By: Jason Easley
August 30th, 2012
Sen. Bernie Sanders is praising President Obama’s support for his constitutional amendment and movement to overturn Citizens United.
Yesterday, during a Reddit chat, Obama announced his support for Sen. Sanders’ efforts to overturn Citizens United, “Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress – to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”
Sen. Sanders responded to Obama in a statement, “I applaud President Obama for expressing support for a serious effort to restore the democratic foundations of our country that are under severe attack as a result of the disastrous Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United.”
Let’s be honest, President Obama isn’t going to sway the electorate by supporting the movement to overturn Citizens United. The truth is that most Americans still don’t understand Citizens United and the impact that it is having on both our electoral system and our government. The Sanders led campaign to get rid of Citizens United is currently just as much about education as it is policy change.
The crazy train, built by the religious right and accelerated by the Tea Party, must stop before it goes off the rails and inflicts severe damage on America. It is unclear what the ultimate aims of these extremists truly are or where they ultimately want to take this country, but it is increasingly clear that people like Rep. Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin have a markedly different vision of this nation than the rest of us. As their rhetoric grows more reckless, the fundamentalism more inflexible, the “facts” more fantastical, the threats more menacing, the politics more petulant, and the demands increasingly dictatorial, one has to wonder where this precarious road leads.
The right’s incoherent hatred of its caricature of government mixes uneasily with its worship of weapons that have virtually nothing to do with hunting or helping protect families from intruders. Their unfounded attacks on America’s foundations are as offensive as their stockpile of weapons appears to be offensive. We used to call such efforts sedition, but now they are simply an audition for some GOP and Tea Party candidates. For example, a Lubbock County, Texas, judge, Tom Head, made an appearance on a local television show in which he offered a wild, anti-UN conspiracy theory and suggested rebelling against President Barack Obama and assassinating him. According to The New York Times:
“[Obama] is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N.,” Mr. Head said on Fox 34 last week. “O.K., what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst-case scenario: civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. And we’re not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”
And if the president did send in United Nations troops, Mr. Head continued, “I don’t want ’em in Lubbock County. O.K. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carriers and say, ‘You’re not coming in here.’ And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him. I said, ‘You gonna back me?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll back you.’
Well, I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there,” Mr. Head said. “I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me.”
By Amy Goodman
Posted on Aug 29, 2012
TAMPA, Fla.—Four hardy souls from rural Illinois joined tens of thousands of people undeterred by threats of Hurricane Isaac during this week’s Republican National Convention. They weren’t among the almost 2,400 delegates to the convention, though, nor were they from the press corps, said to number 15,000. They weren’t part of the massive police force assembled here, more than 3,000 strong, all paid for with $50 million of U.S. taxpayer money. These four were about to join a much larger group: the more than 2.4 million people in the past decade whose U.S. jobs have been shipped to China. In their case, the company laying them off and sending their jobs overseas is Bain Capital, co-founded by the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
We met the group at Romneyville, a tent city on the outskirts of downtown Tampa, established by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign in the spirit of the Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. A couple hundred people gathered before the makeshift stage to hear speakers and musicians, under intermittent downpours and the noise of three police helicopters drowning out the voices of the anti-poverty activists. Scores of police on bicycles occupied the surrounding streets.
Cheryl Randecker was one of those four we met at Romneyville whose Bain jobs are among the 170 slated to be off-shored. They build transmission sensors for many cars and trucks made in the United States. Cheryl was sent to China to train workers there, not knowing that the company was about to be sold and the jobs she was training people for included her own. I asked her how it felt to be training her own replacements after working at the same company for 33 years:
“Knowing that you’re going to be completely out of a job and there’s no hope for any job in our area, it was gut-wrenching, because you don’t know where the next point is going to be. I’m 52 years old. What are we going to do? To start over at this point in my life is extremely scary.”
Cheryl and her co-workers learned that the Honeywell division they had been working for had been sold to Sensata Technologies. They researched Sensata. “We found out this summer that it was owned by Bain [Capital],“she said. “Then we found the connection between Bain and Governor Romney. And that just spurred a little bit of emotion … we wanted to stand up and fight back and take a stand for the American people and for our jobs.”
Continue reading at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/workers_feel_the_pain_of_bain_20120829/
From Right Wing Watch: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/derbyshire-blacks-ill-fitted-life-bourgeois-society
by Brian Tashman
on Thu, 08/30/2012
After losing his job at the National Review, John Derbyshire has found a new home at the White Nationalist website VDARE where he can even more openly spew vitriol at minorities, as he did yesterday in his column comparing the situation of African Americans in the U.S. to the Roma, better known as gypsies, of Europe. “In both cases you have a big racial-ethnic bloc of people who are, for whatever reason—discuss among yourselves—radically ill-fitted for life in bourgeois society,” Derbyshire writes. “In both cases, actual bourgeois citizens opt for ethnic disaggregation: for the gypsies to be moved on, for separation by white flight from the underclass blacks. National authorities respond appropriately, with expulsion and incarceration.”
With views like these, it makes you wonder why National Review took so long to fire him.
The thing I find myself wondering is: are these truly, as I said back then, different kinds of problem—underclass blacks in America, gypsies in Europe?
In both cases you have a big racial-ethnic bloc of people who are, for whatever reason—discuss among yourselves—radically ill-fitted for life in bourgeois society.
In both cases, well-intentioned Left activists—under the banner of Civil Rights in the U.S.A., Human Rights in Europe—propose social-engineering solutions that would cost scads of public money, even as all our public money is vanishing into chasms of debt. Many of the proposed solutions have already been tried; all of them rest on implausible assumptions about human nature.
The best that either bloc has come up with on its own is the absurd-yet-sinister crackpot mock-militarism of the Nation of Islam.
In both cases, actual bourgeois citizens opt for ethnic disaggregation: for the gypsies to be moved on, for separation by white flight from the underclass blacks. National authorities respond appropriately, with expulsion and incarceration.
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/30-12
We might wish the uproar from the convention halls of both parties these busy weeks were the wholesome clamor of delegates deliberating serious visions of how we should be governed for the next four years. It rises instead from scripted TV spectacles — grown-ups doing somersaults of make-believe — that will once again distract the public’s attention from the death rattle of American democracy brought on by an overdose of campaign cash.
No serious proposal to take the money out of politics, or even reduce its tightening grip on the body politic, will emerge from Tampa or Charlotte, so the sounds of celebration and merriment are merely prelude to a funeral cortege for America as a shared experience. A radical minority of the super-rich has gained ascendency over politics, buying the policies, laws, tax breaks, subsidies, and rules that consolidate a permanent state of vast inequality by which they can further help themselves to America’s wealth and resources.
Their appetite for more is insatiable. As we write, Mitt Romney, after two fundraisers in which he raised nearly $10 million from the oil and gas industry, and having duly consulted with the Oklahoma billionaire energy executive who chairs the campaign’s energy advisory committee, has announced that if elected President, he will end a century of federal control over oil and gas drilling on public lands, leaving such matters to local officials more attuned to industry desires. Theodore Roosevelt, the first great advocate for public lands in the White House, would be rolling in his grave, if Dick Cheney hadn’t already dumped his bones in a Wyoming mining shaft during the first hours of the Bush-Halliburton administration.
We are nearing the culmination of a cunning and fanatical drive to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory canons, and the intellectual and cultural frameworks that were slowly and painstakingly built over decades to protect everyday citizens from the excesses of private power. The “city on the hill” has become a fortress of privilege, guarded by a hired political class and safely separated from the economic pressures that are upending the household stability, family dynamics, social mobility, and civic life of everyday Americans.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/30-12