Saturday, October 09, 2010

Virginia Thomas, Spouse of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Founds Liberty Central, a Non-Profit Conservative Political Group: Conflict of Interest?

Jackie Calmes at the New York Times writes about Virginia "Ginni" Lamp Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and consultant at the Heritage Foundation, that the Activism of Thomas’s Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues, i.e. conflicts of interest in his judging.

We are not friends of Clarence Thomas's retrograde interpretation of the Constitution. However, in our view, Thomas is already so entrenched in the far right wing in his opinions that his wife's activities in that same right wing would appear to be as good as irrelevant to his Supreme Court work.

Calmes writes as follows:
"Nonprofit groups with political agendas like Liberty Central are operating in this election cycle under evolving legal and regulatory standards, most notably the ruling last January by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, which eased restrictions on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions. In that case, Justice Thomas, long an advocate of dismantling campaign finance restrictions, was in the 5-to-4 majority. Wealthy individuals and some corporations, emboldened by the ruling, are giving to such groups to influence the election but still hide their tracks. "
As a political centrist, we see no reason to put artificial restrictions on campaign financing. Money talks. That is the way of the world. Why should a corporate or wealthy individual's dollars be less free in what that dollar can be spent for than people with fewer resources? As it is, many an average man votes his particular pocketbook. You can not leave money out of politics.

Frankfurt Book Fair - World's Biggest - This Week in Germany -- Ending Sunday -- Features Argentina as the Guest Country of Honor

The Frankfurt Book Fair is currently underway in Germany, with Argentina as the featured guest country (every year a new country is chosen). SPIEGEL ONLINE has an interview with Argentina's President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner at:

'We Are Slowly Starting To Enjoy Greater Trust'

A Europe United by Golf is Beset by a Host of Political Problems Pointing to a Lack of European Integration

Europe! Europe! Europe! is Roger Cohen's provocative op-ed at the New York Times on European integration in the European Union -- or -- what does golf have that the politics of European integration otherwise lacks?

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

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