While most of the media is busy pushing rightwing talking points on the ACORN scandal, Glenn Greenwald puts the story into the proper perspective.
ACORN has received a grand total of $53 million in federal funds over the last 15 years -- an average of $3.5 million per year. Meanwhile, not millions, not billions, but trillions of dollars of public funds have been, in the last year alone, transferred to or otherwise used for the benefit of Wall Street. Billions of dollars in American taxpayer money vanished into thin air, eaten by private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, led by Halliburton subsidiary KBR.
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(First time on the rec list, thanks! Credit goes to Greenwald and ACORN)
Update: Sign the petition to support ACORN here.
Glenn nails this, so I'm just going to put up some quotes, for the full story go here.
All of those corporate interests employ armies of lobbyists and bottomless donor activities that ensure they dominate our legislative and regulatory processes, and to be extra certain, the revolving door between industry and government is more prolific than ever, with key corporate officials constantly ending up occupying the government positions with the most influence over those industries.
Exactly as one would expect, the prime beneficiaries of all of that pillaging continue to grow. The banks that almost brought the world economy to collapse but then received massive public largesse because they were "too big to fail" are now bigger than ever; as The Washington Post delicately put it: "The crisis may be turning out very well for many of the behemoths that dominate U.S. finance." Everything involving the government turns out well for these "behemoths" because they own and control the U.S. Government.
...and further more, it's not just finance, but also health insurance companies that get the keys to the halls of power.
As previously documented, Goldman Sachs itself has a virtual lock on the top Treasury positions no matter which party is in power. The vaunted bipartisan "Baucus plan" was literally written by a Baucus aide who just left her position as Vice President of Wellpoint to write the health care reform plan for the Senate -- a revelation which barely caused a ripple. And the Supreme Court is on the verge of striking down the few limits on corporate involvement in our politics, a ruling which may (or may not be) constitutionally defensible but which will flood American politics with so much corporate money that it will give new meaning to the term "oligarchy."
So with this massive pillaging of America's economic security and its control of American government by its richest and most powerful factions growing by the day, to whom is America's intense economic anxiety being directed? To a non-profit group that devotes itself to providing minute benefits to people who live under America's poverty line, and which is so powerless in Washington that virtually the entire U.S. Senate just voted to cut off its funding at the first sign of real controversy -- could anyone imagine that happening to a key player in the banking or defense industry?
Apparently, the problem for middle-class and lower-middle-class Americans is not that their taxpayer dollars are going to prop up billionaires, oligarchs and their corrupt industries. It's that America's impoverished -- a group that is growing rapidly -- is getting too much, has too much power and too little accountability.
and on the few grants that ACORN actually gets:
As for ACORN, nobody is apologizing for them or suggesting that they've done nothing wrong. Any group that large will have individuals in it who do bad things. The issue is one of proportion. If someone ostensibly opposes government waste and unfairness in tax policy yet spends most of their time focusing on a tiny group that helps the poor and receives a miniscule amount of government money -- all while ignoring or even revering the enormous, omnipotent industries which eat up trillions in taxpayer waste and dwarf the impact of ACORN by many, many magnitudes -- then any rational person would question what the real motives are (and the claim that ACORN is "Now Eligible for up to $8 billion" is pure Beckian deceit; they (like every other group in the U.S.) are theoretically "eligible" for any stimulus funds in the areas in which they work, but they haven't received a penny of it, and the chances they'd receive all or most of it are, and always have been, zero).
and Glenn finally nails the true intent of the attacks on the nation's largest poor peoples' group.
ACORN isn't just being mentioned in passing as something that needs an examination; it's dominating headlines and the obsessions of the Fox News movement, despite the fact that it's a tiny, microscopic drop in the bucket even when assessed by the principles the protesters claim to support [by a vote of 345-75, the Democratic-led House just joined the Senate in voting to cut off all funds to ACORN; I'm sure the courageous Congress will be doing that to Blackwater, KBR, Citibank, lawbreaking telecoms and many other corrupt corporations who own them any moment now). Claiming you're worried about large government and taxpayer waste while fixating on ACORN proves the insincerity of the ostensible concern, let alone doing so while cheering on the same Wall Street banks, defense contractors, and insurance industries that control and expand government power for their own benefit.
Video of ACORN's Bertha Lewis on MSNBC is here.
I can't get it to embed.
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