The Big Corporate Bullies Are At It Again

The Big Corporate Bullies are at it again! Just when we thought they’d be embarassed and hiding from their latest shenanigans—pawning off bad medicine (think VIOXX) or seeing their Chinese competitors getting caught trying to sneak tainted pet food, toothpaste and fish into the U.S., they’re back themselves trying to slam the courthouse doors shut so they can’t be prosecuted for their own often dangerous antics.
What is it now? It’s a new initiative they’ve just filed with the California Attorney General’s office which will allow them to avoid accountability when they get caught doing things like discriminating against their employees on the basis of race, gender, age or disability. If this initiative makes it to the ballot and passes, they’ll be able to get away with refusing to pay their workers for their earned pay, be passing off known damaged and dangerous products, illegally pollute our air and water with inpugnity. The list goes on and on.
How are these profiteers planning their next attack on protecting the public? They’re staking out an initiative which will all but end class action lawsuits in the state of California by making them so hard and expensive for the little guy to bring to court, that they’ll all but vanish. Using Bush-like double-speak to hide their true identity, these greedy CEO’s and corporate polluters go by the totally misleading title of ” Civil Justice Association ” otherwise known as C-JAC. Like Bush’s cronies, they’re anything but seeking justice—it’s just more and more about their profits and the public be damned.

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Has the U.S.Supreme Court officially reinstated racism in our schools?

This past week has been a woefully sorry one for the rights of the American people. The neocons have gained total control of the Supreme Court and are gleefully and unquestionably overturning the hard-fought gains of the past seventy-plus years. Many of us saw this coming but can only wish, sadly, that we had been wrong.
This court has thrown judicial precedent out the window. Both John Roberts and Samuel Alito obviously lied about their commitment to it when they testified before the Senate of the United States, but it seems lying and cheating and commuting sentences of convicted criminals is all within the Bush playbook. Such arrogance now extends to Bush’s court and seems to continue unabated. This past week it was civil rights, consumer rights and first-amendment rights of individuals all paying the price of this lawless and reckless administration’s blind allegiance to a corporate ideology. But the most stunning of all is the rejection of one of the pillars of our society over the past 50 years—that segregation in education is, as a matter of fact and law, unequal. Not anymore.
We asked Speak Out California’s own Jackie Goldberg to take a look at the right-wing spin on this decision—that we don’t need such legal protections any longer; that Brown v. Board of Education is passe and irrelevent to today’s world and that destroying its mandate is not a big deal. Of course it’s a big deal and Jackie pulls no punches in dissecting the neocon attempt to downplay the significance of this offensive and dishonest opinion by the Court.Here is her response to an opinion piece that ran last week in the New York Times by one Juan Williams:

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The Republican Party Cages African American Voters

From The Courage Campaign

As Karl Rove's former right-hand man abruptly resigns, more details are emerging of yet another sly and illegal "campaign strategy" used by the GOP in the 2004 election. The basic idea behind the Republican strategy is to suppress the voting rights of African Americans. Why? Because African Americans overwhelmingly vote against the Republican Party. Tim Griffin, the Rove adviser who just resigned, is at the center of this brewing scandal. The practice known as "caging" is just the latest dirty trick to be uncovered in a long history of dirty Republican tricks designed to undermine not only the Democratic Party but also small-d democracy in America.

Dahlia Lithwick at Slate has an excellent article on how caging works. Basically, what happens is the GOP contacts local city clerks and election commissioners and gives them a list of registered voters that they want "caged." The election officials then mail a letter to the voters' address. The letter requires the voter to send back a reply card within a few weeks in order to confirm that the address is valid. No problem, right? Well, the problem comes in that the list of voters targeted by the GOP is specifically limited to African Americans, and that's a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

The GOP also appears to have especially targeted African American soldiers that are deployed abroad and people who don't have a home. This means that that the voter registrations of untold numbers of Democratic soldiers were canceled because the soldiers weren't at home to send a reply card back to the elections office.

How do we know all this? Well, there's documentary evidence including emails and spreadsheets of names and addresses that clearly show the GOP effort to clear the voter rolls of African Americans in Florida. Former top Justice Department official Monica Goodling was questioned under oath about this last week, and she appeared to admit that "caging" is a strategy employed by Republicans. I guess we shouldn't be surprised at yet another example of institutionalized racism perpetrated by people entrusted to protect voting rights. We shouldn't be surprised, but as Lithwick suggests, we should be "madder than heck."