Can’t We Just Say The Roberts Court Is Corrupt?

John Roberts

The Article: Can’t We Just Say The Roberts Court Is Corrupt? by Mike Lofgren in Bill Moyers Online.

The Text: The Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission was not about aggregate limits on individual campaign donations to candidates in federal elections. The case was about what constitutes a bribe, how big that bribe has to be and whether an electoral system can be corrupt even in the absence of a legally demonstrable cash payment to an office holder or candidate for an explicitly specified favor. The Roberts court, or five of its nine members, adopted the misanthrope’s faux-naïve pose in ruling that private money in politics, far from promoting corruption, causes democracy to thrive because, money being speech, the more speech, the freer the politics. Anatole France mocked this kind of legal casuistry by saying, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.”

James Fallows has reminded us that during Chief Justice John Roberts’ confirmation hearing, the nominee described his own judicial approach as “Humility. Modesty. Restraint. Deference to precedent. ‘We’re just calling balls and strikes.’” Fallows goes on to say that Roberts is cynical for adopting that pose to get through the hearing. It is true that he is cynical, no doubt in the same way that prostitutes are cynical women, but I don’t think that term quite captures the key quality that makes Roberts decide legal cases the way he does. Nor does his cynicism differentiate him from his jurisprudential clones named Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Kennedy.

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Amazing New Ad For “Australians For Coal”

“There will come a day when my moral choices will no longer be beholden to the shareholders, and a wave of profound regret and sorrow will engulf me as I realize with painful clarity the enormity of the damage I have perpetrated upon humanity. And even if I plead with whoever has succeeded my role in the company, to stop putting CO2 in the air for the sake of my daughter’s grandchildren, he or she can turn to me and simply respond with ‘Fuck you’. And that legacy really does make me proud.”

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What Free Speech Really Means

Free Speech Meaning

Free speech doesn’t mean people can’t think you’re an asshole. It just means that the government can’t lock you away for being one.

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You Pay Higher Taxes Than Boeing, GE And Verizon

Tax Rate

The Article: You Pay Higher Taxes Than Boeing (and GE, Verizon & 23 More U.S. Corporations) by Brandy Zadrozny in The Daily Beast.

The Text: You may be among the 95 percent of Americans who believe it’s their civic duty to pay their fair share of taxes, but sending a portion of your salary to the IRS still smarts. Even for the more than 100 million who will receive refunds, no day is more agonizing than April 15.

If only we could all be corporations. Although they all start with a flat 35 percent federal tax rate, most employ a team of clever accountants to whittle down their liability—sometimes to nothing at all.

After taking advantage of credits, exemptions, and offshore tax havens, U.S. corporations get away with paying an average of less than 13 percent, according to the Government Accountability Office. What’s more, the GAO found that more than half of them reported owing no federal taxes in at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

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“Stone Cold” Steve Austin On Same Sex Marriage

Because anyone who uses the phrase “chaps my ass” while assailing religious prejudice against minorities deserves a listen.

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