Friday, May 6, 2011

The Best Government Money can Buy and the Givingness of Infinite Intelligence

“It is only as we allow the Divine current to flow through us on and out that we really express life.” SOM Text, p 440. Indeed this is what I want to do, what we all need to do, but it takes a bit of effort. It is not business as usual. Business as usual may be seen in the following two excerpts from today’s AOL headlines.
Banks Illegally Foreclosed On Dozens Of Military Borrowers, Federal Investigators Say
WASHINGTON -- Two of the nation's largest mortgage firms illegally foreclosed on the homes of "almost 50" active-duty military service members, according to a Thursday report by the Government Accountability Office.
The report does not identify the two mortgage companies. GAO investigators attributed the finding to federal bank regulators, who recently completed a three-month probe into allegations of improper foreclosures carried out by the nation's 14 largest home loan servicers.
Sponsors Of Oil-Drilling Expansion Bill Received $8.8 Million In Industry Contributions
Contributions WASHINGTON -- The chief sponsors of a bill to expand oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and open the coastal waters of Virginia for exploration have received more than $8.8 million combined in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry, a review of campaign finance records shows.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act by a 266 to 149 margin. The measure would force the federal government to conduct three lease auctions in those areas by June 2012. It is considered the first step in a GOP-led process to loosen restrictions on offshore drilling. Authored by House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), it faces a much closer vote in the Senate as well as the stated opposition of the Obama administration.
Nevertheless, the bill's passage in the people’s chamber underscores the extent to which the political world has moved beyond the concerns over domestic drilling that arose in the wake of last year’s historic oil spill in the Gulf. It also serves as another reminder that, in the halls of Congress, certain legislative power comes with financial prowess.
“It may not be shocking that [these members] are top targets of oil and gas money but it nevertheless warrants some questions about whether they are representing Big Oil or their constituents,” said Sheila Krumholz, the Center for Responsive Politics' executive director. “Do these constituents support drilling? If they don’t, then they need to make positions known. Because the oil and gas companies, rest assured, have made very clear their desires. And, through their donations, they have made clear the clout they wield.”
The oil and gas industry is one of the most politically active interests groups in Washington. In the 2010 mid-term election cycle alone it spent $30 million in contributions to federal candidates (either through individual contributions, contributions through political action committees, or money sent to “outside” groups). More than $21 million of that went to Republicans, which was 77 percent of the industry's contributions.
Their campaign involvement, moreover, is rising. In the 2006 mid-term election cycle, the industry spent nearly $10 million less in political contributions.
And those figures pale in comparison to the amount the industry spends on lobbying. In 2010, oil and gas companies spent just under $146 million employing the service of nearly 800 lobbyists.
The oil and gas industry's influence also extends to operations in a wide swath of congressional districts. This setup allows companies to pitch more lawmakers on the idea that expanded drilling would help both the economy and their re-election campaigns.
Such a dynamic affects even members of the House GOP’s freshmen class.
“It is only as we allow the Divine current to flow through us on and out that we really express life.” No divine current here, only the usual flow of big business capital buying the so-called democaratic government, supposedly representing the best interests of the great majority of the people of the USA, for itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment