Friday, January 22, 2010

Comment on the Belmont Club:
"The First Amendment"


Notes of caution. There are two ways to view this, tactically and strategic. While it is easy to see the strategic advantages, clarity and simplicity and a reinforcing of the moral principles behind the Constitution, I am hesitant to climb on the bandwagon that says this is a tactical boon.

While it is true that the administration is making noises that would lead us to think that they agree with wretchard that "This clearly works against the administration" we should be careful not to get sucker punched. Great combines of financial power, such as GE and Disney and Goldman-Sachs are already backing the Democratic Party. This ruling could in the short term empower the oligarchs. Is it possible that the defensive bleats are intentional distractions? That is unlikely as while the inner operatives of the administration (Emanuel, Axelrod and Jarrett) may be conspiracy theorists at heart they lack the competence to act out their fantasies on more than an intermittent basis. Still it possible that the call for increased banking regulations on the same day that Goldman-Sachs reported record profits may have been less due to ironic coincidence and more a deliberate effort to distract and deflect the anger that the administration had whipped up towards less favored financial managers, such as AIG, 16 months ago.

The concern about foreign manipulation of domestic politics needs to be addressed directly and in a way that does not restrict the liberties of citizens. Congress should pass a law that all corporate entities that are over 20% foreign owned must report their extent of foreign control in every political statement directed at an American audience. If over 30% foreign owned then the identity of the nationality of the owners should be included in the statement. If over 40% foreign owned that specific targeted restrictions on political speech could be developed. Similar rules should be created based on the percentage of managers and corporate officers who are not US citizens.

Holders of non-immigrant visas should be barred from engaging in political advocacy and that warning should be posted at the Ports and attached to visas. Holders of immigrant visas, that is Permanent Residents, should be warned to identify themselves as such when engaging in political advocacy. Voting by a non-citizen in a Federal election is already grounds for removal and being permanently barred from reentry into the United States. This need to protect the integrity of the political process is a subject that reinforces the need to control the borders and remove illegal aliens who engage in political activity. We should publicly thank the Justices who raised the subject.

Prohibitions on overseas fundraising need to be given real teeth and enforced. Obama raised vast sums from the Middle-East and China in 2008.

Practically the MSM still controls the bulk of the information distribution network that people rely upon. This reduces them to the status of theater owners after the anti-trust case broke the power of the movie studies to control content. New outlets will grow, as television did 60 years ago. In the short term we can expect more infomercials from corporations and industry groups like the ads that helped defeat Hillarycare.

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