Friday, October 17, 2008

ACORN and Obama

It would appear that ACORN is in a lot of trouble. ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is under investigation in a number of states for voter registration fraud. ACORN has recently claimed that it has registered some 1.3 million voters. These 1.3 million voters are allegedly mainly young people, minorities, and poor. I say allegedly because there is so many allegations of fraud, it is hard to get a handle on any true demographics. The majority of these "new voters" are thought to be Democrat voters.




I have done a number of searches now and it is hard to see just how many states have started investigating alleged voter fraud involving ACORN. Most sources quote ten to twelve states, and a few say as high as 15 states. Regardless of the number of states, there are enough allegations and investigations that the FBI is now getting involved.



It appears that a number of ACORN workers in a number of states were registering people multiple times (one guy was registered 75 times in one case) and in some states volunteers have just made up people. One volunteer was able to register the entire starting lineup for the Dallas Cowboys. Here are two quick examples:



Philadephia – Various Groups (including ACORN) submitted 252,595 registrations. 57,435 were rejected. Most of these rejections were submitted by ACORN. These rejections were for reasons such as fake social security numbers, obviously forged signatures, fake addresses and duplicate registrations.



Texas – In Harris County, ACORN submitted 35,000 voter registrations. Of those, 14,000 (about 40%) were rejected. According to the Houston Chronicle, "About half of the 14,000 ACORN applications that were rejected in Harris County were missing required information such as the potential voter's address, date of birth and Texas driver's license number, said Paul Bettencourt, the county's voter registrar and tax assessor-collector. Another 3,800 applicants already were registered to vote." The article notes that county election officials do not see any sign of obvious voter fraud. However the same article states that of the 4,000 applications submitted by the League of Women Voters, only 4 were duplicates. Of the 3,300 applications submitted by the Harris County Democratic Party, five were duplicates. Harris County election officials may not see anything suspicious, but considering the scale of numbers between the three groups, I do.



This is starting to look like a nationwide issue. If you do a Google search for "ACORN voter registration fraud" you find articles going back to 2007 and 2006 in addition to everything being written today. So why is this important?



The first issue is that you have an organization that receives tax dollars for community work fraudulently registering people to vote. You are paying to have this group attempt to steal votes. One guy is alleged to have registered 75 times. A co-worker of my wife asked, "Do you really think he was going to vote 75 times?" My response is, "Will he try to vote twice?" If he votes twice, we have a problem.



The second issue is that the Democratic Party's nominee has major ties to ACORN. Barack Obama has done work in the past with ACORN. He has received ACORN's endorsement for President. The Obama campaign has paid ACORN around $800,000.



It would appear that a number of ACORN works have been up to no good. Obama and his campaign have clear cut relationships with ACORN. Voters need to remember this as the election draws near.

47 comments:

familyman said...

Andy Andy Andy - I just can't quit you. You make my blood boil.

From ABC news -

"There's no evidence that any of these invalid registrations lead to any invalid votes," said David Becker, project director of the "Make Voting Work" initiative for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Becker should know: he was a lawyer for the Bush administration until 2005, in the Justice Department's voting rights section, which was part of the administration's aggressive anti-vote-fraud effort.

"We're chasing these ghosts of voter fraud, like chickens without a head," said Lorraine Minnite, a political science professor at Barnard College in New York who has researched voter fraud and fraud claims for most of the past decade. "I think it's completely overblown, I think it's meant to be a distraction."

"This stuff does not threaten the outcome of the election," said Minnite. "How many illegal ballots have been cast by people who are fraudulently registered to vote? By my count, it's zero. I just don't know of any, I've been looking for years for this stuff."

Even the non-partisan truth-in-politics Web site FactCheck.org called foul on McCain's alleged possible conspiracy, noting that a Republican prosecutor handling a key Acorn registration fraud case has said there's no evidence indicating the group was involved in vote fraud.

"This scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting," said King County, Wash. Prosecutor Dan Satterberg in a 2007 statement, after a federal-state investigation found seven Acorn workers had submitted over 1,700 bogus voter registration forms.

--------

Well, that's just a Republican Prosecutor, a Political science professor and a Justice Department lawyer.

But I guess you know better.

Andy D said...

Welcome back Familyman. I am impressed with your new found faith in what Republicans say. Good for you.

Unfortunately, I no longer share your blind faith in the words of any party representative, Republican or otherwise. I go back to the comment I made in the post, if a guy registers 75 times, do we think he might try to vote twice? If so, that is a problem. Surely you would agree with that.

familyman said...

It's hardly a new found faith in the republican party. And it's certainly not blind faith.

I think the fact that even republicans who have nothing to gain politically from taking this stand are saying that it's a non-issue says a lot.

The people who are railing the loudest against Acorn seem to be the people who have the most Political ground to gain by stirring up trouble.

Andy D said...

Family, I have nothing personally to gain by pointing this out. No one is denying that ACORN has submitted invalid voter registration cards. No one is denying that this happened in a number of states, and it has prompted an investigation into ACORN by these states.


If you are ok with the fact that this is going on, then fine, this post really shouldn't bother you. I think it is a huge problem when a group tries to commit voter registration fraud. I think it is even a bigger problem if it is done with federal tax money.


I personally don't care if a Republican or a Democrat says it is ok. Wrong is still wrong. I make my own decisions and I don't rely on anyone from either party to tell me what I should think.

Anonymous said...

I will trust republicans on this issue when they start caring about the thousands of people illegally dropped from voter rolls.

familyman said...

The reason the post bothers me is bacause I think you are giving ACORN an undeserved bad rap.

I'm not saying the organization is perfect. By their own admission they have some problems that need to be addressed. But I think it is important to put this issue in perspective.

The ACORN issue does not, as John McCain would have us believe, "threaten to destroy the fabric of democracy."

-

Well, it sounds like you've made up your mind.

But I'll post this anyway just in case there might be someone reading who is interested in an alternative view.

A few excerpts from an associated press story -

"This is all just one big head-fake," said Tova Wang of the [nonprofit, nonpartisan] government watchdog group Common Cause. "What silliness this is, at this point. It's all about creating this perception that there is a tremendous problem with voter fraud in this country, and it's not true."

...


Voter fraud is rare in the United States, according to a 2007 report by the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. Based on reviews of voter fraud claims at the federal and state level, the center's report asserted most problems were caused by things like technological glitches, clerical errors or mistakes made by voters and by election officials.

"It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than he will impersonate another voter at the polls," the report said.

...


ACORN officials have repeatedly claimed that their own quality control workers were the first to discover problematic ballots. In every state investigating bad registrations, ACORN tipped off local officials to bogus or incomplete cards, spokesman Kettenring said.

Part-time ACORN workers receive one day of training and are paid $8 an hour to collect signatures, according to Kettenring. He blamed bogus cards on cheating and lazy employees trying to make a buck for doing nothing.

When caught, Kettenring said, those workers are fired.

...

"There are certainly problems and I don't think anyone disagrees on that," said Wang of Common Cause. "But it doesn't get reported that ACORN finds these registrations errors themselves. They flag them as being no good, but they have to turn them in anyway."

Andy D said...

Familyman, I haven't accused ACORN of voter fraud, but of voter registration fraud. I haven't seen any evidence that a voter has intentionally cast more than one vote this election season because of ACORN.


I have seen numerous reports that ACORN has turned in a disproportionate number of bogus registrations this year. Take the Harris County example. While other groups had 4 or 5 duplicate ballots, 40% of the ACORN registrations were rejected. That points to a problem.


If this was the Minute Man group or any Christian Coalition, you would be arguing to throw the book at the group. I think ACORN should be investigated. If any official or worker is found to have intentionally committed voter registration fraud, they should be punished in accordance with the law. If this problem is found to be organization wide, ACORN should loose all federal funding. IF there is no evidence of wrong doing, then they can continue as normal.

Surely you can agree with that.

Patrick said...

Andy-

Actually I do think that this is a very valid issue to bring up. However, I believe it's very misleading (as most of both candidates campaigns have been) to make the title of the post ACORN and Obama. I am pretty sure that by reading this post, you are not insinuating that Obama himself has seen or overheard of a plot in order to solidify his election win by voter fraud, correct?

Here's the breakdown of the expenditures Obama's camp paid for:

$310,441.20 25-FEB-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$160,689.40 27-FEB-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$98,451.20 29-FEB-08 TRAVEL/LODGING
$74,578.01 13-MAR-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$18,417.00 28-MAR-08 POLLING
$18,633.60 29-APR-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$63,000.00 29-APR-08 ADVANCE WORK
$105.84 02-MAY-08 LICENSE FEES
$105.84 02-MAY-08 LICENSE FEES
$75,000.00 17-MAY-08 ADVANCE WORK
$13,176.20 17-MAY-08 PER DIEM

You can take this however you want. Depending on who you're voting for, this could look like a bunch of payments for Obama rallies to get people to vote, or a way to manipulate and commit fraud.

To point the blame at Obama sounds like a needless conspiracy theory. I mean, any number of these things(recent) could have been brought up so long ago, but why now? Of course, the need to win the election.

Senior Lady said...

Andy:

I'll agree with you on this: if there is mounting evidence in various states of voter registration fraud, then an investigation may be warranted.

That has nothing to do with Barack Obama, however, and it's wrong of you to insinuate that because his campaign has given money to ACORN, he is somehow responsible, or should be held accountable, for some alleged wrongdoing in that organization.

Andy D said...

There are a number of ties between Obama and Acorn. Obama has represented ACORN in court. Obama has worked training people within their organization. Obama's campaign has given a substantial amount of money to ACORN. Obama has received more donations from ACORN than all but one Senator, and Obama is a one term senator.


Do I believe Obama's campaign is directing ACORN to intentionally register fraudulent voters? No. It was not my intention in this post to suggest Obama is secretly directing ACORN activities. Do I believe ACORN is supporting Obama for President? Yes, they have endorsed him. It was my intention to point to a group that should no longer have federal funding, and to point out one more questionable relationship that Obama has.


Obama has also said that ACORN would have a voice in his administration. ACORN has had a policy of extorting major corporations to fund their operations. ACORN is also a major supporter of the kinds of loans that have gotten us into the financial crisis we are in now.


Why would I tie Obama and ACORN together in this post? Because I feel voters need to be prepared for a continued economic crisis if Obama is elected. One big reason is that Obama supports the kinds of loans that have caused the problems we have now.

Patrick said...

Andy-

I'm glad you wrote this last comment. In the last month of this Presidential race, there is a bit of a double-standard presenting itself. On one hand, you have Governor Palin's scandal, and then the myriad of accusations against Obama. I just want to talk a bit about this.

Why is it that when Gov. Palin's DIRECT abuse of power is in question, the Republicans cry foul, but any accusation against Obama is just? Do we really think the Democratic Party (and oh yes, I'm going to take it there) would let their first legitimate black candidate, someone to change the face of politics in the U.S., take the front stage without knowing his background? That's a little far fetched to me.

Speaking of double-standard, I could also bring up the bashing that Obama has taken from Rep. about his proposed windfall profits tax on oil, when Gov. Palin did the same thing in Alaska. But we quickly glossed over that.

Regardless of who's side you are on, you can't deny the double-standard. Bill Ayers was brought up a while back anyway, just as the Keating Five was. Are you sure that no Democrats at the helm of the party knew of the Bill Ayers connection, or this tie to ACORN? I mean, a person who inspires more people to get involved into how your country runs is going to have some nut jobs inspired along the way. Just look at the McCain rallies.

Oh, and for the reply, please do tell me that Palin's not running for Pres. and Obama is. Palin's job is to keep the status quo for the Rep. party and McCain's is the gain ground. Obama is the agressor in his campaign.

Patrick said...

Andy-

What I meant by the last point in my comment was this (I re-read it and decided to clarify), we have to compare Palin and Obama, b/c pretty much everyone is assuming McCain won't make it through the term, and Obama is pretty much doing most of the poll gaining himself. McCain needs Palin to win the election, because she pulls the conservative votes and new votes in. I do think McCain has done better for himself lately, though, epecially with the last debate; but he still needs his Palin to drive it home.

pack04 said...

Two very important things are getting over looked here. Perhaps even a third.

1) the problem is not so much that a guy is registered 75 times. It is that a person with those registrations COULD vote twice.
I am not forgetting about people being illegally dropped from voter rolls. As I understand that is being looked into as well. Trying to justify multiple registrations with the fact that people were dropped is flat out wrong.

2)This group gets federal money. Ethically they cannot voice their opinion for one candidate over another. It is even un-ethical for individual workers of the group to voice their opinions for one candidate over another. There is no discussion on this. IT IS WRONG.



Familyman in one of your post you put a clip from somebody saying voter fraud is rare. I think I would agree with that. However, the last 2 elections a fair amount of people believe Bush "stole the election." Perception over actuality is a huge thing when it comes to campaigns and politics, with perception usually winning. This looks bad especially with Senator Obama's ties with the group. Think of President Bush winning Florida when his brother was Governor.

Anonymous said...

Here's a quick fact check on these dumb ACORN allegations. Check it out.

And, thank goodness, some actual perpetrators of real voter fraud have been arrested. I'm sure Andy was just about to write a post about this...

Andy D said...

Funny, I too found an article about ACORN voter fraud. I might have to rethink how involved in this Obama is.

This article is going to be tough for some Democrats to read, but not all. Turns out Hillary Democrats and Republicans can work together. Here is a quick teaser from the article.

"What's happening here is something we have never seen before: centrist Clinton Democrats and Republicans are working together to expose the DNC and Obama campaign's illegal activities and orchestrated, coordinated fraud. Both parties are working with federal agents to investigate ACORN, which has been funded with upwards of $800,000 in questionable donations from the Obama campaign (in what appears to be the expressed and explicit direction to engineer voter fraud in the general election)."

Anonymous said...

Andy - the source of your article, Kyle-Anne Shiver, is hardly unbiased.
If you want to raise a convincing argument, please show where a credible NON-PARTISAN news or information organization cites or supports those same facts.
When people get their facts from articles written by highly partisan writers in the blogosphere on EITHER side, it hardly qualifies as a reasonable discussion.


signed, Anonymous II

Anonymous said...

Andy, that link is neither a response to the very specific links I posted, nor is it a coherent case about alleged ACORN fraud. It is a slop bucket full of random allegations and innuendo.

I challenge you to make a clear case about alleged voter fraud that demonstrably benefits Obama.

And I will say it again. The allegation that Obama is "stealing" the election (and that he is a "terrorist" and a "socialist" and a "Muslim" and should be "killed" or be "beheaded") is gasoline on the racist fires raging in the Republican Party.

If something happens to Obama because some "patriot" trying to "defend America" actually *believes* the toxic, combustible lies that people like you have been spreading, you will have sacrificed American democracy and domestic peace for the sake of trying to get a mediocre candidate elected president.

I do believe that you love this country. So take a deep breath, Andy. And concentrate on how these two candidates differ *on actual policies.*

Andy D said...

Anon II, I simply submit this article as another opinion. I don't claim an article published in the American Spectator is unbiased. This article was publishing a summary of some of the newest events in those particular states. It is definitely an opinion piece. I thought the most interesting part of this article is the allegation that people from the Hillary Campaign are turning over documents to government officials and Republicans.

Mrs. Familyman said...

Andy -
You completely missed my point. OPINIONS are just that - opinions. You yourself point out that the most interesting part of the article is an "allegation."

If you want to argue your case effectively, you need show some concrete facts that have been reported in an unbiased way. I would hope that in the interest of having a reasonable discussion you would understand that relying on opinions put forth by pundits that lean heavily one way or the other actually weakens your argument. If you want to change someone's mind about an issue, strongly biased opinion pieces such as the one you quoted have little to no effect.

I take much more seriously the arguments of those such as Familyman and Anon (the other one...) who quote sources such as ABC news, the Chicago Tribune, AP, and CNN.
If those on the other side of the argument started citing Keith Olberman, or the Huffington Post, those arguments would be weakened too.

When time and time again you rely on overtly right-wing opinions and sources to frame your arguments- rather than credibly researched facts, it shows that you're only interested in feeding into the Republican hysteria rather than having a well reasoned FACT-based discussion about actual issues.

Anonymous said...

Good points, Mrs. Familyman.

Here's more real breaking news. Republicans are engaging in criminal voter fraud. One GOP operative already arrested...

Waiting for Andy to condemn it...

pack04 said...

original anonymous i would read the article you put up but when I roll over the link it shows that is not from an unbiased news source with Mrs. Familyman's stamp of approval.
Please try again.

Mrs. Familyman...do you firmly believe that CNN is not biased?

How about the ageist claims against McCain? or the he is the same as Bush. Those are meant to inflame. Do those get a pass? I guess so since the evil republicans and their buddies have jacked up the price of gas so high that democratics can't afford to throw any on the fire, therefore they can't be inflaming. There are just as many whacked out crazy ass leftist as their are ultra conservative right wing nut jobs.

funny how the main issue here and on most of these posts gets lost in sea of "bad information" arguments. (Andy you should just go on ahead and let everybody call everybody names, it is not much different than calling each other stupid by discrediting sources, it could be more entertaining seeing adjectives people come up with.) I am just as tired of it as I am the presidential debating. Talk about real things and real solutions without the blame. Publicly funded programs making a political statement should lose public funding.

Familyman since you are back I want to ask you a question that I asked anonymous but he/she/it appeared to scared(?) to answer...Can Senator Obama do anything wrong?

Anonymous said...

Pack, dude, I answered your taunt the first time.

I think Obama made mistakes when he agreed to some offshore drilling, when he supports "clean coal" technology, and when he compromised with the Bush administration on wiretapping. I think he is wrong when he supports the death penalty.

And my links go to CNN and the LA Times. I know those both lean to the right and they're run by multi-bazillionaires, but try to put up with them and see if you dispute the *facts.*

For the sake of balance, here is something the McCain campaign has done that I very much support. Frankly, if they did more of this kind of stuff, I'd worry more about them winning. But I actually think the campaign as a whole is scared to turn off the angry, racist, hateful part of the base.

Andy D said...

Anonymous,
I do not approve voter registration fraud, or voter fraud done by either party. I would expect anyone (Republican, Democrat, or other) to have the book thrown at them if they are found guilty of breaking the law. From your comments, I don’t believe you can say the same thing.

Pertaining to the previous comment by Anonymous (posted at 11:53 AM):

I am not alleging Obama is a terrorist. I don’t know, nor am I alleging he is a Muslim. I take it as highly offensive that you think I am encouraging any to kill or behead Obama. Your accusation paints with a very broad stroke and tries to silence legitimate debate with true nonsense.

Should Obama win this election, I will work within the boundaries of the law, and morals, to get someone else elected in 2012. If you ever suggest or hint that I might be saying something like that again, I will reject your comment, and ask you to not comment on this site again.

I am not spreading any lies about Obama. It is a fact that ACORN is under investigation in a number of states for voter registration fraud. It is also a fact that Obama has ties to ACORN, and has ties that are closer than any other candidate that I am aware of during this election cycle. I do not know of any accusations that Obama is currently directing the operations of ACORN.

Pack brought up a very valid point earlier. When Democrats thought Bush’s team might be getting votes thrown out in Florida through fraud, there were all kinds of threats. How long have we heard the mantra, “Selected, not Elected”? Now we have a case where a federally funded group is trying to fraudulently register voters (whether by a few individuals or company policy) and this is OK?

I am ready to denounce voter registration fraud if it is perpetrated by any group, regardless of political leanings. Are you ready to do the same?

Andy D said...

Mrs. Familyman,

I had to go back and re-look at the comments. I wasn’t aware of which comment you made. I have tried to use concrete facts, and have been accused of some pretty terrible things on here. I have respected your husbands and yours opinions for some time now, I would assume that you wouldn’t accuse me of the things above, but am saddened that you didn’t think to defend my ability to voice my opinions.

In my original post, I cited as one source The Houston Chronicle. This paper will never be considered a right leaning paper. In other post on this website, I just quoted the Chicago Tribune. I am interested to see how your husband acknowledges that as worthy source.

CNN is hardly an unbiased source. This is the same network that admitted it knew of many of the atrocities Saddam Hussein committed before George W Bush sent troops in, but didn’t want to report on them for fear Saddam would kick them out.

I frame my arguments in overtly right wing opinions because I have overtly right wing opinions. You can draw what conclusions you want from that. I would like to think that you would consider my arguments at face value, perhaps look at my research, and reach your own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Of course I denounce voter registration fraud. I denounce voting fraud even more forcefully.

ACORN has not been shown to have committed voter registration fraud--some of their workers, however, we filling out bogus registrations in order to make easy money. That's wrong and they should be held strictly accountable. But let's be clear. The intent was not about getting "Mickey Mouse" to vote for Obama.

The republicans, however, were arrested for actively seeking to rob people of their right to vote. That is a much more serious offense. And they should be held accountable. Jail time. Community service.

And I did not accuse you of saying Obama ought to be killed. But your rather distorted critique of ACORN is part of a wave of wild accusations fueling anger and hatred that has kept the secret service very busy in the last month protecting the man who will probably be the next president of the united states.

Telling people (wrongly) that Obama and ACORN are working to steal the election is a serious allegation that is inciting people right now to threats of violence. All I am saying is that you need to be responsible about your allegations.

Mrs. Familyman said...

Pack - why so angry all the time????

I want to make it clear that I'm not accusing anyone of anything except maybe of failing to think critically about news, opinion and information they receive from overtly biased sources.

Pack - how can ANYONE be assured of the accuracy of the information from a BIASED news source? If you think CNN is biased, then don't watch it. Try and find something that makes an better effort at providing credible information.

I don't know about CNN - I don't watch it or get my news from it. I was *trying* to list news organizations that *most* people would point to as credible and unbiased. CNN might be a bad example, and if you want to rule out CNN that's fine, but then you absolutely have to rule out FOX too. Even though my views are progressive, I make an effort gather news from sources that don't have an overt bias either way.

How can anyone make a valid argument based on bad information??? I haven't called anyone stupid, Pack, those are your inferences, not mine. You say you want the candidates to talk about real things and real solutions without blame, but you should really practice what you preach. Your last post has so much finger pointing going on, you should take care not to jab yourself in the eye.

I agree that publicly funded programs should not be making political statements, but that logic should follow for Faith-based initiatives as well. Public funds should not be used for "initiatives" that favor one religion over another.

In spite of Andy's "evidence" I don't believe that Obama is nefariously tied to ACORN. As Familiyman cited there's plenty of credible evidence to argue that.

Frankly, the assertion that Obama supporters think that the man is the second coming, the messiah, or can do no wrong is getting really tired.
But, since you posed the question, here's a few things that I disagree with Obama about:
I'm not in favor of government funded faith based initiatives (Obama is.) I believe that church and state (as in state FUNDS) should remain separate.
I was disappointed on Obama's vote on the FISA bill.
Shortly after he received the democratic nomination, his views shifted to be more centrist, which I felt was, in part, political.
I'm also disappointed on Obama's stance on offshore drilling.
I also believe that he won't be able to deliver everything he's promised. But I don't think ANY politician ever does.

Obama is a politician who recognizes that political beings have to play the political game. I believe that all politicians do, and found it refreshing that he admitted as much. But he also has the ability to inspire people, you may call it fluffy rhetoric, but I'd rather live in an America full (or at least half full) of inspired citizens rather than cynical, angry, divisive ones.

Mrs. Familyman said...

In response to another comment that I've seen here (it may have been another post but I'll add this here)- Invoking Obama's middle name of Hussein in order to malign him is ridiculous. I can't think of anyone who's ever been in the position to have much of any influence about their given name while their parents were in the process of choosing it.
I'll admit that his middle name is unfortunate, but it proves absolutely NOTHING ABOUT HIM.
My german grandfather had a relative named Adolf, but it certainly didn't make him
a Nazi.

Mrs. Familyman said...

Sorry for any confusion Andy - I originally posted as Anon II -
And I have absolutely NO problem with you voicing your opinion - its your blog, and if anyone has a right to voice their own opinion here it is certainly YOU. But I'm not sure what it was that I DIDN'T say that saddened you.

However, I operate under the assumption that you mean what you say about wanting to have civil discussions without the name calling that happens elsewhere. You also say that you welcome debate. Maybe I'm wrong, but my definition of debate has to do with presenting an persuasive agrument using the rules of logic accompanied by verifiable facts. When you persist in arguing using only opinion, you haven't presented a strong argument, only an emotional one.
I'll try once more, stating it another way:
How far would I get if I tried to convice you to accept my point of view if I continually referenced The Huffington Post or Rachel Maddow? I may have progressive opinions, but if I'm trying to effectively argue with someone from the opposite side of the spectrum, I'd need to reference facts supported by sources who are clearly less biased.

I'm NOT saying that partisan bloggers/commetators/news sources never have anything truthful to say. I just think that viewing/listening public has a responsibility to recognize that the source is partisan - whether you agree with them or not - and to think critically about the information that's been presented.

You're more than welcome to believe what you want, get your news from a source you believe to be credible, and draw your own conclusions.
But in the arena of honest and friendly debate, I just think you'd get a lot more traction if you chose to use facts from sources that are less biased.

Andy D said...

Mrs. Family, you and I are going round and round on this issue. Do I quote Fox News on here? Yes. Do I quote CNN, Time, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and (in this specific case) the Houston Chronicle? Yes.

You think Fox News is biased, just as I believe CNN is biased. I think we can both agree on that. I think most network TV news, and most cable news shows are biased one way or another.

In fact, I don't believe there is a single news agency out there (including AP) that doesn't have its own agenda. When I research something for this site, such as the ACORN and Obama relationship, I explore as many different sources as I can. If I find three separate, groups that say Obama spent $800,000 on ACORN, then I use that to support my argument.


Is anything that I write above wrong?

Mrs. Familyman said...

Andy - If all news sources are biased and/or have their own agenda, how do you know the information you're getting is accurate? Just because 3 organizations report the same information, how do you know that they're not all just reflecting the same bias?

However, that's NOT what I'm trying to argue with you. The CNN/Fox comments were directed to Pack.

What I want to know is, how it is that you believe that citing OVERTLY biased opinion pieces (such as the Kyle Anne - Shriver piece) strengthens your arguments?

You haven't answered the question - Would *I* get very far trying to change your mind about an issue if I attempted to bolster my argument by quoting the opinion of Keith Olberman or another liberal commentator? I'm going to assume the answer is , no, I wouldn't.

You've gathered quite a few facts about ACORN and Obama, but you haven't proven that there's anything nefarious going on. Only that there's an "association."

You have asserted over and over again on ACORN and other issues, that "guilt by association" is a plausible argument.
However, if one has ever taken a class in debate or logic, one would find that "guilt by association" is usually covered in "Logical Fallacies 101."

I'd argue that if the Clintons, with their connections and power, couldn't get off the ground with allegations about Obama and ACORN, it may just be that there's nothing there.

pack04 said...

Anonymous perhaps I am dumb but the link that you put in your post that says criminal voter fraud is for a website called thinkprogress.org, now i didn't click on the link so I suppose there is a chance there is a link to a news source that is credible. I guess I am sorry for jumping to conclusions.

Mrs. Familyman I did not say that you called anybody stupid directly. What I was trying to say was that everybody going back and forth putting up countering reports and such is similar to calling each other stupid, in this case.

Of course Fox is biased, they are all biased because they want to make money. I am assuming Andy keeps putting up things on his blog not only because he believes them but because he like the feel of the power and importance he gets when he gets people to keep coming back and reading (how happy he must be that he posted something to not only get familyman back but familyman to post), if he makes money off of it I am sure he enjoys that too.
I have no trust in any news source, but I have to get some information from somewhere. I check CNN just as much as Fox and my local news for quick updates but as Andy says I try to see the same thing reported a few times before I start believing it.

Anonymous I do now recall you answering my question about Senator Obama the first time. I am sorry I forgot. I have asked lots of questions that have gone ignored. Thank you for answering again. I ask questions like that because I hear people around me talk and on here about how there is always an excuse or reason or bad source or better source as to how Senator Obama is never wrong and has all the answers and it bothers me. As Mrs. Familyman points out he will not get everything done that he promises but people believe he will. Yes the claims of him being the messiah are getting boring but so are people treating him like he is.

As for the finger pointing thing. I went back and read my 2 posts on this subject and found maybe 1 case of finger pointing and it was at republicans for jacking up gas prices or maybe the thing about ageism on McCain. The first one was sarcastic the second was merely just questioning. But don't you worry about my eyes mom I always wear safety glasses especially when finger pointing.

One last thought for Mrs. Familyman, you say that Senator Obama has the ability to inspire people and that is who you want to be a leader. Do realize that Senator Obama does not inspire everybody and in fact scares the hell out of people. Do you also realized that Senator McCain inspires people. If Senator Obama wins there will still be plenty of cynical, angry, divisive people. It will just be a different group of people. I take extreme exception to the implications by commentators on this blog site that people who vote republican are the angry, cynical, divisive people and are pushing hatred for the purpose of inspiring someone to hurt Senator Obama.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

Surely you can recognize that there are news sources that can be respectably cited in a college term paper (non commentary news stories by The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and even Fox News qualify).

But "The American Thinker" that you linked to is a highly dubious source of news. It would never carry the same weight as the news sources I cited above. A college professor would *always* need to see another much more reliable source confirming anything claimed in "The American Thinker." That is simply a fact, bro.

Senior Lady said...

Pack:
You say Obama "scares the hell out of people." Why? What has he done or what could he possibly do as President that people should be afraid of?

Patrick said...

Pack04-

You know, you bring up a good point. Republicans, conservatives, liberals, etc. all have the right to dislike whomever candidate they wish. That is what's great about America. I do not think that anybody is racist, derogatory, or a separatist (I'm not insinuating that you said this) just because they will not vote for Obama. I only raise a cautious eye to those who are extremely scared of Obama getting into office.

Let's really think about it. People have brought up the redistribution of wealth before, based on the fact that the rich pay more taxes than everyone else. Liberals have been around just as conservatives. Candidates have had differing energy plans.

Knowing this, Why does Obama "scare the heck" out of people, while I've not heard the extreme fear of McCain. People don't like McCain, but scared would not be something I'd use to classify the feeling.

Maybe it could be heightened by the current economic situation, but that hasn't been the case for the entire campaign. So, I need some other reasons.

pack04 said...

I know it is a congressional thing but he is going to push for it but a huge increase in tax on families making more than $250,000 a year I would think scares a lot of people, including me and I do not even make close to that much.

Andy D said...

Patrick, I think a number of people are concerned about Obama's policy. I am not personally scared of an Obama presidency, I am worried though. We survived a Carter presidency, but it wasn't fun.


Obama has promised to raise taxes. Republicans and Democrats just disagree on who he plans on raising the taxes on. Obama has promised to cut military and defense spending. That worries me. Obama wants state run school from age 0 through high school. I think the department of education should be smaller, not bigger, so that also worries me.

Mrs. Familyman said...

In light of the costs of the 5-year war in Iraq, and the recent 800 billion bailout, to think that NO ONE will have to have their taxes raised is naiive.

My family certainly doesn't make over 250K, but I know families who do. I also know plenty of families who are just trying to make ends meet let alone save enough for retirement or help their kids with the skyrocketing costs of college.

Our country has a long history of having a progressive tax system where people who can afford it pay more than those who can't - its not really a new *scary* idea.

I don't think either of the candidates have made it clear how the US is going to pay for all of this, but at least Obama isn't afraid to use the phrase "raise taxes."

Mrs. Familyman said...

The reason some people are "scared" of Obama is that the McCain campaign has been using the politics of fear.

When Palin uses the phrase, "palling around with terrorists" time and time again, people start to believe it. (maybe because they've heard it more than 3 times)

If you saw the video clips of the McCain rally where he had to tell one man in the audience that "he didn't have to be scared of an Obama presidency" and take the mic away from another woman and tell her that Obama "is not an Arab."
You clearly saw McCain trying to stuff Pandora back into her box.

I'm NOT saying that the Obama campaign hasn't been negative - I haven't seen those ads as much, likely because I live in a state that will easily go democratic.

But when you look at the negative messages of both campaigns - the McCain ads rely much of the time on fear.

Patrick said...

Andy and Pack04-

I definitely understand disagreements with policies and worries about our future. We will all have different stances on these topics. If we all agreed on everything, we would not progress very far.

But, I do think that Obama unfairly gets bashed by these "socialism" barbs. McCain at the last debate offered up his plan to buy up individual home mortgages to help to taxpayer as a bailout. Perhaps people like this idea, but it's socialistic. Having every tax bracket pay a different tax percentage is also socialistic. That's not a good arguement to use against Obama. Also, using that arguement to scare people into voting for a different candidate is just plain wrong.

Also, from my understanding and research, Obama plan for the school system is to help the public school systems that don't have resources perform at better levels. That translates to government help and oversight, but does not mean the program will be government run. This is the same thing that people are crying out for in the banking industry right now. People want oversight from government to make sure this never happens again. So why when this is proposed for education, does it worry people. However, I too am concerned that too much oversight means the government may become even bigger.


Pack, I have found quite a few Obama supporters that definitely make over $250,000 a year. From what they say, they believe Obama will move towards the center when in office, and they agree with more of his policies than just the higher taxes. There are plenty of tax shelters to offset that increase anyway. Their words, not mine.

Andy D said...

Patrick,

You bring out a good point. I don't want anyone to think I believe McCain is the perfect candidate, or even close to the perfect candidate. However, I believe McCain is more toward the center of American politics than Obama is. Obama's voting record scores him way out on the left side.


I hope Obama does move more towards the center, if elected. However, I don't see anything in his voting record, or in his speeches that make me think he is likely to do that, especially if there is a Democratic controlled congress.

Anonymous said...

I have plenty of friends and family who live very happily and securely in Europe. And, believe me, both McCain and Obama are well to the *right* of the political center there.

Europeans as a whole generally rate their satisfaction with life much higher than Americans do.

Oh, and their health care is ranked way above ours. But, then, some of them are actually socialist.

So they must be unhappy and evil, no matter what they tell you.

Anonymous said...

Here's something we can all celebrate.

Real voter fraud getting punished.

Patrick said...

Anon-

If more satified means 60% taxes, no home ownership (unless your the richest), govenment-run everything, pretty much stuck into whatever socio-economic status you're born into, then you can have it. And what's that "satisfaction" based upon?

Also, if they're so satisfied with everything in Europe, then check the numbers of those trying to gain citizenship, going to school, doing research, and starting businesses in the U.S. while trying to have a "better life." Compare that with the numbers of Americans doing the same in Europe. Not even close.

You forget about the simple things being innocent until proven guilty, no outrageous taxes for driving in the city, owning our piece of land, etc. Sure, you can argue that Europe has better railway systems and renewable energy, but only a few perks for giving up the many freedoms we enjoy. If you want too much government intervention, while you sit and let them make most of the decisions, then by all means, buy a ticket and visit for a while. You may change your mind.

I believe your friends must be ok with money, because they certainly don't speak for all of Europe. Let's check our generalizations before we use them next time, ok?

Anonymous said...

Patrick, I know it's a liberal rag, but Business Week is saying the same crazy things as my friends in Europe. Check out Business Week's little slide show for the 10 most happy countries.

I know it's hard to believe but big SUVs and McMansions actually don't make people any happier. Things like great public schools, affordable and superior and universal health care, public parks, steady jobs, and strong pensions actually do, though.

Most of my friends in Europe love the U.S. I do too. But we need to be honest that there are some things that stink about life in the U.S., and we can do better. The U.S. ranks 37th in the world in quality of health care. We rank worst among industrialized countries in preventable deaths.

That's not happy. That's sad.

Anonymous said...

More reason to celebrate.

ACORN people who broke the law are going to jail.

But notice--YO ANDY--that it has *nothing* to do with rigging an election or voter suppression.

Andy D said...

But Anon, he was convicted of voter registration fraud. That is what I have been talking about in this entire post.

Am I misreading this statement in the article about health care:

"Researchers Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine tracked deaths that they deemed could have been prevented by access to timely and effective health care, and ranked nations on how they did.

They called such deaths an important way to gauge the performance of a country's health care system."

That sounds a little subjective to me.

Patrick said...

Anon-

I understand what you're saying about the parks, jobs, pensions, etc.; but like I said, the extremely high taxes help pay for all of those. You practically have no money left over after you pay the government to handle all of those finances for you as a lower class person.

It's sad to say, but preventable deaths often happen because people don't go to the doctor, or don't seek treatment. Either one, because they can't pay for it or don't have insurance, or because they think they're ok. This doesn't cover everything, but it does speak to the fact that preventable deaths are not all the health care system's fault.

I bet more early medical exams would be taken to prevent deaths in this country if we had a system that paid for it. But, ultimately, we'd be paying for it with a hefty price. Liberal or conservative, you have to realize that those things cost money many of Americans and Europeans don't have.

I believe my friend from Bosnia said it best, "over there people figure, why work when the government will pay you not to." I think we'd all feel better about life if we didn't have to work, but someone's got to pay for it.

Ok, that's my last off topic post Andy, I promise. Good debating, but a little off topic.