How Corporations Got Rights

 …the first Supreme Court case on the rights of business corporations was decided in 1809. To put that in some perspective, the first Supreme Court cases on the rights of African Americans and the rights of women weren’t decided until 1857 and 1873, respectively. So a half-century earlier, corporations were in the Supreme Court seeking the protections of the Constitution.

Bank of the United States v. Deveaux, it really set the foundation for 200 years of Supreme Court cases expanding rights to corporations. The case involved the Bank of the United States, the most powerful corporation in America at the time, and it claimed the constitutional right to sue in federal court, even though the Constitution’s text only provides that right to citizens.

Adam Winkler

In the segment of this episode of On The Media embedded below. Posted on Tumblr two years ago and shared to Facebook.

On the Media – How Corporations Got Rights – April 13, 2018

Nation-State

Speaking on MSNBC, Governor Gavin Newsom said that he would use the bulk purchasing power of California “as a nation-state” to acquire the hospital supplies that the federal government has failed to provide. If all goes according to plan, Newsom said, California might even “export some of those supplies to states in need.”

Bloomberg.com

There is little proof that can be presented that would support the observation that California isn’t both a nation and a state. For example; is France a nation or a state, part of the EU? Yes. It is both things. So is California both a nation, with its own government, business and economics; and a state, a part of the United States. Nation-State is what you call that kind of entity.

It is about time that the various states flexed their muscles. If the president in D.C. Won’t lead, then the state governors have to lead. Power exists that the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) can’t or won’t exercise, and the state governors have to step in and manage this crisis if the president won’t do it. When I talked about the United States ceasing to be the United States back in 2016 when Trump won the presidency, this was one of the ways that I saw that coming to pass.

No, I’m not saying that I saw SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) looming on the horizon. I thought that a rebellion over the OHM’s hateful immigration policies would be the most likely instigator of the crisis. I was wrong there. But I did envision a lack of leadership in a moment like this allowing the room for governors to step forward and assume a leadership role in defiance of the federal government.

California lead the way several years ago when they legalized Marijuana and the federal government was powerless to stop them from doing that. Several states have followed suit since, laying out the groundwork for an effective rebellion if one ever had to be utilized in a time of crisis. That time could be now.

The OHM will have to suppress California with force if it comes to that. Trump has proven that he hasn’t got the murderous instinct in him (thankfully) and who is willing to take bets on federal forces being willing to follow his orders when it comes to occupying one of our own states? One of our own states that is rightfully seeking redress of a problem that Washington has failed to remedy even though they knew that this pandemic was on it’s way three months ago?

This is a crisis moment the likes of which we haven’t seen since the last great war. Yet it is different than war as we have seen it previously. We don’t have an army that is trained to fight this war, and neither does any other nation have that army. The leader that can manage this crisis will be the one that the people will follow, because even bad leadership is better than no leadership.

The hacking of our democratic processes that gave us the OHM as president was also a war. We didn’t have an army trained to fight that war either, and the OHM hasn’t been inclined to tool-up to fight the enemy that, after all, put him into power. He has instead been willing to dissipate himself and the money-lenders on Wall Street with wealth handouts and relaxed regulations. Letting the greedy pile more millions onto their already disgustingly enormous piles of cash. He fiddled like Nero through crisis after crisis, most of them of his own making, until he ran into the harsh biological reality of this pandemic.

Now we can all see just how naked the emperor really is. He can order his Stormtrumpers to be cruel to immigrant children and their fathers and mothers. He can brag endlessly about being a wartime president as the country burns with fever around him. The camps that his immigration policies have created will be hotbeds for SARS-CoV-2. But it will also tear through cities and towns across this country, and everyone of us will have known someone who has died from this virus, before this pandemic is over.

He cannot stop the virus because the virus doesn’t notice his bluster and bullshit. It doesn’t respect law, or wealth, or property. It simply does its biological job, and in the process of doing that job it proves that Donald J. Trump is a coward incapable of making the hard decisions that a real leader is required to make in times like these. Maybe Gavin Newsom is the kind of leader who can. Gavin Newsom for president?

It’s been three years now. In order to get a sense of the history of what OHM means, I will link a few crucial posts. I wrote The Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) when it became clear that the Republicans were going to nominate Donald Trump.  I wrote The GOP Cuddles Up To the NSDAP when the GOP refused to ostracize the OHM for his dangerously xenophobic populism. I wrote Caveat Emptor on the day Trump lied with his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the US constitution. I wrote Bullshit is Bullshit on the day I stopped even trying to catalogue the blatant disregard of the truth by the OHM. It mystifies me why people still listen to him, and why the OHM still holds the office of the president. #MAGA means Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans. Anyone who believes differently is a MAGA themselves, otherwise known as a Stormtrumper, h/t to Berkeley Breathed.

Essential Services?

Governor Greg Abbott has fumbled the ball again.

Turner and others did express concern about Abbott’s decision to include religious worship as an essential service, leaving open the possibility of large gatherings at churches. At the news conference, Abbott encouraged churches to conduct their services remotely but said that if they must meet in person, they should follow the federal social-distancing guidelines.

“I’m unaware of a church that would want its constituents, its parishioners, to be exposed to COVID-19, and I think there’s enough public information right now for them to be aware of the practices that are needed to make sure that their members don’t contract COVID-19,” Abbott said in the interview.

There has been controversy, particularly in the Houston area, over church closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Pastors are in court challenging a stay-at-home order that Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced a week ago that restricts churches to online-only services.

To that end, Abbott’s latest executive order overrides “any conflicting order issued by local officials,” including those related to religious services. At the news conference, Abbott said local officials “still have flexibility to impose standards that they consider to be more strict” — as long as they do not conflict with his latest executive order.

There are at least 3,266 coronavirus cases in Texas, including 41 deaths, according to the most recent figures from the Texas Department of State Health Services. The cases are spread across 122 of the state’s 254 counties.

There have been 42,992 tests done in Texas, according to the latest numbers.

Texasstandard.org

Churches are essential services when schools are not? This conclusion says more about Texas than most thinking Texans are going to be comfortable admitting. It also says a lot about Gov. Abbott’s ability to be an effective leader; that he is more afraid of the religious right than he is of the plague that is sweeping across the country. He also continues down the path that he has set himself on, thinking his state government is more understanding of what Houston, Austin and Dallas citizens need than the governments we have put in place to govern our cities.

If Harris county leadership says the churches are closed, then the churches are closed in Harris county. Look to see that provision of the order reversed, along with a lot of the bullshit his Republican legislature has passed over the last year hamstringing local governments. It won’t happen soon enough to stop the landslide of coronavirus cases that will stem from letting people gather in churches because church services are essential.

The number of tests conducted in the state are pathetic. 42k? The number of asymptomatic carriers that will be at church spreading the disease to other parishioners will ensure that the wildfire of COVID-19 will continue to burn out of control in Texas until hopefully the summer months bring it to an end. If we are lucky.

…also. Women’s health is an essential service. This means that abortion services are essential services. Pretending that the procedures you don’t like are not essential and then banning its practice during this crisis is the essence of making something that shouldn’t be political, political. I want this on the record for the next time that Abbott and his Christianist cronies start tearing their hair and pretending that they want to avoid making this crisis political. Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, meet pot.

Sacrifices Have to be Made

I hate to be the guy who said I told you so, but I fucking told you so. This was inevitable. There was no way that…

Posted by Jim Wright on Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

As the sailors aboard American military vessels at sea all start catching the coronavirus, and a predictable number of them start dying for lack of medical facilities, everyone should try to remember that we could have had a different president to handle this crisis if nine other Senate Republicans had the bravery that Mitt Romney had. Food for thought.

Twitter – Stonekettle
Twitter – Joe Garofoli
Twitter – Stonekettle

Daily Pandemic Deception, Foiled

If you're not watching Trump's nightly Coronavirus shitfest, here's the summary: He started out by accusing nurses of…

Posted by Jim Wright on Sunday, March 29, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

All news outlets should follow NPR’s lead. There is no other way to counter the harm the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) is doing to the country other than to shut him off at the source. Don’t air the coronavirus briefings live. Edit out his misleading bullshit, then air the medical people talking about real stuff later. Save the parsing of Trump’s bullshit for people who want to explain what he says to the people who actually listen to and believe the OHM when he speaks. His Stormtrumpers.

Save the Stormtrumpers? Sometimes it is best to let nature take its course; and letting the stupid people who believe the OHM die might be the only way to save democracy in the United States. This is a problem that they created. It is fitting that they pay the price for their own stupidity. Pay the price for relying on a single news source and never bothering to fact-check anything they hear.

FOX news is the common denominator. It is no wonder that FOX news is now worried about being punished for misleading the public at the beginning of the pandemic. Ya think? Maybe they should have thought a little harder about it earlier. Like in January, when it would have made a difference.

Trump was watching FOX before he stumbled into the presidency, and he’s still watching FOX as a replacement for all his daily briefings before he goes out and repeats the same shit he heard on FOX, shit that they say because he wants them to say it, tells them to say it. The problem for both Republicans in general and their president in particular is that they get their information from a source that makes shit up. Once you realize this simple fact, it becomes plainly obvious that we cannot allow anything like FOX news to continue to exist.

Either your information service contains real, factual information, or it can’t be allowed to continue. If the creator’s intent is to mislead, then the content should be squelched somehow. At the very least it shouldn’t be piped into every American’s home through an infrastructure paid for and maintained by public funds. If they go out and make themselves victims on purpose, there is little we can do to protect them from themselves.

Facebook, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook


Here’s how to not be mislead. Let Stonekettle Station translate the OHM gibberish for you, then fact-check the parts you still aren’t clear on.

Did you watch tonight's Shitshow? No, of course you didn't. Because you're not a masochist. That's what you pay me…

Posted by Jim Wright on Monday, March 30, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

Here is the Stonekettle Station OHM pandemic digest from March 29th. The one where Trump accuses nurses of lying to make Trump look bad.

If you're not watching Trump's nightly Coronavirus shitfest, here's the summary: He started out by accusing nurses of…

Posted by Jim Wright on Sunday, March 29, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

Wednesday’s Trump dump.

Trump Shitshow SummaryI'm going to start here by saying: I honestly won't be surprised if this thing kills us all. I…

Posted by Jim Wright on Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

Abuse of Power

What should outrage us is not what appears or is suspected to be Burr’s insider trading, but that any representative of the US government, and in this case a particularly high-ranking one, is permitted to own stock. It is as if there is no relationship between government decisions and market developments. The fact that this is possible, that a powerful senator like Burr can be deep inside of the government and yet play the market, exposes the exceptionally high levels of corruption permitted in our political system.

thestranger.com

What Trump Can Teach Us About Constitutional Law

For any #MAGA out there. You know who you are.

Trumpconlaw is another podcast hosted by Roman Mars of 99% Invisible fame. When the show first started, I started tweeting out my own version of promos for each episode. The series of them can be found under the tag TrumpConLaw on this blog. This post should appear as the header for that series of tweets. As a consequence of this, it will move forward in time as new episodes are released. Here is the introductory episode of the series.

StitcherIntro to What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law – 06.07.17

Twitter

So we’re going to learn the constitution together. Because of Trump. Because I need something to hold onto, and the constitution is the liferaft that our forefathers gave us. And dammit, I’m going to learn how it works.

Roman Mars

On a tangential track (or set of tracks) I am slowly working my way through the 99% Invisible archive. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever make it all the way through, but hope springs eternal. 99% Invisible is undoubtedly one of the best designed websites in existence. All Roman Mars podcasts and the podcasts that are presented through his distribution group, Radiotopia, are among the few podcasts out there that are easily shareable; easily shareable because the link to the hosting website is actually referenced in the feed address for the podcast you are listening to. I remain baffled as to why more podcasts do not design their feeds to be easily accessible in this way. In any case, give some of these podcasts a listen. It will take your mind off of the impending doom looming over the US today.


TED2015 Roman Mars Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed

09/22/19. I added the link to the introduction episode, the inspirational tweet, and Roman’s quote from that episode. 04/13/20. Moved to March 19th subsequent to the last episode at the time.

#39 Quarantine Powers

Twitter

If you think #MAGA means anything other than Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans, you are the person these tweets were written for.

Stitcher

I’ve skipped several episodes in this podcast series. I’ve listened to them myself, but I haven’t felt the need to put them on the blog since the treas …er, impeachment trial of Donald John Trump began and then ended. The whole thing has sort of felt meaningless in the face of the treason of the American people by the members of the Senate.

I expected the traitors to act they way they did, but that doesn’t change the shock of what they did in reality do. For once in my life the thing I expected to happen, did happen. No one was more shocked by this than I was.

However, the quarantine subject is something that is probably bothering everyone right now, so I thought it warranted advertisement.

The episodes I missed on the blog (and on Twitter) were:

  • 38 – Prosecutorial DiscretionProsecutors recommended that Roger Stone, an associate of Donald Trump, be given a heavy penalty after being convicted of seven felony counts, including lying to authorities. But after intervention from Attorney General Barr, and tweets from the President, those recommendations were rescinded. What can his case tell us about presidential interference and prosecutorial discretion?
  • 37 – War Powers and Impeachment UpdateAfter Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, many wondered if the two countries were on the brink of a major conflict. This incident is only the latest in the long-standing fight between Congress and the President over who has the power to make war, and if an act of violence against another state can be legitimate without Congressional approval. This episode also includes an update on the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, which began earlier this week.
  • 36 – BriberyBribery is one of the three offenses listed in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment. Even though that is attempting to bribe Ukraine is the act that precipitated to Trump’s impeachment, it’s not explicitly listed in the articles of impeachment. Why is that?
  • 35 – Confrontation ClauseSince the beginning of the impeachment proceedings against the President, Donald Trump has insisted he has a right to confront “the whistleblower,” the anonymous member of the intelligence community who set the whole thing in motion. There is a Confrontation Clause in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which says a defendant in a criminal case has the right to face their accuser. But does this clause apply to the impeachment hearing against a president in Congress?
  • 34 – Foreign AffairsDonald Trump says he should not be impeached as President, since there was ‘no quid pro quo’ on a phone call where he asked the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. But does quid pro quo need to be explicitly stated to be a legal issue? And can private citizens like Rudy Giuliani represent America on foreign policy issues?

All of them contained information that I didn’t know about constitutional law, but none of them made me jump up and say this episode will change everything. Well, the bribery episode almost got me tweeting. Almost. The rest of them made me shrug and say I don’t see how spreading this around changes anything. So I didn’t bother to post them. I reference them here simply to explain the gap between this post and the last Tweet I created for this podcast series.

Fascism in America

The only constitutional freedoms ultimately recognized may soon be limited to those useful to wealthy, Republican, White, straight, Christian, and armed males— and the corporations they control. This is wrong. Period. This is not America.

James Dannenberg

Like Mussolini, Trump can’t even make the trains run on time. He certainly can’t protect us from a virus.

Hat/tip to:

March 14, 2020 (Saturday)The reality of the novel coronavirus pandemic is sinking in as our infections continue to…

Posted by Heather Cox Richardson on Sunday, March 15, 2020
Facebook – Heather Cox Richardson

Virus Targets Senators

The name comes from the ancient Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus), so-called as an assembly of the senior (Latin: senex meaning “the elder” or “old man”) and therefore allegedly wiser and more experienced members of the society or ruling class. Thus, the literal meaning of the word “senate” is Assembly of Elders.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

They are the people who should not be exposed to the coronavirus. The senex/Senate/older people. It’s too bad that half of them are too dumb to know that COVID-19 is virtually designed to kill them, specifically. Or maybe that is a good thing. We do need fresh young blood in the Senate. In any case, the Republicans who attended CPAC were all exposed to COVID-19 because a big-dollar donor was diagnosed with the disease shortly after attending the conference.

Science denial comes at a cost. I’m pretty sure I’ve made this observation before, and Donald Trump continues to meet and shake hands with people even though he too was exposed to the virus, just like his HHS employees who spread the virus after bringing it back home with them. Congratulations Mr. Trump. You are the new typhoid Mary.

RAnt(hony)-ings

Hat/tip to Chris Hayes All-In for March 9th, 2020