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Government The Almighty Buck United States Politics

Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash 284

An anonymous reader writes "The numbers tell the story — in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA's phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 'no' voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 'yes' voters."
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Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash

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  • Re:No shit... (Score:4, Informative)

    by NicBenjamin ( 2124018 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @07:01AM (#44421367)


    According to the Founders the federal government's job was to be exactly centralized enough to keep other countries out, therefore it's designed to include an intricate set of Checks and Balances that make it virtually impossible to actually do anything. Constant fundraising is an excellent additional check because it requires they talk to "the people" (aka: that set of people interested in politics, and with sufficient disposal income to donate) instead of law-making.

    According to the voters Congressman are magically endowed with a super-human understanding of the intricacies of both Federal law and public policy, therefore they not only have the time to read every bill they vote on (including all bills and amendments for everything that comes before their committee), they also magically understand all it's implications without help from their staffs. They are also able to instantly process any request that comes into their office, and respond with exactly the right combination of information, humor, and grace instantaneously. Which leaves them plenty of time to hammer out budget deals on reasonable terms that don't entirely please anyone, but give everyone a little of what they want. If half of Congress wants to fire all federal employees, and the other half wants to hire thousand more; not to worry Congressman have been granted the wisdom to square the circle by some clause of the Constitution or other. The $2 Billion we spend on staffers to do all this for the MBAs and Lawyers who dominate the Congress is just wasted money and if only we got rid of it there would never be a deficit ever again, everyone could get a tax cut, and we could triple Social Security.

    Back in the real world, there's no way in hell an MBA understands a law even until a staffer explains it to him with powerpoint. There's no way a lawyer understands how a law will work in the real world (as opposed to the glorified debating societies we call "courts") until a staffer explains it to him using a bizarre combination of very small words and Latin. Since the country is polarized, almost all of them are in districts where representing the district means mindlessly parroting an ideological line. In practical terms the only thing the constant fundraising actually does is force them to end their conversations with the phrase "And I need money. My staff thinks you can give $500, so make the check out to..."

  • Re:On education (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:16AM (#44422185)
    LOL talk about a shill. As you so graciously failed to mention in your little story, the media also happened to say that "Correa ordered troops to fire on the hospital killing innocent people" - mass western media repeated this loud and far. Thank you for confirming what the Ecuadorian courts found - that the story was false and the same said Journalists did indeed invent the story about Correa in that event.
  • Re:*Sigh* (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @11:06AM (#44423585)

    Campaign contributions are not a bribe.

    They are when they are sufficiently large. That is why we need a per citizen cap on them. The rich should have no more influence over the outcome of an election than the poor. The rich are not better citizens than the poor and should only get one vote.

    People, and groups of people, show support politicians by making contributions to their election campaigns.

    The only thing people need to do to show support is to vote for them and to convince as many people as they can to vote for them. That is what is honest and fair. Groups are not citizens and should have no say in politics. For the same reason that they don't get to vote, they shouldn't be allowed to contribute to campaigns.

    How else would you fund political campaigns?

    From the labor of dedicated volunteers. Also there should be limits on how much a candidate himself can spend on his own campaign. Rich candidates should not have an unfair advantage over poor ones. You could even limit the sorts of things that public money may be spent on.

    Public Financing, aka welfare for politicians??

    You are assuming that a significant amount of money is needed to "finance" a campaign. If no one has any advertisement money then you have a fair playing field for rich and poor candidates and it may also lower the barrier of entry for third party candidates. You could also have some standard fixed amount paid for by taxpayers to any candidate with a sufficiently large number of signatures to run.

Garbage In -- Gospel Out.