Former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska died this morning in an airplane crash. He lived a full life, and many will say he did much to expand the economy of Alaska through the use of federal dollars. For many Alaskans, Ted Stevens was a heroic political figure. All this true and said, Ted Stevens' way of governing, seemingly appropriate for his time in the Senate, is now one of America's greatest liabilities and challenges to overcome. May Ted Stevens and his way of governing rest in peace. The time for fundamental change is well passed due.
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The Disclose Act bill will require full disclosure by corporations and labor unions who exercise their new found right to control American elections by buying up the media channels and campaigning for, or against, individual candidates. This right was defined by our activist conservative Supreme Court in the case of "Citizens United v FEC" a few months ago. The Disclose Act does not go near far enough to prevent corporations and labor unions from owning election outcomes. It is however, an important first step in the right direction.
Put a John Wingnut in a room with 6 doors. Every door leads back into the same room, paired to another of the other 5 doors. As John Wingnut approaches door #5, it dawns on him that the remaining two doors may be no more liberating than the previous ones. His anger and frustration are now building to high levels, but, doors 5 and 6 are tried, nonetheless. Now, John Wingnut is going crazy and is racking his brain for any other option. He wants out. All doors lead back to the same room. John Wingnut now so hates this room, he will destroy it to get himself free of it.
One Congressman says worriedly to another, walking briskly down to the House Floor, "Is my face red? I spent the whole morning in session with our Chinese lobbyist. Great deal. But, God, I hope it doesn't show."
National Journal reports in an article entitled, Under The Influence, that during the year of the Health Care Reform debate 2009, "The Chamber [of Commerce] spent $123.3 million on all lobbying activities, compared to $62.3 million in 2008, according to lobbying disclosure forms."
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The Supreme Court, a conservative court on the belief that money is protected speech as far as elections are concerned, overturned a century of precedent and laws moving in the other direction. Republicans continue to sabotage America, even after being deposed from majority power to rule, via their Supreme Court activist judges. As usual, Republicans say one thing and do the opposite. For appearances they rail against activist judges, all the while appointing their own activist judges to the federal benches.
If folks stowed their money away in fixed rate investments during the latter part of the Bush economy, and then reallocated that money into stock investments for the Obama economy, those folks have to be pleased at having saved as much as a 50% loss at the end of the Bush economy, and approaching as much as a 50% gain during this Obama economy, starting in March of this year.
Of course, President's don't control the stock markets. Myriad factors, most knowable, some not, play roles in the direction of market investments. The trick is to acknowledge and accept the trends without prejudice, political or otherwise. As far back as 2006 and 2007, there were clear indications the Bush economy was going to implode.
Failure in Washington is not an option. America last year finished its long circular journey from 1940 to return to the precipice of national collapse. Unlike 1929, however, instead of taking that next drop off step, we sidestepped along the edge of the precipice, where we still remain today; at the edge.
The single greatest threat to America's economic future is health care costs. Without health care reform:
- more than 100 million Americans will be without health insurance over the next 10 to 20 years
- the cost of Medicare/Medicaid will bankrupt the U.S. Government by forcing borrowing to the breaking point
- consumers in 10 years will be spending so much on health care and insurance premiums that they will have little left for discretionary spending, and that will tank economic activity, deepening the government's losses in revenues.