Tough Times For The Group That Is Always Your Friend In Tough Times

According to the Huffpo, the ACLU was hit hard by the Madoff scandal and has had to lay off 35 employees:

The American Civil Liberties Union, impacted by the unfolding economic crisis, laid off ten percent of its national workforce this week. Thirty-six staffers lost their jobs, including five in the Washington, D.C. legislative office, a source familiar with the firings told the Huffington Post.

A source in the ACLU’s Washington office confirmed that there had been layoffs, but couldn’t confirm the details. The ACLU has two separate Washington offices: a local branch that works on District of Columbia issues and an arm of the national ACLU, which works on legislative issues. The layoffs impacted the legislative office — though the District office is not necessarily immune to a budget shortfall.

The loss of the staffers means a likely reduction in influence for the civil liberties organization just as Democrats begin to push a legislative agenda as ambitious as any since the mid-sixties. Liberal advocacy organizations have been hit hard across the board by the economic downturn, as donations have fallen off and returns from investments have gone negative.

If you are able, now is as good a time as any to donate to them. I’m in for another fifty bucks.

And for the record, another thing I have never, ever, ever understood is the right-wing antipathy to the ACLU, which as far as I can tell, will stridently defend everyone’s rights, regardless of their political affiliation. Ask Larry Craig. Ask Jerry Falwell. Ask Rush Limbaugh. When we wanted to teach the Japanese about Democracy, who did Douglas McArthur send? You got it. Roger Baldwin, founder of the ACLU.

On inauguration day, Orin Kerr had a pretty snarky post that really made me laugh (particularly because it is something I said over and over again the past few years to my Republican friends– “Sure, you like this now. But do you want President Hillary Clinton to be able to do this?”) :

Just A Reminder, for the folks who thought that President Bush had the power to arrest anyone in the United States and detain them as “enemy combatants” without any hearing as part of his Commander-in-Chief power, that this power is now enjoyed by Barack Hussein Obama. That’s right: A liberal with the middle name “Hussein” who pals around with terrorists and is adored in Paris now has all that Commander-in-Chief power. And if he decides that you’re a threat to the nation, he can order you seized and locked up indefinitely. Congress can’t get in B. Hussein Obama’s way: As the FISA Court of Review emphasized back in 2002, Congress “could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.” And that meddling Supreme Court can’t stop “The One,” either. Or at least that’s your view of things.

Of course, late conversions into believers of checks and balances are more than welcome.

You know who would be fighting for those people? The ACLU. Without hesitation. There simply isn’t a more American institution out there, and I do not understand why it is so hated by the right. Go give.






152 replies
  1. 1
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    There simply isn’t a more American institution out there, and I do not understand why it is so hated by the right.

    Answered your own question.

    Honestly, I don’t know, but the visceral hatred is amazing to see. My favorite expression ever of it was a LTTE in the Ogden, Utah newspaper – it simply asserted that the ACLU was just like King Herod. No context or support or anything, just that.

    ETA: the reason your Republican buddies didn’t mind the whole "would you want Hillary to have this power" admonition is that they really believed that Permanent Majority hooey.

  2. 2
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    I donate $200 a year to ACLU, my wife and I are both proud card carrying members. I do not think there is a more important organization that actually understands the fundamental issues of rule of law under a Constitution, not tyranny under the whim of individuals.

    Obey John. Go and give.

  3. 3
    dmbeaster says:

    Go read John Dean’s book regarding the authoritarian mind set of the right. It is about belief in their side, rather than belief in an abstract scary ideology such as "freedom."

    Still impossible to explain — an alleged libertarian conservative who hates the ACLU.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    I just gave them 50 bucks as well.

  5. 5
    WyldPirate says:

    John, you said bad words–Douglas McArthur. Total, overblown, overrated egomaniac who would likely have been fragged in Vietnam or later conflicts.

    Truman should have Courts-martialed him and thrown his ass in Leavenworth to rot.

    Otherwise—spot on post.

  6. 6
    Zifnab says:

    particularly because it is something I said over and over again the past few years to my Republican friends- “Sure, you like this now. But do you want President Hillary Clinton to be able to do this?”

    Three words, John. Permanent. Republican. Majority.

    Who needs your ACLU now? The GOP is King of the World!

  7. 7
    solarjetman says:

    Gun rights. There are priorities, after all.

  8. 8
    Lola says:

    Sn true. The ACLU deserves a lot of respect, but I have no job myself so I cannot give right now.

  9. 9
    Cris says:

    The rational part of me doesn’t understand the ACLU hatred either. (One bizarre example: the "conservative" T-shirt that spells "ACLU" with a Soviet hammer-and-sickle replacing the C. Excuse me?)

    But I do recognize the wingnut anti-logic:
    1. ACLU comes to the defense of atheists, Nazis, and Planned Parenthood.
    2. Nothing to see here
    3. Therefore ACLU is evil.

    I don’t think it matters how often you point out to them that the ACLU would defend (and has defended) their rights as vigorously as it defends the rights of the people they revile. Once you’re on a wingnut shit list, you’re on forever.

  10. 10
    TR says:

    The best thing Aaron Sorkin ever wrote, from "The American President"

    For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But the more important question is why aren’t you, Bob? Now, this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: Why would a senator, his party’s most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, folks, then you’re smarter than I am, because I didn’t understand it until a few hours ago. America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say "You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free".

  11. 11
    cleek says:

    that the ACLU defends conservatives is nowhere near as important as the fact that the ACLU defends the wrong people, too.

    they tell religious conservatives "No, you can’t mix church and state!" they tell social conservatives "No, you can’t enforce your morals on other people!" they tell nitwits "No, you can’t stop those people from marching!"

    haters think the ACLU has an anti-conservative agenda, when the reality is that the conservatives’ agenda keeps getting swatted down, generation after generation, by the ACLU because that agenda is expressed in illegal ways.

    plus, and maybe most importantly, it was founded by a commie.

  12. 12
    TenguPhule says:

    here simply isn’t a more American institution out there, and I do not understand why it is so hated by the right

    You have answered your own question.

  13. 13
    SpotWeld says:

    …do not understand why it is so hated by the right.

    Because they don’t prioritize based on the standards that the right uses to establish pecking order.

    Because the ACLU will question anyone in a position of authority and will not give a pass to anyone’s golden boys.

  14. 14
    Incertus says:

    @Cris:

    The rational part of me doesn’t understand the ACLU hatred either.

    There’s your problem right there.

    Side note: this is pure awesome. Someone ought to make some t-shirts.

  15. 15
    steve s says:

    I do not understand why it is so hated by the right

    It’s very simple. The ACLU stands against Christianism. The GOP is full of Christianists.

  16. 16
    ksmiami says:

    Because the current crop of Republicans are:

    Southern lost causers
    Boot licking brown shirts
    Limbaugh’s "Strike Force
    Religious idiots unable to think for themselves
    Gun nuts and survivalists

    These people are unable to read the Constitution, or the Federalist papers and do not understand Representative Democracy, nor the vision of the Founders. That is why they hate democratic institutions that serve the people

  17. 17
    Gus says:

    it simply asserted that the ACLU was just like King Herod

    As someone else pointed out, they worked with Planned Parenthood. Therefore they kill womb babies.

  18. 18
    amorphous says:

    I am surprised the ACLU has less than 400 employees.

  19. 19
    Edmund Dantes says:

    It’s simple. The ACLU understands "if the law is going to be the law, it must protect everyone or it will fail". They get stuck sticking up for NAMBLA, Nazis, etc because they know that if the law doesn’t apply to the "worst of us" it won’t be long before the "worst of us" gets defined away into nothingess. Wingnuts can’t make the logical leap that the child molester is protected means they are protected.

    It’s the speech from the American President as someone already quoted.

    Edit — A lot of the lawyers that work for them have "day jobs" and work on the ACLU cases on a pro-bono/volunteer basis.

  20. 20
    jibeaux says:

    Still one of my favorites.

    I have another, O/T funny link, but I guess it’s for another comment.

  21. 21
    Crusty Dem says:

    It all goes back to Bush/Atwater using Dukakis’ ACLU membership as a cudgel for guilt-by-association (membership, in this case). Dukakis never had the Sorkin-style comeback (if he’d just had the stones to defend the ACLU, I suspect he would’ve beaten Bush easily; well, that and avoid getting in a tank with a helmet that made him look like a muppet. That and Willie Horton. Oh, and appear upset at the prospect of his wife being raped and murdered. Ugh, it’s like describing the chief tools of the Spanish Inquisition…), so conservatives, never having to re-think the validity of any attack they’ve ever used, still view the ACLU as a trump card in any argument. It’s pure, simple intellectual laziness. As an added bonus, the religious nuts despise the ACLU for ever going after them over school prayer/ten commandments displays/being against declaring Christianity the state religion, etc.

  22. 22
    Sean says:

    Yeah, I thought of "The American President" when I read this. I can no longer sit through the movie like I could when I was a youngster, but that scene was excellent.

  23. 23
    cleek says:

    It all goes back to Bush/Atwater using Dukakis’ ACLU membership

    it goes back farther than that. the ACLU was hated in the 50s because they defended people against anti-commie loyalty oaths, defended authors against obscenity charges, and defended civil rights protesters against unlawful curfews and free-association laws.

    they also defended Jane Fonda and the Black Panthers, in the 70s.

    if the wingnuts would quit trying to limit other people’s freedoms, they’d find themselves having to deal with the ACLU a bit less often.

  24. 24
    demimondian says:

    Crusty Dem nails it. The ACLU defends a lot of people who I don’t find distasteful, but who the Religious Right does find distasteful — people who want to put up a neopagan solstice display in the Washington State Capitol, for instance. Of course they should be able to do so — but that’s not what the Republican Rump wants to hear.

    And the reason they don’t want to hear it is power, pure power. If they can keep things from being even vaguely socially acceptable, then they retain the power of cultural norms in support of their ideas being the only ones in the Overton Window — and that is their great power.

    They’ve already lost the gay marriage fight, you know — because the question of whether or not gay marriage is reasonable is now discussable. They don’t have a good anser to "OK, but *why not*?" The only way they could win was to prevent a discussion at all.

  25. 25
    srv says:

    Uh, why would anyone donate to the ACLU until the execs and board members who did business with Madoff are sacked?

    *ah, strike that if it’s just donations and not their own investments.

  26. 26
    lovethebomb says:

    Been a proud card carrying member for many years. My uncle is a radical wingnut fundie and his biggest punching bag is the ACLU. He is, in fact, what prompted me to join. The simple reason they hate the ACLU is that much of their agenda is illegal under the constitution. That is because they are dominionists, theocrats and authoritarians. They are, at heart, violently bent upon religious fascism. This is, after all, ya know, a christian nation which has been usurped by secular humanists, commies, hippies, liberals and frikin multiculturalists. Equality under the law only applies if you are white, religious and don’t mind the sentiment expressed by Huckabee during the election that the constitution should be based on the bible. Concern about the goals of the religious right is what continues to prompt me to donate to the ACLU.

  27. 27
    The Other Steve says:

    The ACLU just filed a lawsuit here in Minnesota against a charter school, claiming the school was teaching religion.

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    But the ACLU was ok in this case, as the school was teaching Islam.

  28. 28
    The Other Steve says:

    Uh, why would anyone donate to the ACLU until the execs and board members who did business with Madoff are sacked?

    Reading is fundamental.

  29. 29
    Paul L. says:

    Ask Rush Limbaugh

    So the ACLU files a friend-of-court brief and you portray it as if they provided lawyers or legal assistance to Rush Limbaugh?

  30. 30
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @Gus: As someone else pointed out, they worked with Planned Parenthood. Therefore they kill womb babies.

    I figured that was the letter writer’s motivation, but it looked absurd just stated like it was without any explanation. If their purpose was persuasion of anyone not already in their camp, it was not only FAIL but nonsense.

  31. 31
    Napoleon says:

    @WyldPirate:

    John, you said bad words—Douglas McArthur. Total, overblown, overrated egomaniac who would likely have been fragged in Vietnam or later conflicts.

    Truman should have Courts-marshaled him and thrown his ass in Leavenworth to rot.

    Actually he should have been courts-marshaled at the very beginning of WWII where through his sheer incompetence he lost the Philippines.

  32. 32
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    If you are able, now is as good a time as any to donate to them.

    Done.

    Thanks for the post.

  33. 33
    John Cole says:

    @Paul L.: God you are a moron. You create a fantasy in your head, attribute it to me, and then argue with me about it.

    How is life wearing shoes with velcro straps?

  34. 34
    Paul Weimer says:

    Add me to the list of people who, before seeing the comment thread, thought of The American President and Michael Douglas’ speech.

  35. 35
    Incertus says:

    @demimondian:

    The ACLU defends a lot of people who I don’t find distasteful, but who the Religious Right does find distasteful—people who want to put up a neopagan solstice display in the Washington State Capitol, for instance. Of course they should be able to do so—but that’s not what the Republican Rump wants to hear.

    The ACLU also defends a lot of people I find distasteful–Limbaugh, for example–but as a liberal, I also recognize that they deserve defending as much as the people I agree with. That’s the part that ACLU-haters don’t seem to understand, or don’t care about.

  36. 36
    Zifnab says:

    @Paul L.:

    So the ACLU files a friend-of-court brief and you portray it as if they provided lawyers or legal assistance to Rush Limbaugh?

    Indeed. If the ACLU doesn’t pay for the defense attorneys of multi-millionaires, can they really claim they stand for anything at all?

    Do you even know what a "friend-of-court" brief is, Paul, or are you just talking out your ass. Again.

  37. 37
    jibeaux says:

    @John Cole:

    Re Paul L.’s fantasies, thanks. I really needed to think about those lacrosse players and a falafel.

  38. 38
    Mike G says:

    Go read John Dean’s book regarding the authoritarian mind set of the right. It is about belief in their side, rather than belief in an abstract scary ideology such as "freedom."

    I second that.
    Repigs are about tribalism, IOKIYAR, screaming hysterically about Dems doing Action X then full-throatedly supporting Repigs doing the same thing that same afternoon. It’s primitive parochial tribalism, an obedience-cult, the denigration of reason and thought, the exaltation of ignorance, blind loyalty and conformism. It’s taking authority as truth rather than truth as authority, swallowing the most blatant nonsensical lies about science and politics if they are spoken by a powerful authority figure.
    It’s the backward mentality of mud-wallowing, animal-skin wearing, club-wielding clans in prehistoric Europe that they just can’t leave behind.

  39. 39
    Jay B. says:

    All true. Of course, you see the same kind of thing on the liberal side of the aisle too from time to time — one of the big criticisms against Holder from the left was his representation of Chiquita.

    While I despise what they did — they are really one of the worst companies that ever existed — they still had the right to counsel. And that counsel had the duty to defend them to the best of his or her ability. I suppose Holder could have said "no thanks", but then, so "should" the ACLU decline some of their clients, no? It’s healthier not to.

    Uh, why would anyone donate to the ACLU until the execs and board members who did business with Madoff are sacked?

    Um, because they are a vitally important non-profit who relies on donations to protect the Constitution and they, like plenty of other non-profits Madoff screwed, thought they had a trustworthy institutional investor? It’s not like they went to Madoff to be get rich.

  40. 40
    jibeaux says:

    So the ACLU files a friend-of-court brief and you portray it as if they provided lawyers or legal assistance to Rush Limbaugh?

    Because one thing is clear: Rush Limbaugh begged for help from the ACLU and they blew him off with their "amicus" crap.

  41. 41
    Kirk Spencer says:

    In simple:

    William Roper Right Winger: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
    Sir Thomas More ACLU: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    William Roper Right Winger: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    Sir Thomas More ACLU: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper Winger, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

    A Man for All Seasons

  42. 42
    Krista says:

    There simply isn’t a more American institution out there, and I do not understand why it is so hated by the right.

    It’s a very difficult mindset to explain. If a right-winger is espousing a certain point of view, and a left-winger vehemently disagrees, the right-winger thinks that they are being censored and that all lefties want to do is stifle free speech and quash dissent. They seem to confuse freedom of speech with the non-existent right to not have one’s speech challenged or disagreed with.

    So, when there is a faulty understanding of rights to begin with, it is not hard to understand why it galls them that the ACLU stands up for the people who they see as oppressors.

    Plus, what the others said: too many of them have a deep authoritarian streak, and would claim rights that they would gleefully deny to all who are not like them.

  43. 43
    Napoleon says:

    I wish I could find a link to it, but around a year ago I saw an interview with, I think, Bob Barr, ex-Georgia Rep. Congressman and a presidential candidate who was asked about an ACLU like organization either he helped found or was involved with and the interviewer asked something like "why not just be involved in the ACLU" and he answered in a very weary "mistakes were made" manner to the effect of "you know the right have used them as a wipping boy for so many years a lot of people will not pay attention to the good things they have done". There was a distinct "I am sorry for my contribution to that" quality to his answer.

  44. 44
    Nicole says:

    Someone (I think here) put it well months ago- the current conservatives are simply authoritarians who loves them some money. Freedom is not actually a concern.

  45. 45
    redbeardjim says:

    Another excellent quote from that movie:

    "So let me get this straight: the third story on the news tonight is that someone I didn’t know, when I wasn’t President, attended a rally at which no laws were broken, in protest of something so unpopular that it doesn’t exist anymore. Just out of curiosity, what was the *second* story?"

  46. 46
    Paul L. says:

    @John Cole – Pledged servant to our President:

    God you are a moron. You create a fantasy in your head, attribute it to me, and then argue with me about it.

    Just following in the footsteps of Glenn Greenwald in believing the worst about the motives/logical reasoning about anyone who disagrees with me.
    That is why I characterized anyone who defends the Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore "I Pledge" video as someone who believes they are a Pledged "servant to our President".

    Rush Limbaugh begged for help from the ACLU

    Care to share any proof?

  47. 47
    jibeaux says:

    I guess I would put the social conservatives’ most basic POV very simply: they have inflexible notions of right and wrong, and this, rather than the Constitution or notions about the rule of law, guides them. Apple pie and God and flags and Christmas and prayer in schools and torturing terrorists are Right. Gay marriage and secularism and non-Christian religions in schools and John McCain being tortured are wrong. They are happy to use the Constitution as a source of authority if it suits them, but they are fundamentally unwilling to accept it as the foundation of our rule of law, equally applicable to all.

    In an attempt at fairness, it can sometimes be intellectually hard to assert the rights of people you profoundly disagree with. I used to live in a very lefty university neighborhood in which a lot of people woke up one day to find people had left racist pamphlets on their lawns, very much the same way a local classified publisher used to throw their publication on people’s lawns. Nearly everyone I spoke to about it could not comprehend that this was perfectly legal and constitutional — why were there no "anti-hate-speech" laws to prevent this?

  48. 48
    jibeaux says:

    Care to share any proof?

    Good grief. There must be something easier than Velcro.

  49. 49
    amorphous says:

    @jibeaux: Delicious, delicious paste?

  50. 50
    gwangung says:

    PaulL, you ARE a moron, aren’t you.

    Criminy, what a bozo…

  51. 51
    John Cole says:

    @Paul L.: What on earth are you talking about? I have never signed any stupid damned pledge to Obama, nor will I.

    And second, I never said anything about the ACLU providing Limbaugh with lawyers.

    Third, Jen was being SARCASTIC.

    Finally, you are either the dumbest person on the internet, or the world’s worst spoof.

  52. 52

    Bob Barr is one right-winger who gets it. He’s backed the ACLU for some time now.

    And on a totally different subject:

    John, you need this. Trust me, you do.

  53. 53
    jibeaux says:

    @amorphous:

    Oh, of course, it’s win-win. Glue the shoes on, and when it’s time to take them off you have a yummy snack.

    I’m Jen, too, if that confused anyone. There were an awful lot of Jens in the internet traditions so I picked a less saturated name.

    And even though no one asked for my OT link, nyah nyah.

  54. 54
    Mike says:

    The wingnuts hate the ACLU because it supports the rights of liberals. The fact that it also supports the rights of conservatives is irrelevant. To them, that’s like saying "He’s not a bad guy. He supports murder, but he’s totally opposed to rape."

  55. 55
    Evinfuilt says:

    The ACLU defends the 9 other amendments in the Bill of Rights the Republicans feel are unnecessary. After all, in their world the right to bear arms is to protect themselves from a government that would take away their right to bear arms (they don’t give a shit about the others.)

  56. 56
    Brian J says:

    You know the GOP seems to propose tax cuts as a cure for both economic ills and dental problems, as well as everything in between? Perhaps they have the same sort of issue with the ACLU. Maybe at some point, during the birth of the modern conservative movement in the 1960s up to the 1980s, there was a strain of hatred towards the group that, in a normal world, would have faded over time but that lasted because it’s all the leaders of the movement have ever known.

  57. 57
    David Hunt says:

    the reason your Republican buddies didn’t mind the whole "would you want Hillary to have this power" admonition is that they really believed that Permanent Majority hooey.

    Not quite IMO. At least some of the people at the highest levels had to know that they’d lose elections eventually. The Presidency is especially vulnerable to party shifts. They had to know that someday within the next couple of decades there wouldn’t be a Republican in the Oval Office. That’s (part of) why they put so much effort into politicizing the Executive Branch at all levels. By the time a Democrat was in the Whitehouse, the "merit-hired" Federal Government would be so entirely staffed by Republican hacks that they could sabotage any Democratic policy initiative, make President (D) into a total failure, thus bringing about the next Glorious Republican Reformer (TM) who could then Set Thing Right (pun intended).

    Here’s hoping that eight years wasn’t enough to make this a workable option.

  58. 58
    D-Chance. says:

    Screw ’em.

    This wasn’t Ma and Pa Kettle handing their mattress money over to Madoff… this was a collection of some of the greatest minds (if you believe the hype) in this nation. They invested with their greedy, beady little eyes wide open. They got bit in the ass. So screw ’em. Let ’em stand in the soup line… maybe they can chase an ambulance or two on the side.

  59. 59
    Paul L. says:

    @John Cole:

    What on earth are you talking about? I have never signed any stupid damned pledge to Obama, nor will I.

    In Demi Moore’s "I Pledge" video, it end with her saying “I pledge to be a servant to our President…”
    And you took Andrew Breitbart to task for criticizing it.

  60. 60
    binzinerator says:

    Finally, you are either the dumbest person on the internet, or the world’s worst spoof.

    I’d hazard a guess that having a lock on one means you’re also in the running for the other.

  61. 61

    The ACLU has changed. I once considered being a part of it.

    If the modern ACLU were as advertized, they will help Joe the Plumber out as government agents went after Joe’s personal data and passed it to the news outlets. To my knowledge, this has not happened.

  62. 62
    Incertus says:

    @D-Chance.: You obviously didn’t read the piece. The ACLU didn’t invest with Madoff–foundations which supported them did. Not the same.

  63. 63
    Snail says:

    government agents went after Joe’s personal data and passed it to the news outlets.

    Care to provide a link for that?

  64. 64
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @David Hunt: Here’s hoping that eight years wasn’t enough to make this a workable option.

    Fair enough. So instead of believing in a permanent majority, believing that the government would be remade in the Republican image, if I understand you right.

    I too hope that they haven’t pulled it off. One thing that would derail that idea is public perception of governmental up-fuckedness being the Republicans’ fault, and it might be that that’s how things will be seen at least for a while.

  65. 65
    Incertus says:

    @Snail: I think he’s talking about the civil servants who poked their noses into JTP’s tax returns and such, and then passed it along to the media. BOB’s using the term "government agents" to be a little incendiary, as though it were part of a plot. As I recall, the people who were found to have done it were punished.

  66. 66
    binzinerator says:

    @Phoenix Woman:

    Man, that is one uppity negro!

    Unfortunately there was no clenched fist among the selection of interchangeable hands, nor a Koran, which would have made it a must-have for me.

    Mebbe there’s an aftermarket Black Power/Islam accessory pack available.

  67. 67
    John Cole says:

    @Paul L.: You might want to check that post again and see who wrote it.

    Also, here is something interesting. It is entirely possible to think Demi Moore is an idiot and also think Andrew Breitbart is a total moron. I know I do.

  68. 68
    kbboston says:

    @Brick Oven Bill

    You’ll be happy to know that the ACLU did, in fact, offer to help "Joe the Plumber". Are you going to donate to the ACLU now?

  69. 69
    binzinerator says:

    @Brick Oven Swill:

    If the modern ACLU were as advertized, they will help Joe the Plumber out as government agents went after Joe’s personal data and passed it to the news outlets.

    Aww, don’t be such a sourpuss, BOB. You can still make a pizza for $1.81.

  70. 70
    jibeaux says:

    @Phoenix Woman:
    I like the concept there, but is it just me or does that not look too terribly much like Obama?

  71. 71
    John Cole says:

    If the modern ACLU were as advertized, they will help Joe the Plumber out as government agents went after Joe’s personal data and passed it to the news outlets.

    THEY DID, GOD DAMNIT:

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio today renewed its call on Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and other officials to enact regulations protecting private information kept in state databases. The ACLU first pressed for reform after it was revealed officials at Ohio’s Department of Job & Family Services conducted a search of private information on Joseph Wurzelbacher, also known as “Joe the Plumber” and that such searches of those in news headlines were common protocol for the office. News reports today indicate that nearly a half dozen other state agencies conducted searches on Mr. Wurzelbacher’s information without due cause.

    Is it too hard to have basic idea what you are talking baout before hating on the ACLU?

  72. 72
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    I do not understand why it is so hated by the right

    This is easy. In fact if you don’t understand this I’m at a loss as to how you can make sense of US politics at all. Here’s how it works: both teh Left and teh Right are deeply patriotic, and believe that they are defending America. But they use the word "America" to mean two very different things.

    teh Left: "America" = a set of ideals, as defined by the progressive content of our foundational documents (there is some cherry picking involved here) and the moments in our political history which are based on them (Gettysburg Address, MLK’s "I have a dream" speech, etc.). When we fail to live up to these ideals, teh Left get uppity.

    teh Right: "America" = blood and soil. When we fail to defend these, teh Right gets uppity.

  73. 73
    Crusty Dem says:

    @ John Cole

    Well, If this really is Paul L, I can say that I’ve seen his Excel charts and he is the dumbest person on the internet. A point he makes very clear in his post above (59), because your post clearly is supportive of everything in the video, right? If I thought Paul L could understand it, I would try to explain that mocking a criticism does not mean one supports what is being criticized. I might mock Jonah Goldberg for the way he criticizes Hitler, that doesn’t mean I’m Sieg Heiling my way across the country.

    Oh hell, it’s not even John’s post. I clearly didn’t anticipate the levels to Paul L’s stupidity. It’s got layers, like a retarded onion…

  74. 74

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    If the modern ACLU were as advertized, they will help Joe the Plumber out as government agents went after Joe’s personal data and passed it to the news outlets. To my knowledge, this has not happened.

    I would recommend getting out of the house more often.

  75. 75
    jibeaux says:

    like a retarded onion…

    I’m not sure why, but win.

  76. 76
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    I’m one of those "card-carrying ACLU" types. Real card, in my real wallet.

    I generally support two causes, one is Smile Train and the other is ACLU.

    If there were not concerns about TMI I could tell you some great ACLU stories …. but suffice it to say, ACLU is trying to stand between you and abuse of government power. Help them out as much as you can!

  77. 77

    @Crusty Dem:

    The members of the various PUMA subsets are true diehards. Long after Hillary made her peace with Obama, and was given a position of real power in his administration, they are still waving their version of the Stainless Banner. The taxonomy goes something like this:

    1) The Old-Guard Feminist PUMAs. These are the ones written up in Betsy Reed’s "Race to the Bottom" piece in The Nation. These are women in their fifties and up, generally white, who really want to see a woman president before they die and they’re not too fussy about how this happens.

    2) Consciously-Feminist Males, especially gay ones. This is sort of the male-feminist version of "white liberal guilt" as applied to black people.

    3) Agents Provocateur. That would include Lady de Rothschild and the Republican behind HillaryIs44.

  78. 78
    passerby says:

    @ksmiami:

    These people are unable to read the Constitution, or the Federalist papers and do not understand Representative Democracy, nor the vision of the Founders. That is why they hate democratic institutions that serve the people

    This, and the unacknowledged influence of what can be called White Privilege. I think there’s an undercurrent of resentment generated by a change in the skin color of the president that people (particularly in the groups you listed) are unconscious of.

    Change is hard for those who, unawares, have grown accustomed to the lineage of white men who have been in charge for centuries. Not just in America, Europe, before that.

  79. 79

    I have read the Media Matters defense of the ACLU and understand that Media Matters contacted the Ohio branch of the ACLU for a statement, and the ACLU stated that there was government abuse and they were angered.

    And then the Sandusky Register contacted the ACLU and the ACLU “expressed concerns”. I do not find any evidence of ACLU resources spent on Joe the Plumber, or any initiative that they took on his behalf. So I will not send the ACLU any money.

    I’ll flip the argument and express my disbelief that any liberal would not support the NRA. This is an organization that truly defends their ideals. Liberalism, in theory, is about empowering the individual. I don’t send money to these guys either, but they are consistently true to their Charter.

  80. 80
    Krista says:

    It’s got layers, like a retarded onion…

    /giggles helplessly

    Can I please use that? That’s delightful.

  81. 81
    demimondian says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: That’s called "false equivalence", Nazi-boy.

  82. 82

    AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    It’s not "court-marshal" or "court-marshalled" Goddamnit! It’s "court-martial" and "court-martialled" because it’s a military, i.e, "martial" (from Mars, the God of War) court. Before you talk about it please, for the love of Jebus, learn how to fucking spell it.

    Oh, and for Brick Shithouse Bill just shut the fuck up already. Look I went through a phase where I was pissed off about the ACLU because they weren’t doing a fucking thing about the War on Some Drugs. Back in the late 80s and early 90s when I first became a member every goddamned solicitation for money I received from the ACLU was a plaintive wail from Ira Glasser lamenting the fact that if Roe v. Wadewas overturned that white women wouldn’t be able to get abortions. I got sick of this and let my membership lapse because the organization didn’t seem to give a shit about anything but reproductive rights and was ignoring threats such as civil forfeiture statutes, or the Digital Telephony Act. Since then though the ACLU has gotten its shit together and realized that there are civil liberties other than the right to have an abortion and I’ve started donating again. Yeah, I’m still pissed about their stance on the second amendment, but on the other hand I’m more pissed about the fact that the NRA’s mindless support for the War on Some Drugs (Question for NRA members who support the WoSD: What happens if the WoSD is won? Do you think that all of those drug warriors will give up their bitchin jobs in the DEA and go to work as mall security guards? Or will they perhaps seek to extend their employment by joining the BATF and creating a new War on Guns with you boneheads as the targets? Also what the fuck is it with you guys and the BATF? Yeah, the BATF acts like a bunch of fucks, but the DEA is way worse, and you guys love, love, love the DEA, so much so that I think that some of you would drop to your knees and blow anyone wearing one of those cheap nylon DEA windbreakers.)

    So anyways back to Brick Shithouse Bill, the ACLU filed amicus briefs to protect the confidentiality of Rush Limbaugh’s medical records. As far as your inamorato Joe the Plumber goes, the ACLU did condemn the actions of the Ohio state government in releasing JtP’s info. Of course that wasn’t good enough for the wingnuts who seemed to think that the ACLU should have immediately sent in a couple of armor brigades with heavy air and artillery support to lay waste to the Ohio state government. The fact is Bill that the ACLU has done more to defend your privacy and civil rights and the privacy and civil rights of right wing fucktards than any of the right wing fucktards have done themselves, something that the right wing fucktards aren’t aware of because they’re too busy wallowing in self-pity while watching Fox News and eating lead based paint chips soaked in high fructose corn syrup.

  83. 83
    passerby says:

    When Rev Lowry said "when white, can embrace what it right", take note of who got upset about that. Chances are they suffer from an unacknowledged sense of white privilege. Some hardcore, some just stumbling into the change.

    The ACLU has been questioning the control and authority of rulers not because they’ve been white, but because they’ve been in charge lo these many centuries. So it goes that it’s easy to perceive ACLU as a threat to typical rightwing "values" much of which is rooted in white-ism.

  84. 84
    Jay B. says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    What in the hell are you talking about? The ACLU came out in support of Joe ‘s right to privacy and pressed the Ohio Governor (a Democrat) to reform the system. What more would you have them do? Did Joe sue? If he did, I’ll be the ACLU will file an amicus brief.

    Other questions:

    Do you have even the most basic understanding of the Bill of Rights?

    Do you know anything about the justice system?

    And of course, if you don’t want to donate to the ACLU, that’s your right. But giving liberals on a blog the stupidest reason in the world for NOT doing so, pretty much makes you a target for richly-deserved mocking.

  85. 85
    Zifnab says:

    And then the Sandusky Register contacted the ACLU and the ACLU “expressed concerns”. I do not find any evidence of ACLU resources spent on Joe the Plumber, or any initiative that they took on his behalf. So I will not send the ACLU any money.

    Link

    In fact, ACLU of Ohio executive director Christine Link wrote in a letter that she “was deeply disturbed to hear that state officials approved the use of government databases to obtain information” Wurzelbacher, and the legal director for the ACLU of Ohio told Media Matters, “We would be very happy to talk to him and see if there’s something we could do to pursue redress for this violation of his privacy rights.”

    Ultimately, the ACLU can’t just run off and file a lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Wurzelbacher if he doesn’t want to support it. If Wurzelbacher didn’t pick up the ball, that’s hardly the ACLU’s fault.

    If Wurzelbacher tried to sue the state of Ohio – and I haven’t seen any evidence of the attempt – then I imagine that the ACLU would have, at the least, filed in his defense.

    I’ll flip the argument and express my disbelief that any liberal would not support the NRA. This is an organization that truly defends their ideals. Liberalism, in theory, is about empowering the individual. I don’t send money to these guys either, but they are consistently true to their Charter.

    Lols! So is there anyone you do support?

  86. 86
    Cpl. Cam says:

    Still impossible to explain—an alleged libertarian conservative who hates the ACLU.

    It’s not that hard really. it’s not the "civil liberties" they object to it’s the ACLU’s stance on the separation of church and state. An ugly strain of theocracism has infected our happy little millitary industrial complex.

  87. 87
    John T says:

    A good friend of mine was one of the 35 who got laid off yesterday. He’s probably cleaning out his desk or exit-interviewing as I’m typing this right now.

  88. 88
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    express my disbelief that any liberal would not support the NRA.

    The NRA has my support when they act in favor of public safety, gun safety, education and training in safety and responsible firearm use, and generally in the public interest.

    When NRA acts to prevent any control of weapons or ammunition amongst a diverse and often dangerous population, then I will oppose them because it is in my interests to do so.

    I am not willing to take a bullet, fired by some lunatic who never should have had access to a weapon or ammunition, in order to protect your gun rights.

  89. 89
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    This is funny.

    ACLU Comes to Rush Limbaugh’s Defense

    January 12, 2004

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh (search) probably never expected the American Civil Liberties Union (search) to become one of his staunch supporters.

    But the privacy rights group was on his side Monday when its Florida branch filed a "friend-of-court" motion on behalf of Limbaugh arguing state officials were wrong in seizing his medical records for their drug probe.

    "For many people, it may seem odd that the ACLU has come to the defense of Rush Limbaugh," ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon said in a released statement.

    "But we have always said that the ACLU’s real client is the Bill of Rights, and we will continue to safeguard the values of equality, fairness and privacy for everyone, regardless of race, economic status or political point of view," Simon said.

    The ACLU contends that state law enforcement officers violated Limbaugh’s privacy rights by taking possession of his medical records as part of their criminal investigation into the commentator’s alleged "doctor-shopping" to feed his prescription-drug addiction.

  90. 90

    A quick and unreliable internet search indicates that the ACLU budget is around $100 million. Joe the Plumber is the worst overt violation of civil liberties by a government entity that I can think of.

    Say what you will, but it still sounds to me that very few of Madoff’s dollars, which were still worth something back then, went to support our friend Joe. I do make contributions, but to local organizations these days. I’ve decided to get to know the neighbors better. Last night, and this is no kidding, we scheduled a group to come over for a pizza and beer party when the weather warms.

    And I believe that I do understand the Bill of Rights and Justice system. I’ve even read the Federalist Papers! Talk about a brilliant and inspired document. Part of me thinks that it is divine.

  91. 91
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    you portray it as if they provided lawyers or legal assistance to Rush Limbaugh?

    Rush, the mega-millionaire, needs lawyers or assistance provided to him?

    Hm. Surely the fat pig is giving generously to ACLU, right?

  92. 92
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Last night, and this is no kidding, we scheduled a group to come over for a pizza and beer party when the weather warms.

    Wow, your sainthood is in the bag, then.

    Pizza. And beer.

    If that don’t beat all.

  93. 93

    Many of the invitees are white construction workers TheHatOnMyCat. These guys have been taking it on the chin lately. But, in the interest of universality, you are invited too.

  94. 94
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Joe the Plumber is the worst overt violation of civil liberties by a government entity that I can think of.

    That pretty much blows your cover. Not even a REAL moron would say something that stupid.

    I mean, there are thousands of worse violations to choose from.

    Can you say "Richard Jewell?"

  95. 95
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    But, in the interest of universality, you are invited too.

    Sorry, I don’t pal around with stupidists.

  96. 96
    demimondian says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: Yeah, that *was* awfully weak. Richard Jewell, nothing. "Ruby Ridge"? "Waco"?

  97. 97
    OniHanzo says:

    Gave earlier this year. Just don’t have the funds to spare now. Which is made all the more painful hearing they’re hurting financially too.

  98. 98
    Crusty Dem says:

    @Phoenix Woman
    I think you’ve accurately categorized the 6 PUMA members into 3 groups. I’d originally put Paul L in the 2nd group, but upon reading his blog (which is only links), it’s clear he’s belongs in the 3rd (full-metal wingnut), as his last post has six links, to:
    1) The Obama countdown clock (for some reason set to 4 years, rather than 8)
    2) American Thinker (abortion is murder, doesn’t sound like a Hillary supporter at all)
    3) RS McCain smackdown (fail) of Glenn Greenwald
    4) Justoneminute
    5) Hot Air
    6) Red State

    Obviously, either his support of Hillary was completely fictitious; or he’s quite facile in his political sensibilities (and loves him some losers).

    @Krista
    It’s all yours…

  99. 99
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    No, there is nothing "weak" about the Jewell example, shit for brains. It’s the classic tale of abuse of the power of the police and prosecutorial authority, aimed at destroying one powerless person in order to advance a case.

  100. 100

    I did not know the name Jewell, but now recognize the case. I’d argue that the FBI believed that he really was a suspect, and screwed up the investigation. The reason I think Joe the Plumber is a worse case is because he was investigated for asking a political question.

    Stupidly yours;

  101. 101
    binzinerator says:

    The fact is Bill that the ACLU has done more to defend your privacy and civil rights and the privacy and civil rights of right wing fucktards than any of the right wing fucktards have done themselves, something that the right wing fucktards aren’t aware of because they’re too busy wallowing in self-pity while watching Fox News and eating lead based paint chips soaked in high fructose corn syrup.

    Dude wins the internets for this rant.

  102. 102
    binzinerator says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    I mean, there are thousands of worse violations to choose from.

    Jose Padilla.

  103. 103
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    I’d argue that the FBI believed that he really was a suspect, and screwed up the investigation. The reason I think Joe the Plumber is a worse case is because he was investigated for asking a political question.

    Heh. Right, well anyone can examine the two cases and decide for himself which is the "worst" example of government abuse. One is a case of … well, nothing, and the other was basically a man’s life destroyed by abusive persecution.

    Choose whichever one you think is worse. I don’t think anyone here will have a markedly different opinion of you after making the comparison, knowwhatImean?

  104. 104
    Cris says:

    Joe the Plumber is the worst overt violation of civil liberties by a government entity that I can think of.

    At first I thought this was an unbelievably stupid and ignorant statement, but then I realized it’s absolutely true. You don’t know much, so of course this incident with Joe is the worst you can think of.

  105. 105
    Comrade Darkness says:

    "they really believed that Permanent Majority Rapture is next Thursday hooey."

    fixt.

  106. 106

    Joe is theoretically ‘the worst’ in my mind because he was a Citizen minding his own business, decided to ask a political question when prompted, and found himself in a hailstorm. It pleases me to no end that Obama really is going to raise his taxes, despite the considered opinion of the educated.

    TheHatOnMyCat sounds angry. I think she needs a pizza.

    Ruby Ridge was bad in actual practice. Did the ACLU help on this case? I do not know.

  107. 107
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    found himself in a hailstorm

    Really? How was he harmed?

  108. 108
    scarshapedstar says:

    Brick Oven Bill,

    I remember this same tactic on Instapundit, where there’d be an article about female circumcision or stoning of rape victims, and he’d link to it with something like "NOW’s silence on this speaks louder than words, heh-indeedy, read the whole thing". Some reality-based blog would point out that NOW had indeed condemned whatever practice the article exposed, and 99% of the time Glenn would conveniently fail to update the post to reflect that he was flat-out, dead-ass wrong – too bad his corner of the self-correcting blogosphere has no comments section for its Army of Davids to assemble in, but what else is new. Anyway, on the off chance that he did acknowledge his bullshit, it would inevitably be something along the lines of "Unfortunately, NOW’s condemnation carries about as much weight as a Hans Blix WMD report. Maybe they should hire Colin Powell to make a more convincing case. Heh."

    People have explained to you that the ACLU has no standing to get involved unless Joe wants to sue the state. Joe would rightly decline to sue unless and until he had legal advice. I guaran-damn-tee you the ACLU has explained his options to him (or at least offered to), so either Joe doesn’t want their help or he simply doesn’t feel like going through with a lawsuit. Given his fondness for publicity, I suspect the former.

    Please tell us how far the ACLU would have to go for you to acknowledge that their support of Samuel the Non-Plumber is in good faith.

  109. 109

    Thus the beauty of Joe the Plumber, TheHatOnMyCat. He wasn’t.

  110. 110
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Thus the beauty of Joe the Plumber, TheHatOnMyCat. He wasn’t.

    Ah. The "I know you are but what am I?" defense.

    Well played.

  111. 111

    @Brick Shithouse Bill

    I did not know the name Jewell, but now recognize the case. I’d argue that the FBI believed that he really was a suspect, and screwed up the investigation.The reason I think Joe the Plumber is a worse case is because he was investigated for asking a political question. I made an incredibly stupid and hyperbolic statement in support of my lame argument that anyone with half a brain could refute with at least ten examples by doing a 10 second Google search but I’m stupidly desperate to back up my stupid argument by insisting that the criminal investigation and media circus that was fed by overzealous and incompetent FBI agents leaking information that destroyed Richard Jewell’s life isn’t as serious as the ridicule my inamorato Joe the Plumber suffered.

    Fixed.

    Stupidly yours;

    Well you got that one right.

  112. 112
    comrade rawshark says:

    It pleases me to no end that Obama really is going to raise his taxes, despite the considered opinion of the educated.

    Link?

    How is what happened Joe not a plaumber different than when some government idiots looked up passport data of presidential candidates?

  113. 113

    Scarshapedstar;

    If the ACLU issues a written condemnation against Robert Reich for his stance on white construction workers, I will send them twenty dollars.

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    Paul L says: Care to share any proof?

    It’s not enough to rape irony, you have to skullfuck its kitten too?

  115. 115
    Crusty Dem says:

    It pleases me to no end that Obama really is going to raise his taxes, despite the considered opinion of the educated.

    Jeebus Bill, just STFU. Reading you is like watching coprophagia on rewind.

  116. 116
    scarshapedstar says:

    Also, I think Jose Padilla can claim the "most violated citizen" award, Bob. Even if he had actually tried to build a dirty bomb (the court found him not guilty on that count, but rather conspiracy – the Martha Stewart of jihadis) he was a citizen. He was held without charges for years and tortured. When the government finally charged him, it turned out that the "dirty bomb" charge was even more bullshit than the notion of a "dirty bomb" itself.

    Again: abducted by the military (no "speedy trial" in a brig!), no charges, tortured for four years. This is what any of us 300-something-million Americans could have faced over the past 8 years.

    I don’t care if I don’t fit the profile. That’s "First they came for the Jews…" territory. It’s also "Joe should have kept his mouth shut" territory.

    But the lazy sumbitch still ought to pay his taxes.

    And despite your cute insistence that Obama’s raising his taxes… he’s not. Jesus. Just stop. It’s insulting to the rest of us and makes you look flat-out dumb.

    And please don’t counter with a joke about Al Gore’s Internet.

  117. 117
    TenguPhule says:

    The reason I think Joe the Plumber is a worse case is because he was investigated for asking a political question.

    As opposed to say, getting jailed for wearing a tshirt that Republicans didn’t like.

    So yeah.

  118. 118
    demimondian says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Really, we know, it’s not that you mind what the ACLU supports, as long as they keep it to themselves.

  119. 119
    TenguPhule says:

    It pleases me to no end that Obama really is going to raise his taxes, despite the considered opinion of the educated.

    Because Joe is making more money. Duh.

    BOB, thinking equal taxation means rich and poor alike pay the same dollar amounts.

  120. 120
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Okay, BOB, you’ve had a rough thread. Take the rest of the day off and come back tomorrow with, you know, renewed vigor.

    You suffered a serial ass kicking today. I mean, who saw that coming?

  121. 121
    passerby says:

    Joe is theoretically ‘the worst’ in my mind because he was a Citizen minding his own business,…

    There’s a ring of truth here. That a heretofore unknown person was catapulted into the spotlight, and then intentionally fed the flames of his 15 minutes, does not give anyone the right to violate his civil right to privacy (his private records). Not that Joe is Everyman but as far as anonymous citizen? same as you or I. The MSM has created and supported a culture of voyeurism and, well, rights is rights and the guilty parties were wrong to invade his privacy such as it was.

    The question is, how likely was the ACLU to act if JtP didn’t have such a high profile? Wouldn’t you and I be left to retain our own lawyer?

    And ditto whoever quoted Sorkin upthread. I often think of that scene when I disagree with an opinion.

  122. 122

    No doubt the ACLU does some good things once in a while. However, collaborating with a foreign government that profits from illegal activity inside the U.S. isn’t one of them:

    http://24ahead.com/blog/archives/007704.html

    Tell you what: if they register under this program, I’ll send them two dollars:

    usdoj.gov/criminal/fara

    Deal?

  123. 123
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    does not give anyone the right to violate his civil right to privacy (his private records).

    Yeah, uh, can you point me to where that right to privacy is codified? And which of those codified rights were violated in the JtP case?

    Also,

    how likely was the ACLU to act if JtP didn’t

    Not to anyone in particular, but all I can find on this is that the Ohio ACLU made some statements "raising questions" about Joe’s information and how it was obtained. I am not aware that ACLU "acted" in any official capacity. Anyone have anything on this?

  124. 124
    kay says:

    Okay I’ll donate.

    I’m getting a little panicky on Holder, though.
    They’re up to no good holding up his confirmation. If Republicans are this frightened of him, he’s probably authentically law and order.

  125. 125
    Jay B. says:

    Joe the Plumber is the worst overt violation of civil liberties by a government entity that I can think of.

    Shorter Bill: I

    don’t

    know

    anything.
    Really.

    Of course, you might be misusing the word "overt" here to imply that the State of Ohio instructed this — which isn’t the case, so it’s not "overt".

    And it’s not to excuse the State for having employees who don’t know or follow privacy laws. But it does your argument no good at all to think that in times like these — with government overreach everywhere, and civil liberties in severe peril — to use Joe the Plumber as the poster boy for why you don’t support the ACLU. Even though they supported him. It’s mindnumbing really.

  126. 126
    Jay B. says:

    However, collaborating with a foreign government that profits from illegal activity inside the U.S. isn’t one of them:

    Um…Not to intrude on your insanity or anything, but how does Mexico profit from illegal immigration?

    For the rest of you still reading, this is what yokel is talking about:

    In a historic agreement to pursue joint strategies to protect the human rights of migrants moving across the Mexico-United States border, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties and the Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos today signed a document declaring common goals and principles to address the serious human rights issues.

    The Memorandum of Agreement between the two organizations charges the parties jointly to explore legal actions to challenge Operation Gatekeeper and other programs that have contributed to migrant deaths, and to educate a transnational audience about the issue of human rights tragedies at the border. More than $30 billion dollars have been spent on Gatekeeper since its inception, but the program has done little to prevent illegal entries—it has simply shifted them to the mountains and deserts east of San Diego, where migrants face much harsher conditions in remote, environmentally hostile areas.

    The agreement was developed in reaction to the continually mounting death toll of now more than 5,000 migrants along the border, as well as the challenge of advocating on these issues effectively from just one side of the border. With respect to abuses by federal law enforcement agencies, for example, U.S. federal agencies have acted with immunity and a complete lack of transparency.

    Evidently working for fewer deaths along the border and having human rights concerns a bad thing.

  127. 127
    binzinerator says:

    @Brick Oven Swill

    found himself in a hailstorm

    Rightwing fucktards are always finding themselves in a hailstorm. Or a firestorm. Or under withering fire. Or under the gun. Or attacked. Or besieged. Or some kind of shit is always raining down on wingnuts, oppressing them, intimidating them, trying to silence them, harassing them. Always always always something is being thrown on them, dumped on them, tossed on them. They are hit over the head, cut off at the knees, cut down and cut off. And they are heroes, they are strong, they are brave for standing up tall and unwavering against the hostility thrown by the vast crowd who wants to shut them up.

    And all these rightwing fucktards are simple Joe Sixpacks, unassuming Citizens, no agenda, always minding their own business, and all are thrown into harms way, thrown to the wolves, thrown to the lions for merely asking an honest question.

    Except there are no brickbats, there is no hail. But for rightwing fucktards anyone who questions them, anyone who exposes their fallacies, their hypocrisy, points out their bullshit — well that is Oppression, an attempt to take away their right to Free Speech, and that is a fucking stinging Hailstorm unfairly called down on their heads.

    Rightwing fucktards like Joe the Plumber and BOB don’t get why pretending to be a plumber, pretending to be buying his boss’s business, pretending he makes enough to even make what he is saying matter, even pretending to be named Joe causes people to ask more questions, to want to know what else is Joe misrepresenting and why. Rightwing fucktards don’t call what JTP does bad faith or mendacity; they call it asking honest questions.

    Rightwing fucktards like Brick Oven Swill think someone who seeks out media appearances and repeatedly grants interviews is someone who is unfairly and unexpectedly in a hailstorm, expecially when during those public self-promoting events said person makes demonstrably false and/or outlandish statement. Rightwing fucktards don’t see this as disingenuousness; they call it minding one’s own business.

    Rightwing fucktards don’t understand why someone who bullshits about everything he represents himself to be would cause the press to ask more questions. The press smells a rat, and the rightwing fucktards just don’t get it — being rats themselves they don’t smell a thing.

    Stop fucking whining about the non-existent hailstorm JTP had to endure. He made himself a rightwing media persona, at the center of a media circus he took considerable pains to create, and he is seeking out that supposed hailstorm because it is fucking making him rich and famous. He’s not just seeking it out victimhood, he’s trying to create it.

    Victimhood. That’s what you got BOB. And that’s what JTP’s got. A huge heaping sense of victimhood. And that is typical rightwing fucktardry.

    The thing about JTP’s victimhood is he makes lot of money off of his, and you don’t make a dime off of yours. And the more victimized fucktards like you see him as, the more money he makes off of it. The victimhood of a rightwing fucktard feeding the victimhood of other rightwing fucktards which lets the first rightwing fucktard make a career out of it. And that too is typical rightwing fucktardry.

  128. 128

    Jay B. writes: Um…Not to intrude on your insanity or anything, but how does Mexico profit from illegal immigration?

    I realize some people may have absolutely no knowledge of these issues, so to avoid embarrassment, see this:

    http://www.fairus.org/site/Pag.....emittances

    For some of the things Mexico does to keep the monet flowing, see this:

    city-journal.org/html/15_4_mexico.html

    I thought everyone at least had a basic understanding of these issues, but now that you know more I’m sure you’ll be calling on the ACLU to join usdoj.gov/criminal/fara

    Once they join FARA, I’ll send the $2.

  129. 129

    I just noticed another issue: what the ACLU supports actually leads to more border deaths. The only way to reduce those is by either completely opening the borders or by strictly enforcing our laws. Instead, the ACLU helps encourage people to cross, and some die along the way.

    You have to know what you’re talking about to see that, but think it through.

  130. 130
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @amorphous:

    Haven’t read all the comments yet so I apologise if this has already been answered but the ACLU relies upon the good graces of pro bono attorneys to file the lawsuits in various issues in the various venues. We had a case here in NC

    http://www.newsobserver.com/662/story/462833.html

    main counsel was Peter Isijw (pronounced IS I EW – sorry if I misspelled your name Peter) out of Cadwallader in New York, but they needed local counsel too (in case the Judge ruled that Peter could not appear), both Peter and my boss appeared pro bono, it was a joint effort with regards to the pleadings and the briefs, and eventually we prevailed. The ACLU proper has a tiny staff in each State who then do the leg work in contacting regional attorneys to file the lawsuits. The funds that they raise go mainly to paying the costs of the suits (filing fees, service fees, deposition costs etc. which can get quite high in some cases)

  131. 131
    passerby says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    Yeah, uh, can you point me to where that right to privacy is codified? And which of those codified rights were violated in the JtP case?

    "Restrictions imposed by the Fourth Amendment are effective against the federal government while the Fourteenth Amendment imposes these restrictions on state and local governments. The Fourth Amendment is not effective against private entities. "

    No. I cannot point to written laws regarding this issue. No constitutional rights were violated as government didn’t do the digging on JtP. So you got me on that point.

    Our privacy against nosy barkers is not specifically set forth in the Constitution.

    OTOH: Should it be? Who has the right to look at my medical records? Just anyone? Who has the right to look at Rush Limbaugh’s or Palin’s medical records (w/out consent)?

    Did those who had unauthorized access to Joe’s records break the law? Are those laws constitutional?

    Do we have a right to be protected from nosy barkers who would sell such info to Entertainment Tonight?

    If AT&T, a private entity, has access to our private communications at what point do they violate our privacy?

    It’s a can of worms and protections are still being hammered out.

    No, it is not a codified right but it is worthy of debate. Technological advancements allow for so many avenues that Government can exploit to get around the 4th amendment that it’s reasonable to demand boundaries. I think the ACLU should be interested in the answers to these questions.

  132. 132
    amorphous says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I’m checking this hours later, but thank you. I did not know that.

    This thread is now cleared of venom and is now civil. You’re welcome.

  133. 133
    Fulcanelli says:

    @binzinerator: Awesome rant, and even moreso due to it’s universal truthiness!

  134. 134
    Edo says:

    Choose whichever one you think is worse. I don’t think anyone here will have a markedly different opinion of you after making the comparison, knowwhatImean?

    my vote for the win.

  135. 135
    Paige Morrow says:

    What Brick Oven Bill really means is that he can’t imagine a more sympathetic-to-BOB victim than Joe the Plumber, and therefore anything bad happening to him is much worse than anything happening to anyone BOB sympathizes with less. That’s how tribal thinking works.

  136. 136
    Fencedude says:

    Hey, look. Its 24handjobs.com!

    Get bored trolling Yglessia’s commentariat?

  137. 137
    demimondian says:

    @Fencedude: Nah — he’s just following Brick Outhouse Boy and Atanutjob.

  138. 138
    Jay B. says:

    I realize some people may have absolutely no knowledge of these issues, so to avoid embarrassment, see this:

    Oh. My. God. People send money home?! No shit?

    That’s outrageous!

    I still don’t see how that benefits "Mexico" (the government), as opposed to "Mexicans" (the people). Regardless, your point about the ACLU as a foreign agent makes no sense — since they are talking about the accountability of border guards to follow the law and figure out strategies that will prevent people from dying. As for your hobbyhorse. It was George Bush and Vincente Fox who helped the flow of money. So maybe Bush should have filed for your idiotic designation.

    Anyway, what I appreciate about your hermetically sealed environment is that it takes reality out of the equation — I too oppose illegal immigration, however, I think people’s lives are more important. And if that’s how they feel that sending money back home the only way to support their families, well, the humane thing to do is, since they are here, is to let them do so. And since it is businessmen who hire them — contractors and restauranteurs and landscapers among others — it seems that if disincentives should come to them. If they stop hiring them, the desire to come north would be abated because there would be nothing here. Of course, in reality that won’t happen. But then too, the ACLU has nothing to do with that.

    I just noticed another issue: what the ACLU supports actually leads to more border deaths.

    Right! Because….um…you assert it!

  139. 139
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    No, it is not a codified right but it is worthy of debate. Technological advancements allow for so many avenues that Government can exploit to get around the 4th amendment that it’s reasonable to demand boundaries. I think the ACLU should be interested in the answers to these questions.

    I agree. Actually we had several flamish threads on this subject back during the heydays of Warrantless Wiretap controversies. Privacy is indeed a murky murkitude.

    We need better law. Now that we have a real government, maybe there is hope that we can get it?

  140. 140

    binzinerator says: “The thing about JTP’s victimhood is he makes lot of money off of his, and you don’t make a dime off of yours.”

    This depends upon how you define ‘yours’, binzinerator. It depends on what the definition of yours is. And I don’t see Joe the Plumber as much as a victim as an opportunist, and America is again demonstrated to be the Land of Opportunity. See the Presidency and Bill O-Reilly for other datapoints.

    Joe the Plumber has not made a cent off of me. Not one red cent. But when he gets his seven-figure beer sponsorship deal, I will then pay Joe, because I will buy a six-pack of Joe’s beer, even if it is expensive.

    And the funny thing is, I’ve made more than my fair share of victim-bucks, and ‘my’ victimhood will, in fact, pay part of my part of Joe’s endorsement fee. The Bureau of Indian Affairs pays well.

  141. 141
    binzinerator says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    This depends upon how you define ‘yours’, binzinerator. It depends on what the definition of yours is.

    I thought everything depended on what the definition of ‘is’ is.

    See the Presidency and Bill O-Reilly for other datapoints.

    See Bill O-Reilly for other datapoints? You truly are a rightwing fucktard.

    And I don’t see Joe the Plumber as much as a victim as an opportunist

    An opportunist in a hailstorm. You are a witless stooge.

  142. 142
    binzinerator says:

    But when he gets his seven-figure beer sponsorship deal, I will then pay Joe, because I will buy a six-pack of Joe’s beer, even if it is expensive.

    Awwwwwwww shit! You are a spoof aren’t you?

    Damn. Aw fuck.

    Well dude you had me, you really did.

    Kudos to you!

  143. 143

    Very good, you caught it. I sense a certain level of midichlorian in you binzinerator. We will talk tomorrow.

  144. 144
    Crusty Dem says:

    fuck.

  145. 145
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Awwwwwwww shit! You are a spoof aren’t you?

    When was there doubt?

  146. 146

    Do not doubt the Brick Oven.

  147. 147
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Do not doubt the Brick Oven.

    I know, I know, 600 degrees. Hot, hot, hot.

    You’re kiln us here.

  148. 148

    Pyrolysis begins at 600 degrees. The oven itself becomes white hot at 800 degrees. This much is a fact. I’m all about energy independence.

  149. 149
    TenguPhule says:

    You’re kiln us here.

    Your ass is glass.

  150. 150
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Your ass is glass.

    I can’t top that.

    Bill wins.

  151. 151
    greggy says:

    John,
    I couldn’t agree more. I’m in for $100.
    Thanks.

  152. 152

Comments are closed.