Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., had called on Congress to remove all items bearing the Confederate battle flag, including his state flag. When Congress failed to do so, Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich. (chairwoman of the House Administration Committee) ordered the Capital architect to replace every State's flag with with prints of each state's commemorative quarter. This enabled her and Rep. Thompson to remove the Battle Flag emblem without an act of the full congress. So what if that means 49 other States can no longer display their flags!
Congresswoman Miller issued a statement that, "Given the controversy surrounding confederate imagery, I decided to install a new display... I am well aware of how many Americans negatively view the Confederate flag, and, personally, I am very sympathetic to these views. However, I also believe that it is not the business of the federal government to dictate what flag each state flies.''
The removed flags had been displayed on the wall in the tunnel that runs between a House office building and the Capitol. Visitors and members of Congress travel between the office building and the Capitol by walking or taking small subway cars that go by the flags.
"I am pleased that the Architect of the Capitol will no longer display symbols of hatred and bigotry in the esteemed halls of the United States House of Representatives,'' Thompson said in a statement. "As I said last summer, this is the People's House and we should ensure that we, as an institution, refuse to condone symbols that seek to divide us.''
The committee's move Thursday puts the spotlight back on the State of Mississippi, where battles are brewing to remove Confederate flags and statues from public places. Some communities, towns and universities in Mississippi have removed the flag. Carlos Moore, an attorney from Mississippi, recently filed a lawsuit to remove it from public spaces.
Mississippi's Republican senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker have said they think the flag should be changed but said the decision should be made at the State level.
Congresswoman Miller has said that while State flags are being removed from the "common" areas of the Capital grounds, individual members of Congress can continue to display their state flags in their respective offices. Here statement said specifically that, "This is the 'People's House' where each congressional district sends their designated representative to be their voice in the halls of Congress. With that, it is common practice for each member of Congress to display their state flag, alongside of the American flag, outside their individual offices and in this way all state flags are displayed on Capitol Hill.''
Other Mississippi lawmakers still display the State flag outside their offices. Thompson has removed his.
In politics a landslide is defined as a 10 point spread in vote percentages. A 55 to 45 win is a landslide.
Donald Trump crushed his competition Tuesday in New York by a 36% margin, a landslide times 3.5!
Trump 60.5%, Kasich 25%, and Ted Cruz 14.5%.
As a result, Trump garnered 91 of New York's 95 convention delegates, and Kasich got only 4. Ted Cruz got ZERO.
Trump now leads nearest competitor Ted Cruz by an 844 to 559 delegate margin. The Trump margin of victory was so huge that it makes it a mathematical impossibility for the junior senator from Alberta, Canada to gain the nomination on the first ballot.
Trump's win in his "favorite son" state of New York was the largest margin in that state's history at 60,5%. An interesting comparison is that although Cruz eeked out a "favorite son" victory in Texas, his margin of victory, at 43.8%, was the LOWEST ever for a "favorite son" in any state in American history.
As a result, Cruz had a full apoplectic meltdown on Wednesday. During a radio appearance an unhinged Senator Cruz began lashing out and screaming at Sean Hannity. The internet quickly lit up as people discussed the on-air meltdown wondering what could have possibly triggered such grossly unstable behavior.
My guess is because Cruz's rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was attended by just 22 people. While Trump and Kasich are drawing Thousands in Philly (a city of over 1.6 million) only 22 people came out to hear candidate Cruz whine about Donald Trump. Apparently there is not much support for "Lyin' Ted Cruz" in the city of "brotherly love."
But the 22 folks who did take the time to turn out to the Cruz rally, if you can call 22 people setting in an otherwise empty auditorium a rally, were treated to one doozy of a concession speech!
In his speech after losing the New York primary, Senator Ted Cruz told the faithful few that he's starting to "Feel the Bern!" According to Cruz he and Senator Bernie Sanders are "outsiders" who "don't find our fuel in bundlers and special interests. But rather directly from the people."
Let me just say that Cruz's comparison to Sanders is a BIG stretch.
Sanders opposes super PACs that can raise unlimited amounts of money from big donors. Cruz has FIVE Super PACs, including four Keep the Promise super PACs that have raised $42.8 million largely from a small number of big special interest donors in the energy and finance industries.
Cruz's national finance committee offers "bundling benefits" based on how much fundraisers bring in to the campaign. "Founders" who raise $500,000 receive among other benefits an "invitation to a special retreat" with Cruz and his wife. Other levels include: statesmen ($250,000), generals ($100,000) and federalists ($50,000); each with their own sets of benefits.
Small donors - those giving $200 or less - account for 28 percent of Cruz's total campaign funds, as of Feb. 29. But Sanders has received 56 percent of his funds from small donors, and six other GOP candidates, including Donald Trump, have a higher percentage of small donors than Cruz.
Cruz compared himself to Sanders, the populist independent senator running for the Democratic nomination noting that Sanders too lost in New York and that they are each in second place, trailing their parties' respective presumptive nominees Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. The comparison should have ended there.
Cruz said that, "Bernie Sanders is an outsider... Our campaigns don't find our fuel in bundlers and special interests. But rather directly from the people."
There are some similarities between Cruz and Sanders in that both are probably not people you should trust to be left alone in a room with your children, but where they get their money from is NOT one of them. Sanders has received less than $4,000 from PACs while Cruz has received hundreds of times that amount. There are significant differences between the two candidates, beginning when it comes to the support of super PACs.
Sanders has famously eschewed super PACs and criticized pro-Clinton super PACs that have accepted money from Wall Street interests. But Cruz has embraced super PACs.
As we have reported, Cruz has the support of a network of super PACs under the umbrella of Keep the Promise that have been largely funded by major donors:
Keep the Promise I was formed with an $11 million donation from Robert Mercer, the co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, a $25 billion private hedge fund firm. The super PAC has raised a total of $12 million with the rest coming from only 13 other donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Keep the Promise II received only one donation - $10 million from Quantum Energy Partners cofounder Toby Neugebauer, who also made a $1,000 donation to Keep the Promise I.
Keep the Promise III raised nearly all of its $16.5 million in contributions from members of the Wilks family. Brothers Farris and Daniel Wilks made their fortune as the owners of Frac Tech, a family business that sold rigs used by fracking operators. Daniel and his wife, Staci, contributed $5 million to the super PAC, and Farris and his wife, JoAnn, contributed $10 million. (This PAC is also known as Reigniting the Promise, which is the name of its website.)
Keep the Promise PAC has raised $4.4 million, including $1 million from Richard Uihlein, chief executive officer of Uline; $500,000 from Robert McNair, the founder, chairman and CEO of the Houston Texans of the National Football League; $300,000 from Thomas Patrick, chairman of the investment management firm New Vernon Capital; and $250,000 from John Childs, chairman of the private equity firm J.W. Childs & Associates. The four men account for more than half of the PACs funding.
Stand for Truth, another pro-Cruz PAC, has raised $9 million, including $1 million from Trinity Equity, a private equity group based in Texas, and $250,000 each from Herzog Railroad Services in Missouri and Tranquil Path Investments of Utah. Such corporate donations were once illegal until the Supreme Court struck down the ban in its Citizens United ruling.
How unusual are these large contributions to the pro-Cruz PACs? The Center for Responsive Politics ranks the top donors to outside committees and three of the top five are donors to pro-Cruz PACs: Mercer ranks No. 1; Farris and JoAnn Wilks rank third; and Neugebauer ranks fourth.
The Associated Press last year wrote a story on Cruz's campaign fundraising that said the campaign was offering large money special interest donors "coveted access" to Cruz and his wife, Heidi. For those bundling $500,000 there will be a quarterly donor retreat and a quarterly dinner at the home of Ted and Heidi Cruz. Those giving $250,000 will be able to attend the quarterly retreat but will not be invited to the Cruz' home.
Will Ted and Heidi be serving Campbell's Chunky Soup at their quarterly dinners?
Those giving just $100,000 will still receive quarterly access to Cruz in a lesser setting.
The Cruz campaign does not hide any of this. The campaign posted a link to a Washington Post article on its website with the headline, "Washington Post: Cruz's secret fundraising strength: A network of wealthy donors." That story compared Cruz not to Sanders but to President Obama.
The Post article said that the structure of his donor base closely resembles that of President Obama, whose vaunted fundraising operation intensely focused on major special interest bundlers, bringing in a record $783 million for his 2012 reelection.
But unlike Obama - or Clinton - Cruz has not released his list of top bundlers. Cruz had said in a CNN interview in August of last year that he would release a list of major bundlers. Still waiting!
On his website we could not find a list of Cruz's top bundlers and the Cruz campaign did not get back to us when we asked for one. In March, the Cruz campaign did post names ofnew finance committee members who joined his team from other campaigns, including from the Jeb Bush campaign. If we get a list of his top bundlers, we will post it.
Hillary Clinton lists on her website the names of her bundlers who raised $100,000 or more - a group she calls "Hillblazers."
One measure of a candidate's populist appeal is the percentage of small donations that a campaign receives. By small, we are talking about donors who gave $200 or less. Any amount above that must be itemized, meaning the campaign must disclose the person's name, address and occupation.
As of Feb. 29, Sanders - who has been the butt of jokes for repeatedly saying his average donation is $27 - has received $76.7 million in small donations.
On the opposite end of that are those donors who "max out" to a candidate's campaign committee by giving the maximum amount of $2,700 per election. By that measure, 22 percent of Cruz's money has come from donors who "maxed out," compared with only 3 percent for Sanders.
When it comes to raising campaign funds, Cruz is no Bernie Sanders, despite his claim that he and Sanders "don't find our fuel in bundlers and special interests. But rather directly from the people."
So when it comes to money, and more specifically where it comes from, the Canadian immigrant to Texas whose daddy has told him since he was a little boy that "God had anointed him to be President of the United States" has truly earned his nickname, "Lyin' Ted."
Travelling the country over the last two decades, speaking to tens of thousands in hundreds of venues, I have met countless people named both "Andrew" and "Jackson" after Andrew Jackson. Military men still admire his combat service. An older generation venerates his incredible persistence. Many Southerners were raised to venerate him. And the debate over changing the $20 has prompted a number of conservative figures to denounce what they see as a politically correct rewriting of history.
So who was Andrew Jackson?
Jackson lived outside Nashville, none too close to Knoxville given the transportation of his day - but the city still has at least one building Jackson was known to have visited in the early 1800's. That his exact whereabouts in one building or another would even be remembered two hundred years later suggests how famous Jackson was then, and how his memory has endured.
Daniel Feller is the scholar who serves as the editor of Jackson's papers at the University of Tennessee. While Feller has freely criticized Jackson for his flaws he also regularly recounts the reasons that Jackson is venerated. Feller is a good starting point for someone who wants to do in depth study of the nation's 7th president.
There is so much more to Jackson than having been the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, his most famous victory as a general. Jackson was an orphan who rose from humble beginnings to be president from 1829 to 1837. He was the first president who started so low in life.
He governed as a president opposed to moneyed interests. His may have been a wildly irresponsible campaign, but he attacked moneyed interests who had attached themselves to this nation's infant government and who were sucking the life out of our nation.
Jackson saw excessive power among the wealthy men of his day as a danger to the republic. Feller sees parallels between Jackson's rhetoric of the 1830's and the modern-day language of presidential candidates on both sides, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
Jackson is also known for holding the Union together. The crisis that caused the WBTS might have come 30 years earlier than it did, but for Jackson's forcefulness in the 1830's.
Jackson was unashamedly Southern both in his birth, and in his sentiment. He was born near the then-unmarked border between North and South Carolina. But he had too much "sweat equity" invested in his country to set quietly by as others in his home State who did not have the same investment sought to casually disband it.
During the American Revolutionary War, Jackson, whose family supported the revolutionary cause, acted as a courier. At age 13, he was captured and mistreated by his British captors. After the war he became a lawyer. He was elected to political office, first to the U.S. House of Representatives and then to the U.S. Senate.
In 1801, Jackson was appointed colonel in the Tennessee militia, which became his political as well as military base.
He gained national fame through his role in the War of 1812, most famously where he won a decisive victory over the main British invasion army at the Battle of New Orleans, albeit some weeks after the Treaty of Ghent had already been signed (unbeknownst to the combatants).
In response to conflict with the Seminole in Spanish Florida, he invaded the territory in 1818. This led directly to the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 which formally transferred Florida from Spain to the United States.
He was one of the three original investors who founded Memphis, Tennessee, in 1819.
After winning election to the Senate, Jackson decided to run for president in 1824. He narrowly lost to John Quincy Adams, supposedly by a "corrupt bargain" between Adams and Speaker of the House Henry Clay, who was also a candidate. Jackson's supporters then founded what became the Democratic Party. He ran again in 1828 against Adams. Building on his base in the West and with new support from Virginia and New York, he won by a landslide.
In keeping with his platform of economic decentralization, Jackson vetoed the renewal of the Charter for the unconstitutional Central Bank. Many thought this put his chances for re-election in jeopardy. However, having defended the country from self-seeking bankers, he was able to defeat Clay in the election that year. He thoroughly dismantled the bank by the time its charter expired in 1836. Our nation would not have a Central Bank again until 1916 (Federal Reserve).
Jackson's name has been associated with Jacksonian democracy or the spread of democracy in terms of the passing of political power from established elites to ordinary voters based in political parties. Jackson's philosophy as President followed much in the same line as Thomas Jefferson, advocating Republican values held by the Revolutionary War generation. Jackson's presidency held a high moral tone; having as a planter himself agrarian sympathies, a limited view of states rights and the federal government.
Jackson believed that the president's authority was derived from the people and the presidential office was above party politics. Instead of choosing party favorites, Jackson chose "plain, businessmen." Martin Van Buren as Secretary of State, John Eaton Secretary of War, Samuel Ingham Secretary of Treasury, John Branch Secretary of Navy, John Berrien as Attorney General, and William T. Barry as postmaster general.
In an effort to purge the government from corruption of previous administrations, Jackson launched presidential investigations into all executive Cabinet offices and departments. During Jackson's tenure in office, large amounts of public money were put in the hands of public officials. Jackson, who believed appointees should be hired by merit, withdrew many candidates he believed were lax in their handling of monies. Jackson asked Congress to reform embezzlement laws, reduce fraudulent applications for federal pensions, revenue laws to prevent evasion of custom duties, and laws to improve government accounting. Jackson's Postmaster Barry resigned after a Congressional investigation into the postal service revealed mismanagement of mail services, collusion and favoritism in awarding lucrative contracts, failure to audit accounts and supervise contract performances. Jackson replaced Barry with Amos Kendall, who went on to implement much needed reforms in the Postal Service.
The first recorded physical attack on a U.S. president was directed at Jackson. Jackson had ordered the dismissal of Robert B. Randolph from the Navy for embezzlement. On May 6, 1833, Jackson sailed on USS Cygnet to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was to lay the cornerstone on a monument near the grave of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother. During a stopover near Alexandria, Randolph appeared and struck the President. He fled the scene chased by several members of Jackson's party, including the well-known writer Washington Irving. Jackson decided not to press charges.
On January 30, 1835, what is believed to be the first attempt to kill a sitting President of the United States occurred just outside the United States Capitol. When Jackson was leaving through the East Portico after the funeral of South Carolina Representative Warren R. Davis, Richard Lawrence, an unemployed house painter from England, aimed a pistol at Jackson, which misfired. Lawrence pulled out a second pistol, which also misfired. Historians believe the humid weather contributed to the double misfiring. Lawrence was restrained, and legend says that Jackson attacked Lawrence with his cane. Others present, including David Crockett, restrained and disarmed Lawrence.
Afterwards, due to public curiosity concerning the double misfires, the pistols were tested and retested. Each time they performed perfectly. Many believed that Jackson had been protected by the same Providence that they believed also protected their young nation. The incident became a part of the Jacksonian mythos.
Jackson formally recognized the Republic of Texas on the last day of his Presidency, March 3, 1837. Jackson's strong position in favor of the annexation of Texas led him to support James K. Polk for the Democratic nomination in the 1844 Presidential Election. Jackson's support played an important role in Polk winning the nomination and the general election.
After serving two terms as president, Jackson retired to his Hermitage plantation in 1837. Although he suffered ill health, Jackson continued to denounce the "perfidy and treachery" of banks and remained influential in both national and state politics.
Jackson died at his plantation on June 8, 1845, at the age of 78, of chronic tuberculosis, dropsy, and heart failure.
While Jackson was opposed to the idea of South Carolina seceeding in the 1830's I truly believe that had he lived, he would have supported the State's secession in the 1860's.
Now with the effort to remove him from our nation's currency, Andrew Jackson is still awash in a storm of controversy.The reason is simple; Andrew Jackson is inextricably woven into the fabric of America.
Jackson helped to inspire a uniquely American sense of promise and hope; the idea that anyone can succeed through hard work and natural ability, rather than through unearned power and privilege.
"I thank God that my life has been spent in a land of liberty and that He has given me a heart to love my country with the affection of a son."
-- Andrew Jackson
An April 13, 1866 article in the Atlanta, Georgia "Intelligencer" revealed that Confederate Admiral Semmes was released from Federal prison on April 6 by order of the President, on his original parole given under the Johnson-Sherman convention.
I am of the sincere opinion that Heinrich Hartmann "Henry" Wirz, Swiss-born commander of Camp Sumter, the Confederate prisoner-of-war camp near Andersonville, Georgia should have also have been released from prison under the same parole stipulations of the Johnson-Sherman convention. Instead, he was illegally tried and executed relating to his command of the camp.
After an autopsy removed some of Wirz's body parts, his partial remains were eventually reburied at Mount Olivet cemetery In Washington, DC. I have heard that some of these human remains were sent around the country and displayed as some type of morbid sideshow, despite President U.S. Grant issuing an order to bury an "entire" body. I have read that Wirz's arm and certain neck bones remain on public display at the National Museum of Medicine and Health located in Silver Spring, Maryland.
News stories dealing with the bones of deceased soldiers and the desire to rebury their remains are relatively common. Why is the Wirz case different?
Petitions and appeals to end this 150 year reign of blatant Northern barbarity, by burying all mortal remains, have been arrogantly unheeded.
John Wayne Dobson
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