Sunday Roast: Amend 2012

Robert Reich, in his capacity as Chair of the National Governing Board of Common Cause, explains the effect Citizens United has had on our democracy.  In order to remedy this awful ruling by the Roberts Court, which drowns the political process in more unchecked money than we even know at this point, we need to pass an amendment to the Constitution.  You can find lots of information at Amend2012.

An amendment to get the money out of politics is a grand idea, but how much damage will be done between now and then — assuming we can get anything out of our broken Congress, and then get 38 states in a divided nation to agree.  Seems like a pretty steep mountain, although well worth doing.

This is our daily open thread — You know what to do.


143 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: Amend 2012

  1. It will be easier to keep a Democrat in the White House, and a majority in the confirming Senate, until enough of the Fascist Five have died or resigned due to ill health, and the makeup of the Supreme Court can be changed, to overturn Citizen’s United. Too many state legislatures are corporate controlled right now, to expect a Constitutional amendment to pass.

    ‘You Fascists ‘Bound To Lose’ played on Monday’s Thom Hartmann Show (I was listening to the video) as I was writing the words ‘Fascist Five’. That was cool.

  2. According to Conservatives, non-US citizens aren’t entitled to the same constitutional rights as citizens. If this is to be considered true, then it would follow that fetuses would then, by the 14th amendment, not be US citizens, since they have not been born, or naturalized.

  3. Good morning. My family spent the night and we had breakfast and fun together. They just left to head home. I’ve been awake, I just didn’t have computer time.

  4. Professor Reich, I have respected your opinion for many years but I feel the solution proposed is too little too late.
    Passing an amendment is not the solution.
    Impeachment and removing the offending Justices for failing to maintain their oath of the Supreme Court to defend the constitution is the cure.
    Anyone in that position of power that even remotely believes that a corporation has the same rights as a flesh and blood human, has not been vetted properly for the good of the nation and needs serious psychological evaluation.

    • I wish he’d gone out on a note of “Fuck yeah, I called the cops on that child rapist,” rather than “I didn’t know what to do, so I kept the child rapist on the payroll, and pretended nothing happened.”

      My condolences to his family.

  5. An amendment to get the money out of politics is a grand idea, but how much damage will be done between now and then — assuming we can get anything out of our broken Congress, and then get 38 states in a divided nation to agree.. Seems like a pretty steep mountain, although well worth doing.

    I agree that it’s well worth it, but remember that Phyllis Schlafly managed to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment by getting just 13 states to reject it. It’s right that it should be easier to stop an amendment than to pass a new one, but only if it’s done for the right reasons. Schlafly lied to get her way, and there is no reason to think that the Koch Brothers and other rich people won’t lie to defeat this amendment. The key is not to have any time limits in the wording of the proposed amendment, so that it can take as long as it takes. ERA had a seven-year time limit.

  6. I kept my head under the covers longer than usual this morning.
    It’s raining some more.

    • It rains every third day here. That’s keeping the temps above normal, but I’m tired of the soggy ground. Yesterday I went to work early to beat a storm that was moving in. I sat down at the break table to eat a biscuit and the bottom dropped out before I could finish a bite.

          • Actually I do. I looked hard and finally found the perfect sized flat(ish) basalt stone, which nests neatly atop my propane camp stove. Mostly it’s to accumulate heat and keep the coffee pot warm. Works for drying socks too!

  7. TtT bait: asked 191 famous thinkers “What is Your Favorite Deep, Elegant, or Beautiful Explanation?” Daniel Dennett’s choice:

    “I was told some years ago that the reason why some species of sea turtles migrate all the way across the South Atlantic to lay their eggs on the east coast of South America after mating on the west coast of Africa is that when the behavior started, Gondwanaland was just beginning to break apart (that would be between 130 and 110 million years ago), and these turtles were just swimming across the narrow strait to lay their eggs. Each year the swim was a little longer—maybe an inch or so—but who could notice that? Eventually they were crossing the ocean to lay their eggs, having no idea, of course, why they would do such an extravagant thing.

    What is delicious about this example is that it vividly illustrates several important evolutionary themes: the staggering power over millions of years of change so gradual it is essentially unnoticeable, the cluelessness of much animal behavior, even when it is adaptive, and of course the eye-opening perspective that evolution by natural selection can offer to the imagination of the curious naturalist.”

    • I’m only now after some 50 years beginning to grasp what the passage of time means, and how things change. Within this short frame of reference and only by having remembered and paid attention to details have I come to a belief in evolution as a process. Imagining change over thousands, hundreds of thousands, and millions of years is still a challenge.
      I’m guessing that those who believe creation happened 6,000 years ago is because for the last 1,500 years they’ve had their noses buried in the same tired book, and haven’t been paying attention.

    • Thanks for the link! A most interesting read.

      This rings so true –

      I have noticed that there is a pattern in the use of the “just-so story” charge: with almost no exceptions it is applied to hypotheses about human evolution.

      ..if you see the “just-so story” epithet hurled, look for a political motive. You’ll almost always find one.

      • Political/religious/financial motivations are nearly universal among non-scientists and far too common among scientists.

        (NOTE: By “scientists” I mean those who demand evidence before belief.)

    • This one has always been a favorite.

      We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor.

      There are Japanese shrines all over Oahu and there’s a monument to the Japanese dead of WW2 at Pearl.

  8. 39 years ago

    Chief Justice
    Warren E. Burger

    Associate Justices
    William O. Douglas · William J. Brennan, Jr.
    Potter Stewart · Byron White
    Thurgood Marshall · Harry Blackmun
    Lewis F. Powell, Jr. · William Rehnquist

    Majority Blackmun, joined by Burger, Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, Powell

    Concurrence Burger
    Concurrence Douglas
    Concurrence Stewart

    Dissent White, joined by Rehnquist
    Dissent Rehnquist

    • Just a little ahead of it’s time!! Very cool. It seems to have all the bells and whistles of a larger camera of the time.

      • And then some. It seems to have through-the-lens viewing/focusing. Off the top of my head, everything I’ve seen from that era was either a reflex or a rangefinder.

        Only the Swiss.

  9. I just looked outside my kitchen window and lo and behold, there were two bluebirds eating the fruit on my winterberry. It was planted as food for the birds and it was pleasing to see that the birds were appreciating the fresh fruit in winter.

    Now back to your regular programming.

  10. Rick Santorum was glitter bombed yesterday. Couldn’t happen to a bigger homophobe could it. I hope his head is still exploding.

  11. Hit your fundie friends with this one.

    Paula Kirby argues that heaven, as it is often imagined, would be horrid:

    “In the state of permanent, perfect bliss that is the very definition of heaven, ‘making a difference’ is ruled out. If the difference made an improvement, the previous state could not have been perfect. If it made things worse, the result would not be perfect. In heaven, neither is possible. Even being reunited with loved ones could not add one jot to their bliss or yours, for heaven would be, by definition, a state that could not be improved on. Just consider for a moment the hellish pointlessness of heaven. At least in our real existence our actions have an effect, for better or worse, and it is therefore worth trying to get them right. In an eternal life where we can have no effect whatsoever, we might as well be dead.”

  12. The spinning begins in earnest. It looks like the “librul media” is going let Newt claim he did nothing wrong and neglect to call him on it. It just sickens me that no one in major market media, with the possible exception of a couple hosts on MSNBC who play to a niche audience, has the journalistic integrity to say; “I’m pretty sure you’re lying”, when some jackass is lying.

    • It’s early in the year, and he’s not the nominee yet.
      They’re just letting him run out a lot of rope.

      • It’s not limited to Newt though. Even the so-called “librul” PBS never, ever, says that a right-wing guest is lying. It’s especially telling when they have guests with opposing positions. One will lie, the other will not, and rather than confirming that one is lying they end the segment with “we’ll have to leave it at that”. They are so afraid of the “librul media” label that a right-winger could accuse a “librul” of cannibalism and they wouldn’t even ask for proof.

  13. As if I needed any more reason to pull for the 49ers, against the Giants, Chris ‘Jabba’ Christie just claimed that the only thing New York about the Giants was the NY on the helmet, so he calls them the New Jersey Giants.

    • Odd thing – the 49ers could be in that situation soon. (not a state but city move)
      The City of Santa Clara (where the Niners practice) have been wooing the team to migrate south.
      Land and funding for a stadium are there – if I recall the Football League must do an ok or some such thing..
      SF is still attempting to keep the team in the City.
      IF the team moves to another city they will retain the San Francisco in the name.

      • The Oakland A’s are due to move, no? I think someone (Santa Clara?) is offering to build them a real baseball stadium if they move.

        • That would be the City of San Jose. We can’t afford to keep libraries open more than three days a week .
          No longer have enough public works employees to keep parks clean and fountains working.
          Fire and police lay-offs.
          the Mayor is begging – begging the A’s to come and play in our backyard!
          (Bud Selig hasn’t yet made up his mind if we are in Giants territory or will allow the A’s to move).

          • That’s disgusting. I’m sure the owners of the team can’t possibly pay for their own ballpark, and all that happy horseshit about bringing money to the city is just that, horseshit.

  14. Hello again Zoosters,
    I’ve sorely missed you all and missed being a regular participant these past….4 months?…I once was.
    As has been variously noted only in the non-corporate media, the unemployed work harder (and HAVE TO work harder at finding a new job than the EMPLOYED have to work to KEEP their jobs). .

    Today, I think I may actually be able to multitask quite successfully between The Zoo and my private chores and near-term ambitions without too much conflict,

  15. Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Sunday, January 22, 2012 — 2:19 PM EST

    Gabrielle Giffords Will Step Down From Congress, a Year After She Was Shot
    Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona said Sunday that she would step down this week from Congress, an announcement that comes about a year after the shooting attack that left 6 people dead and 13 wounded — including Ms. Giffords. “I have more work to do on my recovery so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down this week,” she said in a statement.

    Read More:

    • This is sad, but it was inevitable. People just can’t suffer a traumatic brain injury a bounce back. The brain needs time to create new neural pathways.

        • From Daily Kos:

          Giffords will leave behind a competitive open seat, which may be decided according to the current map, rather than the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission’s recently finalized congressional map that reordered Giffords’ district from the 8th to the 2nd. Jan Brewer will soon have to set a schedule for a special primary and special general election to fill this seat.

      • Sensible of her, despite her progress.

        You know, in warfare, attrition is usually more of a factor in victory or defeat tha than outright destruction.

        The GOP, the Tea-Baggers, Roger Ailes’ FOX News,, CNN, Sarah Palin and Dick Armey are culpable as conspirators and accessories in murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, egregious bodily harm and incitement to violence.

        Mission accomplished, fuckers!

    • I wish her all the best for the recovery. She will have a way to go and as she has done so much for others, now it’s her turn to take care of herself. Be Good Brave Lady.

  16. Republican operative Mike Murphy on Meet the Press:

    The reason that liquor sales in the past twenty four hours have quadrupled in Washington, is truckloads of champagne are going over to the Pelosi office, and hard whiskey is going to the Republican office, because Newt Gingrich cannot carry in a general election, a swing state if it were made of feathers. This is a fact of politics.

  17. QOTD:

    “Gingrich … embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive…. There is almost artistic vulgarity in Gingrich’s unrepented role as a hired larynx for interests profiting from such government follies as ethanol and cheap mortgages. His Olympian sense of exemption from standards and logic allowed him, fresh from pocketing $1.6 million from Freddie Mac (for services as a “historian”), to say, ‘If you want to put people in jail,’ look at ‘the politicians who profited from’ Washington’s environment.” — George Will

    ‘Anybody But Newt’ movement is growing….

  18. Things that make me go hmmm….

    Now that Newt has won SC… Which I am happy about, now I wonder if Newt can get the nomination? Paul is just in it for the delegates so he can influence the party and the plank, he said as much in his speech last night. What would a brokered convention look like? I’ve not seen one in my lifetime ( I was too young to pay attention in 68). And do brokered conventions damage the candidate?

    • Heh, 1968 in Chicago, my 16th summer in my hometown. I wasn’t plugged into politics but even I was embarrassed by the spectacle downtown.

      Brokered conventions are by their nature “the cross-training shoe” of nominations. You end up with the the most palatable candidate to all involved. Considering how awful the GOP field is and how much the frontrunners are so loathsome, this could be the GOP’s best gambit.

      • I am happy for the race to go on, because Romney can only get more bloodied in the process. Newt won’t be elected. I can’t see any path for that to be possible, but I worry about someone like Jeb Bush being drafted at the last minute.

      • ’68 Democratic wasn’t a brokered convention.
        Hadn’t RFK been assassinated then the likelihood of a brokered convention existed. (divided loyalties between RFK and HHH)

    • If no one goes into the Convention with it locked up, look for Sarah Palin to show up and offer to “save the day.”

  19. RE: South Carolina GOP Primary

    I heard some vox-populi reporting’ from NPR concerning Newt-supporters reactions to News’s victory and guess what? The were pleased with the result?
    Way-to-go with the cutting-edge investigations of the conditions on the ground and the big-picture relevance, you journalism-majors with your public airwaves and 4th Estate ideals!

    Pardon me for injecting some blindingly obvious conclusions regarding South Carolina Republicans (and the ‘lame-stream” media, copyright Sarah Palin):

    So the South Carolina Republican Primary voters approve of:

    A self-defined ‘intellectual’ whose intellectualism is largely based on random examinations of the 1988 Funk and Wagnall’s, Encyclopedia 1988 edition available from A&P supermarkets, the SpellCheck/Thesaurus/Format features of WordPerfect 5.1 and the awe of idiots…

    A serial adulterer who has changed his religious ‘convictions’ to align with those of a former Nazi Youth member rewarded for his service in covering-up decades of global sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests by being appointed CEO of the world’s longest-established and continuously operational transnational universally tax-exempt unregulated child-porn and healthcare/social-services fraud conglomerate and pro-magic special-interest lobbying organization by becoming Pope…

    A candidate who thinks America and Americans would be better-off if low-wage adults were forced to give up their jobs to even lower-wage children.

    Who thinks that an individual $500,000 credit line with a jewelry company is ‘normal’

    Who thinks anyone who doesn’t earn millions as he does (doing nothing actually productive) is lazy

    Who thinks the majority of welfare recipients are black, when in-fact and of course the
    vast majority are White (and not only that but also significantly Republican)

    Who speaks of personal responsibility but the says “It dosn’t matter what I do, only what I say”

    and who believes the American ‘universe’ and America’s ‘destiny’ revolves entirely around him….

    THIS is who the South Carolina Republican caucus-goers have decided is their favored GOP candidate because….well the important thing is not because they actually approve of any of the above, but what the DO approve-of is that Newt Gingrich doesn’t like niggers but is smrat enough to not say so directly, and therefore is ‘electable’—unlike Romney who might possibly not like niggers either, but who hasn’t bothered to even PRETEND to hate niggers.

    Well done, South Carolna Republicans! Good-luck winning the “War of Aggression ” the second the time around! .

      • Repeating what I posted here during the SC results…

        The Republican Party of today is the party of Newt. I think the best bet for reforming it is for Republican grassroots to nominate someone who so thoroughly exemplifies it, and have him lose spectacularly. It would also be cathartic for the country if Obama finally grasped the moment and took the opportunity to definitively crush — rhetorically as well as electorally — Gingrichism and its variants.

        That’s the change I’ve been waiting for.

        • “if Obama finally grasped the moment “—yeah he really needs to wake up and understand the NATURE of the political landscape, and of pollics in general.

          I while back I pondered on what might serve as a definition of politics and came up with something like this:

          Politics is the pursuit of advantage according to popular perception, whether the advantage is real or not.

          Obama clearly hasn’t been able to tell the difference between practical politics and expedient politics.

  20. David Sessions deconstructs the evangelical obsession with sex. Heh:

    “[E]vangelicals are intensely concerned about keeping pace with the culture around them. It’s a weird form of progressivism, a fear of being left behind by history, even if it is rather spotty and selective. So because sex is such a huge deal culturally and politically, it is “on the brain,” and tends to push that sort of issue to the forefront of the discussion. I think at one point there was a sense, even if it isn’t as raw now, that talking about sex in a frank, explicit way could make up for the ways evangelical theology forces believers to remain culturally backward.”

    • So evangelicals are now in the “3rd grade boy who needs his mouth washed out with soap” phase of their development?

  21. At least San Francisco had a nice lady opera singer do the National Anthem.

    I’m still trying to ken the idea of The Star Spangled Banner, done in the style of, ‘Dude Looks Like A Lady’. (No I didn’t see him sing it.)

    • I did, and like I stated up above, it was treasonous. Apparently Tyler’s larynx in the elevator can’t go the least bit high.

  22. 60 Minutes is animal friendly tonight. Scott Pelley observes the great wildebeest migration in Kenya, then Bob Simon reports on an elephant dictionary from Central Africa, and Lara Logan interviews Jane Goodall.

  23. Obama’s approval, year 3:

    It’s 44 percent, his lowest yet. Rather like someone else in the not-so-distant past:

    Looking just at other elected presidents’ third-year averages, Obama’s 44% is among the lowest, better than only Jimmy Carter’s 37% average in 1979-1980. Ronald Reagan’s third-year average of 45% was similar to Obama’s.

    Obama’s low for the year was 38 percent and he’s now around Reagan’s third year average, 45 percent. Reagan’s low point was 35 percent, but he rebounded more quickly and at this point was at 52 percent approval.

    • If Obama had the manufacturing as a percentage of GDP that existed in 1983, the economy would have recovered faster and thus his approval rating would be higher, sooner.

  24. I finally got to Wednesday’s Thom Hartmann show, and he was sitting there in the dark with four candles burning in front of him as his commitment to the blackout protest against SOPA! 😀

  25. From Mediaite:

    Gingrich talks to a crowd of South Carolina voters about his putting of Juan Williams in his place at that debate, and says “The right to pursue happiness, in my judgment, implies pursuit or activity, which implies the work ethic. I had an interesting dialogue Monday night in Myrtle Beach with Juan Williams about the idea of work. which seemed to Juan Williams to be a strange, distant concept. Something worthy of study in an academic environment, but certainly not something to be subjected to young people.

    [Chris] Hayes reacted strongly to the clip, saying “That is so racist, it makes me want to curse on air.

    That is just staggering.

    And the MSM continues to give Newt a pass with every single racist crack he makes.

  26. What am I doing under a tornado watch in January?

    If you feel like it, go to, pull up the map, and zoom out and look at that ‘thing’ that extends from Chicago to Louisiana.

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