Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Capitalism will EAT Democracy, unless...? UPDATED 11:15 pm MST 2-16-16



By now you've heard of TED talks, right?

This guy, Yanis Varoufakis, was a member of the Greek Parliament and for seven months served as the country's finance minister. His background suggests he has some insight worth listening to.

In case you don't believe his claim that capitalism will eat (or actually IS eating) democracy, then you probably believe Hillary Clinton is just another run of the mill Progressive candidate for President.

In Arizona, democracy... the right of citizens/voters to have any say in state government, has been under attack for years.

In 2013, one of the big attacks was HB2305, the Voter Suppression Act. It passed. Voters succeeded in qualifying it for the next general election ballot, beating back that attack. You know that story. This year, the GOP is taking it bit by bit, with HB2023, which will make it a felony to assist early voters in turning their completed, signed, sealed ballots to elections officials.

That is our capitalist plutocracy eating away at democracy. Don't believe me?

The Yellow Sheet reported yesterday, under the headline,
MEMO TO LOBBYISTS: BE PREPARED TO GIVE MORE
The [state] House and Senate Republicans’ IE [independent expenditure] committees each raised a little under $60,000 last year, campaign finance reports show. The House Victory PAC collected almost $55,000 in 2015 and spent $47,000, including roughly $33,000 that went to retire some debts. The committee has about $33,000 on hand. Meanwhile, the Senate Victory PAC raised almost $56,000 but spent much less (about $10,000) than its House counterpart. It entered 2016 with a little more than $77,000 on hand. A lobbyist told our reporter that the two committees’ collections aren’t impressive. “Anemic is the word that comes to mind,” the source said. Still, the lobbyist said the PACs’ non-election year collections aren’t necessarily a good indicator of how much they will raise this cycle. “We can always assume that election years are going to spike those accounts,” the source said. The source added that looking at the legislative committees’ accounts alone doesn’t provide a full picture of the parties’ spending preparations. On the GOP side, efforts to maintain control of the Legislature have been traditionally spearheaded by two groupings: the state party (along with local LDs), and the House and Senate PACs, the source said. On the Dem side, the state party, the county party and the legislative PACs are the ones leading efforts to increase the minority’s number, the source said.
OR NOT 
While the Republican legislative PACs have been busy, the House Dem’s PAC (or at least the committee that was active in the last election cycle) hasn’t been raising a whole lot of funds. Building Arizona’s Future, which was chaired by former House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, took in a little less than $9,000 last year. The bulk of that money came from three committees: $5,000 from Realtors of AZ PAC (RAPAC), $2,500 from Maricopa County Democratic Party and about $700 from AZ Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. Building Arizona’s Future spent $181,000 during the 2014 election cycle.
Of course, on the national level, we have one Democratic Presidential candidate refusing to equivocate on the issue of monetary influence on elections and the other DEPENDENT on Big Money.

The dependent candidate is sounding more and more desperate every day. She talks a good talk, but doesn't walk the talk. One example is how her daughter Chelsea now is, in her capacity as surrogate, telling crowds how she finds it "worrying" that Bernie is intent on ending mass incarceration.
Chelsea Clinton said Senator Bernie Sanders’ proposal to end mass incarceration in the US is "worrying" and insinuated that her mother’s rival does not understand what is “possible” to achieve in Government.
Speaking to a packed town hall in Cleveland, Ohio, Chelsea Clinton took the opportunity to denounce Senator Sanders’ proposed criminal justice reforms when she was asked about her mother’s “vagaries” towards African American policy.
She replied that Senator Sanders advocated the end of mass incarceration, aiming for the US to no longer be the country with the highest number of people in jail by the end of his first term in 2020 - but his plan "worried" her.
Who is surprised that the voice of the Private Prison Industrial Complex has found its way to Democratic voters like this? We know that the PPIC contributes to the Clinton campaign. That tells you a lot right there about what kind of policy a second President Clinton would push on criminal justice reform. We don't know, however, the extent to which the Clintons own stocks in PPIC enterprises.

Then there's her cozy and very personal relationship with Henry Kissinger.


Obviously, I could go on regarding these two concerns with Hillary. And will... another day. But for now I hope you take the encouragement from Samuel L. Jackson to heart. He recorded the video embedded below to support Obama's 2012 campaign. Several issues Jackson mentions as Romney positions mirror how Hillary leans.

Out of touch millionaires just declared war, Jackson said. Have you seen the list of Hillary's financial backers recently? On the environment -- Hillary refuses to take a stand against fracking. On the Keystone XL pipeline, she only came out against it when she couldn't avoid the issue because of Bernie's stand and popular unrest.

Gay marriage? Her flipflops on that issue are well documented.

On civil rights? Michelle Alexander, law professor and author of The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, recently spelled out why Hillary doesn't deserve the votes of Blacks.

The DREAM Act? Well, might Hillary's pronouncements on sending unaccompanied refugee children back to the violence they fled tell you what she really thinks about immigrants? I know several Dreamers that are campaigning for Bernie.

What's Hillary going to do about American jobs going overseas? Well, on the TPP,
Clinton had previously hedged on the TPP, a deal that she backed as Secretary of State and championed in her book, Hard Choices. Her main rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.)—who has made opposition to the deal a centerpiece of his campaign and worked against its advancement in the Senate—said in June he was "offended by Mrs. Clinton’s silence on trade and urged her to share her real views with voters."
What the hell is it going to take for people to realize that Hillary is, at best Republican-lite. *** I've cited some examples. On economics related to domestic policy, she's neoliberal. And that's not a good thing.
This is the philosophy that underpins and drives economic globalization. At its core is a belief in the free market and minimum barriers to the flow of goods, services and capital. It is an extension of the traditional liberal philosophy, which argues for a separation of politics and economics and that markets should be “free” from interference of government.
That she plays footsie with Kissinger tells you all you need to know to realize that on foreign policy, she's a neo-conservative. That's what got us into Iraq. 
The “neocons” believe American greatness is measured by our willingness to be a great power—through vast and virtually unlimited global military involvement. Other nations’ problems invariably become our own because history and fate have designated America the world’s top authority.
Do you want to send more of our children and grandchildren to die for plutocratic greed? Enough is enough.  




It really doesn't matter what Karl Rove thinks about Hillary. Of course, the GOP will ferociously attack Bernie. But Bernie's positions won't whither from the heat. And he has already shown, during this campaign, that he's got the backbone to stand up for what is right when he's criticized.

Capitalism will eat democracy for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it is no more... unless we wake the fuck up.

UPDATE          UPDATE            UPDATE

*** Note: On the subject of Hillary being Republican-lite, it might help some (I hope) to recognize that now Republican frontrunner Donald Trump appears to be positioning himself to the LEFT of Clinton. As Bob Lord pointed out on Blog for Arizona,
So, the pundit class is all agog over how Trump went where no Republican has gone before by going after W for Iraq and the WMD lies. Is it really that shocking? Wasn’t that a high hanging curve waiting to be whacked over the left field wall, and Trump had the brains to do it?
Trump doesn’t need to go after Jeb! like this. He’s already eviscerated him. I had developed a contrarian view on this, but the polls in South Carolina prove me wrong.
So, what was Trump’s purpose? [...]
Trump, it seems, is playing a long game. He knows that winning the nomination and losing the general wold be a pretty ignominious fate. 
So, he just brilliantly outflanked Hillary on her left here. And he did it by reference to WMD. You know why? Because the video footage of Hillary’s war mongering based on the WMD scare is devastating. She can own up to her mistake all she wants, it won’t help when the footage from 2002 starts to get more play. She was the neocon’s neocon. The contrast between the two here is “yuge” and, for Clinton, quite ugly. 
And this is not the only place where Trump’s positioned himself left of Hillary. He has her right where he wants her on trade, “gold standard” and all.
And campaign finance.
I can’t remember the last Presidential election where the Republican had positions clearly left of the Democrat. [...]




Could Trump position himself this effectively against Sanders?
No way.
But he’s banking on not having to.
And it’s not a bad bet. 
Especially if Hillary's supporters don't wake the fuck up.



Bob Lord contributed to this post. I appreciate his insight.

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