If at first you don't succeed, bribe, bribe again...
The Republicans’ top oligarch, foreign casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is already plotting how he can buy the next election and protect himself from criminal prosecution. Adelson spent $150 million on Republicans in the 2012 election, more than anyone in any American election in history. But he’s already promising to spend double that amount come the next election, and has already met with prospective 2016 Republican Presidential candidates like Governors Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, and Bob McDonnell.
Now, Adelson is looking out for his own butt. The Washington Post reports the he’s flying to Washington, DC to meet with Republican leaders in hopes of changing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Currently, President Obama’s Department of Justice is investigating Adelson for violating the Act, as he’s accused of bribing officials in China to get his casinos built. Which is, of course, why Adelson, who otherwise supports gay marriage and socialized medicine, spent so much money to defeat President Obama and thus get a new Justice Department that won’t prosecute him.
This is the life of the rich and powerful in America. When they get in trouble with the law, they just buy new politicians and get new laws to protect themselves. It used to be called bribery, but today, thanks to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, now it’s just business as usual.
If at first you don't succeed....suc some more ceeds! But we did succeed in making Adelson waste big bucks (not to him maybe) just as those billionaires in California's elections thought they could buy our votes...and lost anyway. I hope this is a trend that will continue and save America from the criminal elite. Let's make Adelson waste even more of his money in the 2014 elections. I'd just love it if he went broke and wound up destitute and ended up in prison...debtors prison, at least. Just dreamin', I know.
But...look what happened when massive corporate corruption was being investigated prior to 911. 911 brought an abrupt halt to those investigations...largely because the two places (WTC towers and that side of the Pentagon that was hit) that were active in investigations of corporate criminal wrong-doing were destroyed on 911. And, secondarily, a strong message was sent to anyone who dared continue with investigations that they would be up against ruthless forces.* 911 changed everything and covered up a lot. It resulted in lost freedoms and a military industrial spy complex and a political system that can rival anything Hitler was responsible for...if they so desired or thought necessary to achieve whatever goals they sought.
*one of the tactics in WW2, and subsequently, in the cold war that followed was to show Russia (or anyone else) how ruthless the US could be and to what extremes they would go. It was either McNamara or Kissinger, I believe that said as much. And that tactic has been played out in the US as well. There are politicians, law enforcement people, and others who would love to see law and order win out against the greedy forces of evil but they are too bullied and afraid to do what is right.
That woman mayor in Mexico that spoke out against the drug cartels has been assassinated. When you are up against such forces, you just don't last long. Corruption runs rampant in the US and instead of drug lords and cartels we have just as dangerous, or even more so, institutionalized corruption that will stop at nothing to get what they want and remain in power.
Thank You!!! for mentioning the Intelligence and Awareness of Animals -- They are completely Aware -- and Aware of So much that we are not -- their perceptions and feelings are extremely acute -- not dull, as we have been led to believe....
Thank you for reminding people that no planetary awakening meditation,
or restoration of sanity in society,
is complete without including the Restoration of the Rights of Nature
to be Free from Torture and Abuse and degradation........
Let us come to our Senses and Demand a stop to Animal Abuse
-- and Hold Ourselves Accountable --
for all the ways in which we contribute to, or pay for,
that abuse through
our own unexamined
the 3 stooges quote is
"""if at first you don't succeed - keep on sucking till you do suc ceed"""
It's just like all this talk about succession today is like Dallas trying to succeed from Texas. Next it will be cities from counties, counties from states. This is a democracy and it is not broken up into factions just because one group doesn't get its way simply because there is not one complete group that makes up any one state. Tolerance is a primary principle of our Democracy which has allowed differing groups to coincide along side each other since our founding. If Southerners start with 'we were separate to begin with...or this is about our personal freedoms' ask them about the Indian nation they invaded and their personal freedoms. The selfishness they exhibit has no place in our Democracy which is the UNITED States of America. Successionism is the talk of corporatists, oligarchs and totalitarians but not of democracies. Remember, only Democratic Socialism can ensure both our freedom AND our survival...and that is beyond the scope of these republicans. Thom's rant on the current Republican party is a good step in bringing republicans back to their senses...if that's possible. -Joey
No, it's not called "Business as usual". Since Citizens United, it's called "Free Speech" - the more money you have the more free speech you have, I guess...?
I think I remember reading that "Congressman" Henry Hyde ran for congress specifically to get legislation passed to protect himself from being prosecuted for Savings and Loan fraud, in relation to the collapse of his bank. Apparently, Citizens United wasn't required back then...
Quite frankly I'm always appauld that in a free Democratic Society, that legal political contributions of any kind are allowed to exceed the maximum reasonable amount that someone earning minimum wage can afford in a year. Oh say, lets set the maximum contribution level in one year at $50.00 across the board and end this travesty. M
"But we did succeed in making Adelson waste big bucks (not to him maybe) just as those billionaires in California's elections thought they could buy our votes...and lost anyway."
Yes, we people through mass awareness and a massive volunteer campaign effort, --- and way-more contributions than we should expect-- did manage to pull another one out of the fire. However, I wonder if we can mount that level of effort every time? Bottom line: soliciting working-people for spair-change, is overwhelmed by humunguous Corporate "investment-money" buying votes and the election.
Democrats better find ways to neuter the flow of unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions (bribery). I certainly have better causes to support (medical research, local and foreign projects, etc) -- rather than supporting or attacking filthy attack-ads that produce nothing of value. And expecting legeons of amature volunteers to go head to head with highly skilled professionally managed propaganda efforts -- is asking a lot -- if year after year after year.
After all, it was St. Thomas Aquinas definition of Democracy that we should remind our self of during these times of adversity--Democracy: "When the [poor] people by means of heavier population, subject and dominate the wealthy." In any true Democracy, We The People rule; not, the richest two percent! It's time we reassert our inherent power! We the 98% determine who pays what, not the top 2%. Besides, the richest minority wouldn't exist without the majority. They already owe everyone else for the privilege of being wealthy.
It makes me sad that these fortunate few choose to be greedy and spiteful with their excesses instead of reasonable. Instead of reinvesting a portion of their wealth into the source that made their fortune possible, they prefer to squander vast amounts on bribery and collusion to hoard and deprive their fellow citizens of basic human necessities like food and health care. Shame on them all! I hope they realize that they can't take it with them. Of course, they won't need it anyway where they're going. M
The truth and bottom line is the everyday citizen, whether in the upper class, middle class or the lower poor class, is that it does not matter what we think or post on this blog. Money and money alone is the prime factor in accomplishing something in Washington. During the election cycle they, the politicians in both parties, make you think that your vote is actually going to help change your life in America. Bullshit! The day after the election everything in Washington goes back to what it was the day before the election. And what it was is the wealthy run this country period! Obama today plays his political game and visits some struggling family to format a picture like he really cares, more B.S.. He and the Democrats are doing the same thing the Republicans are doing and that is political posturing to make us think they really care. The people who will get hurt or destroyed over this fiscal cliff are the middle class that are barely hanging on financially and the poor who will get hit with social programs that will get cut. You do not hear any politicians mention that reality, because it is not in their best interest to do so. Does anyone really think the wealthy are going to get hurt over a small increase in their taxes if the budget is not dealt with by Dec. 31? But you better believe the lower middle class and the poor who make a large portion of our society will get smashed from it. So for those of you who think what we say or what conspiracies we rant about really matters beyond our own mind set, your fooling yourselves in a big way! We make these comments the same way people leave comments on the White House website or your senator’s site, thinking it really matters when it does nothing at all to change what they will do with our lives. Sorry to shatter your dreams if you think what you have to say matters to anyone but yourself. Hell, me even mentioning this on this blog is a waste of time, yet I find myself compelled to do so just to vent, when in reality I am just talking to myself. Does anyone really believe Hartmann or anyone beyond those who leave comments read any of this? I doubt even Hartmann takes the time to read the comments relating to his own blog! As a nation we are screwed unless you have enough money and power to weather the coming storms that will hit our financial and political systems in the coming years. As we use to say when I was a younger man in our military, bend over and kiss it good bye because no one is coming to pull our ass out of the fire and we were right!
I believe that Ross Perrot, the ultra rich Texan, managed to get a rider on a bill in the '80's?, that made his him exempt from paying any income taxes. This I believe was during his attempt to run to as our president.
Capitalism in action, nothing more, nothing less: infinite greed elevated to ultimate virtue -- absolute power and unlimited profit for the Ruling Class, total subjugation and bottomless poverty for all the rest of us. How many more times must it be said? How long will it take us to wake up? To get rid of the corruption, we gotta get rid of the capitalism. To imagine otherwise is like believing we can cure a disease merely by treating its symptoms.
If anything, our comments may be used against us one day by a power looking for a few good patsies...sacrificial lambs in the psychological warfare (not to mention economic warfare) they are waging against us.
The heads of anything, whether it be President of the U.S., Congressmen, or even the head of a popular talk show and blog, usually have employees working for them who screen, filter, and report the summation if they believe it necessary. They also have their employees write speeches (or blogs) and don't do it personally even though their name is used.
This blog, for example, may be submitted by LouiseHartmann and "looks" like ThomHartmann wrote it but that doesn't mean either case is technically true. Although, occasionally I have seen LouiseHartmann respond but that still doesn't really mean that the real LouiseHartmann wrote it...could be an associate or employee. I suspect both Louise and Thom are way too busy to be directly involved with a blog.
But, of course, everything we write is being stored and in some cases analyzed by government forces. They have our names, email addresses, home and work addresses and phone numbers, what properties we own, what we have in our bank accounts, our credit ratings, job history, who our relatives are, and pretty good idea of what we all think and believe and what we are, or are not, liable to do one day....even if we don't use our real names or pictures. They have those too...along with our finger prints and probably dna. If you have a microphone and video camera lens on your computer...they (or any good hacker) can watch and listen to what you are doing right along with watching everything you type into your computer. Put that all together with the developing "future crime" technology that not only identifies your face but it can read expressions that can indicate what you are about to do. I know it sounds like I've watched too many TV shows like "Person of Interest" but I have also listened to people like William Binney and even past CIA directors who have made statements that indicate that this is what our very near future will hold for us....some of it already. Echelon has been around for a long time now and there were people way back in the beginning who didn't believe (or care) that that was happening then. And I know it sounds crazy but soon even our refrigerators and ovens will actually be spying on us and reporting everything we do to someone watching and listening. With IPv6 coming into use...providing so many IP addresses that they will just about equal the number of grains of sand and nanotechnology expanding the capabilities of computing technology the microprocessors running our kitchen appliances may be incorporated into wireless networks that not only report statistical data on the efficiency of the devices but will also each have their own IP address and may phone home to an NSA computer in Utah. Dictionary computers, such as the current Echelon system has, will monitor certain words or phrases to alert for further analysis. Got to go...my favorite TV show is starting in just a few. Fill my head full of yet more nonsense! ;-}
Is this fascism? The question reminds me of a familiar old parable: if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims & flies like a duck... IT'S A DUCK! And as ole Thom has pointed out many times, these class-war dramas run in eighty-year cycles. The problem is that we - as humanity - never learn. And the reason? Each time this movie gets repeated and the plutocrats take over yet again, scarcely anyone is old enough to remember the last time it occurred.
Were there ever a strong argument to be made for teaching history to schoolkids, this would have to be it. - Aliceinwonderland
Oh! Forgot to mention... I've gotten plenty of comic relief from Sheldon Adelson's spectacular loss this election. That sleazebag sunk $150 million into eight candidates AND THEY ALL LOST!! Meanwhile my husband & I dug into our not-so-deep pockets, contributing $250 to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and they both won. It that ain't karmic justice, comrades, I don't know what is. - Alice I.W.
I hate to keep coming back like this... but the more I read this blog, the more I see to respond to; like for example, Ken Ware's comment that it's hopeless, that nothing we say matters at all. The hell it doesn't. With all due respect to Mr. Ware, I refuse to buy into that. Like Thom has also said many times, "Despair is not an option." And if words had no impact, no one would ever have been imprisoned (or worse) for saying or writing truth to power. If our opinions didn't matter, Plutocrats wouldn't be investing such vast fortunes in bogus media campaigns to brainwash & placate "we the masses". Let's not forget, people have lost their liberty and their lives over this stuff. Not that I'd want to join the ranks of the martyred... But these are crazy times, folks. Guess it's a risk I'll have to take.
Sharing ideas & thoughts with so many like-minded people (who I've never even met!) is good for my sanity. Helps me feel less isolated and alone, living in the midst of this 21st Century freak show. Seeing evidence of so many intelligent souls "out there" who know what time it is and share my concerns is a tremendous comfort. Beyond that, despair is the ultimate censor, because it silences & pacifies us. We can't let that happen. - Aliceinwonderland
Now the good news! This is one way to get the ultra wealthy to bring some of the stash home and spend it in the USA. They got to pay tax on the foreign loot and create jobs! Lot of loot was circulated through campaign spending creating jobs in advertising, media, printing, junk mail, and useless republican flunkies.
Well said Tom!
The good news is...
First there is a "turned on" generation that is tuned into the corrupt and destructive ways of our government and the oligarcs. I consider them to be the frogs that jumped out of the pot-O-water before becoming sedated. We saw them rise up during the occupy movement.
Their attitude is not one that just rests on the corrupt laurels of our past, they are active in their civil duity as We the People...Not We the Corporations. They are not quite, They are not affraid to question authority. They are not afraid to stand up to injustice... They are the powerful mixture of culture, class, sex, and race.
And I know what you mean by the "cycles of time" and history repeating itself. However, today there are more and more young people being exposed to such profound teachings by writers such as Chris Hedges, Paul Chapelle, Norm Chomski, Howard Zinn...Zinn's book "The People's History of the United States" has been introduced to students in their early years of education all across the country, and though I am a believer that "education is waisted on youth", exposure to such teachings is key to helping breaking those cycles...Which scares the crap out of Corporate Opportunist, & Neoconservative Plutocrats. And it should! Because the truth is that if it wasn't for the blood sweet and tears of the "worker bees" the queen would die. Today there are more worker bees that are demanding equality in health, wealth, and justice; they are not content with drippings, scraps and hand me downs...and that is not good for the queen.
Time to pay the piper!
Who is Sallie Krawcheck? Will Obama appoint her to be the next chairman of the SEC or maybe even the next Treasury Secretary? According to Robert Scheer's Column on Truthdig, "A Sign That Obama Will Repeat Economic Mistakes"-Dec 7, 2012, Krawcheck (a former Citigroup CFO) "a prime participant in the great banking hustle that savaged the world's economy,"..." was paid $11 million in 2005 while her bank contributed to the toxic mortgage crises."
Aliceinwonderland – If you believe what we have to say here is important to any politician you are self-delusional. The only time Washington or local politicians react to what we say is during the election cycle. Take for instance the Occupy Wall ST. group, what have they accomplished except to let the police hone their police tactics. I grew up during the 60's and served during the Vietnam War and in reality the marches did very little to bring the War to an end. It was the election cycle that brought the war to an end and the monetary costs. As you have heard Hartmann mention, Nixon went behind Johnson's political back and made a deal with the Premier of S. Vietnam during an election year so he could have an advantage over Humphrey in the 68' election. It was five more years until we brought the troops home. After Nixon was elected he continued the War until 73’. Our voices matter when the votes are going to be counted and in between you’re talking into the wind unless you are donating large sums of cash to the politicians. Sorry to bust your bubble of self-worth. This is the new America, not the era our grandfathers voted in...You have nothing to worry about concerning the government unless you make any type of (perceived) threatening remark in this age of no tolerance from the Government towards the people’s right to free speech. But, step out of line and the man will come and take you away.. A lyric from one of my favorite songs from the 60's. Read what my friend Palindromdary commented and you will see I am not alone in my thoughts.
If Obama and the Dems hang tight and force the R's to follow the tea party loonies to self destruction, the dems could have the House, Senate and two years of Obama's second term still left to actually fix things without obstruction. You know, things like warrentless wiretaping, supreme court, taxes on unearned income, a Tobin tax and most importantly Hostess Twinkies!
Its not Obama's job to save the R's from themselves.