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New I'm ambivalent.
I'm more concerned about the decision being 5:4 than the actual substance of it at this point. It looks like a partisan decision that ignores previous rulings, and that's a bad thing.

There's a problem with unknown or poorly disclosed groups, or individuals, putting up slanderous or deliberately misleading advertisements on TV and radio.

There's a problem that conventional wisdom is that election campaigns are too expensive and that the money chase is corrupting our elections.

The FCC only has jurisdiction over over-the-air broadcasts. It can't regulate cable, the internet, etc., as directly as it can broadcasters.

As someone in a Supreme Court argument once noted, wealth isn't speech. Similarly, just because someone can't buy air time (for whatever reason) doesn't mean their First Amendment rights are being infringed.

Rolling all this stuff together, I'm of the opinion that trying to regulate political TV ads is a lost cause. There will always be loop-holes, and always be ways to game the system.

Probably the simplest solution is to make a condition of obtaining a commercial over-the-air license is that the awardee provide free airtime for candidates in local, state and national elections. The devil's in the details, though.

While publicly financed elections has an appeal, without a free-airtime, it's hard to see how it will act as a restraint on spending. The political consultants have an interest in driving up the price of elections every year, as they presumably often get a cut of the spending in their consulting fees. Plus, who decides who gets money and how much money they get?

Maybe [link|http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/washing.htm|Washington had it right, after all]:

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

My $0.02.

New Between Washington and Franklin,
the two pretty much outlined the path towards dissolution; hoped we wouldn't Do That -- Franklin {appeared to} believed it inevitable "after a time.."

Neither had a plan for (later-on) undoing the cowardice, corruption of the masses -- their vulnerability to manipulation by the public circuses, the de-sinning of Greed, etc. Perhaps the oil thing + temperatures -?- shall seed the major overhaul so evidently required.

But not before blood in the streets, IMO - 'we' lack the guts even to throw out our 'Shogun' and his sock puppet Pretender, despite that litany of rilly stupid moves.. so why would the US consumer face even deeper introspection (while the stores are still full of pretty Toys?) Bringing out the guns First will be ever-so-much more personally satisfying. For some period (?) which nobody could estimate.

[link|http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2007/05/02/notes050207.DTL&hw=Mark+Morford+hippies&sn=001&sc=1000| The Hippies Were Right!] per Mark Morford - nevermind the plebian focus upon the dope, the hair, the free sex, the Purittanical piece of dung within every Murican gene... Every office slave subliminated his/her envy of a rat-race freed 'person', while mouthing the grade-school excoriations of a POV they never examined for a second.

Their general realization that, "The Things weigh you down much more than buoy you up" -- has yet to sink in, of course. Muricans still believe, I Am What I Bought .. but sans free oil: We'll See what shiny new slogans are coined to justify the Inevitable as, "what I really wanted all along, y'know? cha cha"

Parts of this could be rilly Fun, if enough relax and enjoy having More of 'Less stuff.'

     I hate it when they're right - (andread) - (56)
         "Money talks!" -NT - (a6l6e6x)
         What makes them right? - (Seamus) - (45)
             mass speech is free, commercial is not -NT - (boxley)
             Re: What makes them right? - (andread) - (40)
                 In the real world, it doesn't really work that way - (jake123) - (14)
                     Re: In the real world, it doesn't really work that way - (andread) - (13)
                         The problem as I see it is this: - (hnick) - (10)
                             Nice theory :-) -NT - (bepatient) - (8)
                                 What part? - (jb4) - (7)
                                     Re: What part? - (bepatient) - (6)
                                         Not sure it was really ever a theory... - (jb4) - (5)
                                             Lofty ideal perhaps? -NT - (bepatient)
                                             Ok, so it's a joke these days. - (hnick) - (3)
                                                 land of the safe home of the whiners? -NT - (boxley) - (2)
                                                     Better, but I'd likely be more caustic. -NT - (hnick) - (1)
                                                         Land of the somnolent shopping sheep? - (Ashton)
                             Money tilt - (tablizer)
                         So the well heeled should be alowed to drown out . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (1)
                             you are either a mass movement that can collectively - (boxley)
                 Anyone can be heard - (Seamus) - (24)
                     wrong conclusion - (boxley) - (23)
                         I disagree - (Seamus) - (22)
                             School property is not the issue - (crazy) - (16)
                                 No it is not the issue - (Seamus) - (13)
                                     its the CENTRAL ISSUE to the ruling sheesh -NT - (boxley) - (12)
                                         It was the intent to promote drug use - (Seamus) - (11)
                                             splutter! - (boxley) - (10)
                                                 Are you really this dense? - (Seamus) - (9)
                                                     Re: Are you really this dense? - (bepatient) - (7)
                                                         What was that about "it's a free country", again? -NT - (CRConrad) - (6)
                                                             Couple of issues with this - (bepatient) - (5)
                                                                 Dude, not only is 18 over the "age of consent" - (jb4) - (4)
                                                                     Ask it another way - (bepatient) - (3)
                                                                         Begs the question of his Majority - (Ashton) - (2)
                                                                             This is a litmus decision? - (bepatient) - (1)
                                                                                 Litmus only in the sense that - - (Ashton)
                                                     Im not the one who cant understand the basis of the case - (boxley)
                                 Re: School property is not the issue - (JayMehaffey) - (1)
                                     Prec\ufffdsamente - that would be a 100% Murican cop-out. -NT - (Ashton)
                             so all for censorship I see, no free speech allowed - (boxley) - (4)
                                 It is all about intent - (Seamus) - (3)
                                     speech from non commercial groups CANNOT be regulated - (boxley) - (2)
                                         Let me be clearer - (Seamus) - (1)
                                             I have not seen the ad, what in detail was the content -NT - (boxley)
             I'm ambivalent. - (Another Scott) - (1)
                 Between Washington and Franklin, - (Ashton)
             Remember, according to a previous ruling, money == speech -NT - (jb4)
         What the week's rulings taught us. - (mmoffitt) - (7)
             Yes, just that Simple. 5-to-4s ... til the 'revolution'. -NT - (Ashton)
             Re: What the week's rulings taught us. - (andread) - (3)
                 Depends on exactly what is meant by "corporate" - (jake123)
                 Heh. - (mmoffitt) - (1)
                     It's a fine line between naive wishfulness and gullibility. - (Ashton)
             There's still a bit of hope... - (scoenye) - (1)
                 :-) .. a few truffles amidst the turds, anyway -NT - (Ashton)
         Re: I hate it when they're right-eously dissembling - (Ashton)

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