Twelve Step programs address dysfunctions. We need a Twelve Step program to address our political dysfunctions, so we can deal with climate change, heal our economy, restore faith in businesses and civility to society. It starts with understanding that everything that is happening is the will of a small group of committed people with a whole lot of money. And they have a big head start.
Government is broken because of corrupting money. When money is speech, bribery is legal. Dark money organizations funded by dark money organizations, as detailed in Eric Zuesse’ article How the Kochs and their Friends Engineered the Federal Shutdown have worked an organized assault on the democratic process to hobble government. Hobbled government enables them to continue their fossil fuel business while imperiling our garden planet. It is enough to stifle hope.
In Thousands of Stories of Hope: One Barrier and How We Overcome It, Dylan Rattigan ponders “Do you feel that? The tension in the United States in palpable.”
“The feeling derives from the ever-increasing awareness that a tiny group of wealthy individuals have a hammerlock on our political system that prevents new ways of approaching education, agriculture, health, energy, banking, trade, taxes or climate change.”
Dylan quotes Lawrence Lessig on the two steps to achieve a better world. "Part One: Invest your time and energy in creating and telling more stories of hope -- no matter how small -- in the issues that matter most to you.. Part Two: Understand that reversing the concentration of power among the wealthy in our government is the necessary first step in releasing the possibilities contained (in) those stories of hope..
We live in a media market controlled by a handful of corporations. And they are owned and controlled by the same entrenched wealth. In Ted Cruz and Koch brothers embroiled in shadowy Tea Party scheme, Josh Eidelson details how they launder money in fraudulent educational nonprofits.
Yet all we ever do is talk about their talking points. We argue their talking points on MSNBC, in congress. They lecture us every Sunday morning on Meet the Press, even as history has proven them continuously wrong. The President begins negotiations by conceding to their wishes. Progressives spend our lives dealing with the debilitating effects of the plots the dark money planned in their secret meetings two years before. We are always late. They have always moved on. To date, progressives have a weak defense, and no offense. They are disciplined and two years ahead of us… always. We need a good offense fast!
We are Way Past Impertinence
Robert Reich ponders An Impertinent Question
Permit me an impertinent question (or three).
Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government...
Would you call this treason? If not, what would you call it?
The title of his article sums up progressives' totally defensive position. Asking honest questions about what is actually happening... is considered impertinent. That’s how cowed we are as a society. And we all stood by as they swept the Occupy Wall Street truth to power tellers from our vision.
We Need a Strong Coordinated Offense to Stop Dark Money
Occupy is the only social movement to actually move the dialogue off the Koch/Luntz/Rove sponsored talking points. However Occupy never wanted to lead or direct their influence to the ballot box. Yet through it's sheer will, Occupy put the excesses and frauds of the 1% on the radar. It has spurred minimum wage campaigns against WalMart and the fast food industryl. And it is good to remember, we are the 99%. It is time we exert a 99% influence.
How it goes in 2014 goes the nation, and maybe the garden earth. In Two Scenarios for 2014, Robert Kuttner ponders the defensive path we are currently on, versus the offense that could be waged. His goal seems to be to spur us to finally grasp the situation we are in and realize the enthusiasm to be generated if we finally grow a backbone and put an offense on the field that deals with the real antagonists..
Nothing is really possible if all we ever do is swat at Koch brothers' flies, fighting last year’s battles reversing plots hatched in secret meetings with laundered dark money a year before that. We need an offense that looks forward and addresses the issues, hobbling the hobblers. They are dark money laundering.
Lawrence Lessig said it well: Understand that reversing the concentration of power among the wealthy in our government is the necessary first step in releasing the possibilities contained (in) those stories of hope.
Jon Stewart once covered a protest by French farmers angry with some austerity move by the government. The farmers drove their farm equipment into Paris, parked it and shut the city down. Jon admired their ingenuity and nerve noting in America the most we ever do is write emails with capital letters.
We need to get past the emails with caps. We know whats happening. Dysfunction, caused by the obstructionist 1% trolls. The trolls are winning, and that is just stupid. We need to stop that! Doing something about it starts with cleaving money from politics, restoring voting rights and holding criminals responsible.
We need to End Political Dysfunction to deal with... anything. End it and we can deal with everything, especially climate change.
www.StopTheStupidNow.com introduces a Twelve Step program that prioritizes the path to restored democracy, in the belief we will make better decisions when the 1% trolls are put in time out. As a “Contract for America” type progressive agenda for the 2014 midterms, it would galvanize progressives, draw significant independents, libertarians and even some tea folk.
Twelve Steps could become the progressive rallying point from the left in the 2016 primaries. Imagine a populist firebrand like Elizabeth Warren picking up the Twelve Step torch for restored democracy, economic fairness and responsible behavior to our business and financial communities.
Stop the Stupid Now, Twelve Steps to End Political Dysfunction, Restore Economic Justice and Democracy, and Rebuild the Great American Middle Class has three goals, to fix our politics, our economy and restore justice to our justice system. We should seek candidates to run on leveling the playing field and reestablishing our rights to vote, expect good governance and ethical corporate behavior by eliminating dark money from politics.
It is high time we go after the culprits. Call them out. Demonstrate the power of the people. Consolidate all progressives with a slate of commitments that address first the systemic rot. When the money is gone, the greedy will go home. And then we'll have good government. A guy can hope.
Do The Math
It’s simple math: we can emit 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxideand stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Burning the fossil fuel that corporations now have in their reserves would result in emitting 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide – five times the safe amount.
Oil and Honey
Oil and Honey is McKibben’s account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight—from the center of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers. With empathy and passion he makes the case for a renewed commitment on both levels, telling the story of raising one year’s honey crop and building a social movement that’s still cresting. (read more)
Thousands of Stories of Hope
Do you feel that? The tension in the United States in palpable.
The feeling derives from the ever-increasing awareness that a tiny group of wealthy individuals have a hammerlock on our political system that prevents new ways of approaching education, agriculture, health, energy, banking, trade, taxes or climate change. (read more)
Two Scenarios for 2014
November 5, 2014 -
Congress remained divided as a result of yesterday's election. The Democrats lost three seats in the Senate, but managed to hang onto control by a margin of 52 to 48, counting the two independents who caucus with the Democrats. They picked up eight seats in the House, but not enough to dislodge Republican control.
November 5, 2014 -
Democrats surprised veteran observers by gaining two seats in the senate, making their effective margin 57 to 43, and taking back the House. The new House of Representatives will have 236 Democrats and 199 Republicans. The Democrats managed to win about three out of every four districts that were closely in play.
The outcome was almost unprecedented, since the president's party nearly always loses seats in the sixth year of his incumbency. But observers credited Obama's dramatic shift to his "give-'em-hell, Barry" tour of this past summer, where he dropped his usual red-state/blue state unity plea and came out swinging at Republicans obstructionists.
Obama also jettisoned the theme of deficit-reduction that he began embracing in late 2009 in favor of a plea for good jobs and a demand that corporate elites start paying more taxes so that less privileged Americans can catch a break. "This recovery is just not good enough. It hasn't reached Main Street. I will keep fighting the Republicans and their Wall Street friends until regular people start benefiting," Obama declared.
The People's Pledge