Third Party & Independents Archives

Poisonous Plutocracy Pushes Economic Inequality

The biggest political issue receiving no attention by the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates is the powerful plutocracy that has captured the government to produce rising economic inequality.

Both major parties have enabled, promoted and supported this Upper Class plutocracy. Myriad federal policies make the rich super-rich and the powerful dominant in both good and bad economic times. Meanwhile, despite elections, the middle class sinks into one big Lower Class as the plutocracy ensures that national prosperity is unshared.

Why no attention? Why no explicit reference to a plutocracy that makes a mockery of American democracy? Simple answer: because both major parties and their candidates are subservient to numerous corporate and other special interests that use their money and influence to ensure that their elitist priorities prevail. Make no mistake. Barack Obama with all his slick rhetoric is just as much a supporter and benefactor of this Upper Class plutocracy as Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

Everyone that is not in the Upper Class who votes for any of these presidential candidates is voting against their own interests. They have been hoodwinked, conned, brainwashed, exploited and manipulated by campaign propaganda. They elect people for the visible government while they remain oblivious to the secret government – the powerful pulling the strings behind the stage. Money makes more money, financing more political influence.

One of the biggest delusions of Americans is that if they retain their constitutional rights that they still live in a country with a working democracy. Wrong. American democracy is delusional because the two-party plutocracy makes citizens economic slaves. This represses political dissent. It is 21st century tyranny. Two-party presidential candidates, unlike our nation’s Founders, lack courage to fight and revolt against domestic tyranny. Placebo voting distracts citizens from the political necessity of fighting the plutocracy.

Economic data show the plutocracy’s assault on American society. Consider these examples, mostly from Too Much.

The top 20 percent of households earned more, after taxes, than the remaining 80 percent in 2005, while the topmost 1 percent took home more than the bottom 40 percent.

No American state has seen the gap between rich and poor widen faster than Connecticut. From 1987 through 2006, the top fifth of the state’s households saw their incomes increase by 44.8 percent, after inflation. Incomes for the bottom fifth fell 17.4 percent. On the other coast, just three of every 1,000 Californians in 2005 reported at least $1 million in income. But they got $213 of every $1,000 Californians earned in 2005 income. The state’s top 1 percent – average income $1.6 million – pay 7.1 percent of their incomes in income, sales, property, and gas taxes. The poorest fifth of California households pay 11.7 percent.

Real hourly wages for most workers have risen only 1 percent since 1979, even as those workers' productivity has increased by 60 percent. Higher efficiency has rewarded business executives, owners and investors, but not workers. What's more, American workers now work more hours per year than their counterparts in virtually every other advanced economy, even Japan, and without universal health care.

A typical hedge fund manager makes 31 times more in one hour than the typical American family makes in a year. In 2007, the top 50 hedge fund income-earners collected $29 billion – an average of $581 million each. John Paulson took home $3.7 billion from his hedge fund labors. These figures do not count profits from selling shares in their companies. Importantly, hedge fund players contributed nine times more to the Senate Democratic fundraising arm than they gave to Senate Republicans in 2007.

In 2009, Americans who make over $1 million a year will save an average $32,000 from the Bush tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. The average American household will save $20.

Between 1986 and 2005, the income of America’s top 1 percent of taxpayer jumped from 11.3 to 21.2 percent of the national total. Their federal income taxes dropped from 33.13 percent of total personal income in 1986 to 23.13 percent in 2005. From 2001 to 2008, the net worth of the wealthiest 1 percent grew from $186 billion to $816 billion.

Economic inequality and injustice reflect a political disaster, even with regular elections. It has resulted from government decisions on tax cuts, spending, trade agreements, deregulatory measures, labor unions, corporate handouts, and regulatory enforcement. All crafted to benefit the rich and powerful and leave the rest of us behind. It has happened under Democratic and Republican presidencies and congresses. Bipartisan domestic tyranny propels greed driven plutocracy.

What do we desperately need? A national discussion and referendum on inequality-pumping plutocracy, that none of the major presidential candidates shows any interest in having. Certainly not Barack Obama with his vacuous talk of change (but not about the political system) and John McCain’s incredulous talk of reform.

And it is delusional to think that populist global Internet connectivity producing what is called personal sovereignty threatens plutocracy. Networking among the rich and powerful strengthens the global plutocracy, placing it above national sovereignty. More than produce an army of revolutionaries to overturn the system, the Internet has fragmented every imaginable movement. Individuals indulge themselves with their own or social websites or fall victim to conventional politicians. Technology and media owned and controlled by plutocrats serves them while it shackles and deceives the multitudes.

Only one presidential candidate sees our core national problem and the need for revolutionary thinking and action to correct the system: Ralph Nader who said recently, "We need a Jeffersonian revolution." Plutocrats should heed these wise words of John F. Kennedy: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." With all the guns and pain Americans have, the ruling class should worry and start reforms. To start, let third party and independent candidates into televised presidential debates. If the stage can be filled with a bunch of primary season candidates, why not more than two in the general election?

For electoral dissent, stop being a presidential romantic; use your vote to fight the plutocracy. Reject the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Put an end to serial disappointments. Time is running out. Talk is cheap. Action is crucial. Violent revolution is an option.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at June 3, 2008 9:54 AM
Comment #254263

The militia movement grew x10 under clinton and will grow by more than that under Obama.
How do you get those concerned about their Constitutional rights to join those of you fighting against the plutocracy you envision?

Posted by: kctim at June 3, 2008 10:15 AM
Comment #254264

To kctim:
There never will be a national rebellion if the main driving force is loss of constitutional rights; of course, these are critically important. But the plutocracy is smart enough to let the public retain most constitutional rights. It is only through the recognition of economic tyranny (affecting everyday lives) that the majority of angry, harmed Americans will rise up to change the system. The genius of American plutocracy is maintain the illusion of a real democracy with constitutional rights, even as it makes a mockery of our constitutional republic.

Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at June 3, 2008 10:21 AM
Comment #254265


Maybe 7 years ago when I was in college I would have agreed with you, and been pretty stirred up by your post. Today, as a middle class citizen, I can only say one thing, interesting.

Why am I now so complacent?

Middle class life isn’t so bad. Yes I could have more money. Do I need more money? Do I need rich people money? Do I need to take it by force and risk life and limb. Heck No!

I want to start a family. I want to play guitar on the weekends, and I want to have BBQs on the weekend with friends and said family.

I don’t think violent revolution is going to happen because of people like me, and there are many. They are pacified with the very very small slice of the pie they got. It’s just that American pie is so dang delicious even a small slice with appease your hunger.

Look at us!!! American poor are poor because they don’t know how to use money! Rich people do!! Many poor people spend money on cigarettes and beer. They are poor because they make poor decisions.

Take this example. My friend worked as a repo man for one of those “39$ a month” for a TV couch or computer type places. Most of his repos where in trailer parks and low income areas. Why the hell are these people buying Big screen TVs?!?!? Why not invest the money in an IRA or a money market account, or some other investment?

My point is poor people are not always poor because the government is keeping them poor. They are often poor because of low education and poor decisions. We can blame advertising and the school system but ultimately the individual is to blame.

Posted by: Jason Ziegler at June 3, 2008 10:51 AM
Comment #254268


You’d think if Nader wanted a “jeffersonian revolution” he would be joining the party that followed Jefferson’s views, the Libertarian party (one I notice you leave out as being ‘viable’).

The point is, he doesn’t.

He wants, as you want, to ensure that no one makes too much money and no one makes too little. And the only way to do this is by creating an authoritarian government and ceeding more power to the federal government, not less.

If the goal was truly to get governmental power out of our lives so that the rich could no longer use the government to divert more money their way and to defend individual rights, why is he not a member of the Libertarian Party? If it isn’t, then he is just blowing smoke. He wants a desired outcome, one that can only be achieved through more of a loss of liberty instead of increasing it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 11:08 AM
Comment #254269
Why the hell are these people buying Big screen TVs?!?!?

They’re not, they’re RENTING them. At interest rates that would make a loan shark jealous…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 11:09 AM
Comment #254272

“It is only through the recognition of economic tyranny (affecting everyday lives) that the majority of angry, harmed Americans will rise up to change the system”

That may be true Joel, but I believe fighting for our Constitutional rights now, will prevent needing to fight for them while standing in the govt food lines brought about by true “economic tyranny.”

Instead of worrying about how much money the other guy has, we should be worrying about how little of our rights we have left.

Posted by: kctim at June 3, 2008 11:31 AM
Comment #254274

kctim, I refer you to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 12:25 PM
Comment #254275

Rhinehold, only some of Jefferson’s ideas, by no means all the important ones, like majority, community, and enlightened self-interest as defined by Adam Smith. And of course one of Jefferson’s primary ideas, that the Constitution is a living document, not a static one. No, Jefferson would not have endorsed the Libertarian Party, only some of the Libertarian platform issue positions. Some, but, by no means all or I dare say, most.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 12:29 PM
Comment #254276

Joel and Responders, Another excellent debate. However, I feel the issues broached do not rise to level of our portending problems. More going on here than purchasing versus renting TV sets. Our country faces some really severe problems but it seems the people can find no way forward to real solutions. Reminds one of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. What a conundrum! As we are a Federal Republic with a smash of Democracy thrown in, one would expect our elected officials would be openly transparent and receptive to recommended changes or new initiatives. However, since WWII our Government has evolved towards a corporate oligarchy. As of 2008, the tentacles of this Corpocracy can plug up just about any avenue for change. Our founders warned of this but avowed that if the Constitution was adhered to we could weather the storm and right the ship. Excerpted from Wiki - - Some authors such as Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, Thomas R. Dye, and Robert Michels, believe that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. This theory is called the “iron law of oligarchy”. According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered as elected oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an ‘acceptable’ and ‘respectable’ political position, and politicians’ careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elite’s.

Pretty sobering isn’t it? Another nudge is offered in a post by John Larsen titled, How Long Do We Have?

The gist of the article is that throughout history a democracy usually doesn’t make it beyond 200 years. Pretty sobering isn’t it?

Now, you may have doubts as to how far along the path to oligarchy we have traveled. Even so, just our discussing it here has its effect on the conscious of all. That is, we tend to make decisions or judgements based on how we perceive government. For those who think we haven’t traveled far they may want to simply try to choose a more qualified candidate for an elected position. For those who think we have traveled to far they may feel we have to vote the incumbents out and start with a clean slate. If you think we have traveled way to far, you may want to support a third party effort, and so on. Perhaps it’s our perception of government that keeps us from coming together in sufficient numbers to effect change.

From my perspective we have traveled way, way, WAY too far. Why so? I offer up immigration as part of my reasoning. When your representatives will stand up and defy the will of the people, not once, but twice then I believe we have a problem. Quite likely, they will give it another shot as soon as the election season is past. Consider the Energy meeting at the Whitehouse with Cheny and the oil patch gang. What is all this effort to create the NAFTA superhighway? (The Late Great USA by John Corsi is a good read on the North American Union). More than silence from the Government. Defiance comes to mind. Bush wants to send $1B to Mexico to fight drug cartels. He could spend some of that money to close the border and there would be no reason to fight. The cartels would just go away. Why would the Government spend billions to reorganize our intelligence agencies after 9-11 and make no attempt to secure the northern or southern border? Are some high officials on the take for some of the $25-$50B drug money? If 61% of businesses pay no income tax why would our representatives want so badly to retain the Bush tax cut? Why would Congress not want an audit of the tax havens around the world?

All these strange actions and the silence surrounding them help focus my perspective about Government. From your perspective is it possible to secure change through:

Niche issues. Let’s address a few. Right to life. Drill in Alaska. Don’t drill in Alaska. Fair tax. No tax. No lack of niche issues. Congress might respond to a fairly benign issue but getting enough people elected to legislate on a niche, or a hot button issue is highly unlikely.

Third Party’s. The Green Party. Has some followers. Struggling at best. Far from a broad based, mainstream organization. The American Reform Party. Seems to have hit a brick wall and they are pretty much main stream politic. They are actively seeking to join with other groups to get their numbers up. Communist, Marxist, and Secessionist still hanging in there. Nader’s group may make an honorable showing, primarily because people are disenchanted with their choice for office. Let’s assume a third party gains power. After a few years where will their loyalty lie?

Electing better qualified and clean candidates. Good chance your congressperson was previously an employee of big biz or a lobbying firm. There is a good chance that many of our representatives were directed towards government as a way to help the company out with some hard issues. If that person does a good job for the company he/she is pretty much guaranteed a lobbying position on leaving Congress. If you elect a clean and qualified candidate, how long will he/she remain that way in this corrupted system?

Voting the incumbents out. Some think the idea feasible, others not. A difficult and expensive process covering several election cycles. Assume you have some degree of success. Again, based on the corrupting environment, how long might the newly elected remain chaste?

Referendums/Coalitions. I perceive such ploys as tantamount to niche issues.

This is no longer your great-great-grandpa’s democracy. The world has changed. What umbrella might cover the actions our Government has taken or trying to take? From my perception there is one agenda driving Government. A New World order complete with globalized free trade. What can we reasonably put under this umbrella?
- Free trade regulated only by the WTO. Instead of complaining to the FDA or Consumer Affairs about fake Chinese drugs or leaded toy we should address these issues with the WTO. Right now the WTO is complaining about the worlds oceans being over-fished and what THEY might do about it. Just passed a huge farm bill giving millions of taxpayer dollars to agribusiness. Today, the WTO cleared the way for Brazil to sue for $4B taxpayer dollars because of our cotton subsidies.
- We must retain the Bush tax cuts for business as this country (supposedly) has a more aggressive tax policy with business than does the EU.
- Labor is the common denominator for business. Must be attained at the very lowest price. Hence, we Americans must give up wages, or at least remain stagnant until the world catches up to us.
- Borders of all countries to be open to facilitate transport of goods and labor skills.
- Lowest bidder wins. Continuing a trend, our Defense contractors have awarded a refueling tanker aircraft contract to the EU. Tried hard to sell our Ports Authority to a middle-eastern Government owned company. Working hard to sell our inter-state highways to foreign entities to operate as toll roads. Do the Feds own OUR inter-states? The Feds are working hard to gain control of all waters in the Country. Let your imagination be your guide.
- Ad infinitum.

This deal is going down just like Europe went down. One piece at a time. One step back, two forward. Now, this may be alright. BUT, since there is no debate, the silence is deafening, I elect to opt out. As long as Putin is pursuing his poison dart strategy, China is shooting down satellites and hacking our computers, my food is being poisoned, my viagara may be fake, our sovereignty trashed, our jobs disappearing, and all with no discussion or debate, I am not ready for the new world order. For the foreseeable future I want our war materials made in the USA.

Assume we were able to elect a President we all liked. He can’t change much. Act as a bully pulpit. Withhold funding from projects he doesn’t favor. Start a war if he wants. One or two important people can’t effect political reform by themselves. Takes lots of votes by Congresspersons.

So, if we want to become EUnized all we need to do is nothing. Just sit back and it will happen. If you elect to do otherwise, how do we secure real change, restore the Constitution, effect political reform and maintain it. We can’t, as a Nation, continue to sit in front of our computers lambasting poor Government and trying to prevent the next great foible from happening. In most organizations even the highest ranking members are held accountable for their actions. No so in Government. Our Constitution provides great leeway for our Congresspersons and Executive, excluding criminal activity. And, even there it is difficult to pin them down. Witness the Senator Jefferson Vs the FBI investigative episode.

We must find ways to hold our elected and appointed officials accountable. If we could put accountability into the political equation we should not have the aforementioned problems with Government. If an elected or appointed official does not conduct their office to the satisfaction of voters what recourse might the voters have? Legally, this is somewhat of a challenge. But, that is where I would like to see the focus of this debate. What can be done to put accountability into the political equation in a way that the legal system will support?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 3, 2008 12:32 PM
Comment #254277

Jason, get back to us after you have children and view the news in light of your child’s prospects as an adult in 2040 or 2050.

I do believe you will be singing a different tune as Middle Class choruses with children are today.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 12:33 PM
Comment #254278

Roy Ellis said: “Voting the incumbents out. Some think the idea feasible, others not. A difficult and expensive process covering several election cycles. Assume you have some degree of success. Again, based on the corrupting environment, how long might the newly elected remain chaste?”

As long as the voters threaten their expulsion if they don’t.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 12:34 PM
Comment #254280

Joel, the thrust of your argument is that Obama, Clinton, and McCain are not going to be instruments of change, therefore, voting for them is a waste of time.

Do you not realize that the vote is the instrument of change? Of course you do. You call for citizens to pressure representatives to VOTE for Article V convention all the time.

Methinks you contradict yourself.

Voting for Obama is a vote for change. Whether Obama delivers on that change or not is for voters to decide in 2012. But, the American system is anchored in the vote as the means to change.

Staying home and NOT voting for any of these candidates, or not voting for challengers to Congressional incumbents, is like a self-fulfilling prophecy for violent revolution. Is that the route you advocate? By implication it certainly appears to be.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 12:41 PM
Comment #254288

To those in the middle class who feel their current level of prosperity or affluence is stable: you are living in a delusional dream world. Everything going on in the domestic and global economy is working against you. Of course, many people in the top 20 percent on the economic spectrum still like to think of themselves as middle class, but in reality they are part of the 60 million in the Upper Class.

To David Remer: apparently you really do not read my writings with your mind. I have been consistently against voting for the two-party plutocracy and believing that voting will produce true reforms as long as the two-party ruling class controls the political system. I keep seeing scores of well-intentioned ideas, movements and campaigns by politically engaged people like you. Just one problem: they are totally obsessed with their particular, pet idea and are blind to objective reality that tells me that their efforts are doomed to fail. Americans will NEVER EVER vote out a major number of incumbents in Congress, because the two-party control of the system together with corporate controlled media will NEVER provide the information and motivation necessary for the majority of Americans to vote systematically against all incumbents. Pet ideas like yours simply do not recognize that conventional voting is no longer the path to major reforms, not as long as the two major parties are in control. I have seen people pursue their pet ideas for decades, never allowing their continued failure to cause them to abandon them. Kind of reminds of what insanity is all about, doing the same thing and expecting different results.

As to violent revolution: this country was created by it, and we should never, ever forget that. We are on track for many millions of Americans to finally realize that voting in the current two-party system will NOT produce major systemic reforms. So, eventually, in this most-violent, most-gun crazy nation on Earth, the plutocracy might just start to fear violent revolution. And the fear of it, just might compel them to open up the system. Here is an easy first step: let third party and independent presidential candidates into televised debates!

Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at June 3, 2008 1:10 PM
Comment #254290
Rhinehold, only some of Jefferson’s ideas, by no means all the important ones, like majority, community, and enlightened self-interest as defined by Adam Smith. And of course one of Jefferson’s primary ideas, that the Constitution is a living document, not a static one. No, Jefferson would not have endorsed the Libertarian Party, only some of the Libertarian platform issue positions. Some, but, by no means all or I dare say, most.

And how exactly are Jefferson’s ideals violated by the Libertarian Party? Or is your ignorance of what the party stands for showing again, like suggesting it was founded in Indiana, the home of the KKK, which was not only completely discredited but also absurd on it’s face?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 1:14 PM
Comment #254291

To Rhinehold:
For decades I have been totally committed to third parties, but I am also a realist. The record could not be clearer. Both the Libertarian and Green parties have shown themselves to be completely incompetent and incapable of being smart enough to stay loyal to core principles while also appealing to the majority of independent-minded Americans with no loyalty to either of the two major parties. People in those parties seem more interested in being loyal losers while protecting their egos, rather than being creative enough to appeal to the people who genuinely want reforms and a revitalized American democracy. Both parties cling to a number of policy positions that rightfully turn off most people, guaranteeing their continued insignificance. And they continue to nominate people with no broad appeal. Bob Barr???? Really. That is just down right insulting to those of us that did not drink the Libertarian Kool-Aid.

Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at June 3, 2008 1:29 PM
Comment #254293


The Libertarian Party is attempting to drag itself into the mainstream. It is not going to be an easy road, even though they have been the most successful third party in recent history. It is an internal fight between those that call themselves libertarians and those that are true libertarians and those who are willing to bend in principles for the advancement of a national voice. I am not fan of Bob Barr, but if he properly delivers the Libertarian message to a wider audience than any of the other candidates we had at the time could do, why is he a bad choice? How is this different than a Bill Clinton who obviously did not feel personal principle towards the Democratic platform but was able to articulate it and get people on board with it? That was the theme and message of the convention, one that I wish you had seen because it spoke to much of what you mentioned.

BTW, the platform has changed as well. It was altered with the notion of appealing to more and build upon the momentum that the Libertarians have been showing in recent years. There is no doubt at all that the only real viable 3rd party at the present time is the LP, like it or not.

And yes, I would rather have seen a Barr/Gravel ticket as opposed to the current one because it would have been the true ‘unity’ ticket available. That is something we could have used. But my view didn’t win out and I accept that…

Not that it will matter much, the Dems and Reps will make sure that no one hears the message… :/

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 1:38 PM
Comment #254295

As is Nader, Joel.

Posted by: kctim at June 3, 2008 1:44 PM
Comment #254297

Rhinehold, if you don’t know the history of your own party, I would be the last person you would listen to in order educate you.

I suggest you research it on your own and come to grips with its past, and how it can proceed around that past. For surely that past will come back to haunt if the LP ever threatens actual victory and its followers should be prepared to deal with that past forthrightly and honestly stipulating their past is not the present or future of the Party. Denying facts is the surest way to defeat. The GOP has proven that abundantly.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 1:48 PM
Comment #254298

Joel said: “Americans will NEVER EVER vote out a major number of incumbents in Congress, because the two-party control of the system together with corporate controlled media will NEVER provide the information and motivation necessary for the majority of Americans to vote systematically against all incumbents.”

Apparently you have never read the VOID site. From its inception VOID has been aware that voting out “all” or even a majority of incumbents. But, VOID has also said from its inception that voting out a majority of incumbents was and will never be necessary to force Congress into responsibly representing the people. VOID has always argued that all that is needed is a significant percentage of incumbents be voted out, as happened in 2006, such that the fear of not being reelected by both the remaining incumbents and new freshman becomes a living reality.

The fact that the 2006 elections occurred is proof enough that the VOID concept is both valid and achievable. Check it out before prejudging it as a wasted idea which has no realistic merit. Research and think before letting prejudices run away with the comments.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 1:57 PM
Comment #254299

Why do I care if a hedgefund manager makes more than I do? I feel I’m fairly compensated for the services that I perform; if I felt otherwise I would look for another position. Isn’t that all I should be focused on?

I guess I’m just not that envious of the rich. Their daughters can’t cook and aren’t that pretty to boot. And as Lyle sang:

“Well, the mystery masked man was smart, he got himself a Tonto Cuz Tonto did the dirty work for free But Tonto, he was smarter, and one day said Kemosabe You can kiss my ass, I bought a boat, I’m headed out to sea.”,/em>

Posted by: George in SC at June 3, 2008 1:59 PM
Comment #254302

BTW, as much as I dislike Bob Barr personally, he was an elected congressman for longer than Obama or Hillary… He was re-elected 3 times, so he has to have had some broad appeal, more-so than Nader.

I just wish he would shave that stupid mustache, or grow it out properly… It makes him look creepy.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 2:30 PM
Comment #254303
I would be the last person you would listen to in order educate you.

Yet you have no problem spouting statements you refuse to backup with anything tangible.

Don’t worry, I won’t be taking them seriously in the future in that case.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 2:37 PM
Comment #254304

Right on Joel! If a third party comes into power that will, over time, suffer tha fate of our present two-party system. I perceive Barr’s effort as the establishment placing their nickle on each number. Barr was a GOP attack dog for big biz and I don’t think he will change his stripes. Kinda like trying to get out of the mafia. I will vote for Nader in hopes that he can slow the oligarcy down for a couple of years while we work on building a main-stream third party based on accountability for elected and appointed officials. Anybody have any ideas on how to invoke accountability into the political equation????

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 3, 2008 2:46 PM
Comment #254305

Oh, and we now know that

“Rasmussen Reports has Barr polling at 6% nationwide against Barack Obama (42%), John McCain (38%), and Ralph Nader (4%)”

“Barr picked up 7% of the Republican vote, 5% of the Democratic vote, and 5% of the unaffiliated vote. ”

Nader got 1% of the Republican vote, 3% of the Democratic vote, and 8% support from those not affiliated with either major party. “

If that number creeps up into 10% (more likely than with Nader) it may mean a trip to the debate where Libertarian views will at least be heard by a much larger public audience. And it appears that with all of Barr’s baggage (he has changed his views long before his run for president at least) he may be a good candidate for that.

Or he may blow it.

Too soon to tell yet… Though he did very well at the Libertarian Debate.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 2:54 PM
Comment #254306

Thank you Rhinehold for confirming that your prejudices prevent you from researching your own party’s history. And you complain about Democrats and Republicans. Hah! Your absence of objectivity looks just like one.

It really is amazing. It’s your party, therefore, you refuse to even Google an accusation made about it, to confirm if it is true or not. And you expect folks to follow your commentary’s lead?

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #254307

Rhinehold, you are right about the comparison of Barr and Nader. Nader is begging for gasoline dollars to campaign on the East Coast. Not a good sign.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 3:03 PM
Comment #254310
Barr was a GOP attack dog for big biz and I don’t think he will change his stripes.

Interesting statement… How much do you know about Bob Barr btw?

He voted against Clinton’s anti-terrorism legislation because of civil liberties violations.

He only voted for the Patriot act after HIS sunset clauses were added (you can thank him for that at least). He publicly regrets voting for it.

He co-authored the Marriage Defense Act and now apologizes for that. He also opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment.

In 2003 testimony submitted to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Barr wrote: “[T]here remains time to turn back the constitutional clock and roll back excessive post-9/11 powers before we turn the corner into another Japanese internment or, closer to our own experiences, before we witness a legally sanctioned Ruby Ridge or Waco scenario.”

He was outspoken about the sham of an investigation into Waco.

In 2005—the year the Patriot Act was due for renewal Barr helped found an organization called Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances, a bipartisan group dedicated to eliminating aspects of the Patriot Act that could potentially affect law-abiding citizens rather than terrorists, and to “restore traditional checks and balances on government power so the country can effectively fight terror without sacrificing the rights of innocent Americans, rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution.” Barr still serves as the group’s chairman.

He is a prominent member of the ACLU.

In Congress, Barr’s strong stance against medical marijuana put him at odds with marijuana policy reformers such as the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) (see War on Drugs in Congressional career above). Despite this historic antagonism, in March 2007, Barr reversed his stance on medical marijuana and began lobbying on behalf of MPP. Incredibly, this new partnership saw Barr working to repeal his very own “Barr Amendment” — the amendment that overturned a voter-approved medical marijuana initiative in Washington, D.C and prohibits consideration of similar initatives

Yeah, I can see how he would be seen as a ‘dyed-in-the-wook’ neo-con Bushie… *rolls his eyes*

Yes, he has made Stupid STUPID STUPID statements and positions in the past. It appears that once he abandoned his Republican partisanship though much of that has been changed for the better.

And the fact that he graduated from high school in Iran, it might speak to his being able to provide a different view on foreign policy?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 3:14 PM
Comment #254311


I’ve disproven your accusations with factual evidence in the past. If you want to continue making them, I’ll do so again…

Perhaps if you could actually show me *1* single piece of evidence to back up your assertion that the Libertarian Party was founded in Indiana (again, being a Hoosier I would be most interested in this part of history that I missed) when the Libertarian Party identifies their founding in an apartment in Colorado I would have something to debate?

Or, if you have some other absurd accusation to make, make it clearly right now so that I can counter it, that would be nice too. You’re the one making accusations, perhaps the burden of proof should be upon you? I know, radical thought to a statist…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 3:17 PM
Comment #254313

David R,
In response to my post: “Voting the incumbents out. Some think the idea feasible, others not. A difficult and expensive process covering several election cycles. Assume you have some degree of success. Again, based on the corrupting environment, how long might the newly elected remain chaste?”

You said: “As long as the voters threaten their expulsion if they don’t”.

Let’s use Virginia as an example. Voters took out George Allen and elected Jim Webb. Does Webb give a hang about the ‘will of the majority’? He is looking to give citizenship to the illegals. Never mind Federal immigration laws, country in a recession, many of his legal constituents having difficult times, etc. Yes, we could put in a third guy and give him a run. What about putting accountability into the equation to ensure that Webb would understand if he strays to far from the main stream agenda his career as a politician would be extinguished? He might not change his mind but he might vote differently. From my perspective, any representative who would vote for amnesty, all things considered, is a bought and paid for politician. There is no moral, ethical, economical, theological, ideological, buggy to hook that horse to.

George in SC,

I hope you will like living in the North American Union. Your kids may have to go to Lumbumbashi to find work. Follow the cheap labor for jobs. And, the next drought season - the FED’s may want to take SC’s water and pump it on down to Ga. and AL. I’m sure we can make it work.
Here is an old post I hope some readers will find entertaining.


If you take ‘globalization’ to its logical conclusion somewhere down stream, what might our world be like? Let’s take a well needed vacation to, say, Kenya in 2050. You get in your car and head for the airport. Except for the color, your car looks like all the other cars on the road because it has been determined that one model of car can be manufactured for less. You get on your plane and you know exactly where you want to sit, as you know the layout well. That’s because all the planes are the same, except the color. The wings are made in Europe, the engines in Asia, and the rest in America. You know, the northsouthmiddleamerica. It was determined that it’s more efficient to manage aviation if all the planes operate the same. Cuts down on training for all involved. When you get up in the air you fly at the same speed as all the other planes. See, a computer in Tibet, the only remaining cheap labor market in 2050, controls the speed and route for all the flights that are in the air at any one time. On arriving in Nairobi you head for the Stanley Long Bar for a cool one, only to find that it’s been replaced by a 43 story hotel. So, you try the Lemon Tree restaurant and can’t believe what you find. A McDonald’s has replaced the restaurant and a tall statue of Ronald McDonald stands where the lemon tree once grew. So, you have a #6 chicken and retire for the evening. Next day you rent a car and head for the bush. It’s comfortable to drive as it’s just like the one you have at home, except for the color. Wonder of wonders, the roads to the bush are not dusty or muddy. They are just like your roads back home. Fifty foot, well groomed right-of-ways, with concrete drainage infrastructure. Even the signage is the same, except for the color. Makes it easy to drive and it’s cheaper to manufacture that way. You head for the Rift Valley and your mind wanders to a thatched roof motel alongside a river or lake. You arrive, with big expectations and find your hotel is 43 stories of steel and glass. Looks like the hotel back in your hometown and the one in Nairobi, except for the color. Puzzled by this you check in and try to find someone who speaks English. Well, its not called English anymore. It’s called ‘one world’. So you ask the attendant if he speaks ‘one world’ and, wonder of wonders, everyone there speaks the same language. In fact, you notice they have your mannerisms, even seem to have the same knowledge level as you. That’s because education, culture, etc. is taught from the same textbooks. Also, it’s way cheaper to manufacture them in one language. First question you ask is, what happened to the thatched roof venue and why does a hotel in the bush need to be 43 stories tall. They remind you that some years ago it was determined that some countries had to many people and some to few. So people were spread out across the world to balance things out. It was determined that for a balanced population a 43-story hotel building was needed for each locality. And, they are cheaper to build that way. After dinner you watch CNN WorldWide for a couple of hours and hit the sack. Next day you find a guide and head for the bush. On the way you try to find some commonality with your guide and start a discussion in ‘one world’. You find he makes $4.73 an hour as a guide, which is the same as a fishing guide charges on Lake Anna back in Virginia. He tells you his brother is a welder and makes $5.10 and hour, same as your welder neighbor back in Virginia. You tell him you work as an engineer and make $8.23 an hour. He relates that his neighbor is an engineer working for Microsoft and he makes $8.23 too. Seems to be pretty well accepted around the world that wages are fixed for each skill or trade, except in Tibet. You ask him what an executive or CEO makes. He doesn’t know and you don’t either so you just go quite for a few miles. As you enter the valley you expect to see native hut villages but all you’ve seen is small Jim Walters style homes, all different colors, along the highway. People seem to be wearing Nike tennis shoes and those slinky nylon sports shirts and shorts with the holes punched in them for airflow. All different colors. You see nobody standing around on one foot much less drinking cows blood through a straw. With some chagrin you ask, where are the lakes with the pink flamingos? Dried up he says, because of over population. He related that the balanced population delivered to his area was just too much for the natural environment to handle. As you turn to head back to the hotel you note that you’ve seen no wild life. No, he said, our balanced population included a lot of Asians and before their culture could be changed they ate all the wild life. Disgusted with your vacation you cut it short and start thinking about going back to work. After boarding your plane for the return trip you sit back and think about the highlights of your vacation. You wonder if the textbooks they use are different colors. Seeking solace, sanity and friendship you pop on the video screen and click on A relaxing smile comes to your face …

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 3, 2008 3:37 PM
Comment #254314

To: David Remer:

You make my case against the voting out incumbents strategy by citing the 2006 election results. Yes, indeed, look indeed at what we got: a totally useless Democratic controlled Congress without the integrity and guts to impeach Bush/Cheney or stop the Iraq war or to stop wasteful earmarks and pork legislation. My point is that fundamentally your favored approach supports the two-party status quo.

Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at June 3, 2008 3:39 PM
Comment #254315

And don’t forget, Joel, that they are now offering up ‘environmental’ legislation that will add to the cost of doing business for just about every manufacturing area we have left, making it even more attractive for them to move their operations overseas.

But we’ll be green!

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2008 3:50 PM
Comment #254323

You are right. I was to hard on Barr. He was a staunch conservative but I am dubious of anyone having served with the DEM/REPS. I’m pretty sure I’m frustrated that none of you seem to think accountability in government is a real big deal. I see the lack of accountability as the source to whole ball of wax. Globalization, oligarchy, Patriot Act, etc. If politicians were acting in step with their constituents none of this crap would have happened - - unless that’s what the voter’s wanted.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 3, 2008 4:26 PM
Comment #254328

Thanks Roy, but my kids will be fine. First of all I am seing to their education; that’s a big head start on the globalized world. Next comes a work ethic and for that a few days on the farm with granddaddy works wonders. Much better than playing XBox.

So as long as long as government stays out of it (I admit their guns are bigger than mine) then my kids will be just fine. But thanks for caring.

Posted by: George in SC at June 3, 2008 4:52 PM
Comment #254337

“Violent revolution is an option.” Not for the non-violent. I think the Greens and the Libertarians would both benefit from brand name candidates, but they want to play in the big parties instead. BHO was initially discovered by a group of wealthy investors, but I don’t think they expect him to pay them back with interest, just invitations to the White House and the usual social perks.

George in SC, thanks for the first laugh of the day via Lyle.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 3, 2008 6:28 PM
Comment #254345

Just for the record, the Democrats have been talking for years how wrong it is that CEO’s get 400 times the pay of entry-level workers…and how equally wrong it is that the Republicans lust after more and more tax cuts for the wealthy….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 3, 2008 7:12 PM
Comment #254369

These 10+ abuses (of the last 30 years) did not all come by mere coincidence.

Those abuses, slowly but surely, are fleecing the majority of Americans, and causing these 17+ deteriorating economic conditions; some worse than ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

Perhaps enough voters will be less complacent and apathetic when enough of the voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry?

Repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps it will when it becomes too painful?

In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount … and the voters are going to get their education one way or another.
Sooner would be better than later, because the later it happens (if ever), the worse it will be.

The wealth disparity has been growing worse since 1976.
The wealthiest 1% of the U.S. population has 40% of all wealth in the U.S. (up from 20% in year 1980; never worse since the Great Depression).
The wealthiest 2% of the U.S. population owns more than the remaining 98% of all Americans.
The wealthiest 5% of the U.S. population has 60% of all wealth in the U.S.
The wealthiest 10% of the U.S. population has 70% of all wealth in the U.S.
The wealthiest 20% of the U.S. population has 83% of all wealth in the U.S.
The poorest 20% of the U.S. population has negative net worth (i.e. debt)
40% of the U.S. population has (on average) essentially zero net worth.
80% of the U.S. population has a mere 17% of all wealth in the U.S.

And 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of the wealthiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more). Government is FOR-SALE.

While I’m not poor, it isn’t hard to see things have been getting worse in many respects for several years.

However, it’s also getting increasingly difficult to muster up very much sympathy for American voters (in general), when far too many of those voters whine and complain about corrupt and irresponsible politicians, but then repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with those same incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 4, 2008 12:08 AM
Comment #254375

Roy Ellis,

“… my viagara may be fake…” Best line ever in a post about an impotent electorate. I lolled.


“I just wish he would shave that stupid mustache, or grow it out properly… It makes him look creepy.”

You might be interested in a new blog that has this post. The owner has Libertarian leanings.

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 4, 2008 1:54 AM
Comment #254381

You say that a plutocracy society pushes economical inequality, yet the 90’s showed that Society as a whole are not going to give a free ride to none. Thus, the problem is not the capitalist system, but the way the Left and Right want to fight over it.

For if Donald Trump is poor compared to Bill Gates at what line do we stop saying people need to have this and that or risk being found uncivilized. Yes, not every job will allow you to make a million dollars a day, but I know of no job in America that will not let you make and save at least #20.00/wk.

Remember wealth is built not earned. Something the Democratic and Republicans still have a hard time understanding even after 30 years.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 4, 2008 4:51 AM
Comment #254391

Henry, or inherited, or married into as with John Mccain !!! Nothing wrong with eiither, but neither is built by the holder in these circumstances. Then there are the rare few who luck into it. Then there is Congressional insider trading with both stock markets and corporate lobbyists offering lucrative post-congressional careers for a little favorable legislation here and there.

In America, there are many routes to wealth, not all are either earned nor built. The issue is what responsibility is owed to the maintenance and preservation of our nation by each person enjoying the plethora of benefits of living here?

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2008 9:17 AM
Comment #254392
Henry Schlatman wrote: Remember wealth is built not earned. Something the Democratic and Republicans still have a hard time understanding even after 30 years.
Unfortunately, wealth for some people is obtained by walking all over other people.

Attempts to re-distribute wealth is just as wrong.

The goal should not be to create laws and methods to re-distribute wealth.

The goal should quite simply be to stop these 10+ abuses that have been cheating most Americans for over 30 years; causing some of the worst economic conditions ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

The goal should not be new things we need to do, as much as old things we need to stop (e.g. lawlessness, unnecessary wars, plutocracy, illegal immigration, unfair trade policies, election fraud and other election problems, massive debt, a dishonest and usurious pyramid-scheme monetary system, regressive taxation, inadequate education, and 195,000 people killed annually by potentially preventable medical mistakes; more people killed since year 1999 than all American wars).

However, the voters are culpable too.
Repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election will only make things worse.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 4, 2008 9:23 AM
Comment #254415

The stock market is not a patriotic institution. If share holder wealth can be significantly increased by selling out the country, they will do it, they have done it.

The common man very seldom rises up of his own accord to overthrow his oppressors. When he does, it is usually localized (the Whiskey Rebellion) and is easily crushed by his government.

The aristocracy of today has learned valuable lessons from the past. They keep enough wealth trickling down to satisfy the professional classes and keep the commoners from starving. They allow the liberals to provide welfare and a minimum wage. One is extremely destructive and the other is just a joke.

God has shown us that there is a better paridigm waiting for us when all of us are ready and willing to accept the responsibility of being our brothers keeper. Unfortunately, many of us have chosen not to accept God’s plan and instead have gone to the mountain top with he who promises us all that we can grab if we are willing to worship him.

Posted by: jlw at June 4, 2008 2:19 PM
Comment #254422

The stock market is (mostly) the attempt to make money by playing with money.
It’s gambling (mostly).
There are losers and winners.
And the monetary system is a dishonest, usurious, doomed, upside-down pyramid-scheme, as evidenced by the fact that no one can say where the money will come from to pay the interest alone on the $53.2 Trillion nation-wide debt, much less the money to reduce the principal (LOAN=PRINCIPAL+INTEREST). Obviously, the federal reserve and government have chosen their solution:

That’s the only option left, short of defaulting on all debts (which would certainly bring on an economic collapse immediately).

jlw wrote: The common man very seldom rises up of his own accord to overthrow his oppressors. When he does, it is usually localized (the Whiskey Rebellion) and is easily crushed by his government.
Ironically, there is a very simple and easy solution.

Unfortunately, that simple solution is very elusive until there is sufficient pain and misery to provide the motivation to do that very simple thing (if ever).

Voters are culpable too.
Oddly, repeatedly rewarding irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians will almost guarantee the pain and misery that will finally provide the motivation to stop repeatedly rewarding corrupt and irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

Regardless, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 4, 2008 3:21 PM
Comment #254439

d.a.n., it’s only gambling for the speculators. If you buy a stock based on their dividend history, then you’re an investor.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 4, 2008 5:06 PM
Comment #254440

I do believe that Ben Franklin said it best when he said a “Penny saved is a Penny earn.” The problem with this latest round of inflation can be directly linked to the policies set by President Bush and overlooked by Wall St.

Now, being a Simple Man I cannot afford to buy the necessary Bank Notes needed to strengthen the dollar. Yet, for those who can it seems that they would rather loose half their net worth instead of investing and saving in America.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 4, 2008 5:18 PM
Comment #254536
d.a.n., it’s only gambling for the speculators. If you buy a stock based on their dividend history, then you’re an investor.
Yes, responsible investing is possible, but there appears to be less and less of that for over a decade.

There’s some risk in all investments (hence the “gambling” label), and not all stocks pay dividends.

There’s some risk with lots of things.
Some could say there is responsible gambling and irresponsible gambling.

That’s why I used the word: “mostly” … for example:

  • The stock market is (mostly) the attempt to make money by playing with money.

  • It’s gambling (mostly).

  • There are losers and winners.
The problem I see in America (and increasingly world-wide, due to incessant inflation and fiat-pyramid-scheme monetary systems) is more abuses and people trying to make money by playing with money, rather than trying to make responsible investments that create real value. It is vulnerable to market manipulations, where small investors often get used and exploited.

Usury and inflation is part of the problem, because it creates pressure for people to run around like chickens with their heads cut-off looking for someplace to invest their money to protect it from the erosion due to incessant inflation.

Many Americans lost trillions in the 1999 market meltdown (especially in the NASDAQ):

And what causes these bubbles (economic instability)?

People flee from stocks, to real-estate, to bonds, to commodities, back to stocks, and the cycle starts all over.

If we want to make some wiser investments, we should invest in our childrens’ educations.
Yet, education is declining in quality and rising in cost.

Those are just a few symptoms of the nation’s pressing problems that are growing in number and severity, due to the perpetuation of these abuses, and the painful consequences.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 5, 2008 10:56 AM
Comment #254553
The problem with this latest round of inflation can be directly linked to the policies set by President Bush

Erm, you mean the house of representatives who writes the budget laws and keeps increasing our debt, right?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 12:05 PM
Comment #254584

It’s not so much the wealth disparity growth alone that is hurting America. It’s the steady increase in college tuition costs, lost manufacturing jobs, stagnant wages and predatory creditors and banks, gas price gauging, deregulation of food and drug along with energy and oil industries that have hurt alot of the “lower” middle class and poor.
Republicans love deregulation of industries that can harm those who have no real voice in government. Working class, poor, elderly and children..other peoples children.
We need a voter revolution. We need people to unite behind real change, not placards.
I’m voting for Obama but if he does not deliver he has to go.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 5, 2008 1:53 PM
Comment #254587

Excuse me, Andre, but to say that the ‘working class, poor, elderly’ have no real voice is ridiculous on its face. It is just that they have never USED it before, not that it doesn’t exist.

The sad part is that none of the things you mention will change with Obama as president.

His tax policies will ensure that more jobs are lost overseas, especially manufacturing jobs thanks to the democraticly controlled congress that is about to put into law an environmental bill that will make the cost of doing business in the few remaining industries we have prohibitive.

Gas price gouging? Every time this as been asserted and investigated it has found to be incorrect, as it is now. The oil companies purchase oil at the price the market presents it to them. They have little to no control over that I’m afraid. They are selling more oil, therefore more profits. The percentage of profits have reamined steady… What is Obama planning to do to mitigate this? Educating the public is about the only real solution, but that seems unlikely.



What *real change* is Obama offering up in these areas again? And does change for change’s sake a positive?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 2:02 PM
Comment #254605

Henry, but we certainly don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish, either.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 3:38 PM
Comment #254606

Rhinehold, quote Obama’s tax policies and let’s discuss the meaning and consequences of those quotes.

As for gas prices, Obama has already said, the only real solution is to get off our oil dependency on foreign supplies. Did you know that a huge number of off shore and on shore licenses to drill have been issued and the oil companies are refusing to drill them. Reason: why drill for $120 a barrel today, when you can drill for $200 a barrel a year or several from now?

Vast acreages of off shore and onshore leases obtained by the oil companies remain untapped. That says it all, Rhinehold. And can you believe these Republicans saying we have to issue even more leases? Absurd on its face when millions of acres of leased oil fields remain undrilled.

The oil companies are artificially creating a shortage on the speculation that drilling later will bring greater demand and shorter supplies and therefore much higher profit margins. Scarcity has a way of doing that, you know.

Obama is right, the path is to develop and deploy free and cheap energy alternatives and trying to work through the energy corporations to accomplish that is precisely where the Grand Canyon of differences lie between Obama and McCain.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 3:47 PM
Comment #254619
Andre Hernandez wrote: It’s not so much the wealth disparity growth alone that is hurting America. It’s the steady increase in college tuition costs, lost manufacturing jobs, stagnant wages and predatory creditors and banks, gas price gauging, deregulation of food and drug along with energy and oil industries that have hurt alot of the “lower” middle class and poor.
You are absolutely correct about the numerous abuses, but those abuses all add up to the same thing:
    the growing wealth disparity gap

There are many abuses, none of which came about by mere coincidence, that are increasing the wealth disparity gap, and have been for over 30+ years. We did not arrive here over-night.

Andre Hernandez wrote: Republicans love deregulation of industries that can harm those who have no real voice in government. Working class, poor, elderly and children..other peoples children.
True. Most (if not all) incumbent Republican politicians cater to the wealthy. But so do Democrat politicians.

The real difference between Democrat and Republican incumbent politicians any negligible.
Both are so corrupt, incompetent, FOR-SALE, and irresponsible, the real difference is insignificant.
For example, consider the “farm BILL H.R. 2419” that was just passed (mostly by Democrats), which was loaded with about 300 billion of pork-barrel and corprate welfare.

Bill Number: H.R. 2419
Issues: Agriculture Issues, Budget, Spending and Taxes, Business and Consumers, Environmental Issues, Health Issues
Date: 05/15/2008
Sponsor: Rep. Peterson, Collin (D) Minnesota
Conference Report Adopted (Senate)
How SENATE members voted: (81=YES , 15=NO)

State _ Name _ (Party) _ Vote
AZ Sen. John McCain III (R) Did NOT Vote
IL Sen. Barack Obama Jr. (D) Did NOT Vote
NY Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) Did NOT Vote
MA Sen. Edward Kennedy Sr. (D) Did NOT Vote (due to illness; brain tumor)

State _ Name _ (Party) _ Vote (13 Republicans voted No, 2 Democrats voted No)
AK Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) No
AZ Sen. Jon Kyl (R) No
IN Sen. Richard Lugar (R) No
ME Sen. Susan Collins (R) No
NE Sen. Charles Hagel (R) No
NH Sen. John Sununu (R) No
NH Sen. Judd Gregg (R) No
NM Sen. Pete Domenici (R) No
NV Sen. John Eric Ensign (R) No
OH Sen. George Voinovich (R) No
OK Sen. Thomas Allen Coburn (R) No
RI Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) No
RI Sen. John Reed (D) No
SC Sen. Jim DeMint (R) No
UT Sen. Robert Bennett (R) No

State _ Name _ (Party) _ Vote (35 Republicans voted Yes, 45 Democrats voted Yes)
AK Sen. Ted Stevens (R) Yes
AL Sen. Jefferson Sessions III (R) Yes
AL Sen. Richard Shelby (R) Yes
AR Sen. Mark Pryor (D) Yes
AR Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) Yes
CA Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) Yes
CA Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) Yes
CO Sen. Ken Salazar (D) Yes
CO Sen. Wayne Allard (R) Yes
CT Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Democrat/Independent) Yes
CT Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) Yes
DE Sen. Thomas Carper (D) Yes
DE Sen. Joseph Biden Jr. (D) Yes
FL Sen. Melquiades Martinez (R) Yes
FL Sen. Bill Nelson Sr. (D) Yes
GA Sen. John Isakson (R) Yes
GA Sen. C. Saxby Chambliss (R) Yes
HI Sen. Daniel Akaka Sr. (D) Yes
HI Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) Yes
IA Sen. Thomas Harkin (D) Yes
IA Sen. Charles Grassley (R) Yes
ID Sen. Michael Crapo (R) Yes
ID Sen. Larry Craig (R) Yes
IL Sen. Richard Durbin (D) Yes
IN Sen. Evan Bayh (D) Yes
KS Sen. Pat Roberts (R) Yes
KS Sen. Samuel Brownback (R) Yes
KY Sen. Jim Bunning (R) Yes
KY Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) Yes
LA Sen. David Vitter (R) Yes
LA Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) Yes
MA Sen. John Kerry (D) Yes
MD Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D) Yes
MD Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) Yes
ME Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) Yes
MI Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) Yes
MI Sen. Carl Levin (D) Yes
MN Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Democrat/Farmer/Labor) Yes
MN Sen. Norm Coleman (R) Yes
MO Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) Yes
MO Sen. Christopher Bond (R) Yes
MS Sen. Roger Wicker (R) Yes
MS Sen. Thad Cochran (R) Yes
MT Sen. Jon Tester (D) Yes
MT Sen. Max Baucus (D) Yes
NC Sen. Richard Burr (R) Yes
NC Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) Yes
ND Sen. Byron Dorgan (Democratic-NPL) Yes
ND Sen. Kent Conrad (Democratic-NPL) Yes
NE Sen. E. Benjamin Nelson (D) Yes
NJ Sen. Robert Menendez (D) Yes
NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) Yes
NM Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) Yes
NV Sen. Harry Reid (D) Yes
NY Sen. Charles Schumer (D) Yes
OH Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) Yes
OK Sen. James Inhofe (R) Yes
OR Sen. Gordon Harold Smith (R) Yes
OR Sen. Ron Wyden (D) Yes
PA Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D) Yes
PA Sen. Arlen Specter (R) Yes
SC Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) Yes
SD Sen. John Thune (R) Yes
SD Sen. Tim Johnson (D) Yes
TN Sen. Bob Corker (R) Yes
TN Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) Yes
TX Sen. John Cornyn (R) Yes
TX Sen. Kay Hutchison (R) Yes
UT Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) Yes
VA Sen. James Webb Jr. (D) Yes
VA Sen. John Warner (R) Yes
VT Sen. Bernard Sanders (Independent) Yes
VT Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) Yes
WA Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) Yes
WA Sen. Patty Murray (D) Yes
WI Sen. Russell Feingold (D) Yes
WI Sen. Herbert Kohl (D) Yes
WV Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D) Yes
WV Sen. Robert Byrd (D) Yes
WY Sen. John Barrasso (R) Yes
WY Sen. Michael Enzi (R) Yes

Also, H.R.2419 “Farm BILL” passed (over Bush’s VETO on 21-MAY-2008) in the House with 316-to-108 votes (mostly Democrats), with more than the two-thirds required to over-ride Bush’s veto:
By the way, G.W.Bush (43) is a supreme hypocrite for only recently finding his veto pen.

So, Congress as a whole (generally speaking), is FOR-SALE !
There was wide-spread support from BOTH pork-happy, pro-corprate-welfare political parties (Democrats and Republicans alike) for this pork-laden “farm BILL” H.R. 2419.
This same sort of thing happens day-in and day-out.
But partisan loyalties lead too many people to believe the problem is only the OTHER party.

H.R. 2419 is especially irrepsonsible for Congress, at a time when the National Debt is $9.4 Trillion, $12.8 Trillion was borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, and no one can say where the money will come from to pay down the $53.2 Trillion nation-wide debt, when that money does not yet exist.

The fact is, few (if any) in do-nothing Congress deserve re-election.
Yet, voters continue to reward 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election:
How can Congress have 11%-to-18% approval ratings and 85%-to-99% re-election rates.
What’s this telling us about the electorate?

Andre Hernandez wrote: We need a voter revolution. We need people to unite behind real change, not placards.
Don’t worry.

It will (most likely) happen eventually.
However, we will probably have to wait 4 to 8 more years.
But there is a built-in self-correction mechanism.
When the consequences of the electorate’s apathy, complacency, blind partisan loyalties, and laziness finally becomes too painful, enough voters will most likely do what they did in year 1933, and vote-out several hundred incumbents from do-nothing Congress.

But that’s a ways off still.
The voters still have not yet felt enough pain (which they have brought onto themselves), but it’s on the way.
Perhaps in about 4 to 8 years from now, enough voters will be less complacent, apathetic, partisan, and blindly loyal when enough of the voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry?
That’s the built-in self-correction/self-preservation mechanism … provided it happens soon enough. There are no guarantees.

Andre Hernandez wrote: I’m voting for Obama but if he does not deliver he has to go.
That’s probably what will happen in year 2012 (i.e. Obama will have to go), because Obama will not be able to stop these 17+ deteriorating economic conditions, because Obama will still be saddled with the same corrupt, do-nothing, incompetent, FOR-SALE Congress that will continue to perpetuate the abuse hammering most Americans.

Obama can’t do it himself, and having failed to stop any of the abuses hammering most Americans (by 2012), his re-election will be difficult (if not impossible).
And the thing is, it won’t really be Obama’s fault only.
It will be the voters fault too for saddling Obama with the same do-nothing, corrupt, FOR-SALE Congress.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 5, 2008 5:33 PM
Comment #255167

I cannot answer that unless I am totally blunt, but I wonder what would of happened 40 years ago if the Youth of the 60’s knew how to make every corporation equal while maintaining the Status Quo?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 11, 2008 3:59 AM
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