Supreme Court: The Chamber’s Genie

Ever since Chief Justice Roberts joined the Supreme Court, corporate America has treated his Court as its personal genie, and Roberts has been eager to grant even many of their most outlandish wishes. As soon as Roberts and his fellow conservative Justice Alito joined the high Court, the Chamber of Commerce’s win rate before the justices spiked eight percentage points above its already very high levels under his conservative predecessor William Rehnquist. Nor is Roberts alone in his willingness to go the extra mile for wealthy corporations. A recent study found that every single justice is more likely to side with the Chamber than the just ice who held the seat 25 years ago. As one of the Chamber’s top Supreme Court litigators bragged, “except for the solicitor general representing the United States, no single entity has more influence on what cases the Supreme Court decides and how it decides them than the National Chamber Litigation Center.” This week, corporate America made three especially large wishes to the justices, and the Court’s conservatives once again appear eager to grant them.

ELECTIONS FOR SALE: The best way for big business to push its agenda is to ensure that elected officials throughout the country owe wealthy corporations their jobs — and the Supreme Court took a big step towards making this vision a reality with its infamous Citizens United decision. In the wake of Citizens United, the Chamber pledged to spend a massive $75 million to elect corporate-aligned conservatives, and the Chamber’s right-wing allies kicked in hundreds of millions of dollars more. Yet Citizens United is merely one part of a much larger campaign to cement big money’s control over American elections. On Monday, the justices moved on to the next stage of this effort. Public financing laws provide one of the strongest defenses against the corrupting influence of big money in politics, but public financing schemes only work if they allow candidates who opt into them to remain competitive. To defend against this problem, Arizona developed a two-tiered public financing system. Candidates receive additional funds if their opponent or corporate interest groups overwhelm them with attack ads, and thus candidates who are determined not to be tainted by the corrupting influence of major donors are n ot left defenseless . Yet, in a case called McComish v. Bennett, the Court’s five conservatives appear poised to strike this two-tiered system down. If they do so, it could be the death knell for public financing, since no candidate is safe from massive infusions of corporate money after Citizens United.

SLAMMING COURTHOUSE DOORS: Many of the Court’s most corporate-friendly decisions create complicated and arcane procedural barriers to Americans seeking justice. The Court’s discredited Ledbetter decision didn’t literally take away women’s right to equal work for equal pay. It just created a procedural rule that made it impossible for women to vindicate their rights if they didn’t learn that they were paid less than their male colleagues until a short time after the discrimination began. In Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the Supreme Court will decide whether to shut off another opportunity f or women in the workplace to seek relief — class actions. Class action lawsuits are brought by groups of plaintiffs who share a common injury with each other. These suits are essential to allow ordinary Americans, who often lack the resources to hire lawyers capable of taking on a major corporation on their own, to pool their resources in order to hire counsel that are capable of facing off against someone like Wal-Mart. There is substantial evidence that women who work for Wal-Mart stores shared the same experience of systematic pay and promotion discrimination and thus should be able to bring a class action. If the Supreme Court denies them this right — which it seems likely to do — many of them will be left powerless before Wal-Mart’s legal team.

IMMUNITY TO THE LAW: Procedural victories are all well and good, but there’s nothing corporate America loves more than actual immunity from the law. Past Supreme Court decisions gave sweeping legal immunity to medical device manufacturers and health insurers, and even gave the thumbs up to a biased system of corporate-owned courts that overwhelmingly rule against consumers and employees. In a case called PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, the justices will now decide whether to give sweeping im munity to the makers of generic prescription drugs. If the Court sides with the drug makers in this case, two women could be left with no recourse after a prescription drug caused them to develop a horrific neurological disorder resulting in “grotesque involuntary movements of the mouth, tongue, lips, and extremities, involuntary chewing movements, and a general sense of agitation.” And thousands of other Americans could be left similarly defenseless against the powerful pharmaceutical industry.

Recall! …from

Today, we’re turning up the heat in Wisconsin — with a powerful new TV ad that captures the magic of the campaign to “Recall the Republicans.”

This ad shows people of all ages coming together to reject the Republican war on the middle class. We loved the energy in Wisconsin while we were filming the ad. We think you’ll love it too!

Our first Wisconsin ad got rave reviews. When we were filming this new ad in Wisconsin last week, people stopped us on the street and said “Thank you!” for giving voice to what so many people are thinking.

We’re working with our friends at Democracy for America on this ad and other tactics that will defeat Republicans and hold them accountable for their war on the middle class.

Click below to check out the new ad — and if you like it, please donate $3 to put it on Wisconsin TV.

Then, please pass this email to others! Thanks for being a bold progressive.

— Stephanie Taylor, Adam Green, Jason Rosenbaum, Michael Snook, Amanda Johnson, and the PCCC team

Make your check payable to the nuclear power industry …

On Monday, I was one of the thousands of people at over 200 vigils across the country who were standing shoulder to shoulder with friends and neighbors to show support for Japan and to imagine a world free of nuclear disasters.

The Obama administration isn’t backing down from nuclear energy giveaways, and neither will we. Tell the President and Congress that the key to a stable energy future is clean, renewable energy and NOT nuclear power.

Unfortunately, while you were planning your vigils, the president and some members of Congress have been planning to take more of YOUR tax dollars and give them to the nuclear industry to build more plants here in the United States.

Just days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan crippled not one but THREE nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi to the point of meltdown, the Obama Administration announced that it would move forward with even more giveaways to the nuclear industry in the budget. And they could take the issue up in Congress any day now.

It’s time for some common sense. Tell the President and Congress that there is no place for taxpayer giveaways to the nuclear industry in the budget and that now is the time to invest in technology that uses clean and unlimited energy sources like the sun and wind.

Every day a new, startling report from Japan makes the headlines: Babies in Tokyo can’t drink the water, radiation levels near the disaster site are dangerously high, plutonium has been reported in the water around Fukushima…. Meanwhile, the president is asking for $36 billion dollars for loan guarantees to subsidize the nuclear industry on top of the already $18.5 billion set aside. It’s crazy.

Lobbyists for the nuclear industry want you to believe that nuclear power is safe. That what is happening in Japan somehow couldn’t happen here even though we have 23 of the exact same reactors on line in this country. Don’t be fooled.

There is no place for nuclear power in our clean energy future. And there is no place for taxpayer giveaways to the nuclear industry in the budget. Send a message today and make sure that your members of Congress and the President know that you’re paying attention to how they’re spending your money.

A recent poll found that 75% of Americans oppose taxpayer-backed loans for nuclear power and favor increasing emphasis on renewable energy. But the industry won’t go away quietly. Lobbyists are undoubtedly knocking on the doors of every member of Congress trying to convince them nuclear energy is still the way to go. We can’t let them win. Send your letter today!

Thanks for all you do,

Jim Riccio,

Greenpeace Nuclear Policy Analyst

Breathtaking photography (via The Slowvelder)

Breathtaking photography There is one area of my life where I get so frustrated with my attempts at getting things right – and that is my photography.  I am living in one of the most amazing places in the world with photo opportunities around every corner.  Although I have a decent “happy snappy” digital camera I am so limited with what I can do.  Chances are that I will never get a fancy camera with lenses to play around with as my great money earning days are behind me … Read More

via The Slowvelder

wicked Wednesday &some News –

“We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.”William James

Today,President Obama Spoke on America’s Energy Security -Washington, DC 11:25amET  and stay tuned for a White House Briefing with the Information Technology Industry Council 1pmET and a Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney is scheduled at 1pmET and last the event … “Open for Questions: Women in America” happens at 5:10pmET

  The weather is wicked windy this Wednesday and while it is definitely, spring this does not feel very springy to me but then life is all about change right?  The latest events have made me wonder if Congress on the State and Federal level and or rhetoric from Republicans and folks who lean right of center will really get beat back hard enough by the Democratic Party. In a time when millions are unemployed, more layoffs coming and Corporate America is still outsourcing and holding jobs hostage. The Republican Party continues to cut slash and burn American Workers. The party of No, which used to be just a conservative pro-life scary group, is now so extreme that the slogan “taking their country back”, is no longer code but an overt statement from Republican Tea Party members. Obviously, it is about not wanting “his kind” in the White House. The Tea Party wants to Privatize Public Service Jobs, which includes Teachers, Fire Fighters, Police, and others while gutting Social Service programs that help the elderly, women, and children around the country suffering already but are now willing to legislate more people into poverty. I have to say this has made me wonder what our neighborhoods will look after this nasty group is done. We all know the more folks out of work the better the chances of fewer services available, just think what having less police, fire fighters to help not just the less fortunate but all those above the poverty line. Did they think about this?

The media and certain Politicians say that in times of crisis people separate into cliques. I say our Politicians and Talking heads have been doing a great job in forcing the public and or viewer into choosing side’s everyday depending on the issue. It is offensive and while the November Midterms was proof of how manipulation works, clearly a whole lot of buyer’s remorse has set in for the Political Party of No, Tea Party carpetbaggers who said one thing and are doing another. We all probably have family or know people who did March for equal rights, felt compelled, added to and a part of that strength in numbers adage we all hear frequently that i consider so important and speaks volumes when a change is near just over the horizon waiting to happen. This feeling of wanting a better way of life is possibly shared by most is spreading all over the world and while a couple of tyrants have seen the light others continue to participate in overt genocide others shutdown access to the World outside. I get the feeling the Republican Tea Party is a lot like those folks in other countries currently doing all they can to either keep control or take anyone down that happens to be in the way by murdering them …right?. In our case, American voters are demanding freedom but the people with the power have gone rogue without thinking about what the full impact on the lives of the many will be or don’t care and have decided to take that risk and try to usurp the rights of Americans whether it’s done legally, by consensus or not.  

We are all Freedom Fighters on some level every day.

Other News …

**Syria’s al-Assad leaves state of emergency in place

**Spring Storm batters New Orleans area

**BP loses laptop with private info of about 13thousand people

**International diplomats unite against Gadhafi

**Bangladeshi girl(14) charged with adultery is lashed to death

**Security forces regain control of Iraq govt bldg by killing people

**Stocks rise because of the positive jobs picture   -oh right?

**Rebels are under “sustained attack”


Administration Officials to Brief Congress on Libya

Sec. Clinton met with Libyan opposition leader yesterday

Congress Questions FBI Director on Anti-Terror Policies

Costs of Implementing the Dodd-Frank Act

GAO: overhaul to cost $1B in 2011

Nuclear Regulators Give Update on Crisis in Japan

 Three weeks after Rep. Peter King, (R-NY) held a House hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing on protecting the civil right of American Muslims.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held an oversight hearing on disease clusters and environmental health. This hearing assessed the potential environmental health effects related to disease clusters. Erin Brockovich, President of Brockovich Research and Consulting was among the witnesses testifying.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) chairs the committee.


President Obama delivered remarks at the dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building in New York City.