Doug Hughes’ Airmail Letter Campaign To Overturn Citizens United.

by Jerry Alatalo

“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.”

– ELWYN BROOKS “E.B.” WHITE (1899-1985) American writer, editor

(wikipedia.org)
(wikipedia.org)

Doug Hughes deserves being honored and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his effort on behalf of American democracy. Most people in America want Citizens United overturned. America’s top civilian honor goes to men and women who have made efforts “In especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

After considering what Florida U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Doug Hughes might have gone through before deciding to land with his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capital Building, the idea of taking whatever steps necessary for the American people to honor the man took hold. The popular image of postal carriers is the rugged man or woman who delivers your letters through rain, snow, hail and thunderstorms come what may, but Mr. Hughes took that concept to an entirely higher-purpose, democracy-protecting other level.

One wonders how his experience at delivering the mail, in particular the evolving of political mailings through the years, figured into his decision to take non-violent, civil disobedience action. Mr. Hughes probably noticed the difference after the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court in 2011, when the number of election-time mailings going from his Jeep to his mailbag to people’s homes and businesses started to increase dramatically. Every one of those correspondences passed through his hands while scanning the addresses to determine the accurate destination, almost like reading a book about the consequences for the American people of the Supreme Court’s regretful decision.

So, he personally saw the great increase in mailings to citizens in his Florida region coming from super-pacs/organizations spending on behalf of candidates to get them elected, with good God-fearing names like “Americans for Freedom”, “Patriots for the U.S.A.”, “Founding Fathers of America”, or, to go all the way with ridiculous names for super-pacs, “Americans for America”. While Doug Hughes zeroed in on the correct mailing address on each piece of mail, he most likely also observed the deceptively named political groups on return addresses in the upper left-hand corners of the envelopes, and like seeds grow after being planted, the idea for taking “the mail” to the Capital came to life and took shape.

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The Real News Network produced a two-minute video which explains how the mainstream media put a spin on Mr. Hughes’ truly heroic act of political conscience, focusing on terrorism and fear while dreadfully failing to report on his noble intention: getting rid of Citizens United and its allowing those with the most money to literally buy up democracy in America. Media corporations, owned by the same wealthy people who became able to buy elections after Citizens United, once again intentionally dropped the ball and avoided the “elephant in the room” – a completely unacceptable situation of too much money killing the democratic process in elections across the United States.

(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)

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Like most Americans, Mr. Hughes came to conclude that something is seriously wrong when money cancels democracy, and that strong collective action is necessary to correct that wrong. He deserves Americans’ profound thanks and appreciation for taking an action carrying with it a level of personal risk and sacrifice most would never seriously contemplate.

Doug Hughes delivered “the mail”, carrying out an amazing handoff of 535 letters addressed to America’s elected representatives calling for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing that true democracy is the law to observe in America for all time. An Article V Constitutional Convention or super-majority (two-thirds) vote in the U.S. Congress is necessary for an amendment overturning Citizens United to become reality.

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From wikipedia.org:

Amendments may be adopted and sent to the states for ratification in one of two ways:

  • Affirmative votes by two-thirds of both the Senate and House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress.

OR

  • A national convention assembled at the request of the legislatures of at least two-thirds (34) of the states.

To become part of the Constitution, an amendment must be ratified by either (as determined by Congress):

  • The request of legislatures of three-fourths (38) of the states.

OR

  • State ratifying conventions in three-fourths (38) of the states.

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Mr. Hughes’ self-sacrificial, honorable example is a profound one very worthy of emulation in ways which require little or no risk by comparison. Share the path of true democracy with Doug Hughes and an increasing number of determined, morally motivated men and women across the 50 states of America, then create and “deliver” your own personal message to elected representatives at both state and national levels.

The path begins at: thedemocracyclub.org

Mount Rainier - 1

 

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Step Aside Hillary, Bernie’s Coming Through…

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-11Alphabet Senator Bernie Sanders and Thom Hartmann have teamed up for the weekly Q+A call-in program “Brunch With Bernie” for several years now. Bernie says he’s getting close to announcing that he will campaign for President of the United States. Here’s hoping he runs and here’s hoping he wins. Step aside Hillary, Bernie’s coming through. That’s kind of a catchy campaign slogan, come to think of it.

Here’s how Bernie Sanders of Vermont becomes the next President of the United States. First, he and Massachusetts Senator and progressive wing of the Democratic party superstar Elizabeth Warren strike a secret deal, known only to the two of them. Ms. Warren, because of her principled stands against Wall Street corruption, has men and women across the nation urging her to run for the highest office in the land. If she had decided to run her odds of garnering more votes against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination would have been poor, because Ms. Clinton has more political experience – first lady for eight years, Senator from New York, a near win in 2008 for President, and Secretary of State.

In addition, two women battling it out for the nomination would have resulted in Hillary’s 2008 voters going for her again this time. This is only a guess, but Senator Sanders will soon enter the race, and when the campaign gets into full-swing and hot and heavy, as per the secret deal, Bernie will hold a press conference where Senator Warren will appear after Bernie Sanders tells Americans that “If I win the nomination of the Democratic party, Elizabeth Warren has agreed to become my Vice-Presidential running mate”. Or, Senator Sanders will run as an independent third-party candidate, so “Elizabeth Warren has agreed to become my Vice-Presidential running mate against Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush”. At that point the front page of newspapers all across America, without exception, will contain “the photo” of Sanders and Warren standing side-by-side smiling, hand-in-hand raised vertically toward the sky, with the headine… “SANDERS – WARREN!!”

Most Americans who agree with progressive policies – policy proposals locked into the platform of a Sanders-Warren Democratic or Independent ticket – would in unison across the 50 states exclaim/erupt with decades-of-internalized political frustration and disappointment miraculously transformed into joy: “Finally!!”

In a very short time after the mega-announcement, some fellows by the name of Koch, Adelson, Bush, Walker, etc. will be on phones urgently arranging appointments with their respective psychiatrists, because “visions” of hundreds of millions of dollars being flushed down the toilet have them very worried about experiencing odd hallucinations and unmanageable, severe depression. Let us say that the fellows have become, well… a little “shook up”, like that actor Herbert Lom in the Pink Panther movies whose eye twitches when Peter Sellers is around.

Herbert Lom

 

 

 

 

Presidential campaigns are well-known for their unexpected, vote-swinging bombshell news events. Will the Sanders-Warren scenario described come to pass? Many people have come to the point where “nothing surprises anymore in this world”, so just remember the possible secret deal between Senators Sanders and Warren comes from the imagination. Then again, some people claim that creative visualization really works…

After a little harmless fun, here’s a brief overview of some of the topics discussed on the April 23, 2015 broadcast of “Brunch With Bernie”. Before taking phone comments and questions Senator Sanders talked about the previous week, with particular focus on the Republican budget priorities. Sanders tells Thom Hartmann’s viewing audience that the provisions are so bad that people may not believe it when he tells them. He goes through a list including taking health insurance from 16 million people who’ve signed on to the Affordable Care Act, cutting $90 billion over ten years from Pell Grants for college students, cuts in Headstart funding, “devastating” cuts to the food stamp program, tax breaks for the top .2% through repeal of the Estate Tax, higher taxes on low-income and working people, $billions more in military spending, plus cuts to programs helping the elderly and children.

Sanders notes that the media has not reported on the GOP proposed budget nearly enough given the huge consequences for average Americans.

The first caller asked the Senator when he would announce he’s running for President, and Sanders explained it was a difficult decision because of the forces he and his supporters would come up against: Wall Street, multinational corporations, pharmaceutical companies, military contractors, the Koch brothers and fellow billionaires, etc. He said that a major grassroots movement will have to emerge, not to mention creating a credibly funded campaign in light of unlimited campaign contributions guaranteed by Citizens United. In response to the caller on when, he said “shortly”.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was the topic for several callers, to which Bernie Sanders replied by saying he was against it, that he and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden have a “strong disagreement” on the proposed trade deal, and that all presidential candidates “can’t wiggle your way out of telling the American people where you stand on TPP”. Although he did filibuster the TPP proceedings in the Senate, he admits the action only slows down the process, but that filibusters can’t stop the vote.  He noted that 60,000 manufacturing plants have closed since 2001 due to TPP-like trade deals, workers in Vietnam (one of the prospective nations of TPP) making 56-cents an hour, Americans can’t find/buy products “made in America” anymore, and that people need to call their representatives in opposition.

Thom Hartmann shared his perspective on TPP: “It’s like a show of horrors”.

After a caller asked Senator Sanders why voter turnout in the mid-term 2014 elections was so low, he responded by saying the average American looks around and asks “who is listening to me?’,  then decides not to vote because they don’t want to give a completely corrupt system credibility. He elaborated, saying there is massive demoralization in the country, that too-many people see that nobody in Congress is speaking for them, and concluding it (voting) doesn’t matter, because the rich will get richer whoever takes office. Sanders pointed out that a mass movement is necessary across America; a movement whose central message is “enough is enough”, and that it’s either developing that type of powerful grassroots movement “or lose”.

The last caller touched on the 2014 mid-term election and his perception that candidates in the Democratic party did an abysmal job of “selling” their ideas and agenda for the country, and that this was the main reason for losing many seats in Congress. Bernie Sanders agreed with the caller, then listed a number of progressive stances on issues that most Americans agree with:

infrastructure improvements creating millions of jobs

an increase in the minimum wage

pay equity for women

transforming the national energy system from fossil fuels to renewables, creating millions of jobs and economic growth

decreasing Wall Street power by breaking up too-big-to-fail banks

ending tax breaks for billionaires and large corporations

single-payer health care system

and more

Finally, Bernie Sanders stresses the clear and urgent need for a progressive agenda focused on average Americans which “takes on the billionaire class”.

Promise you won’t tell anybody about that secret deal between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It’s supposed to be a surprise.

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(Thank you to thomhartmann at YouTube)