Patterico's Pontifications

4/2/2014

Open Thread: Fort Hood Shooting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:32 pm

I’m catching up. Use this thread to discuss it.

Justices Strike Down Campaign Finance Restriction on Free Speech Grounds

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:57 am

David Savage, writing in the L.A. Times:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday freed wealthy donors to give more money directly to congressional candidates, extending its controversial 2010 Citizens United decision that opened the door for unlimited independent spending on political issues.

In a 5-4 decision, the court’s conservative majority struck down Watergate-era aggregate limits that barred political donors from giving more than $123,000 a year in total to candidates running for seats in the House of Representatives or Senate.

The court said this limit violated the free-speech rights of the donors, and it was not needed to prevent “corruption” of the political process.

The justices noted that donors mush still abide by rules that prevent them from giving more than $2,600 per election per candidate.

(Yes, he said “mush still abide.” Screenshot here. Look, do you want the story done professionally or do you want it fast?)

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. You can have laws against money in politics or you can have a First Amendment, but you can’t have both.

The 5-4 nature of the decision reminds us why Republicans cannot spend 40 years in the wilderness. Our rights are at stake every time one of these cases goes before the Court.

L.A. Times’s Scott Martelle Accepts That Mississippi Justice System Racist Against Whites

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am

Scott Martelle, writing in the L.A. Times:

If the state of Mississippi had finished what it started, Michelle Byrom would be dead right now. Instead, based on revelations about confessions kept from a jury and an alleged case of perjury, the state’s Supreme Court on Monday tossed out Byrom’s murder conviction and ordered a new trial — but also ordered that a new judge conduct it.

In his piece, Martelle does not reject the notion that Mississippi’s problems result from racism against whites like Byrom. I don’t agree with that silly argument, of course. But, strange as it may sound, Martelle “tacitly accepts” it. Because as we all know, according to Scott Martelle, “to not reject is tacit acceptance.”

This post is the second in a series on surprising positions tacitly accepted by Scott Martelle.

Let’s Play Name That Party [UPDATED BY PATTERICO]

Filed under: General — JD @ 5:45 am

[Guest post by JD]

This might be the best example ever of the MFM not naming or labeling Dem politicos involved in scandals. I have no doubt that there are Rethuglikkkans that have sullied their office as well, but this AP report is remarkable in that it simply ignores party affiliation.

I won’t even get started on the CA State Senator, running for Sec of State, is virtually ignored by the MFM. CNN said that they don’t generally cover State Senators. Imagine if a Republican were accused of trying to traffic arms to terrorists, all while using his legislative position to trample on the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens.

The MFM is not even trying anymore.

—JD

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I think this is a very important post, and I am simply going to quote the AP article in its entirety, to preserve this example for posterity, because 1) the link will certainly break soon, as all AP links do, and 2) you can’t fully appreciate the way they dance around the issue unless you read the story itself. My reproduction is obviously for purposes of criticism — it’s not like this small blog is taking market share from the AP. I simply want to show for all time how they ignore party affiliation, and who they’re talking about:

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon is facing public corruption charges after prosecutors said he solicited $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room and the use of a luxury apartment as bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as developers. Cannon is the latest mayor of a large city to face a scandal in recent years. Here is a look at some others:

— Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty in February of 20 counts of accepting bribes and other corruption charges for taking money to help business owners get millions of dollars in city work, including in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

— Former Trenton, N.J., Mayor Tony Mack was convicted in February of taking money in exchange for getting approval in 2012 to develop a downtown parking garage that only existed in a federal sting. He is awaiting sentencing. He is one of a long list of New Jersey mayors to face corruption charges since 2000, including the leaders of Newark, Camden, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Hoboken, Passaic, Asbury Park, Orange and Hamilton.

— Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner resigned last August after a number of sexual harassment allegations. He pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and misdemeanor battery in October and was sentenced to three months of home confinement in December.

— Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is serving 28 years in prison after being convicted in October of extortion, bribery, conspiracy and other crimes. In October 2008, Kilpatrick spent 99 days in jail for his part in a sex-and-text scandal.

— Former Birmingham, Ala., Mayor Larry Langford took $235,000 in cash, loans and gifts while he was president of the Jefferson County Commission in the early- and mid-2000s. He was convicted of 60 counts in October 2009 and is serving 15 years in prison.

I looked up the ones I had not heard of — to verify that, yes, all six are Democrats. All six.

In so doing, I also learned that the AP writer is a racist for picking these examples of corruption, and that JD is a racist for linking the article. They are hereby denounced.


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