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Joe Heller | Informed Voter / CagleCartoons.com

U.S. Midterms: Political Freak Show

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I'm you, dear readers. Well, actually, I'm not. But I'm also not a witch, so at least I've got that going for me.

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Cliff Schecter, Huffington Post

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The above is of course a reference to Delaware's favourite Wiccan of Wilmington, Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, who began her most recent television advertisement by assuring viewers that she, indeed, is "not a witch." In past political years this might have been considered a bit low-brow, to actually have to assure the voting public you didn't spend most days at dusk swooping over the heads of the Lollipop Guild.

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The bar has been raised among this year's crop of weirdos and wackadoos seeking higher office in America. If you don't have the Second Amendment tattooed on your buttocks or actually think you're The Walrus, don't even try and claim to be among the craziest third of aspiring politicos on the current American landscape.

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Summary | Barack Obama, Change We Can Believe In: Week of October 17

4 New Items including:

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  • Lessons of the Obama Debacle
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  • Helen Thomas Cries, Denies Anti-Semitism, Calls President Obama 'Reprehensible'
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Walt Handelsman

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Lessons of the Obama Debacle, Walden Bello, Foreign Policy in Focus

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  • The failure of progressives (is) to translate their vision and values into a program that is convincing and connects with the people trapped in the terrible existential conditions created by the global financial crisis.
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  • Our side has been derailed (but) ... we can fight back to political relevance.
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White House to Lift Ban on Deep-Water Drilling,  Peter Baker, New York Times | NY
Obusha surrenders again

White House squelched release of BP oil spill estimates, Renee Schoof and Margaret Talev, McClatchy Newspapers

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  • The staff paper does not assign any motive to the administration’s moves but says the underestimating of flow rates “undermined public confidence in the federal government’s response” by creating the impression the government was either incompetent or untrustworthy. The paper said that the loss of trust “fuels public fears.”
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  • BP and Administration: Lies, Deceit, and Coverup in the Gulf
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  • Experts question BP's take on Gulf oil spill
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Helen Thomas Cries, Denies Anti-Semitism, Calls President Obama 'Reprehensible', Associated Press/Huffington Post
Asked whether she's anti-Semitic, she responded "Baloney!" She said she wants to be remembered for "integrity and my honesty and my belief in good journalism" and would like to work again.

Shadowy players in a new class war

The country doesn't need this class war, and it is irrational in any case. Practically no one, least of all Obama, is questioning the basics of the market system or proposing anything more than somewhat tighter economic regulations -- after the biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression -- and rather modest tax increases on the wealthy.

E.J. Dionne Jr., Syndicate Columnist, Washington Post | DC

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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Pat Oliphant

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The 2010 election is turning into a class war. The wealthy and the powerful started it.

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This is a strange development. President Obama, after all, has been working overtime to save capitalism. Wall Street is doing just fine, and the rich are getting richer again. The financial reform bill passed by Congress was moderate, not radical.

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Nonetheless, corporations and affluent individuals are pouring tens of millions of dollars into attack ads aimed almost exclusively at Democrats. One of the biggest political players, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, accepts money from foreign sources.

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Exclusive: Chamber Receives At Least $885,000 From Over 80 Foreign Companies In Disclosed Donations Alone

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  • The Chamber and the media largely ignored ThinkProgress’ revelation about the Chamber’s direct foreign fundraising to its 501(c)(6) used for attack ads.
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  • Chamber of Commerce Accused of Tax Fraud
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  • Stop the US Chamber of Commerce
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Think Progress

Last week (Oct 3-9), ThinkProgress published an exclusive story about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s foreign fundraising operation. We noted the Chamber raises money from foreign-owned businesses for its 501(c)(6) entity, the same account that finances its unprecedented $75 million dollar partisan attack ad campaign. While the Chamber is notoriously secretive, the thrust of our story involved the disclosure of fundraising documents U.S. Chamber staffers had been distributing to solicit foreign (even state-owned) companies to donate directly to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6).

We documented three different ways the Chamber fundraises from foreign corporations: (1) An internal fundraising program called “Business Councils” used to solicit direct, largely foreign contributions to the Chamber, (2) Direct contributions from foreign multinationals like BP, Siemens, and Shell Oil, and (3) From the Chamber’s network of AmCham affiliates, which are foreign chambers of the Chamber composed of American and and foreign companies.

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Related:

Chamber of Commerce Accused of Tax Fraud, Joshua Holland,  AlterNet<>

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  • A watchdog group charges the CoC violated U.S. tax laws by funneling $18 million from its charitable, non-profit arm into lobbying.
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  • How the Chamber of Commerce Allegedly Laundered Millions in Charity Dollars to Beat Back Financial Reform and Reelect Republicans
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  • Stop The US Chamber of Commerce
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Stop The US Chamber of Commerce, The Velvet Revolution

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We have had enough and it is time to Stop The Chamber. Therefore, we demand the following:
•    Fire Tom Donohue.
•    Drop Corporate Support for the Chamber.
•    Launch A Criminal Investigation Against The Chamber For Fraud, False Tax Filings And Campaign Finance Violations.
•    Ask Congress To Investigate The Chamber.
•    Reorganize The Chamber.
•    Speak Out Against The Chamber. 


The Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of Tom Donohue, has gone from a well respected trade organization to an extremist political organization dedicated to corrupting American democracy by elevating the profits of big corporations over the well being of the citizens they serve.

The most recent example of this corrupt behavior is the Chamber's announcement that it is spending more than $100 million to defeat initiatives to protect the environment and provide affordable health care to everyone.

Click here to Send A Letter Asking Congress To Investigate The Chamber.

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