Archive for Supreme Court

Blistering Liberal Dissent to Wrong-Headed SCOTUS Decision

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Note: this is a repost of an April 2, 2014 story from Alan Colmes's Liberaland

Blistering Liberal Dissent To Wrong-Headed SCOTUS Decision (via Liberaland)

In today’s horrible decision to allow the rich to have greater influence electing their buddies, Stephen Breyer wrote a strong dissent signed by Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagen. “Where enough money calls the tune, the general…


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Your Weekly Upchucks: The Most Shocking Religion News of Last Week

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what's up chuck 2 religious upchucks

Please welcome back regular guest contributor, author of Being Christian -- a racy novel that explores the dark underbelly of the right-wing Christian world -- and the go-to blogger on religion news, hypocrisy, and all things church v. state (upchucks), K.C. Boyd. You might remember her from her earlier posts. You can link over to her site here for the rest of this post. It’s well worth a look, because I left out a ton of great upchuckable stuff, including antidotes! These are but a few of her weekly "where religion meets your rights" collection:

Your Weekly Upchucks

– by K. C. Boyd

Abortion And Women’s Issues

  • Klink-Klunk-Spews: GOP candidate Klingenschmitt  Reveals That Life Actually Begins Before Conception. I’m sorry but does it get stupider?

Creationism

  • God’s Quid Pro Quo-Chuck?  Disabled Children Represent God’s ‘Vengeance’ For Abortion

Education

Elections

  • Spew On Ice: Klinkenschitz: ‘How Dare President Obama Order Christians To Kill Children?’

End Times, Theocrats And Other Ugly Animals

  • Chicken Little Does A Spit-Up: The Phony Internet Scandal Will Lead To The End Times
  • Fifty Shades Of Incitement-Chuck: NC billboards suggest Jesus wants ‘holy war’ with gays over ‘sexual perversion’

Fifty Shades Of Hate

  • Cruel And Unbalanced Chuckles: Linda Harvey To Gay Teens: Stay In The Closet!

Fifty Shades Of Loony

  • Red Alert-Chuck: ‘Star Trek’ actress lends her gravitas to film promoting idea that sun revolves around Earth

Gun-Sense

  • Re-Tasting Lunch-Chuck: NRA Picks Reverend Who Blamed Sandy Hook On Secularism To Keynote Prayer Breakfast bit.ly/1hqbYhp

Media Spew And Other Forms Of Propaganda

  • Hurling Hairballs: Fox News Goes Right Back To Advocating For Anti-Gay Business Discrimination
  • Back When Men Were Good-Chuck: Jim DeMint Asserts The Federal Govt Played No Role In Freeing The Slaves

Military

  • Not A Christian Nation; Not A Christian Military-Chuck: “Christian Taliban” vs. Constitution at Air Force Academy

Same Sex Issues

  • Sadly Resonant-Chuck? Some hear race echoes in Va. gay marriage ban
  • Up Theirs-Chucky: With his troop’s support, gay scout leader refusing to step down
  • Touchdown Hurl: Football analyst fired by Fox Sports for saying homosexuality is immoral finds work where any good homophobe can get a job.

 

Sausage Makers And Their Sausage

Scandale

Supremes And Lower Courts

  • Will We Do The Same-Chuck? The Philippine Supreme Court stood up for separation of church and state by upholding a reproductive health law
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Dems outraise GOP in March. Too bad about those SCOTUS rulings.

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money in politics citizens united corporations outraise

Democrats outraise Republicans! Big headline! Lots of thumbs up on Twitter in response to the headline! Boyoboy! We're rolling in dough, we're raking in the big bucks! We'll show those Republicans, yes we will! Go Dems! Outraise again! Keep it up! We did it! We beat our rivals!

To which I ask, so what?

After the appalling Supreme Court decision that favors billionaires, the decision that extends the influence of big money on elections... brought to us by SCOTUS's previous Citizens United ruling, this is only mildly good news. The truckloads of money shelled out by super PACS, the Koch brothers, and the Sheldon Adelsons on the right make these numbers look like lunch money.

Roll Call:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart in March, ending the month with more than $22 million in cash on hand for the competitive midterms.

Both the DSCC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee said they posted their best fundraising months of the cycle in March.

Democrats raised $8.1 million in March, which is $21 million more than the NRSC. Plus, the DSCC paid off its 2012 debt. Republicans hauled in $6.4 million and have $15.9 million available to them. They also paid off their debt from 2012.

But Republicans have a huge advantage now that the Supreme Court has French kissed Adelson and the Kochs.

You know the solution, though, right? Say it with me now:

vote  turnout  gotv

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Your Weekly Upchucks: The Most Shocking Religion News of Last Week

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what's up chuck 3 religion news

Please welcome back regular guest contributor, author of Being Christian and the go-to blogger of shocking religion news (upchucks), hypocrisy, and all things church v. state,  K.C. Boyd. You might remember her from her earlier posts. You can link over to her site here for the rest of this post. It’s well worth a look, because I left out a ton of great upchuckable stuff, including antidotes! These are but a few of her weekly "where religion meets your rights" collection:

Your Weekly Upchucks

– by K. C. Boyd

Abortion And Women’s Issues

  • Buckeye-Chuckeye: Sad to say my state (Ohio) Is Quietly Becoming One Of The Worst For Women’s Health
  • They’ve Come For Your Uterus Chucklette: Docs at CA Medical Center no longer allowed to prescribe birth control

Creationism

  • Caroliner Dumb-Down-Chuck: Creationists Stall 8-Year-Old Girl’s Idea for State Fossil for South Carolina

Deception

Education

Elections

Fifty Shades of Hate

  • Un-Intelligent Design-Chuck? Evangelical activist calls for Bill Maher to be flogged or hanged over Noah ‘blasphemy’

Fifty Shades Of Loony

  • Go To Hell Nicely-Chuck: Pat Robertson tells Wiccan: You’re ‘nice’ — but you’re going to Hell anyway
  • Gone Crackers-Chuckford: Anti-gay group: Satan is behind the “evil” Honey Maid graham cracker TV ad featuring a gay couple

Military

Same Sex Issues

Sausage Makers And Their Sausage

  • What The Frick’s With This-Chuck? Gay Marriage Opponent Elected Chair of Va. Democratic Party
  • Twisted Fervor–Barf: Louie Gohmert: ‘Separation of church and state’ means ‘church plays a role in the state.’

Supremes And Lower Courts

  • Jeezus Bunk-Chunk: Hobby Lobby, discrimination and the ‘black skin of Cain.’
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The Supreme Thwart: SCOTUS "re-created legalized bribery"

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democracy gone, legalized bribery

Apparently "legalized bribery" is fine with the Roberts Supreme Court. As you can see by my previous post Billionaires and Supreme Court undermine our "1st Amendment right not to be drowned out", this appalling decision makes me furious and more than a little worried. In the post I wrote:

Think it was bad before? You ain't seen nothin' yet. You thought Sheldon Adelson and the ass-kissing at Jewish Mingle were obscene? Billionaires like him are just getting started. Super PACs are morphing into Super Duper PACs, Mingles will become orgies, and the kajillions of TV ads will turn into mini-series sponsored by Deep Pockets, Inc.

Despite the TV "news" media's skimpy reporting on this very important topic-- instead running wall-to-wall speculation about the horrific Fort Hood killer-- the Los Angeles Times gave ample coverage to the legalized bribery that is now law. Here are a few takes on what came down yesterday, or as I like to call it, The Supreme Thwart of democracy as we knew it.

First, excerpts from the L.A. Times front pager:

The decision, McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission, also shows again the impact of President George W. Bush's two appointees: Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Or to put it another way, elections matter. Continuing...

Fred Wertheimer, a veteran champion of campaign finance reform, said the court was on a "march to destroy the nation's campaign finance laws enacted to prevent corruption."

The decision "re-created the system of legalized bribery today that existed during the Watergate days," said Wertheimer, president of the nonprofit group Democracy 21.

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, said neither the Founding Fathers nor most Americans "want government beholden to narrow elite interests."

Republicans call that hand-wringing.

Moving on to an editorial titled, "Really, justices? Even more money in politics?"

The campaign reform group Democracy 21 notes that after Wednesday's decision, a presidential nominee could form a joint fundraising committee and solicit a contribution of as much as $1,199,600 from a single donor for the election cycle. Does anyone doubt that the person who signed that check would expect special consideration from the candidate who solicited it?

Roberts was untroubled by the idea that mega-donors would receive special treatment in exchange for their largesse.

How nice for Roberts that he can sleep well at night knowing that the imbalance of power in this country is causing democracy to go the way of Chris Christie's political career.

Finally, there was an op-ed written by Jessica A. Levinson, an associate clinical professor at Loyola Law School-Los Angeles and vice president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission:

And how many people were handcuffed by these limits? Well, fewer than 600 donors, or 0.0000019% of Americans, gave the maximum amount under those oh-so-restrictive limits, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. [...]

Disclosure may be the only way we can regulate the political money trail in the near future. [...]

Where does McCutcheon leave us? It leaves people like me who believe it is both legal and good policy to limit the influence of money in politics in an existential crisis. [...]

Our current system essentially limits only direct contributions from donors to candidates and political committees. But independent organizations receive and dispense vast sums related to candidate campaigns, and many do not have to disclose the donors of this dark money.

The base contribution limits could be the next restriction on the chopping block.

And then she called for more transparency. And how about more justice... and different Justices?

money talks democracy has no voice

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Billionaires and Supreme Court undermine our "1st Amendment right not to be drowned out"

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citizens united check republic billionaires Koch brothers dark money

Today Michael Hiltzik gets a twofer at TPC, this time regarding the appalling Supreme Court decision that favors billionaires, the decision that extends the influence of big money on elections... brought to us by SCOTUS's previous Citizens United ruling.

Via a New York Times email alert:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a major campaign finance decision, striking down limits on federal campaign contributions for the first time. The ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will change and probably increase the role money plays in American politics.

The decision, by a 5-to-4 votes along ideological lines, was a sort of sequel to Citizens United, the 2010 decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions. But that ruling did nothing to disturb the other main form of campaign finance regulation: caps on direct contributions to candidates and political parties.

I'm beyond furious, way past frustrated, and drowning in worry over turning on enormous spigots of money that will drown out the majority of ordinary (aka 99% of us) political donors. Our voices will no longer be heard (are they now?) over the deafening ka-chings and the triumphant stomping all over our rights and campaign finance reform efforts.

We are being silenced by five Supreme Court Justices and the powerful entities with gigantic bank accounts to which they genuflect. Money talks, we're just audience members. But we are not applauding.

booo

Think it was bad before? You ain't seen nothin' yet. You thought Sheldon Adelson and the ass-kissing at Jewish Mingle were obscene? Billionaires like him are just getting started. Super PACs are morphing into Super Duper PACs, Mingles will become orgies, and the kajillions of TV ads will turn into mini-series sponsored by Deep Pockets, Inc.

Anyone still wondering why the GOP is trying to kill labor unions? If so, here's why: They tend to support Democrats, and those very few union sources for campaign cash are dwindling:

chart maddow unions v corps campaign spending smaller

Hiltzik:

The notion that an unrelenting torrent of money can suborn the entire political process doesn't seem to occur to Chief Roberts.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the minority, didn't accept this charade. [...]

It's not only the 1st Amendment right to be heard, but also the 1st Amendment right not to be drowned out that are at issue, he wrote:

"The First Amendment advances not only the individual’s right to engage in political speech, but also the public’s interest in preserving a democratic order in which collective speech matters.... Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard."

For proof, he needed to go no further than the majority opinion.

So what do we do? Vote in droves. It's time to stop the endless obstruction by the GOP: Obstruction to voting rights, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, and constitutional rights. Get. Out. The. Vote. We can do this.

Please read the entire piece by Hiltzik here.

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Your Weekly Upchucks: The Most Shocking Religion News of Last Week

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omg shocked shocking

Please welcome back regular guest contributor, author of Being Christian and the go-to blogger of shocking religious upchucks, hypocrisy, and all things church v. state,  K.C. Boyd. You might remember her from her earlier posts. You can link over to her site here for the rest of this post. It’s well worth a look, because I left out a ton of great upchuckable stuff, including antidotes! These are but a few of her weekly "where religion meets your rights" collection:

Your Weekly Religious Upchucks

– by K. C. Boyd

Abortion And Women’s Issues

  • Miscarriage Of Justice-Chuck: Kansas May Force Doctors To Report Women’s Miscarriages To The State Health Department

Creationism Ka-Ka

Education – We Like It Public

End Times

  • Heir To The Throne-Vomit: Matthew Hagee: We Are ‘Living In An Evil Day.” For Hagees, it’s all about Israel & EndTimes.

Fifty Shades Of Hate

  • The Bigoted Housewife Of NY-Spew: Pamela Geller claims Obama is imposing Sharia law on the Internet, might ban her anti-Muslim blog

Fifty Shades Of Loony

  •  Crazy Pat UpChucks: Pat Robertson wonders if viewer’s atheist coworker is demon-possessed or was raped by a preacher
  • Hurling Dominion-Chuck: Anti-gay pastor who prayed for Obama’s death demands silence from women in church

Religion/Dominionism

  • The Rise And Fall Of Our Own Reich-Chuck: Christian Right Has Major Role in Hastening Decline of Religion in America
  • Gunnin’ For Jesus-Chuck: Handing out AR-15s in church is ‘exactly’ what Jesus taught us 2,000 years ago

Sausage Makers And Their Sausage

  • Quel Meeting Of The Minds-Chuck: Michele Bachmann is hosting a prayer event inside the US Capitol with Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert, & various RR leaders
  • Leaking Hate-Spew: Scott Press Call Cut Short After Questions On Fundraiser’s Exit Over Racist Jokes

Scandal

  • Livin’ Large-Chuck: Ponzi scheme preacher seeks delay in sentencing for fraud, structuring charges involving Myrtle Beach area church members

Supremes And Lower Courts

  • Corporations Are Christians Too-Hurl: Rep. Ellison: GOP Hobby Lobby Fans Back ‘Corporate Personhood’ Over ‘Individual Liberty’
  • What About Viagra-Chuck? Fox News: Funding Contraception Is ‘Subsidizing’ Women’s Sex Lives.
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