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McCutcheon

Did you know that our Republic ended last week? It’s true, at least if you believe the left wing:

In a sharply divided ruling Wednesday, the Supreme Court further eroded campaign finance laws by striking down limits on the total amount that an individual may donate across political candidates and committees in an election cycle.

The decision — written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito — held that “aggregate limits are invalid under the First Amendment.” Justice Clarence Thomas concurred with the other conservative justices but penned a separate opinion arguing that campaign finance restrictions should be wiped out further.

The conservative justices argued that eliminating aggregate cont limits doesn’t give rise to “quid pro quo corruption” which the court recognized as a legitimate rationale for campaign finance restrictions in the landmark Buckley v. Valeo case in 1976.

Basically, when it comes to political donations, you are limited to personal donations of $2600 per candidate. But there is also an aggregate limit of $48,600 to candidates and $74,600 to committees. The Supreme Court tossed out that limit.

Here is a typical reaction from the anti-campaign-contribution crowd:

Under the old aggregate limit, it used to be that the most a donor could show up with was $123,000. Now, one donor can cut a $3.5 million check to a joint fundraising committee. The kind of people who are willing to drop more money than most Americans will make in their entire lives on one election can now wield enormous leverage over entire political parties.

Um, didn’t they already? Haven’t we been hearing for the last few years how the Koch Brothers are corrupting the system, destroying the environment, ravishing milk maids and poisoning the wells?

That means a big donor could go to the head of a JFC and says “gee, I’d sure love to send this $3.5 million your way, but I can’t do that until I’m sure none of it will go to candidates who support closing a tax loophole I like.” Suddenly, the head of that JFC has 3.5 million reasons to call up every single member of his party and make sure that everyone is on the same page about keeping that tax loophole open for another couple of years. At which point everyone has to raise money to run for office again, and the whole cycle starts over.

I find this to be … incredibly naive. The minimum bribe level for our Congress is a lot lower than $3.6 million. I suspect it’s lower than $123,000. In fact, it’s probably even lower than $2600. In fact, you often don’t have to donate much of your money at all. Simply raising money for a candidate (bundling) can get you government-guaranteed loans for your business, exemptions from regulations and an ambassadorship. And it works the other way too. A regulator ruling in favor of a big business can then walk into a six-figure job with that business.

All this really changes is how money is shuffled to candidates. In 2012, Sheldon Adelson donated $5 million to Newt Gingrich’s PAC, which was essentially a donation to Newt. That has just as much potential corrupting power than $3.6 million spread out to 525 campaigns and various committees. So why all the fuss over a law change that involves open direct donations? Is it just because the Left Wing has a hysterical reflex whenever a Supreme Court decision doesn’t go their way?

The issues, to me, are pretty clear. Political donations fall under the aegis of free speech. Mataconis:

As I’ve noted in the past, though, the arguments against “money in politics” are typically misplaced for sseveral reasons. First of all, as much as it gets derided by critics, the Supreme Court has recognized since its first campaign finance decision, Buckley v. Valeo, that money is indeed equivalent to speech in the political context. Functionally, there is no difference between me written a blog post endorsing a political candidate, and me writing them a check, and any effort by government to restrict my ability to do either should be subjected to the strictest form of scrutiny. Second, history has shown us that any attempt to decrease the role of money in politics only tends to drive such activity underground where it is much harder to keep track of.

The proponents of campaign finance restrictions, when you get down to it, don’t like the political speech that money enables. That opposition often falls away when it’s their own cause. But when you have campaign committees pointing out the flaws in Obamacare or our huge deficit or the state of the economy … well, then it’s time to fire up the campaign finance laws.

Unfortunately for the campaign finance reformers, but fortunately for us, the Courts have long recognized that corruption is the only reason to restrict campaign donations. Not liking “money in politics” is not reason enough to bottle up people’s free speech rights. And it’s hard to argue that these aggregate limits stop corruption in any meaningful way.

But I’ll tell you in a little secret. Lean in close to the screen and I’ll whisper it:

I don’t like money in politics either.

Seriously, I don’t. I do think money in politics has a corrupting effect — most notably the crony capitalism that has dominated this country for the last decade and a half, wrecked the economy, left millions unemployed and massively increased the gap between rich and poor. It is a corruption that is a lot more subtle than the crude bribery HuffPo describes above. This corruption often comes in the guise of “reform” or “good regulation”. It manifests in regulations that bankrupt small toy makers while leaving the big industries intact. It manifests in financial reform that insulates the banking industry even more from their own mistakes. It manifests in an “energy policy” that gives the President billions of dollars to play scientist with.

Certainly massive campaign donations play a role in that corruption. But the role they play is symptom, not disease. The disease is a massive, bloated government that foists tens of thousands of regulations on us and has virtual monopsony power over many industries. The disease is a system where big businesses and rich tycoons have no choice but to be political. We have seen, over the last decade, what happens to businesses like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Paypal when they don’t want to play politics. Pretty soon, they have no choice. And after a while, they’re part of the system.

I would prefer a more open political donation system: you can donate whatever you want to whomever you want, it just has to be disclosed (although last week’s hounding of Brendan Eich illustrates the pitfalls of such an open system). But in the end, this comes down to a government that is massive, powerful and will demand its cut by hook or by crook.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: if you want money of politics, get the politics out of money.

35 comments

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  1. Seattle Outcast says:

    Worse, they won’t even stay bought.

    How did we ever end up with such worthless specimens of the political class?

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  2. Hal_10000 says:

    How did we ever end up with such worthless specimens of the political class?

    I actually think the money in politics plays into that too; we are being ruled by a bunch of fund-raisers, not leaders. But I’m not sure how that gets addressed. EVERYONE in Washington knows how corrosive the nonstop campaign is. No one wants to do anything about it except put up rules that will be immediately bypassed.

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  3. AlexInCT says:

    I actually think the money in politics plays into that too; we are being ruled by a bunch of fund-raisers, not leaders.

    It’s worse than that Hal: we are ruled by a bunch of corrupt fund-raisers that have warped government to the extreme to make it necessary to buy favors from them. That’s why I always go back to my point that the only sure way to address the problems we have now is to reduce the power of government, not to let the politicians tamper with the system they have corrupted even more. We the people lose every time we go through one of those iterations.

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  4. CM says:

    So then you get less transparent use and abuse of power. Power and the use of it doesn’t just go away because government shrinks.

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  5. ilovecress says:

    Functionally, there is no difference between me written a blog post endorsing a political candidate, and me writing them a check

    Really? That must be why politicians spend so much time courting bloggers then mustn’t it? I really must be missing something, because this seems to obviously untrue that I struggle to see why it’s even considered. Seriously, help me understand this because I seriously must be missing something. Sheldon Adelson and United Auto workers have more influence over politics in this country than you do Hal, and you have two blogs!

    The proponents of campaign finance restrictions, when you get down to it, don’t like the political speech that money enables.

    I thought money was speech – it didn’t enable it? Anyway – I’d personally disagree with it in all contexts. Unions shouldn’t be able to use their fortunes to influence politics just as GM shouldn’t.

    Certainly massive campaign donations play a role in that corruption. But the role they play is a symptom, not disease. The disease is a massive, bloated government that foists tens of thousands of regulations on us and has virtual monopsony power over many industries

    I’d argue it’s the other way around. The Government is bloated because the market for political donations has increased. Remember, a lot of the time corporate are FOR regulation, and a huge amount of the time that’s what the lobbyists are arguing for. Regulation isn’t restrictive to markets, it’s manipulative, and the aim is to manipulate it in your favour. The political donations/lobbyist/regulation cycle has become an industry in itself.

    I don’t know how you can argue for shrinking government influence on one hand, but against restricting it on the other. The Government can only sell what people can buy from it.

    I would prefer a more open political donation system: you can donate whatever you want to whomever you want, it just has to be disclosed

    Out of interest, what’s the thinking about making the full disclosure rule?

    That’s why I always go back to my point that the only sure way to address the problems we have now is to reduce the power of government,

    And what better way to do that than to reduce the amount of fuel that can be added to the system by restricting how much money politicians can make through expanding their influence in the market?

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  6. ilovecress says:

    I am awesome at Blockquote….I’ll try again – ignore the above…

    Functionally, there is no difference between me written a blog post endorsing a political candidate, and me writing them a check,

    Really? That must be why politicians spend so much time courting bloggers then mustn’t it? I really must be missing something, because this seems to obviously untrue that I struggle to see why it’s even considered. Seriously, help me understand this because I seriously must be missing something. Sheldon Adelson and United Auto workers have more influence over politics in this country than you do Hal, and you have two blogs!

    The proponents of campaign finance restrictions, when you get down to it, don’t like the political speech that money enables.

    I thought money was speech – it didn’t enable it? Anyway – I’d personally disagree with it in all contexts. Unions shouldn’t be able to use their fortunes to influence politics just as GM shouldn’t.

    Certainly massive campaign donations play a role in that corruption. But the role they play is a symptom, not disease. The disease is a massive, bloated government that foists tens of thousands of regulations on us and has virtual monopsony power over many industries

    I’d argue it’s the other way around. The Government is bloated because the market for political donations has increased. Remember, a lot of the time corporate are FOR regulation, and a huge amount of the time that’s what the lobbyists are arguing for. Regulation isn’t restrictive to markets, it’s manipulative, and the aim is to manipulate it in your favour. The political donations/lobbyist/regulation cycle has become an industry in itself.

    I don’t know how you can argue for shrinking government influence on one hand, but against restricting it on the other. The Government can only sell what people can buy from it.

    I would prefer a more open political donation system: you can donate whatever you want to whomever you want, it just has to be disclosed

    Out of interest, what’s the thinking about making the full disclosure rule?

    That’s why I always go back to my point that the only sure way to address the problems we have now is to reduce the power of government,

    And what better way to do that than to reduce the amount of fuel that can be added to the system by restricting how much money politicians can make through expanding their influence in the market?

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  7. hist_ed says:

    Oh, it was an error? I thought it was a ee cummings style tone poem-an quite an amazing example. Perhaps you should submit it somewhere?

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  8. hist_ed says:

    HAL you missed one other important part. Campaign finance reform is incumbent protection. Incumbents massively out raise challengers. The most well funded challengers are usually already established politicians. Every once in awhile you get some rich challenger willing to spend their own money. Imagine how threatening it would be to incumbistan if David Koch or George Soros could write a 5 million dollar check to some guy who supports their ideas.

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  9. ilovecress says:

    sometimes i
    mess up the
    tagging on the
    comments i post
    a binary response made full by
    the unseen direction of a language i don’t speak
    beautiful but distant

    i
    silently
    weep

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  10. Hal_10000 says:

    Really? That must be why politicians spend so much time courting bloggers then mustn’t it? I really must be missing something, because this seems to obviously untrue that I struggle to see why it’s even considered.

    Not blogs, necessarily, but our politicians spend a lot of time courting media figures. Bush routinely had talk show hosts and conservatives writers at the White House and would talk to them about his message. Obama routinely hobnobs with sympathetic media. The big talk shows and columnists will get calls from politicians to spread their message. This happens all the time.

    I’d argue it’s the other way around. The Government is bloated because the market for political donations has increased. Remember, a lot of the time corporate are FOR regulation, and a huge amount of the time that’s what the lobbyists are arguing for. Regulation isn’t restrictive to markets, it’s manipulative, and the aim is to manipulate it in your favour. The political donations/lobbyist/regulation cycle has become an industry in itself.

    I think these are two sides of the same problem. Politicians dole out favors to curry donations, donors give money to get favors. The only thing that has ever stopped this cycle is pushback against government power from the masses — e.g., the SOPA/PIPA fight a couple of years ago.

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  11. ilovecress says:

    Not blogs, necessarily, but our politicians spend a lot of time courting media figures. Bush routinely had talk show hosts and conservatives writers at the White House and would talk to them about his message. Obama routinely hobnobs with sympathetic media. The big talk shows and columnists will get calls from politicians to spread their message. This happens all the time.

    You think that’s free? Media relations is really really expensive, and where a lot of the money goes. But again, even if politicians do court media figures, how is that the same as receiving a check? How is giving you the ability to buy something the same as writing that I like you? Again, I’m sure theres an answer there that I’m missing.

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  12. Seattle Outcast says:

    More proof that our government considers us to be state-owned slaves:

    http://www.infowars.com/federal-snipers-train-guns-on-family-for-filming-cattle/

    Ruby Ridge anybody?

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  13. CM says:

    Infowars….awesome. You have no right to complain about any source used by anyone else (despite the fact that you usually fuck it up anyway).

    How is unlawfully using public land (refusing to pay a permit licence to use that land, and so having his licence cancelled 20 years ago) “big government and a federal bureaucracy increasingly trampling on the rights of the American people to be left alone”? He’s ignored repeated directives from the government to remove his livestock from public land. For two decades.

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  14. AlexInCT says:

    So then you get less transparent use and abuse of power.

    That lie the left has been perpetuating as an excuse to grow government and the influence peddling you bandy here sure seems to have met its match with the Obama Administration. The criminals in this WH had helped the democrats write even more laws to supposedly regulate abuses of power while going on to set unprecedented levels of criminal abuse. And they have done so after promising the most transparent administration ever, but instead straddling us with one of the most opaque and secretive bunch ever, always ready and willing to crucify anyone that got in their way.

    So peddle that bullshit elsewhere please CM.

    Power and the use of it doesn’t just go away because government shrinks.

    I beg to differ. The problem is that people like you would like people to view many things that are not abuses of power as such, so you can keep justifying the growth of the nanny state. No entity abuses more power than government, and until people get that straight we will only have more of that.

    Now you can make your veiled reference to how I want to recreate Somalia here in the US for wanting smaller government.

    Infowars….awesome.

    The sad thing is that for all its crazy I am more inclined to give Infowars a pass and believe what I see there than anything in the LSM, where I know they are left wing propagandists. But of course you would see that as indication of a fault with me instead of the fact that our press is a complicit in helping our government abuse power.

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  15. Seattle Outcast says:

    Yet again, CM shows total lack of knowledge for the subject he comments on.

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  16. blameme says:

    Well, this thread is over. CM, no one mentioned your name, attacked any sources that you love etc, but you jumped in to make it personal. Instead of attacking SO for linking to infowars, how about you take your own advice, be a leader, and focus on the content of that particular article instead of the source (as you like to point out we should do when you link to a post from a well known biased left source). You did do that somewhat at the end of your post, but only after you took a swipe at someone else for no reason IN THIS THREAD.

    On to the next topic until that one is ruined too.

    I’ll not stop by this thread again, but hopefully tomorrow a new thread will be born and we can get a few interesting comments out of that one until it too inevitably turns into a pissing contest.

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  17. Xetrov says:

    More proof that our government considers us to be state-owned slaves:

    http://www.infowars.com/federal-snipers-train-guns-on-family-for-filming-cattle/

    Couldn’t possibly be because he refused to pay grazing rights on federal land for 20 years (an actual law, whether you agree with it or not). Nah. Obama/Jarrett must want a winter home there or something.

    http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/04/03/mgk-range-war-blm-v-bundy/#.U0QO_MZJN8F

    You may disagree with the reasons they eventually protected the land for Desert Tortoise habitat, but ignoring the law for 20 years is not acceptable, and I would say the government has been pretty lenient in trying to work with the guy. He’s a kook.

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  18. Xetrov says:

    And yeah – referencing infowars for a source is only slightly better than http://weeklyworldnews.com/.

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  19. CM says:

    Well, this thread is over.

    Oh fuck off with that bullshit already. You already had an attempt in an earlier thread and it didn’t work

    CM, no one mentioned your name, attacked any sources that you love etc, but you jumped in to make it personal.

    Nobody mentioned your name either, so what are you doing here?
    You’ve NEVER had an issue when SO has made it personal against me, or accused me of something. So stop with the bullshit already.
    Also, SO’s nonsense has nothing to do with the subject of this thread.

    Instead of attacking SO for linking to infowars,

    I made a legitimate point about the rampant hypocrisy of complaining about sources (which SO has many times) and then pointed out that he’s talking nonsense about his ‘example’. I don’t consider pointing out hypocrisy to be an attack.

    how about you take your own advice, be a leader, and focus on the content of that particular article instead of the source (as you like to point out we should do when you link to a post from a well known biased left source).

    I did. Sorry you missed it. And also how much of a hypocrite you are. And also that SO’s post had nothing to do with the topic. And how you’ve done nothing but post a personal attack.

    You did do that somewhat at the end of your post, but only after you took a swipe at someone else for no reason IN THIS THREAD.

    Somewhat? WTF? As if it were a very minor vague comment at the very end of a long post?
    Good one mate. It was the MAJORITY of that post, after pointing out his huge hypocrisy.
    What a patently ridiculous thing to try and claim. Especially when you’re doing EXACTLY what you’re accusing me of.

    On to the next topic until that one is ruined too.

    Be a real shame if the door hit you repeatedly on the way out.

    I’ll not stop by this thread again, but hopefully tomorrow a new thread will be born and we can get a few interesting comments out of that one until it too inevitably turns into a pissing contest.

    Gosh, I didn’t mean it, PLEEEEEEEASE come back to this thread, you’ve taught us all so much.
    You’re nothing but a fucking massive hypocrite, just like SO.
    Did you not find any of the 12 previous comments interesting?
    When did you turn into such a big baby? 95% of all comments here are consistent with extreme right ideology. Is that not high enough for you?

    That lie the left has been perpetuating as an excuse to grow government and the influence peddling you bandy here sure seems to have met its match with the Obama Administration.

    I don’t bandy that here at all. You just think I do because you warp everything to make your own narrative work. Try again (not that it will help).

    I beg to differ.

    Pure ideological unicorn-fart fantasy-land. Human nature prevails.

    The problem is that people like you would like people to view many things that are not abuses of power as such, so you can keep justifying the growth of the nanny state.

    I don’t believe in a larger state. So your entire premise is flawed. If you think I do then you obviously have formed a view by making shit up.

    Now you can make your veiled reference to how I want to recreate Somalia here in the US for wanting smaller government.

    I assume that was a joke (at SO’s expense). If it isn’t then you’ve hoisted yourself on your own petard, once again. And provided yet more evidence of what I just said.

    The sad thing is that for all its crazy I am more inclined to give Infowars a pass and believe what I see there than anything in the LSM, where I know they are left wing propagandists. But of course you would see that as indication of a fault with me instead of the fact that our press is a complicit in helping our government abuse power.

    At this stage I would not be at all surprised at what you’d accept to legitimise your ideological extremism.

    Yet again, CM shows total lack of knowledge for the subject he comments on.

    Yet again Seattle Outcast makes a claim but can’t actually support it. At least you are 100% consistent in doing so, I’ll give you that. I won’t even ask you to back it up, because you never can.

    The cheap seats are full in this one.

    Xetrov, I didn’t realise you were a communist (by this blog’s standards).Let the rest of us have a turn with Obama when you’re done please.

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  20. CM says:

    blameme, I look forward to you (not) laying down the law in this thread:
    http://right-thinking.com/2014/04/08/asymmetric-arrogance/

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  21. ilovecress says:

    Alex, Are you for or against campaign finance reform? You seem to agree with me, in that politicians (this administration) makes it necessary to buy favours from them.

    Hist – your point about incumbent protection – you’re still talking about George Soros buying an election with a politician that’s in his pocket. Incumbent or not, how is that good, fair or democratic?

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  22. AlexInCT says:

    Alex, Are you for or against campaign finance reform?

    I am for reform. I want it streamlined. And I also would like any reform to include a legal binding agreement that whatever restrictures any legislature wishes to put on either individuals or corporate entities in the future be automatically applied to unions. I think that one caveat would end all gerrymandering bullshit the left engages in to harm the other side while helping themselves, and make it blatantly obvious that they are pretending to care about anything but their own hold on power when they engage in this shit.

    You seem to agree with me, in that politicians (this administration) makes it necessary to buy favours from them.

    I wish I could lay all the blame at the feet of this administration, especially considering how much more abusive and bad they have been at this crap than anyone that came before them, but this phenomenon predates them.

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  23. hist_ed says:

    “Hist – your point about incumbent protection – you’re still talking about George Soros buying an election with a politician that’s in his pocket. Incumbent or not, how is that good, fair or democratic?”

    If the majority of voters in a Congressional district vote for someone, then that person is democratically elected. If that happens because George Soros has convinced them to vote fore the guy, as long as everyone else had the right to make arguments then that is fair. If the government gets out of the business of telling us how much speech we get to use in a given election, then that would be good.

    How much did George Soros spend in the last few elections? All the campaign finance laws we have on the books right now aren’t exactly keeping all that evil money out of politics-just making it harder to trace.

    We have been trying to get the money out of politics since the 1970s. Every law we pass to do so fails. It’s time to admit that there will always be money in politics and the government should just step aside and let competing ideas battle it out. My campaign finance reform plan would be to eliminate all limits on donations or ads but require full instant disclosure of those donations.

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  24. Xetrov says:

    Career politicians remain the root of the problem.

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  25. hist_ed says:

    And the voters that keep voting for them.

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  26. louctiel says:

    My campaign finance reform plan would be to eliminate all limits on donations or ads but require full instant disclosure of those donations.

    Two words: Brendan Eich.

    If we say that campaign contributions are speech and if we value political speech as one of the highest and most Constitutionally protected forms of speech, then the ability to donate to whatever cause you want – even anonymously – seems to be the way to go. Otherwise support for unpopular ideas will be crushed and suppressed by the weight of a vengeful mob.

    And the voters that keep voting for them.

    Because it is always the other elected officials and in other districts and states that need to be restrained. People talk all the time about term limits but yet never take advantage of the term limiter called the “ballot box.”

    Here’s the question that I always wonder about: “how many people in this forum would sell out their constituents and (hopefully) their morals by accepting money for a “quid pro quo” vote?”

    I would believe the answer is “not many.”

    So why do we elect people that we believe would do such a thing?

    The second question is: “how many people in this forum would lie, cheat or turn a blind eye to something wrong / illegal to keep their job?”

    I suspect the answer is a little higher in number.

    So why do we say politicians are wrong when they lie, cheat and turn a blind eye to something wrong / illegal?

    The point I am trying to make us that until we act in a manner that is consistent with what we want from politicians, we are just putting more fuel on the fire. There is a difference between mere indignation and righteous indignation.

    We as citizens have to act in a manner in our daily lives that is non-corruptable AND hold politicians to that standard as well.

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  27. Section8 says:

    More proof that our government considers us to be state-owned slaves:

    http://www.infowars.com/federal-snipers-train-guns-on-family-for-filming-cattle/

    Ruby Ridge anybody?

    I’m not a fan of info wars, but it’s looking more and more like this is government bullshit. The protect the tortoise argument flies out the window when they want to build a solar plant. Just more lies and bullshit. If it’s public land, great. It’s my public land too. I say let him farm his cattle instead of a solar deal for a rich corrupt senator like Reid.

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  28. louctiel says:

    Section 8,

    I would totally agree with you except for the fact that Bundy was not paying grazing fees – the same fees that are required of other farmers and ranchers. Those fees are even set below the market rate of fees that other ranchers would charge Bundy if he were to arrange his cows to graze on their property.

    This has been going on for 20 years. The tortoise and the solar venture are new to the theater, but Bundy owes the grazing fees and simply has refused to pay them for some time.

    If one accepts the premise that this is “my public land,” then I want the fees to be collected just as they are for every other rancher and cattleman. Bundy doesn’t get to rip off the citizens of the country any more than we think the government should rip off the people.

    That being said, it seems clear that there were things the government and the BLM did in this instance that were wrong and heavy handed.

    For example, I don’t understand the idea of “First Amendment Zones” that the BLM established.

    As for the snipers, while that may be “overkill,” (pardon the terminology) it has to be remembered that militia groups were calling for armed citizens to come into the area. Were the snipers there to actively shoot? Observe? Protect other people including LEO’s? No one really knows but the fact that we are automatically assuming that they were there to shoot at someone filming the cattle shows a disconnect between the actions of the government and how those actions are perceived. We also have to take into account that there are people who like to stir up trouble even when there is none to be found.

    I truly believe that this is a situation where both sides share in the blame for what happened. Would the BLM be on the property to seize cattle if Bundy had paid the grazing fees?

    Nope.

    Would people feel threatened if the government had not reacted so forcefully?

    Nope.

    At the top of this blog there is a new post on “The Taxman Cometh” where the government is seizing money they say is owed without jumping through the same hoops that a regular person or business would have to go through. It is even legally questionable whether a debt is transferred automatically to a child once the parent dies. The debt may be attached to the deceased estate, but not a third party such as the child.

    We decry that action and rightfully so. Yet in the Bundy case, the government has gone to court and won over and over and over and over. Courts have ruled that Bundy owes the money but he refuses to pay and says he does not accept the right of the Federal government to govern the land. It seems in some ways that the government cannot win. When they act in a legal manner in the case of Bundy, people want to fight them. When then act in an illegal manner, people want to fight them.

    Bundy owes the money and should pay it. The government should not have been so heavy handed.

    The ol’ saying of “two wrongs don’t make a right” is in play here and there were a lot more than just two wrongs committed by the people involved in this mess in Nevada.

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  29. Seattle Outcast says:

    I truly believe that this is a situation where both sides share in the blame for what happened. Would the BLM be on the property to seize cattle if Bundy had paid the grazing fees

    If the stories of BLM and Reid (in it for the bribes) wanting to convert the land over for energy development are true, then the answer is yes.

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  30. louctiel says:

    If the stories of BLM and Reid (in it for the bribes) wanting to convert the land over for energy development are true, then the answer is yes.

    I don’t think so.

    At the very worst, the BLM would have gotten a court order to have Bundy remove the cattle or pay to have them removed.

    The BLM seizing the cattle is because Bundy did not pay the fees and the cattle were to be sold to repay (in portion) the fees owed.

    But we will never know the actual answer because Bundy set this train wreck in motion and the government added jet fuel to the engine driving the train.

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  31. HARLEY says:

    The way i have heard it was the family owned the ladn way back to the 1870′s then the BLM took it over and as part of the takeover deal allowed the family to graze on it,, at some point 20 years ago this guy decided not to pay the fed gov, for what he saw was a raw deal … and its been 20 fuckign years! you think someone in the Fed Gov woudl have managed to do something about this by now, then al lof a sudden When reids bitch boy takes over the BLM, he decided to move inand put some physical action in on this, jsut as reid i and his son are sweet talking the Chi Coms about a solar plant in the very same area? odd.. sweet talking

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  32. hist_ed says:

    Another wrinkle: the federal gov’t owns about 90% of Nevada. Why? This land would be more productive and better managed in private hands. I’d love to see the fed sell off most of this.

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  33. Seattle Outcast says:

    Well first off, the federal government doesn’t fucking “own” the land – they manage it in the trust of the people.

    I remember quite clearly when all of a sudden, starting with the Forest Service and quickly followed by the big three TV companies, when public land started getting referred to as “government land” and then “government property.” And thanks to people that just sit there and believe everything the government tells them, we how have a country that actually believes that all the land currently MANAGED by several government agencies is actually generally off-limits without government permission because the government owns it all.

    While military installations are generally off limits for obvious reasons, we’ve somehow let the EPA & Forest Service, currently run by Gaea-worshiping lunatics, run amok and collude with BLM (shouldn’t even exist), corrupt politicians, National Park Service, and a few other federal entities (all of whom have become very militarized in the past couple decades for no good reason) start pushing us around and having way too much say in what we do with our land and where we can go IN OUR OWN FUCKING COUNTRY. Unless, of course, you have a shitload of money to pass their way or are a member of the Envirotard religion, then you can do whatever the fuck you want while the BLM’s little army get rid of the opposition for you.

    Anyone want to take any bets on if those cattle are still alive? I think they aren’t, or at the very least he’ll never see, or be compensated for, his $350K in livestock. And where is the due process in that?

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  34. Seattle Outcast says:

    Glad to be wrong on something: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo/blm_programs/more/trespass_cattle.html

    And for the first time in decades, they acknowledge that they are PUBLIC lands.

    On the other hand, they only did it because they got caught with their pants down trying to fuck the neighbor’s wife…

    http://www.infowars.com/feds-back-down-from-bundy-siege-after-infowars-expose-of-chinese-land-grab/

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  35. Hal_10000 says:

    Just put up a post on this so we can put all discussions/links in one place.

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