Sep
27
2014
2

And this is one reason why many of us worked to get Ted Cruz in the Senate.

This is… perfect.

I almost feel sorry for Anonymous Austin Guy; it must not be fun to have a Republican gently tell you that you’re on the side opposite Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold, the NAACP AND the ACLU. Then again, that kid was probably so hopped up on smug that he didn’t realize that he had been spanked, so I don’t actually feel sorry for him at all.

May
29
2014
2

Tweet of the Day, Turns Out Michael Moore DID Do Something Useful, Once edition.

And it was pretty dang useful, at that.

To quote the philosopher: oft evil will evil mar.

Feb
22
2013
4

Ed Markey’s increasingly useful stupid rhetoric on Citizen United and the Dred Scott decision.

Yeah, I think that Massachusetts Senate hopeful Ed Markey’s (D, MA-05) going to have more problems in his primary than he thought that he was going to have in his primary.

Representative Edward J. Markey refused to back down Thursday from comments he made this week that seemed to compare the US Supreme Court’s ruling on campaign finance law to the high court’s 19th-century Dred Scott decision, a notorious pro-slavery ruling.

Because let’s see who the Boston Globe quoted in response. Reverend Eugene F. Rivers III of the Ella J. Baker House and Boston TenPoint Coalition called this a “somewhat revisionist approach to the Dred Scott case” (Translation: What the heck, Markey?). Reverend Talbert W. Swan II of the Springfield NAACP tried to polish the excrement a little, but concluded “I don’t think campaign ­finance can be compared to the subjugation of an entire people” (translation: What the heck, Markey?).  The Reverend William E. Dickerson II of Dorchester’s Greater Love Tabernacle noted that “We minimize the issue of the Dred Scott decision when we try to juxtapose it [with lesser issues]” (translation: What the he… oh, you get the point). And, of course, there was Stephen Lynch (Markey’s major opponent in the Democratic primary), who took time out from laughing at Markey’s gaffe to solemnly assure the world that while of course he feels that Citizens United should be overturned via a Constitutional amendment* (while still taking that dirty, dirty corporate campaign money, of course) he doesn’t think that it was anything as bad as the Dred Scott decision. (more…)

Aug
22
2012
3

Trailer for Citizens United’s “The Hope and the Change.”

I’m pointing out this Citizens United trailer for their new movie The Hope and the Change – which will feature a variety of Obama voters from 2008, and presumably why they’ve decided to atone for that particular error in such a public fashion – for three reasons.

(more…)

Aug
22
2012
1

[Huh. This post got duplicated.]

[Very strange; so, I'm going to replace it with a plug for James Blish's classic Spock Must Die!, which is one of the books that allow some Trekkies to make the argument that, actually, Star Trek can be science fiction. It's about clones, so there's your link.]

Feb
07
2012
5

#rsrh QotD, …Dear God. FIREDOGLAKE Edition.

Believe me, it’s alarming to me, too: but Jon Walker has a point here about Obama’s excitingly new position on Super PACs.

When the Supreme Court handed down its Citizens United ruling, Obama still had one of the largest Democratic majorities in Congress in decades.  But Democrats still didn’t do anything about it. If they viewed that holding as truly critical, the Democrats could have passed a law addressing the issue. Passing legislation about campaign finance reform was simply not a priority for the Obama administration.

(more…)

Sep
19
2011
4

#rsrh Dancing Bear Watch: New York Times on Citizens United.

There’s something fascinating about this article from the New York Times on the Citizens United case.  The author (Adam Liptak) noticed that the decision removed certain onerous restrictions on political speech, yet left current mandates on disclosure of funding largely intact.  ‘Resolving’ the two led Liptak to this:

The two parts of Citizens United are not hard to harmonize. Citizens United takes the libertarian view that people may be trusted to evaluate the messages they hear and need not be sheltered from the responsibility of critical thinking. The theory is as applicable to the marketing of soda and cigarettes as it is to that of political candidates.

[snip]

The five-justice majority in Citizens United said that speech about politics is at the core of what the First Amendment protects, that more speech is better than less and that the government has no business deciding who can speak or how much.

It is a small step from that reasoning to saying, as eight justices did, that it helps to know who is advancing the ideas you are evaluating.

(more…)

Jun
17
2011
2

The Rise of the Democratic Super-Secret PACs.

Super PACs are, of course, the political groups that were set up after the Supreme Court’s landmark free speech decision in Citizens United: they are able to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money advocating both for and against political candidates, but may not donate to those candidates directly. The Left ostensibly hates them, which did not stop them from using them to raise over 28 million dollars in the 2010 election cycle (44% of total Super PAC fundraising) to the Right’s over 35 million (54%: the other 2% hedged their bets); their general argument is that allowing groups to openly spending money expressing their opinions on candidates is corrosive to American democracy. ‘Openly’ is the key here: Super PACs must generally disclose their donors.

The generally is… the interesting bit.

(more…)

May
27
2011
3

#rsrh Free speech victory in Virginia.

A federal court has come to the fairly common sense realization that when the Constitution says “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” it kind of means it:

A federal court in Alexandria, Va. on Thursday struck down a federal ban on corporate campaign contributions, in a case with potentially dramatic ramifications for a campaign finance regulatory system under siege by legal and regulatory attacks.

The short version: this case draws on the landmark US Supreme Court free speech case Citizens United, which partially revoked the odious McCain-Feingold Act, which was easily one of the most blatantly unconstitutional laws that Congress has passed in recent memory.  Since CU ruled that you couldn’t muzzle a group under the cynical guise of ‘campaign finance reformed,’ the judge in the case has determined that a group may make the same kind of contributions to a specific candidate as a group that an individual can.  That effectively means that, say, the AFL-CIO can give Barack Obama five grand directly next year (half for the primary, half for the general), perfectly legally*.

This will be appealed, of course: the usual suspects are already making noise about how this case violates the last Supreme Court decision-but-one on the matter.  Of course, it’s the ‘but-one’ that’s the kicker…

Moe Lane

*Mind you, that particular group plans to give that particular candidate considerably more, ideally (for them) in a form that will not result in actual convictions for money-laundering.  Frankly, I think that it’d be easier all around if we had less restrictions on maximum contributions and more requirements on transparency.

Jan
24
2011
--

#rsrh The Citizen’s United Commemoration video.

They put this up last week as part of their celebration of the one year anniversary of the Citizen’s United decision – you know.  The landmark civil rights and free speech victory where some of the most patently unconstitutional provisions of McCain-Feingold were finally dragged out into a field and burned – and it’s worth watching in full.

I would like to point out, by the way, that there’s nothing stopping the Democratic party from embracing the notion that the American people have a right to express their opinions any damned way that they please.  Well, nothing except the Democratic party’s own special interest groups, of course: but then, those sorts have always been quietly embarrassed about the fact that they have everything that they need for a populist movement except for the minor detail of, well, the populace.

Jan
24
2011
--

Attack of the 800-lb Debt Gorilla!

…Some headlines write themselves. From Citizens United (via Hot Air) comes this instant classic:

Note the number of Democrats in that video who apparently still don’t ‘get’ that the statements that they make not only no longer go away: they are accessible to people who will be happy to use those statements against the Democrats in question, and in a fashion that is easy to disseminate widely.  And, hey! – They’re all still in leadership positions!

Umm… thanks?

Jan
23
2010
2

The best sentence that I’ve seen on the Citizens’ United case.

Comes from Matt Welch over at Reason (although he wrote it for CNN), and it should serve as a useful answer for everybody who wants to play “Let’s try to scare the right-wing by talking about scaaaaaaary foreign corporations:”

“Let’s boil it down to the essential words: Political documentary, banned, government.”

You can safely assume that anybody not taking the point is probably not going to. One way, or the other.

Crossposted to RedState.

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