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think4yourself

Respect the democratic process.

sweetupndown9:

After serving two terms, President Washington prepared to step down and another leader (John Adams.) was elected to take his place, and everything went along without the presence of violence.

Does anyone remember learning about a little thing called the American Civil War? Do I need to paint a picture about how atrocious that was? 750,000 soldiers died, many families starved, and estimated 412,00 people were left broken and maimed from the fighting. Full cities were destroyed. It was a dark dark corner of our nation’s history that almost left us completely broken. Started in the wake of an election, and changing of laws. 

One thing that makes America so great is that every 4 years we have an election to pick the leader of our country.  The people can vote, and the people choose who our president will be. We can vote on so much in this country.

People legitimately want it to change how our process works. How about the 4 Soldiers (*cough terrorist cough*) in Georgia that bought almost $100,000 worth of weapons and explosives, with plans to bomb parks and a water dam, poison produce, and assassinate our President. All to give the government “Back to the People”? Don’t take those guys seriously? They took themselves seriously enough to murder 2 people, a fellow service member, and his girlfriend, who discovered their plans, and decided to report them to the authorities.

Of course there is a Texas Judge calling for Tax Increases so his county can hire more armed police officers, because he is convinced there will be a civil war if Obama is re-elected.

Or the Greene County Republican Committee in Virginia calling for an armed revolution in their newsletter in the event of an Obama victory.  

(The amount of googling I’ve done for this post has probably lead to a tap being put on my internet activities from the FBI. But really, google “Armed Revolution Obama Re-election.” and see what comes up. Pages and pages of personal blogs and narratives from American’s claiming the desire to revolt if our President is reelected. )

Are Republican’s really so incapable of handling life through another 4 years of President Obama? They are so opposed to his healthcare plan, copious spending, and the threat of having millionaire taxes raised, that they would rather overthrow our current system in a violent and bloody revolution than respect our democratic process that the Framers of our nation worked so hard to implement? We are allowed to vote in this country, the people decide who leads our nation, and every 4-8 years a new leader emerges, and the old leader hands over responsibility peacefully and with much ceremony. The key point there is the people decide. 

Maybe, there is a threat to the people deciding. But President Obama isn’t that threat. If you’re concerned the Government no longer belongs to the people, you need to question this. 

Question the Supreme Courts decision on Citizens United. That allows corporations to funnel as much money, and resources as they want to political endeavors all protected by the First Amendment. 

Question the amount of Police brutality in this country, particularly Police Brutality towards minorities.  

Question why more than two dozen states are trying to pass new voter ID laws that end up siginificantly restricting the right to vote in students, elderly and minority communities. (all groups that typically vote liberally.) States are going so far that South Carolina, Arizona, South Dakota, Texas, Georgia and Alabama GOP Attorney Generals have filed an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court challenging KEY PROVISIONS within the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that allows racial minorities to vote, as Unconstitutional. 

I will respect the democratic process, even if President Obama is not reelected. Because I know in 4 more years, I can vote. I know that my country was founded on the idea of majority decides. My worry is that other people will not. With the amount of violence already present in this country, the violent rhetoric flying around the campaign trail, and a summer filled with mass shootings, I don’t think this fear is unfounded. 

(Source: kissing-whiskey)

NY TIMES EDITORIAL: "The Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 ruling in Citizens United in 2010 was shaped by an extreme view of the First Amendment: money equals speech, and independent spending by wealthy organizations and individuals poses no problem to the political system. The court cavalierly dismissed worries that those with big bank accounts — and big megaphones — have an unfair advantage in exerting political power. It simply asserted that “the people have the ultimate influence over elected officials” — as if campaigns were not in the business of influencing and manipulating voters. ...So far in this election cycle, outside spending by super PACs, corporations, unions and others totals $92.2 million, about two and a half times as much as in the same period in 2008 and six times as much as in the period in 2004."

(Source: inothernews)

Fearing a tide of spending by outside conservative groups, President Obama is giving his blessing to a pro-Democratic Party “super PAC” that will work to help his reelection, his campaign said late Monday.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a message to supporters that “our campaign has to face the reality of the law as it stands,” which he said gives a large financial advantage to Republicans and their allied groups. Messina said Obama will throw his support to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC founded by two former White House aides that until now has been unable to match its conservative competitors in fundraising.

…The move marks a clear political risk for Obama, who has staked much of his political career on opposition to the outsized role of “secret billionaires” and other monied interests while also attempting to win reelection in a struggling economy.

The decision underscores the dramatic changes that have rocked the U.S. political system in the wake of a series of rulings, including Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that have made it easier for corporations, unions and wealthy individuals to bankroll political advertising and other efforts. The clearest example of the changes have been super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited funds as long as they do not directly coordinate with candidates, who nonetheless can help raise limited amounts of money for them.

Priorities USA raised just $6.7 million in 2011 between its super PAC and related nonprofits, officials have said. That sluggish pace put it far behind its Republican rivals, in part because many major Democratic donors said they did not feel the Obama campaign was supportive of the effort.

The Washington Post, “Obama Gives Blessing to a Super PAC.”

Sigh.  But perhaps there’s one thing Priorities USA can do that other Super PACs won’t: reveal in detail exactly who their donors are. 

I realize that is, of course, wholly unrealistic.

(via inothernews)

A clear political risk?? Remember his 2008 campaign is the one that effectively killed the public financing system as it currently stood. 

If you want to win, you can’t afford to disadvantage yourself in the full contact sport that is presidential politics so if you’re politically smart, you play to the limit of the established “rules.”

With so much at stake, we can’t allow for two sets of rules in this election whereby the Republican nominee is the beneficiary of unlimited spending and Democrats unilaterally disarm.

Therefore, the campaign has decided to do what we can, consistent with the law, to support Priorities USA in its effort to counter the weight of the GOP Super PAC. We will do so only in the knowledge and with the expectation that all of its donations will be fully disclosed as required by law to the Federal Election Commission.

What this change means practically: Senior campaign officials as well as some White House and Cabinet officials will attend and speak at Priorities USA fundraising events. While campaign officials may be appearing at events to amplify our message, these folks won’t be soliciting contributions for Priorities USA. I should also note that the President, Vice President, and First Lady will not be a part of this effort; their political activity will remain focused on the President’s campaign.

The sporting equivalent would be for the International Olympic Committee to disband its drug testing unit and allow every athlete to use whatever drugs they wanted. And so we offer our hearty congratulations to Mitt Romney, but the next time he wins a state, he really should invite the head of his Super PAC to share in the glory.
Martin Bashir discussing Citizens United and the advantage it’s giving Mitt Romney. (via mar-see-ah)
pantslessprogressive:

“The glorification of the corporation over the past thirty years has been predicated in large part on the myth that corporations are solely dedicated to maximizing shareholder value. But corporations only maximize shareholder value if shareholders have a way to keep executives and employees in line and prevent them from simply lining their own pockets. Decades of research have shown numerous failings in the standard corporate governance model: boards that are stuffed with cronies of the CEO, directors who have no ability to evaluate what their companies are actually doing, massive golden parachutes that insulate CEOs against failure, and so on. Poor oversight of political activity may be another to add to the list.
There is much work still to be done on corporate political activity and its implications for shareholders. But the early evidence is that we cannot simply assume, as the Supreme Court did in Citizens United, that shareholder pressure will magically ensure that a company’s political spending is always in its best interests. In this context, the need for improved disclosure is even more urgent.” - James Kwak
Citizens United Turns 2—and It’s Still Wrong
Never read the case? Start here.
[Photo: Mike Luckovich]

pantslessprogressive:

“The glorification of the corporation over the past thirty years has been predicated in large part on the myth that corporations are solely dedicated to maximizing shareholder value. But corporations only maximize shareholder value if shareholders have a way to keep executives and employees in line and prevent them from simply lining their own pockets. Decades of research have shown numerous failings in the standard corporate governance model: boards that are stuffed with cronies of the CEO, directors who have no ability to evaluate what their companies are actually doing, massive golden parachutes that insulate CEOs against failure, and so on. Poor oversight of political activity may be another to add to the list.

There is much work still to be done on corporate political activity and its implications for shareholders. But the early evidence is that we cannot simply assume, as the Supreme Court did in Citizens United, that shareholder pressure will magically ensure that a company’s political spending is always in its best interests. In this context, the need for improved disclosure is even more urgent.” - James Kwak

Citizens United Turns 2—and It’s Still Wrong

Never read the case? Start here.

[Photo: Mike Luckovich]

(Source: pantslessprogressive)

pantslessprogressive:

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), left, introduced legislation Friday aimed at removing corporate cash from politics by amending the constitution to outlaw corporate money in elections. Cleverly named Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED), the law would reverse Citizens United.
From Suzy Khimm’s interview with Rep. Deutch:

Suzy Khimm: I understand this amendment was directly inspired by Occupy Wall Street. Tell me more about how this all came to be.
Ted Deutch: One thing that’s been clear throughout the protests all across the country is that people are tired of a political system that they believe doesn’t respond to their needs, that doesn’t reflect the interests of the American people, and that caters to the corporations that have occupied Washington for far too long. […]
SK: So corporations don’t have any right to participate in elections? Why should they be treated differently than, say, labor unions or nonprofit organizations ? Unions also benefited from Citizens United, but, as I understand it, they wouldn’t be affected by your amendment.
TD: Corporations that are formed for the purpose of earning profits do not have the constitutionally protected rights that natural citizens have. They should not spend their corporate dollars, Treasury dollars to influence outcome of elections.
[As for unions and nonprofits], the amendment gives Congress the authority to create a campaign finance system that ultimately is fair across the board . . . that gives the government back to the people. The amendment specifically reverses Citizens United in making clear that for-profit corporations shouldn’t be spending money on elections. Any other group of people, group of individuals, is going to be in same position as they are now.
SK: If there’s such overwhelming support for these kind of changes though, why not wait for the legal system to come to that conclusion?
TD: [Justice] Stevens vehemently disagreed with the position of the court, legal scholars across America have disagreed . . . but there is every reason to believe the Supreme Court may well continue down this path and move beyond Citizens United and allow corporations to contribute to candidates directly. I don’t believe the American people should wait to see if this is the direction that the Supreme Court goes. We ought to act now. It’s what the framers of the Constitution and people across America understand. [read more]

pantslessprogressive:

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), left, introduced legislation Friday aimed at removing corporate cash from politics by amending the constitution to outlaw corporate money in elections. Cleverly named Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED), the law would reverse Citizens United.

From Suzy Khimm’s interview with Rep. Deutch:

Suzy Khimm: I understand this amendment was directly inspired by Occupy Wall Street. Tell me more about how this all came to be.

Ted Deutch: One thing that’s been clear throughout the protests all across the country is that people are tired of a political system that they believe doesn’t respond to their needs, that doesn’t reflect the interests of the American people, and that caters to the corporations that have occupied Washington for far too long. […]

SK: So corporations don’t have any right to participate in elections? Why should they be treated differently than, say, labor unions or nonprofit organizations ? Unions also benefited from Citizens United, but, as I understand it, they wouldn’t be affected by your amendment.

TD: Corporations that are formed for the purpose of earning profits do not have the constitutionally protected rights that natural citizens have. They should not spend their corporate dollars, Treasury dollars to influence outcome of elections.

[As for unions and nonprofits], the amendment gives Congress the authority to create a campaign finance system that ultimately is fair across the board . . . that gives the government back to the people. The amendment specifically reverses Citizens United in making clear that for-profit corporations shouldn’t be spending money on elections. Any other group of people, group of individuals, is going to be in same position as they are now.

SK: If there’s such overwhelming support for these kind of changes though, why not wait for the legal system to come to that conclusion?

TD: [Justice] Stevens vehemently disagreed with the position of the court, legal scholars across America have disagreed . . . but there is every reason to believe the Supreme Court may well continue down this path and move beyond Citizens United and allow corporations to contribute to candidates directly. I don’t believe the American people should wait to see if this is the direction that the Supreme Court goes. We ought to act now. It’s what the framers of the Constitution and people across America understand. [read more]

(Source: pantslessprogressive, via kileyrae)