Archive for citizens united

Poll-itics: SCOTUS approvals near lowest "in 14-year trend"


poll-itics smaller SCOTUS

SCOTUS, SCOTUS, SCOTUS, what are we going to do with you? Well, here's an idea: Elect Progressive presidents who will replace right wing extremist Supreme Court justices (and other judges) who decide cases that are turning this country upside down.

This Supreme Court has:

  • ruled in favor of prayers in city council meetings (read: Christian prayers);
  • eliminated buffer zones around abortion and contraception medical centers in Massachusetts so that women can now be intimidated and threatened literally within an inch of their lives;
  • weakened unions by ruling that they could not force home-care workers to join them and pay dues;
  • and, of course, allowed Hobby Lobby and other family-owned businesses to decide what kind of birth control their employees could use based on their bosses' religious beliefs. Not the workers' beliefs, mind you, because apparently, corporate religion trumps that of the individual.

And don't get me started on Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions allowing corporate money to attempt to buy elections the way Willard "Mitt" Romney buys car elevators.

According to Gallup, this has affected the court's popularity. Democrats in particular are not too thrilled with this SCOTUS. If that's the case, you know what to do: Vote. In droves. Swarm the polls. Help to register other voters and get them to the ballot box, too.

gallup scotus


Americans remain divided in their assessments of the U.S. Supreme Court, with 47% approving of the job it is doing, and 46% disapproving. These ratings are consistent with approval last September, when 46% approved and 45% disapproved, and rank among the lowest approval ratings for the court in Gallup's 14-year trend. [...]

Republican approval of the Supreme Court is up 21 percentage points since last September, from 30% in 2013 to 51%. Independents' approval shows little change, going from 47% to 46%. Support among Democrats, on the other hand, is down [...]

Americans' current views more closely reflect the court's own ideological divisions in these two recent decisions, rather than its bipartisan unanimity.


"Any subject the extreme right deems worthy of a lie" becomes a campaign


extreme right gopTruth-Lies

The extreme right lies constantly. They lie on air, they lie in print, they lie in tweets, they lie in Congress, they lie in GOP legislatures, they lie in their sleep. The extreme right lies about things that they claim are false but are provably true. Documented things. Factual things. *coughCLIMATECHANGEcough*

But that doesn't stop them, because if you repeat a lie often enough, people will start to believe it. Especially uninformed, misinformed, ignorant people who can't or will not do any research of their own on any given topic.

Corporations are allowed to legally lie, too, by the way. Well, "corporate people," because, freedom of speech. Thank you, Supreme Court! Watch:

We can't stop them, legally at least. We can call them out, we can prove them wrong, we can try to be louder than the liars on the extreme right, and we can try to dissuade the gullible, the ignorant, the willfully ignorant, our friends and neighbors, and anyone else within shouting/writing distance. But they will still lie.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re: "When it comes to politics, there's no need to outlaw lying," Editorial, June 17

Police the liars? How did that work out for the millions of us advocating for equality as we tried to negate the lies coming from the pro-Proposition 8 campaign in 2008? There are people who, six years later, still hold to be true the falsehoods perpetuated by the television ads and mailers of the campaign's deep pockets.

The damage is done, is nearly irreparable and causes harm to this day. Shame on the Supreme Court for clearing the way for the continuance of fabrication within political campaigns.

Couple that decision with the Citizens United and McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission rulings, and we're all in for Proposition 8-style campaigns on any subject matter the extreme right deems worthy of a lie. Again and again, the damage will be done as many take as gospel untruthful propaganda.

Sheila Alberg



In the world of the pre-Roberts court, your editorial about criminalizing false political advertising would be on target. But since Citizens United and its progeny under this Supreme Court, money is apparently king.

If a well-funded group (spelled K-O-C-H) decides to place ads deliberately misrepresenting a candidate or ballot measure, how does the citizen candidate ever have the funds to publicly correct the defamation?

Your position would give license for more negative (and deliberately false) political ads and still more expensive campaigns.

And, by the way, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's line that "the remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true" reminds me of the National Rifle Assn.'s phrase about good and bad guys with guns. That also sounded good until the Las Vegas good guy with a gun was killed and the Seattle good guy with pepper spray became a hero.

So much for the turn of a phrase.

Ken Goldman

Beverly Hills


Citizens United Decision Makes Prostitution Legal According To Expert Testifying To Senate


Prostitute Customer

Citizens United. Ah, what a slippery slope the Supreme Court hath delivered. The 5-4 decision upheld that unlimited business money donations are merely expressions of first amendment rights, commonly known as our freedom of speech. As such, they cannot be regulated. So, that's the way you SCOTUS jurists want to play the game.

What hell hath you wrought, you nine black-robed crusaders?

A constitutional law professor, Jamie Raskin was called by the Senate to come in and speak about his field of expertise and how the first amendment might/should/could be interpreted. Though the senators thought they were going to hear how the Citizens United decision would affect money in political campaigns, they also got some news which was surprising -- and in a great way for Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)

Raw Story:

An American law professor told senators on Tuesday that outlawing prostitution was a violation of the First Amendment if spending money was a form of free speech.

“Your other point though about money not equaling speech is a critical point for people to understand,” American University professor Jamie Raskin said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “There are lots of forms of purchase and exchange that we criminalize, for example, buying sex. We don’t say if someone wants to purchase the services of a prostitute, well that is just an expression of their speech.”

Hear the short testimony for yourself. It's very interesting  and maybe has some valid points that those justices, voting for the majority in the Citizens United, case should have thought about BEFORE they issued their politically-motivated decision.


The Kochocracy


la cucaracha Charles Koch KochocracyVia Lalo Alcaraz

Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with those pesky, corporate 1%ers. Or as Will calls them, the Kochocracy. Take it away, Will:


In the bad old days, medieval German Lords figured out how to pocket some quick coin by charging a toll on the primitive paths meandering across their lands. The money wasn’t used to improve the roads or better the lives of the peasants or clean the rivers their pigs pooped in but rather heighten the piles in their treasury. Even back then, you just couldn’t have enough pewter candlesticks.

These were the first robber barons. Literally. Rich people whose sole pursuit was to survive to become richer people. A criminal aristocracy. A term history has proved redundant.

During the Gilded Age, the flushest 1% of the country held 1/3 of the national income. In the 1920s, this figure ramped up to 2/5ths. Molehills compared to today’s mountainous wealth, where the richest 400 American families control more money than the poorest 165 million of their fellow citizens put together. And if all 165 million were knelt end to end, those 400 families would have footrests from any compass point.

6 members of the Walton Family have accrued as much money as the bottom 41% of all Americans. Now, how hard would it be for them to cover the health care of WalMart employees? They’d still be worth as much as the bottom 34%. How many pewter candlesticks does one family need? You’d think they could get them wholesale.

In decision after decision the Supreme Court has equated money with free speech. Which would be great if it meant the more we spoke, the more we’re worth. But, alas, no. That’s not the deal. Pretty much the opposite, come to think of it.

Rich people have exploited these high court rulings like foxes given skeleton keys to the Tyson chicken empire. Any politician who espouses lowering taxes on the rich and blunting the powers of the poor gets backed. With unlimited sums. Of course the poor have free speech too, but we might as well be whispering downstage at a Metallica concert.

A plutocracy is a society where the rich make the rules- quickly becoming our norm. The 9th richest man in the world, Sheldon Adelson, focuses on politicians whose Israeli policies most closely mirror his. That’s it. One issue. In 2012, he gave 90 million to various GOP presidential candidates. And in the next election cycle, he is reportedly ready to triple that number, recently holding auditions in Las Vegas for his own personal presidential candidate American Idol. Once again: not Clay Aiken.

The most Darth- like of the new Robber Barons are the Koch Brothers, (rhymes with rock) David and Charles, each richer than Adelson. These self- made inheritors of a vast oil empire are responsible for jumpstarting the Tea Party and ALEC, and are now hand picking candidates all over the country; pouring in vast amounts of money to get them and their skewed legacies elected. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is one of the first generation Kochbots. And a bit glitchy.

If so desired, the Koch Family could spend a billion dollars a year for the next 85 years buying politicians. Bankrupting the rest of us through Kochbot legislated tolls on the primitive paths meandering across Koch owned lands. Especially egregious when ALL lands are Koch owned. Get ready for the American Kochocracy.

Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to to find about more about his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG,” info about the documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances.