Monday, September 26, 2016

Not bettter than Ben Franklin

Another of those newsletters my Dad subscribed to (some of which are still coming to the house) is The Hightower Lowdown, written by Jim Hightower. I know he used to be in government, though I don't remember under which president and in what capacity. He now writes this populist movement newsletter.

The September issue, which isn't on the website yet, is about the huge influence that cash from billionaires Charles and David Koch have on our elections. As I read through it I wondered, since I've known about this for years, why is Hightower getting into it now? There are two recent developments.

* A few months ago the Koch brothers made news because they refused to back Donald Trump and thus were not going to spend any money on the prez. election. However, they still have a great deal of money to spend at the state level. How many more state legislatures do they want to buy? And that is related to …

* Article V of the Constitution says that the states can call a convention to revise that document. There has not been such a convention since the Constitution was written in the 1780s, though it has been amended 27 times. But at a convention the whole document is open. To call a convention 34 states must approve such resolutions. Those have already quietly passed in 28 states (including Michigan) and efforts are underway in 10 more. And six of those have the GOP in control of the Senate, House, and Governor.

Of course, the Koch brothers and their minions have particular revisions to the Constitution in mind. Such as:

* Require the federal budget be balanced. And we know who would be harmed by those cuts – and it won't be the Kochs.

* Prevent gov't actions that would restrain corporate abuse of workers and consumers.

* Prevent the gov't from meeting public needs such as health care, voter rights, and infrastructure.

This alarmed even the late Phyllis Schlafly, darling of the right.
Alas, I don't see any George Washingtons, James Madisons, Ben Franklins, or Alexander Hamiltons around who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers, and I'm worried about the men who think they can.
Donald Trump is scary. These guys are scarier.

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