Democrats’ Interests Are Special Too

The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have a constitutional right to free speech. But Democratic leaders refuse to accept the decision, and their predictable reaction is to undermine it.

Rather than praising Thursday’s 5-4 decision to reverse the 1990 court ruling that banned corporations and unions from contributing directly to political campaigns as an advancement of liberty, President Obama condemned it.

“The Supreme Court,” he said, “has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for Big Oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans . ..

“That’s why I am instructing my administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. [Read the full article]

Greece and other euro-zone countries with excessive budget deficits must do everything they can to put their finances in order, the president of the European Central Bank said in an interview published Saturday.

The European Union has been pressing Athens to implement a strict austerity plan and plug its deficit, which stands at more than four times the EU-mandated limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product.

“Not only Greece, but also other countries — that goes without saying — must do everything they can to put their national finances in order, bringing them fully into line with the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact,” ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said in an interview with the German weekly Focus. [Read the full article]

Another newspaper publisher desperate to dump debt has filed for bankruptcy protection in hopes of recovering from an advertising meltdown that has obliterated much of the print media’s revenue.

Friday’s late filing by Affiliated Media Inc., the holding company of MediaNews Group, had been expected. The owner of 54 U.S. daily newspapers said Jan. 15 that it would seek to reorganize its finances in bankruptcy court.

MediaNews, based in Denver, says its newspapers, which include The Denver Post and the San Jose Mercury News, and 8,700 employees won’t be affected during the bankruptcy proceedings. The company also owns four radio stations in Texas and a television station in Alaska.

At least 14 U.S. newspaper publishers have now filed for bankruptcy protection in the past 13 months. [Read the full article]

Union leaders say Chrysler’s stamping plant in Ohio will stay open until June 26, three months longer than the company had planned.

Doug Rice, president of the United Auto Workers Local 122, said Friday that Chrysler wanted to build up a bank of parts and then close the plant in March, but rising steel prices delayed those plans.

About 1,000 people worked at the plant when Chrysler announced the scheduled closing last year. Rice said several hundred left after the company offered early retirements and buyouts.

Italian automaker Fiat took control of Chrysler after it emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization in June. [Read the full article]

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