Friday, September 18, 2009

Put ACORN in Perspective

If you read one thing today, read Glenn Greenwald's take on the ACORN videos.

ACORN received $53 million in federal funds over fifteen years, about $3.5 million per year. If all the letters in the King James Bible represented federal funding, ACORN would be a “comma” somewhere in the Book of Maccabees. It means less than nothing. Heck, Dick Cheney has more than that in his sofa cushions that he likely stole via KBR Halliburton.

Community organizers do perform useful services for some folks: help with health care access, voter registration, day-care programs, landlord disputes, opening bank accounts, etc. If the wealthy have a problem they can just call the concierge. Nobody is excusing malfeasance, but let's keep it in perspective.

1)ACORN fired the staffers immediately and took corrective actions, which is more than Blackwater did when they took Billions (with a B) of your tax dollars and killed civilians in your name.

2)ACORN immediately lost all funding for their entire organization despite no laws being broken; the “investigation” was not conducted by law enforcement and did not follow proper rules of evidence.

3)ACORN has not been allowed to plead their case, which should be allowed even in the most egregious of cases– even Jeffrey Dahmer had a trial– yet ACORN is punished into non-existence within 72 hours due to the antics of 6 employees. A lot of good it did having their lawyer in White House!

Greenwald notes that:

Meanwhile, not millions, not billions, but trillions of dollars of public funds have been, in the last year alone, transferred to or otherwise used for the benefit of Wall Street. Billions of dollars in American taxpayer money vanished into thin air, eaten by private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, led by Halliburton subsidiary KBR. All of those corporate interests employ armies of lobbyists and bottomless donor activities that ensure they dominate our legislative and regulatory processes, and to be extra certain, the revolving door between industry and government is more prolific than ever, with key corporate officials constantly ending up occupying the government positions with the most influence over those industries.

Exactly as one would expect, the prime beneficiaries of all of that pillaging continue to grow. The banks that almost brought the world economy to collapse but then received massive public largesse because they were "too big to fail" are now bigger than ever... Everything involving the government turns out well for these "behemoths" because they own and control the U.S. Government.

So with this massive pillaging of America's economic security and the control of American government by its richest and most powerful factions growing by the day, to whom is America's intense economic anxiety being directed? To a non-profit group that devotes itself to providing minute benefits to people who live under America's poverty line, and which is so powerless in Washington that virtually the entire U.S. Senate just voted to cut off its funding at the first sign of real controversy -- could anyone imagine that happening to a key player in the banking or defense industry?

But if you watch Fox News, the coverage has been all-ACORN, all the time. The best part of the Greenwald piece is the UPDATE where he notes that we are now hearing:

...demands for a "Special Prosecutor" into Obama's so-called "relationship with ACORN" from the very same circles that vehemently objected to investigations into torture, illegal government spying, politicized prosecutions, military contractor theft, Lewis Libby's obstruction of justice, and virtually every other instance of Bush-era criminality. Those, of course, are the very same people who, before that, demanded endless inquiries into Whitewater and Vince Foster's "murder." There's nothing more valuable than petty, dramatic "scandals" to distract attention from what is actually taking place.

And a big heads up: The next meme will be “all the Medicare fraud”– it was trotted out on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox show tonight. I can hardly wait: Birthers, Deathers, Czar-ers, Teabaggers, ACORN-ers… and now Frauders.

The noise machine doesn’t have an off button.

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