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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Open Letter to Rep. Goodlatte and Rep. Hastert

Dear Honorable Goodlatte and Honorable Hastert,

Just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you both for helping pass the bill Mr. Goodlatte sponsored in the House of Representatives yesterday banning online gambling. Now I can lead a pure life of wholesome American values (which I assume was the intent when you included the bill in the Republican American Values Agenda last month, Mr. Hastert. Well done, sir. Well done).

Without your help in looking out for my personal well-being, I would be lost. Sure, some might call you hypocrites for carving out exemptions in the bill for state-run lotteries and horse racing which have powerful lobbyists in Washington but I'm sure they're just a bunch of liberal, faggot-loving, marriage-hating, abortion-wanting, stem cell-cloning, assault-rifle-banning, un-American nut-jobs bent on causing the destruction of our great country. Because if you say Internet sports wagering and online poker are "bad" gambling, but online horse racing and state-run lotteries are "good" gambling, who am I, a mere citizen, to question such altruistic wisdom?

And thank God (yours, naturally) you were able to overcome the previous defeat of a similar bill in 2000 which was opposed by disgraced misunderstood lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his clients. As supporters of this latest bill so rightfully pointed out, a vote for the just-passed measure was a way to make a statement against Abramoff's influence (as opposed to saying no to his campaign dollars before he was busted).

Best of all, I must say bills such as this are going to be winning over some folks to your party. I mean, take me for example. I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I'm a non-partisan voter who has supported candidates on both sides of the aisle over the years. Your average American who votes issues, not ideology. But by passing such legislation as this and now knowing folks such as you are sincerely looking out for my well-being (as opposed to that "other" party which - *snicker* - thinks I know what's best for me), I'll obviously be much more inclined to vote Republican in the future.

I can only pray (naturally) that Arizona Republican John Kyl of Arizona will keep his word and pursue this matter "aggressively" in the Senate where those pansies have not made this values-oriented bill a top priority.

Keep up the good work, gentlemen. And again, thank you. Because as Bill O'Reilly asked in the title of one of his best-selling books, "Who's Looking Out for You?", I now know the answer: Bob Goodlatte and Dennis Hastert, that's who.




Allaha said...

Yost, I can only agree -- but you must expand your analysis to fiscal matters as well (at least until the football season starts). I have never voted on party lines, but I find it remarkable that Republicans have the chutzpah to brag about the current deficit, which indeed should be a source of profound shame. It should also be a source of concern for people our age who will eventually end up paying this debt. If only the Republicans had the moral strength to further cut assistance to the elderly and financial aid to students -- groups that have been coddled for far too long -- to allow for more tax cuts to the super wealthy, we could all rest more easily . . . at least if we were super wealthy. Hell, we could even afford to engage in more online gambling!

Yost said...

LOL, Allaha. Grandma and Grandpa have been getting a free ride for far too long.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

I'm with you, Yost. The House has earned another well deserved “fuck you very much.”

I guess now that online gambling is no longer available I have more time to download German dungeon porn, ogle pictures of scantily clad coeds, purchase absinthe from Europe, and peruse “married but looking” personal adds. Thanks guys!

eddie, eddie said...

Brilliant letter...I would suggest to send it to every single member of the House who is from Michigan (which I am assuming is your home state). I can now almost forgive the U of M law school for giving the world Ann Coulter.

Cool Hand Mike said...


I think he would lay 5 on Michigan to cover against Vandy.

He had an "inside" source, you know.

Anonymous said...

I think the lesson to learn from all this is that politics suck. I'm a mostly-Republican. But yeah, this is retarted.

I think the only way to lessen the suck in Washington is to change the length of the terms. You now have two years in office with no chance of re-election. Hope you can do something good in those two years.

Spartan Bob said...

Democrats scheming ways to take my money and Republicans burning their brain cells on ways to prevent me from spending it on an every expanding list of anything fun. I feel so safe that I hear Pink Floyd's "Mother" as the soundtrack of life whenever I see a congresscritter on the tube.

I tire of reading and listening to people who clamor for bipartisanship and "can't we all get along" politics. Phleeze! Give me more conflict, because this bunch coming to agreement would give us the economy of France mixed with the social freedom of Iran.

Todd Jones said...

election grandstanding at it's finest!

Anonymous said...

Essentially, what exactly does this mean? I read the article and and everything, but does this bill getting passed mean that all online gambling sites will be shut down in a matter of days? What's the time frame? Is there still hope that somehow this bill will be forgotten or simply ignored?

I am unbelievably ignorant when it comes to politics.

Anonymous said...

How about the Buckstache on the guy holding the misspelled sign in the picture? Perfect.

GK said...


The Bill was only passed by the House. It does not become a law unless it is passed by the Senate and signed by the president. Also, this type of gambling is already illegal, this bill would merely give teeth to federal gambling laws as applied to internet gambling.

cottoncandy said...

It makes sense. Take a step back from the ledge and think about it. What other sector of our economy has zero regulation, zero oversight and zero taxation? It needs to be controlled.

1. All other gambling in America is regulated. Why is this one form, run mainly by foreign countries, exempt from governmental oversight? [You say Soprano's bookies aren't regulated, but they are: they are subject to our criminal laws.]

2. You laugh, but do you have any idea the lives ruined by some kid gambling away his entire debt limit on credit cards in half an hour? The kid is stupid? Sure, but ALL OTHER forms of gambling (not including Vito down on the corner) have safety stops.

3. Why should American gambling companies be frozen out of this lucrative industry [its illegal here] only to let foreign off shore companies make all the profits?

Step away from the cheap first laugh and give it some thought.

Travis G. said...

eddie, eddie: Please, oh please, don't remind me that Ann Coulter is a Law School alum. When I was a UM law student the administration went out of its way to distance itself from her insane ramblings.

Incidentally, Harold Ford (D-TN), another UM Law School alumnus, voted for the resolution. Bastard.

blue2004 said...

Sure cottoncandy, you have good points, but what's stopping that kid from doing the same on horse racing and/or online lotteries? Neither are affected.

cottoncandy said...

blue, there are not sure fire safegards, but they are at least regulated by the law.

In all other forms of gambling, you have to get your fat ass off the couch, get in your car and drive somewhere; then have contact with a human at the window or be supervised in a casino. It is almost foolproof for minors to participate. And, if you're drunk, the humans will cut you off from gambling.

With these on line sites, you can be drunk on your ass, get yourself off the rug and blow your entire debt limit. And, minors can find easy ways around the age 21 limitations.

These offshore foreign entities go completely untaxed. I say, if on line gambling is going to be allowed, it has to be approved BY OUR VOTERS (that's how we do things in America,) regulated and taxed.

And, the reasons are not solel to protect people from themselves. Honest to God, you shut down the on line gaming and American gambling revenue will shoot up dramatically. Responsible Gambling Magazine says that Vegas sports book has taken a tremendous hit from online sports wagering.

Why give these foreign bastards a free ride?

Reed4AU said...

Cottoncandy, don't blame online gambling sites for the kids who steal their parents credit cards and lose it all. Blame the freakin parents.

It should be controlled and it should be taxed. What it shouldn't be is outlawed. I don't live in Jersey, Biloxi, Nevada, near Canada, or near an indian reservation. What am I supposed to do to get my gamble on?
I think playing online roulette or blackjack is stupid, I just can't bring myself to trust those "random" number generators. However, poker is great and online sportbooks are the best thing since sex and beer.

It's bullshit that they can ban one form of online gambling, but allow OTB bets online. People lose their savings just as often at the track. Why can't we just realize that people like to gamble, so just tax it like everything else and use the money for something useful like another corrupt Halliburton contract.

This bill was approved by the same "moral" bastards who take lobbyists "donations", are drunks, go to strip clubs and then church the next day, shit on the bill of rights, and give their wealthy friends tax breaks. I realize not all of them are like that, but there are a lot who are. Get off your moral high ground and do something that actually helps average people. Use the tax money generated by the industry on something useful like schools or healthcare.

Also I realize that the vast majority of these wonderful/great/5 team parlays rule sportbooks are in small countries and that they don't have to pay taxes to America. However, don't you think they would be willing to share/tax some of their profits with the USA instead of watching their buisness die?

Reed4AU said...

The Vegas sportbooks might be losing buisness, but Vegas and it's gambling industry are doing just fine. Show me a Vegas casino that's closing it's doors because of the lack of sports betting. You can't because Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities and freakin 2 new casinos open every other year and they all make a profit. Yeah they make a lot from tourism only, but they also still clean up at the tables.

Anonymous said...

Cottoncandy says "Responsible Gambling Magazine says that Vegas sports book has taken a tremendous hit from online sports wagering."

Aha, the truth comes out... A bill supported by casinos (or at least politicians funded by casino money) with the intent of taking away their competition.

I've heard that eBay has done irreperable damage to auctions all across the nation, should we shut down eBay? I've also heard kids can use mommy's credit card to spend way too much on eBay. Oh yeah, and do you think most people who purchase on eBay are reporting it to the IRS and volunteering the sales tax?

Why stop with online gambling sites? Hell, after we trash online gambling and online shopping, don't forget online porn... I know for a fact that the adult bookstore down the street has been struggling ever since porn sites became so accessible.

Look... it's simply not the responsibility of the Casinos to make themselves more attractive to potential customers... it's the government's *duty* to take away all other alternatives from customers to force them to do their gambling in a casino. It's the american way.

VictorValiant said...

the government wants a monopoly on gambling. look at other forms of gambling in the US and the government has a hand in it.

online gambling is illegal already in the US. the current online gambling sites available in the US are owned by non-US entities which means that all this gambling money is flowing outside of the US.

i'm all for this bill. if people are going to throw away their money by gambling, let them throw it away in this country and not elsewhere.

all of you are not paying attention to the details of this bill.

and GO BLUE!

Yost said...

The reasoning of C2 and V2 on this issue is perplexing at best.

So let me see if I get this right - if your support of this bill is based on the fact that currently most online betting companies operate offshore, instead of regulating and taxing the industry (already legal in a number of other forms in the US), let's ban it.

Yeah, makes sense.

Guys, the only reason these companies operate outside the US is b/c, until this point, the law about many forms of online wagering was murky (the basis for its illegality goes back to laws in the early 60s, long before the advent of the Internet).

Finally, do you really think Hastert and his ilk are doing this b/c the companies (for the reasons above) are operating outside the US? C'mon. It's a "values" issue as Hastert himself alludes to in the hyperlink in the post. It's not a "taxation" issue.

Make it legal and every gaming interest in Nevada will have an online site up by next week. Bringing in millions. Thus, I agree with you, Cotton - why should American companies be shut out of this industry?

Although Cotton, spare me the "poor kid charging up credit card debt" reason. Alcohol is legal yet I've managed not to become an alcoholic. It's called personal responsibility.

And what about that "poor kid" who is racking up the credit card charges for online horse racing and state-run lotteries which were left untouched by this bill (due to their powerful lobbying efforts)?

This was tried once before. It was called Prohibition. It failed. And laws or not in the short term, this will, too.

Anonymous said...

Good writing, Yost. I'm another independent who's probably won't vote for a single Republican in 2006/2008 because of this BS over the last couple years.

blue2004 said...

cc, I was referring to online horse racing betting, which is specifically still allowed under this bill...shows the inherent bias...

So I can't see how someone can really support this bill, but I understand why you support the ban of online gambling in principle (just that this bill doesn't cut it)

STICKYBOI - said...

i think all gambling is bad when the money involved originates from credit cards. i mean its a no brainer when you consider you are placing somebody else’s money on an uncertain event happening with the aim to recoup more than you [they] invested. Would you let someone do this with your pay check? Chance and credit do not mix well in my opinion, and continuing to allow it would only contribute further to negatively affecting the high levels of personal debt many citizens today find themselves in. I agree however, in a sense that it won't work - i mean whats the point in banning credit card payments for online poker, for example, but not online sports betting? slightly hipocritical no? I mean how can you allow someone to participate in online horse racing betting, but not have a gamble on a hand of cards? both activities involve a large degree of chance, and neither are guaranteed to yield financial return.
It also infuriates me that the minority of irresponsible gamblers [those paying with someone elses money!] have now ruined the fun of online betting for everyone else - those like me who pay with money they actually have in their bank!! boooo