90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Super PACs And Big Money In Politics

Republican super PACs and billionaires are pouring millions into American politics. Now team Obama has joined the fray. We’ll look at giant money and the vote.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, left, accompanied by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, to discuss the disclosure of super PAC donors to the Republican presidential candidates. (AP)

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, left, accompanied by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, to discuss the disclosure of super PAC donors to the Republican presidential candidates. (AP)

The scale of big money in this year’s presidential election campaign is taking the influence of the dollar to a new level in American democracy.  Single individuals – billionaires – have been key to keeping whole candidacies alive in the Republican primary, with their unlimited super PAC contributions.

Now, President Obama has reversed his rejection of super PAC money and said bring it on.  To even the scales, say his supporters.  Is this one man one vote?  Or an oligarchs’ jamboree?  A billionaires’ party?

This hour, On Point: big, big money and the American vote.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dave Levinthal, money and politics reporter for Politico.

Elizabeth Drew, contributor to The New York Review of Books, where her newest piece is called, “Can We Have a Democratic Election?

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Review of Books “In all of the excitement over the Republicans’ sweep of the 2010 elections—their recapture of the House of Representatives, the decrease in the Democrats’ margin in the Senate, and the emergence of the Tea Party as a national force—most of us missed the significance of their victories in the states. ”

Politico “About the only thing more notable than the donor information super PACs this week revealed is the information they didn’t.”

Open Secrets “Technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, Super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. Super PACs must, however, report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or quarterly basis — the Super PAC’s choice — as a traditional PAC would. Unlike traditional PACs, Super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Testt

    test

  • Brett

    The super PACS have enabled some to stay in the race far longer than they would have and should have if they hadn’t had a benevolent benefactor. The super PACS have also prompted more negative ad campaigns. Both phenomena serve to reduce the political process to its lowest common denominator. 

    On the other hand, having the GOP running field so much in the spotlight for all of these debates, ads, primaries, etc., has given average citizens a lot of face time, so to speak, with the field. This has made clearer who these people are, what they are made of, what their views are, and how willing they are to do and say whatever it takes to be popular. 

    • Hidan

       Like Newt and Adelson 10 Million PAC.Funny how “moderate” has become a dirty word in the republican primaries.  I think what you miss is the propaganda machine behind the republican party to the point of anything said negative or nasty will and can be spun to mean something else. Take for example Romney cries about Obama raising his and other taxes, than finding out Rommey pays less than 15%, than take consertives complaing that the media told the public he makes less than 15% than take the NPR ombudsman wishy washey defense of reporting romney pays less than 15%.  Or Newts comments against blacks and welfare or Newts comments about Latinos and the ghetto language.Have you caught the Daily Show or Colbert Report the past 2 weeks? both have been making fun of the Super Pac’s and the absurdity of them being independent from the candidates running.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘Accept an open-marriage with my six-year mistress, or divorce’, gives an idea of the ‘negotiations’, and the ‘moderate position’ of Newt?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diane-Blum-Mandile/1269681107 Diane Blum Mandile

       and don’t we all benefit from that?

      • Brett

        Nobody benefits from politics being turned into a mud-slinging contest by seeing how much money can be spent on negative ad campaigns and clever distortions. 

        Secondly, NO, we ALL don’t benefit from seeing just how twisted a Newt is, or just how conservative a Santorum is, etc., as the only positive byproduct of this corrupting process. I already have looked at Santorum’s record and his rhetoric/social conservative views, and I am familiar with Newt’s shenanigans from watching him low these many years. Romney’s record speaks more about who he is than his attack ads or his inability to really stand for anything other than being anti-Obama, and so on. We can glean these things without the debates ad nauseam, and the attack ads, and the tens of millions of dollars laid on a candidate by a billionaire just about the time said candidate is out of money and ready to go home. 

        I wonder how many people keep giving to Newt’s campaign even though his momentum is gone and he hasn’t an ice cube’s chance in hell of getting the nomination, or to Santorum’s campaign? Is this good for participation in the political process? These super PAC donations have prolonged the inevitable, when really the Party should have just figuratively held some of these candidates under water early on.

        One thing’s for sure, the GOP has demonstrated its ability to squander campaign contributions on a lot of street brawling. If you think this is a good thing, so be it…

      • Anonymous

        @facebook-1269681107:disqus 
        IF, and that is a big if, enough people actually understand what is happening. People have expressed disgust at the number of negative ads running during their favorite programs, but they have yet to rise up and vote against the perpetrators.

        But the big problem is that negative ads do change votes in their intended direction, so they will continue; consider Romney’s reputed carpet-bombing of Gingrich in Iowa, as reported by listeners to this forum from Iowa. Then consider the “dog-whistle” ads by Gingrich to return the favor in Georgia.

        The indication that it might be different this time is the changes reported in the attitude of the voters as the campaign has gone on. The negatives of all the Republicans have climbed and the approval of Obama has climbed, so that now Obama is leading Romney (if I remember correctly) by 52% to 46% in an election today. That is not guaranteed to hold up through November, and the big money is probably expecting to reverse it with more negative ads.

        One thing that has been shown is the significant drop in the number of voters or caucusers participating in the Republican selection process, which is down 5 to 10% and as much as 20% in one event. And this is the response of a claimed “excited” electorate. This is the biggest negative result of massively repeated negative ads and, at least in the general election, a desired result, as the opponent’s supporters from “independent” persuasion are more subject to the cynicism of “a pox on both your houses” and decide not to make the effort to vote. Thus the “hard core” who want radical, even destructive, action are the voters who make the election choice rather than the total electorate.

        What this Republican “primary season” has shown is the woeful unreadiness if not inability of their candidates to discuss the issues in a way that shows they are really knowledgeable and in a way that might educate the public. The issues, when discussed have been in bumper-sticker terms that do NOT reflect reality and commit the eventual “winner” (may none be that) to policies that will be deeply destructive of the future progress of this country. An example: How would a Santorum possibly avoid a war with Iran after his comments the other night? And the others, including Romney, are racing to the bottom to catch up.

        In all, this MIGHT be to our benefit if the Republican nominee is defeated in EVERY STATE by at least 10 to 15 percentage points. Then the hard right kooks might curl up and retreat from the political fray as Paul Weyrich urged them to do after Clinton’s impeachment did not result in conviction and removal from office. The downside would be the continued establishment of an “underground” culture through more homeschooling, etc., where effectively “Manchurian candidates are created to continue to inflict future distress on this country. But that kind of massive defeat is virtually impossible, but it might result in a more responsible Republican Party, responsible to the whole population instead of just the 1% and the 0.1%.

  • TellItLikeItIs

    I’m willing to guess at least 90% of the population hates the supreme court descision on this. So, this shows us who really controls our so-called democracy, all the way to the supreme court. That small group of people with the most money who want to control government for their interests. They don’t beleive in a Democracy. It’s all them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diane-Blum-Mandile/1269681107 Diane Blum Mandile

       I am willing to bet that 90% of people who have heard the story from the likes of MSNBC think that way,

      In fact the decision is not only about rich corporations but about any group of concerned citizens. 

      Say you and a group of 10 small businessmen wanted to buy a commercial talking about the candidates small business policies, you would be disallowed. 

      This decision is about free speech for all.  Without it only rich individuals and organized labor would have the money to run commercials.  That would not really tell a balanced story would it?

      • Adks12020

        You have to be kidding.  In Florida, for example, there were so many groups competing for ad space that the tv stations ran out of spots.  Now who do you think got the spots?  The groups with the most money to throw out the window on an ad….and that certainly isn’t any small group of citizens or a group of “small businesses”.  It’s the group receiving money from large corporate donors and rich individuals.

        The same groups have the mic as before but now they can spend endlessly on their ads rather than being restricted by campaign finance rules.

        • TFRX

          Yep. It’s called “sucking out all the oxygen”.

          TV stations, especially, love the neverending caravan of politics. Ad bookers can just sit back and watch the money roll in.

          And we’re not going to get much coverage of this on TV and radio news. Guess why?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Yes, corporations figured out decades ago, where to put their money! 
         Buying appointments for 5 ‘Justices’, was cheaper, and more effective than trying to buy the majority of 535 Representatives and Senators?

      • Modavations

        The newest bleat is # 4.The greedy Robed ones did it

        • Terry Tree Tree

          ALL RIGHT!  Guppy bought a goat to comment for Moda! 
             Righteous!!

          • Modavations

            The guppy says you’re a bore.He’s gonna write some new material.The “goat” part is inventive,he says

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thanks guppy.  Goats bleat.  I guess guppies don’t see many goats?

    • Anonymous

      Two quotes from Paul Weyrich:

      “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

      “We are different from previous generations of conservatives… We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this country.”

      Weyrich was a founder of the Heritage Foundation and ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), the latter the source of all the anti-union and anti-voter legislation that has been sprouting in most Republican-controlled legislatures (and governorships) like Athena fully armored from the head of Zeus.

      He was also supportive of Dominionism, and the breakdown of the separation of church and state.

  • Hidan

    The daily Show Super Pac

    - In this clip it makes fund of Mitt and Newt claim there now working with there own Super Pac.

    Colbert and Stewart

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-17-2012/colbert-super-pac—not-coordinating-with-stephen-colbert

    • Hidan

      “not working”

      • nj

        Why correct just the one mistake?

        • Hidan

          mistakes happen,

          I could take the  time to review and re-review what I wrote and than post but it seems like a waste with the type of responses that people get on here. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Nice Freudian Slip, ‘fund’.

    • Kathy

      Ha ha – just watched it – those guys really hit the nail on the head!

  • Hidan

    It’s sad that obama is embracing these Super Pacs instead of fighting against them. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How can President Obama fight against a FACT?  The Supreme Court Seniles sold the U.S. to the highest bidder?
         After that FACT, standing on principle would just put President Obama OUT.

      • Hidan

        I agree with much of what you said, but when the President Joins the game it makes it even harder to change since he’s part of it.  Where Corporations only have to threaten to support the other guy to get the politicians in line with what they want.

        • Observer

          You’re getting warmer…..

      • Modavations

        Seniles!!!!!What is your opinion of Ruth.I have a feeling you will exempt her.How’s the fire bug business?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          What fire bug business?  I don’t even collect lightning bugs.

          • Modavations

            Fire Bugs are wanna be firemen who set fires,rush to the scene and play hero.Sort of like guys who call themselves Terry Tree Tree,to say,look at me I’m an Indian.Ward Churchill stuff

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Hallucinating that I called myself an ‘Indian’? 
              Hindu, Sich or Native American?

          • Modavations

            The guppy wants to know if your a fake Indian like Ward Churchill,or just another attention getting device..I’ve never heard a Sikh called Terry Tree Tree

  • Anonymous

    When Republicans chose to go nuclear, did they think the opposition would not respond in kind?

    How is this not a perversion of Democracy when corporations controlled by foreign interests can have more influence on politics than voting citizens?

    “The fate of all mankind I fear is in the hands of fools.” – King Crimson

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diane-Blum-Mandile/1269681107 Diane Blum Mandile

       the problem is that if you disallow groups of citizens to pool their money then that means that only wealthy individuals will have a voice.  That would be even more one sided than what we currently have.

      I’m not sure where you are getting your information that the SuperPacs are backed by corporations controlled by foreign interests though.  Can you identify which ones these are?

      • Modavations

        From The little red book.How’s Black Fang Mr. Warrior

      • Anonymous

        If the amounts the wealthy can give are limited then everyone can weigh in nearly equally. But what groups are the poor likely to join to get a near equal voice to a few billionaires putting out a $1 million donation: a union, which is the only way enough low-income people can get the numbers to add up. But everywhere the Republicans are working to make joining a union harder or impossible. You really can’t have it both ways.

    • Modavations

      Americas greatest Super Pac is the UNION(and most corrupt)

    • Anonymous

      Here is a chart or the big donations

      Contributions of at least % of total # of donors Equiv. % of Amer. population
          $5,000 97% 1551 0.000496
        $10,000 96% 1097 0.000351
        $20,000 93% 769 0.000246
        $50,000 90% 526 0.000168
      $100,000 84% 351 0.000112
      $500,000 56% 79 0.000025
      $1,000,000 40% 35 0.000011

      This does not indicate “individual” or “corporation” but the larger the number is, the more likely it is tied to a corporation in some way. [Copy the above and the tab separations should help align everything.]

  • SteveV

    What the Burmese Pythons are to the Florida Everglades (yesterdays second show)
    the Super Pacs are to the entire country. They both are invasive species, have
    huge appetites, and are impossible to control.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Great analogy!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    5 black-robed senile, or corrupt ‘Justices’, that cannot tell the difference between an individual human being, and a foreign corporation, have sold the country to the highest bidder, foreign, or domestic?

    • Modavations

      I’ll make up a bleat for judges later.Do you personally know these judges,or did Move On instruct you to call them senile.Are you including Ginsburg.Just more of your endless hate speeh.Yesterday he called everyone that isn’t a communist socialist a “traitor”.This pearl of wisdom is yesterdays very first post.It was to Ellen Dibble,who didn’t respond to the venom.By the way,how’s the hangover today

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Benedict Arnold, and Aaron Burr, both did things to their own interest, that was AGAINST the interests of the United States, and have historically been known as Traitors? 
           Am I wrong in this?
           To deliberately weaken, or do damage to the U.S., isn’t treason?

        • Modavations

          The quote to Ellen…
          Shhhhh,Don’t tell the traitors that they are killing the country they pledge to defend in public,but in private they pledge allegience to greed…..
          What’s a Terry Tee Tee.Are you going for the “I’m an Indian pay attention to me”,routine.What’s the name of that fake Indian Professor from Colorado.Ward Churchill I think.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You make it easy to believe your claims of using ‘smoke’, and ‘chemicals’?

          • Modavations

            I’ll write you some new material.Even the guppy  says he’s bored.What is a Terry Tree Tree anyways,he’s asking.

      • Anonymous

        CitizensUnited will rank with the Dred Scott decision within a few years, if not already.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diane-Blum-Mandile/1269681107 Diane Blum Mandile

    It is very disappointing that Barack Obama would decide to align himself with SuperPac money.  A stand for his principles would have served him so much better. 

    Could it be that what he really wanted was for Republicans to have to rely on individual donors while he raised millions of dollars from organized labor? 

    At least the playing field is more even this way.

    • TFRX

      False equivalence of the amount of corporate money with labor money? Check.

      Professing to be a right-winger who worries, to the audience here, that only wealthy people will have a voice without SuperPacs? Check.

      Frownies and disappointment for Obama–who you were sooooo close to voting for anyway, right?–because he’s not fighting with one hand tied behind hich back? Check.

      Pretending that little groups of not-rich people are even on the top 100 list of the Citizens United decision’s fallout? Check.

      Dropping “MSNBC viewers” (Oh no she didn’t! Oooh, she went there!) as the proof positive of, well,  whatever that means on the right-wing message boards? Check.

      Looking at my card, I’ve won this round of rightwing concern troll bingo!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diane-Blum-Mandile/1269681107 Diane Blum Mandile

         as a single giver the NEA (National Education Association) consistently gives more than any other single donor or single PAC.  That is a fact

        Having a difference of opinion does not make someone a troll>

        If no groups are allowed to donate then it is a fact that only wealthy individuals will have a voice – and they are not all right-wingers  (by a long shot)

        • Hidan

           What’s your views on undisclosed donations? 

          I think the problem is groups are forming not in the open but often in secret and than such groups are allowed to attack or openly lie about an politicians/group without recourse.  This also allows bigger companies with more resources to do more of this without jeopardizing there brand. So in a sense the Companies that came together to form such group don’t even openly back what the group is saying.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            THIS is one of the biggest problems!
               The ability to LIE often, about a candidate, or proposal, corrupts the process.
               The ability to do so secretly, makes us vulnerable to the worst kinds of abuse!

        • Modavations

          On this forum if you disagree with the politburo types you are indeed a troll.Don’t ask me what a troll is(I understand the classical term),but I’ve been called one a million times.Always the same guys.NEA gives 100%ish to the Dems.American kids are so stupid McDonalds won’t hire them

          • Chris B

            From Wikipedia: In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic
            messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum,
            chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an
            emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[

          • Modavations

            Pg.17 of the dictionary of Leftist Gobble de gook reads.Like Pol.Correctness an attempt to stifle free speech through intimidation

          • Chris B

            You sound like that hit a nerve there, eh Moddy?

          • Modavations

            Don’t sick TTT on me

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You did!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda wrote this ‘dictionary of Leftist Gobble de gook’, while self-administering ‘chemicals’, that he has bragged about?

        • Gregg

          They get testy around here if you make sense.

        • denis

          Please post some credible source for your allegations.

    • Anonymous

      Just like Newt’s keeping “positive” in the Iowa campaign helped him (beat) Romney there while getting a $5 million infusion to his SuperPAC helped in South Carolina?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    It will be interesting to see how the corporations that caused this, will WHINE, when the find out that they aren’t TOP DOG, like they planned, when they sold the U.S. out?

    • Modavations

      The biggest Pac in the US is the Union.AFL-CIO is 40% Republican and donates 100% Democrat.The most frequent visitor to the White House is Trumpka.He and the Pres.are probably devising ways to employ the Union Thugs.By the way what happened to your roomate Ultrax.Is he in jail or the nut house?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I KNOW that my local union donated to some Republican candidates, so your 100% is invalid!  I suspect that your 40% Republican is just as invalid.
            I know as much about ulTRAX, as I do about you, when you’re not on here.  This is the only ‘place’ that I have any contact with any of you, as far as I know.
           ‘Union Thugs’, were the only viable answer to hired gunlsingers, and hired thugs, employed by the companies and corporations that wanted to keep ‘company script’, and other ‘essentially slavery’ methods of business.

      • denis

        and I am a democrat that has shares in many corporations… do they represent my interest when they spend profit dollars on super pacs representing right wing policy?  In my oppinion they do not even represent the corporate interest, only the interest of some greedy coporate executives. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        MadMarkTheCodeWarrior proved your figures wrong, again, about the biggest PAC?

  • nj

    What’s left of U.S. democracy continues to crumble. Not sure what it’s going to take to stop and reverse the oligopoly/corporate takeover.

    http://mediacitizen.blogspot.com/2012/02/obama-joins-democracy-sell-off.html

    “What’s really happening in 2012 is a transfer of money and power unlike any other in the history of U.S. politics. It’s a process that’s unfolding in corporate boardrooms and corridors of political power, far from public view or scrutiny.”

  • Markus

     I’m not a fan of Obama, actually I think the job’s too much for him, but it’s hard to blame him for setting up a Super Pac. The Supreme Court set the rules and given it is an advantage to have more money in a campaign, he’d be a dope not to do this. It’d be like a golfer staying with old style clubs because he felt the modern ones were hurting the game.

    But do SuperPacs have any effect on the power of lobbyists? On the one hand, they provide more money for the candidate, so they may not need the money as much of lobbyists. On the other, it’s possible they just raise the overall cost of getting elected and so the lobbyists money is still as needed. On a third hand, the Super Pac may be similar to a lobbyist, though their interests seem much less specific than lobbyists.

  • Anonymous

    It is unfortunate that Obama has to take this money in order to compete with the Republicans but the alternative is to surrender the election to Mitt “Corporations are people, my friend” Romney.  Obama is more likely to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Citizens United than a candidate who has Robert Bork as an advisor. 

  • Yar

    Go team go!
    Political sports.
    That is what our nation has become.
    We are a nation preoccupied with our team, seeing the world through the lens of winning the next election.  We no longer hear each other except to determine which side they are on.
    Political polarization is making our society ungovernable. 
    The republican primaries are a cross between American Idol and World Wrestling Entertainment.
    Text Super-Pac from your Cell phone…
    Lines open after the show.
    Charges will apply.

    • Steve

      I liken the current state of politics/elections/news-entertainment to the unlikely marraige of:
           -Franz Kafka, The Hunger Artist and
           -Mad Max, Beyond the Thunderdome

      For the lack of wisdom, a nation perishes.

  • Ray in VT

    Could your guests address what effect they think that disclosure of donations to Super PACS, as well as timely free and open access to the donors funding these groups, would have.

    Super PACS are here to stay, at least for the time being, but would it be at least feasible, although perhaps not with the current makeup of Congress, to create some sort of disclosure requirement so that the public could at least find out who was funding these groups and ads.

    • BHA in Vermont

      I suspect (sadly) that the vast majority of the voting public wouldn’t bother to find out who is behind the ads any more than they spend time determining the veracity of the claims.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Could your guests address the plausibility of an overturn of Citizens United and what they think would be necessary for the American electoral process to switch over to a public financing system similar to the one used in Connecticut? In addition, what are their opinions on pulbic financing of political campaign and do they think it is a viable option to limit the influance of 3rd parties such as interest groups and corporations? Thank you.

  • Will H

    A properly functioning democracy should be based on orderly and meaningful dialog and debate, NOT 30 second ads and NOT biased infotainment that consistitute more and more of mass media “News”.  In this day and age of information technology, a new paradigm should be in place for the citizentry to make sound decisions. 

  • Modavations

    See those two in the picture.Chuck Schumer is the patron(I’d say pigeon)of Wall St.Al Franken is the canidate of Acorn.Al worked for Air America,.Air America went bankrupt.The leader of Air America was caught embezzaling a boys club in the Bronx(something along those line.Gotta run kids,have sales calls.

    • nj

      “something along those line”

      More half-baked, lazy, Moda-trolling idiocy.

      • Modavations

        Three crows on a telephone line.Caw,caw

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Isn’t it cute when Moda hallucinates about being a crow?  Complete with sound effects?  Remind you of some of the stoner hippies on tv, in the 60s?

          • Modavations

            Come on Terry the diattribe weakens daily.Should I write you some new material

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I’m sure you wil?

    • still just cory

      Whadda reach.

    • denis

      empathy to your clients trying to deal with a logic like yours

  • aj

    Officer Richard Haste, who fired the bullet that killed Ramarley Graham, had no training in street level narcotics enforcement or plainclothes cop work, a police source said.
    -nydaily newsHundreds of people came to the monthly precinct community council meeting with police Wednesday, many because of Graham’s death.“It could have been my son,” said one resident.They say the police don’t just discriminate against them but that officers treat them like animals.” it’s basically the community you’re from. If you live in a poor community, they’re not gonna care,” said one resident.The borough commander also said the officers didn’t break in but that the downstairs tenant let them in. That brought shouts accusing police of cover up.“The door is locked. He kicked the door several times,” said another.The incident is not getting the attention it deserves.“Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg should have made it here instead of going to the Giants parade,” said one resident. “This is someone’s life.”-ny1 newsNew evidence shows cops may of had no cause to shoot and kill teen.A community activist exclaimed, “It’s happened before, the same excuses, oh we thought he had a gun. How many times are we going to see our children gunned down in the streets? ”

    Surveillance video clearly shows the teen walking, not running into his home, and seconds later cops racing in guns drawn trying to break through the front door with no search warrant. Cops confronted Graham in a bathroom, and shot him. There was no apparent struggle.
    Residents told us what is needed is more local policing, officers from the community who know and understand -WPIX 11

    The officers tried to kick in the door and eventually went in the back door.  Witnesses say they did not identify themselves as police.
    Officer Haste cornered Graham in a bathroom (with no warrant)and shot him. A gun was never found. Only a bag of marijuana in the toilet.
    Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that Haste had ordered Graham to show his hands and then had yelled “Gun, gun, gun,”

    -Fox8

    Massachusetts Ballot Question 2, a citizen’s proposition that replaced prior criminal penalties with new civil penalties on adults possessing an ounce or less of Cannibus. The initiative appeared on the November 4, 2008 ballot.  The measure was passedand became public law.

    The law represents a break with prior law in Massachusetts, where people charged with Cannibus possession faced criminal penalties as well as eliminating the collection of Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) reports for minor Cannibus related infractions.

    • Kathy

      How is this remotely relevant to SuperPACs??

      • still just cory

        Agreed.  Important, and totally OFF POINT!

      • aj

        Kathy, thank you for the question.
         
        Not only is it remotely relevant but the two are in fact intricately connected.  If you would allow me, please…
         
        So-called ” super pacs ” are yet another mechanism for the so called “1%” to further refine the public debate(at the federal state and municipal level).  Resulting in a distorted representation of both the issues at hand and the facts upon which they are derived. 
         
        Primarily, this is accomplished with the collusion and co-opting of the incorporated media establishment who are also the 1%.  Superpac commercials are mere interludes to the actual content there in.  Where the Presstitute media in their virtuous quest for answers turn in a salivating manner to officials also of the 1% like Mayor Bloomberg in order to disseminate the “facts”.

        The same Mayor Bloomberg who is chief executive of the same NYPD which Haste is a sworn officer thereof. 
         
        Most of this free media attention given to 1% Bloomberg perpetuates a one sided view of reality and is transmitted electromagnetically over Publically Owned! airwaves. 

        Just like 220 yrs ago when the new Republic spread the news via Article I, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution specifically authorizing Congress the enumerated power “to establish post offices and post roads” 

        George Washington also the 1% disseminated his one sided view using this publically owned 18th century information highways (post roads) while in the comfort of his home at Mt Vernon. 

        Needless to say no media attention was given to the hundreds of enslaved african-americans out in the fields of Mt Vernon tending to Master Washington’s acres of good old homegrown Virginia Cannibus crops.  The same plant of which buds there in, Ramarley Graham was in harmless possession of when Mr 1% Bloombergs fascist goon squad shot AND killed him point blank for in his bathroom!

        Was this answer satisfactory?

        P.S.  SOLIDARITY to the people of Homs in their darkest hour. ( That however has no remote relevance to SuperPACS)

  • Anonymous

    When so many voters have no clue about US history, current politicians, or opposing political view points, it is no wonder we got hope & change.

    • Ray in VT

      Knowing a thing or two about all of those, I’d certainly take hope and change over the alternatives of “family values” (as defined by social conservatives), deregulation and trickle down.

      I tend to draw similar conclusions in some respects to your comment, but I see the result being the vast numbers of Americans who vote against their economic interests.

  • Modavations

    Remember when Pres.Obama said he’d only accept public financing.Remember when the Pres. decried raising the Debt Limits.

    • Markus

       I didn’t know that Obama said he’d only accept public financing – that might change things. However, if Super PACs came into existence after he made this statement, I still give him a pass on using his own Super PAC. Conditions changed significantly after this ruling.

      However, if he said this after the ruling or he could have anticipated the ruling, his decision shows he’s a hack. My guess, though, is his statement came before the Supreme Court ruling. And no, I don’t have the time to look these things up.

      • denis

        The statement came when he was still a Senator and just
        starting his run for president. I do not remember all of the details but I believe
        he attached some conditions relating to his opponents doing the same..

    • Michiganjf

      Yeah, Republicans ruin everything for everyone, don’t they?

  • Michiganjf

    Listening this morning to NPR’s story on Super Pacs, American Crossroads, and Karl Rove, one thing became clear:

    A very small number of people control most of the money and political power IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

    The Democratic Party has no such equivalent, and is made up of a much more disparate, unorganized, broad-based and representative spectrum of constituencies.

    It’s no great revelation that this has long been the case, but the “Citizens United” case seems to have scaled the concentration of power in the Republican Party to  a degree not seen in a century or more in America.

    No one in the Republican Party will ever admit to this, of course, or to how detrimental this concentartion of power is in the hands of a few, but it’s obvious to the rest and cause for extreme concern.

    If Citizens United stands much longer, this concentration of wealth and power will only get worse, and will undoubtedly eventually even bleed into Democratic Party politics.

    America needs to insist that so much power be taken from a handful of wealthy and politically connected people, and swing the balance back to Americans at large.

    MAKE CONGRESS REMEDY THE HARM THAT CITIZENS UNITED AND THE REPUBLICAN ROBERTS COURT HAS DONE TO AMERICA!!!!

    • Michiganjf

      BTW, Modavation’s claim below about unions is laughable.

      Unions have NO significant clout in America these days, thanks to Reagan and the last 30 years of Republican politics, and unions also have no significant wealth to contribute when compared against the Republican political/wealth machine controlled by a handful of people.

  • Modavations

    TTT,incase you didn’t notice the unions are now in favor of the Seniles decision.It makes legal,all their past criminalities

  • Maryella1

    supper pacs = death to the
    voice of the people and aid the continuing demise of democracy. slowly
    but surely we are loosing our voice in this country. we should have our
    “spring” right here, right now.

  • Anonymous

    We are now living in a plutocracy. When wealthy Republicans and Democrats are using money to control political outcomes it would seem to me that we the people are going to lose here.
    We are losing our democracy.

    Robert Reich’ comments on this issue is spot on:
    So now a relative handful of super-rich Democrats want fight a
    relative handful of super-rich Republicans. And we call this a
    democracy.

    http://robertreich.org/post/17251255054

    • Observer

      Hmmmm. Who is arguing for power to the People and less concentrated in the elite string-pullers?

  • Brett

    On Point, no show this week devoted to the decision to make religious institutions (that run businesses) follow the same labor standards as secular-run businesses and how that has been distorted and translated into “persecution of religious freedom” by the neocons? 

    • Denis

      Even
      Charlie Rose on CS early show allowed the Catholic Church rep get away with
      this red herring this a.m.  The real restriction
      in religious freedom is the church hiring people with different beliefs and
      then requires them to follow their outdated, ill conceived, non-scriptural
      standard

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Promulgated by Child-Molesting and Child-Abusing HYPOCRITES,  no less?

        • Modavations

          Bleat # 3 
          The Pervert Priests did it

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The US has shifted from an oligarchy (ruled by an elite class) to a plutocracy (ruled by the wealthy).

    • Observer

      There is nothing new about the Washington Corporatocracy.

      Fed shenanigans shower funny money on both parties who can’t resist rewarding their favorite sectors and distorting our economy while bankrupting us with utopian promises from no more suffering to world domination.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Making corporations ‘people’ is likely the biggest, and most grave, error ever made by the Supreme Court. Until that is reversed or the Constitution is amended to specifically say that only live individual humans are people, and that MONEY IS NOT PROTECTED SPEECH every candidate will need to use Super PACs in an attempt to win an election.

    The proof is in the ‘pudding’. To wit, earlier today NPR reported that Romney has the most money, the biggest Super PAC and the biggest organization. You can bet that in the end, they will buy him the Republican nomination in 2012.
     

    • denis

      i’ve often wondered if corporations are people why do they not pay tax rates as people?

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    While I am far from a Republican, and I don’t agree with all of his views, I fully support Buddy Romer’s take on running for President.  I wonder why the media hasn’t paid more attention to him, and others, that aren’t overly obsessed with religion, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, bombing Iran, stuck in  their ideology and ignorance of fact, and the Super PACs that fund them. 

    Poll after poll show that the American people (blue, red, purple) think that Citizens United and all this money in politics need to go ASAP. The lowest number of those polled was something like 69%, and the highest in the 80′s.  If this isn’t a call for a long overdue referendum I don’t know what is?

    It’s a take on Twain’s quote about the weather – That everyone talks about it, but nobody does anything about it.

    • Observer

      “I wonder why the media hasn’t paid more attention to him”….

      I wonder. And we think Ron Paul’s got it bad.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         True, but Buddy also isn’t calling for Iran to be bombed ASAP, or to let Iran have the bomb if they want it, or to put religion in his every decision, or a lunar base on the moon within 8 years, or any other wing nut idea that makes a great sound bite.

        If I were President (not gonna happen, ran out of places to hide the skeletons), he’d be a guy I’d at least consult with to get started on giving the people a government they can be proud of.

        Buddy, unfortunately, is entirely too reasonable a person to make an headlines on the Right. 

        • Observer

          It certainly looks like “calling for Iran to be bombed ASAP, or to let Iran have the bomb if they want it” is the choice. Is it still chilling to have the US and Russia nuked to the hilt? Oh Yeah. But does that mean in retrospect we should have pre-emptively tried to take over Russia?

          Ron Paul would be ready, as always, to protect the Constitution from threats foreign and domestic. Meaning, while he might prefer to go forward with a  live and let live and free trade policy, if anybody directly threatened the nation, he would, as he states, hit them hard, win, and come home.

          What is more utterly rational and realistic than that?  Oh yeah,  debt-based world police and continued decline and subservience to China…

  • Me

    The unfortunate problem with mankind! He who has the gold rules! The Golden Rule as they call it! Whatta shame!!!!!!

  • Cindy

    Having worked in politics, I guess I’m more pragmatic than pure.  I want Obama re-elected, and in my view, our best chance for getting rid of Citizens United is a second Obama administration.  I want the next Supreme Court justices chosen by Obama, with the hope that this judgement will be one day overturned.  

    • Observer

      Yeah, just like he punished the Banking coke-heads for the financial scandal when he had both chambers of Congress, by putting them in his administration and continuing their bailouts!

      Good One!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Big individual PAC donors are not the American middle class, quite possibly not Americans, and quite likely to not be individuals at all, but multinational corporations.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Once we make it law that money is not speech, we can pass campaign finance laws to prevent groups AND people from buying elections in arenas where they HAVE NO STAKE.

    For instance, NO ONE outside the state of California should have been able to spend ANY money to pass or defeat Prop 8.  If you are not DIRECTLY governed/represented by a bill/candidate you should NOT have ANY say in the passage or election of the bill/candidate.

    Give elections back to the people, not the rich and powerful individuals and corporations/unions/other large group.

    • Observer

      Is art speech?  Is artistic expression protected? Under what?

  • Will

    Money perhaps equals free speech, but *not* equal free speech since we all don’t have or earn the same amount of money.  And since earning or having the same amount of money is not something anyone wants, Citizens United and the Supreme Court just enshrines in law inequality of free speech. 

    Given the almost universal opposition to this decision, if Dems were smart, they’d put repeal of Citizens United up for a vote and get the GOP to publicly defend the ruling and then beat them over the head with it.

    • Observer

      They can spend out their arse, but can only tick the box once.

      The question is whether people can think for themselves.

  • jac

    How do you prevent foreign governments and corporations from influencing our elections?

  • Ca_brit

    As with success, Americans equate freedom with ability and to earn and spend money. We are doomed.

  • Witterquick

    Super Pacs, how the 1%ers vote for the best government money can buy.

    Posted by:
    Americas for an American America
    Or maybe
    Billionaires for a Billionaire Ameribillion

  • Victoria

    I think the Citizens United decision was atrocious, but I don’t fault President Obama’s decision to play by the new rules.  Here’s my analogy: as an NFL coach, and a football purist, you may have hated the decision to allow two-point conversions after touchdowns.  But if you’re in a tough game, down by two points, you’d be a fool to make a principled stand and say “my team will only kick for one extra point.”  No, you play by the rules set up for everyone–and play hard.

  • Sara in VT

    I think I understand Obama’s point of view but they could have said it better i.e.

    “Citizens United did open the flood gates and our option is to be washed away or open our own.”  also with a mention of “being encouraged by the number of organizations throughout the country looking to find ways to overturn Citizens United.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    There is a big difference between a super PAC built on millions of $5 and $10 donations, and ones built on a handful of multimillion dollar donations.

  • Gregg

    I say bring it on with full disclosure. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I’m for FULL disclosure!

      • Observer

        Let’s just not confuse it with full exposure. Not with this candidate line up.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Great Point!  Cute, too!  Any single women running for office?

    • Anonymous

      Agreed.  Speech is only protected “speech” if the communicator can be identified.  

    • Observer

      Seriously, this is an issue so many agree on. These are the kinds of things that a decent Congress would act on immediately if they cared about the Constitution and the Country.

  • Andrew Morgan

    It’s inaccurate to call the President’s recent embrace of the Super PAC funding stream “hypocritical.” He hasn’t changed his mind about whether this is a good way to fund an election. It’s not hypocritical; it’s cynical. He chose to take the low road while fully acknowledging that it’s the low road. That is, he is choosing to disbelieve that the better angels of our nature will allow his campaign to compete with that of his opponents. He has certainly not adopted the position that this is all a good idea.

    • BHA in Vermont

      “he is choosing to disbelieve that the better angels of our
      nature will allow his campaign to compete with that of his opponents. ”

      He is smarter than that. ANYONE running for the presidency who doesn’t think that more people are voting based on ads than position papers is too naive to get the job.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    What else could Obama do? It would like fighting with both hands tied behind your back. And super PACs do not need the consent of the candidates they are supporting, anyway.

  • Observer

    Just make it TRANSPARENT. If people want to waste millions of dollars, let them spend it, let us see who is giving to whom, and WE will decide whether it’s unsavory and vote accordingly.

    $ is like water, we will never stop it from seeping in, so just make it transparent with big penalties for hiding.

    • Ray in VT

      Agreed, but I think that many of those donating large sums, as well as those receiving it, don’t want us to know where the money is coming from and where it is going.

      • Observer

        I bet they don’t, if there goals are collusive or corruptive. That’s why we have to make it Transparent by law.  But stopping their effort to throw money will never succeed.  When we start voting against those who get suspicious money, then maybe they will see it as a waste and stop.  More ongoing Vigilance work for us.

    • BHA in Vermont

      How about we add a “truth factor” requirement to the ads.
      - If it isn’t true, you can’t say it.
      - If it is partly half true, you have to say so and say which part IS true.

      Fail to abide by these rules and 100% of your war chest is given to the US treasury. Start over at square one.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        GREAT IDEA!

      • Observer

        I’m afraid we are going to be left to struggle with truthiness.

        But once we set the Transparency law, I’m all for 15 yr minimums for the candidate and donor who cheat.

        • Observer

          Let alone, I’m pretty sure one can still sue for slander and  libel.

          • Observer

            The fact the candidates AREN’T speaks to the relative truthiness of the ads so far? They are almost all serial hypocrites and pandering flip-floppers eager to do the bidding of the status quo.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Such a SPEEDY process?

          • Observer

            Freedom vs. Efficiency and Justice.

            That’s why we are America and China’s not.

  • William

    Unions are nothing more than “Super-Pacs”, but the union members are forced to pay dues and don’t get a say what political party gets the money.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Just like corporate stock holders don’t have a say.

      • William

        But a person is not forced to buy stock to get a job in a company whereas there are many jobs that require you to join the union if you want to be hired.  

        • Terry Tree Tree

          NOT all unions, or jobs, force people to join!
             Union dues are a very SMALL part of the pay, for the representation!

          • Modavations

            Do you make your Union Brothers kiss your Thug Pinkie Ring?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      My union HAS voted to donate to Republican candidates, of money donated specifically for political action!  NOT dues!

      • Modavations

        Bull,what % goes to republicans.What % of your union is Rep and Dem? Show me proof,your word means nothing

        • Terry Tree Tree

          YOUR ‘word’, has been disproven in the past? 
             Governor Haslam is one of the recipients.

          • Modavations

            Terry means to say if his masters at Move On disagree with me, then I am proved wrong.Ultrax used that one all the time.I’ve proved before that you’re wrong Moda”.I’ve proved without doubt that you’re wrong Moda”,,,,How is your roommate?.I haven’t seen him in a while.Is he in jail,or back in the looney bin

  • Ca_brit

     It’s outrages that Public companies are able to take money from their treasures and handing over to political parties. The Republicans harp on about unions handing over dues to the Democrats without having a free vote. How about the Republican tell these companies not to turn over shareholder money to political parties without first having a vote.

  • Jeanne D

    So, corporations cannot hire new people despite sitting on piles of cash because the future is “uncertain”.  However, they can write out large checks to super pacs, but it’s not quid pro quo.

  • Sara in VT

    If you are disturbed by this check out:

    http://movetoamend.org/http://rootstrikers.org/ 

    I’m sure there are many more.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Colbert’s been nailing the problems with SuperPACS, from the “wink wink” non-coordination, to the use of simple forms and literally penning over a word with another word, to the ads saying Romeny is a serial killer.  

    • TFRX

      Where are all the scintillating right-wing satirists ready to rip this subject a new one?

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         They tried a Right-wing satire show (again) two or three years back and it lasted all of a few short weeks.  I can only guess as to what that says about who has the most things needing to be mocked, and who can see the humor in what.

  • Greyman

    Everyone expects establishment candidates to be bought and paid for, another way for self-fulfilling prophecies to attain their virtue. But Barack Obama, Agent of Change, Transhistorical Epoch-Wielding Post-Partisan Barack Obama, Agent of Change, bought and paid for? Well, yes, even from before 2008, with his decision to go with a super-PAC, Obama merely deserves credit for being consistent. Welcome to the establishment.

  • Witterquick

    Regarding corporations in Super Pacs, listen to Jeffrey Sachs. 

  • aj

    Kathy, thank you for the question.
     
    Not only is it remotely relevant but the two are in fact intricately connected.  If you would allow me, please…
     
    So-called ” super pacs ” are yet another mechanism for the so called “1%” to further refine the public debate(at the federal state and municipal level).  Resulting in a distorted representation of both the issues at hand and the facts upon which they are derived. 
     
    Primarily, this is accomplished with the collusion and co-opting of the incorporated media establishment who are also the 1%.  Superpac commercials are mere interludes to the actual content there in.  Where the Presstitute media in their virtuous quest for answers turn in a salivating manner to officials also of the 1% like Mayor Bloomberg in order to disseminate the “facts”.

    The same Mayor Bloomberg who is chief executive of the same NYPD which Haste is a sworn officer thereof. 
     
    Most of this free media attention given to 1% Bloomberg perpetuates a one sided view of reality and is transmitted electromagnetically over Publically Owned! airwaves. 

    Just like 220 yrs ago when the new Republic spread the news via Article I, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution specifically authorizing Congress the enumerated power “to establish post offices and post roads” 

    George Washington also the 1% disseminated his one sided view using this publically owned 18th century information highways (post roads) while in the comfort of his home at Mt Vernon. 

    Needless to say no media attention was given to the hundreds of enslaved african-americans out in the fields of Mt Vernon tending to Master Washington’s acres of good old homegrown Virginia Cannibus crops.  The same plant of which buds there in, Ramarley Graham was in harmless possession of when Mr 1% Bloombergs fascist goon squad shot AND killed him point blank for in his bathroom!

    Was this answer satisfactory?

    P.S.  SOLIDARITY to the people of Homs in their darkest hour. ( That however has no remotely relevance to SuperPACS)

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I must admire the way you tied this in!  That took some thought!

      • aj

        Thanks Terry, appreciate that. 

      • Modavations

        quit gushing

  • Anonymous

    Facetiously:

    Well since a corporation’s responsibility is to the bottom line, shareholders should want as much money as possible spent on candidates who advocate policies that will enhance the corporations bottom line.

  • Still Here

    How many votes does a Super PAC get?

    • BHA in Vermont

      As many as the number of voters they can convince with their ads :)

      • Still Here

        gotcha, ZERO, thanks

        • Observer

          We need to watch out for all those dumb people who don’t vote for us, don’tcha know…..

    • Ray in VT

       None directly, but how many can they buy?  The recent news about the campaign financing law out in Montana is rather illustrative of this point.  100 years ago big companies out there were basically buying Congressmen, so the state’s voters banned corporate contributions to try to rectify the problem.  That’s the concern with the current situation.

      • Still Here

        Are votes for sale?  What store, Target or WalMart?  I don’t tend to go to the back aisles so I’ve never seen them.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Dang, when did WBUR and VPR start doing fund raising at the same time? I used to be able to jump to the direct WBUR feed for OnPoint to hear the show during the VPR fundraising breaks.

    BTW, I am a member of VPR so I don’t have to listen to the fund raising right? :)

    • Adks12020

      tune in on the internet or through the smart phone app and you can avoid the fundraising.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Since you’re giving funds, why should you feel obligated to listen to the fund-raiser?

  • Gisscottheron

    Do you really think we can stamp out money out of politics? I doubt it and because the media is the recipient of this largesse I doubt that we will have an honest debate in the fourth estate.
    The internet has allowed smurfing of money buy individuals via hacking tools that are basically untraceable Howard Deans campaign proved that so how do you wring out the money.
    it is impossible.

  • Nancy

    I think Soros in 2008 was a very different question.
     
    In that case, we had a wealthy American LEGITIMATELY terrified for his fellow Americans of a McCain/Palin ticket!

    • Observer

      Let’s Gas the Illegitimates and get it over with.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ???

        • Observer

          Soros millions Jesus. Koch millions Satan.

          • Observer

            Democratic Socialism, Jesus. Liberty-centric views, Satan.

            Gassing needed obviously because the rational debating is too hard and it gets frustrating when emotional arguments keep falling short against empirical historic observation.

          • Modavations

            Righteous

          • Terry Tree Tree

            To some.

  • andy

    you ask if democracy is for sale, but the real problem is that no amount of money would matter if we had an informed public. big money only wins because most voters are only “informed” by vicious tv attack ads.

    • Still Here

      I get all my news from the Comedy Channel and The Onion.

  • MarkVII88

    Once the primary season is complete, do your guests predict that Republican Super PACs or Democratic Super PACs will receive and spend more “big money” donations?

    • BHA in Vermont

      I don’t know about the guests but I would bet your bottom dollar that they will :)

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I’ll second that emotion!

  • Gregg

    I don’ care how much anyone spends as long as it’s fully disclosed.

  • Anonymous

    In Citizens United, the Supreme Court majority confused “freedom of speech” with freedom to spend money.  They conflated the megaphone (money) with the message (ideas).

    I expect better from professional jurists who are supposed to be exceptionally good at parsing details.

    • Still Here

      How much did you pay for that commercial, cuz it blew!

  • Anonymous

           Enough of this endless hand wringing over campaign finance. The problem with the American political system isn’t money. The culprits are, in this order, disinterest, laziness, and plain old stupidity. Most of us recognize, I hope, the disingenuous nature of advertizing. We see the spin, the obfuscation, and the outright lies inherent in the Ad biz. Does anyone really buy a particular laundry detergent because they saw a commercial with a pretty housewife dancing around the house amid animated butterflies and flowers floating in the air? Does anyone really buy a brand of light beer because of the bikini-clad models skiing down a mountainside? I certainly hope not. If so, more’s the pity.                                                   Political advertising, which represents the majority of the money spent by political campaigns is no different. It’s nothing more than spin, half-truths, and deliberate misinformation. When a campaign ad feeds me a bunch of questionable claims, trumpeting a candidates purported successes and policy stances, while mentioning nothing of his failures, weaknesses, or bad decisions, that represents wildly distorted half-truths, which is a polite term for lies.                                                       The problem is, most Americans, even the few who bother to vote buy this garbage completely. Unlike the people who post comments to this forum, or many like it, or who listen to in depth discussions such as the kind found on shows like “On Point,” most Americans consider things like the ability to name the full cast of “Jersey Shore” to be a major intellectual accomplishment. These are your fellow Americans, with the attention span of a two year old and the intellectual curiosity of a pancake.                                                                       When you criticize the effect of “too much money” on the political process, what you’re saying is, “Money too easily influences all the lazy dopes out there who are great at complaining, but would rather blow their brains out than read a newspaper or make even the tiniest effort at informing themselves.” Since this is the case, we deserve whatever flawed representation we get in government.                                                                         

    • BHA in Vermont

      “It’s nothing more than spin, half-truths, and deliberate misinformation.”

      Unless the FACTS are presented immediately after the ad, the vast majority of people viewing it will never know where the facts stop and the spin/lies start.

      • Anonymous

         If you believe political ads are the only source of facts, I rest my case.

    • Observer

      That’s right.  Let’s get on with the thinking about our self-government, rule of law, and economic realities. When some dolled up candidate speaks to the conclusions we reach, perhaps they will get our vote regardless of big money shouting.

      • Observer

        What’s more important is developing a clear understanding of what candidates are actually saying, what they want to achieve, and whether we think it a sustainable answer to the age old challenges of scarcity and liberty.

        We have to work through those ideas, and the animated butterflies and those gullible enough to follow them are marginal.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Even if there were no coordination between the Super PAC and a candidate (a concept which is obviously a HUGE joke), BIG money should NOT be allowed to buy elections whether anonymously or out in the open.

  • Anonymous

    Money is property not speech.  Following SCOTUS logic, the more money you have the more speech you can buy.

    • Still Here

      I talk all the time for free, plus I’ve got a bucket plan.

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    Our best hope to denude Citizen’s United is to remember this;

    “They may have all the money, but we have all the votes”
    Charles A. Bowsher (copyright 2010)

  • Nancy

    The wealthy should have one person, one vote, just like the rest of us!

    • Still Here

      Like they do….

      How about stupid people?

      • Ray in VT

         They seem to be speaking pretty loudly these days.

        • Still Here

          What are they saying, I don’t have cable?

          • Ray in VT

            I was thinking more along the lines of the results of the most recent primaries, but that’s mainly because of the extremely low opinion that I have of Rick Santorum.

            I don’t watch much in the way of tv, and I more or less actively ignore the 24 hour news channels.

        • Observer

          If loud vote is voted in a forest and nobody is around, is it worth 2 votes?

      • Anonymous

        They’re who the commercials are for.

        • Observer

          So you are saving stupid people from themselves. THAT’S what this is all about….. Why doesn’t Obama just come out and say it, sounds like a great platform!

          • Anonymous

             I’m not saving anyone from anyone.  And it has nothing to do with Obama any more than any candidate.  My point simply is that only stupid people will decide how to vote based on the commercials I see being run.   

          • Observer

            Which is a case against limiting campaign ‘speech’, as long as its transparent. Using our brains instead of just curtailing more liberty out of fear.

        • Still Here

          I thought that’s when they get their brewskis.

          • Anonymous

             Lotta dry counties

  • Jen

    I am truly dismayed at the gross amount of money spent on political campaigns, as this issue highlights.  Aren’t there better uses for these funds?

  • Dsheldon

    Of course Obama is going to accept Super PAC funding. It was such a serious mistake for the supreme court to conclude that corporations are people.Unfortunately our country is going to suffer from their poor judgement forever or until that decision is reversed.I can just hear the extremely irrational right jump to criticize Obama,but until we as a people change that court decision he would be a fool not to accept super pac money. And a fool he is not. We need”one man, one vote” and return the power of this country back to the majority.Until then, please do what we can legally as politicians or civilians to put reasonable and decent men and women in office with a clear message. The
    country belongs to all of us, not just the rich.       

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    What is that Republicans fear so much about anyone but them being in charge?

    This all started under Dubya with Rove, Army and their cronies in politics calling for a “permanent Republican majority/leadership”.  When I hear that all I can think of is any group that’s talked about having a permanent, or 100 year, or 1000 year, etc., rule. All that kind of speech has resulted in is suppression of people (Jews, gypsies, communists, “heretics”, non-Christians, the poor, gays, minorities, et al), and conflict with other nations, as these type of thinkers want to inflict their beliefs (read “FEARS” ) onto others.

    This is going hand in hand with their machinations to make voting harder for the people that traditionally don’t vote Republican, or are slowly turning away from the Right. 

    • Observer

      Maybe it’s the “in charge” as opposed to respecting self-government and simply executing the rule of law dispassionately.

      Not that I think establishment Republicans are any different, but the liberty talk they have hijacked yet would never follow through on, is on the right track.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         The Republicans seem to tout democracy and the rights and responsibilities, but don’t want a whole lot of people that disagree, or potentially disagree, with them to vote. They also tout getting government out of people’s lives, but they set up block after block on:Who can vote, who has to jump through what hoops to get desperately needed help – like food stamps if you have an official ID of some kind and pee in a cup, call for personal responsibility but deny the individual mandate they were the first to call for, and keep you from speaking with your doctor about end-of-life care that could save billions of dollars in Medicare, but not it it’s going to cost Medicare less a couple hundred bucks IF and when they need it.

  • attyjgd

    Remember a prior show on irony and the reference to a sign seen at an occupy site: 

    “I’LL BELIEVE CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE WHEN TEXAS EXECUTES ONE”

    I concur.

    • Anonymous

      Didn’t George Bush kill Arbusto?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6E5M4YACHDJ7AFL5D2XK3IMCL4 James P.

    Have any GOP super PACs fund multiple canidates. In a primary process this could help divide the vote of specific interest groups like the tea party. I find it supicious that there are more tea party canidates than establishment GOP canidates.
    -Jim Iowa City

  • Bill_berghauer

    Regarding big money “buying” elections: I understand most of this money is spent on TV advertising.  I’m not aware that anyone is forced to watch TV advertising.  I’m also not aware that anyone follows me into a voting booth and forces me to vote a certain way.  This being true, perhaps the discussion should be about why most voters are so easily swayed, and what we can do about this — if anything.

  • TFRX

    “Unions don’t have the cumulative amount of endless money that all these corporations and wealthy donors do.”

    After all the tut-tutting by the likes of Cokie “But the Democrats!” Roberts, it’s refreshing to hear that somewhere on public radio.

    • Still Here

      Unions can increase dues at any whim, and do.  This requires them to negotiate higher salaries from the governments that employ their members.  Thankfully since the dues are going into the campaign coffers of the people they will be negotiating with, these negotiations go very smoothly.  Rinse and repeat!

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    This Drew woman is a clear partisan.  Tom did a good job calling her out.  She is full of pious baloney.

    • Still Here

      Tom sees every partisanship but his own.

  • Modavations

    What a hoot.Leftists having to defend their obsolete world views on NPR.NPR the home of the limosine liberal

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I don’t see a hypocrisy with Obama using SuperPac money while calling for the end of SuperPAC money.  You don’t show up a knife at a gunfight, and Obama’s clearly not afraid to bite the hand that feeds him as far as the SuperPAC. Those that are giving to his SuperPac clearly know this, or the SuperPAC wouldn’t be getting funds from anyone. 

  • Anonymous

    The speaker makes a good point about the primary elections being hijacked by rich supporters allowing Newt to stay in the race but in some ways keeping other candidates in the race is beneficial.  Why should a handful of unrepresentaive early voting states decide on the nominee before most people get to vote?

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    Citizens United was wrong because the Supreme Court Five (who should be impeached) failed to recognize that corporations are already represented in our “Democracy” by their owners, their shareholders and their customers. Besides, who exactly is going to cast the “vote” on the corporations behalf?  What precinct will they be in? How many votes will they get?  I guess the computer Watson of Jeopardy fame will vote for IBM.

    • Modavations

      Just hang em.No need for a trial

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Hang computers?

        • Modavations

          The 5 seniles you dolt.I just heard from the NAD(National Association of Dolts) and they say you give dolts a bad name!!!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Didn’t I tell you they expelled me for being WAY too intelligent to listen to a guppy?

          • Modavations

            I never believe a word you say

  • Julie

    At no point in history has money ever bought merit of mind or character. Period. May the best person (not corporation) win!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Eventually the wealthy will tire of this, and will just buy out all media – when it’s all Fox, all the time, you won’t even be able to find out who’s running, you’ll just be told who to vote for.

    • Observer

      Tell that to the Ron Paul supporters.  I helps motivate people when you actually run on principles as opposed to more discretionary rule of the moment political opportunism.

  • Observer

    But Tom, Democrats are good people, everyone else is evil, and only good people should be empowered. I can make these distinctions for us if you like.

    • Still Here

      Thanks, thinking hurts so I prefer to leave it to others.

  • paul

    this is the fault of the american public. this is only allowed to happen because of our complacency; we would rather vote on American Idol than on American politics.

  • WA McLaughlin

    I don’t know why reporters are upset that President Obama is setting up a “Super PAC”. “Only a fool goes to a “Gunfight” armed with a knife.” Whatever your opinion of President Obama, he is not a Fool. Under current law he can’t control it and therefore he can’t stop one from forming.

  • Still Here

    Please, who are you losers kidding?

    You don’t put any thought into who you vote for!  You vote straight party ticket all the time!  Soros and Abelson could spend a billion dollars each and it’s not going to change your vote.  Why act so outraged?  Your vote was paid for long ago!

    • BHA in Vermont

      That is true for SOME people but not all.

    • Anonymous

      It has nothing to do with actual voters.  I think that those that donate significant amounts of money to a SuperPac in favor of a candidate, will expect quid pro quo.  I know if I did it I would lord that money over the candidate.

    • TFRX

      I see the GOP’s “moderates outreach” PR push has begun.

  • Scswanson

    Republicans want a republic ruled by money power and exclusivity- not a democracy of fairness or equality. What more do you expect?

    • Observer

      This election will be about Democratic Socialism vs. Liberty and the Rule of Law. Even if the candidates don’t actually reflect it.  think thats the question Americans are asking themselves after the Bipartisan Financial Crisis, a 3+ years of more of the same unaccountability and growing debt.

      JMHO

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Rice/100000693874282 Joseph Rice

    With each year, I become more and more cynical about our election process. Do you think the time has now come to have a serious discussion about allowing direct purchase of votes?

    It would provide direct stimulus to the economy, and be a more efficent way of getting the desired result, and doesn’t seem far removed from what we now have.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Doesn’t even need to be direct purchase of a vote. We have the Electoral College and Winner Take All states. The individual vote doesn’t count. So let the Super PACs and super rich buy the Electoral College votes directly, the money goes to the state to help offset their financial problems.

    • Still Here

      You mean like giving bums cigarettes to vote Democratic.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Rice/100000693874282 Joseph Rice

        Considering what it is costing per vote in the current primaries, I guess the Democrats were better business people if they were able to get a vote for cigarette (I thought they had to buy them drinks).
        No, I figure we could do an eBay type system, and as part of election day, stores would run sales to attract people with their vote-bucks! American capitalism and democracy merged!

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Giving money to someone else is an action — a deed — it is NOT speech.

    Speech is something that each person has equally.  Standing on a corner, standing in a public space, even standing on a soap box.

    Speech is the vote.

    Money is none of these.  We used to only allow white male land owners the vote.  This was wrong then, and it is wrong now.

    Neil

    • BHA in Vermont

      Not just landowners, also had to be in the Church.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

         Right, so only white male Christian land owners could vote…

        Sounds like this is what many people today want?

        Neil

  • Sue

    If you get rid of your tv and only listen to NPR, you will be blissfully unscathed by negative ads!

    • BHA in Vermont

      That would be true for TV ads. Can’t stay away from the Robocall ads unless you don’t answer your phone.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    There is nothing wrong with the money as long as there is full, timely disclosure.  Also, it would be better if the candidates took responsibility for negative ads.

    The nullifier of unfair negative ads is fact checking.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I agree that full, timely disclosure is necessary, and candidates need to take responsibility for negative ads!

    • BHA in Vermont

      Who has time to check all the lies?

      • TFRX

        Well, there’s Politifact.

        Oh, wait.

        The New York Times will do it, if their ombud ever figures out that they should be in the business of fact-checking.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        I agree.  The fact checking is always problem.  Sometimes we need to rely on the media and independent fact checking organizations. The candidates need to respond to unfair attacks.  There is also a timing issue.  If the lie comes to late in the cycle there is no time to react.

        SuperPACs do make it harder to respond because it isn’t directly candidate to candidate.

        Remember, the Bush drunk driving allegation on the eve of the election?  That made the election much closer than it would have been.

  • Tncanoeguy

    I’m not a constitutional scholar but I have never agreed with the supreme court’s equating campaign contributions with free speech.  (Sorry if this has already been said – I just joined the conversation.)  Money corrupts and combined with politics you have a perfect storm of corruption.  

    • Still Here

      We all are so read up!

  • Tribalguitars

    Money = speech, so more money would equal more speech. Just look at what Romney spent vs all the rest in FL.  Isn’t just a rewrite of Orwell’s “Animal Farm” quote: “All animals are equal. Some animals are more equal than others.”

    So am I to honestly expect that someone is going to get to the front of the line for attention with their $5 donation from a cellphone text that a casino owner donating millions?  Honestly?

  • MarkVII88

    Doesn’t the success of all this Super PAC money to influence elections with campaign ads etc. all hinge on the assumption that Americans are essentially dummies who can’t take 5 minutes to get the facts and make a decision for themselves?  Wake up America…this is what the candidates think of you!

    • Still Here

      cue national anthem!

  • Nate, Iowa City

    One thing that I haven’t heard discussed with regards to PACs is the potential foreign influence in our electoral system.

    So many U.S. corporations have foreign subsidiaries and so many foreign corporations have U.S. subsidiaries. If a corporate board decides to donate to a PAC, then, how does that NOT represent potential foreign influence in our domestic elections? 

    Those most concerned about voter fraud (e.g. the GOP) should absolutely oppose a system that allows unlimited corporate donations to PACs.

    • Still Here

      How many votes do those pesky foreigners get?  Maybe we should ask for proof of citizenship at the ballot box. 

      • Ray in VT

        If you can come up with a way to do that without unduly burdening or discouraging eligible voters, then let’s do it.

        • TFRX

          SH has gone beyond the Reality Event Horizon. Your good sense isn’t gonna haul him back in.

        • Still Here

          On second thought, let’s build a 100 mile high fence on all land and sea borders!  That way they and their funny money can’t come here and vote!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Actually the discussion is about mixed corporations, not voting citizens?

    • BHA in Vermont

      Theoretically they are not allowed to donate. But then, THEORETICALLY, selling booze was not allowed during prohibition so it didn’t happen, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kkpppayne Kenneth Payne

    Justice Kennedy and the majority should be ashamed. They have burned the bridge to democracy for the average person. They are the most activist judges ever!!!

    • Still Here

      Damn did they take away the average person’s vote!  The bastards.  Thankfully everyone in America is above average!

    • Modavations

      Democracy sucks doesn’t it

  • Tina

    Access?  Can you imagine if this money were spent on providing EVERYONE with access to health care?!!  

    Right now, this money is just being spent on spin.  The money is not even making the proposed platforms of the candidates clear in any way!  PROFLIGATE waste!  Shame on this country!  Shame on the Supreme Court for lack of common sense!

    • BHA in Vermont

      Well, it does move some money down the chain a bit to the radio and TV stations who run the ads ;)

      • Still Here

        Sounds like voodoo trickle down economics, for shame!

        • TFRX

          So, your local Kent Brockman will really be interested in covering this issue, when so much money comes into the broadcaster’s coffers from it?

          Figures you’d think that way.

    • Observer

      Thats the cost of freedom.  Do you want to tell people what they have to spend/waste their money on? Will you like it when it’s done to you?

      You may be fine stepping into line and doing what you’re told when the “right” people tell you to, but most people are not, IMO.

      • Still Here

        Let’s start with the trillions spent on those rear-view mirror hanging pine tree car deodorizers!

  • BHA in Vermont

    What Elizabeth just said is SO true. Look at the percentage of people who voted in the caucuses and elections this week. If people were excited about the choices, they would have turned out in droves.

    • Still Here

      I don’t think we pay people enough to vote!  If the price of an election were to go up, people might be more interested.

    • Anonymous

      Compare the poor Republican primary turnout to the exciting Obama/Clinton race four years ago. 

  • Gisscottheron

    Listening to this argument I wonder what has ever changed Same as it ever was I live in VT my Senator is woned by the Unions in Pittsburgh. He takes his marching orders from out of state intrests. It has always been that way in Vt yu can buy a senator for a couple million bucks.

    The average joe only has the year of the election cycle to make any impact at all.
     
    The fourth estate costs money if you want a place on the front page you either hold a gun to someones head or you buy in the polite way is to buy in.  ergo buying in is the way it goes and if the dems with Super pacs 504 where they dont have to expose any donors want to support Santorum to dirty up Romney they do. Politics has always been dirty rotten devious business.

    • Ray in VT

      Which of our Senators do you think does not represent our interests?  I think that they both generally represent us well.

    • BHA in Vermont

      How long have you lived in Vermont?

      Do you remember the Republican primary in 1998 between Fred Tuttle and the carpetbagger Jack McMullen? Even the Republican party faithful in Vermont are not fond of rich people moving to the state to buy a senate seat. I was actually surprised when Hillary Clinton won her Senate seat in New York by doing the same thing.

      And Rich Tarrant didn’t do so well spending $7 million of his own money trying to get voted into a senate seat. Bernie won by 33% points over Tarrant even though Tarrant blanketed the state with attack ads.

      Sometimes it IS obvious that someone has no popular support.

      • Modavations

        You must have forgotten the other carpet bagger Bernie Sanders(Brooklyn or Bronx)

        • Ray in VT

          He didn’t come here with millions to buy a seat in Congress.  He started out running for governor back in the 1970s and then became the mayor of Burlington in 1980.  Just because you’re an outsider doesn’t make you a carpet bagger.

  • Nancy Adams-Cogan

    The aspect of this Big Money election “fraud” that is most distressing is the belief that the electorate are manipulable and stupid. Whatever happened to educated voters, critical thinking taught in schools. How could the hogwash ugly tactics of superpacs be successful rather than discarded by voters  –if critical thinking were securely in place??

    • Still Here

      Please tell me what to think, I’m busy.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Glad you’re busy!

    • Observer

      Obama one, so did it work?

      • Observer

        won, sorry, I’m one of the dummies. Who voted for Obama.

  • TFRX

    Re his backer and the “wink wink, you know what’s good for you but I didn’t says nuttin” thing: Newt Gingrich will do anything for money. Remember the strip club he tried to bilk for an ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award? All they needed to do was send him $5,000.

    http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics/Gingrich-Group-Strips-Topless-Club-of-Award-Invite-62981992.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.kollars Chuck Kollars

    I’m generally the one pleading for more accuracy and nuance, the one that sounds like a lawyer. But not this time. Here’s why we need massive over-reaction:

     1) We know from experience that bugs wriggle around the edges of campaign finance laws every time. Maybe if we say ten times more than we mean, we’ll actually get one.

     2) Democracy in the U.S. has been going down the tubes for decades – Citizens United is just the latest skirmish. We need to counter far more than just Citizens United, or else kiss our democracy goodbye. 

  • Gisscottheron

    I think the biggest threat to our democracy is not the money there will always be money in the system it is the lack of candidates in the mix the two party system has denigrated into a vote for Goldman Sachs or Bain Capital. If money can manipulate a two party system so easily with the blind trust used to game the elections buying a buffoon like Santorum squirts out  wins in Missouri or Minnesota .  and leaving us with only one non buffoon in the race it is easy for the big money to make Obama Dance.
    Would a man who passed laws that basically negates the fourth amendment has voted to extend tax breaks for the richest amongst us while saying he is for tax increases for these same individuals  really be held up by progressive s if there were real credible challengers in the race?

    The two party system is killing us and hollowing out our democracy.

    • Observer

      What candidate left standing is not bought and paid for by special interests and banking?

      • aj

        The Old Man, old ruff-and-ready Ronnie Paul.

        • Observer

          thanks for playing! lol

          • aj

            What’s so funny?

          • Observer

            Apologies. When I first say your response, and responded I thought it was nj and I got a chuckle that nj would respond to my Ron Paul question in such a straightforward way, perhaps in good humor, instead of rabid vitriol….

            But that was the truthful answer I was looking for.

          • Modavations

            Has NJ called you a “vile little man yet?

          • Observer

            frustrated wife-beater I think, but may have been TFRX.

        • aj

          How many of you on the ” Left ” would settle for Ron Paul as President-elect come November 8 2012 over the biggest blowhard sell-out of the 21st century His Excellency Barry Hussein Obama Junior.

          • aj

            Hmmmm…??

        • Modavations

          if we could transplant Ron’s brain into Romney’s body we’d have a winner

          • aj

            When I see Romney I think of Mad Cow Disease. 

            When I see Ron Paul take the stage, I let out the old rebel yell.  A sort of, dare I say it, patriotism rises up in me.  The same feeling you get, when watching the movie “Gettysburg”, during the part where Joshua Chamberlain’s 20th Maine runs out of ammo while holding the Unions flank on little roundtop.  So he gives the order for a bayonnet charge.

          • Modavations

            When I read you I puke

          • aj

            Thank you so much.

          • Modavations

            my pleasure

          • Modavations

            I didn’t mean that.When I read you(which I rarely do)I gag.I didn’t mean to be so harsh with vomiting

          • aj

            Ahhh..that’s so sweet.

            It’s ok even if you do puke a liitle bit.  We can get you a bib.  The TRUTH can be hard to swallow.

          • Modavations

            The stakler Terry has turned me into a hardenedcase.Seriously,I do appologize

          • aj

            No worries.

            Cheers mate.

          • aj

            Don’t forget your history Moda.  The only President of the United States to serve for life, elected 4 times, was a mere cripple in a wheel chair. 

            It aint about body, its about brash.

          • Modavations

            FDR was A dictator in the making.He packed the Supreme Ct.He called Stalin Uncle Joe.He gave us Presidential Term Limits.

          • aj

            Are you such a raging reactionary, that you are unable to put the Atlas Shruged -coook- ideology down for just a minute.  For the sake of making a point based on the lessons of history?

            Your missing the point!  I’m not talking about FDR’s judicial appointments.  I’m telling you that U.S. citizens pulled the lever 4 times for a cripple.

            I’m trying to tell you, just because seeing Mitt Romney makes you feel nice.  Doesn’t mean that Ron Paul is unelectable because physically you don’t get the same tingle up your spine, buttercup.

          • aj

            Transplant that Loonie.

          • Modavations

            Now you know why you make me puke

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda gets ‘limp-wristed’ about Mitt Romney, too? 
               Moda dooms his chances, by going for married guys?
               Moda, there’s hope, Newt’s open to open marriage!

          • aj

            lol

          • Modavations

            The cocktail hour.By 10:00 he’ll be swinging from the rafters of the union hall

          • aj

            By the way, instead of reading Atlas Shrugged for the third time.  Why don’t do a quick Wikipedia FDR brushup.

            And you’ll find that he never actually did pack the Supreme Court by expanding its number of Justices which is 9.

            And of course, the 22nd amendment of the constitution setting term limits for the Presidency was ratified by 3/4ths of the states in 1951.  6 yrs after President Roosevelt’s death.

            And who cares what sir name he gave Stalin.  Who was indeed a monster, but don’t forget if it wasn’t for the Soviet Union’s 23,000,000 dead during WWII, you’d be reading OnPoint posts in your native Nazi German.

          • aj

            How do you like those apples Fruitcake?

            P.S. Get your facts right Greenspan.

          • Modavations

            conjecture,He would have declared himself dictator,but he croaked.It is because of this that we have the 22nd amendment.

          • aj

            Perhaps

          • Modavations

            thank you

          • Ray in VT

             That’s just ridiculous.  Come on, you know better than that.

          • TFRX

            Buddy, you really want ought to the phrase “Moda knows better than that” out loud several times before typing it. Roll it around in your brain a bit.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Conjecture!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            5 of his sons served in the U.S. Millitary James was a Carlson’s Raider, U.S. Marine that fought behind Japanese lines.

          • Modavations

            everyone was a soldier back then.That was before you Lefties started spitting at returning vets

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I SERVED during Vietnam, and NEVER spit on anyone!
              Didn’t you say you were a hippie during that time?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Actually, there were draft-dodgers, 4-F’s, and conciencious objectors then! 
               Then there were sailors, Coast Guard, and U.S. Marines. 
               You didn’t want, and still probably don’t want to call a Marine a soldier!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Not sure about Bain Capital, but Goldman Sachs has been reported to have had someone in EVERY administration, for some time?

      • Modavations

        Bleat # 2   The Greedy Rich did it

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         That’s why Goldman-Sachs is called “Government-Sachs” in the beltway. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Cute!  It seems to fit!

  • Still Here

    I think we all know that the members of only one of the parties has the ability to think critically.  The other party’s members barely think at all, and even then I’m not sure what they’re thinking about maybe home brewing.  Think about it.

    • Ray in VT

      My partisan side agrees.  It thinks that most GOP voters have had an original thought in years.  My realistic side knows that honest, intelligent people can have different opinions that have nothing to do with the other being stupid, evil or corrupt.

      • Still Here

        Like you have any other side.

        • Ray in VT

          You don’t know me, and I don’t know you beyond what gets posted here.  Think whatever you want.

    • Anonymous

      C’mon!  You’re being way too hard on Republicans.  

  • Anonymous

    deleted – posted on wrong topic

  • Modavations

    Why are you guys even worried.As long as the canidate has a “D” next to his/her name,they’ll get your vote.Quit getting your knickers in a knot.If I had my way there would be no “D” and “R”.You’d have to research the canidate.Of course you lefty’s wouldn’t go for it.The “Dependency Class Voters” and all that.

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t know why you think that  die hard Republican voters are any different.  Experience hasn’t showed me that they are.

      • Modavations

        Raymundo,I’m a free agent.The only vote I’ve ever made was Perot

        • Ray in VT

          I didn’t say that you were on any side, but your comments only applied to one party.  I’m not officially a part of any party, but I’ve seen generally few Republicans, especially at the national level whom I think represent my values or interests.  I wasn’t a big fan of Jim Douglas, our most recent former Governor, but he was alright, although a bit bland.

          One of the nice things about being from a small state is that our Congressmen are around quite a bit, so there is generally pretty ample opportunities to interact with them in person and give them an earful.  I see my state rep around town, and he’s always willing to discuss issues.  I think that that is pretty true here regardless of party.

          I was a big fan of Dana Carvey’s Perot.  Did you see it back in the day?  If not, then I’d recommend checking it out.

          • Modavations

            Our solons remain invisible.If the peeps knew they were hacks they’d get stoned.Reps and Dems alike.I’m late.Later dude!!!

      • Modavations

        No joke.In either N.c.,or S.Carolina the Reps. passed a law getting rid of the D and R.The ACLU enjoined them saying it was unfair to the poor and that “we all know which way they’d vote”.Gotta run,I’m out flooging jewelry this afternoon.Read that Ayn Rand.You might not accept the philosophy but it’s a great read and half the world treats it as a bible

        • Ray in VT

          Looks like it was in North Carolina.  The case was argued over Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required preclearance for changing the ballots.  The argument made against the change was “that switching to a nonpartisan election system would eliminate minority-preferred candidates’ ability to “appeal to [Democratic] party loyalty””.

          I know that you say, or maybe joke, that you have ADHD, but here’s a link to the decision if you want to look at it.  Page 10-11 is where I found the quote

          http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/laroque_opinion.pdf

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    Syrian rebels in Homs asking for military supplies not UN or American troops. They have the man power but lack of heavy weapons to fight tanks.

  • Modavations

    This is for TTT,who now says anyone who is not a socialist-communist is a traitor.Union donations from 1989-2012
    1.SEIU-38 million      76% to Democrats   2% Republicans
    2.American Fed.State and County Employees   46 million    94% Democrats   1% Republican
    3.American Ass.for Justice 36 mill.    88% Democrat  8% to Republican
    4.Inter.Brotherhood Elec.Workers   35 mill   97%  Dems   2% Rep.
    5.Laborers Uniion   32 mill.    88% Dem    7% Rep.
    6.American Fed Teachers   32mill.    90% Dem    0% Rep.
    7.Teamsters   32 mill.     89% Dem    6% Rep.
    8.Terry TT’s Union              150% Dem.    0% Rep.
    I don’t know about the other unions but I believe the Teamsters are 40% Republicans.
    Terry,the Unions are now in favor of the Senile Judges decision.It makles all their past criminalities,legal.

    TTT-I’m sending off your Valentines day Roses.What color do Hysterical women prefer?

    • Modavations

      Sorry,I forgot to add……….This is why the Supremes voted for the super pacs

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Destroyed your own statement of 100% Democrat?   Thank you!
         Nice of you to proclaim that I give 150%, but NOT factual?  
         Roses?  You can send them to Barney Frank, or Ellen Degeneres!

      • Modavations

        Destroyed!!!!.Are you getting hysterical so early in the eve.Pace yourself.By the way kids, read the first post on yesterdays forum.Terry says if you are not a Socialist-communist you are a traitor.Please explain Terry,as 50% of Americans are Laissez Faire.This dolt had never heard the term.He asked me to explain “Layzee Fairey”.I’m serious kids

        • Terry Tree Tree

          You commented several times about ‘getting limp-wristed’, about Barney Frank, and several other guys.  That’s not Layzee Fairey?
             Surely, you are not referring to the ‘hands off’ method  of business, that brought us the extremely polluted Love Canal, firey Cuhyacohoga River, and other Super-Fund super-polluted sites around the world?
            

    • Anonymous

      Before indulging your obsession with unions ranting about how evil unions are, you really need to look at how life was a century ago. Before unions, factory work was exceptionally dangerous, unforgiving and endless… just like working in China, which, if you haven’t read, is a communist country. Union busting involved gunfire and murder. Yeah, we should put all are trust in the altruistic intentions of Wall Street speculators, vulture capitalists and global corporations who have allegiance to their stock options.

      Those numbers are totals over 23 years. Current union donations are but drops of rain in a tsunami of money from weathly superpac donors who don’t want us to know that they are the puppet masters of politicians.

      http://www.opensecrets.org/news/assets_c/2011/07/Union_Spending_2011-5519.html

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Socialism is eating the pride of a democratic nation.
    When Socialism can produce 25 million jobs each year compared to United States 2.5 million jobs each year. How can we beat the dragon of Asia?

    • Modavations

      No comparison.Those countries are young pups!!!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Actually it is the other way around. China is 3,000 plus yrs old and America is only 250 plus yrs old.

        • Modavations

          Come on Fax,you know I don’t condone Communists.I love H.Kong,love Bangkok,even been to Sebu City twice.I predict they’ll have a tianeman Sq.that will shock the world.I don’t mean to offend.By the way ,I’d bet on you in a fight with Pacquia

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Please, it may not be safe to confuse his delusions with facts?

          • Modavations

            I’m going to start a new series of Bleats.The S series(Stalk)
            S1-Mercury
            S2-fell out of tree
            S3-To many bike crashes sans le casque

            By the way who was that fake Indian Professor from Colorado.Oh yeah,Ward Churchill

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Wow!  You’re really giving that new goat a work-out!  Glad that guppy got it for you?

          • Modavations

            The French Guppy says”le mounton il bele,ne belent pas les chevres,Monsieur le “Sot”.Translation:Sheep bleat,not goats you DOLT!!!!

          • Modavations

            By the way.It’s Sikh Indians not Sick Indians,you dolt.Excuse me,actually you give dolts a bad name

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thanks.  I had forgotten how to spell it, because I rarely need to write it. 
               I knew it wasn’t ‘sick’,  so I spelled it ‘sich’.
               People correct your spelling, grammar, and punctuation a LOT more than mine, and should correct you a LOT MORE than they do?

  • AJNorth

    And so, courtesy of the stunning malfeasance of the Five Theo-fascists of the Supreme “Court,” Lincoln’s resolution that “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth” has come to naught – for they have created government of, by and for the fabulously wealthy and their corporations.  So much for the basic tenets upon which this nation was founded. Let’s hear more about “original intent” from them, shall we.

  • Ben Millstein

    Simple campaign finance reform fixes this issue.  A certain amount of air time, etc. for each candidate.  No more fund raising at all.

    • Modavations

      Agreed.Like Eng. we dhould have public financing and a two month campaign.I’m also for the Brits legal system: losers pay

      • Ray in VT

        I’d love a two month campaign.  The unofficial primary have been going on since at least since last spring.  It’s gotten just ridiculous.

        • Gregg

          I can’t say I disagree but if I am going to stick by my position of support for unlimited full disclosure money then I suppose we need time to sort it all out. My bugaboo is the order of primaries. I would love to see them all on the same day. Or maybe keep the results secret until they were all in. I hate group think.

        • Observer

          Would certainly keep agitators like Paul out of the spotlight…..

  • Still Here

    Schumer, come on, the guy is a walking, talking contradiction.  Look at who donates to his campaigns. 

  • Sy2502

    1) Yes private individuals and corporations can do what they do with their money, but not when what they want to do undermines democracy. After all, we don’t allow them to corrupt politicians or buy seats in Parliament. 
    2) The last caller hit the nail on the head: the problem isn’t so much campaign money, but rather what they are going to expect from the candidate if he wins. 

    • Gregg

      Parliament? Not yet.

      • Modavations

        General G.commander of the liberated middle states.I think Sy dreams of European Socialism.Some sort of Freudian slip,me thinks

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Grandiose title, if Gregg was Never a General in Millitary, National Guard, Salvation Army, etc…?

        • Fredlinskip

           Grand Poobah of Ruperts’ Clueless  Unliberated Front and Master of Moda’s Guppies?

      • Ray in VT

        Sometimes it seems as those parleying is about all that they can do these days.  Are you still getting bombarded with Newt adds these days?

        • Gregg

          Actually no, they’ve slowed down. I won’t get a chance to vote unless it last till May 8 but I still like Newt. I could get excited about Santorum though.

          • Ray in VT

            I wonder if he’s seen a bump in donations since Tuesday.  One would figure that with both he and Newt in the race that they are only taking votes away from each other.

  • Modavations

    Free men don’t get swayed by T.V. political ads.You can bombard me with a million ads and I’ll vote my instincts.Leftists think the world is filled with dummies,that can’t sort fact from fiction.

    • aj

      The Nation is filled with dummies. That’s why you and your three “free men” buddies who voted for Perot lost in 92′.  Instead putting Slick Willy Clinton in office.

      Here’s a story about Clinton you’ve never heard worth reading (courtesy of counterpunch.org):

      Back in 1979 our friend Tim Hermach, now fearless leader of the Native Forest Council and breathing the righteous air of Eugene, Oregon, was a businessman seeking commercial advantage. In 1979 this search took him to Little Rock, Arkansas, where an associate said the swiftest way of getting a certificate of origin necessary for a rebar (reinforcing steel for construction) deal was by conferring personally with the new governor of the state.

      In short order a dinner was arranged with young Governor Bill at the Little Rock Hilton. Tim recalls that they were scarcely seated before Bill was greeting a pretty young waitress in friendly fashion, putting his hand up her dress while announcing genially to the assembled company, “This woman has the sweetest cunt in Little Rock.”

      Tim, an Oregon boy by origin, tells us he listened with burning ears and mouth agape as Bill talked of womanhood in terms of astounding crudity. Badinage notwithstanding, some business was transacted. Hermach tells us that Governor Bill “very openly, nothing shy about it, said words to the effect that our end use certificate would cost about $10,000″, said transaction being of a personal, informal nature.  “Since ours was a $2 million deal, we didn’t care,” Tim recalls.

      These tractations concluded, Governor Bill repaired to the Hilton’s nightclub with boon companions, where they cavorted lewdly with sundry flowers of Little Rock before repairing to bedrooms in the upper regions of the hotel.
      Back to work indeed.

      • aj

        The only reason I brought that up was because last night on NBC’s Rock Center w/ Brian Williams about how JFK had a liasson with 18 yr old intern Mimi Alford. 

        Mimi Alford said that when Mr Kennedy took her virginity in his wife’s bed in the summer of 1962 she was ‘willing to do it.’
        Her lurid claims include allegations that he once made her inhale a sex drug at a debauched party at Bing Crosby’s desert ranch.

        ‘The president asked me if I wanted to try the drug, which stimulated the heart but also purportedly enhanced sex.
        ‘I said no, but he just went ahead and popped the capsule and held it under my nose. He didn’t try it himself. This was a new sensation, and it frightened me. I panicked and ran crying from the room,’ she writes in her autobiography.

        On another occasion he coerced her into performing a sex act on an aide while he looked on.
        When she thought she was pregnant that same aide arranged for her to see an abortion doctor, even though abortion was illegal at the time.
        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097287/JFK-intern-Mimi-Alford-elaborates-White-House-affair.html#ixzz1lvNDkjvP

      • Modavations

        I don’t read anything over a paragraph,I’ve got ADHD……Now where the hell was I?

      • Modavations

        Speaking of the Forest Council,my condolences on the liscensing of the new Nuke plant.Tell Mr.National Forest that a real Eco Nazi could come up with a wayward Snail Darter,or three toed pink salamander to continue the endless litigation.By the way ,all the fires in Arizona were caused by Eco Nazis litigating against brush clearage in the Nat.Forests(NPR 6 months ago).Tell him he burned down SLTahoe because the Nazi’s even litigated against people clearing brush from their private property.

    • Gregg

      I would say you are a brilliant man (and you probably are) but that’s just common sense. It’s so insulting to think otherwise. We can figure it out.

    • Josh

      psychology 101 contradicts what you are saying. Ever hear about conformity or priming?

  • Michael

    It seems one way to resolve this is to have publicly supported elections: Campaign spending limits and maybe a limited campaign season to keep costs down.  This would be one way to guarantee for the electorate that candidates have fair and equal opportunities to present their character, credentials and vision.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.kollars Chuck Kollars

      Yep, and not just as an option. The only was I know to make publicly funded campaigns _mandatory_ is to not vote for folks who use private funds  …ever  …no matter what. (Barack are you listening?)

  • Modavations

    Women’s rights count only when  expedient to the left.Can you imagine if Bush had date raped a 19 yr.old intern.The lady said Pres.Kennedy never even kissed her.Do you think Now,or Women’s League of Voters will have anything to say

  • Modavations

    Claire McCaskill(?) is in high dudgeon because she received a solicitaion for a free welfare cell phone and 250 per month free minute,in the mail.So if you’re poor and promise to vote Dem.you get free housing,free food,free cable,free medical,free,free,free…..Now this racket puts the Super Pac to shame.By the way Ms.McCaskill, rumor has it you’re all through.

  • Roy Mac

    Elizabeth Drew?  She’s pretty sure of herself, but doesn’t present much about why she is, or why I should think she knows what she’s talking about.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    I only hear people question if money is really speech, which is a hard point to argue, since money is an abstract concept so mostly it exists in the form of language. That is twisting words a lot, I know, but this is what happens when discussing this point.

    The real point that I believe needs to be argued is that corporations are not people. Again, you can bend words and say “well, they are made up of people who work for them,” but again that is twisting words, and doesn’t get at what a corporation is. It is also just an abstract concept–a series of contracts and permits and bank accounts. 

    Giving it the status of a person, that it be protected and have rights the same as you and I as humans under the law, is the same as saying that robots are people, and I can make as many of them as I can afford to build. Not only is corporate personhood ruining our democracy by what it allows for campaign financing, but I think it’s an insult to every actual person. and the laws that we designed to protect us.

  • John Powers

    Please ask your guests if they will comment on Max Frankel’s “modest proposal” for campaign finance reform published by the NYReview of Books:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/feb/09/elections-modest-proposal/?pagination=false

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_235JDSIWLN6Z2MX54G3N4Z3YRE Valerie

    The unlimited role of money in politics is one of the greatest threats to American democracy today. I understand Obama’s dilemma and his feeling that he cannot “unilaterally disarm” in this spending arms race. However, by giving the green light to his own super PAC, he is undermining his message while making himself more accountable to wealthy donors and special interests. This will not only make him less likely to champion the needs and interests of ordinary citizens, but may actually hurt his re-election prospects by alienating a base already frustrated by Obama’s previous about-faces.

    If you’re passionate about this issue, I hope you’ll check out the Facebook group United for Economic Justice and Democracy and join the lively discussion/debate.

  • Oldirish1945

    In mid January H.J. Res. 100 was introduced.  It is a Constitutional Amendment that would effectively remove all private money from Federal elections.  Have you heard anything about this?  It is being ignored by the MSM.  One wonders why.
    Call your local media outlets.  Ask them to report on this Resoution.  Call your Representative and ask them their position.  I tried calling the On Point today, but couldn’t get through.  This is sitting in a committee in the House being ignored.  We, the people, who believe the system is corrupted by the 100′s of millions of dollars flowing, need to stand up and be heard.  Make the media report it.  Make your Representative take a stand.  Make On Point honest.  STAND UP! 

  • Dsheldon

    Whatever happened to all the talk about campaign finance in the old days before Super PACs? I wish each candidate was allowed a certain amount of money for their campaign. We could listen to them present their positions and back up those points of view.No one would have the money for commercials with the same hollow message that says nothing in that limited context. We wouldn’t have to be bombarded with a few words to frighten people into voting a certain way with a few choice catch words like “liberal”,”insider”, “terrorist”, to name only a few.No facts are provided to back these claims up, but it is effective. Please, we need campaign finance reform, not more negative campaign commercials.    

  • Lwlevi

    Please tell me that the contributions to Super Pacs are not tax deductable?!?!?!?

  • Rbing1

    Before the supreme court decision, the liberals had a lock on this game with the backing of unions and non-profit special interest groups, liberal newspapers etc.  So, whats the difference now?

    • TFRX

      The difference is that you’re not acquainted with what it was like before.The mainstream press was hell-bent for equivocating things falsely.

      In 1994 I distinctly remember Cokie Roberts, all over ABC on election night, telling us that union and corporate money was the same. Except it actually was about 6-to-1 in favor of corporations.

  • Rich

    Republicans buy votes by saying, we’ll let you keep your money…ie. cut taxes…Obama buys the votes by promising to secure or increase programs and tax the wealthy saying “if the other side wins it will result in major cuts” so isn’t that buying votes too? (50% of the population is getting a govt. check: welfare,foodstamps, SSI,SSDI,medicare, medicaid, social security) Both sides do it.  Its wrong either way. And either way the middle class, the working woman or man pays for it because most of the money to fund the govt as a whole comes from the middle class, they are the only segment of society that doesn’t have a way to avoid paying taxes.  Flat or a national consumption tax would take care of this and is the most fair solution to all who are in the game…bottom, middle, top !

    More food for thought…If you made mistakes and didn’t pay your mortgage you get 30,000 off your principal plus you get the same low refi-rate as your neighbor who paid her/his mortgage responsibly, ie. didn’t use the house as a “piggy bank”. (this excludes people who have true crises, tradgedies)

    • Gregg

       “Republicans buy votes by saying, we’ll let you keep your money…”

      Interesting concept. I’m going to try it as soon as my head stops hurting.

  • rosebud

    Nevermind the long-forgotten concept of getting a highly skilled and qualified candidate INTO the white house whether or not he/she has a lot of money or alas- no money at all. same goes for the legislature. imagine how quickly thtue country could become “fair and balanced” as laws are proposed and passed that meet the needs of the populace in real time. get money out of political selections and elections. we’re already spending major amounts of cash one way or the other on a corrupt system in which we have no say. the “Framers” certainly tried to make a working model with checks and balances, etc. but as long as capitalism determines not only our economic way of life, but turns the government process on its head, i don’t see us reaching a peaceful resolution of this issue. let NO ONE put down the OCCUPY movement with such scorn when it could be one of the best tools, maybe the only one we’ve got in re-defining the next several months. give peace a chance- yes, and give citizens’ participation in real politics a chance. this is what the Revolutionary War was fought over in the first place-
    REPRESENTATION. 

  • Thor Klamet

    Easy to solve this. Equal TV and radio time for all candidates.

    Sure there’s gray area – what counts as an ad and what doesn’t – but an equal time law would be MUCH FAIRER than the present system. 

  • Autumn

    all this political advertising and spending an arm and a leg on some stupid political advertising you should look up the candidates on your own and not listen to the commercials  all the $ spent on that is ridiculous and that $ could go for something better than advertising… thats what the internet is for people post online and do your own research then you will get the truth…. most of it at least

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 24, 2014
Youths seen playing basketball through bars on a window at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Ethan Allen School in Wales, Wis. (AP file)

The cold hard facts about juvenile prisons. And the case for shutting them all down. Plus: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is with us.

Jul 24, 2014
Orchid (Galileo55/Flickr)

We’ll look at the new science of what plants feel, smell, see – and remember.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 23, 2014
Actor Wallace Shawn attends special screening of "Turks and Caicos" hosted by Vogue and The Cinema Society at the Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York.  (AP)

From “The Princess Bride” to “My Dinner with Andre “and “A Master Builder,” actor and writer Wallace Shawn joins us.

 
Jul 23, 2014
In this Saturday, July 12, 2014, photo, migrants walk along train tracks and boxcars after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border, in Ixtepec, southern Mexico. (AP)

Crisis at the US border. What do Latinos on this side of the border have to say? We’ll ask our special roundtable.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

More »
Comment
 
Where Did Nickel Creek Go?
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

The Nickel Creek interview originally scheduled for Thursday, July 24 is rescheduled for an as-of-yet undetermined later date. We explain why.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: July 11, 2014
Friday, Jul 11, 2014

As we prepare for a week of rebroadcasts, we reflect on Facebook posts, misplaced comments and the magic of @ mentions. Internet, ASSEMBLE!

More »
Comment