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Why Did 94 House Democrats Change Their Votes on FISA? (A: Money)

The Moderate Voice
June 25, 2008

In March, the House passed an amendment that rejected retroactive immunity for telecoms that assisted the NSA in illegal wiretapping. Most of us have wondered what happened to change the minds of 94 Democrats. What happened between June 20 and March 14 to change 94 Democratic hearts and minds?

The answer might well be simple: money. Could it be that simple?

MAPLight.org has published a breakdown of contributions received from Telco PACS by the 94 Dems who experienced the change of heart. [Maplight.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Berkeley, California. Its search engine at MAPLight.org illuminates the connection between Money And Politics (MAP) via an unprecedented database of campaign contributions and legislative outcomes.’]

Full article…

Another good breakdown of corporate America’s contributions to the destruction of the 4th Amendment can be found at Blue Tidal Wave:

4th Ammendment Hit Squad
On Wednesday July 9, 2008 our U.S. Constitution, specifically the 4th amendment was officially torched by the U.S. government. The Democratic leadership in control of the 110th Congress lighted the definitive match to burn up every citizen’s civil liberties while a giddy unpopular President George Bush and his highly voter despised rubber stamp Republican caucus held the gas can in bravado glee. Full article…

AT&T Whistleblower: Spy Bill Creates ‘Infrastructure for a Police State’
By Ryan Singel

Mark Klein, the retired AT&T engineer who stepped forward with the technical documents at the heart of the anti-wiretapping case against AT&T, is furious at the Senate’s vote on Wednesday night to hold a vote on a bill intended to put an end to that lawsuit and more than 30 others.

(Says Klein):

[Wednesday]‘s vote by Congress effectively gives retroactive immunity to the telecom companies and endorses an all-powerful president. It’s a Congressional coup against the Constitution.

The Democratic leadership is touting the deal as a “compromise,” but in fact they have endorsed the infamous Nuremberg defense: “Just following orders.” The judge can only check their paperwork. This cynical deal is a Democratic exercise in deceit and cowardice.

Klein saw a network monitoring room being built in AT&T’s internet switching center that only NSA-approved techs had access to. He squirreled away documents and then presented them to the press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation after news of the government’s warrantless wiretapping program broke.

Wired.com independently acquired a copy of the documents (.pdf) — which were under court seal — and published the wiring documents in May 2006 so that they could be evaluated…

Klein continues:

Congress has made the FISA law a dead letter–such a law is useless if the president can break it with impunity. Thus the Democrats have surreptitiously repudiated the main reform of the post-Watergate era and adopted Nixon’s line: “When the president does it that means that it is not illegal.” This is the judicial logic of a dictatorship.

The surveillance system now approved by Congress provides the physical apparatus for the government to collect and store a huge database on virtually the entire population, available for data mining whenever the government wants to target its political opponents at any given moment—all in the hands of an unrestrained executive power. It is the infrastructure for a police state.

Read the full Wired.com article

Ron Paul: The FISA bill clearly violates the Fourth Amendment

The main reason I oppose this latest version (of the FISA bill) is that it still clearly violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by allowing the federal government to engage in the bulk collection of American citizens’ communications without a search warrant. That US citizens can have their private communication intercepted by the government without a search warrant is anti-American, deeply disturbing, and completely unacceptable.

In addition to gutting the fourth amendment, this measure will deprive Americans who have had their rights violated by telecommunication companies involved in the Administration’s illegal wiretapping program the right to seek redress in the courts for the wrongs committed against them. Worse, this measure provides for retroactive immunity, whereby individuals or organizations that broke the law as it existed are granted immunity for prior illegal actions once the law has been changed. Ex post facto laws have long been considered anathema in free societies under rule of law. Our Founding Fathers recognized this, including in Article I section 9 of the Constitution that No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. How is this FISA bill not a variation of ex post facto? That alone should give pause to supporters of this measure.

Gore Vidal: ‘The US is not a republic anymore’ Press TV, 6.28.08
“…Congress has never been more cowardly, nor more corrupt.”

Ron Paul on High Gas Prices and the Imminent Unconstitutional, Immoral, Preemptive War Against Iran

Read more about these issues:

Ron Paul on Inflation and the Federal Reserve

More on the Rising Oil Price/Inflated Dollar

Why the Oil Price is High

Ron Paul on Inflation and the Federal Reserve 6.25.08

Once again Ron is right. The whole thing really is not that hard to figure out if you are willing to look for the truth and admit it when you find it.

Salt Lake Mayor Debates Fox News

With the exception of clips like this, more than a few minutes of the Faux News makes me ill so I never watch it. (I am opposed to torture… ) On top of the nauseating propaganda spewed by arrogant/ignorant hosts what’s up with their color scheme?

Anyway, you gotta love the honesty and courage of Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson as he is questioned by the Fox thugs about his opposition to the war and to Bush in general:

Operation St. Paul

From the website for Operation St. Paul:

Pledge to contribute on July 15th!

The GOP convention takes place in St. Paul, Minnesota this year on September 1st through the 4th. Tens of thousands of Republicans will be there clamoring (or doing their best to pretend they are) for McCain, all in one place. The folks at The American Liberty Coalition recognized this event holds a unique opportunity for our movement and has decided to take action. The makers of “The High Tide” promo video now bring us “Operation St. Paul”. The mission: cover the city with a blend of outdoor advertisements in support of Ron Paul’s new book “The Revolution: A Manifesto”. Imagine billboard ads, bus ads, bus stop ads and more. Everywhere you turn the republicans will be haunted by penetrating quotes from the book coupled with it’s image. Simple, powerful, everywhere.. The message: we’re not going away.

Why Oil and Gas Prices Are High

The price of gas is a touchy subject these days and everyone has their own theories about it. There is one perspective we aren’t hearing very much about:

World supply and demand is a factor in gas prices, but the U.S. consumption of fuel (which is roughly 25% of world consumption or more) has dropped by millions of gallons since last year and yet prices continued to rise significantly. Some people are trying to lay the blame directly on environmentalists or “big oil” for high gas prices. While these are possible factors (especially the latter) other key factors in high gas prices are the weak dollar/inflation (aka the Federal Reserve), the current wars we are in, and the likelihood of the U.S. starting more wars in the near future. The wars cost our country over 400 million dollars a day. To cover the massive war spending costs money is printed out of thin air by the Fed. This increases the money supply and devalues the dollar, causing inflation. Next time you are filling up your tank remember you are also paying the War Inflation Tax.

One other point: I’ve heard various news outlets (actually Fox is the one I know of for sure) say things like “high gas and food prices are causing inflation”. Silly Fox, inflation is when an increased volume of money results in the loss of the value of that money. Inflation causes high gas and food prices, not the other way around — get it right!

OPEC: Dollar Decline Could Lead To $170 Oil
06-28-2008
Bloomberg

June 28 (Bloomberg) — OPEC President Chakib Khelil predicted that the price of oil will climb to $170 a barrel before the end of the year, citing the dollar’s decline and political conflicts…

Political pressure on Iran and the depreciation of the U.S. currency have caused a surge in oil prices, Khelil said. New York- traded crude has more than doubled in a year and touched a record $142.99 a barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

OPEC ministers generally say that oil output is sufficient, even as Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer, pledged to pump an extra 200,000 barrels a day next month to calm the market. “The market is completely supplied,” Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said yesterday. Libya announced possible production cuts, calling the market oversupplied.

The rising cost of crude is not linked to supply, Khelil said today. “There is more than enough oil in the market to meet the international demand,” added the OPEC president…

Declining Dollar

“The decisions made by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank helped the devaluation of the dollar, which pushed up oil prices,” Khelil said.

Oil may extend gains if the ECB boosts rates on July 3, further weakening the U.S. currency. The dollar has declined 15 percent against the euro in 12 months.

GASOLINE IS NOT GOING UP!

By Paul Proctor

May 17, 2006

NewsWithViews.com

For the first time in my life, I put $70 worth of gas in my car. It wasn’t premium and my tank wasn’t empty. Many around the country are experiencing the same kind of shock at the pump and really don’t know why. As a result, everything else we purchase and/or consume on a daily basis is rising accordingly because it is made and moved with oil – the lifeblood of today’s economy. Consequently, whenever the cost of doing business increases, for whatever reason, a chain reaction begins and spreads across the financial world like an economic tsunami, leaving the consumer to suffer in its wake.

Economists call it “inflation” while the government calls $75 a barrel oil a “shortage,” blaming higher prices on terrorism, the war effort, “peak oil,” not enough new drilling and not enough new refineries to turn it all into gasoline.

Some say that skyrocketing fuel prices are simply the work of greedy oil company executives, while others claim it is OPEC’s greed. Still others tell us it is all those environmental regulations that liberals imposed on refineries over the last several decades that ran up the cost of producing gasoline and discouraged the building of new and more eco-friendly refineries to meet the growing global demand.

Then there are those who say it is largely because of the high taxes we pay at the pump that petrol has become so expensive, while politicians declare that the perfect response to it all is to raise taxes on oil companies, as if they wouldn’t in turn pass that increase on to the rest of us. Some answer, huh?

Society’s problems don’t worry me near as much as government solutions.

What almost no one in Washington and the American media will admit, (and I don’t believe for a minute that they aren’t privy to it) is the dirty little secret behind $3 a gallon gasoline, which is nearing or above $4 in some areas of the country. That is to say, they refuse to address the REAL REASON for our so-called “inflation.”

Although many of the aforementioned theories given, play, in varying degrees, a role in those “rising prices,” they are not at all the cause, but only the effect; and as many of us already know, treating symptoms does not constitute a cure.

The dirty little secret is this: Gasoline is not going up. It is the dollar you buy it with that is going down; and it has been going down in value for a very long time because it is just government issued paper with numbers printed on it and nothing physical in storage anywhere to back it up. What’s more, the dollar is now going down faster than ever.

Continue reading

Ron Paul’s New Website!

The Ron Paul Revolution is continuing in an exciting way! Just announced today in conjunction with the official end to Dr. Paul’s presidential campaign is “Ron Paul’s Campaign For Liberty” at www.campaignforliberty.com.

Go to the new website and sign up to join the Campaign for Liberty! The goal is to have at least 100,000 members by September 2, 2008 (the day of Dr. Paul’s rally in Minneapolis).

According to Dr. Paul:

The work of the Campaign for Liberty will take many forms. We will educate our fellow Americans in freedom, sound money, non-interventionism, and free markets. We’ll have our own commentaries and videos on the news of the day. I’ll work with friends I respect to design materials for homeschoolers.

Politically, we’ll expand the great work of our precinct leader program. We’ll make our presence felt at every level of government, where just a few people with our level of enthusiasm can make a world of difference. We’ll keep an eye on Congress and lobby against legislation that threatens us. We’ll identify and support political candidates who champion our great ideas against the empty suits the party establishments offer the public.

We will be a permanent presence on the American political landscape. That I promise you. We’re not about to let all this good work die. To the contrary, with your help we’re going to make it grow – by leaps and bounds.

This is the most ambitious venture of my political career, and I think it can achieve great things. But I can’t do this alone. I need you to help me. I need your energy, your creativity, your ideas, and your dedication.

People frustrated with our political system often wonder what they can do. I have founded this organization to answer that question, to give people the opportunity to do something that really makes a difference in the fight for freedom. Please join me by becoming a member of the Campaign for Liberty. Our goal is 100,000 members by September. Can we reach it?

Our campaign netted 1.1 million votes in the primaries of a shrinking Republican Party. Millions more support us. I need you to help me reach them – and to keep making new converts to the cause. What a force we can be, if only we rise to the occasion.

Lew Rockwell posted this on his blog earlier today:

The Ron Paul Presidential Campaign Is Over

But The Revolution Continues

Tonight, at a rally adjacent to the Texas state Republican convention in Houston, Ron will thank all his donors and volunteers, and announce that he is closing down his presidential campaign, and is no longer a candidate for president.

But Ron will still hold his grand rally in Minneapolis on September 2–where he will NOT endorse McCain–and continue his efforts to change the Republican party. He will also, more importantly, step up his educational work for Americans in all walks of life, and all ages from home schoolers to seniors, in the principles of freedom, peace, sound money, Austrian economics, and the free market. Ron’s special targets, as always, will be the warfare state, the Federal Reserve, and the income tax.

Ron will continue to speak on college campuses. And with his own TV studios in Arlington, VA, and Clute, TX, he will also be a frequent commentator on YouTube and many other venues about the outrages of the central government, and what to do about them. His book, The Revolution: A Manifesto, remains on the bestseller list, and he is already working on his next one.

The successor organization to Ron’s presidential campaign and its remaining $4.7 million is his Campaign for Liberty.

UPDATE from ABC.

Posted by Lew Rockwell at June 12, 2008 01:41 PM


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