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Member since: Wed Jan 9, 2008, 11:31 AM
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There was also a time when we would have picked our asses off of the couch and protested and

made things change, now not so sure. For me, I am fed up and doing something about it!

September 13th - November 4th (Election Day) let's get out and fight to get the money completely out of our electoral system! I propose fighting for Publicly Funded Federal, State, and Local Elections!

Our former Representatives now only Represent their Big Donors, not us! They manipulate us and the MSM is complicit because it too is owned by the same Interests as the politicians. This is reality, not what the leading candidates of either party say they are doing for us, that is the fairy tale. They don't get the Big Money, they don't get elected and re-elected unless they do what the Big Donors want, PERIOD, I don't understand why so many have difficulty understanding this. I guess they choose to ignore it because reality is so bad. Only candidates with national identities like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who get lots of small donations have the freedom to represent us, the 99%! That is why we have so few Democrats and no Republicans who will fight for us!

Join me in spreading the word and organizing this mass demonstration! It is the fight of our time! It is the fight to do something to stop Climate Change, to get equal rights for women, LGBTV rights, Education, infrastructure, jobs, minimum wage, busting up the oligarchs like the media and Wall Street with truth required in the news.... all rolled into one because it is the Root Cause of why these things, which have a majority of Americans supporting them, still don't get done!

Brought tears to my eyes because Humming birds always remind me of my dad.

He had congestive heart failure for years and used to sit on the porch of my parents country home an hour North of Houston and watch them at his multiple feeders.

He was really bummed when he was too sick to go to the public library. We were sitting on the porch one day watching about 200 Humming birds filling up in preparation of crossing the Gulf of Mexico when he stated that he wished he knew whether to keep the feeders out for the old and sick birds who couldn't make the journey, or would it cause healthy birds to stay around the food source and not migrate, possibly freezing to death in the Winter. I walked inside and got on his computer and came back out about 20 minutes later. I answered his question and told him he could leave them out because the healthy birds would still go, but he would have to keep fresh food out all winter as the other birds would have nothing else. Additionally, I registered him with the Texas Department of Wildlife as a volunteer to report the numbers of birds and different types of Humming birds he saw along with print outs of several articles about the birds.

He had always resisted learning how to use the computer and internets, but was surprised that I was able to get all of that info so fast. He said, "You got all of that from the computer that fast? He got up and said, "Come show me how to use that thing!" About a week later I start getting emails from him. Shortly after that he starts sending me jokes from a group that called themselves the "Loopers." They were old classmates from his college days in engineering school. One had been an engineer with NASA that designed the link up tube when the Americans and Soviets hook their crafts' together. Another, he said was the smartest man he ever met who was the great grandson of Henry Lucas who first discovered oil in Texas at Spindletop in 1901, (my dad was no slouch in the brain department himself)! That oil discovery founded what eventually became Mobil Oil and Texaco. He had the best time and was no longer bored. When he finally passed I received a call from a very proper, elegant sounding British woman who said that Mr. Lucas wanted to know if it was ok to make a donation in my father's name to the American Heart Association (I had sent an email to the Loopers telling them of my dad's passing and in leu of flowers they could make a donation to the Association instead). I replied "absolutely!, may I ask how much" knowing immediately who he was. She replied, "ONE-HUNDRED THOUSAND U.S."

Now I always by Lucas oil products and cheer every race team sponsored by Lucas Oil and always thank every Humming bird I see for giving my dad something he could do to be entertained while he was alone at home everyday until my mom returned home from work! Time to buy a new feeder!

Thanks Mira and best of luck!

Am I in the wrong place? Are We at DU not ready to do something about the Money in our Politics?

Is it that we are content to Bitch about the symptoms to the corruption that causes the Congress to represent their Donors and not us?

I sense a growing frustration and acknowledgment that the corruption has gone too far, but I see many more people willing to comment about Cliven Bundy posts than the few who comment that they agree that it is time to actually do something about the money in politics, which is the reason we have to fight tooth and nail to get to get even watered-down legislation on our issues, usually we get nothing but denied!

I am proposing we start planning to march/protest in cities and towns across America to get the money (campaign contributions) out of our elections and start actually protesting on Saturday, September 13th through the mid-term election. While I thank the few who wrote to support and agree with me, mainly what I got was, "That is the day of the ERA march on Washington." I would welcome ERA protesters into the mix because that is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Most Americans support ERA, but it hasn't passed in almost 4 DECADES because Big Business doesn't want to have to pay the same to women as men, give them their earned promotions... Besides, their march is planned for just D.C., to the best of my knowledge.

I am not experienced with this sort of thing, but I am fed up to the point that I want to do something about it, and I know here at DU there are a whole lot of caring, talented people, that can help pull this off. I am pretty sure it is in my approach and lack of technical skills to set up a website, FB page etc., that this hasn't received even a lukewarm response.

My thinking is that the time is right due to the fact that:

The campaign money will be flying all around in record amounts;
I have been seeing more and more stories and interviews on the subject (watch Bill Moyers (on his website www.Billmoyers.com) interview with Jim Hightower (former longtime Democratic politician in Texas, back when there used to be such a thing);
Most Democrats (not all) and all Republicans are owned and controlled by their donors, not "We the People";
Time is quickly running out on our environment, and despite growth in Solar and Wind power, it will be delayed until it is too late by the power of the oil and coal companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Wall Street; and lastly
Polling shows that 87% of Americans believe that they have no say in their government due to the corruption of the campaign donations!

I believe we that if we can focus on ONLY getting the money out of politics by demanding/building support for Publicly Funded National, State, and Local Elections, money is NOT speech, and corporations are NOT people, we can accomplish our goals. After that we should have Representatives responsive to our other issues that have been ignored such as ERA. I would like also to have them bust up the Big Banks on Wall Street and the media and cable oligarchies and make them donate the time for the political ads for a two month campaign season as part of their keeping their license to use the public airwaves. Stop the revolving doors between private enterprise and government regulatory agencies. But the first and only thing, until achieved, is getting the money out, cutting off the power that allows the corporations and 1% to hijack our government and judiciary!

I am not trying to be "Flame Bait," but neither am I afraid of it. Good people of DU, let's do this! Help me do it much better and help spread the word. I am committed and attending my county Democratic meeting on the 14th, meeting with local union leaders, and even holding my nose and going to a county Republican meeting to speak to them. I plan on telling them that they don't want George Soros, unions, or those ambulance chasing trial lawyers buying their politicians, lol!

9/13/2014 - 11/4/2014 We have time to plan and spread the word, then let's get out and do this. The politicians that raise the most money (outside of small donors) are the ones we can attack the most to prove our point! As Jim Hightower told Bill Moyers, "There will be blood!" He, Bill and I advocate peaceable demonstrations, but they will come with guns, billy clubs, and spray! Talk to cops you know between now and then to let them know what and why we are doing it. Let's not leave this just up to the young, get your asses in gear!

House Ethics Committee quietly deletes requirements for members to disclose who pays for trips!

The National Journal reports that the House ETHICS COMMITTEE changed a 30 year requirement that came about after the Watergate scandal that Congressional House Members disclose how much and who pays for their lavish trips abroad on their yearly financial disclosure forms.

The Ethics Committee did this without public announcement, behind closed doors! Ethics? Does someone need to read them the definition of ethics?

This is why we need to start our protests on September 13, in cities around the country to get the money out of politics and have Publicly Funded National/State/Local Elections. It is a Saturday and a good time to start beating this drum through the mid-terms. Let's make these candidates squirm as all of their money starts really flowing!



Too bad it doesn't work that way. I have been watching people and businesses struggling and

going under waiting for Justice in the BP a Deepwater case. They have to sit and watch the phony BP propaganda commercials everyday for over 4 years telling everyone everything is just GREAT down on the Gulf Coast! They now watch as BP claims to be a victim of the Agreement they drafted because a few phony claims get by with the system they set up. The media will not report that this ABUSIVE Agreement denies 10's of thousands of valid claims because they did not financially recover in 2011 to fit the arbitrary formula for recovery. They also fail to mention the $600,000,000 reasons they gave the Judge's friends that were appointed on the Plaintiff's Steering Committee if the Class Settlement goes through to completion. Now most of the claims are locked in the Class Settlement and approximately 75% are being denied. Oh and by the way, the few that were paid under the old formula, BP is coming after them for their money back! The victims that opted out of the Class Settlement have to wait until it is over before they are allowed to even BEGIN their litigation because..., well because of no particular reason given by the Judge at all.

It is not your fault that you didn't know what we go through to seek justice for our clients. The media always portray us as the bad guys, Ambulance Chasers and what not. I am not putting us all up for sainthood for sure, we have our fair share of greedy assholes, like the PSC in the Deepwater case. But there are hundreds of Erin Brockovich's and attorneys such as the ones you see in the movies like "Class Action." Do they want to make money, sure, but they also want to make a difference. Look up Barry Scheck and The Innocence Project for another example. Want to help, next time they come screaming for more tort reform tell them to shove it up their corporate ass! Thanks!

Years of legal work by dozens of lawyer and their staffs, reams of documents, depositions,

motions, hearings, phone calls, and meetings with thousands of clients, and hundreds of thousands of case expenses, all at risk if the government declined to settle and the trials were lost. Instead they were successful and got paid. It is not all profit, those employees have to get paid every pay day, insurance, copiers, IT...., you know, jobs. Should they not recover anything? Do you not want to have law firms available when this happens and the government, or a big company like BP come after YOU!

Big Plaintiffs firms are actually struggling to stay afloat now that Big Business has convinced everyone that we are the bad guys. Tort reform was passed everywhere limiting your rights and our ability to protect YOU! BP had 400 of the top of their class lawyers going against us in the BP Texas City explosion in March of 2005, we had 10. They dumped 7 million documents on us and we read 7 days a week, 16 hours a day and hired every available law clerk/students in the Houston area, but we did it. We found where they budgeted for their workers lives because they chose not to fix the most dangerous problems with their old, rust bucket plant. We found the document where they fraudulently filed a document with the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) stating they had installed a flare that would have prevented the accident. We discovered that they hired the TCEQ employee reviewing that fraudulent permit, then had him resubmit in violation of Federal law. They pled guilty to a felony and were on probation when they blew up the Deepwater Horizon. After the case was won we still testified in from of Congress and told them it would happen again, that BP still hadn't learned their lesson. We turned over the key documents to Eric Holder and requested probation be revoked after Deepwater, they were let off probation early instead.

Yea, they shouldn't get paid for all of the hard work, expense, risk. You don't need us. You probably think Stella Liebeck didn't deserve the $900,000 for almost dying and having her labia and clitoris so horribly burned by McDonald's extra hot coffee that allowed them to get twice as much coffee from the same amount of beans and keep it fresher longer. Especially since the Judge lowered the 2 million the jury came up with (one day of Mickey D's coffee sales world-wide) because he thought it was excessive. I mean really, even though they knew they were causing some 2nd and 3rd degree burns every once in awhile, it was making them lots of money. Damn trial lawyers, now Mickey D's has to sell coffee at the industry standard temperature! But i am sure you knew that and are ok with that! Socrates was right, kill all of the lawyers, you can do without us. Tell yourself that next time a cop roughs you up and arrests you for trying to stand up for your rights!

K&R!!!! Whitehouse Rocks!

The regulars at DU know me to constantly link the issues of the day that are posted here to getting the money out of our political system. By far that has been my primary focus. I am quick to respond to one other type of post, and that is climate change. In fact my urgency is fueled by my worry over climate change and the environment.

I am very encouraged on both fronts right now as there seems to be a fast growing awareness and willingness to push these issues by both politicians and the rest of us. I know that both of these movements still have a long way to go, but they are picking up speed!

If we could make a stand before this election in November to DEMAND that the money be taken out. Demand the Constitutional Amendment to get rid of Citizens United, money = speech, and require Publicly Funded Elections for Federal, State, and Local elections, we can make the serious moves necessary to save ourselves.

As Sheldon Whitehouse says, "The oceans don't lie." They are in very poor condition already and rapidly getting worse. If the phytoplankton in the oceans start to die we all suffocate. 2/3 of our oxygen comes from these organisms. We are messing with things we haven't begun to understand and will already pay a heavy price for our hubris.

Sheldon is also right when he talks about how the rest of the world views our country, even if they don't always like our politics. If we make the serious commitment to the environment, the rest of the countries (the ones not already way ahead of us on renewable energy) will follow our lead!

Whitehouse for the Whitehouse!!!

The Republicans may be in the minority, but as many have stated above they fight dirty.

We could effect the change now, but for the fact that the Republican backers control the MSM and encourage the voter apathy that keeps the majority of the people from making the effort to go to the polls.

We need to find a way to engage them as Obama's run in 08 did. If we could plan on protests and marches starting in September with the sole focus of getting the money out of our politics we could give them a single cause they can understand and get behind. OWS had so many different issues aside from Wall Street it was just too much for most people.

Let's take a page from the Republicans play book and turn the reason for the apathy into the reason to vote, ending the corruption! Republicans are famous for taking a strength, such as John Kerry's Vietnam service, and turning it against him. Well, the corruption has kept the Repugs in power and contributed the lions share of the apathy, let's make that the issue in this election. The more money they raise the more we can show that they are trying to buy votes.

Let's force the candidates to support the Constitutional Amendment process to overturn Citizens United, money is not speech, and add to that Publicly Funded Elections across the board, Federal, State, and Local! Let's make them support COMPLETE Campaign Finance Reform!

OWS did a lot of good, especially in changing the conversation to the rising inequality. Let us refine what they did by keeping this singular focus. If we can achieve these goals, Representative Democracy will return and we can start addressing the myriad other issues facing us such as climate change, education, gun control, infrastructure.... We must act now!

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says suing oil companies for damages caused by Fracking is "frivolous!"

Rejecting the advice of his own attorney general and dozens of legal scholars, Louisiana governor and potential presidential contender Bobby Jindal effectively blocked a New Orleans-area levee board from suing oil and gas companies for allegedly destroying the state’s coasts – and in so doing, may have also derailed state and local claims against BP for damages and tax revenue lost following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

BP Fined Record $4.5 Billion for Gulf Oil Spill 2

BP Fined Record $4.5 Billion for Gulf Oil Spill

“This bill will help stop frivolous lawsuits and create a more fair and predictable legal environment, and I am proud to sign it into law,” the Republican Jindal declared in a statement Friday. “It further improves Louisiana’s legal environment by reducing unnecessary claims that burden businesses so that we can bring even more jobs to our state.”

Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, was also quoted in the statement distributed by the governor’s office, hailing the measure as a “huge victory for the oil and gas industry.”


More and more they are taking our right to sue away under the guise of "frivolous lawsuits." You cannot sue generic drug manufacturers and now oil companies in La. Notice he doesn't say how this protects Louisiana's citizens. How is not allowing fracking suits when the oil companies ruin your water well a good thing for Louisiana? The thing is, if a lawsuit is "frivolous" the Judges throw the suit out and usually sanctions the attorney who brought it. We do not need absolute immunity going to oil companies, with said immunity applying in all instances, not just those deemed "frivolous."

It's past time for 60 Minutes to be up!

There are no more Mike Wallace tough interviews, or Ed Bradley's cool, but honest recitation of FACTS. They did not decide to go back to journalism school after the Lara Logan and Benghazi debacle which we are still learning was actually worse than 1st thought (Lindsey Graham as a source)! No, they did it again last Sunday with their piece about poor BP the victim. It was about as fair and balanced as Fox News. I wonder if they did it for new money, or just because since the Gulf oil spill BP has been one of the largest advertisers in the country, and by far the largest advertiser on the Gulf Coast (local media wouldn't dare print a victim's story negative to BP for fear of losing the ad money).
They gave account after account of fraudulent, or seemingly fraudulent claims. The focus was on BP paying claims that did not have to prove causation. It would have been real simple to attach a copy of the transcript from the "Fairness Hearing" where both sides asked the Court to approve the settlement. Judge Barbier specifically asked BP's attorneys on the record about the scenario where they would be paying claims where the losses could not be traced to the oil spill. BP said they were fine with it because to try to directly prove and/or disprove causation would cost more money. In reality, BP knew that under this deal they do not have to pay tens of thousands of truly deserving victims because they did not recover in 2011. Their accounting graph would not have the proper V shape. They have been able to deny businesses and individuals that everyone agrees suffered do to the spill for numerous technical and documentary issues. This is just another way for them to delay, deny, and defend until the victims give up.
The old 60 minutes would have asked Ken Feinberg some tough questions instead of just letting him tell of the most outrageous claims he remembers. I can see Mike Wallace asking Feinberg:

Mike: "Ken, we just showed a clip of you at one of hundreds of Town Hall meetings you held up and down the Gulf Coast in 2010, and 2011, where you told the assembled residents that you were 'Independent' and that they should not get an attorney because you were independent and fair, and that a lawyer would just cost you money." "First, is that true? Feinberg: "Yes...bullshit,bullshit, bullshit." Mike: "We have here an Order signed by the Judge in this case on February 2nd, 2011, where Judge Barbier stated, 'The clear record in this case demonstrates that any claim of the GCCF's (Gulf Coast Claim Facility which was supposedly formed to resolve claims) neutrality and independence is misleading to the putative class members and is a direct threat to this ongoing litigation, as claimants must sign a full release against all potential Defendants before obtaining final payments.' He goes on to state: '...in this case Mr. Feinberg has been quoted on a number of occasions as publicly advising potential claimants that they do not need to hire a lawyer and will be much better off accepting what he offers rather than going to court. A full disclosure of the relationship between Mr. Feinberg, the GCCF, and BP will at least make it transparent that it's BP's interests as the OPA (Oil Pollution Act) responsible party that are being promoted.' Mike: " Isn't it true Ken that you were not "independent" as you claimed, but as the Judge found, you were actually acting as BP's representative?"

They did not cover the fact that BP, out of the goodness of their little black heart, offered to pay the Plaintiff's Steering Committee (PSC) up to $600,000,000.00 in attorneys fees and expenses to the PSC members if they got the judge who appointed them to reset a trial that was about to start against BP, Halliburton, and Trans Ocean for another year, announce to the court that they have an agreement in principle to settle the case, freeze all settlements for 4 months, get rid of Ken Feinberg and his firm, and complete the Class Action Settlement. Now the PSC would agree to eat dog turds and screw all of the victims in the Class Settlement as long as it went all of the way through so they could get the $600,000,000.00 bribe, uh, I mean "Common Benefit Fund!"
60 Minutes did a great piece on the BP Texas City explosion case from 2005. They featured our client, Eva Rowe, who lost both her mom and dad in the blast. They had producers in our office for weeks pouring over documents and interviewing everyone so that they could get the facts straight. Ed Bradley had come out of retirement (he had cancer he did not tell anyone about) because of what happened to Ms. Rowe and how dirty BP was. He did a great job even though it was hard to be fair to BP since they would not cooperate with the story.
How far they have fallen now. Now it is all about being pro-corporation and anti-labor. In the meantime you will not see Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow doing follow up reporting on the coast. The MSM is not countering the propaganda BP has been desperately shoveling saying that they have paid all legitimate claims and all that is left are the fraudulent ones. We have over 6,000 clients who have not received an offer after 4 years. They opted out of the class settlement so they would not waive their right to trial against BP as all victims in the class action had to. We filed their lawsuits and there they sit collecting dust, not allowed by the judge to go forward until all claims in the class action have been resolved. What a joke! Meanwhile, the victims have to see BP's propaganda every time they turn on the TV, including this 60 Minutes broadcast.
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