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You may have heard that this is Republican Retreat Weekend, highlighted by Mitt Romney hosting hundreds of his biggest donors in (one of) his home state(s), Utah. If you think your invitation got lost in the mail, don't worry: at least 99% of us never got one. Who will be there? Melissa will reveal some names to you near the top of our show, which is much more than we can do for the Koch brothers' convention, also taking place this weekend. Frankly, I was surprised that we ever learned that it was taking place in San Diego.
The concept of rich white men plotting America's future in a smoky backroom is a cliché grande, but this is real life in the Citizens United era. The Koch Brothers are running more of a political party, going further than they've gone before -- further, arguably, than the Sheldon Adelsons of the world to whom seasoned political observers have become inured. And it's not just about money; political transparency is a public demand which too often goes unanswered. It pervades so many aspects of our political system, our elections, and the philosophies of the parties in power. We'll be digging deep on that topic today.
Also on the menu? Discussions about HPV vaccination in South Carolina (or the lack thereof); African American migration and how that shapes the perspective of our President; and SNAP (more commonly referred to as food stamps). We'll also bring you the latest on last night's verdict in the Jerry Sandusky trial, and highlight a young Foot Soldier who spoke up this week at the Rio+20 earth summit.
Melissa will welcome:
- Jelani Cobb, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute of African American Studies at the University of Connecticut.
- Catherine Crier, former Texas judge, journalist and author of "Patriot Acts: What Americans Must Do to Save the Republi
- Peter Edelman, professor at Georgetown Law School (amongst many titles), and author of "So Rich, So Poor."
- Lee Fang, investigative reporter and freelance journalist.
- Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Alicia Menendez, co-host of Power Play on SiriusXM Cristina Radio, and host of HuffPost Live.
- Rep. Bakari Sellers, Democrat from South Carolina.
- Rachel Swarns, New York Times correspondent and author of "American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama." Read the NYT review here, and check out a short video about the book here.
We hope that you interact with us during the show here in the comments of this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #nerdland -- and encourage others to do the same. We look forward to having you join us at 10am ET on msnbc!