Thanks To Citizens United, Everyone’s American–Even Foreigners

The Article: Foreign-Owned Firm Gives $1 Million to Romney Super-PAC

The Text: A million-dollar donation by a foreign-owned corporation to a Republican super-PAC has raised legal concerns and opened up the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision to new criticism.

Restore Our Future, the super-PAC supporting Republican Mitt Romney’s run for president, received a $1 million donation in mid-August from reinsurance company OdysseyRe of Connecticut, a “wholly-owned subsidiary” of Canadian insurance and investment management giant Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.

Fairfax Financial’s founder is Indian-born V. Prem Watsa. Watsa serves as CEO and chairman and owns or controls 45 percent of the company’s shares. He is also the chairman of the board of OdysseyRe, the American subsidiary.

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Romney’s Lukewarm Reception

The Article: Why America doesn’t like Mitt Romney by LZ Granderson in CNN Online.

The Text: For the past few months, I have been trying to figure out why Mitt Romney is so unlikeable.

It can’t be because he’s rich, because there are a lot of rich people we like. Hell, President Obama’s rich and 56% of the country views him favorably.

It can’t be because he’s Republican, because Republicans don’t like him either. Last month, when a woman reportedly asked House Speaker John Boehner, “Can you make me love Mitt Romney?” he said, “No… the American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney.”

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US Chamber Of Commerce: Attack Mode

The Article: The US Chamber of Commerce’s Multimillion-Dollar Attack Plan by Sasha Abramsky in The Nation.

The Text: “Obamacare will be a nightmare for Florida seniors,” a grim voiceover announces. “Did Bill Nelson consider the consequences when he cast a deciding vote for Obamacare?”
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“Tell Jon Tester: the Washington way isn’t the solution,” another intones. “We need less government and lower taxes.”
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“Sherrod,” a third asks, referring to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, “what planet are you on?”

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Helen Keller’s Letter To Eugene Debs

The Article: by Helen Keller in Marxists.

The Text: Of course, the Supreme Court has sustained the decision of the lower court in your case. To my mind, the decision has added another laurel to your wreath of victories. Once more you are going to prison for upholding the liberties of the people.

I write because my heart cries out, and will not be still. I write because I want you to know that I should be proud if the Supreme Court convicted me of abhorring war, and doing all in my power to oppose it. When I think of the millions who have suffered in all the wicked wars of the past, I am shaken with the anguish of a great impatience. I want to fling myself against all bruite powers that destroy life and break the spirit of man.

In the persecution of our comrades there is one satisfaction. Every trial of men like you, every sentence against them, tears away the veil that hides the face of the enemy. The discussion and agitation that follows the trials define more sharply the positions that must be taken before all men can live together in peace, happiness and security.

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The Peculiar Nature Of Ron Paul

The Article: Ron Paul’s Strange Bedfellows by Katha Pollott in The Nation.

The Text: What is it with progressive mancrushes on right-wing Republicans? For years, until he actually got nominated, John McCain was the recipient of lefty smooches equaled only by those bestowed upon Barack Obama before he had to start governing. You might disagree with what McCain stood for, went the argument, but he had integrity, and charisma, and some shiny mavericky positions—on campaign finance reform and gun control and… well, those two anyway.

Now Ron Paul is getting the love. At Truthdig, Robert Scheer calls him “a profound and principled contributor to a much-needed national debate on the limits of federal power.” In The Nation, John Nichols praises his “pure conservatism,” “values” and “principle.” Salon’s Glenn Greenwald is so outraged that progressives haven’t abandoned the warmongering, drone-sending, indefinite-detention-supporting Obama for Paul that he accuses them of supporting the murder of Muslim children. There’s a Paul fan base in the Occupy movement and at Counterpunch, where Alexander Cockburn is a longtime admirer. Paul is a regular guest of Jon Stewart, who has yet to ask him a tough question. And yes, these are all white men; if there are leftish white women and people of color who admire Paul, they’re keeping pretty quiet.

Ron Paul has an advantage over most of his fellow Republicans in having an actual worldview, instead of merely a set of interests—he opposes almost every power the federal government has and almost everything it does. Given Washington’s enormous reach, it stands to reason that progressives would find targets to like in Paul’s wholesale assault. I, too, would love to see the end of the “war on drugs” and our other wars. I, too, am shocked by the curtailment of civil liberties in pursuit of the “war on terror,” most recently the provision in the NDAA permitting the indefinite detention, without charge, of US citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism. But these are a handful of cherries on a blighted tree. In a Ron Paul America, there would be no environmental protection, no Social Security, no Medicaid or Medicare, no help for the poor, no public education, no civil rights laws, no anti-discrimination law, no Americans With Disabilities Act, no laws ensuring the safety of food or drugs or consumer products, no workers’ rights. How far does Paul take his war against Washington? He wants to abolish the Federal Aviation Authority and its pesky air traffic controllers. He has one magic answer to every problem—including how to land an airplane safely: let the market handle it.

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