Report: Jesse Jackson Jr. To Cost Taxpayers Over $5 Million After Resigning Shortly Following His Reelection

For those still following the absurdity unfolding around the family of ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., we now have word that his decision to run for reelection (without campaigning) and then promptly resign will cost the taxpayers over $5 million — as if the taxpayers have not paid enough to the family of Jesse Jackson.

Some of us have long been critics of Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his family who have been the focus of corruption and misconduct allegations. Then there was the disappearance of Jesse Jackson Jr. as investigators looked into his use of campaign contributors allegedly to fix up his house and to buy a Rolex watch for a mistress. At the same time, investigators were looking into his wife, who serves on the city council. No one bothered to inform his constituents when their member disappeared and left only speculation for weeks on his whereabouts. Nevertheless, weeks later, Jackson checked himself into the Mayo Clinic and announced that he would still run for reelection even with a diagnosis of having bipolar disorder. He won handily without showing up to campaign in a district that clearly does not give a wit about substantial allegations of misconduct. (Ironically, Jackson took office in a special election after his predecessor Mel Reynolds  left office in a sex scandal involving an underage campaign worker).  He promptly promised his constituents that he would serve vigorously in Washington. However, once elected, Jackson reportedly demanded a disability pension in return for giving up his seat — essentially holding a seat hostage according to those reports. He then resigned a couple weeks after the election — triggering the need for two special elections.

The Illinois State Board of Elections calculated those elections cost $2,700 to $4,000 per precinct. With 590 precincts in Jackson’s 2nd Congressional District, an election would probably cost around $2,575,000. That comes to $5.15 million for both a primary and general election.

Just to give you an idea of the cost imposed by the Jacksons on the taxpayers, that cost would have save the entire page system. The over 200 years of page service in the House of Representatives was eliminated to save $5 million a year. It is also the equivalent for the federal subsidy for 20 million free meals for poor children.

Yet, again, Democrats are silent in criticism of Jackson or his family in fear of angering Jesse Jackson Sr. We will simply pay millions while Jesse Jackson Jr. has yet to be indicted for the alleged misuse of campaign funds. Keep in mind that the Justice Department prosecuted the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R., Alaska) for the use of lobbyist money to fix his home. The investigations into Jackson and his wife are continuing and Jackson is reportedly trying to reach a plea bargain. In the end, the criminal investigations, special election costs, and other collateral costs will make bring the final tab for taxpayers likely over $10 million even without the possibility of a criminal trial. Of course, common people can go to jail for years for stealing less than $1000, but they are not (it seems) part of America’s ruling class.

Many are awaiting the results of the reported plea negotiations with Jackson and the Justice Department to see if he will get one last deal from a less than grateful American people. [Update: How the dipolar analysis would factor into a criminal case is still unclear. There is an interesting conflict in the original position of Jackson that his illness would not prevented him from running for reelection and resuming his work in Congress. Yet it is likely that the illness will be used as a defense on any corruption or fraud charges. That creates a bit of a conflict. Being reelected certainly gave him a bargaining chip as part of the reported plea negotiations. However, it also contradicted a position that his illness did not make him responsible. By resigning, it would certainly help Jackson argue that the illness left unable to function adequately.  It may also end the congressional inquiry into his involvement in an alleged effort to buy the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

He may have a difficult time on the merits. The test of insanity as a defense is extremely high even with a diagnosis from the respected Mayo Clinic. If he cannot make a direct insanity defense, the most likely impact of the illness would be on mitigation of sentencing. If the case is a strong as suggested, he could opt for a plea and push for leniency on sentencing. The question will turn on his ability to function before he disappeared — with accounts of his schedule and behavior in and outside Congress. Courts commonly have defendants with some form of mental illness, but such illness rarely amounts to an absolute defense.

There is also the problem of others who may have been aware of any of the alleged criminal conduct from his wife to his accountant to his staff. The prosecutors may bring a huge amount of pressure on them to turn and testify for the prosecution if a case moves to the charging stage.]

Source: ABC

98 thoughts on “Report: Jesse Jackson Jr. To Cost Taxpayers Over $5 Million After Resigning Shortly Following His Reelection

  1. Dems have adopted the Repub creed, “Never speak badly of one of our own.” That’s one of the reasons why we need more political parties.

  2. If you don’t already have a copy, get Frank Zappa’s Broadway the Hard Way, an album that lambastes the Republicans of Reagan’s administration, Tammy & Jim Bakker, and Jesse Jackson. The song Rhymin’ Man is hysterical. The whole album is funny and seen in hindsight right on the money.
    Zappa, Lennon, and Phil Ochs are three men whose voices and minds I sorely miss.

  3. There is a skip between Jesse costing us millions for a new election and us paying HIM millions. Is this not this faux paw rather shallow for a constitutional scholar. And by the way, what is Bi Polar?

  4. mattcarmody1 1, November 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    If you don’t already have a copy, get Frank Zappa’s Broadway the Hard Way, an album that lambastes the Republicans of Reagan’s administration, Tammy & Jim Bakker, and Jesse Jackson. The song Rhymin’ Man is hysterical. The whole album is funny and seen in hindsight right on the money.

    Zappa, Lennon, and Phil Ochs are three men whose voices and minds I sorely miss.
    =======================================
    Indeed.

    But don’t sell the Jackson’s short either:

    The fledgling group were told “they had no future in showbusiness” as guitar groups were “on the way out” following the audition.

    (Beatles).

  5. It seems to me that a planet that is bi polar would be fair and balanced. So, are you saying that Jesse Jr. is fair and balanced? Is he half grissly? Are obth sides of him arctic polar bears? Maybe the polar thing is just some pseudo tab that one puts on someone who is really a psychotic person or one who has a lesser diagnosis on the DSM IV.

  6. “He won handily without showing up to campaign in a district that clearly does not give a wit about corruption or special dealing.” Please know that some of us who were gerrymandered into the new 2nd district care very much about corruption and would never have voted for Jackson.

  7. I say go ahead with the public denouncement and prosecution. If the jackson family makes a fuss about it, they will get over it or they will not. Either way it doesn’t really matter in the long term.

    Dr. King was a highly Honorable man. Jesse Jackson is in my opinion just an opportunist and a charlatan who I lost respect for decades ago. Eventually people will forget about the Jackons as being the pillars of civil rights and Dr. King will endure because he was genuine and a distinguished example of being true to his cause and the cause of justice.

  8. “Yet, again, Democrats are silent in criticism of Jackson or his family in fear of angering Jesse Jackson Sr.”

    Ooooh, we better not “anger” the Senior Moron of the Jackson family. But will criticism of Junior anger the Rev. Al Shrapnel?

  9. Here is some necessary information from the Mayonaise Clinic on their definition of BiPolar Disorder. They rely on the Diagnoistic and Statitical Manual Vol IV. (DSM IV). There is not a damn thing in here about two bears.

    Mayor Clinic website:

    “The DSM has very specific criteria for manic, hypomanic, major depressive and mixed episodes.

    Criteria for a manic episode
    A manic episode is a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood that lasts at least one week (or less than a week if hospitalization is necessary). During the period of disturbed mood, three or more of the following symptoms must be present (four if the mood is only irritable):
    Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
    Decreased need for sleep (for example, you feel rested after only three hours of sleep)
    Unusual talkativeness
    Racing thoughts
    Distractibility
    Increased goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually)
    Doing things that have a high potential for painful consequences — for example, unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions or foolish business investments

    To be considered a manic episode:
    The mood disturbance must be severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty at work, at school or in usual social activities or relationships; to require hospitalization to prevent harm to yourself or others; or to trigger a break from reality (psychosis).
    Symptoms do not meet the criteria for a mixed episode (see criteria for mixed episode below).
    Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else such as alcohol or drug use, taking a medication, or a having a medical condition such as hyperthyroidism.

    Criteria for a hypomanic episode
    A hypomanic episode is a distinct period of elevated, expansive or irritable mood that lasts at least four days, and is different from the usual nondepressed mood. During the period of disturbed mood, three or more of the following symptoms must be present (four if the mood is only irritable):
    Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
    Decreased need for sleep (for example, you feel rested after only three hours of sleep)
    Unusual talkativeness
    Racing thoughts
    Distractibility
    Increased goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually)
    Doing things that have a high potential for painful consequences — for example, unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions or foolish business investments

    To be considered a hypomanic episode:
    The mood disturbance must be severe enough to cause a noticeable and uncharacteristic change in functioning.
    The episode isn’t severe enough to cause significant difficulty at work, at school or in usual social activities or relationships; to require hospitalization; or to trigger a break from reality (psychosis).
    Symptoms do not meet the criteria for a mixed episode (see criteria for mixed episode below).
    Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else such as alcohol or drug use, taking a medication, or a having a medical condition such as hyperthyroidism.

    Criteria for a major depressive episode
    To be diagnosed with a major depressive episode, you must have five (or more) of the following symptoms over a two-week period. At least one of the symptoms is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure. Symptoms can be based on your own feelings or on the observations of someone else. They include:
    Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, such as feeling sad, empty or tearful (in children and adolescents, depressed mood can appear as constant irritability)
    Diminished interest or feeling no pleasure in all — or almost all — activities most of the day, nearly every day
    Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day (in children, failure to gain weight as expected can be a sign of depression)
    Insomnia or increased desire to sleep nearly every day
    Either restlessness or slowed behavior that can be observed by others
    Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
    Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
    Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
    Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt

    To be considered a major depressive episode:
    Symptoms don’t meet the criteria for a mixed episode (see criteria for mixed episode below).
    Symptoms must be severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others.
    Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else, such as drug abuse, taking a medication or a having a medical condition such as hyperthyroidism.
    Symptoms are not caused by grieving, such as after the loss of a loved one.

    Criteria for mixed episode
    The criteria are met both for a manic episode and for a major depressive episode nearly every day during at least a one-week period.
    The mood disturbance must be severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty at work, at school, or in usual social activities or relationships; to require hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others; or to cause a break from reality (psychosis).
    Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else, such as drug abuse, taking a medication or a having a medical condition such as hyperthyroidism.

    Diagnosis in children
    The same official criteria used to diagnose bipolar disorder in adults are used to diagnose children and adolescents. However, bipolar symptoms in children and adolescents often have different patterns than they do in adults, and may not fit neatly into the categories used for diagnosis. While adults generally tend to have distinct periods of mania and depression, children and adolescents may have erratic, rapid changes in mood, behavior and energy levels.

    It’s often hard to tell whether these are normal ups and downs, the results of stress or trauma, or signs of a mental health problem other than bipolar disorder. To make it even more difficult, children who have bipolar disorder are frequently also diagnosed with other mental health conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or behavior problems.

    Although bipolar disorder can occur in young children, diagnosis in children preschool age or younger is especially difficult. The current criteria used for diagnosis have not been proved in young children, and a wide range of issues other than bipolar disorder can cause mood and behavior problems at this age.”
    -end of Mayonaise version of Bi Polar.

    The “symptoms” are symptomatic of people who run for and become elected to Congress. Grandious ideas (yesterday the comlaint was that he sponsored legislation that would put some universal declaration of human rights proposals into our constitution–How Grand!). Delusions of grandeur: thinking he could walk out on the Floor of Congress and Speak to the Congressmen and women and also to the whole Nationl Such grandeur.

    It is obliquely apparent from the definition that a patient must have both a “manic” episode (meet the criteria for a manic episode) and some evidence of a depressive condition every single day for at least a week.

    Jeso, all of Congress is nuts. And two polar at that.

    I think that we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Mayonaise Ckine for publishing this very important body of information.

  10. Jesse Jr. has been treated long enough at the Mayo Clinic to rule out any diagnosis that he only had Mixed symptoms. So, since he must be seen to truyly have this illness then why keep beating up on him in this blog? Look t the criteria from the Mayonaise Clinic for mixed syptoms which must be ruled out.
    Mayo:
    “Criteria for mixed episode
    The criteria are met both for a manic episode and for a major depressive episode nearly every day during at least a one-week period.
    The mood disturbance must be severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty at work, at school, or in usual social activities or relationships; to require hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others; or to cause a break from reality (psychosis).
    Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else, such as drug abuse, taking a medication or a having a medical condition such as hyperthyroidism.”

    The Mayo Clinic would not diagnose this guy with bi polar and treat him if he was just a drug abuser or was taking a medication or being “hyperthyoidism”.
    So JT should quit throwing rocks that he is a drug addict when he is bi polar. JT has not given us any coherent reasoning for disagreeing with the bipolar diagnosis and therefore we can say with certainty that government medical insurance dollars have been well spent to treat a diseased Congressman and not some drug addict. Someone who continues to throw such rocks might need a diagnosis himself.

    So, I beg of you all, to quit throwing rocks at Jesse and let him retire to obscurity in peace. I will also add that many of those characteristics of bipolar seem to match the normative behavior of each RepubliCon member of Congress. They have delusions that the earth is only two thousand years old, that woman can wish off a pregnancy if they get raped by Jack the Ripper, that dogs should be crated on put on the roof of cars…. It goes on and on.

  11. Just think what the Mayo Clinic might diagnose someone like an “Independent” member of Congress. Like that lady who just retired and the Angus guy who replaced her. Bi polar for sure. But Angus, if you are gonna be a bear, be a grizzly.

  12. To nick spinelli: No. Before the districts were redrawn, I was in the 11th district. In the 2010 election, Adam Kinzinger beat incumbent Debbie Halvorson for the seat.

  13. Jackson’s Constituent Services staff must do superb work, because otherwise why would people vote for such a man like him? Oh, yes, well that’s true. And that’s all?

  14. Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

    “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just
    pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
    than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
    for re-election.

    The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds)
    took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple!
    The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail,
    cell phones, etc.

    Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year
    or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

    Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
    a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
    each of those to do likewise.

    In three days, most people in The United States of America will
    have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed
    around.

    Congressional Reform Act of 2012

    1. No Tenure / No Pension.

    A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
    pay when they’re out of office.

    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social
    Security.

    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
    Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
    the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
    American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all
    Americans do.

    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
    Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    5. Congress loses their current health care system and
    participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
    American people.

    We could limit corporate money in elections or go to a public funding of elections, with mandatory equal air time for candidates the system would be fixed. this would fix the problems with lobbyists and the revolving door.

    Probably impossible.

  15. Darren Smith 1, November 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I say go ahead with the public denouncement and prosecution. If the jackson family makes a fuss about it, they will get over it or they will not. Either way it doesn’t really matter in the long term.

    Dr. King was a highly Honorable man. Jesse Jackson is in my opinion just an opportunist and a charlatan who I lost respect for decades ago. Eventually people will forget about the Jackons as being the pillars of civil rights and Dr. King will endure because he was genuine and a distinguished example of being true to his cause and the cause of justice.
    =====================================
    Tru dat, which is why the government should not have assassinated Dr. King … according to a court case.

  16. I find JT’s blog truly reprehensible. Every sentence reeks of one or several faults: allegations are convictions, implications of wrong doing are made rather than correctly labeling them as the usual exploiting of the system to one’s own advantage, condemning for not campaigning (since when did that become reprehensiable)? Obams missed many sure states too), investigations become grounds for condemnation with no trial yet to report, nor apparently no

    specific grounds given or the quality of evidence presented. Hia wife, holding a position in government is denigrated because she is someone being investigated.

    And simply, there are so MANY MANY corrupt politicians (frankly we suspect them all), SO WHY IS JJJr A CAUSE FOR SUCH MORAL OUTRAGE from the Professor’s side?

    Are there really no other politicians who have lanced the public coffers in different fashions with earmarks, etc. and who deserve to serve as principles to be attacked for the greater good?

    The district that elected him is also in toto dismissed for its indifference to his alleged misconduct. That he sought treatment at Mayo Clinic voluntarily is turned into something despicable as though he were a fugitive from justice. His alleged seeking a plea bargain is also used against him as an implication of his admission of guilt, rather than the accepted standard way of handling overcharging from the prosecution’s side.

    I could go on, but this is overlong anyway.

    My feelings for JJJr are immaterial. I won’t give them. I look only for objective treatment of his situation than evidenced here in JT’s blog.

    As for bosses, I wonder if the Daleys of Chicago were not far worse than JJJr in caring for their people.

    And like all sufferers of illness, I wish him well.

  17. Think like a lawyer instead of a politician. By winning re-election, Jackson, Jr. is in a much better position to negotiate a plea bargain. He can now “offer” to resign from Congress, which gives him a major card to play in negotiations with the prosecutor. If he had resigned earlier, or lost the election, he holds an empty hand. My take on it is that by resigning, the negotiations toward a plea must be well under way and near resolution.

  18. Shano

    Forgive me – I’m going to ask you to do the work. Maybe it will stick in your brain better if You Do It. Go to snopes and read about the “congressional ReformAct of 2012”. It is complete bulls**t and has been floating around the ‘net for Years. Sickening that you pass this around.

  19. Wiki has an interesting article on Mrs. JJJr.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandi_Jackson

    Looks as if she did a pretty good job contesting Daley when she was first elected to City Council (compensation is over $100K/yr) but the couple’s campaign kittys will make your head spin. Not mentioned in the Wiki article is the controversy regarding her (lack of) attendence to City Council meetings. However, this is not unusual behavior for aldermen. Nor for Congresspersons, I might add.

    I understand Id’s outrage and was ready to “second” it. But the Wiki article is pretty devastating.

  20. Eeyore ; I posted it because I agree with it. (I did get it from a friend in New Orleans, haha, so that explains that!)

    We have created an elite class for these politicians. How can they not be subject to the same laws the citizens are subject to? They can legally trade on insider information on Wall Street? If you or I did that we would be charged with a crime.
    The majority of the people in Congress are millionaires, unlike the majority of citizens. We should demand major reform of our political system, not that it is possible with all the entrenched interests. But people may wake up.

    Look at this debacle. Jackson won his election so he could have leverage for judicial and monetary reasons? Waste of tax dollars, obviously.

  21. Idealist707,

    You don’t like Turleys article is exactly why? He called he as he saw it. If you want to protect corrupt politicians you are doing a fine job. How’s the weather? Do you have a problem with a spade being called a spade?

    Eyeore,

    You’re an eyesore posting the way you did. Carry on you dufus.

  22. Shano said:

    “Look at this debacle. Jackson won his election so he could have leverage for judicial and monetary reasons?”

    That’s a NEON sign of a man lacking in honor. Jackie Chiles lawyering too.

  23. Shano
    Please explain how congresspersons have “tenure”.
    Congress does participate in social security.
    All (I think) public employees get pensions. On what grounds should congresspersons be denied pensions? Are they now illegal?
    I’m not sure about the insider trading business, but your statement that they are not subject to the same laws as citizens is hogwash. Don’t depend on some da*n fool in NO. Use your brain and look something up!

    And just because Turley SUGGESTS something, does not make it so. JesseJr ran for monetary reasons? Yeah, that’s why most of us work. I’m not clear on what judicial advantage he gained. His election proved his constituents love him. That’s it. Let’s see if there will be a national groundswell to protect him from prosecution.

  24. Prof Turley,

    Will you please offer some facts regarding JJJr asking for disability in exchange for resigning?

    I have been unable to find anything regarding this except on a lot of right wing Fox sites. And the source is a “report” from unnamed sources.

    It’s clear you don’t like the Jackson family. I’m not crazy about them either. But that does not excuse you publishing the disability story based on what appears to be nothing.

    Do you have some more substantial?

  25. Eyeore,

    “I understand Id’s outrage and was ready to “second” it. But the Wiki article is pretty devastating.”
    ===================

    You certainly noticed that I did not take a position on any of the points in what could be called a smear campaign, nor a position on him or his family.

    I only opposed the blogging of this injustice done to our sense of justice. (If that makes sense).

    Alleges and investigations do not a condemnation make.

    Wiki I take no position on, but note that it has been used both for and against on poor grounds. Just as the blog was based on poor and tendentious grounds.

    I scroll down to answer you directly without knowledge of intervening comments

  26. OT OT OT OT OT

    Let a few time user bring some good news. BTW, it is prescripted now, like I presume Obama’s is also.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/give-pot-a-chance/?hp

    Excerpt:

    “Give Pot a Chance
    By Timothy Egan, former NYTimes staffer and prize winner.

    SEATTLE – In two weeks, adults in this state will no longer be arrested or incarcerated for something that nearly 30 million Americans did last year. For the first time since prohibition began 75 years ago, recreational marijuana use will be legal; the misery-inducing crusade to lock up thousands of ordinary people has at last been seen, by a majority of voters in this state and in Colorado, for what it is: a monumental failure.”

  27. yes, we realize the people love Jesse jackson or he would not have been elected. The people elected a dead man in Missouri, I believe.

    Congress gets courted by every special interest group in America. These groups spend millions in campaign donations to get people elected, Multinational corporations write our tax code. Congress has obligations. It is all very insider, isn’t it?

    It is why we can never, ever have a ‘peace dividend’, and the reason for the long deadly battle to turn drug abuse victims over to doctors instead of the criminal justice system and private prisons.

    It is the reason we are the only industrialized nation that does not label GMO ingredients in food. etc etc etc et al. The whole system of legalized bribery of politicians is corrupt. It distorts markets, denies innovation, and rewards intrenched interests whether they deserve them or not.

  28. Shano

    You’ve a quiverful of complaints. Can’t say I disagree with all of them. Maybe there is a solution. Bring back the fairness doctrine and all elections to be publically financed. Period. And outlaw ALEC if only to make me happy.

  29. It would be a pleasant treat if JJJr was made an example of in his district. Like poppa like son, they all thieving, living off the white mans money.

  30. What OS said. You can bet this was planned out to leverage maximum financial benefit for Jackson. It’s also hallmark behavior for psycho- and sociopaths.

    I downloaded an paper this morning to read this weekend called
    The Corporate Psychopaths Theory of the Global Financial Crisis by Clive R. Boddy from The Journal of Business Ethics, 2011, Volume 100, Number 3, Pages 367-379. The abstract reads “This short theoretical paper elucidates a plausible theory about the Global Financial Crisis and the role of senior financial corporate directors in that crisis. The paper presents a theory of the Global Financial Crisis which argues that psychopaths working in corporations and in financial corporations, in particular, have had a major part in causing the crisis. This paper is thus a very short theoretical paper but is one that may be very important to the future of capitalism because it discusses significant ways in which Corporate Psychopaths may have acted recently, to the detriment of many. Further research into this theory is called for.”

    I think the same thing should be studied and considered for public office holders. We all know that psycho- and sociopaths are at the root of many of our problems not only in the business world, but in the world of public service as well. While the Constitution prohibits any religious test for holding office? It says nothing about mental health tests for holding public office. After the evidence of the last forty-ish years (if you go back to Nixon)? I think it is high time we as a society start considering erecting such testing barriers for running for and holding public office and/or holding appointed public office.

    If you want to read the article in question, it can be found here:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/9072633443675517/

  31. The comments above by Idealist 707 are well stated. I dont see any meat on the bones of the JT articles which have appeared on this blog denouncing Jesse junior. This is not even to the level of throwing rocks. An innuendo is not a rock. There is thus far no evidence that Jesse was not bi polar and no evidence that he is holding up Congress for some pension. It does not satisfy the Best Evidence Rule to merely quote some similar allegation in Politico. I would rather have Jesse Junior for my Congressman than the schmuck that I am stuck with. And my Congressman aint no grizzly bear or a two arctic bear. I will accept a diagnosis of bi polar, as set forth in my prior comment from the Mayo Clinic website, over some notion that Jesse is a drunk or drug addct and is living off the public tit.

  32. Gene

    I don’t get the “maximum financial benefit”. If he is convicted, will he be allowed his pension because of this election? Will his pension be increased by winning re-election? Maybe his campaign coffers continued to grow, so that may have increased the financial benefit. But would the Big Money continue to give when the candidate is hospitalized with a disease that makes him unstable? Does resignation after re-election get him a better lobbying job? Does his re-election increase the odds that his wife will win his seat? (I think she is likely to be charged as well.) If that was the plan, it would have been better to withdraw and have her run once he was hospitalized in June.

    It’s lousy that another two elections will have to be run. But if the guy is bi-polar and we understand that most, er, normal congressmen have to be dragged out of office kicking and screaming (especially when facing jail), why do we expect that he will do the right thing? He was da*n sick. Isn’t it possible that he was convinced that “everything will be okay” and he’d achieve some mental relief if he just got re-election out of the way? Don’t you suppose that everyone on his staff was urging him to stay on so they could stay employed?

    The above is just a lot of supposition. I’m open to your arguments – but I need something more than “it’s the hallmark of a sociopath” – that doesn’t explain the plan for “maximum financial benefit”.

  33. Gene,

    I read that link before but a refresher was needed. If a test for mental health is instituted, and at this point I believe there is some validity to the idea, how and what? It would be an interesting topic to explore for a GB. ;) Maybe even a collaboration of two or more GB’s.

    (I see the kids are on thanksgiving break)

  34. Blouise,

    There are several standard inventories for both psychopathic and sociopathic personality disorders, but I’d need to talk to our resident expert on these matters before narrowing down some candidates. However, I think I will take your suggestion and do a blog post on that topic some time soon. As far as the how? When you file, you must submit to the testing before you are put on the ballot. Make it just like any other filing requirement. I think they should have a random choice from valid tests though to minimize any chances at preparation. I also think it should apply across the board though – state and Federal. It’s doable via legislation, but personally I think it’s important enough to possibly think about the basic requirements for mental health testing in public officials as a potential Constitutional amendment (even though legislation would be an easier row to hoe).

  35. Eeyore,

    If his health was his primary concern, he knew he was sick before the election, then he should have dropped out. The only rational reason to stay in is to maximize financial gain just like he has after the election by effectively holding the office hostage and forcing new elections regardless of cost and inconvenience to the constituents. That’s precisely the kind of behavior a sociopath would exhibit – putting what he wants over what is right.

  36. Supposition. Maybe if a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump its butt on the ground when it jumps. You might have a point if his announcement/extortion attempt had come several months after the election, but with this timing and how he ran an absentee campaign? I’m not buying the after the election argument at all.

  37. Gene

    Forcing new elections…..selfish, yes. Inconvenient, yes. Poorly considered, yes. Frustrating, a needless expense, outrageous, etc.. yes. .

    But you haven’t explained how he gains financially.

    Will you spell it out for me, along with the “extortion” attempt? I hope you are not relying on Turley’s unsubstantiated “disability” claim that was widely reported by Fox, The Blaze, and Daily Caller. You’re not about to call a plea deal extortion, are you? And I wonder about your use of the phrase “the only rational reason to stay… ” when we are talking about a guy who was hospitalized for mental illness and was under some heavy pressure from the feds. I believe he was probably hospitalized because he Wasn’t rational.

    And what is so upsetting that he did not run an campaign? Unorthodox, yes. But the results prove he didn’t need to. He won with 63% of the vote against two opponents. And as so often pointed out, it is Chicago. And he’s won that seat time and time again.

    Also, I’d be most interested in learning who else in the Congress is a sociopath or psychopath (will you limit it to just those two afflictions?) and who will serve on the diagnostic panel. Shall we say that anyone who goes on the Sunday shows three times and tells three lies is a sociopath? This is going to be fun because that’s going to get rid of a lot of guys that are very annoying. Can we also get rid of the guys who insist that Obama is a socialist and that lowering taxes in a struggling economy creates jobs? However, I do worry just a little bit if Mitch McConnell, Michelle Bachman, or Louie Gohmert get to call the shots. You wouldn’t let that happen, would you?

    But I had better tread carefully since your definition of sociopathic behavior could be applied to me at various times during my long life. Yes, I confess there has been a time or two when what I wanted was more important than what was right. A behavior that is quite unusual for an ordinary American citizen.

  38. Is it, or is it not, of a form of schizoid stance to deem someone to be mentally ill and then deny to the person the right to such conduct as defines what it is to be mentally ill?

    Why on earth, or elsewhere, would a genuinely mentally ill person consistently make rational decisions if being mentally ill is contiguous with being unable to make rational decisions in one or more areas of significant social/personal functioning?

    If people are to be tested for mental illness, would it be wise to first understand accurately what is, and what is not, usefully deemed to be mental illness?

    What would compromise a test for mental illness that is totally free of every form of recognizable and non-recognizable bias?

    Or, what would comprise an errorless test for perfect mental health?

    Who would be qualified by absolutely total absence so much as a hint of any trace of an iota of mental illness, so as to be unambiguously competent to design, administer, and score such a for the errorless identification of people who are so perfectly without mental illness as to be capable of excluding the whole realm of mental illness from their lives; and, were there to be such people, how would they have the slightest clue as to what it would be like to be mentally ill for want of any actually lived experience as a mentally ill human?

    To borrow from the object relations school, delusional projection of the internalized bad objects of one’s cathected, idealized parent imago may be fraught with personal and social peril.

    What is an optimal approach to decathecting internalized bad (anti-libidnal) objects?

    Anyone else who posts comments here have, read, and worked to understand the late Jeffrey Seinfeld’s book, “The Empty Core”?

    It appears to ,me that mental illness, not completely unlike dementia, may have two contrasting basic forms. In one form, the person who is mentally ill or demented is aware of the mental illness or dementia, perhaps because the brain cells needed for such self-awareness remain functional. In the other form, the person who is mentally ill or demented is unsware of the mental illness or dementia, perhaps because the mental illness or dementia sufficiently damaged or destroyed brain cells needed for functional self-awareness.

    To what extent are people who harshly judge the mental illness or dementia of other people to be found only among those people who are mentally ill or demented in ways that deny to them sufficient self-awareness as would allow them to understand their condition?

    To what extent does being incapable of accurately being aware of one’s own condition render people functionally incapable of accurately being aware of other people’s conditions?

    Did I once come upon a story of someone with a beam in an eye attempting to remove a speck from the eye of someone else?

  39. So he ran for office to get a disability pension, what a leader! Was a plea deal a part of this package?

    To those who think we should pity or sympathize with him because he is ill, I ask do you really believe he is? I don’t. It is a convenient defense to all the problems e is facing and because of who he is he gets a pass.
    Of course he is no worse than others who have taken advantage of their constituents but it is still an outrage. 5 million dollars could feed a lot of kids or help a lot of families. I object.

  40. Justice Holmes, do you find yourself to be among the people who are mentally ill and unaware of being mentally ill because of your mental illness, such that you can condemn other people for being like you?

    Were it up to me, I would prefer that you not be that way.

    Can simple ignorance be a poor substitute for scientifically-verified accuracy of understanding?

    I have come upon a few people who can grasp the following philosophical construction:

    If there is no truth, then the statement, “There is no truth,” would necessarily be true; therefore, there cannot not be truth.

    If there is no absolute truth, then the statement, “There is no absolute truth,” would necessarily be absolute truth; therefore, there cannot not be absolute truth.

    If there is absolute truth because there is absolutely no other actuality, else actuality would hot have been capable of actualizing itself, might the process of actualizing actual actuality actually be the actual evolution of the creation of absolute truth and the understanding thereof?

    How many actual actualities can dance on the point of a pin?

    Or, is humanity pinned to an aleph-null set of aleph-null nested hypotheticals, none of which actually exists?

    Do I exist because I not only do not exist, by not existing, I am incapable of realizing that I do not exist, and therefore exist only as a non-existent hypothetical incapable of recognizing non-existence because I would have to exist to be able to realize that I do not exist?

    How many non-existent hypotheticals can dance on the point of a pointless pin that does not exist?

    Is there a greater philosophical conundrum than the self-existence of self itself?

    Where is to be found irrefutable objectivity within the less than infinitesimal confines of absolutely pure, unadulterated self-referential subjectivity?

    Or, perhaps the late psychologist, Alice Miller, had something worthwhile to share,as in her book, “Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society’s Betrayal of the Child,” Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum, tr., New American LIbrary, New York and Scarborough, Ontario, 1984.

    Nineteen Eighty-Four?

  41. Interesting that as a cure for a political problem someone suggests an obligatory test for mental/social pathology indications. Does it remind you of a police state, type USSR? I think so.

    Therefore I welcome the return of the nearest we have after MikeS to a Socrates, in the person of Dr. Harris.

    I hope that at least some understood the value of using the Socratic method. The second essay was a form of overkill. But some need it, if it can penetrate—which is doubtful. There is as he said, that problem of non-existence of self-awareness.

    Glad we have some others here who do not approve Prof. Turley’s blogs automatically. To expect his pets to do so is not to be expected.
    ===============

    My Iranisn friend was here, back from a month at Grandma’s in Teheran. Thought you’d like to know that it is getting liberal there while reacttonary police
    state increases here.

  42. Nothing is true nothing is false no one can dance on the head of a pin and Nineteen Eighty-four has come and gone and I cant recall who won the World Series. Put that up your PHd and dont shove it.

  43. I wonder how much Mary Todd had to do with Lincoln’s depression…… She too was inconsolable after the death of her child….. Rejecting even the living…..

  44. Clarence Page

    November 25, 2012

    “Even in Chicago, a city whose political community is not easily shocked by allegations of corruption, the resignation of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. comes as a bit of a stunner.

    The word “promising” keeps popping up again and again in news reports as in, for example, this Reuters headline: “Promising political scion resigns.”

    Triple-J was showing promise ever since his first national appearance, onstage at the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta with his four siblings, introducing their father at the end of his second presidential run. It was a moment of liberal triumph in the decade of Ronald Reagan. Even the haters of their dad’s politics loved those kids.

    Seven years later, the junior Jackson won the special election that followed the resignation of then-Rep. Mel Reynolds, another once-promising star, the Rhodes scholar who crashed amid charges of having sexual relations with an underage campaign worker.

    For many, Jackson’s youth, idealism and cheerful salesmanship seemed to offer hope of a new transformational politics for the new century. He was handily re-elected again and again, always keeping reporters and pundits in constant front-leaning speculation about what he would pursue next. Mayor? Senator? Beyond?

    Talk of a presidential run ended when his friend and senator, Barack Obama, beat him to the White House. Still, the junior Jackson remained a man of promise.

    Then a dark cloud of suspicion rolled in. Justice Department investigators have been looking into Jackson’s possible misuse of campaign funds and the House Ethics Committee is investigating his dealings with ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, now serving time for federal corruption offenses.

    Jackson’s been on leave since June, and sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for bipolar disorder.

    He resigned two weeks after winning a landslide re-election with no visible campaign. His constituents preferred to take their chances with an absentee Jackson, his supporters told me, than with another candidate that they did not know as well.

    His resignation could end the House Ethics Committee probe, which has been looking into whether he promised to raise campaign money for Blagojevich in exchange for appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Obama. The committee could still decide to release a final report on Jackson, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but it no longer has the power to punish him.

    And his legal team, which includes former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb, confirmed news reports that a plea bargain was in the works. His resignation letter acknowledges the Justice Department investigation for the first time and accepts responsibility for “mistakes” that are “my mistakes and mine alone.”

    “Whom the gods wish to destroy,” a British writer famously said, “they first make promising.” In the case of Jesse Jr., those words sound sadly prophetic. He was so promising that it was hard to tell how much of his support came from his modest legislative achievements versus the lofty hopes and ambitions he symbolized.

    As the namesake son of the nation’s best-known civil rights leader since the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Triple-J tried to be “post-racial” before post-racial was cool. The junior Jackson proposed a new generation of black leadership that could transcend race and hold itself accountable to actual votes, not just to cheering crowds.

    But, ironically, his larger personal ambitions often were held back by the high name recognition that gave him such a valuable boost.

    “Your name,” I asked him during a conversation in his congressional office a couple of years ago, “do you view it as a blessing or a curse?”

    “It’s both,” he declared, after a moment of thought. His efforts to broaden his base often ran up against his father’s controversial reputation. That’s politics — which can be pitiless.

    His story of mental illness is particularly sad. My sympathies go out to him and his family. Some skeptics find his treatment to be a bit too conveniently timed with his legal troubles. Maybe. But he would not be the first rising star who found the pressures of his own promise to be too much to bear.” Chicago Tribune

  45. Someday, I’d like to create for consideration an organization tentatively called APDU, American Political Democracy Union.

    It would function like the League of Women’s Voters did in terms of vetting and taking positions on political candidates. (Did it?)

    It would be citizen based foundation with Warren Buffet and others funding it. The first goal would be to establish itself and increase its numbers so as to be a power which the duoparties would be forced to reckon with. It’s purpose then would to require the data collected by the parties in their vetting process, on their own candidates, to be checked against APDU’s own sources.

    Result: recommendation in a citizen summary form that I have in mine.

    Suitable starting level would be congressional districts, where people have different backgrounds, and problems in common.

    Like all my paper creations, where do the dedicated people come from, who will work in between election campaigns? Perhaps retirees who care about their grandkids future, and idealistic teenagers.

    The purpose: to reveal the truth, based on record, about to whom the candidates have sold themselves.

  46. mine–>mind

    The citizen needs to arm himself with effective tools, and they need to be shared.

    It needs to be local, but at a level with salutary effect nationally. Nor at a senatoral, as the opposing forces would be too strong.

    It needs to be enlivened by Saul Alinsky type events,
    both for morale reasons and for profiling and prozelytizing. Internal events are needed, but open to the public on the thoughts of the framers in lecture form to keep the purpose alive.

  47. I happen to be one of those socially problematic folks who questions authority and rejects authoritarianism. So, when it came to me as a pre-talking baby that people who believe that avoidable accidents can tangibly happen were misinformed, i set out to test for the existence of one or more actually (meaning tangibly; not merely hypothetically) avoidable mistakes actually (meaning tangibly, not merely hypothetically) actually made, only to find, to date, without exception, that what needed to be understood to avoid a particular accident actually made was only learned during the process of making the mistake, thereby rendering moot the notion of avoidable mistakes actually happening.

    Of course, brain plasticity being as formidable as it is, brain plasticity allows learning to believe in the making of avoidable mistakes in ways comparable to learning to believe that Santa Claus can visit every house in the world, going down the chimneys of chimneyless houses as well as chimneyed houses without difficulty. Obviously, the chimneyless houses have temporary chimneys when Santa Clause uses them.

    Avoidable mistakes actually made are, to me, of the same kindred of fairy taies as chimneyless houses becoming chimneyed for the sake of the childish fairy tale first told, I surmise, circa 1823, in Clement Moore’s “A visit from St. Nicholas.”

    In 1823, no one knew of Albert Einstein’s Theories of Relativity (General and Special), and no one knew how fast the sleigh of St. Nicholas could be accelerated (limited to less than the speed of light?).

    So, to test the hypothetical visiting of every home on earth by St. Nicholas, a little arithmetic may be informative. I shall here avoid using SI units because they are not sufficiently traditional

    Regarding travel time as insignificant, and allowing a mere 6 seconds per home for safely placing all the presents being delivered, I calculate, using error-prone mental arithmetic, that it would take St. Nicholas more than 1100 days to place the presents needed to be delivered during a single night.

    So, that little bit of arithmetic suggests to me that some aspect of the visit from St. Nicholas” story is not quite fully realistic.

    Belief in the actual making of an avoidable mistake suggests to me the presence of a belief that is orders of magnitude less realistic than St. Nicholas visiting every home in the world during one single night.

    My model of reality is so simple that a child could plausibly understand it. How to I come to that model? Because it is the model I had as a little child and ever since. Avoidable mistakes are always avoided, otherwise they were not actually avoidable when and as they happened. Simple. Not hypothetical. Directly observable, too.

    Problems that do not yield to analytic solution methods may yield to successive approximation methods, such as the Bayesian successive approximation methods I employ in doing some aspects of biological pattern recognition work.

    I have a printout of the “PETITION FOR RULE-MAKING IN THE SUPREME COURT OF WISCONSIN” and have been reading various petitions already submitted and associated documents. It has come to my mind to petition the Wisconsin Supreme Court to remove corruption, in the form of time-corrupted-learning-based-deception from the Wisconsin Supreme Court rules, so that said Rules may conform more accurately to the principles of the Wisconsin Constitution.

    The core of my possible petition is simple. Either one or more actually avoidable accidents can be demonstrated to have actually happened, or no actually avoidable accidents can be demonstrated to have actually happened.

    If no actually avoidable accidents can be demonstrated to have actually happened, then the notion of avoidable accidents having happened is a form of childish hypothetical-only fairy tale; or, if I may put that more directly, there is no such actual accident that actually happens that was actually avoidable because it was not actually avoided.

    Biological diversity may result in some people being stronger in one or another way than are other people. Some people can lift more weight than most other people can. Some people can reach higher than most other people can. Some people can live longer than most other people can. Some people can resist shattering child abuse better than most other people can.

    To me, telling a child that the child did something that the child knew better than to do is the essence of child abuse.

    When I was seven, in second grade, at Marshall School, in Eureka, California, my teacher, Miss Josephine Hanson could get every other boy in my class to admit to having done something wrong. She was unable to get me to so admit.

    When she told me that i had done something wrong, she, often verbatim, sometimes indirectly, told me, “You know perfectly well what you did wrong, I saw you do it.” I never had a clue as to what it was that I was supposedly doing wrong. When I did not “confess” to doing “something wrong” because I had no clue as to how to so confess, I was sent to the office of the Principal, Mrs. Edith Knudsen, where I was paddled (as was legal in California, so I understand, until 1972), and Mrs. Knudsen confused a profoundly autistic child going into agitated catatonic terror with a lesson having been learned.

    For the first three-quarters of second grade, I was paddled into agitated catatonic terror in the manner of variable-ratio reinforcement, without ever succumbing to the notion that I had done anything wrong.

    For more than 72 years, I have withstood every attempt ever sent my way to make me internalize what I have come to understand as the deception of time-corrupted-learning trauma.

    Were I to guess, I suppose I might guess that the “torture” inflicted on me to make me falsely confess to wrongdoing that I did not do was plausibly about as intense, for a seven year old autistic child as any form of enhanced interrogation torture has ever been. And I did not yield, I did not capitulate, and I did not falsely confess so as to stop the repeated torture.

    What I did do was to forgive Miss Hanson and Mrs. Knudsen instantly and totally and absolutely, for I recognized, unambiguously recognized, that they could not do any better than they were doing because they had no achievable way to know any better, had never had any opportunity to actually become familiar with any better way to treat me, and never had been given any sort of actual opportunity to understand how to treat me any better than they were treating me.

    In contrast with their knowledge, familiarity, and understanding, I did know, was familiar with, and understood how to treat them with decency and truthfulness, for I could not expect them to do better than their life circumstances made possible.

    Put me on a jury, and I will listen to the presented evidence with great care and diligence, and to the instructions from the judge. And then I will act in accord with the Wisconsin Constitution, allowing no infringement of my right to “worship Almighty God” according to the dictates of my conscience.

    To date, though I am skeptical about this, I have yet to find any finding of guilt that is not of some form of trauma-induced delusion. Thus, until someone actually demonstrates the actual making of an actually avoidable mistake, I will find each and every person, regardless of situation or circumstances, absolutely and unequivocally innocent.

    To me, belief in guilt is belief in the doctrine or dogma of a prehistoric, pre-scientific religious establishment heretofore unrecognizable as such, an establishment of religion that is absolutely unconstitutional on both United States Constitution and Wisconsin Constitution bases.

    At issue is, methinks, what is, and what is not, religion; and what is, and what is not, an establishment of religion.

    If the Anglo-American Adversarial System, in its present form in the United States, is a religious establishment portending to be otherwise, where is to be found the lawfully licensed professional objectivity to properly raise a valid constitutional question? Would not the law profession be in an unethical conflict of interest regarding such a constitutional issue?

  48. Eeyore,

    “But you haven’t explained how he gains financially. Will you spell it out for me, along with the “extortion” attempt?”

    He was holding the office until he got what he wanted namely his disability pay. That his ploy may have been thwarted by being made public is ancillary.

    ““the only rational reason to stay… ” when we are talking about a guy who was hospitalized for mental illness and was under some heavy pressure from the feds. I believe he was probably hospitalized because he Wasn’t rational.”

    But his handlers were. See this comment with which I concurred: http://jonathanturley.org/2012/11/23/report-jesse-jackson-jr-to-cost-taxpayers-over-5-million-after-resigning-shortly-following-his-reelection/#comment-454228

    Also, I don’t use “my definitions” for describing socio- and psychopaths. I prefer the DSM-IV and WHO guidelines. You miss the point of suggesting testing if you think the process should be politicized. The tests themselves should speak for themselves once interpreted by trained professional psychologists as a diagnostic tool and they should be public record. If you want to serve in an office of government, your mental health is material to the job and that bit of privacy should be sacrificed for the common good. It’s a choice to run for office. You make the choice, you pay the price. Determining if you’re a socio- or psychopath I think should be a part of that price given the damage such individuals can and do perpetrate on our political system (not to mention the economic system).

  49. Dear Brian, Your response to my post is long and rambling so I will give you the benefit of the doubt although after reading your secon post I am not sure I should. One does not have to be mentally ill to question the convenient timing of Mr. Jackson’s diagnosis.

  50. Dr Harris,

    I find your writings more agreeable and understandable over time.
    I will start with the ending as the beginning here.

    If indeed the American Adversarial Bla bla is in fact a religion that now is institutionalized in the form we express and enforce it, then the lawyers are but elders in the church, and indeed not capable of judging the doctrine, even if well trained in it. Don’t ask the usual imam to elucidate the weakness theologically of his religion. Those philosophically trained in classics, ca 1000 CE could do so.

    Reverting to the your beginning, I find the idea of non-fault more easy to grasp now. It was expressed by a gestalt psychologist as followe: “You did as good as you could at the time you did what you did.”
    Now,of course, there arises the question of avoiding using that as a nunversal excuse for all actions.

    Now society uses the technique of “burnt child avoids fire”. And after many diverse showings of where the different fires are located, they consider one fully capable of avoiding them and have only burning to use again and again to reinforce the previous “lessons”.

    Now comes the crux. What would be an alternative to this existing system? How would we teach other than through positive example? Your solution?

    We need to etablish norms of behaviour (or do we not?). How do we see to that they are not breached repeatedly by the same persons? And how do we rehabilitate habitual violators of accepted restrictions?

    Perhaps I have misunderstood, but it seems that your understanding is based on that until knowledge is acquired and assimilated by each individual, that no accountability can be required of the maker. How could that be practised?

    Society requires that norms, by whatever name, be respected and observed. What would be your alternaive?

    As for reverting to a non-guilt pre-religious condition I will wait with that.
    Nature requires rules for survival. The guilt is but a form of internal restraining mechanism. And taboos develop without greater thought, for the sake of “mutual security” and other uses.

    I hasten to add that I seek further exposition, no more motives.

  51. Gene

    Okay. So this maximum financial benefit is SSDI. (Peanuts in terms of congresspersons payoffs.)

    SSDI grants benefits for those with a bipolar diagnosis. No “plea” or “extortion” is involved. If he was found qualified by a review (heavily reliant on medical records), he would have been granted that benefit if he resigned before the election or after re-election. No negoiation required. (What was Turley thinking!) One is just required to be ill and can’t work due to that illness. There is no limitation on household income. The fact that you and the general public don’t like it is immaterial and WILL NOT INFLUENCE the determination of his SSDI benefit nor the size of that benefit. His “ploy” has NOT been thwarted. (Where are you getting this stuff?) Damn. I expect to see this kind of stuff on Fox or Beck….but Turley?

    No use offering any further comment on the mental test for officeholders. You’re convinced and I’m convinced it’s outrageous. But it should provide a lively discussion if you do a GB on the topic.

  52. Gene,

    It is not that I wish that the test be politicized, it is my belief that the test WILL be politicized.

    And the american public cannot agree on vaccines, mammograms, prostate testing, antibiotics, hormones cure everything that ails an aging woman, climate change, evolution, when life begins and death panels. Fifty years ago they were still using ice picks for lobotomys and saying refrigerator moms were responsible for autistic children. And you want to depend on that crowd for vetting the mental stability of officeholders?

  53. Eeyore,

    Your appeal to emotion is both ridiculous and indicate a real lack of knowledge about how such tests for socio- and psychopathy work. They generally aren’t biophysical and should fMRIs be employed they are not an intrusive procedure. Tests such as Robert D. Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist, Revised (PCL-R) is the psycho-diagnostic tool most commonly used to assess psychopathy however there are other tests. Such tests should only be considered valid if administered by a suitably qualified and experienced clinician under scientifically controlled and licensed, standardized conditions but it can reveal narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personalities and psychopathic personality disorder all of which are undesirable in public office holders. They are no more intrusive though than a questionnaire. Citing false equivalences and employing the Nirvana fallacy don’t exactly count as a counterargument.

    The choice to ignore science as a tool for making our lives better is your choice. If you’re happy with the current state of affairs where socio- and psychopaths get to ruin the lives of others and hide their often criminal actions by misusing and usurping the color of authority? That too is your choice. Personally, I’d rather live in a world where we don’t have to bemoan the injustice of torture ordering war criminals walking free because such people would be prevented from holding office in the first place.

  54. Ho hum!

    Any proof that psychopaths dominate as war mongers or other “bad people!? Ie proportionately higher than in a “normal” population?

    Would seem to me that most politicians are closely observed by many persons, and psychopathy would be detected without a test.

    Putting society’s weight behind testing/obligatory screening is a dangerous door to enter.
    And it is not science I don’t trust, it is politics and people.

    Blanket condemnations for Ludditism is not impressive either as an argument.

    Carry on!

  55. Just goes to show how little you know about psychopaths and the dangers they present. For example, they can be very difficult to detect without testing. And ensuring that office holders have empathy is so counter to making sure they have the emotional skill set and psychological disposition required to represent the best interests of their constituents over their own narrow self-interests and participate in corruption and malfeasance of office. :roll:

    However, of all the posters here id707, you are indeed the one I’d expect to stand up for the rights of psychopaths to hold office being more important than ensuring the best governance possible.

    Ho.

    Hum.

  56. Gene

    I know nothing about socio/psycho testing.

    And while I’m most definitely not choosing to reject science that can make our lives better, I most definitely reject your idea of altering the constitution in order to institute an Orwellian test for officeholders. It’s breathtaking in its arrogance.

    And I am not comforted in your demand for “suitably qualified and experienced clinician under scientifically controlled and licensed, standardized conditions”. Think Texas licensed labs. Think FBI labs. Think Medical Examiner offices. One man’s “standard” is another man’s liar. We have a respected commenter today who does not accept the diagnosis from the Mayo Clinic.

  57. Eeyore,

    “I know nothing about socio/psycho testing.”

    Then you should have known better than to make the false equivalences that your did in your previous appeal to emotion.

    “And while I’m most definitely not choosing to reject science that can make our lives better,”

    If you say so.

    “I most definitely reject your idea of altering the constitution in order to institute an Orwellian test for officeholders.”

    Then apparently you missed the point where I pointed out there is no need to alter the Constitution to mandate this kind of testing. The only test prohibited by the Constitution are religious tests for office. Other than the Constitutionally mandated age and residency requirements for holding Federal offices, we are free to put any kind of testing as a condition precedent on holding office we as a society opt to enact.

    “It’s breathtaking in its arrogance.”

    You thinking I’m arrogant has no bearing on the argument. Thanks for the ad hominem though. It’s cute, jackass. Oh. I’m sorry. I meant cotton stuffed imaginary jackass.

    The rest of what you say is simply delving further into the Nirvana fallacy.

  58. Are we going to administer those tests to government employees as well? Since they have a good deal of input into the running of our country.

  59. Gene

    Oh let’s do include the armed services and LEOs. How about testing socialites from Tampa? Better test the teachers and judges and prosecuting attorneys and prison guards and public university professors. And every cabinet officer and CEO of publically owed companies with assets over $500M. We know well there are certifiable sociopaths employed in those positions and our country will be a better place if we corral them all in our FEMA camps. And surely we will want to test all those superbly qualified testors. While we’re at it don’t you think we should pick up all the social workers, priests (Cardinals included), rabbis, imams and ministers and yoga masters? Don’t forget the guys who run the water treatment facilities. They can certainly fu*k us up. Librarians! Goodness knows they are a dangerous lot. Did I forget to mention NASA, NOAH, NATO, and the NAACP? Good grief! I almost forgot TSA, FAA, FDA, and the PTA.

    Funny that you forgot your preference for a constitutional amendment…..
    “but personally I think it’s important enough to possibly think about the basic requirements for mental health testing in public officials as a potential Constitutional amendment (even though legislation would be an easier row to hoe).” Gene H.
    Hope you don’t mind me pointing it out. I just want to make sure we get the very best system you can design and hope to encourage you not to take the “easier row”.

    Gene, are you aware how quickly to resort to ad hominems when someone disagrees with you? But I do understand. It must be terribly stressful to have to put up with all the less gifted and their pitiful attempts to engage in meaningful conversation when they have NO idea of what they are talking about let alone how to argue properly.

    I’m very confident that other than the constitutional amendment clarification, I needn’t point out to you that the above has absolutly no bearing on the argument. But it sure was fun. At least for this jackass.

    10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….
    (countdown for the next stage of Gene H argumentation: The, I Don’t Care What You Think Of Me, Assho*e.)

  60. Ooooo. Reductio ad absurdum! The tactic really only works if you know how to use it properly, Eeyore. Too bad for you that you don’t. See, in the way you deployed it was to demonstrate that a statement is false by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its acceptance. The only problem is that you made up circumstances which no one proposed to apply testing to do so. You would have to confine the argument to an absurd conclusion from requiring office holders for the method to be effective and so far you have nothing of substance other than a general disapproval of psychological testing. Nice try though. And by nice I mean sad and ineffective argumentation.

    As to my personal preference? Point away. That wasn’t part of the argument for proper, merely a preference for a thought I’m still mulling over. If you’ve got a problem with it, it is entirely your problem because as was pointed out, amendment is not required. Or were the words “personally” and “possibly” too complicated for you to grasp?

    As for CEOs? That’s private business. If a corporation wants psychopaths in their upper ranks that’s up to the board and the investors. I’m talking about strictly holders of public office and high level appointees. People who are supposed to represent others in society before considering their own selfish narrow self-interests but often fail to do so because they are psychologically incapable of doing so.

    Eeyore, are you aware that you opened the ad hominem gate by introducing arrogance into the equation? Tit for tat, bucko although I opted to respond with insult instead. What you say isn’t an invalid argument because you’re a jackass. It’s invalid because you have yet to formulate a reasonable counterargument based on evidence and logic opting instead to appeal to emotion and the poorly deployed absurd extension beyond the original proposition. This is not my concern, but it is certainly amusing.

    And you are partially correct: I don’t care what you think of me one bit – it’s irrelevant. It’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it and to express it and I’m allowed to ignore it all I wish. If you wish to call yourself an assh*le though, I won’t stop you. I prefer jackass, but you know you better than I do so I’ll defer to your call on that issue.

    But come on . . . tell us how considering demanding good mental health as a condition for public office leads to FEMA camps some more.

    That’s just adorable, you plush toy you.

  61. Jesse Jackson is nothing but a lying ambulance chaser and shakedown artist.

    Remember how MLK died in his arms and Jesse’s shirt was stained with his blood ? Me neither.

    Like father, like son.

  62. Eeyore,

    Your first mistake was to support me, even partially.
    That is forbidden in Gene’s world. He begins to sniff to find a point to attack.

    He lookes at his favorite attack points, which everybody is inferior (here) to him, whereupon he attacks.
    Not having sufficiently humiliated you and gotten your acquiescence to his sentencing of life time inadequacy, then he begins ad hominem and simple attacks.

    He NEVER acknowledges his own argumentation errors, etc.

    Etc., etc.

    Now it appears that you have quite correctly appraised him for what he is. A bitter bully.

    Gene, while professiong the good of the people, is essentially an elitist. He, as you say, finds it disagreeable to associate with people less well “equipped” than he is. But rather than seeking the ideas with truth and value beneath the faults in the argumentation advanced, he only seeks to destroy and drive away from the arena.

    He has a sick relationship with those who support him in spite of his domination of them. They are perhaps RWA’s, and in need of an authority figure to guide their thoughts.

    And he is so cracked as to believe that when I disapproved the use of mass psyche screening, then he states that that means that I support the cause of psychopaths.

    Such crap does not even need answering by me.

    I cite Gene:
    “However, of all the posters here id707, you are indeed the one I’d expect to stand up for the rights of psychopaths to hold office being more important than ensuring the best governance possible.”

    But I will answer, partially:
    I stand up for all persons rights to be free from arbitrary mental screening. And am against all such systems for that purpose.

    The “why are you worried, you are not doing anything wrong” argument was/is used to support electronic surveillance of different sorts. The mental screening of candidates can be expanded in the same way, even to PTA organizations. Regard the TSA, a “good” idea which now can be found just anywhere the DHS feels necessary, or an organization invites them to be.

    Is that how we wanted to be “secure”? I feel not.

    Politicians need to be examined, not screened by experts. By informed people.

    That is the way we have and I hope will continue to screen candidates, hopefully with better use of traditional techniques. See my suggested APDU vetting of politicians.

  63. Gene H:

    people can learn how to beat a polygraph, dont you think they could also learn to beat a psychological profile? A sociopath or psychopath would not be honest on the test and so how good would it be?

    If you say look at their childhood as an indication as well, wouldnt we be able to look into a candidates childhood to see if he abused animals or was a bully? We wouldnt really need a test if we could do a proper background check as future constituents.

    From my experience with close friends and family, it always seems the least stable personality dominates the interpersonal relationships. They seem to want to shape the world, no matter how small, to avoid consequences for their actions.

  64. Bron,

    There are ways to minimize the ability to prep for such tests. Also, the fMRI testing that is currently evolving for psychopaths would be foolproof as it relies on measuring autonomic responses that are beyond conscious control unlike a polygraph. As far as background checks go? I don’t see a problem with that either as part of a psychological profile. It’s not as if they are trying to get a job as a milkman. However, the fMRI may make that a moot point.

  65. Gene H:

    People can learn to control their heartbeats, in fact it is rather simple. I have done it while connected to a heart monitor during minor surgery, a nurse told me to cut it out.

    The mind is a funny thing about which we know little, with practice the fMRI may be able to be gamed. I am currently watching a teaching company series on the brain. So far the one thing I have noticed is that the brain is very well connected. All parts seem to interact with all of the other parts. It is quite fascinating.

    Not saying your arent right, just thinking about the possible down side.

  66. Bron,

    Even if possible, it would be highly improbable. Learning to control your heart rate is a considerably different proposition than learning to manipulate the magnetization between oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood in your brain.

  67. Bron,

    “From my experience with close friends and family, it always seems the least stable personality dominates the interpersonal relationships. They seem to want to shape the world, no matter how small, to avoid consequences for their actions.”

    Interesting idea.

    Please, the link to the learning series on the brain.

  68. GeneH,

    “Even if possible, it would be highly improbable.”
    ========
    Biggest concession by you this week. Improving.

    Zip……Zop. Did you see that? It was the magnetiztion change. Show me a link and I’ll believe it. I CAN, unlike others change POVs.

  69. id707:

    you can purchase it from the Teaching Company.

    http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=1580

    I got this on sale for around 50 dollars. Never pay full price because they always have sales. The most I have ever paid for a course is around $100 bucks but recently I have gotten them for $60 or less.

    Not much more than a night at the movies for 3 people with popcorn and soda.

    The courses are pretty good and taught by full professors. For example the one I linked to is taught by a professor at Vanderbilt University another one I have on consciousness is taught by Prof named Daniel Robinson of Georgetown and Oxford.

    http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=4168

    his course is on sale, I recommend it.

  70. I’m still not doing your research for you. You’re the one who claims that you can fake an fMRI as part of your counterclaim. The burden of proof rests with you.

  71. Polygraphs are only about 80% accurate, can be monkeyed with and aren’t used in diagnosing psychopaths as a general rule.

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