VIDEO: Occupy Politician Gets Big Money from Main Street


If you’re looking for hope in this year’s election, you might want to look at where Main Street is putting its change.

With the doors opened wide by ever-loosening campaign-finance loopholes via Congress, committees and a few devastating SCOTUS decisions, corporations are throwing so much speech into the 2012 election that it is set to easily smash 2008′s astounding record of $5,300,000,000. Obama alone is already at $600,000,000, and rumor has it, he’s set to spend $1,000,000,000.

Norman Solomon, a popular author, activist, and California District 2 candidate hoping to win a seat occupied by retiring progressive Rep. Lynn Woolsey, is betting that delivering a strong progressive message with a down-to-earth humility is the right formula to earn people dollars — money from the people who actually enter the booth, punch the chads, and proudly live with the consequences.

Here’s a highlight video I made of the interview (1:40 run time):

“There’s a myth that you’ve got to take PAC money and lobbyist money, work your way up the ladder by taking those bucks in order to get elected. Well, tell that to Bernie Sanders, getting to the Congress, getting to the Senate, over and over again without taking PAC money.” He mentioned Paul Wellstone, who like Solomon had never been elected to office before a run for a seat in Congress, was outspent 7 to 1, but his support was loud and clear from boots on the ground. “It can be done, if you believe in the grassroots.”

Indeed, Solomon has garnered the support of all major progressive political organizations. His reputation as someone who literally wrote the book on how government deception has earned the campaign $750,000 to date. But, come on, with each House-seat winner spending an average of $1,500,000 million on their campaign in 2010, with some House candidates having spent $14,000,000 already, how can he expect to do this on a dime?

“I was born at night, but not last night,” he quipped. “It takes money to win elections, but that’s not the most important point.”

Solomon said he’s been able to get support from believers not only from his district, but from individual donors from all over the country who support his message. “I can vote for them, and our values. Progressive values. We don’t want perpetual war, we don’t want Wall Street dominating Main Street, we don’t want environmental degradation because the corporations are so damn powerful… We don’t have money for healthcare, education, housing, good green jobs, environmental protection, yet the Pentagon is spending way beyond its needs, on borrowed money. People know we need to change that, but you don’t see that happening in Washington.”

Can his 1000+ volunteers be enough to beat out his opponents? Both contenders have raised over a million each. A safe bet is that millionaire novice Stacey Lawson will come through, as she’s willing to spend the most, and is footing the bill of her own campaign. But in a state where Meg Whitman, the California candidate who spent more money on her own losing gubernatorial run than any self-funded candidate for any office in world history — $50 for every vote she got — Solomon may just come out on top.

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- republished with permission from Ben Zolno

Americans Trade Their Right to Habeus Corpus For Marriage Equality?


Let us get this straight. The government has the right to jail us forever, for no reason, as long as we can get married there?

How quick Americans and the media are to forget about the stripping of our basic human rights, as seen so casually and easily with indefinite detention made permanent law by the National Defense Authorization Act.  Throw us a social bone — the basic right to marry — and the country’s most atrocious crime against its people is a distant memory, even though groundbreaking progress against the nasty 2012 NDAA provisions by Occupy activist Chris Hedges is going on right now.

As it stands, Section 1021 is open to an interpretation that could subject anyone who has ever come into contact with Al Qaeda or “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States,” to indefinite detention. Considering Al Qaeda is just a convenient legal name for a non-grouping of groups that have similar distaste for US foreign policy, it was easy for the judge and even the government’s own lawyers to see how just about anyone can fall into a zealous government’s definition of “any person”.

(Judge) Forrest found the language too vague, and repeatedly tried to get government attorneys to say that the reporters’ fears were unfounded. The lawyers declined.

“At the hearing on this motion, the government was unwilling or unable to state that these plaintiffs would not be subject to indefinite detention under [section] 1021,” Forrest wrote. “Plaintiffs are therefore at risk of detention, of losing their liberty, potentially for many years.

“An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so,” Forrest wrote. “In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more.”

We are all caught up on a man’s stated opinion on a social issue directly affecting some of us*, when in fact it is that same man’s actions that affect all of us, but on a much deeper level.  Why are social issues so much more important to us than foundational issues — the foundation upon which we can afford to debate these social issues at all?

Why is there so much back-patting for Obama on social media, while his actions are backstabbing to the same fans/base?

Bread and circuses.  Join us on Facebook and read The Shock Doctrine.

*Indeed, marriage equality does affect all of us, some more directly than others. Debate over this perspective is best discussed outside of jail, so feel free (because you currently are) to comment below.