Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NRA sells out to Democrats, sells out free speech - Updated with phone numbers! CALL TODAY

Tomorrow the House will vote on the DISCLOSE Act which is Pelosi's version of key parts of the Campaign-Finance Reform legislation that the Supreme Court recently ruled unconstitutional. (Because parts of it were unconstitutional... simply put, they violated the free speech rights of citizens that gathered into groups to pool their money, like an environmental activist group or a right-to-life group for example, that might legally be considered a "corporation." It made it much more difficult to make political advertisements, political documentaries, political books, etc. and in particular banned this type of political speech within 30 days of a caucus and 60 days of a general election. For background info, see here and here.)

So now everyone's favorite Speaker of the House, Queen Nancy, is going to try and pass the DISCLOSE Act tomorrow, June 17th, which is similar to the previous law. Of course, if it's coming from San Fran Nan, you know it's got at least a few ugly surprises. From Reason.com:
The DISCLOSE Act’s purpose, according to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Chris Van Hollen and other “reformers,” is simply to require disclosure of corporate and union political speech after the Supreme Court’s January decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that the government could not ban political expenditures by companies, nonprofit groups, and labor unions.

The bill, however, would radically redefine how the FEC regulates political commentary. A section of the DISCLOSE Act would exempt traditional media outlets from coordination regulations, but the exemption does not include bloggers, only “a communication appearing in a news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication…”
Not only to traditional media get a pass, but so do trade unions. Advocacy groups will lose much of their free speech rights - oh, except for those that make deals with the devils. One such group, the National Rifle Association. I know. I was stunned too.
The new agreement would exempt organizations that have over one million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states, and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations, from the disclosure requirements. The NRA, with four million members, would fall into the exempted category and will not oppose the DISCLOSE Act now, according to Democratic sources.

So if you are a small organization that just started up to defend freedom, you are screwed. But if you’ve been collecting a large file of members for decades off the image of Charlton Heston while repeated screwing conservatives, you’ll be safe.

This is just the NRA not wanting competition for itself. If they were really committed to freedom, let alone the second amendment, they should be encouraging more freedom loving, second amendment loving organizations to rise and fight. Instead, they are collaborating with the left to shut out competition.
This is all too familiar. The big guys in town team up with the politicians to work together on "reform" and "regulations" that are supposedly good for us, when actually the desired outcome is to cement the big daddy's place in the industry and politician's place in DC. The WSJ weighs in here.

What can you do?

First, email the NRA, especially if you are a member, and tell them that if they continue to support this ban on our 1st Amendment right that you will join another gun-owner advocacy group.

*Chris Cox, the chief lobbyist at NRA. His address is CCox@NRAHQ.org.
*Please also cc David Keene, NRA Board member, at KeeneD@CarmenGroup.com

Second, call your representative. I will look for a list of Reps. to call and try to post that asap.

PHONE NUMBERS:
(the first number is the phone number, the second number is the fax number)
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration 202-225-2801 202-225-5823
Rep. Baron Hill (IN-09), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy 202-225-5315 202-226-6866
Rep. Jim Matheson (UT-02), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications 202-225-3011 (202) 225-5638
Altmire, Jason (PA-04) 202-225-2565 202-226-2274
Baca, Joe (CA-43) 202-225-6161 202-225-8671
Barrow, John (GA-12) 202-225-2823 202-225-3377
Berry, Marion (AR-01) 202-225-4076 202-225-5602
Bishop, Sanford (GA-02) 202-225-3631 202-225-2203
Boren, Dan (OK-02) 202-225-2701 202-225-3038
Boyd, Allen (FL-02) 202-225-5235 202-225-5615
Bright, Bobby (AL-02) 202-225-2901 202-225-8913
Cardoza, Dennis (CA-18) 202-225-6131
Carney, Christopher (PA-10) 202-225-3731
Childers, Travis (MS-01) 202-225-4306 202-225-3549
Cooper, Jim (TN-05) 202-225-4311 202-226-1035
Costa, Jim (CA-20) 202-225-3341 202-225-9308
Cuellar, Henry (TX-28) 202-225-1640 202-225-1641
Dahlkemper, Kathy (PA-03) 202-225-5406 202-225-3103
Davis, Lincoln (TN-04) 202-225-6831 202-226-5172
Donnelly, Joe (IN-02) 202-225-3915 202-225-6798
Gordon, Bart (TN-06) (202) 225-4231
Holden, Tim (PA-17) (202) 225-5546 (202) 226-0996
Kratovil, Jr., Frank (MD-01) (202) 225-5311 (202) 225-0254
McIntyre, Mike (NC-07) (202) 225-2731 (202) 225-5773
Markey, Betsy (CO-04) 202.225.4676 202-225-5870
Marshall, Jim (GA-08) 202-225-6531 202-225-3013
Matheson, Jim (UT-02) (202) 225-3011 (202) 225-5638
Melancon, Charlie (LA-03) (202) 225-4031 (202) 226-3944
Michaud, Mike (ME-02) 202-225-6306 202-225-2943
Minnick, Walt (ID-01) (202) 225-6611 202) 225-3029
Mitchell, Harry (AZ-05) (202) 225-2190 N/A
Moore, Dennis (KS-03) (202) 225-2865 (202) 225-2807
Murphy, Scott (NY-20) (202) 225-5614 (202) 225-1168
Nye, Glenn (VA-02) (202) 225-4215 202) 225-4218
Peterson, Collin (MN-07) (202) 225-2165 202) 225-1593
Salazar, John (CO-03) 202-225-4761 202-226-9669
Scott, David (GA-13) (202) 225-2939 202) 225-4628
Space, Zack (OH-18) (202) 225-6265 (202) 225-3394
Tanner, John (TN-08) (202) 225-4714 (202) 225-1765
Taylor, Gene (MS-04) 202-225-5772 202.225.7074

And as a reminder about how typically sleazy this bill is, check this out:
Facing wide-ranging blowback from an exemption tailored for the National Rifle Association, House Democratic leaders have decided to expand the carve-out from disclosure requirements in a campaign finance measure they are trying to pass this week.

The new standard lowers the membership requirement for outside groups from 1 million members to 500,000. Those groups would still need to have members in 50 states, have existed for 10 years and can accept no more than 15 percent of their funding from corporate or union sources. The broader bill, called the DISCLOSE Act, comes in response to the controversial Supreme Court decision in January that struck down limits on corporate and union spending in elections. The bill would force groups participating in elections to name their top donors, among other changes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Wrong Path

There is a young woman in Venezuela who blogs about what is really happening inside Venezuela under Hugo Chavez' dictatorship, The end of Venezuela as I know it. As you read her posts, you wonder, how could there be any Americans that support him or his government? How is it that our own President stood shoulder to shoulder with Chavez in demonizing Honduras when they followed their Constitution and kicked out a guy who was trying to become a Chavez-like dictator?

I am going to repost one of her posts in particular because it is a fair warning about the path down which many of those in power would like to take us. And, in light of Obama's guaranteed push for Cap-and-Tax tonight in his speech, this is highly relevant. In this post, Julia writes about how miserable life is when the government gets to shut off your water and fines you for using too much electricity.

And if you think that can't happen here, then answer this question: why does Fannie Mae, the mortgage company, own patents on cap-and-trade technology? Why has the Obama administration spent the last few months fighting Freedom of Information Requests aimed at Fannie Mae and their finances, considering they are a root cause of the housing crisis, and we are on the hook for billions of dollars to bail them out?

Think about the crooked liars and the corruption, and the wheeling and dealing that is still happening among those in power as you read Julia's post below.

Misery (written a few weeks ago)

Life is miserable. Not my life, but life in general, as a whole. Even through we try to keep standing, with our heads up; even through we try to be the best in our jobs and return home to comfort our families and our couple, even when we smile and have good moments and joke. I see movies of people having personal struggles, or issues and I realize that I have a perfect life. I have a loving family who would do anything for me, I have a perfect boyfriend for me, I have loyal friends, a career, a full time incredible job, a couple of hobbies; not a lot of money but enough to keep decent standards sometimes. And yet, life is miserable.

That line comes as one breathtaking truth every time I enter a mall and its lights are half on: only the necessary ones for you to walk through the hallways. The rest are of: the lights of the shelves are off; the lights of some areas of the parking line are off.

Whenever I enter a place from the subway to a shop to realize that there is no air conditioner on; where you used to need a sweater, people are now sweating and you can read it in their eyes: the heat is a reminder of how miserable our lives have suddenly become.

Whenever feel guilty every time I turn on the TV or plug any other equipment, or charge my laptop; it is miserable or avoid turning on the lights even at night; because if your electricity bill arrives and you have no lower your watts consume, you will be fined and even have your service cut for 24 hours; you realize that life is miserable.

Life is miserable if the streets look darker than usual in one of the most dangerous cities of the world.

Life is miserable at least twice a week and during this week it was miserable five days of it; because we didn’t have running water and our tank, as a result, is now empty. We were getting used to run every time we noticed we had running water, to take a bath and wash the dishes and, if we were lucky; our clothes.

Now my mom is telling us that we might have to use our clothes more than once and take more baths using pots and saving every drop of water that we can. Tell that to someone like me, a girl like any other, accustomed to the comforts of a middle class life and with very high hygiene standards.

My sister just went out to buy as many bottles of water she can find, big or small because we don’t know when we are going to have current water again.

My days are now hot and dry, and dirty too. Uncomfortable, sad, always asking me how much I can take.

I can’t scream, I can’t complain. There is nothing we can do about it. We are in the middle of dry season and no proper investments were made to go through this season without lacking basic resources.

We are here fighting hard to keep our living standards, but our living standards seem now distant to me. My bathroom looks now like an ornament because nothing of it works without water. And the TV, DVD, lights, microwave, and washing machine are also ornaments because even if we have electricity, we are warned to not use them much. My whole house looks like a reminder of another age, where resources were abundant and we did not have to worry about it. We could have the luxury of worrying about anything else.

You know, today is my second anniversary. I’m remembering my first anniversary and I’m carrying a smile. I was worried about looking beautiful and nothing else. Now I’m filling some pots to take a bath, I feel ashamed because I can’t take a complete bath in the shower to go to my anniversary lunch. Before going to lunch, my boyfriend and I must stop at some supermarket to buy as many water as we can and bring them back home, even if this bothers our initial budget for having a lunch at a good restaurant.

I feel ashamed, sad, and over all miserable; when I should be smiling because I’m going to celebrate the joy of spending two years with the greatest person I have ever met. But no life is perfect if you are missing some drops: some drops of water, some drops of dignity, some drops of respect, some drops of freedom.

No smile is complete, if is surrounded by misery.