Corporate politic$ in America

Americans like to think that our elected officials are beholden to Us, The People. We have spirited elections, and if we don’t like Candidate X, we can vote for Candidate Y. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it.

Then why does the FAA have a “no fly zone” over Mayflower, Arkansas being overseen by Exxon Mobil? “In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon’s permission.” I don’t recall anyone electing Exxon as overseer of our skies. And a technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs.

How does Congress quietly pass, unbeknownst to most, even those who voted on it, a secret provision to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 which protects the manufacturers of genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health concerns, such as inflammatory bowel diseases? And check out the waiver Monsanto makes farmers sign.

Most observers believe Monsanto is likely to win a Supreme Court case which one must read to believe; that Justice Thomas, former Monsanto lawyer lawyer, doesn’t recuse himself is typical Clarence behavior. Now, if Vermont’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act passes the state legislature, requiring manufacturers to label modified food products as such, Monsanto has threatened to sue the state. Meanwhile, food safety advocates have called out President Obama over his broken promise to label GMOs.

Or, as I mentioned before, how do copyright holders given quasi-governmental powers to cut off Internet service?

The answer, my friend, is money. Money in politics. The ‘Revolving Door’ lobbyists have helped create the corporate betrayal of America. Check out The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secret website. So that is how one could have an anonymous! member of Congress slip something into a bill that protects the corporations.

None of this is news, exactly – see the FDR quote – but seems to have become both more pervasive and more perverse. So what are we going to do about it? I was watching this TED talk on Arthur’s blog, and it got me to think that there are many people on the political left and the political right who have a common agenda: a sense of fairness. Money trumps fairness, inherently.

I think the Tea Party and the ACLU (or other odd bedfellows of your choice) should get together and think of some strategy to address this issue. It may have to be outrageous.

Let’s face it: governments chug along doing the things they do, often in a self-serving manner, until the people get a bit uppity and sit at a lunch counter where they are unwelcome, or refuse to sit in the back of the bus. Not sure what action it is should be yet, but as they say, it could be epic…

As my friend Dan wrote, in response to the post cited above: “No corporation… has any right to enforce anything. If our government leaders give them that kind of power then we the people have every right to defy their bogus powers…”
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“For someone the right wing press likes to call a socialist,” Obama’s regressive record makes Nixon look like Che.

5 thoughts on “Corporate politic$ in America”

  1. It’ll be epic only if people can organize outside the Twitsphere. Considering that people generally organize in large groups now in government-sponsered entities (like universities and organizations funded by government grants) and very little through completely separate means (like churches)…

    I’m sad now.

    On the up side, here’s a baby wombat:

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  2. You are brave putting this on your blog. I have a separate blog for current events because most people just want to escape when they enjoy the blogs of other people, and post things themselves. I find that most people are not well-informed about everything that is going on behind the scenes, and that’s how the government likes it, so we won’t make a fuss!

    Thanks for stopping by my A Colorful World blog and commenting on my ABC Wed. last week. Check out my other blog by clicking on my sidebar, if you would like to do so!

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  3. As you know, I’m pessimistic about our ability to take our governments back from the corporations. What I think is interesting, though, is something you hinted at: The convergence of self-interest in opposing our would-be corporate overlords. You mentioned cutting off Internet connections. We face that in New Zealand specifically at the insistence of US media corporations. And there’s more to come.

    Personally, I think part of the answer lies in simply saying “NO!” to corporations, and being willing to ask our Congresscritters who’s side are they on: Ours or the corporations’?

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  4. Just saw this: https://secure.pfaw.org/site/Advocacy Tell the SEC: Make Corporations Disclose Political Spending

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the authority to pull back the curtain on the secret corporate money that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling has unleashed into our elections.

    As the federal agency with the job of protecting investors from corporate abuse, the SEC is well within its authority to require that all publicly traded corporations disclose how they’re spending money in an attempt to tilt elections.

    The SEC isn’t going to act without pressure. We’re almost at 500,000 public comments urging the SEC to adopt this rule, but powerful groups representing corporate special interests are mobilizing quickly in opposition.

    Help keep the pressure on — tell the SEC to require corporations to disclose how they spend their money in politics.

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