Tuesday, September 28

Memorandum of Corporate Control

The two factions of the Business Party, hiding like shivering, naked schoolgirls behind their deceptively named, mutally controlled, private corporation, "The Commission on Presidential Debates," have once again sat their lawyers down to engineer the upcoming presidential "debates" in such a way that the "debates" exclude a long list of vital topics as well as the possibility that anything resembling a debate might actually poke through the Saran-wrapped proceedings. The text of this stake in the heart of U.S. democracy, which may as well be titled the "Contract on How to Exclude Challenging Issues and Candidates and Minimize All Risks," can be consulted as a 32-page pdf. file. It is laughable reading; sadly so.
Thanks to the efforts of those at Open Debates, for the first time, this "memorandum of understanding" has been made public before the pageant of idiot gestures and smirks, fabricated one-liners, and spineless mutual assent begins. Furthermore, Bill Moyers has conducted an informative review of the history of presidential debates in the U.S., showing how the two parties have increasingly protected the debates against candidates from other parties, from non-corporate ideas, and, beginning with the Clinton era, from debating itself. On September 28, Democracy Now! also interviews the well-studied and articulate George Farah, who has written No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Candidates Secretly Control the Presidential Debates.

(The segment on Moyers's Now was followed by a bubbly chat session with David Brancaccio and two frivolous guests, one of whom proclaimed giddily that "which candidate SEEMS authentic" is the big thing to watch for in the "debates." There could be no better evidence of corporate voiding into the telepublisphere than this reductive claim about seeming authenticity.)

Jim Lehrer will undoubtedly fail once again in his responsibility to expose the corporate nature of these "debates" and once again leave Telepublic U.S.A. with the false impression that the "debates" are being conducted by a non-partisan commission that has the public interest in mind. This year's round of superficial blue-suit posturing will include three other hosts, in addition to Lehrer, for each respective debate, but don't expect anyone else to pull away the facade and embarrass the corporate whores who represent the major political parties in the U.S. today, because it is in their contract that they not ruffle any corporate collars.

There are many issues that surely have been excluded in advance by the two factions of the Business Party, but here are few that the excluded candidates Nader/Camejo have noted, before the show gets underway:

* The unconstitutional war in Iraq
* Re-negotiation of WTO, NAFTA, and AGOA
* Trade agreements that raise labor standards
* US support of dictatorships and oligarchies
* Labor standards in developing countries
* Unreported casualties from Iraq
* Under-funded & under-protected troops
* The looming depleted uranium crisis in Iraq
* Ending the military and corporate occupation of Iraq
* The motives for war in Iraq
* Israeli/Palestinian Peace Movement
* State-sponsored terrorism
* Continuing unrest and heroin production in Afghanistan
* Global infectious diseases
* Long-term, life saving solutions to AIDS pandemic in Africa
* Devastation and waste of the global environment
* Global corporate crime and corporate welfare epidemics against individual taxpayers, consumers, investors, and pensioners!