Guests and Topics for Monday, March 19th 2012

Dylan Ratigan is off today. Matt Miller (@mattmillernow) will anchor from Burbank, CA.

Kicking off the show today, it’s “Dialing for Dollars,” and it looks like it’s working (for the fundraisers, anyway.) The February fundraising totals are in — President Obama raised $45 million in February, bringing his total to $300 million, and over 1.4 million people donated to Obama’s re-election campaign through the end of January. The trend we saw? Fewer numbers of big-money donors and many more small donations, usually in the $2 range. Over on the GOP side, Romney raised $11 million in February to lead the GOP field in fundraising. It can’t buy him love, but it can buy him the Illinois primary — current polling has him up by about 15 points.

Money can also buy you a lot of expensive dinners, depending on who you support. For $38,500 a plate, you can speak to the President at Tyler Perry’s Atlanta home along with Oprah. Want to talk venture capitalism with Mitt Romney at the Waldorf Astoria? We hope you got your checkbook out.  Have you always wanted to hear Vice President Joe Biden talk the plight of the middle class at John Kerry’s Georgetown mansion? Hope you’ve been saving up!

The Monday Megapanel: Imogen Lloyd Webber (@illoydwebber), Tim Carney (@tpcarney) and Sam Seder (@samseder) will be at 30 Rock. To start, the latest out of Afghanistan. Today marks nine years since the start of the Iraqi war, a war that Army Staff Seargent Robert Bales, the soldier accused of murdering at least sixteen civilians in Afghanistan, had three deployments to. New information is out about the family’s financial troubles — and they’re not the only military family having a tough time financially, especially when it comes to underwater mortgages.  We’ll also talk Apple — they’re annoucnig today that they’ll pay out a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share. This is the first time they’ve paid out a dividend since 1995!

The Specialist: “Why Nations Fail” MIT professor and renowned economist Daron Acemoglu will join us to talk about his new book, Why Nations Fail, which hits bookstores nationwide tomorrow. The questions that have stumped the experts for centuries and the authors of this book are trying to answer through hisorical context and analysis: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine? You can read more about his book at WhyNationsFail.com.

Getting Your Creative Juices Flowing – Jonah Lehrer is author of, Imagine: How Creativity Works He argues the creative process isn’t reserved for “creative” types and artists. We’re all hard-wired for creativity — we just have to encourage it! We’ll talk to him about the research findings in his new book, and some actionable steps you can take to be more creative in your life.

The Daily Rant: Keli Goff (@keligoff) is in with today’s rant — today marks the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts. She’ll talk about why it’s important to keep community based groups like this active.