The Reverend William Barber at Netroots Nation: Getting Above the Snake Line (w/Transcript)

by: JanF

Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 06:53:18 AM EDT

From Detroit Michigan:

"He wound into a conclusion by talking about how his son, an environmental geologist, told him about how, if he ever got lost, Barber should climb to the highest ground he could find because, above a certain altitude, snakes cannot survive.

'They call this The Snake Line,' Barber said. 'We have got to get America back above The Snake Line.'"

~ Charlie Pierce

"...  if you want to be inspired to build a fusion movement that takes our political discussion above the snake line to the moral high ground, I suggest you find the time [to watch this video]. Lordy...this man is just what our spirits need these days!"

~ Smartypants

Link to transcript below the fold.

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In the News: A Tale of Two Courts

by: JanF

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:42:30 AM EDT

Found on the Internets ...

A series of tubes filled with enormous amounts of material


Two Hours After A Court Strikes Down Obamacare Subsidies, Another Appeals Court Upholds Them

A little after 10am Tuesday morning, two Republican judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered much of the Affordable Care Act defunded. Just two hours later, another federal appeals court, the Fourth Circuit, issued a unanimous opinion upholding the same subsidies that were struck down in the DC Circuit's order.

As we explained this morning, both cases hinge upon a glorified typo in the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare gives states the option to run a health insurance exchange selling coverage to their residents, or they may elect to have the federal government run this exchange. If read in isolation, one line of the Affordable Care Act suggests that only "an Exchange established by the State" can offer subsidies to help people pay for health insurance in the exchange. The DC Circuit's opinion relied on that line to conclude that federally-run exchange subsidies must be defunded.

The plaintiff in the DC case is a woman who worked in the Bush Administration in his Office of Faith and Community. Apparently, nothing says "love thy neighbor" like litigating to deny health care to people. The plaintiff in the 4th Circuit case is a man in West Virginia angry that his freedumbs were taken away when he was forced to get health insurance at a cost of $21 per year.  

The entire DC Circuit has been asked to rule on the case and the split on that court is 7-4 Democratic appointees to Republican appointees.


How The White House Could Still Save Obamacare Even If It Loses In Court

The D.C. federal appeals court initially appeared to throw a stunning legal blow to Obamacare with its decision to invalidate financial subsidies offered through The loss of those subsidies could affect 4.7 million people and send premiums skyrocketing. But the ruling was quickly tempered by a separate appeals court ruling that upheld the subsidies in another case.

[Experts told TPM] that the mechanics of how the workaround could be done aren't completely clear, but the crux would be this: States could continue using but pass a bill or otherwise indicate that the website functions as their state-based insurance exchange.

[Additionally, ] HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell "could make it much easier for a second generation of state exchanges to be established now that the federal government has a viable IT platform for both state and federal exchanges to use."

Or we could win back Congress and pass a fix to the technical language of the law.

More ...

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Weekly Address: President Obama - Equipping Workers with Skills Employers Need

by: JanF

Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:37:19 AM EDT

The President's Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.


From the White House - Weekly Address

In this week's address, the President discussed the importance of ensuring that the economic progress we've made is shared by all hardworking Americans. Through his opportunity agenda, the President is focused on creating more jobs, educating more kids, and working to make sure hard work pays off with higher wages and better benefits.

This week, the President will visit a community college in Los Angeles to highlight the need to equip our workers with the skills employers are looking for now and for the good jobs of the future, and he will continue looking for the best way to grow the economy and expand opportunity for more hardworking Americans.

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Senate Republicans Decide that it *is* Your Boss' Business

by: JanF

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:55:20 AM EDT

From Bernie's Buzz:

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill that would have protected women's right to make their own health care decisions. In the 56-43 vote - four short of the 60 needed - only three Republicans supported this basic protection for women.

Although the vast majority of American women use birth control at some point in their lives, many women without insurance could not afford the method that would work best for them. The Affordable Care Act guaranteed that health insurance would fully cover the cost of contraception. A recent Supreme Court decision took back that guarantee, telling women they could only be covered if their bosses said it was ok.

"The court was wrong and the Senate Republicans are wrong," Sen. Bernie Sanders said. "Bosses should not be able to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. Bosses should not be able to deny insurance-covered birth control to their female employees. Women should make their own health care decisions, not their employers.

"At a time when tens of millions of women use birth control, there is no valid reason to restrict a woman's access to safe, widely-used preventive services simply because her employer does not approve of what should be her private medical decisions."

The Protect Women's Health from Corporate Interference Act would have ensured that employers cannot interfere in their employees' decisions about contraception or other health services.

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Eric Holder - on race, Palin and the DC football team

by: DeniseVelez

Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 15:48:27 PM EDT

 photo AGHolder_zps2ede4d75.jpg

Wingnuts are at it again-frothing at the mouth about Attorney General Eric Holder. Not that they have stopped since he was confirmed by the Senate on February 2, 2009. But the escalation of their hate has moved from contempt of Congress to cries of "impeach...impeach!"

I refuse to link to right wing sites-take my word for it, the attacks are vile. The comment sections are even worse. I think he is the "2nd most hated by racists" black man in America-after the POTUS.

He knows it. It doesn't stop him from speaking out-which he did in depth in an interview with ABC News' Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas, which has escalated the calls for his removal.  

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Weekly Address: President Obama - Expanding Opportunity, Time for Congressional Action

by: JanF

Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 06:45:25 AM EDT

The President's Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.


From the White House - Weekly Address

In this week's address, the President recapped his visits with folks who have written him letters about their own American stories -- their successes and struggles. While congressional Republicans are blocking meaningful measures that would strengthen the middle class, the President continues looking for ways to grow the economy and expand opportunity for more hardworking Americans.

The President again urged Congress to join him, as they were elected to do, in working on behalf of everyday Americans - including those the President spent time with this week - by investing in our infrastructure to support American jobs, and ensuring that the Highway Trust Fund does not expire.

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President Obama: "This isn't theater"

by: JanF

Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 13:11:13 PM EDT

It is emblematic of the hyperpartisanship which has our country in a stranglehold that the president has to remind people that the humanitarian crisis on the border is not theater. But apparently, no crisis or incident (BENGHAZIII!), can be addressed without first dousing the follicles set ablaze by the media and their need to fill air time and print to satisfy the 10-minute news cycle.

From NBC News

President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he is not visiting the U.S. border while in Texas because he is "not interested in photo-ops" and urged Congress to approve funding to deal with the surge of minors illegally streaming into the country.

"There is nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on," Obama said. "This isn't theater, this is a problem. I'm not interested in photo ops."

Obama met with local politicians and religious leaders in Dallas, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, to discuss the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border. The White House has asked for $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis, a request that has been panned by some Republicans who say the president's policies are to blame for migrant children believing they can stay in the country illegally.

Pardon me, the president's policies??? The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill that reflected the president's policies and which would have helped mitigate this crisis, including some of the money that is now part of an emergency request. But the Republican House of Representatives would not take up the bill because they knew it would pass and that would enrage the nativist wing of the increasingly wingnutty Republican Party. And it is more important to keep their base frothing for the mid-term elections than to solve problems.
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Keeping Our Eyes on the Movement

by: DeniseVelez

Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 15:50:10 PM EDT

 photo MoralFreedomSummer_zps222d3de8.jpg

One of the things that for me is disheartening is the lack of national attention being focused on the Moral Mondays grass-roots fusion movement that is growing throughout the south.

We cannot depend on the Traditional Media (TM) to carry the message. While TM sources are willing to pay tribute to civil rights history events, and commemorations for fallen martyrs, they are far less apt to give headlines to, and follow the groundswell of support for the pushback against Republican repression of voting rights and civil rights.

We have the responsibility to do the work carrying the message, using our social media - email, facebook, twitter, tumblr, you tube and on blogs.

It is not a matter of the information being unavailable.  

I can't begin to tell you how many political people I know who failed to learn about the 80,000 plus people who went to Raleigh and marched back in February.

At that time, the Freedom Summer 2014 organizing was announced.  Well - that time is here - Now.  

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It's the misogyny, y'all

by: JanF

Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 13:17:59 PM EDT

In trying to make sense of The Way Things Are in a post-Hobby Lobby world, it is important to peel away the layers and understand what the Hobby Lobby ruling is and, more importantly, what it isn't.

The Supreme Court ruled that a closely-held corporation can avoid paying for health insurance that covers contraceptive options if the belief about how those methods work offends the religious feelings of the majority stockholders.

Yes, the ruling is a direct assault on common sense in its attempt to assign freedom of religious expression to a corporation.

Yes, the ruling is science-denialism writ large.

Yes, it is a poke in the eye to the separation of powers: where a law passed by Congress and signed by the president can be, not merely ruled unconstitutional, but hacked up and rewritten by a court.

And, it is likely a specific poke in the eye to President Barack Obama who the right wing has become completely unhinged over to the point that they want to nullify the results of two presidential elections and three congressional elections.

What it really is: complete and utter disrespect for women.

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Weekly Address: President Obama - Celebrating Independence Day

by: JanF

Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 12:14:08 PM EDT

The President's Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.


From the White House - Weekly Address

In this week's address, President Obama commemorated Independence Day by noting the contributions and sacrifices from individuals throughout the history of this country -- from our Founding Fathers, to the men and women in our military serving at home and abroad.

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Celebrating 50 Years: The Civil Rights Act of 1964

by: JanF

Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 08:39:17 AM EDT

On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964

The act outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin and gave the federal courts jurisdiction over enforcement, taking it out of the state courts where justice was uneven at best.

The Civil Rights Act had political ramifications as well. Its adoption caused a mass exodus of angry racists from the Democratic Party in the old south to the Republican Party. And the politics borne of hatred of The Other gave the not-so-Grand Old Party the presidency for 28 out of the next 40 years.  

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NPR might as well be called "No People of color Radio"

by: DeniseVelez

Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 16:06:19 PM EDT

 photo MichelMartin_zps466ba2ad.jpg

Well they have done it again. By "they" I mean the mostly white male honchos at National Public Radio. You may not have heard about it, yet. This is par for the course for NPR. Back in 2008 I wrote "NPR cutting black journalist Farai Chideya". More about the history of all this in a bit-but first, the latest.

NPR's "Tell Me More" which is hosted by Michel Martin, will be no more as of Aug 1. It is the only NPR program specifically targeted at a "diverse audience" as they put it, meaning African Americans.  

Lots of times we don't put faces to the voices we hear on the radio. So you may not know who Michel Martin is.  

A brief bio:

Michel McQueen Martin is an American journalist and correspondent for ABC News and National Public Radio. After ten years in print journalism, Martin has for the last 15 years become best known for her news broadcasting on national topics.

A Brooklyn, New York native, Michel Martin attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire as part of the fifth class of females to graduate from the formerly all-male school. In 1980, Martin graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College of Harvard University, then pursued post graduate work at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C.

After working the local news beat for The Washington Post and becoming White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Martin joined ABC News in 1992. At ABC, Martin has reported for Nightline, and was awarded an Emmy for a report that aired on Day One. In 2001, she hosted the PBS show Life 360. Since April 2007, she has hosted Tell Me More for National Public Radio (NPR). As the host of Tell Me More, Martin focuses heavily on topics of race, religion, and spirituality. Upon the announcement by NPR of the cancellation of Tell Me More, to be effective 1 August 2014.

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SCOTUS Watch - Monday, June 30th - UPDATE: Hobby Lobby wins, women lose; Harris wins narrow ruling

by: JanF

Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:45:12 AM EDT

SCOTUS Watch ...

All eyes turn to the court


The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for orders starting at 9:30 Eastern. The two remaining opinions will be released starting at 10:00am. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link today starting at 9:15 Eastern .

SCOTUSblog: October 2013 Term, cases pending

DECISION: Harris wins her suit but Abood not overturned. PDF decision from SCOTUS

Harris v. Quinn, No. 11-681 [Arg: 1.21.2014]

Issue(s): (1) Whether a state may, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, compel personal care providers to accept and financially support a private organization as their exclusive representative to petition the state for greater reimbursements from its Medicaid programs; and (2) whether the lower court erred in holding that the claims of providers in the Home Based Support Services Program are not ripe for judicial review.


DECISION: Hobby Lobby wins right to discriminate against its female employees. PDF decision from SCOTUS

Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, No. 13-356 [Arg: 3.25.2014]

Issue(s): Whether the religious owners of a family business, or their closely held, for-profit corporation, have free exercise rights that are violated by the application of the contraceptive-coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, No. 13-354 [Arg: 3.25.2014]

Issue(s): Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb et seq., which provides that the government "shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest, allows a for-profit corporation to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation's owners.


Commentary below ...

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Weekly Address: President Obama - Growing Our Economy from the Middle Out

by: JanF

Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 06:19:40 AM EDT

The President's Weekly Address post is also the Weekend Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.


From the White House - Weekly Address

In this week's address, the President discussed his recent trip to Minneapolis where he met a working mother named Rebekah, who wrote the President to share the challenges her family and many middle-class Americans are facing where they work hard and sacrifice yet still can't seem to get ahead. But instead of focusing on growing the middle class and expanding opportunity for all, Republicans in Congress continue to block commonsense economic proposals such as raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance and making college more affordable.

The President will keep fighting his economic priorities in the weeks and months ahead, because he knows the best way to expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans and continue to strengthen the economy is to grow it from the middle out.

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#StandWithTexasWomen - anniversary celebration

by: anotherdemocrat

Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 15:07:30 PM EDT

Last night, Wendy Davis spoke to a huge crowd in Austin to celebrate the anniversary of her filibuster. I met the political director of Battleground Texas at the event & promised a diary, so here it is. if you want to skip the pictures & fangirling, and just help us turn Texas blue, you can do that right here: Battleground Texas: What Will You Do?

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by: DeniseVelez

Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 16:03:45 PM EDT

 photo JamilaLyiscott_zps01a97934.jpg

I was thinking this week about some of the things I am often told, in a purportedly complimentary mode, about my speech, and writing ability. Have heard these things since I was a child, and after a while it gets tedious. If I had a dollar for every time I've been told I'm "articulate", "well-spoken" or simply "you write so well" from teachers, acquaintances, employers and strangers I'd be rich. I get it tossed at me in two modes- folks who assume cause I'm black that my speaking and writing American Standard English is some major achievement-and for those who have mistakenly assumed I'm Puerto Rican that somehow I've managed to transcend Spanglish/broken English as my primary language. I used to snap back and say "what do you expect from the daughter of a PhD in English Literature and Drama?", adding, "I speak Middle English too" and then spout Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Prologue..."Whan that aprill with his shoures soote, the droghte of march hath perced to the roote, and bathed every veyne in swich licour ". I don't bother any more. I just lift an eyebrow.

I was reminded of this when listening/watching Jamila Lyiscott's Ted Talk this week.  

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ACTION ITEM: Petition to free journalists imprisoned in Egypt

by: Strummerson

Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 13:20:58 PM EDT

I'm guessing many of you have come across this today elsewhere.  If you haven't, please sign and share:

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

DICK Cheney Should Really Really Really Shut the FREAK Up Already

by: Strummerson

Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 17:03:56 PM EDT

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Actually, that's basically the whole diary.  The only thing I want to hear from him is an unqualified apology.  And I doubt he's ever apologized to anyone.  Not to Leahy for cussing him out on the floor of the Senate.  Not to the chap he shot in the face.  No one.  I'll bet if he accidentally stepped on your foot and spilled hot coffee down your shirt in an elevator he wouldn't apologize.  

I don't want to read about Megyn Kelly "schooling" him.  Why should she get to use him to feign journalistic responsibility and rational thought?  I don't want Rand Paul and Pat Buchanan using him to create an illusion of vibrant political diversity in the GOP.  I don't want anyone beyond the local Jackson Hole media covering him.  

So, that's my argument.  He should really really really shut the FREAK up already.  Really.

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America and the world

by: rb137

Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 22:20:41 PM EDT

 photo 87f794cc-9c57-425c-869e-5fb9d7456858_zpse3655caf.jpg

Happy Solstice, everyone. At my house we celebrate this day with the mantra, "May you walk in peace and love."

I work in non-profit. In short, I translate perspectives from people living in a war-addled country for a western ear. An American ear.

As I watch the media whip into a froth about Iraq, I can't help but notice that our perceptions about nation building are similar to our more misguided ideas about humanitarian aid. They both start by thinking that "they" are a problem that "we" can solve. Or control.

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Sun, sun, sun ... here it comes!

by: JanF

Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:59:50 AM EDT

Today marks the Summer Solstice. Astronomically, it looks like this:

The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the Earth's axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'. The seasonal significance of the Summer Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. That will occur on June 21st at 10:51 UTC (6:51am Eastern, 5:51am Central, 4:51am Mountain, and 3:51am Pacific Time).

Today and tomorrow the sunrise (near where I live) will be 5:15am and sunset will be 8:29pm ... 15 hours and 14 minutes of sunlight. On Winter Solstice, six loooong months ago, sunrise was at 7:15am and sunset was at 4:22pm, barely 9 hours of sunlight.

On Monday, the sunrise will be one minute later, signalling the waning of the year. But that's Monday and today we have 914 minutes of sunlight to enjoy!!

(Don't forget to hover!)  

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Weekly Address: President Obama - Bringing our Workplace Policies into the 21st Century

by: JanF

Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:33:37 AM EDT

The President's Weekly Address post is also the Weekend Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.


From the White House - Weekly Address

In this week's address, the President previewed Monday's first-ever White House Summit on Working Families where he will bring together businesses leaders and workers to discuss the challenges that working parents face every day and lift up solutions that are good for these families and American businesses. Many working families can't afford basic needs like childcare or receive simple benefits such as paid family leave that are common in most countries around the world.

When hardworking Americans are forced to choose between work and family, America lags behind in a global economy.  To stay competitive and economically successful, America needs to bring our workplace policies into the 21st century.

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In the News: John D'OH!

by: JanF

Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:48:02 AM EDT

Found on the Internets ...

Perhaps things have turned out badly


John Doe prosecutors accuse Scott Walker of running 'criminal scheme' during recalls

Schmitz cited a May 2011 email from Walker to prominent Republican strategist Karl Rove saying that Johnson would lead the coordination.

"Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like 9 congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities)," Walker wrote to Rove on May 4, 2011, according to the filing.

Johnson, a Walker campaign consultant, is also a top adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group that was active in the recall elections. Prosecutors allege Johnson used Club for Growth as the "hub" for coordination between the Walker campaign and conservative groups engaged in issue advocacy.

Prosecutors: Walker's Campaign 'Tacitly Admitted' Breaking The Law

In a court filing responding to motions from the targets of the investigation, Schmitz countered arguments from Walker's campaign, which goes by the name Friends of Scott Walker (FOSW), and the outside groups about what kind of coordination was allowed under Wisconsin law.

"Movants argue that 'coordination' of political activities that do not arguably involve express advocacy cannot be a crime under Wisconsin law," he wrote. "These arguments fail to recognize or misinterpret Wisconsin statutes, administrative rules, and G.A.B. formal opinions. Movants have also ignored controlling Wisconsin case law. Indeed, in their submissions, movants - FOSW, Citizens for a Strong America, Inc. (CFSA), Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Inc. (WMC) and Wisconsin Manfacuturers & Commerce-Issues Mobilization Council (WMC-IMC), and Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) appear to have tacitly admitted to violating Wisconsin law." [...]

Walker's campaign declined to directly address the contents of the documents released Thursday.

"Two judges have rejected the characterizations disclosed in those documents," Alleigh Marré, the campaign's press secretary, wrote.

Oh, is this one of the judges?
"I am persuaded the statutes only prohibit coordination by candidates and independent organizations for a political purpose, and political purpose, with one minor exception not relevant here ... requires express advocacy," [state Reserve Judge Gregory] Peterson wrote in an order included in documents released Thursday. "There is no evidence of express advocacy."

In the alternate right-wing universe, "elections" have no "political purpose". I suspect this is the other judge.


Datamining from BlueCheddar

The [Journal Sentinel] article says there are 12 conservative groups that are suspected of illegally coordinating with Scott Walker and his "close confidants":
"The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall elections, according to the prosecutors' filings."

So this is why Walker could maintain a placid demeanor through all the turmoil and upheaval that he caused us. It must really ease a man's worried mind to have a powerful, monied team in the wings doing whatever it takes, laws be damned.

As prosecutors state in Exhibit C of the released documents:

"No court has ever recognized that secret, coordinated activity
resulting in "undisclosed" contributions to candidates' campaigns and used to circumvent campaign finance laws is protected by the First Amendment. Accordingly, the purpose of this investigation is to ensure the integrity of the electoral process in Wisconsin."


More news ...

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SCOTUS Watch for Thursday, June 19th plus Open News Thread

by: JanF

Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:36:59 AM EDT

SCOTUS Watch ...

All eyes turn to the court


Until the term ends on June 30, the Supreme Court will be releasing opinions on Monday and Thursday mornings. SCOTUSblog will liveblog here today starting at 9:45 Eastern.

SCOTUSblog: October 2013 Term, major cases pending

McCullen v. Coakley, No. 12-1168 [Arg: 1.15.2014 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the First Circuit erred in upholding Massachusetts's selective exclusion law - which makes it a crime for speakers other than clinic "employees or agents . . . acting within the scope of their employment" to "enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk" within thirty-five feet of an entrance, exit, or driveway of "a reproductive health care facility" - under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, on its face and as applied to petitioners; (2) whether, if Hill v. Colorado permits enforcement of this law, Hill should be limited or overruled.


National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, No. 12-1281 [Arg: 1.13.2014 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the President's recess-appointment power may be exercised during a recess that occurs within a session of the Senate, or is instead limited to recesses that occur between enumerated sessions of the Senate; (2) whether the President's recess-appointment power may be exercised to fill vacancies that exist during a recess, or is instead limited to vacancies that first arose during that recess; and (3) whether the President's recess-appointment power may be exercised when the Senate is convening every three days in pro forma sessions.


Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, No. 13-356 [Arg: 3.25.2014 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the religious owners of a family business, or their closely held, for-profit corporation, have free exercise rights that are violated by the application of the contraceptive-coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, No. 13-354 [Arg: 3.25.2014 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb et seq., which provides that the government "shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest, allows a for-profit corporation to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation's owners.


Riley v. California, No. 13-132 [Arg: 4.29.2014 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether evidence admitted at petitioner's trial was obtained in a search of petitioner's cell phone that violated petitioner's Fourth Amendment rights.


More news ...

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