SCOTUS Only Confirms What Is Already True! eProf2


I’m sure I might be in the minority here but I can’t go along with all the hyper concerns over the Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, which purports to give corporations more opportunities to finance favorite candidates in the electoral process. I side with Jonathon Turley who said on the Keith Olbermann show that while he didn’t like the consequence of the decision he nevertheless supported the principle of first amendment speech rights.

If you read the decision, ALL nine judges agreed that a) corporations have had speech protections throughout most of American history and b) trying to stem the flow of money was a restriction on speech, no matter how lamentable the idea of "buying" your favorite candidate might be.

Where the members of the court disagreed was on the acceptance of finance laws in the fabric of American politics. The court ruled on policy and not on constitutionality. In addition to Turley, Glen Greenwald of believes that at least 2/3 of all Democrats and most of the professoriate in America agree with the decision. Kevin Drum of Mother Jones Press also agrees with the court on constitutional grounds and rejects policy decisions.

I agree, too. Not only on constitutional grounds but as a practical matter. Can anyone believe that the corporations don’t already spend to their maximum capabilities through 527 loopholes and PACs? Where did $1.1 billion come from in the last presidential election? Only a small fraction came from individual donors and the rest from corporations and unions supporting both candidates. Where do almost all candidates at the state and national level get their campaign funding from? Corporations and unions.

To me, the Citizens United decision mostly confirmed what is already true: Big money in politics comes from big organizations!



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83 responses to “SCOTUS Only Confirms What Is Already True! eProf2

  1. eprof I’m on the same page as you on this one, to be honest campaign finance has never been a big issue for me. I’d much rather see very strong laws that insure we know where the is money coming from than attempt to restrict the flow.

  2. Colbert Rips Harold Ford Jr. For Flip Flopping On Abortion, Gay Marriage (VIDEO)

  3. eprof2

    Good morning. This decision was akin to “Sophies Choice.” You could save one child (principle or policy) but not both. I lament the practical outcome as being in favor of big business but given the circumstances of the debate I’ll chose the first amendment.

  4. nannymm

    You’re right, of course, eProf. But the policy implications are not good. I hope that Congress can pass a law requiring CEO’s to identify the ads they pay for, something along the lines of, “I’m Joe Fat Cat, CEO of Rip Off The People Corp., and I approved and paid for this message out of the money I gouged from you.

  5. nannymm

    Over the weekend, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said it’s “possible” he could run for Senate as “a good old-fashioned New England moderate Republican.”

  6. eprof2

    Joe Lieberman only thinks of himself and Israel.

  7. nannymm

    Interesting article:
    “… [a] more disturbing, conclusion can be drawn from the Democrats’ sudden reversal of fortune in Massachusetts—a mere year after Obama’s historic victory. Is America simply ungovernable? Are the impediments to governance so great—obstructionist Republicans, spineless Democrats, and an increasingly incoherent electorate—that no one can run the country effectively?”

  8. nannymm

    Ok, I have to ask this. Has Obama lost his mind? How is cutting 19 per cent of the federal budget going to help the poor and the middle class?

  9. nannymm

    I should have been a bit clearer. How is a freeze on spending that impacts 19 per cent of the federal budget going to help the poor and the middle class?

  10. nannymm

    Bob Herbert has some harsh words for and about President Obama. Sadly, I agree with them.

    Who is Barack Obama?
    Americans are still looking for the answer, and if they don’t get it soon — or if they don’t like the answer — the president’s current political problems will look like a walk in the park.

  11. dog's eye view

    I will not tear President Obama down. He’s the best we will see in our time.

    Agree with Bob Herbert and Paul Krugman that Obama has not gotten out in front of the economic devastation/no jobs/banksters situation. He’s got a bully pulpit and has to use it, elegantly if he wishes. But the public needs to hear more from him. Too much misinformation and disinformation falling into a vacuum.

    The solutions are not easy, if they are there at all. It’s easy to tear down, and so hard to build or rebuild.

    I am more disappointed with the American public and its public “servants” than I am with our president.

    Spoken like a true Obamabot, yes.

    Who thought this would be easy in November? And now, with even more devastation and rot coming to light every news cycle?

    Didn’t we just live through an administration that didn’t even pay attention to facts on the ground?

    Are there a lot of issues and situations going well for the U.S. right now? Aren’t we living through a giant clusterf*ck that was years in development?

    It’s too easy and cheap to despair. And it still might be too late to correct course.

    But to give up is to give in to nihilism.

    I am glad that Herbert is putting the president on notice about jobs. That infrastructure bank is looking really good about now.

    But piling on someone who’s facing the worst set of circumstances in over 100 years? No thank you.

    • dnd

      Here’s something to keep in mind when reading Paul Krugman’s opinions about Obama: he’s hugely pissed off that he wasn’t asked to to be part of the administration and takes it personally.

      As to Herbert’s column today, hindsight is 20-20. Why wasn’t he saying this stuff a year ago?

      • dnd

        I think President Obama faces five serious obstacles:

        1. The steaming pile of dog poo left by the previous administration and congress. Layered on that is a frustrated and impatient public for whom instant gratification isn’t soon enough.

        2. Republican members of congress who march in lockstep and who’s only goal is for the administration and Democratic congress to fail in the hopes that they can resume power. Note that most of these members are leftovers from the previous administration and significantly responsible for the mess.

        3. Democratic members of congress who make herding cats look easy.

        4. Supporters who project their own pet desires on Obama and are wondering what’s taking him so long.

        5. Opponents who won’t be satisfied no matter what he does.

        Harry Truman famously said: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Good thing Obama got Bo.

  12. nannymm

    Paul Krugman on Obama’s spending freeze. Check out the comments. If Obama goes ahead with this, he’ll lose his base.

    Obama Liquidates Himself
    “A spending freeze? That’s the brilliant response of the Obama team to their first serious political setback?
    It’s appalling on every level.”

  13. nannymm

    Obama has it tough, for sure. But that does not allow him to act like a repug, to act like he has no political core, to spit in the eye of those who believed in and supported him. He has disappointed on everything from warrant less wiretapping to indefinite detentions, to lack of transparency, to health care reform, to lack of leadership, to escalating wars, and NOW he wants to freeze spending at a time when our economy is so fragile and people are barely treading water? Sorry. That is NOT change I can believe in. It is NOT change I will support.
    I won’t be an Obamabot or a bot for anyone. We lived through eight long and disastrous years of Bush and the bots who enabled him. I thought we were better than that.

  14. dog's eye view

    nanny: that’s your opinion and your right.

    I cruised through the comments on Herbert’s article. What a bunch of magical thinking, unrealistic and angry people.

    “We lived through eight long and disastrous years of Bush and the bots who enabled him. I thought we were better than that.”

    Sadly, apparently we have our answer.

  15. dog's eye view

    Got to take off. Have a good one and will check in later.

  16. Nanny you get a moveon email about making calls to our senators?

  17. Did you call? I did, lets just say my tone was not cordial!

  18. eprof2

    Do you suppose the Dems and Obama will now push for a tax cut for the rich?

  19. nannymm

    I called, also, Brian. My tone was “clipped.”

  20. nannymm

    Nothing they do now will surprise me, eProf. It’s looking like Obama is just another politician looking out for his own behind. And I will not support him blindly. That is one of the things I despised about the repug Bush supporters. They chose party loyalty over loyalty to our country and their ideals. They were hypocrites. I’m not.
    I’d rather fight and speak out than sit back and be silent when I disagree so vehemently with what Obama and the Dems are doing.

  21. d the strategy of pandering to the middle is not working, it’s time to try something else.

    • dnd

      Obama is president of all the citizens of the United States, not just the demmycrats. I don’t recall any on the left saying they understand and accept Bush from tilting far right. They all wanted him to govern to the center.

      What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…

  22. nannymm

    Well, dnd, at least Herbert is saying it now. Better late than never….
    As for Krugman, if there is some bitterness or anger there, it doesn’t really matter to me at this point. I agree with what he says. Obama is wrong on this. Period.

  23. nannymm

    It sure is, Brian. It’s time they started acting like Democrats, PROUD Democrats. It’s time they start acting like a duly elected majority and do the work they were elected to do. Is that so damned much to ask after all the work we did to elect them?

  24. nannymm

    This is from the Economist:

    President Obama concedes defeat

    “Through bad times and good times for the president, there was one word I never associated with him and his approach to the challenges facing the country: gimmick. But this is a bright shining gimmick that advertises a lack of seriousness to both near-term economic weakness and long-run budget problems. This is decidedly not what is needed right now. If this is the best the president can do, Democrats, and the country, are in for a very long few years.”

    • dnd

      The funny thing about the proposed freeze in discretionary spending is that nobody in the public knows the details. Yet this does not stop everybody from having an opinion on it, particularly, as David Plouffe called them, the bed wetters.

      I heard a lefty talker this morning claiming it would hurt Medicare, apparently not understanding what discretionary spending means.

      Having seen government waste first-hand, I feel safe in saying a temporary spending freeze ain’t gonna hurt anybody or the economy one bit.

      Is this symbolic? Sure. But to a large part, so was the stimulus. The idea is to generate confidence in the economy going forward.

      • dnd

        Ok, one more rant: the right keeps saying Obama has quadrupled (or what ever multiplier they choose) the deficit in his first year.

        The reason it’s so much bigger is that he’s accounting for the war spending, something the Bush administration didn’t do.

        Those on the right who push these talking points are either disingenuous, ignorant or both.

  25. nannymm


    1. Obama ran to clean up that pile of “dog poo.” He needs to get to work on it not make it worse.

    2 and 3. The repugs are obstructionists. The dems are spineless. We all know that. Obama knows that. But he needs to deal with it. He asked for the job; it was not forced on him. Now, he needs to get tough and find his inner LBJ. Everyone walks on him because he is acting like a damned doormat.

    4. He made certain promises and assertions during the campaign. He has failed to lead the effort to achieve the goals HE set out for his administration. Yes, people are also doing some projecting. But Obama set it up that way. Now he needs to deal with that, too.

    5. Who gives a shit about his opponents? He needs to forget about them and get to work. He’s losing his base! At the rate he’s going there will be no one left except Michele and Bo to support him.

    • dnd

      1. Obama ran to clean up that pile of “dog poo.” He needs to get to work on it not make it worse.

      You don’t think he’s been trying?

      2 and 3. The repugs are obstructionists. The dems are spineless. We all know that. Obama knows that. But he needs to deal with it. He asked for the job; it was not forced on him. Now, he needs to get tough and find his inner LBJ. Everyone walks on him because he is acting like a damned doormat.

      LBJ was a powerful long-term Senator prior to becoming veep. He knew where all the skeletons were buried. Times were very, very different back then. I don’t buy using that as analogy.

      4. He made certain promises and assertions during the campaign. He has failed to lead the effort to achieve the goals HE set out for his administration. Yes, people are also doing some projecting. But Obama set it up that way. Now he needs to deal with that, too.

      Can you give me a list?

      5. Who gives a shit about his opponents? He needs to forget about them and get to work. He’s losing his base! At the rate he’s going there will be no one left except Michele and Bo to support him.

      Who gives a shit about his base. As Brown proved, it’s independents that move elections. Independents contributed to Obama’s campaign, worked for him and voted for him. He’s a smart guy. I think he got the message.

  26. nannymm

    Obama isn’t governing at all, dnd. He’s reacting to the events of the day. And may I remind you, healthcare reform was one of the top concerns of voters throughout the primary and GE. Yet, he’s frittered away an entire year in the pursuit of the unattainable. Bipartisanship. Yeah, right! It takes two to tango and the repugs aren’t dancing. A wise person knows when to cut his losses and move on. Obama should have done so months ago. Had he shown some guts and leadership, he could have gotten a bill passed. He fucked up. Royally.

  27. d I think there is something else going on here and is proving to be a big tactical error. I think we’ve been too dismissive of the teabagger wacho right wingers. It’s time to put on the gloves!

  28. nannymm

    You’ll get no argument from me about the disingenuous nature and ignorance of the repugs. Hell, I’ll call it what it is: lying opportunism.
    But that does not excuse Obama’s lack of leadership. The people who desperately need healthcare don’t give a damn, dnd, if Obama achieves a bipartisan bill. If he had led and gotten that bill passed, people would have been happy in the long run. If it hurt him politically in the short run, too damned bad! We elected him to do it, not to worry about pussy footing around and trying to play both sides of the aisle. This is about what’s right for the American people, not Obama’s political fortunes.

  29. eprof2

    dnd, the people wanted Bush to move to the center from his right wing perch? Yeah, we did; and, how far did he move? So, in an equal and opposite argument, why should Obama govern from the center when he can’t get one single Rep to support him? Bush got lots of help, too much for my liking, from the center and left of center for his policies. Obama is beginning to follow the Bush spending pattern on I and A by going to the Congress asking for an additional $33 billion for the wars as a supplement. Duh, is this Bush III?

  30. nannymm

    It feels like it, eprof.

  31. nannymm

    Even Obama’s allies can’t defend spending freeze this with a straight face.

    Obama Allies Struggle To Defend Spending Freeze

  32. nannymm

    “And at its core, Obama’s decision cedes to the right-wing both the idea that blanket cuts are necessary and the notion that cuts should be focused on domestic programs while defense spending goes untouched. And already, the right-wing is claiming the freeze as a victory, with the National Review’s Jim Geraghty writing, “if the arguments in the coming years are between spending freezes and spending cuts, then we’ve already won.

  33. This is the problem, the right is winning the PR war, he needs to put the gloves on and do it now! Tomorrow night will be very telling.

  34. nannymm

    He needed to do it months ago. Now he’s so damned far behind that it’s going to be hell to catch up. It’s already cost us big time.
    That said, tomorrow will definitely be very telling. If he doesn’t grow a huge pair between now and then, he’s sunk and we’re all screwed.

  35. He needs to start throwing us some red meat, and I’m not saying that cause I’m hungry for it, he needs to drive the passion on the left up a few notches to counter what’s coming from the right. This is IMO the lesson to take from Mass!

  36. nannymm

    Red meat if fine if it isn’t rotten scraps.

  37. Well, very interesting points you all make.

    If the people of this country don’t get their heads out of their asses….it wont matter who is in office. People have to unite with the common goal of making our country better, stronger, smarter and safer. Most people would say that sounds good, yet then they turn it around and play moronic political games….with change there is sacrifice and compromise….no one is willing to do either.

    All we have now is bitching, blaming, and finger pointing. Bull headed politicians and their supporters who don’t give a crap as long as they get their little pet project approved even if they f*ck everyone else in the process. There is absolutely no unity, not on one single issue, just a plethora self serving bullshit.

    In my recollection, the United States of America, has not stood united on anything since right after 9/11…..without the willingness to compromise and unite nothing will ever change.


    • dnd

      Sra Burrito,
      “People have to unite with the common goal of making our country better, stronger, smarter and safer. ”
      I agree. I remember (barely) the early 60’s when President Kennedy said we were going to put a man on the moon. He got us all pulling in the same direction. The adversary was the commies, not other Americans we didn’t agree with.

      As long as Americans want to fight with each other, while our foreign adversaries are gaining ground, we’re screwed.

  38. nannymm

    Could this really be true?

    Obama to make announcement on gay ban

    By Rick Maze – Staff writer
    Posted : Tuesday Jan 26, 2010 13:09:17 EST

    The announcement of congressional hearings on the ban on open military service by homosexuals has been delayed at the request of the Obama administration until after Wednesday night’s State of the Union Address because the president may announce that military leaders will support changing the law, according to a key lawmaker.

  39. let’s hope it’s true, it would be a big step in the right direction!

  40. nannymm

    If it’s true, it will be wonderful. The way things have been going, however, I fear it’s just a bone from some of that rotten red meat.

  41. J. D. Hayworth, seriously creepy man!

  42. dog's eye view

    Seconding dnd’s analysis (on every point and then some; no surprise) and burrito on how Americans need to grow up and think with their heads this time.

    Obama is governing, and he’s working on very very hard issues.

    Brian’s right — he needs to put on the gloves and carry a stiletto too. Progress is often slow and incremental. We’re living through disaster days.

    The whack jobs are the train wreck our “if it bleeds it leads” media loves to cover.

    That said, progress takes work and shared sacrifice. It’s easy to hyperventilate and get caught up in the drama.

    Anyone who does not think Obama cares about the average American is not worth listening to.

    Period. (Saying that about media bloviators and pundits; NOT about anyone here.)

    Keep the passion and anger to work for change.

    This is a marathon.

  43. dog's eye view

    Let’s hear it for Neil Barofsky, special prosecutor on bankster crimes and misdeeds.

    And the man is a GWBush appointee, who was startled by the honor at the time.

    NY Times today:

    ” … increasingly, Mr. Barofsky is setting off fireworks on Capitol Hill as he quietly and methodically pieces together the most complete historical record yet of the financial bailout. His reports are careful but not cautious, showing a willingness to stand up to some of the most powerful people and institutions in Washington or on Wall Street.

    So far, Mr. Barofsky has accused the former Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., of misleading the public about the health of the nation’s biggest banks during the crisis of 2008. He has been investigating the taxpayer-subsidized shotgun wedding of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. He has named a group of bonus recipients at the American International Group who promised to return $45 million to their government-owned employer last year, then coughed up less than half of it.”

    An Investigator Presses to Uncover Bailout Abuse

    Makes me wish for C-Span for watching his Congressional testimony tomorrow.

  44. dog's eye view

    Steven Pearlstein, WaPost business columnist: The SOTU speech Obama would give in a more honest world

    “My fellow Americans, the state of our union is . . . well, quite wretched at the moment. As president, I owe you that honesty and candor.

    What’s truly depressing, however, is that as a country we seem to have completely lost the will and the capacity to collectively confront these challenges.

    … No institution, however, has deteriorated more than the one in which I stand now, the U.S. Congress, which has transformed itself into a hyper-partisan swamp that fails to live up even to its most basic constitutional duties — making timely appropriations, confirming nominees for top positions and declaring when we are at war. You have saddled the country with a monstrous debt and projected deficits that will bankrupt the nation, yet you refuse even to allow an independent commission to draw up a reasonable plan to cut spending and raise taxes. You have spent a year deliberating on the urgent issues of health care, global warming and financial regulation, yet so far you have been able to agree on nothing. …”

    It’s a quick read, and worth it for some actual solutions.

  45. dog's eye view

    Good night all. See you tomorrow.

    We are living through terrible times. Please do not fall for those who continue to polarize and divide.

    It will be interesting to look at this thread a year from now.

  46. I guess I could have boiled my comment down to these famous four words……

    “united we stand, divided we fall”

    Happy hump day to you all, as I sit in front of my s.a.d. light (sans shades)


  47. was I thinking…coffee needed

  48. nannymm

    Good morning.

  49. nannymm

    I think it’s 9pm EST, dnd.

  50. nannymm

    Who would co-sponsor a bill, and then vote against it?

    Six Republican senators would — almost the exact margin of defeat Tuesday for a plan endorsed by President Barack Obama that would have formed a task force on the deficit to try to force tough choices on Congress.

    Read more:

  51. nannymm

    Gutless wonders:

    Democrats Put Lower Priority on Health Bill
    Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama’s top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them.

  52. nannymm


    Help wanted: $24,000 to stop Glenn Beck, ‘tea-baggers’
    Help-wanted ads are appearing on Craigslist that offer to pay citizens $24,000 a year, plus health insurance, to “counter the hysteria and lies of Glenn Beck and other talking heads” and “stop the tea-baggers!”

  53. nannymm

    Anybody out there?

  54. nannymm

    Obama will ask in State of Union for end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
    President Obama will call for a repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy during Wednesday night’s State of the Union address, White House officials said Wednesday afternoon.

  55. nannymm

    That would be interesting. But it would probably go over the heads on most people.

  56. Evening peeps, wasn’t sure I’d be home into for the SOTU. Excellent news on don’t ask Nanny!

  57. nannymm

    It sure is, Brian. Now he’d better ride herd on Congress to make them repeal it. And in the meantime, he ought to order the pentagon to stop enforcing it.

  58. well they all came to their feet for that tax cut

    • dnd

      President Obama to Congress on health care reform: “Get-r-done.”

      It’s refreshing to know that the President is a fan of Larry the Cable Guy.

  59. Ok I’m starting to feel like a Democrat again.

  60. nannymm

    Well, well, well! This is the Barzck Obama I voted for. If he keeps this up, he’ll be OK; we’ll be OK; America will be OK.
    If this is just words, he’s toast and we’re screwed.
    My fingers are crossed….

  61. dooty

    Excellent news on don’t ask Nanny! why shouldn’t we ask Nanny?

  62. nannymm

    There it is, Brian!!! He said it!!!

  63. yep!

    It was a very savvy speech really.

  64. Is it just me or does anyone else find the new gov of VA a tad creepy?

  65. nannymm

    Nope, it’s not just you. I thought he looked smarmy and I wasn’t impressed with his rebuttal. The setting was a bit too presumptuous for my taste. In fact, my reaction was something along the lines of, “who the hell does he think he is?”

  66. Yeah I agree, I thought the setting was chosen for reasons that I find disgusting. Kind of a “this is what a president of the United States is supposed to look like”.

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