Recent events in Wisconsin have generated grave concern amongst our membership. In the face of ongoing protests over necessary cuts to taxes on wealthy businesses and the necessary cuts to services for the middle class and children which are necessitated by those necessary cuts to taxes, Governer Walker has stood firm for his principles and for his principal investors by refusing to back down. He honours his business contracts, standing up for precisely the positions articulated by those who paid for his election. However, the teachers, firefighters, policemen, bus drivers, and other special interests continue to clamour for reasonable wages, health care, and other forms of compensation which only unionized workers received. We feel compelled to call attention to this unfair state of affairs, where those who organize and stick together are able to claim much higher benefits and wages than those who simply live out the American dream of going into appropriate levels of debt to finance appropriate educations to work appropriate jobs for appropriate businessmen.
Obviously, we at the United States Congress stand with Governer Walker to oppose those who would try to claim more than their fair share of what’s left available after business owners get their fair share of the largest share. The members of these special interest groups are subtle and act just like regular Americans, and indeed, members of these groups could easily be your neighbor, friend, even spouse. Rest assured that your United States Congress is working hard to ensure that these special interest groups are bought down to an appropriate level of pay so that all working class Americans can find themselves on the same level playing field, a playing field we are happy to allow them to have all to themselves.
As you may be aware, but have probably forgotten, this nation’s brave soldiers stand strong against terrorists and others who would oppose the global free market, all at very cost-effective prices and wages. Without them, the United States could never have brought democracy peace foreign investment to untapped markets, nor liberated the resources trapped in under-developed nations.
With that understanding, we at the United States Congress have of course spared no expense in providing them with the very latest military gear, ensuring that they have the best military equipment that our allies in the defense contracting industry can design and test and prototype and test again and redesign and manufacture and sell to various countries for live-fire testing and redesign and then get to our troops; all at only the most modest of markups for the taxpayer.
In Iraq, we have declared an end to hostilities, and have begun drawing down our forces to a more reasonable size for maintaining the peace in perpetuity. Moreover, Iraq has proven fertile ground for economic stimulus, generating millions in contract profits for American companies and the promise of a genuine free-market economy in place of the tools of oppression used by Saddam.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, our brave armed forces are testing advanced new equipment – robot drones, mine-resistant vehicles, missiles guided with artificial intelligence – to create bold new economic opportunities for our contractors tasked with rebuilding damaged regions in these freshly opened markets. This also means more jobs for Americans, as we hire additional security contractors to pacify regions our soldiers risked their lives to occupy in the name of freedom.
As always, we at the United States Congress are keeping your American economy at the forefront of our minds. You can rest assured that we will take no action without thinking about the economic consequences.
Congress, Default, The Economy Tags:
Afghanistan, Collatoral Damage, Contractors, Drones, Foreign Policy, Free Market, Iraq, MRAPs, Robots
Since that dreaded September of 1993, easy access to a global marketplace of ideas has been a growing threat to our national interests. Be it cheap Chinese merchandise being purchased directly by consumers instead of going through the corporate middleman or the ability for disenchanted groups to organize in relative freedom and privacy, there’s nothing but bad news for the establishment.
When President Obama took office due in large part to online campaigning and his tech savvy, Congress and our corporate partners were concerned that the executive branch might not be willing to act against this serious threat to the status quo. Thankfully, the President has been an outspoken supporter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), our best chance to date at getting the internet and our populace back under control.
ACTA is a subtly ingenious way of circumventing several pesky provisions of the United States constitution. By introducing these laws as a multilateral treaty enforced by a non-government organization, the judicial branch is cut out entirely and procedures can be enforced without regards for their constitutionality. ACTA is marketed as merely a tool for protecting copyrights, but it’s impact will be far greater than just putting a few pirates in jail.
Once ACTA is ratified this September, copyright infringement will become a criminal, rather than a civil matter. This gives our law enforcement officials a much boarder range of options when investigating suspected copyright infringement cases. It will also supersede much of the unfortunate “Fair Use” doctrine that has allowed individuals to create new content using small pieces of copyrighted works at the expense of billion dollar industries. Officials will be able to confiscate and destroy electronic devices without a warrant in spite of the fourth amendment prohibitions on just such a search and seizure, and they’ll be able to do so merely on the suspicion of copyright infringement. To make things easier on officials attempting to enforce these new laws, open source and non-DRM projects will be banned. This has the added benefit of removing non-profit driven competition for our tech-sector allies.
The most promising new developments in the wake of ACTA will be the societal control that will be regained. ISPs will be forced to monitor traffic for potential copyright infringement, thereby destroying any last vestige of online privacy. Websites that promote illegal or undesirable activity will have the potential to be banned from all internet service providers operating within countries on ACTA or dismantled through the legal process. YouTube and other sites that consist largely of user-generated content will be forced to monitor every single upload for potential copyright infringement and will be held legally responsible for anything that goes through. Since even Google does not have the resources necessary to monitor content on that scale, these sites will be forced out of business. Individual blogs can also be targeted in this fashion. Once again, we will live in a nation where the only messages that can reach the public at large are those that have gone through the appropriate channels and been approved by corporate media.
With the majority of the American public already being prime suspects for copyright infringement in one form or another, ACTA will finally give us a rock solid excuse to deprive anyone of their right to free assembly, freedom from warrant-less search and seizure, and freedom of speech. We truly are living the American dream.
Representative Joe Barton has got a lot of nerve. In a shocking turn of events last week, Rep. Barton issued an apology that belies his lack of moral fiber and willingness to buckle under pressure.
Last Thursday during BP President Tony Hayward’s questioning at the House committee hearing, Barton called the unprecedented $20 billion escrow account for victims of the gulf oil disaster a “shakedown.” He apologized to Hayward for the treatment he received from the White House and the American public. This is to be expected, after all BP and individuals associated with the corporation have donated some $27,350 to Barton’s political campaigns since 1990.
What’s truly shocking is his subsequent apology for the apology. Barton pulled a quick about-face on the subject, saying that he retracted his apology to BP and regreted implying that “BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident.”
We are deeply saddened by this cowardly turn from the Texas rep. To think that a representative could turn on an ally of 20 years due to political pressure from their party is absolutely mind boggling. The oil industry put Barton where he is today, and it is his responsibility to remember those dollars when the proverbial shit hits the fan. Tony Hayward has had his life turned upside down for 60 days over a simple hardware malfunction and if 30k isn’t enough to buy some well-deserved sympathy in Washington, something has gone very wrong.
We at United States Congress would like to apologize for Barton’s apology for his apology. It has always been our policy to serve the interests of our biggest supporters in their time of need, and we hope that BP and all oil companies operating in the United States will remember who their biggest fans are this election cycle.
London based oil giant BP has been in the news a lot in recent days in connection with the oil rig explosion and subsequent spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Needless to say, the cost of this disaster will be enormous. Legally, BP is required to cover all of the cleanup costs, likely to run into the millions.
But the real danger to BP lies in the thousands of individuals that will be hurt by the impending ecological disaster. Fishermen all along the gulf coast could face an extended period of no fishing due to the oil slick and the ensuing fish and shrimp shortage, and that means documentable financial loss. Beyond the immediate financial effect on the natives, the loss of so much of the nation’s supply of shrimp and other fish will likely make a severe dent in businesses across the country, some of those costs could eventually wind up on BP’s lap.
The executive branch isn’t helping much either. President Obama has unreasonably suggested a federal investigation into the disaster. The last thing a beleaguered corporation needs in the middle of a fiasco like this is a nosy investigation team asking ridiculous questions like “how did this happen?” and “why didn’t you employ the latest safety measures that include a remote shut off valve to cut the flow of oil in the event of a rig explosion such as this one?”
Fortunately, BP is prepared. The British company has spent years building up a strong relationship with the United States Congress through its team of regular lobbyists. With many big names on their role of registered lobbyists — including several former government officials — BP is one of the best positioned multinational corporations in the world to face such a devastating PR blow.
The smooth functioning of our corporate nation relies on several factors, but none as vital as the public’s need not to know. Governments are required to make difficult decisions every day, and the fact is that most of their citizens do not have the intellectual capacity to weigh those decisions properly and come to the correct conclusion. This is why it’s so important that the brilliant, ruthless minds of the leaders of American and Multinational Corporations steer our nation in the proper direction: one that keeps them and their loved ones wealthy.
Unfortunately sometimes an individual chooses to work against the flow of progress by revealing the inner workings of major corporations or the government itself. From the financial records of major banks and insurers to the recently leaked footage of soldiers in Iraq mowing down Reuters reporters in a video dubbed “collateral murder“, self-styled whistleblowers are revealing secrets that no one wants to see. The average American doesn’t want to be reminded of the fact that the wealthiest people in our nation can gamble with billions of small investor’s dollars without repercussions, and especially doesn’t want to have to confront the reality of military mistakes in wartime. This can lead to uncomfortable questions, like “do my elected officials and the men who control them really have my best interests at heart?” “can something be done to rein in the people at the top?” Questions that can be dangerous for everyone.
As long as the public remains unaware of the questionable things being done with their money and in their names locally and around the world, the United States government and its corporate allies can maintain the current status quo. Only when irresponsible whistleblowers choose to release secret documents do ordinary citizens begin to question the authority of their representative government, and it’s easy enough to see what happens to countries when that happens. From the Iranian protests following the 2008 elections to the riots in Kyrgystan, there are all too many examples of the actions of angry populaces that have finally had enough abuse. For the security and stability of our nation, ignorance truly is bliss.
We in the United States Congress are happy to welcome six new corporate sponsors to our inner circle. Among the new arrivals are retail giant Wal-Mart, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and American Health Care Association. With these new players stepping up to the plate with their generous investment into the Congressional system, you can be sure 2010 will be an interesting year for everyone.
For starters, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and Wal-Mart will be butting heads over regulations for businesses. Fortunately, NATC is not strongly invested in safety regulations for retailers, so Wal-Mart and the National Federation of Independent Businesses should be able to forestall any attempts by rogue members of Congress to burden small or super-massive businesses with needless restrictions.
Two especially welcome additions to the inner circle this season are financial giant UBS and accounting firm KPMG. The executive branch is expected to push for unwelcome financial regulations in the coming months, and the legislature will need the strong support of our partners to stand firm against it. They join Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, the American Bankers Association, and many more of the most influential of corporate sponsors of your legal system.
Finally, latecomer American Health Care Association has made the list in the wake of unprecedented spending by the medical community to modify or forestall health care reform. While Congress’ role in health care reform is now largely over, we look forward to more insight from this player in the coming months and years.
No, we’re not talking about the health care reform bill. While the defeat of the public option did create a system where every American will be forced to put money in the pockets of our good friends in the health insurance industry, lobbyists were unable to remove language that restricts their ability to abuse their subscribers.
The greatest victory for Congress and our corporate allies came in the form of a Supreme Court decision this January, described by President Obama as “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” Can the Supreme Court’s choice to allow corporations to spend unlimited sums on political campaigns for or against candidates really live up to such high praise? Yes it can.
While the health insurance industry may have been unfortunately unable to drown out the voices of average Americans suffering under the current health care system despite spending over 5.5 million dollars over the last month of the debate on ad campaigns, there is hope. As election season rolls around, insurance companies and other corporations that feel threatened by the new laws and the tone of the debate in Washington will now be able to spend as much as they want on making sure only the right people get re-elected. And perhaps after this harsh lesson individual politicians will learn that they can either have those millions of dollars in ad campaigns working for them, or against them.
Higher education is an expensive venture. In the United States Congress, we know that colleges and universities are a necessary tool to protect the wealth and power of the nation’s elite. Federal funding is an important part of making higher education possible, but how can we make sure that tax dollars are only being spent to help the people who already have the means to help themselves? The answer is simple: lobbyists.
Like votes for laws, votes on the allocation of Federal funding are available through lobbying firms. In 2009 colleges and universities spent just over $100 million on lobbying Congress. The colleges that could afford to spend more on lobbying got more of the billions of dollars in federal funding. That means more money was spent on grants for prestigious research teams than on helping poor minority kids get a real education.
And that’s what higher education in the United States is all about.