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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- Ex-energy loans watchdog Herbert M. Allison Jr. is now an Obama donor (CBS News):

- A US Navy seal, using a pen name, who was involved in the killing of Osama Bin Laden, will release a firsthand account of the raid on September 11th (USA Today):

- Tropical storm Issac, which could strengthen to a hurricane, threatens to disrupt the Republican National Convention in Tampa starting Monday (Fox News):


  1. Money in politics, interesting numbers/statistics in an analysis earlier this year:

    "It's a bedrock truth of money and politics: The biggest spender almost always wins.

    Here at the Center for Responsive Politics we've watched the trends in political money for a long time, and this is one of the most consistent findings we can identify.

    Even during the most competitive cycles, when control of Congress is up for grabs, at the end of the day the candidates who spend the most usually win eight of 10 Senate contests and nine of 10 House races. "

    Not a surprise, but I wish more people shared concern in the danger it poses when our political system essentially fosters 'buying' your way into an elected office. Rather than people being elected based on being the best qualified candidates, or having the best ideas/morals, or plans for our country... it's more about how much money they can throw at their campaign.

    A problem with no easy solution, of course, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored.

    1. RKen - Good morning. Of course, you know my take on this. I'm a freedom of speech guy... so yes, this is a tough issue with no easy solution, and I hope we never go down the path where we allow the government to limit someone's ability in the way many opposed to the campaign finance freedom describe.

      I just wanted to share this quick article on CNN:

      It says, "Historically, the candidate who raises the most money is likely to win. In recent presidential elections, the only victors whose campaign committees raised less than their opponent were Bill Clinton in 1996 (raising $116.8 million to Sen. Bob Dole's $134.7 million) and Ronald Reagan, who raised less than Jimmy Carter but nevertheless swept into Washington in a 1980 landslide."

      While yes, that's 2 times in the last 2 elections, I don't think money being spent is a guarantee like many claim.

    2. Good morning (or well, afternoon now lol).

      And yeah, it's no guarantee of course, but I think that there's a solid argument to be made for an 'overbearing probability.'

      And truth be told, I don't think this would be as much of an issue if not for the fact that the statistic is something like 78% of all campaign money is given by 3% of the donators. Similar to how you feel it's unfair for the top 10% to pay a largely disproportionate amount of the total taxes, I feel it's unfair for a small% to have a largely disproportionate effect on who we elect in what is supposed to be a (equally) Representative Democracy.