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The Progressive Agenda: 9 things progressives should focus on now that the election is over - Pt. 2

Please find Part 1 of this 2-part series here.

 

By Jeff Waldorf

 

4. Oil Subsidies

I have no idea how on Earth anyone can justify sending $7 billion dollars in tax subsidies annually to the wealthiest energy corporations that have ever existed, while also allowing companies like Exxon Mobil to pay a 17.6% effective tax rate. That's literally highway robbery.

So how do they justify it? Simple: they don't even admit the subsidy exists.

Former Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts argued that oil companies don't receive any form of subsidy. It's helpful to know that Brown was one of the biggest brownnosers to the energy industry and in return received money directly from the Koch brothers and one of their PACs. It's political contributions like these that not only go to Republicans but also to Democrats, and need to be stopped in order to pursue the Progressive agenda. If we're going to be successful in ending the dominance of big oil, big coal, and natural gas over our nation's energy policy and make us truly energy-independent and sustainable, we have to first remove the influence of money in politics (see item #1) get rid of bought politicians, and end these wasteful subsidies to the fossil fuel cartels and instead fund clean, sustainable energy solutions. 

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The Progressive Agenda: 9 things progressives should focus on now that the election is over - Pt. 1

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By Jeff Waldorf

 

 

Last week, Americans made their voices heard in one of the most important elections I've ever taken part in. It was a rebuke of the obstructionist tactics of the right and a clear sign that the Tea Party movement that took the nation by storm in 2010 is largely over. Many of the Tea Party Congressmen were hoisted out of office to be replaced by progressive champions like Elizabeth Warren. It appears the political pendulum has finally swung back to the left.

It's now an opportunity to bring forth a progressive agenda to counter the 30-year-old Reagan revolution that has led to so many of our current problems. This is a list of some of the problems we need to tackle to bring the country forward.

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Weekly News Roundup #8 - 11/9

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Why You Should Vote, Even if you Believe it to be Pointless

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By Josh Sager 

The voting booth is the vehicle with which the average American can directly affect their local, state, and federal governments. Voting allows for Americans to select politicians who represent the views and ideologies that they would like represented in their government. Unfortunately, massive increases of money in politics during recent years has decreased our faith in the voting process, thus some people see no point in voting.

Politicians receive massive campaign checks from interest groups, lobbyists, and corporations during their election campaigns, thus they become indebted to these interests during their terms in office. Many politicians take money or favors (often legally, due to our lax laws) from moneyed interests while they are in office in exchange for votes on legislation.

Once election season comes around, politicians who have yet to sell their votes for cash are faced with the daunting task of fighting off candidates for their seat who may not be so ethical. At all levels of politics, we see the corrupting influence of money that threatens to overshadow our votes.

So why is it important to vote if our current political system has been so thoroughly corrupted by corporate money?

The answer to this question is twofold:

First, the opting out of the voting system by large numbers of people who share an ideology will inevitably shift the balance of power to the ideology opposing theirs.

Second, voting gives us the best available tool by which we actually can shift policy in our country to fit our ideals.

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Weekly News Roundup #7 - 11/2

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Happy Halloween - Wolf PAC style!

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Thanks so much, Andy Sigman!

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Corporate Personhood Cannot Withstand Organized Persons

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There are many schemes now for undoing the doctrines under which corporations claim constitutional rights and bribery is deemed constitutionally protected "speech." Every single one of these schemes depends on a massive movement of public pressure all across the homeland formerly known as the United States of America. With such a movement, few of the schemes can fail. Without it, we're just building castles in the air. Nonetheless, the best scheme can best facilitate the organizing of the movement.

 

The U.S. Constitution never gave any rights or personhood to corporations or transformed money into speech. It ought not to be necessary to amend a document to, in effect, point out that the sky is blue and up is not down. If the Supreme Court rules that Goldman Sachs can send legislation directly to the White House and cut out the congressional middleman, will we have to amend the Constitution to remove the Goldman Sachs branch of government? Where will this end?




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Weekly News Roundup #6 - 10/26

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Gloria Steinem, Rape, and Why You Should Go Out and VOTE

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Be jealous. I'll understand.

Gloria Steinem wants you to go out and vote.

She's been speaking with and galvanizing people all over the country to get us to RISE UP.

She wants you to speak up and take action to protect women's reproductive rights and fight for social justice for all of us.

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The Toxic Combination of Corporate Money and a Neutral Media

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By Josh Sager

 

In a post-Citizens United political landscape, those with large amounts of money are able to spend near-unlimited amounts in order to spread propaganda favorable to their interests. Corporations, unions, and rich individuals invest in political advertising and attempt to sway the public into supporting politicians who are friendly to their interests.

With the weakening of campaign finance laws, modern elections have become billion dollar events and interest groups the new advertising sponsors. As most of the money in political races is spent in the production and distribution of political advertising campaigns, this increase in money in politics has led to the public being bombarded with political propaganda, much of it non-factual, and all of it focused at shaping public opinion.

Money may not directly buy an election, but it definitely buys a megaphone which can be used to influence voters—the more money that can be spent, the larger and louder the megaphone that can be bought to sway the election. 

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