No, Speaker Ralston. Ethics reform is not a partisan issue

If you believe House Speaker David Ralston, ethics reform is a liberal cause backed by liberal groups and the liberal media, and conservatives who join the campaign for ethics reform are being played for suckers in an attempt to divide the Republican Party.

“In times of great majorities like we enjoy now, we must remember that there are those around us who seek nothing less than to divide us. There are those who would sow the seeds of dissension and discord in order to advance a self-absorbed agenda that’s not consistent with the best interests of our party.

Let me be very clear. Regardless of the course that others may take, as for me and the people’s House of this state, we are going to stand united, working hard, standing Republican shoulder to Republican shoulder, to make Georgia a better state — and not align ourselves with media elites and liberal special interest groups. …”

That statement — uttered by Ralston at the state GOP convention in Columbus Friday — is the biggest load of baloney I have seen from a Georgia politician not named Newt Gingrich. It is also a two-fold insult to the base of his party, suggesting that ethics reform is not a conservative value and that Republican voters and activists who support such reform are being duped.

Democratic candidates and strategists would no doubt be pleased by Ralston’s confession that ethics reform is a liberal cause, and they are no doubt eager to campaign on that idea. The only problem is, it isn’t true.

Liberal Americans and conservative Americans don’t agree about a lot of things. But they do agree about the impropriety of elected public officials taking $17,000 family vacations to Europe on a lobbyist’s dollar, as Ralston has done. They do agree that lobbyists shouldn’t be plying public officials of either party with $250 rounds of golf and $300 dinners and $500-a-night resort hotel rooms. There is no partisan divide among the citizens of Georgia on that question, and Ralston knows it.

Any doubt that might have existed about that fact should be wiped away by what has happened in Columbus this weekend. At the urging of the GOP rank and file, the party’s executive committee has voted unanimously to put an advisory question on the GOP primary ballot this July, asking primary voters whether they support a $100 limit on gifts from lobbyists to legislators.

The people who supported that measure are not liberals and they are not liberal dupes, as Ralston seems to suggest. The same is true of Republican primary voters who will vote overwhelming in favor of that measure come July.

Ralston’s attempt to make this a test of party loyalty is ludicrous. He has clearly decided that preserving the privileges and entitlements that he and his fellow elected officials enjoy is more important than honoring the opinions of his party membership and the people of Georgia.

The divide, in other words, is not between Republican and Democrat or liberal and conservative. The divide is between the people of this state and those who believe that the title of senator or representative is an entitlement to the spoils of power.

As the AJC’s Jim Galloway reports, a group calling itself the Capitol Coalition of Conservative Government has responded to Ralston’s statement, and they have put their case well:

“We strongly condemn the comments made by Speaker Ralston regarding ethics reform. Strong ethics and accountability are not a matter of right versus left. They are a matter of right versus wrong.

His comments imply that voters and activists should hide our eyes from the realities of ethics violations and the need for reform, and stand by everyone no matter what they do, simply because they have an “R” behind their name.

Rather than open his heart to the cries from citizens that we have the right to call for accountability, his comments reflect those of someone who seeks to divide our party by falsely accusing those who stand for our values of being divisive. His comments were arrogant and pompous and show an attitude that is anything but a humble public servant.”

It is also amusing to see Ralston once again trying to perform an exquisite ethical two-step. On the one hand, he argues that as speaker he “represent(s) a caucus that are basically good people doing good jobs,” and he feigns surprise that Republican voters and activists might question their ethical purity.

He then turns around and warns that if gifts over $100 are outlawed, those very same “good people” would begin to accept those gifts under the table, in violation of the law. He seems to believe that members of his own caucus would rather break the law than give up their goodies, and he seems to believe that members of his own party have become dupes of “media elites and liberal special interest groups” because they dare demand clean government.

Personally, I think more highly of his caucus and his party than the speaker does.

– Jay Bookman

323 comments Add your comment

MEGO

May 19th, 2012
11:52 am

Unbelievable!!

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
12:02 pm

That statement — uttered by Ralston at the state GOP convention in Columbus Friday — is the biggest load of baloney I have seen uttered by a Georgia politician not named Newt Gingrich.

C’mon Jay, don’t soft peddle it. Tell us what you really think.

carlosgvv

May 19th, 2012
12:12 pm

And now, a translation.

“Let me be very clear. Regardless of the course that Democrats take, as for me and the Corporate State of this House, we are going to stand united, working hard, standing Republican shoulder to Republican shoulder, to align ourselves to every Big Business special interest group that keeps us in election and re-election money.

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
12:20 pm

“Democratic candidates and strategists would no doubt be pleased by Ralston’s confession that ethics reform is a liberal cause”

Could you please point out exactly where Ralston confessed that ethics reform is a liberal cause. Unless you’re putting words in his mouth I don’t see it.

GT

May 19th, 2012
12:29 pm

The smell hasn’t left the room from the last speaker and here we go again. I take the remarks of Ralston as a left handed compliment to the Democrats and kind of what has been campaigned as a reason to vote for the Democratic candidates. The state rubber stamps these rough neck Republicans into office like a communist country. We have come to expect arrogant and pompous comments from superior beings in the Republican Party, they represent a lot of the same in the party itself. It is the heart of their bigotry as it was Hitler’s. Could you imagine Ralston handing Jesse Owens any differently than Hitler did in 1936. What sheep do is follow these kind of weak characters and then deny them when the winds of public opinion blows back on them. This will be one more thing forgotten by the population when evidence is heard on why not to vote for wing nuts. The one thing about the right is there is plenty more stupidity from where that came from, and they will keep reminding us how dysfunctional this party is.

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
12:29 pm

All this over $100 or less gifts? Seriously? Now if you need to talk about real corruption rather than penny ante stuff than we need to talk about stuff like trying to bribe a preacher 150k to shut up or Tony Rezko selling you a house worth approximately 600k for half that price for no reason at all. Now THAT would be corruption.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4111483&page=1

Jay

May 19th, 2012
12:30 pm

GT, I think comparing Ralston to Hitler is taking this thing much too far.

Jay

May 19th, 2012
12:32 pm

And Thulsa, stop making such a damn fool of yourself.

Or don’t. After all, it’s the one thing that you excel at.

Brosephus™

May 19th, 2012
12:34 pm

Could you please point out exactly where Ralston confessed that ethics reform is a liberal cause. Unless you’re putting words in his mouth I don’t see it.

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/05/18/house-speaker-to-gop-liberal-groups-behind-ethics-push/

At the Capitol this year, ethics reform was pushed by a coalition that included both tea party elements, conservative Republicans, and consumer groups – some of which indeed have ties to Democrats. Others do not. Afterwards, my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin and I asked the speaker who he was targeting with his remarks.

“I’ll let the people out there determine that,” Ralston said.

When we pressed, Ralston said this:

”There’s been some continuing chatter, and you know, every once in a while I think that part of my job as Speaker is to remind people that I represent a caucus that are basically good people doing good jobs.The inference by some on this issue suggests otherwise.

“My whole point was that… you can’t be united as a party and be in bed with groups like Common Cause and Georgia Watch. These are very liberal groups, that have no interest in seeing a Republican agenda succeed. It’s pretty simple.”

captguitarman

May 19th, 2012
12:36 pm

One of your best efforts, Jay. Great column. I’m reminded of an old joke involving the phrase “Tell it all, brother . . . . tell it all.” And you certainly have done that today. You, Wingfield, many, many bloggers, both Pub/Cons and Dem/Libs alike, as you have noted, have tried in vain to make the case, to persuade, cajole, reason, inform, etc. the Gold Domers like Ralston that this is not a partisan issue. But obviously to no avail. But, Ralston’s only defense is to raise the spectre of partisanship, liberal media elitism, divisiveness, etc. because there is no real ethical (forgive the usage) defense for this kind of activity, even if it is reported (which all of it is not, as we know). It subverts the legislative process and creates an unfair and uneven playing field in the legislature, and they all know it, enjoy the fruits of it, and are determined not to give it up unless it is pried out of their cold dead fingers.

As you and Wingfield, and many others have noted in these blogs, the Gold Dome culture of legislative entitlement is the problem and the issue here, not Pub/Con or Dem/Lib partisanship. Just look at the King Roy years, and you will find them mirrored exactly under the Dome today – jes good ol’ boys doin’ bidness. The vote in the primary in July is progress for sure, but unless these guys are threatened with losing their jobs, it may not matter. It won’t with Ralston and his supporters, as he has made clear.

And the really sad part is that as you noted at the end of your blog, they will look at you with a straght face and extol their personal ethics and virtues and tell you what good people they are – far above selling their political influence for perqs and gifts regardless of their value — and then tell you just as plainly that if you force limits on us by law, we will just break the law, and get what we are entitled to under the table. This culture hurts the state of Georgia, once the capital of the new south and now lagging behind sister states who don’t allow this kind of thing. But, that is another whole essay.

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
12:37 pm

Jay,

You knew I had to razz you a bit.

I am in full agreement with the article and that its a non partisan issue. And yes. You are right. It is and should be a non partisan issue and there is no reason whatsoever for the limit to not be $100 or less- particularly in light of Ralston’s $17000 trip to Europe which smells worse than my brother’s cow pasture full of manure. I still got to needle you guys a little bit though.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
12:37 pm

Does anyone besides myself click on the supplied links?

So many silly questions would be answered if people did that before commenting.

Just sayin’.

Brosephus™

May 19th, 2012
12:37 pm

It is also a two-fold insult to the base of his party, suggesting that ethics reform is not a conservative value and that Republican voters and activists who support such reform are being duped.

The proof is in the pudding with that one Jay. The only way we’ll know whether Ralson’s right or not is on election night. If those who have less than stellar ethical records are re-elected without a shadow of a doubt, you’ll have your answer. If the GOP voter really wants ethics reform, they will remove the unethical behavior when the person committing the behavior does not stop it on their own.

St Simons- island off the coast of New Somalia

May 19th, 2012
12:41 pm

these cons jumped the shark a few yrs ago.
The biggest pee-on-the-state-constitution moment in the history
of statehood was by these wads – check out Jekyll.
After that, there’s just no outrage anymore.

And just think, 16 yrs ago, we were the jewel of the new south
& hosting the world olympics and the G8. And now we’re
a laugh track with a banjo accompaniment.
Congratulations, Ga Republicans

Jay

May 19th, 2012
12:44 pm

Don’t be hatin’ on the banjo, St. Simons… :>)

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
12:45 pm

Brocephus,

Come on now. He never said anything remotely close to the idea that ethics is a liberal issue only. He did dance around the whole issue by stating that the liberals are trying to divide the R party and the people- something that both parties always try to do, especially in the political season. Nevertheless its a paltry $100 that the ethics seekers are looking for in terms of gifts and it should be adopted. I hope the tea party and other con groups are all over this guy’s ass for not only his trip but for not adopting the rule. If not and if he himself is not defeated by a tea party type then they deserve to lose the state of Georgia in upcoming elections.

My only point was that this is still small potatoes and pales in comparison to alleged corruption at the airport and within the city of Atlanta which is controlled by Dems. There is after all a reason Bill Campbell went to jail.

Nevertheless the $100 gift rule needs to be passed. Its the right thing to do.

St Simons- island off the coast of New Somalia

May 19th, 2012
12:55 pm

fair enough. I’ve got a Stelling in da music room, i love em too.
workin on a better metaphor…

Brosephus™

May 19th, 2012
12:55 pm

Doom

What you’re saying is just like the separation of church and state defense. “It doesn’t exist because that’s not stated word for word in the Constitution”.

Jay and others might like your little “needle the libs” crap, so you can go play that stuff with them. The corruption at the airport and city of Atlanta is from within the city. The ethical stuff in the Assembly affects the entire state much more. Trying to equate the two is nothing but deflection. If unethical conduct is bad in Atlanta and the airport, then it’s equally bad under the Gold Dome. I can’t for the life of me understand why you and others always have to deflect to something else instead of just either agreeing or disagreeing with whatever the topic is.

Everybody knows that neither party runs like ethical angels.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

May 19th, 2012
12:56 pm

Well, I see this 68 year old woman got sentenced to life plus five years for shooting her husband because he wouldn’t take her to the store. I don’t know how you do five years after you do life. I guess they keep the dead body for a while. Anyhow, it all goes to show that a married man needs to sleep with one eye open. The older they get, the meaner married women get.

I don’t know why Bookman’s all upset because the legislaters take a few bribes gifts. Heck, I wish somebody would buy me and the missus and little Nathan Zell George a $17,000 trip to Europe. Anyhow, these legislaters only get paid $20,000 or so. That’s less than they pay a beer truck driver. You know these folks have got to have some way to pay for those $80 meals and greens fees and stuff like that. And you know good and well they don’t spend $200K to get reelected just so they can pull down a $20K salary.

I think the gripers are just jealous because the librul Democrats ain’t getting no gifts. Bookman would shut up like a oyster if the librul Democrats were in charge down at the statehouse and pulling in fancy meals and women to sleep with and such.

Anyhow, it’s almost time for me and my buddy Jim Earl and my other buddy Joe Bill to meet up at Countryland Golf Club. It’s fine weather and Joe Bill don’t have to worry about messing up the new golf shoes he got at Goodwill for 10 bucks. And our buddy, the greenskeeper Sam, has got us some free passes.

Have a good Saturday everybody and if anybody wants to leave me a gift while I’m golfing I live in the second trailer on the right there at Simpsons Trailer Park. You can’t miss it. It’s got a old washing machine in the yard out front. Just leave it on the front stoop.

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
1:01 pm

” these rough neck Republicans”

“like a communist country”.

“arrogant and pompous comments from superior beings in the Republican Party,”

“It is the heart of their bigotry as it was Hitler’s.”

“Could you imagine Ralston handing Jesse Owens any differently than Hitler did in 1936.”

” wing nuts”.

“The one thing about the right is there is plenty more stupidity from where that came from”

And to think the con is the one that got called a damn fool. And for merely pointing out Democrat corruption. Geez.

JamVet

May 19th, 2012
1:08 pm

Jay, as you know, both Jim Galloway and Kyle Wingfield have also taken up this issue with great vigor, as it strikes at the very black hearts of the men who now run our government.

I warned Kyle a few weeks back, after he wrote about his matter for the second or third time, that he had better be careful, as the Purity Test gang that hangs out on his forum would kick his “not severely conservative enough” rear end out of their Pup Tent!

I’ve lived here since 1979, and gawd knows that I have seen more than a fair share of politicians who have been a huge embarrassment to this state.

But I do not recall a time when our state government has seen more unabashed corruption and has been this inept and atrocious.

Thank all of the deities everywhere that these fake conservatives could not stop the long haired, hippie liberals from making sweet music in the Peach State…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikmoMnnMcfU

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
1:10 pm

“Jay and others might like your little “needle the libs” crap, so you can go play that stuff with them.”

Well if they dish it out everyday then they should be able to take it right bro? Right???

” The corruption at the airport and city of Atlanta is from within the city. The ethical stuff in the Assembly affects the entire state much more. Trying to equate the two is nothing but deflection. If unethical conduct is bad in Atlanta and the airport, then it’s equally bad under the Gold Dome.”

And does unethical conduct at the national level not affect the entire nation and not just Georgia? I just pointed out a couple examples of alleged national corruption which really doesn’t seem to bother many Dems.

” I can’t for the life of me understand why you and others always have to deflect to something else instead of just either agreeing or disagreeing with whatever the topic is.”

Bro I already told Jay I agree with the article. A couple of times so where is the deflection in that. I’m just pointing out that the liberals need to clean up their own house a bit also.

And ya’ll need to toughen up a bit also and develop a sense of proportion and fairness. Jay called me a damn fool for simply pointing out Democratic corruption while GT goes on and on with 2 mentions of Hitler, name calling, and other absurdities. His comments were way out of bounds relative to mine. Any fair minded person can see that. All Jay said to him was that the Hitler comparison was out of bounds.

Pizzaman

May 19th, 2012
1:13 pm

Since the “Redneck Republicans” of today descend from the “Yellow Dog Democrats” of yesterday what else can we expect. Corruption breeds corruption. Kyle Wingfield thinks the “redress” section of the First Amendment actually allows lobbyists. Maybe? But I’m sure the Founders never intended “government” by the highest bidder. If we can’t get rid of lobbyists or their gifts the very least we deserve is a full accounting of all payments so we can know just who is “buying” favors. And at all levels: Federal, State, etc. Of course we’d have to elect representatives who would agree not to be “bought”. Unfortunately it takes lots of $’s to get elected. And generous campaign contributions are no different than a lobbyist gift. A vicious circle I see no way to break.

josef

May 19th, 2012
1:19 pm

Ethics and politicians? Okay, sure, whatever…

THULSA

You’re right @ 1:01, but don’t expect any reform anytime soon…

But…

He did call out GT pretty strongly, and rightfully so, so he gets at least one point there…

barking frog

May 19th, 2012
1:21 pm

The Georgia government
and Ethics have not mixed
well.

Brosephus™

May 19th, 2012
1:27 pm

Doom

Well if they dish it out everyday then they should be able to take it right bro? Right???

I doubt very seriously that Jay sits there and tries to think of ways to needle Doom with everything he writes. An opinon writer basically writes his opinions on matters. Jay has a left-of-center tone with his writings, so I would expect him to find fault with Republicans more than Democrats. If you want a blog that exposes Democratic shortcomings, I’d suggest Kyle’s blog is the place for you to be instead of this one.

Seems like you need to take your own advice and toughen up. Anytime somebody mentions something bad about Republicans, you knee jerk and respond with something Democrat. You call it bringing out Democratic issues that nobody wants to talk about, but when the topic is GOP related, it comes across as deflection.

Maybe Jay could be a bit more even-handed in his posts, but that’s his call to do and not yours or anybody elses. If you don’t like the fact that Jay posts about Republican shortcomings only, then nobody’s forcing you to read his posts and respond.

As to GT, his posts represents his views and Jay rightfully called him out on the Hitler mentions. From what I can tell, Jay called you out for your obvious knee jerk deflections instead of actually commenting on what he posted. I could be wrong, so maybe you wanna ask Jay directly why he called you a name instead of bringing it up to me. I’m not Jay.

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
1:31 pm

josef,

I think what GT said was far more inflammatory than what I said. Jay just told him that he was taking things to far so I wouldn’t exactly call that a harsh condemnation. He basically called me a damn fool and then topped it off with an insult in saying it was what I excelled at. All that just for pointing out a couple of examples of alleged national Democratic corruption. I mean seriously? Which is worse? A Georgia lobbyist getting a 17k freebie of a trip or a presidential candidate who got a 625k house for 300k from a convicted felon? And I get called a damn fool merely for pointing this out?

Jay

May 19th, 2012
1:31 pm

Thulsa, by his own admission, makes a practice of posting stuff just to get a rise out of people. It gets tiresome. The ” … but but Obama” post has become a caricature by this point.

I was commenting on that practice as much as on the post in question, and I stand by it.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

May 19th, 2012
1:32 pm

I could be wrong, so maybe you wanna ask Jay directly why he called you a name instead of bringing it up to me. I’m not Jay.

Ain’t there a insurance customer somewhere that needs fleecing?

Dave

May 19th, 2012
1:33 pm

One of the groups in the “Capital Coalition” is Georgia Right to Life. First time I’ve ever, to my knowledge, agreed with it. That proves the point you make in your column, this is not a divisive issue unless you are looking at the growing divide between people and the people they elect to office.

I’m not a Democrat or a Republican and normally don’t vote in primaries; but, if I remember correctly, anyone can “declare” for a given primary and vote. If that’s the case,I may vote Republican for the first time since Jerry Ford so that I can let Ralston and Balfour know what I think of the way they don’t represent me as an independant and, I think, a lot of other people, independent, Dem or GOP.

CJ

May 19th, 2012
1:38 pm

At the urging of the GOP rank and file, the party’s executive committee has voted unanimously to put an advisory question on the GOP primary ballot this July, asking primary voters whether they support a $100 limit on gifts from lobbyists to legislators.

So does this mean that the question will definitely be on the ballot?

josef

May 19th, 2012
1:40 pm

THULSA

Personally, I thought al Shariff’s “the one thing you excel at” was tacky and my Mama would’ve boxed his jaws for that. But, then, you two do have your issues above and beyond the current thread…

Now as for his calling GT out,

“GT, I think comparing Ralston to Hitler is taking this thing much too far”

that much too far is pretty strong, imauo, and much more of what Mama would approve of..

The thing that sort of tickles me from Parse-on Brownlow here, though, is that he states his comments (on) to you with no qualifier and as patent facts. He states his to GT with the preface “I think…”

Jay

May 19th, 2012
1:42 pm

CJ, on the Republican ballot only. The GOP has a tradition of such “advisory” questions in Georgia; I don’t believe the same is true of Dems.

josef

May 19th, 2012
1:42 pm

“.. makes a practice of posting stuff just to get a rise out of people”

Some folks get paid to do it, others do it for free…

But, hey, ain’t that what keeps the joint hoppin… :-)

Dry Fly

May 19th, 2012
1:43 pm

Jay-

When has Ralston said that legislators would accept underground gifts IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW if the legislature were to enact a gift cap? That’s a new twist on this debate if i am not mistaken…

CJ

May 19th, 2012
1:44 pm

Thanks, Jay!

Jay

May 19th, 2012
1:47 pm

Dry Fly, he’s made that argument repeatedly, most recently at the convention. As Galloway reports:

Told of an effort to put the matter of ethics reform not just before the convention, but on the July 31 primary ballot, the speaker alluded to his long-held position that making the relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists transparent was the most effective way of preserving legislative integrity – and that a gift cap would drive evidence of those relationships underground.

But here is what he really said:

”Are they going to ask them if they love their mother? I’m serious. The question really ought to be, do you want to know who’s lobbying what issues, or do you not want to know?And if we have this, you’re not going to know.”

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
1:50 pm

“makes a practice of posting stuff just to get a rise out of people”.

Apparently I’m the only one that does it.

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
1:54 pm

Redneck Convert,

Shouldn’t be on your way to a hilltop above a trailer park? That way you can look down on all those poor white folks that you consider beneath contempt. Its a beautiful day so you can pack a cooler of beer to drink while you’re feeling all smug about being barely less of a loser than the folks in their trailers beneath you.

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
2:07 pm

The thing that sort of tickles me from Parse-on Brownlow here, though, is that he states his comments (on) to you with no qualifier and as patent facts. He states his to GT with the preface “I think…”- josef

josef,

Yeah. I kinda noticed that too.

Brocephus,

@ 1:27. I see your points. Nothing to direct to Jay. He stands by his damn fool statement and follow up insult to me and like I said apparently I’m the only one on here who makes snarky comments . It is what it is and I’m cool with that.

Beautiful day and I’m going to get out and be outside the rest of the day. Maybe as I drive to the park I’ll be able to wave at Redneck Convert on his hill as he drinks his uppity( to him) coors light while he looks down on those folks sitting outside their trailers drinking their lowly Milwaukee’s best.

Aquagirl

May 19th, 2012
2:16 pm

Apparently I’m the only one that does it.

No, but you’re one of the classic “but….but….OBAMA!” posters that makes conservatives look brain dead. Which would be understandable if you really were brain dead all the time.

Do you get a rise out of people with the but…but OBAMA posts? Sure. The same way cellphone yakkers in the checkout line get a rise out of everyone waiting behind them. If that’s the kind of attention you crave, it’s freely available and like the cellphone yakkers, you’re intelligent enough to do it without getting booted out.

You’re gaining personal attention while making conservatives/Republicans look like partisan idjits. Choosing Mr. Ralston as a role model is certainly your free choice. But since you’ve admitted Mr. Ralston should get a swift kick in the butt for his behavior, don’t be surprised when you’re administered the same.

St Simons- island off the coast of New Somalia

May 19th, 2012
2:16 pm

if man sent poo-flinging monkeys to school to learn that that trait was
unacceptable social behavior, they would probably just learn to fart
real loud in class for attention instead.

i’m workin on my metaphors here..

josef

May 19th, 2012
2:25 pm

St Simon’s

And I, for one, would object strongly to that. Is it not the nature of the poo-flinging monkey to fling poo? Are we not imposing an artificially determined definition of what is “acceptable” social behavior? Are we not imposing homo sapiens’ cultural values on a species viewed as inferior to our own? :-)

G Mare 71( got the living' the red state BLUES!)

May 19th, 2012
2:35 pm

This is a test because I have been shut out for several days.

G Mare 71( got the living' the red state BLUES!)

May 19th, 2012
2:36 pm

Yah, I’m back; I’ve missed y’all!

josef

May 19th, 2012
2:37 pm

GMARE

Shut out? Nooooooo! Anyway, you’re here now…so, what’s on your mind… ?

Dry Fly

May 19th, 2012
2:42 pm

Jay-

Interesting, but I don’t see anywhere in those comments where he conceded that lobbyists/legislators would just break the law if there was a cap. Unless he in fact meant that ‘underground’ also means ‘illegal’ and that still seems to be unclear at best at this point. Money in politics is insidious…It is like water… If you block it one place, it’ll find another way around the obstacle. It always has and always does. Just look at what is going happening on the national level with Super PACs. How should money be accounted for in politics and what is its proper role? It seems that this is ultimately what this is all about. If they do cap gifts, is there a risk of losing the transparency that is available to voters now… I see where the notion of a gift cap sounds like a good idea, but I am still trying to figure out if it will actually make for more ethical public officials while diminishing the influence of lobbyists at the same time. If anything, it sure makes for a healthy discussion.

Kramer

May 19th, 2012
2:43 pm

“These pretzels are making me thirsty”

G Mare 71( got the living' the red state BLUES!)

May 19th, 2012
2:52 pm

Thanks, Josef. Honey, I doubt you really want to know what’s on this mind:):):). Re the topic: I may just have to vote in the Republican primary this time.

All, please vote no on tsplost!!!

Recon 0311 2533

May 19th, 2012
2:52 pm

But, But, Obama is outside on the Camp David trails walking hand in hand with new French President and Socialist Francois Hollande. After all they both see eye to eye. So all you Obama lovers should take it from the president and shut down your personal computers and get your butts outside. It’s a beautiful day.

TaxPayer

May 19th, 2012
2:53 pm

A 100 dollar limit! That’s barely enough money to cover stuffing one of Ralstons four cheeks with imported brie! The nerve of anyone suggesting such a limit. I’m aghast.

@@

May 19th, 2012
3:00 pm

…would begin to accept those gifts under the table, in violation of the law.

Even with a cap and transparency, they certainly will. Both parties are subject to corruption. The ballot carries no force of law.

Start handing down prison sentences and the nonsense will stop. Without prison time, the corruption continues.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
3:03 pm

Thulsa Doom

May 19th, 2012
12:37 pm

Jay,

You knew I had to razz you a bit.

It has nothing to do with you razzing or trying to get a rise out of people here. You’re playing the old “I was just jokin’/kiddin’/funnin’ you” card, which you always do when you have to walk something back.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

May 19th, 2012
3:03 pm

Liberals and ethics…That just cracks me up… Like a liberal actually knows when something is or is not ethical….

“Oh murder your baby? Sure, there is no problem with that”

“Naughty noo noo! You took money from a questionable source?! For shame, you should just murder your children instead”

Ethics, kiss my go to hell about ethics. You wouldn’t know ethics if it kicked you in the ding-ding.

Pizzaman

May 19th, 2012
3:05 pm

Some of you are sorely missing the point. It has nothing to do with red or blue. It has to do with government by the highest bidder. You Rebubs and Dems should be as angry as this Independent. It was reported that there were 6 lobbyists on the Hill for each Congressman and Senator during the Obama care debate. That’s 3210 people trying to buy a vote. Do any of you really thing any of those 3210 had your best interests in their corporate pocketbooks? I think lobbying is unconstitutional and should be prosecuted as a crime. I also respect those who feel it’s legal. So the very least we should is a report on who payed what to whom to see if we want to vote for whom ever again.

TaxPayer

May 19th, 2012
3:22 pm

How many innocent swimmers were killed in the process of posting that 3:03.

JamVet

May 19th, 2012
3:38 pm

Only in the parallel and hateful universe inhabited by modern day Republicans can one murder their baby and there be no legal consequences.

As Erma Bombeck wrote, “Who raised these vegetables?”

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
3:41 pm

0-0 at the half.

Go Blue Lions!

JamVet

May 19th, 2012
3:49 pm

Kam, Bayern has dominated but Chelsea is hanging tough. But unless they can find a way to get some good chances, I don’t see how they can survive.

BTW, I was looking at the map of the torch run through England, Scotland, Wales and northern Ireland, that started this morning in some detail. Brought back a lot of good memories of both the UK and the 96 Games…

Jm

May 19th, 2012
3:52 pm

New Chinese military spending data came out: $160 billion unadjusted for purchasing power

Jm

May 19th, 2012
3:56 pm

Ralston is silly

Just require transparency

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
3:56 pm

Brother AmVet

It’s a must win for Chelsea, else we get relegated to the Europa League. I see a fantastic goal from Drogba in the near future.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

ronald

May 19th, 2012
4:10 pm

Jay- There is ZERO ethics in your party, so please just shut your stupid mouth. Go have the Black Panthers arrested for their voter intimidation in Penn. that your boy Eric Holder decided wasn’t important (even though the prosecutors in the Justice Dept. found it to be extraordinarily important), then go arrest the Florida Black Panthers who hung up “Wanted Dead or Alive” Posters all over Sanford, Florida and publically called for George Zimmerman to be hunted down. Go take of your own before you preach to others about anything to do with Ethics.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
4:10 pm

josef:

Your thoughts ?

“Half of Florida high school students fail reading test”

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/half-florida-high-school-students-fail-reading-test-232516894.html

P.S. I have a copy (in the form of a booklet) of the West Virginia high school graduation test requiremnts.

You would not believe the math, grammar, literature, science, geography, etc. questions they had to pass. It’s harder than what I have seen for recent SAT’s , etc.

By the way, it’s dated 1909 ! Yes ………. 1909!

At a time when most teachers in that state were only high school graduates themselves.

Now ………….. tell me what’s going on here ?

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
4:15 pm

Shorter ronald: But…but…but…Obama!

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
4:16 pm

josef:

I think you will like this one. Warning: Major Tearjerker

http://spiritclips.com/films/thefork

G Mare 71( got the living' the red state BLUES!)

May 19th, 2012
4:16 pm

Uh, Ronald, maybe you are on the wrong blog???

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
4:17 pm

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
4:18 pm

Speaks for itself ……………….

Headline (Yahoo News): “Man who fathered 30 kids says he needs a break—on child support”

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/man-fathered-30-kids-needs-break-child-support-140439765.html

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
4:26 pm

Damn!

Gonna have to take chances now.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
4:31 pm

JamVet

May 19th, 2012
4:32 pm

Great call, Bro. Kam!

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
4:37 pm

Previous Subject:

Headline: “Pentagon Study Says China Military Getting Stronger”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/19/world/asia/pentagon-study-says-china-military-getting-stronger.html?_r=2&hp

……….. and some want us to get weaker. Brilliant.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
4:38 pm

Brother AmVet

This could be Drogba’s last game in Europe, so he’s gonna leave it all on the field.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
4:40 pm

Oooops ! The plot thickens for Princess Summerfall Winterspring !

“The credibility of Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren took another hit today as Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr released evidence that appears to confirm Ms. Warren may have plagiarized at least three of the five recipes she submitted to the 1984 Pow Wow Chow cookbook edited by her cousin Candy Rowsey.”

man behind the curtain

May 19th, 2012
4:41 pm

let us not forget it’s not just gifts and meals but jobs for family members of the republican leadership in this state from the governor on down, including the speaker, from the big-hitting lobbists…

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
4:46 pm

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
4:48 pm

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
4:53 pm

Rabbit

May 19th, 2012
5:01 pm

Madison understood lobbyists (known as “factions back then) in Federalist 10 he talked about it. To summarize his point;
A republican form of government provides the closest remedy for factions without eliminating liberty altogether. A faction is defined as any number of citizens that are inspired by some common passions to act adversely towards the rights of other citizens.

josef

May 19th, 2012
5:02 pm

G-MARE

Vote in a GOP primary? Perish the thought. My own Granny’s gray ghost would rise from the tomb and smite me! “Thu pah-ty of the ah-cyuh–pa-shun!” Her own mother is a “pioneer in women’s rights” for her activities as a sufragette. But…that’s just half the story! :-) Anyway, Granny cast her first vote in the first election following the passage of the 19th Amendment, Democrat, and voted straight Democrat until her last election, voting for “that Cah-tuh Boy from Jaw-juh.”

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
5:04 pm

josef:

4:10 and 4:16 ?

josef

May 19th, 2012
5:12 pm

SCOUT

First, the video…shmaltz, but good shmaltz. However, still today we have survivors separated all these years and reunited. Not long ago there were a brother and sister reunited. He had wound up in Israel and she in the United States.
********
The one on the Florida test…doesn’t surprise me in the least. As for the education requirements. I’ve posted here before what my own Granny had to know “to stand examination” for her teaching license at the turn of the last century…it’s why I just shake my head when some of our more pompous posters come in talking about their “educations.” They don’t even have the requirements to teach elementary school in Mississippi in 1900, much less high school!

Oh, and that last one on Elizabeth Warren…now THAT’s a scandal! :-)

G Mare 71( got the living' the red state BLUES!)

May 19th, 2012
5:14 pm

Yeah, Joseph, my own mother would do the same. She grew up in WV & it took her a long time to ‘evolve’ on the race question, but she did. She lived just long enough to cheer President Obama’s election. She was 91 when she died, feisty as ever.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
5:16 pm

PKs

Geez….

bluecoat

May 19th, 2012
5:18 pm

Thulsa be a craw fishing.He needs take his ball and go home.Poor Thulsa you’all picking on him.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
5:30 pm

josef

May 19th, 2012
5:31 pm

G-MARE

Those were some women! I’ve been working on putting down the stories of my own Granny and her mother. That’s why I said that Great Granny’s “honor roll” mention is only half the story, She was a friend of Mississippi’s Governor Stone. Her husband had served under him during the Wah-uh. Her proposal and the one which gained his support for Mississippi being one of the earliest states to propose women’s suffrage, was that because so many of “ow-uh men” couldn’t vote, that by extending the franchise to women, there would be enough voters to “send thu Cah-pet-bagguhs and Sca-luh-wags skedaddlin’” Before it could be passed the Bourbon Restoration took effect and the plan was dropped.

My own Granny was a post mistress and was in the first group of women to challenge (and win) the federal government on equal-pay for civil servants.

Mama’s folks were liberal (or radical given the time and place) on race matters, but that, again, is only half the story. :-)

JamVet

May 19th, 2012
5:33 pm

Great drama. Great match. great Football!

Like Churchill said, “Never give in.”

Tim Ryles

May 19th, 2012
5:33 pm

Never thought I would say this, but I think I miss Tom Murphy.

josef

May 19th, 2012
5:37 pm

Tom Murphy? Hell, I miss Huey P! Say whatever else you will about him, he practiced what he preached in sharing the wealth!

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
5:40 pm

josef:

I agree so how can we get back to at least W.Va. standards?

They had no computers, movies, television, slides or other visual aids yet they produced better results than today.

That’s why I get so upset with just throwing money at education.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
5:41 pm

josef:

“Oh, and that last one on Elizabeth Warren…now THAT’s a scandal! :o

Anything to cost her the election when every vote counts !!

josef

May 19th, 2012
5:48 pm

SCOUT

What can we do? Given what we’re up against with the inmates in control of the asylum, probably not much except continue the downhill slide into a New Dark Ages. The whole structure is rotten and no amount of “reform” grille work and gaudy paint job is going to save it.

In 25 words or less, tear it down and start over by reinstituting the Isaac Harby Method. But that ain’t gonna happen since 999 out of 1000 don’t even recognize the name, much less the method.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 19th, 2012
5:50 pm

Would that be akin to the W.Va. method?

Just plain hard work !!

Billybob

May 19th, 2012
5:53 pm

the day you question barrack hussein obama’s ethics and the ethics of a democratice political party that can’t even pass a yearly budget and doesn’t believe in verifying who actually votes in this country by using an ID then you can actually enter the room of ethics that your party never practices but continually preaches about……liberal hypocrisy at its finest today…..these posts continually are helping conservative views, so please keep it up……media matters is still holding onto this one at the state level huh? exposed much……..

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 19th, 2012
6:03 pm

pogo

May 19th, 2012
6:04 pm

Ethics reform would apply to the Democrats as well as the Republicans. Ethics reform is needed in Georgia government.

As for Obama, him lecturing Europe about trimming back austerity is like Sid Vicious lecturing a heroin addict on how to kick the habit. He has thrown away billions of our dollars and we still are in a death spiral. He is one arrogant SOB.

josef

May 19th, 2012
6:06 pm

SCOUT

Before the Occupation, it was the standard from the Tidewater to the Rio Grande. The schools were closed during the reeducation. Those educated under it still around at the turn of the century continued to place emphasis on the Method and its standards but, in the long run, lost the battle.

Under the Harby Method History of Western Civilization and the academic disciplines were introduced in a time line sequence. Writing., cyphering Hebrew and rule by written law introduced with the study of Mesoptotamian civilization and then coming forward..Drama, philosophy,democratic government, geometry and Greek with the Hellenistic Age, constitutional law, Latin with Rome, Algebra, Chemistry, Astronomy and Arabic with the Moorish period, and so on and so on. It allowed for “keeping up with the times…”

Elemental was the examination process. The Harby classroom was open to “spot on” evaluation by members of the community and students had to be able to respond to questions at any time. Examiners were drawn from the various professionals in the various fields and students “stood examination.” The point was that it would be the community which would decide whether or not the school was doing its job in producing a product with the skills and education necessary to take their roles in life.

Harby was hands-on. The constant and overriding question was always, “now, what are you going to do with what you’ve mastered.”

As the student exited this elementary process at the end of eight years he was then “tracked” into interest/needs areas. A carpenter was given the same elementary education and held in the same respect and regard as one who went into, say, medicine or law.