Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republican "Reform"

In 1994 Newt Gingrich swept aside Democratic leaders in the House and ushered in a decade of “reform.” He started a campaign to make “liberal” a dirty word, to reduce the power of the media by calling it the “liberal media,” and to build a symbiotic relationship between Republican legislators and business lobbyists on K Street in Washington, D.C. With the aid of super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Bush administration has developed this “reform” to such loftiness that the Republican Party is now looking desperately for a new means of “reform.”

As Sidney Blumenthal reminds us:

"'Ethics reform' gestures and suddenly hazy memories can't hide the truth: Abramoff is an integral part of the GOP machine that revved up with the '94 'revolution.'"

A little history, please - also from Blumenthal:

"After Gingrich whipped up a commotion against Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright, forcing his resignation over a union's bulk buying of copies of his memoir, Gingrich's staff was caught smearing the new speaker, the gentlemanly Tom Foley, as a closest gay, which he was not. Then Gingrich fostered a furor over the House members' bank, a kind of credit union from which they had always drawn loans against their paychecks."

OK. The Republicans were in. The talk of "reform" was everywhere. By "reform" they meant getting rid of Democrats in public offices. All Democrats were lumped into the "liberal" category and all were attacked mercilessly. To this day, Republicans reserve "liberal" as the worst epithet to call any one. They call liberals anti-God atheists, American haters, whimps, traitors - and worse. They have done such a good job with this "reform" that Democratic candidates are afraid to call themselves "liberal."

To neuter the influence of the media, Republican "reformers" stamped newspapers, magazines, radio and TV shows that criticized Republicans as the "liberal media." Today, any newsman or commentator that is to the left of George W. Bush is part of the "liberal media." Any newsman or commentator that sycophantly praises Bush and endorses his policies automatically has great access. Such people and the media outlets they work for have been welcomed into and have become an important part of the Republican establishment.

The biggest "reform" effort, however, was the merging of the Republican Party with Big Business. DeLay and Abramoff led this "reform" by arranging it so that there was a dearth of Democratic lobbyists. "Reformer" Santorum did his part too. They forced business organization to hire only Republican lobbyists. After all, what's the point in hiring a Democrat when you can do business only with Republicans?

The latter "reform" fizzled. "Reformer" Abramoff is "reforming" by spilling the beans. What should Republican "reform" leaders do? Legislate "reform," of course.

"Reform" is back on the Republican agenda. They want to cut gifts, eliminate fees for lectures, and get rid of free trips to exotic places. Whatever they are suggesting will make changes alright. But the cozy relationship between Republicans and Big Business will not change. So a legislator will pay for his own meal and get 10 times as much as a campaign donation. Instead of with fees and trips, legislators would be paid off in other ways.

Republican "reform" has poisoned the well. The only way to detoxify it is to vote Democrats into office. Yes, yes, Democratic "reform" suggestions are just as bad as those the Republicans are making. But voting in a new group will help break up Republican dominance.

True reform will come in a second stage. It will not come easy. We will have to persuade the new incumbents to reduce the role of money in election campaigns.

Posted by Paul Siegel at January 19, 2006 6:34 PM
Comments
Comment #114730

See this article on Language: A Key Mechanism of Control, for terminology usage began by Gingrich:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4443.htm

Turnabout is fairplay, so these are some of Newt’s terms that can now be applied to the Rpblcns:

abuse of power, betray, bizarre, bosses, bureaucracy, cheat, coercion, collapse,
consequences, corrupt, corruption, criminal, crisis, cynicism, decay,
deeper, destroy, destructive, devour, disgrace, endanger, excuses,
failure , greed, hypocrisy, ideological, impose, incompetent, insecure,
insensitive, intolerant, lie, pathetic ,patronage, self-serving, selfish, sensationalists, shallow, shame, sick, spend, stagnation, steal,they/them, threaten, waste.

Posted by: ray at January 19, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #114739

Paul, are you saying that Newt Gingrich and other Republicans tried to use the numerous Democratic ethics scandals of the nineties to unseat Democrats and get Republicans into office!

I’m shocked!

That certainly is unheard of in American politics! Nobody but Republicans would ever think of trying to capitalize on the ethics woes of their political opponents.

So called “history lessons” from the impeccably non-partison Sid Blumenthal are certainly intriguing, but his facts are just plain wrong.

If you want to decry big business’s involvement in politics, fine. That’s another issue. The fact is, however, that Democrats get a hell of a lot of money from big business themselves.

In fact, as this document shows, the top ten donors give more money to Democrats than they do Republicans. Goldman Sachs, Time-Warner, and Microsoft are in the top five donors overall, and they give overwhelmingly to Democrats.

Republican efforts to counter the media are irrelevant to the question of “corruption.” It’s no surprise that a candidate or official would grant greater access to a more sympathetic journalist. That’s why you won’t see Hillary Clinton appearing on Sean Hannity any time soon. It’s why, to this day, only the Boston Globe has been permitted unfettered access to John Kerry’s military records.

Whatever happens with Abramhoff and who eventually gets implicated in that scandal (though I still think it will be a whole lot less than what the Democrats are hoping for), I’ve seen nothing to indicate that he has been a major financial player since the nineties.

His contributions have been relatively small in the grand Washington scheme, and the number of those contriubtions which are potentially tainted is even a smaller percentage still.

Posted by: sanger at January 19, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #114749

Sanger -

I think you agree that the issue is what was done in return for donations. If there was a direct correlation between the donation and some action in favor of Abramoff’s clients, then there is corruption. The dollar amount really has nothing to do with it.

Donations are legal, as long as they follow the law. To try to make this a Democratic issue, or a bipartisan issue, by mentioning donations received by Democrats is the talking point of the Republican party; but it’s misleading. The corruption comes into play when the Republican congressmen did something in return for the donations. It’s not just the donation.

As far as the donors you mentioned, it’s pretty widely known that the Republicans received much more in total donations from business than the Democrats. To isolate just a few donors unfairly skews the message.

I, for one, am pretty sick and tired of the “liberal media” tag that has been applied to any news source that does not agree with the right. The fact is that as long as both sides are presented, there is no bias. The “Fair and Balanced” label which Fox has put on themselves sounds more like they are trying to convince their own than simply stating something that is already known. Some reporters from other media outlets are biased, but there has long been a noble attempt to cover both sides of the issues. It isn’t until recently that the news has been turned into a propaganda outlet for a political party, and it’s the right that has done that. It’s obvious and blatant.

Abramoff’s activities most certainly took place since the 90’s; many specifically between 2000 and 2004.

I will agree with you that there will probably be few Congressmen who actually are indicted as a result of the Abramoff scandal. But it is most assuredly a Republican problem, and the Democrats have the opportunity to do now what the Republicans did prior to 1994, which is to point out that corruption and capitalize on it. It’s an old story in American politics that has been replayed many times. Neither party discovered corruption, but both will take advantage of the other party’s hand being caught in the cookie jar.

Posted by: Cole at January 19, 2006 8:40 PM
Comment #114752

Someone please explain this logic to me:

As far as I can tell, people who support the Bush Administration seem to be accepting all of the criticism aimed at them and accepting that their leaders have done illegal things, but they simply try to shirk it off by saying “Hey, the are at least some DEMs who’ve done the same thing…”

???

So, you have no issue with YOUR leaders (the people who directly represent you) breaking ethical and legal bounds… simply because some from the other side of the isle have also done so? By using that argument - I can now say that there is doubt that REPs have broken laws, lied and been unethical… but I also have to admit that have DEMs in the past (Hey! Look at Clinton!) have done similar things???? OK. I’ll buy that.

But these DEMs from the past are not the current problem, so will you (REPs) agree to work with us to rid DC of the current batch of criminals? Even if they belong to your political party? Or is all this ‘yea, but they did it too’ just a bunch of noise to avoid political loss.

Just wondering…

Posted by: tony at January 19, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #114754
Republican “reform” has poisoned the well. The only way to detoxify it is to vote Democrats into office. Yes, yes, Democratic “reform” suggestions are just as bad as those the Republicans are making. But voting in a new group will help break up Republican dominance.

Let met get this straight. Vote Democrat, not becuase the Democrats are right, but because the Republicans are wrong?

I can see it now. “Vote for the Dems! We’re the lesser of two evils! (We’re still evil, mind you, we’re just less evil.)

ROTFLOL!

Posted by: John at January 19, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #114755

Cole, that’s an interesting statement.

Is it really widely known and accepted that Republicans recieve more from business than Democrats? As pure dollar amounts go, I suspect thats true as a general proposition, based only on the simple fact that Republicans as a historical fact have gotten more in overall campaign contributions.

I’m a businessman who gives money (small amounts) exclusively to Republicans. A friend and former partner of mine is a businessman who gives money exclusively to Democrats.

Are his donations pure and mine corrupt? Why would that be? I really don’t get it, unless you want to maintain that Republican donations are automatically evil and Democratic donations automatically pure.

Are trial lawyers not in business? They give almost exclusively to Democrats.

Is George Soros not a businessman? How about Bill Gates or Peter Lewis (the billionare who runs Progessive Insurance and throws millions of dollars at Democrats)?

Contrary to what some might think, business is not evil. If it wasn’t for business, people wouldn’t have jobs and incomes in this country. And that is true for liberals just as much as it for conservatives.

Posted by: sanger at January 19, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #114756

Tony,

It’s not that the repubs play the “they did it too” game; it’s the fact that these dems are throwing every accuasation know to man at the repubs and it’s just soooo ridiculous.

The libs have made a stronger case against Bush than OBL and his croonies have, doesn’t that concern anyone out there?! Even a little bit?!!


Posted by: rahdigly at January 19, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #114757

Tony

Those who took bribes should be punished. Dems like to jump the gun on the legal issues. WHEN people are convicted, they should be punished. If the probes are fair, there will be some Democrats among them too.

Merry fitzmas, BTW.

Since Republicans when they are in power are behaving like Democrats when they were in power, maybe the system needs to be reformed. Maybe Congress has too much description to add pork and earmarks.

Take a look at this interesting article from the NYT. It gives some suggestions about how we might really reform the system.

Nobody really wants to outlaw lobbying, only those lobbyist they don’t like. Besides the right to petition the goverment is protected by the Constitution.

Posted by: Jack at January 19, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #114758
The libs have made a stronger case against Bush than OBL and his croonies have, doesn’t that concern anyone out there?! Even a little bit?!!

Not really. What does concern me though, is that OBL is still at large and planning his next attack on America, and Bush has stated that he is not concerned with OBL.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 19, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #114761

Paul,

As usual you’ve written an excellent commentary.

What happened to the main stream media stories about Bush “carrying out God’s will”? Poof……gone, within 48 hours.

The only reform you can expect under the Rebublicans is the “reforming” of our Democracy into a Dominionist Theocracy. The Neo-Cons are just as willing to sacrifice themselves and each other as those who follow the teachings of radical Islam.

Those who are true “Lincoln Republicans” and true “Fiscal Conservatives” don’t even seem to care as long as their party is in power.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 19, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #114762
If the probes are fair, there will be some Democrats among them too.

So let me get this straight: Even though Abramoff gave $ exclusively to Democrats, a “fair” probe will convict Democrats as well as Republicans.

Methinks your biases are showing…

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 19, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #114764

Oops, I mean he gave exclusively to Republicans…

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 19, 2006 10:00 PM
Comment #114765
Since Republicans when they are in power are behaving like Democrats when they were in power, maybe the system needs to be reformed. Maybe Congress has too much description to add pork and earmarks.

Jack,

I could not agree with you more. The problem is not necessarily congressional rules as much as it is oversight and enforcement. Congress can make all the “ethics” rules it wants, but as long as they are allowed to police themselves, its just window dressing.

Nobody really wants to outlaw lobbying, only those lobbyist they don’t like. Besides the right to petition the goverment is protected by the Constitution.

Lobbying is not the problem; the selling of America to the highest bidder is the problem. Corporations should not be allowed to buy American politics. Laws need to be made that put the interests of corporations on par with the interests of individuals. No corporation should be allowed to contribute more than an average American can contribute as an individual.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 19, 2006 10:00 PM
Comment #114766

C’mon, let’s be honest here. The Republican Party has been out for revenge ever since Watergate. They’ve become the party of scandal-mongering as a result. And double-standards. After all, it was serial philanderer Newt Gingrich who drove out Jim Wright for “ethics violations.”

Posted by: ElliottBay at January 19, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #114767

JayJay,
“Not really.”


Whoa, whoa, whoa. Prove it. Prove that “not really” statement, right now.

You know how I feel about OBL at this point, “I don’t think about him much”. Yeah, that’s right, I quoted the Prez; the same quote that many libs have used against him for 3 years now. Well, I for one know what he’s was talking about! This stupid, sandpig Bin Laden wants a truce and talks about attacks. Whatever! He’s got nothing; he’s nothing to me and I (truly) don’t get nervous or worry one bit about what he or any of his croonies say anymore. He tried that last year when he threatened Iraqis not to vote; and yet, they voted anyway and thumbed (pun intended) their noses at him.


He’s a loser and so is any radical muslim that can’t fit into society by showing just the slighest bit of tolerance. Just the slighest bit!!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at January 19, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #114769

Please… show me unjustified accusations being ‘thrown’ at the REPs. Pre-Iraq war intelligence? Iraq – winning the peace? Katrina? Abramoff? Ethics violations (Delay)? NSA spying? CIA/Plame leak? Abu Gharib? Not one of those you can say are unjustified concerns. You might be trying to distinguish between illegal actions and bad judgment… but they are still what they… inappropriately handled National Disasters.

OK - let’s get away from the lesser of two evils… are these the best people you can see representing your ideals? Have they lived up to your expectations? Do they make you proud?

Do you feel that your efforts to support them with their performances on the job have been gratefully received? (Don’t you feel that you’ve gone the extra mile to give them the benefit of the doubt? Do they still deserve your support?)

Posted by: tony at January 19, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #114770

Jack, that’s exactly right.

Devoid of actual ideas or substance, Democrats have constructed a whole-cottage industry of wishful make-believe where every unproven partisan accusation is accepted as truth. They try to make unproven and often extremely wild accusations the starting point of any debate and they can’t be bothered to actually wait for the facts to emerge.
And when the facts don’t emerge in their favor, they just lie and obfuscate and pretend that reality is on their side, which time and time again it is not.

Merry Fitzmas indeed!

JayJay, nobody’s happy that OBL is still at large. If it was so easy to get him, the administration would be only too happy to enjoy the incredible political benefits that would come from photographs of his dead body broadcast around the world.

In the meantime, what is truly troubling is this: if Osama made a phone call to somebody in the United States, and everybody (including Democrats) knew for a fact that was Osama making the call,
Democrats are saying that law enforcement has no right to listen in.

Posted by: sanger at January 19, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #114772

Sanger,
“In the meantime, what is truly troubling is this: if Osama made a phone call to somebody in the United States, and everybody (including Democrats) knew for a fact that was Osama making the call,
Democrats are saying that law enforcement has no right to listen in.”


That is soooooo true, brutter. I’m going to enjoy watching the libs duck that comment; b/c they know they are busted with that issue. “go after the real terrorists (Al Qaeda), not Iraq; however, NSA eavesdropped on Al Qaeda’s phone calls to their terrorist cells in the US, that’s an invasion of our civil liberties!!! Give me liberty or give me death”. Yeah, keep it up libs and the enemy will (truly) win. Then where would you be?!

Posted by: rahdigly at January 19, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #114775
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Prove it. Prove that “not really” statement, right now.

Rah,

What do you want me to prove? That is my opinion, I am not concerned The libs have made a stronger case against Bush than OBL and his croonies have. What’s to prove?

In the meantime, what is truly troubling is this: if Osama made a phone call to somebody in the United States, and everybody (including Democrats) knew for a fact that was Osama making the call, Democrats are saying that law enforcement has no right to listen in.


Who says that law enforcement doesn’t have a right to listen in? They can listen in for up to 72 hours if they want, so long as they apply for a warrant in that time frame. What is really troubling is that this administration has sidestepped this law, that was put into place for just such a situation. Why? That is the most troubling question.

That is soooooo true, brutter. I’m going to enjoy watching the libs duck that comment; b/c they know they are busted with that issue. “go after the real terrorists (Al Qaeda), not Iraq; however, NSA eavesdropped on Al Qaeda’s phone calls to their terrorist cells in the US, that’s an invasion of our civil liberties!!! Give me liberty or give me death”. Yeah, keep it up libs and the enemy will (truly) win. Then where would you be?!

Rah,

Why do the libs need to duck this comment? It is a matter of law. A law that was designed for just this situation. So, why sidestep it? Why? This is the question that has been ducked by Bush and his supporters.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 19, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #114777

Rahdigly, when it comes to property or finance or speech or the First or Second Amendments (or most of the rest of Bill of Rights), the Democrats want to trash our rights. Just look at their record over the last three decades.

But when it comes to defending America against bombers and head-choppers, they wrap themselves in high-sounding cliches and try to strip of us even the most common sense measures of self defense.

“First they came for Al Qaida, but I was not a member of Al Qaida, so I did not speak out. Then they came for those who were communicating with Al Qaida, and I did not speak out. Then they came for me, and there was no was left to speak out.”

Right.

Get it? Thank god these people are not in power.

Posted by: sanger at January 19, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #114779

Jay,
“Why do the libs need to duck this comment?”


You tell me, you’re the one defending them. You defend FISA as if it was sooo effective; it wasn’t, the President (any President for that matter) has the right to do what it takes to keep us safe and that’s exactly what the President did and you cannot prove otherwise to the American people. What he did was legal and in accordance with the law. If you do (indeed) try to push this issue, you and the ACLU will definitely lose; not only in court, but with the American people as well.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 19, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #114781

Sanger said:

Rahdigly, when it comes to property or finance or speech or the First or Second Amendments (or most of the rest of Bill of Rights), the Democrats want to trash our rights. Just look at their record over the last three decades.

Could you elaberate?

But when it comes to defending America against bombers and head-choppers, they wrap themselves in high-sounding cliches and try to strip of us even the most common sense measures of self defense.

How? That doesn’t answer the question of why this administration sidestepped the FISA laws.

Rah, are you paying attention to who is ducking the question here? Why was it neccessary for Bush to break the FISA laws?


You tell me, you’re the one defending them.

The libs have not been ducking those types of comments. In fact they have addressed them head on. I cannot help it that you do not want to listen to logic.

You defend FISA as if it was sooo effective; it wasn’t

According to who? Bush? Was it not effective because of it’s setup or because of the way it was utilized (or not utilized)?

What he did was legal and in accordance with the law.

Here are 14 constitutional law scholars who disagree with you.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 19, 2006 11:00 PM
Comment #114784

Sanger -

I didn’t say, nor did I mean to imply that a donation to a republican is evil, but not if to a democrat. If it sounded like that, let me make it clear that it is not what I meant.

I did say that this particular scandal involving Abramoff and the actions taken by politicians as a result of the donations is a republican issue. But I think I also made it clear that both parties have been involved in corruption in the past. It’s the republicans’ turn now.

What is evil is the see-saw of corruption that occurs as each party takes power as a majority and succumbs to the temptations that power offers. It’s very illuminating when we sit back and mock other countries and the corruption that we see in the news, all the while holding ourselves above them. Then when we truly look at our own government, we find that it is as bad, or worse, here at home.

It’s still the greatest country in the world; which can be reassuring and alarming at the same time.

Posted by: Cole at January 19, 2006 11:15 PM
Comment #114786

I am truly convinced that the difference between liberals and conservatives is Pot. Yeah that’s right, you read that correctly. The majority of liberals smoke pot way more than the majority of conservatives. Excessive dope smoking has to be the reason why these libs are making the comments that they’ve been making about the President since he took office. The libs attack Bush in a more vile way than Al Qaeda and Saddam could ever imagine. Also, Saddam and OBL make statements similar to that of Senate Democrats; just look at how Saddam tried to postpone his trial by saying Bush lied about the war. Hmmm, that’s sounds like what the Senate Dems have been saying.


Just put down the pot libs, it has fried your brains and you have nothing to offer. But keep trying anyway, we know you will.


Now, Sanger, do me a favor and take care of the light work. I’m going to bed. Later!

Posted by: rahdigly at January 19, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #114790

Jack:

Thanks for the link, an interesting article. This may interest you and others, it did me. I will never post here that the Democratic party is above-board or not subject to corruption. I just agree with this, that it is less, and there is a higher level of arrogance, as expressed here:

We saw similar abuses leading to similar patterns of corruption during the Democrats’ majority reign. But they were neither as widespread nor as audacious as those we have seen in the past few years. The arrogance of power that was evident in Democratic lawmakers like Jack Brooks of Texas - the 21-term Democrat who was famed for twisting the rules to get pork for his district - is now evident in a much wider range of members and leaders, who all seem to share the attitude that because they are in charge, no one can hold them accountable.

I AM a Democrat who wishes both parties would quit posturing like hookers on a corner. The disease is spreading.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 19, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #114796
I am truly convinced that the difference between liberals and conservatives is Pot.

Rah,
Nice. Does that mean you can’t answer my question, so you are ducking it by resorting to wild accusations about liberals? (BTW, I never smoked pot, not once.)

rahdigly said:

I’m going to enjoy watching the libs duck that comment; b/c they know they are busted with that issue.

Looks like we can change at least one word in your statement. I’m going to enjoy watching the libs cons duck that comment; b/c they know they are busted with that issue.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 19, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #114801

Rahdigly,
You can only be saying this in jest, eh?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I am truly convinced that the difference between liberals and conservatives is Pot. Yeah that’s right, you read that correctly. The majority of liberals smoke pot way more than the majority of conservatives. Excessive dope smoking has to be the reason why these libs are making the comments that they’ve been making about the President since he took office. The libs attack Bush in a more vile way than Al Qaeda and Saddam could ever imagine. Also, Saddam and OBL make statements similar to that of Senate Democrats; just look at how Saddam tried to postpone his trial by saying Bush lied about the war. Hmmm, that’s sounds like what the Senate Dems have been saying.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
This is like saying Rush Limbaugh is too liberal right? Oh, and Hannity is really in line for appointment as spokesman for the DNC, eh?

At every revolution of the clock the GOP (God’s Own Party) unravels a bit more and the Neo-Cons can’t handle it so they can only throw stones. Perhaps Bush & Co. could begin surveilance on all Democrats. Well, maybe they already have. Who would know but “the G team”?

Maybe all those East Coast Dems like Biden & Kennedy are importing reefer from Cuba and secretly supporting Castro’s overthrow of the United States.

I won’t bother you again ‘till yur’ done rollin’ yur’ next blunt. That really was funny though. Keep’ em comin’. There’s far too little humor in the world.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 20, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #114803

Womanmarine

Of course I noticed that quotation too. (I had to overcome my partisan instincts to post it.) Unfortunately, it seems to be true. But the greater purport of the article is also true that it is the system that allows late amendments, earmarks etc and a government that has grown to interfere too much in people’s lives that allows/encourages temptation.

BTW - the Indian tribes were not innocent victims of Abramoff. That shows the other part of the balance sheet. Groups hire lobbyists for offensive purposes. By all indications, Abramoff’s clients were happy enough with his services until the end.

Posted by: Jack at January 20, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #114807

Paul,
you have done it agian. Terrific post.
It really has me scratching my head at the low down ugly comments.(now we are pot smokers, ya know).
Rahdigly is always abrasive but even he has sunk to a new low tonight.
The blind, wreckless, hatefull ferver that these cons express is nothing short of sad.
Jayjay , you wont get an answer, they don’t have one. They all keep repeating the same two or three comments over and over.
The communists in China also threw around the word REFORM, when they were taking over that counrty in the fifty’s.
Yes, I just compared republican fundimentalist to commies,red coats,traitors. Because it is very relitive to these times in this country..
I am not here tonight to remark on any of their comments however.
You all are much better versed and resourceful. Ya’ll have a lot more patients too!!
I just wanted you to know that there are poeple in the blog world that think you and some of your colleges are doing the country a great service by being so open and honest. By putting your words out there for poeple to learn and become more aware.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 20, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #114809

Well I used to smoke pot and I would bet that good ole Randy Cunningham did not smoke pot, but guess what he is a shamed crook and I am not (so what’s the point?) I am not as concerned about the “selling of the govt.” as I am about this current administration believing they are above the law.. Wiretapping is not ok the way they have been doing it and instead of saying, “yelp you got me” (sorta like “I did not have sex with that woman”) they say that this law or that law does not apply. Good God, when is somebody going to say “that’s it buddy you broke the law and now you must pay up” Where is the impeachment that was always bouncing about Clinton’s admin. If both are wrong then both should pay the piper. This day and age, corruption knows no bounds and it is high time the lot get chucked out on their ear. Then maybe those idiots will remember who the hell “We the people” are. By the way before some fat ass in DC sends eighteen and nineteen year olds off to get blown up, maybe they should serve some time in at least some branch of the Military, cause while this Commander in Chief was campaining for some fool in Ala or Ga. I was in Southeast Asia. ( this includes the “smart ones who get Rhodes Schol. and deferments” Oh well, all this spinning by both side will not change much as most of my fellow Americans are too lazy or fat to get off their duff and vote. So it leaves those of us with too much time on our hands to write this dribble.

Posted by: Mike at January 20, 2006 12:50 AM
Comment #114815

Jack: I agree! It’s a sick system for sure. Neither side is without guilt.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 20, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #114817

The cons plan - do what they have been doing, just make sure the lobbyist hands them a campaign contribution.

So says the Post

Posted by: Patrick Howse at January 20, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #114818

Sanger,

THE Dems are not saying there shouldn’t be surveilance of terror. You know that, what they are saying is that there is a system of checks and balances to such powers. That being the FISA courts of WHICH THEY CAN FILE AFTERWARDS aaaand IT WILL NOT BE ON THE PUBLIC DOCKET. Meaning that it is reviewable within intelligence circles should needs arise.

Rahdigly STFU! Should in turn say that all Republicans are raging alcoholics based on most of their rhetoric sounding “bar room” and “half-cocked”. And Jack takes care of the heavy work, even dispite his grammar.

Posted by: Novenge at January 20, 2006 1:44 AM
Comment #114822

Excellent article, Paul. Very well written.

I think it’s just now starting to become very clear to most everybody that we have to dump this Republican Congress. The level of tainted GOP stinks to high heaven. And look who they’re trying to get in to be the “reformers”! More shameless crooks. Such a joke.
There are a fair number of pretty ineffectual Dems who many people wish we could dump also, but even those are starting to look like saints by comparison.

Rah:
“Excessive dope smoking has to be the reason why these libs are making the comments that they’ve been making about the President since he took office.”

Oh yeah. That’s got to be it. It’s Reefer Madness!!!
But… what then accounts for all the comments you righties are NOT making about the president since he took office?
Comments like, oh I don’t know… “War by complete mistake — that’s a f*cking TRAVESTY!” or, “Torture? WTF, Americans don’t torture!” or, “”Why is he always on vacation when sh*t happens?” or, “Nine billion American tax dollars — GONE MISSING?” or, “Outting a CIA agent after 9/11? That’s truly insane.” or, “Heckava job? He’s kidding, right?” or “Why does he lie so damn much all the time?”
I could go on forever here… but I won’t.
So, hmmm? How come you never, ever say anything like that?
Is it FoxNews? Crack Cocaine? Cat got your tongues? Or is it just old-fashioned blind-partisanship?

PS. to Kansas Dem — Biden, Kennedy and Castro —hilarious!

Posted by: Adrienne at January 20, 2006 3:21 AM
Comment #114834

“But… what then accounts for all the comments you righties are NOT making about the president since he took office? “

Man, I think he’s sharing his coke. It’s got to be that… all those people lining up to see him… got to have a invite to get in… all the secrecy… all his supporters constantly wound tight.

Lines for Votes!

Posted by: tony at January 20, 2006 6:50 AM
Comment #114835

Bush’s political platform is a mirror…

Posted by: tony at January 20, 2006 7:00 AM
Comment #114838

With all this talk about illegal surveilance and government being sold out to big business I thought it would be an excellent time to mention that through the use of a great new (it’s really an old technology) technology called RFID we can track a persons movement just by tagging their clothing or imbedding a chip in your credit card. Who needs wire taps or even a warrant when you have a technolgy like that at your disposal. And gee who’s behind the big push for this technolgy to be widely used? Hmmm the Dept of Defense and the biggest employer in America Wal-Mart. Sounds like an easy way around any surveilance laws currently in place now. So now we have a Government that not only endorses but uses big brother technology without any public input claiming it’s needed to move goods through a supply chain with better control. And the “liberal media” has widely reported this fact? NOT! More crap perpetrated on the public. This technolgy has been called “spychips” interesting name for a tag that can be made so small it can be surgically implanted in your hand and you would never know it was there. Now if someone wants to rob your house they can simply cut off your hand and gain access. Anybody here up for losing a hand for better security?

Posted by: Vic at January 20, 2006 8:16 AM
Comment #114843

Jack:

Thanks for focusing on solutions, as opposed to those simply trying to bash the opposing party.

Seems to me that an important change would be taking the ethics committee OUTside of Congress. The two parties famously agreed to not go after each other a few years back—it was proclaimed as a truce from the politics of personal destruction. But what it really did was give both parties a free hand because it took away oversight except in the most egregious circumstances.

If the attitude remains “You don’t rat on us and we won’t rat on you”, then the winners are the members of Congress and the losers are the American people. It won’t matter who is in charge—Dems or Repubs—because both parties will have insulated themselves against repercussions.

If they’ve secured their places (by gerrymandering the system so incumbents win the vast majority of races) and they control who investigates them (by saying they will police themselves), then what is their incentive to change anything?

This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. I’ll agree that the Abramoff issue will affect more Republicans than Democrats, but that is simply a snapshot view. The ‘moving picture’ viewpoint, which would show it all in context, would show that the corruption is simply growing.

Party A does something wrong…Party B then say “if THEY did it, so can we”, at which time Party A then says, “THEY are doing it better than us, so lets learn to do it better than them”. Its a vicious cycle and the ones who get hurt are the people.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 20, 2006 8:59 AM
Comment #114891
Seems to me that an important change would be taking the ethics committee OUTside of Congress.

JBOD,

I agree. I’ve been saying this same thing for years. It just does not make any sense to allow congress to self-police themselves. Creating new ethics rules will do nothing if no one enforces them. There are many rules in place today that are just disregarded, piling on new ones is meaningless without oversight, unbiased outside oversight.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 20, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #114893
Seems to me that an important change would be taking the ethics committee OUTside of Congress.

JBOD,

I agree. I’ve been saying this same thing for years. It just does not make any sense to allow congress to self-police themselves. Creating new ethics rules will do nothing if no one enforces them. There are many rules in place today that are just disregarded, piling on new ones is meaningless without oversight, unbiased outside oversight.

One bright spot in all this scandal is that some much needed cleaning will be done that voters have not taken care of, for whatever reason? It sounds like it will be mostly Repubs effected, but there are many Dems that need to be swept up as well. Those will need to be dealt with by the voters, however, they have proven to be ineffective cleaners. Until “We the People” have had enough and take back our country, no amount of self imposed rules will be effective.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 20, 2006 11:54 AM
Comment #114899

Checks and balances. The system falls apart without ‘em.

JayJay, I don’t know that the ethics committee needs to be outside of Congress. It might be enough to put it under the control of the minority party.

Even if incessant investigations grind Congress to a halt, I think that might be a good thing. ;)

Posted by: American Pundit at January 20, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #114902

I have been reading about the RFID for a few years now and it seems funny to me that this is the first I have heard of any one else talking about it.
It’s power is so far reaching that it boggels the mind.
Wasn’t there once a movie, that had the President tagged.
That would be one of the best uses of this that I can possibly think of, along with terrorist, child molesters, drug trafficers and all others that are a true menice to society.

JBOD
awesome idea, congress has been out for congress for a long time. Maybe with the ethics committee, outside, as you say. Then they can get down to real work.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 20, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #114926

Add this to the RFID and wiretapping:

The Bush administration, seeking to revive an online pornography law struck down by the United States Supreme Court, has subpoenaed Google for details on what its users have been looking for through its popular search engine.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Posted by: womanmarine at January 20, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #114928

For what it’s worth:

Who will appoint this ethics committee? And will it matter? Sure hate to be cynical, but……….

Posted by: womanmarine at January 20, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #114939

“Not really. What does concern me though, is that OBL is still at large and planning his next attack on America, and Bush has stated that he is not concerned with OBL.”

Jay Jay - of course he’s not concerned with OBL, OBL is Saudi Arabian, NOT an Iraqi. 11 of the 14 bombers from 9/11 were Saudi. American oil companies are friends with the Saudis - including the Bin Lauden family.

This whole blog reminds me of a stand-up act I saw by Robin Williams after 9/11. He said, “how hard can it be to find a 7 foot Arab on dialysis?” How hard indeed!!! Also, for those of you who do not know, dialysis is a procedure that filters waste out of the blood when your kidneys shut down. All of the blood in your body literally flows through a machine and then back into your body. This process usually takes about 10 hours per day, 3 times per week to complete. So basically what I’m trying to say is that he’s not very mobile!

“Party A does something wrong…Party B then say “if THEY did it, so can we”, at which time Party A then says, “THEY are doing it better than us, so lets learn to do it better than them”. Its a vicious cycle and the ones who get hurt are the people.”

JBOD - I agree 100%. I am a registered democrat, but consider myself very middle of the road - fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. One party is no better than the other - both are full of controversy. My only problem is with the president himself. I don’t and never did believe that he’s qualified to hold the post. I find a huge conflict of interest between Bush’s family business and a war with an oil wielding country that obviously our country’s oil families did not like.

As for lobbyists, rules for campaigns, etc - we have a solution as our hands, yes we, the American people. Quit voting people into office because of their stance on emotional voting interests (abortion, right to die, etc). These hot-button issues get the people pitting one against the other. We get so worried about what our neighbor thinks and fighting amongst ourselves that we give our elected officials a free ticket to do whatever they want with our money. If we held our elected officials accountable for taxes, the economy, education and health care, and treated the election process like what it’s supposed to be, a huge job interview, we might get some qualified individuals in office. Stop letting the little shit get in the way and stand up united for once people!

“I am truly convinced that the difference between liberals and conservatives is Pot. Yeah that’s right, you read that correctly. The majority of liberals smoke pot way more than the majority of conservatives. Excessive dope smoking has to be the reason why these libs are making the comments that they’ve been making about the President since he took office.”

Rahdigly, sigh, a perfect example of what’s wrong with this country.

Posted by: Lisa C. at January 20, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #114942

gypsyirishgirl-
Yeah I think the movie was called Solent Green and it depicted a much darker outlook than tagging the pres for protection and the riff raff for monitoring behavior. It was used by the rich to keep down the poor. That’s why the technology can not be left in the hands of the Government since they already abuse so much power. Just think of the power they would have over every citizen any where in the world. The power to track and detain even destroy from said Space weapons programs. Sound like a safe technology in the wrong hands? Sounds like a technology we really don’t need just someone else pushing a hidden agenda and an agenda we apparently know too little about. In light of all the abuse by our elected officials regardless of party affiliation this is one technology we can not let go unchecked. And passing a law will not stop people from abusing the technology. The technology should not be adopted but it’s already too late for that. It’s a far scarrier time in the world and America than we care to admit. Do we not value our freedom to walk the planet without having to watch over our shoulder because we may have sneezed the wrong way in some politicians warped mind. And don’t hand me that stupid line well if you aren’t doing anything you have nothing to worry about because that is just naive. If someone who has the technology wants to use it for ill will it doesn’t matter if you’re doing something wrong or not. And our politicians have proven the most trustworthy right? People don’t realize that it’s our government that’s pushing this technology they have mandated their suppliers either adopt the technology or we don’t do business with you. Why?

Posted by: Vic R at January 20, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #114950

This may sound elitist, but maybe part of the problem is (the majority of) the American people. Sure, Bush has made many mistakes, but it’s the average person who supports him. The only thing worse than Bush’s many mistakes, a false war, and widespread corruption is the apathy and lack of public outrage.

I do NOT mean everyone or almost everyone, but I have this odd feeling that the collective IQ of America has gone down in recent times. It’s evident in things like the blind support of a certain government administration, lack of focus on any long-term problems, teaching fundamentalism and ID in schools, and not knowing basic facts about the constitution.

I don’t mean actual IQ, but it’s like Americans don’t understand critical thinking and refuse to think intelligently on important issues. It’s a very sad state for what is essentially a great country.

Posted by: John at January 20, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #114960

“It’s evident in things like the blind support of a certain government administration, lack of focus on any long-term problems and not knowing basic facts about the constitution”

Thanks John, I totally agree with you.
I’ve been asking this question for about 13 years or so.

Posted by: kctim at January 20, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #114987

Dope smoking? And here I thought it was because we had more sex.

Posted by: Bill at January 20, 2006 7:01 PM
Comment #114988

Vic R
Really , that movie. How spooky is that. Wow !

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 20, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #114991

You forgot the rock n roll, to go along with the sex and drugs.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at January 20, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #115019

All I have to say is:

I’m Liberal and proud.

-einghf

Posted by: einghf at January 20, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #115025

Lisa C

:) 110% agree. Fantastic retort.

John,
I can honestly say, I was a blind American. Truly blind. My husband and I PCSed to England, and now I can see. I was liberal in the states because of what I saw just from our stand point, but as soon as I left and saw it from another countries stand point I was shocked. I never relized how perfectly worded everything was, to brainwash you. YES I said it BRAINWASH. I have the option to watch US based tv, and get US based magazines and what not and it’s just amazing how indoctriated ideas can creep in and it’s so amazing that we don’t pick it up. It may be because we are fed the crap ever since we were born. I mean take a slogan like “Porkbarrel Politics” and run it into the ground till the idea is so ingrained that it’s just more background noise. Then (this is a technique used in brainwashing) add to the idea, place other words around it and make it a fad to say it; make it the new in for politics. I mean I can list hundreds of indocrinated things that are subliminly induced to make their position more pleasing to the public. “Pro-life”, and “Pro-choice” are really good examples. Pro, means good, and of course anything good is great. Why arn’t they called “Anti-abortion” and “Pro-abortion”, because abortion is on par with a dirty word. Abortion is a medical term, the word shouldn’t be feared, yet neither side will use it… something to chew on.

-Einghf

Posted by: einghf at January 20, 2006 11:27 PM
Comment #115033

Einghf

I can say for a fact that pro choice in no way means pro abortion.
And natural abortion such as a miscarriage is NOT the same as elective abortion.
Personally I think that abortion is not right. I do believe that there is the exception.
The choice should be a private one, between a woman and her conscience. There is also the fact: if you don’t want a baby , don’t have sex. It is after all the only natural way pregnency can happen. But , and my point here is , that washington should NOT decide this for women. If a person has not been taught to think for themselves and just blindly trust the government then they can easily be brainwashed. That is what is happining here right now with a lot of people.
So people need to smarten up in America. The rest of the world is far more savy in world events and outcomes than we.
As Einghf has pointed out it was when they moved out of the country that they became much more aware. We should collectvly demand more from ourselves.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 21, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #115034

It is great to see so many arguments here based on thought out logic rather than blind partisan talking points. Great comments from Lisa C., John, einghf, JBOD, and Jack (probably the most level headed conservative that posts here.)

Americans have become desensitized to government. Our expectations of government are set so low that practically nothing outrages us anymore. How many times have we heard “they’re all crooks”, or “the lesser of two evils”. It is sad that we have to choose between evil and less evil. Nothing will change until we stop rewarding bad behavior.

Once upon a time, people saw holding public office as a service to the country. Now, it’s about power, greed special interests and doing whatever it takes to get re-elected, eventually leading to a lucrative lobbying job. Take away the temptations to corruption and maybe we will have people in congress again who are there as a service to their country, instead of a service to themselves.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 21, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #115149

Jayjay that’s asking quite a lot though. I dream of such a day but I know deep down it may never happen.

Gypsy,
I know what you mean about pro-choice, but really think about it, what are you fighting for? ABORTION… if it wasn’t pro-abortion then why would you need a pro-life party? The living aspect is there in pro-choice, but so is the abortion. I am pro-abortion, I belive that a woman has the right to get rid of an unwanted, dangerous, or anyother type of pregnacy that she wants. MY WOMB, MY LIFE, MY ‘SOUL’, MY DECISION. I also understand that if someone doesn’t want to get an abortion, that’s more than a-okay. Pro-choice is a ruse, just like pro-life, it doesn’t focus on the aspect that it’s fighting for (I mean if you really really really want to get literal these would be the titles of the ‘groups’… pro-abortion, and pro-more children to add to the christian army. And to anyone who is offended, sorry, it’s my opinion). I can remember not to far back that there was something about a “pandemic” that could potentally kill millions… you know the avian flu. Ummm why didn’t this ‘pandemic’ become a pandemic until this year; I mean this thing has been around for years (Like since 1878, and killed the first humand in May 1997…) and just now this thing has reached ‘epic porpotions’? Please, I’m not buying it. ONLY the US is worried about the flu, I mean in the UK everyone is concerned but you won’t see the word ‘pandemic’ attached unless you are talking about the US. What was the admin trying to hide? Did anyone else catch what else was going on at that time, or were we worried that a catastropic flu was going to wipe us all out? This isn’t the first time this has happened either. Sometimes the ‘TOP’ stories are diversions, I mean here is a bigggg one… eminent domain. “Did you know that if the government has a good reason to do so, it can take your property away from you under eminent domain? Indeed, if the government wants to build a road or freeway through your property, it can force you to sell that property to the government, even if you don’t want to sell. The government must however pay you reasonably (fair market value) for the land. What’s more, any tenants in a building taken by eminent domain must also be compensated for the loss of the lease.” Anyone have the faintest idea what was going on when this was being discussed? The Michael Jason Trial. Keep your eyes peeled, I wouldn’t be suprised if some HUGE bill got passed without us knowing during the whole Google thing (btw I am proud to be a Google user), even though it is a big deal, whats the real deal going on? We have scandles up the wazoo (and it doesn’t matter what party did what, it matters who did what, the people should be punished not the parties…) we also have a war (faulty though it may be) on our hands, and another Bid Laden tape (which baffles me why the president isn’t worried about him, I mean he is the guy we have been trying to look for right? Shouldn’t we be more focused on getting the bad guy, this IS the guy who tried to kill his dad…), and we are worried about kiddie porn? (I mean child pornagrapy is a horrible, horrible thing, but it’s our priority RIGHT NOW?) Shouldn’t we be worring about what is crippling (in a big big way) our nation? I mean granted I’m only 19, I don’t know how to run a nation, but I know how to differentiate what is priority and what is a frivolous persuit. I mean, seriously I’m scared to death to think about MY future, I’m not going to have social security? What the hell? Okay I’m done ranting at the moment…. :)

-Einghf

Some sites for an interesting read…

http://thinktwice.com/flu_lie.htm
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174321,00.html
http://www.legal-database.com/eminent-domain.htm

Posted by: einghf at January 21, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #115175

Goldman Sachs, Time-Warner, and Microsoft are in the top five donors overall, and they give overwhelmingly to Democrats.

They sound like established companies run by good people to me, as opposed to Enron.

That’s why you won’t see Hillary Clinton appearing on Sean Hannity

Because she has common sense, and doesn’t need to appear on a propaganda broadcast for people who hate her.

The ethics committee is a waste of time. They give themselves reprimands instead of sending people who distribute and accept bribes to prison.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at January 21, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #115205

einghf
You are a very well informed young person and I comend you.
The avain flu IMO is a farse, it seems that alot more people would have died if it were a pandemic.
BUT BUSH has in his midst, people that have ties to the pharmaceutical industry,(such as Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfield) if he can have the oil they get the big bucks for drugs…
This admin. has many many times thown up a smoke screen and then passed bills as “part of another” bill just to slip it in.
I still disagree about the pro chioce, pro death thing. Just because I don’t want to get into your head and force you NOT to have an abortion does NOT mean that I am for it. I just believe that the choice is yours.
As for OBL…
He should, absolutly, be the guy we are after. If it were my choice I would have him skinned alive. I would not stop , nor spread out my military, until HE was found and killed.
good day,
gypsyirishgirl

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 21, 2006 5:26 PM
Comment #115208

“You’ve got to get angry and stay angry. It’s called sustained rage, until the law is changed and people do things differently” -Sen. Jay Rockefeller, speaking about the recent deaths of 12 miners at the Sago Mine and 2 miners today in the Alma mine.

Sounds like sound advice, not just for coal mining safety, but for dealing with the government in general.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 21, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #115344

Oops, goofed a little again folks. Well, ha, ha, ya know I been learnin, since I been up here in DC, that goat book sure helped a lot. I know I stumbled a bit with that 9-11 thing but we sure kicked some butt on that WMD thing in Iraq. Heck that pretty much made my comedy appearance a few years ago, ha, ha, ha.

Ya’ gotta’ give me credit though we done got that Tommy Chong behind bars for 6 months, ha, ha, ha. Any-hoo-how here’s the arteekle:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060122/ap_on_go_pr_wh/mine_safety;_ylt=As5S1bMZ.mQMIPOZIfUv8v6s0NUE;_yl
u=X3oDMTA3bGI2aDNqBHNlYwM3NDk-

Hope ya’ enjoy it. Turd blossom dun cum up with a nu turm fur them demucrats: OSSIFIED. Heh, heh, heh, I think that’s purty funny. I think that means sumthin’ bought sumthin’ bein’ hard ur mebe stuck in 1 place he, he, he.

Dun thowt yu’d luv it.

GW/ KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 21, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #115416

Ossified! King Karl speaks:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060120/ap_on_go_ot/republicans_rove_3

We Democrats are ossified, which I take to mean set in our ways, hmmm. I thought we were all flip-floppers.

Actually this time King Karl is right. We are set in our ways. We believe in a better life for the working class in America. We believe in Democracy and we won’t bend at the whims of some wanna-be monarch.

I say keep trottin’ ol’ Karl right out there. He may be the best “tool” in the shed. We all know he’s a tool.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 22, 2006 2:48 AM
Comment #115417

Sorry for the duplication. I thought the first message failed to go thru. So I sent a simpler and lazier version.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 22, 2006 2:50 AM
Comment #115419

Well, I guess it wasn’t a total waste that GW guy I had send that first message didn’t get the link right anyway. It’s getting to the point I hardly trust him at all.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 22, 2006 2:55 AM
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