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Is Congress reduced to a form of legalised bribery?

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Bombadil
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Is Congress reduced to a form of legalised bribery?

Postby Bombadil » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:27 pm

Politicians need to be elected and, increasingly, this takes an ever-growing amount of money.

Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from Opensecrets.org calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/opini ... d=fb-share

Can any politican vote on an issue without being influenced by how this might affect campaign contributions.?

Could the single most effective piece of legislation be to, at least, only allow individual campaign contributions and even then to a limited amount only?
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Coffee Cakes
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Postby Coffee Cakes » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:33 pm

Bombadil wrote:Politicians need to be elected and, increasingly, this takes an ever-growing amount of money.

Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from Opensecrets.org calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/opini ... d=fb-share

Can any politican vote on an issue without being influenced by how this might affect campaign contributions.?

Could the single most effective piece of legislation be to, at least, only allow individual campaign contributions and even then to a limited amount only?



Too bad the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can donate to campaigns. So that means only a Constitutional amendment can fix that. And given how few there have been, the odds aren't good at all on that happening. :(
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Bombadil
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Postby Bombadil » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:36 pm

Coffee Cakes wrote:Too bad the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can donate to campaigns. So that means only a Constitutional amendment can fix that. And given how few there have been, the odds aren't good at all on that happening. :(


Or this..?

U.S. congressmen should have to dress like Nascar drivers and wear the logos of all the banks, investment banks, insurance companies and real estate firms that they’re taking money from. The public needs to know.
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Coffee Cakes
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Postby Coffee Cakes » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:38 pm

Bombadil wrote:
Coffee Cakes wrote:Too bad the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can donate to campaigns. So that means only a Constitutional amendment can fix that. And given how few there have been, the odds aren't good at all on that happening. :(


Or this..?

U.S. congressmen should have to dress like Nascar drivers and wear the logos of all the banks, investment banks, insurance companies and real estate firms that they’re taking money from. The public needs to know.


As a NASCAR junkie, I totally approve of this idea.
And I'm sigging this, by the way.
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Cameroi
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Postby Cameroi » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:18 am

pretty much. but peoples choices (buying habits, ways of live, et al) create the incentive for it to be that way too.
indenturing ourselves to a car, or using credit for anything else IS slavery.
what that has to do with this, is that one: it finances the situation, and two (again): precisely creates the incentives for it.
i'm not saying that to give decision makers an easy out.
the perp is always guilty.
but,
all of us together
DO create the incentives
that motivate them and they "profit" from.
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New Chalcedon
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Postby New Chalcedon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:28 am

Bombadil wrote:Politicians need to be elected and, increasingly, this takes an ever-growing amount of money.

Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from Opensecrets.org calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/opini ... d=fb-share

Can any politican vote on an issue without being influenced by how this might affect campaign contributions.?

Could the single most effective piece of legislation be to, at least, only allow individual campaign contributions and even then to a limited amount only?


You think its' been bad so far? Then you ain't seen nothin' yet. Watch 2012: the Koch Brothers, for instance, have directly pledged $200 million to defeat Obama. You can thank Citizens United and the most activist, legsilating-from-the-bench SCOTUS in history.
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Moral Libertarians
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Postby Moral Libertarians » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:38 am

It wasn't already?
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Anthoniland
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Ex-Nation

Postby Anthoniland » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:16 am

The entire system is corrupted by money. I think that we should illegalize all corporate donations to political groups and politicians. Plus they shouldn't be allowed to be business owners, buy stock, or have any second job in order to make sure that they don't become corrupted.

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Risottia
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Postby Risottia » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:31 am

I think the idea behind allowing lobbying and private donations to politicians is all about regulating bribery.
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New Chalcedon
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Postby New Chalcedon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:58 am

To be honest, if you think Congress is bad, look at the Florida legislature: they have, quite literally, made it perfectly legal to bribe them.
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AiliailiA
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Postby AiliailiA » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:35 am

New Chalcedon wrote:To be honest, if you think Congress is bad, look at the Florida legislature: they have, quite literally, made it perfectly legal to bribe them.


I wouldn't be surprised. Crappy source though.
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Nadkor
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Postby Nadkor » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:41 am

Coffee Cakes wrote:
Bombadil wrote:Politicians need to be elected and, increasingly, this takes an ever-growing amount of money.



http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/opini ... d=fb-share

Can any politican vote on an issue without being influenced by how this might affect campaign contributions.?

Could the single most effective piece of legislation be to, at least, only allow individual campaign contributions and even then to a limited amount only?



Too bad the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can donate to campaigns. So that means only a Constitutional amendment can fix that. And given how few there have been, the odds aren't good at all on that happening. :(


A constitutional amendment, or SCOTUS changing its mind.
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AiliailiA
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Postby AiliailiA » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:32 am

Nadkor wrote:
Coffee Cakes wrote:

Too bad the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can donate to campaigns. So that means only a Constitutional amendment can fix that. And given how few there have been, the odds aren't good at all on that happening. :(


A constitutional amendment, or SCOTUS changing its mind.


SCOTUS does not change its mind spontaneously. However "activist" the court may be, SCOTUS can only rule on cases brought before it. It cannot revisit its previous decisions spontaneously. It's decisions can however be appealed by citizens or their representatives who have standing.

Now, I'm a bit drunk so this may not make sense:

It is still not permitted for foreigners to donate to political campaigns is it? A corporation registered in the US and following its rules is primarily an economic entity, and may have individual rights in other senses but economically just how American is it? There is no assurance that the majority of it's shares are held by US citizens, nor that the majority of its employees are US citizens, nor even that the majority of its economic activities happen within the US.

There may be a grounds for appeal there, but like I said I'm pretty drunk. It's just a thought.
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Ifreann wrote:That's not a Freudian slip. A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother.
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Ifreann wrote:
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New Chalcedon
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Postby New Chalcedon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:42 am

Ailiailia wrote:
New Chalcedon wrote:To be honest, if you think Congress is bad, look at the Florida legislature: they have, quite literally, made it perfectly legal to bribe them.


I wouldn't be surprised. Crappy source though.


Indeed? How so?
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Nadkor
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Postby Nadkor » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:45 am

Ailiailia wrote:
Nadkor wrote:A constitutional amendment, or SCOTUS changing its mind.


SCOTUS does not change its mind spontaneously. However "activist" the court may be, SCOTUS can only rule on cases brought before it. It cannot revisit its previous decisions spontaneously.


No shit, Sherlock.

It's decisions can however be appealed by citizens or their representatives who have standing


Pretty certain that is not the case.
economic left/right: -7.38, social libertarian/authoritarian: -7.59
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I think we need more post-coital and less post-rock
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AiliailiA
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Postby AiliailiA » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:51 am

New Chalcedon wrote:
Ailiailia wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised. Crappy source though.


Indeed? How so?


Are you asking me to quote from your source?

I'm not familiar with the Florida legislation the piece is about. And I learned nothing about that legislation from reading the piece. Not one paragraph of it was quoted, nor any links provided. As a source [i]about the legislation[i] your source fails the laugh test.

It's inside baseball. Come on, give us another source or abandon the point you were trying to make with it.
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Cannot think of a name wrote:"Where's my immortality?" will be the new "Where's my jetpack?"
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Ifreann wrote:That's not a Freudian slip. A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother.
Ethel mermania wrote:
Ifreann wrote:
DnalweN acilbupeR wrote:
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What are the colons meant to convey here?
In my experience Colons usually convey shit

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AiliailiA
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Postby AiliailiA » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:53 am

Nadkor wrote:
Ailiailia wrote:
SCOTUS does not change its mind spontaneously. However "activist" the court may be, SCOTUS can only rule on cases brought before it. It cannot revisit its previous decisions spontaneously.


No shit, Sherlock.

It's decisions can however be appealed by citizens or their representatives who have standing


Pretty certain that is not the case.


Well, thanks for replying. Shame you didn't read all my post, but that's what I get for posting drunk I guess.
My name is voiced AIL-EE-AIL-EE-AH. My time zone: UTC.

Cannot think of a name wrote:"Where's my immortality?" will be the new "Where's my jetpack?"
Maineiacs wrote:"We're going to build a canal, and we're going to make Columbia pay for it!" -- Teddy Roosevelt
Ifreann wrote:That's not a Freudian slip. A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother.
Ethel mermania wrote:
Ifreann wrote:
DnalweN acilbupeR wrote:
: eugenics :
What are the colons meant to convey here?
In my experience Colons usually convey shit

NSG junkie. Getting good shit for free, why would I give it up?

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Nadkor
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Postby Nadkor » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:57 am

Ailiailia wrote:
Nadkor wrote:
No shit, Sherlock.



Pretty certain that is not the case.


Well, thanks for replying. Shame you didn't read all my post, but that's what I get for posting drunk I guess.


I did, unfortunately, take the time to read all your post. It's generally quite/very rare for a court to pierce the corporate veil in the way you suggest. And it still wouldn't be grounds for an appeal. It may be a possibility for a new case, giving SCOTUS an opportunity to revisit the issue if it so chooses (because there is no automatic right of appeal to SCOTUS - they pick and choose what cases they want to hear), but that's not an appeal.
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GeneralHaNor
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Postby GeneralHaNor » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:04 am

The system is broken, this isn't news or anything, it's always been broken, it was broken by it's very design.

Better solution, Line them all up against a wall, and leave their corpses to be dragged through the streets, let the next batch of politicians think long and hard about the fate that awaits those that betray the trust placed in them.
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AiliailiA
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Postby AiliailiA » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:09 am

Nadkor wrote:
Ailiailia wrote:
Well, thanks for replying. Shame you didn't read all my post, but that's what I get for posting drunk I guess.


I did, unfortunately, take the time to read all your post. It's generally quite/very rare for a court to pierce the corporate veil in the way you suggest. And it still wouldn't be grounds for an appeal. It may be a possibility for a new case, giving SCOTUS an opportunity to revisit the issue if it so chooses (because there is no automatic right of appeal to SCOTUS - they pick and choose what cases they want to hear), but that's not an appeal.


Corporate veil my fat ass. I mentioned stock holdings: those are publicly disclosed. I mentioned employees: those are publicly disclosed (or at least, known to government by tax records). I mentioned the proportion of business done overseas by US-registered corporations: that is also public knowledge.

What I'm saying is that to be free of any taint of foreign money, a corporation would need to be 100% owned by US citizens and to do 100% of its profitable activities within the US ... and that almost no corporation would meet this standard.

If corporations are treated as individuals (for the purpose of political donations) then surely they should meet the same standards that individuals must meet to legally donate: ie, that they be neither foreigners, nor funded by foreigners.

Now it's true that I don't fully understand the US law, and I might be wrong about this. But I really don't appreciate you straight-arming my suggestion on the basis that I got a detail wrong. If you can't address the thrust of it, leave it to someone who can!
My name is voiced AIL-EE-AIL-EE-AH. My time zone: UTC.

Cannot think of a name wrote:"Where's my immortality?" will be the new "Where's my jetpack?"
Maineiacs wrote:"We're going to build a canal, and we're going to make Columbia pay for it!" -- Teddy Roosevelt
Ifreann wrote:That's not a Freudian slip. A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother.
Ethel mermania wrote:
Ifreann wrote:
DnalweN acilbupeR wrote:
: eugenics :
What are the colons meant to convey here?
In my experience Colons usually convey shit

NSG junkie. Getting good shit for free, why would I give it up?

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AiliailiA
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Postby AiliailiA » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:13 am

GeneralHaNor wrote:The system is broken, this isn't news or anything, it's always been broken, it was broken by it's very design.


Freedom of speech, and the right to peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances ... total bumkum.
My name is voiced AIL-EE-AIL-EE-AH. My time zone: UTC.

Cannot think of a name wrote:"Where's my immortality?" will be the new "Where's my jetpack?"
Maineiacs wrote:"We're going to build a canal, and we're going to make Columbia pay for it!" -- Teddy Roosevelt
Ifreann wrote:That's not a Freudian slip. A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother.
Ethel mermania wrote:
Ifreann wrote:
DnalweN acilbupeR wrote:
: eugenics :
What are the colons meant to convey here?
In my experience Colons usually convey shit

NSG junkie. Getting good shit for free, why would I give it up?

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Nadkor
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Postby Nadkor » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:18 am

Ailiailia wrote:
Nadkor wrote:
I did, unfortunately, take the time to read all your post. It's generally quite/very rare for a court to pierce the corporate veil in the way you suggest. And it still wouldn't be grounds for an appeal. It may be a possibility for a new case, giving SCOTUS an opportunity to revisit the issue if it so chooses (because there is no automatic right of appeal to SCOTUS - they pick and choose what cases they want to hear), but that's not an appeal.


Corporate veil my fat ass. I mentioned stock holdings: those are publicly disclosed. I mentioned employees: those are publicly disclosed (or at least, known to government by tax records). I mentioned the proportion of business done overseas by US-registered corporations: that is also public knowledge.


Yes, they are. But also irrelevant in this case; corporations, with legal personality, are what is relevant here. To bring up any of what you mention (stock holdings, employees, etc.) to determine the rights and obligations of a company on the basis of the rights and obligations of its shareholders/directors/etc. is piercing the corporate veil. As such, everything you mentioned is, in most cases, beyond the remit of the court.

What I'm saying is that to be free of any taint of foreign money, a corporation would need to be 100% owned by US citizens and to do 100% of its profitable activities within the US ... and that almost no corporation would meet this standard.


Why? On what grounds do you hold corporations to a higher standard than individuals for this purpose? That is entirely at odds with the rest of your post.

If corporations are treated as individuals (for the purpose of political donations) then surely they should meet the same standards that individuals must meet to legally donate: ie, that they be neither foreigners, nor funded by foreigners.


Presumably individuals employed by foreign-owned/based corporations shouldn't be permitted to make political donations, right? If we're treating corporations and individuals the same, and we don't accept corporations that are funded by foreigners as eligible to make political donations, then it follows that we don't accept individuals that are funded by foreigners as eligible to make political donations. That, of course, would be entirely unconstitutional - and if we're treating corporations the same as individuals then it follows that it would be unconstitutional to apply those standards to corporations.

Now it's true that I don't fully understand the US law, and I might be wrong about this. But I really don't appreciate you straight-arming my suggestion on the basis that I got a detail wrong.


Oh, I'm ever so sorry.

If you can't address the thrust of it, leave it to someone who can!


What's the point in getting to the "thrust of it" when even a preliminary appraisal leaves it standing without foundation?
Last edited by Nadkor on Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
economic left/right: -7.38, social libertarian/authoritarian: -7.59
thekidswhopoptodaywillrocktomorrow

I think we need more post-coital and less post-rock
Feels like the build-up takes forever but you never get me off

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New Chalcedon
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Postby New Chalcedon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:26 am

Ailiailia wrote:
New Chalcedon wrote:
Indeed? How so?


Are you asking me to quote from your source?

I'm not familiar with the Florida legislation the piece is about. And I learned nothing about that legislation from reading the piece. Not one paragraph of it was quoted, nor any links provided. As a source [i]about the legislation[i] your source fails the laugh test.

It's inside baseball. Come on, give us another source or abandon the point you were trying to make with it.


Ah, fair enough - it's not the source you have a problem with, it's that the source provides incomplete data.

Well, here's a source that has the text of the bill in question: HB 1207, vetoed in 2010 by Gov. Crist. I hope that you'll excuse me not going page-by-page through it, but it's marking-time here at work, and I've read more pages of data in the last week than a person should have to in a year.

And here's another source, with a few more details (albeit still no primary data).
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GeneralHaNor
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Postby GeneralHaNor » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:10 am

Ailiailia wrote:
GeneralHaNor wrote:The system is broken, this isn't news or anything, it's always been broken, it was broken by it's very design.


Freedom of speech, and the right to peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances ... total bumkum.


Your "Rights" are merely granted privileges, and can and will be revoked the moment they become to inconvenient for your overseers
Victorious Decepticons wrote:If they said "this is what you enjoy so do this" and handed me a stack of my favorite video games, then it'd be far different. But governments don't work that way. They'd hand me a dishrag...
And I'd hand them an insurgency.
Trotskylvania wrote:Don't kid yourself. The state is a violent, destructive institution of class dictatorship. The fact that the proles have bargained themselves the drippings from their master's plates doesn't legitimize the state.


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