There really are two Americas…

It’s official from the Roberts’ Supreme Court: Money=Free Speech, so now the 1% have more speech than the rest of us.

And of course this comes just days after the Wingnuttian 2016 Goat Rodeo contestants worked the stripper pole for casino-owning vulgarian Sheldon Adelson. It is just a coincidence Lindsey Graham wants to ban online gambling now that he has Adelson raising funds for his re-election campaign.

(I wonder when Roberts will sell the naming rights to the court?)

(NYTimes)

Prop 8 is tossed back to California

Gay Pride Month 2009

…which, in effect means that marriage equality has returned to California.

The Xristian Xrazies had no legal standing to appeal the decision when the state refused.

“The Ninth Circuit was without jurisdiciton to consider the appeal. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.”

And in plain english: “After the two same-sex couples filed their challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court in California, the California government officials who would normally have defended the law in court, declined to do so. So the proponents of Proposition 8 stepped in to defend the law, and the California Supreme Court (in response to a request by the lower court) ruled that they could do so under state law. But today the Supreme Court held that the proponents do not have the legal right to defend the law in court. As a result, it held, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the intermediate appellate court, has no legal force, and it sent the case back to that court with instructions for it to dismiss the case.”

(SCOTUS Blog)

(Opinion is here)

DOMA is DEAD

Gay Pride Month 2009

DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment. 5-4.

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others. “

(SCOTUS Blog)

The Opinion is here.

In his own words

“I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”

Here’s the lede for the story at Think Progress:

WASHINGTON, DC — There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyers’ lounge, where audio of the oral argument is pumped in for members of the Supreme Court bar, when Justice Antonin Scalia offered his assessment of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. He called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

Think Progress also has the full transcript so you can read it in context. It’s not less shocking.

I hope that the Koch Brothers hires Bain to do the audit

From The Atlantic:

“Like American Crossroads and the Republican National Committee, the Koch brothers are trying to figure out why they couldn’t beat President Obama — and several Democratic Senate candidates in red states. The Kochs have delayed their twice-a-year meetings with big conservative donors until they’ve finished their audit, Politico’s Kenneth P. Vogel reports. The results of the audit will be presented at an April seminar, Vogel writes, adding, “Early indications suggest that they’ll continue playing in politics but will tweak their approach to reflect 2012 lessons.”

OK, snark aside, this is alarming. It is like the rise of the machines to me. It is easy to say that the 2012 Goat Rodeo was a clusterf*** led by The Stench all the way down the ticket, but it is not exactly true: the GOP still holds a majority in Congress (if only because of gerrymandering) which they will continue to hold as long as they can keep the districts twisted and turned into their favor.

The larger issue here is the terrible Citizens United SCOTUS ruling. As long as that remains in place, we will have corporate rule, and corporations being both immortal and above the law, they will see no problem in funding their candidates, even if they loose. It is the cost of doing business.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court decision in a case called Citizens United vs. FEC:

  • Corporations are not persons with constitutional rights equal to real people.
  • Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.
  • Corporations may not make campaign contributions or any election expenditures.
  • Congress and states have the power to regulate campaign finances.

I suggest everyone go to Bernie Sanders site, sign the petition and hope that the Dim-o-Crats develop a spine (hahahaha, I kid, we’re f***ed. But at least go down with a fight.)

Money and Conflicts of Interest

As strangely orange-hued Speaker of the House John Boehner tells us every time he exhales, Washington DC has a spending problem, which of course helps to explain why he and soon-to-be ex-Congressman Dan Lundgren secretly doubled the amount of money to spend to defend DOMA. Take it away, Nancy Pelosi:

It’s bad enough that Speaker Boehner and House Republicans are wasting taxpayer dollars to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act – and losing in every case. Now, they have reached a new low – signing a secret contract to spend more public money on their legal boondoggle without informing Democrats. Their actions are simply unconscionable; their decisions are utterly irresponsible.

Hiding this contract from voters in the midst of an election season was a cynical move at best, and a betrayal of the public trust at worst. With Americans focused on the creation of jobs and the growth of our economy, Republicans should not be spending $2 million to defend discrimination in our country.

And in a related story, who knew that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had a kid in the priesthood who is involved in some sort of pray-away-the-gay theology? I’m not suggesting that Fat Tony should recuse himself from participating in the upcoming court cases… well, actually, yes, I am saying that.

It’s not just that Fat Tony is on the record, proudly on the record, for comparing gays to murder, beastiality, polygamy, etc., but his kid’s job makes it necessary for people to be self-loathing. I don’t think that the conflicts of interest can be any more clear.

How Much Is That Judge In The Window?

Remember when Howard Dean had his 50 State Strategy? Remember when the G.W. Bush administration was stacking courts with their brand of justices? What happens when you combine the two concepts for nefarious reasons matched with massive amounts of anonymous loot?

In Michigan, where three of seven seats on the State Supreme Court were up for election, records were set for both spending and lack of accountability…Of the $15 million or so spent for TV ads in Michigan, 75 percent cannot be attributed to identifiable donors, notes Rich Robinson

You can thank Judicial Crisis Network for leading this multi-state charge. So, you know, you got that going for you. No one has connected the dots yet why so much money was dumped into a Michigan Supreme Court race. So spin the wheel and guess which high profile case will be coming down the pipeline where someone wants their brand of judge on the bench! Don’t fret, this game will be coming to a state near you soon so you can play at home.