Monday, September 29, 2008

Your Call 092908 Barriers to Democracy in America

How open is the American political system? On the next Your Call, we'll have a conversation with Harper's publisher John MacArthur. He is out with a new book entitled You Can't Be President: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America. With Barack Obama and Sarah Palin on the big party tickets, are we closer than ever to a nation where anyone can aspire to be president? How democratic is our presidential politics? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

Guests: John MacArthur, Harper's publisher, and author of You Can't Be President: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America

Click to Listen: Barriers to Democracy in America

1 comment:

Paul said...

The Republican and Democratic party presidential campaigns received major contributions from corporations, banks and Wall Street in particular. has an article about Wall Street funding of those presidential campaigns posted a week ago.

"McCain and Obama are extremely cozy with the capitalists they criticize. Tough talk aside, neither candidate is shy when it comes to donations from Wall Street’s fat cats. Many of the financial profiteers on their top donor list either have received or expect generous bailouts from the government—all at the expense of taxpayers.

"Seven out of 20 of Obama’s top contributors are employees in the banking establishment. Goldman Sachs and Citigroup come in first and third, respectively. Lehman Brothers ranks 10th, and three Lehman executives have also bundled over $500,000 for Obama. Execs from Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and UBS, among other financial firms, have all forked over hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Obama campaign. It is clear from an examination of the records: Obama is a close ally of the very financial interests he claims he will take on.

"McCain’s vows to clean up Wall Street are at least as implausible as Obama’s, if not more. During the last major prolonged economic crisis—the meltdown of the late 1980s, known as the Savings and Loan Crisis—McCain was one of the "Keating Five." These were five senators who, among other things, received thousands of dollars in return for helping lawyer and banker Charles Keating fight off regulators who sought to investigate illegal practices at his Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. McCain took over $100,000 from Keating, as well as all-expenses-paid trips to the Bahamas for him and his family.

"With this stellar record, it comes as no surprise that McCain’s five largest contributors come from financial firms, led by none other than employees at Merrill Lynch. Twelve out of McCain’s top 20 donors are from Wall Street. Big-time bundlers from the houses of finance also appear in McCain’s contribution column as well. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, was a lobbyist for Fannie Mae. Phil Gramm, McCain’s former top official economic adviser and now unofficial adviser, was one of the Congressional masterminds behind ending the last of the Depression-era financial regulation laws, which helped open the doors to the high-risk gambling in the financial markets in the first place." Eugene Puryear, "Obama, McCain in bed with Wall Street" September 22, 2008, also has articles on the financial crisis and opposition to the bailout.

BTW Congress just voted against the bailout. To read more and email congressional reps opposing back room arm twisting and a vote change, visit