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The notion of Constitutional Separation of Powers has gotten muddied over the last ten years or so, thanks in great part to the Republicans and the wars of choice in Iraq and Afghanistan, costing trillions in American blood and treasure. It appears that they agree with Nixon's declaration that it's not illegal if the President does it, at least when it comes to a Republican president.
A quick perusal of right wing outlets show a plethora of poutrage over what they perceive as President Obama's overreach as the Chief Executive of the nation. No later than ten minutes after Mitt Romney uttered these words, Lindsey Graham was reaching for his smelling salts over Obama's new immigration stance.
But we all know that overreach only applies when it's a Democratic president. That's why Mitt Romney can tell host Bob Schieffer point blank that he has the right to act unilaterally against Iran.
SCHIEFFER: Let me turn to foreign policy. Bill Kristol, writing in the Weekly Standard this week, says we are reaching the time of consequence in our dealing with Iran on nuclear weapons. He says it is time for the President to go to the Congress and say, ?I want you to authorize me to be able to use military force? if that becomes necessary. And he says if the President is not willing to do that, then the Congress should do it themselves. What's your take on that?
ROMNEY: Well, I can understand the reason for his recommendation and his concern. I think he's recognized that this president has communicated that in some respects, well, he might even be more worried about Israel taking direct military action than he is about Iran becoming nuclear. That's the opinion of some who watch this. And so he wants the President to take action that shows that a military Iran, that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable.
And I believe it's important for us to communicate that. I can assure you if I?m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don't believe at this stage, therefore, if I'm president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The President has that capacity now. I understand that some in the Senate for instance have written letters to the President indicating you should know that a containment strategy is unacceptable.
We cannot survive a course of action would include a nuclear Iran we must be willing to take any and all actions. All those actions must be on the table.
Quick, can you name a nation that has acted aggressively against Iran and won? Didn't think so.
The Separation of Powers: it's not just for Democrats any more.
Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas. (Above–I’m always looking for a new image of Texas for this weekly post. Texas does indeed have many fine colleges and universities. Here is [...]
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Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) appeared on "Fox News Sunday" to discuss recent leaks from the Obama administration; and according to Talking Points Memo, called for a new law that could be used to go after individuals who leak national security[...]
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A couple of days ago, I got a text message about a trauma surgeon in Buffalo, New York. It was a friend of mine asking if I knew or heard of Doctor Timothy Jorden. My answer was No, why? It appears that Dr. Jorden was somehow mixed up in ... causing a murder, suicide. The
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There you go! What a plan for America by the brilliant minds that are blinded by hatred and a desire to destroy America. It comes as no surprise that the Republicans don't have a plan to replace Obamacare with anything because really, who out there really knows that there was an exploding healthcare crisis that led to the reform in the first place?We can all agree that Obamacare didn't solve...
2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney today again claimed that his tax plan — which would lower tax rates by 20 percent — would not disproportionately help the wealthy, because it would limit deductions for taxpayers at the top of the income scale. However, he has yet to lay out which deductions those would be, and he once again passed up an opportunity to do so during an interview with CBS’ Bob Schieffer:
SCHIEFFER: When are you going to tell us where you’re going to get the revenue? Which of the deductions are you going to be willing to eliminate? When are you going to be able to tell us that?
ROMNEY: Well, we’ll go through that process with Congress as to which of all the different deductions and exemptions…My view is that the right way to do that is to limit them for high-income individuals because I want to keep the progressivity of the code. One of the absolute requirements of any tax reform that I have in mind is that people who are the high end, whether you call them the 1 percent, 2 percent, half a percent, the people at the high end will still pay the same share of the tax burden they’re paying now. I’m not looking for a tax cut for the very wealthiest.
Romney himself has admitted that his tax plan can’t even be scored due to its lack of specificity. The few deductions he has mentioned would come nowhere close to covering the cost of his massive tax cut for the rich.
And even if Romney did manage to close enough loopholes and eliminate enough deductions so that the rich were paying the same amount that they are today, the economy would have to grow at a record rate to keep his tax plan from adding to the deficit.
Photo via @jasirix:
10 things you should know about stop and frisk HERE.
This video is from last year.
That's what's so horrible about these manmade disasters: the destruction extends to so many people who make their living from the sea, and all the jobs and businesses related to that. I have to wonder if we can even trust governments to tell the truth about the extent of the damage:
SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture--Fishermen in this northeastern city set out on a trial fishing operation on June 14 in hopes of resuming their work after voluntarily refraining from going to sea following the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year.
The fishermen came home with their first catch in 15 months amid positive expectations and fears of negative publicity.
Six trawlers of the Soma-Futaba fishermen's union left Matsukawaura Port in Soma around 1 a.m. and headed for waters near the border of Miyagi Prefecture, about 50 kilometers to the northeast.
They caught two species of octopus and one sea snail species from depths of more than 150 meters. No radioactive substances were detected in those species during monitoring surveys after the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The catches will be screened for radioactive content, before and after processing by boiling. The catches will not be for sale.
The results of the inspections will be presented June 18 to a meeting of the heads of fishermen's unions under the umbrella of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations. If product safety is confirmed, trial fishing will again be held on June 20 and 27, for the same three species.
If no problem is found during post-processing inspections, the catches will be shipped to markets in Fukushima Prefecture, Tokyo and Nagoya to gauge how consumers will respond.
"I felt so tense because I hadn't gone out fishing in quite a long time," said Hiroyuki Sato, a 56-year-old member of the Soma-Futaba fishermen's union who led the fleet of trawlers. "I am filled with deep emotion because we have managed to come so far. I hope no radioactive substances will be detected."
Meanwhile, the Japanese prime minister has ordered the restart of two nuclear reactors.
Via Scott Lemiuex at Lawyers, Guns and Money, the kind of journalism you don't get any more from the media giants.
Going to college was an accident of timing. The previous spring, SourceCorp, the data-entry company where Sue worked, had closed, which had come as a shock. The company had received a five-year contract from the federal government, but a year and a half into it, the company shut down its Booneville office. "It's like these data-entry companies either work you to death or lay you off," Sue told her husband, J.C. Since the age of 15, Sue had used her only marketable skill-typing fast-to get minimum-wage jobs at data-entry companies. They were the only ones around. While her two children, Kody and Ciara, were in elementary school, she often worked the second shift to earn night pay. For most of their adult lives, the Christians have made less than $22,113 a year, the poverty line for a family of four. This makes them like a lot of families in Owsley County, where 40 percent of the population lives in poverty and 30 percent lives just above it. More families rely on food stamps than make the national median household income of $49,445.
While most of Appalachia is poor, Southeast Kentucky, where the mountains start turning into hills, is the worst off. There was never enough coal for deep mining that would at least provide well-paying jobs. The ground, mostly black slate, is too rocky for farming, though some families grew tobacco on a few flat bottomland pastures until the government bought them out in the 1990s. Five of the poorest counties in the United States-Owsley, Clay, Lee, Knox, and Wolfe-touch here, huddled along a swath of wilderness, the Daniel Boone National Forest, that divides them from the rest of the state. Owsley County does the rest of these small, poor counties the favor of being a little bit smaller and a little bit poorer. Less than 200 square miles, slightly bigger than the city of New Orleans, it's shaped like a bowl with hills on the edges and the low, slow south fork of the Kentucky River cutting through. It has the distinction of being the poorest county in the United States with a majority-white population.
Kentucky began calling Owsley County a "pauper county" as far back as the 1890s, because it took more state tax revenue than it contributed. Since the federal government began tracking poverty rates in 1959, Owsley has ranked as one of the nation's poorest counties. By the 1960s, when much of the United States had moved into prosperity, Southern Appalachia's shoeless children, living in mountain shacks without electricity or plumbing, seemed like relics-trapped in a sticky poverty that modernity had yet to solve. The people of Owsley County translated all the attention as criticism. They weren't descendents of pioneers. They were a problem.
Sue's was the first generation to live in Owsley County after Lyndon B. Johnson declared his War on Poverty, and this part of Kentucky was Omaha Beach. Do-gooders, ministers, and bureaucrats came and never stopped coming. Grants poured in. Programs were created. The Appalachian Regional Commission. AmeriCorps VISTA. The Community Action Program. The Christian Appalachian Project. The Children's Dental Health Initiative. Endow Kentucky. Head Start got kids into school and free lunches fed them. All these initiatives solved the problem of basic survival, but they didn't solve the problem of an increasingly depopulated region: not enough consumers to support business, old trail roads that kept big trucks out and kept the cost of goods high, companies that only opened their doors because they could pay the populace, hungry for jobs, less than they would have to pay people elsewhere. Because the government programs were the most visible, well-functioning industry in town, many locals set on them with a special brand of ire. They were helping a lot of people-more than anyone wanted to acknowledge-but they also seemed like an attack on a way of life. Sue felt the same way. "I think we've been helped so much," she says, "we're getting helped to death." Government benefits, from welfare to Social Security to the Earned Income Tax Credit, account for 53 percent of all the county's income.
For many years, the way to be successful in Owsley County was to leave-the students who could make it to college stayed away. The population, which in 2010 was 4,755, started to fall seven decades ago. There were few opportunities to keep young people in Owsley County, and the first thing that federal anti-poverty programs did was connect the poor here to opportunities elsewhere. What was good for individuals drained the community as a whole. About 40 miles in any direction there's a bigger town with a Walmart and enough jobs for Owsley County's young to go make their living.
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