Political Articles from 2015
Billionaires Fear Revolt As People Power Grows
By Kevin Zeeze and Margaret Flowers
Posted June 15, 2015
Last week there was a populist revolt from across the political spectrum. Congress received tens of thousands of phone calls every day from people who are clear which side they are on: they want people and planet before profits; they want an open, transparent democracy not a secretive oligarchy.
The elites also see the revolts, whether it is people standing together to defend homeowners facing eviction or foreclosure, or #BlackLivesMatter rightful rage against police violence, or climate justice protesters marching in St. Paul, protesting at a governor’s home in Massachusetts, blocking Shell Arctic drilling or protesting at public meetings. . . every week there are protests like these and more. The elites are aware. They know we are in the midst of revolt. More…
It Cost Corporations Less Than $18,000 per Vote to Get ”Fast Track” Passed, and More
By Thom Hartmann
Posted June 3, 2015
You need to know this. It cost corporations less than $18,000 per vote to get “fast track” passed in the United States Senate. According to a recent analysis by The Guardian newspaper, corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP donated more than $1.1 million to Senate campaigns in the first quarter of 2015. The average Democrat received about $9,700, and the average Republican raked in almost $20,000.
Although last-minute donations may have increased the price of approval, it looks like corporations got a pretty good deal on fast track and the American people got a raw deal from our lawmakers. For a measly ten or twenty thousand bucks, US Senators were willing to give up their constitutionally mandated power to modify legislation and hand control of our nation over to their corporate masters. More…
Emails Reveal Diary Lobbyist Crafted “Ag-Gag” Legislation Outlawing Pictures Of Farms
By Lee Fang
Posted May 30, 2015
Across the country, legislatures are responding to whistleblowers and activists who have exposed inhumane and at times unsanitary practices at farms by passing laws that criminalize the taking of photos or videos at agricultural facilities.
Farming interests have publicly backed the campaign to outlaw recording. But emails I obtained through a records request reveal that in Idaho, which passed an “ag-gag” law last year, dairy industry lobbyists actually crafted the legislation that was later introduced by lawmakers.
State Sen. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, said he sponsored the bill in response to an activist-filmed undercover video that showed cows at an Idaho plant being beaten by workers, dragged by the neck with chains, and forced to live in pens covered in feces, which activists said made the cows slip, fall and injure themselves. The facility, Bettencourt Dairies, is a major supplier for Burger King and Kraft. The workers who were filmed were fired. More…
Chris Christie’s signature law called unconstitutional in court … by Christie administration
by Laura Clawson
Posted May 17, 2015
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is in court arguing that Christie should be able to violate the public employee pension law he pushed for and signed in his first term in office. According to the law, “members of the public-pension systems shall have a contractual right to the annual required contribution amount.” That shouldn’t have been groundbreaking, but it would have been—had Christie followed it—since the previous nine governors, Democrats included, had shorted the state’s contribution to the pension fund even as workers put in their share every year.
Christie’s signature pension law required workers to pay still more toward pensions and eliminated cost of living adjustments, but the claim was that in exchange for that, the state would start making its full contribution. Instead, it didn’t take long for Christie to start shorting the pension fund. More..
Politicians & The Manipulated Crowd
by Bob Livinston
Posted April 26, 2015
Life and happiness in this life under any political system directly depend upon how much our individuality (versus the crowd) is retained and to what extent we throw off manipulated illusions.
The more we are immersed into the mass mind (the crowd), the more we are manipulated and the more dependent on authority (government) we become. Every thrust of this nebulous thing called society is calculated to drive us into the dependent, mindless herd with automatic response to authority.
Not one American in a million discovers that he lives under deception and illusion and that he is victimized by the power of repeated words and phrases. Our lives and property are plundered simply because we don’t know that we don’t know. Our thought system enslaves us far more than would a conquering army. More…
Princeton makes it official — USA Has Become Oligarchy, No Democracy
by F. William Engdahl
Posted April 25, 2015
Martin Gilens is Professor of Politics at Princeton University together with Benjamin I. Page Professor at Northwestern University have published results of a unique analysis “using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.” The study concludes that, “Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination…”
Their study further concluded, “When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Finally they conclude, “…Our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. More…
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