Interactive: Who’s Pulling the Strings?

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A lot of press coverage has focused on the relatively small group of lawmakers, many of them tea party endorsed backbenchers, who pushed their leadership into shutting down the government in a desperate last-gasp effort to kill off Obamacare.

But how does that work? Why can a cabal of hard-right legislators tell their party’s leadership what to do? Why doesn’t the rest of the Republican caucus stop them? The answer is that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision a well-funded network of conservative groups has arisen that has the ability to make the lives of Republicans who seek compromise very, very difficult.

Legislators are hesitant to cross these enforcers, fearing primary challengers from the right, or grassroots tea party activists flooding their offices with angry calls. Here’s a look at some of the key players behind the scenes (above) and some of the key lawmakers in front of the cameras (below). Roll over the heads to learn more about each player.

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  • Linda Beckman

    This is so disturbing: a cabal of covert operatives conspiring to subvert the will of American citizens. These people are traitors and should be symbolically hung in the commons, and their citizenship revoked! I’m mad as hell.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you….for assembling this! The caricatures are OUTSTANDING ….and ACCURATE…!!!

  • Tamera Smith

    “Dead-on-balls” accurate.

  • Anonymous

    This is what happens , when we do not prosecute criminals like
    Bush , Cheney , Rove , Rice , Rumsfeld , wall street , bankers …..
    And let they not only let them freely walk the streets , ]
    put reward them for their crimes

  • Jim

    I had a strong feeling the Koch Bros. (John Birch Society) were involved with their deep pockets. But, I was not aware of Ed Meese’s involvement.

  • Carrie Ross-Stone

    Yes. And before them, Clinton decided not to prosecute Reagan Bush for the Iran/Contra scandal (where Reagan defied Congress, sold arms to Iran – AFTER they kidnapped our embassy employees) to raise money to support the Contras, an American-funded band of “rebels” who were propped up to oust the duly elected Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Any time anyone mentions St Reagan, you should remind them of this fact because it is rapidy spiraling down into the memory hole….

  • Anonymous

    Meese is strong . He could say ‘Mr. President’ to Reagan without laughing.

  • Robert Scalzi

    These traitors need extermination – BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY

  • Martin Screeton

    What is removing Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is, in fact, the Corporations that have backed the Republicans that have occupied the white house for 21 out of the last 30 years.This has caused deregulation, union busting, minimum wage freezes, War debt being taken Off-budget (then being put back on when a democrat was hired), hyperinflation of the housing markets and stock markets which caused the crash of 2008-09. I have studied the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and they are being chipped away at by the so called patriots! I would redirect you back to study the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan… There you will find all the seeds of our current malaise; thats where the huge deficits started with Him slashing and burning the tax code for the rich while increasing defense department spending 189%, the firing of all the air traffic controllers which in-turn gave a green light to every CEO in the country to fire their workforce as well and hire them back for half wages. The ground zero date for the our decline in America started January 20, 1981.Better hurry, you got a lot of economic data to study before the next election cycle.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s see: Of the ten, nine are white males, six are from former Confederate states, one from a border slave state, two are Mormons, and one, of course, is a subspecies, the Northern Dingbat.

  • Anonymous

    His father was on Castro’s side interesting.

  • Fred Gibson

    Some day hopefully, the demise of the last of the Lilly Whites will come before they have a chance to re write the American history books. It won’t come soon enough for me!

  • Anonymous

    Darlene… you are being used and coached to respew the trash that you hear from these so-called patriots. You will never be one of them, but they will use you like a dish rag and appeal to you all the while telling you that GOD gave them this vision of how they were going to bring this country back to being the best country in the world. Reagan was the first in a long line to start to tear down our middle class infrastructure to accommodate the captains of business. Jobs started shipping overseas at the rate of 10% a year,, our tax base started to deplete, taxes were decreased telling you that “trickle-down-economics” BS lie and you believed it because you put your head into the same cultish behaviours backed by the church. I’m also a Patriot, I have lived in the USA for nearly 70 years, I want to take my country back from the corporations who are using it for their piggy banks, I want my democracy back where every voice is heard and has a vote and the majority rules rather that the one who has the most money.

  • Anonymous

    Government of the People, by the Corporations, and for the Corporations…… that is our new motto :( I hang my head in shame of what my country has become.

  • Janet Matherly Rowland

    This is BRILLIANT! It names both the puppeteers and the puppets and provides some information on both. One of the best and most concise ways of delivering a lot of information to a public who wants and needs to know who these people are. Kudos to the developers!!

  • Anonymous

    You are insane.

  • arsailman1

    Terrorists, all of them…

  • WitsEnd66

    Thanks you for typing the realities that idjits refuse to accept. You are right in every respect.

  • WitsEnd66

    The conspiracy of insurrection. These morons are trying to overthrow the government, plain an dsimple.

  • Karen Clark

    Despicable greedy less-than-human beings. But the majority of Americans are not fooled by their antics that are destroying people’s lives. In 2014 it will be “Hear Our Roar” as we vote them all out!

  • Arm of Keaau

    The average U.S. citizen is ignorant to the abuse of power that is money. We have two examples in the last 12 years where hundreds of billions each were wasted just so that the rich could get richer. They were code named “threat’s to Homeland security”, but what they were were the old con game of ‘which cup is the pea under?”. Can you say Iraq and Afghanistan?
    These assaults on the rest of us, the “Black” president, and the Affordable Care Act, are from the same dark money extremists. Without representation in government, it will take an armed rebellion to return this nation to the people. (_: FBI

  • Anonymous

    Excellent, informative piece. Thank you so much!

  • Glenn Havinoviski

    I’m surprised Rand Paul isn’t there. I am curious, however, what Ron Paul would think of all this.

  • Anonymous


    The investigations were effectively halted when President George H. W. Bush (Reagan’s vice president) pardoned Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger before his trial began.[2]
    Caspar Weinberger, United States Secretary of Defense, was pardoned before trial produced by George H. W. Bush
    Elliott Abrams agreed to cooperate with investigators and in return was allowed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges instead of facing possible felony indictments. He was sentenced to two years probation and one hundred hours of community service. He was also pardoned by Bush on December 24, 1992 along with five other former Reagan Administration officials who had been implicated in connection with Iran-Contra.[3]
    National Security Advisor Robert C. McFarlane, pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors and was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service and was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.[3] He was also pardoned by Bush.
    Alan D. Fiers was the Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Central American Task Force. He pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information from Congress and was sentenced to one year of probation and one hundred hours of community service. He was also pardoned by Bush.[3][4]
    Richard R. Miller – Partner with Oliver North in IBC, an Office of Public Diplomacy front group, convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States.[3][5]
    Clair George was Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Division of Covert Operations under President Reagan. George was convicted of lying to two congressional committees in 1986. He was pardoned by Bush.[3][4][6]
    Richard Secord was indicted on nine felony counts of lying to Congress and pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to Congress.[3][7]
    Thomas G. Clines was convicted of four counts of tax-related offenses for failing to report income from the Iran/Contra operations.[3][8]
    Carl R. Channel – Office of Public Diplomacy, partner in International Business- first person convicted in the Iran/Contra scandal, pleaded guilty of one count of defrauding the United States[3][5]
    John Poindexter, Reagan’s national security advisor, was found guilty of five criminal counts including lying to Congress, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. His conviction was later overturned on grounds that he did not receive a fair trial (the prosecution may have been influenced by his immunized testimony in front of Congress.)[3][9]
    Oliver North was indicted on sixteen charges in the Iran/Contra affair and found guilty of three – aiding and abetting obstruction of Congress, shredding or altering official documents and accepting a gratuity. His convictions were later overturned on the grounds that his immunized testimony had tainted his trial.[3][10]
    Duane R. Clarridge (US Republican Party) also pardoned before trial by Bush
    Albert Hakim pleaded guilty to supplementing the salary of North
    Joseph F. Fernandez indicted on four counts of obstruction and false statements; case dismissed when Attorney General Richard L. Thornburgh refused to declassify information needed for his defense

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    I think it’s a safe bet that Daddy Paul thinks the ACA act is socialism of the most horrible variety.

  • Bill Ross at Pax EDI

    The love of money truly is at the heart of at least most evil…

  • Anonymous

    Where is Scott Walker?!

  • Bradley Berthold

    Unfortunately, all too many Americans actually are indeed fooled by their antics.

  • Ben Price

    Republicans partty are working for CHINA GOV.
    They will do everything to detroy USA.

  • Anonymous

    What is so chilling about this group is that they are unknown by even the average Republican. It is sinister in the way they are plotting so furtively to destroy the U.S. government in a “legal” fashion, through our existing laws and in spite of their minority status. Where is the MSM in this affront to democracy? Have all the big media outlets been compromised? Is this the beginning of a slow moving coup
    d’etat of the U.S. ?

    I fear that Mrs. Applegate may be right that we may have to wait for a new generation to set our country upon a new path of majority rule, in spite of the recent presidential election. This powerful group doesn’t care about elections.

  • Anonymous

    An extremely well done post, making it easy for many to understand what is going on in Republican politics today. It deserves wide circulation. Thanks for the work that went into it.

  • Chris Herres

    Ted Cruz is a dangerous lawmaker having to much power. His ideas can if allowed bring down our government and cause so much suffering nation wide. He seems not to feel the pain of others. The darker the predictions the more he is fired up and appears to enjoy his power. I am not talking national parks, I am speaking of cancer victims, school lunches, social security checks, oh and the downfall of high profile targets like the stock market, 401K investments etc…

  • mark

    $17T in debt is what is destroying US government. Nothing more.

  • Anonymous

    A flat tax is regressive & hurts the poor & middle-class the most. Think of it this way…if a millionaire is taxed 10%, he pays $100,000, leaving him $900,000 – more than plenty to live on, invest, save & play with. A person making $30,000 who pays 10% pays $3000 leaving $27,000. That’s barely over $2000 a month. Apartments around here rent for a minimum of $650 for a shack, a house payment is about the same if poor Joe Schmoe can float the loan. Do YOU want to try to buy a decent car, healthy food, and raise a family on less than $1500/month – and this doesn’t even take into consideration paying state & local taxes on top of that flat federal tax. Bad bad BAD idea.

  • Anonymous

    Quo Bene? Who benefits from the government shutdown? Follow the money!

  • Anonymous

    The root cause of this shutdown problem is the Kings in The Supreme Court and the creation of their Citizens United Law that they installed. They ordained that Corporations would now become “People” and that their vast corporate money would become their “Speech”. Thus, they installed their next in line who I call the “Counselors of State” and I refer to as the “Plutocrats”.The Plutocrats then installed a Cabinet to distribute their vast sums of money, that was supplied and furnished by the “Counselors of State”, to buy
    Politicians, who I call the “Subsidiary”, who in turn would do their Corporate Bidding. The
    “Cabinet Members” are The Heritage Active Group, Freedomworks, The Affordable Care Act and The Club For Growth.

    The “Counselors of State” had an enormous fear of a rising up and threat to their kingdom of their medically insured, who I refer to as
    the “Tortured Insured”. This threat was called “Obamacare”. They were and are petrified of it! They knew that very early on in Obamacare that they would lose 7 million of their “Tortured Subscribers”. So, in turn they instructed the “Cabinet” to write “Blueprint Letters and Orders to Defund Obamacare” and send them to the “Subsidiary”. The Koch Brothers alone spent $200 million alone for this “Defunding Campaign”. The “Subsidiary” including the “Tea Jerkers” said yes to their “Owners” andthat they would do everything they could to defund Obamacare including a”Government Shutdown”. The “Subsidiaries” motivation to do what their masters want, of course, is being primaried by their “Owners” the “Counselors of State”.

    The rest of this story we are all living right now. “The Shutdown”. Look at the number of people who are suffering without incomes, medical treatment, emergencies or settlements because of this. And, Judge Scalia, the “Intellectual Fraud” wrongfully sits on that bench in the Supreme Court, smiling over his good work. There you have it. The Supreme Court. They and they alone are the architects of this shutdown problem.

  • bil

    Congress repealed the Sedition Act on December 13, 1920

  • Anonymous

    Lowered taxes on capital gains removes the incentive for capital reinvestment, which grows business > creating jobs > putting money in workers pockets that creates demand > leading to increased production, and so on and so on.

  • Bobby Bob

    I think that many of you who have commented to this article are almost on-point, but not quite there yet,

    In my humble opinion as a long time citizen of the USA, the 20 people listed in this article are terrorists and saboteurs with the intent of destroying the United States of America. They seem to intend to do more damage to this country than whoever destroyed the World Trade center (could it have been them too?). As terrorists with the goal of destroying the USA, all of these individuals should be immediately indicted on charges of terrorism, sabotage and most likely many other crimes, against the USA. They should be incarcerated immediately, their assets frozen, and allowed to have contact with only one attorney, and have Internet and telephone access limited to, well, none, until their cases go to trial which should be sometime in 2017.

    Also, in my humble opinion, they have taken these actions to further their careers and enhance their control of the USA and therefore their monetary net worth, to the detriment of the USA and it’s continued status as the best nation in the world, again, in my humble opinion.

    One additional comment is that should these people actually be jailed because of their crimes against the USA, and should their trials, hopefully one at a time, no class action allowed, ever get to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court should not be allowed to hear the case until Clarence Thomas, and probably a few others, leave the court.

    Side note: This gang of 20 intend to damage the USA. Snowden and Manning, best I can tell, intended to make the USA a better, more informed country. Seems we should spend at least as many taxpayers dollars convicting the ‘gang of 20′ as we have for Snowden and Manning.

  • Mary True

    We can stop money in politics by Campaign Finance Reform, over-throwing Citizen’s United & outlawing lobbyists.

  • cynicann

    Probably out campaigning for President somewhere across the country. Certainly not in WI!

  • cynicann

    How true, or we wouldn’t be in this fiasco. Go to Ted Cruz or John Boehner’s facebook page to read the comments of some of the truly snowed!

  • cynicann

    Hmmm- Darlene, are you possibly forgetting about the billions of $$$ that flew out of our Treasury to fund Mr. Bush’s little “conflict” in Iraq- you know, the same place where the Bush administration & Pentagon sent literally truckloads of cold, hard American cash that mysteriously disappeared, never to be found again? The same place that contractors (many who had ties to President Bush & Dick Cheney) made millions of $$ stiffing the U.S. tax payers, while our troops were begging for protective equipment?

    Or perhaps you’ve blanked out the billions of $$$ freely distributed in the name of “Homeland Security” that surfaced as air-conditioned dump trucks and other luxuries totally related to defense, while the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security commented that it “doesn’t closely track what’s been bought with those tax $$$, or how the equipment was being used”.
    The reason 75% of our new jobs is NOT because of the “Democrats/liberals as much as it is of the greedy, integrity challenged businesses of this country who’ve sent the best jobs overseas somewhere- the very same people who are leading this charade of a shut-down- the very people who so lack ethics & any sense of humanity that we desperately NEED to crank out rules & regulations to keep them from running off with the bank, leaving ALL their employees and the majority of the country high & dry.
    Your diatribe beats the same dead horses that have been used over & over to whip up the self-righteous and woefully uninformed.
    Same old, same old, and you just keep falling for it.

  • SomeoneWhoActuallyCares

    What is in it for them? Money and power.

    Did the affordable care act get changed when the supreme court ruled part of it unconstitutional? Yes!

  • mark

    Chilling post, Bobby Bob.

  • William J. Hamilton

    If we could manage enough organization to make sure sales of products made by the Koch brothers fell by 50% this week, we would be having some impact. Voting doesn’t matter where I live. But we don’t spent a penny on anything they make and we use the Buycott app to try to make sure the things we buy don’t fund the things we hate.

  • Anonymous

    When you promote a business culture that is driven exclusively by profit-taking, also allowing for businesses and individuals to offshore jobs, assets and profits for absolute maximization of those profits without threat of tax or penalties, it removes opportunity for economic growth, or even stability, in the sector which allows the companies to exist in the first place. No (good paying) jobs = No demand.

  • Anonymous

    I think the way these legislators have voted have shown us if they support this country and its citizens or if they are merely self-serving thugs. What they’re trying to do to this country is more than enough evidence for me. There’s no question who I will be voting for. I’ve been told I have a memory like a steel trap, I seldom forget.

  • Anonymous

    This country has not only always supported dictators, we have actually installed them. It’s all about money. This country, like all other countries, has much to answer for. Just be very wary when you hear talk of American exceptionalism and American values. Neither one is based in reality.

  • Anonymous

    Debt. caused by Bush war. end of story.

  • Anonymous

    Because they left it to the American people to pick up the tab.
    They should be arrested for war crimes.

  • Anonymous

    William, Good luck with the huge, institutional contracts for toilet paper . . . the system favors them, as you know. Start by changing that.

  • Anonymous

    Stephanie, define “always”; we have overthrown democratically elected leaders since at least 1953.

  • Annie Stratton

    We have overthrown democratically selected leaders since at least the late 1500s. It began a practice that is deeply entrenched in our policies to this day.

  • Ather

    Time to recall these losers, than undo Citizen United, and ban large monetary donations to politicians. Problems solved.

  • Michael Stout

    Where’s the chart with these people’s photos with a rifle sight over their faces? If it’s good enough for Palin, et al, to use, it’s good enough here.

  • Anonymous

    And how about some addresses? Maybe some of their constituents should show up on their doorsteps with their hungry children or sick elderly, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Take a leaf from their playbook, and run a competitor against them.

  • Anonymous

    Rodolfo, we are very lucky to have you here. I’ve gotten so cynical, that I think sometimes that I should just shut
    up and pull the blanket over my head and go back to sleep. The fact that you still believe in our possibilities as a country is inspiring and humbling. And you’re absolutely correct – they’ve got the power, but we’ve got right on our side – and there’s way more of us than them!

  • Allison Moss-Fritch

    Here we have collected the 10 least intelligent and capable members of a rather unspectacular Congress….one of the worst in my life time. Please note, there is nothing wrong with being uneducated…IF you correct the problem. These folks are NOT capable of that.
    The absolutely worst way to “fix” the economy is just about everything they are doing and the best way to fix it, if it would need any…would be to do all that they are obstructing others from doing.

  • Allison Moss-Fritch

    I still say tar and feathers would have a salutary effect on these folks…perhaps freshen and open their perspective from brainless up to bird brain.

  • Anonymous

    WARS, plural, and tax cuts for the wealthy, and unfunded Medicare Part D benefits.

  • Anonymous

    Another Über rich 1%er that’s missing is “Terry” McGraw the 3rd. He seemed to have his hands completely up Mitt when his S&P downgraded the US credit rating and he made billions selling America short.

  • Anonymous

    Guess who voted Ted Cruz into the Senate?
    Terrorists, Neo-Conservatives that should be arrested for
    treason. Ignorant republicans voted in this creep. Come on people. Wake up stupid conservatives.

  • Anonymous

    they have been identified. do some reading.

  • Anonymous

    charge them with treason

  • Anonymous

    Now the TeaParty led by Cruz and Palin are flying the Confederate flag in front of the White House. They want us to default. They want another civil war.
    We must TAKE ACTION NOW against these terrorists.

  • Anonymous

    The confederate flag is a tip off of another variable in the equation; namely, Obama’s skin color. Supporters of the Affordable Care Act ought to stop calling it Obamacare. That plays into the conservative mind set.

  • dl klocke

    They should all be tried for inciting and planning sedition, and the debt incurred during the shutdown should be equally charged to their campaign funds and to their lobbying groups. Having to pay a price is the only way to prevent this in the future. Taxpayers should not have to pay for their folly.

  • Anonymous

    These people – Ted Cruz, the Tea Party, John Boehner, The Koch Brothers, Jim DeMint, The Heritage Foundation, many more, just don’t know them all – are committing treason; period. They all belong in jail. This is a systematic attempt to destroy the United States of America on the part of the above miserable fools.

  • Robert Riversong

    And they are rabidly supported by all the uneducated Americans who actually believe that the 2nd Amendment was written to enable, if not encourage, insurrection against the US government.

  • Jim Price

    I see that resemblance too! He is likely to be just as destructive.

  • Liz Rosenberg

    Let’s not wait till 2014 to get rid of this gang of tea party Republicans.
    Let’s impeach and remove them from office! Please read and sign the petition to impeach them:

  • maze

    … now THAT’s gettin ‘half’ warm …

  • Anonymous

    The Koch brothers are in the Petroleum business. A large part of the country would need to give up driving to impact them.

  • Teo

    Sorry you can’t see how the extreme liberals are having a negative and determental effect on our country. Soros’ money supporting a government that made him by attempting to destroy it and capitalism. And supporting an inept president that has no idea how to run a country. Sad that the media is so dysfunctional.

  • Jimminy Cricket

    These seditionists, the puppets and their masters, should be arrested for treason, tried and shot on the Washinton D.C. Mall. Then their Congressional Districts should be closed to ALL US Government involvement for five years including stopping Social Security checks, Medicare, Medicade assistance, diasability payments, small business loans, FBI activities, FEMA rescues, bank account insurance, loan and mortgage guarantees, closing federal hiways and bridges, eliminaing forest-fire suppression, reservoir and water management, removal of military bases, student loans and scholarships, access to government museums, parks, and monuments, FAA aircontrol, passports, immigration control, access to the internet, medical research, drug enforcement, food inspections, disease control, government contracts for military and any other services, and, oh yeah, Obama Care.

    In addition, each resident should be provided with detailed instructions for emigrating to Somalia where no central government involvement in the short-time remaining in their lives should make them the happiest people on Earth. After five years those remaining and passing a test of sanity will be allowed to vote for a Representative who will take his/her place next to the delegates from Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam as non-voting members for say another five years.

    Now, isn’t this a plan we can all live with?

  • Big Bopper

    The “media” seldom provides in-depth stories about who is pulling who’s strings. Mainstream media has become more entertainment than news. Balanced investigative journalism has all but disappeared. So you’re right it is dysfunctional. We are being told what to think rather than being given information and allowing us to draw our own conclusions. The “Liberal” media today is being pushed more to the fringe. The corporations that own most mainstream media shape what gets reported.

  • Big Bopper

    Nice wish, but don’t hold your breath.

  • NativeSon

    Yes indeed, the media is dysfunctional.

    None more so than Fox.

    The rest of your post is nonsense. “Destroy the country and capitalism”? Really? What is it about dittoheads that jump to little school girl hystrionics to make a point?

    This president has, despite republican obstructionism, brought the country back from the disaster that the Bush and the Dick, cheney wrought. Yes, we still bring up Bush because he was responsible for almost destroying this country economically and he lied about Iraq which resulted in the death of several thousand soldiers and countless civilians.

    The right wing is irrelevant. Noisy and obnoxious, yes but still, irrelevant. Teo, why do you think they call you and yours “dittoheads”?

  • Russ Green


  • Russ Green


  • Anonymous

    When President Obama decided not to pursue investigations or prosecution of Bush administration officials for actions that were well documented, he let an open wound fester and ooze and poison the body politic. If you can do the things that were done without even fear of an investigation, then you can do anything as long as you have the money to back you up. This one act has made the last 5 years of governing impossible, for anyone.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. I love it. Especially the first sentence. Though I would have said, “hung by the neck until dead”.

  • Anonymous

    They should be more broadly identified. The boards of the organizations give up a few prominent names for example. The Kochs seem Ok with being the name and face of the King for the moment. Domhoff’s books identify many of the family names that have continued to control what happens in this country for the last 60 years or so.

  • D B M

    Wow. How blatant and biased can you be? There isn’t a single democrat/liberal in this list, and yet they are as much of a party to this mess as is anyone.

    Plus some of your inclusions are down right stupid. Do you think Michele Bachmann (who is not running again) has any influence over John Boehner?

    No wonder you will be relegated to the dung heap of history. Anyone that could be a talking mouthpiece for Lyndon Johnson has no credibility.

  • like-mind

    Superlative, thank you Mr. Moyers – you are the last of the 1960’s breed of investigative journalism.

  • Brownwaterarmy

    Moyers I have followed you for decades and admire your work. I fully
    agree and understand the connections you have pointed out above. But in all
    fairness to journalism I think you owe it to you audience to point out the many
    less than admirable connections and string pullers on the Democratic
    side. I realize that the one who wins the war holds the war trials, but
    it is I doubtful that the Democratic Party has a monopoly on morality.
    From what I have seen of Mr. Obamas agenda appears to give all the advantages
    to Wall Street and the banks and lip service to the average American. I think 545 people were involved in the
    failure of good government that we just were victims of.

  • evilroyslade

    Sins will be punished and your method of justice will do until the Bas—-s die.

  • Obama Fan

    You know, I have noticed how many times I hear that line…that there is NO DIFFERENCE in the two parties, but I TOTALLY disagree. Its it not Democrats who are trying to limit voting rights, or to break the Unions (who represent middle class Americans), to gut Social Security and Medicare…and let us not forget…CIVIL RIGHTS even. There is a HUGE difference in these parties.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a progressive whose circumstances have me living in Texas. I’d have to move!

  • Sogi St John

    The clowns in congress have to be on the payroll of the real big players who are simply distracting us while they rob us blind & set their agenda forward in diminishing our liberties, constitutional rights, & what little money we have. The banks, Insurance companies, industrial military complex, Corporations o-plenty, & the faceless pawns of media. When is the North American spring coming to town?

  • Outsourced

    Gailhen needs to find some civility and read the truth behind the presidents agenda, his mentors and his appointees. Get informed or we will leave a sad future for our children and grandchildren. Socialism will not support the government benefits and handouts and entitlements that you are getting or being promised in the future.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Think about why they bust unions to end the political power they yield as a block of registerd voters, the teamsters and United Auto Workers were a threat to the politicians as PEOPLE, WORKING PEOPLE had real political clout….thats why your union is gone today, whats needed is a Peoples Union, If Citizens United can exist then lets form the PEOPLES UNION…and get back our clout.

  • Anonymous

    Alex Jones told him so….

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    If we don’t get the money out of politics both sides will sell us out. We can see the Republicans and Tea Crazies doing it this time, but most of them, our politicians, are quietly selling us out, some in big ways and some in small ways, not because they are evil, but because the system makes them beg money from the wealthy who use it to control their actions often to the detriment of the rest of us.

  • Anonymous

    You do not have to chase the bus if you are riding on it.

  • Anonymous

    Can not pass unless more republicans are voted out. To pass another Sunshine Law, we need democratic control. We put a politician in office and he votes with the corporations that fund him, instead of with the voters.

  • Anonymous

    So grateful for this repartee on what’s happening in congress. Just understanding another viewpoint helps me assess my own position on the events. I agree that we have to find a way to level the political playing field where moneyed interests wield such unfair influence.

  • Anonymous

    A well- researched and well-reasoned article, devoid of hyperpole or grandstanding. Bill Moyers, both Molly Ivins and John Henry Faulk would be proud of you. Lets remember that the state that gave us Rick Perry and Ted Cruz also gave us Barbara Jordan, Buddy Holly, Bob Wills, and some of the best journalists ever.

  • Will

    Excellent comments. One phrase stood out for me, however.. “not because they are evil.” I think this is one of those statements that tends to group all politicians together, but from what I’ve observed there are various degrees of this all across the spectrum. I think there’s a level of cynicism about our elected officials, where some people believe that none of them are sincere, and then on the other hand, there’s a viewpoint that none of them are evil. But I think there’s a range all the way from sincere and honest on the one end, to criminal and nefarious on the other end. (You could say the same about people in general.)

    I think it’s a good idea to acknowledge that we do have sociopaths running many of our corporations, and that many of them are in our government, and that they do not mean well. We won’t be able to solve many of the problems they’re causing without that acknowledgment.

  • Anonymous

    You do realize that the definition of treason is “the crime of betraying one’s country, esp. by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.” The Soverign in this country is the Citizen and the Constitution, which Cruz was upholding. It was the Senate that rejected any compromise at all, it was the President that determined that paying for aid to terrorists in Syria was more important than keeping the social security office open, as the executive makes the determination there. Because we don’t want our money stolen from us, that makes us treasonists and terrorists?

  • maze

    … absolutely vital truth …; …our utter existence’s primary source of energy is that brilliantly beautifully / furiously ragging inferno …accept it, NOW!

  • Gerald Hinton

    This proves that big money has way too much power over politicians. Either we pass legislation that eliminates money’s influence or we must find another way. The power over the budget links politicians to the wealthy because the wealthy only like government spending when the government spending is for them. They really don’t like spending that doesnot directly support them. So Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, Food Stamps, student loans/grants, and regulatory agencies should all be cut. If it would be possible to take control of budget away from Congress and make sure the government dealt with national operations then lobbyist would magically disappear from their offices. We need to democratize the budgeting process by giving that role to the people then big money would have to lobby every voting citizen instead of just a few politicians. Politicians could focus on making policies without the headache of lobbyists bothering them. Without the corrupting influence of big money then Congress would be able to do their real jobs.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    I agree, Will, I didn’t claim none of them are evil. I only claim they don’t take these actions because they are or for that matter aren’t evil. They do it because the system actually forces it on them. They have to raise money to get elected.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    Sorry, I don’t know where you got your definition of treason, but it doesn’t match mine or that of our founders. “Offense of attempting to overthrow the government of
    one’s country or of assisting its enemies in war. In the U.S., the
    framers of the Constitution defined treason narrowly—as the levying of
    war against the U.S. or the giving of aid and comfort to its enemies—in
    order to lessen the possibility that those in power might falsely or
    loosely charge their political opponents with treason.” Merriam-Webster. This is why we cannot charge these people who inflicted billions of dollars of harm on us with treason. They are simply unconcerned with the good of the country. It was helpful to the rest of us for them to prove that.

    More people voted for Democrats than
    Republicans in the United States House of Representatives in the last
    election. It is only through gerrymandering that they turned that loss
    into a win. It is bad enough they cheated their way in to power(legal cheating, but still cheating), but
    then they cost us billions and billions of dollars waging unfair fights
    over issues that have already been decided, and keep insisting they are
    speaking for us. They sure don’t speak for me if they are saying we should
    deny insurance coverage to the American People or fight some more
    unjustified wars. They seem to speak to glorify themselves and make themselves heroes to some people they have managed to trick. God is

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    I am unclear on what you are saying, but I sure don’t advocate chasing buses. I do advocate a return to civility in politics. I do advocate taking money out of the equation. I do know if we don’t we will pay a price and the people who suffer most are always the poor and powerless.

  • Russ Green


  • Anonymous

    DOWN with these puppeteers and puppets…our country is worthy of more than this despicable display of greed, avarice and slavery!

  • Anonymous

    Well, it’s a good thing Democrats don’t do this!

  • Penny

    Sounds like racketeering, to me.

  • Anonymous

    There’s actually one young hopeful you should keep your eye on: Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone.

  • Raymond Moser

    Brownwaterarmy: “Your” Mr Obama is a dangerous mistake. He is “OUR” PRESIDENT OBAMA and was re-elected by over 5 million votes. If we can’t agree on this reality, then the apocalyptic noise of the Tea Party for a new civil war enters a dangerous phase. Ask yourself: “What can be done to make the nation better, in spite of our stark divisions.”

  • Raymond Moser

    What policies help the economic interests of working/middle class Americans? What policies help the wealthy and corporate interests? How much are the social issues of cultural warriors muddying the waters?

  • Red Ink News

    Lol….obama was the one that didnt compromise…he hid in the oval office for 2weeks and oh yeah…and played golf, as he does no matter of any current crisis occuring

  • Anonymous

    Actually the federal government doesn’t have to have a balanced budget. Anybody who says that the federal budget must always be balanced doesn’t understand anything about macroeconomics. Unlike individuals or corporations, the federal government determines their income themselves. They have the ability to determine what they take in by setting tax rates. In addition, they are the only ones who can print money. As a result, during poor economic times they can just turn up the printing presses and make more money to pay for things. Yes, it doesn’t exactly work that way, but that is the essence of it.
    To force the federal government to balance their budget every year takes away the most powerful economic tool they have to fight recessions, deficit spending. There isn’t time to go into all the details of macroeconomic impacts of government spending, but it is all laid out fairly clearly in any first book on macroeconomics.

  • NativeSon

    Your comment Jan, is totally absurd! There is not one ounce of truth or fact in what you posted.

    Really, turn off fox and simply do a little research on your own. I realize that involves thinking, but heck, give it a shot.