Another Federal Whistleblower -- Is Anyone Listening?

Written by Teresa Chambers

The plight of whistleblowers – those employees who soundrepparttar alarm about anything from dangerous conditions inrepparttar 136068 workplace to missed or ignored intelligence regarding our nation’s security – is a story that seems to grow stronger and with more frequency every day. My guess is that those stories have always been there; I suspect I am just paying closer attention to them now.

You see, I joinedrepparttar 136069 “ranks” of whistleblowers more than one year ago when, on December 2, 2003, a major newspaper printed a story in which I confirmed for them what many of us already knew – we,repparttar 136070 members ofrepparttar 136071 United States Park Police, could no longer providerepparttar 136072 level of service that citizens and visitors had grown to expect in our parks and on our parkways in Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco. The world changed for all of us on September 11, 2001, andrepparttar 136073 expectations of police agencies acrossrepparttar 136074 country grew exponentially overnight. Asrepparttar 136075 Chief ofrepparttar 136076 United States Park Police, an organization responsible for some of America’s most valued and recognizable symbols of freedom, I knew it was my duty, as chiefs of police acrossrepparttar 136077 country do every day, to informrepparttar 136078 community ofrepparttar 136079 realities ofrepparttar 136080 situation.

For being candid -- for being "honest" -- while still being supportive of my superiors, I was, without warning, stripped of my law enforcement authority, badge, and firearm, and escorted fromrepparttar 136081 Department ofrepparttar 136082 Interior by armed special agents of another Federal law enforcement entity in December of 2003. Seven months later,repparttar 136083 Department ofrepparttar 136084 Interior terminated me.

Frighteningly,repparttar 136085 issues I brought to light about our citizens' and visitors' safety and security andrepparttar 136086 future of these American icons have not been addressed -- other than to silence me. In fact, there are fewer United States Park Police Officers today than there were more than one year ago when I was sent home for daring to say that we weren't able to properly meet our commitments with existing resources. Other security concerns I raised internally have also gone un-addressed.

Famous Filibusters in Political History

Written by Garry Gamber

The filibuster as a political delaying tactic has been a part ofrepparttar American political process sincerepparttar 136050 adoption ofrepparttar 136051 U.S. Constitution. Though it was not used inrepparttar 136052 early years ofrepparttar 136053 nation,repparttar 136054 filibuster has been used hundreds of times sincerepparttar 136055 1840's. Here are a few ofrepparttar 136056 famous filibusters from our political history.

The U.S. Constitution does not limitrepparttar 136057 length or nature of debate onrepparttar 136058 floors ofrepparttar 136059 Senate orrepparttar 136060 House of Representatives. The House has since adopted rules which limitrepparttar 136061 length of debate sincerepparttar 136062 House has a very large number of Representatives. Butrepparttar 136063 smaller Senate has always upheldrepparttar 136064 right of a recognized Senator to debate an issue for as long as he or she wishes to holdrepparttar 136065 floor. Senate Rule 19 and Rule 22,repparttar 136066 cloture rule adopted in 1917, create some guidelines for conducting a debate and for closingrepparttar 136067 debate when it becomes lengthy.

Senator Henry Clay

In 1841 Senator Henry Clay proposed a bank bill that was opposed by Senator John C. Calhoun who began a lengthy, seemingly unending, rebuttal. Calhoun basically createdrepparttar 136068 modern filibuster. Clay threatened to changerepparttar 136069 Senate rules in order to close debate onrepparttar 136070 issue. Clay's colleague, Thomas Hart Benton, rebuked Clay and accused him of trying to stiflerepparttar 136071 Senate's right to unlimited debate.

Throughrepparttar 136072 next few turbulent decades and intorepparttar 136073 1960'srepparttar 136074 filibuster was used often by Southern Democrats to block civil rights legislation. The filibuster had been seen byrepparttar 136075 minority party as a tool to combatrepparttar 136076 potential "tyranny ofrepparttar 136077 majority," butrepparttar 136078 frequent usage ofrepparttar 136079 filibuster byrepparttar 136080 Southern Democrats became characterized asrepparttar 136081 "tyranny ofrepparttar 136082 minority."

Senate Rule 22

President Woodrow Wilson suggested that some limits be placed onrepparttar 136083 unlimited debate concept. In 1917repparttar 136084 Senate adopted Senate Rule 22, now known asrepparttar 136085 "cloture" rule. The new Rule 22 providedrepparttar 136086 mechanism to close out debate on a legislative bill and bringrepparttar 136087 bill up for a vote if cloture was approved by 67% ofrepparttar 136088 Senate. The 67% requirement remained in effect until 1975 when Rule 22 was amended to allow a 60% agreement to invoke cloture.

Cloture Rule 22 was tested in 1919 whenrepparttar 136089 Senate was asked to ratifyrepparttar 136090 Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I. The treaty was debated and filibustered, but a 67% majority voted to endrepparttar 136091 filibuster and to bringrepparttar 136092 treaty to a vote.

Senator Huey Long

Senator Huey Long,repparttar 136093 fiery and colorful senator from Louisiana, maderepparttar 136094 filibuster famous between 1932 and 1935 when he utilized it several times to stall legislation that he considered unfair torepparttar 136095 poor. Long frustrated his opponents and entertainedrepparttar 136096 Senate gallery by reading Shakespeare, reciting shrimp and oyster recipes and talking about "pot-likkers." An amendment to Senate Rule 19 later required that debate on legislation be germane torepparttar 136097 issue being debated.

On June 12, 1935, Senator Long engaged in his most famous filibuster. A bill was beforerepparttar 136098 Senate to eliminaterepparttar 136099 provision forrepparttar 136100 Senate to confirm senior National Recovery Act employees. Senator Long opposedrepparttar 136101 bill because he didn't want his political adversaries in Louisiana to obtain lucrative N.R.A. jobs. Senator Long spoke for 15 hours and 30 minutes running well intorepparttar 136102 evening and early morning hours with senators dozing at their desks. Long read and analyzed each section ofrepparttar 136103 Constitution, a document which he claimed had become "ancient and forgotten lore" under President Roosevelt's New Deal.

Afterrepparttar 136104 reading ofrepparttar 136105 Constitution Senator Long offered to give advice torepparttar 136106 remaining senators on any subject of their choosing. No senator took Long up on his offer butrepparttar 136107 gallery patrons began sending notes torepparttar 136108 floor for Senator Long to extemporize on. That kept Long going intorepparttar 136109 early hours ofrepparttar 136110 morning. At 4 a.m. Long yieldedrepparttar 136111 floor in order to userepparttar 136112 restroom and his proposal was defeated.

James Stewart brought more fame torepparttar 136113 filibuster when he playedrepparttar 136114 role of Senator Jefferson Smith inrepparttar 136115 1939 film, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Stewart's character launched into a filibuster in response to an attempt to ridicule him.

Senator Wayne Morse

Senator Wayne Morse from Oregon was called "The Tiger ofrepparttar 136116 Senate" and served inrepparttar 136117 Senate under 5 Presidents. In 1952 Senator Morse leftrepparttar 136118 Republican Party, claiming independent status, when he objected to sections ofrepparttar 136119 party platform and Dwight Eisenhower's choice of Richard Nixon as his vice presidential running mate. Senator Morse claimed thatrepparttar 136120 Republican Party had left him.

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