Post Tagged with: "Mitch McConnell"

How Money and Politics Taint Each Other

October 21, 2017 4:29 AM
How Money and Politics Taint Each Other

(Editor’s note – The following is an op-ed submitted to Grand Strand Daily by Bill Warner, Captain, USNR-ret., a retired attorney and a resident of Carolina Forest. It is an excellent description of what is happening in the SC House District 56 race with the television and radio ads and mailers, ostensibly by a third party PAC, in support of Tim McGinnis.)

Paul Gable’s incisive, thoroughly documented account of the twisting and turning campaign finance contortions apparently involved in the House District 56 special election has been a real revelation to me of not only the universal money and politics culture in South Carolina, but of its regulatory climate as well.

At the outset, let’s get past the “outsider” sticker I get pasted on my forehead every time I open my mouth around here about our local polity.  My people settled along this part of the coast in North and South Carolina nearly 300 years ago – about 1720 – and the many branches of that family tree are still alive and well, particularly around Wilmington.  My parents lived in Surfside Beach for 30 years where I was also a property owner, and where I’ve probably spent more time than anywhere else in the world except the place where I made my living for 55 years, Louisville, Kentucky.

Even if somehow I am by definition a disdained “outsider,” I’ve got bad news for the folksy, down home good ole boy culture that the reigning “insiders” wear like a motheaten cardigan.  There’s too many of us – with more pouring in every day – sooner rather than later a clear majority of voters.  And we’re simply not taken with the quaint backwoods oligarchy we have here fumbling and bumbling with a modern millennial urban community. Also, please note we’re not into the bread and circuses that pass for authentic governance, and worse, we’re not going to shut up.

Politics is in my blood.  My original and still much revered political mentor was my grandmother, Katherine Mayo Cowan, who was mayor of Wilmington, North Carolina, and a stalwart in Democratic politics in North Carolina in the 1920’s and ‘30’s.  She was active in FDR’s campaign in 1932 and then an executive with the National Recovery Administration for ten years – along with Frances Perkins, one of the highest-ranking women in that national government.

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Appeals Court: NSA Surveillance Program Illegal

May 8, 2015 6:00 AM
Appeals Court: NSA Surveillance Program Illegal

By Paul Gable

The US 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled this week the bulk collection of telephone data by the NSA (National Security Agency) is unlawful.

This decision not only overturned an earlier decision by a US District Court, but also demonstrates how out of touch the Obama White House is with what is legal in surveillance programs as is Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The ruling gives credence to a 2014 independent report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board that called the collection program illegal and said it should be ended.

The report said the bulk telephone records program lacked a viable legal foundation with “serious threats to privacy and civil liberties” with only “limited value.” The report also called for NSA to purge its files of these records.

The appeals court said the NSA collection exceeded the provisions of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which is up for reauthorization before it runs out at the end of this month.

However, the court did not rule an end to the NSA domestic collection program, preferring instead to allow Congress an opportunity to make changes in the program.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing to reauthorize Section 215.

But, the court, in its decision, concluded, ““We hold that the text of section 215 cannot bear the weight the government asks us to assign to it, and that it does not authorize the telephone metadata program. We conclude that to allow the government to collect phone records only because they may become relevant to a possible authorized investigation in the future fails even the permissive ‘relevance’ test.”

If Congress reauthorizes the Patriot Act provisions, we could see harsher court rulings result.

Frankly, it’s time someone reigned in Congress and its stomping all over the civil rights of American citizens. This ruling, at least, allows us to conclude that the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution is not dead.

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Benjamin Franklin

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