Daily Topics - Monday January 25th 2010

unequal protection 1 imagesQuote: “If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution” -- Abraham Lincoln

Hour One - What will a brave new America look like now that corporations are king? (pt 1)

Hour Two - What will a brave new America look like now that corporations are king? (pt 2) Plus -  Christian Norton www.workingamerica.org What is Labor's campaign against the banksters

Hour Three - A debate! - Why should corporations have human rights? Peter Ferrara www.theacru.org


Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Transcription of 5 comments from "hightlights":


GERALD SOCHA January 24th, 2010, 12:35 pm


Let us say a prayer for Haiti!

Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago


PRGK1 January 24th, 2010, 7:41 pm

Stiglitz or Warren are not possible FED Chair nominees. Obama has to choose from a candidate list created by the FED Board of Governors, and they are not going to put anyone that is not already part of the FED system on the list.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago


DRSARAZAWA January 24th, 2010, 9:07 pm

So a Corp is a person, but a person can’t be a Corp— is that right? Well, I want the same legal protection that a Corp has, namely the tax rights. As a wage earner I want to deduct ALL my earned income as depreciation. Each year my income earning asset — my corpus — is reduced in value by exactly the amount I’ve earned. The 14th Amendment says the law has to treat me equally as well as an artificial person.

I’m serious, dammitt.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago


DAVID LIU January 25th, 2010, 2:49 am

Thom, please talk about this article on your show on Monday: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/us/politics/25bopp.html?hp

This article shows that James Bopp Jr. is behind the organized effort to dismantle campaign finance laws!!!

Quotes from the article:

“The Citizens United case “was really Jim’s brainchild,” said Richard L. Hasen, an expert on election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.”

“We had a 10-year plan to take all this down,” he said in an interview. “And if we do it right, I think we can pretty well dismantle the entire regulatory regime that is called campaign finance law.”

“Mr. Bopp said the next step in his 10-year plan is to roll back the disclosure rules. ”

Thom, please talk about this article in your show!

Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

James Bopp, Jr. Bio and Contact Info:


Blue Mark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Let's force the courts to confront the fiction of corporate personhood.
Let's have a corporation (that is over 18 years old) register to vote in its state and city of incorporation. When that registration is rejected - sue in Federal Court. If it is accepted - have someone sue in Federal Court to remove it.

Either the courts will have to reject the concept of corporate citizenship that United Citizens is based upon, or they will accept it, and the backlash should move Congress and the States to Amend that misreading of the Constitution out of existence.

Mark K (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

They say that a close loss hurts worse than a blowout, because you have sufficient time to absorb the impact of the latter. What is worse is when your team makes the opponent look like a high school practice squad most of the game, and yet manages to lose in agonizing fashion in overtime without ever touching the ball. I know, people will be talking about another one of Brett Favre’s patented heart-stabbing interceptions at the end of regulation in the NFC title game, but the only reason the Vikings looked like the superior squad despite all the mistakes was because he made good things happen while he took a horrible beating all night; he wouldn’t even have had to throw that last one without two runs for no-gain and an idiotic penalty which essentially put the Vikings out of game-winning field goal range. There was plenty of blame to go around in a game where all the “experts” predicted that the Saints would win the game handily. Six fumbles, “only” three lost but all killing drives went along Favre’s two picks. The Saints couldn’t stop the Vikings offense at all in the second half, but with four turnovers the Vikings seemed to take pity on them and play their defense for them. And then in overtime, the Saints went marching to the Super Bowl with the help of a special teams breakdown and gifts from the officials, especially on the pass interference penalty on an overthrown ball, and the ball that was ruled a catch but appeared to be laid on the ground. And then some walk-on who hadn’t kicked a field goal longer than 38-yards all year kicks a 40-yarder.

And now, of course, there will be the will he/won’t he drama of Favre coming back for another season, which he is under contract for. His last pass as a Packer was an interception in the 2008 NFC Championship game, and now we have the 2010 version. But he played his best football at age 40, so I don’t see why he shouldn’t at 41. He was the Vikings best option at quarterback this year, and he will be next year. This gut-busting loss should be regarded as what coach Brad Childress likes to say, as one by the “team.” As for the Saints, frankly I don’t see how they can survive Manning and the Colts playing as they did in this game, since the Colts will not self-flagellate like the Vikings did Sunday night.

Mark K (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Anyways, it wasn’t that long ago that the left was gloating over the “death” of the Republican party, but the Massachusetts election, supposedly a reliable blue state on the national level, proved that reports of the party’s imminent demise were premature. In the past “party bosses” kept control over the party rank-and-file, and were able to identify the causes of potential dissatisfaction and forestall defections. Republicans seem to have been more successful in keeping order among their minions, but the Democrats seem to have lost such control. This failure to adequately gauge the expectations and desires of voters can be laid at the feet of relying on “polls” that usually provide an incomplete measure of the mood of the electorate—because they are usually responses to leading questions with the expectation of a preconceived result—as well as on disinformation from special interests both from inside and outside of government, and on the mainstream media which focuses on the superficial rather than the substantive.

This failure to keep track of how voters are feeling and keep them satisfied and react quickly to dissatisfaction has had the expected result. One voter who supported Obama in 2008 said that he voted for Scott Brown because he thought the Democrats were moving “too fast” on health care reform. Too fast for whom? The people who can’t afford health insurance, or those for who have difficulty in absorbing the issues at stake? Anyways, the Democrats are going to have to make a decision. They’re going to have to start acting like a party in power with an agenda, and bold enough to use its power to bypass the obstructionist party. Obama needs to use his state of the union address to clearly identify the issues and what is at stake for the country, and state emphatically that he will do whatever is necessary to move legislation, even if it means bypassing “traditional” means, as the Republicans have done in the past to pass measure inimical to the people’s interest.

Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that while we have term limits for the presidency (and for governors in most states) for reasons both “traditional” and arbitrary (Dwight Eisenhower complained of the 22nd Amendment’s “lame-duck” effect on the office), but mainly to curtail the concentration of power in the hands of one person, one rarely speaks of the ossification of the U.S. Senate. Ancient figurines in a chamber that never seems to move without being shoved (hard) seems to be the order of the day. An amendment for a two-term limit might be in order of the day, since a “lame-duck” senator might be less worried about where his or her campaign cash is coming from.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago


Could you please discuss Blue Mark's suggestion (above)? It seems beautiful in its simplicity!

Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago


Published: January 22, 2010



Democrats in search of clues as to why voters are unhappy may want to take a look at the report. In 2008, a startling 91.6 million people — more than 30 percent of the entire U.S. population — fell below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, which is a meager $21,834 for a family of four.

The question for Democrats is whether there is anything that will wake them up to their obligation to extend a powerful hand to ordinary Americans and help them take the government, including the Supreme Court, back from the big banks, the giant corporations and the myriad other predatory interests that put the value of a dollar high above the value of human beings.

The Democrats still hold the presidency and large majorities in both houses of Congress. The idea that they are not spending every waking hour trying to fix the broken economic system and put suffering Americans back to work is beyond pathetic. Deficit reduction is now the mantra in Washington, which means that new large-scale investments in infrastructure and other measures to ease the employment crisis and jump-start the most promising industries of the 21st century are highly unlikely.

David (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Regarding the Republicans' record number of fillibusters, the Dems should never miss an opportunity to point thet fact out. They should also craft better legislation - rather than aiming for 60 votes, aim for 50. And when an important bill is fillibustered, refuse to bring anything else before the Senate until the important bill is allowed to come to a vote.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

A Call to Arms

Since this recent SCOTUS decision came down, I have been SO angry and depressed, just like the rest of us. I keep hearing the sentence I learned so well in typing class: "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party,"* though the word "country" should be substituted for party. I am beginning to have thoughts that Obama was nothing more than a Trojan horse, sent to mollify us until this final ruling (the final nail in the coffin of democracy) came down.

Lore (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

We have a corporate society right now: It isn't a bumper sticker!

we have lead painted toys that are given a deadline on the shelf - not a destruct date
we have labels that don't tell us that a drug was made in China - or an option to get one made in the USA instead
we had over a hundred people die due to the bad heparin formula - it gets a small article in mainstream media
we have carcinogens dumped into our air and water but too little regulation to clean up or stop it
we have BPA in plastic while Europe does not because our laws protect corporations instead of people
we have clean coal commercials when it doesn't exist because its ok to lie in american media without being called out
we have decades in which states have been competing with each other to get a corporation in their area
we have decades in which states have been competing to give up revenue, give up consumer protections,
and offering special protections for the corporation, including some liability exceptions
we have local, state and federal levels giving tax cuts, tax exemptions, write-offs, and special perks,
we have local, state and federal levels being blackmailed into giving up rights and protections for people as consumers and workers but the media, 85% owned by 5 corporations, does not report the effects on american citizens
we have local, state and federal levels losing revenue from corporations keepin their profits outside the USA to avoid their share of taxes which is picked up by regular citizens and goes unreported as the cause
small businesses are overwhelmed by special privileges given to their big competitors
small businesses are overwhelmed by red tape that is easily handled by big competitors which encourage its implementation
we have farmers being sued because copyrighted seeds were dropped by birds or blown by the winds onto their farm
we have farmers unable to use their own seeds because a corporation was allowed to copyright them
we have corporations putting in copyrights for plants and trees unmodified by science
we have seen the housing market bubble and burst, where good loans were bypassed, oversight removed, and then repackaged to fleece even more investors
we have seen wall street and bankers get bailed out and give billions in bonuses while allowed to continue their gambling practices
we have seen corporations commit first degree murder and get fined - the only punishment available
we have seen corporations use their erroneously given rights to knowingly harm people
we have seen the media go from vibrant to silly because the reporters checks are signed by a corporate CEO who tells them what to say, backed by a court saying there is no law requiring reporters or journalists to be truthful.
we have seen monopolies increase and debt charged to the entity that was purchased putting it in jeopardy
we have seen out sourcing of American manufacturing and jobs to cheaper locations, not for superior products
we hear that America needs to be RESTORED to a third world country status - for workers
we have seen vibrant businesses bought up, their assets sold, and their doors closed by profiteers
we hear that Americans need to give up privacy to be free, to give up rights to private email, internet and phones
we hear that privatization is required for jobs once done by the military, so we can pay more for less
so no draft is setup that would make people take notice of this change, so we can be fleeced by bad service,
crimes, leaks of sensitive information all while based in tax havens or OFC (Offshore Financial Centre) to avoid
paying taxes to the USA while paid by the USA.
we have corporations dumping thalidomide, which caused birth defects, because any drugs can be dumped in a disaster area and written off
when mexican truck drivers were allowed into the US - there was no screaming heard from American truckers in the American press because the corporate media benefitted from that action
we have farmers in foreign countries forced to compete with dumping by American corporations getting subsidies, which undermines the economy, jobs and self-sustaining abilities of places like Haiti, Mexico and other places too poor to fight big money
we have a Superfund set up to clean up air and water pollution, which has been modified so it is paid by taxpayers instead of the companies that caused the problems
we are told by propaganda that regulation is communism - not that it protects consumers - citizens - from criminals
we are told by propaganda that union are evil - a good worker needs no rights - but the CEO has a contract!
we get propaganda from the Chamber of Commerce that American workers are lazy and overpaid - becasue their are many 'front' groups that protect corporate views and profits in our front yard.
we have GATT/WTO, NAFTA and G20 treaties that give corporations rights that override the Constitution and allow a corporation to sue a government
while Unions have been fighting for Americans against foreign dumping it gets little to no notice in our corporate media. When the unions win a case it is put on the Presidents desk to react - the presidents choice to act or not.
we had a company making magnets requried in smart bombs sold to the chinese and the manufacturing plant packed up and sent to China along with the copyright - not stopped by Democratic or Republican presidents
while corporations have an interest in profits, it is not in their scope to protect the USA, but their money determines if a politian gets elected - so we have fewer and fewer politicians interested in protecting America, fewer voting to pass legislation required to protect America - a myopic condition threatening our country right now
while corporations have seen greater gains in rights and power, Americans have seen wages lowered for most
illegal aliens are used as scapegoats to fuel hatred - so they are blamed for the lower wages
legal aliens are brought in thru the front door helping to keep American wages low, legislation renewed
we've seen mr greenspan apologize for believing that the market would level itself - when it destroyed all the small fish instead and created corporations 'too big to fail'
we've seen mr greenspan explain that keeping workers number high keeps the wages low = protecting corporations - through numerous presidents
illegal aliens can be paid less to keep costs low, corporations getting caught claim they didn't know - repeatedly
legal aliens can be brought in to keep costs low - H1B Visas - used in fields that can't be outsourced
we are told Americans won't do that job - when Americans won't do that job for below poverty wages but will be poop scoopers and anything else it takes to make a living
we are told that fast food places aren't hiring our teens because the minimum wage is too high when they are hiring Dad instead who is much more reliable and can't find a job after being out-sourced to China, India or elsewhere
we are told that we must compete with third world nations - because we cost to much to pay when it is because ...

tariffs used to protect American workers in America and pay for government funding to keep taxes non-existent or low
tariffs are now villified as harming America - when it is corporations that benefit from this change - not workers
tariffs are still high for imports in countries that protect their own workers - like China, Japan, Germany, etc.
buy american was removed from the 'reinvestment' plan in america --- but not the plan in CHINA
VAT - value added tax - was also used to keep American jobs safe --- now we export resources, not products

we have foreign corporations dumping products in the USA to destroy our existing business and only an action by the president can be taken to stop it, Bush received 5 cases but took no action, Obama has reacted to the first occurrence (tire industry). Why should it take presidential action? Why should 'business' overrule government?
Can you fight Exxon? Walmart? General Electric?

Teabaggers --- the original tea partiers were fighting against a law that allowed only one company to sell tea within the colonies. A monopoly given by Great Britain to the East India Company was used to fleece colonists. So many businesses in the USA today are near monopolies that this is a current horror story in all our lives. Fleecing America and Americans!

Now the corporations have MORE power! MORE! Now foreign nations can use subsidiaries to have their very own 'free speech' in American politics!

Nels (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

I guess I'd say its Constitutional amendment time.

Only Human Beings are people, no organization can have the rights of an individual imbued upon it.

Of course we got a snowball's chance in Hell for that to pass, but heck let's agitate.

DDay (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

FYI: Regarding Thom's visit to Minneapolis last weekend.

I have posted a personal account of Thom's visit here Saturday night. Anyone interested here...go to

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Obama FIGHT = Rolling over and exposing one's throat.

DDay (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

The main problem with the Democratic Party? There are several that could be rationally put forth...but the main problem is that they stand for nothing...that is enough to fight for! Everyone knows what the Repubs stand for...NO TAXES! Sometimes the Dems do too. What is it that everyone knows we stand for? Nothing. We let our opponents define us because we are too afraid to take a firm stand on anything. Proof? The Dems reaction to last week's SCROTUS decision.

Loretta (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Thom was right again... this time about the tea baggers... so many liberals were saying not to worry about them and look what happened.

That's something great to work on all month. Get the message out that government can work and do things...

I have an idea suddenly: let's put great quotes about government working on tea boxes like Stash does with various spiritual messages.

And lets ride around on bicycles and pass free tea samples out. every tea bag can be packaged inside a quote that shows government working. We could ride around on bicycles passing out tea samples with quotes and statistics about government working!

Lore (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

I got a call from Organizing for America to join them in watching the State of the Union address .....

Ryan A (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

I voted for the first time last year, and now I'm afraid that will be the last free election I'll ever see. Saving democracy means getting the bundle of rods and axe out of the ballot box.

Loretta (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Does anyone have any money to start a pro-government herbal remedy tea company?

DDay (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

@ Blue Mark...your idea is brilliant
@ Loretta...I live on the frozen tundra, (Minneapolis). It will be several months before bikes work here! I like your impulse though. keep spitballing!

Loretta (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

A pro-government beer that could be advertised during the super bowl would be better, though...

ronanon (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

The SCOTUS decision may evicerate the idea of public campaign financing. If that;s the case, I can now see it passing.

Is that the plan? Any positive or negative movie - and their endless promos on TV- could out-shout any selected target's government paid ads.

Public campaign financing would then be just a gift of government money to the corporate media, and sometimes to local media as well.

Loretta (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Dday, they sell tire chains for bicycles...

Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago


Thanks for the account of the Blue State Ball. 'Almost as good as being there! I think I will "meet" you on your new website.

d.o. (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Hold the phone Thom! Black Box Voting is looking into a potential Diebold scam in Massachusetts. Check it: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

Quark (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago


Most congresspeople don't know civics. They need to be educated.

bill mckinney (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

I had to spray some ants in the house today. It crossed my mind that I am like a corporation and the ants were like the rest of us...just spray the little pests until they are no longer an inconvenience to me. Those ants are screwed...and I didn't even wonder if it hurt them.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

@BlueMark & DDay: The problem with registering a corporation to vote is that the Supreme Court as it is presently constituted complete with the Fascist Five would rule in favor of the corporation and declare that since humans die they lack the ability to make important decisions like voting or choosing which corporation should be our ultimate overlord . . .

DDay (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Loretta, What did I do to make you so mad at me? Tire chains in Mpls. when it is below zero? Not going to happen. I might consider poking out my eye with a burning stick if it would help. :-)

Nels (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Let's not get into Corporations marrying each other, if we do it won't be long before they start claiming their subsidiaries as dependents. Before we know it they'll each have millions of dependents and instead of us collecting any taxes from them, our Government will be paying them to exist...... hmmmm now that I've considered that I think I'll go start a Corporation with several subsidiaries!

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

The problem with using the "Good Behavior" clause means that in some circles nose picking will get them ex'd and this goes both ways . . .

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

@THOM: . . . The question has never been “Can Obama lead?”; it is “Will Obama ever lead?”

DDay (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Richard, you may be right...but some fights are worth having even if you may get bloodied and loose. Sometimes in war you need to surge and plant the flag even if another battle will be needed to achieve your ultimate goals. Bend but don't break...never, never give up!

p.s. you are my favorite curmudgeon anywhere except maybe Lewis Black.

Lore (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

a pension is to a 401k as a citizen is to a corporation

Nels (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

So who are you guys going to vote for in the next Presidential campaign... I'm leaning towards Mickey Mouse myself, but that's only because I really don't like Ronald McDonald's abolition of all Organic Farming.

Nels (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Perhaps we can now change the wording on coins to "In Microsoft We Trust", or we can just shorten it to "Microsoft Trust" or "Trust Microsoft".

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

@Nels: In 1980, I voted for Snoopy for President and we ended up with Ronald Reagan. I have never forgiven myself . . .

Dave in CA (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

We can no longer depend on legislation to fix anything. I am not advocating the abandonment of political parties because we will still need some of the more progressive of them to lead the new order.

We must FORCE the big corporation/government cabal to again work for the common good of We the People. Today we will start on a plan to organize our local groups to take their money out of the big banks and open accounts at the local credit union.

We will have a very visible public celebration on that day and drink sparking cider while we wait in line to open the accounts.

I am hoping we can get local press coverage and will also inform our local state and federal representative via a press release. We will set up a table in front of the credit union on the main street and pass out copies of the press release. Finally we will notify other local groups via e-mail prior to the event.

Once we demonstrate this power we can Unite to Strike if necessary.

DDay (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

As mentioned earlier on this blog roll, I left a post on the highlights section about a gathering of Libs in Mpls. this past weekend. I failed to mention an interesting tidbit relayed by Ed Shultz.
Last week, after the Tuesday setback in Mass., Shultz had Robert Gibbs on his TV program. Gibbs was especially dismissive and hostile with Ed when he told Gibbs that the President was loosing his base. Gibbs came on his show again the next evening and was much more congenial. Ed told "the rest of the story" Saturday night. Apparently Gibbs called up Ed Shultz a few hours after the first show on MSNBC and told him to "Go Farg Yourself". Ed told me he was really shocked, given his longtime support of Obama. (It did however make him relate better to Patrick Leahy.) Apparently the W.H. doesn't brook descent or take criticism from friends too well.

Erik (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Thom, an electronic analogy you could use for high taxes on the rich "gamblers" is the CAPACITOR, which keeps the electrical circuit from uneven surges in electricity so that it doesnt burn out the circuits. High taxes acts essentiallly the same to keep the money flowing in a sustainable way.

Nels (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

You don't need to compare the city of LA to anything Thom, you can just leave it at they got nothing.

DDay (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Dave in Ca., Good on you. We have to take to the streets. Typing on keyboards will not effect the change needed. Getting out in public and causing some attention if not some unrest will be necessary to arouse the public reaction we seek. Your action is the type needed over and over again. Sam Adams did the same type of stuff.

Nels (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

www.movetoamend.org... got it, going there now

lardogg (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

Thom, Love your rants, especially when you get REALLY worked up. Everything you said about Bernanke and the Stock Market in hour two is right on, even though there may have been a bit of a Freudian slip when you said "he was at the 'till'" when the ship started going down. Analogically speaking, he would have been at the "tiller'" but maybe what your innermost mind was processing was closer to "his hand was 'in' the till." Money and politics. Yuck.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

CORPORATE WELFARE IS NOT FREE TRADE!!!!! Stop referring to it as such.


harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

@bill mckinney:

"I had to spray some ants in the house today."

I hear there's an I-Pod application now that lets you hear their screams.

Doug Orton (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

On Sunday, Dan Froomkin asked in the Huffington Post, What is making our stock market go up? and concluded, "No one seems to know. (Does anyone really care?) But whatever it was could presumably come to an end, devestating the market and the economy."

I submit, the answer is those individuals (sic) with 12.8 trillion dollars in low to no cost other people's money (ours) and absolutely nothing to lose investing in an economy with no legs. You and I as individuals have absolutely no power to move markets, but those newly minted individuals with our money definitely do, and can move it with intent.

Pathos (not verified) 12 years 22 weeks ago

The Supreme Court members who voted to give unlimited financial spending to multi-national corporations committed and act of treason, as treason is an offense which diverts money or resources away from the US to other nations. The Department of Homeland Security should arrest these judges, and torture them until they tell the American public who they are working for. They should then be turned over to the military for a prompt execution.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

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