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Questions about ACORN

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Grinch
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25 posted 09-26-2009 12:30 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
It's not chance that FOX is the most-watched news channel. It's because people know they have to go there to get news mainstream media tries to white-wash...and they are successful because they back it up with facts. Does that make organizations like MediaMatters go after them with a smear campaign? You betcha...


Perhaps.

But maybe all the people are watching Fox for a laugh, as you pointed out people may be watching for all sorts of reasons. Fox's ratings don't tell us much beyond how many people are watching and how many people watching tells us nothing about why they're watching or indeed what the rest of the nation are doing who aren't watching. If it were that simple we could conclude that all the people watching thought the issues raised were important and all those that don't.. don't.

Like I said I don't know that much about them not having watched much, I'll check Fox out and let you know my opinion.

.
Grinch
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26 posted 09-26-2009 03:32 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Mike,

I visited Foxnews.com and checked out three news items at random. I have to say that all three seemed to be fairly unbiased news reports to me. They contained some definitely questionable assertions but all of them were direct quotes and clearly reported as such.

On that evidence I didn't see much wrong with Fox News, it was the same for the world and business sections.

Then I clicked on the Opinion section.

It went rapidly downhill from there. I expect bias in an opinion section, it's bound to happen, people reach conclusions based on the facts that are coloured by their own perspective. What I didn't expect is an opinion at total odds with the facts, which were either distorted invented or completely disregarded.

I watched a video piece by Glenn Beck regarding Afghanistan and found so many inaccuracies and false presumptions that it didn't take too long to realise that he didn't have a clue about what he was waffling on about. I don't mind if someone builds an opinion at odds with mine based on the facts, even if the facts are misunderstood, there's at least some common ground - I didn't find any of that with Beck.

I didn't leave it there though. Opinions are only opinions and maybe opinions based on false facts are the norm in the media. I wanted a comparison so off I went to the New York Times and read an opinion piece on the same subject by Bob Herbert. It turned out to be well thought out and well presented - I disagreed with the conclusions but I could see why and how it was formed based on the evidence and facts presented. I then went to the Times of London and read an equally well laid out opinion piece by Michael Evans, granted it was from a British perspective but the mechanics were the same - here are the facts and here's my conclusion.

With Beck it was - Here's a false premise based on half-truths and false assumptions.

I may have inadvertently picked a particularly bad example in Beck or perhaps two particularly good examples at the New York Times and the Times of London. There may be examples of left wing commentators offering opinions that are as equally as bad as Beck's. If you have any suggestions let me know and I'll check them out, in the meantime I'll have a dig around myself.

In summary:

Fox News - no problem with the articles I read.

Fox opinion - a bit of a chocolate fire truck

.
Bob K
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27 posted 09-26-2009 03:51 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     The details mentioned in the Media Matters fund raiser are not smears nor are they lies unless somebody can show that they are lies.  The difference in the coverage on Fox between the the two situations ó ACORN and Halliburton and the Republican scandals ó is appalling in exactly the proportion that Media Matters says it is appalling unless somebody can show that the proportion is fair and balanced.

     To attack Media Matters as a Left Wing organization may be accurate in that it is a left wing organization.  It does nothing to discredit the facts that the Left Wing organization Presents, in the same way that when a Right Wing organization presents facts, such as The Economist, one that has a history of reporting that is as accurate as Media Matters but with an opposite political bias, we must consider the facts from The Economist as valid and look to see what our facts tell us as well.

     It doesn't do to dispose of the facts because you don't like the politics of the source so long as the source has a dependable reputation.  Media Matters does, though you might not like the facts it presents.

     And I make it a general policy not to bring in facts from Left wing sources, as a rule.  I tend to bring in sources from the center or the right as a courtesy to those who disagree with me most of the time.  I also make a point of letting people know when I run across sources that I think back up their points of view, even when they disagree with my own.  I believe I tend to be more than fair in these matters.  Perhaps you folks see this differently.

     I still do not see that the facts that Media Matters set out have actually been dealt with here.

     I respect anybody's right to disagree of course, but that's how I see it.

     I'd really like to see us come to grips with this here if we can.  Perhaps we can't, I don't know.  But I like to think we can.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
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28 posted 09-26-2009 04:20 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

SEIU is a sister organitzation of Acorn, Jennifer.
Balladeer
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29 posted 09-26-2009 04:49 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

grinch, thanks for checking it out. FOX news is actually fair and balanced, as they claim. Talk shows are talk shows. Believe it or not, I am not a big Glenn Beck fan. I think he goes overboard and tries too hard to make the unimportant important. He does have some good things he points out but they get diminished by the way he tries to blow EVERYTHING out of proportion. Hannity, who I have always admired, has leaned in that direction also. Yes, I know about Reverend Wright. I don't need to be reminded of him every day. Limbaugh is better, still very opinionated of course, but his material is up to date and he is actually a very intelligent man. O'Reilly seems to be the best choice for presenting news and views in a realistic, non-pompom waving, manner. He has guests on from both sides of the aisle, including Obama, and treats all with respect and is appreciated by them for doing so. Actually in the last poll, he has more viewers than ABC,CBS,NBC,CNN and MSNBC....combined. He must be doing something right.

People watch for a laugh? I'm sure many do, with regards to the talk shows, but not enough to continue taking the top ratings year after year.  That takes substance and a belief by the viewers of the accuracy of what they are seeing.
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30 posted 09-26-2009 06:07 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ok, Bob, I will try to answer your original question with regards to the topic.

In a new study released yesterday,   Study by whom...MediaMatters? How did they conduct that study? What were it's guidelines?

On Beck's and Hannity's respective television programs combined, ACORN was mentioned 1,502 times between May 8, 2006, and September 18, 2009. More than 1,500 times.

Says who? MediaMatters? We are supposed to take the numbers of a left-wing organization with an axe to grind as scripture? They can throw out any figures they want and you can't know if they are valid or not. They are fund-raising, Bob.

Beck and Hannity have spent years obsessively attacking ACORN under the guise of exposing corruption at an organization that receives government funding.

Obsessively, Bob? They just decided one day that they had an obsession to attack someone so they chose ACORN? Bob, no one really wants to talk about ACORN that much because of the president's past and current ties to it. Remember, this is the organization that used force, coercion, and threats to force banks to give loans to unqualified home purchasers, thugs who had a major role in contributing to the housing crisis. If MediaMatters says they have spent years attacking them, well then, that means it has nothing to do with Obama, right, since they began these "attacks" long before Obama made the scene.

Comparing Haliburton's receipts in government money to ACORN's is an extremely ridiculous gesture.

Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. With more than 50,000 employees in approximately 70 countries, the company serves the upstream oil and gas industry throughout the life cycle of the reservoir - from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production through the life of the field.

Obviously, Haliburton's operating expenses with regard to labor, equipment, etc is extensive. Pointing an accusatory finger at their GROSS receipts and comparing them to ACORN is silly. Haliburton just got a 140 million dollar contract in August for work in Angola. No one seems to have a problem with that in the administration.

True enough, what does that have to do with corruption and scandal within the organization? Nothing. Then why bring it up? Why the ridiculous comparison? Because they are fund-raising. They are trying to incite, get sympathy for. Big numbers do that and get people to parrot them, without thinking, as we have seen right here in this thread.

Now, if MediaMatters were to compile a list of all scandals over the past so many years and do a side-by-side comparison of coverage by both parties, that would be an interesting thing. Bring in Barney Frank with Fanni Mae, Chris Dodd, Rangel+Geithner+Daschle tax evasions, Jefferson with his cold cash (in the freezer)....bring them all on and let's see who covered what the most. No, they won't do that. They prefer to pick and choose a couple with the most notoriety for shock value and ignore everything else. If media really mattered to them, they would be more un-biased in their approach.

In summary, what is the purpose of their letter? To complain about Beck and Hannity picking on ACORN? To complain about Beck and Hannity not picking on Haliburton and Blackwater? To try to point out that Beck and Hannity are biased, as if there are no talk show hosts on either side who aren't? I can't understand the gist of it at all. They are letting two talk show hosts get under their skin so much they have to whine in public about it and send out letters to the faithful. Why?

It's all a fund-raising tactic, Bob, and little else.

Grinch
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31 posted 09-26-2009 06:59 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


I think I need to apologise Bob.

I was concentrating so much on Fox I forgot to address your original post.

ACORN

A left wing community organisation that seem to attract and employ some dubious employees. Have the right wing commentators targeted them? Singled them out for particular scrutiny? Yes, of course they have, the fact that Obama worked with them in the past made that a forgone conclusion; it'd be stupid for the right to ignore the chance to highlight any malpractice. The fact that I keep coming back to when I think about this is that if there was nothing to find it wouldn't matter how much scrutiny ACORN was put under.

When it comes to what was found, from what I've seen sacking the employees would suffice, I don't think you can argue a case for a company or organisation to be penalised out of existence because of the stupidity of a few employees. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that the employees were acting on anything but there own, if it was any other organisation the dismissal of the offenders would be as far as it went.

I've mentioned in another thread the reasons the Defund Acorn Bill was proposed and the reasons I believe it's a prime example of bad legislation so I won't labour the point here.

Haliburton?

I don't think you can trade indiscretions by pointing the finger somewhere else; each case has to be judged in isolation but the same rules should apply. If the corruption was standard organisational practice the organisation should be penalised if it was a few wayward employees, however high, they should be punished. That should be the same for ACORN, Haliburton or any other organisation found to be acting in an illegal or unscrupulous manner.

Have the right wing commentators avoided the Haliburton case? Hell yes, but so have the left with regard to ACORN - if you have a wart you don't go painting it luminous green.

That's my take on it.

For what it's worth.

.
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32 posted 09-26-2009 07:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I don't think you can argue a case for a company or organisation to be penalised out of existence because of the stupidity of a few employees.

Four videos, four different cities, four different sets of employees.....same result. Now, if you want to be generous and claim that all four offices acting the same is coincidence and not company training or policy, go ahead but I would consider that strange for someone who relies on logic to form conclusions.
Grinch
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33 posted 09-26-2009 08:01 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Not that strange Mike, I try to get my ducks in a row before I reach a conclusion.

Logic dictates that a standard policy would be universally followed, that you'd need to see consistency to prove it was a standard policy.

How many offices did the filmmakers get turned down at Mike?

O'keefe is on record as saying it was "23 or less" ACORN says a couple of dozen - I think it's fairly safe and logical to say that it wasn't a standard policy.

Grinch
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34 posted 09-26-2009 08:06 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

As a side issue Mike do you remember me saying that the Defund ACORN bill would impact on companies and organisations beyond ACORN if it were passed?

Well I've found you a list of potential targets.
http://www.contractormisconduct.org/

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35 posted 09-26-2009 09:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Why do you suppose Congress cut off ACORN HUD funding? It certainly wasn't partisan politics with the overwhelming majority of Democrats voting in favor of the defunding...so what's your guess?
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36 posted 09-27-2009 03:38 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Iím on a coffee break so Iíll take a shot at answering your question, Balladeer.

Perhaps because reporting on the ACORN sting wasnít fair and balanced especially on Fox. In their eagerness to condemn an organization thatís done far more good than harm, and continue to appease and inflame their right wing viewers, during interviews with OíKeefe and Giles, Fox opinion show hosts never pursued the question of how many times the dynamic duo of worse than B film actors had been turned away by ACORN workers.

Youíre suggesting the actions of workers in four offices indicates a policy, and the actions of workers in 23 or 24 offices doesnít? How fair and balanced is that?

Back to my reading. Have a nice day!

Grinch
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37 posted 09-27-2009 08:18 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
so what's your guess?


My rough guess?

The Republicans are tagging defund ACORN amendments on almost every bill currently under review because they believe that they're on to a winner, having been handed a stick with which to beat the Democrats.

The Democrats, who don't want to be seen to be supporting the actions of the ACORN staff, are playing along.

The whole bunch of them are playing a little game called "placate the people" they're falling over themselves wasting time and, more importantly, money to look like they're actually doing something. What they don't want to tell you is that all the bills and amendments regarding defunding ACORN are about as likely to stand as I am of becoming the next President of the United States.

The sensible and honest politicians that are voting against all these bills and amendments are trying to point out that the bills are a waste of time because they're all unconstitutional but nobody is listening in the melee to score political points.

The insane thing is that ACORN will receive more in damages if this reaches the courts than they ever received in government funding - they'll be laughing all the way to the bank. If you don't believe me simply whisper the words "Bill of attainder" to your local politician and, if he knows anything about the American Constitution, watch the colour drain from his face.

Grinch
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38 posted 09-27-2009 08:28 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Article 1 section 9 of the United States Constitution:

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.


.
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39 posted 09-27-2009 09:54 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I see...so Democrats are trying to placate the conservative public by throwing them this bone. I haven't seen them go out of their way before to do that but it's a possibility.

The sensible and honest politicians that are voting against all these bills  You mean all seven of them? Or was it nine? When we only have less than ten sensible and honest politicians in congress we REALLY have problems.

President Grinch? Thank God it's morning here. Had I read that before going to bed, the nightmares would have been extreme!

Thanks for the reply.
Grinch
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40 posted 09-27-2009 11:02 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
so Democrats are trying to placate the conservative public by throwing them this bone


No Mike, I said Democrats are trying to placate the public Conservative citizens don't have a monopoly in condemning alleged support for child prostitution. The Democrats would be stupid to ignore the general condemnation.

quote:
When we only have less than ten sensible and honest politicians in congress we REALLY have problems.


I don't know how to break this to you Mike.. You really do have problems.

There are a few main types of politicians getting involved in this fiasco. Those include the ones that want to crucify ACORN (largely Republican). Those that don't want to be seen to be defending the actions of the ACORN employees (largely Democrat) and those who realise that the amendments and bills are just political smoke and mirrors, and costly ones at that. They'd be the honest and sensible minority Mike, the politicians that have the guts and moral fortitude to stand up and tell it how it is - the only politicians who are actually saying anything worth listening to.

Rome's burning Mike, the fiscal enemy is at the gate, and the majority of your politicians are playing the fiddle and voting on legislation that they know damn well is unconstitutional.

On that evidence I'd say yes, you definitely do have problems.

BTW. My wife has just reminded me that I once owned an Hawaiian shirt - so I may be eligible to stand for President after all. But whatever you do please don't tell Denise - I'll never hear the end of it.



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41 posted 09-27-2009 11:10 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Very interesting, Grinch..

A bill of attainder, is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial and includes any legislative act which takes away the life, liberty or property of a particular named or easily ascertainable person or group of persons because the legislature thinks them guilty of conduct which deserves punishment.

God knows I'm no lawyer and certainly no politician but the term "punishment" seems to be an issue here, with regards to a court case involving ACORN. No life, liberty, or property has been taken by rescinding funding. There is cerrtainly nothing in the Constitution which declares that ACORN be entitled to government funds. Contracts? Yes, a point could be made for that. SHould Congress decide to cut off funding during the middle of a contract between government and ACORN, that would definitely be considered punishment and congress would be liable for cuntinuing funding until the expiration of the contract. . Is there such a contract? I have no idea. If there is not, then Congress has the right to not renew contracts or continue payments with anyone they see fit, for whatever reason they see fit. I may not like the fact that my father decides to stop my allowance because I am not doing well in school but I doubt I can take him to court on it. Can ACORN take congress to court for not continuing to give them what they have been receiving only at the behest of the government?  Beats me and I'm not even intellectually capable of debating it.

It would be an interesting case....

Rome is burning is a term that has been used several times during our existence...and yet here we are.

As far as the Hawaiian shirt, you would have to prove you bought it in Hawaii to be qualified.
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42 posted 09-27-2009 11:45 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

A group of dissident members is seeking a federal investigation of ACORN for alleged criminal violations stemming from an embezzlement scandal that rocked the organization last year.

The splinter group, ACORN 8, released a 24-page document Wednesday that asks federal investigators to consider fraud, embezzlement and conspiracy charges, and criminal civil rights violations relating to the embezzlement of nearly $1 million from the nonprofit's accounts and an alleged cover-up of the theft for almost a decade.

"Moreover, due to the admission that a felony has been committed, other federal offenses may have also been committed ... ," states the document signed by 14 members of ACORN 8, including recently expelled members of ACORN's national board of directors.

The embezzlement and accusations of voter registration fraud in at least eight states, including Pennsylvania, have cost ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- the support of a benefactor that gave the activist group $7 million in the past decade.

The ACORN 8 complaint alleges violation of the civil rights of board members who sought to investigate the embezzlement and subsequently were removed from the board.

The action stems from a bitter dispute within ACORN since disclosure in June that Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN co-founder and former Chief Organizer Wade Rathke, embezzled $948,000.

ACORN officials last year announced a settlement agreement to recoup the money. No criminal charges resulted.

ACORN 8 members, however, claim the embezzlement was symptomatic of deeper problems. Top staff and members of the board's executive committee have stymied internal efforts to reform ACORN and open its operations, they maintain.
"We're not trying to destroy ACORN. We love ACORN, but it needs to be reformed," McCray said. "Members have to take control of ACORN and try to get it back on the right track."
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_606173.html

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43 posted 09-27-2009 11:51 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The embezzlement resulted in ACORN's loss of one long-standing prominent benefactor -- the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which gave ACORN more than $7 million in the past decade. The charity canceled plans to donate $1.2 million to ACORN affiliates this fiscal year. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in November severed ties with ACORN.

ACORN and its affiliates received more than $31 million in federal grants between 1998 and this year, according to an analysis by the staff of House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio. Boehner called for an end to federal grants to ACORN and its affiliates, pending investigations into voter registration fraud allegations.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_606173.html

So, if the money received from the government is in a grant form, does the bill of attainder still come into play? Also, can ACORN then sue the Catholic Campaignfor Human Development  for rescinding their donation plans?

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44 posted 09-27-2009 12:25 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
God knows I'm no lawyer and certainly no politician but the term "punishment" seems to be an issue here


I think you'd have to stretch the English language to define it in any other way than as a punishment Mike, in the same way that you losing your allowance was a punishment for not doing well at school. The two are directly related.

The government is refusing ACORN'S right to apply and receive funding because they believe that ACORN is involved in voter fraud and aiding and abetting in child prostitution. That discriminates against a group without a valid cause proven by due process. That's unconstitutional, and for very good reason. If the government is allowed to apply such sanctions against ACORN they are handed the right to do the same to any and every group and organisation using the same rules.

If the proposed legislation said "any group convicted of committing voter fraud or aiding and abetting child prostitution cannot receive government funds" there wouldn't be a problem.

It's the assumption of guilt without due process that's at the heart of the attainder law and the issue which will ultimately determine whether the bills and amendments are unconstitutional.

.
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45 posted 09-27-2009 12:25 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

You wouldn't need any proof for the Democratic Nominating Committee, Grinch. If they like you, that is. Just smile and spin any yarn you like!
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46 posted 09-27-2009 12:35 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
So, if the money received from the government is in a grant form, does the bill of attainder still come into play? Also, can ACORN then sue the Catholic Campaign for Human Development  for rescinding their donation plans?


A bill of attainder isn't a bill in it's own right Mike, it's the description of any bill that penalises or discriminates against a group without due process.

If a bill is enacted that says that ACORN cannot receive grants because they're a bunch of thieves that bill could be said to be a bill of attainder. Likewise if a bill existed that prohibited the Catholic Campaign for Human Development from donating to ACORN for the same reason then that could be said to be a bill of attainder.

The easiest way of spotting such a bill is to ask whether the person or group named (being named specifically is a big clue) is being prejudged and could incur a loss due to that unproven prejudgement.

.
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47 posted 09-27-2009 06:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I think you'd have to stretch the English language to define it in any other way than as a punishment Mike, in the same way that you losing your allowance was a punishment for not doing well at school. The two are directly related.

So I could sue my father then for cutting off my allowance? I find that unlikely..

Of course it's a punishment but is it a punishment as defined in a court of law? I don't think so. Of course, to avoid any chance of that happening, Congress could simply say "We are cutting off funding for ACORN"...period. Funding is not a right for ACORN and giving funding to any one particular group is not an obligation of the government.

ACORN has been given freebees by the government. The government can cut those freebees off at their disgression...end of story.
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48 posted 09-27-2009 06:22 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

There is no bill preventing the Catholic organization from not donating. They are doing it by their own initiative. What influenced them to make that decision doesn't really figure in to the equation.
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49 posted 09-27-2009 06:26 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     More and more interesting as we go.

     I appreciate your efforts there, Mike.  Let me think about them a bit and get back to you about my response.
 
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