Latest Posts

  • Mitch McConnell on SCOTUS Reaffirming "Citizens United vs. FEC"

    Mitch McConnellIn addition to ruling on Arizona's immigration laws, the Supreme Court announced that it would not be re-visiting its 2010 Citizens United vs. FEC decision which gave corporations unlimited "free speech" in U.S. politics via campaign contributions.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who had some very thought-provoking, non-super-disingenuous points to make about this "important victory for freedom of speech"…

    There has been "only minimal corporate involvement in the 2012 election cycle," McConnell wrote in the statement and in a brief filed in support of the group seeking to toss out Montana's corporate political spending ban.

    Citing Federal Election Commission records, McConnell said "not one Fortune 100 company contributed a cent to any of the eight Republican super-PACs" as of the end of March.

    Those committees are required to report donors; many nonprofit groups that also spend money in elections may keep their donors secret.

    Check and mate, liberals! "Not one Fortune 100 company contributed a cent to any of the eight Republican super-PACs" all through the Republican primaries. So, we can assume that the same would hold true through the general elections in which a rabidly business-centric Republican was fighting to unseat a Democratic president. Because those two things are exactly the same.

    And, just to set the record straight, let's take a look at the kind of non-corporation that is contributing to to the presidential Super PACs. Just to pull a name of of the proverbial hat, let's say… Sheldon Adelson, who's planning to contribute up to $100 million to Mitt Romney's campaign. Now, he's not a corporation, is he? No! He's a person. A person who runs a corporation, owns several business and has derived his massive wealth from corporations.

    Totally, totally different.

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Citizens United v. FEC, Corporations, Mitch McConnell, Money, Senate, Sheldon Adelson, Supreme Court
  • Desperate Cities Sell Advertising on Government Buildings, Fire Trucks

    Since 1997, the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, an organization founded by Grover Norquist, has sought to name at least one notable public landmark in each U.S. state and all 3067 counties after the Ronald Reagan. Norquist's efforts have been so successful, it's been estimated (by me) that by 2025, 90% of all government infrastructure in the United States would be named for the 40th president.

    Unfortunately for people who feel that Reagan's legacy should take the form of re-named government buildings instead of sprawling homeless encampments, strapped budgets have led local governments to sell naming rights and advertising space to corporations.

    As reported in the New York Times, New York City and Philadelphia have renamed subway stations for Barclays and AT&T. The Baltimore City Council adopted a resolution calling for advertising to be sold on the city's fire trucks. Pizza chains advertise on school buses. And KFC  "temporarily plastered its logo on manhole covers and fire hydrants in several cities in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee after paying to fill potholes and replace hydrants."

    Concerning as this may be to those who care about the integrity of public institutions, this trend is here to stay. Here are some suggestions for our cash-strapped federal government, if it seeks to hop on the Yum-branded bandwagon…

    * The Securities and Exchange Commission, brought to you by Goldman Sachs.

    * The Firestone Tire Occupational Safety and Health Administration

    * EMPA; The Exxon-Mobile Environmental Protection Agency, and

    * The Central Intelligence Agency, by Facebook

    Though perhaps the KFC Department of Health and Human Services is taking things too far.

    Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Corporations, Money, Ronald Reagan
  • Meet Farmscape, the Corporation Running for Mayor of L.A. [VIDEO]

    Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as individuals for the purposes of electoral communications, an important question has lingered regarding the implications of the majority opinion.

    Not "if corporations are people, how come they barely pay taxes?" And certainly not, "if corporations are people, how come none of them are in prison?" No, here's the real dilemma: If corporations are people, how come they need to use the intermediaries of campaign contributions and lobbyists to bend policy making to their whims? Why not eliminate the middlemen and have corporations become the politicians?

    For Farmscape LLC, a Los Angeles business that designs and maintains farm plots in the city, the answer is "Why not, indeed?" Following in the path-breaking limited-liability footsteps of Murray Hill Incorporated — an environmental consultancy that sought ballot access in Maryland's 8th Congressional District in 2010 — Farmscape recently announced its candidacy for mayor of Los Angeles.

    As part of its effort "to represent our chard values," Farmscape submitted voter registration paperwork to the County Recorder's office last week, appending an argument for corporate suffrage alongside its application

    Read More »

    Tags: California, Citizens United v. FEC, Corporations, Environment, Food, Los Angeles
  • Rush Limbaugh Issues "Apology"

    You know, I've been pretty skeptical of all this 2012 end of the world stuff that people have been tossing around the internet for the past year or so. But, I don't know, for the first time in all this, I'm starting to get a little scared

    After a media and political firestorm, Rush Limbaugh issued an apology on Saturday for calling student Sandra Fluke a "slut" on his radio show this week…

    "For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke… My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

    Well, that's certainly a thing that could be considered an "apology." I mean, if you look at it from the right angle and in the proper light, preferably after an oxycontin and a few glasses of wine, that could be seen as apologetic-ish. Really, you have to look at these things in context, and coming from a guy who sets minions to the task of destroying the careers of politicians who suggest that maybe he should turn down the rhetoric slightly, that's counts as a humiliating subjugation.

    Unfortunately for Limbaugh, it might not be humiliatingly subjugating enough for some people

    Emboldened by Rush Limbaugh's public apology over the weekend to a law school student whom he had called a "slut" and a "prostitute," critics of the radio talk show host are intensifying their online campaign against his advertisers…

    The apology, they said, was a signal that the campaign was working. On Sunday, a seventh company, ProFlowers, said that it was suspending all of its advertising on “The Rush Limbaugh Show” despite his apologetic statement a day earlier.

    Come on! What do these people want? Sincerity?!

    Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Tags: Advertising, Contraception, Corporations, Money, Rush Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke, Sex
  • Rush Limbaugh Loses Advertising Money Over "Slut" Remarks

    Somehow, in his bizarre multi-day diatribe equating women who have sex using health care-provided birth control with prostitutes, Rush Limbaugh seems to have pissed off the only people to whom he is truly loyal.

    No, not congressional Republicans. They don't count as real people. I'm talking about corporations

    "Due to recent commentary by Rush Limbaugh that does not align with our values, we’ve made the decision to immediately suspend all advertising on that program," Gabby Nelson, company spokeswoman at mattress manufacturer Select Comfort, said in an emailed statement.

    Select Comfort, which advertises its Sleep Number brand bed, was the second company to sever ties with Limbaugh over the growing controversy. Sleep Train was the first to sever ties. It sent a message out on Twitter earlier today, telling consumers, "We are pulling our ads with Rush Limbaugh and appreciate the community's feedback."

    Oh my! Can you imagine these companies' surprise when it was suddenly and shockingly brought to their attention that they were advertising with a person who was capable saying such derisive and ugly things?!

    If only there were some way they could have known in advance.

    Tags: Advertising, Contraception, Corporations, Money, Rush Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke, Sex