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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

After enduring two years of relentless criticism and satire, could Citizens United, the case responsible more than any other for channeling unlimited donations into political campaigns, be argued again before the U.S, Supreme Court?

That’s the possibility raised by the Court blocking on Friday a Montana law banning most corporate donations in state races. Two Supreme Court justices have now urged their colleagues to revisit the broader constitutional questions in the era of Sheldon Adelson, Restore Our Future, Foster Friess, and Stephen Colbert:

In Friday’s order, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer said the upheaval in the world of campaign finance since the Citizens United decision does not bear out the majority opinion.

“Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,’ ” Ginsburg wrote.

“A petition for certiorari [from those challenging the Montana court’s decision] will give the court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.”

 

We’ll have our own analysis of the prospects for reversal — and what reversal would actually mean for the organizations making headlines in this race — soon, but for the moment, suffice it to say the Court’s rulings are now only more likely to be on the minds of the public come November. Campaign finance reform is in fact a salient issue with voters, and should the president wish, he could make a play for their votes much the way he did in 2008: by decrying the sordid interests funding his enemies. Indeed, his first major TV ad campaign suggests he’ll do just that.

 

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)