Back when Glenn Beck was one of the most admired men in America and Fox News’ No. 1 celebrity, he introduced to the nation at large a “historian,” well known among the Christian right, by the name of David Barton, who claims to have documentary evidence that the founders based the Constitution explicitly on the Bible. Beck often referred to a group known as the “black-robed regiment,” which was composed of priests and clergy who were revolutionary sympathizers, comparing today’s conservative preachers to what he implied were clergymen-soldiers in the secular liberal war on the Constitution.
Beck called upon David Barton to head what he called Beck University, an online course for those who wanted to educate themselves in the Beck school of thought. Let’s just say it wasn’t the curriculum you’d find at most schools of higher learning. (You can hear one of David Barton’s “lectures” here, where he tells the Beck U students that American exceptionalism springs from its Christian theocratic principles.)
Barton quickly became the toast of Wingnuttia. He was invited to participate in Tea Party events all over the country and even held a constitutional seminar for the 2010 incoming freshman class at the invitation of congresswoman Michele Bachmann. The New York Times featured him in a glowing profile that only mentioned in passing that his alleged scholarship was, shall we say, controversial:
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—SCOTUS Overturns Millionaire's Amendment:
|Remember the Millionaire's Amendment? Basically, it says that if a candidate self-funds his House or Senate campaign beyond a certain level (and the math is complicated) and makes the race less competitive, the challenger can start raising funds at twice or even three times ($6900/election) the contribution limits otherwise applicable, and the self-funder becomes subject to various mandatory disclosure requirements regarding his use of his own funds.
Well, based on today's 5-4 Supreme Court decision authored by Justice Alito, it's just a memory now. Since I can't imagine Congress acting anytime soon, in the 2008 cycle millionaire self-funding candidates can spend to their heart's content without there being any recourse for their opponents.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin's morning roundup focuses on the MS run-off. Vox = "the left," apparently. Todd Akin's back. Plan B on the IRS "scandal": missing e-mails they hope you won't notice don't actually bear on the first "scandal." Never mind that lost e-mails didn't bother them before. Likewise, what the U.S. Archivist has to say interests them now, but didn't then. Armando joins in for a quick update and discussion of the day's SCOTUS rulings on recess appointments and abortion clinic buffer zones. Catching up on the "no-fly list" ruling, and common threads it shares on modern technology with yesterday's cell phone search decision.