Three weeks after Christmas, the American judiciary gave telecommunications corporations a huge present. On January 14 a federal appeals court decided to weaken the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Internet Neutrality policy by striking down the rules it adopted in 2010 to regulate Internet service providers (ISPs). Without these guidelines, corporations like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T are able to obstruct Internet traffic. Additionally they can make preferential deals with content providers willing to pay a higher price for access and speed. They may also manipulate the Internet content that people can access.
In January, the Boeing Corporation bullied the members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) to accept a new contract forcing them to give up hard-won pensions, dismantle their health care, and reduce their wages. The effort to take away essential benefits from Washington workers was a well-calculated scheme by the world's largest airplane manufacturer. By exploiting bad economic conditions, it manipulated opportunistic politicians and even the union's own leadership in order to pressure workers to accept these concessions.
Dale Schultz, a Republican state senator from Richland Center, Wis., has held his seat for 23 years, and served in the state assembly for ten years before that. He’s stood for election 12 times. He was also the only Republican in the Senate to vote against Act 10, the infamous 2011 Wisconsin bill championed by Governor Scott Walker that crippled public sector unions’ organizing rights.
Now, Schultz has announced he won’t be seeking re-election, citing the rise of dark money in politics in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling.
“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford
Banking and other financial corporations (hereafter referred to simply as banking corporations) are unlike any other subset of corporate entities. Their uniqueness has to do with their one-of-a-kind “product” -- money.
The fact that individuals (poor to rich), businesses (small to big) and governments (local to national) all require money to function means banking corporations occupy prominent places in our national economic and democratic spaces. Given the increasing omnipotence of money in determining who gets elected, what political voices get heard, when laws get passed, where programs get funded and how regulations are enacted and implemented, understanding the role of banking corporations in the creation and circulation of our nation’s money and in their lock-down control of our “monetary system” is essential to (re)gain political and economic self-governance.
While there are always bills to pass amendments to the Constitution floating around in Congress, it is rare indeed for an amendment to pick up a head of steam. It is even more rare for states to take a position on a pending amendment. But we are at a very rare moment in history with the real potential to pass the ‘We the People Amendment.’
Move to Amend is thrilled to announce that the premiere of our mini documentary, Legalize Democracy, will be airing on Free Speech TV (FSTV) next week to coincide with the "anniversary" of Citizens United.
Legalize Democracy is a 28 minute film by Dennis Trainor, Jr. about the movement to amend -- why it is needed, and how you can get involved.
Please tune in!