In a free society, perhaps most sacred is the right to vote.
An opportunity for your voice to be heard. This is not the time to be cynical, and take it from one of the biggest there is.
I’m under no illusions, of course.
By and large, the presidency is simply a figurehead position of our oligarchical corporatocracy.
In this our military industrial complex, the oligarchs have pitted us against one another in a two-party system as a distraction, while corporations and banks get richer and more powerful.
In the final debate, Mitt Romney forgot the plot, and started parroting his agreement with President Obama on most of his foreign policy initiatives. From illegal unmanned drones in undeclared war zones to Afghanistan withdrawals, he was supposed to offer us “a choice” while our defense industry sold weapons to undermine every policy principle expressed by the candidates.
Such that a discussion about energy policy failed to discuss what the implications of deregulation might look like. Not a whisper about climate change or devastating oil spills. With debate moderators that shouldn’t be allowed to moderate a high school debate, let alone Presidential one. It took the devastation of the unprecedented storm — Sandy (which should more aptly have been called Hurricane Infahoe or Hurricane Chevron) — to wake up Americans. Although New Orleans hadn’t forgotten.
Look at the evidence. We have our identical polar opposite mirror hatreds. Democrat and Republican. Nuanced to extreme representations of how we identify ourselves are embodied by our politicians and media figureheads. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner, John McCain and Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Alan Grayson and Alan West, Rachel and Greta, Schulz and Hannity, Lawrence and Bill, the excommunicated Keith and Glenn, and the funnymen, John Stewart and Dennis Miller (was the latter actually funny). It would be nice if the right had a Bill Maher to balance things off, but they don’t.
The vicious storm, still wreaking havoc on hundreds of thousands of lives, to momentarily remind us what role government does serve (as opposed to making women pay for unnecessary vaginal ultrasounds) and what bipartisanship looks like, no matter the ideological differences or shapes and sizes of the politicians representing us.
But what we’ve learned in the last twelve years is that our elections do count, and that it does make a difference who’s in office.
From George W. Bush’s ban on stem cell research, to President Obama’s repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, along with the appointments of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, sitting on the Supreme Court.
In 2000, we saw the chilling Rehnquist/Scaila/Thomas selections hit paydirt for Republicans with the installation of a President. Culminating nine years later in a re-positioning of the court that brought us Citizen’s United, the single most significant decision relating to the funding of our political system, opening the floodgates of anonymous corporate donations. In his dissent, Justice Stevens declared:
“At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.”
Despite Samuel Alito’s unprecedented and rude muttering aloudÂ “not true” to the President during his Statement of the Union address in 2010 when the issue was raised in an unequivocal condemnation of the Court’s decision.
And despite his criticism, President Obama has hardly proved inept in navigating the post Citizens United campaign funding waters. While corporations like BP and Chevron laughed all the way to Board Room…and then banks.
The ugly, poisonous fruits of that decision is where we find ourselves today.
During the Republican primaries, along with Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, we got to learn more about people like the egomaniacal Koch brothers, the ostentatious, multibillionaire political bankrollers like Sheldon Addleson and Foster Friess, (showing that they could sure as hell influence an election, if not buy one).
Desperate surrogates like Donald Trump, pissing all over the remaining shreds of dignity in our political discourse made a mockery of the process by which we elect what is supposed to represent the most powerful position in the world. Even if illusory.
According to Melissa Harris Perry on her show on MSNBC, a whopping $9.8 billion will be spent this year on 13,000 statewide Congressional and municipal races.
On Saturday, HarrisÂ Perry interviewed Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now, who has been investigating the influence of money on Wisconsin’s politics, and who revealed that the little known Bradley Foundation, “since the Supreme Court declared George Bush the Victor of the 2000 election, they`ve spent in the neighborhood of $1 billion in propaganda to push forward a right-wing agenda.”
The Bradley Foundation, headed by Terry Considine and far larger than the Koch brothers, funds some of the better known “think tanks,” such as the American Enterprise Institute, Hoover Institute and Manhattan Institute. And has given money to and owns a stomach-churning, staggering array of right wing ideologues and politicos.
Among the valuable contributions they’ve brought to the election process — along with the junk science they fund in order to debunk climate change, and their push to privatize anything that is capable of yielding a profit — is a highly orchestrated, systematic voter suppression strategy.
One which includes positioning millions of poll workers in precincts around the country, the effect of which may yet have huge implications on this election.
Enough people across the political spectrum are concerned enough with the Citizens United decision, that chances of changing it might actually be realistic. Yet there are still dots we must continue to connect following this election. Terry Considine might be a good place to start. We don’t know the half of it yet.
Before a moderator could pull it, markomalley, at Free Republic.com asked a simple question. Would there be something illegal with Freeping an election? Followed by a strategy to disrupt the voting process. These are the kind of people Terry Considine is relying on to fulfill his agenda. Along with Mitt Romney.
One thing is certain, aside from the endless greed, lies and manipulation that define our fractured, almost unworkable political election process. No matter how much money they flood the process with, no matter how many obstacles they throw in the way, and no matter how much they try to suppress your vote. Whether by spreading vicious lies and insidious propaganda on billboards, web sites and position papers, or paying to elect the likes of Jon Huster, Ohio’s Secretary of State — the new Katherine HarrisÂ — to brazenly defy the courts and shamelessly make the fundamental right to vote, a tricky, scary, expensive proposition.
They cannot buy your vote. That alone is reason to do whatever it takes to vote this election.
Vote. There really is no choice.
Clinton Fein is an internationally acclaimed author, artist, and First Amendment activist, best-known for his 1997 First Amendment Supreme Court victory against United States Attorney General Janet Reno. Fein has also gained international recognition for his Annoy.com site, and for his work as a political artist. Fein is on the Board of Directors of the First Amendment Project, â€œa nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and promoting freedom of information, expression, and petition.â€ Feinâ€™s political and privacy activism have been widely covered around the world. His work also led him to be nominated for a 2001 PEN/Newmanâ€™s Own First Amendment Award.
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‘These Are Our National Secrets’: Democrat Slams GOP for Ignoring Trump Classified Documents Found ‘In the S——’
U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) blasted House Republicans for ignoring the hundreds of classified documents photographed on stage and “in the s——” at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence, while going after President Joe Biden who she said not one witness at Thursday’s impeachment “inquiry” had identified what crime he allegedly committed.
“As I prepared,” Rep. Crockett told members of the House Oversight Committee Thursday, “I said, ‘What is the crime?’ Because when you’re talking about impeachment, you’re talking about high crimes and misdemeanors, and I can’t seem to find the crime and honestly, no one has testified of what crime they believe the President of the United States has committed.”
“But when we started talking about things that look like evidence, they want to act like they blind, they don’t know what this is,” Crockett said, waving photographs of boxes allegedly containing classified and top secret documents on stage and in a restroom at Mar-a-Lago.
“These are our national secrets, looks like in the s—— to me,” she said, as NBC News described her remarks. “This looks like more evidence of our national secrets, say on the stage at Mar-a-Lago. When we’re talking about somebody that’s committed high crimes it’s at least indictments, let’s say 32 counts related to unauthorized retention of national security secrets, seven counts related to obstructing the investigation. Three false statements, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, falsifying business records, conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts related to efforts to obstruct the vote certification proceedings, one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights, 23 counts related to forgery or false documents statements, eight counts related to soliciting, and I could go on because he’s got 91 counts pending right now.”
“But I will tell you what the President [Biden] has been guilty of. He has unfortunately been guilty of loving his child unconditionally, and that is the only evidence that they have brought forward and honestly, I hope and pray that my parents love me half as much as he loves his child. Until they find some evidence we need to get back to the people’s work, which means keeping this government open so that people don’t go hungry in the streets of the United States, and I will yield.”
Congresswoman Crockett’s remarks quickly went viral, with just this video getting 4.6 million views in just four hours.
Watch below or at this link.
Omg wow this pic.twitter.com/fnYcAXzcNf
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 28, 2023
‘He Knows I’m Right’: Democrat Mocks ‘Scared’ McCarthy and Blows Off Chairman Comer in ‘Very Unserious’ Hearing
During House Republicans’ impeachment “inquiry” into President Joe Biden, U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) detailed Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s transition from refusing to allow a vote for an impeachment inquiry to ordering his top Chairmen to initiate an impeachment “inquiry” in the span of just twelve days.
Congressman Frost, the youngest member of the House, called the Speaker “scared,” before turning his attention to the GOP’s witnesses who he said “are not giving us any basis or giving us any evidence or anything,” angering Republican Oversight Chairman Jim Comer, who interjected, “That’s not true.”
Rep. Frost refused to allow the Chairman to interrupt him, and shot back, “Reclaiming my time.”
“These these witnesses are not giving any answers. They’re just asking more questions,” Rep. Frost continued.
While challenging the credibility of the GOP’s witnesses, Frost said there was “one witness who has a lot of questions .. one witness who knows something about accounting but has no real involvement,” and then accused the third witness, the well-known attorney and commentator Jonathan Turley, of “stopping here on his way to his next Fox News hit.”
Gen Z Congressman Maxwell Frost brilliantly sums up the hypocrisy, the fraudulence, and the illegitimacy of every single GOP witness that spoke today. And check out the startled reaction of that old angry Republican woman at the end. More of this!
— Dash Dobrofsky (@DashDobrofsky) September 28, 2023
Frost noted that had McCarthy put an impeachment inquiry on the floor for a vote, it “would lose on the House floor and be another embarrassment in the long list of embarrassments in this Congress for the Speaker of the House.”
He added that far-right Republicans threatened “to shut down the government, something that will happen in just two days.” He also noted, “this is the one that really got to [McCarthy], they said you, you’re about to lose your job and they said we will remove you as Speaker of the house.”
“And that scared him so much that Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, the United States House of Representatives, third in line to the presidency, completely caved due to the threats of people within his own caucus.”
Pointing to Chairman Comer, Frost on social media said, “He had to interrupt me because he knows I’m right. They say that this isn’t an impeachment, it’s an impeachment ‘inquiry’ to get answers. Then they call up witnesses that are just asking more questions and not providing any answers or evidence. This hearing is very unserious.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
‘All Those Biden Towers’ Where ‘Influence Was Used’: Democrat Turns Tables and Mocks Republicans in Sarcastic Q&A
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) turned the tables on Republicans during the House Oversight Committee’s first impeachment “inquiry” into President Joe Biden by sarcastically referring to “all those Biden towers all over the world where foreign partnerships were formed and influence was used here in the US,” forcing the witness to correct him and point out he actually meant ex-President Donald Trump.
The hearing, chaired by Rep. Jim Comer (R-KY) was widely seen as another failed effort by House Republicans against President Biden. It took a turn when Republicans’ own witness, law professor and Fox News media contributor Jonathan Turley told them he saw no evidence that warrants an impeachment of the President.
Meanwhile, Congressman Connelly’s scathing remarks quickly spread across social media, garnering hundreds of thousands of views views in just hours.
“Um, well let’s see,” Connolly began, slowly, “I’m looking at, um, I heard again, um, I think it was professor Hurley talk about – – because he’s not prejudging of course, but he’s just suggesting that maybe we want to look into criminal activity like obstruction, fraud, and abuse of power.”
“So let’s take fraud. So shouldn’t we be concerned that a New York judge just found President Biden’s organization committing fraud every year for the last 10 or 15 years,” Connolly continued, “and that, under the Martin law, that Biden organization is now subject to dismemberment and dismantlement because of the fraudulent activity?”
“That should be of concern to Mr. Trump,” the witness, Professor Michael Gerhardt, replied.
“Mr. Trump again!” Connolly sarcastically exclaimed, feigning surprise. “And in this case, we’re not speculating, a judge actually made that ruling?”
“Yes sir,” Gerhardt replied.
”Should we be concerned about the personal – I mean, while we’re at it, while we’re loading on – shouldn’t we be concerned about the personal behavior of the President, for example, President Trump or President Biden, being found guilty of sexual assault and defamation associated with that activity, again in a civil court?”
“We should be concerned as it related to Mr. Trump,” Gerhardt again replied.
“With Mr. Trump again?” Connolly again said mockingly.
“I just think that one of the reasons we’re here is because somebody has been indicted in four different locales, on four different sets of concerns, with I think 81, 91 actual counts, and has been found guilty in two civil proceedings, one involving sexual behavior and one on actual corporate fraudulent activity. And we don’t want to talk about any of that. We want to speculate about discredited testimony from discredited witnesses,” Connolly added.
Brilliant stuff here from Connolly pic.twitter.com/F3rZlBmUe8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 28, 2023
“Distract, deflect, dissemble,” Connolly added. “I think this hearing’s all about ‘look over here, not over there.’”
“I’ve heard concerns about ‘branding,'” Connolly continued. “So, shouldn’t we be concerned about all those Biden towers all over the world where foreign partnerships were formed and influence was used here in the United States? I’ve seen these towers in Indonesia, in the Philippines, in Turkey. I even saw one in Chicago. Shouldn’t that be a source of concern of this committee in terms of influence, both foreign and domestic, when Biden became president?”
“If there were such things as ‘Biden building,'” Gerhardt said.
“Well, was there anyone who did have them?” Connolly asked. “Well, could you tell us? Just give me the name.”
“I think we’re talking about Mr. Trump,” Gerhardt replied.
“So, when President Biden appointed his son to manage U.S. foreign policy, both in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East peace, by the way, a son who couldn’t qualify for getting a security clearance, but President Biden apparently granted it to Hunter anyhow – and then, after leaving the White House, getting a $2 billion deal … shouldn’t that be of concern to us that maybe a sweetheart deal occurred with the blessing of the president, with foreign money, and shouldn’t we look into Hunter Biden for that, given the fact that the handled Middle East peace in the White House?”
“It should have been a concern with President Trump and his son-in-law,” Gerhardt said.
“Oh Trump. I got that wrong again,” snarked Congressman Connolly.
Connolly: “Shouldn’t we concerned about all those Biden towers all over the world where foreign partnerships were formed and influence was used here in the US? I’ve seen these towers in Indonesia, in the Philippines, in Turkey. I’ve even seen one in Chicago.” pic.twitter.com/U10K2K5JSQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 28, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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