Government Should Not Define What a Reporter Is—or Isn’t

all the president's men

Walter Brasch: Under Sen. Feinstein’s belief of who and what a reporter is, Ben Franklin, who wrote hundreds of articles under the byline of Silence Do-Good, and was never paid for it, would not be considered to be a reporter.

DINOs

steve beshear

Berry Craig: Some of the DINOs will lambast “liberal unelected judges” if the courts toss out the “religious freedom” law. Bless their hearts, these DINOs still won’t get to first base with the Lee-leaning “You can’t be a Christian and a Democrat” crowd.

Corporations Are Not People

buy elections

Steve Hochstadt: The problem with treating corporations as people for the purpose of political speech is that it provides another opportunity for rich and powerful corporate executives to magnify their speech with money which belongs to others.

Drop the “I” Word

immigraants

Unai Montes-Iruest: Welcome to the one Nation, under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All, where 96 year-old, former Arizona Governor, Mexican American, Raul Hector Castro, has already been detained three times.

LA’s Downtown Business Leaders Give ArtWalk Protesters the Brush-Off

chalk walk kid

Dan Bluemel: Rampant hooliganism will not be tolerated in downtown Los Angeles; it could interfere with commerce.

Lanny Davis Defends Limbaugh, Smears Liberals

rush limbaugh

Brent Budowsky: Where I take offense is when Lanny smears, demeans, misrepresents and ridicules liberals as McCarthyites when they (perish the thought) call for a boycott of Limbaugh sponsors.

Cenk Uygur: Can Progressives Reclaim the Democratic Party?

Cenk Uygur 400x434

Sharon Kyle: Cenk is viewed as a kindred spirit by many in the Caucus, partly because of his unyielding progressive stance but also because Uygur is no stranger to challenging the status quo.

Who Is Sheldon Adelson and What Has Newt Promised Him?

sheldon adelson

Robert Reich: Never before in the history of American politics has a single couple given more money to a single candidate and had a bigger impact than Sheldon Adelson and his wife – all courtesy of the Supreme Court and its grotesque decisions that speech is money.

LA City Council Shames the U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justices

On the issue of corporate personhood, is the Los Angeles City Council smarter than the United States Supreme Court?  Incredibly, Yes! Last week in a huge victory for Angelenos, the Los Angeles City Council voted against the 2010 Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case that found that corporations were entitled to the same rights [...]

Occupy LA Backed Corporate Personhood Resolution as Eviction Loomed

corporations not people

Michael R. Evans: On the night that Occupy Los Angeles protesters were given as a deadline to begin vacating the land around City Hall, their general assembly unanimously passed a resolution to end corporate personhood through constitutional amendment

Why We Must Occupy Democracy

assault and pepper spray

Robert Reich: The First Amendment is being stood on its head. Money speaks, and an unlimited amount of it can now be spent bribing and cajoling politicians. Yet peaceful assembly is viewed as a public nuisance and removed by force.

Editor Sues Philadelphia Police for Constitutional Violations

aec-protest-2

Walter Brasch: A former managing editor for the online newspaper, OpEdNews, has sued the city of Philadelphia and eight of its police officers for violating her Constitutional rights.

Own It, Barack!

obama-bus-wide

Lucia Brawley: The more hard-hitting and direct you are the better. The more you own your critics’ ammunition against you and turn it on them, the more effective you’ll be.

‘Identity-Free Wusses’

anonymity-wide

Berry Craig: Yet few pundits – print or online — pay any attention to “identity-free wusses.” They get ignored because no-name almost always equals no-credibility.

First Amendment of the United States Constitution

george carlin

Elizabeth Knipe: Of course, this most free-wheeling of all the Amendments in the Bill of Rights is probably the most controversial. The old saying, one man’s poison is another man’s remedy might apply here.

Government May Be Violating Tobacco’s 1st Amendment Rights

no smoking

Walter Brasch: A controversial Supreme Court decision less than two years ago could have the unintended consequence of significantly reducing the government’s 46-year campaign against cigarettes.

Questions Remain in Government’s Anti-Cigarette Campaign

cigarette-label-wide

Walter Brasch: If the federal government demands health warnings on cigarette packs, why doesn’t it also demand similar warnings on other products that also carry known health risks, like liquor?

Like Black Church, St. Patrick’s Day Parades Are Anti-Gay

irishneednot-apply

Rev. Irene Monroe: St. Patrick’s Day has rolled around again, and like previous March 17th celebrations nationwide, its LGBTQ communities are not invited. As a contentious and protracted argument for now over two decades, parade officials have a difficult time grasping the notion that being Irish and gay is also part of their heritage.

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Does the First Amendment Separate Church and State?

jon butler

Is Thomas Jefferson’s famous phrase “wall of separation between church &
state” too broad an interpretation of the First Amendment? Historian Jon
Butler argues that original intent of the First Amendment was even broader
than that.

Free Speech about Saggy Pants

baggypants

Steve Hochstadt: The most unfortunate recent development in American politics is that Constitutional questions cannot be discussed calmly. Too many people care less about defending our Constitution than using it as a club to smash political opponents.

Will Militarization of the First Amendment Undermine the Republic?

Military Funeral

Ivan Eland: Why has this reverence for the military arisen and become patriotic when it runs counter to the nation’s founders’ suspicions of large standing armies and foreign military adventures? A skeptic would attribute the excessive exaltation to guilt.

Supremes Murder the First Amendment: Whaddaya Gonna Do?

Supreme Court Decision

Gary Coseri: I hacked the computer of Barack Obama. “Mr. President,” I wrote, “this can’t be happening. This can’t be right. Didn’t you say something about ‘hope’ and ‘change’; no more politics as usual? Wasn’t that you?” He wrote back that he was always glad to hear from “the People.” And that the FBI would soon be knocking on my door. Which is what happened. And it was true: They wear bad shoes!

Time for a Shareholder Protection Act

Corporate Election Contributions

Robert Reich: Under a shareholder protection law, shareholders would not have to spend their share of corporate earnings on candidates who they personally oppose. If a company dedicates, say, $100,000 to a particular campaign in a given year — directly, or indirectly through a front organization — shareholders who don’t want their money used this way would get a special dividend or additional shares representing their pro rata share of that campaign expenditure.

Dangerous People Needed

ellsberg-time

Ellsberg risked life in prison to expose the lies that had taken this nation into war in Vietnam, lies from Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. And Nixon believed that Ellsberg had incriminating documents on his own lies, which led Henry Kissinger to call Ellsberg “the most dangerous man in America.”

Right-Wing Sedition

Abigail Adams

In 1798, during the Quasi-war with France, Congress, with President John Adams’ support, passed the Sedition Act. Outraged by attacks on her husband, Abigail Adams supported the act, which was opposed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, among others. “Let us not establish a tyranny,” wrote an alarmed Alexander Hamilton to an ally in Congress. [...]

Memos Provide Blueprint for Police State

censorship

Seven newly released memos from the Bush Justice Department reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the President with power to override the Constitution. The memos provide “legal” rationales for the President to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of U.S. citizens; lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely in the [...]

Who’s Leading the Republican Party? Rush Limbaugh and the Resurrection of “Massive Resistance”

rush limbaugh

The Republican Party put all its business in the streets as talk radio rhetorician, Rush Limbaugh, went on the offensive (even more than he’s been on the offensive since Obama has taken office) at the Conservative Party Convention this past weekend. Stating that he wanted to see President Obama fail, and that it is reasonable [...]

Friday Feedback: The Faith Waste Initiative

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by George in response to Gene Rothman’s Obama’s Faith-Based Initiative: The Devil Is in the Details: Writes George, “The solution to all of the difficulties of the centerpiece and entirety of Bush’s original putative philosophical [...]

Biblical Law or Constitutional Law?

Faith is as tangible as it is intangible. Religions institutionalize faith. Churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques are visible symbols of religion. I have “Born Again” faith. My faith is a personal matter, despite my just mentioning it. And, as a part of my faith, I respect the faith, religion and symbols of others. We live [...]

Religious Freedom and the IRS

Recently, a coalition of right-wing pastors decided to make a frontal assault on the long-standing policy that charitable institutions, including churches, are prohibited from endorsing candidates if they want to keep their tax-free status. These pastors defied that law by explicitly endorsing John McCain from the pulpit.

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