On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges travels to Cambridge, Massachusetts for a conversation with America’s most important intellectual, Professor Noam Chomsky. In Part II of their conversation, Chomsky discusses the principles of concentration of wealth and power that are defined in his latest book, Requiem for the American Dream.
I’ve always been intrigued by the major questions not asked by reporters at press conferences, not asked by legislators at public hearings or even the questions citizens at town meetings don’t ask public officials. It’s not that they do not know about or could not easily become informed enough about a given issue and ask substantive questions. It’s just that so many taboos are packed into these questioners’ ideological mindset, career goals or concern with what other people over them might think. Maybe it is a culturally-rooted fear of challenging entrenched power brokers.
Maine’s Angus King is a swing Independent Senator who caucuses with Democrats. As a former lawyer, like many of his colleagues, he cannot plead ignorance about the historic importance of his vote on the fateful Senate filibuster to deny Neil Gorsuch confirmation as Trump’s first Supreme Court appointee. Confirmation hearings for this far-right, “friendly fascist,” defender of torture, Federalist Society nominee are scheduled to begin March 20. A filibuster will follow. The key vote will come, likely in the first week of April, when Gorsuch supporters vote for cloture (i.e. termination) of the filibuster. The Republicans will need 60 votes for cloture in order to proceed to a vote on confirmation. They only have 52 votes, which is enough for confirmation but not enough to first end the filibuster.
The Supreme Court has mostly completed its decimation of any anti-corruption law that might have caused any more than the slightest inconvenience for the plutocracy’s political investments. Therefore the Court has now picked up its judicial supremacy ax to perform a similar demolition of laws that regulate the other side of the corruption equation. In a decision announced on June 27, timed as one of three final opinions of its 2015-16 term, the Court turned its attention to protecting the influence peddlers – who are installed by and otherwise benefit from the now freely flowing plutocratic investments – from prosecution for their delivery of the peddled policies.
http://democracynow.org – More than 400 people were arrested Monday in a massive sit-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to protest the influence of big money and corporate lobbying in politics. The protest, organized under the name Democracy Spring, brought together activists from about 140 organizations who marched from Philadelphia to Washington last week. Similar acts of civil disobedience are scheduled throughout the week in Washington. We speak to Kai Newkirk, campaign director of Democracy Spring and co-founder and an organizer with 99Rise. He was arrested yesterday in the action at the U.S. Capitol.
Obama Nominates a Conservative to Court: Sanders Still Missing Strategic Opportunity
Obama Writes Nomination Insurance for Plutocrats
Obama has decided that, to fill Scalia’s vacant seat for radicals on the Supreme Court the country needs another former partner of a Wall Street law firm, turned prosecutor, and then appellate judge. Another judge obscures the highly political work of the contemporary Supreme Court beneath a veneer of technocratic competence. Just the opposite is required at this time. We need a politician who will make a political case against decisions like the Court’s most important ruling of the past half century that “money is speech,” which was pure politics when decided but has become part of the ordinary technology of plutocracy that a judge like Merrick B. Garland administers with exquisite technical competence to the satisfaction of plutocrats. Chief Judge Garland is a continuation of business as usual. What is demanded by the times is a justice that will eradicate the politicized judicial doctrines that sustain the corrupt business as usual.
The passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin “Nino” Scalia evoked widespread commentary about how outspoken he was both on the Court and at law schools and other forums where he often lectured and sometimes tangled with audiences. Knowing of Justice Scalia’s unusual expressiveness for a jurist, my colleague Robert Weissman and I wrote him a challenging letter in 2006, starting with these words: Continue reading →
The salutary rule of private life that one should not speak poorly of the dead does not properly apply to public persons who we know only through their public deeds. When they choose to lead a political life, which is the only capacity in which we have occasion to know them, and have had an overwhelmingly perverse influence on the course of public affairs, honest historical judgment should not be suspended or falsified for inappropriate application of rules that properly pertain to private life. Biographers will weave the personal attributes, the odd-fellow relationships with Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, membership in Opus Dei, assessments of when one person’s flamboyance crossed the line to another’s buffoonish bombast, to make a fuller portrait for those who might care about Antonin Scalia as a person.
Political scientists need a new sub-specialty to describe the end-of-year extravaganzas that influence peddlers and special interests have joined to make a Capital Christmas tradition: the racket of wholesale plundering of the government’s treasury. Paraphrasing Willie Sutton, that’s where (the tax-farmed and public-debt) money is.
In this episode of Days of Revolt, host Chris Hedges speaks with author, consumer advocate, and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Together, they trace the advancement of corporate control in the U.S. political system. teleSUR