Issue 1 – January 2011

Current Affairs Essay
Money Is Still the Name of the Game  By Michael Parenti
Featured Books
The Road  By Cormac McCarthy
Last Words: A Memoir  By George Carlin with Tony Hendra
The Assassination of Julius Caesar  By Michael Parenti
Sunshine Assassins  By J. F. Miglio
Recommended Reads
Pain Pill Addiction: A Prescription for Hope  By Jana Burson M.D.
The Employee Rights Handbook  By Steven Mitchell Sack
Bouncing Back From Loss  By Donna Marie Thompson Ph.D
Mockery  By Philip Kraske
A Pointed Death  By Kath Russell
Everything I Never Wanted To Be  By Dina Kucera
Enough for Us All  By Dorothy I. Riddle
Frozen in Time  By Theodore Jerome Cohen
Journey to Terra Incognita  By Gerald Shingleton
Goodnight, Brian  By Steven Manchester
The Mine  By Daniel R. Cobb
The Friday Night Club  By Jacob Nelson Lurie
The Entrepreneur Guide U.S. 2010 Edition  By Owen O. Daniels
Golden's Rule  By C. E. Edmonson
A World Away: The Quest of Dan Clay  By T.J. Smith
The Harrowing Escape: The Quest of Dan Clay (Book II)  By T.J. Smith
Winter  By Maneesh Sharma
Soul's Infarct  By Diamela Eltit & Paz Errazuriz
A Worthy Legacy  By Tomi Akinyanmi
Dangerous Liaisons  By Michael D'Ambrosio
Shroud of Beckoning  By Deb Woody
Shadows and Not  By Sara Brown
America's Suicidal Statecraft  By James Cumes
The Handkerchief  By Julian Stark
The End of the 19th Century  By Eric Larsen
Up Close: A Mother's View  By Fiona Yaron-Field
Secrets Revealed  By Sheshena Pledger
A Case of Wild Justice  By Yvonne Jerrold
What Can We Do Next? TheAdventures of Lexi and Lolly  By Toula Magi
The Survivors  By Derek Laurens
Lizard's Lair  By Derek Laurens

Recommended Reads

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,” click here.

 

Pain Pill Addiction: A
Prescription for Hope

By Jana Burson M.D.


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Penetrating examination of drugs, drug abuse, and the most successful methods for treatment and recovery.

The Employee Rights
Handbook

By Steven Mitchell Sack


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Comprehensive and practical handbook written in layman’s language on the legal strategies employees can use to protect themselves in the workplace.

Bouncing Back From Loss
By Donna Marie Thompson Ph.D


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Inspirational and informative account of how to deal with life’s setbacks and losses and transform the future to one’s advantage.

Mockery
By Philip Kraske


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Engaging political thriller about a young writer who stumbles onto the truth about a political election where both candidates are rocked by scandals.

A Pointed Death
By Kath Russell


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Entertaining mystery thriller about a biotech consultant and her dog Skootch and how they become involved in the high stakes world of corporate trade secrets and murder.

Everything I Never
Wanted To Be

By Dina Kucera


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
A struggling comic’s poignant and often hilarious account of her family’s battle with alcoholism and drug addiction over four generations.

Enough for Us All
By Dorothy I. Riddle


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Enlightening source book that uses quantum physics and metaphysics to help individuals attain personal transformation.

Frozen in Time
By Theodore Jerome Cohen


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
An exciting tale of greed, betrayal, and murder based on real events from the Antarctic continent.

Journey to Terra Incognita
By Gerald Shingleton


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Thought-provoking metaphysical adventure that begins in 1950s California and ends in the jungles of Guatemala.

Goodnight, Brian
By Steven Manchester


www.StevenManchester.com
(Fiction)
Inspirational story about how a woman’s faith and unconditional love help her grandson to lead a normal life after he is poisoned by a toxic soy formula and given little hope by his doctors.

The Mine
By Daniel R. Cobb


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Engaging thriller about an idealistic biologist who fights state corruption and corporate fraud perpetrated by a ruthless gold mining company.

The Friday Night Club
By Jacob Nelson Lurie


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
An irreverent coming of age story of a young man who must choose between continuing his hedonistic lifestyle or settling down and getting married.

The Entrepreneur Guide
U.S. 2010 Edition

By Owen O. Daniels


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Comprehensive book filled with information and answers about everything one needs to start and maintain a business.

Golden’s Rule
By C. E. Edmonson


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Compelling story about a modern-day girl battling cancer who finds inspiration by reading the diary of a 14-year-old slave girl from the 1800s.

A World Away: The
Quest of Dan Clay

By T.J. Smith


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Exciting story in the tradition of The Chronicles of Narnia about a young man and his three friends who embark on an out-of-this world journey where they are hunted by savage beasts along the footpath to a demonic castle.

The Harrowing Escape:
The Quest of Dan Clay (Book II)

By T.J. Smith


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
The saga continues as Dan Clay and his companions continue their quest to locate Dan’s brother in a parallel world filled with savage beasts and half-man, half-serpent creatures.

Winter
By Maneesh Sharma


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Fast-paced thriller about a predator with otherworldly talents who has a penchant for killing women and stealing fine art.

Soul’s Infarct
By Diamela Eltit & Paz Errazuriz


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Unique and penetrating examination through text and photographs of love among marginalized individuals in a notorious Chilean psychiatric hospital.

A Worthy Legacy
By Tomi Akinyanmi


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Touching and lyrical account about a dying Nigerian man and his practical wisdom for living life to the fullest.

Dangerous Liaisons
By Michael D’Ambrosio


www.amazon.com
(Science Fiction)
In this action-packed sequel to The Eye of Icarus, Lieutenant Will Saris and his new bride are caught in a web of treachery where no one, including the Space Fleet, can be trusted.

Shroud of Beckoning
By Deb Woody


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Thought-provoking supernatural tale about a four-year-old who is possessed by a demonic spirit.

Shadows and Not
By Sara Brown


www.amazon.com
(Poetry)
Soul-searching poetry anthology that illuminates the human condition.

America’s Suicidal Statecraft
By James Cumes


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Well researched and documented examination of the self-destructive policies of the United States.

The Handkerchief
By Julian Stark


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
An intimate and probing love story that examines the breadth and depth of love and passion between two people.

The End of the 19th Century
By Eric Larsen


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Imposing lyrical epic about a Midwestern family’s journey through time and space.

Up Close: A Mother’s View
By Fiona Yaron-Field


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
A touching and meditative memoir of a mother and her disabled daughter told through pictures and commentary.

Secrets Revealed
By Sheshena Pledger


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Gritty crime noir tale about a notorious crime family’s feud with its biggest rival.

A Case of Wild Justice
By Yvonne Jerrold


www.yvonnejerrold.com
(Fiction)
An intriguing story about a group of senior citizens who fight back against crime and vandalism in their neighborhood by becoming human booby traps.

What Can We Do Next? The
Adventures of Lexi and Lolly

By Toula Magi


www.ToulaMagi.com
(Fiction)
Delightful children’s story about the adventures of a little girl and her imaginary friend.

The Survivors
By Derek Laurens


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Fast-paced sci-fi adventure about the crew of a space cruiser that lands on a distant planet inhabited by savage humanoids.

Lizard’s Lair
By Derek Laurens


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
The novella prequel to the sci-fi adventure, The Survivors.

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,”

click here.

 

Book submission deadline is
the 20th of each month.

 

Links For Independent Writers & Publishers

• Publishers Marketing Association (PMA): Largest non-profit trade association helping independent publishers
• Small Press Center: Non-profit organization designed to help small independent book publishers
• Press Release Services: Submit Press Release, Online Distribution Services.
• LitPitch: Place to read books online for free and for authors to pitch book ideas and get feedback.
• Bookwired.com: Author/reader resource for book reviews and news
• WriteLinks.com: Complete list of book publishers & publishing info
• Books-in-Print.com: Registry of electronic publications
• Bowker.com: Major book and publishing data
• PubEasy.com: E-commerce site for global bookselling
• Published.com: Informative and helpful site for independent writers and self-publishers.
• The Center for the Book: Book fairs & literary events
• American Booksellers Association: Organization for independently owned bookstores
• Business.com: Site listing book distributors and wholesalers
• Dowse: A list of e-book publishers
• Internet Publishing: Tips about online publishing from Piers Anthony
• Online Books Page: Listings of books online, news, & features
• Book Sense.com: Family of bookseller Web sites
• Nospine.com: Independent authors from around the world
• Author Yellow Pages: Online author directory
• Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing: The Godfather of self publishing
• Bookcrossing.com: Global book club & reading group
• Newradiance.com: Over 90 pages of inspired marketing ideas for small business owners and self-published authors.

 

Money Is Still the
Name of the Game

By Michael Parenti

For years certain pundits and political scientists have insisted that money is not all that important in winning elections. Large sums expended on campaigns glean only an extra percentage point or two in votes, we are told, and often the candidate who spends the most ends up losing anyway.

“Other Variables”
In 2010 Republican candidate Meg Whitman smothered the California gubernatorial contest with $142 million of her own money but still lost to Jerry Brown who spent a mere $24 million, along with another $27 million or so put up by independent groups. Such results are seized upon by those who argue that money does not guarantee victory. They insist that other variables–such as party affiliation, incumbency, candidate’s image, and key issues–may be the deciding factors.

True, but we should remember that these “other variables” themselves are most likely to gather form and substance within a well-financed campaign. Feeding on large sums, a candidate can promote his image in a highly favorable light and advertise (or bury) the issues as best suit him, all the while casting mean shadows upon his financially weaker opponent.

Getting back to California’s Meg and Jerry show: candidates who win while spending less than their opponents, as Jerry Brown did, still usually have to spend quite a lot, about $50 million in his case. While never a surefire guarantor of victory, a large war chest-even if not the largest–is usually a necessary condition. In sum, money may not guarantee victory, but a serious lack of it almost always guarantees defeat.

No Money, No Game
Without large sums, there is rarely much of a campaign, as poorly funded “minor” candidates have repeatedly discovered. A candidate needs money for public relations consultants, pollsters, campaign travel, meals, canvassers, poll watchers, office space, telephones, computers, faxes, mailings, and, most of all, media advertisements.

Indeed what makes someone a “minor” candidate is the lack of a sufficient war chest-which leads to the lack of sufficient campaign visibility. Conversely, someone with a huge war chest is likely to be treated by the media as a “major” candidate. So money not only influences who wins, but who runs and who is taken seriously when running. Rich candidates sometimes are backed by party leaders explicitly because they have personal wealth and can use it to wage an effective campaign.

One of my favorite examples is Steve Forbes who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination in 2000. Of lackluster personality and fuzzy program, Forbes had never held public office in his life and had no close links to Republican Party regulars. But being able to spend $30 million of his personal fortune (back when $30 million was still an exceptional amount for a presidential primary), Forbes was immediately treated by the media as a serious contender. He even won Republican primaries in two states.

Money Primary, Media Primary, and Voting Primary
In all, there are three primaries not one. There is the voting primary, the one we all know about and sometimes participate in. But before that is the media primary and before that the money primary.

Decades ago, candidates used to play down how much money the private interests were pouring into their coffers. It was understood that a heavily financed candidate would owe a lot of favors to a lot of fat cats and could hardly promote himself as a champion of the ordinary voters.

Today candidates openly flaunt the size of their war chests at the early stages of a primary in the hope of taking on an appearance of invincibility, thereby discouraging other candidates. This triumphalist imaging, in turn, attracts backing from still other big contributors.

During the 2000 Republican presidential primaries, George W. Bush won the money primary by raising $50 million four months before the first voting primary in New Hampshire. That sum came from just a small number of superrich donors. Several other GOP primary opponents dropped out after they discovered that most of the fat cats had already fed their checkbooks to Bush.

By the time Bush won his party’s nomination in July 2000, he had already spent over $97 million-and the campaign against his Democratic opponent had yet to begin. Thus, well before the actual election, a handful of superrich contributors winnow the field, predetermining who will run in the primaries at what level of strength and with what plausibility. Only the very rich get to “vote” in the money primary.

The candidates who lose the money primary swiftly lose the media primary also. This is especially true if they have progressive politics. Consider the valiant campaign waged in 2008 by Representative Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic presidential nomination. His advocacy of progressive reforms left him with little access to big money. As a poorly funded candidate he was immediately labeled in the media primary as a “minor” candidate.

The media label was self-fulfilling. Defined as a minor candidate, Kucinich was accorded hardly any serious media exposure. Having lost the money primary, he would now lose the media primary. One scarcely knew he was participating in debates with “major” candidates. Deprived of media exposure, Kucinich achieved near invisibility and consequently was unable to reach many voters who otherwise might have been interested in what he had to say.

Big Spenders = Big Winners
Let’s face it, candidates who are the bigger spenders may not always win but they usually do, as has been the case over the last fifteen years in more than 80 percent of House and Senate contests. Even in “open races,” with no incumbent running, better-funded candidates won 75 percent of the time.

According to a Public Citizen report on the 2010 midterm elections, in 58 of the 74 contests in which power changed hands, the winning candidates rode enormous waves of cash, outspending their opponents with funds from “shadowy front groups, giant corporations and the super rich.”

This does not establish a simple one-to-one causal relationship between money and victory. But given the central role money plays in launching a campaign and defining who is and who isn’t a “serious” candidate, how can we say it is without decisive impact?

The reactionary judicial activists on the Supreme Court do their best to advance the role of big money in politics. In decisions like the 2009 Citizens United case, the Court’s reactionary majority repeated its arcane contrivance that (1) rich corporations are “persons” with human rights and (2) money is a form of speech. By imposing spending limitations we supposedly are restricting free speech and violating the First Amendment. Some years ago Justice Stevens took issue with this fanciful fabrication, reminding us that “Money is property; it is not speech.”

But money is the kind of property that feeds into and mobilizes all sorts of other power resources. I haven’t mentioned the other influential roles that money plays beyond election campaigns: ownership of print and broadcast media, control of jobs, financing research institutes, recruiting and training conservative activists, bankrolling lobbyists, and the like.

Heed not the system’s apologists who treat a money-driven political process as a matter of no great moment. Truth be told: if you’re not in the money, you’re not much in the game. It’s time we faced up to the plutocracy that masquerades as democracy.


Michael Parenti’s most recent books are Contrary Notions (2007), God and His Demons (2010), Democracy for the Few (9th ed. 2010), and The Face of Imperialism (forthcoming April 2011). For further information about his work, visit his website: www.michaelparenti.org.

 

Featured Books

 

Buy The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Road
By Cormac McCarthy


A nightmarish, yet poetically written tale of a father and son and their brutal trek to survive in a post-apocalyptic America.

 

Buy Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin
Last Words: A Memoir
By George Carlin with Tony Hendra


Master comedian/satirist George Carlin takes us on a wild ride as he recounts his turbulent life and ground-breaking career with great candor and trademark humor.

 

Buy The Assassination of Julius Caesar by Michael Parenti
The Assassination of
Julius Caesar

By Michael Parenti


Award-winning author and scholar examines ancient Roman history from a populist viewpoint, arguing that Caesar was assassinated for being a champion
of the people.

A bone-chilling political
morality fable…

— Midwest Book Review

 

Buy Sunshine Assassins by John F. Miglio
Sunshine Assassins
By John F. Miglio
(Fiction)
Controversial political thriller about a band of democratic rebels and their attempt to overthrow the corporate fascist shadow government in the USA…Read Reviews

John F. Miglio is available for all types of speaking engagements. For information, click here

 

 

Bestsellers













Links For Progressive Publications & Organizations

• PEN.org: “An association of writers working to advance literature, defend free expression, and foster international literary fellowship.”
• TruthDig.com: “Hard-hitting investigative journalism.”
• MoveOn.org: Influential democracy in action group
• The Nation.com: “Unconventional wisdom since 1865.”
• Op/EdNews.com: “Progressive news and essays.”
• Air America Radio: “Unabashed liberal talk radio and humor.”
• Counterpunch: Hard-hitting alternative news and essays
• Buzzflash.com: Headlines and stories from dozens of alternative publications
• Democracy Now!: Complete and comprehensive presentation of alternative news and analysis with Amy Goodman leading the charge.
• Brad Blog: Up-to-date progressive news & opinions.
• Radio Power Network: Listener supported, independent radio streaming progressive music and culture from around the world.
• NPR.org: National listener supported news and information.
• Pacifica Radio: Listener-sponsored radio featuring alternative news and community service.
• From the Wilderness: Radical alternative news and essays
• Tom Paine.com: Alternative news and essays
• Mother Jones.com: Alternative and environmental news
• Liberalism Resurgent: Wealth of information on liberalism & politics
• The Foundation for Taxpayers & Consumer Rights: Loads of information about social and consumer issues
• TvNewsLies.org: A compendium of TV news lies
• In the Spotlight: Unsettling information about the voting process in America
• The Rest of Story: Alternative news on the media
• Judicial Watch: Legal watchdog information
• The Center for Public Integrity: Public service journalism
• PFAW.org: People for the American Way

 

 

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