Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “PAC”

America Gets Punk’d – Roger Ingalls

Have you ever wondered why so many federal laws are passed that favor large Wall Street-partnered corporations while little gets done to protect or improve the well-being of real people? Essentially, it comes down to who is drafting the bills that get introduced to Congress.

Most Americans have a very rudimentary understanding of how an idea or proposal becomes law unless they’ve extended their studies on the subject. A few may remember the simple sidewalk diagram, shown below, that steps us through how a bill becomes law; however, many more of us will recall getting educated by the cool Schoolhouse Rock song I’m Just a Bill.

The process of how a bill becomes law isn’t an issue. Our real focus should be on who is behind the introduction of a new bill, who is writing it and where do they come from. These more pertinent issues (questions) aren’t normally discussed in school or often mentioned in mainstream media. We wouldn’t want the general populous becoming too educated, now would we?!

Below is an interesting flowchart describing how a bill is written in today’s corporate-dominated political climate. Call it Bill Drafting 101.

This flowchart highlights one of many reasons why we need campaign reform. Aides that have worked for or associated with a corporation should not get hired by politicians that have accepted contributions from that corporation or its funded special interest group (PAC, Super PAC or similar). There should be a five year conflict of interest waiting period.

American Idol finalists Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez getting Punk’d by Ashton Kutcher on MTV would be funny but Americans getting punked by politicians and their financial sponsors is criminal.

Void the Senate – Roger Ingalls

Do we really need a Senate and a House of Representatives?  Considering the economic disparity between politicians and the masses (out of touch mindset), legislative gridlock, and general impotency of Congress, having two chambers may be a waste of resources.

picture from citizen.org

Refresher: We have 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 Senators. States with larger populations have more representatives. Each of the fifty states has two Senators. In theory, Reps champion the causes of their local constituents. If they don’t, the voting public can give them the boot quickly because the election cycle occurs every two years. Senators are elected for six years with the intent of focusing on the good of the nation as a whole. Elected for longer terms, they can make decisions without influence from short-term public opinion. The two-chamber system has inherent checks and balances because both the House of Reps and the Senate must pass a bill or resolution before it goes to the President for approval or veto.

The nation’s political system has changed considerably since the Founders defined it two-hundred years ago. Over time, State’s rights have given way to Federal control. Also with endless funds given to politicians from special interest groups, Super PACs and similar organizations, our elected officials have become agents for these large money giving entities. Since both chambers are working for the highest bidder and not representing the voting public nor watching over the health of the nation, it is now legitimate to examine the necessity of the two-chamber Congress. Do we need a Senate and a House of Representatives that panders to the same group?

Since both chambers are essentially doing the same thing (and not necessarily the right thing), it’s time to get rid of one of them. Let’s eliminate the Senate. Each Senator costs approximately $3.5 million when considering salary, staff and overhead expenses. By giving pink slips to all of them we could save $350 million. This is not a lot of money compared to the overall U.S.budget but they are now redundant dead weight so give them the axe.

Keeping the House and booting the Senate would give the voting public a fighting chance. The House Reps must, at least somewhat, consider the public’s opinion because the election cycle returns every two years. Also, with the Senate gone, State’s rights may come into play again and allow regional governing inline with the will of the people without retribution from the Federal government.

Obviously, this is a tongue-in-cheek post. Eliminating the Senate would require a Constitutional Amendment. A majority of Senate would have to vote to fire themselves and that isn’t going happen. But I do hope this post points out the monetized-ridiculousness and bastardization of our political system.

The two-chamber system no longer represents the people nor does it protect the nation as originally conceived and defined in the Constitution…it now only serves deep pocket interests.

———————————

Roger Ingalls is well traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

Occupy Protest: The Demands – Roger Ingalls

Mainstream media is finally starting to cover the Occupy Protests but their reporting follows a common theme, “it’s a protest without a real purpose or demand”.

Well…here are the demands:

1)      Create a nationalized commercial bank to fund small businesses based on the prime lending rate plus overhead costs. Bank personnel wages and salaries must be similar to government or military pay grades. Most jobs in America are created by small business (70 to 80%). This will create jobs by providing affordable money to small business. The current Wall Street Institutions benefits from selling financial products back and forth to each other and therefore have little interest in small business lending.

2)      Reinstate the business and personal tax rates and codes (including write-offs and loopholes) used in the 1960s. This was a period of prosperity for both the general population and the business community. These tax rates will balance the budget without compromising public services and will stop the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich that has taken place since the early 1980s.

3)      Create a nationalized commercial bank for home ownership based on the prime lending rate plus overhead costs. This will revive the American dream, bring affordable money back to the housing market and separate housing finance from the risky investment banking practiced by Wall Street.

4)      Allow Medicare buy-in for all people regardless of age. This will provide affordable health care for more Americans. It will also bring needed funds to Medicare because the young and healthy will be participating along with the elderly (costs are spread).

5)      No individual person (real or artificial), company, corporation, PAC, Union or special interest group can donate more than $1000 to a political candidate. Organizations cannot be created for the purpose of funding candidates. Organization with multiple business units or multiple businesses owned by an individual or common group of individuals can only make one collective political donation of $1000 per candidate. This will remove the influence big business and special interests have on politicians.

6)      No artificial person, company or corporation can advertise in support or opposition to a candidate (directly or indirectly). This will remove the influence big business and special interests have on politicians.

7)      Political advertisements, candidates, PACs, special interest groups, supporters and opposition groups of ballot issues must maintain an easy-access website that clearly identifies financial contributors. This will remove the influence big business and special interests have on politicians.

8)      No lobbyist can aid a member of congress unless they have not lobbied in the preceding six years. This will remove the influence big business and special interests have on politicians.

Keep the faith, spread the word and keep fighting…it’s a good fight!

-Roger Ingalls

————————————————————————-

Roger Ingalls is well-traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

 

Declaration of Change

Too many Americans are suffering. Our unalienable rights – the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness – whether given by the God of Creation or by Natural Law, are being violated. The self-evident truth that all REAL people are created equal is not recognized by the forces now governing us.

Our representative form of democracy – government of, by and for real people – has been corrupted. An insidious and deceptive process has transformed a government from one that once placed importance on real people to one that now favors artificial persons (corporations). Consequently, legislative reforms and laws, over the past 30 years, have benefited big business and the wealthiest Americans while burdening the middle-class and poor.

When any form of government becomes destructive to the safety and happiness of its real people, it is the RIGHT of the people and it is their duty to change or abolish the current form and implement a new government that effects and guards their future security.

Americans are suffering…suffering from the financial burdens placed on them as a result of tax rate changes, trade agreements and uncontrolled multi-national globalization. Long-standing corporate responsibility has eroded. Campaign contribution from big business, their PACs and lobbyists influenced politicians to make favorable financial legislation for corporations. The government represents the tyrant-will of artificial persons and the wealthy. It is now unfit to govern free people.

The people have been abused to the point of action. The winds of change are blowing and it’s time to support it. Occupy Wall Street is just one of many battles to come. This blog posting, which borrows key words and phrases from the Declaration of Independence, is my initial show of support for the brave individuals that are sleeping and protesting in the parks and avenues of New York.

It’s time to act. It’s our right and our duty to cast off tyranny.

-Roger Ingalls

—————————

Roger Ingalls is well traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

American Revolution 2.0 – A Blood Bath (Roger Ingalls)

The following iconic phrases are no longer valid.

“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”, Declaration of Independence.

“…government of the people, by the people, for the people…”, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

It is painfully clear to half the American population that we are now governed by corporations.

Yes, we can still vote but our political choice ultimately goes to the one who can buy the most media sound bites via funds received from corporations, political action committees, and the rich. When the chosen ascend to their thrones, the big funders get their rewards and we, the people, are forgotten.

The American Middle-Class is becoming a thing of the past. Men, women and children are suffering. With all the hurt and pain inflicted on Main Street by the irresponsible actions of Wall Street and the Big Banks, conservative politicians are still accelerating the transfer of our remaining wealth to the rich and big corporations by providing them with unprecedented lower tax rates and loop-holes.

Options to stop Middle-Class genocide are limited. The law no longer sides with real people due to recent decision by the conservative members of the Supreme Court. Artificial persons (corporations) have been granted the same rights as real people. These recent decisions have, essentially, created a super artificial person with constitutional rights, big influential corporate wealth and the players behind these corporations have the added bonus of being protected against legal action.

Out of options and desperate, Americans may be forced into a second revolution.

Listening to the political sound bites of the day, I wondered what an American Revolution 2.0 would be like. Then it hit me, this would be a very bloody affair. This would be American against American. Upon further thought, I realize a new revolution would be unlike the original war against the British and more like the French and Russian revolutions where the desperate targeted the wealthy ruling class.

I’m inclined to believe that a real and bloody revolution is unlikely but the escalating chatter on social media is worrisome.

Big time CEOs, Wall Street executives and their political cronies may want to think long and hard before driving the stake further into the heart of Main Street America.

Who would be first in line to face the guillotine?

——————————————-

Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

The Supreme Court: An Untouchable Whorehouse

There seems to be something beyond the Constitution, legal intent or precedent creeping into Supreme Court decisions.

Is the Judicial arm of our government the last branch to turn to whoring? A few of the Supreme Court Justices appear open to corporate influence.

It’s been reported that prior to one of the most controversial decisions in Supreme Court history, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas attended a private event hosted by Koch Industries. The purpose of the Justices’ attendance has not been forthcoming—disclosure has been requested but the parties aren’t talking. The Koch Brothers and their companies are legendary for political and agenda financing. It has also come to light that these two Justices attend political fund raising events linked to the Koch Brothers.

Based on recent Supreme Court decision, the impartiality of Justices Scalia and Thomas is extremely suspect, especially considering their unclear participation at think-tank and fund raising events.

With all the favor-spending by special interests, PACs and lobbyists, people today have little faith in the Legislative and Executive branches of government. Our last pillar of hope was the judicial branch. And now, the Supreme Court – the deciders of right and wrong, the final stop – appears to have fallen into the outhouse of corporate influence.

What would the Founding Fathers think of this apparent Supreme Court whoredom? During the initial years of our country, corporations were despised and if they tried to influence any branch of government a heavy hand would come their way. The Founding Fathers did not anticipate that ultimate power would land in the hands of Big Business. The signers of the Declaration of Independence are probably trying to crawl out of their graves to start a new revolution.

There may be truth to the old adage that judges wear nothing beneath those imposing black robes.  Perhaps it’s to give Big Business easy access to slide in from behind.

Will this insidious behavior filter through all levels of the judicial system?  And how long will we allow this backdoor alliance between Big Business and the Justices continue?

-Roger Ingalls

——————————————————————————-

Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: