Maybe They Are After Us

David R. Jones, Esq., President and CEO, Community Service Society of New York, at Huffington Post:

I’ve always been particularly contemptuous of conspiracy theories, whether it’s U.N. sponsored black helicopters, the dangers of the Trilateral Commission, or alien abduction. It’s never been the way I see things, although as a kid I had a period of concern over sitting on toilets and baby alligators that kids bought at the circus and flushed into New York City sewers.

But now I am joining mainstream America in its paranoia. This week we’ve witnessed the dissolution of ACORN, the leading national advocacy group for the poor, shut down with the active help of the Congress from both parties, and the stunning decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission which allows unlimited spending by corporations and labor unions in political campaigns. ACORN was forced out of business despite the fact that the expose´ that led to repeated attacks on it was perpetrated by a conservative activist now charged with a wiretapping attempt against U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and the congressional blocking of funds to the group was found to violate the Constitution as a Bill of Attainder, a law aimed at only one group or person.

The Supreme Court decision suddenly makes the whole notion of campaign finance laws a joke. How in the world is a person or a group without money and/or power going to cope with corporations which can literally throw millions into a political campaign and consider it pocket change? In New York City, we’re all still staggered by the $112 million spent by Mayor Bloomberg last year to get reelected. Against major multinational corporations, that amount could well be considered trivial in the future.

Why do these things come together in my paranoid delusion? Because I don’t see how a democracy can function under these conditions, with efforts to engage in grassroots organizing being cut down whenever they get too strong, a media which are controlled only by persons and corporations of great wealth, and – the final blow – elections which depend solely on getting messages out through organizing or a media completely under the control of corporate America…

[continues at Huffington Post]

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  • 5by5

    Mission accomplished. An organization which is responsible for registering predominantly poor people and people of color to vote, and because they are poor and of color, who are most likely vote AGAINST Republicans, is put out of business via slimy Nixonian tactics.

    And yes, at the same time as the Republicans asshats on the Supreme Court kick open the door to overt corporate graft in our political process that will make anything previous to this look like child's play.

    Meanwhile the multiple instances of Republican ELECTION fraud (so-called “voter fraud” individuals intentionally double voting and the like is so statistically rare as to be utterly insignificant. Indeed the only provable example I can think of in recent times, is Ann Coulter's engaging in voter fraud in Florida) over the past 4 decades goes largely unprosecuted.

    Everything ranging from breaking into the campaign offices of the DNC, to bribing Iranians to keep hostages until after the 1980 elections, to papering predominantly black neighborhoods with leaflets instructing them to vote at the wrong polling place or on the wrong day, to phone jamming, to kicking as many as 90,000 valid voters off the voting rolls in Florida, to tearing up Democratic registrations in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon, to having all the votes from Ohio electronically transferred down to Tennessee onto a GOP-controlled server prior to counting, to owning controlling shares in a voting machine company whose machines are used in their own elections, to flat-out programming voting machines to flip votes.

    Basically, the Cons are working very hard to make certain that regular people have no voice at all in the new corporate oligarchy. And far too many other people are letting them get away with it.

  • Anonymous

    And speaking of examples of shall we say “targeted punishment”, look at the case of the recent ethics charge against Charlie Rangel. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, he’s in charge of writing tax law for every corporation in America. Which basically means that he has “connections” to literally everything, whether he likes it or not.

    He was formally “admonished” for violating the rules on receiving gifts by accepting reimbursement for a trip to the Caribbean.

    But here’s the kicker — he wasn’t the only Congressman who was on this trip. Two Republicans were as well, and they too sit on the Ways & Means Committee. Rangel was just the only one “admonished”.

    Gee, that’s mighty odd, huh?

    Also interesting is who filed the ethics complaint. The corporate news will tell you that the “National Legal and Policy Center” filed the ethics complaint. What they neglect to mention is that this supposed “ethics watchdog group” is actually a front group for a conservative lobbying organization, who’s founders previously worked at the astroturf “Citizens for Reagan”.

    This group only seeks to “monitor” Democrats apparently, because they were suspiciously silent about Republican Senator Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens’ much more rampant excesses.

    NLPC has also done things like say that the real problem at WalMart wasn’t the 15 cases of child labor violations, immigration violations, and illegal anti-union activities which were prove in court. Nope the real problem with the box store was it’s “environmental incentives” and the victims were shareholders. Seriously.

    Funny, I think the radically underpaid workers who were bullied out of organizing to protect themselves might disagree with who precisely is the “victim” there.

    You should also know that the NLPC’s primary funding comes from…. wait for it…. the Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation.

    This would be the same batcrap crazy Richard Mellon Scaife who, along with loony Moonie Rev Sun Yung Moon, funds the rightwing birdcage liner “The American Spectator” even though it consistently fails to make a profit, because with it he can propagandize those ignorant few who might erroneously consider it to be a regular newspaper. This was the source of the smear machine known as “the Arkansas Project”.

    And continuing to throw away his billions which would be better used on almost any OTHER activity, he funds other rightwing hack “think” tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, Judicial Watch, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Cato Institute.

    The Mellon family also owns Gulf Oil.

    http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/1
    http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/04/27/scaif

    All I’m saying is, if we’re going to be fair, don’t just look at the accused, look at the accusers as well.

    I suspect the most Charlie is truly guilty of, is “legislating while black”.

  • 5by5

    And speaking of examples of shall we say “targeted punishment”, look at the case of the recent ethics charge against Charlie Rangel. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, he's in charge of writing tax law for every corporation in America. Which basically means that he has “connections” to literally everything, whether he likes it or not.

    He was formally “admonished” for violating the rules on receiving gifts by accepting reimbursement for a trip to the Caribbean.

    But here's the kicker — he wasn't the only Congressman on the trip who was on this trip. Two Republicans were as well, and they too sit on the Ways & Means Committee. Rangel was just the only one “admonished”.

    Gee, that's mighty odd, huh?

    Also interesting is who filed the ethics complaint. The corporate news will tell you that the “National Legal and Policy Center” filed the ethics complaint. What they neglect to mention is that this supposed “ethics watchdog group” is actually a front group for a conservative lobbying organization, who's founders previously worked at the astroturf “Citizens for Reagan”.

    This group only seeks to “monitor” Democrats apparently, because they were suspiciously silent about Republican Senator Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens' much more rampant excesses.

    NLPC has also done things like say that the real problem at WalMart wasn't the 15 cases of child labor violations, immigration violations, and illegal anti-union activities which were prove in court. Nope the real problem with the box store was it's “environmental incentives” and the victims were shareholders. Seriously.

    Funny, As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, he's in charge of writing tax law for every corporation in America. Which basically means that he has “connections” to literally everything, whether he likes it or not.

    He was formally “admonished” for violating the rules on receiving gifts by accepting reimbursement for a trip to the Caribbean.

    But here's the kicker — he wasn't the only Congressman on the trip who was on this trip. Two Republicans were as well, and they too sit on the Ways & Means Committee. Rangel was just the only one “admonished”.

    Gee, that's mighty odd, huh?

    Also interesting is who filed the ethics complaint.

    The corporate news will tell you that the “National Legal and Policy Center” filed the ethics complaint. What they neglect to mention is that this supposed “ethics watchdog group” is actually a front group for a conservative lobbying organization, who's founders previously worked at the astroturf “Citizens for Reagan”.

    This group only seeks to “monitor” Democrats apparently, because they were suspiciously silent about Republican Senator Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens' much more rampant excesses.

    NLPC has also done things like say that the “real problem” at WalMart wasn't the 15 cases of child labor violations, immigration violations, and illegal anti-union activities which were prove in court. Nope the real problem with the box store was it's, “environmental incentives” and the “victims” were shareholders. Seriously.

    Funny, I think the radically underpaid workers who were bullied out of organizing to protect themselves might disagree with who precisely is the “victim” there.

    You should also know that the NLPC's primary funding comes from…. wait for it…. the Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation.

    This would be the same batcrap crazy Richard Mellon Scaife who, along with loony Moonie Rev Sun Yung Moon, funds the rightwing birdcage liner “The American Spectator” even though it consistently fails to make a profit, because with it he can propagandize those ignorant few who might erroneously consider it to be a regular newspaper. This was the source of the smear machine known as “the Arkansas Project”.

    And continuing to throw away his billions which would be better used on almost any OTHER activity, he funds other rightwing hack “think” tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, Judicial Watch, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Cato Institute.

    The Mellon family also owns Gulf Oil.

    http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/1
    http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/04/27/scaif

    All I'm saying is, if we're going to be fair, don't just look at the accused, look at the accusers as well.

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