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October 19, 2008

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A lot of this money is laundered money coming in from very dubious sources, likely much of it originating from implacable foes of America, both foreign and domestic. Fortunately Obama's advertising blitz is starting to backfire bigtime, as the American people get sick and tired of wall-to-wall leftist bullshit propaganda. The more they see and hear, the less likely they are to buy it, as the polls are clearly beginning to show.

He's just jellus. ;-)

Moving past the trolling....

I don't think McCain's charge is actually intended to make any sort of sense. It's just supposed to associate "Obama" and "scandal", in much the way that Ayers just gave him and his campaign the excuse to keep repeating "Obama" and "terrorist" in the same sentence. It's also as much about delegitimizing an Obama victory as it as about increasing McCain's chances of winning.

nabalzbeezulbubbfr and McCain/Palin are on the same calculated page:

Delegitimize an Obama Presidency going in.

Reap the violent whirlwind. They hope polls after the election are taken in the streets.

I'm thinking all that money spent on Homeland Security might serve a useful purpose after all.

If pubic financing became mandatory, that would lead to scandal ;-).

the key point here is that obama's method and success in fundraising LESSENS the potential for scandal. The small donation model is, frankly, a better way to fulfill the purposes of public financing, without actually taking that step (which i waver on, but usually oppose requiring public financing)

It's a classic Rovian move: accuse your opponent of the crime you have yourself committed. (I'm a little surprised you make no reference whatsoever to McCain's campaign financing... issues... in this post. Is this the influence of Kevin Drum's policy at Political Animal never to actually accuse Republicans of crimes?)

Eventually, after all, there will have to be a quorum at the FEC. When there is, whether McCain is President or not, that McCain has already publicly accused Obama of campaign finance fraud, will undercut any effort by Democrats to investigate McCain, and of course no Republican will do so.

FYI, on the offchance you were genuinely unaware that McCain's just waiting on an FEC quorum to be investigated, a couple of posts from FireDogLake earlier in the year: No, John McCain Can’t Just Quit and Holding McCain Accountable For Campaign Finance Violations.

Sure is good that McCain told the 527's and GOP not to spend money on his campaign.

Let's get the terminology right:
Obama's campaign is publicly financed.
McCain's campaign is taxpayer financed.

Obama's campaign raises money like a company doing an IPO. McCain's is running on a tax subsidy. It's kinda funny, in a way.

--TP

McCain is not only speaking out of jealousy over the skill that Obama has shown, and perhaps out of an inadequacy that he feels in not being able to match Obama's efforts, but with McCain everything is the personal and the fact that Obama had told him personally that they would work out their both accepting public financing and then opted out of it rests as a personal attack and therefore anything that Obama does at this point is going to be suspect, and McCain is not one to suffer in silence when he feels he has been betrayed. Scandal? Perhaps not. More like soap opera. Drama queen antics. That type of stuff...

Let's not diss taxpayer funding of elections. It's a perfectly valid -- indeed, my preferred -- way of going about these things, and doesn't deserve the condemnation I'm seeing here.

Tony P, are you implying that Senator McCain is taking a GOVERNMENT HANDOUT to finance his campaign? That TAXPAYERS are PAYING for the WELFARE of his staff?

Why, that sounds like SOCIALISM!

For clarification, donations below $200 are not subject to individual reporting, and with Obama's average donation at, what, $86, there have been a lot of such donations - that's the $200M McCain is making insinuations about. But McCain's math doesn't work: is he really trying to suggest that Obama is getting literally hundreds of thousands of fake donations in this category, and noone figured it out? I mean, if you add up Obama's ralles he's quite possibly had a few million Americans spend most of a day just to see him campaign (including what,150,000 yesterday?); it's hardly a stretch to imagine a couple million donating.

Of course there's less of a chance for corruption if you have millions of donors giving smaller dollar amounts. McCain at this point is willing to say anything he thinks has any chance of stopping Obama becoming President. Already, what he's said has had the effect of encouraging violence. There's no limit, McCain will do anything, including inciting riots, if he thinks it will help him capture the Presidency.

Re fundraising limits: What a crazy idea - letting the person with majority support of actual people collect more money.

Good transparency. Donation caps. Nothing more is needed. Rich people still get to slant things, and the rest of us get a voice.

Limiting the total is just another way of disenfranchising people. It's essentially the same tack that the Republican has taken with the vote.

Marty: and the fact that Obama had told him personally that they would work out their both accepting public financing and then opted out of it

That's a very Republican reversal of the actual facts, isn't it?

In November 2007, McCain applied for public funding and seems to have used that application to guarantee a loan of $4M.

In February 2008, McCain told the FEC - now lacking a quorum - that he was withdrawing his application for public funding. The FEC warned McCain that he could not withdraw his application for funding. McCain, being the Republican nominee for President and confident that he's now above the law, ignores the FEC. (If you remember, in April the Democratic National Committee has sued the Federal Election Commission over this issue.)

In June 2008 - months after McCain had fumbled a withdrawal from public financing - Obama rejected public funding.

In October 2008 McCain accuses Obama of fundraising scandals. And somehow, the whole muddle of McCain's funding is just... old news.

Oops, open tag. Italico delendi!

I said, ITALICO DELENDI!

STOP!

I have a serious though outrageous question:

What would happen if voters were allowed to sell their votes?

If you contribute $100 to Obama, it's obviously worth at least that much to you for Obama to win. Now turn it around: how much would McCain need to pay you for your vote? I am unashamed to say that if McCain offered me about $50K, I would vote for him. "Unashamed" because I would take the money and look for 500 voters willing to sell their votes to Obama at $100 apiece. Undecided voters, at this stage, in this election, might be willing to let Benjamin Franklin make up their minds for them.

Alternatively, of course, I could just keep the $50K as compensation for what I expect a McCain presidency to cost me. If you're a McCain supporter who expects to benefit by more than $50K from a McCain presidency, the deal would be win-win.

What I'm driving at is the concept of Pareto-optimality applied to democracy. Suppose only a handful of billionaires stand to benefit hugely from the election of candidate X, and millions of regular people stand to benefit slightly from the election of candidate Y. If the aggregate benefit the billionaires expect is larger than the aggregate loss the regular people expect, the billionaires could afford to buy, and the regular folks would be willing to sell, votes for X. At the right price, the billionaires would be better off, and the regular folks would be no worse off, under this outrageous, un-American, free-market approach to money in politics.

--TP

...please?

sorry...

Okay, I give up. Normally posting multiple end-tags in one comment will close a tag left open in the previous comment. I seem to recall similiar problems when Slacktivist went over to multi-paged comments, so I guess that's an added happyhappyjoyjoy with Six Apart's bloody software.

Rest easy, Jes. On my browser, anyway, you slew the italics dragon three posts ago.

--TP

Obama is well-versed in Chicago politics and the mechanics of laundering dirty money towards political ends. The Daley political machine has long maintained such ties with the Italian mob and more recently with black and Latino drug-dealing street gangs. Obama independently developed his own contacts with the latter during his days as a community organizer (and perhaps also as customer for his own drug habits). Working through his terrorist buddy Ayers, he has also developed ties with Hugo Chavez, FARC and various Latin American drug cartels. The government of Iran has openly expressed support and undoubtedly is delighted to subsidize his campaign. Soros and Moveon are undoubtedly on the case as well. ACORN maintains extensive lists of real and bogus voters and is ideally suited to funneling dirty money ostensibly through these voters.

Any statement pointing out that McCain "shouldn't talk blithely" is just adorably naive. At this point it's all he does. But yeah. Of course!

Not on this one.

Selling/buying votes at market value has a very old tradition. The Roman republic ran on that quite some time and it has been the approved model for papal elections. Given the parallels to (ancient) Rome and the papacy (the boss is above the law because he is the one that decides what the law is)...

Even two dozen italics closing tags don't work

Nabalzabullshitbenzaer:


"The government of Iran has openly expressed support and is undoubtedly delighted to subsidize his campaign. Soros and Moveon are undoubtedly on the case as well."

Sounds like your doubtful. Too many "undoubtedlys" in one post.

Sorry. It's election feed the troll season for me.

I suspect, undoubtedly, that there are bullets attached to nabalzasmalldicky's trigger rhetoric.

Unless he's a coward, which I undoubtedly don't doubt.

Secure my Homeland.

Not enough "you're" s in my post.

Even elites have trouble with spelling, having attended private schools.


A lot of this money is laundered money coming in from very dubious sources, likely much of it originating from implacable foes of America, both foreign and domestic.

It's true, I did leave that $5.00 in my pants pocket before I donated it to Obama.

It's also true that I got that fiver as change from a cabbie named Osama bin Soros. Dude smelled like falafel, patchouli, and cordite. Front seat was littered with empty Starbucks latte cups.

Can't speak to his political views, but his driving was sure as hell implacable.

I suspect, undoubtedly, that there are bullets attached to nabalzasmalldicky's trigger rhetoric.

I suspect the anony-moose is off his meds.

What I'm driving at is the concept of Pareto-optimality applied to democracy.

Please shoot me now.

Thanks -

McCainj says there's $200 million in donations, the source of which can't bbe identified. The guy from under the bridge chimes in to make explicit what McCain only dares imply, "laundered money coming in from very dubious sources, likely much of it originating from implacable foes of America, both foreign and domestic."

Neither acknowledges that contributions above $200 must be reported, so that $200 million represents donations from more than a million Americans.

Why do these self-professed patriots hate Americans so?

I know someone claimed he was for real, but Nabal has always tripped my spoofmeter, and today's comments are no exception. Regardless, DNFTT.

donations below $200 are not subject to individual reporting

That may be, but the Obama campaign reports them anyway, as you can see if you search on the FEC site. I've got several sub-$100 donations listed there.

What I'm driving at is the concept of Pareto-optimality applied to democracy.

Please shoot me now.

Sorry, Russell, I don't shoot people. Especially people who I suspect can actually explain why a stupid idea is stupid enough to exasperate them so.

--TP


Funny, an italics close worked in preview. No doubt this is a new Typepad feature, to enhance the paged comments.

Sure, TP, and similarly we can legalize bribery of jurors to ensure that trials result in Pareto-optimal outcomes.

KC, there's a difference between a jury trial and an election. One attempts to find truth, the other attempts to measure preferences. So "similarly" is not a word I would use.

--TP

"Especially people who I suspect can actually explain why a stupid idea is stupid enough to exasperate them so."

First, I'll note that buying votes, either baldly and directly, or through less overt means, would be no novelty. So, there's that.

I'll also say that the basic concept of Pareto optimization per se -- finding transactions such that some folks are better off, while other folks are at least no worse off -- seems at first blush like a not-bad way to negotiate public policy. What's not to like about no downside?

The reason for my "shoot me now" response is basically this:

The tendency to view all dimensions of public, social life (and quite often other areas of life) through the free market filter is, IMVHO, poisoning the nation. It's not a good social model for anything requiring sacrifice, mutuality, or cooperation, which as it turns out is a pretty broad scope.

The market is a good model for managing commercial transactions between people. Other things, perhaps most things, not so much.

There are many kinds of relationships between people, and between communities of people, that cannot be reduced to buying and selling. At least, not without losing their real meaning and worth.

Thanks -

Neither acknowledges that contributions above $200 must be reported, so that $200 million represents donations from more than a million Americans.

Utterly beside the point. The donors of record are NOT the real donors.

"The donors of record are NOT the real donors."

What, are you telling us that Scaife is backing Obama now?

Thanks -

TP, as Russell points out, votes have been bought in the past, and the amounts involved have been far less than the actual damage poor people suffer from electing the wrong people. One of the many problems with market worship is that in the real world the participants in a market don't have anything close to perfect information, though some have much better information than others.

At this point in the campaign all the late night hair brained ideas on how to discredit the opposition, that were too pointless or vile to be seriously considered, are now being trotted out in a last ditch effort to win at any cost.

What the tighty righties are spewing right now is that Obama's money comes from terrorists who want to overthrow America, and other such ridiculous conspiracy theories. That's all the tighty righties have left -- ridiculous conspiracy theories where Obama is a secret Arab Muslim who isn't even American who will enact a Communist Revolution when elected and remove the vote from white people, and other such drivel of that sort. The right-wing headgear of choice appears to be tinfoil this election season... and apparently it's cutting off the flow of blood to their brain, given the lunatic conspiracy theories they're spewing out the way a brain dead deer hunter spews out bullets in a cow pasture.

A lot of this money is laundered money coming in from very dubious sources, likely much of it originating from implacable foes of America, both foreign and domestic.

Actually, the problem is that you're not taking your antipsychotic medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Delendi italico! (Kilmer edition)


does not seem to work

Obama is buying this election, pure and simple. If a Republican were doing this, the Dems would be in an uproar! Obama could silence all the talk in a simple way--list all donors regardless of amount. Why does he refuse to do so???

If you think of voting as a species of property (as in "the franchise"), then it makes sense to take it into the marketplace and get the best price you can for it; there are and have been polities where such thinking is routine and unexceptionable, and English is or has been spoken in quite some number of them. (Property requirements for voting can be taken as evidence that that theory is accepted.)

If you think of voting as a human and civil right, then trading it for money looks a little different; maybe not worthy of criminal sanction, but grubby and hackish. And it's a measure of the Alice in Wonderland quality of a lot of our political discourse that the people in the US for whom "voting as a right" marked a hard-won victory and has the deepest meaning are now routinely accused of treating their votes as commodities.

Wow!!....i can't believe that noone has made this point yet. It is not a question of jealousy or wheather the money comes from tax payers or not. It is a question of who is supporting their campaigns? Just like the Nixon scandal, where his money came from interest groups, i believe that it is imperative for the voting public to know exactly where Obamas money comes from as well as McCains. What worries me most is not the fact that Obama raised that much money so quickly, good for him if he got the money legally. What nothers me is that even his own campaign audited where the money came from and some of it (that could be traced) came from Saudi Arebia and China. Maybe it is just me, but i'd hate to imagine that we can have a President voted into office by the help of our enemies. Doesn't that scare you?

Wow!!....i can't believe that noone has made this point yet. It is not a question of jealousy or wheather the money comes from tax payers or not. It is a question of who is supporting their campaigns? Just like the Nixon scandal, where his money came from interest groups, i believe that it is imperative for the voting public to know exactly where Obamas money comes from as well as McCains. What worries me most is not the fact that Obama raised that much money so quickly, good for him if he got the money legally. What nothers me is that even his own campaign audited where the money came from and some of it (that could be traced) came from Saudi Arebia and China. Maybe it is just me, but i'd hate to imagine that we can have a President voted into office by the help of our enemies. Doesn't that scare you?

If they did release all the names, how could you tell?
Do you have any idea?

If they did release all the names, how could you tell?

Considering that we are currently going around the world with cap in hand begging for cash with which to recapitalize our banks and desperately hoping that no one is so crass and impolite as to request a geopolitical quid pro quo (say along the lines of the Lend Lease destroyers-for-bases deal which FDR imposed on our erstwhile British allies in their moment of peril), I’d say that anybody who can scrape up several hundred million dollars with which to try to influence our election (and to do so indirectly by channeling the money via small donors, thereby obviating any direct influence they might claim for having done so) is ipso facto Not An Enemy.

Or at least not right now while we really, really need the cash. Empires that are broke really can't afford the luxury of having too many enemies.

Doesn't that scare you?

No.

Thanks -

If they did release all the names, how could you tell?

Is not the names that concern me, it is the country that they came from. Release the name of countries that the money came from and then let the public decide what to do with that information. If for instance the money came from Iran, it would'nt be a leap to think that maybe, just maybe it was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had something to do with it. And even if it cannot be proven just the posibility of that would scare the hell out of me. Now weather Obama knew where it came from or not that is besides the point. The fact of the matter is that our most precious right is taken away and manipulated by outsiders that are not looking out for the welfare of American citizens.

Now regarding...."Or at least not right now while we really, really need the cash. Empires that are broke really can't afford the luxury of having too many enemies."

The broke empires dont bother me, the crazy emperors that hoard all of their countries wealth do.

Is not the names that concern me, it is the country that they came from.

Foreign citizens are not allowed to donate. Americans working overseas are allowed to donate.

Again. How can you tell?

Foreign citizens are not allowed to donate. Americans working overseas are allowed to donate.

Again. How can you tell?

I am fairly certain that an American citizen that wants to donate will not bounce their IP address several times trying to hide their donation. Also, it is quite easy to check if John Doe is in China on business and happens to send a donation to either candidate. The following is directly from a New York Times article written by Maureen Dowd

"Then, about two months into the campaign the daily contribution intake multiplied. Where was it coming from? One of the web site security monitors began to notice the bulk of the contributions were clearly coming in from overseas internet service providers and at the rate and frequency of transmission it was clear these donations were 'programmed' by a very sophisticated user.

While the security people were not able to track most of the sources due to firewalls and other blocking devices put on these contributions they were able to collate the number of contributions that were coming in seemingly from individuals but the funds were from only a few credit card accounts and bank electronic funds transfers. The internet service providers (ISP) they were able to trace were from Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries. One of the banks used for fund transfers was also located in Saudi Arabia.

Another concentrated group of donations was traced to a Chinese ISP with a similar pattern of limited credit card charges.

It became clear that these donations were very likely coming from sources other than American voters. This was discussed at length within the campaign and the decision was made that none of these donations violated campaign financing laws. "

My point is, if it is that difficult to find who gave money, then something is wrong!!

Daniel, you may want to read the snopes.com page about that. If you are too busy to click

The faux news article reproduced above is a masterful bit of political effluvium, one which proffers the "shocking revelation" that not only were the bulk of donations to Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign made via the Internet coming from a handful of wealthy financiers in China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and "other Middle Eastern countries" (rather than from American voters), but that Senator Obama was fine with accepting such tainted and compromised funding because of the technicality that "none of these donations violated campaign financing laws."

Be careful pulling the hook from your cheek...

I will give you that article liberal japonicus. But there are plenty more that are from acredited sources, such as the one from NewsWeek http://www.newsweek.com/id/162403

And remember...in every fairy Tale there is a glimmer of truth in them. All i need is to doubt it a little, to scare me a little. Read the article and you will see what i mean. The fact is that the only contributions that are looked into are the ones that are of $201.00 or more. Look...i am one of those that hasn't yet decided on who i will vote for come november. But, i will say this much, if i cannot get satisfactory clarification on this matter i will most certainly not vote for Obama. I value my vote and i will not vote on words alone Obamas/McCains actions will speak louder to me in the end.

Daniel, the leap from bogus credit card donations to the Chinese, Saudis, et al, floating Obama's campaign is pretty rich. The article you cite is pretty clearly credit card fraud. I've donated from overseas, and the Obama campaign seems to have increased its security for these donations (based on my personal experience). So these problematic donations have to be sent in from the US. To believe that somehow, foreign agents are flooding Obama's campaign with $20 donations is ludicrous. You first have to postulate that someone actually went to the campaign (cause if no one knew the provenance of the donations, it wouldn't work, right?) and then you have to imagine foreign agents either the agents have vast reservoir of credit cards or they have an AmEx super duper iridium card with a XX million line of credit, and they are punching in multiple $20 donations to get to the number previously arranged. All is needed is for people to surrender the rationality for this bs to work.

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