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death and life of education

Best Predictor Of How Congressmembers Voted On The Amendment To End NSA Spying: Legalistic Bribes From Defense Industry

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David Kravets put the vote on the Amash-Conyers amendment to end warrantless domestic spying into a sensible perspective for Wired Last week: Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash. And, appropriately enough, the photo in his piece-- Congress' most corrupt Military Industrial Complex shill, Buck McKeon (R-CA).
The numbers tell the story-- in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters.

That’s the upshot of a new analysis by MapLight, a Berkeley-based non-profit that performed the inquiry at Wired’s request. The investigation shows that defense cash was a better predictor of a member’s vote on the Amash amendment than party affiliation. House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to dismantle it.

Overall, political action committees and employees from defense and intelligence firms such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies, Honeywell International, and others ponied up $12.97 million in donations for a two-year period ending December 31, 2012, according to the analysis, which MapLight performed with financing data from OpenSecrets. Lawmakers who voted to continue the NSA dragnet-surveillance program averaged $41,635 from the pot, whereas House members who voted to repeal authority averaged $18,765.

worth clicking on to see how much these crooks take in bribery

Of the top 10 money getters, only one House member-- Rep. Jim Moran (D-Virginia)-- voted to end the program.

“How can we trust legislators to vote in the public interest when they are dependent on industry campaign funding to get elected? Our broken money and politics system forces lawmakers into a conflict of interest between lawmakers’ voters and their donors,” said Daniel G. Newman, MapLight’s president and co-founder.

The Guardian newspaper disclosed the phone-metadata spying last month with documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The House voted 205-217 Wednesday and defeated an amendment to the roughly $600 billion Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014 that would have ended authority for the once-secret spy program the White House insisted was necessary to protect national security.

The amendment  was proposed by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan), who received a fraction of the money from the defense industry compared to top earners. For example, Amash got $1,400-- ranking him in the bottom 50 for the two-year period. On the flip side, Rep. Howard McKeon (R-California) scored $526,600 to lead the House in defense contributions. He voted against Amash. Of the 26 House members who voted and did not receive any defense financing, 16 voted for the Amash amendment.


House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) voted against the measure. He ranked 15th in defense earnings with a $131,000 take. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) also voted against Amash. Pelosi took in $47,000 from defense firms over the two-year period.
Rolling in all this illicit cash, apparently McKeon doesn't realize that when he says something "insensitive" in Alabama people back in Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and the Antelope Valley find out about it too. This week he was advocating for more job cuts at an "off-the-record" meeting with community and business leaders in Huntsville with one of his junior Armed Services Committee shills, Mo Brooks.
In responding to a follow-up question, McKeon said the practice of furloughs gambles that the most valued employees will remain at 80 percent of their regular salary rather than pursuing another job.

"In my time in business, I always found that if you had to make cuts, you were better off making them than putting them off as long as you could because they are going to come," he said. "When they take a 20 percent cut and they think it's just going to be for a few months, they can maybe they can get by.

"If they see it's going to be 10 years, they are going to be gone anyway. You're going to lose the best people because they're going to go somewhere else. They just won't stay. Eventually, you end up with it costing you even more."
McKeon was indeed in business. He ran a huge 55-store western dress-up chain of stores, Howard & Phil's, his parents built and left him. He bankrupted it through severe mismanagement. So whenever McKeon starts a sentence with "In my time in business," it's time to clutch your wallet tightly.

Last year, Dr. Lee Rogers, an ACLU member and staunch supporter of constitutionally mandated privacy rights, came closer to beating McKeon than anyone in Buck's sordid career. He had no support from the Beltway Democrats last year but this year the DCCC has pledged to help. If you'd like to help as well, you can do it at the Blue America ActBlue page. We asked Rogers how he sees McKeon's role in the NSA controversy.

"I believe the NSA's actions violate the Fourth Amendment, which establishes the protection of persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant, and that the warrant shall only be issued when there is probable cause. Collection of mass data on American citizens does not meet that standard and I would have voted to limit the extent of NSA data collection to non-citizens or in cases where a warrant was issued for a specific person."

"But I believe we need to go even a step further. I support making electronic communication between persons just as protected as the US Mail. It is a federal crime to open or destroy mail not directed to you. Email is the modern way of personal communication. Private email conversations occur between lawyers and clients, doctors and patients, banks and customers, journalists and sources, and between family and friends. I want to make sure those private conversations are kept private. If the government has a reason to suspect you are a terrorist or otherwise engaged in criminal activity, it can obtain a warrant. If not, it shouldn't be engaged in mass interception and analysis of our communications."

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Original author: DownWithTyranny


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