Attacks on Sunstein Frustrate Conservative Fans

By
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 at 12:01 am
Cass Sunstein (Harvard Law Record)

Cass Sunstein (Harvard Law Record)

On January 8, The Wall Street Journal broke the news that Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein would be nominated to run the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. It was a surprising choice for a job, created in 1980, that monitors and manages the federal government’s regulatory apparatus. And it was welcomed as an olive branch from an incoming Democratic president to conservatives and libertarians.

“[Sunstein's] writings on regulation and the herd mentality deserve a voice in the incoming Administration,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote, in one of vanishingly few positive assessments it has given Barack Obama’s White House. “Mr. Sunstein brings important qualifications to [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs], and Mr. Obama has made a savvy choice in putting him there.” The editorial’s headline emphasized just what a happy surprise the appointment had been: “A Regulator With Promise – Really.”

Image by: Matt Mahurin

Image by: Matt Mahurin

Nine months later, Sunstein is still not working at the regulatory office. In May, he went through confirmation hearings before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. In June, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) placed a hold on his nomination, citing concerns about Sunstein’s opposition to hunting. In July, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) placed another hold on Sunstein, for the same reason. On August 7, before leaving for recess, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed for cloture on the nomination. But another senator, who has not made his or her name public, has placed a hold on Sunstein, making it unclear when the Senate might take up his nomination.

After the departure of Van Jones, the former White House special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation, Washington has begun to take more seriously an argument made on July 30 by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) — that  Obama is attempting to expand the number of “czars” in order to sneak radicals into his administration. The president, wrote Cantor in The Washington Post, has appointed a “virtual army of ‘czars’ — each wholly unaccountable to Congress yet tasked with spearheading major policy efforts for the White House.” And Sunstein is often included in that list. According to Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who has introduced legislation that would cancel the salaries of presidential appointees who haven’t been confirmed by the Senate, Sunstein is one of 34 such “czars.” Glenn Beck, the TV and radio host who has taken credit for the campaign that ousted Jones, has attacked the man he calls “Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein” on no fewer than 12 episodes of his Fox News show.

The campaign against Sunstein has largely written itself. One of the most regularly cited legal scholars, the author, co-author, or editor of dozens of books — two of them published since he was nominated to run OIRA — Sunstein has left a trail of theoretical writings and speeches that have provided plenty of ammo for conservative opponents. StopSunstein.com, a Website launched in February by the American Conservative Union, is festooned with out-of-context quotes (“We ought to ban hunting”) and fake newspaper headlines written as if Sunstein’s opinions had become law — “Guns Banned!” and “FCC Pulls Plug on Limbaugh!” Much of the damaging material comes from “Nudge,” a thoughtful 2007 book Sunstein wrote with the University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler, which investigates the possibilities for “libertarian paternalism,” not government control, to encourage good behavior. This, for example, is where the conservative CNSNews.com drew its damaging allegation headlined “Obama Regulation Czar Advocated Removing People’s Organs Without Explicit Consent.”

All of this has proven confusing and frustrating to Sunstein’s conservative and libertarian admirers — some of whom were outspoken opponents of Jones, and opponents of the “czars” who, unlike Sunstein, do not need to be confirmed by the Senate.

In January, the libertarian blogger and law professor Glenn Reynolds wrote a hearty endorsement of Sunstein, telling readers that the nomination “shows that the Obama Administration is perhaps willing to look at new and less intrusive approaches to regulation.” Today, he sees the lengthy campaign against Sunstein as an unflattering example of “how the messed-up appointments process works.”

“I think he should be confirmed,” Reynolds told TWI. “Do I think Sunstein will push a hunting ban? No. Do I think he’s sympathetic to hunting, particularly? No. But what Obama appointee is likely to be? As the Van Jones affair indicates, there are a lot of people worthy of more concern than Sunstein. If I were advising Republicans, I’d tell them to focus their attentions elsewhere.”

That advice was echoed by Ed Morrissey, a conservative blogger at HotAir.com, which published dozens of posts about Jones until he finally withdrew. “I’d prefer to see someone more conservative or moderate in [Sunstein's] position,” said Morrissey, “if it should exist at all. I’m not going to endorse Sunstein, but don’t think that he presents a good target for Republicans to attack. I think that there is a big problem with lumping the ‘czars’ in with those like Sunstein who need Senate approval and have Congressional oversight.”

Ilya Somin, a libertarian law professor at George Mason University, has written at the popular Volokh Conspiracy lawblog that “the czar system does circumvent the regular appointment and confirmation process.” Like Morrissey and Reynolds, he was critical of Beck and other Sunstein critics.

“Sunstein has nothing to do with the ‘czars’ or the problems with the ‘czars,’” said Somin. “The ironic thing is that anybody else who might be appointed to this job would be less qualified, and more liberal. I disagree with what Sunstein writes in ‘Nudge.’ But what he advocates is not as bad as the views likely to be held by other people who could run [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs].”

Even if the “czar” issue fades, the attacks on Sunstein’s more controversial views may stick. By far the most damaging critique has been the one that prompted the senatorial holds: Sunstein’s view of animal rights, including the view that humans may sue on the behalf of animals. “If confirmed,” Sunstein told Cornyn in a July 31 letter that effectively ended the hold, “I certainly would not use my position at [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] to promote animal standing in civil litigation.” But David Martosko, a spokesman for the conservative Center for Consumer Freedom, has hammered Sunstein for his views, and done so on two episodes of Beck’s show.

“You can say anything you want during a confirmation hearing,” Martosko told TWI. “Once you’re in place, administrator of [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] is really an ideal job for an animal rights zealot to have. You could decide that the government was no longer able to buy eggs from hens that are kept in cages. All of a sudden, there’s a 90-day warning on the new policy against buying eggs from cooped-up hens.”

On TV and in his interview with TWI, Martosko said that Sunstein was a “disciple” of Peter Singer, the Princeton University ethicist who has taken controversial stands on, among other things, the morality of killing disabled infants “if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole.” In an email to TWI, Singer said that he had only worked with Sunstein once, and that Martosko was wildly off base.

“Cass Sunstein has developed his own views on this issue,” said Singer. “You might as well say that Glenn Beck is a disciple of Lyndon LaRouche because they agree on opposing the public health care option.”

But Martosko argued that Singer’s influence on Sunstein was “obvious” from the nominee’s own writing, and from private conversations. “You can never elevate animals,” said Martosko. “All you can do is lower humans to the level of animals. If you’re intellectually honest — and Sunstein is a Harvard Law professor, so I’m sure he has thought through this — you can draw the conclusion from there to organ donation without consent, or to rationing of end-of-life care. There’s nothing special about you. You’re just another animal.”

In the face of that criticism, hardened by the “czars” controversy, Sunstein’s supporters remain frustrated by their lack of progress. Richard Epstein, a libertarian-leaning law professor at the University of Chicago who edited a book about the 2000 election with Sunstein, told TWI that he supported Sunstein’s nomination “notwithstanding the many substantive disagreements between us.”

“The Beck stuff,” said Epstein, “is well over the top.”

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Comments

115 Comments

jeffinohio
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:31 am

“Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.)–that Obama is attempting to expand the number of “czars” in order to sneak radicals into his administration.”

Sneaky radicals…..next up, Obama Admin refuses to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.


Irish_Wake
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

Let us review.
The job is running the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
The position was created by that sneaky liberal President Reagan.
The nominee was labelled by the loyal opposition as conservative, and welcomed.
The Wall Street Journal practically gushed with pleasure and praise.
Chambliss and Cornyn place a hold on the process because of HIS VIEWS ON HUNTING?

Cantor is mistaken, of course. The czars are more accountable to congress than most White House staff: witness how Congress is preventing his taking the job.

The issue is not the nominee, his qualifications, or his performance. The issue is a group in Congress that are behaving like the People's Republic of China – drag out negotiations for as long as possible using false, improper and misleading language to obscure their actual agenda.

The first post that whines 'The Democrats did the same thing!' wins the booby prize.


So
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

Multiple posts about Sunstein, and you still have not mentioned any of the progressive problems with Sunstein.


David Weigel
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

The story is about conservatives, but you make a good point. That's the flip side of this.


ritabright
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

Why the objection to the 'czars'? Did they question Nixon when he did it?? Ummm, I wonder.


Michael K Pate
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

If he actually meant this quote:

But the kinds of regulation that would respond to my concerns [about deliberative democracy], they're not really feasible and they probably wouldn't help. Most problems are best solved privately, not through government. There's a problem of discourtesy in the world, which is best handled through social norms, which are indispensable. But you wouldn't want the government to be mandating courtesy. – Cass Sunstein

He made be a good choice for Regulation Czar.


Professor Guvinoff
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

There are a lot of things which could be discussed more sensibly if the public trust had not been abused since the inauguration of this president. The fitness of Cass Sunstein for office is one of them. A lot of public trust (and campaign money) have been invested in Obama. We now have a president who in the best case misread his mandate and in the worst case wants to subvert America. Whatever value may exist in the Obama administration is sunk by the breach of trust, something that is impossible to repair, no matter how much rethotic and oratory you throw at it.


RightDownTheMiddle
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

Yeah right….cuz the last prez built up soooo much trust. Your brain is the only thing I see that has been subverted…by Fox News.


JackieM
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

Sunstein's views on animal rights and hunting, which in and of themselves are ridiculous, are not the problem. His writings on the First Amendment are, in particlular as it relates to the Fairness Doctrine.
“A legislative effort to regulate broadcasting in the interest of democratic principles should
not be seen as an abridgment of the free speech guarantee.”
–Cass R. Sunstein, Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech, The Free Press,
1995, p. 92
This quote is just one of many on the subject. And then there,s this interesting comment.
.
“My major aim in this book is to uncover an important but neglected part of America’s heritage: the idea of a second bill of rights. In brief, the second bill attempts to protect both opportunity and security, by creating rights to employment, adequate food and clothing, decent shelter, education, recreation, and medical care.”
– Cass R. Sunstein, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution and
Why We Need it More Than Ever, Basic Books, New York, 2004, p. 1


strangely_enough
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

With a heaping helping of irony. Delicious.


john649
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

Anytime you read an article with Martosko you must realize he is the farthest radical winger, right there with Beck and Co. He is nothing more than a plant by Berman and Co. (http://www.bermanexposed.org/) who are well funded by big business, have a radical agenda to smash anything that infringes on their greed of profits and control in EVERY realm. Read their websites, you can read about the front groups anti-everything stance. Although they claim they are for Consumer Freedom their funding from major corporations ensures their secret mission to strip away consumer rights at every turn. You think Beck is over the top………..do a little research on this guy and his trails of deceit…….


WPZ
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

The Chicago Tribune has used Cass Sunstein as the regular go-to op-ed author with academic credentials for several topics, but most especially gun rights.
More specifically, the abolishment of gun rights. The Tribune literally published an editorial calling for the complete removal of the Second Amendment from the Constitution in 2008.
Sunstein has been used at least three times in my memory to backstop that position. Advocating for the “collective rights” argument is the least of it, although Sunstein has taken that failed position many a time.
Unfortunately, the Tribune's financial distress has apparently made much of its archive unavailable to ordinary readers and I can't bring links to the Sunstein articles insisting the central government has the authority to ban the private ownership of guns and should do so.
Perhaps someone in the trade can locate them, although the Tribune has cleansed many an article from the public archives that might seem unsavory now, such as many of the front-page hit piece articles on US Senatorial candidate Jack Ryan in 2004.


NotTheIdiot
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

A simple solution is to limit Governmental Immunity to elected officials.

Then who cares what radical and nonsensical views a presidential troll has. If he/she screws up, the great legal system filled with liberal tort lawyers will have a feast.

That and any intelligent parent with common sense should NEVER, EVER send a child to Harvard. What a joke. And you pay big bucks for THIS?


GOPRIP
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

What a crock. You're talking about an op/ed that lamented the new interpretation of the 2nd amendment in light of the Heller decision. The writer has an opinion you disagree with so of course he's a gun-hating loon on a slippery slope. Too bad no GOP ever links to this piece or you might actually have to use some critical thinking skills- BEFORE you disagree.
From the op/ed, and the crux of his argument:

If the founders had limited themselves to the final 14 words, the amendment would have been an unambiguous declaration of the right to possess firearms. But they didn’t, and it isn’t. The amendment was intended to protect the authority of the states to organize militias. The inartful wording has left the amendment open to public debate for more than 200 years. But in its last major decision on gun rights, in 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously found that that was the correct interpretation.

On Tuesday, five members of the court edited the 2nd Amendment. In essence, they said: Scratch the preamble, only 14 words count.

In doing so, they have curtailed the power of the legislatures and the city councils to protect their citizens.


GOPRIP
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

Too bad the rest of us just read “in the interest of democratic principles” where you read “in the interest of a shadow conspiracy to undermine hate-mongering and disinformation on AM radio.”

I mean, reall? That's all you got on him?
Your “outrage” is a little weak, considering what your GOP was busy doing when they ran the 109th Congress, but sure this isn't about how much you just hate Dems. Suuurrreee.


kJVC
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

The Beck Stuff is working and hopefully Sustien with his bizarre lack of understanding of humanity and law will never be confirmed for any position in government.


john649
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

I apologize. I was mistaken. That “Berman Exposed” website is a union hatchet job. Martosko's OK.


john649
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

very funny Berman people -TRYING TO ADD A COMMENT PRETENDING TO BE ME – nice try but your trickery won't work -WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!

This website tells it all ! -LOL
http://www.bermanexposed.org/

Martosko's a CROCK and Deceitful master of the trade as evident by pretending to post as me – Thanks you showed us a great example of your tactics – LOL


john649
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

by the way – I reported you so try your trickery again, I'm sure you have more ammunition to fool people! – LOL


Bus41
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

Snake-eye Cantor. When will his constituents get wise and throw his sorry arse out the door?


rskaz
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

Jones is black, Sunstein is Jewish. What more reason does the right need?


john649
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 6:16 pm

I apologize again. My mood swings go up and down depending on Oprah's mood and Tyra's hairstyle.


Patty
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

Glenn Beck is a right-wing nut…one of the crazies. I think those folks have succumbed to some sort of collective insanity.

If Obama can appoint good people like Sunstein to offset the damage done by 8 horrific years of the wing-nut Bush Administration catering to industry lobbyists, and regulate business to change its abusive ways to animals as well as humans, then more power to him — maybe there’s hope for us all yet! We need more honest, intelligent, kind, and rational – people in government. Three cheers for Sunstein!


Kim85
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

Martosko is one of the most deceitful and evil of his kind.

You can read about their front groups and here:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Davi…
They are notorious for tricking people with their subversive practices.
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/p…

Anything written by this group is a ploy to trick people and brand their big business agenda, especially ANYTHING having to do with animals since their funding comes from using animals for profit.
CCF has received funding from the Altria Group (formerly Philip Morris), Tyson Foods, Coca Cola and Monsanto. Tyson is also a major supplier of restaurant chains, including Kentucky Fried Chicken [3] and McDonalds. [4] Monsanto contracts product toxicity testing on animals out to Huntingdon Life Sciences. [5] All of these corporations, as well as Phillip Morris contract laboratory Covance Laboratories; have been the subject of PETA and/or other animal rights campaigns over animal testing and welfare issues. Over 40% of the group's 2005 expenditure was paid to Rick Berman's PR company, Berman & Co. for management services.

Are you surprised Martosko is anti Cass Sunstein – his lively hood depends on Sunstein's failure!


Sam85
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 6:46 pm

I agree, this Martosko and his band of roving, thieving gypsies are funded by corporate profits and will go to any lengths to protect their greed. Not convinced?? check out this website:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Rich…

Richard Berman Cares About Animals: Clients Exposed. PetaKillsAnimals.com is a website created in July 2004 by the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF). [1] CCF is a front group for the restaurant, alcohol, tobacco and other industries. Over 40% of the group's 2005 expenditure was paid to Rick Berman's PR company, Berman & Co. for “management services”. [2]


Sam85
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

These wingnuts are killing the republican party……..I for one do NOT endorse this mind of fringe behavior. The Becks, Martoskos, Limbaughs, Palins are fodder for entertainment and nothing more………


Catz
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

As an animal rights activist – we do not take these people seriously, knowing their goals is greed, pure greed and more greed, PERIOD.

Each year, Berman, using his front group (Martosko) to spread misinformation, spends millions of dollars distracting the public with misleading ads.

As a result of his largesse, in 2006, Richard Berman used $2,000,000 in cash to buy this $3.3 million house.

These guys are lobbyists for greed…….


john649
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

you Berman people are stupid trying to pretend your me……..all you have do is click the icon and we can see your email is different from mine! – LOL


Brian
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

Sunstein is one the few forwarding thinking men of our times. Given the current media binge of latching onto hype of the most sensationalist kind, Cass is a refreshing breath of air and will serve his country with moderation and sensitivity……we support his new role wholeheartedly.


Brock
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

Van Jones and Cass Sustein prove one thing:

The Obama administration is the home of jews and blacks. How about a decent, hard working American for once, Hussein?


serena1313
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 9:46 pm

Sunstein is not the only one held-up, the Republicans have placed holds on as many as twenty or more others. It is ridiculous, however, they have thrown monkey wrenches in just about every nook and corner, from policy to confirmations, just to keep the administration from running smoothly. With the GOP and the far-right media attacking Obama 24/7/12 it is a wonder anything gets done.

One would think that Obama is the first to create the “czar” title — and that's all it is, a title — he isn't the first. Actually the “czar” concept originated with Nixon — re_member the “drug czar.” The reason Obama has more czars in his administration than his predecessors (Reagan, Clinton, Bush & Cheney who had czars for almost every conceivable post) is simply due to the many fires left burning from the last administration.

[Newsweek's satirist, Andy Borowitz, wrote in 2007, "the Bush WH needed a lying czar to oversee all distortions and misrepresentations..." ]

So all this hoopla is just noise, more distraction. Nevertheless it is infuriating to see the Republicans spend all their time thinking of ways to bring down Obama. Republicans need to reassess their priorities because if we are to be prepared for future challenges we need solutions, not monkey wrenches.


amy
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

hmmmm – so blacks and jews are NOT americans? nor decent or hard working….
no prejudice here, huh?

must be a republican…..


ilse
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 9:55 pm

Brock,

You are a racist and dining room table.


SusanElizabeth1949
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

What sort of a person ARE you, Brock? Your post gives every indication that you do not believe that either Jews or Blacks are 'decent hardworking Americans. If that is truly your voice there is a name for a being who holds such views and it isn't “Decent American”


amy
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:14 pm

this guy works for Martosko……………should of known


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

This guy walks in lock-step with PETA and will be in charge of regulations that include how food (livestock) is raised, where cattle can graze, etc. and thinks animals should be allowed to sue humans (using lawyers bringing cases on their behalf before the courts.

One example is that he would prefer that school lunches ban both meat and dairy.

He thinks hunting should be illegal and the 2nd Amendment doesn't allow for citizens to own firearms.

So if these are examples of your belief system then I say rejoice in his nomination. For those of us that disagree I would wonder why raising red flags would be questionable? This guy holds radical beliefs and would be – in effect – the MOST POWERFUL person in Gov't you have never heard of – or for that matter voted for.


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

Read my note above and please tell me why my objections are unreasonable?


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

Put down the bong and step away from the keyboard. FACT: Cass argued that rats could not be removed from a house if it causes the rats and stress or harm.

Yeah – that sounds like a breath of fresh (albeit CRAZY) air.


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

The best part is his views – even if you like them – are soooooooo far left of the Average American that it will serve to shock people when/if he gets his programs in action. In effect, most of America does not side with the likes of PETA. Heck, I almost welcome this type of crazy think as it truly sheds light on the wacky left.


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

This is entirely scary – and stands testament why vetting him is imperative.


capitalisa
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:46 pm

Over the top my a**!! The guy is an A1 certified lunatic! Are these “admirers” for real?? I don't care what label they put on themselves, “dems,” “libertarians,” etc. They are totally evading the reality that this Sunstein represents. Dangerous!!


ckelly12
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

READ about him! READ his words! READ about who he belives in, PETER SINGER! He is a proponent of NUDGE… gently push the ignormant masses into not being able to afford meat, not having any hunting grounds left, having sex with animals and children (as long as you don't hurt them), animals are more important than humans, humans should be socially engineered. Of course it's frustrating!! No one can believe how evil and immoral this “intellectual's” thoughts and beliefs are! Obama believes it all, too!!! WAKE UP!!!


Name
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

oljw — your objections are unreasonable because you are an idiot. Any doofus like yourself who thinks anyone in Sunstein's position would have the power to do the things you mentioned doesn't understand government.

People like you, who can be manipulated by every scaremongering politician are what has ruined this once-great country. Go watch teevee and let the adults fix your messes.


mikamiche100
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

I wonder if obamination and his evil czars have ever labored with their hands over the creation of a physical structure, say a home, sweating blood and laying down tears? There is a certain rancid dryness of decay in all of them, overly-intellectual, fascinated with ideas that are repulsive to most humans. From their vulture perches they deign to look down upon us mere mortals, with absolutely no concept of the Personal Savior, religion is the opiate of the masses and all that dreck. Nowhere in the world does socialism work, nowhere in the world does communism work, and yet, that's the Plan between obaminator and his lackey czars: to bring a mix of two world views that don't work with the beauty and freedom and occasional chaos that is Freedom. Sooo elitist, so haughty, so smug, so dangerous, and so destructive. I pray to God that the HUGE amount of power they are already abusing will blow up publicly in their nasty, vacant, and arrogant smimey faces. They are soooo disconnected from the elements of humanity most of us hold dear. They are dead in the head, empty of soul, being filled instead with lies, hatred, and a cold, calculating malice that serves them well as they attempt to rip down the Constitution, abolish our sovereignty, and set themselves up as the-powers-that-think-they-be. These disgustingly ugly liars and hypocrites would do well to remember these words by Benjamin Franklin: “Much of the Strength and Efficiency of any Government, in procuring & securing Happiness to the People depends on Opinion, on the general Opinion of the Goodness of that Government as well as of the Wisdom & Integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for own Sakes, as a Part of the People, and for the Sake of our Posterity, we shall act heartily & unanimously in recommending this Constitution, wherever our Influence may extend, and turn our future Thoughts and Endeavors to the Means of having it well administered.–” Now, here's one of Sunnstein's little speeches: “My tentative suggestion is that the individual right to have guns (he can't even use the phrase in the document: BEAR ARMS) as it's being conceptualized now is taken as a contemporary creation and a reflection of current fears, not a reading of civic-centered founding debates.” The only reflection of fear I hold is that these elitist power-addicted freaks have not only taken over the government, but will now attempt to use America and her people as their private laboratory where rats will overrun once-elegant restaurants, long closed due to food shortages, and the few children left after selective breeding and genetic tinkering. learn together in their classrooms set up for indoctrination of all sorts. So all you pinheads who think Glenn Beck “attacked” Van Jones and Sunnstein, go look up the transcripts from the last couple of weeks. Since you obviously aren't researching ANYTHING about ANY of this, I am sure you also voted obamination into office. Any blood that is shed, any freedom lost is partially on you. Did ANY of you even look into his voting record? And, as for Beck, he's the ONLY news anchor with the stones to deeply research all of this crap and then share it with viewers. It's so boring to read the same old complaints about the same old people…the republicans are as trashed as the liberals, you still see life as (R) against (D), you still don't see what is happening to the GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE—WE THE PEOPLE! Sorry, I digress, back to Beck et al: I always HAVE to ask: how many times have you watched their shows or listened to their radio shows? And you obviously have not read HR 3200. Anyone who wades through that pile of defecation soon realizes that it is a very scarey Trojan Horse, and I honestly think we should put the bill's authors up against the wall, or better yet, take them on a helicopter ride. Additionally, I can always tell which people are in for a very, very horrible wake-up call: the jackboot that you don't see coming down at this still-faking-it stage of Life With o is going to shatter some major belief systems and I just hope you have a WHOLE lot of valium around to help you through the next bits of this nightmare.


thom
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

you obviously HAVEN'T read his work, only listened to the wingnuts. Do some research before spewing…..even Republicans in the past have ALREADY supported his nomination.

Turn OFF FAUX NOISE…..you might learn something


thom
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

blah, blah, blah………your no different than Beck. This crass hate rhetoric is sinking like a ton of bricks.


rand
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

OMG……….the end of the worlds is here!!!

quick jump off a cliff and save yourself!!


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:05 pm

Please – ladies first.


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

You assume everyone who disagrees with you is a GOP fan. Silly argument on it's face. You really should read up on Independents and Conservatives (who aren't always the same as Republicans).


rand
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

what a rambling mess………..don't think anyone can understand this nonsense.
is this the new Repub strategy?


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

Please tone down the attacking rhetoric as we are attempting to engage in (ahem) legitimate discourse on imp't issues. But if you like, and as someone else already posted on this board, allow me to quote him. “My major aim in this book is to uncover an important but neglected part of America’s heritage: the idea of a second bill of rights. In brief, the second bill attempts to protect both opportunity and security, by creating rights to employment, adequate food and clothing, decent shelter, education, recreation, and medical care.”

– Cass R. Sunstein, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution and
Why We Need it More Than Ever, Basic Books, New York, 2004, p. 1

Silly me – I don't believe we need a 2nd bill of rights and I certainly disagree with ALL OF HIS INTENTIONS. And last I check I have the right to disagree don't I?


geoff
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

Favorite Rethug pastime, taking words out of context and misrepresenting them…….


thom
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

give it up, loser………
On a 63-35 vote, the Senate has broken the filibuster against Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s nominee for Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

He's as go as gold! Even your wingnuts voted for the guy! :)


Thom
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

YOUR unreasonable because…..
On a 63-35 vote, the Senate has broken the filibuster against Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s nominee for Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

:)


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

Rethug? C'mon that's low-brow amigo.


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:31 pm

That would actually be spelled “you're” but I digress. I can't wait for this wackado to expose himself with crazy legislation further alienating the Obama administration from the rank and file American further locking in a complete Dem loss of the Senate and perhaps even the House in 2010. You go Cass…prove me right.


geoff
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:31 pm

I have one word to say………..Fringe, baby, fringe! ( make that 3 words)

:)


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

a few Repubs (and basically those that are basically Dem's anyway) does not provide the cover you desire. Be careful what you wish for applies here because he will only further alienate the far left from the rest of the country. Silly liberals applies here.


thom
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

He's as go as gold! Even your wingnuts voted for the guy! :)

sorry but wackado ISN'T a word – try either wacky or whacked –
but then let's not digress…….


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

Whackadoo is and it applies herein


thom
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

another example of a ReThug twisting the rhetoric and misrepresenting it.

fringe, baby, fringe……LOL


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:39 pm

Fact: America is a center right country – there are more conservatives than liberals.


thom
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:39 pm

okay – digression it is!

fringe, baby, fringe……


thom
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

hey, are you a Berman Baby?


oljw
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/Conservatives… (and the moderates trend Independent by far)


thom
Comment posted September 9, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

sorry bud – gotta go to my conservative ReThug pow wow……this is getting old.


oljw
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 12:01 am

The fact is the GOP is gaining power without a leader because the silent majority is waking up WITHOUT a defined leader. There is change being forced by the people who make up a majority of this country. Largely we reject the current agenda and the Dem's are bleeding Independents in agreement. Through in the Libertarians and the numbers are what they are. We are citizens – we should not judge people by the color of their skin but on the content of their character.


peterprinciple
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 12:49 am

There's a bit of a difference between being a center right country and an extreme ultra-right wing-nut country — something you ultra-right wing nuts seem to have trouble understanding.


oljw
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 12:59 am

What's actually entertaining is that you are soooo far left you think anyone on your right is a “wing-nut”. Funny thing – one of the absolute best political pundits is (my opinion) Camille Paglia from Salon.com – I am Conservative but agree with her 75-% of the time cuz she simply calls it as she sees it. http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/09/09/…


Dan
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 3:29 am

And she is a staunch liberal. What, the link from Drudge got you hooked? Next thing you know, you'll buy some of her books, then start reading other “straight talking” liberals. Next thing you know, you'll be a liberal! 10 years down the road, you'll think that all of Camille's hand-wringing is nothing but a waste of time and does nothing to add to the argument. How do I know, I was you, tens years ago. You should just embrace what you are and become a progressive. You are starting to realize that conservatism is a lie and nothing more than a game at empowering the empowered. You are on your way, see you at the Democratic primary in the next decade!


oljw
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 3:35 am

I've been reading Paglia for some time and always look forward to her column – but thanks for assuming the least of my intellect…how very liberal of you. What's funny I was like you 15 years ago and am never going back for any number of reasons. See I am a Conservative but I respect voices of reason and she has one. She has no problem calling a spade a spade even if it's to the detriment of her own party. It's called a marketplace of ideas and if we keep the vitriol to a minimum we can find common ground. the amount of venom from the left toward anyone that disagrees with them is palatable. Think I'm wrong then please explain the DailyKos and Huffpo.


Dan
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 4:21 am

Or Redstate? Or WorldNetDaily? Please, show me the sites of these reasoned and compassionate conservatives. Funny to see you talk about Pagli and to find you here. It's not like the Washington Indepdent is a hotbed of conservative thought. Keep fooling yourself. You are liberal! :-)


oljw
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 4:56 am

The thing is I just enjoy the banter….and to be honest I think it can be done with relative civility. Really, just spending time agreeing with everyone doesn't pack the punch for me. And I would hope that a generally reasoned voice could help mix it up a bit.


monkey99
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 5:41 am

Holy Cow!

mikamiche100,

Has anyone told you that in english, we group sentences together, to form “paragraphs?' Did you bother to proofread to make sure it was comprehensible, because personally, the clusterfox you present makes about as much sense as Glenn Beck, himself.

Another child, left behind.


Mari
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

Why is it that when someone has facts that verify their point and disprove your point you Only have the ability to sling childish and petty names about?

You ask oljw to do research. He obviously did and found facts to support his point and gave you the sources. Instead of having a logical, rational, and adult exchange of thought You only seem to have the ability to call others names….
And this seems to be consistent…….

When they cant dispute facts they resort to name calling.
You know its really bad and they have no argument when they call all white people racists!


Mari
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

are you that un intelligent that all you have to offer in an exchange of thoughts and ideas is; childish name calling?


jaquebauer
Comment posted September 11, 2009 @ 9:24 am

Sunstein has no business in the White House, or any Governmental office. This man has a dangerous mind. Perhaps the FBI should look into his background. I bet if the FBI was still run by J Edgar—-Obama and the rest of his commies would never step foot in the white house.

Its about time Americans wake up, before Obama destroys our great nation. Obama must be stopped NOW. Today is 9-11. Obama is doing all he can to avoid recognizing this day. Why you ask, Because he hates America


American_Nightmare
Comment posted September 11, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

Peter Singer – one of the most important philosophers of our time.


yourkidding
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 3:37 am

I find that Sunstein is very intelligent. But you will never find any moderation in his view.
And when your dog files suit against you (with taxpayer dollars) because his walk wasn’t long enough for his liking you can tell us about his moderation and sensitivity…..

I have the video in his own words. Not just hype and not just a snipit; the whole thing…….


yourkidding
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 3:44 am

Do you have nothing more than throwing up the race card.

Despite what you believe I have seen people on here with concerns(right or wrong) and instead of having a adult exchange of ideas and thoughts everyone is resorting to name calling and insults. Name calling hurts no one but you because not being able to hold an intelligent and adult conversation only hurts you.

Is there No one on here with intelligence on here to actually discuss an issue; or is it all going to be childish name calling?


yourkidding
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 3:52 am

Im sorry but I disagree.
If you consider the men who wrote the document, the time period, and the circumstances of the documents. These men had just come out of a Revolutionary War.
I do not believe that the amendment was ONLY intended to protect the authority of the states to organize militias.

Try reading Thomas Jefferson and his reference to what he says will happen
” When you beat your swords into plough shares”…..


yourkidding
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 3:55 am

HOW ABOUT READING THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL
OF RIGHTS?


yourkidding
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 4:02 am

This has absolutely nothing to do with the last president.
The last President screwed up
The last President was a goof in my opinion
I could go on and on.

PLEASE ANSWER ME THIS?
At what point does the Current President actually have to take responsibility for his actions and that of His administration?

Its either the race card or the Last President that is ALWAYS thrown in, in lack of anything intelligent and factual to offer to the conversation.


yourkidding
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 4:06 am

Yes they did!
Don’t you remember?

If your not old enough to remember than its probably best you not to speak on that which
you know nothing about.


joeblow1113
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 2:33 am

He has conservative fans?…well, that aren't conservative, then. They aren't classical liberals….they certainly don't understand the meaning of federalism.


joeblow1113
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 2:35 am

what…has twitter stunted your ability to comprehend complex sentences…


joeblow1113
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 2:36 am

ooohhh, you're soooo smart


joeblow1113
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 2:41 am

blah, blah, blah…did you come up with that all by yourself…I haven't heard anybody use the word “crass” in awhile. Next thing ya know you'll be spouting “salacious.”


joeblow1113
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 2:49 am

No, the problem is people are reading his works…look “wingnut” is so yesterday…you need a new slur and FAUX…hmmm…that's pretentious and just confirms you're a person educated beyond your intellectual means.

Let me give you another example…like Warren Hern:

“…the human species is a rapacious, predatory, ominecophagic species engaged in a global pattern of converting all available plan, animal, organic and inorganic matter into either human biomass or into adaptive adjuncts of human biomass. This is an epiecopathological process that is both immediately and ultimately ecocidal.

In this respect, the human species is an example of a malignant ecotumor, an uncontrolled proliferation of a single species that threatens the existence of other species in their habitats.”

First of all, I don't think this person could ever look upon another person without seeing rampaging metastasis. How can a self-loathing vision not create anything other than a warped point of view.

With a point of view like this, I can see nasty policies of all sorts would be seen as favorable. So when people read statements like Hern, Singer, Holdren they hear crackpots that have infested the university systems.


joeblow1113
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 2:56 am

He is petty and childish. What's worse, is that he thinks he is arguing effectively.


yourkidding
Comment posted September 12, 2009 @ 3:33 am

why in the world would you decide someone is a Republican just because they are a racists?
I am not a Republican but I totally find that offensive.

Maybe, just maybe IF YOU can call Brock a racists for his comments then he maybe just got his ideas on race from someone just as narrow-minded as you!
Isn't that part of the problem in the US right now?

It seems that Amy has No problem judging a book by the Cover Only…….


md6379a
Comment posted September 13, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

Most of what you said is not Cass Sunstein's OR Peter Singer's views. Misrepresenting views and shouting is not useful to the public discussion. Here is Peter Singer's famous argument that started animal rights. Why not read it and then tell us your objections:

http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/philosophy/ani…


md6379a
Comment posted September 13, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

Should we really look at sound-bite versions of conclusions about things like animal rights and say “I agree” or “I disagree”? Why not read the arguments and then make objections to the premises or reasoning? For example, here is Peter Singer's famous argument for animal rights:

http://www.webster.edu/%7Ecorbetre/philosophy/a…


Sam85
Comment posted September 14, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

thanks for your arrogance and high and mighty attitude ……..always a good ploy to point a finger instead of offer reasoned facts or intelligent banter.


yourkidding
Comment posted September 14, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

Sam85
after reading all 3 of your post; your response to this person seems a bit hypercritical.


rumpleforskin
Comment posted September 16, 2009 @ 12:46 am

Is it just me or is most college guru liberals way to doped up on drugs to know what the hell is going on? Where do these fascists come from? They certainly do not need power over us. If he want to ban hunting and ban guns, I'll make a deal with him. Ban leftists from power and we'll have a deal. Other wise ,STFU and mind your own damned business – communists suck swine tits. Marxism has to go from this country. It is an evil fascist Satanic LIE!


FirstShirt
Comment posted September 29, 2009 @ 11:47 pm

I think that most Politicos that oppose hunting really have the agenda to disarm Americans. It's not hunting that bothers them, it is armed citizens… The Constitution just kinda chaps their ass.


andrew
Comment posted January 14, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

screw you….you label all criticism as hate. it isnt. this guy wants the government meddling in public opinion and it does that already too much with the pentagon loading the generals up for the corporate news. criticism and vocal discussion of todays controversies is desperately needed. some of what sunstein calls conspiracy theories might just end up being the truth. a truth he would rather snuff out.


jonathan goodman
Comment posted January 15, 2010 @ 12:50 am

Of course as of this writing 14 January 2010 Sunstein has also written his own definitive disqualitication, with his new dossier concerning “conspiracy theorists”, advocating openly instigating cointelpro operations against virtually anyone who
disagrees with the government on any issue. Liberal? Please…


jonathan goodman
Comment posted January 15, 2010 @ 5:50 am

Of course as of this writing 14 January 2010 Sunstein has also written his own definitive disqualitication, with his new dossier concerning “conspiracy theorists”, advocating openly instigating cointelpro operations against virtually anyone who
disagrees with the government on any issue. Liberal? Please…


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