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When asked, voters name Corruption as a top issue of concern.

When given some variation of Corruption and Ethics in Washington among their choices of concerns, the issue always ranks near the top. The issue is consistently ranked as important by 90% to 97% of all voters (depending upon what corruption stories are in the news).

Often Corruption is the #1 concern of voters.  

That was the case a few days ago when Rasmussen Reports released their October results on the Importance of Issues in the 2008 election:

Rasmussen_issues_Oct20071

Note a +8 Democratic advantage over Republicans.

One year ago it was a +21 advantage.

This is a big problem.

Edwards gets it. So does Obama.

HRC and other Democratic Leaders do not get it.

We are in trouble.

To the jump...

I’ve been following the impact of Washington’s Culture of Corruption for almost a decade. It is why sweatshops, human trafficking, forced prostitution and other crimes have been (and still are) being protected by the US Congress. But that story was just my way into researching and writing about the cancerous impact of corruption on our Nation, Government, values and politics.

A just solution to every issue of concerned is blocked by corruption.

You want universal health care, or even a simple expansion of SCHIP—well you have to bust through layers of corruption just to begin the process.

Ending the war is next to impossible without confronting the massive corruption that feeds off the growing disaster.

Any issue, any concern is blocked by corruption. Look at the Farm Bill, or the renewed push for nuclear power, or FEMA, or... well, anything.

The voters get this.

We really understand that Washington DC has become a cesspool of corruption. It weaves vertically and horizontally through every institution: the press, the Congress, the Executive branch, the think tanks, the pundits—and the systems that tie them all together.

A discussion of change is meaningless without a clear plan to confront corruption.

For the most part we are only offered talk (and mostly BS at that). When most folks address the corruption issue it is done in a round-about way. Solutions that sound nice, but totally avoid the issue are consistently offered as "evidence" of change.

I am tired of being pissed on and told its raining—and so are a lot of other voters.

Pollsters rarely ask about corruption. It was the "surprise" tipping point issue in 2006.

According to CBS News exit polls 74% of all voters identified corruption as either extremely important or very important as they went to the polls. As the dust settled on the ruins of Karl Rove’s "math" he told Time Magazine what went wrong (emphasis added):

"The profile of corruption in the exit polls was bigger than I'd expected," Rove tells TIME. "Abramoff, lobbying, Foley and Haggard [the disgraced evangelical leader] added to the general distaste that people have for all things Washington, and it just reached critical mass." [snip]

The Republican National Committee has been pointing out that a small shift in votes would have made a big difference. A shift of 77,611 votes would have given Republicans control of the House, according to Bush's political team. And a shift of 2,847 votes in Montana, or 7,217 votes in Virginia, or 41,537 votes in Missouri would have given a Republicans control of the Senate. In addition, the party has calculated that the winner received 51 percent or less in 35 contests, and that 23 races were decided by two percentage points or fewer, 18 races were decided by fewer than 5,000 votes, 15 races were decided by fewer than 4,000 votes, 10 races were decided by fewer than 3,000 votes, eight were decided by fewer than 2,000 votes and five races were decided by fewer than 1,000 votes.

It was close. Voters knew that Republicans were corrupt. They decided to give Democrats a chance to prove that they are not. I could not find a Rasmussen Report on "Issues of Concerns" from last year, but I did find a USA Today/Gallup poll from October 6-8, 2006:
USAtodayGallup_10-8-06

In a very tight race for control of Congress Democrats held a +21 point advantage when voters were asked who they trusted to "clean up Washington".

It was that advantage that destroyed Karl Rove’s math. Without the trust of voters that we (I am a Democrat) could end the corruption, I am certain that we would have lost Senate races in Montana and Virginia (we almost did). I also believe that the GOP might have held onto enough seats to still control the House.

In 2006 the Republican Party neglected to pay attention to growing anger about corruption in America. They paid a heavy price.

As we head into 2008, it is the Democratic Party that is now ignoring the issue.

We do so at our peril.

It is time to wake up and smell the cesspool.

In one year we have lost a +13 point advantage on the issue. 13 POINTS!

If we had gone into the 2006 midterms with only a +8 advantage, Karl Rove’s math would have been accurate and our County would be in far more trouble than it is today (and we are in BIG TROUBLE).

By November 2008 our advantage on this issue could be increased or erased. If it is increased, we will win big. If it is erased, the Republican Party has a shot at holding onto the White House and maybe even making gains in the 111th Congress.

We need to demand that the Democratic Party focuses on cleaning up the corruption in Washington. We need to demand that the actions of the House and Senate, their legislative goals and the way candidate are recruited and campaigns are run take the issue of corruption and reform to heart.

We need to focus on corruption, but in reality, the issue is mostly being ignored.

On issue after issue, the 110th Congress is making small compromises that are allowing the Culture of Corruption to flourish in Washington. Democratic lobbyists like William Oldaker are replacing Republican lobbyist like Jack Abramoff. The same levels of corruption are in place, the same policies are being pursued, but now the cash flows to folks with a "D" instead of a "R". This kind of sleazy behavior must end and it is part of the reason we have lost a 13 point advantage. Some in Congress are trying to emulate the DeLay "K Street Project" (hi Rahm), while others are happy to scoop up the cash (for a "small" favor to be named later).

When the Democratic Party loses their trust advantage on corruption, we will lose our slim hold on Congress—and perhaps we should.

2008 is a Presidential election and the importance of the corruption issue will be set by our Party’s nominee. Depending upon who that is, we could be in real trouble. The corruption issue could cost us the White House.

Earlier this year I wrote a couple of Diaries about the Presidential candidates and their stands on the issue (It’s The Corruption, Stupid and The Corruption/Reform Primary). Back then, the only Democrat who seemed to even get that corruption was important was Barack Obama. It was not only talk, it was also action. Obama had a leadership role in passing the most significant lobbying reform since the 1970s. It was this action that led me to open my wallet and give him a donation earlier this year. Since then he has not closed the sale with me and I remain undecided, but Obama’s stance on corruption still has me considering him as my choice for the Nomination.

For a long time it looked like Obama was going to be the only Democrat to even seriously mention the issue. That has changed.

John Edwards has made the "corruption connection". He is showing a growing awareness that tackling the mess in Washington head on is the only way to bring change and reform.

It is a good thing. Since the debate at Yearly Kos, Edwards has been mentioning corruption more and more. At this point he may have a clearer focus on the issue than Obama. Both are actively competing to win back the Democratic advantage on the issue.

Both Edwards and Obama have offered detailed plans to confront corruption.  Here is Obama’s plan for Cleaning up Washington and here is John Edwards’ reform proposal.

One reason why both Candidates are talking about the corruption issue is because the front runner is avoiding it. Senator Clinton only speaks to the corruption issue in generalities. She lobs sound bites at the edges of the problem while avoiding the heart of the issue. As an example I turn to her Web site. In the section on "issues" there is a page on her Government Reform proposal:

Hillary has proposed a comprehensive, 10-point plan to restore Americans' confidence in their government by increasing transparency and cutting waste and corruption. Her plan includes:

  1. Banning Cabinet officials from lobbying a Hillary Clinton administration.
  1. Strengthening whistleblower protections.
  1. Creating a public service academy.
  1. Ending abuse of no-bid government contracts and posting all contracts online.
  1. Cutting 500,000 government contractors
  1. Restoring the Office of Technology Assessment.
  1. Publishing budgets for every government agency.
  1. Implementing Results America Initiative to track government effectiveness.
  1. Tracking and eliminating corporate welfare.
  1. Expanding voting access and safeguarding voting machines.

First, it is a nice list of items that are worthy of action. These would be good things for our Government to do and I support them all. I hope they all become law.

That said, none of these items will get to the heart of corruption in Washington. Hell, they will not even get close to the problem. To call this list a "Comprehensive Government Reform" proposal is risible. It is not "comprehensive" and it will do little to reform, change or end the system of corruption destroying our Republic.

Missing is any serious effort to confront lobbyists; or earmarks; or Leadership PACS or any mention of the corrupting impact of money—piles of loose cash—moving around the Halls of power in our Nation’s Capital. You can not seriously talk about "Comprehensive Government Reform" if you can not, or will not talk about the money flooding the zone.

Then there is her revolving door proposal. Every time I read it, I’m inclined to do a spit take. The problem is not just the Cabinet Officers—it is everybody else. You know, the thousands of people working at all levels of the Government and then moving seamlessly through a series of revolving doors between lobbyists, the media, think tanks, PR Firms, consultants and back to the Legislative and Executive Branches. Restricting a few dozen folks from this system will not reform it. And it is just silly to suggest that it would.

And by the way, ethics reforms are also missing from her "comprehensive" plan.

When it comes to her proposals "Comprehensive Government Reform" I am reminded of a question Fritz Mondale once asked: "Where’s the beef?

Corruption is a tipping point indicator. Whatever your pet issue is—the War in Iraq, immigration, health care, abortion, security, etc.—corruption can be seen as the cause when things fail. After years of Republican Rule, last November the voters decided to give Democrats a chance. They handed us a broom and said clean this mess up. It was a chance to govern. It was a conditional mandate. It was a date.

In the 2008 election, perceptions of corruption will impact every race up and down the ticket. Unlike 2006, the main focus will not be control of Congress; it will be control of the White House. And the race to the White House will drive the narrative.

The Democratic advantage on the issue of corruption (and many others) will be shaped by whoever is at the top of the ticket.  Right now we have reduced a 21 point advantage to an 8 point advantage. Part of that fall may be due to fundraising scandals.

When Rasmussen polled for Issues of Concerns in August, Corruption was the #1 concern and Democrats held a +10 advantage over Republicans.

Then Larry Craig and his "wide stance" became a pop culture talking point. The next Rasmussen poll of Issues of Concerns took place on September 12-13. Once again, Corruption was the #1 concern of voters and the "wide stance" scandal seemed to help Democrats as their advantage over Republicans grew to 12 points. It was good news, but by early October Democrats lost four of those points and Republicans picked up two:
Rasmussen_issues_Oct20071

Something happened. I’ve looked around and I think it was Norman Hsu.

As the September poll was being conducted, the story of Hsu’s arrest, bail jump and re-captured was just breaking into the pop culture narrative as was the news that the HRC campaign was returning around $850,000 of Hsu related donations. This story grew in the news cycles in the days and weeks following the Rasmussen poll. It placed a cloud of suspicion over our front-runner and a number of other Democrats who received money from Hsu. While money was returned, the issue of corruption was ignored. People noticed the double standard and trusting Democratic to effectively take on corruption in Washington fell to the lowest level in over a year.

Today’s Washington Post/ABC News poll offered more evidence for concern on the issue of corruption:

Question 23. (ASKED OF LEANED DEMOCRATS)
Regardless of who you may support, who do you think is the most honest and trustworthy - (Clinton), (Obama) or (Edwards)?
Clinton: 35%  
Obama: 26%    
Edwards: 22%  
All: 2%      
Any 2: 1%      
None: 8%    
No Opinion: 5%

UPDATE NOTE: a number of folks have pointed out that the results of questions 23 an 24 do not fit with the other poll results I cited in this Diary as these are the result of a zero-sum poll and track the preferences for

Partially Impartial said this:

The diarist seems to think these are the percentages of people who find each candidate trustworthy, but they're clearly not.  They only speak to their perception of trustworthiness relative to each other--it's a zero sum game.

And FischFry also takes me to school on the finer points of questions 23 and 24:

According to the diarist, these are "weak" results, "especially" the 8% who answered "none". [snip]

It doesn't mean that only 35% trust Clinton, or only 22% trust Edwards. It merely asks among them, which is the most trustworthy? The result is clearly most likely tied to candidate preference. It can't be over 50% for all of them, since the sum total can only be 100%. Numbers above one-third for any of the three candidate would be pretty good news for the one candidate, but the lower numbers don't refelct bad impressions of the other two candidates.

Moreover, any poll that finds only 8% saying they don't trust any of the whatever slate of candidates is a phenomenal result. 90% willing to say all or one of the three is most honest -- that's very impressive, considering the cynicism towards politicians in the modern age.

As does MarkInSanFran:

...you really need to remove the commentary on questions 23 and 24, since the percentages in those questions must add up to 100% no matter what - they are zero-sum (actually 100%-sum) questions and have nothing to do with your otherwise well-supported thesis.

There were others as well. Their comments are in the thread.

Their critique is valid. Questions 23 and 24 of the WP/ABC poll can only tell us something about the folks who took the poll. It is a closed loop, or as several mentioned: a zero sum game. Including them here clouded the issue and the main point of this Diary. Namely that Corruption matters, but it is a problem we can fix.

It just takes leadership, the will to do it and a backbone.

It will not be easy, but we can fix this.

I will place this note as an update and in a box in front of what I wrote on the two questions in question. If I worked with an editor, I’m sure this would have been caught, but I work with all of you, so thanks for pointing this out.

Like the Glassman of Baltimore, "I stand to be corrected".

Cheers

These are weak numbers across the board. While I am sure that supporters of HRC will point out that she beats Edwards and Obama, there is not a lot to celebrate for any of these candidates in these results and the "honest" numbers more than likely track with the number of hardcore supporters that responded in the overall poll. Especially troubling is the 8% of Democrats who believe NONE of these candidates are honest or trustworthy. Things would look even worse if independents were included and this is bad news for anybody hoping for Democratic gains in the House and Senate in 2008.

Question 24. (ASKED OF LEANED DEMOCRATS)
Regardless of who you may support, who do you trust most to handle Corruption in government - (Clinton), (Obama) or (Edwards)?
Clinton: 40%  
Obama: 28%    
Edwards: 20%  
All: 2%      
Any 2: *      
None: 5%    
No Opinion: 4%

I am certain that HRC’s supporters will use these numbers to discount any concerns about the corruption issue. They are wrong to do so. These are weak numbers for all our candidates and our Party. The numbers track hardcore supporters, but are less than those who said the strongly supported the candidates in other questions. For example, HRC’s "strongly support" was 61%, but she looses a third of those voters when they think of her and corruption. That is a weakness to be concerned about, not a strength to celebrate. It is a problem not just for her, but all Democrats running up and down the ticket.

Question 36.
In general do you think most of the presidential campaigns are (engaging in improper fundraising), or are (sticking to the rules on fundraising)?
Engaging in improper fundraising: 48%  
Sticking to fundraising rules: 40%    
Depends: 3%  
No Opinion: 9%

Wow, almost half of those polled believe Presidential Campaigns are cheating. While this is an open ended question and subject to interpretation, it is also another sign of bad news. The best way for Republicans to neutralize the Corruption Issue in 2008 is to bring public perception of Democratic corruption down to their levels. For over a year the range of trust for Republicans has been in the 27% to 30% range. A year ago Democrats were trusted by 49% now it has fallen to 38%. Perceptions of our Presidential Candidates are dragging down the trust of the Party on this issue.

And rightly or wrongly much of the focus is on Senator Clinton because she is the front runner, (and already the appointed winner by the DC chattering class). They are so focused on her that they are ignoring everybody else, hence this odd question in the WP/ABC poll:

Question 37.
Thinking specifically about Hillary Clinton's campaign, do you think it is (engaging in improper fundraising), or is (sticking to the rules on fundraising)?
Engaging in improper fundraising: 39%  
Sticking to fundraising rules: 48%    
Depends: 2%  
No Opinion: 10%

I found it odd that this question was only asked of her campaign. It is a clear example of how polls are designed to support the desired narrative of the folks commissioning the poll. We would have a better understanding of how corruption is playing across the board if this question had been asked about all the leading candidates (both Democrats and Republicans). It wasn’t, so this is a data point with little context.

Still these questions highlight the coming impact of corruption as an issue in 2008. I find little to celebrate in a result that less than half of the respondents think HRC is following the rules, even if those results could be explained by the Republicans answering the poll or some other internal dynamic. More troubling is the signal the question sends about the Washington press corps and the Campaign narrative they are preparing to write about Hillary Clinton. They will relentlessly tie her to corruption until her negatives match the Republican Party on this issue.

The attack is coming down Main Street. It is coming and the response of the Clinton campaign, their Washington insiders, DC consultants and many of her supporters is to ignore the issue and hope it will go away.

It will not go away.

Senator Clinton will be challenged on corruption until either she confronts the issue or allows it to become synonymous with her campaign. She is repeating John Kerry’s "swiftboat" mistake and following in the footsteps of Dukakis and Mondale. A response is needed, but she sits and waits. I keep hoping she will address the issue of corruption in a meaningful way—that she will show leadership, but so far she has only offered empty rhetoric at best. More often than not the campaign’s approach to corruption seems to be neglect, unless somebody in the Democratic fold dares to bring up the issue.  Then the approach seems to be attack.

And I’m certain the gang will be out in force to attack me again for mentioning it, just as they have when I’ve mentioned the money HRC has taken from the sweatshop owners of Saipan.

Now, I have been hard on Senator Hillary Clinton, because her Senate Campaign in 2005 received $10,000 for the Tan Family, the folks behind the vile, evil and corrupt system on the CNMI. She has taken another $16,000 from the head of the Tan Family’s operations in the USA.

I have been hard on her when it comes to this money because her husband had a great record on fighting the corruption and abuse on the CNMI. I’ve been hard on her because I like her and I expected her to lead. I expected her to pick up where her husband left off. Her acceptance of the Tan money is a failure and so is her failure to take a stand on CNMI reform legislation (S. 1634) moving through the 110th Congress. I expected more of her than many others in the Democratic Party, but then why should I.

I mean, Hillary Clinton is doing no more (or no less) on the CNMI issue that any of the other Democrats running for President. The sad truth is that they are all united in their commitment to ignore the culture of corruption and abuse on the Marianas Islands.

Like most of the rest of the Democratic Party (and the world) they do not care about the CNMI workers (or anything happening on the islands of the Western Pacific).

And that is too bad as the Democratic Party owes their control of the US Senate and House of Representatives to the foreign contract workers in the CNMI. The most horrific stories of Saipan sweatshops, brothels and forced abortions were used to great impact in the 2006 election. We used the tragedy, horror and personal stories of these workers to WIN seats and take control of Congress. Without these stories of corruption, Conrad Burns would have beaten Jon Tester and a good number of House seats would still be in Republican hands.

I know the impact these stories of corruption and abuse had on the 2006 election, because I helped in the effort. So did the workers on the CNMI. There were happy to share their stories because they believed that a Democratic Congress would FINALLY bring justice to the Marianas Islands.

So did I, but we were wrong.

Thanks to lobbyist money and corruption n Washington, it now looks like the 110th Congress will sell out the workers of the CNMI.

We used them. We exploited them to win control of Congress. We are planning to exploit their stories again in 2008 as we try to defeat out this or that Republican who helped Tom and Jack maintain the system of abuse.

We implicitly promise these workers relief and we promised the American people that we would clean up the mess of Republican corruption left on the CNMI.

We promised, but we lied. And that is how corruption works. Pick any issue and you can trace a similar pattern of influence leading to betrayal.

And soon the CNMI betrayal will just be another item in a growing DC Beltway narrative that everybody does it. And that will help close the gap between Democrats and Republicans on the issue corruption. And then people will trust us as little (or even less) than Republicans.

This is a problem.

It is a Corruption time-bomb ticking away under our feet. If we do not confront the issue it will hurt us in 2008. We could loose the White House and even Congress.

After the endless corruption of the Bush Administration and over a dozen years of the Gingrich/DeLay/Boehner/McConnell Congress selling out America, the Republican Party should be synonymous with "corruption". Democrats should have a 30+ advantage on the issue. Instead, we are getting close to even.

Fortunately, it looks like at least some Democrats are paying attention. Obama and
Edwards have offered serious proposals to confront corruption and they are challenging the others in the race, especially HRC.

Reading the transcript of the 10-30-07 Democratic Debate shows that Obama and especially Edwards have realized that corruption really matters to the American people. They are actively speaking to this concern.

Now if only the Democrats in the 110th Congress and the other Candidates for President would engage the issue—then we might actually save the Republic from the cancer of corruption.

A boy can dream.

Cheers

UPDATE NOTE: a number of folks have pointed out that the results of questions 23 an 24 do not fit with the other poll results I cited in this Diary as these are the result of a zero-sum poll and track the preferences for

Partially Impartial said this:

The diarist seems to think these are the percentages of people who find each candidate trustworthy, but they're clearly not.  They only speak to their perception of trustworthiness relative to each other--it's a zero sum game.

And FischFry also takes me to school on the finer points of questions 23 and 24:

According to the diarist, these are "weak" results, "especially" the 8% who answered "none". [snip]

It doesn't mean that only 35% trust Clinton, or only 22% trust Edwards. It merely asks among them, which is the most trustworthy? The result is clearly most likely tied to candidate preference. It can't be over 50% for all of them, since the sum total can only be 100%. Numbers above one-third for any of the three candidate would be pretty good news for the one candidate, but the lower numbers don't refelct bad impressions of the other two candidates.

Moreover, any poll that finds only 8% saying they don't trust any of the whatever slate of candidates is a phenomenal result. 90% willing to say all or one of the three is most honest -- that's very impressive, considering the cynicism towards politicians in the modern age.

As does MarkInSanFran:

...you really need to remove the commentary on questions 23 and 24, since the percentages in those questions must add up to 100% no matter what - they are zero-sum (actually 100%-sum) questions and have nothing to do with your otherwise well-supported thesis.

There were others as well. Their comments are in the thread.

Their critique is valid. Questions 23 and 24 of the WP/ABC poll can only tell us something about the folks who took the poll. It is a closed loop, or as several mentioned: a zero sum game. Including them here clouded the issue and the main point of this Diary. Namely that Corruption matters, but it is a problem we can fix.

It just takes leadership, the will to do it and a backbone.

It will not be easy, but we can fix this.

I will place this note as an update and in a box in front of what I wrote on the two questions in question. If I worked with an editor, I’m sure this would have been caught, but I work with all of you, so thanks for pointing this out.

Like the Glassman of Baltimore, "I stand to be corrected".

Cheers

Originally posted to dengre on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:28 AM PST.

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  •  Nothing says corruption like Saipan (339+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, racerx, cdreid, zzyzx, Donna Z, DeminNewJ, chrississippi, DavidW in SF, Ducktape, northsylvania, pb, Mogolori, nolalily, vivacia, alyosha, deben, laurak, Trendar, Better Days, Geenius at Wrok, GreenSooner, Dump Terry McAuliffe, Mountain Don, pHunbalanced, Powered Grace, kainah, RunawayRose, DebtorsPrison, Robespierrette, rincewind, wu ming, eeff, NCrefugee, gecko, freelunch, frisco, marjo, voltayre, Carnacki, malc19ken, Walt starr, musicsleuth, bumblebums, exNYinTX, givmeliberty, Karthik R, Guancous, ralphie, sardonyx, RubDMC, Gustogirl, bronte17, Karen Wehrstein, leveymg, SecondComing, peace voter, RabidNation, PBnJ, scamp, boilerman10, buckhorn okie, vmibran, roses, javelina, Ignacio Magaloni, murphsurf, larryrant, BruinKid, VA Gal, lilnubber, wonmug, antirove, UniC, jdmorg, NMRed, worldwideellen, WeatherDem, antifa, nancelot, TexDem, oldjohnbrown, f furney, BmoreMD, grannyhelen, cometman, hairspray, desmoinesdem, niteskolar, GN1927, DSC on the Plateau, Penny Century, Neighbor2, AbsurdEyes, rlharry, Eddie Haskell, 4jkb4ia, dcookie, dkmich, DelicateMonster, FlyingToaster, zett, Silverbird, fran1, jre2k8, jcrit, bablhous, valadon, vacantlook, AaronBa, Josiah Bartlett, macmcd, demkat620, greeseyparrot, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, sxwarren, rapala, chumley, historys mysteries, Bluesee, marina, radarlady, DianeNYS, Alexander G Rubio, bellevie, ichibon, blueyedace2, docangel, asskicking annie, baccaruda, JanetT in MD, mjd in florida, PBen, Philoguy, Cake or Death, zbctj52, Ajax the Greater, Brooke In Seattle, EJP in Maine, Lepanto, reflectionsv37, ratzo, NeuvoLiberal, eru, Mz Kleen, Chaoslillith, Pam from Calif, Inland, GreyHawk, annefrank, BobOak, wgard, illyia, bmaples, lasky57, babatunde, Geekesque, wiscmass, sodalis, sbdenmon, jm taylor, dsteffen, Spathiphyllum, JanL, Ekaterin, tigerdog, xanthippe2, Land of Enchantment, noweasels, xaxnar, eyes of the world, CCSDem, Mother Mags, WuChier, occams hatchet, dus7, Showman, pico, Shirl In Idaho, esquimaux, trashablanca, gwilson, Do Tell, PatsBard, jsamuel, vigilant meerkat, zbob, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, emeraldmaiden, Ellicatt, Sagittarius, Magnifico, Esjaydee, Naniboujou, Albatross, Junior Bug, isis2, kck, greenearth, Lefty Coaster, SherriG, DarkestHour, tecampbell, MJ via Chicago, StrayCat, arbiter, FireCrow, Sagebrush Bob, NearlyNormal, plf515, mcmom, armadillo, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, ER Doc, edgery, MBNYC, think blue, Randian, vox humana, profh, MrJersey, means are the ends, RantNRaven, Dreaming of Better Days, MadMs, Mary2002, crystal eyes, bstotts, CharlieHipHop, louavul, Friend of the court, slksfca, Nulwee, sdgeek, cjallen, McSnatherson, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, Heterodoxie, J Royce, Dave the Rave, xaxado, Ken in MN, Cronesense, peagreen, Wanda517, blue armadillo, Cottagerose, godislove, MikeTheLiberal, ricsec7, CenterLeft, Wide Awake in NJ, vets74, dallasdave, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, la urracca, tbirchard, ebiker, flumptytail, terabytes, greenchiledem, deepeco, DWG, ronlib, gatorbot, ca democrat, brentmack, jedennis, chicago jeff, vbdietz, FOS, thursdays child, Newzie, pioneer111, MadAsHellMaddie, Got a Grip, leonard145b, madgranny, keikekaze, gloryous1, willb48, BWildered, Neon Mama, oxon, Terra Mystica, TomP, Empower Ink, LAMaestra, gizmo59, Theghostofkarlafayetucker, crystaljim, MKinTN, kafkananda, wondering if, John Poet, ShadowSD, dotster, wayoutinthestix, zerone, AshesAllFallDown, Faheyman, Involuntary Exile, Wes Opinion, Cat Servant, lineatus, OregonOak, CenFlaDem, Wek, icebergslim, noddem, kyril, Andy823, luckylizard, LaEscapee, echatwa, waiting for hope, Asher13, BYw, junta0201, lenzy1000, BlueGenes, Tyrannocaster, Guadalupe59, goofygringirl, In her own Voice, PeckingOrder, papicek, dreamghost, Chad Michaels, bhagamu, artmartin, SuburbanGrrrl, Neon Vincent, wmacdona66, snackdoodle

    It is truly one of the most corrupt places on earth. Real reform is needed. This should be a no-brainer, but instead the 110th Congress is preparing to sell out the workers, because a Democratic lobbyist has stepped into Abramoff’s shoes.

    It is sick, disgusting and shameful.

    Saipan Sucks!

    And so do we!

  •  The only thing that will win back people's trust (24+ / 0-)

    is if we throw out most Democrats in the primaries for fresh faces.

    Unfortunately, even our elections are now corrupted as well and don't expect that to get cleaned up by the ones who profit from it.

    "Take whatever you can, Steal whatever you can't take, Kill what you can't steal so no one else can have it." - Republican Business Philosophy

    by Pen on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:33:06 AM PST

    •  This is not in my opinion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little Red Hen

      only about the candidates... it's about the lack of leadership and the fact that Nancy Pelosi has dismantled the constitution and done things that she really doesn't have the people's will to do.  She has trashed the constitution and she seems to be holding back on all of the investigations, the subpoenas, the war, FISA and torture.  Why?  She is playing politics as usual.

      Now is the time for the Dems to show the people that they are tough and that they are the national security and get tough party.  This is the time for that.

  •  Not only do Dems not get it about corruption... (42+ / 0-)

    They even seem to embrace it, as something that is due with a change of majority in Congress!  They simply do not get it... that the nation is fed up. Repug or Dem!  That is why things like Murtha's earmarks are so damaging.

    BTW, Murtha may be a good Dem (vote wise) and possibly a 'good guy', but he is corrupt, and so are a host of others, when it comes to pork and dollars.

    OMO, mind you.  Cheers:)

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:39:51 AM PST

  •  You had me at earmarks.. (28+ / 0-)

    Granted there seems to be some generalization's in this diary, and little specifics but it is remarkably well written.

    I agree that the process of earmarking needs to be confronted, and aggressively so. The Democratic Party is going to loose the mantra of fiscal discipline unless we start showing some sense on the issue.

    "Globalization is not something we can hold off or turn off it is the economic equivalent of a force of nature like wind or water." -Bill Clinton

    by Centrist Democrat on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:54:07 AM PST

  •  corruption and cynicism are the wages (37+ / 0-)

    of the "just win, baby!" mindset.

    a party that cares only for getting that corner office will not gain, nor will it deserve the trust of the electorate.

    we have got to be for something more than not being republicans.

    low turnout by depressed dems and especially independents could really fuck up the math for our team, too.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:07:40 AM PST

  •  *sigh* (8+ / 0-)

    No, that's not how the corruption issue works politically.  There were gobs and gobs of corrupt Republicans and scandals involving them across the middle Nineties and to about 2005, and The People tuned it out.  The polling consistently showed that Democrats were considered the more inethical and corrupt Party- and people like Jim Traficant went to jail.

    Now it's the other way around.  The DeLay and then Abramoff affairs burned out centrists and then moderate Republicans on the ethics of the Republican Party.  That's why only 30% side with Republicans on ethics, rather than 38% (their baseline partisan vote).

    The more sensible conclusion to draw is that The People punishes the declining or minority Party, forcing it to clean up and prove itself clean and competent again.  It's a brutal kind of tough love.  But it's the only way for The People to generate two functional Parties.

    That "xx,xxx votes and control of the Senate would have" bullshit is a really bad argument.  Democrats won 55% of the national vote for Senate candidates, in line with their 54% of the national vote for House candidates, out of 75 million ballots in all a year ago.  When you clear about 53% of the national vote, you win a majority in the House...it's a little more tricky with the Senate, but substantial vote margins over 52% tend also to win enough gains in that.  In short, percentage of the popular vote converts fairly well to that percentage of the House/Senate seats.

    If you'd like some unsolicited advice, let me offer a suggestion.  Corruption is a bad thing, but that's not the angle that gets you any progress on CNMI problem.  If you dig harder, the problem with CNMI is that of nonuniformity of federal law and selective but unfair diminishment of standards, which permits abuses and misgovernment.

    The angle that might be more useful in getting a proper permanent administrative arrangement of things in CNMI is this: that the abuses are violations of civil rights, whose enforcement is due the inhabitants under the Due Process and Equal Protection and I&P Clauses.  I.o.w., that there are Constitutional violations inherent in the misgovernance.  Sticking only with corruption charges tends to over-personalize the problems, and that leads to ignoring the structural or institutional defect they exploited.

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:58:54 AM PST

    •  I think that those who can change the (7+ / 0-)

      non-uniformity of federal law chose not to because they are getting lobbyist money in exchange for looking the other way.

      What comes first, the chicken or the egg?  HRC cannot make a case for reform when they line her pockets with campaign cash, and there is a long line of people who have taken money.  

      An Upton Sinclair quote is quite appropriate here:

      It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.
         Upton Sinclair

      That is the point of Dengre's diaries.

      "When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis.

      by Do Tell on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:20:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  as far as I know (0+ / 0-)

        there is in fact a bill in some House committee about fixing the Marianas problem.  Show me how Hillary Clinton blocks that from going forward, and I'll buy that all this speculation and premature despair is warranted.

        If not for that, this is just another I'll-bash-Hillary-as-the-face-of-the-Establishment paranioa/resentment/egotism diary.

        Renewal, not mere Reform.

        by killjoy on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:26:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  *sigh* (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonmug, marina
    No, that's not how the corruption issue works politically.  There were gobs and gobs of corrupt Republicans and scandals involving them across the middle Nineties and to about 2005, and The People tuned it out.  The polling consistently showed that Democrats were considered the more inethical and corrupt Party- and people like Jim Traficant went to jail.

    Now it's the other way around.  The DeLay and then Abramoff affairs burned out centrists and then moderate Republicans on the ethics of the Republican Party.  That's why only 30% side with Republicans on ethics, rather than 38% (their baseline partisan vote).

    The more sensible conclusion to draw is that The People punishes the declining or minority Party, forcing it to clean up and prove itself clean and competent again.  It's a brutal kind of tough love.  But it's the only way for The People to generate two functional Parties.

    That "xx,xxx votes and control of the Senate would have" bullshit is a really bad argument.  Democrats won 55% of the national vote for Senate candidates, in line with their 54% of the national vote for House candidates, out of 75 million ballots in all a year ago.  When you clear about 53% of the national vote, you win a majority in the House...it's a little more tricky with the Senate, but substantial vote margins over 52% tend also to win enough gains in that.  In short, percentage of the popular vote converts fairly well to that percentage of the House/Senate seats.

    If you'd like some unsolicited advice, let me offer a suggestion.  Corruption is a bad thing, but that's not the angle that gets you any progress on CNMI problem.  If you dig harder, the problem with CNMI is that of nonuniformity of federal law and selective but unfair diminishment of standards, which permits abuses and misgovernment.

    The angle that might be more useful in getting a proper permanent administrative arrangement of things in CNMI is this: that the abuses are violations of civil rights, whose enforcement is due the inhabitants under the Due Process and Equal Protection and I&P Clauses.  I.o.w., that there are Constitutional violations inherent in the misgovernance.  Sticking only with corruption charges tends to over-personalize the problems, and that leads to ignoring the structural or institutional defect they exploited.

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 02:01:08 AM PST

  •  Earmerks (5+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Ky DEM, indy2dem, vets74, phoenixdreamz
    Hidden by:
    scoff0165

    Earmarks are corruption?

    And if you think Obama and Edwards represent cleaning things up -- then they have a lot of work to do to try to convince people. Suddenly;y acting like they are outside the beltway in this new reinvention tour is pretty funny.

    Democrats are on power so they get lumped with the bad feelings overall. Look at the corruption problems and they are overwhelmingly Repuglican.

    Let's get some perspective.

    John Edwards and the "politics of pile-on" against Clinton. He only cares about himself - pandering while he gets $400 haircuts on donor's dime.

    by GregNYC on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 02:28:50 AM PST

  •  campaign finance reform is critical (13+ / 0-)

    I cannot fathom why the Dems cannot learn the lesson and get the big money contributions out of politics.  A level playing field in contributions helps the Dems because they can win on issues that appeal to the broad spectrum of the population.  Yet, the Dem leadership in the House and Senate starts drinking from the gilded trough and think no one is paying attention.   The grassroots activists are paying attention.  The American people will pay considerable attention the first pay for play scandal involving Dems that hits the news.  

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 02:37:49 AM PST

  •  If we take corruption out of politics, who will (5+ / 0-)

    run for office?

    Face it everybody in Politics is in it for the fruits that corruption brings.

    If you want to clean this up you can't do it by exhorting one party or the other to clean up their act.

    You have to do it by changing the rules so corruption cannot flourish.

    That means changing the Constitution and since a Kongress devoted to corruption is never going to change the rules that allow corroption to run rampant, the people themselves will have to force those changes.

    Article V of the Constitution provides a mechanism for the people to do just that.

    Under Article V, any time two thirds of the States petition the Kongress, they are mandated to convene a new Constitutional Convention, which then has the power to propose new amendments to the Constittuion.

    If those proposed changes become ratified in the normal manner by three fourths of the States they then officially become part of that document.

    Go here to learn more about this very important topic.

    http://www.foavc.org/

    •  Change the Constitution? Radical.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vivacia, robertlewiws

      I'm amazed at the politicians who claim that "upholding the Constitution" is the absolute best thing that they can manage to do - pathetic, we sure have lowered our standards. It's so clearly obsolete - fur zample, the crystal-clear original intent of the 2nd Amendment was to have a citizenry sufficiently armed so as to be able to overthrow the central government should it become corrupt.

      I HAVE THE RIGHT TO MY OWN ATOM BOMB. Clearly, even the NRA doesn't want to make that argument, so they're willing to negotiate downwards to home-defense machine guns and sporting assault rifles... no one on either side wants to go to court too often, because the court sides with gun owners time after time, by upholding the Constitution. The point being, if you want real gun control you have to change the Constitution.

      I actually agree with the Bushies that trying to apply the 1st Amendment rights about freedom of speech to cyberspace in the 21st century is really complicated, that's exactly why we need a better-defined and rewritten Constitution - because as long as it's complicated you can count on the ruling party being able to dazzle 'em with bullshit. That poor tired Constitution thing needs to reamed out from top to bottom, but it just ain't gonna happen with a Congress who've got lobbyists in their pants while simultaneously having their heads up their asses - awkward, but it's the only thing they can do right. Say, where'd I put that atom bomb anyway....

      The most common form of human stupidity is forgetting what one is trying to do - Friedrich Nietzsche

      by David Mason on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:53:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Edwards has called for a Citizens' Congress (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dreamghost

      That might be a good first step towards a new Constitutional Convention.

      Create a Citizen Congress: Most Americans can only exert significant influence on Washington by voting every two or four years. Despite the growth of communications technology, most voters are no closer to Washington policymakers than they were hundreds of years ago. Edwards believes in the wisdom of the American people and the power of deliberation. Every two years, he will ask 1 million citizens nationwide to participate in Citizen Congresses combining local town halls with the latest technology to create true national discussions, unfiltered by interest groups. Americans will discuss the challenges and trade-offs facing our country and offer advisory opinions to leaders. Part of an emerging movement to continue the democratic process between elections, citizen-centered projects have given ordinary people a voice in designs for the World Trade Center memorial, the redevelopment of New Orleans, health care reform in California and local issues in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. [Ackerman and Fishkin, 2004; November 5th Coalition, 2007; AmericaSpeaks, 2007]

      Read more about what he would do to reduce money in politics.
      http://johnedwards.com/...

      Also Archon Fung in The Boston Globe writes an article on Edwards' idea:

      First, people often have conflicting values, contradictory preferences, and misinformed views. Many want both low taxes and good schools, healthcare, and smooth roads. Well-organized deliberations can provide citizens with accurate, balanced information and help people reach what Daniel Yankelovich called sound "public judgment." Through deliberation, citizens with conflicting priorities and views can come to appreciate the reasons and arguments of the other side.

      http://www.boston.com/...

      "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

      by MontanaMaven on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:15:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who would be in it - those who want to make the (0+ / 0-)

      country and world better. Various people have tried to get money out of politics to accomplish that. There are some like our last two candidates, who did not use their positions to rake in corrupt money. Kerry was not rich at all when he entered the Senate and from his first campaign he never took PAC money. If he were in it for the money, he likely could have gotten a fortune and the gratitude of many politicians had he dropped BCCI when they wanted him to. Wellstone and Biden were co-ssponsors on his Clean money/clean election bill.

      Does this sound like someone in politics for profit, (from the Senate Record - introducing the Clean election bill:

      Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I want to speak before you today about a critical challenge before this Senate--the challenge of reforming the way in which elections are conducted in the United States; he challenge of ending the ``moneyocracy'' that has turned our elections into auctions where public office is sold to the highest bidder. I want to implore the Congress to take meaningful steps this year to ban soft money, strengthen the Federal Election Commission, provide candidates the opportunity to pay for their campaigns with clean money, end the growing trend of dangerous sham issue ads, and meet the ultimate goal of restoring the rights of average Americans to have a stake in their democracy. Today I am proud to join with my colleague from Minnesota, PAUL WELLSTONE, to introduce the ``Clean Money'' bill which I believe will help all of us entrusted to shape public policy to arrive at a point where we can truly say we are rebuilding Americans' faith in our democracy.
      For the last 10 years, I have stood before you to push for comprehensive campaign reform. We have made nips and tucks at the edges of the system, but we have always found excuses to hold us back from making the system work. It's long past time that we act--in a comprehensive way--to curtail the way in which soft money and the big special interest dollars are crowding ordinary citizens out of this political system.

      Today the political system is being corrupted because there is too much unregulated, misused money circulating in an environment where candidates will do anything to get elected and where, too often, the special interests set the tone of debate more than the political leaders or the American people. Just consider the facts for a moment. The rising cost of seeking political office is outrageous. In 1996, House and Senate candidates spent more than $765 million, a 76% increase since 1990 and a six fold increase since 1976. Since 1976, the average cost for a winning Senate race went from $600,000 to $3.3 million, and in the arms race for campaign dollars in 1996 many of us were forced to spend significantly more than that. In constant dollars, we have seen an increase of over 100 percent in the money spent for Senatorial races from 1980 to 1994. Today Senators often spend more time on the phone ``dialing for dollars'' than on the Senate floor. The average Senator must raise $12,000 a week for six years to pay for his or her re-election campaign.
      But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The use of soft money has exploded. In 1988, Democrats and Republicans raised a combined $45 million in soft money. In 1992 that number doubled to reach $90 million and in 1995-96 that number tripled to $262 million. This trend continues in this cycle. What's the impact of all that soft money? It means that the special interests are being heard. They're the ones with the influence. But ordinary citizens can't compete. Fewer than one third of one percent of eligible voters donated more than $250 in the electoral cycle of 1996. They're on the sidelines in what is becoming a coin-operated political system.
      The American people want us to act today to forge a better system. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 77% of the public believes that campaign finance reform is needed ``because there is too much money being spent on political campaigns, which leads to excessive influence by special interests and wealthy individuals at the expense of average people.'' Last spring a New York Times found that an astonishing 91% of the public favor a fundamental transformation of this system.
      Cynics say that the American people don't care about campaign finance. It's not true. Citizens just don't believe we'll have the courage to act--they're fed up with our defense of the status quo. They're disturbed by our fear of moving away from this status quo which is destroying our democracy. Soft money, political experts tell us, is good for incumbents, good for those of us within the system already. Well, nothing can be good for any elected official that hurts our democracy, that drives citizens out of the process, and which keeps politicians glued to the phone raising money when they ought to be doing the people's business. Let's put aside the status quo, and let's act today to restore our democracy, to make it once more all that the founders promised it could be.
      Let us pass the Clean Money Bill to restore faith in our government in this age when it has been so badly eroded.
      Let us recognize that the faith in government and in our political process which leads Americans to go to town hall meetings, or to attend local caucuses, or even to vote--that faith which makes political expression worthwhile for ordinary working Americans--is being threatened by a political system that appears to reward the special interests that can play the game and the politicians who can game the system.
      Each time we have debated campaign finance reform in this Senate, too many of our colleagues have safeguarded the status quo under the guise of protecting the political speech of the Fortune 500. But today we must pass campaign finance reform to protect the political voice of the 250 million ordinary, working Americans without a fortune. It is their dwindling faith in our political system that must be restored.
      Twenty five years ago, I sat before the Foreign Relations Committee, a young veteran having returned from Vietnam. Behind me sat hundreds of veterans committed to ending the war the Vietnam War. Even then we questioned whether ordinary Americans, battle scarred veterans, could have a voice in a political system where the costs of campaigns, the price of elected office seemed prohibitive. Young men who had put their life on the front lines for their country were worried that the wall of special interests between the people and their government might have been too thick even then for our voices to be heard in the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.
      But we had a reserve of faith left, some belief in the promise and the influence of political expression for all Americans. That sliver of faith saved lives. Ordinary citizens stopped a war that had taken 59,000 American lives.
      [
      Every time in the history of this republic when we have faced a moral challenge, there has been enough faith in our democracy to stir the passions of ordinary Americans to act--to write to their Members of Congress; to come to Washington and speak with us one on one; to walk door to door on behalf of issues and candidates; and to vote on election day for people they believe will fight for them in Washington.
      It's the activism of citizens in our democracy that has made the American experiment a success. Ordinary citizens--at the most critical moments in our history--were filled with a sense of efficacy. They believed they had influence in their government.
      Today those same citizens are turning away from our political system. They believe the only kind of influence left in American politics is the kind you wield with a checkbook.
      The senior citizen living on a social security check knows her influence is inconsequential compared to the interest group that can saturate a media market with a million dollars in ads that play fast and loose with the facts. The mother struggling to find decent health care for her children knows her influence is trivial compared to the special interests on K Street that can deliver contributions to incumbent politicians struggling to stay in office.
      But I would remind you that whenever our country faces a challenge, it is not the special interests, but rather the average citizen, who holds the responsibility to protect our nation. The next time our nation faces a crisis and the people's voice needs to be heard to turn the tide of history, will the average American believe enough in the process to give words to the feelings beyond the beltway, the currents of public opinion that run beneath the surface of our political dialogue?
      In times of real challenge for our country in the years to come, will the young people speak up once again? Not if we continue to hand over control of our political system to the special interests who can infuse the system with soft money and with phony television ads that make a mockery of the issues.
      The children of the generation that fought to lower the voting age to 18 are abandoning the voting booth themselves. Polls reveal they believe it is more likely that they'll be abducted by aliens than it is that their vote will make a real difference. For America's young people the MTV Voter Participation Challenge ``Choose or Lose'' has become a cynical joke. In their minds, the choice has already been lost--lost to the special interests. That is a loss this Senate should take very seriously. That is tremendous damage done to our democracy, damage we have a responsibility in this Senate to repair. Mr. President, with this legislation we are introducing today, we can begin that effort--we can repair and revitalize our political process, and we can guarantee ``clean elections'' funded by ``clean money,'' elections where our citizens are the ones who make the difference

      •  Doesn't it seem odd that so many prominent and (0+ / 0-)

        eloquent people speak so well and so often against the corrupting influence that the current system has on American Politics and yet the problem never seems to get fixed.

        There has to be a word for experiencing orgasm while claiming to be outraged and indignant but I just can't seem to think what it is right now.

        In any event amednding the Constitution so that this problem goes away should make all these forceful and eloquent and outraged persons much happier individuals - don't you think ?

        I must say though I have never heard a single Kongress person express support for Article V.

  •  Same as it ever was. (6+ / 0-)

    Corruption and government go hand in hand and go back a long way to financing the trancontinental railway and the civil war and really all the way back to the Revolution. Keep it in the public eye by all means but it will always affect the party in power.

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful,,,they never stop thinking of ways to harm our country and neither do we" G W Bush

    by irate on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:23:44 AM PST

  •  Corruption is endemic and institutional (13+ / 0-)

    The Government is where the money is, so that's where the corruptors and the corruptible hang out. The most money is in Washington, the rest follows.

    As we often repeat here: Public financing of elections reduces corruption as lobbying/bribing for election contributions loses it's power over politicians.

    Avoiding Theocracy at Home and Neo Cons Abroad

    by UniC on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:25:18 AM PST

  •  Corruption (6+ / 0-)

    As Alexis de Tocqueville noted - it was not surprising to see the corruption of Congress - but how cheaply they might be bought.

    Even comparatively "modest" donations can lead to massive earmarks.

    It's time to "throw the rascals out" - but our own party is full of rascals.  

    As Michael Dukakis said, "The fish rots from the head down."

    I am totally out of ideas as to what might be done about this, in these times.  Sometimes, I think that it is too late for effective action.

    As for our "Democratic Candidates" - is there a "trust-buster" among them?  I merely ask for information.  

  •  Lord forgive me, but sometimes I think (7+ / 0-)

    that the only reason Jack Murtha opposes the war is because it's not being run in his didtrict.

    •  Actually I would disagree with that. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, marina, zbctj52

      Although Murtha appears to have some corruption problems, one of his crown jewel pet projects in his district is a company called Concurrent Technologies (Johnstown, PA). It is a large DOD-associated private think tank and research facility that benefits greatly from military expenditures. It would appear that he opposes the war for the same reason as the rest of us; because he has operating brain synapses.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:54:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Come now (0+ / 0-)

        you mean to say you can't put cynical top spin on that?

        How about this: RAND-y think tanks benefit from politicians' chest thumping chest thumping belligerence. It creates a demand for egghead services like game theoretical analysis of hypothetical conflict situations. Actual boots on the ground conflict steers money towards outfits like Halliburton who provide the specific services needed to keep the war running.  What a think tank wants is a nice, low level, generational conflict in which they can be paid to analyze the rows of blue strategic options against the columns of red strategic options (red being the traditional color of the opposing team, in deference to the commies).

        Not that I think this sort of reasoning really explains anything.  It's too easy to imagine a scurrilous reason whether somebody did or did not do something.  Since it is usually easy to play either side corruptly, that motive is a useless in ferreting out wrongdoing.  What you need is evidence.

        Of course, that's teh real problem. The system is built to reward behavior of a corrupt nature: either outright crime that you can get away with, or behavior shading as close as possible to criminal without stepping over the official line.

        I've lost my faith in nihilism

        by grumpynerd on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 07:31:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This needed to be on the rec list. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, Mz Kleen, willb48, kyril

    Now if only some of our erstwhile candidates, or even their staffers, check out this diary. Corruption and the lack of respect for the rule of law are issues that need to be addressed NOW.

  •  Highly recommended!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mz Kleen, sephius1, PeckingOrder

    Thank you for this warning.  I totally agree.

  •  Lazy old Fred has a problem (5+ / 0-)

    Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Sunday that a friend with a criminal record for cocaine and marijuana sales would remain a top fundraiser for his campaign while he evaluates the situation.

    http://www.latimes.com/...

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:14:44 AM PST

    •  troubled youth (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timbuk3, greenskeeper

      Actually, I think Thompson maybe right sticking with that guy.  He was in his 20s when he ran into trouble with the law.  Geesh.  Who wasn't dabbling with drugs in the 70s?  We'll see; maybe he's more rotten than it seems.  But I don't fault Thompson for waiting and seeing.

      The irony of the situation though, is this is the party that doesn't see the justice system as a place for 'reform' as it was intended.  They'd rather lock up people for as long as possible and give them no help to not return to prison once out on parole. The party that wants a right to life amendment for the unborn seems to have no problem executing fully formed humans.  So, yes, Thompson's support of people being reformable is pretty selective.

  •  I think people are seething about DC corruption. (4+ / 0-)
  •  Wow, that's quite a compelling case you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, sephius1

    make!

    For me, I saw a Simpson's episode where they alleged that Washington was corrupt, so I was basically already onboard with your general premise (but, if there were any doubters out there, well, I don't think they can hold out much longer in the face of all this information . . .)

  •  Another great diary dengre...... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, boofdah, sephius1

    Thank you for keeping this issue front and center.  We have to keep bombarding the Dems with emails, and diaries until they get it.  Personal visits might help as well.

    When your Dem reps come back home for town hall meetings and the such, get on them about what is going on.  Ask the tough questions and don't let them fluff you.  Dog 'em.

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:29:20 AM PST

  •  Iraq War is a CORRUPTION Issue too (8+ / 0-)

    The #1 concern on all the voters polls is the war in Iraq - around here at Daily Kos, I think it's common to believe that a corrupt administration used 9/11 as an excuse to enrich their corrupt friends in the oil and defense industries, aided by a press corrupted by power and access. That message just hasn't been sold to America, certainly not going through the bottleneck of the (corrupted) television cabal of billionaires and network presidents beholden to the near-mythical "stockholder." The rot unfortunately permeates to the core of capitalism-as-we-know-it-today.

    Three entire generations of Americans have been brainwashed to revere greed as the highest power of all - even I was alarmed back in the hippie years by all of us running around in rags, espousing anti-capitalism, simultaneously bragging about having "the best dope in town" and lusting after the top-end Gibson guitars and Altec/Lansing speakers. "Environmentalists", seeing it as their right to FLY to conferences on saving the planet? You do know, only the very rich and the poor will survive the coming crash? I know people, LIBERAL people, in their thirties who don't know how to function in a grocery store, much less what to do with uncooked food....

    The most common form of human stupidity is forgetting what one is trying to do - Friedrich Nietzsche

    by David Mason on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:31:08 AM PST

  •  Wow! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, marina, sephius1

    You make the case and nail it. I have to say that my perception of the Democrats in Congress was that they were going to "clean up the swamp" initially, but really backed off because they are only slightly less corrupt than the Republicans and they are busy playing the same games in the same corrupt environment.

    This diary is a "must read". Thanks dengre!

  •  corruption = lobbyist influence (4+ / 0-)

    Candidates are human. They have vices. Sex, power, fame. But that's not the corruption that people are concerned about.

    People are concerned about the back-room deals. The influence of lobbyists over their government. Don't get it twisted -- this kind of corruption is a bigger threat to our government than George Bush. Mostly because we have Democrats who will take this money, and blatantly defend it, expecting the voters to eat one.

    "Lobbyists represent real Americans"

    I'm still waiting for a lobbyist to represent me. On media consolidation. On NAFTA. On universal health care.

    Hillary is running against Bush. Compared to Bush, we all look like Gandhi. We should expect more than just "not Bush".

    by danthrax on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:34:11 AM PST

  •  Whatever (6+ / 0-)

    I don't have any problem with you holding Hillary's feet to the fire on this issue, although the $16,000.00  (total!) that the Tan family has contributed to her campaign is a tiny drop in a vast sea of the millions of dollars of contributions she has received from all sources.  If she gave it back, she would hardly miss it and if it turned out later that the Tans were just covering their asses while contributing vastly more to Republicans through a variety of compensation strategies, I would not be terribly surprised.  

    No, what I object to is that once again, we are expected to just take Edwards on his word.  He merely has to assert that he is more committed to ending corruption and automatically his bona fides are more assumed to be more credible.  He is truer in thought word and deed.  Why?  Because he says so!  

    As for Obama, I have no doubt that he means what he says.  But he is having trouble reconciling his rhetoric with the pressures he faces as a relatively new senator and the necessity of making and keeping alliances, even with people you wouldn't like to have a beer with.  

    Clinton has more of a history and if you don't like it or find that it is sufficient, fine.  Don't vote for her.  But don't expect for me to embrace one of the other candidates because he is a blank slate and we can project whatever fantasy we want on to him just because he says he's more concerned with it that Clinton.  It's absurd.

    BTW, Edwards plan is all about shutting up corporations.  And if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. (the "lobbyists are evil and Clinton takes money from them!" drone is becoming ridiculous.  Did you not that Edwards says that he doesn't take money from federal lobbyists?  What about state lobbyists?  Maybe we should go back and look at his voting record.)

    What some Kossacks understand about regulation of some industries is incredibly naive.  You would think that under the Republicans, all industries have florished but in some cases, the opposite was true.  Look at the securities industry, falling apart because of bad loans.  Or the pharmaceutical industry which has been struggling with a poorly run, antiquated FDA.  Or the auto industry that has found itself shouldering more of the burden for the uninsured.  Republican rule has cost these industries incredible amounts of money because good government is non-existent. (Yes, yes, we all have the perception that they are making out like bandits but some aren't.)  More and more industries are coming to realize that the GOP has cost them money and reputation over time.  They contributed to Republicans not because they wanted influence but to keep themselves from being damaged by targeted regulation.  It's called extortion.  That's what Abramoff and the K-Street project was all about.  Now that they are starting to realize that good government and regulation have value, the last thing they need is for someone to tell them to STFU.

    And finally, Congresscritters do possess free will.  There is nothing wrong with listening to a lobbyist and then making up your own mind about something.  Public financing is ideal but it doesn't mean you shouldn't learn as much as you can about the industry you are charged with regulating.  Because, there are a LOT of us out there who work for corporations and are proud of it.  And we're not going away.  So, deal with it.

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:40:53 AM PST

    •  Edwards and Obama aren't taking lobbyist money (5+ / 0-)

      that's why they can maintain trust. they haven't been compromised. you can't point to any issue of substance where they'd be influenced into disaster.

      newsflash about the market: businesses hate competition. it's difficult, unstable, and cuts into profits. it's much easier for businesses to set up barriers to entry. they want deregulation to the extent that it makes them powerful enough to shut out start-ups. but make no mistake, they'll take anything that lowers their costs. bankruptcy and medical liability reform both come to mind.

      Edwards and Obama aren't an assault on all corporations. their campaigns are just a matter of reducing the amount of money that lobbyists have in the political process. we can't trust corporations to be fair until they have as much money in the system as i do.

      Hillary is running against Bush. Compared to Bush, we all look like Gandhi. We should expect more than just "not Bush".

      by danthrax on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:53:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some campaign finance ideas are bad. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, revsue, chumley, mp, Sigmarlin

    I can't understand why anyone would want to take public money and use it to buy candidate air time on the TV/radio. This is just a transfer of tax dollars into the MSM's sizeable bank accounts. Instead, ideal reform would be to force the networks and radio stations to provide FREE airtime to candidates based on various eligibility criteria. Their use of the airways is not a right; make them pay for it in such a manner.

    The day my money is used to broadcast a Republican attack ad is the day I blow my head gasket.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:47:57 AM PST

    •  Let the government (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, revsue

      In the form of what ever entity is created or tasked with the public financing program, in conjunction with a Dem controlled FEC and FCC, negotiate the price for blocks of time to be distributed through the public financing program.

      You can bet that the price would not be anywhere near what the current political pirates in the PR firms charge. Taking x number of hours per day from broadcast users of the public airwaves, as a way of meeting their original public service mandate, would be a possibility as well.

      Also note: the revolving door is a frame that is far more benign that is warranted. This is the stealth core of corruption that both the dems and the repubs are reluctant to even admit needs to be fixed. Without trusted aides getting jobs with the industries or think tanks, no politician can set up the quid pro quo back channels where cash can be exchanged for favors.

      The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

      by NCrefugee on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 05:39:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is an excellent and thoughtful diary. Rec!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, planetclaire4

    I think the problem is not so much that Demos are corrupt and it certainly does not seem that Bill and Hillary Clinton are or ever have been corrupt.  After all, if they had been involved in a single nefarious issue, Bill would never have been impeached for a BJ in the OO.  The wingnuts spent tens of millions of dollars trying to find some/any whatsoever corrupt thing that either of them did and they found nothing so they settled for accusing Bill of liking BJs.  The real issue with Democrats and corruption is that they do not want to pursue punishing the Republicans for it and see it as a distraction from doing the job of government that they were elected to do.  They are with moving ahead and not looking back.  I think they see punishment of wrongdoing as a job that must be bi-partisan and if it is not bi-partisan then it will be seen and attacked as a political hit job.  The Republicans do not worry about that one whit but Democrats have been more like that than corrupt as long as I have been watching politics and that is a very long time.

    Note:  I am NOT saying that there are no corrupt Democrats.  I am just saying they are few and most Dems want to press on and not punish their enemies.

    •  voter perceptions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, llbear

      But I think you are only focusing on politicians doing illegal things and getting caught.  Most Americans no full well all our politicians are heavily influenced by who donates and what they ask for, but most of it is perfectly legal. That's the real corruption issue.

      San Diego, for example, is trying to get Blackwater out of it's district.  The company has training courses which disturb wildlife, poison the ground with lead from the bullets and generally add bad PR to the neighborhood who is against the war overwhelmingly.  Their complaints have fallen on deaf ears, because the legislators are bought and paid for.  They'll argue Blackwater creates jobs; but really the co. offers incumbency through dollars..

      •  I listen to voters - most of whom claim to be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        macmcd

        independent . . . but the vote totals show they are Republicans.

        This election is coming down to a very angry voting population.  That, I believe extends across the board.  I think this may be the most anti-incumbant election in history.

        I'm afraid that even our own beloved [I'm from Illinois] Sen. Obama is losing that luster of reform, re-birth, and promise of renewal that he has owned since he was elected a State Representative. He's getting hit with that nasty broadbrush of "they are all corrupt".  I think that is just wrong.

        John Edwards [whom I narrowly support over Sen. Obama] appears to be above the fray on this, I think.  After one term as Senator, he said, "Nope. This isn't working."

        Would he have been re-elected Senator had he chosen to run? Probably not.  He wasn't sucking up to right folks in his own state or Party to get the support required. But that goes to show, in my mind, that he will be seen as not part of the problem.

        Paging John Laesch, Jerry Northington [aka Possum], and Gilda Reed. You are needed in Congress - Now

        by llbear on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:01:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, marina

    As you point out, imho, Edwards seems to "get it" the most of the front-runner candidates. HRC's answer at Yearly Kos regarding lobbyist's influence lost me: Paraphrasing here: Basically she takes money from lobbyists but they have no influence on her. Huh?

    I also think government waste should be a big issue with Democrats. Republics like to bitch endlessly  about taxes. High taxes are the symptom and not the "disease" as it were.

    The biggest "waste" right now is of course the war in Iraq.

    I do believe that if a sincere candidate made waste & corruption a top issue he/she would go far. And Lord knows that the Bushies have honed both government waste and corruption to a fine art.

    I'd also love to see a Dem candidate who, if elected, would vow to undo All Things Bush because I honestly cannot think of a single issue - not one in 7 years - where the guy did the right thing.

    At every bend in the road, Dubya's zigged when he should've zagged. If the Dems won't impeach the SOB, then at least vow to undo damn near everything the guy ever did.

    You know - kind of like he did regarding most of Clinton's policies when he took office. Anyhoo, that would definitely get MY attention!

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:51:33 AM PST

  •  Krugman, again (13+ / 0-)

    Today he speculates on how compromised the Democrats are by the influence of big money, and says he gets this question at each book tour stop:

    "How can you be optimistic about the prospects for progressive change, when big money has so much influence on politics?"

    Fears of betrayal are often focused on Hillary Clinton. Some people who raise The Question cite an article in The Nation from last summer, which suggested that Hillary Clinton’s commitment to change is suspect. "Not only is Hillary more reliant on large donations and corporate money than her Democratic rivals," warned the article, "but advisers in her inner circle are closely affiliated with unionbusters, G.O.P. operatives, conservative media and other Democratic Party antagonists."

    O.K., some perspective. I sometimes hear people say that there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans; that’s foolish. Look at the fight over children’s health insurance, and you can see how different the parties’ philosophies and priorities really are. All of the leading Democratic candidates are offering strongly progressive policy proposals; the Republicans are, if anything, running to the right of the Bush administration.

    ...

    Still, I am worried.

    One of the saddest stories I tell in my book is that of Al Smith, the great reformist governor of New York, who gradually turned into a narrow-minded economic conservative and bitter critic of F.D.R. H. L. Mencken explained it thusly: "His association with the rich has apparently wobbled him and changed him. He has become a golf player."

    So, how wobbled are today’s Democrats? I guess we’ll find out.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:55:03 AM PST

  •  Republican governance is the problem (4+ / 0-)

    Government is what the people make it. Repugs complain about limitations of government's reach and abilities and then work at sabotaging any and all programs to prove their point.
    Politicians pandering to the election cycle demands get caught up in keeping their jobs at the expense of their duties. We need to expose the corrosive effect that money has on elections and our government, whether the corruption is being done by R's or D's, and regain the belief that our system of government can benefit the country and provide for the common good before it is 'shrunk' and unable to do its job.
    The outing of corruption in government must be a very top priority for Dems and progressives, and I thank you, Dennis for this diary.

  •  Rodney Dangerfield warned us about this. (5+ / 0-)

    Rodney wrote and starred in a great little film called Easy Money in 1983.

    There was a wonderful scene in it.  Rodney and his buddies go to the harness races and place a bet.  Rodney's horse pulls ahead, is way out in front, Rodney is going crazy, jumping up and down in his seat.  Meanwhile, the jockey looks left, left right, then puts his feet down on the ground and drags them to slow the horse down.

    That's corruption.  

    Sound like anything we have seen lately?  I know I've been left with my jaw dropping to the floor, wondering, how could those fuckers stab us in the back like that!  Who got to them!  We go through this routine over and over again.  The AUMF vote, the Alito vote, the FISA vote, Mukasey, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  We're way out ahead in the final stretch and somebody purposely drags their foot to throw the race.

  •  In every chance the Dems have had since 2006 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, mcartri, Jail the BFEE

    to be tough, they have folded 'like a lawn chair'. They have been handed opportunities on silver platters and then they drop the platter.

    I was an independent until 2000 and may well become one again in 2008, because the Dems have shown me more of the same over the past 7 years.

    •  you'll lose your voice in the Dem primaries then (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, mcartri

      which remains -- despite the institutional difficulties -- the most promising way to unseat Democratic incumbents who do not represent the interests of rank-and-file Democrats, everyday Americans, and/or progressives.

      Business as usual Democrats heave a great sigh of relief whenever a progressive leaves the party. Most IMO would rather lose a general election to a GOP candidate with their "business-friendly" reputation intact -- "oh well, that's the way the game is played; let's shake hands, and, oh yes, which way is K Street again?" -- than to be faced with an embarassing defeat -- and maybe forced to "run to the left" (possibly jeopardizing their future as a "revolving door" lobbyist?) -- by a progressive primary challenge backed by grassroots support.

      Nobody's saying unseating Bush Dog Democrats is easy -- we defeated Lieberman, and he cheated -- with the full support of the Dem establishment in Congress, i.e., "incumbent protection machine."

      But those considering the move should check into their state party's rules -- in CA, you can vote in Dem primaries if you're a "decline to state" voter. That way you still get a chance to help elect "better Democrats" in our primaries.

  •  Really important issue to continue to (2+ / 0-)

    focus on.  Thanks for the links to the candidate's positions.

    I should point out that your interpretation of the WP/ABC poll questions 23/24 seems off.  I don't think it is accurate to describe the numbers as "weak numbers for all our candidates."  Clearly the question requires respondents to choose one candidate over the others on the issues of honestly and corruption,  so the fact that the spread mirrors the broader polling data for candidate support suggests that people are comfortable with their candidate of choice on the issue.  Why do you interpret these as "weak numbers" overall?  

    •  They struck me as weak (3+ / 0-)

      That said, I can see your interpretation as well. It may the difference between a "glass half full" or "half empty". The truth is that these questions were too poorly worded to yeild any really useful data.

      For more than a year corruption has been polling as the top or one of the top issues of concern, in various different polls. In others it is hidden in the questions and answers. The WP/ABC poll hides corruption.

      I hope somebody decided to dig into this issue.

      It is encouraging that Rasmussen is tracking this month to month and their internals provide many more details I left out.

      My key point here is that Democrats ignore this issue at our peril.

      If we address it we will win. If HRC confronts the issue head on, she could remove it as a drag on her campaign.

      Corruption matters, but it is a problem we can fix. It just takes leadership, the will to do it and a backbone.

      It will not be easy, but we can fix this.

      Cheers

  •  Thank you for those enlightening stats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, BWasikIUgrad

    and the work you put into presenting them for others to review. I agree that corruption is the number one issue that candidates need to address.

    Thank you, also, for  pointing out Obama's accomplishment which I had somehow missed.  It will weigh heavily in my decision on a 2008 candidate to support.

    Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist. - Edmund Burke

    by Deep Harm on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 05:26:16 AM PST

  •  Basically another anti Hillary diary in disguise. (7+ / 3-)

    There's no mystery about theis. In the first half of 2006 Republican corruption cases were on the front pages every day of the week. Now it's only once a week. Ergo the gap has narrowed. It does not mean the Democrats have a huge corruption problem or that our front runner for the nomination is corrupt. I'm afraid this is one of those diaries that takes a snapshot and trys to turn it into a motion picture. It is so lengthy and so detailed I'm willing to bet it has come from a Republican campaign site or from the Edwards or Obama campaigns.    

  •  THANK YOU (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, mcartri

    This is a very good piece of comprehensive work.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 05:41:44 AM PST

  •  But Nancy said she was going to "drain the swamp" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annrose, buckhorn okie, mcartri

    Another monumental failure.

    "How come I never land on a short, dull one?"

    by jhecht on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 05:54:52 AM PST

    •  Don't fight with Mother Nature (0+ / 0-)

      Draining a swamp is not as easy as it sounds.

    •  to make room for more prisons (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fhcec, jhecht, Neon Mama

      Why have I not seen disgust that DEM candidates in the last debate rejected Dodd on prison reform? America has huge numbers in prisons with the majority being black males in the prime of their life. Dodd opened the door to solving the problem and the rest of them, pariculary JRE, slammed it shut with Nancy Reagan BS. Please help on this Dengre and all Kossacks. We can address healthcare, mental health, huge classism and racism, gang-crime, and major employment disqualification issues - all in one fell swoop. Otherwise keep your mouth shut and candidates like Hillary, Obama, JRE, all Repubs (except Paul) will continue supporting the monstrous growth of the PRISON-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. Personally I would like to take the windfall profitability for the investor-class and insurance and drug companies away and re-empower millions of peace-loving non-violent Americans.

      In the beginning was the word - AUM - from which the gods eventually named AMERICA - a land of promise made possible by honesty.

      by ebiker on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:01:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Problem With Fixing Washington Is... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, mcartri, Akonitum

    that everyone loves their own congressman...it's everyone else's congressman that is corrupt!! As long as people give a pass to their own representative nothing will change.

    "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." Dwight D. Eisnehower

    by sarasson007 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 06:21:02 AM PST

    •  Exactly Right (0+ / 0-)

      I live in the CA-41 district and everyone thinks Jerry Lewis has done SO much for the communities. I can't think of a better example of putting up with corruption.

      "Vice President Cheney is expanding the administration's policy on torture to include tortured logic" Sen. Dick Durbin D-IL

      by Tuba Les on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 02:24:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bravo! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, buckhorn okie

    Lots of hard work, and many good points. But I gotta
    tell you something -- and you already know it: if you compare the Democrats with Republicans and Bushites, the Democrats look like Bo Peep. Just keep that in mind before you throw out the baby with the bath!
    JIM
    sfe

    •  Exactly (6+ / 0-)

      Democrats are not as corrupt as Republicans.

      For the GOP, corruption is the lifeblood of the party. It promotes and sustains them.

      We should have increased out 21 point advantage by now. That they are bringing us down to their level is a cause for alarm.

      There is time to turn it around, so I'm shouting about it.

      I hope folks follow the lead of Edwards and Obama and engage the issue.

      •  Excellent! (0+ / 0-)

        I think all this is true and the points
        well made.  Let's DO engage the issue, but
        be a little wary of Edwards a pietist! He aint!
        No personal injuries lawyer is, none!
        And Obama -- the man is so all-about himself
        and his overwhelming ego needs I don't know if
        he can directly deal with a big public issue.
        I am serious!
        "Bringing people together" is everything for
        him, he seems to suggest and his followers do.
        Together to do what? How? What moral values
        will the form on? The days of "the great compromiser"
        are done, long since. I find Obama as full of holes
        as a piece of Swiss cheese, and I wish
        he'd go away. I do think his fifteen minutes is about over.
        HRC is solid, like her or not; she'll play the establishment
        game up to a point to get elected, but after
        that, I have hopes. I look for two clean terms.
        JIM
        sfe

        •  I wish she would engage the issue (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fhcec, KenBee

          and take corruption on. It would be interesting to see her turn a perceived weakness into a strength.

          I keep waiting for her to do it.

          In the meantime I am hard on her because I expect more.

          This issue must be vetted in the campaign.

          As I've said over and over, if she is the Nominee she will have my vote in November. Still in the primary, my support wll go the Candidate with the best position and record of action on this issue.

          •  Okaaay! (0+ / 0-)

            Well, for what it is worth, I wrote Hillary a personal letter last week and urged her on along the lines you set out here. You and I agree; let's hope she does; I think at some point she may go public with the issue.
               I also wrote her about the need
            for a Medicare-type healthcare system for all American citizens (not illegal visitors!), and told her one-payer/non-profit is essential. I invoked the accomplishments of Truman and L. Johnson along those lines -- and I wish kos.folk would do the same, a lot more. If we keep up enough rhetoric on these subjects, it does get noted at headquarters; that's about all we can do. The profit motive driving the medical/pharmaceutical industry is costing American lives every day. It disgusts me!
                The biggest threat to Hillary I see as Mayor
            Bloomberg, and I think he is a very interesting potential candidate, not that he's really very likely to run. Talk about a fresh broom! :) Under certain conditions I can imagine voting for him.
            best
            JIM/santa fe

  •  "Time bomb" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DFWmom, Pozzo

    is a somewhat dramatic description. I don't think this is a time bomb for democrats (at least not in the way corruption undid the Republican party in '06)

    And I certainly don't see sway-able voters picking the Republican over the democrat (based on corruption).

    And while I support Edwards in the primary, I also do not like this "narrative" I am starting to see form around Hillary that she is corrupt.

  •  We have traffic cops to keep us honest (4+ / 0-)

    What would our highways be like if speeding was governed by a citizen ethics committee that all drove fast cars?

    Congress needs ongoing independent non-political ethics oversight.

    It cats could talk, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 06:27:41 AM PST

  •  Bill Clinton protected BushInc corruption while (6+ / 0-)

    keeping a clean face in a FEW AREAS.  Protecting BushInc in the big ways helped to make them stronger throughout the 90s to make their move on this nation and the world once they regained power.

    Let's stop pretending that Clintons weren't key to protecting BushInc's fascist agenda.

    http://consortiumnews.com/...

    •  He didn't really have much choice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pozzo

      The power of the President is not absolute. Clinton was constantly harrassed and harried by the right and had to be very careful to avoid serious trouble.

      Presidents come and go in Washington but a permanent government remains--it is a loose and informal committee of powerful people particularly in the banking and corporate sectors who have married themselves to the dark side of our security services to maintain good order. This has been going on since the later part of the 19th century when the U.S. became a powerful player in the world. BTW, this is pretty much de rigeur for any major country "democracy" or otherwise--so it need not be a negative thing.

  •  Thanks for the information. I find the argument (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DFWmom, Pozzo, phoenixdreamz

    a bit diffuse. I know that you are aiming at Hillary----which you are entitled to do---but I don't see that she personally is responsible for the corruption problems you cite.
    Also, does Obama have any position at all on sweatshops in Saipan or 3rd world labor conditions in general?

  •  My father used to say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, buckhorn okie

    something like 'all politicians are crooks' and I think that that view is pervasive. People also understand how little the Democratic congress has done on this front. The opportunity to act is spectacular, but the Democrats silence in terms of tangible action is deafening.

    Bush would not dare to veto a tough reform bill on campaign contributions or one that ups the criminal penalties and increases the investigatory capabilities regarding outright bribes.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 06:55:08 AM PST

    •  They dare to cheer for torture openly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      They dare to defy subpoenas.

      I offer up that nothing shy of a real threat of civil uprising is going to get the attention of elite decisionmakers and when that happens, it's not going to be pretty.

      When you turn on your own country's children, it's not your country anymore.

      by cskendrick on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:41:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dream on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, buckhorn okie, Tanya

    A boy can dream indeed.  But I don't see how the rest of the candidates embracing the ideal of openness is going to save the Democrats unless the Democrats actually nominate one of those candidates.  

    The qualities of the losers of political contests don't ultimately matter that much.  It is the winners of elections whose qualities come to the halls of power and maybe more importantly continue to be emulated by others wishing to come to power.  

    It seems you are looking for 'Democratic' qualities of candor from Senator Clinton.  But her campaign seems to be emulating her long-time foes in the Republican Party by distracting from substance in the campaign by keeping the focus on dynaimics and personality.  And perhaps when we are talking about Clinton Democrats, expecting candor and openness instead of calculation and political profesionalism is a dream in the first place.  

    I think you are spot-on about what the country is hungry for.  But if only the second-tier candidates for the nomination have those qualities, there isn't much hope for 2008.  Barring a widespread recognition of this and a willingness of supporters of the various candidates to rally around one non-Hillary candidate as the most clear-cut vehicle of change we can all just keep dreaming.  

  •  Nervy Diary- Especially here (7+ / 0-)

    I was stunned to see Jack Murtha was a ahead of Rep (r) Lewis in earmarks. He leads everyone. When you drill down into the detail the companies that have gotten a lions share of the money don't have much to show.

    Much closer to home, I've been working the Dragonskin issue behind the scenes for over a year. Imagine my shock when I find Murtha has directed money at a body armor company in Johnstown that just got an Earmark for 2 Million, money Pinnacle armor would kill for.

    Then it gets my mind going . Who is really behind what seems to be a concerted effort to kill off Pinnacle?  I don't know if Murtha is doing anything. Don't have any facts other than he's backing what appears to be some competition in his home town with earmarks and then he's a screamer.  He intimidates everyone and makes no apologies about what he is doing. It's business as usual.

    Dragonkin recent passed a bevy of tests to overcome the roadblocks that seem to appear before them at every turn to get Dragonskin out there. The Aberdeen Proving grounds proved that the Independent Lab that tested and failed Dragonskin primarily on temperature extremes was way off. Then he had it tested when suddenly the National Institute of Justice , who had tested and approved it based on a 6 year warranty , suddenly withdrew it's approval based on it belief that it wouldn't last 6 years. Pinnacle proved that wrong with independent testing.

    Yet now it's in limbo and from what I hear they have more nasty and personal roadblocks planned for Pinnacle. I just want to know who they is and if people like Murtha have anything to do with it.

  •  "D" instead of "R" (6+ / 0-)

    The same levels of corruption are in place, the same policies are being pursued, but now the cash flows to folks with a "D" instead of a "R".

    That's the key.  To Democratic leadership and funders, this is not a problem.  You are not the constituency.  You and your votes are the product, the constituency is the funders.  The product (you) are delivered to the constituency (funders) by means of enticements (issue positions).  When this is done successfully, the party structure prospers.

    So in the Party's eyes, it's all good.

  •  you stated that HRC's... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DFWmom, Malachite

    ... Government Reform proposal would not be an effective solution to the problem of corruption in Congress and I agree with you. What you failed to mention is what would a solution to the corruption in Congress look like?

  •  Part of the D.C. Fabric (0+ / 0-)

    This should not be a surprise. The reason that the numbers are changing is that Democrats are in the majority. Whoemever is in the majority for an extended time will always be viewed as "corrupt."

    Beyond that is the sad fact that inspite of the rhetoric of elected officials nothing has fundamentally changed in the way Congress does business nor will it. The percent of officials re-elected is extremely high and they learn how to fit into the way business is conducted on the Hill. It is too good a lifestyle and too much money involved for it to magically disappear no matter who the political party is.

    Sometimes it gets a little out of control like Abramoff and the old Banking scandal. That's when the party not in power uses it for political purposes and make some token gesture to have the electorate believe they made "reforms."

    If you want to see reform have term limits.

    •  Term limits have caused (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pondite, buckhorn okie, Pozzo

      more corruption, witness Ohio.

      Change will come when the public gets mad enough to demand it, and not a moment sooner. The Democrats act pretty damn sure that there isn’t such demand this cycle; I’d be very, very surprised if they are wrong.

      •  You are right (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing will be substantively done until Americans demand it. Having been a part of it for a few years it is pretty depressing to see that all elected officials are part of the same "party" down there and money does drive influence there. I do think that if Congressmen were limited to 4-5 terms (8 to 10 years)that would be more than sufficient and you cannot tell me there are many more qualified candidates in every district.

    •  Hate 'em (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pondite, k9disc

      I absolutely despise the concept of term limits. They are a bad idea in so many ways that I hardly know where to start.

      First and foremost, they are anti-democratic in that they take choices away from voters. Secondly, they enable a lazy electorate. Why bother to pay attention and vote when term limits will bring about a different elected official in a few years anyway?

      Also, a big problem with term-limiting politicians is all of the other political players who will never be subject to limits: lobbyists, military brass, career civil servants, etc. If you limit the terms of the only people who, ostensibly, directly represent our interests, that means the people with the greatest amount of experience and institutional memory are the ones you never get to vote for.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:33:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not so sure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonmug

    Every poll I'm coming across indicates that in '08, the top issues appear to be:

    -- Iraq
    -- Terrorism/national security
    -- Immigration
    -- Economy/jobs
    -- Health care/insurance

    Corruption is not unimportant, but it just doesn't seem to rank up there right now. I imagine that this is partly because these other issues are seen as currently more important, partly because there is the perception that the most notoriously corrupt players have been drummed out of office and/or into jail, and partly because the public is so cynical about politicians that they expect them to be corrupt, and is grudgingly willing to accept a certain amount of it so long as they tackle these other issues effectively--i.e. they're all crooks, but some are worse and/or more useful crooks than others.

    Also, I suspect that the 21% spread has gone down to 8% because now that Abramoff is in jail and DeLay is out of congress, voters are paying less attention to this issue, and see the GOP as less corrupt now simply because its worst players are no longer active in the party. Also, with Dems having been so ineffective in congress, I suspect that voters are less inclined to favor them on ALL issues than they were a year ago, which includes corruption--i.e. a sort of reverse halo effect.

    So long as Dems are doing even marginally better than Pubs on most issues--especially the most important ones--I think that they will hold onto congress and likely even increase their majorities. But if there's one issue that might hurt the Dems, it looks like immigration to me--which, of course, is related to corruption seeing given how many corporations want to keep up the flow of cheap, undocumented workers to keep costs down, and which is the "insourcing" version of the CNMI scandal. Of course, all these other issues are clearly related to corruption. But I'm not sure that voters will view them as corruption so much as incompetence.

    Sadly, it appears that we still have the edge over the GOP because as bad as Dems are, and are seen as, the Pubs are seen as even worse right now. I don't expect this to change much in a year. It is a terrible way to "win", and cannot be sustained forever. But Dems appear to be determined to run on a "look at how bad the other side is" platform more than a "look at how great we are" one--which kind of makes sense since it's really the most honest platform right now. But beyond '08, we have GOT to clean up our party and turn it into one that voters would want to prefer not because it's the lesser of two evils (which it is now, marginally in many ways), but because it's actually better than the GOP, in a positive way.

    But that's years away at the present rate.

    0101011101100101 010101000110100001100101 010100000110010101101111011100000110110001100101

    by kovie on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 07:18:43 AM PST

  •  Strategy (0+ / 0-)

    Missing is any serious effort to confront lobbyists; or earmarks; or Leadership PACS or any mention of the corrupting impact of money—piles of loose cash—moving around the Halls of power in our Nation’s Capital.

    Of sourse it's missing.  Lobbyists and Leadership pacs are what get candidates elected.  Missing would be our Democratic President, if he or she was foolish enough to wage war on loggyists and PACs during their campaign.  

    This is one of those issues that a President needs to tackle after he or she is in office.  Sometimes, it's just not the wisest tactical move to show all of your cards on the table before the serious play ever starts.

    This is true of both parties.  Any candidate trying to win brownie points with voters by dis'ing lobbyists and PACs while trying to get elected is going to crash and burn.  

  •  I think people have corruption fatigue, which may (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcartri

    be a Republican advantage, unless their scandel get more outrageous.  But, then, of courase Republican scandels are getiing more outrgeous.

    •  Baloney (4+ / 0-)

      It's not corruption fatigue, it's the LACK OF DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT that is wearing out the people of this country.

      The arrogance and smarminess of Monica Goodling, Lurita Doan, Abu Gonzales and others as they baldfaced lie under oath - AND NOTHING HAPPENS TO THEM enrages conservatives, moderates and liberals alike.

      "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
      If you want to go far, go together.
      We have to go far, quickly."

      by shpilk on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:19:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Damn straight. Enforce the law! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, KenBee, planetclaire4

        nt

        "This chamber reeks of blood." -- Sen George McGovern, 1970

        by cotterperson on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:40:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, wonmug

        Let me say two things, one which will probably garner support here, another which folks may react against.

        William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson from LA should be forced out of Congress or at minimum totally ostracised and stripped of any committee assignments.  If the CBC is unhappy, well then Pelosi should back Donna Edwards in MD, and press Rahm Emmanuel to finally do the right thing and give Dan Seals everything he needs to finish off Mark Kirk once and for all in Illinois.  It's not a race issue, it's an honesty issue. Let's get rid of one corrupt (and African-American) Congressman and make a commitment to electing two honest, much better African-American members of Congress.

        We all would agree to that.  However, I have another target - John Murtha.  The man is the king of pork, and he may well be more corrupt than Dan Rostenkowski was in Chicago.  He may have stood up on Iraq, but that doesn't immunize him from a primary challenge if TPM or anyone else can uncover some real dirt on him.  I worry that with the Dems now in charge, we are not nearly proactive enough about trimming the sails on those in our own party who are inherently susceptible to corruption.  I'd love to see Murtha get a primary challenge.  

        In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

        by ivorybill on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:33:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It really is sad that Jefferson is still (0+ / 0-)

          in Congress. The appearance of impropriety alone should be enough to require his resignation.

          If we had real leadership in Congress, it would happen.

          "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
          If you want to go far, go together.
          We have to go far, quickly."

          by shpilk on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:28:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  totally! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk

        half the laws on the books don't get enforced.  that's why we need an INDEPENDENT ethics panel in congress.  l. slaughterhouse was pushing for this last year....during the gop infestation so it got dropped.

        Your mama warned you about me, didn't she?

        by me imperturbe on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:06:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent, excellent diary! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    planetclaire4

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    by editrix96 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 07:57:36 AM PST

  •  Representitives see their seat as a franchise... (0+ / 0-)

    that they want to protect.  Murcha is the worst and is bold about it.  He uses the word bureaucrat with the exact snarling disdain that the "hate government' republicans do.

    He knows what the defense department needs, not the Generals and career officials who make a career studying the subject.  And he doesn't have to convince anyone except the half million people of his district.  And that exactly where the new facility must be located. The country, the military, be damned.

    Robert Filner of San Diego is a generally decent and bright individual. He fought ethics reform because he has a safe seat and he employs his wife in a cushy job. He just doesn't give a damn how this gives a black eye to his party and the institution of congress.

    We need a party leader, in Congress and in the WH who will end this crap.  And we will have been worse than the Republicans because we promised we would "end the culture of corruption."

    We would never have won in 2006 on a promise of "less corruption with our Party."  But that's what it is, on display for all.

    We deserve to lose unless we wake up, and soon.  

  •  You are dead on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, pioneer111, planetclaire4

    It's amazing, though. People complain about corruption in politics, then go on to vote in those same 50 year old wrinkled white tie-wearing, lapel pin sporting creeps whose job qualifications include "CEO" or "owner of ..."

    "I know how to run a company," they say. "I have management experience," they say.

    Well, government is not a corporation. But you wouldn't know it from watching ours. Today, the U.S. system is indeed behaving like a corporation: making sure the top brass are rewarded and keeping citizen salaries/benefits as low as possible to reward the stockholders. When Bush said he was "the CEO president" I cringed. Yeah! Now our entire lives will be like our jobs [a pretty high percentage of people do not love their jobs].

    We would do well to elect some smart poor people who get it. Picture a congress full of poets, teachers, painters, single mothers, writers, environmentalists, and child care workers.  

    But we do not really trust the people who speak the truth. We ridicule Nader, who -- whatever his election-screwing results were -- had the courage to tell the truth. We laugh at Kucinich, who -- however funky his looks and funny his pocket Constitution -- has the courage to tell it like it is.

    Sometimes I think of it like this. Because the world seems scary, we continue to elect stern Dads who will boss us around and project an image of strength. But we really need our Moms, who know that feeding the kids and keeping the house warm entail a whole lot more than posturing with pistols. And it doesn't break down by gender. Hillary in this case is a Dad candidate, and Dennis is Mom.

    "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

    by JuliaAnn on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:15:28 AM PST

  •  Top notch diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fhcec, KenBee, mcartri, planetclaire4

    It's not the candidates for POTUS that are the problem here.

    It's Congress that has to act .. Nancy Nord, Lurita Doan, Abu Gonzales the list goes on of corrupt and craven administration hacks that have been given a free ride by Congress. Sternly worded letters mean nothing.

    The American public, not just us, but the public at large looks at the piss ass poor performance of Congress and the leadership to stand up and do something, anything to bring these criminals to account.

    Even if Congress fails in the attempt to impeach, remove and ban for life these criminals it will be a plus for Democrats. At least finally, Democrats can be seen as standing up for rule of law. Let the Repugnants be seen as the true obstructors of justice that they are.

    This is, and has been a golden opportunity for Democrats in Congress to RISE ABOVE the filthy disgusting corrupt Repugnant political machine but they refuse to do.

    WHY?

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
    If you want to go far, go together.
    We have to go far, quickly."

    by shpilk on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:17:47 AM PST

  •  Earmarks and Murtha (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    planetclaire4

    Murtha thinks earmarks are his personal right as Chairman, we need to top the waste that Dems are showing the same lack of discipline as rupkes in 2000-2006.

    We need to show we can lead and be responsible. Yes, i know the repukes are just as bad, that is a non excuse.

  •  We as Democrats still have a huge advantage - (0+ / 0-)
    - and that's in the area of Health Care.

    Even looking at your chart, there's a +21 advantage to the Democrats, and it's the third most important choice for voters.

    Hammering on this issue alone can get stuff done and elections won.

    Not to belittle the whole corruption theme, of course... that's one of many reasons I support John Edwards.

    (1) D.I.E.B.O.L.D.: Decisive In Elections By Ousting Liberal Democrats.
    (2) R.A.T.S.: Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia.
    (3) -8.75, -8.10

    by Archangel on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:26:00 AM PST

  •  Those are great numbers for Clinton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Edgar08

    and I thank you for posting them.

    Despite all the lying crap from the right wing, neatly echoed by the diarist and others here, the public trusts her, much more than they do Obama or Edwards, to actually achieve gains against corruption.

    That's a powerful testament to Senator Clinton's ability to project her fundamental character -- and to the utter cluelessness and dishonesty currently prevalent in the so-called "netroots."

  •  But Edwards sounds fake (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    me imperturbe

    I like Edwards fine as a candidate and would cheerfully vote for him in the general election, but, in my opinion, he has some kind of problem with public speaking that makes him sound really fake and corrupt himself.

    I don't think he is fake or corrupt, I just think that's something to do with the way he naturally speaks or has been taught to speak.

    If he wins the primary and wants to do well in the general election, I think he really needs to work with voice coach to avoid using "Bill Clinton voice."

    Note: to some extent, Hillary has this problem,  too, but she's not emphasizing the honesty card the way Edwards is. Given the goals Edwards has set for himself, he has to sound  more genuine than Hillary -- even  if that means using a lot of artifice to make himself sound more genuine.

    •  The bias against a Southern dialect is still here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Salo

      Some folks find it sounds dishonest.  Other people feel that it sounds reassuring.  I've been told that people feel more confident and comfortable if the pilot of the plane has a Southern dialect.  Then there is the wonderful cadence of a great Southern preacher like Martin Luther King, Jr. I would suggest reading John Edwards speeches rather than listening to them.  They are very eloquent.

      All candidates for office should take speech and drama  in college and work on their voices.  Because of the "sound bite", we have lost a lot of eloquence in our public discourse.  Our politicians should study more Shakespeare and less poli-sci. There is a wonderful book called "Death Sentences: How Cliches, Weasel Words and Management Speak are Strangling Our Public Discourse."  by Don Watson.  He was a speech writer and a satirist in Australia.    

      "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

      by MontanaMaven on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:49:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that (0+ / 0-)

        liberals generally com efrom the NE or Cal.  The rest are Midweserners attempting to acanform to the norms of the NE and Cal.

        When a southerner no matter how left wing turns up they are outside the Fraternal order of Liberals.

        My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

        by Salo on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:27:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have to say that while I appreciate the in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo

    depth analysis about Hillary, if one digs deep enough, one can find power influences most politicians, almost without exception.

    I understand your visceral dislike of Hillary, but I don't necessarily buy into all of it, lock stock and barrel.

    Out of all the Democrats running for POTUS probably only Kucinich and Gravel are totally free from any serious pressure: and it's because they have zero chance of winning. To pretend that the others do not have lobbyists and corporations attempting to inveigle their way into the various campaigns is to be blind, and unfair. Clinton gets the lionesses share because she is the top runner now, and hubby of course already had all the connections because power gravitates towards power.

    Do I think Clinton will be craven to these interests? No, I really don't, at least not as badly as any of the Repugnant candidates. The thing to remember is the Gingrich's 'revolution' was built by corporations, the Repugnant Party is systemically infested with corruption from top to bottom. The Democrats have their problems, but it's nothing at all like what we have seen from the [R-Corrupt] Party.

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
    If you want to go far, go together.
    We have to go far, quickly."

    by shpilk on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:33:15 AM PST

  •  It was significant (0+ / 0-)
    to see that corruption was as important as Iraq in the pre-election polls in 2006. Voters will think twice about supporting a party whose leaders aid and abet corruption.

    -4.00, -5.33 "This went from one of the roughest years I've ever had to one of the best years I've ever had. It's crazy how baseball works."--Bobby Kielty

    by 4jkb4ia on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:34:55 AM PST

  •  True (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    planetclaire4, Akonitum

    We need to focus on corruption, but in reality, the issue is mostly being ignored.

    Even worse, while Dems mostly ignore the need to address corruption, Repubs along with strategists from BOTH sides are actively working to convince those few who DO want to make it a priority, that too much focus on investigating corruption is the very thing that is turning voters against the new Democratic majority. That the MSM  mindlessly accepts and parrots this astoundingly false interpretation of Congress’s falling approval ratings, is bad enough, but certainly no surprise. But the fact that no congressional Dems are not making the slightest efforts to publically counter such an easily disputed theory, is worse.  Worse yet, and most inexplicable of all, is the fact that the highest leaders in the Dem party seem determined to pretend that the public is counting on them to put an end to the partisan squabbles and find a way to work together. They are as destructive to the development of honorable, lower level Dems in Congress as DeLay was to the Repubs.

    It’s no longer possible to believe that their failure to do their jobs and defend this country from the criminals that are destroying it, is caused by a pathetic fear of giving Repubs (who now have zero credibility with the voters) reasons to call them unpatriotic - or by some clueless dependency on the bubble-headed consultants that they pay to think FOR them.  No, it’s no longer possible to believe that they are innocent, unwitting victims.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  

    This is the truth, and anyone in Congress who pretends otherwise is lying. Plain and simple.  The only mystery is, why?

    By November 2008 our advantage on this issue could be increased or erased. If it is increased, we will win big. If it is erased, the Republican Party has a shot at holding onto the White House and maybe even making gains in the 111th Congress.

    None of this will change until & unless we get an Executive Branch that "Gets it."

    Edwards gets it. So does Obama.

    HRC and other Democratic Leaders do not get it.

    Edwards not only gets it, he is on an absolute mission to change it - and even though I DO believe Obama also gets it I do not believe he is in a position to tackle it head on with the same force that Edwards can right now.  That is why Obama is my 2nd choice.  I have no real 3rd choice.

    "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy June 6th, 1968

    by enough already on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:39:49 AM PST

  •  Two issues Lost (0+ / 0-)

    If HRC is the nominee she will be totally ineffective in pressing two of the most important issues, Iraq and corruption. She voted for Iraq (and iran) and refuses to apologize, so that issue will be neutralized in the campaign. And her explicit support for lobbyists will completely neutralize her on the corruption issue as well.

    "We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men." Edward R. Murrow

    by aprichard on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:46:09 AM PST

  •  I get the sense that Hillary doesn't care (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonmug, wmacdona66

    Senator Clinton will be challenged on corruption until either she confronts the issue or allows it to become synonymous with her campaign. She is repeating John Kerry’s "swiftboat" mistake and following in the footsteps of Dukakis and Mondale. A response is needed, but she sits and waits. I keep hoping she will address the issue of corruption in a meaningful way—that she will show leadership, but so far she has only offered empty rhetoric at best.

    The problem is when you have "leadership" by someone on something they don't care about, it's not Leadership, it's Lip Service.

    I have the impression that this is something that Hillary Clinton does not care about. She's as Establishment as they come -- and the Establishment is horribly corrupt. Electing Hillary Clinton would be a major step forward from the morass of corruption and kakistocracy that we've experienced over the past seven years, but the trajectory under HRC of our Noble Experiment in Democracy will continue to be a death spiral -- just circling the drain a bit more slowly.

    The corruption of the whole process needs to end for our very survival as a nation with true democratic principles as laid out in our founding documents rather than an oligarchy and plutocracy.

    Edwards and Obama get it -- so does Kucinich. Clinton's interests lie elsewhere (as do Biden's). I don't know yet where Chris Dodd is on this question, but I have a lot more confidence in him than in HRC.

    And thank you Dengre again for another excellent diary.

    •  Did you watch the last debate (0+ / 0-)

      Dodd addressed prison reform and Hillary, Obama, JRE and others quickly rejected it. Solve this major issue and many other huge problems will fix themselves automatically. I will always resent JRE after his Nancy Reagan moment in the last debate.

      In the beginning was the word - AUM - from which the gods eventually named AMERICA - a land of promise made possible by honesty.

      by ebiker on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:06:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kudos to Dodd then (0+ / 0-)

        I agree this is another major issue that has to be addressed in this country. We incarcerate a higher proportion of our citizenry than any other "developed" nation, I believe. If Dodd has taken this on, that another major plus for Dodd. And I'm majorly disappointed in Edwards if he downplayed or dismissed the issue. I expected better of him.

        I didn't see the last debate (or much of anything that requires more than a 20 minute perusal of the blogs in the morning for the last six weeks) as I've been entirely swamped at work. I'm planning to be less swamped in March.

    •  I think Hillary has a very different definition (0+ / 0-)

      of corruption from many of us.

      It's an affliction that affects most of our elected officials, sadly.

      What we call corruption they call "Politics" and "Business as Usual."

      "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you" ~ Pericles

      by Chrispy67 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:07:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama edges Edwards. . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, Akonitum

    because he's built his entire legislative career on government reform and can point to concrete accomplishments in his track record.  Edwards is a welcome added voice for change.

    •  I live in... (0+ / 0-)

      ...Illinois and am active in politics and before he ran against the weirdo Ryan and the cook Keys i did not know him and many in my group of friends even though he stood out.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 02:41:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Corruption is NOT as big an issue as that poll (0+ / 0-)

    indicated....

    If it was, how the hell did Bush/Cheney get re-(And I use that term loosely) elected??

    The Seminole Democrat
    A blue voice calling from the deep red

    by SemDem on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:13:44 AM PST

  •  Adding 1000 statistics to an opinion (0+ / 0-)

    does not make that opinion any more of a fact. You could compile a desktop book full of such stats and your bogus claim that Hillary doesn't get it would still be nothing more than a disgusting smear. You can add piles of potato salad and cole slaw, but that horse meat sandwich will never be prime rib.  

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself. America rejects Bush. The GOP has crashed. American fascism is mortally wounded.

    by JamesBrown4ever on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:24:17 AM PST

  •  Quite illuminating (0+ / 0-)

    Great diary.  Thank you for beating on this drum.  I agree that this should be a major topic of the Democrtic primaries.

  •  Corruption would certainly include (0+ / 0-)

    a vote to give immunity from lawsuits to an industry that is currently donating heavily to Democratic lawmakers.  Isn't that right, Senator reid?  Isn't that right, Senator Rockefeller?  Isn't that right, Congressman Steny "Boss Hogg" Hoyer?

    "The truth is there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?" ---"V"--- Prouder every day to be a FORMER Democrat.

    by asskicking annie on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:29:39 AM PST

  •  Oh, feh. (0+ / 0-)

    Do you really think that ethics is ticking time bomb?  I think it's misdirection... I think there's plenty of other things that matter more.  Check my diary

    You can be as free as you want, so long as Republicans control birth, death, sex and marriage. And whose vote counts.

    by ultrageek on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:37:55 AM PST

    •  Money corruption is at the root of all concerns. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoonfulofsugar

      I read your diary. I quote your saying "Iraq. Immigration.  Health Care.  Terrorism.  The Economy.  The Environment.  Pretty much in that order, although it varies slightly from state to state."  

      So war profiteering in Iraq and the continuance of the occupation has nothing to do with Washington being awash in lobbyist money? Immigration doesn't have to do with holding on to cheap labor for those who would like to keep it? Health care reform hasn't been slowed by all the money from HMOs, insurance and pharmaceuticals concerns sloshing around in congresspersons' re-election budgets? That there is no money to be made by using terrorism as a bogeyman, or in making economical decisions both in terms of governmental or private sector decisions in Washington?

      Per the environment, ever hear of Big Oil. Or its cousin Big Coal? You've got to be kidding me. The dependence of politicians on lobbyists and special interest money is the mother of all ethical issues. How is it ethical to allow the problem to continue out of hand?

      The biggest problem, as stated by dengre is that corruption (ethics being a subset of corruption) is not being addressed.

      It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. - Upton Sinclair

      by Noodles on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:01:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is Anti-Clintonism (0+ / 0-)

    Dressed up as concern for the Democratic Party.

    Actually I'm sure stopping Clinton is considered to be the only way to save the Democratic Party.

    I'm not attacking the sincerity here.

    "'Inevitable' is my word, not Mark Penn's" -- Ben Smith, Politico.com

    by Edgar08 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:44:57 AM PST

  •  Why Do I Think This is Anti-Clintonism? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, FelisRufus, me imperturbe

    Well. While I haven't seen the full scope of work from this Author, I have seen the last year's worth.

    And all of it is focussed on Clinton.  Obsessively so!

    So even if I bought the premise here, and I don't, then it just wouldn't make any sense whatsoever.

    None whatsoever.

    If Clinton was the only Corrupt Dem Politician, then the Party has nothing to worry about here.

    When this author can focus his "Microscope" on any Dem besides a Clinton, then I'll believe this is something more than Anti-Clintonism.

    "'Inevitable' is my word, not Mark Penn's" -- Ben Smith, Politico.com

    by Edgar08 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:50:49 AM PST

    •  well, can you blame the author? anti-clintonism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmacdona66

      sentiments will continue to grow as well if she keeps up her campaigning charade. she gets to be peels like a ripe onion--just like everyone else wanting to be our next president--can you blame anyone after the fiasco of Bush?

      ~Hell hath no fury as Hillary with Executive Power~John Edwards 2008~The Campaign To Change America

      by PeckingOrder on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:15:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush Was a Fiasco (0+ / 0-)

        This kind of crap:

        The only consistent thing about my opponent's position is that he's been inconsistent. He changes positions.

        only re-inforced my belief that not only was he a fiasco but a lying voter manipulating fiasco at that.

        "'Inevitable' is my word, not Mark Penn's" -- Ben Smith, Politico.com

        by Edgar08 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:21:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I appreciate your sentiment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmacdona66

      I do think Hilary gets beat up a little too much around here. However, she is representing the anti-progressive/anti-reform faction of the Democratic Party so she is the obvious target. My view is that she has to take the positions she takes precisely because corruption and "fixing" are so deep a part of politics at this time--it's the only chance of anyone getting power since the MSM is at the heart of this corruption. Any pro-reform candidate would be stopped by character assassination at best and a convenient plane crash at worst. We are talking about real money here and the people who are sucking of our Treasury are not cartoon villains they are the real-deal and they are international in scope and power and eat politicians for breakfeast.  

  •  edwards (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, FelisRufus

    This is a big problem.

    Edwards gets it. So does Obama.

    HRC and other Democratic Leaders do not get it.

    We are in trouble.

    i don't agree.  i voted for edwards in 2004.  i really thought he was the "real deal."

    but i can now see through the trial lawyer layer.  did you see him on "this week"?  he basically reiterated what clinton said at the debate.

    also, if he gets the nomination, you can expect him to turn into a hawk and change his opinion in no time.

    i think i participated in one of these surveys....mailed to me by the DNC.  i ranked ethics as #1.  i support clinton b/c she will be the trojan horse for our ideas.  she will easily get into the white house....remember what party she comes from:  democrats!  edwards will not win the general.  he will flip flop.  at least clinton is being honest....the world is not black and white.  she understands that.  that's why her answers confuse you.

    i worked for greenpeace right out of high school.  i thought they were correct when they said: "if you stand in the middle of the road, you get run over".  i soon learned that that's exactly the wrong reasoning in this world.

    clinton believes the key to leadership is to explain, explain, explain.  edwards is just the other side of the same coin.  pander, pander, pander to the progressives and doesn't work hard enough.  where was he with the progressives in the 2004 primaries?  he goes the path of least resistance and whatever is "in" at the time.

    Your mama warned you about me, didn't she?

    by me imperturbe on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:58:51 AM PST

  •  your diary's a must read dengre... (0+ / 0-)

    you're damn right Edwards gets it. Him on a ticket with Obama would be unbeatable.

    ~Hell hath no fury as Hillary with Executive Power~John Edwards 2008~The Campaign To Change America

    by PeckingOrder on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:13:26 AM PST

  •  to reiterate: Edwards gets it: (0+ / 0-)

    ~Hell hath no fury as Hillary with Executive Power~John Edwards 2008~The Campaign To Change America

    by PeckingOrder on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:42:36 AM PST

  •  The solution starts with agressive public funding (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird

    of campaigns, the kind that can compete head to head against privately funded campaigns using matching funds. Like Arizona's optional public funding system. This is another rarely discussed subject that should be  at the top of not only every Democrats demands but that of all political persuasions. Until the legalized bribery system has a viable alternative the other corruption issues will barely budge. And it does so constitutionally.

    With matching funds for public campaigns you give a candidate who qualifies a real world campaign budget. One that will also match a privately funded campaign up to 4 or 5 times the base amount. The top end should be almost impossibly high for a private campaign to attain so that all funds are matched. It also keeps the base funding inflation proof so that amount rarely needs to be increased. On the federal level we could also provide free air time for publicly funded candidates which is where most of the money goes to anyhow, perhaps reducing needed expenditures.

    Here the publicly funded candidate raises no money at all and can concentrate on their job when in office, on studying the issues, and meeting about 10 times the number of their constituents that they would otherwise. Asking why their opponent can't meet them on a level playing field; why they have to buy their way into office rather than proving they can do better with the same resources. Kinda like they'll be expected to do on the job.

    Meanwhile the privately funded candidate spends about 70%, 80% or more of their time raising funds and once they've done so, the publicly funded candidate gets an equal raised above their initial public funding. Without raising a finger.

    This nips the legal bribery system in the bud making private funding a legal way to raise funds but one with diminishing returns. Not only do you no longer have to be a rich kid or mortgage your house to run for office but last I heard only about 2% of Arizona's candidates where privately funded.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. - Upton Sinclair

    by Noodles on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:43:02 AM PST

  •  and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, mcartri

    ya know I mean the first thing the Senate took up with their new found power was to push a corporate written, extremely unpopular bill, comprehensive immigration reform...and even after that generated so much outrage in the Senate it shut down the phones and fax lines...
    oh, they are trying to put it piecemeal into separate bills and amendments...

    I mean, think about it, think about all of the pressing issues of the day, especially corporate corruption...are they bringing up bills for reforms, maybe curtail offshore outsourcing, increase the power of the FDA...any of those sorts of topics?  No, it's this stuff and that's because there are huge lobbyists pushing it.

    http://blog.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:39:23 AM PST

  •  Excellent diary -- but two demurrals (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, mcartri, FischFry, AshesAllFallDown

    Those poll results are not entirely convincing. Objecting to corruption is a mom-and-apple-pie answer -- who, after all, is in favor of corruption?  Of those who chose corruption as an issue, I wish the pollster had then asked "Name a particular example of corruption that bothers you."  I suspect the vast majority would answer either "Larry Craig" or "Uh..."

    Karl Rove's post-election comments on the importance of the corruption issue was a GOP talking point at the time -- it was another way of saying that the voters had NOT rejected Republican policies.  And note how Rove tries to spin the corruption issue into a generalized, non-partisan disgust with EVERYONE in Washington.  Rove says nothing that is not linked to an unspoken agenda.

    •  I'm of two minds -- except for Hsu question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      renogal

      I think very few Americans know much of the Hsu matter. It might register a little bit, and might take Clinton down a few pegs, whenever fundraising questions are raised. So, there is a creeping problem there, no doubt, but I really doubt if it's reflected int eh declining poll numbers. That's probably more just a function of the Democrats being in office -- especially if they don't make continuing reform a high-profile legislative issue.

      However, I'm of two minds on the revolving door question. I understand the sincerity of those who want to reduce the corrupting influence of lobbyists. Further, I don't want government to be something smart young people do for a couple of years, before they try to capitalize on the access they've developed.

      On the other hand, we should want people to develop policy expertise -- and I don't think there's anything inherently wrong in their moving out of government, and continuing to work in their area of expertise. Telling them they can't work on policy issues in any meaningful way, or that they can't have contact with government officals whose decisions they need to influence -- I'm not sure that's the best result for our government. Too often, the folks in the private sector know more than the young public servants involved. The lobbyists can be  helpful in educating the young Congressional aide or young agency worker. I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

      If the process were transparent -- if the pernicious influence of money were removed, I don't think that the access would be such a bad thing. It's realy the money, not the access that we should fear. We don't want important policy decisions, or congressional votes to be bought and paid for. To me, that's really the issue.

      So, I'm a little more forgiving if Clinton isn't trying to slam the revolving door shut. Having done the WH thing already, they probably see some value in a system that allows advocacy groups to bring on those who have gained policy insights from working in gov't, or even those whose value lies in their insight to the politics of the situation, the players, etc. I think if you could find a way to allow that system to work, without being perverted by money, then you'd have the proper balance.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:07:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you don't find the trend lines ... (0+ / 0-)

      disturbing?

      Corruption IS an issue the Democrats must speak to in the campaign.
      The question is, which candidate(s) is or are in a position to do it.
      Once raised as a key issue there will be push back and slime from the GOP.

      Obama, Edwards or Kucinich seem to me to be the best suited for the task, the ones who can be believed.

  •  Abramoff, guest workers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fastwacks, billg1066

    Abramoff also heavily lobbied for H-1B guest worker Visas in addition to the sweatshops in the Marianas.
    Hillary has been promising to increase those guest worker Visas and is also chair of the India caucus, where were have well documented Indian front groups lobbying for NASSCOM, India's interests.  She helped TATA get established during the height of the recession.  TATA is an offshore outsourcing "body shop" which labor arbitraged thousands of US workers and displaced them.

    So, here we have one of the biggest horror stories of labor in the Marianas and of course they won't lift a finger to stop it.  

    http://blog.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:45:30 AM PST

  •  Congratulations! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, fastwacks

    This is the number one issue by far that we face as a society. I can't even begin to tell you how pervasive this corruption is. Many societies can tolerate high levels of corruption because often there are strong common cultural roots, family and tribal ties and so on. But the United States cannot survive such a situation for very long--we have to have clear boundaries and laws have to be, more or less, followed by rich and poor alike. We exist as a country of laws--think about it before you say "first, kill all the lawyers". If we do that then we start shooting each other.

    Quite simply, the oligarchy has taken to looting rather than just raking a few dollars off the top here and there and the culture of corruption is spreading rapidly--most people don't see it that they just roll their eyes and move on and adapt to the new situation. We in the gov. contracting business have seen this coming for some time.

  •  Extremely well done (0+ / 0-)

    I've been trying to come up with a way to rend our party for a while now, it's way too corrupt. (Of course, the Pubs are in another league entirely).

    "They're not asking if there are Communists in the Defense Department, they're asking how many." - The Manchurian Candidate

    by bhagamu on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:20:02 PM PST

  •  A Pandemic of Worldwide Corruption (0+ / 0-)

    Dengre, a while ago I did a not so great diary on the problem world wide. Two trillion a year and a threat to democracy worldwide.

    Organised crime: the $2 trillion threat to the world's security

    Billions of dollars worth of bribes paid each year go into the pockets of public officials in rich countries

    Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
    Wednesday September 12, 2007
    The Guardian

    Militias buying trafficked weapons. Photograph: Karim Kadim/AP

    International organised crime has become a $2 trillion (£984bn) behemoth that threatens to pervert democracy around the world and fuel already dangerous levels of global inequality, a new study warns.
    While the world is getting richer, the relentless rise of organised crime has emerged as one of the most potent threats to the planet's future, alongside global warming and the scarcity of drinkable water, according to the State of the Future survey by the World Federation of United Nations Associations.

    I just wanted you to read  this because I truly agree with your diary.

    Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

    by ohcanada on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:09:02 PM PST

  •  You know what the problem really is, (7+ / 0-)

    that you went through a couple thousand words and never mentioned the root of the corruption at all, just like the polls never ask about the root of corruption.

    The root of corruption is Corporate Sponsored Public Policy.

    Talking solely of 'government corruption' is really not smart, it's anti-progressive. It places more ill will against the government, which is the expression of the American people's will and protector of the common wealth, common good, and of each and every American Citizen.

    Corruption can take many shapes and forms, and it's unfortunate, but a narrative about 'government corruption' in and of itself places an understanding in people's minds that it is government, as an institution, that is corrupt. We have a long narrative from the Right that feeds that meme.

    What we really have is a government corrupted by private institutions. Government has been corrupted by Corporate Sponsorship, power brokers, and regulatory revolving doors.

    We need to articulate that very clearly.

    Clean Elections, public financing of campaigns, removal of corporate sponsorship of public policy is the way to fight our corrupted government.

    If we just talk about a vanilla 'corrupt government' we will do exactly the opposite. We will further emasculate the government to protect it from 'corruption' and what we will get is a more corrupt form of governance.

    Please, please, talk about CLean Elections and Corporate Sponsored Public Policy when talking about corruption. People need to be told how this government is being corrupted, and the Corporate Media will not do that unless they are forced to by the megaphone of an entire party.

    Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

    by k9disc on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:10:12 PM PST

  •  Couldn't agree with you more (0+ / 0-)

    When I heard that Clinton was taking money from Big Pharma the bottom fell out of my stomach. Ditto when the Dems blocked cutting agricultural handouts.

    I know there's a difference between the parties, but it's nowhere near as big I wish.

  •  Look at the reaction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmacdona66

    to John McCains comment about stopping HRC's earmark for the one million dollar earmark for the Woodstock Museum at the last GOP debate..it brought the house down.

    And you think that little nugget will not come up a million times if HRC is the nominee next fall?

    HRC is very vulnerable on this. The perception out in the midwest is that the chinese have the clintons in their pocket. That stems from the late 90's right thru the Tan and Hsu issues.

    Iraq could recede as an issue if the casualties drop close to zero but corruption always will play with the voters.

    HRC= same old corrupt politics as usual.
    Obama or edwards= guys that owe favors to no one..ie. they have a shot at casting the money changers out of the temple.

  •  6:00 p.m central time tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, keikekaze

    Support Kucinich's call for Cheney impeachment by calling in.

    The number is on his website:

    http://www.dennis4president.com/...

    I just switched from Obama to Kucinich.

    by siamesewonka on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:46:58 PM PST

  •  And All because of Hillary (0+ / 0-)
  •  i take issue with who you call a leader (0+ / 0-)

    People do not become defacto leaders because they are a politician in the limelight.  I think the people of NY failed when they voted a non-leader into office.  

  •  another timebomb (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not

    Hillary's negatives combine anti-feminism, anti-intellectualism, objection to a dynastic continuation, anti-bedroom antics and anti partisanship --- the combination is a formidable negative which will bring out the Republican base and not only defeat Hillary but also all those candidates runnning in marginal seats.  Dean's wonderful 50 state effort is in vain if Hillary is the nominee.

  •  I know I am a broken record, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    I so wish Feingold had run for president...think how wonderful it would be to back a candidate with over a decade of fighting for government reform (on the fed. level) and who is personally so ethical...

    sigh.

  •  Wespac, what a joke (0+ / 0-)

    I remember when Wes first announced his HRC endorsement, many of the Clarkies said they disagreed with the general's decision, but would stick around.
    Well, they stuck around and now the community has become little more than an extension of Hillary 08.
    The cult of personality can be really pathetic. Just spent 5 minutes reading the posts and blogs there....made me literally sick.

    "who do you want with you in the foxhole? The guy who stands up when it's right, or the guy who stands up when it's popular?"

    -Howard Dean

    by astronautagogo on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 02:29:38 PM PST

    •  Why Do I Get the Feeling (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FelisRufus

      That this statement:

      No.  General Wesley Clark is not a sell out.

      is now considered a "Hillary 08" statement.

      To see people suddenly say the things they're saying about Clark out of sheer Primary Partisanship has not been pretty.

      I have felt no need at all to bash Z-big or any of the other Obama Endorsers.

      That is unless they make a nasty little attack on my Candidate of choice in which case it becomes fair game.  Geffen just came to mind.  I probably have attacked him a little in the past.

      "'Inevitable' is my word, not Mark Penn's" -- Ben Smith, Politico.com

      by Edgar08 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:38:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dems could gain a lot of anti-corruption cred . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . by IMPEACHING Cheney and Bush between now and the next election.  A conviction, though it would certainly follow, wouldn't even be necessary--the impeachment itself would suffice for this purpose.

    Naaaaaaaaahhh.  "Too much trouble."  "A waste of time"  "Not worth it."  "We have so much more important other business."  "We don't have the votes."

    Sigh.

    "Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure." -- White Rose letter no. 1

    by keikekaze on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 02:39:25 PM PST

  •  Does diarist understand thw poll? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Edgar08

    I do have concerns about teh corruption issue -- don't want the Democrats to repeat the losses of 1994. HOwever, it seems like the diarist isn't understanding this poll, including the questions being asked. Most glaring example:

    Regardless of who you may support, who do you think is the most honest and trustworthy -  (Clinton), (Obama) or (Edwards)?

    The diarist notes the results:

    Clinton: 35%  
    Obama: 26%    
    Edwards: 22%  
    All: 2%      
    Any 2: 1%      
    None: 8%    
    No Opinion: 5%

    According to the diarist, these are "weak" results, "especially" the 8% who answered "none".

    The results are relatively evenly divided, but it's silly to suggest these are

    "weak numbers across the board."

    It doesn't mean that only 35% trust Clinton, or only 22% trust Edwards. It merely asks among them, which is the most trustworthy? The result is clearly most likely tied to candidate preference. It can't be over 50% for all of them, since the sum total can only be 100%. Numbers above one-third for any of the three candidate would be pretty good news for the one candidate, but the lower numbers don't refelct bad impressions of the other two candidates.

    Moreover, any poll that finds only 8% saying they don't trust any of the whatever slate of candidates is a phenomenal result. 90% willing to say all or one of the three is most honest -- that's very impressive, considering the cynicism towards politicians in the modern age.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:20:14 PM PST

    •  Apparently This Author (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoonfulofsugar

      Has been posting for years here and has unimpeachable credentials on this topic.

      Maybe it makes more sense if you view this as part of an aggregate and not something that was meant to stand on it's own.

      "'Inevitable' is my word, not Mark Penn's" -- Ben Smith, Politico.com

      by Edgar08 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:34:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Corruption in the educational industry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not

    Great diary, dengre.

    A just solution to every issue of concerned is blocked by corruption.

    You want universal health care, or even a simple expansion of SCHIP—well you have to bust through layers of corruption just to begin the process.

    Ending the war is next to impossible without confronting the massive corruption that feeds off the growing disaster.

    Any issue, any concern is blocked by corruption. Look at the Farm Bill, or the renewed push for nuclear power, or FEMA, or... well, anything.

    The voters get this.

    We really understand that Washington DC has become a cesspool of corruption. It weaves vertically and horizontally through every institution: the press, the Congress, the Executive branch, the think tanks, the pundits—and the systems that tie them all together.

    A discussion of change is meaningless without a clear plan to confront corruption.

    For your files, I'd like to offer another link.

    George Miller

    George Miller is the cosigner of the NCLB document and the head of the House Educational Committee that is in charge of reauthorizing NCLB.

    View PAC contributions

    Contributors to the
    George Miller Campaign:

    Jerald Barnett

    Education America / Owner

    Thomas Bishop

    University of Phoenix / VP

    Deborah Blackwell

    Touro University / Provost & Dean

    Cynthia Braddon

    McGraw-Hill Companies / VP

    Eli Broad

    Broad Foundation / Founder

    Kathryn Costello

    Pearson Education Publishing

    Larry Diamond

    Hoover Institute

    William Etheridge

    Pearson Education, CEO

    Lawrence Goodman

    School Link Technologies, President

    Henry Howard

    US Education Finance Corp., President

    John Isley

    Pearson Education / Publisher

    Richard Jerue

    Education Mgmt Corp / VP Govt. Relat.

    William Jordan

    McGraw-Hill Companies / Senior Director

    Joseph Kakaty

    Student Loan Consolidation Center

    Hendrik Kranenburg

    McGraw-Hill / President Higher

    Bonnie Lieberman

    John Wylie & Sons Publishing / SVP

    Patricia McAllister

    Educational Testing Service / Govern

    Lowell Milken

    Knowledge Universe Ltd. / Business

    Arnold Mitchem

    Council for Opportunity in Educ/PR

    Jacqueline Pels

    Hardscratch Press / Editor / Publisher

    Richard Robinson

    Scholastic Inc. / President & CEO

    John Sargent

    Holtzbrinck Publisher / CEO

    Larry Snowhite

    Houghton Mifflin Company / VP Govern

    "Using church pews as precincts, Rove turned religion into a weapon of political combat" --- Bill Moyers

    by Spoonfulofsugar on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:55:08 PM PST

  •  I Would Submit To You (2+ / 0-)

    that we're losing the edge on corruption because voters believe Democrats have sold out on Iraq.  They look at the Congress they put into place to end the war, see that nothing has changed and make the obvious conclusion that someone's either getting paid off or blackmailed.

    From there, it's just a short hop to "Why should I vote for Democrats?  They're just as crooked as Republicans."

    Right the Wrongs...Gore in 08!

    by creeper on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:30:31 PM PST

  •  Hillary leads (0+ / 0-)

    In Democratic party corruption by far
    No body is even close in corrupt money returned

    Anybody but the cackling hawk

    by wmacdona66 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 05:07:40 PM PST

  •  Change the title to read (0+ / 0-)

    New polls and record-setting grass roots money-raising day by anti-war candidate Ron Paul expose a corruption time bomb for Democrats.

    I tried sounding the warning a couple months ago, but people were too busy being trendy.

  •  No kidding (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not, wmacdona66

    I can't tell you how many regular, non-blog-reading, man-on-the-street Democratic voters have said things to me like, "We elected the Democrats to end the war and impeach Bush, and they won't do either one. What's wrong with them? Are they being blackmailed? Are they all on the take?"

    How can so many of the Democrats in Congress -- with a few notable exceptions -- be so utterly disconnected from what regular people are saying about them?

  •  Edwards and Fortress is most "corrupt" example. (0+ / 0-)

    "Edwards gets it. So does Obama. HRC and other Democratic Leaders do not get it."

    That is self serving hokum.

    Edwards as the slick tort attorney who cleverly manipulates the campaign finance laws so he can accept $650,000 in campaign contributions from Fortress Corporation, the hedge fund and predatory sub-prime lender, is the worst example of corruption in this election cycle for the Democrats.

    His ingenious $650,000 way around the contribution limits, his $14M investment in Fortress (What's good for Fortress is good for Edwards), the fact that Fortress is foreclosing on New Orleans poor while Edwards uses them for campaign props...all leave Edwards looking very clever but not very ethical or honest.

    People read daily about hedge and sup-prime losses causing stock market and financial market crashes, millions losing their homes and here's Edwards leading investor in and highly compensated employee of those very same financial manipulators. Fortress is the single biggest contributor to Edwards campaign.

  •  I spoke to this issue a year ago (0+ / 0-)

    Nobody listened then.  I was poo-pooed and told not to be such a nay-sayer.  I have to laugh now.  I have seen it coming since and while I think the Dems will win in '08, it won't be because of how good the Dem candidates are.  It will because the GOP is so bad in comparison.

    If you want to see what I wrote, you can look it up here.

  •  Saw this quote ... stopped reading. Because (0+ / 0-)

    if this isn't clearly bias I don't know what is:

    "This is a big problem.

    Edwards gets it. So does Obama.

    HRC and other Democratic Leaders do not get it.

    We are in trouble."

  •  Even though I knew (0+ / 0-)

    Hannity and Glenn Beck made a lot of money, it was a big surprise to learn they each make 50 million over a 5 year period.

    That is what their propaganda is worth.  They come off as average guys, but they are rich, rich, rich.

    Money is the reason Hillary is ahead.  It is doubtful that she will end it, if she wins.

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