Saturday, August 14, 2010

Explanation of how things really work (or don't) in our world
By Mikhail Branski

Read the following and you'll realize that, of course, the author is correct.

Let me create the scene for you once President Obama took office. He sat in the oval office, admiring the view (and wondering how the hell he did it!) and suddenly the Powers-That-Be strolled in, uninvited mind you, and essentially told him who ran things. They were the representatives of the titans of finance, of banking, of oil, of insurance, of exports, of pharmaceuticals, etc. Moreover, they informed the President what he could and could not do. Then they asked him if what they said was clear? And without waiting for an answer, they sat down and ordered drinks.

Dear reader, do you get it yet? Of course, the above is just an allegory. But there are mountains of truth in it. The system is controlled by plutocrats and, as any astute high school student knows, they finance political campaigns and the careers of politicians. For these bribes, they obtain access to our esteemed legislatures and influence or stymie bills in Congress, as each individual case is considered as to what benefits them.

They buy our Senators and Congressmen. That’s the way it works most of the time.
That’s the nature of American Democracy! (Cue the national anthem in the background, the Hendrix version, please!).

And if you don’t understand how the system works yet, you probably are barely aware of the decision made by the Supreme Court. Oh yeah, they ruled that corporations (confirmed as individuals with rights of their own over 100 years ago by that same august body), now have the right to contribute untold millions to the advertising campaigns of politicians. The Supreme Court calls this free speech. Ouch! Take that you motherfucker progressives! In your face!

Not to sound too pompous but here’s a little refresher on how the system works.
Our bicameral legislature, which makes the laws, ensures that business is conducted very agonizingly slowly with versions of bills developed in each house. Typically, the work week is only three days, Tuesday through Thursday. Any bill can be hindered by any number of methods or parliamentary strategies, the most controversial one being the invocation of a filibuster in the Senate which can forestall a vote on a bill. That means 60 votes are required to invoke the so-called cloture rule and limit debate.

In other words, a minority can hold all business hostage to their whims, hurts, egos and assorted power-grabs. (There are other parliamentary maneuvers as well, some allowing a single congressperson to prevent a bill from moving forward).

And in the meantime, a horde of cockroaches come out to impede the progress (if you care to call it that) of the bill. These cockroaches, also known as lobbyists, acting on behalf of the sinister plutocrats, mesmerize the representatives with promises of alluring treats, vacations, jobs for their family, and perhaps a sexual dalliance of his or her choice.

The next thing you know, the bill is stalled or compromised so much that it is not a bill anymore but a degenerate and bastardized piece of crap (like the Healthcare or Financial Regulation bills that ultimately became law). And then, everybody criticizes Obama for being unable to compel the congress to behave.

Folks, get real. Our system is antiquated, dysfunctional and so corrupt that the peoples’ business is impossible. In reality, the corporations run the show. Democracy? Please! The Senate is the least democratic institution we have. Give me a break!