The Lobbying Database, who gives how much for what

If anyone wonders why the votes taken by Congress turn out the way they do, this excellent work by Open Secrets gives us all the info we need. If you have a few moments of leisure on a Saturday, here is the place to go:

In addition to campaign contributions to elected officials and candidates, companies, labor unions, and other organizations spend billions of dollars each year to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Some special interests retain lobbying firms, many of them located along Washington’s legendary K Street; others have lobbyists working in-house. They have got totals spent on lobbying, beginning in 1998, for everyone from AAI Corp. to Zurich Financial.

You can use the options on the website to search through their database in several ways: search by name for a company, lobbying firm or individual lobbyist; search for the total spending by a particular industry; view the interests that lobbied a particular government agency; or search for lobbying on a general issue or specific piece of legislation.

Information over here at Open Secrets

DEA and ATF storing gun show attendees license plates

Why this is not a major news story is no doubt because it involves us “bitter clingers.” By now all of this information is stored in the great data center in Utah. 343 million plus images are now stored. Been to a gun show lately? No doubt you now are a threat to America. Here we go:

According to emails obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, federal authorities planned to monitor gun show parking lots with automatic license plate readers.

The insight comes from a damning report released by the ACLU this week on a secretive program by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to build a massive database of license plates images collected by automated license plate reader devices. As part of this investigation, emails released through the Freedom of Information Act detailed a planned cooperation between the DEA’s National License Plate Recognition initiative and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to scan and record the plates and vehicle images of gun show attendees.

“DEA Phoenix Division Office is working closely with ATF on attacking the guns going to [redacted] and the gun shows, to include programs/operation with LPRs at the gun shows,” reads an April 2009 email.

The time and place mentioned in the email coincides with known information on the Justice Department’s Fast and Furious operation, a controversial “gunwalking” scandal that possibly transferred as many as 2,000 guns to drug traffickers in Mexico. That program was run out of the Phoenix ATF Field Division office, just two miles from the DEA office.

An undated DEA slideshow released to the ACLU mentions that, at the time, 100 plate readers were deployed in eight states to include California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, Florida, Georgia and New Jersey. These readers were a mixed of fixed, portable and mobile devices that could scan and record as many as ten images per vehicle.

The extensively redacted presentation states that the then-current database held some “343+ million” images and that cleared law enforcement personnel from other federal, state, local and tribal agencies could access the archives.

Keep reading

Vote Tally Count Keystone Pipeline

Nine Democrats joined a unanimous Republican caucus to support the bill: Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia.

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 114th Congress – 1st Session

as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Click on “Blue” summaries below for individual votes.

Vote Summary

Question: On Passage of the Bill (S.1 As Amended )
Vote Number: 49 Vote Date: January 29, 2015, 03:47 PM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Bill Passed
Measure Number: S. 1 (Keystone XL Pipeline Act )
Measure Title: A bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Vote Counts: YEAs 62
NAYs 36
Not Voting 2
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

The White House promptly declared that Mr. Obama would veto the measure — which would force the approval of a proposed 1,179-mile oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico — in a stroke of the pen that is expected to be the opening shot in a series of vetoes of Republican measures.

The Senate voted 60 to 36 in favor of building the pipeline. 62-36

Passage of the Senate bill sends the measure back to the House, which passed a largely similar bill earlier this month. House leaders are still deciding whether to simply pass the Senate bill as it is, or to hold a conference merging the House and Senate bills into a new bill, which would then be voted on by each chamber.

More at NY Times

WH: ISIL A TERRORIST GROUP, BUT TALIBAN IS AN ‘ARMED INSURGENCY’

Just in case there is any confusion as to who is who and what is what, we have this clip from the latest presser with the new mouthpiece by the name of Schultz. Anyone want to bet he will be put in mothballs? No wait, this is the Obama policy. Charles Krauthammer gives us his rebuttal.

“The Taliban is an armed insurgency,” began Schultz. “ISIL is a terrorist group. We don’t make concessions to terrorist groups.”

“You don’t think the Taliban is a terrorist group?” ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked.

“I don’t think that the Taliban… the Taliban is an armed insurgency,” Schultz continued haltingly, pointing out that the United States negotiated Berghdal’s release during the “winding down” of the war in Afghanistan.

Schultz reiterated that the prisoner swap with the Taliban was an “end of conflict” action in support of the president’s commitment to “leave no man/woman behind.”

H/T and more: Breitbart

Then we have Charles Krauthammer’s reaction to this absurdity- short version

Published on Jan 28, 2015

Charles Krauthammer on Fox News’ ‘Special Report’: It slits throats. It attacks buses. It drives car bombs into markets and it isn’t a terrorist organization. Look, you can’t parody this administration. The idea that the United States would not do this is preposterous. Of course we do. And also, the idea that the war is winding down, tell that to anybody who lives in Afghanistan.

This is a fantasy. Obama pretending that the war on terror, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq are all winding down, and the wars are all back. I mean, this is sort of embarrassing.

Poor Mooch Obama was dissed by the Saudis

There are questions as to whether the blurred image of Mooch during a broadcast was limited to certain markets. Questions arose as to whether anyone shook hands with her. Either way, it is claimed the Saudi’s are really best friends with the Obama’s (Chuckle time) as the Saudi stone and torture women.

BLOOMBERG – The Saudi state television station apparently blurred out the image of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama in the broadcast of her and President Barack Obama’s meeting with new Saudi King Salman today in Riyadh.

The new king shook hands with President Obama at the Erga Palace but didn’t acknowledge the first lady during a brief meeting at the funeral for King Abdullah. Barack and Michelle Obama cut short their trip to India to attend the funeral.

Read more: Right Scoop

Bergdahl to be charged with desertion, his pervert dad goes unnoticed

So we hear that Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. While Obama pranced about praising the poor suffering family, the press never reported that the father was a pervert. No, we had to believe that the embracement of this deserter was more important than those who may have died or risked their lives trying to retrieve this rascal. So lets take a look at Dad. First:

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was released by the Taliban last year in exchange for five prisoners, is being charged with desertion, retired Lt. Col. Tony Schaffer told Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly Factor” Monday.Read more: Washington Times

One weird family, this Bergdahl family.  A little reported story regarding dear old dad Bob Bergdahl, father of Bowe Bergdahl.  The original police reports are out there for confirmation. About Pops.

article-0-1E60FB9300000578-898_634x697

The father of embattled POW Bowe Bergdahl, who landed on US soil,, waged a sinister campaign of stalking and harassment against pretty twin sisters – even stealing a gnome from their garden and peaking at them in the shower, the sisters claim in shocking police reports.

Lacey and Allie Hillman, 31-year-old twin sisters from Hailey, Idaho, went to police after a series of harassing incidents involving Robert (Bob) Bergdahl in 2011
They claim that Bergdahl, a UPS driver, drove by their home ‘several times a day’ even though he had nothing to pick up or deliver and left ‘creepy’ notes
Allie claims that he once banged on her door and accused her of cheating on him, saying ‘What are you two-timing me b****,’ even though they never dated or were even friends

The sisters claim Bergdahl took a small gnome from their garden and later approached Lacey to ask her if ‘something was missing’ from their yard
She later notice that the gnome was indeed gone, only to have it reappear days later

Read the sordid details: Keep reading

Throw this into the mix of this story:

Members of Women’s military group back Jani Bergdahl

Now we hear we have the new Cindy Sheehan. I am thinking that the moms of sons and daughters that were killed and maimed are a little upset as well after going after this bad actor.

Cathy Cardenas, director of the organization, said it was upsetting to see Jani Bergdahl come under fire as controversy surrounding her son continues to mount.

“We have been very troubled to see how Americans have treated this amazing woman, who as a mother has already suffered during the past five years in ways most of us could never imagine,” she wrote in a Monday press release. (Ed: I could not imagine knowing what I know about her husband.)

Read more KTVB:

 

U.S. now has boots on the ground in the Ukraine?

What in the world are we doing in the Ukraine? Obama has a thing about Putin who has and continues to pull his chain, not so much the Iranians.They get a pass. No help for the Kurds. So, anyone want to ask at a presser what this is all about. The soldier sure sounds American to me. Here we go.

Amid the devastation of yesterday’s Mariupol artillery strikes which killed or wounded dozens, which was promptly blamed by both sides on the “adversary” – and has been proclaimed by both ‘sides’ (more on that later) as more violent than before the truce – an ‘odd’ clip has emerged that appears to provide all the ‘proof’ a US intelligence officer would need to surmise that US military boots are on the ground in Ukraine. As the following clip shows, a Ukrainian journalist approaches what she thinks is a Ukrainian soldier (since he is wearing a Ukrainian military uniform and is carrying an AK) and asked him as they run through the battlezone, “tell me, what happened here?” His response, which requires no translation, speaks for itself.

With daily reportage of the ‘invasion’ of Russian military forces into Ukraine territory (admittedly unconfirmed by NATO), this clip raises many questions about American involvement in the ongoing conflict – most of all, was the US involved in the “staging” the Mariupol massacre, and if so it is clear who should be blamed (and isolated).More and a H/T:Zero Hedge

Here is a clip which focuses just on the exchange in question:

Forward to 2:36 for the ‘Ukrainian’ soldier’s response:

 

Sunday respite: ‘Bring him home’

During the Christmas season I came across music by “The Piano Guys.” Here is another piece that seems very appropriate now. From Les Misérables, Bring him home.

GloZell Green: ‘We gots Obama as President cause he’s black

Let’s end the week on a low note by giving you one more of the countries latest and newest political analyst.  GloZell’s Greens’s hits on why Obama is our President. Yep, Middle East going down the drain, Bebe on the ropes, balls deflated, but heck, we gots us GloZell!

Obama and his long dirty little fingers in Yemen

Obama’s Arab Spring policies have really borne fruit, no? The US and the Saudis pressured dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign in November 2011, as part of the efforts by the White House to clear the decks in the region with the so-called Arab Spring. Saleh had survived for 30 years by playing both sides of the Shi’a/Sunni divide, which the weak successor government couldn’t accomplish. (Above from HotAir)

While our State department was looking the other way, Iran moves on into Yemen. Looking back on earlier posts, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that Yemen was headed down the tubes. Even worse, the media turned a blind eye to the Executive Orders by our imperial President. Just a few months ago, Obama was touting Yemen as a success story. Yet all one had to do is check out the internet for the real news. Here are a few memories just for the record. I am including links to earlier posts. This says it all, all part of the so called Arab Spring.

April 4, 2011

SANA, Yemen — The United States, which long supported Yemen’s president Saleh, even in the face of recent widespread protests, has now quietly shifted positions and has concluded that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of office, according to American and Yemeni officials.

Published on Sep 11, 2014

[HOT NEWS] Obama’s critics dismiss Yemen, Somalia airstrikes as model to fight ISIS – Sept 12, 2014

When President Barack Obama said that U.S. strategy to combat the terror group ISIS could follow the models of strikes in Yemen and Somalia, it drew a swift rebuttal from some top Republicans.

Obama signed Executive Order, gags press coverage of Yemen

An Executive order seeks to punish U.S. citizens even for “indirectly” obstructing dictatorial rule in Yemen. First the news:

Turmoil Over Video Spreads to Yemen  New York Times

Witnesses said Yemeni security forces had tried to disperse a crowd at the fortified embassy compound. But protesters broke through an outer perimeter protecting the embassy, clambering over a high wall and setting fire to a building. They were forced to retreat after trying to plunder furniture and computers.

The protests came hours after a Muslim cleric, Abdul Majid al-Zandani, urged followers to emulate the protests in Libya and Egypt, Sana residents said.

Now, An Executive order seeks to punish U.S. citizens even for “indirectly” obstructing dictatorial rule in Yemen.

There seems to be little question that the Obama administration is devoted to imposing dictatorial order on Yemen through the use of force and liberty abridgment. As Scahill previously reported, Obama has played a direct personal role in the ongoing imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist who committed the crime of documenting the large number of civilian deaths from a U.S. cluster bomb attack on his country as well as exposing the joint lies of the Yemeni and U.S. Government. The latest U.S. drone strike in Yemen yesterday, even according to Yemeni officials, killed more civilians than alleged “militants.” The bombing campaign in Yemen now increasingly resembles the one conducted in Pakistan, though Yemen saw more drone strikes this month than any previous month in Pakistan.

President Obama issued an executive order last May giving the Treasury Department authority to freeze the U.S.-based assets of anyone who “obstructs” implementation of the administration-backed political transition in Yemen.

The unusual order, which administration officials said also targets U.S. citizens who engage in activity deemed to threaten Yemen’s security or political stability, is the first issued for Yemen that does not directly relate to counterterrorism.

In other words, the U.S. Government will now punish anyone who is determined — in the sole discretion of the U.S. Government — even to “indirectly” obstruct the full transition of power to President Hadi. But what if someone — a Yemeni or an American — opposes Hadi’s rule and wants to agitate for a real election in which more than one candidate runs? Is that pure political advocacy, as it appears, now prohibited by the U.S. Government, punishable by serious sanctions, on the ground that it “obstructs” the transition of power to Hadi? Can journalists who report on corruption or violence by the Hadi regime and who write Op-Eds demanding a new election be accused, as it seems, of “threatening Yemen’s political stability”

Previous posts that may be of interest:

Obama’s war in Yemen decends into hell without comment October 15, 2012

Obama waives prohibition on child soldiers: While Michelle is worried about our kids and their exercise and caloric intake, her husband dearest signs an Executive Order for Africa to send their kids to war. Water boarding bad, killing kids good. Typical Progressive logic. The President has taken it upon himself to waive the sanctions against countries using child soldiers. The Child Soldier Protection Act was originally passed in 2008 by Congress-but he just waives it.

”I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA”. So children, it’s off to war you go.

US declassifies military attacks in Yemen, Somalia June 18, 2012 — bunkerville

U.S. Special Forces Being Deployed to Protect “Security” of Yemen May 18, 2012

Obama makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to criticize the government of Yemen. May 17, 2012

Boy-King Obama says, Bye Bye to Yemen’s Saleh April 4, 2011

SANA, Yemen — The United States, which long supported Yemen’s president Saleh, even in the face of recent widespread protests, has now quietly shifted positions and has concluded that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of office, according to American and Yemeni officials.

State Department Using ‘Diversity Visas’ to Encourage Immigration to U.S. from Terror-Ridden Yemen January 5, 2010

 

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