Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republican Self-Mutilation

It amazes me sometimes how dense politicians can get. On the Right, it amazes me that they’ve put Tom DeLay, currently under indictment for money laundering, on the Appropriations committee, not to mention the committee overseeing the Department of Justice.

On the left, I don’t see anybody jumping on this.

It isn't just DeLay. It's the new Majority Leader. Try this on for size: John Boehner is renting his Washington Area apartment from a lobbyist.

Now is not the time to hold back, for any reason. Wrong is being done, and if we chose to crackdown on it it's politically a win-win. This is the point of Democracy: we compete to be the more sympathetic candidates to the voters. Well, why the hell not? What else is a Democratic party useful for?

Americans are growing very tired of Republican leadership. Now's our chance to become the new majority. Now's the chance to gain a public mandate, with Americans open to our ideas and our direction of thought. With the Republican alienating all the different parts of their electorates with incompetence, radicalism, corruption, and a perpetually combative political outlook, nows the time to bring a breath of fresh-air.

The Republicans have had more than their fair share of second chances. Let's start cracking heads and winning seats. God knows we have enough reason to.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 9, 2006 9:03 PM
Comments
Comment #122981

I couldn’t agree more Stephen. When Clinton was in office, the Cons were relentless. I just cannot figure out why the Dems have not pounced given sooooo many opprotunities.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 9, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #122995

Hopefully, people are growing tired of all the corrupt bought-and-paid-for incumbents.
Want voters to really crack heads and get something done?
Simply do what we were all supposed to be doing all along: Always vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents, every election. It is not a one-time duty. It is a duty for each and every election, until no more irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbents remain in their cu$hy, coveted seats of power.

I think newcomers to congress mean well, but they are always outnumbered by incumbents that won’t allow any common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms. That’s why government continues to grow more corrupt (all parties).

Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to unseat incumbents ?
It is because they have perverted the system to ensure their incumbency.

Only the voters can remedy that.
Do it soon, or suffer later for not doing it.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 9, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #122996

“I just cannot figure out why the Dems have not pounced given sooooo many opprotunities.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 9, 2006 10:18 PM “

Hillary’s putting us on notice:

Sen. Clinton Urges Democrats to Speak Up
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060208/ap_on_el_se/clinton_democrats;_ylt=AkAVksSg0EiHTTMD5siDRkKyFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA—

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 9, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #123000
. I just cannot figure out why the Dems have not pounced …

I agree. What’s up with that ?
Because they all got skeletons in the closet ?
They are all corrupt ?
That would explain a lot.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 9, 2006 11:18 PM
Comment #123002

Hillary has started her 2008 bid ?
If Democrats want to win the presidency, they’d better find another presidential candidate.
You know, if the Democrats had nominated anyone but Kerry, I would have voted for them.
But, that brings me to the next question.
Why is it so difficult to find someone to run?
It’s slim pickin’ is why.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 9, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #123059

Stephen,

This might hold some water if Democrats didn’t deal with lobbyists, or if Lobbying were a crime, or if the left hadn’t already grown hoarse from screaming obscenities at Bush for the last five years.

What kind of corruption are you ready to crack heads for? I’m sure that there are NO democrats involved whatsoever, the left never does that sort of thing…

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/02/09/D8FLR3380.html

Howard Dean’s incredibly disengenous statements notwithstanding I think the Abramoff “scandal” is likely to sting as many Democrats as Republicans.


What’s more interesting to me is the solutions you would propose to solve this ‘corruption’ problem. Public funding of campaigns?

Posted by: esimonson at February 10, 2006 3:38 AM
Comment #123068

esimonson:

Interesting Debating Method. You don’t deny DeLay or Boehner’s guilt but instead attack the other side.

You know what they say:

If you have the Facts on your side, argue the Facts.
If you don’t have the Facts on your side, argue te Law.
If you don’t have the Facts or the Law on your side, attack the accuser.

Not your fault. If my Party were ever as slimy as yours, I would run around squealing too.

Posted by: Aldous at February 10, 2006 4:33 AM
Comment #123089

Eric-
Grand Total of Abramoff contributions to Democrats: Zilch. The lobbyists did give the Democrats money, often enough, but under Abramoff, such payments were reduced, or in the case of the Indian Tribes to which Abramoff was such a big client, given more to Republicans.

Democrats weren’t clean of all lobbying efforts. That’d be an absurd claim. They were fairly clean, though, of a close relationship to Jack Abramoff, something which definitely can’t be said about the Republicans.

The Democrats might be involved secondhand, but the Republican are contaminated by contact, and with the K-Street Project taken into the equation, obviously infected of their own free will.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2006 6:50 AM
Comment #123126

Ah yes, the old “we didn’t do it as much so we’re the good guys” argument.

It’s BS. Eliminating the high profile midle man from the process doesn’t make you any less guilty.
Both parties are involved in this right up to their congressional leadership.

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 10, 2006 9:31 AM
Comment #123128

Stephen,

Have you noticed how your’s and others’ arguments have now boiled down to who is more corrupt that the other? How revealing !

The Democrats might be involved secondhand, but the Republican are contaminated by contact

Hillarious !

Daily, such bickering proves my point.

Democrats are more corrupt than Republicans ! No ! Democrats are ! No ! Democrats might be involved second hand ! (only?)

So, it has come down to who is most corrupt?

Somethin’ is wrong with this picture.

Yet, it unfolds before us every day.

That’s why I call it a powerful and seductive pattern of circular thought and behavoir, that gives rise to irrationality, blind wallowing in the petty, and obscures all logic and truth.

If they are all (or most) corrupt to some degree, why should they deserve to stay?

If they’re all bought-and-paid-for, all dirty, all troll for money, all too beholding to big-money-donors, all influence peddlers, and all look the other way, then shouldn’t they all be voted out ?

OK, let’s say a few are not corrupt.
Who are they ?
Are at least 268 (half of 535) in Congress honest enough to deserve to stay in their cu$hy, coveted seats of power ?

I have to be understanding, because I too used to foam at the mouth with partisan hatred, I too used to blame the other party for everything. It took 47 years to see the truth, and remove the partisan blinders. Parties are not the problem. Corrupt incumbents and voters that allow it is the problem.

Both are culpable.

Wouldn’t it better to focus on that?

If no one can name any honest polticians, how about a list of the least dishonest?
Let’s start a list?

OK, here’s my two picks of the least dishonest:
(1) John McCain
(2) Tom Coburn

Care to add to the list ?
But first, check their voting records .

Then, check Citizens Against Government Waste, because many have won a spot on the Porker-Of-The-Month-Awards list.
Many (if not all) vote on all sorts of pork-barrel.

After all, the goal here is to find the least corrupt, since we have all given up on finding any that are honest ?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 9:42 AM
Comment #123130

Stephen:

I don’t see the problem with Boehner renting an apartment at FAIR MARKET VALUE from anyone. If he were trying to pull a Duke Cunningham style deal, that’s a problem. But renting an apartment for what it should go for?

Listen, I’m all for reforming the rules of the lobbying game. However, I don’t see a problem with buying someone a lunch (as long its not in Honolulu or Paris etc) because no one can be bought off for the price of a lunch. Nor do I see a “buyoff” when Boehner rents an apartment from a lobbyist for the fair market value.

I WANT people to have access to politicians. I know that means some people will have more access than others. This happens in all walks of life. I entertain clients at dinner, and when I do, I normally go to a restaurant owned by a friend. Why?? Because he’s my friend. If I paid double for the dinners, charged it off as business expenses and took a split of the extra money, that would be wrong, of course. But simply utilizing the services of someone I know is within bounds.

All that aside, I was hoping for Shadegg, but I’m sure he’d have some negatives that could be dug up too. I’m glad its not Blunt.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 10, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #123131

The Democrats might be involved secondhand, but the Republican are contaminated by contact, and with the K-Street Project taken into the equation, obviously infected of their own free will.

Was Reid hypnotized into dealing with Abranoff’s partners and clients? Did someone hold a gun to his head? Didn’t think so.

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 10, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #123161

They finally found the smoking gun in washington, its the one that have been using to shoot themselves in the foot…

Posted by: tree hugger at February 10, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #123163

Politics is dirty.

The Republicans, in 5 years, have taken it far far far past what the Democrats did in 40.

Screw them and the sheep they rode in on. When this union collapses and the red states on the fed teat find their milk gone, then we’ll hear the bleeting. But then it will be too late for them.

Posted by: Dave at February 10, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #123181

What we badly need is a non-partisan approach. But too many voters have been seduced (I used to be one of them) into the circular pattern of thought and behavior that lures voters into the petty partisan warfare, arguing who is the least corrupt, obscuring the truth, shifting the blame, and distracting the voters from the fact that incumbents of all parties are gettin’ theirs, concentrated only on self-gain, and have a total disdain for the voters that allow it and even empower them to continue to do it, throwing money at them left and right, and never realizing or choosing to do anything to change it, despite the realization that it can only end badly, some day.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #123195

d.a.n.

Please don’t confuse my anger with the GOP as partisan love of the Democrats or any other party. I have contempt for organized political parties exceeded only by my contempt for organized prosyletizing religions.

Posted by: Dave at February 10, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #123208

To all Republicans: Vote out all incumbent republican members of the Senate and Congress.
(Especially the corrupt ones)

To all Democrats: Vote out all incumbent democrats from the Senate and Congress.
(Especially those who are clueless career politicians who only care about their own job)

Vote with your conscience, not party lines.
You will see a huge change in government.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 10, 2006 11:55 AM
Comment #123217

Dave,
OK. Agreed. BTW, parties are not the problem either. It’s the incumbents in all parties. It’s all predictable. The root cause and solution is really simple to understand. The difficulty is undoing the programming and convincing voters to do what they were supposed to be doing all along, always, every election, until no more irresponsible, corrupt incumbents exist, and government has some incentive to police their own ranks. But, years and years and years of propaganda and brainwashing take their toll. It is unquestionably effective. I know, because I too used to wallow in the partisan warfare. True, Republicans seem worse now, but the fact is, both parties are irresponsible, and the proof of it is staggering. So, education is the key. It will take time, and it may never work. But don’t worry. Some day the problem will work itself out. The question is which path will we take?
(a) Will it be the peaceful, responsible way?
(b) Or, will it be the hard, painful way (again)?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #123218

Andre M. Hernandez,
Yep. You are absolutely correct.
You will see huge improvements, and fast.
In fact, we will be amazed, because we are used to seeing government do nothing but grow problems.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #123223

Dave,
Unlike many, I share your contempt for organized prosyletizing religions. I have to say, this is one area where many Republicans are far worse than Democrats. And, I’m not thrilled about federal tax dollars going to faith based organizations…especially when it begs the question: why don’t they use their own money?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #123241

Its time to kick butt and take names.
The scandal grows daily. However the
only ones screaming about it are the
Dems that long ago lost Respect for
one reason or anouther. The leaders
of the Dem party need to stand up
by standing behind new blood. Dean
is not going to be a affective leader.
The right has managed to spin most of
the current Dem leaders into no more
than one ongoing weak joke. I want
effective messages and that requires
new people to deliver it.

Fox is a 24/7 GOP commercial that
other media follow until all that
is left is one party coverage.

Posted by: Honey P at February 10, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #123251

Just voting for incumbent Democrats or Republicans won’t change anything.
Parties are not the problem.
It’s the incumbents.
That is why nothing gets better.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #123253

d.a.n.

You may have finally persuaded me to your VOID stance as a step 1. The parties still represent the gang mentality to me, however.
When your success is tied to that of the group’s, then you will follow the herd whether you want to or not. The Dem’s have some independence and individual integrity, but the Republicans are simply evil (see: RINO, etc…)
As for (a) or (b), I think it depends on who’s in the oval office in ‘08.


Honey,

I think you’re right. It’s the Fox/Wingnut MSM that is perverting Dean’s message and making him into a joke. That’s the only reason why I think the Dems need new leadership(or perhaps just a new sacrificial lamb until they get it right).

Posted by: Dave at February 10, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #123265

Dave,

RINO (Republican In Name Only) ?

I agree that Republicans at the moment seem more corrupt. Especially the corporate welfare stuff, proselytizing, and pandering.
But both sides are way too corrupt.
So, it doesn’t matter is more corrupt.
That is, unless we are relegated to simply choosing the least corrupt of the corrupt.

Personally, I would like to give some newcomers to congress a chance. They need our help, because:

[] Incumbents won’t allow newcomers to pass common-sense reforms.
[] Incumbents (of both parties) always outnumber newcomers. If the problem were only one party, the newcomers would stand a chance.
[] Incumbents have many unfair advantages.
[] Incumbents tempt, threaten, and pressure newcomers to accept the status quo.
[] Incumbents make it clear to newcomers how the status quo is to be perpetuated; otherwise, newcomers are shunned, isolated, and lose party support.
[] Incumbents of both parties hobble the attempts of newcomers to improve anything.
[] Incumbents won’t allow any reforms that may reduce their power or opportunities for self-gain.
[] Incumbents fuel the partisan warfare.
[] Incumbents have fooled the voters into thinking incumbents represent them best.
[] Thus, newcomers become incumbents, and nothing changes; if anything, it grows worse.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #123316

The scandals and corruption under clinton gave the Republicans total control.
The scandals and corruption under Bush will give it back.

In three years, the ones condeming Bush will be making excuses when its “their” president in the wrong.
In three years, those who look the other way now, will then be the ones complaining.

Its a cycle that won’t end peacefully.

Posted by: kctim at February 10, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #123327

Stephen,

Grand Total of Abramoff contributions to Democrats: Zilch.

Look again. Or are we using creative definitions of what ‘money’ is or what a ‘contribution’ consists of?

The activities _ detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press _ are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff’s firm, lobbying partners and clients. ~breitbart


Aldous, et al,

What is Delay guilty of again? Money laundering? From a partisan prosecutor making speeches at Democratic fundraising events announcing beforehand that he is going to ‘take down’ Delay to thunderous applause? A prosecutor whose first indictment was completely wrong, which charged Delay with something that wasn’t even a crime… causing said prosecutor to convene three grand juries over five days specifically in order to get a new indictment?

I’d hate to think of what Ken Star would look like after you got through with him if this were him.

The point is that your all so eager to ruin the reputation of Republicans that you’re calling lobbying the crime of the century but you don’t stop to think that this also makes Democrats guilty as well?

It’s rank hypocrisy. I’m not the one saying lobbying is evil. If you wish to do so at least have the courage to not ignore the left in this.

The new indictment, handed up by a grand jury seated Monday, contains two counts: conspiring to launder money and money laundering. The latter charge carries a penalty of up to life in prison. Last week, DeLay was charged with conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.

Defense lawyers asked a judge Monday to throw out the first indictment, arguing that the charge of conspiring to violate campaign finance laws was based on a statute that didn’t take effect until 2003 - a year after the alleged acts. myway news

So why did it take three grand juries over five days for Ronnie Earle to indict Tom Delay? And why did Earle rush to get a second grand jury to indict DeLay a second time on the same day that grand jury was sworn in?

That committee made contributions to Texas legislative candidates, constituting what Earle now charges is “money laundering.”

The only problem is that similar transactions are conducted by both parties in many states, including Texas. In fact, on October 31, 2002, the Texas Democratic Party sent the Democratic National Committee (DNC) $75,000, and on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $75,000. On July 19, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000 and, again on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000. On June 8, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000. That very same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000. spectator.org

Posted by: esimonson at February 10, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #123355
The point is that your all so eager to ruin the reputation of Republicans that you’re calling lobbying the crime of the century but you don’t stop to think that this also makes Democrats guilty as well?

It’s rank hypocrisy. I’m not the one saying lobbying is evil. If you wish to do so at least have the courage to not ignore the left in this.

Yep! Has anyone noticed how hard it is to defend their party these days?

It’s hillarious. Now the arguments are about who is more corrupt of the corrupt.

They are all on the take.
They all troll for big money.
They all peddle inflence.
They all vote on pork-barrel and graft.
Some don’t even show up to vote much of the time.
They all abuse allowances to run their offices.
They all keep newcomers from rockin’ the boat.
They (incumbents) always outnumber newcomers.
They all perpetuate the status quo.
They all spend too much time and money campaigning.
They all look the other way.

But, like many wise persons have said, if you want to see some big improvement fast, vote out all irresponsible incumbents now, before it is too late.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #123359

Stephen,

Yes, I agree! Wrong IS being done.


Right Here!

Now, what are YOU going to do about this abhorrant WRONG that is being done?

Nothing?

Wrong party?

I thought so.

Posted by: Jim T at February 10, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #123372

Jim T,

It’s the programming.
It’s like The Matrix.
You’ve got to work through the brainwashing first.
It’s not easy.
It does not matter how hard or ridiculous it becomes for one to defend their party.
People don’t want to accept reality.
Some will never accept reality.
Reality is too painful.
They prefer to live in a fantasy.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #123375

It’s like the country you are born in.
People want to love their country.
Sometimes, that’s hard to do.
Especially if you have a dictator like Saddam.
Our government isn’t quite that bad.
But our government could do much much better.
But voters have to do it.
And they will someday. Peacefully, or the painful way.
Voters must realize that incumbents of both parties are just taken advantage of the voters.
When the threshhold of pain is high enough,
voters will do something about it.
Or, they can learn from history, and do
somethihng now before it becomes more painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #123406

Stephen:

You are 100% right.

It’s obvious to every single person that the current Republican Party possesses a “culture of corruption.” The crooks are the leaders. DeLay and Frist start the parade. In the executive, Karl Rove, Libby and Cheney are being investigated. Bush acts illegally. The vast majority of legislation passed by this Republican-run Congress serves the Big Business organizations that paid for these laws. K Street is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.

Republicans are corrupt. They are saturated with corruption. This is fact.

When confronted with facts, what do Republicans do? They attack. They say that Democrats do it too. How can Democrats do it if they have absolutedly no power? Lobbyists do not even talk to them.

What gets me is that others chime in “Democrats are just as corrupt.” It’s not so. Democrats have been corrupt in the past, of course. But not today. They have no power.

Oh, you say, they will, once they gain power. I agree that some Democrats will. Some people, both Republicans and Democrats, can’t withstand the temptation.

But do not prejudge. Today we see corruption in the Republican Party. Vote them out because the corruption is pervasive. Give new Democrats a chance.

Voting out all incumbents makes no sense. A crooked incumbent, yes. A fairly honest one, no.

The Democrats are no more virtuous than the Republicans. But they must start from scratch and are likely to be more honest than the Republicans.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at February 10, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #123417

Heres a pipedream campaign finance proposal.
Raise everybodies taxes say 100$ or so. At the same time give everybody a 100$ tax credit for voting in federal elections. After paying for the extra expenses that would be incurred by the states for providing proof of voting and increased turnout etc. use the money to 100%publically finance all campaigns. Candidates could of course opt out but would have to report all contributions and support thresholds would have to be implemented etc. The level of support could be considerable and anyone who objects to paying can either start voting or go into a cornor and mutter to themselves. We might even get some real democracy out of it.

Posted by: Bill at February 10, 2006 8:52 PM
Comment #123430

Joe-
Fair market value or not, it belonged to a lobbyist, and this is the guy you folks intend to demonstrate your recovery from the taint of DeLay’s open rolodex invitation to lobbyists.

The Traveller-
As I said before, I haven’t claimed the Democrats to be pure. But in comparison, the Republicans systematized it, integrated them into policymaking, and did their best to cut Democrats and lobbyists willing to associate with liberals out of contact with them. Abramoff is an example of all this.

I won’t say that Democrats, were they in power, would not be subject to (and give into) the same temptations. But there is something about the shamelessness with which Republicans treat the government doing special favors for business that has allowed this to get far more out of hand than it ever got with the Democrats.

Power corrupts. But how much do we let it do so?

Eric-
You can go on all you want to about whether one charge or another was thrown out on a technicality, but the guy still got a grand jury to agree, and indict him.

Right now, you have somebody who has been indicted for trying to circumvent laws about the handling of money handling congress’s money!

This is the Republican self-mutilation that I’ve been talking about! If I saw the Democrats, as a majority, put an indicted member at the head of a committee this important, especially with the irony inherent in the matchup of job and indictment, I’d vote the other party’s ticket next election!

Eric, where’s the shame? Where’s the common sense, for that matter?

Oh, by the way, the indictment doesn’t concern a state party to national transaction. It concerns the fact that they did this to hide the fact that the donations were corporate. That’s what the laundering is.

In General:
You know, you Republicans should be saying “Hell Yes, this is doing us damage, and we should stop.” Instead, you’re trying to tell me that because certain members of my party are on the take, I should shut up.

Except there’s one problem: I don’t mind whether the corrupt of my own party take a hike with the corrupt of yours. I don’t care about damage control here. That’s become the GOP’s obsession as it deals with one scandal and screwup after another. I’m sick of all of it. I vote Democrat not because I believe any party can be pure, but because I am a Democrat at heart. Aside from one or two issues, my positions are theirs.

I want a reformed party here, and a reformed government in general. With a two party system, the main way to punish corruption is to remove those from power who have done harm. If we have Democrats in our midst who are truly corrupt, I suggest to any Democrats reading this that we pick alternate candidates in the primaries, if only to send the incumbent a message about whose boss.

If you think I’m joking, or just making a rhetorical point. Think again.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #123446

New Pew Poll — Democrats ahead in ‘06
Says here they have “a sizable lead in the congressional horse race and an advantage on most major issues.” In a generic ballot, Dems lead by 50% to 41% among registered voters and retain “a huge advantage on traditional party strengths like the environment and health care.” Dems also lead on the ability “to deal with the economy” (by 46%-36%) and “reform the federal government” (42%-29%).

Also, rather amazingly a Fox News Poll has Democrats “better at handling an array of key issues and gaining public trust on some areas traditionally considered Republican strengths.” By a margin of 42% to 34%, Americans think Dems should take control of Congress this year.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 10, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #123461

I want a reformed party here, and a reformed government in general. With a two party system, the main way to punish corruption is to remove those from power who have done harm. If we have Democrats in our midst who are truly corrupt, I suggest to any Democrats reading this that we pick alternate candidates in the primaries, if only to send the incumbent a message about whose boss.
If you think I’m joking, or just making a rhetorical point. Think again.

Prove it. If you’re serious, call for Senator Reid’s resignation. Write the words and post them here.

I agree with you that the way to get rid of incumbents is in the primaries.

Posted by: The Traveler at February 10, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #123465

The Traveler-
If you’re asking in good faith, and not merely to change the subject, then start a petition asking Tom DeLay to resign. Then ask every Republican who has done more than Harry Reid has to resign as well. If we’re going to do things this way, let’s be fair about it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 11, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #123472

Stephen,

I call for them Reid, DeLay and any other congressman (from either party) who had dealings with the Abramoff organazation or his clients to resign.

I am willing to be fair. Are you?

In fact, in the morning I’m going to email Reid and DeLay asking for their resignations.

So, do you think Reid should resign or not?

Posted by: The Traveler at February 11, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #123509

“So, do you think Reid should resign or not?

Posted by: The Traveler at February 11, 2006 12:24 AM “

There needs to be a full and complete investigation into each and everyone in congress that’s been even remotely involved, both Republican and Democrat. Then all those with “unclean” hands should resign. And if there’s been a law broken they should face prosecution.

The message needs to be, “our government is not for sale”!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 11, 2006 2:58 AM
Comment #123546

Stephen:

I’ve written before that I think the veritable flood of complaints from the “left” have overwhelmed the people of this country, and have created a viewpoint among many that the “left” is crying wolf. By attacking so many targets, the “left” has little ammunition for the appropriate targets.

It really didn’t matter who the Republicans chose—-Shadegg, Boehner, Blunt or anyone else. The “left” was ready and waiting to shoot at the victor. You’ve shown that willingness by selecting an innocuous point about Boehner.

You claim that the fact that he pays the going rate for an apartment in a building owned by a lobbyist is enough to taint him. By THAT standard, you need to join VOID and toss the entire lot of them out. David and d.a.n will be happy to have you join them.

I preferred Shadegg to Boehner and Boehner to Blunt, so I’m satisfied. But just as I knew that Bush would be attacked whether he appointed Miers or Alito or anyone to the SCOTUS, I also knew Republicans would be attacked whomever they elected.

When attacks become so predictable, they become perceived as biased. Not by the base who already agrees with you, but by the middle ground undecideds who are so essential to winning elections. I think that’s part of why Bush beat Kerry. If so, I only hope the “left” continues to beat the drum in the same way.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 11, 2006 7:08 AM
Comment #123572
But do not prejudge. Today we see corruption in the Republican Party. Vote them out because the corruption is pervasive. Give new Democrats a chance.

Voting out all incumbents makes no sense. A crooked incumbent, yes. A fairly honest one, no.

You are right. Just the crooked incumbents.
So, who are the honest ones?
Which ones even come close?
I suppose you think they are all Democrats?
Care to give some names?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 11, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #123573

And you say the “fairly” honest.
That’s funny.
That reveals how low the bar is set.
How about just plain honest ?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 11, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #123578
I want a reformed party here, and a reformed government in general. With a two party system, the main way to punish corruption is to remove those from power who have done harm. If we have Democrats in our midst who are truly corrupt, I suggest to any Democrats reading this that we pick alternate candidates in the primaries, if only to send the incumbent a message about whose boss.

If you think I’m joking, or just making a rhetorical point. Think again.

I hope you are not joking.
I really hope your readers see your point.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 11, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #123648
Americans think Dems should take control of Congress this year. Posted by: Adrienne at February 10, 2006 11:04 PM


Let’s just hope they don’t blow it. We can’t afford four more years of this tax and spend republican administration.
For the wingnuts, that’s:
Tax the Middle-class &
Spend for war profiteers and the wealthy

Posted by: Dave at February 11, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #123662

Traveller-
I said a petition. Its easy enough for you to fire off an e-mails. I want you to have to ask other people to do the same as you. I want you to confront just how entrenched the defenses and rationalizations are on the right, and be forced to justify the points to others.

Why do I ask this? It’s simple. You want a free pass on the corruption. You don’t deserve as long as you defend obvious corruption. Start fighting, or stop making excuses for it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 11, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #123670

Paul, Stephen…

The ‘Culture of Corruption’ phrase is itself a partisan attack. There is no Republican Culture of Corruption. Just read the symptomatic backpedalling of Howard Dean as he is asked about whether or not Democrats recieved Abramoff money. It’s priceless.

Show me some crimes and I’ll agree with you. Say that anyone who received a contribution is corrupt and I will question you. Say that it is only Republicans who are corrupt and I’ll question you.

What is the corruption you are alleging?

If you want to ignore Harry Reid’s corruption and focus on cracking Republican heads that’s your right, but don’t call it an attack when I point out that the things you call corruption which are not crimes are done across the board.

Democrats are having to twist themselves into pretzels in order to attack Republicans while not admitting that Democrats do the exact same things.

Again- most of what you are alleging as corruption is legal. If it is legal and you allege it is corruption in the case of Republican but not Democrats, then expect someone to point that out for you.

Posted by: esimonson at February 11, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #123674

Stephen,

You can go on all you want to about whether one charge or another was thrown out on a technicality, but the guy still got a grand jury to agree, and indict him.

I see, being indicted certainly is an absolute indication that he’s guilty isn’t it?

Are you sure there isn’t any context to consult here? Some nuance to examine? It’s clearcut black and white?

So the left does believe in some absolutes when it comes to their political enemies.

Posted by: esimonson at February 11, 2006 3:56 PM
Comment #123678

Traveller-
Let me put my point more plainly. We’ve managed to keep most of our members from doing illegal things. When we find they’ve broken the law, we do what we have to.

Your side, however, makes one excuse for another, including making the point that we aren’t perfect. Well, duh. We aren’t, but nobody is. Where Democrats have been willing to reluctantly admit this, the Republicans and the right have been willing to blame the trouble that their people get in on us, simply because we’re so eager to point out what they’ve done. Part of that is alleging that at the moment we’re equally culpable.

But we’re not. That may just be a matter of not being in power, but regardless, the Republicans are wreaking more havoc with our system, and worse, doing more to justify the continuation of that. Maybe when they’re the minority again, they can be Watchdogs for the Democrats, but right now people on the right seem more interested in bringing up this minor stuff to stall and discredit their critics.

That’s why I ask you to do a petition. If your interests really are cleaning up Washington, then you shouldn’t hesitate to start with your own, if only for the cynical reason that it gives your folks the initiative and the credibility to build the foundations of your power on your moral purity. Otherwise this stuff is just moral relativism.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 11, 2006 4:09 PM
Comment #123685

Eric-
We have to talk about your corruption before you’ll start trying to nail us on ours. You only start pointing these things out when we start threatening to shake the foundations of your power.

We don’t have to twist ourselves in pretzels. Your K-Street project, a Republican originated effort to even further entangle lobbyists with government, means you have to. You have to go “Look, a Democrat accepting money from lobbyists!” to get people to avoid noticing that you’ve been making the main business of congress catering to those lobbyists, even moreso than under the worst days of the Democrats.

If you’re so concerned about lobbyist being in bed with our senators and representatives, why don’t you gain the initiative on this, and petition the GOP to dismantle the K-Street Project and distance themselves from the lobbyists? Right now, the Democrats have greater credibility on the matter, and that is why you feel compelled to drag us down first.

That’s also why you continue to blame all the trouble your people get into on those damn liberals. It means you don’t have to ask your own people the tough questions. You can say, our critics are hypocrites, without facing the degree of your own fall from grace and doing something about it.

Quite obviously, you folks have a problem. It’s time you start taking care of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 11, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #123692

Just take an honest look at that current proposed asbestos corporate bailout plan. It is almost breathtaking in its arrogance. The proposed fund is inadequate and will cost taxpayers billions later but provides protection to companies that knowingly killed thousands of workers and consumers to make a buck. Screw the victums.
It is like a hail Mary pass. Blow open one more vault before they are kicked out. There is some Rep opposition. Even they cannot stomach it. The companies that are supposed to pay into the settlement fund are secret. Probably because they match the Rep doner list but they are saying it is because they do not want to admit guilt even though they have been found guilty numerious times in civil court. Hell the people responsible should be hung.
Take a good honest considered look at this. Especially you right wingers. It is a textbook case on the effects of corruption on your party. Your people are trying to blame shift the blame to trial lawyers,victums and anybody else they can think of. Even running ads saying that if these companies have to pay for the damage the’ve wrought there will be fewer jobs for veterans. How low can they get. Maybe they should accuse the people dieing of cancer of being terrorist sympathizers.

Posted by: Bill at February 11, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #123694
esimonson Show me some crimes and I’ll agree with you. Say that anyone who received a contribution is corrupt and I will question you. Say that it is only Republicans who are corrupt and I’ll question you. What is the corruption you are alleging?
esimonson, This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll be happy to show you how most (if not all) are corrupt. I have studied their voting records. It would be much easier if you give me some names of anyone who is not corrupt. Come on. Just a few names. Pick the least corrupt, in your opinion. I’ll be happy to research each and give you a detailed report.

But beware, because they all vote on pork-barrel.
They all troll for campaign money.
They all are too beholding to big-money donors.
They all abuse the perk$ of office.
They all ignore common-sense, no-brainer reforms.
They all look the other way. Even the best of them.

esimonson,
You are too blinded by the circular partisan warfare. You are being used. I used to be the same way. But, after a while, it just doesn’t make sense. Is it possible you fail to recognize that incumbents of both parties are the problem. You may build credibility with your readers if you recognize that? Continue the strict, blind, petty partisan warfare, and you will lose readers. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. Americans will figure this out some day. The sooner the better. Unless you are one of the very wealthy and elitist crowd, you’re going to suffer the consequences like the majority of us. Thus, it is in your own best interest to start recognizing corruption in both parties. Parties are not the problem. Democrat voters are not all bad, just like all Republican voters are not all bad. Americans are growing wise up to this circular game eventually. It’s been a good run, but it will not work forever. I think Americans may be on the verge of figuring out what they need to do. Maybe not this year, or next year, or 2008, but not too long from now. Why? Because the pain level is increasing, and that is what they respond to. Power corrupts, and leads to pain (for someone). That is what incents voters to action. And what incumbents of both parties are doing is increasing the pain level. It may be inevitable. When is the only question. When it all hits the fan, do you want to be one of those, to their last dying breath, fueled the petty, circular, partisan warfare, empowered the greedy, irresponsible incumbents, and contributed to the problem?

The choice is yours and the voters, but you’d better have a good chiropractor, because you’re going to have to twist yourself into all sorts of shapes to defend the positions of an increasingly corrupt, selfish, and irresponsible incumbents of the party.

That is why no common-sense reforms ever get passed. Incumbents won’t allow it. So, why empower them to continue it?

Why not try common-sense for once?
Why not simply do what we were supposed to be doing all along? Recognize that government is corrupt, and voters allow it. But, only voters can change it now.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 11, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #123709
Bill wrote: Take a good honest considered look at this.
Bill, you seem to see what’s going on. It’s the next big windfall. Who will profit most from this? Posted by: d.a.n at February 11, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #123718

Stephen,

In response to the last two posts you addressed to me…

First of all, I sent an email to Delay and Reid asking for their resignations as I said I would. No official reply from either of them and according to the news, neither of them has taken my suggestion. No surprise there, of course. ;-)

Secondly, I don’t have a “side” and I’m not excusing anyone. I am not a Republican and I have no interest in joining them or defending their actions. Don’t get the idea that because I agree with them on several political issues, I am willing to defend them when they are doing something wrong.

In fact, it’s times like this when I realize that independents are on somewhat of a moral high ground. I don’t have to make partisan excuses. I can and did ask congressmen from both parties to resign because I think, actually I know, that they are corrupt.

As for a petition, to tell you the truth I wouldn’t know where to begin. I think it’s a good idea, though.

Right wing I may be, but I do not defend the doings of others just because I agree with their political views. The thing is, you are a party member and your writings here have focused almost exclusively on corruption from the Republican side while playing down the corruption of the Democrats, even when your majority leader is involved in the same scandal! Your entire argument so far has been that the Democrats are not as bad. If you could get rid of the corruption in your own party, you could argue that the democrats are better. There’s a difference. Like I said, I’m not the one making excuses.

Posted by: The Traveler at February 11, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #123719

Absolutely, ever since the republican take over in ‘94 the right wingers have been cultivating their arrogance which the effects are being currently witnessed in this present day. Hell, even Newt Gingrich is blasting the current members of the republican party for their failure to the american people and their sole focus on just getting re-elected. Now their scared as hell because they doubt that their going to get re-elected in the comming months and the American people are finally waking up to smaell the coffee! What the Democratic Party needs to do is to not focus soo much on Iraq, but to focus more on the many failures of the republican leadership to the American people, and to offer common sense solutions for the problems that the right wing have inflicted upon our nation. Thanks!

Posted by: Michael Ajitsingh at February 11, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #123834

d.a.n.,

esimonson, This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll be happy to show you how most (if not all) are corrupt.

Dan, these things are not crimes. They may be wasteful, they may be unwise, and they may even be immoral on some level but you cannot call spending money, which is an inherent power of congress under the constitutions, corruption simply because you disagree with what it’s spent on.

This is what I’m asking— clarify the charges that ALL republicans are corrupt. What the hell is corruption if Democrats are excluded from the ‘culture of corruption’ and yet the examples given are all Democrats too.

But beware, because they all vote on pork-barrel. They all troll for campaign money. They all are too beholding to big-money donors. They all abuse the perk$ of office. They all ignore common-sense, no-brainer reforms. They all look the other way. Even the best of them.

Let’s go down the list.

Pork barrel - Is this illegal? It isn’t even a clear cut definable term.
Campaign Money - Aren’t charities beholden to contributors in the same way?
Beholden to big money donors - Again, what does beholden mean?
Which perks? - Are these illegal perks or are they perks?
What common sense reforms are we talking about?
Looks the other way?

Why not try common-sense for once? Why not simply do what we were supposed to be doing all along? Recognize that government is corrupt, and voters allow it. But, only voters can change it now.

Out of all the things you said this makes the most sense. BUT… what you might call common sense I might say is the wrong solution. Prescribing cyanide instead of anti-biotics.

We have an assertion that Republicans are inherently corrupt. Or that a majority is inherently corrupt. Well, what corrupted them? Suppose we voted out all Republicans in the next two elections. What then?

Consider this thread for instance. Those saying we need to ‘crack heads’ because of rampant Republican corruption, what this actually means is that they want Republicans out of office (Republicans who ran on a platform of limiting government).

So what is the platform of the opposition? The main beneficiaries of having all Republicans voted out will undoubtedly be Democrats. Democrats who have a desire for virtually unlimited government power.

If power corrupts, which party is more likely to limit their own power? Democrats or Republicans? If the system is such that corruption tends to accrue because interests want government to bend the rules for them, wouldn’t it be safer to make it harder for the rules to be bent by limiting the power of government rather than say we need to open the floodgates of what government can do and control?

This is what makes no sense from the left side. Their cure is essentially full blown cancer.


Let’s prosecute those who break the law, tighten up the law where it needs tightening, and work on limiting the power of government to give favors and to create special exceptions so that lobbying isn’t necessary.

But prosecutions should not be partisan, they should be based on facts, evidence, and on the law, not on insinuations that money = corruption.

Posted by: esimonson at February 12, 2006 5:02 AM
Comment #123840

Stephen,

Eric- We have to talk about your corruption before you’ll start trying to nail us on ours. You only start pointing these things out when we start threatening to shake the foundations of your power.

I’m not sure that’s what you’re doing. The only corruption you seem to see is Republican corruption. Even when the evidence you use is not illegal acts.

I have no problem with you pointing out Abramoff’s guilt. But you are saying every Republican is guilty of corruption. What crime are you accusing them all of? We may even see some Republican lamakers convicted of some illegality and I’m all for that if they did something wrong.

What you seem to be intent on however is making something a crime which isn’t. Accepting money from Jack Abramoff or any lobbyist isn’t isn’t a crime the last time I checked. What’s more it’s not something limited to Republicans. What you are putting forth is pure hypocrisy.

I don’t have a problem with Republicans going to jail who committed a crime. But if we are talking about ‘corruption’ of a partisan sort, then yes you will hear my questions. If you are not up to answering them then that’s too bad.

We don’t have to twist ourselves in pretzels. Your K-Street project, a Republican originated effort to even further entangle lobbyists with government, means you have to. You have to go “Look, a Democrat accepting money from lobbyists!” to get people to avoid noticing that you’ve been making the main business of congress catering to those lobbyists, even moreso than under the worst days of the Democrats.

No. Again, I can understand that when your entire case is predicated on the fact that ‘lobbyists’ are somehow evil and Republicans are engaging in corrupt relations with them that it might be disconcerting to you to have the fact pointed out to you that 1) lobbying isn’t illegal, and 2) it is not a purely Republican trait to accept money from lobbyists.

If your central argument had not been that it is ONLY Republicans who are corrupt and you wanted to point out specific charges of corruption then we’d have a different conversation. But…

If you’re so concerned about lobbyist being in bed with our senators and representatives, why don’t you gain the initiative on this, and petition the GOP to dismantle the K-Street Project and distance themselves from the lobbyists? Right now, the Democrats have greater credibility on the matter, and that is why you feel compelled to drag us down first.

Democrats have no credibility on the matter precisely because it is Democrats attempting to hide from it.

That’s also why you continue to blame all the trouble your people get into on those damn liberals. It means you don’t have to ask your own people the tough questions. You can say, our critics are hypocrites, without facing the degree of your own fall from grace and doing something about it.

Quite obviously, you folks have a problem. It’s time you start taking care of it.

Obviously, you’d rather play the blame game than discuss what should be done about it. Because, frankly I don’t think it’s a partisan issue. It should be dealt with, but the liberal prescription or it will actually make it worse.

Posted by: esimonson at February 12, 2006 6:00 AM
Comment #123877

Eric-
I’ve never argued that Democrats were pure of this lobbying stuff, nor that Republicans are evil. What I have been arguing is that the Republicans are willfully in an excessively intimate relationship with lobbyists, one that is far worse than ours is.

The results of that association are unravelling as we speak, as one Republican after another come under criminal (not just ethical) suspicion, including members of the executive branch. Your party isn’t putting a distance between them and the leadership of the party. The story I started with in my original entry demonstrates that. It shows the Republicans being so inured to corruption that they are willing to put a member indicted on a felony count in control of money and in oversight of our law enforcement agencies.

Looking at this, even if Democrats are hiding from the corruption amongst them, by comparison the Republicans Running screaming in the opposite direction from holding their leaders accountable. Of course, if you wanted to say we’re all the same, you can point out the Democrat under indictment in the house that we’ve put in a ranking seat on the House Committees.

Exactly how does this demonstrate that the Republicans have the moral high ground?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2006 10:28 AM
Comment #123892
esimonson wrote: Let’s prosecute those who break the law, tighten up the law where it needs tightening, and work on limiting the power of government to give favors and to create special exceptions so that lobbying isn’t necessary.

Eric, I agree. Let’s do that. Non-partisanly.
But, let’s also vote out the unethical too.
Just because laws permit legal plunder doesn’t make it OK.

Pork barrel - Is this illegal? It isn’t even a clear cut definable term.
Sure it is. This is what I’m talkin’ about. You can’t be that blind?
Campaign Money - Aren’t charities beholden to contributors in the same way? Beholden to big money donors - Again, what does beholden mean? Which perks? - Are these illegal perks or are they perks?
Weak. Very weak. You’re makin’ this much too easy. This is the perk$. And tax-payers are unwittingly empowering corruption because of it.
What common sense reforms are we talking about? Looks the other way?

You’re kidding? Right? How about these common-sense, no-brainer reforms that incumbents refuse to pass, and stop newcomers from passing, because incumbents won’t allow any reforms that reduce their power or opportunities for self-gain and legal plunder.

Eric,
I don’t have it in for either party.
I don’t care what party it is.
Parties are not the problem.
Crooked and unethical incumbents are the problem.
It is as clear as can be.

But, in all fairness, voters are culpable too.
Voters have forgotten their duty.
Voters must remember that their duty is to alway vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents.
Not once in a while.
Every election.
Always.

Sounds simple, but the difficult part is re-educating voters and getting voters to remember what it is they were supposed to be doing all along. The circular partisan warfare is a effective distraction that seduces voters from the correct goal. Eric, you seem overly concerned that voters are going to hold Republicans more responsible than Democrats. Do you think perhaps you are caught up in the partisan warfare? I too used to be. Don’t worry. Parties are not the problem.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 12, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #123925

Eric, The Traveller-
Yes, Greenburg Taurig lobbied Harry Reid.

They didn’t get what they wanted, though. Combined with the confirmed fact that Abramoff never himself gave the Senator any money, we can conclude that Reid is not dirty on this count.

This is the whole point of the distinction that should be made: Are the lobbyists deciding policy, or are the people we elected (and can un-elect at our choosing) doing so?

The Republicans, with their K Street Project, have made that more uncertain than ever, putting the lobbyists more in the drivers seat than ever.

That’s the problem, not lobbying itself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #123969

Definitely,

No matter who is doing it. But, there is no doubt that the perception is that Republicans have the majority now, and they are tryin’ to get theirs with the gettin’ is good, more than anyone else. I think Republicans sense their demise, so they are workin’ on their next big score while the gettin’ is good.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter who is dirtier than who. If they’re dirty, they need to go. This K Street stuff is sickening. Government is FOR SALE. We only see the wining and dining, travel perk$, trips to Europe, etc. Just think if we could see the outright bribes? You know it’s there. We only see the tip of the iceberg. It is so rampant, that they get lazy and sloppy and brazen as Abramoff. I sure hope he sings, but it’s unlikely.

But, do we need to see all of it to know it exists? We see the results of FOR SALE government. We know most (if not all) are bought-and-paid-for. Government is FOR SALE.

But, we also know that we usually must wait for the consequences of it, the pain, to set in, before voters finally take action. Do we always have to wait until it is more painful?

If only voters could remember what voting is all about? It is not to make your party more powerful. Power corrupts. It is not because your party is better. Parties are not that different in what they do (only in what they say). The way they vote proves it. That’s why Democrats accuse their incumbents of being Republocrats, and Republicans accuse their incumbents of being Dumipublicans. Parties are not the problem. Well meaning newcomers to congress are not the problem. They don’t stand a chance of passing reforms. Incumbents won’t allow anything the reduces incumbents power or opportunities for self-gain.

The problem is:
[1] bought-and-paid-for incumbents that ignore voters, and prevent newcomers from making any common-sense reforms.
[2] Voters fail to understand item [1] above, and fail to do what they are supposed to do, always, which is simply vote out irresponsible incumbents. Nothing more.

But, I truly understand how difficult that really is, because it is very difficult to reach people that have been seduced into the partisan warfare. It’s hard to get them to take off their partisan blinders. I wore mine for 48 years.

I used to be one of them (I am ashamed of it, but better late than never).
At any rate, it just goes to show you how powerful the seduction is.
It plays on our human weaknesses.
It is circular.
It is quite simply propaganda.
It feeds on our desire for security and prosperity with the least effort and pain.
It feeds on the false belief that there is power in numbers.
It feeds on the false belief that experience is important.
It feeds on the false belief that the other party is the enemy.
It feeds on our laziness and the false belief that our party cares about us.

Little do the voters realize that what incumbents are doing is going to increase the voters pain, and reduce their chances for prosperity.

Neither party cares about you. Not at all.
It’s all an act.
Want some proof ? That could take a long time.
But, consider the many many no-brainer, common-sense, badly-needed reforms that incumbents flat refuse, every election year, to pass.

Think about the incumbents inability to eliminate the marraige penalty tax, but vote themselves raises and cu$hy benefits and perk$ in a heart beat.

Think about the pork-barrel, graft, bribes, waste, and irresponsible spending, while we have troops risking life and limb, without body armor.

Think about the wide-open borders.
We have laws against illegal trespassing borders, but our government ignores it.
Why? Who profits from it? The voters? Hell no! If that’s what you think, then you need to read this.

Now, try to defend any of it?
Both parties do it.
It doesn’t matter which party is worse.
All that matters is that it is leading us down a very dangerous path. There will be consequences someday for so many decades of fiscal and moral bankruptcy.

But, voters should remember this.
There is one very important reason why incumbents in government don’t take this serious.
That is because, when the $#!+ hits the fan, the incumbents all have golden parachutes. They won’t suffer. You, the voters, will suffer most. The elitist, PC (Political Class) won’t suffer. They’ve already got theirs, and put it away for a rainy day. The average American paid for their golden parachutes. Incumbents have multi-million dollar retirement plans (fully funded tax payers, for the rest of their life; not part of the mismanaged Social Security plan the rest of us are relegated to, which is in trouble).

So, you have to ask yourself.
What incentives do incumbents have to be ethical?
There is much more incentives to be dishonest.
And, voters empower it. Election after election.

So, if you want to help, all you need to do is spread the word, tell voters to simply vote out (or recall) all irresponsible incumbents, always, every election. Otherwise, voters will suffer the consequences of their own apathy, complacency, misguidedness, and despair. It is quite simply in their own best interest.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 12, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #123977

dan-
If he sings? My dear independent, he already has! He’s made a plea deal, and has implicated congressmen and others.

I think if we’re to break this corruption, the first thing we must do is find the nuclei that make these things easier and break them up. Find the areas of greatest abuse, break them up, and improve the atmosphere. The Atmospheric changes will aid in further reforms, as it becomes much less in candidate’s interests to protect the old system.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2006 5:49 PM
Comment #123989

Yes Stephen.
There are many simplifications of over-complicated procedures that would increase transparency and make them harder to abuse.
One-Purpose-Per-BILL is one such common-sense, simplification that would greatly reduce a lot (not all) of corruption.

Also, I think an independent Ethics Commision might help. Maybe?

But, transparency is important.

But, first, we’ve got to help newcomers to congress that want to pass badly-needed, common-sense reforms, but can’t because incumbents won’t let them.

And, I don’t care too much what party they are from. I’ve alread research all of my Senators and Representatives and Governor (for Texas), and I’m not voting for any of them. They’re all Republican, but that has nothing to do with it. In fact, I used to be Republican. I’m not voting for any of them because they voting records (among other things) show tons of pork-barrel and a refusal to vote for reforms (such as campaign finance reform). If that means I’m voting for Democrats, that’s fine. I don’t care what party they are in, because I don’t think parties are the problem. Bought-and-paid-for incumbents that resist reforms is half the problem, and the other half is voters that don’t yet realize it.

I’m no saying vote out responsible incumbents.
Just the irresponsible incumbents.
However, there are very few responsible incumbents. I’ve studied it for almost 6 months. Only a very few come close to being responsible, and even those (by their own admission) look the other way.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 12, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #123990

Abramoff has already sung?
Who has he implicated?
We don’t know that yet do we?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 12, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #124405

Traveler

Apparently you’ve read little besides Republican talking points. The general media have detailed the elaborate Republican scheme to make all lobbyist come to them for help and to essentially shake them down. Of course, unless this did some good - i.e., those that paid get what they want - the shakedown would not last very long. They even required the lobbyist to hire good Republicans or be cut-off from access. But, of course, Fox News and National Review don’t carry such stories; too embarassing. Now, Abramoff did direct money to many representatives and senators, but only those who changed their stance because of it are in trouble. There is no evidence that Reid changed his stance; in fact, he has always supported the Indian tribes’ efforts, long before Abramoff entered the picture.

d.a.n.

Minnesota’s constitution requires that bills only have one purpose, a proscription rarely obeyed by the legislature and ignored by governor. I’m not sure how other states (like Illinois) that also have such a constitutional requirement practice it, but to be effective it would have to have some enforcement provisions, which Minnesota’s clearly doesn’t.

Stephen

I’m with you. Vote the crooks out and vote in new blood in hopes that the new guys will be more honest. It’s the only lesson they learn. If you’re a Republican and your guy is a crook, vote in a new Republican if you can, otherwise vote for a Democrat. And vice versa for Democrats.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at February 13, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #124584

Mental Wimp,
I didn’t know that about Minnesota.
Well, the real solution is as you and Stephen say.
Vote out the crooks.
I don’t have a party, so it will be easy for me.
I’m in Texas, and don’t like any of our senators, representatives, or governor.
The non-incumbents get my vote since I think all of our incumbents are irresponsible, they all vote on pork-barrel, refuse campaign finance reform, refuse tax reform, refuse election reform, refuse entitlements reform, refuse any reform that doesn’t let them profit personally.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 13, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #125188

dan-
The problem with the One Purpose Per Bill restriction is one of definition. Define too specifically, and you get into the headaches of dealing with a system that is not and cannot be entirely based on logic, much less one particular kind of it.

Purpose can be defined broadly, as one might define it in a bill intended to stimulate the economy, or it can be defined narrowly, so that one ends up parsing the wording and the paragraphs.

Some things that the law deals with have an emergent character, and therefore can’t be summed up with a bill with one purpose alone. Security is an example. Could airport Screeners and machines scanning for bombs at a port be included in the same bill, given that they have different areas of regard? In one respect, both deal with security, but one could say they deal with security for different entities, with different kinds of subject matter involved with federal human resources on one side, technological regulations on another.

It could, in that way, become a political tool for gridlock, or the way that one party gets in the way of another’s bills.

Government does not always reduce in its operations to simple scientific laws and equations. It is a human enterprise, and the rules and regulations that keep it in order must take that into account to be effective, rather than counterproductive.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #125496

Stephen Daugherty,
I see your points, and acknowledge potential for abuse.
However, BILLs should not be too broad. And, even if they were, as in your example of security.
The benefits outweigh the problems you point out.
Why? Because it would still prevent $1.2 million to study the breeding habits of the woodchuck from getting tacked onto the end of security BILL. Still, all items in the Security BILL have to be related to security.

So, I appreciate your remarks, but I believe that you may be reaching a bit, and trying to portray it as too simplistic and ignores the human factor. On the contrary. The human factor is the very reason and justification for simplifications of processes and procedures that have been cleverly over-complicated to allow abuse and opportunities for self-gain, graft, pork-barrel, and corporate-welfare.

Lastly, if all items of a BILL must be restricted to a single purpose, no matter how broad the purpose is, it will be much easier for voters to see who is abusing the process. As it is now, a BILL can have anything in it. And much of it is totally unrelated to the original purpose.

So, I have to disagree with your objections.
One-Purpose-Per-BILL is a good, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reform that will increase transparency, and would not let the broadness of purpose stand in the way of that reform.

Other similar common-sense, no-brainer, responsible simplifications of processes and procedures that have been cleverly over-complicated for the purpose of reducing transparency, to increase the opportunity for abuse and self-gain.

The key is Transparency:
Transparency — > yields — > Visibility.
Visibility — > yields — > Outrage.
Outrage — > yields — > Law enforcement.
Law Enforcement — > yields — > Accountability.
Accountability — > yields — > Consequences.
Consequences — > yields — > Responsibility.

So, please reconsider the logic of allowing a few minor problems to stand in the way of the greater good.

And lastly, that reform, and all other reforms are impossible until the voters, first, do the one simple, logical, non-partisan, peaceful, inexpensive, responsible thing they were supposed to be doing all along:

Vote out (or recall) all irresponsible incumbents, always, every election.
Don’t wait too long to do it, because the average voters are the ones that will suffer most. Irresponsible incumbents have golden parachutes, so they don’t give a damn.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 15, 2006 2:01 PM
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