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Are American candidate's for high office, secretly being selected by both political party's leaders, a few men only, behind closed doors?

This works to the advantage of both political parties.
It closes out competitors.

Only two political parties split the running of our US government.
Neither party's leaders cares who wins.
They decided long ago who was available and controllable.

The most powerful Democrat and Republican party leaders meet
separately behind closed doors to select our future new State and
Federal government leaders.

Because of many past moral indiscretions, selections are vetted.
Both parties solicit campaign contributions to pay for a controlled
media that can enhance candidate’s appeal to voters. Professional campaigners, run the campaigns.

Debates and Conventions allow the most popular of candidates to
campaign against one another, for a final popular selection by the
voters, and afterwards the winners head for State or Federal offices.

When those elected do well, they are returned to office through the
same processes. They all become very Wealthy, and upon their
retirement, they can sit with and become Democrat and Republican
leader's, to meet behind closed doors and select the new leaders for
America..

Something extra I came across -- A study from 12 years ago.
Congress passes legislation for the Elite 1% - at a 45% rate.
Congress passes legislation for the rest of us, at a 18% rate.

Today we have the NSA on the table, and we may want to consider
just what will occur based upon those kind of percentages.

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    Apr 30 2014: And as long as top-down hierarchies of power and control are tolerated and even supported by the electorate the status quo will continue.

    However, there are nations that have used Direct and Participatory systems to level the playing field somewhat. They use binding referendums to force those elected to enact populace decided legislation while also creating a vehicle whereby the electorate can veto any backroom crony created proposals. It may not be a perfect system, it may even be a cumbersome system, but it beats the so-called representative system hands down for democratic integrity. A so-called "representative" system that only represents those who buys and/or otherwise controls the party in power, while forcing its electorate to follow the "party line" for years before there is any chance of unseating them.

    As so many have already opined, the existing system has been bought and paid for by special interest groups and, make no mistake, those interests view the electorate as nothing more than cash creating, consumer automatons.

    Of course a Direct Democracy means that the electorate needs to put in the effort to be both informed and involved regarding any referendum they wish to participate in. All of which takes time and effort which can be rather tedious and frustrating process at times. But that is the price of having an effective democracy just as it is an inevitable result of political empowerment.

    Who knows, within a couple of generations we might end up with an electorate wonderingr how their ancestors put up with top-down hierarchies for so long.
    • Apr 30 2014: William, you've done your homework.
      And in a perfect world, different types of governments would govern appropriately.
      However, it appears that the United States elected and appointed officials are
      dismantling the structure of government outlined by our constitution.

      Using secrets, behind closed doors decisions and selections, with enforcement by
      secret spying agencies and world-wide surveillances, secret executive orders, as
      well as secret courts, that change constitutional law. And for those suspected of
      not being citizens, half-hour telephonic courts, held in the middle of the deserts,
      without any type defense.

      Our US government has become a "secret" Plutocratic society, effectively shutting out those
      who object to our government never ending borrowing of monies using suspect investment
      instruments. Secretly supporting a policy of continuous Wars against weaker foreign nations
      who sit at the lowest end of the world's economic scales.

      Comprised of the most wealthy individuals, corporations, and advocacy organizations, they
      exert their influence over the US political arena, by donations and professional campaigners
      who fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars for selected politicians who rely on income
      raised, to advertise their candidacy through a controllable media, and sway the voting public,
      to first elect and then to re-elect them for ten, or twenty years, and Justices, for a lifetime.

      A good ole boy patronage system exists to reward major contributors on a quid pro quo basis.
      Campaign donations need not directly affect the legislative decisions of elected representatives,
      but the natural expectation of donors is that their needs will be served by the person to whom
      they donated. If not, it is in their self-interest to fund a different candidate or political organization.

      While quid pro quo agreements are generally illegal in most democracies, they are difficult to prove,
      short of a well-documented paper trail.
  • Apr 28 2014: We've always known candidates were chosen behind closed doors, but I find it difficult to believe the two parties are cooperating. I suspect Goldman-Sachs just runs the government regardless of who is in office.
    • Apr 29 2014: Bradley, You have figured it out.
      Following the mess that led to the rape of our own Treasury, I found that
      Goldman Sachs had and still has it's ex-executive tentacle's wrapped around
      our, and many other nation's Treasuries.
  • Apr 27 2014: Along with a number of other very interesting stories, a fellow once told me that only two modern era presidents have been elected without the support of groups we might call organized crime.
    • Apr 28 2014: Bradley, Sounds about right.
      Ike for one, and Truman, or if you need more modern, Jimmy Carter replaces Truman.

      I'm hoping for 50/50 but since threw in 3, I suppose my choices won't count..
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    Apr 27 2014: Frank,
    I don't know if your idea is true, But if it is... I think they have done a terrible job in their selections...

    I was reminded of cartoon I saw recently showing a young Barack O'bama watching a TV show called the "West Wing"
    calling back over his shoulder " I can do that". It seems he has followed that script for real. Who did get together and decide he was a contender in the Democratic Selection for a presidential candidate? If makes you wonder.

    There is an old joke about Washington.... most go there to do good, most stay to do well.....

    The point is we all can complain that the US has changed from a federation of fifty states governed as a constitutional republic to an oligarchy, but unless we take steps to change it by supporting an amendment to establish term limits, bring campaign financing more scrutiny under the bribery laws, repeal the 17th amendment, and a dozen other steps
    it will keep on, keeping on.
    • Apr 27 2014: The story you are about to read is true.
      Names have not been changed to protect the innocent.

      "Who did get together and decide Obama was a contender in the Democratic
      Selection for being a presidential candidate?"
      ===
      Mike, I'm the little boy in the back of the classroom, frantically waving his hand,
      and yelling "I know!!, I know!!".
      ===
      "Bill Clinton, You know, Hillary's husband, the President."
      ===
      Mike, like the big Oil Corporations everything is planned way in advance.

      President Clinton moved a Congresswoman, who didn't feel like staying in Congress,
      to an Ambassadorship in one of the Islands.

      Obama benefited and ended up in Congress for seasoning. He had a Chicago Banker
      fronting him, also his wife got a $300,000 job that she kept until the week before inauguration.
      He lawyered for Acorn, and made all the right moves, published a couple of books, etc.

      Obama started campaigning about a year ahead of the field in colleges, and planted Bush lies
      and truths. He disposed of Hillary and the rest of the field during the debates, and following a
      media PR blitz, with his FDR nose in the air look-a-like, he was sold as a shoe-in.

      So, how else do you make a president out of a black unknown? Go figure.
      ===
      Who sits on the edge of discovery today? Probably Jeb Bush.
      They've sawed off Christy's limb.
      Jerry Brown might run, cause he can, and he probably would be the best for the job.

      Scary longshots --- Any of the women who try. A couple of them are really nuts.
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        Apr 27 2014: Frank,
        Considering all, I don't think that Romney would have done that bad if he had been elected, Hell,
        Sarah Palin could have done better.
        What I am saying, who ever thought Mr. O'Bama would do well was, in my opinion, mistaken. I don't think is bad as a person, but, I think my cartoonist was right, he sees the presidency as a TV script and found out too late his script was poorly written. Maybe there was some conspiratorial activity that he could help make somebody richer, but I believe it was done for political reasons. There are a large group of political philosophers, academics who envision a more socially aware country where they could set the social and economics standards for all Americans.
        • Apr 28 2014: Mike, at least Romney was a businessman.
          He might have righted the ship. But we will never know.
          He won't be back, at least I wouldn't try it again were I him.

          We have been had by the extremists' who march to a
          different moral drummer. I cannot tell you on TED what
          I envision finding on pharmacy over the counter shelves
          for children.

          We've over-reached freedom, and forgotten the values of
          privacy, having taken a dark turn. That will quickly become
          a selling point for people of the intelligence community.

          Obama is a proven seat warmer. Unfortunately, he likes
          to use the drones and doesn't care about collateral damages.
          I think he is having fun running down alleged Terrorists.
          Not that they aren't out there. But why they are out there,
          begs for an answer from historians, who seem underemployed
          in the 21st century. Except for that ex-CIA author who is writing
          a world history text book for children - 1760 to the present day.
          Should be a novel read.... lol
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    Apr 27 2014: Both Laura Bush and George W. knew each other and their families knew each other. I honestly believe that it was decided that they would be a power couple and were pushed together because the combined power of their families would help elevate them to the point where their families wanted them to be.
    • Apr 27 2014: Ang, You are on the right path.

      George HW Bush was a "fringe" politician, until he was selected to
      become the Director of the CIA by President Ford.

      George HW, George W, John Kerry, and so many more, are
      old Yale classmates, and Skull and Bones 322 members.

      Our political arena is filled with 'Good Ole' Boys'.
      Not much hope for change, when the voters don't understand
      what they've done to themselves.

      Voters don't send Mr. Integrity to Washington DC, to represent their views,
      they instead send the Media's shining examples, to gorge the pork, and
      to become wealthy at the taxed payer's expense.

      This is like a broken record, over and over and over again...
      ===
      Do you remember when the Polls on election day, spewed their poisons,
      and showed Nixon as the overwhelming favorite. Nixon won, because
      no one wants to vote for the loser.

      I wonder who paid what and how much, on election day.
  • Apr 26 2014: I think you will find the answer if you look at enough history.
    • Apr 27 2014: Keith, Right On!!

      I only write this stuff to see if maybe those 15 senators will stop funding this mess.
      Last time we lost the vote to fund the NSA by just a few votes.

      I feel so helpless when I watch these changes occurring and the apathy of Americans.

      I do have to be honest. I felt about the same in the 1960's. I got so upset that
      nobody seemed to care, or were not willing to be informed, that I left watching-judging
      politics for 30 years.

      Thank God, Adolph is dead. He would have had a field day.
      • Apr 27 2014: Me too, in the sixties I was in my prime and very disgusted with way the entire world was rushing toward world war III. I was working for the government and saw up close and personal all the insanity.
        • Apr 27 2014: Keith, Thanks.
          Today I read blogs and comments, and they all said the same things.
          They said, we are being had, big time, by our elected officials.

          Voter's probably are not the ones that blog and comment. The media has
          them hypnotized. I saw Obama fill up that Denver stadium. Just like the
          world's greatest evangelist. Obama promised them everything and when
          they had elected him, did whatever he wanted. He is the master at ignoring.
  • Apr 26 2014: They definitely get 'de-selected' out of ".. high office, secretly.. by.. a few men only, behind closed doors.."
    • Apr 27 2014: Rodrigo, Thanks for being so alert.
      Yup, they either "toe the line" or their pipe of money dries up.

      I noticed that type of control early on.
      There was a water contractor who built a gravity flow, piping system to supply water
      to a small community of 600 homes. Brilliant idea, no moving parts.
      Water Bills $60 to $100 a month -- This was in the 1970's
      ===
      When a 1/2 mill tax levy was approved for an initial sewer system district, he took action.
      There was opposition to said sewer district. These were homes built in the mountains.
      To overcome the opposition he offered to provide free 'settling ponds', and to guarantee
      he would get the sewer installation contract, he salted the district's board of directors over
      a period of 4 years, and ended up with the contract for the sewer installations.

      But a fly was in his ointment. Flying over the proposed 'settling ponds' someone took
      pictures that showed the closeness of the ponds to the nearby squeaky clean river.
      The pictures were taken shortly after a heavy rainfall, and the ponds were underwater
      and were flowing into the squeaky clean river.

      This is the type of problem we Americans are facing today. Manipulation.
      Hard to spot early on.

      It takes people who can be a bit inventive to stop the crap from poisoning the populations.
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    Apr 26 2014: The fact that this would not surprise me and the fact that there are people speculating that this might be happening says enough about our country's current political issues.
    • Apr 27 2014: Ang, at least you are aware. Thanks.

      Now, if we can move beyond apathy, and begin to speculate a bit, those illusive answers
      may become clear to all of us.

      As I watch our 50 state governments working together without evil intent to harm the union
      over these last 150 years, it appears we have found the touchstone to peace and harmony.

      But subtle changes in the two political parties have caused the taxation of the wealthy elite
      to drop to zero, similar to the times of 1929, and today, we experience another depression.

      There are good and valid arguments against this theory of depression. However, it remains
      that one whole generation of Americans has been affected thus far, losing homes and jobs.
      Every town in America has hobo communities. Lots of work for the Churches and Charities.

      I could tell you it started with Nixon, and it probably did, but you wouldn't believe me, the reasons
      being that you are not old enough to carry memories from that time to now. Or perhaps you are.

      Maybe it all just morphed into the internet kick-starting the rise of the intelligence community,
      until today at terminal ends of undersea cables, and inside of 150+ military bases, leased from
      foreign nation's, and hidden within every American Consulate, or Embassy, we have data being
      collected 24/7.

      Closer to home, we watch, and we wait to see the other shoe drop.
      We wonder why the CIA, DHS, DNI, DOD, FBI, NSA, are collecting our Privacy.
      We wonder about Bluffdale, Utah, and other unknown sites? What the heck are
      they doing? Why are they doing it?

      The other day, my bus into SLO had a new VIDEO SURVEILLANCE sign, and
      a camera with a view of the passengers. There may have been as many as ten
      of those Bumper Sticker Warnings affixed to the bus. Returning home, I rode
      another bus that didn't have any warning signs yet. I surmise they will soon be
      on all the buses. I haven't ever read or heard of any muggings or driver's being
      attacked.
  • May 1 2014: Do you know who runs the Democrat and Republican Parties?
  • May 1 2014: It will indeed be funny if Jeb Bush ran against Hillary Clinton........

    Regardless of the rightness or wrongness of our oligarchy, regardless of our dwellings on Should's and Should-Not's of our leaders, regardless of the split-mind nature of the population, I believe people sense things are perhaps, after decades of proclamations, finally coming to a head in society. And, no one really knows how it will turn out. Faced with the growing realization of the fragmentation, we will either have to wake up, or fall more deeply into the collective sleep in which we slumber.

    Transformation follows periods of great tension as well as periods sitting in windless sea of stagnation.
    • May 1 2014: Scott, Jeb -vs- Hillary... That would be a gas...

      There is fraud at the heart of our United States government,
      deliberate intellectual, business, and political deception,
      carried out in secret from a plutocracy of wealthy good ole boys
      who expect a quid pro quo in repayment of campaign contributions.

      If that means we march to Washington DC and Tar & Feather
      the corruption, let's get it on..

      I hope it will come to a head, before anarchy wakes us all.

      Of course, at my age, I can only march as far as the Senior Center...
      Dang it !!!
  • Apr 28 2014: I assume, from the stats above, that for the remaining 47% of the time, we just don't know what they were thinking...
    • Apr 28 2014: Bradley,
      They (Congress) were probably stuck in the revolving doors of Washington DC.
      Wasn't that about the time the DC Mayor was selling his drugs?
      Such a world.

      Let's see if 45% of the time, your passing legislation for your Carrot Holding Corporate
      Benefactors, there's not enough time to pass more than 18% for the little guys, out
      in the Hinterlands. You've got to raise money to get re-elected, and that's a full time
      job.

      Gee, Congress people sure have it hard. Maybe they can get a raise.
  • Apr 27 2014: LAST QUESTION

    Do you know who runs the Democrat and Republican Parties?