This term originated in England during the eleventh century. The scheme entailed the sale of a suckling pig in a poke (bag). The wriggling bag would actually contain a cat (not particularly prized as a source of meat) that was sold to the victim in an unopened bag. The French term acheter (un) chat en poche (to buy a cat in a bag) refers to an actual sale of this nature, as do many European equivalents, while the English expression refers to the appearance of the trick.
In my humble opinion, this upcoming election defines who we will be as a nation. Will we remain a country that has a vigorous middle class, an educated citizenry, and opportunity for all or will this election mark the start of a classed nation slipping into a third world status? I strongly feel the issues have focused to those fundamental levels.
I mean let’s look at things logically. Logic is apolitical. Logically, why does a person spend $110 million of their own money to be elected to a job paying $174,000 per annum and only lasting 4 years? Do the math. It just doesn’t add up, does it? What does that person know that I do not know? Maybe how corrupt the system really has become?
This brings me to the real focus of this election. Like Deep Throat said, “follow the money.” Campaign spending for this MID TERM election is up five fold from 2008! Five fold! Why and how did this happen?
By a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court in January rolled back restrictions on corporate spending in federal campaigns. The decision has unleashed a torrent of corporate-funded attack ads in upcoming elections. “Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy — it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people — political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority.
In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens accused the majority of judicial activism and attacked the use of corporate personhood in the case: “The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court’s disposition of this case.”
“With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics,” said President Obama in a statement. “It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans… That’s why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision.”
“The Supreme Court majority has acted recklessly to free up corporations to use their immense, aggregate corporate wealth to flood federal elections and buy government influence. The Fortune 100 companies alone had combined revenues of $13 trillion and profits of $605 billion during the last election cycle,” Wertheimer wrote.
“Under today’s decision, insurance companies, banks, drug companies, energy companies and the like will be free to each spend $5 million, $10 million or more of corporate funds to elect or defeat a federal candidate — and thereby to buy influence over the candidate’s positions on issues of economic importance to the companies.”
“We are moving to an age where we won’t have the senator from Arkansas or the congressman from North Carolina, but the senator from Wal-Mart and the congressman from Bank of America,” said Melanie Sloan, director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The court found that the Federal Elections Commission overstepped its constitutional authority when it barred a conservative group called Citizens United from running ads for a movie attacking Hillary Clinton during the 2008 election season. Corporations and labor unions are now free to advertise — and tell people to vote for individual candidates — as they please. Before, corporations had to funnel money through political action committees to pay for ads, with limits on what could be spent. The court upheld, however, disclosure requirements for corporations that spend $10,000 to produce election-season ads, and ads will still have to disclaim who paid for them.
What we are now seeing is that we are being bombarded by wall to wall political ads on TV that are NOT approved by any candidate, ads attacking one candidate, but not endorsing any candidate, gross distortions of the truth, and blatant personal character assassinations of various candidates. What we are NOT seeing is thoughtful debate and solid platforms of the candidates. What does logic say to you?
I am not pro-democrat, pro-republican, or a tea party supporter, and I really don’t judge anyone else on their political persuasions. I am an American. I believe in the Constitution and support the principles of an open democratic society which I believe America represents to the entire world. As did my father, my brother, and my son, I served my country to preserve those principles. I personally resent people who believe that I am basically ignorant so therefore I can be “played” emotionally for my vote. Unfortunately, those tactics are continuing to be employed because, alas, they are working.
What I do know about “US” is that we are NOT ignorant, a little lazy maybe, but not ignorant. I also know “WE” do care about our country, our economy, and our educational system. WE do collectively support universal health care and social security and we don’t want to go back.
However, WE must also ACT. WE must make informed votes and we all need to vote. So logically how are you going to act?