The Good News: The Word is spreading about the corporatist subversion of the State.

The bad news: Obama’s new chief of staff was until recently on the top operating committee at JP Morgan Chase. The incorporated body is making new inroads in the subversion of the United States.

Wal-Mart Is Not a Person
Thom Hartmann,

“We the People are the first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution; and from its adoption until the Robber Baron Era in the late nineteenth century, people meant human beings. In the 1886 Santa Clara case, however, the court reporter of the Supreme Court proclaimed in a “headnote”—a summary or statement added at the top of the court decision, which is separate from the decision and has no legal force whatsoever—that the word person in law and, particularly, in the Constitution, meant both humans and corporations.

Thus began in a big way (it actually started a half century earlier in a much smaller way with a case involving Dartmouth University) the corruption of American democracy and the shift, over the 125 years since then, to our modern corporate oligarchy.

Most recently, in a January 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court, under Chief Justice John G. Roberts, took the radical step of overturning more than a hundred years of laws passed by elected legislatures and signed by elected presidents and declared that not only are corporations “persons” but that they have constitutional rights such as the First Amendment right to free speech…

A Patriotic Dissent

When the Republican Five on the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case and handed to corporations nearly full human rights of free speech, it didn’t come out of the blue. Although no bill in Congress from the time of  George Washington to Barack Obama had declared that corporations should have these “human rights” (to the contrary, multiple laws had said the opposite), and no president had ever spoken in favor of corporate human rights, the five men in the majority on the Supreme Court took it upon themselves to hand our country over to the tender mercies of the world’s largest transnational corporations.

The Court’s Minority Pushes Back

This didn’t sit well with the other four members of the Supreme Court. Justice John Paul Stevens, with the concurrence of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor, wrote the dissenting opinion in the Citizens United case. Calling the decision “misguided” in the first paragraph of the 90-page dissent, Stevens (and his colleagues) pointed out that the Court majority had just effectively handed our country over to any foreign interest willing to incorporate here and spend money on political TV ads…”

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