A lobbyist and a Senator walk into a restaurant… Share this on: Facebook Twitter Email Think you know how negotiations work in DC? Think again. If you’re not laughing by :59, then you’ll probably be crying at 2:19. Meadmaid55 . Well done! I’m crying…… BD This is enough! When will this finally change it feels like we are living in a third world country .And those idiots leaders in the supreme court what were they thinking. dolfinguy The Court has been packed by corporate-interest-controlled politicians. UnitedRepublic has been at this for about 2years or more–& now their baby-non-profit RepUs (both always asking for more free money/donations) have not changed nor affected anything to reform Election finances, or change corporate lobbyist laws, or stopped corporate rights & privileges over citizen’s rights & voting power anywhere! I get 3to10 “sign this petition” requests (& send more money) emails almost daily & nothing significant changes in our gov’t! These people are no Paul Cienfuegos–who has solutions to change & challenge corporate controls today! Chuck744 SICKENING gwa oh, i agree — we should all just sit home and wait for the uber-rich to provide for us! Note the sarcasm. this guy is an idiot Steve N Buss great ! — but edit it down by about half Lynne Knudsen We, together, can stop this. dolfinguy How? dolfinguy UnitedRepublic has been at this for about 2years or more–& now their baby-non-profit RepUs (both always asking for more free money/donations) have not changed nor affected anything to reform Election finances, or change corporate lobbyist laws, or stopped corporate rights & privileges over citizen’s rights & voting power anywhere! I get 3to10 “sign this petition” requests (& send more money) emails almost daily & nothing significant changes in our gov’t! These people are no Paul Cienfuegos–who has real solutions to change & challenge corporate controls today! wayneonly Dolfinguy, I get most of the same emails asking for donations as you do evidently. And I agree that the piecemeal affect of these petitions has little affect. But until the people embrace the idea that the only way to solve the situation is to take a page from the corporate world and form their own People’s lobby, there will be no organization powerful enough to exert any control on Congress. This organization could be supported by donations from the voters of each state with two elected (not from either party) representatives of each state who would be tasked with analyzing each issue and developing a consensus on it’s affect ON THE MAJORITY of the voters. They would then submit their consensus opinion (via website) to the voters with a survey for voters to answer to get opinions of voters. Then they could lobby Congress and monitor how Congresspeople vote on each issue. They would then publish (via website) how each Congressperson voted. This would encourage Congresspeople to vote according to the People’s Lobby instead of the corporate money interests. The People’s lobby could become the most powerful lobby in Washington and discourage “big money” interests campaign dollars as it becomes less profitable to buy votes. The Congresspeople would be more responsive to the people as they would know that their votes were being monitored and reported to a website more readily monitored by the voters. And with donated dollars being sent to a lobby that actually has some impact on Congresspeople, the concentration of dollars would do far more good than the scattered dollars spent on so many ineffectual groups. Maybe Paul Cienfuegos would like to try to organize this effort. Richard Bambenek Corporate America has deep pockets and our elected officials are drawn to it’s contents like a moth to a flame. Our wants and needs are secondary. wayneonly Richard, you are so right. But there is no watchdog to keep them in line. Corporate America long ago saw that lobbies would greatly benefit them, but the American voter has not yet embraced the idea that a lobby for the people could be their only salvation. But a lobby that advocates for the people and monitors the actions of all Congresspeople would cause them to take notice. If the voters were more informed about legislation and how their Congresspeople vote, they would be better equipped to remove those who were nor voting in the interests of the masses. And they would not have to bribe Congresspeople with money because their vote would count for more if they were better informed. The lobby could help to unite the voters to understand how legislation affects them and who (among their elected officials) votes for their interests. United we stand, divided we fall. And that is what the two party (yes, both parties are guilty) is counting on. If the voters unite, Congress must fall in line with the voters to survive. Johnny “…. the American voter has not yet embraced the idea that a lobby for the people could be their only salvation…” Well, about 5 million of us have, and we’ve been doing it for a long time, too bad opposing forces denigrate us into something we’re not. I’m the NRA, and proud to admit that the lobbyists I help pay for have an effect on the protection of our Bill of Rights. wayneonly Yeah Johnny, we know about the NRA, but they have a singular interest that serves only a small section of the voters. I am talking about an organization that will look at the broad picture, serve the majority of Americans, and curb the abuses of Congress, “big money” in elections and promoting Congressional corruption, and actually get the voters information that allows and encourages them to become intelligently involved in elections instead of just voting the “party line” and the party endorsed candidates. The biggest problem with elections is that the voter listens to ads that sound good but do not actually show how the candidate will really represent the interests of the American people. JR Just go to congress.org / cqrollcall.com, you can track bills, money, votes and have ‘em delivered straight to your inbox. Read “About Us” and “FAQ” if in doubt. (search: MEGA-VOTE at CQ). wayneonly Yes, JR, here is another website that is so obscure that most voters will never go to it. Voters need a website that they can go to to get the latest on what is happening in Congress, an analysis of the legislation and how it affects the majority, and how their Congresspeople voted on it. They need to be able to have input BEFORE the legislators vote and results on how THEIR Congresspeople voted. But, most importantly, they need to know that there is an organization that will put party politics aside and go to bat for them with all members of Congress. And Congress needs to know that what they do daily WILL get back to their constituents. That is the only Congresspeople will be accountable to the people. CandideThirtythree A lot of these groups are getting together to make a bigger group so that it is not so piecemeal. TJ van Minter AWESOME … perfect in every way!! dbirm send to supreme court please longtail Oh, don’t worry, the Supreme Court understands it all too well. billcostley Well done, but how do I e-mail this? dolfinguy Forget this… see Paul Cienfuegos for real solutions to stop corporate controls today! Then help to send that info to others! sf_jeff Paul Cienfuego has yet to reach me with a compelling message. Please be constructive. Richard Bambenek The circus in Washington is a runaway train and we are stuck in a car on the tracks. Dean Anderson I hope many people get to see this – understand it – and then DO something about it. Congrats to the filmmakers for illustrating the problem in such an entertaining way. Good grief, I can’t stand this B.S. from BOTH parties! It’s all about enriching themSELVES, ‘F’ the average citizen! DO something, or get used to this scenario = it’s just the way it is unless we change it. dolfinguy Do What? (Support bogus “non-profits” that send out “petitions” that go nowhere & affect no one or do nothing.) See Paul Cienfuegos for pro-active real solutions to end corporate control. poops It’s not about how, it’s about whet needs to be done. stringrrl We must overturn Citizens United vs FEC. Fred I support Move To Amend, Represent.Us, and that is it. The way I see it, regardless of whatever political/social issues you care about, supporting either or both of these groups is most likely your best bet; to create a government that is actually functional and willing/able to actually work for the betterment of people outside the so-called donor class. If you get where I am coming from but are unable or unwilling to start/join your local MTA or Represent.Us affiliate, you can always just order a custom self-inking stamp online with either or their URLs and stamp it on your paper currency… it is commonly believed that this is illegal, but that is not the case. Commercial advertising in this manner would be illegal, or defacing currency with the INTENT to make it unusable. I know it isn’t much, but it is better than nothing if you want to do something. slimelaws http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/hiho-honest-in-honest Toni Only one problem – an act is still just an act and can be weakened or appealed with the drop of a hat. Better yet, SCOTUS can deem it unconstitutional and throw it out entirely. That’s why a Constitutional Amendment is needed to say that: 1) Money does not equal speech. 2) Constitutional rights are for living, breathing, US citizens only (not corporations, unions, super PACs, etc.) 3) Jurisdictions (cities, counties, states) have the right to regulate elections and contributions. https://movetoamend.org/ FollowDahMoney The problem with your statement is that we, the people, need to actually stand up and make it happen with 1000% of the people currently trying to make a difference. Otherwise nothing will change. The additional problem is that the majority of the population of our great nation are unaware that the problem exists let alone the fact that they are needed to change/fix it. wolfganger I am and remain disappointed that your view of the Constitution and its protections and rights are for “U.S. citizens only.” Nope, the Constitution is there for the protection (and enjoyment) of all persons on US soil (including US protectorates, territories, even embassies). That includes: landed immigrants, long-term “alien” residents, visitors, foreign guests and diplomats, and even casual border-crossers (those despised “illegal migrants”). The Constitution is there for EVERYBODY, not the select sub-group of “citizens.” And that is its genius. pandjonb But, it should not be there for coporations… billwinkle Good point. It doesn’t say that it’s for everyone on our soil. I happen to believe that it SHOULD apply to all, but that happens more as a result of common law interpretations, and other results of our society’s processes. Gene Allgaier Our interpretations need to hold up to the constitution or they fall flat on the face of quality. All Men are Created Equal and as such should be treated Equal… no special interests, no Gay, Black, Handicap (we make concessions for these folks) or Sex… Equal is what it is. We need to get there. All Parties aside, we are supposed to be Americans. Human Americans with Human compassion which is what brought us to be here in the first place! We gonna let that all get away from us? No one wants to hear it but the “Good Book” has a few words in it that should say everything. ” Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Do un to others …. Show sum luv and ya gets sum luv! Throw rocks and expect to get hit with a few. Start learning to care for more than just yourself…. there are so many “Yourselves” out there to care for so we should be busy for a while but I’m sure that once the momentum picks up, everyone will be taken care of! (I don’t mean do for… There is a difference!) rsquare Never said better. Keep this going! Gene Allgaier I can get behind both of you with that! AmianteTarvoke Where in the Constitution does it say that? Robert Warner Your lack of understanding this concept is key to the Koch Bro’s master plan. You have been “pandered” to. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandering_(politics) CGLRAY You replied to the wrong person, I think Kalic0 In the perable it says, ” We the PEOPLE (emphasis is mine),”…NOT… “We the legal entities,”. Sorry, the Supreme Court saying corportations are people, even if just for purposes of law, is incorrect. Corporations are independent legal entities, yes, but “people”, no. A family group is not treated as a person (in terms of laws or the constitution), so why should this priviledge be given to a corporation? Also, if corporations are people how come that cannot be convicted of crimes? But no, this would never be upheld, because the original argument was was bogus to begin with. Corporations have been pouring money into the legal system for a century to establish the legal president that Citizens United was based on, and still would not have succeeded with both Anton Scalia and Clarence Thomas on the bench (both of whose impartiality have been called into question more then once). AmianteTarvoke I agree. I don’t understand why you guys are responding to me, rather than wolfganger, who is the one to assert that Constitution liberties apply to more than just citizens. Kalic0 Sorry, I misunderstood what you were responding to. wolfganger Because it does. Constitutional protections, specifically the Bill of Rights, applies equally to all persons present on US soil. AmianteTarvoke Your first post sounds like an argument that corporations are covered by the Bill of Rights too, since it covers everyone, not just citizens. I wondered if you had a specific quote from the constitution to support your statement. Thus my question to you: “Where does it say that?” I guess I’ll just make do with “because it does.” Everyone who hears “all men are created equal” is struck by its poetic strength, but to claim that it is as comprehensive and binding as you seem to assert, is to ignore history. Otherwise we would not have had to struggle to end slavery. Sorry if it seems I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill; I think we agree on the larger issue. I fully support Represent.Us. wolfganger I suspect you are not following the development of US laws here. Assuredly without meaning to be condescending, herewith a very truncated tutorial. Old English law flowed from “droit du Roi,” the right of kings, and from that the idea that because the Crown governed by the explicit grace of God, the Crown could do no wrong. From that flowed “bills of attainder” and the idea of “corruption of blood,” which was abused by the English to punish the colonials. Not surprisingly, the revolution put an end to those concepts. In the “new Order” of the American continent, the idea was that the landed persons all would have an equal status under law, for the practical reason that the landed wanted to have equal access and treatment before the colonial courts. The idea that the landed gentry would have access but not the freemen led to rebellion among the far Northern States such as Maine, so 12 Amendments were tacked onto the actual Constitution. Of those 12, ten were incorporated and are popularly referenced as the “Bill of Rights.” These “constitutional rights” then get further interpreted and codified over time into a body of Statutory laws and of “case law,” where individual conflicts are set forth to the Courts and a precedential decision is made. That body of laws now provides that the Bill of rights, as a constitutional set of protections, applies to everyone equally, if they are on US soil. Now, various Administrations abuse that, as in the case of Japanese internments, and it took 60 years before that was found “unconstitutional,” although little in the way of money compensation was ever made,. As to “corporations,” a corporation is not a “natural person,” and so does not accord the benefits of the Bill of Rights. Corporations have been treated as a “Legal Person,” a fiction that allows a Corporation to appear in court through counsel to advance its claims. The Sup. Ct. expanded the rights of “legal persons” to hand money over to political campaigns, under a rather fuzzy idea of equal protections. This should not be confused with the idea that Corporations have morphed into “people” and can avail of the Bill of Rights; that is not the case. To understand the idea of “equal protection” as to aliens, posit the case where Tiger Woods invites Wayne Gretzky to view a Tournament; they both arrive to check into a hotel. Tiger is granted a room, as a “citizen” under the Public Accommodations Act; the hotel manager cannot refuse, notwithstanding that he loathes blacks and/or that he disapproves of Tiger dating Lindsay Vonn. To argue that aliens are outside the protections of the Public Accommodations Act would be to grant that the hotelier can refuse a room to Wayne Gretzky on the grounds that he is a pesky Canadian that plays better than Mericuns, and thus should be put in his place by being forced to go sleep in his car in the parking lot. Surely you see that the body of laws has evolved to the point where this is not plausible. Mr. Gretsky can avail himself of the protections of the Public Accommodations Act, same as Tiger Woods can. Equal protection under laws for everyone on American soil. Does not matter how they got here. fletch It says it in the 14th amendment and was ratified by the Supreme Court in U.S. vs. Southern pacific in the late 1800′s. Katie Roy Ferreira I wish it would say all “people” are created equal, as the semantics alone exclude women (umm…51% of the population??). And if slaves aren’t considered men, rather objects, that’s a very narrow definition. Perhaps the definitions simply need to be updated all around?? jillscherb7 “….preamble”? In any case, I agree. Join with others who oppose Citizens United by all means! Kalic0 Actually, I am an artist and I am working with local group to help prepare graphics, posters, filers and other things they need to get the word out about Citizen’s United and what we can do to counter -amending the constitution, election finance reform, etc. SusannaDanna The word “corporation” does not appear in the constitution. Check it out! stringrrl You are right. However, in Citizens United vs. FEC, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have a right to “free speech” or in corporations’ language speech = money. You should learn about it. It is not a good thing. Here is a good overview: http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-citizens-united-v-fec/ SusannaDanna This Court has corrupted the constitution and our democracy with its rulings such as this. Remember Bush v Gore? Don’t count the people’s votes? Eric Tucker Just to put my 2 cents in, stringrrl, that is the part of the ruling to which I most object. If corporations have a right to “free speech,” would that not invalidate all laws and regulations regarding truth in advertising? Since a corporation is protected by “Free Speech,” could they now advertise any claim they like and be protected from recourse? Provided that the lie does not inflict actual physical harm. I can lie all I like, as a ‘person,’ without fear of legal recourse (unless such lie is intended to do physical harm to another, such as the old shouting “FIRE” in a crowded theater thing). It would seem to me that this ruling now allows a corporation to be “Free” to lie all it likes, without fear of recourse. Or, is it that whether a corporation has a right to “Free Speech” or not, restrictions to “Free Speech” are permitted as well? There are laws that limit the amount of money an individual can give to a candidate? I’m not a lawyer and I strongly support campaign finance reform, as well as getting corporations out of our government. Not sure if my words can help support someone else in a legal argument, but I give them freely here. Alamo Eric, I would add that individuals cannot “lie all I like, as a person” with impunity in the cases pertaining to perjury and fraudulent misrepresentations that may not cause “physical harm”, but certainly could and often do result in economic harm to others. Lying under oath is a criminal act and punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both. Although absolutely nothing was done to NSA Director, James Clapper, for deliberately and knowingly lying to a Congressional Committee when he (Clapper) said under oath the NSA was not spying on American citizens in clear violation of US law; namely, the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution. But shamefully, that Committee did not have the guts to cite Clapper for contempt of congress. AmianteTarvoke I would like to know what it is about asking a simple question that people are finding so objectionable that they vote me down? I’m genuinely curious. Do you imagine that I’m on an angry rant or something? I’ve never heard anyone claim that the entire constitution applies to everyone inside our borders, no matter what. This is new to me, and I would like to know where it says that in the constitution. So I’m a monster? wolfganger While at this point this is pretty much an unread thread, on the assumption that you get Discus updates, I would confirm that I do not conclude that you are on an “angry rant” and I have assuredly not “voted you down.” I do not vote anybody “down.” I view the whole “down” thing as immature. You asked a perfectly legitimate question. I have attempted to address it. I express my regrets if it was imperfect. — What is troubling is that our social culture and our public education have evolved to the point that folks conclude that the constitution does not apply to all persons within the borders. I speculate that this flows from the practice of having little kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance in the grammar school, and salute the “flag” in the classroom. I consider myself a patriot; therefore, I have refused to do either since the second grade. A patriot does not place slavish obeisance to symbology ahead of the real thing: duty, honor, and service to everyone. And that includes everyone found here, does not matter how they got here. My local State Highway Dept. buys expensive wood chippers and cuts up whole logs to shred and dump into landfills, at huge taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, the poor have no money for heating fuel. I advance the proposition that the crews should take the logs to local church parking lots, there for volunteers to cut up for firewood and distribute to the disadvantaged. Why should firewood be wasted? Do you seriously think that church pastors are so incompetent that they cannot motivate their membership to do this, as an act of Christian charity? Of course they will; you have to advance the idea to get the project moving. I mention this because, while perhaps a small gesture, gestures do count, and enough of them sets the groundswell in motion for other reforms. Our society has to include everyone, and what you do for the least advantaged defines who you really are. The republicans I know all step up to the plate. “Citizenship” is an abstract concept as a test for expressions of fealty. “Rights” are a concrete concept that apply to everyone. billwinkle wolfganger: OK, but it says: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” 1) “OF THE UNITED STATES”, and 2) “DO ORDAIN AND ESTABLISH…” . It IS there for citizens; however, common law usually holds that many or most such rights as are afforded to citizens, are deemed affordable to all. I agree in spirit, and in general trends, with what you said, but not in the more narrow, technical sense. wolfganger I do not propose to debate this with you. Suffice it to say that the body of case-law that has developed over the past 200 years holds for two propositions: (1) anybody on US soil is under the protections of the US Constitution [which incidentally is precisely why the Taliban detainees were carefully kept in Guantanamo, so as to avoid habeus corpus claims], and (2) rights issued by the Bill of Rights or legislation building upon the Bill of Rights cannot be taken away by the Government, by fiat, proclamation, or tendentious administrative decisions. This latter aspect has always been viewed as a rather pesky aspect of law, and governments including sadly Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder rather casually ignore and abuse it. The most recent flagrant example is the invalidation of the passport of Mr. Snowden. An argument could be developed that the interception of the aircraft of the President of Bolivia would be another, although the wiggle was that it was not any overt US “act” that did that. Other examples of Mr. Holder’s abuse of these Constitutional protections is the administrative jailing of migrants in the Southern border area. A further and more flagrant example is the new and rather cute idea that CBP can set up “internal checkpoints” inside the US and proceed to stop and interrogate auto drivers and passengers as to their “citizenship.” To see aggressive personal challenges to this latest, I invite you to peruse the various YouTube postings of guys who deliberately set out to find these roadblocks and refuse to answer any questions, clogging up their operation. While small gestures, these men are the true patriots of our day: they refuse to knuckle under to the abuses heaped out by stentorian and authoritarian bureaucrats, whose mendacity pervades the common weal so tenaciously. slimelaws Way to get so tangential you totally move away from the idea, shows you’re egocentric to the point of keeping the problems in place for your own self-agrandized views…Don’t even feel insulted, wouldn’t know why you should, right? wolfganger We all do thank you for your gracious comments. Just lovely. slimelaws See? We need to kick all the criminals out of Washington and start over to save this country of ours…and you want to make this about you being insecure about belonging here. Well done. Even better that you’re trying to be somehow , mystically above us all, instead of along side us all…..You wanna splinter us up to the best of your ability, then come back and blame the country for not helping itself, you sure are gonna start looking stupid, soon enough… wolfganger Congratulations. You have the psychic ability to zip open my skull and see inside my mind. For that, in the next administration, you assuredly deserve the position of Chief of Staff. slimelaws When you write something plainly, you write it plainly. You see how that works? This whole exercise was a demonstration meant to demonstrate the need for huge change in our government. And you, you composed at great length regarding your cheated feelings, that people needed to recognize you despite your status, citizen or denizen aside… What else am i going to think, except that while you may mean well, you’re so focused on this being about whatever plight you’re in, that you totally missed the point? How are your monologues anything but the naked need to be the elephant in the room that everyone sees?! Why can you not support the need to fix our corrupted, breaking bad government before it’s too late?! Why do you predicate a fix on you getting petted first?! wolfganger To no surprise, you infer matters that are simply not there. “Huge change in government” is obvious to everyone outside the Beltway; even Ted Cruz wants huge change in government. The issue there is: what will change, and who will do the changing? Considering I went to Yale and was invited to be a cabinet secretary (which I declined, incidentally), I hardly feel “cheated.” The guys that effectively run the government, including a President, are personal chums. I assuredly do not need to be “petted” by you. Moving past that, the current system has problems, the enormity of which are not tackled while the citizenry adopts the mindset, pushed initially by the radical right, that only “citizens” count, and everybody else is a nobody. I view that as a corrupting and corrosive mentality, and I object to it. I pointed that out to the Poster who had incorporated that right-wing arrogance into the statement that “Constitutional rights are for living, breathing U.S. Citizens only,” a mental set that generates derision and scorn for everybody else found in America. The great genius of this country is that it is inclusive, not exclusive; Constitutional rights and privileges apply equally to everybody found in the country, regardless of status. That specifically includes the minor children of migrants that end up here at age two or four and know nothing of their birth-land, yet rightists would deport as undesirables, denied schooling, access to health care, drivers’ permits, finally to be kept in CBP detention centers (face it, jails) until the Government-du-jour is finished with them. Rightist, exclusionary thinking has to be placed under the glare of scrutiny where you find it, or it seeps into the public discourse and corrodes what the country is all about. I was pointing that out to one specific poster. You have chosen to latch onto that, uninvited, and make it out to be some petulance on my part, an immaturity or need for “petting.” The point is a philosophical and also practical one, that we exclude nobody, we embrace everybody. And yes, I am a Republican, although in candor I prefer a monarchy. A real Republican stands up for everybody, specifically the poor and the oppressed. They count, too, same as the next guy. Too bad that you choose not to grasp that. tracy71 I Agree that we need to just start over with a whole new way of the government just voting amongest theirselves in washington on really big issues that affect the real people of america. They vote and pass bills and such on issues that dnt affect them or any of their families, such as the health care, social security, welfare programs for those who r really trying make ends meet with the low paying jobs and for those who have worked their whole life and now get a small monthly income as it is and just cant make ends meet. Now they r trying cut these things out or make it were the senior citizens r gonna have to wait even longer to get that little monthly check after paying social security in for at least bout 40 or more years and are entitled that social money they pd in. Its not their fault that governmet has been spending their retirement money on other things. As far as i see it they need a better way of running this government all together. We should have more say when it comes to big issues like these and alot of other issues instead of just electing these officials and letting them make all the major decisions without us having a vote on these things as well! Katie Roy Ferreira People, he means people, not groups of people. No matter who they are. greg So you say non citizens can vote? wolfganger Depends on where you are and what is being voted on. “Voting” is a right that is mandated by governmental unit. Specifically, in Federal elections the State Legislatures have the ability to determine who is a “voter”, although it is now tempered by the “Voting Rights Act,” (for citizens.). It may surprise you that States typically did not have a citizenship requirement for being a voter; the requirement was usually residency, which is not the same thing. The whole idea of “citizenship” as a precursor to voting was an outgrowth of WWII and the McCarthy era of baiting of “communists.” For example, during the great Irish migration to Boston after the potato famine, organizers met the boats at the docks and took migrants under their wing, got them a place to live, food money, likely a job, and of course registered to vote. You walked off the boat, and the same day you were a voter. No surprise, you “remembered” carefully to vote for the party that got you all those helpful benefits. Today, most “towns” do not have a citizenship requirement to be a voter in town elections, including town referenda. For example, if you live in a Fire Taxing District and are taxed for fire services, then you get to vote on the tax simply because you are a property owner. The typical test is that you own over $1,000 of taxable property (auto , house, trailer, whatever) located in that town. That also lets you vote for mayor, or first selectman, the town clerk, whatever. Most States today for State elections have adopted a federal citizenship requirement. Some do not. I recall that Vermont, for example, does not (could be wrong there, have not checked it). Until some 60 years ago, most States had no federal citizenship requirements. As the States control the voter requirements for the Federal elections, you used to have a system where migrants could vote in US Federal elections (including for the electors in the Electoral College, for president) without citizenship. In theory, you could still have that today, although I do not see it on the political horizon. In the final analysis, “citizenship” is a bit of an abstract concept, basically irrelevant, and may well be reduced to issues of passport control. It might be important to you, and you might incorporate it as a requirement for membership in the Governor’s Horse Guard ceremonial flag squadron at the armory, but for the rest, it is hardly relevant. In a democracy, you try to include everybody. Putting people out is not productive, in my view. Grand1 You are both uninformed of recent Supreme Court rulings and ignorant of the legislative process. Just thought someone should tell you before you post again. stinkingbadge If not for the ignorant what would we have? Katie Roy Ferreira Could you give specifics about what is wrong and usernames before you just say your “ignorant and uninformed”? dolfinguy UnitedRepublic has been at this for about 2years or more–& now their baby-non-profit RepUs (both always asking for more free money/donations) have not changed nor affected anything to reform Election finances, or change corporate lobbyist laws, or stopped corporate rights & privileges over citizen’s rights & voting power anywhere! I get 3to10 “sign this petition” requests (& send more money) emails almost daily & nothing significant changes in our gov’t! These people are no Paul Cienfuegos–who has solutions to change & challenge corporate controls! pewestlake Until you mentioned his name, I’d never heard of Paul Cienfuegos. His message is practically identical to that of Move to Amend and others out there and he also charges a fee. I don’t begrudge him a living while trying to save the world but I don’t see why you begrudge others who are doing the job of raising public awareness, which takes time and money. Without the support of ordinary non-activist Americans, nothing is going to change. All the local efforts can and will be squashed by the courts until we sweep SCOTUS off the playing field with a constitutional amendment. There’s no reason we can’t all be part of the solution in whatever ways we can. No matter what you think works best, picking fights with allies is the wrong approach. http://www.amendmentgazette.com/ Deb Rudnick Very well done, thank you. I am sharing liberally, pun intended. Our political system from local to federal is riddled with the disease of money. We desperately need a sea change in how we fund elections and create policy. The shutdown is just the most recent manifestation of the absolute lack of concern of most of our elected representatives for the needs and wishes of their constituency. This country’s congressional leadership is a source of embarrassment, and I am ashamed as an American to have a government this sorely lacking in ethics or morals. Joanedra Here’s Larken Rose to tell you the truth about what to do about it. Can you handle it or do you want to stay in the matrix? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiAThxUM_Mg 4us Must be nice to be politician, over paid plus perks, pension and medical. Seem like a great life paid for by taxpayers. Need to have term limits for most Politicians except for the very best who stand for the people. kitty56 This is information put out in a way that MOST people can understand and it is up to us to find a way to stop this kind of behavior. If we continue to just gawk at these things and never do any more research we get what we ask for, a even MORE corrupt nation. However it would be wise to understand the real reason we are where we are today. http://fskrealityguide.blogspot.com/2007/09/did-usa-declare-bankruptcy.html Did the USA Declare Bankruptcy? In 1913, Congress signed a surrender treaty to the international banking cartel. Congress ceded its sovereignty to the Federal Reserve by surrendering its money printing authority. The 16th amendment sold all US citizens into slavery via the income tax. After 1913, bankruptcy was inevitable, although it wasn’t formally declared until later. Under the Federal Reserve System, the Compound Interest Paradox guaranteed that government debt would grow exponentially. Under the Federal Reserve System, the amount of dollars in circulation was greater than the amount of physical gold in the US treasury. This guaranteed an eventual default. People didn’t immediately demand to exchange their dollars for gold, because they didn’t understand how badly they had been cheated. It wasn’t obvious until the banking crisis in 1933. In 1929, the international banking cartel jacked up interest rates everywhere, causing a worldwide depression. The Compound Interest Paradox caused all the money to drain out of the world economy. The international banks knew about the credit crunch in advance. They stopped issuing loans before the crash and bought assets cheap after the crash. There were secret meetings where the international banking cartel negotiated with all the major world governments. Every world government secretly declared bankruptcy. Bankruptcy treaties were ratified. The bankruptcy treaty was never formally declared to the public. Laws were gradually implemented that formalized the terms of the bankruptcy proceeding. In 1933, President Roosevelt formally declared bankruptcy to the US public. He told them that the US government was defaulting on its promise that dollars were backed with gold. He demanded that US citizens turn over their gold in exchange for worthless dollars. Even though bankruptcy was declared, President Roosevelt kept the US government going by executive order. The US government has been operating under marshal law since 1933, although this has been carefully kept secret from the general public. Corporations can continue operations even though they are bankrupt. As long as enough interest payments are made to satisfy the creditors, operations may continue. Corporations can operate for years while in bankruptcy protection. As long as the creditors deem it to be in their best interests, they allow operations to continue during the bankruptcy reorganization. Similarly, the US government has continued operations even though it’s formally bankrupt. Technically, the US government has ceased to exist. Its current operations are one protracted bankruptcy proceeding. Its operations vaguely resemble its original structure, so the details of the formal bankruptcy are kept hidden. Interest payments (income taxes) are made to the creditors, so operations are allowed to continue. The US government is allowed to continue to exist with permission from its creditor, the international banking cartel. That’s the reason tax protesters are forbidden from mentioning the Constitution when defending themselves. That’s the reason red market enforcers aren’t required to cite the specific laws that require people to pay income taxes and disclose all economic activity to the government. In a bankruptcy proceeding, the creditors are running the corporation and making up the rules. The creditor is the international banking cartel. US citizens have to pay income taxes. That’s part of the surrender treaty and bankruptcy process. That’s the reason the President, Congress, and Supreme Court are able to flagrantly violate the Constitution. The Constitution has no legal standing anymore. A bankruptcy proceeding cannot continue forever. At some point, either the creditors convert their debt to equity or a liquidation occurs. A conversion from debt to equity would involve a repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and a repeal of the 16th amendment. That isn’t going to happen. That is the hope of Ron Paul’s campaign supporters. If the creditor decides to convert his debt to equity, he will allow Ron Paul to be elected President and pass his reforms. The purpose of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign is not to convert the debt to equity. The purpose is to announce the liquidation. When Ron Paul is cheated out of the Republican nomination, it will be obvious to everyone that it is time for a liquidation. (Maybe not everyone, just those people who are smart enough to count for anything.) The creditors of the US bankruptcy proceeding have decided that they prefer a liquidation over equity in the US government. Pretty soon, the US government is going to be denied bankruptcy protection. All world governments have declared bankruptcy and surrendered to the international banking cartel. All world governments are going to be liquidated, not just the US government. I believe that the Supreme Leader of Humanity and the leaders of the international banking cartel have decided that it is time for the final liquidation of this bankruptcy proceeding. They are intentionally allowing the coming agorist revolution to occur, so the US government can finally be liquidated. They will allow the current system to survive until the replacement system is in place. An agorist revolution should be mostly peaceful, so there probably won’t be a lot of casualties during the transition. The violence will come from red market agents resisting the liquidation. greg watching this is really a pointless waste of time. Yes, there is something inherently wrong with US citizens employed by foreign gov’ts to “lobby”. there is also something wrong with our senators & representatives voting on party lines rather than the merits of what is put forth. We live in the greatest country in the world but having “professional” politicians needs to stop. How about some term limits where people leave the business world & “serve” for a period of time & then return to the business world? Will it happen? Not likely – vote out all the incumbents!! frankblank What about your proposal makes you think it would change anything? The teabuggers left the business world – within a week they were meeting lobbyists. And since then, they’ve proven to be the most ignorant group of people in congress since the dixiecrats. So what about your proposal makes you think it would change anything at all? AmianteTarvoke You suggestion has little merit. If you replaced all of our current politicians, you’d just get a new batch of actors playing the same game. You appear to be unaware of the “revolving door” relationship that already exists between the lobbying and political world. gallows Off with their heads ! Our present form of government came from England.Perhaps the French had a better idea to purge the ranks. Just be ware.If you party with the peasants don’t mention eating cake.They have no sense of humor. Rick A lot of frustration out there, but we will continue to be played by our corrupt government process. As Mark Twain correctly said, “It’s a lot easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” Katie Roy Ferreira I half-agree. All the focus on the negatives and how it’s frustrating, or near impossible just leads to frustration and near impossibility. Focus only on possible solutions. Forget how the problems need a solution, make solutions to show how they correct the problems. It’s all in your conception. Focus on the positive, and the negative gets a smaller role in your life. gallows advise given to all politicians is ” if you can’t convince them ,confuse them. And always be sincere even if you don’t mean it. Rochelle Day Can’t agree more Toni. Move to Amend.org. The people need to rise up and get out on the streets and it’s up to us to get them out there. If you are in Texas: http://www.texansunitedtoamend.org/index.html Yuriy Similarly, for those in Massachusetts: http://passmassamendment.org Dwight Hannah LOL….well done…sending it around the world….wthfu people and vote the bastards out and make lobbyist illegal. Mark W Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. WhoIsMyNeighbor We have been told to not bother our representatives with our petitions. So a local group delivered bricks instead. Linda Galindo What I DO. 1.Pick up a pen and write a note to your representative(s) 2. Place stamp on it. 3. Mail it. I envision thousands of handwritten notes pouring in. Do it now. The internet makes it simple to find the addresses you need. Come election time, follow the money. Who is accepting corporate cash in exchange for votes on special interest / corrupt bills? You any time and ask their staff – “Who are Representative ( ) biggest contributors?” It is actually very interesting. If they refuse to answer…that’s your answer! If you think…”My little note, my phone call, my voice asking one question makes no difference” and you do nothing. You are right. fieryelf This is a great idea, but I suggest going several steps further. Our strength as US citizens lies in WHERE we spend OUR dollars directly. Stop shopping at Walmart! Shop at Mom and Pop stores, or where the employees are paid fair wages [like Costco]. Stop banking at financial institutions that willingly participated in the toppling of the economy in 2008! Move your money to community credit unions and the like: http://www.moveyourmoneyproject.org/ Stop supporting factory farming – buy your food at farmer’s markets so you can support your local farmers and lessen your carbon footprint. Or grow your own. Because of what we’ve allowed the government to morph into, our votes//opinions are collectively just about worthless. Take a look at how Congress is behaving; would a governmental body that gave a shit about the good of America//its constituency act the way they’re currently acting? We ALL have to do what we can to change things, and the sad truth is that money talks more loudly than everything else. In short: pay attention to what YOU’RE funding with your direct spending. stringrrl RIght on! AND work to overturn Citizens United vs. FEC! http://www.movetoamend.org http://lindagalindo.com/blog Linda Galindo Great additional suggestions! And, I found the documentary The Corporation an excellent education on how “the corporate veil” was created. Helped me understand where and how the public trust is not possible to rebuild. And that individual actions as you further suggest stop supporting “same corruption different day”. So Next I want to watch “Inequality for All”. fieryelf Fantastic, and now I will seek out those documentaries myself! See, we can dialogue and pass on information and empower each other to make the changes we want to see in our tiny little bits of the world. Gadfly_Granny Oh my… I will never be able to get this visual out of my head… worse than pigs at the trough, and yes, the rest of us get to pay for their gluttony. James they can’t show the Lobbyist under the table doing the nasty James I would love to see that with Preachers feeding the Politicians who passed and protect “Faith Based Grants ” for the Beach Houses they use for Religious Retreats and the houses on “K” Street in DC Kathleen Hill have our representatives(that’s a joke) get the insurance we get and have to depend on Medicare Not the big fat retirement pay the get. another thing is if they work they should not get paid just like everyone else Dana This is great but look at local politics too! Financial disclosure, and the Supreme Court is helping it get even worse, like who’s going to donate millions to a candidate and not expect anything in return. The middle class will vote for almost any option that is against their best interests, the mantra will always be god, guns , gay’s and abortion, divide and they will conquer! Diana You are right Toni. Everyone please see movetoamend.org. Diane Miller The REAL issue is that we cannot change the Constitution without the approval of CONGRESS – who has the power to approve an amendment even going to the States for a vote. How do we change THAT part of the Constitution in order to make other needed changes to the Constitution? Ah, there’s the rub! You can’t! MAJOR FLAW IN THE CONSTITUTION – one of many AmianteTarvoke Diane, we would do that by making sure our representatives know that lobbying and election reform are our highest priority. None of our other problems can be properly fixed so long as the political machine itself is broken. Politicians and MSM conspire to keep the populace distracted / entertained with drama, so we’ll forget about the fundamental issue of corruption. We have to keep the pressure up; let them know we demand progress on this root problem, or they will no be re-elected. I think such a drive would be something almost all Americans can get behind, no matter their party. Paul Eckerson We and I mean we have to amend the constitution by the one process our founding fathers were wise enough to leave for us the voters just for this kind of problem. Ratification by state elections. Write an amendment and get it on the ballot in all 50 states. Not an authority on constitutional law but I’m sure there are plenty out there that can help getting this going. Need to make lobbying (and givng money) to representatives illegal. The government owns the airways and has the power to require them to give some of their airtime to those running for election. If you want to influence government, you should only be able to influence the voters and not with money either. CandideThirtythree Bernie Sanders turned one, a joint resolution, in the first week after the most corrupt SCOTUS in history made bribery legal. He has turned one in every year since but of course the republicans in the House will never let it even come up for a vote so it can never get ratified because the states will never get it as long as there are republicans in office to stop it. http://www.sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Saving-American-Democracy.pdf Yurtman The top 1% keeps getting bloated, and the bottom 99% gets poorer and poorer. The richest 400 individuals in the USA have more combined wealth than the bottom half — 150 million people! – of the USA. It cannot go on indefinitely, and uprisings and (Re)Evolutions always follow; it is a law of nature. The change is not always neat and pretty, and but the elites sow the seeds of their own destruction….because they are short-sighted, greedy, fools…. Tqouchiba I am shocked, shocked I tell you. Janice Schneider Jan Representatives and Senators should have exactly the same health insurance as the rest of us. They should not be able to accept money from lobby groups for favors because we need to put a stop to lobby groups entirely. Those running for congress should serve only two consecutive terms and not make it a life time career. Finally, all those running for political office will receive a check from the government for their campaign and no other funds will be allowed to be accepted. Everyone receives the same amount running for the same office. That will make the playing field even ! May the best man win. Good Bye Corporate generosity, multimillionaires and all those who previously purchased the office for their ‘pick’. Your corrupt little games are now dead in the water. Mary Get Money out of elections, so everyday people can run for office! Money is not speech! And corporation are not people! one person one vote, so ” let people vote” http://www.ACLU.org Mark G We need to end the monetary system. It’s gonna come to a crashing end all by itself I think. I think that’s what the end times are really all about. followdamoney I agree Toni below! The Witch So, my fellow Americans, why do you all still think that voting for the same old crew is going to “change” anything? Why do you all think that any thing will ever change until and unless we, the people, stand up and say “NO”? N.B. “HOPE” DOES NOT NOW NOR EVER HAS PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE. “HOPE” DOES NOT LOOK OUT FOR THE WELFARE OF OUR CHILDREN, OUR ANIMALS WITH WHOM WE SHARE THIS PLANET. “HOPE” DOES NOT PROTECT US FROM THE HIDEOUS “GLOBALIST” POLITICIANS. “HOPE” does not provide working people a “living” wage. These so-called “representatives”, either in the House or in the Senate have not for decades done their jobs. So, my question to all of you is, when will you stop voting for these “lizards”? When will you begin to clump up together and support your local person, your neighbor, to “run for office”? Get your kids out to go door to door for your candidacy. “WRITE IN” any name (vote for yourself) for any office at any election. Just ask! IT IS YOUR RIGHT! Ben Franklin said it first and best: We have given you a “republic” if you can keep it. Personally, I want to keep my “democratic republic”. It is, indeed, one of the greatest “experiments” for governance. I see now, this idea has been hated from the beginning because it truly gave every citizen a voice and a say. Sadly, I see, that most of my so-called fellow Americans are simply “sheep” on two legs, cannot or will not “connect the dots” and want to be told what to. So, will you or won’t you wake up and fight? do15ng32 We the people should shutdown congress. If they could shutdown the government they should be shutdown too. Why should they be exception to the government. They are part of the government them self. Aren’t they? dmcrane One of the best political ads I’ve ever seen. screw them for a change When the public trust is violated the penalty should be the usual number times the number of citizens counted during the last census or perhaps the death penalty. Morrow Shelton Reminds me of a dog I once had. I could get here do anything for a dog-biscuit. But in a context like this it’s just sad. ml01106 Come on, people, it’s up to us! Cassandra While I completely agree with this perspective and will sign the petition, I think it is to little to late. Our system is built on profit and scarcity. Until that changes the mindset of elected officials and the shadow government that pulls their strings will not alter. This is a global problem starting with the creation of the Federal Reserve and stretching it’s tentacles across our planet through the IMF and the World Bank. Central banking has to go if we want to see major changes. Many will call me a conspiracy theorist. To those people, I suggest you do some serious research into the history and repercussions of central banking systems. Sam McClaren I wonder if it would be effective to boycott, individually and as a group(s), corporations that support liberal/socialist office seekers. If as a group we publish a list of corporations & super- wealthy individuals who support liberals and liberal issues, the rest of us could try to avoid doing business with them. We could also ‘petition’ them individually & as a group. Individually, we couldn’t identify them all. But, a group could effectively pursue such an effort. ypochris It’s powerful, in the end. But I almost moved on before I got there. About a minute less of the feeding each other (we get the point!) and this would be a much better video. RR Nobody will even watch these videos after I send them an email or fb note with a short description and what it means to me… I’m convinced they’re too lazy to even check it out… Does anyone else have this problem??? Frustrated! gallows Apathy seems to be a large problem with the post Viet Nam war generations.Everywhere they go the’ve got their face stuck in their phone.They don’t carry a draft card so they don’t HAVE to get involved in anything.Perhaps we’ve spoiled our children too much. And all the hippies became yippies and greed became their idol of worship. Pam I can only see an ugly-doom of disgusting self-centered-irresponsible ignorant political junkies, with an enormous appetite for Greed and Power. Truly it’s obvious that the Tea Party/Republican (GOP) has an inevitable Quest to force an aggressive Dominion Agenda on us: using all lies, hate and deceit about the President’s life and his Agenda, and constantly broadcast many hateful lies and deceitful-distortion against the President’s Regime and the Government to the nation and world. They consistently use their hateful, evil and ideological sinful mind-set to brainwashing their own base and others, who unfortunately always vote against their own interest. However, without rational and intellectual leadership the GOP could never build a Nation of any kind. And because of the extreme radical behavior and ideology of the Tea Party and some Republicans, the GOP is irrelevant to most of the nation. But for sure, the GOP’s most important desires are, and will always be, planning strategies to screw the middle-class, get rid of Muslims, and to enslave the poor and many people of color. During these three weeks, I have come to believe that all of my above statement is that the GOP’s plan and intention was to bring down the nation while at the same time, work on organizing and forming their ultimate intent. Which in my opinion, is to attempt to build and maintain a Dominion Nation with an infinite dominant population of white supremacy! Nevertheless, as I said, many are ignorant, and particularly the Tea Party, and at least for the next ten years, they will not have enough sane rational intellectuals in the GOP to run this nation. Therefore, if their Quest is/was to build a Dominion Nation is doom to fail, and will always be: “to pronounce Judgement Day; destine to a tragic fate, condemned.” CARL SURBER This corruption MUST BE made more TRANSPARENT and OFFERED NON-STOP to the public (voters) since most voters are unaware of how this corrupt legislator behavior at both the federal and state level has GROWN enormously since the Reagan years. I SUGGEST HANGING SEVERAL LARGE SIGNS ON THE WALLS BEHIND THE DINNER GUEST THAT SHOW THREE OF THE “OPERATIVES” RESPONSIBLE FOR A GREAT DEAL OF THE LEGISLATIVE CORRUPTION – A.L.E.C. [American Legislative Exchange Council] – a GOP lobby shop tied to the Tea Party and David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity. Linda Moore Sure, Toni. That ALWAYS happens. LOL ; ) Pam Lester Skaggs I do know how they work in DC. My husband used to be a lobbyist and now he is a democrat and when we go to democratic meeting he stands us and apologizes to everybody first. alley g. When 90% of Americans say loud and clear that they want something, and lobbyist’s cash can buy they opposite, America has a HUGE problem that MUST be fixed. Get the big business and corporate lobbyists ALL ouf of D.C.. JT Kerry The amount of proposed Amendments have reached the level of Constitutional Convention: Corporations Aren’t People, Kick out the lobbyists and bring back ethics, equal pay for equal work, but what it all comes down too is we have a bunch of the lazy, greedy individuals that are in office that enjoy finger pointing and posturing. mrwallstreet WHATS THE JOKE? NormanAllen Don’t hold your breath. The system is so corrupt that nothing is going to save it. It is on its way to self-destruct. It will get a lot worse before it gets better. The 1% and their “elected” worshippers are not going to give a rat’s ass about what the people think or want. marcus jones call for financial reporting of all contributions and perks provided by lobbyist and all lobby related activities, with penalties of prosecution for failure to report.( to include fees paid to lobbyist, and by whom, ) Some lobbies are ok like the environmental lobby. I think the difference between the ones for the public good and the ones that or not would be quickly become apparent. flexplek You Americans can’t seem to do anything right these days… It’s horrible to see that your politicians are weakening the pillars that support the people and so preparing a controlled demolition of the entire US. Kinda like the buildings on 9-11… If you don’t rise up to fix these problems unanimously (& peacefully !), most of you will end up in a fema-camp-coffin. I wish you all nothing but the best and hope y’all will soon be able to thrive and live in a country that has honest politicians who act on injustice , rather than feasting on the money from some big cooperations … Manny We now have by far the most corrupt government in the history of our country. Every decesion our politicians make is based on bribes, kickbacks and campaign donations. They don’t give a damn about America or the American people, just about fattening their wallets. Every sector of our present governmnet is saturated with corruption. Just about every politician has been bought off by the filthy rich incuding the global banks and global corporations. Even the supreme court is totally corrupt now. That’s why they ruled that the global corporations can by off as many politicians, elections, judges, etc as they wish. Our government is like an old broken down car engine knocking and blowing out smoke. It’s so corrupt, it even recently shut down for several weeks. Some people think rvoting in new people will solve the problem. That’s like changing the sprak plugs in an broken down engine. That won’t fix the problem. It’s the whole system that needs to be replaced or overhauled. As long as we have the same corrupt system nothings going to change. The politicians and the filthy rich have it excatly the way they want it. They get everything and crap in the face of the American worker. Only an all out revolution will save our country. The we can create a new America that works for the people not just the filthy rich. Then any politician that sells us out loses everything and goes to prison instead of being rewarded like now. Ruscular How did the supreme court deem corporation as people? wouldn’t that be unfair that the people who own the corporation get a double representation? first as themselves and then as their corporation? BobUSMC13 Their is a definite lack of leadership in many facets of our government and throughout our nation. Maybe this is Gods way of alerting us to the cancer growing within our nation. It occurs in every segment of our society from religious entities, corporate, government, wall street, and every group of citizens. The abuse of wealth and power by any group is destructive to our society. It is incumbent on our majority to elect leaders who put the “general welfare” of our nation first. This is why education is so important, and should not be replaced by agenda driven indoctrination by those who put personal, political agendas before that of our nation. We truly reap what we sew, but we will never get to where we want to go if we quit trying. All the written laws and scriptures will not save us if we don’t adopt the appropriate behavior. Success in life is like success in sports and other competitions: we still need the proper leaders, competitors, playing fields, the will to succeed and never quit, and as much luck along the way as we can garner. Katie Roy Ferreira 1. Can we change the LAW so that everyone can read it? Do we need laws that take 20 pages just to read, never mind amendments. Real English please!! 2. Repeal Citizens United v FEC 3. Elect local officials that reflect your values as PEOPLE and do not cave to corporate or lobbyist money. 4. Any law that is being considered MUST be voted for by the people. In the age of the Internet, why do we need a representative government? We are all connected! The law, the whole law, and NOTHING but the law (no amendments). = NO MORE ELECTORAL COLLEGE bs slimelaws http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/hiho-honest-in-honest http://diegueno.tumblr.com/ diegueno intersectionality now Pat Wiman All lobbyists are not create equal. Remove money from the equation = eliminate the blight of inequality from our political and economic landscape. Pat Wiman Not all lobbyists are created equal. Remove money from the equation = eliminate inequality from our political and economic landscape. Rixar13 Greedy Bastards… Barf Bag Please. Em Misses the mark because it casts all of Congress as one at the table and it doesn’t convey the bind facing MOCs, those who do want publicly funded elections… and who do not accept corporate contributions. Revise the video so that you are not undermining all of Congress. I presume you don’t want to undermine the institution itself…. http://diegueno.tumblr.com/ diegueno I guess you were busy last night, otherwise you might have seen something on television that contradicts your statement. MDM38 Sorry, a little too gross to be helpful. I am not a sophomore any more. http://diegueno.tumblr.com/ diegueno Really? The actually process is any less disgusting? NormaJFHarrison Hi, Graham “…undo influence…”??? !! IS THAT ALL YOU’VE GOT?! Is that deceptive or WHAT! Yes. all very well and good (re the film-ie) – although it would have been more effective for those of us interested in content – some – well, MANY – of us, had we been able to hear the words through the ‘music’. Meanwhile, all these works we do are subdued by capitalism. Capitalism is the process by which our Owners accumulate so much power through their ownership of capital that they buy whatever they want that continues their power-ownership. These efforts seem to miss that point, by not including commentary reflecting awareness of it in the work being attempted by such as this. I’ll sign, but I qualify it to tell us we need to overthrow capitalism in favor of working to build the structure – yes, as done by USSR, China, and all the other nations where their leaders were assassinated by U.S. force – well, not exactly Ben Laden – but sort of – after all, he did spread the wealth; but like the U.S. tried to do on H. Chavez, on F. Castro, did on D. Ortega, did on many African nations, Black people being so terribly subject to invasion incursion assault for all the many factors you know, because they’d’ve been ably governing themselves with little advantage to The Capitalists. … not completely of course, given the white tutelage and appropriations that gave rise to local oppressive regimes – on –and on — Include deeper intent than these superficialities. If I sent this out to correspondents they’d be stunned to see me advocate at this level…. “…bold, new …” New, yeah, as in not having been in the game previously. Certainly not new as in hasn’t been worked on since all the yesterdays. Bold? not hardly. Norma firstname.lastname@example.org 510-526-3968 Anthony_Eller I started http://ProjectTuitionReimbursement.com for this very reason. The $1.2 Trillion student loan debt and what is the most frightening part the debt is growing faster than ever before! There are solutions! The problem is the few that are taking advantage of the system spent $7Billion to elect the President and Congress the last election tooo………. many favors owed our President and Congress are bought and paid for. Russell All governmental elections should be publicly funded-everyone gets the same amount of money-level playing field at least! Rambowl Fight to take money out of politics. http://www.wolf-pac.com George As long as money controls our elections, the chance that things will change for the better is quite low. It is a shame that we tolerate legal corruption in our country and that there are few who are willing or are able to do something about it. Do you think we could implement term limits for elected officials in federal and state government? At least that way the elected officials cannot get rich while in office and maybe reduce the effects of influence peddling. How many federal elected officials have entered political life an average middle class income guy and when he decides to leave office ends up being a millionaire. Sorry for being so cynical. Tom Politics is “the business of friends”. The problem is self-centeredness and greed – and everybody pays the price. The first thing is to take the problem and raise it above the threshold of awareness! THEN we have a chance of having enough people take issue, that the problem will HAVE TO be addressed. Mikelroi The above video overlooks two points – both the paid lobbyist and the elected representatives are employees. You all, ultimately, control them – if you only will! We have the similar problems here in the UK. A new Act is about to be approved by our Parliament which purports to make lobbying transparent and accountable – but it has also had a new Section two added that will effectively severely control non party campaigning groups and charities public activities for a year prior to a General Election (where the next Government is chosen). This section has no electoral mandate whatsoever but it is being rushed through Parliament at breakneck speed (for such a complex and far reaching Act.) With the next UK General Election due in May 2015, this poses the question, WHY? Although we have three “main” political parties, their combined paid up membership is tiny in relation to the millions strong electorate. But – they wield enormous powers and control over us. Furthermore, I suspect that they all belong to a single corporation and are just differing brands. We throw one lot out of power, but guess what? The new incumbents don’t unpick all the previous party’s unpopular measures and some strong policies – like making us all belong to a vast European & Near Asian super state with without having any say in the process are supported by all three brands. Oh, they huff and puff and even talk of a referendum on the issue – but that is only playing to the crowd – all three always support certain core policies and often carefully prepare the ground for the next administration’s harsher measures. I suspect it is the same elsewhere. So WHO actually does control everything? Many in the UK think it is the USA! Or is it the top, wealthiest global 5%? The working people of the world create all the wealth but the vast majority are the poorer relations, pawns, manoeuvred and subjugated. So, until the lower orders stand up for some of their historical and natural rights as people of this planet – it will ever be thus and the unfair distribution of wealth and privilege will continue. (Indeed, some spoke similarly about their rulers in ancient Egypt … but all they wanted was more bread and beer!) Have a nice, controlled, day! mzanony Re: Constitutional “amendments” as a solution to the above is like killing a cockroach with a flamethrower – overkill – plus it scorches everything else around it. In this political climate, since 9/11 horrifically illustrated the astounding COWARDICE of the American people and a TREASONOUS congress that threw out the Constitution with passage (thanks to bushbaby) and re-endorsement (thanks to obama) of the patriot’s (PATOOHEY!) act – suggesting A-N-Y amendment would be dangerous to contemplate, even if a good one, simply because it would “open the flood gates” of the reichpugnican party mentality to completely re-design the entire constitution, which would be disastrous, not to mention such would make null-and-void the deaths of every single American who ever died for this nation since the Revolution like the patriot’s (PATOOHEY!) act already did. One solution would be to FORBID more than 1 lobbyist per parent corporation (including ALL its subsidiaries) to contact congressional reps. Also, every candidate for office must agree to complete disclosure of all their financial accounts/holdings deemed public access information before/during/after any election to office*. And if anyone dares disagree as to the constitutionality of a life-long scrutiny of one’s financial assets for ever holding public office – then why is it AMERICAN VETERANS WILL NEVER HAVE THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS GIVEN BACK TO THEM AFTER THEIR TERM OF MILITARY DUTY HAS ENDED (in other words – FOR LIFE)? For the courts giving corporations “equal status to a human” – that could be a blessing in disguise – because then our nation should then demand disclosure (see above*) of ALL MONIES TO ALL CANDIDATES AT ALL TIMES BE A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD, INCLUDING THE NAMES OF THE CORPORATIONS, THEIR CEOs, FINANCIAL PARTNERS/SUBSIDIARIES, INVESTORS AND STOCKHOLDERS! In this case – knowledge would = supreme power (even more than the slush money given surreptitiously). These 2 conditionals do not affect the Constitution – just a matter of jurisprudence between all 3 branches of gov to handle details. Also, giving equal status of a corporation to that of a human also implies the corporation (AS ONE INDIVIDUAL) could be held legally liable for MURDER of just 1 individual alone, let alone group lawsuits – based on their total disregard for environmental hazards alone! Giving a corporation equality to ONE HUMAN BEING – would make them even more legally liable for a host of other violations that presently they get away with every single day everywhere in this nation. WAKE UP, AMERICA! Golden opportunities to “carpe diem” are occurring every single day – if we would only use OUR BRAINS instead of indulging REACTIONARISM (as reichpugnicans or fox viewers do). Rod Watkins The problem in this era: For example, in the USA we have not been able to vote for a single candidate for office for decades that was not first vetted by the corporatocracy. This vetting of puppets starts at the local government level and continues to the highest of offices, the presidency. It does not matter who is elected. The voter in the street always loses now. The “elected” want to keep their better than the common man perks and privilege and will sup at the trough of the people with the blessing of their campaign financiers. These financiers keep the “elected” in an imperial state of being above the people and for the most part the law. Recent Supreme Court decisions will insure that this will only get worse. The naive “voters” are never voting on candidates. They are presented in this epoch with two previously vetted puppets to have election theater with in a grand marketing production that assures the same outcome every time. Our founding fathers created an almost perfect document. However, they could never have foreseen the impact of planetary size entities with enormous financial resources that can manipulate a body politic through marketing and make that body compliant with those entities designs and wishes. One step that should be taken would be to amend the constitution to make it a serious federal felony for any institution with more than 50 employees or multiple subsidiaries to have any contact with an elected public official in any way. Of course that would mean the over 50,000 highly paid lobbyists in Washington alone would have to find new employment and DC would fall from the highest per capita income city in the USA to something less impressive. email@example.com I wonder world over elected representatives get tagged under corruption. Sometime the magnanimity of the corruption is like volcano eruption Day by day we come across new ways and means by which corruption proliferates. More members add up to make the gang strong Not a good sign. When will it end? Will it ever in our life time end? I know not dear madhatter WOW!!! I mean WOW!!! This is the very first time that I have ever read the comments to a political post that didn’t have everybody at each others throats. These guys just might have a chance. I have to wish you good luck. It will be very difficult to go up against the 1%ers. They have been at this for a very long time, I’d say 50 years give or take. If you can do this the U.S. may have a chance. Charles Labianco A hundred people are hacking at the tree of totalitarianism while only one is hacking at the roots. In other words, without guns, as in the 2nd Amendment, no other violations of liberty can be stopped. Without guns, every form of protest will be simply “ABC Entertainment Nightly Program.” A book exists, Death By Government, showing figures for more than 10 countries which lost more people in total, killed by their own governments, than in all the wars of all the history of the world combines. Furthermore, and as important, Acts of Congress do not apply to the people in the States of the union. They only apply to the Federal State of Washington, D.C. [ District of Columbia], unless a union State accepts it by its legislature. I’ll bet not very many people know that. “Conquer their minds and you will not need to physically fight them. They will willingly go to slaughter because they believe in the governmental, control propaganda that we feed them.” The Constitutional Republic of America is currently dead already. What will you do to revive it? By the way, the Fukushima 4 nuclear plant meltdown, each of which is 10x worse than Chernoble, is already too late. It is poisoning the Pacific Ocean: Tuna off the Coast of Calif are radioative beyond human survivabiltiy. Fisheries in Vancouver, British Columbia are almost completely dead. 10-15 years? that is about all we in the states have left. Lisa This makes me sick, and not because the guys were eating each other’s food. I’ve known for years that the lobbying situation in DC was bad, but this extended metaphor really drives it home. Man, where is a Mr./Ms. Smith when we really need him/her??? Jeffrey Wilson It is the 14th amendment which changed what happened in the US from what was meant by the founding fathers to what we have today… the founding fathers did not put in the 14th amendment, that came after slavery was abolished to make sure blacks were not deprived of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… but the word used was Person.. and in legal terms, person also means a corporation… personally, I think this was added in this form just for this reason, to include corporations, that they have the same rights as living breathing people… its a small fix to the wording of this amendment to fix it.. does not take a genius.. it use to be that if a corporation did not fulfill a good need for the people and was destructive to the people, it did not get its charter renewed… I like that Idea!! Central Banks could and often did loose their charter… and that is what this country needs again.. it takes the money out of politics and puts the people again first in this country… Here is the phrase which has caused us all harm… nor shall any State deprive any “PERSON” of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; What needs to be added is this.. nor shall any State deprive any “NATURAL PERSON” of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; (Natural Person shall not be construed to mean entity or corporation or fictional person, but a living breathing human being.) Check out the link below for how they use trick of words to distort meanings… http://www.natural-person.ca/govtricks.html MIke You gets the money that the lobbyists give to the pols? You forgot the the media at the table. bob h. Amending the constitution is a long, years if not decades, and laborious process. While a vote on a bill supported by a million strong voters, both Republican and Democratic, takes about 30 minutes in each Chamber. Even more important, the Constitutional Amendment process can continue with the Anti-Corruption Act only engendering and certainly not hindering y the Amendments passage. And by the way, the appointment of only one more justice, who is not a surrogate of big money, will makes Citizens with its 5 v. 4 plurality, a bad dream of the past. Yes, with 4 billion dollars in campaign contributions primarily by the rich and powerful in the last election cycle, how much free speech does the 99% of us get? Karmasue It makes an impact at the end, but I almost couldn’t make it to the end because of the disgusting feeding each other. http://politicsplus.org/Rixar13 Rixar13 McGinnis “Think you know how negotiations work in DC? Think again.” Big money rules, just the way it is. For now. http://politicsplus.org/Rixar13 Rixar13 McGinnis “Think you know how negotiations work in DC? Think again.” Big money rules, just the way it is. For now. Daniel Vincent Kelley When did bribery become legal? Trick question. Never. It’s still ILLEGAL, cause for JAIL TIME. We don’t need new fucking laws. We need ENFORCEMENT. Oldtimer1029 No progress can possibly be made until the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision is repealed. George W Bush appointing these Roberts justices have served to effectively sell The United States political system to the highest bidders. JayLatham.180facebook.com This reminds me of the boy that was showing his girl friend through the zoo and pasted by the monkey cage and said to her honey this is where mankind started from and one monkey said to the other just look where we are going to. when I was young the world was the size of a basket ball and that was 83 years ago. to day it is the size of a ping pong ball, Communication and travel has brought this country to it knees, All third world countries and Nations live under the same tint, with all the money that is in politics to day is there any wonder we are where we are to day. If you are crossing a rail road track you can get down put your ear to the rail and you can hear a train coming from any direction. Brother and Sisters it is time we put our ear to the rail and know what is coming down the track. From one Old timer to a bunch of young whipper-snappers it your Would so get it Calijab Loved it! What a wonderful parody of the real world! Hats off to all those responsible for this website. When you get ready to start a new political party, let me know. vet4freedom im so damn sick of this B/S . its time to lock and load and a repete of history in the year of 1776 . We The People of number them Rick Tommy J. would already shot half of them between the EYES!