Unlimited gift-giving is legalized bribery

The argument that I’ve heard and seen repeatedly against passage of a ban on expensive gifts from lobbyists comes down to this:

“If we try to limit lobbyist gifts, they’ll just go underground and keep doing it anyway. The best thing we can do is simply require them to report the gifts and leave it up to voters to decide whether the gift-taking is excessive.”

It’s a curious argument, especially coming from people who assure us that our elected representatives here in Georgia are generally good, ethical people. Boiled to its cynical essence, the argument tells us that our elected representatives are so addicted to free trips, meals, golf junkets and sports tickets that they’ll accept them even if it means breaking the law.

So rather than make them outlaws, we should allow the practice to continue?

Maybe you find that line of argument reassuring. I don’t. But if you want to find an expert on the subject, I suggest that you listen to Jack Abramoff, who was one of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington until his excesses landed him in federal prison, and is now describing how things worked.

“I think that people are under the impression that the corruption only involves somebody handing over a check and getting a favor,” Abramoff has said in media interviews. “And that’s not the case. The corruption — the bribery call it, because ultimately that’s what it is. … I’m talking about giving a gift to somebody who makes a decision on behalf of the public. At the end of the day that’s really what bribery is. But it’s done every day.”

Legislature

Take, for example, the sad case of state Rep. Kip Smith, the Republican from Columbus who was arrested last week on drunk driving charges after leaving a Buckhead restaurant. According to lobbyist disclosure forms, Smith had been “entertained” by lobbyists on at least four of the previous five evenings, and I’d be willing to bet that the conversations at those late-night dinners did not delve deeply into legislative minutiae. In fact, as the story linked above documents, Smith has accepted almost $10,000 in lobbyist gifts since arriving in the Legislature two years ago.

Abramoff got in trouble for, among other things, taking congressmen and staff on an all-expense-paid golf outing to Scotland. He also showered Congress with tickets to sporting events, meals and other gifts — or bribes, to use his term.

“Most congressmen don’t feel they’re being bought,” he said. “Most congressmen can in their own mind justify — rationalize — the system. And by the way, we wanted, as lobbyists, to have them feel that way.”

But here’s the thing: The behavior that turned into a major scandal in Washington is perfectly legal and seemingly acceptable here in Georgia. There is no real difference between the Scotland golfing junket that Abramoff arranged and the lobbyist-funded European vacation for House Speaker David Ralston and his family, except for the fact that one was considered illegal and unethical and another is considered perfectly fine.

As Abramoff puts it, “the great tragedy in American politics is what is legal, not what is illegal.” If you want that to change, you have to speak up.

– Jay Bookman

340 comments Add your comment

Normal

January 20th, 2012
7:31 am

Well Jay,
They have to take these bribes or else they’d be on food stamps and live in the ghettos…

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 20th, 2012
7:31 am

Keep on it Jay…. We need some bright line tests on what is unethical for these polititicians. Its too easy for them to slip down the slope.

Granny Godzilla

January 20th, 2012
7:32 am

Do you think I could get my State representatives ear if I offered to share my egg salad sandwich and pudding cup with them?

It’s homemade egg salad – lotsa’ onion….

Tommy Maddox

January 20th, 2012
7:38 am

Hence the concept of unlimited entitlements: bribery.

Bud Wiser

January 20th, 2012
7:40 am

By God Jay, you and I have at last found a subject matter we agre upon 100% !

Uh oh……. one of us must be having a brain freeze.

Oh well, now if you’d expose as well the legal insider trading that Congress gets away with as well, then that would be yet another step forward. The exact same conditions that land everyday citizens in federal prison is an accepted trick-of-the-trade for all of Congress.

It must be abolished now, along with this political mentality that says “do as I say do, not as I do.”

ByteMe

January 20th, 2012
7:41 am

Jay, how’s the traction on this in the papers outside of Atlanta? Anyone else picking up the baton in the districts closer to home for the crooked leadership?

Normal

January 20th, 2012
7:42 am

Y’all,
I just tried to send emals to these goobers and had various “unable to deliver” notices come
back. Anyone else have this problem?

Jay

January 20th, 2012
7:43 am

Astute question, Byteme, because that’s important.

And yes, a lot of editorial boards around the state are making similar arguments. So we’ll see….

Joe The Plumber too.

January 20th, 2012
7:43 am

thanks granny, now I want an egg salad sandwich………

Mick

January 20th, 2012
7:46 am

Hey Joe

Good luck with the plumbing this year, always like the even years better…

Whore Watcher

January 20th, 2012
7:48 am

These lowlifed whores in the legislature accepting payoffs from the crooked pimp lobbyists seem to never end. We throw one of the scumbags out and another hooker pol hack will just take their place.

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-government/new-details-on-legislators-1309821.html

SOUTHERN ATL

January 20th, 2012
7:50 am

I could not agree more. The AJC has opened a can of worms!!

Whore Watcher

January 20th, 2012
7:52 am

And yes, David Ralston in just another whore in the Ga legislature and a bald faced liar at that!!!!

PinkoNeoConLibertarian

January 20th, 2012
7:52 am

I’m with Bud on this one. This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding what is illegal for The People, is normal activity for those that make the laws as they have specifically exempted themselves when they craft the laws.

That being said, we should not lessen the pressure nor dim the light shining on this particular issue. Fight this battle to win and then move to the next battle in the war.

Guy Incognito

January 20th, 2012
7:53 am

Egg Salad??!!!?? You people are sick! That’s the most disgusting spread to EVER glop onto a slice of bread since the good Earl of Sandwich didn’t want to stop playing cards

HDB

January 20th, 2012
7:54 am

The best government corporations can buy……..

Guy Incognito

January 20th, 2012
7:54 am

Now a Headcheese.Bon Mi………there’s a sandwich to crave:-))))

Normal

January 20th, 2012
7:55 am

Best sandwich in the world is day old black eyed peas on white bread. Discovered it in South Georgia in a school cafeteria years ago.

ByteMe

January 20th, 2012
7:57 am

Thanks, Jay!

And David Ralston, if someone is reading this to you, here’s the argument in a nutshell:

Someone who is truly concerned about their behavior being ethical will do everything in their power not to use their political/business power to obtain a personal benefit — like a trip to Europe for the family. You haven’t shown that you are willing to do that so far. So you are part of the problem, just like your predecessor.

Brosephus

January 20th, 2012
7:58 am

I’m guessing the average Georgia resident doesn’t think twice about the fact that public workers are banned from accepting gifts that legislators see as the way of doing business. If it’s ok for one segment of government workers, then why is it not the same across the board? People are worried about possible corruption of secretaries and pencil pushers, yet they give an unconditional pass to the people who write the laws and actually make the decisions that dictate which direction the state moves. There has to be a serious disconnect with a voting public that sees nothing wrong with this kind of arrangement.

Bud Wiser

January 20th, 2012
7:58 am

Jay, even your most liberal political insider, confidant and ‘friend’ would gleefully see you tossed into prison for something they most likely do every day – insider trading.

No difference, ethically or otherwise, from the legalized bribe (legal also I might add only for Congress) known as lobbyists gifts.

Guy Incognito

January 20th, 2012
7:59 am

Normal

Interesting…..ever had the “Hot Brown” at the Brown Hotel in L’ville?

Granny Godzilla

January 20th, 2012
8:00 am

Guy

My old German Granny made her own head cheese. We would see her coming down the street with the pig head wrapped in newspaper and we scattered to the four winds…..eeeek.

ByteMe

January 20th, 2012
8:00 am

There has to be a serious disconnect with a voting public that sees nothing wrong with this kind of arrangement.

There’s always been a serious disconnect between the average Georgia voter’s ears. Can’t explain our politicians any other way.

Brosephus

January 20th, 2012
8:00 am

Normal

WTF!!!!!!!
:)

Bud Wiser

January 20th, 2012
8:00 am

I knew a kid that ate almost nothing but mayo sandwiches – mayo spread thickly between 2 slices of Sunbeam white bread.

He also was the only person I ever knew that had a complete set of uper and lower dentures while in his twenties.

Don’t know if there is any correlation.

Mick

January 20th, 2012
8:00 am

Unlimited gifts? Santa Claus at least made a list and checked it twice…

Joe The Plumber too.

January 20th, 2012
8:01 am

Mick, the year is shaping up so far to be a good one but in the service field as long as you keep your name good it never slows down. Showing my age a bit but I have been at this so long now that we are in second generation homes and working towards the third generation, haven’t had to pay through the nose to ATT/BellSouth advertising for quite a few years now, that helps the nest egg. I hope you have a good year as well.
Normal, you guys have to stop with the food already, egg salad, black eyed peas….and Mrs. Joe has me eating rabbit food……

Brosephus

January 20th, 2012
8:02 am

ByteMe

No argument here. :)

ByteMe

January 20th, 2012
8:02 am

Normal, day-old black-eyed peas sandwich… that’s so wrong.

Normal

January 20th, 2012
8:04 am

Guy Incognito

January 20th, 2012
7:59 am

Guy,
No. And I’m a Kentuckian too. What is it?

—————————————

SoCo,
Try it and you’ll be hooked. Over thears I have only added a little tabasco for a little kick.

Jay

January 20th, 2012
8:05 am

Peadawg

January 20th, 2012
8:05 am

“Unlimited gift-giving” – Dang…thought Jay was going to talk about food stamps, unemployment checks, medicaid, etc. etc.

Jay

January 20th, 2012
8:07 am

That’s because some people only have a one-track mind, Peadawg…..

AmVet - A proud, card carrying member of the EOI Union.

January 20th, 2012
8:09 am

The bribery and greed is so entrenched and so pervasive that these elected “leaders” are absolutely unapologetic about it anymore. Because they know that there really aren’t any corresponding consequences. They’ve trained their constituencies that effectively.

Both in Atlanta and in Washington.

But especially here, where the word ethics is like holy water to Republican vampires.

And Abramoff’s quote says it, all and explains most of the calamities that have befallen we the people lately – “the great tragedy in American politics is what is legal, not what is illegal.”

And as the distributors of the largesse and the benefactors of K Street’s (among others) “free speech”, the bribe-takers in DC have written the laws such that we now have legalized thievery.

Welcome to the aftermath of the corporate destruction of capitalism…

Normal

January 20th, 2012
8:10 am

ByteMe,
I used to hang out with the “poor” kids in school. Saw one of them eating one. I traded half
of my Mom’s sandwich for the other half. Fell in love with them. Every lunch, we’d barter my stuff for theirs. Got love all sorts of “poor folks” food (not the eatery). Fun times!

Guy Incognito

January 20th, 2012
8:10 am

Normal

For shame for shame! Google “Hot Brown” It’s an open-faced turkey sandwich with hollandaise sauce. This year is the 75th anniversary of its creation. The wife and I are starting the Bourbon Trail there in April

GG

I would’ve fought her for the cheek meat off that head. MMMMMMMMMMMMM

Freedom Watch

January 20th, 2012
8:11 am

Most of the Politicans from both the Democrats and the Republicans are paid off by the Lobbyist. President Obama promised that he wouldn’t take money from lobbyist. But he lied and now we find out that President Obama has taken more money from wallstreet, the Major Banks, and outside Lobbyist like george Soros than any other President in recent history. So much for I won’t take money from special interest groups.

Normal

January 20th, 2012
8:12 am

But enough about sandwiches…unlimited gift giving will never stop unless the voters care as been said before. How do you make them care should be the topic. Off to the salt mines.

5-0

January 20th, 2012
8:16 am

The funny thing is they have no problems passing laws or setting guidelines that prohibit non-elected gov’t employees from receiving gifts. That’s as it should be. The truth of matter is you cannot trust many people to “self” regulate. We need a different way to enforce ethics on politicians. They cannot be trusted with it.

Bruno

January 20th, 2012
8:18 am

Neeeeeeewt!!! Kicked ass again last night.

The more I’m watching the four remaining Republicans in the race, the more I’m liking them, even Ron Paul. Particularly entertaining last night was when Newt appealed directly to the parents ““Elect us and your kids will be able to move out ‘. Priceless.

SOUTHERN ATL

January 20th, 2012
8:18 am

As long as millions of dollars are poured into the propaganda machine (negative campaign ads) people will be confused as to what is true verses what is false. With the internet being such a powerhouse, and all of the software that can fabricate actual things/events, how can the truth be brought out?

Bud Wiser

January 20th, 2012
8:19 am

The thought has occured to me that by this time, a blog by Jay would be twice this size in responses if the subject matter was of the usual tilt.

Hmmm, there may be something across the board here correlation-wise when Normal says “…unlimited gift giving will never stop unless the voters care….

Interesting.

Maybe it’s whose interest can be bought for whatever reason?

Normal

January 20th, 2012
8:20 am

Bruno

January 20th, 2012
8:20 am

USinUK–Back later to debate Obama’s “accomplishment”. Too bad it’s up to the bloggers here to build a case for your candidate. Jay’s too busy trying to run down the Republicans to find much positive to say about his own choice.

Peadawg

January 20th, 2012
8:21 am

Neeeeeeewt!!! Is an idiot.

Fixed your typo, Bruno.

Mary Elizabeth

January 20th, 2012
8:26 am

I realize that accepting gifts from lobbyists is done across party lines. Our government was originally designed to serve the people’s interest. Accepting “gifts” from lobbyists is only one way that politicians are polluting and corrupting our conscientiously designed government, which was set in motion, originally, to enhance the lives of ordinary citizens.

I find it morally despicable when certain politicians, who make an ideology of demonizing our “government” as well as demonizing those humble citizens who receive certain benefits from our government, such as Social Security and Medicare, as “leeches on the government teat,” when they, themselves, “use” our nobly-crafted government for their petty, selfish materialist/monetary gain.

In fact, many of these men and women become politicians – in the first place – not to serve the public’s interests, as did our founders, but to grow their own private wealth off the public’s dime. Then, they have the gall to condemn our government – which was designed to serve the people’s common interests by such fine minds as Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Washington, Franklin – while they, themselves, manuever to privatize as much of “government” as they can for the benefit of those wealthy and powerful corporate moguls, who finance their political campaigns, so that both they, and their corporate well-heeled mentors, can continue to grow even more wealthy off of “the government.” That is being a “leech off the government teat” in grand style!

I just want them to know that I know.

believe the thirst for money and material gain, and using our government which was designed to serve the people’s interest,

Mick

January 20th, 2012
8:26 am

bruno

You can wrap up all the repub candidates and roll them into one and you still wouldn’t have the intellect, pragmatism, and common sense of president obama! Admit it, he is the man for these times…

Bruno

January 20th, 2012
8:32 am

Fixed your typo, Bruno.

Peadawg–Have any of you Libs ever considered developing some new “jokes”?? Most things are funny the first 2 or 3 million times, not so funny afterward. Ditto for “watching heads ’splode”, “let me make some popcorn”, etc. But, given you guys inability to actually debate the issues, I guess it’s to be expected.

Admit it, he is the man for these times…

You’d have to slip me some major payola to do that, Mick.

Jay

January 20th, 2012
8:34 am

Peadawg is now a Lib?

My work here is (almost) done.

Adam

January 20th, 2012
8:35 am

“If we try to limit lobbyist gifts, they’ll just go underground and keep doing it anyway. The best thing we can do is simply require them to report the gifts and leave it up to voters to decide whether the gift-taking is excessive.”

Why does that sound familiar….. is the NRA making their talking points for them?

Paul

January 20th, 2012
8:35 am

The slow drip becomes a steady stream becomes a strong flow becomes a torrent and washes the dirt away.

You’re cleaning things up, Jay. Good job.

Matti

January 20th, 2012
8:36 am

Granny G,

If there are any sandwiches left, I’d love one!

Bruno,

Sometimes we have to get LOCAL. Deal with it. Any commentary about this state is indeed “running down the Republicans,” because they run the whole dang thing. We don’t focus enough on these BUZZARDS who are running down Georgia!

AmVet - A proud, card carrying member of the EOI Union.

January 20th, 2012
8:36 am

Mary, to your point, even though we have been hearing this claptrap for decades now, it is always very amusing to me to hear every idiot from Ronald Reagan to Mitt Romney puke up the line that Washington/government is not the answer.

All the while they are trying desperately to be an entrenched part of the supposed non-answer!

Incredible…

saywhat?

January 20th, 2012
8:37 am

Bruno is smitten with too much man love for the Newtser to think straight (if he ever could). How anybody can’t see through Newt’s hypocrisy, especially with new examples showing up nearly every day, is beyond me.

Adam

January 20th, 2012
8:37 am

As Abramoff puts it, “the great tragedy in American politics is what is legal, not what is illegal.”

Sounds like a call for *GASP* regulation!!!

Mick

January 20th, 2012
8:38 am

bruno

No problem dude, major payola on the way tonight! Have a great day and don’t forget to meet the client where the client is at…

Peadawg

January 20th, 2012
8:38 am

“Peadawg–Have any of you Libs”

Lib? No.

Open-minded and not brainwashed by Fox? Yes.

Peadawg

January 20th, 2012
8:39 am

“given you guys inability to actually debate”

What would you like to debate?

Brosephus

January 20th, 2012
8:40 am

Peadawg is now a Lib?

My work here is (almost) done.

:lol: :lol:

Mary Elizabeth

January 20th, 2012
8:41 am

AmVet @ 8:36

Exactly, and “entrenched” for self-serving interests, primarily.

AmVet - A proud, card carrying member of the EOI Union.

January 20th, 2012
8:41 am

Adam, that nitwit from Pennsylvania said last night that when he is inaugurated (HUGE belly laugh at that one!) he would immediately remove every regulation enacted in the past three years.

What is in them and what they do or don’t do, I’m sure he has no earthly idea.

Is it then any wonder why we have the willfully ignorant parrots here say the very same things?

Bruno

January 20th, 2012
8:42 am

Peadawg is now a Lib?

Not really sure what he is, Jay, because he seems all over the map to me.

But not to worry, I apply the same standards of conduct to all posters. Can you say the same??

Jay

January 20th, 2012
8:42 am

C’mon Peadawg, confess.

“Open-minded and not brainwashed by Fox?” = Liberal. It’s an either/or proposition among conservatives.

Peadawg

January 20th, 2012
8:44 am

“Open-minded and not brainwashed by Fox?” = Liberal. It’s an either/or proposition among conservatives.”

:lol:

Nice

Jay

January 20th, 2012
8:45 am

Bruno, why don’t ask the recently departed Liberal lefty or Pewter that question?

Oh wait, you can ask but they can’t answer ….

Jay

January 20th, 2012
8:47 am

Bruno, if you don’t know what Peadawg is and believe that he “is all over the place,” explain why you labeled him a Lib?

Bruno

January 20th, 2012
8:47 am

How anybody can’t see through Newt’s hypocrisy, especially with new examples showing up nearly every day, is beyond me

saywhat?–If you think I don’t see Newt’s flaws, then you haven’t been reading many of my posts. My support for him is simple: He is by far the most qualified candidate on either side of the political aisle right now.

Tell me, what do you expect Obama to accomplish in the next four years that he hasn’t done already?? Given the fact that around 80% of his “accomplishments” have been an abject disaster, I’m not wiling to give him any more of my time.

Back later to debate the issues. In the middle of another 14 day stretch without a day off.

“Work will set you free”.

AmVet - A proud, card carrying member of the EOI Union.

January 20th, 2012
8:47 am

Peadawg, IS all over the map.

And that is a bad thing, how?

It certainly keeps many of the rest of us on our toes!

Road Scholar

January 20th, 2012
8:47 am

Bruno: “Admit it, he is the man for these times…”

To do what? I hear there are custodian opennings in Cobb!

Adam

January 20th, 2012
8:48 am

AmVet: Is it then any wonder why we have the willfully ignorant parrots here say the very same things?

I’m of the opinion the candidates are parrots too. Wealth envy? We all know that one from MONTHS perhaps YEARS of rhetoric. Romney is picking it up NOW because he is trying to pull the blog-o-vote or something. Newt is trying to get the racists to vote for him talking about food stamps and such, in other words his ideas are not original and also come from the talking points. Ron Paul is trying to pull the libertarians by name checking the Constitution every chance he can and acting like a lawless society is best for our country, except for abortions…. Santorum is perhaps the only one with no new material, but that does give him some appeal to the people who want to “go back to the 50s” when gay people didn’t exist, or something.

Throughout the debates I was amazed to see just how many lines they used that were entirely devised by personalities like Rush and Hannity and other Fox people. The one that is particularly ironic is attacking the media, when the media they get their material from has been so successful. That and Ron Paul’s idea that he can be in public office while trying to dismantle his very own job.

Peadawg

January 20th, 2012
8:54 am

“Back later to debate the issues.”

After I ask him what he wants to debate…he runs.

Road Scholar

January 20th, 2012
8:54 am

Bruno:”Tell me, what do you expect Obama to accomplish in the next four years that he hasn’t done already?? ”

Build a Kremlin next to the White House…. There that is out of the way for this socialist- communist- nail biter – closet smoker to do! I just thought that I’d jump in to beat the conserves to it! Oh and regulate, regulate regulate… Oh, the uncertainty!!!

Quagmire

January 20th, 2012
8:56 am

What’s up Jay??………I can’t wait until we start talking about the debate last night, priceless!!!!!!!!!!……….best reality show on TV besides professional sports

Matti

January 20th, 2012
8:56 am

I just emailed my State Rep. Historically, when ever I contact his office on an issue, the response is along the lines of: “He has not made up his mind on that one. Can we get your number and call you back?”

I said: “I am in favor of taking the money and special interests OUT of our government and returning the focus to what is best for the people of this State. I want our legislators to be accountable to the people they serve, not the people who buy their attentions. Do you agree?”

Will y’all please do the right thing and contact your State Reps and Senators? Seriously. They think we’re not paying attention and they can do whatever the *bleep* they want — for themselves — at our expense!

C’mon it just takes a minute!

Adam

January 20th, 2012
8:58 am

Apparently Gingrich pays 31.5% in taxes. Now THAT is more like it…. ALMOST makes me respect him and back him as the candidate.

AmVet - A proud, card carrying member of the EOI Union.

January 20th, 2012
8:59 am

B, brings up a good point about the next four years.

I think there is at least a decent probability that he will change at least some of his songs in his second term. Perhaps without the prospect of any more elections, he can start truly becoming an instrument to change the failed status quo.

The great question of our time is does he really have the testicular fortitude to stand up to the corporatocracy, the plutocrats and the oligarchs in the 1% in a second term? Will he truly become a champion for the little guy in this country. I suspect not, but perhaps.

I do not see that ANY of these post-Bush neo-cons would ever dare even try to do such a thing. They are utterly shameless and proud of the current clusterf&ck that they helped create. They LOVE our Two Americas, because they are all in the right one.

But the most amazing thing, and something that will be written about for many years, is how they actually trained their lapdogs int heir “base” to work AGAINST their own interests and to believe that this travesty is the proper evolution of capitalism.

And therefore they can all go to their Christian hell…

Adam

January 20th, 2012
9:00 am

Matti: My congressman, or one of them, gives me canned answers that he has already taken a position and he is right, presumably making anyone who disagrees wrong and not worthy of being listened to.

Talking Head

January 20th, 2012
9:00 am

“Newt is trying to get the racists to vote for him talking about food stamps and such”

Not at all. Here you go again, Adam trying to equate everything to racism. Newt is simply pointing out the fact that this President is more interested in the Government supplementing food, housing, etc. than going out and getting a job. He’s making the point that this President views welfare programs as a legitamite cause, when the whole point of welfare programs are for ’safety net’ purposes and not designed as a way of life.

Paul

January 20th, 2012
9:01 am

Off Topic.

“Red Tails” a film by George Lucas, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. opens today. An account of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black group of fighter pilots in WWII whose story of sacrifice on behalf of service to America’s ideals, not her present condition, is one of the finest stories told in military history.

It’ll be worth seeing.

http://www.amctheatres.com/Movies/Red_Tails/

St Simons - we're on Island time

January 20th, 2012
9:01 am

“I might be a crook, but I’m youuur crook. And I ain’t gonna
let the boogeyman come & take yore guns. Now praise jaysus”
That’s how they do it down here.

didn’t have to wait a whole page for the bu…bu…bu…Obama

and never make a black-eyed pea samwich without a vidalia onion

independent thinker

January 20th, 2012
9:03 am

Do a little research and you will find that the saintly god fearing Rick Santorum was one of the top pay to play Senators while in office. There was a direct connection between donations he got and legislation he proposed like privatising the National weather service.

State Reps Email Addresses and Phone Numbers

January 20th, 2012
9:04 am

Did someone post those numbers or website for them?

Adam

January 20th, 2012
9:05 am

AmVet: Perhaps without the prospect of any more elections, he can start truly becoming an instrument to change the failed status quo.

To be fair, 1) Obama is more centrist than most people give him credit for, not just in actual action but also in philosophy and 2) He and his advisers probably know that if he pushes too much in his second term there will be a backlash against his Presidency a la Obama winning after 8 years of Bush.

Also, there is Congress to worry about. I don’t see it flipping back to Democrat control in the House, and certainly not to filibuster proof majority in the Senate. Sadly, McConnell will likely win another term in 2014 no matter who is President at the time.

USinUK

January 20th, 2012
9:05 am

Pdawg – “unlimited gift-giving” – I thought he was going to talk about Newt’s bill at Tiffanys …

Paul

January 20th, 2012
9:06 am

Morning, Adam

Yeah, and Newt donated less than 3 percent to those less fortunate. Then again, why should he? That’s what we have food stamps for! (grin)

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 20th, 2012
9:07 am

ByteMe

January 20th, 2012
9:07 am

Apparently Gingrich pays 31.5% in taxes. Now THAT is more like it…. ALMOST makes me respect him and back him as the candidate.

Not sure I respect his accountant, though. :)

USinUK

January 20th, 2012
9:09 am

“Build a Kremlin next to the White House”

now, that’s funny.

well played, Road!

Adam

January 20th, 2012
9:09 am

Talking Head: Not at all. Here you go again, Adam trying to equate everything to racism

Because Newt’s comments on food stamps = EVERYTHING :roll: :roll: :roll:

Seriously, the man IS playing to the prejudice in the Republican base. The prejudice inherent in people who make statements such as Newt is simply pointing out the fact that this President is more interested in the Government supplementing food, housing, etc. than going out and getting a job. If you can’t see how that is prejudiced and also completely incorrect, then you are part of the problem.

While He’s making the point that this President views welfare programs as a legitamite cause, when the whole point of welfare programs are for ’safety net’ purposes and not designed as a way of life. is legitimate, when a candidate fails to recognize how statements make it seem as though he only views minorities as being on these programs, and pushes further to suggest that those same people have no idea what a paycheck looks like and have no desire to, that is highly prejudiced.

AmVet - A proud, card carrying member of the EOI Union.

January 20th, 2012
9:13 am

Adam, good points.

I just hope he steps up his game in the “second half”.

Another of Sanitarium’s et al, bald-faced Republican lies posited as some sort of religious truth – reduce corporate tax rates (ideally) to zero and watch these vast and escalating problems for the working class just go away.

The Wall Street asskissers should be tarred, feathered and run out of Washington…

Brosephus

January 20th, 2012
9:14 am

The great question of our time is does he really have the testicular fortitude to stand up to the corporatocracy, the plutocrats and the oligarchs in the 1% in a second term? Will he truly become a champion for the little guy in this country. I suspect not, but perhaps.

As he sits as the very definition of a Reagan Democrat right now, I don’t see the testicular fortitude or spine to do anything different from what he’s done so far. If he gets a 2nd term, I think it will be more of the same thing of trying to please all the people, all the time. The one big difference between Bush and Obama is that Bush had his set of beliefs and he rode those beliefs until the wheels fell off, regardless to what others thought or felt. Obama’s trying too hard to get everybody to agree on things where it is virtually impossible to get a consensus on.

Adam

January 20th, 2012
9:14 am

AmVet: Everyone is just jealous of Mint RawMoney. :D

Talking Head

January 20th, 2012
9:15 am

“Seriously, the man IS playing to the prejudice in the Republican base. The prejudice inherent in people who make statements such as Newt is simply pointing out the fact that this President is more interested in the Government supplementing food, housing, etc. than going out and getting a job. If you can’t see how that is prejudiced and also completely incorrect, then you are part of the problem.”

Adam, I’m sorry you have to view everything in terms of race or prejudice. You can’t be helped.

Adam

January 20th, 2012
9:17 am

Brosephus: The one big difference between Bush and Obama is that Bush had his set of beliefs and he rode those beliefs until the wheels fell off, regardless to what others thought or felt.

This is a major part of what caused Obama to get such popularity in the general election in 2008. That is why I do not see Obama pushing things through “until the wheels fall off,” like the progressives want, as a good thing. It would mean a Republican President for 2016, and likely a Republican Congress, and they will finally and completely undo any progress that has been made over the previous 50 years.

AmVet - A proud, card carrying member of the EOI Union.

January 20th, 2012
9:19 am

Adam, for the umpteenth time, please realize that there is absolutely not one scintilla of evidence of continued systemic racism, bigotry and xenophobia in the Republican Party. (grin)

Adam

January 20th, 2012
9:20 am

Talking Head: Adam, I’m sorry you have to view everything in terms of race or prejudice.

I’m sorry you don’t see how prejudicial you are when you say stuff like “Obama prefers government programs to people getting a job.” That’s nonsense. It’s also nonsense that I view “everything” (or even most things) in terms of race and prejudice, and you know it. If all you wanted to do was stop talking to me you could easily do that by just NOT RESPONDING and not reading my posts. But no, you have to attempt to insult first to justify it publicly, in frat boy fashion. Why do you feel the need to be approved of by others?

Adam

January 20th, 2012
9:22 am

AmVet: Oh and let’s not forget the REPUBLICAN party, decades ago, were for the civil rights movement and the Democrats were not. Because obviously that means the Republicans have many friends who are black. :D

AmVet - A proud, card carrying member of the EOI Union.

January 20th, 2012
9:23 am

I won’t speak for Bro, but I’m tired of milquetoasts playing four corner basketball, while the vast majority of Americans continue to slide down the now forty year old toilet bowl.

Give me an angry black man with some…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W-fIn2QZgg

Joe Hussein Mama

January 20th, 2012
9:24 am

Bruno — “Particularly entertaining last night was when Newt appealed directly to the parents ““Elect us and your kids will be able to move out.”

And move into the boiler rooms at their elementary schools so they can be close to work.