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High court unleashes tsunami of corporate cash with Citizens United Ruling

By Joe Romm on January 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm

"High court unleashes tsunami of corporate cash with Citizens United Ruling"

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Obama: Decision represents “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.”

Sweeping aside a century-old understanding and overruling two important precedents, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections….

The 5-to-4 decision was a doctrinal earthquake but also a political and practical one. Specialists in campaign finance law said they expected the decision, which also applies to labor unions and other organizations, to reshape the way elections are conducted….

Justice John Paul Stevens read a long dissent from the bench. He said the majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings. His decision was joined by the other three members of the court’s liberal wing.

And so a corrupted process becomes more corrupt.  The High Court’s ruling can be viewed here.

Of course, existing dirty energy industries have tens of billions of dollars in profits to spend on electing their candidates.  New clean energy industries and future generations, not so much.  Indeed, the very point of the ruling by the conservative majority is that corporations are really no different than homo “sapiens” sapiens – except of course they have a lot more money.

The Sierra Club has released a Statement by Political Director, Cathy Duvall, on the grim implication for energy and climate policy:

“We are extremely troubled and dismayed by today’s decision.  It appears that the High Court confirmed our worst fears with its sweeping ruling that cast aside the laws that protected us from unlimited corporate campaign spending.

“Congress is already awash in a sea of special interest money; this decision will launch a tsunami of corporate cash whose purpose is to overrun the public’s interests.  Big Oil, Dirty Coal, and other special interests have a stranglehold on the Congress and today’s ruling will further endanger the ability of citizens to influence the political process.  This ruling could put today’s “pay-to-play” political culture on steroids.

We already have very clear indications of the dangers that lie ahead. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been involved in today’s case, reported just yesterday that it spent a record-breaking $71 million on lobbying last quarter.  Even before today’s decision, it has already been laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate cash, most notably for the health insurance industry and polluters, and has pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars in this year’s elections.  Now it and the special interests that fund it will be allowed to spend limitless amounts not only in the legislative process, but to support or oppose individual candidates.

“Now only Congress can stem the tidal wave of special interest cash and influence peddling that is about to overwhelm the electoral process.  The Sierra Club has long supported campaign finance reform and we now urge Congress to find a solution to help candidates combat the expected increase in spending on independent expenditures.  In particular, we support passage of the Fair Elections Now Act.”

Here’s the President, in the Washington Post story:

President Obama sharply criticized the decision, saying it gives “a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics” and represents “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.”

In a statement released by the White House, Obama said the ruling “gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington — while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates.” He said he was instructing his administration “to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue” and coordinate with Democratic and Republican leaders on a “forceful response.”

The Post notes:

It also is a telling reminder of how quickly a court can change. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor supported the constitutionality of the act in 2003. But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and O’Connor’s replacement, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., have supported each challenge to the law since they have joined the court. They supported Kennedy’s opinion, along with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

As always, elections matter, or in this case, other Supreme Court decisions like Bush v. Gore.

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44 Responses to High court unleashes tsunami of corporate cash with Citizens United Ruling

  1. Doug Bostrom says:

    So if a corporation is a person, can we see all shareholders go to jail when a corporation is found guilty of a crime that would warrant jail for an individual?

    Where’s the real accountability for actions here?

  2. Sergi Melzar says:

    Massey Coal can advertise. Till now, they could be smeared but for some reason their right to speak was silenced.

  3. Rights are things that are possessed by Persons, which is to say, moral agents. In what respect can a legal fiction have its “right to speak” silenced when it is logically impossible for it to have any rights at all?

    Obviously SCOTUS doesn’t trouble itself over little things like logic when the unbridled exercise of the most vicious sorts of power are at stake.

  4. mike roddy says:

    God, what a horrifying decision. And thanks to the President for speaking about it in a forthright way. Maybe he can say the same thing in a major address to the country, since a lot of voters either don’t know how much corporate money sways elections, or don’t remember a time when it was any different.

  5. Lewis says:

    I guess whoever said it yesterday in a comment to this blog was right, “Government of the people, by the corporation, for the corporation.”

  6. Jeff McLeod says:

    kudos to Obama – think about our last president saying that haha

  7. Joe – you need to change your “High Court” references to “Supreme Court”. In the US the ultimate appellate court is the Supreme Court of the United States” – and, indeed, that was the court that made this decisions. In some other countries, the ultimate (or even intermediate) appellate court is referred to as the “High Court” (e.g. the High Court of Australia).

    [JR: 1) It was a quote form Sierra Club. 2) It's pretty common usage -- google it. NPR uses it, for instance.]

  8. Dano says:

    Look who’s on the majority ruling list.

    And, gosh, passed muster with less than 59% majority and Repubs played hardball about the Nuclear Option for their boy, but gosh, no Nulculur Option any other time, nosirree!

    Best,

    D

  9. Stuart says:

    Well, maybe the politicians can all wear their corporate sponsor patches like NASCAR drivers so we will know who is owned by who.

    Bring on the Brawndo!

  10. George Ennis says:

    If the consequences for the rest of the globe were not so serious I could just sit back and laugh at the idiocy that is running rampant through the US in its courts, its legislators, the voters etc.

    Unfortunately there are serious consequences for the rest of us on the planet and with this decision I suspect things are going to get a lot worse from a climate perspective on every front. It is simply laughable to equate a corporation as a person when it comes to the electoral process, and if they are then clearly the idea of equality is laughable given the enormous difference in resources and capabilities of the Fortune 500 with the average citizen. Looks like the “town hall meetings” have just suffered a corporate takeover.

    Well 2010 should see the Republicans gain massively in the mid term elections. As for a climate change bill…say bye bye. In fact I suspect we may see the “science” of clean coal, global cooling etc sitting side by side with the “science’ of creationism.

  11. mark says:

    will corporations spend more money than is already spent, influencing public opinion, and buying votes?

    It’s already so corrupt, It’s hard to imagine what worse would be like.

    corporate sponsor patches: great idea, funny. The senator from Exxon.

  12. James Newberry says:

    Hello George Orwell. Welcome to the US rot of ascendant globalized fascistic corporatism. No need for democracy here, one clarabell of the judiciary is all that’s required (5 to 4), winner take all. We are the United States of Apocalypse.

    Give the entire US Treasury to globalized investment corporations, sell off all public lands to mining corporations and their financial backers. To hell with the ecosphere and all higher lifeforms and ecological systems. Use $billions collected from the public for policy propaganda, which is subsidized through business expensing so the public pays the tab. There is profit to be made. You know, money: a tradable symbol of the socially agreed upon quantification of political power. And we do mean power, physical (power plants and combustion materials) and dominion over public governance. Centralize all ownership.

    The court is corrupt, although what isn’t in America today? The country astonishingly regresses yet again. Where are the country’s founders when you need them?

  13. Jeff Huggins says:

    OK Folks!

    If this is the way that (for now) the legalistic thinking is going — i.e., in a way that ignores basic common sense — then we should all RECOGNIZE the VITAL IMPORTANCE and ROLE that our own decisions can (and now must) have on those corporations that act irresponsibly.

    In other words, it becomes vitally important to have effective boycotts (on a large scale) of those companies that are behaving irresponsibly.

    Period. End of story. What can be more clear, especially now, given this ruling?

    FAR TOO OFTEN, people sit around and say, “well a boycott will never work” or “that’s too much trouble” or “but I like that TV program, so it’s too much to ask me to stop watching it just because the network that shows it (Fox) is on the wrong track”.

    If you find yourself using that sort of logic, forget it.

    It is time to STOP buying ExxonMobil products, period. It is time to STOP BUYING products from Koch (e.g., Georgia Pacific household products), period. It is time to STOP WATCHING programs on Fox, period — and yes, that includes your favorite programs and some sports (on Fox) and so forth.

    The Court has ruled that corporations can spend immense amounts of money on things that influence politics and, thus, will influence the directions that society takes. But, YOU ALREADY have the power to speak with your own pocketbooks and to speak out. No excuses. What we need now are ways to ORGANIZE those sorts of actions — to make them LARGE — and to focus them in the right places.

    Given recent events and the Court ruling, things such as boycotts can no longer be seen as “radical” and “ineffective” things that nobody ever does, at least not effectively. Instead, we need to see them as a PRINCIPAL and NECESSARY — and PRINCIPLED — way to insist that society takes on more healthy and responsible directions.

    Boycotts should no longer be seen as odd amusements of the small 0.1% minority. We need to approach them as a KEY and NECESSARY WAY for the public to be heard.

    By the way, this is not coming from someone who doesn’t understand business or businesses, or from someone who has been a life-long boycotter or activist. I was a chemical engineer in the oil industry, a Baker Scholar from Harvard B-School, and I’ve been a McKinsey consultant and an executive at Disney. I have a good sense of what I’m talking about. All things considered, if the Supreme Court is going to allow corporations to speak, en masse, with their huge amounts of money, as if they are citizens, then YOU (yes YOU) will need to join in with focused boycotts, if you want to have a voice. It’s really as simple as that, until the law changes.

    Any questions?

    OK, who is a good organizer? And, who agrees?

    Be Well (and pray),

    Jeff

  14. Mark Shapiro says:

    Jeff –

    Regarding boycotts working or not, a brief suggestion:

    Name the CEO, and blame him, and shame him. Corporations don’t have any feelings at all, but they do have tons of goodwill, honed with decades of marketing and brand-building. CEOs, however, do have feelings, and they do share the protection of the goodwill of their companies. So always name the CEO, and tie him to the bad behavior that disgusts you (and me).

  15. highinthemountains says:

    we have a right to petition our government and this place sounds like they are putting together the petition. http://www.movetoamend.org/motion-amend

  16. Dano says:

    At least we can say we are watching the increase in speed of American decline. There’s that.

    If corporations are prepared to spend money in the next election, imagine how many lawyers they are ready to pay to take any EPA ruling all the way to the Bush II SCOTUS (does anyone really think ACES will pass? Do you? Do you really?). 15 more years in the courts. This is why we need California and several RGGIs to happen. Surely the corporations knew this a decade ago and are ready to elect their boys (almost always boys) in key states to stop any RGGI.

    Best,

    D

  17. Mark Shapiro says:

    This is an awful blow, but remember, friends, it is not over. We keep on working. We keep on fighting.

    We don’t give up.

  18. Roger says:

    United we stand, divided we fall: Meet in Washington on Earth Day, April 22nd, at 1 P.M. (“WED1”) at The White House for a cool Citizens Climate Congress (CCC).

    We will ask President Obama: 1) to inform misinformed Americans of the urgent need to deal with climate change, and 2) to exercise the bold leadership that the science demands.

    If just a fraction of our climate-oriented groups will cooperate to FOCUS our attention on this ONE place, on ONE day, at ONE time, on ONE VIP, we will have a huge impact!

  19. Jeff Huggins says:

    I agree with Roger (Comment 18) and think that Washington DC on Earth Day is a GREAT IDEA — something TO DO. The clock is ticking and the last couple days show clearly that concrete and focused action is needed. Obama himself has said, and has quoted others who said, that the people need to “make me do it” … not his exact words, I think, but I don’t have the quote in front of me. Well, although I am still “hopeful”, it seems to me that he has made clear that citizens DO need to “make him make change” — giving him support, of course, AND insisting, at the same time.

    In any case, it’s clear (and it always has been) that the internet alone will not sufficiently prompt the sort and scale of change necessary. MAJOR events — and visible ones — are needed.

    I DO HOPE that the key climate organizations can cooperate and be together on this one. Washington DC. Earth Day. It makes beautiful — and necessary –sense. As John Lennon (and the Beatles) sang: Come Together. Right Now.

    Good idea Roger.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  20. Chris Dudley says:

    Seems to me that the court was too rushed to give this adequate consideration. I think perhaps they don’t have a large enough workforce to do quality work given their caseload. I’d suggest increasing the size of the court to 19 to see if closer attention to the law results.

  21. Zan says:

    What Republicans? If corporations have more power than a democratic government it’s fascism, by definition.
    We’ve been seeing transnational corporatism for quite a while. This is a one-two punch after the loss of MA.

  22. Jim Prall says:

    As soon as I read of this decision, I thought: we need to stop pretending we have equal representation for citizens. Let’s be realistic, admit how things really work, and just simply elect on senator per corporation. Membership in the Dow Jones average would qualify.

    “Will the Senator from Exxon yield for a question from the Senator for G.E.?”

  23. Gail D says:

    Regarding comment #20 “that the court was too rushed to give this adequate consideration”…. the information below paints a picture of an on-going, very concerted effort to artificially bring this case in order to tip the balance of power into Corporate hands. This scares the pants off me!

    And regarding comment #13 calling for boycotts of corporations which (or should I say “who”) engage in massive election funding – as a “way to insist that society takes on more healthy and responsible directions.” It’s (boycotts) always worth doing, but corporations have been using their money for influence for a long time and we’ve always had the ability to boycott. What is now changed is that with yesterday’s decision, our power, our voice, our impact has just become VASTLY diminished. (if not completely squelched).

    Instead of taking on our age-old fight of battling the corporations, I think it is imperative to get at the belly of the beast which is this preposterous court decision. We must not let it stand. Left in place, we are at the complete whim of the corporate powers that be.

    As appears in today’s blog on http://pr.thinkprogress.org/:
    THE BACKGROUND OF THE CASE: The case grew from attempts by the conservative organization Citizens United to promote its anti-Hillary Clinton film, “Hillary: The Movie,” in 2008, which “takes viewers on a savaging journey through Clinton’s scandals.” Because the movie was partially financed with corporate funds, “it fell under restrictions in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002,” also known as The McCain-Feingold Act. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) therefore heavily restricted Citizens United’s ability to advertise the film. A March 2009 ruling upheld the FEC’s decision, writing that the film was “susceptible of no other interpretation than to inform the electorate that Senator Clinton is unfit for office, that the United States would be a dangerous place in a President Hillary Clinton world, and that viewers should vote against her.” The film “was the brainchild of Citizens United President David N. Bossie, a former congressional aid” and longtime Clinton critic. According to Nick Nyhart, president of Public Campaign, “The movie was created with the idea of establishing a vehicle to chip away at the decision. … It was part of a very clear strategy to undo McCain-Feingold.”

    and on Democracy Now today…

    AMY GOODMAN: This is considered a conservative court, Jamin Raskin, but isn’t this a very activist stance of the Supreme Court justices?
    JAMIN RASKIN: Indeed. The Supreme Court has reached out to strike down a law that has been on the books for several decades. And moreover, it reached out when the parties to the case didn’t even ask them to decide it. The Citizens United group, the anti-Hillary Clinton group, did not even ask them to wipe out decades of Supreme Court case law on the rights of corporations in the First Amendment. The Court, in fact, raised the question, made the parties go back and brief this case, and then came up with the answer to the question that the Court itself, or the five right-wing justices themselves, posed here.
    There would have been lots of other ways for those conservative justices to find that Citizens United’s anti-Hillary Clinton movie was protected speech, the simplest being saying, “Look, this was pay-per-view; it wasn’t a TV commercial. So it’s not covered by McCain-Feingold.” But the Court, or the five justices on the Court, were hell-bent on overthrowing McCain-Feingold and the electioneering communication rules and reversing decades of precedent.
    And so, now the people are confronted with a very serious question: Will we have the political power and vision to mobilize, to demand a constitutional amendment to say that it is “we, the people,” not “we, the corporations”?

    (listen or read whole interview here: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/1/22/in_landmark_campaign_finance_ruling_supreme

  24. Lou Grinzo says:

    Yep, this decision is really the fuzzy end of a lollipop.

    My initial reaction was extremely negative, but I’m now wondering if I was too quick to judgment. For example, Juan Cole doesn’t see this as being as bad as many progressives (or whatever we are):

    http://www.juancole.com/2010/01/is-supreme-court-decision-so-important.html

    If nothing else, this strikes me as a decision that will take years to play out, and I’m not convinced we can be sure just where it falls on that craptacular scale, even though right now it feels really bad.

  25. Well, 10,000 lemmings jumping off a cliff is not an argument that jumping off a cliff is a good idea. (I do not mean to suggest that CW was suggesting it was, only making explicit the logical problem.)
    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/bandwagn.html

  26. Leif says:

    Lou, #24: I just get back from the West End of the Olympic Peninsula and off electrons for three days and come back to Brown, and this Court ruling. Oh well…

    This is a half baked thought at best, but appears that this ruling is giving more “individual” rights to corporations. Then it follows that corporations should start to bare equal responsibilities as well. Recently I have been looking at corporations as social constructed “robots” with a license to kill. (Think tobacco, Love Canal…) They can say and do most anything to insure maximum profits. However if corporations are closer to individuals than they would have a greater obligation to society, in fact humanity. Perhaps this just might be a way for hu-MAN-ity to get it’s foot back in the door. Won’t Corporations at least have to tell the truth?

  27. Jeff Huggins says:

    Poor Discriminated-Against Corporations!

    I’m relieved that the Supreme Court has, in its wisdom, seen fit to make sure that we real humans (with blood, guts, life-spans, and so forth) do not take away a Corporation’s “right to free speech”. After all, Corporations as such have feelings too, don’t they? At least, someone said that they should be treated like individuals, and I once heard of a 30-page Corporate Charter shedding tears: As the story goes, its weeping could be heard from outside the filing cabinet drawer in Delaware in which it had been filed away.

    Lady Justice should have been proud yesterday!

    But this is just the beginning, yes?!

    Corporations should also be able to adopt children! Why not? And, it should go without saying (these days) that a human being should be able to marry a Corporation, and a Corporation should be able to marry a human being!

    Just because any and all of a Corporation’s employees already have a right to get married, because they ARE human individuals, and just because anyone on the Corporation’s Board of Directors already has a right to get married, because they too are human individuals, and just because any of the Corporation’s customers or admirers already has a right to get married (or should have), because they too are human individuals, all of these things don’t mean that the Corporation itself shouldn’t ALSO be able to get married to a human, if it wants. Same goes with adopting children.

    (Of course, as with individuals, it should certainly be illegal for a Corporation to commit rape, or even to run a red light.)

    And let’s make sure that we allow Corporations to have their hair styled. We wouldn’t want to create a situation that unfairly results in long-haired messy-looking corporations all around. Any respectable Corporation should wear a suit, or at least nice clothes, even as it outspends citizens by a large factor when it comes to political advertising, in order that it can (justly, of course) preserve its “right” to mess up the climate, increase health insurance premiums through the roof, and do pretty much whatever else it wants.

    Viva La Corporate Rights!

    Jeff Huggins
    Harvard Business School, Class of 1986, Baker Scholar
    McKinsey and Company, 1986-1990

  28. Leif says:

    Jeff, #28: Individuals do NOT have the right to KILL other individuals however. I am prevented from polluting my neighbors water. If I kill another “individual” the “LAW” knows no bounds in my pursuit. The smallest transgression on my part can be grounds for a fine, suit, or even jail. Clearly the “LAW” should be able to come to humanities’ rescue when judge and jury show that current corporate practices are decidedly and obviously harmful to humanity. Given a FAIR trial the well-being of humanity cannot fail to prevail.

  29. Jeff Huggins says:

    Hi Leif (Comment 29),

    I’m not sure how to interpret your Comment 29. My Comment 28 was a joke, of course: That is, it was intended to show the absurdity of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Of course corporations should not kill or mess up the planet, nor should individuals. The well-being of humankind should prevail.

    So, to clarify: My Comment 28 was a “joke”.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  30. A.J. Sutter says:

    Stuart #9: great idea, though Justice Thomas would oppose, since this might permit retaliation (see his partial dissent).

    Lou #24: Sorry to make you feel worse, but Juan Cole’s arguments are too much based on a conventional advertising mindset. Most media conventional ads are about things people don’t initially care about, and have to be seduced into. But political issues usually matter a lot more. Moreover, political ads’ messages can be amplified through P.R. outlets like Fox News and the blogosphere much more than for products/services. I can imagine that Fox News will have lots of new advertising “tie-ins” as a result of this ruling.

    CW #25: You’re oversimplifying. When asked if they think the “same rules [should] apply to corporations, unions and individuals,” 55% said the same rules should apply. When asked “Do you consider money given to political candidates to be free speech protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, or not?” 57% percent said it was free speech. The first question may be the more dispositive one, though I think the phrase “same rules” has certain affective connotations in American culture. The second question, in addition to stirring up the usual emotions surrounding the First Amendment (which I share), doesn’t make it clear whose contributions it’s talking about. When I first read it, I took it that “Do you consider…” was referring to my contributions.

    But in the same poll, when asked “Do you think the government should or should not be able to place limits on how much money corporations or unions can give to a political candidate?,” 76% of people said “yes, place limits.” This shows either that public opinion is incoherent, or that it’s swayed by the positive connotations of fair play in the phrase “same rules,” as mentioned above.

    Unfortunately, I think the Court decision will open the way for even more confusion and incoherence. People in Japan, where I live, cannot for the life of them understand why Americans are against universal health care — only addled minds or stone hearts could oppose it. This decision is bad news for US action to mitigate climate change, too. In that respect this decision has repercussions for us on this side of the Pacific, and everyone all over the world.

  31. Leif says:

    Jeff, #30: My comment was not a joke. Corporations the world over have shown disregard for humanity and individuals as well. History is riddled with examples. Coal comes to mind, farm practices and pesticides, chemical companies, Oil companies, auto companies and seat belts. The list is long and extensive. As an individual how far would I get with a fraction of this blood on my hands. I say that if corporations wish to lobby my elected official they should be required to lobby for the well-being of humanity first and by extension corporations second. (As there can be no corporations without a viable population to sustain those corporations). Short term, yes, long term? What a crock! Now that they are one of us, our rules apply. We no longer need to have a separate judicial category for corporations. In my youth there was a saying that went something like “What is good for GM,(?) is good for the USA”. Global climatic disruption has shown that to be BS. On the other hand, “What is good for humanity is good for GM,” is obviously true. (If GM,(?) can be competitive with other corporations on a level, legal, playing field.) Tho shall not kill would be a good starting point.

    Universal health care is a case in point. I can think of few things that would be as good for Corporate America than universal health care in the long term, but short term profits over ride long term benefits. The power of advertising and lots of money can convince a small majority that the opposite is true even if thousands of deaths result. Corporations are bound to lie with regard to global warming because they see mitigation as more costly than the status quo in the short term. Their only lens. Now that they are one of us a long term horizon is in order, don’t you think?

  32. “Corporations have shown disregard for humanity and individuals as well.”

    A point brought out by the book and documentary “The Corporation” (see notes below), is that when the standards of evaluation for persons from the DSM-IV are applied to corporations, corporations turn out to be sociopaths.

    The Corporation — DVD Documentary,
    Starring: Jane Akre, Ray Anderson Director: Jennifer Abbott, Mark Achbar
    http://www.amazon.com/Corporation-Jane-Akre/dp/B0007DBJM8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1253925558&sr=1-2

    The Corporation — Book, Joel Bakan
    http://www.amazon.com/Corporation-Pathological-Pursuit-Profit-Power/dp/0743247469/ref=pd_sim_d_3

  33. Leif says:

    Logic Deferred, #33: Thank you. Sociopaths? I never doubted it for a second. So here we have humanities destiny in the hands of well healed sociopaths that control a good portion of the politicians, lawyers, and judicial system. Big money and corporations have brought humanity to the “door step of doom” promoting policies of wanton consumption with pervasive advertising while ignoring the well-being of the very core of there success, PEOPLE. Perhaps I should perforce that and say happy, well adjusted, fed, clothed, housed, healthy people. It is obvious that corporations are willing to ignore the very future of all humanity as testified by there active pursuit of policies promoting global climatic disruption and “dog eat dog” attitude. Now that corporations are “one of us” we have but a few years at most to “socialize” that crazy, happens to be rich, sibling in the attic and convince him to cooperate in the well-being of the family of MAN!

  34. espiritwater says:

    At another website, it was stated that in near future, there will be a convergence of several problems: peak oil, climate change, population spike, food and water shortages, and right wing Neo cons attempting to take away our civil rights.

    More and more, it seems Neocons are using stuff straight out of George Orwell’s book, “1984.” Sometimes it seems no matter what we do to try to mitigate the problems, it’s hopeless because what we’re up against is so vile and pervasive. Corporate-run media has no interest in Truth.

    Before Obama’s became president, our country was swept over by a dark, dark force via Bush administration. Our country used to have so much light and was full of promise

    It wasn’t just that our constitutional rights were wrested away from us– (A woman was jailed for having “No War” on her shirt at a Bush rally, a man was arrested for talking sharply to Cheney, our government can now conduct illegal search and seizures, enter our homes without proper papers, spy on us, have illegal prisons, torture, has an illegal army, set up “concentration camps”, etc.)— they also managed to siphon off trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to fatten Big Corporations, screwed millions of homeowners out of their savings, etc.

    To quote a past Russian leader: “America will not be conquered from without but from within.” I think we’ve “been had”. Obama has tried to lift us up, but something vile and sinister has happened to our Country. Recently, another Science Denier (Neocon) from Massachusettes has been propped up into office. We’re constantly sabotaged at every angle and cannot extricate ourselves from the slime of the bush administration.

    Last night, for fun, I added up the word “Corporation”, numerically. (I know a little about Numerology). Right away, I saw there were three 6′s. I went ahead and added up the rest of the numbers which came to 9. I added the 666+9. (6+9=15). The 1 and 5 are reduced, numerically to 6. That results in 666. I kid you not.

    PLEASE READ, “THE END OF AMERICA” by Naomi Wolfe.

  35. espiritwater says:

    I think we’re on the verge of entering a very large, ferocious and difficult battle– between those fighting for our planet, the environment, our country, the climate and a viable future for our children– versus a very, very corrupt, powerful, greedy, rich corporate elite who want power and control and couldn’t care less about us.

    From the books I’ve read, it seems they’ve known for quite some time about climate change, peak oil, and the problem of carrying capacity. They simply don’t care. There are too many people anyhow. The population needs to be culled. They simply want power and control.

  36. espiritwater says:

    Gail D says
    Regarding comment #20 “that the court was too rushed to give this adequate consideration”…. the information below paints a picture of an on-going, very concerted effort to artificially bring this case in order to tip the balance of power into Corporate hands. This scares the pants off me!

    I agree with you perfectly! The website I was referring to was: http://www.fromthewilderness.com It has some mind-blowing videos also.

  37. espiritwater says:

    A very good video:
    http://wwww.Collapsemovie.com
    Also, “Michael Ruppert confronts CIA director about dirty money laundering–video”

  38. espiritwater says:

    …oops! Actually, it was supposed to be: http://www.CollapseMovie.com (Capitol M).

    Other good videos on the same topic (sustainability and the Elite Powers’ lies, etc.)– Type in: YouTube– video– 2 Mike Ruppert Q & A After screening Collapse… (part 2 of 3) (It’s with the other video on the Movie Collapse).

  39. espiritwater says:

    James Newberry said: “The court is corrupt, although what isn’t in America today? The country astonishingly regresses yet again. Where are the country’s founders when you need them?”

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Mr. Newberry. However, the founders never meant that everything would be handed over to us on a silverplatter. Please read the books by Naomi Wolfe, on the Constitution and our responsibilities (every one of us!)– “The End of America” and “Letter to a Patriot”.

  40. espiritwater says:

    To Mike Roddy, #4:

    Yes, Mike, it’s awful what happened and it’s nice of Obama to address the problem. However, Obama is too nice to actually fix it. He just keeps playing by the rules. The neo-Cons, on the other hand, DON’T.

    Ask yourself: “is this really that much different from everything else that’s happened since 9/11? Everything changed since 9/11. Yes, we got a little breather when Obama was elected and he’s tried to get thing’s back on track. But when bush took over our country (remember? It wasn’t legal), EVERYTHING changed. “America will be conquered from within, not from without.” Please read. “End of America” by Naomi Wolfe and “Crossing the Rubicon–The decline of the American Empire at the end of the age of oil” by Michael Ruppert.

  41. CW says:

    I sent the Gallup poll to be a bit more provocative and to see if folks would click the link and read the details. As Joe constantly reminds us, we need to rewire our reactions to headlines… this one by Gallup was misleading.

    A closer scrutiny of the details of the poll finds that while a somewhat narrow majority (57%) thinks giving money to political campaigns is a form of free speech, the majority think that there should be a restriction on donations to such campaigns all the same: 61% believe individual donating should be restricted and …

    … 76% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE GROUPS (COMPANIES, UNIONS) SHOULD BE RESTRICTED IN THE AMOUNT THEY CAN DONATE TO CAMPAIGNS.

  42. fj says:

    With a deserved very high approval rating as Mayor of New York Bloomberg won the last election by an extremely small margin despite spending something like $100 million on his campaign indicating that the eventual outcome of this Supreme Court decision is not entirely clear as the best influence peddling is often indirect and obscure in origin.

    The President is correct criticizing the decision but much more importantly he should back up his words with accelerating action like pushing through health care and climate change bills and calling the insurance, finance, and oil industries before Congress to explain their treasonous behavior undermining the long history American war-like leadership responding to crisis.

  43. J4zonian says:

    Lou #24, and Jeff and Leif,

    The poll was about free speech and campaign money, not about corporate personhood. That question apparently wasn’t asked, although in the end it is far more important than the limited realm of campaign contributions, where corporate money already dominates. And in typical fashion the poll answers were confused and seem to show what tiny parts logic and knowledge play in the opinions and actions and votes of the US public.

    There was a case a few years ago about a corporation not telling the truth, (Coke, maybe?) in which they asserted their right to lie like every’body’ else. Can’t remember how it was decided but it hardly matters, since they lie constantly anyway and pay little or no price for it.

    My feelings when I heard were summed up by Auden’s poem “Funeral Blues” or Stop all the Clocks”:

    http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/auden.stop.html

    I am finally and strangely comforted by the fact that we still execute persons in this country, including children and persons of unusually low IQ, and am, in a 180° turnaround of a longstanding opinion, hoping that spreads to other states now that we realize corporate persons are the same as the other kind. (Kinds?) And as long as we’re at this most liberal expansion of rights since 1863, I think we should include other beings as well—Whales, Wolves and Willows, as well as Gaia, since it is clear they are more deserving of rights than abstract fictional concepts on paper or computer disk.