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Disclosed for Business

by on June 10, 2010

The internet works perfectly fine without regulation.  Naturally, Chuck Schumer wants to ruin it.  To him, nothing works without him.  In turn, he’s out to hassle bloggers along with ad time buyers.  He can’t be endorsing his recent pet bill just to get on television, although sure he could.

Chuck Nasty is cranky.  He’s still pouting over the Citizens United loss where the Supreme Court horrifyingly and outrageously decided that people, plural, could try to influence an election.  That explains why he can’t stop promoting the DISCLOSE Act, which basically avoids plagiarizing unconstitutional text by changing the “ands” to “pluses:”

Final sticking points over a measure to curb some campaign spending and promote more robust disclosure are being negotiated with key stakeholder groups as sponsors hope to see the bill hit the House floor next week, after making it through the House Rules Committee.

Backers of the DISCLOSE Act, sponsored by DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), are negotiating with the National Rifle Association and with national labor unions in hopes of softening their concerns over the bill.

The best guess is that the NRA may be trying to cut itself the best deal possible, considering that the act would control who’s saying what whenever:

The main focus of the legislation is disclosure. It would impose comprehensive new disclosure requirements on corporations, labor unions, trade associations and non-profit advocacy groups that spend money for independent expenditures or electioneering communications to influence federal elections.

Among the requirements, the CEO of a corporation or head of any other “covered” organization would have to personally appear in the organization’s independent expenditure or electioneering communication TV ads and take responsibility for the ad by stating that the corporation or other organization approves the message. The same statement must be read by the CEO or head of the organization in a radio ad. The legislation also requires the top funder of a TV or radio ad also to appear in the ad and take responsibility.

The bill would not violate free speech: the government would merely regulate what certain organizations say while forcing organizations to say certain things.  So that’s totally different.  Still, could we figure out who to trust if left to our own devices even if we didn’t attend various Harvards as Schumer did? It just might be possible even if he’ll never believe it.

For one, an ad that fails to disclose key information should tell consumers something by what’s missing.  Namely, such a commercial reflexively appears shadier than an oil conglomerate claiming that their initials stand for Beyond Petroleum.  But it’s up to the spot’s producers what they’d like to share.  They have the right to be discrete, just as you have the right to judge them for same discreteness.

Plus, why can’t they say what they wish?  After all, organizations are just individuals banding together, meaning the proposed law is basically setting an occupancy limit on free speech.

That applies to this general venue, too.  Fears about blogging clampdowns thanks to imprecise language have been floated since the bill first emerged.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s through design or incompetence: letting the Federal Election Commission anywhere near the internet is a disturbing incursion against a blessedly organic frontier of information, entertainment, and commerce.  Besides, they’d obviously be wasting time and taxpayer’s money if they ever had to cope with my writing.

Regardless, meddling with existence is what Chuck thinks he’s paid to do.  Notoriously, clearly closeted xenophobe Schumer also wants to tax companies for hiring whom they want even if they don’t live here. We allegedly need illegal immigrants because Americans won’t do menial work, but we must first punish companies that legally hire people to answer phones abroad.

In Schumer’s defense, it is easier to erect barriers than allow American businesses to try hard and figure out how to profit.  Still, any half-worthwhile economist will tell you that reducing companies’ international options ticks off other countries while simultaneously making us soft.  As a rule, anything that made the Great Depression worse probably shouldn’t be attempted again.

Besides, tariffs aimed at closing foreign call centers dash the dreams of young Indians who hope to triumph on quiz shows as an affirmation of life’s purposefulness.  Breaking: Charles Schumer wants to indirectly sort of ban ultimately happy movies.

Further, Schumer did his best to bully airlines who dared to suggest that they had the right to charge for carryon luggage as part of a voluntary transaction with consumers blessed with ample options. Of course, he couldn’t let travelers choose for themselves whether it was a good value to pay less if they didn’t lug aboard bags, much less patronize different flyers.  After all, most of them aren’t even smart enough to win election to the Senate.

That said, airlines were merely offering the equivalent of a la carte service.  As with not having to buy the steakhouse baked potato unless you want it, you could fly on the cheap under the proposed fee structure if you only brought aboard a toothbrush in your inside pocket.

Meanwhile, those with bags were free to pay to use the space and carry the weight.  On a related note, traveling light also reduces fuel costs, but Schumer clearly hates Mother Gaia and wants to trap us in a planet-sized greenhouse.

New York’s senior senator didn’t want you to have the option of paying for the airline services you use.  But don’t worry: Chuck still thinks you should be able to have an abortion any time you want. This is Schumer’s take on freedom of choice.

Of course, even casual observers are familiar with Schumer’s distorted gaze.  His shocking, and shockingly rare, steps across the aisle are merely pleasant aberrations.  He remains one of his side’s most rabid true believers, evidenced by how he thinks he knows what’s best for you.  If you think he’s right, you’re wrong.

So, can we finally hurl Chuck in November?  The fact that his opponent Gary Berntsen is not Schumer should alone be sufficient to ensure victory.  The test is whether that’s enough in New York State.  If offering a clear alternative to Schumer will not even help a candidate in 2010, it will never be.

As a result, we would be stuck with a hyper-partisan stooge of a self-aggrandizing media floozy until he tires of hearing his own voice.  It’s redundant to point out that such a moment will never arrive.


From → Commentary

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