I would find it amusing were it not so appalling that people support the idea that the struggles between Democrats and Republicans are simply matters of belief. These problems are a matter of facts. Republicans ran on a platform of jobs and the economy. Since taking office in January the Republican led House of Representatives has rallied behind social issue after social issue while doing everything in their power to make sure taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans were kept at record lows.
It is a fact that corporations are sitting on some of the largest stockpiles of cash in American history. It is a fact that the wealthiest 4% of Americans have an effective tax rate lower than the 1950s and lower than the vast majority of their fellow citizens today. It is a fact that those who the Republicans have deemed “job creators” are doing very, very well despite the perceived economic climate when, in fact, very few jobs have been created. It is also a fact that if we do not raise the debt ceiling we will only worsen our economic climate. In fact, the Republicans (who I will remind you controlled the White House and both houses in Congress for six years) raised the debt ceiling ten times. Ten times they raised it, and now they are playing politics with the one time when it looks imperative that we raise it again.
The Suffering American People
The fact is most Americans are suffering. Why aren’t our Republican friends worried about tax breaks for the 90%? Our roads and bridges are crumbling. Why aren’t our Republican friends talking about improving America’s infrastructure? We are paying 20-40% to export our goods to countries like India and China, while only charging them 2-4% to import them to America. Why aren’t our Republican friends concerned about trade inequity?
Rep. Jared Polis actually proposed legalizing and taxing online gambling and marijuana as a solution. Why aren’t all solutions being considered? Why do we have to have things one way or the other? Why can’t we have spending cuts AND tax increases? Surely if one of these solutions will get us out of our current financial situation, utilizing all of them will get us out faster.
While it is not a fact, I think that both parties have failed us. Unfortunately we do not have a strong 3rd party. Until we do we must vote for the “lesser of two evils” so to speak. If you take out your own long held political beliefs, look at the facts, remember that social issues are not really in the realm of a limited government, and vote for who actually has a plan and agenda to help you, then you will very clearly know who falls into the “greater of the two evils” category.
Using the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United, Steven Colbert, of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, has legally and legitimately started his own Super PAC.
Over the last several months, he’s been working to form his own Super PAC in order to show that he can use the Supreme Court ruling in order to push his own political agenda. Steven Colbert is a comedian and his show is brilliant. What’s frightening about this stunt is that it goes beyond satire—he is showing the public exactly how anybody can do this. Because his program is a comedy show, he is not being taken seriously, except by those who truly understand the horror of what he is able to accomplish.
What is the Supreme Court’s Decision on Citizens United?
Effectively the Supreme Court ruled that corporations and businesses have the same rights as an individual United States citizen, and that no caps or limitations can be applied to the amount of money they can contribute politically because it limits a company’s freedom of speech.
This ruling has effectively given them the ability to amplify their influence on candidates. Companies with millions of dollars to spend to further their own agendas will absolutely take the opportunity to do so, in many respects drowning out or outright buying votes for their corporation and PACs.
What is a PAC (Super PAC)?
PAC Power: Inside the World of Political Action Committees
PAC stands for Political Action Committee. A Super PAC is just the bigger corporate type of PAC. A PAC is a committee that can be formed by anyone having some kind of political goal or agenda. Anyone can donate to a PAC, and this donation is undisclosed. This can be a donation of 1 cent to 1 billion dollars. Since this kind of political spending does not have to be disclosed it is a perfect and legal way to hide contributions to any PAC that supports your cause or that you yourself have created.
Why is the Citizens United decision and the formation of PACs so detrimental to our democracy?
For years, in fact for 100 years, a Supreme Court ruling has limited the amount of money corporations, lobbyists, and other interest groups can dump into the political system, whether for advertising, campaigning, or directly supporting candidates. The reasoning was that the country and the justices felt that it is important to limit these contributions so that companies and special interests didn’t drown out the will of the people. The people, even those that lobby for corporations, all have a vote and already have significant power when determining elections, without the overbearing influence of multi-million or even multi-billion dollar campaign ads, smear ads, propaganda and all of the other ways that voters and elections are influenced.
Now, with the ability to form PACs and Super PACs, the floodgates have been opened for these special interests to pour in as much money as needed to keep the legislation and politicians they want in power. There is a correlation between the amount of money put into an election and the results of the election. The influence was once limited, now it is not.
This decision by the Supreme Court is a new one and we are yet to see the full extent of what unlimited lobbying will do. I cringe to think about the damage we, our country and even our world might endure when faced with such forces as the petroleum industry, which literally has tens of billions of dollars PER MONTH it could potentially sink into campaigns. $10,000,000,000 a month to buy an election, and those that contribute can remain completely anonymous. How can the normal citizen even have a chance to combat such overwhelming funds, coming from questionable sources? And that is exactly the idea of PACs.
So I appreciate what Steven Colbert is doing. He has legitimately created a Super PAC, with his admitted intended use of the money to be completely frivolous. He has clearly stated that he wants a Super PAC so he has more money to have fun. And he actually got his Super PAC, and there are many people giving money to the PAC as we speak!
I think what Steven Colbert is doing is great. He is making Super PACs very public and showing what kind of sham they really are. He is illustrating the kind of shenanigans that he and anyone else could do, with their own PAC. There’s no accountability, there is no transparency, if the source of the money is anonymous. Transparency is one of the biggest wishes the American people have for their government. A government for the people is the very foundations that our democracy has to have to function properly. It was never meant for the corporation or special interests with the biggest coffers to have the biggest influence on our elected officials and the bills that become laws.
I hope you are all shocked and appalled that this is even possible. If you haven’t gotten to that point yet, watch below and try to understand the insane and horrible consequences that the ruling on Citizens United can, and probably will, cause our democracy. Our government is not supposed to be able to be for sale. But right now, it is.
Happy Earth day everyone! I hope that you are enjoying a gorgeous day as I am here today. I hope to see these continue throughout the season and years to come! It is up to each one of us to do our part to be responsible environmental stewards of planet earth. We each need to insure the future of our beautiful planet so that our children and our children’s children can enjoy the world we have today.
To do this we all must become environmentally aware and make changes in our own lives as well as help to facilitate environmental awareness in those around us. We all can take both small and large steps to insure our future and our own security in a greener, more secure world.
Make no mistake, this is incredibly important and is about both our quality of life and the security of our lives. We must find ways to become self-sustaining in our energy consumption. This total environmental solution is not going to be one miracle cure. Our only hope stems from everyone working harder to conserve, to become more efficient, and come together to find solutions to the massive and irrefutable crisis we now face.
The Climate Crisis
Global warming and climate change are huge factors in our overall health of our planet. The rate at which the CO2 levels are climbing in our world is astonishing. The correlations between these rises in CO2 and worldwide temperature changes and the impact of these changes point to massive, but avoidable disasters, but only if we act now. We must act swiftly to insure we have the best chance of limiting these disasters. Should we take decisive and strong action it is possible for us to avoid the most dire and deadly of the environmental disasters that are predicted should we hold too our current course.
Our energy consumption is America is huge and we struggle to keep up. We have an outdated and straining infrastructure. We depend entirely too much on energy sources that are not only finite they are quickly running low. We must upgrade and modernize our energy infrastructure to have any hope to sustain the growth rate that we all currently enjoy. We must strive for new, sustainable and low impact energy solutions. We must also up the cost of wasteful and carbon heavy forms of energy production. We have the technology to move forward but we will not see this motion until incentives are given to those to move in the right direction.
Citizen's Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials
The bottom line is that we have every reason to push ourselves and each other to do whatever we as a people can. We as a people need to band together and stop squabbling over the small things and get America on the right track to energy independence and an overall carbon reduction. The people know how to do this. The people can get this done. The problem is that the politico in this country is using our very future as bargaining chips for their petty squabbles. They are literally sacrificing your safety, security and future for their own personal immediate gains.
If any of this touched on a subject you care about I urge you to take action. Share this information with those around you. Discuss our environmental and energy political policies with those around you. Ignore the rhetoric. Dive into the facts for yourself and learn that we are in a dangerous place. We as a people can improve this. We have done it in the past and we can do it now if we want a future. Reach out to your peers, make sure to vote, sign petitions, and contact your legislators to let them know that they need to vote for green energies, they need to stand behind political progress in America towards a more secure, green, sustainable future so we as a people can have a bright and wonderful future.
It boggles the mind and is unsettling and unfair to think about. However, the fact is that the average American will pay more taxes then one of the largest companies in the world. The worst part of all of this is that they are not the exception, but the rule. In fact the corporate tax code in America is so full of tax breaks and loop holes that very few corporations actually pay any taxes. Not only do these multibillion dollar companies barely pay any taxes if any at all, many actually receive huge subsidies and other income from the government (taxpayers).
It is true that America has one of the highest combined tax rates in the world for businesses. But what they fail to tell you is that the American tax code is so full of loopholes that it is doubtful that any company without a dedicated tax department ever pays close to this amount.
The companies that end up getting shafted are the small business owners and entrepreneurs that do not know how to exploit the tax code that we currently have in America.
The company [GE] reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.
Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
And while these huge corporations are reaping billions of dollars in profits without having to pay a cent, they are also being paid by the American government, and in some cases billions more per year! And while the tax breaks continue for the wealthiest corporations, so does the lobbying for deregulation and further tax breaks. The wealthiest 2% of Americans force the other 98% of hard working Americans to pay not only their share but the shares owed morally and equitably by the corporations in this country and the wealthiest 2% of Americans!
How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government
How would you feel if your filthy rich uncle sent a limo to your house to pick you up, then the limo took you to the airport and flew you in a private jet across the country where you met your obscenely wealthy uncle for a five star dinner, drinks and after-dinner entertainment, and when the night was over he handed you the bill for the entire trip. Then he told you that you had to pay for all of this right now or he would take your house, close down your business, keep your kids from getting any education and ensure that you spent the rest of your life digging for scraps in a dumpster for a chance for something to eat. What would your reaction be?
I really do hope it is one of anger, disgust and astonishment.
That is exactly what is happening in America right now and we are not even getting the fancy night out! You, me, your mother, sister, aunt and son are being forced to pay for this indulgence. We and our family, friends, and neighbors have lost their homes, their jobs, and hope. Now we have lost our basic, constitutionally granted rights and they’ve been transferred to corporate entities.
This is really what we have come to? We cannot suffer these injustices any longer.
How do they continue? How does such devastation to our well-being happen right under our noses? Much of it is due to the many news organizations that are now owned by these mega conglomerations. Much of the once free press-style news is now gone. Honesty and truth is overwritten by ratings and corporate and political talking heads. The few truly free press sources remaining in America are now under attack by these powerful corporations.
How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics are Selling Out America
This is allowed to continue because time after time the political seats are given to those with powerful corporate influence such as Jeffery Immelt. A leader of President Obama’s Job Creation Task Force, and as CEO of GE, Immelt not only kept GE from paying any US taxes in 2010, he has also managed to cut American jobs and ask thousands of workers for major concessions. The hypocrisy and the blatant disregard for the very people he is supposed to manage is absolutely wrong. How can this in any way actually help the American people to recover from the crisis these corporations put us in?
Let’s start purging these corporate influences out of Washington. Let Washington know we as the American People are paying attention and we are disgusted by how completely we have been taken advantage of. By speaking up, by speaking out and spreading the word that we will no longer sit idly by while we are cheated out of everything we have worked so hard for.
Send a message to Jeffery Immelt and send a message to Washington. We cannot abide this anymore. We must stand up and shout loud that We the People will no longer bend over for any corporate interest.
Join Progressives United in petitioning to have Jeffery Immelt removed from his position. This is not only a call to have him removed but a sign that we can stand unilaterally against corporate corruption and abuse.
News broke last week that General Electric, America’s largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes — that’s right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.
But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
That’s wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits — and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled — should not lead the administration’s effort to create jobs.
One can only hope! The past several years of his ranting and raving have gone from strange to totally ridiculous. Amazingly his illogical and paranoid rants entertained and even convinced many Americans of the crazy things that came out of his mouth. If you sit back and critically think through what Glenn Beck has said over the last couple of years you should be astonished that he hasn’t been laughed out of the spotlight yet.
On a more serious note, it has become obvious that his shows over the years have done America great harm. From paranoid conspiracy theories to ridiculous connections between political players, he has presented the country with a bizarre viewpoint that many misunderstood to be news, due to his association with a so-called news network. Using fear, apprehension and good old fashioned trickery he has tugged at the desperate heartstrings of Americans who were only looking for a way to improve the country. Unfortunately his disjointed way of thinking has permeated into many people’s political views. This in no way is a good thing. He has taken the logic and and self-control out of incredibly important political discussion and somehow made it OK to be insane. He has made blatant racism, sexism and bigotry OK as long as you believe that you are doing what an “American” should do.
Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America
Think about how he handles issues or people who have a different opinion than him. Now imagine you are sitting at Thanksgiving dinner with your extended family. Each of your relatives is from different areas of the country, with different upbringings and points of view. They are different people with different religious and political viewpoints. Now imagine you took a Glenn-Beck style stance about the way Americans ought to put gravy on their stuffing. In minutes there would be crying, fighting and food flying everywhere! The very thought of acting like this at the dinner table with your family should be preposterous. You wouldn’t dream of acting this way, of treating people with such disrespect. It is childish, immature and completely irresponsible. So why is it so many American people think we can put respect and courtesy aside when we are discussing politics?
This is the real damage that Glenn Beck has done. Many others on FOX take the same attitude towards politics and with working within our political system. They take a hard core, zealot stance, unwilling to budge on any issue. And they deride those that do appreciate the power of compromise and the dignity of working together as weak and lacking conviction. They call their fellows Nazis, unpatriotic, traitors to America and worse. This is not the way to a better country. This attitude is what is creating the terrible divides in this country, and the unwillingness to work toward real change. This style of politico battling is what is taking the power away from the people and giving it to a select few. By using this uncompromising stance on any and all issues, it forces people out of the political arena in disgust. How to reason with the unreasonable? You can’t.
Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance
We need to have, no we must have, a political environment that welcomes everyone and their opinions. We must have a political system the embraces different ideas and the philosophies of compromise to make America and its people a better, happier place. It has to start with each of us. It has to start with the People. We need to bring respect back into the debate. We need to bring honor back into politics. We need to strive, each and every one of us, to become a better steward of ourselves and America.
So I say good riddance to bad rubbish. It does my heart good to see arguably the most partisan and corporately motivated network even consider such a move. It gives me hope that maybe, just maybe the American people are a bit smarter than FOX gives them credit for. Maybe, just maybe FOX will strive for a more intelligent, honest and open political environment. And perhaps Americans will follow suit, and realize the way toward change is not through ridiculous talking heads telling people what to think.
Here’s to hoping.
Montage of Crazy Glenn
This one is great. They present some key arguments over the years for both sides of an issue, depending of course if there was a Republican or Democratic president.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone the extent to which the corporate dollar has invaded every aspect of our lives. Corporations now have as many or more rights than the everyday citizen. Their influence runs deep and is shaping the country in their favor, not in the interest of this nation’s citizens. The corporations are slowly eroding the rights and freedoms of the American people.
Foremost among a great many recent travesties of justice was the landmark decision a little over a year ago concerning the Citizen’s United decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were entitled to the full protection of the First Amendment, allowing them unlimited and unchecked campaign donations in elections.
This literally means that the Supreme Court overturned 100 years of law and precedent to allow corporations to buy elections. Corporations now have the ability to purchase elections. This isn’t sensationalism. If a corporation can finance a candidate’s campaign, it can flood whichever politician supports their corporate greed with unlimited funds.
President Obama criticized the ruling, calling it “a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”
This is not what America is about.
This is not how we make America great again.
Luckily for us Russ Feingold has started his own organization, Progressives United, to fight back against this horrible and very destructive decision. We cannot allow corporations any more control of our political system.
Corporations have a vested interest in capitalism and unregulated free markets in order to take as much advantage as possible of the American people.
The economic collapse occurred with the Republicans in power, still touting elimination of regulation and insisting the markets would self-regulate, while at the same time begged and threatened the American people for a bailout for the very companies that caused the collapse. Instead of allowing a company to “sink or swim”, as is the opportunity given every company in a Capitalist economy, they were given hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. It’s sickening to realize these companies were literally rewarded for years of mismanagement, bad debts and gambling with the American people’s well-being. After Americans bailed them out of their troubles, how did the banks return the favor? By rubber-stamping hundreds of thousands of foreclosures and making it difficult for borrowers to modify their subprime mortgages into loans with interest rates and monthly payments they could actually afford.
This blatant manipulation cannot be allowed to permeate completely into our political system. There is something you can do to fight back against the billions of dollars they will throw at their own greedy interests. Get involved, get educated and join organizations like the newly formed Progressives United.
Russ Feingold has taken a bold step and started the organization, Progressives United. His primary goal is to fight back against the corporate corruption that is so entrenched in our political system. His message should be heard and carried to Washington so those politicians know we will not stand for it. More importantly get your family, friends and neighbors involved in the cause to push back corporate greed and influence in America.
This is your country. This is our country. Take it back and make your voice heard over the millions of dollars of ads they will surely throw at this threat to their greed.