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[Cross posted at  E Pluribus Unum ]

In a recent diary of mine, I proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit political donations -- by corporations -- to sitting members of Congress and the White House, aka "legal bribery:"

Section 1: No elected member of the legislative or executive branch shall accept money, in-kind donations, offers of employment or anything of value from non-citizens of the United States.

Section 2. Nothing contained in this Amendment shall be construed to allow Congress or a State to make any law abridging the freedom of the press.

Go read my previous diary; it goes into more detail about how this might work and why we need it.

For now, I want to address the tactical methods whereby the people could enact this amendment despite the Congress' hesitation to restrict the ready flow of donations into their campaign coffers.

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Bob Herbert:

While millions of ordinary Americans are struggling with unemployment and declining standards of living, the levers of real power have been all but completely commandeered by the financial and corporate elite. It doesn’t really matter what ordinary people want. The wealthy call the tune, and the politicians dance. [...]

The poor, who are suffering from an all-out depression, are never heard from. In terms of their clout, they might as well not exist. The Obama forces reportedly want to raise a billion dollars or more for the president’s re-election bid. Politicians in search of that kind of cash won’t be talking much about the wants and needs of the poor. They’ll be genuflecting before the very rich.

...and that means corporations.

The only way to stop this is to stop the flow of money between corporations and the politicians they want to buy.

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Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 04:01 PM PDT

Fire Nancy Pelosi

by arubyan

I'm stuck in Baton Rouge traffic and that's what the bumper sticker says on the car in front of me. It's similar to another bumper sticker I was stuck behind (notice a pattern here about Baton Rouge traffic?). That bumper sticker said: "1/20/2013 - Change  That We Can Look Forward To."

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I came across this article this weekend. I think no one else has written about it. If there are other diaries that I missed, I'll delete this one.

Also, if it's obvious bunk, then talk me down off this ledge and I'll delete the diary.

Shy of that, it bears some discussion.

251 million years ago a mammoth undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth. Experts agree that what is known as the Permian extinction event was the greatest mass extinction event in the history of the world.


BP Death Gusher:

39%54 votes
60%84 votes

| 138 votes | Vote | Results

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Not to worry:

U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor (MS-4) on Saturday said people shouldn’t be so scared about the massive oil spill in the Gulf; he said after flying over it, “it’s not as bad as I thought.”

In all fairness, none of us can know what the inside of Taylor's head looks like. So there's that.


The volcano of oil in the Gulf is most like:

43%73 votes
10%17 votes
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33%56 votes

| 166 votes | Vote | Results

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We -- all of us in the progressive community -- are looking at the HCR drama through the wrong frame.

For example, here's Joan Walsh:

"Without being willing to walk away from the table, it's hard to convince the other side you mean business."

On its own, that's excellent advice. I learned it from my grandfather and it has served me well in my life.

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[NOTE: All of this goes out the window if the HCR bill doesn't pass. That said...]

If you don't think the following piece from Alex Pareene is funny then you're probably a bill-killer.


Just kidding...or not?

News of First Major Progressive Legislation in 30 Years Enrages Liberals

Excerpts below the fold:


Let's turn back the clock and start over on HCR

26%23 votes
2%2 votes
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| 87 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:37 AM PST

We Need More "Unum" & Less "Pluribus"

by arubyan

Fact is, politics is about uniting your friends and dividing your enemies. Unity builds strength, strength means victory, while division means defeat.

E Pluribus Unum, baby: Out of Many, One. Or as I like to put it "We're all in this thing together."

And/But if we fight -- hammer and tongs -- against each other (for example) about stripping the mandates out of the bill, what does that accomplish? It only unites and strengthens our enemies. After all, they were the ones who made the same argument against Social Security -- "Why should I pay when I won't get the benefit?"

Worse yet, "Why should I pay taxes, when I can spend the money better on what I want and need?"

If we are divided along that fault line, the Republicans will beat us over the head in the 2010 campaign and say, "We told you. We told you so. We told you that IT'S YOUR MONEY, not the government's."

Who wants to see people who belive that become more united? I don't.

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I'm sick to death of how the HCR effort has gone so far.

But I will not allow the present circumstances to discourage me and neither can you.

You know, a certain Senator would get no greater satisfaction knowing that we've joined him in that bubbling cauldron of hatred and misery he's been simmering in for years. He wants company and he's willing to make your life miserable to get it. It's what motivates and animates him.

I won't give him the satisfaction -- and neither should you.

We can't afford all the fingerpointing among people who should be united. We've let him divide us -- and he is gloating about it!

Don't let him make that happen -- it's a distraction.

So I'll quote Winston Churchill who said, "When you're walking through hell, just keep walking."

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Hear me out.

Joe Lieberman loves it when we get mad, right? I'm pretty sure that's what this is all about -- pissing us off. I'm just guessing that he probably hates that we dumped him in favor of Ned Lamont. So he is exacting revenge on the Democratic party any way he can.

What. Ever.

Two can play that "don't get mad, get even" game. Maybe the Dems could take away his chairmanship, but I have a better, more direct way to shut down Joe Lieberman right now.

Here's what I would do if I were the majority leader:


Filibuster the old school way: Read the phonebook & pee into a jug

87%51 votes
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I'm encouraged by what I'm reading about the Medicare buy-in. I'll have to wait -- like the rest of you -- to see how much of the devil is in the details. CBO scoring will tell us a lot. And we still don't know if this gets us to the vaunted 60-vote threshhold.

But the bottom line seems to be this: This proposal expands the reach of Medicare -- which means it expands the reach of single payer.

And that's a step in the right direction.


Expanding Medicare = Expanding Single Payer

65%39 votes
28%17 votes
3%2 votes
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| 60 votes | Vote | Results

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Last night, you saw the pictures and video from Eisenhower Hall where the president gave his speech.

The hall holds approximately 4500 people. Many (if not most) of those in attendance were cadets -- the very people who will likely fight this war going forward.

So when we talk about whether or not this plan is the "right one," whether we can believe in it, whether we even understand what it entails and what we might get back in return for doing it, I want you to focus on the realities:


The President's plan is the right one

21%7 votes
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