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Obama, Find Your Inner FDR

GREAT BEND, Kan. - A corporation is not a person. A corporation is a piece of paper filed with the Secretary of State's office. As has been said many times: "A corporation has no body to throw into jail nor soul to throw into hell."

The U.S. Supreme Court, all nine of them, will tell you that the idea that a corporation is a person is a "legal fiction." Although a corporation is not a flesh-and-blood person, the U.S. Courts have ruled for a hundred years that they are "fictional persons" and thus have the same rights as you and I.

Republican economist Milton Friedman, when asked if corporations had any duty other than to make money for stockholders, replied: "No." In other words: "Send American jobs overseas, raid the pension plans of American workers - don't feel guilty corporate officers, because you don't have to have morals."

Politicians from both parties - from Thomas Jefferson to Theodore Roosevelt to Jim Hightower - have railed against the dangers of unfettered corporate power. The Democratic party was always the last line of defense to make sure that "We the People" were never drowned out by big corporations.

And then a terrible thing happened.

Angelo Lopez: Jasper Debates About War

Nation Cruise Broadcasts

UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties, the broadcast of the Howard Dean interview will be postponed until February 11th. Apologies for the change. Since the original files were video, not audio, problems arose in transferring the files. The Nation is sending DVDs which I will use to broadcast.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Nation has given permission to Community Bridge to broadcast three seminars from last month's cruise that were reported here on the pages of the Kansas Free Press.

This week on Community Bridge, following my interview with Curt Brungardt on Jana's Campaign to End Domestic Violence, we will broadcast Is there an Obama doctrine in Foreign Policy?

Foreign policy panel
The panel features Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, as moderator, with panelists: Robert Scheer, editor; Steve Cohen, American scholar of Russian studies and professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University; Gov. Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and Chair of the Democratic Party; and, William Greider, author of numerous books, including Come Home America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country, contributor to The Nation, former writer for Rolling Stone magazine during the 1980s and 1990s, and has worked as an on-air correspondent for Frontline on PBS.

Christopher E. Renner, host of Community Bridge, thanks The Nation for giving permission to broadcast this conversation so it can be heard by a broader audience.

To listen to the panel presentation, either click the start button on the player panel or click the MP3 File button to down the file to your computer.

Is there an Obama doctrine in Foreign Policy?

MP3 File

A conversation with Howard Dean. Broadcast on Community Bridge on 11 February 2010.

MP3 File

GREAT BEND, Kan. - When President Obama decided to take on the difficult issue of health care reform, former Clinton advisers whom still had scars on their backs from their own failed health care initiative in 1993, advised the President, to wit: "Don't initiate your own detailed health care plan. The opposition and press will pick apart your plan. Instead, let Congress come up with the plan. Then you can step in."

So as Howard Fineman said recently: "Obama took all his political capital and let Max Baucus squander it." Max Baucus, the Democrat Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from Montana, botched it.

Baucus, who could walk through any shopping mall in America (outside the Beltway and Montana) and not be recognized by a single person, held the keys to health care reform. And he had taken so much cash from "Big Medicine" that there was no hope for any bill that would help "We the People."

As someone wrote recently, Baucus' staff is filled with former insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists, and all his former staffers now work as health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists. Baucus is a poster boy for term limits. And he rendered the health care bill so lousy for middle America that not even Zig Ziglar could sell it.

Obama Needs to Put His Dukes Up

GREAT BEND, Kan. - Life is a lot like boxing. And boxing is the best metaphor for politics I know. If a boxing match is so one-sided that one of the boxers is in danger of being permanently injured or killed, the referee stops the fight.

If you think of the Massachusetts voters as a boxing referee, they did President Obama a huge favor by stopping the fight yesterday. Democrats losing "the Kennedy seat" in the U.S. Senate is hard to believe. But since his inauguration, Obama didn't throw a single punch at the opposition. Meanwhile, he got pummeled by the the opposition.

I wish things were different. I wish things could be truly bipartisan again, and that all Americans rooted for the nation, for the President. But politics has become a bloodsport, and you better knock the other guy's head off before he knocks yours off.

I have written several times now about Drew Westen's remarkable book The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation. But apparently nobody even close to Obama read the book. Drew Westen's article in today's Huffington Post Obama Finally Gets His Victory For Bipartisanship, says everything that I would like to say, better than I could ever say it.

Obama's vision, first spelled out in his spellbinding 2004 convention speech, for a return to a bipartisan America where everyone works together, sets aside partisan bickering, and works for the good of the nation was appealing. But both sides have to agree to the deal. And as Obama was elected and extended the hand of friendship to Republicans, they broke his face with a right hook that could knock a barn down.

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. We encourage you to look back through our archives in this same category.

The previous archive is Nation: December 2009. The next archive is Nation: February 2010.

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This is an archive page containing all of the stories posted to Kansas Free Press in one particular topic in a particular month. These stories were published in the Nation: January 2010 section.

The previous archive is Nation: December 2009. The next archive is Nation: February 2010.

The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.

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