Egypt's Spirit Lands in Wisconsin - by Stephen Lendman
It landed, but it's too soon to know where it's going or how committed workers are to stay the course and spread it to other US states.
On February 16, however, former Senator Russ Feingold launched Progressives United.org (PU), an initiative he hopes will inspire "a new progressive movement" to hold elected officials accountable by challenging corporate influence in politics.
It also opposes the Supreme Court's January 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, sanctioning unlimited corporate spending in elections (the one dollar = one vote ruling by America's supremely pro-business court). Feingold called it:
"one of the most lawless decisions in the history of our country. The idea of allowing corporations to have unlimited influence on our democracy is very dangerous, obviously. That's exactly what it does. Things were like this 100 years ago....with the huge corporate and business power of the oil companies and others. But this time, it's like the Gilded Age on steroids."
According to Feingold, PU won't take soft money or unlimited contributions, saying:
"We're going to be reporting every dime that we get, whether required by law or not....It will be 100 percent accountable, and that is an important principle that I believe in that we'll follow to the T....as a way of contrasting it to what's going on with the corporate money" that buys politicians like toothpaste.
It remains to be seen whether Feingold will prove true to his word, if his agenda also challenges other major issues, including imperial lawlessness and growing homeland repression. Crucially also is whether it spreads, inspiring similar efforts across America.
American Courts, like Politicians, Support Power, not People
Previous articles discussed the High Court's anti-populist agenda under Chief Justice John Roberts, one of several accessed through the following link:
The tradition, however, way pre-dated him, notably articulated by John Jay, America's first chief justice, saying the country should be run by those who own it. Also in Marbury v. Madison (1803), establishing the principle of judicial supremacy, making the Court the final arbiter of what is or is not the law, a disturbing precedent subsequent courts abused repeatedly.
Besides trashing civil liberty protections, its Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad decision (1886) was perhaps its worst by granting corporations personhood under the 14th Amendment, with all accruing rights and privileges but none of the obligations. More than any other ruling, including Citizens United, it gave them unchecked powers to become the dominant institution of our time, able to control Congress, the Executive, and state and federal courts as well as act lawlessly against public welfare interests.
Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel (JS) covered the uprising from inception in response to Republican Governor Scott Walker, in office since January 3, waging war against public workers and their unions, aiming to legislate restrictions of their collective bargaining rights to wage negotiations only.
He also wants state employees to double their health insurance and pension contributions, effectively enacting a 7% haircut if passed. In addition, he demands future pay raises not exceed annual Consumer Price Index increases, an index rigged to mask inflation's real toll, including for rent, medical care, food, energy, and other everyday household essentials.