Coastal Post Online

 

DONATE TO US

SUBSCRIBE TO US

ADVERTISE WITH US

 

**** COASTALPOST'S LOGO ****

 

DONATE TO US

SUBSCRIBE TO US

ADVERTISE WITH US

 

MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

December, 2006

 

Shutting Down Our Washington Whorehouse
By Edward W. Miller

"There are two parties in Washington: the Republicans and the Republicans Lite."
Jesse Jackson
"I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."
(former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001)
As the scales of power tilts slightly in favor of the Democrats, now would be a good time for Americans to take a careful look at the Washington political machine, and try to rescue those whom we have elected to office, from their present status as "Whores of the Special Interests," restoring them to their sworn, and honorable positions as "Representatives of the People" and "Defenders of the Constitution."
Just as prostitution in Nevada and New Jersey historically has been controlled by the Mafia, using political bribery, physical threats and murder, just so the big lobbies in Washington, representing such interests as oil, pharmaceuticals, guns, insurance and that parasite, Israel, buy and sell and even threaten our elected politicians.

Our dysfunctional Congress, often in lock-step with one of the most corrupt administrations America has known, has propelled us into two completely unnecessary wars, in Afghanistan and then Iraq, has dangerously interfered with our political and personal rights with the Patriot Act of 1991 (rubber-stamped again without significant congressional discussion on March 13th, 2006), has just destroyed the centuries-long Writ of Habeas Corpus, (which preceded the 1215 Magna Carta), and has isolated us from all other nations in their campaign to halt global warning as Washington denied the Kyoto Protocols, and finally, using NAFTA and the FREE TRADE POLICY, has further decimated the economies of the Third WORLD, including our Central American and Mexican neighbors, making emigration into the US for survival the only recourse for these impoverished peoples.

Members of both Houses of Congress, like barnyard pigs, have become accustomed to gorging themselves at the trough of political money. Attempts, so-far, to stem this rising tide of political cash have had little effect.

Only more radical changes in the system itself will reduce the power of the political dollar. The level of political spending (campaign funds) our politicians must garner, either as incumbents or challengers in the political arena, has become one of the major faults in the system.

One attempt to create a more democratic system was made by Proposition 34, the BIPARTISAN CAMPAIGN REFORM ACT, passed in 2002. Summarized by the Legislative Analyst as follows:

"Candidates for state offices collect private donations from individuals, corporations, political parties, and other organizations (such as labor unions and nonprofit organizations) to pay for the costs of their political campaigns. The maximum amount of money that each person or group can give to a candidate is determined by state law. The limits were last changed when voters approved Proposition 34 at the November 2000 general election. Current limits on the amount of money that can be given depend on the office being sought and who is giving the donation....An individual can give a candidate for the state Assembly a donation of up to $3,300. On the other hand, a political party can give that same candidate as much money as it chooses. A candidate can accept donations any time before an election and can spend without limit any money that is collected." Since political parties bypass state lines, huge donations of "out-of-state- cash has been able to swing elections, thus stripping the individual state voter from his share of political power."

On Wednesday Dec. 10, 2003 the Supreme Court issued its opinion in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (FEC). The court upheld, 5-4, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 on the key issues of banning "soft-money" contributions and limiting "issue ads." But struck down two provisions of the law -a ban on political contributions from those under voting age and limitations on party spending unrelated to a particular party candidate. Special interest groups and business interests have already found loopholes in the measure. Two Congressmen, Christopher Shays, (R-CN), and Marty Meehan, (D-MA) filed suit in federal court challenging the Federal Election Commission's interpretation of the new law.

Loopholes in this measure were to be corrected in California, by Proposition 89, the "Clean Money and Fair Elections Act ", which would have established a system for candidates, both incumbents and challengers, to receive public funds to pay for the costs of campaigning for state offices. The Act was strongly opposed by big business and the California Chamber of Commerce. Offered to California voters on the ballot on Nov. 7th 2006 the measure failed miserably at 1,847,919 / 25.5% Yes votes ... 5,394,826 / 74.5% No votes.

Another approach to both leveling the player field between incumbent and challenger as well as increasing the ballot value of the average voter, would be to offer free TV and radio time to both challenger and incumbent. Since the great majority of political campaign cash is spent on media access, this approach would markedly reduce the power of big spenders, both individual and lobbies such as the Oil lobby, the gun lobby or AIPAC. Since we Americans own our electromagnetic spectrum, it should be simple for a well-directed Congress to force the FCC to allot media time in both TV and radio modalities to both incumbents and challengers during any state or federal election campaign.

A quick glance at the recent antics of our newly empowered Democratic Party is enough to remind us of how vital is returning real democracy to the American people.. Take congressional working hours for example:

It has been the custom for Congress members to leave Washington after Thursday lunch, often going back to their homes and constituencies until the following Monday morning. This shortened work-week has allowed our Representatives to slack off on their legislative duties. The media just reported: "Nine out of a total of 11 appropriation bills, legislation necessary to keep the US government running, had NOT been acted upon by Congress as of Nov. 18th, 2006. As a result the Government will automatically shut down on December 8th, 2007 unless this issue is addressed.

Political writer David Corn noted: (THE NATION 17 Nov.) "On Thursday morning, incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with several journalists, including yours truly ... outlined his plans. He noted that he will compel senators to work longer hours and dramatically expand the Tuesday-through-Thursday-at-noon work week that has become routine in the Senate. He said he would cut back on recess time."

Today some freshly-charged Democrats are blaming Republicans for our Iraq catastrophe, but, as Stephen Zunes points out: "It was the Democrats who controlled the Senate in the fall of 2002 when the Senate voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq. "Majority leader Tom Daschle and assistant majority leader Harry Reid led the majority of their fellow Senators." Whether our Democratic majority will fight the Bush Jr...

"Stay the Course in Iraq" policy, or get us quickly out of this quagmire is yet to be seen.

On another note: Tuesday, February 28, 2006, the City and County of San Francisco became the first large municipality to call for the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney, by a 7-3 vote. Nancy Pelosi, the new Democratic Chair, and Speaker of the House, in her first few days of glory, refused to join in a program to impeach Bush and Cheney.

The Israeli lobby will fight impeachment, since Bush is their poodle, and they fear the untested waters of an unknown administration.

Nancy Pelosi, after pledging her heart and soul to Israel, took time off from her political campaign to condemn Jimmy Carter for using the word "apartheid" in the title of his new book on Israel and the Mideast... The Jewish Telegraphic Agency profile reports: "Pelosi's support for Israel is personal and 'heartfelt'."

In a speech rallying AIPAC loyalists Pelosi had stated: "There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel 's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza ... This is absolute nonsense. In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been: it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist."

As Alex Cockburn pointed out (4/4/2006) "The Democratic Party has long been ... supported by, rich Zionists... In 2001, the magazine Mother Jones listed on its website the 400 leading contributors to the 2000 national elections. Seven of the first 10 were Jewish, as were 12 of the top 20, and 125 of the top 250. Given this, all prudent candidates have gone to amazing lengths to satisfy their demands."

Americans have a ways to go before we can free our so-called "Representatives" from the chains of "Big Money". If the Democratic Party won't help, perhaps we can get the Green Party to pick up the "Set Congress Free" torch. America's future as a democracy depends on our winning this battle.


Coastal Post Home Page