It has been hard to avoid the similarities between the alleged corrupt activities of top officials at soccer's ruling body, FIFA, and the way American political candidates are wholly dependent on huge gifts from wealthy donors to run for office.
However skilled Obama is as a politician -- and despite the presence of many principled progressives and liberals in Congress -- we cannot expect Congress to enact more than modest reforms until we tame the corporate plutocrats' power.
Let's get on with building a bipartisan uprising of voters to insist that candidates in November pledge to back the DISCLOSE Act and Fair Elections legislation. We can't afford to wait for the Supreme Court. We can't afford to wait for a constitutional amendment.
Perhaps we need more Greg Smith-type truth-telling from those who have lived in the belly of the beast on Wall Street and in Washington. That'd be a good start. But while one person leaving with a kiss-and-tell story salves his or her conscience, it doesn't alter structural imbalances.
Who are these people that we've sent to Washington to represent us? Do they live in this country? Do they see the same news reports, pass the same shuttered businesses, hear the same desperate stories from their friends and family? One has to wonder.
Perhaps President Abraham Lincoln's famous words of hope for a "... government of the people, by the people, for the people..." will yet ring true again -- with a little help from Russ Feingold and his growing movement.
Fourteen million Americans were unemployed in May. All the while, corporations rake in record profits. This disconnect between public need and public policy is causing widespread suffering. Why isn't our government serving us, and what can we do?
Members of Congress report spending as much as a third of their time raising money for their reelection. This is time that they should be devoting to representing their constituents and running our country.
MONEY has always been the most corrupting influence in our politics, a fact that is now on full display in Republican-controlled state houses across the midwest that are voting against public employees' right to collective bargaining.
One of the most striking examples of money in politics this year was the extent to which some lawmakers blatantly stated their fealty to big corporate interests, from apologizing to BP to offering to "serve the banks."
The solution to our broken campaign financing system doesn't lie in disclosing where the outside money is coming from -- though that'd be good to pass as legislation -- it lies in getting candidates off the fundraising treadmill,