By Carl Gibson
After the swearing-in of the first Congress elected by unlimited corporate election spending, 2011 went down as the year Congress fiddled while America burned. Republicans and Democrats both took their turns engaging in their fair part of naked corruption.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on clandestine insider trading deals, where elected officials in Washington revealed key elements of legislation before passage, enabling financiers to turn huge profits. The National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama creates a legal gray area that could deny Americans due process rights. The same Congress that voted down creating millions of good-paying jobs for unemployed constituents without batting an eye is the same one seriously considering censorship of the internet.
Congress is well-deserving of its record-low approval ratings. In early December, Congress attracted thousands of activists for Take Back the Capitol, a week-long protest that staged dozens of sit-ins in Congressional offices and managed to shut down 4 blocks of K Street for an entire afternoon. That energy has persisted — on the first day of the 2012 legislative session (and the fourth anniversary of Occupy Wall Street), Occupy is aiming to mobilize hundreds of thousands in Washington on Jan. 17.