[Editor’s note: Today’s morning mail included the article below by Zach Carter at CFAC. It included some wonderfully revealing graphics and charts showing which members of congress are benefiting from the financial rape of America and the destrucion of our middle class by the Sauronic villains of Wall Street.
Crony Capitalism: Wall Street’s Favorite Politicians
By Zach Carter
A full 90 members of Congress who voted to bailout Wall Street in 2008 failed to support financial reform reining in the banks that drove our economy off a cliff. But when you examine campaign contribution data, it’s really no surprise that these particular lawmakers voted to mortgage our economic future to Big Finance: This election cycle, they’ve raked in over $48.8 million from the financial establishment. Over the course of their Congressional careers, the figure swells to a massive $176.9 million.
The complete list of these Crony Capitalists is below, along with the money they pulled in from Big Finance, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org). The career data goes back to 1989. Of the 69 House members who voted with Wall Street on both the bailout and financial reform, 60 are Republicans, while nine are Democrats. All 21 Senators who voted with Wall Street on both issues are Republicans, and Republicans raked in over 90 percent of the total campaign contributions. [At right above] is a chart showing Wall Street’s total contributions to this crowd for the 2010 cycle, by political party:
And here’s one showing total Wall Street contributions over the course of their careers:
Read the rest at Crony Capitalism: Wall Street’s Favorite Politicians | OurFuture.org.
I’m not a fan of Katy Perry nor do I have anything against her. I’ve never heard her sing or whatever it is that she does. Like everyone else with a television tuned to cable news this week I became immersed in her cleavage, not an entirely unpleasant thought.
The story is that she appeared on Sesame Street and revealed what they said was a bit too much cleavage, and was tossed off the show.
I’m no longer a regular viewer of Sesame Street and haven’t been since my son Kevin was crawling around on the living room floor wearing pajamas with feet on them. (that may or may not still be true.) He’s pushing 40 now so it’s been a while since I’ve been exposed to the Sesame characters or my son’s pajamas.
I do think the Sesame people are guilty of holding to a double standard here and I ran across photographic evidence of the fact this morning at The Nayshun where they dare to ask the question that’s on everyone’s mind in these last desperate days before the midterm elections… Does Katy Perry Show More Cleavage than Miss Piggy?
America you tell me.
[Editor’s note: Contrary to the bleatings of the religious right and the pandering prattle of the hordes of hypocritical office seekers groveling for their votes I believe the problem is not a lack of religion but too damn much of it. Below is my response to Obama ‘Christian By Choice’: President Responds To Questioner at Huffington Post. Bob Higgins]
Obama’s religion, or lack of it, is of no interest to me whatsoever. If I had a choice in the matter, Presidents would attend to the constitution and refuse to address the subject of their personal religious views or preferences.
Article 6 of the Constitution unambiguously prohibits religious tests for holding public office: (more…)
[Editor’s note: Until we eliminate the idea that corporations are people and have the rights of citizens under the law we will be forced to deal continually with criminal actors like BP. If John Gotti had had the same access to the legal and lobbying talent, as well as the influence in congress and money as BP, he would not have died in prison. Bob Higgins]
By Marian Wang ProPublica
The Justice Department has decided not to revoke probation that the government had imposed on BP as part of an agreement to address safety violations at the company’s Texas City refinery, site of a deadly 2005 explosion. The decision comes despite a government warning earlier this year that it might revoke the company’s probation if BP failed to address the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s continuing concerns about safety at the refinery.
Since a blast at the refinery in 2005 killed 15 workers, BP has faced both criminal and civil actions for violations identified in investigations after the accident. As part of its plea agreement to resolve the criminal charges it faced after the 2005 blast, BP was given three years’ probation. (more…)
A response to Harry Shearer’s NPR vs. The Big Uneasy: A Question of Fear? at Huffington Post:
NPR was among the many agencies and pieces of the federal government, dismantled, nearly destroyed, hamstrung and hobbled by the Cheney / Bush administration.
Through a combination of underfunding and the appointment of people who were ideological enemies of the very agencies to which they were appointed,Cheney/ Bush set out to destroy and/ or place in private control as much of the government as possible.
Much of the mania for privatization and deregulation began under Reagan and continued under Clinton but the effort really took wing under the watchful, Sauronic eye of Dick Cheney and son.
The evisceration of NPR is apparent in the treatment of your film and it’s blatantly obvious in the advertising/ funding credits at the beginning and end of each show. I shudder every time I see David Koch’s name attached to an environmental or historical feature.
In many ways, once in Republican hands NPR was on its way to becoming the Conservapedia of public programming.
I’ve long felt that politically ambitious generals are a serious danger to the republic and a dire threat to liberty. For that reason all generals, the entire military, must be kept under firm civilian control. Their duty is to fight when and where and only when and where the civilian leadership, elected by the people, directs them to fight.
Dwight Eisenhower might have said the same thing and, in fact, implied it with this warning in his farewell address upon leaving the White House in 1961:
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” Dwight Eisenhower Farewell Address 17 January 1961
When generals begin to call press conferences and make statements about diplomatic or defense policy or to disagree publicly with the National Command Authority they need to be slapped to attention and quickly retired and replaced. Harry Truman recognized the importance of this central principle of our democracy when he cashiered Douglas MacArthur. (more…)
In my experience the same Republicans who preach so loudly about fiscal responsibility and living within ones budget are nearly always at the front of the line at the great American public appropriations buffet. They address the cameras with carefully powered faces twisted into expressions of shock and concern, their mouths dripping with pecuniary piety and repeat the same mantra over and over again.
They accuse the Democratic Party of being the party of “tax and spend” and pontificate about the way they will save America by cutting taxes on the wealthy, cutting services to those who need and deserve them, then, with open grasping palms, flee into the back rooms with their lobbyist masters and grovel for their cut of the loot.
“The complaints to provincial election commissions have so far included video clips showing ballot stuffing; the strong-arming of election officials by candidates’ agents; and even the handcuffing and detention of election workers. NYT”
No, no, this is not from an old news story about the vote counting in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004, it’s from a story in yesterday’s New York Times about the stunning progress we are making in our creation of a western style democracy in Afghanistan.
“But in the important southern province of Kandahar, where election officials threw out 76 percent of the ballots in last year’s badly tainted presidential election, candidates accused the president’s influential half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, of drawing up a list of winners even before the Sept. 18 election for Parliament was carried out. NYT“
Looks good so far, I think we’ve taught them nearly everything we know and everything they need to know. USAID is said to be launching a crash program to train the Afghan Parliament to more effectively use lobbyists in their everyday affairs and how to properly proofread and approve legislation drawn up by heroin farmers and other Afghan and American business interests. (more…)
Response to Jason Linkins: Colbert’s Congressional Act Panned By Reporters
“The media came in today bound and determined to make their narrative — “OUTRAGE! Stephen Colbert addresses Congress ‘in character'” — stick, and thus far they have managed to keep it up despite the fact that it’s not, as they say, “true.” Jason Linkins Huffington Post.
What’s the beef? That Colbert addressed this collection of some of our most venal characters in character? That a comedian addressed congress? That for a few minutes someone injected a bit of truth laced with satirical wit into our hallowed lower chamber of mendacity? (more…)
When Target spent $150,000 to support a Minnesota politician who favors anti-gay legislation, thousands of people decided to boycott the big-box chain. But instead of simply shopping elsewhere, these activists turned to the popular musical-style TV show, GLEE, for inspiration. With choreography, a catchy tune, and Target accessories as props, they took shoppers and employees by surprise. From Yes Magazine.
|Target Ain’t People|
I read about the Target campaign contributions and resulting boycott a couple weeks ago but I missed this wonderful video.
I’ve always admired agit-prop protests and considered them to be among the most attention getting and effective ways to point out the truth about official or private wrong doing.
If you agree that corporations aren’t people with human rights and the right to control our public affairs by buying government, its institutions and the people we pay to represent our interests, take a minute and to the petition at Target Boycott.Org
Tea Party Script Written In Washington (VIDEO)
On the large scale I witness this every day on cable news. It doesn’t matter what issue or event they happen to be addressing for the cameras republicans all sound as if they checked a copy of the official script from the office of republican message control and wrote it on their hands.
On a smaller more personal scale, my brother has become a bipedal parrot who repeats republican and teabagger, talking points and Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Glen Beck aphorisms nearly every waking moment of his tortured delusional life.
The only good news for me is I don’t have to feed him crackers.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Bill Maher’s latest effort is brilliant and fuunnny. Go read it.
I would like to put the obscenely wealthy in the Super Dome, just pack them in, and have them listen to a recording of Bill Maher reading this post on a continuous loop for eternity.
Well at least a couple of days, without bathroom breaks or refreshments.
What a wonderful read, it should be set to music, I’d like to be able to hum along
Bill Maher: at HuffingtonPost
Check out Taylor Marsh’s Huff Post piece on the Dem’s flight from a confrontation on the playground of slime. My thoughts on this disgrace below:
Just in case there was any question, FDR and Harry Truman are as dead as Jefferson and Madison, as dead as Generalissimo Franco.
Harry Truman once said this:
“I don’t like bipartisans. Whenever a fellow tells me he’s bipartisan, I know that he’s going to vote against me.”
Harry was thought to be showing signs of life but that’s just because he’s spinning in his grave while the Democrats are on life support following a long term bout with a terminal illness called “bipartisanship.”
Harry also said this:
“When voters are given a choice between voting for a Republican, or a Democrat who acts like a Republican, they’ll vote for the Republican every time.”
I’m going to the polls to vote for the dumb asses anyway. I hope I’m not lonely. What the hell, I’m a Cubs fan and a Browns fan…and…a Democrat.
The so called free market seems to be driving the fundamentalist push in Texas to revise the histories of the state, the country, the world, and now Islam to reflect the views and protect the sensibilities of Baptists, evangelicals and deep south fundamentalists in general.
Should you find that your kids are coming home spouting a lot of junk history and religious claptrap filtered through some deep fried fundamentalist lens, blame the Texas State Board of Education and the text book publishers who pee their pants when the board snaps their fingers or passes a resolution.
“The sheer size of Texas’ textbook market means that the state’s requirements and sensitivities have considerable influence on what publishers produce.” Texas school board debates ‘pro-Islamic’ bias in textbooks ” Kari Huus
Texas buys enormous quantities of textbooks. The market says that the biggest most profitable customers get what they want. Texas wants to decide what is, or is not, historical truth. The market decides who will write history. (more…)
Yes “it needs fixing now,” but I would suggest that there will be no fix forthcoming when the regulators are chosen from among the rock stars of the industry being regulated.
The choice of Elizabeth Warren to be central to the process is encouraging, the departure of Summers, tardy, but the names being bandied about to replace him offer little hope for reform.
Wall Street or the Banksters, whatever name we choose for this cesspool of crime will not be cleansed with a feather duster and a broom.
We need bulldozers, to start in the middle and push this rancid stink west into the Hudson and east into the old sound. (more…)
This is from a comment thread to Bob Cesca’s post at Huff Post titled “Despite America’s Temper Tantrum, It’s Still a Center-Left Nation”
Fair TV a self proclaimed “traditional conservative” launched an attack on Democrats and Liberals.
Ah, the once proud Democratic party. Are there no democrats left who will stand up to the Idiot Left with their frontal assault on American Freedoms?
You Coastal Elite…..watch what the American People can do when they find their freedoms under attack by the Fringe Left.
If this is a center left country, why are the Lefties afraid to even use the term “Liberal” any more instead choosing the more “acceptable” “Progressives?”
Democrats today are held hostage by Thug Union Bosses, Wacko Environmentalists, Pro-Abortionists, the Radical Gay Lobby, Anti-gun zealots, Anti-religious bigots, and dim-witted Hollywood types. It’s a shame to see a once proud Democrat party reduced to a National Joke.
TraceyES Comment in reply to FairTV:Er…can you enumerate your freedoms which are currently under assault by Democrats? Go ahead, make a list for us. Waiting…waiting…
FAIRTV Responded to TraceyES:The right to life
The right to bear arms
The right to live in a country with secure borders
The right to live in a country with laws that are enforced
The right to First Amendment speech, in spite of the language police
The right to believe in God and tell others about that faith
The right to hold conservative, traditional views without being labelled a “racist.”
Bob Higgins Responded to FairTV: (more…)
Bob Higgins Comment:
For the record I’ve always been proud of my liberal roots and unashamed about proclaiming them in public. To me liberalism is a necessary piece of being a human being.
I think that you’re right about most of this but I disagree that the mid term situation is as dire as you seem to indicate. We need a massive six weeks of old fashioned organizing at the local level to bring out the Democratic vote. I’m old and immobile but I’m talking to everyone I know and buying rounds when I can.
Just keep doin’ it. Good article, good read and I’ll steal everything I can from it. Thanks.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
[Editor’s note: Sally Kohn of Movement Vision Labs posted this excellent and hilarious video at Huff Post before lunch. It’s the best, the most concise post I’ve read dealing with ending the Bush tax cuts, and it’s in layman’s language so I totally understood it. I think you will too. I think I have permission to run it, but it’s so good I’m going to take a chance before I hear from her. Bob Higgins]
How stupid is the idea of extending tax cuts for the top 1% of Americans and further draining resources for the average, hard-working Americans?
To find an analogy, you need look no further than your own hand. Check out my latest popular education 101 video about why cutting taxes for the rich in the midst of our economic crisis is bad for you and our overall body politic. Sally Kohn
The shield they carry is the personal ignorance that they treasure like some sort of perverse badge of honor and the shield that they depend on is the completely stubborn ignorance of their followers.
These people can be beaten by old fashioned “get out the vote” Democratic politics.
The polls may be more scientific today, I don’t know, I’m not a political sophisticate, but I do remember Harry Truman and Tom Dewey and the fact that the conventional wisdom is what you get from the weatherman. So take a raincoat and go to the polls.
Tell all your Republican friends that you’re not going to vote, that you’re too depressed, then run to the voting booth as fast as you can and gleefully vote Democratic.
More on 2010 Elections
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I read a piece last night by Jason Linkins at Huff Post in which he describes the experience of CNN correspondent Michael Ware and Ware’s difficulty in dealing with the memory of the death of a presumably innocent young Iraqi shot execution style by US troops in 2007.
Mr Ware tells of the alleged incident he says he witnessed and filmed in 2007 when working for US news giant CNN, but claims the network decided the footage was too graphic to go to air.
He alleges that a teenager in a remote Iraqi village run by the militant Islamist group, al-Qaeda was carrying a weapon to protect himself.
“(The boy) approached the house we were in and the (US) soldiers who were watching our backs, one of them put a bullet right in the back of his head. Unfortunately it didn’t kill him,” he tells Australian Story.
“We all spent the next 20 minutes listening to his tortured breath as he died.” (more…)
|You, Back away from that Sand Castle|
State and federal authorities have become a bit paranoid in Florida. They seem to be afraid that someone may find and expose some portion of the 206 million gallons of British Petroleum’s missing crude oil which spewed from their recent gusher in the Gulf.
A reporter, Dan Thomas and his crew from WEAR/TV in Pensacola were threatened with arrest for taking a small shovel to a public beach and scratching around for oil. If you watch the short video you may become suspicious (as I did) that the first thug is probably a BP employee or contractor and the second ostensibly a federal employee is acting on instructions directly from BP.
I guess the beaches around Pensacola, Florida are soon to be declared a secret petroleum storage area and off limits to beach goers who might disturb this pristine public reservoir of BP’s crude.
Meanwhile BP continues to spend a million plus weekly on ads declaring that they will be there until they “make it right.”
I’m sure, as are many others, that they will make it right… for BP.
[Update] PENSACOLA BEACH – The head of the Gulf Islands National Seashore wants to set the record straight about whether you can bring a shovel and pail to the beach. Update and video here.
Stop and think about that for just a second… we already have a ban on religious influence in our courts, don’t we? Yes, I believe it’s called the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (more…)