Europe is in the grip of political and cultural deadlock after elections in France and Italy delivered a thumbs down to Germany’s virtuous austerity measures, while Greece, whose debts are a fuse for the eurozone crisis, exposed the nature of the divide. Time is running short for the survival of the euro, and as the edifice quakes, eerie signs of social unrest are shaking troubled memories. – Francesco Sisci.  More…

CALIFORNIA, the dream of dreams, the ultimate vision of America and the world, the land of the gold rush, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, is stuck. But it can and must restart its power; we must take back our future. How can we get back our prosperity, our dream? First, we must know this: The present crisis in California, in fact, is not just about its finances, it is not just about the mountain of debts threatening to crash the eighth largest economy in the world. It is about the rights of the people of California to their common wealth. More…

Africa Prebrief Cedric Muhammad: A very thoughtful and stimulating piece relevant to where we think Africa is headed this decade appeared in Forbes last week co-authored by William Mundell, the former CEO of the WEFA Group who is developing a banking franchise in Africa to fund small and mid-sized businesses and Economist Reuven Brenner who holds the Repap Chair at McGill‟s Desautels Faculty of Management, serves on the Board of McGill’s Pension Fund and Investment Committee and who has advised large funds, corporations and executed entrepreneurial ventures of his own. We include the food-for-thought article below, inserting our commentary and references to past client pieces. More…

At a recent Townhall event, under Republican pressure to cut spending, President Barack Obama defended foreign aid. He made the point that it allows “Americans to be a leader in the world, to have influence, to help stabilize countries, create opportunity for people so that they don’t breed terrorists or create huge refugee populations flows.” More…

Mickey Kaus – Newsweek – Gerrymandering foe Bill Mundell (he made a movie on the subject) argues that there’s a surprise benefit in taking away from politicians the power to carve district lines—even if a less politicized process doesn’t replace “safe” seats with more competitive districts: Even if redistricting reform doesn’t produce a single newly competitive district, taking the power to draw lines away from the party caucuses will still have a salutary effect on our representative democracy. When the line-drawing process is in the hands of the party leaders, legislators feel compelled to toe the party line to preserve their futures. If it does nothing else, redistricting reform will empower intra-party dissenters in a way that enhances the free flow of ideas that should be a normal part of the legislative process.  More…

A new documentary looks at the firestorm issue of redistricting as midterm elections near. CNN interviews Bill Mundell, Jeff Reichert and Franklin D. Gilliam Jr on Gerrymandering. More…

With the census nearly complete, states next year will redraw congressional and legislative lines. Thanks to high tech, gerrymandering–creating districts in such a way as to give particular parties or incumbents a decisive advantage–has reached a level of near perfection, with district boundaries resembling a Jackson Pollock painting on crack. Competition is critical to a functioning democracy, just as it is to free markets. As more than one wag has put it, politicians in this country pick their voters rather than the other way round. More…

Bill Mundell’s campaign to support proposition 20 and against proposition 27.

More…

The esoteric subject of who draws California’s political districts has morphed into a high-drama affair this fall, a multimillion-dollar struggle with political intrigue stretching from Sacramento to Washington and even, some suggest, to Israel. It’s a battle about power, Nancy Pelosi and control of Congress, pitting a Los Angeles billionaire against the son of Warren Buffett’s business partner. There’s racial strife and even a full-length documentary in the mix. More…

Why bother stuffing ballots when you can just draw districts to ensure your re-election? The new documentary Gerrymandering exposes what executive producer Bill Mundell calls “the most effective form of manipulating elections short of outright fraud.” Mundell sat down with Reason.tv’s Tim Cavanaugh to talk about the new documentary, the consequences of political redistricting, and what can be done to un-rig elections. More…

What “Sicko” did for Healthcare…What “Inconvenient Truth” did for global warming….a new documentary hopes to do for “Gerrymandering”…the art of having the politicians pick the voters. This is a subject that again will be on the November ballot.  More…

Right now, across the country, our two major political parties are gearing up for a once-a-decade war whose winner will control Congress for the next ten years, and possibly more. There will be battles in every state, and each will be kept carefully hidden from the prying eyes of average voters who only become more disenchanted with their government with each meaningless election. Democrats and Republicans collude to keep these skirmishes private so that they can maintain total control over the ultimate political weapon: the ability to directly determine the outcome of elections. Why bother stuffing ballots when they can just draw districts? More…