The program is unique in that it touches on an intimate and very human part of life, the health of one’s body, and yet normal people have been almost wholly excluded from the debate. This surely was not a bug but a feature. Given a program whose complexity is so utter and defeating that it defies any normal human attempt at comprehension, two things will happen. Those inclined to like the spirit of the thing will support it on the assumption the government knows what its doing. And the opposition will find it difficult to effectively oppose—or repeal the thing—because of the program’s bureaucratic density and complexity. It’s like wrestling a manic, many-armed squid in ink-darkened water.
Another awful Supreme Court decision today extends the Citizens United disaster and further erodes America’s political system by striking down aggregate limits on campaign contributions; according to the new ruling, wealthy individuals may now contribute as much as $3.6 million to a single politician.
The decision — written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito — held that “aggregate limits are invalid under the First Amendment.” Justice Clarence Thomas concurred with the other conservative justices but penned a separate opinion arguing that campaign finance restrictions should be wiped out further.
The conservative justices argued that eliminating aggregate cont limits doesn’t give rise to “quid pro quo corruption” which the court recognized as a legitimate rationale for campaign finance restrictions in the landmark Buckley v. Valeo case in 1976.
“Spending large sums of money in connection with elections, but not in connection with an effort to control the exercise of an officeholder’s official duties, does not give rise to such quid pro quo corruption,” Roberts wrote in the ruling. “Nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner ‘influence over or access to’ elected officials or political parties.”
The law currently permits individuals to spend no more than $2,600 per election per candidate, allowing for up to $5,200 for a primary and general election. The aggregate limit is $48,600 on contribution to candidates for an election cycle, and $74,600 on campaign committees. The Supreme Court ruling keeps the individual limits and eliminates the aggregate limits. Supporters of the law noted that without limits, a single donor could contribute as much as $3.6 million to a single politician between giving to candidates and committees.
See, this is why we call the US conservative movement “reactionary,” as the Heritage Foundation gives an award to the owners of Hobby Lobby, solely because they’re pushing a deceptive redefinition of “religious freedom” (as “freedom to discriminate against women and gays”) into the mainstream: Heritage’s Salvatori Prize Goes to Two Families Arguing Religious Freedom at Supreme Court.
NEW ORLEANS — Two days after the Supreme Court heard arguments in defense of religious liberty against a controversial Obamacare mandate, The Heritage Foundation awarded its Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship to the two families who brought the suits—the Greens and the Hahns.
The presentation was made during a luncheon at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel as part of the annual Resource Bank gathering hosted by Heritage.
As the Christian owners of two businesses, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, the families went to court to challenge Obamacare’s “HHS mandate,” the requirement that they provide certain abortion-inducing drugs and devices through employee health plans.
The dishonesty of these people is mind-boggling. What they’re calling “abortion-inducing drugs and devices” — the morning-after pill and the IUD — have absolutely no connection to abortion whatsoever, and they do not “induce abortions.”
It’s very frustrating to see people who should know better (i.e. the Supreme Court) treating this mendacious argument as if it were even open for debate. The truth is that the US religious right is now setting its sights not just on abortion, but on contraception as well, because these are contraceptive measures, pure and simple.
And it’s offensive that they’re using the language of “religious freedom” to try to justify and support a reactionary agenda that seeks to deny freedom of choice to women.
Meet one of your new California Republican Party candidates for Governor. Please note this is one of the finalists, who was officially introduced to the party at a GOP function as a candidate.
Glenn Champ, 48, addressed hundreds of GOP delegates and supporters Sunday at the site of the state party’s semi-annual convention. Introduced by party chairman Jim Brulte and allotted 10 minutes, Champ spoke in between the main GOP candidates, former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari and state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County.
Champ, a little-known political neophyte from the Fresno County community of Tollhouse, did not directly mention his criminal past during his speech but said, “In my life, I’ve been held accountable because of my stupidity. I do not want anyone else to be enslaved because of their lack of knowledge.”
Champ’s rap sheet is lengthy. Court records show that in 1992, he pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed firearm. In 1993, he was convicted of two counts of assault with intent to commit rape and as a result was placed on the state’s sex-offender registry.
In March 1998, he accepted a plea deal on a charge of loitering to solicit a prostitute; later that year, he pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge after hitting a man with his vehicle, for which he was sentenced to 12 years in state prison, according to court records.
But you see, that is all in the past now, because he found Jesus!
Champ said the assault case “was just for picking up some underage prostitutes” and resulted in a 90-day jail sentence. He said he turned his life around after the incident.
“I found the Lord when I got arrested for picking up the prostitutes,” Champ said. “I was like most people, ignorant in the darkness, in the very dark. I had no peace, had no love, had no joy. And now I do. Praise God for that…. I’ve grown considerably since I met Christ.”
Going to Champ’s own website, you can be treated to a truly amazing amount of Tea Party wingnut nonsense, full of bad grammar, hyperbole and religious zealotry.
CHAMP represents a new breed of Christian soldier moving forward in the army of the lord, on the highway of righteousness, stomping on the devil’s head, with a new song of righteousness’s in our hearts. Amen. As a man of God, he is going back to fix the crooked places that have led to our current catastrophe. There is a parallel to our spirituality and our nations prosperity. God has sent a deliverer, CHAMP to lead the way back to righteousness and prosperity.
CHAMP does not support same sex marriage but views them as misled people with past issues that have not been dealt with in a Biblical manner, nor does he support womb abortions 99.9% of the time. As a man of God and an Evangelical Christian believer, CHAMP’s faith “compels me to support Biblical traditional family values”. The gubernatorial candidate opposed what he called, ” ungodly legislation drafted by demonic terrorist extremists own agenda”, that refuse to follow the Biblical or constitution guide lines. This will involve a total overhaul of court house, school house, and church house!
And of course…
I use my second amendment right, NOT BURY THEM!
This from a convicted felon who is legally prohibited from owning firearms.
Well done, California GOP. Well done.
Here’s today’s massive wall of text from a dedicated follower who’s been emailing similar crazy rants for about two years now. Based on “her” previous communications, “Linda Jo” is actually a right wing religious fanatic, but you wouldn’t know it from “her” latest deranged screed:
May we have some more spying, please, says Little Moldy Green Football! any country, any state, any household, any individual, any baby, any disabled person, any prisoner, any teacher, any senator, any blogger, anyone online, anyone with a phone, anyone with a credit card,anyone with transcripts, anyone who buys a plane ticket or a book from amazon, anyone with traffic tickets or a record, there should be no limits whatsoever! Why? Because ONE of them just MIGHT be a fucking oggedy boogedy TERRORIST! Lets screw every individual in the entire country from having any right of privacy or rob them of the right to avoid government invasiveness becase CHARLES fucking JOHNSON thinks its ok to spy on anyone the government wants to, for however long they want to, without cause or reason, because it MIGHT KEEP us safe ??? EVERYone needs to be tracked and watched and we need to be paranoid and delusional and live in fear instead of being free to live our lives without being scrutinized and watched, is that your philosophy? why dont you market please spy on me gov tshirts on amazon to promote your insaneagenda, at least that way you could profit from your delusional utopian vision for America. You are fucking insane if you really believe this crap. what is this bitter envy you have over Glenn Greenwald anyway, jealous that his and Snowdens spying expose was more important than your long forgotten Dan Rather document fraud and you decided to ridicule it as if it was nothing? It is a VIOLATION of our right to privacy, and you dont think that right is important? If thats the case, the “terrorists” have won.
Thanks for sharing, Linda Jo!