FUBAR

Supremes side with special interests

The Supreme Court Monday loosened campaign finance restrictions in a ruling on free speech that will give lobby groups a louder voice in television ads for next year’s presidential election.

In a 5-4 ruling, the nation’s highest tribunal found that the rights to free speech of interest groups had been unfairly curbed by a law that limited their influence in the final stretch of electioneering.

Bong hits for the first amendment

In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” It was a good ruling with exceptions that allowed school officials to bar speech that advocated dangerous or illegal conduct or was substantially disruptive.

NBC News losing more viewers than CBS

One of the small indignities of a high-paying television job is rising after getting home from Texas at 3:05 a.m. for a conversation about why your ratings are going south.

Brian Williams dutifully does it, weary voice and all, even if he and NBC can’t fully explain why after two years on top his “Nightly News” broadcast has suddenly been eclipsed by ABC and Charles Gibson.

Michael Moore’s latest scam

What’s the difference between art and propaganda? The artist wants to communicate and share and the propagandist wants to manipulate.

Michael Moore is a talented filmmaker, a great marketer, and a superb propagandist. Those skills have now been invested in his latest film venture about health care, “Sicko.”

Part of the shtick, of course, is the portrayal that he’s a man on a mission. A social crusader — a kind of Ralph Nader whose medium is film.

How many more Americans must die?

As President George W. Bush continues to claim success in his failed Iraq war, the death toll of Americans dying in that “success” continues to increase.

Eight Americans, along with a British soldier, died Saturday — bringing the four-day death toll for U.S. servicemen to 25 (including one death the Pentagon called a “non-battle” related casualty).

Yet with American military deaths rising at alarming rates, the Bush White House still preaches the fallacy that the “troop surge” in Iraq is working.

In fact, violence in that civil-war ravaged nation spirals out of control and American men and women die for nothing.

Many more Americans will die in Iraq

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday US forces face more tough fighting in Iraq and his top military adviser said the rising level of violence was the “wrong metric” for judging the surge.

The comments by Gates and General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came as the US military reported 14 US soldiers killed in three days of fighting in Iraq.

Our poor, underpaid federal judges

Recently, Chief Justice John Roberts devoted his entire annual report on the federal judiciary to complaining about how little federal judges are paid. (Trial court judges are paid $165,000 per year, while appellate court judges and Supreme Court justices subsist on annual salaries of $175,000 and $203,000, respectively).

Where’s the smoking gun?

Chairman John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee in justifying the subpoenaing of two former top White House aides said that this was not just a request but a “demand” by the American people, who are burning for answers about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys, who, it seems necessary to mention once again, serve at the pleasure of the president of the United States.

The ‘Generalization’ of Iraq

A surprising surge of optimism has just bubbled up from America’s famously circumspect and straight-talking top military man in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus. Next came a not-surprising rush to rebuke by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.

An overwhelming lack of common sense

A young man of 17 engages in a consensual Clintonesque sexual activity at a party with a 15-year-old girl and is put away for 10 years and must register as a pervert.

A Washington, D.C., administrative judge sues a cleaning establishment for $54 million for a missing pair of pants and actually gets his case heard.

A prosecutor and judge team up to throw the book at a former vice presidential aide in a blatant political show of force over something that occurs almost daily in this city.