Monthly Archives: January 2010

Much more convincing than Bob Barker

Help control the pet population, stare at my butt (not my butt–her butt.  you get the idea)

After my last 2 “it’s the end of democracy” rants, I needed this.

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“One Dollar, One Vote”

I didn’t say that, Thomas Friedman did.  It’s in his “Lexus and the Olive Tree” book.  It illustrates the idea among the rich and powerful that they rule; that they, by virtue of their wealth, own our political system.  5 knuckle-dragging, boot-licking sycophants on the Supreme Court of the United States of America agree.  You and I can throw $25 to help our favorite candidate, they can spend $2.5 million making sure he loses and their boy wins.

With the recent Supreme Court Citizens United v. FEC decision, it just got easier for corporations–even foreign corporations–to buy elections.  Remember the cries and whispers about B. Clinton getting laundered Chinese money in support of his 1996 re-election campaign?  Imagine that times a million, and all 100% legal, or at least legal enough, and you can see the danger posed to our republic by this ruling.  Unlimited cash flowing into the election process from here on out.  One dollar, one vote.  100 million dollars. . .  And picture this: with some creative accounting, Citibank, AIG and Goldman Sachs can probably even use taxpayer-supplied bailout money to buy more politicians through unlimited campaign spending.  And those bought and paid-for politians can engineer even more bailouts for their corporate masters once in office.

Here’s the heart of the majority opinion (you can read the whole thing here), written by Anthony Kennedy:

Distinguishing wealthy individuals from corporations based on the latter’s special advantages of e.g., limited liability, does not suffice to allow laws prohibiting speech.  It is irrelevant for First Amendment purposes that corporate funds may “have little or no correlation to the public’s support for the corporation’s political ideas.” Austin, supra, at 660.  All speakers, including individuals and the media, use money amassed from the economic marketplace to fund their speech, and the First Amendment protects the resulting speech.

Huh?  You know, it’s actually very easy to distinguish between a person and a corporation.  A person lives and breaths, eats and excretes, sweats and toils, ages and dies.  A corporation is a stack of legal documents consisting of ink on paper.  It doesn’t live and breath, and is immortal unless legally dissolved.  How is it that a non-person was given “free speech” under the first amendment and “due process” under the 14th amendment?  Perhaps it’s time for some legal experts to challenge the constitutionality of “corporate personhood” altogether.

God bless our wise judges.  God save America.

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41 is NOT > 59

I hate this post at TMP on just how all-powerful and awesome the dreaded Senate filibuster is.  Here’s my “favorite” paragraph:

Filibusters aren’t exactly difficult to keep rolling, either. As Ryan Grim pointed out last year, Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office has studied the issue and concluded that a filibustering senator “can be forced to sit on the [Senate] floor to keep us from voting on that legislation for a finite period of time according to existing rules but he/she can’t be forced to keep talking for an indefinite period of time.” And only one Republican at a time would have to monitor the Senate floor. The rest, it seems, could all go on vacation while a lone member of the minority sat there “filibustering” quietly.

Democracy in action?  How about instead of caving in whenever some Republican (or, to be fair, some Democrat) threatens to do this, how about you just let them do it and then when you got that 1 Republican “sitting” on the floor–probably asleep–you videotape him.  Then you follow around the “vacationing” Republicans and videotape them eating at fancy restaurants and on their power boats and ogling bikini-clad staffers in the Caymans and visiting sweatshops.  Then you take that footage and make a damn good campaign ad with the tag line “While we were working hard to pass health care reform, our counterparts were sleeping, whoring, shaking hands with a-hole outsourcing execs in their third-world factories, etc, etc, etc”

Why is it so hard for these pansies to craft  a message and get it out there?

I’m beginning to believe that the Democratic party just talks a “we feel your pain–we want to do the right thing” talk while quietly advancing the interests of large, multi-national corporations while the Republicans talk a “we love God and guns, hate the lazy poor minorities, gays and terrorists” talk while loudly advancing the interests of large, multi-national corporations.  In the end all us “folks” stay divided and get the shaft while the big corps get pretty much anything they damn well please.

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