Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

Democrats’ Anti-Koch Attacks Have a Familiar Ring

There is an oddly familiar ring to Democrats’ escalating attacks on the conservative billionaire Koch brothers.

In 2010, then-White House adviser David Axelrod decried the undisclosed, unrestricted money bankrolling outside conservative groups as “a threat to our democracy.” This year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been blasting the Kochs as “un-American” and accusing them of “trying to buy America.”

The comparison bodes poorly for Democrats now dumping millions into their campaign to demonize the Kochs in what appears to be a central piece of their midterm elections strategy. In 2010, unrestricted conservative outside groups funded by industrialists Charles and David Koch helped knock House Democrats out of power in a historic GOP upset. This time around, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity has already spent some $27 million attacking Democrats, focusing squarely on the party’s most vulnerable Senate incumbents.

But it’s unclear how much Democrats have learned from the last midterms. Yes, Democrats have established their own network of unrestricted super PACs, casting off any pretense of taking the political-money high road. This election’s top-spending super PAC so far is the pro-Democrat Senate Majority PAC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and liberal super PACs have spent almost double that of their conservative counterparts.

The anti-Koch attacks are now the subject of a $3 million Senate Majority PAC ad campaign — essentially a retread of liberal assaults on big money in 2010. In those elections, the first to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling in early 2010 to lift all limits on independent political spending, Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse bemoaned the “growing and pernicious effects of secret, special interest money being used to determine the outcome of our elections.”

This time, the Democrats’ attacks on big money are being leveled more personally at the Kochs and their Koch Industries Inc. conglomerate. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee portrays Republicans as “addicted to Koch.” A Web ad by American Bridge 21st Century, the Democratic super PAC and tracking organization, calls the Koch agenda “bad for the middle class.”

Officials for Koch Industries have criticized the attacks as an intimidation campaign designed to deflect attention from Democrats’ own agenda. Organizers for Americans for Prosperity, a social welfare group that operates outside the disclosure rules, maintain that their objective is to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

But the group’s ads hammer on vulnerable Democrats in states such as Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina, and they are expanding into campaign-style organizing, door-knocking and voter mobilization. Some speculate that the anti-Koch attacks leveled by Reid and his allies are a distress signal to liberal donors.

Democrats say their complaints against the Kochs are rooted in their policy differences with Republicans. The anti-Koch campaign hammers on populist themes such as economic equity and entitlements for seniors, and portrays Republicans as the party of moneyed interests.

As American Bridge spokeswoman Gwen Rocco put it: “The real reason the Kochs have already spent tens of millions on attacks this cycle is to undermine voters’ confidence in government and drive their conservative agenda that enriches the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle and working class.”

In Arkansas, where GOP Rep. Tom Cotton is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, Pryor campaign officials estimate that Americans for Prosperity has spent $2.2 million on ads opposing the senator. Total outside spending against Pryor tops $5 million. Pryor accuses Cotton of being in the pocket of wealthy interests and argues that the representative’s votes against the farm bill and the Violence Against Women Act, for example, put him and the conservative groups that back him out of step with Arkansas voters.

“Obviously the outside money from these Republican groups is going to be large, and it’s likely that we will be outspent on TV,” Arkansas Democratic Party spokesman Patrick Burgwinkle said. “But what’s important for us is getting the message across that Congressman Cotton and these outside groups are just too reckless for Arkansas.”

In North Carolina, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan has launched a digital media campaign showing her GOP opponent, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, as aligned with the Kochs’ “bad-for-the-middle-class” policies. Americans for Prosperity has spent $8.3 million on ads opposing Hagan, according to numbers released by Hagan’s campaign.

Republicans dismiss the anti-Koch attacks as a sign of Democratic desperation. In 2010, voters largely ignored Democrats’ assaults on secret, unrestricted campaign money and delivered the House to Republicans in a 68-seat sweep. Democrats’ recent anti-Koch assaults are more rooted in substantive differences with Republicans on issues such as Medicare and the minimum wage. Still, it remains to be seen whether their campaign against moneyed interests will resonate any better with voters in the 2014 midterm elections than it did four years ago.

  • Eric_Mc

    So the Democrats are fighting a conservative big money campaign with an even bigger money campaign. Most of the Democrat money comes from Wall Street, George Soros and from firms in Silicon Valley whose income seems to be routed through foreign countries like Ireland and the Caymans so they don’t have to pay Federal income tax on it. If the Democrats were aligned with decent corporate interests and had issues they could actually run on, they wouldn’t need to vilify the Koch brothers.

    • Progressive Republican

      So long as the Koch’s behavior warrants vilification, it will continue.

      • ShadrachSmith

        The Democrat attack on big-money special-interests has been a consistent meme for decades now. That the Koch bros are this year’s poster boys is just tactical. The Lakoffian framing of only Republicans representing big-money special-interests is simply a basic Democrat framing of election cycles. With the help of the MSM, it has worked well.

        Big-money special-interests supporting Democrats are called public interest activism, or consumer advocacy. That is the MSM framing of the two parties contributors.

        Why do you think the Koch bros are bad? Other than you have been given Democrat approval to hate them?

        • Progressive Republican

          Howzabout we start with how their father made his fortune doing business with the Bolsheviks, or the similarities between them and the Tea-Baggers and move on from there, hmm?

  • Hajjster

    Anything to NOT talk about Obamacare.

    • Gentil Aquitaine

      The flip side of that is talking ONLY about Obamacare. I’m for anyone who will start talking about addressing regressive taxation, socialism for the rich, a TERRIBLE infrastructure, and a lack of blue collar jobs. The GOP’s only solutions involve tax cuts and austerity, both of which largely contribute to these problems; the Dems only solutions involve the Clintonian Third Way, which is basically maintaining a status quo.

      • left wing

        wrong, but never let a fact get in the way of your fantasy world

      • Hajjster

        Actually tax cuts and austerity is all we have. Cut taxes for economic growth and cut government for debt reduction.

        • Gentil Aquitaine

          We’ve tried that for 35 years. Guess what? Trickle-down don’t trickle (far from ‘trickle-down’ it is ‘Niagara up’) and austerity never results in sustained growth. All Republican economics accomplishes is to displace the present crisis of capitalism onto the state. There’s an argument to be made that what we need to do is return to the Keynesian model of controlled capitalism that guided the country through its economic Golden Age (1945-1968). But I’m not sold on that option either. We’re not living in the same economy we were in the 50s and 60s. Ours has been radically financialized and, thanks largely to Republican economics, its wealth is disproportionately concentrated in the hands of the investment class. What’s more, technology is quickly beginning to render the capitalist mode of production obsolete. It’s beginning to render money obsolete.

          It’s time to bury the dead and plan for a new kind of economy.

          • Progressive Republican

            Reaganomics is the economic equivalent of building a skyscraper from the top down. But that’s the Democrats’ fault for, um, whatever…

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            Reaganomics simply displaced the crisis of capitalism onto the state. That’s all it did… besides transferring an ungodly percentage of the nations wealth to the nations investment class. (Only to see them hit us up for a bail out in 2008!)

          • Hajjster

            Not true at all. The 2008 crisis came from Clinton’s enforcement of Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act (effectively forcing mortgagers to offer mortgages to subprime customers that couldn’t afford them) and Clinton’s repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (with Republican support) which created the market for the Fannie Mae etc. mortgages, bundled with a sweet AAA rating.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            I don’t make any distinction between Reagan Era deregulation and tax policies than those of the Clinton Era. Imo Clinton was no less a champion of trickle-down/Niagara-up than Reagan. And, yes, at the urging of Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and the rest, he signed off on the repeal of Glass-Stegall.

          • Hajjster

            Economics works a certain way and those that think it ceases working that way due to complexity and nuance are ignorant. Supply/demand/debt/credit/etc. always work a certain way. WE ARE DOING KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS (well it’s slowly morphed into crony capitalism thanks to the Democrats) but seriously, what do you think the Stimulus was? It failed.

            Furthermore, capitalism will never be rendered obsolete – even in the scummiest armpit of socialistic economics in North Korea the capitalist black market still thrives, with money!

            Perhaps you think you’re too smart for your own good, so let me make it very simple for you: resources are traded in only three ways: by force (socialism), by acknowledged request (charity/donations/etc.), or by using a common medium of exchange (capitalism/currency). There is no “nuanced” way around this. And Keynes doesn’t work – they’ve argued that we were in one of his “liquidity traps” and instead have put us in a QE trap that is impossible to escape.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            The stimulus was piss in the wind imo. It was Obama thinking he was FDR (and that FDR’s approach would work in 2009).

            And capitalism will be obsolete (an atavism), not for political reasons, but when technology effectively makes human labor redundant. In 10-15 years, all the work that will be necessary to run a functioning society will be able to be accomplished by a small fraction of the population. (Who needs a mode of production that is redundant? Who creates jobs that are superfluous?)

          • Hajjster

            The communists thought the same thing, but labor simply shifts, it never disappears. If technology makes capitalism redundant, than humans will be redundant. Then, the matrix.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            One would hope humanity would see the elimination of the need as a opportunity, but who knows. The instincts to dominate and destroy (that capitalism nurtures) may be so strong that we occupy our time with warfare.

          • Hajjster

            What utter bull. If anything, the capitalism and the constitutional republic (where the people own the government) that ensures its survival are the only things that prevents the violence.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            It would a step in the right direction if the people owned the government. They do not, however. Corporations and they investment class do. Why? Their takeover of the institution was a function of capitalism. (It’s part of the system.) Capitalism is by nature anti-democratic. Which is why the Chinese are so good at it!!!

            If it has one, this is capitalism’s future: ‘Capitalism with Asian Values’.

          • Hajjster

            Again, untrue. The crony capitalism in the Democratic party (which trends socialist) naturally attracted the big-company winners of commerce. The Dems sponsored TARP, the GM bailout, Stimulus, Dodd-Frank etc, to pick their corporate winners and crush their minor-league losers.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            TARP was the work of your ilk, chief. It was exactly what Bush and Paulson were pushing for… and that agent of “change you can believe in” took it up. (Really, once Obama started with his economic appointment: Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and the rest, everyone with a brain knew what was up.) Here’s the point—a point you Fox News acolytes can’t seem to get through your thick skulls—THE GOP AND THE DEMS ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. One party placates one base, while the other placates the other… both maintain the status quo and the usual latitudes of acceptance.

            As for socialism… pfft… the only socialist in Washington is Bernie Sanders. The only socialist doctrine we’ve pushed since the mid-70s has been ‘Socialism for the Rich and Capitalism for all the Rest’.

            What would a socialist have done in lieu of TARP? He would have nationalized the banks. He would have ended the Bush Tax Cuts (90% of which have been retained by Obama, by the way). He would have provided relief for those who needed it (the homeowners who had all the equity sucked out of their homes due to the crash of the Wall Street casino). And he would have put nuts in a vice: on Wall Street, in the Chamber of Commerce, in the energy industry. Whether it would have worked or not, who knows? (Nationalizing banks worked for Iceland.) We have a moderate Republic President posing as president. We a Democratic Party in bed with Wall Street. We have half of Congress and more than half of the State Houses bought out by the Brothers Koch. And we have a GOP that is buying into Randian Objectivism as it once bought into the Southern Evangelicals.

          • jm313

            Both parties in general support corporate welfare. Both parties are too be blamed for the problems we have today.

        • Progressive Republican

          Actually your suggestions have been tried numerous times in the past and have never ever worked for anyone except those already wealthy.

          Screw the other 90+%, eh?

          • Hajjster

            Except for that time that Reagan turned double digit interest rates and unemployment into a successful economy right? (in which the lowest quartile earned 20% more in 5 years) Or Harding’s cut of 1/3 of the federal budget that resulted in 10 years of outlandish wealth, which ended in depression when his policies came to an end?

          • Progressive Republican

            Seriously?

            Reagan caused those double-digit interest rates.

            And your definition of “success” lacks accuracy.

            In his 1980 campaign speeches, Reagan presented his economic proposals as a return to the free enterprise principles that had been in favor before, as well as the cause of, the Great Depression.

            Remember? Your statement of, “Harding’s cut of 1/3 of the federal budget that resulted in 10 years of outlandish wealth, which ended in depression when his policies came to an end?” is only partially correct. I mean you do realize that the vast majority of Americans did not benefit from Harding’s policies, right?

            Unless you’re gonna try and b.s. me with the latest FRWNJ line about the Depression being nothing more than a liberal deception and that it never really happened.

            No?

            Well, at least there’s that.

            Harding’s policies were a direct cause of the Depression.

            During World War I, federal spending grew three times larger than tax collections. When the government cut back spending to balance the budget in 1920 (which you referenced), a severe recession resulted (which you unsurprisingly failed to mention).

            However, the war economy invested heavily in the manufacturing sector, and the next decade did see an explosion of productivity… although only for certain sectors of the economy.

            An average of 600 banks failed each year.

            Over the decade, about 1,200 mergers swallowed up more than 6,000 previously independent companies; by 1929, only 200 corporations controlled over half of American industry.

            By the end of the decade, the bottom 80 percent of all income-earners will be removed from the tax rolls completely. Taxes on the rich fell throughout the decade.

            By 1929, the richest 1% own 40% of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 93% have experienced a 4% drop in real disposable per-capita income between 1923 and 1929. This despite the fact that, then as now, individual worker productivity rose significantly. But the rewards were funneled to the top. Just like today.

            After Harding’s death, Coolidge maintained his predecessor’s laissez-faire policies which resulted in the stock market beginning a spectacular rise which bore little relation to the rest of the economy which was languishing.

            In 1925 the top tax rate was lowered to 25% – the lowest top rate since World War I including today.

            Between May 1928 and September 1929, the average prices of stocks rose 40%. The boom is largely artificial.

            Then in 1929 Herbert Hoover became President. Annual per-capita income is $750. More than half of all Americans are living below a minimum subsistence level. The backlog of business inventories grows three times larger than the year before.

            Recession began in August, two months before the stock market crash. During this two month period, production declined at an annual rate of 20%, wholesale prices at 7.5%, and personal income at 5%.

            Fast forward a few decades and we have Milton Friedman blathering the same failed polices while counting on everyone else being ignorant of the cause of the Depression.

            Or maybe he bought into Weyrich’s whole “dominionism” b.s. Y’know, American exceptionalism? “This time it’ll work ‘cuz this is ‘Muricuh.”

            Ah, voodoo economics Reaganomics: The discredited theory is that by giving the already wealthy even more money, they’ll use that money to create more jobs; demand, or the lack thereof, apparently notwithstanding.

            There are a few things you failed to mention on your rather glowing review of Pres. Ronnie’s economic failures.

            Reagan’s tax cuts and reckless spending increases caused an explosion of the national debt by a factor of nearly three. The consequences of his policies continued to build under his successor, George H.W. Bush, who left office with a national debt of $4.2 trillion; a more than a our-fold increase since 1981.

            The 1960s saw a 31% job rate growth. The 1970s, which are often bemoaned as a time of economic stagflation and political malaise, registered a 27% increase in jobs while economic output actually rose 31.8%.

            instead of guiding the country into a bright new day of economic vitality, Reagan’s approach accelerated the de-industrialization of the United States and a slump in the growth of American jobs, down to 20% during the 1980s.

            When it was discovered that his tax cuts were unwise, did he reverse them?

            Nope. He raised taxes on the middle-class and the poor and, for the first time, placed taxes on those without jobs. This is the beginning of real “wealth redistribution” by placing more and more of the burden on those with less and less.

            Then there were the two recessions his economic policies put us through, as well as the fact that his policies stopped median wage growth for the first time in U.S. history.

            Oh, then there.s the way his policies forced the demise of an entire economic industry.

            Do you remember hearing of the “Chilean Miracle”? Chile was the grand experiment by which the neocons were going to prove to the world that the miracle of Reaganomics would enrich everyone.

            Didn’t quite work out that way.

            There’s also the irony that it took a dictator to implement this economic atrocity over the objections of virtually everyone.

            The claim that General Pinochet created an economic powerhouse was one of those things the belief of which rested entirely on its repetition as is typical of what comes from the right.

            In 1970, 20% of Chile’s population lived in poverty. By 1990, the year Pinochet left office, the number of destitute had doubled to 40%.

            Some “miracle”.

            Nine years of hard work by the most so-called “brilliant” minds in world academia: a gaggle of Milton Friedman’s trainees, the Chicago Boys crippled the economy.

            Badly.

            Under their theories, the General abolished the minimum wage, outlawed trade union bargaining rights, privatized the pension system, abolished all taxes on wealth and on business profits, slashed public employment, privatized 212 state industries and 66 banks and ran a fiscal surplus.

            Briefly.

            Like your example.

            Freed of the dread hand of bureaucracy, taxes, and union rules, the country took a giant leap “forward”… into bankruptcy and depression.

            WOO-HOO!

            After nine years of economics Chicago-style, Chile’s industry keeled over and died. In 1982 and 1983, GDP dropped by 19%. The free-market experiment was kaput, Undeterred by such arcane concepts as facts, logic, reality, etc. (as is typical of the right) they declared success.

            Uh-huh.

            In the US, President Ronald Reagan’s State Department issued a report concluding, “Chile is a casebook study in sound economic management.” Milton Friedman himself coined the phrase, “The Miracle of Chile.” Friedman’s sidekick, the since discredited economist Art Laffer (Laffer. Pff…), preened that Pinochet’s Chile was, “a showcase of what supply-side economics can do.”

            Indeed. A showcase of deregulation run amok.

            Pinochet sold off the state banks – at a 40% discount from book value – and they quickly fell into the hands of two conglomerate empires controlled by speculators Javier Vial and Manuel Cruzat. From their captive banks, Vial and Cruzat siphoned cash to buy up manufacturers – then leveraged these assets with loans from foreign investors panting to get their piece of the state giveaways.

            The bank’s reserves filled with hollow securities from connected enterprises. Pinochet let the good times roll for the speculators. He was persuaded that Governments should not hinder the “logic” of the market.

            By 1982, the pyramid scheme was up. The Vial and Cruzat “Grupos” defaulted. Industry shut down. Private pensions were worthless. The currency swooned. Riots and strikes by a population too hungry and desperate to fear bullets forced Pinochet to reverse course. He gave his beloved Chicago economists the ol’ “heave-ho”.

            Reluctantly, he restored the minimum wage and unions’ collective bargaining rights. Pinochet, who had previously decimated government ranks, authorized a program to create 500,000 jobs.

            In other words, Chile was pulled from depression by dull old Keynesian remedies; all Franklin Roosevelt/Keynes, zero Reagan/Thatcher.

            Hmm…

            New Deal Keynesian tactics rescued Chile from the Panic of 1983, but the nation’s long-term recovery and growth since then is the result of – cover the children’s ears – a large dose of socialism.

            To save the nation’s pension system, Pinochet re-nationalized banks and industry on a scale unimagined by the Socialist Allende. The General expropriated at will, offering little or no compensation.

            Ah, to be a dictator.

            While most of these businesses were eventually re-privatized, the state retained ownership of one industry: copper.

            For nearly a century, copper has meant Chile and Chile copper. It’s absurd to describe a nation as a miracle of “free enterprise” when the engine of the economy remains in government hands.

            Copper has provided 30% to 70% of the nation’s export earnings. This is the hard currency which has built today’s Chile, the proceeds from the mines seized from Anaconda and Kennecott in 1973 – Allende’s posthumous gift to his nation.

            Agribusiness is the second locomotive of Chile’s economic growth. This also is a legacy of the Allende years.

            The break-up of feudal estates (which Pinochet was unable to fully reverse), created a new class of productive tiller-owners, along with corporate and cooperative operators, who now bring in a stream of export earnings to rival copper. “In order to have an economic miracle,” says Professor Arturo Valenzuela of Georgetown University, Washington DC, “maybe you need a socialist government first to commit agrarian reform.”

            So there we have it. Keynes and Marx, not Friedman, saved Chile.

            The devil is indeed in the details.

            Wow. Got kinda wordy there didn’t it? But then this is one of those times where facts should get in the way of a fantasy life.

          • Hajjster

            tl;dr

            Reiterated – if you want the capitalist elite to make more money, you change it to socialism and boom, no more middle class.

          • Progressive Republican

            Just like a Rethuglicretin to ignore too much reality. But then, given the utter dearth of fact-based writings I’d have to lie like a Rethuglicon or a Rethuglicretin stupid enough to vote for one to even hint at pretending to be surprised.

            And then you finish with what may be the most ridiculous lie stated since Ronnie took a dump on the stage during the 1980 run-off.

            Truth is essential to progress. Only a liar or an idiot would claim otherwise.

  • Reaganite

    Alinsky Tactic. Pretty thin stew thought

    • Progressive Republican

      The same tactic Rethuglicons have been using for decades. Y’know? The way Ronnie repeated lie after lie after lie after lie after lie after lie after lie time after time after time after time after time after time after time?

      It’s source rather predates Alinsky. Think pre-WWII.

      • Reaganite

        No TEA for you

        • Progressive Republican

          That’s okay. I’ve never been much of a fan of flavored water; especially the golden variety Reaganomics has showered us with.

  • kd92mesa

    Get the big money out of politics, no donation to any political party from big any business on any election.

    • Gentil Aquitaine

      Get the money out AND break the two party cartel on the ballot. We have two center right parties in this country that effectively eliminate any strain of discourse that might upset the status quo.

  • Mickey Kovars

    Koch brothers, bad. George Soros, Tom Steyer, good. That’s where it’s at. Uneffingbelievable.

  • YONATAN C

    How sad that men like John Boehner will stand in the way of the passing of the unemployment extension bill that would help the more than two million unemployed workers and their families without benefits, and the means to survive economically, while seeking employment. How can he claim to be for fiscal responsibility when millions of our tax payers dollars are going to fund corporate welfare and foreign aid? When tax payers dollars were spent on bailing out the Banking and Airline industries, amongst other companies, where was their “fiscal responsibility” and budgetary concerns then? Why is helping the average working American worker and families, not as important?

    • left wing

      how sad that the paid left wing trolls never think

  • left wing

    dems only run on hate, lies and fraud

  • Progressive Republican

    Well, here we are having FRWNJs poking fun at the left for employing the same tactics the right has been using (ultimately successfully) for decades.

    Master spin-artist Frank Luntz said, “”There’s a simple rule: You say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and then again and again and again, and about the time that you’re absolutely sick of saying it is about the time that your target audience has heard it for the first time. And it is so hard but you’ve just got to keep repeating…”

    • Gentil Aquitaine

      These tactics are older than Frankie boy… They were a staple of Eddie Bernays theory of propaganda.

      • Progressive Republican

        Actually I was thinking of a passage from Mein Kampf. I’d forgotten about Bernays. He was certainly correct about herd mentality, but then this has been known about and written about for centuries. Both Federalists and anti-federalists used propaganda.

        Everything old is new again, eh?

        • Gentil Aquitaine

          Truth be told, the Nazis were amateurs compared with Bernays. The American PR industry is second to none and he was it’s father.

          • Progressive Republican

            Arguing with that would necessitate my lying like a Rethuglicon.

  • Jenny Mcdonne

    I just wanted to tell anybody that might be interested in trading to go to the website Gold Trading Academy, I just recently bought from these guys and they are a class act, their video course really taught me a lot and their support is the
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  • YONATAN C

    WHILE THE RICH GET RICHER, THE POOR GET POORER… WHAT ARE THE DEMOCRATS PLANNING TO DO ABOUT THE FAILED UNEPLOYMENT EXTENSION BILL? MILLIONS OF FAMILLIES HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THEIR LACK OF IMMEDIATE ACCTION. PEOPLES LIVES ARE IN FINANCIAL RUIN BECAUSE AFTER THE PAST FIVE MONTHS OF WAITING FOR ASSISTANCE FRO THE SENATE. WHILE BILLIONS OF TAX PAYER’S DOLLARS HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR THE UKRAINE, THESE MILLIONS OF UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES ARE LEFT HUNG OUT TO DRY, WITH NO HELP AT ALL. OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE FAILED US IN THE MOST CRUEL WAY. PEOPLE HAVE HAD TO FACE EVICTIONS, HOME FORECLOSURES, PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY, AND HOMELESSNESS, BECAUSE THEM.

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES ARE A DISGRACE TO THIS COUNTRY. THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO PUT THEIR PARTY’S POLITICAL AGENDA ABOVE THE NEEDS OF THOSE IN DIRE NEED IN OUR COUNTRY. FOR SEVERAL MONTHS THEY HAVE PLAYED POLITICAL GAMES WITH EACH OTHER, WITH THE UNEMPLOYED AS THE TRUE LOSERS. THEY HAVE SHOWN A TOTAL LACK OF COMPASSION AND COMMON DECENCY TOWARDS THESE FAMILIES WITHOUT AN EXTENSION OF BENEFITS SINCE LAST DECEMBER. THEY HAVE USED THE PLIGHT OF THESE FAMILIES AS A BARGAINING CHIP FOR POLITICAL LEVERAGE. THEY DON’T CARE THAT THESE MILLIONS OF FAMILIES SUFFERED FINANCIAL RUIN, AND MANY LOSS THEIR HOMES, WAITING FOR THE SENATE TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND FINALLY PASS THE EXTENSION BILL. NONE OF THESE POLITICIANS SHOULD BE IN OFFICE. THEY ARE UNWORTHY OF THE JOB

  • http://washingtonspectacle.com Robert Price Rifkin

    Ok…Campaign
    2016 is Off and Running!

    Fresh
    from the http://www.washingtonspectacle.com
    desk: Is it me or has the political world gone off it’s axis? It used to be
    that presidential campaign began about six months before the national elections
    and before you were really exhausted by all the political blather, it was time
    to inaugurate the new Chief Executive. Americans had other preoccupations and
    presidential campaigns were a once-in-four-years Constitutional requirement to
    keep the ship of state afloat.

    The
    good, old days.

    Then
    came the advent of twenty-four hour cable television news and twenty-four-hour
    social media and twenty-four-hour talk radio. And before anyone knew what had
    happened, the subject of the day–of every day–became the next presidential
    election. It made no difference that the ink was barely dried on the present
    election. The gears were greased and the names were already being floated, even
    as the new president was taking the oath of office.

    And
    every election cycle has gotten worse than the one that came before it. Now we
    are faced with three years–three years–of non-stop presidential campaigning
    (mostly by candidates that refuse to acknowledge that they are running for
    president, even while they make sure to make these assertions in the most
    public venues).

    It
    used to be that running for president required a candidate to actually get out
    and meet the voters. He or she had to trek endlessly across the fifty states
    and spend truckloads of cash to get the word out. Now, with social media and
    CNN, FOX and MSNBC, all they have to do is make an announcement
    and–presto!-three hundred million people know about the decision.

    Which
    brings it all back to the American electorate, to our patience and weariness
    with the manufactured sound bites that have taken over our political
    conversation.

    Get
    ready, America, the 2016 Presidential election has officially begun. It may
    seem like Spring of 2014 but the next three years are going to fly by in a
    flash. Unless you turn off your computers and televisions and radios and stop
    reading newspapers and magazines, if you still know what those are.

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