Campaign Finance: actual experience doesn’t matter if you have enough money – part 2

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Gee, someone must have some very wealthy out-of-state friends. Too bad we can’t tell who they are.

Josh Hawley (r) [2016 file photo].

Josh Hawley (r) [2016 file photo].

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for the brand new PAC weighing in on behalf of the republican candidate for Attorney General in the November election.

C161307 08/24/2016 MISSOURI FREEDOM PAC Republican Attorneys General Association 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 800 Washington DC 20006 8/23/2016 $975,000.00

That’s added to the $100,000.00 they kicked in for the same PAC reported two days ago. It’s not particularly transparent or grassrootsie.

And, reported at the Missouri Ethics Commission in the same day from the same PAC, apparently passed through for Josh Hawley’s (r) 2016 campaign for Attorney General:

C151132 08/24/2016 HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI Missouri Freedom PAC 1747 Pennsylvania Ave NW Suite 800 Washington DC 20006 8/23/2016 $1,000,000.00

Gee, they have the same address. Do you suppose they think that Missouri voters (and media) are too stupid to notice or are too lazy to care? Don’t answer that.

Previously:

Understanding your job… (September 5, 2015)

Campaign Finance: actual experience doesn’t matter if you have enough money (August 23, 2016)

Campaign Finance: experience does matter (August 23, 2016)

Stuff happens

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Senator Bernie Sanders (D) [2016 file photo].

Senator Bernie Sanders (D) [2016 file photo].

Revolutions can get messy:

August 23, 2016, 09:49 am
Staffers quit new Sanders group after campaign head joined
By Mark Hensch

At least five people have left Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) new political group after Sanders brought in his campaign manager to lead it, Politico reported Tuesday.

Weaver, who ran Sanders’s presidential campaign that ended last month, was made president of the group Our Revolution, causing the exodus before the group officially launches…..

Not that we’re surprised.

Previously:

If you’re planning on a revolution it actually helps if you show up (April 7, 2016)

Your $27.00 won’t get you into heaven anymore (June 19, 2016)

Campaign Finance: experience does matter

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Transparency, too.

Teresa Hensley (D) [2016 file photo].

Teresa Hensley (D) [2016 file photo].

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for Teresa Hensley’s (D) 2016 campaign for Attorney General:

C151147 08/23/2016 TERESA HENSLEY FOR MISSOURI James Nutter 4153 Broadway Kansas City MO 64111 James B. Nutter & Company Chairman 8/22/2016 $10,000.00

C151147 08/23/2016 TERESA HENSLEY FOR MISSOURI Claire McCaskill 1941 Spring House Dr Kirkwood MO 63122 United States Senate US Senator 8/22/2016 $10,000.00

C151147 08/23/2016 TERESA HENSLEY FOR MISSOURI RedCard 744 Office Pkwy Saint Louis MO 63141 8/22/2016 $10,000.00

[emphasis added]

Anyone think Josh Hawley’s (r) campaign will get a personal check from Senator Roy Blunt (r) anytime soon? Just asking.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: actual experience doesn’t matter if you have enough money (August 23, 2016)

Campaign Finance: so very strange – part 3

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….Yes, but the eventual republican nominee will have all the money they need….

Eric Greitens (r) [2016 file photo].

Eric Greitens (r) [2016 file photo].

It’s a tougher road when you have to start relying on those “smallish” in-state contributions.

Yesterday at the Missouri Ethics Commission for Eric Greitens’ (r) 2016 gubernatorial campaign:

C151053 08/22/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI James B Boswell 2600 Vail Dr. Columbia MO 65203 Independent Stave Company Executive 8/22/2016 $25,000.00

C151053 08/22/2016 GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Scott Leiendecker 6428 Murdoch Ave. Saint Louis MO 63109 Knowink Owner 8/22/2016 $5,001.00

[emphasis added]

It can’t last.

Previously:

Eric Greitens (r) – January 2016 Quarterly Campaign Finance Report – “Running for governor in which state?” (January 17, 2016)

Campaign Finance: not exactly a paragon of transparency (August 11, 2016)

Campaign Finance: so very strange (August 17, 2016)

Campaign Finance: so very strange – part 2 (August 20, 2016)

Campaign Finance: actual experience doesn’t matter if you have enough money

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….Yes, but the eventual republican nominee will have all the money they need….

Yesterday at the Missouri Ethics Commission for a republican PAC intending to weigh in on the 2016 Attorney General race:

C161307 08/22/2016 MISSOURI FREEDOM PAC Republican Attorneys General Association 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 800 Washington DC 20006 8/3/2016 $100,000.00

[emphasis added]

So much for transparency.

Well, they’re a brand new PAC:

C161307: Missouri Freedom Pac
Committee Type: Political Action
1747 Pennsylvania Ave Nw Suite 800 Washinton Dc 20006
Established Date: 08/02/2016
[….]
Treasurer
Tony Feather
2720 Tanglewood Drive
Jefferson City Mo 65109
[….]

[emphasis added]

Their intent [pdf]:

AGrPAC082316

Anyone think that’ll be the last of it?

Campaign Finance: affirmation

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Judy Baker (D) [2016 file photo].

Judy Baker (D) [2016 file photo].

Yesterday at the Missouri Ethics Commission for Judy Baker’s (D) 2016 campaign for State Treasurer:

C151178 08/22/2016 BAKER FOR MISSOURI CHIPP Political Account 1401 Hampton Ave 3rd Floor St Louis MO 63139 8/22/2016 $100,000.00

[emphasis added]

And it comes from working people.

Previously:

Campaign Finance: Oh, yes, there is a big difference. (August 12, 2016)

Campaign Finance: no question (August 13, 2016)

Campaign Finance: with working people (August 14, 2016)

Rudy Giuliani and Eric Greitens both speak “abbreviash”

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Last week, or thereabouts, former New York mayor and current GOP crackpot Rudy Giuliani noted that there had never been a terrorist attack in the United States before Barack Obama became president. Giuliani was mayor of New York when the 9/11 attack on the twin towers took place. George Bush was president. When confronted about this blatant misrepresentation later, he noted that “he was using ‘abbreviated language’.”

Missouri GOP gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens also seems to have a taste for abbreviation:

Missouri Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens, who claimed to have volunteered in Bosnia in the ’90s, actually volunteered mostly in neighboring Croatia, according to a report by The Associated Press.

In his recent campaign remarks and his online biography, Greitens claimed that he spent the summer of 1994 volunteering in Bosnia to help the children of families impacted by the Bosnian genocide.

Some critics were quick to accuse the candidate of lying in order to appeal to a large Bosnian refugee community in the state.

[…] However, Bosnia and Croatia were both part of Yugoslavia prior to the ethnic war, which is why, Greitens said, he made the remark.

“When you think about the violence, people recognize and they understand what happened in Bosnia, and they understand working with Bosnian refugees,” he said.

Of course any such volunteer activity is to be commended, but when the volunteer is willing to misrepresent what he did so blatantly, doesn’t it call his integrity into question? Maybe it even casts a pall over his actual achievement? Did his time in Croatia really mean anything to him or was he just another ambitious kid busy with resume building?

But not to worry. Greitens is youngish, almost a “millennial,” and they speak differently, or so we are told:

There’s a way that young people talk these days, and it’s totes hilars. You see it on Twitter a lot, people exclaiming about their totes delish spags or their totes redic boyfs. Linguists Lauren Spradlin and Taylor Jones call this practice “totesing” — the systematic abbreviation (“abbreviash”) of words to effect a certain tone. The fad might have started with “totally” becoming totes, but at this point, no entry in the English lexicon is safe.

Linguist Spradlin claims that millennials are doing this “not primarily to be efficient, but to be expressive — to add dimension to words.” Greitens and Giuliani are just applying the same principle to concepts rather than words. They’re abbreviating conceptual sequences rather than chains of letters and, in the process, obscuring actual events in order to create a new story.

Greitens wants to plant the idea in St. Louis Bosnian minds that he’s the shiny white knight who will watch out for Bosnians. Giuliani wants to intensify his presentation of Barack Obama as Barry Milquetoast flailing ineffectually at ISIS rather than the quietly persistent leader who did in Osama Bin Laden. In order to do so, they “abbreviate” the truth. To tatters.

On the  other hand, maybe they’re nothing more than garden-variety liars. Cut and dried.  Giulliani? A doddering old fool desperate to be relevant in today’s bat-s**t crazy GOP. And Greitens? At least we can be glad that he’s revealed his opportunism early in the game. If you vote for him, you deserve what  you’ll get. And it’s not necessarily going to be the truth.

*3rd and last paragraphs slightly edited for clarity and emphasis (8/23, 12:27 am).

Good guys with a gun vs. bad guys with a gun fails the logic test

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One technique used by philosophers to evaluate an assertion is the search for counterexamples. If, for example, one encounters an individual who believes that all Labrador Retriever dogs are black, it is sufficient to show that this is not the case simply by producing the counterexample of a yellow Lab. The use of counterexamples can become vastly more complex, but you get the idea.

The reason I bring this up is that I think that Mark Kleiman, who posts at The Reality-Based Community Blog, has suggested the elements of an excellent counterexample that would demonstrate that the case for both unrestricted open and/or concealed-carry gun laws and extended “stand your ground” laws, which basically consists of one or another variant of “good guys with guns nullify bad guys with guns,” doesn’t stand up to close examination. This issue is especially relevant since it references anti-regulation legislation of the type that our Missouri GOP-controlled legislature wants to cram down our throats come the September legislative session wherein they hope to override Governor Nixon’s veto of SB656.

Kleiman’s starting point is a recent incident where a few “White Lives Matter” demonstrators gathered outside Houston’s NAACP headquarters to protest whatever gets white bile flowing. According to reports, members of the group were waving confederate flags and flourishing their – legal in Texas – firearms. Kleiman asks the following questions:

  1. Is it appropriate to come armed to a political demonstration?
  2. Would it be appropriate for counter-demonstrators also to come armed?
  3. When two groups of armed demonstrators confront one another and start shouting and shoving, and someone opens fire, how could a jury possibly find, beyond reasonable doubt, that whoever fired first was not in reasonable fear of his life from the actions of the armed people on the other side? Texas is “stand-your-ground” as well as “open-carry,” so there is no legal obligation on either side to back off.
  4. If the demonstration happened during business hours, would it be appropriate for NAACP staff to come armed?
  5. If one of them were to kill an armed Confederate, and testified that he saw the Confederate going for his gun and felt in reasonable fear of his life, how could a jury convict? Conversely, if one of the Confederates were to kill an armed NAACP staffer and gave the same testimony, how could a jury convict?

In order to show that this example is one-size-fits-all, Kleiman then asks us to imagine the same situation and ask the same questions except with anti-Trump demonstrators at a Trump rally. The unavoidable conclusion: maybe it’s not a really good idea to have lots of folks – of any ideological persuasion or varying degrees of goodness – running around fully armed and emboldened by stand-your-ground to shoot when “provoked.”

Kleiman’s musings suggest that when one considers the complicated nature of the real world, the good guys with guns argument might be a little too simplistic to use as a basis for policy, even if it had any specific situational applicability – which is another issue altogether. It certainly does not address all the pitfalls in the situation described by Kleiman and I bet that in a very short time anyone one of us could come up with lots more counterexamples that show the failure of the good guys with guns argument to address reality.

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