CommunityMy FDL

Cheri Honkala: We Need to Bring Democracy to America

So what do we have going on here?  I confess that Cheri’s saying that the Secret Service cuffed both of their hands, and I assume they cuffed them to their chairs in addition to that, it really pissed me off even more.  It’s akin to being in a straightjacket, by my lights: you can’t scratch an itch, wipe your eyes, blow your nose… Neither of them have mentioned bathroom breaks, and I’d like to know about that, too, especially after the hideous stuff TarheelDem was forced to go through while he was in jail in Chicago.

FDL’s AitchD had asked about charges on yesterday’s thread, so I dug up info on ‘disorderly conduct’ in New York State, and while it’s called ‘a violation’, not ‘a crime’, it seems that it’s become a catch-all for anything that might bother a cop.  This page indicates that    a violation is punishable by up to 15 days in jail, but usually a violation is penalized with a fine and community service.

But: it does NOT seem to be a charge that would require detention ‘in an undisclosed location’ (I hope we hear more about that).

One might think that since the Secret Service were involved, and they want to make this a Federal beef besides a local or state one, they might use the ugly HR 347 that AitchD recalled, and that we spoke about here last March.  To me, it looked like a major new abridgement to free speech, which freedom has been so dramatically curtailed by the burgeoning security and police state in the US.

Others may have covered this, but I reckoned that as Cheri had mentioned the corporate sponsorship of the Commission on Presidential Debates, and the fact that three sponsors have pulled out, I’d check it out.

These are the sponsors listed as of today:

~Anheuser-Busch Companies

~The Howard G. Buffett Foundation

~Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq.

~Crowell & Moring LLP

~International Bottled Water Association (IBWA)

~The Kovler Fund

~Southwest Airlines

The ‘Leadership’ members can be seen at the link.

Any of you busy beavers can check them out; I only know a few of the corporations, and a few of the ‘Leadership’ members, especially the dead ones…

Dylan Byers at Politico covered the several corporations who did pull their sponsorship, apparently mainly objecting to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson being disallowed to be allowed on the stage with those other two hunks of political and policy pulchritude and pertinence, the RomalamaBombalamaDingDong twins.

“Philips is the third and by far the largest of the original ten sponsors to pull its support, following similar decisions by British advertising firm BBH New York and the YWCA over the last week. Their decision to do so is seen as the result of intense lobbying efforts by advocacy organizations — primarily Libertarian supporters of former Gov. Gary Johnson — who oppose the exclusion of third-party candidates and who therefore believe the Commission on Presidential Debates is an anti-Democratic institution.” [snip]

“George Farah, the executive director of Open Debates, one of the groups leading the charge for debate reform, celebrated the news.

“This is a triumph for the debate reform movement,” Farah told POLITICO. “These former sponsors no longer want to be affiliated with an anti-democratic commission that defies the wishes of the American people.”

Byers writes that the three pull-outs comes at great cost to the Commission, which is a 501(c) (3) and relies on corporate funding. (Debate sponsors, he says, get tickets to the debates but do not have any input on the questions, format, venue, etc., nor do they receive face-time with the candidates.)  But the poor Executive Director of the CPD must have been a mite miffed:

“The work we’ve done for 25 years is in very large part due to our extremely generous sponsors, who believe the debates are an invaluable, civic education forum,” Janet Brown, the executive director of the Commission told POLITICO. “The sponsors get virtually nothing in return, and we are deeply sorry to see them attacked by people who have issues with the CPD.”

They get nothing, you see, except deciding who gets in, and if any candidate again gets allowed in under the current restrictions and manages to take votes away from the Corporate Flavor of the Day again, like Perot did, you can bet your Sweet Aunt Fanny’s ’69 Cadillac that they’ll change the rules again…unless Americans put up a Major Ruckus.

At least CBS asked on October 15: ‘Do the debates unfairly shut out third parties?’  You can read the arguments between George Farah of the organization Open Debates the CPD and here.  Perhaps now that Stein and Honkala have been arrested, you’ll see it on the Nightly News…unless there’s breaking news of the Kardashian Kind, of course.  The OpenDebates website is here, and you can read their call on behalf of ‘18 Pro-democracy groups who are calling on the PDC to make public the secret debate contract that was negotiated by the Obama and Romney campaigns.

Bruce Lesnick at Counterpunch has a piece in which a Socialist enters the debates.  ;o)   And remember, Stein and Gary Johnson will debate today at 7pm EST/4pm PST on Independent Voter Network.

Most Americans have been blithely sailing along with the illusion that elections imply freedom, or even choice, even as so many either don’t vote, or…hold their noses and vote for the least crap candidate.  It’s time that we wake them up.

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

~ Frank Zappa .

Please be as Disorderly and Inconvenient as you can be in the name of Bringing Democracy to this nation.  America needs your help…desperately.


Previous post

Second Debate Was Almost as Popular as the First

Next post

Boston Fusion Center, Police Spied on Peace Groups & Local Leaders Like Howard Zinn