Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

CIAsenate_large_seal The Senate report is out and linked below. It is remarkable in both its candor and breadth. I was particularly moved by watching Sen. John McCain, a victim of torture, explaining to his colleagues why this country must not only condemn this torture program but come clean about our failure to meet the fundamental values that define us as a people. It was a true profile of courage — an all too rare moment in our contemporary politics where a politician transcends politics and stand boldly on a higher moral ground. What McCain showed was the difference between a politician and a statesman. He proved himself to be the latter this afternoon.

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Great_Seal_of_the_United_States_(obverse)_svg

Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

The Banksters are at it again.  You may recall an article that I wrote in March of 2013 which detailed a plan agreed to by the Bank of England and the FDIC which would allow banks to grab depositors funds in order to avoid a bank failure. The prime example given in that article was a similar plan that was put into action in Cyprus. Similar plans were on the books elsewhere, but the Cyprus grab had actually been activated.

Now it seems that the joint FDIC-Bank of England agreement from December of 2012 was not enough to make the Banksters whole in the event that their derivative gambling went south.  The idea has gone global and it puts all of our deposits, and even our pension investments at risk! (more…)

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Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 5.50.05 AMI was on BBC yesterday talking about the Stolen Valor Act and the video below that has gone viral after a man was confronted in a mall on Black Friday by a veteran who called him out as a fake. (Warning: the video contains bad language). The man, identified as Sean Yetman, 30, walked by a real veteran from the famed 101st Airborne Division who was not buying the uniform or claim that Yetman is an Army Ranger. He spotted problems right away, starting with the multiple Combat Infantry badges.

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220px-Washington_Post_buildingPresident_Barack_ObamaThe Washington Post has published a hard-hitting editorial that not only accuses the Obama Administration of fudging the figures on its unilateral immigration changes but calls the action “unprecedented” and “indefensible.” The stinging editorial from a generally favorable newspaper amplifies the criticism of others, including myself, that President Obama is doing considerable damage to the separation of powers and, more generally, our constitutional system in these actions.

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SchoolClassroomThere is a truly alarming report out of Paterson, New Jersey that captures how far our educational system has declined. Only 19 kids in this large school district have SAT score that are considered appropriate for college. That means that less than a dozen score at least 1500 out of 2400 on the standardized test. This year, the average score was just 1,200. While meetings are held at the White House and across the country on Ferguson, I continue to believe that the greatest reform to benefit all races would be a greater commitment to our public schools. Too many families are trapped in a cycle of poverty with no real opportunities while our workforce becomes less and less competitive in the new economy.

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President_Barack_Obama250px-Theboldandthebeautifullogo2004We have previously discussed how President Obama continues to reward donors with ambassadorships, including some with little background or known talents for the jobs. I have long been a critic of this practice and I remain astonished that the American people allow it to continue. However, fat cat friends are often given trivial ambassadorships like the Vatican or smaller nations. It is still not a good practice but the damage is limited. Obama however have been handing out major posts to those who give him or the DNC millions in bundled dollars. This week the Senate confirmed two nominees to Argentina and Hungary that should outrage people who believe diplomacy should be left to diplomats and do not believe that such posts should be handed out as favors to wealthy friends. It is a national disgrace but we have become accustomed to the effective selling of these government offices. It certainly conveys a truly insulting message to these two countries that neither they nor their problems amount to much of a priority for the United States.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

Now that we have celebrated Thanksgiving, I was struck by the news that Congress is considering legislation that would grant large tax breaks to corporate citizens and actually remove tax breaks for the poor and the middle class.

‘ “This Congress seems willing to give huge tax cuts to big businesses—who are already doing better than ever—but somehow can’t prevent tax increases on 50 million working Americans that will occur when expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit expire,” Harry Stein, the Associate Director for Fiscal Policy at American Progress Action Fund, told ThinkProgress. “This is a great deal for CEOs and a terrible deal for struggling families.”’ Nation of Change  (more…)

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