Tag Archives: Supreme Court

SCOTUS Kills Democracy

Actually, they have reshaped it.

In case you missed it, our fine United States Supreme Court led by Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito,  Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy ruled in a 5-4 vote that corporations cannot be restricted on political contributions in candidate elections.

The majority said that this was a vindication “of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech.”

But since when did corporations become citizens?  Yes, I know that they pay taxes but not the way citizens are required to.  We definitely don’t have the same loopholes.  Nor do they have the same bankruptcy laws.  Nor do I have shareholders that invest in me.

So far the media has been relatively quiet about this.  Surprisingly so considering the magnitude of this decision.

President Obama called it “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”

For the first 24 hours following the decision, I was furious.  I came to the conclusion that Americans were no longer part of the election process.  As it was, corporations wielded a mighty big sword by utilizing corporate lobbyists to do their bidding for them in Washington.

Add the money they can now freely contribute and there is no way common Americans can have any quality time with our politicians.

I envisioned our election process being taken over by corporate interests.  Debates, primaries and caucuses get sponsorships.  (McDonalds Super Tuesday)

Whichever candidates best supported the corporate needs would receive hefty campaign contributions and a chance to represent their state or district for the next term. 

And it really isn’t difficult to “drown out the voices of everyday Americans” as President Obama put it.  The corporate lobbyists are always in the politicians faces and politicians are oblivious as to what we are saying outside the Beltway.

Initially, I believed that Republicans would now win every election.  But that isn’t true.  Many Democrats also put corporate interests ahead of American citizens.  So in that regard much wouldn’t change.

What would change are the politicians who nobly put their constituents before the corporate interests.  Their reelections would be in doubt. 

And unless you have the corporate political machine behind you, you can forget any political aspirations you may have.

The point to remember is that we are a Representative Democracy.  We elect people to represent us in the political process.

The added dollars coming from corporations will mean that ‘We the People’ will only be made aware of the candidates engulfed in that machine.

And as a Representative Democracy, the Supreme Court has determined who ‘We the People’ will rely on for determining which candidate we will ultimately vote for. 

But isn’t that the way it seems to be anyway?

Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority:

“When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought.  This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”

This will also ensure that Fox News can provide 24 opinion on their ‘news’ station. 

What is bizarre is that this does not explain how restricting corporate campaign contributions would use censorship to control thought.  Campaign finance restrictions didn’t dictate the message, it just attempted to balance the process so ‘We the People’ had our voices heard – not ‘We the Corporations’.

In fact, stronger campaign finance restrictions were necessary in order to give our elections back to the people and really permit our voices to be heard.

Today, pork projects are given to districts so the politician can get support for his reelection.  Watch how the pork projects will go to districts where the corporate dollars are flowing in from. 

I hear Honda needs a new automotive facility in Alabama.

Anyway we spin this, this is bad for democracy.  It’s bad for the country.  And worst of, it will be bad for Americans.  The Supreme Court has failed us. 

United Corporations Supreme Court - Great job, fascArt {h/t BuzzFlash}

Questioning Obama’s presidential eligibility returns

I thought the issue was dead. Step aside Joe the Plumber. Robert L. Schultz the anti-tax activist is searching for his 15 minutes. Schultz last year was ordered to shut down a website advising how to avoid paying taxes.

Now he is challenging President-elect Barack Obama’s eligibility by questioning his citizenship. Every point he brings up has already been refuted.

But it seems that there are many people that thirst to find out something scary about our next president. Some of my top searches support this as they seek out whether Obama was sworn into the U.S. Senate using a Bible or Koran, the terrorist fist bump (I personally love this post), whether or not Obama is a Socialist or our greatest fear.

Schultz is the chairman of We The People Foundation which took out full-page ads this week in order to raise the question about whether Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate is authentic.

[Read the ad here]

We’ve heard this crap during the election campaign. Barack Obama’s Fight the Smears website provided documented proof that was verified by Fact Check.

The Bruce Blog provides additional proof that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii.

United States Supreme Court to weigh in

Though there have been numerous lawsuits filed on this – I have to say – nonsense, the one that will get the most attention is Leo Donofrio v New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells. This case has been referred to the U.S. Supreme Court justices for conference by [sarcasm] the highly unbiased, non-partisan Clarence Thomas. The case is scheduled to be heard today. [Source: Chicago Tribune]

Other cases:

Philip J. Berg filed a suit in Pennsylvania in August and “sought to enjoin the Democratic National Committee from nominating Obama.”

Alan Keyes filed a suit in California seeking to halt the certification of the votes.

A Kentucky man sought to have a federal judge review Obama’s original birth certificate.

Andy Martin filed a case in Hawaii – which was dismissed. [An aside: Andy Martin is the anti-Semite that appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs schooled Hannity over Martin.]

An Ohio man also filed a suit which was dismissed.

One man filed 5 additional suits that were dismissed in Hawaii. Per the Chicago Tribune, this man “is currently suing the ‘Peoples Association of Human, Animals Conceived God’s and Religions, John McCain and USA Govt.’ the plaintiff previously sought to sue Wikipedia and ‘All News Media’.”

Addressing the We the People Foundation Ad

The [Ft. Lauderdale] Sun-Sentinel provided a point-by-point response to the accusations in the ad. 

 



Here are the allegations raised in Schulz’s ad, and some relevant facts:

•The birth form released by Obama was “an unsigned, forged and thoroughly discredited” live birth form, Schulz says.

Last summer, Obama’s campaign presented a digital copy of his certificate of live birth. After critics questioned its authenticity, staff at FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, said they had seen, held and examined the actual birth certificate.

•”Hawaiian officials will not confirm” that Obama was born in their state, Schulz says.

Initially, Hawaiian officials said that privacy laws prevented them from releasing a copy or confirming that Obama’s copy was authentic. But in late October as questions persisted, Hawaii’s health director and head of vital statistics reviewed Obama’s birth certificate in the department’s vault and vouched for its authenticity.

•Schulz says that legal affidavits state Obama was born in Kenya.

The affidavits that Schulz refers to are filings by the Obama critics themselves in the court cases challenging Obama’s citizenship.

•Obama’s paternal grandmother is recorded on tape saying she attended Obama’s birth in Kenya, Schulz says.

The group’s Web site posted what it says is a transcript of a long-distance phone conversation in Swahili and English from late October between a questioner in the United States and Sarah Hussein Obama, in her Kenyan home. The translator said he was one of two interpreters conducting the interview in a crowded hut during a celebration, over a speaker phone that dropped the call three times. A copy of the recording was not provided by Schulz.

• Schulz says that “U.S. law in effect in 1961 [the year of Obama’s birth] denied citizenship to any child born in Kenya if the father was Kenyan and the mother was not yet 19 years of age.”

If a child is born in the United States—as Hawaiian officials state that Obama was—that child is a U.S. citizen regardless of his or her parents’ nationalities. If born to an American parent outside the U.S., the law at the time would require the U.S. citizen parent to be at least 19, which Obama’s mother was not. The provisions of this law were subsequently loosened and made retroactive for government employees serving abroad and their families. It appears that this would not apply to Obama’s mother. The matter would seem to be academic: Hawaiian officials vouch for Obama’s birth certificate.

•Schulz says that in 1965, Obama’s mother relinquished whatever Kenyan or U.S. citizenship she and Obama had by marrying an Indonesian and becoming a naturalized Indonesian citizen.

U.S. law lists the specific acts and formal procedures necessary to relinquish U.S. nationality. The statute requires the acts be performed voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing one’s nationality. In many instances, one must be 18 to renounce one’s citizenship. Obama moved to Indonesia in 1968 and moved back to Hawaii while still in grade school. There is no indication that Obama renounced his U.S. citizenship.

 

 

What cracks me up is that Shultz actually has the audacity to say that this is not a partisan issue with him. 

“We never get involved in politics,” he said of We The People. “We avoid it like the plague.”

To find out more about Schultz’s We the People Foundation and their non-involvement in politics – click here.

And now we wait to see if the Supreme Court intervenes once more in our election process.