Friday, January 22, 2010

The Bell Tolls for Thee

"Slavery is the Legal Fiction that a Person is Property; Corporate Personhood is the Legal Fiction that Property is a Person." -Poclad.Org

They're not even hiding it anymore, are they? It's right out there, in our faces. And why not? The PTB believe that the populace is too lethargic, too slow on the uptake to see it, or care. So every branch of government continues its dogged quest to transfer even more unregulated power and/or public wealth to corporations. Only these days it's far more out in the open, even if it is often couched in economic mumbo-jumbo. It wasn't enough to offer a trillion + taxpayer dollars to CorpWorld, thus socializing the cost of their financial shell games while keeping the profits private.
No, that wasn't nearly enough. Now we have the majority of a festering SCROTUM - er, make that SCOTUS - that has chosen to align itself with the interest of corporate money over the interests of the citizenry of these United States.
In a decision that's being called radical and destructive, five activist judges from the extreme right have decided that corporations should be able to use unlimited amounts of money to influence the outcome of elections. Including corporations that are essentially foreign. Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy described it as "a revolution in the law." It's difficult to grasp at the moment all the disastrous outcomes that this decision will undoubtedly spawn, but what's painfully clear is the fact that it's extremely bad news for anyone who favors an actual democracy.

Check out the following from Alternet:
Supreme Court's 'Radical and Destructive' Decision Hands Over Democracy to the Corporations
By Liliana Segura

"The Supreme Court has just predicted the winners of the next November election," Sen. Chuck Schumer announced this morning. "It won't be Republicans. It won't be Democrats. It will be Corporate America."
Indeed, in a momentous 5 to 4 decision the New York Times called a "doctrinal earthquake," the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an unprecedented ruling today that gives new significance to the phrase "corporate personhood." In it, the Roberts court 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.
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.'"
In other words, as Stephen Colbert put it last year, "Corporations are people too."
On a conference call with reporters following the decision, critics could not overemphasize the enormity of the ruling, whose implications will be visible as early as the upcoming midterm elections. 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."
Writing about the ruling, Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy described it as "a revolution in the law," one that has been in the works for years thanks to conservative activism.
"Today's decision is a huge gift to corporations from a Supreme Court that has been radicalized by right-wing ideology, whose political agenda was made obvious in the Bush v. Gore case and whose very political decision today only makes things worse."
Of course, corporate cash has long had a corrupting influence on our politics, but never before has it been seen as some sort of fundamental freedom.
"This court has said it's the constitutional right of a corporation to spend as much money as it wants to influence an election," said Wertheimer. Read the rest.


Anonymous GordonA said...

DailyKos had an informative piece on this tonight. In part it reads ~ Bancroft Davis. Former president of a railroad company. As the court reporter for the U.S. Supreme Court, he gave railroad companies a great gift in 1886 when he added a comment to the high court's ruling in a case involving the taxation of railroad properties. And in so doing, this one man gave all corporations a great gift by inventing the pseudolegal doctrine of corporate personhood. Out of thin air.

If the current Supreme Court rules in Citizens United the way many legal experts expect, the handiwork of Bancroft Davis will be affirmed and further cemented in place.

If the Roberts court does this, it will not just be naked judicial activism. It will not simply be the very thing they claim to abhor - legislating from the bench. These "strict constructionists" will be effectively rewriting the Constitution.

The rest of can be found here

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Businesses pay taxes right? So, if they pay for campaign ads for some Senator or President, if they write off those ads and try to say they are for their business; that suggests a quid pro quo.

Any quid pro quo is purely and simply corruption.

There are five men in America who apparently are Mussolini lovers. Pure fascism is where corporations represent the population, not elected officials. Read about Mussolini and note the similiarities this ruling drives.

Let's see how much Fox news complains about our nation becoming Facsist, because it does with this ruling. They won't because they see dollars signs in advertising.

Obama ought to make damn sure the commissioner of the IRS, Douglas Shulman, lets the big corporations know you can't deduct it on your taxes unless you get a defined quid pro quo. When some corporation does and wins in a lower court against the IRS, it will reopen the door for the Supreme Court to be challenged on its ruling. That is to say, the corporation pays for the election win, and gets something in return from the politician, which absolutely must be illegal or our nation is fully fascist.

Mitch McConnell is our first fascist Senator.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Excellent points, both of you. Thanks!

Yes, it'll be interesting to see Faux news cretins and their nauseating ilk spin this one !

10:19 AM  
Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Are corporations really persons?

Do corporations think?

Do corporations grieve when a loved one dies as a result of a lack of adequate health care?

If a corporation ever committed an unspeakable crime against the American people, could IT be sent to federal prison? (Note the operative word here: "It")

Has a corporation ever given its life for its country?

Has a corporation ever been killed in an accident as the result of a design flaw in the automobile it was driving?

Has a corporation ever written a novel that inspired millions?

Has a corporation ever risked its life by climbing a ladder to save a child from a burning house?

Has a corporation ever won an Oscar? Or an Emmy? Or the Nobel Peace Prize? Or the Pulitzer Prize in Biography?

Has a corporation ever been shot and killed by someone who was using an illegal and unregistered gun?

Has a corporation ever paused to reflect upon the simple beauty of an autumn sunset or a brilliant winter moon rising on the horizon?

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a noise if there are no corporations there to hear it?

Should corporations kiss on the first date?

Our lives - yours and mine - have more worth than any corporation. To say that the Supreme Court made a awful decision on Thursday is an understatement. Not only is it an obscene ruling - it's an insult to our humanity.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

8:43 AM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Touche, Tom. Perfectly expressed! I'd like to quote you in the near future - with attribution and a link, of course!

2:29 PM  

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