This is what happens when you build a culture and its mores around money. Citizens United is just a symptom of the disease that comes with the culture that WE have created.

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Yes you are exactly right.

People who are not educated well don't vote or vote for whoever their families vote for.

Greed and education in the US is the culprit.

For so long people hardly voted. They were spending and buying and supposedly thinking the US would go on forever.

Things seem to have gone so wrong.

Money in politics: how do you get rid of this?

The only chance it seems you had was when Bernie Sanders was running for the Presidency but no the people got scared and voted wrongly in my opinion.

Now it seems you can't even rely on Justice.

I have a question that no-one seems to answer: How is it possible for an indicted man/convicted rapist to run for President? Is there no law in the land that can stop this?

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To answer your last question. No.

"The Constitution has very few requirements to serve as President, such as being at least 35 years of age. It does not bar anyone indicted, or convicted, or even serving jail time, from running as president and winning the presidency,"

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I hope other nations will refuse to deal with him but I doubt it!

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W.E.B.Du Bois was in prison for being a Socialist when he ran for President and got about 15% of the vote.

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Still today, our overlords tell us that socialism is communism. The term, IIRC, was coined by a protestant pastor in Dickensian England.. disgusted with the exploitation of labor.

During that time,., there was a maximum wage and it is that era which we heard the word "wage slavery"

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read Timothy Snyder

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I have read Timothy Snyder.

Why is it that any of us NEED to read these books if one has had a good education?

I am not American and you can 'throw' books at me BUT I still have my own mind.

I am a reader.....3/4 books a week.

NO TV and NO 'phone.

The basic fact is this: Govt. in every Country does not LISTEN to the people!

IF every person in each country came out on the streets and said NO. YOU ARE NOT LISTENING (French Revolution) things could change.

The people on this earth have the POWER not the politicians.

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No intent to judge

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Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), speech = money.

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Oct 27, 2023Liked by Thom Hartmann

I've heard it put as the tale of the Pike and the Minnows. The more freedom the Pike has to do what it wants (eat its tasty young), the less freedom for the minnows. This is the fundamental fallacy in the Citizen's United decision. It frees the Pikes to make the minnows nothing but prey.

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Actually, the gist is from a quote: "freedom for the pike is death for the minnows" (Action, Lord, 1909)

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Gefilte fish?

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Ugh, slimy carp in a gelatin laced jar. Itried it once, never again, same with Bacalao, and that Norwegian dish Lutefisk, or Rakfisk. Ughh, you have to be raised on that stuff, to get it past your lips.

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Some use pike. Before Lake Erie became completely polluted, pike everywhere. We had Northern Pike in our streams in Pennsyltucky.

Carp were so prevalent, that when the Indians had to change their name, I suggested the Cleveland Carps. Now the lake is overrun with Coho Salmon so the Cleveland Coho might be a better name.

Smelts and bacalao are on the menu in practically every restaurant in my home town. Oh ma ma zuma zuma.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWq8jafqYV0

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I used to catch lots and lots of perch that were quite delicious in the finger lakes of NY state. They are not so plentiful now

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At one point Erie was a dead lake. One tributary the Cuyahoga River was so polluted it caught on fire. However, the lake has been reclaimed and Coho were introduced.

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Mr./Ms. Elementstew. When I was a boy in Holland ,Michigan I frequently caught 100 perch in an Hour from Lake Micihigan. I used hooks without barbs because the fish hit in such rapid succession it took too long to get them off a barbed hook and drop it back into the water. I squeezed the eggs out of the females into the water and this sent the fish into a feeding frenzy. The water was so clean I could peer twenty feet down into the lake and clearly see rocks and fish. Young people in Holland do not believe me when I tell them this. Fish now? Long gone. Water? All polluted and cloudy. How are the Finger Lakes currently? I have not been there in many years.

Is there anything more savory than a perch sauteed in butter with a pinch of salt and Pepper?

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Ad blockers, I just found out, are not allowed on Youtube, there goes you tube. If a site doesn't like my ad blocker, then I don't need to visit the site. I don't and won't tolerate blackmail, and I refuse to be part of some companies revenue stream.

Is pike even edible. It looks like it would taste horrible. By the way I can't get salmon past my lips, I have tried, I really have, but I wind up puking. Not good.

During the time of Henry VIII and earlier, Salmon was poor man's food, the food of serfs and freemen, because the rivers ran so thick with salmon you could catch them in a basket.

Chicken on the other hand was the food of Royals and nobility. Today it is just the opposite.

And I don't like Chicken either even the smell of it cooking makes me gag, not as bad as duck though.

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Mr. Farrar. Northern Pike and Muskie are out-of-this-world tasty. The only problem is that the tails are filled with Y-shaped bones which stick in the teeth like tooth picks . Much more savory than Salmon, which is over-rated, in my opinion. Each to his own right? I have caught 4 foot Northerns and 6 foot Muskies in Ontario. A Feast for eight adults.

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Louis Prima, Keeley Smith singing praises to bacalao.

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Well said, Thom. As one anonymous commentator wrote, “Dred Scott said people are property. Citizens United said that property is people.” And with a handful of massive corporations owning the bulk of America’s media there’s little chance that any national commentator will speak out on the issue.

Very sadly one can show many other examples of what this terrible decision has done. For just one, the post-9/11 security state is well finance by massive corporations that kick back lots of money to Congress. To take an obvious nightmare in a country where people still sing about being “brave” and “free”, airport body scanners suddenly appeared after Obama took a trip with the president of the company that makes them. He was from India, the manufacturer was in Malaysia and stimulus money was used to pay for their construction. Today some very big corporations, with very rich people on their boards, are behind these chambers of horror. It doesn’t take much to see who gets paid off to keep them going.

I agree that cancer is a good analogy for what this ruling has brought down on America. Though in a sense it is also like HIV, which infects a person’s immune system. If the very controls and publicity on government dysfunction are co-opted into the problem, how can they fix it? As with many bad diseases there are controls and occasional cures, but in this case they will have to come from the “patients”. Short of a massive collapse and a “New Deal” type Congress, don’t expect leadership from most of our elected “leaders”.

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And who owns the big corporations? WALL STREET. Reagan switched us from a Business economy to one based solely on Finance. Bottom line is more important than product or service. That's why everything is poorly made nowadays.

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Buckley v Valeo preceded Reagan. Blame the Tax code of 1952. Created stuff like built in depreciation, oil depletion rate, estimated inventories, accelerated depreciation.

Reagan accelerated the sale of the goose that laid the golden egg, manufacturing. Low capital gains taxes. Deductions for expenses relating to sending equipment (and jobs) overseas.

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Thom’s bottom line today is as simple and important as it gets, “because it will have such a huge impact on, and must necessarily predate, positive action on pretty much every other issue.” Basically, nothing good gets done if we don’t stop money as free speech and corporations as people (i.e., the powers of corporate personhood).

What if we took a Constitutional view of the problem? As a citizen, I submit that these powers of corporate personhood are not only a grievance in need of redressing, but they are also at the root of all the bad things that are destroying our democracy. Therefore, since we are entitled to propose our solution to get our grievance redressed, I submit that we have to nullify their unlimited and anonymous bribe money and their superior rights of citizenship.

Each of the three branches' decision-makers must be persuaded to help us make our grievance go away, and that will take some doing. I believe that the best way to address the issue requires a best practice-based campaign of sustained nonviolent resistance to ensure the successful passage of Move to Amend’s We the People Amendment and to unite a critical mass of citizens to make our elected officials satisfy their Constitutional purpose. Coincident with that effort, the judicial and executive branch decision-makers must also be compelled to pledge to promote our general welfare, or we will assume that they will continue to serve their morbidly rich masters.

I have detailed a plan to help make that happen by using our right to petition for redress of our grievances and you can find it in my first two Substack posts under rmdolddave (HOW TO MAKE AMERICA INTO A ROLE MODEL DEMOCRACY and HOW TO MAKE AMERICA INTO A ROLE MODEL DEMOCRACY (LED BY A ROLE MODEL PRESIDENCY). Please check it out and let me know what you think and how you would make it better. With all the learning that Thom’s readers and listeners have acquired over the years, I can think of no better audience to critique my project and see opportunities for your involvement.

Without a SCOTUS-proof amendment to override the pro-morbidly rich grifter decisions of SCOTUS in 1976, 1978 and 2010, I don’t see any way that a majority (much less a supermajority) of our elected and appointed decision-makers will ever choose to meet their Constitutional purpose to promote our general welfare.

It’s important to remember the reason our corporate-controlled government officials are in office to begin with is that (as Thom noted) “they’re willing to repeatedly humiliate themselves before the nation and the world on live television,” and they will do it just so they can get reelected.

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Or, did Obama take that trip, because he was learning more about how the new security system would work? Everyone was in panic mode about airline security. Sometimes, a cigar really is just a cigar. But your point is well taken about corporate control being legalized and institutionalized in our government.

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Many were irate because the Obama administration's SEC refused to pass a rule requiring corporations to disclose political contributions.

Those of us who worked for the government and were super hatched like me had to disclose virtually every transaction of any kind. By 2009 when the case was argued, based on recent evidence both Thomas and Scalia were probably in violation. Roberts, Kennedy and Alito might have been. Call Lennie Leo to the stand.

Financial disclosure:

Civil Action: 5 U.S.C. app. § 104(a)(1); 5 C.F.R. § 2634.701(b)

The Attorney General may bring a civil action in any appropriate United States district court against any individual who knowingly and willfully falsifies or who knowingly and willfully fails to file or report any information that such individual is required to report pursuant to 5 U.S.C. app. § 102.

Criminal Action: 5 U.S.C. app. § 104(a)(2); 18 U.S.C. § 1001; 5 C.F.R. § 2634.701(c)

The Attorney General may bring a criminal action against any individual who:

knowingly and willfully falsifies information required to be reported or

knowingly and willfully fails to file or report any information that such individual is required to report.

Has Lennie committed bribery?

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There needs to be more investigation of Lennie Leo. The public should know more about who exactly he works for, and what are his intentions? He totally represents "dark money".

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Absolutely. Really who is, and we know who funds him, A billionaire (Barre Seid) died and left his fortune to the Federalist Society, another Rupert Murdoch, he sure has a lot of fascists fellow travelers

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My take on Obama. Personally he is a good and decent man, but when he entered the White House, he was terribly naive, and having been in the Senate only a couple of years, had no connections, no inkling of how to run the government. Senators make piss poor presidents, because their political experience is not in governance, only compromising and soliciting donors.

He was vulnerable and like vultures, he was jumped on by Larry Summers and Rahm Emanuel, who actually picked his cabinet and staff. Blacks were and are disappointed in him, mixed emotions, the first Black President, but not one bit of legislation to help the Black citizens achieve equality.

The one good thing he did was to tell the Justice department not to defend in Obergefell v Hodges and that was because of the advice of Joe Biden, his VP

Which in turn causes me to ponder the question of; Why has Biden kept hands off DOJ now that he is President, but had no difficultry when he was VP.?


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Mr. Farrar. Yes I agree. Obama is sincere and very intelligent. But I have always thought Obama was ineffective because he had no previous independent power base. Maybe because there are no Black billionaires. Unions might have provided him with a base. But until very recently unions have been unsympathetic to Black workers. The only leg up he had was that his father was a CIA asset. This ain't enough. And yes, his experience as a senator rendered him incapable of understanding the office of President because of the kinds of actions senators must engage in if they are to perform their jobs. He was not prepared. He rose so fast through the system that he never had the time to figure out how it worked.

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Thanks I did not know his father was a CIA asset.

The thing with minority voters. They exalt when one of theirs (regardless of status) is elected, they feel that that empowers them, or at least helps them shed that nagging since of inferiority which breeds anger and angst, even though (like Clarence Thomas, Tim Scott and Byron Donalds, they have installed a Quisling, same thing for other minorities, like Indians, Asians and LGBT (I am thinking of Peter Thiel as an example of the last, as well as Log Cabin Republicans, they don't give a f...k about anything except their own wealth, power and toys.

Voting for one on your team, is stupid, if that one is a Quisling interested only in his or own career and aggrandizement.

Alas humans are feckless, incapable of deep thought, and easily beguiled, and the cycle continues, wash, rinse repeat and dry until one day they wake up, like many did in Italy and Germany and are like the dog that caught the car, too late, and ground under the wheels.

This is my opinion, but Japan suffered a massive inferiority complex, after Commodore Perry anchored in Tokyo Bay and forced Japan to open up to trade. Here we have again, the robber barons flexing their muscle, and using Congress and the Presidency as a tool. They industrialized pretty fast, and with it racial bigotry (the way they slaughtered the Chinese, which had the unintended consequence of Mao Tse Dung., and they looked down on straight eyes as another inferior species, as American propagandists did with the Japanese, depicting them with buck teeth and glasses.

At root it is an inferiority complex. Germany had one big time, with the Treaty of Versailles, and a demagogue with a toothbrush mustache scapegoated a minority and filled his concentration camps with them, as well as disabled, socialist, Slavs, gays, and anyone he considered a threat to Christian White Nationalism, and here we go again.

If you are truly superior, you aren't looking over your shoulder,. you don't create scapegoats, and you don't blame others for your failures, current example HAMAS.

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Mr. Farrar. Back when I was still employed and in the game, I knew some survey researchers who surveyed Japanese and Americans, asking them the same questions; as far as this was possible bearing in mind the cultural-linguistic differences. When Americans were asked questions designed to find out how they explain successful, talented, intelligent people; they had a tendency to commonly say those characteristics are born into people and follow racial and gender demarcations. They are inherent in the individual.

The Japanese had a marked tendency to say successful, talented, intelligent people are the way they are because their culture encourages them to be that way and the individual worked hard to live up to their cultural expectations.

In other words Japanese are not biased along racial lines. They are biased along cultural lines. Japanese are firmly convinced their culture is superior to other cultures. Americans are biased along racial lines. Americans are more likely to believe some races are superior and some are inferior.

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Why did my comment on Obama appear twice? How does this work?

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I have only seen it once. On the other hand, quite often when I am typing a comment, it disappears in front of my eyes before I can post it, often when some else is responding at the same time.

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Talking of airline security. Back in 1970, I was returning from a mission in Thrace, I and a team mate had made a jump into Thrace, in civvies with a a back pack. No passport or ID, we had a hell of a time, getting out of the region. Tried the docks at Istanbul and no American flagged ship would carry us. Finally made out way to Istanbul airport, and with help of the Turkish liaison at the airport, a C130 picked us up and carried us to Ankara,, we were hidden behind a stack of outgoing pallets in an air freight warehouse, until a C141 picked us up and dropped us at McQuire AFB, NJ, with no flights coming in to take us back, we managed to get a Transportation Request (TR) and a bus to Phillie International.

We walked up the sidewalk to the ticket office, in dirty and torn civvies, back pack and M16, well the ticket agent face went white, threw up his hands, whatever you want, I said a fishing rod box. That was before D.B. Cooper and heightened airport security, lucky us.

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We had Cuban hijackers...guards on every funflight to Miami, circa 1962.

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Were they guards who were Cubans? Or guards to prevent hijacking.?

You were certainly in government service. IIRC travel to Cuba was not allowed in 1962.

A funflight? Tell me more please. I assume that by 1962, with all of the casino's closed and brotherls shut down, not much chance of fun in Cuba.

What kind of Mission then?

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Hijacked. The funflight was the name given to the Eastern Airlines cash cow trip from Nueva York to Miami, "the sun and fun capitol of the world." In the commercial, an actress, dressed as a stewardess, would invite tourists to "come on down."

Most of the guards were undercover FBI or contract agents. The planes were sometimes still redirected at gunpoint to Havana. Here's a list. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Cuba%E2%80%93United_States_aircraft_hijackings

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Mr. Solomon. I'm confused beginning in 1972, before the flights were legal, like the ones sponsored by The Nation Magazine I had friends who flew round trip from the U.S. to Cuba repeatedly for years. These people were religious leaders and educators. They brought back photos and videos. Was there a special legal-traveller category for them?

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Thanks I got it. I appreciate you filling in the many holes in my knowledge base.

Was that the start of air marshalls program or was that after D B Cooper, by the way I am positive he died. It was fall, cold and he worse loafers, which would come off when the chute opened, the reserve he picked was a dummy, used for ground training and full of saw dust.

The FBI even questioned one of my troops, a flakey dude named Philpott, addicted to gambling and halo trained.; He was too well trained to wear loafers and pick a dummy reserve, clearly marked in red "Training"

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I agree there are many ways of seeing this. But when a citizen’s petition neared the required number of people to show a justification for scanners the White House killed the effort. That doesn't sound like an intelligent and open examination to me. Anyway, another example I could have used is the drug "war". Nixon knew it was hopeless since as long as the demand exists so will the supply. He wanted it to use against those who protested him and while he is long gone the damage marches on. It is easy to see why too. There is no big profit to be made in treating people. But providing the hardware, bureaucracy and truly un-American things like drug tests...those pay out very well and again the wealth can be shared with Congress. Lots of military programs would fall in the same box too.

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As long as their is a DEA, and Sheriffs can confiscate property, there will always be a drug war. Legalizing Marijuana was suppose to solve a problem, but corporations stepped in , to capitalize on the market, and now the stuff is more expensive than it was when illegal. Imagine what would happen when the legalize cocaine and heroin.

And cops just love the drug wars and war on drugs. It increases the demand for "law and order" and of course salairies, not to mention the money and drugs LEO skims off the top with their arrests and shake downs.

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Mr. Farrar. Yes Organized Crime was the biggest supporter of the Volsted act. It made them countless millions. And police love any law that outlaws a common activity for the reasons you state. More criminal laws mean more criminal-law officers. Today it is not uncommon in most communities for law officers to make more annual salary than teachers and social workers.

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When they aren't stuffing their pockets with cash, or drugs that they liberated.

Edward I, faced with a Baron's revolt, because he was sovereign and had allodiial land rights, to England (Allodial rights are acquired by conquest. William invaded England in 1066, to privatize it and tax it to support his standard of living in Rouen , not to live there but as a tax farm (the Domesday book served that purpose and caused a rebellion by the Barons of Mercia and York (Morcar and Aedwin Algfarson).

The Barons were pissed, because Edward, since he owned all of England, would arbitrarily relieve a baron of his property and title, and award it to a favorite.

Edward found a solution in the legal concept he created called Fee Simple (Fee means feudal)

So he retained ownership, but allowed his barons to retain TITLE in Fee Simple, the same way that you I and everyone "own land" even paid off we don't own the land, because a condition of fee simple, then and now, is that you have to obey the laws of the sovereign, contribute to his defense, and pay taxes. If you fail in any one of those, then the sovereign (now the state and county) can relieve you of your property, especially title property, like land, car, boat, plane and even a manufactured home.

Pay off your mortgage and you still don't own the property, you just hold in fee simple.

That is why the sheriff can serve papers and take possession of your property, you have violated the terms of fee simple., not paying taxes, the financial institution or broken the law.

Law enforcement has been restrained from over stepping, because it would be over stepping and very unpopular, so they reserve it to the worst and most flagrant cases, like breaking drug laws.

Bet you didn't know that.

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Reagan started the drug war, when he (actually a sock puppet) had the CIA import cocaine from Colombia, to get money to give to Israel, who in turn supplied Iran with the weapons needed to fight Saddam in the Iraq-Iran war.

And, as Thom has mentioned, the whole thing (Iran Contra) was caused by James Baker, Reagan's Chief of Staff (Reagan was a tool, as governor and President, a vapid, ignorant ass hole and Class B actor). Baker brokered a deal with Khomeini, to hold the hostages until Reagan was sworn in, and Reagan would then shower him with weapons needed in his war with Saddam, that is how they acquired, among other weapons of war, the F-14 Tomcat, which played a role in TomCruises movie "Maverick"

The second treasonous president, Nixon the first, and Trump the last.

All the Republicans have are treasonous candidates., who are always saved by the culture war that they started.

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Mr. farrar. So true.

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At the same time, we had the Mariel Boatlift. Here in Baghdad By the Sea, we had the headquarters of the CIA operations into Cuba and South America and the drug task force. At one time GHW Bush was head.

I cover some of this stuff in my novel, Miami'90.

BTW GHW Bush was the "money man" for the failed Bay of Pigs embarrassment.

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Interesting GWB was the bag man for the failed Bay of Pigs embarrassment, so that is where he got his expertise in Bag man practices because Noriega was the bag man for the CIA's role in cocaine traffic, started under Ronnie, continued under Daddy George.

Noriega (I had a meeting with him when he was Director of Transportation), fucked up, by sticking his fingers in the bag, instead of depositing it in the Marine Midland (CIA) bank on Avenida Balboa, next to the Vatican embassy, and a stones throw from edificio GusRoMares.

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NOT GWB, Pappy Bush. One armada boat was named "Barbara" after GWB's mom.

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ONLY Americans were in 'panic mode.' I was flying everywhere and I got through Chicago Airport with a large bottle of water I had forgotten about. I got to a security person in the airport and told him I had a bottle of water..he could have cared less.

I remember when cutlery was abolished and we had plastic knives and forks. Hey. A serrated plastic knife can do damage. This was to keep Americans scared.

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A couple of decades ago, we flew to Vegas. My wife uses a CPAP machine (I do now as well). The TSA agent wiped down the machine for signs of cocaine. The TSA was doing the job of the DEA, as well as DHS.

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You know something William not ALL the World knows about American acronyms.

Please spell this out?

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Oct 28, 2023·edited Oct 28, 2023

You are absolutely right. Shame on me for thinking that the whole world knew what a CPAP machine was, it stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is used by people who have sleep apnea. My wife has a serious problem with sleep apnea. I use it primarily to deliver air from my oxygen concentrater while I sleep. I am in remission from lung cancer.

TSA is Transportation Security Administration.t was founded Nov 2001 in response to the attack on Sep 11, 2001

DEA is Drug Enforcement Administration founded in 1973,

DHS is Department of Homeland Security, as an umbrella organization for all Federal law enforcement and intelligence organizations in Nov 2002

I assumed that those who were regular readers of Thom were very familiar with these acronyms, and using them saved me the time of spelling them out in full. Was not aware that Jenny Stokes, lacked that knowledge.

However if you know how to use google, curiosity would have you answering the questions. Meanwhile wasn't it you who used the acronym RR to wit: (" I forget whose President's wife was in charge of the RR. I think it might have been Reagan. She was chucked out I think.") and I still don't know what you meant.

If you meant RC instead of RR. There was no presidential wife in charge of the RC.

So is this your way of getting even for asking you what RR meant?

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Sounds sarcastic to me William.

NO the whole world does not revolve around America.

Ever read the French language?

I am sorry for both you and your wife I hope you both get better soon although I know sleep apnea never goes away.

You got it: waste of time to spell it out for other Country's who don't understand.

IF I went on Google for every acronym used by the Americans I would have wasted my life.

I will look it up.

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WE are talking about it ! 'I've been donating to a Stop Citizens United group for years ! (I hope they are spending it wisely ) I guess it's time for another Letter to the Editor, which increasingly feels like a fools errand, as the last of our independent newspapers was just bought out by a Wall Street hedgefund. The last two in less than one year. It's sickening...and frightening.

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Be careful with non profits. My inbox is flooded with Non Profits, created around a single issue, and I've never heard of any of them, non profits are for the most part a scam. Ask for an accounting before you donate. I support animal rescue and spay and neuter non profits, but I know them and been in their facilities, but If I bit on every heart tugging string on TV or the Interwebs, with monthly debits on my credit card, I wouldn't have any money for food

I worked for the Red Cross for three years, and all of the money they raise goes to pay for salaries of Executives, most of the staff are volunteers, and the supplies, mostly blankets are donated.

The March of Dimes was created by Eleanor Roosevelt for polio victims, the vaccine created by Jonas Salk was not funded by the March of Dimes, if they had their way there would never have been a vaccine.

When Dr Salk, came up with the vaccine after years of research. The March of Dimes closed its doors and went into a huddle, to reinvent themselves (lots of salaries were at stake, not to mention the prestige of hobnnobbing with the rich and powerul)

Then after a couple of weeks, they were in business again, this time the mission is to end the preventable maternal health risks and deaths, end preventable preterm birth and infant death, and close the health equity gap.

And thus they are safe, because their is no solution to the problem. In fact it isn't a problem, because problems have solutions. it is a difficulty and there is no solution for a difficulty.

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Many years ago I lived in Sri Lanka. I was probably 13.

I saw in Colombo masses of clothes on the street being sold, they were all 2nd hand. Guess where they came from (according to my mother) the Red Cross!

NOW the Red Cross has had to put people in the 'field' to make sure these clothes are NOT sold.

I forget whose President's wife was in charge of the RR. I think it might have been Reagan. She was chucked out I think.

I am old and my memory gets worse by the day.

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I think you meant the RC not RR. I don't know what the RR could be.

Melania Trump in 2005 was awarded Goodwill Ambassador by the American Red Cross—a role she served in for four years.

Google doesn't provide any mention of a a presidents wife as being in charge of the Red Cross.

There is a board of governors. The Board of Governors (the “Board”), appointed by the President of the United States based on a recommendation from the Board to the President. The Chairman of the Board serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

Basically the same for Fed and USPS, except the board of governors for the USPS approves the Postmaster General, which the President, as in the RC, must appoint.

Which brings up a sore subjectt in Dec 2021 two members of the board, left, their time was up, and what do Joe do, he appointed a Democrat and a Republican, those keeping the board balanced and now way to get rid of that crook Dejoy, There has been two more vacancies as of Dec 2022, and Biden has not replaced them, leaving DeJoy in place to fix the 2025 election as he tried to do in 2025, by removing mail boxes, and slowing or interfering with mail in ballots, especially from service members

Either Joe is asleep at the switch, or he is being handled by agents of right wing billionaires.

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Eleanor Dole, who is still around was head of the RC. She was accused of corruption after some Red Cross and AIDS prevention officials complained that she had toned down contents of an AIDS education program to appease conservative groups critical to Dole's Presidential aspirations.

The RC was criticized for allegedly mishandling the September 11th attacks in 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The ARC has also addressed allegations of fraud, bribery, and even theft on the part of volunteers and employees working for the organization.

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Thanks. just another racket. Like everything else, they start with good intentions but soon corrupted. Diogenes would be shit out of luck in modern America.

Back in 1958, myself and some friends would hang out in a coffee "shop" called Diogenes Lantern, this was the tail end of the Beat Generation. My buddy Curtis, from Oakland, climbed on the stage and uttered, when the world stop I'm getting off. Another companion said "He was a carpenter and they hung him on the tree, and he just hung there. Thunderous one hand clapping ovation for both.

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Citizens United has the seeds within it that prevents us from overturning it. Does the President add members to the Supreme Court? Do we add an amendment to the Constitution? Money in politics keeps us from undoing it or the damage that's already been done.

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The Senate, not the house, can add seats to SCOTUS and it should and would, if we were not cowardly led.

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If there is any justice in this world, Democrats will control the legislative and executive branches after the election of 2024, and soon after the high court will be expanded and Citizen’s United will be overturned. We can only hope.

I wonder, however, if a system which was designed to be largely pro-active and progressive had become merely reactive nearly two centuries ago. We stopped looking to the future and having the dreams of a better world for all and were more about a better future for some and progress very narrowly defined in terms of economics, expansion, global power, and “growth”. Nothing happens until things are so bad that legislation can be passed to avoid impending and certain disaster.

Also, I believe that we think of US Supreme Court decisions as final and more or less immutable. Let’s start talking about Citizen’s United as a grievous mistake that IS going to be rectified in the very near future.

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I agree Robert. I am old enough to remember when politicians, writers and just people in general talked about a better future. Somewhere in the '70s or so this switched to just hanging on to what you have. Obama, who you might notice in this thread I have little respect for, at least talked about things improving. But he railed against "declinists" who saw America getting harder and weaker without offering a real vision or path forward towards a better country though. Trump, at the other extreme, plays on fear and despair, and taps into a deep streak without of course offering anything real in its place. Today few in public life talk about how things don't have to be like this, though Biden is trying to make some incremental changes. Perhaps this will be different with the next generation, but we can't live on "hope and change" any more than on "thoughts and prayers."

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I’m curious about how you would define “a better future”. The “founders” and people who still had an “enlightenment” perspective were, I think, significantly less oriented toward material things and measures of success and more toward people who prized a more satisfying existence with humanitarian values and the advancement of equality, justice, fraternity, etc. The industrial revolution, along with the devaluation and homogenization of intellectual things and education through compulsory schooling with its highly conventional, conservative, moralistic, and competitive “brainwashing” (not too strong a word when you factor in coercion and control for 12 formative years) did away with thoughts about improving humanity itself and changed the focus to keeping up with the French, English, Germans, etc. We are not doing so well, are we?

Obama is a product of his time and may have had more personal ambition than some people would like. But I am quite sure that he would have taken a much different path had it not been for the overt racism and relentless malicious attacks from day one amplified by the media which left him very little leeway.

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Obama, INHO, was controlled by a puppeteer named Rahm Emanuel, well at least two pulled his strings, the other being Larry Summers, who personally picked Timothy Geithner to be Secretary of Treasury., he willingly bailed out Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan , and a few others, letting Lehman brothers and others fail, in response to the GW Bush banking disaster of 2008.

Then as now, the government, even the Republicans, dance to the tune of International Financial Institutions, and how Bill Clinton loved them, he mentioned them at least 20 times in his speeches,and they in turn gifted him (he was broke when he left the White House) with his own NGO, the Clinton Global Initiative

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I share your hopes, but the Repugs have passed laws, and the Executive and Merrick Garland have sat by and done nothing, that will make irrelevant the Vox Populi, even in blue states.

Look at the red states that have Democratic Governors. That is because Democrats outnumber Republicans, but state legislatures have been Jerrymandered, to give Republicans a majority state legislature, and if the governor won't sign the legislation, the Republican state legislatures have enough votes to override his veto.

And now that the terrorists have driven county election officials out of office with threats (and the FBI and state bureaus of investigation and law enforcement has done absolutely nothing (Garland again fails to defend Democracy), MAGAts have stepped in to fill the roles, so you tell me if the 2024 election will be honest, or this time really be stolen by the fascists.

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And even before THAT, it really began when Reaganomics turned our country away from a Business economy, to one based solely on Finance. That gave Wall Street control over our corporations and businesses, and made them beholden totally to the stock holders. Product development, services, all became subservient to the bottom line.

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"Citizens United" - a misnomer among misnomers in the overflowing dumpster of billionaire-advocating front groups. The lengths to which some will go in exploiting our language to usurp the good will of innocent people is a depravity so sickening it makes ipicac taste like a sports drink. Their shame is less than zero.

My interpretation of Thom's absolutely brilliant bullseye:

No matter which positive actions we are involved with at this point in history, most can bear no fruit under the trespass that is Citizens United. Simply put, until the farcical notion which insists corporations are people and bribery equals speech is categorically demolished, there can be little to no change on any other issue. There will always be too much resistance (money) for any meaningful change to take hold.

Look at our efforts to avert climate disaster - things are getting worse, fast. We get "greenwashing" instead. Distraction.

Our push for systemic equality among race, gender, sexual orientation, etc - yet hate is rising (just read the lyrics of "Try That In A Small Town", a piece of shit masquerading as a song and currently vandalizes our public airwaves). We get "inclusive" advertising instead. Patronizing.

A decades long demand for a sensible economic system that produces fewer kings and fewer impoverished - the wealth "gap" is now an ocean. We get tax cuts for "job creators". Fallacy.

If there were only one issue to lean into, this one would be it - our cancer is nearing stage 4.

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I believe that Teddy Roosevelt would have called the misguided law "Robber Barons United," and we should call it "Corporations" or "Oligarchs United."

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Should Surpeme Court cases decided based on illicit donations and gifts be reversed on that basis? Certainly a question for a future court.

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Absolutely! That is the only way to begin to make it right, imho!

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Hi. I wrote another comment but don't know where it went. Just that the thought-cloud of Calvinism, denial of fossil fuels being a problem, all God's doing, end coming soon, etc. are being taught across the country in "christian" gatherings, several groups under ALEC. I hear this from Republican friends of mine, and it concerns me!!! They are better at propagandizing than we are, and that's a problem.

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Does Thom Hartmann ever read this? The phones are always busy. It seems he is unavailable. He is wrong about James Madison and his motives. He wasn't protecting minorities except for the minority of the opulent of which he was a part. The Constitution was created to protect them from the majority. What other minority could they have been trying to protect? Native Americans? A book, "We the Elites: Why the US Constitution Serves the Few," by Robert Ovetz explains why the majority seldom get what they need and want. Some other democratic countries don't have a Senate. Some have an advisory committee in place of a senate. Why do we have Citizens United? The US Constitution works the way it was intended to work: to protect and promote the wealthy elites and to exploit the working class. We need to discuss what we can do about it. I believe we have enough resources for everyone to have what they need to survive without the stress that has been imposed upon the working class. Unregulated capitalism is at the end of it's usefulness to advance the human race. Enough is enough.

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Don't go passing judgment on Madison or Jefferson with guilt by association, Gloria. In order to found this imperfect nation the more virtuous and wise were forced to make many deals with many devils. Some things never change...until enough effort has been made to change those things.

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Biden was very friendly with Kristen Sinema when it came to voting against his build back better program. I remember seeing a video on the news of him escorting and talking pleasantly to Kristen Sinema, coupled with Joe's not prosecuting the GOP traitors or should I say Garland or both, that cost the Dems control of Congress and SUPREME COURT! The fix is in! Biden will figure out a way to throw the election if the Republicans don't crash the economy first and get Trump elected permanently! All the money that the Democratic party spends is aimed at building up Biden's accomplishments while not exposing the GOP as criminal thugs! Exposing the criminal fascist thugs would build up Biden even more than getting lucky with the economy so far. The Democratic party does have several million dollars to spend towards commercials.

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This writing is 100% on the money. I woke up this morning thinking about two misnomers. Citizens United and Neo liberalism. The later is not liberal except for giving license to big money freely and the only citizens that are united are those with lots of money. No dollars..no votes.

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Repeal Citizens United and the Fairness Doctrine and amend the Second Amendment if you want to save Democracy and take your county back. And stop voting for Republicans! They care about Corporations, not People!

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We don’t hear about Citizens United, because the corporate media makes billions from advertisers who in turn make billions from corporations who benefit from unrestricted campaign contributions, and also if it bleeds it leads”. The corporate media would not be able to exist, were it not for clicks and reads

There business model is chaos. The more chaos, fear, anger, hate, violence the more money they make, and isn’t life all about money.

Granted, in our society today, you need money to live, food, shelter, transportation, and toys, lots of toys, like computers, cell phones which means ISP’s and telecommunications But mankind is a social animal, always looking over his or her shoulder at what others are doing, and by damn and by nabit they just have to keep up with their peers, not only keep up, but one up, thus the continuous drive to hoard.

Poor folk hoard magazines, junk from second hand stores, even garbage they find in dumpsters.

Wealthy folks, hoard cars, boats, planes (think Tom Cruise and John Travolta or yachts, dachas, private islands, million dollar 2nd, 3rd and even 4th homes. All laid out and maintained by a staff, awaiting their arrival just in case the owner drops by.

And it traces back to someone’s idea of god, and what it is to be the select of god..

The idea of a god, varies by cult, and even by person, but one thing they have in common, is the notion that if favored by their personal god, they are wealthy beyond description, not only wealthy but command and control societies (like Putin or Kings and Queens of old, Dukes, Archdukes, Barons, even lowly Lords of the Manor, if not a large swath of society, then at least their own personal kingdom, for is not man the king of his own castle, and does a King prove he is king, by acquiring stuff, more stuff than his neighbor Females too in their own way, when not playing the man’s game.

As Thom so educates us, Henry VII, yanked England out of it’s doldrums, when he took the crown from Richard III, he found that he had become sovereign of a nation that was in essence the armpit of Europe, the only source of foreign exchange was raw wool.

So he imposed an export tariff on raw wool, forcing the English woolers, to further process the wool, my ancestors were in the woolery business, all they did was hire shepherds to watch over the sheep, until time for the fleecing and slaughter (good shepherds do that), then sheer the ship, waulk and full it (remove the l lanolin but treading on it in urine pound the wool (fulling) and dye it ,to ship it to Europe for milling (making textile). Henry7 export tariff forced my ancestors, and hundreds of other woolers, to built textile mills and looms, and make their own fabric. His tariffs included import tariffs on luxury goods, like porcelain,quality armaments, fine furniture, art and silverware. These tariffs motivated craftsmen to create their own industry, and England prospered, such that his son Henry8, and the nobility lived a lifestyle, that would be the envy of their fathers and grandfathers. They did so well that they started wearing clothes and living as well as the nobility.

The nobility balked, what good is being a member of the upper class, when the bourgeoisie, the middle class, the landed gentry, could dress like nobility. So Henry8, decreed Sumptuary Laws, that forbade the commoners from wearing fine line, silks and dressing like the nobility

Since humans are social creatures, pack animals, they are in constant competition to being the alpha, and the only way to prove an alpha status is by ostentatious display of goodies and toys, like art, planes, yachts, boats, cars, mansions, private islands. Even if you don’t use them thus the hoarding of the super rich.

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