Saturday, January 23, 2010

Get concerned. Get involved. This is some serious shit.

The Supreme Court, in one ruling, has issued two enormous blows to a citizen-ruled democracy.
Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit

By ADAM LIPTAK of The New York Times
Published: January 21, 2010

"WASHINGTON — Overruling two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations, 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 vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said that allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace would corrupt democracy.

The ruling represented a sharp doctrinal shift, and it will have major political and practical consequences. Specialists in campaign finance law said they expected the decision to reshape the way elections were conducted. Though the decision does not directly address them, its logic also applies to the labor unions that are often at political odds with big bus"
This is some heart-attack serious shit, folks. In one 5-4 blow for the conservative and corporate majority, the Roberts Court has:

1) given yet another clear nod of support to this ridiculous notion that for-profit corporations are legally equivalent to human citizens with certain basic rights . . . a move which, to be honest, is filled with judicial precedent in this country. But even worse . . .

2) . . . the Supreme Court has opened the floodgates for corporations to spend as much as they fucking please on any and all elections. This overturns nearly a century of judicial precedent! Corporations are now free to spend tens of millions of dollars on specific candidates who they believe will represent their interests. Another take.
The Supreme Court Just Handed Anyone, Including bin Laden or the Chinese Govt., Control of Our Democracy

The Court's decision is far, far more dangerous to U.S. democracy. Think: Manchurian candidates.

By Greg Palast, AlterNet. Posted January 22, 2010.

In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations should be treated the same as "natural persons", i.e. humans. Well, in that case, expect the Supreme Court to next rule that Wal-Mart can run for President. The ruling, which junks federal laws that now bar corporations from stuffing campaign coffers, will not, as progressives fear, cause an avalanche of corporate cash into politics. Sadly, that's already happened: we have been snowed under by tens of millions of dollars given through corporate PACs and "bundling" of individual contributions from corporate pay-rollers.

I'm losing sleep over the millions — or billions — of dollars that could flood into our elections from ARAMCO, the Saudi Oil corporation's U.S. unit; or from the maker of "New Order" fashions, the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Or from Bin Laden Construction corporation. Or Bin Laden Destruction Corporation.

Right now, corporations can give loads of loot through PACs. While this money stinks (Barack Obama took none of it), anyone can go through a PAC's federal disclosure filing and see the name of every individual who put money into it. And every contributor must be a citizen of the USA. But under today's Supreme Court ruling that corporations can support candidates without limit, there is nothing that stops, say, a Delaware-incorporated handmaiden of the Burmese junta from picking a Congressman or two with a cache of loot masked by a corporate alias."
This is a goddamned disaster. Not only are we again told that ExxonMobile has the same rights as you, me, or my kid brother . . . now we are told they should be allowed to spend their billion$ of billion$ of dollars buying into the political process. I mean they already do this, sure . . . but now they can do it openly and without restriction.

A time-limited response from the Rude Pundit.



John Stoner said...

Had a flash of pranky brilliance: form a corporation and run it for national office. It would work best if we could get the resources to meet the legal challenges and take it to the Supreme Court.

Downtown Dave said...

Eff yeah dude! What a great idea. I would LOVE to set up a porn company, or an escort service, or some douchey "all natural herbs" company and then run IT for President!