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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 25, 2012 1:48 PM. The previous post in this blog was No leaf tax required. The next post in this blog is Public-private partnerships wrecking cities. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Supreme Court sticks to its corporate guns

They're not going back on Citizens United. Corporations have the same speech rights you do, and states have no power to declare otherwise. Oh, the brilliance.

Can you imagine the Court with some Romney people added to the mix? Maybe Donald Trump would be available to serve as a justice.

Comments (69)

Suppose we got all big money out of politics? That would still leave a billion dollar pool untouched:
the "press" (unless we repeal the 1st amendment.)

Since the press is untouchable, how does a candidate have a chance if the press opposes him/her unless they can raise big pile of money?

Shutting out corporations would also shut out unions & environmental groups (they are corporations too.)

Thanks
JK

JK, two wrongs seldom make things right. There seems to no legitimate excuse for allowing large corporate interests to control government decision making.

Please explain how a candidate can get elected without boatloads of money when the media runs negative stories about him/her daily?

Thanks
JK

Can you imagine the Court with some Romney people added to the mix?

Yes I can.

Can you imagine the court with some Obama people added to the mix?
It would be like Sam Adams, Leonard or or Rex Burkholder adding people.

Oh great ... an unsigned opinion. Always the sign of a quality judicial product.

This blog has become a regular meeting place for the nutwigs from the right. Sad to see.

Now they're actually trying to convince themselves that Citizens was a good decision for our democracy.

Bow down to our corporate overlords.

Raleigh: This blog has become a regular meeting place for the nutwigs from the right.
JK: Actually they are called rational people.
And why are you name calling, instead of adding a well reasoned, rational comment? Is it because you actually have no case?

BTW, please answer this question:
How can a candidate can get elected without boatloads of money when the media runs negative stories about him/her daily?

Thanks
JK

The "press" is dead.

I'd have no problem treating unions and nonprofits the same as every other corporation.

Raleigh: This blog has become a regular meeting place for the nutwigs from the right. Sad to see.
Mike: Differing opinions bother you? Why? Is that not a part of a democracy?
Raleigh: Bow down to our corporate overlords.
Mike: So, do you bow down to the union and other such overlords? Or, because you may agree with them you then are part of the overlords, so they are okay? Why is one overlord acceptable to you but not the other? You need to be consistent.

My question is if corporations have the same rights humans have, why don't they just run a corporation for President?

"why don't they just run a corporation for President?"

Might do a better job?
Would only sell out to one industry?

Thanks
JK

Jk, or is it "Mr Exxon"? I wasn't referring to you or anyone specifically
but since you've chosen to call me out personally:

http://bojack.org/2012/06/a_good_sign_for_obama.html#comments

I for one, question the "rationality" of anyone who thinks Global Warming is some sort of left-wing conspiracy theory and that the solution to all of our economic woes is to open the floodgates to Big Oil interests.

http://www.drudge.com/archive/154860/domestic-oil-doesnt-lower-gas-prices

As someone who follows commodities closely, natural gas and oil prices are dropping like a rock along with other commodities as China is staring to hurt economically.

Who are you talking about as being a victim of the press? How can anyone answer a question so vague?

Mike: there you go again....

Where did I ever say I was a part of a union? I work for a big bank who I should add recently tried to mobilize us to harp on our local congressmen about the injustice of Frank Dodd and other new banking regulations. As someone with a brain and a sense of history/fairness I did not do their bidding.

I'm with bojack on this one, but you won't get the states to ratify a change to the first amendment. Neither conservative nor liberal legislators want to kill their respective golden geese.

And anyone who doesn't think that we aren't already bowing to an overlord (corporate, union, government) is seriously delusional. That quaint notion that the government is "us" isn't true anymore.

I don't know if Romney's folks could be much worse, you only need 5 and you basically own the third branch. Sure it's scary to imagine someone more intellectually limited then Tomas, or as cynically disingenuous as Alito, or for that matter Roberts himself. But can they really push the country much faster then they are already doing so? I am not really sure. And for the most part they are fairly young. The Senate GOP has been very effective in blocking any Clinton or Obama judges from moving up the ranks--or even getting on the bench to start with--so pretty much everything but the 9th is already so far to the right that we are guaranteed lots of radical results. These will be less publicized then the SC decisions but cumulatively will likely even more pernicious to civil society and the powerless.

Its a gilded age and money is the only thing that matters. This is one face of our new era.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/opinion/sunday/what-sheldon-adelson-wants.html

Even I, being fairly young, remember when the right was against gambling. Today greed is all that matters the only thing the right values. It's an ugly world we are creating.

I can live with Citizens United being overturned since that your get Union Thug and Environuts money out of politics.

Raleigh: Jk, or is it "Mr Exxon"?
JK: Why do you start with a personal attack. Is that because you cannot make a coherent argument?

Raleigh: I for one, question the "rationality" of anyone who thinks Global Warming is some sort of left-wing conspiracy theory and
JK: Who said it was a left wing conspiracy? I think it is more of a big money grab by some corrupt scientists, which attracted a lot of scientifically illiterate (& logic challenged) progressives who think it is a way to slow down or stop economic growth in some deluded hope that mother earth will benefit. (As if the ex-communist countries or poverty stricken countries have the cleanest environments.)

Raleigh: [I for one, question the "rationality" of anyone who thinks] that the solution to all of our economic woes is to open the floodgates to Big Oil interests.
JK: Cheap energy is the foundation of economic well being. Why do you have a problem with companies that allow you to be more productive and have a higher standard of living by selling you petroleum? Or is it the high price that you object to? If so, you should be advocating increased oil exploration to drive down the price. Basic economics.

Raleigh: drudge.com/archive/154860/domestic-oil-doesnt-lower-gas-prices
JK: That’s pretty funny - you refer to a blog posting by “snoofy” as evidence that basic economics does not work!

Raleigh: As someone who follows commodities closely, natural gas and oil prices are dropping like a rock along with other commodities as China is staring to hurt economically.
JK: Since when does the international market have much effect on domestic natural gas prices? The recent domestic drop is due to vastly increased supplies due to new techniques. Techniques, I might add, being fought at every step by the greenies.

Thanks
JK

JK

Shutting out corporations would also shut out unions & environmental groups (they are corporations too.)

Me:

Well, it's not a question of calling unions and various organizations "corporations, too". This is about associative speech rights, and fortunately this remains intact.

Bob Tiernan
NE Portland

I'd have no problem treating unions and nonprofits the same as every other corporation.

I think the difference is that unions take money from workers in the form of "dues", then spend it on political activities with which members may disagree. That's nothing more than theft, and it was nice to see that SCOTUS ruled against the unions last Thursday.

Bill McDonald

My question is if corporations have the same rights humans have, why don't they just run a corporation for President?

Me:

Did you ever ask the same question about a union, like the teacher's union(s), running for president?

I thought not.

Bob Tiernan
NE Portland

Gibby:

There seems to no legitimate excuse for allowing large corporate interests to control government decision making.

Me:

Did you ever express concern over allowing large union interests "to control government decision making"?

I thought not.

But anyway, the bigger government gets, the more reasons there are for powerful interests to influence it. Why are you still surprised at that fact?

Bob Tiernan
NE Portland

Shadrach : Sure it's scary to imagine someone more intellectually limited then Tomas,
JK: Yeah, Thomas is sure a jerk.

He even opposed the government taking private property to give to corporations.

Even more outrageous, he commented that the SCOUS should revisit the decision that gave the Feds the power to regulate what kind of food you grow in your garden. (Referring to real food, not pot.)

Can I assume you believe Thomas was wrong in the above?

Thanks
JK

Bob,
That is #3 on my list of Top Ten Annoying Blogging Moves.
You ask a question and then say, "I thought not."

"I thought not." Funny how you can take that a couple of ways, isn't it?

The truth is I never really asked the question about corporations running for president. I was trying to make a point about ridiculous granting corporations human rights was.

I sometimes say things that aren't literally true but make a point in another way.

For example, I have a term for right-wing bloggers who rush to their keyboards to spout off the latest talking point.

I call them the Committee to Reelect President Obama.

If you disagree with Fox News on a specific, issue-by-issue basis that's fine, but if you decry the network's very existence it seems intolerant of opinions contrary to your own.

Similarly with bashing Super Pacs like Crossroads while having no problem with confiscatory union dues put to partisan use.

John,

I'm not an expert here, so please allow me to wing it:

I think saying a corporation is a voluntary association of citizens is a ridiculous oversimplification.

What if - to take an extreme example - the corporation is owned by Assad? Are you saying it is the purpose of the United States Constitution and the Supreme Court to protect Assad's rights to free speech over Americans' rights to run their elections?

In other words corporations are a different kind of animal. They usually extend past national borders. In fact they are in a serious war right now to destroy the sovereignty of nations.

I think the US Constitution was designed to protect America and its citizens from all enemies foreign and domestic, and corporate power can be a threat to our sovereignty.

Saying a corporation is just a group of citizens just doesn't add up for me.

Bill McDonald : For example, I have a term for right-wing bloggers who rush to their keyboards to spout off the latest talking point.
JK: I can assure you that neither I or Bob are right wing (or left wing - see Nolan chart) or into spouting someone's talking points.

Thanks
JK

j--k,

I am not sure exactly what you are ranting about, but I am going to assume it's the Kelo case and then Wickard v. Filburn. Since you asked my opinion I will do my best to respond, but its going to be a bit wordy, as these are complex issues (well maybe not to Tomas, but everyone else).

First a bit of background on my legal philosophy. You should know that I adopt a very pragmatic view of the law in general and do not hold anything sacred just because it is old. In my experience I have found that societies tend to thrive or stall based upon communal trust, not any particular legal institutional framework. Some frameworks are helpful (those that promote trust and inclusive economic productivity), some are not (those that legally protect rent seeking at the expense of the society). For further reading I recommend these two books as a starting point:

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Nations-Fail-Origins-Prosperity/dp/0307719219

http://www.amazon.com/Trust-Social-Virtues-Creation-Prosperity/dp/0684825252

Now, as you can see I have probably have a different value system then you. I view property rights as very important, but as a right of stewardship. If that stewardship serves the larger community and makes the world a better, more beautiful place then I strongly support it--this is the basic idea behind the American Dream of home ownership. Or the schumpeter capitalist entrepreneur who improves our world through disruptive innovation and I strongly favor this idea. However, if property stewardship poisons the world or makes it a worse meaner place, say through its environmental impacts or by impoverishing the community through greed then I am against it. That is poor stewardship and that property owner should lose their rights. Now wisdom wrought from historical experience tells us that it is not always immeaditly clear which actions will be good in the long term and which are bad, prudence dictates that we should be very cautious in exercising judgement. Therefore, freedom of use should be our default setting. If a property use is found as harmful then it should be restricted or even banned, or forcibly changed.

You will note that I do not hold the idea of property as intrinsically sacrosanct it is simply a social construction that is very useful if applied right. You will also note that I do not view individuals as isolated from the group. Man is a political animal and we live together and make rules for how we do it. If you disagree with that then you are a libertarian anarchist and I am not sure why you care about these issues at all.

So, about Kelo. Sometimes a society has great needs that trump an individuals right to property (which should be our default setting). This can be for reasons of communal health (the once and future justification for urban planning), or for economic purposes--i.e. a freeway. I don't see any difference between the Kilo act of economic development and the use of eminent domain for a community road. They are one in the same. Thanks to the rights politics--and private developer greed--it is almost certain that tomorrow's roads will be built/owned by private developers (See the UK for glance at our shitty future). So what's the big deal?

Now the Commerce clause. Sure I support the use of it because it may be a rough tool but I am pretty certain that right to regulate Commerce covers everything economic--and to use Scalia's asinine originalism doctrine I am pretty certain that the founding fathers were fine with that. These people were not idiotic ideologues enraptured by the clean simplicity of a Randian philosophy but pragmatic landowners and businessmen. Here is what Washington wrote about the commerce clause:
The [commerce] proposition in my opinion is so self evident that I confess I am at a loss to discover wherein lies the weight of the objection to the measure. We are either a united people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of a general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending it to be.”
Madison, Hamilton were equally strong champions of the commerce clause. Sure I would love to have a different, more logical system one that acknowledged our communal problems and didn't need to use the inelegant catch all of our commerce clause but we don't have that (yet). Should it regulate your home wheat growing? I would say generally no, and that should be the strong preference of the law (remember the default should be freedom of use), but sometimes sure I could see the argument and I agree with the generations of legal scholars who agree with the Wickard decision.

As to the coming Health care debacle, many founding fathers were for that too--including an individual mandate:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/01/17/congress-passes-socialized-medicine-and-mandates-health-insurance-in-1798/

So yes, J--k, I do believe that Tomas is very clearly wrong, and I think in general he is either disingenuous, indoctrinated, or too stupid to understand the complexities of these cases. I also think he has a vendetta against lefties from his embarrassing revelations during his confirmation hearings and he should do the honorable thing and step down. Sadly there is very little honor on today's conservative justices of the supreme court.

Well after most of the above, it's sure safe to say that this isn't s blog where you go for any sensible comments on constitutional law. The oligarchs are sleeping well again tonight. That said, thanks for keeping the important balls like this one in play, Jack. Meanwhile, Thomas Paine is weeping....

I think the difference [between corporations and unions] is that unions take money from workers in the form of "dues", then spend it on political activities with which members may disagree.

And corporations take money from workers in the form of "wage and benefit cuts," then spend it on political activities with which members may disagree.

Yeah, big difference.

What's more significant for Citizens United purposes is the fact that the corporate sector is roughly 100,000 times bigger, richer and more powerful than the union sector.

semi-cynic: take money from workers in the form of "wage and benefit cuts,
JK: How does that work when the wages and benefits are mutually agreed between both parties?

Are you saying that the "greedy corporation" changes the agreed upon employment terms? (a living employment contract, like the liberal’s living constitution?)

semi-cynic: What's more significant for Citizens United purposes is the fact that the corporate sector is roughly 100,000 times bigger, richer and more powerful than the union sector.
JK: What is relevant is the political spending - do you care to share that data? Especially public employee union spending.

Thanks
JK

Mojo,
I think if Thomas Paine were alive today, he'd be calling for a second American Revolution. He'd be battling against tyranny. I know that sounds melodramatic but he wouldn't put up with this.

I also don't think the oligarchs are sleeping all that well. If anything, this mad scramble to lock down America with drones etc...seems like they're getting ready for trouble.

Finally, the Supreme Court. To me our system of checks and balances is as good as it gets, but there's no way around it: Somebody has to have too much power so we put them in robes as a sign they're different, and hope they don't screw us too badly.

When the other 2 branches are corrupted by the oligarchs eventually it bleeds into the Court and I think that's where we are now. The Kelo case was the first one where I personally couldn't believe what had happened, but there have been others, including the Florida/Gore ruling.

The moment where I realized how crazy all this has really gotten - the moment for me where we crossed into some absurd farce, was hearing Justice Scalia talk about torture.

His ruling? That torture was not cruel and unusual punishment because torture is not a form of punishment.

That is when I knew we were screwed.

Jk-what is relevant is the political spending. Do you care to share that data?

Me- that is largely what the outrage of Citizens and 504(c)s is all about. Nobody knows who is funding these things and in what amounts because they are not required to by law. Watch a little Colbert and get up to speed my friend. If I had to guess, a corporation with billions in cash laying around has advantages and resources available to protect its interests that most unions and social organizations could only dream of.

I also believe Thomas Paine would have loved the piece in the Onion called "Americans Pool Together $945.23 to Counteract Corporate Money's Influence in Politics."

http://www.theonion.com/articles/americans-pool-together-94523-to-counteract-corpor,28622/

I think it is scary to see how the left is clamoring for censorship. By attacking Citizens United they seek to have the government control speech. If Citizens United had been decided differently the government would have been able to ban speech because a corporation was involved in its production. And the ban would have been in effect because the speech was political (exactly the type of speech that the first amendment is designed to protect)

Bill McDonald: Reread the text of the first amendment and tell me where congress is allowed to restrict any speech no matter how you characterize it?

I just don't think corporations are people. Do you? I don't think restricting corporate spending on elections is restricting free speech because corporations don't talk. Your definition of a corporation as a voluntary association of citizens is ridiculous. They may not even be citizens. They just own a corporation.

I'm not a constitutional expert, but I've read where judges consider the impact of a ruling - the results - in making their opinions.

I think we should be allowed to limit the impact of corporate money if elections are bought by international corporations. That doesn't seem crazy to me.

I think the ruling could have been written in a way that doesn't ban speech as you say, but just prevents corporations from further ruining democracy.

That's the impact of this ruling. Corporations are now more powerful than ever and that's a danger to our sovereignty. That's a danger to America. They have used their power to buy Congress, and the President.

In fact, I think this - and most rulings of the Roberts court - indicates that big corporations have already bought the Supreme Court, too, so in that sense it's not a surprise.

John,
One of the big stories today involves News Corporation splitting in two. Gee, I didn't know people could split in two.

But feast your eyes on the holdings of News Corp:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corporation

Sure, a lot of them are overseas but it's all one big corporation - at least so far.

You're telling me that this corporation should be able to donate unlimited amounts to an election or it is a violation of free speech? That the free speech of this mammoth monstrosity of hundreds of corporate entities is in danger of not being on equal footing with the rights of a single US citizen, unless it is allowed to subvert democracy with unlimited financial clout?

Not to mention all the media power it already has? Read that list of assets and try and think of this thing being mistreated by corporate limits on campaign spending. It is ridiculous.

Thomas Paine wrote "Common Sense" and it circulated widely after the American Revolution was underway.

I suggest you use a little common sense here.

This shouldn't be a left/right argument with one side arguing against big corporations and the other about big government or public employee unions. In my experience, I've seen each of them abuse their power to further their own goals, without thought as to the larger picture. The rise of administrative agencies has completely altered the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches, large corporations use government to make it more difficult for start-ups to enter the marketplace, and all one needs to do is to look to Orestar to see that the public employee unions are the 800 pound gorilla in Oregon politics.

The fact that the Supremes unanimously affirmed Citizens United tells you all you need to know.

My concern is that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.

Big oops on my part - I see Mondays ruling was 5-4. Sorry.

I stand by my post, however. Neither the right nor the left has any interest in empowering the citizenry.

Solutions to big money are simple:

Vow to vote for the candidate that raises no more than x dollars and stick to your guns.

Or never vote for the candidate that raises the most money.

We don't need any restrictions if people actually had principles, but alas most people spend their entire life being pushed around from one compromise to the other.

What if a Sierra Club candidate was elected President? Heaven help the economy.

Wow. Lots of petty 'believers' here. Calm down ladies. You are both equally ugly. Promise.

As for the decision, it's hard to see it as being good for democracy. Policy-wise it just seems foolish. I can see the legal justification, if you follow the Citizen's opinion this opinion seems consistent.

As to the question of what the court would look like with a few more bought out morons? Sadly, Jack, I think it might look about the same as now. I hold no hope I guess.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the baby boomers for completely selling out my country. Have fun in retirement.

Bill McDonald:

The truth is I never really asked the question about corporations running for president. I was trying to make a point about ridiculous granting corporations human rights was.

Me:

The point being made was that long before Citizens United you could have asked that question and inserted "Big Unions" instead, but I doubt that you did. I really do.

Or maybe "I thought not".

Bill McDonald:

I call them the Committee to Reelect President Obama.

Me:

From CREEP to CREEPO.

Bob T
NE Portland

Bill McDonald -

If you don't have access to money, your best bet is to pool your resources with other people who agree with you. Maybe you could set up a corporation to do that. You could call it "Citizens United" but I think that name is taken.

The alternative is to allow only large scale speech to only 1) individuals with great wealth; 2) campaigns; and 3) media corporations. And maybe not the third, since the NYT is, you will notice, a corporation.

The first amendment guarantees free speech- period. It doesn't say free speech for individuals. So your issue that corporations are not people is a non-sequeter

John,

Here's a ruling about corporations and you're saying what they are has no relevance? Your arguments are drifting away from reason.

Okay, forget corporations for a second and let's apply free speech to something else that isn't a human...how about a parrot.

If you took a talking parrot into a voting station that just said, "Vote for Obama" over and over you'd be right there saying, "This parrot has free speech...period"?

Here in the real world, the court has recognized restrictions on free speech. The most famous one is yelling "fire" in a theater, so they could certainly say a corporation yelling "Vote for someone" in the theater of democracy is also restricted.

Another thing the court does is to monitor how a ruling goes as in Arizona to see if it is implemented in a Constitutional way. That's a recognition of the realistic side of the law.

I don't think you can expect that the voting rights of the citizens of America will be protected if you let corporations spend as much as they want. A candidate will have no choice but to do what the corporation wants - otherwise they can not possible win. The will of the people becomes an afterthought.

It's already happening to a large extent. Time after time, issues that the American People feel one way about are ignored in favor of the corporate interests.

Letting corporations - not people - have the power is one stop on the road to fascism where corporations run the state.

Isn't that obvious?

That's the neatest argument yet:

For proof this ruling fits into the hand-over of American sovereignty to international corporations, all you have to do is mention the year, because these are the years when that process is happening.

Pretending this is the result of some extra-strong commitment to the Constitution, is actually quite cynical.

We are watching our Constitutional form of government being dismantled before our eyes, and you're applauding their allegiance to the Constitution as they do it.

I say what are we waiting for?

Corporations dropping cash, isn't that different from drones dropping bombs. Let's give the drones the right to do it. They have free speech too.

If a pilot has the right to speak, then a machine with no pilot has the right to speak too, although all they ever say is, "Ka-boom!"

Bill, you are much more elegant than I. Well said. Repeatedly.

To the Union naysayers:

1. Do authentic homework, Study the Union struggle during the 20th century. It is what brought rights to the middle class which only then evolved into a thriving middle class, paying taxes and contributing to our golden civilization in a myriad of ways. Remember "Union" was lone powerless workers forming a team "union" for clout for their best interests.

2. I recommend you find a job in a non-union shop with an
autocratic management bent on extracting all worker blood for the benefit of obscene executive compensation, stock holder compensation, Obscene Campaign Contributions, and sometimes just for the sport of it. Think Walmart for starters, and worse, their directing their employees to use the tax payer supported social service programs which Union members pay their fair share for in taxes.

After a few years they DUMP you for cheap immigrant labor and dropping benefits, then, join a union shop and see if they will protect what you have earned there, seniority, wage level, benefits, hours worked, block the"manager from hell" from wreaking havoc on you just for sport, on and on.

Be Aware: Fox News distorts that history.

This discussion seems to be leaving out foundations. It isn't just unions and corporations that push candidates around.

Liberal leaning foundations have assets of $100 billion plus and far outspend conservative ones. Not one conservative foundation has assets exceeding $1 billion. Fourteen liberal foundations do. The money available to liberal activists dwarfs what conservative groups have access to.

The biggest problem is that all of these groups tend to "invest" in incumbents who get far more cash than challengers. Term limits might help the problem more than picking who spends what.

John- those are some pretty amazing assertions you've made and I would love to learn more.

Would you care to identify the 14 "left leaning foundations"? I would also like to see a list of the campaign contributions these organizations have made to assist their causes.

And you are saying these foundations far outspend corporations and unions?

Would love to see the data.

By the way, the Chamber of Commerce is a "UNION" of Corporations for the purpose of clout and power for their interests.

Focus on eliminating that one first. All in America will better thrive if the middle class prospers including the 1% engineering this mass destruction of our democracy and middle class.


I think I know where John was going for his information, a favorite book on the rightie talk shows right now called "The New Leviathan" but he hasn't taken the bait.

http://mediamatters.org/research/201206110013

Raleigh: I think I know where John was going for his information, a favorite book on the rightie talk show
JK: Where does your reference address John’s claims:
-- Liberal leaning foundations have assets of $100 billion plus and
-- far outspend conservative ones.
-- Not one conservative foundation has assets exceeding $1 billion.
-- Fourteen liberal foundations do.
-- The money available to liberal activists dwarfs what conservative groups have access to.

It appears that you posted a completely irrelevant reference in an attempt to discredit John.
Do you have any evidence that these statements are incorrect?

Thanks
JK

JK Please cite the same references I asked of John.

Hint: Pew Trust is not one of them.

http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/14/pew-trusts-adhere-to-mission/

Raleigh,
Re-read my post - I am asking YOU to provide references for YOUR claim that John's claim was wrong. You did not do that , then you claim it is my duty to prove John's case.

You are the one who claimed he was wrong - prove it.

At this point we have two people making unsubstantiated claims and myself asking you for the proof you claimed to have, but did not.

Thanks
JK

Shadrach:

Man is a political animal and we live together and make rules for how we do it. If you disagree with that then you are a libertarian anarchist


Me:

Needing to live together doesn't require government to toss politically powerless people out of their well-kept homes so that a corporation like Pfizer can move there. Being against that is hardly being an anarchist, or even a libertarian.

Shadrach:

So, about Kelo. Sometimes a society has great needs that trump an individual[']s right to property (which should be our default setting). This can be for reasons of communal health (the once and future justification for urban planning), or for economic purposes--i.e. a freeway. I don't see any difference between the Kilo [sic] act of economic development and the use of eminent domain for a community road. They are one in the same.

Me:

No, they are quite different. If you've ever studied the history of eminent domain cases, the different types of uses, and the justifications needed before increasing the power yet again, you'd understand this. Apparently you haven't.

The real problem with the Kelo decision, as the final nail in the coffin, was that it says once and for all that the very people in power who want to seize property are the very same people who get to define "public use', which means that everything is a public use.

Sorry, but the takings clause mentions several specific things - taken, public use, and just compensation - and the courts had no business deciding that any one of these is less equal than the others when it comes to Federal oversight, thus leading to courts ruling that they have no business second guessing a state or local government's definition. Why would this be any different from allowing local governments to get to define what free speech is, or even the press?

It's interesting to note that the Left (I don't call them liberals because I have too much respect for that word's actual meaning) screams the loudest about "fascism" (using their own spin of a definition) and it's "corporate" ingredient, yet leads the charge in aiding corporations by using eminent domain against mostly the least politically connected (blacks in Poletown and Harlem, for example), such is their hatred of the dreaded concept of private property.

Note, too, that in the Kelo case the four justices who were called the most rightwing, corporate shill types were the ones who came down in favor of the least politically connected and less wealthy of Americans, fighting against corporations and their real lackeys in government, and the four favorites of the left at that time (plus Kennedy), looked the other way and made it worse.

Bob Tiernan
NE Portland

Jk:

That's really the best you can do?

Re read what you just wrote and come back to me when you have some actual answers for me instead of question dodging. I'll leave your grade at "incomplete" for now.

Btw, you never told me who the mystery straw man is from way back up above. The one who can't win because of the biased media and Citizens is his savior. Who is this mystery man?

Keep up the good fight.....

Ralph, you need to refresh your memory:

John:---Liberal leaning foundations have assets of $100 billion plus and far outspend conservative ones. Not one conservative foundation has assets exceeding $1 billion. Fourteen liberal foundations do. The money available to liberal activists dwarfs what conservative groups have access to.

Ralph---- Would you care to identify the 14 "left leaning foundations"? I would also like to see a list of the campaign contributions these organizations have made to assist their causes.

Ralph---- And you are saying these foundations far outspend corporations and unions? Would love to see the data.

Ralph---- I think I know where John was going for his information, a favorite book on the rightie talk shows right now called "The New Leviathan" but he hasn't taken the bait.

http://mediamatters.org/research/201206110013

JK---Where does your reference address John’s claims:
-- Liberal leaning foundations have assets of $100 billion plus and
-- far outspend conservative ones.
-- Not one conservative foundation has assets exceeding $1 billion.
-- Fourteen liberal foundations do.
-- The money available to liberal activists dwarfs what conservative groups have access to.

It appears that you posted a completely irrelevant reference in an attempt to discredit John.
Do you have any evidence that these statements are incorrect?

Ralph---- JK Please cite the same references I asked of John.

JK---Re-read my post - I am asking YOU to provide references for YOUR claim that John's claim was wrong. You did not do that , then you claim it is my duty to prove John's case.

Ralph: Re read what you just wrote
JK: See above. You said John was wrong and presented a completely irrelevant citation. I asked if you had any real evidence that John’s claims were wrong. I even listed each of John’s claims for you. You ignored this request and demanded that I prove John was right.

Sorry - you accused John without evidence - I am asking you if you have ANY evidence that his original statement was wrong.

If you cannot provide that evidence, please admit it.

Thanks
JK

Jk:

If someone makes an outlandish assertion it is the burden of he who makes the assertion to back up his claims.

Let's play a little game:

Person 1: aliens control Portland government!

Person 2: that is a hell of an assertion but plausible, please show me the source of your info.

Person 2: (after learning that other alien belivers have been making similar sounding assertions) I have since learned that others are making similar assertions and their assertions have been shown false on some key basic facts, did you receive your information from these same sources?

Person 3: how dare you attack person 1's assertions without proving them false yourself!

Person 2: huh?

Ralph, the fact remains that you cited a false reference to discredit John's statement.

Please support your case, or admit that you have no evidence.

And you just made another claim, namely that John's claim was outlandish. I am challenging you to support that claim, as my reading tends to concur with John's original claim.

Thanks
JK

No JK, the fact remains that you have no evidence to support John's claim nor can you idenify the straw man who can't win without gobs of money due to media bias. For some reason you have an obsession with getting the last word in even though you bring nothing to the table.

And the name is not Ralph either for the record.

Raleigh,
YOU are the one who attacked Paul's claim with false evidence. I am just a bystander that noticed your mistake and am asking if you have any real evidence against John's claim.

BTW, I suspect John, not you, is correct based on the Billions of dollars being spent to promote the global warming fraud, while the fraudsters are claiming to be outspent by a few skeptics. The fraudsters even are taking oil company money while attacking skeptics with allegations that skeptics are getting oil company money!

BTW: learn the definition of "strawman"

Thanks
JK

Jk- "I suspect" blah blah blah.

Nice evidence buddy. All bluster and still no evidence to support John's claims.

Where was anything I posted "false"?

What is he definition of a "fraudster" and how does it relate to Citizens?

I know the definition of strawman very well thank you.

Creating a fictional disadvantaged person who can't win an election due to a "biased media" to support a claim that we should allow unlimited campaign donations by corporations fits the very definition of "straw man."

Raleigh: Where was anything I posted "false"?
JK: the link you give as evidence that John's claim was wrong DID NOT contain claimed evidence. Therefore it appears John was correct when he claimed:
-- Liberal leaning foundations have assets of $100 billion plus and
-- far outspend conservative ones.
-- Not one conservative foundation has assets exceeding $1 billion.
-- Fourteen liberal foundations do.
-- The money available to liberal activists dwarfs what conservative groups have access to.

Thanks
JK

Jk,

You win, your logic is infallible.

Btw, sleep improves brain function but I don't have any links to provide evidence other than maybe this one.

Hey Raleigh,
Here is a report of big left wing money buying influence:

From 1994 to 2004, almost $140 million was spent to lobby for changes to our country's campaign-finance laws.

But this money didn't come from little old ladies making do with cat food so they could send a $20 check to Common Cause. The vast majority of this money — $123 million, 88 percent of the total — came from just eight liberal foundations.

These foundations were: the Pew Charitable Trusts ($40.1 million), the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy ($17.6 million), the Carnegie Corporation of New York ($14.1 million), the Joyce Foundation ($13.5 million), George Soros' Open Society Institute ($12.6 million), the Jerome Kohlberg Trust ($11.3 million), the Ford Foundation ($8.8 million) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ($5.2 million).

Not exactly all household names, but the left-wing groups that these foundations support may be more familiar: the Earth Action Network, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, the Public Citizen Foundation, the Feminist Majority Foundation . . .

What did this liberal foundation crowd buy with its $123 million?

For starters, a stable of supposedly independent pro-reform groups, with Orwellian names you may have heard in the press: the Center for Public Integrity, the William J. Brennan Center for Justice, Democracy 21 and so on.

Plus, favorable press coverage. Here, the story as laid out in the Political Money Line report gets really ugly. Some highlights:

* In September of 2000, less than two years before the passage of McCain-Feingold, the liberal magazine The American Prospect put out a special issue devoted to campaign-finance reform. With incredible hypocrisy, the magazine failed to tell its readers that the "Checkbook Democracy" issue was paid for with a $132,000 check from the Carnegie Corporation — which, again, has spent $14 million promoting the regulation of political speech in the last decade. (Bold added)

More at the source: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/Buying%20Reform2.html

Raleigh: the fact remains that you have no evidence to support John's claim
JK: I did not claim John was right, only that you did not succeed is showing he was wrong.

However I did find this:

Right wing foundation assets: 10,288,081,969
Right wing foundation grants: 831,797,191
Left wing foundation assets: 104,555,636,781
Left wing foundation grants: 8,807,988,218
(Notice how the left has about a 10:1 advantage)
source: two spreadsheets linked from: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=338

If that source is correct (and I’m sure you can find a leftie liar site that will attack it), it appears to support John when he claimed:

-- Liberal leaning foundations have assets of $100 billion plus and
-- far outspend conservative ones.
-- Not one conservative foundation has assets exceeding $1 billion.
-- Fourteen liberal foundations do.
-- The money available to liberal activists dwarfs what conservative groups have access to.

Thanks for encouraging me to finally find the money sources for the lefties.
JK

JK- thank you for the links, it is important to know where the information is coming from when big numbers are thrown around- which is all I really wanted from John in the first place.

The Pew Charitable Trust, as mentioned in my link above is questionably "liberal."

I am going to have to dispute some of the other "left wing" organizations listed as well. Listing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as "left wing" is deceiving at best and and an outright lie at worst. Yes, they had over $3 billion in grants but the vast majority of this money is being spent eradicating diseases in third world nations. They also are giving private grants to set up charter schools. Couldn't that qualify as a right-wing activity?

Does this count as a left wing cause in the sense that the Koch foundation is right wing? Merely listing a foundation's assets and labeling them "left wing" based on an activity or two you may disagree with is a pretty blatant fabrication without breaking down where the grants and activities are going.

One last thing:

I am married to an Afghan who came to the US following the Soviet invasion in the 80s and I'm going to take with a huge grain of salt any information coming from the David Horowtiz "Freedom Center"

http://www.thenation.com/blog/163023/fear-inc-americas-islamophobia-network#

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discover_the_Networks#Programs

Thanks for the cordial (if sometimes a little heated) debate on the topic though JK.


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