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Over the years ALEC has steadfastly denied having any influence or involvement in writing or proposing legislation at the federal level.  They "proudly" proclaim their effectiveness at the state level through their legislative membership.  They've continued these denials of interfering at the federal level since ALEC Exposed with their 800+ Model Legislation became public through a joint Center for Media and Democracy and Nation Magazine project in July.

This diary is going to expose the cabal's lies concerning denial of influence or involvement in the U.S. Congress on federal legislation. This will show ALEC bringing their pro-corporate agenda directly into both the Senate and House, proposing bills they acknowledge authoring and admit are their "initiatives".  I am only using one of these "Model Bills" to show how they accomplish making "their" laws the law of the land throughout the United States.  I will show the methodology used, the tactics employed to avoid objection or true discussion of the "Bill" and the procedure(s) they employ to guarantee passage of their anti-citizen, pro-corporate agenda.

This story is about one piece of legislation that became U.S. law in 1992 and was later amended in 2006.  Both the original Congressional Bill and the subsequent amendment were written by corporate members of ALEC.  They were adopted as "Model Legislation" by the full ALEC membership and circulated to each state by their conservative legislative members.

Using what was previously a seldom used provision - usually reserved for cases when the President issues an important legislative request to Congress - ALEC's Congressional Alumni worked their magic through a House rule and deception to advance legislation important to several of their key corporate members.  In 2006 the House Speaker was Dennis Hastert, a long time ALEC member and in 2006 a powerful ALEC Alumni.  In a published ALEC document just prior to the events I'm disclosing below, Hastert was quoted thus:

"The members of ALEC are true pioneers in advancing common-sense, conservative ideas.  For 30 years many of these ideas have transcended from state capitols to Washington."
 Through research I've found many of the companies you'll find below - along with most of ALEC's other corporate members who currently sit on their Private Enterprise Board or have in the past, are known to have funded Dennis Hastert while he was serving in the House - http://www.democraticunderground.com/... and specifically in 2006 (including Koch Industries) when the below occurred.  So what transpired in 2006 was well planned, corrupt and quite possibly hugely profitable to those lawmakers who took part.

A critical thing to keep in mind as you read this blog, is that they are doing the same thing at the state level right now - and it makes all of us wonder how many times over the years they have done this, and which of our laws were created in this manner....Read on below and find out how Hastert and a fellow ALEC Alumni, Phil Gingrey worked out this legislative scam...
____________

This is about the "Animal Enterprise Protection Act" which become law in 1992 as; Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA) of 1992, 18 U.S.C. § 43 (2000) (enacted Aug. 26, 1992) and was later re-introduced in October 2005 and titled the "Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act" (AETA).  My focus here is on the latter piece of legislation.

In brief both of these bills provided protection from animal rights activists to medical, research, farming and businesses involved in the use of animals in their work or for profiting.  It defined what was acceptable and what was criminal and set penalties for violation.  This would allow for arrest and prosecution of those demonstrating, protesting or in any way interfering with activities involving animals - especially where financial damages were involved - loss of sales, hindered research, etc.

As with most other ALEC model legislation, the named bills hide the true intent of the legislation.  Right to work, we've come to know really means the right to work for less.  It is the same with these Animal "Protection" Acts.  Neither of the laws written and disseminated by ALEC have anything whatsoever to do with the rights of animals - only the rights of those exploiting the animals for profit.

Following the events of 9/11 and a heightened awareness of "Terrorism" expressed by President Bush, ALEC proposed their Animal Rights and Ecological Terrorism Act model legislation in 2003 (later shortened to Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act).  It was adopted as model legislation by the membership and was intended to be used to further target animal advocates as "terrorists" and increase the penalties already in place through the 1992 law. From 2003 to late 2006 ALEC brought all of their arsenal to bear upon passage of this legislation; Heartland Institute; CATO Institute; and FBI and DOJ "specialists" to issue statements that the existing AEPA was insufficient to deter animal rights activism.

Employees of the UK Corporation and ALEC key member, GlaxoSmithKline testified about being scared of "ecoterrorism" protesters. FBI agents testified  that better and stronger tools were necessary to protect businesses and researchers using animals for medical testing, ranching or raising minks and other animals for their skins or other parts for profit.

John E. Lewis, Deputy Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, testified  before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in May of 2004, claiming the need for stronger legislation to protect against secondary and tertiary targeting of animal enterprises.  Heartland Institute posted several links to ALEC's pursuit of this new legislation and proudly proclaims: ALEC Offers Legislation to Fight Domestic Terror by Animal and Eco-Extremist Groups. "Let's Call a Terrorist a 'Terrorist'," quoting ALEC.  Heartland also provides links to testimony from  the FBI Director on the legislative supporting ALEC's legislation:

"June 6, 2002: FBI: Statement for the Record of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation on "A New FBI Focus" before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary."
 Most or all of these links have been scrubbed as of today - including those links to official FBI and DOJ documents and reports on this testimony.  If you see the link comes from the Way Back Archive that's because the links in original documents have been scrubbed.  (Funny - the cabal is so proud one day and trumpeting their successes and the next they are busy covering their tracks when the corrupt tactics and practices used to achieve that success is exposed).

As in most other cases ALEC went all out when pushing for pro-corporate legislation.  In this case they used ALEC Alumni, James Inhofe and Democrat, Diane Feinstein (CA) to introduce this legislation in the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works described the legislation as being created with the help of the the FBI and DOJ:

"Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, has introduced legislation that will enhance the effectiveness of the U.S. Department of Justice’s response to recent trends in the animal rights terrorist movement. S. 1926, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, was drafted with technical assistance from counter-terror experts at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

On the House side it was introduced by Conservative Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI) and  James Sensenbrenner (R WI) sponsored by Representative Bobby Scott (D VA).  Petri at the time was given a 78% rating by the CATO Institute:

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Tom Petri -- a lawmaker who hopes to make the USA-PATRIOT Act permanent and the very person who introduced the House version of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act...At the same time, Petri's rating from the CATO Institute was 78%, indicating a zest for free trade agreements; and in November 2003, Petri voted 'yes' to hasten approval of -- ahem -- forest thinning projects. Petri receives consistently high marks from the NRA and from immigration restrictionists.
As all of us are aware, the NRA is a longtime member and benefactor of ALEC.  In December 2006 Scott was awarded with "Recognition" by the Animal Enterprise Protection Coalition for sponsoring this legislation.

In support of this federal legislation, more of ALEC's members joined forces to assist Inhofe and Petri push this terrible legislation through Congress.  All told seven additional ALEC Alumni serving in the house signed onto AETA as co-sponsors (scroll down on the left).  The driving force behind the AETA was the Animal Enterprise Protection Coalition (AEPC) founded by the National Association of Biomedical Researchers (NABR).  This AEPC was created specifically to support ALEC's legislation.  Who belonged to this AEPC organization?

Key members of AEPC were Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Roche, Wyeth and other pharmaceutical and biomedical research companies also belonging to NABR.  A full listing of companies belonging to or supporting NABR are not available without membership...however here is what they say on their website:

"Once you join NABR you will be in good company. Every major pharmaceutical company, 80% of medical schools, almost every U.S. veterinary medical school, and nearly every U.S. research university are NABR members.
And what kind of services do you get once you join NABR?
"NABR advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of the federal government: Congress, the USDA, NIH, FDA, CDC and the White House. NABR communicates the essential role of animals in research by encouraging supportive legislation, providing comments on pending proposals, presenting testimony at Congressional hearings, and serving as an information source for Congressional staff and constituents."

Definitely another influential group in DC with members such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Roche - who also just happen to be ALEC members (and PhRMA member companies as well): http://www.sourcewatch.org/... and most listed here as well: http://www.alec.org/....  Can't find Roche listed? Look here and find Hoffman La Roche or read this DK Diary and scroll down to companies known to have been ALEC members: http://www.dailykos.com/....

Those are the "Players" involved with this one single piece of ALEC written legislation and the Alumni and enablers who brought this piece of shit into our Congress.  As expected, this legislation sought to diminish our rights to protest and demonstrate under the 1st Amendment.  So there was a lot of resistance to this proposed law.  Many lawmakers had voiced objections to the provisions of this legislation and in response, Petri and Scott issued a "Fact sheet" to the Congressional members in an attempt to convince them that all the "myths" being spread about the AETA legislation were just that, myths.  Even with this there was strong opposition to it in the House.  Petri and Sensenbrenner were unable to garner the votes necessary to ensure passage while Inhofe was able to get the Republican led Senate to pass it unanimously...so what to do?

They decided to use our legislative "rules" process to sneak it through the House.  This is how it was accomplished.  Rules allowing for "Fast tracking" or "suspending" a Bill was used by Sensenbrenner.  In laymen terms that means Sensenbrenner was certifying there was no real opposition to the bill, having bipartisan support.  The rules normally governing the presentation, discussion and voting on legislation is suspended once fast tracking is applied.  It allows for less discussion on the merits of the legislation, no amending or amendments thereto and an immediate vote following the conclusion of the discussion period. It also allows for the passage upon a favorable vote of a two thirds majority of those members present at the time of the vote.

Because of Sen. Feinstein's support in the Senate, AETA was placed on a fast track with the agreement of both parties and scheduled with little notice for a vote on September 30, 2006, less than 3 weeks after it was introduced. There was no debate. It is not clear in the 3 weeks this bill was pending in the Senate that many Senators even read it. It passed the Senate unanimously under the rules of suspension.

Congress was in recess from September 30 through Nov. 8 for the midterm elections. There was an effort by national animal welfare and some civil rights groups during the recess to rally opposition to this bill.

When the House returned on Nov. 9, 2006, here is what happened: Late on Friday, Nov. 10, Rep. Sensenbrenner had AETA placed on the suspension calendar which basically means a vote would be taken without debate on the following Monday, November 13. Over the weekend animal welfare and civil rights groups learned of the maneuver and began mobilizing their supporters.  House members opposing the legislation made arrangements to attend the session to present their views and opposition to the bill.

On Monday, November 13 it was announced matters on the suspension calendar would be taken up that evening at 6:30 p.m. Instead, at around 3:00 in the afternoon, Representative Phil Gingrey approached the House Clerk with a message from Speak Hastert.  The note announced that Hastert had authorized Gingrey to serve as Speaker Pro Tempe and the House came to order under Gingrey's authority as temporary Speaker. Rep. Sensenbrenner maneuvered all of the "fast tracked" legislation scheduled for 6:30 PM to be heard in the middle of the day, including the AETA bill.  

Representative and Speaker Hastert an ALEC Alumni assisted Representative Phil Gingrey, an ALEC Alumni to circumvent the house schedule.  Further Gingrey then served as the enabler to Sensenbrenner who arranged for 4 of the bill's supporters to be present. At the time of the vote there were only those  representatives present. During the session, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) walked in and discovered they were discussing the AETA legislation.  He attempted to persuade Sensenbrenner and Petri to wait until the scheduled time for discussion, but they refused.  Kucinich stayed and spoke against the bill. Three representatives including Rep. Sensenbrenner spoke in favor of AETA. As soon as the discussion time was up Gingrey called for a voice vote and AETA passed in the House of Representatives on a voice vote by the 6 representatives present (5 for and 1 against). No other representatives voted on the bill.  So in this way, 5 of the total 435 House members managed to pass this legislation through out and out deception.  For a video on this hearing, discussion and vote (including Kucinich's strong speech in opposition) watch it here: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/... the discussion begins at 46:10 of the video.  To add insult to injury, the Congressional Record reports that the bill passed by a margin of 5:1 but no record was kept of the names of those who voted in favor of the legislation!

This is a description of what actually transpired in the House chamber that afternoon given by Dr. Alex Hershaft (FARM's President/Founder), and co-founder of the Equal Justice Alliance:

"Today (11/13/06), a dozen of us from Equal Justice Alliance, FARM, League of Humane Voters, and Compassion Over Killing spent five hours visiting Congressional offices and urging them to vote against AETA, which had been scheduled over the weekend for a sudden vote at 6:30 pm. We were carrying suporting statements from the National Lawyers Guild, the New York City Bar Association, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. At each office, we were told that the mail and calls were running overwhelmingly in our favor.  

Around 3pm, one of the legislative aides said that the bill was just being debated on the House floor. He gave me a pass, and I rushed to the Capitol across the street. I was astonished to see only about six House members present. House Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner spoke in favor of AETA, quoting Jerry Vlasak's and other's past extreme statements. Dennis Kucinich joined in abhorring violence, but noted that the bill infringed on civil liberties of people conducting civil disobedience or undercover investigations. Sensenbrenner invoked lack of opposition from the ACLU. Then the chair called for a voice vote, and Kucinich cast the only no vote. It was all over in 15 minutes.

After the vote, I rode the elevator with Sensenbrenner and chief AETA sponsor Petri. I told them I was there to lobby against their bill. Sensenbrenner replied "don't blame me; I was just managing the bill for this guy," pointing to Petri, who smiled sheepishly. The whole thing was absolutely surreal.  

We played the game by their rules, we generated an overwhelming outpouring of opposition to the bill on short notice, and they kicked us in the face through underhanded maneuvers. Then they wonder why people lose faith in the system and take the law into their own hands. Today, Congress brought shame on itself by turning animal activists into "terrorists."

On November 27th, President Bush signed AETA into law.

Today AETA is the law of the land of the United States regarding "terrorism" involving animal activism.  Not only is it illegal to protest the exploitation of animals by showing up and personally opposing such exploitation, but merely having a website that reports and makes animal activism articles available to supporters, is an illegal "terrorist" act under the law.  Prior to the passage of AETA, the previous version AEPA was used to prosecute activists and their web based organization without their ever participating directly in any act of "terrorism" themselves.

"The SHAC 7 are 6 animal rights activists and the organization Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA (SHAC USA) who were convicted on March 2, 2006, under the controversial Federal Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The Act punishes anyone who "physically disrupts" an animal enterprise. The charges stem from these activists' alleged participation in an international campaign to close the notorious product testing lab Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Specifically, these activists are alleged to have operated a website that reported on and expressed ideological support for protest activity against Huntingdon and its business affiliates. For this they are charged with "terrorism" and face an aggregate of 23 years in Federal Prison.

The SHAC 7 case is the latest in an onslaught of attacks against domestic dissidents under the guise of fighting terrorism. Animal rights is a "fringe" issue and the government is banking on the broader social justice movement to turn a blind eye to those focusing on the “less important” issue of animals and expressing “extremist” views. But make no mistake - these activists are the canaries in the mine. This case is intended to pave the way for further silencing of activists involved in all issues. It is imperative that the broader social justice movement stand behind these activists in our communal defense of free speech, press, and association. Support the SHAC 7 and support your right to free expression!

For a detailed analysis of this case and the subsequent appeals, read Will Potter's piece on SHAC 7 here: http://www.greenisthenewred.com/....

The last SHAC 7 defendant was released from prison to a halfway house on August 4 of this year: http://breakallchains.blogspot.com/....

What happened above to allow an ALEC initiative to pass through our Congress so easily has possibly - probably - happened in the past and will be again attempted in the future.  We should all be vigilant to stop this kind of corrupt manipulation in the future.  This is made worse when you do an internet search on "Fast Tracked" legislation plus your state.  I did that this morning and found three current pieces of legislation currently being fast tracked through the state assembly: Vote Center legislation, two gun laws and earlier this year fast tracking of right to work legislation by Republicans is what led to our Democratic state Rep's leaving Indiana and taking up sanctuary in Illinois to prevent passage. Similarly in Oregon Republicans just fast tracked a bill through the state legislature that provides that energy and water companies can seek and receive permits designed to make it easier for energy speculators to apply for and receive permits for pipeline construction on private land—without prior permission from landowners.  Republicans were unsuccessful in 2009-10 but succeeded this year (wonder if this has anything to do with the Koch's Tar Sands initiative?)

On the federal level another piece of shit legislation written by ALEC and supported by all Conservatives and Republicans alike is a bill that would strip fundamental powers of the EPA to regulate water toxins (H.R. 2018).  It was passed by the Republican controlled House in July.  If you want to know how your legislator voted, here is the vote report: http://www.govtrack.us/....

Please take the time to search the web for Republican fast tracking of ALEC written or supported legislation in your state and get into the fray.  This is another way in which we can help put an end to the Cabal's existence.  Continue to Boycott the companies belonging to ALEC either as members or sponsors.  Every dollar that is denied to them is a dollar less they have to advance their corrupt agenda against us.

This video provides information on AETA as well as providing some of those arrested under this law and prosecuted:

For a full reading of the introduction of ALEC's legislation, including the testimony of the DOJ and GlaxoSmithKline representatives see here:http://commdocs.house.gov/...

For an analysis of AETA and list with links of states where this legislation has been introduced see: http://www.serconline.org/....

For Senate tracking of this legislation, see: http://olpa.od.nih.gov/...

Originally posted to Bob Sloan on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 02:38 PM PST.

Also republished by Earthship Koch and American Legislative Transparency Project.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for all of this work, Bob. (18+ / 0-)

    How many ALEC candidates will infiltrate town governments this Tuesday.

    VOTE PEOPLE.  Vote for the Non-ALEC candidates.  They are pretty easy to find.  Anti-tax candidates.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 02:51:18 PM PST

  •  Vote on Tuesday! (10+ / 0-)

    You may have the opportunity to vote against State Legislators that are ALEC members this Tuesday. I will be! I am voting against the NJ State Chair of ALEC in LD 24! Please vote Tuesday. Democrats need to start thinking bottom up, instead of top down.

    " The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"-Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Lh1695 on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 03:03:38 PM PST

  •  This is the type of crap that is maddening. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, nervousnellie, shantysue

    "The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master." Ayn Rand

    by aznavy on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 03:16:28 PM PST

  •  Sloan, by gum you've done it again! (8+ / 0-)

    A worthy follow up to your Koch-Cain post.  This is a easy to follow example of how the various cabal entities are used in the passage of legislation.

    Another attempt just failed in Wake County NC, fast tracking charter schools.  ALEC written legislation of a David Koch (and papa Koch also) agenda, ball carried by the AFP--which fortunately in this case did not succeed.  

    However, the repug controlled NC Legislature did succeed fast tracking our new man/woman marriage law (which would likely have been vetoed by Dem Gov Perdue), but at least they were kept from influencing the curricula for our children--at least for now.  

    But nobody should relax, the Koch agenda is being taught in Universities and Graduate schools already, and you can send your kid to ALEC summer camp and start his brainwashing at an early age.

    I hope that some other readers will write in to you with examples of fast tracked legislation in their states that succeeded--or not--so more cross-cabal evidence can be accumulated and substantiated.

  •  Damn, Bob, you turned over rocks & found snakes (5+ / 0-)

    of the Koch/ALEC/Republican variety. Excellent investigative journalism that the MSM should be doing.

    I just clicked the heart button next to your name.

    We need to stop this fast track corruption of the political process by Koch Republicans.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "Forgive them; for they know not what they do."

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 03:55:59 PM PST

    •  Thanks FishOutofWater - I just did a diary the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, shantysue

      other day on one reason why the MSM is compromised: http://www.dailykos.com/... you should read up on.

      'Preciate your choosing to follow my writing here on DK.  I'll try my best to keep you and the others informed on Koch and ALEC initiatives.

      Unfortunately there is still much more to come and it's worse than this - or at least as dangerous.  

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 04:16:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The three areas at the top of my list (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ohiodem1

        Their infiltration into our universities, their takeover of the media and putting in local judges. Kill a mind, take over a country. What horrifies me is that this is what they strive for and started waaay back when. You have to wonder what goes on in that type of mind. It's so alien to the way most of us think that it gives one pause. The insidious sickness is unfathomable, yet it's here upon us. Thank God for the internet and people like you to bring the awareness.

  •  On the topic of research animals, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan, nomandates, Eric Nelson
    In US government statistics put the number of laboratory animals used in research at 1,136,567......... It is important to note that these statistics do not include rats, mice, birds and fish, as these animals are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act.

    ALEC supporters don't just demean people, they murder millions of animals annually in cruel and inhumane ways in the name of research, and want to protect their right to do this.

    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

    by 4Freedom on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 04:05:08 PM PST

    •  You're right and that's one hell of a lot of (5+ / 0-)

      animals going to their death for Mink and Fur coats, experiments for Biomedical and similar pharmaceutical experiments.  These same proponents of AETA were the same one who tried unsuccessfully back in 2006 to once again get approval to use "volunteer" inmates for drug trials and experimental treatments - backed by the friggin AMA of all groups!  They are also the ones when that prisoner initiative failed, took  their nastiness overseas and wound up killing 11 children in Nigeria (I believe).

      The only reason we found out the AMA was involved was when President Obama ordered them to participate in an investigation into the incidents, the AMA had to recuse, admitting they took part in such overseas testing.

      Much of the animal exploitation is avoided where they pharmaceutical and biomedical outfits actually advertise for volunteers out of the citizenry...'course they dislike doing that as it costs them a bunch and if/when something goes awry, volunteers can sue their butts.

      Maybe we need a Progressive effort to push for real animal rights legislation.  How much support could we get for something like that?

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 04:12:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We would have to extend many people's thinking (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Sloan

        on the Right to Life to include animals.

        My new neighbors across the street tied one of their dogs outside. It has barked from dawn to dusk, when it was finally let inside. My son had asked them if their dog was lonely. They looked at him in surprise and pointed to one of the two small dogs that got to stay inside during the day and said that was its company.

        Many people have that detached perspective on non-human life. Too many to cope with at present. We have to help them first be more compassionate about their human compatriots before we confront more of their misconceptions.

        Maybe Occupy will speed the process.

        Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

        by 4Freedom on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 05:39:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  4Freedom - talk to the FDA (0+ / 0-)

      Nearly all the animal testing done in the USA are required to comply with FDA mandated animal testing. Companies would skip most of this if they could.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:42:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In Ohio, we are Fast Tracking the Exotic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    Animal law after the tragic release and death of 50 exotic animals last month.  Here is a letter from a gun lobby seeking fast track status on a law that passed allowing the carrying of concealed weapons in bars and restaurants unless the owner placards the facility as no guns:

    http://www.ohioccw.org/...

    Governor Kasich thinks it is an "emergency" to get Video Lottery Terminals into racetracks:

    http://www.bloodhorse.com/...

    Here's more, although some of the articles are old:

    http://www.starkrtl.com/...

    So yeah, the radical republicans in Ohio use Fast Track to get their radical agenda through.  Nice article Bob.

    On Tuesday, Ohio voters get the chance to turn back radical republican legislation by exercising our Citizen's Veto.  GOTV.  Let's start to fight back.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 07:41:35 PM PST

    •  Thanks Ohiodem1. I know Daniels pushed through (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ohiodem1

      casino's at our horse tracks here in Indy.  One is now on the verge of filing for protection and it never produced the profits and tax income that the Governor and Republican's promised when lobbying for it.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 07:44:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  RadRep support for gambling (oh, no we are (0+ / 0-)

        supposed to use the sanitized term "gaming" interests) go back to Abrahamoff, Ralph Reed and further back).  I don't think it's a coincidence that RadRep govs also find ways to support them.

        Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

        by Ohiodem1 on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 07:52:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me either, OD1. If it makes somebody money, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ohiodem1

          ALEC is found somewhere near the core of the effort and right there with their hands out when the profits materialize.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

          by Bob Sloan on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 08:32:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's not unconstitutional if the ACLU said nothing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    Well, then. That totally destroyed Kucinich's lame argument.

    Dennis Kucinich joined in abhorring violence, but noted that the bill infringed on civil liberties of people conducting civil disobedience or undercover investigations. Sensenbrenner invoked lack of opposition from the ACLU.
    Let's vote.

    Sensenbrenner is such a Dick™.

    I thought that this bill was supposed to define animals as terrorists. Legalese isn't my first language.

    Protect animals from terrorists. Right.

    It's a good thing that this is the only bill that ALEC ever got passed, right?

    I'm so relieved that this will never happen again. Right?

    What? About 5,000 ALEC influenced boilerplate bills have been introduced in the states this year alone? And this doesn't include bills introduced by actual lobbyists? And the legislators' self-serving bills? And their quid pro quo bills? And the revenge against their enemies bills? And a lot of this shit has been enacted?

    I understand why so many people are in denial.

    The genesis of just this one ALEC boilerplate bill, the exclusion of the opposition, the procedural abuse in Congress, the loophole that substitutes a faction for a quorum, the stifling of debate, convictions for exersizing protected rights, the futility of challenging its constitutionality, and overwhelming funds available for crushing the victims should the "little people" dare to criticize.

    And this is just ONE example.

    This shit can be stopped. Exposing their corruption and the Cabal to everyone we can must be the first step. Then we'll have a chance of ousting the ALEC owned vipers and neutering the bribery and the money machine. We must perservere.

    Thanks, Bob.

    Very informative and enlightening, as usual.

    My vote is not for sale.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 11:24:43 PM PST

    •  Apt analysis and description of what the future (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrumpyOldGeek

      holds for us as a democratic society if we continue to ignore these initiative and tactics.  I think the manner in which this was accomplished indicates to most that there is a "clique" within Congress operating to perform the Cabal's wishes and even some in Congress have no clue it's going on and is in fact planned and coordinated.  If they can do this on one bill...and do it successfully in just a matter of days, what will happen in the future if we leave these "lawmakers" in place?  I believe they'll just continue along as before and enact more and more onerous laws to protect the wealthy and corporate elite.

      Since they just tried this kind of tactic this year on the EPA regulations legislation in the House - that it won't go away on it's own.  We must help it to become unavailable to them altogether.  Now the Brits are looking at Fast Tracking legislation and discussing the pros and cons.  Wonder where they go that idea?!

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 08:29:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Jack Abramoff 60 Minutes Interview (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Sloan

        found here, presents some of the same insights into the Cabal.

        Not much that we don't already realize here, but his perspective is enlightening.

        "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

        by GrumpyOldGeek on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 07:05:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a nutshell. This is why I am so against the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GrumpyOldGeek

          "Revolving Door" policy that allows staffers to be wined and dined by lobbyists and then leave government and go to work for them using their ties to former staffers or Congressmen to accomplish corrupt activities.

          Good catch, Grumpy...highly recommended video and story.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

          by Bob Sloan on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 10:45:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  But why? Seemingly an extraordinary effort for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    anything but an earthshakingly important issue.

    Unless of course it was so simple, so routine, that really little or no effort was actually required to go the route taken. If so, then this must be in their world something akin to a daily occurence. A virtual entitlement, really.

    And one imagines that the only thing limiting use of these same tactics is that the more important the issue is the more likely that the dirty deeds will be both witnessed, and ultimately "punished".

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 01:36:20 PM PST

  •  Anyway, going somewhat outside the scope of the (0+ / 0-)

    immediate piece, "follow the money".

    I first worked in the oil patch in 1971, took law school classes in oil and gas law in 1974, and subscribed to Oil Daily for a spell around the mid seventies.

    After becoming alarmed by the merger of Reagan and Bush (of the MIC and Big Oil, really) I placed an extra focus on actions of the administration and the price of oil on the world market. Literally every time from 1981 until 1992 that supply and demand conditions served to cause oil prices to start to go down, those guys would do something militarily in the Persian Gulf area that the commodities markets would cite as cause for bidding oil prices back up. There were times back then when greed and OPEC overproduction should literally have caused the bottom to fall out of oil prices, only to see the big boys bailed out by BUSHCO doing things that were inexplicable in any way other than to believe that explicit support was being created for higher oil prices. And then we had six years of low oil prices under Clinton (his final two years in office I'm suspicious of). This led us back to BUSHCO Second Act and all records were broken by the invasion of Iraq.

    And, anyway, the extra dollars flowing from these shenanagins cumulatively total well north of a trillion or two, and it's not likely a coincidence that your Cabal members were perfectly positioned to bank, invest, and rebank, etc. major portions of this quite obviously intentional windfall. In fact, it may well be that the main reason why you see Koch and friends trying to get their hands into so many pockets (many of them of really small size) is tocreate an atmosphere where it's easy to be distracted, and hard to keep an eye on which shell the pea is really under.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 02:01:47 PM PST

    •  I agree with your analysis on the oil and gas (0+ / 0-)

      issues and the agenda that controlled it for so long.

      I have had several discussions where I raised the same arguments and pointed out that it has been decades - over 1 1/2 generations since America experienced "gas wars" where pricing was determined by those competing for our dollars at the pump.  Since 2000 as the price for gas jumped over .30 cents per gallon at one outlet, it immediately jumped the same amount all across my city and most of the state.  I believe this shows clearly a determined effort of price fixing through collaboration by the retailers.

      There is few other commodities that are similarly controlled.  For instance, prices of eggs, milk and coffee act similarly now to what was previously only happening at the pump.  Whereas other commodities pricing is still dependent upon competition to determine cost to the consumer and fluctuates wildly with highs and lows found in the same market, where the gas and coffee pricing remain consistent across the board.  Too damn many of these corporations and special interest groups now control pricing to the consumer in this type of price fixing.

      And you're right it all began after the Reagan ascendancy to the Presidency and top of the Conservative throne.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 02:40:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Speculators are in the market with no regs. (0+ / 0-)

        Start to follow the CFTC story.  Part of Dodd/Frank is to put limits into place on the number of Speculator contracts allowed in any commodity market.  Just last month the CFTC has voted to implement this, however, it will take at least a year.  Right now the Pubs are trying to cut the funding of the CFTC so they will not have the staff to do this.

        Ed did a series of reports earlier this year on Position Limits and the cost of the excess speculation in recent years in the commodities markets.  Even old Goldman Sachs estimates that 27 dollars of each barrel of oil goes to the specs.

        Over at PoliticalGates, Nomad, has done a great series on Phil and Wendy Gramm and their part in this mess.

        Link for PoliticalGates series on the Gramm's

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