I received something akin to the following from a variety of friends who in my humble opinion have become the upscale equivalent of the "New teabaggers."
They are speaking about Congress.
Choose anyone you want, as long as it is not an incumbent!
Every single one of them regardless of Party.
And now a few hundred words that come to you from a film peddler raised in The Bronx.
Fresh from four years of defending my country from imminent North Korean invasion I worked as a part time minimum wage employee at the Television Company Screen Gems while studying Electrical Engineering.
I was authorized to order film from a variety of film laboratories at my sole discretion.
One particular lab employed a salesman named Harvey who often took me to lunch and gave me tickets to sporting events. He also treated me "like a person." I knew that I was being manipulated by him, but what the hell.
Now what lab salesman do you suppose I went to with most of the business I controlled? Harvey of course.
Simple isn't it? He was nice to me and he at least pretended to care about me.
I spent some time yesterday and looked a little bit into the existent "Congressional Travesty" that has allowed the "business" of campaign financing to be controlled by the "rich and powerful corporations" (RPCs) among us.
These RPCs hire other people (Lobbyists) to speak to congressional "power" on their behalf.
These RPCs contribute large sums of money to Congresspeople in order to influence them. Simple isn't it.
It is helpful if you sing our National Anthem as you read all about this process.
RPCs, labor unions, and other organizations spend billions of dollars each year to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Some special RPCs retain lobbying firms, many of them located along Washington's legendary K Street; others have lobbyists working in-house.
It is apparent that most Americans do not trust career politicians who run for reelection over and over again.
Many members of Congress care more about RPCs, campaign contributors, and special interest groups than they do about representing their constituents.
Election rules and government power have been distorted to such an extent that it has become almost impossible for the people to vote their elected representatives out of office.
Over 80% of the American people support term limits.
I would support a two-term limit on Members of the House and a one term limit for members of the Senate.
Total Lobbying Spending
Number of Lobbyists*
As and until we as a society can figure a way to exclude the money that overwhelms the system we are doomed.
Nancy Regan popularized the foolishness of: "Just say no!"
We need to find a way to change the system, we need to "just say no" and following that we can: "throw the bums out."
We need Federally funded elections and term limits.
We need to do SOMETHING!
While it is not possible to justify my accepting lunches and tickets to ballgames yet I did not progress to larger transgressions and sadly I was never tested by being offered a "bribe" of any sort.
I would imagine that if you were to ask any member of congress if they were influenced by campaign contributions that they would vehemently deny it.
What follows is an excerpt from "Ya Got Trouble" from Music Man brilliantly performed by Robert Preston.
The first big step on the road
To the depths of deg-ra-Day--
I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
Then beer from a bottle.
An' the next thing ya know,
Your son is playin' for money
In a pinch-back suit.
And list'nin to some big out-a-town Jasper
Hearin' him tell about horse-race gamblin'.
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no!
But a race where they set down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey'boy
Sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil?
Top 25 Candidates for 2010
Harry Reid - Senate
Charles E Schumer - Senate
Steve Pagliuca - Senate
Kirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand - Senate
Arlen Specter - Senate
Blanche L Lincoln - Senate
Martha Coakley - Senate
Barbara Boxer - Senate
Kendrick B Meek - Senate
Michael F Bennet - Senate
Patty Murray - Senate
Michael E Capuano - Senate
Christopher J Dodd - Senate
Robin Carnahan - Senate
Byron L Dorgan - Senate
Alexander Giannoulias - Senate
Scott M Murphy - House (20th Dist)
Lee Irwin Fisher - Senate
Daniel K Inouye - Senate
Alan Khazei - Senate
Ronald Lee Wyden - Senate
Russell D Feingold - Senate
Evan Bayh - Senate
John William (Jack) Conway - Senate
Steny Hoyer - House (5th Dist)
Charlie Crist - Senate
Rob Portman - Senate
John S Mccain - Senate
Linda Mcmahon - Senate
Roy Blunt - Senate
David Vitter - Senate
Patrick Joseph Toomey - Senate
Richard Burr - Senate
Joe Wilson - House (2nd Dist)
Mark Steven Kirk - Senate
John Thune - Senate
Richard C Shelby - Senate
John Hardy Isakson - Senate
Eric Cantor - House (7th Dist)
Charles E Grassley - Senate
William Russell - House (12th Dist)
Todd Tiahrt - Senate
Douglas L Hoffman - House (23rd Dist)
James W Demint - Senate
Robert R Simmons - Senate
James Tedisco - House (20th Dist)
John A Boehner - House (8th Dist)
Robert F Bennett - Senate
Marco Rubio - Senate
Jerry Moran - Senate
Top 5 Contributors, 2005-2010, Campaign For Senator Reid
Weitz & Luxenberg
Girardi & Keese
Top 5 Industries, 2005-2010, Campaign Cmte
Securities & Investment
Cycle Source of Funds, 2005-2010, Campaign Cmte only
Needless to say none of Reids contributors want or expect anything in return.
At one time Americans maintained that their systems of corporate governance and financial disclosure were models to be copied by the rest of the world. Not any longer.
In late 2001 policymakers and corporate leaders faced the largest corporate accounting scandals in American history. The collapses of Enron and WorldCom as well as the discovery of accounting irregularities at other large U.S. companies called into question the efficacy of the entire system of corporate governance in the United States. Our systems were and remain flawed.
Wall Street transgressions?
Sadly all of this is just part of the human condition which is not so great. Have a look at a real pro in action, President Richard Nixon.
"I made a lot of money. I made $250,000 from a book and the serial rights which many of you were good enough to purchase, also. In the practice of law--and I am not claiming...
I made a lot of money. I made $250,000 from a book and the serial rights which many of you were good enough to purchase, also. In the practice of law--and I am not claiming I was worth it, but apparently former Vice Presidents or Presidents are worth a great deal to law firms--and I did work pretty hard. But also in that period, I earned between $100,000 and $250,000 every year. So that when I, in 1968, decided to become a candidate for President, I decided to clean the decks and to put everything in real estate... that I welcome this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I am not a crook. I have earned everything I have got."
Let us never FORGET THAT Nixon was absolutely a crook and that he was not the only one in Washington who was or is now a crook.
Sadly the system has allowed RPCs to get even BIGGER and they want things to be the way they want them to be.
Have another look at Disney, GE, News Corp and Viacom/CBS and tell me again that the RPCs do not run more then they should in our once proud country.