This is what our country has become: Barack vs. Romney, a fundraising competition. 2

I subscribe to both Obama and Romney’s campaign newsletters because I like to know what they are sending out to the masses.  I got this email from the Obama camp today.  All I can say is wow.  Remember that 94% of the time, the candidate with the most campaign money wins.  All sides of this should be ashamed.  Just sayin’.  This is not how democracy is supposed to work!

Also, I have to mention that the following mass email is mis-leading.  Not counting Super PAC’s, Barack has out raised Mitt in May $38 million to $22 million.  This is, indeed, a smaller margin of difference than in previous months, but still remains.  I also want to mention that I have received very similar emails from the Romney camp.  All I can say is that I miss Buddy Roemer!  Can anyone else hear our forefathers rolling over in their graves?

 

David —
I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things continue as they have so far.
I’m not just talking about the super PACs and anonymous outside groups — I’m talking about the Romney campaign itself. Those outside groups just add even more to the underlying problem.
The Romney campaign raises more than we do, and the math isn’t hard to understand: Through the primaries, we raised almost three-quarters of our money from donors giving less than $1,000, while Mitt Romney’s campaign raised more than three-quarters of its money from individuals giving $1,000 or more.
And, again, that’s not including the massive outside spending by super PACs and front groups funneling up to an additional billion dollars into ads trashing me, you, and everything we believe in.
We can be outspent and still win — but we can’t be outspent 10 to 1 and still win.
More than 2.2 million Americans have already chipped in for us, and I’m so grateful for it. As we face this week’s fundraising deadline, can you make a donation of $3 or more today?
Every donation you make today automatically enters you to join Michelle and me for one of the last grassroots dinners of this campaign — today is your last chance to get your name in.
These dinners represent how we do things differently. My opponent spent this past weekend at a secretive retreat for the biggest donors to both his campaign and the super PACs that support him.
I’ve got other responsibilities I’m attending to.
Donate today to stand for our kind of politics:
https://donate.barackobama.com/June-Deadline
Thank you,
Barack

Natural Gas exhonerates Speculators! 1

Ok, I have conversed with many via twitter that think speculators are the devil.  While I agree, as a speculator, that they are a part of the problem, I disagree that they drive price.  Instead, speculators only carry the momentum that is already pushed upon it by outside factors.  I am excited to point out the latest example of speculators being neutral when it comes to price.  Natural Gas is a commodity that is played just like oil.  There are a hundred different ways to play this commodity, but the most important point is that it is at multi-year lows.  Has demand gone down? No, but supply has gone up.  Due to fracking (no comment on the legitimacy of this process here) they are finding it under every rock in the U.S.  I exaggerate this on purpose.  Because the notion that it is everywhere is speculation.  Speculators are getting out of the trade because of an assumed over-supply.  They are correct!  This lowers the price to unheard of levels.  It is almost a 1/3 the price is was in 2010.  Where are the Senators now?  Why aren’t they out congratulating us?..  Hypocrites!

The major difference between Natural Gas and Gas at the pumps is that there are more factors for gas at the pump.  When it comes to gas, we are far more subject to feuding countries that supply it, and profit lines of major refiners here in the U.S.  Remember that it is Oil that is speculated, not the price of gas at the pump.  Big oil companies are profiting huge on the difference between the price of oil per barrel and what they can get at the pump.  Here is what I mean: Last April price of light sweet crude was $125 per barrel and oil companies were still able to make a good profit at $3.25 per gallon.  Now that oil is only $103 per barrel, they are able to charge over $4.10 at the pumps.  This isn’t speculation, but profit.

The GOP Conspiracy 1

Before I begin, I must be very clear that I am not a conspiracy theorist kind of guy nor an anti-Republican!  Therefore, it is an internal struggle to put this out there, but after several months of introspection I feel it is time.  The Republican Party seems to have conspired to keep Buddy Roemer out of the race for president.  He would never come out and say it because it opens him up for an all out attack from the party.  He would then have an even smaller chance to win an election.

What are the facts?

Buddy Roemer has all the experience you would want for a commander-in-chief.  At Harvard, he earned a BS in Economics and later an MBA in Finance.  From 1981 to 1988 he served as a Congressman.  From 1988 to 1992 he served as Louisiana’s Governor.  While there he cut the unemployment rate in half, reformed their campaign finance laws, and balanced the state’s budget.  I don’t mention this to get readers to vote for him, but to show how qualified he is to have been a candidate.  The problem isn’t what he has done, it is what he hasn’t: He has never accepted Super PAC, or special interest money.  Matter of fact, this has been his platform to get elected.  The fact that he doesn’t accept this money makes him an enemy of the state, if you will.

Imagine running Buddy out there when his platform of campaign finance reform and getting SuperPAC’s out of politics could make your party look bad, as a whole.  Fox News network, a GOP slanted news network, hasn’t even hinted that Buddy Roemer exists.  He was left out of all debates.  Why you might ask?  At first they told him he wouldn’t be allowed in the debates until he officially signed on as a candidate.  That makes perfect sense until you realize that several others hadn’t that they allowed in debates.  So, Buddy officially announces his running.  Then they told him that he had to have at least 2% of the votes of a given state to qualify.  Again, you might think that this is a fair request.  We cannot have everybody and their brother in a debate, but you have to know that when they required this from Buddy, John Huntsman, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry didn’t have 2% yet they were invited into these debates.  Despite the hypocrisy of the situation, Buddy attained the 2%.  Then they said he had to have 5% of the votes.  At this time only Perry and Bachmann didn’t have the 4% but they were allowed in the debates.  Matter of fact, Buddy was ahead of both of them in the polls.  You still saw no mention of his existence on Fox News and he wasn’t allowed into the debates.  Buddy Roemer was working hard to get the 4%, and then they dropped the bomb.  They told him that he had to have a minimum amount of money raised for his campaign to get in the debates that was far beyond what he had raised to that point.  This, they knew, went directly against his platform.  He will not accept more than $100 per campaign donation.

As a result, Buddy Roemer has dropped out of the GOP race and decided to run as an Independent via the American’s Elect process.  Although I’m voting for Governor Roemer and love his platform of Campaign Finance Reform, this is not my point.  I hate the fact that politics has come to this.  Republicans snubbed one of their own because he was a threat to their pocket-book.  Democrats would have done the same thing if the situation was reversed.  It is a bi-partisan problem.  They will do anything they can to “keep the money in.”  This is why we, as a Republic, have to fight our own apathy and do something about it.  We have to support someone like Buddy.  Even if you don’t plan on voting for him, you should want a man like him in upcoming presidential debates.  His take on money in government shouldn’t be silenced or big corporations will continue to own our democracy.  We have to get the money out, and supporting people like Buddy is a way of going about it.

 

 

 

The Republican Democrat Chasm spawned from Greed. Reply

A couple of years ago it was reported that Brett Favre’s presence in the Vikings locker room had created a Chasm.  There were teammates loyal to the quarterbacks who had already been there a few years, and doubted whether Brett could still lead a team.  In the end, he won over the locker room and got them to the NFC championship.  I always thought it was a strange way to use the turn chasm, but it couldn’t have been a more profound way of looking at the situation.  Two sides were divided by a belief and loyalties.

Today we are facing a grave situation.   Our political structure has become divided by political beliefs and loyalties, but there is no Brett Favre that can unite the team.  One would think that a president could pull together opposing sides and bridge that gap, but it is being reinforced.  Worse yet, the two chasms are actually being paid to be different. At least in Brett Favre’s situation, their team was paid to come together.  In our government, you have the Republicans being politically backed by large corporations that want limited government and a weak tax structure.  On the Democrat side, you have Unions and other interests that donate to enlarge government regulations and directly conflict with donors that back Republican issues.  This may seem obvious, but it is creating such a stalemate that nothing can get done.  The frustration is boiling over to a disgusting display of word twisting.  Both sides are culpable and both sides are ruining our country.

Because our media is no longer attempting to be unbiased, they are feeding the flames.  Instead of reporting facts, they are using only the facts that favors their side.  For example, Obama bashing is now become a sport on Fox News, a Republican slanted news channel.  In an attempt to create a mental link for the audience, you will often hear Obama referred to by his entire name: Barack Hussein Obama.  This is trashy news commentary trying to connect him to the decease dictator of Iraq.  It is the same on MSNBC News.  They often paint with a broad brush stroke trying to paint the entire Republican base with ignorant and racist strokes.  For example, instead of focusing on the fact that religious affiliated churches don’t want to sell birth control because it directly conflicts with their faith, they say that all Republicans want to get rid of birth-control.  It is a obsurdity, and unfair to force a Catholic Hospital to sell something that is against their faith.  What you will get is Catholic Hospitals closing up shop rather than knowingly commit a sin.  Who would that benefit?  Republicans, as a whole, have no problem with people going elsewhere for birth control.  You see where I’m going with this.

Both sides are intentionally creating a chasm.  They are trying to draw clearer and clearer lines in the sand intended to draw support from opposition and create more of a need for donations.  Obviously, companies that carry birth control are going to feel the need to support a democrat in elections if they are being convinced that Santorum will shut down or even affect their margins.  The same is happening on the other side.  A company like Haliburton or Lockheed Martin is reading that Democrats want to tax them into oblivion and reduce government spending on defense contracts.  The truth might be far from the truth, but they are hedging their bets by backing Republican candidates.  For the purposes of this article, I won’t even go into the tax loopholes, earmarks, and subsidies that they are trying to garner from both sides by donating.  Government officials are becoming very successful.  Donations to campaigns are at all time highs.  For example, the Presidential campaign is already 460% above its mark at this point in the last election.  Super PAC’s are pouring money into campaigns.  If you simply look at current GOP candidates, it is not uncommon to see an average of $460 spent per vote in close districts.

The result of this hemorrhage of money is that campaigns and media are devoid of all decency and unbiased truths.  Making comments like, “Romney wants to send little old ladies back to Mexico,” or “Obama shouldn’t apologize to Muslims for burning the Koran” are playing on stereotypes, fears, and racist beliefs.  Our country is being taught racism.  Political figureheads are playing on the fact that fear is creating a racist divide between Muslim and Christian beliefs.  Millions of Muslims are peaceful, but if we say it enough we can get a voter in South Carolina to believe that Obama is bowing to a murderous culture.

Our country still is the greatest country in the world.  Our freedoms that have been paid for in blood are something to be treasured, but greed in our government is driving rhetoric that will destroy our country and our freedoms.  American culture is becoming two different cultures and the before mentioned rhetoric is deepening and widening the great chasm.  Now more than ever, we have to get the money agenda out of Washington and clean up our Media or there will be no Republic to repair.

How to restore our Republic Reply

I understand the concept of limited government, and in many cases agree.  There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  Since, Citizens United (PAC) v. FEC in ’10 allowing Corp.’s the same rights as individuals in donating, election spending is up 460%.  This was considered a “win” for freedom of Speech and limited government conservative republicans.  Unfortunately, there are unintended consequences for this freedom.  We can now voice our free speech by spending unlimited amounts of money on behalf of the government officials of our liking.  Great thing huh?  Constitutionalists feel that this is adhering closely to our forefathers intentions, but this is absolutely not the case.

Our forefathers saw this coming and tried to write into the constitution checks and balances to combat this.  In early United States history they saw it could be a problem for foreign ambassadors accepting gifts from foreign countries:  “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”  Bottom line, they were worried that these men would become corrupted.  They couldn’t foresee the possibility of Super PAC’s being established, or that contributions from campaign donors would someday purchase legislation.  I guarantee that they would never consider money as free speech.

8 of 10 congressman & senators have given earmarks directly to campaign donors.  That’s just earmarks.  Think of all the legislation that is put into law that is tailored specifically for a donor, or the tax loopholes that are insisted upon on behalf of a campaign donor.  Lobbyists are not allowed to take congressmen to dinner, unless they bring donor checks and call it a campaign fundraising.  Why would we make it law that they cannot take them out to dinner if we didn’t realize there is a corrupting influence there.  Because money is involved, we allow them to get around the rule.  Thinking rationally, it become obvious who makes the laws.  It is almost as if they are stating, “you can’t take me to dinner… unless you bring me a whole bunch of money.  Otherwise it would be unethical.”

Proposal to fix the before mentioned problems:

  1. Limit campaign contributions to $250 annually.
  2. Eliminate all middle man donations.  (A lobbyist can’t show up w/ a stack of donor checks)
  3. Eliminate SuperPAC’s as they are already borderline illegal.
  4. Cap fundraising to 500k per election.  (this can be tailored to the office)
  5. Government match all donations up to the previously mentioned cap.

These five things would eliminate Quid Pro Quo because no person in their right mind is going to write legislation for a $250 donation.  It would cut down on the time lawmakers spend fundraising.  Currently they spend 30-60% of their time just fundraising.  The elimination of bundled donations would ensure that lobbyists don’t have undue leverage on their lawmaker.  It would really limit them to educators on issues which is all they should be.  There is a term that Buddy Roemer uses: Free to Lead.  If no one entity had donated to a congressman/senator more than $250 they would be “Free” to govern with their voters in mind instead of the Corporation that put the most into their campaign.

 

Do we need campaign finance reform? Reply

Today’s government has become incredibly dependent upon money.  It is as simple as that.  Forget, for a moment, the idea of corruption, and move onto the fact that politicians didn’t become politicians to raise money.  Despite this fact, members of the House and Senate spend between 30-70% of their time fund-raising.  This is not an exaggeration.  There is constant pressure to raise money.  If not for their own election, they are expected to do so on behalf of their respective party.  It is outrageous the time spent, and the money they are continually asked to conjure up.

Now, knowing that politicians are constantly raising money, we have to wonder what effect this has on their work.  Corporations and Lobbyists are always looking for an in.  What do I mean by this?  They are looking to survive financially, and who could blame them.  If a House Representative is looking for campaign money and they call you, you have to answer.  You WILL find the money they are asking and you WILL show up to the fundraiser they ask you to attend.  It is in your best interests to do so.  That Representative will eventually vote on something that you want their ear on.  You might even have an earmark in mind, you will need them to sponsor.  It is not Quid Pro Quo, necessarily, but you have to remain in good graces in order to get your idea looked at.  If you have developed that relationship and always backed them financially, you have a much better chance of them working in your favor.

What is wrong with this?  Quite simply, you get a system where a Representative or Senator is working for lobbyists and Corporate dollars instead of the voters that put them in office.  Who is going to get their Senator on the phone first: a lobbyist that has continually been at fundraisers with a bundle of checks from donors, or a voter in their district with a question about campaign finance reform.  The answer is obvious, but not acceptable.  This is not the system intended by our forefathers.