Monday, March 31, 2014
Definition of CORPORATISM (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
: the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction
Oil Company's Restraining Order Bars Anti-Fracking Protestor From GroceryStore, Friends' Houses (Click here to read more)
By Emily Atkin
March 26, 2014
In October of 2013, Cabot Oil & Gas secured a court order that effectively banned an anti-fracking activist from entering any land owned or leased by the company. But because of the broad scope of the court order, that activist is now claiming she legally can't go to the grocery store, the hospital, restaurants, and even her friends' homes.
"It's tough to try to figure out, where can I stand? Where can I walk?" Vera Scroggins told the Associated Press on Tuesday. "It's not a pleasant thing to endure."
Cabot, one of the biggest names in Pennsylvania's natural gas rush, had sought a preliminary injunction against Scroggins in October after alleging that she had repeatedly trespassed onto several of the company's leased and owned properties, giving unauthorized tours of their operations. After hearing testimony from employees and security personnel, Susquehanna County Judge Kenneth Seamans granted Cabot's request to have Scroggins legally barred from not only the land Cabot owns, but from all the land it holds mineral leases on.
The problem with that, according to Scroggins' attorneys, is that nearly 40 percent of Susquehanna County land is owned or leased by Cabot. This includes the grocery store, the local recycling center, the hospital that is nearest to her home, and several of her friends' houses.
"In short, the right to extract gas is, according to the company, also the right to banish," Scroggins' attorneys said in a motion asking Susquehanna County Judge Kenneth Seamans to undo his October order.
If you don't think the GOP is mysogynistic, you don't have to look far to find evidence to the contrary.
By Ian Millhiser
March 27, 2014.
Judge Richard Kopf, a George H.W. Bush appointee to a federal court in Nebraska, offered some strange advice to women litigators in a piece posted to his personal blog on Tuesday: don't wear clothing that would cause "the female law clerks" to call you "an ignorant slut behind your back."
Kopf's comments were a reaction to a Slate piece by Amanda Hess entitled "Female Lawyers Who Dress Too 'Sexy' Are Apparently a 'Huge Problem' in the Courtroom." Judge Kopf's piece has the more provocative title "On being a dirty old man and how young women lawyers dress."
Among other things, Kopf's piece reveals that he has "been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man. Except, that is, when it comes to my daughters (and other young women that I care deeply about)." And it includes a description of a "very pretty female lawyer" who practices in his court. "She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes."
(I don't usually editorialize on the clips I post, but this heading is misleading. It should probably read, "Man convicted of domestic violence can be denied the right to own a gun."-Bozo)
Man Convicted Of Domestic Violence Can't Possess A Gun, Supreme Court Rules (Click here to read more)
By Nicole Flatow
March 26, 2014
When it comes to "domestic violence," even pushing or grabbing can be sufficient to bar federal gun possession, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in a unanimous ruling issued Wednesday morning.
The ruling could have significant implications in interpreting which state domestic violence laws bar gun possession. For women in particular, domestic violence is one of the biggest risks associated with gun ownership. A Violence Policy Center review of 2011 FBI crime data found that 94 percent of female homicide victims were murdered by a male they knew, and 61 percent of those killers were a spouse or intimate acquaintance. Female intimate partners were more likely to be killed by a gun than any other weapon.
Because of this relationship between gun ownership and intimate violence, federal law bars those convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense from possessing a gun. But state crimes dubbed "domestic violence" come with different definitions in different states. And James Alvin Castleman seized on these differences to convince a federal court that he was not guilty of illegal gun possession because his guilty plea for a Tennessee domestic violence offense did not qualify under federal law.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
March 25, 2014.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday said Mitt Romney was wrong in 2012 about the extent of Russia's power in the world. Russia isn't the United States' "No. 1 geopolitical foe" but rather a "regional power," he countered.
Holding a joint news conference with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Nuclear Security Conference at The Hague, Obama was asked by ABC's Jonathan Karl whether Romney had a point given Russia's recent invasion of the Ukrainian Crimea and their position on Syria's civil war.
"The truth of the matter is, America's got a whole lot of challenges. Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength, but out of weakness," Obama said.
"The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and lay bear these violations of international law indicates less influence, not more," he added. "And so my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is Russia's actions are a problem, they don't pose the number one national security threat to the United States."
AT&T to Netflix: if you don't bribe us to do our job, you're asking for a "free lunch" (Click here to read more)
Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 11:22 am
AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of Legislative Affairs James Cicconi has written a monumentally stupid attack on Reed Hasting's call for Net Neutrality. Cicconi says, "there is no free lunch, and there's also no cost-free delivery of streaming movies. Someone has to pay that cost. Mr. Hastings' arrogant proposition is that everyone else should pay but Netflix."
What Cicconi ignores is that Netflix is paying its ISPs to be connected to the Internet. And AT&T's customers are paying to be connected to the Internet. And AT&T's customers are asking to have the service they are paying for to be connected to the service Netflix is paying for. AT&T is then demanding that Netflix pay it a bribe in order to carry out the service that its customers are paying for.
If you're an AT&T customer paying for a 4MB/s DSL line, you have entered into a commercial arrangement whereby AT&T delivers you the bytes you ask for as quickly and efficiently as it can. You're not entering into an arrangement whereby AT&T can, if it notices that many of its customers really like a service, charge that service for the privilege of giving AT&T customers what they're already paying for.
Republican Senator wants U.S. military commitment to Afghanistan, even without bilateral agreement (Click here to read more)Rss@dailykos.com (laurence Lewis)
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Friends don't let idiots play foreign policy:
During a visit to Afghanistan, Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, a Republican, stressed that no American forces would remain in the country without a bilateral security agreement, but also said Obama should not wait for that to give an idea of what the US presence would look like after the Nato-led combat mission ends at the end of this year.
"I believe that it is time for our president to do this so that the people of Afghanistan understand that we remain committed in Afghanistan," Ayotte said, stressing that any post-2014 force would be contingent on the pact being signed. "He can no longer delay this decision."
Which makes perfect sense. Just because Afghanistan hasn't signed an agreement on a continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan shouldn't stop the U.S. from announcing the levels of its continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. The U.S. doesn't need the permission or input of other countries when basing its troops on their land. The U.S. is exceptional, and can do what it wants!
Former "naive, abandoned" Republican now calls them "narrow-minded, brainwashed, war-minded" (Click here to read more)
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
In one of today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, a former Republican minces no words about how her party failed her. Elizabeth Warren mentioned a few of the worst corporate conservatives in my previous post, "Soon you'll have a Supreme Court that is a wholly owned subsidiary of big business."
On a more positive note, did I mention that more and more Americans are discovering the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare?
Re "Health law's winners in plain sight," Column, March 23
I was a loyal Republican for 30 years, yet once I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, every health insurance company told me "no coverage."
This was my wake-up call - knowing my party had abandoned me when I needed it most.
I am now an independent, and so proud that someone empowered the people to stand up to the big corporate healthcare companies.
How can we consider ourselves proud Americans when we abandon our own people because of a chronic disease? How can we allow corporate America to write our laws?
How do we allow our representatives to sign a pledge to the wealthiest people, forgetting the majority? I am ashamed that I ever was naive enough to consider myself a Republican; I find them narrow-minded, brainwashed and war-minded.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Warren:"Soon you'll have a Supreme Court that is a wholly ownedsubsidiary of big business." (Click here to read more)
Wednesday, March 26, 2014.
Senator Elizabeth Warren is worried about our very corporate Supreme Court. She's worried that they will rule in favor of Hobby Lobby, just as they decided in favor of Citizens United. And that decision has been a disaster.
The following email from Senator Warren landed in my inbox today. As is made painfully obvious by K.C. Boyd's weekly "Upchucks" guest posts here at TPC, the separation of church and state is narrowing daily. This growing trend is serious and is endangering our dwindling democracy. We need to organize our voices and protest immediately, loudly, clearly, and constantly.
Bolding is mine:
Hobby Lobby doesn't want to cover its employees' birth control on company insurance plans. In fact, they're so outraged about women having access to birth control that they've taken the issue all the way to the Supreme Court.
I cannot believe that we live in a world where we would even consider letting some big corporation deny the women who work for it access to the basic medical tests, treatments or prescriptions that they need based on vague moral objections.
But here's the scary thing: With the judges we've got on the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby might actually win.
The current Supreme Court has headed in a very scary direction.
Recently, three well-respected legal scholars examined almost 20,000 Supreme Court cases from the last 65 years. They found that the five conservative justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court are in the top 10 most pro-corporate justices in more than half a century.
And Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts? They were number one and number two.
Take a look at the win rate of the national Chamber of Commerce cases before the Supreme Court. According to the Constitutional Accountability Center, the Chamber was winning 43% of the cases in participated in during the later years of the Burger Court, but that shifted to a 56% win-rate under the Rehnquist Court, and then a 70% win-rate with the Roberts Court.
Follow these pro-corporate trends to their logical conclusion, and pretty soon you'll have a Supreme Court that is a wholly owned subsidiary of big business.
Birth control is at risk in today's case, but we also need to worry about a lot more.
In Citizens United, the Supreme Court unleashed a wave of corporate spending to game the political system and drown the voices of middle class families.
And right now, the Supreme Court is considering McCutcheon v. FEC, a case that could mean the end of campaign contribution limits - allowing the big guys to buy even more influence in Washington.
Republicans may prefer a rigged court that gives their corporate friends and their armies of lawyers and lobbyists every advantage. But that's not the job of judges. Judges don't sit on the bench to hand out favors to their political friends.
On days like today, it matters who is sitting on the Supreme Court. It matters that we have a President who appoints fair and impartial judges to our courts, and it matters that we have a Senate who approves them.
We're in this fight because we believe that we don't run this country for corporations - we run it for people.
Thank you for being a part of this,