Daily Archives: July 11, 2018


There’s So Much You Don’t Know About Brett Kavanaugh

The New York Times has the opinion piece There’s So Much You Don’t Know About Brett Kavanaugh, And you probably won’t until it’s too late.

First, the questions everyone wants answered: What is his judicial philosophy? How does he approach interpreting the Constitution and statutes? Does he agree with the decision in landmark Supreme Court cases like, say, Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed racial segregation in public schools, or Griswold v. Connecticut, which established a constitutional right to privacy? There’s no reason, despite their protestations, that nominees for the highest court in the land can’t give the public straight answers to these questions and many more like them — several, including Chief Justice Roberts himself, did so in the past.

Naked Capitalism has an article with an excerpt from Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in the Citizen’s United Supreme Court case. Their article is Anthony Kennedy and Our Delayed Constitutional Crisis.

[W]e now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. …

The fact that speakers [i.e., donors] may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that these officials are corrupt. …

The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.

If Senate Democrats could get the nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to read this passage aloud, and ask him to explain the logic of Kennedy’s opinion, then we would know all we need to know about the nominee.


July 13, 2018

If the appearance of ellipsis in the above quote makes you wonder what was left out, I looked this up in the opinion on CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION as published by the Supreme Court.

While a single Bellotti footnote purported to leave the question open, 435 U. S., at 788, n. 26, this Court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy. Caperton v. A. T. Massey Coal Co., 556 U. S. ___, distinguished. Pp. 40–45.

In my mind the ellipsis was not meant to deceive and it did not deceive.


Michael Olenick: Update Confirms That Share Buybacks Are Still Corporate Suicide

Naked Capitalism has published the article Michael Olenick: Update Confirms That Share Buybacks Are Still Corporate Suicide. Here is an excerpt of an excerpt from the article.

Corporate executives and directors are apparently bereft of ideas and the confidence to make long-term investments. Rather than using record profits, and record amounts of borrowed money, to invest in new plants and equipment, develop new products, improve service, lower prices or raise the wages and skills of their employees, they are “returning” that money to shareholders. Corporate America, in effect, has transformed itself into one giant leveraged buyout….

If you want to get an idea of the long-term consequences of Trump’s recent corporate tax cuts, this article ought to scare the pants off you.

I have written many posts about the harm that vulture capitalists do with their leveraged buyouts and taking publicly traded companies private. Turns out, CEOs of publicly traded companies have figured out how to do this without having to take the company private.

In simple terms, they strip the assets of the company, put the company into huge debt, pay themselves more than handsomely, then walk away to let someone else try to pick up the pieces.