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Horrible decision by the Supreme Court


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Guest One of Five

January 22, 2010

Justices Block Key Part of Campaign Law

 

By ADAM LIPTAK

WASHINGTON — Sweeping aside a century-old understanding and overruling two important precedents, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.

 

The ruling was a vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace will corrupt democracy.

 

The 5-to-4 decision was a doctrinal earthquake but also a political and practical one. Specialists in campaign finance law said they expected the decision, which also applies to labor unions and other organizations, to reshape the way elections are conducted.

 

“If the First Amendment has any force,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, which included the four members of its conservative wing, “it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”

 

Justice John Paul Stevens read a long dissent from the bench. He said the majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings. His decision was joined by the other three members of the court’s liberal wing.

 

The case had unlikely origins. It involved a documentary called “Hillary: The Movie,” a 90-minute stew of caustic political commentary and advocacy journalism. It was produced by Citizens United, a conservative nonprofit corporation, and was released during the Democratic presidential primaries in 2008.

 

Citizens United lost a suit that year against the Federal Election Commission, and scuttled plans to show the film on a cable video-on-demand service and to broadcast television advertisements for it. But the film was shown in theaters in six cities, and it remains available on DVD and the Internet.

 

The lower court said the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, usually called the McCain-Feingold law, prohibited the planned broadcasts. The law bans the broadcast, cable or satellite transmission of “electioneering communications” paid for by corporations in the 30 days before a presidential primary and in the 60 days before the general election. That leaves out old technologies, like newspapers, and new ones, like YouTube.

 

The law, as narrowed by a 2007 Supreme Court decision, applies to communications “susceptible to no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate.” It also requires spoken and written disclaimers in the film and advertisements for it, along with the disclosure of contributors’ names.

 

The lower court said the film was prohibited electioneering communication with one purpose: “to inform the electorate that Senator Clinton is unfit for office, that the United States would be a dangerous place in a President Hillary Clinton world and that viewers should vote against her.”

 

The McCain-Feingold law does contain an exception for broadcast news reports, commentaries and editorials.

 

When the case was first argued last March, it seemed a curiosity likely to be decided on narrow grounds. The court could have ruled that Citizens United was not the sort of group to which the McCain-Feingold law was meant to apply, or that the law did not mean to address 90-minute documentaries, or that video-on-demand technologies were not regulated by the law. Thursday’s decision rejected those alternatives.

 

Instead of deciding the case in June, the court set down the case for a rare re-argument in September. It now asked the parties to address the much more consequential question of whether the court should overrule a 1990 decision, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which upheld restrictions on corporate spending to support or oppose political candidates, along with part of McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, the 2003 decision that upheld the central provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

 

On Thursday, the court answered its own questions with a resounding yes.

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Somewhere back in the deep recesses of my memory I remember some politician or lobbyist saying: “ the problem with buying a politician is making sure he stays bought.” Robert Heinlein in “Strange

No, it landed here because you put it here.  If I wanted it to be here, I would have done so myself.  If you want to keep this thread alive by quoting others, there's plenty in this thread.  And

And that is exactly why so many of us have Tom on ignore.

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I see it as the only possible decision and I also see it as bad for democracy.

 

I wonder if anybody will see the court as avaiable for making decisions based upon teh atual constitution as opoeed to what they want and bring up more "purist" cases??

 

Example. How the fuck can automatic weapons be banned when they are much more capable of being used to regulate the government than a hand gun ??

 

The entire purpose of teh second amendment is to allow teh people to stay armed and able to oppose an oppresive government.

 

it ain't about pop guns for shootin your unfaithful spouse or protecting yourself from criminals.

 

the guns are constitutionaly protected so we the people can regulate the government.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Or can we ever get the feds out of commerce within the individual states?? Unles the products cross state lines, the feds really may not be involved in regulation.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Stck me on the court. I'll fix this country

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Ironic isn't it, that the Conservative justices voted to protect free-speech rights while the Liberal justices tried to restrain those rights.

 

And yet people insist that Conservatives in this country are the ones trying to control us.

 

Fundamentally, money is simply an artifact of the society today...its costs money to get your message out. Thus the issue was never fundamentally about the amount of money, it was always about how limiting spending would in fact limit free speech rights.

 

Looks like the Supremes got this one right!

 

Hroth

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The constitution protects freedom of speech for legal entities?

Seems like this quashes the freedom of speech for normal citizens by ensuring a political deaf ear for the average joe.

"Sure, you're free to speak but my company will drown you out".

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Ironic isn't it, that the Conservative justices voted to protect free-speech rights while the Liberal justices tried to restrain those rights.

 

And yet people insist that Conservatives in this country are the ones trying to control us.

 

Fundamentally, money is simply an artifact of the society today...its costs money to get your message out. Thus the issue was never fundamentally about the amount of money, it was always about how limiting spending would in fact limit free speech rights.

 

Looks like the Supremes got this one right!

 

Hroth

So entities that do not vote should enjoy full rights of citizenship?

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The constitution protects freedom of speech for legal entities?

Seems like this quashes the freedom of speech for normal citizens by ensuring a political deaf ear for the average joe.

"Sure, you're free to speak but my company will drown you out".

 

As with many Constitutional clauses, the First Ammendment does not guarantee a right to anything, it simply denies Congress the right to pass laws restricting certain behaviors. A subtle but important difference.

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

Hroth

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Ironic isn't it, that the Conservative justices voted to protect free-speech rights while the Liberal justices tried to restrain those rights.

 

And yet people insist that Conservatives in this country are the ones trying to control us.

 

Fundamentally, money is simply an artifact of the society today...its costs money to get your message out. Thus the issue was never fundamentally about the amount of money, it was always about how limiting spending would in fact limit free speech rights.

 

Looks like the Supremes got this one right!

 

Hroth

So entities that do not vote should enjoy full rights of citizenship?

 

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech or of the press...

 

Get it?

 

Hroth

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The constitution protects freedom of speech for legal entities?

Seems like this quashes the freedom of speech for normal citizens by ensuring a political deaf ear for the average joe.

"Sure, you're free to speak but my company will drown you out".

 

As with many Constitutional clauses, the First Ammendment does not guarantee a right to anything, it simply denies Congress the right to pass laws restricting certain behaviors. A subtle but important difference.

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

Hroth

So entities that do not vote should enjoy the full rights of citizenship, in terms of Constitutional protection?

 

I'd like to hear where TM stands on that premise.

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The constitution protects freedom of speech for legal entities?

Seems like this quashes the freedom of speech for normal citizens by ensuring a political deaf ear for the average joe.

"Sure, you're free to speak but my company will drown you out".

 

As with many Constitutional clauses, the First Ammendment does not guarantee a right to anything, it simply denies Congress the right to pass laws restricting certain behaviors. A subtle but important difference.

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

Hroth

 

didn't see where corporations were mentioned....

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The constitution protects freedom of speech for legal entities?

Seems like this quashes the freedom of speech for normal citizens by ensuring a political deaf ear for the average joe.

"Sure, you're free to speak but my company will drown you out".

 

As with many Constitutional clauses, the First Ammendment does not guarantee a right to anything, it simply denies Congress the right to pass laws restricting certain behaviors. A subtle but important difference.

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

Hroth

So entities that do not vote should enjoy the full rights of citizenship, in terms of Constitutional protection?

 

I'd like to hear where TM stands on that premise.

 

Please point me to the part of the Constitution that details 'the full rights of Citizenship.'

 

The 'press' is protected...are they not corporations? Do we not decry the political views of Fox, or CNN, or the NYT? How are other corporate entities fundamentally different?

 

Hroth

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I understand it, but see it as yet another case of

our system needs fixing.

 

It will be interesting to see what the Tea Party's opinion

on this will be, and if it differs from the GOP. I think

this ball in in Steele's hands, as Chairman of the party,

his job is mostly raising funds. Who speaks for the

Tea Party? Anyone?

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Ironic isn't it, that the Conservative justices voted to protect free-speech rights while the Liberal justices tried to restrain those rights.

 

And yet people insist that Conservatives in this country are the ones trying to control us.

 

Fundamentally, money is simply an artifact of the society today...its costs money to get your message out. Thus the issue was never fundamentally about the amount of money, it was always about how limiting spending would in fact limit free speech rights.

 

Looks like the Supremes got this one right!

 

Hroth

So entities that do not vote should enjoy full rights of citizenship?

 

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech or of the press...

 

Get it?

 

Hroth

So the Constitution applies without limitation. Ok.

 

Why should foreign combatants not enjoy Constitutional rights? Take the Hanes underwear bomber, for example. We've heard argument that he should not enjoy Constitutional protection(s).

 

Please explain the difference.

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Ironic isn't it, that the Conservative justices voted to protect free-speech rights while the Liberal justices tried to restrain those rights.

 

And yet people insist that Conservatives in this country are the ones trying to control us.

 

Fundamentally, money is simply an artifact of the society today...its costs money to get your message out. Thus the issue was never fundamentally about the amount of money, it was always about how limiting spending would in fact limit free speech rights.

 

Looks like the Supremes got this one right!

 

Hroth

So entities that do not vote should enjoy full rights of citizenship?

 

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech or of the press...

 

Get it?

 

Hroth

So the Constitution applies without limitation. Ok.

 

Why should foreign combatants not enjoy Constitutional rights? Take the Hanes underwear bomber, for example. We've heard argument that he should not enjoy Constitutional protection(s).

 

Please explain the difference.

 

 

I thought he was wearing Fruit of the Loom.

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Please point me to the part of the Constitution that details 'the full rights of Citizenship.'

 

The 'press' is protected...are they not corporations? Do we not decry the political views of Fox, or CNN, or the NYT? How are other corporate entities fundamentally different?

 

Hroth

I'm just trying to find out who is protected. THe press does not have to be a corporation. It could be one guy with a printing press, or a blog.

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Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech or of the press...

 

Get it?

 

Hroth

 

"...The right of the people..."

 

Yep, I think I got it just fine.

 

finish the sentence...the right of the people peaceably to assemble...

 

you need to bone up on your Bill of Rights a bit...

 

Remember, the Constitution says a whole lot more about what the government CAN NOT DO than what the people's (or states) rights are. Note that 2/3 of the First Ammendment is about what Congress CAN NOT DO while only the last 2 clauses are about protecting the rights of people to do specific things--assemble and petition the government.

 

Hroth

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Ironic isn't it, that the Conservative justices voted to protect free-speech rights while the Liberal justices tried to restrain those rights.

 

And yet people insist that Conservatives in this country are the ones trying to control us.

 

Fundamentally, money is simply an artifact of the society today...its costs money to get your message out. Thus the issue was never fundamentally about the amount of money, it was always about how limiting spending would in fact limit free speech rights.

 

Looks like the Supremes got this one right!

 

Hroth

So entities that do not vote should enjoy full rights of citizenship?

These entities are simply ways in which citizens organize themselves. Good decision.

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Please point me to the part of the Constitution that details 'the full rights of Citizenship.'

 

The 'press' is protected...are they not corporations? Do we not decry the political views of Fox, or CNN, or the NYT? How are other corporate entities fundamentally different?

 

Hroth

I'm just trying to find out who is protected. THe press does not have to be a corporation. It could be one guy with a printing press, or a blog.

 

No person or entity is protected...Congress is limited from doing certain things...

 

Hroth

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Please point me to the part of the Constitution that details 'the full rights of Citizenship.'

 

The 'press' is protected...are they not corporations? Do we not decry the political views of Fox, or CNN, or the NYT? How are other corporate entities fundamentally different?

 

Hroth

I'm just trying to find out who is protected. THe press does not have to be a corporation. It could be one guy with a printing press, or a blog.

 

No person or entity is protected...Congress is limited from doing certain things...

 

Hroth

Fascinating interpretation. I suspect Hamilton would have loved it.

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A new coalition is already calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to change the ruling. “In this decision, a handful of unelected judges have revealed their agenda to expand the influence of corporations at the expense of the rights of individuals, and it will not stand the test of time,” said Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy and former chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. - Politico

 

From the article.

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Just because a group of citizens is organized as a corporation or a union does not mean their free speech rights should be abridged.

How about limiting the speech rights of members of political parties by restricting the money they can spend? Same thing.

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A new coalition is already calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to change the ruling. "In this decision, a handful of unelected judges have revealed their agenda to expand the influence of corporations at the expense of the rights of individuals, and it will not stand the test of time," said Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy and former chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. - Politico

 

From the article.

.

 

I agree with Mark on this - the system does need changing. I also agree with the Supreme Court decision. The quote above is political bullshit. The Supreme Court did not reveal an agenda, simply interpreted the Constitution.

 

Seems to me that a decision otherwise would have allowed congress to limit the collective speech of any group - including an unfavorable political party, unions or Green Peace.

 

If you argue that they are not corporations and it is ridiculous to compare them, take a look at a comment in the dissention -

"The notion that the First Amendment dictated [today's ruling] is, in my judgment, profoundly misguided," Stevens wrote for the others.

 

"In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it," he added.

 

Using the logic of the above rationale, if this had passed, Gov't could restrict free speech rights of any group - including those individuals who pool their resources for a louder, common voice.

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A new coalition is already calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to change the ruling. “In this decision, a handful of unelected judges have revealed their agenda to expand the influence of corporations at the expense of the rights of individuals, and it will not stand the test of time,” said Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy and former chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. - Politico

 

From the article.

 

Has the Tea Party issued any statement on this yet?

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the fact that conservatives (no not you neo clowns), liberals and political centrists (like myself) can agree to denounce this decision is an indication that it's not a good idea.

 

Are you denouncing the decision on political grounds or legal grounds? If political, I agree there should be restrictions on political campaigns. At the legal/constitutional level, I agree with the decision.

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the fact that conservatives (no not you neo clowns), liberals and political centrists (like myself) can agree to denounce this decision is an indication that it's not a good idea.

 

Are you denouncing the decision on political grounds or legal grounds? If political, I agree there should be restrictions on political campaigns. At the legal/constitutional level, I agree with the decision.

 

all of the above - I agree with Stevens

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Just because a group of citizens is organized as a corporation or a union does not mean their free speech rights should be abridged.

How about limiting the speech rights of members of political parties by restricting the money they can spend? Same thing.

Let them contribute individually. Nothing wrong with that.

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The constitution protects freedom of speech for legal entities?

Seems like this quashes the freedom of speech for normal citizens by ensuring a political deaf ear for the average joe.

"Sure, you're free to speak but my company will drown you out".

 

As with many Constitutional clauses, the First Ammendment does not guarantee a right to anything, it simply denies Congress the right to pass laws restricting certain behaviors. A subtle but important difference.

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

Hroth

So entities that do not vote should enjoy the full rights of citizenship, in terms of Constitutional protection?

 

I'd like to hear where TM stands on that premise.

No they should not have rights. That is not what the ruling involves. It removes the need to go through a PAC; from WIKI:

 

When an interest group, union, or corporation wants to contribute to federal candidates or parties, it must do so through a PAC. These PACs receive and raise money from a "restricted class," generally consisting of managers and shareholders in the case of a corporation, and members in the case of a union or other interest group. The PAC may then make donations to political campaigns. PACs and individuals are the only entities allowed to contribute funds to candidates for federal office. Contributions from corporate or labor union treasuries are illegal, though they may sponsor a PAC and provide financial support for its administration and fundraising. Overall, PACs account for less than thirty percent of total contributions in U.S. Congressional races, and considerably less in presidential races.

 

Look at it this way George Soros dumps money into political races - which is worse one individual spending millions to forward an agenda or a corporation that usually answers to a board of directors when spending money? They also pay lobbyists millions to get their agenda front and center. The money has always flowed from the unions, corporations and business to politicians this could actually make it more transparent.

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the fact that conservatives (no not you neo clowns), liberals and political centrists (like myself) can agree to denounce this decision is an indication that it's not a good idea.

 

Are you denouncing the decision on political grounds or legal grounds? If political, I agree there should be restrictions on political campaigns. At the legal/constitutional level, I agree with the decision.

 

Yeah, I can see where the court could decide that

it is not their place to ban it too. Not that I think

it's good for the country or anything like that. Or that

there couldn't be any valid dissenting views.

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Guest One of Five

Glad to have brought this to everyone's attention.

 

The last Supreme Court decision I really freaked about was the extension of eminent domain for the benefit of a real estate development in New London.

 

THAT was a travesty.

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The constitution protects freedom of speech for legal entities?

Seems like this quashes the freedom of speech for normal citizens by ensuring a political deaf ear for the average joe.

"Sure, you're free to speak but my company will drown you out".

 

As with many Constitutional clauses, the First Ammendment does not guarantee a right to anything, it simply denies Congress the right to pass laws restricting certain behaviors. A subtle but important difference.

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

Hroth

So entities that do not vote should enjoy the full rights of citizenship, in terms of Constitutional protection?

 

I'd like to hear where TM stands on that premise.

No they should not have rights. That is not what the ruling involves. It removes the need to go through a PAC; from WIKI:

 

When an interest group, union, or corporation wants to contribute to federal candidates or parties, it must do so through a PAC. These PACs receive and raise money from a "restricted class," generally consisting of managers and shareholders in the case of a corporation, and members in the case of a union or other interest group. The PAC may then make donations to political campaigns. PACs and individuals are the only entities allowed to contribute funds to candidates for federal office. Contributions from corporate or labor union treasuries are illegal, though they may sponsor a PAC and provide financial support for its administration and fundraising. Overall, PACs account for less than thirty percent of total contributions in U.S. Congressional races, and considerably less in presidential races.

 

Look at it this way George Soros dumps money into political races - which is worse one individual spending millions to forward an agenda or a corporation that usually answers to a board of directors when spending money? They also pay lobbyists millions to get their agenda front and center. The money has always flowed from the unions, corporations and business to politicians this could actually make it more transparent.

 

 

Following the argument in the dissenting brief, Congress could outlaw PAC money, DNC money and RNC money.

 

BTW - this shouldn't be looked at as a Dem. vs. Rep. issue. Both sides take dump trucks full of cash from corporate sources.

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Time to buy stock in some broadcast companies. The amount of ads will be going up this November. :lol:

 

Never thought of that.

 

Good call.

 

This was a horrible decision. The advocates claim it will give the average Joe a level playing field. What it will do is give corporations the ability to buy up all of the available air time and shut anyone else out. Big Business on both sides just stepped up from a learners permit to a full license and the keys to a Viper.

 

While the Unions may have had a campaign edge before due to voting blocks there is no way they can compete with corporations when it comes to purchasing power. I'm not saying that diminishing the voting power of the unions is a bad thing, but all we're doing here is trading it for something worse.

 

I also find the bullshit about this being a free speech issue to be laughable. If anyone here actually thinks this was a free speech issue you need to go get checked for dementia.

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Time to buy stock in some broadcast companies. The amount of ads will be going up this November. :lol:

 

Never thought of that.

 

Good call.

 

This was a horrible decision. The advocates claim it will give the average Joe a level playing field. What it will do is give corporations the ability to buy up all of the available air time and shut anyone else out. Big Business on both sides just stepped up from a learners permit to a full license and the keys to a Viper.

 

While the Unions may have had a campaign edge before due to voting blocks there is no way they can compete with corporations when it comes to purchasing power. I'm not saying that diminishing the voting power of the unions is a bad thing, but all we're doing here is trading it for something worse.

 

I also find the bullshit about this being a free speech issue to be laughable. If anyone here actually thinks this was a free speech issue you need to go get checked for dementia.

It was a legal decision. That's what the court does, interpret the law. Those who believe citizens organized as corporations or unions should have limits placed on their free speech rights need to advocate for a constitutional amendment.

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BTW - this shouldn't be looked at as a Dem. vs. Rep. issue. Both sides take dump trucks full of cash from corporate sources.

 

That's for damn sure.

 

Just taking a different tack, but I sorta wonder if this

will result in a lot of corp. sponsered activity beyond

what they already do. They like to contribute to

both sides a lot, hedge their bets on the competing

protection rackets as it were...

 

Do they wish themselves publicly labeled as

partisan? Can alienate some customers. Do they

really wish their paisan to be publicly and

loudly proclaimed as their "boy"? What happens

to them when their "brand" is caught in bed with a "live

boy or a dead girl", as the saying goes...

 

Do they really wish to spend a lot of money

warring with competitors over the public

airwaves in a manner such as this?

 

I am not sure they are all that eager to

be spending a lot of money beyond what

is already semi-extorted out of them now.

These ho's they buy come pretty cheap.

I'm not sure they want them on an auction

block.

 

Maybe this amendment won't be too tough

to pass.

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I also find the bullshit about this being a free speech issue to be laughable. If anyone here actually thinks this was a free speech issue you need to go get checked for dementia.

 

Well, then, the majority of the court needs a checkup then:

The majority justices said the government restrictions interfered with the open marketplace of ideas rather than protected it. “By suppressing the speech of manifold corporations, both for-profit and non-profit, the government prevents their voices and viewpoints from reaching the public,” Kennedy wrote.
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The two best comments I heard on the topic today..

 

"One unintended consequence is that now Board Rooms are going to become highly politicized"...Poeple tend to view corporations as single entities. There's a whole new cottage industry about to appear involving proxy warfare in publically traded companies.

 

The other REALLY interesting feature.. Very few major corporations are wholly US owned. You think that US interests are REALLY going to be the only adjendas?

 

Frankly, this was a HUGE HUGE win for the 1-world government folks. It's kinda interesting it was handed to them by Supreme Court justices that just HAPPENED to be picked by.. Hm was that guy calling all the shots.. oh YEA! Dick Chenny. What a coincidence??? The man who wanted nothing more than to expand the American Hegemony at all cost just handed the keys to the US government to corporations that aren't even fully American. Isn't THAT irony.

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

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The two best comments I heard on the topic today..

 

"One unintended consequence is that now Board Rooms are going to become highly politicized"...Poeple tend to view corporations as single entities. There's a whole new cottage industry about to appear involving proxy warfare in publically traded companies.

 

The other REALLY interesting feature.. Very few major corporations are wholly US owned. You think that US interests are REALLY going to be the only adjendas?

 

Frankly, this was a HUGE HUGE win for the 1-world government folks. It's kinda interesting it was handed to them by Supreme Court justices that just HAPPENED to be picked by.. Hm was that guy calling all the shots.. oh YEA! Dick Chenny. What a coincidence??? The man who wanted nothing more than to expand the American Hegemony at all cost just handed the keys to the US government to corporations that aren't even fully American. Isn't THAT irony.

These are issues that should be addressed by the elected legislative branch not the court. If some abridgement of free speech is deemed necessary they should ammend the constitution.

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Ironic isn't it, that the Conservative justices voted to protect free-speech rights while the Liberal justices tried to restrain those rights.

 

And yet people insist that Conservatives in this country are the ones trying to control us.

 

Fundamentally, money is simply an artifact of the society today...its costs money to get your message out. Thus the issue was never fundamentally about the amount of money, it was always about how limiting spending would in fact limit free speech rights.

 

Looks like the Supremes got this one right!

 

Hroth

 

 

Do you believe corporations are "endowed by their creator" with the same right to free speech as an individual?

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BTW - this shouldn't be looked at as a Dem. vs. Rep. issue. Both sides take dump trucks full of cash from corporate sources.

 

That's for damn sure.

 

Just taking a different tack, but I sorta wonder if this

will result in a lot of corp. sponsered activity beyond

what they already do. They like to contribute to

both sides a lot, hedge their bets on the competing

protection rackets as it were...

 

Do they wish themselves publicly labeled as

partisan? Can alienate some customers. Do they

really wish their paisan to be publicly and

loudly proclaimed as their "boy"? What happens

to them when their "brand" is caught in bed with a "live

boy or a dead girl", as the saying goes...

 

Do they really wish to spend a lot of money

warring with competitors over the public

airwaves in a manner such as this?

 

I am not sure they are all that eager to

be spending a lot of money beyond what

is already semi-extorted out of them now.

These ho's they buy come pretty cheap.

I'm not sure they want them on an auction

block.

 

Maybe this amendment won't be too tough

to pass.

 

What amendment, and with what goal?

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

 

All your base are have belong to corporations. :lol:

 

This idea that corporations can't have rights is absurd. The very name comes from the idea that they are state created entities (bodies) with certain rights. They can buy property, can they not? They can be sued, can they not? They can buy advertising time to tout how great their products and company are, can they not? Why is buying advertising time to talk politics different from buying other property?

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

Those humans already have the rights. Why double dip?

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

 

All your base are have belong to corporations. :lol:

 

This idea that corporations can't have rights is absurd. The very name comes from the idea that they are state created entities (bodies) with certain rights. They can buy property, can they not? They can be sued, can they not? They can buy advertising time to tout how great their products and company are, can they not? Why is buying advertising time to talk politics different from buying other property?

Because they don't vote. Let those who make up the corporation or union contribute to the limit. Our chance at representation is slight enough already.

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

Those humans already have the rights. Why double dip?

 

Following that logic, we'd have to shut down all PACS, the DNC, the RNC, Unions and every politician's campaign staff.

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

Those humans already have the rights. Why double dip?

 

Following that logic, we'd have to shut down all PACS, the DNC, the RNC, Unions and every politician's campaign staff.

Yes please.

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

Those humans already have the rights. Why double dip?

 

Following that logic, we'd have to shut down all PACS, the DNC, the RNC, Unions and every politician's campaign staff.

Yes, we should. Time to return the power to the people.

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

Those humans already have the rights. Why double dip?

 

Following that logic, we'd have to shut down all PACS, the DNC, the RNC, Unions and every politician's campaign staff.

sounds like a good start

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

Those humans already have the rights. Why double dip?

 

Following that logic, we'd have to shut down all PACS, the DNC, the RNC, Unions and every politician's campaign staff.

 

And before trying to justify anything with that, you would have to convince me that it would be a bad thing.

 

I'm no legal scholar like the rest of the members here may be. But corporate money has been in charge for a long time. I'm not sure if this will change things much. I think the bigger problem is that is assures things WON'T change.

 

Ben

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Ironic isn't it, that the Conservative justices voted to protect free-speech rights while the Liberal justices tried to restrain those rights.

 

And yet people insist that Conservatives in this country are the ones trying to control us......

 

Hroth

 

As you attempt to polarize this issue, as you do with everything, make sure you don't mention John McCain.

 

Crap... I just did. Sorry.

 

Ben

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

Those humans already have the rights. Why double dip?

 

Following that logic, we'd have to shut down all PACS, the DNC, the RNC, Unions and every politician's campaign staff.

 

And before trying to justify anything with that, you would have to convince me that it would be a bad thing.

 

I'm no legal scholar like the rest of the members here may be. But corporate money has been in charge for a long time. I'm not sure if this will change things much. I think the bigger problem is that is assures things WON'T change.

 

Ben

 

 

What would replace them? You don't think banning the groups would end the problems, do you?

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What would replace them? You don't think banning the groups would end the problems, do you?

 

No idea. All I see right now are two political parties that are doing just great, as long as they each can whip their support into a frenzy by vilifying the opposition. It works as long as there are enough sheep on each side to play along with the game. And every member of these ball teams get rich off it, from the President and President hopefuls, all the way down to the talking heads on radio and TV.

 

Who would replace them? I don't know. I just don't see how we could do any worse.

 

Ben

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Its a puzzler, ain't it? Everything I know and understand about the IDEALS of the American Experiment indicates to me that The Founders (or at least the most notable and lionized ones) would be mighty upset with the current state of our 'democracy', with the overweighted influence BIG capital and its use of that influence to contrive policies that are not clearly in the best long-term interest of the union and its peoples as a whole. On the other hand, I see no solution to this state that is either philosophically congruent with the founding ideals, or that is practical. Regatta Dog makes a good point about the ramifications beyond simply abridging the supposed 'rights' of corporations, while Dog's attempt to equate the rights of corporations to the rights of individuals falls flat for me - his supposition is unsupported by the founding documents.

 

Its not clear cut, and no argument on either side of the issue has a clear upper hand.

 

I guess that is why it, like other thorny issues of our time such as abortion rights, is so seemingly intractable.

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Its a puzzler, ain't it? Everything I know and understand about the IDEALS of the American Experiment indicates to me that The Founders (or at least the most notable and lionized ones) would be mighty upset with the current state of our 'democracy', with the overweighted influence BIG capital and its use of that influence to contrive policies that are not clearly in the best long-term interest of the union and its peoples as a whole. On the other hand, I see no solution to this state that is either philosophically congruent with the founding ideals, or that is practical. Regatta Dog makes a good point about the ramifications beyond simply abridging the supposed 'rights' of corporations, while Dog's attempt to equate the rights of corporations to the rights of individuals falls flat for me - his supposition is unsupported by the founding documents.

 

Its not clear cut, and no argument on either side of the issue has a clear upper hand.

 

I guess that is why it, like other thorny issues of our time such as abortion rights, is so seemingly intractable.

office-space-goodforthecompany.png

 

Carl says yes:

Lana417-2977-full.gif

 

I've been saying for some time that the fault lines in this country are horizontal, not vertical. The parties are mere mechanisms to keep people below the fault line at each others' throats. Divide and conquer. The Malarkey way.

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Its a puzzler, ain't it? Everything I know and understand about the IDEALS of the American Experiment indicates to me that The Founders (or at least the most notable and lionized ones) would be mighty upset with the current state of our 'democracy', with the overweighted influence BIG capital and its use of that influence to contrive policies that are not clearly in the best long-term interest of the union and its peoples as a whole. On the other hand, I see no solution to this state that is either philosophically congruent with the founding ideals, or that is practical. Regatta Dog makes a good point about the ramifications beyond simply abridging the supposed 'rights' of corporations, while Dog's attempt to equate the rights of corporations to the rights of individuals falls flat for me - his supposition is unsupported by the founding documents.

 

Its not clear cut, and no argument on either side of the issue has a clear upper hand.

 

I guess that is why it, like other thorny issues of our time such as abortion rights, is so seemingly intractable.

 

What do you mean its not clear cut?

 

This decision is a travesty.

 

This makes our government vulnerable again as they were to the influence of big money. Its back to the days when the Robber Barons controlled the government. .. That's crazy.

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What do you mean its not clear cut?

 

This decision is a travesty.

 

This makes our government vulnerable again as they were to the influence of big money. Its back to the days when the Robber Barons controlled the government. .. That's crazy.

 

In respect of the quality of the ruling, the ill effects of it are practically irrelevant. Was the law interpreted and applied correctly?

 

Ben

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What do you mean its not clear cut?

 

This decision is a travesty.

 

This makes our government vulnerable again as they were to the influence of big money. Its back to the days when the Robber Barons controlled the government. .. That's crazy.

I agree, but also think that corporations have controlled the country for quite some time anyway. Now, IF this decision can whack enough of us upside the head about that to start a backlash, the decision may be a good thing. But I suspect that the media, owned by the corporate interests that pump all that money into the system, will not be too psyched to publicize it and stoke that fire. We are in a bit of a world of shit, in which corporations control the government, as well as the would-be-independent media.

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

Those humans already have the rights. Why double dip?

 

Following that logic, we'd have to shut down all PACS, the DNC, the RNC, Unions and every politician's campaign staff.

Yes please.

 

+1E6.

 

A solution: FCC uses their federal authority to mandate free or equivalent rationed time for radio and television advertising during political campaigns. Period. Let the anyone who wants to print, email or buy all the other crap ads they want. e-commerce would soar on that news. I want dibs on the software company that designs the iggie button, though.

 

With an electorate that is both non-critical in its thinking, glued to boob tubes, web sites, and prone to campaign drama, this SC decision means that the country is for sale to the highest bidder/biggest wallet, driven by ad companies who manufacture nothing but hot air, (which is definitely a growth industry). If you think about it, the ramifications of $$ driving the process are startling; Besides 'big financial forces' driving the debate on our future, I envision hostile and wealthy outside interests advancing politicians and agendas not in the interests of the country, and huge corruption issues.

 

The upside is that it is such a completely asinine a decision, their may finally be some legislation with teeth to address the matter more effectively.

 

This SC decision is right up there with the New London eminent domain decision in terms of abject stupidity.

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We are in a bit of a world of shit, in which corporations control the government, as well as the would-be-independent media.

 

If we weren't before, we certainly are now.

 

This decision is ok for people who are poor students of history.

 

Google: JP Morgan, Andrew Carnegie etc or better yet ROBBER BARONS for everyone who thinks this is OK.

 

Educate yourselves please.

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What will the Tea Baggers think of this ruling? Talk about a activist court making law! Now corporations are have equal rights to humans?

Nonsense, a corporation is an organization of humans, like the Democratic party is an organization of humans. Should we limit the speech rights of the Democratic Party in a political campaign on the grounds that it is not a human?

Those humans already have the rights. Why double dip?

 

Following that logic, we'd have to shut down all PACS, the DNC, the RNC, Unions and every politician's campaign staff.

Yes please.

 

+1E6.

 

A solution: FCC uses their federal authority to mandate free radio and television advertising during political campaigns. Period. Let the anyone who wants to print, email or buy all the other crap ads they want. e-commerce would soar on that news. I want dibs on the software company that designs the iggie button, though.

 

With an electorate that is both non-critical in its thinking, glued to boob tubes, web sites, and prone to campaign drama, this SC decision means that the country is for sale to the highest bidder/biggest wallet, driven by ad companies who manufacture nothing but hot air, (which is definitely a growth industry). If you think about it, the ramifications of $$ driving the process are startling; Besides 'big financial forces' driving the debate on our future, I envision hostile and wealthy outside interests advancing politicians and agendas not in the interests of the country, and huge corruption issues.

 

The upside is that it is such a completely asinine a decision, their may finally be some legislation with teeth to address the matter more effectively.

 

This SC decision is right up there with the New London eminent domain decision in terms of abject stupidity.

 

This decision makes a pretty good argument for reinstating the fairness doctrine for public airwaves.

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Maybe there's a way around it, at least partially. The FCC can regulate the airwaves. Perhaps they could come up with rules that require equal hours of political advertising for each candidate?

 

Also - There's also a ton of money that already flies into PACS from corporations. Maybe this is just a matter of cutting out the middle man.

 

This decision makes a pretty good argument for reinstating the fairness doctrine for public airwaves.

 

Then you've got two issues - freedom of speech and the press.

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Its a puzzler, ain't it? Everything I know and understand about the IDEALS of the American Experiment indicates to me that The Founders (or at least the most notable and lionized ones) would be mighty upset with the current state of our 'democracy', with the overweighted influence BIG capital and its use of that influence to contrive policies that are not clearly in the best long-term interest of the union and its peoples as a whole. On the other hand, I see no solution to this state that is either philosophically congruent with the founding ideals, or that is practical. Regatta Dog makes a good point about the ramifications beyond simply abridging the supposed 'rights' of corporations, while Dog's attempt to equate the rights of corporations to the rights of individuals falls flat for me - his supposition is unsupported by the founding documents.

 

Its not clear cut, and no argument on either side of the issue has a clear upper hand.

 

I guess that is why it, like other thorny issues of our time such as abortion rights, is so seemingly intractable.

 

What do you mean its not clear cut?

 

This decision is a travesty.

 

This makes our government vulnerable again as they were to the influence of big money. Its back to the days when the Robber Barons controlled the government. .. That's crazy.

 

I don't disagree. The decision is awful in its ramifications. What is NOT clear cut is how to fix the problem AND remain consistent with the founding ideals wrt 'Free Speech'.

 

Also, IMHO, this decision does so much return us to a time of undue influence of BIG capital as it does give it even more power without any checks on that power. We're clearly wired to react strongly to what we see and hear via media, and access to that most effective means of influencing points of view is expensive.

 

BIG capital win.

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Maybe there's a way around it, at least partially. The FCC can regulate the airwaves. Perhaps they could come up with rules that require equal hours of political advertising for each candidate?

 

Also - There's also a ton of money that already flies into PACS from corporations. Maybe this is just a matter of cutting out the middle man.

 

Cable media are outside of the purview of the FCC and thus even something like the Fairness Doctrine wrt to political advertising/programming wouldn't get it done.

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The mega banks and corps should just start fielding their own people for election. Instead of flag lapel pins the canidates could wear a pin with their company logo.

 

The NEA might have enough money to field a congressman for election in some liberal state. And the UAW could field a canidate some place, maybe.

 

I don't think most of the folks that signed the constitution thought being a politician was a legit career. Brewing beer and doing politics on the side, yes. Being a cartographer and canabis farmer, good. But these institutionalized fuckers that have been there for decades. . . fuck them and their special interest pimps.

 

They are exactly the type of whores Dog and the usual suspects here deserve. Congrats.

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BTW - this shouldn't be looked at as a Dem. vs. Rep. issue. Both sides take dump trucks full of cash from corporate sources.

 

That's for damn sure.

 

Just taking a different tack, but I sorta wonder if this

will result in a lot of corp. sponsered activity beyond

what they already do. They like to contribute to

both sides a lot, hedge their bets on the competing

protection rackets as it were...

 

Do they wish themselves publicly labeled as

partisan? Can alienate some customers. Do they

really wish their paisan to be publicly and

loudly proclaimed as their "boy"? What happens

to them when their "brand" is caught in bed with a "live

boy or a dead girl", as the saying goes...

 

Do they really wish to spend a lot of money

warring with competitors over the public

airwaves in a manner such as this?

 

I am not sure they are all that eager to

be spending a lot of money beyond what

is already semi-extorted out of them now.

These ho's they buy come pretty cheap.

I'm not sure they want them on an auction

block.

 

Maybe this amendment won't be too tough

to pass.

 

What amendment, and with what goal?

 

An amendment that would ban corporations

from making political ads, and while they

are at it, include a provision giving

Congress the constitutional right to

limit and regulate campaign spending.

 

It's campaign reform that addresses the

other side of what was attempted by

things like McCain Feingold. Instead of

limiting contributions, limit the size if

the spending allowed. Sort of like SALT

for politicians.

 

They are whores because they have to

be. Average Senator has to raise $30,000

a week to run his muli-million dollar campaign

every 6 years. It's been a ridiculous arms

race. Hell, I'd go farther than that, I'd demand

that the people who have been granted

broadcasting rights must donate a certain

amount of airtime and distribute it fairly

if I could figure out a way to do the fairly

part.

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This decision makes a pretty good argument for reinstating the fairness doctrine for public airwaves.

Hooah! Ker-PLUNK goes the turd in the punch bowl. Interesting.

 

Yep the dreaded "fairness doctrine turd"... Of course, media broadcasting over the public's airwaves is progressively becoming irrelevant anyway.

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This decision makes a pretty good argument for reinstating the fairness doctrine for public airwaves.

Hooah! Ker-PLUNK goes the turd in the punch bowl. Interesting.

 

Yep the dreaded "fairness doctrine turd"... Of course, media broadcasting over the public's airwaves is progressively becoming irrelevant anyway.

It's a conversation killer....

 

I wouldn't say "progressively," I would say "rapidly".

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Fairness doctrine is NOT the solution. Corporate money is going to flow into robo-calling, web campaigns, cable broadcasts, print in record numbers. We have sold out America to the highest bidder and the corporatist have won.

 

Hopefully, this ruling will be like the Dred Scott decision, awakening the populace against it. Perhaps we will be able to generate enough grass roots support to amend the constitution and enact real campaign finance reform.

 

Of course, it will be a huge uphill battle, considering the corporatists have almost unlimited resources and now the ability to use them against it.

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Maybe there's a way around it, at least partially. The FCC can regulate the airwaves. Perhaps they could come up with rules that require equal hours of political advertising for each candidate?

 

Also - There's also a ton of money that already flies into PACS from corporations. Maybe this is just a matter of cutting out the middle man.

 

Cable media are outside of the purview of the FCC and thus even something like the Fairness Doctrine wrt to political advertising/programming wouldn't get it done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are right, to a degree. The FCC can and does regulate cable companies through the Communications Act of 1934, the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, and 1996.

 

So, there may be yet be ways to leverage FCC on the campaign ads under the 'duplication of programming' or under 'fees' that restrict campaign money that are not entirely 'airwave' dependent, yet still under FCC mandate. (This could be an interesting excercise for a legal beagle, actually.)

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This decision makes a pretty good argument for reinstating the fairness doctrine for public airwaves.

Hooah! Ker-PLUNK goes the turd in the punch bowl. Interesting.

 

Yep the dreaded "fairness doctrine turd"... Of course, media broadcasting over the public's airwaves is progressively becoming irrelevant anyway.

It's a conversation killer....

 

 

 

It may be a conversation killer but I predict it will be a topic of conversation in the House pretty soon.

 

' I wouldn't say "progressively," I would say "rapidly". '

 

Rapidly was my first choice of words. However. the influence of talk radio is so strong broadcast media's ability to influence politics is not in decline as much as many assume.

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It's done. and there isn't much you can do to abridge it directly. This means that George Soros won't have to funnel his money thru different organizations. but can buy the politicians directly. So, what can we do to minimize the mischief?

 

1. Pass laws that give shareholders more control over what the CEO does. A large amount of stock is owned by pension funds (including unions and public employees) that represent a large voting block for most companies. If the company starts financing outrageous ads, let the shareholders deal with it.

 

2. Pass a law that requires all outlays for political operations (ads, direct contributions, etc.) be listed in the annual report with major fines for non compliance. Require this report be posted on the internet.

 

3. Pass stricter laws on campaign contributions. No more anonymous donors or bundled contributions. If you give money to a candidate (even $1.00) you will need to sign for it.

 

4. Post lists of all contributors to a candidate on the internet. Lists to updated daily. Major fines for non compliance.

 

If we're going to have politicians being bought and sold, I want to know who is doing the buying. The more informed we are about the candidates, the better decision we can make when voting.

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It's done. and there isn't much you can do to abridge it directly. This means that George Soros won't have to funnel his money thru different organizations. but can buy the politicians directly. So, what can we do to minimize the mischief?

 

1. Pass laws that give shareholders more control over what the CEO does. A large amount of stock is owned by pension funds (including unions and public employees) that represent a large voting block for most companies. If the company starts financing outrageous ads, let the shareholders deal with it.

 

2. Pass a law that requires all outlays for political operations (ads, direct contributions, etc.) be listed in the annual report with major fines for non compliance. Require this report be posted on the internet.

 

3. Pass stricter laws on campaign contributions. No more anonymous donors or bundled contributions. If you give money to a candidate (even $1.00) you will need to sign for it.

 

4. Post lists of all contributors to a candidate on the internet. Lists to updated daily. Major fines for non compliance.

 

If we're going to have politicians being bought and sold, I want to know who is doing the buying. The more informed we are about the candidates, the better decision we can make when voting.

 

 

 

Here's who's been doing the most buying for the past 20 years. Looks like the Dems have been doing most of the selling.

 

 

 

4296086980_765a51724f_o.jpg

 

 

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