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The Morning Plum

* Tax cut fight is winner for Dems -- in battleground states: Multiple polls have shown that the public is squarely on Dems' side in the fight over the Bush tax cuts for the rich -- but those polls have all been national, allowing "moderate" Dems to continue complaining that the fight is a loser in difficult districts.

Now, however, the SEIU has commissioned a new poll in seven battleground states finding a strong majority, 62 percent, favor extending just the middle class tax cuts. This bolsters the case that Dems should hold a vote on whether to extend them, to draw a sharp contrast between the parties.

The poll -- by the Dem firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner -- was taken in California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. It's hard to know whether this tells us anything about how this issue plays in marginal districts. The poll is set for release today -- more when we see it.

* O'Donnell mum on "identity disorder" quote: Christine O'Donnell's campaign is refusing to comment to ABC's Devin Dwyer about my report that O'Donnell called homosexuality an "identity disorder." Also: Dwyer provides invaluable context revealing just how extreme her remark really is.

* And: Alex Seitz-Wald notes more important context: "O'Donnell has claimed that her views have `matured' since she was in her 20s, but the recency of this homophobic remark raises serious questions about how much her extremist beliefs have actually evolved."

* Counterintuitive take of the day: Former DCCC chair Martin Frost says the GOP retaking the House is a long shot.

Cliff notes version: The GOP actually has to flip 43 seats, not 39, because Dems are expected to take at least four GOP-held seats; and to do that, the GOP must run the table in every region.

* Dems winning in key races? The DCCC, irked by the roar of punditry claiming the GOP has already won the House, has been pushing back hard by releasing internal polls showing the Dem winning in surprising races. Here's the latest batch.

* Where's the air cover from the left? People said it wasn't real, but Karl Rove's outside group is now on track to raise $50 million for the midterms. Will the big unions and liberal groups be able to do anything to offset this?

* And: Rove's group is hauling in the cash specifically because corporations have begun to take advantage of the Citizens United decision making corporate funding of elections far easier.

* Also: Justin Elliott reports that this cash is coming almost exclusively from billionaires.

* Jim DeMint's shadow campaign committee: In another sign that the rise of Tea Party candidates is creating a kind of independent shadow party for Jim DeMint, his operation goes up with a new ad for O'Donnell claiming she's not afraid to "stand up to party bosses." That would include Republicans, presumably.

* House GOP will undo Obamacare by hook or by crook: With repeal looking unlikely to happen (aside from perhaps in the fevered Tea Party imagination), House Republicans are busily developing ways to chip away at the new heatlh reform law.

* A historic day on Don't Ask Don't Tell? With a key vote looming today in the Senate on the defense authorization bill containing repeal of DADT, and with the GOP set to filibuster, Joe Sudbay brings us up to date on the state of play.

* And it's time for another support group: Tea Partyers addicted to farm subsidies! Senate candidate Joe Miller (Tea Party-Alaska), has now acknowledged receiving farm subsidies from land he owned in Kansas.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | September 21, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy, gay rights  
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Next: Christine O'Donnell is toxic and hurting GOP

Comments

HOLD. THE. DAMN. VOTE.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 21, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

HOLD. THE. DAMN. VOTE.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 21, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"People said it wasn't real, but Karl Rove's outside group is now on track to raise $50 million for the midterms. Will the big unions and liberal groups be able to do anything to offset this? And: Rove's group is hauling in the cash specifically because corporations have begun to take advantage of the Citizens United decision making corporate funding of elections far easier. Also: Justin Elliott reports that this cash is coming almost exclusively from billionaires."

Unless Liberals can get very organized very quickly Citizens United may well be the death-knell for American democracy.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

"Also: Justin Elliott reports that this cash is coming almost exclusively from billionaires."

Gee, liberals need to get their story straight, or at least understand the basic facts. Citizens United didn't change anything about billionaires' ability to spend as much as they want speaking their minds.

George Soros come to mind?

It's very simple. Liberals oppose free speech for people who disagree with them. The First Amendment doesn't make exceptions for rich people or corporate speech. Not complicated at all.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Jim DeMint, in a new email blast, has taken to calling Lisa Murkowski a "big tent hypocrite."

Pretty hilarious. I'll post parts of the email in a bit.

Sorry for the double posts.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 21, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Jim DeMint, in a new email blast, has taken to calling Lisa Murkowski a "big tent hypocrite."

Pretty hilarious. I'll post parts of the email in a bit.

Sorry for the double posts.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 21, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

QB:

As I mentioned to Scott on the prior thread, I suggest you read Professor Phillips-Fein's magnificent book, Invisible Hands, which provides a detained account of Big Business' use of Conservatism and the GOP to destroy the New Deal and establish an American plutocracy. For a starting point, I'll direct you to the infamous Powell Memorandum from 1971:

http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_accountability/powell_memo_lewis.html

Lewis Powell, author of the 1971 Plutocratic Manifesto, was appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon just months after he authored that memo in secret. The memo's existence wasn't know until AFTER Powell was confirmed. In this Powell was the forerunner of today's Plutocratic SCOTUS Justices like Scalia, Roberts and Alito. From the 1971 Powell Memo to Citizens United. The plutocrats now control the Supreme Court along with the political branches. It's like living in Russia.


While I don't think Plutocrat Roundtable meetings are necessary, the Business Roundtable does serve that purpose. I suspect that, at this advanced stage, the plutocracy operates like al Qaeda, very de-centralized but everyone knows the goal: destroy Liberalism and neuter the government so that Big Business has total control over the country.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Business Roundtable link:

http://www.businessroundtable.org/

Also, the Chamber of Commerce is nothing but a plutocrat front group now:

http://www.uschamber.com/

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"Is Wisconsin Still Feingold Country? Dem Sen Trails Heading Into November"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/is-wisconsin-still-feingold-country-dem-sen-trails-heading-into-november.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

@quarterback: "It's very simple. Liberals oppose free speech for people who disagree with them. The First Amendment doesn't make exceptions for rich people or corporate speech. Not complicated at all."

I don't think that's the issue as much as what it reveals about their opinion of the majority of people, compared to their own enlightened selves. For unlimited corporate spending on political campaigns to be a self-evident bad and the so-called end of democracy, most people (smart, right-thinking folks like themselves excluded, of course) will have to be easily influenced by said advertising, and willing to easily change principled beliefs, or their support of principled politicians (if such a creature exists) because of advertisements on TV, radio, and the Interwebs. Basically, though they're so smart and good that they, of course, won't be influenced by all this corporate spending, the great unwashed masses will consume the pabulum spoon-fed to them by their corporate masters without question.

I can see the arguments for and against Citizens United, but the presumption that massive increased corporate spending will ruin democracy strikes me as both brazenly self-congratulatory and deeply condescending toward their fellow men. On that issue, at least.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 21, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"Senate candidate Joe Miller (Tea Party-Alaska), has now acknowledged receiving farm subsidies from land he owned in Kansas."

You know how you can tell when a politician is full of $#i*?

When you find out they're a politician.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 21, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

I don't disagree with you on that. But it is for that very reason -- their belief that the unenlightened will be swayed -- that they oppose freedom of speech. For others, that is. We've all been through these arguments from the left that "real" free speech requires the government to censor you so that I can be heard better.

And it isn't really speech of "the rich" or corporations or collectively funded "speech" that they oppose. They never have a problem with Soros or the other billionaires and bazillionaires of the left "speaking." Nor do they have a problem with unions by and large. Heck, some of these people on PL want Fox News taken off the air by the FCC. They just oppose funding of speech by people with opposing views.

It's just one of the many issues on which liberals are the opposite of classical liberals and are instead statists and censors if not worse.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"Senate candidate Joe Miller (Tea Party-Alaska), has now acknowledged receiving farm subsidies from land he owned in Kansas."

I will start to care about gotchas like this after liberals stop using tax avoidance measures (ahem, ru) and start paying their own "fair share" of taxes. And turn over their estates to the government.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Yes I really think that Billionaires are so much smarter than us average folk that they should be able to disproportionately influence elections. This makes so much sense I'm sure the founding fathers would have heartily endorsed this. Let's not forget that corporations have the rights of people and should be allowed to vote also.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | September 21, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

If the so-called "free speech" of political advertisement doesn't influence public opinion, why is it so prevalent?

And why shouldn't the "free speakers," whoever they might be, billionaires, corporations, unions, etc., be required to identify themselves?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 21, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"brazenly self-congratulatory and deeply condescending toward their fellow men."

Sacrebleu! That doesn't sound like anyone on the left that I know.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 21, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"Yes I really think that Billionaires are so much smarter than us average folk that they should be able to disproportionately influence elections."

I suppose you should be in charge of deciding how much each of us gets to "influence elections"? Why should middle class people have more "influence" than working class or poor people? Why should smart or articulate people have undue influence?

"This makes so much sense I'm sure the founding fathers would have heartily endorsed this."

See First Amendment.

"Let's not forget that corporations have the rights of people and should be allowed to vote also."

Corporations have been recognized as having rights (and legal obligations) from time immemorial. They would serve no purpose if they did not. But if you want to start changing that, perhaps we should start with making it impossible to sue corporations. Make sense? If you want to have a principled position against corporate speech, you'll need also to put the NYT out of business.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

In a stunning developement the Chamber of Commerce announced that they back W. Va D Manchin:

"Joe Manchin & the Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which by all accounts has been working hard to get more Republicans elected to the Senate in November (the group has endorsed Marco Rubio in Florida and Carly Fiorina in California, to name just two of their favored candidates), endorsed a Democratic Senate hopeful on Monday, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. “From cutting taxes on businesses and workers, to supporting common sense energy policies, Joe has been an independent voice in West Virginia,” Lisa Rickard, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber, said in a statement. Manchin also got has the backing of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce over his Republican opponent John Raese. Team Manchin said the endorsement was a “blow” to Raese because he comes from the business community, while the Raese camp shot back, characterizing the Chamber’s backing as an “insider” move, the Charleston Gazette reports."

Sounds like quite a bit of whining and sour grapes by the Raese campaign.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 21, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see a constitutional amendment that says only those citizens who are eligible to vote may contribute to a political campaign or candidate, and only with full disclosure using their legal name. Period.

Get rid of corporate election funding AND union election funding. Corporate employees and union members can contribute individually - they don't need someone doing it on their behalf.

If a corporation or union wants to run "issue ads", make them run it under the name they're legally organized under, not through some third-party group that obfuscates who they are.

Of course the corporations who own our government would scream bloody murder over these types of rules, because somehow their self-serving messages aren't quite as compelling when the public knows that the entity funding the message is doing it for reasons that have nothing to do with the public welfare.

That doesn't infringe on anyone's right to "free speech", though it might get in the way of trying to flim-flam the public, so I suspect our conservatives here won't much care for the idea.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 21, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"Corporations have been recognized as having rights (and legal obligations) from time immemorial. They would serve no purpose if they did not. But if you want to start changing that, perhaps we should start with making it impossible to sue corporations. Make sense? If you want to have a principled position against corporate speech, you'll need also to put the NYT out of business."

Total baloney. Corporation aren't people and money isn't speech. There were no modern business corporations when the Constitution was enacted. What happened to the sanctity of the Founders' wishes?

Koch-Head Con Law. Plutocratic propaganda. What Liberals need is more organization, money and people to combat the Plutocrats' propaganda.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"If the so-called "free speech" of political advertisement doesn't influence public opinion, why is it so prevalent?"

No one said it can't or doesn't. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

"And why shouldn't the "free speakers," whoever they might be, billionaires, corporations, unions, etc., be required to identify themselves?"

Is the First Amendment good enough? The government may not abridge freedom of speech.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

If the so-called "free speech" of political advertisement doesn't influence public opinion, why is it so prevalent?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 21, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention that the entire advertising industry would seem to be a waste of time and money if it didn't work.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

QB, can you tell me how many millions of dollars George Soros has donated say in the past year and which pieces of legislation is he trying to affect.

Or is he just at this point a boogieman fallback counter argument?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 21, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't anyone talking about this:

Here's a fact that should dominate much of next week's debate over taxes: Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be just about enough to hit Obama's goal of balancing the budget (minus interest payments) by 2015. That's all they'd need: One non-act. Better: There'd be no sixty-vote threshold. You'd just need a veto of any extension bills and 34 votes to protect the veto in the Senate. And it's not as if there are no compromises available here. If Congress doesn't want to do it while the economy is weak, but could commit to doing it in two or three years, that would be almost as good.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/wonkbook_bush_tax_cuts_could_b.html

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 21, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

"Is the First Amendment good enough? The government may not abridge freedom of speech."

Notwithstanding your Plutocrat Propaganda Manual, repeating something over and over doesn't make it true. The First Amendment is for people not corporations. And money isn't speech. Nobody is advocating any law abridging freedom of speech. We are recognizing the pernicious influence of concentrated wealth on our democratic process. But Conservatives oppose EVERYTHING that constrains the power of the Plutocrats.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"And why shouldn't the 'free speakers,' whoever they might be, billionaires, corporations, unions, etc., be required to identify themselves?"

They should, in my opinion. The more transparency, the better. I realize there was a lot of anonymous advocacy back in the days of our founding fathers and the first years of our country, but I think clarity about who is advocating what is helpful information when considering what people say.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington"

I'll go with BoogieMan. Plus I really wish Soros would focus on the U.S. and not the entire world. As goes the United States so goes the world.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"I'd like to see a constitutional amendment that says only those citizens who are eligible to vote may contribute to a political campaign or candidate, and only with full disclosure using their legal name."

Does this just apply to cash, or services in-kind? If services in-kind, does that mean you would ban Bernie from offering his sage advice to anyone in the US? Will you make it illegal for US voters to read the foreign press if it happens to be promoting a certain candidate or campaign? Will Michael Tomasky no longer be allowed to receive funding from a foreign corporation (The Guardian) in his support for certain candidates?

It certainly is a tough thing, trying to prevent free speech while appearing not to, isn't it?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 21, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

How does identifying the speaker violate the first amendment?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 21, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"money isn't speech"

Well, then, a law restricting the amount of money the NYT can spend on newsprint, printing presses, staff, delivery systems, etc. would not, in your view, be a restriction on freedom of speech, right?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 21, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"Total baloney. Corporation aren't people and money isn't speech. There were no modern business corporations when the Constitution was enacted. What happened to the sanctity of the Founders' wishes?"

One of the most ignorant and misleading statements I've ever seen here.

Corporations in one form or another go back at least to Rome. They were chartered in the middle ages and were common in Europe and America in the 18th Century. (The Hudson Bay Company is a well known one.) There was at least one 18th c. legal treatise on corporations.

Read any treatise on corporate law. Corporations have always been treated as having legal rights and obligations. That is the only way they can form contracts, be liable for torts, be prosecuted for crimes, etc. In fact, if this were not true, they COULD NOT BE BOUND BY A LEGAL PROHIBITION ON SPEECH!

This poster is either completely ignorant or just trying to mislead people.

Where in the First Amendment is there a corporate speech exception? Where did the Founders express this "wish"?

As for "money isn't speech," the Supreme Court rejected that argument -- which is not a matter of corporate speech -- decades ago. Because it is indefensible. If I am allowed to "speak" but not spend money to speak, then I can't speak except with my mouth, and there is no dispute that this is not the intention of the First Amendment. It is preposterous (not to mention ignores "freedom of the press).

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"But Conservatives oppose EVERYTHING that constrains the power of the Plutocrats."

@wbgonne I agree totally with you comment...at least in spirit...however in the interest of fairness and to keep Kevin from jumping us..:-)...To make your statement perhaps more accurate...the Party that purports to represent conservatives..the R's..oppose EVERYTHING that constrains the power of plutocrats.

There are conservatives..Kevin...perhaps tao9 and in the public sphere of elected officials..Dr. Ron Paul who are not slaves of the Corporate puppet masters.

However I do not dispute the basic point wbgonne..I simply point out that there are many very frustrated conservatives as well...especially true conservatives...not the know nothing teabaggers or their ilk.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 21, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Scott - all specious examples, as everything I referred to was PAID ADVERTISING. And note that it wouldn't be prohibited.

But no one who isn't eligible to vote has any business directly contributing to a campaign or candidate. It's why foreign nationals aren't allowed to participate. Well, multinational corporations aren't US citizens in the respect that those of us who live and breathe and are entitled to vote are, either.

But you go right ahead insisting that we will never be truly free until conglomerates - who can't vote - are allowed to control the system anyway through scads of cash.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 21, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"I realize there was a lot of anonymous advocacy back in the days of our founding fathers and the first years of our country"

Such as the Federalist and all those pseudonymous letters of the Founders themselves.

I'm sure Madison, Jay, and Hamilton were using a mode of communication that they thought could be banned by the new government they were advocating.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Sorry but I gotta know wbgonne. What's wrong about this statement that I said yesterday?

"Does anyone know why FDL and Openleft have been virtually silent on Joe Sestak lately? They fought to get him elected and beat the establishment (Obama) and now nothing.

The guy is gonna get knocked out by Toomey ffs.

I really don't understand "progressives" prerogatives at times tbh.

Maybe I'm just stupid or something."

And, I stand by my statement regarding Huffington Post. Arianna is clearly out to sell books at this point. Plus, she's gone after this Admin's financial team from day 1. She wouldn't stop about having to nationalize all the banks because her circle of friends thought it was the right thing to do. She's hired a group of staff to attack most all of his appointments to financial positions. The site was virtually silent on the Warren position. The site ignores any positive financial news and highlights to no end any sort of negative news. I know, I look for the Bloomberg articles daily but her site doesn't want to post them because it doesn't fit into her third world America theme she's trying to build.

OK. I'll admit. Arianna admitted as much when the election was over she was going to shift the effort of her site to become more critical of the administration but dang, she uses the same sensational headlines that Drudge uses at times. Same exact right wing take downs of this admin intended to shed a bad light on them. I don't see how being critical and purposely trying to mislead are the same thing.

I honestly don't know what she's trying to accomplish at this point.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 21, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Not a lawyer, so I hope that someone can explain this to me:

From Wikipedia, "In Meese v. Keene,, 481 U.S. 465 (1987), the Court upheld the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, under which several Canadian films were defined as "political propaganda," requiring their sponsors to be identified."

How do we can reconcile this ruling with the Citizens United ruling and the right of anonymous speech (donations)? How do we guarantee that foreign entities are not contributing through corporations?

I'm not be snarky....truly curious how this all fits together.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 21, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"all specious examples, as everything I referred to was PAID ADVERTISING."

So this new amendment of yours would not ban in-kind contributions from foreigners, is that correct?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 21, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse


Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibited from making "a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication... ."

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2010/01/28/establishment-media-negligence-08-campaign-enables-obama-foreign-campaig#ixzz10AsX0lXh

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 21, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC You show up to take your potshots...could we ask something about YOUR political beliefs?

Some really basic questions about the role of Government...
Are you for or against...
Social Security?
Medicare?
Labor Laws?
Environmental Regulations?
Two un-budgeted wars?
Any assistance for higher education?

I'm not trying to be snarky...just curious about the purity of your libertarianism.
Curious as to how society would be set up if ScottC were Emperor and could dictate how we would function. And I'm giving you the benefit of believing in your mind at least you'd attempt to be a benevolent Emperor.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 21, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibited from making "a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e."

I understand this - that was the point of my question. For instance, while a company may not be registered as a "foreign corporation", foreigners may still own stock, correct? So take the Saudi prince who owns 7% of Fox - if Fox donates to a political campaign - isn't that, in fact, a donation from the Saudi prince?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 21, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

If Fat Cat money spent on campaigns did not work, then they would not spend that money.

The Gang of Five Activist Right Wing Supreme Court members have brought back the Poll Tax, and put it on steroids.

They have ruled that the more money one has, the more free speech they are entitled to have.

Here comes the Oligarchy. America; kiss your representative democracy good by.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 21, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Again, not a lawyer, just curious:

"Such as the Federalist and all those pseudonymous letters of the Founders themselves.

I'm sure Madison, Jay, and Hamilton were using a mode of communication that they thought could be banned by the new government they were advocating."

But aren't there limits on anonymous speech? For instance, a reporter can be jailed for not revealing a source, correct?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 21, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Here's that DeMint email:

Subject: Another Big-Tent Hypocrite Switches Parties

Friend:

This past Friday, Senator Lisa Murkowski announced plans seek re-election as a write-in candidate in Alaska. Rather than accepting defeat and working to unite Republicans behind Joe Miller, she has decided to put her own personal interests ahead of everything else.

In an interview this past weekend, Murkowski attacked me for working against her. According to The Hill newspaper, she had this to say about me: "I don't think that's it's particularly helpful to undercut fellow Republicans." This might be a fair criticism if she weren't the one running a write-in campaign against Republican nominee in her state.

The establishment loves to lecture conservatives about how we need to support liberal candidates to "expand the tent" and win seats for Republicans. But when these Republican-in-name-only ("RINO") lose their primaries, many leave the party and join the opposition. When Arlen Specter faced defeat in the Pennsylvania, he left the party. When Charlie Crist faced defeat in Florida, he did the same. And now Lisa Murkowski is following in their footsteps.

When conservatives lose their primaries, however, they accept defeat and support the nominee. Murkowski's betrayal provides more proof that big-tent hypocrites don't really care about winning a majority for Republicans. They only care about winning a majority for themselves.

[...]

Principles have never been that important to Murkowski. She supported a massive cap-and-trade energy tax that would permanently destroy millions of jobs in this country. She has waffled on whether she would support repeal of Obama's health care take over. She is one of the worst abusers of the pay-to-play earmarks system. And she doesn't support the sanctity of human life. With positions like these, it's no surprise she's leaving the party.

[...]

We need to go "all out" to help Joe Miller win this race_ and to make sure Lisa Murkowski suffers the same fate as Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist, and the other big-tent hypocrites. Please make a contribution to SCF and forward this email to help us push Joe Miller on to victory. Let's show the Washington establishment that the way to build a big tent is with strong conservative candidates.

Respectfully,
Jim DeMint
United States Senator
Chairman, Senate Conservatives Fund

-----

Of course there are fundraising links sprinkled throughout to "Help SCF Stop the Alaska RINO"

Just hilarious!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 21, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"Corporations in one form or another go back at least to Rome."

18th Century corporations were specially chartered by the government and limited to a specific, usually public-interest purpose by their charters. The modern business corporation didn't exist at the time of the Constitution.

More Koch-Head Con Law.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"Madison, Jay, and Hamilton"

Human beings, one and all. In fact, unless I am mistaken not a single corporation signed the draft Constitution.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"We the Corporations of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Market"

etc etc

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 21, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

What! You mean you never heard of the common expression: Sign your John Halliburton here?!


What ever happened to: One man, one vote? That goes out the window, now that This Right Wing Activist Supreme Court has ruled that money talks, and the more one has, the more one shall be heard.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 21, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, why have FDL and Openleft decided to stop supporting Sestak?

Was it just to snub Obama and push in a candidate to take out their guy or was it because they truly thought Sestak was a good Progressive. If they thought he was such a good pick then why have they gone silent?

Here's what I'm getting at wbgonne. Something is wrong with people when they appear to just want to spite someone as they are at FDL and Openleft and even at Huffington Post.

They know better in their minds. If they don't get their way, they get vindictive. Their vindictive attitude transcribes onto those that follow their blogs or donate to their causes. I'm not saying those that frequent there are mindless zombie hords that have no independent thought process but you cannot doubt the idea the endless beating of the proverbial drum of attack attack attack doesn't have an impact.

I don't understand the vindictiveness.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 21, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan....I know this will interest you and perhaps any other's who are watching Florida politics. Here is a great article describing the race between Alan Grayson and Daniel Webster. The poster comments after the article are also interesting. Notice one person posting as Kenyan Monkey. One of the inbreds who reside in our fair state.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/article1122870.ece

"Cosmic opposites Alan Grayson and Dan Webster clash in U.S. House race."

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 21, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Liam-still has just today come to the shocking realization that the more money one has, the more that person can be heard (and, God forbid, the bigger car said person can drive ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 21, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

"You show up to take your potshots..."

What are you talking about?

"Social Security?"

I've discussed this before. SS is pretty much as pure a ponzi scheme as can exist, and must, as all ponzi schemes do, end badly. It should never have been created. But, having been created, and the government having forced huge portions of the population to pay into it and thereby enticed them to come to rely on it, it would be unjust to pull the rug out from under them now. So I accept its current existence while advocating for ideas that will bring people to be less reliant on it and hopefully end it some day with less pain than is certainly in the future of we don't.

"Medicare?"

I am opposed to such programs at the federal level, although I find them less objectionable whem implemented more locally, for example at the state level.

"Labor Laws?"

Which ones?

"Environmental Regulations?"

Which ones?

"Two un-budgeted wars?"

Are you asking about the "unbudgeted" aspect or the "wars" aspect? If the former, then to the extent that the costs of a war can be known beforehand, it should be part of the budget. If the latter, then it depends on the war, and even then it is a bit more complex than a simple "in favor/against".

"Any assistance for higher education?"

No, at least not at the federal level. The federal push to make college "affordable" is largely responsible for the outrageous tuition levels we see today.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 21, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

All, new poll finds big majority of Delaware voters says Christine O'Donnell not qualified to be Senator:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/poll_proves_christine_odonnell.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 21, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"wbgonne, why have FDL and Openleft decided to stop supporting Sestak?"

Have they?

"Was it just to snub Obama and push in a candidate to take out their guy or was it because they truly thought Sestak was a good Progressive. If they thought he was such a good pick then why have they gone silent?"

Beats me. But nobody can do everything.

"Here's what I'm getting at wbgonne. Something is wrong with people when they appear to just want to spite someone as they are at FDL and Openleft and even at Huffington Post."

I think you are making some unwarranted suppositions here. Plus, if spite within the Democratic Party troubles you so you may want to look at how the White House and the Democratic Party treats Liberals. And remember that Liberals are NOT the ones with power so their "spite" such as it may be is relatively inconsequential. When I see you bashing Dems who bash Liberals then I'll know you're being evenhanded. Until then, it just seems you're going after Liberals all the time.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@sbgonne,

Just to let you know, I just ordered Invisible Hands.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 21, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

12BarBlues:

Be prepared for an eye-opener. I had no idea that Big Business has been out to destroy the New Deal ever since it was enacted, nor how absolutely Big Business has co-opted the Modern Conservative Movement and the Republican Party.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Uh........sorry...guess I changed your handle.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 21, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Our "community organizers" page just received another donation to Feingold ($25). Maybe wbgonne's link had something to do with it. He and Grayson are in really tough but winnable contests. Please consider contributing to their campaigns.

Mike, this progressive is putting Sestak on our Actblue page on Friday. I'm trying to get us to $500 for Coons, Grayson and Feingold first. We're at $350 right now. Every $5 or $10 helps.

http://www.actblue.com/page/plcommunity

From wbgonne's link above, even though the outside polling shows Feingold behind Johnson, their internal polls indicate he has a chance.

"A Democratic source in Wisconsin told us that internal polling before last Tuesday's primary showed Feingold ahead, by 48%-41% among all voters and 47%-43% among those definite to vote, in contrast to the publicly released polls. Furthermore, the source said that Feingold's familiarity with the state -- he visits all 72 counties each year -- should provide him enough good will to make it a close race. In an additional sign of enthusiasm among the Democratic base, the source said that Feingold raised $435,000 online in 24 hours after last week's Republican primary that nominated Johnson."

Posted by: lmsinca | September 21, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

re you asking about the "unbudgeted" aspect or the "wars" aspect? If the former, then to the extent that the costs of a war can be known beforehand, it should be part of the budget. If the latter, then it depends on the war, and even then it is a bit more complex than a simple "in favor/against"


Well Duh! Bush/Cheney knew what amount they were asking for the Iraq war each year, when they requested it, and the Republicans leaders in the house and senate also knew how much they were authorizing to be spent.

They all agreed to fund the Iraq war, without paying for it.

That is your Republican Fiscal Hawks at work.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 21, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

See, when I highlight what's going on, you brush it off as oh well, so what.

They don't care. They are in it for themselves. If they don't get their way 100% of the time, they are willing to take everyone down with them.

I don't see how such a destructive, vindictive MO is good for anyone tbh.

Here's how your view and mine differ.

You see sites such as OpenLeft and FDL as constructive criticism, even in cases of Kill the Bill and when the WH pokes back you classify it as bashing.

I see OpenLeft and FDL bashing and trying to torpedo the Admins agenda and the WH trying to defend the positions they took.

I guess that's our difference.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 21, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

To the 48% of Americans who are "so extreme" in their opposition to same-sex marriage:

Donate to Christine O'Donnell's campaign today!

https://secure.piryx.com/donate/ObyCSaw9/Friends-of-Christine-ODonnell/primary-victory

Or, send a check to "Friends of Christine O'Donnell" • PO Box 3987 • Wilmington, DE 19807

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 21, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

If Feingold looses that will be a very bad loss for this country.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 21, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Mike:

You act as though the White House and the Dem Establishment are innocent victims of traitorous Liberals. Liberals are NOT the Democratic Party's problem: the Republicrats are. Liberalism is what will save the Democratic Party, should it care to be saved. Yet I NEVER see you criticizing anyone who attacks Liberals. Unless I'm mistaken you applaud those attacks as righteous payback to disloyalty. I think you should reconsider that view, if for no other reason that is isn't working.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3:

Regarding federal assistance for higher education, I agree with your point but keep in mind that the military service academies are authorized under the Constitution. Everything else SHOULD be left up to the State and local levels : )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 21, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC Thanks for your answers. No real surprises but you know what they say about the word assume. I certainly prefer to let you state your own positions than for me to assume them for you.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 21, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Donate to Feingold's opponent too:

https://secure.piryx.com/donate/9tPJafv7/RonJohnsonForSenate/

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 21, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Yet I NEVER see you criticizing anyone who attacks Liberals."

What? That's what I do all day.

I don't see how my pointing out nonconstructive attacks on this Admin as bashing liberals tbh. I'm not attacking their policies. I'm only don't believe they are doing their cause any good when they decide going down with a burning ship is better than trying to salvage the good parts and continue building is all.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 21, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Human beings, one and all. In fact, unless I am mistaken not a single corporation signed the draft Constitution."

Indeed. The point was anonymous speech and the cry to prohibit it. The Founders themselves used anonymous speech. Stop trying to change the issue every time you run up against a wall.

""Corporations in one form or another go back at least to Rome."

18th Century corporations were specially chartered by the government and limited to a specific, usually public-interest purpose by their charters. The modern business corporation didn't exist at the time of the Constitution."

So now we are supposed to believe that freedom of speech depends on subtleties of whether corporate forms of organization, like whether we are talking about a corporation formed under the Delaware General Corporation Law, or a government chartered corporation, or a joint-stock company, or a limited purpose company, or a limited parntership, or a trust? About a simple association? Or a corporation formed expressly to "speak"?

Funny, I don't recall seeing such distinctions made in the First Amendment.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

s'cat,

"I understand this - that was the point of my question. For instance, while a company may not be registered as a "foreign corporation", foreigners may still own stock, correct? So take the Saudi prince who owns 7% of Fox - if Fox donates to a political campaign - isn't that, in fact, a donation from the Saudi prince?"

Donations (aka contributions) from corporations to candidates were not at issue in Citizens United and remain prohibited. The cases distinguish between contributions and independent expenditure.

That isn't the issue in the Keene case, either. I think Keene is a strange opinion because it avoids discussion of the seeming importance of some issues like the fact that the "speaker" of the fims was foreign, and how this affects the First Amendment analysis. It also stretches as far as I have seen to find that compulsory speech is not a burden or abridgement. But compulsory speech is not a well settled area.

In any event, Keene doesn't involve political contributions, nor does it involve corporate versus individual speech. I think it would be hard to win an argument in the Supreme Court that a law requiring disclosure of all persons funding political speech.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous Free Speech is an Oxymoron.

Of course the Toon Town Lawyer also believes he can sue someone for "libeling" his sock puppet name.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 21, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"I don't recall seeing such distinctions made in the First Amendment."

Because modern business corporations DID NOT EXIST when the First Amendment was crafted. Please return to Koch Brothers Law School for remedial training. Con Law indeed.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Yet I NEVER see you criticizing anyone who attacks Liberals."

"What? That's what I do all day."

Not when Democrats and the White House do it. You applaud those attacks loudly.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"Because modern business corporations DID NOT EXIST when the First Amendment was crafted."

That's brilliant. So a "modern business corporation" has no First Amendment or other rights, but any other form of organization does have them. So if I form a trust or a limited partnership or run my business as a sole proprietorship I can have free speech. I can call my business Widgets R Us and engage in all the political speech I want as Widgets R Us, and the First Amendment somehow distinguishes between that speech and the same speech if I had incorporated Widgets R Us.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@qb: Thanks for the explanation.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

s'cat,

You're welcome. Not sure I really explained much, but it is blog comments after all. You just have to parse out the different issues and try to fit the cases together. My money would be against something like DISCLOSE passing muster, but I wouldn't be a lot.

No justice wants to say corporations have no free speech rights. Beyond that they go different ways.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

So in short, qb1 is basically the Koch brothers' bee-yotch, and Charlie Munger's bee-yotch, and will pretend that one George Soros is equal to an army of Wall Street thugs and rogue "malefactors of great wealth."
The cookies must be really good on the dark side.

Posted by: sparkplug1 | September 21, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

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