Monday, July 13, 2009

Moyers and Winship Lay it On the Line

Bill Moyers and Micheal Winship have “Some Choice Words for the ‘Select Few.’” And they lay it out brilliantly. Has anyone read this article? It’s a must-read for anyone that is having trouble grasping the reason for everything that is wrong in this country.*

Blame the illegals, blame the poor, blame the unemployed, blame the liberals, blame the conservatives, blame the religious zealots, blame the godless, blame the blacks, blame the Asians, blame the Hispanics, blame the welfare recipients, blame the younger generations, blame the environmentalists, blame the scientists, blame the feminists, blame Hollywood…have I missed anyone?
All of the above is a con man’s trick to get you to look the wrong way while the real culprits rip you off and make their getaway. BLAME THE SYSTEM.

And so, what is the answer? As with any other very large problem, there are many answers, many actions for us to take on many fronts to constructively confront the problem. But I did find one answer among the comments following this article:

Sun, 07/12/2009 - 18:05 — Damon Neal (not verified)
This problem will not go away until Congress enacts a law that repeals the 1868 Supreme Court ruling that granted "personhood" to corporations. Failing that, a group; perhaps the ACLU or; could search for a case to reintroduce the issue to the Federal Court system. In 1864, former corporate lawyer Abraham Lincoln wrote, "Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." Remember this was 4 years before the actual decision was handed down. And if you read the history of this decision, there is evidence that a clerk inserted the language and that the Supreme Court itself never actually made the specific ruling. Perhaps a there was some skullduggery at work. However it happened; it's time to de-person the corporations.

If Corporations did not share the same status in the eyes of the law as any other citizen, then the Supreme Court would not be able to find that paid lobbyists for the corporations have free speech rights to flood campaigns with money. It is not even a hidden pay-for-play scheme; it is an open bribery, as the Moyers/Winship article points out. Corporations are not people and they should not have the same rights as people do. This one change in the law could go a long way to fixing our current crisis of government corruption.

A total overhaul of the campaign system could follow on the heels of such a change. Imagine a system where every candidate starts out with the same chance and has access to the same media, etc. We might actually get some decent people with better ideas and the best interest of the country to run for office. And they might actually be able to work the will of the people once inside rather than being forced to play the corrupt system that currently exists.

On a similar note, I recently became aware of the following website. NPR decided to turn the “tables” (or the cameras) on the healthcare industry by taking pictures of the lobbyists and requesting that people identify them. Check it out here:

As many people are aware, Senator Max Baucus is at the center of crafting the supposedly “reformed” health care system. It appears as though very little, if anything, is actually going to change under Mr. Baucus’ leadership. It becomes crystal clear why that is when you take a look at the following chart, created by the Sunlight Foundation and found at the following url:

What I have pasted here is a cropped image of the actual web of bribery and corruption. Please click on the link above to see the full image (and join the Sunlight Foundation if you are so inclined).

Now, for a nice, bone-jarring overview, check out this website that lists the monies paid out by the 250 largest lobbying firms:

Who can now deny that our federal government is a corrupt organization? Everyone talks about the corruption, journalists, bloggers, interest groups and others have provided the evidence of this corruption. What are the people waiting for?

Who believes that the government will cleanse itself? If you do, please post comment below.

*I am strongly considering cancelling my online subscription to WaPo considering the obvious collusion and perversion of journalistic integrity that is going on there. I don’t pay anything for it so I am not sure that it would send any message meaningful to those in charge at the once-respected news outlet.

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Tango daddy said...

However it happened; it's time to de-person the corporations.
This part of your post is most intriguing. I have always thought that the way to again make America great would be with Campain finance reform. Lobyists are there with big bucks to service their corporate needs not the peoples.
Oh and by the way I always blame the dog!!

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ksliberal said...

Tango Daddy:
Corporate personhood is where our country veered off the path of individual liberty and began on the path to corporate slavery. I would argue that a corporation can't be one person if it is made up of many and some people are members of multiple corporations, as such they are counted as more than one person. If corporations have rights then some people have multiplied rights because they are a part of multiple organizations. So, if the law granted personhood to corporations out of fairness, it is time to rethink that because it is patently UNFAIR to anyone that is not a member of a corporation and has only individual personhood.
Which is basically a long-winded way of saying "hey; that's not FAIR!" Thanks for your comments!
PS Poor Tango--I only blame the dog when it's the dog's fault!! (I'll have to post pictures sometime--I have two.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Paula, I wondered if you blogged?
I used to write exclusively for PrariePopulistsAndProgressives
as you see, I've branched out a bit!

And,....I NEVER miss an episode of Moyer's Journal.
Should be reuired watching for all citizens! HA!

ksliberal said...

Coincidentally, I just checked out your blog. Thanks for the video, it made my day so I posted it on my facebook page. I could watch the moose cavorting for hours! Brave cameraperson--that momma looked right into the camera a couple of times!

Nisha Thompson said...

Thanks so much for blogging about the Health care web.

Health care is so important to the daily lives of Americans we can't let special interests hijack it. We started the Read The Bill Campaign ( to make members of Congress take the time to READ the legislation that affects every day people. We also believe that citizens should be able to read legislation and organize around the parts we support or oppose before a bill becomes a law.

With health care reform about to happen we all need to take the time and consider what we are passing, making sure big corporations don't win but citizens do.

Thanks again for sharing the health care influence web with your readers!

Nisha Thompson
Sunlight Foundation
Online Organizer