Has the revolution begun?!
A historic new ordinance bans natural gas drilling while elevating community decision making and the rights of nature over the "rights" associated with corporate personhood.
...The ordinance sponsor, Pittsburgh Councilman Doug Shields, led the charge to ban drilling, and was later joined by five co-sponsors. During the months leading up to today’s vote, Shields passionately advocated for the ordinance, saying that the city is “not a colony of the state and will not sit quietly by as our city gets drilled.” He sees this fight as about far more than drilling, saying “It’s about our authority as a community to decide, not corporations deciding for us.”
By Kevin Zeese
Executive Director of VotersForPeace.US and ProsperityAgenda.US
[posted with permission. Please also see companion note posted here. - luaptifer]
Contributors to These Groups Beware - You May Not Be Anonymous for Long
Conscious Citizens Need to Continue to Push Back Against Concentrated Corporate Power
A big victory yesterday for democracy as the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, called for an investigation of corporate front groups and asked the Internal Revenue Service to conduct a full investigation not only of Karl Rove's American Crossroads but all groups improperly using tax-exempt status to manipulate elections.
With permission by Kevin Zeese.
The Republican Party is being replaced with secret donors and unlimited donations as concentrated corporate interests spend hundreds of millions in the Mid-term elections.
In the last week Democrats were gloating about how little money the Republican Party had in its campaign coffers. The Republican National Committee has just over $5 million in the bank for the final stretch of the 2010 midterm election campaign and is carrying over $2 million in debt.
These figures have Democrats jumping for joy, but their excitement is misplaced. The combination of Michael Steele and Citizens United is creating a paradigm shift in how elections are funded among Republicans. Rather than giving to the Republican Party, where Michael Steele controls the money, their name is made public and they are limited by regulation as to how much they can give, major donors have abandoned the RNC and are giving to 527 and 501(c)(4) organizations, which can also take money directly from corporations. This new approach to campaign finance will alter U.S. politics reducing the power of political parties and increasing the power of concentrated corporate wealth.
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."
-- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)
Bold text added by the diarist
(Note: The authenticity of this quote has been disputed, but I believe it is worthwhile to discuss nonetheless. The link I have provided is my proof of the validity of this quote, but I leave it to you, the reader, to decide.)
Almost 150 years later . . .
More below the fold
Originally posted on January 10, but it got stuck in the spam filter. So now, without further delay... -- GH
Preface: This note was originally a post in response to a fed-up independent expressing her distaste for any political propaganda, even if apparently evidence-based as Rachel Maddow recently blogged. My connection to the writer is through our recently shared understanding that the time is overripe for Nader's thinking, that he'd be a perfect opponent to lobbyist-in-residence Senator Joe Lieberman..
Nader's one of the few who speaks to the corporatist agenda that is evident behind the scenes of most American politics and in exactly the right terms. It's clearly the dominant driver of our collective political agenda.
And it's been the belief that I understand that problem which led me to finally understand and to rationalize (what people have called) his spoiler effect as serving to hasten the_only_thing_that_can_fix_the_problem_with_our_political_system.
I figured Nader knew that the system will only (--actually NEVER--) fix itself when it becomes utterly broken and completely unable to function.
These topics should be our bread and wine until forever after last week's coup de corp pitched us into battle for the last shreds of American democracy. I think this is it.
If there's nothing proven by the last decade, it's that the big money wins and will even get bailed out when they should lose everything. It's a progressively parasitic process: letting the bloodsuckers any deeper into our power will be fatal.
If we don't fight now. and we let an election pass under the corrupting filter established by the coup d'etat of SCOTUS, successive elections will ensure that Chamber of Commerce priorities become the law of the land, the likes of Tom Donohue, the President, and its lobbyists, our Congress.
What we allow corporations to get away with in the name of limited liability profit already kills millions and destroys a planet. It's a permanent battle in these United States, and responsible for the wars we wage outside them.
Wherever and whenever possible, I think we need to make 'personhood' the topic. So here're a couple of very different ideas.
The coup d'etat is complete and the ghost of GWB43 reaches from the grave with insurance for the future, that corporate rule has been secured.
It's as I have figured, that we will only finally move to "Get the money out of our power" when the pool of natural-born citizens' blood is deep enough that we can no longer ignore it.
A coup d'etat basically makes the blood-pool part of the infrastructure. It's time for regime-change, to overthrow the ghost that is hidden in the machine.
It's not as though I'm any brighter than the other folks I've been hanging with, here, for the last few years.
But sometimes the words do feel particularly right, as in 'right on the money'. We like to say that in these United States, I wonder if that idiom was developed in the halls outside of the lobbies of our Congressional leaders, perhaps?
Anyhow, I liked this title five years ago when the sentiment of Get The Money Out of Our Power was appropriate to the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. The ring of truth is hitting me as strongly, today, as it did on September 7, 2005.
I'd hate to be that right, but I seem to remember the context being Bush's contratulations to the helluva job being done by Brownie. Think he's got anything to do with emergency aid to Haiti?
Nader's never been righter, Get The Money Out of Our Power.
[Possibly more precisely what I mean is that I believe the political system no longer works.]
In response to a dailykos diary by Michael Stark "I blame you for this "
The front page tells the story: MA-Sen: PPP Has Brown (R) Up One Point.
Need I remind you that this is Ted Kennedy's seat?
The Republican leads the race and has the momentum. And I blame y'all.
Alright, not everyone of you... but the Obama fan club that's been so willing to shout down anyone that expected something different... you know... those of us that expected (and yearned for) change.
another kossack answered with a comment I've reproduced here and taken liberty to use its title as my own (it's important to remember that a key mission of dailykos is to elect more Democrats). I've done so because it echoes a recent comment concerning my rising hope of the last couple years.
I've concluded that we may be near what I consider is an inevitable political pivot. The destruction wreaked upon this country (...this world) particularly in this last of a couple decades of corrupt bipartisan politics is immense.
I think it's evidence of what Ralph Nader has always known, what will happen to an exclusionary bipolar political system that progressively 'reforms' American government into a process that 'democratically elects corporate representatives to govern us'.
The process is a form of suicide, that's like designing an ecosystem that will end up containing only carnivores because it's designed with increasingly fewer natural limits and they're nearly done eating the rest of us, the herbivores.
NBBooks' comment has been surprisingly well received on dailykos. I may excerpt and repost my own later.
Do you REALLY still believe this is a democracy?
From the New York Times, In House, Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists’
Members of Congress submit statements for publication in the Congressional Record all the time, often with a decorous request to “revise and extend my remarks.” It is unusual for so many revisions and extensions to match up word for word. It is even more unusual to find clear evidence that the statements originated with lobbyists.
The e-mail messages and their attached documents indicate that the statements were based on information supplied by Genentech employees to one of its lobbyists, Matthew L. Berzok, a lawyer at Ryan, MacKinnon, Vasapoli & Berzok who is identified as the “author” of the documents. The statements were disseminated by lobbyists at a big law firm, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.
In an e-mail message to fellow lobbyists on Nov. 5, two days before the House vote, Todd M. Weiss, senior managing director of Sonnenschein, said, “We are trying to secure as many House R’s and D’s to offer this/these statements for the record as humanly possible.”
[This piece began its life in response to CTMan's Independents, Fastest Growing Block of Voters, Reflect... Me?.]
Back in the dark ages, when I was young and a voter for the first time, I was a registered Independent. That was partly due to the fact that I'd not enough insight or experience to know my own leanings much less to have tested them against party platforms.
What I call myself now is a lower-case "P" progressive and, like anyone stuck in the bipolar power struggle that disallows new entrants, I consistently aim to choose lesser evil.
On rare occasion, I've considered "R" but that's become an impossible choice in the last ten years, or so. Now, there's no choice in light of documents establishing that Republicans have been the proxies of a racketeering operation.
Max Baucus is a capital "D" example of why I can't be a knee-jerk Dem, though there are several I respect on that side of the aisle.
As I've considered the disappointment delivered by the full-house Democratic majority, I've come to a few tentative conclusions as to what's going wrong.
In keeping with the pink and white elephant concept, here's a callout via Keith Olbermann regarding the banking and financial institution bailouts:
Not bad. Anybody else got any good video commentaries to add, with other perspectives?
Consider this an extension of the preceding Open Thread.
Hat-tip Lordrag of Delphiforums.