Tag Archives: Congress

Obama will never end the War on Terror

Obama will never end the War on Terror

“What began as one horrific attack 13 years ago and a simple, 60-word Authorization for the Use of Military Force three days later has morphed all but unnoticed into a war with no name or parameters—against an enemy that the government will no longer even officially identify, on battlefields that didn’t exist when the measure hurriedly passed Congress.

And as the Yemen strike suggests, the war hardly appears to be winding down. Nor do U.S. forces seem to be getting much better at avoiding “collateral damage.” The grave but very real danger is that this strangest of wars will never end, certainly not before the expiration of Obama’s second term. And his successors may be left with nearly the entire unresolved mess: an open-ended war authorization and inchoate rules for drone and special operations, the promised-but-never-carried-through closing of Guantánamo Bay, and a National Security Agency that’s still not sure whom or what it can spy on.”

 
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Call Welfare “Transitional Living Fund,” Says Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

CBS DC

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o1556cO7pg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=580&h=327%5D

WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) says it’s time to stop blaming economically struggling Americans for their plight.

“Maybe the word welfare should be changed to something of a transitional living fund,” she said in a speech on the House floor. “For that is what it is, for people to be able to live.”

Lee noted that 50 years since the start of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” there have been great strides towards raising the standard of living for all Americans.

She noted that infant mortality rates, child hunger and the number of Americans living in poverty have all declined.

Though those problems still exist, she said.

Speaking as Democrats work to push through legislation to help Americans who have been unemployed for over a year, the congresswoman said perhaps it was time to refer to those benefits as “a transitional outreach to individuals who are chronically unemployed.”

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Dirty wars: Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley’s new film exposes hidden truths of covert U.S. warfare

Dirty wars: Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley’s new film exposes hidden truths of covert U.S. warfare

“If you look at the use of the state secrets privilege; if you look at the way the Obama administration has expanded the drone wars; has empowered special operations forces, including from JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, to operate in countries where the United States is not at war; if you look at the way in which the Obama administration has essentially boxed Congress out of any effective oversight role of the covert aspects of U.S. foreign policy, what we really have is a president who has normalized, for many, many liberals in the United States, the policies that they once opposed under the Bush administration. And, you know, this really has been a war presidency.”

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Why the Iran deal is good for U.S.

Global Public Square

By Laicie Heeley, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Laicie Heeley is the director of Middle East and defense policy at The Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

Two weeks after the P5+1 powers reached a deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program in return for some sanctions relief, the American public is still trying to make sense of the deal.

Multiple polls, including from Washington Post/ABC and Reuters/Ipsos indicate strong American support for the deal with Iran. Yet a new Pew Research poll suggests many Americans are skeptical about Iran’s intentions, with a plurality disapproving of the agreement.  Given that the agreement is so complex, it’s understandable that the U.S. public is making up its mind about the deal. But the reality is that after decades of disappointment, the United States is finally approaching a win with Iran. This is a good…

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Not so fast! Massive giveaway to Exxon and Pharma hits roadbump

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/11/not_so_fast_massive_giveaway_to_exxon_and_pharma_hits_roadbump/

“Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public and Media Affairs Nkenge Harmon told me last year that ‘[n]othing in our TPP investment proposal could impair our government’s ability to pursue legitimate, non-discriminatory public interest regulation.’ Global Trade Watch’s Todd Tucker called that ‘a misrepresentation’ of the issue, saying that ‘once public interest laws are passed,’ proposed language would leave them “susceptible to attack by multinational companies, and taxpayers could be on the hook to pay multinational companies for the privilege of passing that public interest law.'”

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Site Urges You to Drunk Dial Congress During the Government Shutdown

NewsFeed

The latest government shutdown meme, DrunkDialCongress.org, calls on disgruntled Americans, especially any furloughed workers with cabin fever who may be drinking to pass the time, to start phoning their representatives.

For those who tend to slur their words or develop short-term memory when they’re under the influence, the website provides sample talking points based on news articles, from the humorous “I can’t watch the panda” and “If you can yell at a Park Ranger after forcing the Government to shut down then I get to yell at you” to more serious complaints like “My grandma can’t get her cancer treatment.” And if you’re going to make an event out of it, see the cocktail recipes section, featuring “The Bloody Bastard”: 1 part sour mix, 1 part vodka, and 1 tbsp grenadine syrup.

(MORE: The Best Citizen Responses to the Government’s Public Temper Tantrum)

However, not all furloughed workers have the money to…

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Meet the Republicans Who Gobbled Millions in Farm Subsidies and Voted To Slash Food Stamps (VIDEO)

Meet the Republicans Who Gobbled Millions in Farm Subsidies and Voted To Slash Food Stamps (VIDEO)

“Between 1995 and 2011 US tax payers gave away 6.2 million dollars in farm subsidies just to members of Congress or their immediate families. Farm subsidy payments are released yearly to recipients who claim them and are issued  regardless of financial or economic need. A Senate Bill  from 2012 which attempted to make changes to the way the farm subsidies are paid out, was shot down by the same Congressional representatives who continuously demand requirements like drug testing, income documentation, work or training, time limits and many other harsh guidelines for impoverished families who dare ask for help with food.” 

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Guantánamo: The President could close it tomorrow if he really wants to

Guantánamo: The President could close it tomorrow if he really wants to

“Congress did amend the National Defense Authorization Act three years ago to prohibit funding for the transfer of any Guantánamo detainee to the U.S. It also prohibited funding for transfers to other countries, unless the Defense Secretary personally certified that the transferred detainee would never engage in terrorist activity. Because no one can give such a personal assurance, that provision effectively blocked transfers. But Congress then amended the law to allow the Secretary to waive that requirement and to transfer detainees to other countries if he finds (1) that the receiving country will take steps to ‘substantially mitigate’ the risk that the detainee will engage in terrorist activity, and (2) that the transfer is in U.S. national security interests.”

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Latinos are ready to fight climate change-are green groups ready for them?

Latinos are ready to fight climate change-are green groups ready for them?

“What hasn’t been recognized is Latinos’ potential to play a similar role on climate change: providing the electoral muscle to compel politicians to get serious, finally, about the crisis. Just as Latinos overwhelmingly supported Obama over Romney, they also—along with African-Americans, Asian-Americans and youth of all races—demonstrate the highest levels of support for action against climate change and air pollution, according to extensive polling data.”

Read more: Latinos Are Ready to Fight Climate Change—Are Green Groups Ready for Them? | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/171617/latinos-are-ready-fight-climate-change-are-green-groups-ready-them#ixzz2XddHOdmE
Follow us: @thenation on Twitter | TheNationMagazine on Facebook

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Welfare for the Wealthy

Welfare for the Wealthy

“Among them is Congressman Stephen Fincher, Republican of Tennessee, who justifies SNAP cuts by quoting 2 Thessalonians 3:10:  ‘For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.’

Even if this quote were not taken out of context — whoever wrote 2 Thessalonians was chastising not the poor but those who’d stopped working in anticipation of the second coming — Fincher ignores the fact that Congress is a secular body that supposedly doesn’t base policy on an ancient religious text that contradicts itself more often than not. Not that one needs to break a sweat countering his ‘argument,’ but 45 percent of food stamp recipients are children, and in 2010, the U.S.D.A. reported that as many as 41 percent are working poor.”

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