Thursday, August 17, 2006

Email: Senator's A Long Time Healing

A lawyer with what is called a Legal Services Corporation grantee has emailed me about "Senator, Heal Thyself," August 15.

He reminds me that this is not the first time Senator Grassley has come to the aid of those downtrodden corporate CEOs and their wealthy friends who suffer such abuse as a result of the lawsuits filed by the poor and their lawyers.

He writes, "Senator Grassley, in fact, was a plaintiff in a suit (along with several other senators) against LSC [the Legal Services Corporation] in the late 70's or early 80's, concerned that some legal aid lawyers were engaging in lobbying and grassroots organizing prohibited by the LSC Act. Among the defendants were Hillary Rodham, then chair of the LSC board. Judge Vietor threw the case out. See, Grassley v. Legal Services Corp., 535 F.Supp. 818 (S.D. Iowa 1982)."

He continues, "My real concern with this is that people will not distinguish what happens in the LSC offices in D.C. and what happens in the offices of the LSC grantees, where the per diem wouldn't cover dessert in a Washington restaurant."

It's part of the old pattern. It's not enough that they tax the middle class and give tax breaks to the wealthiest; then take the taxes and hand them back to business for "economic development;" eliminating welfare for the poor while increasing corporate welfare. It's not enough that ready access to an elected official comes at the price of a substantial campaign contribution; that legislation is for sale to the highest bidder; that mainstream media can keep off the air even paid messages that might concern corporate advertisers; that the only way the poor can be either seen or heard is with peaceful marching or violent riots. The system is still not adequately rigged. They won't be fully satisfied until they've deprived the poor of any possible opportunity to do anything about their condition. Given their willingness to bust unions, ship jobs overseas, refuse to raise the minimum wage, and permit the employment of immigrants at even lower wages still, if the word "slavery" didn't still carry so much negative baggage from America's history they'd legalize it in a minute.

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