Will the billionaires buy another election?

You need to know this…The 2014 midterm elections are officially the most expensive midterm elections in American history. According to the Center for Responsive Politics around $3.67 billion will be spent this election cycle - beating out the previous record of $3.63 billion spent in the 2010 midterms.

To put that number in perspective, CNN estimates that if all the money spent on the midterms was spent on something else - it would be enough to build and operate 100 Ebola treatment centers in Africa.

It would also be enough to fund the K through 12 education of 12,000 American kids - or enough to buy 25 fighter F-18 fighter jets to help in the fight against ISIS. If it wasn’t already obvious before - it should be now.

We have the best democracy money can buy - and if there’s one story about this election cycle that everyone should be talking about - it’s that. Yes - the possibility of a Republican takeover of the Senate gets all the headlines - but the fact that billionaires like the Koch Brothers can now throw money at whatever race they want without any checks on their spending whatsoever is even more important - especially when you look at the big picture of what’s really going on here.

What we’re seeing with all the record-breaking spending in this year’s midterms isn’t an accident - it’s the perfection of the brave new world of money in politics.

The Supreme Court opened the floodgates four years ago with Citizens United - and then it opened them a bit a more with its McCutcheon decision earlier this year. This gave the right-wing money machine power like it never had before - and now - in 2014 - that machine has fine-tuned its strategy - creating a monster.

As the New York Times pointed out this weekend, spending from shadowy outside groups has skyrocketed over the past few weeks - giving a boost to GOP senate candidates all across the country.

Many of these shadowy groups didn’t even exist just a few months ago - and have only popped up in the days and weeks leading up to Election Day. Because of this - we may not know where these groups get their money until long after voters go the polls tomorrow.

In Kentucky - meanwhile - Mitch McConnell - who could be majority leader come January - is stretching what little campaign finance rules we DO have to their limits by openly working with Super PACs that support his reelection.

All this is a sign of a truly broken political system - but the mainstream media - especially mainstream cable news - could care less.

Sure - CNN will run stories on its website about how expensive the 2014 election cycle is - but make no mistake: the network will never - ever take its focus off horse race politics long enough to give campaign finance the coverage it deserves.

After all - where do those billions go? Right into the coffers of TV stations and networks!

So none of the national or local media has any interest in pointing out to us how badly corrupted our political system is now by all that money. And - in the long term - that might be just as damaging for our democracy as Super PACs are right now.

Don't let the billionaires buy another election. Get out and vote, and show the world that We The People have the real power.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 20 weeks ago

No, the main-stream media could not care less.

CWA12345's picture
CWA12345 8 years 20 weeks ago

Odd thing when voting this morning (FYI: DuPage County, IL)

Advised (for first time) any non-votes will be counted as NO

(for the various referendums / i.e. Min. Wage increase, Birth Control as part of health insurance, nominal tax inc for incomes over 3 million dollars to be allocated towards schools by attendance, etc.)

Never heard of this in the past.... would REALLY appreciate input from Thom or others, why the change and is this a fair way to gauge public opinion?

In reporting of poll results: big diff between 30% for 20% against 50% non-vote vs. 30% for 80% against.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 20 weeks ago

CWA - I saw that too. I wasn't sure if it counted for the judges too. Failing to vote is a vote of "no" for retention. Probably not. Otherwise we'd have no judges, because so many people, like myself, skip that part. I don't know enough about them, care enough about them, or have the time or desire to learn about them.

I don't know about in DuPage Country, but here in Cook, about half of the local elections were uncontested Democrats. Not even a third-party option.

Mystic's picture
Mystic 8 years 20 weeks ago

Thom, I am taking a Coursera course entitled Securing Digital Democracy which is given by University of Michigan Professor J. Alex Halderman. Many of the questions about the election process that you are talking about today are discussed and examined in this course. The related textbook is Broken Ballots by Douglas W. Jones and Barbara Simons.

I think the professor or any of the authors of the book would be excelent guests over the next few days as you examine potential election problems with this election. Professor Halderman has a great sense of humor and can illustrate issues in a way the listeners will understand and remember. He has also participated in several security reviews of various voting systems in the USA and in India.

Look him up and get him on the program, I assure you it will be very illuminating.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 20 weeks ago

I don’t mind confessing, I’m scared to death of this election. Been dreading it for months. There’s so much at stake and I’ve seen no indication that most people get it. The voting statistics say it all.

I just watched a marvelous interview of Bernie Sanders by Bill Moyers. For all who are interested, here is the link: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/video-audio/moyers-and-company?ut...

CWA12345's picture
CWA12345 8 years 20 weeks ago

*Correction of mis-key to prior post / previously posted without reviewing...sorry:

Odd thing when voting this morning (FYI: DuPage County, IL)

Advised (for first time) any non-votes will be counted as NO

(for the various referendums / i.e. Min. Wage increase, Birth Control as part of health insurance, nominal tax inc for incomes over 3 million dollars to be allocated towards schools by attendance, etc.)

Never heard of this in the past.... would REALLY appreciate input from Thom or others, why the change and is this a fair way to gauge public opinion?

In reporting of poll results: big diff between:

30% FOR -- 20% against -- 50% non-vote


30% FOR -- 70% against

charlieaa 8 years 20 weeks ago

yes, MB, my G'ma would be proud of you (English Major in 1907)

Thom- keep it going!! Can't wait for the MSM coverage. I expect the worst: coverage AND results. BUT, now the low-infos are going to get everything they deserve.

charlie in Paso

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 20 weeks ago

charlieaa -- Unfortunately, the infos are going to get the same thing and they do not deserve it.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 20 weeks ago

If the Billionaire Party succeeds in purchase of the Senate.....then by God the Dems better damn well filibuster every piece of anti-american legislation the Fascists throw at us. Yes the corpse media will get the megaphone out and label them obstructionists, but with that spotlight, maybe the average citizen will finally pay attention to what's contained in the proposed legislation. We'll see how well that works out for the little billionaire scoundrels. However I'm sure they'll try to change the filibuster rule! When will we progressives stop being nice to mean people? We need an injection of some Cheney/Rove like treachery, only difference being political crime that benefits the 99.9%, not the few. It's high time to fight dirty or die cowards.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 20 weeks ago

10K, I’m in total agreement. And I had a strong sense of foreboding about this election. It’s always when I’d rather be wrong that my hunches and predictions prove to be most accurate. Yeah, we’re getting the government low-information nitwits deserve for giving fascists their votes, or not voting at all! Too bad the rest of us must also suffer the consequences.

Low-information and deadbeat voters are only part of the problem, however. Voter suppression and election fraud are also to blame.

What a goddam freak show. Freaky, yet so predictable. - AIW

MontanaMuleGal's picture
MontanaMuleGal 8 years 20 weeks ago

The U.S. today is a totalitarian corporatist state which uses "placebo politics" to placate the so-called "free" citizens. If former President Jimmy Carter says we no longer have a democracy; we don't.

I vote only because my vote may have some impact on local government in the rural area in which I live.

However, I don't fool myself about "voting" for national seats. There is no verifiable truth when using computerized voting machines. And any candidate "for the people" who happens to win, will soon find a jackboot on their neck preventing them from doing anything that advances causes for US citizens.

"Elections serve only to validate the unaccountability of government." -Paul Craig Roberts, Oct 2014.

"If money is speech, and more money can buy more speech, that means, by definition that speech is not free." -Jim Hightower.

Legend 8 years 20 weeks ago

The election was cheap compared to the Republican shut down of the Government. That cost us $24 Billion and they walked away with little blame if any. In fact they blamed it on Obama.

Someone else posted this. It is a good one from a classic. How right he was:


RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 8 years 20 weeks ago

Well.. Just think when the political winds change by the next election all that money will be headed to Democrats. Just a couple years from now big business will be backing Democratic show ponies. The House will return to the Democrats and the President will be a Republican and the game will continue unchanged, unchallenged and undemocratic, just the way they like it.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 8 years 20 weeks ago

Yes they did. Until Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Roberts are impeached from SCOTUS we are stuck with an oligarchy NOT a democracy! Money is how corporations bought the Senate last night! I'm tired of it!

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 8 years 20 weeks ago

The next president will be republican and the midterms will go to who ever can spend the most money. 2016 an (R) in the White House and the GOP will have 3 legs of the stool. Just like the first 6 years of George W Bush. Jeb Bush will probably win POTUS.

JoeShmoe13's picture
JoeShmoe13 8 years 20 weeks ago

As usual, Hartmann completely skews reality with his "I'm the best Democratic Party shill ever" approach to journalism. No mention of the millions injected into political races from your beloved unions? Too funny, if he wasn't such a disgrace to the profession. If you want to vilify a past president for the maliaise of the country, go all the way back to the source...FDR. Read the book "New deal or Raw Deal' and get an education. Of course arguing with this tool goes nowhere, such is the depth and breadth of his arrogance, which really comes off as stupidity.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 20 weeks ago

AW....I suspect voting machine election fraud, in fact I'm quite sure of it, there's already evidence of it on smart phone photos. I'm curious to know how many accurate exit polls exist. The Kentucky Fried citizens apparently voted in Colonel Turtle again, but did they really? He'll try to repeal Romney Care first thing and then impeach the silence of Obama. I'll fight dirty for liberty and freedom anyday, why won't Dems???

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 20 weeks ago

Now Obama wants to speak out...will hold a press conference.....been told nobody over the wall for the next two years.

Mauiman2's picture
Mauiman2 8 years 20 weeks ago

Sorry to all you Dems, you lost fair and square this year. You have gone through all the bellyaching that losers always go through. But take heart, nothing is forever, and the Republicans do have a history of shooting themselves in the foot when they are in power. Neither party has shown they can hold on to power over the last 25 years of so, and I would not be suprised at all if history repeats itself here again.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 8 years 20 weeks ago

Here in Democrat controlled Maryland, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, a Democrat spent over $20,000,000 in a losing effort to Republican Larry Hogan. Hogan who took public financing (first candidate in Maryland to do so) spent less than $5,000,000 in victory. Brown, called in Democrat big guns Bill and Hillary Clinton and President and Michelle Obama to campaign with him. The people have spoken.:) By the way, the winning margin was Brown 45%, Hogan 55%. It's Hogan' first ever run for political office.

Mystic's picture
Mystic 8 years 20 weeks ago

Looks like they did (Buy the election).

Thom, I will be in the dentist chair for the first hour of your program today, please riff on these points as you see fit.

Pondering the implications of this disaster is rather overwhelming. Somehow the bullies Scott Walker and Chris Christy managed to win re-election. It seems the further right the candidate, the more dark money got thrown at them. Joni Earnst may be even more whack-a-doodle than Sarah Palin. Seems they proved that money can overwhelm honest speech.

One big loss that isn’t obvious is that Elizabeth Warren will no longer hold a majority party position on the Banking and Finance committee. We just had settlements on the Libor scandal, and the banks are currently poised to pay up to Billion dollar fines in the Foreign Exchange rate fixing scandal, but now I’ll bet they just delay until after the new Senate is installed, and those enforcement actions will quietly go away (most likely in return for big campaign contributions, wink wink, nod nod).

Along those lines, if we don’t perp walk Mitch McTurtle and others to prison for campaign violations concerning coordinating with the dark money advocacy groups, then expect an order of magnitude more arrogant disregard for the law in the next general election. Same goes for Secretaries of State who illegally obstructed elections all over the country, disenfranchising voters and possibly even engaging in election rigging. We need to stand firm on any illegalities or we can expect to get totally steamrolled in the General.

I’m guessing the first thing Mitch McTurtle is going to do is eliminate the 60% veto that he used so ruthlessly the past number of years, and start cramming all kinds of stuff down our throats on party line votes with no veto challenge allowed. It would be harder to do that if he was in prison, and let’s hope we get a Democratic president next election, because with the Tea Party controlling all three branches (make that four with the Supreme Court), the whole country will look like Kansas before they get through.

Oh, and the chances of repealing Citizens United just went down the toilet, too many of the new majority benefited personally from it, they will never repeal it. It is now up to the states and the citizens to change our political structure, perhaps with statewide referendums. Not sure I want to open up the Constitution with a constitutional convention with this legislature in session.

Publically funded elections with strict limits on the amount a candidate can spend would force races to be based more on issues than on political slander. The one upside is that hopefully the people will see how bad the extreme right policies are, that is if the Dems can hold them accountable and not let them continue to shift the blame.

Batten down the hatches, I see stormy seas ahead.


Mystic's picture
Mystic 8 years 20 weeks ago

I would not say we lost fair and square. The republicans cheated at every level possible. Using every dirty trick in the book, they got the elections close enough to steal. They traided their souls for unlimited corporate money. Nothing was fair about this elections.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 20 weeks ago

Spending by candidates doesn't count all the PACs.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 20 weeks ago

How much voter suppression? How much "red shift" by Diebolt? How much fraudulent public disinformation by the Repugnants and an eagerly compliant big business media? (The last one probably the greatest factor.)

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 20 weeks ago

Is there truth to the stereotype that lefties are slackers? Already a year or a year and a half ago Harry Reid decided not to end the filibuster because he'd already decided that the Dems were gonna lose the Senate in the next mid term like it was a fait accompli. Already a year and a half ago the Dems had already written off the Senate.

When Howard Dean was in charge we won, he didn't write off anything. When the 50 state strategy was implemented was the only time we ever won. I'll bet Republicans don't leave an ything to chance like that. Bet they don't go home or go party when there's something that can be had if you put a little work into it.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 20 weeks ago

Progressive talk radio is also a problem. Air America was a big factor in Dems winning in 2006 and 2008.

Al Franken should never have given in to vanity and run for Senate. He was good at what he was doing before. The real power is not in halls of government but in the streets with the people and he was masterful at that. He made senators, congressmen and presidents and unmade them the same way, waking up and mobilizing the people

I miss Ed Schultz. He would've either prevented the catastrophe or made it not so bad (which means he probably would've prevented it since it was close). He speaks the language of the blue collar worker, most of the other progressive talkers are so indulgent of their intellectual elitism - even when their lack of worldly knowledge arguably makes all their theory bound spouting irrelevant.

Thom increasingly seems to slide into that kind of elitism veritably sneering at people who don't already agree with him or who don't read The Nation. Stephanie Miller is the worst, making fun of everybody who has a rural accent. Thom's elitism is professorial, Miller's is that of the spoiled undergrad. It's no wonder the blue collar worker prefers Bill O'Reilly.

(Don't get me wrong, Thom is very capable of being a regular guy but this being on top of talk radio seems to go to his head sometimes and he gets self righteously self important like some self appointed pope. I find him worth listening to still and all but elitism is the worst for movement building.)

Ou812's picture
Ou812 8 years 20 weeks ago

Reply to Mystic,

The election for governor in Maryland was a public funded election at least for the Republican Candidate. Because Hogan took public money, his spending was limited. The Democrat candidate chose to go the big money funding route. We were inidated with negative ads about the Republican candidate. It backfired on the Democrats, and cost them the election. I'm glad you and the rest of the washed up lefties feel like you do. Because feeling that way will blind you to the fact that you need to change. To paraphrase Bob Dylan "Something is happening, but you don't know what it is, do you Mystic".

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 20 weeks ago

For openers, I’d just like to say that I am not surprised. The outcome of this election is exactly what I expected.

10K, I am enjoying your comments, and could really use some cheering up right about now. Yeah voting machines are classic tools of election fraud; what else is new? And your reference to “Kentucky fried citizens” cracks me up.

Mauiman, the Repugs may have “won” the Senate (just like I predicted) but there is nothing “fair and square” about it. Citizens “United”, election fraud, voter suppression, voters’ names “purged” under false pretense, ridiculous, obstructive voter ID laws…. “fair and square”? I don’t think so.

George R, in response to the final paragraph of your long and informative post, I will add that one of the few comforts for me has been our growing Hispanic and Asian populations. I pray for the day when white folks are no longer the majority in this country, because the white working class is virtually brain dead. I see no other way to de-throne this dynasty of rich old white men than eliminating the white majority. From where I sit, this can't happen soon enough.

Mystic, I’ve shared your hope that the people will finally wake up from their Faux-induced stupor when things get bad enough. The question is, how bad is bad enough? That’s the hundred-billion-dollar question. - AIW

P.S. JoeShmoe, since you are so unhappy with Thom Hartmann, why do you even listen to him? In case you haven’t noticed, at least 85% of talk radio is of the kleptofascist neocon persuasion. I’m sure that Rush Limpballs or Glenn Pecker would be more your speed.

P.P.S. Thom Hartmann is not a journalist; he’s a talk show host. (DUHH.) And a damn good one too!

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 20 weeks ago

Your Maryland election was anomolous, Ou812, usually big money wins because advertizing and PR is effective - which is why both are billion dollasr industries. Most of the time big money wins but with deregulation of PACs in Citizens United it's not at all necessary for the candidate to posess the big money. "Astroturf" organizations are essential to modern PR.

Add to that divisive campaigns of hate mongering, self censoring and disinforming advertizer driven big business media, voter supression (many key elections were close), red shifting voting machines and limp, lackadaisical Democrats cutting their own throats with bad public posture and you'd be surprised it wasn't worse.

I certainly hope truth, justice, concern for your fellow people, etc. aren't "washed up" concerns and values. Someone may well not know what's happening here, Ou812, but it also may well not be who you think.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 20 weeks ago

JoeSchmoe, Thom is a pundit or an editorializer and not a journalist and doesn't pretend to be otherwise which is why calling him a shill is way off the mark.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 8 years 20 weeks ago

Reply to Saulys:

Your statement reminds me of the saying "If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullshit". I'm baffled...the election of a public financed candidate in Maryland proves public financed elections work..just not the way YOU want them too.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 20 weeks ago

Mark, while I agree with your point regarding the value in speaking the “language” of the working class, I am troubled by your repeated jabs at intellectuals. I think a strong argument can be made for the value of intellectuals in any social movement. In light of the general anti-intellectualism long promoted by Faux Snooze fascists and their ilk, I question the wisdom of promoting anti-intellectualism in progressive circles, no matter how well intentioned. And I’ve no doubts as to the positive nature of your intent. I happen to think intellectuals have their place in class struggle. And I read The Nation, by the way.

I also happen to be a huge fan of both Hartmann and Miller. Both these talk show hosts have filled a void in our media landscape that needed to be filled, and I for one am grateful for the contributions both have made to the dialaogue. I have seen and heard no evidence of the elitism you speak of; to the contrary, I’ve found them both extremely refreshing in this fascist media environment.

I have long felt resentment towards the white working class for their antiquated, backwards way of thinking as well as their racism. For as long as I can recall they have been an obstacle to progress in any form. Anyone who prefers Bill O’Reilley is an idiot, in my opinion, and I do not share your sympathy for such people. I think it will be a cold day in hell before those redneck fools join forces with us towards any objective, no matter the potential for benefitting us all including the rednecks themselves.

This is a divided country, and we are ill advised to blame the likes of Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes. Blame Rupert Murdock, that Aussie fascist, who has hijacked so much of our media! Blame Bill O'Reilley! And please stop peeing on our side of the fence! - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 20 weeks ago

Ou812 RE#22: What are the numbers from the PACs? Of course, we have to wait for the money that arrived after Oct 16 to determine that more completely.

Another thing that should be mentioned is that money is not what really counts. What really counts is the propaganda on TV/radio and elsewhere. Usually, the correlation coefficient between money and propaganda is almost 1. In the Eric Cantor race a few months back, that correlation was headed toward zero. Since Maryland is in the same broadcast area as Eric Cantor's, I wonder if Hogan's acceptance of public financing was based on the same situation.

I wonder if anyone will understand what I am saying.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 8 years 20 weeks ago

C8 I can't speak for others, but I don't understand what you're saying:).

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 20 weeks ago

Ou812 RE#36 -- Another way to say it is who needs to buy advertising if faux news is giving it to you for free.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 20 weeks ago

It is almost breathtaking how open Mitch M is about his corruption. One of the reporters in Obama's press conference quoted Mitch. Mitch said before he will negotiate with Obama, Obama has to declare a tax holiday for the $3 trillion overseas, let the XL pipeline go forth ($80 billion for the Kochs), and remove the tax on medical devices in Obamacare. In other words, Obama has to pay off Mitch's billionaire buddies/supporters before he will negotiate.

JoeShmoe13's picture
JoeShmoe13 8 years 20 weeks ago

"Will the billionaires buy another election?" More shilldom from the king of shills. Do you mean tv advertisement spending when you say buying an election? Shill, you are lumping all Americans in with your democratic party brain dead constituants. Watching ANY political ad, which are just mud slinging events, and believing what they say is for total FOOLS. The outcome of these elections was driven by the total partisanship of Obama's politics, which were mostly failures.

George_R's picture
George_R 8 years 20 weeks ago

To answer Thom's rhetorical question: Yes. Yes, they did.

To quote Randy Newman: It's money that matters.

The nation's regulatory capture is essentially complete. We don't have the Courts where mandatory arbitration removes civil matters from judges and juries. The Federal Bench is packed solid with center-right to far-right jurists - and we will see no seats filled for two years to come. State Courts are all that we have left, and the inroads against them are vast and terrifying.

We don't indict, much less try, the big felons - consider this man, the most visible face in the mortgage scandals - no criminal charges and a "settlement" of $67.5 meg (on $406 meg of personal income) with all criminal investigations concluded in 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelo_Mozilo

However, criminal prosecutions for average cases will continue down the 99% guilty plea path where the prosecutor's power to over-charge a defendant demanding a trial increases defense costs beyond measure.

Public defenders, never well paid - or assigned a reasonable case load - are already dwindling in number - and PD funding cuts are certain to increase with this election's results. Absent a Public Defender the Court must appoint a counsel for those defendants who cannot afford one (most defendants cannot afford legal counsel).

The Court-appointed counsel - taken from his/her practice in another field - will almost always be ineffective (to say the least).

My own brother-in-law, a transactional attorney, was appointed to defend in a rape case - a man who had never tried a case in his life (and, still hasn't as far as I'm concerned - but, with 66 federal trials under my belt, what do I know?). His interest in that appointment was so slight that he never bothered to call me (a former assistant prosecutor) despite the fact that I was less than 300 mi away.

He deferred his opening statement, never cross examined any prosecution witness, and he put the defendant on the stand (that is almost ALWAYS the wrong thing to do) and offered no other witnesses to rebut the prosecution's case in chief. His closing lasted less than a minute and the result was a conviction.

Was the accused guilty? I don't know.

Did the accused have a competent defense: certainly not.

Was the defense adequate under the state's law? Yes.

There exists precedent supporting a defense counsel waiving opening and closing arguments and performing minimal direct and cross examination. Only where a defense counsel had to be woken, multiple times, during trial is "ineffective assistance" a slam dunk. Judges ought to demand more from appointed counsel - but, they don't. So much for Gideon v. Wainwright http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1962/1962_155

What is the path for our nascent experiment with Universal Healthcare? I shudder to think of the steps that Congress will take these next two years - to say nothing of the Supreme Court's latest case, King v. Burwell, challenging the authority of the tax subsidy component of the ACA. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/assets/pdf/CH95770731.PDF It was argued last Friday. See, http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/king-v-burwell/

I don't see the next two years as a "lame duck" presidency so much as an out-and-out repudiation of the substantive achievements of one of the most conservative of Democrats ever to serve in the highest office. The underlying basis for this turn of events can be explained in many different ways - but, from where I sit, I think that the gross failure to vote by the electorate with the most to lose can be squarely blamed on the "genteel" racism that pervades our nation - an echo of our slave-holding past.

If we are to regain any modicum of egalitarianism we will have to rely upon the growing blocks of the population that are not historically linked to slavery. Our Asian and Hispanic populations hold the future of our nation's democracy.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 20 weeks ago

reply to joeShmoe13 RE#38 -- I do not know what failures you are talking about. The following set of numbers look good to me:

Jan 2009 Today

7,949 The Dow Jones Index 17,390

7.8% Unemployment 5.9%

-5.4% GDP Growth 4.6%

9.8% Deficit/GDP % 2.8%

37.7 Consumer Confidence 94.5

Ou812's picture
Ou812 8 years 20 weeks ago

C8 if that's the case, why would anyone spend money on political ads...You're not making sense my friend.

JoeShmoe13's picture
JoeShmoe13 8 years 20 weeks ago


"I think that the gross failure to vote by the electorate with the most to lose can be squarely blamed on the "genteel" racism that pervades our nation - an echo of our slave-holding past. - See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/11/will-billionaires-buy-another-e.... Seeing racism where their isn't any? The liar in chief is the reason all your so called "minorities" didn't get off their azzes and go vote. They had been played the fool too many times by this slickster. "If you can't baffle em with your bullshit, try dazzling em with your foot work."

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 20 weeks ago

A little more clarity:

Jan 2009 ------------------------------- Today

7,949 ------ The Dow Jones Index 17,390

7.8% ------ Unemployment --------- 5.9%

-5.4% ------ GDP Growth -------------- 4.6%

9.8% ------ Deficit/GDP % ------------- 2.8%

37.7 ------- Consumer Confidence -- 94.5

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 20 weeks ago

Ou812 -- Do you know about Eric Cantor's race a few months back? There were a couple faux news commentators that liked beating up on him. When Eric lost, they took credit for his defeat.

One just has to be fortunate to find commentators in this frame of mind. If not, you need money.

JoeShmoe13's picture
JoeShmoe13 8 years 20 weeks ago


What failures? How about this failure...his inability to not start wars, and the fact that this was his initial campaign centerpiece promise...to STOP all wars within 60 days into his presidency (as opposed to Miss Hillary, who stated that she would stop all wars within 90 days of her taking office). His attack on journalists and whistleblowers...total policy failure and direct veiw of his failed personal character. His lying about the NSA not eavesdropping on every single American, AND there not reading their emails. I guess you still think Clinton didn't inhale, too? The list goes on and on. One of his biggest failures is his attack in Syria. Not only did this go directly against the will of the American people, it re- started the military industrial complex money spending machine.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 20 weeks ago


You are actually giving credit to the American voter that they care enough about that stuff to not vote for their own economic interest?

Are you crazy enough not to understand that a president promising something on the campaign trail has the implicit assumption that the congress has to go along with him. Obama could not possibly have realized that the repugs were willing to commit treason to make sure his presidency was a failure (AKA the Caucus Room Restaurant meeting). For Obama, to accomplish as much has he did with the repugs insurgency is beyond belief. So people would rather vote for the party that funded ISIS (John McCain and Lindsay Graham)

JoeShmoe13's picture
JoeShmoe13 8 years 20 weeks ago


Transferring all of Obama's lies to the supposed ineptness of the other party? LOL . Simple truths spoken on sites like these will garner responses like yours. Thankfully you're in the extreme minority, taking into account the election results.

A little more clarity on Obama's failed policies:

Guantanamo , ObamaCare rollout and website and the unconstitutionallity of forcing people to purchase it, Sanctions against Russia that are tearing apart the financial infrastructure of our Western partners. He doen't understand financials and could care less.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 20 weeks ago

Reply to Ou812,

You not getting me at all. Publicly financed campaigns work but the Maryland campaign was only partially so and even that not meaningfully so. Check today's blog topic by Thom which expresses exactly what I'm talkling about. PACs and superPACs, groups ostensibly not even part of the party, are where the money is. Maryland's election was a very poor example of public financing if it could be considered one at all.

Don't call it bullshit just 'cause you're not getting it.

Not everyone watches FOX in all parts of the country, and even so, you usually need more than just the hardcore suckers to win so you still gotta buy ads. Repugs have an overwhelming advantage there.

But, you're right, publicly financed campaigns do work, when they're really publicly financed - and, you're right, the measure of whether or not they work is whether or not the result is to my (or your) liking.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 20 weeks ago

JoeSchmoe, his inability not to start wars? He ended Bush's wars and was pretty able to not start one with Syria. ISIL was blowback from Bush's war with and occupation of Iraq.

Are you sure racism "isn't" where George sees it? You don't have any biased judgement, right?

What lies are you talking about JoeSchmoe? Even the Roberts Court judged Obamacare mandate constitutional. Are you in FOXland?

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 20 weeks ago

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a literary descendent of Ben Franklin and Tom Paine. His unflinching observations and deep passion inspire us to explore contemporary culture, politics, and economics; challenge us to face the facts of the societies we are creating; and empower us to demand a better world for our children and grandchildren."
John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestselling book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine