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 Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS

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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/21/2010, 9:45 pm

One of the worst decisions,if not the worst I've ever seen Evil or Very Mad Every politician will be bought and paid for thanks to this. Most are already,but at least a few could say otherwise. Now they'll just disappear.
The Court’s Blow to Democracy
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BigFan

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/21/2010, 10:17 pm

The one way republicans could block health care reform. Those snakes are just scared that demos would pass a bill that would save this countrys' economy. We have a long way to go for recovery, but this is a damn good start to the first quarter of President Obama's term.


Last edited by BigFan on 1/21/2010, 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Would you use country's or countrys' in my sentence above?)
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/22/2010, 1:09 pm

I was thinking the same way, initially, but Ed Brayton points out that this really doesn't change anything:

Quote :
Yesterday's Supreme Court Ruling: Much Ado About Little

I know a lot of liberals are very upset by yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v FEC, but frankly I think it's much ado about little. The standard reaction seems to be: "Oh my god, corporations can now spend tons of money to influence the outcome of elections." But I've got news for you: They already do that. They always have. And the campaign finance laws did not prevent it.

What yesterday's ruling does is allow corporations (and unions, by the way) to spend money directly from their own accounts to buy ads that explicitly argue for or against the election of a particular candidate. But they already did finance such ads, they just had to do it indirectly through the purchase of "issues ads" -- wink, wink -- by PACs, chambers of commerce, industry groups, 527s and the like.

The fact is that the campaign finance law that the court struck down was never really intended to reduce corporate influence over elections in the first place. It was designed to give the illusion of reducing corporate influence over elections. The corporate world faced a minor inconvenience at the most. They continued to spend money by the dumptruck-full, they just did it indirectly so that you had to do a ton of research to know who was really endorsing which candidate.

Frankly, it may well be better to have companies endorsing candidates directly. At least the public will know who is endorsing them. That gives them more information than a disclaimer at the end of the "issue ad" that is clearly intended to endorse a candidate. It's at least marginally better to have the ad expressly say that it was paid for by Dow Chemical rather than by "Americans for Happy Kittens and Grandmothers."
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UrRight



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/22/2010, 2:17 pm

I still think they should do away with the campaign financing, also most definitely lobbyists.

Let politicians pay for their own campaigns. Run on merit.

Although what Heretic posts makes sense, it still will influence lobbyists even more...pay to play.

America will be one giant "Illinois".
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/22/2010, 7:14 pm

Heretic wrote:
I was thinking the same way, initially, but Ed Brayton points out that this really doesn't change anything:

Quote :
Yesterday's Supreme Court Ruling: Much Ado About Little

I know a lot of liberals are very upset by yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v FEC, but frankly I think it's much ado about little. The standard reaction seems to be: "Oh my god, corporations can now spend tons of money to influence the outcome of elections." But I've got news for you: They already do that. They always have. And the campaign finance laws did not prevent it.

What yesterday's ruling does is allow corporations (and unions, by the way) to spend money directly from their own accounts to buy ads that explicitly argue for or against the election of a particular candidate. But they already did finance such ads, they just had to do it indirectly through the purchase of "issues ads" -- wink, wink -- by PACs, chambers of commerce, industry groups, 527s and the like.

The fact is that the campaign finance law that the court struck down was never really intended to reduce corporate influence over elections in the first place. It was designed to give the illusion of reducing corporate influence over elections. The corporate world faced a minor inconvenience at the most. They continued to spend money by the dumptruck-full, they just did it indirectly so that you had to do a ton of research to know who was really endorsing which candidate.

Frankly, it may well be better to have companies endorsing candidates directly. At least the public will know who is endorsing them. That gives them more information than a disclaimer at the end of the "issue ad" that is clearly intended to endorse a candidate. It's at least marginally better to have the ad expressly say that it was paid for by Dow Chemical rather than by "Americans for Happy Kittens and Grandmothers."

At the least,it puts us on a slippery slope.
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UrRight



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/22/2010, 8:21 pm

Honestly, my impession upon hearing the news about the U.S. Supreme court was, " Ah, didn't take long for Obambie to bring in the Chicago mob to the Supreme Court."

Honestly, it will destroy our country.

I'm getting pizzed off at this marathon that is runnig tonight on evey major channel to save Haiti. Millions and billions has poured in that country for years. Not a word from the idiot that is suppose to run it. Where do you think the money went?

What makes me turn the tv off is all these celebrities singing swan songs...manning the phones. Where were they when New Orleans sunk?

Are they gonna back up the "swan songs" by adopting these kids? It's all a farce.

Amazing how the US is entering the third world and these celebrities are on stand-by after each song to take in your contributios.. Add ten bucks to your cell phone.

Get off the swan songs and donate yourselves. Just another happentance-in-your eye to make those that make far less to listen to those stinking songs while America is sinking before and now. I hope California sinks in the ocean, cuz then there won't be swan songs to promote their careers. That's how serious it is. Where were they when New Orleans sunk?

Don't cry me a river. Flip your channel. If it's the USA, believe me...these celebrities wouldn't give a crap. Cuz all they want is attention. They could have given the money without the telethon. Insecure idiots.Out for themselves, but pls pick up that phone!

I have the 3 stooges on now to drown them out.
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KarenT



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/22/2010, 10:18 pm

I heard George Clooney started things off by donating $1 million.
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Scorpion

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/23/2010, 3:03 am

UrRight wrote:
Honestly, my impession upon hearing the news about the U.S. Supreme court was, " Ah, didn't take long for Obambie to bring in the Chicago mob to the Supreme Court."

Honestly, it will destroy our country.

WTF has Obama got to do with this Supreme Court decision? Absolutely nothing, because he has only appointed one of the Justices currently on the Court, and she voted against this decision.

President Obama is pretty ticked off about the ruling...

Obama blasts Court decision on campaign finance

UrRight wrote:

I'm getting pizzed off at this marathon that is runnig tonight on evey major channel to save Haiti. Millions and billions has poured in that country for years. Not a word from the idiot that is suppose to run it. Where do you think the money went?

What makes me turn the tv off is all these celebrities singing swan songs...manning the phones. Where were they when New Orleans sunk?

You sicken me. The celebs stepped up big time after Katrina. Hell, Sean Penn was down there rescuing people from rooftops before the government even responded. And there were benefit concerts for the Hurricane victims. I don't know how you could have missed them.

From 2005...

Celebrity fundraisers for Hurricane Katrina victims begin

Your heartless, cynical attitude toward people who are truly suffering is appalling. II'm so sorry that the benefit telethon interfered with your television shows. Glad to hear that you found something that you're interested in... I'm certainly not surprised to learn that you preferred to watch the 3 Stooges. .

BTW - Do you even know what a "swan song" is? Judging from your post, apparently not.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/23/2010, 8:25 am

UrRight wrote:
Honestly, my impession upon hearing the news about the U.S. Supreme court was, " Ah, didn't take long for Obambie to bring in the Chicago mob to the Supreme Court."

Honestly, it will destroy our country.

This has to be one of the dumbest statements you've ever made. All 5 of the justices that made their decision were appointed by Republican Presidents.

Your statements regarding the Haiti telethon are equally idiotic.
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UrRight



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/23/2010, 9:54 am

C'mon Artie....We're the country ready to slide in the ocean...it's fine helping them out, but the U.S. needs more help than ever.

Why are we always the first to get there and donate the most? The UN pulled out the drs/nurses and medical supplies right after getting there...leaving Dr. Gupta to fend for himself. That country has been sent billions over the years...they failed to upgrade their infrastucture, failed to help their people.

I've read it over an over, why no amount of money will ever be enough for them.

On the news this a.m., because Obamba wants the banks smaller, the stock market plummeted....the banks won't be able to compete with his restrictions...won't be able to hand out credit...and most will go overseas. He just injected more fear...and the fact is, in 43 states, millions of jobs were lost this past month.

He's been putting politics before policy. I say things are really going to get worse this year.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/23/2010, 10:14 am

UrRight wrote:

On the news this a.m., because Obamba wants the banks smaller, the stock market plummeted....the banks won't be able to compete with his restrictions...won't be able to hand out credit...and most will go overseas.

He wants banks to be more regulated so we can avoid having to bail them out in the future. Putting an end to their risky behavior is crucial to that. I could just as easily claim the market drop is the result of Scott Brown's election in Mass,but it's just a long overdue correction.

Quote :
He just injected more fear...and the fact is, in 43 states, millions of jobs were lost this past month.

That's an out and out lie. December job losses were unchanged and January figures aren't even in yet.
Quote :

He's been putting politics before policy. I say things are really going to get worse this year.

No matter what happens,as long as Obama is POTUS you'll be saying that.
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KarenT



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/23/2010, 10:28 am

Speaking of donations for Haiti, any comment on Cost-us donating Valparaiso's $$ for relief in Haiti? The Times comments are overwhelmingly against him. So much so that the City Attorney assured us it's legal. I never doubted its legality, just the ethics.
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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/23/2010, 10:36 am

I guess I gotta be one of those super sensitive people, cause I start crying every time they show clips from the Haiti disaster. Yes, I did contribute, but I did it right away, and didn't wait for a telethon. I wish I could do more, like fly down there and actually help directly. I wish like heck I was at least 10 years younger, or in better health, as I would not hesitate to adopt some of those kids who are orphaned. I gotta big house, and lots of room with only 1 kid still at home.
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UrRight



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/23/2010, 10:49 am

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-0121-goldberg-20100120,0,7843628,full.column
Tough love the only long-term cure for Haiti

The images from Haiti are, if anything, only getting worse. What was left of an already fragile society is starting to break down, as violence and chaos take over. Despite the heroic efforts of aid workers and the battered Haitian government, it looks as if Haiti's problems will persist well into the 21st century, long after the debris is cleared and the houses are rebuilt.

While the scope of the tragedy in Haiti is nearly impossible to exaggerate, it's important to remember that last week's earthquake was so deadly because Haiti is Haiti
***********************************************************************************************The sad truth about Haiti isn't simply that it is poor, but that it has a poverty culture. Yes, it has had awful luck. Absolutely, it has been exploited, abused and betrayed ever since its days as a slave colony. So, if it alleviates Western guilt to say that Haiti's poverty stems entirely from a legacy of racism and colonialism, fine. But Haiti has been independent and the poorest country in the hemisphere for a long time.

Even if blame lies everywhere except among the victims themselves, it doesn't change the fact that Haiti will never get out of grinding poverty until it abandons much of its culture.

When Haitians leave Haiti for the U.S. they get richer almost overnight. This isn't simply because wages are higher here or welfare payments more generous. Coming to America is a cultural leap of faith, physically and psychologically. Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz note in their phenomenal new book, "From Poverty to Prosperity," that low-skilled Mexican laborers become 10 to 20 times more productive simply by crossing the border into the United States. William Lewis, former director of the McKinsey Global Institute, found that illiterate, non-English-speaking Mexican agricultural laborers in the U.S. were four times more productive than the same sorts of laborers in Brazil.

Why? Because American culture not only expects hard work, but teaches the unskilled how to work hard.

It's true that Haiti has few natural resources, but neither do Japan or Switzerland. What those countries do have are what Kling and Schulz call valuable "intangible assets" — the skills, rules, laws, education, knowledge, customs, expectation, etc. — that drives a prosperous society to generate prosperity. That is where the real wealth of nations is to be found — not in factories, oil deposits and gold mines, but in our heads and in the habits of our hearts. Indeed, a recent World Bank study found that 82 percent of America's wealth could be found in our intangible assets.

Haiti's poverty stems from its lack of intangible capital. It shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, and yet the Dominicans have six times the gross domestic product (and are far better stewards of their environment).

Collectively, Haiti depends on the kindness of strangers much more than on itself. Before the earthquake, Haiti had 10,000 nongovernmental organizations working there, the highest rate per capita in the world. In 2007, notes Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal, Haiti had 10 times as much foreign aid as investment. If people are determined to blame Haiti's problems on someone other than the Haitians, perhaps they could start by looking at the damage done by the foreign-aid industry.

I admit that I have a soft spot for Haiti, in part because the country is such an incredible underdog, and I've always admired the Haitian-Americans I've known. I also have Haitians in my family — my brother is married to a Haitian immigrant.

So I say this with the best of intentions. Once the dead are buried, the wounded and sick healed and the rubble cleared, it's time for some tough love. Otherwise, Americans will just be back to clear the debris after the next disaster.

These are excerpts - but just to show you what I meant. It doesn't mean I don't feel bad and sorry for the people...but throwing money at the country without guiding it after all is done, the money means nothing to these poor people. They have nothing but an unsympathetic, corrupt government.
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UrRight



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/23/2010, 1:34 pm

I felt mad as hell when I heard what the Supreme Court passed. Then I read "Heretic's" post. Thought to myself, "that sounds logical". I haven't logged on in a few days to the newspapers or on tv, so I had no idea that the President was outraged, as he should be, at their decision regarding campaign donations. I mean, I really didn't do intensive research on various articles.

I am not mad. Heretic, there should be NO campaign donors whatsoever! I already want to backtrack and say that "is what led IL to be the top corrupt state in America. It should do away with lobbyists...and any campaign donations. Run on merit, pay your own way....that's the only guarantee we'll see any honest politician. Because if they had to pay their own way...they'd run on honesty.
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UrRight



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/23/2010, 1:53 pm

ARTIE - MSNBC news reported it during an interview with some political hack that claimed he worked with Clinton. Clinton new micro-management, economics, and that he (the guy in the interview, forgive me, it was before 6 a.m.) said at least "Clinton knew how to talk economics with Congress". He went on to explain that President Obama has no micro-management experience, and knows "nothing outside of talk".

Emanuel has been hiding for a reason....President Obama is all about talk, and no action. He doesn't work with Congress like Clinton did; he wants Congress to do the job and take credit or blame them for it. He is NOT a leader, ok? Got that?

He hasn't kept any of his promises, but a few. No transparency, no reaching across the aisle, no open-ness, all talk...the charming devil in the works. Trust me, he is just a socialist that hit the lottery. He has everyone doing what HE should be doing. He can't lead. He knows nothing about economics unless someone whispers in his ear.

He no doubt has a teleprompter at the kitchen table telling him what to ask Sasha and whatever, and Flotus how their day went. I bet'cha. He can't even keep track of his own words. I bet the staff (26 of them vs. Jackie Kennedy's two) has to have a teleprompter in front of him telling him what his family did that day, and tells him what questions to ask.

The teleprompter probably tells him when he had sex last and when his wife's period is due. Thank goodness he takes his outrage out on the Supreme Court. Michelle probably would be a battered wife, not having a job, and no schedule, buying $500.00 tennis shoes while the rest of the nation is broke, jobless, losing their homes, etc.

Once in the White House, they forget where they came from. They have servants.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/25/2010, 10:19 pm

A new article:

Quote :
I'm also quite skeptical of the apocalyptic claims about how this decision will radically transform and subvert our democracy by empowering corporate control over the political process. My skepticism is due to one principal fact: I really don't see how things can get much worse in that regard. The reality is that our political institutions are already completely beholden to and controlled by large corporate interests (Dick Durbin: "banks own" the Congress). Corporations find endless ways to circumvent current restrictions -- their armies of PACs, lobbyists, media control, and revolving-door rewards flood Washington and currently ensure their stranglehold -- and while this decision will make things marginally worse, I can't imagine how it could worsen fundamentally. All of the hand-wringing sounds to me like someone expressing serious worry that a new law in North Korea will make the country more tyrannical. There's not much room for our corporatist political system to get more corporatist. Does anyone believe that the ability of corporations to influence our political process was meaningfully limited before yesterday's issuance of this ruling?

Haven't read the whole thing yet. I'll have more comment in the morning.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/29/2010, 7:33 am

Well, this'll be interesting:



A corporation is running for Congress in protest of the decision.

Quote :
Supreme Court Ruling Spurs Corporation Run for Congress First Test of “Corporate Personhood” In Politics

Following the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to allow unlimited corporate funding of federal campaigns, Murray Hill Inc. today announced it was filing to run for U.S. Congress and released its first campaign video on www.youtube.com/user/murrayhillcongress

“Until now,” Murray Hill Inc. said in a statement, “corporate interests had to rely on campaign contributions and influence peddling to achieve their goals in Washington. But thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, now we can eliminate the middle-man and run for office ourselves.”

Murray Hill Inc. is believed to be the first “corporate person” to exercise its constitutional right to run for office. As Supreme Court observer Lyle Denniston wrote in his SCOTUSblog, “If anything, the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission conferred new dignity on corporate “persons,” treating them — under the First Amendment free-speech clause — as the equal of human beings.”

What does everyone think? Corporations do exist in some sort of legal limbo, don't they? Considered persons but not... especially when it comes to holding them liable for something.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/29/2010, 7:37 am

Thom Hartmann's interview with the Murray Hill Inc. spokesman:

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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   1/31/2010, 4:48 am

Bump.

Seriously... nothing? silent

I like my last article that I linked, and it had some interesting arguments. I thought the argument that corporations are considered persons to protect them the unreasonable searches, etc, made a lot of sense. But that does mean the exist in some type of legal limbo between being actual persons and not... somewhere in between that's never really been clearly defined. This has potential to confront the issue head on, doesn't it? I figure they'll be denied for sure, but an appeal should be able to push it further up the courts.

Regardless, I think it's really interesting. What do you all think?
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Scorpion

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PostSubject: Re: Democracy For Sale thanks to SCOTUS   2/1/2010, 1:55 am

Heretic wrote:
Bump.

Seriously... nothing? silent

I like my last article that I linked, and it had some interesting arguments. I thought the argument that corporations are considered persons to protect them the unreasonable searches, etc, made a lot of sense. But that does mean the exist in some type of legal limbo between being actual persons and not... somewhere in between that's never really been clearly defined. This has potential to confront the issue head on, doesn't it? I figure they'll be denied for sure, but an appeal should be able to push it further up the courts.

Regardless, I think it's really interesting. What do you all think?

I think the Murray Hill stuff is mildly amusing, but it's nothing but a sideshow.

The reason that I haven't commented up until now is because there was so much hoopla about this decision that I decided that I needed to read the decision for myself, and man, it is one long ass decision. I'm still wading through it, but I found this footnote in the dissenting opinion to be relevant to some of the earlier editorials which implied that the decision makes no difference because corporations already are heavy players in our political process....

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-205.pdf

Quote :
61 Specifically, these corporations had to meet three conditions.

First, they had to be formed “for the express purpose of promoting political ideas,” so that their resources reflected political support rather than commercial success. MCFL, 479 U. S., at 264.

Next, they had to have no shareholders, so that “persons connected with the organization will have no economic disincentive for disassociating with it if they disagree with its political activity.” Ibid.

Finally, they could not be “established by a business corporation or a labor union,” nor “accept contributions from such entities,” lest they “serv[e] as conduits for the type of direct spending that creates a threat to the political marketplace.”

The above was settled law before this latest decision was reached. IMHO, there is a big difference between direct corporate contributions and corporations funneling money through a PAC.

I still have a lot of reading to do, but my immediate thought right after the decision was made was that the majority on the Court was saying that they were equating a corporation with an "association" of individuals. That may be true with a Political Action Committee, but it is clearly not the case when we're talking about a corporation that employs people on an "at will" basis.

My gut feeling is that the Court has made a really bad decision that puts us on a very slippery slope. Congress is going to need to come up with some new legislation that, at a minimum, removes the possibility of a corporation that is controlled by foreigners from making direct contributions to political candidates.

I have to read more of the decision, but from what I've read so far, it looks like the majority has decided this on some pretty shaky ground. It reads like an ideological decision more than a reasoned one. The Court could have chosen to rule solely on the merits of the case before it, but instead the majority decided to overturn laws that have been in place as long as 100 years.

I'm especially disappointed in Roberts and Alito. Both of them made a big deal about how much they respected precedents when considering a case. But you sure as hell wouldn't know it from reading this decision. This looks like "judicial activism" to me.... exactly what Conservatives claim they detest.
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