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U.S. Chamber sees no need to address core allegation against it

With Obama and Dems hammering away ceaselessly at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over allegations that foreign money may be funding its attack ads against Dems, it's worth stepping back and making a key point: The Chamber still hasn't addressed in any detail the core allegation against it.

The central charge lodged by Think Progress, as I understand it, is that money raised abroad is going into the same general fund that also bankrolls millions of dollars in Chamber ads across the country. The Chamber flatly claims no foreign money is funding any ads here. But as critics have responded, that's beside the point if the foreign cash is going into the same fund that's paying for those ads. Money is fungible.

Jake Tapper got a bit closer to unraveling this mystery yesterday. He quoted a Chamber spokesperson telling him that money raised abroad from foreign corporations and dues paid by "AmChams" (chambers in other countries) does in fact go into a general fund, but is then diverted to the "international division."

But here the plot thickens again. Chamber spokesperson Tita Freeman tells me that this isn't true. She says it's "inaccurate" to claim that there is a "general fund" to begin with. Yet she stressed the Chamber sees no need to share any additional detail about its inner workings.

I then got into an email exchange with Ms. Freeman that illustrates the hall-of-mirrors quality this story is taking on. With her permission, I'm reprinting it:

ME: My premise is that you guys think you are under no obligation to address the central allegation Think Progress is making about the general fund. Fair?

Ms. FREEMAN: Think Progress' allegation is that we're using foreign funds in our political activities. That is entirely inaccurate. We comply with all applicable laws.

ME: The allegation is that foreign money goes into the same fund that funds your political ads.

Ms. FREEMAN: Again, that is wrong. The deminimus amount of foreign funds that come in from the AmChams and business councils is spent on international programs.

ME: This seems pretty straightforward to me. Does the foreign money go into the same fund that funds the ads?

Ms. FREEMAN: The foreign money goes to funding our international programs.  We are not obligated to discuss our internal accounting procedures, as we are in compliance with all applicable laws.

And so on. This story isn't going away. The White House and Democrats intend to keep the Chamber in its crosshairs through election day. And the Chamber's massive ad blitz will continue. But one thing that isn't going to happen is the Chamber responding in any detail to the central allegation being made -- including by the President -- against it.

By Greg Sargent  | October 8, 2010; 1:44 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems, House GOPers  
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Next: How low is the public's regard for the GOP?

Comments

SHAME!

Go ahead and buy your votes, corporations.

We WILL beat you back and defeat you in the name of liberty and democracy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Keep It Simple Folks.

Just tell people to vote for any candidate that is the target of ads from The Chamber of Commerce or The Crossroads group. Let people know that Big "Jobs Outsourcing" Money, and Wall St. Casino Banks money is behind all those attack ads.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Why is it OK for the Chamber to use secret money from U.S. based corporations to influence our elections? What's the difference whether the secret money comes from foreign, U.S., or multi-national companies?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Stop wasting time and effort with those who are going to vote Democratic anyway.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Has Obama addressed the CORE ALLEGATION that his campaign in 2008 took payments from FOREIGN CREDIT CARDS ???

Case closed.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 8, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Slightly off topic, but I wonder how much the Chamber received this year from BP.

I'm sure BP gave to the Chamber through a US subsidiary, I'd bet many foreign corporations do. But does that really make a difference from an ethical standpoint? Legally I'm sure it does, but ethically?

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Freeman should simply put Greg's email address on her "junk" setting.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The COC and their GOP lapdogs have been indulging in class warfare since circa 1980. It's time the Dems start playing hardball. There is no need to indulge in xenophobia. Even without the foreign money influence, the COC does a good enough job on their own in trying to destroy our economic infrastructure. They are beholden to multi-nationals who don't have a patriotic bone in their body. Any union or blue collar worker who votes for ANY member of the GOP is crapping in their hat.

The Right knows that they can't win over the working and middle class through any rational economic argument, hence appeal to issues like llegal immigrants and whether Obama is an American. It's the same playbook used throughout American history and it always seem to work.

Posted by: filmnoia | October 8, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

http://dailycaller.com/2010/10/08/dems-cash-poor-tale-of-woe-ignores-250-million-coming-from-unions-liberal-groups/

Posted by: bzod9999 | October 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

PaciolisRevenge:

How much did Obama's campaign get from BP?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Nothing says "Main Street America" more than Chamber of Commerce

Meanwhile - in other news Bill Clinton's Free Trade deals are still destroying Main Street America - and everyone knows it.


So if Main Street America is running commercials to try to SURVIVE and keep its costs down - no one in the country is going to deny them that.


This issue is a DOG for the democrats -


The democrats have so much blood on their hands with Main Street America - and with foreign money themselves - ANY THINKING PERSON is simply not going to take the democrats seriously on this one.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

filmnoia:

Asking "where was the President born" has only been used once before in American politics (it was a legitimate question back then too ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

PaciolisRevenge,

Ethics is to big business as marital fidelity is to a family values politician. A banner to march under but not to live by.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 at 1:50 PM


Great quote


But please stop stealing the slogans from the Tea Party


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

What do you want them to do Greg, throw all their accounting information online so you can see exactly what they are doing? Haven't they answered your questions?

This behavior by the Dems and Obama is thuggish and borderline extortion. Yeah, extortion. Cave to our demands to stop funding our opponents or we will have a public field day with your legal right to keep accounting information private. When is the brute in the White House going to threaten to break thumbs?

And Ethan, how can you claim to support liberty and democracy when you are clearly among those thugs that want blood from the Chamber of Commerce? Just what is your definition of liberty then? I think you have a severly messed up opinion of just what freedom means. It means that the chamber doesn't have to answer to you if they aren't breaking any laws. Or to some little group on the internet that went of half cocked with a story that clearly isn't sourced correctly.

Posted by: Bailers | October 8, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

(CNN) - Americans are divided over whether President Barack Obama or his predecessor has performed better in the White House, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday also indicates in the battle for Congress, Republicans hold large advantages over the Democrats among independents, men and blue-collar whites. The poll also indicates that Republicans are much more enthusiastic than Democrats to vote.

By 47 to 45 percent, Americans say Obama is a better president than George W. Bush. But that two point margin is down from a 23 point advantage one year ago.

"Democrats may want to think twice about bringing up former President George W. Bush's name while campaigning this year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/08/cnntime-poll-was-bush-better-president-than-obama/#more-127425

I certainly wish that GWB could come back as President ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Bailers:

Why else keep GTMO open ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Ethan at 1:50 writes


We WILL beat you back and defeat you in the name of liberty and democracy.


______________________________


Have you joined the Tea Party ???

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 8, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

@GREG

Sorry to go O.T. on you here but I just had to insert this link. For everything you have posted about Angle the most damning criticism may have just come from one of Nevada's top R's, who has just endorsed Reid.
It's he first time in his long storied career he has ever endorsed a Dem. I had to add this link Greg if for no other reason than to irritate SBJ and get him to waste yet more money on an Angle donation.:-)

http://www.lasvegassun.com/blogs/ralstons-flash/2010/oct/07/raggio-im-reid-against-angle-still-against-obama/

“What is difficult to overlook is her record of being totally ineffective as a four-term assemblywomen, her inability or unwillingness to work with others, even within her own party, and her extreme positions on issues such as Medicare, social security, education, veterans affairs and many others.

“Some supporters tell me we need to support her because we need her vote in the U.S. Senate as a Republican and she ‘can't do much harm as a junior back bencher’! Since when should this be the criteria on how we select and vote for a U.S. Senator to represent our State?, I ask."

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Asking "where was the President born" has only been used once before in American politics"

You are being a literalist. The point being made is that powerful industrial forces in this country always have used race and ethnicity to pit people against one another. The problem with the Right, and especially the Tea Party, is that they either don't know they are getting punked, or they don't care, because tribalism is more important to them.

Posted by: filmnoia | October 8, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

Did you see David Axelrod get beat up by LETTERMAN about not closing Guantanamo Bay?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Those that work here, spend here.

Nothing gets spend here, from outsourced jobs. The Tea Party types are so dense and gullible, for the most part, that they do not grasp the fact that The Chamber Of Commerce, is the real threat to our middle class.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 8, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Have you joined the Tea Party ???"

Yes.

I want to help bring down the disgusting U.S. federal government and replace it with power to the people.

That means:

1) NO MORE GDMN REPUBLICANS

2) NO MORE CORPORATE DEMS

3) and NO MORE CORPORATIONS BUYING OUR GDMN CONGRESSIONAL SEATS.

I want election/campaign finance reform and I want it now.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

filmnoia:

I am ALWAYS a literalist, and Obama used race and ethnicity to pit people against one another. I guess that's not a "problem" when the left does it.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD. I never realized how little you thought of Ronald Reagan. I always believed you righties kind of worshiped him.

A FACT for you Jake..although I realize you prefer life in a fact free zone.

Barack Obama's Most Recent Weekly Approval Rating Average 46% (Sep 27-Oct 3,

Ronald Reagan 42% (October 1982)


Hard to imagine JOKE that the guy you and STRF can do NOTHING but complain about...the guy who has you sooo obsessed you rant on endlessly...is doing 4% better than Saint Ronnie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans passed special tax incentives for American Corporations to outsource jobs to other countries. The American Chamber Of Commerce lobbied for those Outsourcing Tax Breaks.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 8, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"NO MORE CORPORATIONS BUYING OUR GDMN CONGRESSIONAL SEATS"

Unions buying Congressional seats, though, that's OK ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure you all saw the "I'm You" spoof of Christine O'Donnell that was made. If not, here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGGAgljengs

After seeing that, I found this spoof that I thought addressed it in a much more effective serious way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ynKI5E_P4Q

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 8, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

I'm not the one running from these threads. At least no one ever questioned where Reagan was born (and he was re-elected ; )

Now, did you see Axelrod on Letterman on not?

Of course, if YOU would rather live in in a fact free zone, be my guest.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

(which reminds me)

PaciolisRevenge:

How much did Obama's campaign get from BP?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"I am ALWAYS a literalist,"

Oh, so that's one of your problems.

"and Obama used race and ethnicity to pit people against one another. I guess that's not a "problem" when the left does it."

Pretty hard to find an instance where BO has used race and ethicity to pit people against one another. I suggest you look at the demographics of the 2008 vote.
What you lack in insight you make up for in being a literalist.

Posted by: filmnoia | October 8, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

BTW: The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll (above) was conducted October 5-7, with 1,008 adult Americans, including 938 registered voters and 504 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for likely voters.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser also contributed to this story.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@Mike,

Thanks for those links. I saw the first one of the bearded guy earlier and it is hilarious. I agree though the second might be more insightful.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2,

What do you 'spose the penalty will be for being profiled and stopped in a fact free zone...with...with the TRUTH, if WE the Poeple don't send all the Jac**sses back to Chitcago-Land in the nearest future.

Only, let's go easy on the mooch and her chelle. Why not say those two can stay, but the rest of the collectivist activist, ACORN, inc. gang, OUT and don't come back. WE want the pleasure of seeing the 'first evers' up there waving from the plane for the last time in 2013, after No-Bama learns what bills to sign and what bills not to sign. Post Mayhem could be a sweet deal with him as a figure-head instead of a stupid-head. Sounds and looks like Gibbs is already seeing the 'leaves in the tea', so with the Tela-Tubby Prompter gone, all that "the president thinks" BS, will stop".

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Unions buying Congressional seats, though, that's OK ; )"

First off, through a concerted multi-decade scheme Conservatives and the GOP have pretty much destroyed the American union movement. Second, unions represent working people -- regular Americans -- who MUST organize to have any effective voice in national affairs. Big Business gets its power automatically since it constitutes the capitalists in our capitalist economy. There's more but that's enough.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The problem (s) that the Chamber of Commerce has is that it is an organization with no Country, it's god is money, and it's clients are worldwide corporations. It is a "globalist" vs. an American organization. Since the C of C is all about global corporations, when American voters see a political ad sponsored by the C of C, they should immediately discount who or what is being sponsored as not being in their interest. The reckless Supreme Court Decision dubbed "Citizens United" is flushing out the real traitors in our society who are using foreign money to effect our elections. The Republicans who are wholly beneficiaries of this soiled foreign campaign money largess should be ashamed of themselves for readily accepting. It shows that they cannot compete in the old fashioned American way. They, too, are being traitors to our traditions.

Posted by: dozas | October 8, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

That's it JOKE just keep reposting the same old lame BS and ignore facts. Your boy St. Ronnie was 4% lower than Obama at the same point in his term. NO EXPLANATION????????

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

* Government needs to step it up on jobs *

Consider New Jersey, where the governor just decided to abandon an $8.7 billion project (of which New Jersey would only pay about a third) that would add capacity to the 100-year old tunnel connecting New Jersey and Manhattan. This is the kind of project that we need right now — putting people back to work to upgrade our deteriorating infrastructure.

[...]

Conservatives have repeatedly hampered efforts to take the steps necessary to get the economy back on track. They have delayed even bills to help small businesses access credit and tax relief to spur hiring.

As today’s job figures make clear, playing politics is playing with people’s lives: Millions will never recover the lost incomes they are seeing from today’s high unemployment. The nearly 15 million unemployed should not have to continue to wait for Congress to decide that job creation is their top priority. Continued dithering has already cost our economy far too much.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/government-needs-to-step-it-up-on-jobs-2010-10-08

I REPEAT:

"Conservatives have repeatedly hampered efforts to take the steps necessary to get the economy back on track"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The Chamber of Commerce: Because China need a voice in America too!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 8, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

Shouldn't you be investigating this?:

"New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, plans to pay back a $250 million loan from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim three years ahead of schedule."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-03/new-york-times-to-repay-carlos-slim-s-250-million-loan-three-years-early.html?cmpid=yhoo

Doesn't this mean that the NYT has been funding its editorial attacks on Republicans using foreign money? Pace Obama, isn't this a threat to our democracy?

You should really get on this one, Greg.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

[@ 2:37 PM on October 8, 2010 mikefromArlington woke up, fell back asleep, dreamed he was on CNN TV, and the report there said: if you are a Tube, vote like one, and sleep-Posted...:
"I'm sure...I'm...not, here..."]

Proving once again that even a Plum Line can be turned into a Plum Crazy Thread by Cuckoos with an I-Pod.

Mikey, check this out and enter 'mikefrom' in the little box on the page.

http://www.mbhs.edu/~bconnell/cgi-bin/anagram.cgi?cpw=1&phrase=Jumper

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

Let's go easy on the mother-ship. Some of the crew may be body-snatchers from the USS 'No Jobs, Not Our Fault' tied up at the off-loading dock where OUR money disappears from (transparently, of course).

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"Doesn't this mean that the NYT has been funding its editorial attacks on Republicans using foreign money?"

You must mean like Noonan and stuff eh?

There's a diff between a newspaper subscription and endless flood of ads on T.V.

I'm sure even you can tell the diff.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

RE: Unions buying Congressional seats &
Corporations buying Congressional seats

then WHY aren't the members of the Tea Party for public campaign financing??


Posted by: jeeze56 | October 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I guess ScottC3 is unaware that the 2nd largest shareholder of Fox News is Saudi Arabian....a...GASP!....Muslim, no less.

And we're not talking loans here. We're talking major shareholder.

So one of the people who permanently funds the 24 hour propaganda wing of the Republican party is from the same country where the 9/11 hijackers were from.

I really do wonder how many of the Fox News devotees know this little fact. Clearly, it doesn't bother ScottC3.

Posted by: elscott | October 8, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Slap, slap...

Wake up Mike! They are coming to take you away...

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

mike:

"There's a diff between a newspaper subscription and endless flood of ads on T.V."

The real question is whether there is much of a difference between an endless flood of ads on TV and an endless flood of editorials on the op-ed page of a newspaper. And the answer is not much, apart from the method of delivery.

And let's be honest here...the only difference that is really relevant to Greg (and probably you) is that the NYT corporation is hocking leftwing policy while the CofC is not.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

???

I don't get it. I posted some links that apparently upset you and you're claiming I'm nutty like O'Donnell, or something.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 8, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, very grim polling numbers for Dems:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 8, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

...so elscotto,
Guess you were unaware there are good Muslim money trees and there are not so good...

Have a nice day |: )

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Scott, I'm guess 1% of 1% of the population read Op Ed pages.

Everyone sees political advertisement.

For being a lawyer, you sure make crappy arguments. :P

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

elscott:

"I guess ScottC3 is unaware that the 2nd largest shareholder of Fox News is Saudi Arabian...."

You guess wrong. But, unlike Greg, I'm not fussed about either the CofC or the NYT or FOX getting foreign funds. I'm just pointing out the stench of hypocrisy on this blog.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

mike:

"Everyone sees political advertisement."

Really? I haven't seen a single CofC advert. But I've read a lot of NYT editorials.

"For being a lawyer..."

Not sure where you got that, but you are mistaken.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent,

There are good poll-crat numbers and then there are not so good...

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

" I'm not fussed about either the CofC or the NYT or FOX getting foreign funds."

Another Great American Patriot.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

mike:

"Scott, I'm guess 1% of 1% of the population read Op Ed pages."

I wonder why they bother writing them, then.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

No, Richie, the point is that there are really no good Saudi Arabian money trees.....especially when they fund false propaganda attacks against duly elected American presidents.

You have a wonderful day, too.

Posted by: elscott | October 8, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Mike would seem to prefer to sleep this one off (or sleep through it).

No fun, eh, when it's your dagon being gored (pun not intended Mr. Groper)?

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"Another Great American Patriot."

Why, thank you.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

So they can make it onto the Sunday talk shows to talk about their columns that the same political junkies that read their Op Ed's can now harp about it and ruin their weekend with a bunch of crap.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 8, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Republicans would be fine with Al-Qaeda funding their campaigns so long as Dems lost.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 8, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, well win some whine some, all WE've been leftwisted with is a wealth of materiel by Mr. Duly and his minions.

Don't you love it when that happens?

WE the People challenge you to a dually...

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

mike:

"So they can make it onto the Sunday talk shows to talk about their columns that the same political junkies that read their Op Ed's can now harp about it and ruin their weekend with a bunch of crap."

I'm not talking about the columnsists. I'm talking about the editorials, written by the editors of the paper.

But, in any event, does that mean your problem with the CofC is the number of people the ads reach? If they reached the same number of people as a NYT editorial, you wouldn't care about the foreign funds? Really?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

...whaaat...y'all thought it was goin' to be a huff-cake walk like last time? So sorry mikey doesn't like it...paradigms change with hope comes the truth...

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

...a peso's a peso...whoever spends it...it's OUR Country and WE need relief now!

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Ok moving Right Along...

|: )

Posted by: RichNomore | October 8, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@Scott I believe Mike has confused you with Q.B....who is our resident "legal scholar" and "constitutional expert" and an attorney.

I've always thought your expertise ran more towards the financial sector...or not to limit your expertise but your experience is more in the financial sector.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

And there it is, Rich, the huge difference between you and me,.....

You write -

"WE the People challenge you to a dually.."

When I say "we the people" I mean every American, including you and everyone who thinks like you do, even though we disagree. I include all of us....Americans in a shared society and community.

When you say "WE the people" you mean only people who think like you do. You use the phrase as a threat or a weapon. You use it to divide us.

It's sad, really.

Posted by: elscott | October 8, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"I've always thought your expertise ran more towards the financial sector..."

My experience, certainly, although my colleagues might dispute the "expertise" characterization.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

elscott:

"When I say "we the people" I mean every American..."

Personally I would be reluctant to implicate literally "every American" in anything, given how relatively few Americans I actually know. But that is just me.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Scott, I'm not at all surprised that you don't understand the point I'm trying to make here.

It's not "implicating" -- it's including, embracing, respecting my fellow citizens.

But hey, you got in a nice little zinger, so I guess, in your mind, you've won. Have a nice weekend.

Posted by: elscott | October 8, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3:

Are you an American?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

elscott:

"It's not "implicating" -- it's including, embracing, respecting my fellow citizens."

I know that sounds all warm and fuzzy, but for me (and, indeed, I suspect most others) it simply isn't true. I know too many people I do not respect, would not want to embrace, and depending on the venture, wouldn't want to include, to make such a claim.

"But hey, you got in a nice little zinger..."

It wasn't meant to be a zinger. It was meant to focus your mind on reality rather than pie-in-the-sky platitudes.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

YOU were the one who brought up Letterman, and you are the one who refuses to answer a simple question. I will not be giving you (or "PaciolisRevenge" for that matter) any further explanations about anything else.

jeeze56:

I am a member of the Tea Party and I am against public campaign financing because (a) it's not a power delegated to the federal government, (b) we don't have the money, and (c) I think the system without it is just fine, thank you very much.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

jake:

"Are you an American?"

As baseball and apple pie. Through and through. You will rarely find a more enthusiastic American. Seriously.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3:

Is it that you just personally don't know all 300+ million "Americans"?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the answers (others here seem to have such a problem giving straight answers to simple questions ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Scott -

While I certainly appreciate your altruistic attempts to "focus my mind on realiy" you mustn't fuss about it any longer.

I'm fine, really. But, gee, thanks anyway.

Just because I happen to see a difference between principles and platitudes and just because I try to live my life respecting my fellow human beings....warts and all....doesn't mean I live in a constant fog of warm and fuzzy.

It means that I actually....gasp....even respect people like you. Because you're a human being.

Or at least, that's I'm assuming. ;)

Posted by: elscott | October 8, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

@elscott As fate would have it I'm wearing one of my favorite T-shirts today.

Yeahh it has that Smiley face on it and the caption "Have a Nice Day". Frequently I forget I'm wearing it only to be reminded by one of my "fellow Americans" to have a nice day myself. I respect your attitude enormously...as for Scott..well he and I obviously have our differences but I will second your thought..."It means that I actually....gasp....even respect people like you. Because you're a human being."

And while I disagree with Scott I do recognize his intellect. One thing I have never witnessed Scott do is defend the indefensible...folks like Christine O'Donnell...he picks his spots and then waits to pounce...kind of like a trap door spider...and I give him credit..he's good at it!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce should retain a top-notch First Amendment law firm to sue Obama and any other government official who tries to enfringe on its freedom of speech -- hopefully, none of the conservatives on the Supreme Court attend Obama's next State of the Union address -- oh, sorry, I have to wash my hair.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"Q.B....who is our resident "legal scholar" and "constitutional expert" and an attorney."

Thanks for the new sig line! I shall now hold this over your head each time you bash me! ; )

As to the debate above:

Scott > Greg, elscott, mike

Owned.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 8, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"The White House and Democrats intend to keep the Chamber in its crosshairs through election day."

Sounds like a threat to me. They should call:

Martin Garbus (212) 561-3625

or

Brent Allen (202) 331-3100

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1:

Does your firm sue the U.S. government much?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 -

It's something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately -- the attempts by many on the right to divide and vilify, -- to essentially destroy the larger American "community." That's what Rich was doing when he wrote, ....WE the people are ready to elect someone else.... -- he meant that the Tea Party, the Republicans -- those are the people who are the real Americans. It's a common thread among the Tea Party crowd.

That's a real pet peeve of mine. The tea partiers can disagree with me all they want, but they have no right to claim that there are two groups of people in this country -- the real Americans like them,...and then the rest of us.

Frankly, I'm worried about the effects of what I see as a deliberate attempt by the GOP to divide the country along ideological lines. It brings about the persecution of Muslim-Americans, it dehumanizes illegal immigrants as Adam pointed out yesterday in his article that Greg posted, and it even leads to firemen letting someone's house burn to the ground in Tennessee.

For a group like the Tea Party to claim their American and Christian heritage and then forget, or ignore, what it really means to treat other human beings the way you would like to be treated.....well, the disconnect is mind-boggling.

Unless we hold on to our common humanity in this country, well, I don't see how we move forward at all. We'll lose everything that actually made us a great American society.

But there I go, getting all warm and fuzzy again. I know, I'll be a bad-ass warm and fuzzy. ;)

Posted by: elscott | October 8, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

It is incredibly thuggish for this admin to attack opponent groups this way. But then it's nothing new for Obama.

He is abusing his power. If he has reason to believe the CoC is violating the law, investigage and prosecute. Either way, his attacks, purporting to speak as POTUS, are completely improper and abusive.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 8, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1:

Agreed.

elscott:

You probably didn't like Jesus either pointing out the difference between real Christians and those to whom He will one day say: "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matthew 7:23)

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 8, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Elscott:

"...altruistic..."

Not really. I'm not that altruistic, to be honest. I just figure the more
people think about things realistically rather than platitudinously (if
that's not a word it should be), the better off I will be.

"...doesn't mean I live in aconstant fog of warm and fuzzy..."

I assumed you don't. That's why I tried to get you to focus on what you
already know is true, rather than retreating into meaningless platitudes in
order to "zing" (that's what you were doing, afterall) another poster.

"...I even respect people like you..."

Thanks, I suppose, although to be perfectly frank such an expression of
respect, coming as it does as the result of something I had nothing to do
with, isn't all that valuable or noteworthy to me. I want to be respected for what I say and do, not for some arbitrary characteristic over which I had
and have absolutely no control. In fact, better that you disrespect me for
what I say and do, for at least then I know you have bothered to consider
and make a judgment about the things I say.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Jake,

"Does your firm sue the U.S. government much?"

No, sometimes, but I wouldn't say much or often. Typically it is regulatory cases, of course. We're certainly adverse to it in various matters all the time, as in, on a continuous basis.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 8, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

elscott:

"It's something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately -- the attempts by many on the right to divide and vilify, -- to essentially destroy the larger American "community." "

Who, specifically, is making such attempts, and how do you know?

Also, what do you mean by "community"? I have to confess that the larger the demographic one attempts to define as a "community", the less coherence the term has in my mind. (I've always thought the term "world community" was one of the most empty concepts I'd ever heard of.)

"The tea partiers can disagree with me all they want, but they have no right to claim that there are two groups of people in this country -- the real Americans like them,...and then the rest of us."

You mean sort of what wbgonne was doing just a couple hours ago when he sarcastically called me "Another Great American Patriot" because of my political opinions? Like that? But only tea partiers do that, right?

"Frankly, I'm worried about the effects of what I see as a deliberate attempt by the GOP to divide the country along ideological lines."

In what way is the GOP "deliberately" dividing the country along "ideological" lines such that it is distinguished from what the Dems are doing?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

"It's something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately -- the attempts by many on the right to divide and vilify, -- to essentially destroy the larger American "community."

No accident there. In a capitalist country the capitalists have inherent power and will be completely dominant in the absence of countervailing power centers. The only viable check on Big Money is the government which represents American citizens acting cooperatively together. To the extent the Radical Right undermines government and cooperative action, it is assuring unchecked domination by Big Money. I've mentioned this several times but if you are really interested in this topic -- and every American should be -- please read Invisible Hands by NYU Prof. Phillips-Fein. It will shock you, I think. It certainly shocked me.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"You mean sort of what wbgonne was doing just a couple hours ago when he sarcastically called me "Another Great American Patriot" because of my political opinions?"

You said that it doesn't matter whether foreign governments are influencing American elections and governance. Own your anti-Americanism.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"You said that it doesn't matter whether foreign governments are influencing American elections and governance."

That is, quite simply, a lie. I never said such a thing.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

elscott:

"I guess ScottC3 is unaware that the 2nd largest shareholder of Fox News is Saudi Arabian...."

You guess wrong. But, unlike Greg, I'm not fussed about either the CofC or the NYT or FOX getting foreign funds. I'm just pointing out the stench of hypocrisy on this blog.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Foreign money financing groups influencing American elections is anti-American. And you own it.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

Thanks for providing the quote which proves your claim is a lie. Very bizarre, however, that you continue to insist that it is true. Like so many liberals before you, apparently you believe that words mean anything you want them to mean.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

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