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Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 02/25/2011

Two more leftwing front groups

By Jennifer Rubin

The left, for reasons that are unclear to me, appears bent on making the Koch brothers a campaign issue for 2012. The billionaire brothers who head Koch Industries have been major donors to free-market and other conservative causes. So rather than run against the real 2012 Republican nominee, the left would like to run against the Koch duo. Sound a little weird?

Well, Ben Smith of Politico explains:

"The focus by key Democratic Party surrogates like the Center for American Progress on the Koch brothers is driven partly by the fact that they're less likable figures than, say, Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty.

So don't be surprised to see Obama running in 2012 against David Koch, and if there are any pictures of the Kochs standing beside the actual nominee, expect to see a lot of them."

That explains how it was that a left-wing prankster chose to impersonate David Koch, rather than, say Roger Ailes or Rush Limbaugh, in the call to Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.). Ailes and Limbaugh are yesterday's bogeymen; today's and tomorrow's and the day after tomorrow's will be the Koch brothers.

The degree to which the left is obsessed with Koch brothers is something to behold. This time the left-wing front group spearheading the effort isn't CREW but an outfit with an innocuous sounding name: Common Cause.

The Post reported this month:

"[S]uddenly Common Cause is manning the barricades, leading a rowdy campaign by liberal groups decrying the outsized role of big money in U.S. politics.

The main targets of the campaign are billionaires Charles and David Koch of the Koch Industries energy-and-paper conglomerate, who have spent tens of millions of dollars over the years on conservative issues and candidates. Liberal activists led by Common Cause staged noisy protests last month outside a private political gathering held by the brothers in Rancho Mirage, Calif."

This effort extends to challenging Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, claiming two justices should have recused themselves because they appeared at a conference hosted by the Kochs. It's not that the Kochs had a case before the Supreme Court, mind you; no, they helped finance the Citizens United case, in which the court struck down portions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. (No, this isn't a basis for recusal, and, yes, it's a bit mind-numbing but stick with me.)

Common Cause, however, got its timing a bit wrong in its complaint, as Politico reported.

The Post editorial board sniffed out what Common Cause was up to a few days ago, calling its recusal maneuver "far-fetched." Moreover, the editorial board pointed out that liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor snagged a free vacation from the ACLU, which filed a brief in the Citizens United case and regularly litigates before the Supreme Court. But that doesn't draw Common Cause's attention.

So what is Common Cause? It sounds so chummy, and its Web site sounds so wholesome and nonpartisan:

"Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Today, Common Cause is one of the most active, effective and respected nonprofit organizations working for political change in America. Common Cause strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues."

But this group is yet another hyper-partisan outfit funded by the same leftwing players that back CREW. The Post noted, "Common Cause reported about $4.8 million in revenue in fiscal 2009, down from $6.6 million the year before, tax records show. The group's supporters have included the Open Society Institute, headed by liberal financier George Soros." And from Soros's Open Society Institute we know it was a the mechanism for defending campaign finance reform in the very same Citizens United case.

It's hard to figure out Common Cause's finances since it doesn't reveal all its donors. In fact, under an Orwellian-named "Donor Transparency Policy" it makes clear that it keeps some donors anonymous. Still, you can glean some information. The Web site Capital Research Center lists OSI and other left-wing funders (OSI, the Joyce Foundation, Arca Foundation) among those who've given hefty gifts over multiple years.

That brings us up to yet another leftwing front group: Alliance for Justice. I was surprised to read in The Post on Feb. 24 a story that began:

A group of more than a hundred law professors from across the country has asked Congress to extend an ethical code of conduct to the Supreme Court - for the first time - and clarify when individual justices should step away from specific legal cases.

The group's appeal on Wednesday, in a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary committees, comes after recent controversies involving travel and appearances at political events by several Supreme Court justices, including Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Rep. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.) said he plans to introduce legislation that addresses the issue."

Whoa, this sounds awful familiar. I imagined that this was Common Cause at it once again. So I went looking for the letter on the Hill and obtained a copy. Oddly, the letter itself doesn't mention Citizens United or the two justices at all, although the Post story made the connection. The letter merely asked the committees to hold hearings on the topic of Supreme Court recusals. I looked through the list of signatories, spotting Professor Alan B. Morrison. I'd written a lengthy piece on Citizens United, and a quick check confirmed that he had signed one of the amicus briefs in Citizens United seeking to overturn the law.

Now, this was getting interesting. I contacted Morrison, who was forthright in his answers to my questions (his answers via email were provided in caps):

1. What group solicited your signature? How did you learn about the letter? ALLAINCE FOR JUSTICE SENT ME AN E-MAIL WITH A COPY OF A DRAFT LETTER ATTACHED.

2. Was the letter intended as a follow-up to inquiries about Justices Thomas and Scalia on Citizens United? I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE INTENT OF THE DRAFTERS WAS. MY CONCERN WAS THAT THE JUSTICES DID NOT HAVE A CODE APPLICABLE TO THEM, AND I THINK THAT IS WRONG. I AM LESS CONCERNED WITH THE DETAILS OF WHAT SHOULD BE DONE THAN CALLING ATTENTION TO THIS ISSUE.

3. I believe you signed an amicus brief in Citizens United urging McCain-Feingold be upheld. Do you think it was important for the committees to know that you were a litigant in that case? NO. THE MERITS OF THAT CASE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GENERAL ISSUE OF RECUSAL, AT LEAST IN MY MIND. IN CASE YOU DO NOT KNOW THIS, I WAS THE LAWYER WHO MOVED TO HAVE JUSTICE SCALIA RECUSED IN THE CHENEY ENERGY TASK FORCE CASE, AND I DID NOT THINK THAT WAS RELEVANT TO DISCLOSE EITHER. AND GIVEN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO SIGNED ON AND THE MANY POSSIBLE DISCLOSURES THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THOUGHT TO BE DESIRABLE, I RATHER DOUBT THAT THE SPONOSRES WOULD HAVE WANTED THE LETTER WEIGHTED DOWN WITH THAT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

4. Justice Ginsburg went to a conference hosted by the ACLU, which was a party to Citizens United and is a litigant in many other cases before the Court. Should she recuse herself as well from all cases in which the ACLU is involved? I DO NOT KNOW THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF JUSTICE GINSBURG'S CONFERENCE WITH THE ACLU AND SO WILL NOT COMMENT ON IT. IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE THAT ANY DISQUALIFICATION BASED ON ONE CONFERENCE WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR ALL ACLU CASES FOREVER. BUT WHATEVER THE RIGHT ANSWER IS TO THOSE QUESTIONS, IT SHOULD BE BASED ON A CODE TO WHICH ALL JUSTICES SUBSCRIBE.

I followed the trail to the Alliance for Justice (AFJ) Web site. And there it was, all laid out:


"Alliance for Justice today announced its support for common-sense reforms of the ethical rules governing the Supreme Court, as expressed in a letter to the Senate and House judiciary committees signed by 107 ethics professors from 76 law schools around the country.

The letter was spurred by recent media reports of questionable activities of several Supreme Court justices that give the appearance of partisanship, and points out that alone among federal judges, "Justices of the United States Supreme Court have not adopted and are not subject to a comprehensive code of judicial ethics." The professors call on Congress to apply the Code of Conduct that already governs district court and circuit courts of appeals judges to the nation's highest court. The Code, among other provisions, prevents federal jurists from participating in partisan political activity, as well as any fundraising event. This issue has become relevant as reports have surfaced that Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas apparently participated in a political strategy and fundraising meeting in 2008 sponsored by the billionaire Koch brothers."

The Post's Feb. 24 story did not explain that the letter had been the brainchild of AFJ. (It didn't provide any reference to Common Cause, which had been manning a nearly identical campaign.) But there it was: the same storyline about the Koch brothers and the attendance of Justice Thomas and Scalia at a Koch event. Moreover, the head of AFJ repeated the Koch storyline to The Post. "Nan Aron, director of the liberal group Alliance for Justice, said that if these rules were extended to the Supreme Court, none of the justices could attend 'overtly political meetings or events' like those sponsored by the Kochs." The Post report never identified her as head of AFJ, the author of the letter.

And so we have the second liberal front group in this scheme, AFJ. AFJ didn't identify itself on the letter to Congress, and I wouldn't have known it was behind the latest round of "get-the-Kochs" except for my work on Citizens United and Morrison's forthright answers.

In a subsequent post I'll look at what AFJ is and who funds them. But if you've been paying attention, you probably know all that, right?


By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Next: Friday question

Comments

It may not be clear to you Jennifer, but it is quite clear to everyone with a brain. The Koch brothers have plainly dedicated their lives and fortunes to advance the very causes that are most inimical to the welfare of human beings. They have funded fraudulent campaigns attempting to undermine the science on global climate change. They have funded campaigns devoted to the attempt to maintain American reliance on petroleum and other finite, polluting resources. They have funded direct, in-your-face attacks on the well-being of working class Americans. They have attempted – with apparent success – to corrupt the United States Supreme Court. To many Americans – perhaps by now a majority – they are the personification of rapacious American greed. Now do you get it?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What's funny is Jennifer claims the left wing obsesses over the Koch brothers, as she makes an umpteenth reference to her own personal obsession, George Soros.

I really don't understand why Jennifer cares what these groups do. It isn't as though groups like this are anything new. Right and left leaning organizations with innocuous sounding names have been around for decades spouting off on all sorts of causes.

Posted by: mustangs79 | February 25, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Ms Rubin, I ask that you turn your attention to Greg Sargent's blog on this same web site.

yesterday he breathlessly announced that a "watchdog group" was demanding an investigation into Govenor Walker's phone call with the liberal prankster. Here is his headline:
"Watchdog calls for criminal probe of Governor Walker over prank Koch call"

the "watchdog group" that fired up Mr Sargent was The Public Campaign Action Fund.

I spent, oh 60 seconds with Google and found the web site of this group. Unlike other liberal advocacy groups this bunch foolishly listed the names of their big donors.

Here you go. This is directly from their website:
The following individuals and institutions have contributed or granted funds to Public Campaign Action Fund since 2008*

$20,000+ (in a calendar year):

James Campbell
Common Cause
Democracy Fund
Michael Kieschnick
MoveOn.org Political Action
National Education Association
Proteus Fund
Deborah Salkind
Service Employees International Union
Tides Voter Action Fund
Working Assets"

So what we face is an interlocking group of liberal agitators whose role it is to keep certain stories alive by pretending to be something they are not.

In my comments to Mr Sargent I noted that he was little more than a tool of the left's big lie machinery.

To borrow his own phrasing: Mr Sargent did not immediately respond to my comment.

Your analysis of the left ignores their psychology. To me they simply cannot believe that anyone would have the nerve to use their own tools and techniques against them.

I have no doubt that at some point Senator Schumer will introduce a bill making it illegal for Barnes & Nobel to sell Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" to registered Republicans.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 25, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28,

And your point is . . . .?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Two silly leftist comments here thus far.

first J_B_A:
Your premise is deeply flawed. Like Nancy Pelosi you are trying desperately to convince the world that the "science is settled". It isn't. The CRU emails tore the mask off the scam. And it is a scam.

Science thrives on contention. You are perfectly OK with scientists taking vast sums of money from eco fool front groups like the NRDC or the Sierra club. But apparently in your blinkered world, scientists taking money from people with a different point of view is verbotten. Liberals hate dissent. It is that simple.

Nex,t the reliable mustangs blathers on. As I noted in my earlier comment, an inter connected group of well funded liberals agitators work hard to use the media as a means of advancing the liberal agenda. This is all just as phony as it can be and only someone lost in the throes of gullibility would fall for it.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 25, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Damn those all-powerful liberals, with their Priuses and their 48,000 dollar a year teaching jobs, and their letters which don't identify themselves as aligned with Common Cause.

God, save us from the crusaders for judicial ethics.

If only there were some substance pumped out of the ground, which generated trillions of dollars that could be used to fight them, justify wars, prop up dictators, keep brothers in billions and activism, fly supreme court hacks, erm Justices to Palm Springs for four days, etc.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 25, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Awesome work, as usual, Jennifer. The work of these "watchdog" groups is transparently partisan and ridiculous. At least the Post Ed Board goes to some effort to point out their smear tactics though it doesn't help that they give these people such a bully pulpit by running articles which are basically press releases for their smear campaigns. Meanwhile, that rag up north that claims to print all the news that's fit to print wholeheartedly accepts this narrative and the extremists on their editorial board partake in it as well.

By the way, do yourself a favor and ignore left-wing clowns like J_B_A who have decided, unilaterally, that the Koch brothers have decided to support political ideas that are "inimical to the welfare of human beings" (LOL!!!). Because obviously if you don't support the Obama agenda, you support ideas that destroy humanity. Get a grip.

Posted by: jimmyjohns | February 25, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The Koch brothers are the latest incarnation of the left's bete noir, the "vast right wing conspiracy". First it was Richard Mellon Scaife, then Halliburton, and now the Kochs. These progressive simpletons have a thin playbook: accusations of racism; class envy, e.g. "tax cuts for the rich"; blame America first; accuse random billionaire of conspiracy. Yawn.

Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" describes a favorite tactic of the left:

"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...

"...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments.... Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...'

"One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other."

Posted by: eoniii | February 25, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28,

Liberals love dissent. They love intelligent dissent even more. Remember the “dissent” fostered by the tobacco companies over the question whether tobacco use endangers human health? That dissent was in the corporate-funded category. Where are you at on this "scientific question"? Are you still on board with Philip Morris?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives should watch some Charles Dickens movies like "Scrouge" or "Oliver" and make sure they really want what they're begging for. You think because you're an accountant (or whatever) you're going to be taken care of? What part of "aristocracy" don't you understand?

Posted by: MasterOfSparks | February 25, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Check out these left wing racist loons at the Common Cause rally against the Kochs. You want find anything like this at a Tea Party rally.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3ctO7fdrcc&feature=player_embedded#at=14

Posted by: eoniii | February 25, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"To borrow his own phrasing: Mr Sargent did not immediately respond to my comment."

Wouldn't hold your breath on that one, Skip. Sargent was relentless in going after republicans for their rhetoric after the arizona shootings. I have repeatedly posted "violent rhetoric" from democrats that occurred AFTER arizona, and haven't heard a peep from him on it.

Posted by: octopi213 | February 25, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MasterOfSparks: Conservatives should watch some Charles Dickens movies like "Scrouge" or "Oliver" and make sure they really want what they're begging for. You think because you're an accountant (or whatever) you're going to be taken care of? What part of "aristocracy" don't you understand?

Good suggestion. And don’t forget “All in the Family.” There was a time when everyone assumed that Carroll O’Connor’s caricature of a right wing bigot was wildly over-the-top. No one thinks that any more.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

nice try J_B_A. I wish I could agree with you. Liberals hate dissent. What else explains their anger at the Koch boys while gladly taking beaucoup bux from Soros?

What you are doing is called a "slide off". I made a clear point. Many of the so called scientists on the pro global warming side are funded by groups whose very existence depends on their ability to convince the donating public that environmental armaggedon is just around the corner.

You see no conflict with. But you do see conflict with scientists taking money from groups of which you don't approve.

In response to this you bring up tobbacco companies. You are just trying to change the subject.

The entire environmental movement is based on lies. Its two highest profile proponents, Gore and Pachuri, are nothing but charlatans.

there is dissent, as there should be. The science is far, far from settled. The CRU emails destroyed the credibility of folks like you. Maybe the best you've got is misdirection at this point.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 25, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

eoniii: "class envy"

Here is your Achilles Heel. Accusations of envy aren't just thrown for the sake of being mean spirited. You *really believe them*, and the reason probably is that you're projecting your own envy. You're in touch with your envy, so it's natural to assume that everyone else is filled with it as well.

That's why it must be so baffling to you to see nonunion people joining the protests in favor of the union.

The strategy here is to bust private workers down to minimum wage, strip them of their retirement and health care, and then point the finger at public employees who still have that kind of thing, and try to engender in them a vicious envy, which will get them to join you in stripping public employees of their middle class amenities.

Puzzling it must be when private workers feel connected to the public school teacher, rather than accepting her demonization.

Sun Tzu would likely advise us to encourage you. Keep it up.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 25, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"The entire environmental movement is based on lies."

The preceding message was brought to you by the Center For Truth and Honesty About Science, a division of Koch Industries.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 25, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28,

Okay, I’ll pretend to take you seriously when you dogmatically declare that corporate-funded “scientific inquiry” is on par with objective, peer-reviewed science funded by governments and human interest groups all over the world. Okay. I have pretended to take you seriously. The proposition is patently fatuous.

Should I take you seriously when you imply –as do all myopians who share your view of global climate change – that the release in a few short decades of billions of tons of hydrocarbons, locked in the earth in the form of coal, gas and petroleum, for hundreds of billions of years, has no effect on earth’s climate? Do you actually have a brain that you care to use, or are you on some oil company’s payroll?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

It's humorous to see the left wing complaining about the Koch brothers buying politicians. The latest boogeymen for the left, indeed. I'm guessing the Chamber of Commerce are A-OK now.

Have a look at the top donors to all politicians for the 2010 election cycle. Far away the #1 is left wing "ActBlue". 8 of the top 20 are unions. The boogeymen are listed at #42.

http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topcontribs.php

Posted by: shanimal | February 25, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Provide proof of this or withdraw the assertion:
======================
The strategy here is to bust private workers down to minimum wage, strip them of their retirement and health care, and then point the finger at public employees who still have that kind of thing, and try to engender in them a vicious envy, which will get them to join you in stripping public employees of their middle class amenities.

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

Prove this, if you can. Provide, you know facts and stuff. OK?

I especially love the part about "middle class amenities". That's got to be the liberal euphemism of the day. You get the prize.

here is an example:
It is NOT a "middle class amenity" to retire in one's fifties with a defined benefit payment that is funded almost completely with other people's money. the only "middle class" folks I know that have a shot at that are sucking on the public nipple.

but I gotta give ya props for your euphemism. It is honestly just too funny.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 25, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

privacy5, there's no conspiracy run by the Kochs. Wisconsin Gov. Doyle, Gov. Walker's predecessor, gave the unions a level of benefits well beyond what employees in the private sector earn, and now there's no money in the till to pay for it. The stimulus money was used to pay for excessive benefits the past couple of years, but now it's gone.

The same thing happened all over the country, not just in Wisconsin: Politicians awarded future unaffordable benefits to the unions which financed their election campaigns. That's the only conspiracy.

Posted by: eoniii | February 25, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

They have funded fraudulent campaigns attempting to undermine the science on global climate change.


Dr. Lucka Kajfez Bogataj & Freeman Dyson don't agree either.

Peer review, doesn't that mean they just read what others wrote instead of actually performing their own experiments?

Posted by: gopthestupidparty | February 25, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

the amusement never ends. This is euphemisms on parade.

I mention funding for "science" coming from groups whose very existence depends on convincing people that global warming is our fault. J_B_A calls these groups "human interest groups".

Again, nice slide off. What I stated is absolutely true. There is no reason to believe that "science" funded by NRDC is any more (or any less) objective than "science" funded by Exxon-mobil.

As for "peer review" well the CRU emails demolished that. And who are the peers? Simple answer, the "scientists" who are funded by the likes of the NRDC. Just too funny.

As for the carbon boogie man, I have a few thoughts. No one really knows what is going to happen. You don't, the alleged scientists whose opinions you accept without question don't and I don't.

Since no one knows what will happen next, I see no reason to surrender my liberty to a group of gullible lefties who will use their imagined "eco disaster" as a path to power.

In the final analysis, that is all this is, a path to power. If, in the name of Gaia the left can tell us what kind of lightbulb and toilet we can use, there is no end to the power over us they can exert.

We're fighting back. We've revealed the entire thing as a sham. Sorry you missed the memo.

And spare me the egregious insults. Basically what I am doing is contesting your core beliefs. Those of us on the right face this kind of thing every day. If the best you've got is insults and dogma, you're gonna be hating life as we push back against your unfounded faith.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 25, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28,

In USA no one is under compulsion to use a particular “kind of lightbulb and toilet.” In USA, some educated people try to share knowledge – such as how to preserve resources, how to maintain good health through nutrition, how to keep from getting knocked up when you would rather not, etc. – with other human beings.

Would you mind telling what country you live in?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps JBA is unfamiliar with the "Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007," which states that REQUIRES (I highlight this word because you say no one is under compulsion to use a particular kind of light bulb) that light bulbs become 25% more efficient. It also exempts bulbs that are less than 40 watts (CFL-types) and those over 150 watts (Incandescents are 120 watts). It is blatantly aimed at banning incandescents without actually specifying that type.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Independence_and_Security_Act_of_2007

Posted by: octopi213 | February 25, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Democrats ran against Bush in 2008, against the Chamber of Commerce in 2010 and are setting up the 2012 campaign against the Koch brothers. What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by: Fithian | February 25, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

What do you have to say about this, Fox News' Shep Smith?

http://tinyurl.com/4gaubgd

Posted by: privacy5 | February 25, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

octopi213,

Thanks for playing Really Bad Analyses. Requiring corporations to make product improvements – like increase the gasoline efficiencies of motor vehicles – and to make those improved products available to consumers is, most rational people would agree, quite a different thing than “telling us what kind of lightbulb and toilet we can use.” You and Skip are quite free, as far as USA is concerned, to waste as much electricity and water as you can afford to waste. USA as a whole, however, has quite rationally decided to consider the possibility that water and electricity are not endlessly and eternally and cheaply available to the nation as a whole, and to act accordingly.

There was a time when most people – Archie Bunker types excepted – were of the view that Americans were “in it together,” and that improving the lot of all Americans was a worthwhile goal. Those days are obviously long gone.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Partying of America has started, and the country now stands at a defining moment where it will be determined whether the rich and powerful forces behind the Tea Party and the millions of people they have lied to and deceived will succeed in destroying our democracy http://wp.me/pNmlT-BT

Posted by: Dh1953 | February 25, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

God, save us from energy efficient light bulbs!

Posted by: privacy5 | February 25, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Looks like I can't win this bad analysis game since you seem to hold the trophy.

They wrote the law so that incandescents would be the only type of bulb that was banned. It is a de facto ban, a slimy and shady way to outlaw something without specifically outlawing it. If light bulbs should be 25% more efficient, why should those that are less than 40 watts or greater than 150 watts be exempt? If you truly believed in "product improvements" then why give out those special exemptions?

A similar thing happened in Maryland a few years back where they wrote a law that only affected 4 companies, including Wal Mart, but it also gave exemptions to the other 3 firms.

These both are examples of attempts to control what consumers are allowed to buy, because if a company isn't allowed to produce it, then a customer can't buy it.

Posted by: octopi213 | February 25, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

eoniii: "privacy5, there's no conspiracy run by the Kochs."

True. A conspiracy is secret. This is all being done right out in the open. The money goes from the Kochs in to the politicians pockets, the politicians attack workers, starting with outrageously overcompensated school teachers, whose lavish pay has laid waste to Americas economy and housing market. Repeat.

Posted by: privacy5 | February 25, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Now J_B_A makes an ad populum appeal. The phrase "most rational people" is diagnostic.

It is important to understand how this line of argument works:
(1) Since lots of people people it, it therefore must be true. I am certain that in the 8th Century AD lots of people believed that the earth was flat.
(2) the lots of people who believe this are "rational". therefore everyone who doesn't believe what J_B_A believes is, by his definition "irrational".

Neither argument is persuasive. In fact both are logical falacies.

Of coure we want improved products. That what market forces deliver to us daily. Government intervention is a silly, expensive and wasteful effort to steal our liberty and confiscate our money.

and no, we are not quite free to do as you say. You cannot buy a toilet in America that does not comply with the environmentalists fostered regs concerning gallons per flush. In fact the EPA currently has its sights on shower heads too. Just watch.

And congress outlawed the incandescent bulb. The language they used may not state that specifically but that was their intent and that is what happened.

This is among the reasons why I have so little respect for liberals. Watch how this works. A single company lobbied hard for the bill that banned incandescent bulbs. That company also happens to be the largest producer of the new cfl bulbs.

Does the name Jeffrey Immelt ring a bell J_B_A? He's now an adviser to Barrack Hussein Obama. He's also CEO of GE.

This is far worse that crony capitalism. This is crony socialism. We're getting screwed for a hoax. And that hoax is perpetuated by people like you.

I understand that you fervently believe that disaster looms. but others see the situation differently. Right now we're striking back. We want our freedom and we have an obligation to insure that anything which diminishes that freedom does so for a darned good reason.

Global warming isn't a good enough reason because it simply isn't so.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 25, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Gallup weighs in, who supports stripping rights...

"Among those who make less than $24,000 per year, 19% support cutting union rights, while 74% are opposed. Americans earning between $24,000 and $59,999 oppose that plan by a 33% to 63% split, while those earning between $60,000 and $89,999 also opposed the plan, 41% to 53%.

Among the top earners, however, 50% said they would support a plan to cut collective bargaining rights to reduce the deficit, while 47% said they oppose such a plan."

http://tinyurl.com/4vsymlp

Posted by: privacy5 | February 25, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by octopi213: These both are examples of attempts to control what consumers are allowed to buy, because if a company isn't allowed to produce it, then a customer can't buy it.
_________

Sorry to break the bad news, octipi213, but you have just betrayed your principles. Are you not an independent agent – a can-do American! Make a freaking incandescent light bulb for yourself. Since when do the likes of you need the help of anyone else to function as a wild-west American, free to live as you like?

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to break the bad news, octipi213, but you have just betrayed your principles. Are you not an independent agent – a can-do American! Make a freaking incandescent light bulb for yourself. Since when do the likes of you need the help of anyone else to function as a wild-west American, free to live as you like?


Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 3:59 PM

Talking to you is like talking to a monkey. It is now illegale to make an incandescent bulb because of the previously cited law! That type falls into the type of bulb was banned! I would love to make my own incandescent but the Feds won't allow it!

Posted by: octopi213 | February 25, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The last factory in America that made incandescent light bulbs closed a few months ago. This is from HuffPo

"Major companies like General Electric have dedicated the last few years to switching over to eco-friendly compact florescent bulbs, which use 75 percent less energy while giving as much light as incandescent light bulbs. [...] But as the Washington Post reports, one unintended consequence is the contribution it makes to the "continuing erosion" of U.S. manufacturing. As companies transition over to making CFLs, local plants close and jobs are moved out of the country."

Note the reference to GE J_B_A. What is happening is clear. The hoax of man made global warming is providing the politicians and bureaucrats an excuse to snatch power while providing firms willing to crony up the opportunity to make a fortune by virtue of laws mandating certain behaviors.

Socialism has to rely on compulsion. That is just all there is to it. The window dressing that is applied to it by a bunch of self serving "scientists" who have their own rice bowls to fill just makes it easier to dupe folks like J_B_A.

the environmentalists couldn't make the sale. They want everyone to give up their liberty and do as they are told or else. It just didn't sell well enough, so they did the next best thing: they went to the gummint and colluded with the Democrats.

Democrats LOVE power. It is a perfect fit.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 25, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

eoniii: "privacy5, there's no conspiracy run by the Kochs."

True. A conspiracy is secret. This is all being done right out in the open. The money goes from the Kochs in to the politicians pockets, the politicians attack workers, starting with outrageously overcompensated school teachers, whose lavish pay has laid waste to Americas economy and housing market. Repeat.

Posted by: privacy5
----------------------
I'm glad you don't buy the conspiracy nonsense. Campaign contributions are public record. The Kochs gave $43,000 to Scott Walker's campaign for governor out of the $11 million Walker spent. Total spending in the governor's race by both candidates and outside groups reached a record $36 million. The various unions spent millions on the Democrat Barrett.

The unions have an obvious financial interest in electing Democrats, who will return the favor by giving them sweetheart contracts. The Kochs just want to help elect candidates who share their conservative views. Can you understand the distinction?

Posted by: eoniii | February 25, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Poor Jenny is just upset that the Republicorp party is taking hits for its assault on the US worker. A "conspiracy" would imply that this is done in secret. On the contrary, the Koch brothers are pretty open, both from a political and financial standpoint, about their contempt for the rights to a safe working environment, security, and a minimum wage. The people who have so readily jumped to their defense are about as American as a US flag made in China.

Posted by: curtisjasper | February 25, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

My, this is refreshing.
The simple fact is, campaign finance reporting rules and limits have shifted much political money to undisclosed and tax-exempt channels.
Communist Cause has 501c3 status and its donors therefore are indirectly supported by innocent taxpayers. And CC is among THOUSANDS of these entities spending BILLIONS in undisclosed political cash. It is a hugely distortive force in American politics and I hope to heck you continue to poke around this particular cesspool.

Posted by: daskinner | February 25, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by octopi213: Talking to you is like talking to a monkey. It is now illegale to make an incandescent bulb because of the previously cited law! That type falls into the type of bulb was banned! I would love to make my own incandescent but the Feds won't allow it!
______________

I don't think you are going to find a prohibition against making your own incandescent light bulb for your own use, Sparky. You just aren't that important to USA.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

"So rather than run against the real 2012 Republican nominee, the left would like to run against the Koch duo. Sound a little weird?"

What is weird is that Rubin used the definite article in the sentence: "The real 2012 Republican nominee." No such thing. There isn't even a front runner, or barely anyone officially running. How can "the left" run again someone who doesn't yet exist?

Posted by: jmoe | February 25, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Quick note to the right wingers who (purportedly) believe that Rubin has a clue what she is talking about:

Presumably you have been watching Fox News today, and are therefore unaware that the whole Scott Walker/David Koch, anti-union campaign is disintegrating before your very eyes. Even right wing pollsters are forced to admit that Wisconsin has swung dramatically against Walker. Republican governors of other states are conspicuously MIA as far as support for Walker is concerned. Nice try Rubin. Your banner proclamation about Walker "winning" is just one more example of right wing misinformation.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

The Kochs are a weird choice for the left to choose to personify their enemies. The Kochs are more libertarian than conservative. They gave $20 million to the ACLU to oppose the Patriot Act. David Koch ran for Vice President in 1980 on the Libertarian ticket with a platform of legalizing drugs and prostitution and abolishing the FBI and CIA. The Kochs have given many times more money to the arts and non-political charities than they have to politicians. The $43,000 they gave to Scott Walker's campaign was a drop in the bucket compared to the $11 million he raised. The left is really pathetic, you know.
http://reason.com/blog/2011/02/25/the-koch-brothers-right-wing-c

Posted by: eoniii | February 25, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you are going to find a prohibition against making your own incandescent light bulb for your own use, Sparky. You just aren't that important to USA.

Posted by: J_B_A

But the law makes no differentiation between bulbs for sale and those made in your home! Since the EPA is on a carbon witch-hunt, they very well would fine you for using your own bulbs. It is this line of thinking that lead to the federal health-care takeover: The government knows what is best for everyone, so everybody must buy a government-approved health plan or be fined/imprisoned. The irony is while you support such vast government incursions into people's lives, your side is repulsed by the very same government listening to phone conversations of terrorists. Yup, everyone's got to have a health plan that covers gender-change surgery, but God forbid we try to catch terrorists from blowing up buildings.

Posted by: octopi213 | February 25, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Please, when Common Cause is fined a couple million dollars for releasing a couple million gallons of jet fuel and ammonia into the Mississippi river waterways and 91 metric tons of carcinogenic liquid benzene into streams, when they have killed people due to their negligence,when they have had 300 oil spills over 5 states-then you can compare them Koch Industries.
Until then, it's irresponsible and a false equivalency.

Posted by: Bowedoak | February 25, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: octopi213: The government knows what is best for everyone, so everybody must buy a government-approved health plan or be fined/imprisoned. The irony is while you support such vast government incursions into people's lives, your side is repulsed by the very same government listening to phone conversations of terrorists. Yup, everyone's got to have a health plan that covers gender-change surgery, but God forbid we try to catch terrorists from blowing up buildings.
____________

Right wingers are amazing. They think the Constitution enshrines the right to use a particular kind of light bulb, and at the same time decry the government for . . . what? . . . protecting the right to use a particular kind of bulb? . . . not protecting the right to use a particular kind of bulb? Neither? Both?
But far worse than these stark contradictions of logic is the fact that right wingers don't give a damn about the things the Constitution really cares about -- viz., the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances (even in Wisconsin); the right to travel (even from Wisconsin to Illinois); the right of habeas corpus (barely preserved in a 5 to 4 decision of the US Supreme Court, 4 right wingers dissenting); the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights protecting defendants accused of crimes; the privacy rights implicit throughout every right enshrined in the Constitution (a woman's right to control her own body) and explicitly guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment (the right to privacy in one's person, papers and effects); the Thirteenth Amendment right of African Americans to be free from the badges of involuntary servitude, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

What strange and hypocritical creature right wingers are.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 25, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

implicit throughout every right enshrined in the Constitution (a woman's right to control her own body.

"enshrined" by 9 old men who didn't think it would cause this stir 35 years later. Should have left it alone.

Yet some drs r requiring a wife's written permission for her husband to have a vasectomy. hmmmm...

So if a school requires a child to perform "voluntary service" to graduate, the parents can assert their 13th Amendment rights? Thanks!

Posted by: gopthestupidparty | February 26, 2011 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer Rubin has elsewhere declared: "Several events are moving in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's favor in his standoff with state Democrats."

Princeton Professor and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman has expressed a different view of the news from Wisconsin. Krugman's latest column, entitled "True Goal of GOP Privatization and Union-busting," includes the following:

"The good news from Wisconsin is that the upsurge of public outrage -- aided by maneuvering of Democrats in the state Senate, who absented themselves to deny Republicans a quorum -- has slowed the bum's rush. If Walker's plan was to push his bill through before anyone had a chance to realize his true goals, that plan has been foiled. And events in Wisconsin may have given pause to other Republican governors, who seem to be backing off similar moves."

Posted by: J_B_A | February 26, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Tea baggers don't know that two billionaires fund the organiztion.

Tea baggers get their news from Murdoch another billionaire..

Tea baggers are clueless or willingly manipulated.

Posted by: hhkeller | February 26, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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