RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Gibson writes: "Never before in our history has the U.S. Senate been as unproductive as the U.S. Senate post-2008. Even the staunchly obstructionist Republicans during FDR’s tenure got more done than our current Senate."

Senator Mitch McConnell's seat is in play. (photo: AP)
Senator Mitch McConnell's seat is in play. (photo: AP)


Mitch McConnell Is the Cancer of the U.S. Senate

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

07 October 14

 

ever before in our history has the U.S Senate been as unproductive as the U.S. Senate post-2008. Even the staunchly obstructionist Republicans during FDR’s tenure got more done than our current Senate. Most Americans, by and large, regardless of party affiliation, agree that we need more jobs; that veterans need better healthcare; that the current minimum wage is insufficient; that our infrastructure could use some upgrading; that politicians are too beholden to their benefactors; and that there’s too much bickering instead of legislating. One man has continuously denied the necessary progress to the American people out of sheer political bitterness, and that one man alone can take all the credit for the complete lack of action on all of those fronts – Mitch McConnell.

Mitch McConnell is the shittiest Senator in the history of Washington. And there are numbers to back that up. Since he became the Republican leader in the Senate, McConnell has filed more than a quarter of all cloture motions ever filed as long as the Senate has existed. To put that in perspective, this means McConnell, in just his most recent term, is responsible for over 25 percent of all the Senate filibusters since 1787. McConnell is literally a cancerous tumor on the Senate, collecting a six-figure paycheck while depleting all hope of progress as long as he’s in office.

On the flip side, McConnell is quite productive if you’re willing to write him a fat check. One week after Amgen, a pharmaceutical multinational, hosted a fundraiser for McConnell in December of 2012, one of their lobbyists, who was in charge of monitoring the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, wrote a $3,000 check to McConnell’s campaign. By the time the negotiations were finished, McConnell had secured a $500 million Christmas present for Amgen that came directly out of Medicare. But even that wasn’t McConnell’s foulest moment of corruption.

This past July, McConnell took time out of his busy day to have a breakfast date with Richard Anderson, the CEO of Delta Airlines, in the exclusive Senate dining room. Just a day after the breakfast, Anderson and his wife wrote over $10,000 worth of checks to McConnell’s campaign. McConnell’s spokespeople of course denied the allegations that McConnell solicited the donations in the Senate dining room, which would be a felony.

Nevertheless, the donations to McConnell’s campaign could be easily interpreted as a quid pro quo in a relationship where McConnell will likely return the favor by continuing to block closing unfair corporate tax loopholes that cost U.S. taxpayers billions each year. Delta Airlines has used an accounting loophole called “deferral,” which allows them to carry their losses forward for several years. This means that despite making billions in profit, Delta Airlines pays $0 in taxes on those profits, and is likely to continue dodging all U.S. income taxes for several more years, at least. If McConnell keeps his job after November, the tax dodging will continue, as will the checks Delta’s CEO writes to McConnell’s campaign.

Mitch McConnell’s position as a politician who puts out depending on how much you’re willing to put in is a far cry from what he used to stand for. Ironically, McConnell used to be a proponent of full disclosure when it came to campaign donations several decades ago.

“What we ought to do is eliminate the political action committee contributions, because those are the ones that raise the specter of undue influence. And those can be gone tomorrow. We can pass a bill tomorrow to take care of that problem,” McConnell was quoted saying in 1987.

"We Republicans have put together a responsible and Constitutional campaign reform agenda. It would restrict the power of special interest PACS, stop the flow of all soft money, keep wealthy individuals from buying public office," McConnell said in 1988.

Now, McConnell is the personification of the insidious culture that exists among Washington politicians and their big donors. Thanks to Lauren Windsor’s surreptitiously-recorded audio of McConnell’s address at a Koch Brothers-funded gathering of GOP politicians and corporate oligarchs this past summer, the Senate minority leader’s deference to big money is well-documented. McConnell, who has received over $41,000 from Koch Industries in this campaign cycle, shamelessly genuflected to the oil barons in front of the entire audience, acknowledging their role in keeping the Republican Party well-funded.

“I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David [Koch], for the important work you’re doing,” McConnell said. “I don’t know where we’d be without you.”

At the summit, McConnell assured benefactors of his continued servility, promising not to spend any time on “gosh-darn” minimum wage increases, eases in student loan debt, or extensions of the safety net for the long-term unemployed. Instead, McConnell vowed in his speech to defund the Environmental Protection Agency, eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and repeal the Affordable Care Act – all of which are greatly pleasing to billionaires who profit from polluting air and water, jacking up interest rates on millions of unwitting college students and credit card holders, and denying health insurance to sick and injured people who depend on it. Mitch McConnell can be counted on to make the rich richer, as well as himself, through his votes.

McConnell increased his own personal wealth from $3.4 million in 2004 to $27.2 million in 2010. Oddly enough, that was a time when most Americans were seeing their wealth dissipate during the greatest recession in modern history. The Washington Post reported that most of McConnell’s gains during that time were due to stock trades, though he’s also voted to increase his own Congressional salary six times. Interestingly enough, The New York Times reported that the investment portfolios of U.S. senators consistently outperform the rest of the market by a full 10 percentage points, seeing even more growth than hedge fund managers. Given that most Americans were caught completely off guard by the crash resulting from the banks’ misleading investors on subprime loans, it’s curious that politicians like McConnell reaped such a massive windfall while everyone else saw their life savings get flushed away. It’s almost like he knew what would happen ahead of time.

Even ignoring all allegations of corruption and insider trading, McConnell is still a paragon of sleaziness. CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) has named McConnell to their most corrupt politicians list four times now, most recently over what smells like Congressional aides doing campaign work on taxpayer time. Mother Jones obtained secret recordings of a McConnell campaign strategy meeting in which the senator lauded opposition research on his potential 2014 challengers obtained by his legislative assistants. Had this research been done using McConnell’s office resources, during the work week, it would certainly merit, at the very least, an ethics investigation if not an indictment.

If Kentuckians are still planning to vote for McConnell despite well-documented instances of his serving billionaire donors over citizens, the highly-questionable rapid growth of his net worth during a recession, and potential violations of basic ethics, even his record as a true-blue Kentuckian can be called into question. The Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Covington, Kentucky, to Cincinnati, Ohio, is badly in need of repairs. Many Kentuckians who work in Cincinnati depend on the bridge for their daily commute. However, the Cincinnati Enquirer recently called the bridge “one of the most hazardous bridges in the nation.” In true Mitch McConnell fashion, the senator opposes allotting new funds to repair the bridge unless a law protecting a prevailing wage for federal contractors is repealed. In other words, Mitch McConnell won’t do anything to help workers in Kentucky unless it comes at the expense of screwing workers in Kentucky.

If that weren’t bad enough, McConnell’s campaign even mistakenly included footage of the Duke University men’s basketball team celebrating its 2010 title win in a campaign ad. His campaign team tried to fix the mistake by splicing in an image of 2013 Kentucky star player Julius Randle where the Duke celebration was. But using a current player’s likeness in a political ad is forbidden by the NCAA, so the ad had to be pulled altogether. As a native Kentuckian and UK fan, I know full well that rooting for Duke anywhere in the commonwealth is a criminal offense. I also know that using the image of a Kentucky Wildcats basketball player for political purposes without his knowledge is sacrilege for Big Blue fans, which is pretty much the entire state outside of Louisville. The icing on the cake? Mitch McConnell doesn’t even know the words to “My Old Kentucky Home,” our state anthem.

Kentucky voters, I’m talking to you. It’s on you to forcibly remove this disgustingly corrupt, parasitic, cancerous tumor from the Senate this November. He’s done literally nothing for anyone who hasn’t directly put money in his pocket. And he’ll continue to screw you in favor of his corporate sponsors the longer you allow him to collect a paycheck. He's already down in the latest polls. Finish the job, ditch Mitch, and make your nation proud of you.



Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+63 # politicfix 2014-10-07 10:28
Absolutely right. However, if he doesn't get elected he will go work for the banks and do his worst to still influence the Senate and House as a lobbyist, and still writing erroneous laws for the financiers and to lobby his fellow reps and senators to vote as he would have and stop would he would have stopped if he were still in the Senate. Warren is right! ITS RIGGED.
 
 
+48 # WestWinds 2014-10-07 14:15
Quoting politicfix:
Absolutely right. However, if he doesn't get elected he will go work for the banks and do his worst to still influence the Senate and House as a lobbyist, and still writing erroneous laws for the financiers and to lobby his fellow reps and senators to vote as he would have and stop would he would have stopped if he were still in the Senate. Warren is right! ITS RIGGED.


--- We need serious laws prohibiting anyone who has been in the Congress and goes to work for corporations from entering into DC or having anything to do with any Congressional member for at least ten years.
 
 
+14 # crispy 2014-10-07 22:29
We need a lobbyist reform act stating that the maximum number of Lobbyists will be 100 AND that they can ONLY represent the interests of the people in front of people's elected officials. No more lobbying on behalf of corporations, churches, unions.
HOW ABOUT THAT?
 
 
+77 # firefly 2014-10-07 13:15
Funny how a big paycheck from corporate supporters can change a guy's view on transparency...
In my opinion, all Repugs should be tried for treason and equal opportunity offenses arising from their refusal to work with a legally elected president due to his ethnic background.
 
 
+21 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-10-07 14:37
The big paycheck from corporate supporters really effects their behavior--no doubt about that! Calling on only the voters of Kentucky is really short sighted. It is up to the voters nationwide to remove all disgustingly corrupt parasitic people from BOTH HOUSES of Congress.

Mitch is not anything out of order in our government. His behavior is normal in that select club of greedy psychopaths. We need to clean out the whole bunch of both houses to begin our work of changing our government into a functioning democracy. Any one in office now should go down in defeat.
 
 
+19 # Cdesignpdx 2014-10-07 20:55
Not so fast...If Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley is unseated, the USA ends up with Koch-sponsored Monica Wehby. She is in lock step with the Republican party line and without any political chops, she will simply be another shill for tea party, conservative legislation.
We must dig deeper than falling for the "kick the bums out."
It's important to look into a candidates ethos and background (ignore the stupid campaign claims) before we vote for the 'other.'
 
 
+46 # Barbara K 2014-10-07 13:33
We really need to vote out this useless POS and his fellow Lunatics THIS November. That is our best hope for anything. We must install all the Dems we can from Local to DC. The tbagger cancer will spread to destroy us all if we don't eliminate them with our votes. We cannot fix stupid, but we can get rid of them with our VOTES!
VOTE THESE LUNATICS OUT IN NOVEMBER, LOCAL TO DC !

while we can still vote.

..
 
 
-41 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-10-07 14:45
Give me a break!! You still think the Dems are better than the Repubs? What is the difference? One corrupt political party and the other corrupt political party. One band of greedy creatures and their exact twin on the other side of the aisle. Have you been sleeping under a tree for the last three decades? Wake up and weep for the loss of our democracy. Smell the excrement coming out of both of the major political parties.
 
 
+24 # citizen2009 2014-10-07 15:44
Quoting wantrealdemocracy:
Give me a break!! You still think the Dems are better than the Repubs? What is the difference? One corrupt political party and the other corrupt political party. One band of greedy creatures and their exact twin on the other side of the aisle. Have you been sleeping under a tree for the last three decades? Wake up and weep for the loss of our democracy. Smell the excrement coming out of both of the major political parties.


The DEMs are not better but they get less money from corporations which are supporting progressive ideas. The Republicans on the other hand have the Koch brothers and we know what they stand for.
 
 
+30 # Barbara K 2014-10-07 16:03
Only the baggers want us to believe there is no difference. If one pays attention, they will see that there is a world of difference between the Dems and the Publibaggers. They are nothing alike and the Rs just try to use that as a political ploy for votes, trying to convince us there is no difference. There really is a BIG difference.

..
 
 
-23 # WestWinds 2014-10-07 19:15
Quoting Barbara K:
Only the baggers want us to believe there is no difference. If one pays attention, they will see that there is a world of difference between the Dems and the Publibaggers. They are nothing alike and the Rs just try to use that as a political ploy for votes, trying to convince us there is no difference. There really is a BIG difference.

..


--- Correct! And the Democratic Party is still the party of tree loving bunny huggers!
 
 
+15 # bmiluski 2014-10-08 09:33
wantrealdemocra cy.......NEVER, EVER, has a Democratic Pary Leader conducted a meeting where he has told his fellow party members to do everything they can to make sure that a president serves only one term. NEVER, EVER, has a party leader told his fellow party members to everthing to obstruct the president....Co untry be damned.
 
 
-7 # RODNOX 2014-10-09 05:09
the dems learned from the republicans---t hats why they are still behind in the game of " screw america "
 
 
+49 # angelfish 2014-10-07 14:02
McConnell and his ilk ALL hate this President with every fiber of their being! They hate him more than they love this Country and would rather see it and its inhabitants ALL burn in Hell rather than for him to get ANY good Press or enhance our American History books! Their sick, bigoted, sycophantic adoration of the Wealthy, fans the flames of their hatred for anyone of Color, or decreased economic stature. They LOVE War, as evidenced by their excoriation of this President's tempered and thoughtful approach to it rather than rushing us into a conflagration ala the "shrub" and his evil Handlers. I imagine they're all doing a Victory Dance over the Stock Market's Sky Rocketing of all the War Machine Companies recently. The entire process has left me feeling incredibly helpless and old since NO ONE in any position of power or authority, it seems, listens to anyone who isn't Mega-Wealthy. I can only hope that enough Americans are on to their sick Bull-Puckey and have the sense to vote most if not ALL of them, OUT in November! Please, my friends, don't forget to vote and never, EVER vote for a ReTHUGlican!
 
 
+37 # WestWinds 2014-10-07 14:13
What can you say? McConnell is pure evil of the Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh type.
 
 
+29 # alg0rhythm 2014-10-07 14:20
Carl Gibson you channel me. That's got to be a huge priority for anyone who cares about things getting done. The man admitted he cares only for stopping the President, meanwhile our government does nothing but whine with untold hoards of treasure, bringing little value back to the people. By his own words, his entire 2008-2012 strategy was making Barack Obama a one term president, and he's failed at that. And a strategy like that is not understanding the job you've been given, which is to get legislation passed, and you're breaking records on futility. I hate succumbing to election fever, but he's got to be stopped.
 
 
-27 # MidwesTom 2014-10-07 14:27
Many in the business world pray for gridlock in Congress. They do not care who is in charge, they just want fewer NEW rules and regulations, because changing rules make major investments more uncertain.

One of the things Reagan did when he faced a severe recession was to freeze any new regulations for 18 months. There is no statistical proof of what this was worth, but many quotes at the time said that it helped business investment.

The last three years are the first in modern times that our country has seen more small business closures than business openings; and small business is the major employer in any recovery. One business near here in Illinois was fined $2,000 for not have an MSDS sheet on file for a tube of silicone that one of their mechanics picked up the local ACE hardware at lunch to fix a leak.
 
 
+3 # CAMUS1111 2014-10-08 16:18
@MidwestTom--Ci tations, with authorities--on all accounts I may be wrong but don't believe you are correct on any of what you say [what a shock]!
 
 
+4 # RODNOX 2014-10-09 05:11
reagan--may he rot in hell--still sucked the most---even retroactivly
 
 
+33 # alg0rhythm 2014-10-07 14:47
. By his own words, his entire 2008-2012 strategy was making Barack Obama a one term president.
Not pass bills. He admitted to having no desire to work with the President before he even took office. THen he needs a new job, period.
 
 
+29 # bckrd1 2014-10-07 16:17
I can only imagine the scathing rhetoric had Reid and the Democrats acted like this from day one of a Republican Presidency. They would be outraged that the Democrats would put their party over the people and well being and very foundation of the country itself. (A country collapsing under Republican policies.)

No. They would demand that "them who broke it help fix it. Not obstruct putting the very Americans back to work their policies put on the unemployment line.

The Repubs, they ran on that in 2010 remember? Remember their JOBS JOBS JOBS rant they kept screaming. And how Obama hadn't given them a bill. They lied of course. Another lie was that if we elected them they would make putting Americans back to work with real ideas and real jobs blah blah blah. They have passed ZERO jobs bills and let Obama's infrastructure jobs bill die.

I will never vote for a party that acted in the treasonous manner the Republicans have. Their behavior was sedition in my eyes and they should all be imprisoned for putting their corporate masters interests and their power crazy treachery over the countries well being.

We can never forget they left us at the door to a depression. How we did not fall through it is nothing less than a miracle but it is still not on a stable foundation and the Repubs are playing "Jinga" all to score political points.

They have sold their souls to the Kochs and must never be in a position to harm us. Put them on the unemployment line. Cantor. Sweet
 
 
-4 # WestWinds 2014-10-07 19:22
"Jenga"
 
 
+23 # bckrd1 2014-10-07 16:31
McConnell will likely return the favor by continuing to block closing unfair corporate tax loopholes that cost U.S. taxpayers billions each year. Delta Airlines has used an accounting loophole called “deferral,” which allows them to carry their losses forward for several years. This means that despite making billions in profit, Delta Airlines pays $0 in taxes on those profits, and is likely to continue dodging all U.S. income taxes for several more years, at least."


Yet they demanded SNAP be cut by 40 billion dollars. What heart. This is the agenda people who vote for Republicans are ok with.
 
 
+28 # Vardoz 2014-10-07 17:48
I just paid $135 for a medication that was $40 just a few months ago. I'm on Medicare and AARP. This is a medication that costs pennies to make and has been around for decades so Big pharma is already cutting our benefits and this is a life support medication. So if you can't afford it you will die and guess what that's OK, That's just OK with Big Pharma because they don't care. And while Exxon mobile get billions in subsidies and pay zero taxes and are aggressively destroying our planet, we are also being screwed by every big corporate, entity, banks, Big Ag, Wall St, chemical companies and folks they are going for our economic jugular. They are going for our very lives and they don't give a damn- we, as a people, nation and society mean nothing to these criminal robber barons. We are meaningless trash in their eyes and they are taking the planet with them- they are greedy, ruthless ignorant beings and we are all going to pay the biggest price for their sins. We are truly sheep among wolves. So if we don't speak out in big numbers and march til our feet hurt nothing will change and thy will leave us on a ash heap on a dead poisoned planet. It is people like Mitch that are aiding and abetting our demise. So the very least we can do is vote the mother Fker out and get rid of as many of these kinds of horrific people as we can.
 
 
+17 # WestWinds 2014-10-07 19:33
I'm right there with you, Vardoz. I'm on Medicare and the clinic I go to (Watson) milks both Medicare and the patient. I recently had my annual with all the blood work, etc. Then this corporate (excuse) for a doctor (from Maoist China) wouldn't give me my scripts. He gave me two months of scripts and told me I had to come back in two months because Medicare "required (another) annual be done every September." Knowing better than to believe a corporate skunk, I called Medicare, talked with four different people, ALL of whom told me they never heard of such a thing; that Medicare pays for these tests once a year and it is up to the patient and doctor to decide when that shall occur. SO, that means that this foreign, corporate, totalitarian, Maoist doctor (Phen) is denying me my scripts, bringing me back for a second $122.00, (unnecessary) appointment so that this clinic can double-dip, screw with a liberal and dangle my scripts in true Southern Right-wing harass and torture style. (This is NO accident; I'm a licensed nurse.)

I'm calling this for what it is: Right-wing Florida PATIENT ABUSE.
 
 
+7 # crispy 2014-10-07 22:44
Obamacare failed to mandate a drug pricing negotiation started at the medicare level for dug pricing. Go to france and you will find med prices at 1/10 of US prices. I know my mother lives there. She has a 35% copay but often it amounts to less than $3-4 and any med for her chronic (neurological) condition has 0 co-pay. A doctor's visit is still $28.50 - no increase in over 10 years
 
 
+24 # tclose 2014-10-07 17:51
Thanks, Carl, for summarizing the sleaze and corruption this guy has been associated with, for too, too long. Lets hope that the good voters of Kentucky do their duty to their country and VOTE THIS GUY OUT.
 
 
+22 # fredboy 2014-10-07 18:09
McConnell is living proof that shit floats. He hails from the state that leads the nation is snake worship deaths.
 
 
+15 # WestWinds 2014-10-07 19:45
Quoting fredboy:
McConnell is living proof that shit floats. He hails from the state that leads the nation is snake worship deaths.


--- Kentucky is a poster child for what you get when neo-Nazi Corporate Republicans run things; recalcitrant ignorance. It's also an indictment of the TERRIBLE education in that state; these people can't think properly for themselves. What a mess. And the horror of it all is that what they do in Kentucky the rest of the country has to suffer with as a result of their low level decision making.
 
 
+9 # Ken Halt 2014-10-07 21:09
One might wonder how a total non-entity such as Mitch ever got placed in such a high position if it were not for other errors in judgement by the US electorate, Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzennegar, and Hulk Hogan being cases in point. Let's hope Mitch goes down to defeat this November.
 
 
+6 # seeuingoa 2014-10-08 02:06
Look at this imbecile with his
staring eyes - who am I, what am I
doing here, who am I - in the last
stages of total memory loss.
 
 
+9 # walt 2014-10-08 05:55
With all the facts known about McConnell's outrageous posture and behavior in the Senate, it's hard to believe he is still getting votes from the people. Kentucky is described in a report on US wealth as:
" The typical Kentucky household earned just $43,399 last year, roughly $10,000 below the national median. Additionally, 18.8% of Kentucky residents lived in poverty last year, a rate that has remained unchanged since 2009."

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/09/18/americas-richest-and-poorest-states-2/5/

One might conclude from this that McConnell's real appeal with many KY voters must rest with those who delight in his obstructing the black president at all costs.
 
 
+3 # Buddha 2014-10-13 12:44
Counting on Kentucky voters being informed...yike s. They already have been repeatedly slitting their own economic throat by voting in the GOP as it is. Look at how strongly their health-exchange , Kynect, is supported, while how many oppose Obamacare, most KY voters don't even know they are the same darn thing, a fact McConnell has been doing his best to obfuscate. That control of the Senate is going to come down to a handful of low-information moonshine swilling rubes shows the problems our political system has nowadays, we've about reached the sell-by-date for this brand of representative democracy...
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN