Politicians are NOT CORRUPT. Deal with it.


(clarification:  I’m talking about the USA here )

As a stark raving political moderate I often find myself incredibly frustrated with the tribal thinking that characterizes most of the political debate.    Most of the claims by even moderate left and moderate right about politicians (and others supposedly corrupted by money concerns) are simply garbage.

Politicians are generally honest, hard working people who  have sacrificed lucrative professions and wealth in favor of their public service.   This is true on right and left, middle and fringes.      There are reasons to fault them on many ideological grounds and debates about that are one of the great parts of our great system, but the idea that money is at the root of a politicians actions is just a nonsensical point of view.   Many don’t need money anyway as they are wealthy already:  Kerry, McCain, Bush, Cheney, Kennedy, etc etc.

However many more have foresaken wealth in favor of service to the country.    We should honor them for that even as we might disagree aggressively with policies or ideas.  We should not rant nonsensically about how they are corrupt / evil / lying / undermining the world. Leave that job to the whackos.

The funny thing is how the debate is generally so partisan in this respect.  Liberals insist Cheney was a big war profiteer  even as he gave his Halliburton options money to charity.   Far from profiting, Cheney’s decisions cost him dearly in terms of money.   As much as I never have agreed with Cheney’s  massive defense spending policies or approaches to anti-terrorism I’d hardly call him corrupt.   Or take Obama, who appears about as clean as you can be after years of dirt digging and conspiracy theorizing.   Yet detractors rant on nonsensically as if he’s got a freezer full of cash in the Whitehouse.

Exceptions? Sure there are some, but generally the “corruption” cases in the USA are hardly the scandals many make them out to be.   A favor here or there or some freebies valued at a few thousand.    One does not have to condone this to understand that it represents very little systemic threat to our great system, especially because corruptions charges here are taken so seriously that you can easily end a political career with even minor transgressions.

This aversion to corruption is a very good thing, absent in many parts of the world, and it is in part what makes our system so honest and robust.  Though unfortunately it does NOT make our spending efficient because as I’ve noted ad- nauseum here, political spending is NOT optimal spending and our honest, hard working politicians spend WAY TOO MUCH on way to many things.

—————-  more ranting follows but the point is above ————–

When GW Bush was in power I’d argue with left wingers to make the obvious case he was not a crazy religious nutcase hell bent on the destruction of our gentle planet.   Now with Obama I have to make the obvious case to right wingers that he’s not a crazed manchurian communist out to destroy western civilization as we know it.

It’s tiring to see smart people get so wrapped up in stupid ideas about how the world works and even more tiring to see how the process seems to infect people so predictably.    Hardly a peep from the cultural conservatives as the Bush policies of overspending ravaged the economy but now they seem to think Obama invented deficit spending.     Yet liberals, who should be crowing like crazy about how we’re starving future generations with reckless spending and absurd eco-mitigation dramas, now sit on their hands watching Obama proceed in very similar ways to GW Bush.

The standard rhetorical reply to my insistence that most pols are honest is “you are naive”, but in fact the foolish “corrupt politician” idea comes from something called  “the naivete of the skeptic”, where a foolishly skeptical worldview  poisons otherwise clear thinking.   Being too skeptical can divert  a person’s attention to review ONLY the data and analyses that support their ideas or that dismisses counter-arguments.     That’s not rational, so don’t do it.

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About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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193 Responses to Politicians are NOT CORRUPT. Deal with it.

  1. glenn says:

    How does that kool-aid taste?

    Joe by definition…any politician who has ever done anything for a lobbyist is corrupt. Look up the definition of political corruption in wiki. You can sit there with a straight face and say most of the politicians haven’t practiced “trading in influence” – that is the name of the game.

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

    Look at what happens to the whistleblowers in this country.

    That is the core problem of our whole system we have built far too many loopholes (lobbyists, PACS, etc) to allow corruption to manifest itself.

    You literally could take the entire Democratic leadership right now and EVERY SINGLE one of them is corrupt. You can count endless examples if you are willing to look at the facts and you KNOW they are covering up a lot more than we can see. Rangle, Dodd, Frank, and Reid are perfect examples.

    If we don’t put the proper things in place to eliminate any chance of corruption it will ultimately bring us down if this out of control spending doesn’t beforehand.

    Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it isn’t political corruption.

    The first step is to impose term limits ASAP. I know many people that have gone to Washington and the things you hear about on what goes on behind closes doors would have your jaw dragging on the ground.

    This all reminds me a good saying…

    Right is right no matter how few are doing it…and wrong is wrong no matter how many people are doing it.

    Joe I know you want to think the best of people but you off base when it comes to politicians…remember they are supposed to be there to serve “We the people”…not “Me, Myself and I”.

    • glenn says:

      I might add anyone in DC that does not uphold their Constitutional sworn duty and expose other corrupt members of Congress is themselve corrupt.

      Where are the Mr. Smiths in DC?

      • JoeDuck says:

        Haven’t you ever met with local pols or Reps or Senators? Do you think their honest exteriors hide their evil demon insides? Of course not, there are good folks working in complex, challenging circumstances.

        I think they system has very serious flaws in the form of the way lobbies work, the defects of our weak human intellects, and most importantly the way we spend politically rather than rationally. Corruption is the least of our worries.

    • Marta says:

      Absolutely agree with you here Glenn.

      Cousin Joe~ These politicians Glenn mentioned (Rangle, Dodd, Frank,and Reid) have made themselves rich sitting where they are. And, they are able to stay there by spending Taxpayer money to endorse “special projects” of the lobbyists. Then, when it comes time for re-election…these lobbyists divert all their campaign dollars to these thiefs.

      It’s a vicious cycle what they are doing in DC.

      There should be a better opportunity for a Mr. Smith to go to Washington, one serve a term and then leave, not to stay forever and line their pockets.

      Service to our nation should be shared not owned.

      • glenn says:

        Well said Marta. Nice to see someone else that doesn’t think we need to accept the status quo…we deserve better.

        It is ironic…in life if you have a landscaper, or a mechanic, or a doctor, etc…that did what these politicians do with your money…you would replace them in heartbeat.

        It is too bad that more Americans don’t wake up to the fact that we are being fleeced.

      • JoeDuck says:

        Hi Marta! Welcome to the blog – this post sure got a lot of attention.

    • glenn says:

      The USA should be dark green…and we as taxpayers should not accept anything less!

      Term limits…step #1 to a more “GREEN” country. 🙂

  2. glenn says:

    Joe the primary reason for the challenging circumstances is the corruption, pandering, rent-seeking, requirements put on any decision.

    Think about it. GM is a perfect example…

    Look at how GM was handled. The bond holders were totally screwed over – keep in mind the absolute core of our contract law, banking, investment regulations were ALL completely disregarded…why…because Obama had to pander to the unions.

    The holders of secure paper lost their position and money.

    The holders of the unsecure paper were rewarded BIG TIME (the Unions).

    Tell me that isn’t corruption.

    If we fixed those core problems then decisions would be made that make sense and that are in line with our laws.

    Look at illegal immigration in this country. We have a justice department that will not enforce our immigration policies and keep our border secure – WHY – because they are pandering to that group – FOR VOTES!!!

    Look at Valerie Jarrett – a really horrible person – slumlord and has been identified as one of the top 10 most corrupt people in this country – you see the Whitehouse has worked very to get her out of the spot light.

    I have met a lot of local pols and yes there are a lot of good people Joe…but the leadership in this congress is not a bunch of good people. Name one Democratic leader right now that isn’t corrupt? Give me a name and I will show you a list of corruption – we can pretend we are from Missouri!!!

    • JoeDuck says:

      Glenn are you applying the standards you apply to yourself? If you mean by corruption that a person went 56 mph in a 55 zone and failed to immediately turn themselves in to police then yes, almost everybody in congress has probably driven past the speed limit. But I think you mean, and I certainly mean, serious breaches of the public trust. With a few notable exceptions I think most in congress would pass that test of honesty.

      • glenn says:

        Joe we are not talking about speed limits…however I do drive the speed limit – yes I am one of the few…I few a car like a weapon.

        We are talking about gazillions of other people’s money. It isn’t governments money…it is hardworking American’s money.

        That is the problem. Think about this…a hundred thousand dollars is A LOT OF MONEY look at some of the ridiculous pork that is a result of corruption…hundreds of millions of dollars over the years…they make Maddoff look like a saint!

        It is funny how we want to persecute someone like Maddoff (he deserved it for sure) but we are all so willing to give the politicians a break. Somehow we have moved from having elected officials serving the people…to…we serving the officials.

        Every single expenditure should have to survive an up and down vote and the books should be open for all taxpayers to see – NO EXCEPTIONS – including military expenditures.

        For the record…I could care less about someone going 56 in a 55…let me give you a different analogy…let’s say you worked in a company that handled retail transactions and your holiday bonus was determined by how well the registers balance during the year or by how much profit the company makes…you see an employee skimming a $100 a week – do you turn them in? What is they are a single mom really having a hard time? Do you turn them in?

        In all cases the answer should be yes.

        What do you think would happen Joe if a politician snuck a recorder into the committee meetings with Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel, etc…do you think you would be surprised as what you would hear?

        Find a DC insider…ask them about it…you will hear something like…well Rangels illegal activities are common knowledge…lol. Look at Geithner…how did he get his job?

    • JoeDuck says:

      Valerie Jarrett should not be called corrupt and isn’t a politician! You are probably talking about her association with a real estate project gone bad, but people like this have thousands of biz associations.

      I don’t have inside info on her years in the Chicago political machine but neither do you. There are a lot of online “hit pieces” about her, but they appear to be the usual anti Obama ranting garbage, exaggerating the bad and ignoring a high quality history of service to her community.

      • Marta says:

        Joe~

        She’s in service for the money. That was what the bid to get the Olympics to Chicago was all about.

        So, she could make money with her vast real estate holdings.

        In Chicago, it’s all about the money.

      • glenn says:

        Joe I do have inside information in regard to the political machine in Chicago. It is the worst in the country it is riddled with corruption has been for over 100 years.

        ANY POLITICIAN that comes out of Chicago is by definition corrupt – if you are NOT you don’t survive there.

        Look at Obama’s deals with Rezko, etc…dirty all day long.

        Jarrett’s stuff will come out. I do admire how you want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and expect the best from all…I am reminded of something you once said…ACORN is just a harmless community organization – they are the poster child of corruption in this country.

  3. glenn says:

    Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) acknowledged Wednesday that he failed to disclose nearly $300,000 in profits from the sale of Exxon stock in 2006 and 2007, and his office said he will file amended financial disclosure forms with the House ethics committee as soon as possible.

    Corruption is ubiquitous with the poltical class…

  4. JoeDuck says:

    you see an employee skimming a $100 a week – do you turn them in?

    Of course you do, but this if your point is that congresspeople are lining their pockets it’s not supported by any evidence. The *worst case* I can think of is Jefferson’s Freezer of cash, which was corruption for sure but hardly the pilfering of millions of dollars, which I think has *never happened* despite trillions and trillions of congress allocations. Waste, not fraud, is the legitimate concern.

    Carter paid his taxes on the profits so this is hardly “corruption”. He’s mostly guilty of hypocrisy as he’s a shrill critic of other’s tax issues. Most of the issues are technicalities that don’t involve much money and generally result from oversights rather than criminality – much like what happens to many thanks to the incredibly complex tax rules where, for example, ten accountants given the same tax data will come up with ten different amounts of tax owed.

    I’m not opposed to vigorous prosecution of tax or other crimes, but I don’t see corruption here.

    IF things were as you seem to think we’d have millions squirrelled away in swiss accounts and congressmen disappearing to live in secret on the massive thefts that would be easy for them. That has … NEVER happened. Even with my view I’d think that would have happened a few times. There are 600+ in congress and senate and tens of thousands in high positions with the Government. A few of those folks are probably corrupt, but not many.

    • glenn says:

      As I said…name one person in leadership right now that isn’t corrupt?

      All the others know they are corrupt but do nothing about it becuase they know they will be silenced and clobbered. Remaining silent is just as bad a committing the deed.

      Joe I gave you an analogy that was more in line with what is going on then speeding…lol. In a way they are skimming, they do whatever they can to boost their egos, get more donations for their campaigns, etc…and everything they do costs money – OUR MONEY.

      Look at Murtha, Reid, Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, Schumer, Rangel, etc…etc…

      Carter was trying to game the system, the only reason he paid is because he got caught.

      Do you want these corrupt people making these huge decisions?

  5. All politicians are not corrupt,some people just follow whatever is said, a few bad apples mess up, it does not make everyone bad, Get real! To generalize is wrong, just like saying all school teachers are bad; all police officers are bad, not true. Good article Joe!

    • glenn says:

      It is more than a few bad apples and Jonathan you are not fully understanding the definition of political corruption. Of course the worst offenders (the biggest bad apples) are all the leadership. The same thing happened when the Republicans were in power – Remember…Pelosi’s great speech when she took over in 2006 – she promised the most ethical, honest, non-corruption congress ever…it has been anything but.

      Anyone has driven a pork project to their district has committed an act of corruption. Just because it is legal and widely accepted by them doesn’t mean it isn’t corruption.

      The power these people have ultimately corrupts them and we will vote out the clowns in power in 2010 en masse and we will just replace them with another group of stooges that will give earth shattering speech on how they will now clean everything up and NOTHING will change – the American taxpayer will continued to get screwed.

  6. horatiox says:

    Duck’s correct insofar that most Americans tend to generalize about politicians as a whole and view them all as all corrupt opportunists. Whether they have grounds to do so presents another matter. Obviously not all politicians are Jeffersons (as in William Clinton, not Thomas), but some are. A few congressmen or senators on the take, or a VP handing out defense contracts to his cronies might be sufficient to create the impression of widespread corruption, however.

    Cheney may not be the Hermann Goering-figure some of the leftists view him as, yet he did make some fairly questionable deals with businesses such as Halliburton, and Bechtel that he had previously associated with. DiDi Feinstein and her sugar daddy Blum did the same (and continue to, via Blum’s contacts in the defense industry).

    Assuming it’s only a small number of politicians, less than 10% of politicians or so who are “on the take” or receiving kickbacks, etc. that does not mean it’s negligible. Take a look at the PACs and lobbyists who donate to politicians as well: tobacco, liquor, gambling, oil, development, etc. Companies find some senator who votes their way, and send him tens of thousands of shekels–that’s happens all the time. It may be hard to prove that they take bribes or kickbacks, but it certainly does occur.

    • glenn says:

      Shouldn’t we demand reform that essentially blocks all of the financial relationships that occur?

      Wouldn’t it be great to have people serve that have had a successful run in business, bring lots of real world experience, only eligible for two terms – no pay, no benefits, maybe expenses but that is it?

      You would get the Bill Gates of the world stepping up to give back and do their part and we as taxpayers would get a much better shake.

      • Marta says:

        Oh, Glenn…I so totally agree with where you are going on this.

        I believe a lot of people would be SHOCKED to find that a lot these politicians have held no other job than the one they have in Congress. I am talking about a Congress who makes all kinds of rules and regulations for businesses to adhere to, and they themselves have absolutely NO concept of what it’s really like running a business!

        Last night my husband and I listened to Andy Rooney. What an ignoramous. He was complaining about going to the doctor and the bill his insurance company had to pay for his visit….($250.00)

        Rooney said, the doctor came in and commented to him that he enjoyed watching him on 60 Minutes and then proceeded to ask him about his ailment. Rooney said the doctor didn’t even touch him and then billed his insurance company…for what he thought was this enormous amount. Rooney made it seem as though this doctor was pocketing $250.00. And, unfortunately, that is how Rooney’s audience viewed it as well.

        Me thinks, perhaps Rooney thought he should get a special deal because of who he was?

        What really makes me mad is Rooney doesn’t understand the business of being a doctor enough to explain it fairly to his audience.

        Doesn’t he know that the receptionist and nurse and office manager’s salary is coming out of that $250.00. The rental for the doctor’s office, the phone bill, the bookkeeper, not to mention a big chunk of it has to go for malpractice insurance.

        And, Congress doesn’t understand this. I think it would be most excellent if small business owners were our representatives in Congress.

        Get the BIG BOYS OUT.

  7. horatiox says:

    Yes, but the PACs and corporate involvement in politics should be considered as well. Powerful companies and corps. have hundreds of lobbyists working for them–

    When it’s corn or dairy farmers, or lumber people, one can understand it, slightly. What about casinos, liquor corporations, tobacco–or porno companies? They donate millions to keep their rackets going as well. Or consider the GOP’s ties to Big oil–and much as I would like to agree with Mr Duck, examine the votes of GOP senators and even many Demos in regards to energy/oil: they nearly always side with the petroleum companies. So, it’s systemic: corporations control the political process to a large extent.

    Efficient interventionist policies would prevent the oligopoly from running American politics. Not that I expect much to happen. Naderism is a thing of the past: we’re most likely headed to Dystopia-land–at least until the Hugo Chavezes of the USA get rolling.

    • JoeDuck says:

      Assuming it’s only a small number of politicians, less than 10% of politicians or so who are “on the take” or receiving kickbacks, etc. that does not mean it’s negligible.

      I think I agree if your point is that it’s still deserves our attention. We should keep looking for corruption and we should certainly continue to punish it severely, but I’m concerned that labelling all politicians as “corrupt” as many do distracts the pols and us from the big tasks at hand. The Lewinsky affair distracted Clinton and the country from Rwandan genocide. Even if you think Clinton’s misleading testimony was a crime you’d be hard pressed to show that anything came of this other than more partisan inefficiency, national turmoil and distraction from important issues.

      Take a look at the PACs and lobbyists who donate to politicians as well: tobacco, liquor, gambling, oil, development, etc. Companies find some senator who votes their way, and send him tens of thousands of shekels–that’s happens all the time. It may be hard to prove that they take bribes or kickbacks, but it certainly does occur.

      Now, this is a rock solid concern and the problem is that it is not usually corruption, rather our system has evolved to allow money/power/lobby relationships that are dysfunctional. You are listing some of the parties to this but many of the the biggest contributors – especially if you include election help – tend to be unions and left and rights wing fronts like Moveon, Swiftboats. I think Glenn may include this in his “corruption” definition and if you do the point is stronger, but for me these are very complicated defects in our system and they are hard to unwind. One solution might be to find a way to prevent all paid lobbying, period. Since lobbying has a lot of constitutional protections, it might be interesting to create an “above the influence” party that would never meet with paid lobbyists and would point fingers at all who do. This would require a lot of small individual contributions, but I think people would appreciate the concept.

      • Marta says:

        When the story broke about Clinton’s dalliances in the Oval Office he bombed an aspirin factory to show he was on top of things, other than Lewinsky.

        I have often wondered how many people died because he wasn’t doing his job properly.

  8. JoeDuck says:

    corporations control the political process to a large extent.

    I think this one is hard to support. e.g. the power players in the last election were left wing activist groups, unions, young people, regular folks. Sure Obama had some corporate support but even his endorsement by Warren Buffet was more of a personal thing than a company one.

    If you are saying the USA is a fairly corporate friendly country I agree, but if anything I’d say that our system gives too much power to small, ranting anti-corporate forces who are not representing the collective interests well at all. e.g. “The Corporation” documentary or Michael Moore’s “Capitalism, a Love Story” are well crafted hit pieces on US style corporations – I don’t see much counter propaganda that gets that anything like that kind of air time or exposure.

    So I see the same problem as with “All Pols are Corrupt”. We love to paint negatively with a broad brush when in fact the US system as it exists is remarkably good – vibrant and effective, prosperous and flexible. [marching band music plays here]

    • horatiox says:

      Michael Moore’s “Capitalism, a Love Story” are well crafted hit pieces on US style corporations –

      I haven’t seen it yet–though Mr.Moore’s done pretty well in capitalist USA. However, given the lending crisis, AIG, G-sachs, JP Morgan, not to say bull market in crude oil, precious metals, tech. stocks war profiteering during the BushCo years, Moore’s flick may not be completely unwarranted. Many people who defend free market econ. at any cost don’t realize the real costs of that free market system.

      Over the last few years, foreclosures have increased, unemployment rate has risen, property values have gone down, and gas prices up: those are the results of the Bush Admin.’s boomtown/de-reg policies, I believe, helped along by corporate liberals. De-reg may benefit some–like, wealthy investors and speculators—but it doesn’t help all. I don’t care too much for Demos, either, but Obama inherited the mess.

      • glenn says:

        Isn’t it ironic that Moore became a millionaire because of capitalism…LOL…cracks me up.

        He is living the American dream and wants to extinguish it for everyone else…it is amazing that he can go around do what he does and not recognize what allowed him to get where he is.

        Capitalism isn’t the problem, greedy, unethical, corrupt scumbags gaming capitalism are…

      • JoeDuck says:

        It’s true there is economic turmoil and a lot of suffering (though nothing like what most experience in other countries even without an economic meltdown), but we’d had decades of great prosperity before this. Leaving aside my worries about long term huge deficit spending I think it is remarkable how quickly the economy appears to be recovering from the depression of 2008/9

  9. Marta says:

    Joe~

    Vibrant and effective, prosperous and flexible???…It is NOT…Do you understand all the money the Treasury is printing and the effect this is having on our nation? Do you know that Moody’s is getting ready to downgrade our credit rating and do you understand what effect this will have on our nation? Have you read the latest unemployment figures? And, have you heard Biden declare we are in a depression?

    What are you reading? Where are you getting your news from?

    • JoeDuck says:

      Hi Marta

      Moody’s downgrade of the US Govt Treasuries and massive printing?
      I don’t think so – do you have a source for this?

      There’s certainly a RISK of that happening because the USA has been on a massive spending binge since 2001 and it’s not sustainable, but so far the Bernanke team has managed the stimulus effectively, delaying the problems. I worry we can’t keep up the planned spending and I think they will revise the budgets soon as the international community continues to express concern that the US economy is weakened by all this spending.

      My favorite sources for Govt news is CSPAN where you are hearing things straight from the horses’ mouths. It’s easy to mischaracterize pols as corrupt if you mostly just read blogs that support that view or watch snake oil folks like Beck or Limbaugh who are whipping up gullible audiences using talking points with little basis in fact. Mostly they are trying to villify because gullible people soak up that nonsense without checking their facts.

      I’m always trying to look at these things from a global perspective, comparing our US system to the alternatives. Some countries have it better than we do but they tend to be much, much smaller.

      It’s easy to say “throw the bums out” but who would you put in there? I’d encourage you and Glenn to go meet with your own representative and Senator – many will do personal meetings but almost all of them have town halls. These are NOT corrupt people! They are like most of us – hard working and honest.

      Exceptions. Throw these bums OUT: http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org/summaries/

      • glenn says:

        Joe I think Marta was referring to the warning Moody issued last week stating if we do not do something drastic about our spending and deficits that America is in danger of losing its AAA rating. It is a real and serious issue and on our given course everything about our country is being downgraded…but don’t worry every kid in school will be given a passing grade whether they pass or not…after it is all about educationaljustice is it not (sar).

        You don’t think the Fed is massively printing money right now? You have got to be kidding – just look at the money supply it has grown over 400% in the last 12 months – might even be more.

        Look at the bond transactions with China, et al and you will see we are buying back 35-50% of those bond transactions within days – this is a shady way of monetizing debt – they try to fly it under the radar but if you are willing to look a the bond transactions you will see it happening.

  10. leland stamper says:

    (3) Glenn, Here’s a name for you- Peter DeFazio. How is this congressman corrupt?

    • glenn says:

      Hey LS…

      Two areas that stick out immediately with DeFazio…his deals with the Indian Tribes and the railroads…coupled with this sponsored legislation. Have to time the donations to his votes, etc…

      I suspect they were rent-seeking and he played along.

      I will research it more deeply I don’t have all the records for Oregon but I will request them and import them into my neural net that determines the relationships. It works great…literally can show me timing of donations to votes on issues – it would blow your mind just how bad this pay off for vote thing is in this country.

      I will say though…DeFazio does seem like a stand up guy and wants to get to the truth however his positions on Climate Change and the Food Modernazation Act are kind of iffy.

  11. JoeDuck says:

    Here’s a great resource for looking up the financial condition of Senators and Congresspeople. Marta and Glenn I’m wondering if you think the ones who came in rich try to pull another few thousand out of the lobbyists? Why would they do that – risk reputation and honor to be .01% richer? Why do you apply such a different standard of honor to them that you apply to yourselves?

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

    • Marta says:

      Joe, Joe

      They don’t use their OWN money to stay in Congress.

      They use taxpayer money to fund their special pork projects, that benefits the lobbyists and their coalitions and then the lobbyists turn around and give to the politicians’ campaign coffers and essentially pay them to stay in Congress…so they can do it all again next year…and the years and years after that.

      They don’t pocket that pocket the money outright! But, it’s used to keep them in power, so they do get full benefits from it.

      And, I’m not saying all polticians are corrupt… But, I am saying there are more that are corrupt than there are that are not.

      I saw Dianne Feinstein’s name on that NetWorth page you suggested. I guess you are unaware of all the special breaks she has voted in for her district so her husband could take SPECIFIC advantage of them, do you?

  12. JoeDuck says:

    Marta it’s about power much more than money. Take Cheney or Rham Emmanuel. These were both guys who left HUGE money jobs to serve their/our Presidents. This happens all the time. Take Barney Frank (please, take him – I disagree with most of his ideas!). But he’s not rich even though he could be if he left congress and used all those contacts. You seem to think people like Frank help their friends who then get rich and kick back money to them but this rarely happens. ay what you want to about their politics, but to think these guys are after money is just ridiculous. They want to help shape the world, and they get to do that.

    • glenn says:

      Joe politics isn’t about money (it is after they get out of office) it is about influence and power plus the side-deals they always get into (stocks, real estate, etc).

      These people need to be in power to stoke their egos and narcissitic ways.

      It is a mistake to think that they pocket the money directly…there are a few of those…I call them the Trafficants of the world.

      But you need to look at the timing of donations in relation to votes and sponsorship of bills.

  13. JoeDuck says:

    Marta

    unaware of all the special breaks she has voted in for her district so her husband could take SPECIFIC advantage of them

    Not aware of this and I’m very skeptical. Sounds like the claims that Cheney voted for the Iraq war to get Halliburton more money. (so he could donate his options money to charity!?!) It doesn’t work that way. Mostly honorable people acting honorably. Don’t be blinded by the lies and distortions of the ranting kooks out there – this is a great country and it’s going to stay that way.

  14. Marta says:

    Joe, there is just no debating with you. You have such an idealistic view of things.

    Before you go spewing off about Cheney, why don’t you do a little investigative research on Mrs. Feinstein yourself and specifically address the comments I have made.

    You say you get your news from C-SPAN. As Brian Lamb is a liberal, I understand now why you would want to watch C-SPAN.

    Do you ever objectively research the facts yourself?

    Have you ever heard of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals?

    • glenn says:

      Feinstein is riddled with shady deals.

      So is Pelosi with her dealings on legeslation that protected DOLE and many more things.

      No one has disputed that every leader in Congress now is corrupt – I think that interesting. We all know deep in our hearts something isn’t right with what is going on.

      Our Republic is strong and will overcome the forces just trying to make us just another country in the UN. Someday America will be #1 again…as it should be.

      Marta the one good thing we have going for us…the blueprint for all these shenenagans is readily available to us (Clover/Piven/Alinsky).

    • JoeDuck says:

      Marta I’m somewhat familiar with Alinsky. I’m not a fan of Alinsky’s socialistic ideas but he’s also not the sinister figure people like Beck make him out to be. Beck and Limbaugh and Hannity inspire people to *hate* their political opponents rather than talk with them.

      Obama is hardly Alinsky material. That’s the funny thing about this debate – on the one hand you worry he’s a radical but the people who really ARE socialists and radicals are not happy at all with him either – they want the kind of socialistic change we’ll (thankfully) never see in this country.

  15. Marta says:

    Who is this Glenn guy that keeps posting. Does he have a blog, too?

    I would love to subscribe to it.

    I like people that don’t just read and believe, but read and research it for themselves.

    • glenn says:

      I am Joe’s arch nemisis…LOL. Actually Joe is a really great guy and I certainly appreciate his blog and the interesting people that post here.

      http://perspectivesat.blogspot.com/

      You can find some older posts there…

      • Marta says:

        I have Bookmarked your BlogSpot and will happily read your posts later.

        Glenn Beck is coming on, on FoxNews in 15 minutes and I know Joe wouldn’t want me to miss out on my “ditto mode”.

        Hey, the Los Angeles Office of the FBI watches it everyday to get leads on what Acorn is up to, so, why shouldn’t I?

        🙂

  16. FredEMac says:

    “Politicians are generally honest, hard working people who have sacrificed lucrative professions and wealth in favor of their public service.”

    I stopped reading there. You’re an idiot. IF this is true, explain why most Congresscritters are millionaires or multimillionaires? Expklain why they keep excluding themselves from the laws they write for the rest of us??

    All they have sacrificed is actually “working” for a living and making an “honest” living.

    • JoeDuck says:

      I stopped reading there. You’re an idiot

      Welcome to the blog Fred. What laws are congresspeople excluding themselves from? A lot are rich going in to congress though many have negative net worth. If they are as corrupt as you think then why wouldn’t they simply put all that cash in Swiss accounts and leave the country after first term?

  17. leland stamper says:

    Glenn, maybe you missed it (11) How is Peter DeFazio corrupt?

  18. the next generation says:

    “Politicians are generally honest, hard working people who have sacrificed lucrative professions and wealth in favor of their public service.” … seriously, Duck???

    How about Maxine Waters? http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/13/us/politics/13waters.html
    http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/13/culture-of-corruption-banking-hypocrite-maxine-waters/

  19. Lee says:

    Oh really? – How do you explain the incredible increase in the net worth of members of the House and Senate?

    • Marta says:

      So true.

      These people don’t go in to office worth that much. And, they don’t really make enough to amass such wealth.

      So, where is it coming from. How has it been made?

    • horatiox says:

      Spot on. Modern American politicians on both sides of the house not only serve as public officials, but rake it in they do–. As with Dame Feinstein, millionaire–she lives in a ostentatious mansion in downtown SanFrancisco with Blum, Uc regent, exec on defense companies, etc. Pelosi also is very wealthy. I suspect the Demos out-rate the GOPers in terms of combined net-worth as well (as BO and HRC had double or triple in their campaign chests what the GOP good ol boys had during campaign season).

      Now, that in itself may not prove corruption, but does suggest a certain …oligarchic-like quality.

      • JoeDuck says:

        does suggest a certain …oligarchic-like quality

        Yes it does and yes we do have that and yes it’s probably less desirable than a more egalitarian system where people can easily rise to the top of the political heap. However Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Obama were not “oligarchy insiders” and they made it to the top.

    • JoeDuck says:

      Lee what data are you talking about that shows an incredible net worth increase?

      Many are rich going in. e.g. Pelosi, Kerry, McCain, Cheney, Bush. They don’t do this for the money – that’s just a dumb, dumb idea and it’s amazing to me how many here are supporting that ridiculous notion.

      Do you think Arnold S is running around stuffing $100 bills in his pockets to supplement his 500,000,000 current net worth?

      So you think most congresspeople manage to squirrel away millions in their personal accounts while in office? That’s just nonsense.

      There are a handful of cases where people steal the taxpayers money – but it’s the exception not the rule. Those who disagree are looking at a few instances and suggesting – very foolishly and naively – that this proves a point.

      Congressional finances are fairly transparent.

      • glenn says:

        Joe it isn’t about stuffing their pockets with Franklins…

        It is about the power and access they achieve that allows them to build outragous wealth.

        Perfect example: Al Gore… the biggest fraud and scam artist in the history of this country. The crimes his father committed against the envirornment should force Al and the next 10 generations to forfeit any wealth…afterall that would be environmentaljustice wouldn’t it?

        Don’t forget…he invented the internet!!!

      • horatiox says:

        Ahhnuld the multi-millionaire acts squeaky clean: he doesn’t need to take a bribe or kickback. But everything he does politically advances the interests of the GOP Yacht Club (not even moderate repubs). Politicians like Ahhnuld who were wealthy when voted into office probably don’t have the need to rip off taxpayers, but that doesn’t mean they should be given carte blanche–Ahhnuld’s taken out more loans than Davis did, for one (breaking a campaign promise). Moreover any candidate with Ahhnuld-like wealth also has a great advantage over ordinary citizens with an interest in politics, but ordinary budgets.

        Also keep in mind many of the recent whistleblower/watchdog laws (like the Brown Law in California). Many politicians are being monitored to a greater extent than they were a few years ago. They may act “more ethically” now because they have to, since all their communications are watched/followed/monitored. They want to avoid scandal at any cost–so they probably arrange the graft, kickbacks and sex tours in Brazil like hushhush, out on the yachts or fairways. 😉

  20. JoeDuck says:

    Those of you who are so convinced the pols are corrupt liars and swindlers should sit down with one of theme sometime. You are just pointing to a few isolated people/incidents and corruptions stories and thinking that is representative, when it is not.

    It’s odd because many of you seem to believe in the principles of the founders and believe they established a great country. I don’t follow the case that says “our country is great, but our Govt is totally corrupt”. You can’t have both. What exactly are you defending if not the ongoing constitutional framework and governance we have had and continue to have? Are you saying something changed on Nov 8 and NOW the Govt is all corrupt? Nonsense!

  21. Marta says:

    No, we are saying it has been corrupt for a long time and all this corruption is FINALLY coming to ahead.

    And, by the way:

    BO inherited this financial mess from Barney Frank, not just George W. Bush.

    • JoeDuck says:

      There’s certainly many to blame for the current massive deficits and 11+ Trillion national debt. However it really was GW who started this major debt ball rolling by spending more. Clinton had pretty much balanced the federal budget – much better job than Reagan in fact – something a lot of folks conveniently forget.

      • Marta says:

        You need to get your facts alittle straighter.

        Barney Frank and Acorn had a BIG, BIG role to play in this mess we are in now with these mortgages, foreclosures…etc.

  22. glenn says:

    Joe corruption has been brewing for a long time. Now it is mainstay with all the PACS, lobbyists, etc…

    It is part of the system. The problem is that the American voter has gotten to apathetic and they are finally awakening.

    However it is a fact…if we don’t deal with corruption and eliminate it…it will be the downfall of our great country.

    Our country is currently on a downward spiral all because of the catering to special interest and political correctness – which both are great examples of corruption.

  23. Fred says:

    The problem is that the politicians who ARE corrupt are the ones who have risen to the highest ranks of power within our government and are circumventing the constitution in a myriad of documented ways. So maybe all politicians are not corrupt, and maybe even most politicians are not corrupt. But they know who the few corrupt ones ARE, and these “clean” politicians need to start out-ing the corrupt ones.

  24. JoeDuck says:

    Marta I’ve spent far too much time tracking down isolated talking points only to find they had little relevance. Some are just disagreements about interpretation, most are dumb like the “Obama born in Kenya” nonsense by the dishonest swindler Jerome Corsi (now THERE is corrupt guy for you!) I actually wasted my time with that.

    The truth is clear if you open your eyes to more information from extensive sources. I spend a LOT of time doing that. If you only read kooky, poorly sourced stuff or listen to the ranting class on MSNBC, FOX you’ll get stuck in ditto mode.

    C-SPAN is filled with the people we are talking about speaking about their actions and decisions.

  25. JoeDuck says:

    “clean” politicians need to start out-ing the corrupt ones.

    Fred I agree with this. It’s painful to watch how partisan the attacks become when there are ethics violations, and this is an important area for congressional reform.

    I’m not saying our system is flawless – it’s far from that. What I’m saying is that it’s pretty good by global standards and it’s important we keep it that way.

    • glenn says:

      I will give you that Joe…it is certainly better than most.

      The one major problem now we have and why corruption is bubbling to the top…it is about the amount of money and waste. It is staggering and our government programs are riddle with fraud, etc…look at medicare and now they want to supercharge it…

      We can’t survive these spending levels even if every single person was honest and ethical…when you compound it with leadership that is corrupt it only amplifies the problem.

      Remember no matter how bad our congress screws up…we the taxpayers are stuck picking up the pieces and paying for their mistakes…I can swallow that if they are honest…but I just can’t see having to pay for mistakes for the likes of Reid or Rangel, etc…

  26. JoeDuck says:

    Glenn I think you include the massive waste in the corruption equation. I don’t do that. If I DID include “waste” and inefficient spending then I’d have to agree we have the most corrupt system in the history of the world.

  27. glenn says:

    Well actually if the waste is tied to special interests and lobbyists paying for access and the congressman gets a donation from them and then either votes for a bill and/or throws down some pork…well then I would count it.

    Otherwise I would classify government waste as theft.

  28. JoeDuck says:

    Marta I just looked up the Feinstein husband thing and it appears no corruption there according to an investigation of her husband getting a lucrative FDIC contract:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090923-712562.html

    Sounds a lot like the (unfair) Cheney criticisms to me – these are BIG business people and they are involved in hundreds of BIG projects, often as one of a small number of companies that can take on, for example, nation building projects. The system certainly overspends but I hardly think Cheney or Feinstein sit around directing contracts to their friends or relatives. They have a lot bigger fish to fry.

    • glenn says:

      Joe the fact of the matter is the politicians typically setup blind LLC’s or trusts where they can bury their associations so they can benefit from all types of “business” arrangements that escape any scrutiny until someone in the loop decides to speak out. It is very easy for someone with the type of power that they have to get away with massive corruption.

      You can see how they scramble when they block investigations of people like Rangel, Conyers, etc…because they these people will talk

  29. glenn says:

    I love the way Horatiox says things…it is beautiful…

  30. glenn says:

    Joe I know you think Glenn Beck is nuts but this video from tonight really resonates with a very large group of ever expanding Americans.

    I think this video demonstrates that Glenn Beck gets it and understands what will be the majority of voters thinking come elections in 2010.

    It is time to stop voting against something…it is time to vote for whomever supports your values and principles. The two party system is destroying our country.

    Video Link

    • JoeDuck says:

      One of the biggest factors you keep ignoring is that younger voters are the key to the future elections. Unless there’s a major meltdown the Dems will do fine in 2010 and Obama will win again in 2012.

      I think after that, as the massive spending chickens come home to roost, we’ll see the pendulum swing back and hopefully there will be room for a third party based on principles of founders rather than the current “culture conservative” movement that does not speak to true conservative founding values of small govt, separation of church and state, smart spending, small military, individual freedom, entrepreneurship.

      • glenn says:

        Actually Joe in the southern states there is a marked shift of the younger generation. There is one major factor that I don’t think is being talked about.

        16-23 yr old…is over 50% unemployment this year. They are starting to blame the Dems…and because they think they were promised something from Obama during the campaign – that is the big chicken that is coming home to roost and when the younger generation understands just how bad they were swindled they will have a very large amount of anger.

        It is really strange when you go back and look at what people like Al Gore was saying to students in speeches…it is really diabolical…things like “you know you people in this room know something your parents don’t”, etc…it is classic scamarella in action.

        Like I said over a year ago…this entire progressive scam will come crashing down and I expect many very prominent congressional leaders to have their walking papers next year.

  31. glenn says:

    Yeah there wasn’t any corruption with Freddie and Fannie…ah its all hearsay…

    http://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/26/nation/na-emanuel-freddie26

  32. horatiox says:

    The Beckster’s part of the problem, G., sorry to say. As are his Elders in LDS-Co.

    • glenn says:

      He is only part of the problem if…

      1) You don’t believe in free speech
      2) If you believe government has the answer

      Which most of America doesn’t agree with either of those two points…that is why he has the highest rated show in history for that time slot.

      • horatiox says:

        Beck just continues the Limbaugh-speak. Fox pundits–or Katie Courics for that matter– aren’t really exercising free speech. It’s not exactly PBS. They work for Rupert Murdoch, and massive media corporations. All Ad Populus, Glennster–race baiting as well, and trite flag waving. Fox knows what the Billy Bobs of America want, and they serve it to ’em. Other networks do the same–CBS with 60s minutes say. They target an audience. Beck’s hardly different than…..Oprah. Pundits sell a product–not about objective reporting, really.

        For that matter, government intervention in itself is not evil, regardless of what the Aynnie Rand right insists. Like workplace safety laws: a good idea. Taxation also serves a purpose. Public education is a good idea, at least in principle. Many other govt. regs. are in principle positives–including a public option to health care. Intervention wrongly applied can be a problem, of course, but it’s the old Gingrich/teabagger line of BS to say that intervention never works. To the contrary, de-reg rarely works–as the lending crisis demonstrated.

    • glenn says:

      And NO ONE has shown Glenn Beck to be wrong about the people associated with Obama – NO ONE.

      The liberal left in this country just can’t handle the truth – they never could – it is always spin…it is always ideology trumps all…people can’t handle the truth…they need the government to tell them what to do. For those that are like that…they are the scurge of a free society and need to move to another country.

      • horatiox says:

        Why did Obama the liberal increase funding for the DoD?? Why did he agree to Paulsen/GOP arranged bailout? Why does he have Goldman-sachs people in charge of his econ. policies?? Why did he appeal to religious fundamentalists, or appoint moderate Dems to his admin., like Hillary or Biden?? Etc etc. He’s merely a few small steps to the center away from Bush/Cheney right–sort of a Clinton corporate democrat, with a few differences. Hillary’s hardly different than Bush.

  33. Marta says:

    Hey Joe…

    I noticed you never answered my question.

    Have you ever heard of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals? Obama’s bible?

  34. glenn says:

    Hortiox…PBS has never been about free speech – it has always been influenced and controlled by the government…or have you forgotten the debate with Gwen…ROFL.

    Yes as I said a year ago…Obama would be no different than Bush on ALL the policies the left was screaming about the only difference now is Obama is happy to wait to supply our troops but he has no problem forcing through HIS agenda because it is an emergency or he has no problem playing golf (already he has played more than Bush played in 3 years) and he has attended more than 22 fund raisers so far.

    Maybe he is afraid of sending more troops because they will air raid villages and kill civilians…oh wait he changed the rules of engagement so all the enemy needs to do now is dress like a civilian and we can’t engage them. – Yea this is just brilliant.

    This is a President who is an extreme narcissist that has a top priority of feeding his ego and not doing what is right for this country.

    BTW…Horatiox…people choose to listen to Limbaugh, Mathews, Olberman, Beck…they are not the problem. If the government were actually doing what the majority of the country wanted…those guys wouldn’t have an audience.

    As Reagan said…THE GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM!!!

    • horatiox says:

      You mean like the DoD? Over 50% of Fed. taxes go to DoD. So, when the Foxster/GOP type argues for less government, he usually means except the Defense budget.

      And I suspect you’re a businessman. Yes, govt. does hamper the small businessmen at times–like those damn health care premiums, or worker’s comp, etc. Many a businessman would just eliminate that requirement.

      Most conservative businessmen do not argue for political justice or efficiency, or dare we say the Good: they merely argue against policies which impact their profit margin. Poll your employees and I wager they would be in favor of employer paid premiums, and the rest (or Medicare, but that too will cost employers–and should).

      Anyway, you missed the point. You predictably argue for De-reg across the board, just as Gingrich/Gramm did in 90s. That policy failed.

      • glenn says:

        Horatiox…the problem is…

        There is no such thing as racial justice, political justice, ecnomoic justice, hate crimes, hate speech, etc…

        They are ALL excuses for additional government control based on falsehoods…in fact every single one those things cause reverse descrimination and somehow that is ok…it is no different then when the first “offense” occured.

        Murder is murder regardless of who caps whom. It is ridiculous how our government contains groups of people into victim status – have you ever asked why they do that? It is because they want to lock in a vote…it rarely has nothing to do with helping them…it only has to do with helping themselves.

        We have created a class of victicrats in this country and the vast majority vote Democrat and how come after decades of voting Democrat they are STILL victicrats? A lot of good that vote did for them.

        Of course when the hard-working American gets tagged by the government…they aren’t a victim…it is justice.

        The whole thing is absurd.

      • glenn says:

        BTW…last time I looked we are supposed to be the country of equal opportunity…not equal result.

        I will fight for equal opportunity and I will fight against equal result.

        Look at affirmative action in this country – a lot of good that has done. Nobody wants to look honestly at the liberal programs and ultimately their horrible track record of results because things like affirmative action not only make sure certain groups get the jobs…it also makes sure they keep the jobs…so much for performance, so much for equal opportunity…

        Regardless of a person’s religion, race, etc…their ability to get and keep a job should be based on their performance and nothing else. That is how you achieve efficiency.

      • horatiox says:

        I thought we were discussing economics. Now you’re back to Limbaugh-libertarian speak. De-reg failed, either way. Free market econ. does not always, or even the majority of the time result in good economics: even the Great Depression proved that. Keynes himself supported intervention of various types (though not really adequate). The founding fathers argued for taxation–including estate taxes–in hopes of preventing dynasties (like the Bush dynasty).

        We might debate affirmative action–a separate issue. Racism of various sorts does exist. I am opposed to hiring quotas or preferences, but in some circumstances, Affirm.-action might be justified.

  35. Marta says:

    Glenn~

    Do you ever feel like you are Arguing With Idiots?

    LOL

  36. horatiox says:

    Like you Marta? Which point do you dispute–that de-reg led to the lending crisis? Care to wager on that? In fact bipartisan–Gingrich/Gramm helped by Bill Clinton.

    We mistook you for a rational person, Marta. Now you sound like Foxster material as well. Maybe the Mormons next?? Donde estan las Placas de oro……

    • glenn says:

      Actually I think Marta was making a joke about Glenn Beck’s latest best seller. I really don’t think she thinks you guys are idiots…I know for a fact that you and Joe and literally anyone that posts here isn’t an idiot.

      But if you are not familar with the book I can see how you would take it that way.

      These are tough times and people are very frustrated, passionate, take your pick…there is an over-abundance of energy and if the truth doesn’t start coming regardless of how bad that truth is…we are in for some very dark and dangerous times.

  37. Marta says:

    Let’s get this straight.

    Barney Frank corrupted the rules of De-Regulation and he got the ball rolling towards the lending crisis.

    Ah, Gingrich/Gramm…True Conservative Republicans they are Not, just Progressives like Clinton…so, the bipartisanship was just a smoke and mirrors game between the three of them.

    And, because like Glenn said, “..NO ONE has shown Glenn Beck to be wrong about the people associated with Obama – NO ONE.”

    I guess this makes me a “Foxster Material Girl.”

  38. horatiox says:

    Spare us your Barney-chant–this isn’t the Fox blog, or LDS.com, or Billy Bob baptists (yet). The lending crisis was in the works for years, if not decades.

    First off, Freddie-Mac was a NIXON plan, yet did not go far enough for the finance boys. Even during the Reagan era, financiers wanted to have New Deal regs overturned. Gingrich and Gramm worked towards that goal throughout the 90s, and finally succeeded when Clinton signed off on de-reg (google around for empirical proof of that. {Academic economists agree}. Or peruse a bit of Alex Cockburn’s writings).

    The Pelosicrats and Frank arrived late in the game. They may have stalled on the F-mac problem, but the GOP controlled congress until 2004–and did nothing. Why should they have? It was mostly a bullish market, for lenders, for speculators, oil biz. The lenders write the loans anyway. Had the GOPCongress/Clinton not gutted regs many bad loans would not have been made.

    Glenn Beck’s sort of Limbaugh cleaned up, sober, pitching Norman Rockwell Amerika to crackerland.

  39. Marta says:

    So, when Barney Frank forced banks to lend money to people that couldn’t afford the loans for houses…that, had nothing to do with the lending crisis we have now? And, then, when Freddie Mac purchased the bad loans and spiffed them up to investors around the world, that didn’t lead to the crisis.

    Is that what you are saying?

    As far as I can see, there is PLENTY of blame to spread around to both sides. The law of unintended circumstances always manages to rear its ugly head.

    That’s why I think we should throw ALL the bums out and start afresh.

    William Buckley once said, and I’m paraphrasing here, you could pick the first 400 people out of a telephone book and get better results.

    • glenn says:

      Exactly…

      This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue…

      This is just a small difference on how much government and spending should happen.

      They are all in…for the power…

      We need to clean house…the Hoffman election will speak volumes…remember if he gets elected there…that is a very liberal district…it will be interesting for sure.

      This all sure makes for a good argument FOR TERM LIMITS

      • JoeDuck says:

        Glenn and Marta if you really see this as a nonpartisan issue you it would be nice to hear a lot more about your concerns with Republican power players, Sarah Palin’s many ethical lapses, etc.

        Blaming Barney Frank for the mortgage crisis isn’t justified. He played a role and supported bad legislation that encouraged foolish loans, but there is good research now and it’s clear that the “loans to the poor” programs were not the big problem here – they appear to be just a minor factor. [look this stuff up for goodness sake!].

        I noticed that Beck on TV is milder than Beck on radio which I think is where he goes all whacko about the “rooms” of “communists” and such nonsense. It’s hard for me to understand how you can treat people like Beck as purveyors of news – he’s an ideologue and has very little interest in anything but his own agenda. Do you think he works to find any facts that would contradict his ranting? Of course not. If you don’t either, then you *cannot* consider yourself informed on matters he discusses.

    • horatiox says:

      No. That’s just the Limbaugh/FOX BS spin–try to tie it all to Frank, and make all the biblethumpers happy. (and Glenn’s generalizations generally don’t matter) The laws were changed by the GingrichGOP, and Clinton: they did away with the regs on lending, including the restrictions on lending to poor, unqualified. Frank wasn’t even around. They overturned the Glass Steagall act, which prevented speculation with mortgage funds, and other regs kept lenders from writing C paper–Gingrich did away with that. The Lenders WANTED that.

      JPMorgan AIG G/sachs Countrywide et all are not the govt. are they? That’s who created the lending crisis (though the GOP gave ’em the reins)–blame the underwriters as much as anyone. The bureaucrats are merely umpires–perhaps corrupt or inefficient, but not the instigators.

      • glenn says:

        There is so much blame to go around Horatiox…but many of the key individuals to blame including Frank, Dodd, Schumer, etc… should NOT be in office.

        They have obstructed justiced and derailed investigations, etc…

    • horatiox says:

      Politicians don’t write the loans. Frank may be incompetent, but he didn’t invent Freddie-Mac. Nixon did. (do you have a cite for your claim? sounds Limbaughish)

      Underwriters and lending institutions make the loans,and the decisions. And the GOP itself, following directions from their finance boys and econ. people (Greenspan, mostly) put de-reg into effect. They lowered the bar for borrowers/mortgages.

      (WF Buckley, eh. Holy Napalm-mas, Batman)

  40. JoeDuck says:

    At the bottom of this article is an excellent summary of CRA and how several studies/players view it’s impact on the financial crisis:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Reinvestment_Act

  41. JoeDuck says:

    blame the underwriters

    Yes. Big banks and insurance companies and economic groups that were outside of Gov control (thanks to very aggressive actions by Greenspan, Ruben, Summers) created the derivatives that put us on the brink. In my view Frank was wrong then and he’s still very wrong about how to make a good economy, but he’s not a key factor in this.

    There is a really interesting Frontline about how and why derivatives didn’t get regulated when they came into prominence back in the Clinton days.

    Wait a minute … the financial crisis must all be Monica Lewinsky’s fault!?

    • glenn says:

      And Joe people you support are about to bring in the biggest swap and derivative SCAM in the history of the world…and yet SILENCE…

  42. glenn says:

    You guys should read what you write.

    I find it amusing that no where, here or anywhere else does anyone say that Glenn Beck has it wrong.

    The responses are: he is a drug addict, a recovering addict, or his generalizations don’t matter…

    That is Alinsky in spades and if you are participating in it…you are by definition an OBOT.

    You can’t deal with the truth, you have no interest in the truth. What Glenn Beck is doing on his show is exposing in their own words what lunatics that the messiah has selected to guide his administration. Obama has picked some people that if you saw on the street and they said to you what they are saying you would probably kick them in the teeth – this is the most anti-American administration in history and if you refuse to see the truth then YOU are part of the problem and you have NO interest in being informed.

    Glenn Beck wouldn’t even exist if the media did their job…unless you think the media should be a propoganda arm of the Whitehouse well only if a liberal is in there.

    Geesh…guys look at what you are saying. NOT ONCE have you shown anything un-true that Glenn Beck is saying. What is really scary is he probably has most of the facts and if you don’t wake up to them you will wake up very soon and this country will not be what you think it is.

    You don’t attack Glenn Beck, attack what he is saying…prove he is wrong…and if he is right…then attack the media for not reporting it to you. If a recovering drug addict scumbag who generalizes like Glenn Beck (sar) can figure this out…I am sure the almight CNN can?

    Look at what has happened with ACORN…most likely the most corruption organization in the history of our country and as of next week thanks to the ever so innocent under age pimping ho-man Barney Frank is going to get over $5 billion of OUR money to continue their criminal activities…YET THERE IS NO OUTRAGE FROM ANYONE IN CONGRESS OVER THIS…WTF????

    And Joe…CRA was most definitely the stupidest thing EVER. How about this…if you feel like you have been discrminated against you can go to a government agency that will investigate (at no charge to you) what happened and if they find out that you should have gotten that mortgage based on your financial soundness and credit worthiness then the bank must give you the home free and clear…but if they find out the bank didn’t discriminate then you owe the government for the investigation. HOW IS THAT UNFAIR?

    How about something like this…hey you paid over $1 million in taxes so far…since you have done your fair share you don’t have to pay another dime. Thanks for being such a great American.

    Or how about since you served the military in combat and now your back…you should get the same healthcare as a senator for life?

    See those solutions are based in common sense and reward people for good choices and efforts…

    We live in an era where Obama just got the Noble Peace Prize for NOTHING.

    This pattern of recklessness recognition is going to completely demoralize society as a whole.

    • horatiox says:

      ACORN does not receive very much at all from the Feds. I doubt the entire ACORN budget equals the cost of one F-18; certainly not one Stealth–probably not Arnold Schwarzi’s bank account. They were already under investigation anyway (and probably should have been).

      Either way, the Teabagger/Fox/biblethumper entrapment scam BACKFIRED, Glennster. Only like one or two offices out of dozens fell for it. The camera crew and phony “pimp” probably violated the law–they did not ask the people to consent to be filmed, for one. Most offices turned ’em down. It was typical GOP-frat boy dirty tricks.

      • glenn says:

        Horatiox…that isn’t true about the ACORN film scandal. You need to better research the facts.

        You are spewing the liberal deflection talking points. No one wants to discuss the reality of what happened there. I have read the transcripts and seen all the videos released so far…it is no doubt widespread activity within ACORN.

        They also said they have many more films and each time ACORN says one thing – they produce the film that shows ACORN isn’t telling the truth.

        Again no one wants to deal with the truth here…they just want to deflect and damage the courageous whistleblower – this is what journalism is supposed to be about. They are heros. Even the Obudsman for the New York Times admonished the press for missing this story. The really sad part of this story is this could have been reported before the election they knew all about this kind of stuff and they killed the story and YET NO ONE TALKS BOUT THAT…because they said (at the NY Times) that the journalist was told by the higher ups this story is a game changer and we will NOT run it.

        WTF!!!! Unbelievable…

      • horatiox says:

        No, your typical simplistic binary of liberal/conservative doesn’t apply. The film crew was not exposing ACORN corruption: they merely tricked a couple of office workers into giving tacit support to some brothel (which didn’t exist). They didn’t really commit any crime, and they weren’t ACORN management anyway. The phony-pimp video played well out in teabagger land, but really wasn’t anything tangible–merely biblethumping frat-boy kicks, and it is law in some areas that people must consent to being filmed (which the film crew ignored).

        ACORN mostly just gathers signatures anyway. It’s the state’s duty (or Fed’s) to verify the information: any bogus/fraudulent IDs are tossed out. Blame the state/county govt.s. if phony voters are put on rolls (I suspect it happens–but GOP do it as well as Dems).

  43. glenn says:

    And btw…anyone who has supported ACORN, CRA, and these insane government programs should be thrown out of office – and most deserve jail time – irregardless of party.

    And those that want to blame the credit swaps and derivatives…it is freaking funny that many of them support cap&trade which will be 1000 X’s bigger than the credit fiasco…why don’t you try to be consistent and be against ALL of these scams.

  44. Marta says:

    Glenn~

    I LOVE that Great American Holiday calculator on your blogsite.

    Joe, horatiox~

    I know you are both happy that the Dems are in charge and likewise your Obamessiah.

    And, I am sure all that warm and fuzzy Hope & Change is working out for you.

    I have wasted too much of my time, er, attempting to debate the issues here. I need to get back to my primary job and that is trying to find one since I have been laid since January of this year from a position, I dearly loved at a Fortune 500 company.

    A thousand of us were laid-off at that time. But, hey, I had only been there for 15 years.

    So, to Joe & horatiox & any other of you liberal nut jobs out there, FRIKKING riddance.

    • glenn says:

      Marta,

      Spirited debate is great and from my personal experience in talking with both Joe and Horatiox outside of this blog I can say they are both really nice people and I don’t think they are that much in the tank for the Dems…

      Debate and free speech is key because when the discussion ends and people are silenced…chaos and violence ensues.

      Better to get it off your chest whether you win or lose the debate…

      Sorry to hear about your job woes…who knew Pelosi would be right when she said in January that 500 million Americans would lose their job a month (we are on our way).

      Good luck with your job hunt…make sure you look outside your area and for telecommuting jobs if it all possible.

    • horatiox says:

      Non sequitur Miss Marta. I’m not in Demos, anyway–tho’ did support HRC (and chose not to vote)–and Biden to some extent. Sorry to hear about your lay-off, but I doubt even Obama led to your termination.

      You sound like you’re with the Phyliss Schafly sort of GOP-Rotary club types. Wave dat flag ….

      • glenn says:

        Phyliss Schafly…ROFL…my god is she even still alive?

        Horatiox where do you come up with these lines….I almost fell off my chair.

  45. Marta says:

    Glenn~

    Joe and I are cousins.

    • glenn says:

      That actually explains a lot 😛

      Email Joe…he can give you my email I will be glad to circulate your cv to people…people need to work now more than ever.

    • glenn says:

      And family is way more important than politics regardless of where the chips eventually fall…

      I have some die hard liberals in my family and I love them dearly…not everyone can be born a genius 🙂

  46. JoeDuck says:

    Clear thinking isn’t liberal or conservative, smart or dumb. It happens when people pay attention to all the facts and information and go in prepared to be surprised by what they find.

    As soon as you start to view the world through political glasses – which we all unfortunately do far too often – clarity breaks down in favor of support for the ideas we like even if the data doesn’t support them at all.

    • glenn says:

      Exactly Joe…

      So you have to ask yourself this…what is Obama has appointed a lot of marxists, communists, radicals, and revolutionaries into key positions…

      Does it matter? Does it matter to you? Does it matter for this country?

      Does it matter to you that the UN will have power that circumvents our Constitution?

    • horatiox says:

      well-stated. Unfortunately, biblethumpers, most GOPers, and Foxbots seem incapable of clear thinking. Leftists may be as well, but we don’t usually them bleating away on AM radio, or the Fox comedy hour, and no one’s forced to read Kos gonzo-liberalism. There’s a whole slew of loud, right-wing pundits compared to one Janeane Garofalo. (Olbermann’s fairly tame and moderate). Few ‘Mericans know much about the real, euro Left–say a Slavoj Zizek (he’s sort of entertaining,actually).

  47. JoeDuck says:

    Glenn of the thousands of Obama appointments there are exactly *zero* who’d say they are communists. So, how many are hiding in there secretly?

    The UN will always be wimpy compared to US power. They set it up such that Security Council members could cancel out the rest of the world’s decisions if they chose to. That won’t change.

    • glenn says:

      Am I correct to assume that it doesn’t matter to you that he would appoint key figures in his administration that are self-avowed communists, marxists, etc…?

  48. JoeDuck says:

    Glenn of course it would matter and I would not want that, but it’s a moot question since he’s not appointing any.

    However I’d also say that I’m Joe Duck not Joe McCarthy so socialism / communism doesn’t bother me nearly as much as you and I certainly don’t see it as a threat to our way of life. In fact there are some real issues in the way both far left and far right refer to their political enemies as “facists” or “communists”. There are several instances in history where that process of labelling people led to extreme violence, and I worry that fringe elements will interpret the hatred as a right to murder political opponents. It’s very important for the Tea Bag movement to speak out very strongly against the use of violence to force political will, but I’m not clear there is much of that at all.

    Like pretty much all American conservatives and liberals, I see US style capitalism as having kicked communism’s butt to the curb some time ago. Communists in Obama’s closet is a non-issue.

    • glenn says:

      The facts just don’t agree with what you stated here.

      Obama has most definitely appointed marxists, communits, mao supporters, radicals, revolutionarys into his administration.

      I guess you just choose to dismiss the relationships to the organizations, the speeches and writings of these people.

      Any rationale person looking at the information would clearly see where the loyalties of these people are and it isn’t with the free market, capitalism and the American way.

      Their concepts including sterilization of people through the drinking water, redistribution of our wealth to the poor and other countries, nationalization of businesses, control over the media, etc…NONE OF THEM ARE FREE MARKET IDEAS.

  49. horatiox says:

    No, you mean he put blacks, mexicans and women in his admin, Glennster, and according to Beck-Fox-code blacks and mexicans and women are “” marxists, communits, mao supporters, radicals, revolutionarys”””

    • glenn says:

      Horatiox that is a horrible thing to say…seriously nuts and completely racist and sexist. Your teabagger comment was bad enough…but this is way over the top.

      I didn’t realize Cass Sunstein was a black, mexican or a woman…he is one of the worst. Nor John Holdren…give me a break.

      It is doesn’t matter one iota if they are green, transtesticle or a martian…if their views are what they are…that is what it is all about.

      He has appointed true scumbags that are danger to our country.

      How about this rascist insanity from our justice dept…

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/27/justice-department-to-blacks-we-know-better/

      Give me a break Horatiox I don’t have a drop or rascism or sexism in my body. You know nothing about me or my family you might be surprised what you would learn.

      This is what happens when the truth exposes these people for what they are…we have to attack and demonize or marginalize because you can’t win the argument.

      You choose to believe someone who keeps being proven wrong, who lied during the campaign, who has spent 100’s of thousands of dollars to million of other people’s money to hide the truth…why would they do that?

      Hey you forgot gays in your outrageous statement…how come you left them out? Are you a homophobe?

      LOL…geesh…unbelievable…

    • glenn says:

      Why don’t you watch this and learn the truth instead of drinking the kool-aid of racial justice which is just an excuse to enslave more people.

      Why don’t you scream at the liberals with their immigration positions which is totally designed to enslave the Mexican worker in a 21 century slavery system – it is unbelievable what they are doing to Mexicans – they deserve a hell of a lot better.

      • horatiox says:

        You mean they should listen to Foxnews types, Beck, Romney, and stay in some shack in mexico, eh Senor Glennster, or just go back home? Maybe get work with the mafia in an opium or coke production, or Federales–or both–at least until found muerto by 30 or so. Anyway, many CA-GOP and agribusinesses want illegal immigration –they don’t have to pay the illegals regular wage for one, and more or less own them. Capitalism.

  50. glenn says:

    Federal Election Commission records for “Obama for America” show that the lobby organization has paid international law firm Perkins Coie exactly $1,666,397.01 since the 2008 election.

    This is the legal bill so far of Obama covering his tracks…what could he possibly be hiding that is worth $1.6 million!!!

  51. glenn says:

    Horatiox capitalism isn’t breeding the new wave of slavery…it is the political corruption in the system that is doing it.

    Do you think if we actually enforced our immigration laws that we would have this problem?

    Do you think if the agribusinesses didn’t have paid lobbyists corrupting the system that they would be allowed to do this?

    Do you think the average farmer wants this stuff to happen?

    What used to happen is the seasonal workers were brought in for a crop and then they would leave…it wasn’t the best but it worked.

    Why would the Democrats want to keep people down? Because they want them dependent on the system so they can count on them at election time! It is horrible what is done.

    I think immigration built this country but we need a reasonable legal process with reasonable checks and balances and we need to get the illegals out of here…especially the ones involved in criminal activity.

    Haven’t you ever wondered why politicians can’t tell you the truth?

    BTW…you can thank Al Gore for a lot of the current immigration problems…yeah NAFTA was such a great idea…

    One of the quotes of the century…
    We need these illegals to do the jobs Americans don’t want to do…

    Up there with Bush’s quote from last year…we had to abandon the principles of the free market to save the free market…

    zoom forward to now…where the latest brilliant quote…
    We are experiencing a jobless recovery!!!

    Just simply unbelievable the snake oil we are given…

  52. horatiox says:

    Do you think if we actually enforced our immigration laws that we would have this problem?

    I didn’t say immigration laws should not be enforced.

    Do you think if the agribusinesses didn’t have paid lobbyists corrupting the system that they would be allowed to do this?

    Most agribusinesses are conservative and with the GOP. As are many contractors who rely on illegal labor. IN LA County, the GOP stopped supported the Minutemen, and stopped complaining about illegals as well–why? Because the big farms, and developers DEPEND on illegal labor. they make huge profits with cheap labor–so, in effect, the CA-GOP now generally supports illegal immigration–except for the Romneyoid types, perhaps.

    Do you think the average farmer wants this stuff to happen?

    If he’s big enough to own and operate citris farm, berries, or grapes, or onions in Imperial valley, or Central valley—sure. Capitalism.

  53. glenn says:

    Yeah Joe…Obama has a clue…BARF ALERT!!!

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: “First of all, I don’t think people quite understand, Nancy Pelosi is not simply the first woman Speaker of the House — I think she’s going to go down as one of the greatest Speakers of all time.

    AYE YI YI…

    Didn’t Pelosi just tell the American people that the pubic option for healthcare wouldn’t be paid for by taxes? Seriously is there anything she says that is honest and ethical?

  54. glenn says:

    Yeah he is going to bring the country together…

    President Obama called Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) an “outstanding” member of Congress at a fundraiser Monday night. Grayson recently called a Fed aide a “K Street whore.”

  55. glenn says:

    THIS IS BY DEFINITION POLITICAL CORRUPTION…

    The Obama administration on Wednesday acknowledged that it allowed the Democratic Party to distribute tickets to White House events among supporters and contributors, but downplayed a report that said President Obama had “rewarded” donors with “VIP access.”

    The Washington Times reported Wednesday that fundraisers who pledged to individually donate $30,400 or to bundle $300,000 in contributions toward the 2010 congressional elections were promised access to senior White House staff.

    That access also covered VIP privileges ranging from a birthday visit to the Oval Office, to use of the White House bowling alley, to a golf outing with the president in Martha’s Vineyard.

    In a written statement released Wednesday, spokesman Dan Pfeiffer acknowledged the White House gave the Democratic National Committee tickets to distribute.

  56. the next generation says:

    The American taxpayer can’t bear the weight of free health care, free education, etc…for people coming to this country illegally. Spending is out of control and our national debt is out of control. The producers in this country are already being taxed relentlessly. Joe Biden would have us think that paying more taxes is the “patriotic” thing to do, when, in reality, it will continue to strangle our economy, kill MORE jobs and discourage the innovation and production that made us the leaders of the free world. Why do you think people want to come to America? Because this country was founded on the principles of freedom and that everyone should have equal opportunity TO SUCCEED. NOT equal outcome.

    • the next generation says:

      …the first few minutes of this clip from It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World is a good picture of what is happening.

    • horatiox says:

      The American taxpayer can’t bear the weight of free health care, free education, etc…for people coming to this country illegally. Spending is out of control and our national debt is out of control.

      I agree. Let’s require the rich CA agribusinesses and contractors (nearly all GOP) who depend upon, and exploit illegal labor foot the bill.

      • glenn says:

        LOL…let’s just fix the labor problem…and you keep distinguishing that this is a GOP problem…Obama and the Dems are just as much about business payoffs as the GOP. You don’t think the unions are responsible for a huge part of the labor problem in this country? They represent nothing short of extortion and organized crime…the whole situation is absurd.

        Let’s gid of both parties 🙂 Vote for someone who represents your beliefs and values and not some drone that regurgitates party’s talking points!

      • horatiox says:

        Unions? Your usual clever non sequitur, Glennster. You did well at Limbaugh College.

        Illegals would not be pouring across the border if businesses and farmers did not hire them. Nothing to do with unions (many unionists don’t support illegal labor). Besides, capitalism is all about open borders, free trade, isn’t it G. Even some of the GOP developer mafia realizes that–and don’t object to illegal immigration. You sound like a traditional Democrat, defending American made products, and labor.

      • glenn says:

        Just in case Horatiox you haven’t figured out to wear for Halloween…here are some ideas 🙂

        http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/27/celebrity-halloween-masks-business-media-costumes_land.html

      • horatiox says:

        Maybe wear your Dick Cheney mask. Or in Fox-style, Beck, like in his Mormon girdle. Brigham Dung! Or Rupert Murdoch

        Anyway, Glennster, I suspect if you were in the development racket, you’d hire illegals to dig ditches, etc, thereby saving thousands on labor costs–and by not having to pay workers comp, health care, etc. Standard CA-GOP contractor practice.

      • glenn says:

        Well you would be quite wrong. I am not fan of Cheney, Bush, the GOP…I can’t even stand Gingrich anymore after his sell-out this week.

        I most definitely would NOT hire illegals for anything. I am involved in a couple agriculture ventures and we have NO illegals involved at any time.

        You might find this shocking but we don’t have 100% whites either…lol.

      • glenn says:

        Horatiox you might want to review the recent PEW Political IQ poll…Republicans were more well informed on key national issues than Democrats by double digits when asked to answer questions.

        The ONLY issue the Democrats were better information had to do with the amount of SPENDING for healthcare in Europe – ROFL.

        http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1378/political-news-iq-quiz?src=prc-latest&proj=forum

        Key elements on the Partisan Knowledge Gap about halfway down…

  57. Marta says:

    Joe~

    Can you email me Glenn’s email address?

    Thanks

  58. glenn says:

    Horatiox…I don’t listen to Limbaugh. Last time I listened to him was back in the 80’s. I don’t have time for talk radio and I don’t listen to any of the talking heads. Occasionally I will read an article written by him, just like I read dozens if not 100’s of articles a day by many on all sides.

    Like I said…let’s fix the illegal immigration problem. Any company hiring illegals should be fined severly – that will fix the greed issue. And once again…I will re-iterate it was Al Gore that super-charged the illegal problem in this country.

    It has nothing to do with capitalism or the GOP…it is about greed and greed isn’t particular to any party or race or religion it affects all.

  59. horatiox says:

    It has nothing to do with capitalism or the GOP…it is about greed and greed isn’t particular to any party or race or religion it affects all.

    Interesting selection of GlennSpeak (hey , you share a name–noble scottish name, methinx– with the great Beck of Fox). Given your premise at the end that Greed affects All, then Greed affects capitalism, and the GOP. QED (actually inconsistent premises, so invalid ).

    I did not say that only the GOP contractors and developers, agribusinesses hired illegals. There are probably some Demos who do as well. But most owners/producers, including greedy ones, side with the GOP. Demos are the po’ folks, mainly (though not at the level of Signora Pelosi).

    • glenn says:

      Maybe it might be more accurate that people affiliated with the GOP are more likely to be leaders, business owners, achievers, job makers, independent thinkers, relish the concept of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness…

      As opposed to maybe more Dems are wealth suckers, followers, self-loathing, full of self-pity, victims, support criminals, worship pedophiles etc…

      Maybe that would explain it all :). See how absurd generalizations can be…but every thing I said above can be supported with facts…doesn’t mean it is correct.

      There are plenty of good GOP, Dems, Independents out there and there are also plenty of bad ones. The one thing in common with the core problems in this country…the ones supporting and creating the problems are the bad ones.

      The one thing that drives me nuts Horatiox is how people look to Mao, Stalin, Che, etc as someone to look up to. Those people are nuts. Parents who have their kids wearing Che t-shirts-why not have Hitler or Dahmer on the shirt – there literally is no different. Anyone that states anything positive from any of those clowns is off their rocker.

      • horatiox says:

        Maybe it might be more accurate that people affiliated with the GOP are more likely to be leaders, business owners, achievers, job makers, independent thinkers, relish the concept of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness…

        Not exactly. They usually inherit a business, or marry into one with a strategic marriage with well-to-do wifey (and then rip off her parents). And they’re usually the sons of wealthy daddies, connected families, privilege–like Dubya II himself.

      • glenn says:

        Horatiox…that is completely not true at all. I know hundreds of business leaders and they are a mix of Republicans and Democrats and NOT ONE OF THEM IS WHAT YOU SUGGEST.

        I have no idea of where you are getting your notions of what business leaders are…maybe you should really get out and meet some and ask them their life story.

        I can tell you what you will most likely hear is:

        They come from a middle class family, go to an average school a lot don’t even finish, and they created their businesses completely from NOTHING. They start with an idea, try a dozen times getting it wrong and then they figure out the formula and those that are successful are able to scale it to make some money.

        But let me share one common factor they all have:
        They are willing to work 18+ hours a day, 7 days for as long as it takes to get it done…they are also willing risk everything they have to get it done.

        It is only then will they become successful and they will respect what they have, fight to protect it because they have perspective just on how hard it was to get there.

        I actually don’t think I have met anyone successful in business that meets your description. Creating a business is the most stressful and most difficult thing anyone can do and the rewards they get quite frankly they deserve.

    • horatiox says:

      No YOU’RE completely wrong. Researchers in econ., education, and sociology have established the fact that rich people tend to stay rich, middle class, middle class, and poor… poor. That’s been known FOR years. There are a few exceptions, but it’s generally the case that family income/background has a determining factor–criminals generally come from poor, or working class, for one well-established example. Actually evidence suggests the rich get richer (certainly the case during BushCo years)

      It’s usually some sentimental Reaganish dolt who think it’s all rags to riches stories. Nyet. The usual story is Bush I to Bush II; Conrad Hilton to Paris Hilton; Malcolm Forbes to Steve Forbes. (and those are all counterarguments to the rags to riches BS hype, Glennster)

      • glenn says:

        You are drinking the academic kool-aid engineered to enslave your brilliant mind.

        I know for a fact that isn’t true Horatiox…I am one of those people and EVERYONE I know in business in the tech sector, resturants, etc didn’t start out rich. I know business leaders all across the country and none of them (that I can remember) match your description.

        Have you ever thought about questioning what comes out of academia? It is lot less about learning than it is about promoting an agenda.

        True rich tend to stay rich and poor tend to remain poor…but did you ever take a moment to think about why that is?

        When you take away incentive then they have no reason to get out of the trap and that is exactly what government does – they use people – and I know this is a FACT because I also know a lot of people that have gotten out of the projects they all say the same thing to me…(and I have actually gone into some of the projects personally even in the middle of the night) you see generations standing on the same corner, etc…well it is pretty simple if you decide to spend your life standing on the corner then that is exactly what you will end up doing.

        I understand that people’s situation can make life difficult and they feel trapped and that is where the government can play a role and that role would be just to give someone a helping hand but if that person doesn’t respond to that helping hand that isn’t perpetual and designed to keep people on it.

        IT MUST BE A TEMPORARY THING…

      • horatiox says:

        No, you’re drinking the Foxnews, GOP, business-major kool aid, Glennster. The term “koolaid” itself from the GOP propaganda machine.

        We could verify that nearly all the business owners you know did start out in middle or upper middle class homes, however. The sample isn’t just your friends, anyway–but America as a whole. Care to speculate on the family backgrounds of the 2009 freshman class at Stanford U or Cal Berkeley??? Probably all from wealthy families, except a token poor kid or two.

      • glenn says:

        In regard to the graduates from the IVY league…well I agree with you there. There has been an elite class created in this country and because you are born into it you have access.

        That is exactly how Obama even got where he got…because someone decided to take his case and bring him into the network…it is what the Bushes do, etc…

        Even though my kids are in the top 1% I will not encourage any of them to go to an ivy league school because the entire system is corrupted with people that get by because of who they know or who they are…not because they have earned it.

        But that will change…it has to. I think our entire education system has to change in this country it is ruining our future generations and it is choosing what groups to leave behind it is both imorale and unethical and people that continue to support the system are contributing to the problem.

  60. FoolsGold says:

    Depends how you define corruption and politicians.

    Is a good politician one who once he is bought stays bought and doesn’t seek more money? Is a good politician one who builds a good bridge at great expense? What about those politicians who fund shoddy construction or unneeded bridges?

    Dealing with lobbyists? They have the data and they have the money. Who else would you deal with? A grass roots group? The grass roots group is a tool of the lobbyist so you might as well deal directly.

    Is the corruption systemic? We have politicians who want road construction projects based on the deaths of a few immigrants who persistently fail to cross at crosswalks. After the time and expense of the road construction, traffic is congested and the immigrants still fail to cross at the crosswalk.

    New York’s famed Fifth Avenue used to have four lanes of traffic, two in each direction. Then some politican decided to mark the signs and lanes as four lanes in one direction. Which lead to cars travelling as three congested lanes and traffic being its worst ever. Is this corruption? Doing nothing would have been better so the desire to do something so as to distribute funds and favors is by definition corruption.

    We have endemic fraud when even Eisenhower was afraid to say “Military-Congressional-Industrial” and changed his speech to “Military-Industrial” complex.

    We make jokes about “Never trust a cop… you never know when he will turn honest” but I’ve never heard that joke used in reference to a politician.

    • glenn says:

      Well said…interestingly enough…we survived over a 100 years without lobbyists and I am sure we would be better off without them.

      The concept of lobbyism (in USA) was started during the Great Depression by someone who figured out how we could game the system. The entire process is a scam covered by “freedom of speech”.

      It is amazing to me how Americans just don’t get it…social security is a ponzi scheme – EVERYONE knows that but they get mad at Maddoff but think social security is somehow any different because the government says it is required…

      We shouldn’t do anything that isn’t sustainable…

      • horatiox says:

        …social security is a ponzi scheme –

        Pure BS–it’s merely protected from the speculators’ hands. The private 401Ks, and retirement scams are ponzi schemes. Again, you’re mistaking your own subjective desires (probably lowering your business taxes) with the political reality as a whole. Most American people support SSI. Tell the millions of elderly people who depend on SSI they don’t really need it.

      • glenn says:

        Horatiox if they never had it to begin with…they wouldn’t need it now. We made them need it.

        There is a great story in Texas of a county that opted out of social security…they underwrote the retirement system with insurance companies and it is fully audited and completely solvent even in these times and they are return 5 to 10X’s the return social security is. The people still commit the same amount as they would social security but it goes into a properly managed plan with proper oversight, complete transparency and it yields a much better result.

        Wouldn’t we be a lot better off offering the best we could do to people contributing to social security? People today that are receiving $1000 a month from social security would be getting $4000 to $5000 a month from this private approach? How can anyone argue that?

        The private system has been in place almost 30 years and is doing great. The crime here…our government has looked into this program several times…and yet they don’t look to improve our own system – why is that?

        Again when was social security hatched in the first place? Oh yeah the last time the progressives were in power and EVERY SINGLE one of their programs is NOT sustainable and bankrupting our country – and btw that is on purpose.

        In regard to business taxes…there is only one country in the world that has higher taxes than we do…think about that? It makes no sense, business is our engine of recovery not the government – business should be afforded every opportunity to create a sustainable recovery…but what do the progressives do…tax…tax…tax…look at what has happened in New York…taxes keep increasing and they keep losing more tax revenue…why because people leave, businesses leave, etc…

        I have no subjective desire. I only want good reasonable solutions put forward that actually solve the problem not some politically motivated scam that shift the problem to someone else.

        America under Obama is suffering under the J. Wellington Wimpy syndrome…I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Tofuburger today!!!

      • horatiox says:

        The private plans aren’t doing great–especially after the lending crisis. Some are–some aren’t. Wealthy people can afford to shop around, or diversify as they say. Non wealthy people can’t. Private funds, IRAs, etc go up and down. Ma and Pa Kettle can’t afford to gamble at the investment casino–though that doesn’t stop predatory lenders from trying to upsell them some retirement scam. You don’t quite understand the principles of the New Deal (one, to control the finance casino).

      • glenn says:

        This plan is doing fine…

        http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba514

        Because it is a proper balance of risk and it is managed well.

        Galveston County has a good working formula.

        But we all know ONE thing…social security is bankrupt and cannot be sustained and there is no way to fix it.

        The obligations of our country TODAY is over 100 trillion dollars…think about that…why would we do anything to make it worse? We need to be going the other way and fast.

    • JoeDuck says:

      I don’t think I follow you here FG – are you saying the system is so complex and non-linear that we can’t really generalize or that it’s systemically rotten to the core or ?

      • glenn says:

        Joe actually you just hit is on the head I think…

        “…systemically rotten to the core…”

        I think “bad” politicians past and present have created far too many devices to be in place that not only allow “bad” practicies but actually encourage it.

        The other side of the coin is that the lawmakers have full control over what gets investigated or not…

        Over time the system has no choice but to be rife with fraud and corruption.

        We need to change it for sure…

      • JoeDuck says:

        Glenn I’m just asking for clarification, my whole point – something I think is obvious – is that our system is stable, not corrupt, and overall pretty good.

        I think that even as I favor a new party based more on the *real* founding principles of small government, small military, personal freedom, personal accountability and EXCLUDE the crazy culture war conservative talking points.

        It’s interesting here how quickly folks claim corruption but have virtually no examples of it outside of the ones I pointed to above as the exceptions. I’m beginning to realize that people haven’t met or listened to or reviewed actions of the people they claim are so corrupt. The few bad apples are NOT the rule, yet they are pointed to as if they are.

      • horatiox says:

        While you may be right that most politicians are not on the take, that doesn’t in itself prove they are not corrupt or incompetent. Consider King Ahhnuld. When he slashed funding for govt. jobs, education, and social programs a few years ago and took out more loans, he upset many people. He did not do anything illegal per se (as far as we know–he did have some ties to Enron, however). The GOP good ‘ol boys slapped him on the back.

        Many californians, even some repugs, thought his actions were corrupt, however. Ahhnuld generally caters to his wealthy cronies. He has not helped the middle or working classes. So it’s somewhat naive to think that the people who did not benefit from, or suffered economically due to Ahhnuld’s policies would not view him as corrupt .

        The same holds for Bush/Cheney. The allegations may go too far at times–ie Bush is Hitler, etc. But the evidence does suggest BushCo were sellouts, liars, pawns of corporations and the military.

  61. glenn says:

    Joe there are hundreds is not thousands of examples of corruption…

    Like I said early on…name on leader in Congress today that is without corruption and I will find examples of their corruption.

  62. glenn says:

    Video Link

    Yeah this isn’t a corrupt process…nothing corrupt going on here with Pelosi…nah…as Obama said she will go down in history as one of the best Speakers of the House that his country has ever seen…right next to another one of Obama’s pyscophants – Grayson!!!

  63. Marta says:

    Horatiox~

    What do you do for a living?

  64. Marta says:

    Horatiox~

    Wasn’t the drinking the Kool-aid phrase established when Jim Jones (an avowed communist) went down to Guyana and created Jonestown for all his followers? And, they ended up drinking poisonous kool-aid that Jones had concocted? And, they all died?

    • horatiox says:

      Wasn’t Jones a biblethumper? Yes, he was. What does that have to do with anything, anyway. I’m defending the principles of, say, New Deal democrats–not the current DNC itself. Most GOPers don’t know what they are attacking when they say, for instance, SSI is a ponzi scheme, or regulations are bad–the regs were there for a reason.

      And really, if the intent of the silly Koolaid chant is to make associations with Jonestown–you’ve stooped to the Foxnews/Annie Coulter hatchet-job level of writing, headed towards Goebbels. Beck often sounds like that: you don’t agree with the GOP/Fox/Beck? You’re a commie! joe McCarthy like manipulation.

      I work with networking, and DBA–and some freelance writing/editing. What do you do for a living, apart from the Phyllis Schafly act? What do you think of the Mormon church?? (big contributor to FoxCo–I wager Romney arranged it) And do you know that simply stringing together hypothetical questions is not effective writing? Instead of posing questions, make assertions which can be supported with some type of evidence.

      • glenn says:

        Personally I think most churches are absurd…another way to control the minds and population…

        But I don’t judge someone based on their religious affiliations – hey some people need it.

        But certainly you would agree that groups like the Mormons and Black Liberation Churches represent the extremes of religion…taking words of wisdom and then manipulating them into ways for controlling people.

        The bottom line: the Victicrats in our society as some point made the choice to be one. People need to stop acting like a victim and do something about it.

      • glenn says:

        What I find interesting about the Glenn Beck show (I haven’t listened to is radio show so I can’t comment) but about his show…NO ONE is disputing what he is saying.

        The only response is to attack him personally…but nobody has shown anything he has said is wrong, untrue or otherwise.

        So why is that? Until people can disprove what he is saying his ratings will continue to climb…and then that begs the question…what happens if he is right?

  65. Marta says:

    Did you study the Jonestown Massacre at university?

  66. Marta says:

    Horatiox~

    Me thinks you are blindly swallowing the Koolaid that your professors have offered.

  67. horatiox says:

    At least you’ve got some Ad hominem skills like a good Foxster, Marta.

    That’s just called Reason. I wager you’re a member of some fundamentalist church. Logic, reason, science, evidence-based writing tends to scare most fundies. For instance, say “Darwin” and they start speaking in tongues, quoting Glenn Beck, supporting Mitt Romney.

  68. Marta says:

    My line of questions were attributed to YOUR rant that: “The term “koolaid” itself from the GOP propaganda machine.”

    I just wanted to point out to you, that is NOT where the term koolaid was derived from.

    I guess you didn’t study the Jonestown Massacre, because if you had you would have known that Jim Jones was an avowed communist who pretended to be a biblethumper to get people to follow him.

    Much like acadamia has been doing for the last 15-20 years or so….you are certainly proof positive of that.

    • horatiox says:

      Non sequitur, not to say a lie, and insult–all in one,Miss M! Your red-baiting would make Joe McCarthy proud. Either way, chanting “koolaid” has nothing to do with the facts of the case–the rightist bozos and AM radio hacks say that about anything they don’t care for. Chomsky offers a speech on American imperialism, and Limbaugher starts into his “koolaid”. And it does sound like something the GOP backroom boys would have cooked up.

      I asked for your thoughts on the Mormon church, however, Miss Marta. Marvelous Mitt Romneyoid cool wit’ you? I’m from california as well (native)–that usually bothers the F. out of Oregonians, doesn’t it, hermana. He’s from Cali-forn-ya, Ethel–, ya jus’ knows he’s some type of lib-rawl commie dee-viant, or ill-eegul….

  69. Marta says:

    I voted for Bush because he was NOT Clinton.

    And, I was appalled at what Bush did, too! Now, I realize he was a Progressive.

    I no longer trust the GOP and have registered as an independent.

    As far as religion goes, I am here because my ancestors came to America to escape from religious persecution in the mid-1700’s. As Joe could tell you, we are both from a long line of worshippers from the Church of the Brethren. And, that’s from my mother’s side.

    On my father’s side it’s a little different. We attend yearly, a family reunion where half the family arrives in a horse and buggy and are members of the Mennonite Church (like the Amish).

    Greatfully, my grandmother wanted a car and radio and left the Mennonite Order Church. 🙂

    As far as the Mormons are concerned, I love that they sent out their youth all over the US to capture genealogical records and that are now stored in a centralized location for research purposes.

    The Mormons have the right to pray as they wish.

    Don’t much care for Romney except that I think he’s pretty.

  70. glenn says:

    Joe here is political corruption right in front of your face…and 40% is a pretty big number.

    “More than 40% of President Obama’s top-level fundraisers have secured posts in his administration, from key executive branch jobs to diplomatic postings in countries such as France, Spain and the Bahamas, a USA TODAY analysis finds.”

    Nothing like Chicago style corruption invading our country…

    • JoeDuck says:

      Glenn for me this is not “corruption”, rather the huge gray area of American politics where the system fails in small ways but not fundamental ways. As has happened since fairly early on in our fine Republic, Ambassadorships are often given as “rewards” for support. I’d guess there is some screening but I’d rather see these jobs go to the “best diplomat”. However, the idea is that these folks – as friends of the president – will have potentially more impact than otherwise. It does not seem to be a great part of our system but I don’t see why you call this “corruption”.

  71. JoeDuck says:

    Here’s an exception. Cunningham is *the* poster boy for why the politically charged spending system is dysfunctional and also why the thousands of military spending fiascos remain the biggest spending scandals on any of the books in Washington:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_%22Duke%22_Cunningham

    Glenn it’s always funny how you won’t talk about the *massive* waste in the defense budget. You’ll point out a waste of a few thousand on some dumb liberal project but seem to be scared to speak out against the simply jaw dropping and massive waste in the $550,000,000,000 defense budget. WHY? !

    NO true conservative could ever support the current US defense budget, recognizing that Gov spending is generally very wasteful and political rather than high ROI.

    • glenn says:

      Joe I totally agree with you about the defense budget. We are complete idiots for engaging war the way we do. Look at every conflict we have been in since WWII.

      The defense budgets are stupid. We invented the nuclear bomb for a reason…it ends wars quickly and they are cheap.

      If we adopted a strategy that stated…we will not enter any conflict without the expressed goal of a complete and total victory utilizing every capability we have…then it would be a lot different.

      It is immoral to fight a war without the expressed intention of winning. Unfortunately wars are required because of the idiots in power (that we support).

      Joe all the special interest boondongles done by our politicians (primarily for the benefit of the state of CA) in the name of defense projects is criminal.

      And for the record…when you first broached this topice over a year ago on here in a different thread I expressed the same feelings.

      I think government spending could be cut by 80% across the board and we would see a huge improvement – defense included.

      • JoeDuck says:

        Glenn thanks for that bold statement about cutting defense – it’s not a popular position with most Democrats or Republicans though I think the data supports a very different (fewer dead, much cheaper) approach to defending the USA against enemies.

      • glenn says:

        Well there is a point to be made…”Defending America”.

        There are many wars that we have been involved in that personally I don’t think we should have been and far too often the ones we were in we played stupid political games.

        Our highest priority should be protecting our soldiers not worrying about trampling someone’s flower bed (sar).

        War must be excuted with extreme prejudice and it needs to be fast especially since we don’t “conquer”.

        As it has been said in the past the only land we have ever asked for is the space to bury our dead.

    • horatiox says:

      Obama’s DoD budget represents a slight increase over BushCo’s.

      The libertarian -conservative political mantra (ie non-interventionism–and de-reg implies good politics–) does not always work. Indeed it probably backfires more often than not. The AIG/G-sachs/JPMorgan collapse at least shows that. Then so does Vegass–sort of the end result of libertarianism, aka casino economics.

      • glenn says:

        Yeah but bigger government has NEVER worked…higher taxes has NEVER worked…government takeover of businesses has NEVER worked…

        I think I would chase the solution that has better odds!

      • horatiox says:

        You continue to make these gross generalizations which have no basis in fact, or the historical record. The Great Depression itself occurred mainly because a completely laissez-faire system allowed businesses free rein to do anything–buy on margin, take out loans with no collateral,etc. The same thing happened with the mortgage/lending crisis on a lesser scale, .

        Secured funds aren’t chips at the poker table, except to greedy, usurious brokers and speculators. The Gingrich congress (with help from Clinton) did convert secured funds into power chips, for the high rollers at AIG, JP Morgan, G-sachs, Enron.

        You might consider the National Park system–a federal program which has done fine without privatization. IN fact bringing in the corporations and vendors to Yosemite created problems. Some govt. programs can work. (Obviously you want to protect the US itself, and want some DoD budget)

        I suspect you do this merely because lower taxes and fewer regs would benefit you, and help your business. But it doesn’t help the community (or state, nation) at large. Maybe read Jeremy Bentham. It’s “the greatest good for all”–not the Greatest good for Glenn. Disagree if you want to, but political theory begins with that sort of Benthamite reflection.

      • glenn says:

        Ironic you mentioned the park system…well it is about the only government program that doesn’t afford the opportunity for corruption. But I bet that would change if they discovered a gold mine on the property…LOL

        Also intresting how you mentioned secured funds…what about the bond holders in GM? Obama screwed them, violated the law and most likely violated the US Constitution at the same time…that wasn’t a solution…that was a crime.

        Go back and look at the headlines in Oct 1929…you will see the same headlines reporting now…we are on teh road to recovering, all is fine…yada yada ya…progressivespeak for grab your ankles because it is really coming…Black Monday next week…

  72. FoolsGold says:

    >it’s systemically rotten to the core or ?

    Perhaps the analogy of cutting a puppy’s tail off to throw it some fresh meat is applicable. The problem is a politician takes a whopping percentage of that tail for himself and then there is interminable squabbling about which puppy gets the bulk of the fresh meat.

    We have politicians whose main task is to get re-elected. This is generally accomplished by not offending anyone or atleast not offending the powerful and pollitically sensitive. This pretty much means a politician must annoy many and accomplish nothing. He must perpetuate problems, not achieve a final solution to them.

    Consider HIV. Right from the start it was a political goal to change the name from GRID (Gay Related Immune Disease) to a more neutral sounding AIDS. Then it was a campaign to refer to the victims as People Living With Aids rather than terms that emphasized the limited circle of victims and the fact that their lifestyles were largely responsible. All this was done because the victims and those most at risk were politically sensitive, well-organized and powerful. So rather than aggressive action to halt the spread of the virus and offend a powerful minority, it became a campaign to create a massive funding bandwagon and convince those least at risk that they were somehow benefiting from all that spending. No politician ever stood up and said a woman could spend a year having unprotected sex with over 400 men she had never met before and then go buy a one dollar ticket in the California lottery and she would still have a greater chance of winning the grand prize than of having contracted the HIV virus.

    The situation is pretty much the same with another very politicized disease: breast cancer. Constant propaganda about one in eight and the sale of pink ribbons does nothing to solve the problem, but it gets politicians re-elected. If present trends continue there will be politicians and patient groups secretly funded by radiologists that issue pleas for mammograms for eight year olds! Its ridiculous.

    Politicians stay in office by doleing out funds to the most vocal powergroups. Even a simple matter such as road repairs can not be solved. There is no way to force pot holes to be properly repaired because that would mean we would soon have no need of those employees and no way for those employees to advance to supervisors. So a politician avoids a final solution to the problem by perpetuating the problem so as not to offend well-organized, powerful civil servants. A laser equipped truck that would detect a micro crack in the pavement and sear it shut before a pot hole could even start to form is fine and dandy, but would offend too many contractors and labor unions. The politician views the problem as getting re-elected rather than ending the deterioration of our roads and bridges.

    We have desperate parents who want boot camps even though the evidence is that they have a slight negative impact on crime by letting kids know that the reality of jail is not all that bad. The fear of the unknown might deter crime, the knowledge of the reality of jail does not. We have politicians calling for such Draconian penalties for child molesters that any sensible perverted creep is better off killing the kid than letting his victim live. We have massive amounts of money spent on paperwork and home visits because thats easier than doing real police work. A cold case squad is now a plum assignment because sitting in an air conditioned office wading through old files is easier than wading through the filth of alleyways doing real police work.

    The core problem is that the political process is simply one that raises taxes and forces those funds to be spent unwisely so that the politician can get re-elected. Corruption? So some politicians are too blatant about the amounts and the individuals involved but the entire process is one that reeks of failure. New England town meetings with their line item budgets often meant that nothing much got done and that is usually the best result because it prevented politicians from making things worse.

  73. the next generation says:

    Today’s news…

    MSNBC: “Ethics investigators probe dozens in Congress” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33546194/ns/politics-washington_post

    Fox News: “Report: Dozens in Congress Under Ethics Scrutiny” http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/30/report-dozens-congress-ethics-scrutiny/

    • JoeDuck says:

      I would not be surprised if a handful of congresspeople are corrupt, though in my view it’s not reasonable to call certain ethics issues “corruption”. What matters in terms of social architecture is that our political folks actions remain in line with the national interest. Corruption to me is like Cunningham or Jefferson – taking bribes, especially to influence laws. Corruption should not be defined as isolated lapses of judgement – say talking ones way out of a parking ticket on capital hill.

  74. glenn says:

    Well said FG.

    Term limits would go a long way to solving this issue.

    You are absolutely right that the politicians main concern is re-election and that agenda is rarely inline with what the people want. The agenda is driven by special interest and political correctness.

    It has also transformed the art of lying into a preverse respect of politics…you hear people say even though he lied he is a brilliant politician…geesh…what is wrong with people? They like to be manipulated?

    I think we should drop the two party system and have all the politicians scored on their actual votes…

    Libetarian, Conservative, Moderate, Liberal, Progressive

    Each bill and law is ascribed a rating…from Libertarian to Progressive and when politicans vote for them they accumulate a score.

    So you no longer have to listen to their rhetoric and lies you can go to the ballot box and see…where they land based on their actual actions not their BS words.

    For new politicians they need to make a pledge on where they stand and then their voting record is scored agains their promise and the next election it is right there in black and white for the voter to see.

    All this is common sense and would expose the racketeers that are ruining our country – the last thing either they want to happen is have their real agenda and actions see the light of day.

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