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Friday, January 22, 2010

THIS COULD BE THE END OF EVERYTHING FOR EVERYBODY

I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing political posts lately, mainly because I’m a lot more invested in other things, such as the environment, and the non-profit green business co-op that I’m trying to get going to help the people of Haiti. So, I haven’t really been paying a lot of close attention to the general nonsense that goes on in this country regarding the “POLITICAL FOLLIES”. Haven’t been paying a lot of attention to SCOTUS, either; I actually thought that they were sensible folks.

Well, gangers, it turns out that I was wrong on both counts. I should have been paying attention to the POLITICAL FOLLIES, and I most definitely should have been paying attention to SCOTUS. First, the politics: a braying jackass who posed for a nude photo spread has been elected to Ted Kennedy’s senate seat as of Tuesday of this week. What was even worse was his “humourous” attempt to pimp his daughters out during his acceptance speech. Worse even than that was Harry Reid saying that the Senate would hold up a vote on health care until Senator Brown was sworn in and seated. Guess that we can now kiss any health care reform GOODBYE. For good and forever.

What’s even worse is the SCOTUS decision of yesterday – OUR generation’s “Dred Scott” decision. "The Supreme Court has just predicted the winners of the next November election," Sen. Chuck Schumer announced yesterday morning. "It won't be Republicans. It won't be Democrats. It will be Corporate America."

The NEW YORK TIMES calls this “a momentous 5 to 4 decision”. I wouldn’t have been that polite. This is a disaster of Biblical, epic and cataclysmic proportions. The Roberts court has completely overturned the federal ban on corporate contributions to political campaigns, ruling that forbidding corporations from spending money to support or undermine political candidates amounts to censorship. Corporations, the court ruled, should enjoy the same First Amendment rights as individuals.

How ‘bout that, folks? ExxonMobil is just as much a person as you or I am. Just ONE tiny little problem: We, as persons, are responsible for our actions. ExxonMobil isn’t – and they’re not GOING to be, either.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the Supreme Court rejects "the argument that political speech of corporations or other associations should be treated differently under the First Amendment simply because such associations are not 'natural persons’." Bob Edgar, head of the watchdog group Common Cause, called it "the Superbowl of really bad decisions." Nick Nyhart of Public Campaign called it an "immoral decision" that will make an already untenable mix of money and politics even worse.

"This is the most radical and destructive campaign finance decision in the history of the Supreme Court," said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21. "With a stroke of the pen, five justices wiped out a century of American history devoted to preventing corporate corruption of our democracy."

Greg Palast, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, argued just last month that President Obama might never have been elected if these new rules had been in place last November:

“Candidate Barack Obama was one sharp speaker, but he would not have been heard, and certainly would not have won, without the astonishing outpouring of donations from two million Americans. It was an unprecedented uprising-by-PayPal, overwhelming the old fat-cat sources of funding.

Well, kiss that small-donor revolution goodbye. If the Supreme Court votes as expected, progressive list serves won't stand a chance against the resources of new 'citizens' such as CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Maybe UBS (United Bank of Switzerland), which faces U.S. criminal prosecution and a billion-dollar fine for fraud, might be tempted to invest in a few Senate seats."

Just as an aside here, most of these good folks on SCOTUS are the ones that gave us all eight years of misery, jingoism, cowboy politics, BOTH of the wars that we’re STILL fighting – and in which our children are STILL dying – in Afghanistan and Iraq, under the Bu$hit regime. Basically, what this court in its majority opinion has done is give the big corporations an unlimited license to buy politicians by spending whatever it takes to get their candidates, who will vote the company’s line, elected. It’s the end of free discourse in this country if it’s allowed to stand. Once the big corporations have bought the political process, it’s only a matter of time before the Federal bans on who can own what communications companies are gone.

So, all of y’all out there in ReaderLand: suppose you tell me what’s going to happen to free speech here? Or would you prefer me to tell YOU what will happen?

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