Get money out.

Sometimes studies and polls teach us something new. And, sometimes, they simply confirm something we already knew.

This week, a new study confirmed that U.S. presidents serve the wealthy elite, and a separate poll confirmed that Americans are sick and tired of ultra-rich controlling our political system.

As a follow-up to last year's Princeton paper that said our nation is no longer a democracy, James Druckman from Northwestern University and Lawrence Jacobs from the University of Minnesota conducted a new study on the health of our democracy. Using documents and data from presidential archives, the team made the conclusion that “elites do most of the deciding” in our nation, because presidents “shirk citizen control.”

According to their study, “presidents – Reagan, in particular – were highly attentive to the demands of privileged segments of the electorate with high incomes and other politically valued resources.“ And, any attention paid to public interest is more about shaping opinion to fit those goals, rather than to fit policy to public demands.

Considering these findings, it comes as no surprise that 84 percent of Americans agree that it's time to get money out of our political system. That's the stunning – yet unsurprising – result of a new CBS/New York Times poll that was released last week. According to that report, the American people are demanding change with “near unanimity.”

The cause and effect here is clear. After decades of being manipulated and ignored by our elected leaders, We, The People want to take back control of our democracy. And, slowly, but surely, people all around our nation are working to achieve that very goal.

From protests to ballot initiatives to constitutional amendments, Americans are making sure that free speech only applies to actual voices. The data is clear on the effect of money in politics, and on our desire to overcome this corruption.

It's never too late to fight for our democracy, and that starts with getting money out once and for all.


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 2 weeks ago

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 2 weeks ago

I didn't get a newsletter for Wednesday this week. Anybody else? I was wondering if it's because Thom said that day, "Comcast has killed us," referring to the dead phone system, and I get the newsletter through a Comcast e-mail account.

ChristopehrCurrie's picture
ChristopehrCurrie 9 years 2 weeks ago

Is the US Constitution really worth anything more to American voters than the paper it is written on?

I find it very disturbing to see President Obama and so many of our members of Congress who are so clearly willing to grossly violate their Oaths of Office (to support and defend the US Constitution) for their own political or financial gain on issues like NSA spying and the TPP. The US Constitution REQUIRES them to swear and abide by those Oaths in order to qualify for the public offices which they presently occupying, but they are clearly not doing that. So, according to the US Constitution, they are NO LONGER QUALIFIED to hold those public offices!

This also applies to the five Republican US Supreme Court "Justices" who clearly violated their Oaths of Office when they unconstitutionally ruled that "corporations are people" and that "money equals free speech." There is NOTHING in the US Constitution that can HONESTLY be used to support either of those two claims. It would require the ratification of a constitutional amendment to so fundamentally modify the US Constitution, but those "Justices" were probably well aware that such radical constitutional amendments could never have gotten ratified, so they simply "ruled" that such changes were true.

These examples are all IMPEACHABLE offenses! If US voters (and news media) care at all about whether or not the US Constitution is worth anything more than the paper it was written on, they are going to have to DEMAND in no uncertain terms that the US Constitution be ENFORCED!

Feel free to publish this,

Christopher C. Currie, 161 Lake Shore Drive, Pascoag, RI 02859 401-568-8266

liz banker 9 years 2 weeks ago

With polls, without polls, pols do the bidding for their campaign contributors.

Polls continue to show Americans favor increasing taxes on the One Percenters, campaign finance reform, reigning in Wall Street, wanting Congress to vote "No" on XL Pipeline and "No" on the TPP, wanting gun control, etc... but what does Congress do instead...... vote against the interest of the majority. The solution: how about "outsourcing" Congress and make them work for $7.85 an hour with one-week paid vacation as their only benefit.

The worst offenders, you ask....the Democratic Party. At least the Republicans are coming around to the notion that they don't need to continue to pretend they're bidding on behalf of "hard-working Americans," rather instead, for the wealthy as noted by the 2012 presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

If you want to see the day of light after Nov 2016, it may be best to get behind a presidential candidate like Bernie Sanders -- the best and full-proof reason to do so is here:, and in particular, this paragraph from the article: “But, as I have noted elsewhere, Hillary Clinton honors her deals with the billionaires who hire her, however indirectly, even if her very public and heralded words that are spoken to adoring crowds at her political events are of no higher value than whatever is imposed upon all the toilet paper that gets discreetly flushed away unheralded to regions unknown and unnoticed. See, for examples, this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this.”

Thom, I did find your "enthusiastic" support for Hillary/partner-in-crime, in these hyperlinks indicated in the above, last sentence "this....and this, and this, and this.......": ,\ ; ; ; ;

I would guess that Thom would (still) rather have a phony Liberal than a phony conservative in the White House, thinking instead, that Hillary would probably do less damage to the economy, less erosion on civil rights/liberties--the Constitution, and project less hubris on other high-minded intellectual and economic privileges of the political class.

w1ders's picture
w1ders 9 years 2 weeks ago

Well, will we have a fight on our hands? I think more than enough folks are ready for just that if need be. The wealthy will snivel and cry in the end like the spoiled people they are but will get used to a different kind of wealth. They'll still have enough but not enough to burn like now. Good riddance. We've got to set in stone some rules so they don't sneak back in ten or twenty (ever) years. A firing squad for enforcement. No different than them killing our citizens with no health care without a second thought. Yeah, they are that bad.

w1ders's picture
w1ders 9 years 2 weeks ago

C. Currie, I agree and you could not have said it better. Thinking it is possible I can't wait.

Ike007's picture
Ike007 9 years 2 weeks ago

Yes! the money in politics and elections is a big part of our national problem. But I also feel like we must again have values and beliefs that support a society that has "the people" at the center of our vision for the future. What will we leave the future generations to work with?

stopgap's picture
stopgap 9 years 2 weeks ago

There are plenty of people with values and beliefs to support a better society. But the massive amounts of money of the 1% that is flushed into politics and the media is constantly used to smother and suppress those values and beliefs. Get rid of the money and you will see a return of values that support a society that looks after the welfare of all people and the welfare of the planet.

I really believe that Bernie Sanders will be the next president of the U.S. People are sick and tired of politicians that talk out of both sides of their mouths and can never answer a simple yes or no question. People sense that the planet really is in trouble and that the rich are totally out of control. People are looking for an alternative to mainstream politicians and I believe that they have run out of patience with political gamesmanship.

j.jonik 9 years 2 weeks ago

At long last, we are seeing writings about the historic links of the USA to Nazi Germany and fascism...the union of private capital and government. Fears of pointing out the fascist state of this "union" are fading.

There's a famous quote: "Fascism should more appropriatedly be called 'Corporatism' because it is a merger of state and corporate power".

That observation is often attributed to Mussolini, but many have pointed out that that's off target. Whoever said it, however, was on target.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 2 weeks ago

Liz you are wrong about one thing. 72% of Americans approve of Keystone and the congress agreed with them. What ever happened to "hope and change" six and a half years ago everyone on thom's site was in love with there government. They are all the same. The only difference is how much debt they piled up before they leave.

jproctor67's picture
jproctor67 9 years 2 weeks ago

Any body will be much better for America than anyone from the Tealiban Bagger Terrorist Controlled Republicans that are wholly owned by big money, and it seems that lately they don't even try to hide they are only working for their big money owners and not We The People. Ronnie Raygun was the start of the Wholly Owned member of the Big Money Owners Club, big money bought him the governors job in Calif. and then the POTUS job, and the big money groups saw how easy it was to get total control of the GOP they have continued to buy politicians from cities administrators on up, but the American people are smart enough to not allow them to buy the POTUS, and maybe 2016 the American people will rise up and go vote in mass numbers and take many of the senators and house members out and into early retirement.

PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 9 years 2 weeks ago

Couldn't agree more. Money needs to be removed from politics, especially big dollar corporate money thanks to "Citizens United" misruling. However, it's not going to happen without a bare knuckles fight to the finish. Money controls both sides of the aisles.It's no secret. That's one reason we are no longer a democratic republic, but instead, an oligrachy..and these people aren't going to say "sorry" and hand the power and control back to the people. It will have to be pried from their hands. In addition to real finance reform, we need real term limits and an independent body to handle district realigning at the federal and state levels.

Itaelena 9 years 2 weeks ago

Here's a different view on all this. M. Glennon is not a conspiracy theorist; he was legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as consultant to various congressional committes. "Vote all you want. The secret government won't change."

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 2 weeks ago

c. curie, w1ders etc -- The constitution says you are the ones to get rid of them. Go Bernie.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 2 weeks ago

Oddly, the Constitution lists neither violation of oath of office nor fraudulent attainment of office as impeachable offenses.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 2 weeks ago

kend -- There has been so much change. I keep printing the list of all the changes, but I try to stay to a limit of providing the list here to no more than once every 30 days.

When Obama promised "hope and change" he had no idea how sociopathic the republican party was. If only he had known about the meeting at the Caucus Room Restaurant the night of his inauguration.

83% of Americans do not even know which party controls the House of Representatives.

72% of Americans approving of the Keystone (I would certainly like to see the link to that poll) might have something to do with all those ads (and money) provided to mainstream media by the fossil fuel industries.

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