The Predator State

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shares a ...

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shares a laugh with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney during his farewell parade at the Pentagon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Predator State, How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, by James K. Galbraith published in 2008. The predator state is the marriage between large corporations and government.

“Republican (with a small “r”) government, with its checks and balances, exists to limit the abuse of power. It is a matter of negotiation, compromise, the making of public arguments, and of listening to private dissent. Modern corporate decision-making structures exist, on the contrary, to permit senior executives to do what they want. This is the culture that Richard Cheney brought back into government from Halliburton, that George bush imbibed at his minor perches at Harken Energy and the Texas rangers. The operational result is a government by cliques operating in secret, indeed with their very membership unknown outside. Cheney’s 2001 Energy Task Force is a characteristic example. The neoconservative capture of foreign policy inside the Bush administration is another. The drive by Karl Rove‘s political office to direct the U.S. attorneys into political prosecutions is a third. The advance and defense of torture as a method of interrogation in secret prisons run by the CIA is a fourth. The program of warrantless wiretapping, which evidently amounts to the blanket capture by the National Security Agency of all Internet communications, is a fifth. The list could go on, but the practice is clear: we live under a government that as a matter of principle does what it wants.”

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Rigging the vote

English: Karl Rove Assistant to the President,...

English: Karl Rove Assistant to the President, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stalin said, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”

If the GOP are willing to steal an election before votes are cast by restricting who can vote, they certainly are willing to steal an election after the votes are cast. In the last election, the companies supplying the voting machines were run by “friends of Mitt.” In Ohio, Karl Rove was certainly expecting that Mitt would carry the state. When it didn’t happen, he had his famous 20-minute meltdown on FOX. Rumour has it that Rove‘s plans were foiled by hackers supportive of President Obama. In any case, for our form of government to continue, we must ensure a fair and accurate count of the votes.

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Mirror image

English: Karl Rove Assistant to the President,...

English: Karl Rove Assistant to the President, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently FOX News put Dick Morris and Karl Rove on the shelf, at least temporarily. Morris because he is always wrong and Rove because of his election night meltdown, which I am sorry to say I missed live; it’s always more exciting live. I was trying to think of ways that FOX could continue to use their services, and it struck me–a mirror image. Just reverse everything they say, and that could apply to most of that network. Fair and balanced? No way.

Hurricane Sandy and charity

100 Million Pennies NYC

100 Million Pennies NYC (Photo credit: Photo Gallery)

Mitt Romney and some of his wealthy supporters want to downsize the Federal government, reducing the safety net for others than themselves, return some programs to the states, privatize other programs and then rely on charity to take up the slack. I think that NOW is a good time for them to demonstrate how that would work from the standpoint of their charitable giving, and I am talking about minimum donations in the $50 to $100 million range. Small change to them, but $50 million here and $100 million there adds up to real money.

Mitt Romney, Michael Bloomberg, the Koch brothers, the Walton family, Peter G. Peterson, Karl Rove’s front organizations, the US Chamber of Commerce, corporate people like GE that pay no Federal income tax, and the private equity and hedge fund billionaires of Wall Street are the possible donors I am thinking about. Wall Street is located in the portion of lower Manhattan that was affected by the hurricane with loss of power and some flooding. If charity begins at home, then the banks that are too big to fail and other firms that benefited from taxpayer bailouts should be among the first to donate. Karl Rove’s front organizations enjoy tax-free status as charitable organizations. They should immediately stop their political attack ads and donate all remaining funds to real charity.

Karl Rove

Cover of "Courage and Consequence: My Lif...

Cover via Amazon

Courage and Consequence, My life as a Conservative in the Fight by Karl Rove. One thing that I noted repeatedly throughout this book is that Rove chooses his words very carefully when he describes dirty tricks that he has been accused of. Rather than say that he is innocent, he will say that there is no proof. In my personal opinion, in helping to elect George W. Bush and then re-elect him, Karl Rove has the suffering and deaths of millions of people to answer for. I would not want to have the burden of his conscience, if any.

During his White House years, Rove was privy to Bush’s plans to privatize Social Security. In Bush’s first term, 9-11 intervened to divert the nation’s attention from Social Security reform and Katrina had the same effect in Bush’s second term. The Bush plan included raising the full retirement age from 67 to 70 years.

In summary, this book is an interesting read that must be read carefully to decipher what Rove is really saying. It is 520 pages long, of which Rove devotes 515 pages to justifying his and Bush’s actions. He devotes 5 pages at the end to bashing Barack Obama.