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Bernie Sanders has a litmus test for his Supreme Court nominations:
Bernie Sanders says he’d have a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees if he’s elected president: They’d all support overturning the Citizens United decision.
The Vermont senator who’s seeking the Democratic presidential nomination said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he wants to “overturn this disastrous decision” that allowed unfettered spending on politics by unions and corporations, rolling back campaign finance contribution limits.
He said Sunday that mega-donors like the conservative brothers Charles and David Koch will play an outsized role in determining the party nominees in 2016.
“There is in my view massive dissatisfaction in this country today with corporate establishment and the greed of corporate America,” Sanders said.
The court decided Citizens United in 2010, but in the decision encouraged Congress to pass more robust campaign spending disclosure laws. Congress, however, has failed to do so.
In principle, I find such litmus tests abhorrent. The notion of a judge, saying in advance, how he or she will vote on any case, before even hearing the case, is a mockery of justice.
Oh, let’s get real. Every nominee for the Supreme Court has stated, either overtly or via his opinions, where he stands on a myriad of issues. I cannot imagine a President submitting a nominee, without have a very good fix on how that nominee will vote.
Oh, let’s get even more real. Supreme Court justices love to demonstrate their independence, and in doing so, a strange thing happens: They often become more progressive.
Perhaps the reason is that they begin to understand the massive human implications of their decisions. It is one thing to judge an individual case in a lower court, a case that has meaning primarily for a single claimant and a single defendant.
It is quite another thing to judge a case that has implications for every man, woman and child in America — a case that if judged wrongly, can shatter thousands, if not millions, of lives.
Thus, a judge may enter the Supreme Court viewing himself as a strict constructionist or even an originalist. Later, he may come to care more about history’s view of him, and realize those rigid legal, but inhumane, decisions will not long be admired.
Justice Scalia, for instance, despite his acknowledged brilliance, never seemed to understand. My belief is history will not remember him kindly — his passionate concurrences in such cases as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and his statements that money is free speech.
I also believe Justice Roberts may have been trying to lift his own place in history, with his defense of the Affordable Care Act in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius and again in King v. Burwell.
We never will know his motives, but while denying health care coverage to millions of poor citizens may not have troubled Republican consciences, Roberts may have taken the longer and more compassionate view.
Bottom line: The Supreme Court is a political organization, with decisions being made on the basis of personal ideology and only later justified via often twisted legal interpretations.
Scalia knew full well that money is not speech, but if he voted “wrong,” who would pay for his posh hunting vacations?
Compassion is not the conservatives’ long suit. Their religion is harsh and without love. Theirs is a mean and selfish God.
In the battle between the poor and powerless vs. the rich and powerful, I find myself leaning leftward. I believe our greatest SC justices have been compassionate.
I hope Bernie becomes President, and if he doesn’t, I hope Hillary Clinton does, and that she exhibits his compassion for the those in America and the world, who need it most.
I know for certain, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz won’t.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually Click here
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt
THE RECESSION CLOCK
Recessions begin an average of 2 years after the blue line first dips below zero. A common phenomenon is for the line briefly to dip below zero, then rise above zero, before falling dramatically below zero. There was a brief dip below zero in 2015, followed by another dip – the familiar pre-recession pattern.
Recessions are cured by a rising red line.
Vertical gray bars mark recessions.
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..
•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.
•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
•Deficit spending grows the supply of money
•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
•The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
•Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between rich and the rest..
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..