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January 23, 2010

Barack Obama Disagrees With Supreme Court Ruling - Update 1

The current United States Supreme Court, the h...Image via Wikipedia
On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations are entitled to spend unlimited funds in our elections. The First Amendment was never intended to protect corporations.
This cannot stand. Join our campaign to protest this decision. ( Protect our democracy! Free speech is for people — not corporations.
No blog attempting to right the wrongs of this nation would be complete without writing on the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations and unions unlimited spending to run their own campaign ads for or against candidates running for office.  This 5 to 4 decision by the Justice's  will drastically change the outcomes of any election and democracy as we know it.

Even President Obama has openly criticized (click here to hear Obama's statement) this decision which gives corporations the ability to control elections.  This is just one more nail in the coffin for democracy.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Corporations can spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, a landmark decision denounced by President Barack Obama for giving special interests more power.
"The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics," Obama said after the 5-4 ruling that divided the nation's high court along conservative and liberal lines.

"It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans," Obama said.
The justification by the 5 Juctice's that ruled in favor was the preservation of our First Amendment rights, the free speech amendment.  Their argument is that corporations - including unions - are "legal" people, which they are, and therefore they have the right to free speech by the use of advertising.  However, this issue is more an issue of campaign spending then it is one of Constitutional rights.
The ruling, a defeat for Obama and supporters of campaign finance limits, is expected to unleash a flood of money to be spent in this year's congressional election and the 2012 presidential contest.
The 2002 campaign finance law at issue was named after Senator John McCain, the unsuccessful Republican presidential nominee in 2008, and Democratic Senator Russell Feingold.
Voicing their dissent, the Justice's that voted against the ruling had this to say:
The four liberal dissenters said allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace will corrupt democracy.(emphasis added)
In his sharply worded dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation."
It is well known that political campaing victories are very closely related to the size of a candidat's "war chest" - the amount of money they have to spend on campaign ads.  One does not need to be a political pundit to understand the ramificaitons of this ruling.  The corporations will now control who gets elected and who does not.  And, if you think there has been negative, dirty campaigning in the past just wait and see what happens now.
Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele praised the ruling and said, "Free speech strengths our democracy."
But "free speech" for whom Chairman Steele?   The people can't compete fairly in the media nor can the candidates who do not have the support of those corporations with billions to spend to gain the favor they require to earn even more billions.  This is not democracy, this is corporate dictatorship some would call Facsist.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, long an opponent of the law, said, "For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process."
The only ones I see that have been deprived "full participation in the political process" are the people. 
But the law's supporters said the ruling will allow corporations to spend unlimited sums to influence elections.
 I have always been under the opinion that "influencing" the outcome of politcal campaigns was illegal.  No one should have the right to "influence" an election.  Influence equals control and control equals the deterioration of democracy.

We are already too controlled and democratized.  Freedoms and privacy eroding rapidly if not already eroded completely.  Corporate control of our economy a reality already and with that power they - the corporations - "rule" our democracy.  There are no "rulers" in a true democracy especially when "they" claim to be doing "God's work".

One small step forward for corporate America, one giant leap backwards for the people's democracy.  Houston, we have a problem!

Read the full Reuters here

Thanks to a reader who left a comment directing us to this very interesting site and video.

"American citizens have repeatedly amended the Constitution to defend democracy when the Supreme Court acts in collusion with democracy's enemies, whether they are slavemasters, states imposing poll taxes on voters, or the opponents of woman suffrage. Today, the Court has enthroned corporations, permitting them not only all kinds of special economic rights but now, amazingly, moving to grant them the same political rights as the people. This is a moment of high danger for democracy so we must act quickly to spell out in the Constitution what the people have always understood: that corporations do not enjoy the political and free speech rights that belong to the people of the United States."
- Professor Jamin Raskin, constitutional law expert at American University's Washington College of Law and Maryland state senator

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  1. What did the Supreme Court just do to our democracy?

  2. Thank you for leaving this link. It is important that people see it, visit their site and become pro active against this action which further destroys our nation and our feedom.

  3. You should be very scared:

    Greed, Be Thou My God
    How Wall Street Destroyed Health Care

    It turns one’s stomach to watch libertarians and “free market economists” defend bureaucratized impersonal health care as “free market medicine.” There is no free market present. Corporate lobbies and campaign contributions use government power to create bureaucratized monopolies that destroy medicine for the practitioner and the patient. Wall Street pushes for greater shareholder earnings, which are achieved by denying care.

    My doctor has more people employed doing paperwork than he does delivering health care.

    While Medicare payments for in-office services to private doctors, including those for blood work and x-ray units, were drastically cut, payments to outside corporate facilities for the same services were increased. It is obvious what is afoot. Corporate lobbies are using their whores in Congress to shift income from physician offices to corporate labs, corporate medical service providers, and hospitals that are owned by national corporations.

    Legislation that cuts payments to private physicians and increases the payments to large corporate entities is intended to destroy private practice and to create in its place corporate bureaucracies in which doctors are wage slaves. The physician’s income is diverted to shareholders, CEO bonuses, and Wall Street. Health care is being replaced with health business.

    The fate of the health care bill demonstrates the power of private lobbies. What was to be health care for Americans was instantly transformed into 30 million new patients for the private health insurance industry. The “solution” to tens of millions of Americans being unable to afford health care is a law that requires them to purchase a private health care policy or be annually fined. As most of these uninsured Americans cannot afford to purchase a private policy, the plan is for the federal government to use taxpayers’ money to subsidize their purchase of a policy from private companies.

    In other words, tax money is being diverted to the pockets of private businesses. This is par for the course in “capitalist” America.

    In today’s America, Karl Marx’s criticisms of capitalism are understated. Wherever one looks, the scene is one of the government using taxpayers’ money to enrich private interests. Taxes are collected from people who can barely make it, and the revenues are transferred to multi-millionaires and billionaires. The federal government piles debt on the backs of heavily-burdened and dispossessed Americans in order that investment banksters can pay annual bonuses that exceed the lifetime earnings of most Americans.

  4. To the commenter who said "you should be scared".

    Yes, all Americans should be scared. There is a very big change occurring in our type of political system, one I fear, is leading us away from democracy and to a form of Fascism where corporations have all the control.

    Thank you also for the excerpt and link on the Paul Craig Roberts' article. He is a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan but sees things as they are. I urge everyone to link to it and read it.

    Once again, thank you. I would also be very interested in communicating with you. Please contact me at my private email address, I will respect your Anonymity. Thank you again for visiting and commenting.

  5. Is this transparency?

    Is this legal?

    SEC mulled national security status for AIG details
    Sun, Jan 24 2010
    By Matthew Goldstein

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators originally treated the New York Federal Reserve's bid to keep secret many of the details of the American International Group bailout like a request to protect matters of national security, according to emails obtained by Reuters.

    The request to keep the details secret were made by the New York Federal Reserve -- a regulator that helped orchestrate the bailout -- and by the giant insurer itself, according to the emails.

    The emails from early last year reveal that officials at the New York Fed were only comfortable with AIG submitting a critical bailout-related document to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after getting assurances from the regulatory agency that "special security procedures" would be used to handle the document.

    The SEC, according to an email sent by a New York Fed lawyer on January 13, 2009, agreed to limit the number of SEC employees who would review the document to just two and keep the document locked in a safe while the SEC considered AIG's confidentiality request.

    NY Fed Used National Security To Keep
    Bailout Details Secret From The Public