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Let’s hear the good news first

Let’s hear the good news first January 12, 2012

Here’s some good news …

The Montana Supreme Court sticks up for citizens against Citizens United. Elizabeth Kennedy reports on the “Battle of the Supremes“:

In upholding the section of Montana’s Corrupt Practices Act that restricts direct corporate political spending, the Montana Supreme Court attacked the Citizens United fiction that independent expenditures aren’t corrupting and that corporate political spending isn’t a danger to democratic government. The Montana jurists’ decision in Western Tradition Partnership states unequivocally, “The impact of unlimited corporate donations creates a dominating impact on the political process and inevitably minimizes the impact of individual citizens.” The decision will no doubt be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But two years after the Citizens United decision, there has been ample evidence of the harm it’s inflicted on our electoral system.

The history of corruption in Montana serves as a powerful reminder of why campaign-finance regulations — rules to protect the political marketplace being dominated by the winners in the economic marketplace — were adopted in the first place. The Montana jurists write, “If the statute has worked to preserve a degree of political and social autonomy, is the State required to throw away its protections because the shadowy backers of [Western Tradition Partnership] seek to promote their interests? … We think not.”

American Jesus: “Black Church Becomes New Owner of KKK Shop

A circuit court judge recently ruled that New Beginnings Baptist Church is the rightful property owner of the Redneck Shop, which operates as a so-called Klan museum, selling robes and t-shirts with racial slurs.

Los Angeles congregations move over $2 million from Bank of America. New Bottom Line: “Pastor Ryan Bell talks about moving his congregation’s money out of Bank of America“:

Last November, the congregations that comprise LA Voice moved over $2 million dollars and ended a collective 200 years of business with Bank of America.

The $2 million divestment pledge was a significant addition to Move Our Money, a campaign to move $1 billion of our money out of Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo and back into our communities. So far, Move Our Money has tracked over $56 million moved out of those big banks.

New Bottom line also brings us this lovely graphic:


Zaid Jilani: “Veterans Flood Iraqi Restaurant To Show Support After Rock Thrown Through Its Window

Last week, a man threw a 20-pound rock through a window of an Iraqi restaurant in Lowell, Massachussetts — with the motivation behind the act of vandalism still remaining unclear. The Lowell Sun reports that the owner of the restaurant, Leyla Al-Zubaydi, was driven “to tears, and [it] prompted her to question whether the family should close the restaurant.”

But this week, a group of military veterans changed her mind with an act of solidarity. Patrick Scanlon, a Vietnam veteran and a coordinator for Veterans for Peace, organized so many veterans and other supporters to come and patronize the restaurant that they ended up filling every seat — twice. “For someone to come and throw a rock through this window, in what we consider a hate crime, is totally unacceptable,” said veteran Pat Scanlon.

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