Let’s ponder the long run for a sec here: Who’s smarter? Who’s doing the best job planning for the future?
(Image via @Drgrist on Twiter)
I vote for China.
This is what the U.S. gets allowing itself to become a corporatocracy run by lobbyist$ who drain it via endless war.
September 19, 2014 at 8:58 PM
As soon as the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions were handed down by the Supreme Court I knew it might be impossible to reverse them because as the minutes passed, rich donors poured money into the pockets of politicians, making them less and less likely to vote to overturn them:
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a constitutional amendment meant to reverse two recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign spending.
Senate Democrats needed 60 votes to end debate on the measure, but fell short in the 54-42 party-line vote.
Earlier this week, more than 20 Republicans voted with Democrats in a 79-18 vote to advance the amendment in order to force Democrats to spend the week debating the merits of the measure.
Republicans “forced” Democrats to spend the week debating the measure so they could lay around, doing nothing, as is their wont. They’re killing time until (at last) November 4, when they hope to regain control of the Senate and then, if they do, they’ll twiddle their fingers until the new electees are sworn in in January, 2015. If they don’t win control of the Senate in November, they’ll be furious and they’ll dig in their heels until November, 2016 so keeping Democrats busy with meaningless debates lets them off the hook.
The amendment … would have needed to win two-thirds support to pass the Senate, and then would still have needed to move through the House and be ratified by two-thirds of the states.
The 2010 Citizens United ruling struck down restrictions that had barred corporations and unions from spending money from their general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates. In McCutcheon, the court struck aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates.
Democrats argued the Supreme Court decision has allowed billionaires to flood the campaign spending system with “dark money” in order to buy election results.
Don’t you love it: “Democrats argued the Supreme Court decision has allowed billionaires to flood the campaign spending system with ‘dark money’ in order to buy election results.” That isn’t a partisan argument; it’s a fact: Political Donations Soar After Supreme Court Rules Against Campaign Contribution Caps. Too bad The Hill found it necessary to imply that’s some sort of dubious spin. It’s verifiable and if they cared about informing their readers, they’d have included data proving it to be true.
So, at this point, I don’t see how we stop our elections from being bought.
September 11, 2014 at 6:17 PM
Boulder County Judge Strikes Down Longmont Fracking Ban
A Boulder County District Court judge has struck down Longmont’s fracking ban but said the ban can remain in place while the city considers an appeal.
Judge D.D. Mallard issued the summary judgment Thursday. In the ruling, she said Longmont’s charter amendment clearly conflicted with the state’s regulations and its interest in the efficient development of oil and gas deposits.
“While the court appreciates the Longmont citizens’ sincerely held beliefs about risks to their health and safety, the court does not find this is sufficient to completely devalue the state’s interest,” Mallard wrote.
The case had been expected to go to trial in 2015.
The ban, passed by Longmont voters in 2012, forbids the practice of hydraulic fracturing, which uses high-pressure water, sand and chemicals to crack open hard-to-reach oil and gas deposits.
Colorado Governor John Nickenlooper — known in these parts as Mr. Howdy Doody — a so-called Democrat — joined the oil and gas industry in this suit. I.e., he effectively sued the citizens of his own state because they voted against the corporatocracy he represents.
Who put “the state’s regulations and interests ” into effect?” Corporate lobbyists who own the Colorado statehouse and the governor.
Again, the citizens of Longmont voted NO on fracking in 2012. A judge nullified that vote today.
Why the hell vote anymore, huh? The system is so rigged, our votes don’t seem to matter.
July 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM
Ah yes, Congress working to create jobs again:
Congress Quietly Deletes a Key Disclosure of Free Trips Lawmakers Take
It’s going to be a little more difficult to ferret out which members of Congress are lavished with all-expenses-paid trips around the world after the House has quietly stripped away the requirement that such privately sponsored travel be included on lawmakers’ annual financial-disclosure forms.
The move, made behind closed doors and without a public announcement by the House Ethics Committee, reverses more than three decades of precedent. Gifts of free travel to lawmakers have appeared on the yearly financial form dating back its creation in the late 1970s, after the Watergate scandal. National Journal uncovered the deleted disclosure requirement when analyzing the most recent batch of yearly filings.
“This is such an obvious effort to avoid accountability,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “There’s no legitimate reason. There’s no good reason for it.”
Free trips paid for by private groups must still be reported separately to the House’s Office of the Clerk and disclosed there. But they will now be absent from the chief document that reporters, watchdogs, and members of the public have used for decades to scrutinize lawmakers’ finances.
July 1, 2014 at 8:47 AM
Ah yes,the power of money:
Following Seattle and other cities, Rhode Island’s Providence City Council voted unanimously Thursday to place a $15 minimum wage referendum on the ballot. The measure applies only to large hotels, and polling suggests that it would pass at the ballot box with votes to spare. Just one problem: The state’s Democratic leadership is poised to prevent that vote from ever happening.
“I’m really surprised,” said Providence City Councilmember Carmen Castillo, to see “Democrats attack the minimum wage.” Castillo is an Omni hotel housekeeper and an activist with the hospitality union UNITE HERE Local 217, the group that pushed the council to advance the referendum. (Full disclosure: I worked for UNITE HERE in California and Pennsylvania from 2006 to 2011.) Just hours after Castillo and her colleagues voted to do so, the Rhode Island House quashed their effort by passing a budget that would ban cities from going beyond the state minimum wage. That budget is expected to pass in the State Senate and to be signed by Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Governor Lincoln Chafee.
This kind of thing makes me feel two ways: (1) Like I want to drop out and tune out, and (2) Furious such that I want to get involved and help get rid of every single “Democrat” like this there is.
June 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM
This post at ProPublica struck me like a bolt of lightening: Temp Worker Regulations Around the World.
The thing that hit me straight up the side of my head was the notion that many countries have defined what “temporary worker” means. Ah, yeah. That should be defined. What’s “temporary?”
To some countries it means someone who works a year, to some it means three or five. Yet the United States is mum on that, meaning that businesses everywhere define workers as “temporary” on infinitum and thus screw them out of raises and benefits.
This is happening, of course, because corporations own the U.S. government but seriously, what a simple concept. What is “temporary?” To fail to define that means “temporary” is permanent.
Here’s more. The higher the bar, the better the protections. The U.S. is the blue bar, third from left.
(Image via ProPublica on Twittier)
Larger version here.
The United States has some of the weakest labor protections for temp workers in the developed world. Other countries have adopted regulations limiting the length of temp assignments, guaranteeing equal pay for equal work and restricting companies from hiring temps for hazardous tasks. Here, we map out how countries compare based on data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which produces research on behalf of the world’s industrialized nations.
I wish it were that Washington worked for We the People instead of the corporatocracy.
June 13, 2014 at 7:01 PM
Eric Cantor forgot who he was working for. If Brat wins, he probably will too.
(Image via MarketPlace.org)
Here’s more: Dave Versus Goliath, by the Numbers.
I think we’re all upset by this.
June 11, 2014 at 4:51 PM