January 22, 2010

Shame. John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Sam Alito have (again) shamed the Supreme Court, and their nation.


Worst decision of my lifetime. Worst decision in 150 years. Shameful. Disgusting. And just goes to show you that the corporate takeover of America is now complete. Halliburton will be proud. The Bilderbergs and Skull & Bones will be pleased. Exxon and Wal-Mart will see their ROI.

As of today, we are all their bitches. We are owned. We are enslaved.


Shame.

Shame on them. And shame on the American voter for letting it happen.

At what point does your country no longer deserve your support? Are we now there?

The Supreme Court removes important limits on campaign finance


FOR MORE THAN a century, Congress has recognized the danger of letting corporations use their wealth to wield undue influence in political campaigns. The Supreme Court had upheld these efforts. But Thursday, making a mockery of some justices' pretensions to judicial restraint, the Supreme Court unnecessarily and wrongly ruled 5 to 4 that the constitutional guarantee of free speech means that corporations can spend unlimited sums to help elect favored candidates or defeat those they oppose. This, as the dissenting justices wrote, "threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation."

This result was unnecessary because the court's conservative majority -- including supposed exemplars of judicial modesty -- lunged to make a broad constitutional ruling when narrower grounds were available. It was wrong because nothing in the First Amendment dictates that corporations must be treated identically to people. And it was dangerous because corporate money, never lacking in the American political process, may now overwhelm both the contributions of individuals and the faith they may harbor in their democracy.

63 comments:

Ross said...

I'm confused. What does this actually change? How can our politicians possibly be more bought than they already are?

Anonymous said...

www.alternet.org/rights/145323/the_bush-packed_supreme_court_thinks_corporations_are_people_too

Paul E. Math said...

Treating corporations 'like people' was supposed to be a concept that helped us understand what a corporation was.

It was not supposed to be taken literally such that we accord them all the rights of people such as the 1st amendment.

This judgment is warped and idiotic.

And you are right, Keith, it sows the seeds of our own enslavement.

Good luck getting elected officials who will stand up to big corporations when a corporation now holds the power to see any official lose an election.

yoski said...

It is really outrageous that a system exsists where a bunch of UNelected officials can make politics.
And what's up with these 5-4 descisions? These people are all suposedly experts in their field. Society wasted millions to educate these idiots and they can rarely agree on anything. I mean why not just take a survey of the first 9 people that happen to pass by?
Go to a hospital and 5 out of 9 doctors agree that you have a heart attack. 5 out of 9 engineers agree that the plane you're sitting in will reach its destination. 5 out of 9 snake oil salesmen agree that they've found the fountain of youth. 5 out of 9 dogs agree that cat poop is pretty tasty. Damn, I wish I could get away with that in my job, 5 out of 9 times the software I write will actually do what it is supposed to do.
Hell, every bum at the street corner can give you a 5-4 descision. It doesn't take a seat at the supreme court to do that. If the law is that amibigous what is the point having laws in the first place?
Should be pretty clear, buying/bribing politicains is illegal, end of story.

Afterthought said...

That's Ok. It will further lead to the left-right populist alliance that will restore freedom.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it Keith.
How on earth could they vote this way.
Were they paid off too?
This really is the quiet little resounding blast that no one seems ot even notice.
I am a moron, but can tell we are officially owned by corporate (what used to be) America, now.
Is the white people's hatred of Obama so deep, that they themselves turn into lunatics trying to 'get back at him?'

Anonymous said...

1. where did that language come from? A Keith Olberman monologue?

2. How much money did Obama raise for his presidential run?

casey said...

WTF are they thinking here?This seems totally bogus.I guess we might as well bend over and ask for fries with the tube steak.

keith said...

Corporations = We the People when it comes to rights under the constitution, thanks to John Roberts and friends.

So now corporations can buy a Senator. Does Exxon want some legislation passed? Easy. Just buy a senator. Put $20 billion toward his campaign, and good to go. The People could put up a candidate and raise $5 million perhaps.

It was already bad enough. Now it just got grotesque.

How did it happen? The corporatists in the GOP got Bush 1 and Bush 2 in there for 12 years and they stacked the deck. Only takes 5.

People wondered why I was so anti-McCain. The supreme court was my #1 reason. 5-4 is close. 6-3 isn't.

Mark in San Diego said...

And this comes on the day Obama and Volker announced new bank regulations. . .we will see how far THAT goes now that JPMorgan, Citi, etc. can buy a few more senators and congressmen.

Let's just elect Hank Paulson for president and be done with it.

Next up. . .American Idol(soon to be owned by Goldman) contestants,will sing - "Praise to Wall Street Heros". . .

Ross said...

I am going to take a wait-and-see on this one. I'm not so sure that those billions will make the difference when it comes to getting elected. I agree that the decision was bogus, but there could be a silver lining.

People are pissed and they want the establishment out in 2010. Maybe having the backing of a corporation will get you skewered on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, RSS Feeds etc? I know the influence of the MSM is fading and people are looking elsewhere for their info. Nobody can deny that.

Am I being too Pollyanna here?

Bukko_in_Australia said...

We wouldn't be so screwed except for the fact that AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SO STOOOOOOPID that they can be persuaded to vote for any corporate candidate who's got enough TV advertising behind them.

What it means is that corpos can blitz the airwaves with 24/7 propaganda. It wouldn't matter if enough average people were tuned in enough to know what the fuck is going on, and to pay attention to how political candidates will screw them (or maybe NOT screw them.) But since most people are dumb enough to be persuaded by ads saying "Do we know for SURE that candidate So-and-so is not a secret Muslim?", then there's no hope.

America -- get ready to be burned by the masses of idiots that your populace has become.

Anonymous said...

And to think that a common idiot such as myself always thought that free-speech was meant to protect the political dissenter from being arrested/jailed/tortured by the government.

I totally forgot that it was intended to allow corporations to leverage their wealth to make sure they get more say than the common working man.

Angry Leprechaun said...

Bill Greene
Braselton, GA Another view:

http://conservativehq.com/blog_post/show/524

" Today's Supreme Court decision: Good Riddance to Incumbent-Protection Censorship; Hello Insurgents"

Written by Richard Viguerie on January 21, 2010, 12:29 PM

Today’s Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case means that the anti-incumbent furor that has been growing is partly released from the shackles created by ‘incumbent protection’ election and campaign finance laws.

The dirty little secret about all campaign finance laws passed by Congress since 1972 is that they were designed to protect incumbents by stifling competition.

This ruling is especially important for advocacy causes and organizations, which may now more freely express opinions about incumbents.

In the 1960s I began using direct mail to finance political campaigns from tens of thousands of small donors, thereby greatly increasing reelection problems for incumbents.

As insurgents began to rely on new, alternative sources (direct mail and Internet) to finance challenges to incumbents, Congress began to pass incumbent-protection laws.

Congress passed anti-democratic, anti-free-and-fair election laws to make it much more difficult for outsiders, nonprofits and other independent causes to criticize and challenge incumbents.

The timing of the Supreme Court’s First Amendment ruling, combined with the anti-incumbent rage of voters and activists, couldn’t be worse for incumbents, and couldn’t be better for independent grassroots causes that seek to challenge the corrupt status quo.

The American voter is growing increasingly anti-establishment and anti-big government, as we saw in Tuesday’s Massachusetts Senate election. People are becoming focused on how the establishment (incumbents) is using its power to gain unfair advantages – from winning elections to financial gain.

The Supreme Court decision today will increase the number of incumbents (Republican and Democratic) who will decide not to run for reelection this year so as to “spend more time with their family.”

RipeDurian said...

Its a good point about the 5 to 4s Yoski very odd that these no brainers turn into "nail biters".

I don't think its stupidity though.

We're supposed to think they are really wrestling hard, thinking through, and making the tough but fair calls.

So the average double cheeseburger can skim the text or tube and think "hmmm 5 to 4, looks like they are on the case... now I can watch Wife Swap! YEAH!"

Anonymous said...

The SCOTUS "decision" was a red herring -- the real issue/case should have involved the legitimacy of corporate 'personhood' and their abilitity to subvert democratic process while hiding behind the Bill of Rights for UNITED STATES CITIZENS!

One solution to this gaming of our legal system:

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/political_reform/proposed_constitutional_amendments.html

Boom2Bust.com said...

Like Mark Twain said, "We have the best government money can buy."

Or, at least, it sounds like we'll soon have it if we don't already.

Humble Trader said...

Corporations have always found ways of buying off politicians (heard of Swiss bank accounts?), so I don't think the material impact of this judgment is very big.

The voters need to exercise their power by getting rid of politicians who are too beholden to private industry interests.

Anonymous said...

I'm just waiting for some 'Teabag' moron to explain how this is good for our country and a 'win' for average Joe.

SeattleMoose said...

from "bought and sold" to "BOUGHT AND SOLD"......sad.

Clarence Thomas used to work for Monsanto. FDA brass is full of ex Monsanto management. Just one more example of how big corporations own our government and hence....us.

There are no legal/bloodless solutions to what ails this country.

Anonymous said...

With all the corporate welfare being distributed in the guise of stimulus, we'll be paying for these globalist 'entities' to flood the MSM with more disinformation and distraction.

Of course, the most obvious beneficiary is the discredited and destitute MSM.

Maybe this was a major factor in their ruling...

Anonymous said...

maybe the teabaggers clawbacks of the politicans assets will realy leave some big corporate money there for the peasants to run amok with.....duh

batman said...

Oh man, the Kos crowd is out on SA today. Yeah, those bad old corporate "persons" might influence somebody in politics with their filthy money. All this ruling does is give them equal footing to the big union bosses who have meetings in the White House where they influence politicians with their filthy money.

The Supremes just called bullshit on the whole fucked up campaign finance system and told the pols to go fix it. So yes, it's a win for the average Joe.

Banana Republicrat said...

"Does Exxon want some legislation passed?"

That's the least of our problems Keith. Just wait until it's in CNPC or Saudi Aramco. They could touch mayors, state senators, hell any office that might be advantageous. Foreign gov'ts could support our candidates at any level --think about that.

Personally, I'm waiting for the all-out Wal-blitz on our Chicago Aldermanic races.

Pay attention all of you folks that like to throw "Hitler" and "Nazi" around, this is EXACTLY what fascism looks like. If this doesn't get fixed before the depression my advice is to get out or get in line early for your black shirt.

Banana Republicrat said...

Keith, did you notice that Obama lets out a sneeze that sounds a little like "regulation" and GS et al take the market down 500 points?

So does BHO try to regulate them and start the depression, let them go and try to string this out until after 2012, or half-ass it and lose the election as well as cause a depression? Sasher poll?

Anonymous said...

Nice. No need to change any perfectly good laws on the books, we'll just change the SC's interpretation of the Constitution! Piece of cake. A corp. is a person afforded protection. There you go, home free...

Let's just scrap elections all together. Tally up the contributions in early Nov, the richest guy wins, and we will call him King.

I also take this as the corps now being able to buy voters off.
Like

‘free gas day at all Amoco’s courtesy of Candidate X’

‘Open a new charge acct at Chase and Candidate X will pay the first $300’

‘Wear your Candidate X button to Wal-Mart and get a free $50 gift card’

ghpacific said...

Well, they owe to their stockholders to maximize profits don't they? Oh that's right stockholders have to become gamblers in the stacked Ponzi scheme called Wall Street since their pensions were converted into 401ks where you have unlimited choices to create your own destiny! Ain't enterprise great?

Anonymous said...

The Neo-cons were right all along

Scott said...

I haven't always agreed with you keith, and certainly I sometimes have thought your rants were too paranoid and over the top. But I agree with you on this one, THIS IS THE END.

The end of our country the way it was, the end of our supposed pursuit of peace and freedom. The end of the U.S. Dollar.

Because Haliburton, McDonnell-Douglas, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, etc, etc will get together and TRULY buy themselves the presidency and most of congress, PERMANENTLY, and they will use it to create an ENDLESS WAR FOOTING, as globally wide and violently hot as possible which will be VERY profitable for them, as all wars have been since at least my lifetime.

You blog readers think the leaders were already bought by corporate interests? You think war-making was already profitable and wars were intentional for that reason?

You are right and I agree--BUT YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET.

BYE BYE US DOLLAR.

Anonymous said...

Best. Laugh. EVER:

Nothing on FoxNews homepage 2 hours ago...

nor their Business or Politics pages...

Correction: just put up on Business: Poll Finds Most Americans Agree with Supreme Court's Campaign Finance Ruling

Gallup Poll

Click on stories below to read the latest U.S. Supreme Court news

Anonymous said...

Afterthought said...

That's Ok. It will further lead to the left-right populist alliance that will restore freedom.


Can't. Breathe. laughing so hard.

Well done, Sir/Madame.

Scott said...

WTF are they thinking here?This seems totally bogus.

Ya, you're right, it's totally bogus. Lots of people have been explaining LOUDLY how bogus it is for the conservatives to think they are supposed to be DOING CORPORATIONS' BIDDING, when they were always SUPPOSED to be leading a nation OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE. At least the liberals have TRIED and/or PRETENDED to put the PEOPLE FIRST, over institutional interests.

But now this CONSERVATIVE court has made it official. It's U.S.A. Inc.

Watch for almost all corporate regulations and employee rights TO DISAPPEAR within 30 years.

LOL you think the OBAMA health care plan had death panels? Think that what insurance companies have BEEN doing were like death panels? JUST YOU WAIT! Just wait until it is ILLEGAL TO SUE FOR DEFECTIVE PRODUCT LIABILITY, LOL!

Scott said...

Treating corporations 'like people' was supposed to be a concept that helped us understand what a corporation was.

It was not supposed to be taken literally such that we accord them all the rights of people such as the 1st amendment.


C'mon, a law was passed decades ago giving corporations actual legal status as "individuals". That was the very beginning of the end. (I can't remember the actual name of the law, but it came up in my ex's law school work.)

And, what makes you think individual people have as much rights as corporations now have? Can an individual get UNLIMITED amounts of money to a candidate? HELL NO! Corporations now have MORE power than any voters do.

I've been calling republicans FASCISTS for most of the last decade--THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER'S GOP. Corporate influence over government is, like, THE MAIN aspect of fascism!!

Anonymous said...

Bukko_in_Australia said...

America -- get ready to be burned by the masses of idiots that your populace has become.

Scott said...

Okay here is an article that gives pointers to the history of making corporations into "persons" (I had used the term "individuals"):

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/the-us-supreme-court-sell_b_432050.html

Turns out, it pretty much starts with the 14th Amendment.

too broke too know said...

Get use to be a peon in this country.

patrat said...

Bad is good.
Black is white.
Down is up.
Wrong is right.
Corporations are individuals.

Doublethink.

Anonymous said...

no, you and mr. obama are wrong. free speech should be near absolute (except for fighting words, yelling fire in a theater, etc.), for individuals AND corporations, and all other entities. if some individuals are too dumb that they buy into corporate speech (e.g. advertising, political campaign messages, etc. - which the 1st Amendment protects to a great extent), they are suckers. the fault for listening to that speech and falling for it is theirs. but the corporations, entities are groups of individuals that have as much a right to free speech as the individuals in the group. there is no way to get around that in the 1st amendment.

besides which the abolition of McCain-Feingold lowers barriers of entry / lessens the bureaucratic overload such that individuals and smaller groups that don't have huge corporate funds can contribute their own unfettered speech. they can get their own voices heard far more easily.

Anonymous said...

batman said...

...All this ruling does is give them [corporations] equal footing to the big union bosses...a win for the average Joe."


Yes; that slipped right by into our subconscious agreement.

Because unions are so powerful nowadays; enormous welfare bailouts to private financial shareholders pales in comparison.

Thanks for the laugh, Wayne. ;^D

Anonymous said...

So what happens if someone offs Alito and Thomas tonight?

Anonymous said...

When you let Republicans appoint Supreme Court Justices, this is what you get.

Why are we suprised?

Anonymous said...

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/1888-Freedom-Of-Speech-How-Quaint.html

Anonymous said...

This is why Sarah Palin will be the next...

RayNLA

Went2puke said...

What did Obama say after this disastrous decision? Well, here it is, in essence:

"This ruling opens the floodgates for an unlimited amount of special interest money into our democracy. It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way — or to punish those who don't."

Well said Sir! But what have you done, are you doing, or going to do with the unf@cking believable MANDATE FOR CHANGE that was handed to you on a gold platter by THE PEOPLE?

NOTHING!!!! I said it before, I say it now, I will continue to say it as long as those corrupt, corporate lapdogs are crowding the spheres of the Oval (sorry--the Awful) Office and the corridors of Congress--the whorehouse of America.

Went2puke said...

To Mr. Obama:
Do you find it impossible to fight the special interests, as a President, alone? Do you feel like your damn Dems in Congress are letting you down? Are lobbyists threatening to topple you and those who side with you?
Well, get out of that cozy couch and talk to the American people. It's your only chance. Rally those who have given you their votes, rally them again by explaining your agenda to them, in no uncertain terms. Convince yourself, first, that it's your only chance to make a difference, to have a lasting legacy, even if you have to lose that second term (and you are going to lose, no matter what).
You cannot please and appease everyone. And yes! You'll be denigrated. You'll be attacked and maybe attempts on your own life will be made, but have you not the courage to stand up and be counted? Can you, at least, live up to "Yes We Can?"
Other than that, Mr. President, you will be soon forgotten. You will be disposed of. You'll be remembered only as an empty suit, a president with no balls, no teeth-- a president who had it all laid out for him by THE PEOPLE, but who chose, instead, to look the other way, to continue business as usual, and above all, to overcompensate for his bold campaign rhetoric and apologize for his intrepid blackness.

casey said...

I got teabagged last night watching idol.

gwk said...

you are sick you really are and anyone else who doesnt think this is a win for free speech i need to stay away from this blog until the sitcom is over which may be sooner than i thought

gwk said...

you are sick you really are and anyone else who doesnt think this is a win for free speech i need to stay away from this blog until the sitcom is over which may be sooner than i thought

Paul E. Math said...

Thanks for the huffpo link, Scott. Good summary on the legal underpinnings of this subject.

I did my law school in Canada and I never did practice, either there or in the US.

However, I believe the article supports my argument that granting human rights to corporations is a wildly literal interpretation of a concept that is only reasonable when taken figuratively.

Nowhere does the word 'corporation' appear in the 14th amendment. Nowhere does it appear in the 1st amendment.

Google them and read them - they aren't long.

Only corporate law and judicial precedent have made persons out of corporations. But they are NOT humans.

What's next? Will we allow corporations to run for President? Will we allow them to be Secretary of the Treasury, Chairman of the Fed?

Ridiculous, right? So is according corporations freedom of speech and other HUMAN rights.

Anonymous said...

Sashers are elitist bankers

Paul E. Math said...

"The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court’s disposition of this case."
- Justice Stevens, in his dissent to Citizens Union

Funny, Stevens uses some of the same examples I gave above, about the inability of a corporation to hold public office.

I think you and I, Scott, agree how disastrous this decision is and why.

My point is only that, though there are laws that make corporations 'individuals', that is merely a concept and that the law does not try to deny what we all know, which is that corporations are not, literally, people.

Prisoner No. 6 said...

Who knew that the problem with the electoral system was that Big Corporations just weren't getting represented enough at the national level? That the poor, poor billionaires weren't getting enough taxbreaks, that the fat Wall Street brokers weren't able to rejigger tax laws so they could keep more of the $120 billion in bonuses for this year alone?

Expect to see any real attempts at reform die under a blizzard of TV advertising aimed at the same mouth-breathing dupes who fell for the "Death Panel" B.S. The unengaged, uneducated Tea Baggers will fill the streets behind some slogan like "Job Killing Red Tape" when any hint of reining in their next wave of corporate criminality is raised.

And so at last, the American yahoo will get the government that he deserves, good and hard. Where's the Snapper Turtle guy? Is this too obscene even for him?

USA said...

if you read the decision you would know that there still is a prohibition on giving directly to any one candidate this is a gift to the american people and it applies to yes unions the dems favorite friends and by the way would my cadillac health plan (ghi) be taxed but obamas union buddies get a pass no comment get over it stop whining you look foolish

Dancer said...

So, what about all the money spent ‘in-between’ elections?

In reality probably less then a total of 10 people change their opinion about an issue they understand or care about during election time.

Opinions about things are programmed all the time by people, organizations, think tanks, corporations on-and-on.

Lets take the Iraq war as an example huge amounts of money and lobbying was spent to ‘educate’ people ‘against the war’ from the Saudis funding university professors to Europeans using all their political and media influence ‘against the war’ and of course the left here in the US did the same.

Same goes on the right

Election time comes and all that money can buy at this point is attempt to convince people that a particular candidate agrees with their opinion

So no real need to worry about funding ‘election propaganda’ cause at that time most of the sheeple have already been strongly convinced on 1 side of an issue

Worry more what the professors in our universities are teaching the next generation over money spent painting a candidate as being on either side.

gwk said...

the president of the united states trashes a supreme court decision do you have any idea what that tells you about this man are you that blinded you cannot put that into history did nixon trash the court over roe did bush trash the court over decisions regarding our enemies being held in cuba this man who has never accomplished anything except being given his present job by fools doesnt like a court decision except the court decisions that favor him and his left wing lunatics that the country is finally waking up to but it might be to late by the time this sitcom is canceled this is deadly (christmas day terrorism) serious.

casey said...

Just like taxes and death one thing is guarabteed:

Goldman sachs will keep f@cking you over and stealing your retirement money.Keep pissing your money away in the stock market casino and tell me how it works out.

patrat said...

Does this mean we can hang LLC's? Oh please say yes!

alex3191 said...

Oh well, at least it's all obviously. "Invest accordingly" said Keith

Lost Cause said...

I thought that Soylent Green was people.

Anonymous said...

lol...have you idiots even read the ruling or the opinions?

based on keith's patriot act thread a long time ago before he quit blogging for the millionth time...i know he doesn't read anything before he comments.

typical merikans.

Anonymous said...

Prisoner No. 6 said...

Who knew that the problem with the electoral system was that Big Corporations just weren't getting represented enough at the national level?...


Ain't it a hoot?

...And so at last, the American yahoo will get the government that he deserves, good and hard. Where's the Snapper Turtle guy?..."

Well skewer me mouth-to-ass and make me sizzle!

USA said...

...stop whining you look foolish..."


Sure I'll buy that: concern about someone's image whom he disagrees with.

Who says chivalrous altruism is dead? ;^D

Really looking forward to a vigorous approval of say Citgo running plenty of ads the next gas spike.

Banana Republicrat said...

Finally, the spin! I saw a botox deficient Johnny Mac on the tele this morning talking about the ruling "in favor of the corporations and the UNIONS."

Seriously, it is not 1935. This is not France. All of the US unions combined have nowhere near the warchest that a Goldman Sachs or GE has. Not even close.

Since the unions are soooo powerful I'll make him (and any other talkingpoints-bots out there) a deal right now for 2012: JohnnyMac/Palin/TimmyP/Jindal/RP/Mittens/etc. gets all of the union $ and Barack W. Obama gets all of the corporate $ --we good?

DOPES!!!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL, worst decision of your lifetime? This was worse than the Kelo decision that ended property rights?

"Does Exxon want some legislation passed? Easy. Just buy a senator. Put $20 billion toward his campaign, and good to go."

Yeah, that's assuming that the people of a given state couldn't see through that. You also ignore the marginal value of a single senator, particularly a freshman junior senator.

"People wondered why I was so anti-McCain. The supreme court was my #1 reason. 5-4 is close. 6-3 isn't."

So we get a "wise latina" socialist instead?? So we possibly get someone like Bill Ayers or Frank Marshall Davis, eh comrade??

"But since most people are dumb enough to be persuaded by ads saying "Do we know for SURE that candidate So-and-so is not a secret Muslim?""

When was this ever done? It certainly wasn't done with Obama. Dumbass.