America’s Stacked Deck Voters are right to be angry and demand change, but scapegoating isn’t the answer. nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Saint Nick: “It seems to me to make more sense to target solutions than scapegoats, but sense is often in short supply in politics. After a characteristically brilliant speech by Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic nominee for president in 1952 and 1956, a supporter is said to have bellowed, “Every thinking American will vote for you!”

Legend has it that Stevenson shouted back: “That’s not enough. I need a majority!”

In the solutions domain, a starting point should be to reduce the influence of money in politics.

The pharmaceutical industry, for example, has used its lobbying heft — it spent $272,000 in campaign donations per member of Congress last year, and it has more lobbyists than there are members of Congress — to bar the government from bargaining for drug prices in Medicare. That amounts to a $50 billion annual gift to pharmaceutical companies.”

Voters are right to be angry and demand change, but scapegoating isn’t the answer.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Tom Friedman at NYT: Is It Sheldon Adelson’s World?

From Comments at NYT, on Tom Friedman’s piece below:

A Centrist
New York, NY Yesterday

What a surprise. Big money allowed to run amok in politics leads to undue influence, to a dialogue controlled by, and policy unduly influenced by the few. Is there any doubt Adelson and his ilk coordinated the “Bibi in Congress” show, or this treasonous letter to Iran? Citizens United will be the undoing of this nation.

Shame – SHAME – on you, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, Roberts and Kennedy. May your days be short, and may you be forever remembered as the self-centered tools of the moneyed and powerful who destroyed the American dream.

1168 Recommended

The influence of Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate and financial backer of right-wing causes, is being felt in both the United States and Israel.
nytimes.com|By Thomas L. Friedman

Link

Mining for Influence in Montana, by Brian Schweitzer, NYT

“All this is in jeopardy, though, thanks to the Supreme Court and its infamous Citizens United ruling. In February the court notified the office of Montana’s commissioner of political practices, which oversees state campaigns, that until further notice, we may no longer enforce our anti-corruption statute, specifically our restriction on corporate money.

The court, which will make a formal ruling on the law soon, cited in the 2010 Citizens United case that corporations are people, too, and told us that our 110-year effort to prevent corruption in Montana had likely been unconstitutional. Who knew?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/opinion/an-invitation-to-keep-money-out-of-politics.html?emc=eta1