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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Corrupt Court and Undue Influence and access according to Founders

Citizens United hinged on a Huge Error in Judgment

The problem with the Citizens United case, as I noted in my post from October last year, titled "A corrupt decision blind to corrupt access and influence" is that the most eggregious error of that decision wasn't the "corporate personhood" mistake. Corporate personhood is just a legal fiction that the courts have used to exempt companies from laws and responsibilities at State or County level. The huge error was their defenestreing of corruption/bribery laws through their failure to recognize "undue influence" and "improper access" as corruption despite 200 years of legal jurisprudence establishing these as the heart of corruption.

Independent Expenditures as Ingratiation, Access and Extortion

In that decision Kennedy had written:

"there is only scant evidence that independent expenditures even ingratiate. … Ingratiation and access, in any event, are not corruption."

But ingratiation and separate access provide opportunities for undue influence and undue influence is at the heart of Bribery definitions and corruption, and our more progressive leaders have known that since the Federalists talked of this while writing the Federalist papers. Undue influence is at the heart of the evils of plutocracy, bureaucracy, and all forms of tyranny (Locke: "Power...exercised...for private, separate advantage". Denying the potentially undue influence exerted by money expenditures and independent expenditures, simply expresses the corruption that the Supreme Court has suffered due to the undue influence of wealth and power expressed through pressure groups like Americans For Prosperity and the Federalist Societies patrons that has created such a corrupt supreme court.

Wikipedia defines it as:

"In jurisprudence, undue influence is an equitable doctrine that involves one person taking advantage of a position of power over another person."

Undue Influence includes Extortion and Slander

Our founders understood the dangers of "Undue Influence". Robert Yates wrote in the Federalist:

Image of page 657 "The Federalist and Other Constitutional Papers by Hamilton, Jay ..., Volume 1"

Partisanship Fueled by Separate Interest

Text of 657 to beginning of 658 follows and could almost be describing our own times:

"In respect to the first it may be necessary to observe that under the colonial government there existed violent parties now known by the name of whig or tory republicans and aristocrats Those who were in the employments of government or the ins [who] were for extending the prerogative of the crown while the outs were checks to it. Many of the leaders on both sides were under strong expectations that sooner or later that branch of colonial government called the king's council would be erected into a hereditary house of lords. The ins being nearest to the disposition of the offices of honor and profit and in the way of obtaining patents for vacant lands and being from time to time joined by other crown officers and dependents who flocked to and settled in this colony since the year 1763 had the means of making use of undue influence to retain their situations which made the outs at last despair of ever having a turn unless the elections were by ballot. [punctuation added]

Source:The Federalist and Other Constitutional Papers by Hamilton, Jay ..., Volume 1 edited by Erastus Howard Scott

Revolution fought to resist Undue Influence from $ Power

Undue Influence was part of the unfair power (and wealth) distribution that was the real reason for the first revolt that created the United States. Fear of foreign undue influence was one of the reasons we formed a General Federated Republic rather than remaining separate (and warring) colonies. And undue Influence has reared it's ugly head throughout our history in our country in much the same fashion. Only instead of hereditary land-lords with power by way of land titles, we now have hereditary Corporate-barons with power by way of Corporations. And we have those barons exerting undue influence on the Supreme Court as expressed in the Citizens United Decision and the efforts of the newspeak (bizaaroland) named Tea Parties. Where we resisted the undue influence of the East India company during our 1775-1889 revolt, it's modern analogues exert flagrant influence on us now.

Resisting the East India Company

In the Federalist Papers James Winthrop "Agrippa" referenced the power of the East India company in the following passage (on page 548)

"In most countries of Europe trade has been more confined by exclusive charters Exclusive companies are in trade pretty much like an aristocracy in government and produce nearly as bad effects An instance of it we have ourselves experienced Before the Revolution we carried on no direct trade to India. In most countries of Europe trade has been more confined by exclusive charters Exclusive companies are in trade pretty much like an aristocracy in government and produce nearly as bad effects An instance of it we have ourselves experienced Before the Revolution we carried on no direct trade to India " [page 548-549]

The USA was founded on a tension between legitimate business and privateering under charters. Our own chartered privateers were labeled as pirates by the British during our revolution [I visited a museum dedicated to that "notorious Pirate John Paul Jones" during my visit to Britain two years ago]. Pirates had an imperative to share the loot with crews while privateers and chartered trade companies ran their business as absolute dictatorships solely for the benefit of the owners. Our business people learned acute lessons from being considered second class businessmen. Many of them were officially branded as smugglers or even pirates. Part of the motive of the revolution was to protect their own trade from dumping by the East India Company which enjoyed tax free status on it's tea, while our businessmen had to buy the tea with a tax stamp from Britain, from the East India company!

Agrippa continues:

"In a republick we ought to guard as much as possible against the predominance of any particular interest It is the object of government to protect them all When commerce is left to take its own course the advantage of every class will be nearly equal But when exclusive privileges are given to any class it will operate to the weakening of some other class connected with them "

The founders sought to accomplish that by dividing the government into divisions and forcing them to both work together and to have to work out competing interests. They also were thinking of Business, but as we didn't have businesses like the East India Company in our country yet, they left working out that separation of power to later generations.

Indirect Bribery and Extortion = Undue Influence

So undue influence is connected to our founding principles, and the power of direct bribery and the indirect bribery labeled as "undue influence" was identified as a major ill way back during our founding days. This illustrates all the more graphically the mendacious and perverse faux principles of the "Federalist Movement" and it's corrupt avatars on the Supreme Court.

In this stage of our history the companies are more and more resembling the East India company and less and less resembling Paul Revere's Silver company or even Robert Morris' grand pirate fleet (our first navy). When folks argue for freedom from government they are really talking either about self-government, or the switch becomes rule by greedy corporations like the East India Company. The East India company so botched it's control of Bengal and other parts of SE Asia that the British Navy, Marines and Army had to come in to rescue them. Democracy is not only about individual rights it is also about functional societies where the right people are able to get offices and power for limited times as needed, and not to make their power hereditary and oppressive. That is why these discussions were found in the writings of the Federalists, Republicans and Anti-Federalists.

Further Reading

Further reading that describes how "undue influence works" to corrupt judges like Clarence Thomas and Scalia:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/20/scalia-thomas-koch-industries_n_769843.html

There are many more quotes from founders and I believe Federalist 2 that reference "undue influence" and the need to protect our politics from foreign undue influence, corporate undue influence and the influence on each other of executives, judiciary members and legislators through divided government and separation of powers. I'm sure if I look hard enough I'll see references to pastors and priests as well.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Zombie Sarah Palin Advocates Nukes

The Zombie Sarah Palin advocates Nukes

If we destroy the world, 
it will be because morons like her have no clue as to what they do.
If we leave the world a peaceful graveyard,
we can only pray we leave birds behind to sing over our graves.
And we can pray that we leave completely, 
and not after a millennia more of nightmare.
We fear the Zombie apocalypse,
while eating brains at the fair.

Is it too late?

Chris Holte

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/03/08/palin.html

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Reviewing "Five Myths about The Ukrainian Crisis by Aaron David Miller

For some reason whenever I see the words "Five Myths" I'm about 50/50 confident that the article will offer it's own myths in contrast to the claims the author deems myths. Aaron David Miller, writing for CNN writes such a piece today. You can read it here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/08/opinion/miller-five-myths-about-ukraine-crisis/

And these are my comments:

This one is mostly on target but still misleading.

  1. Yes we aren't back in the cold war. We are now in an even more dangerous world where transnational oligarchs play stupid games reminiscent of the "Great Game" that Europeans played prior to WWI.
  2. Putin isn't Hitler, but he's using some of the same tricks Hitler used in his Anschluss. And it looks like he's about to carve out Russian Speaking parts of Ukraine to restore to "Mother" Russia -- like it or not.
  3. No it's not all Obama's fault, but Obama could use more support from the reds shooting at his back. Those fools forget that Bush did nothing when the Russians did same thing to Georgia. And he also forgets that using military force on a Nuclear power is incredibly stupid.
  4. He's also right that bombing Syria would have done nothing to help Ukraine. Indeed Bombing Syria would probably have created such a mess the pontificators would be wanting to impeach Obama for listening to them.
  5. Ukraine will have a Hollywood ending. Either Putin will snatch Crimea and the Ukrainians will learn to live without, or he'll say "it was all just me protecting Russian Speaking Ukrainians from blood thirsty Ukrainian ultra-nationalists" and withdraw. Either way will make for a great Hollywood movie. More film noir than a cowboy movie, but Hollywood does that too.

Follow Aaron Miller on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aarondmiller2

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Seven Reasons Issa Cut Cumming's Mike

Townhall released an article claiming to be Issa's questions to Lois Lerner:

Source: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/03/06/seven-questions-former-irs-head-lois-lerner-refuses-to-answer-n1805145

1. In October 2010, Lerner told a Duke University group: “The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow, overturning a 100-year-old precedent that basically corporations couldn’t give directly to political campaigns. And everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it. The Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it. They want the IRS to fix the problem.”

I think anyone who thinks that graft and corruption should be illegal should be concerned about the outcome of Citizens United. Not only for it's extension of corporate personhood to companies, but for it's claim that money = privileged (!) speech -- and the court's corrupt denial in that case that undue access or influence is corruption. But Issa took her comments out of context.

Who exactly wanted the IRS to “fix the problem” caused by Citizens United?

Even the Breitbart source [http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2013/08/06/Lois-Lerner-Discusses-Political-Pressure-on-the-IRS-in-2010] for the leak (not exactly paragons of virtue) answers this question:

"Lerner goes on to outline the fact that 501(c)(4) organizations have the right to do "an ad that says vote for Joe Blow" so long as their primary activity is social welfare. However Lerner again emphasizes the political pressure the IRS was under at the time saying, "So everybody is screaming at us right now 'Fix it now before the election. Can't you see how much these people are spending?'" Lerner concludes by saying she won't know if organizations have gone too far in campaigning until she looks at their "990s next year."

Fact is the entire progressive wing of the Democratic party plus any remaining honest conservatives were screaming that we need to do something about the legalized graft that is the corrupt Citizens United Decision and subsequent rulings eviscerating 200 years of efforts to get graft, bribery, undue influence and extortion under control in our government. It is WE THE PEOPLE (other than corrupt Tea Baggers of course) demanding change.

Issa alleges:

2. In February 2011, Lerner e-mailed her colleagues in the IRS: “Tea Party Matter very dangerous. This could be the vehicle to go to court on the issue of whether Citizens United overturning the ban on corporate spending applies to tax-exempt rules. Counsel and Judy Kindell need to be in on this one please. Cincy should probably NOT have these cases.”

Issa then mistates her statement:

Why did Lerner think the Tea Party cases were “very dangerous”?

The Tea Party are dangerous because they are litigious, subversive, incendiary, insurrectionist, and because they own at least some of the Supreme Court Justices (Thomas). I think anyone observing their behavior since the judicial coup of 2000 can observe that.

3. In September 2010, Lerner e-mailed subordinates about initiating a “c4 project,” but wrote: “we need to be cautious so it isn’t a per se political project.”

The reason for the project is that 90% of the 501(C)(4) organizations are not primarily promoting social welfare but pushing the agendas of the rich and powerful:

In general. An organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community. An organization embraced within this section is one which is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements. A social welfare organization will qualify for exemption as a charitable organization if it falls within the definition of charitable set forth in paragraph (d)(2) of § 1.501(c)(3)-1 and is not an action organization as set forth in paragraph (c)(3) of § 1.501(c)(3)-1. [http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/26/1.501(c)(4)-1]

So:

Why was Lerner worried about this being perceived as a political project?

Because any effort to reign in abuses of the 501(c)(4) provisions could easily be interpreted as partisanship, as Issa is doing now.

Subsequent events have pretty much born out her rationale for worrying about this.

4. Michael Seto, manager of EO Technical in Washington, testified that you ordered Tea Party cases to undergo a “multi-tier review.” He testified: “[Lerner] sent me email saying that when these cases need to go through multi-tier review and they will eventually have to go to Miss Kindell and the chief counsel’s office.”

And yet most of these organizations eventually got approved despite their obvious partisan nature. In fact the only cases turned down were progressive organizations.

Why did Lerner order the Tea Party cases to undergo a “multi-tier review”?

It's called due diligence. Something Fire-Bug Grand Theft Auto Issa doesn't feel necessary in his own efforts.

5. In June 2011, Lerner requested that Holly Paz obtain a copy of the tax-exempt application filed by Crossroads GPS so that her senior technical advisor, Judy Kindell, could review it and summarize the issues for Lerner.

Probably because Crossroads GPS's application was so obviously not about an organization promoting the "social welfare" that it's irregularities were obvious even to folks not directly concerned with them.

    See these references for some articles on Crossroads GPS and their blatant FEC violations:
  1. http://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/06/21/9168/nonprofit-profile-crossroads-gps?gclid=CM_ghqn3hL0CFQ2hOgodCG8A0Q
  2. http://www.factcheck.org/tag/crossroads-gps/
  3. Third Complaint to FEC
  4. "Crossroads GPS contends that all its ads are “issue ads,” which are “a position statement about, or a discussion of, public issues.” But CREW alleges that the three ads constitute independent expenditures, which are communications “expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate.”
Why did Lerner want to have the Crossroads GPS application?

And of course with our Supreme Court dominated by Grafter Judges legalizing Grafts the entire 501 section of the legal code could be in jeopardy if the issue went before that corrupt court.

Issa then says:

6. In June 2012, Lerner was part of an e-mail exchange about writing new regulations on political speech for 501(c)(4) groups “off-plan” in 2013.

Anyone involved with Government knows that bureaucrats are discussing regulations all the time. It's a non issue that they discussed "about writing new regulations" before they wrote the regulations.

Doesn’t this “off-plan” effort from 2012 contradict Administration assertions that new regulations were written in response to the 2013 TIGTA report?

More than likely those discussions went into writing the TIGTA report. Issa is blowing smoke.

7. In February 2014, President Obama stated that there was not a “smidgeon of corruption” in the IRS targeting.

Considering the IRS also targeted progressive groups doing the same sorts of tactics. Issa's comments are trying to criminalize the invocation of the 5th amendment. She has the right to refuse to testify about things that can and will be deliberately misconstrued and twisted into criminal behavior if they get in socipath Issa's hands.

If this is true, why do House Democrats believe that Lois Lerner has a well-founded fear of criminal prosecution that allows her to claim the Fifth Amendment in refusing to testify?

And indeed Lerner stated she was willing to testify if the Committee would guarantee they wouldn't misconstrue her testimony. She could be revealing something illegal that I don't know about yet, but so far I don't see anything coming out that the public hasn't known for the past years. Just the same repeated ad-nauseum talking points.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lois-lerner-attorney-negotiated-over-testifying-emails-show/
"For her to take the risk inherent in waiver (of her Fifth Amendment privilege), she would need assurance she is resolving her issues with the Committee."

But of course for Issa the 5th amendment only exists to protect him from prosecution from Arson charges of bomb throwing in committee. And meanwhile he wastes taxpayer money on a poor imitation of a witch hunt.

http://www.salon.com/2014/03/05/darrell_issas_newest_irs_scandal_revelation_darrell_issa_is_bad_at_investigating_scandals/