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Member since: Wed Jan 9, 2008, 11:31 AM
Number of posts: 10,393

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K&R!!! +1,000,000,000!!! This is what I have been talking about for the last 3 years!

I would add one thing to the emphasis on local change, I believe we build our consensus locally, but we join to fight nationally. We focus on one small, but all important area for the fight for all the marbles. We attack the root of the problem where corporations gain their control over our government. That is their ability to legally buy our politicians and judges. As Bernie Sanders says, it is the number one issue, and I believe it has to be to the exclusion of all other issues, Publicly Funded Elections! Outlaw campaign contributions! That is it. If we could get a very large and committed movement going, we would attract politicians who would see that their prospects of getting and staying in office would be better if they joined and helped lead the masses in this effort. Local work, by itself will not work. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce already plows large amounts of money down to the local levels.
Other than backing Bernie, I don't know how to motivate and organize people to do this. I have tried here at DU and even here among Progressives few believe or were committed enough to join this fight. They would rather come here and bitch about the symptoms created by the corruption than get off of their asses and do something.
Plus, there is a very large number that say we "must back Hillary or Republicans will get the White House." They are afraid to risk it for the kind of dramatic change that is imperative. Many fool themselves, like I did with Obama, that he was going to be this transformational President. Hillary is part of the big money class, they have been her friends for years. She will sell us out much like Obama has. This article does an excellent job of explaining this, we keep doing what we have always done, we will get what we always got! I for one will not play that game anymore! Sure if Bernie runs as a Democrat and loses to Hillary, I will vote for her before a Republican. If he runs as an Independant I will vote for him all the way! He is the only national figure that gets it and that makes him someone to rally around. It will take millions of committed people and there will be violence directed at us from all sides, but this, in my view is the fight for our very survival! Climate Change will not be addressed in any meaningful way unless we do this and win. If you care about your pet issue, jobs, environment, inequality, NSA... you must put them aside and join this fight. If we win we can then fix these other issues, otherwise we all lose!

Tomorrow, around the country, is the annual "Buddy Walk" to benefit kids with Downs Syndrome!

Google National Downs Syndrome Society and see a list of cities where the walk will be held, or go online and donate if you can't walk!
These children and grown ups are special as they are without guile. While they are not always happy, they usually are the sweetest examples of the good in human nature! My grandson Logan is one such 4 year old. He is called "The Mayor" at his school because he always greets everyone with a wave and a 1,000 watt smile!
My daughter brought the walk to our community and had over 3,000 show up the first year. They won an award for fastest start up of a Buddy Walk and were flown to NY and to D.C. (Proud Papa)!

If you can't donate, just show up and walk. They have plenty of things for the kids and you can't help but leave with a smile on your face! Thanks to everyone who can help!

I worked for many years on we lawyers called the "Dust Docket," which was usually made up

of elderly men who worked with and around asbestos. This was how I picked my screen name. Many were in the Navy in WW II and Korea, a few from Vietnam. The diseases take 20-40 years to appear which is why they were older. I have heard some of the most amazing, terrifying, heroic, and sad tales of war, all told under oath, recorded by a Court Reporter, all in great detail. To be honest, most did not want to talk about it, one almost quit his case when I told him they would be asking about his time in the service. He later told a story so filled with bravery and pain it was almost unbelievable. He survived a land mine explosion, being bayoneted in the gut, and being shot with a 50 caliber in the arm. He for his troubles he received a Silver Star and a handful of Purple Hearts.
Battle of the Bulge, Omaha Beach, Iwo Jima, Battan Death March, Pearl Harbor..., were brought to life even though they were mainly about death. The names from history books now mean something real to me. These personal stories now gather dust in mini-storage buildings, warehouses, and office buildings, the men who testified to what happened in WW II are all dead.
The horror of war I witnessed through their eyes was enough that now when I see Dick Cheney, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham spouting off about attacking this country or that, with obviously no thought or concern to the actual human cost, the ruined lives, the fatherless children, the young widows and widowers, and the parents who have to bury their child, I just want to puke!
This brings us to now, to the last insult. After starting two wars for oil, (it was always about the damn oil), they cut VA budgets and blame Obama for the VA's problems! If we had a real, functional media and actual journalism, Cheney would be turned over for war crimes, McCain and Graham would never be re-elected in a million years, and soldiers would never, ever vote Republican again!

R.I.P. The Best of the Best!

Proof that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce cares only for Big Business, not Main Street!

Gulf Coast chambers of commerce told the U.S. Supreme Court this week that their mothership, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, does not represent them in its support of BP PLC's challenge to the class action settlement stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In an unusual public display of disagreement with the national chamber, the local affiliates, said:
"The Chamber did not seek the input nor approval of the amici affiliates, nor to our knowledge any Gulf Coast area affiliate, prior to filing its amicus brief in support of petitioner’s petition for a writ of certiorari."
The U.S. Chamber, represented by Catherine Stetson of Hogan Lovells, filed an amicus brief in BP Exploration & Production v. Lake Eugenie Land & Development. Joining in its brief were the American Tort Reform Association, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber supports BP's argument that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit erred when it upheld certification of a class that included members who had not suffered any injuries related to the spill. The company, represented by Theodore Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, contends that the certification violated Rule 23 of the federal rules of civil procedure and the Constitution.
The Fifth Circuit decision, it adds, also conflicts with rulings by the Seventh, Eighth and D.C. Circuits.
In filing their amicus brief disputing the U.S. Chamber's views and representation, the local chambers "realized more clearly than most that the national organization does not in this instance and perhaps in other instances speak for them," said Thomas Young of Tampa, their counsel. "It's more than policy or political. It's a matter of great personal importance to the organizations and their members. They felt they had to say something at this stage."
The local chambers on the brief represent more than 7,000 businesses and 200,000 employees, Young said. As a group, they are fairly widely distributed, he added, representing Mobile and Pensacola in the northern Gulf; from Tampa towards Fort Meyers in southwestern Florida; and New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana.
"I had heard from several of the amici that they had reached out on their own to the national chamber through various avenues and were met with either silence or lip service," he said. "These are business people and they operate on a handshake, and when an agreement is reduced to paper and a contract, to them it's sacrosanct. It struck these several chambers and their thousands of members as odd to renege on a deal or an agreement that seems so clear cut."
A U.S. Chamber spokesman said in a written statement:
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides a national voice on behalf of businesses of every size in every sector on policy and legal issues affecting our country's economy, and that's the case here. From time to time local groups will take a different position on a particular issue and we respect their right to do so."
However, in their amicus brief, the local chambers suggest the national Chamber's interests are much narrower than it would have the high court believe.
Citing research by Public Citizen, the group told the high court that "only 1,500 entities (significantly less than 3 million) provided 94 percent of [the Chamber's] contributions in 2012. More than half of its contributions came from just 64 donors. So the bulk of the Chamber's funding appears to come from large, well-funded corporate concerns, not the 'mom-and-pop shops' the Chamber claims and certainly not these amici affiliates."
The U.S. Chamber spokesman said: "Some members of the plaintiffs' bar have seized on the settlement agreement as an opportunity to seek a windfall for persons who cannot show any injury caused by the spill. The Chamber's brief explains that this type of opportunism is inconsistent with the agreement's provisions and the settling parties' expectations."
However, the local chambers argue in their brief that—contrary to the national chamber's brief—BP designed the compensation system; lobbied for district court approval; attested to its adequacy and fairness under oath; and initially defended it before the Fifth Circuit.
By reinforcing BP's version of the facts, the local group said, the national chamber "serves the express interests of a foreign corporation at the expense of a very large number of its affiliates and individual business members."
Young, assisted on the brief by Jean Champagne of the Landson Response Group, an environmental and catastrophic-claims firm, said the local chambers have learned a harsh lesson: "The smaller local chambers are Main Street and the U.S. Chamber is Wall Street. And, like everyone else in America, they're realizing that Wall Street is not on their side."

Read more: http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202672813833/Affiliates-Split-With-National-Chamber-on-BP-Settlement#ixzz3FergolH7

BP has manipulated this whole thing, and the icing on the cake is that they have the Chamber selling out the victims on the Gulf to a foreign corporation! The same Chamber that has secretly started and currently owns several Courthouse and online newspapers designed to brainwash bored jurors about to be picked for jury duty. Check out the Louisiana Record; Southeast Texas Record and West Virginia Record for starters. They are lower than the belly of a snake!
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