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Special Interests And The Democratic Party

Democrats charge Republicans with being prisoners of special interests. A young conservative turns that charge around.

Photo Illustration (Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

Photo Illustration (Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

Americans look at Republicans, Democrats, and Congress these days and say “a pox on both your houses.” Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein are writing urgently that Republican extremism is driving American democracy into a ditch.

Jay Cost looks the other way, at the Democratic Party, and sees a paralyzing list of “clients”, from labor to minorities to environmentalists that have made the party, he says, a patron and prisoner. The New Yorker’s Nick Lemann calls it the meatiest conservative take out there on American politics today.

This hour, On Point: a young conservative takes on the Democrats’ base.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jay Cost, staff writer and blogger at the Weekly Standard, he’s the author of the new book Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic.

Marc Hetherington, a professor of political science at Vanderbilt University.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.”

New Yorker “Now they get a quarter of it. The gains have increased the farther up you go. The top tenth of one per cent get about ten per cent of income, and the top hundredth of one per cent about five per cent. While the Great Recession was felt most severely by those at the bottom, the recovery has hardly benefitted them. In 2010, ninety-three per cent of the year’s gains went to the top one per cent.”

Huffington Post “The bipartisan luminaries will be carrying on a discussion to a large extent framed by Peterson, who has spent lavishly to shape a national conversation focusing on the deficit rather than on jobs and economic growth.”

Excerpt: Spoiled Rotten

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  • http://twitter.com/JHWillson John Willson

    Tom: Will this be another Whitehouse whitewash? The Delphi Salaried Retirees have a real problem with the Obama administration’s hypocrisy and obstruction. http://t.co/ZR8M7z99

    • Azra

      Obstruction? Hypocracy? Sorry, you’ve got the wrong party!

  • Gustavo

    Tom, how ’bout ending the Norm Ornstein media blacklist. Just cause a guy from AEI says the GOP has become an extremist cancer to democracy through the aid of the corporate media doesn’t mean he should suddenly be silenced and replaced with some no-nothing kid repeated the same talking points GOP flacks have been delivering for 40 years.

    • Scott Nicolson

      Diane Rehm had Mr. Ornstein and Mr. Mann on recently…go check it out.

      • Jack Marshak

        That’s why Diane Rehm has zero legitimacy.

        • Victor Vito

          I’d like to know what you think of someone like Noam Chomsky…

          • Gregg

             “I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin,” Chomsky said, “but when she was
            making fun of this ‘hopey changey stuff,’ she was right, there was
            nothing there.”

          • Hidan

             “This Sarah Palin phenomenon is very curious. I think somebody watching
            us from Mars—they would think the country has gone insane.”

          • Victor Vito

            High five, Hidan!

          • at

             They would be correct and you can thank Edward Bernaise.

          • notafeminista

            Say, did you happen to see Chris Matthews on Jeopardy this week?

        • Scott Nicolson

          Wait…what? She had those guys on to talk about their book, and that means she has no legitimacy? That’s absurd.

  • Jack Marshak
  • at

    It almost doesn’t matter at this point does it?  The thought that someone as blatantly evil as Romney would lead this nations will make people flee into the arms of Obama out of fear.  Then the 1% wins again. Please do not respond to this by telling me that liberals and libertarians have a lot in common and that Ron Paul is our man, he is not.  Obama is the only one who can beat Romney, if he can. And if money and slick production and anonymous contributions are destined to win because of the basic mechanical nature of the average voting American, like the “expert” morons tell us, then Romney will win, because even though Obama is Their boy, Romney is like Gecko in the flesh, he is like crack for Goldman Sachs — Obama is just some righteous herb — to their arch-narcissistic psycho-sexual blind and unconscious vain-glorious pursuits.
    This is what you get when the average person has become a walking zombie lost in a hyperbolic madison ave fantasy, who never even had the capacity to distinguish hype from reality to loose.  Hey, the market will take care of it.

    • at

       Regarding the use of the word evil above:
      Whenever I use the word evil I mean the domination of those who do not wish to be dominated.  Which is the real definition of evil.  As you can plainly see, it would be an easy matter to prove that Romney is evil. If I had an old Jewish grandfather he most certainly would have told me: “Every time someone makes something for nothing, someone else make nothing for something.” He would have been right, as usual — if I had one I mean ; }      (vampire smiley face)

      • Victor Vito

        I wish I could give Romney a dose of Sodium Penathol and ask him “Why do you want to be president?”

        • margbi

           He wants to be President because he wants to be President. Wants should be self-fulfilling when you’ve always had privileges. Why can’t everyone see that?

          • Gregg

            As long as he doesn’t want to fundamentally transform America, I’m cool.

          • Victor Vito

            Glad to hear that you are happy with the way things are.

          • notafeminista

            So why does President Obama keep wanting to be President?

          • ana

            Why would anybody want to be POTUS, I ask myself.

          • notafeminista

            Tis a fair question. But doesn’t answer the question at hand.

          • Jeanhaverhill

            I did some door to door canvassing for Paul Tsongas.  He said “they can cure me of cancer but they can’t cure me of wanting to be president.” thanks for reminding me

          • Terry Tree Tree

            NOW you like the way things are?

          • J__o__h__n

            Have you not listened to him during the primaries?  He wants to advance a “severe conservative” social agenda, has Robert Bork as an advisor, and wants to roll back any regulation of capitalism. 

          • Don_B1

            Romney WILL complete the transformation set in motion by Reagan to make the U.S. an oligarchy and probably doom any possibility of halting climate destruction of the earth.

    • FritzNElroy7

      Romney like Gecko in the flesh

      That is funny – true, all too true – sad – but funny.

      Sometimes life comes right out and tell us stuff right up front and nobody see it till it’s too late.

      Like: the fact that Bain as in Bain Capital sounds exactly like Bane Capital would sound.

      You gotta admit that the collective unconscious or what ever you wanna call it: sure does have a sense of humor.

      • TFRX

        Except was Gordon Gekko a self-made man? I don’t remember, but Romney certainly isn’t.

    • Victor Vito

      Is America a business or a nation anyway?  Why is a reputation as a successful businessman a great pre-requisite to the presidency?

      • notafeminista

        It’s not.  No more than being in the military.

    • Jeanhaverhill

      during the Irish famine the laissez faire policy of Trevelyan was dominant;  at the same time in central Europe it was known as the “hungry forties” when wheat, rye, potatoes all failed and flax (for income) also failed.  Dutch government did not supply any food or relief policies for the starving.  Other countries in central Europe did.  The Americans sent  food on ships….  the old “laissez faire” with markets to corrrect the famine   proved diastrous but the lessons of history are not learned .  Thanks for your comment

    • Conner437

      You got that one right “at” –

      Liberals and Libertarians banding together would be like Fascists and Communists deciding that they were in accord because they both wanted and end to democracy and like machine guns. “We have so much in common.”

  • Ed

    Maybe so. But at least they don’t have abortion as a plank in their platform.

    • Victor Vito

      Romney did once, and certainly would again if he thought it would benefit him politically.

    • DanKnightgrave2

      Maybe so Ed, but how many times will people’s votes be determined by this one issue and then have the pro-life candidate not do anything when they get in?  I bet you are a one issue voter, and I know that every candidate you backed didn’t make a bit of difference to this issue.  Women are not going to go back to that system.  We have to move forward and not be stupid about it.  We have to be realistic and accept the facts about the really early phases of life so that they will accept the facts about the later stages of pregnancy.  We have to be realistic about the effects on our society of unwanted children brought up by single mothers in poverty, or the costs of any alternative that will give them some chance at upward mobility. We have to be realistic about abortion’s positive effects on the crime rate. This is an important and deep issue.
      If for instance you believe in the existence of an immortal soul then abortion is murder.  If you do not then it is not so clear. Very few people can remember anything before birth, though clearly some can. I have recently seen an ultra sound recording in which a male fetus apparently masturbated.
      Let us say that you don’t believe in the soul.  Then you have to decide just what point that a human becomes an individual that is worthy to be equal under law.
      What qualities do we measure to determine this?
      Now that is what I call a tuff one, since I consider most fetuses to be of a higher level of consciousness than the people who vote. They are in a state of wholeness that few of them will ever even reach an approximation of in later life.
      Nevertheless, destroying our culture by voting in lying misanthropes like Bush who make promises that will never be fulfilled is irresponsible in the max.
      Or someone like Romney who will fix our financial problems by increasing the very deregulation that caused it in the first place. How stupid and short of memory and incapable of the slightest bit of perception can people be?
      I will now make a great mystic prediction.
      Romney will never answer any important question he is asked during a debate.  They will ask a question but he will answer a different question, the one he wanted to be asked. Like he said, during the Republican “debates”, when he was asked to please answer the questions put to him instead of just talking about anything that came into his shifty mind. His response was, “You have the right to ask the questions you want, and I have the right to give the answers I want.”
      This is either an admission of how little regard he has for the intelligence of the public or a demonstration of how stupid he is.

      • at

        Or it is merely another instance of how he just assumes his right to dominate a situation by it only mattering what it means to him. Like I said. He is evil. A prime example of a barely disguised sociopath and closet narcissist.

        • LionsNBearsONO

          Look on the bright side. If you are gay you can save a fortune on some really rad haircuts.

          • Steve

            Wow, is instant karma gonna get you!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You’ll be able to spot a priest, BEFORE you see his collar?

          • YehRight23

            Terry is the only tree that grow on you!

      • J__o__h__n

        It isn’t fair to call him a one issue voter.  He also is against gay marriage.

      • Azra

        It’s both.

        • Azra

          As for “pro life” Dubya, he still claimed that he thought all life was important, as he conned young Americans into killing countless others, in a bogus war.

          What he MEANT to say was that only UNBORN life is important.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      GOT to have MORE VICTIMS?

  • Yar

    My question is; if a President Romney takes the country private, borrows a bunch of money against our assets for his fees and then turns around and sells us to Canada, will we finally get universal healthcare?

    • Victor Vito

      Ey!

    • JGC

      No, but you may get on the ground floor of an exceptional poutine franchise… 

  • Victor Vito

    I don’t usually like to do this, but the premise of today’s show is silly.  Our entire government is corrupted by money, and neither the left nor the right are better than the other.

    There is no benefit to blaming one ideology.  We have a democratic republic with an utterly corrupted government.  Citizens United and the repeal of Glass Steagall prove that the populace and their government and hopelessly seperated.

    • Jeanhaverhill

      I don’t think we can finger point; it seems to be human traits….  that add up to a corruption ….   to misquote Pogo, the fault is in all of us.  An administrator connected with republican campaigns found himself a “democratic” way to steal 30 million from special education funds (some federal, some state, some local) creating his own loopholes as he went along  ….  it took 16 years to get Whitey Bulger…. these corruptions are not even flagged or identified. Why is it that only Martha went to jail????  there is an old expression murder will out….  but in politics the typical behavior is corruption  ….. the cover-up is the lie that traps the individual…  would like to hear your viewpoint 

  • AC

    i’m surpised more companies don’t just contribute to both parties, so they cover their PR and risk….

    • Hidan

       Many tend to last minute or once the Candidate win they flood there coffers. But what tends to happen as well is both sides get a lobbyist from the same Corporate Interest so whoever wins there guy is in the inside. Goldman infest both sides

      Check out open secrets or source watch and than check an policy view/promotion by an Congressman(or former) and the group that’s backing it.

      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=SourceWatch
      http://www.opensecrets.org/

    • at

       You have just discovered SOP for all the major corporations for the last two plus centuries.  In other words they do do just exactly what you suggest and have been, and it has been nothing but bad for the nation. How can you vote against Goldman
      sACHS?  yoU CAN’T

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz5RxhahHK0

      • HmmmmPart23

        excellent clip  Tanks

      • AC

        than it is a self-fulfilling kind of destruction? if they dare show loyalty to one, they risk being ostracized. & not just by politics – the public has a say too – as Susan G Komen learned….
        seems like damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
        i can only say – i’m glad i’m not important!!

        • KarmaKumKleen

          Everyone is in on it AC. They all realize how the game is played, there
          are no real loyalties to anything, not family friend or country, only
          the conservation and enlargement of their own power and status.  It’s
          really all obvious. Just look at the growth of competing slime molds and
          you will see the same tactics employed.  Their are over a million
          professional political workers in the DC area. I am not talking about
          professional democrats or republicans.  They average well over two
          hundred grand income each, you don’t expect the owners to pay for all
          that wasted time and effort that actually produces nothing but negative
          value do you? Hell no, it’s just like the tax you pay for not watching
          professional athletics. Everything you purchase and use costs more
          because of the incredible fees these people command for endorsements in
          the case of athletes and corruption in the case of political workers.
          You don’t have a choice it’s a form of coercive taxation from which
          there is no shelter. But I have yet to hear one Republican bitch about it.

    • TFRX

      They do, often.

      When the Bush II White House was busy Photoshopping all his rides on the Enron corporate jet during campaign 2000 out of existence, one could pick up the idea that Enron was a major contributor to both the GOP and the Dems.

      That that idea wasn’t true, to the tune of maybe 6-1 or 7-1, mattered not. The slightest bit of coverage is all that was sought.

  • Hidan

    There’s a few special interest groups that infect both the democratic party and the Republican party in some of the worst ways.

    But we also should include those “sic” objective and independent think tanks that both parties seem to rely on. 

  • Hidan

    It’s highly doubtful groups like the SEIU and PP has as much pull as say AIPAC, WALL Street or Brookings and there’s no doubt that the first two would be thrown under the bus for the later.

    • notafeminista

      Because?

      • Azra

        Because the Left believes in liberty and justice for ALL.

        • Azra

          . . . and voters’ rights fpr ALL .

        • notafeminista

          To your post above and below:  Unless of course ALL happens include white, wealthy Christians.  Those you dismiss out of hand.

          Intellectually dishonest.

          • Azra

            Please explain.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            nota will use Ed Conard’s “that’s too complicated.”?

          • Azra

            ?????????????????

          • Azra

            Exactly how do I do that, pray tell?

    • John C

      The dollar amounts brought in by such groups is not argued about by conservative critics, rather they tend to focus their ire at accusations of voter fraud, and other shenanigans.  Hence the reason why conservatives support voter identification requirements at ballots, and the left’s traditional supporters oppose it loudly.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Let’s outlaw all corporate money. Corporations are not persons. Especially when you consider US based multinational corporations influenced by foreign stakeholders who certainly have no say in our government. ALEC has more say in legislation than the ACLU! All communications between corporations and politicians should be limited to testimony in public hearings!

    Those drawn to wealth and power are especially vulnerable to the corruption of money: look at the toothless regulation we got after the 2008 financial meltdown. The hands of lobbyists are in the pants of Democrats and Republicans alike; but look a the partisan votes: a number of Democrats are clearly on the leashes of lobbyists while the Republicans are a whole different story: they are so well trained they snap too and march in lockstep without leashes. Who’s on the side of The People?

    While Elite Wall Street Speculators the just like Jamie Diamond have the audacity to accuse the Obama administration of waging war on the Wall Street claiming we don’t need regulation, Republicans openly promote no regulation based upon their lazy fairy mythonomic theory. That’s like the drunkard sitting behind the wheel of his car wreck claiming he is fine to drive and asks for another drink. Facts don’t matter I guess.

    At least the Democratic party is not at war with the middle and lower classes. At least the Democratic party does not openly express contempt for the gay and women’s rights and demonize Latinos, Blacks, Gays, unionized teachers and autoworkers.

    And one party is not so blind to hypocrisy as to call for sacrifices of the middle and lower classes while in the same breath call for relief for the burden of the terminally wealthy, which many of them are themselves. Woe are we!

    Yay verily, sacrifices will have to be made and the beatings will continue until morale improves.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      JP Morgan PROVES AGAIN that Wall Street will NOT ‘regulate itself’!

  • Hidan

    The Corporate Takeover of U.S. Democracy

    In effect, the decision permits corporate managers to buy elections directly, instead of using more complex indirect means, though it is likely that to avoid negative publicity they will choose to do so through trade organizations. It is well-known that corporate campaign contributions, sometimes packaged in complex ways, are a major factor determining the outcome of elections. This alone is a significant factor in policy decisions, reinforced by the enormous power of corporate lobbies, greatly enhanced by the Court’s decision, and other conditions imposed by the very small sector of the population that dominates the economy.

    http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20100124.htm

    Noam Chomsky on Corporate Personhood: 2011

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no8zxGPyapU

    • Victor Vito

      Thanks Hidan.  Chomsky is hard for the right to explain.  Certainly wealthy and more certainly a genius, why does he take positions that certainly would aversely affect him if implemented?  The only way to explain him from the right is to say he is insane.

  • JustSayin

    Hmm.. Voter’s choice?: The corporatist Obama, or the neo-fascist Romney.  The ballot will have a box for either, but does it really make a difference which Wall St. candidate is chosen?

    “All political thinking for years past has been
    vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it
    coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can
    be ignored when they are unwelcome.”
    -George Orwell

    • DefidentLaRoue

      The full extent of that man’s perceptual abilities has yet to be realized by the public despite his fame.

    • Buddhaclown

      And this is a bad thing? The alternatives are represented by the Tea Party, Occupy Wall St, and Ron Paul. All of which essentially want to scratch modern society and bring us to some time in the past, whether it be the 1950′s in the case of the Tea Party, the 1800′s in the case on Ron Paul, or the 5th century BC in the case of Occupy. 

      Unless you are an extremist you have to work with all of the organs of our society, and that includes Wall St. So any good president is going to work with Wall St., the question is whether their work is aimed at trying to push Wall St. in the direction of working more for Main St. and not just for themselves.

      Occupy extremists just want to undo Wall St, allow modern society to collapse, and then when the ashes have fallen and the trees are blossoming, we can all hold hands together and sing Kumbaya.

      • GodAlmighty

        You don’t know a thing about Occupy, I suggest you listen to a little of what Chris Hedges has to say. Or maybe you just don’t grok the Buddha nature of OWS?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    First paragraph claims an outsized majority in both Congress and the Senate.  HOW OUTSIZED, and for HOW LONG?
        If you look closely at ANY organization, you can find people, including leaders, doing things that are against the stated aims of that organization.  Religious leaders have been exposed for almost EVERY crime, SIN, they claim to be against?
       MANY people hold religious leaders up as the model citizen?

    • Hidan

       if he’s referring to the 60 votes in the senate one must remember the Al F. had to go to court and had 6 months of legal battles before he could actually vote for anything.(meaning while the media was hyping 60 votes it really wasn’t for 6 months ). Than we had Lieberman who voted and promoted John Mccain in 08 and claimed to be a independent(reported as a democrat until the Democrats loss there 60 seat majority than the media went back to calling him a independent).

      Because of the fillibuster rule in the senate the # of democrats in the congress didn’t really matter cause whatever was voted on would be watered down(Lieberman) or blocked in the Senate or otherwise would be compromised to pass. So even with a majority the more liberal parts of democrats would be blocked in favor for DC democrat thinking.

      • TFRX

        And anyone who gets their news from the teevee and the papers can be forgiven if they’ve internalized the idea that 60 is 50% +1 of 100.

        Hell knows our media have swallowed that up.

      • ana

        60 votes was actually for 4 months.  Scott Brown replaced Ted Kennedy early on.

      • Victor Vito

        Ah yes, good ole “Traitor Joe”.

  • Hidan
  • Adks12020

    It’s pretty obvious that every politician has backing from some sort of special interest. That’s how they garner votes and money.  People want to see that the cadidates support the same causes they do so the politicians get endorsements from those groups by speaking on their behalf, or at least about the issues they find important. Then the groups support their campaigns. 

    Then people complain about the candidates getting money from those “special interests”, aka the groups they support.  So is the problem the special interests or that it isn’t their special interests?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the system is completely corrupt and I want all this money out of politics as much as the next guy (maybe then regular people could actually run for office) but it’s not just the politicians that made it this way.

    I’d also like to note that while Dems certainly are backed by special interests they sure as heck don’t have giant groups like ALEC running around the country pushing legislation in every state.

    p.s. I don’t belong to either of the major parties.
     

  • gilscotheron

    Obama has stacked his cabinet with big bank toadies, Holders department especially there is a reason that there are so many Goldman and Covington alumni who are not prosecuting the bankers who keep ankling the American peoples ingenuity and creativity by producing fraudulent credits massive amount of derivatives with no productive use other than to generate huge risk and pay days for bankers.
    The price of an insider position in the Obama administration appears to be a half amillion and rich friends who will buy 35,000 dollar a plate dinners like Jon Corzine and Gary Gensler these guy have a free pass to steal billions from hard working Americans.

    If you think Barney Frank had any idea to reform the financial system look at his votes this bill written by Dimon at JPPM handed to Grimm is signed by Barnie Frank to destroy his own Doed Frank legacy.http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/112-2012/h128
    We are slaves to the banks plain and simple.

  • J__o__h__n

    This is one instance where both sides actually are to blame.  Instead of the usual false equivalence, this time we just focus on the Democrats?  No one from the left to counter a blogger from the Weekly Standard?

    • Jeff from Belmont

      I really hate when people say that NPR is liberal. They do this all the time. Bring on conservatives with no liberals to counter. And when they do have liberals, the conservatives get a lot more talking time.

      • TomK in Boston

        Amen. NPR is just another member of the corporate media, focused on their bottom line and afraid of the far right. Nice follow up to class warrior Conard, Tom. Yuck.

        • notafeminista

          You know I’d be inclined to agree with you both – but when there are posters right on this very forum grumping about the lack of liberal view “recently” – it tends to discredit your argument.

    • notafeminista

      Well…not just one instance…in keeping with the “Tricky Dick” theme…have a look.

      http://www.attackwatch.com

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304723304577368280604524916.html

  • jefe68

    Say it isn’t so… Our government is run by special interest?
    No, who would have thought. What year is this, 2012 and you folks are just getting to do a show on this. This has been going on for years and since the 90′s it’s been getting worse, not better.  When President Nixon was in office there were about 200 lobbyist in DC, now there are thousands. 

    The difference though, the Republicans want to do away with the EPA, FDA, SS, Medicare and Medicaid and gut as many regulations that can. Still the whole damn system is dysfunctional.

    • Brett

      Yep. (An aside: It’s amazing when one thinks about characters such as old “Tricky Dick” who would today be blasted for many of his moderate views; it’s amazing to look back and remember those times.) 

      It is amazing to think about the institutional shifts in the influence of lobbies that have occurred low these many years since Dick Nixon.

      There is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides of this political coin we toss, election after election.  

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The Health Care act we got, was POLLUTED, and DISTORTED, by ‘conservatives’, that want to conserve the over-paid EXECUTEives that ARE the DEATH PANELS, and have been, for decades!

    • notafeminista

      Wasn’t the conservatives who said keep your kid on the policy til they are 26.

      • Azra

        Isn’t it Rick Santorum’s daughter who is using that policy to her advantage?

        • Roy Mac

          And Sen Scott Brown.

        • notafeminista

          And all the Occupiers.

          • Azra

            Hooray for Obama!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Terry there’s one problem with your thesis.

      Obamacare was written by the democrats and voted on by the democrats.

      Therefore it is hard to pin Obamacare on the GOP but I give you credit for creativity.

      • Azra

        That’s not true. I heard the whole thing. Both parties had long lists of things they did or didn’t want included in the healthcare bill. Their compromise took quite a long time, and in the end, HUNDREDS of Republican concepts, proposals, and amendments were adopted during the committee mark-up process. Then they voted on it.

        So, it’s NOT Obama’s, or a Democratic healthcare plan. It’s a Democratic and Republican collaboration.

  • notafeminista

    2 $40,000 a plate fundraisers and one $35,000 a plate fundraiser so far.  SEIU got nothin on these folks.

  • MrNutso

    So it’s another show on the slow progression to the world of Rollerball.

    • TFRX

      The cult original, or the needless, incoherent remake?

      Cos when it comes to remaking sci-fi movies from the 60s and 70s, “the future ain’t what it used to be”. (h/t Yogi)

      • MrNutso

        The original of course.

  • jerwest

    Here’s a list of contributions by industry sector:
    http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/index.php 

    It’s a list of your usual suspects:  finance and real estate, telecom, pharma, lawyers, defense, labor and energy, etc.  To my eyes, it seems like a very well-spread mix, even though for example the energy sector is overwhelmingly Republican, and the labor sector is Democrat.  On the whole though, based on this chart I would speculate our government is controlled by exactly the same interests regardless of election outcome. 

    • Don_B1

      Business interests feel the need to “hedge their bets” and as long as campaigns are not PUBLICLY funded, it ever will be so. Right now, the fossil fuel industry sees Republicans as wholly-owned subsidiaries with a few Democrats from coal states, etc., thrown in for “[false] bipartisanship.”

  • Prairie_W

    As long as we — you and I, no exceptions — lavish the “special interests” with our support, they will govern our lives.  How can we retain a strong economy and a relatively stable society without turning over our power, as we have, to corporations and special interest groups.  For them, we are nothing more nor less than “consumers” and/or a “base.”

    And while we’re about it, to what extent do we wish (c’mon, be truthful!!) that somebody else please-please run the government for us and keep things going and not ask us for our attention, commitment, money, etc.?  I think that’s what we did.  I think we handed off our “self-governance” to Exxon-Mobil, Citi, Archer Daniels Midland, Lockheed Martin, and Sony in return for their doing the governing for us.

    Both Obama and Romney grew up at a time when the deal was already sealed on who owns the US government.  They know there are no options unless (and only Obama appears to know this very well) some miracle happens and we use our numbers (as he has urged us many times) to regain control of the system.  Unfortunately, that means making economic choices few want to make, preferring to blame Obama for making them himself.  Unless we come to terms with that, all that’s left — as well as Left — is sound and fury.

    • Don_B1

      When a delegation was making their case for action, Franklin D. Roosevelt told them, in effect: I agree, now MAKE me do it.

      There was such a euphoria about Obama when he was elected, everybody seemed to sit back and await his “miracles.” That was the big mistake as people legitimately angry with the banks causing the financial crisis got out but were from the rightwing of the Republican Party and called themselves Tea Party, then supported ALL the policies that CAUSED the problem.

      That is only now beginning to be apparent, but seems slow to reach the lower levels of the 99%. That is deeply regrettable but understandable when those are the people who follow politics and policy matters the least.

      A case where ignorance WILL hurt you.

      • Prairie_W

         What was really extraordinary was how quickly — like overnight, mon! — the tea party (which at the start, at least locally, included liberals) was bought out via Americans for Prosperity.  The tea partyers kept their virginity for about two months, maybe a little longer depending on location.  Then !bingo! — they suddenly had big shiny buses and big placards and, later, a truly whorish convention. Even now, if you point out to them that they’ve had corporate support for years, many express horror, indignation, and disbelief.  It was what we might call a truly American story.

    • LemmingsTOtheFlame

      Unless you look in the bank accounts of the one percent then there is plenty left. As for Exxon — last year they paid negative 10% in taxes, that is, we paid them for the privilege of being their chattle, fighting and dying in their wars (twenty wells just contracted in Iraq for Exxon) and basically continuing the legacy of the richest man (by far) in all of history John D Rockefeller, whose family and friends basically own America, and can have men come to your house and kill you and the only outcome will be that your reputation will end up being sullied by the matter. This is were the Bush dynasty got it’s legs, from Prescott being the bagman for investments against the US national interest. He did lose one of his business for adding and abetting the Nazi’s but he served the family well so his son and grand son get to be president and do the bidding of the real power. Exxon is more powerful in many countries than the host government, oil has continuously been involved in atrocities against inhabitants of lands they want, and have more or less ruled the CIA and such with their desires. And how cozy to have a dear friend a veritable good fella head the agency. Oh and lets not even get into the responsibility that the infamous JP Morgan and company railroaded the US into the second world war in order to protect it’s investments in the Brit and French war effort, which despite the disinformation, was started to prevent Germany from building a railroad into the oilfields to connect them with central Europe, thus putting an end to their monopoly on distribution. Then Russia dropped out due to revolution and Germany had over a hundred divisions freed up to send to the western front, and they would have won. But we stepped in, to protect the bankers money, and the debt owed to them by England and France was so enormous that the US Government not only could not forgive it without going bankrupt but actually drew up PLan red to invade Canada in retribution, But England and France could ill afford to pay what they owed either so guess who was saddled with the debt? Germany and guess what this brought about? Economic collapse, and guess who was waiting in the wings to take advantage of it. The Industrialist’s hero Adolph Hitler.  Now there was an efficient system industry and government marching into the future hand in hand, free of taxes and unruly unproductive regulation. But who can even question the brilliant future that the elite have in store for us. Look at China and their incredible progress over the last twenty years — a steady decline in happiness for eveyone but the most super wealthy they are real happy, even 1.3% happier than a similar person making only 40K. What a world huh? Just leave it to the job-creators and power elite and we will all eventually gas ourselves in the shower. But we know what makes life worth living: it’s the new yacht that docks itself automatically that most your friends can’t afford so it releases a little of the hormones you like most, those of sex and domination, and as that great sex symbol once said, “Power is the greatest aphrodisiac (for whores).

      • LemmingsTOtheFlame

        Sorry it I meant that JP railroaded us into the first world war not the second.

  • Oedipa

    This seems like a “dog bites man” story. We know special interests coalesce around the parties, it’s the process of coalition building.

    The problem with the conservative side of the equation is that there’s a fervent, some might say low-information, rebellion taking place on their fringe, in the form of the Tea Party. Unfortunately, the confluence of all the old special interests and this new ideological absolutism is proving to be quite a toxic mix.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      I’ll go further and characterize ‘toxic’ as outright dangerous.  Low-information rebellion sounds to me like ‘ripe for a demagogue’ . Combine this with that peculiar American sense of exceptionalism/can’t happen to us and we may be in more trouble than we think. 

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    I’ll be interested to hear him out….always good to be leery of an impulse to believe it’s always the other guy’s fault. 

    Congress is full of well-meaning people but the system under which they operate is broken.  How else are they to get the mega bucks needed for re-election if not by selling themselves to rich lobbyists, corporations, unions and donors?

    On the other hand, the nation had it so good for so long it didn’t matter that we voted, often carelessly, then left the government to run itself. 

    Now Congress, detached from everyday constituents and the vigilance they need to exercise, wallows no truth but their own and that of their most impassioned supporters. We let ourselves be divided against each other, fail to have meaningful conversation with others who think differently from us, shrink from knowing the truth and have ceased to demand that we hear the same from our elected officials. 

    For this depressing state of affairs my fellow Americans, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    • ana

      Very nice post.  “we let ourselves be divided against each other”,  is a phenomonen exacerbated by the media the   last 30 years, often a deliberate attempt to do just that. 
       

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Thanks for the compliment 
        Ana .  I read an article recently claiming negative ads are designed to stir the base and turn off the middle.  It’s obvious, as you say, this works.

        It was with some dismay to hear this morning on CBC that Obama will not shrink from “hard hitting” ads – and has taken a page from the “GOP playbook” to strike early and be relentless. 

        So how do we fight this?  The only way I can think of is to start as many substantive conversations as we can – and my guess, my hope, is both sides are a lot more of one opinion about what needs to happen than we’re led to believe. 

        • ana

          Yes, I am very disappointed that  President Obama
          plans to swim with  the sharks.
          What are his chances if he doesn’t though?
          Tried to enagage in a discussion with a Repub recently and was greeted with rush of utter hatred for this President based on misinformation and fear mongering.

  • Jack Marshak

    Noam Chomsky: Bush kidnapped and tortured, Obama murders

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/05/16/241483/bush-tortured-obama-kills-chomsky/

    • Azra

      Huh?

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Azra – always a distressing number of conspiracy theorists among us. Best to dismiss them and move on – they contribute nothing to the conversation except hyper-active imaginings and ruminations from the echo chamber.

      • Azra

        A sure sign that they need more fulfilling, productive hobbies.

      • QuebecLibrae

        You are one ignorant critter. Noam is one of the few who actually consistently speaks truth to power. You speak of ruminations from an echo chamber, yet it is your knowledge of Noam that is obviously hollow if you think him any shade of a conspiracy theorist. Try knowing something before you echo next time.

  • Bgaidry

    When the choices are between the party that GIVES everything away to corporations and moneyed interests, and the party that SURRENDERS everything away to corporations and moneyed interests, it’s time to walk away from the whole stinking mess and start over.

    • Don_B1

      The problem is that in the time between walking away and getting a big enough group to “start over,” the whole game will be lost. Pick the group that would otherwise “surrender” and find members that will work within and/or without to initiate the change. On the climate change issue, 350.org is a group getting active to hold elective representatives “feet to the fire.”

      Lawrence Lessig at Harvard is working on campaign finance reform.

      Investigate and join one of these groups; vote Democratic Party but then get out and hold that electee’s feet to the fire. If enough Republicans are defeated, it will give the Democrats more “spine.”

      • Azra

        Thank you for that. Yesterday, I phoned the White House, as per a request from the Sierra Club, to help save the Polar Bears. (There were more than a million callers.) Now, I’m going to the 350. org website. Thanks again.

  • TFRX

    “Once noble Democratic party”.

    A phrase to remember when the election season gets into full swing, and the CW is that EverythingKarlRoveDoesIsGenius seeps out of every pore of the media.

    Nobody’s demanding the GOP be noble. All the framing about them is simply that they win. But the Dems have to worry about a conservative losing his respect for them?

    • J__o__h__n

      As FDR said, “And I welcome their hatred.”

  • Robbie

    Special interests are inevitable, however, it has turned into legalized bribery and our democracy is being prostituted for the benefit of the highest bidder.
    I think both parties are guilty of this and that is why private money should be banned from elections. Public financing is the best way to begin a reform of this corrupted system.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       How about asking voters to be responsible about their choices?

      • Robbie

         I think the deliberate dumbing down of the average American voter is making that a bit impossible. What do you think SOPA, PIPA and now CISPA are for? To prevent just what you are proposing.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Notice how those aren’t getting passed?

          • Robbie

             CISPA is about to pass. It can even be snuck into some random, obscure unrelated bill. That’s the problem with lack of transparency.

      • Don_B1

        Too few have the time (and, unfortunately for them. the inclination) to do the research. When listening to Romney, the focus-group-tested phrases ring so true just as their falsity rings out to those who have actually studied the issue.

        Ask why would anyone buy a used car from this man and it becomes obvious when you see a movie like “Elmer Gantry.”

      • Modevations

        Your opinions get more and more naive.  Do you actually know any humans, if not, look in the mirror and you will find an approximation. You are not responsible and look at all the time you waste on your inane opinions.

  • J__o__h__n

    I’m so glad the Republicans don’t cater to the no new taxes ever crowd, Christian extremists, oil companies, NRA members . . .

  • Oedipa

    Oh, goody, another neophyte who’s read that the parties were actually flipped in the Jim Crow era, folds in the corruption of what were Machine politics and thinks he’s discovered a Rosetta stone for his own outlook on today’s ideological languages.

  • MrNutso

    Roosevelt managed to group a large and wide swath of the electorate.  That’s how major accomplishments were achieved.  Now we have a close to a 33-33-33 split with a rising percentage of not R’s or D’s and nothing gets done.

  • Susan G

    Neither party is unique in this respect. Money and special interest rules our country and it is time to stop pointing fingers at each other. I have an idea, we should get lawyers (whose job is to win arguments regardless of right or wrong) OUT of government and put scientists (problem solvers) in power.

    • Don_B1

      Look into Lawrence Lessig’s effort to get PUBLIC campaign financing. Elected Representatives spend more than half their time working for campaign donations, NOT analyzing issues (K-Street lobbyist can do that!) and understanding what the country needs. And studying economics, particularly macroeconomics, which would show them WHY austerity now will only make the deficit WORSE, is totally beyond their sights.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jcspires51 James-Clifton Spires

    This young man’s interview with Tom today strikes me as similar to a young mafia wannabe attempt to “make his bones” and impress his gangster bosses. He’s the equivalent of a hitman, proving how loyal he is to the “family,” in this case the GOP.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Why not consider what he has to say, rather than dismiss him because he’s not on your side?

      • Don_B1

        Why do you think he wasn’t listening? I heard some of the guest author’s cherry-picking to eek out a narrative that fits the “hitman thesis.” Certainly both parties have committed hypocracy but the Republicans are masters at appealing to human emotions that bypass reasoned consideration of the issues. And they ARE using that advantage to take the public away from its best interests.

    • notafeminista
  • Irene Moore

    What is democracy if not the rule of the majority having been determined by open and fair elections.  If this is idealistic, then that needs to be the discussion.  If this is the assumption, then the rule of the majority is the way it works.  Protecting the rights of the minority does not mean the minority rules.  It simply means there must be a mechanism for the voice of the minority to be heard in the context of the majority deciding the affairs of the nation (or whatever the entity).  Everyone has an interest in something – that’s the beauty of democracy – in the midst of the noise there is a way to function and the majority decides.  When did the veto power of the minority become a principle of democracy?

    • Drew (GA)

      We are a Democratic Republic, NOT a Democracy. I don’t like it but it is the way it has always been in this Country.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    WHERE is there a major political party, that doesn’t favor some ‘special interest’?
       Working union  members, that build the products, buildings, roads, include women, minorities, and most handicapped!
       Environmentalists that try to protect the air we ALL breathe, the water we ALL drink, the food we ALL eat, and the nature that provides for us ALL, including ‘Conservatives’, that wish to destroy ALL, for profit!
       Women, that are the reason, and the way we ALL got here, groups, that have to wrest equality, from the men that couldn’t have survived without them?
       Minority groups, that have the same struggles of women for equality?

                                          versus

    Corporations that twist everything that they can, to POLLUTE, DESPOIL, CONTROL, SUBDUE, everything they can, to grab PROFIT for a FEW?
      
       WHICH ‘Special Interest’, is MOST in YOUR interest?

    • notafeminista

      Actually neither.

  • Lyndabeltz

    Environmentalists for Obama? Maybe once upon a time.
    But with Salazar heading up Interior? I couldn’t be more
    disappointed. 

    • Don_B1

      But even Salazar has done more than ANY REPUBLICAN-APPOINTED head of the Interior Department. It is not as if Obama had full choice over the matter. Read:

      http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-stump/103115/why-does-wall-street-hate-obama-naivete?utm_source=The+New+Republic&utm_campaign=54f779e1ce-TNR_Pol_050712&utm_medium=email

      and think about whether there was some naïveté in the Left also.

      Consider how evangelicals have kept supporting Republicans starting with Reagan who talked the talk but did little if not nothing on their “pro-life” issues. As Obama says “persistence” is critical. Reagan always said I’ll take part of the loaf now and come back for the rest next.

      The Right wing has decided to make as much of this crisis that THEY created to further THEIR causes. And the Left looks like it might let them. Which side will let a crisis go to waste?

  • MrNutso

    It’s a threat to the country, because they are not Republicans.

  • troll_doll

    Whats with all the conservative guests? I gave up Cable TV 20 years ago….

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      You don’t like to hear views that you don’t agree with, I take it.

      • Oedipa

        I don’t like to hear neophytes, with flimsy, self-evident ideas, no matter whether I agree with them or not.

      • Don_B1

        I think he is complaining that his arguments are not being heard. But he just needs to make his comments here to refute what is incorrect and make recommendations for other guests to be considered.

        The country is where it is because its people did not pay attention to what George W. Bush was saying about taxes, etc. in his 2000 campaign, where he was clearly misrepresenting the issues.

    • notafeminista

      Implication being that normally they only have on liberal guests?

  • Sandy Untermyer, Appling GA

    Hey — parties, schmarties!! The SAME people run both parties nowadays. Sometimes they look like jackasses, sometimes like elephants, but to the rest of us it’s all the same. (I’m glad we have a black guy running against a white guy this time, since there’s no other way to tell them apart!!)

    • Don_B1

      I think you need to look a bit closer; but there are some things in common, mainly in the need to “raise money for 4 to 6 hours EVERY DAY. And getting money in big donations, to make it easier, means going to a few common places.

      Note that most Democrats oppose the most egregious positions of the Republicans; they did pass Dodd-Frank, which would have prevented the J.P. Morgan loss if the problem, not yet fully explained, is a case of using CDSs to bet on an improving U.S. economy, not to hedge risk in other positions. Thus it was to MAKE MONEY as in what was done that caused the financial crisis. Hedging is to spread RISK, not make INCOME.

      The easy thing is to raise your hands in surrender and walk away, but that will only guarantee the worst outcome.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    It’s interesting how sensitive the left-leaning listeners here happen to be.  The Republican party is not the distilled essence of evil, and the Democrats aren’t heroes struggling for truth, justice, and the American way.

    • Don_B1

      Really! The Republicans may not have evil intent, but they WILL create evil if you consider family catastrophes, lost jobs, declining wages for the 99%, etc. evil, which when those things could have been prevented, would qualify in many eyes. Most old-line churches, though not evangelical churches apparently, would.

  • John C

    I am loving this interview so far.  Seems like Mr. Cost has made a real effort to stay impartial.  Sadly, many of the posts on here have failed any effort at all of impartiality.

    • Drew (GA)

      From Carter to Clinton to Obama?

    • Don_B1

      On what basis do you consider Mr. Cost impartial? He has twisted the meaning of the Constitutional right to petition the government for grievances, and the need for parties to listen and be responsive to their constituents.

      While too many comments are not responsive to the guest’s comments (the posting starts well before the program) they may well be responsive to the guest’s position taken in other venues. Some do shorten the statement to save time.

      But the bottom line for me is that the comments are generally more considered here than many other like venues, with notable exceptions from “resident trolls.”

  • J__o__h__n

    This guy makes Newt sound like an historian. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    There is something hypocritical in the Democratic party’s stance vis-a-vis the grassroots given the way they have to keep competing with deeply moneyed Republican forces (and in many ways also probably hypocritical forces) on the other side.  I don’t see what the answer is.  

    If you are lucky, you can find common ground with Some Special Interest, and they will “go to bat” for you, but otherwise, you’d just better keep your head down and be satisfied with being more or less in opposition to all the governing parties.

    • Don_B1

      Unfortunately that is what too many people seem to do; they find a way to say, “A pox on both your houses.” But that just encourages the politicians to be more outrageous, if that were possible, and, counterintuitively maybe, I think it is.

      Making the “Mistake of 1937″ [Roosevelt's turn to austerity, which created a second recession within the Great Depression] is just a Republican Congress away.

      Ignoring the growing climate change which will soon be uncorrectible is also only a Republican Congress away.

      That is not to say that Democrats will do the right thing, but there is at least a chance that if the American people DEMONSTRATE SUPPORT for a carbon tax, it will happen.

      Remember, President Nixon observed that 20 MILLION people came out on that first Earth Day in 1970. He saw that 10% of Americans and probably a bigger percentage of voters were concerned enough about the environment to take a day off from work to publicly demonstrate that concern.

      When will Americans get 30 million to demonstrate to today’s politicians a similar concern? The excellent 350.org demonstration against Keystone XL did not reach that level. But the Tea Party protests at Congressional “Town Meetings” in the summer of 2009 against health care reform weakened Senatorial “spine” and doomed Obama’s efforts to a shadow of what he had wanted.

      For those who want better, get out and get politically active for a better America, not the past that was not as good as remembered and will be worse if an oligopoly gains more power.

  • Humanpontiac

    it’s amazing how conservatives manage to turn environmentalism, feminism and labor and turn it to something parallel to corrupt corporate special interests represented by GOP   

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      You’re leaving out healthcare corporations, something he just named.

    • Don_B1

      The height of that is to use the financial crisis that THEY caused to convince people that they will do better with the SAME POLICIES that caused that crisis. And note that each of the last three “crises” have been WORSE than the previous. [Savings Bank crisis, dot.com bubble, housing/mortgage bubble] Should we just wait until it happens? Is one of the definitions of insanity repeating the same thing over and over, expecting the results to be different?

      • StandardDiscrepency3

        Exactly. Learn it people. It is really not that hard to understand. Deregulation that proceeded apace under both parties since Reagan stepped up and Regan took command of the economy. Is what caused the financial melt down. Watch Inside Job, it is even entertaining, even a high school kid could understand it. You cannot fix something by intensifying systemic rot that brought it about, and now that they got the money of course they want more. More bubbles their good for everyone except about 300 million of us.  You notice there was big debate over the GM bailout, but when it came to anonymous off-shore hedge fund managers — whose identities to this day are unknown by the government or anyone outside of the inside, there was no friggin debate, it was billions of dollars paid to who-knows-who right away, without delay, because the MAN may bet, but he don’t loose, even when he looses. Everyone pays but him. Because the man is a genius, who has found the secret stealing from everyone and having them say, “Thank you sir may I have another?” These are great Americans who are creative and fruitful, just ask one of their many publists or paid toadies.

  • Drew (GA)

    So we go straight from Carter to Clinton? Guess the Reagan Era was a figment of my imagination. Someone said something about impartiality?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The lesson of the last several years is that the interest groups on both sides are making any work in the middle impossible.

    • Kathy

      But the democrats consistently march to the middle, the Republicans then just move further to the left. The middle is somewhere to the left of the Democratic party.

  • http://www.facebook.com/justine.lombardi Justine Lombardi

    The Pot calls the Kettle black.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I congratulate Mr. Cost on his analysis of the coming of the health care bill.  I was flabbergasted when Obama informed us that Americans WANT their health care provided through their jobs.
        What?  What?
        Would the job providers (corporations) have anything to do with that?

    • Don_B1

      Whether on not Americans “want” their health care through their employer, most Americans, especially those working for large corporations, distrust CHANGE. And those people have outsized influence on “Blue Dog” Democrats, whose vote was required to pass ANYTHING!

      People who do not follow the details of issues are easy subjects for manipulation and some think they are learning those details but if they go to the “wrong” sources they can get confused with cherry-picked data and twisted analysis.

      Too many people have never learned that.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    I love it! Take away the teachers, government workers, automotive workers, Environmental, Latino and Black interests… do you see a trend here?

    This disparity of monetary influence is your point, but who do you consider ‘The People’? So ‘The People’ are a minority constituency of lawyers, C level executives and Wall Street speculators with the majority of the monetary influence?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    How do we create a party whose interest group is the American people?

    • MrNutso

      You can’t.  The only time Republicans and Democrats work together is when they the status quo is threatened.  Example number one is congressional redistricting that creates safe seats even if it results in one party having a greater representation.

    • Robbie

       that is what Occupy “_” is all about

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        All I can see in the Occupy movement is a bunch of whiny characters who feel that they’re owed an easy life.  Beyond that, they refuse to name a platform or give any demands.

        • Robbie

           transparency and integrity in politics is all they really want.

        • Oedipa

          That’s the lazy point-of-view. As you said above, Greg, educate yourself. The capturing of our legislative process Occupy “occupies” itself with actually dovetails with the guests thesis fairly well. If you’re trying to come across as the “reasonable conservative”, taking the lazy, disdainful view of Occupy as “lazy freeloaders who want too much free stuff” will betray that pretty quickly.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I’ve listened to members of the “movement.”  When they’re asked what they want, they dither and ramble, but give no specifics.

          • Azra

            NO, YOU’RE THINKING OF ROMNEY.

          • Mu

            I know an Azra in Soquel.  There can’t be many.

          • Udidnt3

            I thought you were gettin it there for a second. I should have known better. What you want is a different paint job on the Republican Party. Already been tried. = dismal betrayal of intelligence and real values, plus the beating of invalids and the disabled for freeloading. May the rest of your bodily functions go the way of your mind Greg. Then it will be apparent to everyone just how handicapped you are and these noobs will stop responding to you as if you actually considered reality in you regurgitation  of catch phrases and talking points. Though I guess talking points do fit in your head better than real thought since they are form fitting.

    • Don_B1

      Work to create conditions where each party consists of members who are willing to compromise their ideology when confronted with empirical evidence that contradicts it.

  • readsome

    OMG! I am screaming in my mind as I listen to this interview with this ultra conservative writer…. BOTH parties are now controlled by money and special interests, neither party represents the people of our country, and with rulings like the Citizens United have only made our government more “OWNED”.  also love that he doesn’t mention the control of the Republican party by ALEC!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Um, are you listening?  He’s saying exactly that.

  • alelec2

    Just more partisan smoke trying to blind  an easily misled public. Forget all this conservative rhetoric, look where their policies bring us. Their only real goal is to consolidate all wealth and power into as few hands as possible.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Why is having “numerous” supporters a problem?  This seems to be an attempt to make a silk purse out of the Republican’s shrinking base.  They represent the billionaires an millionaires very well, it seems to me.

    The distortion of this premise is that somehow a broad working class base is worse than a tiny upper class base.

    Neil

  • Aranphor

    Jay, if you do not do studies on how Republicans are influenced then by definition you’re acting out of Partisanship. Sorry but that’s the facts.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      What, a writer can’t consider one party at a time?

      • Aranphor

         When you try to come across as not being Partisan as Jay is trying to then yes, it matters, it matters a lot.

        The Democrats have issues as does the Republicans, but I am sick of both sides pointing fingers and not looking in the mirror.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           We hear a lot of voices both on air and in the discussion board that point out the problems with Republicans.  It’s good to hear someone on the other side pointing back.

          • Aranphor

             We hear all the time how the Republicans are pointing fingers, as well as the Democrats. Jay’s book is a large finger.

            “Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic.”

            When the book being questioned here is titled as such I will by definition call Jay partisan.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        He is a ‘conservative’ writer, do YOU expect him to expose MORE problems with ‘conservatives’?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          No, but he’s not allowed to discuss problems with the left?

      • J__o__h__n

        I wouldn’t hold your breath for volume 2.

  • mgreen/nebraska

     Writer for the Weekly Standard. The most extremly RW magazine out there. All is the Dems fault and Republican ideol;ogy is perfect. Give me a break from this rhetoricl

    • Gerald Fnord

      I gather you’ve never stepped into the swamp that is “Human Events” or “Worldnet Daily”—if your stomach is strong enough, read the summaries provided by the nasty snarkers at sadlyno.com and the more temperate alicublog.blogspot.com.

  • Kathy

    This is just silly. Yes, the democrats are a center right party and represent center right interests, not extreme right interests. They do not, however, engage in the same kind of hostage taking and obstructionist behaviors that the Republicans engage in. They also generally speaking deal with reality rather than fantasy.

  • Jack Marshak

    Since the Obama/Holder Justice Dept. has refused to prosecute the Black Panthers for putting out a $10,000 dollar bounty for George Zimmerman, dead or alive (which is a federal crime), or for taking part in voter intimidation outside of polling places during the 2008 Presidential election (also a federal crime),

    one has to rightly conclude that the Black Panthers have become a special interest group of the Democratic party.

  • Blmack09

    Labor, feminists, environmentalists, minorities are suddenly the big bad guys?  What is this guy smoking?  And the Democrats are crippled by their associations with them?  They haven’t all signed a pledge to these “special interests” in order to get elected.

    Meanwhile the Republicans are so clearly the stooges of Grover Norquist, the Koch brothers, big oil, and the bigoted, anti-science religious right.  I’ll take the unions, the feminists, and the environmentalists over that crowd any day.

  • Humanpontiac

    public financing of elections would help

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Voters who educate themselves would help more.

      • MrNutso

        Better educated voters will only result in lower voter turnout.  In many cases, well educated voter will realize that the people running are not worth voting for.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Only until a few of them run for offices.

      • ana

        Eligible voters who actually vote would help, too.
        50% voter participation.  The rest are just along for the  ride.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Cost says the problem is with the House.  So what do we do when we cannot get good journalism about the doings of these our public employees?  Who did they meet with?  Who did they hire?  Where were they yesterday?  Several hundred thousand of us are responsible for making sure we elect someone who does this best.  

    So we have a rep who says on TV he is always available to meet with anyone.  But my experience is that stating this or that, whether in person or to a staff member, is a waste of time and leads to cynicism.  They really, really do NOT want to understand a position that is counter to whatever has been taken in with the presence of way better financed and organized people.  When we meet with these, we can only shriek.  And the loudest shriekers are not necessarily the ones I’d like to cede the floor to.  Oh, forget it.  If they want to save many billions of dollars in health care or motivate millions of people better, let them ask Warren Buffett.

    • Gerald Fnord

      I think that the limitation on the size of the House has created districts that are more like ‘rotten boroughs’ than anything else.  A larger House might be more unwieldy, but party discipline (as laughable as it is for a Democrat to think that that were possible in my party) might make up for it.

      But as it stands, in the House our Montanas and Utahs and Idahos power disproportionate to their populations…which is the Senate’s job.

  • Scott B, NY

    Jay accuses the Democrats of being owned, but is he looking at his own party?  The Republican party is now owned by the same banks that got us into the Great Recession, the insurance companies that want to repeal the Health Care Act, and the Tea Party which was co-opted by big money, specifically the Koch Bros.  The Republicans also don’t know how to compromise, one Republican member of Congress saying that his ideas of compromise is that Democrats come to the Republican view. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Now you’re getting it.  It’s time to dump both parties.

      • GuestMon12

        Now your gettin it

  • Daniel

    He needs to get his Conservative terminology correct: they aren’t feminists, they’re “feminazis”. They’re not black, they’re “lazy.”

    It’s funny that the problamatic special interests of the Democratic party are people.

  • nathan

    Oh this analysis of how the healthcare bill came about is either a deliberate work of propaganda or just plainly the worst reading of that period of the history. But then

    If the democratic party made deals with AMA and pharmaceutical companies etc, it was because those organizations were very much responsible for the sinking of the health care reform attempt in 1994. So democrats wanted to get them off their back to make at least some progress in the direction of health care reform.

    If the republicans had worked with democrats either in 1994 or 2009 towards fixing the health care system, I am sure we wouldn’t have had to make this deals. But republicans are pretty much been industry puppets since at least the Reagan era if not before.

    I am disappointed that such a level of hackery is being given a forum on Tom’s show

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Definition of a hack:  someone who disagrees with your position.

      This man’s a Republican, but he just said that the public option could have been good for the people, but special interests killed it.  That’s a perceptive analysis so far as I can see.

      • flatiron

        The author conveniently left out the fact that the GOP campaigned against the public option and demonized it as socialism and a takeover of the American healthcare system. It was Democrats that introduced the idea of the public option and they ultimately removed it in a (futile) attempt to get more, or any, votes from a handful of Republicans and conservative Democrats.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Healthcare reform was passed with only Democratic votes.  If Democrats had grown a spine, they could have passed a public option.

          • ana

            How?

          • Azra

            Maybe by secretly hypnotizing the Republicans, and instructing them all to do the right thing?

      • Kathy

        But the special interest that killed it was pretty much the Republican willingness to filibuster health reform and every other bill.

  • Ansapphire

    Women are the majority of the country. What a conscending jerk.

    • notafeminista

      Well then, women aren’t to be afforded minority status (or special interest) any longer.  Bye-bye Title IX.

  • Pointpanic

    what’s with the conservative favoritism on this show lately?

    • Toby Burleson

      It is important to be aware of what the conservative movement is saying, specifically influential writers like those at the Weekly Standard. Tom is challenging many of the points made by Jay Cost. Covering conservative messages is important. (By the way I am a strong liberal.)

      • Azra

        Covering Conservative messages is important, only to show how backward and wrong they are.

      • Franchittod

        Oh I’m not saying conservatives should never be featured. But isn’t public radio supposed to bring all sides to the table especially views that might not otherwise be heard?

    • ana

      I think Tom is a very effective debater up against  Mr. Cost.  It doesn’t seem that conservatism was favored in the discussion.

      • TFRX

        But our host is the host. There’s something amiss when he is supposed to be the host–PolitePublicRadioHost, mind you–and also taking one side of the argument.

        That leaves a hole.

      • Pointpanic

        well, okay ana but the show seems like a conservative convention this week with the infomercial for Romney yesterday and this young conservative today.

    • notafeminista

      Implication being the show normally favors liberalism?

      • Heaviest Cat

        No, but it’s usually a bit more balanced unlike most of “National ‘Publican Radio”

      • Pointpanic

        oops I messed up my ID .Nota, franchittod is actually Pointpanic

  • Robbie

    Thanks for just reading my comment on the air about our political system being prostituted to the highest bidder. I was a huge Obama supporter, however, I’m extremely disappointed by the fact that he became so beholden to the special interests and even invited the very same bankers from Goldman et al into his administration.
    I’ll only vote for him as the lesser of two evils but I’m still very disappointed.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Have YOU been able to keep YOUR ideals intact, while pushing through rule changes in a local government, or civic group, EVERY time?

  • tim

    I’m not, and will never be, a supporter of the GOP, but for all of you feeling as though he’s attacking you and are screaming “WHAT ABOUT THOSE GUYS!!?!?”: if you actually take the time to listen to what he’s saying, he’s not really trying to defend the Republicans, it’s just that he’s happened to study the Democrats.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Thank you.

    • Robbie

       the rot is on both sides of the isle.

      • tim

        I agree, and it’s sad. The choice between the major parties is nothing more that a guise anymore.

      • Heaviest Cat

        true Robbie . And do you think,”public” radio would give a voice to thrid parties like say the Greens?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Cost is an acknowledged ‘conservative’ writer.  WHY would he study ‘conservatives’, that do NOT want to conserve clean water, air, nature, REAL family values, the Rights of the People, ‘The American Way’, taxpayers’ money, The United States, human dignity, and MOST things that are best for the People?

      • tim

        Should we dismiss all of his arguments on the grounds that we disagree with the party line of the party with which he’s most closely aligned? 

        What people seem to be ignoring is that just because someone criticizes one party does not mean they advocate for every decision of the other’s party line. Unless I missed it in the interview (which I may have) I didn’t hear him saying that the Republicans have it right.

        The talking points/rhetoric of the Republican party that you mention would only come into play if Cost was advocating for them. Whether or not he considers himself a conservative doesn’t completely dictate his stance on those issues.

    • Pointpanic

      tim, his equation of th epublic interest with “special interests” is a dishonest trick often employed by conservatives and the corporate media.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Consider the corruption of the fourth estate stemming from deregulation and its lack of indignation over today’s blatant hypocrisy and lying. Back in the day, the likes of Fox News was limited to AM Radio. News? What a tragic joke!!!

    • WeWilly420

      Bro — imagine a world with both FOX news and the equal time rule we had in the sixties. For you young ones, if you used the airwaves to broadcast an opinion you had to provide free equal time for any opposing opinion. Imagine what the world would be like without Rush Lymburger free to stink up reality with the noxious miasma that flows from the neurons of this arch-boar. For every broadcast hour they would need to provide five or six for equal time, not the straw men they offer as representing the opposition to their propaganda but anyone with an opposing view. God America used to be great, before the authoritrian response to the brief breathing room that was bestowed upon the western world temporarily and gave them a peek at the illusions their worldviews were based upon. But the Reaganites were so frightened by clarity of thought that the whole thing snapped back in a reactionary extreme. Too bad that, because one day of the Bush administration was more harmful to humanity than twenty centuries of unregulated use of psychotropic recreational molecule would have been.
      I would prefer to live in a civilization that had it’s most intelligent and adept scientists devise a series of tests that anyone could take and that would continually be revised — in full sunlight  — which would determine our representatives by capability and morality.  And after a certain period anyone who scored higher would get the job unless the incumbent outscored him.  Is that too weird to want the most capable and honest to lead us instead of the most delusional sociopaths that will say anything to get and maintain power.

  • Pointpanic

    Judging by the logos posted above, these are not “special interests” like private from profit corporations are. These groups are fighting for clean water, air wilderness and wildlife, as well as safe working conditions and liveable wages. So the term “Special interest” is disingenuous.

    • Azra

      Should be “common interests, for the common good”.

  • Bob

    How is this not just a right wing response to Ornstein and Manns book/Op-ed.  

  • Sean

    “Are Republicans focused on the common good?”

    …Are you kidding??!!!

    • notafeminista

      Right, because Republicans don’t have jobs, values or children to raise.  Just the Democrats.

      What you meant to say what Republicans aren’t focused on your good.  

      • Azra

        They’re focused only on the good of their elite fellow billionaires and trillionaires. The rest of us can rot, penniless, and without any help from them.

        If you know something that we don’t know, by all means, please enlighten us.

      • Pointpanic

        Nota ,the GOP is only focused on their corporate constituency.that’swhy most of the candidates want to cut back or abolish the EPA, or make it more difficult to organize labor. Indeference to their conservative religious constituency they would deny reproductiv e rights to women and would discriminate against gay people. So yes Sean raises a good question.

  • nathan

    Clinton’s idea of new democratic party was basically “oh democrats lets become more like republicans” which lead to dreadful policies like welfare reform, rampant free trade without any safety net for the workers, financial deregulation, reject Kyoto etc etc etc..

    • BlockedAgainOno

      Only after his heart to heart with the biggest flimflam man of the last century: Greenspan -  the lapdog of the insane Ayan Rand — who then kept Clinton as a lapdog as his cronies lapped up the criminal gains made during their genius demonstration of how it is possible to convince oneself that one and one makes about 94 so you may as well pocket about 78 because all boats are rising. And the party can’t last.

  • Victor Vito

    I wish publicly funded campaigns was THE answer.  Sadly it is only a part of a comprehensive answer.

    • BlockedAgainOno

      Seeing as that is impossible for you to know I will give your opinion all due consideration, the emphasis on the word due.  The joy of such total funding reform is that it calls the present state of corruption what it is, and would label it as the crime against the populace that it is. Nobody was enough of a simpleton to believe it would automatically change the blackness in a Secretary of the Treasuries heart to gold, only that it would make the major avenue of corruption a crime in law as well as in effect.
      But who can argue with you. If the first step doesn’t cover the whole of the journey it’s worthless taking — is that it?

  • Csanders

    If you like Jay Cost’s book, then you’ll love the book “The Kettle is Too Black” by The Pot

  • Jason

    I agree that the Democratic Party, no less than the Republican Party, is too beholden to corporate interests.  However, the guest fundamentally misses the difference in power between groups like feminists, minorities, environmentalists, and labor unions, on the one hand, and the large corporations and upper class supporters that dominate the Republican elite.  He conflates his own libertarian and hawkish political views with those of the “voice of the people,” whereas the country is just too big and diverse to find such common ground.  Horse trading and a willingness to compromise is inevitable, and few groups feel themselves represented in this type of republic.

  • Robbie

    What about SOPA, PIPA and now CISPA? They are being introduced into legislation for the purpose of shutting us down. By whom? The very same special interests that are corrupting our democracy.
    They broke our system and now they want us to shut up.

  • Scott B, NY

    Didn’t I just hear Jay say he didn’t look at the Republican side?  This seems, to me, a big part of the problem with the Republican party today : They won’t look at their own flaws, along with history, science, fact, nor experience. 

    Jay seems to forget about the Tea Party, Koch Bros, Grover Norquist, Halliburton, Jack Abramov, etc…

    Jay’s finger is pointing at the Dems, but I was taught that for finger I point at someone else – I have three pointing back at myself. 

    I do get greatly disappointed with the Democrats, as Will Rogers had it right – They’re not organized. The Republicans line up like ducks to get legislation through, even when in a minority. Yet the Dems had a super-majority and sqabbled, some trying to extort more money for their state, and the Universal Health Care that we could all be enjoying turned into the watered down Heath Care Reform Act. 

  • J-go

    According to FEC for contributions ’89-’12″

    Club for Growth, $13mil, 90% to GOPKock Industries, $12.7m, 90% to GOPAssoc. Builders & Contractors, $12m, 98%!!! to GOPBP(!!!), $6mil, 70% to GOPExxonMobil, $13mil, 86% to GOPWalMart, $11mil, 70% to GOPMBNA (Pre-Bank of America), $10mil, 86% to GOPAltria (nee Philip Morris), $25mil, 72% to GOP…..

  • Stephen Lee

    One reason the Domocratic party has started to lean on special interest more and more is to be able to compete with the Republican party that has had bit of a head start

    • notafeminista

      “Started to”?  When did they “start to” in your estimation?

  • http://lowenfoundation.org/index.html FLowen

    Is this guy, and Ed Conrad from Bain Capital Management the other day, the best spokesmen Conservatives have?…

    If so, it should be obvious how bankrupt conservatives are.

    A conservative writing about how bad the democrats are politically?…give me a break! a waste of an hour…interview someone who can take apart the whole broken process…this guy is just a mindless conservative mouthpiece.

    He just said that less than half the country doesn’t care about the environment! Lies, lies, and damn lies is all he offers.

    Tom, your show is better than this.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      I suppose you think Paul Krugman to be a good speaker for the left?  His hour was a call for borrowing, borrowing, borrowing.

      • http://lowenfoundation.org/index.html FLowen

        I happen to think Paul Krugman is a knowledgeable economist….but that’s irrelevant.

        I would appreciate a spokesman who can speak the truth, not promote confusion for the benefit of the Status Quo.

      • John C

        Don’t forget he argued we should increase interest rates to try and encourage spending by corporations toward the goal of stimulating the economy. With an effective zero interest rate, they’re more inclined to play things close to the vest and not spend.

        I thought he was quite articulate and brought ideas the table that had value.

      • http://lowenfoundation.org/index.html FLowen

        What in the world makes you think Republicans will reduce debt and deficit?….what they say?…if so you’re a fool.

        Pay attention to what they do, not what they say.

        http://www.davemanuel.com/history-of-deficits-and-surpluses-in-the-united-states.php
        Look at what they do: they have been consistently worse than democrats 100% of the time in modern history.

        Only in 2009, when Republicans stuck us with a cess pool for an economy, was there a large democratic expansion. Republicans have NEVER reduced debt or deficit….unless you live in an alternate reality.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          You haven’t seen my comments against both sides, I take it.  But saying that one side is guilty doesn’t excuse the guilt of the other.

        • JJJimmmanyC

          He does, it’s called the fantasy land of Modivations.

    • http://lowenfoundation.org/index.html FLowen

      correction:

      He just said that less than half the country care about the environment.

      • Azra

        In his dreams, maybe?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    My former representative and now U.S. senator, John Boozman, R, has responded personally to letters that I wrote him.

  • mike-p

    Both parties are ‘corrupt’ – out for special interests, not
    what’s best for the country long-term. 
    They are controlled by money, because politicians are controlled by
    money and power.  I’m speculating we on
    this board typically vote Democrat – but Term Limits, Term Limits, Term Limits for all is the closest thing to an answer.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      We already have term limits every two, four, and six years.  If a politician isn’t responsive to the interests of the people, vote the bum out.

      • John C

        Unless the candidates’ constituent special interests can organize effectively enough to override the voice of the disenfranchised, then you are right- failure or success at the ballot is term limits.

        If I can get a “turn out the vote” effort done for me by a labor organization and even looks after voters, arranging transportation for them, etc, my detractors will face an uphill fight in taking me out of office.

        Or am I wrong.

      • Roy Mac

        Can you say ‘Gerrymandering?’

  • Scott B, NY

     Jay is wearing his blinders again, bringing up Obama and Big Pharma and not speaking to the debacle that was done under Dubya that gave them BILLIONS and made a HUGE donut hole that seriously hurt senior citizens.

  • Kathy

    It seems like he has generic complaints that “democrats are bad um kay,” then if he is actually asked for a specific example, then  he points to somewhere like the public option or sellout to insurance and pharma where the democrats compromised against the wishes of their base in favor of the Republican far right position.

  • Elizabeth in RI

    In answer to the question, “have Democrats lost sight of the common good?” My answer is that Congress and most politicians are no longer able to focus on the good of the country – only what their donors think. There is simply too much money required to run for office (we need public financed elections!) And since the Supreme Court decided that corporations and political action committees are people (can’t wait to see one go to jail!!) the chances of “we the people” ever being the focus of our government is nil.

    I don’t know how we can take back the government from those vultures – but until then, I’d much rather that Democrats consider the views of women, environmentalists, teachers and fire fighters, etc than the multinational corporations and religious zealots than the Republican party is beholden to.

    • notafeminista

      Well now, if there were no multinational corporations, what would the Left have to grump about?

      • Pointpanic

        Nota ,do you really feel that it’s all about “grumping”? Multi-nationals have been laying people off by the thousands when they’re posting record profits. they preach “bootstrap” rhetoric down to us while they get govt. handouts and exhorbitant tax breaks. they are all-too -willing to pollute the environment in pursuit of profit. Unfortunately,this is all-too well documented and goes fasr beyond “grumping”.

    • JohnDSatanOnEarth

      George Carlin thought it would take a blood bath to get anything back from them.  So far he has been right about everything he predicted for the US in his later years. When he warned that the politicians and their criminal friends on Wall Street were coming for your social security, nobody even considered it a possibility when he said it.  I personally would love to see these job creators and distinguished gentlemen get exactly what objective impartial justice would get them, without their connections and privileges in a real court with unbiased jurors. Actually that would probably end in a blood bath too, because basically they are incapable of paying for or making up the real physical harm they did to every man woman and child in the US who was not part of their little inside group totally deluded power possessors.

  • Robbie

    Look at the Pentagon and SEC revolving doors..  they benefit both the Dems and Repubs. 

  • MrNutso

    The real bottom line is that political parties need to court “special interests = moneyed interests” in order to complete.  Example number 1, the death of public financing of Presidential campaigns.  The amount of money offered is not enough to compete.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jcspires51 James-Clifton Spires

    Why are you promoting Jay’s admittedly unfinished “study” — he purposely chose ONLY to focus on Democrat interests. Therefore, we can assume that — like many Republicans, he’s flip-flopping when called out on that deficiency. “Oh, I only studied one side of the issue, even though I acknowledge that both sides are at fault.”

    VERY typical of what’s wrong with political criticism these days. Instead of remaining neutral, he allowed his biases to influence him.

    He’s very intelligent and smooth-talking, but his basic thesis is flawed and full of crap.

    • Steve_T

       Agreed.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    A public option in healthcare is in my interest, but it wasn’t in the interests of corporate healthcare providers, so that got killed.  The Democrats caved in to corporate interests over public interests there.

    • Kathy

      The Public Option was the only thing worthwhile in the entire bill. The hope was that it would, like every other public health service/insurance, prove far more efficiently and slowly eat the entire system resulting in an actual health system, not just insurance reform. Without it, we just got Romneycare, which is ok because it covers people, but does nothing to address costs.

      • SayWhat3What

        It is not “Ok because it covers people” It is a bailout of the insurance industry and they don’t even need one. Just another scam in medics clothing. One Payer was the bait and switch, Obama owes the industry. This is their reward. Obama s@cks but compared to Romney he is a saint and genius.  But that ain’t really saying much. He is actually a brand and not much more. He even beat out Nike and Bennington for his ad campaign.

    • MrNutso

      Because in the legislative climate of the last 20 years, we can either get crappy legislation or no legislation.

    • Azra

      Some good health care is better than no health care at all, and the public option was the biggest stumbling block. At least they were able to get enough reasonable people to vote for what was left of their health care bill. With the public option included, it never would have passed. Maybe naively, I believe that the Option will be added during the President’s second term. For now, we must be content with all the benefits that we already enjoy.

        

    • Roy Mac

      You’re counting those Blue Dogs as Democrats; they were just DINOs who lost their seats in 2010.

  • Kathy

    Really? You’re complaining about something that happened during the TRUMAN administration? Really?

  • Marrsamuse

    I wish the Democrats would be more beholden to so called “special interest” groups such as unions, feminists, minorities, environmentalists! The priblem I see is that in order to compete on the campaign trail, Democratic representatives are now taking money from big businesses and end end doing the bidding of the corporate world as opposed to the wishes if the average citizen.

    • JamieLeeJames

      As they say in Hoboken, “No Sh#t Sherlock?”

    • notafeminista

      And without big business, all those special interests you justed listed would have nothing to do, no windmills at which to tilt.

      • Franchittod

        THat’s silly, nota. most of us on the Left are not looking for villains (indeed ,we wouldn’t have to look far.) We’re just looking for ways to enact the principles of democracy and equality that we believe in, that we feel makes for a healthy and just society.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Scott Brown is a healthcare hypocrite.  Why is his daughter on his healthcare plan if Obama Care is a bad thing?

    Neil

    • Kathy

      He got elected because he was a regular guy who drove a pickup, but when he got in a car accident down in DC, turned out his chauffeur was driving.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Because is the Massachusetts law to provide healthcare to avoid penalties.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Neil, your charge doesn’t make any sense.

      Why does Warren Buffet pay 15% tax when he supports the Buffet rule of 30% tax?  What a hypocrite.

      See how it works.

    • Azra

      Hypocrite? No, because he’s Republican. He won’t allow anyone in the middle or lower classes to have affordable health insurance. Wasn’t his campaign slogan, “Do as I say, not as I do?”

  • Irene Moore

    So some workers get a good pension plan or health care plan.  How is this against the nation’s interest?  While obscene bonuses to financial operators (gangsters) are in the national interest

    • GimmBOYY

      Because it is money that should have gone into a CEOs bonus or parachute

  • Bruce

    Since the implementation of the Republican “Southern strategy” in the mid-60′s, the difference between the interest groups for the Dems vs. GOP is that the former are aligned with the interest of growing the middle-class and expanding civil rights while the latter are increasingly identified with entrenched power and privilege.

  • Steve_T

    Caller Michel hit the nail on the head.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

     Democrats are reasonable?  What is that caller smoking.

    Is Nancy Pelosi reasonable?

    I guess everyone has their own filter.

    • jefe68

      As you prove over and over again.
      By the way I can’t stand Rep. Pelosi.
      When you say reasonable I have to laugh as the GOP is the party of No and they abuse the filibuster and seem to me to be more interested in their own party then in the US. If they were for the US they would not have signed the Norquist tax pledge.
       

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         Calling the GOP the party of NO is simply a talking point.

        I’ll be willing to listen the second Harry Reid allows a budget to come to the Senate floor for a vote.

        Both sides obstruct for perceived political gain.

        I’m not a big fan of pledges.  Remember – “read my lips – no new taxes’.  How did that work for Bush I.
        However, in THIS environment, the Norquist pledge is a useful tool  and IF it leads to true tax reform and simplification it will be good for the country.

        btw – I am certain that income tax reform that does increase revenues would pass the GOP easily IF it was tied to entitlement reforms that address the largest drivers of our debt. And if that happens it will break  the Norquist pledge.

        • HodgiDoggi

          Another person who despite having all the evidence in front of him cannot see. Or is just a paid hack. And the puppets fight on but the same persons hand is up both of there backsides. And their lips move with not measurable conscious discrimination at all.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             I have 15.7 trillion reasons why I’m not the one with his head in the sand.

          • jefe68

            10.7 trillion of which was what GW Bush staked up.

    • TomK in Boston

      You think Pelosi is unreasonable?  Why, because she doesn’t attack SS, or what? Do you think Ryan is “reasonable” for wanting to cut taxes at the top while turning medicare into a cheap Groupon? 

      I guess everyone has their own filter.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         I agree that I have a filter.

        Ryan offers specific solutions up for debate.

        Pelosi simply engages in demagogic rhetoric.

        I will give Pelosi credit in keeping her ‘team’ in line.  Obamacare would never have passed without her leadership.

        That said, even if I had agreed with the purpose of Obamacare, I would be displeased with the implementation of the bill (2700 pages) and the method in which it was passed (political payoffs).
         

        • TomK in Boston

          If class warfare makes you happy if it is “specific”, go for it.

          I don’t know where you get to “specific”, tho. He offers attacks on medicare and SS, more tax cuts for his oligarch supporters, more military waste, and then claims he won’t pump up the deficit because of vague “loophole closings” that he refuses to specify and are obviously impossible even with class war armageddon. Anyone who is Worried about the big bad deficit should be terrified of the ryan budget.

        • TomK in Boston

          I see – she simply engages in rhetoric, but she got the ACA through the House. Logical.

          You guys constantly complain about the complexity of any bill the President has gotten through. You do realize, don’t you, that length and complexity are inevitable when the obstructionism of the right is so intense? Do you really think a simple clean bill can get through the TeaOP House and the filibusters in the senate? If you know how to do that hurry to DC, we need you.

    • Thinkin15

       The Repcons just hate Dems when they are effective. Pelosi was good at outsmarting them at their game. Love her!!

      • notafeminista

        She’s all about states’ rights now.  Checked lately?

      • Azra

        They especially hate being outsmarted by a woman, or even working for a woman. Nancy is great!

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Clever — but there is zero evidence for your charge.

          Back at you.

          The dems have zero tolerance for one of their ‘protected’ classes getting traction on the ‘other side’.  Look at their fear and intolerance for folks like Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas and Sarah Palin.

          • Azra

            Which fear and intolerance are you referring to? Guess Im out of the loop here; haven’t heard about this.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         I think there are parallels between Newt and Pelosi.  They are both polarizing figures and hated by the other side.

        Nancy is better at herding her cats and Newt is better at communicating and the vision thing but both are adored by their base.

  • Irene Moore

    How dare the people operate in their own “special” interest instead of operating in the interest of the corporate board (bosses)

  • MrNutso

    Term limits won’t help.  It will make money more important, because in order to get favorable legislation, more candidates will have to be bought to get laws passed more quickly.

  • Andrew

    Maybe if there wasn’t so much government around to buy we would have fewer of these special interest problems (that goes for both sides of the spectrum).

    • RichCalcium23

      Yeh, we really had too much government when the oversight of the entire CDO scam was policed by one person, who turned the lights out when he went home. Too much government after the oversight agency was gutted by the special interests that it was supposed to police. You like many people OBVIOUSLY still do not understand what happened. Perhaps you would like my ten year old to explain it to you.

      • Andrew

        So you use a crisis which has government meddling as a root cause as proof that there isn’t too much government? I don’t see the argument playing out too well.

        • RichCalcium23

          Maybe in Andrew bizarro world that is what caused it, but in the actual world it was a lessening of government that paved the way for the formerly criminal activity that caused the crisis.

          • InClemmet34

            I agree, how can someone still be so totally ignorant about what happened, like Andrew is, still, so long after the act, after so many clear and factual explanations about what they did. It can only be attributed to ongoing conservative disinformation about what they brought about with their deregulation of the banking industry.
            Because if these slow steppers every actually figured out what was done to them would run their leaders out of town on a rail.  It’s always the same, a continual flurry of red herrings and nonsense to cover their actions and their repercussions.
            Maybe he is just not up to understanding what they pulled off, because he sure has it ass-backwards.

          • Andrew

            Sigh…I guess I will take that 10-year-old’s explanation after all. 

    • Pointpanic

      Andrew what do you mean by “so much government’?

  • Paul

    The question is: who speaks for the American people? According to Cost, the people are not teachers, environmentalists, union members, etc., those are special interest groups who are destroying the republic via the democratic party. Fortunately, I have been paying attention to various relevant political and legal issues and these have defined who the people are; they are corporations (Mitt Romney and the Supreme Court).

  • twenty-niner

    Of the top 20 overall political donors, 19 of 20 favor the Democrat party, with most heavily favoring it. Of the top 20, there are only three big corporations: AT&T, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup, with AT&T and Citigroup roughly splitting donations 50/50 and Goldman siding with the Democrats.

    This biggest all-time donor is the PAC ActBlue, which favors Democrats nearly 100% to 0%. The rest of the top 20 are either unions or associations. Big names in the news such a Koch Industries are actually much lower on the list with Koch coming in at 77th.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

    • Elizabeth in RI

       That list doesn’t include the Super PACs – rather just the donors to the parties (and yes, the Dems dominate that list, where donors need to be listed).

      When you look at the list of PACs (http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/index.php?party=A&cycle=2012) you’ll note that the Republicans dominate that list (where donors can be protected by silly names like Americans for a better future – like someone will challenge that :^)

      • Thinkin15

         One has to wonder why they are so ashamed to put their money with their name. What’s the motive there?

      • twenty-niner

        The top of the list is a Democrat PAC: ActBlue

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ActBlue

      • twenty-niner

        When looking at political fundraising, you really have to look at past election cycles because the Democrats are just now getting geared up for 2012. Here are the top five PACs for the 2009-2010 cycle:

        National Assn of Realtors (Dems 55%, Reps 44%)Honeywell International (Dems 54%, Reps 45%)National Beer Wholesalers Assn (Dems 53%, Reps 47%)AT&T Inc (Dems 45%, Reps 55%)Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Dems 98%, Reps 2%)

        http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/toppacs.php?Type=C&cycle=2010

        As far a Super PACs go, these are a recent construct, and I’m not counting the Democrats out on this one. I will be interested in seeing the final tallies for 2012 next year.

    • TomK in Boston

      LOL. I knew someone would mention Unions. They’ve been a bogeyman for the right for a long time, but how long can that go on as they are demolished by unrelenting class warfare? We have corporations on steroids and unions on life support. More “false equivalence” anyone?

      http://static7.businessinsider.com/image/4fb25c876bb3f7107900000b/union-membership.png

      This chart also makes clear yet another way in which the class war is returning us to the USA of 1929 and earlier. along with rampant financial speculation, obscene inequality and micro taxes at the top.

      I’ve always thought that term limits were a bad idea. If we want someone out we can just vote against. I also can’t imagine how unlimited $ help a campaign, as after I hear an ad a few times all it does is annoy me. Nevertheless we DON’T vote them out, for whatever reason, and all the $ DOES help, so I give in to the facts: please, let’s have term limits.

      Ah, On Point has become SO “Fair and Balanced”. Conard, Mr Weekly Standard….shall it be a Creation Scientist of a birther next?

      • http://lowenfoundation.org/index.html FLowen

        I agree, term limits is a bad idea, if you find a good guy, let him stay; there are better ways to fix the dysfunction: force the corporations and commercial interests to pay a 100% Lobby Tax that is used to fund public interest lobbying, for matched lobbying expenditures.

        The Financial Industry just spent $382 million lobbying against the Volcker rule; their opposition?…less than a dozen concerned citizens volunteering after their day jobs.re: Class Warfare, while they engage in it, no prisoners taken, no one else is allowed to talk about it! What Incredible Dribble passes for “news.”

        I’m sure Tom would find a good conservative spokesman if one existed…this is as good as they’ve got. The real powers behind the scenes don’t show themselves, they have a history of shooting their compatriots in the face with shotguns!….viz. Cheney, the real power behind Bush, and his banker buddy.

      • twenty-niner

        Where were the Unions when Clinton (a Democrat) gave signed NAFTA and gave China Most Favored Nation status? What power do unions have when companies are free to pack up their tents and move production overseas?

        • TomK in Boston

          Where were they? Getting screwed over as usual.

          The GoP is actively engaged in Union busting. The Dems talk nice to the Unions and ignores them when it comes to policy.

          Hey, I know the Dems of today are not the good old Dems. As the GoP has moved to the far right, the Dems have moved to the center right. 

        • Pointpanic

          good question 29er. May of us the Left are asking the same thing. “Democrat” does not always equal “Left”
           

          • twenty-niner

            I’m not sure that a sensible industrial policy that ensures a level playingfield for American manufacturers and workers is a Left vs. Right issue. As I’ve written in previous comments, the only notable politician in recent history to put this issue front and center was Ross Perot, and he ran as an Independent.

          • Pointpanic

            okay. But Ross was a corporate CEO.

          • 69er

            True dat — and he was treated to death threats for him and his family.  My guess is that is wasn’t the left that threatened him.

      • William

         The UAW stole 10 billion dollars away from the shareholders of GM so yes, they are a bunch of thugs.

        • TomK in Boston

          OMG, “stole”!!! Is that like negotiating a contract that allows someone without an MBA to live like they did before Reganomics, and expecting the company to honor it?

          • notafeminista

            No it’s ignoring bankruptcy law.

          • TomK in Boston

            How unfortunate if people who worked all their lives expecting that their contracts were valid didn’t get screwed over by the bankruptcy class warfare tactic for a change, huh? What a shame, when $ go anywhere but to the romney types. Cry me a river.

          • notafeminista

            How unfortunate that the same people who were screaming the US should follow the rule of law re: Guantanemo discard their principles so quickly.

          • William

            So it is ok for a special interest to use the power of government to steal money from another group to make “life fair”.

          • William

            Remember you logic when a different President comes along and gives some union the boot.

    • DickBlick

      And how does this fit in with the fact that most of the big anonymous money form the super pacs is going to Romney?  More ashamed of vector of their real support?

      • twenty-niner

        Super PACs just started showing up on the scene post Citizens United and of course the numbers are skewed because you had “Restore Our Future” putting money behind Romney battling against “Winning Our Future” and sundr others putting money against Romney. Now that the Republican primaries are done, I’ll be interested to see what other Super PACs come on the scene this Fall in support of Democrats.

        Bottom line: money is infecting the entire political system, not just one side.

    • Thinkin15

       It’s just a money race. The GOP hates it if the Dems are ahead. It just takes many, many more Dems to make up the amount of fewer Repcons. The Repcons have a bottomless pit of money in their overseas accounts.

      • notafeminista

        No they don’t.  No one does.  That’s the economically flawed thinking of the Left.

  • mattgvt

    Amen to congressional term limits!!  This needs to happen, as for the question of how to get campaign finance reform – I think it would take a constitutional amendment at this point, and this needs to happen to.

    I am disgusted by our political system – an excellent point today was that it was never designed with the idea of politcal parties. This, in effect, leaves real change on the floor heaving it’s last breath.
    End political parties, begin critically thinking for yourself (if you haven’t already done so). 

    • AmnesiasEnd

      Well done you have identified the lynch pin upon which the architecture of their corruption is based.  Real and total campaign finance reform is necessity for the return of America to it’s real citizens and will eventually serve to get our nation out of hawk to the criminals  on wall street and their co-conspirators in congress and the courts. Who should know that we know who they are, we will not forget them ever, and they will be made to pay for their crimes even if they subverted our government to make their criminal acts legal. These arrogant bastards belong at the bottom of the ocean for surely they are not fit to be a member of any nation, that is not a plutocratic ponzi scheme passing for a government. No campaign finance reform will not end the syphilitic corruption that is the air that such-as-they breath, but it will make it once again illegal to indulge such gargantuan vice and treachery.

  • Jack Marshak

    Obama: Head over heels for Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan

    http://www.infowars.com/obama-head-over-heels-for-jamie-dimon-and-jp-morgan-chase/

    That’s one ‘union’ that doesn’t surprise me.

  • Lloveless

    Marilyn the social worker from Sewannee is soo far off base thinking the Democrats are this Nations only hope!  The Democratic Agenda is treasonous at best, and will send this nation straight to Hades with out benefit of picking up $200.00.  Our “politicians” make money hand over fist while sticking it to the little guy under the guise of “we know what is best for you”.  Then dangling some non-sense like socialized medicine in front of our faces-”look what we are giving you free”  Ha.  We the people will pay for it, trust me just as all of Europe and Canada pays for their Governmental health care.

    • Thinkin15

       Treason is the GOP anti-government push for one party rule. One person, one vote is against their agenda. God help us if the evil ones get their way!! A plutocracy is in the making with a Taliban theocracy flag. Hell on earth!

      • notafeminista

        Want to cite your source?

        • Pointpanic

          too many sources to cite here of GOP anti-govt. push plus war on women via many attempts to deny birthcontrol and abortion coverage.

          • notafeminista

            Ah…that means you don’t have one. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Evident why you call yourself ‘Lloveless’.

    • Azra

      Which countries have free health care?

      • JGC

        Can’t name them all but Canada’s provinces each have their own health care system (sort of like each U.S. state declaring its own health mandate).

    • jefe68

      “The Democratic Agenda is treasonous at best”
      That sums up what can only be tantamount as a vision of paranoiac hyperbole. Even if this nation is under the thumb of special interest, it’s still has some tenets of a democracy. Of which is clearly lacking in your philosophy.

  • observer

    Re: The call from the Social Worker -the Democratic Party IS THE ONLY HOPE

    I couldn’t agree more with the Social Worker who said the Democrats Party is the only hope for the working people and Middle Class in America today…I see this all the time 
    in my own practice working in healthcare with children and their families. Hence I have come to this conclusion a long 
    time ago….

    And Although I have to admit sadly both parties are guilty 
    of being in the pockets of special interests –it seems to 
    me –the GOP has always had that “special upper hand”  

    Its leadership’S pledge of no new taxes suggests once again how its members are protecting the 1% percent and not the 99% percent. And false claims that the country has “a spend-
    ing problem” instead of ”a revenue Problem” speaks loudly to 
    how they are ducking this problem. 

    (This is an argument the Democrats should take on as billions are lost yearly in public revenue to tax cuts for the wealthy 
    and in corporate loopholes..) 

    There is no need for Corporate America to worry about re-
    maining competitive anymore –it simply hires enough lobby-
    ists to manipulate members of Congress (esp, the GOP) and 
    lawyers to manipulate the tax code and soak US taxpayers.

    Thus, the Kiss of Death is coming for the GOP in coming elections. Many more People recognize who is buttering 
    their bread today. And it isn’t the GOP.. Good Riddance!

  • Humanist Monk

    Ah, more simplistic Conservative revisionist history.  Absent of any critical thought or intellectual merit.  Its easy to criticizes and rewrite the past, hence why its a favorite pastime of the Nopublicans.  

    How about developing some concrete policies for the future that incorporates keeping the middle class intact and offering basic human respect when it comes to feeding and sheltering the poor?  Just like Conservative idealize a mythical 1950′s that never took place (tax rates were progressive at the time for one), these same Nopublican’s propose a future for the USA that is equally fanciful.  Great for the rich and corporations, not so good for the rest of the people.  

    Face reality, the USA is today a 2nd world country and if the rightwing (kissing cousins to the fascists) have their way, this country will be the richest 3rd world nation in another decade. 

  • John in Amherst

    Proposal for a remedy to both the glut of money from unions, corporations and
    large donors, and the excruciating boredom and apathy among the
    electorate:

    Establish a campaign season.  All states agree to hold primaries
    simultaneously on the Tuesday following Labor Day, following primary
    campaigning season that would begin on July 4.  Conventions are set for mid-
    September, with the time remaining before November reserved for general
    election campaigning.  All presidential candidates agree to participate in three
    debates (real debates, not the fluff called debates that we currently suffer through), televised for free on the major networks.  Candidates or
    parties who violate the campaign season by running ads or encouraging
    pacs to do so will be publicly shamed via daily reprimands in the
    media.  (Imagine shame returning to the political sphere!?!) 

    The losers in this scheme: special interest groups and the media outlets
    that profit from lengthy campaigns.  The winners: The politicians, who
    would be able to devote more of their time (which we pay for) to
    actually running the country, instead of their campaigns, and the
    voters, who would be more focused on the issues rather than the horse
    race / popularity contest / mud wrestling that passes for a political
    process these days.

    Note that this scheme does not limit the amount of spending that can take place (media saturation should do the trick: how much political advertising could the public stand?) Without some major fundamental change to the political process, we can only expect more of the same, which is a nauseating prospect.

  • HellISforYouYouLiveInIT

    Thank the gods, finally the people seem to be getting it despite the usually flurry of red-herrings that is so typical of the right in recent years. The only issue of any real significance is the regulation of the financial industry. These people have done more harm to the United States than the Communists, the Terrorists, and the Drug traffickers combined, and to the man they think of themselves as the backbone of American society. The reality: they are the most heinous traitors of America and humanity who vigorous pursue their vision-impaired short-sighted self-serving actions at EVERYONE’S expense to afford themselves the illusion of security in a world were everyone dies.  A world were their petty comforts and desires, and vanity inspired goals are more significant than the life and health of a lowly commoner who actually works and produces something of real value, instead of plotting and scheming to somehow splach some of the river of money that they work next to on themselves. Of course they rationalize the whole thing by believing that all others are as limited in awareness and perception as they are and so are just expressing envy when someone tries to explain to their brain-dead selves just how it is that the auto-docking feature on their new yacht has cost a score of the less fortunate misery, real loss of wealth, and possibly their heath and lives.  I mean just because most of their income comes from pharma and oil and third world exploitation, and the transfer of the privilege to compete with the most exploited, underpaid, and least secure cattle on our planet.  In more sane times, where everyone was not so thourghly programmed to seek illusions and regard the disdainful as desirable as long as the have a big bank account — these people would be stripped of all wealth and titles and at the very least exiled with all their family to somewhere with free capitalism lie Somolia.

    This is the theory of trickle down prevention. Decapitate the 300 or so worst offenders in public and the love of humanity and justice will trickle down to all the other self-deluded scoundrels who you spots fans out of your pathetic attention span never fail to vote into office. Here is a good rule to follow, because it is absolutely true and has been verified scientifically. The more successful and happy a person is – the more self-deluded they are. These people are not fit to lead just becuse the average person finds sociopaths charming. wake-up friggin idiots before they own the future and put up the eviction notice. Believe me they will have no shortage of helpful public servant who have been having wet-dreams all their life about multiple penetrations of your body with their lead. Think I kidding, try making a medic alert call in Whiteplains and telling the police that it was a mistake and that you are afraid to open the door because they will kill you. You would be better off as a suicide bomber because at least then you have a chance of not dying, because even though it is recorded on video and they received several calls telling them it was a mistake, they will break down that door, taze you, shoot you repeatedly with bean bag shotguns, then just to make sure you are not experiencing and medical difficulties shoot you with their forty calibre handgun and kill you. All for your own good of course, or maybe because you had the audaucity to not totally submit to the authority of someone with the mentality of a sexually aroused teen boy who is in the vocational course in highschool, because you know, that’s just the way it is. Their petty authority means more to them, than your miserable life. No charges there aye? The bastards.

    • Rob

      Perhaps you are in dire need of intense therapy. Your anger totally clouds over your message?

      • Anonguy1234

        I think his anger is well placed. Perhaps you are in need of some informing.

  • Brothersower88

    Representative:  From Dictionary.com
    rep·re·sent·a·tive   [rep-ri-zen-tuh-tiv] Show IPA
    noun 1. a person or thing that represents  another or others. 2. an agent or deputy: a legal representative. 3. a person who represents  a constituency or community in a legislative body, especially a member of the U.S. House of Representatives or a lower house in certain state legislatures. 4. a typical example or specimen of a group, quality, or kind.

    If Congress is not representing the views of the voters, regardless of what party they come from, they should be removed from office.

    Representing anything other than the individual voters in their district/state is inappropriate.  Congresspeople should spend their time catering to their voters instead of big money.

    If I had my way (and I probably never will in this regard), politicians would only be able to accept political contributions from people who are eligible to vote in that particular contest.  Not a popular idea.  My representative should not be put in a situation of conflicting interests between me and someone outside of my state/district.

    • Brothersower88

       Clarifications:
      “Congresspeople should spend their time catering to their voters instead of big money.”

      Not just big money, but any influence other than the congresspeople’s voters.

      “My representative should not be put in a situation of conflicting
      interests between me and someone outside of my state/district.”

      Not just “someone” by anything other than the voters from that particular district/state.

      Note:
      I did not say party members or constituency.  A representative should represent the views of the majority while protecting the rights and views of the minority.  He/she should do everything in his/her power to represent all of his/her voters.

  • Notsagluar

    Lets see, after all said and done!…How did we get here?:  Nixon 1954?, S. T. Agnew in the 70′s, Nixon again in  ”Wattergate”, Oliver North/Reagan Contragate?, Sr. Bush Desert Storm?, baby Bush Irak WMD/Afgan War???, Recession/Depression?, AIG?, Tax Exempt for the Wealthy, who said Democrats

    • William

      You forgot JFK/LBJ Vietnam War.

      • jefe68

        And you forgot it was Nixon who escalated the war illegally bombed Cambodia and Laos.
        He then had the FBI go after anyone who was in the anti-war movement. Even John Lennon. 

        • William

          Obama is bombing Pakistan so I guess Nixon’s invasion into Cambodia is a mute point. The FBI was going after people for 50 years so Nixon did nothing new.

  • gilscotheron
  • Mattyster

    Term limits are not the answer.  They only ensure that institutional memory resides with unelected government employees and lobbyists, not our representatives.  The answer is public financing and transparency in campaigns.  Broadcasters should be required to air a limited number of political ads, and not be allowed to profit from them.  If our representatives don’t have to spend all their time raising money they can spend more time listening to ‘We the People’.  Corporations should not have a bigger voice than individuals.

    • Brothersower88

       My favorite parts:

      “The answer is public financing and transparency in campaigns.”

      “If our representatives don’t have to spend all their time raising money
      they can spend more time listening to ‘We the People’.  Corporations
      should not have a bigger voice than individuals.”

      I completely agree.

    • Anonguy1234

      I agree with you 100% I’ve been saying this for years. BUT you can bet your bottom dollar this idea will NEVER take hold as long as both sides of our ‘media’ are owned part and parcel by conglomerates that not only profit from but desperately require the status quo to survive. About 3% of our population is actually paying attention and the other 97% are passively being programmed to perpetuate the status quo.

  • Richard George in RI

    Anybody remember super-majorities and the “nuclear option?”  When the Republicans had a majority in the Senate, they threatened to change rules whenever a Democrat threatened to hold up legislation.  Under both Clinton and Obama, the president tried to get opposition support.  The changes to the health care program were not for the drug companies, but to get Republican Senators to support it.  Has anybody looked into what would happen if the present Senate threatened to prohibit minority hold-ups of legislation?

    • JonS

      You must have been asleep or in a drug-induced coma during the first 2 years of Obama’s presidency. In case you were, I wish to inform you that Democrats had a fillibuster-proof majority during those first 2 years. Anything Obama,Pelosi, and Reid wanted they could have passed without any Republican opposition. The difficulty they had in getting whatever they wanted had more to do with opposition from other Democrats, not Senate Republicans.

  • Observer

    Re The people are getting despite the GOP’s Red -Herrings 
    and this propaganda book today……Many People have been getting it for a very long time…Especially, those on the Left. Today, we see all kind of voters getting it. Including, American youngest voters, debt ridden college students & America’s school children.They will be the TOO BIG to fail—not the banks or the corporations …. Observer

  • stephen in Chicago

    Of course the Democratic party has a long list of “clients.”  The Republican party represents the wealthy, big business and the fearful.  Everyone else needs SOMEONE to represent them.

    • twenty-niner

      Yes, but the Democrats aren’t going down with a fight. A sampling of corporate donations from 1989-2012:
      AT&T Inc $48,860,161 (43% Dem, 55% Rep)Goldman Sachs $38,332,420 (58% Dem, 39% Rep)Citigroup Inc $29,470,275 (49% Dem, 49% Rep)JPMorgan Chase & Co $24,469,931 (50% Dem, 49% Rep)Microsoft Corp $23,944,597 (54% Dem, 44% Rep)Bank of America $20,959,723 (44% Dem, 55% Rep)

  • Roger

    To focus on one party, the Democrats, by a “Conservative” to develop his arguments – after the George W. manufactured war, who’s Cabinet members should be in prison, who can not begin to apologize for the loss of life and precious national resources – is ludicrous to the extreme. Now, we have Republicans in Congress who act just like the Labor Union he criticized. They have and are stonewalling everything that is needing to be done with absolutely no cooperation.
     Regarding health care, I do not have and can not afford health insurance, but I do have Social Security Disability for serious health conditions after working for 36 years (payed into this plan). The Author and his cronnies would see the likes of me and the thousands like me just die. (Neo-Conservatives and TeaBags), they are the TRUE DEATH PANEL.
    The population has increased tremendously since the 1950′s and people living longer, so, obviously health care costs are going to increase, duh! How about Corporate CEO’s or Sports Superstars that make more than all the Doctors in a modest community hospital in one year. The country needs to see clearly, free of anger, start cooperating,  and get our priorities right.

    • Roy Mac

      Blah, blah, blah.  He is on a book tour; take it for what it is.

  • Chris

    I’m a Democrat because there are only 2 parties. One represents gun manufacturers and gun nuts, religious nuts, racists, the parasitic super-wealthy, war profiteers, those who destroy the environment for financial gain, certain white men, etc. One is the de facto representative of everyone else–minorities, the middle and poorer classes, nonfanatic and nonbigoted believers, those who don’t like war, those who don’t like guns, women, those who care about the environment, etc. 

    If you look at the list of constituents of both parties, one is obviously morally and ethically wrong. The other is sometimes right and sometimes wrong. I’ll take the latter. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      Well said.

    • William

      JFK loved war so did LBJ. Clinton was not shy about bombs either. Obama loves to use drones to kill innoncent civilians and an American citizen too. Obama keeps Gitmo open despite his promise to close it. He still does the rendition program. He backs the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt which is not exactly very friendly towards women, gays  or Christians. One of Bill Clinton’s most famous lines was about Obama, “Heck, a few years ago he would have been serving us coffee”. Obama can’t be honest enough to endorse gay marriage until it is to his political advantage to get more money from the gays.  

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

        I see that a knowledge of history escapes your mental processes. Kennedy AVOIDED WW3 during the missle crisis. I will agree with you on LBJ, who was paid off handsomely by Brown & Root..now known as Halliburton.

        • William

          A short lesson in history. JFK almost started WW III with his failed invasion of Cuba. He lead the charge into Vietnam with his “go anwhere, pay any price speech”…which was used to justify the massive draft of young Americans sent off to Vietnam to die. Please stop trying to defend JFK because there is nothing to defend. He was a failed President. Gave a great speech, but a failure.

          • Jeanhaverhill

            it is interesting you point out our lack of knowledge about history.  Old Russian proverb:  keep your focus on history lose one eye; forget about history and you lose both eyes.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I’ll start to believe in your honesty, when you have revealed the crimes and sins of the Catholic clergy, for at least a year!

    • JonS

      You sound like an unmitigated idiot. Perhaps Republicans should lose their citizenship? Maybe have them rounded up and put in re-education camps? The fact that 8 people have “liked” your comments says more about you and them than anything Republicans may be responsible for in your delusional mind.

      • TomK in Boston

        Surely you don’t deny that the TeaOP “represents gun manufacturers and gun nuts, religious nuts, racists, the parasitic super-wealthy, war profiteers, those who destroy the environment for financial gain…”?? Seems like a straightforward list of facts to me.

  • Jack Marshak

    Obama has $1 million dollars with JP Morgan Chase
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/obama-1-million-jpmorgan-chase-204632283.html

    Obama has been bought and paid for. 

    • TomK in Boston

      Oh please, grow up. He has “up to” $1mil in an account at Chase, do you think he should keep his $ in the mattress? Are you “bought and paid for” by your bank?

      • Azra

        Astounding, aren’t they?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      And Romney is a vulture capitalist making tens of millions by destroying the employees lives, and jobs, of the companies Bain plundered. He keeps his money off shore too (yet is considered a patriot to you right wing nuts)…but you gullible Republicans keep on believing his lies, as he sells you all to corporate interests. All you folks want to hear are empty slogans and propaganda. Your world ended decades ago, but keep on dancing…maybe someday you will wake up and realize that the MUSIC HAS STOPPED. But I doubt it.

      • Azra

        It’s much too late for that.

  • Maconslug

    “Special Interests” are usually the interests with which one disagrees. This conversation lacks the specificity to be useful. 

  • Paul Erling

    His arguments seem to be “Democrats say this” but when they are in office they do something else. Isn’t this what political leadership is supposed to do?  Does he think the Republicans are more “honest” and virtuous because they abandon pretense?  

    • Azra

      Can anyone site an example of Republican honesty? Neither can I.

      In 2010, Republicans promised to find countless jobs for those out of work. Instead, after they were elected, they GOT RID OF countless jobs, and now blame the President for high unemployment!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    How do you know if Mr. Dimon is Greedy? Go to his corporate office and wait for him at the building entrance if he comes out. you yell? You got $23 millions of investors money can you please at least give me a $100 bucks. if he doesn’t he is Greedy to the bones.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Greed – People who has millions of dollars cannot even step out from their Limos to give a penny to a beggar at Sachs Fifth Avenue

    • Still Here

      Please, people who have millions don’t shop at Saks!

  • thegreengrass

    Democrats as well as Republicans are beholden to special interests that pay millions of dollars to help them get elected into office? And then when they’re in office, they help them out, shielding them from unfavorable legislation?

    No kidding.

    The only party that doesn’t accept corporate and lobbyist money is the Green Party. If everyone who complains about money in politics wanted to, they could easily vote for a party who conforms to their values. Jill Stein’ll be on the ballot in most states in November.

    Or, they can just keep complaining on the internet about something they’re unwilling to actually do anything about. Whatever.

    • ChanceSR

      And this would be true if the power elite actually intended to share any of their power, and the public was not brainwashed.

      Then there is the other side of the question: how do we know who actually wins if the courts do not allow votes to be counted when there is any chance of the wrong party winning?

      The voters have very little idea what is actually going on because of the lack of access to any trustworthy sources of information. And as always if people don’t like something they will not believe it.

      Just look at all the people who don’t believe they will die. Oh they won’t admit to it in most cases, but they don’t believe they will, how else do you excuse them behaving as if they are immortal, even on there death beds in some cases.  As if they had endless time to untangle the mess they have made of themselves? huh?

  • TomK in Boston

    Mr Cost, Mr Conard, why?
    Seems to me that NPR is afraid of the right. The wingnuts (ie the mainstream GoP now) are always saying there should be no NPR, broadcasting should all be done by the holy private sector, there should be no funding, and NPR has a leftist, maybe even socialist, bias. Looks like NPR in general and Tom in particular are trying to establish their cred with the right. “Hey, I had a guy who said greed is good and a guy talking about how the dems are bought, so can I keep my funding”? I don’t think that’s extreme enough. It’s a start, but it will take some birthers and creation scientists and gun nuts, maybe an imperial wizard, before they really like you.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Gee TomK did you notice that there were two guests today?

      Surprisingly, I found Jay Cost to not be ideological in his presentation today.

      If you want an echo chamber; there is always MSNBC.

      • worried for your country

        I found Jay Cost to be trying really, really smoothly not to be ideological on NPR today.

  • twenty-niner

    The left argues against term limits the same way the right argues against financial regulation. The left asserts that the electorate will reward good governance and punish bad actors, the same way that the market will reward good trades and punish bad trades with feedback loops that always self-correct.

    One thing that the last decades have shown is that neither the electorate nor the market can be trusted to act rationally in a consistent manner, thus necessitating an external correcting force. For markets, we call this regulation. For politics, we call this term limits.

  • http://jskdn.myopenid.com/ Jeff

    In other words, “Ask not what you can do for your country but what your country, that is other taxpayers, by way of political power, can do for you?

  • http://jskdn.myopenid.com/ Jeff

    I think of the Democratic Party I wanted to be member of as one that embraced the liberal principles of John Rawl’s “Theory of Justice.” That conceptual frameworks requires us to consider policies in the theoretical light where we imagine we don’t know where we are in society, making us compare what we want to what other people have, so that your interest are tested against the interests of others. You don’t have to be a Republican to dislike what the Democratic Party has become.

    • Jeanhaverhill

      hopefully, that would be a useful framework.  Justice is a difficult concept when “Winning is the only thing.”  Ideas of civic virtue are not illustrated, modelled or “taught”.  I’ve had an ongoing discussion with my “financial” accountant when he says there are two emotions:  fear and greed.  But greed is not an emotion; it is a learned/taught value.  A picture of greed is the child who wants to eat all the cherries in the bowl; or finish all the ice cream.  The society without civic virtue instilled in some way could be Lord of the Flies I guess.  I remember the discussions around Watergate and we used the old fashioned term “moral imbecile”…. as wrenching as that term is now , we still  need a concept and a framework for “justice” and the equivalent in the conscience or cognitive domain.  It requires formal logic to get to that point with a student.  I would accept Rawls , some of the ideas from Jeremy Bentham etc…  The school curriculum does not offer this or depict the values that you describe.  The U.S.  went so far into the “behavior mod”  techniques that we lost the values of (especially Great Britain) in terms of child development and student growth through a history or civics education curriculum.  Kennedy helped to bring one into the state in the 90s but it was viewed mostly for high school advanced placement instead of every class.  And, even the best curriculum is mediated through teacher’s values and strong points.  I know there are those who would argue with me but this total commitment to behavior modification is far from the necessary arrangement… pleading for moderation has very little success.  Justice is taught by meting out punishments — a blue slip for bullying, a purple slip for bringing a knife to school, and you go to “juvie” etc.  if you ask the kids. Rewards are in terms of “pizza parties.”   At least they are learning their colors if not the ideas of distributive justice, social justice etc.  Interesting but the largest mental hospital in the U.S.  is Los Angeles County jail.

  • Roger Runnalls

    Looks like the republicon “capture” of NPR is now complete.

    • notafeminista

      Captured from whom exactly?

      • Pointpanic

        from the people ,nota. NPR was supposed to be and was originally an alternative to mainstream corporate media . But it sold out over ten years ago.

        • ClemO1

           Right around the time that public funding went south?

          • Pointpanic

            yes, that’s quite possible

  • Whodoodavoodoodatyoudotome

    A riddle
    Who are they:

    who cannot be reasoned with.

    who cannot accept any fact that they don’t like.

    who do not have a conscience or sense of honor that can be shamed or appealed to.

    who do not have the capacity to sympathize or empathize with the victims of their rapacious activities.

    who cannot be voted out of office because they are the only ones running.

    who have become septic by eating their own bull.

    who cannot be arrested or charged because they write the laws in their own interest.

    who have no intention of returning to or giving back anything.

    who own most of what you see when you look out the window.

    who believe they are superior because they are beneath the pangs of conscience.

    who will not cease their attack on everything that they do not own.

    who have control over all avenues and venues of redress.

    who own the mass media to which people have easy access.

    who would rather die than live the life that you are allowed in their world.
    who will never cease their endless campaign to reduce all facts to talking points and just opinion that is in opposition to other equally or even more valid facts that they like and support and actively inculcate into our culture.

    who would actually rather live as royalty in a less sophisticated time, as long as they didn’t have to give anything up.

    whose primary payoff in life it the simulation of hormones within themselves that arise from the domination and envy of others, though they are entirely dependent on status possessions to secrete these hormonal delights into their systems.

    who always conduct all business with such as you, from a hand shake to life and death decision, by grasping you in a manner in which you cannot touch them back.

    who would rather you and your entire family die than to feel obligated to their fellow humans who they stole their wealth from in the first place, by one form of coercion or another.

    who are largely insane but in an acceptable form.

    whose own interests are the only interests they are really capable of.

    who feel that despite their utter dependence on you and yours for survival that you owe them and should be honored to be in their malevolent presence.

    who will have to be threatened with real and imminent death in order to have a change of heart.

    who do not dance backwards, you do.

    who think of life as a game and themselves as winners any you as a looser or wanna-be them.

    who know what they are and do not care, because they are on top.

    Who know that all the above are true about them, and do not even care who knows it, because all are powerless before them?

    Guess

    • twenty-niner

      That’s an easy one…

    • Azra

      Republicans, of course. Don’t suppose I’ll win a prize for that . . . much too easy.

      • Whodoodavoodoodatyoudotome

         Ohhhh, unfortunately Azra dear, twenty-niner was correct. But nobody goes home empty handed here at OnPoint, and we have this brand new Height/Simmons flux capacitor.

  • Roy Mac

    Can we agree to just shut up about the “Founding Fathers?”  In today’s world, the best comparison would be a members’ meeting at the Augusta National Golf Club:  rich men figuring out how they want to get things divvied up so that they come out on top.  In 1787, there probably wasn’t much to argue about, since they only ones with votes.  In 2012, the world has changed; people who invoke “the founding fathers” are demonstrably ignorant.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      Hogwash. A comment spoken from absolute ignorance.

      • Jeanhaverhill

        Don’t dismiss Roy Mac’s comment with a knee jerk reaction.  “By the end of the nineteenth century this awe for the founders and their mythical reputation was being questioned and historians began puncturing the aura of divinity surrounding them.”  (Gordon Wood page 5).  Citing them today a la Sarah Palin is just another way of bullying from the pulpit .  Roy Mac is participating in the time honored questioning.  I can recall seminars at BU on political science when I just kept wondering in my head if the professor/speaker knew there was a Reformation and an Enlightenment…  Government, does it come from God, from the Pope, from the Tsar, from the high potentate ….????? are these questions answered and is the design we live with the best in responding to the uncertainties of being human ????  I know George Will quotes Burkead infinitum but the interpretations of conservatism and liberalism  have gone astray and leave a lot to be desired in terms of understanding. I wish George Will would stick to baseball.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

          “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…”

          The widom of one of the Founding Fathers…enough said.

    • Jeanhaverhill

      I am “hearing” a message in your comment that reminds me of the first chapter in Gordon WOOD’S book  “Revolutionary Characters”

  • Lizsimps

    If we are going to actually look at the larger picture, shouldn’t we really be looking at the campaign finance policies (etc) that have been allowed to remain in effect? It is political reliance on contributions, ever increasing, that has truly paralyzed politicians, keeping anyone who wants to remain in office from being able to make a legitimately independent decision without fear of retribution from special interest groups with deep pockets

  • Abel

    It’s time for independents to assert themselves. Democrats and Republicans will jump ship as soon as they have a better choice. Maybe I’ll run. 
    http://www.facebook.com/RecruitAbel

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Be careful around Cain!?

  • Bargraphx

    He, Jay, wrote about the change in the demo party, what about the chage in the republican party. What about their special interest. I was listening because I thought he had a point but it it Fox news, it is one sided. Why would anyone other then a republican want to read his book.

  • curmudgeon

    Of course neither Party represents “the people.” The people long ago stopped caring and handed their government over to others. 38.7% of “the people” gave us the Tea Party House. 2008 was a banner year with a mere 56% of the voters voting. Bloomberg the Magnificent was elected to his third term by something on the order of 13% of the voters of NYC. North Carolinians ignored the largest civil rights issue of the first half of the 21st century by a whopping 66%, allowing a crank minority to write bigotry into their State Constitution. “Special Interests” didn’t “take” our country away, we handed it to them.

    Tom, you asked Jay how to fix it and he suggested the perfect idea for our lazy, ill informed voters — term limits. The real fix is mandatory voting, or at least fines for not voting. I’ve advocated, for decades, that the personal exemption on our tax forms by dis-allowed for people who refuse to do their civic duty. You want the exemption? Vote.

    Last week 81% of the French voted and changed course. The last time 81% of Americans voted was in 1876 (and that’s skewed, of course, as not everyone *could* vote).

    • Guest

      I can just imagine hordes of first time voters tearing themselves away from learning more about the Kardashians, watching Judge Judy, and getting another tattoo so that they can fulfil their civic duty.  It’s a thought more frightening than a Stephen King novel. 
       

      • Azra

        That’s for sure, and America’s future is the most frightening thing of all.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Better to allow the people to vote to change the constitution than have 9 unelected judges change it.

  • TomK in Boston

    Why is there so little discussion of how the effective top tax rate is now 15%, lowest since 1929? Our #1 problem is the top 1% getting 23% of the income and paying this minuscule rate! It’s not only implementing “starve the beast” on steroids, it’s why both parties are so bought and why the markets are so unstable – too much funny money in the hands of the oligarchs.

    • Guest

      According to the Tax Foundation “Summary of Federal Income Tax Data” for 2009, the top 1% earned 16.9% of total income reported on all returns, paid 36.7% of total federal income taxes, and had an average tax rate of 24.01%.

      • TomK in Boston

        I’ve seen various numbers for different years, and they’re all bad. 17% or 20% or 23% of total income are all shocking. I shouldn’t have implied that the 1% pay 15%.  The very top romneys claim all their income as cap gains and dividends, and that’s 15%, but they are in the .1% or .01%. The effective top rate is 15%.

        Are you really going to argue that we don’t have a problem with revenue because you think we collect a big 24% on the top 1%? Even 24%, which is higher than what the real oligarchs pay, is the lowest since 1929! Our top tax rates are unsustainable and a primary cause of all our problems.

        • Guest

          The out of control growth of government is the primary cause of all our problems.

          • Jeanhaverhill

            Life without government is “nasty, brutal and short”  (famous quote)… but is that like saying  “the food in that restaurant is lousy and their portions are too small????  I was  just wondering…

          • Guest

            “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force.  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

            –George Washington

          • TomK in Boston

            Recognize this?

            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”

          • TomK in Boston

            If you mean military spending, I agree. The other problem is the lowest top tax rate since 1929. That is unsustainable. We can’t have a first world society and give people like me a free pass.

             The Romney types claim all their income as cap gains and pay 15%. The numbers you are throwing around are the lowest since 1929. Here’s the income of the top 1% over time. We are in 1929 territory. What is so hard to understand? Note that the rise back to pre Great Depression levels starts in that dark year, 1980.

            http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/26/nyregion/the-new-gilded-age.html

        • Guest

          According to the Tax Foundation “Summary of Federal Income Tax Data” for 2009, the top 0.1% earned 7.8% of total income reported on all returns, paid 17.11% of total federal income taxes, and had an average tax rate of 24.28%.

      • Azra

        Heard on “Marketplace” tonight, that the weathiest Americans are far better off, (by 37%), than they were 4 years ago, and that the rest of us poor schmucks are just 20% (?) better off than we were in 2008.

        Disparity?

  • Jeanhaverhill

    I listened to the author; it doesn’t seem to me that he ever read Schattschneider’s work on the “semi-sovereign” nation that we have invested in…. who is calling spoiled??  if it is “the people” then he is just plain arrogant but I guess whatever sells$$$$$ is what you call your book these days….    I would expect Ashbrook to call him on some of these points…  true, there is a moral bankruptcy; it seems that each politician says “don’t tell me about it; I am only responsible to and for myself” and my family and friends…  corruption in the different layers of government is obvious.  I worry that the women we elect are going to use the same tactics that the men have used in the past… except for Elizabeth Warren who seems to have kept her integrity over the years.  I don’t know if it is possible to be in office and be “uncontaminated” with some fingers in the cookie jar…

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Elizabeth Warren…integrity?

      Don’t tell that to the Cherokees because they are now on the warpath over her deceit.

      • Jeanhaverhill

        I don’t think the Cherokees are as you say …. I believe I have 1/256 Native American in my mom’s family from Mendon MA.  and on my father’s side some Mohawk in NY.  But since my WASP ancestors chased them all out of their hunting grounds and tribal territories I don’t think they stopped at City Hall to pick up the marriage certificates .  The women were not recorded anyway in the early records of Massachusetts so try to prove it one way or another….So I will just be willing to call myself a Native American princess.   Or, if you prefer, I’ll call myself the “old granny Redd from Marblehead, tarred and feathered til she was dead.” since that is the fate of witches  (the oldest war in civilization).

      • JGC

        I’ll look into that, but don’t think so…

      • Terry Tree Tree

        YOU know little, if ANY about the Cherokee!

  • Peter von Ann Arbor

    How we elect our representatives has been subverted and coopted by money and organized interests. One man one vote needs to be strengthened by mandating that every eligible voter actually votes, which is not nearly as onerous in modern times. This will force candidates to campaign and govern to the middle, not mobilize just the crazies. It also blunts the might of the party machines.

  • Rick

    I know this has been alluded to, but doesn’t the author think the same thing is happening to the Republican Party?  The “clients” / special interests want more and more.  The social right includes Evangelical Christians as a client.  The small-government right includes the Tea Party as a client.  Both want more and more extreme version of their demands.

    • at

       Really?
      Have the democrats been asking for more and more extreme versions of their demands, or have they compromised to placate a bunch of rabid obstructionists, to such an extent that they have alienated the median of their own party? Think about it twice, then ignore any thing you came to via mass media that is owned by partisan vested interests and let me know what you come up with.

  • at
  • JGC

    I haven’t read the other comments as of yet, but I will wade in with my impression after hearing some of Mr. Cost’s ideas.  And this is from a person, now living in Canada,  but raised in a “safe conservative” fracking zone of Pennsylvania, and by a mother who was raised in the southern Georgia/Florida panhandle area during the Great Depression.  I think there is a huge racial bias to the whole process of declaring party allegiance which can not be ignored. I think (and please, people raised south of the Mason-Dixon line, please refute me thoroughly, because I don’t want to believe this in my heart) that as a historical construct, southern Whites have been searching for the party to represent themselves, and only themselves, for the past 100 years and longer.  And if given this reason to belong to the Dixiecrats, they will. (Hello to Strom Thurmond and his White family and his secret Black family).  And if given a reason to go over to the immigrant-restricting, Black American-avoiding, vote-suspicious, social-issues-only-first Republican party, they don’t need much of a shove. And, since this guest,Mr.Cost, today wants to document perceived rights and wrongs of the party system dating back to the beginnings of our country, I have to say the ultimate wrong was that of slavery, and everything that flowed from it (still to this day); it supersedes all.

    The 2008 U.S. presidential election of a half-black, half-white person  set off a cataclysmic event; so that it was the person who I see as a triumph of American exceptionalism, is instead seen in the Southern tier states as an interloper, an undeserving Kenyan who slipped through a system that should have weeded him out and kept him in some gummint backwater, back-of-the-bus situation away from their confronting gaze.  And they cannot from day 1 get past this; not even given the normal decencies accorded to the highest office in the land. (“You lie!”) 

    And that is why to me this is not some bizarre herd response to  fluctuating dictates of the two party system, but a real racial thread as to which party best elevates the white majority.  I don’t think we have a two-party system based on some rigid conformity. We have a system which is fluidly engaged in locking out the minorities.  

      

    • Jeanhaverhill

      I fear that you are accurate in your impressions; but it is not just north/south.  I email Scott Brown every day about his voting record; I keep telling him he wants Massachusetts to look like Mississippi with roads.  In the 70s I laughed during the gas shortages when  my nephews  in Houston  would joke “Auntie, we want you Yankees to freeze in the dark.”  It’s not funny to me now because of the “Great Depression” we are in an economic sense that has not been fully acknowledged .  I was born at the tail end of the 30′s depression and the economic recovery was very slow in the area where I was raised for my family and neighbors… this is very similar today  (cf.  Studs Terkels’ descriptions ).  Not since the 30s have there been so many women and children “on the streets”.  With the attitudes we hear from elected officials and campaigns there is denial of reality… The social divisions and the religious divisions are paramount==  we can scapegoat “the other” for the economic mess we are in. The old anti-semitism and the race baiting and demagoguery emerge ….even my neighbor will call my Aunt a non-Christian because of the church she might attend (her ancestors started the Universalist Church in Hopedale MA) and a friend might say ”don’t read that book written by a heretic” and another idiotic quote “He can’t be a Baptist minister  — he’s Armenian.”   Usually I walk away when I hear this nonsense but it more and more describes the community where I live .  Even my arrogant statement about Mississippi above could be an example (except for the fact that Massachusetts has the best test scores ==something denied by politicians if it serves their agenda)   and infrastructure is deteriorating in all states..    

    • Azra

      You seem to have nailed it! Bigots have a hard time, even in this day and age, coming to terms with the fact that we have a President whose father, [almost unknown to the President], was born in Kenya, a Ptesident who is the model good, wholesome, upstanding person, much better than they can ever hope to be. They were brought up to think that they are somehow better than another sector of society. One can only imagine what a threat Barack Obama posed to this type, with his superior mind, TEMPERAMENT, ethics, ideas, knowledge of the Constitution, and so many other things for them to be jealous of. Guess it really irks them to know that a person, (mixed race), whom they were taught to despise, is so much better than they are, IN ALMOST EVERY WAY. These confused and angry people may be found on this very blog.

    • Edith

      Wow. Great points.  Well articulated.  I wish all commentary were so thoughtful and so well phrased.  

    • Gregg

       That’s sick.

      • jefe68

        How so. It’s an observation based on some sound history. What’s sick is how you post comments like this, then you fain surprise when people call you on your point of view and question your ethics.
        What’s telling is that you find this sick.

        • Gregg

          It’s sick because it’s a racist view cloaked in elitist BS. Criticism of the disaster that is Obama has nothing to do with his race. I will continue to point out how sick the charge is every time I see it. Sue me.

      • JGC

        I am sorry you think this is sick, because I (often!) respect your opinions. But this is one of mine, and to tell you the truth, I was afraid to look at the comments to what I had written, because it brings me no joy to feel this way.

        • Gregg

          Then why ignore all the damage he has done, the promises he broke, the horrible divisiveness he wrought, the anemic economy, the robust unemployment rate and look only to the color of his skin? IMHO that is sick.

          Respect my opinion if you choose but if  your premise is correct (it’s not) then by your description, I’m a racist. I and others who are very concerned for our country, are getting kind of tired of the constant accusation.

          • Jeanhaverhill

            your cause effect reasoning is faulty…. There is no way to measure the “damage” he has done specifically (if any)… and you are dealing with hypothetical counter-factuals which cannot be measured…. so that means you are missing facts and stating your opinions.  The divisiveness was there long before this president was elected.  Doesn’t anyone remember the gas lines in the 70s??? Divisiveness of neighbor against neighbor and “civil war” of family members  has been heightened by the economic conditions and the “thievery” of white collar crimes.  I would respect your opinion more if you had some facts behind it .  This medium/media does not permit adequate conversation and doesn’t really help to improve the situation so that one can build respect; but I do agree with the earlier person who said the converstion on this “blog” is much better than the  author interview Cost/Ashton. (I am new at this kind of posting so forgive me if I have offended you with being a neophyte).    

          • Gregg

            We are more divided than ever. Our credit rating was lowered and we’re 15 trillion in debt, that’s damage.

  • Subramanya Srikantan

    I have not read the book but listening to Mr Cost there was never a single point on which he countered that Republicans are good.  His point is only that Dems are not as good as the liberal media portrays.  Actually this is the kind of soul searching analysis that liberals should have done and held a mirror for the democrats to see.  First time I felt that Tom was not on top of the subject and was bringing in the Democrat and Republican divide over and over.  Mr Cost could be a conservative on some issues, but a conservative need not be a Republican always.  Just like the liberals lamenting over the Republicans going in the wrong directions, even conservatives can worry about Democrats going in wrong directions.  I felt that most people who comment on this as if Mr Cost does not have any business talking about Democratic party. 

    • at

       All you have to do is read this blog on the day of the show and you will find plenty of liberals deconstructing the hypocrisy of the democrats. We even have quite a few people around here that have seen through the whole farce. But you have to admit that the power elite are cunning. We are once again forced to vote for the lesser evil because of the degree of insanity that Romney is willing to cater to on the right. It is evidently beyond some peoples capacity to understand the manner in which the money industry brought our economy to the point of actual ruin then was bailed out with a sum that would equal getting $58,000 from every man woman and child in the country. (And then they pay off their off-shore buddies, turn around give themselves incredible bonuses, give everyone the bird and demand more deregulation) Either they cannot understand this, or they cannot keep it in their memory for more than a day or two until the next red herring is sent to span by Fox or some other malevolent social force. Or they are one of the one percent and their toadies. Because if you understand what was done, — continually by both parties to support and enact these truly treacherous actions — and you come to the conclusion that the way to keep it from happening again is to deregulate an industry that have proven over and over that if they are not watched with overbearing scrutiny they will cheat and lie and steal and ruin anything to amass wealth, including corrupting the government and all oversight and dismantling it completely, or even railroad us into a war with their control of the media.

      If that is the conclusion you come to, you are either yourself a scoundrel, or an moron.

  • Jeanhaverhill

    I listened twice (in the car with no pen/paper) and will read the book at the library; but, I would want the author to clarify his terms …there is a whole genre of “group dogma” from the 60s … at any rate, the author must clarify what is a public interest group as opposed to a special interest group.  To quote Schattschneider, “vice of the groupist theory is that it conceals the most significant aspect of the system..  about 90% of the people cannot get into the pressure system.”  So we are always the 90% or the 99%??
    Don’t look Schattschneider up in wiki; they admit it is a poorly written summary.  I have only to thank Professor Iannacone for his discussion in a course I took (I was one of two females in the group of 40) and I thanked him…”Thank you, no one tells women these things about policy.” 

  • Jeanhaverhill

    Changed my mind; I won’t be reading it at the library.  I downloaded the introduction and the second paragraph has two glittering generalities (over-generalizations) and the other sentence in the paragraph is a mis-statement of facts about the role of the Republican party….  This is just another attempt to  ring the cash register with $$$$$ for books.   If i have any extra cash I’ll buy Rachel Maddow’s book and Neal Fergusson’s “Civilization” on CD .

  • JohnGraff

    Less here than meets the eye.

    Chompsky and others on the left (e.g. Gore Vidal, Bill Moyers, etc.) have been saying similar things for decades. 

    The GOP/TP and Dems are both beholden to powerful/wealthy (often overlapping) special interests and can be seen as different factions (or branches) of the same pro-property party. Nevertheless there are still significant differences between them on a wide variety of issues (e.g. global warming/environmental protection, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, etc.) and in terms of their constituencies (e.g. organized labor vs owners/managers).  

    “The renowned linguist and political philosopher tells The Real News that there is indeed a difference between the two major parties and their candidates, if only a narrow one. While they both serve elites, Chomsky says, the Democrats, over time, help people.” 
    http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20081021_noam_chomsky_theres_nothing_wrong_with_picking_the_lesser_of_two_e/

    • Jeanhaverhill

      Thanks for that website; I listened to Chomsky.  My nephew is a 60 year old ex-marine and he and I are the only 2 democrats in the family  (he says he will hold his nose and vote for Patty Murray).  My nephew in Dubai says he and I are the only 2 socialists in the family.  I fear for the grandkids in Texas ….  we don’t share similar values any more….

  • JohnGraff

    “Often, [Cost] seems to conflate ‘the public interest’ with right-leaning policies. He lauds President Clinton for pursuing goals that liberal groups disliked, such as welfare reform and the North American Free Trade Agreement, while deriding Clinton’s attempt to allow gays to serve openly in the military as a mere sop to a Democratic constituency. The author also roundly criticizes Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, who shepherded especially large government programs. But Cost saves his harshest words for President Obama, who he claims has ‘focused relentlessly upon the interests of the party clients over the public good.’ In particular, the author characterizes the president’s health-care reform policies as a massive handout to left-leaning special interests. It is interesting to note that some members of these same groups regularly criticize Obama for not being liberal enough, a fact Cost does not explore. He also doesn’t address how Republican Party policies have been influenced by its own coalition groups, which would make for an informative comparison.”

    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jay-cost/spoiled-rotten-politics-patronage/

  • JohnGraff

    How about term limits for Supreme Court Justices (along with campaign finance and lobby reform)?

  • Still Here

    Democrats are the party of freeloaders, parasites and a big government that makes that possible.

    • STIgn

      I am an independent and have no bias at all, and I can tell you that in both cases the facts contradict what you claim. A more truthful statement would be “Democrats are the party that Republicans claim is a party of parasites and big government but the records show that government got bigger faster under the Republicans, and that the really big engorged fat and juicy parasites like  the Money Industry are totally trans party.

      • Jeanhaverhill

        that was my point earlier; the individual I mentioned was nominated through republican campaigns/elected officials, he worked his way through a democratic process (largely democrats  in a quasi-bureacracy) to steal 30 million from educational funds (not a bank == but diverting funds from taxpayer dollars )….  we need to rethink the terms we are using republican/democrat ; liberal /conservative …. and get to the human traits…. “greed” doesn’t do it == stock broker says greed is an emotion; it is a learned value….  the budget process is how we express our values and the political process in place is to influence the priorities  (guns or butter, etc).  Currently,  manyof the 90% to 99% have realized they have no say in the political process and want to get involved somehow.  But  the constant name calling and epithets will not get to the design of a “better” system  or a system that will pass Benthamite critera (you can’t always maximize both equity and excellence ; guns/butter etc)  there are choices and some values trump others due to limited resources.  I could vote for a Ron Paul on the “guns/butter”  dichotomy but he loses me on all the other values.  Realizing their vote doesn’t matter/count  many have dropped out of the process because the elections are “bought” anway.    … 
        This was my frst time reading the NPR postings and I was amazed at all the epithets being thrown around.  The categories are too rigid and the demagoguery too blatant in the press .  The language is inflammatory.  On Boston TV the expressions such as “take him out”  when talking about a candidate is to me like the  depictions of a noose hanging from a tree in the south….  strange fruit hanging on those trees.  One needs to be vigilant in a ”democratic process” but  I quit even  watching BookTV because the hate mongering has escalated to such a high level and selling $$$$ books using any means is now the goal .   Unfortunately, our culture instills this identification of “the other” as the reason for the debacle ;  but knowing what we feel responsible for and, what as a 99%er you can control or do anything about  is the depressing reality.  So Walker’s divide and conquer strategy works when it comes to achieving his priorities; and Christie’s bullying of teachers “works” in terms of his budget prioriites.  It depends on whose ox is being gored.  But my definition of what “works” is not the same as Walker or Christie .  Telling me that California is unsuccessful and NJ is “successful”== that  yardstick does not compute  because I use a different paradigm.  Life is more complicated than the “fish or cut bait” decions.  We are limited by our vocabulary and the compressed space of communications today — short, 40 characters etc and that means reduction to “words” that don’t represent the concepts that we mean.

  • Gregg

    We have records of failure and success to compare in NJ and CA.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304371504577404503988018824.html

    In Wisconsin, Walker’s recall threat is nil because what he did worked… big time. Look at Ohio where their credit rating was increased thanks to Kasich’s policies. VA and IN are other examples of States that have been turned around by Republicans.

    • Jeanhaverhill

      You aptly choose “success”  as what values and ideology you believe in.  I  would describe Massachusetts as more “successful” than New Jersey at this point.  But it depends on what types of evidence you are using for “success”…. Unemployment rates?  popularity among persons answering polls?  for political reasons, politicians disregard the success of Massachusetts schools on test scores when compared to the other states and this is done purposely to push vouchers or charter schools.  Why not call them all “charter” schools and go from there? 

      • Jeanhaverhill

        politicians do the same thing when they examine health care;  Massachusetts hospitals have an excellent statistic for treating some of the most severe cases .  There are hospitals that will not take a pregnant woman with a  ”high risk” baby simply for that fact and the pregnant woman is forwarded on several or many miles (e.g., NH)  Largely, this is because we have so many teaching and research hospitals where the statistics are better.  The “risk pools”  .  within a state’s boundaries need to  be more clearly defined in human services and that is completely different from a corporation producing computer chips  and reviews of their quality control.  The paradigms are different.  My deceased friend who taught at Northern Essex CC would say “Romney’s strategy might be useful for producing Kentucky fried children.”  Another anecdotal example is the Commissioner of Education who went to Holy Cross, worked in NH and said (off the record)  we will move back to Massachusetts when we need health care.”    I know these are just anecdotes but the over simplification of California New Jersey comparisons  disturbs me  too many complexities to make a generalization.   

      • Gregg

         Turning debt into surplus is success.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/WQTJK35OUDHVVSFSCURTB6VNO4 sdkott

    I listened to the program last night, and all I can say is that this guy is a complete sociopath.  He said over and over how he agrees with President Obama’s policy positions, but he (very conveniently) disagrees with “how he got there.”  He says over and over about how corrupt the Democratic party is, from its founding all the way up to the Wilson administration, and he says over and over how he only studied the Democrats and not the Republicans, and that the Republicans are probably worse, but he can’t be sure.  He’s just ridiculous, and yet he represents the “sane” wing of the Republican party.  According to him, the Democrats get the right result with the wrong method, they’ve cleaned up their act in the last 90 years, and he agrees with the President’s goals.  That’s why we should elect Republicans.  Sociopath!

    • Jeanhaverhill

      i agree with your position; I would just call him a “snake oil” salesman or a demagogue or an ideologue.  Sociopath has a specific meaning in the DSM IV literature…. even the word narcissist might be removed in the new DSM IV because of the cultural trends and resulting personalities

      • Ben

        No need to pull out the DSM, websters is sufficient for this case.

        Sociopath: a person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such acts

        Sounds just like a standard ”conservative” demagogue to me.

        • JJJImmmanyC

          One interesting thing about sociopaths is that women are more attracted to them than they are nonsociopaths on first impressions.
          Also they tend to move to the top of both criminal, political, and corporate organizations.

          • Jeanhaverhill

            I’m not certain there is any evidence showing that women are more “attracted” to sociopaths than men are.  I do know there is evidence for the fact that women more often go to jail for sexual acting out behaviors than men do… Also, the statistics point out there are more men who are identified as “antisocial” personality and more women who are counted in the “borderline” personality category.  If you can give me a citation I would be pleased to track it down.  I’m not sure how many women of which personality types would be “attracted” and I don’t know what you mean when you define attraction — the operational definition you are using.  Then , you tag on “first impressions” that muddies the waters.  Does that mean the women are more likely to buy the car in the show window (first impression)  from a sales person with a verbosity?  or does it mean something else? 

    • Ben

      Republicans are experts at getting simple minded people to vote precisely against their own interests.  This is actually old hat technique, he’s just aiming at a slightly higher cailibre of people with a higher grade of premium bullcrap.

      The idea that socially and environmentally responsible voting blocks are somehow equivalent with misanthropic corporate PACs is patently insane.  I mean, Love and Hate are both emotions, but one is useful for building a society and the other is only useful for tearing one apart.  They don’t have equal value, and likewise equivocating “special interests” groups as all having a corrupting influence is just plain crazy talk.

  • Warren

    Daley(JP Morgan),Gensler(Goldman Sachs),Phil Murphy(GS),Gene Sperling(GS),James Johnson(Fannies famous crook and employee of GS),Mark Paterson(GS),David Lipman(Citi),Steve Rattner(Lehman),Rubin(Citi)Dudley(GS),Storch(GS),Eric Holder(Wall St.Bundler),Chuck Schumer(high Priest of Wall St.)Rahm Emanuel(worked for Law Firm who represented GS),Peter Orzag(Citi) and on and on…All these folks are dreaded 1% ers and are the lead the Democrat Party.They are the Presidents men.Masters of the revolving door.
           To all you young OWS types,Lennin called you his Useful Idiots.Thanks to NPR I better understand you.You suckled until you were 12……..

    • ThePope

      I hate to break it to you genius, but Lenin is dead and he didn’t call OWS participants anything.
      When an comes at the end of a sentence it is still only three dots. One period and three dots. Remember that, then only your concepts will be those of a moron.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You heard Lenin talk about OWS?  Your ‘chemicals’ are rampant STILL?

    • TomK in Boston

      Useful idiots woud be TeaOP geezers on SS and medicare demanding that gvt get out of their lives.

  • Warren

    Now on to the Unions.The Unions gave 400 million to the Dems.during the last election cycle.The Unions are 40%ish Republican,yet barely a cent of Union money went their way.What is the difference betqween IBM and the AFL-CIO.Citizens United my a-s.

    • TomK in Boston

      The difference is that the AFL-CIO is on life support and IBM is on steroids, but I know that won’t stop your “false equivalence”.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Unions put money behind labor-friendly candidates, so the union members and non-union workers can live better!
         Candidates that think workers are expendable, and oppose Job Safety, should NOT get union financial backing!

      • http://twitter.com/JHWillson John Willson

        Apparently you did not bother to read the oldest post in this conversation. Take a look at my previous post and then you can check out this link: http://t.co/lG8gZYM6

  • Warren

    Then there’s the Environmentalists.The Cult of Giai.Unfortuneatly a few weeks ago,the guru said it was a hoax.While global warming is probably happening, it is a slow process.There is no need for panic and he appologized for leftist hysterics.Did you check the mansion of the environmentalist Kennedy.Between his palace and that of Al Gore ,they use 50,000 light bulbs.

    • Jeanhaverhill

      you lump a lot of things together.  Did you ever hear of Carl Sagan??  Would you have any information or opinion about the patterns of desertification that repeat through time…. the sand storms that appear in Beijing would be something I would like to know more about.  Do they occur on a periodic type of time table?  Are they influenced by the size of the population of Beijing and surrounding environs?  Yesterday I was trying to find some information on hurricane of 1790 and the fishermen that died off the Isle of Shoals and I noticed some neat data on the repetitiveness of the cycles of hurricanes on the east coast.  Neal Fergusson has some interesting data on the occurrence of forest fires … it was so interesting to me I wanted to follow up on his data sources.  Does this make me a nasty word like a tree hugger?  I don’t think so but I do like to use my brain and think about things like this.  I do have one friend who had to pay $10,000 to a lawyer to get his “Tree hugging kid” out of court. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Now you have a market for the MILLION 100 Watt incandescent bulbs you claimed to buy?

  • Guest

    This guy was just the worst kind of weasle.  ”Read my book, but don’t try to pin me down on any single idea in it… no I’m not really saying Republicans are not guilty of the same things.”
    Sir, yes, that’s exactly what you are implying, you just don’t want to/are unable to defend that position.  Ridiculous.

  • CornneliusHuffman123

    The comments on this show are about ten times better than the show itself was.

  • Pedro

    This guy was about as solid as tofu.  Nice book, it’ll make a great door stop for our DNC field office.

  • Romney Bin Bush

    “Labor, minorities, and environmentalists” are THE people. There is a big difference between people and corporations, who represent the few behind the GOP.

  • burroak

    These comments are testimony to how frustrated the American public is with our elected officials; which are supposed to be representative of, by and for the people. Nowadays, many politicians are just powdered puppets for a small percentage; what a shame.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

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Apr 22, 2014
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As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

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