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Tilting at Windmills

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January 21, 2010

CITIZENS UNITED V. FEC.... And the hits just keep on coming.

The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.

The court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns and threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.

The full 183-page ruling is online (pdf). It was, of course, a 5-4 ruling. Aren't they all?

This is not exactly my area of expertise, but at issue is whether corporations and unions can run independent expenditure campaigns for and against candidates. Now, it appears, they can, suggesting that entire system of financing political campaigns in the United States just received a rather dramatic -- and more than a little radical -- jolt.

Before the ruling, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said the decision had the potential to take the country "not just back to a pre-McCain-Feingold era, but back to the era of the robber barons in the 19th century."

At first blush, that's seems to be what the high court has done, clearing the way for unrestricted corporate spending in campaigns. (Remember, if it's corporations pitted against labor unions, it's not much of a contest -- an ExxonMobil-based independent expenditure campaign in support of a far-right candidate will easily trump anything SEIU or the AFL-CIO might even hope to try.)

For more background on the case, I found this article helpful. I'll have more on this later.

Steve Benen 10:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (69)

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Comments

Hey, Senator "Maverick" McCain, you of McCain-Feingold, what's your take?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

When your adversaries have more, you need to have better.

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

The enemy is now legally armed to exterminate us.

Posted by: neill on January 21, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

One more step down the slippery slope...another black day for the little guy.

They're not even trying to hide it anymore. The corporations own the government, and they've made it constitutional.

And Obama is backing off HCR. Oh, what a year the Rethugs are gonna have. Which will make everything even worse.

Posted by: rRRk1 on January 21, 2010 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

If the D.C. power brokers had any concerns about maintaining control in the hands of the highest bidders, their minds should be at ease now.

Stock market rally today?

Posted by: lou on January 21, 2010 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the rest of us can fight back. Groups of like-minded people can form a "corporation" and then donate through it as much as they want to. No one can force them to prove they're doing enough other business can they?

Posted by: neil b on January 21, 2010 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Before the ruling, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said the decision had the potential to take the country "not just back to a pre-McCain-Feingold era, but back to the era of the robber barons in the 19th century."

And with whats been going on (527s and all) someone explain to me exactly how we would notice any difference.

Posted by: john R on January 21, 2010 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

The American democracy experiment is over. I'd say history will not treat the politicians of the last 20th and early 21st century kindly, but of course history will now be re-written by the corporations that own America.

Goddamn conservatism. It has officially destroyed our country.

Posted by: citizen_pain on January 21, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

.
.
I can't believe the court runs on a strict majority vote; shouldn't they require at least 60% to issue a ruling?

The court obviously needs more bipartisanship when ruling on the major issues of the day.
.
.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on January 21, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

If you want real change,quit chasing dollars,school your kids at home and grow your own food.

Posted by: tom on January 21, 2010 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, so the Republican Supreme Court says that corporations may now spend as much as they want. Fine.

So in the interest of "openness", require that the names of the supporters running their own ads supporting a candidate and the amounts they've given be read out just before the candidate speaks.

And require that the actual donors be named in those ads, not just the vague "Americans for Good Government" kind of organization the corporations hide behind.


Posted by: SteveT on January 21, 2010 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the Tea Partiers will realize this is not a good thing for them?

Posted by: Colin on January 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Also, the claim that SCOTUS genuinely ruled decades ago that corporations have rights as like persons is false and based on trickery anyway, see:

http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/664

Posted by: Neil B on January 21, 2010 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Unless the Supremos lift all limits on campaign donations for everyone, this court is effectively saying that all men (except the gay ones, of course) are created equal, but corporations are more equal then men are. If they don't lift the individual limits than its democracy and free speech for corporations, but not for thee.

Thank you Robertson court for preemptively ruling on the next Bush v. Gore case by making sure the Republicans will have a decisive financial advantage to take the next election.

Posted by: petorado on January 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

It seems to me that no traditional school of political thought accounted for the rise of the corporation. Our court rulings giving corporations the rights of people may be one of biggest mistakes in our history. I would think real conservatives (are there any left?) would be as alarmed at the power of big corporations as they are at the powers of big government. Are our laws powerless to put any limits on corporations?

Posted by: jrw on January 21, 2010 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Suggested countermeasure: give voters a $10 election voucher that they can give to any politician of their choice. That way, corporations may have a lot of money in the system, but that corporate money will be dwarfed by individual money.

Posted by: Josh Yelon on January 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Scalia: The more money you have, the freer your speech.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on January 21, 2010 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Although misuse of the filibuster (helped by the supineness of the Democrats) is a big problem, the major impediment to effective legislation and governance is the financing of campaigns and thus the careers of politicians. This decision is a blow to finance reform.

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on January 21, 2010 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

This is going to open up such an incredible can of worms concerning conflict of interest issues that will further undermine any remaining faith the people have in their governments (local, state, and national). The supreme court judges live in a fucking elitist vacuum.

Posted by: lou on January 21, 2010 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

clearing the way of unrestricted corporate spending in campaigns.

Because corporations didn't already have enough representation and influence in Congress? Because corporate-backed candidates didn't already have an unfair advantage in campaigns?

Posted by: ckelly on January 21, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.

And thusly, the John "I'm a Corporate Tool" Roberts Supreme Court fulfills the function it was designed for, and the nation -- as intended by the corporatists -- is the poorer for it. Perhaps the Supreme's robes need to be redesigned more like NASCAR jackets: with all the logos of the corporations they do the bidding of stiched on. Disgraceful!

Posted by: electrolite on January 21, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Our government will be a brothel.

Posted by: Silver Owl on January 21, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

So what? The decision is awful in principle, but what actual good has campaign finance reform done? It has done nothing to prevent the ratcheting up of campaign spending, or an era of conservative dominance. The fact that these reforms were pushed by 'Maverick' McCain and overrated Feingold should indicate how little real substance they ever had.

Posted by: al-Fubar on January 21, 2010 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

This could have been the single biggest event to happen to the USA in a long time.
There is a way to stop these people-A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT to limit corporate money. Otherwise we will go the way of Roman empire.

Posted by: Gandalf on January 21, 2010 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

With zero justification in the Constitution, the so-called originalists on the Supreme Court just gave paper entities the same rights as people. If we ever needed a new Constitutional amendment, now is the time. Corporate personhood was never contemplated or intended by the founders and nobody in their right mind could justify such a notion.

Posted by: Chris on January 21, 2010 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with al-Fubar: it wasn't working anyway.

Hence, my recommendation that instead of trying to lower the volume of corporate voices, it's better to try to raise the volume of individual voices, through the voucher system.

Posted by: Josh Yelon on January 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the Tea Partiers will realize this is not a good thing for them?

Posted by: Colin

Probably not.

You just have to hang a picture of Obama in front of them, and they get their two minute hate in for the day.

Posted by: 2Manchu on January 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Towards a more perfect clusterfuck

Perhaps the Supreme's robes need to be redesigned more like NASCAR jackets: with all the logos of the corporations they do the bidding of stiched on.

Well actually that was my idea a few years back for Senators...

Posted by: koreyel on January 21, 2010 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK
I wonder if the Tea Partiers will realize this is not a good thing for them?

Well, corporate rule (which we already have anyway) is one degree better than Tea Party rule, I guess...

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on January 21, 2010 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

For those of you who thought there was "no difference between Bush and Gore," or who thought it wads "cute" to vote for Nader in 2000, here is your reward.

And for all of you threatening to abandon Obama and the Dems, here is your future.

Welcome to the new and improved U.S.AIG.

Posted by: J. Paul Ghetto on January 21, 2010 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

How many right wing nuts consservastives doses it take to destroy America? 5 on the Supreme court. I guess the grass roots folks will save money since our donations will now assuredly never influence any politician Politicians will vote for corporate America now more than ever. So Long Freddom of speech, worship, equality of all people regardless of race, color , religion of any other orentation except for asdulterous right wing politicians. How much were the justices pauid for these diceisions. May be we should get a Republican to look into this .

Posted by: mljohnston on January 21, 2010 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

The results of this, in the not to distant future, will be that belonging to a union will carry the same stigma that belonging to the Communist Party did in the '50's.

And, with unions safely neutered, they will then move to outlaw torches and pitchforks. . .

Posted by: DAY on January 21, 2010 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Well the good news is I'm sure the corporations will make their candidate wear some type of of huge logo down their arms or across their chests. Our candidates should now have to dress like NASCAR drivers

Posted by: coral on January 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK
Welcome to the new and improved U.S.AIG.

Not exactly the best example to make your point...

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on January 21, 2010 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, there's money to be made here.

What about turning bets on political races into a predictions market that we bundle into derivatives and sell to the banks, which could than pawn them off on Norwegian teachers' unions?

DARPA sponsored a Middle East political events futures market before liberals got upset that it would lead to assassinations and coups d'etat.

This is America-- place yer bets!

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 21, 2010 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, it's the very BEST example to use to make my point.

Give it some thought.

Posted by: J. Paul Ghetto on January 21, 2010 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK
Give it some thought.

Back at ya. What is Obama's America BUT the U.S.A.I.G.? I suggest you Google "Geithner AIG".

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on January 21, 2010 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

And with whats been going on (527s and all) someone explain to me exactly how we would notice any difference.

You're about to notice the difference.

Posted by: shortstop on January 21, 2010 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Let them spend as much as they want - but they can only say truthful, nice things.

Posted by: Becky Miller on January 21, 2010 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Southern, Peabody, ExxonMobil, Koch: Come on down!

From Rolling Stone: As the World Burns

For Southern and Peabody, as well as for oil giants like ExxonMobil, the Waxman-Markey bill meant war: If they could kill it, they could not only stall action on climate at home, they could also wreck the chances for an international deal in Copenhagen. These companies had spent decades funding studies that undermined the science of global warming, using tactics honed by the tobacco industry to sow doubt and confusion in hopes of staving off regulation. Now, they switched their line of attack. Rather than arguing that global warming isn't real, they tried to shift the fear from climate change to the specter of a massive government intervention. The climate bill, they argued, was nothing more than a national energy tax that would cause energy prices to skyrocket and destroy American jobs. As evidence, they pointed to a study by the Heritage Foundation, long a purveyor of junk science favored by the energy industry. (The conservative think tank has received at least $500,000 from ExxonMobil and $3 million from funders with ties to Koch Industries, a major oil-refining company.) Not surprisingly, the Heritage study predicted economic disaster if the climate bill were signed into law: Electricity rates would jump by 90 percent, gas prices would increase by 74 percent, the average energy bill would rise by $1,500 a year, and as many as 2.5 million jobs would disappear.

So you see my point?
This ruling too, effectively kills climate change legislation.

Posted by: koreyel on January 21, 2010 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

On a serious note, looking ahead to 2012, the Supreme Court just gave the OK for oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies and their exeucutives to spend unlimited amounts of money to create Swift Boat-style advertisements, videos, DVDs, webcasts slandering any candidate who voted for health reform, environmental regulations, generic drug availability . . . literally any candidate they choose to target for any reason they now have open season all year round.

Look at the deliberate mis-representation of health care reform that has gone on in the last year, not to mention all the idiotic personal attacks against Obama about his parents' marital status, his citizenship . . . If, say, a Scaife-affiliated corporation decides to spend $5 million issuing ads lying about a candidate how can anyone respond to that meaningfully during the short amount of time they have in an election cycle?

You don't even have to lie, just insinuate there are "secret connections the candidate doesn't want you to know" between a liberal and Osama bin Laden or whomever the bogeyman is for the month . . . "Hey, candidate X is a Muslim and Osama bin Laden is a Muslin, you connect the dots . . ."

Time for Senator McCain to show what kind of a Maverick he really is. If Massachusetts is Obama's big test of leadership then this Supreme Court decision is McCain's. Let's see what he's really made of.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 21, 2010 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

"For those of you who thought there was "no difference between Bush and Gore," or who thought it wads "cute" to vote for Nader in 2000, here is your reward." - JP Ghetto

JP nails it. We can end wars, balance budgets and fix economies. But this ruling is like herpes - you keep that shit forever.

Posted by: Marko on January 21, 2010 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see what he's really made of.

He's made of appeasing teabaggers to get reelected, and teabaggers aren't going to have the faintest awareness that this decision even came down. I expect him to respond to the possibly one journalist who asks him about campaign finance reform by snarling and changing the subject to his war wounds.

Posted by: shortstop on January 21, 2010 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

An MSNBC readers poll shows that 90+% oppose the SCOTUS ruling.

Other than the top 1%, no one from either side sides with the corporations.

Posted by: bdop4 on January 21, 2010 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Elections count.

George W. Bush, you remember him, gave us Roberts and Alito. He also made all of us witness two stolen elections, one lied-into war, legalized torture, unfunded medicare prescription law, tax cuts for the rich, and one mother fubared ecology and no oversight on greed in corporate america. That's quite a legacy.

Elections count.

One can only dream of what we would have looked like right now if EITHER Gore or Kerry had won.

Elections count.

Posted by: stevio on January 21, 2010 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

i wonder whether the tax code fully reflects corporate personhood.

Posted by: Amanda on January 21, 2010 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'm wondering about foreign corporations that operate here? Did we just unleash the entire corporate world into our election process?

Posted by: Dave on January 21, 2010 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Don't those folks already have the upper hand and excessive influence with our legislators?

Before too long, "regular" Americans won't even need to vote - corporations, unions, et. al can just do the deciding for us.

Posted by: Jilli on January 21, 2010 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

So now if I am the government of China, I can have some goof start a soap bubble corporation in the U.S. that loses money, makes nothing and is essentially a shell. Then, come election time, I (China) can invest $5 billion in Bubble Corp., and have them spend it all on a massive effort to get candidates elected who will provide to me military hardware, or favorable trade terms (whether they are awful for U.S. Citizens and the economy or not), sign treaties that give away Alaska and Oregon, or any other of a million things that are in my best interest but are detrimental to the U.S.

That is what this decision does. Any foreign power, any global corporation, can spend any amount of money to buy political power for shameless hucksters who will lie cheat and steal to give the foreign or corporate entity whatever destructive, self-interested crap it's looking for. And if anyone things for one second that there is some way to empower the voices and interests of individual citizens over the unlimited funding of corporations and foreign governments, you are living in a fantasy world.

Viva democracy!

Posted by: Sinister eyebrow on January 21, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Equating the speech of an individual person with limited resources to the lobbying divisions of billion-dollar, multi-national corporations is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they made the First Amendment a permanent part of our Constitution. It's like equating the New York Yankees with the Burlington Lake Monsters because they are both teams that play baseball.

To be meaningful, freedom of speech requires a level playing field. Suppose my rich political opponent misrepresents my citizenship status and puts that message out in ads on 45 radio and TV stations simultaneously. I can't realistically afford to respond in kind and the media outlets refuse to cover my press conference where I clearly refute my opponent (several of them are owned by Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone).

So how is that NOT an abridgement of my free speech? We're not talking about FREE speech, we're talking about PAID speech.

As Republicans say ad nauseum, freedom isn't free. Indeed.


Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 21, 2010 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

I just retired and have voted in every election since I was old enough to vote. If someone can show me that, after this 'decision', voting still makes a difference, I will vote again.

The America I was born into no longer exists.

Ban all lobbyists from Washington, DC with a simple criminal trespass court order. Make the politicians go to Virginia or Maryland to get their cash-filled envelopes.

Posted by: anomaly on January 21, 2010 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

This decision represents the end of Democracy as we know it in the United States.

We will now have government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation (not that we didn't to some extent already).

Posted by: mfw13 on January 21, 2010 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

The politicians that are now in the pocket of the corporations are going to be the rulers of the country, heaven help us. One thing is for sure, we will never again have a democratic government.Think what Fox news corp can do!

Posted by: JS on January 21, 2010 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Free speech is a right. But paid speech is a product, a commodity, a service-for-hire.

In America we regulate all manner of products and services for a number of reasons: when their availability is limited (airwaves, natural resources), when their use has a significant health impact (alcohol, tobacco), when our national security is at stake (nuclear materials, airline security). We license doctors, lawyers, nurses, accountants, engineers, architects because we deem their services to be so important for the social, economic and physical health of their clients.

Paid ads are often produced by unlicensed, highly partisan advocates, often with little regard for the truth. They can do incredible damage to individuals running for office and to the broader population who will be poorly served by the slavish partisans who run them.

There are plenty of precedents for regulating commercial products in this country. We need to apply these precedents to paid speech NOW, before it's too late. If we open the floodgates to unlimited, paid political attack ads the right to "free" speech will turn into a quaint, historic relic and democracy will be corrupted to its roots.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 21, 2010 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

It was long my suspicion that the Republicans wanted to roll back the progressive era, 1890 to 2000, now this is comfirmed. Somewhere the ghost of Marcus Hanna giving JP Morgan a high five. Meanwhile, impeachment proceedings against five supreme court justices should be started. If Roberts and co can demolish precident, so can Congress. Also, remember this is the legacy of the Bushes which demolished any good work they ever did.

Posted by: Kurt on January 21, 2010 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

No word on disclosure laws, I suppose?

Exxon-Mobile can't finance their ads through a non-profit called "Energy for Puppies and Orphans" and stay hidden behind an imaginary wall?

If proper transparency were enforced. I don't think this would be as bad as McCain Feingold WITH the smokescreen. If I can easily find out who is behind E4P&O, their ads can only be as persuasive as their suspected motives would allow.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on January 21, 2010 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

I guess we're a defacto Fascist country now. I wonder when they'll start subdividing the country into "estates" for the corporations and that wonderful, wealthy 0.01% of the population.

Posted by: -syzygy- on January 21, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Why are liberals so scared this week? It's just speech, not mind control. The answer to bad speech is good speech, not less speech.

Posted by: Alan on January 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

How outrageous! Everyone knows that only the corporations that own the New York Times and NBC should have Free Speech rights.

Posted by: Disillusioned Progressive on January 21, 2010 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Paid ads are often produced by unlicensed, highly partisan advocates, often with little regard for the truth. They can do incredible damage to individuals running for office and to the broader population who will be poorly served by the slavish partisans who run them.

How very silly. This is a call for content censorship and truth regulation, precisely what the First Amendment prohibits. The government has no business interfering with political communication.

The people running for office are the most partisan of all, and they attack each other. Should the campaigns themselves be prohibited from running ads at election time?

Posted by: Disillusioned Progressive on January 21, 2010 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

The answer to bad speech is good speech, not less speech.

Uh huh. And the answer to dollars is pennies.

Posted by: shortstop on January 21, 2010 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Alan quaintly states, "The answer to bad speech is good speech, not less speech."

Alan, the answer to $5 million in bad speech spread over 45 media outlets simultaneously is $5 million in good speech spread over those same outlets. We're talking access here, buddy, not grammar.

The problem is, corporations and the economic elite of this country not only control access to the $5 million, they also control access to many of the media outlets. The vast majority of public-minded citizens who run for office can't afford to respond to million-dollar attack ad campaigns.

Furthermore, it's not only access to money that's the problem, it's partisanship in the media. If you want to see how media outlets behiave, just look at Todd Palin's Enemies List for his wife's book tour -- Republicans deny liberals access to news events and politicians to news outlets all the time. How can people make a reasoned judgment about their leaders if reporters can't even ask them hard questions, or if politicians' press conferences are ignored?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 21, 2010 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: I'll pay you $10 (not pennies) to support the criminalization of abortion. Or I'll run an corporate-sponsored ad asking you to take that position. Deal?

Posted by: Disillusioned Progressive on January 21, 2010 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to see how media outlets behiave, just look at Todd Palin's Enemies List for his wife's book tour -- Republicans deny liberals access to news events and politicians to news outlets all the time.

Or look at the media assault on Sarah Palin from the rich media corporations CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post etc. etc.

Posted by: Disillusioned Progressive on January 21, 2010 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Disillusioned Progressive asks, "Should the campaigns themselves be prohibited from running ads at election time?"

-- Absolutely not, but the candidates' direct campaign expenditures are overseen by the FEC and subject to disclosure laws, spending limits (if presidential candidates take public funding). And candidates can spend as much of their personal money as they want (witness Michael Boomberg's amazing $109 expenditure per vote won).

We're talking about limiting massive spending by third parties, corporations, and yes unions -- turning campaigns into spending free-for-alls. Democracy fundamentally depends on a level playing field and lots of money tilts that field.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 21, 2010 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Disillusioned progressive states, "Look at the media assault on Sarah Palin from rich media corporations . . ."

You're pulling our leg, right? Charlie Gibson asks Palin what she thinks of the Bush Doctrine and that's an attack? Katie Couric asks her which periodicals she reads and that's an assault?

Please, tell me you're just whining at the end of a long day.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 21, 2010 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

You're pulling our leg, right?

The Washington Post falsely accuses Palin of cutting funding for special education; CNN falsely accuses Palin of charging rape victims for rape kits; the Atlantic accuses Palin of faking a pregnancy; the New York Times sends a quasi-pedophile to e-mail all of McCain's daughter's teenage friends to determine "what kind of a mother" Cindy McCain was. Etc. Etc.

CBS didn't release the full interviews of Palin, so you really have no context to make the judgment you do. Nor did CBS run endless loops of Obama's
'57 states" gaffe and his constant stuttering when off the teleprompter. Nor Biden's claim that FDR went on TV in 1929 to calm the nation about the stock market crash, at a time when FDR was not president and there was no TV.

But your argument, flawed as it is, merely proves my point. You're evaluating the fairness and balance and truth of CBS speech -- something that the government has no business doing.

Posted by: Disillusioned Progressive on January 21, 2010 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know how I feel about this totally but I do believe having all this money to sway public opinion isn't good. On the other hand, I do believe that government was able to decide who is disobeying the law and who isn't. I believe that ultimately we need to eliminate ads all together closer to election and focus only on debates. This saves money and it keeps the decisions based on debates and arguments rather than advertising. I agree that there may be Republican influence here. However, to blame conservatives is wrong. I am conservative and I don't agree with this move. I believe good debating like in this forum is a good thing. Let's not lump people into groups unless it is justified. I belong to a social network that is conservative at www.heywhateversocial.info and we don't go after power but really try to support others. Plus, it invites healthy debate.

Posted by: chrisfromneenah on January 21, 2010 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

I do believe having all this money to sway public opinion isn't good. On the other hand, I do believe that government was able to decide who is disobeying the law and who isn't. I believe that ultimately we need to eliminate ads all together closer to election and focus only on debates.

Posted by: chrisfromneenah on January 21, 2010 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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