Outside spending

With election day nearing, I’m breaking my no-Politico link rule because I find Ben Smith’s blog to be a very good source of election information, if you can avoid all the stuff about Sarah Palin’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Here’s an interesting tidbit he got from a Democratic source about outside spending in Senate races:

Republican Third Party Groups — $43,664,661
Democratic Third Party Groups — $6,658,236

Forty-three million out a 150 million total spending in the races (that would be a rough guess for the total) would be a ton. But if the total spending is much higher, then it’s not such a big deal. I’m curious what proportion of the spending here is from these outside groups. I may try to do some calculations if I have times, but remember, my calculator doesn’t go into the billions.

82 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    Democratic third party spending: “outside agitators ramming their librul ideas down our throats!”
    Republican third party spending: “the people are speaking! Pay no attention to the fact that they all share the last name Inc or LLC.”

  2. 2

    my calculator doesn’t go into the billions.

    Is that a job requirement to be business and economics editor everywhere?

    ETA: All of this shit should at least make the DISCLOSE act easier to pass at some point in the near future.

  3. 3
    kdaug says:

    And what portion of the $43 mil is from foreign donors?

    Stupid Americans. We don’t need to invest in a military, when we can simply buy your politicians, at a much cheaper price.

  4. 4
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Remember how just a few short years ago, Dems were outperforming Repups in obtaining money? After decades lagging, far, far behind?

    That’s why the Sooopremes ruled the way they ruled on campaign finance: to tilt the finance balance massively back in favor of the people who ensconced them on the Bench.

    Fat Tony can’t go to meet Renquist soon enough.

  5. 5
    Roger Moore says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    All of this shit should at least make the DISCLOSE act easier to pass at some point in the near future.

    Only if the Democrats remain in control of Congress. If all that spending manages to put the Republicans in charge, not so much. The best we could hope for would be nothing, but a more likely outcome would be some twisted version of DISCLOSE that would pretend to solve the problem but would only apply to unions.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    I may not be remembering correctly, but last I heard the Republicans were lagging far behind in funding for official Republican groups like the RNC and most of their funds were being spent on their behalf by private groups now.

    It’s a potentially interesting dynamic — what happens when two of the private groups disagree with each other? How about when one goes for the teabagger and the other goes for the “real” Republican? I’m curious to see how this shakes out when they’re not united by “Beat Obama.”

  7. 7
    Triassic Sands says:

    Originalists Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts must all be very proud of their handiwork. No doubt this is exactly what the Founders and Framers had in mind.

  8. 8
    Mark S. says:

    Is the Washington Post’s opinion page really that different than the Wall Street Journal’s?

  9. 9
    cervantes says:

    Just go down a few orders of magnitude — i.e. leave off 5 or 6 digits. That’s perfectly good enough accuracy for this problem.

  10. 10
    BombIranForChrist says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I am skeptical. Or more accurately, cynical.

    My guess is that many Democrats are only upset because the Republicans have a huge advantage currently. As is their custom, the Democrats will soon adjust their strategy to fit the Republican strategy, and both sides will be bringing in a ton of cash.

    It will make Democrat fundraising easier. Before, the Democrats would have to launder the billionaire’s bribes before doing as they’re told, but now the billionaires can help them much more directly.

    DISCLOSE will never pass for the same reason we didn’t get single player, public option, meaningful financial reform, etc. Because the Democrats don’t want to pass it.

  11. 11
    liberal says:

    @Mark S.:
    Also noted by (God forbid!) Glenn Greenwald on his twitter feed:

    3 things are certain in life – death, taxes, and Fred Hiatt putting the trashiest tripe on his crayon page: http://is.gd/fQZ2p

  12. 12
    kdaug says:

    @BombIranForChrist: And this is how empires die.

  13. 13
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I wish that I could agree with you. The more likely outcome, to my mind, is that the Democrats are feverishly trying to figure out how they, too, can tap into the gusher of money. Give them some time and they’ll be kneeling buns-up in front of the same interests that the Republicans are now.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    Republican Third Party Groups — $43,664,661

    Ha!~ That barely covers a California Primary. :-p

    DISCLOSE will never pass for the same reason we didn’t get single player, public option, meaningful financial reform, etc. Because the Democrats don’t want to pass it.

    Why? Because if DISCLOSE passes, then Democrats will get harassed by Glenn Beck conspiracy theorists? Because national media will hound them relentlessly for non-scandals? Because the last ten years of OpenSecrets.org has been nothing but bad news for the Democratic Party?

    I think not.

    Democrats didn’t push hard to pass DISCLOSE because they were never going to get Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson to sign off on it. But there are plenty of House and Senate candidates that would absolutely love a breath of fresh air and a patch of sunshine to expose their political rivals.

    Check the numbers. $43 mil to $6 mil. Why oh why would the DNC or the House or Senate Leadership be interested in defending such loop sided contributions?

  15. 15
    Nick says:

    @BombIranForChrist:

    DISCLOSE will never pass for the same reason we didn’t get single player, public option, meaningful financial reform, etc. Because the Democrats don’t want to pass it.

    Which, of course, is why they all voted for it.

    But now you’re going to tell me that they did it knowing it won’t pass (and the week-long courting of Olympia Snowe was all a ruse), and all they wanted to do is making a show to get liberals, who criticized them anyway, to support them and if it really had the votes to pass, it never would.

    Did it ever occur to any of you that politicians DON’T LIKE fundraising and would like an easier system where they wouldn’t have to?

    No, that would require actually not being fatally cynical.

  16. 16
    Mark S. says:

    @liberal:

    And isn’t a recycled column from the American Spectator? WaPo–We get Bill Kristol’s sloppy seconds.

  17. 17
    Nick says:

    @BombIranForChrist:

    DISCLOSE will never pass for the same reason we didn’t get single player, public option, meaningful financial reform, etc. Because the Democrats don’t want to pass it.

    Which, of course, is why they all voted for it.

    But now you’re going to tell me that they did it knowing it won’t pass (and the week-long courting of Olympia Snowe was all a ruse), and all they wanted to do is making a show to get liberals, who criticized them anyway, to support them and if it really had the votes to pass, it never would.

    Did it ever occur to any of you that politicians DON’T LIKE fundraising and would like an easier system where they wouldn’t have to?

    No, that would require actually not being fatally cynical.

  18. 18
    Mark S. says:

    @liberal:

    And isn’t a recycled column from the American Spectator? WaPo–We get Bill Kristol’s sloppy seconds.

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    @Zifnab:

    Check the numbers. $43 mil to $6 mil. Why oh why would the DNC or the House or Senate Leadership be interested in defending such loop sided contributions?

    Because just like poor working people who vote Republican, the D’s think that one day they too can tap into that phat cash for themselves.

  20. 20
    beltane says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: Yep. The Republican Supreme Court was terrified by the Democrats’ huge small-donor, online fundraising advantage. They had to change the laws to allow the US government to be rented out to foreign interests like a $20 whore. USA! USA!

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Exact quote from an Art Robinson ad that Balloon Juice served up just now:

    “Repeal Obamacare. Bureaucrats must not control our health.”

    This is wingtard stupidity at its most infuriating.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane:

    Here’s the thing. Obama utilized the spirit of campaign finance reform…lots of small donors as opposed to a handful of very large donors…and leveraged that into his victory.

    Then he went and abandoned those donors for few. He could have mobilized that base to bombard Congress to pass a public option, but he decided not to. He abandoned the base that put him into office.

  23. 23
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Mark S.:

    Is the Washington Post’s opinion page really that different than the Wall Street Journal’s?

    Is somebody going to tap Dinesh on his tiny brain and point out to him that this country, a former colony founded in a rebellion against the mother country, is pretty much by definition anti-colonialist? I can see how, for the scion of a family of colonialist appeasers such as Dinesh, the concept of “anti-colonialism” is very scary and stirs up more than a little repressed guilt, but Jesus Christ, get over it.

  24. 24
    Morbo says:

    Needs more “hoocoodanode”

  25. 25
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Exact quote from an Art Robinson ad that Balloon Juice served up just now:
    __
    “Repeal Obamacare. Bureaucrats must not control our health.”
    __
    This is wingtard stupidity at its most infuriating.

    To be fair to Robinson, I’m sure he wouldn’t want no effete insurance company bureaucrat telling him to stop smearing radioactive waste on his nutsack, or whatever it is he likes to do, either. It’s just that the insurance company bureaucrat doesn’t really care if you roll around in nuclear waste because they’ll just deny coverage and drop your ass when you get cancer, so they get to keep your premium payments for free. A government bureaucrat is going to have different motivations.

  26. 26
    kdaug says:

    @Nick:

    Did it ever occur to any of you that politicians DON’T LIKE fundraising and would like an easier system where they wouldn’t have to?

    So why does serious campaign finance reform remain the of-so-ever elusive chimera? I’ve listened to 30 years of lip-service, so why hasn’t it happened? “Get the money out of politics!” Over and over again. Wonder why nothing’s been done…

  27. 27
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Nick: Remember, Democrats will get credit for trying to do something hard, unless they try to do something hard, and then they’ll only get credit for passing something, unless they pass it, and then they’ll only get credit for passing exactly what everyone wants.

    @Villago Delenda Est: Sigh. Abandoned us. I sure as hell hope he keeps abandoning us like he has been, including not signing that bill yesterday.

  28. 28
    MikeJ says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I wish he had abandoned some more people. Like driven them out to the woods and set them free abandoned them.

  29. 29
    uloborus says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    I can’t believe we’re back to ‘HCR is a failure not a victory because there’s no public option’.

  30. 30
    Bootlegger says:

    Seems like the D’s would only have to counter with ads saying “look who’s paying for all the other guys’ ads, ‘anonymous donors [sinister music]'” , they could counter the R’s money advantage with one swift judo throw.

    Oh, look who I’m talking about.

  31. 31
    Bootlegger says:

    Seems like the D’s would only have to counter with ads saying “look who’s paying for all the other guys’ ads, ‘anonymous donors [sinister music]'” , they could counter the R’s money advantage with one swift judo throw.

    Oh, look who I’m talking about.

  32. 32
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    He could have mobilized that base to bombard Congress to pass a public option, but he decided not to.

    You poor misguided soul. You seem to think that Congress (specifically the ones that didn’t want the PO) actually gave a fuck what his base wanted. That most Americans were in favor of it didn’t even move them. These guys aren’t waiting to be convinced you know. If it hurts them at home and if it hurts donations, it doesn’t matter how much we bombard them. And I don’t know where you were, but I remember a ton of petitions and call-in campaigns for the PO.

  33. 33
    fasteddie9318 says:

    C’mon guys. If Green Lantern Obama had just wanted it bad enough, he totally could have kicked Sinestro’s ass passed a public option.

  34. 34
    uloborus says:

    Ahem. Back to the topic at hand. What are total donations? @Mnemosyne: pointed out the same thing I remember – that this year Republican official fundraising has been sluggardly and all the money’s been going to third party groups. The Republicans my not actually be cleaning house. They may just be decentralized.

    It makes SENSE that Citizens United would unleash an enormous flood of corporate money to swing this election to the Republicans, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually what will happen.

  35. 35
    Suck It Up! says:

    @uloborus:

    trust me, they’d be singing the same tune if that watered down public option was included.

  36. 36

    FFS! Again with the PO bullshit!

    Is this going to be a running theme in the comments for the next two fucking years! ! ?! Christ, I will abandon the Internet if it is.

  37. 37
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    Hell, they could have gotten single payer health care and the bill still would’ve been a failure because Obama didn’t judo chop Eric Cantor in the nuts or something.

  38. 38
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @uloborus: Nope, not just that one. The recovery act needed more money, the DREAM and DADT parts of the defense bill, brain-too-ready-for-the-weekend-to-come-up-with-a-third.

  39. 39
    uloborus says:

    @Suck It Up!:
    Yes. They would.

  40. 40
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @MikeJ: I would like to abandon a few people (no one here), but my moral compass still won’t let me kill anyone, even if it might benefit society.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    Yes. I know. The 60 votes in the Senate were not enough to pass a public option.

    If Obama had wanted to, he could have used the database of email addresses from his millions of donors to bring pressure on the Republican Majority in Congress to bring about a public option.

    He chose not to. Daschle has spilled the beans on this entire sham.

  42. 42
    uloborus says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    I’m sympathetic with a lot of their priorities, but between ignoring really obvious and important things and just making shit up (see @Villago Delenda Est) I get quite frustrated with them.

  43. 43
    Roger Moore says:

    @kdaug:

    So why does serious campaign finance reform remain the of-so-ever elusive chimera?

    It’s not as though we haven’t had a bunch of serious attempts at campaign finance reform, though they all involve a fair amount of wrangling because the politicians writing the bills are trying to give their side of the aisle an advantage. It’s that the Supreme Court has overruled a whole series of them on the grounds that bribery campaign contributions are a form of free speech.

    I think we need a couple of Constitutional Amendments that say 1) that Congress and the several states have the right to restrict campaign contributions, including third party ads and 2) corporations are not people. That’s about the only thing that could seriously impede the corporate takeover of Congress.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: Honestly, it’s because businesses are pissed at Obama and the Democrats for passing HCR and Fin Reg and are all worked into a tizzy about the next big regulation that’ll come down the shoots.

    The Democrats, because of their pro-labor, pro-social welfare agenda had lost the business dollars or generally underperformed Republicans. When Bush & Co. really killed the economy, the money started moving to the Democrats and especially Obama in his Presidential bid.

    Now businesses want to get Democrats out and a more supplicant group of politicians in.

  45. 45
    J sub D says:

    Top Contributors to Federally Focused 527 Organizations, 2010 Election Cycle

    Service Employees International Union $10,764,321
    United Food & Commercial Workers Union $3,562,014
    American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees $2,382,873
    Friends of America Votes $2,328,361
    Operating Engineers Union $2,196,245
    Laborers Union $1,491,838
    Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $1,343,176
    Sheet Metal Workers Union $1,245,500
    National Assn of Realtors $826,357
    Ironworkers Union $707,434
    Illinois Manufacturers Assn $700,798
    John Templeton Foundation $667,600
    American Dental Assn $607,007
    Newsweb Corp $554,000
    Akonadi Foundation $530,000
    Las Vegas Sands $500,000
    Intl Union of Operating Engineers $450,000
    Brico Fund/Time Out Enterprises $437,000
    Communications Workers Of America $400,550
    National Education Assn $380,625
    This data is based on records released by the Internal Revenue Service on Monday, September 27, 2010

  46. 46
    J sub D says:

    You may note in my previous that the SEIU contributions to 527s alone ($10,764,321) exceeds the “Democratic Third Party Groups” total of $6,658,236 by about two thirds.

  47. 47
    fasteddie9318 says:

    See, now there’s some good, strong wingtard stupidity.

  48. 48

    Whatever the true total numbers are, it looks like the Republicans are getting outside donations about 5-7 times what the Democrats are getting. Regardless of where the money originates, that’s the way it looks now.

    I guess we will see if elections can be bought, won’t we?

    And if elections can be bought so clearly, why don’t we save money and not have elections any more? Ever?

    We could just have a lunch with the representatives of the 20-or-so biggest corporations and take a voice vote on whom to install into which governmental slot.

  49. 49
    Nick says:

    @kdaug:

    So why does serious campaign finance reform remain the of-so-ever elusive chimera? I’ve listened to 30 years of lip-service, so why hasn’t it happened?

    Because anyone who attempts at it, loses reelection or doesn’t get elected at all, and those who don’t, see their bills get gutted by the courts (McCain-Feingold)

  50. 50
    Nick says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    If Obama had wanted to, he could have used the database of email addresses from his millions of donors to bring pressure on the Republican Majority in Congress to bring about a public option.

    you mean like he did for every other damn thing that didn’t get 60 votes? Wake up dipshit, it’s been using that database for everything, and it hasn’t been working. But really, the public option would’ve been different, that people totally would’ve responded to. Joe Lieberman totally would have bent to the pressure of MoveOn…this time.

  51. 51
    PeakVT says:

    I may try to do some calculations if I have times, but remember, my calculator doesn’t go into the billions.

    Most calculators have the times function, even if they don’t go into the billions.

  52. 52
    J sub D says:

    @Linda Featheringill:
    As you may be aware, I’ve forsworn voting for either of the two major parties because they are both filled with lying assholes too cowardly to make an unpopular decision, more concerned with maintaining the trappings of power than actually addressing real problems.

    I’ve no dog in this fight, but it sounds like the “Why We Lost” narrative is going to be “Citizen’s United! The evil corporations brainwashed the citizens”.

  53. 53
    uloborus says:

    @J sub D:
    No, you have the dog of defeatism to justify not trying to fix the situation. Don’t think you have no bias.

    @Linda Featheringill:
    Again, I’m not sure about this. These numbers are a huge differential, but they may not mean what they look like they mean. They might just mean ‘conservative money is going to 3rd party groups not directly to candidates or the RNC’, which there’ve been stories about all year.

  54. 54
    Nick says:

    @J sub D:

    I’ve forsworn voting for either of the two major parties because they are both filled with lying assholes too cowardly to make an unpopular decision, more concerned with maintaining the trappings of power than actually addressing real problems.

    Ever stop to wonder why an unpopular decision is one that actually addresses real problems?

    I’ve no dog in this fight, but it sounds like the “Why We Lost” narrative is going to be “Citizen’s United! The evil corporations brainwashed the citizens”.

    As opposed to what?

  55. 55
    J sub D says:

    @uloborus:
    You’re right about my defeatism. The asses and pachyderms have beat me down so much I will no longer tacitly lend them legitimacy by voting for them.

    Fell free to continue the playing the rigged game. It’s your right.

  56. 56
    Nick says:

    @J sub D: I’m always curious as to why the anarchists come and post on blogs trying to get people to vote or fight for something.

  57. 57
    uloborus says:

    @J sub D:
    You’re playin’ the game with me, my friend. You’re just folding every hand.

  58. 58
    J sub D says:

    @Nick:
    @J sub D:

    Ever stop to wonder why an unpopular decision is one that actually addresses real problems?

    I know why. Continuing the status quo is the path of least voter resistance. Enough of the American people want money for nothing and the chicks for free, that saying social security, medicare and global military presence policies is unsustainable will get you demogogued out of office. Yes, the American people really are that ignorant of reality.

    I’ve no dog in this fight, but it sounds like the “Why We Lost” narrative is going to be “Citizen’s United! The evil corporations brainwashed the citizens”.

    As opposed to what?

    As opposed to the present majority in congress has not only managed to alienate every single republican on the hill but millions of undecideds/independents as well. Ask the GOP, sometimes the voters say they’ve had enough.

  59. 59
    Nick says:

    @J sub D:

    Enough of the American people want money for nothing and the chicks for free, that saying social security, medicare and global military presence policies is unsustainable will get you demogogued out of office. Yes, the American people really are that ignorant of reality.

    As opposed to the present majority in congress has not only managed to alienate every single republican on the hill but millions of undecideds/independents as well. Ask the GOP, sometimes the voters say they’ve had enough.

    So the American people are ignorant of reality and want money for nothing and nod in agreement to Republican crap, but Democrats are losing because they alienated them? You do realize what you just said was the Democratic majority is going down because they were too progressive, too focused on reality.

  60. 60
    kdaug says:

    @Nick:
    What?

    Multinational interests with no intrinsic stake in the United States are buying and selling our politicians? And spending billions to ensure that the rubric of “democracy” keeps the American populace convinced that they have some say in the matter? And that when we fall, they will simply move their operations to Brazil or India?

    You don’t say.

  61. 61
    J sub D says:

    I did not say I’ve given up voting, I said I will no longer vote for either major party. The two party system is broken and voting inside of it only delays the scrapping of it.

    But go ahead, pick between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, astute political and philosophical thinkers all. One of them will surely make a huge difference.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    If Obama had wanted to, he could have used the database of email addresses from his millions of donors to bring pressure on the Republican Majority in Congress to bring about a public option.
    __
    He chose not to. Daschle has spilled the beans on this entire sham.

    Dude, I was getting three e-mails a day from OFA during the entire health reform bill process. I know people who unsubscribed because they were getting flooded with too many e-mails from OFA. Did you have them set up to go straight into your spam bin or something?

  63. 63
    Nick says:

    @J sub D:

    But go ahead, pick between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, astute political and philosophical thinkers all. One of them will surely make a huge difference

    If you can’t see there’s a huge fucking difference between Reid and Angle and Brown and Whitman, you need a fucking CAT scan because this is a fucking joke.

    Or you’re a troll, because a serious person at least would’ve chosen Blanche Lincoln or some other Blue Dog enemy the professional left likes to demagogue.

  64. 64
    J sub D says:

    @Nick:
    No, that is not what I said. I said the Dems in congress alienated a whole shitload of people, not that the quintessential example of toxic sausage making commonly known as Obamacare, the window dressing of Wall Street reform or the continuing waste of lives and treasure in Asia are examples of congress bravely addressing America’s most serious problems.

  65. 65
    General Stuck says:

    I’m always curious as to why the anarchists come and post on blogs trying to get people to vote or fight for something.

    I never buy an anarchist with a computer, let alone an internet connection, when they should be out breaking shit. There could be slacker anarchists, but I’ve never met one.

  66. 66
    Nick says:

    @J sub D:

    I said the Dems in congress alienated a whole shitload of people, not that the quintessential example of tixic sausage making commonly known as Obama care, the window dressing of Wall Street reform or the continuing waste of lives and treasure in Asia are examples of congress bravely addressing America’s most serious problems.

    who? who did they alienate? THESE people?

    Enough of the American people want money for nothing and the chicks for free, that saying social security, medicare and global military presence policies is unsustainable will get you demogogued out of office. Yes, the American people really are that ignorant of reality.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J sub D:

    As opposed to the present majority in congress has not only managed to alienate every single republican on the hill but millions of undecideds/independents as well. Ask the GOP, sometimes the voters say they’ve had enough.

    Damn, that’s funny. Yes, I’m sure independents and undecideds are pissed off that Congress dared to try and reform health insurance because the system was working just perfectly up until Congress meddled with it. No one wanted to see the banks regulated, which is why people run around screaming, “TARP!” Everyone thought the credit card companies should be allowed to charge anything they want, so now they’re pissed that the Democrats passed consumer protection legislation.

    You sure have your finger on the pulse of the population there.

  68. 68
    J sub D says:

    @Nick:
    If you think any of them, primary winners all, is worth the powder to blow them away you’ve got an excellent view of your appendix.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J sub D:

    I said the Dems in congress alienated a whole shitload of people, not that the quintessential example of toxic sausage making commonly known as Obamacare, the window dressing of Wall Street reform or the continuing waste of lives and treasure in Asia are examples of congress bravely addressing America’s most serious problems.

    So how did they “alienate” them if it wasn’t with legislation? By breathing?

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J sub D:

    Also, you do realize that the numbers that DougJ posted aren’t donations from 527 organizations, right?

    A 527 is a specific tax-based entity. It’s not just a nickname for “any outside organization.”

  71. 71
    Nick says:

    @J sub D:

    If you think any of them, primary winners all, is worth the powder to blow them away you’ve got an excellent view of your appendix.

    Is this supposed to be an answer?

  72. 72
    J sub D says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    The banks were unregulated on your planet? Shocking.

    By what metric shall we judge the success or failure of health care reform?

    Insurance costs?
    Percentage of GDP spent on health care?
    Life expectancy above what current trends would indicate?
    Reduction of the deficit?
    The number of people on Medicaid or other government subsidized plans?+

    + You’ll win if you pick this one.

  73. 73
    J sub D says:

    @Nick:
    It explains why I refuse to contribute my vote to either dysfunctional major party. As I said upthread, feel free to vote as you wish, it’s your right. Don’t come complaining to me when things continue to go downhill.

  74. 74
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @J sub D:

    That adds up to almost nothing, like 30 million, in a presidential year where there was well over a billion spent total. There was probably more money going to 501c and 503b (I hope I’m getting all my numbers right here) but I don’t think there was much outside spending in 2008 anyway.

  75. 75
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Some of that outside money could be 527 but it is probably mostly 501c.

  76. 76
    Nick says:

    @J sub D: It does? oooooooooooook.

    I have no intention of coming complaining to you, as a matter of fact, I’m not complaining now.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:

    Some of that outside money could be 527 but it is probably mostly 501c.

    IOW, classic misdirection by J sub D. Sure, 501c contributions may be a problem, but look over here at completely different contributions that are vaguely similar, add up to less than half the amount, and come from unions instead! That proves it!

    I’m never quite sure what it’s supposed to prove, but he seems to think it proves something.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J sub D:

    The banks were unregulated on your planet? Shocking.

    If you’ve never even heard of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, you have no business opening your piehole about banks.

    By what metric shall we judge the success or failure of health care reform?

    More people being covered at less cost. An increase in life expectancy and a decrease in infant mortality would be good, too. But apparently the US having slightly better infant mortality than Croatia is just fine with you.

  79. 79
    J sub D says:

    Just a closing reality and I’ll be on my way. The Dems getting their asses handed to them this November is largely a result of a profoundly mismanaged large majority in both houses and control of the White House. Coupled with the traditional gains by the party not in the Oval Ofiice makes during a mid term election are what is driving all this.

    I’ve no love for Harry Reid, but his fighting for his political life against a moron like Angle must tell you that the Dems made some seriously unpopular PR and policy moves. Odin only knows what trouble you’d be in if the GOP was halfway competent.

    I’d sit and argue with you die hard blue teamers all night+ but I’m a widower and Friday night beckons.

    + I like you folks, seriously. You’re earnest and, for the most part, well informed. Just take those azure tinted glasses off once in a while. ;-)

    The software here hates asterisks, hence the + substitute.

  80. 80
    General Stuck says:

    the Dems made some seriously unpopular PR and policy moves

    That’s why republicans are so fired up. I am sorry to be blunt, but the rest of your analysis here is uninformed BS that seems mainlined from DU, or Kos, or some other fever swamp.

    But you sound kind of young.

  81. 81
    Nick says:

    @J sub D:You’re not telling us stuff we already know. The country is crazy right wing and we made some center left changes that drove the country into a frenzied panic.

    We accept it, we move on, we don’t quit like you.

  82. 82
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Also, you do realize that the numbers that DougJ posted aren’t donations from 527 organizations, right?

    Plus he’s comparing total contributions to expenditures specifically on Senate races and then wondering why, you know, the total figures are higher.

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