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The veteran journalist pulls no punches in this excellent essay. I like this passage:

“Let’s see if we’ve got this right: On the one hand, conservatives declare that corporations and the superrich can spend all they want on exercising their First Amendment rights, but on the other, they demand to keep it secret so the rest of us can’t exercise our First Amendment rights to fight back? Have you ever heard of more cowardly lions?

It’s one big joke. Big enough to make you cry. Three things don’t go together: Money. Secrecy. Democracy. And that’s the nub of the matter. This is all a sham for invalidating democracy in the name of democracy. It’s the trick authoritarians always use to hide their real intention — in this case absolute power over our public life and institutions: the privatization of everything. The Supreme Court is pointing the way. Instead of mitigating the worst excesses of both the state and the private sector, the Court has taken sides. Saying to the massed wealth of the one percent: America is yours for the taking, for the buying.”

Watch/read it by clicking here.

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Corporate campaign influence has been on the rise ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United ruling. Now some North Carolina legislators are planning to introduce a resolution calling on Congress to amend our Constitution and firmly establish that money is not speech.

Orange County Rep. Verla Insko led the charge Wednesday:

“Corporations and trade unions are not people. They should not be able to buy political influence through unlimited advertising; they should not be able to purchase control over public policies,” said Insko. “This is not Democracy. This is not what our Founding Fathers intended.”

For more, click below for a short video from Wednesday’s press event:

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Chris’ “Monday Numbers” column this morning recounts some of the sobering facts about fracking that make any rush to an affirmative judgment on the controversial natural gas extraction technique (recently banned in Vermont) a fool’s errand.

Meanwhile, the Greenville Daily Reflector also weighs in on the subject this morning with a similarly skeptical take:

Until North Carolina knows that for certain, however, it makes sense to allow research and determine the necessary regulations to ensure protection of drinking water near fracking sites. The General Assembly has two bills with competing approaches to this issue and backing a measure that moves hastily to allow the process would be a grave mistake.

Finally, in case you missed it over the weekend, the Asheville Citizen-Times spoke up with great coherence about the evils that the U.S. Supreme Court unleashed two-and-a-half-years ago with its decision in the Citizens United case. The CT rightfully calls on the court to fashion a do-over in a new Montana case and highlights the local ill-effects of Super PAC madness in western North Carolina.

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Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United ruling that bestowed free speech rights on corporations. As noted here yesterday, the date is sparking a bevy of protests and other actions around North Carolina that should draw a large number of citizen activists.

Lest, however, one get the impression that it’s only the unwashed masses who oppose the dark turn in American politics that the Court’s decision introduced, check out this morning’s Link of the Day from the good people at Democracy-North Carolina highlighting new national poll results that show small business owners oppose the ruling and its impacts as well: Read More

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From our friends at Democracy-NC:

Saturday, January 21st is the second anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United ruling that said corporations are people and money is speech.

Thankfully, real people are using real speech to fight back. We need to hear your voice, too – and your help to tell others!

  • On Friday, you can join one of the nationwide “Occupy the Courts” events marking the anniversary. There’s one in Raleigh, and you can use this link to find events from Wilmington to Asheville.
  • On Saturday, Democracy NC hosts a special forum in Rocky Mount about the practical impact of Citizens United on your utility bill, health care and personal finances.
  • Whether or not you attend an event, mark the anniversary by signing our petition – or sending this message to others – to stop the flood of corporate money in politics.

For background, here’s a brief video with the animated story of Citizens United.

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