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Archive for March, 2019

Lewis Powell was a well-to-do, but relatively obscure, attorney in 1971. He was a corporate lawyer who worked with the Tobacco Institute and various tobacco corporations while they marketed and sold their cancer-causing products to unsuspecting customers. Management knew tobacco use caused cancer and denied it for decades.

In 1971, Powell wrote what has become known as the Lewis Powell memo, which advocated a corporate “guerrilla war” of misinformation and corporate take over of our schools, courts and other institutions. That war has been successfully waged. A few months after Powell wrote the memo and presented it to the United States Chamber of Commerce, then-President Richard Nixon successfully nominated Powell to the United States Supreme Court. You already know where Powell’s sympathies lay. He was the rich man’s class warrior. So fast forward to 1978.

That year “First National Bank of Boston vs. Bellotti” came before the Supreme Court. The state of Massachusetts had a law banning corporations from spending money in elections. Some corporations sued the state. Although the United States Constitution only provides people with individual rights and does not mention corporations at all, Powell and his other corrupt corporate sympathizers on the court decided to hell with the United States Constitution and nearly two hundred years of legal precedent and argued business corporations had a legal right to free speech under the U.S. Constitution. Powell just made up this corporate free speech right out of thin air, or more appropriately, it was a lie disguised as make-believe, or perhaps you could call it complete fiction.

Needless to say, Powell and his fellow non-justices were waging class warfare on behalf of their rich friends when they made this decision. The decision was based solely off the Powell Memo and the needs of the rich to control every facet of the lives of the 99 percent so that corporations could maximize the profits, share prices and dividends of the well-to-do.

Corporations are simply ideas, given a legal structure to operate by state law, with limited purposes. They are not people. But they do provide the rich with considerably more legal rights than the founding fathers could ever have imagined or wanted since they are vehicles for organizing rich people’s money into a single powerful entity and using that money to rig the markets for goods, services, finances, politics, and court justices. This was not lost on Lewis Powell and his fellow corporate Supreme Court non-justices. Their decision was based totally on waging war against the 99 percent and on behalf of the wealthy. You only need to read the Lewis Powell memo to understand the truth of this.

This was one of a series of Supreme Court decisions which have replaced the United States democracy with an oligarchy, and with both major political parties controlled by big money. Lewis Powell completely did what he set out to do, which was to subvert democracy and the U.S. Constitution to the will of the rich. The current representatives of the billionaires on the court (John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch) continue their mission of subverting and perverting the US Constitution on behalf of the billionaires and the class war they wage against democracy and the rest of us.

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti-Reclaim Democracy

The Lewis Powell Memo

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The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page. So what? Everybody already knew that.

Perhaps, but the two professors have conducted exhaustive research to try to present data-driven support for this conclusion. Here’s how they explain it:

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing their business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. In other words, the wealthy few determine public policy, while the average American has no power, and very little of it when organized in large numbers.

This is precisely why there is little or no movement in government policy in the non-battle against climate change.

Yesterday, Senate Democrats largely held together in boycotting what they decried as a “sham” vote forced by Republicans on the ambitious Green New Deal. The vote on the procedural motion failed on a 0-57 margin, with 43Democrats voting “present” to protest the GOP tactics. Just three Democrats — Sens. Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) — broke with their party to vote against the proposal for massive clean energy and infrastructure investments to rapidly slash greenhouse gas emissions and attempt to break economic inequality. The rest voted present, including six presidential candidates who co-sponsored the non-binding resolution S.J. Res. 8. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, also joined Republicans in voting no on Tuesday.

Quite naturally, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez railed against the do-nothing representatives of the rich, which can be seen in the video above.

Something else needs to be mentioned. The rich own the news media as much as they own politicians like Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, and we the people only get the news and opinions the rich want us to see.

BBC – Oligarchy in Charge of the United States

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A few years ago, I mentioned that the conservative/corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court would never vote to end abortion rights. Click here for that story.

The billionaire owned New York Times reported last month, “At Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s confirmation hearings 14 years ago, the first dozen questions were about whether he would respect the Supreme Court’s abortion precedents.” Well, last month Roberts voted with the court’s honest wing to strike down a Louisiana law that would have severely crippled abortion rights in the state.

The Times explained Roberts decision this way, “Although he offered no reason for his vote, there is little doubt that he wanted to avoid sending the message that the court was ready to discard a 2016 decision, a precedent, in which it struck down a similar Texas law.”

The Times explanation can be considered pure blather. Roberts does not care about “legal precedent” at all and never has. He has voted against legal precedent numerous times. For example, Roberts voted to unleash the financial power of the rich and their corporations by voting against campaign finance laws that curbed the ability of the rich to buy politicians and elections with overwhelming financial might, including the notorious Citizens United v. FEC case of 2010. That decision overturned 100 years of legal precedent. So the New York Times explanation for why Roberts elected to protect abortion rights is absurd, if not a downright lie intended to deceive its readers.

The real reason why the conservative/corporate United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts cast his vote to maintain abortion rights is more likely to continue to keep the Republican Party grassroots voters in line and their eyes only on one thing; abortion and the dying unborn.

Those rights won’t be significantly impeded legally because doing so would raise the hopes of the Republican faithful that their dreams of saving tens of thousands of the unborn every year would be fulfilled, and this great wedge issue would be legally resolved. Perhaps then many of the faithful would begin to clamor for a more equitable distribution of income, wealth, and political power, just like Jesus once did, and the leadership cannot have that.

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“I worked for Walmart as a shift manager,” twenty-nine-year-old Emily said. “I barely earned enough money to be able to share an apartment and drive an old beater car.” At Walmart, Emily told me her health insurance came from the state of Oregon’s health plan, which is for low-income people. In other words, Walmart’s medical benefits package is welfare from the state. This benefits the billionaire owners of Walmart while impoverishing state tax coffers.

Emily is a millennial. She now works as a waitress, but still owns the same beater car, and she needs to share a home. Emily has a friend she did not care to name, but whom we will call Ken. He works for Starbucks and under the same financial restraints as Emily, who obviously, is not alone in her financial and career situation.

Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Portland State University. Her story is not atypical.

According to a new study, millennials still suffer from the effects of the Great Recession. Their earnings have barely budged as they enter their mid-30s, making it even harder for them to cope with the economic pressures of having a family, a leading think tank has warned.

Their pay has suffered by far the biggest squeeze of any age group since the 2008 crash, according to a study by the Resolution Foundation. While the wages of the over-50s have recovered to levels above those seen a decade ago, it found the typical salary for workers in their 30s was still 7% below its pre-crisis peak last year.

As young workers in their 20s during the financial crisis, millennials were by far the worst affected as salaries failed to keep up with inflation. Their pay fell by 11% from 2009 to 2014 before recovering some lost ground after that.

There are a number of reasons for this. Political corruption is one of them.
That corruption has brought us;

Tens of millions of U.S. jobs have been exported over the last three decades. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. high tech jobs have been outsourced to foreign workers by the H1-B visa. The difference between the old U.S. wages and the new lower wages goes straight into the pockets of the billionaires, who control the entire Republican Party, and most of the Democratic Party representatives in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden is a perfect example of a Democratic party politician who serves the billionaires in their war to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. Currently, depending on whose sources you use, the 1 percent steal anywhere from 24 to 38 percent of the total income produced yearly in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1980. That leaves the 99 percent with only 62 to 76 percent of the total yearly income produced in the U.S., down from 92 percent in 1980.

Nowadays, three people (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates) own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of United States citizens.

The financial game is rigged folks, both major political parties are rotted with corruption to the core. The corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court is rotted with corruption to the core.

The last bastion of financial defense and defense of uncorrupted democracy for the people of the United States is the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, represented by folks like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The progressives get most of their campaign money via small donations. That wing of the Democratic party is the last best hope for uncorrupted democracy and leveling the financial playing field in

America.https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/feb/03/millennials-pay-still-stunted-by-financial-crash-resolution-foundation

 

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