Showing posts with label Citizens United. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Citizens United. Show all posts

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Republicans want a Constitutional Convention

Why wouldn't they? They control the White House, both houses of Congress, and the Governor's offices and legislatures in many of the states. Perfect opportunity to turn this country so far right the average citizen will be on the streets begging. But wait, there's some actual substance to their plans. Jeb Bush--you remember him--wants to pass term limits and a balanced budget amendment. So far, so good.

A liberal, Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, got in the act saying now's a great time to undo the Citizens United ruling. Some other liberals, mostly gun control advocates like me, would like to see the 2nd Amendment re-interpreted to fit the 21st century, putting Wayne LaPierre and his NRA gun nuts in their place. There hasn't been a Constitutional Convention since the original one that gave us the Constitution we have. But the environment has never been so right for one party, and the rules for calling a convention are in the Constitution.

Two-thirds of the states have to petition Congress for the meeting, required by Article V of the Constitution. Beyond this stipulation, instructions are vague, which could make it near impossible to come to an agreement. What bothers me most is that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) endorses the move and I am against anything they are in favor of. ALEC has only one purpose in mind, the promotion of corporations and industry. The consumer be damned.

Some lawmakers and constitutional experts aren't sure about dickering with the Constitution, especially in the environment of a convention. With the loose guidelines for conducting this sort of thing, we could end up with a disaster. But don't we sorta have that anyway now?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Opinion to chill out over Trump only partially right

Timothy Stanley's headline, "Liberals, chill out about Trump victory," sounds comforting but he goes way too far. He's right about the courts holding Donald Trump in line and the fact that the 2018 election will certainly take into consideration how the President-elect fares in his first two years. And also the rights of the LGBT community. But he is dead wrong about him cutting taxes, repealing Obamacare, and his choice of Supreme Court justices.

Good God man, have you forgotten the disaster of the Geo. W. Bush fiasco, a fact that 20 million people are now covered by health care plans that weren't before the ACA? And for my money, we are only headed for some disastrous years with the addition of Trump's Court nominees. Conservatives won't admit it but the Citizens United decision has made a mockery of the election process and there is no way we will repeal that under Trump.

There is some contradiction to the above, considering that all of Hillary Clinton's massive ad buys in the millions didn't help her. But in the end it only proves that the Democrats nominated the wrong candidate. Most of us knew all along that it should have been Bernie Sanders.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bernie Sanders Sayings

Here is what the practical impact of Citizens United means. What Citizens United means is that corporations call hundreds of millions of dollars into television ads, radio ads, and other forms of advertising to defeat those candidates who stand up and take them on.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Voter ignorance explains an impotent Congress

First, let's establish the fact that election spending by candidates is completely out of hand. According to an opinion piece in U.S. News by Anthony Gaughan, "The 2012 election set an all-time record of $7 billion in campaign spending, and the 2016 election is projected to far surpass that figure." 2000 was $3 billion+, 2008 cost over $5 billion with the 2004 election $4 billion. So you can see it's not all the fault of Citizens United.

But it isn't all this money that causes the problem, muses Gaughan, "...It's what too many Americans don't know and won't bother to learn." The last part, "won't bother to learn," really bothers me. The fact is pathetic but true and is the primary reason morons like Donald Trump lead the GOP slate of presidential candidates. I have talked to people who admit they aren't up on the issues and my gut tells me they are just waiting for someone to tell them who to vote for.

This ignorance carries over to things like not even knowing who the Vice president is, which puts that individual in the third grade, or less, as far as their political education goes. Gaughan reasons there are two major reasons for this onslaught of ignorance. First, interest in the news has dwindled. Two, because of the enormous cut back in education spending throughout the U.S., less attention is paid to civics, history and world affairs.

Ask an average American who won the Academy Awards and they can probably tell you. Ask them who their local Congress person is and they are stumped for an answer. So when they are told by some Super Pac to vote for XYZ because ABC is a fraud, they do it. Or some blow-hard gets in front of them espousing hate and fear, they believe him or her. Ignorance of politics should be a crime like ignorance of the law is. 

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