No, apparently we can’t

Congress has begun to demonstrate that it just doesn’t get it. The wave of hope, some might say desperation, that put Barrack Obama in the White House, is being routinely ignored by the people’s own representatives in Congress and state houses around the country. Fast to spend the people’s money bailing out the very institutions that brought us to a financial crisis, legislators refuse to turn their backs on the big money interests that paid for their holding office and pass legislation to help the people of this country out of their mess.

The Senate turned down Sen. Durbin’s common sense measure to authorize bankruptcy court’s power to modify homeowner’s mortgages. Those same courts can change mortgages for the rich – vacation homes, investment properties and other mortgages that the common family cannot afford. Yet the mortgage on that home they rely upon for shelter cannot be touched in bankruptcy. Banks say they want to honor the “sanctity of contract” when speaking of these mortgages, but have no problem demanding tribute from the people when they make bad decisions.
Congress refuses to cut programs benefiting big agri-business, refuse to raise taxes on those who benefited most by the insane financial frenzy of the past decade. Apparently giving the average American a few bucks a month in tax rebates is supposed to quiet us and ignore the fact that Congress is unwilling to force corporations to pay taxes they avoid by setting up an “office” in the Caymans.
The fantasy of a “filibuster proof” majority is just that, an illusion. The reality is that Republicans have a majority with their philosophical allies –“ blue dog” Democrats. Liberals, progressives, pragmatists didn’t gain a majority, they just are being used as cover for the very same rapacious fascist big money interests that have run this country for many decades, maybe forever.
Representative democracy is at stake, but we have to wake up to the fact that we cannot look to anyone but ourselves to do anything about it. Even giving Pres. Obama the benefit of the doubt as an individual, it is increasingly clear that he too is largely a “beard” for the oligarchs. I hate this realization, and as I have my whole life still hold out a shred of hope that it just isn’t so. But I do have eyes and can see patterns.
It is time we start a movement to change the Constitution so that all members of Congress and the Presidency can run only on public funds, available to anyone who can demonstrate a modicum of viability. The same amendment would limit the impact of lobbyists by cutting them off from Congress and drying up the source of the corruption.
The same must be done in every state which, like California, is in a stranglehold of people with immense amounts of money. We cannot pass a budget without their approval, cannot elect anyone to office, even down to the municipal level without their consent.
We have the illusion of democracy. We are on life support. Pass the paddles and resuscitate the body politic. We are near death.



  1. SearingTruth

    “We elected those who had stolen our freedom to restore it.”

    A Future of the Brave

  2. frank verismo

    Uh-oh. I think if I see one more article like the above I’m going to post the following every day until you people finally understand:

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” Prof Carroll Quigley, Council on Foreign Affairs historian

    Quigley was the official historian for one of the key organizations directing the overall policies of both parties. He knew exactly from whence he spoke. This is not a game. It is not open to ‘hope’. There is no point in being swayed by great oratory. Both parties are directed by the same unelected bodies, funded into existence by the private international bankers using near-unlimited wealth. Bush did as the bankers wanted, Obama is doing as the bankers want. They are middle management for an agenda hostile to everything you hold dear.

    Anyone who continues believing otherwise is denser than the Humboldt Glacier.

  3. remoran

    “Never stop questioning.” Einstein

    The policos are minions of the bank just as Obama is a minion. Obama cannot be that stupid when he selected the very people who caused the meltdown to be part of his economic team. No one can be that stupid as to not realize the Fed, a private cartel protected by government, does not call the shots. Because Obama is intelligent, there are only two possibilities as to why he is on an economic course that cannot succeed, 1. He’s bought and paid for or 2, He’s been told or else.

    As for congress, there are no words to describe these reptiles. Single payer is dead because Baucus and Pelosi tell us even though we’re the people who pay for everything. Ditto for bank bailouts with the Fed doing the deed with Tiny Tim as cheerleader. Simply unreal.

    I fear we are at the beginning of a revolution akin to the time frame prior to the French revolution whereby the rich and powerful tell us to eat cake while stealing our money and stating we have no say in running things. At this time, they are right but when the bailout fails and millions more are forced out of thier homes with no job and no money, the silent anger of today will turn into seething rage with violence a real possibility, an action that could tear this nation apart.

    Obama and company don’t get it but I do and others like me see this playing out as a scenario from hell. Dumb & dumber simply does not tell it all but greed and corruption does.

  4. Jim C

    Boy , you sure hit the nail on the head , but I won’t be holding my breath for change in election financing . The majority would have to vote against those interests that pay for ( and against ) their election and many are quite content with the present situation , it keeps them safe from challenges as long as they dance the corporate tune . Also remember , the same corporate monopolies now pretty much control the media which has become a right wing propaganda machine , even PBS has been coopted . There is a constant unchallenged drumbeat of slanted or out right misinformation being fed to the confused masses . We are probably just screwed , it would be next to impossible to fight both the money and the propaganda machine .

  5. Carl Nemo

    Well-stated Phil Hoskins, but…

    “Representative democracy is at stake”…extract from editorial.

    Representative democracy is dead, plain and simple! Terminal greed and the promotion of self interest are the all consuming factors linked to our national demise.

    Once folks back home in Mayberry foolishly elect some “silver-tongued” devil, then send them to Congress, little do they realize they’ve enfranchised a soon to be “traitor” to the Republic and that for which it stands; ie., the U.S. Constitution.

    These newly ensconced reps become indoctrinated with the evil, corrupt ways of maintaining their endless incumbency and bow ever so deeply to their newly befriended corporatist masters.

    The folks back home in Mayberry are then simply pitched scraps of pork, courtesy of the U.S. Treasury deli’s backdoor while foreign interests and programs that benefit corporations get the deluxe “deli” sandwiches…!

    We’re finished as a nation and an ugly crisis is on the horizon. I cannot specifically date the future burning of our new age Babylon, but it’s going to happen. We’re now in the countdown mode to midnight… 😐

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. Carl Nemo

    Presumably you are referring to me, Griff. Rest assured long before I voted for this president I’ve realized, as yourself, that the entire political scene is a rigged casino experience.

    Due to his refreshing and what I consider to be brilliant oratory and seemingly ironclad commitment to change, I and no doubt many others feel conned in hindsight. “Yes we can”… should now be, “No he won’t”, while in office motto.

    The minute he started sucking up to Hillary Clinton, post his election win, a high yellow alert went off in my mind and then as he troweled in the bricks of his new administration by appointing team members from the Clinton administration, holdovers from the Bush era et al. retreads from the past, many if not all who can be linked to our nation’s demise, I decided that this “silver-tongued” devil is nothing but a judas goat that was groomed to lead us down the path to an ugly form of inefficient, government controlled socialism and all with the approval of an ever hand-clapping neo-Sovietski politburo; ie., our U.S. Congress.

    Obama is the jewel in the crown for the New World Order crowd. I believe we are now in the “endgame” of their over one hundred year old conspiracy for forcing one world government down the collective throats of peoples of the world.

    Btw, I’m an “immigrant” from “Fantasy Island” and not and “emigrant” leaving to join their nationally destructive paradigm hatched in the bowels of hell… : )

    Carl Nemo **==

  7. griff

    Actually, I was refering to the author of the article. I have since absolved you, albeit grudgingly, of your brief flirtation with the hope and change brigade.

    I wasn’t quite sure whether to use emigrant or immigrant. Either would apply, although I thought emigrant was a neater fit.

    From Merriam-Webster:

    immigrant: one that immigrates: as

    a: a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence
    b: a plant or animal that becomes established in an area where it was previously unknown

    emigrant: one who emigrates

    emigrate: to leave one’s place of residence or country to live elsewhere

  8. Phil Hoskins

    I would rather give the benefit of the doubt.

    When that is shown to be refuted by reality, I call em as I see em.

    Phil Hoskins

  9. Carl Nemo

    My apologies Griff for misconstruing as to whom your comment was directed. My commentary concerning the word emigrant was simply to “lighten” up my reply and not to specifically criticize you for your choice of words. So don’t take it personally and hopefully Phil won’t either.

    It seems we are all captive as rats on the once good ship America and there’s nowhere to go, but into the sea as she sinks along with the remnant believers in a now failed paradigm.

    Carl Nemo **==

  10. Carl Nemo

    Hi Phil Hoskins,

    Rest assured my negative thoughts directed towards our leadership is not simply to be so, but is based on how the system works as of now.

    “We the people” have no voice once our Congressional District reps are seated along with our two Senators. I’m very proactive and I must say during the past several years all three of my Washington State Democratic reps have been sore disappointments to myself and my family. They seem to always do what’s best for their corporate sponsors and to hell with the well being of our nation and their constituents.

    Just today I received an email from “The Pen” a web based activist site and they supplied a link with a video clip showing how the Senate Finance Committee conducted themselves during a recent hearing concerning the future of a national health care plan, if any at all. The issue of contention concerned single payer health plans vs. the corporate friendly plans they will eventually shove down our collective throats, no differently than them giving trillions away to criminally disposed mega-insurers and bankers all the while feigning outrage as they vote “yea” to give them the money with little to no meaningful oversight or followup to date.

    I think the first eight minutes of this video clip will demonstrate what these smug, entrenched sob’s think of the citizenry, not simply because they ejected protesters from the hearing room, but also their intransigence as to how things are going to be; ie., either it’s their way or the highway for us.

    I urge folks to simply view it for it’s tenor rather than its specific content and they should get the message concerning how our arrogant, incumbent U.S. Senators et al. we send to D.C. to represent us operate!

    Carl Nemo **==

  11. Carl Nemo

    My previous comment with its supplied video clip surrounds a Senate Finance Committee hearing in which discussion concerning a “single payer” system is being excluded.

    I’ve decided to provide a link discussing the idea and as to why it has merit. You’ll also realize why our representatives are resistant to allowing the concept into the discussion because it would cause a massive sea change in the way medical administrative affairs and fees paid for procedures are handled in this country.

    Carl Nemo **==

  12. barak

    Carl, did you really expect anything else from a Chicago Pol? I’m from Chicago and I wrote long ago warning caution re falling for the Obama sweet talk. It is just that on that day in November I was offered a Harvard Grad with a brain or an Alaska airhead with a rifle. There was no choice, or rather the choice was obvious. To follow one airhead with another would be unacceptable, and once again instead of voting for a President, I was forced to vote against a candidate I feared might be elected. Your trouble, Mr Nemo, is that like me, you want a better country and a more noble leader. If the term were shorter, we could keep trying every 3 years to find that “honest man or woman.”

    Things could always be worse. We could have elected McCain and Mrs Twit.


  13. gazelle1929

    Mr Hoskins:

    You said above:

    “The Senate turned down Sen. Durbin’s common sense measure to authorize bankruptcy court’s power to modify homeowner’s mortgages. Those same courts can change mortgages for the rich – vacation homes, investment properties and other mortgages that the common family cannot afford.”

    Could you enlighten me on this last point? I am not aware that bankruptcy judges, or any other judges for that matter, have the authority to modify mortgage provisions for the rich. Where does this occur? Under what circumstances?

  14. Phil Hoskins

    Amortgage on investment property, even a vacation home, can be modified in bankruptcy.  Most of those mortgages are taken by those able to afford such luxury, not the average person.

    Of course not all are "rich", but compared to me they are.

    Phil Hoskins

  15. barak

    Congress snoozes while Public loses.

    Not to be repetitive (moi? never!) but this is one more reason to limit congressional terms to one term of 3 years and not allow the legislator back onto the public payroll as any sort of a congressman.

    When I saw Arlen Spector switching parties instead of retiring at the age of 80, I got so nauseated that I had to walk bent over for 3 days to avoid soiling my shoes. These “hanger-ons” are pathetic. They need to get out. I don’t give a (can I say “shit?”) whatever how they feel, they are too old to legislate intelligently and to give us a full days work for the obscenely huge salaries and benefits we adorn them with. Spector has had cancer and some other malaise; Kennedy has brain cancer; others have issues associated with age and the pollution that exists in the congressional chambers which precludes their minds from relating to the people for whom they work. We are the forgotten ones, but they SHOULD BE the “who was that?” no name individual.

    How can we change this law which allows them to linger long past the time they should have stepped down? Since the perpetrators of this wrong are the ones who could turn it around with legislation to that effect, I just don’t know. It would need honest men and women to say: “Enough” and pass such laws.

    And that, among many other sad character flaws, is sadly lacking in our Congress.

    One 3 year term, no reelection for all elected officials. End the good-ole-boys-n-girls club. No more lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court. Let’s get some honest hard working legislators and justices and executive branch characters into and quickly out of these offices. They work for US, We the People.

    Don’t ever fail to remind them of that. Vote and toss them out on their fat cans.

  16. barak

    In defense of one Congressman, Henry Waxman–he has always come through for me. I have asked for his help on two occasions and both times he has come thru for me. He works hard, he serves the constituency well. Congratulations to Congressman Waxman for being all that we want in a representative legislator.

    Now if we only could find 540 more like Henry.

  17. Carl Nemo

    Hi Barak,

    I’m glad Henry came through for you, but I have my doubts about his overall efficacy as a Congressman. Also, we do have 540 more like Henry and that’s why we’re in our current fix as a nation.

    Here’s a vidclip of the good Congressman being interviewed at work… /:|

    Carl Nemo **==

  18. Carl Nemo

    Thanks Barak for your thoughts concerning pragmatic choices as opposed to having the luxury of the best choice of a candidate for the job.

    I guess when one looks back on the election and the choices steered our way via the MSM, it was a slam dunk for Obama.

    Too bad our system of government doesn’t allow for a vote of confidence halfway through their term, and if they fail in the vote of confidence, then their office is immediately put up for an election within 90 days. Instead we continue to get saddled with non-performance or worse uber performance on their collective parts to serve the demands of their shadowy patrons; ie., corporate America. We have to suffer their damaging presence for either 2,4, or 6 years. Mandatory votes of confidence would keep them on their toes relative to the needs and demands of the electorate.

    This is all wishful thinking on my part since it seems nothing is going to change until the whole system crashes; then hopefully from the societal wreckage something better can come about.

    Carl Nemo **==

  19. woody188

    So it’ll be the red pill for you Phil?

    Welcome to the real world. It is better to know, though it is a more difficult path. My enlightenment occurred during the Clinton years. Many times I’ve wanted to sink back into the warm glow of the idiot box and some times I have succumbed to it’s siren’s song for weeks.

    But some thing always brings you back out, once you know the truth. Things are never really the same again.

    Revisit some points in history back to 1913 and see if you don’t see those patterns you referred to in the article. Things get real obvious around the Nixon years.