Time to Wake Up 281: To-Do List

Mr. President, I am here for a rather different reason. It is to call on this Chamber yet again to wake up to the urgent threat of climate change. I wish I was done with these ''Time to Wake Up'' speeches. Frankly, I wish I had never had to deliver a single one. I wish Congress had dealt with this threat-for instance, back when another Senator from Rhode Island, Republican John Chafee, held hearings on the looming challenge of carbon dioxide pollution. I wish we had dealt with it when the Hous… Continue Reading


Ending Kleptocracy's March

Mr. President, as I rise today, kleptocracy is on the march in Europe showing how unchecked corruption leads to evil. Vladimir Putin's corrupt regime fabricated a pretext to invade and subjugate the sovereign and peaceful nation of Ukraine. Putin's attack helps divert the Russian people from his festering corruption and misrule, as jailed Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny put it. America and our allies are meting out stiff sanctions, and my colleagues and I here in Congress are working on… Continue Reading


Chairman Whitehouse Delivers Opening Remarks in a Drug Caucus Hearing on the Economics of Cartels

We are here today because drug cartels have become hulking multi-national conglomerates, which stand on a massive international dark economy. According to the RAND Corporation, the illicit drug trade in the United States is worth $150 billion. Worldwide, it's reached as much as $652 billion, according to Global Financial Integrity. So if this were a national GDP, it would be 22nd in the world, ahead of Sweden, Poland and Belgium. These conglomerates' operations must be concealed, and virtually … Continue Reading


The Scheme 12: JCN’s Opening Salvo

Mr. President, I am here again today to discuss the scheme by big Republican donor interests to capture and control our Supreme Court. Today, I am going to put a little spotlight on ongoing scheme operations. As we all know, Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of this Supreme Court term. As the Biden administration selects a nominee, the scheme is shifting gears to attack her even before she has been named. A dark money front group called the Judicial Crisis Network has already annou… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse Delivers Opening Remarks at Courts Subcommittee Hearing on Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and "Texas Two-Step"

We are here to address a novel and rather troubling circumstance that is emerging in bankruptcy law. Imagine that a big corporation wreaks serious harm on you and your family. You sue for damages to cover hospital bills, or to care for a family member. But when you do, you discover that your claim against the company - a company that is out there operating, apparently thriving in the marketplace - your claim is somehow in bankruptcy court that may not be heard for months or years, and it may ne… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 280

Thank you very much, Mr. President. Well, I am not very happy to be back with my trusty and somewhat battered Time To Wake Up poster. Almost exactly a year ago, I delivered what I hoped would be my last Time to Wake Up speech, and took the poster off the Floor. Things looked good then. The conditions for climate progress were in place. Voters had elected a Democratic president and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, so the malicious grip of the fossil fuel industry on the Republic… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse Delivers Floor Remarks on Dark Money and the Right to Vote

Madam President, this past weekend is our annual reminder as a country of the courage, suffering, sacrifice, passion, love, and energy that so many of our fellow Americans put into protecting our democracy. When in a democracy, one group of citizens can deliberately, purposefully make it more difficult for another group of citizens to vote, they have put a dagger into that democracy. We cannot let that happen. I am here today to focus, in particular, on one voting right that we have in this co… Continue Reading


The Scheme 11: Faculty Lounge Report

Mr. President, I am here to speak for the 11th time in my series discussing the scheme through which a bunch of big, anonymous donors captured our Supreme Court. Today, I am going to talk about the Biden Supreme Court commission, which could have done a useful, even authoritative investigation of the scheme and all its terrible effects at the Court but which, regrettably, ended up as an exercise in ineffectual time-killing. I have laid out the scheme in detail in earlier speeches in this serie… Continue Reading


The Scheme 10: Climate Obstruction and The Scheme

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, it is a pleasure, and I appreciate my friend, Senator BLUNT. I am here today to rise for the 10th time to talk about the rightwing scheme to capture our Supreme Court. As the Presiding Officer knows, I have delivered a lot of speeches on the Senate floor, and a majority of them- 279 of them, to be precise-addressed climate change. These were my ''Time to Wake Up'' speeches, many of which focused on the network of phony front groups and trade associations used b… Continue Reading


Scheme Speech 9: Amicus Flotillas

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I rise today for now the ninth time to unmask the rightwing, dark money scheme to capture our Supreme Court. I say ''capture'' in the sense of regulatory capture, an Agency capture-a well-known phenomenon. Today, I turn to an important tool of the scheme's apparatus: the orchestrated amicus curiae brief. So, first things first, amicus-or friend of the court-briefs are an important instrument in our judicial system. They help those who aren't parties to a case to … Continue Reading


The Scheme 8: Tu Quoque (You Too)

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss again the scheme by rightwing donor interests to capture and control our Supreme Court, just like big industries have captured and controlled regulatory agencies through history. In these speeches, I have covered the origins, motivations, and central players in the scheme; and, today, I am here to respond to a little bit of counterprogramming from the scheme. So, obviously, Job 1, if you have captured an agency, is to pretend it is not cap… Continue Reading


The Scheme Speech 7: Brett Kavanaugh

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I return to the Senate floor to again discuss the scheme to capture our Supreme Court; in this case, it will be through the lens of how recent Justices got on the Court. And I will choose Brett Kavanaugh. I think we all remember the famous list-the Federalist Society list-that Donald Trump promised to follow in Supreme Court appointments. The first interesting thing about Brett Kavanaugh is that he was not on the list of candidates that Donald Trump had offered … Continue Reading


The Scheme Speech 6: Judicial Crisis Network

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, these speeches on the scheme by dark money interests to seize control of the Supreme Court are designed to describe it in all its repulsive intricacy. My last speech discussed an operation in this scheme within the Federalist Society. This speech will take you literally down the hall from the Federalist Society to something called the Judicial Crisis Network, or JCN. They share the same purpose, the same hallway, and likely the same controlling donors. Remember D… Continue Reading


The Scheme Speech 5: The Federalist Society

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I am here once again to shed a little light on the dark money scheme to capture and control our Supreme Court. As folks may recall, my first two speeches covered the early foundation of this scheme--a prominent conservative lawyer Lewis Powell's detailed strategy memo for the corporate U.S. Chamber of Commerce and then Justice Lewis Powell's work on the Court to assure his corporate power strategy's success. From there, I turned to what historian Richard Hofstett… Continue Reading


The Scheme 4: A New Constitutional Right for Dark Money

Mr. President, this series of "Scheme'' speeches is designed to chronicle a long-running, covert scheme to capture the Supreme Court. Regulatory Agencies have often and notoriously been captured by regulated interests. There is a whole doctrine of regulatory capture found in economics and administrative law that revolves around this history of the regulatory capture of administrative Agencies. So, if you can capture administrative Agencies to serve special interests, why not capture a court? Th… Continue Reading


The Scheme 3: Latent Virus

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I am delighted to follow the majority leader and his strong remarks about the beginning of the process of passing S. 1, not only to deal with the question of voting rights but to deal with the question of the dark money plague that is infesting our democracy and taking the power over decision making in this body and in this building away from regular people and putting it into the hands of not only special interests but of special interests who are happy to operate… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse Remarks on the For the People Act

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I want to speak briefly this evening about S. 1, the Senate version of H.R. 1, the democracy reform bill that we are going to be considering moving to proceed to this week, and I hope we will be able to show a unified Democratic Caucus moving to proceed. It is often described as the voting rights bill, and it is described that way with good justification because there are some very, very important protections that are built into it to protect the voting rights o… Continue Reading


Gaspee Raid Speech

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I am here for one of my favorite days of the year on the Senate floor because today is the 249th anniversary of the Gaspee raid. I can only imagine what I am going to do next year when it is the 250th anniversary of the Gaspee raid. I may bring pyrotechnics onto the Senate floor, in violation of every rule. The Gaspee raid is what Rhode Island abolitionist and writer Frances Whipple McDougall called the ``first blood'' drawn in America's struggle for independence… Continue Reading


The Scheme 2: Powell on the Court

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, in my opening speech about the rightwing scheme to capture the Court, the Supreme Court, I described the secret strategy memo that Lewis Powell wrote on the eve of his appointment to the Court about how to deploy corporate political power. As a Justice of the Supreme Court, Powell had the chance to prove to the corporate world his secret memo's theory of what could be achieved by ``exploiting judicial action''--his phrase--particularly with, as he called it, ``a… Continue Reading


The Scheme 1: The Powell Memo

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, there is a scheme afoot, a scheme I will be talking about in weeks ahead - a long-running, right-wing scheme to capture the Supreme Court. Special interests are behind the scheme. They control it through dark money - hundreds of millions of dollars in anonymous hidden spending. We will dwell in later speeches on how the scheme operates. This first speech seeks its origins. The scheme is secret, and because of its secrecy, it is hard to know exactly where the sto… Continue Reading

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