American Elephants

Chuck Schumer Wants to Rewrite the First Amendment! by The Elephant's Child

Liberals regularly refer to the Tea Party as “extremists”— all that talking about the Constitution as if it were important, and not a dusty old document that needs updating. We need a “living” Constitution — and Chuckie Schumer is working on it. Senator Schumer, like all good Democrats is enraged about the Citizens United decision. He wants to rewrite the First Amendment! And he has announced a proposal to amend the Constitution.

“The Supreme Court is trying to take this country back to the days of the robber barons, allowing dark money to flood our elections,” Mr. Schumer said. The Senate will vote this year on the amendment to “once and for all allow Congress to make laws to regulate our system, without the risk of them being eviscerated by a conservative Supreme Court.” He even rolled out retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to pronounce his unhappiness with freedom’s bedrock document.

According to the text of the proposed revision to James Madison’s 1791 handiwork, sponsored by New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, the states and federal government would have the power to regulate the “raising and spending of money” through a wide range of means “to advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all.”

The real guarantee would be political advantage for all incumbents, since it’s the sitting lawmakers who really benefit from any law limiting contributions to candidates or on their behalf. While Beltway boys like Messrs. Schumer and Udall have the name recognition to raise money in small increments, challengers often need the financial boost from a few individuals to get their message heard.

Citizens United according to Scotusblog:

Holding: Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. While corporations or unions may not give money directly to campaigns, they may seek to persuade the voting public through other means, including ads, especially where these ads were not broadcast.

It has been understood, for decades, that corporations are ‘persons” under the Constitution. And nothing the Supreme Court said Thursday undermined that notion. If anything, the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission conferred new dignity on corporate “persons,” treating them —under the First Amendment free-speech clause — as the equal of human beings.

At least in politics, the Court majority indicated, corporations have a voice, and they have worthy political ideas.

A Constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate and ratification by 38 states, so it has little chance of passing any time soon. There are many checks against self-interested legislatures for which we can thank the Founders. The interesting story according to the Journal is how far the American left is willing to go to cripple their political opponents. “They’re even  willing to write a giant loophole into America’s founding charter so Congress can limit political speech. The Tea Party’s concerns about eroding liberty turn out to be more accurate than even its most devoted partisans imagined.”

Somewhere in recent memory, Democrats changed from a party that, at least part of the time, worked with Republicans for the good of the country. Now winning is everything. I’m not, I think, completely naive. Politicians have always wanted to win, but something has dramatically shifted.

Vote fraud has grown exponentially, and is encouraged and arranged. The drive to win is more vicious than ever. Perhaps it’s the rise of the Democracy Alliance, the shadowy group of multimillionaire and billionaire “partners” whose admitted goal is winning elections. This is not a coincidence. You can read up on them at Activist Cash, The Washington Free Beacon, or Discover the Networks. The Capital Research Center has tracked them from the beginning. This is what you call “dark money.” The Democracy Alliance initially concentrated on promoting policies that it wanted, but more recently has shifted focus to simply winning elections, which tracks closely with the change in the Democratic Party.

Obama, in Permanent Campaign Mode, Plays Politics With Unemployment. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama, once again, tries to play the class-warfare game.  Goodness, even the British have noticed.  Janet Daley, a prominent British columnist, notes Barack Obama’s attempts to push class resentment in support of failing administration policies.  His Saturday radio message was a laughable attempt to (once again) call Republicans “the party of the rich.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) (estimated wealth $21 million) believes firmly that unemployment benefits create jobs. This loony theory assumes that people receiving unemployment are so destitute that they immediately rush out to spend every bit of their check, and the “multiplier effect,” a feature of the Keynesian economic computer models, make each dollar spent magically worth at least 1½ times as much in the economy, so everyone will start hiring. There are some missed steps in this process which have to do with uncertainty, increased taxes, increased regulation that have businesses sitting on their hands, afraid to do anything.  Another reason why Keynesian economics have largely been discredited.

The Obama campaign claimed that all their donations came from small amounts contributed by thousands of enthusiastic little people, but such was proved not to be the case.  Their campaign funds came from big donations from the unions, and big donations from — um, — rich people.

The Democracy Alliance was founded in early 2005 by very rich Liberals furious that their efforts to elect John Kerry did not succeed.  In April of 2005 seventy millionaires and billionaires met in Phoenix for a secret planning session.  Members of the Democracy Alliance (called “partners”) pay an initial $25,000 fee, and $30,000 in yearly dues.  They must also pledge to give at least $200,000 each year to groups that the Alliance endorses.

What the unemployed need are jobs.  Not government jobs, although Washington D.C. is the only place in the country where they are really hiring, because they are also paid for with taxpayer money or funds borrowed from China.  What will cause businesses to start hiring?  Removing the uncertainty that now has everyone sitting on the sidelines.

Every time a businessman turns around, there are a new set of rules and regulations. New rules on derivatives targeted on Wall Street but the effect of the rules will weigh heavily on farmers who use them to allay the risk that comes from weather or a drop in price on the market.  The bill will also affect small manufacturers, city governments, credit bureaus and home buyers.  How much?  How bad?  Nobody knows.

The healthcare bill’s effect on business is still unknown.  We’re just finding out a little more about the car-company debacle.  The disaster of the oil spill is not ended by the capping of the well, but exacerbated by the misguided moratorium on drilling.  When the government gets around to recognizing what their moratorium is doing, it may be too late, and all the rigs will have departed for friendlier climes.

The Obama administration has no idea how jobs are created.  Almost no one among his advisers and cabinet members has ever worked in the private sector.  Nor will they listen to those who have. Nor are they willing to listen to other approaches. Obama, we are told, is very dogmatic.  He does not change his mind.  I really hope that is not true.

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