Politicians for SALE: Wall Street vs. Main Street

Politicians have been selling out to the highest bidder for years. Who are the benefactors? It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure it out. The GOP represents Wall Street; Democrats represent Main Street. Republicans may reign supreme from time to time. But, for many, many years–Democrats controlled congress…

Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for 60 years between 1933-1995 (in all but four years); and, they controlled the Senate in all but ten years. If you wanted something done, you needed the support of the Democrats. Those were the good ol’ days- a time when Congressional leaders upheld public interest. Somewhere, along the way, things changed:

Republicans seized power in 1994 by raising massive amounts of campaign cash. Between 1994-1998, Republican candidates raised a record breaking $1 BILLION+ dollars (Kaiser, 2009. So Damn Much Money, p. 272).

In 1994 (for the first time since 1954), Republicans gained control of both houses. The power shift gave the Neo-Cons a taste of how much power they stood to lose, if they didn’t keep their sponsors happy. Perhaps, this could explain why the power hungry Neo-Cons turned their collective focus away from public interest, to their corporate bedfellows. After all, they had $1 billion+ favors to repay. But, the Democrats would not go quietly- between 1995 and 2010, congressional power shifted as many times in fifteen years as it had in the past forty-five years (Lessig,L. 2011. Republic Lost, p.94).

In 2008, Republicans were dumping campaign cash at any contender they thought could beat a Democrat (Hillary or Obama). It didn’t take long for Democrats to learn that in order to beat Republicans (and BIG MONEY), you’ve got to raise a lot of cash, too. Presidential Candidates – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain – together spent more than $1 billion, an unprecedented figure. But, Obama didn’t win because of the massive amounts of campaign cash alone, he had a message. Of course, the cash helped Obama, no doubt, but he inspired Americans at a time when many of us had had a belly full of Bush, Cheney, the Industrial Military Complex, and failed Republican policies.

And, just when we thought we’d be able to loosen the Neo-Con stranglehold on humanity, enter the DRAGON: Citizens United.

The Citizens United ruling in 2010, was the proverbial nail in the coffin of public interest. All hail BIG BUSINESS. The landmark decision allows corporations and unions to throw endless amounts of cash at politicians. (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S.08-205 (2010), 558 U.S., 130 S. Ct. 876 (January 21, 2010)).

But, today, a silver lining appeared…today, Montana High Court Says ‘Citizens United’ Does Not Apply In Big Sky State. Lawyers attacking the Montana ban on direct corporate spending said the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2010 Citizens United ruling removed any barrier to corporate spending. But the Montana Supreme Court disagreed and took a more nuanced view:

“What was true a century ago is as true today: distant corporate interests mean that corporate dominated campaigns will only work ‘in the essential interest of outsiders with local interests a very secondary consideration.”

What does this mean? Time will tell. I can tell you that I now hold a new affection for the Big Sky State. All things considered, it’s still safe to say that Republicans will stop at nothing to defeat Democrats, and especially, President Obama. As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Therefore, I am duty bound to open up my checkbook and throw as much cash as possible toward QUALIFIED Democrats who do not worship at the altar of Wall Street, but work with us folks down here on Main Street. Please feel free to do the same, Main Street depends on it.

Cross posted on: www.definedontdefend.com and www.allthingsdemocrat.com

Forget the Boots, Save the Watches!

I’ve always said that  if you want any Sh*t out of Perry, just squeeze his neck.  And, apparently, Perry has plenty to spare because his campaign trail is so littered, it’s impossible to wade through the enormous piles of manure he leaves behind at every stop.  FORGET THE BOOTS, SAVE THE WATCHES! It’s getting deep around here.

If you’re from Texas, you already know that Rick Perry is crazy.  So crazy, in fact, he’s often referred to as Straight Jacket Perry.  A glimpse into that empty pea brain of his reveals that, not only is this man one brick shy of a load, he is 100% certifiable. Here’s PROOF. Just take a peek at the whopper ideas that made the Think Progress Top 10 Weird List:

— 10. Social Security Is Evil.

—9. Conscription and Wartime Price Controls.

— 8.Medicare is Too Expensive .

— 7. All Bank Regulation Is Unconstitutional.

— 6. Consumer Financial Protection Is Unconstitutional.

— 5. Almost Everything Is Unconstitutional.

— 4. Federal Education Policy Is Unconstitutional.

— 3. Al Gore Is Part Of A Conspiracy To Deny The Existence Of Global Cooling.

— 2. Activist Judges Are a Problem.

—1. The Civil War Was Caused By Slaveowners Trampling On Northern States’ Rights.

http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/08/15/295427/295427/

Poll Tax, Revisited

The radical right extremists and the tea party redneck brigade boldly claim to be defenders & protectors of the Constitution. Perhaps, these self proclaimed patriots should read it.

“Imagine that you are finally old enough to vote in your first election. But, do you have enough money to vote? What if you had to pay to vote? Not too many years ago, citizens in some states had to pay a fee to vote in a national election. This fee was called a poll tax. On January 23, 1964, the United States ratified the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting any poll tax in elections for federal officials.”

When Texas voters are asked to show a photo ID at the polls in January, they will join voters in 29 other states that have adopted voter identification requirements — but only six of which require photo identification. The new requirement reeks of Voter Suppression. Texas Democrats have expressed concern with the new requirement” You can too.

Studies have shown that 11 percent of eligible voters, more than 20 million Americans, do not have a government-issued ID. This percentage is even higher for seniors, racial minorities, low-income voters and students. The record is clear that restrictive photo identification laws, such as the one just passed in Texas, serve no legitimate purpose. While proponents cite the need to guard against voter fraud, numerous recent investigations and studies have found zero evidence of substantial voter fraud of the kind voter ID laws would protect against — voter impersonation.

The procedure to obtain a Texas ID or Driver’s License requires you to show “Lawful Presence” by producing one of the following:

  1. Certificate of Birth issued by appropriate U.S. State, Territory, or District of Columbia;
  2. Department of State Certification of birth issued to U.S. Citizens born abroad
  3. Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  4. U.S. Dept. of Justice – INS U.S. Citizenship Identification Card
  5. U.S. Dept. of Justice – INS Identification Card for Resident Citizen of the U.S.
  6. U.S. Passport
  7. Valid Permanent Resident Card
  8. Passport or I-94 stamped “Approved I-551”;
  9. Passport or I-94 stamped “Processed for I-551” or
  10. Permit to Re-enter (Form I-327).

Most, if not all, require a certified copy of your birth certificate to obtain.

A Texas ID costs about $ 25.

And, to obtain a copy of your birth certificate (in Texas) you must provide:

  1. State-issued driver’s license
  2. State/city/county ID card
  3. Student ID
  4. Government employment badge or card
  5. Prison ID
  6. Military ID.

Certified copy of birth certificate costs about $22.

Combined cost (birth certificate/license): $47

Disturbing Fact: let’s say you make minimum wage (which makes up the majority of the so called jobs that Perry is claiming to have created), $7.25 an hour. You would need to work 6.48 hours in order to make enough money to pay your Poll Tax.

References: Embedded Links