04
Nov
14

At A Loss!


ADDENDUM TO ORIGINAL POST:

Post the 2014 Midterm election; a blood-bath slaughter of the Democrats, has the Republicans with a majority in both the Senate and Congress. This situation for we outside the United States, would likely have the reaction of saying:`so what?’ however, as the the Young Turks in their video report illustrate, the individuals elected as Republican members to both Houses will lead not only the United States but too, the rest of the world’s nations wrong direction when addressing matters such as science and technology, climate change.

The United States hails to be the beckon of democracy, respectful of individual human rights, the model for which other nations are to look to fashion their own free and inclusive social structures of governance. Yet, behold what is the true nature of the United States today:

The 2014 mid-term election of Senate and Congress members is in progress this day (November 4) and its outcome is projected to yield little in the way of change to the roster of senators and congressmen presently seated in both Houses rendering potentially, a status quo situation however, leading up to the election date, it is being reported to be the most expensive electoral campaign in the history of the nation. Complimenting this disturbing statistic is projection; voter turnout is expected to be the lowest in history of United States elections.

The United States legislative and judicial body are being corrupted by the influence of `big money’ thanks to the United States Supreme Court rulings regarding the status of Corporations as citizens and, the creation of `Super PACs; `political action committee (PAC)… a type of organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation.[1][2]’. Further, in the United States, each States’ Supreme Court Judges are elected and, as of 2014, political action committee contributions are being allowed to finance individual campaign races. This ruling allows for out-of-state special interest groups to exercise their influence on state judicial and legislative bodies to meet their national agendas. Essentially, the democratic wishes of the Peoples of a given State can be potentially, rendered mute.

The degree of citizen apathy toward the United States electoral process is compounded by greater restrictions of `voter’s rights’ legislated in primarily Republican majority State legislators intent on affecting primarily lower income and, racial minorities, whom typically support Democrat nominees. Further, to ensure these policies do not see the light of any repeal, State-District boundaries in some States are being redefined to ensure continued Republican majority in the State legislature.

The influence of PAC contribution as of November, 2014 falls just less than six-billion dollars representing contributions by 1233 groups. Ironically, countering common perception as to the financial influence of right-wing loyalist such as the Koch brothers and comparable others; the majority of financial contributions falls to the Democrats with one exception; the National Committee: (if table alignment does not reproduce well LINK TO https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs.php FOR BETTER VIEW )

chart

NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2014 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data released on November 04, 2014.

For insight to Top Individual Contributors: All Federal Contributions visit OpenSecrets.org , link: https://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topindivs.php .

The deterioration and erosion of confidence in the US’s legislative and judicial bodies of all levels has served to be a boon for political (comedic) satirist such as Jon Stewart, Daily Show; Stephen Colbert, the Colbert Report of Comedy Central; and, most recently, John Oliver, HBO’s, Last Week Tonight. The latter of whom provides a recent 17 minute piece described as: `While midterm coverage is largely focused on the parts of Congress that do very little, vital (and bizarre) midterm elections are going unexamined. State legislators pass a lot of bills, and some of that efficiency is thanks to a group called ALEC [American Legislative Exchange Council] that writes legislation for them. It’s as shady as it sounds!’. The episode can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIMgfBZrrZ8.

Based on the Brookings Vital Statistics on Congress, it is reported that the 113th (2013-14) session of Congress was the least productive of all prior 112 sessions. At a time when the globe is encumbered with major tumultuous and catastrophic events such as the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria of the Middle East; outbreak of Ebola in western African nations with potential to becoming a global pandemic; civil unrest in the Ukraine implicating a potential cold-war event with Russia; the growing genocide and occupation of Gaza by Israel; and last but definitely not least of these significant global concerns; the global economic slowdown reflected by a significant drop in world price of crude oil. If ever in a time of history, when the purported `leader of the free world’, the United States, is observed to be in total and calamitous political disarray; rife with graft and corruption at all levels of its politic, should not the balance of world nations and their Peoples, be alarmingly concerned?

One has to be `at a loss’ to understand how and why other nations should continue to respect and look to the leadership of United States and its constituent levels of governance when it so dramatically and consistently reflects a model of a civil society one would not wish to aspire. Were it not for the pervasive force and power of its (industrial) military complex and its economic status as the global/petrol currency; would its world dominance cease to be as significant.

Today’s broadcast of DEMOCRACY NOW addressing much of what is being spoken to by this essay

Sources:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_action_committee

2. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/1102/Justice-for-sale-More-money-flowing-to-judicial-elections
3. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs.php
4. Center for Responsive Politics
5. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2013/07/vital%20statistics%20congress%20mann%20ornstein/vital%20statistics%20chapter%206%20%20legislative%20productivity%20in%20congress%20and%20workload_update.pdf ive Politics https://www.opensecrets.org/parties/

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