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There is a lot of talk these days about government run health care, government run banks, government run industries. But if you take even a simple cursory look at all of the evidence and our priorities – of who is being “helped” to succeed and who is being allowed to fail in our society – it is clear that the corporations run the government not the other way around. The banks are too big to fail and the rest of us are too small to succeed.
Our thirst for war, our lust for banking deregulation, and our pathological aversion to a public option all have a green paper trail leading from lobbyists to Washington. Were it just the Republicans taking the money, we could argue at least that there was some ideological nexus. But even key Democrats and pseudo liberals are on the payroll, as the New York Times reports here and the Washington Post reports here and here. According to the Post,
Nearly half the members of a powerful House subcommittee in control of Pentagon spending are under scrutiny by ethics investigators in Congress, who have trained their lens on the relationships between seven panel members and an influential lobbying firm founded by a former Capitol Hill aide.
In the above video (beginning at minute five), Glenn Greenwald describes the direct financial interests behind the positions that the liberals Joe Lieberman and Evan Byah hold on health care, regardless of the clear mandate of their respective electorates.
A few weeks ago in a debate on whether to increase troop levels in Afghanistan on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, three out of four guests, including influential war-loving Democrat Diane Feinstein, were all unquestionably and unapologetically pro-escalation. The only panellist against escalation, Rep Jim McGovern, was given considerably less time than the others. What kind of debate is that, Mr. Stephanopoulos? The highlight of the program was Feinstein, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying that all she knew about troop levels was what she read in the newspapers. In other words, we send troops to war based on what key members of congress read in the papers. It’s rare that we now need to look to George Will — a lone conservative who is in favor of pulling troops from both Afghanistan and Iraq – for a little ideological honesty.
Then we have the more likable, tempered and soft-spoken conservative David Brooks — who regardless of being wrong on every aspect of the build up to Iraq is still permitted to opine on Afghanistan – questioning President Obama’s resolve as a war president (as if the only option available to a “war president” is more guns), making the factually inaccurate, unsubstantiated and blatantly false claim that “like most people who have spent a lot of time in Afghanistan, believe this war is winnable.” Almost everything from the ground in Afghanistan points to the fact that we should get out ASAP (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).
With a unanimous political and press corps in favor of the same corporate interests, it’s not too difficult to figure out who is receiving all of the entitlements and who is is running the show.