Corporate Money, Corporate Press, Corporate Congress

Some astute and somewhat outrageous comments by outgoing Congressman John Hall in The New York Observer should cause pause and some good discussions. That is, if any one pays attention to them.

Speaking about the Citizen’s United decision, which allowed unregulated flow of cash into campaign coffers, Hall said, “I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called Fascism. So that’s really the question— is that the destination if this court decision goes unchecked?”

That’s the astute part.  The outrageous part is “the flow of corporate dollars is why he and the Democrats lost control of Congress”.  Well, imho, there’s some yes and no in that.  Here’s a CNN corporate sponsored poll that may shine some light on that.

President Barack Obama enters the new year with a growing number of Americans pessimistic about his policies and a growing number rooting for him to fail, according to a new national poll.

Full poll results [pdf]

But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday also indicates that while a majority of the public says Republican control of the House of Representatives is good for the country, only one in four say the GOP will do a better job running things than the Democrats did when they controlled the chamber.

Sixty-one percent of people questioned in the poll say they hope the president’s policies will succeed.

“That’s a fairly robust number but it’s down 10 points since last December,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Twelve months ago a majority of the public said that they thought Obama’s policies would succeed; now that number has dropped to 44 percent, with a plurality predicting that his policies will likely fail.”

There’s a large number of people out there that seem to see no real difference between the Republicans, INC. and Democrats Inc. in terms of outcomes. They hope the explicitly stated goals of Obama policy succeed.  They doubt the laws passed support those goals.  They believe they will fail.  I think people see the disconnect between the rhetoric and the product delivered now. I honestly don’t believe that voters put the Republicans in charge of the house because they love Republican policy, if these polls mean anything.  That poll and many others show voters support the outcomes of authentically Democratic policy.  I believe this election was more a play for gridlock simply because they don’t see what’s been passed as achieving the ends of what they want.  They believe it will fail.

How many people really want the kinds of things pushed by John Bohener who–as an example–just met with culture thug Randall Terry and other monsters of the Republican base after their mid-November victory lap? There’s only so far you can get by pushing a repeal to DADT on the basis of  gays and straights showering together.   This is especially true when the vast majority of people support repeal. Remember Terry Schiavo?  Played well with the base but horrified the country?  What would happen if we saw more reporting of this kind of thing on CNN?   I bet you never saw that before I pointed it out to you via Salon.

Let’s get back to Hall’s comments.

The extra money floating around, he said, compounded the Democrats’ weaknesses on the economy, unemployment and the mortgage crisis. And he said that for of the accomplishments of the lame duck Congress, their failure to pass the Disclose Act—which would have at least forced corporations to reveal who they were donating to—stood out a as a black mark on the session.

“We are talking about supposedly wholesome names like Revere America, American Crossroads, Americans for Apple Pie and Motherhood—if somebody hasn’t trademarked that one I probably should.  The fact is you can call it anything and the money could be coming from BP or Aramco or any corporation domestic or foreign,” Congressman Hall said.

Well, that’s a good point.  I’m still pushing for congress critterz to be forced to wear NASCR-like jackets listing their top corporate contributors as long as they’re in office.  That would include the ones hiding behind their advocacy ad creating subsidiaries okayed by SCOTUS, INC.  I’m still not certain that the extra money floating around was the reason for The Big Shellac.  I’m still guessing that every one was hoping to stop the Washington DC Pork Train and laws so long and complex that no one can really figure out what they really do.  These are the laws that people think will fail them.  If anything, we should see a slow down of that process. I think the American people want to slow the process down so they can figure out if it’s good or bad for them and if it will achieve what they support.

BUT, The Big Shellac came at the high cost of forwarding Republican laws and agendas that please the Republican Bircher Base.  Plus, there’s more possible SCOTUS fights and appointments that only please the Bircher and Religionist Base.  Hence, the nice get together with Randall Terry whom Salon described as:

Randall Terry is a psychopath, an antiabortion zealot who endorses domestic terror and compares coldblooded murderers to heroic abolitionists. He’s also a ridiculous character whose true calling is self-promotion, by any means necessary.

He long ago went from prominent figure in the raging abortion debate to desperate self-parody. He renounced his gay son, left his wife for a campaign volunteer, and sought a reality television show. If it weren’t for YouTube, no one would’ve even noticed his inflammatory statements about the murder of Dr. George Tiller. In short, Randall Terry’s not only an extremist nutcase, he’s also old news.

But now that the Republicans are back, this faded celebrity is mounting a comeback. Terry’s most recent e-mail blast featured a photo of the radical Catholic cleric sitting down with incoming Speaker John Boehner himself. “With Boehner’s chief of staff, after the election,” the caption read. (Terry also presented the incoming speaker with a fetus doll resting on some sort of “decree.”)

A Speaker of the House Boehner does not return to Congress to any degree of sanity. I won’t even go in to the incredible problems some one must have to cry that much and drink that hard.  A Republican congress  just increases the show factor, imho.  It also brings us back to the idea that we not only need to get corporate money out of politics,we need it out of the press. The CNN indicates that the President is likable enough, he’s just not focused on the right things.  That’s where the money comes in.  If congressional leaders and the White House continue to go back and forth between corporate and state interests and the only folks with real access are either groups that can deliver zealous voters and big bucks, we’re in trouble.  We’re especially in trouble of the press continues on in its route of  “sins of omission” that appear  to play into the hands of their advertisers and the interests of government. The Village does not want to run off their advertisers and the few readers/viewers left standing.

This is the importance of Wikileaks and independent media organizations like Democracy Now. They produce things of Public Interest that  are not censored, swayed, or bullied by corporate and state interests.  As we’ve seen in one after another of the dribbles of diplomatic cables coming from European press, there appears to be a lot of  melding of corporate and state interests.  This is not good for any one but corporate and authoritarian state interests.   European press is filtering the leaked diplomatic cables right now. The majority of them remain out of the public domain.  The European papers are less corporate than their U.S. counterparts which is better.  We may still not actually see all of the material.   Press, government and corporate interests are way too cozy in this country.  If you go back to what Congressman Hall said, it’s the classic definition of fascism.

update: I wanted to add the link above on the  “classic definition of fascism” because I just read some posts from right wing sources linked to this article at Mememorandum that are obviously trying to rewrite history.  I’ve linked to the writings of Mussolini.  This is part of the definition of fascism as put forward by Mussolini.  Socialism and Marxism are NOT fascism in Mussolini’s definition.  The right frequently tries to shove them into the same package.  It was a post war trick used to focus hate of Nazis/Facism over to our former allies, the Soviets.  Mussolini wrote this in 1932 as part of his definition.

…Fascism [is] the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production…. Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect. And if the economic conception of history be denied, according to which theory men are no more than puppets, carried to and fro by the waves of chance, while the real directing forces are quite out of their control, it follows that the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied – the natural progeny of the economic conception of history. And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society.

I think if you go read it much of it sounds like the Republican manifesto.

“Given that the nineteenth century was the century of Socialism, of Liberalism, and of Democracy, it does not necessarily follow that the twentieth century must also be a century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy …”

Mussolini spit out the world socialism, liberalism, and democracy in the same way the Bircher wing of the Republican party spits those words out.

40 Comments on “Corporate Money, Corporate Press, Corporate Congress”

  1. NW Luna says:

    I’m still not certain that the extra money floating around was the reason for The Big Shellac. I’m still guessing that every one was hoping to stop the Washington DC Pork Train and laws so long and complex that no one can really figure out what they really do.

    Agree. The excessive money sucked up by candidates is a distraction and a buy-off of/by corporate media. But voters are not happy with either party’s performances; they know America has turned into the country of have-nots and the have-mores.

  2. grayslady says:

    Having thoroughly reviewed the CNN poll, here is my conclusion: most voters are idiots, and so is CNN Polling for including anyone in the results who doesn’t know who Nancy Pelosi is after 4 years as Speaker (10% have never heard of her? sheesh!). Then we have over 60% of non-whites who think that a combination of Obama plus a Repub congress is going to save the country. Who *are* these people? Talk about ill-informed! Truly frightening.

    • dakinikat says:

      Well, given the level of press we have today, I don’t wonder why most voters are uninformed. They leave out tons of information and a lot of the news shows are just spin from one party or the other!

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I saw something about people being interviewed with photos of Pelosi, Boehner, that Situation guy and that Smookie (whatever her name is on that Jersey show) And no one knew Pelosi and Boehner, but they all knew the other two. It is sad, I am reminded about that movie Idiocracy.

      • HT says:

        Minx, glad you brought up Idiocracy. We’re living the prelude, and it’s horrifying. I worry about my kids living in that kind of world, yet feel helpless at turning the tide.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Nice post, Dak. I think it is truly shocking that a House Speaker of either party would have Randall Terry as a guest. Terry is a terrorist if anyone is. He advocates the murder of doctors and the harrassment of women who are seeking medical care during a difficult time in their lives.

    This just shows how ignorant many Americans are and how useless the corporate media is as a source of basic information about what politicians are doing.

    • dakinikat says:

      My guess is that none of the MSM carried that story and put out any information about Randall Terry. They entertain any more rather than inform. Plus, for some reason, the right wing has got them convinced that telling the truth about people like Randall Terry is biased press. I’m not sure how many politically correct ways you can domestic terrorist and sociopath but we need to find them. The right has them spewing untruths under the heading of equal time for equal opinions.

  4. fiscalliberal says:

    Hi – just got back from all day ski hill and pizza dinner with my kids and grandchildren. John Hall comes from a very Republican district (near or in Westchester NY) A acquaintance of mine was his campaign manager – I thought he was a good guy and would expect he got caught up in the anti Obama surge.

    In my view, the real problem is the lobbyists ability to slip legislation in just before the vote and people do not know about it means the Democratic Leadership is complicit in all of this. Hall is a lone wolf in the night

    • dakinikat says:

      wow, skiing is so great!! If there was snow, I was skiing on hills or mountains where every I could find them!

      Hall seems like a nice guy and he’s only been there since 2006. Not too much time.

  5. glennmcgahee says:

    My partner and I used to watch Democracy Now alot and marveled at their stories that never made it into the MSM. I no longer have Dish so I don’t get the show any longer. I’d rather see that than have NPR which has become a parody of Progressive values and Obamaism.

  6. Branjor says:

    From corporate money to abortion all in one post. No matter what the subject it always leads to the same place. Control of women, control of women, control of women.

    Great for Hall that he can play the “good guy” here, but no matter how many “good guys” there supposedly are, we always end up in exactly the same place. Now why is that?

    • bostonboomer says:


      This post isn’t about abortion or the control of women. It’s about fascism. It’s about government control of all people–men and women, boys and girls.

      It’s about Boehner inviting Randall Terry into the Speaker’s office. Randall Terry who urged the murder of George Tiller and applauded the man who killed him.

      You seem to have a one-track mind these days. If you can’t let go of this constant refrain that all men are evil, we are going to have to moderate your comments.

      • Branjor says:

        Yes, I know the post was supposedly about more than just control of women. But it does seem to always get back to that, as one of the main issues if not the only one.

        I don’t get your point about Boehner – R. Terry may have approved of Tiller’s murder, but he wouldn’t have been in Boehner’s office if he wasn’t an anti abortion fanatic.

        I thought Mussolini’s definition of fascism had been lost. Thanks for resurrecting it.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Supposedly? The post isn’t about “control of women.” Period. Please stop.
          You’re in moderation for now. I’ll let you out in the morning if you can focus on something else for a change. You’ve sidetracked enough threads for one day.

          • Valhalla says:

            Even if the post was about “control of women”, so what? It’s not as if the blogworld is exactly overflowing with feminust analysis. It’s not really a criticism. (although it is an annoyance!).

          • Branjor says:

            Hi, valhalla, it wasn’t supposed to be a criticism. Agreed that the blogworld is not overflowing with feminist analysis. I wanted the subject to be more discussed, not less. It was an extremely awkward attempt on my part to point out the connection between what I called “control of women” (whatever, I find it hard to find words sometimes) and even the subject of this post, which seemed to be far removed.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Sometimes there is a context to things that not everyone is aware of. We are trying our best to keep this blog civil and friendly. Of course it wouldn’t be a problem if that is what the post were about. The problem comes when a person becomes so focused on a specific divisive issue that they attempt to sidetrack every discussion with it.

          • Valhalla says:

            I getcha. Classic derailment!

  7. paper doll says:

    “Democracy Now ” is vastly better than MSM lord knows…but they jackbooted for Obama early and hard…Amy Goodman’is a brilliant woman and her area of expertize is Indonesia…she had to know who and what spawn of Ford Foundation, step son of Oil man Obama was and is …and yet she pushed him with a religious fever…just remember that when watching DN. Amy could not have been fooled….so what was she up to? I , myself, can no longer bring myself to watch….because I saw what happened in late 2007 early 2008. The show became ” Obama Now!”

    A great source of news off the MSM radar imo is

    with real socialists, not phony ones ….always great stories NOT covered
    by what we laughingly call the ” news ” media

  8. Woman Voter says:

    Hall said, “I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called Fascism.

    YUP! Say it again on LIVE TV Please, but alas they won’t. Person status to corps is simply wrong in my humble opinion.

    Well, that’s a good point. I’m still pushing for congress critterz to be forced to wear NASCR-like jackets listing their top corporate contributors as long as they’re in office.

    YUP, and they all would have Big Oil and the Millionaire/Billionaire Club on them. Your comment got a big laugh out of me, because some would probably ask for donations for a bigger SIGN spot or a battery pack operated flashing sign.

    Also, can you believe Obama calling (spontaneously) on behalf of that Vic (sp), but it took him 50 Days to meet with the Gulf survivors and families of those lost in the incident. (((shaking head)))

    • Also, can you believe Obama calling (spontaneously) on behalf of that Vic (sp), but it took him 50 Days to meet with the Gulf survivors and families of those lost in the incident. (((shaking head)))

      For some reason this reminded me of that “we need to investigate Hillary’s tears… where were her tears for Katrina” episode. When what really needing investigating was Obama’s priorities.

  9. glennmcgahee says:

    Thanks for the website info about Democracy Now btw.
    Gridlock is what people were hoping for. They just didn’t realize the Presidency would join the other side as well. I just read an article in a Tribune paper about the results being felt because of the 1 page gov’t budget that was passed instead of the actual budget. It tells about Food Banks closing, most Social Services frozen because the allocations are in jeapordy.

  10. joanelle says:

    I honestly don’t believe that voters put the Republicans in charge of the house because they love Republican policy, if these polls mean anything
    In fact, I was at a holiday party where I entered into a conversation with my Repub representative and told him just that. He was happy about the “shift” and I told him as far as I was concerned it wasn’t a “shift” but a reminder to the Dems that “you all are supposed to be representing us. They didn’t; and if the Repubs don’t we’ll do the same thing to you during the next election. It’s time those of you in D.C. pay attention to those of us who sent you there.”

  11. Gary Boisclair says:

    Dear dakinikat and bostonboomer, et al:

    Point of clarification: I, Gary Boisclair, personally called Boehner’s office to let them know of the arrival of Randall Terry, along with myself, and some of our Insurrecta Nex team. Boehner’s office did not invite us. They showed the same basic courtesy that most congressional offices show to groups of concerned citizens.

    The reason we showed up to Boehner’s office had nothing to do with friendship. We went there to challenge him. Plain and simple.

    bostonboomer says: “Terry is a terrorist if anyone is. He advocates the murder of doctors…”
    I reply: It sounds like Tiller is a hero for you. If you would get to know Tiller, then do a quick review of Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi who became famous for horrific tortures and killings of Jews. Tiller personally murdered 60,000 innocent babies. Yes: 60,000.

    Randall Terry advocates justice for the unborn babies; he wished for Tiller what the Allied Nations wished for the Nazi war criminals: that “Dr.” Tiller be tried in a court of law for his serial murders–remember the Nuremberg Trials–no difference between Tiller and the “Angel of Death,” Mengele. None.

    I invite you to leave your sophomoric reasoning behind. Get to know your history. Get to know how Tiller made his millions.

    • dakinikat says:

      I knew Dr. Tiller. Did you? Oh, I forget you’re a well known psychostalker.

      Fertilized eggs are no more babies than a plate of scrambled eggs is fried chicken. Sophomoric reasoning appears to be your specialty. Your obvious confusion between living, breathing human beings and zygotes is about all I have to know about your intellectual capacity. Go take it to a less-informed crowd. Still can’t believe the FBI hasn’t deposited you in Guantanamo yet with all the other terror suspects.

    • joanelle says:

      Good grief, what kind of rationale is that?

      Gary, go back to bed.

      • dakinikat says:

        This guy’s a professional stalker that hides behind the first amendment… he’s been at it for years. He and his friend Randall Terry make a living out of deliberately agitating confused people.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh, for heaven’s sake. No difference between Tiller and Megele?

      {hysterical laughter}

      Mengele wasn’t trying to save women’s lives, you disgusting psychopath. He experimented on living human beings.

      Randall Terry advocates justice for the unborn babies; he wished for Tiller what the Allied Nations wished for the Nazi war criminals: that “Dr.” Tiller be tried in a court of law for his serial murders

      Wrong, moron. Randall Terry advocates murder of real live human beings. You want to help babies? Help some. Babies are children who have been born and are not getting sustenance form someone else’s body.

      Now get lost.

  12. dakinikat says:

    Here’s another tale of fascism. This one is about Obama’s ‘car Tzar’ Rattner and his history of kleptocratic behavior. Also, one that just simply amazes me when these memes come out that Obama hates bankers now, doesn’t listen to business people, and is a socialist. Yea. Right.

    Wall Street financier Steven Rattner has agreed to pay $10 million and refrain from doing business with any New York pension funds for five years, settling an often acrimonious battle with soon-to-leave New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

    The settlement, announced Thursday afternoon, caps Mr. Cuomo’s investigation of Mr. Rattner’s alleged role in a scandal that engulfed the New York Common Retirement Fund, the state’s flagship pension fund for public employees.

    In public statements and court papers, Mr. Cuomo said Mr. Rattner, a former Obama administration official and founding principal of private-equity firm Quadrangle Group LLC, essentially traded favors for access to the state’s $125 billion fund.

    Those allegations took on an increasingly personal, bitter tone. In November, Mr. Cuomo’s spokesman accused Mr. Rattner of “the most egregious of all the actions in the New York ‘pay to play’ scam. He effectively stole from the taxpayers, defrauded the state pension fund and then lied to this office about it.”

    The settlement concluded with Mr. Rattner not admitting to any wrongdoing. In a lawsuit filed in November, Mr. Cuomo was seeking to collect $26 million from Mr. Rattner and bar him from the securities industry in New York for the rest of his life.

    In a statement, the former Lazard banker and U.S. “auto czar” said, “I am pleased to have reached a settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office, which allows me to put this matter behind me. I apologize if during the course of this process there is anything I did that may have made reaching this agreement more difficult.”

    So outrageous even the WSJ recognizes it.

  13. Valhalla says:

    I’m still pushing for congress critterz to be forced to wear NASCR-like jackets listing their top corporate contributors as long as they’re in office.

    Brilliant! I’m behind you 100%!