Monday, December 24, 2012

Wayne LaPierre: Gas Bag of the Month.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre says his organization is ready to support all reasonable measures to reduce gun violence .... EXCEPT ... legislation specifically targeted to guns and ammunition. And he says this with a straight face. In truth, the NRA is not willing to support all reasonable measures to reduce the slaughter visited on innocent men, women, and children. Mr. LaPierre proposes placing armed guards in schools, increased prosecution of criminals, and the hospitalization of the mentally ill [all worthy of consideration] but flatly refuses to consider common sense measures like banning large capacity magazines. With the slaughter of 20 young children and 6 teachers still traumatizing our national psyche, Mr. LaPierre's truculence is inexcusable. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's All About the Money!

The last remaining obstacle to a complete takeover of our government by Big Money and their corporate interests is the power of organized labor. The GOP's push for Right-to-Work legislation not about workers' rights - it's about crippling the right of unions to fund progressive legislation by impacting their ability to raise money.  

"No one can doubt that the American political economy has changed dramatically over the last generation. Perhaps most fundamental is a transformation that Stiglitz and Krugman seem to assume and barely mention: the huge shift in the relative influence of business and labor. The sharp decline of unions outside the public sector (where they are now deeply embattled) has not only affected the bargaining power and compensation of employees in the workplace; it has also greatly weakened the major organized group most capable of defending less affluent Americans in the political arena.

What’s more, campaign contributions are only a small proportion of political spending. The organized energies of corporations and the wealthy influence every aspect of American governance. These efforts range from direct lobbying of political officials, to drives to shape both mass and elite opinion, to the long cultivation by conservative activists of a Supreme Court majority advancing a more pro-business economic agenda, to the carefully planned use of fiscal crises in many states to mount a frontal assault on public sector unions."
What Krugman and Stiglitz Can Tell Us. Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, The New York Review of Books, Sep 27, 2012