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Money, Access, And The White House

Barack Obama was a controversial pathbreaker in putting big private money in campaign politics.  Now he’s doing it in the White House.  We investigate.

The White House in Washington is seen on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. (AP)

The White House in Washington is seen on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. (AP)

Swanky dinner digs in Washington last night, as President Obama met with a “Founders Summit” of the new group launched to battle around the country for his second term priorities.

It’s raising big money – private money – to fight conservatives like Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers and more over the national agenda. To fight fire with fire.

But critics say it’s unprecedented and dangerous for a sitting president to put high rollers in such a close, cash embrace of the White House. That it tempts corruption at the very top.

This hour, On Point: money politics and the presidency.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Philip Rucker, White House correspondent for the Washington Post. (@philiprucker)

Fred Wertheimer, founder and President of Democracy 21, which advocates for transparency in government and campaign finance reform. (@fredwertheimer)

Tad Devine, Democratic strategist. President of Devine Mulvey, a Democratic media consulting firm. He was a senior adviser in Al Gore’s 2000 and John Kerry’s 2004 Presidential campaigns. (@taddevine)

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “The dinner including the president comes amid criticism that the group, which is registered as a non-profit, social-welfare organization, plans to grant special access to the president for top OFA donors–a claim that Jim Messina, who steered the 2012 re-election campaign and is now the new group’s national chairman, has attempted to rebuke.”

The Hill “Organizing for Action has given up corporate cash, but watchdog groups won’t be satisfied until the pro-Obama nonprofit is shut down for good.  The lobbying group, which was built from the remnants of President Obama’s reelection machine, has come under intense pressure from good-government advocates who say it’s ripe for corruption.”

USA Today “The non-profit advocacy group created to lobby for President Obama’s second-term agenda announced Thursday that it will not accept any corporate money, reversing course after blistering accusations that it was selling White House access to donors.”

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

    No comments?  Perhaps because no one is surprised that Obama and his crew are a pack of hypocrites.

    • jimino

      So you agree that running government like a business is a bad idea?

      Obama solidifies his spot as the third most right-wing president in modern times, working on messing with Social Security and Medicare in a way that might move him up in the rankings.
       

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        That is still funny every time you post it.

        • jimino

          Tell me why I’m wrong.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Your construct of right-wing/left-wing is wrong. Such distinction is currently without any meaningful difference. Totalitarian governments acquire absolute power and abuse the rights of people without regard to such titles.

          • Don_B1

            You will have to explain your construct of the right/left wing divide to carry the day on this.

            Show how it is different from jimino’s.

            But I doubt you will be successful.

          • Acnestes

            Don’t waste your time responding to these guys.  They have their own “facts”.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I’m obligated to.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            The only meaningful distinction is does a politician or party enhance or decrease freedom.  Not just size of government or cost in dollars but extension of more freedom.  A classic example is interstate highways, they require a lot of government but the end result is greater freedom of movement for more people than ever before.

          • nj_v2

            “Freedom,” the good ol’ Libertarian,  simple-minded cure-all!

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Thank you for gracefully conceding defeat.

          • Tyranipocrit

            quality is freedom.  frredom for the sdake of freedom is a dark anarchy

          • Acnestes

            And in particular don’t waste any energy on anyone who wraps themselves in OUR flag.

      • Gregg Smith

        You’re funny!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         A right wing President would not run up spending to 25% of GDP and not take ANY action to address it.   He also would not take every opportunity possible to raise taxes.  I will grant you he adopted Bush policies in the war on terror — probably because he wanted to keep us safe.

        • nj_v2

          [[  A right wing President would not run up spending to 25% of GDP and not take ANY action to address it. ]]

          Indicative of just how ignorant the right-wingers on this forum are and why it’s useless to try to penetrate their knee-jerk, mindless partisanism.

          Dubya increased government spending by more than any of the six previous presidents. Increased the budget by 104 percent. Increased discretionary outlays by nearly 50 percent.

          • Gregg Smith

            He never got close to 25% of GDP.

        • Don_B1

          George W. Bush DOUBLED the debt and left the economy in shambles with a Great Recession crashing the banks and a housing/mortgage bubble exploding so that consumer demand, the driver [70%] of the economy, would be crippled for years, forcing the next president to face large deficits [the CBO predicted a $1.2 trillion deficit in early January 2009, before Barack Obama took office], and have difficulty recovering from as doing that required stimulus, which Republicans fought tooth and nail.

          Of course, Republicans live in a fantasy alternate reality and maybe there someone can affect the past by actions in the future.

          Your “Talking Points,” for which you have no proof based in real data, is pure BS.

          • Gregg Smith

            Bush tried (unsuccessfully) to reform Freddie and Fanny. What policy of his do yo blame the banking crisis on? TARP pretty ugh fixed to but Obama’s “stimulus” was a bust. Trillion dollar deficits are the new normal. Obamacare is killing jobs. He owns this.

        • Tyranipocrit

           hello–is theer anyone out there?  The republican platform is to spend money it doesnt have–to mount trillions in debt while ignoring infrastructure and citizens and massacring foreign elements.  Every time a republican is in office we amass trillions in debt and the country goes to shit and falls into a depression–and they still keep sending the jobs overseas and pissing in my water and air.  You don’t even know what a republican is–thats why republicans are so sad and the country is so f-ed up.  Democracy doesn’t work, and society fails when the citizens are so uneducated, full of hubris, and jingoist.  Always the loudmouths.

    • http://twitter.com/Dragonsong73 Eric R. Duncan

      Any major party candidate is going to be a hypocrite. So long as we do not have campaign finance reform we will see this problem regardless of party. We should call them our local, state and federal reps out on this behavior not just the President. It is the closest thing we have to accountability

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        So you believe that having politicians beholden to bureaucrats is better than having politicians beholden to successful producers?  And that alone will give us better government?  Interesting.

        • http://twitter.com/Dragonsong73 Eric R. Duncan

          Where did I say anything about bureaucrats?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            If not a return to McCain/Fiengold then what do you propose?

          • http://twitter.com/Dragonsong73 Eric R. Duncan

            Don’t derail, answer my question. THEN we can get to yours.

        • Tyranipocrit

           you clearly make shit up.  When did he say anything that you just said? You wont like this very much but you know what im doing right now in your honor–i burning a US flag and then im gonna take a dump.  After that i think i might raise a UN flag.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Thank you for your response.

  • Gregg Smith
    • jimino

      But won’t they have to wait until he meets with all those liberal 47%-ers on the government dole?

      • Gregg Smith

        Obama doesn’t care about the 47%, they’re useful idiots.

        • anamaria23

          You are so utterly lost regarding President Obama.

          • nj_v2

            Greggg lives in his own world.

          • Gregg Smith

            I wish I was, he’s awful. I don’t say that because he’s a Democrat or because he’s half black. I say that because he’s awful. America is not doing well, how long before Obama takes responsibility?

          • jimino

            America is doing a lot better than when Obama was first elected.  When will you give him credit?

            And if things aren’t improving fast enough for you, I guess that’s what you get when you apply the same old right wing approach that got us into trouble in the first place, which is exactly what has happened under his administration. 

          • Gregg Smith

            No, I blame him.

          • Tyranipocrit

             well then that makes no sense and you are a lot less than smart.  No brain big mouth.

          • Gregg Smith

            It should have been a blip. Obama made it worse and it’s not getting better.

          • Tyranipocrit

             it has nothing to do with obama–how long befor eth epoepl rise up and demand accountability–no lobbysists, no corporations in governernment–down with the billionaires!  When we will have direct democracy?  when will the fat americans get off therre big gulp and participate?  You seem to comletely ignore all the representatives in congress–obama is not alone.  What about all the republican obstructionists–also on the “dole” of the billionire class–gun manucaftueres and WMD makers and warmongerers.

          • Gregg Smith

            There’s plenty of blame to go around but I don’t endorse mob rule (direct democracy).

          • Tyranipocrit

             you are part of the mob.  Why do you object to your propserity?  Under direct d–you will not see corporate wars–money will be allocated to education and health care and infrastructuere and the enviornment–thus the mob will be more educated and vote more sensibly–when the corporate media propaganda machine is vanquished.  What is wrong with direct d?  That is not a rhetorical question

          • Gregg Smith

            Direct Democracy is a lamb and two wolves voting on what to have for dinner.

        • StilllHere

          So true! Their utility is their votes and the ease with which they can be manipulated.

          • Don_B1

            Then why can’t Republicans manipulate them? You seem able to manipulate the evangelicals.

            It comes down to the facts that they are not as ignorant or stupid as you think they are and your message is not as disguised as you think it is.

            Then maybe it is you that has been manipulated to believe the schlock that you copy from Ryan and other Republican brainless wonders, etc.

      • Tyranipocrit

         what is a liberal?  And we dont say dole in the uS limey.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    “Barack Obama was a controversial pathbreaker in putting big private money in campaign politics.”

    Path-breaker huh? I’ll be the first to call The President out when it is warranted, this is a bit much though. Blaming President Obama for refusing to lay down and surrender to tactics employed by the entire political industry is ludicrous. Are we going to be told he was instrumental in bringing us the real pusher of big money in politics? Citizens United

    This is ridiculous.

    • anamaria23

      It is called learning to swim with the sharks.  Or perish.
      Sadly.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        That short comment can not be what you truly believe?  Are you happy as long as it will be oligarchs from the Left and not oligarchs from the Right ruining our country?  Not even the most mean spirited member of the Tea Party would accuse you of being so pathetic.  

        • Tyranipocrit

           im sorry what did you say? did you say you are pathetic?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      To me the point is that a politician must live up to the same standard they wish to impose on the rest of us.  If a politician believes in term limits they should serve and then leave.  They can not claim to have unfinished work as a reason to continue to seek office.  
      The same goes for the dreaded “money in politics.”  If you don’t want corporations to donate to political campaigns then you must not solicit donations from corporations.  This would include issue advocacy groups, nonprofits, many churches, and labor unions.  And you must expect to have those corporations work against you.  If a politician believed in the justice of that cause, they would act that way.  

      • J__o__h__n

        So a president who favors getting rid of nuclear weapons should unilaterally get rid of them? 

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Correct.

          • Don_B1

            Then, if you don’t like Obamacare, do not get any health insurance!

            Why can I make that demand? Because you did not differentiate between President Obama’s desire to eliminate nuclear weapons throughout the world, not a desire to just have the U.S. eliminate its weapons and then have no leverage to complete his goal.

            Shamir’s leaving Gaza and then encouraging/allowing elections which Hamas won, worked out real well, didn’t it!

            Sometimes setting an example is critical to achieving a goal, sometimes not so much.

            But people who don’t think things through, who are just trying to make a “gotcha point,” or trying to get others to not think things through, make comments like you did.

            Whichever you are, you are not contributing to enlightening anyone on the issues under discussion.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You are wrong on all points, an accomplishment of perfection few others have attained, bravo.
            1) If I don’t like Obamacare I will be compelled to pay a fine or go to jail.
            2) John did not mention any specific president as I did not mention any specific politician in my comment before.  
            3) A non sequitur that does nothing except to allow you the opportunity to bash Israel. 
            4) This is a truism, and if it was the focus of this posting then it would be of some small value.  But it isn’t.  So it is a second Non sequitur.
            5) This is a well dressed Hobson’s choice where you claim insight that you do not have into my character.
            6) Finally the point of your posting, delivered with all the venom you can muster, but also unproven and unprovable.  
            But you didn’t include the usual John Waters metaphor, and for that you receive my thanks.  

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    “Barack Obama was a controversial pathbreaker in putting big private money in campaign politics.  Now he’s doing it in the White House.  We investigate.”

    Investigate?  I will be very eager to hear the new information your investigation uncovers about influence peddling done by this administration.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/obama-draws-criticism-for-heading-advocacy-fundraiser/article/2524243

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Corporatorcracy has
    corrupted our democracy to this level of dysfunctionality we now see being
    played out in the House and White House.

    There will always be corruption,
    but when it can be systematically exercised in broad daylight without hearing outrage
    from the public in the SO-CALLED press, and we don’t hear demands for resignations, well, we got the
    government we deserve.

     

    Welcome to our
    corporatocracy. Corporate news and othe media promote industrial propaganda and
    automatons march in lockstep with the anointed for fear of being accused of
    sacralidge. The hyponotized don’t question what they are told to think. Global
    warming is not real, fracking is safe, these are not the droids you are looking
    for.

     

    There is corruption in the
    Democratic party but, I place blame squarely on the Republican party who for
    decades have fought tooth and nail against campaign finance limitation and
    disclosure, media and other industrial deregulation including their latest
    materpiece of undermining democracy – Citizens United, Voter supressioin and anti-union
    efforts at the state and federal level and fought to protect welfare for the
    wealthy at any price.

     
    I don’t know what Obama’s
    game is but I am not happy with it on the surface.

    Let us
    put an end to industrial propoganda controlling the dialogue and the narrative in
    public discourse throught their media and political tools.

     

    Death to corporatocracy.

    They may drown us out with
    their sound bytes,

    and they will continue  try to stop us from voting,

    but we can motivate and mobilize
    even more people

    and vote in 2014 in numbers
    never before seen!

  • Gregg Smith

    “Corporations” is another one of those woods that can mean whatever the speaker intends it to mean. When bloggers rail against corporations, do they mean NPR? NPR is a corporation.

    “Since 2004, members of the boards of NPR and the NPR Foundation, the public broadcaster’s fundraising arm, have contributed nearly $2.2 million to federal candidates, parties, and PACs, of which $1.95 million, or 89 percent, has gone to Democratic candidates and liberal-leaning political action committees.”

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/03/15/npr-boardmembers-and-fundraisers-give-overwhelmingly-to-democrats

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I’m shocked!  Schocked! I am sure that NPR is unbiased in their viewpoint on various political and social issues despite the direction of their political contributions, however.  Not!

      • nj_v2

        And yet, here they are today airing someone who is criticizing the President.

        • Gregg Smith

          They have you as an apologist.

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          I would assume then that you consider Fox News as objective because they also have guests that take a position to the left of various hosts of shows which feature political discussion and different viewpoints?

          • nj_v2

            Hahaha! Equivalence between NPR and Fox. You guys get funnier every day. What planet do you post from?

          • Tyranipocrit

            fox has no such thing–no left voices at all–a hoax and never do they say anything remotely left.  fox is a sham–do you know how many media outlets rupert murdoch owns?  most of them.  IN the world.  do you think that is sane or sensible or democratic–one voice controlling billions?

    • toc1234

      I’m shocked it was only 89%.  I would have figured 95+%

      • Gregg Smith

        Me too, I suppose they have to keep up appearances.

    • DeJay79

      “woods”?

      • Gregg Smith

        Thanks.

    • John_in_Amherst

       Can you name a single GOP politician since Nixon who has supported NPR or PBS?  Why would an organization contribute to politicians hell-bent on gutting their funding?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Well, NPR doesn’t have the impact on our lives of a United Health or Exxon. You gotta prioritize, Gregg, or nothing will make any sense. That said, yes, NPR is a member in good standing of the righty corporate media and it’s rare to hear anything but echoes from the DC echo chamber. They are using approved righty newspeak to describe the ryan class warfare budget, ie instead of voucher they actually use his sanitizing “premium support”, and Mara Liasson asked the WH spokesperson what cuts in “entitlements” will Obama offer. 

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         “NPR doesn’t have the impact on our lives of a United Health or Exxon”

        That is debatable.  NPR/PBS could be considered a permanent propaganda arm for the Democrats.  They have a lot of listeners.  They have also contributed a large share of moderators to Presidential debates.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “NPR/PBS could be considered a permanent propaganda arm for the Democrats.”

          Submitted without comment.

          And “contributed moderators”? Hey, when Jim “Human Not-Even-Yield Sign” Lehrer does the left’s bidding at a debate, let us know.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Sure, talk is of the same importance as the cost of health insurance. You bet.

          In any event, NPR/PBS follow the righty corporate line, so they aren’t a propaganda arm for anything I support.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            If government radio was run by Roger Ailes you would be singing a different tune about the ‘importance’.

            I can always pick another health care provider (at least until Obamacare destroys the system completely).

          • TomK_in_Boston

            “…Since March 6 White House tours were mentioned 33 times as often (Fox News had 163 segments, CNN had 59, and MSNBC had 42) as mentions of other sequester impacts hitting the poor. Any discussion of sequestration’s steep cuts to housing assistance, food stamps, and Head Start early education was virtually nonexistent on all 3 networks in the same time frame. Fox News mentioned Head Start three times, ignoring housing and food stamps entirely; MSNBC mentioned Head Start 4 times, food stamps once, and did not cover housing assistance cuts at all. CNN stayed completely silent on all three issues.”

            And I’m sure NPR/PBS is no different. The DC echo chamber, bewailing the big bad deficit, parroting the need for “entitlement reform”…corporate media, plutocrat propaganda.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             You have a low standard if reporting on the record debt makes you unbalanced.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            “The debt” is just a number or a computer projection. It amazes me that Americans would agree to give up real things in their lives because the class warriors promise that will change a number. Sheep!

          • Don_B1

            Not putting the issue in proper context does make it unbalanced.

            Not talking about job creation because of over concern about debt makes it unbalanced.

          • Gregg Smith

            Head Start is a great example of wasted money. It does not help, it does not work. But dare suggest it’s repeal and the libs scream about the children.

          • Tyranipocrit

             i thought head start was a bush policy.  Am i wrong?

          • Tyranipocrit

             Tom k im with you. Its not possible though to reason with half wits.  We dont reason with mosquitos.  Its not really any different.  They are not capable of understanding or caring.  But with direct democracy voices like these would get drowned out and thats why they dont like the idea

          • Tyranipocrit

             you mean you choose to pay a corporation ungodly amounts of money to deny you health care?  that truly is insane

        • Tyranipocrit

          hardly. Npr is shallow and right leaning because there is no voiced left in america (except on independent non-profit community radio stations)–what they call left is left of right.

    • nj_v2

      Of course, in their contributions, the board members are acting as individuals, and not as representatives of the corporation.

      Greggg left out this part…

      [[ NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher says political giving does not impact NPR's news coverage. She points out that the foundation is primarily responsible for fundraising and is not involved in programming, and that NPR's board "is not involved in day to day [operations]” and does not make recommendations about news coverage. “Past political contributions of members of a foundation or board–I would hesitate drawing a line between that and our news coverage,” she adds.

      The tendency toward Democratic giving does not extend across all areas of public broadcasting. For example, five of the six members of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides funding to local public radio and television across the country, were appointed by President George W. Bush. The board members’ cumulative giving since 2003 totals over $100,000, nearly three-quarters of which has gone to Republicans. ]]

      • Gregg Smith

        I did not leave anything out. I linked the article.

      • Tyranipocrit

         how sad!  the other parties are completely ignored.  Therefore democracy is a sham

    • Ray in VT

      Your quote cites the actions of individuals at corporations or on the boards of corporations, not actions being taken with company funds.  So long as the members were acting on their own, as individuals, then the corporation for which they are working is not relevant.

      From Merriam-Websters:

      Corporation
      1. a group of merchants or traders united in a trade guild

      2.  the municipal authorities of a town or city

      3.  a body formed and authorized by law to act as a
      single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally
      endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of
      successio

      4.  an association of employers and employees in a basic
      industry or of members of a profession organized as an organ of
      political representation in a corporative stateIf my boss and I both donate to an group with our own money, it doesn’t mean that our company is involved.

      • Gregg Smith

        It is what it is (89%) and nothing else.

        • Ray in VT

          Agreed.  It is what it is.  Individuals, not corporations, making donations.

          • Gregg Smith

            Individuals who are liberal and run NPR. Yep.

          • Ray in VT

            And your point is?  What about the $1 million dollars that News Corp gave to the Republican Governor’s Association, or the political donations of Fox hosts that have gone to Republican candidates?  Is there a reason or need to discuss those as well?

          • Gregg Smith

            My point is what I said it was, nothing else. I’m not sure what you think it is. I don’t care how much a private company gives anyone. I sure don’t understand the Fox monster. Who do you think Dennis Kucinich, Bob Beckel, Shephard Smith, Greta, Juan Williams, Kirstin Powers, Joe Trippi or Tamara Holder contributed to?

            NPR is not apolitical.

          • Ray in VT

            So when you write:

            When bloggers rail against corporations, do they mean NPR? NPR is a corporation.

            and then quote at length from a piece detailing the donations of NPR executives, you are in no way inferring that NPR as a corporation is supporting the Democrats?  Just a simple yes or no for the record would suffice.

            I think that NPR does a far better job of being apolitical, in terms of its coverage, than do some other media outlets, including Fox.

          • Gregg Smith

            I think you meant “implying”. Let me be clear: IMHO NPR is a corporate a rem of the Democrat party and should not be tax exempt and certainly should not receive funding.

            That was my point. The word “corporations” is only bad as defined by whoever says it. Everyone here dissing corporations is dissing NPR.

            NPR is not apolitical but pretends to be. I think they are very political which would be fine if they did not receive taxpayer funding.

          • DrewInGeorgia

             A better job than do most other media outlets.

            Still gotta read between the lines sometimes though.

    • Tyranipocrit

      I consider it part of the problem yes–they have too many corporate sponsors.

  • John_in_Amherst

    Wait!  Obama has dinner with “high rollers” and there is talk of undue influence?  Where was this discussion during the reign of  Bush II when BIG OIL not only had a seat at the table but had the president and veep calling the shots?  Can you say “Haliburton”? 
    Is Obama to stop playing politics while the Big Spenders on the GOP side keep financing media attacks on every policy issue?  PLEASE spare me!

    • Gregg Smith

      The next thing you’ll be saying is Haliburton got a no-bid contract.

      • John_in_Amherst

         Haliburton and KB&R did such a bang up job for the US in Iraq!  and they had to fight so hard for those gov’t $B’s!  Worth every penny, I know…

        • Gregg Smith

          Yes they did, I agree. They were one of only a few companies that could do the job and they did bid on it.

          • John_in_Amherst

             come back from neocon fantasyland Gregg

          • nj_v2

            Another dispatch from the Bureau of Greggg’s Butt headquartered on the Planet of the Lost Facts.

            http://archive.truthout.org/article/halliburtons-no-bid-iraq-contract-worth-multi-billions

             “Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Cheney, has won contracts worth more than $1.7 billion under Operation Iraqi Freedom and stands to make hundreds of millions more dollars under a no-bid contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to newly available documents.”

            (excerpt)

          • Gregg Smith

            They bid on the entire package of jobs, it was not a “no-bid”. That’s a talking point you were fed and did not question.

            “Halliburton won a competitive bid to rebuild the oil industry in southern Iraq, a contract worth up to $1.2 billion over two years, the Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement.”

            http://articles.latimes.com/2004/jan/18/news/adna-halliburton18

        • Ray in VT

          Plus the government may still get stuck paying the bill for illnesses and deaths of U.S. soldiers due to exposures at KRB run sites in Iraq.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         The no bid contract was for the Hurricane machine.

      • nj_v2

        Mighty Greggg, defender of right-wing malfeasance; apologist to Republican criminals.

        He must look cute posting in his black, Super-Defender-of-the-Right Cape.

        • Gregg Smith

          It’s red.

          • Ray in VT

            Red, eh?  Like the commies?  You’re on watch, pal.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            You red (sic) my mind Gregg.

          • Gregg Smith

            I knew ya’ll would like it.

          • nj_v2

            Tells us what we need to know. Greggg responds to the frivolous part of the post rather than the substance. Doesn’t deny he defends the right wing hacks.

            Not that we need it at this point, but it just confirms what we already know.

          • Gregg Smith

            Is there a part of your comments that aren’t frivolous?

  • Gregg Smith

    Solyndra spent $1.8 million on lobbying. George Kaiser (a bundler who contributed $100K to Obama) owned 36.7% of Solyndra. He visited the White House 16 times. It ended up costing taxpayers a half a billion dollars.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      No matter what political party (Tom Dashle is now a high paid lobbyist), all of the pigs that move from Congress figure out a way to feed at the troth.  They couldn’t care less about the country, only lining their pockets.  The difference between the parties is that the Democrats are better at talking out of both sides of their mouth on the issue than the Republicans.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I meant “trough”

        • DeJay79

           you could just edit your comment and not add this reply…

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            Thanks for letting me know.  I appreciate it.

    • John_in_Amherst

      suggest you take a look at the Northrup Gruman F-35 strike fighter if you want an example of pigs at the trough and a hugely inflated price tag.  You might also research green energy projects that have not gone belly-up.

      • Gregg Smith

        Where is the green success story from Obama? I’m open. 

        • John_in_Amherst

           the $$ Solyndra squandered represents about 5% of the Obama administration’s total investments in “green energy”.  If your stock broker was successful 95% of the time, would you bitch about it?

    • jimino

      So you’re congratulating him for playing the game the way so-called conservatives have long been doing, right?  Or are you criticizing him for not getting even more tax dollars, as so-called conservatives have long been doing? 

      You can’t honestly think this is somehow unique, unless you are a clueless nitwit.

      • Gregg Smith

        Now there Jimino, you know I’m not a clueless nitwit so try a different premise. Maybe I don’t think it’s unique, maybe I’m not congratulating him and maybe I’m not criticizing him either.

        I am trying to make the point that the left’s penchant for decrying corporations and their undue influence makes no sense. They cannot want what they demand. They want the solar lobby to have influence. Ditto the climate change lobby, the NPR lobby and the anti-big-sugar lobby. So all the belly-aching strikes me as odd. It’s nothing but platitudes.

        • jimino

          And the right’s penchant for claiming to be for a free market unfettered by government interference is even more nonsensical.  It’s the ULTIMATE platitude, aka a lie.

          • Gregg Smith

            Straw man.

    • Don_B1

      Your claim of improper lobby actions on the Solyndra grant has been shown wrong many times.

      • Gregg Smith

        Who said there was anything improper with the lobby actions? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    People when will you wise up?

    BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans are corrupt.

    BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans work for the criminal elite ONLY.

    THE ONLY difference is that the Republicans are also EVIL.

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

      I think the only real difference is more Democrat big money supporters rely on money being pushed through citizens (via entitlements, etc) to get the money to corporations verses Republicans who push more money directly to their contributors.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

        That would be called a distinction without a difference.

        For instance, CLAIMING you are giving people health care when in fact you are taking tax payer money to give to private health insurance companies.

        Or, CLAIMING you are helping homeowners, when in fact you are bailing out banks.

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

          The difference is someone getting food stamps gets to eat before corporations get the money. With farm subsidies, tax cuts, etc. the corporations get their money whether that person eats or not.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

            JP Morgan is administering the Unemployment benefits in many states. 

            Taking their cut.

            But I get your point.

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

            Agree to your point as well. While people are getting subsidized cell phones, it’s the corporation raking in the money from this that effectively lobbies to keep the program going.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Does Lockheed do this also, or am I remembering a failed pilot program somewhere?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Good description.

      Clinton signed the bills from the extreme GoP legislators that deregulated wall st and caused the bush crash, he got in bed with wall st himself with Rubin and Citi, and Rubin’s proteges have been screwing us over ever since. Obama is extremely friendly to the financial criminals, if you look at the walk instead of the talk. “Too big to jail”. He’s practically begging the GoP to let him cut SS, with no good reason. 

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

    The big question – is the White House fighting conservatives like Rove and the Koch Brothers? Or merely working for their competitors who are primarily the ones providing this big, private money?

    Either way while US middle class has been invited to contribute money, they have not been invited contribute at the planning table. By either party.

  • Helene Nicholson

    I think it’s the only way to fight Citizens United.  Small donors can give to a group with a social agenda where the poor can have a voice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lars.grantwest Lars Grant-West

      The right can’t cry about this. The right-leaning Court got CU passed, which gives them incredible leverage in molding the direction of the country. This helps provide’s balance. It would be great to go back to serious campaign finance reform (how about we all check that “$1 to elections” box on our taxes). That’s the only way we’re going to give control back to the public.

      It’s amusing how so many of the arguments about the way this functions apply directly to Citizens United as well.

      • sickofthechit

         It’s not “amusing”, it is depressing!

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      That was exactly what Citizen United did.  Socialist claptrap aside the ruling is a death blow to the corporatism you claim to oppose. 

  • toc1234

    Halliburton Chair Milton Carroll and Jim Crane, “leading figures in the Texas
    oil and gas industry,” played golf with President Obama this past weekend (~22Feb13), while
    thousands of Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters stormed the White House.

    HuffPo failed to mention that one of the “big oil” executives, Milton Carroll, is also Chairman of the Board at Halliburton.
    His company, CenterPoint Energy, received “$200 million in federal grant money
    to upgrade its system to a Smart Grid.” Jim Crane, on the other hand, “gave
    the maximum $5,000 to the Obama campaign and $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).”

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Time for the Supreme Court to recognize their MASSIVE BLUNDER in the “Citizen’s United” case and reverse themselves.

    Money is NOT SPEECH.
    Corporations are NOT PEOPLE.
    ALL financial or “in kind” contributions should be reported. NO hiding behind curtains while trying to buy elections.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      This is the most pro-corporate Supreme Court ever.

      Let’s “rebrand” them like the Republicans want to “rebrand” their party after their failed 2012 election: 

      OLD: the distinguished Supreme Court Justices of the United States of America

      NEW: Whores for corporate Amerika.

      • scottmartin49

        Three k’s in Amerika…..;)

        More inclusive that way.

    • nj_v2

      Screw the Supreme Court. The Constitution needs to be amended. It’s a Congressional action.

      https://movetoamend.org/

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

        Waste of time. Will NEVER HAPPEN.

        The people need to vote out every election anyone who won’t vote for publicly funded elections.

        Do this over and over and over until they pass this into law.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      That was exactly what Citizen United did.  Socialist claptrap aside the ruling is a death blow to the corporatism you claim to oppose. 

      • sickofthechit

         What exactly was his (judging from profile) “Socialist claptrap…”?

  • Mike_Davies

    The point is that OFA is to promote Obama’s agenda — which I support — and not the donors’ agendas. Since all donations above $250 are to listed, you know who is involved. Obama is smart enough to keep this arrangement on the up-and-up. 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      A distinction without a difference followed by a profession of
      blind trust. 

  • sickofthechit

    As a “liberal” this does have a foul smell to it….

    I say Citizens United is what we should be going after.

    Can someone please explain to me why Citizens United is not invalid on it’s face since Corporations are already represented in our elections by their shareholders/owners, their employees and their customers?  No one yet has been able to explain where my reasoning is wrong.  Who is willing to take the challenge?  How can five “Supreme” Court Justices be so wrong?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Why not just repeal the offending passage from the constitution:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      Just clip off the last twenty or so words and all would be peachy. 

      • nj_v2

        Money is not speech.

        Corporations are not people.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Nice bumber sticker, but meaningless in the real world.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    That thumbs down button is a nice feature…

  • sickofthechit

    Sorry to be so crude, but “Can a corporation be aborted?”  If the answer is no,then they aren’t a “person”.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I assume, then that you must feel that an unborn baby is a person since it can be aborted and that abortion is therefore a murderous act? And probably one that Obama’s organization is taking money from to support continuation of this atrocity?

      • sickofthechit

         I was only using the word abortion because the “Supreme” Court granted them “personhood”.

        I am one of those conflicted people who is anti-abortion, but pro-choice.  I have always contended that decisions about a fetus/child are only 49.999999999999….% up to the man, the woman should always have final say.

        If anti-abortionists want to save lives what are they doing about the tens of thousands of children around the world dying each day from extreme poverty?  Poverty which kills, poverty which we have the resources, but not the will to stop.

    • Gregg Smith

      So a fetus is a person? I agree.

      • John_in_Amherst

         A life begins with the first breath, hence “birthdays” not “conceptiondays”.  And No, corporations don’t breath and hence are not people.

        • Gregg Smith

          Not according to sickofthechit.

      • J__o__h__n

        Even Mississippi voters didn’t agree. 

      • sickofthechit

         I knew better than to use that phraseology. What was I thinking?

    • toc1234

      the answer is yes…  Arthur Anderson.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      No you’re not sorry. You revel in being crude.

  • Casey Reyner

    You play by the rule you are given, not the rules that you wish you had.  As long as the group is transparent of its donors, I think it is a good thing.

  • Sandy_H_from_Michigan

    What do we always tell our kids -

    Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right.

  • George Chapman

    Why can’t people get it right. The original organization of OFA was Organizing for America, not Obama for America.

  • WeHaveLostOurMinds

    The SCOTUS’s ruling in Citizens created the pathway for
    Government by the MONEY for the MONEY.

    The office of the POTUS is fighting for influence in the same matter as the court allowed with undisclosed campaign finance.

    I am not sanguine about our future if we cannot strike down Citizens United and it’s subsequent downstream outcomes.

    L.R. Dunn

    • DeJay79

       My dad always said “hate is a string word and should not be used lightly.”

      I Hate the Scotus ruling!

      • Gregg Smith

        “String”?

        • DeJay79

           thanks!  lol

  • DeJay79

    Question:

    If he has been elected twice already and can not be elected again how much influance can someone really buy?

    It would seem to me that He is just going to do want he thinks is best for the people regardless of how much money someone gives him.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      Really?

      The pay day comes the moment he’s out of office.

      Reagan getting a $100,000 a speech. Bill Clinton going from being broke to a multi-millionaire? Al Gore racking up a few hundred million?

  • Wahoo_wa

    When you can’t effectively use the office you hold as a way of bettering our country, and instead use an extra-Constitutional, private group to further the goals you cannot achieve, you are not qualified to hold the office you have been elected to.

    • sickofthechit

       Your speaking about the cheney/bush presidency, right?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Most obstructionist Congress ever. Somehow it’s all Obama’s fault. If only “both sides” (i.e. the Democrats giving 95% of the ground) “compromised”.

      Yeah, we hear you.

      • Wahoo_wa

        Both parties deserve each other.  Our country however deserves better than what either party puts forward.

  • Casey Reyner

    Isn’t that what a lobbyist is anyway?  Someone who gives money to have the ear of a legislator?

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

    It IS inherently corrupt – but that is just agreeing that it all is.

    Why is publicly vying for money any worse than the standard backroom wink and a nod?

  • lecgraphx

    Organizing for America is trying to get CONGRESS to listen to the agenda that America voted for. Pressuring the Republicans to vote for legislation the majority of Americans want. Example: WP poll says 91% of Americans are in favor of universal background checks  and ALL the Republicans in committee voted against it. OFA lets us speak out!!

    • OnPointComments

      47% of the country voted against President Obama’s agenda, and that 47% is represented by some members of Congress.
       
      We do not govern by polls.  If we did, Obamacare would have never passed.

      • jimino

        “We do not govern by polls.  If we did, Obamacare would have never passed.”

        You’re right.  We would have single payer instead.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Anyone notice the ads by the Postal Workers union supporting 6 day mail delivery?

    Should public policy be influenced by the public workers it benefits?  It seems like the public policy should stand on the merits — not for the benefit of government workers.

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

      Postal Service, while run by the government, is not funded by the government.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Like FREDDIEMAC but with Federal workers?  Aren’t we still on the hook for their deficit?  They can’t file for bankruptcy. It seems like Postal service is in a slow death spiral.  Something will have to give.

        • sickofthechit

           As a little lesson in reality why don’t you construct three items to mail.  One is a simple letter, the next is a small flat rate priority mail box (max 4 pounds)and the third is a large flat rate priority mail with up to 40 pounds in it and take each to a post office and to UPS and do a little real world cost comparison making sure you note the delivery periods needed by each and the vast difference in the cost.  The Postal Service wins hands down, all day.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

            Not only that but UPS USES the USPS to deliver their packages because they are cheap and efficient.

            Yes, it’s true.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yep. If UPS, FedEx etc have a plan to get incredibly profitable by promising to drive to about every address in the USA 5 days a week, they’ve kept it well hidden.

            The USPS is a service. All this talk about it “losing money” is folderol, like how my county’s highway department “loses money”.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Personally, I haven’t taken a position other than to note the current system is unsustainable.

              I haven’t heard a good case for keeping Saturday delivery or for stopping remote delivery and perhaps closing underutilized Post Offices.  Is that enough to right the ship?  I have no idea.

      • toc1234

        ha!  not funded by gov’t (correct – they run up their mountain of debt all by themselves) but will be bailed out by gov’t.  you sound like the Fan and Fred apologists. 

        “The U.S. Postal Service, which lost $1.3 billion in its first quarter, said its debt could reach $45 billion by around 2017 if Congress doesn’t pass legislation allowing it to change its business model. “

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

          The ONLY reason the USPS has any deficit AT ALL is because Republican Denny Hastert passed a law designed to destroy them.

          It required the USPS to fund their pensions 75 YEARS OUT.

          No way they could. No way any company could.

          It is designed to break them so the REPUBLICANS can privatize the USPS, STEAL THEIR PENSIONS AND END THEIR UNION.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        And thanks to that stupid law, “everybody knows the USPS is going bankrupt”, because only the USPS has to fund its beneficiaries sixty years down the road.

        But “everybody knows the USPS is going bankrupt” the Evening News tells me, so MissionAccomplished.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      Give me Saturday mail delivery any day over 2/3rds of corporations operating in this country PAYING NO FEDERAL TAXES.

      • StilllHere

        Really, 20 millon+ corporations, I doubt it.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Are the current self-proclaimed conservatives outraged that Obama is receiving donations or that he seems to be trying to bring at least some measure of transparency into the fray?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.cresta.77 Joe Cresta

    Until we can change one or two conservative justices on the Supreme Court for their stupid Citizens United decision; average, hardworking Americans need an organization like OFA. Hell, the plutocrats in this country are trying to influence local, state, and federal elections with so much money, how can we, the majority of Americans without political clout or a seat at the table (i.e. lobbyists) fight it? The concern of polticial corruption is a legitimate concern but until Citizens United is reversed or the Republicans are willing to have real campaign finance reform (which means disclosure) we the people will need OFA or other organizations like it. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Part of me is concerned about this, part of me figures that the right is jealous they didn’t do it first.

    At some point, I have already written enough of the background noise that “it’s good for everyone if Democrats unilaterally disarm”. Otherwise it’s the left gets to be the virgin in the whorehouse.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    Call the Supreme Court what they are: WHORES FOR CORPORATE AMERIKA.

  • J__o__h__n

    Citizens United created bad law.  If people were virtuous, we wouldn’t need laws.  The law needs to be changed.  Obama shouldn’t be expected to follow a moral standard higher than the current law while the Republicans are free to exploit it. 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Why not, If he believes in that standard?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Caller Ben is talking about overcoverage of a “media sponsored pro gun control rally” somewhere (I didn’t catch that).

    I submit that caller Ben hasn’t been very clued into the overcoverage of Tea Party rallies since Inauguration Day 2009. What was the low water mark, one reporter for every three attendees?

    • JobExperience

       NC T(error) Partiers can thank Duke Energy for the hotdogs and balloons. A $1 hot dog and a $1 balloon will not  offset doubling electric bills. How much  will decommissioning Crystal River cost? Answer: As much as possible since exec compensation is linked to expenditures. It is corporations who are the tax gougers now. No vote can stop a secretive totalitarian organization recognized to possess greater Constitutional rights than any citizen. And they own state governments thanks to T(error) Partiers.

  • Mangojam

    Responding to the person in Fletcher Vermont: I was at the rally you mentioned in support of gun control at the Vermont State House.  You incorrectly stated only 50 people attended. 300 people rallied in support of gun control, and it was organized by a local mom, not “big money.” Please get your facts straight and don’t spin them to your view. There are obviously many supporters on either side of this issue.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebekah-Becky-Majors-Manley/100000808133635 Rebekah Becky Majors-Manley

      AND A FEW PEOPLE CAN MAKE ANY RALLY EFFECTIVE BECAUSE IT IS THE MESSAGING THAT MATTERS ANYWAY- NOT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE. I HAVE HELD EVENTS WITH ONLY 3 OR 4 PEOPLE HOLDING SIGNS AT SCOTT DELARAIS OFFICE, THE CONGRESSMAN,MYSELF FOR THE UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS. THE PRESS ALWAYS COMES WHEN I CALL THEM- RECENTLY I HAD ALL FOUR LOCAL STATIONS AT MY RALLY AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE AND THE NEWSPAPER. I THOUGHT ALSO THE COMMENTS OF THE CALLER WERE UNEDUCATED AND NOT REALIZING HOW A FEW PEOPLE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. GLAD THE MOM ORGANIZED THE EVENT. THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING ALSO.I STAND WITH YOU- WHEN WE ALL TAKE ACTION IT DOES MATTER!

  • coleniuk

    the only unusual thing about this move is that it’s done publicly and in the light of day.  come on people, look around

  • Laur5000

    Interesting story! 

  • DrewInGeorgia

    “How do we back big money out of our politics” says Tom.

    Reverse Citizens United!

    When those raising all the fuss are ready to back that, then and only then can they continue the kicking and screaming.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      That was exactly what Citizen United did.  Socialist claptrap aside the ruling is a death blow to the corporatism you claim to oppose. 

      • sickofthechit

         What “Socialist claptrap…”?

    • OnPointComments

      Do you admit that the ads from PACs, after the Citizens United decision, changed your vote?  If not, why does Citizens United need to be reversed?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        When I don’t respond to replies such as yours and RWB’s it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the reasons.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Grammar you much?

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Grammar I like not, always tripping me up it is.

          • nj_v2

            You really want to go down that path? Most of your posts are riddled with errors. Shall i embarrass you by listing a few?

          • Gregg Smith

            You should capitalize “i”.

          • nj_v2

            It’s a deliberate subversion of convention on my part. I do it in all my writing, even for publication. In those cases, i include a note explaining why.

            A number of languages don’t capitalize the first-person pronoun. I see no need to distinguish it from the other pronouns. It’s my own little battle against against a style i disagree with.

            And i wasn’t the one initially playing the Grammar-Cop card.

            And you should place the sentence-ending period within the close parenthesis. Unless you’re writing in Great Britain.

            You will not win any grammar or syntax “gotcha” battles with me, so save yourself the trouble.

          • Gregg Smith

            I hate grammar cops and only bring it up when  jerks play them. I make more mistakes than most.

          • nj_v2

            Then you should have responded to RWB.

            Your spineless, shameless weaseling is pathetic.

      • StilllHere

        He has no answers.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          You’re right, I don’t. I have a hell of a lot of questions though. Here’s one just for you:

          I wonder why it is that you don’t reply to me directly as opposed to placing snarky little comments beneath the responses of others?

          I may not know the answer but I have a couple of theories that I’d wager are dead on the money.

          Still Trollin.

  • Coastghost

    Obama belittles his own agenda with this nonsense. If his agenda cannot compete except by resorting to post-election campaign financing, he’s only showing AGAIN what an ineffectual leader he is: from the Oval Office, he’s somehow incapable of communicating otherwise with the American people? Romney’s earnest supporters just spent untold millions only to get that much egg on his and their faces. Money-in-politics doesn’t yield success in electoral or legislative communication, automatically: Obama is not working on his message or his other credentials, it sounds as if he’s only trying to (further) embarass his political opponents.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      He’s only showing AGAIN what an ineffectual leader he is.

      Sorry, your comment has been put on anonymous hold and won’t be visible until 60% vote in favor of a full floor vote.

      • Coastghost

        Meanwhile, it garners four likes, so go figure.

        • JobExperience

           You’ve Mastered digital Onanism.
          Now clean that up!
          (By exiting and reentering you can like yourself.)

          • Coastghost

            But I’m possessed of self-loathing and would not dare like myself. Sorry.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    Obama is a master at bait and switch.

    A corporatist disguised as a pretend populist.
    Wise up people. You’ve been had.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Eh, “had”?

      Many of us realize we’re voting for a politician, warts and all, rather than choosing who to go to prom with thinkning that person will be our One True Love.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

        Name me one thing Obama has done that has benefited the people more then it benefited  corporations (other then taking federally backed student loans away from banks).

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          If you think that didn’t help banks then you aren’t paying attention.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

            You don’t know what you are saying.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            This action took bad debt of thier books and but the tax payers on the hook for it.

        • StilllHere

          Fat chance we’ll ever see those loans paid back.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

            At least the criminal banks aren’t profiting off of them like they were while they were backed by the taxpayer.

  • john shotwell

    I don’t hear any of your gusts comment on the relationship of money in politics with the fundamental de-facto founding principle of America :

      That is A government of the business man, by the business man, and For the business man.

      This IS what has set America apart since it’s inception, AND it means that those who are successful, who make money,  can use that money for their benefit themselves in the political arena.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    In unrelated news, Chavez was not properly embalmed and now cannot be Leninized and put on permanent display.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/14/hugo-chavezs-body-may-have-decayed-too-much-eterna/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

    Bummer.

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

    I’m not worried about Obama doing this – he’s entrenched in the system, is a player, and won’t really stray from business as usual.

    Can you imagine, though, if someone like Bachmann got into office and used this kind of money to fund her own wacky agenda? Now that’s scary.

    • DrewInGeorgia

       I’ve had nightmares like this…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carlo-Danese/100002305865604 Carlo Danese

    What planet are we on ?  The republican party has been a bunch of bullies since 9 – 11, lying, accusing anyone who does not follow their narrow vision of being ‘un american’ . . In classic bully fashion now that they are losing influence, they whine, they cry ‘foul’.  During the BP aftermath I heard a southern senator, a major shil of big oil, accuse Obama of a ‘shakedown’.  The republican party has blocked legislation because they are in the pocket of big oil, big pharma, the NRA, the banks … And the dems are not so much better.  Let’s fix it at it’s core.  Ban all lobbyists. Done

  • coleniuk

    the only thing that’s unique about this move is that it is open and made in the light of day, come on people

  • DrewInGeorgia

    “Democracy needs rules” says your guest.

    Agreed. How about letting the populace vote on those rules?
    Isn’t that Democracy?

  • Wahoo_wa

    This is a great thing to do if you are a devout partisan and your party is in power.  Once these party maniacs loss the elected office they’ll scream bloody murder when the opposing party uses the same means.

  • Kathy

    I don’t like the system the Supremes have set up. I think it’s anti-democratic and un-American. However, it is the only way to play the game and the Democratic Party should not unilaterally disarm while the Republicans run wild with it.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “the Supremes”….I dig it.
      The Supremacists works too.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      How would allowing media monopolies be more democratic and better for America?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Was the Solyndra boondoggle  the result of ‘bought’ influence?

  • Davesix6

    Weren’t the first 501 C 4 groups formed by the left? moveon.org etc.

    This is not a matter of fighting fire with fire, President Obama’s own supporters started this fire years ago!

    The only reason the left is against these groups now is because the right has taken advantage of the tax laws as well.

  • StilllHere

    Big money has not been proven effective in elections, so what’s to fear?

    Citizens United gets money into the economy rather than sitting in a bank account, how can you be against that?

    • nj_v2

      [[ Big money has not been proven effective in elections ]]

      Horsecrap.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Hey, if it’s so useless, why doesn’t the right give up big money first?

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I will spend my money how I see fit. If I want to buy an add in the Boston Globe calling on Rep Markey to quit supporting ethanol mandates, why should anyone else get to prevent me? Why should that have to go through a panel of censors? Why is it OK for me to do only if I own the Globe? Why do I only get to
          give my money to the candidate who opposes the candidate I oppose?

          • StilllHere

            Nice.

    • jimino

      Thanks for recognizing that what we now call “banks” are not part of the real economy.  Once upon a time they were an integral part of it.

      • StilllHere

        Well, reserve requirements are much higher now so their hands are tied.

    • hennorama

      StilllHere – you typed “Big money has not been proven effective in elections, so what’s to fear?”

      We’ll leave aside the “effectiveness” argument for a moment, at least when it comes to some of the outside groups and their spending.  Let’s focus instead on “…so what’s to fear?” from “Big money…”

      The Federal Election Commission (FEC) put the total spent on the 2012 Federal elections at about $7.2 billion.  According to a recent article from the Sunlight Foundation “[FEC Chair Ellen] Weintraub projects that the final tab will include: $3.2 billion in spending by candidate committees, $2 billion from party committees and another $2 billion or more from outside groups.”

      http://reporting.sunlightfoundation.com/2013/total-2012-election-spending-7-billion/

      AdAge.com estimated (pre-election) that advertising spending for all 2012 elections (Federal, state and local) would approach $10 Billion ($9.84 B).

      http://adage.com/article/campaign-trail/total-2012-election-spending-hit-9-8b/233155/

      So what’s to fear, you ask?

      US media is dominated by 6 corporations.  If you fear “media bias” it’s difficult to get away from this fact.  There is a back and forth symbiosis between politicians and the media.  Politicians need media coverage to promote their agendas and election campaigns.  Media companies need politicians’ campaign money, as well as politicians’ comments to help fill airtime, which leads to more money from other advertisers.

      Imagine the fear involved in the corporate boardroom if your company’s reporters are frozen out due to perceived negative coverage.  Imagine how a reporter might mute their questions due to such fear.  Imagine how reporters and networks with a perceived positive bias might be given more access.

      Now imagine how money might influence what stories are or are not covered by the media companies, due to the influence of both political money and other advertisers’ money.

      The cycle continues when politicians need to raise enormous sums in order to finance their media advertising purchases in their campaigns.  This means they spend less time on governing and more time on fundraising and schmoozing big campaign donors, who are often promoting their own financial self-interests.

      THAT’S what’s to fear.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/campaign-finance/

      • DrewInGeorgia

         Nice!

      • StilllHere

        You established that elections cost money and that some of that goes to advertising. 

        But your discussion of corporate media doesn’t make much sense when coporate is a small and shrinking part of the media universe.

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    I completely agree with Mr Wertheimer’s concern – and I believe the only the way the system will be fixed is when the Conservatives feel the pain of the truly flawed world we are now in after Citizen’s United. If this is what it takes – so be it.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Have you heard about the Tea Party?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Let’s take a vote:

    If you, as an American Citizen, feel that Citizens United should be overturned please like this comment. This will be the only time you will hear me pander for a like.

    • OnPointComments

      More information is better than less information, whether it comes from a person or a PAC.  The Supreme Court got the decision exactly right in Citizens United.  It’s mildly amusing that everyone who bemoans the Citizens United decision says that they are too smart to be influenced by the PACs, but it’s everyone else who will be swayed by them.

      • StilllHere

        Exactly.  Predictably irrational.

      • sickofthechit

         The Karl Rove type PACs don’t have to reveal donor info, and if they do it doesn’t have to be revealed until long after the election, plus their is no requirement of “Truthiness” (copyright Stephen Colbert).  That is why they call it “dark money”.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Exactly. I considered pointing out that “More information” is only beneficial if 98% of it isn’t a pack of lies that the public has to spend their time sifting through. But what would be the point?

          Thanks for posting a reasonable response to what I immediately considered a silly comment. You have far more patience than I.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      How can it be “overturned”???

      It came from the SUPREME COURT.

      It has to be changed through law.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Semantics but I’ll play.

        Change overturned to “reversed through legislation”. Is that acceptable?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

          Yes.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Corrected. Thanks for the feedback.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I don’t believe this will be the only time you panda.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I like Pandas, they’re sooooooooo cute!
        I also like koala bears…

        • Gregg Smith

          I get confused over which one eats bamboo and which one eats eucalyptus.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Me too, what difference does it make when they’re both so adorable!

          • Gregg Smith

            You have a (liberal) consensus… on Citizens United, not the panda bear.

            It’s an interesting question. Can the Legislature overturn the Judiciary? I don’t think that’s the way works. Should popular opinion factor in Supreme Court decisions? I appreciate your poll and recognize it’s success but what are you really suggesting?

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I’m not positive about the mechanics either. I’m assuming (yes I know) that if legislation were passed, in order to invalidate the new law there would have to be a new ruling by the SCOTUS. Again, I’m not sure about the nuts and bolts. I am just a dumb hick after all not an attorney or a legislator.

            What I do know, however, is that we now have enough information to realize that it is one of the worst Decisions in U.S. history. Even if the SCOTUS were tempted to “Play It Again Sam” I’m pretty sure the public outcry would prevent a rehash.

            Another thing to consider: After the protests over Obama deciding to play the game (which this particular show is a result of), it seems that the folks who embraced The Citizens United Decision initially would shove a repeat away like a flaming bag of dog poop. Sorry for the descriptor but you get the point.

            Some people only want to play the game when they think they have an unfair advantage. Seems like The President’s new effort at wading in is making a lot of folks nervous.

            Thanks for the reasonable reply and questions, I’m pretty sure you already know they are appreciated.

          • Tyranipocrit

             why do you support it?  A fair question.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Yes, Let’s take a vote:

    If you, as an American Citizen, feel that corporate special interests deserve massive subsidies and the First Amendment does not mean what it says, please like this comment.

    • nj_v2

      This doesn’t make any sense. Not surprising given the source.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I know this runs counter to what you are being told, but the truth is that the Citizens United ruling that repealed McCain/Feingold was a significant blow to the corporatism you claim to oppose.

  • nj_v2

    Disqus fail

  • nj_v2

    Disqus fail

  • http://twitter.com/mschwa1967 Mark Schwartz

    Go Mr. President!  I’m tired of Democrats wringing their hands and huddling for comfort on their moral high ground.  Karl Rove, the Koch Bros. and the Republitards have been pulling this chicanery for decades, and now they have the nerve to cry foul?  That’s a bunch of BS.  They fight dirty, so the Dems should be meaner and nastier.  Now that Justice Roberts, his  posse and Citizen’s United have cleared the way, punch ‘em in the stones, Dems!

    http://pragnosticator.blogspot.com

    • pete18

       It’s so laughable that Democrats always cite the Koch Brothers as evil boogie-men who are unduly influencing
      politics with their money as if there weren’t liberal organizations doing the same exact thing. Take note of the Tides Foundation below who, in 2010, gave about FIVE times the amount of money to liberal organizations as the Koch brothers did to conservative ones. Oh, the horrors of Citizens United!


      For the few stray souls out there who don’t know, the Koch Brothers
      are Charles and David, principals of the Koch corporate conglomerate and
      chief bete noirs of President Obama, liberal journalists covering
      national politics and Citizens United obsessives everywhere.

      It’s equally certain that few reading this post know anything at all
      about the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation, even though its roots go
      deep into the radical student movement of the 1960s and it has helped
      fund or startup virtually every significant liberal, progressive and
      radical cause in the years since. . . . Consider these numbers, derived
      from multiple searches of foundation grant databases, IRS Form 990s and
      other public records:

      Three Koch foundations made a total of 181 grants worth $25,405,525
      in 2010 (most recent available records). The one Tides Foundation made a
      total of 2,627 grants worth $143,529,590 in 2010.

      Put otherwise, for every one grant made by a Koch foundation, Tides made more than five grants.”

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/why-do-the-koch-brothers-get-all-the-sunshine/article/2523869

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        You did not mention Tides Foundation funded thug, Brett “Speedway Bomber” Kimberlin.  

        http://theothermccain.com/2013/03/11/does-brett-kimberlin-really-need-another-lesson-in-the-streisand-effect/

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/LFHW5KOKD4WMHWGPKR5HRTGR3U James

         Oh… the horror, the horror… “the radical student movement of the 1960s”.  The difference is that the Koch brothers speak for those already rich and powerful.  Who speaks for the 47% who have no voice?  Certainly not Mitt Romney or his posse.

        • pete18

           Looks to me like the “47%” have five times the voice of anyone the Koch Brother’s support.

          • pete18

             Oh no, excuse me, 14 times.

      • hennorama

        Yes, let’s look at the obviously evil Tides Foundation.  Clearly they must be horrendous if they are, as the Washington Examiner editorial says “… an obscure foundation that bankrolls multiple legions of leftist political groups and causes.”

        Exactly what are they hiding?

        Here’s what they’re hiding in plain sight:  from Page 2 of the Tides Foundation’s 2010 Federal Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax):

        “Tides Foundation makes grants for charitable purposes. The core activity is operating donor advised, collective action, and other grantmaking funds. Tides Foundation distributes the funds it receives from individuals and institutions, and grants are awarded to eligible domestic and qualified foreign charitable organizations for philanthropic purposes. Tides Foundation also provides philanthropic support and creates opportunities for learning, and building community among donors and grantees. Most grants are in the areas of education, health services and reform, civil rights and liberties, international development and relief services, environment, media, HIV/AIDS, human rights, and youth development and organizing.”

        This is available directly from the Tides Foundation website, along with other financial information (including the more recent 2011 Form 990).

        OMG!  They used the words “community” and “organizing”!  They must be Communists!  Just like Obama!  He was a “community organizer” after all!  And they’re from San Francisco, too!  They must be some sort of evil ” liberal, progressive and radical” organization, right?

        The Washington Examiner did not have to do “…. multiple searches of foundation grant databases, IRS Form 990s and other public records” to find financial information for the Tides Foundation.  Tides Foundation is not trying to hide what they do – they put it right on their website.

        So they must have been referring to the “Three Koch foundations” mentioned in their editorial when they were talking about ” these numbers, derived from multiple searches of foundation grant databases, IRS Form 990s and other public records”.

        One also has to point out the lack of basic arithmetic skills of the editorial writer, which does not exactly inspire confidence.  FTA:

        “Three Koch foundations made a total of 181 grants worth $25,405,525 in 2010 (most recent available records). The one Tides Foundation made a total of 2,627 grants worth $143,529,590 in 2010.

        “Put otherwise, for every one grant made by a Koch foundation, Tides made more than five grants.”

        One’s calculator shows the reality is much worse (if one assumes the larger the number of grants made by Tides Foundation makes it worse) – 2,627 grants divided by 181 grants equals a horrifying ratio of more than 14.5 to 1.

        Egads!  The reality is “Put otherwise, for every one grant made by a Koch foundation, Tides made more than [FOURTEEN] grants.”  The horror!

        Perhaps the Washington Examiner editorial staff needs better fact checkers, assuming they use any, that is.  Sheesh.  Get real, Washington Examiner. 

        See:http://www.tides.org/about/financials/
        http://www.tides.org/fileadmin/user/990/990-Tides-Foundation-2010.pdf.pdf
        http://www.tides.org/fileadmin/Admin/Financials/Tides_Foundation_990.pdf

        • pete18

           They weren’t suggesting that the Tide Foundation was being furtive, only that the press (and Obama supporters) were being selective in what groups they reported on as spending money to influence policies and politics. A myopic focus on the Koch brothers (who also give tons of money to charity) but a blind eye to the Tide foundation or George Soros (who gave a million dollars to Obama’s super pack). Citizen’s United has been a boon to Democrats. If anything it’s the right that should be complaining about the practical results. Their only problem is they actually believe in free speech rather than just giving it lip service.

          Since all the ruling says is that the government can’t prohibit or restrict independent political expenditures by corporations and unions and there is plenty of money on the left to keep up with the right, what’s the problem?

      • sickofthechit

         Could you please include their address, phone, email and other contact info.  I needs me an Iphone and an Ipad to keep up with everything.

  • donniethebrasco

    You are calling Obama everything short of “Uncle Tom.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebekah-Becky-Majors-Manley/100000808133635 Rebekah Becky Majors-Manley

    LOVED YOUR COMMENTS AND THEM BEING READ ON AIR!

    • StilllHere

      Thanks.

  • Mattyster

    Obama has to play by the rules as they are, not as he wishes them to be.  So he has to raise money, whether we like it or not, to defend the policies we believe in.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Power uber alles?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      reply error

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Obama is one of the most conservative presidents of this century and he loves wall st tycoons, so why would anyone be surprised that he cozies up to them and other plutocrats? The only ones who will be surprised are those who fall for the smoke about him being a progressive. Watch the walk, not the talk.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Spending at 25%+ of GDP without a budget and incessantly calling for tax hikes is not conservative.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Are you sure your not a fan of Tavis Smiley & Dr. Cornel West?  You sound very much like them.
      http://www.smileyandwest.com/

      • StilllHere

        So right you are my brother!

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I have zero interest in what random people that you link to have to say, whoever they are. Obama is conservative based on his actions vs mainstream American policies, and I’d be happy to discuss that, if you can avoid these diversions.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH!!!

          Greorge Orwell
          1984

    • ExcellentNews

        I doubt Obama “loves” Wall St tycoons. He is just pragmatic – with the economy in shambles, the last thing the country needs is a witch hunt for the CEOs and bankers who brought is to this point. So instead he opts for a workable plan – tax them a bit more so that we can rebuild the country. That is quite different from the genuine love the Republican party has for the oligarchs.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        yeah who needs accountability?  it might briefly affect profitability

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      you forgot how much he supports perpetual war.  

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I didn’t forget, tho I didn’t put it above. I’m afraid our  POTUS is a real neocon on the foreign policy side, in addition to being a wall st guy on the econ side.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          but he wants to take our guns so they look past all that. and the “free healthcare” we are not free anymore (ie soda bans justified by public health spending) and i seem to be paying more than ever for medical care but it sounds great

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1532321876 Tom Bogenschild

    Hey Tom, small nit to pick with one of your comments (mirroring Fred W’s stance) this morning: after Roberta called from TN supporting OFA you questioned whether it would be better for her and other Dems to work through party structures to make their voices heard.  Guess what: we Dems in TN and most of the rest of the South have been THROWN UNDER THE BUS by the Democratic party.  I understand political realilty: we’re blue dots in a red ocean.  But if the party writes us off we have little recourse than to be active through OFA or equivalent.  I recognize the dangers and hope Citizens United will be acted upon by the legislative branch.  But I am peeved when party hacks who have thrown us down the toilet and shown no leadership in the South suggest that they are our salvation.  Hardly.

  • 2Gary2

    Obama is the best moderate republican president ever.  That said he is a huge disappointment.  I wanted FDR and got Nixon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebekah-Becky-Majors-Manley/100000808133635 Rebekah Becky Majors-Manley

    So proud of my president for listening to the people- I asked him for OFA, and am so thrilled that it exists. I am gaining so much available information I want. It helps me to do the important work I volunteer doing in my community, and this vital timely information helps me to do so by the people sharing it with me. I trust the President and his team. I am the “Rebekah” that called in today on NPR.

  • hennorama
    • DrewInGeorgia

      (or so)

      Love it!

      • hennorama

        Well Drew, pi to 8 decimal places is just one of those things retained in the memory banks, so I didn’t feel any need to fact check it. I used to be able to recite it to 15 places, but a few synapses used for that purpose have been connected to other things in the interim.

        What I do recall is that pi’s actually slightly higher than 3.14159265, but an eight place decimal is usually “close enough for government work.” Still, I felt the need for the “or so” in the name of accuracy.

        Thank you for your kind words.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Welcome, as always.

        • nj_v2

          The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence (plus a few of the next lines) is still stuck in my neural network from having had to memorize it in 8th-grade history class (which was not last year).

          Yet it would be a challenge for me to tell you what i had for dinner last night.

          Memory is a strange thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    Missed intro, could not believe Rucker was a journalist – sounded like he was representative of Organizing for Action.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    Obama lovers simply can not accept he is a complete hypocrite. He is the one who threw campaign finance out the window – opting out for his campaign. Kill lists – all good. The more his administration claims openness the less access they provide.  

    • Mattyster

       bla bla bla.  What’s that old saying about bringing a knife to a gunfight?  Transparency – good.  Citizens United decision – bad.  Unilateral disarmament – stupid.

  • Dee

    Big money eventually corrupts like power yet I have a 
    feeling this is another smear campaign agsinst the Pre-
    sident and “we the people” who dare to stand by him 
    and take on corporate money who had a free hand un-
    ttil now…Now they are challenged 100,000 to one bill-
    ionaire and they are losing..So now, what Obama and 
    the Democrats are doing is corrupting yet any donation 
    I have given has been recorded with a receipt given. 

  • BryWal

    Democratic processes take time.  Look at the big picture history of slavery.  Before fossil fuels, all ancient civilizations were based on slave labor.  Holy people in sacred books lived in times of slavery and none of them said it was a moral imperative to end slavery because they could not imagine civilization without it.  Slavery still exists, but it is not supported by current human institutions, and at least we (in modern human institutions of government, religion, and education) all now agree that slavery is wrong.
    Science says we don’t have much time to turn global warming around.  A year?  Two?  Three?  I predict a time will come when pollution is called “a crime against humanity” (not to mention all the other critters and plants; “all my relations” a Lakota medicine teacher would say. . . .)  Pollution, on the scale we humans produce now, is a crime against all life on Earth.

    For the sticklers; it’s 98% of the scientific community that agrees global warming is NOW and that it’s major cause is POLLUTION.  I notice no-one asks the folks who say global warming is a matter of scientific “opinion” why they trust scientific opinion when it comes to boarding an airplane or using a computer; the scientific “opinions” that made those inventions possible had way less than 98% agreement in the scientific communities when the principles that made them possible were discovered.  I see that scientific “opinion” is to be trusted when it makes life more convenient (and when it makes the rich even richer), but is to be ignored when it demands discipline (and when it might reduce the wealth of the wealthiest).
    The marriage of technology to corporate greed has not been good for our world.
    In times of extreme crisis, usually created by us and usually called “war”, democratic methods go out the window.  There isn’t time for democracy during war so experts (political and military leaders) make the decisions.  Democratic methods go out the window in natural disaster areas, too.  No-one asks the folks in a flood zone or a hurricane to vote on it before the help is sent in. 
    If we need to give up some democratic processes to speed up dealing with global warming; I’m all for it.  Go, Obama, go!

  • nj_v2

    Disqus fail (posts a response as a top post). Honestly, there has to be forum software better than this.

  • orwelllutz

     

    2013          Cause
    and Effect  Nearly Impossible to Hear
    Truthfully

    Today’s topic is a perfect example
    of those who encourage us to take the high road, so they can win by taking the
    low.     Let’s not take the money of
    those who favor the progressive agenda because it creates a dangerous precedent
    for our democracy.   By all means, allow
    the right to continue brainwashing voters with their overwhelming dominance
    over talk radio and cable political commentary.

    In the preface to his book,
    Doublespeak, Nov 1989, William Lutz describes the use of language to deceive,
    to confuse and to manipulate the minds of the people.  Even to the layman, the uses he describes
    from his own experience and from the work of George Orwell, are clearly at work
    in the U.S. and I would argue is the basis of the political power of the
    Republican Party.  Just as in prior
    centuries U.S. business leaders discovered that it was easier to buy the Congress
    than it was to argue their positions, the people of the right have discovered
    that if their message was delivered day-in, day-out on local radio and all
    night of Fox News; and at the same time, progressive media was nearly unheard
    at the same time,   then ……. the voter
    would not be able to form a coherent thought that contradicted the “Right”.

    So I believe that unless progressives
    fight fire with fire, citizens will be precluded from even considering the alternatives
    to globalization, unregulated business and “austerity”.  Further, I suggest that this country is
    inflicting wounds on itself under the doctrine of Free Speech.  While I would argue that a citizen should be
    prevented from saying what he wishes,  I
    question whether free speech is a concept that should be the right of any media
    that reaches a wide audience // where the content of the message is clearly hysterical
    in tone and can be shown to be untruthful, 
    deceptive because of it is out of context or incomplete , or misleading
    in its message.   You must be able to
    find in the Northeast the equivalent of Houston’s “Walton and Johnson” radio
    program.  Day in and day out,   these people attack the current president
    and Senate as all things un-American. 
    Their purpose is clearly to eliminate thought and reason in favor of associating
    every alternative as “abomination”.

    In closing, the vast majority of
    what Americans hear is untruthful in intent and most definitely is doublespeak.  What does it say about us to praise a freedom
    that is allowed to destroy our ability to understand true cause and
    effect?  

     

  • orwelllutz

    Seems a word fell out of last post:   I would not argue to prevent citizens from speaking their mind !

  • marygrav

    You can tell who has not read Craig Unger’s Boss Rove Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power.  Rove has done for Right-Wing GOP politics what Obama is being accused of doing.

    It makes me boil when I am reminded that Citizen’s United allows for Union funding of elections as though any or all Unions combined had as much money as one Koch brother.

    If the GOP had not insulted so many groups and classes of people and there were not so much dislike for Romney personally, with the GOP PACs, the GOP would have swept the White House and Congress too.

    Fred is too nieve to be in politics in 2013.  Obama is playing the same game as Ronald Reagan: Taking it to the people.  Citizen United says that “Money is Free Speech!”

    How much influence did Adelson buy for Romney?  There are rules in the US Constitution about foreign money in elections.  Democrats can wash their hands of money, but when Obama warned the Justices at his first State of the Union Address, he was scorned by the press.

    Is Fred on Karl Rove’s side?  Is he a Republican in democratic clothing.

  • 2Gary2

    Hey at least Tom is not wasting a show on the pope crap.  Does anyone give a f about what the church does?

  • Tyranipocrit

    @rmb with the ugly flag: Equality is freedom.  Freedom for the sake of “freedom” without regulation is a breed of dark anarchy.

  • Walt Bogner

    How is this different from ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and Fix the Debt? Corporations and Big Money have direct contact with legislators, setting political agendas behind closed doors. Why can’t he do what the republicans have done through various groups?

  • PASC

    Everybody keeps missing the “long game” here. OFA and the controversy around it serves to highlight the problem of Citizens United. The ONLY solution is to LEGISLATE, which is what Republicans in Congress keep blocking.

    Don’t like OFA? Get your congress critter to pass legislation to outlaw it AND repeal Citizens United.  OFA forces people to recognize (and act on) the fact that you can’t do one without the other.

    I think it’s brilliant!

  • esthermiriam

    Contributions to c-4 are NOT tax-deductible –if you can’t get that straight (and the WashPost guy didn’t help) the discussion is at best messy.

  • albrap

    I totally agree with PASC. 
    Tom is mixing up Citizens United with contribution from individual folks. Freedom of speech should be equal for every one. Rich people and corporation should not have more “free speech” than the rest of us.so:1- Get rid of Citizens United2- Put a limit, say 100$, to any individual contribution, and than if folks want to vote with their wallet to push an agenda let them do it. And may the best guy win.Obama has no choice but to get in the gutter because that’s where the fight is.
    Instead of moaning about it we the people should push our reps in Congress to fix this politically partisan and corrupt system that has reached as far as the Supreme Court.

  • ExcellentNews

    When the oligarchy is funding the government so that it can funnel public money into private pockets (tax free!) that is OK wink wink nod nod please tune in to American Idol….

    When the first President with a moral backbone since Reagan accepts donations from the PEOPLE so that the wealth LOOTED from the middle class can be properly taxed and re-invested in America, that is suddenly a big deal…

    When China and Saudi Arabia are funding Republican candidates so that business as usual can continue, that is OK wink wink nod nod please tune in to Nascar…

    When AMERICANS are pooling their money to enable the President they ELECTED to govern, that is suddenly a big deal…

    Go Mr. President!
     

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      so its fine when one side does it but not when the other does? this is why we can’t fix any real problems as long as you buy into one of the “sides” as being “right” and the other “wrong”. pubs blame dems for everything and pubs blame the dems. so it goes  

      • Doubting_Thomas12

        Right, but one group is obtaining power to restore balance, the other group is obtaining power to further tip the balance.

        Clearly MY group is the one restoring balance. When you understand this better, it will make more sense.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          ROFL. you are kidding right?

          • Doubting_Thomas12

            Lol yes- if we were in person you could tell :P . Glad that people can still tell over the interwebs though; I was worried someone might actually take something I say seriously.

            Remember… everything I tell you is a lie.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            that happens to me sometimes and its a disaster.  some of the people posting here you might think are kidding but they are serious so now i have to ask

          • Doubting_Thomas12

            Hah totally… no worries, I just did a double take when thinking through your post. It’s easy to get caught up in ideology rather than nonpartisan logic. Hoped it might shed some light on exactly how easy it is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    so its like when bloomberg injects a few million into a race in chicago?

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    what was the president’s , who is a multi millionaire, effective tax rate?i was annoyed when bush called a slight majority a mandate as well

  • galvtr

    No, Bloomberg’s PAC spent money on TV ads just as Crossroads is doing.

  • 228929292AABBB

    What attracted me to onpoint originally was the way the shows addressed the essence of the issues, and that seems to have slipped.  An entire show about raising money to enact the President’s agenda but no section of the show describing how this money is to be used, i.e. what OFA specifically can use money for to get laws passed.  Please On Point let’s get back to basics.

  • Pete4BUR

    I missed the opportunity to chime in while this program was running, but wanted to point out there IS an important middle ground that should satisfy both your guests on this issue:

    One passionately believes (as do I) that the President can’t simply play Mr. Nice Guy, relying on $5 contributions to help rally support on critical issues like gun violence prevention while the gun lobby/NRA pours millions in dark money into “anti gun control campaigns” and into legislators coffers.

    The other maintained that you can allow presidential views to be bought by his accepting unlimited (dark money) contributions just because you believe THIS president, or his current goals, are worthy; you need to be concerned about the precedent. I agree with that, too, BUT we can’t allow ourselves to be buried because we’re the only ones with honorable principles.

    There IS a solution, which one of the guests alluded to, and that is a constitutional amendment reversing Citizens United. That would prevent dark (unlimited, unidentified) money from ALL sides of the issues. Let the President do battle using OFA for now, STARTING to level the playing field, and let’s ALSO get our voices loud and clear about eliminating the bane of corporate/1% buying of critical issues.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

President Obama is pushing hard to close a loophole that allows companies to move their operations overseas and pay lower taxes. We’ll look at what’s at stake.

Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and lessons for now.

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