Member since: Fri May 8, 2009, 12:59 AM
Number of posts: 6,958
Number of posts: 6,958
The billionaire sponsored pity party for the filthy rich continues.
Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Supreme Court struck down aggregate limits on campaign donations, offers a novel twist in the conservative contemplation of what Nazis have to do with the way the rich are viewed in America. In January, Tom Perkins, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, worried about a progressive Kristallnacht; Kenneth Langone, the founder of Home Depot, said, of economic populism, “If you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.” Roberts, to his credit, avoided claiming the mantle of Hitler’s victims for wealthy campaign donors. He suggests, though, that the rich are, likewise, outcasts: “Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects,” he writes:
If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades—despite the profound offense such spectacles cause—it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.
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Roberts’s other argument is a little sad: “That same donor, meanwhile, could have spent unlimited funds on independent expenditures on behalf of Smith.” In other words, aggregate limits wouldn’t foster corruption, because using money to influence a campaign is much easier with the sort of independent expenditures that Citizens United makes possible.
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But then Roberts relies on a very narrow measure of corruption: “Ingratiation and access … are not corruption,” he writes, quoting Citizens United. (There are a number of citations of Citizens United in this decision.) The argument of McCutcheon, in effect, is that a political party itself cannot, by definition, be corrupted: “There is a clear, administrable line between money beyond the base limits funneled in an identifiable way to a candidate—for which the candidate feels obligated—and money within the base limits given widely to a candidate’s party—for which the candidate, like all other members of the party, feels grateful.” The gratitude may only be for a place of safety where donors, assailed by the popular opinion of bitter, poorer people, can find a little bit of solace.
Posted by TomCADem | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 02:11 AM (7 replies)
Of course, the United Supreme Court, engaged in an odd bit of fact-finding by an appellate court that there is no evidence that the campaign finance limits at issue will serve to reduce the risk of corruption. Talk about legislating from the bench. An appellate court can simply disregard factual and legislative findings and substitute its policy perogatives for those of the elected legislative body because the Supreme Court thinks that campaign finance limits in question are not a panacea against corruption.
When Sheldon Adelson, the world’s eighth-richest person, according to Forbes, let it be known that he was looking for a Republican candidate to back in the 2016 presidential race, these four men rushed to Las Vegas over the weekend to see if they could arrange a quickie marriage in Sin City between their political ambitions and Adelson’s $39.9 billion fortune.
Posted by TomCADem | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 10:38 PM (2 replies)
This story just further illustrates how corporate and uninformative our media has become. With the advent of false equivalency being substituted for an objective and unbiased goal in media, we now have creationists demanding equal time to push superstition on a level playing field with science.
Creationist groups have made yet another complaint about Neil deGrasse Tyson's "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey."
Posted by TomCADem | Sun Mar 23, 2014, 05:47 PM (43 replies)
Here is a great story documenting some of the corporate censorship that is going on as the news media bends over backwards to help their corporate sponsors elect right wing Republicans.
If there were fairness in this world, Rita Rizzo would be a media star.
Posted by TomCADem | Sun Mar 23, 2014, 05:22 PM (8 replies)
This is a pretty good piece, but it does ignore the elephant in the room that corporate sponsors have often boycotted progressive media. A few years ago, a confidential ABC was disclosed that showed several sponsors specifically boycotting progressive shows. Conversely, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh get a significant amount of money from corporate sponsors and the 1 percent who are eager to support the spread of these viewpoints.
Next week, when WWRL 1600 AM flips its format from progressive talk to Spanish-language music and talk, New York will have no left-leaning commercial talk station for the first time in decades — an ironic development just as an unabashedly liberal mayor and City Council are set to take office.
Posted by TomCADem | Sun Feb 16, 2014, 12:27 PM (21 replies)
Gone are the days where you a million dollar contribution from George Soros was considered huge. Nowadays, if you score the support of a Koch Brother or Sheldon Adelson, you can have one donor singlehandedly make your campaign viable. They do not even have to contribute to you. They can just throw a hundred million in attack ads against Democrats generally.
The race for a 2016 super-PAC sugar daddy is on.
Posted by TomCADem | Wed Feb 12, 2014, 11:36 PM (1 replies)
Source: Yahoo Finance
Republicans filed out of a closed-door strategy session today without a final decision on how to approach the coming debate over raising the debt ceiling, according to The Washington Post. But a report issued by the Congressional Budget Office Tuesday morning may help make the decision for them.
Many congressional Republicans believe that they should not raise the nation’s borrowing limit unless President Obama agrees to give them something in return. Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline or a repeal of the so-called risk corridors in the Affordable Care Act are the two items topping their potential wish list. The CBO report might shift the balance between those options because it projects that the risk corridor program, which Republicans have insistently characterized as a bailout of the insurance industry, will probably generate a net profit for the federal government.
The risk corridors are a temporary measure to protect insurers from unexpectedly large losses in the first few years of the health care law’s implementation. Companies that incur costs from medical claims that are significantly higher than expected would be compensated by the government, and those with costs that are significantly below expectations would have to pay back part of that windfall, also to the government.
A joint analysis by the CBO and Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation found that in the coming years, the government will pay out an estimated $8 billion to insurers as part of the risk corridor program. That will be offset, however, by an estimated $16 billion paid back to the government by health insurers. The CBO had previously projected that the risk corridors would have no net impact on the budget.
Read more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obamacare-bailout-actually-saves-8-194100056.html
In addition to Republican lies about the ACA costing 2 million jobs, the so-called "bailout" talking point is also full of lies. The very same CBO report that Republicans cite note that the repeal of the risk corridor provisions that Republicans call a bailout would increase the deficit by $8 billion. Sadly, since Republicans would rather the ACA fail than help people, they probably see this as a good result. Increase misery for political effect sort of like a Christie created traffic jam.
Posted by TomCADem | Wed Feb 5, 2014, 12:03 AM (10 replies)
The fact that WSJ seriously attempts to defend Perkins' comparison of President Obama's attacks on income inequality with Adolph Hitler just underscores just how removed from the norm the one percent are.
Tom Perkins’s letter to The Wall Street Journal last week, in which he compared liberal attacks on the one percent to the Holocaust, was an anthropologically useful document that displayed the deranged persecution complex that afflicts large segments of America’s superrich in the Obama era. Lest you think Perkins is merely one slightly addled old man, who has slipped into a Howard Hughes–esque cosseted stupor, today the Journal devotes an editorial to defending him.
Posted by TomCADem | Fri Jan 31, 2014, 12:07 AM (8 replies)
The amazing thing is the WSJ's demand that President Obama defend the rich and denounce any attacks on income inequality.
So don't kid yourself. Today, they're coming for Bentleys. Tomorrow, they'll come for Aston Martins. The time to speak out is now.
Posted by TomCADem | Fri Jan 31, 2014, 12:02 AM (13 replies)
The cable media has been blaring the right wing talking points about President Obama going wild with Executive Orders, but meanwhile in the real word, the fact is that he has issued few such orders:
Posted by TomCADem | Thu Jan 30, 2014, 11:57 PM (6 replies)