Friday, September 24, 2010

A bunch of chumps...

photo: LA Times

An article in the NY Times this morning, "Hidden Under Tax-Exempt Cloak, Political Dollars Flow" (September 23, 2010) outlines the machinations of political organizations created by Republican Party hacks on behalf of their corporate puppeteers. It's pretty much what you would expect: these guys work for corporations that rip us off with overpriced health care and drugs, ship our manufacturing jobs overseas with their private equity fund leveraged buyouts, and rape our public lands for cheap coal that they resell to us as toxic energy. It's easy money for these capitalized rich guys, and they want to keep it flowing. To do that, they put misleading ads on TV that cater to the fear and anxiety of an ignorant, poor and middle-class electorate who think because these guys can talk the talk (guns, abortion, prayer in school -- family values), they must be OK. These voters are chumps, and they are being played as fools. Below are some choice bits from the article in the Times (which, of course, these same voters have been convinced is the mouthpiece of the Devil). Here you go:

So, a bunch of rich guys get together and form this "business league," which collects "membership dues" and then produces TV attack ads that are meant to ruin Democratic candidates with false accusations and slander. A fine use for their money, since these "business"-"men" can't ever seem to run a business without favorable Congressional legislation to crush their competition, or give them access to a captive pool of customers -- think "Payday Loans" or riverboat casinos.

So, they start up this organization called "Americans for Prosperity" that is really only interested in the prosperity of those few Americans that give them money, and happen to have the same investments in common -- not interests, but investments. These guys don't give a damn about the interests of wage earning Americans at large. And, it turns out, "Americans for Prosperity" is a front for Karl Rove's American Crossroads, and a subsidiary (once removed -- Karl is careful not leave fingerprints) of Crossroads media, "whose other clients include the national Republican Party, the Republican Governors Association and American Crossroads."
Crossroads Media is run by Michael Dubke and David Carney, who along with several business groups helped start Americans for Job Security in 1997. Mr. Carney had been political director for President George Bush, and Mr. Dubke was the first executive director and then president of Americans for Job Security until April 2008, when Mr. DeMaura, recruited by Mr. Carney, took over.
“I work with them closely on a day-to-day basis, but we don’t discuss our work or coordinate anything,” he said. “It’s firewalled off.”
Mr. Dubke, too, denied that the agenda of Americans for Job Security was driven by the political interests of his firms.
“Nothing is ever done in coordination with another campaign,” he said. “I’m always trying to follow the letter of the law.”
It's all good, and then along comes a rich guy with a fishing lodge in Alaska. You know, out there in the unspoiled wilderness, which Republicans are always trying to spoil if they can make an easy buck doing it. Unless of course, their fishing lodge happens to be in the midst of the spoiling. In that case... (BTW, Pebble Mine would trash the environment, but that's another story.)
The group (Americans for Prosperity) ended up in Alaska through Mr. Dubke’s work for opponents of the proposed Pebble Mine, led by an Alaska financier, Robert Gillam, whose private fishing lodge could be affected. The opponents said the mine would endanger commercial fishing and pushed a ballot initiative aimed at imposing clean-water restrictions on it; its backers said the mine would create jobs.
Mr. Dubke’s work for Mr. Gillam was called Operation Trenchcoat, documents show, and involved finding out who was behind a pro-mine Web site called Bob Gillam Can’t Buy Alaska. Mr. Gillam testified that he spoke with Mr. Dubke about Americans for Job Security, and decided to join by giving $2 million in “membership fees,” and that he “had high hopes” the money would be used to oppose the mine. (The ballot initiative ultimately failed.)
Americans for Job Security eventually paid a $20,000 settlement without admitting guilt and agreed not to help anyone make anonymous contributions in an election in Alaska — with the condition that its pledge “does not apply to any other jurisdiction which may have laws dissimilar to the state.”
None of the above corruption by dissolute rich people disappoints me as much as the gullibility of the poor and middle-class chumps who support these guys by voting for their candidates, and then have their jobs, health care, and healthy environment snatched away. Happy elections!

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