If you’re following politics at all, you’d be forgiven if you came to the conclusion that the Republican members of Congress are insane. What is happening in our country’s politics makes absolutely no sense…that is, until you factor in corporate money (legalized bribery) and rightwing extremism (the Tea Party and a loony-tunes brand of Christianity).
How in the world can a bill about basic background checks for gun purchases fail to win in the House, when 93% of the lawmakers’ constituents (the people they are elected to represent) want it? Especially when it’s already illegal for felons and spouse abusers and the mentally ill to purchase guns, and all that’s missing is a law that requires gun sellers to do a five-minute check to make sure the person trying to buy a gun isn’t in one of those categories.
The reason? Two things: Corporate money (these law makers are paid through campaign contributions to not agree to anything that would piss off gun manufacturers) and rightwing extremism (if you’re a lawmaker and the tea party nutwings find out you’re not toeing the party line, they will “primary” you).
How does ExxonMobile get to wreck an entire town in Arkansas with a sands oil spill and not have to explain to the public (or show photos) of how or why this happened? How do they get to legally keep reporters out of the area? How did they get a frickin’ no-fly zone over their clean up operations?!?! Why were they allowed to not make proactive repairs when they knew that the potential for disaster existed? (One executive famously stated: “We know the cost of a clean up operation is much less than the cost to improve equipment and avoid a disaster.”) And why we’re on the subject, why does this obscenely wealthy corporation get billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks every year???
The reasons? Legalized bribery. They give money to (usually) Republicans’ campaigns in exchange for no media accountability, lots and lots of free money and a free pass to fuck up the environment. And there are the extremists, of course. A tweet from Rep. Steve Stockman:
The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out.
While the rest of the industrial world is working to curb global warming, why do our politicians continually vote against anything that would help to cool down the earth, even while 98% of scientists agree that a global temperature increase of just 5 degrees would be a disaster…AND that it’s becoming inevitable that this WILL happen if we don’t do something, and do it soon?
Corporate money: Reporters from The Independent researched the ways that corporate money is influencing politics in the area of climate change, and they discovered that the amount of money being spent on fighting the science of climate change is just over 500 million dollars each year. Here’s how it works: The Koch brothers (Bill and Charles), the guys who started (and fund) the Tea Party, own Koch industries, a large oil, gas and chemical conglomerate. Koch industries gives millions and millions of dollars each year to a group called the “Knowledge and Progress Fund,” which in turn gives the money to two sister groups: Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund. These two groups then spend shitloads of money “educating” the public against climate change, buying “scientists” who will de-bunk the real scientists’ research results, and paying off congresspeople. So, while 98% of scientists believe that it’s time to yell “fire!” in regards to global warming, these clowns are pretending that, “Oh my gosh! There are scientists out there who are totally against climate change!” The end results? The Koch brothers get richer, and we as a planet experience more and more deaths through “extreme weather events” (drought, storms, tornados, fires, floods) and get closer and closer to complete ecological ruin and the extinction of species, including our own. Good work, Bill and Charles.
Extremism: Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) appeared on Voice of Christian Youth America’s radio program Crosstalk with Vic Eliason a few months back to promote his new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, where he stated:
God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.
Of course, there are many, many more examples, including the corporations that are allowed to coat our vegetables with pesticides, the minimum wage, aid to the poor, colleges loans and more. Watch this space.