Monday, November 1, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Giving Insanity a Day Off

This weekend was the big Comedy Central Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear (video). It was just nice to be able to go somewhere and indulge in a little good-natured mockery without getting your head stomped on. Conservative estimates put the size of the crowd at well above 200,000. Of course estimates by conservatives were a lot lower than conservative estimates. In any case, there were easily over twice as many people at the Rally to Restore Sanity than there had been at Glenn Beck’s rally. Still, given the relative ages of the attendees, I’m sure there were much longer lines for the port-o-potties at Beck’s rally. The attendance was so much larger than what Comedy Central had planned on that much of the crowd was beyond the reach of the loudspeakers and video screens. So a lot of the crowd had no idea what was going on. Of course you could say the same thing about any Tea Party gathering. The Rally to Restore Sanity did a lot better job of reflecting reality than the right’s “real” rallies. But then Tea Party rallies aren’t designed to reflect reality. They’re meant to deflect reality.
The 2010 election could end up costing $4 billion. And if the people spending most of the money win, it’s going to end up costing us a lot more. Nobody hates it more than the people all this money is going to. Senator Evan Bayh is retiring just because he’s sick of constantly having to raise money. His job essentially consists of begging, and you don’t need a job to do that. If politicians could spend as much time and effort raising money for the country as they do raising money for themselves, we could wipe out the federal deficit. To even begin doing that, even Ronald Reagan’s budget director says we have to raise taxes. David Stockman says if we don’t do something quick, we’re going to “destroy the economy, and render the federal government insolvent,” or as today’s Republicans refer to it, “Plan A.” And David Stockman spent the 80’s slashing taxes on the wealthy. Nothing else anybody did during the 1980’s ultimately did more damage to America. And I’m including Kenny G, Christopher Cross, and Milli Vanilli.
Today’s Homework Discuss
Arguably, one the best moments Saturday’s rally was also the most serious one. Here are Jon Stewart’s closing remarks:
Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
Jon Stewart - Moment of Sincerity
Rally to Restore Sainty and/or FearThe Daily ShowThe Colbert Report

Thom's blog
28th Amendment - Free Speech for People
In our "you need to know this" news, with the midterm elections tomorrow, the first ever corporate funded campaign season is finally winding down - at least temporarily. And now, many Americans are looking ahead to prevent another onslaught of spending from unknown and foreign sources influencing our future elections. A group of more than fifty legal scholars including former state attorneys general have started the Free Speech for People coalition in hopes of passing a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling. The proposed 28th Amendment would affirm that the basic right to free speech applies to people, not corporations. Given that 75% of Americans disagree with the Supreme Court's ruling, and a same majority also fear that the Congress will not work to overturn it, the coalition has already started grassroots movements in many states to get local government to pass similar resolutions to eventually put pressure on the federal government to act on passing an amendment. In a similar vein, Representative Peter DeFazio from Oregon wants to prevent future corporate funded rulings on the Supreme Court through another strategy - Impeachment.
Referring to the claim by Justice Stevens that the Citizens United case was not brought before the court in a proper fashion, Representative DeFazio said, "It was the most extraordinary condemnation I've ever read of a perverted majority on the Supreme Court, at least in recent years." DeFazio is also claiming that Chief Justice John Roberts is guilty of perjury for insisting during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would act on legal precedents and not become a judicial activist. John Roberts not an activist judge?! The Citizens United Ruling overturned a century of precedents in campaign reform law and as we talked about last week, the Supreme Court's support for the Chamber of Commerce has increased dramatically in recent years. Something must be done to combat corporate personhood and this court's radical rulings.

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