Archive for April, 2010

PUBLIC FUNDING OF ELECTIONS, 4-29-2010

Thursday, April 29th, 2010



Sick?   Yes, but this is the way our government works and has always worked.


Never mind that Congress currently has one of the lowest ratings ever in the polls ( ~ 17%).
Ratings a few years ago were even lower ( ~ 9%) and little has changed other than the exchange of one party, on the take, for another, also on the take.

We citizen voters allow this to happen, and then bitch about the results.

Our economy has tanked many times in our 250 yr history, the latest in 2008.   Hardly news.
How did this last debacle happen?  Legislators deregulated derivatives overseen by the Commodities Exchange in the 90’s and dumped Glass Steagall regulations, put in place in 1934 to rule against the very things that brought the 1929 crash.

Once again, this established the monetarist policies that caused the economy to destabilize so many times since the Fed was established in 1913.   Deregulation has never worked for the common good and doesn’t work now.  Obviously.
Yet we elected the same legislators back into office who embrace  the same lethal monetarist policies in response to their corporate contributors’ demands.  And we do so under the same lethal terms, allowing them to be bought off by special interests.

And the results are the same again, and again; the economy tanks and taxpayers pick up the bill. Wealth polarizes, ordinary citizens pay the bills and watch their incomes drop off.

These monetarist, libertarian policies only work for the wealthy.

We bitch and moan but things remain the same:
The same special interest money buys influence.
The same blatant demands are issued that Congress serve special, corporate interests over the common good.
The same nonsense statements are made by Congress that their influence is not for sale.
And the same results: Congress serves the special interests that pay its way.
The same taxpayers pick up the pieces and bailout the failures.
The same voters blame government for the failure that resulted from their own refusal to become seriously involved in government policy making.

Change?  It’s the same;  –  spare change, rather than representative government.

If we want change, Real change, legislators must be publicly funded from tax money.
No gratuities, no donations, no golf trips, no plane rides….. No contributions  other than that provided from public revenues.

The total cost for this to the public is estimated to run from $10 to $25/year per registered voter – cheap for representative government!
The higher figure is more than enough to fully fund the same circus we witnessed in the 2008 presidential election cycle.

This will probably have to be done by calling a National Convention to place Public Funding as the 28th amendment to the Constitution.

Work on this front is already underway by several organizations.   Some may be seen by visiting the sites listed below.
Check it out.

The Greenbacker

http://fixcongressfirst.org/

www.publicampaign.org/

www.opensecrets.org/

movetoamend.org/



MORE CATO LIBERTARIAN HOGWASH! 4-23-2010

Friday, April 23rd, 2010




Do you agree with CATO’s statement about corporate America?

“It’s businessmen — not bureaucrats or environmental activists — who deserve most of the credit for the       environmental gains over the past century and who represent the best hope for a Greener tomorrow.”

If so, you’ll love Peabody Coal and the 2000 miles of streams they have filled in thru mountaintop removal.

You’ll love former minority whip and 2004 Pres. candidate Dick Gephart, once a lobbyist who advocated for Peabody Coal  and the pharmaceutical companies  – Of course that was before becoming a lobbyist advocating for Goldman Sachs, as he is currently.

You’ll love Massey Energy for it’s inattention to the hundreds, hundreds, of violations it ignored before  it’s latest mine failure that killed 29 miners.

You’ll also love Union Carbide and it’s now owner DOW chemical for the Bhopal incident that cost thousands of lives and for which they still refuse to take responsibility.   The issue has just been settled 6/2010:  7 of the original 8 malefactors were sentenced to 2 years in prison and fined $2300 each.  Upwards of 30,000 lives were lost in the incident 20 odd years ago.

You’ll love GE and the Poisoning of  ~ 200 miles of the Hudson River w/ tons of  PCB’s dumped therein.

You’ll love the nuclear industry for dumping their nuclear waste in the Mediterranean and Indian oceans,  that have  poisoned and killed nameless and voiceless people from 3rd world countries.

You’ll love the lobbyists  hired by the fishing  industry to force the FDA to ignore elevated Mercury content and other toxins in fish that  lead experts to warn against eating them,  some in any quantity.

You’ll love the energy corporations that impede development of sustained energy so their profits from petroleum sales won’t be interrupted.

And you’ll love EXXON/MOBIL for the Massive oil spill in Valdez, AK….  And BP, it remains to be seen just how we may thank them for their Gulf oil spill.

And you’ll love, was it corporate America? (yes it was), that dumped so much of its waste into Ohio’s Cuyahoga River that it would periodically catch on fire!  The river! Catch on fire!   Over and over again!

Fires occurred on the Cuyahoga River in 1868, 1883, 1887, 1912, 1922, 1936, 1941, 1948, and in 1952. The 1952 fire caused over 1.5 million dollars in damage.

Yes. We owe Corporate America a lot, but perhaps not our ‘thanks’.

Oh yes! And you’ll love CATO Institute for its publication and promotion of the many distortions offered by Corporate America and the Libertarians, lobbyists and neo-cons that spin them.

Thanks CATO!  As a premiere right wing spin organization, you are doing a great job!

The Greenbacker

CC CATO