Wake Up Citizens

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I am a bit annoyed. Truthfully, I am more than a bit annoyed, I am over the top, heels over ass pissed the hell right off. What is wrong with people? By people, I do have specific people in mind.

markmeadows

Seditious Mark Meadows, Jr Congressman North Carolina (R)

I could list the seventy-nine seditious ass clowns who signed the letter initiated by North Carolina Junior Representative Mark Meadows; instead, I will simply provide you the link to his site, which includes the letter and the signatures1. I want to talk about something other than the shutdown of the United States government, though my subject is closely tied to this one.

I don’t want to talk about those subversive son-of-bitches in D.C., they simply do not care; keeping in mind, they are still collecting their pay. Don’t be fooled by their sad eyed bullshit, they got their checks on September 30 through Direct Deposit and are not expecting another until October 30. They cannot ‘defer’ their own pay; no indeed not, it is all a great big lie. The only thing they can do is donate it and very few of them are doing that.

So let’s talk about what is equally important, what is critical to the function of our government and your and my voice in the future. We don’t have much of one left because the last time something this important was before SCOTUS we blinked. If we blink this time, we lose our voice, perhaps forever.

McCutcheon v. FEC

With Citizen United v.FEC the door was opened to corporations, giving them the same voice citizens had in the workings of our government. Now of course this isn’t true, corporations, especially multi-national corporations, have a great deal more money than you and I thus they had more to give. In essence, what SCOTUS said with their ruling, money is speech, corporations just like you, and I have the same First Amendment Rights to Free Speech. Citizen United broke the dam, opened the floodgates and the money poured in as the legislators at every level (federal, state and local) draped  “For Sale” signs around their necks and stuck their hands out. The voice of the citizen, it was drowned out by the voice of the big business and their CEO’s, as it never had been before.

We were asleep. We let this happen. Only after the fact, have some of us woken up to what this meant to our political systems, to our democratic republic. Now, only after the fact we do we bemoan the loss of our voice in Congress. Now, as we watch the Koch funded Tea Party terrorist shut down the government do we shake our head in dismay and question our reasoning. Now, as we watch those sleazy and ignorant knuckle draggers obstruct the appropriate workings of our government and threaten the economy of this nation and the f’ng world, do we realize what it meant to cede our authority and our voice in the government “by the People and for the People” do we realize what ‘money as speech’ means. Unfortunately, there are still those, even those without a pot to piss in or window to throw it out of, who continues to defend Citizens United, the Tea Party and those who would strip the very meat off their bones.

So, let us quickly talk about McCutcheon v. FEC, which was argued before SCOTUS on 8-October to raise further individual campaign limits to $3.5M per donor to a single party’s candidates, parties or committees. Previously, a single donor was limited to $123,000 in direct donation to parties or committees, or $2,600 in individual contributions to 17 candidates for a total of $46,200 and an additional $70,800 to a political action committee (PAC) or group within a two-year federal cycle. Keep in mind this is only on the federal level, these wealthy donors are not similarly limited at the state or local level. Mr. McCutcheon though, he is outraged his voice is limited, his ability to buy his own personal Congressman or woman is limited in this way.

Those who have joined in his suit, they are also similarly outraged. They are:

  • The Republican National Committee
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joining as an outside party

Oh, did I forget to mention Shaun McCutcheon is a little known multi-millionaire from Alabama who is active in conservative circles? Yes, indeed our friend Mr. McCutcheon is another one of the ‘big’ donors who likes to buy up legislators to make certain his personal agenda is well represented at the expense of all the rest of America’s citizens. He is the CEO of Coalmont Electrical Development, an engineering firm specializing in mining. He is according to the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Bill Armistead, a sincere Republican and Activist. This sincere member of the 1% first broached the idea of his lawsuit to further strip your and my voices from the public forum at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)2.

We need too really think hard about this one for just one minute, currently a single donor can give $123,000 in any two-year cycle. This amount is twice what the average American family earns, that is two times what the Average American Family has to pay their bills with, save against catastrophe with, save for their children’s future education with, pay for their healthcare with, feed themselves with and contribute to political campaigns, candidates, committees and parties from. Consider some of this:

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A bit of history is important, limits were put in place to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption after Nixon and the Watergate scandal of the 1970’s. Watergate led to changes in campaign financing, as well as, the Freedom of Information Act in 1974. In addition to these legislative changes, it became expected that candidates would disclose personal finances including tax filings. In fact, Mitt Romney was the first presidential candidate since that time to balk at the release of personal financial information, wonder why that was.

So we must ask the question, like so much else we achieved to move this nation forward toward equality in the past one hundred years, why this why now? I think I can answer this question, we have the perfect storm, we have a court that will continue to strip away, every progressive accomplishment and every citizen’s right we have gained. Someday, those at the top will look back and it won’t be Ronald Reagan they will worship it will be George W. Bush, who tipped the scales of the Supreme Court in their favor.

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Are you willing to see this happen? I am certainly not prepared for the slide backward, not in my lifetime. I am constantly astounded when anyone who is barely able to meet their rent or mortgage defends the likes of Shaun McCutcheon, the infamous Koch brothers or for that matter the GOP and their slimy Right Wing minority the Tea Party contingent. Is it not clear yet? These people are not your friends, their version of the American Dream is an American Nightmare for 99% of us, this Shutdown is only a taste of what is to come under their vision of our future.

Tell SCOTUS, tell your Representative, tell the Administration: Enough is Enough. Return America to the People. Restore Campaign Finance.

Tell the Supreme Court No: http://www.demos.org/mccutcheon-v-fec-new-citizens-united

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

1http://meadows.house.gov/press-releases/meadows-sends-letter-encouraging-house-leadership-to-defund-obamacare/#.UlV_9FDoZ8F

2http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/08/meet-shaun-mccutcheon-the-republican-activist-trying-to-make-history-at-the-supreme-court.html

Election Spending: http://www.demos.org/publication/election-spending-2012-pre-election-analysis-federal-election-commission-data

Complete Analysis: http://www.demos.org/publication/stop-next-citizens-united

Brief filed with court: http://www.demos.org/publication/amicus-brief-supreme-court-mccutcheon-v-fec

Report Special Interest over National Interest: http://www.demos.org/publication/billion-dollar-democracy-unprecedented-role-money-2012-elections

Super Pac money Auctioning Democracy: http://www.demos.org/publication/auctioning-democracy-rise-super-pacs-and-2012-election

Millionaire Megaphones: http://www.demos.org/publication/million-dollar-megaphones-super-pacs-and-unlimited-outside-spending-2012-elections

Comments

  1. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” — Dr. Seuss
    I don’t blame one party of the other…I blame them all. More political tug-o-war to see who can make who look bad. I am afraid there aren’t too many sincere hearts among Democrats or Republicans…just a lot of political jargon and personal agendas. I am ignorant of a lot and I don’t study up enough. I am most often among the too complacent ~ perhaps it is just from disgust of them all..

    • No, sorry in this case it is not both parties. It is one party and it is the extremists within one party pushing those too afraid of being primaried by them to do anything about it. No, it is not both parties. The shutdown of the government has been planned by one party. The Default has been planned by one party. The petulant behavior of junior representatives of one party elected with dark money from multi-millionairs representing themselves has been carried out by a minority of one party representing themselves.

      No, it is not both parties. It is one party.

  2. The members of the Tea Party have been duped in my opinion. They’ve been used and lied to and set in motion by the same kind of forces the average member seems to be so opposed to. I feel sorry for those who are decent people who are just being fooled. That being said, an individual has the ability to look at all different sides if they choose to. Ignorance is dangerous. If one gets all their information from Fox N…(can’t call them “news”) and the Koch bros, it’s no wonder they’re so screwed up.

    • I agree, we should be doing our own research. We should be looking at all sides of every single issue and drawing conclusions based on logic.

      If we listen to only one side, shame on us.

      I also agree, those who jumped on the Tea Party bandwagon are being used. I pity them if the end goal is ever reached.

  3. Reblogged this on BLU and commented:
    Yes, we’re asleep.
    http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2411618723

  4. Ah, Mark Meadows, the man who represents what used to be my district before the Great Gerrymandering of 2011, which split what was a fiercely competitive region into reliably tea-bagging one and has rendered WNC’s single liberal voice mute. It is infuriating that those of us who are awake cannot be heard over the din of hypocrisy and ignorance around here. Great post!

    • Thanks Amaya, I am glad you enjoyed my rant. Maybe enjoyed is not the right word, but you know.

      Medows, Cruz and the rest of these Azzhats must be run out of D.C. on rails. Safe districts? I am not so sure at this point, perhaps their safety is being erroded by their bad behavior. Yes, there are still those (5%-25%) who think their seditious behavior is just all rainbows and light, but I suspect that number will continue to decline.

      Personally? I wonder what keeps them upright under the weight of their guilt.

  5. The Tea Party doesn’t mind the big donors running the process only as long as those donors are successful in convincing Tea Partiers that they are on the same side. And Koch, Adelson, and McCutcheon are doing an excellent job on that so far. But as soon as a liberal-leaning billionaire (e.g., Soros or Buffett) decides to match conservative SuperPACs, then you can count on Tea Party screaming to establish campaign finance limits right away.

  6. Reblogged this on 5 Degrees Of Inspiration and commented:
    Wake up, people – our government is nothing but a bunch of gigolos, bought and paid for by millionaire Johns who have only interest in themselves.

  7. kingmidget says:

    The amount of money conservative billionaires contribute for political purposes is truly stunning. It’s interesting what “liberal” billionaires do with their fortunes. Think Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation as an example.

  8. Reblogged this on The Arkside of Thought and commented:
    All good points. Too many to ignore.

  9. Well done, as always, Val. I LOVE your new graphics.

    We will be stuck with the ramifications of Dubya for a generation or two or three, I fear. And I don’t have much hope for the sanity of the Supreme Court in this case in particular. Perhaps we can have the Devil visit Scalia … oh, wait. Scalia IS the devil.

    • Thanks Elyse, I am enjoying playing with the graphics capability and being able to use more information, there is just so much sometimes!!

      I fear you are right, but if enough of us can raise our voices loud enough through the petitions telling this court this is wrong and getting the information out there, perhaps they can be swayed. You are so right Scalia is the Devil, but Roberts as always is the swing on this case. We can only hope he knows the terrible thing he wrought with Citizens United and will not extend it further.

  10. Reblogging this

  11. I have never been so happy as I am now on my side of the pond, but, we are becoming more imperfect as time goes by and the domino effects of what’s doing on in your backyard, is no yawning matter.

    • Infection spreads Tess if not cut out, even if extreme measures are needed. I saw something the other day from a Vietnam draft dodger bemoaning the fact he ever returned to the US from Canada, can’t say I blame him.

  12. I watch the Jon Stewart show – he puts them down so well – and he also talks sense.

    During my formative years, I used to admire America. This was reinforced during my first visit there in 1979.

    Sadly, I’ve watched many politicians (but not all) everywhere and in every country undermine their people’s best interests in favour of personal interests.

    • I love Jon Stewart, I think he is likely the most accurate news source we have these days. During my formative years, I admired the US also even when I manned the picket lines for civil rights and in protest of Vietnam, I still loved and admired the US. Sadly, in the past twenty years my confidence and admiration has been greatly undermined.

  13. It seems intuitive that pouring money into a candidate will ensure that candidate’s allegiance. Kindergartners would understand this. Thus, if we want a fair and impartial government, then individuals and corporations should not be able to finance them without reasonable limits in place. Common sense, right? But sadly, like so many other things related to Congress, common sense is as meaningless as the hordes of spam flooding my inbox. Sigh.

    Excellent post, Valentine.

    • Thanks Carrie. It does seem this would be common sense, doesn’t it? The problem in my mind, we are being distracted by other things so this is sliding right under the radar.

      Truly frightening.

  14. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

  15. Val you and your fellow country men and women are right to be concerned and WAKE -UP time is ripe right now… I have been following what has been happening in the USA via various internet info, as what is immanent could not only affect every US citizens lives but have a huge knock on affect around the Globe…
    I ready this article a few days ago, Link Here http://wp.me/p1eYXc-95l
    This will be a reality if people do not WAKE UP soon to how the system is being manipulated …

    As always Val your knowledge on politics is spot on, and this is one wake up call The United States and the World will not forget…

    Love to you my friend
    Sue

    • We are idiots and fools in this nation Sue. Most of us stick our heads up our asses or someone else’s thinking those with all the money and power give two tinkers damn. I cannot begin to tell you how many of these ill-informed idiots who vote against their own best interests, year in and year out believe the Conservative Right and their ugly step-child the Tea Party in fact has the best interest of the United States of America and those in the 99% in the laser focus. It simply is not the truth, never has been and never will be.

      This Shutdown is nothing more than a foreshadowing of what is to come.

      • Yes and when it spills onto the streets as tempers flare it will be a terrible day that will be hard to end… And as positive as I have tried to be, This is what some are instigating knowing what the consequences will be….

        It takes so very little to to ignite a fire that is fuelled this way..

  16. This is a great posting Val, of course I don’t really know much about politics in the United States of America but with the present farce going on it isn’t hard to see what a complete and utter mess they are all making, which to be fair is likened to so many other countries governments these days so it would seem that we are all f*$%*d 😦

    Have a lovely Thursday my great friend 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    • Thank you my friend. We are heading toward an abyss, one I am afraid we are going to be pushed into without safety equipment. The seditious twits at the top are gleefully poking with their pitchforks, cackling and popping Viagra to insure their 4 hour hard-ons as we all fall down.

      • It’s a disgrace Val,
        and these are supposed
        to be running the show 😦

        Bloody Hopeless…

        Have a wonderful evening
        and a lovely Friday too 🙂 🙂

        Andro xxxx

        • It is my friend, truly it is. I fear for us here. But, I remain hopeful we will find our way out, if not through the idiots at the top then because there remains reasonable peole on the ground who will demand their representatives finally do what they were elected to do.

          We shall see.

          • I understand that there is a meeting with the President sometime today so hopefully something will be sorted out shortly after 🙂

            There is no time for stupidity in a world that is as volatile as this one is right now, they just need to get a grip before it is too late. I mean confidence in government is lacking at the best of times so this display feeds the critics and damages the country at the same time 😦

            Have a lovely Friday Val, and hopefully
            one that is well away from politics 🙂 🙂

            Andro xxxx

            • A meeting where the outcome is just more of the same. Negotiation where blackmail is the the centerpiece is not negotiation.

              You have a lovely weekend as well.

              • I know it isn’t and I hope that they show some leadership today, all confidence will be lost if they don’t do things properly…

                Hey take a look at the posting I just added it will give you a smile, I don’t know the Author but it’s a wicked treat 🙂

                Nooooo it’s not something that I would normally post but I think that quite a lot of you wonderful gals and boys will like it 🙂 lol

                Andro xxxx

  17. The fact that money has been translated into speech still bothers me … and that includes the money flow that goes into the Democratic side.

    • They are all for sale Frank, it is simply the Democrats haven’t figured out how to work the system as well yet. I think one of the pictures shows the full scope of problem. I agree though it is across the board. This is why Citizens United, has to be overturned, this new one has to be rejected and new Campaign Finance Reform laws must be written.

      • Rather they are all for sale, I lean toward they’ve all been bought … .otherwise they wouldn’t be there. Meanwhile, thinking back to the last campaign, special interests on both sides aired many distorted ads. The GOP may have had more money in that way, but the money flow win wasn’t a landslide.

        • Agreed Frank, it is why I believe those of us who remember the Nixon era or who had parents who lived through the first depression and remember the stories must engage. We cannot afford to watch, to simply believe our vote is enough, it is not. I don’t think they have all been bought, but a good majority of them certainly have. When I say the Democrats simply haven’t learned to work the system, I mean they haven’t learned to fight dirty yet. The other problem with the left? They remain still outside of the truly ‘big money’, they don’t appeal to the great big single donors and their issues. The parties really are not the same and we should not lump them into the same pot, it is a mistake.

          There remain some good people on both sides, though on the GOP side they are harder to find due to fear. I will write more on this soon.

  18. I really do not think Jane and Joe American give a rat’s ass anymore. What we have now is no different from the theocracy we left. Oligarchy is just as whacked.

    • Therein lies the problem. I truly believe this is an issue of education rather than not caring. If some of us simply stood up and said enough, started speaking louder, screaming if we have to perhaps we could end this absolute mudslide.

  19. Reblogged this on Adithya Entertainment.

  20. AMEN, Val! What more can I say? You have argued this brilliantly and persuasively. Ours is becoming a scary country.

    Have you ever read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale? If not, I recommend it. It’s not so much about corporate America but about what could happen, ultimately, if the religious right has there way. It’s a brilliant novel.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Thank you Kathy. I read that one years ago when it was first released, I love Margaret Atwood, she is one of the great voices in my mind. She has written other equally horrifying novels that cause you to sit back and wonder, what the hell are we heading towards.

      I tell you Kathy, you may be seeing me sooner than you think. I fear for us all.

      Love from Dallas

      Val

  21. Thank you for the reblog, it is very much appreciated.

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