Clouds and Mountain Meadow wallpaper, Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society

Clouds and Mountain Meadow wallpaper

The Center for Public Integrity notes the stampede of corporate cash influencing this election, courtesy the Chief Justice John Roberts extreme right-wing court and the Citizens United decision, Campaign Cash: The Independent Fundraising Gold Rush Since ‘Citizens United’ Ruling

But as the crew of old GOP friends munched on chicken pot pies, Rove and Gillespie had another, larger agenda: expanding cooperation. And they found an altogether receptive audience. Among those in attendance: Bill Miller, the political director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which has announced a record election budget of $75 million; former Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, the CEO of the American Action Network, a fledgling group that’s hoping to spend about $25 million to help Senate and House candidates; Steven Law, a former general counsel at the Chamber and the president of American Crossroads; and Greg Casey, the president of the Business Industry Political Action Committee which aims to spend $6 million this year to boost the pro-business vote. ( Emphasis mine: Pro-business is a conservative code word for crushing as much consumer, investor and employee law they possibly can)

[   ]…Early this summer, the Chamber’s feisty chieftain, silver-haired Tom Donohue, told a gathering of about 100 trade group leaders at a posh resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., that the organization was going to spend $75 million on its election program — more than double the $36 million it spent on the 2008 campaign.

As of mid-September, the Chamber had spent about $20 million on issue ads other political activities including mail and phone with many millions more to come, Miller says. Further, the business lobby group is also planning to pour millions of dollars into online voter mobilization and other activities this year using an assembled list of six million “Friends of the Chamber.”

[   ]…Two companies in which Dallas-based billionaire Harold Simmons boasts major holdings — Southwest Louisiana Land LLC and Dixie Rice Agricultural Corp. — have plowed a total of almost $2 million into the 527. That makes the veteran conservative donors’ firms, one of the three biggest financial angels with Texas ties. Two other Lone Star moguls, Trevor Rees-Jones, who runs Dallas-based Chief Oil and Gas, and Robert Rowling, together with his company TRT Holdings, which owns Omni Hotels and Gold’s Gym, have each given $2 million to the group (and to a recently formed successor PAC).

Paul Singer, the New York-based founder and CEO of the $17 billion hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has also written a seven-figure check to Crossroads GPS, say sources familiar with the group. Singer has also been a hefty donor and fundraiser for several GOP candidates and campaign committees this election season.

When the Citizens United ruling came down it was thought there might be some balance in that it opened the door for organized labor to do the same thing as large corporations and the billionaires on the far Right. That has not been the case. TCPI estimates these corporations and freshly minted right-wing organizations/trade groups will out spend moderate and liberal organizations by 3 to 2, as high as two to one dollars by the November election.

While we’re on the subject of bad law and twisting the Constitution into an unrecognizable wad of paper, Barry Friedman and Dahlia Lithwick review the history of the SCOTUS under the extreme right-wing arm of Chief Justice Roberts – Watch as We Make This Law Disappear – How the Roberts Court disguises its radical conservatism

Trick 4: The Escape

Think about illusionists, and you almost instantly imagine escape. The greatest can be locked into a straitjacket, immersed in a tank of water, padlocked with metal seals, and still they get out. Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito found themselves in a similar bind. Having both pledged at their confirmation hearings that they would respect precedent, and had “no quarrel” with foundational cases and doctrine, they were locked into a legal universe that for them would quickly become airless. Given their troth, they couldn’t just come on the bench and start overruling old cases—even cases they hated—willy-nilly. So they worked at the illusion of escape: Overrule the old precedent anyway, but claim to be leaving it intact. Where “restoration” involves pretending to put the law back where it originally was, “escape” means running away from existing precedents while denying you are doing so.

Perhaps the best example of The Escape came in a 2007 campaign-finance case. Americans have heard a lot about campaign-finance law this past year, as a result of the court’s dramatic decision last January in Citizens United. That decision overruled prior precedents allowing Congress to restrict corporate money in elections and earned a national shout of disapproval. But what you probably don’t know is that the court had already accomplished virtually the same feat, by the same 5-4 margin, in the 2007 case Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life. Unlike the Citizens United case this year, however, in which the justices announced the change out loud, in Wisconsin Roberts claimed to be following precedent when he was shredding it.

This trick has been used so frequently that conservatives and liberals alike came up with a name for it: “stealth overruling.” In the Wisconsin decision, the chief justice’s usual conservative ally Justice Antonin Scalia accused Roberts of “faux judicial restraint” for implicitly striking down an old case while claiming to do nothing of the sort. Conservative critics from Robert Bork to Richard Posner have been equally derisive.

WV-Sen: Questions arise over Republican senatorial candidate  Raese’s real residence. Raese recently won my admiration for his admission he is a lazy sod who earned his money the old-fashioned way by inheritance. he seems to live in Florida  – you know where his kids go to school and his wife lives – except when he is running for office. Republicans have always had an arrogance problem; is it me or does it seem to be getting much bigger.

Here is the original  story from a local station – Firefighters watch as home burns to the ground. This is the TP link which contains the deranged bleating of some of the nation’s top conservative thinkers on the subject – National Review Writers Defend County Whose Subscription-Only Firefighters Watched Home Burn Down

Dan, you are 100 percent wrong. […] And, for their trouble, the South Fulton fire department is being treated as though it has done something wrong, rather than having gone out of its way to make services available to people who did not have them before. The world is full of jerks, freeloaders, and ingrates — and the problems they create for themselves are their own. These free-riders have no more right to South Fulton’s firefighting services than people in Muleshoe, Texas, have to those of NYPD detectives. (Kevin Williamson )

The fire department may have had a point in so far we measure the incident just in terms of money exchanged for services – explained rather well in this comment by Wendy Thomas – scroll down to read. Williamson could not see the high road much less take it. The issue boils down to “jerks, freeloaders, and ingrates”? It is not possible that the victims of the fire had a choice to make between dental work for the kids or doctor bills or bald tires and paying for a firefighter service. Where is the humanity and morality in letting someone’s house burn down, which in fact started to catch the neighbor’s house on fire. I’ve stopped and helped people and never got a dime. Were all the people I’ve helped jerks and freeloaders. Erase the term good deeds from the national vocabulary and replace with thou shall be a cheap cynic at all times. Furthermore when judging any situation where someone is a victim always assume the victim has the worse character traits.

Here’s the more important part of the story, letting the house burn — while, I admit sad — will probably save more houses over the long haul. I know that if I opted out of the program before, I would be more likely to opt-in now. No solace to the homeowner, but an important lesson for compassionate conservatives like our own Dan Foster (Zing!). As Edmund Burke said, example is the school of mankind and he will learn from no other. (Jonah Goldberg)

Goldberg’s laser like insights remain indispensable. It has happened a time or two in the course of human history that tragedies tend to move people to take action. How astute for him to have noticed. I do it for free and he gets paid. So much for merit in conservative lala-land. Throw is a pretentious reference to Edmund Burke and Jonah manages to create a circle jerk of one. Congratulations. Conservatives like Williamson and Goldberg learned nothing from the failed policies of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush but they continue to float along comfortably on the wing-nut welfare plan for constipated intellectualism. Burke also said,

Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any imminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all.

and

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.

Were Burke’s pompous ass still parading around he’d slap all the neocons at the National Review for their Iraq cheer leading,

I cannot conceive any existence under heaven (which, in the depths of its wisdom, tolerates all sorts of things), that is more truly odious and disgusting, than an impotent, helpless creature, without civil wisdom or military skill, without a consciousness of any other qualification for power but his servility to it, bloated with pride and arrogance, calling for battles which he is not to fight, contending for a violent dominion which he can never exercise, and satisfied to be himself mean and miserable, in order to render others contemptible and wretched.

Fulton Tennessee is not exactly the perfectude of conservatism. They apply for federal grants once in a while, like this one for $70k. They also recently applied for some Obama stimulus funds to hire another police officer. Also recently in the news from Fulton – Mother, child airlifted to Memphis after crash

Emergency workers flew a local woman and her baby daughter by helicopter to Memphis Friday morning after the woman flipped her SUV on Kentucky Highway 166.

No mention of the emergency workers asking first if the victim and her child were paid up on their emergency medi-vac helicopter coverage. As I said there is room for understanding the city fire chief’s situation about providing service to non-subscribing county residents, but the absence of any moral sensibilities from the tough luck crowd at National Review would be telling if it were not consistent with their usual hypocrisy when it comes to ethics and the social contract.

Advertisements