Why the House of Representatives Doesn’t Represent the US Public By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program, March 30, 2015 One of the really weird ironies of politics these days is the huge divergence between what the US people actually want and what the radical right-wingers in Washington actually do. You won’t hear this on “Fox So-Called News,” but right now the US people are as progressive as they ever have been.
Hard-Nosed Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’ By ERIC LIPTON, OCT. 30, 2014 — Richard Berman, a political consultant, said oil and gas industry officials … must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because “you can either win ugly or lose pretty,” he said.
Triumph of the Wrong by Paul Krugman, New York Times, NOV. 6, 2014 …politics determines who has the power, not who has the truth. Still, it’s not often that a party that is so wrong about so much does as well as Republicans did on Tuesday…Republican policy proposals deserve more critical scrutiny, not less, now that the party has more ability to impose its agenda. So now is a good time to remember just how wrong the new rulers of Congress have been about, well, everything…the story of conservative economics these past six years and more has been one of intellectual debacle — made worse by the striking inability of many on the right to admit error under any circumstances… if Republicans have been so completely wrong about everything, why did voters give them such a big victory? Part of the answer is that leading Republicans managed to mask their true positions… the biggest secret of the Republican triumph surely lies in the discovery that obstructionism bordering on sabotage is a winning political strategy…This was, it turned out, bad for America but good for Republicans. Most voters don’t know much about policy details, nor do they understand the legislative process. So all they saw was that the man in the White House wasn’t delivering prosperity — and they punished his party.
Freedom, Power, and the Conservative Mind by Robert Reich, CommonDreams.org, July 2, 2014…… The so-called “free market” is not expanding options and opportunities for most people. It’s extending them for the few who are wealthy enough to influence how the market is organized. But this is a very parched view of freedom. Conservatives who claim to be on the side of freedom while ignoring the growing imbalance of economic and political power in America are not in fact on the side of freedom. They are on the side of those with the power.
The Corporate Coup d’Etat is Nearly Complete By Harvey Wasserman, Common Dreams, November 05, 2014 — Nothing is clear now except that it won’t be easy …Our electoral apparatus is thoroughly compromised by oceans of dirty money, Jim Crow registration traps, rigged electronic voting machines, gerrymandering, corrupt secretaries of state. The internet may be next. Above all, if there is one thing that could save us a shred of democracy, it’s preserving net neutrality… If we now lose the ability to freely communicate, we are in the deepest hole of all…Thus the GOP has been enthroned by a half-century of Democrats who’ve helped drag us into endless war, ignored our electoral rights and sold their souls—and the nation’s—to a zombie army of corporate operatives…The money power has ruled this nation before. This time it means a whole new level of all-out war against social justice, our basic rights, our ability to live in harmony with our Mother Earth.
Inside Groundswell: Read the Memos of the New Right-Wing Strategy Group Planning a “30 Front War” Ginni Thomas, Allen West, and a crew of conservative journalists and activists have formed a hush-hush coalition to battle progressives—and Karl Rove. By David Corn | Thu Jul. 25, 2013
The Two Centers of Unaccountable Power in America, and Their Consequences by Robert Reich, Robert Reich blog, 06/13/2013 There are two great centers of unaccountable power in the American political-economic system today — places where decisions that significantly affect large numbers of Americans are made in secret, and are unchecked either by effective democratic oversight or by market competition. One goes by the name of the “intelligence community” and its epicenter is the National Security Agency within the Defense Department…The second center of unaccountable power goes by the name of Wall Street and is centered in the largest banks there…It is rare in these harshly partisan times for the political left and right to agree on much of anything. But the reason, I think, both are worried about the encroachments of the NSA on the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, as well as the depredations of “too big to fail or jail” Wall Street banks on our economy, is fundamentally the same: It is this toxic combination of inordinate power and lack of accountability that renders both of them dangerous, threatening our basic values and institutions…
It’s Time to Fight the Status Quo by Bill McKibben, Solutions Time For Outrage On Behalf of the Planet, June 7, 2012…slogans and proposals and will mean nothing without the requisite power standing behind them…Having written the first book about global warming 23 long years ago, I’ve watched the issue unfold across decades, continents, and ideologies…All along, two things have been clear. One, the scientists who warned us about climate change were absolutely correct—their only mistake, common among scientists, was in being too conservative…Two, we have much of the technological know-how we need to make the leap past fossil fuel…We need politicians more afraid of voter outrage than they are of corporate retribution...So, if we have an emergency, and we have the tools to fight it, the only question is why we’re not doing so. And the answer, I think, is clear: it’s in the interest of some of the most powerful players on earth to prolong the status quo…talking endlessly about these solutions at international conferences is not going to produce them. They go against the power of the status quo, and hence they will be enacted only if we build movements strong enough to force them…We’ll never get the solutions we need—the solutions everyone has known about for two decades—unless we build the movement first.
…Power…is best understood in terms of command and control. It is either the capacity to make others do as you wish (the command function) or to reorder the environment around you (the control function)… It is arguable, though, that technology has given us a more democratic culture (if not politics) than the world has seen since perhaps the founding… the Internet has…lowered barriers to information and has given virtually anyone with something to say the means to say it. The Web is not only a source but a stage on which we can engage in the life of the nation and of the world armed with facts we have weighed in the light of reason. “Knowledge is now once again connected to power,” says [Al] Gore. The Story of Power by John Meacham, Newsweek, December 19, 2008
Democracy Should Be a Brake on Unbridled Greed and Power – Bill Moyers…Interview with Amy Goodman, Democracy Now – “The greatest change in politics in my time has been the transformation of democracy, America, from a citizens’ society, the moral agency, to a consumer society…I think this country is in a very precarious state at the moment…the escalating, accumulating power of organized wealth is snuffing out everything public…we’re at a very critical moment in the equilibrium. No society, no human being, can survive without balance, without equilibrium…We don’t have equilibrium now. The power of money trumps the power of democracy today…democracy should be a break on unbridled greed and power…we have to get that equilibrium back…you have to exercise your will optimistically, believing that each of us singly, and all of us collectively, can be an agent of change. And I have to get up every morning and imagine a more confident future, and then try to do something that day to help bring it about.