Tag Archives: Citizens United

Thom Hartmann Names Names of Senate Republican Gun-Lobby Whores

While Congressional Democrats conduct a righteous gun control “sit-in,” and 92% of the American people long for common sense gun reform, you may wonder who exactly are the people blocking an assault weapons ban and voting to arm terrorists? Well, wonder no more. Thanks to a crusading liberal author and talk-show host, we now have the names of the Republican man-servants of the NRA.

Thom Hartmann, in an article he wrote for Op-ed News, exposes the diabolical corruption:

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the NRA contributed a total of more than $36 million to 50 Republican senators over the course of their careers, according to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. And there are 10 Republican senators, representing 10 percent of the votes in the Senate, who have gotten an average of $3 million apiece over the course of their careers. These include veteran lawmakers like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has brought in at least $1.3 million over his 30-year career; Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who have each received $1.4 million over their careers; and Pat Roberts from Kansas who has gotten nearly $1.6 million over the last 20 years. Sen. John McCain tops the list, though, by raking in nearly $8 million from the NRA over his 30-year career in the Senate.

“Then there are the junior lawmakers, like Tom Cotton from Arkansas, who has only been serving in the Senate since last year and has already received $1.9 million in money from the NRA and its buddies. And in just the first two years of serving in office, Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy has brought in $2.9 million for his votes against gun regulation, while Iowa’s Joni Ernst brought in $3.1 million, Cory Gardner from Colorado has brought in $3.9 million and Thom Tillis has gotten $4.4 million.

“Considering the fact that the NRA has spent over $16 million on five freshmen senators alone, and considering the fact that half of the members of the Senate have gotten donations of some size from the gun lobby, it really shouldn’t come as any surprise that our lawmakers won’t pass popular gun control legislation.

“If we ever do want to see common-sense gun control legislation passed, we need to get money out of politics, we need to overturn Citizens United and we need to get the corrupting influence of corporate lobbyists out of our political system. Because as former President Jimmy Carter has pointed out, we’re no longer living in a democracy where US politicians listen to the will of the American people.”

 

How The Rich Are Killing Us And Democracy

It’s hard to call America a democracy any longer. That’s because it is rapidly becoming a plutocracy, a place where a small handful of super-rich people control everything: tax rates, elections, laws, judges, business regulations (or lack thereof), climate, even life and death.

In 2014 the Washington Times reported that the wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation’s wealth; the bottom 80% own 7%. We now know those numbers are even worse. The richest 1% in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Think about that for a second. An extremely small minority of people own more, and have vastly more say in everything, than all the rest of us combined. It’s like the rich guy at the Super Bowl party of 100 people taking every slice of pizza and leaving just a small portion of one slice for the other 99 people. The gap between the top 10% and the middle class is over 1,000%; that increases another 1000% for the top 1%. The average employee needs to work more than a month to earn what the CEO earns in one hour. In Inequality for All—a 2013 documentary with Robert Reich in which he argued that income inequality is the defining issue for the United States—Reich states that 95% of economic gains went to the top 1% net worth since 2009 when the recovery allegedly started.

With their enormously excessive wealth, the super-rich are buying the government. A recent story in the Washington Post contained some stunning information:
• $486 million was spent by outside groups on Senate races in 2014
• More than $1 billion in super PAC has been spent since Citizens United
• Fewer than 200 people were responsible for more than $600 million of super PAC spending since 2010

And there is this from Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders: Across all federal elections since Citizens United was decided in 2010, there has been more than $1 billion in super PAC spending, reports the Brennan Center. Just 195 individuals and their spouses gave almost 60 percent of that money — more than $600 million. Forget about the top 1 percent. The top .01 percent of income earners are responsible for more than 40 percent of campaign contributions.

The rich are not just buying our government, though, they are also killing us…literally. How do inequality and health relate? Increasing evidence from scientists the world over indicates that many health outcomes — everything from life expectancy to infant mortality and obesity — can be linked to the level of economic inequality within a given population. Greater economic inequality appears to lead to worse health outcomes. By greater inequality, epidemiologists — the scientists who study the health of populations — don’t just mean poverty. Poor health and poverty do go hand-in-hand. How do inequality and health relate? Increasing evidence from scientists the world over indicates that many health outcomes — everything from life expectancy to infant mortality and obesity — can be linked to the level of economic inequality within a given population. Greater economic inequality appears to lead to worse health outcomes. By greater inequality, epidemiologists — the scientists who study the health of populations — don’t just mean poverty. Poor health and poverty do go hand-in-hand. But high levels of inequality, the epidemiological research shows, negatively affect the health of even the affluent, mainly because, researchers contend, inequality reduces social cohesion, which leads to more stress, fear, and insecurity for everyone. But high levels of inequality, the epidemiological research shows, negatively affect the health of even the affluent, mainly because, researchers contend, inequality reduces social cohesion, which leads to more stress, fear, and insecurity for everyone. Approximately one-third of annual deaths in the USA, epidemiological researchers say, are caused by the nation’s excessive inequality.

Further proof that income/wealth inequality has a direct relationship to health comes from analyzing Scandanavian countries where socialized medicine provides free health care to citizens. There the infant mortality rate is about 2%, three times lower than that in the United States.

I foresee a day when the richest .01% will consign the rest of us to decaying slums, devoid of edible food, drinkable water, decent health care, and scant legal or social recourse to do anything about it. This scenario is at the very heart of every Republican’s dream. In a ruthless, dog-eat-dog, Darwinian world (imagine the irony) it is the ultimate “American Dream” outcome. The GOP motto should be, “I have mine, and I want yours too. I want it all. That’s what America is all about.”

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4