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Thursday, April 03, 2014

OTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 03, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 4718 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 7 million aca signees and counting, i-95 south, nc, politics

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   901. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4684472)
Flip
   902. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4684482)
This is #### thinking. If you believe abortion is infanticide, you oppose it universally. You maybe get an exception for risk of mother's life, but rape and incest are crimes committed by someone other than that baby you're planning on murdering.


That's only one of the things that makes the anti-abortion crowd a bit queasy. Another is punishing the pregnant woman for having an abortion. They're pretty gung-ho about stringing up the hit-man, but they aren't too keen with punishing the person calling the hit.

Which is doubly ironic, given the zillions of speeches that the Right-to-Lifers have made about "personal responsibility" in all matters concerning sex. But once it comes to assigning blame for all these abortions, you'd think that abortions were being driven by roving bands of abortion doctors, traveling door-to-door like Fuller Brush salesmen from the 1930's, selling abortions to women who hadn't even previously considered the option.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am actually not convinced there would have been much more enrollment without the ACA website stumble. Maybe, but I believe the Mass rollout showed a huge percent of the enrollments came right at the end, which is what happened here.

Sure the politics and optics would have been better, but a much larger help to enrollments would have been less GOP obstruction. The whole ridiculous "Navigator" thing in many red states, the refusal to expand Medicare, the incessant lies told about ACA, basically the GOP did everything it could to hamstring ACA and its enrollment.


Bingo. The GOP basically hates the idea of giving insurance coverage to what it considers to be the "undeserving" poor, and this sentiment governs in nearly every state that they control.
   903. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4684486)
But once it comes to assigning blame for all these abortions, you'd think that abortions were being driven by roving bands of abortion doctors, traveling door-to-door like Fuller Brush salesmen from the 1930's, selling abortions to women who hadn't even previously considered the option.


And for that matter aren't even pregnant.
   904. zonk Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4684487)
#861 - As far as I'm concerned, regulatory capture was exacerbated with the ACA, as it only mandates one have insurance without doing anything to change the monopoly enjoyed by the healthcare providers or address the gross abuses of the insurers. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for publicly-funded healthcare, and think any developed country should have it, but I think the private insurers and hospitals have to be shut out of the equation completely for it to work properly. This would be one of the areas where I'm not staunch libertarian.


I have no problem with this...

But - the political realities were such that you had three very powerful lobbies to contend with and nothing gets done and nothing changes if you try to take on all three at once... None of the three are inherently evil and none of the three need to be completely go NfP/public, but all of the three are enormous, profitable industries who would vehemently oppose necessary structural changes.

The incrementalist approach is to just take on one at a time -- so the ACA 'pain' was almost wholly felt by AHIP (insurance; via federalized minimums and exclusion of certain practices/limitations on others).... AHA/AMA didn't get much of a whacking - many public hospitals grumbled loudly about the elimination of the Medicare 'charity care' reimbursement escalators, but it's the private groups that speak for the association.... and they basically cut a deal with PhRMA - excluding them almost entirely from any effects of the law in exchange for certain handshake cost control measures and voluntary program supports (promises that were howled at as a corrupt bargain - first by the left, then by the right - but don't get talked about anymore because the agreements have largely been kept). You could say that there's a 4th -- the devices industry -- that also took a trim (in fact - the whole "death panels" nonsense actually came originally from a Med Devices lobbyist), but their size and power was dwarfed by the other three.

Insurers, Hospitals/Medical care, and drugs/pharmaceuticals all need some manner of restructuring to get to a point where health care isn't a backdoor money suck that drains other programs (i.e., the whole silliness over the unfunded mandate of Reagan's EMTALA)...

The reality is just that there was absolutely, positively, zero way any changes to the health care were going to happen if you try to take on all three of those entities at once. Just tackling one of them barely entered the realm of possibility.

This is why I can't help but laugh at the whole 'FREE SPEECH!! FREE SPEECH!!!' nonsense -- even before Citizens United, and even before McCutcheon -- corporate interests had very, very, very, very little problem getting their voices heard and heeded.... We already had/have a system where the only political feasible path for policy change requires you to have at least an equal number of powerful monied interests on your side if you want to make a change that affects another.
   905. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4684495)
Sure the politics and optics would have been better, but a much larger help to enrollments would have been less GOP obstruction.


If a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its ass every time it hopped.
   906. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4684498)
That's only one of the things that makes the anti-abortion crowd a bit queasy. Another is punishing the pregnant woman for having an abortion. They're pretty gung-ho about stringing up the hit-man, but they aren't too keen with punishing the person calling the hit.


If a deep red state passes one of those very restrictive anti-abortion laws; or hell, let's just stick with the federal "late term abortion" bans instead; and a doctor, who's business it is to provide women's health care, has a deeply held religious belief that denying a woman her personal health and reproductive freedom is immoral and wrong, does that doctor and his business have a claim to ignore the late term abortion laws in order to preserve his religious freedom?
   907. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4684499)
If a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its ass every time it hopped.


Mentioning bad website roll out - totally OK and Rickey! approved.
Mentioning GOP obstruction and it's impact vis-a-vis website rollout - hopeless wishcasting.
Mentioning eventual success despite rollout - hiding from reality with head in tribal sands.

That is some set of standards dude.
   908. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4684502)
That is some set of standards dude.


Because I never argue with the guys supporting the obstruction.
   909. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 11, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4684521)
This is why I can't help but laugh at the whole 'FREE SPEECH!! FREE SPEECH!!!' nonsense -- even before Citizens United, and even before McCutcheon -- corporate interests had very, very, very, very little problem getting their voices heard and heeded

Irrelevant. Free speech is not about preferred outcomes. I'm not surprised it's funny to you - the concept of free speech only protecting people and thoughts you like is now the mainstream Democrat position that is in danger of pushing me away from my frequent voting for Democrats for good.

And if the only purpose of free speech was to promote positive outcomes, the argument that it was ineffectual *weakens* that particular justification. At least "hindering political speech to prevent bad outcomes" is a coherent, statist argument, where as "hindering political speech in order to do absolutely nothing" is a trip to Hutcheson's Crazy Town.

I have no illusion about Republicans love for civil libertarianism, but Democrats are far better at cutting its jugular than the more scatter-shot, frequently hapless approach of the former.

The fact is that the Citizens United case was a group of people with like-minded political beliefs wishing to advocate against a political candidate. And the government told them no. Austin v. Michigan CoC was essentially the Plessy v. Ferguson of free speech, that was entitled to no more respect than the runny dump you make the morning after a night out drinking.

   910. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4684534)
Conservative "tolerance" strikes again.
Based on the little information we have, seems like a lefty.
   911. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4684536)
People hate the ACA, but they love what's in it. How exactly are those separate issues?
No, they don't "love what's in it." They love a few bullet points listing its purported benefits. How many laws wouldn't be wildly popular if, instead of asking about the laws, you ask about individual benefits, and none of the costs?
   912. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4684541)
As for not paying for stuff I find immoral, I don't think that's how insurance works. My premiums already pay for bypass operations caused by men my age eating too much slave-grown chocolate and feedlot beef, or for reconstructive surgery when it's occasioned by frivolous recreation that devastates the environment; should I scream about that? You enter into an extremely complicated moral nexus when you pool risk with other people.
You forgot about the voluntary vs. involuntary aspect.
   913. zenbitz Posted: April 11, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4684542)
and up to $800 for a ####### bag of saline solution for an IV that costs the hospital a dollar or less.


Actually this in particularly IS the direct fault of the ACA. There is a little known clause that states that IV saline bags must be filled with Baby Jesus' Tears. And THOSE are not cheap.

Frankly, I think $800/bag is pretty reasonable, considering.

Thanks, Obama!
   914. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4684547)
Yup. Hobby Lobby could always just give all their employees $$ in lieu of providing health care. The lawsuit is ridiculous for many, many reasons.
Once more: if they did this, either they would have to pay huge amounts of money to the government, or a huge amount to their employees (far beyond the cost of health insurance). Saying that it isn't a burden because in lieu of violating their religious beliefs they could pay a $25 million penalty is not a serious argument.
   915. zenbitz Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4684549)
DJS (with Kneepants' help IIRC) actually have convinced me that Restricted Political Spending is Restricted Free Speech.

corporate interests had very, very, very, very little problem getting their voices heard and heeded.... We already had/have a system where the only political feasible path for policy change requires you to have at least an equal number of powerful monied interests on your side if you want to make a change that affects another.


This is all true. It is also clearly against the spirit (and current) interpretation of the 1st Amendment. Freedom of Speech has a cost, and that cost is that people say not only hateful and damaging things, but also lies and half truths in order to further their personal interests.

The Right to Bear Arms has a cost - a cost that I think is likely a little too high - but it's right there in the document. I don't see anyone lobbying to actually OVERTURN the 2nd -- that would actually be intellectually honest, if hopeless. Instead they interpret it the way they wish.

All the civil and criminal protections have a cost (too lazy to enumerate the specific amendments I don't have memorized) - innocent until proven guilty is a pretty great bennie - EVEN IF YOU ARE ACTUALLY GUILTY. Obviously, it benefits society if all the guilty criminals are punished correctly.

I differ with DJS in that I would rather continue voting for the guys willing to give more of the life essence they steal (AT GUNPOINT) to the poor rather than to the rich.
   916. zenbitz Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4684550)
David -
What's your opinion on "mandatory" auto insurance?
   917. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4684553)
Please apply this theory of religious exemption from public laws to the followers of Anton LaVey. If I am an Ubermensch, if I am the law and king of my own being and create my reality as I go, which is a fundamental precept of LeVeyan Satanism, how exactly is a law prohibiting me from doing anything - theft, rape, murder; anything - not a violation of my religious freedom?
Sigh. It might be. But the RFRA¹ doesn't say that religious freedom trumps all laws. The RFRA says that religion trumps laws unless there's a compelling government interest and the laws are narrowly tailored.


¹ It's a statute (a nearly-unanimously-passed one), not a "theory" of religious exemption.
   918. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4684555)
DJS (with Kneepants' help IIRC) actually have convinced me that Restricted Political Spending is Restricted Free Speech.


Well I have a problem with treating corporations and other similar organizations as people. They are not. An organization does not have any of the rights we should accord to people. The people of the organization have those rights, but the legal entity should not.

So I have no problem allowing people to contribute in political dialogue (cash money, dollar bill ya'll), but legal constructs, they can STFU.

EDIT: And similarly with religious exemptions. People should have religious freedom. Corporations are legal fictions, virtual entities, and deserve nothing of the sort.
   919. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4684556)
Hey look ACA. And I said "ACA started life as a GOP alternative to (the superior) single payer" which it did. You said that was totally wrong. You are incorrect. It did start life as a Heritage and a GOP pushed alternative to single payer.

David, you are just flat wrong. Man up and admit it.
No, you're flat wrong. Man up and admit it. The Heritage proposal was not the "ACA starting life." The Heritage proposal and the ACA both had an individual mandate of sorts in them. That's it. The ACA did not evolve from the Heritage proposal. It did not derive from the Heritage proposal. The ACA simply happened to share -- described at a high level of abstraction, because the mandates were for very different things -- one feature of the Heritage proposal.
   920. BDC Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4684558)
Count me as another liberal who's not overly vexed about removing limits on campaign contributions and other deregulations of political speech. Free means free.

Though one does have to consider if free speech means the freedom to drown out everybody else's speech.
   921. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4684560)
I'll be fascinated to hear the originalist arguments that the First Amendment applies to for-profit corporations (of which there were exactly 7 in the entire US in 1790). I posed this challenge at Volokh while DMN was there and was deafened by the silence in response.
   922. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4684562)
The Heritage proposal and the ACA both had an individual mandate of sorts in them. That's it. The ACA did not evolve from the Heritage proposal. It did not derive from the Heritage proposal. The ACA simply happened to share -- described at a high level of abstraction, because the mandates were for very different things -- one feature of the Heritage proposal.


Scott Lemieux has convinced me that this is basically correct in terms of most of the essential features of the ACA. What makes the ACA conservative in spirit is that it attempts to fix the market failures which plague health insurance and create an actual insurance market. The liberal solution is now and always has been single payer.
   923. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4684563)
The Heritage proposal was not the "ACA starting life."


Take it up with Wikipedia and the sources they cite, because they clearly state that the idea of using an individual mandate and subsidies (just like ACA has) was a Heritage idea that was cheered by the GOP. And since it is the mandate that you are so unhappy with I find it very amusing that you are now pretending that the fact they both have mandates (and also subsidies paid for by taxes, another thing you hate about both I assume) is of no consequence.

The entire structure of ACA is built around the idea of a mandate and subsidy structure. Just like what Heritage proposed. Quite a coincidence I guess. Where did ACA get its start? Was it RomneyCare (signed by a GOP gov and which got its start from the same heritage proposal), or was it immaculate conception? Brought down by the gods by a messenger with wings on his tennis shoes?

I said that is where ACA got its start and simple logic and sources I have linked to agree with me. You have the impressive assertions of "not remotely true" and "just happened to share" which is not very convincing I am afraid. But I get you are unable to admit you are wrong, it is OK man, cry it out.
   924. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4684566)
Scott Lemieux has convinced me that this is basically correct in terms of most of the essential features of the ACA.


What essential features that don't include a mandate and a subsidy? I am honestly curious how the idea of using the markets combined with a mandate and subsidy in one proposal is completely like those exact same features in another proposal (but one does not spring from the other). I mean there are legion of differences, I never said they were the same, but you really think it is "not remotely true" that ACA got its start with the Heritage proposal? Really?

The liberal solution is now and always has been single payer.


Sure, but the Democratic coalition has a pile of centrists in it and not just liberals. The liberals had to compromise, as we often do.
   925. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4684571)
What essential features that don't include a mandate and a subsidy?


DMN linked to Lemieux's posts, which explain it in detail. Basically, the Heritage plan was for mandatory catastrophic coverage with subsidies for some. At a sufficiently high level of generality -- "mandatory" and "subsidy" -- we can trace a path from there to the ACA. But the Heritage plan didn't contain any other features of the ACA: no kids on parents coverage, no comprehensive coverage, no Medicaid expansion, no exchanges, etc. (I can't recall offhand what it did with pre-existing conditions). All it really did -- and remember, it was a phony plan to begin with; they never intended for it to be adopted, they just threw it out there so Rs could claim to have a "plan" which they would never adopt -- was recognize the fundamental fact that subsidies and mandates can't exist without each other. That's more of a logical point than a true historical trail.
   926. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4684576)
Count me as another liberal who's not overly vexed about removing limits on campaign contributions and other deregulations of political speech. Free means free.


Me too. And I'd much rather have this stuff run by campaigns than shadowy PACs, although I suspect that won't disappear entirely.

I wonder if the stratification of our media will eventually lessen the impact of money in politics, if it hasn't already. I mean most political ads run during the news. Who watches the news anymore? Internet ads tend to be much lower cost. I think the impact of money on politics tends to get exaggerated. Sheldon Adelson sure spent a lot of money to win zero elections last time around.
   927. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4684577)
recognize the fundamental fact that subsidies and mandates can't exist without each other


I think the subsidy/mandate is absolutely central to ACA. The fundamental premise of ACA and the Heritage solution is to use the mandate/subsidy combination with existing market forces and market players to solve the health care problem and eliminate the free rider problem.

I do agree that the GOP never really wanted to adopt it and it was a "hollow" proposal, but why should that prevent the Dems from adopting the core bits and fleshing it out into something that could work (as they did)? It was obvious single payer would not work* and health care was still a mess, so try something else.

* Politically.
   928. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4684581)
All it really did -- and remember, it was a phony plan to begin with; they never intended for it to be adopted, they just threw it out there so Rs could claim to have a "plan" which they would never adopt -- was recognize the fundamental fact that subsidies and mandates can't exist without each other. That's more of a logical point than a true historical trail.

I don't agree. It's an extremely important concept that forms the backbone of Obamacare. Read the amicus brief filed by the US Chamber of Commerce in the Sebelius case.

edit: god damn it. Another coke to Bitter Mouse.
   929. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4684582)
I wonder if the stratification of our media will eventually lessen the impact of money in politics, if it hasn't already.


I'll believe it when rich people have less influence on politics. And so far there is no sign of that lessening.
   930. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4684583)
edit: god damn it. Another coke to Bitter Mouse.


Diet please, I am watching my rodent figure. But I like your cite, so no need for a (diet) coke.
   931. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4684591)
David -
What's your opinion on "mandatory" auto insurance?


That's kind of different. In fact, I wouldn't object to mandated health insurance that's comparable to auto insurance requirements, one that covers damages from communicable diseases that one causes others.
   932. BDC Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4684595)
I wouldn't object to mandated health insurance that's comparable to auto insurance requirements, one that covers only communicable diseases

Oh great, now every time somebody brings home a sketchy date, they have to exchange insurance cards and call the cops to file an accident report :)
   933. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4684603)
That's kind of different. In fact, I wouldn't object to mandated health insurance that's comparable to auto insurance requirements,


So if you want to live in public, you need insurance?
   934. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4684605)
Oh great, now every time somebody brings home a sketchy date, they have to exchange insurance cards and call the cops to file an accident report :)

All joking aside, I'm actually dead serious - I feel that issues like this are real free rider issues, not artificially fabricated ones. Getting HIV from someone is a different issue than eating too many hamburgers.
   935. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4684609)
Well I have a problem with treating corporations and other similar organizations as people. They are not. An organization does not have any of the rights we should accord to people. The people of the organization have those rights, but the legal entity should not.

I'd feel a lot better with the "corporations are people" idea if corporate executives were made personally liable in damage suits, and forced to sell all of their possessions in order to pay the first installment of the damages.** As it stands, a CEO "person" can direct unlimited money to be spent on political "speech", but if that CEO's product poisons an entire community, that CEO "person" will still be allowed to keep a roof over his head. It's a complete "heads I win, tails you lose" situation, brought about in great part by the "free speech" part of the equation.

**And then let them enter the waiting list for public housing.
   936. zonk Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4684623)
Irrelevant. Free speech is not about preferred outcomes. I'm not surprised it's funny to you - the concept of free speech only protecting people and thoughts you like is now the mainstream Democrat position that is in danger of pushing me away from my frequent voting for Democrats for good.

And if the only purpose of free speech was to promote positive outcomes, the argument that it was ineffectual *weakens* that particular justification. At least "hindering political speech to prevent bad outcomes" is a coherent, statist argument, where as "hindering political speech in order to do absolutely nothing" is a trip to Hutcheson's Crazy Town.

I have no illusion about Republicans love for civil libertarianism, but Democrats are far better at cutting its jugular than the more scatter-shot, frequently hapless approach of the former.

The fact is that the Citizens United case was a group of people with like-minded political beliefs wishing to advocate against a political candidate. And the government told them no. Austin v. Michigan CoC was essentially the Plessy v. Ferguson of free speech, that was entitled to no more respect than the runny dump you make the morning after a night out drinking.


So perhaps 'funny' is a bit too biting... But you glide over the equation of 'speech' to 'money' far too blithely.

It's not at all about protecting only the speech I like. It's not even the speech that bothers me -- it's the policy that almost always follows the money.

I'm perfectly fine with speech... it's the money I dislike.

An open debate - where all voices get heard (yes, even those I disagree with) - and the policy outcome is predicated on something slightly less sleazy would be fine by me...
   937. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4684628)
All joking aside, I'm actually dead serious - I feel that issues like this are real free rider issues, not artificially fabricated ones. Getting HIV from someone is a different issue than eating too many hamburgers.


At the very least this would require mandatory vaccinations of children and probably adults. Because you really don't want to be on the reactive side of a massive airborn contagion epidemic. You want to be on the proactive, not-millions-dead side of that.
   938. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4684630)
And again, the fundamental error the "free is free" unlimited spending arguments make is the foolish equation of "money = speech." Money is not speech. Money is a multiplier of power.
   939. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4684631)
But you glide over the equation of 'speech' to 'money' far too blithely.

Money is speech. If it isn't, then the only thing that is speech is yelling in a public park.
   940. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4684632)
I'd feel a lot better with the "corporations are people" idea if corporate executives were made personally liable in damage suits, and forced to sell all of their possessions in order to pay the first installment of the damages.

That's just silly, if not outright stupid. Limited liability and unlimited life have been the hallmarks of corporate status for centuries, and it has nothing to do with political speech. Furthermore, the argument is NOT that "corporations are people", it is that Americans don't forfeit their Constitutional Rights based on what form they choose for conducting their lawful business. A newspaper owned by a corporation - as virtually all are - doesn't lose 1st Amendment protections by its corporate status. It's absurd to contend, as the Obama Administration did, that the government can suppress a book or film because it has "too much" political content, and it doesn't matter who publishes the book or produces the film!

   941. zonk Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4684633)
I wonder if the stratification of our media will eventually lessen the impact of money in politics, if it hasn't already.



I'll believe it when rich people have less influence on politics. And so far there is no sign of that lessening.


Josh Marshall had an interesting riff on this today, from the perspective of Jim Moran pulling a Sean Duffy and complaining about low Congressional pay...

Just like Duffy ought to get his head of his ass and realize that 174K puts you in the top 8% of US salaries for a family, even with the travel/two residences (balanced out by gold-plated benefits), sure - so, too, should Moran...

We're the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world. Comparatively speaking, the members of Congress earn less than the average banker, less than the average doctor. Considerably less than the average CEO, who now makes $9.6 million. We deal with people on a regular basis who come to see us who make more in a week than we make in a year.


Of course, I'm not in favor of raising congressional pay - but read the post... There's an interesting point here regarding the problems of income inequality and frankly, going back to the money=free speech thing. Even without unlimited contributions -- even a CEO who has never given a political dime to anyone would have much better luck getting a Senator or Congressman on the phone than you or I would.

If I'm lucky, a staffer might field my call, and then might end up getting it into the hands of someone who might get it into the hands of my elected representative... Chances are pretty slim that I'm going to be having a conversation of any length with said official.

However - regardless of whether I'm Mitt Romney (and I'm using him in the CEO sense, but actually, as someone about whom no criminal activities have ever been alleged; i.e., positively) or Ken Lay... I bet if I call virtually any congressman, I'm either getting put through directly or at least getting a personal call-back.

Again... speech, I have no problem with... it's the access and policy that the money - not the words - buy.
   942. zonk Posted: April 11, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4684637)
Money is speech. If it isn't, then the only thing that is speech is yelling in a public park.


Then what are we doing here?

What are people engaging in when they go door to door during election season?

What is a citizen doing when s/he attends a town hall and asks a question/makes a point?

A letter to the editor? Calling in to a radio show?

   943. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4684649)
I'd feel a lot better with the "corporations are people" idea if corporate executives were made personally liable in damage suits, and forced to sell all of their possessions in order to pay the first installment of the damages.

That's just silly, if not outright stupid. Limited liability and unlimited life have been the hallmarks of corporate status for centuries, and it has nothing to do with political speech.


Obviously it doesn't in a court of law, but it's still a nice example of how the law lets CEOs have it both ways. AFAIC limited liability should be voided if it can be shown that the CEO's hand was in the decision(s) that led to the cause of the lawsuit. Not as a point of law, but as a matter of simple justice, why should R.J. Reynolds pay millions of dollars in damages to smokers, while their CEO's life goes on as before? You'd think that he had nothing at all to do with the products that are sold under his company's name.

   944. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4684657)
Limited liability and unlimited life have been the hallmarks of corporate status for centuries


That's pretty misleading. Before about 1830 or so, each corporation had to be separately chartered by the legislature. Each one was a monopoly right conferred for a specified purpose (e.g., a church; a toll bridge; a college). Virtually none of them were for-profit. The modern concept of a business organization is roughly 180 years old.

the argument is NOT that "corporations are people", it is that Americans don't forfeit their Constitutional Rights based on what form they choose for conducting their lawful business


No one "forfeited" rights back in the days when corporations didn't even exist, so it's pretty hard to see how anyone would today. If a corporation can't donate money, every individual still can.

   945. Srul Itza Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4684662)
Obviously it doesn't in a court of law, but it's still a nice example of how the law lets CEOs have it both ways. AFAIC limited liability should be voided if it can be shown that the CEO's hand was in the decision(s) that led to the cause of the lawsuit. Not as a point of law, but as a matter of simple justice, why should R.J. Reynolds pay millions of dollars in damages to smokers, while their CEO's life goes on as before? You'd think that he had nothing at all to do with the products that are sold under his company's name.


People are confusing shareholders with officers/directors.

Shareholders, being passive investors, are free of liability in their role as shareholders for the actions of the corporation (unless, as in the case of some sole shareholder corporations, it is determined that the corporate veil should breached because the shareholder is the alter ego of the corporation, treated the corporation's property interchangeably with his own, etc.)

Officers and Directors, if they direct the actions of the corporation which cause damage or violate criminal statues, can and have been held individually liable. They can also be sued by the corporation, or named in a shareholder's derivative suit brought on behalf of the corporation, for breaching their fiduciary duty and damaging the corporation (i.e., causing it to have to pay damages). Of course D&O insurance will cover some of that liability in many cases.
   946. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4684665)
I think the subsidy/mandate is absolutely central to ACA. The fundamental premise of ACA and the Heritage solution is to use the mandate/subsidy combination with existing market forces and market players to solve the health care problem and eliminate the free rider problem.


Well, like I said, at a sufficient level of generality, this is true. The Heritage mandate, though, was for something else entirely, and the subsidies were different. Plus, the Heritage "Plan" left out virtually all the rest of the ACA. But yes, the principles of mandate, subsidy and market system did exist in that "Plan".
   947. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4684666)
Money is speech. If it isn't, then the only thing that is speech is yelling in a public park.


Assume a public park. Assume, on one side, you have a box for people to stand on and speak. On the other side, you have a private pavilion with massive sound systems attached, pointed at the park and the other side with the box. Now, have one guy stand on the box and exercise free speech, while another guy stands in the pavilion and exercises free speech into the amplified system. One is infringing the speech of the other, by using his systemic advantage to drown out the other's speech. In Dan's world, this is fine, because "sound systems to amplify your opinions = speech."

It's stupid and fundamentally wrong.
   948. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4684667)
Limited liability and unlimited life have been the hallmarks of corporate status for centuries


True. Which is why corporations are not people, and thus have no natural rights.
   949. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4684668)
849. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: April 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4684381)

I'm opposed to abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk

"Baby killing is murder, unless the baby was made by rape, incest or risks the mother's life; then baby-killing is just peachy keen. Because that baby is responsible for her father's crime of rape, naturally."

This is #### thinking. If you believe abortion is infanticide, you oppose it universally. You maybe get an exception for risk of mother's life, but rape and incest are crimes committed by someone other than that baby you're planning on murdering. If the fetus is a child with a soul and rights and all of that claptrap about zygotic rights we hear from the conservative right, then man up and stop trying to, well, split the baby.

If abortion is NOT murder, if zygotes and fetuses aren't fully formed humans with endowed "natural rights," then stop pretending they are and support a woman's right to control her own body.

"#### thinking" is applying the concept of competing interests to "life of mother" but not to rape or incest.
   950. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4684671)
Don't see any response to my #805, asking what is the Democrats "Fix It" plan for ObamaCare that Bitter Mouse suggested would be the Democrats winning 2014 campaign platform. I'll take that as an acknowledgement that there is no actual plan, no legislation, just another empty political slogan. Or judging from the recent comments, perhaps the Fix It Plan is more happy talk where folks pretend that everyone who signed up for ObamaCare - even those who waited to the last minute before yielding to gun-to-the-head tax penalties - is happy about it.
   951. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4684672)
Assume a public park. Assume, on one side, you have a box for people to stand on and speak. On the other side, you have a private pavilion with massive sound systems attached, pointed at the park and the other side with the box. Now, have one guy stand on the box and exercise free speech, while another guy stands in the pavilion and exercises free speech into the amplified system. One is infringing the speech of the other, by using his systemic advantage to drown out the other's speech. In Dan's world, this is fine, because "sound systems to amplify your opinions = speech."

It's stupid and fundamentally wrong.

Funny how this applies to the Koch brothers but not to the editorial page of The New York Times.
   952. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4684674)
"#### thinking" is applying the concept of competing interests to "life of mother" but not to rape or incest.


No, child. If there are two lives at stake - the life of the "child" and the life of the mother - you can make a semi-functional claim to guard the one (mother) against the other (child.) But in the case of rape and incest pregnancies, no life other than the "child" is at stake. In those interests you are weighing "the burden of carrying a rapist's child to term" against "murdering a baby." The one may be horrible, but the other is, well, you know, BABY-MURDER. And baby murder is a sort of trump card. It sucks for the rape victim, but BABY MURDER.

You want to skeeze out on the question because it's politically inconvenient to follow your "fetal rights" notion to it's logical end.
   953. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4684676)
Funny how this applies to the Koch brothers but not to the editorial page of The New York Times.


Not really. The NYT is press, as is Fox and right wing talk radio. And no one is suggesting that the Kochs can't invest in their pet causes and promote their theories via friendly media outlets. But none of that requires the fundamentally ignorant argument that "money = speech." Money is not speech. Money is a multiplier of power.
   954. BDC Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4684677)
Funny how this applies to the Koch brothers but not to the editorial page of The New York Times

Because obviously the mails and the Internet and other systems carry both the Times and the Wall Street Journal. The Times hasn't bought up every newsstand in America and thrown out all the other papers.
   955. zenbitz Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4684678)
I'll be fascinated to hear the originalist arguments that the First Amendment applies to for-profit corporations (of which there were exactly 7 in the entire US in 1790). I posed this challenge at Volokh while DMN was there and was deafened by the silence in response.


You'd have to find an originalist and ask them. Totally misses the point. If there was no bill of rights, I would advocate extending legal free speech protection to corporations and other organizations.

And again, the fundamental error the "free is free" unlimited spending arguments make is the foolish equation of "money = speech." Money is not speech. Money is a multiplier of power.


True. It's not a == relationship.

Money spent on speech, however, is a multiplier of speech. So is a megaphone. Or a "Free" internet bbs. Or a mimeograph machine. And all those things cost money too. Saying you can have free speech but you cannot spend money on multiplying that speech is RESTRICTING FREE SPEECH. Which is why I am opposed to laws that restrict spending money on campaign ads or other forms of speech.

You can restrict the channel to which the power is conduited -- vis a vis campaign finance law -- BUT THEY STILL HAVE THE POWER. Stopping campaign spending doesn't move us from one dollar one vote to one person one vote.

...it's the policy that almost always follows the money.


But the money will find a way. The problem is not that people/organizations with money spend it on the wrong thing (speech, advertisment) THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY HAVE TOO MUCH MONEY. That gives them too much power.

Ze Libertarians might say (and have on these very boards) that the problem is not the money, the problem is that it can be used to buy influence, because the government is too big - and hence easy to buy. This argument has logical merit, but if you took the government away, you would simply buy the people directly. It's not a corrupt democracy, but rather cutting out the middleman straight to oligarchy. Even if you close all the legal ways to buy influence -- the money will find a way to do it illegally, and then buy off the cops, because what's the difference?

So while I believe in free speech as a "right", I do NOT believe in the sancity of private property (or wealth). So I would basically just confiscate any excess money and redistribute it evenly. Which is what governments do (yes, even minarchies), with varying definitions of "excess" and "evenness"

Another thing that personally isn't a big deal to me is privacy. So if you want to pass laws about DISCLOSURE of political (or any other) spending, I don't have a problem.
   956. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4684679)
On the other side, you have a private pavilion with massive sound systems attached, pointed at the park and the other side with the box. Now, have one guy stand on the box and exercise free speech, while another guy stands in the pavilion and exercises free speech into the amplified system. One is infringing the speech of the other, by using his systemic advantage to drown out the other's speech.

It is black letter law - basic 1st Amendment jurisprudence - that the Government can't restrict the speech of some just so others may be more easily heard. That the leftist speech suppression crowd doesn't realize how much they have abandoned basic 1st Amendment principles is truly saddening.
   957. zenbitz Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4684683)
True. Which is why corporations are not people, and thus have no natural rights.


Which you and I don't believe in. And which has been demonstrated is beside the point.

Assume a public park. Assume, on one side, you have a box for people to stand on and speak. On the other side, you have a private pavilion with massive sound systems attached, pointed at the park and the other side with the box. Now, have one guy stand on the box and exercise free speech, while another guy stands in the pavilion and exercises free speech into the amplified system. One is infringing the speech of the other, by using his systemic advantage to drown out the other's speech. In Dan's world, this is fine, because "sound systems to amplify your opinions = speech."


Yes, people or in this case - organized groups of people - do irritating things. Not all of them are illegal, or should be. Replace the amped guy telling you that "OBAMACARE TOOK UR JOBS" with someone playing "Hooked on a Feeling" over and over again. What's the difference??

The only legitimate restriction on speech -- amplified or not -- is whether it's causing actual damage. For instance, "Hooked on a Feeling" at 14,000 dB might cause some eardrum bleeding. Just to be a bit more colorful than "Fire in a crowded theatre" (which I think should not be illegal per se, but could be prosecuted as endangering people). Setting a crowded theatre on fire (as an art performance) is illegal too, even if it's "expression" - just like religion is free as long as it's not Anton LeVey's (carried out in action -- obviously it's not a thought crime to fantasize about stabbing people in the neck)
   958. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4684687)
No, child. If there are two lives at stake - the life of the "child" and the life of the mother - you can make a semi-functional claim to guard the one (mother) against the other (child.) But in the case of rape and incest pregnancies, no life other than the "child" is at stake. In those interests you are weighing "the burden of carrying a rapist's child to term" against "murdering a baby." The one may be horrible, but the other is, well, you know, BABY-MURDER. And baby murder is a sort of trump card. It sucks for the rape victim, but BABY MURDER.

You want to skeeze out on the question because it's politically inconvenient to follow your "fetal rights" notion to it's logical end.

This assumes that a child conceived by force has a right to life. It doesn't.
   959. rr Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4684690)
It doesn't.


Why not?
   960. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4684691)
You'd have to find an originalist and ask them.


Well, I tried that, but they have no answer. It's kind of odd that they can't support their desire to solidify oligarchy with any Constitutional argument. Or maybe not so odd.

You, not being an originalist, are of course not guilty of this hypocrisy.
   961. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4684695)
Not really. The NYT is press, as is Fox and right wing talk radio. And no one is suggesting that the Kochs can't invest in their pet causes and promote their theories via friendly media outlets. But none of that requires the fundamentally ignorant argument that "money = speech." Money is not speech. Money is a multiplier of power.

"#### thinking," indeed.

Staffing and printing an editorial page costs newspapers huge money. Why that use of corporate money for political speech is OK but it's not OK for the Koch brothers to buy advertising remains unexplained.

***
Because obviously the mails and the Internet and other systems carry both the Times and the Wall Street Journal. The Times hasn't bought up every newsstand in America and thrown out all the other papers.

Neither have the Koch brothers, so it's unclear what your point is here.
   962. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4684697)
Funny how this applies to the Koch brothers but not to the editorial page of The New York Times.

Not really. The NYT is press, as is Fox and right wing talk radio. And no one is suggesting that the Kochs can't invest in their pet causes and promote their theories via friendly media outlets. But none of that requires the fundamentally ignorant argument that "money = speech." Money is not speech. Money is a multiplier of power.

This is another departure from basic 1st Amendment law. The Supreme Court has never recognized two-tiered freedom of speech or the press. Media corporations don't have some special rights that other Americans lack. We all have the right to publish, the right to advocate, and the right to attempt to influence our fellow citizens & government policy. That takes money and such expenditures are Constitutionally protected.
   963. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4684699)
Money is speech. If it isn't, then the only thing that is speech is yelling in a public park.
It's not that money is speech; it's that money used for speech is the functional equivalent of speech. To use the example I always use: if a legislature passed a law banning anyone from spending more than $50 for an abortion, that would clearly violate whatever right to abortion exists. That's not because "money is abortions." It's because a law that restricts spending on abortions puts a burden on the ability to obtain one. Similarly, a law that restricts spending on speech puts a burden on the ability to speak.
   964. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4684700)
Why not?

Forcing a woman to carry a child conceived by force is little different, if different at all, from forcing a person to engage in any other form of labor against their will.
   965. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4684702)
Don't see any response to my #805, asking what is the Democrats "Fix It" plan for ObamaCare that Bitter Mouse suggested would be the Democrats winning 2014 campaign platform.


Not what I said. I said "fix it" is more popular than "repeal it", which it is. As to the details of fix it, well there are politicians running right now on various fix it platforms, I have not done a survey of them or anything. But I did see the survey results suggesting fix is more popular than repeal as a message.

   966. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4684703)
Staffing and printing an editorial page costs newspapers huge money. Why that use of corporate money for political speech is OK but it's not OK for the Koch brothers to buy advertising remains unexplained.


Because freedom of the press is explicitly called out, while freedom to spend corporate money for political purposes is not. If the Koch's company found a press outfit and use that, then they are (in my world) golden. They should not be allowed to have their company spend money though. They should be allowed to spend personal money.

This is not that complicated. People have the right to free speech (where sadly money matters a great deal). The Press has rights as well. Random corporation does not.
   967. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4684705)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Corporations are not people and should not be accorded those rights that we give people.
   968. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4684707)
Random corporation does not.

Corporations are simply groups of people cooperating toward a common goal. Sometimes those groups choose to sell widgets. Sometimes they choose to advocate for free speech, like the ACLU. It's just an "OMG GROSS!" thing for you, just like a reactionary who doesn't like thinking about gay guys marrying.

You're perfectly free to think this way, of course, but let's not pretend it's rooted in anything other than DO NOT WANT.
   969. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4684708)
Not what I said. I said "fix it" is more popular than "repeal it", which it is. As to the details of fix it, well there are politicians running right now on various fix it platforms, I have not done a survey of them or anything. But I did see the survey results suggesting fix is more popular than repeal as a message.

Polls also show that "live forever" is more popular than "die someday." The pesky details are still getting in the way of the former, though.

***
Because freedom of the press is explicitly called out, while freedom to spend corporate money for political purposes is not. If the Koch's company found a press outfit and use that, then they are (in my world) golden. They should not be allowed to have their company spend money though. They should be allowed to spend personal money.

This is not that complicated. People have the right to free speech (where sadly money matters a great deal). The Press has rights as well. Random corporation does not.

Swing and a miss.
   970. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4684711)
. . . As to the details of fix it, well there are politicians running right now on various fix it platforms, I have not done a survey of them or anything. But I did see the survey results suggesting fix is more popular than repeal as a message.

How popular is the "Fix It" message going to be if its proponents can't even answer the basic "Fix It How" question? Or "why didn't you fix it years ago"? The idea that a Fix It slogan will affect the 2014 election is just wishful thinking from the Varmint Caucus.
   971. Dan The Mediocre Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4684714)
Corporations are simply groups of people cooperating toward a common goal.


Under this line of logic, corporations shouldn't have limited liability, since after all they are just groups of people.
   972. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4684715)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Corporations are not people and should not be accorded those rights that we give people.

That's an argument that would allow the government to restrict virtually every newspaper, book publisher, film company & many websites. No thanks.
   973. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4684716)
Under this line of logic, corporations shouldn't have limited liability, since after all they are just groups of people.

Incorrect. Corporations don't have limited liability in the first place. Shareholders do.
   974. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4684723)
That's an argument that would allow the government to restrict virtually every newspaper, book publisher, film company & many websites. No thanks.


So you missed the part about freedom of the press I guess.
   975. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4684725)
Corporations are simply groups of people cooperating toward a common goal.


Even if this were true (and legally there is much more to it), so what? Rights belong to people, not groups of people.
   976. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4684730)
The Press has rights as well. Random corporation does not.
So you missed the part about freedom of the press I guess.

Even if we assume the first one is true — which, obviously, it's not — where would you draw the lines re: "the press," and who would get to draw them?

Media outlets (i.e., "the press") buy space from other media outlets all the time. If the Koch brothers incorporated Koch Bros. Press and then used it to buy space in The New York Times and on NBC, you'd be fine with that?

Assuming your answer is yes, which it would have to be if you believe what you said in the quote, why bother with the added, unnecessary bureaucracy? It would add nothing and change nothing.
   977. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4684734)
It's not that money is speech; it's that money used for speech is the functional equivalent of speech
.

Money used for speech is the functional equivalent of spam -- it's an attempt to drown out others or to prevent them from speaking.
   978. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4684736)
Rights belong to people, not groups of people.

Except, of course, when it comes to the Second Amendment. Those rights are totally collective.

/liberals
   979. spike Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4684739)
Perhaps we should update Anatole France for the new millenia - "In its majestic equality, the law permits rich and poor alike to contribute vast sums to the political class"
   980. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4684740)
Rights belong to people, not groups of people.

Absolutely not true. People have the right to forms groups to advance their cause(s). The unhappy rodent is flat out wrong.
   981. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4684741)
Money used for speech is the functional equivalent of spam -- it's an attempt to drown out others or to prevent them from speaking.

LOL. What next — limiting words? By this logic, famous people should have limits imposed on their political speech, since they have a bigger platform than Bob the Bus Driver.
   982. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4684744)
Even if we assume this is true — which, obviously, it's not — where would you draw the lines re: "the press," and who would get to draw them?


Obviously? Hey at least you are - as is typical - keeping an open mind.

Obviously what is and is not the press has changed over the years, like virtually every part of society has changed since the US became a country. The founders built in various systems that have worked for changing definitions, including all three branches of government. Why do you think our government is incapable of handling it? Odd.

If the Koch brothers incorporated Koch Bros. Press and then used it to buy space in The New York Times and on NBC, you'd be fine with that?


Yes, I would be fine with it. The reason it matters is first of all it is in keeping with what I believe the principles of government to be. Also from a personal standpoint having a press outlet (like Fox News) which is explicitly partisan is fine. Having layers of PACs, Super PACs, corporations, and so on playing a shell game is much less so. I like transparency. I think it helps a democracy.

Again I have no problem with Koch Brother #1 spending his money on political causes. I have no problem with GOPNews Corp being free. I don't even have a problem with PACs and such, but those PACs and such do not have the right of free speech. They can be regulated, limited, because of that lack of intrinsic right.

They are not people. They don't get freedom of speech or freedom of religion or ...
   983. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4684747)
Random corporation does not.

Corporations are simply groups of people cooperating toward a common goal.


No, they are not.
That's what partnerships and joint ventures are. A Corporation (in the legal sense) is a separate entity which has the right to sue and be sued, enter into contracts etc., with no liability accruing to entity or entities which own the Corporation.

I know you are going to say that you "disagree" and I'm sorry while you are entitled to your own opinions you are not entitled to your own facts, you don't get to redefine "Corporation" to mean what you think it should mean. (Unless you get elected to a legislature somewhere and get a majority to pass a law).



   984. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4684749)
Absolutely not true. People have the right to forms groups to advance their cause(s). The unhappy rodent is flat out wrong.


You are wrong. The people have rights, the collective does not have a right to free speech. That does not mean everything they do is illegal or anything like it. Just that those collectives are not people, they are not born, they do not live and they do not die in any sort of human sense.

They can be regulated in ways that people can not.

Note: I recognize this is not how it is interpreted currently. I am expressing my (in the minority) preference. I said that up front, but it has been a while and I wanted to say it again.

EDIT: As a follow on, having the right to form a group is a right people have, what rights that collective has is what we are discussing.
   985. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4684750)
Obviously what is and is not the press has changed over the years, like virtually every part of society has changed since the US became a country. The founders built in various systems that have worked for changing definitions, including all three branches of government. Why do you think our government is incapable of handling it? Odd.

Translation: I don't have an answer.

Yes, I wold be fine with it. The reason it matters is first of all it is in keeping with what I believe the principles of government to be. Also from a personal standpoint having a press outlet (like Fox News) which is explicitly partisan is fine. Having layers of PACs, Super PACs, corporations, and so on playing a shell game is much less so. I like transparency. I think it helps a democracy.

Again I have no problem with Koch Brother #1 spending his money on political causes. I have no problem with GOPNews Corp being free. I don't even have a problem with PACs and such, but those PACs and such do not have the right of free speech. They can be regulated, limited, because of that lack of intrinsic right.

They are not people. They don't get freedom of speech or freedom of religion or ...

So as long as the Koch brothers spend $300 to incorporate some entity purporting to be "the press," your complaint goes out the window? How bizarre.
   986. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4684752)
LOL. What next — limiting words? By this logic, famous people should have limits imposed on their political speech, since they have a bigger platform than Bob the Bus Driver.


two words
Alec
Baldwin

two more

Sean
Penn

want to change your opinion now :-)
   987. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4684755)
So as long as the Koch brothers spend $300 to incorporate some entity purporting to be "the press," your complaint goes out the window? How bizarre.


Well right now they spend millions through a variety of shell companies and various PACs and try to hide what they are doing. If it is such an easy out why have they gone to all that effort, if it makes no difference?
   988. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4684757)
People have the right to forms groups to advance their cause(s).


[Citation needed.]
   989. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4684758)
It is black letter law - basic 1st Amendment jurisprudence - that the Government can't restrict the speech of some just so others may be more easily heard.


Black letter law. So, intellectually inferior and prone to violence?
   990. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4684761)
Well right now they spend millions through a variety of shell companies and various PACs and try to hide what they are doing. If it is such an easy out why have they gone to all that effort, if it makes no difference?

The Koch brothers are "trying to hide what they are doing" like Kim Kardashian is the J.D. Salinger of Hollywood.

But, regardless, you didn't answer the question: Is your objection seriously about the press/non-press distinction, which any non-press individual or group could cure with a $300 filing?
   991. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4684762)
People have the right to forms groups to advance their cause(s).



[Citation needed.]


People have rights to form groups (association), and the right to petition their government. Upon forming, those groups do not acquire new rights of their own. The only rights are those of the individual people themselves. If the framework for forming the group is specifically designed to legally remove the individual people forming the group from the legal consequences of the group's actions (incorporation) then the group itself has no recourse to the rights of the individuals.

Corporations are not people.
   992. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4684763)
The Koch brothers "trying to hide what they are doing" like Kim Kardashian is the J.D. Salinger of Hollywood.


Yes and no. The Kochs themselves aren't hiding their political ideology by any stretch of the imagination. They are attempting to hide their donations behind shells, in order to make it seem the "research" produced by those pay-for-play donations can be trumpeted as unbiased.
   993. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4684766)
This assumes that a child conceived by force has a right to life. It doesn't.


Again, this is you trying to split the baby in order to walk the lockstep GOP line about "pro life" without having to deal with the actual consequences of believing that a fetus is alive and human.
   994. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4684768)
People have rights to form groups (association)


You'd be hard put to locate any such right in the Constitution. That isn't necessarily a problem for you, on the assumption that you're not an originalist, but it's part of the problem the wingers here face.

Upon forming, those groups do not acquire new rights of their own. The only rights are those of the individual people themselves.


Agreed, with some caveats that would be boring to detail.
   995. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4684773)
You'd be hard put to locate any such right in the Constitution. That isn't necessarily a problem for you, on the assumption that you're not an originalist, but it's part of the problem the wingers here face


It's not a problem for me, in moreso than the "black letter law" is a problem for me, because I haven't been arguing Constitutional Law. It's a problem for some wingers - Originalist wingers - but not all wingers. Not all wingers are originalists.
   996. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4684774)
People have the right to forms groups to advance their cause(s).

[Citation needed.]


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958)

"Immunity from state scrutiny of petitioner's membership lists is here so related to the right of petitioner's members to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in doing so as to come within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment"
'

freedom to associate with organizations dedicated to the "advancement of beliefs and ideas" is part of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment...
   997. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4684778)
For the record I agree with Rickey! in 991 and 992. Very well said.

But, regardless, you didn't answer the question


I did answer it. It was even fairly short and used simple words. What part of it confused you?
   998. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4684779)
Obviously it doesn't in a court of law, but it's still a nice example of how the law lets CEOs have it both ways. AFAIC limited liability should be voided if it can be shown that the CEO's hand was in the decision(s) that led to the cause of the lawsuit. Not as a point of law, but as a matter of simple justice, why should R.J. Reynolds pay millions of dollars in damages to smokers, while their CEO's life goes on as before? You'd think that he had nothing at all to do with the products that are sold under his company's name.
That doesn't even make sense. You're all for unlimited liability as long as there's no liability?

Moreover, you don't even understand the concept of limited liability. It's investors whose liability is limited; people are always liable for their own actions.
   999. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4684780)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958)


Yes, I know. My point was that wingers can't rely on that because it's not an originalist, or even textualist, decision.
   1000. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4684783)
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