All Free Speech is Created Equal…

...but some is more equal than others.

Here’s a modest proposal: obviously, the effects of the Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions can only be completely overturned with a Constitutional amendment. Either that, or a dramatically reconstituted Supreme Court (which most Americans now see, correctly, as just another political branch of government). In the meantime, I suggest we pass a law in state legislatures and Congress stating that lawmakers must recuse themselves from any vote on any piece of legislation that will directly benefit any person or organization which donated more than, say $500, to them in the last two election cycles. Whore yourself out to the oligarchs all you want, in other words, but you can’t do their bidding. This would necessarily require a strong and independent ethics commission to enforce, but even that is less difficult than amending the Constitution. You could require than each bill be accompanied by an Ethical Impact Statement that lists all donors who would directly benefit from its passage. It’s not a perfect solution, of course; for one thing, SCOTUS may well be on the verge of completely throwing out all disclosure requirements as a violation of the right to anonymous speech. For another, it wouldn’t effect governors or presidents. Still, it’s a start. Progressive states might even add scuh a provision to their constitutions, thus making it harder to water-down or throw out as the political winds shift. That’s my contribution to the debate.

Welcome to the Oligarchy


Shorter Supreme Court: don’t give us none of that good goody good bullshit.

Following the Money

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating the US Chamber of Commerce for allegedly laundering campaign contributions.  You may remember that Big Insurance poured about $86 million into the USCoC in 2009 to try to defeat the Affordable Care Act.  Combined with this week’s Supreme Court ruling reinforcing Citizens United, this news just reinforces my belief that the corporatist wing of the Supremes will soon find a “First Amendment” right of corporations to donate money without any sort of disclosure whatsoever.

I For One Welcome Our New Randian Overlords

Rolling Stone is kind enough to introduce us to the economic aristocracy that will decide for us lowly worms who rules America.  Call me crazy, but the idea of licking the boots of these bloated princelings and cravenly groveling for jobs and economic investment strikes me as uniquely un-American.  But then again, conservatives always were better at kissing ass.  I’m anxiously awaiting the next Supreme Court ruling wherein they strike down all campaign contribution disclosure requirements as a blow against anonymous “Freedom of Speech” by billionaires and corporations who might otherwise be mocked by the peasants.

UPDATE:  The main problem with our Benevolent Job Creator Overlords is that they aren’t much interested in, well, creating jobs.  At least in America.

I For One Welcome Our New Corporate Overlords

As anticipated, the US Supreme Court today officially abolished the inconvenience of democracy for the free market efficiency of plutocracy.  Today’s ruling clears the way for large corporations (considered artificial citizens under the law) to pour unlimited amounts of cash (which equals “free speech” thanks to the disastrous Buckley v. Valeo decision) into electoral campaigns, drowning out the few pitiful remaining voices who spoke out against them.  Look for future decisions to abolish disclosure requirements as well, so you won’t even know the names of the people who are buying your country out from under you.

UPDATE: On ongoing analysis of the decision from the Great and Powerful Kos.

UPDATE 2: Citizens United as judicial activism.

It’s The End of the World As We Know It

The US Supreme Court is poised to formally cede control of the American democratic process to large, unaccountable corporations and special interest group.  The ruling could potentially allow these groups to dump millions of dollars into elections, while denying voters the right to even know where the money came from.  This is the natural result of the disastrous Buckley v. Valeo decision:  if money = “free speech,” then those who have more money have more rights, creating a two-class system.  Or, to put it another way, it’s the Golden Rule:  them that has the gold makes the rules.

Pillars of Wisdom

A self-appointed group of parents has decided that they have the right to determine what everyone else’s children can or cannot read as a school assignment.  The book, which I haven’t read, contains some sexually explicit (though hardly pornographic) passages; for that reason, the teacher who has been using it since 1996 has always offered an alternative assignment.  This is not enough for the moral guardians; they clearly know how to raise our children better than we do.  This is nothing but rank censorship, plain and simple.  Join the fight.

Published in: on February 7, 2009 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Republicans Scared of Democracy!

Film at eleven! The Bush GOP’s puling cowardice in the face of any dissent no matter how timid isn’t really news, but the linked article from Orcinus is a very good rundown of Dubya’s long history of maintaining a hermetically-sealed anti-First Amendment bubble around him at all times and how the current crop of Bush wannabes are dutifully following in his footsteps. Considering that the “Republican base” objectively hates poor people and illegal immigrants (and, of course, gay generals) and loves torture, maybe their desire not to answer unscripted questions makes a little more sense.

Published in: on December 1, 2007 at 1:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Crack In the Wall

One of the more Orwellian provisions of the foul-smelling and repulsively mis-named “Patriot Act” (preventing those being investigated by the FBI from revealing that fact) has been struck down by a Federal judge.

Published in: on September 7, 2007 at 8:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Land of the Free?

Buncombe County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s deputies arrest a couple for violating an unconstitutional law against “flag desecration.” Then, they kick their door down, chase the man around his house, and threaten him and his wife with a taser. Welcome to America…better watch your ass…

Fortunately, the Sheriff sends his regrets.

Published in: on August 2, 2007 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment