Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Elections Commission, which challenges the abysmal McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
A large coalition of groups, including the ACLU and AFL-CIO, filed briefs supporting WIRTL.
The legislature passed McCain-Feingold in 2002 to kill free speech before elections. It bars corporations and labor unions from broadcasting ads mentioning the name of a federal candidate 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election. Strangely, President Bush signed the bill into law while saying he thought it was unconstitutional. Almost all were surprised when in 2003 the Supremes upheld the law on its face.
In 2004, WIRTL attempted to run ads prodding Senate members to approve Bush judicial nominees. The ads were blocked by McCain-Feingold, and the court battle began....
WIRTL is challenging the application of McCain-Feingold. I spoke with Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of WIRTL, this morning. She attended the Supreme Court hearing yesterday and said prospects look good for some sort of victory, although it may be narrow. The decision was promised by June 30.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell also attended the hearing yesterday, having filed his own brief in support, and reported to bloggers he was "encouraged by the active and insightful questions posed by the Justices." Noted McConnell:
Justice Alito recognized the massive breath of this provision during a presidential election year - namely a rolling ban from coast to coast during the year. Grassroots groups could never run a nationwide ad on CNN or ESPN as it would violate the law in at least one state.
Justice Scalia stated the time when ads are most persuasive to Members is during the blackout period before elections. This is when the First Amendment right to petition the government is the most powerful. These ads are about changing the minds of Members, not changing the minds of voters.
It was a very interesting session and there was substantial skepticism as to the constitutionality of the law as applied to these issue ads. As Justice Kennedy asked, "isn’t that democracy?"
I am troubled by the influence of money on elections, but I cannot see how McCain-Feingold is constitutional.
It prohibits speech, that's not allowed.Posted by: Hal at April 26, 2007 12:32 PM
Interesting dilema Jill!
McCain-Feingold is a good idea with respect to campaigns, but in this case the application of the law seems to go to far, and it extends beyond the public's best interest in keeping campaigns fair and their contributors transparent. WIRTL should win this one.Posted by: Cameron at April 26, 2007 1:47 PM
Well, bless my soul. Cameron - and Hal?! - and I agree. *bonk*Posted by: Jill Stanek at April 26, 2007 2:47 PM
Shouldnt be surprised, free speech (granted there are certain eceptions due to the feeling of danger, etc that would ensue)is one of the basic premises of the country. Its part of what makes this country what it is.
Its a basic freedom and very few laws should be able to limit it (once again, those few are for certain areas, i.e. threats, etc)Posted by: Dan at April 26, 2007 2:57 PM
While I can see the thought process behind it, I cannot see how this law is consitutional. I dislike the fact that people can be persuaded to vote for candidates by ads alone, but I don't think those ads ought to be banned.
I really do hope that there is some sort of victory; I'm betting there will be. In the most recent (as far as I'm aware) free speech case with this supreme court, the judges ruled in favor of free speech: let's hope they do so this time as well.Posted by: HumanAbstract at April 26, 2007 3:56 PM
Posted by: Cameron at April 26, 2007 01:47 PM
"WIRTL should win this one. "
Does this mean that Cameron has, dare I say, emotions? Can't be.
There are no pigs flying.
I agree with.... Cameron.
AAAHAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!Posted by: Valerie at April 26, 2007 5:44 PM
"This too shall pass"
mkPosted by: MK at April 26, 2007 6:07 PM
* wimper *Posted by: Valerie at April 26, 2007 9:53 PM
Don't worry. 8 pound 7 ounce sweet, tender, little baby Jeebus will protect you. :)Posted by: Rae at April 26, 2007 9:55 PM
Rae! Reference to Talladega Nights? (Mispellings for the win)Posted by: HumanAbstract at April 26, 2007 10:47 PM
@ Less: Yes, it is a total Talladega Nights reference. :)Posted by: Rae at April 26, 2007 11:05 PM
I think Cameron is Hal and Hal is Cameron.
He posts a point under one name and then agrees with himself using another name. Good trick.
Why does identity matter? Honestly? For me I only care if the use of aliases involves terrorizing the board.Posted by: prettyinpink at April 27, 2007 12:41 AM
Do you talk to yourself to prove a point?Posted by: His Man at April 27, 2007 1:03 AM
It's dishonest.Posted by: His Man at April 27, 2007 1:03 AM
Nobody else take him seriously. He is his own best friend. And worst enemy. But we'd miss him/them if he/they left, wouldn't we?
Besides, I don't think he's Hal. I think he is HisBlood and Chuck...the unholy trinity!Posted by: MK at April 27, 2007 5:45 AM
He could be the SoMg.Posted by: Heather4life at April 27, 2007 6:26 AM
SOMG is unique unto himself. Evil personified. Cameron isn't that grand. He's just a blip on the screen of annoyance. SMOG is the real thing.
Whereas Cameron is just easily led astray, SOMG actually sold his soul. Wonder what it was worth.
True MK. I just thought I'd throw that in for the heck of it. LOLPosted by: Holly at April 27, 2007 7:21 AM
oops,I had to put up my info again. That's Heather 4 life.TypoPosted by: Heather4life at April 27, 2007 7:22 AM
For the record, Hal and Cameron have different IP addresses.
Although I'm sitting at my desk with two computers in front of me at the moment, so that's doesn't mean your theory isn't infallible.
I just did a triple negative. Not sure what I said.Posted by: Jill Stanek at April 27, 2007 7:37 AM
Is that baby in college yet? Cuz she will be by the time we see PICTURES!!!!!!
mkPosted by: MK at April 27, 2007 7:46 AM
I just did a triple negative
Gosh, I hope you didn't hurt yourself!
mkPosted by: MK at April 27, 2007 7:47 AM
"Do you talk to yourself to prove a point?"
No, I talk to you to prove a point.
MK, I'm trying to figure out how to send them out of my mailbox. I'm so new to computers.Posted by: Heather4life at April 27, 2007 8:11 AM
I talk to myself to proove a point.
It gets kinda ugly when I start debating with myself though. I don't understand why people think that I have lost my mind? Where are the Lemmings?
This is what happens when we agree with Cameron on something. I lose my mind; Jill uses a triple negative... What next?Posted by: Valerie at April 27, 2007 8:13 AM
SOMG gets ordained a Catholic priest?
Jess becomes a diplomat?
Danielle gets married and has twins?
Less meets me at the clinic this Saturday?
Pip falls off the fence?
Anything can happen.
Lemmings? Did you say Lemmings? I wanted to say Lemmings. Phooey!
"I think Cameron is Hal and Hal is Cameron."
Good grief his man! That probably actually makes sense to you in your own twisted little world.
Hmmmm how can I magnify and exagerate support for Jilltard today???Posted by: Cameron at April 27, 2007 10:45 AM
Cameron,you are pure evil.Posted by: Heather4life at April 27, 2007 10:50 AM
Hal is Gary. Is he Cameron as well?Posted by: Heather4life at April 27, 2007 10:51 AM
"Cameron,you are pure evil."
I know you are but what am I??
Actually I'm impure evil... never been able to live-up to my dad's (satan) standards... then I went and shacked-up with that angel for a few years... I'm suprised he still talks to me.Posted by: Cameron at April 27, 2007 11:09 AM
I agree with Jill for once and I'm accused of being Cameron. I'm not.
For the record, I believe in free speech, I believe in pro-life people being able to say and do whatever they want. In schools, on TV, even, (with perhaps some minor limits to prevent real problems) outside abortion providers. I'm a libertarian(small 'L'). Maybe that explains my pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-free speech philosophy. I don't want the government banning abortion, drugs, private sexual conduct, or speech. I have no problem with private parties trying to persuade.Posted by: Hal at April 27, 2007 11:10 AM
Cameron,I believe you. Sorry Hal. Nobody would ever want to be mistaken for that evil thing. My apologies.Posted by: Heather4life at April 27, 2007 11:18 AM
"For the record, I believe in free speech, I believe in pro-life people being able to say and do whatever they want."
It troubles them so when those they oppose and put so much effort into demonizing actually seem reasonable and thoughtful.
"It troubles them so when those they oppose and put so much effort into demonizing actually seem reasonable and thoughtful."
Well, this would be the perfect place for anyone to be reasonable and thoughtful. I'm already insane, Jill is using triple negatives, the Lemmings have run away and MK suggested the SOMG look into the priesthood.
Anything can happen in here.
It's getting dark..........
;-)Posted by: Valerie at April 27, 2007 11:42 AM
phooey right back at ya.
I found a way to say Lemmings again!
AA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAPosted by: Valerie at April 27, 2007 11:43 AM
Valerie, have you ever seen a picture of a Lemming? They're puffy and kinda ugly. But the word is sooo fun to say!
Totally off topic--> Haha, I'm trying to convince my fiance to go into the priesthood. He has a good grip on the Bible, is a good public speaker, loves people, and is generally very comforting to be around. He came to his faith by his own conclusions, and his beliefs are strong, but he's not pissy about it. I really think that the Lutheran church could use someone like him. Dunno, though.
And MK, I'm looking into volunteering at some places around where I live for the summer, if I have time. ; )Posted by: HumanAbstract at April 27, 2007 2:17 PM
HUH? joke or serious? With the Haha at the beginning I'm confused.
I've been so confused all week! I'm beginning to think that the pharmacist gave me placebo's instead of my adderall! ;-)
oh - Lemmings, yes I've seen a pic, I thought they were cute!Posted by: Valerie at April 27, 2007 2:43 PM
LemmingsPosted by: MK at April 27, 2007 3:01 PM
LemmingsPosted by: MK at April 27, 2007 3:01 PM
Less, let's really test your convictions. Give Andrew a call. I'm sure he'll find something for you to do this summer.Posted by: Jill Stanek at April 27, 2007 3:01 PM
oops. two many lemmings...Posted by: MK at April 27, 2007 3:02 PM
Cameron, 11:36a, said: "It troubles them so when those they oppose and put so much effort into demonizing actually seem reasonable and thoughtful."
On another post a little while ago, in response to a discussion of Andrew's wife's pregnancy, you said: "Congratulations BTW... I hear their skulls are really soft and unformed just yet... you could make a frame for which it grow into any diserable shape you might have in mind. Bonsia baby?"
Cameron, that was despicable, but I thought I'd ignore it because you certainly said it solely to draw attention.
However, when your complaint of being demonized provoked me to give a ready example why.Posted by: Jill Stanek at April 27, 2007 3:23 PM
"However, when your complaint of being demonized provoked me to give a ready example why."
Fortunately, Andrew, while not particularly amused by the comment, at least seemed to reasonably assess what it was.
despicable? Again, just a wee bit of an exageration. But then again, you all despise and scorn those saving premature babies too.... in that light, despicable is probably your conservative characterization.
I believe that most trolls are sad people, living their lonely lives vicariously through those they see as strong and successful.
Disrupting a stable newsgroup gives the illusion of power, just as for a few, stalking a strong person allows them to think they are strong, too.
For trolls, any response is 'recognition'; they are unable to distinguish between irritation and admiration; their ego grows directly in proportion to the response, regardless of the form or content of that response.
Trolls, rather surprisingly, dispute this, claiming that it's a game or joke; this merely confirms the diagnosis; how sad do you have to be to find such mind-numbingly trivial timewasting to be funny?
Remember that trolls are cowards; they'll usually post just enough to get an argument going, then sit back and count the responses (Yes, that's what they do!).
How can troll posts be recognised?
* No Imagination - Most are frighteningly obvious; sexist comments on nurses' groups, blasphemy on religious groups .. I kid you not.
* Pedantic in the Extreme - Many trolls' preparation is so thorough, that while they waste time, they appear so ludicrous from the start that they elicit sympathetic mail - the danger is that once the group takes sides, the damage is done.
* False Identity - Because they are cowards, trolls virtually never write over their own name, and often reveal their trolliness (and lack of imagination) in the chosen ID. As so many folk these days use false ID, this is not a strong indicator on its own!
* Crossposting - Any post that is crossposted to several groups should be viewed as suspicious, particularly if unrelated or of opposing perspective. Why would someone do that?
* Off-topic posting - Often genuine errors, but, if from an 'outsider' they deserve matter-of-fact response; if genuine, a brief apposite response is simply netiquette; if it's a troll post, you have denied it its reward.
* Repetition of a question or statement is either a troll - or a pedant; either way, treatment as a troll is effective.
* Missing The Point - Trolls rarely answer a direct question - they cannot, if asked to justify their twaddle - so they develop a fine line in missing the point.
* Thick or Sad - Trolls are usually sad, lonely folk, with few social skills; they rarely make what most people would consider intelligent conversation. However, they frequently have an obsession with their IQ and feel the need to tell everyone. This is so frequent, that it is diagnostic! Somewhere on the web there must be an Intelligence Test for Trolls - rigged to always say "above 150"
When trolls are ignored they step up their attacks, desperately seeking the attention they crave. Their messages become more and more foul, and they post ever more of them. Alternatively, they may protest that their right to free speech is being curtailed. Perhaps the most difficult challenge for a webmaster is deciding whether to take steps against a troll that a few people find entertaining. Some trolls do have a creative spark and have chosen to squander it on being disruptive. There is a certain perverse pleasure in watching some of them. Ultimately, though, the webmaster has to decide if the troll actually cares about putting on a good show for the regular participants, or is simply playing to an audience of one -- himself.Posted by: MK at April 27, 2007 6:46 PM
By that criteria... pretty much everything on this thread, after I posted my feelings regarding the WIRTL case, was posted by trolls.Posted by: Cameron at April 27, 2007 6:59 PM
And MK, I'm looking into volunteering at some places around where I live for the summer, if I have time. ; )
Where? Doin what? I love volunteering. Takes a lot of the pressure off. And you learn so much!
I personally love the Alzheimer's floor of nursing homes. We would have tea party's with good china, and garage sales with loads of purses, jewelry and ties... Those people may not remember their own names, but they sure do know how to live in the moment.
I also worked with Autistic kids. There was a life lesson. Talk about humbling!
What are you thinkin' about?
mkPosted by: MK at April 27, 2007 7:26 PM
MK, I'm not sure yet. In previous years, I've volunteered teaching taekwondo, but the instructor and I aren't exactly on good terms anymore, so I probably won't do that again.
There's a soup kitchen downtown that my fiance and I are probably going to volunteer at together, and we're both really looking forward to it. I think he's looking in to doing a mission trip while I'm away on vacation. But I want to do something just myself: right now I'm thinking of volunteering for the SPCA, and when I go back to school, the Women's Crisis Center.
Valerie, I'm serious. I think it's something that would fit his personality perfectly, and I would very much love to see him doing something to help people. He's more interested in his artistic studies at this point, though: whatever he does, of course, I'd be right there with him.
Jill, I have no desire to volunteer for an organization that I do not support. I was considering volunteering at a Planned Parenthood, but I looked and it doesn't seem like they're needing volunteers anywhere near me.Posted by: HumanAbstract at April 27, 2007 10:42 PM
"There's a soup kitchen downtown that my fiance and I are probably going to volunteer at together"
My boyfriend and I are going to be volunteering at the animal shelter together. He won't be there as often as I will, though, just on his days off.
I love volunteering there. It's hard work, but it doesn't feel like a chore and I'm always much happier when I volunteer.Posted by: Heather B. at April 28, 2007 1:06 AM
Less, where are you from? May I ask?Posted by: prettyinpink at April 28, 2007 1:13 AM
Heather, I love volunteering for exactly that reason. Animals make me all oogly, though, so that's going to be interesting. I never even used baby talk with my nephews and nieces, but the moment I see a kitten I go to pieces.
PiP, I'm currently in Dallas, though I don't consider myself from there. I could never adapt to Texas.Posted by: HumanAbstract at April 28, 2007 1:26 AM
How does he feel about it? That is a huge decision. In my opinion, bigger than getting married. I believe the Lutheran church takes it as seriously as Catholics do. (I say this because some churches here - I live on the edge of the bible belt - don't seem to care if preachers/minister come and go). If he is comfortable with the stress that comes with it and if you are comfortable with him having an entire congregation that he has to care for, he should at least look into it. One of the many reasons why the Catholic Church doesn't have their priest marry is because of the demands that they have from their congregation. It isn't fair to a wife to have to come second to someone in need, but it isn't fair for someone in need to come second to a wife. It is a sticky situation.
As for volunteering. SPCA all the way! They always need volunteers. Actually with the passion you have shown on here, you could probably work with the rescued animals if your SPCA does that. These are animals that have been removed by authorities because of abuse and they need special care so they can be adoptable.
Let us know what you choose!Posted by: Valerie at April 28, 2007 7:46 AM
Actually, Valerie, that's just what I was looking in to. Once I get into an apartment that allows animals, I want to be able to do just that. My family adopted a cat out of that program, and we've had him for almost seven years now. He's a beautiful kitty, and we are all very attached to him. He was either a feral who had been half-tamed before coming to the program, or was abused: we never did get the full story. But he's safe and healthy now, and we absolutely adore him.
As to the priest thing, he's considered it very carefully. He says that while it's something he could be very serious about down the road, he couldn't right now. The responsbility would be too much for him right now, he said, but once he gets himself financially stable and our relationship has reached its culmination, he'd seriously consider it. If he chooses to go into the priesthood, I'd be there right behind him. I understand how difficult it would be: it could definitely cause some sticky situations, but it seems to both of us that ultimately, it'd be worth it.Posted by: HumanAbstract at April 28, 2007 11:16 AM
I'm glad that you see it will be a sticky situation. You would be required (?) to particpate in alot with the Church. Once you get married, it won't be him going into the priesthood, it will be the two of you. Not that you 'have' to lose your identity, I just know that spouses are asked to do alot too.
I love to hear rescue stories! The animal hospital I worked at was down the street from the Humane Society, so we got all of their 'special' cases. One's that they were not equiped to handle. I can't tell you how many pets I took home to rehabilitate so they could go to a good home and not come back. It is very rewarding. Animals are not like people, they love unconditionally and only ask for a little attention in return. Even the 'mean' ones have a good heart, you just have to find it.Posted by: Valerie at April 28, 2007 9:04 PM
I find it to be hysterical when pro-lifers maintain that they're having their free speech stomped on when they'd love to shut up anyone who's pro-choice for good. How hypocritical.Posted by: Ilana at April 30, 2007 10:00 PM
Ilana, you do your side no favors by making such wild claims. Pro-aborts can say whatever they want. It's what they advocate by their hate speech that we want to stop. Free speech vs. heinous actions.Posted by: Jill Stanek at May 1, 2007 5:08 AM
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