Tuesday, July 31, 2012
"Congress Wants to See Obama's "License to Kill" "But if they get it, they won't be allowed to show it to you. "—By Adam Serwer "Tue Jul. 31, 2012 3:00 AM PDT "Congress is finally standing up to President Barack Obama on targeted killing. Almost a year after three American citizens were killed in US drone strikes, legislators are pushing the administration to explain why it believes it's legal to kill American terror suspects overseas. "Congress is considering two measures that would compel the Obama administration to show members of Congress what Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) calls Obama's "license to kill": internal memos outlining the legal justification for killing Americans overseas without charge or trial. Legislators have been asking administration officials to release the documents for nearly a year, raising the issue multiple times in hearings and letters. But the new proposals, including one from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) first flagged by blogger Marcy Wheeler and another in a separate intelligence bill, aren't requests—they would mandate disclosure. That shift shows both Republicans and Democrats are growing impatient with the lack of transparency on targeted killings. "After radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, alleged American Al Qaeda propagandist Samir Khan, and Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, were killed by drone strikes in Yemen in September and October of last year, Republican and Democratic members of Congress sent letters asking the Obama administration to explain the legal justification for targeted killing of American citizens. "We got a license to kill Americans, and we don't know the legal basis for the license to kill Americans…because our letters haven't been answered," Grassley complained during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. "The New York Times has confirmed the existence of a secret memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)—the branch of the government that tells the president whether what he wants to do is legal—outlining the legal basis for the targeted killing program. But the Obama administration has yet to acknowledge that any such memo exists, despite defending the targeted killing policy in speeches and public appearances, and is currently fighting an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit that seeks to force the government to reveal the legal justification for targeted killing. Now Congress seems to be moving towards the ACLU's position. "Cornyn's amendment would require the Obama administration to provide the Office of Legal Counsel memo justifying the killing program to legislators on several congressional committees. Democrats on the Judiciary Committee voted to shelve Cornyn's proposal, but that doesn't mean the effort is dead. Cornyn could propose his amendment again later this year, and there's also a section of a separate intelligence bill that would compel the administration to share all of the Justice Department's legal opinions on intelligence matters with the congressional intelligence committees—unless the White House invokes executive privilege. "We're not mere supplicants to the executive branch, we are a coequal branch of government," Cornyn said during discussion of his amendment in the Senate committee hearing last week. "So it is insufficient to say pretty please, Mr. President, pretty please, Mr. Attorney General, will you please tell us the legal authority by which you claim the authority to kill American citizens abroad?" (Cornyn also noted that just because he wants to see the memo doesn't mean he'd necessarily disagree with its contents.) "Neither Cornyn's proposal nor the intelligence bill would require the administration have to share the OLC memo with the media or the public, even in redacted form. But releasing the memo to legislators would at least allow Congress to perform more effective oversight of the targeted killing program, argues Chris Anders, legislative counsel for the ACLU. The Los Angeles Times reported in June that at the initiative of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Congress has been keeping a closer eye on the use of drone strikes. But critics like Anders argue that it's hard for oversight to be effective if legislators don't know what standard the Obama administration is using to determine whom to kill. "The key committees of Congress don’t even know what the legal standard is or how they’re applying it, so how can they do meaningful oversight?" Anders asks. The intelligence bill and Cornyn's proposal could fix that problem. "More oversight, though, is not enough, Anders says—regular Americans should know what kind of conduct could lead to them being blown up by a deadly flying robot. "There's a fundamental due process right to know what it is you can't do in order to avoid getting killed by the order of the president," he says. Grassley, at least, seems to be on board with that idea—a Grassley aide said the senator would "support making a redacted analysis public if possible." A Feinstein aide also suggested a push for public disclosure could follow Congress getting access to the legal analysis of targeted killing. And even if the OLC memo is only shared with Congress, broadening access to the document makes it more likely that it could be leaked to the press. "Now that legislators on both sides of the aisle are pushing for more disclosure, the chances the public will learn about the contents of the targeted killing memos has increased dramatically. Still, Anders says, it's easy to see a difference between how hard Congress pushed for George W. Bush-era memos authorizing torture and the deferential stance Congress adopted during the first three and a half years of the Obama administration. "When it was Bush, it was much easier to get [legislators] to demand public disclosure," Anders says. "Adam Serwer 'Reporter "Adam Serwer is a reporter at the Washington, DC, bureau of Mother Jones." It's time to reign in the government. I used to enjoy those James Bond "license to kill" movies, but James Bond was just a fictional character. The U.S. government shouldnot be passing out licenses to kill--especially of American citizens residing overseas. Vote for Stepp for U.S. House KY-05. It is time to terminate the "license to kill"!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
"Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 06:31 AM PDT. "Volatile first-time unemployment benefit claims drop to 353,000 "by Meteor Blades. "Reposted from Daily Kos Labor by Meteor Blades
Lyman soldier killed in Afghanistan Posted: Jul 25, 2012 5:14 PM EDT Updated: Jul 25, 2012 7:56 PM EDT By Aaron Barker - email By Derek Dellinger - bio | email Pfc. Adam Ross is seen in uniform in this undated family photo. (Ross Family)
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
"House approves 'audit the Fed' bill, marking capstone on Rep. Paul's career "By Chad Pergram, Cristina Marcos "Published July 25, 2012 "FoxNews.com "April 5, 2012: Rep. Ron Paul speaks in Berkeley, Calif. (AP) "Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, doesn't get his way very often in Congress. "But the House overwhelmingly adopted his longstanding proposal to audit the Federal Reserve Wednesday, in a 327-98 vote. "In fact, Paul had joked with fellow lawmakers about being invited to a leadership meeting earlier in the week to discuss his bill. Paul noted he had never before attended such a conclave in his entire congressional career. That career is just about over, as the 77-year-old lawmaker plans to retire at the end of this year after a quarter-century in Congress and three quixotic presidential bids. And the passage of his Fed bill marks a fitting legislative capstone. "The "audit the Fed" package was a key part of Paul's larger economic vision "The measure's consideration on the House floor shows how Paul's brand of libertarianism has moved from an often-dismissed fringe to the mainstream. Paul announced in 2011 that he would not seek reelection to his congressional seat while running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He ceased campaigning in May and has since returned to the Capitol full-time. The legislation has no path forward in the Senate. But Paul advocated for increased transparency at the central bank charged with setting interest rates in the same way he has for decades. "I think when people talk about independence and having this privacy of the central bank means they want secrecy, and secrecy is not good," Paul said during Tuesday floor debate on his bill. "We should have privacy for the individual, but we should have openness of government all the time, and we've drifted a long way from that." Meanwhile, Democrats like House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., argued a full audit would politicize the Federal Reserve. "The Fed, like every other major central bank in the world, is independent and Congress has rightly insulated the Fed from short-term political pressures," Hoyer said. Hoyer declared earlier in the week he would advise Democratic members to vote no. Ninety-seven did. But 89 voted yes, ushering Paul's bill to passage with a comfortable margin. Paul introduced hundreds of bills during his House tenure -- many of them aimed at weakening the Federal Reserve -- but rarely built coalitions to bring them to the floor. But Paul's crusade to audit the Fed has found its way in major legislation in the past. In 2010, he won a provision in the Dodd-Frank financial regulation overhaul that required a limited audit of the Federal Reserve. Republicans lauded Paul's legacy during Tuesday's floor debate. "I want to ... congratulate Dr. Ron Paul for his tireless work on this issue for many decades," said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. "I want to appreciate and congratulate Dr. Ron Paul for his tireless pursuit of openness and transparency. Without his leadership, we wouldn't be at this point today," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. Mitt Romney, Paul's former primary opponent, also lent his support. "Ron Paul's Audit The Fed bill is a reminder of his tireless efforts to promote sound money and a more transparent Federal Reserve," Romney tweeted July 18. House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson, D-Conn., who opposed the measure, said the bill reflected Paul's brand of populism. "I think that a lot of the angst that occurs out there in the public oftentimes is directed at the Fed. Certainly Ron Paul has become an iconic figure and I think a number of people in their districts at public and town hall forums have heard that similar kind of message," Larson said. Paul dove into politics when President Nixon eliminated the gold standard for currency in 1971. He had read extensively about the Austrian school of economics, which promotes free markets, individual liberties and currency established by scarce commodities. He first arrived in Washington after winning an April 1976 special election -- but lost seven months later in the general election by a margin of 268 votes. In 1978, he won the seat by a decisive margin. Paul first set sights on higher office in 1984 when he launched a failed bid for the Senate. Undaunted, he launched his first presidential bid in 1988, running under the banner of the Libertarian Party. Paul scored only 0.5 percent of the vote. In 1996, he returned to the House in a newly drawn district that included areas he had previously represented. Since then, he won reelection handily. Paul sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012 with a small but highly enthusiastic base. Although he did not secure the nod in either contest, he had turnout strong enough to demonstrate significant support. He placed second in the 2011 Ames Straw Poll, third in the 2012 Iowa caucuses and second in the New Hampshire primary. But Paul indicated that he placed higher importance on influencing the debate than necessarily winning outright. "Politicians don't amount to much," Paul once said, "but ideas do." Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/25/house-approves-audit-fed-bill-marking-capstone-on-rep-paul-career/#ixzz21fpcxAG3" Kenneth Stepp celebrates the House passing the Audit the Fed bill. You and I have to account for our actions. So should the Fed. No one should be above the law. Right on!
"Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:30 PM PDT. "Majority of House GOP caucus wants to shut government down over Obamacare "by Joan McCarter. "John Boehner has good reason to cry, and Harry Reid to smile. Yes, you read that headline right. Thirty-three futile repeal votes and $50 million (and counting) down the drain, and House Republicans are so obsessed with the Affordable Care Act that they're clamoring to their leadership to shut the government down in October over funding the law. "In a letter (PDF) dated July 18, some 127 House GOP lawmakers urged Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) not to permit “any legislation” to come to the floor that includes Affordable Care Act implementation funds. The implied message: shut down the government unless Democrats agree to defund President Obama’s signature law. “Since much of the implementation of ObamaCare is a function of the discretionary appropriations process, and since most of the citizens we represent believe that ObamaCare should never go into effect, we urge you not to bring to the House floor in the 112th Congress any legislation that provides or allows funds to implement ObamaCare through the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, or any other federal entity,” the 127 lawmakers wrote (emphasis in original). "So far Boehner seems to not be taking the bait. He's got an uneasy truce right now with the Senate, a basic agreement to just fund the government through continuing resolutions, and says "our goal would be to make sure the government is funded and any political talk of a government shutdown is put to rest.” "Too bad for him that the majority of his extreme, insane Republican caucus wants exactly the opposite. Which could mean Boehner has to go to Democrats in order to pass a continuing resolution over the express objections of the majority of his caucus. Which further means Boehner's speakership is in grave danger. If he bucks his majority and passes a continuing resolution that funds the ACA with Democrats, he could make his caucus so pissed off they could dethrone him as leader. If he goes along with their shutdown and makes the Republican House even more unpopular (if that's possible), he faces losing the gavel because Republicans will lose the House. Worst. Congress. Ever. Led by the Worst. Speaker. Ever. Let's make Boehner's predicament even more uncomfortable. "Let's help Democrats take back the House and get that gavel back to Nancy Pelosi. Chip in $3 or whatever you can to elect" Kenneth Stepp to the U.S. House a Kentucky Fifth District Democrat.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
"Mitt Romney Foreign Policy Embraces War, Americans United For Change Says "The Huffington Post | By Sabrina Siddiqui Posted: 07/24/2012 6:59 pm Updated: 07/24/2012 7:05 pm "As Mitt Romney delivered his first major foreign policy speech in nine months on Tuesday, liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change released a web video targeting the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for naming foreign policy advisers who worked in President George W. Bush's administration during the unpopular Iraq War. "The video spotlights members of Romney's foreign policy team who led the charge in Iraq, pointing to their miscalculations, false claims and so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. "The video's overall message? "If you liked the war in Iraq, you'll love Mitt Romney's foreign policy." Do you want four more years of the neocons? If not, vote Stepp for Congress KY-05, 2012!
"Audit The Fed Bill On Track To Pass House [UPDATE] "Posted: 07/24/2012 11:07 am Updated: 07/24/2012 3:38 pm "Audit the Fed, says Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). "ASHINGTON -- An expansive bill to audit the Federal Reserve, sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), is headed for a vote on the House floor Wednesday. It is one of the few pieces of legislation this session likely to garner bipartisan support. "The bill is being brought up on the suspension calendar, which means it needs two-thirds of the House to approve it, or 292 votes if everyone shows up. The bill has 270 co-sponsors and House GOP sources say every Republican is expected to support it. With enough Democratic support, it should manage to clear the bar. A spokeswoman for Paul said that she was confident the votes would be there, but that approval was still uncertain. "The vote, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was delayed, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters, but debate will still take place Tuesday afternoon. "In 2010, Paul and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) teamed up to pass legislation to audit the Fed, which became part of the final Wall Street reform bill. Grayson lost his bid for reelection, but is a frontrunner in his Orlando district and is expected to retake his seat next session. "The Fed audit authorized by Dodd-Frank revealed a web of conflicts. At the height of the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, for instance, made six major loans to SunTrust Banks, totaling at least $7.5 billion. James M. Wells, the Chairman and CEO of SunTrust, sits on the Board of Directors at the same Atlanta Fed that lent his company the money. "SunTrust also received $4.85 billion in bailout funds from TARP, a separate program run by the Treasury, on November 14 and December 31 of 2008. "JPMorgan Chase's chief Jamie Dimon, meanwhile, holds a seat on the New York Fed, which Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has called on him to give up in the interest of good governance. "Paul said that the new audit bill is needed because the 2010 language didn't go far enough. "The audit mandated in the Dodd-Frank Act focused solely on emergency credit programs, and only on procedural issues (such as the effectiveness of collateral policies, whether credit programs favored specific participants, or the use of third-party contractors) rather than focusing on the substantive details of the lending transactions. H.R. 459 does not limit the focus of the audit," he said in a Q&A on his congressional site. "At a recent House hearing, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was asked about Paul's bill. He told the Financial Services Committee: "I agree absolutely with Dr. Paul that the Federal Reserve needs to be transparent and it needs to be accountable. "I would argue that at this point, we are quite transparent and accountable on monetary policy. Besides our statement, besides our testimonies, we issue minutes after three weeks. We have quarterly projections, I give a press conference four times a year, there's quite a bit of information provided to help Congress evaluate monetary policy as well as the public. "Also very importantly, the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, its finances, its operations are thoroughly vetted. We produce an annual financial statement, which is audited by an independent external accounting firm. We provide quarterly updates and a weekly balance sheet. We have an independent I.G. We have additional scrutiny imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act. "And very importantly, and this is, I think, the crux of the matter, the general -- the Government Accountability Office, the GAO -- has extensive authority, broad authority to audit essentially all aspects of the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve accepts that and is cooperative with the GAO's efforts. "There is, however, one important exception to what the GAO is allowed to audit under current law and that specifically is monetary policy deliberations and decisions. So what the Audit the Fed bill would do would be to eliminate the exemption for monetary policy deliberations and decisions from the GAO audit. So, in effect, what it would do is allow Congress, for example, to ask the GAO to audit a decision taken by the Fed about interest rates, for example. "Now that is very concerning because there's a lot of evidence that an independent central bank that makes decisions based strictly on economic considerations and not based on political pressure will deliver lower inflation and better economic results in the longer term. "So, again, I want to agree with the -- the basic premise that the Federal Reserve should be thoroughly transparent, thoroughly accountable. I will work with everyone here to make sure that that's the case. But I do feel it's a mistake to eliminate the exemption from monetary policy and deliberations, which would effectively, at least to some extent, create a political influence or a political dampening effect on the Federal Reserve's policy decisions. "This article has been updated to reflect the delay of Tuesday's vote." Kenneth Stepp agrees, it's time to Audit the Fed! Congress shall determine the value of the Currency. Transparency in Government and Constitutionality are both important here. Kenneth Stepp says "AUDIT THE FED!"
Monday, July 23, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
"The rights declared by Jefferson and those guaranteed by the Bill of Rights have seldom, if ever, been in greater peril. They are threatened not by foreign foes in Tehran or Damascus, in Kabul or in Moscow. They are threatened by the government whose capital is Washington, D.C. America in 2012 faces a presidential election contested mainly by two major parties, whose candidates are both graduates of Harvard Law School. One regularly ignores and violates by official actions the Constitution of the United States, and the other seems hardly aware of its existence. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who together gave life to the fight for independence and later became bitter antagonists, discovered at the end of their lives that they shared common values, values of liberty and law that are under seige today. In the play 1776, Adams is heard predicting that the signing of the Declaration would be marked by future generations with parades and fireworks and a great celebration of freedom. Is that what "We the People" celebrated this Foruth of July? Adams, in that play, cries out on the eve of the fateful vote by the Continental Congress, "Is anybody there? Does anybody care?" It remains a question as important for us, the people of the United States of America, in 2012 as it was in 1776." TNA, July 23, 2012, P. 44. Kenneth Stepp is here. Kenneth Stepp cares. As stated on the previous blogs on this blogspot, Congressman Hal Rogers consistently votes against the Bill of Rights, and abdicates the Congress right to declare war to the President--voting to fund the invasions of whatever countries the President desires--with or without Congressional specific approval. It's time for change. It's time to elect Stepp. Stepp for Congress KY-05 in 2012!
"What exactly can we expect on January 1, 2012, nnless those in Washington decide otherwise? Pain. Lots of it. The hurt will come from several directions. J.D. Foster, a top economist at the Heritage foundation, summarizes some of the impending elements of Taxmageddon: Income tax rates shoot up. The child credit is cut in half. The marriage penalty roars back. The capital gains tax rate goes up. The dividend tax rate soars. The payroll tax rate jumps two percentage points. The death tax is restored to its punitive past. The Alternative MInjmum Tax relief expires, and A uniquely pernicious additional payroll tax hike from Obamacare takes effect. "Collectively this would by far be the largest tax hike in history. The effects on families and businesses would be devastating; the effects o the economy no less so" TNA,July 23, 2012, p. 42. Hal Rogers and his cronies have done it to you. That's what's called crony capitalism. He is not your crony, so you should vote him out of office. Stepp for U.S. House, KY-05, 2012!
"GOP Candidate for President Sees No Need for Congressional Action to Attack Iran. "I don't believe at this state if I'm president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president already has that capacity now." "Following the lead given by many recent Democrat and Republican chief executives, Mitt Romney would not be deterred by the constitutionjal requirement for a declaration of war to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. TNA, JULY 23, 2012, P. 9. Hal Rogers has never opposed a Republican President's claim of a tight to invade another country without consulting Congress. Kenneth Stepp will vote to halt such an invasion if it is not worthy of a declaration of war. Stepp for Congress 2012 D KY-05!.
Friday, July 20, 2012
"Trump: November Election Will Be All About Jobs "Thursday, 19 Jul 2012 05:29 PM "By Forrest Jones "Politicians who care more about creating jobs are more likely to get elected this November, said real estate mogul Donald Trump. "Republicans and Democrats have been blaming each other for the country's woes, even for mishandling an event that hasn't occurred yet — a combination of tax hikes and government spending cuts that kick in after the end of the year, a one-two punch known as a fiscal cliff that could derail recovery. "Experts say the fiscal cliff could siphon $500 billion out of the economy next year alone and send the country back into recession. "Lawmakers have been hesitant to touch tax and spending issues in an election year, and some have suggested they can convene early in 2013 once the economy has fallen over the so-called cliff and adjust tax hikes and spending cuts retroactively. "It would be better if they rolled up their sleeves and did so today. "They would be so well off to get in a room right now and stop with waiting. But I don't think that's going to happen and it certainly can't happen if the president isn't doing anything about jobs," Trump told CNBC. "Ultimately it's about unemployment, who's working and who is not," Trump added. "With all of the fluff and other things being mentioned, it will be about jobs and the economy, how are we standing in 90 days from now." "Businesses are facing massive uncertainty tied to the fiscal cliff and also how much President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will cost them. "Europe's debt ceiling shows no signs of ending soon, while in Asia, growth in China's once red-hot economy has been cooling. "Uncertainty tends to put business investments on hold, which translates into less hiring and an angrier electorate. "I think businesses generally are very unsure. They don't know whether or not they should be investing. The Obamacare has been a total catastrophe — states aren't going along with it. They're saying 'we'll pass,'" Trump said. "Economists have pointed out that U.S politics are hampering recovery. "While there are real issues out there, such as Europe, what seems to be the overarching factor driving business decisions is the fear of a fiscal fiasco," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland Pennsylvania, according to Reuters. "Gridlock is no longer just a political game. It is having real economic effects. Until business leaders can plan with more certainty, there is little chance the economy can accelerate to a solid pace." © 2012 Moneynews. All rights reserved." The Kentucky Fifth District is one of the most poverty-stricken Congressional Districts in the Country. It's time for a change. It's time for more jobs. Stepp for Congress D KY-05!
"Is Mitt serious about Condi? "By: Patrick J. Buchanan "7/17/2012 06:00 AM "The first criterion in choosing a vice president, it is said, is that he or she must be qualified to be president. "Yet there is another yardstick by which candidates measure running mates. Do they bring something to the table? Can they help with a critical voting bloc? Can they bring a crucial state? "Lyndon Johnson is regarded as a brilliant choice by JFK, though his brother Bobby, among others in the Kennedy camp, loathed LBJ. LBJ locked up Texas and helped bring home five other former Confederate states for the Roman Catholic nominee from Boston. "In deciding on a vice president candidate, many considerations have to be running through Mitt Romney’s mind. "His choice must be seen as ready to be president or at least able to attain that status in short order, and augment his strength with a strategic constituency or help corral a major state he would otherwise have difficulty winning. "Then there is the iron rule of the Hippocratic Oath: Primum non nocere. First, do no harm. The VP candidate also should be conversant with a panoply of issues, fully prepared to defend the nominee’s positions on domestic, foreign and economic policies. "Such considerations suggest that whoever in Romney’s camp floated the name of Condi Rice to The Drudge Report last weekend was more concerned with changing the subject from Bain Capital and the Caymans than in signaling where the candidate’s head and heart are today. "That Rice is accomplished and competent is not in dispute. But should Romney choose her, within hours we would be re-litigating the Iraq War. It was, recall, Rice who slapped down skeptics of that war by implying their reluctance to invade Iraq might just be risking a nuclear surprise attack on the United States. "There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons,” said Rice. “But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” "Rice was George W. Bush’s leading saleslady for a war that cost America $1 trillion, 4,500 dead and 35,000 wounded, and cost the Republican Party both houses of Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008. That war is today regarded by many U.S. foreign policy scholars as among the greatest strategic blunders in American history. "Should Rice be chosen, she will be spending much of the campaign defending her role in that war. And Gov. Romney will find himself defending, or disagreeing with, what George W. Bush did a decade ago. "Rice is by her own admission “mildly pro-choice” on abortion, a position mildly anathema to religious conservatives, the foot soldiers of the party, many of whom have been only lately won over to the governor himself. "Rice’s whole career has been devoted to foreign policy. Can she be brought up to speed in weeks to learn and recite the new catechism of the party and defend it from a hostile press or in debate with Joe Biden? "Most Republicans have no idea where Condi stands or what she believes about right to life, gay marriage, affirmative action and the Arizona immigration law. Asked whom she voted for in 2008, Rice reportedly said, “I just want to acknowledge that when the (2008) election took place and after the election took place, it was a special time for Americans.” "Did the candidacy of John McCain make it a “special time”? "My friend and former White House colleague Peggy Noonan says that when she mentioned the possibility of Condi Rice as vice president to a gathering of business types, “spontaneous applause burst forth.” Condi’s nomination, she wrote, would be truly “exciting.” "Peggy’s got that right. The right is boiling with excitement already. "But would it be wise for Romney, who bears no responsibility for the record of George W. Bush, to choose a running mate who would force him to defend a Wilsonian policy of compulsive interventions across the globe “to end tyranny in our world”? "The choice of Rice would be a Romney endorsement of the Bush foreign policy of which she was co-architect, having spent four years as the national security adviser and four as secretary of state. "Tim Pawlenty could help carry Minnesota. Sen. Rob Portman could help secure Ohio. Sen. Marco Rubio would likely deliver Florida and help in a Hispanic community that is 16 percent of the U.S. population and may in 2012 constitute 9 percent of the vote. "Can Condi Rice deliver California? What does she bring? "When a candidate is facing what seems an insurmountable lead, he will often consider a roll of the dice. "Ronald Reagan’s team, 20 points down, considered putting ex-president Gerald Ford on the ticket. Walter Mondale, 20 points down, picked a congresswoman from Queens whom America did not know. John McCain picked Sarah Palin. "But candidates who are running even tend not to take huge risks. Surely there are other ways to shift the subject from Bain Capital." Condi Rice a heartbeat from the President? I'm sure she'd make a better Vice President than Cheney was. If Bush, Jr. could get elected with Cheney on the ticket, then maybe Condi Rice would help a Mitt Romney ticket--but I won't vote for them. It's the Democratic ticket for me.
Monday, July 16, 2012
"Boehner, Republicans Vow All-out Effort to Repeal Obamacare "Sunday, 01 Jul 2012 05:18 PM "The two top Republicans in Congress vowed on Sunday to push ahead with efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare law despite the Supreme Court upholding it, but the White House said it is time to stop fighting and start implementing it. "This has to be ripped out by its roots," House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, said of the 2010 law on the CBS program "Face the Nation." Boehner added: "We will not flinch from our resolve to make sure this law is repealed in its entirety." "The House, controlled by Republicans, has scheduled a vote on July 11 to repeal the law. The Democratic-led Senate, as it has done in the past, is certain to block any repeal legislation. "The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the law, Obama's signature domestic policy achievement and the most sweeping overhaul since the 1960s of the unwieldy U.S. healthcare system. The ruling was written by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by the court's four liberals. "I think the thing that the American people want is for the divisive debate on healthcare to stop," White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said on "Fox News Sunday." "I think that what we need to do is get on with the implementation now, and that's what we intend to do," Lew added. "The healthcare law battle promises to figure prominently in the Nov. 6 election in which Obama is challenged by Republican Mitt Romney, who as Massachusetts governor pushed through a state healthcare overhaul with provisions similar to Obama's plan. "A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday showed public support for the law rising to 48 percent after the ruling from 43 percent before the court's decision. "The U.S. system, unlike other rich countries, is a patchwork of private insurance and restrictive government programs. The United States pays more for healthcare than any other country, but about 50 million of the roughly 310 million Americans still have no insurance. "The law was meant to bring coverage to more than 30 million of the uninsured and slow soaring medical costs. Critics deride the law as "Obamacare" and say it meddles too much in the lives of individuals and the business of the states. "'SINGLE WORST PIECE OF LEGISLATION' "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans will insist that the Democrats who control the chamber hold a vote before the election on repealing the law. "If I'm the leader of the majority next year, I commit to the American people that the repeal of 'Obamacare' will be job one," he said on "Fox News Sunday." "McConnell said he would use a process called "reconciliation" in the 100-member Senate to permit a simple majority to pass a repeal of the law rather than the customary 60 votes. McConnell had criticized Senate Democrats for using that same process in passing the bill in 2010. ""Yes, that could be done with a simple 51 votes," he said. "This is the single worst piece of legislation that's been passed, certainly in modern times. And it will be an issue, a big issue, in the fall election," McConnell said. "We've got one last chance here to defeat Obamacare. We can do that in the November election," added McConnell. "McConnell labeled the law's "individual mandate" provision - requiring most people to obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a financial penalty - a middle-class tax increase. "Asked whether a similar provision in Romney's healthcare law in Massachusetts was also a middle-class tax increase, McConnell said, "Well, I think Governor Romney ought to speak for himself about what was done in Massachusetts." "The White House and fellow Democrats refuse to label as a tax the law's penalty on people who decline to obtain health insurance - even though the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the "individual mandate" only because it was permissible under the congressional power to levy taxes. ""It's a penalty. It's something that only 1 percent of people - who can afford insurance and choose not to get - it will pay," Lew said on CNN's "State of the Union." "Nancy Pelosi, the top House Democrat, added on NBC's "Meet the Press": "It is a penalty for free riders." "Asked what Republicans would do - if they succeed in repealing Obama's law - to provide coverage to the tens of millions of Americans currently with no insurance, McConnell said: "That is not the issue. The question is how can you go step by step to improve the American healthcare system. It is already the finest healthcare system in the world." ""We're not going to turn the American healthcare system into a western European system," he added, referring to government-run systems that provide near universal coverage. "© 2012 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved."
THE LABOR UNIONS GIVE HAL ROGERS A SORRY VOTING RECORD ON VOTE SMART! Labor 2011-2012 United Food & Commercial Workers - Positions 0% 2011 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 0% 2011 Federally Employed Women - Positions 50% 2011 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Positions 0% 2010 American Federation of Government Employees - Positions 0% 2010 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 0% 2010 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Positions 0% 2010 Federally Employed Women - Positions 50% 2010 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - Positions 25% 2010 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - House of Representatives Score 50% 2009-2010 Communications Workers of America - Positions 11% 2009-2010 International Brotherhood of Teamsters - Positions 7% 2009-2010 International Foodservice Distributors Association - Positions 100% 2009-2010 National Association for the Self-Employed - U.S. House Score 50% 2009-2010 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Positions 3% 2009 American Federation of Government Employees - Positions 8% 2009 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 14% 2009 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Lifetime Score 22% 2009 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Positions 22% 2009 Federally Employed Women - Positions 30% 2009 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - Positions 16% 2009 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Positions 0% 2009 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Positions 9% 2009 Women Employed - Positions 0% 2008 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Lifetime Score 23% 2008 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 13% 2008 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Lifetime Score 13% 2008 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Positions 14% 2008 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Positions 0% 2008 Latin America Working Group - Positions 0% 2008 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Positions 16% 2008 The Alliance for Worker Freedom - Positions 78% 2008 Utility Workers Union of America - Positions 0% 2007-2008 Federally Employed Women - Equality in Government Score 40 2007-2008 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - Positions 24% 2007-2008 International Foodservice Distributors Association - Positions 100% 2007-2008 United Food & Commercial Workers - Positions 13% 2007 American Federation of Government Employees - Positions 7% 2007 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 17% 2007 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Positions 22% 2007 Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers - Positions 50% 2007 Federally Employed Women - Positions 40% 2007 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - Positions 16% 2007 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Positions 20 2007 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Positions 26% 2007 The Alliance for Worker Freedom - Positions 81% 2007 The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association - Positions 100% 2007 United Auto Workers - Positions 7% 2007 Utility Workers Union of America - Positions 40 2006 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 29% 2006 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Positions 29% 2006 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - Positions 16% 2006 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Positions 33% 2006 National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors - Positions 75% 2006 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Positions 33% 2006 Transportation Communications Union - Positions 16% 2006 United Auto Workers - Positions 15% 2005-2006 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - Positions 17% 2005 American Federation of Government Employees - Positions 0% 2005 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 13% 2005 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Positions 0% 2005 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - Positions 0% 2005 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Positions 25% 2005 National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors - Positions 33% 2005 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Positions 6% 2005 Transportation Communications Union - Positions 0% 2005 United Auto Workers - Positions 14% 2004 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 20% 2004 American Postal Workers Union - Positions 20% 2004 Communications Workers of America - Positions 0% 2004 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - Positions 0% 2004 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Positions 0% 2004 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Positions 14% 2004 Transportation Communications Union - Positions 11% 2004 United Auto Workers - Positions 6% 2004 Workplace Fairness - Positions 0% 2003-2004 American Federation of Government Employees - Positions 8% 2003-2004 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Positions 0% 2003-2004 Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers - Positions 21% 2003-2004 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - Positions 17% 2003-2004 National Association for the Self-Employed - Positions 71% 2003 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 7% 2003 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Positions 0% 2003 Communications Workers of America - Positions 0% 2003 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - Positions 0% 2003 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Positions 12% 2003 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - Positions 22% 2003 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Positions 0% 2003 Transportation Communications Union - Positions 29% 2003 United Auto Workers - Positions on Workplace Rights 7% 2003 Workplace Fairness - Positions 0% 2002 American Benefits Council - Positions 40% 2002 American Federation of Government Employees - Positions 8% 2002 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) - Positions 13% 2002 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) - Positions 0% 2002 Communications Workers of America - Positions 25% 2002 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - Positions 0% 2002 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Positions 25% 2002 Pennsylvania State Nurses Association - Positions 67% 2002 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Positions 0% 2002 Transportation Communications Union - Positions 0% 2002 United Auto Workers - Positions 0% 2001-2002 American Postal Workers Union - Positions 13% 2001-2002 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - Positions 38% 2001-2002 National Association for the Self-Employed - Positions 71%" ACCORDING TO THE GOOD BOOK, THE FIRST LABORERS WERE ADAM AND EVE. WHAT A PATH WE'VE TRAVELLED THROUGHOUT HUMAN HISTORY. WE'VE SADDLED LABORERS WITH OWNERS, STOCKHOLDERS, AND GOVERNMENT WORKERS TO SUPPORT. LABORERS TRY TO ORGANIZE, BUT PEOPLE LIKE HAL ROGERS VOTE AGAINST SUCH ORGANIZING. THE RICH GET RICHER WITH HAL ROGERS' HELP, AND THE PEOPLE WHO WORK AN HONEST FORTY HOUR WEEK GET POORER AND POORER, THANKS TO HAL ROGERS' REPUBILCANS' "TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS". THIS TIME, DUMP ROGERS. ELECT DEMOCRAT STEPP TO THE U.S. HOUSE KY-05!
"David Vine. "Assistant Professor of Anthropology, American University "The Lily-Pad Strategy: How the Pentagon Is Quietly Transforming Its Overseas Base Empire "Posted: 07/16/2012 10:05 am "How the Pentagon Is Quietly Transforming Its Overseas Base Empire and Creating a Dangerous New Way of War "The first thing I saw last month when I walked into the belly of the dark grey C-17 Air Force cargo plane was a void -- something missing. A missing left arm, to be exact, severed at the shoulder, temporarily patched and held together. Thick, pale flesh, flecked with bright red at the edges. It looked like meat sliced open. The face and what remained of the rest of the man were obscured by blankets, an American flag quilt, and a jumble of tubes and tape, wires, drip bags, and medical monitors. "That man and two other critically wounded soldiers -- one with two stumps where legs had been, the other missing a leg below the thigh -- were intubated, unconscious, and lying on stretchers hooked to the walls of the plane that had just landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. A tattoo on the soldier’s remaining arm read, “DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR.” "I asked a member of the Air Force medical team about the casualties they see like these. Many, as with this flight, were coming from Afghanistan, he told me. “A lot from the Horn of Africa,” he added. “You don’t really hear about that in the media.” “Where in Africa?” I asked. He said he didn’t know exactly, but generally from the Horn, often with critical injuries. “A lot out of Djibouti,” he added, referring to Camp Lemonnier, the main U.S. military base in Africa, but from “elsewhere” in the region, too. "Since the “Black Hawk Down” deaths in Somalia almost 20 years ago, we’ve heard little, if anything, about American military casualties in Africa (other than a strange report last week about three special operations commandos killed, along with three women identified by U.S. military sources as “Moroccan prostitutes,” in a mysterious car accident in Mali). The growing number of patients arriving at Ramstein from Africa pulls back a curtain on a significant transformation in twenty-first-century U.S. military strategy. "These casualties are likely to be the vanguard of growing numbers of wounded troops coming from places far removed from Afghanistan or Iraq. They reflect the increased use of relatively small bases like Camp Lemonnier, which military planners see as a model for future U.S. bases “scattered,” as one academic explains, “across regions in which the United States has previously not maintained a military presence.” "Disappearing are the days when Ramstein was the signature U.S. base, an American-town-sized behemoth filled with thousands or tens of thousands of Americans, PXs, Pizza Huts, and other amenities of home. But don’t for a second think that the Pentagon is packing up, downsizing its global mission, and heading home. In fact, based on developments in recent years, the opposite may be true. While the collection of Cold War-era giant bases around the world is shrinking, the global infrastructure of bases overseas has exploded in size and scope. "Unknown to most Americans, Washington’s garrisoning of the planet is on the rise, thanks to a new generation of bases the military calls “lily pads” (as in a frog jumping across a pond toward its prey). These are small, secretive, inaccessible facilities with limited numbers of troops, spartan amenities, and prepositioned weaponry and supplies. "Around the world, from Djibouti to the jungles of Honduras, the deserts of Mauritania to Australia’s tiny Cocos Islands, the Pentagon has been pursuing as many lily pads as it can, in as many countries as it can, as fast as it can. Although statistics are hard to assemble, given the often-secretive nature of such bases, the Pentagon has probably built upwards of 50 lily pads and other small bases since around 2000, while exploring the construction of dozens more. "As Mark Gillem, author of America Town: Building the Outposts of Empire, explains, “avoidance” of local populations, publicity, and potential opposition is the new aim. “To project its power,” he says, the United States wants “secluded and self-contained outposts strategically located” around the world. According to some of the strategy’s strongest proponents at the American Enterprise Institute, the goal should be “to create a worldwide network of frontier forts,” with the U.S. military “the ‘global cavalry’ of the twenty-first century.” "Such lily-pad bases have become a critical part of an evolving Washington military strategy aimed at maintaining U.S. global dominance by doing far more with less in an increasingly competitive, ever more multi-polar world. Central as it’s becoming to the long-term U.S. stance, this global-basing reset policy has, remarkably enough, received almost no public attention, nor significant Congressional oversight. Meanwhile, as the arrival of the first casualties from Africa shows, the U.S. military is getting involved in new areas of the world and new conflicts, with potentially disastrous consequences. Transforming the Base Empire "You might think that the U.S. military is in the process of shrinking, rather than expanding, its little noticed but enormous collection of bases abroad. After all, it was forced to close the full panoply of 505 bases, mega to micro, that it built in Iraq, and it's now beginning the process of drawing down forces in Afghanistan. In Europe, the Pentagon is continuing to close its massive bases in Germany and will soon remove two combat brigades from that country. Global troop numbers are set to shrink by around 100,000. "Yet Washington still easily maintains the largest collection of foreign bases in world history: more than 1,000 military installations outside the 50 states and Washington, DC. They include everything from decades-old bases in Germany and Japan to brand-new drone bases in Ethiopia and the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean and even resorts for military vacationers in Italy and South Korea. "In Afghanistan, the U.S.-led international force still occupies more than 450 bases. In total, the U.S. military has some form of troop presence in approximately 150 foreign countries, not to mention 11 aircraft carrier task forces -- essentially floating bases -- and a significant, and growing, military presence in space. The United States currently spends an estimated $250 billion annually maintaining bases and troops overseas. Some bases, like Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, date to the late nineteenth century. Most were built or occupied during or just after World War II on every continent, including Antarctica. Although the U.S. military vacated around 60% of its foreign bases following the Soviet Union’s collapse, the Cold War base infrastructure remained relatively intact, with 60,000 American troops remaining in Germany alone, despite the absence of a superpower adversary. "However, in the early months of 2001, even before the attacks of 9/11, the Bush administration launched a major global realignment of bases and troops that’s continuing today with Obama’s “Asia pivot.” Bush’s original plan was to close more than one-third of the nation’s overseas bases and shift troops east and south, closer to predicted conflict zones in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The Pentagon began to focus on creating smaller and more flexible “forward operating bases” and even smaller “cooperative security locations” or “lily pads.” Major troop concentrations were to be restricted to a reduced number of “main operating bases” (MOBs) -- like Ramstein, Guam in the Pacific, and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean -- which were to be expanded. "Despite the rhetoric of consolidation and closure that went with this plan, in the post-9/11 era the Pentagon has actually been expanding its base infrastructure dramatically, including dozens of major bases in every Persian Gulf country save Iran, and in several Central Asian countries critical to the war in Afghanistan. "Hitting the Base Reset Button "Obama’s recently announced “Asia pivot” signals that East Asia will be at the center of the explosion of lily-pad bases and related developments. Already in Australia, U.S. marines are settling into a shared base in Darwin. Elsewhere, the Pentagon is pursuing plans for a drone and surveillance base in Australia’s Cocos Islands and deployments to Brisbane and Perth. In Thailand, the Pentagon has negotiated rights for new Navy port visits and a “disaster-relief hub” at U-Tapao. "In the Philippines, whose government evicted the U.S. from the massive Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base in the early 1990s, as many as 600 special forces troops have quietly been operating in the country’s south since January 2002. Last month, the two governments reached an agreement on the future U.S. use of Clark and Subic, as well as other repair and supply hubs from the Vietnam War era. In a sign of changing times, U.S. officials even signed a 2011 defense agreement with former enemy Vietnam and have begun negotiations over the Navy’s increased use of Vietnamese ports. "Elsewhere in Asia, the Pentagon has rebuilt a runway on tiny Tinian island near Guam, and it’s considering future bases in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, while pushing stronger military ties with India. Every year in the region, the military conducts around 170 military exercises and 250 port visits. On South Korea’s Jeju island, the Korean military is building a base that will be part of the U.S. missile defense system and to which U.S. forces will have regular access. “We just can’t be in one place to do what we’ve got to do,” Pacific Command commander Admiral Samuel Locklear III has said. For military planners, “what we’ve got to do” is clearly defined as isolating and (in the terminology of the Cold War) “containing” the new power in the region, China. This evidently means “peppering” new bases throughout the region, adding to the more than 200 U.S. bases that have encircled China for decades in Japan, South Korea, Guam, and Hawaii. "And Asia is just the beginning. In Africa, the Pentagon has quietly created “about a dozen air bases” for drones and surveillance since 2007. In addition to Camp Lemonnier, we know that the military has created or will soon create installations in Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Sudan, and Uganda. The Pentagon has also investigated building bases in Algeria, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, and Nigeria, among other places. "Next year, a brigade-sized force of 3,000 troops, and “likely more,” will arrive for exercises and training missions across the continent. In the nearby Persian Gulf, the Navy is developing an “afloat forward-staging base,” or “mothership,” to serve as a sea-borne “lily pad” for helicopters and patrol craft, and has been involved in a massive build-up of forces in the region. "In Latin America, following the military's eviction from Panama in 1999 and Ecuador in 2009, the Pentagon has created or upgraded new bases in Aruba and Curaçao, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, and Peru. Elsewhere, the Pentagon has funded the creation of military and police bases capable of hosting U.S. forces in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, and even Ecuador. In 2008, the Navy reactivated its Fourth Fleet, inactive since 1950, to patrol the region. The military may want a base in Brazil and unsuccessfully tried to create bases, ostensibly for humanitarian and emergency relief, in Paraguay and Argentina. "Finally, in Europe, after arriving in the Balkans during 1990’s interventions, U.S. bases have moved eastward into some of the former Eastern Bloc states of the Soviet empire. The Pentagon is now developing installations capable of supporting rotating, brigade-sized deployments in Romania and Bulgaria, and a missile defense base and aviation facilities in Poland. Previously, the Bush administration maintained two CIA black sites (secret prisons) in Lithuania and another in Poland. Citizens of the Czech Republic rejected a planned radar base for the Pentagon’s still unproven missile defense system, and now Romania will host ground-based missiles. A New American Way of War "A lily pad on one of the Gulf of Guinea islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, off the oil-rich west coast of Africa, helps explain what’s going on. A U.S. official has described the base as “another Diego Garcia,” referring to the Indian Ocean base that’s helped ensure decades of U.S. domination over Middle Eastern energy supplies. Without the freedom to create new large bases in Africa, the Pentagon is using São Tomé and a growing collection of other lily pads on the continent in an attempt to control another crucial oil-rich region. "Far beyond West Africa, the nineteenth century “Great Game” competition for Central Asia has returned with a passion -- and this time gone global. It’s spreading to resource-rich lands in Africa, Asia, and South America, as the United States, China, Russia, and members of the European Union find themselves locked in an increasingly intense competition for economic and geopolitical supremacy. "While Beijing, in particular, has pursued this competition in a largely economic fashion, dotting the globe with strategic investments, Washington has focused relentlessly on military might as its global trump card, dotting the planet with new bases and other forms of military power. “Forget full-scale invasions and large-footprint occupations on the Eurasian mainland,” Nick Turse has written of this new twenty-first century military strategy. “Instead, think: special operations forces... proxy armies... the militarization of spying and intelligence... drone aircraft... cyber-attacks, and joint Pentagon operations with increasingly militarized ‘civilian’ government agencies.” "Add to this unparalleled long-range air and naval power; arms sales besting any nation on Earth; humanitarian and disaster relief missions that clearly serve military intelligence, patrol, and “hearts and minds” functions; the rotational deployment of regular U.S. forces globally; port visits and an expanding array of joint military exercises and training missions that give the U.S. military de facto “presence” worldwide and help turn foreign militaries into proxy forces. And lots and lots of lily-pad bases. Military planners see a future of endless small-scale interventions in which a large, geographically dispersed collection of bases will always be primed for instant operational access. With bases in as many places as possible, military planners want to be able to turn to another conveniently close country if the United States is ever prevented from using a base, as it was by Turkey prior to the invasion of Iraq. In other words, Pentagon officials dream of nearly limitless flexibility, the ability to react with remarkable rapidity to developments anywhere on Earth, and thus, something approaching total military control over the planet. Beyond their military utility, the lily pads and other forms of power projection are also political and economic tools used to build and maintain alliances and provide privileged U.S. access to overseas markets, resources, and investment opportunities. Washington is planning to use lily-pad bases and other military projects to bind countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America as closely as possible to the U.S. military -- and so to continued U.S. political-economic hegemony. In short, American officials are hoping military might will entrench their influence and keep as many countries as possible within an American orbit at a time when some are asserting their independence ever more forcefully or gravitating toward China and other rising powers. Those Dangerous Lily Pads "While relying on smaller bases may sound smarter and more cost effective than maintaining huge bases that have often caused anger in places like Okinawa and South Korea, lily pads threaten U.S. and global security in several ways: "First, the “lily pad” language can be misleading, since by design or otherwise, such installations are capable of quickly growing into bloated behemoths. "Second, despite the rhetoric about spreading democracy that still lingers in Washington, building more lily pads actually guarantees collaboration with an increasing number of despotic, corrupt, and murderous regimes. "Third, there is a well-documented pattern of damage that military facilities of various sizes inflict on local communities. Although lily pads seem to promise insulation from local opposition, over time even small bases have often led to anger and protest movements. "Finally, a proliferation of lily pads means the creeping militarization of large swaths of the globe. Like real lily pads -- which are actually aquatic weeds -- bases have a way of growing and reproducing uncontrollably. Indeed, bases tend to beget bases, creating “base races” with other nations, heightening military tensions, and discouraging diplomatic solutions to conflicts. After all, how would the United States respond if China, Russia, or Iran were to build even a single lily-pad base of its own in Mexico or the Caribbean? "For China and Russia in particular, ever more U.S. bases near their borders threaten to set off new cold wars. Most troublingly, the creation of new bases to protect against an alleged future Chinese military threat may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy: such bases in Asia are likely to create the threat they are supposedly designed to protect against, making a catastrophic war with China more, not less, likely. "Encouragingly, however, overseas bases have recently begun to generate critical scrutiny across the political spectrum from Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul to Democratic Senator Jon Tester and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. With everyone looking for ways to trim the deficit, closing overseas bases offers easy savings. Indeed, increasingly influential types are recognizing that the country simply can’t afford more than 1,000 bases abroad. Great Britain, like empires before it, had to close most of its remaining foreign bases in the midst of an economic crisis in the 1960s and 1970s. The United States is undoubtedly headed in that direction sooner or later. The only question is whether the country will give up its bases and downsize its global mission by choice, or if it will follow Britain’s path as a fading power forced to give up its bases from a position of weakness. "Of course, the consequences of not choosing another path extend beyond economics. If the proliferation of lily pads, special operations forces, and drone wars continues, the United States is likely to be drawn into new conflicts and new wars, generating unknown forms of blowback, and untold death and destruction. In that case, we’d better prepare for a lot more incoming flights -- from the Horn of Africa to Honduras -- carrying not just amputees but caskets. "David Vine is assistant professor of anthropology at American University, in Washington, DC. He is the author of Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia (Princeton University Press, 2009). He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and Mother Jones, among other places. He is currently completing a book about the more than 1,000 U.S. military bases located outside the United States. To listen to Timothy MacBain's latest Tomcast audio interview in which Vine discusses his experiences with the Pentagon’s empire of bases, click here or download it to your iPod here. "Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch and join us on Facebook, and check out the latest TD book, Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050. "Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch and join us on Facebook. "To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here." The U.S. Constitution does not authorize an American Empire, it is not in our best interest, and I oppose it. If elected, I will vote to bring the troops home. The choice is simple, if you are an imperialist and want the United States to maintain more than 1,000 military bases outside the United States, then you should vote for your local Republican incumbent--Hal Rogers in KY-05; but if you stand with Kenneth Stepp and the founding fathers hating global tyranny, imperialism, and empire, then you should vote for STEPP FOR CONGRESS 2012!
IN THE FEW TIMES THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION HAS RANKED HAL ROGERS' VOTING RECORD, THEY HAVE CONSISTENTLY GIVEN HIM ZERO PER CENT (0%)! "Legal Issues 2001-2002 American Bar Association - Positions 0% 1999-2000 American Bar Association - Positions 0%" HOW CAN YOU CONTINUE TO RE-ELECT HAL ROGERS AS YOUR CONGRESSMAN--A MAN WITH SUCH A DISMAL VOTING RECORD? THIS YEAR ELECT THE DEMOCRAT STEPP FOR CONGRESS KY-05!
Now, we summarize Hal Rogers' voting record on senior and Social Security Issues: Senior and Social Security Issues "2011 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0% 2009 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 10% 2009 Alliance for Retired Americans - Lifetime Score 8% 2008 Alliance for Retired Americans - Lifetime Score 8% 2008 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 50% 2007 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 10% 2006 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0% 2005-2006 National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association - Positions 67% 2005 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0% 2004 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0% 2003-2004 National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association - Positions 40% 2003-2004 Retire Safe - Positions 100% 2003 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0% 2003 Leading Age - Positions 50% 2002 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0% 2002 National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association - Positions 0% 2001-2002 National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare - Positions 31% 2001 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0% 2000 National Council of Senior Citizens - Positions 0% 1999-2000 National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association - Positions 0% 1999-2000 National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare - Positions 33% 1999 National Council of Senior Citizens - Positions 20% 1998 National Council of Senior Citizens - Positions 20% 1997-1998 60 Plus Association - Positions 80% 1997-1998 National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare - Positions 60% 1997 National Council of Senior Citizens - Positions 40% 1996 National Council of Senior Citizens - Positions 20% 1995-1996 60 Plus Association - Positions 100% 1995-1996 National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association - Position 60% 1995-1996 National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare - Positions 27%" WHAT A DISMAL VOTING RECORD CONGRESSMAN HAL ROGERS HAS ON SENIOR AND SOCIAL SECURITY ISSUES! THIS TIME VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRAT STEPP FOR CONGRESS KY-05! HAL ROGERS HAS A ZERO PER CENT RATING WITH THE ALLIANCE FOR RETIRED AMERICANS IN THE ABOVE CHART FOR 2011.2006. 2005. 2004. 2003. 2002. AND 2001 FOR A LIFETIME SCORE OF EIGHT PER CENT (8%). LET'S REPLACE HIM WITH STEPP THIS YEAR!
Saturday, July 14, 2012
PEACE ORGANIZATIONS HAVE GIVEN HAL ROGERS THE FOLLOWING RATINGS: 2011 Friends Committee on National Legislation - Positions 0% 2011 Peace Action West - Positions 9% 2010 Peace Action - Positions 13% 2010 Peace Action West - Positions 13% 2009-2010 Council for a Livable World - Positions 0% 2009-2010 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) - Positions 10% 2009 Friends Committee on National Legislation - Positions 17% 2009 Latin America Working Group - Positions 0% 2009 NewPolicy.org - Positions on International Middle East Policy Advocacy 0% 2009 Peace Action West - Positions 8% 2009 Resolve Uganda - Lifetime Score 0% 2008 Friends Committee on National Legislation - Positions 0% 2008 Peace Action West - Positions 0% 2007-2008 Council for a Livable World - Positions 0% 2007-2008 Nuclear Age Peace Foundation - Positions 0% 2007 Council for a Livable World - Positions 4% 2007 Friends Committee on National Legislation - Positions 9% 2007 Latin America Working Group - Positions 10% 2007 Peace Action West - Positions 9% 2006 Church World Service - Positions 33 2006 Peace Action - Positions 7% 2006 Peace Action West - Positions 7% 2005-2006 Friends Committee on National Legislation - Positions 6% 2005-2006 Nuclear Age Peace Foundation - Positions 8% 2005 Church World Service - Positions 25 2005 Council on American-Islamic Relations - Positions 0% 2005 Peace Action - Positions 25% 2005 PeacePAC - Positions 15% 2004 Armenian National Committee of America - Positions 46% 2004 Center for International Policy - Positions 0% 2004 Friends Committee on National Legislation - Positions 0% 2004 Latin America Working Group - Positions 0% 2004 Nuclear Age Peace Foundation - Positions 33% 2004 Peace Action - Positions 0% 2003-2004 Friends Committee on National Legislation - Positions 7% 2003-2004 PeacePAC - Positions 27% 2003 Friends Committee on National Legislation - Positions 11% 2003 Latin America Working Group - Positions 11% 2003 Nuclear Age Peace Foundation - PositionS 0% 2003 Peace Action - Positions 11% HOW CAN YOU VOTE FOR HAL ROGERS AND HIS PRO-WAR POLICIES OF THE NEO-CONS. ELECT THE PEACE CANDIDATE KENNETH STEPP TO THE U.S. HOUSE KY-05 IN 2012!
Environmental Issues VOTESMART RECORDS HAL ROGERS' FOLLOWING RECORD ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES! 2011 League of Conservation Voters - Positions 9% 2011 League of Conservation Voters - Lifetime Score 10% 2011 Sierra Club - Positions on Clean Water (House Only) 0% 2010 League of Conservation Voters - Positions 0% 2010 League of Conservation Voters - Lifetime Score 10% 2009-2010 League of Conservation Voters - Positions 13% 2009 ConservAmerica - Positions 50 2009 Environment America - Positions 20% 2009 League of Conservation Voters - Positions 21% 2008 Environment America - Positions 8% 2007-2008 ConservAmerica - Positions 8 2007-2008 Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund - Positions 6% 2007-2008 League of Conservation Voters - Positions 6% 2007 ConservAmerica - Positions 7 2007 Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund - Positions 0% 2007 League of Conservation Voters - First Session Score 5% 2007 League of Private Property Voters - Land Rights Advocacy Score 75 2006 American Wind Energy Association - Positions 100% 2006 ConservAmerica - Positions 25 2006 League of Conservation Voters - Positions 17% 2006 League of Private Property Voters - Positions 100% 2005-2006 American Lands Alliance - Positions 0% 2005-2006 American Wilderness Coalition - Positions 0% 2005-2006 Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund - Positions 0% 2005-2006 Partnership for America - Positions 100% 2005 American Wilderness Coalition - Positions 0% 2005 ConservAmerica - Positions 0 HOW CAN YOU VOTE FOR HAL ROGERS WHEN HE HAS SUCH A SORRY VOTING RECORD ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. STEPP IS GREEN! ELECT STEPP TO THE U.S. HOUSE KY-05!
Employment and Affirmative Action 2009 Women Employed - Positions 0% 2008 Latin America Working Group - Positions 0% 2007 National Employment Lawyers Association - Positions 33% DO YOU WANT HAL ROGERS, WITH HIS TWO ZERO PER CENT RATINGS IN THIS, TO BE YOUR CONGRESSMAN NEXT YEAR. ELECT STEPP TO THE U.S. HOUSE!
EDUCATIONVOTING RECORD SCORES OF HAL ROGERS Education 2011 National Association for College Admission Counseling - Positions 0% 2011 National Education Association - Positions F 2010 Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - Positions 50% 2009-2010 National Association for College Admission Counseling - Positions 16% 2009-2010 National Education Association - Positions F 2009 National Education Association - Positions on Public Education Teaching Profession Issues F 2009 Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - U.S. House Score 100% 2007-2008 National Association for College Admission Counseling - Positions 35% 2007-2008 National Education Association - Positions on Public Education Teaching Profession Issues F 2007 Association For Supervision and Curriculum Development - Positions 25% 2007 National Association for College Admission Counseling - Positions 12% 2007 National Association of Elementary School Principals - Positions 25% 2007 National Education Association - Positions on Public Education Teaching Profession Issues F 2007 Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - Positions 0% 2006 National Association for College Admission Counseling - Positions 50% 2005-2006 National Education Association - Positions 0% 2005 National Association for College Admission Counseling - Positions 25% 2005 National Association of Elementary School Principals - Positions 0% 2005 Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - Positions 50% 2003-2004 National Education Association - Positions 21% 2003-2004 National Parent Teacher Association - Positions 0% 2003-2004 National School Boards Association - Positions 40% 2003 National Education Association - Positions 17% 2003 National School Boards Association - Positions 20% 2002 National Education Association - Positions 0% 2001-2002 National Parent Teacher Association - Positions 50% 2001 English First - Positions 0% 2001 National Education Association - Positions 33% 2000 National Education Association - Positions 0% WHY WOULD YOU WANT A MAN WITH SUCH A SORRY EDUCATION VOTING RECORD REPRESENTING YOU? ELECT sTEPP FOR U.S. HOUSE KY-05 IN 2012!
Civil Liberties and Civil RightsVOTING RECORD SCORES OF HAL ROGERS 2011 American Civil Liberties Union - Positions (House Only) 0% 2009-2010 American Civil Liberties Union - Positions 6% 2009-2010 Arab American Institute - Positions 0% 2009-2010 Human Rights Campaign - Positions 0% 2009-2010 Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights - Positions 6% 2009-2010 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) - Positions 23% 2009 American Library Association - Positions 13% 2009 Irregular Times/Progressive Patriots - Regressive Action Score 48% 2009 Irregular Times/Progressive Patriots - Progressive Action Score 3% 2009 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) - Positions 28% 2008 American Library Association - Positions 11% 2007-2008 American Civil Liberties Union - Positions 18% 2007-2008 Arab American Institute - Positions on Arab American Issues 0% 2007-2008 Human Rights Campaign - Positions 0% 2007-2008 Irregular Times/Progressive Patriots - Oath of Office Score 0% 2007-2008 Irregular Times/Progressive Patriots - Progressive Action Score 19% 2007-2008 Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights - Positions on Civil and Human 17 2007-2008 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) - Positions on Civil Rights and Social Justice Issues 40% WHY WOULD YOU WANT A MAN WITH SUCH A SORRY CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES VOTING RECORD REPRESENTING YOU? ELECT sTEPP FOR U.S. HOUSE KY-05 IN 2012!
Friday, July 13, 2012
Hal Rogers has the following policy on unreasonable searches: “27 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). “This Bill (H.R. 3523) would foster information sharing about cyber threats between the federal government and private businesses. Businesses that would participate in this sharing would be protected from lawsuits regarding this sharing of their customers’ private information with the government. According to Violet Blue in an article posted on ZDNet.com on June 8, “Most people familiar with CISPA believe it will wipe out decades of consumer privacy protections and is primarily to give the US government unprecedented access to individuals’ online data and communications.‘ The House passed H.R. 3523 on April 26, 2012 by a vote of 248 to 168 (Roll Call 192). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the CISPA bill would permit government access to the private information of citizens, in violation of the Fourth Amendment ‘right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The New American, July 9, 2012, page 24. Hal Rogers voted for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), H.R. 3523 on April 26, 2012 . The New American, August 8, 2011, page 23. Kenneth Stepp, as your Congressman, would have voted against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), H.R. 3523 on April 26, 2012 , and in favor of Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution clause that which guarantees right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, unlike Congressman Rogers who voted the CISPA of April 26, 2012, H.R. 3523. Protect the United States Constitution, protect yourselves from unreasonable searches and seizures, elect Stepp to the U.S. House KY-05 in November!
Hal Rogers has the following policy on civil liberties: “9 Patriot Act Extension “This legislation (S.990) extended for four years three provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire: the ’roving wiretap’ provision that allows the federal government to wiretap any number of a suspect’s telephone/Internet connections without specifying what they will find or how many connections will be tapped; the ‘financial records’ provision that allows the feds to seize ’any tangible thing’ that has ‘relevance’ to an investigation; and the ‘lone wolf’ provision that allows spying on non-U.S. citizens without a warrant. These provisions violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that no warrants be issued ‘but upon probable cause’ (a much higher standard than ‘relevance’), and that warrants must contain language ‘particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’ The Patriot Act even allows the FBI to issue warrants called ‘National Security Letters’ without going to a judge, though this provision was not set to expire and therefore was not part of this legislation. The House passed the Patriot Act extension on May 26, 2011 by a vote of 250 to 153 (Roll Call 376). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the provisions that were extended as well as the Patriot Act as a whole, violate the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.” The New American, August 8, 2011, page 26. Hal Rogers voted for the Patriot Act Extension of May 26, 2011, Roll Call 376. The New American, August 8, 2011, page 25. Kenneth Stepp, as your Congressman, would have voted against the Patriot Act Extension of May 26, 2011, Roll Call 376, and in favor of Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution clause that which requires that no warrants be issued ‘but upon probable cause’, unlike Congressman Rogers who voted the Patriot Act Extension of May 26, 2011, Roll Call 376. Protect the United States Constitution, protect yourselves from unreasonable search and seizure, elect Stepp to the U.S. House KY-05 in November!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
"PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS: NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-45) NATIONAL (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (46-43) NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45) NATIONAL (YouGov): Romney d. Obama (44-43) COLORADO (Global Strategy Group and Garin-Hart-Yang for Priorities USA—D): Obama d. Romney (49-42) FLORIDA (Global Strategy Group and Garin-Hart-Yang for Priorities USA—D): Obama d. Romney (48-44) MAINE (Critical Insights): Obama d. Romney (48-34) NEW MEXICO (We Ask America—R): Obama d. Romney (51-40) OHIO (Global Strategy Group and Garin-Hart-Yang for Priorities USA—D): Obama d. Romney (48-41) PENNSYLVANIA (Global Strategy Group and Garin-Hart-Yang for Priorities USA—D): Obama d. Romney (49-40) PENNSYLVANIA (We Ask America—R): Obama d. Romney (47-40) VIRGINIA (Global Strategy Group and Garin-Hart-Yang for Priorities USA—D): Obama d. Romney (46-43) WISCONSIN (Marquette Law School): Obama d. Romney (51-43) WISCONSIN (PPP): Obama d. Romney (50-44)" from Daily Kos. This time, vote with the winners, elect Democrats to the U.S. House and Federal positions. Keep up the momentum. Stepp for House KY-05 2012!
"Slap to Obama: GOP House votes to kill health law "Published: July 11, 2012 Updated 14 hours ago Wednesday, July 11, 2012, after the Republican-controlled House voted 244-185 to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law. "By DAVID ESPO — AP Special Correspondent "WASHINGTON — Pressing an election-year point, Republicans pushed yet another bill through the House on Wednesday to repeal the nation's two-year-old health care law, a maneuver that forced Democrats to choose between President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement and a public that is persistently skeptical of its value. "The vote was 244-185, with five Democratic defectors siding with Republicans. "By Republican count, the vote marked the 33rd time in 18 months that the tea party-infused GOP majority has tried to eliminate, defund or otherwise scale back the program - opponents scornfully call it "Obamacare" - since the GOP took control of the House. "Repeal this year by Congress is doomed, since the Democratic-controlled Senate will never agree. "But Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam said before joining other Republicans in Wednesday's House vote: "Here's the good news. The voters get the last word in November. Stay tuned." "Nor was the vote in the House the only act of political theater during the day as campaign concerns increasingly crowded out bipartisan attempts at law-making in the Capitol. "One day after a campaigning Obama called on Congress to pass his proposal to extend tax cuts on all but the highest wage earners, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky offered to allow an immediate vote. "I can't see why Democrats wouldn't want to give him the chance" to sign the bill, he said. "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., countered by blocking an immediate vote. "We'll get to the tax issues. That way we'll be able to talk in more detail about Governor Romney's taxes," he said in a reference to Democratic campaign attacks on the GOP presidential candidate's overseas investment, the relatively low rate of income tax he is required to pay and his refusal thus far to release personal tax returns dating before 2010. "The health care debate roiled the campaign for the White House as well as Congress. "Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney drew boos from his largely black audience at the NAACP convention when he vowed to wipe out Obama's overhaul. "In the House, Republicans assailed the law as a job-killing threat to the economic recovery, but Democrats said repeal would eliminate consumer protections that already have affected millions. "The intent of the president's health care law was to lower costs and to help create jobs. ... Instead, it is making our economy worse, driving up costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. He cited a study by a business group that estimated that one of the bill's taxes would cost up to 249,000 jobs, and a different estimate that a second tax would "put as many as 47,100 in jeopardy." "But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said repeal would take away provisions that guarantee coverage for children with pre-existing medical conditions, reduce prescription drug costs for some seniors, provide for protective checks for patients of all ages and ensure rebates totaling more than $1 billion this summer for policy holders. "What a Valentine to the health insurance industry," Pelosi said scornfully of the repeal measure. The party leader was a driving force behind the overhaul when she was speaker and Democrats held a majority. "At its core, the law will require nearly all Americans to purchase insurance beginning in 2014, a so-called individual mandate that Republicans seized on to make their case that the program amounted to a government takeover of health care. The law's constitutionality was upheld two weeks ago in a 5-4 Supreme Court opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts. "There was never any doubt that Republicans had the votes to pass the repeal in the House on Wednesday - or that it would die in the Senate, where Democrats possessed more than enough strength to block it. "That's what happened in January 2011, when the newly installed Republican majority first voted to repeal the law a few days after taking office. "In the months since, the GOP has taken repeated further swipes at the law, including votes to deny salaries to any government officials who enforce it, to abolish a board of officials charged with holding down Medicare costs in the future and to repeal a tax on medical devices. "With the exception of a few relatively modest changes accepted by the White House, all the rest have died in the Senate. "Some Democrats sought something of a middle ground. "Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., elected to his seat a few weeks ago, said the GOP-inspired repeal legislation was a charade and showed the House "cares more about political grandstanding than in getting things done." At the same time, he said, "We must work to improve the legislation," a bow to those who are less than enthusiastic about it, and a point he made during his recent campaign. "The five Democrats who sided with Republicans in the house vote were Reps. Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike Ross of Arkansas and Dan Boren of Oklahoma. "All five voted against the law's passage in 2010. Boren, Ross and McIntyre voted to repeal the law in January 2011, while the other two lawmakers voted to keep it in place. "In an interview after Wednesday's vote, Matheson said he opposed repeal the first time because he wanted the Supreme Court to rule on the law's constitutionality. He said he supports some elements of the law, but on the whole "this does not create a path for us to have a sustainable health care system for this country and that's why I think it's time to hit the reset button and start over." "Kissell's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "Boehner said Republicans wanted to give Democrats who had previously voted to sustain the law a chance to reconsider, contending that "most Americans not only oppose this health care law - they support fully repealing it." "In a statement issued moments after the vote, McConnell said he would press for a vote in the Senate, as well. "Public reaction to the law has been consistently negative, but apart from conservative Republicans, it is less clear what support exists for repeal. "In a Washington Post/ABC News poll this month, 47 percent of those surveyed said they opposed the law, 47 percent said they supported it and 6 percent expressed no opinion. "Among those who said they were opposed or had no opinion, 33 percent said they wanted it all repealed, 30 percent said they wanted parts repealed and 34 percent said they wanted to wait and see what happens without repeal. "Associated Press Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta and AP writers Alan Fram and Donna Cassata contributed to this story. "Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/07/11/2255578/slap-to-obama-gop-house-votes.html#storylink=cpy" from kentucky.com The May 2012 copy of NOSSCR [NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY CLAIMANTS' REPRESENTATIVES] SOCIAL SECURITY FORUM, MAY 2012, page 13 notes "Repealing health reform should not only leave many millions of people uninusred and abandon various cost-saving measures to Medicare, but it would also harm the Social Security outlook." The choice is simple for the Kentucky Fifth District: Republican Congressman Hal Rogers votes for repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, but Democratic candidate for Congress Kenneth Stepp supports the Affordable Health Care Act. How about you. Are you voting for Rogers who wants to kill the Act, or are you voting for Stepp who will vote to keep the Act?
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Hal Rogers has the following policy on undeclared wars: “10 Libya Troop Withdrawal. “House Concurrent Resolution 51 would have directed President Obama, ‘pursuant to . . . The War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Libya.’ The War Powers Resolution bars the President from militarily engaging the armed forces for more than 60 days without congressional approval. Obama had not sought congressional approval for undertaking military action in Libya. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who sponsored H. Con. Res. 51, noted: ‘In the weeks leading up to the war, the administration had time to consult with the Arab League, the United Nations, the African Union, but apparently had no time to come to this Congress for approval.‘ The House rejected Kucinich’s resolution on June 3, 2011 by a vote of 148 to 265 (Roll Call 412) We have assigned pluses to the yeas not merely because Obama’s Libya deployment is now in violation of the War Powers Act’s 60-day requirement for congressional authorization, but also because it violates the Constitution, which clearly assigns to Congress the power ‘to declare war.’” The New American, August 8, 2011, page 26. Hal Rogers voted against the Dennis Kucinich House Concurrent Resolution 51 of June 3, 2011, Roll Call 412. The New American, August 8, 2011, page 25. Kenneth Stepp, as your Congressman, would have voted for the Dennis Kucinich House Concurrent Resolution 51 of June 3, 2011, Roll Call 412, and in favor of the United States Constitution clause that says “Congress has the power “to declare war“,
Hal Rogers has the following recent voting record regarding indefinite detention. “30 Indefinite Detention. “Detainee-related language in the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310) is so sweeping that American citizens accused of being terrorists can be detained by the U.S. military and held indefinitely without habeas corpus and without even being tried and found guilty in a court of law. “Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) offered an amendment to strike this language from the bill, but the House rejected Smith’s amendment on May 18, 2012 by a vote of 182 to 238 (Roll Call 270). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the War on Terror must not be allowed to destroy constitutional legal protections, including the issuance of a warrant based on probable cause (Fourth Amendment) and the right to a trial (Sixth Amendment).” The New American, July 9, 2012, page 24. Hal Rogers voted against the Adam Smith Amendment May 18, 2012, Roll Call 270. The New American, July 9, 2012, page 23. Kenneth Stepp, as your Congressman, would have voted for the Adam Smith Amendment May 18, 2012, Roll Call 270, and in favor of the Fourth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, unlike Congressman Rogers who voted against the Amendment. Protect the United States Constitution, support the Fourth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment, elect Stepp to the U.S. House KY-05 in November!