For this weekend’s reading list, we have stories about how banksters have undermined the fiscal solvency of local governments, how Obama Administration policies kept 7 million Americans out of poverty last year, the racist history of criminal disenfranchisement laws, the Koch Brothers’ right wing grandfather, and the need to revive traditional investigative journalism.

If you have any feedback on these articles, or would like to recommend an article for next weekend’s reading list, please let us know at Winning Progressive’s Facebook page.

Looting Main Street – an investigation of how Wall Street banksters used predatory financial deals to undermine the fiscal solvency of cities and counties throughout the US. While the article is from March 2010, it is timely given that one of the local governments covered in the article – Jefferson County, Alabama – just filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

Poverty and Financial Distress Would Have Been Substantially Worse in 2010 Without Government Action – an analysis of Census data showing that Democratic temporary expansions of food stamps, unemployment insurance, and targeted tax credits in the 2009 stimulus bill kept 7 million Americans out of poverty in 2010.

Who Gets to Vote? – a recounting of the sordid and racist history of criminal disenfranchisement laws, which prevent four million Americans from voting due to a past criminal conviction even though they have served their time.

Empire Building – the story of the Koch Brothers’ grandfather, Harry Koch, who apparently instilled in David and Charles Koch the anti-worker, anti-government ideology that they zealously pursue today.

Confidence Game – an essay about how the modern day media focus of increasingly relying on readers to gather and share news has some benefits but ultimately cannot replace the hard-hitting, professional investigative journalism of the past.