- One Is Punished If One Steals a Goose Off the Common; But If One Steals the Common Out from Under the Goose, One Profits
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- Oh, WTF!
- The Right Tea-bags the IRS
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- Grand Bargain or Grand Sell-out
- “There are a lot of things going on that nobody seems to want to talk about. It’s a bad era. A very bad era.” ___ Jimmy Breslin
- Who Knows? The Shadow Knows *
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Category Archives: Campaigns & Elections
Katrina van den Heuvel – Excerpt from The Nation (October 26, 2012)
We’ve seen the future, and its name is Rex.
The New York Times recently profiled Rex Sinquefield, a
money-management millionaire who, with little fanfare,
has become Missouri’s top political donor. As the
Times’s Nicholas Confessore notes in his must-read
piece, Sinquefield may well be the most influential
private citizen in the state. Not for the power of his
ideas, or the strength of his organizing, but because
his money won’t shut up.
Like many in the 1 percent, Sinquefield’s top priority
is slashing his income taxes (he also fights teacher
tenure and police oversight). Missouri is one of four
states with no limits—you read that right—on donations
for state races. Sinquefield has taken full advantage
of the opportunity, spending more than $20 million on
Missouri campaigns over the past four years. This year,
he’s submitted twenty-two separate ballot referendums
to tax sales rather than income.
It was just a matter of time before Sinquefield, in his
zeal for his favored policy, would shell out for a more
favorable process as well. Sinquefield didn’t like the
ballot summary that Missouri Secretary of State Robin
Carnahan wrote for one of his referenda to abolish
income taxes. So since primary season, Sinquefield’s
been spending big on Shane Schoeller, who’s now the GOP
nominee in the open seat race to replace Carnahan. As
you may have guessed, Schoeller supports dumping the
income tax. He’s also proposed creating a bipartisan
committee of appointees that could chuck and replace
the secretary of state’s ballot summaries if supporters
take issue with them.
Whether or not you agree with him, it’s clear that
Sinquefield is well on his way to reshaping Missouri’s
legislature, its tax code, and its political process in
his own image—all by virtue of his wealth alone. As
Confessore writes, if the groups that backed Citizens
United get their way, and Congress or the Court ends
federal contribution caps, “The no-limits giving that
has let him do it might soon be coming to a campaign
Already, the current election offers a tour de force of
big money politics. If anyone still believes that our
current system rewards a focus on small donors, a new
report from the Brennan Center for Justice offers a
rude awakening. Through the end of September, in the
country’s twenty-five closest House races, Republicans
raised only 18.3 percent of their funds from donations
of less than 200 dollars; Democrats, just 12.5 percent.
And that GOP figure is skewed by Allen West’s re-
election race, which apparently inspired an upsurge of
right-wing small donor giving. In the remaining twenty-
four top races, small donors brought in just 7.6
percent of the Republicans’ cash.
This month has also brought a wave of much-needed
attention to another awful impact of Citizens United:
the legalization of political coercion at work. Mike
Elk and Mark Ames warned of this trend in a prescient
Nation cover story last year about the Koch brothers’
heavy-handed pressure on their employees to vote
Republican. As George Zornick and Lee Fang reported for
us, the trend is epidemic. It’s an affront to human
rights, and another way that the Citizens United regime
perpetuates itself, rewarding the politicians least
likely to help restore our democracy.
Rex Sinquefield offers a stark illustration of the
future that awaits us if money is treated as speech,
elections as bidding wars, and corporations as people.
Hightower recounts the ostracism experienced by two pundits who honestly reported that the Republican campaign strategy in 2012 was based on telling lies, more lies and bigger lies —
Jim Hightower (excerpt from TheNationOfChange.org):
Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein now know that lonely feeling. This teamed-up pair of political partisan observers have long been esteemed peers of the Washington punditry class. Cautious, middle-of-the-road, think-tank conservatives, they were popular on the insider talk-show circuit as reliable voices of conventional thinking. Until they went rogue.
In assessing the 2012 election, Mann and Ornstein have charged that the elite media deliberately failed to cover the biggest story of all — namely that the Republican Party and its nominees were flagrantly running a campaign of lies.
The duo was surprisingly blunt, noting that the GOP was not just practicing politics as usual, with a fib here and a prevarication there, but an orchestrated strategy of dumping bald-faced fabrications wholesale on the voting public.
“It’s the great unreported big story of American politics,” said Ornstein.
While the Democrats, too, tossed out some falsehoods, there was no comparison between them and the Republicans’ intentional, ideologically extreme perversion “of facts, evidence and science.” Yet reporters and their bosses, so fearful of being accused of taking sides, failed to make a distinction — which, after all, is their job.
“They’re so timid,” Mann said — and a timid press is a weak one. “You’re failing in your fundamental responsibility,” Ornstein said of them, asking the obvious question: “What are you there for? Your obvious job is to report the truth.”
For daring to tell the truth about the media’s abject failure, Mann and Ornstein have been blackballed. They’re no longer invited to talk on the inside-politics shows, nor have those shows even mentioned the media’s pusillanimous role in abetting the Big Lies of 2012.
The vote totals for the minor parties were not a major concern for the networks. We had hoped for more and do believe that JILL STEIN ran a fine campaign. Here are some of the results:
LIBERTARIAN Gary Johnson 1,265,000
GREEN Jill Stein 458,411
CONSTITUTION Virgil Goode 119,281
PEACE & FREEDOM Roseanne Barr 64, 620
JUSTICE Rocky Anderson 41, 204
SOCIALIST Stewart Alexander 4, 168
From the Yahoo News!
Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer has been claiming for months that state party members engineered a new law to suppress voter turnout, falsely touting voter fraud concerns to advance their mission. Now, other former Republicans and consultants are backing Greer up, The Palm Beach Post reports.
Greer, who is under indictment and accused of funneling campaign funds from the Republican Party, has been claiming that state Republicans supported a law (HB 1355)—which, in part, curtailed early voting—simply as a means to stymie the Democratic vote.
Staff and consultants “never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue,” Greer told the newspaper. “It’s all a marketing ploy.”
Election evening news focuses on the Presidency with a few minutes left for Senators and Governors. Nevertheless, lower ballot measures have proved comforting. One of which comes from the State of Montana where voters decided 3 to 1 that Corporations are NOT People.
This rejection of the Supreme Court’s preposterous holding in the Citizens United case would apparently give the Montana Legislature the power to regulate and restrict munificent donations from fatcats to politicos on the make.
What will the Repugnant Party and the Teasers make of this? Most assuredly, if they believe what they say they believe, they will defend it as an example of States’ Rights. Doubtful. The Tenthers only find the States have rights when they act to thwart human rights or fulfill corporate desires. When a State asserts a “right” to serve its people or restrain corporate interests, the dittos generally bleat in unison support of Federal pre-emption.
For example, during Bush’s reign some States asserted their right to refuse permits to power plants. The Busheviks pounced all over these would-be Jeffersonians to deny such States’ Rights and insist that only the Feds (Damn Yankees) could decide where power was generated, or waste discharged.
Likewise, States which have had the temerity to legalize marijuana for medical use have witnessed Federal Prosecutors who believed they were the Law. Licensed regulated marijuana dispensers in full compliance with State law have been spirited away by Feds who cared not a whit for the Tenth Amendment.
We hope that Montanans will have started the parade which other States will join: “Citizens United” can be overturned by United Citizens.
No, seriously, how hot is the fact that ARIZONA has elected the nation’s very first Bisexual Congressperson to the U.S. House of Representatives.
KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-ARIZONA)
Arizona did its best to keep its Latino, African-American and Native American communities from voting on November 6. Many were forced to cast “provisional ballots” which then the authorities proposed to discard. Nevertheless, the votes came in and their disposal avoided resulting in piles of uncounted votes left over. The State is now in the process of counting these ballots. One of the beneficiaries has been Kyrsten Sinema who came from behind to win. Sinema had previously served in the Arizona Legislature, worked with her MSW as a social worker, and then as a defense attorney with her JD and then tied it up with a PhD. Good looking and smart . . . how hot is that!