Saturday, September 18, 2010

Congress Critters - The DC Wheel of Fortune

Congress Critters
The DC Wheel of Fortune

Washington, DC is full of dirty little secrets and a lot of tax dollars are spent on the propaganda machine that relentlessly stampedes truth, disclosure and accountability.   What make this well oiled machine function so effectively is that print and broadcast mainstream media is an arm of the government and is actively complicit in protecting the system and all the corruption and cover-ups that goes along with it.
Unquestionably, the U.S. Congress is the biggest and smelliest manure factory on the planet and Americans have become the most delusional folks on the planet for putting their trust in these dangerously worthless Congress Critters by constantly re-electing them over and over.  For starters, Americans actually believe that the folks they elect and send to Congress actually represents them and their interests.   Despite the fact that the job approval ratings of Congress are lower than whale dung, the same really bad Congress Critters keep getting re-elected.  Real Clear Politics keeps a running tab on the poll averages and the approval rating of Congress and it consistently runs about 25% and frequently much lower according to some polls.   A recent Gallop poll disclosed a Congressional approval rating of 21% and a disapproval of 72%.
The folks may not be happy with the job performance of Congress but they keep sending the bums back anyway.
The biggest problem is that Congress is 100% controlled by the almighty DNC and RNC machines that raise lots of special interest dough to fund warmongers, the military industrial/security complex, bloated government programs, insider corporate welfare, Banksterism and powerful special interests etc.   Nobody can compete with the big bucks of special interests when it comes to raising campaign cash.   In America, money is raw and absolute power.   Every Bankster figured that out long ago. 
With very minor exceptions, nearly every Congress Critter is a wholly owned subsidiary of some special interest.  They have been bought and paid for.  Every now and then I sit down and attempt to compose a list of who I would consider honest Congress Critters and few names come to mind.  On the Democratic side, Cong. Dennis Kucinich makes the list because he opposes war and understands the sellout of the American middle class.   However, Kucinich fell off my respect list when one trip on Air Force One bought his vote on Obamacare and expanding Federal Reserve powers.   On the Republican side, Cong. Ron Paul makes the list because he opposes our endless wars but also fully understands that central banking aka the Federal Reserve is blight upon humanity because of its license to steal.  While these two members of Congress may be ideological apart on many issues, they both recognize that our warmongering foreign policy is evil, that the American middle class has been sold down the river of permanent impoverishment and that the Federal Reserve and the Banksters are criminal organizations. 
Democrats and Republicans are the poison roots that have destroyed America, albeit for different reasons.  The Democrats cling to their fraudulent utopianism with promises of giving voters free food, free housing, free healthcare, free transportation, free education, free everything etc.  The Democrats are quite upfront about campaigning on a theme of “I will fully utilize the police powers of the government to steal from others to give you what you want but you will only get what I think you should have and that ain’t much”.  Voters drink the Fool-aid and grow frustrated, especially when the promised loot fails to arrive.   Government never delivers on its promises.  The only thing government ever accomplishes is conning folks into relinquishing their liberty and their prosperity and submitting to state tyranny and terrorism. 
The Republicans campaign on their phony baloney commitments to vague talking points like freedom, spreading democracy around the world at the point of a gun or F-16, fiscal conservatism, small government, family values and even capitalism.   But in fact, the Republicans grow government power, spend like drunker sailors, sacrifice capitalism on the altar of fascism, increase spending and in recent years have become The War Party. 
The American people are not happy campers and increasingly they utterly despise both parties.  Tragically, the American people themselves do not have a political party who represents them.  They intuitively understand that Congress is nothing more than a filthy backroom where deals are cut with the big money – typically the Banksters, multinational corporations, defense contractors and an assortment of other interests.  But third parties do poorly and voters usually vote for the least evil candidate on the ballot who stands a chance of winning. 
The reason third parties do so poorly is because the RNC and DNC have a lock on fundraising money; all the big major corporate and special interest contributors to our political cesspool are the primary funders of the RNC and DNC.  That’s one of the big problems because the RNC and DNC machines totally control all candidates because they and they alone have access to that humongous pot of special interest dough.  If you hold a seat in congress and run amuck of your party by objecting to any component of its fruitcake agenda, the DNC and RNC will lavishly fund a primary opponent.  They effectively have unlimited money to totally control who gets to Congress and who stays in Congress.  Remember, it is big money that controls the RNC and DNC.  “We the People” are no longer a component of our political system or election process.  We are just useful idiots who participate in an already rigged election system. 
The RNC/DNC lock on political money doesn’t bode well for Americans seeking to raise new candidates and get rid of the “same old, same old” congressional institutionalists who thrive on power and fraud.   If you find a candidate that you like and would like to support, you are legally banned from contributing more than $2,300 to that candidate; contributing more than the legal limit makes you a criminal who can be prosecuted for violating campaign finance laws.  But you can give millions to the DNC and RNC who don’t have that limitation and this vastly contributes to their absolute power.   Independent thinking candidates are routinely squashed.   Big money only flows to those who can deliver the taxpayer largess to special interest campaign contributors and it’s nearly impossible for any honest politician to ever raise sufficient money to compete with the RNC/DNC money machines.  Corporate contributors don’t fund candidates who campaign on “I promise to reduce government power and end the fascist marriage of big business and big government”.
Top campaign contributors always include defense contractors, the Banksters, trial lawyers, big agricultural interests and energy contractors.  Except for the trial lawyers who own the DNC, big corporate contributors are not political ideologues.  They check their radar screens and simply fund the candidate they believe can win and, therefore, can be bought.  If the Republican Party is on a roll because folks are angry with the Dems, money flows to the RNC machine.  If the Dems are hot because folks are angry with the Republicans, money flows to the DNC machine.  Because Americans were downright furious after 8 long miserable years of Bush/Cheney, it was clear that the Democratic Party was destined to be the clear winner in the 2008 election cycle.  With the media hyping Obama as the latest messiah, his victory was easily predicted and guaranteed. 
The top 10 corporate PAC contributions for the 2008 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, are as follows: 

Goldman Sachs $739,521
UBS AG $419,550
Lehman Brothers $391,774
Citigroup Inc $492,548
Morgan Stanley $341,380
Latham & Watkins $328,879
Google Inc $487,355
JPMorgan Chase & Co $475,112
Sidley Austin LLP $370,916
Skadden, Arps et al $360,409

Merrill Lynch $349,170
Citigroup Inc $287,801
Morgan Stanley $249,377
Wachovia Corp $147,456
Goldman Sachs $220,045
Lehman Brothers $115,707
Bear Stearns $108,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co $206,392
Bank of America $133,975
Credit Suisse Group $175,503

The Banksters are always lavishly rewarded for their campaign contributions.  Barry Ritholtz, a financial author and pundit, who runs the website put out quite an enlightening article that calculated TARP money (Bankster Bailout Bucks) as a return on lobbyist dollars spent and campaign contributions.  The Ritholtz list (prints to 7 pages) listed the banks that received TARP money and added political contributions and lobbying expenditures to arrive at a return on investment.
 Campaign Contributions   Lobbying Expenses    TARP Payment    Return on Investment
      $37.4 million                      $76.6 million            $305.2 billion           267,208%
There are a gazillion other special interests who are also engaged in the “pay to play” game at the DC Wheel of Fortune.  One of my favorite websites is and they do nothing but track the political money.
Analyzing 4th Quarter disclosure reports filed Jan. 20, 2009, the Center calculated that interest groups spent $17.4 million on lobbying for every day Congress was in session in 2008, or $32,523 per legislator per day. reports the top spenders on lobbying for 2008 were: 

They don’t sprinkle that kind of dough around DC without getting big paybacks.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is so powerful that it outspends the #2 biggest spender on lobbying by a margin of over 3:1 with a whopping $92 million.  What the Chamber of Commerce gets for its $92 million investment is the ability to load up America with cheap third world labor that drives American wages down while shifting the social costs of impoverished “slave” wage earners to the unemployed American taxpayers. 
In a Huffington Post piece titled The 15 Biggest Congressional Recipients Of Wall Street Campaign Cash, it’s amply clear that the Wall Street dough boys buy a lot of Congressional power.   The Huffington Post obtained its information from the most reliable tracker of campaign cash –

Charles Schumer (D)       $2,167,300
Kristen Gillibrand (D)        1,173,400
Harry Reid (D)                    1,038,210
Chris Dodd (D)                      752,698
Michael Bennet (D)              612,808
Mark Kirk (R)                         557,375
Arlen Specter (D)                  557,175
Eric Cantor (R)                      516,197
Blanche Lincoln (D)              515,000
Richard Shelby (R)                502,150
Jim Himes (D)                        430,123
John Thune (R)                      407,750
Ron Wyden (D)                     404,750
Carolyn Maloney (D)            396,750
Barney Frank (D)                  387,749


ut it’s not always necessary to buy Congress, especially when the Banksters run the Federal Reserve and Treasury.  The $180 billion plus bailout of AIG was brokered by Treasury and the Fed, and Congress was shut out of larding up AIG with money to pay for Wall Street’s derivative gambling losses.  Friends in high places like Turbo Timmy and Helicopter Ben is like owning your own personal goldmine so long as you have access.  Still, few in Congress opposed the efforts of the Fed and Treasury on the AIG bailout and most were relieved that they didn’t have to add that criminal “vote” activity to their professional resumes as power brokers. 
Yes, there are folks who truly feel the “LOVE” when it comes to deep affection for Congress, Bush/Obama, Republicans and Democrats but they don’t include ordinary working stiff smucks – just rich elites, powerful insiders and Banksters.
Corrupt as Congress is, the Banksters are far from the only larcenous gang perpetually drinking from the Congressional Holy Water Font – the cornucopia of crony capitalism.  Everybody is lined up because there’s so much dirty money sloshing around DC that it is always explicitly clear that Congress genuflects before its masters and those masters are far removed from “We the People”.  
How much is spent on U.S. elections at the federal level?  A staggering $5.3 billion was spent in 2008 according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Quote:  The 2008 election for president and Congress is not only one of the most closely watched U.S. elections in years; it's also the most expensive in history. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics estimates that more than $5.3 billion will go toward financing the federal contests upcoming on Nov. 4.

The presidential race alone will cost nearly $2.4 billion, the Center predicts. Already the candidates alone have raised more than $1.5 billion since the election cycle's start in January 2007. This is the first time that candidates for the White House have raised and spent more than $1 billion, and this year's total is on track to
nearly double candidate fundraising in 2004 and triple 2000.
There is only one thing that drives the money flowing into DC and the corrupt political machine.  As government power accrues then vast wealth can be accumulated by being an insider.  To become a powerful insider, you need to have the big bucks to buy your ticket to taxpayer funded riches. 
But you don’t always need money to be an insider and those bundlers of campaign cash work miracles for those seeking “insider” status or an ambassadorship prize.  The Boston Globe reported that “fully one-fourth of his [Obama’s] envoy picks so far --24 of 99 -- were bundlers who raised at least $10.9 million for his presidential campaign or his inauguration committee.”  It’s a time honored practice to reward campaign bundlers with ambassadorships and the Man of Change is no different than those who preceded him.  
Folks who vote have no idea whatsoever how corporate welfare and influence peddling is robbing the American people of their wealth and liberty.  The sheer depth of corporate welfare is staggering and it is 100% erroneous to blame it on capitalism because the American economic system is now based on the marriage of big business and big government.  Capitalism doesn’t exist anywhere in America.  During the days of Mussolini, such an economic system was called fascism.  Hitler dubbed his partnership with German industry Nazism.    In the modern American context, it’s frequently dubbed corporatism which is also the deadly and liberty slashing horror of the marriage of big government and big corporations. The bottom line is always the same:  a handful of powerful elite essentially control the entire nation and “We the People” will remain “We the Sheeple” until the day dawns when the American people will rise up against tyranny and corruption.
But by far, the biggest obstacle to ending the practice of perpetually corrupted career politicians lies in the fact that our political cesspool is purposefully engineered financially and legally for incumbent protection.
Richard Nixon signed the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, dubbed just another incumbent protection act because it severely limited campaign contributions to candidates not vetted by the RNC/DNC machines.  Over the years, many campaign finance laws have been passed by Republican and Democratic congresses and each and every one of them vastly strengthened the insider takeover of DC, our election process and our political system.   
There are many other problems with Congress, particularly when it comes to voting on legislation.  The good old logrolling machine is rolled out on a red carpet.  Essentially, logrolling is the practice of “you vote for my pork and I’ll vote for your pork”.  But logrolling in American has ascended to new heights of corruption.  In the recent Senate committee vote on Obamacare, it is being widely reported that Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu got $300 million in pork for her vote.  Landrieu’s vote is being dubbed the “Louisiana Purchase”.   WOW.  For a paltry $15 million Jefferson negotiated quite a deal with Napoleon when he got “828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River. The lands acquired stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. Thirteen states were carved from the Louisiana Territory. The Louisiana Purchase nearly doubled the size of the United States, making it one of the largest nations in the world” according to   During the Bush years, Congress Critters were also larded up with pork to get their votes on key spending bills sought by the Bush/Cheney imperial presidency. 
Besides legislating themselves a monopoly on political money, other incumbent protection schemes involve districting, re-districting and gerrymandering.  The Republicans and Democrats simply get together and divide up political kingdoms that guarantee huge swaths of Republican or Democratic voters as well as perpetual carved out election victories.  
Precisely because the RNC and DNC machines control the big money, they also control primaries.  A candidate who loathes Bankster bailouts, Federal Reserve absolute power, high taxes, the slashing of civil liberties, endless wars and the growth of government power will never get RNC or DNC funding. 
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of law reported in 5/09 that “Like incumbency rates for Congress, incumbency rates for state assembly races hover around 95 percent.”
With 95% of elected officials at the federal and state level being guaranteed re-election, the prospects for any meaningful political change is quite dim and practically non-existent.  In discussing incumbent protection in the New York political cesspool, the NYT stated that “in 2008 more than half of the state’s 212 legislators were re-elected with more than 80 percent of their districts’ votes. In 57 districts, the incumbents ran unopposed. New faces appear rarely, usually when a lawmaker retires, dies or, increasingly, gets convicted of abusing the public trust.
This isn’t the way it is supposed to work…… There is little chance of changing Albany’s corrupt culture without real political competition and the possibility of a full legislative housecleaning. The only way to do that is to wring much of the party politics and self-interest out of the redistricting process.”
 Elections in America can never be competitive until the incumbent protection system is irretrievably broken and a high turnover of elected officials at the state and federal levels occurs.  Without such turnovers and competition, the political cesspool remains corrupt to the core and drunk on absolute power.  This isn’t an issue that has gone unnoticed.  Some have suggested that using computers to randomly calculate districting using mathematics would go a long way toward more competitive elections especially if it was done on a fairly frequent basis – like every 5-10 years. Separating politicians from their powers to gerrymander would absolutely result in far more election competition as well as lively and intense debates that politicians avoid like the plague.
With all the so-called Tea Party activities and all the ticked off folks of all political stripes, politics in America holds the potential to become fun if we start firing a lot of folks – like nearly all 535 in Congress.   Senators are much harder to get rid of because they get a lot more DNC/RNC funding, they serve for 6 years and as statewide races they really aren’t as up close and personal as a House race. 
Americans need be more focused on actual issues affecting prosperity and liberty instead of being Republican or Democrat loyalists because they would be far more knowledgeable on issues that affect their everyday lives. 
Moreover, Americans need to delve into the components of the thieving corporatist state and accept that it really only operates for the benefit of insiders and special interests.   Each and every one of us is affected by policy decisions and legislation on trade agreements, finance, real estate, transportation, the environment, energy, healthcare, immigration, education, taxes, civil liberties, Social Security/Medicare policies, social issues and the granddaddy of them all - foreign policy - because it costs us a trillion bucks a year and is bankrupting us.
 These are all issues that profoundly impact American families and their futures on a daily basis because public policy decisions and congressional activities kill their kids, steal their money, spend their money, rob their retirement, debase their currency, deliberately dumb down their kids, increase food costs, send energy costs spiraling, drive up healthcare costs, alienate folks of difference races and colors and dictate whether or not Americans have jobs at wages that make them independent and self sufficient.
For far too long, Americans have naively believed “government” to be a “good” with honorable intentions.  To be sure, there is nothing honorable about wholesale thievery, massive concentrations of power and wealth, corruption on steroids, advocating a global totalitarian industrial feudalism, promoting global governance, perpetual warmongering and the systematic takeover of a once free and prospering people by a handful of thieving ruling elites. 
The only way to break-up the fascist and confiscatory cartel operated by the elites and their congressional operatives and restore liberty and prosperity is to destroy the Republican/Democrat stranglehold on American politics.  

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