So there seems to be a firestorm over the issue of whether Facebook co-founder and Brazilian-born Eduardo Saverin should have given up his US citizenship. While some on the Right have apparently taken this as a vindication that the US tax system is one step away from the Apocalypse, and we should therefore celebrate Saverin’s courage or something, the position on the left, if I can characterize it as a position, is that Saverin deserves his own special circle in hell. Mistermix over at Balloon Juice is outraged. Josh Marshall at TPM is scandalized, and is still devoting multiple posts to the subject. The Nation is fuming. The nerve of this guy. And the comments. Jeez, it’s like stepping into the comments at NRO. The level of invective is comparable, as is the level of knowledge on occasion, since so many people apparently derive their sense of history and current events from movies. Of course, US companies, as we mention below, do this from time to time, and the outrage level has been considerably lower.
On the north wall of my living room is a 37- by 58-inch map of the United States. It shows only landforms and drainage. It is beautifully executed.
There are no state boundaries on the map. There are no political divisions on the map of any kind, not even the names of states or cities or towns. There are just landforms — rivers, mountains, valleys, plateaus, lakes.
This map is all of us, commingled in our differences. But until November, we will be shown differing, even disturbing, realities in other media-manufactured and “Magic Wall” maps of the United States. Pundits and candidates will talk about red states and blue states and purple states — battleground states vs. safe states. And we’ll likely be shown maps with different shades of green.
Those green maps will show who’s spending what amounts of political money where. (For example, scroll down to this Washington Post map showing political ad spending by states. Some markets get plenty; many get bupkis.) But it’s not likely that we’ll be shown maps identifying the sources of that money — because, it seems, the Supreme Court of these United States says much of this money, given by the few, can be hidden from us, the many. Continue reading →
“The government was given a number of opportunities at the hearing and in its briefs to state unambiguously that the type of expressive and associational activities engaged in by plaintiffs — or others — are not within Section 1021,” Forrest said. “It did not. This court therefore must credit the chilling impact on First Amendment rights as reasonable — and real.”