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Now That Corporations Are People, Can They Marry Each Other? What If They’re Gay?

Tales of the absurdity that is America.

You cannot help but feel amused/perplexed/incredulous/angered/frustrated/ready-to-pack-your-bags-and-move-to-another-country by events the past week in America.

After the “stunning upset” Republican Scott Brown (I like to remind him he is a Republican; he seems not to want to tell anyone) pulled off on Tuesday, taking a Senate seat that has been a stronghold of the Democratic Party for fifty-six years, we kind of thought that would be “it.” Alas, we were wrong. But don’t feel bad – even the New York Times didn’t see Brown coming, when, just a week earlier, it asked if Florida’s Marco Rubio would be “The first senator from the Tea Party?” But the Times shouldn’t feel bad either. Robert Menendez, the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee didn’t see Brown coming either. Which is a complete failure of leadership.

Speaking of failures of leadership, millions — and I mean millions upon millions of Americans — are out of work, poor, and impoverished. Six million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income. And yet Jay Leno decides he doesn’t want his job, he wants someone else’s – and takes it, forcing a $45 million dollar severance package into Conan O’Brien’s hands. Now, I like Conan O’Brien, and have never cared for Leno, I’m just saying, only Wall Street’s bankers have golden parachutes that large.

Speaking of Wall Street, it turns out we were all wrong. Soylent Green isn’t people. Corporations are.

The Supreme Court Thursday announced their decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the now-landmark ruling that overturns decades — if not centuries — of campaign spending limits on corporations. Because, you see, SCOTUS ruled that corporations are essentially people, and money is speech. So the question becomes, if corporations are people, can they marry? And if they can marry, and they’re gay (10% of people are!) then will they have enough money to buy their way into obtaining marriage equality for the rest of us? And, how big a wedding will they throw?

The real losers here are of course the American citizen, and democracy. The real winners here are corporations, especially media companies, who will gain big time from all the cash poured into ads. In a perverse way, the SCOTUS ruling might actually even save journalism — all the money being spent on ads (“free speech”) by corporations will actually help the newspaper industry. Will this be the beginning of a new-found romance with the dead tree newspaper? Or will 20% of Americans stick with the Apple tablet? And why couldn’t Air America hold on a little longer? Surely they would have survived with all that ad revenue on its way.

The questions don’t stop there. If corporations are people, can they vote? Do they have to be 18 to do so? And, if health care reform ever passes, will they want to scrap their own policies and help us put back the public option? If the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and soon to be Yemen (assuming Joe Lieberman gets his wish – or until the “counterterrorism and development aid money” Secretary of State Clinton announced Thursday runs out,) continue to grow, and we need more soldiers and re-instate the draft, will we see Citigroup on the front lines? Or, just Blackwater? Maybe threat of a draft is what it will take to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and quell talk of “kicking that can down the road,” and “separate but equal showers.”

Of course, the greatest question — and anyone with an imagination can answer this — is, if money is speech, does he who hath the most money speak loudest? Do actions still speak louder than words? And does he who speaks last have the last laugh?

It is always amusing to think of Charlton Heston, the man who played Moses, and the man who was an active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement — before he flip-flopped and became a conservative and president of the NRA — screaming, “Soylent Green is people!” Regardless of which way his political affiliations blew, Heston surely stirred public anger.

And public anger feels truly broader this week than any time I can remember. This is not the one-shot-deal public anger, but a wide-spread segment of fed-up Americans from the left and the right who all thought they were getting one thing and got another — and that other thing generally has been the shaft.

What I’m seeing is a total upheaval from where America was just a few years ago, to now.

The lunatic fringe that is now referred to as “Tea Party Americans,” by the man who lost the RNC Chairmanship, Saul Anuzis, may have been the most vocal in their frustration with America (although, it’s with an America that never existed – nor was meant to, but I digress,) but fast and furiously, there are others.

Progressives on the left are abandoning their president with as much vehemence as Conservatives on the right refused to accept him — or his birth certificate.

Pam Spaulding said it well: “We told you so, Dems – so can the Netroots play ball now that the smart folks fouled out?

Speaking of the Netroots against the machine, “Activist Americans” (I made that up, feel free to use it, Saul) are pulling their money out of everywhere. HRC seems to be losing members and cash so quickly it had to pretend it was Macy’s and have a One Day Sale Thursday — “true story.” (I put “true story” in quotes because I just can’t let go of Pat Robertson’s disgusting, ‘Haiti made a “pact with the devil” – “true story”‘ statement from last week.)

It’s not only HRC that’s seeing its money go elsewhere, Arianna Huffington & Co. is urging Americans — activist or not — to show Wall Street banks the door, and to put their money into smaller, neighborhood banks. (Not a bad idea.)

HRC’s and Big Banks’ plight is really yet more evidence of the turning away from the establishment by Americans. I’m seeing more and more grassroots organizations forming than you can imagine. Which is great, and I truly believe — be it the “Tea Party Americans” or the thousands of activist Facebook groups or LGBTQ activist groups forming all across the country — America is in an upheaval it has not seen since the 1960s.

But forget about Wall Street being too big to fail. America has gotten too big to manage. If only our predecessors could have foreseen the unintended consequences of Manifest Destiny. In fact, we wouldn’t have “Tea Party Americans,” because we never would have had Sarah Palin seeing Russia from her house – she would have been in Russia.  Cries from Texas to secede would have been in Spanish – and from Mexico.

Of course, those nine candidates running for everything from governor to state senator in the Vermont Independence Day Party, calling for their state to secede, probably are speaking English.

So, where’s all this unbridaled populism going?

In, “Is It Time for Civil Disobedience?,” David Mixner reminds us that it is. He writes,

“Let us take charge of our own struggle and stop letting our oppressors decide where we do battle. Now is the time for principled leaders in the LGBT community with great values who are committed to non-violence to step to the fore. Those leaders must be able to articulate to America the great gifts we bring to this nation if it can just lay down its fear and anger. We can only make America a better country.”

In “Soylent Green,” Heston’s character learns the evil, ugly truth, that “Soylent Green is people.” In the past week, we’ve all been faced with an evil, ugly truth: our leaders and our institutions have failed us. The very direction our county is about to turn to is in play, and we need to jump in and move it left. If the Supreme Court believes that corporations are essentially people, and money is speech, once the Boies/Olson Prop 8 trial ends and ultimately (regardless of who wins) gets to the Supreme Court, do we really believe they will rule in our favor?

Who knows. With the upsets and absurdities we’ve seen recently, everything is in play. We need to push even harder. When Scott Brown won, I wrote,

How much time and money has every politician, strategist, and blogger on the left spent licking a finger and putting it up in the air to see which way the Republican wind machine is blowing?

I say it’s time to blow back.

It is time to blow back. Too much is at stake to not — or to move to another country.

This piece was first published, under the title, “Now That Corporations Are People, Can They Marry Each Other? What If They’re Gay?” at The Bilerico Project.

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‘I Feel a Little Bit Dumber for What You Say’: The Nine Worst Moments of the GOP Presidential Debate



The second Republican presidential debate was mired in in-fighting and personal attacks by the candidates,  a vow to wage physical war against Mexico, hate against LGBTQ people, an insistence the U.S. Constitution doesn’t actually mean what the words on the page say, and a fight over curtains.

Here are nine of the worst moments from Wednesday night’s debate.

The debate itself got off to a rough start right from the beginning.

Multiple times candidate cross-talk made it impossible for anyone to make a point, like this moment when nearly half the candidates talked over each other during a nearly two minute segment as the moderators struggled to take control.

READ MORE: ‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate

Vivek Ramasway got into a heated argument with Nikki Haley, leading the former Trump UN Ambassador to tell him, “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”

Ramaswamy launched an attack on transgender children.

Moments after Ramaswamy attacked transgender children, so did Mike Pence, calling supporting transgender children’s rights “crazy.”

He promised “a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical surgery anywhere in the country,” and said: “We’ve got to protect our kids from this radical gender ideology agenda.”

Former New Jersey Governor Cris Christie described the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, who has dedicated her life to teaching, as the person President Biden is “sleeping with.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, as CNN’s Manu Raju noted were “one-time allies,” after “Haley appointed Scott to his Senate seat,” until they started “going at it at [the] debate.”

“Talk about someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like,” Scott charged. “Bring it, Tim,” Haley replied before they got into a fight about curtains.

Senator Scott declared, “Black families survived slavery, we survived poll taxes and literacy tests, we survived discrimination being woven into the laws of our country. What was hard to survive was [President] Johnson’s Great Society, where they decided to take the Black father out of the household to get a check in the mail.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, currently leading over everyone on stage, said practically nothing for the first 15 minutes. He may have said the least of all the candidates on stage Wednesday night. But he denounced Donald Trump for being “missing in action.”

Watch all the videos above or at this link.




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‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate



Donald Trump, again refusing to participate in a GOP debate, teased out the fate of every candidate on stage Wednesday night: he will choose none of them as his vice presidential running mate.

The ex-president who is facing 91 felony charges in four criminal cases across three jurisdictions and is now also facing the dissolution of his business empire, brought up the running mate question around the same time the debate on Fox News was kicking off.

“It’s all over television, this speech,” Trump falsely claimed, referring to his live remarks at a non-union shop one day after President Joe Biden stood on the picket line with UAW workers.

READ MORE: ‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden

“You know, we’re competing with the job candidates,” Trump said, mocking his fellow Republican presidential candidates after he scheduled an event opposite the debate he refused to attend.

“They’re all running for a job,” he continued, as the audience began to boo.

“They want to be in the, they’ll do anything,” he continued. “Secretary of something.”

“They even say VP, I don’t know,” Trump said. “Does anybody see any VP in the group? I don’t think so.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General


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‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden



Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) became defensive and accusatory after repeatedly being unable to answer a reporter’s questions in a press conference Wednesday, held to announce what House Republicans claim is “evidence” against President Joe Biden.

A shortened version of the video posted by the news organization Heartland Signal went viral, garnering nearly one million views in under three hours on the social media platform X.

“Mr. Chairman, question about the timing of all of this,” began an NBC News reporter identified by Mediaite as Ryan Nobles. “You’re talking about a two-tiered system of justice. If I’m not mistaken, on August 7, 2020 Bill Barr was the attorney general and Donald Trump was the president, so explain to me where the two-tiered system of justice comes into play. And then the WhatsApp message you have, I believe, is dated June 6, 2017. Joe Biden is not vice president or even a candidate for president at that time. So where is the direct connection to some sort of criminal malfeasance within these two pieces of evidence?”

RELATED: ‘Everybody Has Seen That’: Fox News Host Smacks Down Republican Pushing Biden ‘Burismo’ Video People ‘Not Talking About’

Chairman Smith could not only not answer any part of those questions, he appeared to forget a portion of them.

“Well, I think the facts speak for themselves,” Smith replied. “There’s over 700 pages of examples of, where people should be very concerned, when you’re talking about um, ah, – what was your first question?”

Smith went on to say, “It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House,” after being reminded them President at that time was Donald Trump. “We need to make sure that the Department of Justice works for all people and doesn’t treat those who are politically connected or wealthy much differently. And unfortunately, we have several examples that came forward by the two IRS whistleblowers, that proves that people are treated differently because they’re politically connected.”

“Are you suggesting that Joe Biden being the president now, is unfairly treating Donald Trump in his indictment?” Nobles asked.

Again, Smith did not answer the question.

“What I’m talking about is the 700 pages that we have before us, which is all the information that came from the IRS whistleblowers, and that’s what we’re releasing right now,” Smith replied, again not answering Nobles’ question. “And I’ll tell you, I would encourage everyone in this room to look at those 700 pages. If you think it’s okay, with what’s in it, then we live on two different planets.”

RELATED: ‘You F**ked Me – I Know It Was You’: Top House Republican ‘Exploded’ at McCarthy After Losing Chairmanship

“Can you explain the timing of the August 6 WhatsApp message? Why is that evidence of some wrongdoing?” Nobles continued..

“I’m not an expert on the timeline,” Smith admitted, before pivoting to say, “I would love to have President Biden and his family to tell us about all the timelines, because it’s really, really unfortunate that we see so many meetings and so many phone calls that involved around official activity that the Vice President has been participating in, and then big sums of money follows later –”

“But he’s not the president or the vice president at that time. Where, where’s the wrongdoing? He wasn’t even a candidate for president,” Nobles pointed out.

“He was a candidate – ” Smith claimed.

“On August 6 –” Nobles began before Smith interrupted him.

“So apparently apparent – what source are you with?” Chairman Smith asked Noble.

“I’m with NBC,” the reporter replied.

“So apparently, you’ll never believe us,” Smith charged.

“I’m asking you a very direct question,” Nobles explained. “You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6, 2017, that demonstrates that Joe Biden was using political influence to help his son. He wasn’t a political figure at that time. The first WhatsApp message you put up, where yo talk about the brand,” Nobles explained. “I’m completely open minded about this. I’m asking you specifically, how does that demonstrate that there was some sort of political influence being put over him, if at that time, he is not a political – he’s not an elected official?”

“I’m definitely not going to pinpoint one item,” Chairman Smith said defensively.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

“You presented it!” Nobles acclaimed. “It was the first thing that you brought up.”

“So apparently, you don’t agree with that. So report that you disagree with it. I’ll take the next question. Yes?” Smith said, refusing to answer any of Nobles’ questions.

Watch below or at this link.


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