Today there is another group who has figured out how to use the language of citizenship to twist the rules in their favor: Corporations.
It takes a special kind of hubris for a celebrity to hold up his real self for us to admire while making a fool out of lost souls and deadbeats.
Rick Perry, the right-wing Republican governor of Texas, is running TV and radio ads - backed by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce - attacking the Democratic governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon.
Following years during which they did everything possible to attack the president, congressional Republicans launched an attack on the IRS. The media cheerfully picked up on one-sided tales of IRS abuse.
Dangling a "solution" like MOOCs for low-income students relying on public universities to attain degrees and well-paying jobs is predatory.
With Citizens United and now "The Roggensack Rule," in the light of day judges can be wined and dined by the very party they will be ruling on.
In 2016, Brazil, with its left-center government, will hopefully lessen corporate influence and increase the public's involvement.
If anyone doubts there is extensive rot in the so-called U.S. capitalist system, we have an invitation for them: Read the FBI's latest report on corporate criminality.
The weak-at-best conference statement merely reaffirmed the goals from 20 years ago for a sustainable world, without making any binding agreements which could make that actually happen.
Last year, a year that began so brilliantly - for our top one percent - ended in angst.