Dianna Sweet writes for The Raw Story: "The US Supreme Court on Thursday lifted a 20-year ruling which had set limits on campaign financing by US businesses, and critics, including nonpartisan watchdogs and Congressional Democrats, are up in arms about the decision, which most had feared for a long time. Meanwhile, aside from Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Republicans appear to be gleeful about their second apparent victory of the week."
Corporate Personhood Should Be Banned, Once and For All: Outrageous SCOTUS Decision Should Reignite Most Necessary of Debates
Ralph Nader writes for Common Dreams: "Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission shreds the fabric of our already weakened democracy by allowing corporations to more completely dominate our corrupted electoral process. It is outrageous that corporations already attempt to influence or bribe our political candidates through their political action committees (PACs), which solicit employees and shareholders for donations. With this decision, corporations can now also draw on their corporate treasuries and pour vast amounts of corporate money, through independent expenditures, into the electoral swamp already flooded with corporate campaign PAC contribution dollars."
Language and the Politics of the Living Dead
Henry Giroux comments for Truthout: "In a robust aspiring democratic society, language along with critical thought have a liberating function. At best, they work together to shatter illusions, strengthen the power of reason and critical judgment and provide the codes and framing mechanisms for human beings to exercise a degree of self-determination, while holding the throne of raw governmental, military and economic power accountable."
Turning King's Dream into a Nightmare
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Martin Luther King Day has become a yearly ritual to turn a black radical into a red-white-and-blue icon. It has become a day to celebrate ourselves for “overcoming” racism and “fulfilling” King’s dream. It is a day filled with old sound bites about little black children and little white children that, given the state of America, would enrage King. Most of our great social reformers, once they are dead, are kidnapped by the power elite and turned into harmless props of American glory. King, after all, was not only a socialist but fiercely opposed to American militarism and acutely aware, especially at the end of his life, that racial justice without economic justice was a farce. "
US Security Company Offers to Perform "High Threat Terminations" and to Confront "Worker Unrest" in Haiti
Jeremy Scahill writes for Rebel Reports: "We saw this type of Iraq-style disaster profiteering in New Orleans and you can expect to see a lot more of this in Haiti over the coming days, weeks and months. Private security companies are seeing big dollar signs in Haiti thanks in no small part to the media hype about “looters.” After Katrina, the number of private security companies registered (and unregistered) multiplied overnight. Banks, wealthy individuals, the US government all hired private security. I even encountered Israeli mercenaries operating an armed check-point outside of an elite gated community in New Orleans. They worked for a company called Instinctive Shooting International. (That is not a joke)."
Profiting From Haiti's Crisis: Disaster Capitalism in Washington's Backyard
Benjamin Dangl writes for Toward Freedom: "US corporations, private mercenaries, Washington and the International Monetary fund are using the crisis in Haiti to make a profit, promote unpopular neoliberal policies, and extend military and economic control over the Haitian people."
Massachusetts Senate Race Results: Obama's Signal That All Is Changed
Peter Grier reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "Republican Scott Brown's upset victory in the Massachusetts Senate race results portends huge challenges ahead for President Obama and majority Democrats. National health care reform may well stall, and new carbon-emissions rules are now unlikely. What will be the revised agenda?"
Coakley's Loss: Pie in the President's Face
William Greider writes for The Nation: "Barack Obama went to Boston to rally voters and got a pie in the face. He lost his innocence as the valiant young president and also lost his sixty-vote majority in the Senate. Now we will find out what the man is made of--either a true political leader or just another show horse. Dozens of explanations are being offered for why the Dems were humiliated in Massachusetts. Democrats incline to grab easy answers. The president, if he is tough enough, will instead face the hard message of this political fiasco."
Obama Needs to Put His Dukes Up
Marty Keenan writes for the Kansas Free Press: "Life is a lot like boxing. And boxing is the best metaphor for politics I know. If a boxing match is so one-sided that one of the boxers is in danger of being permanently injured or killed, the referee stops the fight."
Unsurprising Poll Results from Massachusetts: Voters Think Obama Sides With the Banks
Michael Collins writes for the Daily Censored: "An interesting observation was made today by the pollster for Martha Coakley, the hapless Democratic candidate for the Massachusetts senate seat held almost forever by Ted Kennedy. It appears polls are showing that the voters, especially independents who would normally vote Democratic in a liberal blue state like Massachusetts, have instead run to support the Republican candidate as the agent of change. Wasn’t that supposed to be Barack Obama’s signature tune?"
Afghanistan: Women Dying and Torture Run Amuck
Jeffrey Kaye comments for Truthout: "Two reports coming out of Afghanistan illustrate the depth of hypocrisy and subterfuge characterizing the US/NATO intervention in that country. One could cite a myriad of such examples, so immoral and wrong is the US war there."
A Very American Coup: Coming Soon to a Hometown Near You
William J. Astore writes for TomDispatch.com: "The wars in distant lands were always going to come home, but not this way. It's September 2016, year 15 of America's 'Long War' against terror. As weary troops return to the homeland, a bitter reality assails them: despite their sacrifices, America is losing."
Dark Revelations in the Bagram Prisoner List
Andy Worthington provides the following analysis for Truthout: "On Friday, the ACLU secured a significant victory in its campaign to gain information about the prisoners held in the US prison at Bagram airbase, Afghanistan (known as the Bagram Theater Internment Facility), when the Pentagon released a list of the names of the 645 prisoners who were held on September 22, 2009."
Anti-Arpaio March Reignites Pro-Immigrant Movement
Valeria Fernández reports for Inter Press Service: "Over 20,000 people marched in the streets of Phoenix Saturday in the first mass mobilisation of the year, calling for an end to the criminalisation of undocumented immigrants and the passage of immigration reform legislation. Arizona is considered ground zero for the immigration debate due to its severe anti-immigrant policies and the controversial figure of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose deputies conduct frequent immigration sweeps in Latino neighbourhoods."
The Dirty Air Act
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Brad Johnson, and Alex Seitz-Wald write The Progress Report for Think Progress: "Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) plans to introduce a Congressional Disapproval Resolution that would block enforcement of the Clean Air Act for greenhouse gases. Her "Dirty Air Act" resolution would "retroactively veto" the Environmental Protection Agency's finding released in December "that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare," threatening the hopes for a clean energy economic recovery for the nation. The U.S. Global Change Research Program has determined that 'climate change impacts are much more pronounced' in Alaska 'than in other regions of the United States.' Villages are being relocated as land slips into the sea, roads are melting, forests are burning, and the Iron Dog snowmobile race is being cancelled by rain. On Monday, Murkowski welcomed the Obama administration's decision to declare a 'commercial fishery failure for the Yukon River Chinook salmon run' -- a collapse caused by global warming. These damages are threatening billions of dollars of losses to the Alaska economy, as Murkowski herself recognized in 2006. But now, she claims she is trying to block limits on global warming pollution to avoid 'devastating unintended consequences on the economy.' Unsurprisingly, Murkowski's push to stymie the EPA is being orchestrated by former Bush EPA officials who now lobby for electric utilities and other polluters."
A Decade of Feminism, continued...
Katha Pollitt writes for The Nation: "Surveying a decade of feminism in 1000 words was clearly beyond my powers of compression even after I'd jettisoned the whole world outside the United States. Several people wrote to remind me of things I'd cut or forgotten. More highlights--good, bad, odd -- of the no-name decade..."
Skelton Opposes repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Roxana Tiron reports for The Hill: "The leading House Democrat on military policy said Friday that he opposes repealing the law that bans openly gay people from serving in the military. Seventeen years ago, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) played a major role in crafting the controversial law known as "Don't ask, don't tell." When President Bill Clinton wanted to lift the ban preventing gay people from joining the military, Skelton opposed the move. The end result was a compromise under which gay service members would conceal their sexual orientation."
Uganda Imports Anti-Gay Bigotry from US
Jesse Singal reports for the Boston Globe: "IT’S NOT an export to be proud of. Even as top officials in Uganda have slowly backed away from a bill to impose the death penalty on homosexuals, it’s become clear that three American evangelical Christians helped inspire the measure during their travels there in March."
A Nondiscriminatory Net: The Right Approach
Chris Riley writes for SavetheInternet.com: "The FCC is in the process of creating a Net Neutrality rule, and front and center in the proceeding is the proposed rule of nondiscrimination – the idea that network gatekeepers should not abuse their control over the pipe by discriminating in favor of or against any online communications. The first of the existing FCC principles defends the right of Internet users to have access to content, applications and services – but it says nothing about the quality of that access."
Public Comments Remind Us Why 'Net Neutrality' Matters
Chris O'Brien reports for the Silicon Valley Mercury News: "Sean Sowell knew something was funky with his broadband service, but the Pleasanton resident just couldn't figure out why. The file-sharing program he had used legally for years to download software updates suddenly started conking out in 2007. Then Sowell, now 44, heard reports about how Comcast was limiting users' access to such services because the company felt they clogged up its networks. While that practice has stopped, Sowell's frustration hasn't subsided."