Commercials I’d like to see on TV: Democracy

July 8, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Corporate special interest groups blanket the airwaves with a conceptual model of our economy as a machine that should be left alone and not tampered with. This model, or frame, encourages inaction and the view that government somehow “tampers” with the machine when it acts in any way, shape or form.

This is, of course, ridiculous. We’ve always created rules for economies. Without them, we’d have black markets, a slave trade, child labor, company stores, and endless exploitation.

How do we know this? History. These things happened until we fought against them and made markets better. They will happen again if we don’t fight.

Yet many people who buy into this model of the economy as a machine are convinced that all we need to do is leave the machine alone and it will work better. Over and over the media repeats this to the point where many recite it as common sense.

The best way to address the faulty model people are being taught in the media is to illustrate a better model. I’d like to see a commercial that says “here’s the problem, money in politics, and this is how things should work.” Without further ado, here’s commercial #02: Democracy.

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Ask most people in America how our country really works and it doesn’t take too long to get to the following picture.

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Government works for certain large, multinational corporate special interests and we, the people, are at the bottom.

Large multinationals pour billions into organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and these groups, in turn, help elect “friendly” politicians and pass legislation that benefits those at the top.

The problem is, quite simply, money in politics.

How do we fix this? Smaller government?

A question for Peter Schweizer: If you’re against money in politics, what should we do to stop it?

April 30, 2015 at 11:21 am

George Stephanopoulos interviewed Peter Schweizer yesterday in advance of his book “Clinton Cash”.

He asked some decent questions focused on whether Schweizer has any evidence of criminal behavior to which Schweizer basically said “no”.

Of course Schweizer has no evidence of criminal behavior. If he did, Clinton would be under arrest. This is a political attack.

The interesting thing about the attack is that Stephanopoulos mimics what we’re supposed to do. He gets outraged about a lack of evidence. Or as outraged as George Stephanopoulos can get anyways. Meanwhile the attack gets repeated ad nauseum in the media.

Stephanopoulos feigns the role of protagonist, allows Schweizer to repeat all his claims, and ABC shows some scary graphics.

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Rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people

April 14, 2015 at 2:14 pm

This is perhaps the best description I’ve seen of Fox News (and AM talk radio for that matter).

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I saw this in a tweet today, but it appears it’s been around for a bit. Apologies if you’ve seen before but thought worth sharing.

The Big Ideas Project and how to get everything on our Christmas policy list

December 16, 2014 at 11:04 am

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee recently launched The Big Ideas project.

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At this site, people like you and me can submit ideas we have for a better country. It’s a great idea.

Some ideas from the current front page include:

  • Debt-free college
  • A law to regulate out-of-district money in elections
  • Full employment
  • A basic income guarantee
  • Reversing Citizens’ United
  • Expanding social security
  • Etc.

The trouble I have is that I want all of these things. I don’t just want to focus on one or two.

I want major change. So I asked myself the question: What’s holding us back from major change?

I believe the biggest thing that’s holding us back from doing these things is a corporate special interest group idea. It’s the idea that government should serve the interests of corporations and this will, in turn, be good for everyone.

I know, crazy right? But a lot of people have bought into this notion because it has been sold to us as “freedom” in the form of smaller government.

The corporate special interest marketing and educational campaign has been so successful, in fact, that it dominates public discussion and opinion to the point where I don’t think we’re going to get anything on the PCCC’s wonderful big ideas list until we can convince more people that there’s a better way.

That is, the proposals on the big idea list make sense to us because we believe in a different definition of our country. We believe our country is a democracy that should start with people and we believe freedom is about opportunity and shared prosperity.

All the policies at the big ideas site make sense to us because of these beliefs. The problem is they don’t and won’t make sense to many, many people unless we first revive ideas about democracy.

This is why my big idea is about how to revive democracy and make possible more of the policy ideas on the big ideas list.

Doctor Who: “Scotland really showed us the way … 85% of the people voted.”

September 22, 2014 at 8:43 am

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul McGann, the 8th Doctor Who, at a local comic expo.

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As we were chatting, my friend Rick asked him about the Scottish independence vote. The 8th Doctor mentioned two things that really stuck with me.

Senator Warren on the shutdown and why government matters

October 4, 2013 at 9:59 am

Perhaps the most important speech of the year: Elizabeth Warren on why government matters.

Elizabeth Warren

The Argument Against Voter ID That You Won’t See in the Media

December 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm

When it comes to voter ID programs, what’s the typical mainstream media article look like? One side says that the programs prevent voter fraud, the other says that they are “designed to stifle turnout among students, poor people and minorities, who are more likely to vote for Democrats.” The media […]

Occupy Thanksgiving: How to Talk a Little Turkey with Your Relatives

November 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm

A great post by spocko over at FDL got me thinking about Thanksgiving … … and the inevitable comments from my conservative Uncle. What’s he going to bring up this year? I’ll lay odds that somewhere between the turkey and dressing and the pumpkin pie my Uncle is going to […]

Government Corruption (in a Single Picture)

November 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

Yeah, I know. It’s small. Click on it for the full size image. This is the client list for the lobbying firm of Clark Lytle Geduldig and Cranford. You can go to their website and see this picture for yourself. Here, it’s screengrabbed in case it suddenly “disappears”. CLGC has more corporate clients, but […]

99%: A Warning to #OWS and the Rest of Us

October 10, 2011 at 11:48 am

I’m not sure how it started, but the slogan “We Are the 99%” is doing something that Democrats have failed to do and Republicans have feared for decades. What is this? Take a step back with me for a second and I’ll show you what Occupy Wall Street is doing […]