P is for Polly Ticks


(With apologies to Anthony North):

Some largely nonpartisan things that have been bugging me about the electoral process in the United States recently, and not so recently.

MONEY: It has long been an issue, and there have been a series of legislative actions, Such as McCain-Feingold trying to limit the effect of money on the campaign. However, in January 2010, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court decided that corporations and unions have the same First Amendment rights as individuals, and as such may now directly and expressly advocate for the election or defeat of candidates for federal office, as long as they do not coordinate their efforts with campaigns or political parties. Without getting too wonky here, social welfare organizations may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. As a result, there is a lot more election spending this cycle than ever before. Continue reading “P is for Polly Ticks”

The One Good Thing Is That We Learn About the US Constitution

There was a truly horrific ruling by the US Ninth Circuit Court in August 2010 allowing warrantless GPS tracking by law enforcement.

Hey, kids, it’s Constitution Day again! And boy, have we learned about the application of the foundation of the United States in the past year or so, or what?

Article I, Section 8. The Congress shall have Power
[8] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

The notion of “limited” gets longer every revisiting of the Copyright law, contrary, in my opinion, to the original intent of the Founders.

Article II [5] No person except a natural born Citizen…shall be eligible to the Office of President

Yes, don’t hear as much about them lately, but the birthers, who claim President Obama is not eligible to be President, are still out there.

Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

This, of course, is at the heart of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” debate; the usual line about this is that they have a RIGHT to build the Islamic center but that they OUGHT NOT TO. Continue reading “The One Good Thing Is That We Learn About the US Constitution”