Archive for Constitution

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

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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.

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Alabama Chief Justice Moore Interprets Constitution According To Pharrell Williams' 'Happy'

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Pharrell Williams Happy

If Alabama didn't already have enough problems with poverty, racism, storms, oil spills and other disasters, they now face one on the bench of their highest court, the Supreme Court of Alabama. And the problem is with the leader of this highest court in the state, Chief Justice Roy Moore.

This week Justice Moore made known his interpretations of the US Constitution while speaking at the Pastor for Life Luncheon, which was sponsored by his neighboring Pro-Life Mississippi Organization. And the Chief Justice had some eye-opening remarks which might explain some pretty screwed up thinking about the South. It seems justice, like a fish, stinks from the top. And is this the kind of judge you'd like to see adjudicating any case you were part of?

Raw Story:

...declared that the First Amendment only applies to Christians because “Buddha didn't create us, Mohammed didn't create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures” who created us.

Holy Scriptures? Doesn't that include the Old Testament? That's the book the Jews and Gentiles both believe in, so why aren't Jews part of this first amendment coverage?

It  looks like Chief Justice Moore feels that the Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, who's beliefs predate the New Testament, were all wrong and therefore their beliefs aren't protected under our US Constitution, especially the bill of rights. Wow.

When looking for his answers, Moore relies on an obscure interpretation of law, from an Englishman who died in 1780.

Chief Justice Moore later defined “life” via Blackstone’s Law — a book that American lawyers have “sadly forgotten” — as beginning when “the baby kicks.” “Today,” he said, “our courts say it’s not alive ’til the head comes out.

But Justice Moore's ignorance doesn't stop there.

He later said that “you can’t be happy unless you follow God’s law, and if you follow God’s law, you can’t help but be happy.”

Now's it's all becoming clear to me. The Chief Justice is channeling Pharrell Williams and his "Happy" song for his rulings. After all, we know that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the only thing the Declaration of Independence (which led us to ultimately draw up our Constitution) is really about. Those lyrics appear to be the judicial tenets from the Moore bench in which laws are weighed and interpreted in Alabama. So let's all clap our hands and get happy.

I think the people of that southern state are in for a whole mess of troubles with a guy like Chief Justice Moore leading the way. But at least with him in the lead seat on the bench, we're all gonna be "happy."

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Freedom Of Speech vs. Freedom of Religion

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Religious

Oh, boy. It seems when you use the US Bill of Rights to defend one extremist position, you might discover yourself trampling on another. And so we find the case in the Michigan City of  Warren, with their Mayor, Jim Fouts.

From THE RAW STORY:

A Michigan mayor who says that he believes in freedom of religion has refused to allow atheists to set up a so-called “Reason Station” inside City Hall, saying it could upset Christians visiting the nearby “Prayer Station.”

Yes, you read that correctly. 'A Prayer Station'' for Christians, good. A 'Reason Station' for Atheists, bad.

As an individual or an organization, you can preach and promote a belief, but you cannot preach or promote logic and reason. That, it seems, is unconstitutional and violates the Bill of Rights.

“I emphasize one thing,” he (Mayor Fouts) added. “The government cannot restrict an individual’s freedom of speech, but an individual cannot restrict the government’s freedom of speech.”

Yet that's exactly what the Mayor did. He restricted freedom of speech. What Fouts seems to have overlooked is what happens when the government restricts an individual's rights to the same freedoms it grants.

Religious Freedom may mean freedom from religion. At least expounding that belief does. But evidently that's not so in the City of Warren, Michigan.

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Report: Darrell Issa Using Tactic In IRS Probe Last Used In McCarthyism

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The repost.us service is no longer available so we have removed that code from The Political Carnival.

Here is the original post on FreakOutNation

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God Of Republicans - Ghost of Reagan - Returns To Warn GOP

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ReaganGhostw367h244Ah, yes, Ronnie's no longer with us. And if you're a Democrat you're probably not shedding too many tears considering the damage he caused this country. But if you're a Republican, we're talking here about their deity. The GOP hasn't had a convention since his first nomination that his name hasn't been invoked in the most pious of verse.

Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan. Say it three times fast, click your heels together and Conservative wishes will come true -- or at least the conservatives think so.

I just discovered a video done by Drew Christie just over half a year ago, that captures the truth about gun control and the history of limitations, going all the way back to the framers of the Constitution. There's a short visit by Ronnie -- definitely worth watching.

But I warn you, this video features ghosts -- and what they have to say might be very scary. Watch this with someone you love -- or hate. The point is there. And as the Ghostbusters theme song goes: I ain't afraid o' no ghost:

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GOP Outreach Program Targets -- Wait For It -- The Country Club Crowd

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Country Club

After the devastating election losses in late 2012, the GOP spent millions to find out how and where they missed the boat. They analyzed what they were doing wrong and publicly took to the airwaves to announce during 2013 that they were going to start reaching out to those who voted against their party and their platform. In essence, it was a plan to open the tent flaps and invite more people into their circus.

The RNC report from early last year called the Growth and Opportunity Project, urged the party to be more inclusive after the dismal electoral results among women, minorities, immigrants, college educated and the poor during the 2012 presidential election. This study, at a cost of millions of dollars was immediately hailed as a panacea and would be implemented immediately.

Let's see how that went.

The plan, despite being publicly lauded by the mouthpieces for the GOP was, in reality, scoffed at behind closed doors. There was really no intention of welcoming new members into their private club without a privileged pedigree.

During the nearly one year since the "autopsy" of the Republican loss led by party chairman Reince Priebus, there's been some moment. It wasn't forward nor necessarily backward. It could at best be called, treading water. Or maybe hoping for a miracle.

The "autopsy" called for the the Republicans to increase it's outreach to women. Instead, they pushed for restrictions on women's reproductive rights already adjudicated in Roe V. Wade by the US Supreme Court.

The plan called for outreach to immigrants. The GOP killed, by refusing to vote, the Senate immigration plan because it had a path to citizenship and the Republicans feared the new voters would not vote for the Red party because they had been systematically persecuted by the GOP for so many years.

The plan called for a jobs bill to improve the economy. The current 113th Congress voted that down numerous times during the last session. They even forced a government shutdown that cost the tax payers $26 Billion and netted us nothing for the effort.

The Growth and Opportunity Project called for outreach to the LGBT community. Build up the Log Cabin Republicans. Instead the party fought that minority with law suits even after the SCOTUS struck down DOMA, opening the door for same sex marriage.

The proposed road map was to reach out to racial minority voters in rural areas. Instead they GOP-led state legislatures enacted stricter voter registration laws making it harder for minorities to have an equal opportunity to cast a vote. This fear that Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Indians and others might actually get a chance to speak up was muffled in legislative tricks and gerrymandering to making it difficult to qualify to have your voice heard or counted. Ask former Speaker of the House, republican Jim Wright or current state senator Wendy Davis in Texas how those new, restrictive laws are doing.

So it seems they're acting in denial of their own multi-million dollar plan to improve their standing and increase their chances to win the 2014 and 2016 elections. If so, who are they really going after?

The country club crowd. The Republicans have pushed through continued tax loopholes strictly for the rich. They've targeted but one group -- the one they already had -- the top 2%. By fighting health care, by denying minorities their constitutional rights, by tamping down immigration reform, by killing jobs bills and by regulating women's health care issues What's left is not a big target, but the GOP's focusing on it, anyway. It's the old, white guy.

Here's what the GOP Chairman said, according to THE HILL:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus vowed in 2014 that his group would spend time in communities it has overlooked in the past.

“As a party, Republicans resolve to make 2014 about engaging with more people in communities all across America,” Priebus said in a statement ringing in the New Year. “We’ll spend our time welcoming new people to our party and listening to people in places where we haven’t spent enough time in years past. I look forward to all this year has to offer.”

It's hard but lets take the chairman at his word, because he said the very same thing nearly a year ago when the results of the study were first made public. Everything he and his party did last year was contrary to that.

Some things never change, the leopard and its spots, the zebra and its stripes and the GOP and it's arrogance. So next time you're at your private country club, playing a round of golf with Skip, Chip and Thurston Buffington Conroy III, don't be surprised if they don't hit you up for a contribution to GOP American Vision PAC.

Go tee it up and have a great round. Remember, par for the GOP championship course is 72, the same age (and in some cases, IQ) as the average GOP member.

Follow me on Twitter: @Linzack

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When's A Co*ksucker Not A Co*ksucker? When Geraldo Says So

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hate speak

First we have the recent past firing for homophobic remarks by Alec Baldwin. Then we get the Martin Bashir grotesque Sarah Palin comment. Now we have the ensuing kerfuffle going on with the racist and homophobic Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) in a GQ interview. Seems like outrage and a bit  more as opponent and proponents are bashing each other, each side staking out the first amendment claim.

Fox News put their "A" team on the issue of limits and virtues of freedom of speech. Who better, right? These are the folks that discovered WMD in Iraq, the conspiracies behind Benghazi, the IRS, even the secret war on Christmas. They definitively proclaimed Santa AND Jesus are white. Face it, when there's a controversy, there's no source better suited for getting to the bottom of an issue than Fox News. God bless Rupert Murdoch's merry band of men and women.

According to crack reporter and commentator Geraldo Rivera, he's determined that there are times when offensive speak isn't really offensive. It all has to do with your background. If you grew up in a neighborhood where racial or homophobic slurs were part of everyday vernacular, he's discovered a new defense. The Peter Pan doctrine. You never have to grow up. You can use all the hate speech you want because you're inbred with it and don't have to change or learn with the times. It's okay with Geraldo if you go out there and call him a spic-kike cocksucker because that's what he heard growing up.

HUFFPO:

In a bizarre pronouncement by ever-colorful Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera, the veteran commentator has defended Alec Baldwin's recent homophobic outburst toward a paparazzo, claiming "cocksucking faggot" isn't necessarily a gay slur.

"I don't think all insults are equal," Rivera said during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show December 19. Rivera was chiming in to a heated discussion between Hannity and panelists Rachel Sklar and about whether or not A&E made a mistake by suspending “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for recent anti-LGBT and racist statements.

See for yourself how Sean Hannity, Geraldo Rivera and Rachel Sklar feel about this controversy. It just makes you hear that old bromide defending children for doing horrific bad things and not wanting to make them take responsibility--

"You know, it's just boys being boys. Cut 'em some slack. You were a kid once."

And just to clear it up for Hannity, both Baldwin and Bashir were fired. For professional courtesy, they were technically invited to resign which they did. Nobody fired Phil Robertson. He's only been suspended. So there's a bit of a double standard, perhaps, but the Duck Dynasty guy will still has a show -- Baldwin and Bashir don't.

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