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  • CNN Article for the Left

    Anyone think that maybe China helped finance Beijing Biden's campaign?

    And no, this didn't originate with Breitbart or Fox or Newsmax or OAN.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/27/polit...+-+Politics%29

    Democrats deride 'dark' money, but a new analysis shows it helped boost Joe Biden

    (CNN)Democrats have denounced anonymous money in politics for years, but 2020 brought a tidal wave of it into the election to benefit their party.

    More than $320 million of so-called "dark money" helped boost Democrats in the White House and congressional races -- more than double the anonymous dollars that aided Republicans in this year's federal elections, a new analysis shows.

    A top beneficiary: President-elect Joe Biden. Nearly $132 million in anonymous money backed his White House bid, compared to nearly $22 million to aid President Donald Trump, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics for CNN.

    The analysis by the center defines dark money as donations and spending by nonprofits that do not disclose the sources of the money. It also includes money flowing into politics from limited liability corporations operating as shell companies.

  • #2
    And from NBC, another stalwart news group on the Left.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinio...ss-ncna1245836

    Joe Biden must clear the air on Hunter Biden and his China business dealings — win or lose

    A public commitment from the Biden family to fully comply with any investigation is critical to restore confidence and take on Chinese attempts to undermine the U.S.

    Americans endured years of federal investigations and media frenzy over allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia, a second-rate rival in open decline. Americans now deserve more than indignant dismissals from Joe Biden's campaign about the Biden family's business affairs in China — the country that poses the pre-eminent threat to U.S. national security today.

    Special counsel Robert Mueller's team spent two years and an estimated $32 million investigating allegations of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia before failing to establish that this took place. No matter who wins Tuesday, Americans would be right to demand an investigation into Hunter Biden's business in China and any allegations of connections to his father, Joe Biden. This is especially important in light of Beijing's long-standing practice of targeting highly influential people at or near the top of governments.


    Americans are right to demand this? Not according to the Leftists on TWeb.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ronson View Post
      Anyone think that maybe China helped finance Beijing Biden's campaign?

      And no, this didn't originate with Breitbart or Fox or Newsmax or OAN.

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/27/polit...+-+Politics%29

      Democrats deride 'dark' money, but a new analysis shows it helped boost Joe Biden

      (CNN)Democrats have denounced anonymous money in politics for years, but 2020 brought a tidal wave of it into the election to benefit their party.

      More than $320 million of so-called "dark money" helped boost Democrats in the White House and congressional races -- more than double the anonymous dollars that aided Republicans in this year's federal elections, a new analysis shows.

      A top beneficiary: President-elect Joe Biden. Nearly $132 million in anonymous money backed his White House bid, compared to nearly $22 million to aid President Donald Trump, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics for CNN.

      The analysis by the center defines dark money as donations and spending by nonprofits that do not disclose the sources of the money. It also includes money flowing into politics from limited liability corporations operating as shell companies.
      There is no contradiction. Most people, I'm sure including conservatives, want to see the financing of our elections reformed. But until that can be done (Democrats already passed a bill which McConnell won't let come up for debate) there is no alternative but to play the game by the same rules as Republicans.

      Now, if you're claiming that some of the money came from China then surely you have actual evidence. I would be very interested to hear about that because, as Trump has shown, we don't want foreign countries to have that sort of leverage over politicians.

      Comment


      • #4
        The US has a very serious corruption problem, which underlies every other problem in US politics. It urgently needs to be addressed. This is probably the #1 biggest problem in US politics, as it is fundamental, and affects every other decision.

        The Republicans on SCOTUS keep throwing out anti-corruption laws on the grounds that corruption is speech, so an amendment specifically giving the federal government the power to pass laws to limit corruption appears to be needed. This is probably the #1 biggest reason it is important to have Democratic rather than Republican appointees on SCOTUS.

        Another method that would tackle the US's corruption problem from a different angle is a change to the electoral system to enable 3rd-parties to compete fairly. The instant-runoff system that Maine recently introduced should be effective in this, and needs to be implemented in other states for both state and federal election. My experience in my own country with changing away from the plurality voting system, is that it will rapidly allow 3rd parties to enter politics, and this will mean voters have a true choice between different parties on their own part of the political spectrum, which in turn means parties have to compete to be good and attract voters (and part of this is appearing to not be corrupt), rather than simply demonizing the opposition party and getting away with being the 2nd-worst party.

        I agree with the OP it is bad that Biden won with dark money. I cry zero tears of sympathy for the Republicans who created this dark money system via their lawsuits and SCOTUS judgements. Their deliberate corruption of the US system has come close to destroying it, so it is poetic justice that they lost hard from the system they themselves created.

        We have no way of knowing where the money came from, and I agree that is a huge problem in general. However, there's not been any evidence in the past that foreign countries have used the giant vulnerabilities in US law that Republicans created, to funnel money into US elections. So far as we have ever seen, it is merely the ultra-wealthy elite in the US who corrupts their politicians via this method. China's corruption of Trump appears to happen via his secret Chinese bank account and granting of trademarks to his businesses etc, rather than via putting money into US elections.
        Last edited by Starlight; 11-27-2020, 08:10 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ronson View Post
          And from NBC, another stalwart news group on the Left.

          https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinio...ss-ncna1245836

          Joe Biden must clear the air on Hunter Biden and his China business dealings — win or lose

          A public commitment from the Biden family to fully comply with any investigation is critical to restore confidence and take on Chinese attempts to undermine the U.S.

          Americans endured years of federal investigations and media frenzy over allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia, a second-rate rival in open decline. Americans now deserve more than indignant dismissals from Joe Biden's campaign about the Biden family's business affairs in China — the country that poses the pre-eminent threat to U.S. national security today.

          Special counsel Robert Mueller's team spent two years and an estimated $32 million investigating allegations of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia before failing to establish that this took place. No matter who wins Tuesday, Americans would be right to demand an investigation into Hunter Biden's business in China and any allegations of connections to his father, Joe Biden. This is especially important in light of Beijing's long-standing practice of targeting highly influential people at or near the top of governments.


          Americans are right to demand this? Not according to the Leftists on TWeb.
          The election finance reform laws should be accepted, obeyed, and reinforced would the Republicans accept that?


          Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_finance_reform_in_the_United_States


          DISCLOSE Act of 2010

          The DISCLOSE Act (S. 3628) was proposed in July 2010. The bill would have amended the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and establish additional disclosure requirements for election spending. The bill would have imposed new donor and contribution disclosure requirements on nearly all organizations that air political ads independently of candidates or the political parties. The legislation would have required the sponsor of the ad to appear in the ad itself. President Obama argued that the bill would reduce foreign influence over American elections. Democrats needed at least one Republican to support the measure in order to get the 60 votes to overcome GOP procedural delays, but were unsuccessful.[9][10]

          © Copyright Original Source


          Last edited by shunyadragon; 11-27-2020, 10:02 PM.
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ronson View Post
            And from NBC, another stalwart news group on the Left.

            https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinio...ss-ncna1245836

            Joe Biden must clear the air on Hunter Biden and his China business dealings — win or lose

            A public commitment from the Biden family to fully comply with any investigation is critical to restore confidence and take on Chinese attempts to undermine the U.S.

            Americans endured years of federal investigations and media frenzy over allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia, a second-rate rival in open decline. Americans now deserve more than indignant dismissals from Joe Biden's campaign about the Biden family's business affairs in China — the country that poses the pre-eminent threat to U.S. national security today.

            Special counsel Robert Mueller's team spent two years and an estimated $32 million investigating allegations of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia before failing to establish that this took place. No matter who wins Tuesday, Americans would be right to demand an investigation into Hunter Biden's business in China and any allegations of connections to his father, Joe Biden. This is especially important in light of Beijing's long-standing practice of targeting highly influential people at or near the top of governments.


            Americans are right to demand this? Not according to the Leftists on TWeb.
            I find that hilarious in the saddest way.

            Now they say joey needs to clear the air.

            I can only point and laugh at these liberals who carried his water.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ronson View Post
              And from NBC, another stalwart news group on the Left.
              Be careful with these generalizations. Progressives news outlets I watch regularly mock these corporate MSM outlets for the sheer number of openly conservative Republicans they hire in their quest for 'balance'. The article you cite is an opinion piece, and is labelled as such ("hot take"), so it's not 'left-wing news group' NBC's opinion, it's the opinion of the author. And the author in this case was the press secretary for a Republican Senator - so literally a Republican propagandist.

              Don't be tricked into thinking Republican propaganda is left-wing opinion just because corporate media entities are dumb enough to publish Republican opinion pieces in their pointless quest to appear balanced.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ronson View Post
                Anyone think that maybe China helped finance Beijing Biden's campaign?

                And no, this didn't originate with Breitbart or Fox or Newsmax or OAN.

                https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/27/polit...+-+Politics%29

                Democrats deride 'dark' money, but a new analysis shows it helped boost Joe Biden

                (CNN)Democrats have denounced anonymous money in politics for years, but 2020 brought a tidal wave of it into the election to benefit their party.

                More than $320 million of so-called "dark money" helped boost Democrats in the White House and congressional races -- more than double the anonymous dollars that aided Republicans in this year's federal elections, a new analysis shows.

                A top beneficiary: President-elect Joe Biden. Nearly $132 million in anonymous money backed his White House bid, compared to nearly $22 million to aid President Donald Trump, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics for CNN.

                The analysis by the center defines dark money as donations and spending by nonprofits that do not disclose the sources of the money. It also includes money flowing into politics from limited liability corporations operating as shell companies.
                Given that 'dark' money is legal, all that can be done at this point is to outlaw it in the future. I'd be in favor of that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ronson View Post
                  And from NBC, another stalwart news group on the Left.

                  https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinio...ss-ncna1245836

                  Joe Biden must clear the air on Hunter Biden and his China business dealings — win or lose

                  A public commitment from the Biden family to fully comply with any investigation is critical to restore confidence and take on Chinese attempts to undermine the U.S.

                  Americans endured years of federal investigations and media frenzy over allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia, a second-rate rival in open decline. Americans now deserve more than indignant dismissals from Joe Biden's campaign about the Biden family's business affairs in China — the country that poses the pre-eminent threat to U.S. national security today.

                  Special counsel Robert Mueller's team spent two years and an estimated $32 million investigating allegations of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia before failing to establish that this took place. No matter who wins Tuesday, Americans would be right to demand an investigation into Hunter Biden's business in China and any allegations of connections to his father, Joe Biden. This is especially important in light of Beijing's long-standing practice of targeting highly influential people at or near the top of governments.


                  Americans are right to demand this? Not according to the Leftists on TWeb.
                  All I expect from Biden in this area is that he not interfere with any DOJ investigations. And I expect the DOJ to investigate any credible allegations.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                    Another method that would tackle the US's corruption problem from a different angle is a change to the electoral system to enable 3rd-parties to compete fairly. The instant-runoff system that Maine recently introduced should be effective in this, and needs to be implemented in other states for both state and federal election. My experience in my own country with changing away from the plurality voting system, is that it will rapidly allow 3rd parties to enter politics, and this will mean voters have a true choice between different parties on their own part of the political spectrum, which in turn means parties have to compete to be good and attract voters (and part of this is appearing to not be corrupt), rather than simply demonizing the opposition party and getting away with being the 2nd-worst party.
                    Alaska also just put an Instant Runoff System into place, though it's part of a larger electoral change (basically, party primaries are removed entirely; everyone interested in the position runs in a public primary, then the 4 people with the most votes go into the actual general election which is decided by Instant Runoff Voting).

                    However, I am not so certain that Instant Runoff Voting is that big of a help to third parties, even if it is certainly better than what we have now. To my knowledge there are only two countries that have really used it nationwide, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

                    Papua New Guinea does have a very varied legislature in terms of parties. However, in a discussion someone told me that the political climate there is very atypical and thus one should not cite its diversity as any kind of success of instant runoff voting.

                    That leaves Australia. The problem is that Australia is still very much a 2-party state. Not as extreme as the US. But in the last 30 years, there was only one election (2010) where you didn't have either Labour or Liberal/National (the two major parties in Australia) having a majority by itself. That's actually worse than the record of Canada (which uses plurality voting) over the same period, which had two elections where their two major parties--Conservative and Liberal--didn't score a majority singlehandedly (2006 and 2008). To be fair, Canada has elections every 2 years rather than every 3 years, but that still means 4 years compared to Australia's 3.

                    So I've become more skeptical of Instant Runoff Voting being that big of a vehicle to aiding third parties. Granted, it means we really only have one data point and maybe the reason Australia shakes out that way is just that people are fine with the two major parties and thus would vote for them regardless of the voting system. But it still does make me wonder if IRV would really be that big of an improvement.

                    Of course, I'd still be strongly for implementing it because even if it isn't much of an improvement, it would still be an improvement. If nothing else it at least would mostly stop people from complaining about spoiler candidates.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Instant Runoff is a specialized version of a system called STV (in STV a district can have X number of winning candidates in it, and in Instant Runoff X=1). I admit to having a tendency to handwavingly conflate the two systems (e.g. as does this explainer, calling them both "RCV") . STV is used in several countries. It appears to me to generally lead to diverse outcomes.

                      e.g. Here is the current Australian Senate, elected by STV:

                      AusSenate.JPG

                      And here is the current Irish Senate, elected by STV:

                      IrishSenate.JPG
                      (greys are independents rather than unfilled)

                      I am not aware of whether there is any research to show instant runoff favors 2-parties while multi-winner STV systems favor multiple parties. I guess it's possible that for an STV type system to help 3rd parties that its necessary that each seat has more than 1 winner. I am unsure how legally easy/hard it would be in the US for a state to choose to merge 2-3 congressional districts and then elect 2-3 congresspeople to represent the enlarged district. Maine has 2 congressional districts so potentially it could do this (whereas Alaska has only 1 so it isn't gonna happen there). I admit that I've had a tendency to assume that because I know STV helps minor parties, that therefore the Instant Runoff version of STV would be likely to help minor parties, but it's possible the key is in the details.
                      Last edited by Starlight; 11-28-2020, 02:57 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Terraceth View Post
                        Alaska also just put an Instant Runoff System into place, though it's part of a larger electoral change (basically, party primaries are removed entirely; everyone interested in the position runs in a public primary, then the 4 people with the most votes go into the actual general election which is decided by Instant Runoff Voting).

                        However, I am not so certain that Instant Runoff Voting is that big of a help to third parties, even if it is certainly better than what we have now. To my knowledge there are only two countries that have really used it nationwide, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

                        Papua New Guinea does have a very varied legislature in terms of parties. However, in a discussion someone told me that the political climate there is very atypical and thus one should not cite its diversity as any kind of success of instant runoff voting.

                        That leaves Australia. The problem is that Australia is still very much a 2-party state. Not as extreme as the US. But in the last 30 years, there was only one election (2010) where you didn't have either Labour or Liberal/National (the two major parties in Australia) having a majority by itself. That's actually worse than the record of Canada (which uses plurality voting) over the same period, which had two elections where their two major parties--Conservative and Liberal--didn't score a majority singlehandedly (2006 and 2008). To be fair, Canada has elections every 2 years rather than every 3 years, but that still means 4 years compared to Australia's 3.

                        So I've become more skeptical of Instant Runoff Voting being that big of a vehicle to aiding third parties. Granted, it means we really only have one data point and maybe the reason Australia shakes out that way is just that people are fine with the two major parties and thus would vote for them regardless of the voting system. But it still does make me wonder if IRV would really be that big of an improvement.

                        Of course, I'd still be strongly for implementing it because even if it isn't much of an improvement, it would still be an improvement. If nothing else it at least would mostly stop people from complaining about spoiler candidates.
                        In 2008 the Liberal party merged with the National party to form the Liberal National Party (LNP). In 2010 the Labor party and LNP both won 72 seats but Julia Gillard was able to form government for Labor with the Greens and independents support. Minor parties and independents regularly win seats and often become crucially needed votes to pass bills. Minor parties play an important part in Australian federal and state politics.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                          Instant Runoff is a specialized version of a system called STV (in STV a district can have X number of winning candidates in it, and in Instant Runoff X=1). I admit to having a tendency to handwavingly conflate the two systems (e.g. as does this explainer, calling them both "RCV") . STV is used in several countries. It appears to me to generally lead to diverse outcomes.

                          e.g. Here is the current Australian Senate, elected by STV:

                          AusSenate.JPG
                          Firstly, I need to correct an error I made. I said that except for one election, all of the elections in the last three decades in Australia had Liberal-National* or Labour have a majority by themselves (this is how I normally define a 2-party system, in which there are two major parties, and in all or almost all elections one of the two has a majority by themselves without the need of a coalition). However, I was looking at the House of Representatives when I made that statement, forgetting about the Senate. Looking at the history of the Senate, it seems that isn't the case, and no one seems to usually get a majority by themselves in that chamber.

                          *Liberal-National is technically multiple parties but they've been so strongly allied with each other they are functionally just one party. In the chart you put up of the Australian Senate, the blue (Liberal) and dark green (National) squares should therefore be considered to be the same party.

                          I also was under the incorrect impression that both chambers used Instant Runoff Voting, but it was only the House that did that, with the Senate using Single Transferable Vote.

                          The fact that the Instant-Runoff Voting House is strongly 2-party whereas the Single Transferable Vote Senate isn't may be a sign that STV is much more favorable to third parties than IRV. On the other hand, it could simply be a consequence of the different designs of the two chambers.

                          Still, it means we don't really have much in the way of data points regarding Instant Runoff Voting's effect on third parties so far.

                          I am not aware of whether there is any research to show instant runoff favors 2-parties while multi-winner STV systems favor multiple parties. I guess it's possible that for an STV type system to help 3rd parties that its necessary that each seat has more than 1 winner. I am unsure how legally easy/hard it would be in the US for a state to choose to merge 2-3 congressional districts and then elect 2-3 congresspeople to represent the enlarged district. Maine has 2 congressional districts so potentially it could do this (whereas Alaska has only 1 so it isn't gonna happen there). I admit that I've had a tendency to assume that because I know STV helps minor parties, that therefore the Instant Runoff version of STV would be likely to help minor parties, but it's possible the key is in the details.
                          Looking into it, the 1967 Uniform Congressional District Act requires all states with 2 or more congressional districts to have single-member districts, so I believe that law would have to be repealed to set up any kind of multi member district or proportional voting system. (technically states could do such a thing for their own state congress, though) But beyond that, there doesn't seem to be much desire to move towards something like that. From what I can tell, the most popular idea for reform in the system of voting is Instant-Runoff Voting (followed by Approval Voting); even if someone thinks other versions would be superior, those are the ones people seem to have an appetite for so it makes more sense to try to push for those.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Terraceth View Post
                            Firstly, I need to correct an error I made. I said that except for one election, all of the elections in the last three decades in Australia had Liberal-National* or Labour have a majority by themselves (this is how I normally define a 2-party system, in which there are two major parties, and in all or almost all elections one of the two has a majority by themselves without the need of a coalition). However, I was looking at the House of Representatives when I made that statement, forgetting about the Senate. Looking at the history of the Senate, it seems that isn't the case, and no one seems to usually get a majority by themselves in that chamber.

                            *Liberal-National is technically multiple parties but they've been so strongly allied with each other they are functionally just one party. In the chart you put up of the Australian Senate, the blue (Liberal) and dark green (National) squares should therefore be considered to be the same party.

                            I also was under the incorrect impression that both chambers used Instant Runoff Voting, but it was only the House that did that, with the Senate using Single Transferable Vote.

                            The fact that the Instant-Runoff Voting House is strongly 2-party whereas the Single Transferable Vote Senate isn't may be a sign that STV is much more favorable to third parties than IRV. On the other hand, it could simply be a consequence of the different designs of the two chambers.

                            Still, it means we don't really have much in the way of data points regarding Instant Runoff Voting's effect on third parties so far.


                            Looking into it, the 1967 Uniform Congressional District Act requires all states with 2 or more congressional districts to have single-member districts, so I believe that law would have to be repealed to set up any kind of multi member district or proportional voting system. (technically states could do such a thing for their own state congress, though) But beyond that, there doesn't seem to be much desire to move towards something like that. From what I can tell, the most popular idea for reform in the system of voting is Instant-Runoff Voting (followed by Approval Voting); even if someone thinks other versions would be superior, those are the ones people seem to have an appetite for so it makes more sense to try to push for those.
                            The only difference between voting for the house of reps and senate in Australia is in the number elected. Both are preferenced votes but house of reps only has one winner so preferences are counted bottom to up (least votes received candidate eliminated and their votes reassigned). Senate has six winners so preferences are counted from top to bottom (most vote receiving candidate is declared successful and their votes reassigned).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Starlight View Post

                              The Republicans on SCOTUS keep throwing out anti-corruption laws on the grounds that corruption is speech
                              Facepalm stooges.jpg

                              And you wonder why everyone points and laughs whenever you start pontificating on American politics.

                              First, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was among the majority in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. But then given the depth of your understanding of the subject (you likely watched a TYT video and now consider yourself an expert) and the fact you truly believe that the communist dictator Joseph Stalin was a right-winger, you probably think RBG was a Republican.

                              Second, absolutely nobody thinks "corruption is free speech." That reading comes from the fetid swamp of your imagination.

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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