Greed

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This will not be news to any of you.

The public be damned!
— William H. Vanderbilt, railroad magnate, 1882

A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States.

This study should be a loud wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans who are bypassed by their government. To reclaim the promise of American democracy, ordinary citizens must act positively to change the relationship between the people and our government

==snip==

If only they vote and organize, ordinary Americans can reclaim American democracy and challenge the politicians who still echo the view of old Vanderbilt that the public should be damned.

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She may have had a better handle on what to do on healthcare, but she’s a neocon.

Elizabeth Warren, who I’d support, has made it crystal-clear that she’s not running. This basically leaves me at choosing Biden or whatever truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allows the crazed baggers to nominate. Or maybe someone can beat Biden in a primary. I don’t claim to know, but historically VPs have succeeded POTUS’s.

Who should I vote for in the general election? The Green candidate, who (if they get enough votes) will get the truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allows the crazed baggers candidate elected? The Libertarian candidate (don’t insult my intelligence)? Maybe I should protest the complete failure of the American political system by writing in Goofy or Minnie Mouse, which would result in the election of the truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allows the crazed baggers to be nominated.

I agree we’re trapped by our system. I don’t agree letting the truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allows the crazed baggers candidate GETS INTO THE WHITE HOUSE and then runs the world into the ground to teach the world a lesson about electing truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allowing the crazed baggers is the best outcome.

We NEED government. Do you want to drive anywhere? You need government. Do you want your bank to treat you fairly? You need government.

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n/t

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How Hobby Lobby Undermined The Very Idea of a Corporation

This gets complicated, but bear with us. Basically, what you need to know is that if you and some friends start a company that makes a lot of money, you’ll be rich, but if it incurs a lot of debt and fails, you won’t be left to pay its bills. The Supreme Court affirmed this arrangement in a 2001 case, Cedric Kushner Promotions vs. Don King:

linguistically speaking, the employee and the corporation are different “persons,” even where the employee is the corporation’s sole owner. After all, incorporation’s basic purpose is to create a distinct legal entity, with legal rights, obligations, powers, and privileges different from those of the natural individuals who created it, who own it, or whom it employs.

That separation is what legal and business scholars call the “corporate veil,” and it’s fundamental to the entire operation. Now, thanks to the Hobby Lobby case, it’s in question. By letting Hobby Lobby’s owners assert their personal religious rights over an entire corporation, the Supreme Court has poked a major hole in the veil. In other words, if a company is not truly separate from its owners, the owners could be made responsible for its debts and other burdens.

Read the rest at the link.

Maybe the pro-corporate religious-kook 5 have managed to undermine everything they stand for?

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The McCutcheon decision, Paul Ryan’s budget, and Obamacare deniers all say what the GOP can’t: We protect the well-off from redistribution of their wealth to those who don’t deserve it.

Republicans and Republican enablers disgust me.

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When a bipartisan Senate panel last week lambasted Swiss bank Credit Suisse for helping rich Americans evade billions in taxes, some watching the high-profile hearing couldn’t help but notice an elephant in the room.

That is, Sen. Rand Paul.

The connection? Paul for years has single-handedly blocked an obscure U.S.-Swiss tax treaty that lawmakers, prosecutors, diplomats and banks say makes the difference between U.S. law enforcement rooting out the names of a few hundred fat-cat tax evaders — and many thousands more.

Kentucky’s tea party darling says the treaty infringes on privacy rights. But his critics say Paul’s hold just hamstrings the Justice Department’s tax evasion work.

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Why There’s No Outcry, by Robert Reich.

People ask me all the time why we don’t have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era or the New Deal or the Great Society.

Middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, almost all the economic gains are going to the top, and big money is corrupting our democracy. So why isn’t there more of a ruckus?

The answer is complex, but three reasons stand out.

Link to the answers.

JFTR, I disagree with this bit:

It’s possible. of course, that rightwing Republicans, corporate executives, and Wall Street moguls intentionally cut jobs and wages in order to cow average workers, buried students under so much debt they’d never take to the streets, and made most Americans so cynical about government they wouldn’t even try for change.

But it’s more likely they merely allowed all this to unfold, like a giant wet blanket over the outrage and indignation most Americans feel but don’t express.

To believe this, one would have to suspend belief that the Koch brothers and their astroturfed teabagger division exist. I don’t.

It’s an absolute fact that the GOP tries to destroy this country, and any other country they can, when they’re not in power, and try to destroy the country (and any other country that gets in their way) when they are in power.

But the rest of it, I think, is spot on.

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Apex predators are (almost?) always the smartest animals in their ecological niche. Yeah, I know baleen whales can be smart, but toothed whales are smarter. Chimpanzees actually wage wars against “enemy” chimpanzee tribes.

Human beings are (arguably) the smartest apex predators on the planet, so we’re “wired” to be libertarians; winner-take-all pricks who truly don’t care about their fellow man. “As long as I’ve got mine/more than you…”

So it’s no wonder that the selfish pricks have taken over the world. Again. Not for the first time.

The only question is, when do the rest of us start killing them, again, like in the French Revolution? I don’t want cake crumbs, I want my neighbor to be able to keep his house! It’s an age-old battle that will be fought many times before the sun eventually burns out.

All of which is cover for posting this link, which I have not yet read to the end. I just want to save it and read it tomorrow.

A Congress Of the Wealthy, By the Wealthy, and For the Wealthy

Here’s how it starts:

When the President of the United States delivers his State of the Union message next week, he’ll be speaking to the wealthiest Congress in history. What does it mean for a representative democracy when most of its representatives are insulated from the real-world economic experiences of its citizens?

A new report from Open Secrets shows that, for the first time, the average member of Congress is worth more than $1 million. It’s hard to say how much more, because the House has adopted the Senate’s less stringent financial reporting requirements, but most representatives are, as they used to say back home, “pretty well fixed.” More than half of them are worth more than $1 million, according to Open Secrets.

Some members of Congress aren’t wealthy, of course. But if the President sticks with his recent theme of inequality next week, he’ll be doing it in front of an audience that has disproportionately benefited from the very phenomenon he’ll be describing. Some reports say that the president may ask for an extension of unemployment benefits, too. If so, he’ll be proposing it to a room full of people who are unlikely to ever feel unemployment’s anguish and terror themselves.

Red state GOP voters and ESPECIALLY teabaggers are stupid. Really. Just stupid. Baleen whale stupid. I mean, “leave me alone, I want to stand here and pound my head against this brick wall a while longer” stupid. I don’t even want to talk to them, any more.

A poor person paying income tax at a 20-25% rate, even up to 39%(?) defending rich fuckers paying 15% (translates to 7-9% when you have a good accountant, see “Mitt Romney won’t release his tax returns because his rich buddies would turn on him for revealing their scam” for details) is beyond my ability to understand.

When people say “I don’t understand economics” I think “yeah, but I bet you know that the fundamental rule of economics is ‘supply and demand’, don’t you?”

Put all of the money into a few hands, and there’s no demand. No demand means no need for supply. No need for supply and the jobs dry up.

Sometimes I just want to punch people for being so willfully stupid (not willfully ignorant, willfully stupid).

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These greedy fuckers are keeping cumstains like Rand(y) Paul and Mike(y) Lee in office almost single-handedly. People gotta stop believing the hateful lies they spew (like, fer example, giving all of our money to 2 extraordinarily wealthy spoiled inherited wealth rich kids is somehow magically going to create jobs in this country).

Honestly, on some days I think these 2 fuckers, all by themselves, are worse for the country than the entire GOP (and the GOP’s idiot supporters).

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This is the best analysis I can point to that tells you how I feel about a bunch of tards shutting down government.

Fuck the teabaggers.

Seriously, fuck them.

Don’t give an inch.

The survival of the government our parents fought for depends on it.

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