Dark Money, Oily Games & The Other Iran: June 29, 2015

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Paid Not to Drill? Not So Fast
By Carmelo Ruiz
In 2010, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa became the first national leader in the world to rule out drilling for oil in a major petroleum field for ecological reasons. Less than five years later, however, he has backtracked on his promise, and the future of the environmentally important Yasuni National Park is up in the air, as the debate rages on.

Keeping Dark Money in the Shadows
By Jon Hecht
With the Supreme Court knocking down regulations with a wrecking ball, the FEC out of commission, and an election heating up that will likely redefine the term “big money,” there are few avenues left for regulation of American elections. And now, Congress is set to close one off. 

WHO

The Iran I Saw
If you’re looking for some hope in the tectonic political and demographic shifts currently shaking the foundations of the Middle East, look no further than this fascinating story about young Iranians and their embrace of technology. Written by tech entrepreneur and author Christopher Schroeder after his second visit to the dichotomous country in the last year, this look at the tech-savvy population of Iranians under age 35—two-thirds of the entire population—paints a far different, far-more complicated picture than those paint-by-number portraits preferred by American politicians.

Former Bush Officials Teaching Course on Iraq War ‘Decision-Making’
This is NOT a story from The Onion. Yes, Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby are teaching a course this fall titled “The War in Iraq: A Study in Decision-Making.” That’s right folks… the Hertog Foundation wants “individuals who seek to influence the intellectual, civic, and political life of the United States” to apply for the course and learn key lessons about “strategery” from the very best.

WHAT

What the Crisis in Greece Means for the US and Global economies
Of course, the Washington Post looks at how the Greek Debt Crisis affects America and corporate interests around the world. It’s understandable, particularly since the contagion is spreading to Puerto Rico and China is delivering its own blow to global markets. But, beyond speculation that a possible Greek exit from the euro could be fatal to the currency, the closing of banks is hurting the Greek people and, in particular, its pensioners.

If Terrorist Attacks are on the Rise, What Does that Say about the 13-Year-Old “War on Terror”?
The Islamic State just had a “good week” insofar as it pulled off a string of deadly attacks around the Muslim world and in France. And the State Department reported a sharp increase in the overall number of attacks last year. So, with the cost of the War on Terror approaching $4.4 trillion and the pace of attacks increasing… what kinda bang for its buck is America really getting from the fight against a tactic?

WHY

Why Police Don’t Pull Guns in Many Countries
Does Canada just have nicer people in the Mounties? Are the British just too polite to shoot first and ask questions later? And how has Germany turned over a new leaf after years of infamously draconian policing under the Nazi regime and then at the hands of the Stasi in East Germany? Sure, these are different nations than the United States, but the simple fact is that those nations do a far better job of training their cops and of reaching out to the communities directly affected by policing.

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