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Fixing a Bad Supreme Court Decision

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Sensible, intelligent Americans are furious over the recent Supreme Court 5-to-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that struck down limits on corporate spending in presidential and congressional elections. Those of us who wail against the corpocracy with its corruption of government could hardly believe that this decision could in any way be justified. A major reaction has been a number of groups calling for a constitutional amendment to fix the problem.

It helps to know that three current constitutional amendments resulted because of Supreme Court decisions that needed remedial action: the Eleventh Amendment (shoring up states’ legal immunity), the Sixteenth Amendment (authorizing a federal income tax), and the Twenty-sixth Amendment (assuring eighteen-year-olds the right to vote).

Among the current efforts MoveToAmend.org has already received nearly 50,000 signatories to support is plan, particularly: Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

Another active group is ReclaimDemocracy.org advocating: Corporations and other for-profit institutions are prohibited from attempting to influence the outcome of elections, legislation or government policy through the use of aggregate resources or by rewarding or repaying employees or directors to exert such influence.

Ultimate Civics, a project of Earth Island Institute, wants this: This amendment affirms that constitutional rights extend only to human persons. Corporations, partnerships, and other organization entities are not human persons and, therefore, are not entitled to constitutional protections.

Largely missing from all this attention to the need for a new constitutional amendment, however, is the recognition that Congress, already corrupted by corporate and other special interest money, is very unlikely – no, make that will surely never propose any such amendment. Nor will any congressional attempts at fixing the Supreme Court problem with legislation do what is needed. In fact, there has been an older movement to take all private money out of federal elections and go to total public financing, which would offer the benefit of opening up the US political system to competitive third party candidates. But this too has never received strong support.

What merits far more attention and support is the use of the alternative path to amending the US Constitution offered in Article V. However, the convention of state delegates option has never been used because Congress has stubbornly refused to obey this part of the Constitution, as if they have a right to pick and choose what to obey, despite the one and only requirement for an Article V convention being satisfied. Indeed, there have been some 750 applications for a convention from all 50 states, more than the two-thirds requirement. A major reason Congress has gotten away with this illegal behavior is that nearly all organized political interests on the left and right have opposed a convention. Why? Because they like their current ability to corrupt Congress through lobbying and other forms of spending and fear true reforms of our political and government system through amendments proposed by a convention, which still must be ratified by three-quarters of the states. Both ratification and the exact words in Article V prevent any wholesale rewriting of the entire Constitution.

If Americans want to fix the recent, awful Supreme Court decision, then they should rally behind the effort of the nonpartisan Friends of the Article V Convention. They only advocate making Congress obey the Constitution and call for a convention, but not specific amendments.

All those campaigning for a new constitutional amendment to accomplish any type of reform to improve the US should recognize that voting in new members of Congress or a President has proven to be totally ineffective in achieving necessary reforms to make government work better. The two-party plutocracy is far too corrupted by business and other special interests. The Founders gave us the Article V convention option because they anticipated the failure of the federal government to honestly serve public interests. Now, more than ever, is the time to use what they gave us. Now is the time for Americans to stop being constitutional hypocrites, saying they love and honor the US Constitution but refusing to make Congress obey every part of it, especially Article V.

How about President Obama who used to teach constitutional law getting behind this, especially because he reacted to the recent Supreme Court decision this way: “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” Wouldn’t it be logical for the president to demand that Congress obey the Constitution?

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About Joel S. Hirschhorn

Formerly full professor Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, and senior official Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and National Governors Association. Author of four nonfiction books and hundreds of articles.
  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’d comment on this, but since the first line of the article infers the writer believes me to be neither sensible or intelligent, why bother?

    The only people really pissed about this decision are the labor unions. Big business gives pretty much equally between the two parties, while unions give disproportionately to dems…so who got screwed here?

  • Mark

    Andy, wait until the next election cycle and the crescendo of ads and you will agree that it is our sensibilities that got screwed.

    And in the same line of thought, Joel, imagine the period of intense propaganda that would follow a convention. Could we stand it?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    As if we aren’t already bombarded with them as it is?
    There are only so many minutes in an hour Mark. Still have to have time for the actual programming!
    I say make them tell the truth in the ads and that should put a stop to most of them. Not that any of them can tell what the truth really is…
    Corporations already give BILLIONS of dollars as it is! I saw something on MSNBC the other morning (yes, I watch Morning Joe every day) that showed that corps give about 50.4% to reps and 49.6% to Dems, where the unions give around 92% to dems and 8% to reps.
    And public financing is a shitty idea too. I don’t check that box on my tax returns now…these assholes in congress would probably make it mandatory if it changed to public funding!

    I guess it really is unfortunate that our Constitution gives EVERYONE the right to spew bullshit…or fortunate as is the case here at BC!!!

  • Mark

    It’s true that minutes of access to viewers is precious. I think that it’s safe speculation that corporations will continue to put pressure on time allocated to programming vrs ads as we’ve seen on pbs.

    I look forward to the all propaganda, all the time stations…oh wait

    so the decision merely shores up the corporations’ (and their lackey unions) already established power to price out anti corporatist candidates…?

    not a problem

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Joel,

    There is the Article V convention!

    I have been looking that, but the link is broken. Can you post again?

    Thanks! :)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    While I am not 100% comfortable with this Supreme Court decision, I do have a question…

    Why would “demand that Congress obey the Constitution?” Obama thinks the Constitution is “fundamentally flawed.”

    Obama rips U.S. Constitution
    Faults Supreme Court for not mandating ‘redistribution of wealth’

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Christine,

    I looked at the source of WorldNetDaily…and I don’t think an evangelist should be our President.

    We are not going to become a Theocracy, I pray we don’t…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna
  • Jordan Richardson

    “He’s talking about giving things to people,” Limbaugh said. “This is perverted. Some people call this radical. I call it perverted.”

    Ah Rush, always there with the warm fuzzies.

    Christine, as a Christian yourself, do you believe that giving things to people is perverted? Moreover, do you really believe that the civil rights movement didn’t require redistributive change? And one more: do you believe the U.S. Constitution is a gift from God?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Still have to have time for the actual programming!

    Nah, Andy. They sneak the ads into the programming now. And they’ll do that even more.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Hey…I did not say that I agree with Limbaugh, I rarely do. Just pointing out Obama on the Constitution. Yes, I know he was addressing civil rights, but wonder why he would uphold the Constitution in this Supreme Court case, but find flaw with it in other situations? That is all I was pointing out. Should have just put the YouTube link as to not confuse anyone…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Christine,

    Hey…I did not say that I agree with Limbaugh, I rarely do.

    That statement right there is one of the reasons I refer to you as “my favorite conservative!”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I don’t know why this comment posted twice.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Again with the relentless plugging of the insane Article V convention…I’m at a loss.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Come on, Dave. It should be a barrel of laughs and could be live blogged for months. Hundreds of nifty ideas would be presented and the old Gong Show could be revived. It might even supplant some of the (un)reality shows on TV. Great Zeus! Just think of the articles to be written and consider it a full employment act for pundits and other assorted talking heads. It could turn out to be a better economic stimulus package than all of the present efforts to create/save jobs combined.

    Get with it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It might be bread and circuses for the new era, true.

    Can we throw in lions and human sacrifice?

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Here is a constitutional amendment which all right thinking people should support.

    Dan(Miller)

  • The Obnoxious American

    If you’re against the supreme court ruling, you’re against freedom of speech simple as that. Of course I’m sure you and the other crazies here will just dismiss me too, as unsensible and unintelligent, you know, just like the framers, and Clarence Thomas.

  • zingzing

    oa–that’s really boiling it down to stupidity.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Wow, judging by my last sentence and your last post I must be psychic. Don’t bother explainining how it’s not an infringment on free speech, just call me stupid.

    Yes corporations should be allowed to have free speech, especially in an era where they are frequently demonized by the socialists currently elected to office. Obama ran his entire campaign, a nearly billion dollar scheme, itself larger than many corporations, railing against the oil, insurance, and banking industries. Why shouldn’t these industries have a right to address Obama’s claims (many/most of which were inaccurate and bombastic)? Because it hurts your adgenda? Got it. As I said, if you are against this ruling, you’re against free speech. You sir, are against free speech.

  • zingzing

    corporations don’t speak? corporations don’t vote?

    i didn’t call you stupid, i just said that if you want to say “if you’re against this, you’re against free speech,” that’s putting it far too simply. you boiled it down to where there is no argument against it, but you missed the mark on what this does by a mile.

    i’m obviously not against free speech. why would i be?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Achmed

    i’m obviously not against free speech. why would i be?

    Silence!!! I keel you!!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Yes corporations should be allowed to have free speech, especially in an era where they are frequently demonized by the socialists currently elected to office.”

    And though ought to be – demonized that is!

    One would think OA must be a chairman of the board, or at least on the board of directors, so adamant he is about corporate rights. Most likely, he’s just another shmock, defending the indefensible.

    I have a suggestion for you, OA. Try to find a creed of your own, something in which you can truly believe, rather than trying to place all bets on the American constitution and American way of life. It’s only shows the impoverishment of you as a person – limited ideas, limited notions, just a tin man.

    It might make a human being out of you yet, because thus far you’re really a very poor excuse for one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And it ought to be demonized (correction)

  • The Obnoxious American

    Seemed quite clearly that you were calling my comments and by extension my position stupid. Sounds like you’re calling me stupid but then again I am a republican.

    I haven’t missed the mark on what this does by a mile. In fact I think the opposite is true. Obama’s attacks on all manner of industry, unions shilling for his point of view, various pacs overloading the airwaves with their slants yet corporations, the very thing that provides people (and unions) jobs, keeps our economies moving and puts food on our tables must sit in the corner with a dunce cap? No, sorry, that’s just wrong. If you live in a world where the corporations are bad, then yes, you hate this but you also then hate capitalism and by extension America, and I’d advise you to move somewhere else like maybe Cuba.

    In the real world corporations aren’t bad. They represent the people that work for them and the shareholders that invest in them, all who have a right to express their view if they so choose. And the fact is they most often won’t choose – why would they? So that the shareholders profits can be spent on TV ads that alienate roughly half of their customer base? Sillyness.

    Oh well Hugo Chavez could buy ads in the US via his US based shell corp right? You mean like how hugo chavez gets props now in those Joe 4 Oil commercials where Joe Kennedy, an actual politician (liberal no less), has been bought an sold by a foreign entity?

    This debate, and more accurately, your position on it is plainly absurd. This is why the educational system sucks because so few understand the constitution and the bill of rights, and what they truly mean.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Don’t bother explainining how it’s not an infringment on free speech, just call me stupid.

    Okay, but only because you insisted.

    Sounds like you’re calling me stupid but then again I am a republican.

    Yes, I can see your point. Calling you stupid would be redundant.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s a lost cause.

    OA had apparently lost faith in anything human or appertaining to the human. Consequently, he’s got no recourse but to place his faith dead articles (of faith) by the Founding Fathers.

    We each do what we can, and OA is a perfect example of taking this proposition to the ultimate.

    I wish you the best, OA, but I’m afraid my wishes are superfluous. Unless you change your outlook, and drastically, you’re gonna to boil in your own stew.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And this is the person Ruvy admires, or at least hopes for.

    Keep on hopping, Ruvy, for as much as I disagree with you, you’re genuine. OA is a false coin.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Cindy, Roger,

    Nice job responding intelligently to the points I’ve raised. Not.

  • The Obnoxious American

    And roger the only thing that has me boiling in my stew, is when i come across people like on this board who really don’t understand the very country they live in and what makes it great. Thankfully I know I’m not the only person who considers yall a bunch of left wing crazies. I still can’t believe that Silas was extolling the virtues of the U.S.S.R.’s healthcare system in that thread a few weeks back. I mean thats not just crazy, it’s a level beyond crazy.

  • pablo

    Well there is one and only one thing that I have ever found to be either truthful, or of interest in OA’s posts on this site. That is his namesake, Obnoxious.I have always given him credit for that.
    a
    Cindy caught OA’s freudian slip in comment 26 before I had a chance to revel in it as well.

    I want to thank you OA, for your very revealing comments on this thread. No I do not want to counter them, I just am enjoying reveling.

    Government of the corporations, by the corporations and FOR the corporations, shall not perish from this earth. Clarence Thomas? You have me in stitches OA! I bet when they passed the USA Patriot act you got all mushy and teary eyed. Ah yes patriotism the last refuge of a scoundrel. Thanks again for your great writing OA. Indeed is is folks such as yourself that make me all warm and fuzzy being expatriated.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Roger,

    Don’t bring me into this argument. OA has written on what a bunch of Jew-hating scum the UN are, and has written in defense of my country (and whether he wants to admit it or not, his), Israel. I mentioned that in comments to my article lest he be offended that I left him out. I might also add that Al Barger and Dan Miller will generally write in defense of Israel. Both gentlemen know right from wrong, and both know that as dumb as we are in Israel, we try to be on the right side of things.

    That has nothing to do with decisions of your Supreme Court. Here, OA writes his own point of view, and I am not taking sides in what I view to be a frivolous argument over how and which politician extorts how much money from a gullible citizenry.

    Look at it this way, Roger. Sir Elton John is coming to Israel this summer – and my son’s girlfriend is pissed off because one ticket costs NIS 2,000 (about $540). Two tickets – for my son and his girlfriend – would cost what a lot of people make in a month here. Forking over thousand$ to politicians makes as much sense as spending half a month’s salary to see Elton John for a couple of hours. So, from my point of view, this argument over how much which groups in your country can attempt to bribe their way into influence is frivolous.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “… when i come across people like on this board who really don’t understand the very country they live in and what makes it great.”

    That’s when we disagree, OA. There may have been a potential for us to be great, but we’ve surely squandered that opportunity, can’t you see.

    We’re no longer great, OA, we’re pathetic. And your wish to hang on to the old glory is surely indicative of your lack of faith in all the things that are real – human beings, life, all the things that matter.

    And that, too, is pathetic.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ll still say, Ruvy, that you’re a genuine coin. OA is just a pretender – a believer in things that don’t exist.

    And I’m sorry if I have to be a dis-speller of false ideologies, but OA is but a mouthpiece, an unwitting accomplice of powers-that-be, a plain dupe. And it’s only because he’s short on faith.

    Well, fuck it. I’ll always call it as I see it.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “We’re no longer great, OA, we’re pathetic. And your wish to hang on to the old glory is surely indicative of your lack of faith in all the things that are real – human beings, life, all the things that matter.

    And that, too, is pathetic. “

    Thanks Roger for explaining, better than I ever could, exactly why the left wing crazies on this board make me stew.

    Pablo,

    I’ll take your mindless comments about me as a compliment. Thank you.

    Ruvy,

    Thanks I know on economics, you’re more in the socialist arena, but I appreciate your restraint. And I agree with your point of the friviolity of it all. The reason why this galls so many on the left is that they don’t want certain groups to be able to speak. It’s that simple. Hence they do not understand the concept of true equality and freedom.

  • The Obnoxious American

    I’m a pretender? No, I just happen to work in the free economy. When Obama talks about spreading the wealth, he’s talking about spreading my wealth. When he complains about the bonuses, he’s talking about my bonuses. You think this country is pathetic? I’m scared to know what countries you think are worthy, but even better I’d suggest you simply move there and leave the neanderthals like me to stay here with the laws we’ve already established and agreed to. Wait why am I arguing with you? After all most Americans agree with me, not you. Must suck to be a round peg in a square hole, or rather a socialist/commie living in a free country. Cuba’s a mere 90 miles south of Florida.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Never mind Obama, OA.

    But you do suffer from the impoverishemt of categories. Take heed, though, because all conservatives are equally handicapped, so you’re not an exception.

    In effect, you’re no different than Franco, the ultimate ideologue. Everything is black and white to you, nothing in between.

    It’s surely a convenient world you’re living in, but hey. If it suits your purposes, go go for it.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I can see both sides here. There’s nothing inherently bad about corporations, just as there’s nothing inherently bad about people, even though there are your occasional Hannibal Lecters and OJ Simpsons and Raiders fans and other evil sonsabitches out there. A corporation’s primary responsibility is to its shareholders, who are, after all, people (actually, quite a lot of corporate shareholders are other corporations, but I dare say some of their shareholders aren’t other corporations and that if you look hard enough you’ll find a few actual humans lurking back there somewhere). Corporations are beholden to carry out their shareholders’ wishes – which in the vast majority of cases happen to involve moving as much cash in the direction of their bank accounts as possible, but all the same…

    So in that sense, yes, corporations do have speech rights.

    And there’s an inherent danger in the knee-jerk reactions to the SCOTUS decision – such as the proposed constitutional amendment to the effect that corporations or other similar bodies are not persons and therefore do not enjoy free speech protections. Almost all laws, however well-intentioned, have unforeseen consequences; and bollocksed-up laws at the constitutional level are well-nigh impossible to fix once enacted, which makes them incredibly dangerous. For instance, suppose the government started locking up political opponents and an organization such as, say, the ACLU spoke up against it? The government could simply have them silenced on the grounds that they weren’t a person. And the same could apply to political parties.

    I can certainly agree that SCOTUS has opened the doors to a potentially staggering amount of abuse of power, but laws and regulations can always be enacted to apply a degree of control over corporate contributions, as long as they stay within the spirit of the Constitution.

  • zingzing

    “Seemed quite clearly that you were calling my comments and by extension my position stupid”

    take it how you will, but i don’t believe that even you believe that this boils down to being for or against free speech. i’m not against free speech. and that’s not the only issue here. and you know that. yet you boil it down to a catch phrase. it’s stupid.

    “In the real world corporations aren’t bad. They represent the people that work for them and the shareholders that invest in them, all who have a right to express their view if they so choose.”

    yes, they can express their views. one vote at a time, as individuals. and they do not represent the people that work for them one bit. they’re out to make money, that’s all.

    “This debate, and more accurately, your position on it is plainly absurd.”

    exactly. how you can really want corporations having a say in our elections is beyond me. they already do, but the idea should be to lessen their impact, not increase it. all they want is the bottom line. they aren’t even human.

    “This is why the educational system sucks because so few understand the constitution and the bill of rights, and what they truly mean.”

    you understand it one way, obviously. that doesn’t mean it’s right. that’s why we have debates, and why we have a court, although that doesn’t mean they come to the correct decision all the time.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Inasmuch as I abhor the decision of the SCOTUS 5 – they have it right. Justice Stevens’ dissent brings forth an opinion which opens the door for the legislative branch to build upon. Intelligent Americans see the danger of the decision but fail to acknowledge that the SCOTUS 5 did their job as mandated by our Constitution. If anything, their decision should give us pause to see that the legislative branch of the Federal government is riddled with corruption, disconnect and just plain stupidity (i.e. Michelle Bachmann, Virginia Fox and Kit Bond).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    We’re forgetting the object of this enterprise. It’s not to argue SCOTUS decision or the niceties of corporate law, such as they may be.

    It’s to make the obnoxious more of a human and less of a troll – a far more important endeavor, I daresay, than any of the above.

    Carry on.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Silas,

    After you were extolling the virtues of the soviet health care system, I was pretty sure I’d never agree with anything you ever said. Proud to say I was wrong. Well said and agreed.

    Zing

    I’ll get right to the point of your meandering post, as there is really only one point worth replying to:

    yes, they can express their views. one vote at a time, as individuals. and they do not represent the people that work for them one bit. they’re out to make money, that’s all.

    If you mean an end to all political advertising, even from the candidates, then I am game (though this too is a restriction of free speech, but I’d be happy to have all of that time back that would have otherwise been spent sitting through ad after mind numbing ad).

    However, in the current reality where we are bombarded by ad buys numbering in the millions per day and billions per season, some paid for by unions, some paid for by candidates, and some paid for by so-called PAC’s or even tax exempt 527’s, no fact checking, no accountability, espousing whatever nonsense and half truths, and slandering the Evil Corporation of the Day (ECD), denying the corps the right to state their case is a restriction of freedom of speech and worse it effects the private sector crucial to keeping us free and able to support ourselves. Why would unions or any other group dependent on these companies have more rights to speak than the companies that employ them? This makes absolutely no sense unless you are a jack booted socialist (which most on the left have a tendency towards).

    The fact is that the horse has left the stable, the cat is already out of the bag, and at this point why not let anyone say anything they wish if they so choose? After all it’s a free country. I really can’t understand why any American could be up in arms against this – it’s an expansion of freedoms and you are on the side of restriction – don’t you get that?

    It’s not on government to protect your sensibilities or ensure you only ever get told the truth, it’s on you to know the deal and learn what the truth is. With freedom comes responsibility. If you can’t handle the responsibility of freedom, or don’t think your countrymen can, then the only solution you can really suggest would be a restriction of rights. Sorry I aint buying none of what you are selling.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Roger

    Are you suggesting that corporations are akin to trolls? Unhuman at that?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What rights? What responsibilities?

    You do realize, OA, you’re suffering from loss of faith, So why don’t you fucking admit it instead of hiding behind the flag.

    Be a Mensch or shut the fuck up!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I wasn’t talking of corporations, OA, only of people. Corporations I don’t give a fuck. People I do.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And I do hope you realize if I take these liberties in speaking like that to you, rather than some other nincompoops, it’s because you ought to know better.

  • zingzing

    oa–while i agree with you that this decision will result in new accountability, all those things you mention are representatives of groups of people. or at least they represent what would be best for a group of people. corporations only represent what is best for the bottom line, which, while that may also represent the best for a few at the top, does not represent what’s best for the majority of the workers.

    “it’s an expansion of freedoms and you are on the side of restriction – don’t you get that? ”

    it’s not that simple, not by a mile. and an expansion of freedoms for who? name one person. don’t you get that?

    “With freedom comes responsibility.”

    alright, well then. let’s make drugs legal, prostitution legal, seat belts suggested, speed limits suggested, gay marriage legal, kiddie porn legal, etc, etc. you want freedom? have it.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Roger

    What exactly do you mean a loss of faith? I love this country. This last year has only increased that. The country, acted foolishly voting for Obama in 2008 (but only 53% of them) and at the time my faith was waning. But the country has since turned on this empty suit and called him out for what he is. They see through him now as evidenced by his inability to do anything and the lack of a bounce in his polls no matter what he says. Even the libs are getting angry with him.

    This has bolstered my faith in the nation immeasurably. The Tea Party’s, NJ, VA, MA, and even NY 23 show that people don’t want the far left vision being sold by so-called progressives (even that name is alinsky like). A mere year ago the mainstream media was singing the GOPs dirge and now we’ve taken the governorship of NJ and ted kennedy’s seat in MA of all places. The people are speaking. And if unemployment does as bad as the Obama admin says it will in 2010, expect the GOP to take the white house in 2012.

    And the people are right to lay it at his feet. The recession was bad, but we should be out of it right now. The focus on healthcare was stupid. The handling of terrorists dangerous. The spending, the bumbling, the endless campaigning, the infantile blaming of bush over a year in, this guy is a disaster plain and simple. As the tee shirt says, welcome back carter.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Zing,

    Do you have a 401k? It’s not just the people “at the top” who are shareholders anymore. People at the bottom care about making money too. And are you really suggesting that there aren’t financial motives driving the unions or pacs or 527s? Or the candidates themselves even? Sheesh!

    As far as an expansion of freedoms, for people with an interest in corporations. Make some friends with people who work for the banks or insurers or non-bailed out automakers and ask them how they feel being the target of the nations Presidential tsk tsking.

    And to be honest, I do think drugs should be legal, seat belts optional, etc. I’m all for less signs and rules telling me what to do. We’ve created a nation of infants which is how we got to this financial disaster in the first place.

    The other day, I was in the store and picked up a bag of marshmellows, jet popped marshmellows. On the back, there was a warning: “Caution: Choking hazard, only eat one at a time”

    I’m serious Zing – go to the supermarket and check for yourself. When we have warning signs on bags of marshmellows, we’ve got a bit too far in the direction of nanny statehood.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Are you suggesting that corporations are akin to trolls? Unhuman at that?

    denying the corps the right to state their case is a restriction of freedom of speech

    Noxious is arguing that corporations are human and matter-of-factly as if it’s obvious to anyone.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Cindy

    Can you do anything but post snarky, half witted comments?

    Corporations aren’t human, they are made up of humans and thus have rights. Even Doc and Silas get that.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Obnox @ #49:

    Is your example actually an illustration of the nanny state, or of the marshmallow manufacturer covering its ass?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Is there a difference? Typically nanny staters at least here in the US are the same folks who are against tort reform and in bed with the trial lawyer lobby.

    But it speaks to something deeper than that. By allowing all manner of plantiff deserved or not to sue at their desire, we’ve created a culture of plausible denial and lack of accountability. I could cite example after example but i wont.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    It’s not on government to protect your sensibilities or ensure you only ever get told the truth, it’s on you to know the deal and learn what the truth is. With freedom comes responsibility.

    Other issues which we both agree, OA. Next thing you know, you’ll actually agree that queers are OK after all.

  • FitzBoodle

    Corporations are not humans, so they make no decision and have no position on issues. Thus, any position stated by a corporation proceeds from an individual, who already has a free speech ticket. Thus, it is egregious to give another free speech ticket to the corporation.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    If you mean an end to all political advertising, even from the candidates, then I am game (though this too is a restriction of free speech, but I’d be happy to have all of that time back that would have otherwise been spent sitting through ad after mind numbing ad).

    Broadcast political advertising, as such, is banned in Britain, although newspaper and billboard advertising is allowed. Partly, I think, this is because broadcasters are subject to government licensing and it is seen as a conflict of interest.

    Instead, there is a system in which the major parties are allotted a certain number of five or ten-minute ‘Party Political Broadcasts’ per year on primetime TV and radio – usually just before or after the main evening news – to say whatever they wish to say. (The number of broadcasts are increased during an election campaign.) The effect of this system is to keep the parties focused, so you get plenty of actual political content and little if any of the personal smears, misdirection and misinformation which are characteristic of American political ads.

    Which parties get TV time is decided, I believe, by a combination of their representation in Parliament, the vote share they got at previous elections, and opinion polls. Unfortunately, this means we have to put up with fringe parties like the BNP and the Liberals from time to time. But almost everyone agrees that it’s a fair system.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Silas,

    I never said queers weren’t ok. Go back and read my articles, I don’t have anything against gay people at all.

    I do have a problem with identity politics. I’m against a repeal of don’t ask don’t tell because I don’t think we should play gender politics with the very part of government whose role is to fight our wars and protect us. It’s not just gays, I like my soldiers focusing on the job at hand, not what hole to stick what thing into, straight or gay. Especially in the current context where Obama is doing so many other things to weaken national security, to throw this into the mix is just stupid and shows yet another area where our priorities are screwed.

    Gay Marriage, isn’t marriage a religious thing? Isn’t christianity inherently anti gay? So if the government says Gay Marriages are ok, then are churches now forced to marry gays or face charges of discrimination? Civil unions? Yes, just like Barack and Hillary.

    Doc

    That sounds kind of crazy. Maybe draconian.

  • The Obnoxious American

    If we were going to change don’t ask dont tell I would support changing it to: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Care”

    Meaning, just keep your sexuality to yourself while you are fighting on behalf of this country. But I don’t agree with letting soldiers who are gay, get dismissed merely because they are exposed. That’s wrong. Unless we’re talking about a soldier who is making an issue out of their sexuality, openly displaying it and causing a ruckus as a result. I know that doesn’t quite sound right but there’s something about a military that is disciplined and focused, not on their wee wees.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    51 – Nope.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    There needs to be a comprehensive restructuring in corporate governance. What’s happened is CEOs and their teams have bought and paid for members of Congress. So what results is a high powered circle jerk populated with a handful from our society.

    I believe in stock holders’ rights. Those who own the corporations must have mechanisms in place whereby they have an actual role in corporate decision making. They are blindly allowing management to make all the decisions. Not unlike the white trash back water mountain people of the far right fringe. There has to be a redistribution of wealth. The problem is that by my saying it, people jump to conslusions and think I am being socialist. Quite the contrary. There is nothing wrong with a free market society in the capitalist paradigm provided that those who invest in it have some democratic rights. So instead of redistribution of wealth we should have a redistribution of accountability — beginning with each and every individual who has a place at the table. Am I making sense?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    OA, I was being tongue in cheek. I know that you are an ardent supporter of basic civil rights and applaud the same. I’m against DADT because I don’t think it ultimately matters in the theater of war. Quite the contrary. I think that a gay soldier will hit their target more often than not — especially if the opposing soldier has a nice butt.

    Nevertheless, I digress. Barry Goldwater said it best: “Having spent 37 years of my life in the military as a reservist, and never having met a gay in all of that time, and never having even talked about it in all those years, I just thought, why the hell shouldn’t they serve? They’re American citizens. As long as they’re not doing things that are harmful to anyone else… So I came out for it.” He’s been a hero of mine since childhood.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Has anyone heard from Clavos today?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Silas,

    Haha I guess if you’re using redistribution of wealth in a capitalist context, as you seem to be then you can’t quite be called a socialist can you. What you are describing is capitalism.

    Next time someone says redistribute the wealth, perhaps the person should be asked to complete the sentence, to whom, from whom and in exchange for what?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    To Whom – the stockholders

    From whom – the CEOs who work for the stockholders

    In exchange for – a robust infusion of new energy into the free market

    After that – global peace.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Can’t argue with that Silas. I’m assuming you didn’t vote Obama in 2008? :>

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    How I voted in 2008 doesn’t matter, OA. All that is water over the dam. I voted for Scott Brown in January and will vote for ANY candidate who opposes an incumbent in November regardless of issues. To me this election is less about ideology and more about shaking up the status quo.

    Borrowing from Nancy Reagan, I have a mantra entering the booth this Fall. If you’re an incumbent – I’ll Just Say NO!!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Obviously, OA, all your twisted thinking derives from the fact that you love this country. So did I. But it’s wakeup time. You should realize that this love affair is over.

    So transfer your allegiance. Try to love people, your fellow man for a change, and see what difference it will make. Or if push comes to shove, reignite the old faith that Ruvy’s is talking about. But for crying out laud, forget the old farts like the founding fathers. They were obsolete even for their own times.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Better yet, if you love this country, love for for what it can be, not for what it has become.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “So instead of redistribution of wealth we should have a redistribution of accountability — beginning with each and every individual who has a place at the table. Am I making sense?”

    Now I see, Silas, why OA fell in love with you – the matter of gayness notwithstanding. You’re not reaching into his pockets.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    This sentiment expressed toward Wall St. works equally well for corporate elites.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t jump, OA. I haven’t mistaken you for those fuckers. But it’s time to repent and atone for your sins. And your punishment will be . . .

    Well, I’ll forgive you, just sin no more.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Doc

    That sounds kind of crazy. Maybe draconian.

    Perhaps it seems that way to you because you’re not accustomed to the way broadcasting is set up in the UK. The party political broadcast system has been in place since the early years of radio and TV, when the only broadcaster was the BBC – which not only doesn’t take paid commercials* but is also mandated by its charter to be politically impartial.

    When the commercial stations started in the late 50s, political impartiality remained a condition for getting a broadcasting licence, so the PPB system was simply extended to them. Parties usually make the same broadcast on both the BBC and ITV, though not necessarily at the same time.

    It’s a fair system, even if it does muzzle the pols a bit (does them good, in my opinion).

    And it’s not as if those broadcasts are the only way politicians have of getting their messages across on TV. As in the US, there are countless interviews (and come to think of it, what corporate CEO often has the opportunity to sell his company in an interview the way politicians can their parties?), news coverage of party rallies and conferences, and also a popular show called Question Time, in which a panel of political and other public figures (different ones every week) debate questions from a studio audience about issues of the day.

    * Funnily enough, the BBC got in trouble with the Fair Trade Commission for running a commercial a few years back… for its own TV listings magazine. They were told that they either had to let all the other listings magazines show commercials on the Beeb – or stop doing it. They chose the latter. :-)

  • zingzing

    oa–do you know what a 401k is? doesn’t seem to be what you think…

    “When we have warning signs on bags of marshmellows, we’ve got a bit too far in the direction of nanny statehood.”

    it’s a fucking bag of marshmallows. let it go.

    “Gay Marriage, isn’t marriage a religious thing? Isn’t christianity inherently anti gay? So if the government says Gay Marriages are ok, then are churches now forced to marry gays or face charges of discrimination? Civil unions? Yes, just like Barack and Hillary.”

    what?

    marriage isn’t just religious, it’s a state thing and there are rights connected to it. christianity doesn’t have to do shit. they can fuck off or they can take the money. marrying gay people is the opposite of discrimination at this point. barack and hillary aren’t married in any way.

    that was one fucked up paragraph.

  • zingzing

    doc: “It’s a fair system, even if it does muzzle the pols a bit (does them good, in my opinion).”

    damn right. obviously, our system of having bullshit paraded around is much, much better. i favour it. how do i turn off the sarcasm machinism?