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Many Chamber ads attacking House Dems contain debunked falsehoods, distortions

UPDATE, 1:57 p.m.: The Chamber has responded to all these fact checks with a detailed rebuttal, which you can read right here.

*********************************************************************

ORIGINAL POST:

Last week I noted that the ads that have been bankrolled by Karl Rove's groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against Senate Dem candidates across the country have been widely debunked by independent fact-checkers for their multiple falsehoods and distortions.

Turns out the same is true of the Chamber's ads against House Democrats. These Chamber ads, which are running or have run in multiple districts across the country, contain many claims that are demonstrable distortions or have been repeatedly debunked as false by independent fact-checkers.

This is the side of this story that continues to unfold under the media radar. Much of the media focus has been on the high-profile Beltway spat between these groups and the White House and Dems over their undisclosed donors. But the ads themselves are not receiving anywhere near the high-profile media scrutiny that Dem claims about the Chamber have -- even though they constitute a massive national campaign flooding airwaves in multiple races that could tip the balance of power in Congress.

Here's a rundown of the Chamber ads attacking House Dems that contain the debunked claims:

(1) The Chamber is running or has run a cookie-cutter ad attacking Dems in many districts that contain core claims that have been cleanly debunked. There are versions of this ad targeting Dem Reps. Tom Perriello of Virginia, John Boccieri of Ohio, Earl Pomery of North Dakota, and Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio, as well as candidate Stephene Moore of Kansas.

All these ads claim that the Democrat in question supported "gutting Medicare by $500 billion," a reference to their support for health reform. But Politifact found that in reality, "the law does not take $500 billion out of the current Medicare budget." FactCheck.org thoroughly debunked this claim, too.

(2) All of the above ads hammer the Dem by claiming that seniors in their states face "reduced benefits," thanks to the Dem in question, another reference to health reform. Each ad gives a different number of "reduced benefits," based on which state they're in, and each ad sources the Kaiser Family Foundation for the claim.

But Tricia Neuman, a vice president with Kaiser, flatly denies that her group found what these ads claim it did. The claim is based on this Kaiser chart that only details the state-by state enrollees to Medicare advantage plans -- and does not predict any reduced benefits under health reform. "That statement does not come directly from anything we've written," Neuman tells me. "It may mislead seniors enrolled in private Medicare Advantage plans into thinking their benefits will be cut -- which, at this point, is not clear." Indeed, Neuman notes, some benefits could go up.

(3) A Chamber ad attacking Debbie Halvorson of Illinois claims she supported "government run health care." While this claim is not information-based, and hence is difficult to challenge directly, Politifact pronounced the assertion that health reform represents government run health care as "false," concluding that it "leaves in place the private health care system."

What's more, all of the cookie-cutter Chamber ads referenced above contain a version of that same claim.

(4) A Chamber ad attacking Dem Rep. Mark Critz of Pennsylvania claims that Critz "declined to take a position on the healthcare overhaul." This is partly true, in the sense that Critz didn't vote on the health bill. But Critz did come out out against the health reform bill in a statement, making the Chamber's claim misleading.

The ad also claims that Nancy Pelosi is "counting" on Critz. While this is also an information-free claim, the fact is that Critz voted against Wall Street reform and against the DISCLOSE Act, which, ironically enough, is enabling the right's massive non-disclosure ad campaign.

Again: An important part of this story, one that is going undercovered and passing entirely under the radar, is that all this undisclosed money is bankrolling an ad campaign that is flooding airwaves across the country with many distortions and flatly debunked claims. And this misinformation campaign could help decide who controls Congress next year.

By Greg Sargent  | October 18, 2010; 12:51 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems  
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Comments

Political ads containing distortions and falsehoods? Why, this has never happened before. It's the End Times!

You know that, though there might be a lot more anonymous money in this election cycle, the ration of truth to falsehood in political advertisements remains approximately 0:1.

BTW, a great political ad is debunking the lies of your opponent and a compelling way. Such falsehoods just present opportunities. Get to it, you falsely maligned career politicians, you! ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The CoC is a money-laundering operation that also spreads disinformation.

Can someone name a more pernicious influence in American politics right now?

CoC plus Fox plus a lazy MSM. I'm surprised there are any Dems remaining who aren't blue dogs.

I still hope that Dems will get out and vote and put corporations on notice that the country is not for sale. The GOP should be ashamed.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The White House attacks on the CofC might have a small effect in this election cycle, but it really is the beginning for the 2012 cycle where they will have two more years to go after these liars and destroyers of the American middle class. During that time we will see more local CofC chapters move away from the parent organization. It's already started in some parts of the country.

Posted by: filmnoia | October 18, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The Chamber Of Con Artists!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Hi Greg: Your (1) comment links to Politifact and FactCheck articles about an advertisement by 60 Plus Association - not the Chamber?

And FactCheck notes: "We can’t resist noting that Democrats are getting a taste of their own medicine here. Late in the 2008 campaign, Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s advisers spoke of holding down the rise in future Medicare costs to pay for part of his health care proposals. Although a McCain aide was quoted as saying no cuts were being proposed in benefit levels, the Obama campaign ran two ads falsely accusing McCain of proposing benefit cuts... We called Obama’s claims against McCain "bogus" and "false" and also an example of "Senior Scare." The same now goes for 60 Plus’ claims against Obama’s plan."

Posted by: sbj3 | October 18, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Liam, she just wants to make sure she can steal a lot of her campaign money. If there's more of it it's easier.

Another GOP grifter candidate. Shocker.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 18, 2010 12:42 PM |
.................

Does the law still allow candidates to convert left over campaign funds to personnel income, provided they pay income tax on it? I seem to recall that changes had been made, but I don't know if they survived the Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance reforms.


I would expect that should she lose, she will still be able to rake in large appearance fees, on the Tea Party circuit, now that she has become Very Famous for Being Famous, much like Ms. Hilton has.


I still laugh when I recall that Jake character from Jimmy Kimmel, standing behind Paris' Lawyer, as he read out the sentence of community service. Jake yelled; Community Service? She has spent her life servicing the community.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Many Sargent posts attacking the Chamber contain debunked falsehoods, distortions

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

sbj -- I said the CLAIM had been debunked. Politifact is well aware that I'm using their link in this context, and they agree with it.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 18, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@BGinCHI: "Can someone name a more pernicious influence in American politics right now?"

Conservative voters.

The question is, what do we do about them?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The Chamber of Con Artists is running the same bogus Medicare claims, and the false claim that he voted to have the government make all health care decisions, against Russ Feingold.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Political ads containing distortions and falsehoods? Why, this has never happened before. It's the End Times!"

OMG, KEVIN YOU ARE SO FUNNY!

I guess it doesn't bother you that corporations are buying our elections using lies, innuendo and propaganda.

And this is our neighborhood "smart" and "fair" conservative. What a joke.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"...all this undisclosed money is bankrolling an ad campaign that is flooding airwaves across the country with many distortions and flatly debunked claims."

This is old news. I mean, we have a cable news channel that supports its stories with images it admits have been photoshopped and just last week got caught flat-out pimping a fake story they got from...The Weekly World News. Not terribly surprising, that last bit, given that I've always suspected that Bill O'Reilly and Ed Anger were the same person. Now if we can only get them to replace Beck with BatBoy...

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Again: An important part of this story, one that is going undercovered and passing entirely under the radar, is that all of Obama's undisclosed money in 2008 bankrolled an ad campaign that flooded airwaves across the country with many distortions and flatly debunked claims. And this misinformation campaign actually DID decide who controlled the White House.

For any lurkers who have never before heard that Obama failed to disclose many of his campaign contributions (up to $103 million illegally vs. $75 million that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is under no legal obligation to disclose further):

At least $25,289,671 of his 2008 campaign donations were NEVER disclosed (big surprise you haven't heard about that, given the support he got from the lamestream media):

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00009638

In addition, over $5 million was returned to (potential) foreign donors and another $15,611,429 was deemed to be "incomplete" disclosure, without sufficient information to tell one way or the other. In total, over $103 million ended up "Uncoded" so we may never know the full truth.

Greg Sargent is NOT interested in that part of the story.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

So now that Greg has linked to many places that debunk the message, my question still is why does it matter who funded them?

I've yet to hear a good answer why know the chambers source of money matters. I agree with a politicians donations. But I don't see how that translates over to a 3rd party. The premise is that 3rd parties are exerting influence over politicians that are helped by these ads. So knowing it is the chamber, or Karl Rove's group, that funded them, is fine. But again, why does further disclosure ACTUALLY matter?

Posted by: Bailers | October 18, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "sbj -- I said the CLAIM had been debunked. Politifact is well aware that I'm using their link in this context, and they agree with it."

I understand.

However, has PolitiFact debunked any of the CoC adverts making this claim?

Could you link to one of these adverts currently running so that we can verify your claims about their content?

Do you agree that this is tit-for-tat in that the Obama campaign made precisely the same misrepresentations?

Posted by: sbj3 | October 18, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

You're new to this whole "big media" thing. So here's a quick rundown for you:

1) Conservatives lie constantly in the run up to an election, with the help of giant corporations who own the GOP.

2) Reporters (ie: you) say nothing, instead focusing on Dems "disarray" or write process stories about how Dems fighting back is "unwise" or that "voters don't care about this issue".

3) Corporations - er, I mean the GOP - picks up a bunch of House and Senate seats.

4) Reporters (ie: you) THEN do a standard look-back of the election, noting how unfortunate it is that so much corporate cash influenced the election.

5) Write "Dems in Disarray" stories until the next election cycle.

6) Repeat, starting at 1.

-------

Again I have to ask you...any chance we can get some explination from members of the press as to why this story isn't warranting more coverage?

I'm not asking you to make them cover it. I just want to know what the decision making process is - why they believe that this isn't a "story".

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 18, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Btw, Greg, this is a great piece, thank you.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr Sargent and the Democrats/liberals are crying us a river. Imagine, running ads to which candidates must respond.

And debunking? Hardly.

I followed the link to the Kaiser.edu synopsis of Medicare. I found at least one misleading statement.

During the run up to the Obamacare vote Mr Obama sought to demonize insurance companies. Among the pieces of evidence he offered was insurance company profit on Medicare Advantage.

According to the Kaiser site (go to the politicfact link and follow a link there to the Kaiser slide show) Insurance companies are paid by medicare, but they are paid MORE than medicare would have.

Hmmmm, I have a hard time believing this and I'd like to see some evidence. The basis for payment from medicare to these advantage plans is something called AAPC area average per capita cost. Medicare's actuaries figure this out, offer the rate and Insurance companies agree to enter the market. Medicare pays per member per month and the insurance plan's "profit" is the difference between the AAPCC and the cost of the care and admin.

I do not believe that Medicare's actuaries over state the actual expense rate. In fact there is a lot of discussion about how the AAPCC should be adjusted.

But the real lesson here is simple: insurance companies will abandon this line if the AAPCC is ratcheted down and I believe that was Obama's intention from the start.

Folks who, of their own free will, chose the managed care alternative to traditional medicare will lose that option because plans won't participate at break even or a loss. It is just that simple.

So I fundamentally disagree that the ads were "de bunked". The money to fund Obamacare has to come from somewhere and cuts to Medicare were often discussed during the debate.

The SGR alone will lay waste to OP therapy providers. A planned 44% reduction in FFS payments to providers will drive most out of business. The survivors will make it only by staffing down to fewer, lower level providers.

Socialism strikes back. We pay more, we get less. Welcome to the liberal dream.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 18, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

TheBBQChickenMadness:

Were you upset when OBAMA failed to disclose where his campaign donations came from? Probably not, since that was your guy!

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama's health care bill does take $500 Billion out of Medicare, whether it is the current budget, or future fiscal years which are involved.

Obama has basically spent the same $500 Billion twice. Perhaps that is the distinction. The Medicare spending is not actually cut, just the funding is cut. So there is now a $500 Billion deficit, somewhere.

Ethan is at is again with his nonsense and satire.

We get it Ethan. You are completely unhinged. We "get" it that the democrats do not understand how absurd their positions truly are.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

By Kevin's logic, political ads only debunk other political ads with more lies. The truth remains unstated.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, you can't expect a bunch of foreigners to get all the details on our country exactly right.

Posted by: anaximander471 | October 18, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

sbj -- every one of the ads referenced is linked in the post. click on the links on the names.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 18, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I love this post for all its hard hitting specifics. I've been amazed at the ads against Democrats I've seen this cycle. One would think that Citizens United had said you can spend all the money you want raised in secret from anywhere and the more fact free your ads are the better. It's a certainty, for instance, that if Michele Bachmann wins re-election most of the people who elect her will believe a set of talking points that are flat out bogus. Free speech is now beginning to mean the freedom to disseminate lies.

Posted by: AllButCertain | October 18, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Politifact has never been neutral.

It has always been pro-Obama, in a really silly way.

It is just a part of the Obama disinformation campaign.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

* Shadow groups push legal limits in political ads *

The surge of secret money being spent to influence the 2010 midterms may be only the beginning of the unraveling of the country's campaign finance laws. Now outside interest groups are also skirting the line when it comes to making endorsements in political ads.

Under the law, independent interest groups are not allowed to explicitly endorse or argue for the defeat of specific candidates in political ads. But as the New York Times' Michael Luo reports, some groups are using words like "vote for" or "vote against" in political spots in the final weeks of the campaign, phrases that used to land outside groups into legal trouble.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20101018/el_yblog_upshot/shadow-groups-push-legal-limits-in-political-ads

Gee, thanks corporate anti-American Right. Thanks a lot. Secret corporate money in U.S. elections is something everyone can be proud of. America: Land of the Owned, Home of the Terrified by the Corporate Right.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"I've yet to hear a good answer why know the chambers source of money matters. I agree with a politicians donations. But I don't see how that translates over to a 3rd party. The premise is that 3rd parties are exerting influence over politicians that are helped by these ads. So knowing it is the chamber, or Karl Rove's group, that funded them, is fine. But again, why does further disclosure ACTUALLY matter?"

Gee Bailers, I can't imagine why it would matter any more than it would matter for you to know that the attorney you've hired to protect your interests in say, a real estate transaction is on the payroll of the seller, or of the bank or mortgage company that stands to make a tidy profit off the sale of the property to you.

It matters because people have a right to know whose interests are being represented by the ads. For example, an ad campaign promoting prison privatization funded by those who stand to profit from it, that neglects to tell voters about some unsavory side-effects of having powerful corporations running prisons - such as the possibility that said corporations have large lobbying budgets with which to pressure legislatures to impose incarceration for minor offenses so as to keep their prisons full and profitable - might be important to know. You'd have a situation where shadow financiers have incentive to take away the freedoms of the very people they're asking to vote in favor of the proposal - and you really think voters don't have a right to know this stuff?

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

So now that Greg has linked to many places that debunk the message, my question still is why does it matter who funded them?

I've yet to hear a good answer why know the chambers source of money matters. I agree with a politicians donations. But I don't see how that translates over to a 3rd party. The premise is that 3rd parties are exerting influence over politicians that are helped by these ads. So knowing it is the chamber, or Karl Rove's group, that funded them, is fine. But again, why does further disclosure ACTUALLY matter?

Posted by: Bailers | October 18, 2010 1:17 PM |

.................

Because voters should have the information as to who the sinister hiden backers are, and what will they receive in return, for having spent so much of their money, trying to elect Republicans.

As long as they can remain anonymous, they can launder their bribes and deal making, through the likes of Rove and The Chamber Of Con Artists.

If it were above board, those fat cats, should have no problem with having a list of their names and the amount of their contributions, made public.

Clearly they have something to hide, and that is why they are laundering their political attempts to install a government that they will have bought and paid for.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"Conservative voters.

The question is, what do we do about them?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis "

Well, improve the schools? Get more kids into college? That would kill off the next generation of right-wingers in a heartbeat.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 18, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I've yet to hear a good answer why know the chambers source of money matters.
------------------------------------
Do you think voters would be suspicious if the funding was coming from outsourcing Indian companies, or the A list Chinese companies, or the country of Venezuela. Or how about Saudi funds?

Leaving the source of large funding unexplained damages confidence in the voting system, itself. Damage confidence enough, and people won't vote. If people don't vote, our democracy is over. That should be enough of a reason, IMO.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

$103 million donated to Obama from undisclosed sources, however, is just fine with Dems ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Stimulating Hypocrisy: Scores of Recovery Act Opponents Sought Money Out of Public View

Scores of Republicans and conservative Democrats who voted against the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act subsequently wrote letters requesting funds for projects in a massive, behind-the-scenes letter-writing and phone call campaign, documents obtained by the Center show.

Those asking for money include Tea Party favorites like freshman Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former presidential candidates Ron Paul and John McCain and Republican congressional leaders like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana.

[...]

Sen. Scott Brown’s first press conference after being sworn in.Brown, the Massachusetts Republican upstart who shocked the political world earlier this year when he captured the Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for half a century, said shortly after his swearing in that the stimulus “didn’t create one new job.”

That didn’t stop him from writing a letter less than two months later in support of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). In the letter, Brown writes that proposed stimulus projects like MBI’s will “help prepare our next generation of entrepreneurs and job creators.”

MBI was eventually awarded a $45.4 million in stimulus funding. Brown’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

[...]

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., another icon of the anti-spending conservative movement embodied by the Tea Party, has complained the stimulus bill will require “massive tax increases” to create short-term jobs and ran a campaign ad this month boasting that she fought against “the failed Pelosi trillion-dollar stimulus.”

But she wrote more than a half dozen letters to federal agencies on behalf of proposed stimulus grants, including one to the Transportation Department for the St. Croix River Crossing Project that she argued “would directly produce 1,407 new jobs per year while indirectly producing 1,563 a year - a total of 2,970 jobs each year after the project’s completion.” The project did not win the award.

Bachmann told the MinnPost news site, which worked with the Center on this project, that she still opposed the stimulus because it “piled a massive amount of debt on our children and grandchildren” but saw nothing wrong with her letters. “It is my obligation as a member of Congress to ensure stimulus dollars are spent on the most worthy projects. I did just that when I supported applications for the TIGER grant program.”

http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/2532/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Shut up, Jake.

Candidate funding disclosure rules are straightforward. If the amount is small, under $100 or $250 (can't recall the cutoff at the moment), the donor information doesn't have to be disclosed - no matter how much those small donations add up to.

Get over it. The law was followed, you lost, and obviously your butt is still hurting - but making your butt hurt isn't illegal. In fact, it's what I would call a feature, not a bug.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

OT:

MARK KIRK'S VERACITY BACK IN THE NEWS

Kirk -- if that is his real name -- has experienced a humiliating year when it comes to dishonesty. He's been caught lying repeatedly about everything from his military service to having been a nursery-school teacher. He's made a wide variety of false claims about foreign policy issues, which is supposed to be an area of expertise for him, and has even been forced to literally flee reporters trying to get Kirk to reconcile his stories with reality. In July, we learned that one of Kirk's favorite stories -- the one about being inspired to enter public service after the Coast Guard rescued him from drowning in Lake Michigan as a teenager-- wasn't entirely true, either.

Today, it appears yet another example has emerged.

"""""Rep. Mark Kirk claims credit for being a driving force behind a bill signed into law this year that requires the president to crack down on companies doing business with Iran.

But the bill's sponsor, Rep. Howard Berman, says Kirk is guilty of "exaggeration" when he says the "Kirk bill" became the "Berman bill" so it could pass the Democratic Congress.

"We didn't even look at his legislation at the time," Berman said. "Our bill did so much more and went so far beyond his bill, I would have to put it in the context of an exaggeration.""""""

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_10/026178.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Facts and truth have no meaning to most of the electorate who are busy expecting Republicans to act differently than they have for the last 30 years. The Chamber has always been a right wing front, and now they are a right wing front for foreign governments and foreign corporations.

It's all about power, and who will benefit from its use. Clearly the corporate interests are on a march to buy/steal this elections for the failed Republican party. They will probably succeed, and the country will achive their goal - third world banana republic status with 100% of the resources controlled by 1% of the population...just like Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, Russia, North Korea, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, etc.

Posted by: pblotto | October 18, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd bet if Palin gets $103 million in undisclosed donations in 2012, all of a sudden it will become a big deal to Dems again ...

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Jake - fine, go file a complaint with the FEC. I'm sure they'll take your standing as a LAWYER into account and give your concerns all the credence they deserve.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Socialism strikes back. We pay more, we get less. Welcome to the liberal dream.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 18, 2010 1:20 PM |
================

You wouldn't know what a socialist is even if one collectivised your farm.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 18, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"Conservative voters.

The question is, what do we do about them?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis "

..............

Conservatives is an Oxymoron. They conserve nothing.

Not the environment. Not energy supplies. Not domestic manufacturing jobs. Not balanced federal budgets. Not our good standing in the world. Not a woman's right to medical privacy. Not universal human rights for all, including those who are gay.

Conservatives my Arse!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

pblotto:

Were you upset when OBAMA failed to disclose where his campaign donations came from? Probably not, since that was your guy!

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@jenn,

We are talking about the damage to our voting system if large anonymous donors are allowed to hide. If the voting public loses confidence that their voting is informed (relatively), they will quit voting. Then, we lose our democracy. That seems like a big deal to me.

Jake is talking BS--about small donors. Small donors, even if anonymous, can do no harm. Joe gives $25--big deal. Jake plays sophistry small ball, I've noticed.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Great, I'm sure that Palin will be allowed to use the same excuse then in 2012 ("$1.3 billion all came from 'small donors' your honor").

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Palin gets that much in undisclosed donations now, and they all go into her pocket. And we don't care, but the tax man will.

Posted by: pblotto | October 18, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Palin gets that much in undisclosed donations now, and they all go into her pocket. And we don't care, but the tax man will.
---------------------------
Bwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The shoe department at Saks also cares.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

here's a socialist big if. None other than Jenn:
=============
Shut up, Jake.

++++++++++++++++

Hey Jenn, you want me to shut up?

Make me.

Yup, it is socialism. And I remain unimpressed by the banal snottiness of the liberal posters here.

you can claim it ain't so all you want. Government control is socialism. Tell ya what, you argue about that while the voters clean the Democrats' clock.

that works fine for me.

And Mr Sargent, please stop the whining. It is unmanly at this point.

Over the weekend I overheard the plans of two paid union employees. they were going to mount a demonstration at the business of the a republican contender. They planned to incite violence in an effort at shutting the business down.

That's how the Democrats roll in my part of the country. You want to whine about the CoC doing something that Obama did in his turn while turning a blind eye to the shenanigans of your side.

Unimpressive and unmanly. At best. Its a blood sport now Mr Sargent. righteous indignation may help you feel better, but in the face of the kind of union violence we've seen thus far spending on ads is child's play.

What's next? Bricks through windows? You gonna be OK with that too because the CoC has done something you don't like?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 18, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

pblotto (last time I will ask you, I promise):

Were you upset when OBAMA failed to disclose where his campaign donations came from?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "OMG, KEVIN YOU ARE SO FUNNY!"

LOL, ETHAN! SO R U!

"I guess it doesn't bother you that corporations are buying our elections using lies, innuendo and propaganda."

Well, it would, if I thought that was happening, or (to the degree it is happening) that it was particularly unusual.

"And this is our neighborhood 'smart' and 'fair' conservative. What a joke."

You said it, not me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

skip - the bait ain't working pal. I long ago figured out you're too dishonest to bother responding to, not to mention not very bright. But feel free to continue chumming the waters - just don't expect a bite.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Shut up, Jake.

++++++++++++++++

Hey Jenn, you want me to shut up?

Make me.
-------------------------------------------
Since when is Jake=skipsailing?

It's getting hard to know who is who on this blog. Any other aliases?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"Candidate funding disclosure rules are straightforward... Get over it. The law was followed."

Just as the Chamber and Rove's groups are following the law now!

Get over it.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 18, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@jakeD2 - yes, I was. I disagree with Republicans on just about everything, but they used to be spot on about transparency. Now that their bought and paid for Supreme Court handed down the criminal Citizens United decision, they have gone strangely silent on that front. What are they afraid of? Public knowledge that they are funded by the Koch brothers, the King of Saudi Arabia, and Exxon-Mobil?

Posted by: pblotto | October 18, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Ethan writes:

The surge of secret money being spent to influence the 2010 midterms may be only the beginning of the unraveling of the country's campaign finance laws. Now outside interest groups are also skirting the line when it comes to making endorsements in political ads.

_____________________________________


Again, this has to be satire because anyone with any knowledge on the subject knows that Obama destroyed the Campaign Finance System by unilaterally pulling out of the campaign finance system in 2008, and spending over $700 Million.

Everyone knew then, as they know now, that the Republicans would respond.

Each party responds by opening up new loopholes and bringing more cash into the system. Obama wrecked the only part of the Campaign Finance system which was working and the only part which could be a model for the future extensions of the system.

The only way to solve the situation is by Constitutional Amendment.

But Ethan's satire is extremely entertaining once one understands that he really means the OPPOSITE of what he writes.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28:

Lamestream media figures are wasting time on this because the inconvenient truth would hit a little closer to home. After letting him skate on not taking public financing, Obama's 2008 campaign raised over $103 million in UNCODED donations -- not all of those were under $200, but who care, the left wants disclosure of ALL amounts now -- so Obama is actually the one guilty of "failure to disclose" not Rove or the Chamber of Commerce:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00009638

Whatever happened to the hard-hitting INVESTIGATIVE reporting of the WaPo, you know, Woodward and Bernstein tracking down who ordered the Watergate breakin? Does that caliber of reporting only happen when a Republican is in the White House?

As an added irony, Sarah Palin's speech in California started with John Philip Sousa's "Washington Post".

If you missed her full speech:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/10/sarah-palin-bristol-palin-rnc.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Reality Check

For Plumline's Abe Simpson; All those Tea Party members, sending in small donations will never have their names released.

"Tea Party Candidates Boosted by Small Donors"

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20019800-503544.html

"As of the second quarter, small donors filled about one-third of the campaign chests of Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey (30 percent, $3 million) and Florida's Marco Rubio (36 percent, $4.6 million). They accounted for nearly half of the funds for Delaware's Christine O'Donnell (45 percent, $119,000) and Kentucky's Rand Paul (46 percent, $1.6 million). And they made up more than half of the early donations given to Alaska's Joe Miller (51 percent, $144,000) and Nevada's Sharron Angle (58 percent $2.05 million).


The Tea Partiers are getting a fair share from big donors, too. Their top supporter is the fiscally conservative "Club for Growth."

"The Club for Growth gets a lot of its contributions from retirees," says Krumholz. "These are not your average pensioners. These are people who are former CEO's or industry leaders."

The Club for Growth has been around eleven years and supported Republicans long before there was a Tea Party.

This year, its top three beneficiaries are Tea Party-backed Republicans running for Senate. That includes nearly $700,000 for Pat Toomey. Until last year, he happened to be president of the "Club for Growth."

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

12Bar - apparently Jake = sbj3, also. Too.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD: "Well, improve the schools? Get more kids into college? That would kill off the next generation of right-wingers in a heartbeat."

I'm dubious. I went to college (an art school, even). The schools I went to were mostly public schools (from 4th to 12th grade), and mostly pretty good. Certainly, even down here in the south, they were hardly hotbeds of right wing indoctrination.

There may be a solution to the so-called conservative "problem", but I'm not sure just throwing more money at the schools, or getting more kids into college (many conservatives are college graduates, I hate to tell you) is going to do it.

Perhaps some form of internment during elections? Possibly a poll tax of some kind? There has to be an answer. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

pblotto:

The Citizens United decision is no more "criminal" than, say, the Roe v. Wade decision -- as for foreign monies influencing elections, prove it in a court of law -- you don't get "disclosure" simply because you want it.

Too bad you weren't posting your disagreement with Obama back in 2008, huh?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"There has to be an answer. ;)"

A simple IQ test should suffice - say, hand them a boot full of crap to empty, with directions on how to empty it written on the heel. If they can't figure it out, we'll know they're conservatives.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it curious that Jake is defending foreign money influencing elections (who needs to know anything about THAT?), but he wants like hell to know the name and address of every Joe and Jane who donated $25 to the President's campaign.

Interesting values.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Moveon.org got massive fines from the Federal Government by doing exactly what is being discussed here, blurring the line between issue ads and candidate-advocacy ads.

Again, the democrats complain about something which ..... the democrats have been guilty of.

Anyway, more discussion is required of the $500 Billion in Medicare. It is true that Obama transferred $500 Billion from Medicare to his new health care programs.

Strictly speaking, the cuts in Medicare were not made.

A deficit was created. The $500 Billion is essentially being spent twice. The deficit is either in Medicare or in Obama's health care plan. Take your pick. But there is now $500 Billion more in spending now as opposed to before Obama's health care plan.

Obama's claim that the health care plan is "paid for" is the one that should be under review.

Clearly, on this issue and several others, Obama's plan is far from "paid for." So please stop with the half-truths. Nothing is worse than someone claiming one side is lying with a bunch of half-truths as evidence.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
==================
It's getting hard to know who is who on this blog. Any other aliases?

+++++

don't be such a cheapskate. Buy a program. Can't tell the players without a program, so get one.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 18, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@Jenn: "12Bar - apparently Jake = sbj3, also. Too."

What does this even mean? Am I only allowed to comment with your pre-approval?

BTW - Be sure to read Greg's (admirable) update. The CoC pretty much skewers his entire post!

Posted by: sbj3 | October 18, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
==================
It's getting hard to know who is who on this blog. Any other aliases?

+++++

don't be such a cheapskate. Buy a program. Can't tell the players without a program, so get one.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 18, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

12Bar - even more interesting is that after months spent obsessing over the president's birth certificate, convinced against all reason and evidence that he's a FOREIGNER OMG!!!, that he suddenly has no concern with foreign nationals controlling our government.

Hypocrisy is a defining feature of today's conservatives.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

don't be such a cheapskate. Buy a program. Can't tell the players without a program, so get one.
--------------------------------
Any other aliases? Why keep it a secret? You'll feel better after you confess.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues:

Pointing out your hypocrisy does not equate to me wanting to know the name and address of every Joe and Jane who donated $25 to Obama. Maybe YOU should buy one of those programs listing all the players and what happens in each Act too.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

here's the sum total of liberal intellectual capacity. I'd like to thank Jenn for such a clear illustration:
=====================
skip - the bait ain't working pal. I long ago figured out you're too dishonest to bother responding to, not to mention not very bright. But feel free to continue chumming the waters - just don't expect a bite.

=======================

Let's define "dishonest". that means not agreeing with the liberal agenda and having facts to support contentions. Take my post about medicare advantage as an example. I KNOW how this works. Jenn can't argue that so we get an elephant trunk load of snot instead.

its the way it is with the left now. Condescencion doesn't win a lot of adherents honey. You should consider that.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 18, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk: "A simple IQ test should suffice - say, hand them a boot full of crap to empty, with directions on how to empty it written on the heel. If they can't figure it out, we'll know they're conservatives."

Does this prevent them from voting, though? Or running for elected office? Isn't that really the problem. Would failing the boot test exclude them from participating in elections?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I still say that all Democratic candidates who are being attacked through Karl Rove and The Chamber Of Commerce should flood the courts with discovery requests; because every one has a right to face their accusers.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@jenn,

Jake is one of those folks who stomps on ants while elephants rush by.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

sbj3:

What's not "admirable" is that comments are not open on that UPDATE, so we can further debunk Greg's falsehoods, distortions.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"Would failing the boot test exclude them from participating in elections?"

That's the general idea.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Why can't we comment in the Chamber's response?

I think it's rather amusing that instead of saying their claims are true...they merely say "we got these falsehoods from WaPo. As if that somehow made it ok that they keep using debunked lies, and that somehow it's all your fault.

Darn you Greg...how dare you make the Chamber lie like that!

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 18, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@kevin: "Perhaps some form of internment during elections? Possibly a poll tax of some kind? There has to be an answer. ;)"

Outright intimidation doesn't seem to be working as well as it used to. Where I live, putting a McCain sticker on your vehicle back in 2008 was a sign of courage.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 18, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Pointing out your hypocrisy does not equate to me wanting to know the name and address of every Joe and Jane who donated $25 to Obama.
-------------------------------
Oh, you don't want to know their ADDRESS? But, you want to know their NAME, eh?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

JennfromArkansas

Jake is correct. Obama had over 100 million dollars in uncoded contributions.

Jenn How can you expect Obama to trash the campaign finance system in one election cycle and then expect the Republicans to continue to allow Obama to keep that advantage?

Obama won the election and the Congress with an unfair advantage. It is not legitimate.

If Obama won "fair and square" meaning with the same amount of money as McCain as has been done for decades, that would be different.

But Obama cheated. You know he cheated. The democrats know he cheated. I put that in terms that you can understand. America's elections were trampled by the democratic money. The people want their country back.


So stop your whining.

Jenn the election is in two weeks and your side will lose. Get used to it.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still confuses criminal law and civil discovery (Dem candidates would have to FIRST file a lawsuit before "flooding the courts" with discovery requests, presumably motions to compel since the original discovery requests are NOT served on the courts initially ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Jake is one of those folks who stomps on ants while elephants rush by."

Or as my grandmother used to say, he swallows camels but gags on gnats.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"...meaning with the same amount of money as McCain as has been done for decades..."

Apparently you slept through the 2000 campaign, when the corporations first put us on notice that they no longer felt the need to pretend they weren't buying the presidency. It's why your hero Bush opted out of public financing.

Now run along and swallow another camel.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Don't you love it when those who fully back Bush's Invasion of Iraq, by funding it with borrowed money, are now really really worried about how health care reform will be funded.

Did the Republicans pay for their massive Prescription Drugs gift to Pharma?!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow Chamber of Commerce ready with a file to defend all its claims.

Including articles from the Washington Post.

Greg - where are YOU getting your information or claims? Clearly you are just repeating some democratic talking points and passing it off as whatever you pass it off as.

The Chamber of Commerce was correct on all points.


So why don't you just admit that ?

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Republicans blocked all attempts to pass a law that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower Prescription Drug prices.

They forced the taxpayers to pay out excess billions in fat profits, to the Drug Makers.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Is this going to be the excuse? "Oh, the Dems would have won if not for those liars at the Chamber."

Posted by: NoVAHockey | October 18, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that response from the Chamber sounds like it could have been written by one of the resident wingnuts here.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@kevin_the_willfully_ignorant:

"Well, it would, if I thought that was happening, or (to the degree it is happening) that it was particularly unusual. "

What color is the sky in your world?

In the world of factual reality, it's blue.

As usual, Kevin makes a mockery out of a serious issue. An issue -- secret non-disclosed ad funding -- that polling shows that the vast majority of Americans from both parties are concerned about.

Just FOUR DAYS AGO on THIS BLOG:

"""""An overwhelming 84% of voters polled, including 80% of Republicans and 81% of Independents, believe voters have a right to know who is paying for ads for a particular candidate."""""

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/yes_voters_do_care_about.html

Kevin, the joke's on you. This is how far out of the mainstream you really are. What a fraud.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh Liam - c'mon now:

"So now we know why the president wants everyone to make nice in the healthcare debate. His White House has cut a deal with Big Pharma that smells like the same old rotten politics that candidate Obama regularly denounced and promised to end. The drug industry agrees to deliver $80 billion in future savings and the president promises the government will not use its awesome purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices.

"Wow. This is roughly the same deal that George W. Bush cut with the drug makers when he was legislating Medicare's new coverage of drug purchases."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/25/politics/washingtonpost/main5339709.shtml

Posted by: sbj3 | October 18, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Political ads containing distortions and falsehoods? Why, this has never happened before. It's the End Times!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

---

I am shocked that there is gambling going on in this establishment!

Incidentally, anyone else notice that Obama's undisclosed money has gone up from $25M to $100M+? By the election, Jake'll have it up to $800M

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 18, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

A Sinister Secret Cabal Of Wall St. Robber Barons, are laundering vast sums of money, as bribes, through Karl Rove, and The Chamber Of Con Artists, to install a Puppet Republican Regime.

What have The Republicans agreed to do for The Big Banks, and The Big Health Insurance Companies, to pay back their Robber Baron masters?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The issue here is very simple: our founders described and created a government "of, by, and for the people."

As such, we have the right to know who's trying to buy it, because it belongs to US.

I can understand why conservatives have such a hard time wrapping their heads around this simple concept, because as far as they are concerned, no one can "own" anything they haven't bought and paid for.

Why do conservatives hate the founding fathers?

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, so you guys only whine when a Democrat does it, but not when Bush did it. Got you. I always knew you were a modern day Janus.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Why do conservatives hate the founding fathers?"

I know! because they were all old, rich white guys who owned slaves. That's why we're supposed to hate them, right?

Posted by: NoVAHockey | October 18, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

NoVaHockey

No, its not an excuse. It is a cover-up for what Obama and the democrats did with dirty money in 2008.

Obama would not have won in 2008 without his unfair money advantage. And the democrats would have never had the majorities in Congress they have.

The whole thing goes back to Obama's dirty money.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"As such, we have the right to know who's trying to buy it, because it belongs to US."

You are mistakenly conflating the expression of political opinion with "buying" the government. Hence your argument fails.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 18, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan_the_great_and_powerful:

"@kevin_the_willfully_ignorant:"

Is that my problem? Thanks. It takes a real friend to point something like that out.

"As usual, Kevin makes a mockery out of a serious issue. An issue -- secret non-disclosed ad funding -- that polling shows that the vast majority of Americans from both parties are concerned about."

Are you saying . . . that I mock you?

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/88/88jmockme.phtml

"An overwhelming 84% of voters polled, including 80% of Republicans and 81% of Independents, believe voters have a right to know who is paying for ads for a particular candidate."

Indeed. And I'm one of those people that believes voters have a right to know who is paying for political ads. I believe--as I have repeatedly said--in full disclosure of campaign contributions and whose paying what for what advertising.

"Kevin, the joke's on you."

Well, good, because unlike some people (hint, hint(, I appreciate even the attempt to inject a little levity into the grim tedium of our daily lives. :)

"This is how far out of the mainstream you really are."

Because, in this case, I agree with the great majority of voters that whose paying for what political advertising (and, I think, you agree with me on this, as well), it's evidence that I'm out of the mainstream. As your massive intellect clears dwarfs my own meager one, I think I must be missing something.

You do understand that I support full disclosure of campaign donations and who finances campaign advertising? And that I've made that statement, repeatedly?

"What a fraud."

To quote, once again, Inigo Montoya. "You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Undisclosed donors, donating large amounts, are concerning to all voters. The party that appears to benefit from such donations, has less moral authority. It is to both parties interest to preserve voters' confidence in the voting system. Both parties should support disclosure of all large donations.

If voters come to believe that elections are anonymously rigged, they will stop voting. That is how we could lose our democracy, eventually.

A good analogy is to the NY stock exchange. Transparency and rules are the only "currency" that the NYSE has. The market works when people believe they can know what is going on, and everyone has to follow the rules. The flash crash of May jeopardized that. Individual investors have been leaving the stock market in droves, and may never come back. It's gotten so bad, that there now is talk about starting a separate stock market just for retail investors.

Transparency and rules are good. Black boxes are bad.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

ncidentally, anyone else notice that Obama's undisclosed money has gone up from $25M to $100M+? By the election, Jake'll have it up to $800M

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 18, 2010 2:33 PM |
......................

That was an excellent return on those small donations.

It is just like the miracle of the loaves and fishes. and to think all those birthers have been claiming that Obama is a Muslim, when he might just be the return of you know who.

How else can we explain such a modern day miracle?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Dirty money = money from people who can't afford to give more than a couple of hundred dollars.

Gee, it's a shame that unified Republican rule was such a disaster that millions of ordinary Joes decided it was in their financial interest to give to the other guy. So UNFAIR!!!! Everyone knows that the only legitimate campaign funding comes from millionaires, billionaires, or guys who know enough wealth folks to bundle millions in donations. Who do these cheapskate rabble giving $50 each think they are, anyway?

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

It is unbelievable that the democrats have so few issues that this subject is getting pushed so close to the election.

This one is packed with such deceptions by Obama.

The Chamber of Commerce got their response off in less than an hour.

Greg posted at 12:51

Greg's retraction, complete with references to Washington Post aricles came at 1:57.


The internet is fast, huh?

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"Both parties should support disclosure of all large donations."

Both parties should support what is constitutionally the correct thing to do.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 18, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"You are mistakenly conflating the expression of political opinion with "buying" the government. Hence your argument fails."

DURRR!!!

As we all know, corporations operate under a single mandate - "generate profit for shareholders."

As such, it would not only be a dereliction of responsibility to shareholders to spend their money to simply "express an opinion," it would actually be ILLEGAL in many if not all cases. Corporations don't spend their shareholders' money on things that do not bring benefit to the corporation and by extension, the shareholders who own it.

It is you who fails. Perhaps you should think these things through a little more carefully before inserting your foot in your mouth.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Both parties should support what is constitutionally the correct thing to do.
--------------------------------
Which is? Don't withhold the answer.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The Fat Cats have already bought The Republican Party. They would not be laundering all those big bribes through Karl Rove and The Chamber Of Con Artists, without having first made sure that a Republican Puppet Government will stay bribed.

Why do you think John Boehner's unspecific Pledge was written on the back of an IOU note, to The Robber Barons?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention that non-living entities cannot have "opinions". They can have interests, but not "opinions". A human brain is required for forming an opinion, and a corporation doesn't have one. This seems counterintuitive to you perhaps because so many conservatives also have "opinions" while lacking brains. But they have rudimentary ones at least. Corporations lack even these.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"putting a McCain sticker on your vehicle back in 2008 was a sign of courage."

Perhaps...along with it being a sure sign of stupidity!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"It matters because people have a right to know whose interests are being represented by the ads."

No, actually they don't. There is no such right in our Constitution or history. If knowing "who paid" is important to people, they can discount any ads that don't disclose who paid for them, and presumably will (and, btw, that would be essentially all the ads, since people won't bother to go look up donors anyway).

Liberalism always seeks to infantilize people and make them dependents. This is just another expression of the same ambition.

"Why do conservatives hate the founding fathers?"

The founding fathers engaged in the long tradition of anonymous advocacy. See, e.g., The Federalist.

We already knew the left hated the founders, the irony of this charge is hard to exceed.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@kevin:

"It takes a real friend to point something like that out."

Why would I want to be friends with a lying, disingenuous person who constantly mocks serious issues? You are not my friend and you never will be.

"I'm one of those people that believes voters have a right to know who is paying for political ads"

Right, you just don't think it's happening. You don't think it's happening despite overwhelming evidence of UNPRECEDENTED 3rd party spending coming after your Right Wing extremist ideologues on the SCOTUS allowed unlimited ad spending by corporations.

The fact that you can sit there with a straight face and suggest that it would bother you, "if I thought that was happening," just shows exactly what kind of delusional fraud you are. It IS happening as we speak. You are WRONG. ADMIT IT FOR ONCE.

"(I appreciate even the attempt to inject a little levity into the grim tedium of our daily lives. :)"

So do I.

Making a mockery out of unlimited corporate influence over our government is hardly something I would consider "levity."

It is sick, twisted, demented, delusional, and in poor taste. You have one helluva sense of humor. You've mocked race issues, you mock extreme corporate influence over our government... What's next, "Hahaha that kid has cancer from polluted drinking water, hahaha, so funny."

"You do understand that I support full disclosure of campaign donations and who finances campaign advertising? And that I've made that statement, repeatedly?"

I understand what you've said repeatedly. I also understand that you don't think the current environment is anything unusual. Clearly you are wrong on the facts. Clearly you don't care that you are wrong on the facts, just like you were clearly wrong when you blamed President Obama for the Bush FY2009 budget. Clearly you are going to vote again and again and again for far-right politicians who OPPOSE what you supposedly support. You are a fraud. That's what frauds do. Say one thing, do another. Heckuva job.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Shorter quarterback:

As a citizen, it's none of your da*n business if North Korea spends billions to support the people running to represent you, and you have no right to know they're the ones paying for the snow job.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Which is? Don't withhold the answer."

Who am I? John Paul Stevens?

I believe the US Supreme Court has recently decided the issue.

We can disagree about the decision, but we shouldn't hypocritically pretend that the GOP is doing something that the Dems do not. If the Dems hadn't tried to ram through a purely partisan campaign finance reform bill merely to gain an election advantage we might have been able to do something about this.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 18, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"It matters because people have a right to know whose interests are being represented by the ads."

No, actually they don't. There is no such right in our Constitution or history.
----------------------------------
Makes you wonder how the existing campaign disclosure laws got by the SCOTUS. Perhaps, the SCOTUS and quarterback are not always on the same wave length.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

At some point these boards will have an Ignore feature so nitwits like Joke can talk to themselves and whatever other no-life saps care to listen to his drivel.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 18, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't the DNC running ads, showing John Boehner passing out Tobacco Lobby checks on the floor of the house, just before a crucial vote on legislation that the Tobacco Cartel wanted passed?

Wouldn't that be a clear graphic way to show the voters what sort of a agent of corrupt business interests could become the next Speaker Of The US House Of Representatives?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

we shouldn't hypocritically pretend that the GOP is doing something that the Dems do not.
----------------------
Perhaps, this is your central point. I'm not pretending anything. As I said, both parties benefit when voters trust the system. Both parties suffer when voters distrust the system.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Jenn from Arkansas

You know perfectly well that dirty money is the excess money that Obama spent above that which was envisioned by the campaign finance system

Obama committed himself to being a part of that system, and abiding by those limitations.

Obama lied on that issue. Any money in addition up to the $700 Million is dirty money.

Please act like an adult.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@12bar: I think we are on the same wavelength. I think QB made a fair point that I'd like to hear you remark on:

"If knowing "who paid" is important to people, they can discount any ads that don't disclose who paid for them."

I know that I ignore any ad that is paid for by the CA teachers union or by the prison guards union. Don't you think most people are that smart? Don't you personally ignore ads paid for by the CoC?

Posted by: sbj3 | October 18, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Once big secret money gets the election results that they have paid for; representative democracy is doomed. Very few politicians are going to run for office, or run for reelection, without signing on to what the money says they should sign on to.

We are on the verge of becoming modern day Russia.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 18, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Jack Conway campaign denies his new ad was designed to question Rand Paul's faith:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/jack_conway_campaign_denies_ad.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 18, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"If knowing "who paid" is important to people, they can discount any ads that don't disclose who paid for them."
-----------------------------------
Sounds like negotiating talk to me.

If knowing who paid is important, why can't people know who paid? It seems so simple.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"You know perfectly well that dirty money is the excess money that Obama spent above that which was envisioned by the campaign finance system"

I KNOW no such thing, and neither do you, you moron. You seem to be under the misconception that candidates are REQUIRED to take public funding and abide by spending limits. They are not and the law is very clear on this point. There is nothing "dirty" about opting out of the system; it's perfectly legal. Furthermore, a campaign that can attract millions of small donors is the kind of campaign that DOES NOT pose a problem - no one can "buy access" or favorable treatment with a $200 or less donation. The same does NOT hold true for entities or individuals giving MILLIONS of dollars - an elected official can operate against their wishes only at his or her own peril, because such a wealthy entity can and will throw that money AGAINST them in the next election if they are sufficiently angered about not getting everything they want.

I don't have to TRY to act like an adult; I am one. You might TRY keeping your mouth shut with regard to subjects about which you know less than NOTHING, though I realize this would render you completely mute.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Why would I want to be friends with a lying, disingenuous person who constantly mocks serious issues? You are not my friend and you never will be."

Well, what a tragic loss that is for me. However, I will bravely try to soldier on.

"Right, you just don't think it's happening."

I do not think that corporations are buying our elections. Otherwise, they'd snap a choice vote like yours right up, Ethan.

Therefore, I'm forced to conclude, for the most part, people are voting based on the political affiliations, person ideologies, and analysis of the issues. I know, crazy, huh? I must be a liar and a fraud.

"You are WRONG. ADMIT IT FOR ONCE."

While I'm not wrong about this, I have confessed error many times in my life, and even here, in the hallowed halls of the Plumline. I don't think I've ever seen you concede even the possibility of you being incorrect, about anything. If I'm mistaken about that, I'm sure you'll enlighten me. Until then, in regards to acknowledging error (or the possibility of), I'm way ahead of you, in that regard.

"Making a mockery out of unlimited corporate influence over our government is hardly something I would consider 'levity.'"

That's because you really need to see a medical professional to have that stick removed from your posterior. And now, since we've got healthcare reform, you really don't have any more excuses not to. /levity

"It is sick, twisted, demented, delusional, and in poor taste. You have one helluva sense of humor. You've mocked race issues, you mock extreme corporate influence over our government... What's next, 'Hahaha that kid has cancer from polluted drinking water, hahaha, so funny.'"

I don't think that's funny. Who thinks that funny? You don't think that's funny, do you? No, you can't, because you don't ever think anything's funny. Also, you have an interesting concept of what "mocking" is.

"Clearly you are going to vote again and again and again for far-right politicians who OPPOSE what you supposedly support. You are a fraud. That's what frauds do. Say one thing, do another. Heckuva job."

Okay, fess up. You're really Koch Bros. employee going around to different blogs trying to chase fence-sitting or waffling conservatives and Republicans firmly back into the Republican camp, right? You put on your scary "crazy liberal" mask and try and give them the right of their life, so they won't even think of trying to interact or open any kind of dialog with liberals again, right? Am I right?

Because that would certainly explain your approach.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 18, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Not to mention that non-living entities cannot have "opinions". They can have interests, but not "opinions"."

This woman is as ignorant and thoughtless as she is self assured of her own brilliance. For example, she obviously doesn't know that there are many contexts in which corporations are in fact compelled by law to state opinions and intentions and provide information "known" to the corporation. Have a look at Rule 30(b)(6) of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure if you don't believe the law treats corporations as having virtual minds. Explain how it is that a corporation can be prosecuted for a crime or sued for fraud, each of which generally requires proof of mens rea or guilty mind. Go read some SEC filings by corporations and come back and tell us all about how corporations can't have opinions when, golly gee whiz, the law requires them to form and state all sorts of opinions about their finances, their prospects, their business conditions, etc.

I've repeatedly challenged liberals here to flesh out the full implications of their position that corporations should be treated as nonpersons without rights. None of them ever dare, because their position is nonsensical and would, taken seriously, destroy our economy in its entirety.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"This seems counterintuitive to you perhaps because so many conservatives also have "opinions" while lacking brains. But they have rudimentary ones at least. Corporations lack even these."

LMAO!!! Jenn you're on fire today. :-)

What worse than conservatives having opinions while lacking brains is they frequently conflate their "opinions" with facts.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Jenn from Arkansas

When a person commits to being part of the Campaign Finance System, and then goes and spends $700 Million Dollars, that is dirty money.

For decades both parties had agreed to be part of this system.

Why is Obama different? Why can't Obama play by the established rules like everyone else.


You really do not act like an adult. Really, stop the silly squabbling with people who are trying to be serious.

Meanwhile, Obama has no business complaining about $50 Million of ads when he went OUTSIDE the system to gain a $600 Million advantage. You are being dishonest.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"I KNOW no such thing, and neither do you, you moron. . . .

"I don't have to TRY to act like an adult; I am one. You might TRY keeping your mouth shut with regard to subjects about which you know less than NOTHING, though I realize this would render you completely mute."

lol, how very "adult" these comments are. This woman is plainly engaged in self parody.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Jenn from Arkansas

Apparently you believe that being rude makes you correct on an issue. Quite the opposite is true, you indicate that you are wrong.

Yes, your maturity is in question.

Most people around you would prefer that you act like an adult. I would imagine that those same people would also prefer that you act like a lady as well.

Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

12barblues wrote:

"If voters come to believe that elections are anonymously rigged, they will stop voting. That is how we could lose our democracy, eventually."


You've never lived in Chicago have you?

"A good analogy is to the NY stock exchange. Transparency and rules are the only "currency" that the NYSE has. The market works when people believe they can know what is going on, and everyone has to follow the rules. The flash crash of May jeopardized that. Individual investors have been leaving the stock market in droves, and may never come back. It's gotten so bad, that there now is talk about starting a separate stock market just for retail investors.

Transparency and rules are good. Black boxes are bad."


Don't take this personally, but that description doesn't fit any stock market that I've ever invested in. Lack of transparency is a given, which is why so much money is made trying to guess the results of companies' quarterly conference calls.

Other than that I usually like your writing.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"You are mistakenly conflating the expression of political opinion with "buying" the government. Hence your argument fails."

No Scott as usual you are conflating one of your black and white "theories" with "reality". We realize you have difficulty with life in the "real" world and are not able to operate with much nuance.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"What worse than conservatives having opinions while lacking brains is they frequently conflate their "opinions" with facts."

How ruk would know this is a mystery, since he is congenitally unable to tell the difference between his own opinions and facts. More so than any person I've ever encountered.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Will you idiots stop trying to hide behind YOUR INTERPRETATION of the Constitution?

It's really lame and growing quite tedious!!

First no less a Constitutional authority than Jefferson believed the Constitution to be a living document! It's not like Latin a dead language...hence a system for amending it.

Then there is the matter of interpretation. From the very beginning there have been differences of opinion.
Washington and Hamilton disagreed with Jefferson and Madison from the get go on the role of the Feds versus State's rights.

Get a grip. This country will be what the citizens wish it to be...or what the corporations want it to be..all this BS about the Constitution is a lame coverup for the lack of ability to actually articulate a vision for our nation.

Certainly you

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

You've never lived in Chicago have you?
-----------------------------------
No, I haven't. Chicago is known for its corrupt elections. What is the rate of voter participation in Chicago? Perhaps that would be an interesting data point.
--------------------------------

that description doesn't fit any stock market that I've ever invested in. Lack of transparency is a given...

It's hard to argue that lack of transparency hasn't done a great deal of damage (some of the shenanigans in CDS for example). Compared to foreign markets, however, I will argue that, historically, the U.S. markets have been known for their (relative) transparency and rules. That's how they achieved their size.

That is also the reason that larger foreign companies list their shares on the U.S. markets, to get some of the juice from being listed here.

------------------------
Thanks for the compliment. You'll be on my Christmas card list.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

This is how low Conservatives have sunk: they are now DEFENDING anonymous secret money being used to influence American elections. The Plutocrats have finally shown their cards. Now we must defeat them, once and for all, so that the nation is no longer a piggy bank for rapacious greedheads, so that we Americans can once again use our government to solve our common problems.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Q.B. Coming from a moron like you that really really hurts. LMAO!!!! Glad to know that I've gotten that far under your skin that you now regard me with superlatives...

"More so than any person I've ever encountered."

That's special indeed to have reached superlative status in your world!!! :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

54465446

She is right - the black boxes have been installed at the New York Stock Exchange.

In fact, the split-seconds are so important to these supercomputers, the speed of the electrons and light in the fiber-optic cables has been at issue.

Those with the black boxes have asked to be closer to the main computer of the New York Stock Exchange.

What to do ???

You may not believe this, but the New York Stock Exchange has moved to a place called Mahwah, New Jersey. Mahwah does rhyme. It is an old indian name. It is also the home of a wild indian-black tribe called the Jackson Whites, descendents of freed slaves and native Americans who live in huts in the woods.

Yes, it is all true.

In Mahwah, New Jersey, the New York Stock Exchange has placed its main computer, and they have started to rent out spaces in the same building to owners of black boxes seeking to get as close as possible to the main Exchange computer.

The main floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall and Broad is now pretty insignificant.

The center of the financial universe, the center of world capitalism, is not Mahwah, New Jersey.

I suppose the original idea was the terrorists could bomb the Stock Exchange building and the trading did not have to miss a beat.


Posted by: CapitolOrCapital | October 18, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Blah blah blah, STRF. Blah blah blah, qb.

What a waste of time you both are.

As for corporations having "opinions", perhaps you can tell us all what Exxon/Mobil's favorite color is. When's the last time they ran an ad or blogged about their favorite author or movie?

Legal fictions notwithstanding, they aren't people; they don't, as such, have "opinions." What they have are interests, which are defined as "what makes more money for the corporation." As such, they cannot have an "opinion" about a political candidate or issue - what they have is an INTEREST in electoral outcomes, which is defined by their bottom line. They spend on things that will increase it; if they did otherwise they would be committing a breach of fiduciary responsibility against their shareholders.

So much for the fiction that they aren't trying to buy influence - or the government itself outright - when they participate in the political process. If they stood to gain nothing from it, they would be acting illegally against the interests of their shareholders.

Spin and blow smoke all you like, but we all know what's going on here, and so do you - it's just that you're so pathologically dishonest that you'll try to shroud it in BS.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 18, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

capital wrote:

"She is right - the black boxes have been installed at the New York Stock Exchange.

In fact, the split-seconds are so important to these supercomputers, the speed of the electrons and light in the fiber-optic cables has been at issue.

Those with the black boxes have asked to be closer to the main computer of the New York Stock Exchange."


I wasn't disputing the technical aspects. I was pointing out that an individual investor is foolish to think that the market is in anyway transparent. It is at every point more rigged than your average carnival midway. That's ok though, because the investors who get hurt most are the ones who get out of the game.

Look at the fools (hopefully none of you) who got out of the market two years ago at it's low point and so missed the whole climb back up. For an individual investor, it's pretty simple. Do what Warren Buffet says and does. If he's buying, you buy, as long as they are stable long term companies.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"First no less a Constitutional authority than Jefferson believed the Constitution to be a living document!"

First, no he wasn't. None of the founders was. Second, Jefferson had no role in drafting the Constitution. He was in France. Hard to miss the truth more wildly than you did there.

"It's not like Latin a dead language...hence a system for amending it."

How true. Key word being "amending" it. Not pretending its existing words have no meaning or authority.

"Then there is the matter of interpretation. From the very beginning there have been differences of opinion."

From near the beginning there have indeed been differences. But not until less than 100 years ago did radicals begin to advocate the lawless "living constitution." All of the founders would have rejected contemporary "living constitution" sophistry out of hand as lawless and ultra vires.

"all this BS about the Constitution is a lame coverup for the lack of ability to actually articulate a vision for our nation."

ruk's radicalism in a nutshell: lipservice to the Constitution, covering up the reality that liberals see it as just a lot of "BS" from the past that shouldn't get in their way of radical "transformation" of the country into a Brave New World.


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

rukidding:

QB's problem is that he is an ideologue. So he is impervious to evidence or reason. There is only one proper conclusion no matter what: the one dictated by free market orthodoxy. We'd be as well off arguing with a religious fanatic. The Radical Right Wing: A disease or a lifestyle choice?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

qb wrote"

"First no less a Constitutional authority than Jefferson believed the Constitution to be a living document!"

QB, who said this? (I know you didn't)

Nothing could be more off base, even coming from STRF!!!!

Jefferson did not participate in the Constitutional Convention and was no authority on it whasoever. Furthermore he was the most strict of constructionists, (out of office at least), but of course the MOST hypocrtical in his use of power as President.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne "We'd be as well off arguing with a religious fanatic."

Amen. But I no longer "argue" or "debate" with Q.B. because he doesn't have the ability of diplomacy to discuss things like an adult. We went round and round on the "Gov't Takeover" of the medical system. Politifact determined Q.B.'s position was an epic FAIL. He was wrong but Q.B. has never admitted he has EVER made a mistake. I gave him a thoughtful response on how to balance the budget by including cuts in defense spending and he simply responded with inane prattle. No Q.B. doesn't have the ability to discuss and he has yet to demonstrate the first microscopic bit of critical thinking.

It is as you point out wbgonne like trying to reason with an Islamic Terrorist...they and Q.B. have their beliefs and they are not going to respond to reason.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

That's ok though, because the investors who get hurt most are the ones who get out of the game.
-------------------------
@numbers,

Sad but true. I have learned, the hard way, not to get shook out. I have friends, though, who don't have the temperament to ride it out. That is very sad, because inevitably, they bail near the bottom (when they should be buying) and buy near the tops (when they should be selling). Do that a couple of times, and you'll have nothing left to invest even if you still have the nerve to do so.

I have a friend who is always lobbying me to trade with him on foreign markets. No thanks. I trade foreign stocks, but I trade them here, or through mutual funds. It's hard to enough to figure out our system, without figuring out someone else's system.

Ideally, we, as investors, gain when the market is less rigged. We lose when the market is more rigged. If the market loses enough credibility that individual investors simply avoid it, how will people save for retirement, a house, a kid's college? Fixed income securities pay nearly nothing.

BTW, I like your advice about Warren Buffett. Simple and right on. But what happens when Warren is gone? Is he the last righteous man?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"QB's problem is that he is an ideologue. So he is impervious to evidence or reason."

Who cited "evidence" above and who didn't?

Do you ever think before you post your drivel?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes Q.B. you idiot....we should all go back to the freaking LETTER OF THE LAW where the Constitution is concerned!!!!

Q.B. BELIEVES black people represent 3/5 of a person...and Q.B. believes women should not have the right to vote!!!

I can understand why he is hacked at women since Jenn cleans his ignorant ranting clock everytime a debate heats up. Give up Q.B. you are NO MATCH FOR JENN!!!!!

Sorry Jenn...I actually respect your posts a great deal and so I don't mean to dismiss them with such faint praise as being heads and shoulders above Q.B.'s supercilious prattle!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Jenn...I actually respect your posts a great deal and so I don't mean to dismiss them with such faint praise as being heads and shoulders above Q.B.'s supercilious prattle!!!!
-----------------------------------
If y'all even knew how much STRF wishes this was aimed at him.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

12barblues wrote:

I don't look for righteous, just right. Buffet is going to live forever because that was part of the deal he made with Goldman at the bottom of the market. Goldman, after all, really IS the devil

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@12BarBlues "If y'all even knew how much STRF wishes this was aimed at him."

As you might say...bwaahaahaaa

Has he changed names yet again? I see another new poster here with a very similar mind set.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Buffet is going to live forever because that was part of the deal he made with Goldman at the bottom of the market.
--------------------------------------
Let's hope he can deliver on that deal.

The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind 'cos he was way behind: he was willin' to make a deal.
When he came across this young man (Warren) sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"We went round and round on the "Gov't Takeover" of the medical system. Politifact determined Q.B.'s position was an epic FAIL."

Never happened. If you mean your lame attempt to claim that "Fox lies" based on a survey taken in August 2009, the truth is I utterly demolished your illogical hash of an argument, and you were left with insults and frustrated SCREAMING!!!!

"I gave him a thoughtful response on how to balance the budget by including cuts in defense spending and he simply responded with inane prattle."

You gave a strident and immature tirade about how the budget can be balanced by cutting defense, because "that is where the money is." I factually exposed the laughably faulty math underlying your argument, and you responded with juvenile put downs and not a shred of facts or evidence.

Scoreboard: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/happy_hour_roundup_108.html

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"I do not think that corporations are buying our elections."

Then what the heck is THIS:

* Concerned Taxpayers group is powered by only two donors *

Daniel G. Schuster Inc., a concrete firm in Owings Mills, Md., gave two donations to the group totaling $300,000, new disclosure records show. New York hedge fund executive Robert Mercer gave the group $200,000.

[...]

The group's rapid creation - and its narrow funding base - illustrates how one or two wealthy donors can have a dramatic impact on political races, particularly in the wake of recent court rulings that have swept away many traditional spending limits.

The Concerned Taxpayers, which lists a Capitol Hill townhouse as its address, has spent $450,000 on television advertising targeting just two lawmakers: Reps. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Frank M. Kratovil Jr. (D-Md.).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/16/AR2010101603822.html

After reading that, do you really think that these corporate entities plopping down hundreds of thousands of dollars in attack ads is NOT an attempt to buy the election for the Republicans?

"I don't think I've ever seen you concede even the possibility of you being incorrect, about anything."

I certainly have. I am confident in my comments because I am well informed. But I certainly HOPE that if I am ever wrong on the facts that someone responds and corrects me. You, on the other hand, I pointed out a factual error to you just over the weekend (FY2009 budget) and you did NOT admit that you were wrong. For the record, I am intellectually honest, Kevin, and I hope that you will correct me if I am ever factually wrong on any issue.

"You don't think that's funny, do you?"

Of course not. I've been fighting most of my adult life for a clean environment, sustainability, and wilderness and wildlife preservation.

Again, I assume that you don't think that is funny either, but then again you have mocked many serious issues before and you exclusively support Republican politicians who oppose environmental regulations so I don't know WHAT you think on any given issue.

Marsha Blackburn, for one, has done everything in her power to fight regulating carbon in order to protect the most polluting industries known to mankind -- the very same polluting corporations, like Massey Energy, who engage in destructive extractive operations that lead to carcinogenic toxic substances in drinking water.

"Carol Browner's comments higlight [sic.] the need for Congress to act to restrict the EPA's regulatory authority immediately"

~ Kevin Willis' congressional representative

"""Blackburn is sponsor of H.R. 391, a bill that would void the EPA's finding that some green house gasses endanger human life and strikes EPA's authority to regualte those gasses through the Clean Air Act."""

She wants to void the finding of the SCOTUS that the EPA has the regulatory authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

That's the person YOU vote for, fraud.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I see another new poster here with a very similar mind set.
-------------------------------
Oh, if you mean Cap/Cap, that's STRF. He's trying to hide from the monitors. So far, it ain't workin'.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"Corporations don't spend their shareholders' money on things that do not bring benefit to the corporation and by extension, the shareholders who own it."

Heh. Obviously you are pretty unfamiliar with corporations. They quite often waste money on things that add no shareholder value. But that aside, of course corporations believe that spending money on expressing political opinions will redound to the benefit of shareholders. Still, that has nothing to do with "buying" the government, which was your original, non-sensical claim.

"Not to mention that non-living entities cannot have "opinions"...A human brain is required for forming an opinion, and a corporation doesn't have one."

So, a corporation cannot have an opinion because it lacks a brain,, but it can determine to "buy" the government despite this lack of a brain. Ah, the mental gymnastics of liberal "thinking".

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 18, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

For example, in West Virginia:

Just down the mountain from Larry Gibson’s home, in the town of Rock Creek, stands the Marsh Fork Elementary School. Back in 2004, Ed Wiley, a forty-seven-year-old West Virginian who spent years working on strip mines, was called by the school to come pick up his granddaughter Kayla because she was sick. “She had a real bad color to her,” Wiley told me. The next day the school called again because Kayla was ill, and the day after that. Wiley started flipping through the sign-out book and found that fifteen to twenty students went home sick every day because of asthma problems, severe headaches, blisters in their mouths, constant runny noses, and nausea. In May 2005, when Mountain Justice volunteers started going door-to-door in an effort to identify citizens’ concerns and possibly locate cancer clusters, West Virginia activist Bo Webb found that 80 percent of parents said their children came home from school with a variety of illnesses.

The school, a small brick building, sits almost directly beneath a Massey Energy subsidiary’s processing plant where coal is washed and stored. Coal dust settles like pollen over the playground. Nearly three billion gallons of coal slurry, which contains extremely high levels of mercury, cadmium, and nickel, are stored behind a 385-foot-high earthen dam right above the school.

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/166/

The company that causes those devastating illnesses in children benefit from YOUR Republican representative's lobbying, Kevin.

You know that.

But you support Massey Energy's practices with your vote.

I'm sure all of those children with blisters in their mouths and poisoned by industrial pollution would thank you for supporting the coal industry. That is they would thank you if they weren't excruciatingly ill.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 18, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Yes Q.B. you idiot....we should all go back to the freaking LETTER OF THE LAW where the Constitution is concerned!!!!

Q.B. BELIEVES black people represent 3/5 of a person...and Q.B. believes women should not have the right to vote!!!"

rukidding apparently doesn't know about the 13th, 14th, and 19th amendments.

"I can understand why he is hacked at women since Jenn cleans his ignorant ranting clock everytime a debate heats up. Give up Q.B. you are NO MATCH FOR JENN!!!!!"

Haha, which would explain why I demolished her (and your) argument above with specific facts, only to be met with vapid insults.

Do you want another chance? How about you answer the questions and explain away the specific facts and legal principles I cited above? Did you know that a corporation can be compelled to testify under oath? How is that possible, if your and Jenn's position is correct? How can they be sued for fraud, or convicted of criminal fraud or other crimes, which require proof of a state of mind? How can they be required by law to render innumerable different opinions, if it is impossible for them to have opinions?

How about you explain how Jefferson, who had no role in drafting the Constitution, is a leading authority on its meaning? How about you explain which of the founders advocated the "living constitution"?

Here are many chances for you to prove just what a moron and ideologue I am, rukidding. What's holding you back?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I see another new poster here with a very similar mind set.
-------------------------------
Oh, if you mean Cap/Cap, that's STRF. He's trying to hide from the monitors. So far, it ain't workin'.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

If he were REALLY clever he'd just post a normal number of single-spaced comments. Then we'd never know it was him.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

544... said:

"qb wrote"

"First no less a Constitutional authority than Jefferson believed the Constitution to be a living document!""

No, rukidding made that ridiculous statement, and I refuted it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"of course corporations believe that spending money on expressing political opinions will redound to the benefit of shareholders. Still, that has nothing to do with "buying" the government"

Priceless. Who you gonna believe: me, or your lying eyes?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 18, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

.

.

You must have missed my reply to you on the prior thread.

.

.

"The best counter attack I've seen is from JakeD2, who talks about Obama's campaign. Of course, $25M not known out of $800M is 3%. I'd settle for an equal accounting from Crossroads GPS. 97% of their donors."

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 16, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"It was actually over $103 million in UNCODED campaign contributions for Obama's 2008 run. Under the law, Crossroads GPS is NOT obligated to disclose donors -- Obama was -- see the difference?

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00009638

YOU don't get to 'settle' for violating First Amendment rights!"

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 10:35 AM

.

.

The $25 million in Obama contributions is just one "small" part of what the WaPo INVESTIGATIVE journolists (as opposed to the partisan journ-O-lists) should have gotten to the bottom of in 2008.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne "If he were REALLY clever he'd just post a normal number of single-spaced comments. Then we'd never know it was him."

Except for his Obama derangement syndrome. It is as bad as it gets on this blog...but alas not in real life.

This past week, my wife a dentist was taken to lunch by a professional acquaintance of over 30 years...and endodonist who values her referrals. I asked how it was having to lunch with such a scumbag racist. She laughed and told me of his lastest plan.

This man has purchased two acres in Panaman..figures Costa Rica is too unstable right now..lol...true btw...and he told my wife if that n*gg*r get elected in 2012 he's leaving the country for good.
Just another solid reason to vote for Obama in 2012...let's get a loser out of this country. His brother a member of the John Birch Society will leave with him..so we'd get a twofer!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Since Q.B. is the self proclaimed genius who I do not choose to debate...let him have at Abraham Lincoln who pretty much backs up Jenn on her points...

"The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the Bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed. Abraham Lincoln

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Scott:

"So, a corporation cannot have an opinion because it lacks a brain,, but it can determine to "buy" the government despite this lack of a brain. Ah, the mental gymnastics of liberal "thinking"."

Indeed, it can apparently form the opinion that speaking an opinion is in its interests, it just can't form the latter opinion in the first place . . . since it lacks a brain. This is brilliant stuff.

If jenn ever thought for two seconds before posting her next insult, she might have noticed the concept implicit in her statement: "Corporations don't spend their shareholders' money on things that [THEY] do not [BELIEVE] bring benefit to the corporation and by extension, the shareholders who own it."

Of course, as you point out, that is an incredibly naive belief in itself. She might also be shocked to find out that one of the principal defenses of corporations to shareholder (and other suits) for fraud is that statements they made were matters of opinion and not fact.

LOL these liberals are such lightweight ignoramuses. Sorry to "name call," but this thread is just too much.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

If he were REALLY clever he'd just post a normal number of single-spaced comments. Then we'd never know it was him.
--------------------------------------
Seems so simple, doesn't it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 18, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"She might also be shocked to find out..."

If, of course, she ever showed any interest in actually "finding out" something.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 18, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"Since Q.B. is the self proclaimed genius who I do not choose to debate..."

We can all see why you choose not to debate.

"let him have at Abraham Lincoln who pretty much backs up Jenn on her points..."

If by "pretty much" you mean, has nothing to do with jenn's claims.

You've been exposed yet again, ruk. And, given the vicious personal nature of your comments, I've enjoyed it and will continue to enjoy exposing your intellectual bankruptcy and vacuity.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Here you go cement head Q.B.

The Constitution was never intended to be a dogmatic rigid document as you suggest. From the original intent, BEFORE the Constitution was even penned the Committee of Detail said the Document should adhere to two basic principles...

In the draught of a fundamental constitution, two things deserve attention:

1. To insert essential principles only; lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions PERMANENT AND UNALTERABLE, which ought to be ACCOMMODATED TO THE TIMES AND EVENTS: and

2. To use simple and precise language, and general propositions, according to the example of the constitutions of the several states."[1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_of_Detail

Of course I suspect we'll hear admission of YOUR ERROR about the same time you claim accountability for your absurd claim about Obamacare being a "government takeover"...as judge FALSE by Politifact.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

So, I guess that means ...

.

.

Thomas Jefferson DID write the Constitution?!

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

Wow, "cement head." That one take you long?

For me to admit error, you first must demonstrate error -- as in when you above claimed that Jefferson was an authority on the Constitution, when it is a historical fact that he was in France when it was drafted.

You claimed above that the Constitution was always intended to be treated as a "living" document. That term has a meaning. It means the provisions and words of the document have no fixed or firm meaning but are open to be "interpreted," ignored, or augmented as judges see fit to reach the judicial results they think best. Roe v. Wade is still one of the paradigmatic examples of this approach, because there is nothing in the Constitution that even remotely supports it. Hence, Blackmun had to invent "emenations from penumbras" that if anything contradicted the actual text and structure of the document.

The two principles you cite in no way support the idea of a "living constitution." Quite the contrary, if the intention was to keep the document to "simple and precise" language, they plainly intended that language to be taken seriously and as written, not to be toyed with or "interpreted" to mean something different or even contrary to its plain meaning. That the approach was to include only essential and general propositions means only that the framers wanted to avoid bogging it down with detail, not, as the "living constitution" approach would have it, that the few "essential propositions" it includes are subject to change and amendment by judges or legislators as they see fit to reach their desired policy results.

You are going to have to wiki-scramble a little harder to support your "living constitution" claims.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"PERMANENT AND UNALTERABLE, which ought to be ACCOMMODATED TO THE TIMES AND EVENTS: and"

OMG you are a cement head Q.B. Someone can even cap something for you for emphasis and you still don't get it!!!!! What do you suppose ACCOMMODATED TO THE TIMES AND EVENTS means moron? You would exasperate a saint!

I never said Jefferson WROTE the Constitution. As I just documented that was done by committee. Is it your contention that the author of the Declaration of Independence and one of the most admired writers and thinkers of his day had NO INPUT on the Constitution because he was in France. He NEVER made his thoughts known before his departure?
He was unable to pen a letter(s) from France expressing his opinions. He knew NOTHING about the document that could have made him an expert?

"The Committee of Detail was a committee established by the Philadelphia Convention on June 23, 1787 to put down a draft text reflecting the agreements made by the Convention up to that point, including the Virginia Plan's 15 resolutions."

Is it your contention Q.B. that Jefferson one of the leading scholars of his home state of Virginia had no input or NO EXPERTISE on the VIRGINIA PLAN'S 15 RESOLUTIONS.

You are truly a cement head a concrete thinker who debates like a child. The only thing dumber than you Q.B. is me for even bothering to engage you...don't worry I've learned my lesson. This is the last bait from a dunderhead like you I shall take...what a waste of pixels you are!!!
Just once ADMIT YOUR FREAKING MISTAKE...but then you're the know it all who was judged WRONG by Politifact and still can't bring yourself to admit your error. What a pathetic loser!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Greg, reading the rebuttal from the Chamber shows that this column of yours contains "debunked falsehoods, distortions."

Posted by: dualdiagnosis | October 18, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

dualdiagnosis:

That's exactly what I said above ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

And so Jake and Dual you are perfectly fine with the fact that for all you know thanks to the Supremes C.U. decision Osama Bin Laden could be funneling some of his hundreds of millions into this years elections. That's right morons. You cannot say with any certainity that Al Qaeda...Communist China or anybody else is not spending profusely on our elections can you. What freaking idiots!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

Your fussing, fuming, and name calling don't prove anything except that you are ill tempered and immature.

You are a sloppy thinker, and you are prone to expressing ambitious opinions about things you know little about and have thought little about. This is a perfect example.

Part of your problem is that you don't seem to have a good understanding what the concept of a "living constitution" means. A "living constituion means that federal judges can prohibit states from regulating abortion, even though there is nothing in the Constitution remotely giving them that power, and the 10th Amendment strongly supports the argument that they have no such power. A "living constitution" similarly allows federal judges to invent a constitutiional "right" to homosexual marriage that has no conceivable basis in the document, and allows Congress to, for example, regulate gun ownership, domestic relations, and what you grow in your garden, despite no remotely applicable power delegated in the Constitution.

These are not just matters of "filling in details" of government "operations" that aren't addressed by the "essential principles" stated in the Constitution. These are usurpations that contradict the very terms of the Constitution, yet they are justified by advocates of a "living constitution" on grounds that we can't be bound by any fixed meaning of the words the framers used.

The fact that the framers did not try to fill in all the operational details of government does not mean, as the "living constitution" advocates claim, that they are free to ignore the meaning of the "essential principles" they did write. For example, Article II does not detail how the office of the President or the cabinet must function, because that is part of the "operations" that the framers did not want to make "permanent and unalterable." But Article II does clearly state that the President has the executive power. Advocates of a "living constitution" really are not concerned with the former, but they have vigorously attacked the executive power of the President, on grounds that times require us to abandon the Constitution's clear separation of powers. In short, the drafters left room for adaptation in matters like how the President runs his office, and they stated the Constitution's provisions generally to be applicable to new circumstances, but the did NOT write them to be ignored or twisted to mean the opposite of the "simple and precise" language they used.

In that regard, I note that you ignore the second drafting principle you quoted. It states the principle of using "simple and precise" language, which the drafters for the most part did. They plainly did not intend their "simple and precise" language to be open to multiple, changing interpretations. Why do you fail to address this obvious problem with your argument?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Finally ruk, you are obviously ignorant of the fact that your beloved "living constitution" myth is part of one of the most anti-democratic, anti-populist usurpations of the past century -- one the left foisted on naive people like you.

Let me explain so that perhaps even you can understand why. The rational always used by "living constituion" judges and SCOTUS majorities -- in cases like Roe -- is that social consensus and mores have "evolved" and changed, making it necessary for the court to adopt new "rights" and constitutional "ideas" like the right to abortion on demand. But there is always a fundamental logical flaw with this argument?

Can you spot it? Here it is: if the social consensus had really moved to support abortion on demand as a right, then there would be no need for SCOTUS to enforce it on the country. It's really just a way for judges who believe themselves our superiors to ignore the Constitution and impose their will.

And guess what the punch line turns out to be? Twenty years later, we get a case like Casey, in which a new set of usurpers announces that, even though Roe was probably wrong in the first place, the Court has to reaffirm it BECAUSE of the public outcry and sustained opposition to it. That's right, the Court twenty years later admits that, not only was there never a social consensus in favor of abortion but that there still isn't, but that become the reason for the court to enforce its own usurpation.

So congratulations, ruk, you are fiercely advocating for the most elitist, anti-democratic idea current in our government. You are in favor of judicial imperialism in all its glory.

And then you said this nonsense:

"And so Jake and Dual you are perfectly fine with the fact that for all you know thanks to the Supremes C.U. decision Osama Bin Laden could be funneling some of his hundreds of millions into this years elections."

Wrong, foreign funding is unaffected by C.U. CoC is subject to audit, and its contributors are disclosed to the IRS. I'm pretty sure Obama will let us know if they are a bin Laden front group.

"You cannot say with any certainity that Al Qaeda...Communist China or anybody else is not spending profusely on our elections can you. What freaking idiots!!!!"

There isn't any certainty except taxes and death. But C.U. makes it no easier for your friends in China to buy election ads.

It's amazing that you post garbage like this while calling people morons and idiots.

And now I'm done schooling you.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 18, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

rukdding wrote:

"I never said Jefferson WROTE the Constitution. As I just documented that was done by committee. Is it your contention that the author of the Declaration of Independence and one of the most admired writers and thinkers of his day had NO INPUT on the Constitution because he was in France. He NEVER made his thoughts known before his departure?"

I don't about his contention but it is mine.

Jefferson's star was in eclipse after the Revolution. He had remained in France for pleasure as well as business. He was considered an outright coward by some for his wartime governorship of Virginia. Furthermore Jefferson was virulently against a strong central government (until he headed one). He would certainly have been the first Confederate if he remained alive.

Madison, Jefferson's friend, was the only real source of note taking at the Constitutional Convention. He never mentions Jefferson, nor does Jeeferson get involved in any of the Federalist Papers.

I'm not much for the constant doctrinal disputes that go on in this thread, but you're description and knowledge about Jefferson is completely incorrect.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

"I hope our courts will never countenance the sweeping pretensions which have been set up under the words 'general defence and public welfare.' These words only express the motives which induced the Convention to give to the ordinary legislature certain specified powers which they enumerate, and which they thought might be trusted to the ordinary legislature, and not to give them the unspecified also; or why any specification? They could not be so awkward in language as to mean, as we say, 'all and some.' And should this construction prevail, all limits to the federal government are done away."


"The government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion and not the Constitution the measure of its powers; but... as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress."

"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please... Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect."


I could do page after page of quotes from Jefferson as to the limitations on the Constitution, if not his outright hostility to it, (except when he headed the government), but hopefully you get the idea.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1:

You should have just ignored him from the start -- I will try to do the same to "bearclaw1" -- who is right now arguing on the latest thread that the authors of The Federalist Papers had no good reason to remain anonymous ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 18, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@54465446 "I could do page after page of quotes from Jefferson as to the limitations on the Constitution, if not his outright hostility to it"

As could I showing that Jefferson did not believe in a rigid inflexible Constitution.
He would not be a supporter of today's righties who refer to everything they disagree with as "unconstitutional"

"We have not yet so far perfected our constitutions as to venture to make them unchangeable,"

"The real friends of the Constitution in its federal form, if they wish it to be immortal, should be attentive, by amendments, to make it keep pace with the advance of the age in science and experience,"

Even right wing ideologue Antonin Scalia is on the record as to the flexibility of the Constitution...he is against Judicial interpretation resulting in what HE SEES as changes preferring the laws be changed instead.

As for your contention that Jefferson was out of favor....again my point was never that Jefferson wrote the Constitution. A committee was responsible that. The argument was made by Mr. concrete thinker that Jefferson was no "expert" on the Constitution. Even though it borrowed heavily from Jefferson's own home state's 15 Articles. And Jefferson was so out of favor that he ended up succeeding Adams as President! To believe Jefferson was some outsider who had no expertise when it comes to the Constitution is simply absurd.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 18, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

rukidding:

Thanks for the reply. Sorry, your quotes are generalities while mine are very specific. Jefferson decried many uses of Federal authority until he became President. Then of course everything changed. It was Washington who brought Jefferson back into favor, to his everlasting regret. Jefferson constantly attempted to undermine the Washinton's government while it's Secretary of State, being the hypocrite he was his whole life.

His Presidency was a total disaster EXCEPT the Louisian Purchase, for which he is rightfully lauded, BUT had he been out of power he would declared the purchase unconsituitonal. He is the only president in history to literally shut down American business with his embargo act, pushing the country into it's first depression.

Jefferson was of course in favor of Amerndments because he thought the Constitution itself deeply flawed and too powerful. He was perhaps the nation's leading proponent of the 10th Amendment and in all cases favored states rights over Federal.

Hey, I like your stuff, don't get me wrong. I am not personaly in favor of strict construction of the Constitution. I just believe Jefferson to be the greatest overrated character in US history, because of his admittedly very high intelligence and wonderful writing ability, which contrasted so extraordinarily with his lifelong hypocrisy and miserable leaderhsip ability.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 18, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"As could I showing that Jefferson did not believe in a rigid inflexible Constitution."

What you claimed was that Jefferson supported the "living constitution" theory of constitutional interpretation. You haven't cited a single statement supporting that claim, nor could you, because the "living constitution" is an invention of 20th century constitutional nihilists who advocate judicial license to interpret the document to support whatever results they think are best.

""We have not yet so far perfected our constitutions as to venture to make them unchangeable,""

This statement has nothing to do with "living constitution" interpretation but with the necessity of provsions for AMENDMENT. He went on: "But still, in their present state, we consider them not otherwise changeable than by the authority of the people on a special election of representatives for that purpose expressly. They are until then the lex legum."

""The real friends of the Constitution in its federal form, if they wish it to be immortal, should be attentive, by amendments, to make it keep pace with the advance of the age in science and experience,""

Precisely: change to keep pace "by amendment," not by allowing judges to "intepret" or ignore the words to reach their desired results. You don't seem to comprehend that Jefferson is expressing a view CONTRARY to the "living constitution" theory, under which judges just revise the Constitution by "interpreting" it, rather than relying on the amendment process to keep the document "up to date" with changing times.

"Even right wing ideologue Antonin Scalia is on the record as to the flexibility of the Constitution..."

I suggest you do some research on what Scalia has said about the "living constitution" idea. He has said a lot. You won't find it helpful to your cause. Indeed, he has said only an "idiot" could believe in it, and that it is nothing more than a doctrine of rigid and unyielding power OF JUDGES.

"The argument was made by Mr. concrete thinker that Jefferson was no "expert" on the Constitution."

No, stop misrepresenting. You asserted that "no less an authority than" Jefferson believed in a "living constitution" approach, implying that was a high and perhaps the highest authority on the Constitution. I pointed out that he was not involved in its drafting and was in France at the time.

Jefferson was no special "authority" on the meaning of the constitution. Although he was certainly a leading figure of the era, he is probably one of the least such "authorities," since he was not involved in writing it. Be that as it may, he was adamantly against loose interpretation. He condemned McCulloch v. Maryland, for example.

You are spouting off about matters you know little about, ruk, as if I were to spout off about how a TV news studio works because I have watched TV.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 19, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

@54465446 "I just believe Jefferson to be the greatest overrated character in US history, because of his admittedly very high intelligence and wonderful writing ability, which contrasted so extraordinarily with his lifelong hypocrisy and miserable leaderhsip ability."

You are obviously quite the history buff. I won't dispute your basic point and accept your facts. I don't think that changes the "nature" of my original post.
Love him or hate him...and I do understand where you are coming from...it would be a gross overstatement to not acknowledge Jefferson's expertise on the Constitution.

You make excellent points that he was obviously conflicted about it...but it doesn't really deem him as lacking expertise..but perhaps consistency. You have made excellent points.

My basic point is that the Tea Party doesn't really know much about the Constitution...our Founders (many were not Christians but Deists)...and the "intentions" of the founding fathers when they wrote and voted on the Constitution.
The Committee of Detail was pretty clear about the intentions and they don't support people like Joe Miller, Palin and the other Alaska nuts running around claiming everything is "Unconstitutional".
That's just hogwash and patently absurd.

And as far as strict interpretation...I wonder how many Tpers actually know that the original claimed black people represented 3/5 of a person and that women could not vote. Especially funny for Palin...given that if we'd only stuck with the original we wouldn't have the Wasilla Hillbilly to deal with...she wouldn't even be permitted to vote! LMAO

However as someone who also enjoys history I appreciate your knowledge on the subject.
You've obviously given Jefferson a lot of thought.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 19, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

So when will this partisan democrat hack post anything on the millions that democrats have generated from "foreign interests?" BAE, a foreign company has given to both parties, but 55% to democrats. Anheuser-Busch is now owned by a Belgian company yet continues to donate to both parties, as do British pharmaceutical companies. This dude continually blasts Republicans for supposedly "outrageously wrong" statements. Where is he when his own guy, Obama is so blatantly wrong with his own statements?

Posted by: octopi213 | October 19, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Q.B. I've never claimed to be a Constitutional scholar. If you are an attorney presumably you had at least one course in Constitutional Law. Bully for you.
It doesn't change my fundamental point.

We have never been, nor should we be, tied down to the letter of the Constitution. Given the historical context, the great experiment that was launched we can all appreciate the greatness that the document represents. I've been deeply moved by visiting the National Archives in DC. I understand the feeling of reverence, but at some point our intellect must take precedence. The Document was severely flawed in many instances...two that I've already enumerated...blacks being 3/5's of a person..and the lack of suffrage for women and others.

I understand your and Scalia's arguments against judicial "activism" and the need for "amending" not interpreting the Constitution. That seems a bit like the dogma of Roman Catholics or Islamic extremists. The document is a guideline, not a religious artifact. Whether you or Scalia like it or not it has been and will always be subject to "interpretation".
So whether you call it "living" or not...the basic underpinnings of our society are "living".

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 19, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"We have never been, nor should we be, tied down to the letter of the Constitution."

That's an incredible statement, if by it you mean our government is not bound by its terms, which seems to be the only thing it could mean. I doubt you could find any member of SCOTUS who would accept it. It truly is a rejection of the very legitimacy of the Constitution.

Hamilton wrote in Federalist 78: "A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law." I don't think I've ever actually seen someone deny this without denying the authority of the Constitution in its entirety. Even "living" constitutionalists give lip service to the binding nature of the document.

"but at some point our intellect must take precedence. The Document was severely flawed in many instances...two that I've already enumerated...blacks being 3/5's of a person..and the lack of suffrage for women and others."

Was until the 13th, 14th, and 19th amendments. There is an amendment process to address flaws. I find it impossible to understand an argument that judges whose sole authority ostensibly comes from the Constitution have the power to rewrite parts of it they find to be "flawed." This is precisely the sort of idea that Hamilton refuted in Federalist 78.

"The document is a guideline, not a religious artifact. Whether you or Scalia like it or not it has been and will always be subject to "interpretation"."

No one has ever denied that interpretation is required in the sense of determining how the provisions of the document apply to a new set of facts. But the idea of a "living constitution" is a different matter.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 19, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove'sTheory Behind The Ads

There is a theory stemming from Karl Rove behind the floods of this kind of ads, namely that reality is constructed. So what is held as reality were in fact a sheer construction. Therefore the idea that no matter the objectivity of these ads. Important is in their view is the kind of reality they want Americans to take as granted.
It is sad to see how in their last ditch effort to change the country's course, they are ready to go so far.

Posted by: Eranoswatch | October 19, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove'sTheory Behind The Ads

There is a theory stemming from Karl Rove behind the floods of this kind of ads, namely that reality is constructed. So what is held as reality were in fact a sheer construction. Therefore the idea that no matter the objectivity of these ads. Important is in their view is the kind of reality they want Americans to take as granted.
It is sad to see how in their last ditch effort to change the country's course, they are ready to go so far.

Posted by: Eranoswatch | October 19, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove'sTheory Behind The Ads

There is a theory stemming from Karl Rove behind the floods of this kind of ads, namely that reality is constructed. So what is held as reality were in fact a sheer construction. Therefore the idea that no matter the objectivity of these ads. Important is in their view is the kind of reality they want Americans to take as granted.
It is sad to see how in their last ditch effort to change the country's course, they are ready to go so far.

Posted by: Eranoswatch | October 19, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I can see all the moonbat livestock are still grazing.

Posted by: TenMegaton | October 19, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

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