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The New York Times examines the fallout from the Supreme Court's decision to let the wealthy spend their hearts out on elections:
Donors will now have a wide array of choices in where to spend their political dollars, thanks to the Supreme Court. The 2010 Citizens United decision, combined with lower-court rulings, opened the door to giving unlimited amounts of money to “super PACs” and nonprofit political groups, money that was spent on electing and defeating specific candidates. The court’s McCutcheon decision on Wednesday allows donors to give as much as $3.6 million to joint fund-raising committees set up by the parties, which can be used to benefit individual candidates.

That makes the parties players in the big-money race for the first time, since an individual’s contributions to party committees had been limited to $74,600 per election cycle. But the parties will be competing with the super PACs for those six-figure checks, and the check writers know it. For that kind of money, donors expect something beyond a nice table at a fund-raiser and a photo with a party leader. And the parties, which are controlled by the top lawmakers, are in a position to provide it — tax benefits, special clauses in regulatory bills, spending that helps a particular industry.

David Horsey:
America has seen some impressive winning streaks -- the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan, the New York Yankees for half the 20thcentury, Tiger Woods until his wife caught him with his putter on the wrong green --– but few can surpass the string of wins being racked up by rich people. And now, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservatives, the super-wealthy can take another victory lap. [...] By the presidential campaign in 2020, the role of money in American politics is likely to have returned to the unencumbered condition of the 1890s Gilded Age when rich robber barons could spend freely to buy a compliant Congress that would look after their interests.
Much more on this and other top stories below the fold.

The Boston Globe:

The decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission pays no heed to how special-interest money corrupts the democratic process and is sure to magnify major donors’ already immense influence over Congress. [...]

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer described how a complex web of allied political committees would allow like-minded donors to write multimillion-dollar checks while staying within Roberts’s legal framework. That dissent, sadly, may now become a road map for donors who would use the McCutcheon case to expand their influence over congressional races.

Don Campell, USA Today:
It's not about Democrats or Republicans. It's about candidates of both parties spending an inordinate amount of time grubbing for money and rewarding those who give it.
Adam Liptak at The New York Times:
The next case may arrive soon. At their private conference on Friday, the justices are scheduled to consider whether to hear Iowa Right to Life Committee v. Tooker, No. 13-407, a petition from James Bopp Jr., one of the lawyers on the winning side in the McCutcheon case. It challenges an Iowa law that bans contributions from corporations but allows them from unions. [...]
Heather K. Gerken, Wade Gibson and Webb Lyons writing in The Washington Post:
In a good-faith effort to help our flawed campaign-finance system, the Internal Revenue Service ventured into the elections arena and received a thumping so severe you would think Frank Underwood of “House of Cards” had arranged it.

The IRS knew what we all know: “Dark money” — the money spent on elections by anonymous donors — is a problem. And the IRS has jurisdiction over one of the main sources of dark money: 501(c)(4) organizations, such as Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS. These “social welfare” organizations spent more than $250 million in 2012 — roughly a quarter of all campaign spending by outside groups. But unlike political parties, PACs or super PACs, they weren’t required to disclose a single donor. [...]

A cynic might think that’s just as well because dark money will find its way into the system no matter what. As election scholars often note, campaign money is like water; it always finds an outlet. Whenever regulations make it hard for wealthy donors to fund politics, donors find another way. Congress closed the “soft money” loophole for political parties, and money flowed into issue ads and so-called 527 groups. Now, 527s have been displaced by super political action committees and 501(c)(4)s.

Unless and until Congress and the Supreme Court fundamentally change the regulatory environment, proposals like the IRS’s won’t stop the flow of money; they’ll just reroute it. The story of 2016 and 2020 will be the same as in 2012, except with a different set of organizations serving donors’ needs. Given the hydraulics of campaign finance reform, we should focus not on stemming the flow of money but rather on directing it toward greater transparency.

Switching topics, Michael Tomasky tears apart Paul Ryan's callous budget plan:
Remind me not to get in a foxhole with Paul Ryan. At the first sign of trouble, he’ll pack up his gunny sack and head for base camp, running into the latrine to hide.

Or so I conclude from the budget he released this week. Remember how last year Ryan was reinventing himself as the true friend of “the poors,” as we ironically say in liberal blogland? Aside from being stunned that all those skewed polls turned out to be exactly on the money and he and Mitt Romney lost, he was also, we were told, chagrined and maddened that he came away from the 2012 campaign with a reputation as a pitiless Randian with a hole where his heart used to be.

The Miami Herald highlights the influence of the NRA in Florida:
Marion Hammer, lobbyist supreme for the National Rifle Association, told lawmakers on a Florida Senate committee that if they didn’t allow unlicensed gun owners to carry their weapons after evacuating during an emergency, burglars and looters would get them — “which puts more guns in the hands of criminals, and that poses a greater danger to emergency personnel, law enforcement and military personnel.”

Five of the nine members of the Military and Veterans Affairs, Space and Domestic Security Committee did as they were told, and voted to approve this misguided exemption for gun owners. Commend the four lawmakers on the losing side, including Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, and Maria Lorts Sachs, D-Delray Beach, for saying No.

Of course, here’s what Ms. Hammer didn’t say: You support the NRA, lawmakers, and you will continue to have our deep-pocketed backing, too. She didn’t have to. It’s a tragic pact that has made the majority of Floridians less safe, enabled others who are packing to claim they fired because they were afraid — “He threw popcorn at me” — and put Florida on the map as a place to, maybe, avoid.

And on a final note, Europe is pressing forward on net neutrality:
American government officials and corporate executives are fond of reminding the world that the United States created the Internet. But right now Europe is taking the lead in protecting what makes the Internet great: its openness.

On Thursday, the European Parliament voted for rules that would restrict Internet service providers from blocking or slowing down services like Skype and Netflix on their networks.

These rules, which still need the approval of European governments before they can be enacted, stand in stark contrast to the situation in the United States. Congress has refused to enact strong anti-blocking rules and courts have twice struck down the Federal Communications Commission regulations in this area.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Sometimes (49+ / 0-)

    I read the news and I feel like I'm living on a different planet than the one on which I was born.
    On a daily basis, our government acts in ways that would have been seen as examples of the grossest injustice when I was growing up. It's hard to believe that a presidency was toppled by the small matter of some data-thieving and cover-up. The dishonesty that we see every day in DC - and the disrespect for the fundamentals of democracy - astound and shock me.

    •  "The dishonesty that we see every day in DC"... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      papercut, Mr MadAsHell, mcstowy

      and which is endorsed and expanded by the "Supreme" Court.

      Conservatism has never been about anything but conserving and expanding the wealth of the wealthy and the power of the powerful.

      I wish I could say I'm astounded and shocked by what is routine in DC. But the routinization of corruption and cynical, destructive propaganda has made me numb.

      Marx was an optimist.

      by psnyder on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:39:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As we stop being astounded and shocked, we (even we who are "progressive") allow this horrendous behavior to be normalized.

        We have to stop being numb and calloused. We have to stop reaching for the witty and cynical response to the daily horror of the US "democracy" and we need to work for the "small" folk who are trying to survive the destruction of what was a great nation.

      •  No me - I'm mad as Hell and not going to take it.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        anymore!  I refuse to see my country go down "the crapper" in my lifetime.  Get out and do something about it.

        Forward Together, Not One Step Back!

        “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

        by LamontCranston on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:41:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes I am glad that I am becoming elderly... (14+ / 0-)

    ...and I won't have to live long enough to see our beloved Democracy finally and totally stolen away from the People.


  •  The Conservative Supremes (17+ / 0-)

    Bought and paid for in America the old fashioned way -- using corporate $$ earned off the backs of hard working middle class Americans.  Fully and completely corrupt.

    Hard to fight those who bend the laws to serve their true masters.  

    But, hey they're keeping alive the Freedom To Worship

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:58:49 AM PDT

  •  An article I read yesterday said (18+ / 0-)
    the House of Representatives candidate who spends the most money on his or her campaign wins over 90% of the time, and in the Senate it’s over 80%
    I don't know how accurate that statement is, but if it is true, the Supremes have just given the next elections away.

    An interesting article that will make you laugh.

    Don’t you hate when you’re trying to purchase a dozen Congress people and stupid laws only let you buy ten of ‘em?! It’s the worst! I mean, what’s the point of having a democracy if only 90% of it is for sale?!

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:59:54 AM PDT

  •  The bad news re: McCutcheon is... (17+ / 0-)

    ...the sociopathic wealthy will pour even more cash into this and future election cycles.

    But it comes at a price: these are people who are used to having their way about everything, and that includes "creative control" of political message. It doesn't matter to them, for example, that railing against expansion of Health Insurance might be a less compelling rallying cry for even the TEActivist base than it is for them personally, or that being overtly and aggressively against a higher minimum wage might actually endanger some GOP incumbents in actual competitive districts. It's the message that comforts their existential core, and it will be produced and distributed.

    Our opportunity is their hubris.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:05:44 AM PDT

    •  As long as voters actually turn out to prove that (16+ / 0-)

      votes cast by real people trump $$$$$ "votes" cast by plutocrats.

      You are, I hope, right about the message problem. I've often thought here and even long before I came to this site that the "on message" unity of Republicans and now the TP/GOP and their allies in media compared to the sometimes chaotic messaging of Democrats is precisely due to the "corporate board" that runs that party. That cabal can agree on an agenda and push it from the stump in state campaigns to major national media and ALEC campaigns. It works.

      It works as long as people with actual votes to cast swallow it, fail to get out and vote against it or just do not pay attention. Remember? Eternal vigilance? An informed electorate? Get careless and your "democracy" is just a market item bought by those with the cash. We are increasingly looking like some Central and South American and African "democracies" looked like—even as some of them are moving toward what we were.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:17:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thoughtful comment. (5+ / 0-)

        I am going to spend some time turning this around in my mind.

      •  I absolutely agree with you. Big turnout would (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr MadAsHell, pelagicray

        mean Dem  victories, even with gerrymandering, and it would mean the defeat of the big money and the lobbyists.
        As voting percentages dropped, the lawmakers started ignoring their voters more and more and paying attention to the lobbyists more and more.
        Til we got to this place.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:22:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And why I have a visceral dislike, near hatred, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David54, LS Dem, jlmbrnprof

          for those here that begin the whine about sitting out elections, not voting, throwaway protest votes for a forlorn hope "protest" third party candidate and such.

          Those attitudes, that voting is a whim, a thing in which a petulant pout takes the place of a duty to work toward at least keeping the worst build up of crap in our political system even if there is not an "exciting" or "inspiring" candidate to vote for has brought us here. Most of my fifty plus years of voting—in every election except a couple where I was so distant and out of touch that in one case I got my ballot more than a month after the election and half a world away.

          I've had the glorious choice of some piece of putrid crap or something the dog choked up that in a starving pinch a human might cook and eat. I've had the choice of a guy known to dress in a white pointy hood with burning crosses lighting the way and just a plain old churchgoing racist that spurned that level but still kept his "darkies" on the farm in poverty. I voted for the lesser evil because the only choice was to sit out and let the cross burning pointy hat guy run the county. I had the glorious choice once voting for governor in which even the League of Women Voters endorsed the "crook" because the choice was another pointy hat KKK guy.

          Yeah, most of my choices have been pretty to extremely miserable. But I did my duty to try to keep the level of pure political shit down below the knees. Those sanctimonious deserters from that dirty duty, some making that coward's call on this site before every election, are a goodly part of why we are heading toward what I've seen personally in some "less developed" countries where oligarchs rule.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:29:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good Rant! I know how you feel. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:48:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kind of like the barbarian gang is on the village (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              fringe and my "allies" and neighbors are scuttling to hide and avoid the fight when I know the devastation coming—avoidable devastation if they helped? That my kids and grandkids will live more miserable lives because those bastards hid when needed at the palisade? That they could make the difference and will not?

              I just lived through governor vaginal probe dealing his office in enough scandal to bring a federal indictment and a whack job as governor and AG here in Virginia. I've got to live with a gerrymandered state electoral map giving the sparsely populated areas undue clout. And that is mild stuff in the overall scheme of our politics now. All as a result of those "sitters out" and "too busy" and "What? Me care?" and "Nobody's good enough for me to bother voting" people.

              You probably don't want to know what I really think of them.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 10:36:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  On the other hand (5+ / 0-)

      That message control is even more enabled by the direct campaigning allowed by Citizen's United.

      One of the things this ruling allows is large donations to the parties, which can then be doled out to individual candidates as they see fit. In other words, more party driven message discipline.

      The Empire never ended.

      by thejeff on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:26:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A remarkable op ed on gay marriage (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomFromNJ, I love OCD, Floande, SoCalSal

    written by a Marine raised as a Southern Baptist is what I write about in this piece which I invite you to read

    If you want, you can skip my analysis and go directly to the orignal at the Washington Post

    In either case, I strongly urge you to read.

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

    by teacherken on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:06:19 AM PDT

  •  In the long run we all die but our children and (9+ / 0-)

    their children and those of our neighbors and friends will hopefully die well after us and therein lies the rub. There is little comfort for me in knowing that I am well past half time in this veil of fears because I care a lot about what comes after I am gone. And so I must play the long game knowing the score will not be final when I get eaten by worms or my ashes spread into my cherished Bash Bish Falls....but then my grandfather who worked in the coal mines of Scranton in the late 1800's did live under the union less yoke of the robber barons and he did live to see things improve enormously for his kids and their kids and his effort in the unionization movement yield fruit.

    So we took a big shot from the men in black the other day but such things are not final in the long run. These cretins too will go to the worms or the crypts and those who are to replace them will be influenced by what we who are here now do in our elections, in our courts and in our streets.

  •  SCOTUS didn't "ignore" campaign finance reality (14+ / 0-)


    SCOTUS clears the way for the rich to openly buy elections.

    And they didn't even say "Bend Over, America".

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:12:42 AM PDT

  •  Politicians have gotten much more expensive (9+ / 0-)

    than they used to be; McCutcheon basically means that former limits were unconstitutionally low.

  •  Scarborough: What Harry Reid is doing is beneath (9+ / 0-)

    the dignity of his office.

    Put a sock in it Joe.

    •  Politics and dignity. (5+ / 0-)

      Good one.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:18:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "McCarthyism" (8+ / 0-)

      Indeed, Morning Joke is also calling what Reed is doing "McCarthyism" this morning. And no one on Scarborourgh's set took issue with his nonsense.

      Calling out the Koch brothers, who are buying elections around the country (and have likely bought a couple of the Supremes who continue to "legalize" $ politics), is most certainly an appropriate job for Harry Reed. If what the Koch's are doing isn't "un-American", then this country really is in trouble.

      Shut it Joe.

      "One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, sourpusses." ― Pope Francis

      by GoodGod on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:30:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now we know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoodGod, Mr MadAsHell

        how and why Joe is on the air.  Bought and wrapped up for our viewing (dis)pleasure.  I guess once the intern thing come out and he had to stop his lucrative political career he was easy flotsam for the oligarchy and he jumped at the bait. Gotta make a living.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

        by tobendaro on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:48:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Joe needs to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hillbilly Dem

      find out why a dead girl was in HIS office before speaking about dignity of an office.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:27:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Joe is a joke (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I really don't know why I even watch that show. I usually just turn it off once I figure out who is on the show. Calling the Kochs efforts UnAmerican is not the same as what happened in the 50s. Mika just sits there worrying more about her legs or dress than being an effective host. She disgusts me to no end. That guy from Politico is like Chuck Todd, all they care about is the game not the truth or the results. I am glad Harry is giving the Kochs a hard time. Old man Koch founded the John Birch Society for chrissakes. His rant is straight out of Orange County circa 1963.

      Do facts matter anymore?

      by Sinan on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:46:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lincoln wouldn't recognize today's... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, tb mare, Mr MadAsHell

    Republic Party, nor they him. Lincoln's "government of the people, by the people, for the people" is now being transmogrified into "government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, for the wealthy". Lincoln cried.

    Republicans have repeatedly shown that they don't believe in democracy with their dismantling of campaign finance law and their ever-increasing voter suppression efforts. They want an oligarchy or a plutocracy. I honestly believe that Republicans are working toward an ultimate goal of a fascist, or neo-fascist, state in the original Italian meaning of fascismo as embodied by Mussolini--a Devil's bargain between the state and the corporations and their leaders. God help us all if they succeed along this path. The only hope is that we the citizens elect Democrats in 2014, 2016, and beyond to actively fight these radical Republicans and work to bring our country back to government of the people, by the people, for the people.

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, ... there are few die well that die in a battle; ... Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; — Shakespeare, ‘Henry V’

    by dewtx on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:19:13 AM PDT

    •  Well, they realize that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, dewtx, tobendaro, LS Dem

      the only way they will be able to win elections going forward is by cheating- either through vote suppression, gerrymandering, dirty money or sugar daddies like Sheldon Adelson.
      As kos is fond of saying, when we turn out, we win. GOTV.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:41:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are trying to negate GOTV (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, dewtx, tobendaro, Mr MadAsHell

        by changing the laws that regulate voting and gerrymandering.  A flood of campaign money will continue the capture of state legislatures by those who want to restrict voting to those who will support the corporate takeover of the government.  Why some of these people still vote against their own interests is hard to understand, but the big money stokes fear and provides resources to smear.  Which is a big part of the answer, I think.

  •  McCain (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder about McCain--he was good about campaign finance when he worked with Feingold--then, not so good.  It is so sad when older people find reasons to be whores.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:19:43 AM PDT

  •  Of all the victims of the grotesque combination (11+ / 0-)

    of Roberts Court campaign finance rulings, it is young Americans -- those without accumulated capital, institutional armor, and easy access to leverage -- whose dreams of life in a stable democratic society are going up in smoke.

    It will now most assuredly require a toolkit that includes sustained, multi-faceted mass action for the aspirations of young Americans to flower.  The deep political process has now effectively been cut off.  The inherent pain and waste of having to throw bodies upon gears will now once again become evident. But whatever honest disruption is required to seize back our democratic pluralism, it will be in reply to a rump, misanthropic assault on the spirit of our Constitution.

    History will show the Roberts Five deserve impeachment for this senseless, tragic attack on our young people. Shame.

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:25:34 AM PDT

  •  old US Supreme Court is new U.$. $upreme Court (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoodGod, PsychoSavannah, dewtx, tobendaro

    Chief Justice Roberts's legacy is to remold the Supreme Court to his and the conservative GOP's liking:

    the new "U.$. $upreme Court":

    the protector of the wealthy and powerful against the powerless

  •  Hard to describe how discouraging I find (6+ / 0-)

    the political scene.  We're stepping backwards on nearly every front:  civil rights, political influence of money, protection of food, water and air, education, workplace safety and giving a voice to workers, separation of church and state, and on and on.  

    The only weapon we have in our political arsenal is people power, but when you're up against a handful of billionaires the hill we need to climb seems like a mountain or like trying to fly to the moon on a homemade rocket.

  •  Cash Rules Everything Around Me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, dewtx

    Since money and politics are reverting back to Gilded Age levels, I think it's only fair the rich revert to Gilded Age fashion.  That's right, top hats and mustaches everywhere!

    by LazyActivism on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:36:27 AM PDT

  •  Latest GOP Talking Point: Obama had two years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when the Dems controlled both houses of congress to get his economic program through. So the current state of the economy is his fault....BRILLIANT!!!

  •  192,000 jobs added in March (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, Egalitare

    Unemployment rate remains at 6.7%.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:37:27 AM PDT

  •  After Mozilla, I support McCutcheon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    If a person can be forced out of a job for a political donation, if that is power we give to the free market and political speech is not protected, then the government has no right to limit those donations.

    If a mere $1000 can put a job at risk, then why not $100,000 or a million? Let the free market decide when a donation is out of bounds, since that's where we're at.

    •  So consequences of political speech should be... (0+ / 0-)

      protected!! Is that what you're saying? Brandon Eich already had the right to make whatever political comment or political donation he wants--it's a free country. But just because he is (or was) a CEO does not inoculate him from the reactions of others or make him immune to the consequences of his own actions. He is free to make whatever political statements he wants--and he is also free to suffer the consequences of whatever those statements may provoke in other equally free individuals. He wants to play with fire and then he doesn't like it when he gets burned! Nice double standard you got there chum.

      But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, ... there are few die well that die in a battle; ... Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; — Shakespeare, ‘Henry V’

      by dewtx on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:06:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. Either protections, or limits. Not both (0+ / 0-)

        First, until McCutcheon, he couldn't make whatever political donation he wanted.  They were limited.

        Here's how I see it.

        A)  Political speech is protected under non-discrimination.  Can't be fired or forced out for giving money to Prop 8.  But in return for that protection, donations are limited.  Can't give a million dollars, can't be fired.

        B)  Political speech isn't protected.  People can be fired or forced out for a political donation.  In return for there being no protections, there are no limits.  Can give as much to issues and candidates as one wants, and suffer all the free market consequences that result.

        Get it?

        •  No, I don't get it! (0+ / 0-)

          This sounds to me like a false dichotomy. I believe there are other options possible than just the two you mention, especially from those more politically astute and experienced than myself.

          To borrow from Lord Acton, my personal feeling about money in politics is: "Money in politics corrupts, and astronomical sums of money in politics corrupts astronomically." Of course the Supreme Court disagrees, but then there's lots of things the Roberts-Scalia-Thomas-Alito court and I disagree about. But someday Scalia will pass from this earth, as will every man in his time, and he will be replaced by a new Justice appointed by a Democratic President and this topic will be revisited and changed again.

          I understand where you're coming from, but I think we'll just have to disagree. And isn't that part of politics.

          But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, ... there are few die well that die in a battle; ... Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; — Shakespeare, ‘Henry V’

          by dewtx on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:10:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You want limits and no protections (0+ / 0-)

            That's a valid political position, I just don't agree with it.

            You are correct, money does corrupt.  There are two ways of dealing with that corruption.  Limit the size of donations to a low "non corrupt" level.  Or allow the possibility of corruption but have free market consequences and public shaming as a control.

            You want both.  You want to limit the donations, and let people be fired.  But if the donations are limited such that they can't readily corrupt, then why allow people to be attacked for that donation?  Just allow democracy to work with those limits in place.

            •  Actually I prefer public financing of campaigns. (0+ / 0-)

              That would remove some of the pernicious effects of big money in politics, as well as offering an opportunity for more less well off but still qualified people to run for office. I also understand that's not going to happen in our current political climate, which is why I spend my limited time and dollars to elect more good Democrats into office. Plus work on GOTV efforts to offset the voter suppression tactics of the GOP and their deep-pocketed donors, because at this point it's still one person one vote (if they vote) not one dollar one vote (in spite of what Tom Perkins half-jokingly suggests).

              To get back to not attacking Brandon Eich for his Prop 8 donation. I hope you're not suggesting that the Board Of Directors and shareholders not be allowed to exercise their opinions or influence on the matter. Of course if you or Eich think he was illegally ousted from his CEO position because of his political donation, then the solution to me is that Eich could file suit and let our third branch of government decide whether his departure was proper or not--to me the solution is not to pump more money into a political system already bloated with money and donors who never give something for nothing. Are you also upset with the Flush Rush movement, or do you think the effort to get Rush off the air is also misguided or even illegal?

              By the way I also think Citizens United and the Hobby Lobby case are nuts--corporations are not people, in spite of what Mitt Romney and Roberts says. Corporations were created partly to isolate the owners/shareholders from personal liability, i.e., the effects of being people. Now it seems that some of these corporations (e.g., Hobby Lobby) want to have their cake and eat it too. I guess I don't like double standards unless there is an absolutely overwhelming need for them. For me it doesn't pass the smell test. But then I'm getting old and my sense of smell ain't what it used to be.

              See you at the polls in November.

              But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, ... there are few die well that die in a battle; ... Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; — Shakespeare, ‘Henry V’

              by dewtx on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 10:18:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I want to have the rules firmly defined (0+ / 0-)

                I want to know what political speech and what political donations get people fired.  Is it all of them?  Some of them?  Only right-wing issues?  Or left-wing issues as well?

                I hope you're not suggesting that the Board Of Directors and shareholders not be allowed to exercise their opinions or influence on the matter.
                In some ways, yeah, I kinda am.  If a Board of Directors was made up of pro-life individuals, could they fire people for donating to Planned Parenthood?  For advocating for abortion rights?  For donating to Wendy Davis or Democrats in general?

                You say you donate to Democrats.  Maybe you're retired, but if not, and you have a boss, should your boss be able to fire you if he finds out you donate to Democrats, who support keeping the "murder of unborn children" legal?

                What if being pro-choice was considered hate speech against unborn children, and therefore everyone who is pro-choice can be fired?

                The Flush Rush effort I can't really get behind, because those sorts of boycotts come back around.  Good liberal AM programs have trouble getting sponsors because there are boycotts from the right, often from the pro-life crowd.

                They're all forms of censorship, which I'm not in favor of.  I prefer to answer arguments with truth, and winning the debate legitimately.  Winning through intimidation doesn't change minds.

                I can't support censorship in general just because this time I agree with what's being censored.  Next time, I may not agree, but then I'd have no right to complain if I don't speak up now.

                See the outrage here when those advocating for unions are fired.  Well???

            •  Kos has a new diary up about Eich: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Norm in Chicago

              But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, ... there are few die well that die in a battle; ... Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; — Shakespeare, ‘Henry V’

              by dewtx on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 10:55:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  We're more corrupt than Afghanistan now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies

    Way to go, once-great USA!

    Thanks for todays roundup, Georgia.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:44:01 AM PDT

  •  Milwaukee is sinking (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, tobendaro, peregrine kate, LS Dem

    At least their buildings are:

    The walls and foundations of dozens of downtown buildings that stayed structurally afloat for more than 100 years on wooden pilings are deteriorating as once-sturdy Wisconsin pines, oaks and cedars rot. The culprit is declining groundwater that preserved the supports.

    From Boston to the seaside town of Coos Bay, Oregon, pilings are rotting, undermining homes and neighborhoods. Drought, over-use of water and crumbling subterranean drains that channel away moisture are to blame in Milwaukee, hydrologists say. While Wisconsin courts hear a fight over who should pay, there’s a growing realization that water scarcity is no longer the singular worry of dry and newly built regions.

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:07:10 AM PDT

  •  Will Rogers said it best... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

       We've got the best Congress money can buy.

       Will died in 1935!

    Compost for a greener piles?

    by Hoghead99 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:17:39 AM PDT

  •  Very sad (0+ / 0-)

    And I'm afraid the only remedy is to re-take the Supreme Court and plan/hope for a long series of decisions that ultimately marginalizes this corrupt Supreme Court of the past 15 or so years.  We didn't get here overnight.  It took the loss or theft of multiple presidential elections and a senate willing to allow it to happen.  We need to remember that the great decisions of the 50's and 60's were rendered by a court, a noble court I would say, that was painfully built on the ruins of the southern dominated courts of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  For starters it took winning 5 straight presidential elections followed by 8 years of a moderate Republican.  This party of Republican Confederates and Anti-Federalists will allow the President no judicial appointments if they manage to re-take the Senate and will likely confirm no judges at all without Koch and Adelson approval.  It's a long road ahead, and we won't get there with picking at Obamacare or sniping about Hilary being too conservative (or something).  We need to at minimum keep the Senate and elect a president in 2016 and probably 2020 to have any hope.  Worry about the House another day.

  •  Local Elections (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LS Dem

    We have already seen big money come in to elections as minor as county commissioner and state houses.  A new and real danger poised by this decision is that the rich will now be able to donate large amounts of money that can be aggregated and then used to affect everything from school board elections to dog catcher.  

    Not good.  Not good at all if you believe in democracy.

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:35:07 AM PDT

  •  Did any Wingers? (0+ / 0-)

    Post support for the Koch WSJ editorial on Facebook or the like? I didn't see a one. Maybe it's too much cognative dissonance for people as tin-eared to that sort of stuff as even Wingers.

    The other guys lampooned it from time to time....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:37:28 AM PDT

  •  Corruption? What corruption? (0+ / 0-)

    I didn't think that SCOTUS could get any worse with the Citizen's United decision, but I guess I was wrong. Putting Robert's legal "opinion" aside for a moment, whatever happened to common sense in law? How can anyone sit there and say with a straight face that money in politics doesn't lead to corruption and/or abuse of power? I can't believe those justices that went along with this are on the bench. I remember conservatives bitching about activist justices....this is one of the most activist courts in modern history. I guess it's only bad when liberal justices are activists. Hey SCOTUS, you are there to protect ALL the citizens of the US, not just 1%! So much for our representative republic. Guess we can call ourselves the United States of Oligarchs soon. Unbelievable.

  •  Republicans are scared. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    I'm thinking the gop is not so certain about their big win. Today Kathleen Parker writes that the Democrats are desperate.
    They're tossing up minimum wage gap bills, etc. that have no hope of passing to cover up for a "lack of ideas".

    Similar noise elsewhere.

    As we all know, if there's anything reliable about the Republicans, it's that they project exactly what they're doing, they're weakness, onto the Dems.

    I think we're in better shape than we think. But let's not let up.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:17:11 AM PDT

  •  The American Government is for Sale (0+ / 0-)

    Waiting for cycles of democratic wins in order to change it back is a pipe dream.

    What if your team gets corrupted in the interim?

    The Federal Level is now completely corrupted. Politicians spend more time raising money than legislating.
    Do you go to work and spend your time doing sometime other than your job?

    We're the Deer in the Headlights. It's Over.

    Corporations are not People. If they are people their legal profile is one of a sociopath (has no legal reason to care of the common good only its own health).
    And we wonder why things are the way they are.

    Keep it Real Folks

  •  This one paragraph (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell
    Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., showing insincere naïveté, doesn’t consider that purchase of access to be corruption, which he apparently detects only in bribery. But the donors know that American politics is now for sale, and they are ready to buy.
    describes why I loathe John Roberts with the heat of a thousand suns.

    If he fell into boiling tar balls-first I'd throw a party.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:13:37 AM PDT

  •  Miami Herald on point... (0+ / 0-)

    The last sentence in that excerpt expressed exactly what my thoughts about Florida have been for the last few years. Gun policies are a major reason for this.  I figure there's a small but nonzero chance I'll get shot because I'm a Virginian,  or a teacher, or I wear glasses,  or I'm talking too loudly with my wife in one of the two vegan cafes in the state, or I refuse to go 95mph in the right lane like the guy who's tailgating me wants me to do. One of my best friends grew up in West Palm Beach and is glad he got out in the mid 80's. He has a whole class of stories from his youth that I call "Tamarind Avenue stories." The way Florida's gun laws are being enforced,  and the laws themselves,  make Florida an actively dangerous place everywhere. It's not entirely guns; lack of mass transit and too much heat (which they can't do much about) play a role too. There are plenty of other places to travel to, so my wife and I will avoid Florida until the governments there get their act together.

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