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“MONEY IS SPEECH”, some people say,
That’s how they take your life away.
Whatever cause you’d like to promote,
Every dollar gives you one more vote.
Damnation, with no regulation,
The corporation, will eat you alive.
You think they’re people? Let me put you right:
Corporations don’t sleep at night;
Don’t drink water, don’t breathe the air,
Don’t have babies, man, and they don’t care.
Got no conscience, but they’re no fool,
Keep you hooked on fossil fuel.
You know where all that money ends?
Senators and congressmen.
Moneylenders have a stranglehold.
Your home and children have all been sold.
Do you or don’t you want to get them back?
I’m as serious as a heart attack
© Doug Hendren 2012
Original parody of “Temptation” written by Tom Waits, as performed by Diana Krall.
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WHAT’S THE SONG ABOUT? This is about the highly controversial 2010 Supreme Court case known as “Citizens United”, which has upheld the utterly undemocratic ideas that “corporations are people” and that “money is speech”. This has opened the door to unlimited, secret funding of US politics, which has become a national disgrace. The Citizens United decision has removed any claim that we once had to a functioning democracy, and many groups are currently working toward a constitutional amendment to reverse the concept of “corporate personhood” (Move to Amend is a good place to start).
In the 5-4 decision in 2010, the dissenting opinion by Justice Stevens observed that the ruling “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will…do damage to this institution.”
There is little question that the Supreme Court has lost credibility for many Americans as a result of this decision. They are now starting to see that the Citizens United decision has paved the way for unlimited corporate influence over our lives, our liberties and our political process. It has turned our democracy into an unopposed plutocracy. For more background, see Dave Korten’s “When Corporations Rule the World”, as well as his more recent titles. For the lighter side of SUPERPACS, see Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart take this issue on together.