Well, have to say that I am not sure about his politics, but his analysis is excellent.
via Robert Wenzel
But Lofgren did make several interesting points. 70% of the NSA buget has now been outsourced to private corporations who don’t have to operate under the constraints of the 4th Amendment unlike the government. Cheney while in the first Bush Administration was pushing heavily to privatize large chunks of our government functions, especially the military. And now our military can no longer feed themselves, they can’t even go to war by themselves without a private, for-profit corporation having their hand in this. Haliburton was about to go bankrupt when Dick Cheney became Vice President. And they acquired Dresser Industries, this huge asbestos liability. And now Haliburton is . . . .
Has the corporate sector so insinuated itself virutally every part of our government, whether it’s charter in the Dept. of Education of Booz Allen–not to pick on them–in the NSA, Dept. of Defense, whatever, have they inserted themselves so deeply that the prospect of unwinding this thing that Dwight Eisenhower warned us about is no longer possible?
That would be very difficult. If you were to walk into the Pentagon, you would see huge numbers of contractors. They’re sitting at desks in the Pentagon. It’s the same thing in he intelligence analysis functions at Homeland Security. There’s an awful lot of contractors there. It’s throughout the government. Government is being outsourced. The Dept. of Energy involves nuclear waste and nuclear weapons. The Dept. of Energy is almost a shell and it is being totally run by the contractors. Ah, there’s been a lot of whistleblower activity out in Hanford, Washington because the plutonium there threatens to leak and get into the Columbia River. And yet these whistleblowers are constantly harassed and punished and there’s no real oversight going on in Washington, DC.
Hartmann describes fascism and points to a Cruz or Trump presidency as being the belligerent voice of that form of nationalistic variety of fascism. Maybe. He asks “How do we extract ourselves from this?”
Before we act, and before the public acts, they really need to inform themselves about what’s going on. Now for most of the commecial media, it’s not in their interests to do that. During the Reagan Administration, there was probably 50 to 60 large or relatively large corporations that constituted the commercial media. Now the bulk of the media is reduced to about 6 corporations. And talking about where your money goes, and following the money through the NSA contractors is a complicated story. And it doesn’t necessarily sell Corn Flakes and Budweiser.
Whereas Kim Kardashian does . . . .
Kim Kardashiian, whether Tom Brady deflated a football–this is the kind of story that they like to give to the public. And the public, we assume that’s what they want to consume because that’s all there is. And the first step for the public is to find out where their tax money is going.
Is there a solution to this? What would be involved? Is the Bernie Sanders Revolution . . .
Is the Reagan Administration a real revolution?
Can any presidency change this? What’s it going to take?
There’s all kinds of great reforms one can undertake as far as corpoate governance, regulating Wall Street, consolidating our military, and withdrawing from the Middle East militarily which I believe we have to do because our record is one of unblemished failure. Nothing will happen unless we get the money out of politics. Perhaps Bernie Sanders is making a first step in that direction. Hmm. How is he doing that?
Unless you align the incentives of politicians with the people who elect them rather than billionaire donors, it’s going to be the same thing.
Hartmann cites a year old study out of Princeton that suggests that the probability that legislation that billionaires want is something like 50%, whereas the probability of passing that the average American wants is statistically equivalent to random noise.
That’s right. It’s zero unless it just happens to coincide with what the billionaries want. That’s Gillans and Page from Princeton and Northwestern. They sid basically the public has no input on natinal politics.
And thus no power.
Interesting interview. I’ll need to read his book and get back with you.