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A Hostile Takeover of our Country -- Treasonous, Noxious, Thieving, Tyrannical

By       Message Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.     Permalink
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Cross-posted from Greg Palast.com

For EcoWatch...from the foreword to
 Billionaires & Ballot Bandits



American democracy is under assault.

In one super-PAC alone, Karl Rove and the Enron grifter Ed Gillespie, have assembled $200 million from big polluters and Wall Street moguls to buy the 2012 election.

Two of the Koch Brothers, Charles and David, pledged $130 million to elect candidates who favor unrestrained corporate profiteering.

The senators and congressmen they fund and elect are not representing the United States -- they are representing Koch and its oil industry cronies, Big Pharma, and the Wall Street banksters currently mounting a hostile takeover of our government.

I have no problem characterizing these corporate-centric super-PACs as treasonous.  We are now in a free fall toward old-fashioned oligarchy; noxious, thieving and tyrannical.

The most corporate-friendly Supreme Court since the Gilded Age had declared in its notorious Citizens United decision that corporations are people and that money is speech. Those who have the most money now have the loudest voices in our democracy while poor Americans are mute.

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And the money is talking; in 97 percent of federal elections over the past two decades, the best-funded candidates were victorious.

America, the world's proud template for democracy and a robust middle class, is now listing toward oligarchy and corporate kleptocracy.

America today is looking more and more like a colonial economy, with a system increasingly tilted toward enriching the wealthy 1 percent and serving the mercantile needs of multinational corporations with little allegiance to our country.

These radical forces already dominate the national press, with Fox News and talk radio snugly in the pocket of the corporate Right.

This is the first time in American history that corporate and media interests have been so clearly and so perilously aligned.

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With the media in their hands, and unlimited money, the final strategy of Rove, Koch, the Chamber of Commerce, and others of that ilk is to permanently cripple representative democracy by stopping Americans from voting.

A boatload of new Jim Crow laws target Democrats by erecting impediments that deter poor and minority communities, senior citizens, and students from exercising their franchise.

Voter suppression is a crime.

In Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Greg Palast details each of these devious scams for disenfranchising vulnerable voters ... but also, crucially, Palast here follows the money that powers the machinery of democracy's destruction.

This is not a partisan issue. Clearly the GOP agenda is to suppress votes, as Karl Rove has repeatedly and unashamedly signaled. But Billionaires & Ballot Bandits exposes the vote-count blindness, biases, venality, and ballot gaming by Democrats as well. I don't believe there are Republican children or Democratic children.

Every American citizen ought to have the right to vote and everybody ought to have the right to clean air and clean water, to integrity and transparency in the marketplace, and to a functioning democracy.

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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is an environmental lawyer and activist in New York. He is one of the few who has also covered election fraud and voter suppression.

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