Tag Archive: Congress


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Congress Declares Martial Law as Dollar Rapidly Collapses

dollar collapseBy Mac Slavo

The debt ceiling issue is returning to the forefront in American politics, again threatening a government shutdown.

Last time, the shutdown resulted in sequester for many agencies that suspended work for many government employees; a great deal of political theater dominated the news cycle; but ultimately, things returned to a basic normalcy.

This time may be different, as a number of critical factors face Americans in 2015. Last week, Congress passed “procedural martial law” to address stop-gap spending as it faces the debt ceiling crisis again.

Meanwhile, this quietly announced martial law forced a vote on bills the same day, preventing members from even reading the legislation they were voting on, to avert an October 1 government shutdown. The move, which was done just a few weeks prior, shows how desperate things have become.

The Hill reported:

For the second time in a month, the House on Tuesday invoked “martial law” to allow more expeditious consideration of a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

The use of martial law refers to bypassing the typical procedure that requires the House to wait a day after the Rules Committee produces a rule establishing floor debate parameters before voting.

[…]House GOP leaders invoked martial law earlier this month to fast-track a spending bill. But they ultimately never had to use it after the Senate opted to go first with the spending bill.

Crisis is averted – for now.

But the dollar is now an unwanted export commodity. As the U.S. rattles sabers with Russia in its proxy wars, the basis for American power overseas is rapidly collapsing.

China is ready to move forward with a “global reset” that would include the yuan in a global basket of currencies, and knock the dollar out of its reserve currency status.

Increasing troubles of U.S. and government financial institutions gives a sharp warning that things are coming to a head.

SGT Report issues a critical and under reported warning: “We are living in the last days of this Republic.”

 

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The New American

George Will Promotes Plan to Grant President Legislative Powers

Written by 

In an April 9 opinion piece published in the Washington Post, commentator George Will praises the Goldwater Institute’s Compact for America and its component calling for an Article V constitutional convention.

Will points out a few of the proposal’s “benefits,” insisting that the balanced budget amendment (BBA) that it aims to enact “delivers immediate benefits to constituents.” Unfortunately, Will’s analysis of the Compact for America ignores several of its distinctly unconstitutional provisions.

First, before state legislatures vote for an Article V con-con proposal such as the Compact for America that could cause real and radical damage to our Constitution, they should first consider whether a balanced budget amendment is necessary and whether it would actually repair the damage already done by a Congress committed to ignoring the constitutional limits on its power.

The fact is that determined citizens and state legislators could rescue the United States from its financial peril without resorting to opening up the Constitution to tinkering by 38 or more state-appointed delegates, many of whom would be bought and paid for by special interests and corporations.

Imagine for a moment the brand of “conservative” delegates that might be chosen by state partisans to represent them at an Article V convention. It isn’t unlikely that Arizona might choose John McCain, Jan Brewer, or Sandra Day O’Connor. New York might send Michael Bloomberg. South Carolina could appoint Lindsey Graham. Similar selections could be predicted in every state.

Next, there is no historical proof that a balanced budget amendment would drive Congress back to within its constitutional corral. Even the most conservative estimates indicate that about 80 percent of expenditures approved by Congress violate the U.S. Constitution. That fact wouldn’t change by adding an amendment to the Constitution.

Whether these bills spend our national treasure on unconstitutional and undeclared foreign wars, billions sent overseas in the form of foreign aid, expanding the so-called entitlement programs, or redistributing wealth via corporate and individual welfare schemes, none of these outlays is authorized by the Constitution.

And don’t forget, a committed, concerned, and constitutionally aware citizenry can balance our budget more quickly than any balanced budget amendment and without the danger of letting the wolves of special interests and their political puppets into the constitutional hen house.

Third, rather than forcing Congress to adhere to spending money in only those areas specifically permitted by the Constitution in Article I, the Compact for America’s Balanced Budget Amendment specifically allows Congress to spend money on anything, no matter how unconstitutional, so long as the amount does not exceed the limits set in Section 2 of their BBA. If approved, the CFA’s BBA would do nothing to break Congress of its unconstitutional spending habits, habits that have nearly ruined the economic might of this Republic.

In fact, under the CFA’s budget-balancing scheme, Congress could continue spending on projects and programs not authorized by the Constitution.

Section 3 of the CFA’s BBA explicitly authorizes an increase in the federal debt limit to 105 percent of the actual debt level on the effective date of this amendment. That hardly sounds like a balanced budget and is not something true conservatives should support as a remedy to a runaway federal government.

 

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Man in despair over billsOr Adding A National Sales Tax To The Income Tax?   

The stated purpose of Compact for America, Inc. is to get a balanced budget amendment (BBA) ratified.  Here is their proposed BBA.  State Legislators recently introduced it in Arizona. 1

The gap between what this BBA pretends to do – and what it actually does – is enormous. It has nothing to do with “balancing the budget” – it is about slipping in a new national sales tax or value-added tax in addition to the existing federal income tax.

We have become so shallow that we look no further than a name – if it sounds good, we are all for it.  We hear, “balanced budget amendment”, and think, “I have to balance my budget; they should have to balance theirs.”  So we don’t read the amendment, we just assume they will have to balance theirs the same way we balance ours – by cutting spending.

But that is not what the BBA does.  In effect, it redefines “balancing the budget” to mean spending no more than your income plus the additional debt you incur to finance your spending.  To illustrate:  If your income is $100,000 a year; but you spend $175,000 a year, you “balance” your budget by borrowing the additional $75,000.  See?

Under the BBA, Congress may continue to spend whatever it likes and incur as much new debt as it pleases – as long as 26 States agree.  And since the States have become major consumers of federal funding, who doubts that they can’t continue to be bought?  Federal grants make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets!  The States are addicted to federal funds – who thinks they won’t agree to get more money?

The BBA enshrines Debt as a permanent feature of our Country; gives it constitutional approval; does nothing to reduce spending or “balance the budget”; authorizes a new national tax; and wipes out the “enumerated powers” limitation on the federal government.

Let’s look at the BBA, section by section, using plain and honest English.  And then let’s look at how our Framers wrote our Constitution to strictly control federal spending.

Compact for America’s BBA

Section 1 says the federal government may not spend more than they take from you in taxes or add to the national debt. [Yes, you read that right.]

Section 2 accepts debt as a permanent feature of our Country – the “Authorized Debt”. This is the maximum amount of debt the federal government may incur at any given point in time.

  • Initially, when the Amendment is ratified, the “authorized debt” may not be more than 105% of the then existing national debt.  So!  If the national debt is $20 trillion when the Amendment is ratified, the federal government may not initially add more than 105% of    $20 trillion [or $1 trillion] to the national debt.
  • After that initial addition to the national debt, the “authorized debt” may not be increased unless it is approved by State Legislatures as provided in Section 3.

Section 3 says whenever Congress wants, it may increase the national debt if 26 of the State Legislatures agree.  [Yes, you read that right.]

Section 4 says whenever the national debt exceeds 98% of “the debt limit set by Section 2”, the President shall “impound” sufficient expenditures so that the national debt won’t exceed the “authorized debt”.  And if the President doesn’t do this, Congress may impeach him!

This is a hoot, Folks!  I’ll show you:

  • No debt limit is set by Section 2!  The national debt can be increased at any time if Congress gets 26 State Legislatures to agree.  Can 26 States be bought?
  • Section 6 defines “impoundment” as “a proposal not to spend all or part of a sum of money appropriated by Congress”.  Who believes Congress will impeach the President 2 for failing to “impound” an appropriation made by Congress?

Section 5 says any new or increased federal “general revenue tax” must be approved by 2/3 of the members of both houses of Congress.

Now pay attention, because this is a monstrous trick to be played on you:  Section 6 defines “general revenue tax” as “any income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax” levied by the federal government.

And when you read the first sentence of Section 5 with the definition of “general revenue taxin place of “general revenue tax”, you see that it says:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote…” 

Do you see?  This permits Congress to impose a national sales tax or value added tax in addition to the income tax, 3 if 2/3 of both houses agree.  [Yes, you read that right.]

 

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Independence Hall, where the 1787 Constitution was crafted

Q: How are amendments to the federal Constitution made?

A: Article V of our Constitution provides two method of amending the Constitution:

  1. Congress proposes amendments and presents them to the States for ratification; or
  2. When 2/3 of the States apply for it, Congress calls a convention to propose amendments.

Q: Which method was used for our existing 27 amendments?

A:  The first method was used for all 27 amendments including the Bill of Rights which were introduced into Congress by James Madison. 3

Q:  Is there a difference between a constitutional convention, con con, or Article V Convention?

A:  These names have been used interchangeably during the last 50 years.

Q:  What is a “convention of states”?

A:  That is what the people pushing for an Article V convention now call it. 

Q: Who is behind this push for an Art. V convention?

A:  The push to impose a new Constitution by means of an Article V convention (and using a “balanced budget” amendment as justification) started in 1963 with the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.  1    Today, it is pushed by:

Q:  Why do they want an Article V Convention?

A:  The only way to get rid of our existing Constitution and Bill of Rights is to have an Article V convention where they can re-write our Constitution.  Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for Michael Farris’ “Convention of States”, said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

Q: How can they impose a new constitution if ¾ of the States don’t agree to it?

A: Only amendments require ratification by ¾ of the States (see Art. V). But a new constitution would have its own new method of ratification – it can be whatever the drafters want.  For example, the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a referendum called by the President.

Q: Can a convention be stopped from proposing a new Constitution?

A:  No.  Once the delegates are duly appointed & assembled, they are acting under the inherent authority of A People to alter or abolish their form of government [Declaration of Independence, 2nd para]; and have the sovereign power to do whatever they want at the convention.

Q: Is this what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787?

A:  Yes.  Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74) to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.  But the delegates ignored this limitation and wrote a new Constitution.  Because of this inherent authority of delegatesit is impossible to stop it from happening at another convention.  And George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there to protect you.

Q: Did the delegates at the Convention of 1787 introduce a new mode of ratification for the new Constitution?

A:  Yes. The Articles of Confederation required the approval of all 13 States for amendments to the Articles to be ratified.  But the new Constitution provided it would become effective if only 9 of the 13 States ratified it (Art. VII, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution).

Q:  Who would be delegates at a Convention?

A:  Either Congress appoints whomever they want; or State governments appoint whomever they want.

Q: Who would be chairman at a convention?

A: We don’t know.  But chairmen have lots of power – and George Washington won’t be chairman.

Q: But if the States appoint the delegates, won’t a convention be safe?

A: Who controls your State?  They will be the ones who choose the delegates if Congress permits the States to appoint delegates.  Are the people who control your State virtuous, wise, honest, and true?  [Tell PH if they are, so she can move there.]

Q: But aren’t the States the ones to rein in the federal government?

A: They should have been, but the States have become major consumers of federal funding.  Federal funds make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets. The States don’t want to rein in the feds – they don’t want to lose their federal funding.

Q: Did Thomas Jefferson say the federal Constitution should be amended every 20 years?

A: No! In his letter to Samuel Kercheval of July 12, 1816, Jefferson wrote about the Constitution for the State of Virginia, which he said needed major revision.  And remember James Madison’s words in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from the end):

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

The powers delegated to the feds are “few and defined” – what’s to amend?  All else is reserved to the States or the People – so State Constitutions would need more frequent amendments.  Do you see?

Q:  Did Alexander Hamilton say in Federalist No 85 (next to last para) that a convention is safe?

A:  No!  He said, respecting the ratification of amendments, that we “may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority”.  But today, our State legislatures don’t protect us from federal encroachments because:

  • We have been so dumbed down by progressive education that we know nothing & can’t think;
  • State legislatures have been bought off with federal funds; and
  • Our public and personal morality is in the sewer.

Q: Did Our Framers – the ones who signed The Constitution – think conventions a fine idea?

A:  No!

“Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

 

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Photo by: Marko Drobnjakovic

A woman walks past a local bank set on fire in Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicenter of the country’s unrest, in Ukraine on Feb. 25. The Obama administration is hoping the crisis in Ukraine will breathe new life into its stalled efforts to pass legislation reforming the International Monetary Fund in Congress this year. (associated press)

Administration sees crisis in Ukraine as opportunity to pass IMF reforms

By Patrice Hill

The Washington Times

The crisis in Ukraine has unexpectedly breathed new life in the Obama administration’s stalled efforts to pass legislation reforming the International Monetary Fund in Congress this year.

Administration aides have seized on the crisis as an opportunity to piggyback the reforms to the global financing agency long sought by President Obama, which give a greater voting share on the IMF board to rising developing economies such as China and Brazil, onto a bill providing $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine’s West-leaning government.

The aid package — and the IMF’s potential role in aiding the new government in Kiev — will likely come up when Mr. Obama meets for the first time with new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the White House Wednesday.

Under the administration’s assistance plan, the IMF would lead Western efforts to provide Ukraine with as much as $35 billion in loans in exchange for Ukraine adopting much-needed reforms in its corruption-riddled economy. But the quick action that is needed to help Ukraine avert a default within months may be jeopardized if Congress continues to block the reform bill with its $63 billion increase in the IMF’s lending authority.

Moreover, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the U.S. cannot take an aggressive leading role in addressing the crisis, as many in Congress demand, unless lawmakers acts on the reforms. The U.S. in the past has had effective veto power over IMF programs, but the administration’s failure to obtain additional lending power to the international agency from Capitol Hill has been eroding its influence there.

“It is imperative that we secure passage of IMF legislation now so we can show support for the IMF in this critical moment and preserve our leading influential voice in the institution,” Mr. Lew told the Senate Finance Committee, noting that many members of Congress have been “at the forefront of international calls in urging the Fund to play a central and active first-responder role in Ukraine.”

Credibility at stake

International finance analysts say the U.S. will lose credibility in the eyes of the world if it continues to call for action to help the new government in Kiev while holding back the IMF reforms that make that possible. In addition to the IMF receiving increased lending authority in the bill, Ukraine would get greater authority to borrow funds it needs from the IMF to stabilize its ailing economy.

“Since it was the U.S. that spearheaded the 2010 IMF reforms, the legitimacy of U.S. leadership is at stake,” said Jo Marie Griesgraber, executive director of New Rules for Global Finance. “Congressional approval is the only remaining impediment” preventing the reforms from taking effect, she said, as most of the IMF’s other 136 members have already approved them.

“We have heard the calls from Congress for stronger U.S. leadership on Ukraine. This would be an excellent time for Congress to approve the IMF reforms,” she said. “This is a win-win for members of Congress who wish to strengthen U.S. global leadership, specifically its position on Ukraine vis—vis Russia, without additional costs to U.S. taxpayers.”

The administration and IMF proponents argue that the increased IMF lending authority would do little to increase the budget deficit since it involves a reprogramming of funds already approved by Congress for emergency IMF loans during the 2009 financial crisis.

While Republican leaders earlier this year were willing to accept the reforms, they sought unsuccessfully for concessions from the administration in return. Some Republican members of Congress have balked at the legislation, contending that the $314 million on-budget cost is not negligible while the IMF lending programs leave U.S. taxpayers open to potentially large costs if borrowers do not repay their loans — something that has never happened in the IMF’s history.

“According to the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. has never lost money on quota commitments. In fact, there is some nominal interest earned on these commitments,” said Ms. Griesgraber.

 

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Bloomberg

 

Ukraine Aid Measure Approved With IMF Link House Opposes

 

By Derek Wallbank and David Lerman Mar 12, 2014 7:26 PM CT

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved an aid package for Ukraine that will face opposition from Republicans over changes in U.S. funding for the International Monetary Fund.

The Democratic-led panel voted 14-3 today for a bill that would give Ukraine $1 billion in loan guarantees it’s seeking as Russian forces occupy the Crimean peninsula. It also would authorize sanctions against Ukrainians and Russians deemed responsible for corruption and violence.

The measure, which had bipartisan support in the panel, “sends a message to Russia and the world that we support Ukraine,” said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the panel’s chairman.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner earlier today rejected attempts by Democrats and the Obama administration to tie additional funds for the IMF to a Ukraine aid package.

“This IMF money isn’t necessary for dealing with this Ukraine crisis that we see today,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told reporters in Washington. House Republicans have resisted proposals to increase funds for the IMF for years.

The IMF overhaul is backed by the Obama administration, chief executive officers of major U.S. companies and Republican former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice, who have said funding the IMF would help Ukraine.

Senate Timing

Ukraine’s prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, went to the Capitol tonight after meetings in Washington with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking to reporters after he met in a closed-door session with Foreign Relations Committee members, Yatsenyuk said he wasn’t concerned about the time that it might take for Congress to approve the requested economic assistance.

“It always takes time to make good things,” he said.

He called the U.S. pledge of $1 billion in loan guarantees “the first real and concrete step how to stabilize the situation in my country, and we praise it.”

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters he hoped the measure approved today can be taken up by the full Senate tomorrow, Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for the Nevada Democrat, said the legislation may not be considered before members leave for a break until March 24. The Senate may depart as soon as tomorrow.

Three Republicans voted against the Senate measure in the committee: Senators James Risch of Idaho, John Barrasso of Wyoming and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

 

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The New Republic

ECONOMICS MARCH 13, 2014

If Ukraine Defaults, They Can Blame House Republicans

Ukraine needs loans to avoid a default and they need them fast. Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged $1 billion to support Ukraine, but that money is now caught up in a political fight in Congress. Democrats want to include long-overdue reforms to the International Monetary Fund that would allow Ukraine to borrow more from the fund, but Republicans are opposed – unless, of course, Democrats will agree to a one-year delay of an IRS rule. “Let’s make sure we all understand something: The IMF money has nothing to do with Ukraine,” House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday. But they do: They’d allow Ukraine to borrow 60 percent—around $600 million—more from the IMF.

In 2010, the G20 countries agreed to changes to the IMF that would transfer $63 billion from an emergency fund to the main fund and give emerging countries a larger representation on the board. For the U.S., the implications are minor. It does not increase our contributions to the fund and slightly reduces our voting power, but we retain veto power over major policy decisions. More than 130 countries have already approved of these reforms, but they cannot go into effect until Congress passes them.

 

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The New Zealand Herald

 

IMF team to remain in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) The head of the International Monetary Fund says an IMF fact-finding team in Ukraine will begin negotiations with authorities to develop an economic reform program that could lead to financial help from the lending organization.

Christine Lagarde said Thursday the team that went to Ukraine March 4 and normally would return to Washington to report to the IMF board will now remain until March 21.

 

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ALERT! Flood Insurance Rates to Skyrocket After FEMA Redraws Flood Maps!

DAHBOO77·

Published on Feb 27, 2014

IT’S ABOUT TO HIT THE FAN FOLKS ! This move also makes me think that they KNOW , We have severe flooding coming down the pike!

http://wwlp.com/2014/02/27/flood-insu…

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FEMA has quietly moved the lines on its flood maps to benefit hundreds of oceanfront condo buildings and million-dollar homes, according to an analysis of federal records by NBC News.

Investigations

Image: The Turquoise Place condominium buildings rise above Orange Beach, Alabama, before sunrise.

John Brecher / NBC News

Why Taxpayers Will Bail Out the Rich When the Next Storm Hits

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Flood-zone residents outraged over new insurance rates

CBS News CBS News

Published on Sep 28, 2013

Residents and business owners in Broad Channel, N.Y., are protesting skyrocketing insurance rates that are part of a new federal law designed to keep FEMA afloat. The new law increases the number of areas that are deemed flood zones and stipulates that homeowners in those areas raise their houses or face increased premiums. Don Dahler reports.

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Congress tried to cut subsidies for homes in flood zones. It was harder than they thought.

Back in 1968, Congress first began subsidizing flood-insurance policies for homeowners across the nation. That change allowed more Americans to move into coastal areas and floodplains without paying full price for the risks involved.

Flooding during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 (The Washington Post)

Flooding during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 (The Washington Post)

By 2012, however, lawmakers were rethinking the whole scheme. The National Flood Insurance Program was subsidizing premiums for 1.1 million policies and running multi-billion-dollar deficits. On top of that, scientists were predicting that sea-level rise would make flooding even more common in the years ahead. Environmentalists and fiscal conservatives alike argued that it made little sense to encourage building in high-risk areas.

So, that summer, Congress voted to revamp the program.* The Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 aimed to end subsidized rates for 438,000 insurance policies in flood zones  — mainly second homes, businesses, and repeatedly flooded properties. Subsidies for the rest (about 715,000 properties) would get rolled back more gradually, as the homes got sold. A separate set of properties could also face premium hikes as the government revises its flood maps.

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Then-Senator Barack Obama in March 2008: Trouble keeping his own promises?
Then-Senator Barack Obama in March 2008: Trouble keeping his own promises? Win McNamee/Getty Images

“The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.”

Senator Barack Obama, March 31, 2008

Few politicians are disciples of truth. But when it comes to President Obama and executive power, the gap between rhetoric and reality is truly astonishing. The candidate who once promised a presidency of humility is long gone. Instead, this president has defined his administration by a naked and extreme exertion of executive power. And now he’s been caught.

In its unanimous ruling late last week that the president’s non-recess appointment of three officials to the National Labor Relations Board was unconstitutional, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t pull any punches. Unfortunately, the court’s ruling is a little late. For the past four years, Obama’s executive authority has been restrained only by the limits of the president’s imagination.

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Examiner.com

John Podesta: Obama ‘warming up’ to idea of ruling like dictator

John Podesta says Obama "warming up" to ruling like a dictator.

Getty Images

While appearing on NPR Tuesday morning, White House adviser John Podesta said President Obama is “warming up” to the idea of unilaterally ruling by executive fiat, bypassing Congress whenever he can, CNS News reported.

“But he doesn’t like to do this, does he?” the NPR host asked.

“Uh, I think he’s warmed up to it,” Podesta responded, laughing.

Podesta assured NPR that Obama would be using his executive authority to address a number of issues, including global warming.

“And I think you’ll see that across a wide range of topics, including retirement security, moving forward on his climate change and energy transformation agenda,” he added. “There’s a lot that he has the authority to do that’s vested in him under the laws of the United States and his constitutional powers, and I think that he’s looking forward to a year of action, and I think he’s looking forward to tonight as a breakthrough year where he can lay out some of these practical, concrete ideas that will get people on-board a stable economic footing and see their wages going up for the first time in a long time.”

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Examiner.com

Expert to Congress: Obama’s illegal behavior could spark armed revolt

CATO Institute expert says Obama's failute to obey law could spark armed revolt.

CSPAN via Mediaite

December 4, 2013

While testifying before a House panel Tuesday, Michael Cannon, director of the Cato Institute’s Health Policy Studies, said Barack Obama‘s behavior — specifically, his failure to adhere to the law — could spark an armed revolt against the government, Mediaite reported.

“There is one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restraints that the constitution places on the government,” he said. “Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it.”

“That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate,” he added. “If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws then they will conclude that neither are they.”

“That is a very dangerous sort of thing for the president to do, to wantonly ignore the laws,” Cannon said, “to try to impose obligations upon people that the legislature did not approve.”

After the 2010 midterm elections, the liberal Center for American Progress advised Obama to use all of his executive power — including his authority as commander-in-chief of the military — to unilaterally push his agenda while bypassing Congress.

The result has been an unchecked executive branch issuing mandates through regulations and executive orders, sometimes ignoring established law.

In his written testimony, Cannon said that since signing the ACA into law, Obama has “failed to execute that law faithfully.”

Obama, he said, “has unilaterally taken taxpayer dollars made available by the PPACA and diverted them from their congressionally authorized purposes toward purposes for which no Congress has ever appropriated funds.”

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Examiner.com

Valerie Jarrett: Americans ‘hungry’ for Obama to act like an imperial president

On Tuesday, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Americans are “hungry” for Obama to take unilateral action, bypassing Congress wherever he can to get things done, CNS News reported.

“People around our country are hungry for action,” she said. “And what you’ll hear from the president tonight is going to be all about action — creating opportunity — and it’s going to be a very optimistic speech.”

According to Jarrett, Obama will “set forth very specific, concrete proposals that he thinks will move our country forward — create opportunity for hard-working Americans who want to succeed.”

Although Obama will prod Congress to act on his agenda, Jarrett said Obama “will make clear tonight that he will take action on his own,” bypassing Congress when he sees fit.

“We’re going to do what we can, within the president’s own executive power, and working throughout the country with those who want to move our country forward,” she added. “And it is a lot of potential there. And I think the optimism that the president has comes from the grit and determination of the American people, our businesses, many of who (sic) are bringing jobs back to America, so we have some momentum going, and we just need to call on everybody to work together, and that’s what the president will do this evening.”

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MSN News

Obama hiking minimum wage for new federal contracts

President Barack Obama signs the $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through the end of September, in Washington, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 at Jackson Place, a conference center near the White House.

The increase, by President Obama’s executive order, would benefit workers like army base employees and federally contracted janitors and construction workers.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will sign an executive order setting the minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts at $10.10 an hour, the White House said Tuesday. The president will announce the increase during his State of the Union address.

The increase from a national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour will not affect existing federal contracts, only new ones. Moreover, contract renewals will not be affected unless other terms of the agreement change.

The order would be one of the biggest examples in the State of the Union of Obama’s vow to use presidential authority to push for policies by circumventing Congress.

Obama has been under pressure from liberal groups and employee advocates to use his executive authority to raise the minimum pay for federal contractors. By limiting the increase to new contracts, the order would affect far fewer employees than if it applied to all government contractors.

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Related: White House warns Obama could go around Congress

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Liberals: Obama alone could raise minimum wage for many

  @CNNMoney January 24, 2014: 4:15 AM ET

obama executive orderPresident Obama has said he will use whatever executive authority he has to help the middle class and the economy. Liberals say he should do so to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Just do it, Mr. President.

If Congress won’t raise the federal minimum wage, you can. At least for people who work for companies that get federal contracts, subcontracts and grants.

So says a group of liberals in the House and Senate who want President Obama to sign an executive order requiring federal agencies to give preference in awarding contracts to companies that pay workers no less than $10.10 an hour.

Currently the federal minimum wage is $7.25. And there’s been a push by Democrats to raise it to $10.10 — an idea that Obama supports.

Doing so directly and indirectly could raise pay for up to 28 million workers, according to estimates from the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

But there’s not a high chance Congress will pass that proposal anytime soon.

That’s why 15 senators, led by Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and 17 members of the House, led by Keith Ellison of Minnesota, sent letters to the president urging him to exercise his executive authority.

“Profitable corporations that receive lucrative contracts from the federal government should pay all of their workers a decent wage,” the senators wrote in their letter.

Demos, a liberal think tank, estimates such a move — depending on how broadly it’s structured — could improve wages for up to nearly 2 million low-paid workers.

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Related: State with highest minimum wage may hike it again

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Bloomberg Business Week

Obama Won’t `Simply Wait’ for Congress: Jarrett

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) — Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, talks about the president’s State of the Union address tonight and his plan to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors. Jarrett speaks with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Watch Video Here

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• Robert Litt writes to New York Times to deny allegation

• Says ‘inaccurate’ testimony could not be corrected publicly

Robert Litt
Robert Litt is general counsel to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Photograph: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Robert Litt, the general counsel to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has written to the New York Times to deny the allegation that James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, lied to Congress about the collection of bulk phone records by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Citing an editorial entitled “Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower” which was published on Thursday, Litt wrote that the newspaper “repeats the allegation that James R Clapper Jr … ‘lied’ to Congress about the collection of bulk telephony metadata” and added: “As a witness to the relevant events and a participant in them, I know that allegation is not true.”

The Times editorial called for Snowden, a former NSA contractor who leaked thousands of files on the agency’s surveillance practices to media outlets including the Guardian, to be offered “a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home”. It also listed a number of what it called “violations” which he had revealed.

Among such violations, the editorial said: “His leaks revealed that James Clapper Jr, the director of national intelligence, lied to Congress when testifying in March that the NSA was not collecting data on millions of Americans. (There has been no discussion of punishment for that lie.)”

 

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Forbes

Obama’s Disdain For The Constitution Means We Risk Losing Our Republic

President Barack Obama takes the oath of offic...

President Barack Obama takes the oath of office. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By M. Northrop Buechner

Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he has changed it five times. Most notably, he suspended the employer mandate last summer. This is widely known, but almost no one seems to have grasped its significance.

The Constitution authorizes the President to propose and veto legislation. It does not authorize him to change existing laws. The changes Mr. Obama ordered in Obamacare, therefore, are unconstitutional. This means that he does not accept some of the limitations that the Constitution places on his actions. We cannot know at this point what limitations, if any, he does accept.

By changing the law based solely on his wish, Mr. Obama acted on the principle that the President can rewrite laws and—since this is a principle—not just this law, but any law. After the crash of Obamacare, many Congressmen have implored the President to change the individual mandate the same way he had changed the employer mandate, that is, to violate the Constitution again.

The main responsibility the Constitution assigns to the President is to faithfully execute the Laws. If the President rejects this job, if instead he decides he can change or ignore laws he does not like, then what?

The time will come when Congress passes a law and the President ignores it. Or he may choose to enforce some parts and ignore others (as Mr. Obama is doing now). Or he may not wait for Congress and issue a decree (something Mr. Obama has done and has threatened to do again).

Mr. Obama has not been shy about pointing out his path. He has repeatedly made clear that he intends to act on his own authority. “I have the power and I will use it in defense of the middle class,” he has said. “We’re going to do everything we can, wherever we can, with or without Congress.” There are a number of names for the system Mr. Obama envisions, but representative government is not one of them.

If the President can ignore the laws passed by Congress, of what use is Congress? The President can do whatever he chooses. Congress can stand by and observe. Perhaps they might applaud or jeer. But in terms of political power, Congress will be irrelevant. Probably, it will become a kind of rubber-stamp or debating society. There are many such faux congresses in tyrannies throughout history and around the globe.

Mr. Obama has equal contempt for the Supreme Court. In an act of overbearing hubris, he excoriated Supreme Court Justices sitting helplessly before him during the 2010 State of the Union address—Justices who had not expected to be denounced and who were prevented by the occasion from defending themselves. Mr. Obama condemned them for restoring freedom of speech to corporations and unions.

 

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File:President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.jpg

Image Source :  Wikimedia.org

Official White House photostream on Flickr, P012209PS-0151

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WASHINGTON August 29, 2013 (AP)
By JOSH LEDERMAN Associated Press

Months after gun control efforts crumbled in Congress, Vice President Joe Biden stood shoulder to shoulder Thursday with the attorney general and the top U.S. firearms official and declared the Obama administration would take two new steps to curb American gun violence.

But the narrow, modest scope of those steps served as pointed reminders that without congressional backing, President Barack Obama’s capacity to make a difference is severely inhibited.

Still, Biden renewed a pledge from him and the president to seek legislative fixes to keep guns from those who shouldn’t have them — a pledge with grim prospects for fulfillment amid the current climate on Capitol Hill.

“If Congress won’t act, we’ll fight for a new Congress,” Biden said in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. “It’s that simple. But we’re going to get this done.”

One new policy will bar military-grade weapons that the U.S. sells or donates to allies from being imported back into the U.S. by private entities. In the last eight years, the U.S. has approved 250,000 of those guns to come back to the U.S., the White House said, arguing that some end up on the streets. From now on, only museums and a few other entities like the government will be eligible to reimport military-grade firearms.

The ban will largely affect antiquated, World War II-era weapons that, while still deadly, rarely turn up at crime scenes, leaving some to question whether the new policy is much ado about nothing.

“Banning these rifles because of their use in quote-unquote crimes is like banning Model Ts because so many of them are being used as getaway cars in bank robberies,” said Ed Woods, a 47-year-old from the Chico area of northern California.

Woods said he collects such guns because of their unique place in American history. He now wonders whether he’ll be prohibited from purchasing the type of M1 Garand rifle his father used during World War II. The U.S. later sold thousands of the vintage rifles to South Korea.

“Someday my kids will have something that possibly their grandfather, who they never had a chance to meet, is connected to,” Woods said in an interview.

The Obama administration is also proposing to close a loophole that it says allows felons and other ineligible gun purchasers to skirt the law by registering certain guns to a corporation or trust. The new rule would require people associated with those entities, like beneficiaries and trustees, to undergo the same type of fingerprint-based background checks before the corporation can register those guns.

Using the rule-making powers at his disposal, Obama can only place that restriction on guns regulated under the National Firearm Act, a 1934 law that only deals with the deadliest weapons, like machine guns and short-barreled shotguns. For the majority of weapons, there is no federal gun registration.

“It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it’s common sense,” Biden said of the measures he unveiled Thursday as he swore in Obama’s new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Todd Jones.

The quick reproach from gun control opponents, however, underscored that the same forces that thwarted gun control efforts in Congress have far from mellowed on the notion of stricter gun laws in the future.

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CNS NEWS .com

IRS Employees’ Union Urges Members to Oppose Obamacare–For Themselves

July 26, 2013 – 1:12 PM

NTEU members

NTEU members (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents Internal Revenue Service employees, is urging its members to oppose legislation that would force federal employees off their government healthcare plans and onto the state and national healthcare exchanges established under Obamacare.

Members of Congress and their staffers are already required to participate in the exchanges, which will go into effect next October 1st under the Affordable Care Act.

However, a bill (HR 1780) introduced in April by Rep. David Camp (R–Mich.) would extend that requirement to all federal employees, an idea that does not sit well with the union.

So NTEU is strongly urging its members –  including the Internal Revenue Service agents tasked with implementing Obamacare – to oppose Camp’s legislation, which would compel them to personally participate in the same healthcare program they will be enforcing.

On the NTEU website, union members are urged to email their congressman and senators, asking them to oppose H.R.1780. NTEU provides a sample letter that members can simply sign and send, or rewrite it as they wish:

 

 

Read More Here

 

 

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Sen. Sessions: We Should Do Everything We Can to Undo Obamacare

July 26, 2013 – 10:23 AM

(CNSNews.com) – Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said that members of Congress must do everything in their power to block the individual mandate in President Obama’s signature health care law from going into effect in 2014.

On Capitol Hill Wednesday, CNSNews.com asked Sessions: “Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) wants the upcoming continuing resolution (CR)  to include language that prohibits funding for the individual mandate in Obamacare because the [similar] mandate for big corporations has already been postponed. Do you agree with Senator Lee and do you think funding for the individual mandate should be halted?”

“We should do everything that we can to block that… (to) undo Obamacare,” Sessions responded.

Lee has spent the last two weeks stating that he will refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that continues to fund the federal government past September 30th if it includes funding for the individual mandate component of Obamacare.

“The remedy is for Congress to refuse to fund the implementation of the program that the president insists is not ready to be implemented,” said Lee in an interview with CNSNews.com on July 11.

On July 2, the Obama administration announced that the section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide health insurance to employees would be postponed a year until 2015.  But the individual mandate is still slated to go into effect in 2014.

“Right now, this is the last stop before Obamacare fully kicks in on Jan. 1 of next year, for us to refuse to fund it.” Lee told FOX News Monday.

 

 

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