By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:19pm
…many conservatives are wrongly invoking the First Amendment to slam a survey of various media outlets, administered by the Federal Communications Commission, which is intended to collect information to help the FCC identify “critical information needs” in American communities. The survey’s findings will be central in efforts to maintain competition among newsrooms and protect viewpoint diversity, both crucial First Amendment values. (I’d also note that this is a case where the FCC is affirmatively trying to get a sense of the market before regulating, also a good move for speech.)
The FCC’s current plan is a confidential, anonymous survey of station managers, news editors, line reporters and others about whether the people who work in the newsroom feel that they are serving their market communities effectively. There is no mention, whatsoever, of any potential consequence for refusing to answer or for giving a particular answer. Indeed, the anonymity of the survey and disaggregation of the results guarantee that no respondent will face any retaliation for any response, and the survey will be conducted by an independent contractor to preserve that anonymity.
In any event, I do appreciate the sensitivity of a couple of the questions in the survey, which have since been removed at the direction of Chairman Wheeler. But, with the First Amendment, as important as it is to be vigilant, it’s also important to resist crying wolf. Too many are unfortunately doing so here.
Ryan Lenz posted this on Hate Watch about four days ago,
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is spearheading a campaign to build support for immigration reform among mainstream conservatives by pointing out what his advocacy group calls the “shocking extremism” of the anti-immigrant movement.
Just like their GOP counterparts the Conservative Party is doing its best to restrict democracy and make it easier to cheat.
Here are the things that piss me off the most about their new Fair Elections Act.
First, just like the GOP, they are trying to prevent voting by those unlikely to vote Conservative: natives, students and such.
Second, they’re raising the amount that can be donated by an individual. Worse, they are changing the law so that soliciting past donors for funds no longer counts as an election expense.
Worst of all, they are making it more difficult to investigate possible election fraud. The stupidest change they’re making is that Elections Canada now has to tell a party or candidate they are being investigated and why before starting the investigation! I’m sure the police would love having to tell a drug lord or mob boss they are being investigated and what for before they can start investigating.
The evilest thing the Conservatives are doing is transferring the enforcement arm of Elections Canada from Elections Canada to the Justice Department. What this means that rather than be controlled by Parliament, that is the people of Canada, it will now be controlled by whatever party is running the country, which is currently the Conservative Party.
Damn, I simply can’t stand that these asshole aristocrats run my country.
An Ohio tea party leader is expected to challenge Gov. John Kasich in the Republican gubernatorial primary on May 6, making good on the threat from some conservatives in the state to oppose Kasich because of his push for Medicaid expansion and some other policies they reject.
Ted Stevenot, 48, of Cincinnati, has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday in Columbus in which he will declare his candidacy and name his running mate for lieutenant governor — Brenda Mack of Canfield. A news release publicizing Stevenot’s launch was circulated late last night by Tom Zawistowski, another tea party leader in the state.
Stevenot, according to the release, is a past president of the Ohio Liberty Coalition (like Zawistowski) and a Cincinnati-area business owner. Mack, 56, is a past president of the Ohio Black Republicans Association.
Stevenot could not be reached, and Zawistowski did not return a phone call seeking comment. Chris Schrimpf, spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party who has spoken on behalf of Kasich’s re-election campaign, also did not return a message seeking comment.
A new poll released this week points to troubling public perception surrounding the rainbow flag, historically understood as a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement.
Public Policy Polling found that the Americans polled were more offended by the rainbow flag than the confederate flag, the latter of which has remained a controversial image since the American Civil War and for many holds oppressive and racist symbolism.
If you’re a conservative strongly opposed to abortion, shouldn’t you want to give all the help you can to women who want to bring their children into the world? In particular, wouldn’t you hope they’d get the proper medical attention during and after their pregnancy?
This would seem a safe assumption, which is why it ought to be astonishing that conservatives are positively obsessed with trashing the Affordable Care Act’s regulation requiring insurance policies to include maternity coverage.
Never mind that we who are lucky enough to have health insurance end up paying to cover conditions we may never suffer ourselves. We all want to avoid cancer, but we don’t begrudge those who do get it when the premiums we pay into our shared insurance pools help them receive care.
Yet critics of Obamacare apparently think there is something particularly odious when a person who might not have a baby pays premiums to assist someone who does. It’s true that men cannot have babies, although it is worth mentioning that they do play a rather important role in their creation. In any event, it is hardly very radical to argue that society is better off when kids are born healthy to healthy moms.
Yet the conservatives’ ire over this issue knows no bounds.
WASHINGTON — House Republicans plan to demand major perks for coal companies and Wall Street banks, alongside healthcare and social service cuts and a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling until the end of 2014, according to a source close to the House GOP leadership.
President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have repeatedly stated that they will not negotiate over raising the debt limit, saying they will not make a political football of the U.S. government’s creditworthiness.
The Republican plan, which would also constitute a significant overhaul of the environmental and financial regulatory system, would cut pensions for Federal employees and raise taxes on immigrant families with parents who do not have a Social Security number. The document claims $7 billion in savings from restricting the child tax credit to immigrants who do have a number, and up to $84 billion from “reform” to the Federal Employee Retirement System.
The plan would increase Medicare means testing, and would eliminate social service block grants and a fund for preventative healthcare in the Affordable Care Act that conservatives have characterized as a “slush fund.” Block grants are a capped entitlement program given to states to help fund services like daycare, transportation and home-delivered meals. The Prevention and Public Health Fund has included funds for training primary care doctors and supporting healthy corner stores.
Coal and oil companies would benefit from provisions to expand offshore drilling and drilling on federal lands. The proposal blocks the federal government from regulating greenhouse gas emissions and coal ash, and would give Congress the power to veto any “major” regulation issued by a federal agency (because an affirmative vote would be required, Congress could void new rules simply through inaction).
When the Obama administration extended tens of billions of dollars in loans to General Motors and Chrysler to get them through a managed bankruptcy in exchange for stock in the newly reorganized company, conservatives screamed “COMMUNISM! Obama is taking over the auto industry!” It was nonsense from the start; the arrangement was for the government to slowly sell off those stock holdings to pay back the loans as the company recovered. And guess what? That’s exactly what they’re doing:
The U.S. Treasury Department has slashed its stake in General Motors to 7.3%, putting the government within months of ending its direct ownership of the automaker.
The government revealed in an investment transaction report Tuesday that it had reduced its stake in GM more than previously expected. The report comes more than four years after U.S. taxpayers rescued GM and Chrysler, providing emergency financing to guide the automakers through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The latest move is part of the government’s broader plan — revealed last December — to gradually sell off all of its GM shares by early 2014.
The U.S. owned 13.8% of GM stock as recently as June 12, according to the transaction report.
In the end, taxpayers will recover all but about $10 billion. That’s a bargain. A huge bargain.