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Delaware's Heroes For What

We hail our fallen heroes.  Hopefully many of you stirred some dull roots with spring rain today:…  memories, both a blessing and a curse.

But for whom did they die?

Did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC      Contributor      Total Indivs PACs
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                     $71,550                                               $36,550               $35,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co                                                          $58,200                                              $33,200               $25,000
Ashland Inc                                                                                $55,420                                              $25,700               $29,720
Blue Cross/Blue Shield                                                      $46,000                                                  $6,000               $40,000
Bank of America                                                                     $40,440                                                 $3,940               $36,500

Those were Tom Carper’s top 5 contibutors……

Or did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,        Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Young, Conaway et al                                                        $121,300                                            $121,300                     $0
Skadden, Arps et al                                                              $92,600                                             $87,600                       $5,000
Grant & Eisenhofer                                                              $70,049                                              $70,049                       $0
Comcast Corp                                                                         $69,200                                            $44,200                       $25,000
Morris, Nichols et al                                                            $57,550                                              $57,550                        $0

Those were Chris Coons’ top 5 contributors……

Or did they die for…....

Top 5 Contributors, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Investment Co Institute                                                $12,500                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
Skadden, Arps et al                                                            $10,640                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
National Multi Housing Council                                $10,500                                                 $0                                     $10,500
Bank of America                                                                  $10,250                                                 $750                                 $9,500
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                 $10,198                                                 $250                                 $9,948

 

These are John Carney’s top contributors……

Our state relative to nationally, is actually on the good end of campaign contribution spectrum.  Nothing here, is really out of line. You should see some in other states…

But let us isolate by industry…..

For John Carney…. 

Top 5 Industries, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC       Industry Total           Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                       $96,520                                                                   $2,820                     $93,700
Securities & Investment                          $93,000                                                                  $1,500                     $91,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $59,110                                                                   $45,610                     $13,500
Commercial Banks                                    $49,000                                                                  $1,250                       $47,750
Finance/Credit Companies                    $43,250                                                                  $5,250                      $38,000

For Chris Coons…….

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,      Campaign Cmt                                                Industry Total             Indivs PACs
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $1,495,387                                                    $1,341,519                    $153,868
Leadership PACs                                        $512,900                                                           $0                              $512,900
Lobbyists                                                       $345,302                                                       $325,472                        $19,830
Securities & Investment                        $296,800                                                       $235,300                      $61,500
TV/Movies/Music                                     $228,157                                                          $163,800                       $64,357

For Tom Carper……..

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte                                            Industry Total               Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                     $371,710                                                          $94,470                         $277,240
Securities & Investment                        $320,340                                                      $125,840                       $194,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $294,382                                                       $170,761                        $123,621
Lobbyists                                                        $214,262                                                     $207,042                            $7,220
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products      $207,710                                                      $50,300                         $157,410

And now, in what I believe is the first time ever…. here is the combination giving you an idea of who influences our 3 man delegation…  Compiled by adding together all three’s industry totals listed above and then ranking them top down…..

 

Lawyers/Law Firms   ……………..    $1,848,879

Securities & Investment …………….   $710,140

Insurance…..,,,,,,,,,……………. , ……   $668,257

Leadership PACs ………………………. $675,400

Lobbyists  ………………………………,…$568,779

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $486,108

Commercial Banks  …………………….$435,240

TV/Movies/Music……………………….$292,067

Finance/Credit Companies………….$208,865

========

And that is who owns our delegation….  Just seeing the visual makes it clear why some of the anti-people votes cast by this delegation, … are ever cast at all….   No, contrary to how we exclaim… They are not insane.  They are practical….

It will get worse with McCutcheon passed…

Already the amount of dark money as shown by tallies done by the Center for Responsive Politics show that nondisclosing groups have already reported spending more than three times as much as they had at this point in the 2012 elections — a presidential cycle when higher spending would be expected.”

Did you get that?  The unprecedented spending done in 2012, a contested presidential year, as of now been tripled over the same point of time back in 2012…….. . And it is both sides. In the past dark money was 80% Conservative, 20% Liberal.  Today (2014), it is 60% Conservative; 40% Liberal…   Spending by liberal nondisclosing groups is more than four times higher than it was at this point in 2012, while their conservative counterparts have tripled their previous spending level……

Which means, no tv watching this summer… and social media will become a real turn-off….  Both mean that most of America will tune out this election…  Thank you, Supreme Court…..   What were you smoking?

And if most of America tunes out this election,   it again begs the moral and serious question…. for whom did they die?  Certainly not us.

Delaware's Heroes

 

 

 

 

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Delawares US Senator Chris Coons

I wasn’t going to say anything; obviously I’ve changed my mind as the controversy continues to swill around Chris Coon’s “no” vote against his putting a certain person who once represented a cop killer on the bench….

Chris has said this vote was difficult for him, and I think it would be for any of us finding ourselves in his position.  It is easy to have an opinion and act on it when sides are clearly divided.  As when it is you against them.

It is not so easy when your close friends are sharply divided, and half want you go go one way; the other half want you to go the next… When in that situation people develop formulas to guide them;  such as take a poll and alienate the lesser amount;  another is to check with those who are closest to you, and go the way they suggest.  A third is to flip a coin, since you lose either way and gain nothing.  A fourth is to skip the vote.  And a fifth, is to actually look inside yourself, weigh all the data you are privileged to see,  seek out the best and worst of both sides, then make a decision on what you think is best…

That last one is a doosey.

But that is what we elect our officials to do.  We can’t be there ourselves.  We have mouths to feed, bills to pay, bosses to satisfy, and spouses too mollify, and our duty is to pick who we think will do their best making these decisions in our absence…  Among leaders, we call it delegation. We delegate these decisions to someone else, and trust they make the correct and right ones.

If you read through Chris’s statement, the emotion jumps off the page that it wasn’t an easy decision for him.  None of us who throw invective bombs his way, ever sat down with the family of a fallen police officer and ask how they feel.   Therefore we only know half of the equation; and to be straight up, that half is the left-brained, logical side of the equation.  Respectfully, the lawyer who represents a client should not be pasted as being aligned to that client, because that, is what lawyers do…. Neither should a plumber be blamed because he once fixed Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet…  Same thing;  logically speaking;  it’s work, that’s all…

But tell me truthfully… did you just cringe when I mentioned fixing Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet?  If you were in a bar, and this great guy next to you suddenly spilled that story that he once went to that house, of that man, and took money from him,  speaking strictly for me, I would immediately begin looking for another conversationalist… I’m just being honest.  I don’t know why, it is completely illogical…. But there is just that stigma…. that kind that causes a shudder from the very inside of the heart, outward…

Again.  no offense to anyone in bringing up this description.  We all can agree it is just a example of human nature.  But it is a very “BIG” part of human nature….

Which means it plays into the equation because all of our transactions are human…   Those of us taking Coons to task probably did not look very deeply at the ramifications of having someone like that on the bench.  Would there be more jailhouse deaths of inmates, because cops felt the defendant would be let off and knew he was guilty?  Would there be less arrests because cops knew their charges would get pardoned anyway?  To be honest, probably not, but since those thoughts just ran through my mind I’m sure there are other out there affected similarly….

But what this huge controversy does manifest, no matter which side you happen to be on, is that this decision was tainted.  Either way, there is going to be this  stigma, one way or the other, to one party or the other, always attached to this appointment….

With every decision this judge would make, forever into the future, … that stigma would  get called into account.   Either one side or the other would be outraged with every decision being made, by a far greater degree than if those same exact decisions had been made by someone we’d never even heard of before….

And that is where leadership comes into play… Whereas weaker minds would pick and choose sides, debate back and forth whether the one side or the other should win out in the end,  the real leader looks at the big picture, charts the path forward over years and decades,  and says “what would make all this go away, and get ourselves returned back to business as  normal in the shortest possible time frame?”

When that becomes the parameter, the correct answer almost smacks you in the face; it is so clearly obvious what must be done….

Call it Chris’s Lawrence of Arabia moment;  when you see the big picture and know what it is you must do. There are bigger, more important battles that need fought.  Allowing a tempest in a teapot to derail the future of the entire nation is in no one’s best interest.  Someone else, who will do just as great of job sitting on that bench can be found….  By then, many new crises will be upon us, and we’ll all be fortunate we are not reliving this distraction, over, and over, and over….

We made it go away… Whether it was this guy, or another, or a woman who sat on that bench, would not make any probable difference to your life, or mine. There are a lot of people out there who think the way this ex-lawyer does, who have the same depth of feeling towards civil rights, and I’m sure another one can be found rather quickly..  To let that distract from imposing higher taxes on the wealthy, from standing up to brutality in sub-Saharan Africa, from protecting Social Security,  from fighting the corporate influence that is slowly choking off everything good we used to love about America, would be in error…  And we’d be willing to throw all that away for what?  Just for a puny public show to prove how tough we are that we can stand up to the Fraternal Order of Police and not back down?

There may be another time to do so.  For example to preserve our Miranda rights.  To protect habeas corpus would be another one.  To keep the 5th Amendment intact would be a third… Those are all worth losing political capital over.  Each of those make decisions that really matter, to not only ourselves, but future Americans down through the years as far as our eyes can see.

You aren’t standing in his shoes.  He is.  It is called “doing your job” and it is why we elected him; to sometimes even save us from ourselves when  necessary…

Oh, well, you can think what ever you want about him, do whatever you want;  it’s your right, I won’t say any more; there other far more pressing things needing my attention… But just remember this;  that if you were in his shoes, at that time, making that decision, would you simply fall back on your prejudices and pap philosophies, perhaps your political nature that automatically always chooses one side over the other?  Or… would you too, look at both sides, and figure out by yourself what America really needs at this point,  then do something constructive to move us in that direction?

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A federal judge in Washington, D.C. today declared that the NSA’s mass phone records surveillance is likely unconstitutional, ruling that the plaintiff’s data should be purged from the system and prohibiting the NSA from collecting further phone records from the plaintiffs.

 “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,”

The order was stayed pending appeal, but if the appeal does not overturn his decision, the injunction will go in effect at that time.

As is expressed by those NSA officials, including General Alexander, it’s head, a reading of the decision does indeed show the acquisition of every American’s personal data, was not accomplished by standing on any legal ground…

The excuses offered by the US Government, are extremely flimsy….

The judge noted:  the NSA’s data base has never truly served the purpose of rapidly identifying terrorists in a time sensitve investigation.

The Fourth Amendment is violated with every sweep…. .

What's The Filibuster Frequency, Kenneth?

A visual reminder for our friends on the other side, exactly why this privilege is being lifted. To the uninitiated, a filibuster is defined as “the stoppage of the accomplishment of something”. If you’ve wondered why Congress is doing nothing, this chart clearly explains why. This afternoon, listen to Rick Jensen cry great big crocodile tears (boo,hoo,hoo) from 1:00 to 3:00 this afternoon (11/21/13) on WDEL. Then if you’re listening Kenneth, stay tune to that frequency of 1150am….. for beer.

Filibuster for Appointees

Items needed.

2012 Tax Form 990 (filed)
October 15 Quarterly Report To Federal Election Commission
January 31 Year-End Report To Federal Election Commission.

Now compare….

If you do the above on Grover Norquist’s group for Americans For Tax Reform, or ATR…. you will find that Grover’s group reported ATR reported spending $15,794,582 on political ads to the FEC… but told the IRS it spent only $9,791,515 on its 2012 campaign activity, a disparity of $6,003,067…..

ATR spent a total of almost $30.9 million in 2012, meaning more than half of the spending it reported to the FEC for the year was on politics, a clear violation of its tax-exempt status.

Companies in violation, must pay taxes on their income. It’s the law.

Now find your own company to bust… I’m sure you have one, or two, or three….

The document in question was an 86-page opinion the FISA court had issued on October 3, 2011.

In it the FISA court states that the action requested by the NSA was unconstitutional. The FISA court was of the opinion this information needed to be disseminated to the public.

The Justice Department was due to file a court motion in June in its effort to keep secret an 86-page court opinion that determined that the government had violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.

So in a nutshell, we have the NSA committing an unconstitutional action.  We have the secret Federal court which incidentally only hears the NSA’s side of the argument, decide such action was NOT under the scope of the law, and was actually unconstitutional.  The court felt the public should know about this Constitutional violation, apparently because even they were shocked at its danger for democracy.

The Justice Department then filed suit to block the dissemination of knowledge to the American people, that the secret FISA court had determined that the NSA was going over and beyond its powers invested by the Fourth Amendment, and that it is therefore acting unconstitutionally.

So when our government does something unconstitutional and covers it up… what do we do?

Ironically, in East Germany, we have more privacy rights today than in the United States of America.

Where did we go wrong?  It’s all Patrick Leahy’s fault.  He got soft after standing up to the Joker in The Dark Knight and so now he isn’t standing up for Americans. Guess he figured he’s done his share.

I’m really sick today.. You see, when I was growing up, I was a history buff. I read childhood biographies of famous people, usually with the book behind the textbook while the teachers droned on and on, but once as a tyke, who upon seeing the obligatory National Park Film in the Williamsburg Visitors Center, after Patrick Henry sat down, I swore, I would always fight to protect the Constitution…. At that moment, even little as I was, I think I understood that I was temporary… But the Constitution like God, needed to be around forever…

With childish enthusiasm I imagined myself at times on the bridges of Lexington and Concord, roaming the swamps of South Carolina, and firing my muskets at King’s Mountain, and most importantly, crossing that line in the dirt on December 31, 1776 when no one else wanted to, to enlist till the end of the war.. . When it made the real difference, I said, I would step up at my own peril..

Today, I feel as George Washington must have, perched upon his horse on the New Jersey banks of the Hudson, watching the British inhabit New York and knowing there was nothing he or anyone else could do about it… Overmatched, the cause of freedom had taken a body slam.

Perhaps it is more like going back 2000 some years though. And being full of great optimism and hope for a burgeoning empire, a group of city states destined to prosper and rise, one whose morals would be impeccable, and suddenly without warning, ones best friend pulls out a knife and shoves it into your flesh and others pull out theirs, opening wounds where they can.

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution states that …. oh damn, here it is in it’s entirety.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Granted there have been times, particularly at war, when protecting Americans meant going against the grain of this… If someone is about to shoot you, I mean, it certainly would help if you know about it first…..

The problem with too much accumulation of information, is that once you have it, it can be used. Assurances along the lines of “I’ll never do that”… always down the line get replace with platitudes of…. ” I did it because I could…” or… ” I needed to.”

So having every thing you’ve ever done electronically in a file instantly accessed by simply typing in your name, can be a bit disconcerting… It’s a catch 22. If you have not a single demerit because you lead such a bland life, you get castigated for being a wallflower and uninteresting. On the other hand, if you take risks to live life fully, you get castigated for the errors you made… Either way, those with the power will use it to castigate you for something…. And though disguised as their trying to put you in your place, it is really their effective attempt to prove to others they wield power…

Today’s Senate voted overwhelmingly to continue the FISA Admendments Act. Like ACTA or CISPA or any other internet freedom restricting acts, had opposition been organized, it may have demanded another outcome. But today’s bill arose out of nowhere, and leadership demanded it pass, and pass it did….

Numb today, I understand the implications. It is like we chose to keep Japanese interned in concentration camps after the war was over. It is that bad.. If we are doing it for the Japanese, eventually someone argues, why not anyone else? And really, how else can one answer such an argument except to expand the offense to a greater scale?

I didn’t find about the attempted coup until waking up 3 am today. I did see outrage that Zuckerman’s picture was Twittered off a private feed! The silence over government taking our freedom, and the outrage over the release of privacy, is a stunning comparison. It begs the question: what is wrong with all of us? Shouldn’t the outrage be the other way around?

For the first time that I can find, we as a nation, have chosen to continue a war-powers act, on into peace-time. 9/11 is gone. Bin Laden is dead. We’ve preditor’d out Al Qaieda’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, in command. We are out of Iraq. We will soon be out of Afghanistan. We are not in a war for our nation’s survival. So why does the government need access into every American’s email, facebook account, twitter, photo’s? Why does the FBI need to show up at your facebook friends home, with a letter stating that you are under surveillance and then asking questions of their relationship with you, then forcing their silence by telling them that they can be prosecuted themselves if they even reveal to you that they’d had contact with government officials? Gee, did you ever had a friend get weird on you suddenly, like for no reason?

Should our government be allowed to do that?

According to the text of the Fourth Amendment listed above…. Absolutely Not.

And it was over before the child in me could even get his powder cartridge out of his gunnysack…

Reading a recent critique of the debates, it focused on a fact. Millions of Americans are not enjoying the benefits of this economy. Romney had the lucky position to point out all that was wrong, without the responsibility of finding any solution to fix it.

His line, “bring down the rates, broaden the base.” simply has not worked. It didn’t work in Reagan’s time. It didn’t work for Bush HW. It didn’t work for Bush W. It is called: “trickle down”.

Clinton, who practiced kavipsian Economics, raised the rates, causing profits to revert back into the economy stimulating even more growth; that growth grew people’s incomes. That is the key. People will take lower wages if they know they will grow out of them. But ever since Republican Tax Rates went into effect, wage growth immediately stopped. 99% of Americans are earning exactly what they did in 2000. It’s been twelve years since wages for the 99%, increased. Higher taxes takes away all incentive for any employer to pay his people more.

Here is the funny part. To actually do something about the economy, President Obama has to eradicate the Republicans. Get rid of them. Make them a non player. Republicans and republicans alone, are the reason the economy is in such a slump.

Let’s review.

Republicans fought the stimulus.
Republicans fought the car buying incentive.
Republicans fought infrastructure development.
Republicans fought giving Veterans jobs upon returning to USA after fighting for years.
Republicans fought lowering insurance rates.
Republicans fought lowering gas price legislation.
Republicans fought regulating big banks from literally stealing your money.
Republicans fought against balancing the budget.
Republicans fought against payroll increases for all Americans.
Republicans fought against lowering medical costs.
Republicans fought against a better economy.
Republicans fought against hiring more policemen.
Republicans fought against hiring more fireman.
Republicans fought against hiring more school teachers.
Republicans fought against building roads and bridges that were sorely needed.
Republicans fought against not defaulting on the US Dollar.
Republicans fought against strengthening America Abroad.
Republicans fought against stopping corporate corruption.
Republicans fought against fighting wealthy tax cheats.
Republicans fought against closing the loopholes Romney used to get rich.
Republicans fought against raising wages for all Americans.
Republicans fought against legislation that allowed workers to ask for more money without being fired.

yeah. There is a reason the economy is bad. It is called the Republican Party.

Having “No Republicans” equals massive investment back into our economy. The formula for a successful America is…..

NO REPUBLICANS EVER ELECTED AGAIN = MASSIVE AMERICA ECONOMIC GROWTH

So Obama, you are at fault according to Mitt Romney and the Conservative Cheer-leading squad… Because you didn’t get rid of Republicans… Shame on you!!!!

I guess it is up to us, to do so if we EVER want our economy back.

If not… I guess every vote for a Republican is a vote in support of Communist China…..

On the green at Lexington, April 19th, 1775, two sides stood forth, eye to eye, musket to musket…. the tension, the silence, neither side wanting to be the one to strike first…..

Then, a shot was fired… and after all the muskets had discharged, each side blamed the other….. 8 Americans dead; one British wounded….

In their glee, after being mustered into General Assembly, their commanding officer allowed them to fire a victory shot….

It was premature…

By the time those troops had returned to Boston, 19 officers and 250 of Britain’s finest, would never experience another fine spring day….

TODAY, MEGAUPLOAD WAS TAKEN OUT….. To show the Entertainment Industry that politicians who were in their pocket, would not waver, the orders were unsealed … and FBI arrested 4 people, and shut down the server in Virginia….

The New York Times quoted FBI sources that this was the 13th largest entity on the Internet up to the moment it was shut down.

This was not a domain move. This was taken out; shut down. The IP addresses do not work.

Curious, with enough outrage, this could elevate Ron Paul’s candidacy. He is the only candidate today, protecting the Internet. He seems to be the only one who understands that the loss of liberty, is taken in tiny steps. The gassing of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, was the culmination of a long chain of freak events, any of which a vigilant society COULD HAVE STOPPED…..

This could stop Obama in his tracks. This is the equivalent of taxing tea. Everyone uses the Internet.

Everyone has benefited from MegaUpload.

The shot has been fired. Time to line up on either side.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……