Saturday, August 30, 2014

Big Money Interests Investing Heavily In Their Most Subservient Political Handmaidens


I would call this Horsey cartoon from yesterday's L.A. Times pretty risqué. It uses an image of a cocaine snorting Miss McConnell to portray and mock his addiction to extreme right-wing Koch brothers cash. David Horsey is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Times and he can get away with stuff like this. He also wrote the piece the cartoon accompanied. "The dilemma," he wrote, "facing the true grass-roots tea party believers-- the dilemma they do not acknowledge-- is that their primary goal of whittling and whacking away at big government undercuts their secondary goal of saving the middle class from the greedy grip of big corporations." He contrasts this innocence from the right-wing populists with what the Democratic Party stands for.
If Democrats have a unifying philosophy, it is that government needs to be effective enough to curtail the economic and environmental abuses of unfettered capitalism. Republicans, on the other hand, preach the dogma that smaller government and unrestricted corporate power serves the best interests of the common man and woman.

The tea party folks have largely bought into that belief, but still are uncomfortable with Republicans who appear to be too much in thrall to big business. That is partly why a big tea party effort was mounted against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s Republican primary. McConnell was rightly seen as the epitome of the GOP establishment that the tea partiers so disdain. Yet, even with major support from national tea party organizations, such as FreedomWorks and the Senate Conservatives Fund, challenger Matt Bevin could not depose the incumbent senator.
Inevitably Horsey goes to the audio tape of McConnell paying abject obeisance to the Kochs and their billionaire guests at a soirée for extreme right-wing billionaires-- plus 3 of the most craven of this cycle's Koch-owned puppets, Tom Cotton (AR), Joni Ernst (IA), and Cory Gardner (CO)-- at the St. Regis Monarch Bay resort in Dana Point (ironically an area of Orange County first developed by L.A. Times right-wing publisher, real estate baron and eugenicist Harry Chandler in 1923). Darrell Issa is the congressman who represents this very white, very conservative GOP enclave. "Caught on an audio recording," wrote Horsey, "the message the minority leader gave to that gathering of super-rich campaign donors might dissuade the more populist-leaning tea party voters from ever giving their support to the man who stands a very good chance of being majority leader come January."
In his remarks, McConnell proved himself to be a devoted servant of Wall Street and big corporations, which should be no surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the man’s political career. He boasted about his pro-billionaire agenda-- he has tirelessly fought against raising the minimum wage, repeatedly opposed extensions of unemployment benefits and scuttled changes in student loan rules that would help struggling students with a small tax on the country’s wealthiest citizens-- and pledged to continue the fight against other so-called big-government programs, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and restrictions on the financial services industry that were imposed after high-flying bankers and financiers nearly destroyed the U.S. economy in 2008.

The core focus of his pitch to the plutocrats was a reassertion of his vehement opposition to campaign-finance limits. He praised the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that said corporations have the same rights to political activity as real human beings. “So all Citizens United did was to level the playing field for corporate speech,” McConnell said, as if corporate moguls like the Kochs are even competing in the same league as the common man on the street when it comes to political spending.

McConnell also reminded the audience that he had opposed earlier restrictions on campaign spending passed by fellow Republicans. “The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law in the early part of his first administration,” he said.

McConnell wants corporations to spend as much as they want in political campaigns, and he happily accepts their donations (for the last five years, Wall Street interests have been the biggest contributors to his campaign committee). In return, he will continue to fight any limit on corporate power, diligently carrying on a Republican tradition that stretches back to the days of the robber barons of the 19th century. When McConnell is out campaigning among coal miners and farmers, he speaks as if he is the champion of the little guy, but the real McConnell comes through when he is behind closed doors with his billionaire backers (according to one Democratic source, that group includes a fifth of the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans).

The question is whether tea party voters can stomach this. Will they hold their nose and show up to vote for McConnell? As the nation moves into the fall congressional campaign season, the McConnell/Grimes race could go either way. If tea party voters really want to be rid of McConnell, all they may have to do is stay home on election day.
The Finance sector is investing very heavily in the 2014 elections. So far the biggest single donor from the sector is hedge-fund criminal and wing nut Paul Singer through his company, Elliott Management-- $6,842,53. This cycle the whole sector has already poured $148,543,210 into congressional races, $89,724,597 to Republicans and $58,739,217 to conservative Democrats (primarily Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, not real Democrats). Their biggest single investment was in getting Wall Street-owned Democrat Cory Booker into the Senate, which cost them $3,597,949. After that the politicians they did the most to help build power were John Boehner ($2,664,676) and McConnell ($2,458,418).

Here's a list of the 20 Members of the House who have taken the biggest legalistic bribes from the Finance sector this cycle alone. None serve the interests of their constituents. All of them serve the interests of the Wall Street banksters and each has wormed his or her way into a position of power and influence where he or she can be most useful to the worst enemies of American working families on planet Earth:
John Boehner (R-OH)- $2,664,676
Eric Cantor (R-VA)- $1,848,125
Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)- $1,428,259
Tom Cotton (R-AR)- $1,288,662
Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $1,225,756
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $1,003,136
Joe Crowley (New Dem-NY)- $956,722
Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)- $918,800
Scott Garrett (R-NJ)- $912,363
Shelley Moore Capitol (R-WV)- $847,365
Pat Tiberi (R-OH)- $821,450
Ed Royce (R-CA)- $821,218
Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL)- $801,750
Steve Stivers (R-OH)- $799,309
Gary Peters (New Dem-MI)- $786,080
Steve Israel (Blue Dog-NY)- $769,050
Peter Roskam (R-IL)- $702,149
Steven Daines (R-MT)- $667,056
Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)- $656,113
Ann Wagner (R-MO)- $655,138
With the exceptions of Wall Street favorites Tom Cotton and Gary Peters, each running for the U.S. Senate, none of these Members have even remotely competitive races. They are selling their souls to Wall Street to build personal power within their own respective caucuses. Banksters love that kind of ambition in their employees.

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At 6:37 PM, Blogger Bula said...

Paul Ryan's race is at least remotely competitive... I hope....

It would be nice if Obama gets Zerban up on stage at the Labor Day rally in Milwaukee... and endorses him...


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