Chris Francescani’s otherwise solid Reuters article about George Zimmerman, with previously undisclosed and illuminating background info, is marred by the baseless assertion that Zimmerman “disregarded police advice against pursuing Martin.” Actually, there’s no known evidence that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after the police dispatcher “suggested” he halt, but the lynch mob has brainwashed a lot of people into perceiving fiction as fact.
While acknowledging the legitimacy of their message, Bill Maher lambasted Occupiers Friday night for their strategic and tactical nonsense. He might have also mentioned that insisting on the “right” to monopolize land that was intended to be shared with others, is a legal and moral affront.
Occupiers often tout the importance of reaching a consensus before acting, but their “commitment” to such a decision-making philosophy obviously doesn’t extend to cooperating with the millions of people who don’t wish to attend a General Assembly or rely on finger-wiggling to communicate, and who aren’t under the illusion that by claiming to be petitioning the government for a redress of grievances, a group of protesters is somehow entitled to live in a park indefinitely.
Maher suggests: “Instead of organizing interstate hootenannies, maybe it’s time for Occupy Wall Street to actually participate in the American political process.” He’s right about the arena, but when he later urges Occupiers to serve the Democratic Party, he misses the mark.
Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke is a modern woman who ably reaffirms that it’s not sinful for females to enjoy sex out of wedlock. Rush Limbaugh clings to the opposite and very outdated notion that such behavior is steeped in shame. He deserves to be mocked rather than taken seriously, but it’s self-defeating for Limbaugh’s critics to overreact to his disparagement of Fluke, because it breathes life into the very misconception they wish to expunge.
As the constitutional challenge to Obamacare heads to the Supreme Court, let’s not forget that before his DOJ lawyers began claiming the individual mandate is a tax, our president (aka the Great Constitutional Scholar) told George Stephanopoulos and the nation it’s not a tax. How do you suppose Obama’s OMB director characterized the mandate when he testified yesterday before the House Budget Committee?
As is their wont, devotees of presidential candidate Ron Paul made their presence known on January 15 at the Three Kings Day Parade in Miami, an annual event that draws thousands of spectators. When one of them held up a sign touting their favorite candidate in front of a local Univision TV camera, the crew began to make wildly false criminal allegations against not only the sign-holder, but another guy who was videotaping the encounter. A cop who apparently observed the ridiculous confrontation in its entirety, and should have therefore known that no crime had been committed, is nonetheless seen intimidating the demonstrator.
Watching the video, I was reminded of my own surreal experience in South Florida back in 2000 when I was there to cover the infamous Gore/Bush election recount. I was subjected to the same self-important attitude by the media, and the same disregard for my First Amendment rights by the police.
Then and now, the bullies provided great comedic entertainment after the fact, even though it was disturbing to endure the abuse when it occurred.
Inspired by the Occupy movement, the Justice Party of California seeks to advance the lapsed ideals of justice and equity by means of authentic participatory democracy. Voters are encouraged to register without delay, and begin shaping the party’s future by co-creating its bylaws.
Former investigative journalist Viveca Novak, now the editorial and communications director at the Center for Responsive Politics, joined us yesterday. Her fascinating article about James Bopp, the controversial plaintiff’s attorney who originally filed the Citizens United lawsuit, depicts her subject as more committed to the First Amendment than to the Republican Party:
“Though he’s socially conservative and highly partisan, Bopp nonetheless is willing, whenever possible, to find common ground with liberals if it furthers his primary, driving goal: to make the words ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech’ an insurmountable barrier to regulating money in politics.”
I asked Novak if her organization takes any position on campaign finance, or if it maintains a neutral stance, and she said, “We think that donors should be disclosed.”
I’ve heard it argued that some donors would be more likely to give money to challengers if it could be done anonymously, because if the incumbent is reelected, legislative revenge would be a real possibility. Novak escaped before that logic could be explored. But she was a good guest, and I hope she comes back.
In this episode, I lay out my argument as to why the Citizens United case was decided correctly. (Click here to read an article I wrote in 2010 about how liberals overreacted to the decision.) Although preventing corruption is a legitimate governmental interest, restricting what people spend to express opinions cannot possibly level the playing field or anything like it. It is simply beyond the abilities of Congress, which is why there have never been any fair or effective prohibitions on independent expenditures. I also discuss fundraising considerations that Rocky Anderson and other candidates must face.