Fascism has arrived and its name is Alec.

In an article by Thom Hartmann called The Ghost of Vice President Wallace Warns: "It Can Happen Here" , he quotes a 1944 New York Times article by Vice President Wallace:
" If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. ... They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead."

"The really dangerous American fascists," Wallace wrote, "are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."

That was written after the 1933 proposed military coup orchestrated by the likes of Standard Oil, Du Pont, General Motors, Chase National Bank and Goodyear Tire to overthrow the presidency of FDR. The BBC documentary on the plot suggested also that Prescott Bush, G.W. Bush's grandfather, was also involved.

The dictionary definition of fascism is as follows:
"A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

Hartmann goes on to make the following point:
Mussolini was quite straightforward about all this. In a 1923 pamphlet titled "The Doctrine of Fascism" he wrote, "If classical liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government." But not a government of, by, and for We The People - instead, it would be a government of, by, and for the most powerful corporate interests in the nation.

ALEC is the instrument by which fascism is exercised in America.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is a body made up of and funded by the most powerful corporations on the planet. Its purpose is to create a conduit through which private corporate interests are matched up one-on-one with state legislators to create legislation that, according to ALECS's website, furthers the interests of the public in a way that is consistent with Jeffersonian ideals of personal liberty, limited government and federalism, but in reality only exists to serve the economic interests of the corporations themselves.

From the ALEC Watch website:

ALEC pursues this mission chiefly by generating and promoting hundreds of model bills, resolutions, and policy statements every year. During the 1999-2000 legislative cycle, for example, ALEC claims that its member legislators introduced more than 3,100 pieces of legislation based on its model bills and resolutions and that more than 450 of them were enacted. ALEC also provides its members with dozens of studies, research reports, and position papers on topics related to its policy objectives.

ALEC's members and sponsors include the following corporations and right-wing special interest groups:

Energy Producers/Oil
American Petroleum Institute
Amoco Corporation
BP America, Inc.
Caltex Petroleum
Chevron Corporation
ExxonMobil Corporation
Mobil Oil Corporation
Phillips Petroleum Company

Energy Producers/Other
American Electric Power Association
American Gas Association
Center for Energy and Economic Development
Commonwealth Edison Company
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.
Edison Electric Institute
Enron Corporation
Independent Power Producers of New York
Koch Industries, Inc.
Mid-American Energy Company
Natural Gas Supply Association
PG&E Corporation/PG&E National Energy Group
U.S. Generating Company

Alliance of American Insurers
Allstate Insurance Company
American Council of Life Insurance
American Insurance Association
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Corporation
Coalition for Asbestos Justice. (This organization
was formed in October 2000 to explore new
judicial approaches to asbestos litigation. Its
members include ACE-USA, Chubb & Son,
CNA service mark companies, Fireman’s
Fund Insurance Company, Hartford
Financial Services Group, Inc., Kemper
Insurance Companies, Liberty Mutual
Insurance Group, and St. Paul Fire and
Marine Insurance Company. Counsel to the
coalition is Victor E. Schwartz of the law
firm of Crowell & Moring in Washington,
D.C., a longtime ALEC ally.)
Fortis Health
Golden Rule Insurance Company
Guarantee Trust Life Insurance
MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company
National Association of Independent Insurers
Nationwide Insurance/National Financial
State Farm Insurance Companies

BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.
GTE Corporation
National Cable and Telecommunications Association
SBC Communications, Inc.
UST Public Affairs, Inc.
Verizon Communications, Inc.

Adolph Coors Foundation
Ameritech Foundation
Bell & Howell Foundation
Carthage Foundation
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
ELW Foundation
Grocery Manufacturers of America
Heartland Institute of Chicago
The Heritage Foundation
Iowans for Tax Relief
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee
National Pork Producers Association
National Rifle Association
Olin Foundation
Roe Foundation
Scaiffe Foundation
Shell Oil Company Foundation

There are many others, but I left out the financial industry, manufacturing industry, automobile industry, prison industry, pharmaceutical and media industries, and others in the interest of brevity. The complete list can be found at the ALEC Watch website.

ALEC's more than three hundred corporate sponsors pay annual membership dues ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to advance their agendas, plus additional fees of $1,500 to $5,000 a year to participate in ALEC's various task forces. Each of the nine issue task forces is headed up by a corporate executive and by a state legislator. While private citizens have to be content with leaving a message on a state representative's voice mail or sending an email after which we are sent a form letter as a response, corporate executives get one-on-one access over an extended period of time during which they have the opportunity to submit pre-crafted legislation written by high-paid lawyers that explicitly and exclusively represents corporate and sector interests.

From the Third World Traveler site:

The organization's reach is impressive: More than one-third of state legislators are ALEC members, and about 100 hold senior leadership positions. Nine sitting governors and more than 80 members of Congress either pay dues or are alumni, including Republicans Dennis Hastert of Illinois, Tom DeLay of Texas, and Don Nickles of Oklahoma. ALEC doesn't publicly release its membership list but, according to spokesman Bob Adams, about 65 percent of its members are Republicans and 35 percent Democrats.

Additionally, there is no way for non-member legislators to know what legislation is ALEC-generated and what is not since member legislators generally take credit themselves for the proposed legislation.

This past year, 10 legislators from Colorado were approved to attend the annual ALEC-sponsored conference. From Colorado Springs alone, Representatives Kent Lambert and Bill Cadman attended the conference. Recently retired State Representative Ron May was a state chairman for ALEC. Since membership lists are not made public, we really have no reliable way of knowing which of our elected legislators are members.

For those of you trying to decide between Obama or Clinton this election year, it really doesn't matter either way because neither the president nor the people run this country, Alec does.