Happy as I am with the themes and execution of Norm Ornstein’s important new book and gratifyingly direct WaPo op-ed, there’s just no forgiving him for his long association with AEI. Nonetheless, here’s an excellent summation of how Citizens United absolutely screwed our already debilitated democracy on January 21, 2008:
By giving corporations free rein to meddle in politics without any accountability required, just like in the robber baron days, and by defining money as speech, the court dealt a body blow to American democracy. Candidates no longer can focus simply on raising money for their campaigns against other candidates. Because corporations have almost unlimited sums they can put in with no notice, candidates have to raise protection money in advance just in case such a campaign is waged against them.
And in many cases, as I have written before, they will pay for protection by quietly giving companies or other interests what they want legislatively to avoid a multimillion-dollar slime campaign against them. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in Citizens United, said there could be no corruption in independent spending. What planet does he live on?
As for money being speech, imagine if your next-door neighbor puts up 50-foot speakers in his yard and blares music at ear-splitting levels and tells you that this is his speech; he is happy to let you listen to your own music on your iPod. The fact that you cannot hear your own music, much less share it with anyone else because you are drowned out is not material to Kennedy or Chief Justice John Roberts.
Damn, I want her to win next fall in the worst way.
Warren’s campaign rhetoric wasn’t dreamed up by a political consultant.
The Harvard University law professor has spent years researching the financial struggles of average Americans and said she’s been “protesting Wall Street for a very long time.”
“I think after three years with no accountability, people across this country are madder than ever,” Warren said after a Democratic debate at Stonehill College on Dec. 6.
“They’ve watched the people who brought us the financial crisis walk away, and walk away with their pockets stuffed with money. They know that’s not right,” she said. “I think it’s a key part of the protests.”
(Source: Los Angeles Times)
Aas always, Watt … centers me. Don’t know how else to put it.
Q: Why did you want to make an album dealing explicitly with midlife?
A: Because I’m immersed in it. It’s on me. Mechanically, in terms of my other two operas, there’s a kind of arc or a thread that binds them, but in the other ones I was kind of retelling something that had happened to me, and on this one I was trying to be more right there in the moment. What is happening with me. I wanted that challenge because it’s hard to do. It becomes past the next minute after you’ve done it.
Q: Is it harder to be immediate than to reframe things in hindsight?
A: Well, yeah. There’s two other ways of doing it. I could have been a younger man and guessed what it was going to be like. They would have been very far-off guesses. I could have waited until I got past middle age, into senility, when you probably forget everything. There’s no way to really know about this place for me except by living it.
Q: What is it like?
A: You have experience that you didn’t have as a younger person, but your body ain’t as good. You have a different, I think, overall picture of things. The glass half empty, half full thing is big-time when you’re young. That finitism, the awareness of it, isn’t as strong as now. Because you can feel it, you can feel it in your body that you’re breaking down, the body parts, maybe even the mind parts. But the mind parts have the things that the younger mind doesn’t have, with the experiences. You just can’t create those, you know. You have to live them.