Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Kucinich’

Why don’t we Americans demand what we want?

June 3, 2021

A short answer is that not enough of us are like Bill Harvey and Dennis Kucinich.

A longer answer is that our political process has induced a state of learned helplessness among American voters.

Our leaders are constantly promising “hope and change,” and then telling us that, regrettably, it wasn’t really possible.

We saw this with the Obama administration. We are seeing the beginnings of this with the Biden administration.

So over time we become conditioned to the idea that universal health care, or a minimum wage that is a living wage, or anything else that would make life better, are impossible dreams.

The system is rigged

June 1, 2021

Here are some links to articles I found interesting, and maybe you will, too.

Just How Rigged Is the ‘Rigged Game’? by Matt Taibbi for TK News.  “The Division of Light and Power, the new book by Dennis Kucinich, is an epic story of American corruption.”

Interview With Dennis Kucinich on His New Book, The Division of Light and Power, by Matt Taibbi for TK News.  “The former Presidential candidate on his new book, the ‘Punch and Judy show’ of partisan politics and how ‘people move into the system and, instead of changing the system, the system changes them’.”

Dennis Kucinich was a city councilman and mayor of Cleveland, a congressman and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President.  He was widely ridiculed during his political career, but mostly proved right. 

In his new book, he tells of his 10-year struggle to prevent the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI) from taking over the municipally-owned electric power company, Muny Light, in order to remove competition and jack up prices.

CEI manufactured Muny blackouts before holidays, blatantly defied federal laws requiring CEI to provide backup power in case of such blackouts, refused to allow Muny to build lines through its territory to obtain backup power from other utilities, used bought-off pols to help artificially lower the valuation of Muny, and even used its power as an advertiser to obtain editorial review authority over local radio copy involving the company.

Because the decision about whether or not to keep Muny was a no-brainer for any Cleveland resident without a larger financial interest in the deal — as Muny didn’t pay dividends or giant packages to executives, it was able to offer rates 20% below CEI, low enough that Cleveland crafted its pitch to outside businesses around its low energy rates — CEI needed to blast cash at institutions to win allies for its cause.

When that didn’t work, it appeared to use its influence to get rid of critics, like WERE radio host Steve Clark, fired after reporting CEI had asked the state for a rate hike in the same year it was reporting a $40 million profit.  [snip]

Kucinich resists smear campaigns, a recall attempt, every conceivable kind of financial squeeze, and even an assassination plot in refusing to sell Muny Light.

Eventually Mayor Kucinich was faced with a choice of selling Muny Light or defaulting on payments of city bonds.  He chose to default, which plunged Cleveland into bankruptcy.  But years later, Cleveland has come back, Muny Light is a valuable asset and most Clevelanders admit Kucinich made the right decision.

The following is from the interview.

MT: The book starts with a really interesting epigraph about fighting City Hall from City Hall, where you say that in order to fight City Hall, you have to first find where it is.  City Hall is not just the physical structure, but the banks, the real estate combines, the investor-backed utilities . . .

Dennis Kucinich: And the mob.

MT: And the mob, right. So, today, nationally, where is City Hall, for people interested in fighting it? You’ve been in congress. What are some of those forces that are major players that people maybe don’t think about as much?

Dennis Kucinich: You have to look at Wall Street. We have a finance economy now.  Look at the arms manufacturers.  Our monetary system changed over 100 years ago.  The monetary system was privatized. 

(more…)

Ten reasons to oppose the AUMF resolution

March 12, 2015

Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich listed 10 good reasons why Congress should not authorize President Obama to use military force against the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL).

1.  ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. homeland.
2.  The AUMF disingenuously calls for a “limited” war, while it is written to guarantee a permanent war, thus nullifying the power of the people’s representatives in Congress.
3.  The AUMF is a blank check and a fiscal black hole.
4.  Regional armies appear to be rising to their own defense.  U.S. presence will escalate war.
5.  The U.S. could get drawn into a worldwide religious war.
6.  ISIS and Al Qaeda are divided. US re-entry into war could unite them.
7.  A solution: Follow ISIS’ money and shut it down.
8.  Another solution: Cyber response.
9.  Endless wars enable Washington to ignore a domestic agenda.
10.  The time has come for the U.S. to review the effects of interventionism.

Kucinich served in Congress 16 years. He was always an independent thinker who, in my opinion, made a lot more sense than many of his colleagues who had higher positions and bigger reputations.

In addition to refusing a new AUMF resolution, Congress should refuse to renew key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, which otherwise would expire June 1.

These two refusals would be modest but important steps toward ending perpetual war and perpetual martial law and returning the United States to the status of a normal country.

LINKS

Ten reasons to vote against the use of military force by Dennis Kucinich for Fox News.  His supporting arguments for each point are worth reading.  (Hat tip to Hal Bauer)

Tell Congress to put an expiration date on unconstitutional bulk surveillance by Demand Progress.  (Hat tip to Cannonfire)