Monday, September 23, 2013

Last Call, Now Watch This Drive!

When the going gets tough, Dubya reminds us, the tough go golfing.

Former President George W. Bush said President Obama should not be criticized over his frequent golf outings.

Bush, who himself was criticized for his golfing as president, called the rounds "important for the president." 
"I see our president criticized for playing golf. I don't. I think he ought to play golf," Bush told "In Play with Jimmy Roberts." 
Bush said he knew what it was like "to be in the bubble" and saw getting off the White House grounds as an important way for the president to clear his head. 
"I know the pressures of the job," Bush said. "And to be able to get outside and play golf with some of your pals is important for the president. It does give you an outlet." 
"I think it's good for the president to be out playing golf," he added.

The difference between Presidents Obama and Bush are that the latter never required much to clear his head to begin with, it was mostly empty.

Still, a nice reminder next time you see the Village or the Breitbrats waste bandwidth on This week's Lazy Black President Golfs While You Suffer story.

Please Proceed, GOP

Oh look, Americans think shutting down the government and/or defaulting on the debt, either of which would wreck the economy again, are terrible, terrible ideas.

A solid majority of Americans oppose defunding the new health care law if it means shutting down the government and defaulting on debt.

The CNBC All-America Economic Survey of 800 people across the country conducted by Hart-McInturff, finds that, in general, Americans oppose defunding Obamacare by a plurality of 44 percent to 38 percent.

Opposition to defunding increases sharply when the issue of shutting down the government and defaulting is included. In that case, Americans oppose defunding 59 percent to 19 percent, with 18 percent of respondents unsure. The final 4 percent is a group of people who want to defund Obamacare, but become unsure when asked if they still hold that view if it means shutting down the government. 

Keep it up, guys.  The Democrats actually gaining seats in 2014?  Won't that be awesome?

Citizens United, The Sequel

In the first major case of the 2013-2014 term, the US Supreme Court could all but eliminate individual limits on personal campaign donations, meaning the wealthiest Americans could then give millions of dollars directly to candidates, effectively buying elections.

Three years ago, the current court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said in the Citizens United case that "independent" spending on election races was protected free speech and struck down long-standing bans on such spending by corporations and unions. 
But until now, the court's conservatives have not joined together to strike down the Watergate-era limits on how much donors can give directly to candidates or party committees. 
That has left the law in an odd posture. Wealthy people who want to influence campaign races can give millions of dollars to "super PACs" and other groups that pay for "independent" election ads, but they are barred by law from giving more than $48,600 total to all members of Congress or more than $74,600 to various party committees. 
That may be about to change. On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court will take up an appeal from the Republican National Committee, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon, who say contributions should be treated as "core political speech." If they win, wealthy Republicans or Democrats could each give as much as $3.6 million total by giving the maximum amount to all of their party committees and candidates. This money could be funneled by party leaders into a close race or races, tipping the balance of power in Congress
Defenders of the election laws have been sounding the alarm. "It would be terrible for our democracy … if one politician could directly solicit $3.6 million from a single donor," said Lawrence Norden, an election law expert with the Brennan Center, a liberal legal advocacy group in New York. "That is 70 times the median income for an American family. It would mean a tiny, tiny group of donors would wield unprecedented power and influence."

I'm not surprised to find Mitch the Turtle in the thick of this.  He has long been the most corrupt Senator in Washington, enriching himself by millions of dollars since coming into office.  And here's the best part:  If Mitch gets his way 100%, not only could the super-rich buy candidates and races, but they could do so anonymously.

This case could pretty much finish off our democracy heading into 2014 and especially 2016.  Being able to plunk down millions to give directly to a candidate would change the face of politics in America forever, ensuring the Golden Rule:  whoever has the most gold, makes the rules.

If you thought Congress was massively corrupt now, wait until the 0.01% can say "I'll give you millions to vote against the poor and middle class, and once you get in I'll keep you there for life."  Oh...and remember, far more of these super donors lean towards the right, not the left.

Just what we need, more Tea Party goons bought and paid for by the ultra-rich with the sole intent of destroying what's left of the 99%'s wealth.  America, America, God shed His grace on thee... 


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