Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Biggest Story of 2010

Wikileaks comes close with their startling publication of stolen communications from the State Department, but the Supreme Court knocked this one out of the ballpark!
by Charlie Leck

What's the biggest news story of 2010?
  1. The massive Republican sweep?
  2. Wikileaks big expose on State Department confidential transmissions?
  3. The economic struggle of 2010 and the residential real estate crash?
  4. North Korea's assault on a defenseless little island belonging to South Korea?
None of the above, folks, because, instead, the U.S. Supreme Court stole the show this year, along with swiping democracy as well. The court's 5 to 4 decision on Citizens United left virtually every Supreme Court watcher in absolute shock. The court's conservative majority has ranted for years that the nation's highest court should never be in the business of making law. Ooops! In the Citizens United decision that's just what they did.

In making that decision, the big cheeses, who sit on our most important legal bench, reduced the value of my vote and your vote, too (unless you are a big, fat, filthy rich corporation).

As one article by Jill Abramson* put it several weeks ago, what we've got here is a return to Watergate days when big, anonymous corporate cash carries the day in Washington, D.C..
"To old political hands, wise to the ways of candidates and money, 1972 was a watershed year. Richard M. Nixon's re-election campaign was awash in cash, secretly donated by corporations and individuals.

"Fred Wertheimer, a longtime supporter of campaign finance regulation, was then a lawyer for Common Cause. He vividly recalls the weeks leading up to April 7, 1972, before a new campaign finance law went into effect requiring the disclosure of the names of individual donors. 'Contributors,' he said, 'were literally flying into Washington with satchels of cash.'"
The fat cats don't have to be so secretive anymore. After the catastrophic decision by the Supreme Court, anonymous donors can spread their cash around for our political candidates all they want, buying themselves incredible favors from the men and women who run Washington.
"...the fund-raising practices that earned people convictions in Watergate -- giving direct corporate money to a campaign and doing so secretly -- are back in a different form in 2010."
The different form that Jill Abramson is talking about is that this time around it's all legal, thanks to the Supreme Court of the United States. Big corporations, like Target Corp, and giant banks, like Wells Fargo, can pass along all the cash they want to and remain totally anonymous in most states in the nation.

And don't you believe for a second that it was the people talking in the 2010 election that saw the crushing defeat of the Democratic Party. It wasn't the people, folks; it was big, unconstrained and now legal money that poured into the Republican Party.

That is the biggest and, indeed, the saddest story of 2010. The wacky, conservative members of the Supreme Court screwed the American people. Nothing tops the significance of this story! Nothing!

*Jill Abramson, "Return of the Secret Donors," New York Times, 17 Oct 2010


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