Jt6gR3hM said: "So I guess you are alright with our votes being made public . . . If not then why should those same people be allowed to know who I spent my money on as long as I don’t violate “reasonable” election laws."
Your argument that votes and campaign contributions are equivalent doesn’t fly for a variety of reasons. For starters, every adult citizen in America is entitled to one vote. Each citizen has equal power. In other words, one citizen’s vote doesn’t have any more influence than another citizen’s vote. Clearly, the same can’t be said when it comes to campaign contributions.
Fairmon says: “Alprove and mountainlaurel think dems are good and pubs are bad regardless of how crazy or good their initiative may be. If Obama suddenly concluded we needed to invade and bomb Syria they would probably eventually conclude it was a stroke of genius.”
My goodness. . . You're being a bit harsh here, Fairmon. . . But I guess this is your way of saying that you don’t like what I had to say earlier about the Republican and Tea Party’s double standard when it comes to the U.S. election process. . . Oh well. . . It’s the truth.
The Republicans and their Tea Party folks have ranted and raved about voter fraud and an alleged need to set up all of these special Voter ID laws, but when it comes to campaign contribution ID laws they’re more than willing to make it easy for any foreigner or foreign corporation to shovel money into the U.S. election process.
Jt6gR3hM said: "Why are you so specific in your critique of tax exempt groups involving themselves in political activity that you direct you total focus on 501(c)4’s? Why not the other 501(c)’s such as labor unions and liberal NGO’s?'
Unlike most of these corporations, USA labor unions aren’t trying to keep their political contributions a big secret from American voters. In fact, it's just the opposite.
Jt6gR3hM said: "Why would the left want to acquire those names other than to target them for harassment to send a message to them and others not to support such groups."
You Republican Tea Party folks just love to set up these double standards . . . Don’t you? Indeed, you rant and rave about voter fraud and a need to set up special Voter ID laws, but when it comes to campaign laws you folks are more than willing to make it easy for any foreigner or foreign corporation to shovel money into the U.S. election process.
"Jt6gR3hM said..."Sure sounds like an un-American way to deal with our Constitutional right of free speech and the right to petition our elected officials to address our grievances."
Nice try, but it’s not un-American to want to know who is contributing money toward the U.S. election process. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It would be dumb not to want to know.
PlainTruth says: “The Ayatollah in Iran is just shuffling the deck of chairs with the election.”
I think you’re wrong about this, PT. Everyone seems truly surprised by the election results and I seriously doubt this would be the case if it were just a matter of the Ayatollah shuffling the deck chairs. According to the vote count, his guys came in last.
It’s odd these Tea Party folks haven’t uttered a peep about the blatant abuse of the 501 (c) 4 status. It seems to me if one is concerned about the wrongs that can occur within big government, one should be equally concerned about the wrongs that can occur within big corporations. In this case, it would be these big corporate lobbyists and operatives who are setting up these illegal political slush funds to conceal money in political campaigns.
"Since the Citizens United decision, 501(c)(4) groups, have operated as Super PACs—raising and spending tens of millions in corporate funds—without disclosing a dime of their contributors. IRS rules state that the primary activity of such groups cannot relate to political advocacy, yet examples abound of 501(c)(4) groups spending well over 50 percent of their funds on attack ads, political action committees and other clearly political expenses. These potential violations of the law have gone on for several years now, with very little interest from the Beltway media or Capitol Hill Republicans, many of whom owe their election to spending by bogus 501(c)(4) organizations."
Read more: Five 501(c)(4) Groups That Might Have Broken the Law | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/blog/174458/five-501c4-groups-might-have-broken-law#ixzz2WNpT7eIo
Fairmon asks: “Who let the contract with Booz Allen? Who has over sight responsibility?”
The discussion isn’t about the bidding process, Fairmon. It’s about the “big Brother” project, which started with Congress and needs to be ended by Congress.
“Jt6gR3hM said: "Of course they did as the government acts as their agent in making these contracts. You get the government you vote for and deserve.”
What world are you living in, Jt6? In America, privacy is valued and considered a right, which the U.S. Congress has an obligation to protect. And for the record, I didn’t vote or support any of the individuals responsible for setting up the “big brother” project. Did you? In case you’ve forgotten the details as to how the “big brother” project began:
“On Sept. 11, 2007, the National Security Agency signed up Microsoft as its first partner for PRISM, a massive domestic surveillance program . . .
That’s barely a month after Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed, the Protect America Act.
The Bush Administration portrayed the PAA as a technical fix designed to close a gap in America’s surveillance capabilities that had been opened by a then-recent ruling of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
It proved to be much more than that. . .
In reality, the PAA represented a sweeping change to American surveillance law. Before conducting surveillance, the PAA only required executive branch officials to “certify” that there were “reasonable procedures” in place for ensuring that surveillance “concerns” persons located outside the United States and that the foreign intelligence is a “significant purpose” of the program. . .
Civil liberties groups warned that the PAA’s vague requirements and lack of oversight would give the government a green light to seek indiscriminate access to the private communications of Americans. . .
It now appears that this is exactly what the government did. . . the moment the PAA was the law of the land, the NSA started using it to obtain unfettered access to the servers of the nation’s leading online services. . ."
Some hopeful and surprising things happening in Iran:
”Politically moderate cleric Hassan Rohani is on the path to winning Iran’s presidential election, a stunning result that upends predictions of a preordained hardline victory and heralds change – both in tone, and almost certainly in substance – for the Islamic Republic.”
“Mr. Rohani, a former nuclear negotiator, has an almost unassailable lead with more than three times as many votes as his nearest rival with two-thirds of the votes counted and will likely avoid a runoff that many analysts had expected. He faced down a host of conservatives in Friday’s vote, stating at the ballot box that he had “come to destroy extremism.”
Jt6gR3hM said; "Just as when you buy a bottle of ketchup you don’t have the right to butt into Heinz’s internal business beyond reporting any unlawful conduct."
You poor guy. . . You just don’t get it. . . Do you?
You have the option of either purchasing a bottle of ketchup or not purchasing a bottle ketchup. . . You can’t say the same for the alleged services that a company like Booz Allen is allegedly providing for Congress. . . I’ve emphasized “allegedly” because Congress has opted to keep the actual contract amount and services that Booz Allen is providing a "secret" from the taxpayers.
Again, since the taxpayers are picking up the tab, the taxpayers have a right to know everything there is to know about the affairs of these contractors, particularly a company like Booz Allen. . . This company is getting a huge chunk of our tax dollars to collect, compile, and store years and years worth of the taxpayer's private telephone, email, and internet records.
The taxpayers didn’t grant Booz Allen a “security clearance” to get into their lives. Did you?
Jt6gR3hM asks:”If the government chooses the latter is the internal affairs of the company, as long as they do not violate the laws, of any real concern of yours unless you own stock in that company?”
Since the taxpayers are picking up the tab and indirectly contributing to all of the huge profits these defense contractors appear to be making at our expense, I’d say the taxpayers have a right to be concerned and a right to know everything there is to know about the internal affairs of these government contractors. Is there something wrong with this?
Jt6gR3hM asks:“The U.S. government uses large quantities of toilet paper. Should the government manufacture its own supply or purchase from the market?”
I can certainly understand why the image of toilet tissue might come to mind when one is thinking about defense contractors, but for the record I should point out there is a difference between the two purchases. Toilet tissue is one of those basic supply items and it would be impractical for the government to manufacture its own toilet tissue. Contractors on the other hand provide a specific service. It makes sense for the government to contract out for certain types of services, but not every service, particularly in the area of national defense.
I say this for several reasons. For example, Edward Snowden’s employer Booz Allen is a huge for-profit corporation. The corporation and its stockholders can only make profits as long as there are terrorist activities. In others words, Booz Allen and their stockholders have a vested interest in terrorism. While the American citizenry might be praying for peace and seeking peaceful solutions to the problems in the Middle East, its corporate executives and stockholders are most likely praying for more unrest and more trouble in the Middle East.
Miraweb said: "To be fair - people working for companies like Booz get a huge amount of their compensation in bonuses and stock options. It is likely that Snowden's $200,000 figure would be correct, especially as he would have had a signing bonus this year, as well.
A signing bonus!!! . . Wow, good deal!!! . . I’ve been reading about all these wonderful things Booz Allen can afford to do for its employees like ice cream socials, wine tasting events, stock options, good salaries and so forth, but I had not heard about the signing bonuses.
You know, Miraweb, I bet all of these defense contractors like Booz Allen - along with all of their employees - are dreading the days when all the terrorists are gone and there is no longer a need to keep the American public in the fish bowl, as Clay Bennett might say.