Author Archives: Hamilton Richards

About Hamilton Richards

I retired in 2006 as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. These days I volunteer technical support for Citizens' Climate Lobby (Austin chapter), Common Ground for Texans, (, Integrity Texas (, and several friends.

CG4TX January 2018 meeting: “Endorsed by God? Blending Religion and Politics”

Our first meeting of 2018 took place on Saturday, January 6, at the Old Quarry branch library at 7051 Village Center Dr. The meeting took the form of a panel discussion on something deeply embedded in American democracy: separation of church and state. In recent … Continue reading

Posted in Common Ground meetings, Legislation | Leave a comment

How to Unplug the Electoral College and Eliminate Gerrymandering

Two prominent topics in yesterday’s monthly CG4TX meeting (12 November) were the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact as a way to neutralize the Electoral College, which allows a candidate to win the Presidency while losing the popular vote, as happened in the … Continue reading

Posted in Electoral reform | Leave a comment

“How American Politics Went Insane”

That’s the title of an insightful article by Jonathan Rauch in the July/August 2016 issue of The Atlantic. Mr. Rauch contends that a leading cause of the dysfunction of American politics and government is the well-intended reforms that dismantled much of the informal machinery … Continue reading

Posted in Civility in Politics, Moderation in government, Tea Party | Leave a comment

Webinar on Money in Politics, Voting Rights, and the Environment

A webinar, “Lean to the Green,” produced by Friends of the Earth, addresses the twin problems of money in politics and voter suppression. The webinar is designed to recruit participants in the Democracy Awakening event scheduled to take place April 16–18 (Common … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate influence, Events, Money in Politics, Voting rights | Leave a comment

Gilens and Page Come to YouTube

[youtube][/youtube] This great video, by, dramatizes the study by Professors Martin Gilens (Princeton University) and Benjamin I. Page (Northwestern University) which shows that public opinion has “near-zero” impact on U.S. law. Can you guess what ha$ non-zero impact on U.S. law?

Posted in Clean Elections, Money in Politics | Leave a comment

“Let Us Now Praise Corporate Persons”

“Let Us Now Praise Corporate Persons” is the attention-getting title of a Washington Monthly  article by Kent Greenfield, a professor of law and Dean’s Research Scholar at Boston College Law School. The article’s sub-head gives the gist: Citizens United was a bad … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutional Amendment, Corporate influence, Corporate Personhood, Supreme Court | 2 Comments

Corporate Political Influence: It’s Not Only About Money

Two articles in Washington Monthly’s current issue deal with another dimension of  corporate influence in Congress. In the first article, “A New Agenda for Political Reform,” authors Lee Drutman and Steven Teles detail how legislators and their staffs have become so outmatched in the … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate influence | Leave a comment

CG4TX Meeting Postponed

The meeting scheduled for today (10 January 2015), “What is Corruption in a Political Context,” was to be held at the Yarborough Branch of the Austin Public Library. The city has announced that because of the current winter storm warning, … Continue reading

Posted in Common Ground for Texans, Events | Leave a comment

Can political corruption be beaten by satire?

[youtube width=”855″ height=”475″][/youtube]

Posted in Clean Elections, Money in Politics | Leave a comment