Koch brothers: liberals current straw men

Our liberal friends like to attack the Koch brothers. I am not particularly interested in the Koch brothers, but I am interested in propaganda and how partisans choose targets, demonize them and then damn others by association, however tenuous. It is a technique used since we have historical records. Nazis and communists used it; Saul Alinsky famously listed the step in his “Rule for Radicals.” The Koch brothers are the current liberal target. Most of what liberals say about the subject are lies or misinformation.

The whole technique depends on people's desire to feel smarter than others and smarter than they are. Those pushing this sort of propaganda claim insider information. This is always complex and known mostly to them and other insiders. This bolsters their egos. "I know what you don't know." People are encouraged to share in the prejudice, pretending they also are in on the hidden knowledge. You can try this at home. There is an old teaching technique where someone spreads information (harmless they hope) that is just plain made up. But if he says it with certainty, others claim they knew it or at least heard about it. Then they spread it. Nobody wants to admit that they have been left out.

After a short time, the process can become self-catalyzing, as people make all sorts of odd connections. When questioned, they reveal the long list of supposed connections. Nobody can deny all of them and to the extent that anyone refutes them, the advocates attack the debunkers. It is the old witch hunt technique. "If you defend them, you must be one of them."

Anyway, the Koch brothers are active in support of issues the support. They spend their own money to to do this. It is an expensive hobby. You can disagree with them and sometimes it certainly makes sense to point to their use of money. But with the Koch brothers the criticism goes too far.

The Koch brothers are rich and can take care of themselves, but it is an example of the dangerous idea of personalizing the political. But we have instances where activities have checked records to see who contributed to particular candidates or policies and they harass them. This is not their right. We should never make politic personal. A basis of our moderate and successful democracy is that people can disagree vehemently about politics but still live in peace and harmony in every other way. If George Soros invited me to lunch, I would go and expect to have an interesting discussion. The same should be true of my liberal friends and the Koch brothers. In both these cases, we have examples of concerned and generous citizens trying to convince their fellow of the righteousness of their cause. We should respect them as citizens, even if we dislike their ideas.

Posted by Christine & John at March 14, 2014 8:10 AM
Comments
Comment #377315

Good points C&J.

I think the reason for this silliness comes down to how liberals wrongly believe everybody loves their policies, but some are too stupid and have allowed themselves to be brainwashed to disagree with them.
What they refuse to accept is that not everybody is willing to take their dreams of gumdrops and rainbows at face value. Some dare ask questions, and in a Constitutional Republic such as ours, liberalism fails quite easily once you get past the emotional feel-good goals and start questioning the solutions.

Because of this, liberals demand total control of the messaging, which is why they attack the Koch brothers, the NRA, FOX, and any other entity that does not fall in lockstep with liberal beliefs, with “lies and misinformation.”

Posted by: kctim at March 14, 2014 9:46 AM
Comment #377318


Gabe Sherman’s Shrivel: Author of ‘The Loudest Voice’ Struck Dumb

Part of Sherman’s problem was that he came at Ailes from the typical New York City-based liberal point of view—that is to say, obviously hostile to a conservative.
Hostility based on ideology? Yes, plenty of that. Insight based on any sort of empathy? Nope, none of that.
Ailes refused to grant an interview, which led to Sherman hounding—stalking is not too strong a word—not only Ailes but also his family.
Once, not so long ago, Sherman’s world must have seemed bright and beckoning. With his mighty pen, he would slay the dreaded dragon of Ailes. Then the liberal champion would live happily ever after, lionized by the left. But now, those dreams of glory are vanished, like a nighttime phantasm that flits away with the light of dawn.
Sherman, having labored so hard to deliver only a shrivel of a book, must now face a bleak prospect—he might have to go out and get a real job.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 14, 2014 12:14 PM
Comment #377325

Schumer offers deal to GOP: Give us an amnesty or Obama will take it

“President Barack Obama will “greatly curtail deportations” of illegal immigrants unless the GOP legislators agree to end deportations by granting amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote in an angry Facebook post.”

Read the rest of this Patriot Update article here: http://patriotupdate.com/2014/03/schumer-offers-deal-gop-give-us-amnesty-obama-will-take/#Hsyht40Tx9sbLwlw.99

Shameless blackmail by a US senator. Hard to imagine,

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 14, 2014 6:39 PM
Comment #377386

Since there is minimal comments on the Koch Bros how about a subject change

Flight 370
Here are some un-reported facts concerning flight 370
1. Acars and Transponders are located in rear of aircraft for security purposes
2. Impossible to turn off Acars or transponder while aircraft is airborne
3. About 30 minutes into flight no acars or transponder signals available-dead
4. At about 35 minutes into flight Malayasian ATC was to do a handoff to Vietnam ATC.
5. No record of the handoff
6. At no time was an ID made of flight 370 after the 30-35 minute time line
7. The pings and sightings made have no relative value to flight 370 because there were no transmissions of any kind after the 30-35 minute time line.
8. You cannot ping or sight an aircraft that has no ID
9. The transponder on the dash of the 777 cockpit is a TCAS transponder. It is a Traffic Collision Avoidance System. It is not a location transponder

So all those item of speculation you can put in the toilet.

Posted by: tom humes at March 18, 2014 8:27 PM
Comment #377389

Kelly File relates that an AF Lt. Gen. was privy to some info from Boeing that the AC could be in Pakistan. The officer says the air mileage from KL to Bejing and Kl to Pakistan is about the same re the fuel thing.

I’m ready to believe that the Malay’s are in cohoots with this thing. They have put out dubious info from the beginning. Beyond incompetent, makes one think they are assisting in thwarting the search.

Posted by: roy ellis at March 19, 2014 9:53 PM
Comment #377396

Never heard so much bs that people are calling facts from experts. Speculation is rampant. Even the experts are making fools of themselves. They are stumbling over themselves to let people know they are experts, but they are just making rash and stupid statements. It appears they want to be political front runners going from the rear.
There is hardly any truth coming from the national media including NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, FOX, and other lesser networks or local media. Must be rating time and how they are climbing over each other to gain the highes bs ratings.

Posted by: tom humes at March 20, 2014 7:26 PM
Comment #377397

In response to an oped in my local paper, I had this to say:

Your editorial of 03-20-2014 entitled, “So Who’s Lying Now”, took the Senate Majority Leader to task because he said the Koch brothers are ‘un-American’. You indicated that the Senator had little reason for saying that and that he had little room to talk.
I beg to defer.
The Koch’s finance the Tea Party. Does that make the TP more or less a ‘grass roots’ organization? You might or might not agree with the TP, but you have to admit it has caused more trouble than it has been worth.
The Koch’s own much of the Heritage Foundation. That foundation brought out what we now know as the Affordable Healthcare Act (the one used by Romney in Mass.). President Obama changed very little of it, and either because he is a black president or because he is a Democrat, the foundation has set out to destroy it, even though we are/were in desperate need of it.
The Koch’s own a big part of ALEC. That group of legal beagles have written more laws against legal abortions, and ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws than any group of legislators. Then those legislatures pass ALEC laws without knowing what is in them, and on the strength of a sales pitch by ALEC lawyers.
The Koch’s own the biggest share of several PAC’s, and those PAC’s hold sway over local, state and federal politicians.
The Koch’s conduct policy meetings wherein at least two Justices of the Supreme Court attend and participate.
They are attempting a Coup d’état by insinuating themselves into all facets of government in the vainglorious notion that America is better off under an Oligarchy than in being citizen ruled.
At the break-up off the Soviet Union, the Russian Mafia had grown so strong that they became the de facto government of Russia (and some of the other Soviet states). That Oligarchy is still the single strongest arm Russia has to offer in the way of governance.
The Koch’s are not necessarily UN-American, but the America they want is not an America Americans should want either.

Posted by: David Stevens at March 20, 2014 9:56 PM
Comment #377398

*sigh*

Let’s start with some actual facts…

First:

You indicated that the Senator had little reason for saying that and that he had little room to talk.

What was stated about the Senator who railed against the Koch Brothers has been addressed by Factcheck.

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/03/reid-wrong-on-afp-criticism/

The Koch’s finance the Tea Party.

Yes and No. They support some Tea Party groups, they do not ‘finance the Tea Party’. They also support non-Tea Party groups. They also finance some Progressive groups, candidates. But you just don’t like them supporting the Tea Party so they must be evil I guess…

Among the hundreds of organizations that have received monetary support from Koch companies, Charles Koch, David Koch, and/or the Koch foundations are Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

AFP and AFP Foundation’s overall mission of promoting sound economic thinking is one in which we firmly believe. In addition, they stand for ideals that are critical to our nation’s future and the well-being of all people: limited government as set forth in the Constitution; fiscal responsibility; removing unnecessary barriers to entrepreneurship; and restoring fairness to our judicial system.

AFP and AFP Foundation operate independently of Koch Industries. We are not involved in their day-to-day operations and we do not direct the activities of either organization.

In 1984, Dr. Richard Fink, Charles Koch, David Koch and Jay Humphreys co-founded Citizens for a Sound Economy and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation. Over time the participants in CSE and the CSE Foundation developed different visions. In 2004, due to philosophical differences, CSE Foundation and CSE discontinued their affiliation. The CSE Foundation was renamed Americans for Prosperity Foundation and AFP Foundation created a 501(c)(4) organization, Americans for Prosperity. CSE merged with FreedomWorks. Koch has no ties to and has never given money to FreedomWorks.

So, is the Tea Party AFP or Freedomworks? The two are not the same, in fact that they both exist is because of a falling out between the Koch brothers and Humphreys.

Which is it? Do you even know who or what the Tea Party is and what it isn’t?

In fact, the amount of money that they have contributed to purely political organizations (they have donated much more to private charities, like $100 million to a hospital and $35 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, as a very small sampling of what they give back to this country, is a pittance compared to what the unions have given to political organizations during the same time.

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

On that list, the first organization that gave to solidly non-Democratic organizations was at #17. Koch was at #59.

The Koch’s own much of the Heritage Foundation. That foundation brought out what we now know as the Affordable Healthcare Act (the one used by Romney in Mass.). President Obama changed very little of it, and either because he is a black president or because he is a Democrat, the foundation has set out to destroy it, even though we are/were in desperate need of it.

This is an interesting version of some alternate reality you’ve created for yourself…

First of all the line that the Koch’s own much of the Heritage Foundation. I’m not sure where this comes from. According to established and public facts, Heritage was started by Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner and Joseph Coors. Neither of the Koch brothers are on the board of Trustees, and the only relationship that they have with the Koch Brothers is that they partners in the Koch Industries Associate Program.

“In 1973, businessman Joseph Coors contributed $250,000 to establish The Heritage Foundation and continued to fund it through the Adolph Coors Foundation.[52][53]

Heritage is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization as well as a BBB Wise Giving Alliance accredited charity funded by donations from private individuals, corporations and charitable foundations.[54] The foundation does not receive government funds.[55][56] As a 501(c)(3), Heritage is not required to disclose its donors and donations to the foundation are tax-deductible.[55] According to a Media Transparency report in 2006, donors have included the John M. Olin Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation, the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation and the Bradley Foundation.[57] As of 2010, Heritage reported 710,000 supporters.[58] For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2011 Heritage’s total revenue was $72,170,983 and its expenses were $80,033,828.[1][59] Heritage Foundation is also a part of the Koch Foundation Associate Program.”

So, this ‘assertion’ is seemingly made out of whole cloth, unless you have alternate facts to provide?

Second, you state this gem “That foundation brought out what we now know as the Affordable Healthcare Act (the one used by Romney in Mass.). President Obama changed very little of it”. I *suppose* that you could say that Judaism and Islam are the same religion because Mohammad changed very little of the Old Testament…

Actually, here are the facts on that topic:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/12/the-aca-v-the-heritage-plan-a-comparison-in-chart-form

The only thing that were similar between the two proposals was that individuals would be required to carry health insurance. That’s it. If you want to read the actual plan that you are talking about, you can view it here:

http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/1989/pdf/hl218.pdf

As one individual working at Heritage stated, its like comparing a big mac to a salad. They both start with lettuce and tomatoes, but that doesn’t mean the end result resemble each other in any way. In fact, a state mandated mandate would have been constitutional. A federally mandated requirement to purchase insurance was found to be unconstitutional, as it should be.

And as for the Romneycare plan, you mean the plan that Romney repeatedly vetoed and no Republican in Massachusetts voted for? The one that is failing miserable to achieve its stated goals and has created wait times for medical services that were seldom seen in the rest of the US until recently?

I know you hate the Koch brothers because, well, I can only imagine because they say thing that you don’t like. I know it is a religion to many on the left, much like anti-Soros hysteria pervades the right. And I know that because of that religious fervor, your view of the facts won’t dissuade you from that hatred… But not being a man of hate myself, I have no way of knowing how to do anything about that, other than hope one day that you examine what is driving hatred from you and deal with it in some constructive way and realize that just because someone disagrees with you that doesn’t make them ‘evil’.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 20, 2014 11:19 PM
Comment #377399
The Koch’s are not necessarily UN-American, but the America they want is not an America Americans should want either.

BTW, the fact that the Koch brothers have the same belief in a limited government, individualist society that our founding fathers had when they fought for our freedom, wrote the Declaration of Independence and enacted our current Constitution, espousing the same ideals as such people as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington et al, makes your assertion that ‘what they want is an America Americans shouldn’t want’ seem a little strange, to be honest.

Perhaps it is just that many people don’t really know what the ideas that this country was founded on are. *shrug*

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 20, 2014 11:23 PM
Comment #377400

BTW, from the word of the person who WROTE the Heritage Foundation paper…

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/02/06/dont-blame-heritage-for-obamacare-mandate/

“Is the individual mandate at the heart of “ObamaCare” a conservative idea? Is it constitutional? And was it invented at The Heritage Foundation? In a word, no.”

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 20, 2014 11:37 PM
Comment #377401

BTW, this is from the AP before you start to build another straw man…

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HEALTH_OVERHAUL_TOP_CANCER_CENTERS?SITE=AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cancer patients relieved that they can get insurance coverage because of the new health care law may be disappointed to learn that some the nation’s best cancer hospitals are off-limits.

An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington state’s insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it’s in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more.

Doctors and administrators say they’re concerned. So are some state insurance regulators.

In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP’s survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their state exchange.

Not too long ago, insurance companies would have been vying to offer access to renowned cancer centers, said Dan Mendelson, CEO of the market research firm Avalere Health. Now the focus is on costs.

“This is a marked deterioration of access to the premier cancer centers for people who are signing up for these plans,” Mendelson said.

That comes on the heels of this announcement:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/03/20/4-reasons-why-obamacare-exchange-premiums-may-double-in-some-parts-of-the-country-in-2015/

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2014 2:05 AM
Comment #377403

Rhinehold,

Okay.

Posted by: David Stevens at March 21, 2014 8:45 AM
Comment #377404

Sure, the Koch brothers are just like those struggling revolutionaries, hah!

Here is a little different take on their conniving:

False ads by Kochs

They are not the first to try something like this and I’m sure they won’t be the last.

Labor union participation is a valid method of people seeking recourse through politics for there intentions. The Kochs just seem to be pretty sneaky about it all.

Oh and I’ll state the same as David now, Okay Rhinehold.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 21, 2014 10:40 AM
Comment #377406

How funny, C&J you claim not to be interested in the Koch Bros yet you are interested in their activities “but I am interested in propaganda and how partisans choose targets, demonize them and then damn others by association, however tenuous.” for that is exactly the modus operandi of these guys and their minions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESwgnUG97Uc

http://publichealthwatch.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/koch-brothers-group-abandons-anti-obamacare-ads-after-fact-checkers-prove-them-false/

http://www.politicususa.com/2013/11/22/koch-brothers-reach-deceptive-television-ad-alaska.html


Rhinehold didn’t we just go through the misleading open secrets link that has had conservatives in a tither?

From the link- ” It’s also important to note that we aren’t including donations to politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers, or the liberal group Patriot Majority — because these groups hide their donors”. Now I don’t know about you but when they mention the Koch Bros specifically it send off an alarm to me.

The fact is 1 out of every 4 dollars in dark money comes from Koch Bros linked groups.

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2013/12/1-in-4-dark-money-dollars-in-2012-c.html

On that list, the first organization that gave to solidly non-Democratic organizations was at #17. Koch was at #59.

Seriously Rhinehold are you comparing apples and oranges again! Comparing 3 brothers political donations to millions of union workers seems to me to be apples and oranges considering he millions of union workers are above board on their donations whilst the Koch Bros use dark money much more than their known contributions.

the fact that the Koch brothers have the same belief in a limited government, individualist society that our founding fathers had when they fought for our freedom,…..

Sounds like JBS propaganda to me Rhinehold which is where the Koch Bros.

http://www.jbs.org/united-nations/koch-brothers-revamp-strategies-for-2014


Posted by: j2t2 at March 21, 2014 1:44 PM
Comment #377407
Sure, the Koch brothers are just like those struggling revolutionaries, hah!

Struggling? Most of them were rich men who decided to use their wealth and time to make the place they lived a more free society… And while they aren’t under the obvious dangers of losing their lives to the King if captured, the death threats that these types of personal destruction campaigns that modern politicos, like yourself, bring about most likely do cause concern…

Here is a little different take on their conniving:

Let’s take a look at the recent left’s history with conniving ads…

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/03/bogus-attack-in-coal-mine-country/

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/03/misleading-abortion-attack-in-michigan/

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/02/old-medicare-claims-in-arkansas-senate-race/

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/01/senate-majority-pac-not-telling-whole-story/

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/01/competing-attack-ads-in-florida-miss-mark/

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/01/whistle-blower-not-so-much/

That’s just a handful over the past couple of months, when the elections really heat up, it is going to be pretty rough going for anyone wanting actual truth in their political advertising.

But to suggest that false ads are something that ‘the Kochs’ have been involved in is itself ‘somewhat misleading’ and conniving, don’t you think?

They are not the first to try something like this and I’m sure they won’t be the last.

Yep, it is a staple of just about every political organization like this. So I don’t know why everyone is so up in arms about them doing it…

Labor union participation is a valid method of people seeking recourse through politics for there intentions. The Kochs just seem to be pretty sneaky about it all.

Your inference here is that the unions spending union members’ dues on political ads is ‘valid’ and the Koch brothers, spending their money and other people’s money who contribute to AFP is ‘invalid’.

But you can’t say why. You just know it must be.

There is nothing that the Koch brothers are doing that is ‘evil’. They are expressing their (and others) political viewpoints through a PAC they created, just like others on the left and the right.

Of course, you also ignore that just because they start and fund AFP that they are sitting behind a door pulling all the strings and making all of the decisions. They say they aren’t and the fact that that is pretty much a full time job and they are running successful businesses (that employ a LOT of people) and also funding many charitable organizations, that actually makes much more sense than what the left seems to think.

AFP and AFP Foundation operate independently of Koch Industries. We are not involved in their day-to-day operations and we do not direct the activities of either organization.

However, a good article written today by another Koch hater might help explain all of this…

http://news.yahoo.com/the-kochs-make-their-political-money-count-022742677.html

Let’s start with the idea, which I’ve advanced before, that the imbalance in political spending at the moment probably isn’t quite as consequential, or as lasting, as a lot of liberal critics think it is. For one thing, as much as my colleagues in the media love to cover every new ad buy and every new database-driven marketing scheme as if it were the most “game-changing” political idea since the Magna Carta, the truth is that the week-to-week tactics of any given campaign matter less, in the end, than the daily experience of voters.

And there’s a lot of reason to think that whatever advantage comes from what we call outside spending will shift back and forth between the parties, depending on which one finds itself out of power. The wealthy liberals George Soros and the late Peter Lewis started this trend in 2004, taking advantage of loopholes in the new campaign law, and conservatives surpassed them only after Barack Obama’s election in 2008. We may not see anyone else spend quite as garishly as the Koch brothers anytime soon, but I’m guessing that the next time Democrats find themselves outside the White House looking in, some new progressive philanthropist will emerge to bankroll a comeback.

That said, there are different ways to invest that kind of outside money, and some are more effective than others. According to Politico, Michael Bloomberg dumped $15 million into gun control messaging last year, and for all the good it did, he probably should have just bought himself another mayoralty (maybe in Washington, which could use him right now). The liberal billionaire Tom Steyer has said he’s going to spend $100 million pleading with people to care more about climate change. Well, OK — no harm there, I guess.

The Koch brothers, on the other hand, have it figured out. It’s hard to say exactly how much money they’re spending, especially since a lot of it remains undisclosed, thanks to the abject senselessness of campaign finance laws; a spokesman told my Yahoo News colleague Chris Moody, who follows this stuff closely, that the Kochs have already parted with more than $30 million in the 2014 cycle. What’s striking, though, is how intensely local their focus is.

Think about it: You can spend $30 million trying to get a president elected, and it will make some difference for sure, but only some in a campaign where each side will spend something like $1 billion, clogging up every obscure cable channel with every imaginable kind of ad. But if you drop, say, $1 million into a competitive congressional race where ads are cheap and where the candidates and party committees might end up spending all of $3 million combined, you can basically own the conversation.

I hear it all the time, the Koch brothers are spending a bunch of money ‘under the table’, but those are just accusations and assumptions based on the effectiveness that they have. But in reality, the effectiveness is because they know how to get the most bang for their buck politically, right now the progressives are behind the curve on that.

They aren’t evil, they aren’t new, they aren’t doing anything that many others aren’t or haven’t been doing, other than they are doing it better. I think that is what galls most progressives today more than anything. That someone who has a different viewpoint is good and thwarting their desire for a one-sided political landscape.

A one-sided political landscape that many on the left on this blog predicted just a few years ago…

Oh and I’ll state the same as David now, Okay Rhinehold.

Okay Speak4all. If instead of being engaged and dialoging with those that disagree with you and point out the flaws in your arguments like reasonable people is the route that you and David has chosen to take, fine by me. I’ll just keep on pointing out the flaws in your arguments without rebuttal… Not how I want it but I can’t make anyone defend their own beliefs.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2014 6:54 PM
Comment #377408
Now I don’t know about you but when they mention the Koch Bros specifically it send off an alarm to me.

Of course it does, because that source isn’t progressive in nature and you don’t like that apparently.

Something you also want to conflagrate. Koch brothers (ie, the individuals) and “Koch-linked groups” are not exactly the same things. Many people give money to these groups, and the fact that many of these groups help each other out is nothing new in politics.

They are just doing it better than the left, which is what sets the left off, IMO.

So tell me, why does the name ‘Koch’ set you off so much? What are they doing that others, both left and right, haven’t done or attempted to do before?

And why aren’t we including in these notions of free speech television shows and movies that are trying to tell a certain political agenda to its consumers? Bowling for Columbine, An Inconvenient Truth and the new Cosmos tv show?

I am a huge fan of Seth MacFarlane and I love the new Cosmos and the fact that they brought it back, but I’m also not naïve enough to not know how Seth feels about creationists (I have a similar attitude) and see how it tries to shove certain political phrases and beliefs down the throats of the viewers in ways that it needn’t. It is doing it because it wants to make sure that anyone watching gets what they are saying, that creationism is one of the stupidest things for people to cling to.

But some would argue that that is no different than the Koch brothers spending money to make their point of view known as well. But we don’t consider it ‘political dark money’, when it really is pretty much the same thing.

Sounds like JBS propaganda to me Rhinehold which is where the Koch Bros.

Not sure what you are trying to say here, j2t2, but I’m sure I could care less that you want to bring the John Birch Society into the discussion…

Although, it may be appropriate. The conspiracy theories that I am seeing about how the Koch brothers are stealing our democracy and funding every single thing that exists and pulling all of these strings that make everyone on the left and right dance, etc… Sounds very conspiratorial, bordering on something that JBS or Mother Jones would come up with, on the level of Skull and Bones and Bilderberg Group…

I see all the same signs here…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2014 7:16 PM
Comment #377409
he millions of union workers are above board on their donations

Oh, I missed this when I read this the first time, that’s funny… I am glad for the laugh, thanks j2t2.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2014 7:19 PM
Comment #377410

http://watchdog.org/131467/money-afl-cio-union/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickgleason/2014/03/20/union-theft/

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/04/liberal-media-group-gets-520g-dark-money-donation-for-war-on-right/

http://freebeacon.com/obama-dark-money-group-to-accept-union-funds/

I mean, that is all just ignoring the power that the unions hold to push agendas that don’t require funding… Do I need to give you a lesson on the Teamsters and AFL-CIO and SEIU? Not to mention the power of the teachers unions…

Here’s a great ad put out by a teacher’s union narrated by Ed Asner (did they disclose this ‘funding’) debunked by someone who has an IQ greater than 75 (and higher than whoever created or would buy this schlock).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f6FZGjF8OA

And another debunking the supposed wealth disparity of Sweeden…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6vF8_ZeqMk

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2014 7:46 PM
Comment #377411

BTW, I have the answer to what happened to the missing airliner…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Langoliers

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2014 8:51 PM
Comment #377412

“The only thing that were similar between the two proposals was that individuals would be required to carry health insurance.”

Rhinehold,

Well that’s a pretty huge similarity. In fact, it appears to be the one aspect of Obamacare most attacked by the right.

But, the similarities don’t really end there. The Heritage foundation uses enormous federal tax expenditures to subsidize the switch from employer based insurance to mandatory individual insurance, particularly for low and moderate income families.

In essence both Obamacare and the Heritage foundation mandate purchase of insurance, utilize private insurance providers with a competitive market concept and provide enormous federal subsidies.

If there is a major difference, it is that, contrary to Obamacare, the Heritage plan would eliminate employer sponsored health insurance. However, it would not end federal subsidy for health insurance. Indeed, it would expand significantly federal subsidy in the form of tax expenditures (one direct and the other indirect).

Whether, the structure of the Heritage plan would be more effective than Obamacare is an open question. However, we don’t get to debate that issue when conservatives refuse to even accept the basic premises of both plans: mandate for purchase of health insurance and government subsidy for low and moderate income families.

Posted by: Rich at March 21, 2014 9:12 PM
Comment #377413
Well that’s a pretty huge similarity. In fact, it appears to be the one aspect of Obamacare most attacked by the right.

Because it is, and was found to be, unconstitutional to do at the federal level.

It was also not ‘invented’ by the Heritage Group, that was a topic that many people looked into and toyed with during that time, but because of the unconstitutionality of it and the unworkability of it (as we are seeing with the constant rule changes, again mostly unconstitutional) it was abandoned as an idea almost as soon as it was suggested.

Finally, the proposal did not state what kind of insurance someone could carry. Much in the same way that car insurance (a state requirement) can be a purely catastrophic to the other guy type of insurance, so could the level of insurance that could be required by this proposal. That is a HUGE difference to what was passed in the ACA where levels of coverage had to be approved by the federal government, specifically a non-elected department head.

The Heritage foundation uses enormous federal tax expenditures to subsidize the switch from employer based insurance to mandatory individual insurance, particularly for low and moderate income families.

Which was coupled with the removal of the tax benefits given to employer based policies.

So it wasn’t not an enormous federal tax expenditure, it was simply a way to extend the tax benefits that recipients of employer policies already enjoyed and giving it to everyone regardless of their income or job status.

It was a way to really get the government out of forcing businesses to offer these plans so that individuals could be free to shop and choose their own, stepping back the initial government intrusions that caused that situation and kept (and is keeping) it alive for so long.

In essence both Obamacare and the Heritage foundation mandate purchase of insurance, utilize private insurance providers with a competitive market concept and provide enormous federal subsidies.

No, not in essence at all. If you look at the actual proposals they are worlds apart. Again, it’s like saying that salads and big macs both have lettuce and tomatoes in them, so they are ‘in essence’ the same thing.

However, we don’t get to debate that issue when conservatives refuse to even accept the basic premises of both plans: mandate for purchase of health insurance and government subsidy for low and moderate income families.

Actually, the only thing that conservatives refused to ‘accept’ was the federal mandate of health insurance, because it was (and still is) unconstitutional. But they were willing to talk these other things, but no one on the left was willing to talk to them. There was no debate or inclusion of Republicans in the crafting of this healthcare plan and it is entire and completely disingenuous to suggest, for a second, that the ACA was ‘a republican plan’. I mean, that takes some serious lack of understanding of reality to even suggest, let alone get people to believe…

There have been numerous plans in place to deal with the healthcare issues, but the only ones that the left wanted to entertain were the ones that employed federal control and the allowance of insurance companies to continue to exist, or a complete takeover of it through single payer. That was it.

Nothing has been done to fix Medicare and Medicaid, instead it has been expanded and will come to be a bigger problem than it already was, there was nothing to deal with tort reform or why the health care was increasing in price, there was nothing to deal with the real economics of the situation, it was about control, pure and simple.

You and I have both discussed this and I think we agree the best plan would have been a requirement for catastrophic healthcare, healthcare savings accounts that roll over and provide tax incentives to use and everyone paying for their daily healthcare directly. It would drive down costs while ensuring that people who have a catastrophic health situation when they are young and haven’t been able to save for that eventuality are taken care of with minimal cost.

The requirement would either have to come at the hands of the states, or we would have to tax everyone in the US and then provide tax credits based on the purchase of that insurance, which is how the ACA was allowed to continue as constitutional, a far cry from a real health insurance mandate that was desired.

Everything that has been implemented with the ACA actually takes the problems and makes them worse, covers them over so no one really sees them directly and shifts control over our health care choices to Washington DC. So when some politicians decide to pass a bill making it illegal for insurance companies to provide funding for abortions, the progressive left who pushed this through without thinking has only themselves to blame for that.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 21, 2014 9:49 PM
Comment #377414

Rhinehold,

As long as you and your friend Willie talk down to me, what you enter here will always be ‘okay’. I do not enter into conversation, debate or argument with anyone who feels so secure in their superiority that they can condescend to those they do not know.

Posted by: David Stevens at March 21, 2014 11:35 PM
Comment #377421

Rhinehold, Whilst thou art laughing here is another bit of fodder for thou-

“Let’s take a look at the recent left’s history with conniving ads…”

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/03/misleading-abortion-attack-in-michigan/

The second link you gave us is about two repubs not the left as you would have us believe.


Of course it does, because that source isn’t progressive in nature and you don’t like that apparently.

You are missing the point Rhinehold, intentionally I suppose. Sadly you guys seem to ignore the comment open secrets makes regarding the list. Such partisan BS! I thought you would be above it but I seem to have been wrong.

BTW The link you use to defend the Koch Bros is the same Fox uses to defend them, you are in poor company.


Rhinehold the term dark money came from the open secrets link you are using to defend these guys and their buying of elections. So my point is the link you and other conservatives use addressees the fact that the Koch Bros are down the list on donations because the “dark money” isn’t counted. Why do you guys refuse to see this when it is you providing the source?

I don’t have the time to address the rest of your comments as they are just diversions from the issue. Lets stick to the point please.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 22, 2014 9:46 AM
Comment #377422

Rhinehold, don’t use facts. It makes progressives insecure.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 22, 2014 11:00 AM
Comment #377425

Are comments or responses being screened prior to posting?

I prepared a fairly lengthy response to Rhinehold on the health care issue. However, when I attempted to post the response, the system indicated that it was being held for consideration by the editor. Are postings being screened by an editor before posting or is this a glich in the system? I recall it happening in the past and it is annoying. Why spend time preparing a posting if it is only going to a black hole?

Posted by: Rich at March 22, 2014 8:47 PM
Comment #377426

I’ve only seen that when someone posts a lot of links. I think I can do it because I am an editor but when I wasn’t I did see that happen with too many links. Not sure, unfortunately I don’t have the level I used to have to manage those types of things anymore.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 22, 2014 8:58 PM
Comment #377427

Rich

The system does that sometimes, to me too. I don’t know why or how to fix it. At this time I don’t even know who is in charge of this page and if I ever lose my login, I will never be able to post again.

This whole blog is dying off and someday it may just stop. I suggest you join me on Facebook. Just look up John Matel. I tend not to write as many political things, but it is a way to maintain community.

Posted by: CJ at March 22, 2014 9:31 PM
Comment #377428

Rhinehold and C&J,

Thanks for your responses. It seems like it was a random thing. I didn’t use any links, so it wasn’t that.

I will take you up on the Facebook offer in the near future, John. Enjoy the discussions. Sorry to see the blog declining. Rare to have an opportunity for civil discussions of important topics. Perhaps a sign of the times. Everybody just seems to want a chorus of amens.

Posted by: Rich at March 22, 2014 9:51 PM
Comment #377431

Rich, I agree unfortunately. Very few of the guys who debated hard but civilly are gone or don’t come around much. There was a bit of a purge a couple of years ago and while I came back other seemed to have abandoned it. Nowadays it just seems people want to post stuff that they heard on some site within their echo chamber and aren’t willing to engage in actual debate anymore abd get upset if you question them, accusing you of talking down to them or being mean if you strongly question their beliefs.

It’s why I started my own podcast (politinerd) and am starting to put out content in a way that welcomes everyone but will debate with logic and facts, not emotion. Probably won’t catch on, I know I am tilting at windmills these days, but a guy’s still gotta try, you know?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 23, 2014 7:10 AM
Comment #377436
The second link you gave us is about two repubs not the left as you would have us believe.

You’re right, that was a mistake on my part, to make it up to you here are 3 links to replace that 1.

http://www.factcheck.org/2013/12/dccc-exaggerates-impact-of-aca-repeal/

http://www.factcheck.org/2013/10/grimes-inflates-mcconnells-gridlock-tally/

http://www.factcheck.org/2013/08/environmentalists-misuse-gop-quote/

Do you think that there aren’t a bunch more of these out there to find?

You are missing the point Rhinehold, intentionally I suppose.

No, not really. It is just the point is invalid…

Sadly you guys seem to ignore the comment open secrets makes regarding the list.

No, but the comment is supposition. It is what they THINK is going on. And it doesn’t say that the Koch Brothers are doing all of the funding, only that those organizations that have some tie to a Koch Brothers involved organization does. It’s like the guy who thinks that the Heritage Group is run by the Koch brothers… Those organizations take in donations from many people, not just the Koch Brothers, and they are not maniacally sitting behind the scenes directed every act that those organizations are doing. That would be humanly impossible AND illogical.

And there are other groups out there trying to track this ‘dark money’. If you look at 2012, Rove’s group spent more than twice as much as AFP, by their count AFP spent 33 million in ‘dark money’. Add that to what they reported and it is still a drop in the bucket to what the unions are spending.

http://projects.propublica.org/pactrack/#committee=C90012063

Such partisan BS! I thought you would be above it but I seem to have been wrong.

Nothing I have stated is ‘partisan’. I am defending the attack on a couple of people that the left is trying to smear as ‘evil’ because they don’t like that their organizations are doing a better job organizing their efforts than they are.

BTW The link you use to defend the Koch Bros is the same Fox uses to defend them, you are in poor company.

And that link is? Since you aren’t pointing out a specific one, it makes it a bit hard to discuss, doesn’t it? As for Fox using it, that’s pretty much irrelevant if the information is correct… Unless you somehow think that Fox is 100% all the time? Do they get the time of day wrong too?

BTW, as I said, the only ‘defense’ I am mounting is that they aren’t evil maniacal overlords of everything, paying for it all out of their own money. But even if they were, that’s their right to do. I’m not sure why anyone would have to defend the right of people to speak their mind and spend their money the way they choose, but apparently that is where we are today, thinking we can do that and still call ourselves the home of the free.

Rhinehold the term dark money came from the open secrets link you are using to defend these guys and their buying of elections.

There is no such thing as ‘buying an election’. What a stupid idiotic term. Sorry, but speaking your mind and spending money on advertising is not buying anything other than your right to utilize those mediums in order to get your point of view to other people. But if the idea is not accepted by people, they won’t vote for those candidates.

Are you just upset that they might make a point that people agree with, that you disagree with, and you might lose an election because of it? What hubris!

Coke spent a lot of money advertising New Coke, but the people didn’t want it. So they had to dump it and go back… If your suggestion that ‘money buys votes’ is correct, then we would still be able to buy a New Coke and the original one wouldn’t exist. Race after race can be pointed to where the candidate who won spent less money than their opponent, but in your world that isn’t possible! The one spending the most was buying that election, why didn’t they get it?

And you then try to suggest that money spent on advertising is worth more than time and energy being spent on tv, movies, other popular culture mediums. Such nonsense.

You focus your energy and ire in the wrong direction. If someone is making a statement that is provably wrong, counter it. That is simple. It takes a lot less money to counter an argument than it does to try to make that original argument persuasive. In the end the truth will win the day if we are interested in that. But considering the amount of falsehoods that come out of the left on a daily basis, it is clear that neither side is really looking for truth, facts or logic. They want to win on emotion. That’s the real problem… One that the progressives aren’t willing to touch with a ten foot pole.

BTW, considering that one of the Kochs is libertarian, if they could ‘buy elections’, why aren’t there more libertarians in national office instead of the hundreds in local offices around the country? See, they hysteria all falls down when logic is introduced…

So my point is the link you and other conservatives use addressees the fact that the Koch Bros are down the list on donations because the “dark money” isn’t counted. Why do you guys refuse to see this when it is you providing the source?

Because the supposition that organizations somewhat tangentially connected to the Koch Brothers means anything is a guess since they don’t really know, isn’t it? The fact that their guess doesn’t match up to what others are finding when doing that kind of research is pretty telling as well.

Personally, I don’t CARE how much money someone spends in an election, it is irrelevant. Period. So even if the Koch Brothers themselves spent every single penny that they had to buy advertising that ran every day, 120 times a day, for a year, it wouldn’t matter to me, because if the voters don’t agree with what they are saying, they aren’t going to be zombies and vote that way anyway. Your contempt in the ability of the individual to determine for themselves what they want to do with their vote is just as contemptuous as your entire political philosophy that thinks that the government is better at telling people how to live their own lives. The whole conversation is just a shell game, attempting to blunt what someone says by saying ‘but they have spent money’. Its a fallacy that is all too prevalent in today’s politics.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 23, 2014 9:51 AM
Comment #377438

Another example of how far people are willing to go to discredit the Koch brothers…

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/03/the-washington-post-responds-to-me-and-i-reply-to-the-post.php

On Thursday, the Washington Post published an article by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin titled “The biggest lease holder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.” The article’s first paragraph included this claim:


The biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David.

The theme of the article was that the Keystone Pipeline is all about the Koch brothers; or, at least, that this is a plausible claim. The Post authors relied on a report by a far-left group called International Forum on Globalization that I debunked last October.

So Thursday evening, I wrote about the Post article here. I pointed out that Koch is not, in fact, the largest leaser of tar sands land; that Koch will not be a user of the pipeline if it is built; and that construction of the Keystone Pipeline would actually be harmful to Koch’s economic interests, which is why Koch has never taken a position on the pipeline’s construction. The Keystone Pipeline, in short, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Koch brothers.



The Post’s response attempted to explain “Why we wrote about the Koch Industries [sic] and its leases in Canada’s oil sands.” Good question! What’s the answer?

The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.

So in the Post’s view, it is acceptable to publish articles that are both literally false (Koch is the largest tar sands leaseholder) and massively misleading (the Keystone Pipeline is all about Koch Industries), if by doing so the paper can “stir and inflame public debate in this election year?” I can’t top Jonah Goldberg’s comment on that howler:

By this logic any unfair attack posing as reporting is worthwhile when people try to correct the record. Why not just have at it and accuse the Kochs of killing JFK or hiding the Malaysian airplane? The resulting criticism would once again provide “strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year.”
Posted by: Rhinehold at March 23, 2014 11:00 AM
Comment #377451

Rhinehold
Has it ever occurred to you that you might be a reason that people are not participating on this blog as they have in the past. Look at this posting for instance, out of the 31 comments you have 13 of them that contribute to probably more than 75% of the bandwidth in space consumed. Your incessant attempts to berate, belittle and condescend have not gone unnoticed by even the most casual observation. Please get a grip.

The struggling revolutionaries were not Thomas Jefferson and whoever else you so like to quote on this blog but the people of this country that fought and died for something they believed in. The patriot who took a musketball in the leg and died 3 days later of infection, the mother who lost two sons and her husband during the revolution and died destitute and alone, the orphan that lost both parents and grew up on the mean streets of Boston or New York alone. No you have no connection to these people because you think the true revolutionaries are the Koch brothers and there like back in the 18th century. I’m sorry but you, don’t, have, a, clue.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 24, 2014 10:57 AM
Comment #377452

Cammeron Barrett runs a site called blogcorp.com He has contact info there. His hit count says WatchBlog gets over 1400 visits a day.

This site was dominated by the left. Obama and the Democratic Party haven’t given the left much to brag about. I think that’s why there isn’t anyone posting lately.

It’s a perfect opportunity to get positive and promote the Libertarian and Conservative points of view without the distractions of Democrats trying to one-up everyone.

Clicking on the banners might help keep WatchBlog around, also. It wouldn’t hurt.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 24, 2014 11:17 AM
Comment #377454
Do you think that there aren’t a bunch more of these out there to find?

I don’t doubt it Rhinehold, However the “well they do it to” logic is just not relevant to the subject of the Koch Bros. No matter how many times you try to diverge from the point.

Nothing I have stated is ‘partisan’.

Of course not and neither is anything I say anymore partisan than your comments yet you try to convince me I am partisan.

And that link is? Since you aren’t pointing out a specific one, it makes it a bit hard to discuss, doesn’t it?

The only link you provide that is relevant Rhinehold, the link to open secrets. Many conservatives have used this link in the past few months despite its “supposition”. This grasping at straws by conservatives is bad enough but when you jump on the same bandwagon and then claim to be nonpartisan, it stretches the limits of credibility IMHO Rhinehold.

BTW, as I said, the only ‘defense’ I am mounting is that they aren’t evil maniacal overlords of everything, paying for it all out of their own money.

Speaking of straw man Rhinehold. Of course they haven’t done it all by themselves, but they are major players in the buying elections game. I Googled “evil maniacal overlords” and nothing related to attacks on the Koch Bros, my friend.

BTW, considering that one of the Kochs is libertarian, if they could ‘buy elections’, why aren’t there more libertarians in….

I would suggest it is because they just don’t have that much money Rhinehold. Maybe they only talk libertarian but are really JBS’ers, which is what I suspect by who they support in elections.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2014 5:23 PM
Comment #377455
Has it ever occurred to you that you might be a reason that people are not participating on this blog as they have in the past. … Your incessant attempts to berate, belittle and condescend have not gone unnoticed by even the most casual observation. Please get a grip.

Do you think that is logical? I’ve been an editor here for 10 years. It’s obvious that you have a problem with me for calling you out on supporting a president and his policies that ruin people’s lives…

But let’s take a real close look at your critique. Look back at the discussions I have with Rich as an example. Have you ever seen me ‘belittle’ or ‘berate’ him? We disagree on many issues but we never end up in those types of back and forths… The same with CJ, we disagree on many issues but it doesn’t end up in those types of exchanges…

I wonder why that might be? I don’t think that I am the one that needs to ‘get a grip’. Let’s be clear, when you started commenting on here you wanted to be able to say ‘I think Obama is great and will lead this country to a wonderful place’. When pressed with why you thought that was, you said you didn’t have to and weren’t going to defend yourself, it was just your opinion. When it was pointed out that your opinion was based on flawed logic, you got defensive and lashed out. You want people to accept your faith as valid without having to defend it, much like a member of the religious right would.

Respect is something earned with me, it is not just given out. If you have a point to make, and you can back it up with logic and facts, as Rich and CJ and Adam and others do, you are going to get logical and reasoned debates from me. When you want to be emotional in your thinking and try to make your point on faith and political religion, you get less than that in return…

But I’m sure you are right, it must be me. Perhaps I should just leave so you can have your echo chamber you seem to be in search of.

The struggling revolutionaries were not Thomas Jefferson and whoever else you so like to quote on this blog

Wow, that is a very telling view you have there… When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, a document that the world hadn’t seen the likes of before, or since, and put his name on it, he was an immediate enemy of the crown, he had committed high treason. He put his reputation, everything he had built and worked for, and his life on the line at that moment. Had the English won the war he would have been hung from a rope. He knew that every day he lived during that time could have been his last. And he did it anyway.

In his writing he put to paper radical ideas that rocked the world in their defense of the individuals that until then and still in most of the world are ignored and abused and used by the people in power. Ideas that inspired (and still inspire) millions of people to take up arms and defend their rights, the people you rightfully hold up. But they did what they did because he did what he did. He put himself out there for them. And he was not alone, Thomas Paine, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and many others did the same. The people who wrestled our independence were doing so because of those ideas that he eloquently put down to paper. They didn’t do it just so that they could have another monarchy where they could be abused and treated as resources to be used by those in power. They were creating a wholly new place that respected the beliefs and desires of every individual to be treated with respect. No man was better than any other and should not be treated any differently just because of what they believed, how much wealth they had or hadn’t obtained or what they chose to do with their lives.

The very same ideals and beliefs that the Democratic and Republican parties today abandon with nary a thought for power and ease.

For the record, I never once said that the Koch brothers were ‘revolutionaries’. You did. I said that they believed in those same ideas that made and built this country into something that could be seen as a shining beacon of light to all of the downtrodden masses who were abused and extorted by other societies that thought they were nothing more than pieces on a chessboard or sums on a balance sheet, people who’s natural rights were systematically and lawfully taken away from them every day. Prevented from earning what they were worth, prevented from believing the what they want to believe, spied upon, abused, thrown in jail for merely doing things that they wanted to do that harmed no one else. Instead what was created was a place where anyone, no matter what their parents did or what they start out with are able to build, create and live in the manner that they chose to provided they were willing to obtain it and not harm another in the process. It’s hard for some to understand that, I suppose, because they have always had those things that weren’t available to the majority of people at that time. People who are spoiled, entitled, sociopathic…

Those ideas that you call ‘old fashioned’ and 18th century passe unworthy ideas to hold are something to strive for, not throw away.

Yes, it disheartens me that people feel the way that you do, that those ideas of treating everyone as individuals to be free in their minds, bodies, property and souls from tyranny and power are just naive notions of a bygone era. And when I see people praise the very ‘leaders’ who are working tirelessly to take all of that away, to sweep under the rug the blood and courage that everyone who made this country possible gave of themselves so that their children and their fellow countrymen could have a free place to live their lives, it burns me deep inside.

You can keep praising a president who continues to push policies that put so many people in jail, destroys their lives, puts burdens on them without their agreement, spies on them, kills them and destroys everything they work for, but don’t think I’m going to just say ‘oh, ok, you like him, that’s nice’ without asking you WHY. WHY you are willing to support someone who implements and enforces those policies. I really really want to know the answers to those questions because to me I can’t understand it. I makes no sense why anyone would think that any of that is a ‘good thing’.

The Democratic party calls itself the ‘party of Jefferson’. I suspect that he were around today he would be suing them for defamation of character…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2014 7:54 PM
Comment #377457

Tim Moen, a libertarian running for office in Canada (he’s the one with the ad saying he wanted to fight for the right of gay couples to defend their marijuana plants with their guns) has recently been questioned by some hardcore libertarians about the wisdom of running for office and becoming part of the system…

His response was very insightful, but he makes a very good explanation of what it is like to discuss the notion of liberty with those who don’t truck with it very much.

http://reason.com/blog/2014/03/24/tim-moen-canadian-libertarian-politico-d

I have blogged at length, produced videos, talked with people in my personal life, produced podcasts and engaged in online debates to advance the message of liberty. I have never received a whole lot of response or feedback from people outside the liberty community itself. I have been happy to contribute to thought within this community and have felt it to be gratifying.

Preaching to the choir has been relatively safe. Stepping out on this limb of political campaigning has been intensely scary. Imagine standing alone in front of a church of devout christians that you are about to try and disabuse of their faith…that is what this feels like. As I’ve been delivering this message to the faithful I have had an overwhelming response from many of the members and it is giving me hope and evidence that I am doing something that is far more effective than anything I’ve done….

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2014 11:05 PM
Comment #377459

Rhinehold
Putting words in my keyboard again. It is so like you to do that because everything you type is such “awsomesauce” as you once told me. You need a hobby, past time or something else. I have been reading your pap for the 10 years you have been posting and commenting here and you bring the same thing all of the time. Derision, divisiveness, and degradation of fellow members of this blog community,elected political leaders and this country.

You didn’t call them revolutionaries? What do you call this:

“the fact that the Koch brothers have the same belief in a limited government, individualist society that our founding fathers had when they fought for our freedom, wrote the Declaration of Independence and enacted our current Constitution, espousing the same ideals as such people as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington et al, makes your assertion that ‘what they want is an America Americans shouldn’t want’ seem a little strange, to be honest.”

Trust me they are not revolutionaries by any stretch of the imagination.

Look, you like to tout TJ and others here as everything that we should run this country on today. I have the opinion that men like him and others would not have been able to get where they were if it weren’t for the true revolutionaries that I spoke of, the people who paid the ultimate price for what you so adamantly say you cherish but can’t even acknowledge that they and not TJ and the rest are the true heroes of the American Revolution. It is my opinion that the men you speak of would disown your belief that they were the foundation that this country was built upon. They might also disagree that we should live our 21st century lives as if we were in the 18th century, I don’t think that would make sense to any practical person.

Your pontification grows old and tiresome. Had I been a member of a Democratic organization that you were involved in I too would have asked you to step down from the soap box and join the rest of us here in the real world and try to make change and a better future our goals. You just seem to like the soap box but that does not surprise me.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 25, 2014 9:37 AM
Comment #377461

What is your utopian dream, Speak4all? How would your revolutionaries have managed the founding of this country? What would they have done differently than the founders Rhinehold speaks of?

What is your vision of a perfect U.S., Speak4all? I’m curious, what would this country look like if your vision was enabled?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 25, 2014 11:05 AM
Comment #377462

My revolutionaries are your revolutionaries, they are one and the same as it already happened. They stood on the backs of the ordinary revolutionaries that paid the ultimate price. They espoused noble ideas and tried to make this country a better place. I have no problem admiring their countenance in this regard and believe they too would have been able to acknowledge that they alone did not build this.

The United States is exactly the vision that I hold as something I desire. It is not perfect, it is not infallible, it is not always fair, it is not always just, it is not invincible, it is however greater than the sum of all of it’s parts and that is something I can credit the people of this country’s past and present for. As I have said before, adversarial politics works for this country and will continue to long after you and I are gone. While I may disagree with some of Rhineholds beliefs I definitely support his ability to disagree with mine and would like the same acknowledgement.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 25, 2014 11:49 AM
Comment #377465


Where would your revolutionaries be if not for Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin, ect.? You seem to think their extrordinary position is immaterial, that if they were just as common as the rest the result would be the same.

You should answer my question, Speak4all, without resorting to the obfuscatory status quo.

What is your vision of a perfect U.S., Speak4all? I’m curious, what would this country look like if your vision was enabled?

If you are satisfied with the status quo why do you support Democratics over Republicans? Why wouldn’t you support Democratics and Republicans who are already in office and expect them to maintain the status quo?

I fail to see the logic in your comments. You want Republicans out of office to make our government more “responsive”, yet when asked for your vision of what this country should be, you say you want to keep things the way they are!

Answer the question, Speak4all. I’ll rephrase it:

If your party had it’s way, what would this country look like?


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 25, 2014 12:45 PM
Comment #377466

I will not attempt to have a discourse with someone who uses words that do not exist. I have told you this in the past and thought I might try again however you continue to use a word that does not exist (Democratics). You fail to see logic because you do not use logic.

You and Rhinehold are birds of a feather in one regard. You strut about saying “see this chip on my shoulder, go ahead, go ahead knock it off”. I had a friend when I was younger who did this constantly. Once I took the opportunity to peer up to the chip and simultaneously lifted my knee into his groin. The chip fell to the ground and never was seen again. Consider this a cyber knee to your groin, I only hope the chip will fall.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 25, 2014 12:56 PM
Comment #377467

It’s more like you can’t answer the question without alienating most of the people in this country who believes in what those founders you discount believe in.

Quit hiding behind retoric and faux indignation, Speak4all.

Answer the question.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 25, 2014 1:17 PM
Comment #377469
You didn’t call them revolutionaries? What do you call this:

“the fact that the Koch brothers have the same belief in a limited government, individualist society that our founding fathers had when they fought for our freedom, wrote the Declaration of Independence and enacted our current Constitution, espousing the same ideals as such people as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington et al, makes your assertion that ‘what they want is an America Americans shouldn’t want’ seem a little strange, to be honest.”

I call that just what it is. Explaining that their views ARE of an America that Americans should want because they are the same views as those who founded the ideas and makeup of this country held. Again, at no point do I say that the Koch brothers are ‘revolutionaries’. They are simply people who believe the same as our founding fathers and have a right to express those views. Much like myself. Before accusing someone of making things up that others type, you should really make sure you aren’t doing it every time you comment… It might help you not get so upset about what others say when you stop assuming they are trying to belittle you instead of just trying to point out where they think you are wrong.

have the opinion that men like him and others would not have been able to get where they were if it weren’t for the true revolutionaries that I spoke of, the people who paid the ultimate price for what you so adamantly say you cherish but can’t even acknowledge that they and not TJ and the rest are the true heroes of the American Revolution.

So, when I said “Ideas that inspired (and still inspire) millions of people to take up arms and defend their rights, the people you rightfully hold up.” What do you think I meant there?

Again, part of me feels that you are just trying to be obtuse in order to try to attack me personally, something that makes little sense to me. I point out where people’s views are flawed or in question and ask them to explain better. When they don’t or they can’t but still continue to express them, I push harder because unless people are willing to drop views that aren’t logical and sound we can’t get anywhere in this country.

Jefferson was and should be held up, something you apparently find yourself unable to do and I can’t understand why. He was a revolutionary, but that doesn’t mean that others weren’t. I never one said that the people who fought, the other people who were present and did what they did to bring this country to life, aren’t. I hold them all in high regard and have never done anything less. But you are the one denigrating Jefferson as not being a revolutionary when he in fact defines that word… I would ask you why you have that opinion, it would be interesting to hear. Is it just because his views are things you disagree with? Even if you disagree with them, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t put his life on the line for those ideas, he didn’t push forward a truly revolutionary view of how rights exist and how a government should function, and that this country wasn’t founded on those ideas…

It is my opinion that the men you speak of would disown your belief that they were the foundation that this country was built upon.

This I find a hard sentence to wrap my head around… You seem to be suggesting that Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, James Madison, et al wouldn’t agree that they professed the ideas and put together the guiding documents that created this country? That they, as students of John Locke and the Age of Enlightenment, didn’t guide the founding of this country? That the signers didn’t know that they were putting their lives on the line when they signed the Declaration of Independence that Thomas Jefferson wrote?

They might also disagree that we should live our 21st century lives as if we were in the 18th century, I don’t think that would make sense to any practical person.

No one is suggesting, anywhere, that we live our 21st century lives as if it were the 18th century. BUT just because it is the 21st century doesn’t invalidate the very ideals that this country was founded upon and made to be a shining beacon. THAT makes no sense.

It’s like saying that people shouldn’t live by the words of Jesus in the 21st century, this isn’t the 1st century after all… Does the idea of ‘love your neighbor’ and ‘the golden rule’ somehow go away just because we are in 2014? Of course not. So do the ideals that every person should be treated equally, that every person has natural rights that cannot be violated, that the Constitution (which Madison wrote, so he should probably know) is a collection of limited powers that the Federal government has, not an exhaustive list of rights that the people are allowed to have (he even says that in the bill of rights).

That the very idea of the Constitution was to tightly constrain the federal government so that it couldn’t do all of the things that it is doing now, like the spying, the oppression, the detention of such a large portion of our nation, the attacks on the press and free speech, the assuming of a power to kill Americans without due process, etc… Because that was the reasons they gave while they were writing it. We don’t have to ‘guess’ what they meant, we know, because they wrote it down. We know why we have a 2nd amendment right, it wasn’t for hunting or collecting. We know why we have a 4th amendment right, it wasn’t to prevent spying just on the communications we had at the time of the constitution but also on any new technologies to communicate that would come around. We know why we have a 9th amendment, it was to ensure that we didn’t lose sight of the fact that the rights of man are not from government, but they exist outside of government and cannot be taken from us without our consent (and not the consent of the majority, but the states as well through a detailed amendment process).

You deride my writing style because you find it ‘preachy’, but when other people preach things, like Obama as an example, you hold them up. One of the people I hold up very dearly was Martin Luther King Jr, yet he was preachy… Another is the Daili Lama, he could be considered preachy. I guess it just depends on what someone is preaching, if you agree with it that’s noble and heroic, if you disagree with it they should shut up and sit down? That’s what it sounds like to me…

We left the Age of the Enlightenment’s ideals that founded this country and moved into the Age of Romanticism, leaving reason and logic behind for emotive rhetoric. IMO that was the worst thing that has happened to the world. It has led to continual war, divisive rhetoric, hatred, attacks and attempts at personal destruction. You seem to want to hold this move up as why we can’t have the country that so many people died for…

One final thing. I don’t hate you, never have. I don’t hate very many at all. I don’t hate Obama, Bush, etc. They are guys doing what they think is right. But that doesn’t mean I agree with them and will voice my disagreement as anyone who does disagree should. But remember this, if I didn’t think you were doing the same thing, just speaking your mind and voicing your opinion, if I didn’t respect you, if I didn’t hold you in some regard, I wouldn’t be trying to change your mind, pointing out where I think you are wrong and trying to enter rational dialog about those things. I would just ignore you and move on, leaving you as a lost cause.

Just food for thought.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2014 5:20 PM
Comment #377499

Rhinehold
I don’t know how many times I have to say it but here goes again.

“As I have said before, adversarial politics works for this country and will continue to long after you and I are gone. While I may disagree with some of Rhineholds beliefs I definitely support his ability to disagree with mine and would like the same acknowledgement.”

You want more dialogue, I am unable to provide that. Suffice it to say that while I respect your deference to my opinions, I don’t seem to get any of that in return.

WW
Get a library card, buy magazines, read more on the internet but please stop with the questions. I give you statements that you don’t seem to understand and then you fault me for that. I am not obligated to give you the answers to the questions that you approve of. Get over it and move on.

Bullying
There is a great campaign going on in this country to stop bullying. I see it when I visit my grandchildren at schools. I admire what they are trying to do but it is a daunting task given that the most recent discourse that our youth see is given to bullying by one side or the other. Just because I write comments on this blog does not give other people who comment here to incessantly ask for answers to their inane questions, read my comments and I believe you can figure out what I espouse without requiring a third degree by anyone. I don’t think that will stop that as bullying seems to be part of the discourse that is desired here by some of the people posting and commenting.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 27, 2014 9:29 AM
Comment #377500

You know, the cut goes both ways Speak. When I explain to you that my only goal is to debate what you say so that you can possibly think about your views in a logical way and possibly see some errors in your thinking, you just don’t get it. Instead you make accusations that have nothing to do with reality.

The fact that you call anything I’ve every stated on here as ‘bullying’ is so far beyond the pale of rationality to deserve any of the respect that I had given you in thinking that you could handle someone questioning your faith. Noted and removed.

It also makes a mockery of people who have actually had to deal with real bullying in a real way, not an imaginary made up one like you are trying to associate with here. That anyone would have to even point that fact out to you is insane.

And trust me, my words here have been carefully re-edited for your fragile ego… I don’t think you can handle what I truly think about the disgusting association you’ve just tried to make here.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 27, 2014 10:32 AM
Comment #377501

Rhinehold
I see so you not giving my opinions the same respect I give to yours somehow makes you a better person? Whatever. That I don’t succumb to your idea that I have errors in my thinking is exactly what I write about. I don’t say you have errors in your thinking, I merely try to point out that I maintain a different view. That you see this as some type of affront to you tells me that you want to be perceived as always right, always able to better someone else and always always the only view that should be believed. Sure sounds like someone who is using tactics that can only be described as bullying. I don’t think I am the one with the fragile ego after all I don’t espouse that you should think the way I do, while you do insist that I do that. Why not just be able to say “While I respect your opinions I have a different opinion” and just leave it at that without the tiresome and inept reassertion that your opinion is the only one with true merit? Disgusting association? You seem to wear it with pride and continue to after it is shown to be true.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 27, 2014 11:13 AM
Comment #377502

Speak, you give my opinions respect? I’m sorry but I think you are delusional at this point.

Everyone has errors in their thinking, Speak, we are human beings. When you think you know it all and have figured it all out is when you stop growing as a human being. I intend to never stop that growth. I’m one of the few people on this site that actually admits when I am wrong, but it requires that someone make logical and factual rebuttals to my views, not emotional ones. The same I do with others. You are unable to admit that your thinking could possibly be wrong, ever, because as you say you aren’t wrong. Meaning you are a one of a kind, the man who has no flaws.

Why not just be able to say “While I respect your opinions I have a different opinion” and just leave it at that without the tiresome and inept reassertion that your opinion is the only one with true merit?

I do, which is why I have good constructive conversations with many of the participants from all of the different viewpoints, including CJ, Rich, Willie, DBS, etc. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t QUESTION those opinions and see where the logic between the two different opinions lie so that I can either learn where I am missing something or point out to someone else where they are missing something. Its how people grow. Most often I find that those difference of opinions lie in the values we place on different things, only many people are unaware of what they are basing those values on. To me it’s an exercise in the human mind, the unraveling of sociology and psychology, it’s my scientific mind at work.

And yes, it is a disgusting and ignorant association. If you had known real bullying in your life you would know what I’m talking about. It’s like comparing a woman who was yelled at by her husband for not making dinner with a woman who was repeatedly raped in a barroom bathroom.

BTW, yes you do think that others should think the way you do, only you won’t defend the way you think. You expect everyone to just accept it as the way it is without questioning it. If you said that the moon was made of cheese and someone asked you to explain why you thought that, you would get indignant and huff about it, based on your reaction to similar questioning on here. You post on here that the president is great and everything will be wonderful and derided anyone who disagreed with you, but when asked to explain why you just responded ‘because I said so’.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to question your faith of our infallibility anymore, I’m done with that. Any respect I had for you is long gone now. I’m not going to beat my head against the door of your never wrong mind now that I know that it is a complete and total waste of time.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 27, 2014 11:40 AM
Comment #377503

Okay Rhinehold. To quote David. Look I will continue to post comments here and will just scroll through your entries. You are welcome to do the same however something tells me that you just can’t stop yourself from trying to be the most smartest, smartest and smartest person in the room. You never displayed any respect for me so how would I know? I on the other hand have more than once given credit to your views on same sex marriage and marijuana prohibition. You have never, ever given any acknowledgement back. I have never stated to you that I am never wrong but all I hear from you is that is what I say. You need to start reading what I say and not interpreting what I say to mean what you want it to.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 27, 2014 12:16 PM
Comment #377504
I have never stated to you that I am never wrong

Just a couple of comments after you stating:

I don’t succumb to your idea that I have errors in my thinking

—-

You never displayed any respect for me so how would I know?

Just a couple of comments after me stating:

But remember this, if I didn’t think you were doing the same thing, just speaking your mind and voicing your opinion, if I didn’t respect you, if I didn’t hold you in some regard, I wouldn’t be trying to change your mind, pointing out where I think you are wrong and trying to enter rational dialog about those things. I would just ignore you and move on, leaving you as a lost cause.
Posted by: Rhinehold at March 27, 2014 12:28 PM
Comment #377506

You still just refuse to understand for some reason. I do not succumb to your belief that I have errors in my thinking does not mean I don’t believe I could be wrong (those two thoughts are not similar except in your mind). It is the method you use to bring that about that I object to. So how do you arrive at that thought? Well you deign to respond to me and yet I disagree so that means I think that I am never wrong. By responding to my comments with your trite admonishment of what my opinions are, is in no way similar to me giving you credit for your views on women’s decisions on healthcare being left to them as admirable. You seem to think by your mere response to me you are somehow giving me some recognition and respect, no matter that you use your response to vilify my view. I still maintain that you hold to much sway as to what your opinion of me matters but then that only exists in your mind and I can live with that.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 27, 2014 12:59 PM
Comment #377516
Get a library card, buy magazines, read more on the internet but please stop with the questions.

Sorry, Speak4all! I didn’t know you wrote books and published magazines that describe your vision of what the U.S. would be like if your goals bore fruit. My bad!

Oh! You didn’t publish books and magazines of your views? So you want me to read other people’s views and relate them to yours? I don’t think you want me to do that, Speak4all.

You see, I think Democratics are liars. I think Democratics are hypocrites. I think Democratics slander and bully those they disagree with to get their way. I think that way because of what I read on the internet and in books and magazines. Is that what you want me to believe about you, Speak4all?

I asked you about your opinion and you respond with sarcasm and denigration and indignation. You refuse to allow me to understand your point of view and then criticize me for not understanding your point of view.

Like I said before, I think you cannot express your true feelings because the majority of citizens who understand what this country is based on would totally reject them.

And before you go off with your faux indignation about the use of non-words, keep in mind the lack of respect I have for liars, slanderers, bullies, and hypocrites.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 27, 2014 8:01 PM
Comment #377519

WW
In addition I was brought up to believe a certain way and have a world view of things that are different from many people. The word respect was used far too much above. I know of some prison people that when then were released on parole, one of the biggest words used by those people was respect. Respect is earned, and not assumed. It should be part of each person’s character as other things should be.
As one ages in years it should be wisdom that is attained through the experiences and lessons of life. Some people just don’t attain wisdom. They think is is all me. They are like my ex-wife, narcissist. And there are some people who just never attain much in life.

Posted by: tom humes at March 27, 2014 9:43 PM
Comment #377520

All this bickering. Let me make a modest suggestion that might put an end to some of it and actually result in some mutual respect between hitherto antagonists. My idea comes from the fact that most discussions are simply reactions to some political agenda, That degenerates into tribal warfare, Besides, it is very easy to be a critic. No system is going to be perfect.

It seems to me to be that a better idea would have contributors outline a better heath care system. Rhinehod and I agree that one of the most promising options is a national catastrophic coverage supplemented by tax favosadred
IRAs. It deserves some greater discussion. There are many other alternatives that don’t make it to to the light of day due to political reasons, e,g, single payer. It never reached committee.

It would move the debates along if contributors weren’t
so locked into the prevailing policy of the day. What would an ideal policy actually look like? What are its strengths and weaknesses.

In another words, lets be a little more creative and actually work through the policies. Rather than siting back and sending a thumbs up or down on Obamacare, etc., propose a better alternative.

Posted by: Rich at March 28, 2014 12:03 AM
Comment #377521

Start by condemning this display of partisan politics, Rich

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 28, 2014 12:18 AM
Comment #377528

I guess, Weary, that I was just trying to make the simple point that solving problems and constructing policy is much harder than criticizing policy. As long as commentators stay in the safe critic’s corner, they will remain immune to seeing the relevance of alternative opinion.

Posted by: Rich at March 28, 2014 8:22 AM
Comment #377529

WW
Tell me what you don’t understand about this:

“The United States is exactly the vision that I hold as something I desire. It is not perfect, it is not infallible, it is not always fair, it is not always just, it is not invincible, it is however greater than the sum of all of it’s parts and that is something I can credit the people of this country’s past and present for. As I have said before, adversarial politics works for this country and will continue to long after you and I are gone.”

What I am trying to tell you is that unlike yourself, I hold this country’s political process in high esteem. Does that mean I want it to remain the same(as ludicrous as that would seem given that I state clearly that adversarial politics is what I admire about this country), no it is destined to change. You however seem to hold a deep dislike and disregard for our political process. I expect Democrats (not Democratics, that is not a word), Republicans, Independents and all who participate in the legislative debate in this country to be able to voice their opinion and be as adversarial as they want within the realm of civility. If you do not understand that I am unable to provide you with any more than that. I am not looking for your respect or approval of my views or opinions. I am merely stating what those are, that you are unable to comprehend that is not something I can control. Besides you already state how you feel:

“I think Democratics are liars. I think Democratics are hypocrites. I think Democratics slander and bully those they disagree with to get their way.”

It must be difficult for you to harbor these feelings and still function in society. I am sorry you are unable to see any advantage to adversarial debate but understand that this is contrary to what I just quoted how you “feel”.

What about the following is not acknowledging Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and Patrick Henry’s accomplishments?

“My revolutionaries are your revolutionaries, they are one and the same as it already happened. They stood on the backs of the ordinary revolutionaries that paid the ultimate price. They espoused noble ideas and tried to make this country a better place. I have no problem admiring their countenance in this regard and believe they too would have been able to acknowledge that they alone did not build this.

Please try to remain calm and use real words in any response to me. Thanks.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 10:01 AM
Comment #377585

Okay.
I don’t have to respond.
Don’t bother me with this.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 30, 2014 7:36 PM
Comment #377605

As I have said before, you are one strange little fellow. You were the one wanting your questions answered. I can’t help it if you don’t like the answers.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 31, 2014 4:32 PM
Comment #380174

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