Sanding our assholes with 150 grit. Slowly. Lovingly.

Scandal!

Do the Ney-Cunningham-Abramoff-Delay-Burns-Doolittle-Libby scandal(s) mark a turning point in the fitfull ascendence of conservativism in the American political landscape? Will we see a return to activist government, a balance between regulation and markets, and a recognition of the need for aid for the less well off. Or is this merely a blip, a watergate, that soils the men involved but leaves the philosophy of small government, trust in people through the free market, and self reliance intact?
Permalink Kasey 
January 4th, 2006
It's a blip.
Permalink Star Wars Kid 
January 4th, 2006
Republicans by definition can do no evil, so it won't matter a bit.
Permalink son of parnas 
January 4th, 2006
Yes, because the obvious answer to the misuse of government power is MORE government power!

Yawn.
Permalink KC 
January 4th, 2006
KC, what are you answering yes to ? maintance of small governement or return to activism?

If you're bored *yawn* why not just not reply instead of injecting nonsense and poisoning the diologue for those who care? asshole.
Permalink Kasey 
January 4th, 2006
"As you can probably tell, the comment didn't add anything to the discussion. While the point wasn't to share an idea and/or convince someone else of a model, I found it painfully familiar to other discussions I have heard."
Permalink Kasey 
January 4th, 2006
Thanks, you're funny.

You're right, I should simply ignore the Dem talking points for the week. Thanks for the advice.
Permalink KC 
January 4th, 2006
So far, the big Republican argument is "everybody does it". The Democrats have somehow been unable to defuse that argument.

So, if YOU want strong, ballsy government, vote Republican. Sure, you'll have to accept Republican leaders being bought, but since that happens all the time anyway, what else you gonna do?

And this is the party of the Religious Right? The Moral Majority? Watergate, the Contra's, and the War in Iraq over WMD's?

I guess the Morality argument is a non-starter. However, perhaps the Democrats can point at WHO is doing the buying, and what their goals are.
Permalink AllanL5 
January 4th, 2006
"Do the Ney-Cunningham-Abramoff-Delay-Burns-Doolittle-Libby scandal(s) mark a turning point in the fitfull ascendence of conservativism in the American political landscape?"

No, for the simple fact that they are currently presumed innocent on all charges, and if found guilty it will be at the hands of a liberal muckracking media, activist courts, and partisan politics run wild.

Why would you think anything different?
Permalink arg! 
January 4th, 2006
The last time the Republicans with this agenda and had this much power was before & during the depression. A landslide to Roosevelt and the onset of the new deal followed.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
"Sure, you'll have to accept Republican leaders being bought, but since that happens all the time anyway, what else you gonna do?"

Jesus Christ, do you really think Democrats arn't bought just as much? I hate to give you the pepsi and coke argument, but since Dan isn't here. They are two sides of the same coin.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
>Jesus Christ, do you really think Democrats arn't bought
>just as much?

Bought yes. But not as much.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
"Bought yes. But not as much."

Prove it...there have been more then enough scandals with Dems too. They are in the pockets of the Unions and other special interest groups just as the Republicans are in the corporations pockets. If you've ever spent any time on captial hill you know they are all scum.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
Hmmm, we found all these scandals with a republican congress and a republican administration where as a $40 million dollar multi-year investigation of the clinton whitehouse found a soiled dress, so yes, I do believe dems are less corrupt.

Do you have some corrupt dems to offer up?
Permalink  
January 4th, 2006
> Jesus Christ, do you really think Democrats arn't
> bought just as much?

My mom knew exactly how to deal with such execuses. So do you.
Permalink son of parnas 
January 4th, 2006
"Do you have some corrupt dems to offer up?"

James Traficant
http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa072502a.htm

Walter Tucker:
http://quest.cjonline.com/stories/081300/dem_0813005421.shtml

Actually heres a pretty complete list (admitedly from a biased site, but all are true):
http://boycottliberalism.com/Scandals.htm
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
I already said the "being bought" argument is a non-starter. But who's doing the buying? And for what purpose?

Apparently DeLay was bought while trying to gerrymander the Texas voting boundaries in order to insure a Republican majority. Which worked, by the way.

Abramoff was bought by both sides of a gambling consortium -- the Indians who wanted a casino, and the others who wanted to stop the Indians.

Who is benefiting now? Oil Companies? Who benefits if the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge is opened to drilling? Who is benefiting from the Billions being spent in Iraq? And who is trying to cut entitlements 10 billion a year for the next 5 years, in order to afford a 14 billion dollar a year for the next 5 years tax cut?

It's hard to make the argument that the Democrats being 'bought' to maintain the environment, maintain Social Security, improve health care, improve access to education, give job training to those on welfare, maintain safety nets, is a good thing.

But it was the Republicans who CLAIMED to be against corruption. Instead it appears they are against corruption by the other guy.
Permalink AllanL5 
January 4th, 2006
So you have 2, one from 02 and one from 95. Dems we have 2 every 10 years and the repubs we have 7 so far this year.

Hmmmm. I think you should switch to the repubs have the power, so they sell it defense.
Permalink  
January 4th, 2006
>They are in the pockets of the Unions and other special
>interest groups just as the Republicans are in the
>corporations pockets.

Whoa. You're, like, about 30 years out of date. NOBODY is in the pockets of the unions. Like Repubs, Democrats are in the pockets of the corporations, just not quite as much.

>If you've ever spent any time on captial hill you know
>they are all scum.

I've never heard of captial hill, but I know that Capitol hill is the strongest evidence I've seen anywhere that the Reagan was right when he said that government is incompetent and dangerous.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
Who has two? Did you see the list of like 50?

http://boycottliberalism.com/Scandals.htm
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
Colm, there are some who say that the Republicans are in fact trying to bring back the economic environment of the 1920's.

They're SURE this won't lead to another depression. Personally, I think they're wrong.

I'd hate to think it would take another depression for America to wake up and see what they're being sold. That's what it took for Roosevelt to get in, and establish Social Security.
Permalink AllanL5 
January 4th, 2006
Oh sure there are. They HATED the new deal, too. Really hated it.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
"Whoa. You're, like, about 30 years out of date. NOBODY is in the pockets of the unions. "

Colm, you sure about that?

http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/topcontribs.asp?cycle=2002
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
There's a column missing from that table -- "as a percentage of total contributions" ;-)
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
Isn't that what the To Dems, To Repubs columns represent?
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
Phil,

We can go through that list.

Let's start with the first person on the list. What was Vince Fostergate?

I recall Vince Foster as a 48 year old lawyer who shot himself in the head leaving behind a widow and 3 children leaving behind a note that read, in part,: "Here ruining people is considered sport.". He's included in your list, so there must be some scandal associated with his life or death, what was it?

You've posted this list as evidence. I am willing to stand-up for the scandals outlined in the OP, are you willing to stand up for this? Or it is simply republican FUD and the politics of personal destruction? The only scandal I see here is that you and other republicans would take tragedy and milk it for political gain.
Permalink  
January 4th, 2006
No. Even though some of the top donors are unions, unions still don't make up a majority of the Democrats' payroll.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
I'll grant you the ones for Clinton are kind of piled on and he wasn't convicted of many. If I recall the Vince Foster story there has been a suspicion of his suicide really being a murder. I like how somehow you turn this on me...i'm not saying republicans are any better, they are all scum. This list is just proof to the above person that there have been many many democrats convicted of the same types of things republicans have. They are all just people, regardless of the letter next to their name.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
Colm, I count 20 out of 42 of the donors for Dems there as Unions, and the unions make up over half of their top 20 donors...?
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
The point is they aren't the same. The Dems are bad. And republicans are much, much, much worse. Take a look at the nuance of the situation , study the details, learn the players, watch the money.

On the Vince Foster thing, there wasn't any suspicion there were just vile politically motivated attacks on the Clinton Whitehouse that used his tragic suicide as a means. Think about that. Think about the people you are aligning yourself with when you vote Republican.
Permalink  
January 4th, 2006
lol ok whatever, coolaid drinking anonymous person.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
You suspect Vince Foster was murdered and I'm the cool-aid drinker?

Please take the time to learn who's who in politics. Just like you can tell one sport's team is better than another, you can learn to tell that not all politicians are the same too.
Permalink  
January 4th, 2006
>Colm, I count 20 out of 42 of the donors for Dems there as
>Unions, and the unions make up over half of their top 20
>donors...?

http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/blio.asp?cycle=2002

Business donated $429 million. Labor donated $89 million.

Business contributes 67% of the Democrat's income, labor only 14%. I'm pretty sure that the 'ideological' donations are mostly from think tanks too (nearly all set up by businesses).

Now do you see?
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
Well, I'm not arguing that Businesses dont have a big say in Dem politics too, but surely you must agree that $89mil must buy considerable influence to the democrats as well.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
Actually the everyone does it argument is quite in-line with the we can spy on anyone we want to because it's us doing the spying.
Permalink son of parnas 
January 4th, 2006
So Newt Gingrich is calling for Tom DeLay's scalp. The Washington Post reports:

And former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) called on House Republicans to elect a new majority leader to permanently replace Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), Abramoff's most powerful ally in Washington, who faces a trial on unrelated criminal charges of violating Texas campaign laws.

"Unequivocally, the House Republicans need to select a new majority leader in late January or early February," said Gingrich, who cited revelations in The Washington Post that a public advocacy group organized by DeLay associates had been largely financed by Russian energy interests.

How psyched is Newt? Remember, DeLay was part of the failed coup that tried to remove Newt as Speaker in 1997--and after he was busted, he wasn't exactly Mr. Contrition. "The problems that created this are still there," DeLay said. "The next time this happens it will be even worse." Don't think Newt has forgotten. Well, at least there's one Republican who isn't too upset about yesterday's news.

http://www.tnr.com/blog/theplank?pid=5060
Permalink Kasey 
January 4th, 2006
>Well, I'm not arguing that Businesses dont have a big say
>in Dem politics too,

Backtrack!

>but surely you must agree that $89mil
>must buy considerable influence to the democrats as well.

Let's see - unions give $100 mil in total, businesses give one BILLION.

Who has the greater influence?
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
Colm,
Well, I must admit that the evidence you have presented directly contradicts my previous claim. It appears as if you were right and I was wrong, and I am now seriously re-evaluating my position.

HA HA HA HA! As if you'd ever see that on ?off.
Permalink Just a big joker 
January 4th, 2006
"Backtrack!"

More like bullshit! when did i ever say they werent in the pocket of business as well?

"Let's see - unions give $100 mil in total, businesses give one BILLION."

You just said 400 million like two lines ago?

"Who has the greater influence?"

Hey Einstein, you know more then one group can influence a party right? I'm not arguing that business may have a larger influence then Unions, but unions are still a very large contributor to the dems, and as such they will get their influence.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
Phil, you were trying to argue that the Dems were in the pockets of the unions because of the amount they donated.

I pointed out that labor unions ACTUALLY contributed just 14% of what the Dems received, so this makes you wrong, no?

14% In their pocket?

Please.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
Colm, its EIGHTY NINE FREAKING MILLION DOLLARS. Almost every union listed is giving 99-100% of their donations to the dems. If they were not getting their money's worth, they wouldn't be throwing their union members dues that way.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
>You just said 400 million like two lines ago?

600 million to the rpublicans + 400 million to the democrats = 1 billion
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
> Colm, its EIGHTY NINE FREAKING MILLION DOLLARS

Precisely. 14%.

For the record, I never argued that the unions weren't getting their money's worth (they are), just that the power they wield in Washington is considerably less than you said it was.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
hehe ok fair enough, Democrats are much more in the pocket of big business then Unions.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
Anyone who thinks one party is inherently dirtier than the other is blinded by their partisanism.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 4th, 2006
Where's the evidence Philo?

I thought you were all about the evidence?  Blanket statements aren't arguments.

Anyone who thinks both parties are the same is blinded by their cynicism.
Permalink  
January 4th, 2006
"Anyone who thinks both parties are the same is blinded by their cynicism."

Ok Assuming they didn't have letters next to their names on CNN, what party do these people belong to:

Lieberman - hard core conservative

McCain - speaks out against bush consisently

Guiliani - pro abortion, pro gay rights

Schwazenegger - same as above

Spector - same as above

Murra - former military

Olympia Snow, Jim Jeffords

Many people who have little D's could easily be republicans, and vice versa. Saying "All democrats think this and act like this" and "all republicans think like this and act like this" is naive.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
>Anyone who thinks one party is inherently dirtier than the
>other is blinded by their partisanism.

I dunno, it seems like the Democrats are slightly less dirty than the Republicans. I'll grant you that the difference is slim, however, and they're both absolutely filthy.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 4th, 2006
Saying "All democrats think this and act like this" and "all republicans think like this and act like this" is naive.

Absolutely. Saying all politicians are dirty and the same is naive.

There is a short list of moderate republicans who show the party isn't totally taken over by the corporate interests and the far right. As long as you're getting into the details and list making which is good. Why don't you start familiarizing your self with the crimes of the various players and see what the differences are? I'm confident you'll find out the Republicans are far worse.
Permalink  
January 4th, 2006
"Why don't you start familiarizing your self with the crimes of the various players and see what the differences are? I'm confident you'll find out the Republicans are far worse."

You first. I can't think of any republicans that have been suspected of murder, but I can think of at least 3 dems off the top of my head. I see Dems there convicted of racketeering...cant think of any republicans that got that.... I look at that list of dem scandals and I see a lot of the same stuff DeLay and Frist are up against (and neither has been convicted yet). Libby's "outting" was about on par with Burger looting the National Archives, etc... I know they are not ALL scum, but I find it hard to see one as much worse then the other, I think you're looking through partisan goggles.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
IMO, the party in power is always a bit dirtier than the party not in power. The corrupters are obviously going to focus on those who have the means to implement their aims. The Republicans are currently in power, no surprise to me that they appear to be more corrupted than the dems.

When/If the Dems rise to power, they will be just as corrupt in a few years.

When in doubt, I vote against the incumbent.
Permalink josReader 
January 4th, 2006
"Saying all politicians are dirty and the same is naive."

Good thing I didn't say that.

Last time I checked, they were all *people*, and subject to all the ills that flesh is heir to.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 4th, 2006
The quote in that reply was from Phil. That wasn't to you, it was to Phil. I reply to Phil's argument and you step in and say "I never said that" no of course you didn't I was replying to Phil.

Yours, Evidence-Boy, was:

"Where's the evidence Philo?

I thought you were all about the evidence? Blanket statements aren't arguments.

Anyone who thinks both parties are the same is blinded by their cynicism."
Permalink  
January 4th, 2006
my god people. regardless of whether both political parties do it or not, its *still* untterly unacceptable behavior.

It is *not* naive of me to expect better from politicians elected to represent the interests of their constitutents.

seriously. dont stand for it. dont defend those guilty of it. and dont, for gods sake dont, trivialise the whole thing by making it a democrat vs republican thing.
its not. its a democracy vs something else thing.
and it *matters*
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 4th, 2006
BTW, my favorite part was when the White House said they were donating the $6k he'd donated to charity.
Someone asked about the $100k Abramoff had helped Bush to raise, and the White House said they felt the $6k was all that was tainted.

heh

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 4th, 2006
Q Scott, Abramoff raised more than $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign, and the campaign has given back, like, $6,000. Why aren't they giving back more?

MR. McCLELLAN:Well, you might want to talk to the RNC to get the specifics. That's my understanding, is that Mr. Abramoff and his wife, and a tribal interest that he represented had contributed that money. And this is keeping -- consistent with past practice of the campaign. If people are involved in wrongdoing, they return that money that that person contributed, or donate it to a specific charity. In this case, I understand that they're going to be donating that money to the American Heart Association.

Q But you don't think the rest of the money that he brought in --

MR. McCLELLAN:Are you suggesting that there are others that were involved in wrongdoing?If you want to bring that to my attention, and I'll refer it to the RNC.

Q I'm asking if the money that he gave --

MR. McCLELLAN:I think it's our past practice, or the past practice of the campaign has been what I described. If people are involved in wrongdoing -- I think there's been very few instances of that, one or two maybe where money has been donated to a charity that that individual gave to the campaign.

Q Well, I guess, the question is, though, since he raised the money and you don't know what was involved in raising that money, does that not put a taint or a cloud over it?

MR. McCLELLAN:I think that it's keeping with past practice, and they took the appropriate step.
Permalink Kasey 
January 4th, 2006
makes perfect sense. this is america. money is innocent until proven guilty.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 4th, 2006
All money is now guilty.

Corruption is blind as to party affiliation, it isn't about personal power its about suborning the power of the electorate. The scandal is not that a lobbyist bribed elected members but that the membership as a whole is not ashamed and seem unwilling to purge the system.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 5th, 2006
Even Boris* has noticed this one:
http://www.boris-johnson.com/archives/2006/01/corruption_in_the_uk_usa_europ.php

* A man who presents as upper class twit of the year - whilst also being Higher Education Spokesman for the Tory opposition. Think Hollywood charicature posh Englishman.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 5th, 2006
Senator Patty Murray, (D-WA) is in for $78,000. Sweet!
Permalink hoser 
January 5th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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