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marmar

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 65,209

Journal Archives

The Most Expensive Midterm Ever


(Truthdig) “Friend, I don’t know where else to turn.”

At first I thought it was an email from some crook claiming to be stuck penniless in a faraway airport. But the sender turned out to be Cory Gardner, a Republican trying to beat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, and he was asking for a campaign contribution.

It was more evidence of how money is the most powerful political force in the current election. So are the emails I receive daily from my dear friends Harry Reid, Bill Clinton and of course the Obamas, all of them addressed to “Bill,” all urging me to contribute to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The Center for Responsive Politics OpenSecrets website reported Oct. 22 that almost $4 billion will be spent on the current election, making it “by far the most expensive midterm ever.”

If you wonder what this election, with its expected low turnout, is really about, just think of it as nothing more than a huge fund drive for both sides, run by political hustlers. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_most_expensive_midterm_ever_20141029



'Koch Congress' Could Make Oligarchy Official


from the Progressive:



By Victor Menotti


At a time when most Americans agree that the country has too much power in too few hands, the world’s two wealthiest men are only six seats away from seizing the Senate and consolidating their current control of the House. The result could be a full “Koch Congress” that further rigs the rules in their favor.

Libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch have a combined net worth four times that of well-known Democratic donor George Soros, and one hundred times that of Tom Steyer.

This summer, participants in the Kochs’ secret billionaires’ summit pledged to raise $500 million to take the Senate in 2014 midterm elections. After four decades of funding front groups and an elaborate ideology they call “economic freedom,” the Kochs embody today’s emerging American oligarchy. No one else can even compare.

At risk are the rights of all Americans, especially women, workers, voters, veterans, as well as the protection of our rapidly warming Earth, since the Kochs’ end game is to defend their carbon based wealth by continuing to pollute politics and the planet for free. In all the noise of this election season, there has been little discussion of the fact that two billionaire brothers are about to have “power of the purse” over the world’s wealthiest nation. ..............(more)

- See more at: http://www.progressive.org/news/2014/10/187899/koch-congress-could-make-oligarchy-official#sthash.IVwnXycT.dpuf



Absentees put Snyder, Schauer race in dead heat


from the Detroit Free Press:



The race for governor has tightened into a virtual dead heat heading into the final days of this election cycle. And the Democrats' strategy to increase turnout by getting people to vote by absentee ballot is a big driver.

With less than a week before the Nov. 4 election, Gov. Rick Snyder has only a two-point, 45%-43%, lead over Democrat Mark Schauer, according to an exclusive 600-person poll of likely voters taken Oct. 26-28 by EPIC-MRA for the Free Press, WXYZ-TV and their media polling partners. Nine percent of respondents said they still are undecided, and 3% percent said they are voting for third-party candidates.

Among those 9% undecided, however, the partisan leanings of 8% are toward Democrats and 1% toward Republicans. If those undecideds are put into the mix, the race is a 46%-46% tie, said Bernie Porn, president of EPIC-MRA.

"The ground game is starting to take effect with absentee voters," Porn said. "We've got ourselves a horse race." ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/29/snyder-schauer-virtual-tie/18132579/



Michigan: Absentees put Snyder, Schauer race in dead heat


from the Detroit Free Press:



The race for governor has tightened into a virtual dead heat heading into the final days of this election cycle. And the Democrats' strategy to increase turnout by getting people to vote by absentee ballot is a big driver.

With less than a week before the Nov. 4 election, Gov. Rick Snyder has only a two-point, 45%-43%, lead over Democrat Mark Schauer, according to an exclusive 600-person poll of likely voters taken Oct. 26-28 by EPIC-MRA for the Free Press, WXYZ-TV and their media polling partners. Nine percent of respondents said they still are undecided, and 3% percent said they are voting for third-party candidates.

Among those 9% undecided, however, the partisan leanings of 8% are toward Democrats and 1% toward Republicans. If those undecideds are put into the mix, the race is a 46%-46% tie, said Bernie Porn, president of EPIC-MRA.

"The ground game is starting to take effect with absentee voters," Porn said. "We've got ourselves a horse race." ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/29/snyder-schauer-virtual-tie/18132579/



Michigan: Testimony, e-mails shed light on right-to-work turmoil


from the Detroit Free Press:



LANSING – Michigan's right-to-work laws should be struck down because there was a concerted effort to prevent the public from witnessing the laws' passage — including the locking of doors to the Capitol and directing Republican staffers to fill seats in the public gallery, attorneys for the Michigan ACLU argue in court papers filed Wednesday.

The 2013 lawsuit on behalf of the Michigan AFL-CIO and other unions and two Democratic state representatives, originally filed in Ingham County Circuit Court, is now in the Michigan Court of Claims. It alleges violations of Michigan's Open Meetings Act during two turmoil-filled days of legislative action at the Capitol in December 2012, after Gov. Rick Snyder did an about-face in announcing he would support fast-tracked legislation on right-to-work.

Thousands of union supporters demonstrated inside and outside the seat of state government in Lansing and were met by more than 100 police officers, some on horseback. State troopers used pepper spray in some instances, made a few arrests and on the first day of debate, Dec. 6, shut off access to the Capitol for several hours, saying they were concerned about security and public safety.

The State of Michigan and other defendants, through the attorney general's office, have denied in court filings that any violations of the Open Meetings Act took place during passage of right-to-work legislation, which makes it illegal to require financial support for a union as a condition of employment. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/30/lawsuit-sheds-light-michigan-capitol-turmoil-right-work/18157739/



Question from marmar


When I click this post http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024631 in "My Posts", this is what comes up - a locked thread that I did not start rather than my OP. What happened?


Canvassing for Schauer/Peters for the last few weeks I've determined 4 things:


1) Schauer has a very good chance of winning.

2) Disgust with both major parties and the political system in general is widespread.

3) There's a depressing amount of ignorance/cognitive dissonance/stupidity among a significant portion of the voting population. (e.g., voters who complain about issues directly linked to Snyder but then plan to vote for him anyway)

4) Terri Lynn Land is only slightly more well-liked than Ebola


Chris Hedges & Sheldon Wolin: Can Capitalism and Democracy Co-exist? (pt 4 of 8)




Published on Oct 28, 2014
Journalist Chris Hedges and political philosopher Sheldon Wolin discuss the concept of "inverted totalitarianism" and its relevance for understanding contemporary politics

Chris Hedges & Sheldon Wolin: Can Capitalism and Democracy Co-exist? (pts 1-3 of 8)









Journalist Chris Hedges interviews political philosopher Sheldon Wolin, who says democracy requires continuous opposition and vigilance by the citizenry



Chris Hedges: The Imperative of Revolt


from truthdig:


by Chris Hedges


TORONTO—I met with Sheldon S. Wolin in Salem, Ore., and John Ralston Saul in Toronto and asked the two political philosophers the same question. If, as Saul has written, we have undergone a corporate coup d’état and now live under a species of corporate dictatorship that Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism,” if the internal mechanisms that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible remain ineffective, if corporate power retains its chokehold on our economy and governance, including our legislative bodies, judiciary and systems of information, and if these corporate forces are able to use the security and surveillance apparatus and militarized police forces to criminalize dissent, how will change occur and what will it look like?

Wolin, who wrote the books “Politics and Vision” and “Democracy Incorporated,” and Saul, who wrote “Voltaire’s Bastards” and “The Unconscious Civilization,” see democratic rituals and institutions, especially in the United States, as largely a facade for unchecked global corporate power. Wolin and Saul excoriate academics, intellectuals and journalists, charging they have abrogated their calling to expose abuses of power and give voice to social criticism; they instead function as echo chambers for elites, courtiers and corporate systems managers. Neither believes the current economic system is sustainable. And each calls for mass movements willing to carry out repeated acts of civil disobedience to disrupt and delegitimize corporate power.

“If you continue to go down the wrong road, at a certain point something happens,” Saul said during our meeting Wednesday in Toronto, where he lives. “At a certain point when the financial system is wrong it falls apart. And it did. And it will fall apart again.”

......(snip)......

Inverted totalitarianism does not replicate past totalitarian structures, such as fascism and communism. It is therefore harder to immediately identify and understand. There is no blustering demagogue. There is no triumphant revolutionary party. There are no ideologically drenched and emotional mass political rallies. The old symbols, the old iconography and the old language of democracy are held up as virtuous. The old systems of governance—electoral politics, an independent judiciary, a free press and the Constitution—appear to be venerated. But, similar to what happened during the late Roman Empire, all the institutions that make democracy possible have been hollowed out and rendered impotent and ineffectual.

The corporate state, Wolin told me at his Oregon home, is “legitimated by elections it controls.” It exploits laws that once protected democracy to extinguish democracy; one example is allowing unlimited corporate campaign contributions in the name of our First Amendment right to free speech and our right to petition the government as citizens. “It perpetuates politics all the time,” Wolin said, “but a politics that is not political.” The endless election cycles, he said, are an example of politics without politics, driven not by substantive issues but manufactured political personalities and opinion polls. There is no national institution in the United States “that can be described as democratic,” he said. ............................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_imperative_of_revolt_20141019



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