The Egos of those democrats.... They are still denying. They think they are immoral. I wish John Q. Public knew this.
The Egos of those democrats.... They are still denying. They think they are immoral. I wish John Q. Public knew this.
Big money is without any doubt corrupting the political process.
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Citizens United Attacks From Justice Stevens Continue
Posted: 05/30/2012 9:41 pm Updated: 05/30/2012 10:52 pm
WASHINGTON -- A day after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, retired Justice John Paul Stevens on Wednesday night backed President Barack Obama's suggestion during his 2010 State of the Union address that the Citizens United decision could lead to "foreign entities" bankrolling American elections.
He urged the U.S. Supreme Court to explicitly explain why the president's words were "not true," as Justice Samuel Alito famously mouthed on camera, breaking the justices' usual stoic appearance during the president's annual speech.
Stevens has been a trenchant critic of Citizens United since the court decided the case in January 2010. On the day the opinion was announced, he spent 20 minutes reading from the bench a summary of his 90-page dissent. Stumbling over some words that day convinced Stevens, now 92, to retire, but he continued to condemn the ruling in speeches, writings and even on the Colbert Report.
In a speech at the University of Arkansas' Clinton School of Public Service, Stevens challenged his former colleagues to defend Alito's "not true" moment by reconciling the court's sweeping language in Citizens United that the First Amendment "generally prohibits the suppression of political speech based on the speaker's identity," with its subsequent decision -- made without briefing, argument, or written opinion -- to uphold a ban on campaign spending by non-citizens.
Alito's reaction, Stevens said, "persuade[s] me that that in due course it will be necessary for the court to issue an opinion explicitly crafting an exception that will create a crack in the foundation of the Citizens United majority opinion." In doing so, he continued, "it will be necessary to explain why the First Amendment provides greater protection to the campaign speech of some non-voters" -- that is, domestic corporations -- "than to that of other non-voters" such as the Canadian Harvard Law School graduate who remains barred from making campaign contributions.
The lawsuit brought by the Canadian citizen "unquestionably provided the court with an appropriate opportunity to explain why the president had misinterpreted the Court's opinion in Citizens United. "[T]he court instead took the surprising action of simply affirming the district court without comment and without dissent."
The decision in that case, Bluman v. FEC, meant that "notwithstanding the broad language used by the majority in Citizens United, it is now settled, albeit unexplained, that the identity of some speakers may provide a legally acceptable basis for restricting speech," Stevens said.
But the court cannot forever evade a written reckoning with the logical conclusion of its Citizens United decision, Stevens said.
"I think it is likely that when the court begins to spell out which categories of non-voters should receive the same protections as the not-for-profit Citizens United advocacy group, it will not only exclude terrorist organizations and foreign agents, but also all corporations owned or controlled by non-citizens, and possibly even those in which non-citizens have a substantial interest," Stevens said, referencing a case in which he joined the Citizens United majority to hold that speech made or funded by terrorist groups have no First Amendment protection. "Where that line will actually be drawn will depend on an exercise of judgment by the majority of members of the court, rather than on any proposition of law identified in the Citizens United majority opinion."
The justices will soon have another opportunity to clarify the scope of Citizens United in a challenge to Montana's corporate spending limits brought by an out-of-state organization. Although Stevens did not explicitly reference this case, which the justices will discuss in private at their June 14 conference, he lambasted the Citizens United majority for overruling a precedent that allowed states to bar corporate spending from beyond their borders. For the states with such laws, "those corporate non-voters were comparable to the non-voting foreign corporations that concerned President Obama when he criticized the Citizens United majority opinion," Stevens said.
"If the First Amendment does not protect the right of a graduate of Harvard Law School to spend his own money to support the candidate of his choice simply because his Canadian citizenship deprives him of the right to participate in our elections, the fact that corporations may be owned or controlled by Canadians -- indeed, in my judgment, the fact that corporations have no right to vote -- should give Congress the power to exclude them from direct participation in the electoral process," Stevens concluded.
We already have tremendous inequality in our country: The richest 1 percent of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute. But we do still have a measure of equality before the law — equality in our basic dignity — and that should be priceless.
“Market fundamentalism,” to use the term popularized by George Soros, is gaining ground. It’s related to the glorification of wealth over the last couple of decades, to the celebration of opulence, and to the emergence of a new aristocracy. Market fundamentalists assume a measure of social Darwinism and accept that laissez-faire is always optimal.
That’s the dogma that helped lead to bank deregulation and the current economic mess. And anyone who honestly believes that low taxes and unfettered free markets are always best should consider moving to Pakistan’s tribal areas. They are a triumph of limited government, negligible taxes, no “burdensome regulation” and free markets for everything from drugs to AK-47s.
If you’re infatuated with unfettered free markets, just visit Waziristan.
I'm infatuated with the Free Housing Market Enhancement Act of 2003 which your party had no interest.
Here's an article for you to review. Then you can see how YOU and YOUR PARTY hurt Americans of every party.
Ron Paul saw this financial mess coming
It's not like there wasn't anybody who saw the economic woes of the week on the horizon.
On Sept. 10, 2003, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, testified before House Financial Services Committee, which was holding hearings regarding special privileges extended to government sponsored enterprises (GSEs). Think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In his testimony. Paul criticized such privileges in general and warned of the potential for disaster posed by government involvement with Fannie and Freddie specifically.
Paul noted that according to the Congressional Budget Office, housing related GSEs received $13.6 billion in indirect federal subsidies in fiscal 2000 and had a line of credit with the United States Treasury exceeding $2 billion. That line of credit Paul said was an explicit promise by the Treasury to bail out GSE's in times of economic difficulty. (Sound familiar?)
"[The line of credit] helps the GSEs attract investors who are willing to settle for lower yields than they would demand in the absence of the subsidy," Paul testified. "Thus, the line of credit distorts the allocation of capital. More importantly, the line of credit is a promise on behalf of the government to engage in a huge unconstitutional and immoral income transfer from working Americans to holders of GSE debt."
As Paul saw the situation some five years ago, the government backing isolated GSE management from market discipline. If Fannie and Freddie were not underwritten by the federal government, he told the committee, investors would demand the institutions held to higher management and accounting practices.
"Ironically, by transferring the risk of a widespread mortgage default, the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market," Paul predicted. "This is because the special privileges granted to Fannie and Freddie have distorted the housing market by allowing them to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions. As a result, capital is diverted from its most productive use into housing. This reduces the efficacy of the entire market and thus reduces the standard of living of all Americans.
"Despite the long-term damage to the economy inflicted by the government's interference in the housing market, the government's policy of diverting capital to other uses creates a short-term boom in housing," Paul went on. "Like all artificially created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have otherwise been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing.
"I hope today's hearing sheds light on how special privileges granted to GSEs distort the housing market and endanger American taxpayers," Paul concluded. "Congress should act to remove taxpayer support from the housing GSEs before the bubble bursts and taxpayers are once again forced to bail out investors who were misled by foolish government interference in the market."
On the same day, Paul introduced the "Free Housing Market Enhancement Act." The legislation would have removed government subsidies from the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), and the National Home Loan Bank Board. The bill had no cosponsors; it stalled in the committee process.
A plan at ready
You democrats sure have some ego........................................
Hava-gafa-kasha, will you outright admit that the Free Housing Market Enhancement Act of 2003 sponsored by Dr. Paul would have blunted the housing bubble saving millions of Americans? Will you outright admit that democrats like Barney Frank, Maxine Waters and Gregory Meeks ought to be relieved of their duties for such egregious actions during the House Financial Services Meeting on September 10, 2003?
Let me guess. The solution is more regulation over the private sector...............
Bleeding Cash Conservatives Wasting Money To Punish Vulnerable Americans
Posted: 06/04/2012 12:01 am
Not so long ago, the term "bleeding heart liberal" had currency in American politics as a way to accuse someone of costly naïveté. Here was a label that could be slapped on anyone who advocated policies that aimed for fairness and decency, pursuing feel-good outcomes at the supposed expense of taxpayer interest, public safety and common sense.
These days we need a new term to describe a strain of politics that has become dominant in many areas of civic life, from the foreclosure crisis to long-term unemployment. We are living through what may be called the age of "bleeding cash conservatism," a time when powerful and mean-spirited authorities waste taxpayer money on their own version of feel-good policies that punish vulnerable people who have landed in trouble.
We see this notion at work in the continued unwillingness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the government-controlled mortgage behemoths -- to write down loan balances for underwater borrowers (those who owe the bank more than their homes are worth). Housing experts and even economists inside these two institutions have calculated that forgiving some loan balances would be a net benefit to the American taxpayer, who is now on the hook for Fannie's and Freddie's books. It would limit foreclosures, keep more people in their homes and stabilize home prices.
But Fannie and Freddie's overseer, the Bush administration holdover Edward J. DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has repeatedly rebuffed appeals to pragmatism and arithmetic, instead preferring to wage ideological war against troubled borrowers.
DeMarco has maintained that he is championing the interests of taxpayers by refusing to expend more funds on homeowner relief. But this is bogus accounting that ignores the ways in which taxpayers continue to suffer the costs of the foreclosure crisis, from abandoned homes that sap communities of vitality to continued pressure on home prices as the market tries to figure out how much more distressed inventory must be absorbed.
Underwater borrowers defer maintenance on their homes, and they are more likely to slide into foreclosure. With this in mind, the Obama administration sweetened the pot, tripling the incentives that Fannie and Freddie receive when they cut principal balances, eliciting promises of a reassessment from DeMarco. But he has merely delayed since then, while releasing intellectually dishonest analyses of the effects of principal reduction that have been doctored to buttress his view that doing nothing is best.
DeMarco is a classic bleeding cash conservative. He is intent on delivering a message to homeowners who took on more than they could afford: This can only end in your ruination. He is more interested in teaching this moral parable than in getting the country past its housing crisis.
We see this same strain of thought at work in Congress and in state houses across the land, where Republicans have managed to limit the continuation of emergency unemployment benefits for many of the 5.1 million people who have been officially jobless for sixth months or longer.
Unemployment checks are the sort of expenditure that is virtually guaranteed to stimulate economic activity, because just about anyone who has been out of work for that long is desperate -- so desperate that whatever cash they possess tends to get spent on basic needs, like groceries. But in the toxic politics of today, "stimulus" is a tainted word, one whose very usage guarantees derision. Legislators in charge of the purse strings would rather pander to those inclined to see jobless people as deadbeats and losers than acknowledge the reality that people who have no money are starving the economy of spending power and limiting job creation for everyone.
They are bleeding cash conservatives, adopting policies that are guaranteed to weaken the economy while pursuing outcomes that feel satisfying, bravely drawing the line on sending a few hundred dollars a month to people who would presumably use their checks to buy yachts and country estates.
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