Published: Wednesday 17 October 2012
“The AAPC has also demonstrated that we will remain vigilant in guarding political speech and defending our profession from unwarranted infringements.”

 

 

No doubt about it:  If Willard Mitt Romney wins on November 7 it will be a watershed in American history – the first time a candidate and his rich backers clearly bought a presidential election.  No one with a passing familiarity with the facts or a scintilla of common sense can argue otherwise.  Anyone so inclined is urged to do a quick internet search using these key words: 1) Citizens United; 2) Super Pacs; and 3) 501(c)(4) organizations.

 

Next, check out the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) and the rise of for-profit enterprises that specialize in campaign strategy and tactics, especially the use of attack ads, disinformation, and propaganda.  Start with "The Lie Factory"(Jill Lepore,The New Yorker September 24, 2012) , a trenchant piece of journalism about "How politics became a business" starting in the 1930s.   Then go and have a look at AAPC's website where you will learn, "…the cornerstone of the American Association of Political Consultants is ethical conduct in campaigns by political professionals.  The AAPC has also demonstrated that we will remain vigilant in guarding political speech and defending our profession from unwarranted infringements."  Presumably, the latter is defined to include limits on campaign contributions and regulations aimed at re-injecting sanity into our elections. 

 

NPR's Peter Overby, who recently reported on how big money and secrecy (mega-contributions from undisclosed donors) are shaping this election (October 15), revealed how the business of politics has, for all practical purposes, been turned into a racket (like, say, bootlegging and prostitution in the 1930s) and the shadowy individuals who operate behind the scenes are little different from racketeers like ...

Published: Sunday 12 August 2012
“Given that Americans know so little about so much of what they have strong opinions about, it is inevitable that know-nothingness should contaminate the politics of the nation.”

 

Part I – The Know-Nothings, Then and Now

 

There is a universal phenomenon that I call natural localism.  The majority of people, wherever they might live,  are affected by this condition.  It results in limited knowledge–knowledge of what is local and ignorance (often breeding fear) of what is not local.  Unless countered by positive education and tolerance,  natural localism can result in aggressive behavior toward the unfamiliar.

 

In the year 1849, natural localism was institutionalized in a small nativist party in the United States called The American Party.  It was basically an anti-immigrant affair.  White men who were ignorant and fearful of outsiders came to see Catholic immigrants of all descriptions undermining the true character of ...

Published: Tuesday 5 June 2012
“One way or the other, the outlook for Joe Blow, Barack Obama, and Uncle Sam is all gloom and doom.”

Recent news headlines are a clear intimation that the gods are not on our side.  “Our” in this case can be read as the U.S., the West, or the Planet we call Earth – all apply.  Here’s a sampling:

“Dismal Job Market Pushes Dow into 275-Point Plunge”
 (DailyFinance)

“Obama Ordered Cyber Attacks on Iran”
 (New York Times)

“American Nuns Fight Back Against Vatican Crackdown”
READ FULL POST 3 COMMENTS

Published: Saturday 26 May 2012
“If it hadn’t been for an accident of birth – make that three accidents of birth – he wouldn’t have a prayer of becoming president of the United States of America.”

 

 

Willard Mitt Romney is my leading candidate for president – of the Lucky Sperm Club.   Willard can't admit publicly that he's a member of the LSC without blowing his cover (to include never using his real name).  But there are some things even super rich disingenuous politicians with perfect teeth can't hide.  Like mountainous slag piles of money.

 

If it hadn't been for an accident of birth – make that three accidents of birth – he wouldn't have a prayer of becoming president of the United States of America.  And not having a prayer is something no devout Christian, much less a Mormon ("devout" being redundant here), ever wants to face in life or death.

 

The truly amazing fact is that many of the respondents in recent polls – a lot of folks presumably stuck in the stagnant middle of the middle class – don't seem to get it.  Why else would anyone who works for average pay in this country want to elevate a guy like Willard Romney – the scion of a wealthy family whose father was the Republican governor of Michigan (who himself had presidential ambitions, by the way) – to the nation's highest office?

 

Willard Romney!  A person who has shown himself to have no understanding whatsoever of what it means to work for average pay – or to worry about paying the bills, getting sick and not having health insurance, facing foreclosure, finding a decent job (one with benefits), et cetera.

 

About the three accidents of birth I mentioned earlier:  First, the obvious one.  Willard Romney was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  Of course, there's no disgrace in that, but it's hardly a reason to admire his, ahem, great accomplishments.  It's a little like saying that a portly ...

Published: Thursday 5 January 2012
“The 2012 presidential election promises to be long, contentious, extremely expensive and perhaps more negative than any in history.”

The Republican caucuses in Iowa, with their cliffhanger ending, confirmed two key political points and left a third virtually ignored. First, the Republicans are not enthusiastic about any of their candidates. Second, we have entered a new era in political campaigning in the United States post-Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that unleashed a torrent of unreported corporate money into our electoral process. And third, because President Barack Obama is running in this primary season unchallenged, scant attention has been paid to the growing discontent among the very people who put him in office in 2008. As a result, the 2012 presidential election promises to be long, contentious, extremely expensive and perhaps more negative than any in history.

Mitt Romney technically prevailed in the Iowa caucuses, squeaking out an eight-vote margin over late-surging Rick Santorum. Libertarian Ron Paul garnered an impressive 21 percent of the vote in the crowded field. Note that the Republican Party does not allow a recount of the handwritten, hand-counted ballots, and that the final Romney edge was first reported on right-wing Fox News Channel by none other than its paid commentator Karl Rove, the architect of George W. Bush’s two controversial presidential election wins.

So, the prevailing wisdom is that while Willard Mitt Romney retains the veneer of “electability,” he cannot persuade more than 25 percent of Republicans to vote for him. Santorum’s surge was a late-breaking coalescence of ...

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