Find what you read here interesting? Amusing? Irritating? Subscribe. It’s free. Thanks.
The founders had no affinity for political parties and most no use for democracy either.
They did their best to create a system of governance controlled by a system of checks and balances. As far as it goes it works well. The problem is it doesn’t go far enough.
For example we saw a totalitarian-like state during the aught decade of “w.” From 2000 to 2006 all three branches of governance were controlled by GOPers. When that happens regardless of the party in control the checks and balances are cancelled out. The party, gang, majority in control affects tyranny by majority.
Then a year ago the Supremes put yet another nail in the coffin of our republic with its decision in the Citizens United case. Over the past year the consequences, intended and not, of that decision have altered the playing field and made it even less level than it was to begin.
These are just some of the week’s statistics that speak to why we are where we are.
Stunning Statistics of the Week:
- 122: Number of lobbyists who bundled donations for Democratic candidates and committees in last year’s elections
- $8.9 million: Amount those lobbyists generated
- 56: Number of lobbyists who bundled for Republican candidates in last year’s elections
- $3 million: Amount those lobbyists generated
Radio ad wars begin
These aren’t the first political ads to run in advance of the 2012 elections – the first ads started running in January – but they are pretty darned early. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee started running radio ads in 19 districts this week. Soon after, Crossroads GPS, one of the conservative groups co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, launched counter-ads.
Another loophole in the campaign finance system that needs to be fixed
Here’s a way around the campaign finance law that a number of presidential hopefuls are exploiting: Rather than establishing a federal political action committee to help pay for the cost of exploring the feasibility of running, some hopefuls are using state organizations instead. Donors give to multiple state organizations, thereby avoiding the donation limit for a single federal PAC.
New strategy hatched by campaign finance reform advocates
If you thought it was difficult to get greater disclosure of corporate campaign giving through the last Congress, then you probably realize that it’s even more of a battle now that the Republicans have taken of the U.S. House of Representatives. So a new strategy is being hatched.
Koch protest draws 1,000 participants
We told you last week about how the Koch brothers, the billionaire conservatives who backed an unsuccessful California ballot measure to suspend the state’s efforts to address climate change, planned to convene a meeting in that state to devise a conservative agenda for future elections. Common Cause, Greenpeace and other organizations protested. More than 1,000 people came out, and some were arrested. In the meantime, the anonymous environmentalists who spoofed the Kochs by launching a parody website and issuing a press release in Koch’s name saying that Koch Industries had changed its stance on climate change answered a reporter’s questions. http://www.citizen.org/
Visit www.DontGetRolled.org to learn more!
When corporations rule the day we are in trouble. When corporations rule the day profits are at an all time high, while almost 25 million Americans are without work. When corporations rule the day talking heads McConnell, Boehner, Cantor and a long shameful list of GOPers, Blue Dog Democrats and Tea Partiers read straight from corporation talking papers and continue their lapdog ways yapping all the way to the bank. Meanwhile the larger community languishes.
From Texas Red: a cratered landscape of prisons, deplorable apartheid public education, lack of healthcare and politicians and majority population intent on keeping it that way…
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Wall Street pay hits new record
Less than two years after a massive government bailout, total Wall Street compensation hit a new record of $135 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. The rise is in part the result of increased revenue, which also spiked to a record high of $417 billion.
The 82nd Legislative update:
In This Budget, No Good Options
So, who’s less essential? The abused kids, the nursing home residents, the mentally ill, the Medicaid recipients? After just two days of hearings, it’s already clear that legislators either must tap the Rainy Day Fund and raise more revenue—or they will have to employ some twisted logic to decide whose program gets cut. There will be no good options, only less bad ones.
From Education Cuts to Disputed Elections
1. Bad News Bearers
Day two of Senate Finance Committee hearings brought the human cost of the Senate’s proposed budget cuts into focus. According to Quorum Report’s John Reynolds, the commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services, Anne Heiligenstein, and Health and Human Service Commissioner Tom Suehs told lawmakers yesterday that the Senate’s original budget proposal, “would eliminate 750 positions at Child Protective Services, reduces money paid to foster parents by 12 percent, eliminates monetary help for foster parents who want to adopt and cuts by roughly 40 percent prevention programs meant to halt at-risk children’s slide into truancy, delinquency and the juvenile justice system.”
Lifestyles of the Corrupt and Elected
How do Texas legislators live large on their $7,200 salaries? Campaign funds pay for lavish perks and personal expenses, courtesy of special interests.
Opulent trips, luxurious hotels, private jets, $3,000 a month condos– No need to worry. Your legislators are doing just fine on their $7,200 a year salaries.
The F Word: Inequality drives Egyptians to streets, but ours is worse
The Year in Wall Street Investigations
Where Things Stand: Foreclosure Paperwork Scandal
The Conscience of a Liberal
Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity
Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class
Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future
Republicans map out their agenda of less
a government money can buy lock, stock and barrel….
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL | Bill Moyers Essay: The Health Care Lobby
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL | William K. Black on Fraud | PBS