January 21st, 2010

PK Icon

Briefly on Citizens United v. FEC

Ah, our modern Lochner.

It is important to connect the dots. The majority relies heavily on the ability of stockholders to control corporations. But this is not merely false as a practical matter, it is increasingly false as a legal matter. Since the 1980s, when social activists began leveraging their power as shareholders to force changes in corporate practices, the SEC and the Del. courts have worked mightily to undermine the rights of shareholders to hold officers of the corporation accountable. As a result, this decision privileges a handful of corporate officers who, under existing corporate law are allowed to use corporate "people" as their personal playthings.

As a final insult, under corporate law, expenditures of corporate money are only to be made to further the business ends of the corporation. It is the ultimate degradation of the ideals of self-government that we provide First Amendment protection to "speech," which, by law, may only be used to corrupt the political process for commercial ends.
PK Icon

Ah, What A Difference In Attitude

From MyDD

From FDR in 1936
For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace‹business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me,and I welcome their hatred.

Obama, today announcing financial reforms:
And my message to members of Congress of both parties is that we have to get this done. And my message to leaders of the financial industry is to work with us, and not against us, on needed reforms. I welcome constructive input from folks in the financial sector. But what we’ve seen so far in recent weeks is an army of industry lobbyists from Wall Street descending on Capitol Hill to try and block basic and common-sense rules of the road that would protect our economy and the American people.

So if these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have.

I'm glad to see that Obama understands what the problem is, and will be even more pleased if he finds his spine and tells fellow dems to stop dithering and take action. And, as I always say, make it as easy as possible for people to agree with you.

But it is an enormously uphill battle to persuade people you mean business when you have spent a year establishing a reputation as a softie. We'll have to see what the State of the Union does.