Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When is the Price of a Politician Too High?

Since Citizens United paved the way for the wealthy to buy U.S. political candidates outright, there is more for Americans to worry about than losing their democracy, though that is certainly a blow to a once democratic country.

The people with all of this money expect something in return and in the case of Newt Gingrich, and his financial backer Sheldon Adelson, it might be a price few Americans are willing to pay.

Adelson apparently has demanded that the $10 million he gave to Gingrich be repaid with a war in Iran, if Gingrich is ever president.  (maybe on the moon)

Bill Maher and former Republican Congressman Mark Foley (yes that Mark Foley) discussed this recently, and Foley rightfully claimed that the "passion of the moment should not dictate foreign policy".  This bubble that conservatives live in, that facts can never penetrate, has to burst, before they do something really stupid. 

They actually believe that they can win a nuclear war.  Having more nukes only protects you from a potential nuclear attack.  Using them means something else altogether.

Like many conservative bubble dwellers, Adelson claims to love Israel, which is code for hoping Israel levels the rest of the Middle East.  Former president Jimmy Carter was interviewed by Time magazine last week, and was asked about the Israel/nuclear situation.
Are you optimistic about Israel's future?

No, I'm not. The U.S. has the least influence in the Middle East now than it's had since Israel was formed. We are totally immune to any sort of influence from the Palestinians or from the Arab world. We are completely in bed with the Israelis, who are persecuting the Palestinians horribly, and this is contrary, I think, to the best interest of Israel.

What do you think it means that Iran seems to have its first nuclear fuel rod?

Well, of course, the religious leaders of Iran have sworn on their word of honor that they're not going to manufacture nuclear weapons. If they are lying, then I don't see that as a major catastrophe because they'll only have one or two military weapons. Israel probably has 300 or so.
Carter is an Evangelist who created Habitats for Humanity.  The Evangelists circling the GOP like vultures, would never dream of doing something to help mankind.  Instead they seem determined to destroy it, arrogantly believing that only they will survive.

We don't talk about this enough (at all) in Canada, but as Lawrence Martin warns us in Harperland, Stephen Harper follows the doctine created by American conservatives:  The Clash of Civilizations.  He is onboard with the anhilation of Iran.  Newt Gingrich and Stephen Harper together as leaders would be terrifying.

If there is one good thing about the new policies that allow corporate financing of politicians, it's that the wealthy who used to operate in the shadows, are now known to us.  They are front and centre of the ugliness.  The Koch Brothers we knew about.  Some of the others, not so much.

It turns out that Newt's sugar daddy is not just insane but allegedly engages in criminal activities.  Today's headlineGingrich's billionaire campaign backer under federal investigation after lawsuit alleges he hushed possible ties to Chinese organized crime.

Now that we know who they are it will be like shooting fish in a barrel. We'll have the billionaires begging to change the election financing rules, or at least moving back to the shadows.

Stephen Harper still refuses to tell us who financed his leadership campaign in 2003.  It might be nice to have that list so that we could shine a light on those shaping Canadian policy.  But then again, maybe it's best we don't know.

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