Friday, December 31, 2010

Supreme Court ~ Now Belongs to Large Corporations !

"Person" of the Year: The U.S. Supreme Court
Bob Burnett.Berkeley writer, retired Silicon Valley executive
Posted: December 31, 2010

It's difficult to look beyond the tumult of current events and ask, "what happened this year that will be remembered ten, twenty, or fifty years from now?" However, there was one 2010 event that, in terms of its long-term impact, loomed above the others, the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court Decision.

Writing in the New York Review, law professor Ronald Dworkin explained Citizens United v. FEC: "In the 2008 presidential primary season a small corporation, Citizens United, financed to a minor extent by corporate contributions, tried to broadcast a derogatory movie about Hillary Clinton. The FEC declared the broadcast illegal under the BCRA [Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act]. Citizens United then asked the Supreme Court to declare it exempt from that statute on the ground, among others, that it proposed to broadcast its movie only on a pay-per-view channel." In an extraordinary example of judicial activism, the Supreme Court conservative majority, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, declared the entire BCRA act unconstitutional. The Supreme Court hadn't been the story of the year since the December 12, 2000, Bush v. Gore decision. This paved the way for Bush's installation as president and his nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice in September of 2005. Many Supreme Court observers regard Roberts as the judicial equivalent of the "Manchurian Candidate." New Yorker legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin noted Roberts' dogmatic conservatism: "In every major case since he became the nation's seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts [and his conservative allies] has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff." John Roberts had worked as an attorney for both the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations and, therefore, possible conservative "judicial activism" was a concern of the Democratic Senators who questioned him before confirmation. Roberts denied that he was an activist and appeared to honor the legal tradition of stare decisis, abiding by precedent. Five years later, it's apparent that Roberts hid his true philosophy. In the Citizens United decision Roberts aggressively advanced the conservative agenda along three fronts. First, the decision to hear this case was an extraordinary example of judicial activism. Professor Dworkin observed, Citizens United "did not challenge the constitutionality of [BCRA]. But the five conservative justices -- Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas -- decided on their own initiative, after a rehearing they themselves called for, that they wanted to declare the act unconstitutional anyway." [Emphasis added] Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, explained that the conservative justices called for the rehearing because they had dissented on the most pertinent precedent, McConnell v. FEC, and had continued to complain about it. Second, the Citizens United decision strengthened the conservative contention that corporations have "personhood" and, therefore, enjoy the same rights as ordinary individuals, including the right of free speech. (For a compelling account of how the bizarre notion that corporations enjoy the same constitutional rights as human beings has evolved, see radio host Thom Hartmann's book, Unequal Protection.) Third, the Citizens United decision allowed corporations to spend unlimited funds in political contests. It was this aspect that caused President Obama to observe, during his January 27, 2010, State of the Union Address, "The Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations - -to spend without limit in our elections." The decision granted corporations more rights than those of human beings. The 2010 midterm elections demonstrated the lethality of the Citizens United decision. The non-partisan group, calculated that, excluding Party Committees, $294 million was spent by outside groups. Conservative outside groups spent twice as much as did Liberal groups. For example, the US Chamber of Commerce, a conservative-leaning outside group, spent $32.8 million, more than the combined total of the two leading Liberal groups: the SEIU ($15.7 million) and the AFSCME ($12.6). (The McClatchey Newspapers reported that the US Chamber, which has foreign corporations as members, expected to spend more than $75 million in all forms of political support.) Massive spending by outside groups influenced the outcome of the midterm election. In the Pennsylvania Senate race, outside spending was more than $12 million: $5.9 million was spent on ads attacking the Democratic Candidate (Joe Sestak), whereas only $1.9 was spent attacking the Republican (Pat Toomey); Sestak lost. In Illinois, $6.2 million was spent attacking the Democratic candidate (Alex Giannoulias), whereas only $1.5 million was spent attacking the Republican (Mark Kirk); Giannoulias lost. There are many similar examples, including outgoing New York Democratic Congressman John Hall who attributed his defeat to the decision. We've entered a new phase of American history, the Corporatist period where multinational corporations have unbridled political influence. This movement started before the Citizens United decision, but the Roberts' Supreme Court has accelerated the pace and thereby profoundly weakened our democracy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bonus for Millionaires ~ Cuts for Social Security Recipients

Millionaire$ get a Gold Mine ~ Social Security Recipients get Shaft !

Did it make you crazy that the President thought he had to give the Republican hostage-takers a tax windfall for the very wealthy in order to get a weak stimulus ?
Well get ready for the next, even bigger hostage battle. This one we have to win.

Republicans are demanding Social Security cuts. If they don’t get those cuts, they will threaten to destroy the economy by refusing to raise the debt limit when it has to be extended in March. This time, we have maybe a month to make sure the President is on our side – before the upcoming State of the Union address. This is no time to let frustration with Washington paralyze progressives. Too much is at stake.
Tell the President: "Don't Give Social Security Cuts To The Republican Hostage-Takers." Sign the "No Social Security Cuts" petition.

Rumors are rampant that the President will embrace Social Security cuts in his upcoming State of the Union Address, to avoid a showdown over raising the debt ceiling.

We have to tell him: You can’t give a $700 billion windfall to the richest families in America, and then cut Social Security!

We cannot let this happen. And it won't happen if we sternly remind the White House that Social Security cuts will shatter his grassroots base. And we need to tell him now, before the State of the Union address is written.

Tell the President: "Don't Give Social Security Cuts To The Republican Hostage Takers." Sign the "No Social Security Cuts" petition.

If ten of thousands of the President's most committed supporters tell him in no uncertain terms that cutting Social Security is political suicide, he will have no choice but to heed our call.
As the President himself said to progressive activists earlier this year, "keep holding me accountable." If we don't, the hostage-takers will.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Definition of Labor Unions or Killing the Myth !

A Simple Guide for Talking Unions

by Zoe Bridges-Curry on December 14, 2010 .
It’s no secret: Not everyone sees unions as key to rebuilding America and the middle class.

It’s easy to tune out the misinformation about unions and the workers who make them strong when you hear it on the news, but what should you do when the same misinformation comes from your friends and family? We’re here to help with some simple facts so you can speak up the next time you encounter someone attacking unions, and help shed light on what unions are really all about!
MYTH: Unions are run by big, overpaid bosses.
FACT: Unions are run by workers.

A union is simply a group of employees who join together to address workplace issues, so they can improve their working conditions and have a fair shot at a better life for themselves and their families.
Unions are democratic institutions. At the local, state, and national level, all union leadership is elected by majority votes—just like elections for public office.
MYTH: Unions only care about their members.
FACT: Unions are fighting to improve the lives of all workers.

It’s easy to forget that we have unions to thank for a lot of things we take for granted today in today’s workplaces: the minimum wage, the 8-hour work day, child labor laws, health and safety standards, and even the weekend.
Today, unions across the country are on the front lines advocating for basic workplace reforms like increases in the minimum wage, and pushing lawmakers to require paid sick leave. Studies show that a large union presence in an industry or region can raise wages even for non-union workers. That means more consumer spending, and a stronger economy for us all. So it’s no wonder that most Americans (61%) believe that “labor unions are necessary to protect the working person,” according to Pew’s most recent values survey.
MYTH: Union workers are lazy, and unions are bad for business.
FACT: Unions and profitability go hand in hand.

Actually, unions make the workplace more efficient – despite the stereotype that we all hear.
Unions raise productivity on average by up to 24% in manufacturing, 16% in hospitals, and 38% in the construction. Union workers have higher professional standards because unions increase opportunities for worker training. Many even offer their own training programs. Union workers are employed in some of the most respected professions. They’re nurses, firefighters, teachers, day care providers, engineers, and NASA scientists. Union members are responsible for building nuclear subs, the space shuttle, The Smithsonian, the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, and even the American flag. Even small business owners think that unions are good for workers—and the economy. In fact, over 80% agree “strong unions make the free market system stronger.” They’re right. Unions exist at some of the most successful companies out there, including AT&T, Costco, UPS, and Southwest.
MYTH: Unions ask for too much. In this economy, people should be thankful for any job.
FACT: Good jobs mean a stronger economy, and that means more jobs.

This idea is coming straight from the same corporations that ran our economy into the ground. Now they’re taking advantage of our financial worries to grab an even bigger slice of the pie. It’s just plain wrong to make working Americans foot the bill for Wall Street’s party. And it’s also bad for the economy. Because when workers can’t afford the products they produce, consumer spending takes a serious hit, and the economy does, too. But when workers can bargain for family-sustaining pay and benefits, consumer spending increases. The result is a stronger economy—one that creates jobs and enables people to work their way into the middle class.
MYTH: Public employees are to blame for our budget woes.
FACT: Public employees earn less than private-sector workers in similar jobs.

You’re going to hear this a lot more soon. But we can’t afford to have extremist policymakers get away with scapegoating civil servants like teachers, fire fighters, and police officers. Private-sector workers should be angry about the inadequate benefits they receive, but the solution isn’t to take hope away from the public sector workers who keep our communities strong. We have to make the economy work for everyone. Recent studies show that public employees make significantly less than private-sector workers with comparable education and experience, even when you factor in benefits. And according to Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman, state and local employees’ pensions make up only 6 percent of non-federal public sector spending. Still not convinced? It turns out that what’s bad for public workers is bad for the economy, too. The Center for Economic Policy Research reports that freezing federal workers’ pay will mean a loss of $2.5 billion in consumption by 2012—18,000 private sector workers stand to lose their jobs as a result. And don’t forget, it was Wall Street’s recklessness that caused budget shortfalls in states across the country—not public service workers. Making public service workers pay for Wall Street’s wrongdoing won’t create jobs, and it won’t save the public services we all depend on.

Editorial : Free Democratic Labor/Trade Unions are one of the greatest resources in our Country`s history, and ought to be taught in every class room in this country. DVJ

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Want to Contact Your Congress ? Here`s How !

Everybody Needs to Contact Their Congressman at Times ...
By: Underdog = Don Jones

There are many and varied votes taking place on your behalf. I would suggest that you start to pay attention, as to how your Congressional Representatives vote on bills that affect you ! Just click on the title of this blog or the link above. Follow directions and you`ll soon be in contact with your elected Representative. Once you are on the site, you can save it to your favorites. Sha-Zam, I believe you`ve got it. I urge you to use it !

Friday, December 10, 2010

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ~ Gave Us the Social Security Road Map ! Follow it !

Proposed Tax Deal Goes Against FDR’s Vision for Social Security
For the newest fact sheet “Health Care Benefits for Seniors in 2011,” go to>>>>
President Obama announced a tentative deal with Congressional Republicans on Monday to extend the Bush-era tax cuts at all income levels for two years. The package would reduce the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax on all wage earners by two percentage points, to 4.2%, for one year. However, the package would cost about $900 billion over the next two years, and would be financed entirely by adding to the national debt. The deal would also extend unemployment benefits at their current level for 13 months, through the end of 2011.
The Social Security payroll tax cut is estimated to cost $120 billion per year, and is a provision that Senate Democrats say could ultimately be the undoing of Social Security. Allowing the payroll tax to expire in a year will mean that workers will see a nearly 50% jump in payroll taxes as the rate reverts back -- an event that is likely to be described as a tax hike. According to The Huffington Post, reducing a person's responsibility to contribute to Social Security also deprives the program of the political and moral capital that has kept the program intact despite fierce opposition from a determined investor class. In arguing against the deal, Nancy Altman, head of the group Social Security Works, noted that such responsibility was put into place by FDR for just that purpose. To see more from FDR on the topic, go to Altman said that dividing the stimulus evenly by simply sending an equal check to every worker would be far more desirable. Both the Senate and the House are expected to debate and vote on the proposal next week.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Seniors Can Eat Kibble & Bits !

Amidst Talk of Tax Cuts for the Rich, Republicans Block $250 Checks for Seniors
A proposal to provide seniors an emergency payment of $250 was blocked on Wednesday by Republican-led opposition in the House and Senate. The measure would have provided the one-time payment to 58 million Social Security recipients in lieu of an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This is the second consecutive year that Social Security beneficiaries did not receive a COLA. Senior advocates note that the Consumer Price Index in Social Security, which measures the rate of inflation, does not accurately reflect the rate of inflation faced by seniors who spend a huge amount of their income on health care. Alliance members sent more than 5,400 e-mails letting their representative and senators know that they were counting on them to vote in favor of the payment. The bill, (S. 3985), required 60 votes to shut off a filibuster in the Senate, but failed 53-45. No Senate Republicans voted for it. For a Senate vote tally, go to

Republicans Can`t Wait to Vote their Millionaire Contributors a Huge Tax Break !
The proposal also failed in the House for passage under House Suspension Calendar rules. There, the measure came up short, 254-153, with 141 Republicans voting against it. Under those rules, two-thirds of members present and voting were necessary for the bill, (H.R. 5987), to pass. For a tally of the House vote, go to In arguing for the $250, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) mentioned the Alliance’s support on the House floor. “This legislation is critical to retirees, but unfortunately, congressional Republicans overwhelmingly chose to oppose it,”

Friday, December 03, 2010

Lifeline ~ God Help Us ! ~ The Republicans Won`t !

God Help Us ! The Republicans Won`t !

You need to watch this video. It made me furious, and it made me cry. It’s a powerful reminder of the real faces behind unemployment statistics. It’s about three minutes and it’s worth every second—so I hope you’ll turn up your speakers and watch the whole thing. The same senators who are fighting to charge $700 billion in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires to our national credit card say extending unemployment is “too expensive” and “must be paid for.” Meanwhile, more than one person a second is losing his or her lifeline.
If this video doesn’t fuel your outrage and give you a sense of the human cost of delay on emergency unemployment, nothing will. Please watch and send a strong message to your members of Congress. Tell them to restore unemployment insurance benefits for jobless workers who are being cut off right now at the rate of more than one a second. Then, share this video with your friends and ask them to take action, too.
> <

Let’s fix this outrage. If you live in Tennessee ?
Contact Senators Alexander & Corker (R`s) Tennessee here > also your Congressman/women > <

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Deficit Commision~Is Only For The Very Rich !

Trumka: Latest Deficit Commission Proposal Tells Workers...

‘Drop Dead’—Again !
by James Parks, Dec 1, 2010

With 800,000 workers losing their unemployment benefits last night, the deficit commission’s proposal “once again tells working Americans to ‘Drop Dead,’” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said. All the commission members should vote against the latest blueprint presented by Commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, which calls for keeping the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy while cutting Social Security and Medicare, Trumka said. And all members of Congress should oppose these “job-killing policies” if they are raised in future legislation or budgets, he said. We need to focus now on the jobs deficit, Trumka said. Fifteen million people are out of work, and another 11 million have given up looking or are working part-time involuntarily. We need to end tax breaks that send American jobs overseas and invest in jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and green technologies. To address long-term deficit issues, the AFL-CIO supports the core principles underlying the “Investing in America’s Economy Budget Blueprint,” he said. We need to put jobs and economic growth first; we must invest in education and infrastructure to be competitive in the 21st century; Wall Street and the Wealthy must bear their share of the burden; and we need to deal with the growth of health care costs.

Editorial : The Middle Class can no longer carry the Country`s Debt Burden alone ! The Rich must step up and assist us in this quest to save our Country ! If you do not understand this ? Where on Earth have you been ? And when are you going to say, enough is enough ! Trumka has got it right !

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hands Off Social Security !

Politicians ~ Keep Your Hands Off of Social Security !

Congratulations! We slammed the phones on Capitol Hill yesterday thanks to your help. In fact, we overloaded the Capitol Switchboard and the phones went down.

Tens of thousands delivered the message: "Hands Off Our Social Security!" Members of Congress even called our offices and those of our allies to say that they were hearing the calls loud and clear. The Fiscal Commission was supposed to vote today on a plan to slash Social Security benefits. But they’re still trying to round up the votes. The vote is now scheduled for Friday, and many members of the Commission are undecided.

So you have time to call your U.S. Senators TODAY and THURSDAY to make your voice heard.
Please call 1-866-529-7630 now.

We know many of you called yesterday but could not get through to the offices because the switchboards were jammed. So please try again TODAY.

Call 1-866-529-7630 right now. There will be less phone traffic today, which should allow you to get through.

We can beat these guys. That’s why we will continue fighting all week against the Fiscal Commission. They released their new proposal for slashing Social Security benefits this morning. Once again it disregards the will of the American people. Their plan will raise the retirement age to 69, cut the annual COLA, and cut benefits overall for middle-income earners by 17% to 36%.

It`s YOUR Money ! Tell them to back off on Social Security ~

Republicans are Poachers ! The Party of The RICH !

Robin Hood Rides Again ! Republicans Take from the Poor and Give to the Rich !
by: Don Jones = Underdog

Do you ever get just plain disgusted with our politics ? I do ! It seems, that it does`nt matter who we (middle class) elect, we get it taken from us to give our millionaire's a break. They say, they need a break from tax`s to create jobs. The problem is they do not create jobs in the good ole USA. They create them in other countries. Am I missing something ? Why do multi-millionaires need a tax break, and we middle class pay more tax`s, than they do ? Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and a host of other billionaires, say, (we as in Buffet and Gates) do not need a tax break ! Who are the millionaires who need this tax break ? Perhaps we need to take up a collection for them ? Now, I voted for President Obama, because he was going to institute change. In some instances, he did. In others he has not ! Pardon me, but, it just seems that we are in a class war. I make no apologies for that fact. If you do not believe me, listen to the Republican rhetoric. They are telling you, that tax breaks for the rich are necessary to create jobs. If that is true, why are`nt we just covered up in jobs ? The tax breaks for the rich has been in place since George W. Bush was President. We are in debt up to our eyes. We borrow money at an all time high. Obama, inherited a monetary crisis almost unparalleled. He has successfully saved our Automobile Industry single handed. I`m afraid Obama will cut a deal with the Republicans and leave the tax breaks for the rich, in place for a trade off on something else. If we incur bills like we are, then we need to pay them. He has stopped the war in Iraq. He has not stopped the war in Afghanistan. My one big question is, what has happened to our fixing TRADE ? It`s Trade, that is cooking our goose. You rarely hear anything about it. If we are going to be third world Country, then things are going pretty well. If we do not want to be third world country, we must fix Trade ! I call it our race to the bottom. Our Politicians encourage manufacturers to go to other countries to get the benefit of cheap wages ! Most Republicans are Anti-Union. Most workers need one ! It`s all about Tax Cuts for the RICH. I predict that Republicans will hold up any legislation until they get their Tax Breaks for the RICH ! President Obama needs to stand up to them and (As they Did Just Say NO!) I`ve ranted long enough, I hate that I`ve had to rant at all ! Our Race to the bottom continues. Just one more thing, if you live in Tennessee, our two U.S. Senators Alexander and Corker (R`s) Vote for the Rich on a regular basis ! Both are Anti-Union. They voted against minimum wage ! They voted against the Automobile stimulus. They oppose Healthcare. They oppose unemployment benefits.So, in essence we Tennesseans get what we vote for ! Want to inform Senators Alexander and Corker (R`s) from Tennessee of your disappointment in their representation ? click on this link or the title of this article ! > <