Category Archives: ethics

The hypocrisy heard round the world

By Joseph Ballin 11/21/2017 4:45 AM EST

When I heard that Roy Moore was a rapist pedophile, I can’t say I was shocked. How many more (no pun intended) times do we have to hear about a Christian evangelical who wears his (and I do mean his) religion on his shoulder as a holy roller, only to be revealed to be a fraud? What I don’t get is why I haven’t heard the name Dennis Hastart brought up once during all this? Dennis Hastart was the LONGEST Republican Speaker of the House ever, period. And decades prior to that, revealed only after he left the speakership, that he had molested little boys as a football couch. Keep in mind as Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastart brought up and voted in favor of the 2004 and 2006 constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage in the US Constitution. Roy Moore is also another Bush Jr. era leftover crazy. Prior to Roy Moore being outed a rapist pedophile, Republicans seemed to be perfectly ok with supporting this piece of shit subhuman. Let’s take a look at some of the crazy batshit insane shit that Roy Moore said that should ban him from being elected dog caughter:

* Roy Moore in 2005: Homosexual “conduct” should be illegal
* Roy Moore in 2017: 9/11 was god’s judgement on America
* Roy Moore in 2005: Opposes repealing Jim Crow era segregationist amendments to the Alabama State Constitution
* Roy Moore on Barrack Obama: Obama was born in Kenyan, spreading the racist birther conspiracy theory
* Roy Moore in 2003: Removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for trying to keep up the 10 commandment statutes
* Roy Moore in 2016: Removed from the Alabama Supreme Court AGAIN for not enforcing same-sex marriage ruling
* Roy Moore in 2006: Keith Ellison shouldn’t be seated because he’s a Muslim
* Roy Moore doesn’t believe non-Christians are protected by the 1st amendment
* Roy Moore is a creationist and climate change denier
* Roy Moore is a Israeli apartheid supporter
* Roy Moore thinks DACA recipients should be deported
* Roy Moore has voted CONSITENTLY against rape victims and in favor of rapists
* Roy Moore casted the sole vote in favor of a man who raped a four-year-old

And that’s just the tip of the ice berg. So let me give you the short version, Roy Moore is a Nazi long before this pedo stuff broke and all these Republicans who endorsed him BEFORE the pedo story broke, but ceased to do so afterword’s are gigantic hypocrites.

And another thing that’s really hypocritical is Donald “Gram em by the pussy” Trump. I’ve seen two tweets from Donald Trump about Al Franken’s sexual misconduct, but none one tweet or one word about Roy Moore, or even his own past comments like “when you are a star they let you do it.” If it was a black person he would spend the next couple centuries tweeting and attacking them because Trump’s cracker racist to his core. Billy Bush, at the time an anchor for Access Hollywood, was fired for that tape, but if you a Republican presidential candidate you are punished by being elected president. What does that tell you about Republican voters and their views towards women? All these vermin who spent decades ranting about gays, or immorality, Bill Clinton being impeached over a blow job, banning sex toys, etc. And fast word to 2017 and the modern day Christian right can be summed up that they were just full of shit the whole time. And yet they will still pretend they are the party of GWAD!

GOP = Grand Old Pedophiles

Donald Trump, George W. Bush’s third term

By Joseph Ballin 8/9/2017 12:46 AM EST

One thing that really drives me up a wall is when people say “Trump makes me wish we had Bush as president again.” When Gore Vidal said we are the United States of Amnesia, he wasn’t fucking joke. Bush was the second worst president (second only to the current asshole) in US history and nearly destroyed the country and the world. Growing up under Bush for me was like someone growing up under Hitler or Franco, it’s a dark time in your history to remember. I simply refer to it as “The Dark Times”. In fact Trump has brought back a lot of memories that I tried to suppress from the Bush administration.

Not to mention the fact it was Bush’s stupidity that helped create Trump in the first place. If Bush was never president, we never get McCain picking Sarah Palin, and if we never got her, we never got Trump. For all the MAGA chuds out there who said Trump would be different from from Bush, where are they now? In fact Trump has become Bush’s third term. Here’s some stuff Bush and Trump both did as president:

1. Bush killed the nuclear deal Bill Clinton established with North Korea, Trump just killed the nuclear deal with Iran that was established by Obama.
2. Both bombed an Arab Baathist country in the middle east for no reason at all.
3. Both came in trying to be friendly with Putin, only to have relations deteriorate dramatically over their presidency.
4. Both expanded NATO.
5. Both ran on an anti-interventionist foreign policy during their respective elections, only to turn into full blown neocon war mongers the second they get into the white house.

Other than that, every thing else is standard stuff presidents do in terms of foreign policy, which is basically war mongering and war crimes, along with breaking international and US law. One key difference between Bush and Trump foreign policy, Bush talked alot about freedom and democracy, Trump has the foreign policy of the Golden Horde, rape and pillage.

1. Both reenacted the Mexico City policy that was previously resided by president Clinton and Obama.
2. The civil rights department of the US government has been largely rendered defunct under both GWB and Trump.
3. The Bush administration abandons ratification Kyoto Protocol, while the Trump administration leaves Paris Deal.

On LGBT issues, I would say Trump is actually WORSE for LGBT Americans than Bush. Trump may not have ran an openly anti-LGBT campaign, but if you had looked at the 2016 GOP platform, it looked like something out of Nazi Germany on LGBT rights. The following things Trump has done on LGBT rights over the last 200 days: removed any referenced to LGBT people or civil rights on white house website, rescind Obama’s guidelines on transgender students bathroom access, rescinded Obama’s federal contractors executive order covering sexual orientation and gender identity, appointed a bunch of batshit insane Christian fucktards to various government departments and courts, gender identity not covered in US census, argued sexual orientation isn’t covered under civil rights laws, banned transgender service members from the US military, and a bunch of other awful shit.

Trump hasn’t been able (thank the gods) to get a lot of bills signed into place, outside of the recent sanctions bill he signed on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. No deathcare bill passed, not tax cuts passed, no federal right to work bullshit, etc. Outside of alot of deregulation and taking healthcare away from women, he’s been a failure for the most part in terms of the oligarchic Christian fascist movement in the US. Let’s hope the next 100 days have Trump signing stupid shit like the Fred Thompson courthouse and not stuff like privatizing social security.

The Sam Seder Tim Black debate, or the Sam talks over Tim while Michael Brooks makes snarky commentary.

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By Joseph Ballin 6/29/2017 5:37 PM EST

Reader’s note: I am a fan of both Sam Seder’s The Majority Report and The Tim Black Show. I do not hold any hostilities towards either person debating in this piece and am writing this to illustrate how we on the left can find better solutions to our problems. That being said I’m biased toward Tim in this debate.

What’s the difference between a liberal and a progressive? Personally I don’t care or like these labels. Hillary described herself as a “progressive who can get stuff done.” So I couldn’t care less about those labels, but Tim goes into what I think he meant is between neoliberal corporate shills and people who want change in this country. Yes Sam is correct that the Majority Report does talk about all of the issues that Tim Black listed. So Sam goes to Tim’s youtube page and criticizes him for not covering healthcare enough. However, Sam has not watched Tim’s show and doesn’t know that he’s covered healthcare numerous times on his show. And now Sam goes into the Seth Rich / Kimdotcom territory.

The one thing me and Jimmy Dore have both been very clear on, we want evidence. We want evidence of Russiagate, evidence Assad gassed his own people, evidence for or against the Seth Rich cover up, etc. That’s reality based thinking. That’s why I’m an agnostic atheist, because I can’t prove there isn’t a god/gods, but there is no evidence that they do exist so there is no reason for me to believe in them. In fact, nothing in the universe can be proven. A fact is a statement that is taken to be true based off of evidence. It is something we collectively as a society agree what is real and fake. A theory is a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena.

Ok now that we got that out of the way let’s deconstruct all this shit. There is no verifiable evidence Russia hacked, interfered, or colluded with Donald Trump or his campaign. In fact, as president, US relations with Russia under Trump are at a record low. Trump has repeatedly attacked the government of Bashar Al-Assad and Iranian militias several times, Russia’s allies. Trump signed a treaty expanding NATO to Montenegro, something Russia opposes. He signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, which authorized $100 million dollars for the “Countering Russian Influence Fund”, to counter “Russian influence and aggression” and to “support civil society organizations in Europe and Eurasia.” It also included a measure imposing new restrictions and oversight on Russian diplomats in the United State. The Act also includes provisions that no appropriated funds may be used to support the Russian annexation of Crimea and assist Crimea, if such assistance includes the participation of Russian Government officials, or other Russian owned or controlled financial entities. It also states that no funds may be used to support “the Russian occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia” or to assist the central governments of other countries that have recognized the two territories’ independence. On top of all that, US has imposes more sanctions on Russia during Trump’ presidency. If Trump’s a Russian puppet, he’s doing a really shitty at it.

Again this is not to say there isn’t business ties Trump has to Russia, like with Deutsche bank and Trump hotels because he’s a billionaire, but he also has business ties to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Philippines, Azerbaijan, mafia, etc., but the mainstream media never mentions this. Why does mainstream media never bring up the fact General Flynn was a paid agent of the Turkish government? Why does the mainstream media not bring up the fact Trump appointed all these Goldman Sachs people because of his ties to Israel? Or China provisionally granting Trump 38 trademarks after getting elected? Or the Clinton’s business dealings in Russia? So there is enormous hypocrisy on this issue. Focus on Russia and nothing else. Why you may ask? Because starting a new cold war with Russia ensures defense contractors can make giant profit because now we have a great power enemy again. Also we can’t start a cold war with China because our economies are to tied together. It has less to do with Trump himself and more to do with more spending on the military and strengthening the police state. That’s why you don’t hear anything about getting rid of voting machines or having open, fair, and free elections.

As for the Syria gassing of 2017, the entire thing was brought up so briefly and forgotten about so quick by mainstream media and the Trump administration it really makes you wonder what really did happen in Syria. Why has there been no independent UN investigation into the gassing? There is no evidence Assad ordered the gassing of any civilians. As for the Seth Rich story, I stated on day one when I first heard about the Seth Rich murder that I found it very fishy. I have no idea is Seth Rich was the Wikileaks leaker or who killed him, but I do know a couple things. I do know Assange has hinted, but not confirmed, to Seth Rich being the leaker. Wikileaks, outside of the Garani Massacre Video which they said they would publish, but never did, has been 100% on point. So now that we got all that out of the way, back to the debate.

So Sam now brings up whether or not it’s a good thing to promote the Russia fear mongering story to split off three Republican votes in the Senate for healthcare. First of all I won’t advocate a new cold war with Russia over healthcare. Second of all why does Sam think Russia influences how Republican senators vote on healthcare. We’ve already seen the Senate healthcare bill be delayed because of how awful it is. People aren’t thinking about Russia when they think of healthcare, they are thinking of NOT DYING! Plus I would wager all that corporate cash the Republicans senators take is more of an influence than the so called Russia scandal over Trump’s head. The only thing that will force Republicans to change their votes on healthcare is though mass movements.

Now Black brings up the rigged 2016 Democratic primary and the DNC fraud lawsuit. Tim brings up exit polling being used by the US to determine whether an election is legit or bs in foreign countries. I would like to point out that irregularities in exit polling in Ukraine were cited by the US and EU for the fascist coup in Ukraine. And I would also like to point out Sam Seder has had on Greg Palast on Ring of Fire, someone who says the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged. But ok Sam I guess the primary wasn’t “rigged.”

Continuing on Tim brings why Democrats blaming progressives for the lose of Hillary Clinton. So Tim brings up Susan Sarandon and her revolution comment about Trump, stating we are seeing a revolution already taking place under Trump. Ok so I agree and disagree with Tim here. A revolution against Donald Trump hasn’t sustained itself, yet. It needs to be sustained though mass rallies every week and civil disobedience in the streets. And I believe a revolution under Trump can happen if he topples Assad and invades Iran

Michael continues to break into this heated debate to make a funny comment. Now we get back to Seth Rich. So Sam again thinks that it’s crazy to think that politicians won’t murder people to cover up corruption. I agree Tim Black that we need to ask questions. Again I’m an agnostic on Seth Rich, I don’t know who killed Seth Rich.

One of the most damming quotes from the Sam Seder vs Tim Black debate comes right around here. “She (Nancy Pelosi) is a great leader. I would not support a challenge to her” – Sam Seder. Ok so let’s give Sam the benefit of the doubt and say Pelosi wasn’t guilty for the thousands of losses of Democrats in elections over the past decade or so. So why is it Sam doesn’t bring up the fact Pelosi didn’t do shit to bring about real progressive change during her time as speaker from 2007 to 2011? She opposes single payer, she didn’t prosecute GWB, and she didn’t bring up the Employee Free Choice Act.

And finally Sam says Steny Hoyer would be worse than Pelosi. So Sam why not get rid of Hoyer? And if he’s replaced with another corporate Dem get rid of them until we get someone who will at least listen to progressives. That’s what the Republicans did with Eric Cantor and their party is stronger than ever. Tim brings up the fact Sam voted for Hillary Clinton in New York, a blue non-swing state, but he doesn’t blame Hillary for not appointing Bernie Sanders as her VP pick, which everyone agrees would have won her the election. You know why she didn’t do it? Because of spite and corporate greed. She would rather lose to a Republican than give an inch to progressives, and that’s why we have Trump.

Dennis Rodman is trying to save the planet

 

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By Joseph Ballin 6/16/2017 5:00 PM EST

The one thing I can’t stand about liberals is how whenever North Korea is brought up their brains turn off. I cannot understand why. It reminds me alot of Saddam. Alot of liberals said they opposes the Iraq War cause Saddam didn’t have WMDs. So my question is, would you support the Iraq War if Saddam did have WMDs? So the hypocrisy from liberals on this issue is overwhelming. The reason I’m picking on liberals is because we expect better. I don’t expect anything good from Trump. Trump is a neanderthal who’s taking back to the 1950s, like announcing today to bring back the cold war on Cuba.

Anyway back to North Korea. Dennis Rodman, sponsored by Hempcoin, has landed in Pyongyang. Now this makes good late show comedy, but in a time when all out nuclear war could start at any second, we should be praising Rodman for doing this. Regardless of what you even think of North Korea or Kim Jong Un, we shouldn’t be pushing for more belligerency with them. Imagine if China had it’s navy do military drills right off our coast, meanwhile have thousands of troops in Canada. The US would fucking freak the fuck up and nuke the planet if that happened.

Back to liberals for one second. So whenever North Korea is brought up people always say “well North Korea is insane and not a rational actor, so we have to take them out.” My response is North Korea is a rational actor. Having nukes to protect their country from regime change is a rational action for the leadership of North Korea. They saw what happened in Libya, Iraq, and Syria for regimes without nuclear weapons. Nor would North Korea ever use those nuclear weapons in an offense manner, it would lead to the death of pretty much every living person in North Korea as a whole. Where is the rationality in that?

Dennis Rodman is going to North Korea, not because he’s this secretly working for the US government to help release Otto Warmbier. I think Rodman generally has a friendship with Kim Jong Un, despite the national differences between the two. And I think Kim Jong Un feels the same. That and I think Rodman is going over there to smug back a shit ton of weed from North Korea back to the US.

Lock Them Up: US Government for prison 2017

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William “Ryan” Owens and Nawar al-Awlaki (remember their names)

By Joseph Ballin

5/17/2017 12:05 AM EST

Nixon faced impeachment, not over blowing up the 1968 Vietnam peace deal and extending the Vietnam War, killing millions more people, or bombing Cambodia, or propping up various dictatorships world wide, but because he broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. It had nothing to do with the REAL crimes of Nixon. As Noam Chomsky pointed, Watergate only happened because Nixon threatened one faction in the capitalist state, the Democratic Party.

Now we are seeing the same thing happen again. Trump has expanded the usage of drones, planning on deploying 3,500 US troops in Afghanistan, thousands of US troops in Syria and Somalia for the first time, giving Saudi Arabia a 100 billion dollar arms deal, supporting various other dictatorships world wide, attacking the sovereign state of Syria over a chemical false flag attack, dropping MOAB in Afghanistan killing unknown number of people, and various other war crimes. And what do Democrats and Republicans have to say about all this? Radio silence.

When Napoleon was defeated, he was exiled to Saint Helena. As a 1919 British report on war crimes note “Napoleon was not charged with having during the Hundred Days carried on war contrary to the usages of civilized nations.” This was mainly because the Great Powers that defeated Napoleon didn’t want to be charged themselves with war crimes if they were defeated. It would only be after World War II, with the modern concept of war crime was further developed with the Nuremberg Trials and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East 1946. And since 1945, US has never been convicted for war crimes in a international war crimes tribunal.

Trump is a lying scumbag piece of human shit. He out right lied, claiming he never told the Russians anything, but later revealed that he did revealed classified information to the Russians about airlines and information about ISIS. Now it is revealed that he fired James Comey for investigating Michael Flynn, not for his handling the Hillary Clinton emails. Since becoming president, Trump has done everything that he criticized Hillary Clinton for and more.

Now how many in MSM or the US government are calling Trump a war criminal who should face life imprisonment without parole? Not a single one I can think of, because that would implicit them as well, along with every living US president. The REAL crimes of Donald Trump will never see an international war crimes tribunal. This is why there is not two parties in the US, but one, the war party. Chris Hedges pointed out correctly when he said “In mainstream discussion, it is either do we bomb Syria or do we bomb Syria and deploy US ground troops?”

Why is murdering thousands of people worldwide via US troops and bombs any less different from a common murder? Democrats and the so called “#Resistance” are not fighting Trump. Why would they fight Trump? Impeaching Trump would be suicide for Democrats because he’s so awful that it will be a Democratic landslide win in 2018 not seen for Democrats since 2008. The people fighting Trump include Code Pink protesting Senate conformation hearings of Trump cabinet picks that Democrats voted for, or protesting as air ports over the Muslim ban, or Sally Hates refusing the orders of Donald Trump. That is the real resistance.

Links:

https://books.google.com/books?id=wISXAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=napoleon+war+crimes+not+charged&source=bl&ots=4uI65297UM&sig=qLLMaVsXZD-8OEYVdaAA3Xcf7dQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwie2pHg_PXTAhXCPiYKHai7B9EQ6AEIVTAI#v=onepage&q=napoleon%20war%20crimes%20not%20charged&f=false

The Crimes of Donald Trump

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By Joseph Ballin

5/13/2017 7:10 PM EST

The one thing I hate most about being American is the hypocrisy of our views towards life and rule of law. This brings me to Donald Jay Trump, a guy you may have heard of. So Trump paints himself as his good moral god fearing Christian man who cares about muh fetuses, while on the side grabbing pussy. However, Trump has no problem dropping drones on innocent people while the orange cunt eats chocolate cake in Mar-a-Lago. I do not know the exact numbers of innocents murdered under the fascist Trump regime. The Obama regime considered any male 16 years or older killed as “terrorists”. It is hard to tell when the US is propping up proxy regimes like Egyptian General Sisi and funding secret covert terrorists in Syria since 2005. If I had to estimate he’s killed at least a couple thousand if not ten thousand innocent people since January 20.

For all the Trump voters out there who thought he was the peacenik to Hillary’s war mongering, where are you now? He’s given the CIA and generals the power to kill anyone at any time and deploy US ground troops to any country at any time. We’ve seen an massive escalation in drone strikes under the Trump regime, along with a $100 billion arms deal for Saudi Arabia. There is a build up of US ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with deployment of US ground troops in Syria and Somalia. He allowed his generals to drop MOAB on Afghanistan and we still do not know how many people were killed from that strike because nobody has been allowed anywhere near the blast. And he is pushing us towards war with North Korea and Iran, all while striking the Syrian government over a chemical attack committed by the al-Qaeda white helmets. Relations with Russia are at the worst they have ever been and we are already probably in a new cold war with them. Trump’s foreign policy is basically a return back to the times of the Golden Horde.

Again all of this doesn’t mean Hillary was the peace candidate, far from it, but we didn’t have people like Trump supporters out right lying saying she was. If I had it my way I would have Trump, Hillary, Obama, Bush, Bill Clinton, GWB, GHWB, Jimmy Carter, and pretty much almost the entire US government on trial for war crimes against humanity and a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, since I don’t believe in the death penalty. I think Dr. Cornel West summed it up best when he said “That means that a child in Yemen, Somalia, and a child in Pakistan has the same value as a child in Newtown, Connecticut, Southside Chicago, Chinatown, barrio and an Indian reservation. A child is a precious child, no matter what. Somebody’s got to be accountable for that.”

Everyone being treated the same aka equality right? You would think in the good old US of A that would be the case, but equality under the law in US is bullshit. If I kill someone I go to jail, if someone in the US government kills someone they get medals. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the near dead fossil and AG for the US, is rebooting the War on Drugs (that never ended since it’s declaration by Richard Nixon), telling prosecutors to seek the “most serious” charges and stricter sentences on the issue of drugs. So smoking a plant winds your ass in jail for life because private prisons demand cheap slave wage labor. Meanwhile wallstreet can steal from us and get tax payer bail out in order to keep the gravy train of capitalism going for another 10 years till the next crash.

“If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it” said Mark Twain, a man who was centuries ahead of his time. Until we call out the hypocrisy of both Republicans and Democrats we will never been free of this unless cycle of the War on so called “Terror” and War on so called “Drugs.” These wars are actually wars on the poor and non-white people. A lot of so called liberals hated Bush, but where ok with Obama putting a nice face on Bush’s policies. Now with Trump, the nice face has been replaced with an ugly orange turd, which is good for the left in the sense it wakes people up to just how fucked our government is. We need to move past this D vs R bullshit, end all these bullshit wars for profit, and move together as horizontally organized global workers party.

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Links:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-saudi-idUSKBN18832N

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/12/528086525/sessions-tells-prosecutors-to-seek-most-serious-charges-stricter-sentences

The Biggest Hypocrite – Wall of Shame

Hypocrite in Chief: Cory Booker

In the Wall of Shame premiere edition,  the number 1 nominee is Senator Cory Booker.  Cory Booker is a Senator from New Jersey, where the powers to be have deemed that he is worthy of a presidential primary run.  But, let’s see all the counts of Hypocrisy.  

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Horse Carriage Ban and Jimmy Challenges David Cross

In this winter episode, we freeze our jibbles off as we expose the hypocrisy and lies behind the moronic proposed NYC Horse Carriage Ban and after David Cross puts down my song I Challenges David Cross to a song-writing battle.

NYC Horse Carriage Ban and Jimmy Challenges David Cross

Shout outs this week go to:
-the Majority Report with a call to vote for them as the NUMBER 1 political podcast.
-the Stoned Socialist Podcast
O’Chang Comics for the Maine Style Funnies!
David Cross

The enemy of my enemy is my fellow technocrat

There’s been a recent outbreak of Blogger Warz!! between two of my favorites, Greenwald and Krugman.  It’s good reading, so I won’t bother excerpting (ok maybe a little).  Greenwald wrote an article discussing Obama advisor and current Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, and a recent paper he published regarding preferred methods of government propaganda.  Greenwald:

Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.”  He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government).   This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.”  Sunstein’s 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story‘s Daniel Tencer.

Greenwald rightly notes that if it was a Bush Administration official proposing these things, we’d be pissed.  Things start to get hot, however, when later in the article Greenwald makes note of the recently uncovered relationship between “independent health care modeling expert” Jon Gruber and the Obama Administration, namely a $400,000 contract to provide cost estimates on the impacts of various reform proposals.  This is a guy who is an MIT health economist, technical expert and leader in the field.  It’s definitely a good thing that lawmakers are relying on technical experts to help craft new laws that will have sweeping impact on society.  But he has repeatedly failed to disclose his financial ties to the current reform effort, even as he advocates for it (op-eds, NYT, WaPo, etc) and is in turn held out as a technical expert by senators, administration officials, etc, trying to sell their plan.

Krugman leaps to Gruber’s defense (and his own), not because the guy’s actions were particularly defensible, but because the revelations have the potential to be politically damaging in this final hour of healthcare reform.  (These shady things are supposed to come out after the fact, not during!)  He closes with this:

And here’s the thing: by claiming that there’s a huge scandal when nothing worse happened than insufficient care about disclosure, Greenwald and the people at FDL are actually reducing our ability to call foul on real corruption. After all, if everything is a scandal, nothing is a scandal. One of these days, perhaps soon, we’ll have a genuinely corrupt administration again — but when whistleblowers try to call attention to the misdeeds, you can be sure that there will be claims that “even liberals said that Obama did things just as bad or worse.”  The crusade against Gruber is getting really destructive.

As I had hoped, Greenwald responded to Krugman this morning, and pretty much dismantled his argument with the Vulcan logic we’ve come to expect.

For me, this is the nub of the matter.  I couldn’t disagree more with Krugman’s claim here, as he has it exactly backwards.  What will make it impossible to effectively call out wrongdoing by future corrupt administrations (by which Krugman seems to mean:  Republican administrations) is the willingness of some people to tolerate and defend corruption when done by “their side.”  The next time we have what Krugman calls a “genuinely corrupt administration” which, say, secretly pays people they’re holding out as “independent” experts, the administration’s defenders will say:  “how can you possibly object to our doing this when Obama did it, and not only did you fail to object then, but you defended it?”

I don’t expect Krugman will respond further to this, if for no other reason than it will continue to give oxygen to the controversy.  In many ways this dispute epitomizes the burgeoning grudge match on the left between those who are Democratic true believers, and those who are willing to cry foul no matter who is in charge.  I’m sympathetic to both sides (which I previously would not be, had we not just lived through the Bush administration) and am curious what others think about this.  Here’s those links again:

Greenwald argument

Krugman rebuttal

Greenwald rebuttal

UPDATE:

Marcy Wheeler rebuttal, responding to claims from Krugles that she’s a scandal-monger

Un-Frankenbelievable!

This is another pitch for an all Al TV channel:

Anyone who followed Congress under Republican control until 2007 was absolutely puking in their hat when McCain started spouting his righteous indignation. Anyone who watches a little CSPAN every once in a while knows that people get cut off all the time. But the worst and most egregious hypocrisy of the predictable Republican outrage is how they bent and twisted Congressional rules in meaningful and despicable ways when they were in power. I’m not talking about cutting of a minute of bloviating, I’m talking about literally eliminating the committee’s legislative process alltogether on some critical bills. Bypassing committee amendments, votes and debates. Right to the floor! This is what ‘shutting the democrats out of the process’ meant to the Republicans. If the Democrats had the same balls (and disrespect for the Constitution, hatred of democracy, anti-American sentiment, etc) then we wouldn’t even be talking about meaningless amendments to healthcare relating to illegal immigrants, abortion, etc that score political points for the opposition but don’t really provide substantial changes to the legislation.

Process is important, and the Republicans have written the book on gaming the system. I’d recommend John Dean’s “Broken Government” if you want more detail on the tactics they employed…here’s a review that I think is pretty accurate:

In his latest anti-Republican polemic, ex-Nixon White House counsel and Watergate whistle-blower Dean (Conservatives Without Conscience) moves from policy to process, how necessary government functions are corrupted and hobbled by Republican politicians and their ethos of authoritarianism, secrecy, partisanship and dogmatic contempt for the public sphere.

It’s a long indictment. The last Republican Congress, Dean contends, rubber-stamped Bush’s policies, shut Democrats out of the legislative process, neglected pressing issues and made a shambles of government finances. Meanwhile, the Bush administration–the worst presidency ever–has sought to replace constitutional checks and balances with a unitary executive that brooks no congressional interference and undermines civil rights. All of this is enabled by the swelling ranks of fundamentalists on the federal bench and Supreme Court (some of whom, he insists, committed perjury to get confirmed).

For this, McCain gets my nomination for “Hypocrite of the Week”