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Pay to Play
Author: BobR    Date: 10/26/2017 13:07:51

The problem with our current election process is that it depends on donors to fund candidates. Some candidates (like former president Barack Obama) got tons of small donations from regular people. He led the country with that in mind, doing what he could to help regular people and protect them from Big Business.

Republicans, on the other hand, tend to get large donations from corporate interests. Sure, "legally", they can't donate large sums directly, but they fund pacs that do what they can to get Republicans elected. And as it happens, Republicans tend to reward Big Business when it comes time to legislate or manage the government. One of the Republican mantras is "small government", which the voters look at as less regulation for small businesses. What Republican legislators and those in the Executive branch see is more privatization to help their business benefactors.

Just this past week we've seen this happen. Under the guise of "small government", they are planning to cut the budget of the National Park Service by 12%, and make up for it by jacking the entrance fees up by 300%. The Republicans will sell this as a necessity for reducing the deficit (which is increasing because of proposed tax cuts for the rich), but the end result will be:
  1. Reduced attendance, since only wealthier people will be able to visit the parks
  2. That will result in a wash with the increased entrance fees
  3. The parks will suffer, reinforcing the notion that "government can't do this right", which will lead to
  4. Privatization of park maintenance
The proposal for cutting the Park Service's budget also includes increasing funding for energy development on public lands, which is also another favor for their oil/gas company buddies.

The Republicans in the Senate are helping out their banking friends (and Equifax in particular) with a bill that prevents class-action lawsuits against financial institutions. What this means is that if a bank (or credit reporting firm) is negligent and allows all kinds of personal information to be hacked, every person affected will need to hire their own lawyer and pursue their own lawsuit. Who has the time and money for that?

Finally, the Department of the Interior is actually doing something about the destroyed electrical grid in Puerto Rico (or as tRump likes to say - "Porto Rico"). An electrical company in Montana was awarded the $300M contract to do the work. It's an odd choice, because the company is VERY small, and doesn't seem to have the people and equipment to get the job done. Why were they chosen? It's pretty simple, really: The company is based in the hometown of the Secretary of the Interior:
Whitefish Energy is based in Whitefish, Montana, the home town of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Its chief executive, Andy Techmanski, and Zinke acknowledge knowing one another — but only, Zinke's office said in an email, because Whitefish is a small town where "everybody knows everybody."

R-i-i-i-i-ght Crony Capitalism at its finest.


24 comments (Latest Comment: 10/27/2017 00:35:01 by TriSec)
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