February 1st, 2012

Super PACs, now we know more - and it's as bad as we thought!

Given a loophole in the law, Super Pacs were able to delay reporting their donors until after several important primaries (I talked about this in a previous post). So finally yesterday we found out who is donating to these organizations and it is deeply concerning. In my opinion the best way to judge the dangerousness of this new system is by whether the billionaires who are contributing have anything to gain personally from the election of their chosen candidate. The more they have to gain, the more room their is for later corruption in our system when it is payback time.

So, what do we see? When we look at the donors to the individual GOP candidate Super Pacs and the republican giant Crossroads we see donations from oil and gas executives, land developers, hedge fund execs, and chemical company execs. These individuals have a lot to gain by any loosening of environmental regulations, business regulation, and/or oversight. If their candidate is elected and the massive amount of money these groups raised helped, isn't it obvious that there will be pressure to pay back these groups with favorable legislation to ensure that the money will again be available for reelection?

Political Truth Serum: Finding the lies, omissions, and exaggerations in each political campaign

Foxes in the Henhouse: Political Leaders who have hidden loyalties and dual roles
Godzilla, default

The great irony of totalitarianism:

The more that I've read about World War I, the more fascinated I've become by the pattern of approaches to the historical totalitarian states. Namely that absolutely none of them except the PRC, and debatably even there, would have shown up without World War I. I won't rehash the war itself in detail, but during that four-year span all the European states adopted war economies that controlled thought, word, deed, and the pocketbook.
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The 21st Century has its own issues: global climate change, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, the emergence of a possible multi-polar world, and an ongoing credit crisis which has by all means no real solution at the present time. It has issues of poverty on scales that defy imagination, chronic pandemics of diseases that in some ways are trivially curable without actually being cured. It has issues of rivalries between states where military actions/expenses are increasingly white elephants that offer no solutions, only more problems. This is an era where communications and information technology means problems that were at one point distant and sometimes discovered decades after the fact are seen in real-time. It's also an era where the most powerful single empire in the world still clings in too many ways to obsolete ideas of empire and alliances and where it must change those to have meaningful effect in the world it now lives in, as opposed to perpetually seeking after chimeras of previous decades and different times.

I think that so long as the references to long-dead people on the losing side of a coalition war are made as though that is a clear and present danger now, the 21st Century's problems will continue to be less relevant than the distorted and warped view of the 1930s filtered through changes in later eras. Your thoughts?

talk_politics is run by lizardmen.

Just in time for our new monthly topic, the Republicans have shown their true colors as fascist lizard-beings. Methinks our moderators have some explaining to do.

Gasland documentary dude arrested at the Capitol.

Generally speaking, the SOP for not having proper credentials is to tell someone to go away. Nowadays, it is arresting them. Who knew that credentials were police enforcement tools, and not just a secretarial concern? Well, 9/11. 9/11 changed everything. Now getting a name badge is the most important thing you can do as an American to prove your citizenship, as well as the fact that you're not a terrorist. (I thought white people weren't supposed to worry about this stuff anyways.)

But what I'm really concerned about is how this synchs up with our monthly topic, and whether or not abom, et. al. are really a super-powerful cabal running things behind the scenes.
Over the Edge

Monthly Topic

All right, utopians! Now that we've tossed around multiple imaginary scenarios for a Perfect & Just Society™, it's time to get back to Earth, hehe. I have no doubts that Black History Month and the GOP primaries will be the central focus in the next weeks, but still - here's the Monthly Topic that you chose for February:

The Police State

Oooh it's getting creepy! Do I hear the black helicopters? So here's what could or could not be included in this helluva topic:

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  • ddstory

Et tu, FT?


For almost a month the herald of capitalism, the British newspaper FT has been compiling this section about the state of world economy. Various observers, economists, politicians and entrepreneurs from around the world are having a debate around the FT pages. The whole thing is called "Capitalism In Crisis". It's like Oservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican coming out with a critique of the Catholic church, could you imagine that happening?

The general consensus of the experts on FT sounds pretty grim. And it could be summarized with the gloomy conclusion: the form of ultra-liberal and unregulated capitalism from the 80s no longer works. These words fit more to any statement by the French socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande. But no, they appeared on the pages of one of the most influential newspapers in the business world. Publications like these are an important signal 3 years after the beginning of the crisis, and FT keeps coming up with those heavy verdicts after the meeting in Davos. Of course there are various schools of thought there, just like in any other sphere. These tendencies are having a free-for-all showdown across the pages of FT, WSJ and The Economist.

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