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On Alito's State of the Union head wag, you're all wrong

You're all wrong. And I mean those of you who claim that Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s "not true" during the State of the Union Wednesday night constitutes a "Joe Wilson moment."

And I'm also talking about those of you who argue that the president was out of line with his in-your-face (almost literally) criticism of the Supreme Court's decision last week that wiped away long-standing prohibitions against certain types of corporate political expenditures. blogger Glenn Greenwald is the most off-base when he argues that Alito's behavior is worse -- that's right, worse -- than the "you lie" outburst of South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson during the president's address to a joint session of Congress last year. Wilson's shocking breach of decorum interrupted the president mid-sentence and was clearly heard by most people in the chamber and watching on TV. Remember the death-ray glare shot by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?

Contrast that with Alito's head shake and his mouthing of what appeared to be "not true" when Obama asserted that the Supreme Court had wiped away "a century of law" that "will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections." No one except those sitting immediately behind Alito likely would have been aware of the justice's response had TV cameras not focused on him at that moment. (So much for cameras in the courtroom!)

Greenwald gives Wilson some slack because he's a politician and is expected to engage in the rough and tumble world of politics; by "flamboyantly insinuating himself into a pure political event, in a highly politicized manner," Greenwald says, Alito has damaged his credibility and that of the court.

Should Alito have refrained from even this modest display? Yes. Should he have been savvy enough to know that cameras would turn to the justices when the president addressed the recent decision? Absolutely. But does this lapse, as Greenwald argues, amount to "a serious and substantive breach of protocol" and prove that Alito is a "politicized and intemperate Republican" partisan? Of course not -- except in the eyes of those so hopelessly stuck in their partisanship that a sneeze would have been interpreted as "blowing off" the president.

I don't know which part of the president's explanation Alito was objecting to, but as Linda Greenhouse rightly notes in The New York Times, the president was less than precise in his description the decision. It did not, as the president asserted, throw out a century's worth of precedent, and it did not disturb a law on the books since the early 1900's that prohibits corporations from directly contributing to a candidate's coffers. It's at least plausible -- I'd say probable -- that Alito wasn't expressing partisan rancor as much as intellectual disagreement with how the president characterized the opinion.

Nevertheless, the president was well within his rights to refer to and slam a decision he believes -- and I agree -- could further corrode and corrupt politics by giving more opportunity to corporate and union behemoths. I'm sure it wasn't the most pleasant moment for the Supreme Court justices who voted to strike down the campaign finance regulations, but I strongly disagree with Georgetown Law Professor Randy Barnett -- with whom I often agree -- when he writes that the president engaged in a "truly shocking lack of decorum and disrespect towards the Supreme Court for which an apology is in order." An apology? I don't think so.

Obama expressed disagreement and outrage with the decision when it was issued. What the justices and the country heard on Wednesday night was nothing new. I also did not hear the president call for Congress or the states to disregard the case; I heard him challenging his base to come up with other legislative approaches to address concerns about the corrupting influence of big money in the political system. And guess what? The justices would ultimately have the last word on whether this new plan would pass constitutional muster.

By Eva Rodriguez  | January 28, 2010; 1:49 PM ET
Categories:  Rodriguez  | Tags:  Eva Rodriguez  
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What reflects badly on Justice Alito is the opinion he wrote (not to mention his entire judicial record). I couldn't care less about his head wagging.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 28, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"And I'm also talking about those of you who argue that the president was out of line with his in-your-face (almost literally) criticism of the Supreme Court's decision last week that wiped away long-standing prohibitions against certain types of corporate political expenditures."

Statesmen criticize you in your face. Hypocrites attack you behind your back. If the Supreme Court cannot stomach criticism from President Obama, their foundation on the ruling is weak.

Obama taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years. He is not making it up on the criticism against the Supreme Court ruling. This is not a political criticism. He is really concerned about the very foundation of our democracy to be weakened further by corporations of domestic and foreign ownerships. We should be all concerned, no matter if you are on the left or right.

Posted by: dummy4peace | January 28, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Once again a liberal columnist badmouthing a conservative - I don't know why I bother to read these columns - same old rhetoric!

Posted by: srfarmer2003 | January 28, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Statesmen may criticize directly but gentlemen criticize in a venue in which the criticized can respond openly to the same crowd. Despite his 12 years of teaching, the president was also wrong on the point of law. Justice Kennedy, in his opinion, directly states that the proscriptions against foreign corporations donations to domestic campaigns still stand.

Posted by: edbyronadams | January 28, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It should also be pointed out that Justice Alito is correct. The President was unequivocally wrong (and, given that he was once a Constitutional scholar, likely knew it, and was therefore lying) about the Court overruling a "century" of precedents. The century-old precedents are intact. No one who's studied the law disagrees on this point; even Linda Greenhouse just confirmed this in a column today.

That said, there's no sense having the Justices at this political event. They should all have stayed home. Obama wanted to force them to choose sides, which isn't their role in a political forum like this. This was quite predictable and Obama got exactly what he wanted.

Posted by: rowerinva | January 28, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

dummy4peace: its been pointed out everywhere (including the Huff Post, and the New York Times, reliably liberal media outlets) that obama was dead wrong. so apparently neither he nor you knows what you are talking about.

Itzajob: are you kidding me? not only did Kennedy author the majority opinion, Alito did not author ANY opinion in this case (even a concurrence). if you wrongly think that alito authored an opinion in this recent, much discussed case. how can you claim to know anything about alito's less recent (and more obscure) judicial record, as opposed to merely throwing around talking points from

Posted by: dummypants | January 28, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

rowerinva: you are absolutely correct, except for one point. Obama is not and has never been a "constitutional scholar". he taught some introductory con law classes and some con law seminars at chicago, but he has produced no academic scholarship on the constitution. not every law professor is a scholar in every field that teach a class. this is particularly true of people like obama, where he was not a full tenured professor, but rather teaching as a night job when he was a state rep. 99% of his writing is about himself and is contained in his two autobiographies.

i would say november of 2013 we can expect #3 to come out.

Posted by: dummypants | January 28, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Statesmen criticize you in your face. Hypocrites attack you behind your back. If the Supreme Court cannot stomach criticism from President Obama, their foundation on the ruling is weak."


Politicians criticize you to your face. The justices of the Supreme Court are just that, justices. They are elected NOT to be political. And it is as egregious a breach of decorum to use the SOTU pulpit to chastise the justices as it would have been for Alito to stand up and bellow "You lie!' Only one of those happened last night, however.

The Supreme Court made a narrowly-focused decision. It would be the job of those who disagree with the decision to formulate a Constitutionally-acceptable solution to the perceived problem, and seek its passage through the proper legislative channels. Unfortunately, Obama and Co. come from a political apparatus that believes the proper approach/response is name-calling and "activist" judicial decisions. For once, an "activist" judicial system worked against them rather than in their favor, and they don't know how to handle it.

Posted by: LNER4472 | January 28, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

obama wanted to pick a fight with someone he knew wouldnt responded, because he has lost every single political fight he has waged so far in his presidency. why not get a quick win against a cupcake?

Posted by: dummypants | January 28, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The President wasn't imprecise. He lied. Period.

Ms. Rodriguez describing President Obama's assertion as, "Imprecise" is entirely dishonest.

Posted by: BlueIguana | January 28, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The supreme court under Roberts and Renquist has become the most corrupt institution in our government. Term limits is the only answer - 12years and your out.

Renquist's claim that bribary is equal to free speech has throughly corrput our government.

Now, Roberts and crew have completed the task of undermining the American system of government.

Perhaps he never read that Jefferson said we need a periodic revolution to wipe out the old and bring in the new -- we are long overdue.

If you can't pass laws to correct flaws, then burn the US Constitution and lets start over and rewrite the thing so our new constitution out laws political parties and specifically states that a corporation is not an individual and has no constitutionally protected rights: they operate under that laws as determined by state and federal law makers.

NO corporation should be able to freely use lobbyists to buy politicians. Any money to parties or politicians goes into tax coffers and the responsible parties are arrested and subjected to the most severe penalties of treason to the people and our way of governance.

Roberts should be removed immediately by any means possible. What a unAmerican freak.

Posted by: morenews1 | January 28, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow can we argue any more about how many angels can dance on the head of this pin?

It's just silly to charactorize Pres. Obama's stmt a lie.

"A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

Posted by: kchses1 | January 28, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is starting to develop a history of attacking members of his audience in a situation where they will break protocol of they respond.

Representative Wilson's "You lie" commemt occurred several seconds after the President indicated healthcare critics were lying about his healthcare bill. Representative Wilson was wrong to respond in kind. Likewise, Justive Alito broke protcol by not remainig stone faced in response to the President's gratuitous attack from the podium.

The reason these responses break protocol is that yte Presidemt is head of state, chief executive and politician. In the head of state role, he deserves repect from all, because he represents all the people. In this respect he is like the Queen of England.

If, hoewever, the President is going to be in the habit of attacking while in the role of head of state, he will diminish the honor of his office. Little boys who throw a punch and then run to momma's or a teacher's protection before their opponent can return the favor are not highly regarded by their peers.

Posted by: jfv123 | January 28, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The decision focused specifically on 2 USC Section 441a. The section of law dealing with foreign entities is 2 USC Section 441e. The court did not overturn/rule on this section. Therefore, the President's assertion was false, and, given the fact that Obama is a Harvard-trained lawyer who was a con law lecturer at Chicago, it's fair to conclude that he knew his statement was false, making him a liar. No angels dancing on a pin here.

Posted by: BlueIguana | January 28, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't care what anyone else thinks, but as I watched it last night I thought Obama's comments re the court's decision while they were sitting there, unable to respond and the democrats popping up clapping and cheering was the most disgusting display of bad manners I have ever seen. To me this was worse than the criticism Wilson got for his outburst because his was spontaneous. Obama's was a prescripted and premeditated attack on those he knew could not respond.

Posted by: justmyvoice | January 28, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I hope Alito actually did say "bleep you". Most of the detractors of Alito do not have a clue regarding the law and the decision nor do they possess the intellect to have a chance to understand it.

Posted by: hz9604 | January 28, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Contra his hilarious assertion that he's been working so hard that he 'hasn't been communicating with the voters,' the president got about 8 million hours on camera last year. Alito got...maybe one hour? Probably not even that.

Barack Obama wants to rhetorically b-tchslap the Supreme Court on national television? Fine. Sometimes they deserve it. Alito wants to defend himself on national television? Fine. We're all grown-ups here - I hope. Expressing polite disagreement with the president is hardly more distracting than the absurd number of times Democrats stood up and cheered like idiots and fools.

Really, Ms. Rodriguez - get a clue.

Posted by: wjalden | January 28, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

When will the Washington Post be going to bankruptcy court? It is already morally bankrupt. This tripe is allowed to be printed? Who is this pinhead author?

Posted by: Bubbette1 | January 28, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Alito's mouthing is nothing compared to Joe Wilson's yelling. Wilson's a showboat, a nobody Congressman taking money from some big corporation like most of them, Dem or Rep. He just wanted some of that good camera face time and the chance to be bequeathed a hero by the right who give out hero accolades to just about any doofus who claims to be doing anything and everything for patriotic reasons. Young James O'Keefe is the latest in the long line of fine American opportunists who claim their self-serving behavior is just done in the name of patriotism. They're giving patriotism a bad name.

Posted by: curtb | January 28, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

To srfarmer2003, you wrote:

Once again a liberal columnist badmouthing a conservative - I don't know why I bother to read these columns - same old rhetoric!

Seems to me that opens you up to a reply along the lines of 'you don't read the columns' so you shouldn't have a problem. If you had chosen to read the columnist, you would have been able (perhaps) to discern her *lack* of disapproval regarding Alioto's reaction last night.

Then again, 'rhetoric' at least by some on BOTH the right wing and the left wing seems to have acquired a new definition -- *histrionics*. That makes for a change from debate (often a good thing) to argument (often a bad thing).

Posted by: Barry8 | January 28, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

the Supreme Corp. is a bunch of bullies for the most part..good for obama..

Posted by: rmcgolden | January 28, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

rmcgolden wrote:

the Supreme Corp. is a bunch of bullies for the most part..good for obama..

Why? Who'd they beat up?

Posted by: BlueIguana | January 28, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

** "Agreed, Alito's mouthing is nothing compared to Joe Wilson's yelling. Wilson's a showboat, a nobody Congressman taking money from some big corporation like most of them, Dem or Rep." **

Unlike Obama, whose $760 million in campaign contributions just managed to materialize from out of nowhere. Or maybe he just found it in a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, after riding there on his trusty unicorn.

I'm just glad none of it came from powerful foreigners, like George Soros (whose Quantum Fund is based in the Caribbean) or Haim Saban (an Israeli national).

By the way, however tacky you happen to think Joe Wilson's yelling to have been, it's inportant to remember that he was actually right - the health bill didn't exclude illegals - and it drew attention to the issue, so it was also effective. Joe Wilson two, Barack Obama zero.

Posted by: wjalden | January 28, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an intellectual lightweight who taught night school while ingratiating himself into the Chicago machine who helped catapult him to national prominence.

Obama is a community organizer/agitator. He is a thug who wants his way rather than respecting our country's founding principles.

His main accomplishment so far is to divide our country. The next thing he seeks to do is to destroy it. I'm sorry so many of you bought his snake oil. Those of us in the Chicago area already knew he was a fraud. But there is still time to mitigate his impact. 2010 and 2012 can't get here soon enough. In the meantime, bone up on Saul Alinsky and you will understand this petulant imposter much better.

Posted by: thinker16 | January 28, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

This civilization began to crumble when people like Alito began to assert that a corporate charter has the same rights as a human. You must always remember that when we speak of corporations all we are talking about is a piece of paper. As far as I know a piece of paper has no rights. This corporate culture has decimated the economy. The problem is this: People 'work' for the corporation and they make decisions. If, for any reason, their decision(s) create a problem, the persons involved with that decision do NOT have to answer to the people that have been harmed by that decision; it is the corporation that has to answer. But the corporation is nothing other than a piece of paper. How is that responsible for ANYTHING? Corporations (per se) are not eligible for human rights until that charter can get up and give me a ....Pick ANYTHING!!

Posted by: rjhewitt2 | January 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama told Altio the truth and that's one thing a rightwinger can't stand.All five who voted to let big business buy elections should be impeached.thinker16 you should change your name from your post you don't think at all.anyone with any class doesn't call the president of the United States a thug or fraud unless it's true. Your statement about Obama is certainly not true.

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | January 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

LDTRPT25, You might want to read the New York Times article. Obama (thug-in-chief) was not factual in his comments. So much for the "constitutional expert".

Anyone whose main mode of operation is to attack and silence dissent is a thug. He is also surrounded by more Chicago thugs.

And he is a fraud because he ran as a centrist, but anyone who dug even slightly beneath the surface would have realized he was a radical leftist with a score to settle.

I was appalled to see him attack the Supreme Court last night. This is what dictators do. It is not what Presidents of our great country do. He is not fit to serve.

Posted by: thinker16 | January 28, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the statement that Alito's head shaking & muttering probably was more of a sign of intellectual disagreement than political disagreement. So I take little if any issue with it. I'm not sure I'd have any more of an issue with it, if it were politically motivated.

While I do NOT have a problem with President Obama electing to "break the unwritten rule", I do have a bit of a problem in that President Obama in repeating his objection in a live public political speech made it political. It was a legal decision.

However, any transgressions (by either President Obama or Justice Alito) while I wish they would have been avoided are in today's political environment very minor.

The coverage & the amount of opinion are clearly indicative of the time in which we live. Which is sad.

Posted by: notamullethead | January 28, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Nevertheless, the president was well within his rights to refer to and slam a decision he believes..."

What are the rights of the Office of the President of the United States? Maybe it's the same question as with Corporations? Does the Executive branch of government have rights protected by the Constitution? If so, what is the source of those rights? I was endowed by Nature (some say by my Creator) with my rights. Self evident rights. Unalienable rights.

If a decision by the Supreme Court poses a threat to the integrity of our political process the President has the responsibility and the duty to inform us. If it does not, it would be irresponsible to resort to hyperbole to gain political capital.

I don't know whether this decision poses a threat or not. I'm just some schmuk with a lot of time on my hands. I did some reading and I think not.

Posted by: Skinsfanz1 | January 28, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Here is a portion of Roberts opinion, which Alito joined in said in support of ignoring precedent. "This is the first case in which we have been asked to overrule Austin, and thus it is also the first in which we have had reason to consider how much weight to give stare decisis in assessing its continued validity. …Fidelity to precedent-the policy of stare decisis-is vital to the proper exercise of the judicial function. “ Stare decisis is the preferred course because it promotes the evenhanded, predictable, and consistent development of legal principles, fosters reliance on judicial decisions, and contributes to the actual and perceived integrity of the judicial process.”…. For these reasons, we have long recognized that departures from precedent are inappropriate in the absence of a “special justification.”….At the same time, stare decisis is neither an “inexorable command,”…,If it were, segregation would be legal. …. Stare decisis is instead a “principle of policy…..Likewise, if adherence to a precedent actually impedes the stable and orderly adjudication of future cases, its stare decisis effect is also diminished. … The simple fact that one of our decisions remains controversial is, of course, insufficient to justify overruling it. But it does undermine the precedent's ability to contribute to the stable and orderly development of the law."

Robert's and Alito actually had the chutzpah to compare overturning Supreme Court decisions upholding corporate contribution bans, to overruling Dred Scott. Give me a break. Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy and Alito engaged in right wing judicial activism, and showed they are political hacks. Maybe Harrit Meiers really was a better choice than Alito!

Posted by: sarar1 | January 28, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

sarar1, you're as medacious as the president.

Posted by: BlueIguana | January 28, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The decision focused specifically on 2 USC Section 441a. The section of law dealing with foreign entities is 2 USC Section 441e. The court did not overturn/rule on this section. Therefore, the President's assertion was false, and, given the fact that Obama is a Harvard-trained lawyer who was a con law lecturer at Chicago, it's fair to conclude that he knew his statement was false, making him a liar. No angels dancing on a pin here.


You either missed the real point entirely, are choosing to ignore it, or really lack any cognitive ability. While a foreign entity is prevented, directly, from engaging in political activities, it can, and many do, own U.S. subsidiaries. The door has now been thrown fully open for them to engage in political activities.

Furthermore, now that the Court has held that corporations cannot be prevented, on constitutional free speech grounds, from spending unlimited amounts to further a candidate's election, on what grounds may the legislature restrict the amount of money that a corporation may contribute to a candidate's election campaign? While Citizens did not deal with this issue, you can bet that there will be a case in the near future that does!

Posted by: WK437 | January 28, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I meant mendacious. Can't type worth a hoot.

Posted by: BlueIguana | January 28, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama is simply a dishonest amateur thug who wants to be a mixture of Karl Marx and Mayor Daly...

he will be stopped!

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | January 28, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Then the law should have been written more precisely to address those concerns. Instead it was written as a blanket prohibition of corporate political speech (in the form of campaign contributions). The Court ruled such a blanket prohibition was unconstitutional. They did not rule on the constitutionality of a prohibition specifically on foreign-owned US subsidiaries. Blame Congress, not the court, for writing bad law.

Btw, why is it you felt the need to indulge in an ad hominem attack? What type of cognitive ability does that behavior demonstrate?

Posted by: BlueIguana | January 28, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter WHAT he thought. Either way he showed a profound lack of respect. The ruling Obama referred to clearly opens the door for foreign corporations to pour massive amounts of money into our elections, and Obama has not only a right to call for legislation to ensure American elections are only funded by Americans instead of foreigners, but he has an obligation.
Alito and all the rest of the republican justices should understand that an act of radical judicial activism demands a legislative response.
Alito only proved he is nothing more than a typical republican hypocrite corporate shill.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | January 28, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I will defer to the lawyers to argue the Supreme Court decision, but I think there is no doubt that it would have been more approriate for the president to challenge the legislative branch to come up with a new law that would withstand a constitutinal challenge rather than to attack the integrity of the court.

Posted by: josh110 | January 28, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

If Obama wasn't such a rash, impatient man, all he has to do is wait for the next vacancy on the court and put in another Obamacrat from Harvard. He has more chutzpah than sense. All previous presidents have had to wait their turn.

Obama was rude and deserved the rebuke from Justice Alito. Obama was way out of line.

Posted by: alance | January 28, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

amazing how many constitutional lawyers
read the Washington Post.
amazing that part time, night school law professor obama, who seemed to focus on Reparations Law;
Is smarter then a
supreme court justice.
Obama is just a smart aleck to
everyone. Joe the Plumber,
Mayor of a small town Palin,
DC Police Officers, Youre not
that Bad Hillary Clinton,
he's a hole.
black or white,
a hole is a hole.

Posted by: simonsays1 | January 28, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama had every right to respond as the Chief Executive to a judicial decison he wants the legislature to address. And Alito, who was probably surprised by the public call out, had an unplanned reaction. So what? It was a little out of the ordinary, but it was completely unlike Wilson, who was rude and loud.

Posted by: fmjk | January 28, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Then the law should have been written more precisely to address those concerns. Instead it was written as a blanket prohibition of corporate political speech (in the form of campaign contributions). The Court ruled such a blanket prohibition was unconstitutional. They did not rule on the constitutionality of a prohibition specifically on foreign-owned US subsidiaries. Blame Congress, not the court, for writing bad law.


First off, it's not campaign contributions, but instead spending on political speech by corporations. A campaign contribution is actually a seperate issue, which might also be affected by the ruling.

The point though is that it's not clear Congress has any redress at all given the language used in the ruling. Going over the oral arguments and the opinion, it's clear that the issue here is that the SCOTUS hasn't accepted an argument along the lines of money in politics leads absolutely to corruption. As a result, this casts in doubt all bills restricting the rights of any US entities, corporations or individuals, that are designed on the premise of reducing corruption. Looking specifically at this instance, if cash as political speech doesn't corrupt when it comes from individuals or from US-owned corporations, the does it corrupt when it comes from foreign-backed subsidiaries or foreign corporations?

More over, regarding the contribution limit, where does corruption come into play there? Is it the only argument against allowing direct contributions? If so, those limits are likely now on shaky ground as well.

While it's easy to cite the specific law that was struct down by the ruling, the extent of the ruling is likely to be much larger and harder to pin down, since the precendent reverses previous understanding of how these kinds of laws should be interpreted and analyzed.

Posted by: Majoris27 | January 28, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Face it.

Alito, and the other activist "Justices" on the Supreme Court, hate America and our strong Middle Class, and carry water for their foreign-owned masters who run national wealth funds that now have more rights than American CITIZENS do.

All the rest is excuses for their hatred of America.

Posted by: WillSeattle | January 28, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

This is in response to rjhewitt2 who thinks that a corporation is just a peice of paper.

A corporation happens to be a business that is owned by a large group of individuals that authorize a board to act on their behalf. The elected board's duty is to act for the good of the corporation. This means to affect, if they can, any legislator that seeks to negatively affect the corporation. Therefore any contributions to a political candidate is a collective contribution from the owners who are individuals.

Why didn't the liberals raise a fuss when Gore was illeagally soliciting campaign contributions from China and other foreign countries directly from the White House.

Obama was insulting in what he pulled off. I believe that when the issue of his citizenship arrives at the supreme court, this will be remebered by the Justices. If it turns out that Obama was not born in the US, then that is an impeachable offense. Unfortunately the scary part of that is we end up with the court jester in office.

Posted by: captain3292 | January 28, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Now don't get me wrong. I voted for Obama. I am what one would call a "crazy" liberals. That being said, I believe it was in poor taste what Obama did in his address. I am sick of the anger and melodrama that seems to be surrounding either party when they disagree.

Obama has every right to question a Supreme Court decision, as do all of us. That's part of what makes us a democracy. But to lash out, that is inexcusable.

I am exhausted. I guess I am a democrat. But I can't hate the republicans. We are never going to get anywhere hating each other. I thought maybe Obama might help with this. But instead it seems to deepen the divide.

Posted by: jgirl1377 | January 28, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama lied about the Supreme Court Decision and Sam Alito said "No, you're wrong" whats the problem? We all know Obama lies, he does it everytime he speaks. If I were there and the Liar in Cheif lied about me to my face I would tell him he's wrong to.

What's wrong are the sensabilities of the idiots that believe Obama's lies even when liberal rags like the New York Times and the Washington Post (both big corporations that have been able to endorse or criticize candidates for years) point it out to you.

Posted by: robtr | January 28, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I do not think Obama has read the decision. I hope he has not read it because if he has and that is his interpertation of the ruling I can see why he wanted to be president and not continue to "practice" law...he would need a lot more practice to get it right. But then the great majority of our politicians were out of work pitiful lawyers, that is why they wanted to be politicians no skills needed other than being able to lie with a straight face.

Posted by: staterighter | January 28, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

President Obama looked like a third world dictator up there hammering away at the highest court in the land. What a dangerous and unacceptable precedent. Mr President, for one who is so concerned with justice, I recommend you take an introspective look at a man who participated in union boss, backroom negotiations and special favors. And spend some time looking in the mirror at the man participated in the bribery of two US senators for a couple votes; all at the expense of the rest of us. And maybe a few reflective moments are warranted to consider the man who would put New York at risk for a show trial without thinking twice about the people who live there. Sir, we don't need you criticizing the Supreme Court until your house can stand any level of scrutiny. And it can't today.

Posted by: donchew1 | January 28, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

As a point of law, the controversial decision by the supreme court was probably correct. If one assumes that corporations are the same as individuals, the laws that restrict corporate speech are clear infringements on their first amendment rights.

From a practical standpoint however, unless the corrupting power of big money is restricted somehow, the experience of the 1900's was that corporations simply was the government in many places, and at the federal and state levels overwhelmed the voices and interests of nearly all of our populace. This is simply our historical reality.

There are transparency rules and mechanisms to prevent outright this from reoccurring. Lots of great suggestions have been made, from forcing shareholder approval of political ads/contributions (the shareholders are who the first amendment rights we are protecting), to making the CEO's of companies appear in their ads like political candidates must do. I love those, there are more.

Posted by: reussere | January 28, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

How typical of Americans that they should all be in a lather about foreign corporations' undue influence when pretty much all of the corruption and debasement of US politics has been the work of American corporations.

First rule of US politics: Always blame everything on foreigners because all Americans can agree that Americans are completely wonderful.

In fact, the real lesson of the Obama presidency to date - and of the Bush presidency for that matter - is that the American public is whiny, spoiled, narcissistic, ignorant, vicious, irrational, and never takes responsibility for anything, even though all of their problems are the direct result of them getting exactly what they asked for, for decades.

Posted by: kevrobb | January 28, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Preservation of the First Amendment (and any of the Bill of Rights) trumps the petty issues the Democrats are trying to advance. So what if corporation back candidates. I heard no screaming when Clinton's biggest backer in '96 was Red China.

We cannot sacrifice the Bill of Rights for the President's selfish dreams of of a socialist dictatorship.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | January 28, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I always thought the biggest mistake ever was when the Conservative Justices put Bush in the oval office, now I'm not sure. What were witnessing now is just a political war, what happens to us is irrelevant. If this didn't wake the left out of their comma, nothing will

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | January 28, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Funny isn't it that corporations are suddenly an entity deserving "free speech"... and yet are immune from any legal responsibility for their disgusting, anti-human behavior.

We just need a few more fascist Catholix on the Supreme Court. Just a few more...

Posted by: lambcannon | January 28, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

The Truthful State of the Union Speech Obama should have given:

I am the Commander in Chief with No Military experience, I am the Chief Executive with No Executive experience, I have No business experience, NO economic experience, NO financial experience, No Foreign affair experience, No mayor, NO governor, Nothing. And I surround myself with Tax Cheats, Chicago thugs, incompetents, radical loony perverted Czars and has Democrat accomplices in congress that can't even READ the trillion dollar pork packages and Obama/Pelosi Government Crap Care they put their X on and inflict on Americans. I quadrupled the deficit in months which hasn't stimulated a flea, just added to the already bloated government that will keep Americans in financial bondage for the unforeseeable future. My future polices of Cap and Trade and other onerous AGW hoax policies will further kill businesses especially small businesses and destroy the American dream and surrender the sovereignty of the United States. And my idea of redistribution of wealth is insane and has the mind­­­set of a Chicago thug. Tingly legged Obama voters, you out did yourselves.
Unemployment is at 10% (17.5% if you include those that stopped looking and those with temporary jobs) and RISING, Taxes on EVERYBODY will be rising(just watch, I mean EVERYBODY), Businesses in financial straits...
Yes America, I failed you miserably. I am just a Neophyte socialist with no experience. The truth is, I am an empty suit....
With this confession of truth, I have to follow in the footsteps of that other Great Liberal , Lyndon Baines Johnson', "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president."

Standing O.............Standing O....... for he's a jolly good failure for he's a jolly good failure.........Standing O........Standing O....... ..

Posted by: sophic | January 28, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

"And I'm also talking about those of you who argue that the president was out of line with his in-your-face (almost literally) criticism of the Supreme Court's decision last week that wiped away long-standing prohibitions against certain types of corporate political expenditures."

Statesmen criticize you in your face. Hypocrites attack you behind your back. If the Supreme Court cannot stomach criticism from President Obama, their foundation on the ruling is weak.

Obama taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years. He is not making it up on the criticism against the Supreme Court ruling. This is not a political criticism. He is really concerned about the very foundation of our democracy to be weakened further by corporations of domestic and foreign ownerships. We should be all concerned, no matter if you are on the left or right.

Posted by: dummy4peace | January 28, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama has a bad habit of "sticking his foot in his mouth" he really needs to be more careful But all of that aside what he said was also incorrect. The ruling did not wipe out a century worth of laws. The bill was signed into law in 1948 and McCain-Feingold 2006. it's ok to disagree with the ruling but to willing fabricate facts to try and make someone or a group look bad during a State of the union address is unbelievable and the president should be above this. Congress has an obligation to the people and it's up the these law scholars to craft effective but legal legislation to determine the support people and businesses are allowed. But as usual the left attacks the messenger and misses the big picture. Laws still apply with regards to campaign donations and full disclosure. There are limits on the amount businesses can donate and all advertising must contain a disclaimer showing who paid for the advertisement. I really don't get the reaction of the left and I don't think we'll see hundreds of companies spending millions on ads. But hey if they do guess what. It helps the economy and hopefully gets the people more involved and better educated.

Posted by: askgees | January 28, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

too many men, too many Catholics on SCOTUS.

Posted by: edismae | January 28, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Glenn Greenwald is an idiot.

When will the WaPo give him a job?

Posted by: mdsinc | January 28, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the OP that Alito was right to disagree with Obama and Obama "within his rights" to disagree with SCOTUS...
I do think though that Obama was inelegant,uncalled for and absolutely disgusting.... hey just another day in Chicago style Politics that Obama embraces so deeply and I think this is exactly why he is so polarizing!

Posted by: huntyrella | January 28, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The President was wrong for the wording, he could have easily reiterated his displeasure without the attack wording. And Alito had an instantaneous reaction. To both, oh well, it is not that big a deal.

I do love how everyone is seeing this as a corporation freedom act, and missing that it is also a union freedom act of the SCOTUS. Money can now be used publicly to espouse a position! Shocking!!!

Clearly the money has always been there, it was just spent through indirect means and shielded. Now we may actually know who is spending. Unions and companies are not going to spend more than they already do, they are just going to do it through different means. To think they weren't spending already is silly, the DNC and RNC got their money. The numbers won't change, just the method of delivery.

Posted by: matt51 | January 28, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a one-term president, and a fool. His words proved he doesn't understand the Supreme Court ruling.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | January 28, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The head shake and mouthing of words are not the issue. Whether the President taught Constitutional Law is not the issue. The issue is that the President shot the messenger for no other reason than to score a point...which he clearly didn't do. The SCOTUS did its job. It listened to the arguments of the case and declared A law unconstitutional...that's what it is supposed to do. It didn't say all money is free speech. It didn't say all corporate money is now said the law supporting the cas eis unconstitutional. The ball is now in Congress' court to listen to the ruling, go back and write a law that is constitutional. Seems to me the SCOTUS was protecting us all. Seems to me that maybe it was the dissenters who should be called on the carpet. I'm sure that doesn't sit well with some folks because the other thing it that there is no such thing as settled law outside of life, liberty, the pursuit of hapiness and the bill of rights. That means for everything.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | January 28, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

alito is entitled to his opinion. He did not break decorum like wilson.

However, alito and his radical cabal of judicial activists were dead wrong. Worse wrong than Kelo. Worse wrong than any decision since Dred Scott. President Obama aknowledged seperation of powers, and then in recognizing it, said that we need to use the system of checks and balances our Constitution provides to undo the damage from the egregious ruling by the courts radical right activists and restore propoer order to our political system.

Much ado about nothing. The president gives one of the greates SOTU adresses in our history, and you tards in the press are worried about this nonsense.

Posted by: John1263 | January 28, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank God for Justice Alito! We're retaking this country in November and in 2012 from Obama and his socialist/Communist buddies. If you don't like it, move to Russia! Putin will be happy to have you help him return Russia to the glory days of the Soviet Union!

Posted by: georges2 | January 28, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

President Obama's upbraiding of the U.S. Supreme Court, six of whose members were seated immediately in front of him (Justices John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were absent was unprecedented). The occasion of this highly unpresidential outburst was last week's First Amendment victory in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests--including foreign corporations--to spend without limit in our elections. I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.

How can you tell when President Obama is lying? Justice Samuel Alito's lips move. The Associated Press reports that "Alito made a dismissive face and began shaking his head," and this YouTube clip shows Alito saying what looks to us to be "simply not true."

Even Linda Greenhouse, the ultraliberal former Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times, admits that Alito was right:

The law that Congress enacted in the populist days of the early 20th century prohibited direct corporate contributions to political campaigns. That law was not at issue in the Citizens United case, and is still on the books. Rather, the court struck down a more complicated statute that barred corporations and unions from spending money directly from their treasuries--as opposed to their political action committees--on television advertising to urge a vote for or against a federal candidate in the period immediately before the election. It is true, though, that the majority wrote so broadly about corporate free speech rights as to call into question other limitations as well--although not necessarily the existing ban on direct contributions.

And if Obama has lost Linda Greenhouse, he's lost Middle America.

But the president's error--or lie--is worse than Greenhouse acknowledges. The laws whose provisions the court struck down, known as Taft-Hartley and McCain-Feingold, date back to 1947 and 2002, respectively. Greenhouse seems to understand him as claiming that the court had struck down a century-old law. But what he said was that the court had reversed a century of law. In the parlance of constitutional law--a subject Obama once taught--this means that the court undid its own precedent. And indeed the justices did reverse two earlier decisions, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and McConnell v. FEC, These cases, however, were less than 20 years old, having been decided in 1990 and 2003.

If the president of the United States is going to display his contempt for a coequal branch of government and the First Amendment, you'd think he could at least be troubled to get his facts straight.

James Taranto

Posted by: kohnfjerry | January 28, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

He was far more tactful and respectful than alito, scalia thomas or roberts deserve. They are after all enemies of the state. They have done more damage to more people with a word processor than qaeda could ever hope to do in a hundred lifetimes. Their outrageous rulings are a greater threat to the republic than any outside adversary. President Obama was obligated to point out the danger to our nation from their reckless activism, and right to call on Congress to use its powers and our system of checks and balances for it's intended purpose. It is not a small irony that scalia, thomas, alito and roberts all claim this "originalist" interpretation -- -- and yet the Cosntitution makes no mention whatsoever of the power they used to strike down legislation, and they used an extra-legal definition of citizen - something that only congfress can dictate as defined in the Constitution, and this extraConstitutional power of judicial review, to gravely threaten our electoral system. If they were originalists they would never rule on the Constitutionality of legislation. But they are just hypocrits, and they are activst ideologues who care more about their precious political agenda than they do our laws, our Constitution, and the future of our Republic. So President Obama was more than polite enough. He did not call for alito and roberst to face impeachment for lying to congress, for example, in their hearing. They both claimed that they are judicial restraint advocaes, and would be loathe to overturn legislation long established. This was long long long settled law. So they should have been handcuffed and perp walked out for fouling our Capitol bilding, but were instead simply repreimanded in a courteous and polite way for their malfeasance.

Posted by: John1263 | January 28, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I think that the people who rant about communism and such are actually Obama supporters trying to make the right look like total idiots. While it is not really necessary, since they do such a fabulous job of it themselves, really --- c'mon -- nobody is so amazingly stupid to think that President Obama is a socialist, communist or anything else similar, not even geln beck fans. So it MUST be liberals having a funny and pretending to be righties and trying to make them look even dumber than they already do so for themselves. Communism? Really? Is this 1951? Who actually calls anyone a commie these days?

Posted by: John1263 | January 28, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

If only you were correct it wouldn't be so absurd. But sadly it's not an act.

Posted by: boscobobb | January 28, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone say that Obama lied about the opinion when reasonable legal minds differ on its meaning? That's the nature of the law. Almost nothing is black and white, it's all grey.

Personally, I agree with the Obama view. I do believe that any lawyer worth his salt, even a recent law school grad, could make the argument that the law does now allow foreign entities to influence our elections. Alito must be extremely naive to think otherwise.

One good thing has come out of all of this. Outside of legal circles, last week's ruling got relatively little attention, except by those among us who think that it puts an end to our democracy as we know it.

Now, everyone knows about it and that's a good thing. He went about it in a tactful manner and did not accuse any particular justice of dishonesty, though many could argue that, for several of them, their confirmation hearings have now been shown to be a sham. Deference to established law, my foot.

As president, Obama is entitled to the freedom to speak his mind, t If a legal fiction could have that right, according to the 5-4 view of the Court, so can Obama.

Too bad O'Connor hadn't stayed with the Court for a longer time. It would've been 5-4 the other way.

Posted by: chi-town | January 28, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

for Eva Rodriguez and others,
The issue is not Obama and Alito - which has the shelf life of Kleenex.

The fundamental issue is the overreaching by SCOTUS. Citizens United, the plaintiff did not seek this, and specifically avoided it, in their filing.

Perhaps one of the constitutional or election experts can detail what prevents the a foreign government from acquiring controlling interest in a US corporation and then providing unlimited funding to an election.

Posted by: boscobobb | January 28, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the Roman Catholic fascists backed by the Jewish neo-cons artfully playing upon the racist sensibilities of our poorly educated Protestants. That's America for me! Sing along!

Posted by: rusty3 | January 29, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

More media Stupidy. Alito was trying to correct the empty suit president...Obama lied yet again ".....including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections". That's a LIE. The Supreme Court ruling did not affect the ban on foreign contributions what so ever...Obama must have read the wrong telepromter...

Posted by: sophic | January 29, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Obama is in no position to criticize anyone about campaign finance reform. He promised to take public financing, broke the promise and then spent nearly a billion dollars on the campaign.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, particularly from the bully pulpit where others are not permitted to respond. He is a dishonest and cowardly bully.

Posted by: pkhenry | January 29, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama’s entire agenda will fail unless he can convince Congress to increase the number of U.S. Supreme Court Justices to at least 15. We have had only NINE Supreme Court Justices since 1869;
FDRoosevelt almost succeeded in revising the Judiciary Act of 1869 (16 Stat. 44) to increase the number of justices from 9 to 15. After all, nine is not “set in stone.” Under the Judiciary Act of 1801 (2 Stat. 132), only 5 Justices sat on the Supreme Court. Since 1869, the U.S. population has increased twenty-fold, and an individual’s chance to have his/her case reviewed by the high court has been shrinking every year. An increase to 15 Justices will be easy to sell to the American people.

Posted by: bingos | January 29, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

The Supreme Court convened at a special date 2-3 weeks prior to the normal start of oral arguments just to hear this case. This apparently allowed them to render a decision early enough for it to impact the flow of money into this year's election cycle.
This is a driven court, activist you might say, that wants to make its mark to establish and protect the rights of corporations. Not a srprise to me that a business executive appointed this type to the court. Up to now GOP party hacks have defined the notion of judicial actions according to their imaginations. Roberts, Alito, Scarface, Kennedy et al have defined activist by their actions.

Posted by: tigman_2 | January 29, 2010 4:32 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Rodriguez, your comment "(so much for cameras in the courtroom)", is irrelevant.
The Congress is NOT a courtroom. It is a PUBLIC Assembly.

Posted by: dd_hanney | January 29, 2010 4:33 AM | Report abuse

You can't imagine the enlightenment that takes place in my foreign friends when I finally explain that cultural malaise referred to as the "Dumb Texan". Even intelligent Texans know this is too true. "W" enslaved his followers in the dumb method of twisting and attacking.
When you read the comments from the mind-slave of THE "dumbest Texan", do not try to match wits or educate. It'd be easier to remove the sand from the Sahara. Simply let them troll on.

Posted by: oslokeez | January 29, 2010 4:44 AM | Report abuse

who do these liberals think they are he obviously hadn't read the decision he oscuma owes the court and alito and the court a deep apology admitting that he has not read the decision. and his campaign never cleared up how many fake id's were used to donate to his campaign in 2008 by way of the internet your either an idiot or you didn't read the decision either.

Posted by: bittingtomcat2001 | January 29, 2010 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Alito's "comment" wasn't front and center, and not meant to to openly critical. However, the ruling is downright frightening and there's nothing Americans can do about it. Campaigns will now be a matter of who can make the better TV ads, whether they relay the truth or not.

Posted by: lch11 | January 29, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

There were, after all, 4 Supreme Court justices who agreed that corporations should not be entitled to use their enormous wealth to influence elections in our country in the name of free sppech. One of them, I believe Justice Kennedy, brought up the same issue, that corporations that included foreign entities, or foreign businesses incorporated in the US are now free to exercise overwhelming influence on who gets elected to public office. These four Justices are presumably more familiar with Constitutional law then the posters that accuse the President of deficient knowledge of the Constitution.

Posted by: Herb2283 | January 29, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, that was John Paul Stevens who referred to that probability in his dissent.

Posted by: Herb2283 | January 29, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Much ado about nothing. The REAL issue is not the reactions of either the president or Justice Alito. The REAL issue is this horrifying decision and what the congress should do to rectify.

Posted by: CardFan | January 29, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

This ladies opion is a waste of electrons! I'm ecstatic that Otrauam took the SC to the woodshed right in the middle of the SOTU on national TV using completely untrue assertions. Please...pi$$ them off and reap the rewards. I don't think the four libs on the bench appreciated the public slap in the face either and I hope they remember his sorry a$$ right before deciding the next case Otrauma wants to go his way. Our idiot President is absolutely PRICELESS!!!

Posted by: MDDem1 | January 29, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

NeoCommie racism and projection on display here from RUSTY3....You have to just wonder at Rusty's level of dysfuntion and/or psychosis where he can be the racist while trying to apply the label to the target groups he hates. PRICELESS!!! And to top it off, not a songle LIBTARD on this list calls him out on it. DOUBLE PROCELESS!!!

"RUSTY3 wrote...Ah, the Roman Catholic fascists backed by the Jewish neo-cons artfully playing upon the racist sensibilities of our poorly educated Protestants...".

Posted by: MDDem1 | January 29, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Always fun to see a woman defending Sam Alito given his history of insulting and ignorant stance toward women as evidenced by those Roe-Wade decisions that he voted on as a state judge which caused Sandra O'Connor to write specific rebuttals in defense of women's rights. He's an embarrassment to the court and to the president who nominated him in so many ways more than a dumb head nod at the State of the Union. :-)

Posted by: politiko | January 29, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

President Obama: "With all due respect to separation of powers [insert statement lacking respect for separation of powers]..."

Posted by: jboogie1 | January 29, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Alito knew he was on TV and on camera at that moment and exaggerated his words so they'd be visible to the TV audience. It does resonate with the Joe Wilson moment, and it speaks either to Alito's partisanship or his immaturity, or both. His job was to sit respectfully and listen to his president's message, and he didn't do that. My 13-year-old knows better.

All of this runs with a Republican eagerness to personally disparage Democratic presidents going back to Carter at least. "He's not President of MY country" is the message, and when a SC Justice puts out that message, it's truly frightening. "Conservatives" aren't conservative anymore, they're radicals,and like all radicals don't pay a lot of attention to consequences. The consequence of actions like Alito's is that our country gets weaker, not stronger.

The consequence of the Court's decision, which is also radical, and at least as activist as Roe or any other in SC history,
will be much greater. I believe that the security of the democratic process in this country has been brought into question in recent years and this decision pushes it much closer to the brink. Alito's mouthing is only important as a vivid sign of the attitudes that may allow our freedom to be thrown away. Read Tacitus on how Rome was sold off to tyrants in the space of a few short years.

Posted by: nbogan | January 29, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I have to wonder why NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and all of the other White House media did NOT report this?

I guess this is why they are petitioning the FCC to govern our internet, and media- so they could control what we read and view, and infuse their leftist/communist agenda.

Don't believe me? Look here:

"You may not have noticed that the Obama Administration, in addition to trying to seize control of the health care and energy sectors, is implementing a national "broadband plan" to redefine the media and transform America's system of government.

It's designed, they say, to provide "open government and civic engagement." But it looks increasingly like an excuse for the federal government to control the Internet and access to information and even tell us what is truth.

...the Obama Administration "should adopt policies to ensure that all Americans" have the ability to:

"Know when you need information to help resolve a problem;

"Know from whom, when, where, and how to seek that needed information;

"Know how to differentiate between authentic and unauthentic information;

"Know how to organize information and interpret it correctly once retrieved; and

"Know how to use the information to solve the problem or make the decision."

The idea of the federal government telling people how to "differentiate between authentic and inauthentic information" is frightening.

But this is part of Benton's "Action Plan for America."

WOW... if you haven't awakened yet- now's the time.

Posted by: obamaalmighT | January 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I think it is funny coming from a man who has no regards for the constitution, who accepted millions from Foreign Donors to be chastizing anyone. The only thing the left is angry about is they cannot silence those that disagree with them.

Posted by: Pilot1 | January 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

You're right, I stand corrected, Justice Alito didn't write this opinion. (That's what I get for listening to TV commentators instead of remembering the opinion itself when it came out.)

However, my point is that I disagree with Alito's extremely conservative record, not some discreet gesture from the gallery on his part.

I gather that SOTU head wagging breaks some kind of Supreme Court protocol, but who are they trying to kid? They're not non-partisan, no matter what their political orientation. So let them wag their heads all they want. It doesn't make a fig leaf's worth of difference.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 29, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

ObamaKraut has the NERVE!!!!

Investigate Obama Donor Program Now

Another day, another broken promise by President Obama. Throughout the presidential campaign and during his 15 minutes in the U.S. Senate, President Obama talked non-stop about how he would be the toughest chief executive on ethics yet.

It was all part of his "change you can believe in" rhetoric. Mr. Obama bragged that he was going to clean up D.C. because he would be doing things differently.

Well, it was all words. As it turns out, the President is a typical politician after all - willing to say or do anything to get elected.

Washington woke up today to a detailed report by The Washington Times that exposes the Obama White House-DNC program to grant White House access to big campaign contributors.

According to The Times:

"During his first nine months in office, President Obama has quietly rewarded scores of top Democratic donors with VIP access to the White House, private briefings with administration advisers and invitations to important speeches and town-hall meetings.

High-dollar fundraisers have been promised access to senior White House officials in exchange for pledges to donate $30,400 personally or to bundle $300,000 in contributions ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, according to internal Democratic National Committee documents obtained by The Washington Times...

And the donor access raises questions about the fervor of Mr. Obama's stated commitment to clean up what he once called the 'muddy waters' of Washington, where political cash is exchanged for access, ethics experts said.

'Once you start trading money for access, you set up a situation where donors eventually say, 'Well actually I have another favor to ask,' said Scott Thomas, a former Democratic appointee to the Federal Election Commission.

'It starts setting up that relationship. If you help with the money, we'll do something nice for you. And that is a slippery slope.'"

Attorney General Holder should commence an investigation immediately, and if he isn't able to do an independent investigation, he should appoint a special counsel to review these serious allegations.

Posted by: obamaalmighT | January 29, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Tell me this. If this decision is really about free speech, then why does this court rule on a decision that will effectively drown out the speech of the average voter? Trick question, no need to answer.

Posted by: citizenkane2 | January 29, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Why is the author so worried with what Alito did? The issue here is the fact the court indeed opened the door for and/or legalized corruption at a level never seen. If corporations already control presidents and congresses, imagine how will it be now. That is what we should all be talking about, not whether Alito nodded or not. This is the typical way in which the MAIN STREAM MEDIA likes to do Journalism. It is the E! Entertainment Television kind of Journalism for an E! Entertainment type audience. No need for disclosure anymore. It is open season on buying politicians!

Posted by: mirandalouis | January 30, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Obama addressed this case during the state of the union specifically to start a path that he should have a long time ago. It is also a platform in which he ran on. This case directly relates to his promise to change things in washington and how it is run. The way political campaigns are funded and run is part of that. He has been losing points because he has not been trying to change the way thing run, he has been going right along with it. At some times, he has been even giving into it.

So pointing out this case and saying what he did was to speak to the independant voters out there that don't like the money poured into politics.

While he was wrong in embelishing what was actually decided in that case, he also was not completly wrong either. The part obama was drawing attention to was more about what was not said then what was said. While the desicion did not take down all laws partaining to campaign funding, it does leave a loop hole. We all know that all the dirt that happens now in congress is built on loop holes in the system.

It is obvious to me after hearing he speeched at the republican conference and the state of the union that he is trying to draw attention to how politics work and expolite it. Trying to start tackling it to gaint he respect of independant voters again. I could be wrong. But that is the theory I am picking up. I have alot of independant voters that are friends and it resonated with them.

Posted by: KJ11 | January 31, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Joe Wilson is a political hack, who couldn't help himself, because he is an idiot. Justice Alito claims to be something else...maybe not so much!

Posted by: GTFOOH | January 31, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

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