Highest Rated Comments

JenBriney2156 karma

My favorite source for raw information is govtrack.us. They have a tracking feature that allows you to get the exact information you are looking for. I have mine set up to email me every time a bill is signed into law. Here's the link to the page that lets you set up your tracking preferences https://www.govtrack.us/start

JenBriney2071 karma

There's so much! A lot of the craziest stuff is in the fossil fuel related bills. For example, I've seen multiple bills that make people fly to Washington D.C. to challenge natural gas fracking and fossil fuel pipelines in court and I've seen lots of automatic approvals of permits. There was also a truly scandalous bill that allows US taxpayer bailouts of foreign and domestic banks that trade the riskiest derivatives (the kind that literally crashed the world's economy in 2008). That bill was quietly attached by Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas to the 2015 funding law - which President Obama had to sign to prevent another full government shutdown - and is now law. That is still one of the craziest things I've ever seen in my life.

JenBriney1383 karma

I always follow the money. When the change to the law helps businesses either pay less in taxes or obey fewer rules, you can bet it's designed by businessmen for businessmen.

JenBriney1014 karma

You're welcome :) Reading the bills is tough but it allows me to do fun things like this.

As for what we can do to compete, that's easy: VOTE!

About 80% of eligible voters under 30 didn't bother to show up in November. I haven't checked the other age brackets (I should) but that's a huge untapped voting block! All the gerrymadering of districts and assumptions and polls would go right out the window if the non-voters showed up. It should be socially unacceptable to not vote.

So let me edit my statement: The best way an average citizen can compete with corporate interests is to vote, and to shame anyone who tells you they don't.

JenBriney996 karma

I love the idea Cenk Unger of The Young Turks is running with, which is WolfPAC (<- google that for more info). The idea is to get a constitutional amendment that prohibits corporate money in politics by going through the States, instead of Congress (since our current Congress is the beneficiaries of all that corporate cash). My complimentary idea is to take over a mid-term election ( 2018 would be ideal) and mobilize around the idea of firing the corporate funded candidates from both major Parties. This would require at least one person from every district who is not a corporate hack putting their name on the ballot so that we have someone to vote FOR and then requiring that the first order of business in the new Congress would be the same type of constitutional amendment that WolfPAC is going for. Two strategies: Same goal.

As for the current Congress vs old, I'm not sure. I'm still just learning how all this works and really can't comment on any Congress before the 113th (we're now in the 114th - every Congress is two years long). I can tell you that this one is looking very similar to the last one in terms of priorities and corporate influence... and that is not a good thing.