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Obama Wins… and that was the easy part.

The president has won reelection. Barack Obama, against amazing odds, has been reelected as president of the United States. Let’s think about this just for a second. Barack Obama had to stand up against the most withering criticism; not just during this election cycle, but over the last four years. Fox News was constant and consistent. Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision which allowed unlimited money to be spent by mysterious shadow billionaires, allowed hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent in negative ads against the president. Additional stimulus packages, which would’ve added up to millions of jobs for Americans, died in the Republican-held House. So, instead of the economy, which with additional stimulus would have come slowly but surely roaring back is limping along, gaining steam month after month.

I’m sorry to say that many Republicans were completely duped. Over the last couple weeks I had many Republicans telling me not only that they were optimistic and supremely confident but they KNEW that Mitt Romney was going to win. They were listening to the lies of Fox News:

Dick Morris: “This is going to be a landslide.” The former Clinton adviser predicted a dominant Romney win, calling it “the biggest surprise in recent American political history.” Claiming that polls were oversampling Democrats, Morris wondered if “it will rekindle the whole question on why the media played this race as a nailbiter.”

Karl Rove: “At least 279 electoral votes.” “It comes down to numbers. And in the final days of this presidential race, from polling data to early voting, they favor Mitt Romney,” Rove wrote in a WSJ op-ed, ignoring the fact that most polls showed growing momentum for the president. He predicted that Romney would win 51 percent of the popular vote and “at least 279 electoral votes.”

Peggy Noonan: “There is no denying the Republicans have the passion now.” Noonan is one of the most respected political columnists in the country, despite her penchant for deciding things based on her gut rather than actual data. But her Romney prediction wasn’t exactly well thought out, even by her own standard. According to Noonan, “all the vibrations [were] right” for a Romney win because “something old was roaring back.” While this might be the right way to open an H.P. Lovecraft novel, it probably isn’t the best way to think about presidential elections.

Newt Gingrich: “A Romney landslide.” The former House Speaker predicted that Romney would take 53 percent of the popular vote and at least 300 electoral college votes. “My personal guess is you’ll see a Romney landslide, 53 percent-plus . . . in the popular vote, 300 electoral votes-plus,” Gingrich said. He also predicted that Republicans “may come very close to capturing control of the Senate.” He apologized for the faulty call the morning after the election.

Obama’s Victory Speech

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By |2012-11-07T23:08:49-04:00November 7th, 2012|Elections|Comments Off on Obama Wins… and that was the easy part.

Are you a person or a corporation?

I found this great post on the Citizens United case:

Supreme Court cases are usually interesting to lawyers, scholars, and those directly affected. Occasionally, a decision makes the news for a few days before disappearing from the public eye. But sometimes there’s a game changer-a decision that is so clearly wrong that it becomes a rallying point. David Cobb, former Green Party presidential candidate and longtime activist on corporate personhood, points to Dred Scott v. Sandford as one such decision. Citizens United, Cobb says, is shaping up as another.

The two cases are mirror images of error. In 1857, the Dred Scott decision said that a flesh-and-blood human being had no constitutional rights because he was black. On January 21, 2010, the Court, in a 5-4 decision, used Citizens United to declare that corporations-legal entities with no human attributes-have the same constitutional free-speech rights that humans have.

Dred Scott was the most notorious Supreme Court decision of its time. It was not a groundbreaking case-it simply took existing law to its logical conclusion. But it so clearly violated both logic and human decency that it forced people to look at what slavery really meant. Rather than legitimizing the status quo, as it was intended to do, the decision galvanized the growing abolitionist movement, and set the stage for the end of slavery. But it took the 14th Amendment to overturn Dred Scott.

Citizens United also takes existing law to its logical conclusion. And, like Dred Scott, it is generating tremendous discussion and debate-this time about corporate power and about what role, if any, corporations should play in the political process. (more…)

By |2010-06-07T21:38:57-04:00June 7th, 2010|Supreme court|Comments Off on Are you a person or a corporation?

The Errington Thompson Show 1-23-10

Errington talks with two great guests on this show. The first is Linda Monk, constitutional scholar and author of The Words We Live By, who tries to make sense for us the very complicated Supreme Court decision regarding corporations. In what Ms Monk calls an “astounding example of judicial activism,” corporations have been deemed to have the same rights to free speech that individual Americans enjoy. Given that they retain limited liability, however, the rights of corporations become “Super Rights.” An individual’s liability would limit defamatory claims… not so for a corporation’s campaign ad! What to do? Monk supports a constitutional amendment prohibiting for-profit companies’ participation in elections. Such an endeavor would be, in Monk’s words, “a hallmark of the new populist movement.” I like it.

Errington’s second guest is Patrick Fitzsimmons, the regional executive director of the Red Cross for western North Carolina. Mr. Fitzsimmons explains some of the ways our donations make it to help in Haiti. At least three million of Haiti’s 10 million citizens have been immediately affected by last month’s massive earthquake. That’s one third of the population! Stepping up to the challenges like the decimated infrastructure, debilitated power grid, the lack of water and gasoline, the Red Cross is coming to the rescue the best they can. They’re operating hospitals and first aid and helping to distribute food, water, blood products and other emergency supplies. Remember, 91 cents of every dollar gets directly to those who need it after negligible but necessary administrative costs.

Both of these issues spark insightful debate. Now that’s progressive radio!

By |2012-05-07T13:25:40-04:00February 15th, 2010|Foreign Affairs, Legal, Podcasts|Comments Off on The Errington Thompson Show 1-23-10
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