Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday night

Just watched "Project Runway." Lauren Hutton was one of the judges tonight. Hadn't seen her in years. Looks pretty good. Lots of talented designers.

Walked home from the "far" bus stop and stopped off at Publix along the way. Got my mile in. Maybe I'll start going back to the gym tomorrow. But lately I've been glued to the TV after work, with all the political stuff going on.

So the Supreme Court is allowing corporations direct, unlimited contributions to political campaigns -- a "free speech" issue, as if corporations were real humans. Some of the pundits tonight were apoplectic. But Barney Frank pointed out that corporations are entities created by law and that Congress makes the law. The "scary" aspects of the Supreme Court decision can be dealt with in Congress. See here and here.

The court upheld, however, disclosure requirements for corporations that spend $10,000 to produce election-season ads, and ads will still have to disclaim who paid for them.

I, for one, would love for corporations to have to put their name directly on ads for political candidates or ads promoting or attacking legislation. When people see, for example, Exxon-Mobil backing a certain candidate, they'll know the guy is in the corporation's pocket. Exxon-Mobil could spend billions to fill up the airways with these ads, but they wouldn't be fooling anyone. Right now, it's confusing when the ads are attributed to the PACs, whose names often connote the opposite of their purpose. (As a hypothetical, an organization called "Clean Air Now" is funded by the coal industry.) Maybe there'll be more truth in advertising now. Just hoping.

Seriously, perhaps the worst consequence of this ruling is that it will now become easier for corporations to go after a politician they don't like by buying an opponent. Meanwhile, I'm counting on our free press and the netroots to be vigilant when it comes to who's buying whom. People know corruption when they see it, and they don't like it.

Made chili tonight and had that for dinner. Fried up a large ground-round burger for tomorrow's lunch, which I'll savor with mixed vegetables.

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