The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Money In Politics, Consolidated Media, Keystone Pipeline, And People As Vicitms

People as pawns and subservient victims!
OpenSecretsBlog has published a piece on the money trail associated with the recent congressional vote to force President Obama out of the approval process for the Keystone XL Pipeline.  If you ever suspect any Congressionals of  money/contribtuions for votes, you have to read the piece (Posted below). 

This piece is in two parts. We strongly feel we should first spend time on our increasing losses of viable and credible national media. It is important for people to realize news sources are becoming increasing consolidated into entities that become susceptible to the politics of its leaders. Sites like OpenSecrets, Addictinginfo, Talking Points Memo, Think Progress, Media Matters, and Mediaite are becoming the only voices for credible left leaning reporting or commenting. If you care less about our consolidating media, skip to the OpenSecrets piece below and follow the money for votes trail. 

We at The Progressive Influence values dissemination of information. During times of issue with federal (and state) governance, money in politics and our interest taking a back set to political contributions, cronyism and 360 degree "back-rubbing", information is our prescription "awareness antibiotic."  If we choose to follow the information prescription through its full scope, we have opportunity to avoid bad decisions. If we do not follow the prescription to its full scope we become immune to credible and valid information. Thus, we become subjects for obvious efforts to manipulate like pawns in some plutocratic subservient and worshiping "Hunger Games."  Think of the souls who sit daily and soak-up pure manipulative propaganda from Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and every FOXPEN  (Fox Propaganda and Entertainer Network) evening propagandist. MSNBC is 90 percent left leaning (exception for Chuck Todd, Scarborough and Morning Joe regular guest) and reporting (plus opine). But, the network appears to seek out and use information that is correct with far fewer needs for correction.  CNN is lost in a wilderness of conversion to more conservative programming and reporting.  It is a shame what ratings wars have done to the pioneer of 24/7 news coverage.  We are also very much concerned that CNN seems to have either demoted or terminated contracts with the vast majority of African-American (on-air) personalities (hosts, guest and pundits). The new staffing model appears very much intentional which speaks to efforts appeal to a political party that is 92% white and dominated by male ideology.  Or, CNN's new 'head huncho" is factually a conservative and is wielding his people like Roger Ailes at Fox News. 

The latter scenario is particularly dangerous as it places us in a position for mind-altering manipulation. Let's face it, most of use have forsaken reading deep news stories from newspapers; a problem and a reality. News magazines are a skeleton of days past and those magazines are also susceptible to a lack of diverse  thought (group think) and politically influenced reporting. What are our options?  

You know the options.  You are using the options as you read this piece. The Internet has its issues, but in many ways it gives us access to information that helps inform us, expand our thinking capacities, provides information to challenge propaganda (Left or Right), helps in avoiding manipulation and makes our physical lives much easier (shopping, environmental alerts and the like).  

Before we introduce a Keystone XL Pipeline (money) vote piece from OpenSecretsBlog take a quick look at an infographic that is disconcerting and utterly disturbing. As you view the graphic, think about the MEN who in these corporations.  It should only take a second to realize their social and political views are fed to us like our former consumption of Gerber baby food. You could not avoid it! 

The Business Insider

media infographic

Now, let's do a quick visit to OpenSecretsBlog and how the recent House vote related to stripping the president's Keystone XL Pipeline signature requirement is a 'money grab", equal to none.

Join OpenSecrets after the break below or click here.

OpenSecrets Blog

Keystone Votes Followed the Money

The May 22 House vote to yank President Obama's decision-making authority on whether to build the Keystone XL pipeline passed easily, with members voting mainly along party lines. Not a single Republican voted against it.  
But an analysis of donations shows that the financial support of various interest groups was an even better predictor of how members voted. According to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, there were stark divisions between the "aye" votes (supporting the pipeline's construction) and the "nays" corresponding with how much money each side received from the oil and gas industry and environmental interests, respectively.  

According to CRP's analysis, House members who voted aye received $13.6 million in donations from the oil and gas industry in the 2012 election cycle, with each "aye" voter taking an average of $57,052 from the industry.  
Flip to the "nay" votes: The oil and gas industry gave just $1.1 million, or an average of $6,299, to the 175 Democrats who voted no (and it was only Democrats who voted against the proposal).

Average Oil/Gas IndustryDonationsFor BillAgainst Bill$0$15,000$30,000$45,000$60,000

On the other side of the issue, those who voted against the bill received far more from environmental interests than those who voted aye -- but environmental interests gave far less than the oil and gas industry overall. In total, environmental interests gave $1.3 million to the 175 opponents of the legislation, or, on average, $7,575 apiece. The total is only slightly more than the oil and gas industry overall gave them, but the environmentalists contribute far less in general than oil and gas interests.  
As for the "aye" votes, they received just $212,824 from environmental interests, or, on average, just $887 across the entire two years of the 2012 election cycle.

Avg Environmental DonationsFor BillAgainst Bill$0$2,000$4,000$6,000$8,000
Obviously there are partisan reasons behind the way the votes broke down, but an analysis of donations to the 19 Democrats who crossed party lines shows they also received money from the oil and gas industry and were shunned by environmental donors.  

Supporters of the bill included 221 Republicans, who took an average of $59,198 from the oil and gas industry, and 19 Democrats, who took an average of $32,089. Those 19 Democrats, on average, only collected $2,335 from environmental donors, compared to the $7,575 received by their Democratic colleagues who voted the other way.  
Image: Pipeline image via Flickr user Ray Bodden.
End OpenSecretsBlog

There are literally times when I think of the Framers of the US Constitution as I consider their references to "The press."  The Modern-day press is little more than 'stops between" sponsor commercials.  

Two closing examples of plutocratic influence over what we hear, see and know.  The PBS issue regarding not running a documentary based on support from the Koch Brothers: major PBS contributors.   A second and more glaring example of the bastardization of what was once was called "news':  Ruppert Murdoch's media empire inclusive of phone hacking scandals and Fox News.

And, just think, I sat and watched last week as an alleged Democratic, Harold Ford, ended a Chris Matthews Hardball segment with an advertisement for the Keystone Pipeline under the guise of "jobs and energy independence." 

As Chris Matthews makes great points about airports, high-speed rail and highway projects, Harold Ford differentiates himself from "his party", and mentions Keystone XL in the same sentence as the word "jobs.'  (Click if video link does not work proper and scroll to video)

Jobs, Ford?

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