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Health Care & Environment
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
The Politicians' Bible: Bringing in the Receipts
Monday, 1 November 2010
The tactic is fear. The facts don't matter.
It will be cold tonight in Pennsylvania, but that means nothing to dozens of politicians who are in their final days of a ubiquitous campaign to get a government job.
There isn't a household in Pennsylvania that has active voters that hasn't been subjected to at least two dozen TV political ads each day, several robo-calls a week, and a few dozen direct mail full-color 8-1/2-by-11 inch postcard campaign ads. Many households have already received three or four dozen such ads in the past month.
Pennsylvanians aren't the only ones who have been subjected to a deluge of political campaign ads the past six months. In California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, in every state in which there is a possibility of Republicans taking Senate, House, and governor seats from Democrats, there is a battle. The tactic is fear. The facts don't matter. It makes little difference. It's the results the politicians, their parties, and innumerable special interest groups care most about.
This year, more than $4 billion will be spent on Congressional and Gubernatorial races on the midterm election. From individuals. From corporations. From special interest groups. Leading the donations from special interest groups are the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which pledged to spend more than $75 million; American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, formed by Karl Rove, George W. Bush's political advisor, which is expected to spend about $65 million; and the Republican Governors Association, which has already donated more than $30 million, leaving the Democratic Governors Association, which has contributed about $10 million, in its dust. Other Democrat-leaning organizations are Act Blue, which will spend about $15 and Moveon, which will probably spend about $25 million, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
Thanks to a 5–4 ruling by the Supreme Court in January, corporations now enjoy the First Amendment rights of individuals. And corporate money, mostly to conservative causes, has poured into the campaigns. None of the special interest groups—no matter which political ideology they embrace—are taxed.
In the third quarter alone, 23 individuals have contributed more than $100,000 each—15 to conservative causes, seven to liberal causes, and one to a non-profit, according to the CRP. Five of the six who gave more than $1 million in the past three months have donated to Republican/conservative campaigns.
The leader in campaign giving, according to Federal Election Commission data, is Bob J. Perry, owner of Texas-based Perry Homes. During the past decade, Perry donated about $35 million to conservative candidates and special interest groups, and was a founder of Swift Boat Veterans, which targeted John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.
Perry isn't the only financial whale. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has put up about $140 million of her own fortune in a bitter contest against Jerry Brown for the governorship of California. The job pays $212,000 a year. In Connecticut, Linda McMahon will spend almost $50 million of her own fortune to try to defeat Richard Blumenthal, who has spent about $6 million, for that state's governorship, according to CRP data.
While persons, corporations, and special interest groups are donating billions to the midterm elections, America companies and corporations in every village, town, borough, and city will have outsourced about 1.6 million jobs in 2010, according to data compiled by Forrester Research; the same companies and corporations have outsourced about 5.5 million jobs in the past decade to foreign countries in order to increase the "bottom line." About 14.8 million Americans are unemployed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
On the streets of America, banks and various lending institutions will have foreclosed on about 1.2 million families in 2010, according to Daily Finance.
Here is another statistic. While persons, corporations, and special interest groups are donating billions to the midterm elections, in every village, town, borough, and city in America about 750,000 persons will be homeless tonight. By the time the winners in the Nov. 2 election take office in January, more than 3.5 million Americans, about one-fourth of them veterans, will have been homeless in the year in which more than $4 billion was spent to elect political candidates. The politicians will be warm during their inaugurals; the homeless won't be.
Dr. Brasch's latest book is Sex and the Single Beer Can: Probing the Media and American Culture, a witty look at the mass media and American culture. Dr. Brasch is a former newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, and multimedia writer/producer. Rosemary Brasch is a former Red Cross family services specialist for national disasters, labor instructor, and secretary.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on November 1, 2010.