Why Isn't PG&E Getting the Death Penalty?

Thom plus logo Pacific Gas and Electric, known as PG&E, just pled guilty to killing 84 American citizens.

When they want to buy politicians' favors and votes, they claim that they are a "person," but when they admit to killing real human persons, they claim that they are just a corporation and therefore nobody can or should go to jail.

Corporate Personhood is a lie.

It was a lie when corporations argued that the Supreme Court had given them personhood in 1886 when in fact it did not.

It was a lie when the Supreme Court itself quoted a clerk's headnote to claim the Court had given them personhood.

It was a lie in 2010 when, in Citizens United, the Court used Corporate Personhood to allow even foreign corporations to own American politicians and the political process.

Corporate Personhood has completely destroyed our American political process.

That doctrine, along with the parallel doctrine, that the Supreme Court also created, that "money is speech" when that money is used to promote political positions or buy politicians,have turned America from a democracy into an oligarchy.

Americans are sick of living in an oligarchy.

The 1980 "Reagan revolution" begin 40 years of shifting political power from people to massive corporations and billionaires.

The result has been the destruction of the American middle class, the destruction of small and medium size businesses, and the destruction of our environment and our democracy.

Enough. It's time to either amend the Constitution or expand the Supreme Court to reverse these two Supreme Court-created doctrines.

No more Corporate Personhood, and no more phony assertions that money is the same thing as free speech.

PG&E should get the corporate death penalty for killing all these Americans. The company should be dissolved, its assets sold, and its directors put in jail.

Americans have had enough. We want a democracy instead of an oligarchy.



Legend 14 weeks 1 day ago

I worked in American industry as a Consulting Engineer. I worked in many locations for many Companies. I had my own euphemism, calling it the Good, Bad and Ugly. CEO's for Electric Utilities are paid anywhere from about $10 to as high as $35 million per year, plus numerous unreported benefits. Upper management below them are also well paid. These are hired hands. There is nothing special. They did not invent the company like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. They were at the right place at the right time. The game is to cut costs and take the profit. In this case cut maintenance costs on the electrical grid. PG&E owns and operates 2 large nuclear reactors in San Luis Obispo, CA. How much have they cut costs there and consumed the profit as salaries? The CEO that is there now is about the 3rd or 4th since the Paradise Fire. They make enough in 1 year to retire very (actually extremely) comfortably at your cost. And the blame is distributed until nobody knows who to blame. The entire Board of Directors has also been changed. The Utility only keeps running because of the trained lower management and workers.

avn013's picture
avn013 14 weeks 23 hours ago

People, irrespective of government (monarcy, oligarchy, democracy, communism), have been funding technology, since ancient and even prehestoric times. The aim of technology has always been to make life easier: i.e. instead of spending 36 hours every two days to catch your food (several thousand of years ago), nowadays on average, one needs to work at most a couple of hours each day.

Since people, society in general, have paid for the technology, they have the inalienable right to its benefits. UBI or the equivalent is the inevitable step in this direction. According to Andrew Young UBI is an old idea and has been practiced in Alaska for decades. People with such ideas need to be given the chance to apply them. Then (after voting them in) we can go back to our couch and see what happens. If we like the results, we just keep voting for such people, or even become one of them. If we do not like the result, we just wait till the term is over, get out of the couxh, and vote someone else in.

But getting out the comfie couch is tough. What me worry? I ain't going to save the world. The world is a grown up and should shave itself.

a-zander's picture
a-zander 14 weeks 13 hours ago

Let us not forget that corporations are granted special protections under the law such as limited liability that a regular person cannot claim. If a corporation = personhood, shouldn't those special protections go away? They shouldn't have it both ways. Corporate personhood is another example of the oligarchs looting the economy.

whatabout's picture
whatabout 14 weeks 8 hours ago

Follow the $$$$$$$$

Politicians and PG&E: Congressional leaders accepted thousands in donations


And then we have this from Pelosi's nephew,

"California Gov. Gavin Newsom accepted big dollar donations in 2018 from the utility company now being vilified for shutting off large sections of the state’s electricity grid to avoid sparking wildfires.

Newsom and his allies took $208,400 from Pacific Gas and Electric during his run for governor before the public utility began controlled blackouts, ABC’s California affiliate reported in July. PG&E gave the governor the maximum amount of $58,400 and gave another $150,000 to a political spending group supporting his candidacy."

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 14 weeks 6 hours ago

Is collusion, corruption and nepotism a crime in america?

Lantana's picture
Lantana 13 weeks 3 days ago

Just listening this morning to Ro Khana on this topic. A caller asked if this would be the time to take advantage of the PGE problem and address Citizens United and to show how absurd this Supreme Court decision was. Rep Khana did not address the question only saying that PGE had done bad things. Does anyone else notice that Rep Khana often fails to answer the hard questions?

Thom, will you please follow up with the questions asked if they are not answered? Thanks! Love you!

Can Trump get away with normalizing a coup?

Thom plus logo One of the big lessons that Donald Trump has learned through his years at the center of the New York tabloid media is that he can normalize just about anything.

When he was getting bad press because he was having an affair on his first wife, for example, he called newspapers pretending to be his own assistant to say that Marla Maples was astonished with "the best sex ever." It changed the entire newspaper narrative, and Trump proved to himself one more time that he can normalize just about anything.
From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."