Friday, October 23, 2020
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The Biggest Bargain Around (on Money & Elections)

This piece will be running as an op/ed in newspapers in my conservative congressional District. Would it be possible for any American leader to persuade...

Bernie, It’s Not “the Billionaire Class” You Need to Defeat But...

Dear Senator Sanders, You’ve done the nation a great service in calling attention to the way Big Money is rigging our politics and our economy. But...

Robber Barons Strike Again


Well, the mega-buck loonies empowered by the Supreme Court Citizens United decision, coupled with oddly misplaced anger of people who hate the very government that provides them with the programs and protections they enjoy (i.e., slimy Scott Rigell and "cash for clunkers"), have returned political gridlock to Washington. (Actually, gridlock really never left, did it, given the absurdity of Senate rules that require 60 votes to even take a vote on a bill and that allow one senator to place a hold on appointments or legislation he/she dislikes.)

We have endured yet another campaign season that highlighted all the wrong things and gave voters no possible solutions to the very serious problems we face as a nation. William Gross, the co-founder of Pacific Investment Management (PIMCO), wrote in his November newsletter to PIMCO investors,

Was it relevant in 2004 that John Kerry was or was not an admirable "swift boat" commander? Will the absence of a mosque within several hundred yards of Ground Zero solve our deficit crisis? Is Christine O'Donnell really a witch? Did Meg Whitman employ an illegal maid? Who cares! We are being conned, folks; Democrats and Republicans alike. What have you really heard from either party that addresses America's future instead of its prurient overnight fascination with scandal? Shame on them and, of course, shame on us.

Year after year we seem to get suckered into soap operas loved so by the corporate media. Was President Obama really born in Hawaii? Will the new health reform law actually set up "death panels" for old people, etc.  Bread and circuses replace genuine proposals to solve the problems this nation must eventually face. For example, if the Republicans who have taken back the House of Representatives are actually serious about the deficit, then in order to keep the $70 billion annual tax cut for the wealthy, they should already know exactly what programs they intend to cut in order to save $70 billion every year - and they should be willing to tell the American people.

If those same Republicans now despise cap-and-trade environmental regulation that was once the darling of those GOP free marketeers, what exactly are they going to replace it with? Nothing? Then, tell us that. Tell us that you people love profits more than clean air or clean water or a climate that isn't in crisis because of human folly.

Thomas Friedman, author of The World Is Flat, has become so disillusioned with our political system that he thinks breaking up "the two-party duopoly" by challenging it with a serious third party may the only way out of the political mess we are in.