Dominion lawsuits? Has there been any movement there?
My fears are that too many Democrats and Left leaning folks will ignore the midterms and that the GOP will win back the Senate and the House and that voting rights will be lost forever.
I still want to see journalist do a deep dive on my Congressman, Brian Fitzpatrick. He's close friends with Jim Worthington who was paid a visit by the FBI over Jan 1. He occasionally votes with Dems so that the media gives him a pass and lets him pretend to be bipartisan, which he most definitely is not. There's so much smoke there surrounding him, but no one want to look for the fire because he appears bland and boring. Not a sexy story because he isn't one of frothing at the mouths GQP. No instead I think he's more of a McConnell, which can be so much worse.
Climate change initiatives n powerful opposition forces
The information Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has on the dark money sources in politics and how the money is used to get what the Federalist Society wants. Unless this information is parsed out so that the public can grasp what is happening, it will be extremely difficult to escape this noose. You, Judd, would be an excellent person to expose these levers in ways that we the people can see how democracy is being suffocated.
My fears for 2022 are that not enough will continue to be done on a global scale to combat COVID and climate change and that the people from the least developed countries will continue to most acutely feel the pain of our collective inaction. I really don't see us improving on these fronts.
Why is Biden breaking his promise to cancel student debt, whether all or partially?
Second to voting rights is the necessity for the Attorney General and the Justice Department to bring charges against those who planned the January 6th insurrection. Third: ethics and disclosure rules for SCOTUS. Finally, laws forbidding social media companies’ use of algorithms that feed into our lowest instincts, along with holding them to the same standards as journalists because once they steer discussions they are no longer neutral conveyors of communications.
I'm interested in rising censorship and journalist's repression in the US
Can a two-party system in a country this large survive, given that social media/media thrive by convincing gop that dems are evil and vice versa? How can we change our system so that coalitions are encouraged to seek common ground? How do healthy democracies do it? Thank you for your excellent work!
Voting rights, indeed. If the right succeeds in their voter suppression, gerrymandering, and setting up that Republican Legislatures can simply overturn elections, we will be hammered by unethical minority rule for at least 10 years. I'd leave the country but I'm on social security and could never afford to do so.
Can you investigate how the Alt Right (and accompanying white supremacists) are NOT, as Bill Maher and other have suggested, "mostly Baby Boomers"? I'm a blue dot in a very red area and I regularly see Millennials at anti-vaxxer and pro-open carry protests.
Try to find ways to defeat disinformation. The right wing has already built a disinformation juggernaut, and they know that lying gives them a running head start on every issue. The right wing, along with Russia and China and other authoritarian forces have been running a psyop on the American people. Even well meaning Dem's are guilty of spreading disinformation. What kind of money/power is behind the mainstream media's refusal to call out the lies. "Messaging" is useless against a tsunami of disinformation.
Please stay on the issue of voting rights in this country. Nothing is more important than mobilizing fair-minded citizens to fight for and preserve our system of government. If we start down this slippery slope, we will mostly likely lose it all.
In Alberta where the hospitalization rate is 34.81% fully vaccinated and 3.87 partially vaccinated and 61.33% vaccinated. Many unvaccinated people think this means that the vaccine doesn't really do much or is only about twice as good (34.81% vs 61.33%) than not getting it. However our full vaccination rate (2 shots+ 14 days wait time) for the population is 89.4% for 18 and over closing in on 80% for 12 to 18 year old's and we are at 24.3% on 5-11 year old's first shots which just started being given a couple weeks ago. When the Hospitalization numbers are layered over the difference in size of the vaccinated and non vaccinated populations it shows that the vaccines are closer to 15 times better than being vaccinated. Can you do an article on statics showing these trends. I can do the math but I can't put the words together in a way that clearly shows how huge a deal vaccination really is.
Please compare and contrast the British and American political environments and their impact on division (very little in the UK other than the anomaly of Brexit). In particular, the UK limits how much can be spent by a candidate to get elected, and a fairness doctrine exists to balance the time allocated to political parties in national media. The result is far less division, and a multi-party system that discourages extreme polarization (I have been politically active in both the UK and the US). I now live in deeply red SW Missouri and it is deeply offensive to my British sense of fair play that gerrymandering has resulted in one party rule here for 18-years and it is even worse in some other former confederate states with seemingly no recourse to change it. Thanks for your work Judd. It is very valuable.
I enjoy the way you keep digging out who’s donating to republicans that support authoritarianism but let’s dig deeper into who’s funding people like Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott and the other crazy right wing governors and what we can do as grass roots in each state to stop them.
My fear is that the least of us will continue to be swept away into dark corners to die while those that make the policies stand on a stage and pretend that they're separate entities. I only hope that people begin to learn that they have more power than they realize, and how to channel it to help their communities. It'd be pretty neat to see you do a collab with Discontents. Thanks for all that you do.
Nothing seems to be able to get through the Senate not only because of Republicans but Democrat Senators Manchin and Sinema. Who is funding these two senators? Do they care more about their donors than the country? I would like to see these two Senators investigated. They are more concerned about the ultra rich not having to pay more taxes than helping working class people. If we don't pass federal voting right now we may lose democracy. We also need to pass Build Back Better to help working class people, Manchin and Sinema continue to stand in the way of these important bills.
Job #1: voting rights!
Voting rights and "audits", Roe, killing education by a thousand cuts, manipulation of the judiciary, convenient vigilante laws, money used to vote for policy... it's all part of a package being worked on as long as I can remember. As heinous as Jan 6 was, it was a terrible sideshow to cover what Republicans and "conservatives" have been doing behind the scenes. While the mob tramps out in "tactical" gear and khakis, the real work is being done in power suits, pearls and judges robes. Add the continuous stream of media noise dressed up as news, and the unwillingness of those who should be defending us at the highest levels to get their knuckles bruised and do so - mostly fearing how they think they'll appear in media - sets our people and our republic up for disaster, if not willingly, for certain ignorantly. When I was young we made quite a show of denouncing other countries for doing the very things we're doing now to our own people.
At age 53 I discovered I was trans and the road ahead was painful. I’ve dealt with that and the medical and personal costs. What I can’t deal with is murder. There’s an epidemic in the US of transgender murder. People are killed for trying to live a fulfilling life. One that brings the constitutional promises to fruition. Most killed are trans women of color. Republicans are routinely targeting young people, destroying lives of the most vulnerable for political gain. Shine a light on the plight of the smallest minority in the US
My only comment is that while I often don't read your emails, I read every post and reply you make on Twitter in my Twitter feed, so don't take my email non-opens as non-interest. I think you are great and I'm glad I'm able to subscribe and help pay you for your valuable work.
Thanks for your great work Judd - I'm always sharing your investigations.