Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Most Important Court Decision Ever?

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, corporate money will continue to funnel into politics.

Expect more government hand-outs to big businesses, less taxes on the wealthy, and more freedom for companies to poison and maim you, the loyal customer. Basically more of this. For more details on the possible ramifications (all of which are not even certain), see here.

Here’s hoping Chief Justice John Roberts has another seizure, this time at the top of a much taller flight of stairs.


  1. All the more reason we need some limits on the cash flow going to political candidates from special interest groups. Just seems like buying favoritism from an elected official.

  2. It is, photogr. It's not a coincidence that million-dollar donors get government hand-outs and laws written (and removed) for their very own benefit. All of this in the name of "free speech."

    Speech will never be free as long as the will of the people is ignored in favor of the wealthy.

  3. Dear Ginx,

    You know, it may be bad news that Goldman-Sachs is doing well; you seem to think it is. But have you ever just stopped yourself and asked, "Who were the biggest corporate donors to the Obama campaign?" Well, let me tell you.

    After the unionized teachers of the California state university system, the next largest corporate donor to the Obama campaign was Goldman-Sachs. Which is funny, really, because Goldman-Sachs was John McCain's fourth largest donor. But note the difference: Goldman-Sachs gave John McCain $230,095, while Mr. Obama received more than 4 times the amount, $994,795. In fact, if I take the 5 biggest Wall Street contributors to both campaigns, I see that John McCain received $1,427,300 to Barack Obama's much larger $3,449,317. And that's not all: Barack Obama received a total of $14,808,875 from the banking/investment industry, while John McCain received a mere $8,666,235, or just slightly more than half of what Obama received. And Big Law, which manages Big Wall Street, gave Obama a whopping $43,071,129, while dolling out a paltry $9,930,296 to McCain.

    I wonder, then, what you're upset about.

    If you think the Supreme Court's decision will have an adverse effect on how Goldman-Sachs and others are going to spend and make money trying to elect Democrats, you're right! I am old friends with a senior VP at a major Wall Street Bank; in August 2008, he held me in his thrall as he expounded on how every member of the board of his bank (on which he sits) and which had privately interviewed both presidential nominees, just loved, LOVED Barack Obama; he even averred that ALL of Wall Street preferred him. Why? Oh, and did I say that nearly everyone sitting on the board of my friend's bank is a Democrat? And should I mention that this same bank received huge, HUGE bailout money? (No wonder they love Obama!)

    Moreover, I see the New York Times, a big corporation if there ever was one, is upset with the SCOTUS ruling, precisely because the Times, as a NEWS corporation, has been exempt from influencing campaigns right up to election day; they've had no limits on what they could do. But now the Times will have to be on an equal footing with ALL corporations, competing all through a campaign cycle. Funny that we now see how much the Times and Democrats actually hate a "level playing field"!

    I note that you only highlight that the Supreme Court decision now allows "corporate money" from "big business" and "companies" to flow into campaigns. Amazing that you should be so narrow in your observations, really; you are like EVERY person I've heard complain this week about the decision, as none mentioned that the SCOTUS' ruling also mean UNIONS can funnel money into campaigns right up to election day. Why would you fail to mention the big corporations that are indeed businesses that just happen to call themselves unions, unions like the NEA (education) or AFL-CIO, or SEIU? Did you not know that -- as far as campaigning goes -- the SCOTUS' decision is GOOD NEWS for unions?


    Obama's biggest corporate donors.
    Obama's donors according to industries
    McCain's biggest corporate donors
    McCain's donors according to industries

  4. Bill: I know you're new to my blog, so I'll try to point out a few things about me you should keep in mind when posting (things I should put in my info, but have neglected out of laziness). Granted, if you wanted to be a true fan-boi and read all my previous posts, you could also figure this out about me.

    - I did not support Obama, nor did I vote for him (much to my wife's chagrin)
    - I have never voted for a Democrat

    That said, the news of Obama being bought and paid for a long time ago is old news to me. The fact that you believe Republicans to be less corrupt is something I find completely laughable, especially since the you fail to address the fact that the vast majority of Republicans don't even need to be bought off; their policies already favor those who would seek to buy their influence.

    I have no doubt that what you've heard is how unions can now donate more money, given the views you hold. I did not exclude them from my comment to photogr, and feel that those of all political ideologies ought to be upset by this decision.

    I am anti-union, but only because I believe the job they do ought to be done by the government. The fact that unions exist at all is a testament to how our government has failed to protect workers. I would prefer if these unelected, extra-governmental powers were gone, but they will persist and thrive so long as the government neglects to do its job.

    Maybe I'm not scared of unions because businesses donate exponentially more money. You pointed out how many millions were donated to Obama, and I have no doubt most of this was donated near the end when it became quite evident that Obama had it wrapped up. There's no question Obama (and the Democrats in Congress) are not going to fix America, and this court decision ensures that neither party will at any time in the near future. Democrats have been paid to run the country like Republicans, and this is why we are doomed.

  5. Dear Ginx,

    1. If, as you say, the existence of unions is a "testament to how our government has failed to protect workers," how is it that government employees themselves are unionized? Here I thought unions were the result of capitalism's exploitation of the private-sector proletariat! That governmental unions exist -- Democrats comprising much if not most of them -- is a testament to the fact -- is it not? -- that the government oppresses and exploits its own PUBLIC sector workers.

    2. Actually, Obama did not get most of his money all that late. The data I used for a 2008 essay I wrote was from August, 2008; you can see the date here. A small point, perhaps, but one that is germane. The data will show that Obama, even before he was perceived as a front-runner (over McCain), was receiving money hand over fist from liberal banking and financial institutions. And they supported him because, or so I believe, they knew he would give them the governmental guarantees they sought. And they got not only what they paid for, but they got far more. (Even the LA Times, long before the Democrats had nominated anyone for president, wrote an article about Wall Street's fixation with Democrats.)

    3. OK. Fair enough, we are doomed. By Obama, McCain, it matters not. Republican, Democrat, Conservative or Progressive, we are doomed. Is that fair?

    If that is fair, then why single out Christian conservatives, or mere conservatives, in the political arena? Why only criticize them?

    4. As you are relatively new to my blog (like I am to yours), you should know that I have never given as much as a penny to any political candidate, party, or campaign. I share this merely to reinforce the fact that I am not beholden to any one party either: I am not even currently registered in a party, and rarely, if ever, have been.

    5. I responded to you here because you again presented a criticism aimed at something "conservative." Clearly you made no effort to aim a single jibe, at least here, at the liberals on the Supreme Court who were content with keeping unions and only SOME, not all, corporations out of the final stages of the election process. There is no evidence presented in either of the commentaries you've posted to which I responded that would indicate you are unhappy with the rich progressives in this country who exploit the poor (all the while asking government to step-up care for the poor), or who funded Barack Obama's progressive presidency so he could ensure that the liberals at Goldman-Sachs, Harvard (the largest privately-held endowment on the planet) or Morgan-Stanley made money (in the name of caring for their neighbors, among other things).

    6. As for your unjustified assertion that I believe Republicans are less corrupt, well, I am disappointed. I've not made a single statement of the kind. If I've said anything, I do so to defend the integrity of the conservatives I know and love: the people who are not particularly political who give their sweat, blood and tears to help their neighbors through voluntary service, charity work, and financial gifts. You've clearly presented conservatism as a vile thing, set against what you perceive to be morally superior -- progressivism, liberalism; socialism. I can't help respond to that with some resistance; had I spotted any material here that indicates you believe that even socialism is as doomed as conservatism, well, perhaps I would have been more circumspect.

    Peace to you,


  6. I think your confusion can be solved by one simple tidbit about me: I hate all conservatives, be they Republican or Democrat.

    Regarding Obama (and all politicians for that matter): who gives one money doesn't matter unless the politician lets that affect their legislation. As much money is flying around, I believe it would take an almost heroic effort to resist the temptation. America is rotten at producing heroes, so we have so few to lead us.

    Obama has, without any shadow of a doubt, revealed himself to be a supporter of policies from economic to foreign policy to civil liberties which I categorically oppose. Even when he was at his most idealistic on the campaign trail, I found him to be wishy-washy and callow. I didn't see the inspiration then, and I see it very clearly as grand-standing in retrospect.

    I do not have the answers, but any fool can recognize a false one. I could spot conservatism a mile away.

  7. Dear Ginx,

    I remain confused: You believe Barack Obama is a conservative? Did I get that right? Also, you hate ALL conservatives? You actually hate them? Well -- ouch!

    You were right: you're one simple tidbit did bring clarity.



  8. Obama is a conservative.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with flat out saying how one feels. I don't believe my feelings towards those I disagree with can have any actual effect on the world. I can hate a person for what they've done, still respect their right to exist, and even hold out naive hope that they aren't as malicious as their words and actions indicate.

    I would rather be honest about the matter then to pretend morality is subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion. Fuck that liberal nonsense. Some days I just wish someone would make the first move and the two incompatible cultures in our society could just fight to the death, until only one is left standing with its foot on the throat of the other.

  9. So Ginx, do you really believe it should be illegal for a non-profit to broadcast a film criticizing a candidate for president? If so, stop calling yourself a liberal, because you aren't one.

    Here's Chris Hallquist on the fragility of free speech.

    Oh, and stop with the hate speech already. It's not a pretty thing to witness coming from a wannabe Canadian.

  10. Maybe that non-profit should cease it's non-profit agenda. I also believe religious organizations ought to be banned from political affairs or give up their tax-exempt status. I'm not saying any organization cannot make any kind of propaganda it wants, I'm saying they cannot then expect to be granted tax-exemption.

    One or the other: you're either a charity or a political action group.

  11. It's sad to me that conservatives (be they Republican or Libertarian) are so happy to just be contrary. Liberals say one thing, so they must disagree.

    The explicit buying of politicians by private organizations (be they companies, unions, liberals or conservatives) is a horrible practice that anyone who actually wishes to live in a democracy ought to oppose.


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