Throw My Ticket out the Window

… throw my suitcase out there, too:

  • At the WSJ, free speech hero Bradley Smith and seven other former Federal Election Commissioners take apart the so-called "DISCLOSE Act". (DISCLOSE == "Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections") Meant as a response to the Supreme Court's Citizen United decision, DISCLOSE cracks down hard on unauthorized speech that Democrats don't like. Most notable for bloggers:
    While the Disclose Act does include an exemption for major media corporations, it does not include websites or the Internet, which means the government can regulate (and potentially censor) political dialogue on the Web. Additionally, the law would require any business or organization making political expenditures to create and maintain an extensive, highly sophisticated website with advanced search features to track its political activities.
    Constitutional rights, of course, do not need legislative "exemptions" for their exercise. Nor is it a "right" if you need to navigate a maze of regulations to avoid some bureaucrat putting you in civil or criminal jeopardy. (A much more detailed description of the bill's problems is available via a link from this page.)

    My own Congresswoman, Carol Shea-Porter is one of the co-sponsors of this assault on free speech in the House.

  • Senator Mike Crapo proposed an amendment to the "financial reform" bill working through the Senate, that would have, among other things, put the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout "on budget". This good idea got 47 votes; unfortunately, it needed 60. Comments Alex J. Pollock at the American Enterprise Institute blog:
    All these [nay-voting] members should be permanently banned from ever, ever again pontificating about the need for "transparency" in financial reporting. All should be permanently banned from criticizing in even the slightest degree any entity, say Goldman Sachs, which is accused of inadequate financial disclosures. All should be prohibited from ever speaking a single word about the need for strict accounting standards.
    Now, there's an assault on free speech I might support.

    [Granite Staters will want to know that outgoing Senator Gregg voted Yea; Senator Jeanne voted… well, apparently she didn't think it was important enough to vote on.]

  • Progressivism continues apace in Hugo Chávez's Venezuela:
    Chavez sent a message via his Twitter account to students of privately funded Santa Ines University, letting them know their school was being taken over by the government and tuition will be free.
    Please, nobody tell President Obama. Might give him ideas. On a related note, see Harsanyi and Boudreaux on the soft spot "progressives" have for tyranny.

  • Jim Geraghty has two telling quotes on the victory of Mark Critz in the election to replace the late porker, Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha. The first is from the WaPo:
    "He got us millions of jobs," Charles Finnegan, 72, a retired construction worker, said of Murtha after casting his ballot in nearby Windber. "Critz, he's going to follow John Murtha's way of thinking."
    And the second is from perceptive Twitterer Nathan Wurtzel:
    How do we reach voters who think millions of jobs were created in a district of 600,000 people?
    That's a very good question.