Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Defending The Middle Class

Lou Dobbs posts a seriously good commentary about the war on the middle class and how and why we should fight back.
They've accomplished this through large campaign contributions, armies of lobbyists that have swamped Washington, and control of political and economic think tanks and media. Lobbyists, in fact, are the arms dealers in the war on the middle class, brokering money, influence and information between their clients our elected officials.

Yet in my entire career, I've literally never heard anyone in Congress argue that lobbyists are bad for America. In 1968 there were only 63 lobbyists in Washington. Today, there are more than 34,000, and lobbyists now outnumber our elected representatives and their staffs by a 2-to-1 margin.

According to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, from 1998 through 2004, lobbyists spent nearly $12 billion to not only influence legislation, but in many cases to write the language of the laws and regulations.

Individual firms, corporations and national organizations spent a record $2.14 billion on lobbying members of Congress and 220 other federal agencies in 2004, according to PoliticalMoneyLine. That's nearly $6 million a day spent to influence our leaders. We really do have the best government money can buy.
That is almost funny except that while Congress may act like the Keystone Cops they have been as efficient as the KGB in eliminating positive routes of escape for the poor and middle class.
In both Republican and Democratic administrations, Congress has passed and sustained billions of dollars in royalty payments and subsidies to big oil companies; pushed through a corporate-written, consumer-crippling bankruptcy law; embraced the death of the estate tax; approved every free trade deal brought to a vote; and supported illegal immigration for the sake of cheap labor.

The party strategists and savants are telling us that fewer Americans will turn out to the polls than ever before, disgusted by a disgraced former congressman. But we don't have to wait for the midterm elections to begin to engage in our new political life.
That may be so, but voter interest is quite high, let's hope that talk translates into action.

North Korea, what a fine kettle of fish and it stinks. Imposing economic sanctions is going to do nothing but torque them off, as if we care. I actually do care but once again I'm in the minority. When you back a tired, hungry, anxious animal into a corner and then poke it, you can expect a blind unreasoning attack in an effort to get away. Nobody likes being backed into a corner. I don't care how many countries jump on board it won't make a difference.

What are people expecting? That North Korea will be properly chastened and deliver all of their nuclear materials to the DMZ and say we won't do it anymore? That is some crazy stuff the administration is smoking if they think that is going to happen. While I keep hearing that the explosion wasn't big enough to be viable, I'm thinking it was big enough for a suitcase bomb since North Korea sells everything it makes and no matter what sanctions are imposed, bad people will always want weapons.

Unfortunately, the writing has been on the wall for a while, I noticed it with my younger brother and teenagers are completely lost because it doesn't fit in with their world. I hardly ever use cursive because my hand cramps up and that is what keyboards are for, isn't it?

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