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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

On Foreign Policy, Bernie Sanders Is the Democrat and Hillary Clinton Is a Republican

by H. A. Goodman

When evaluating the two choices for Democratic nominee, it's important to emphasize that voters will decide upon the next Commander in Chief. I state exactly why I'm only voting for Bernie Sanders in this YouTube segment, primarily because the next president will have monumental choices to make in terms of foreign policy. Because the presidency in this era of American history has more power to wage war than ever before, it's imperative that our Democratic nominee act more like a Democrat, than a Republican, on the topic of foreign policy.

The last time Congress declared war was in 1942. Bloomberg writes that nowadays, "Presidents cite unconventional threats and the need for flexibility and speed to deploy military force, sometimes with Congressional approval, sometimes without."

Although the Constitution states that only Congress can declare war, the War Powers Act of 1973 gives the President 60 days to send troops into battle without Congressional approval. Congress must vote to prolong a president's decision with funding or a resolution thereafter. According to Cornell University Law School, new legislation was needed after "the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon Administrations had spent nearly a decade committing U.S. troops to Southeast Asia without Congressional approval."

After 9/11, Bush expanded the war powers of the presidency with the Authorization for Use of Military Force against al-Qaeda. Today, President Obama is using the AUMF to fight ISIS and other terrorists, primarily in the Middle East.

Essentially, a president doesn't need Congressional approval to wage limited wars, or airstrikes and special operations missions. With prolonged wars like the fight against ISIS, President Obama has simply used Bush's AUMF, and the next president can do the same thing, with little obstruction from Congress.



Jim Hightower: Welcome to our new plutocracy: Citizens United has effectively destroyed the 1st Am.

In today’s so-called “democratic” election process, Big Money doesn’t talk, it roars — usually drowning out the people’s voice.

Bizarrely, the Supreme Court decreed in its 2010 Citizens United ruling that money is a form of “free speech.” Thus, declared the learned justices, people and corporations are henceforth allowed to spend unlimited sums of their money to “speak” in election campaigns. But wait — if political speech is measured by money then by definition speech is not free. It can be bought, thereby giving the most speech to the few with the most money. That’s plutocracy, not democracy.

Sure enough, in the first six months of this presidential election cycle, more than half of the record-setting $300 million given to the various candidates came from only 358 mega-rich families and the corporations they control. The top 158 of them totaled $176 million in political spending, meaning that, on average, each one of them bought more than a million dollars’ worth of “free” speech.

Nearly all of their money is backing Republican presidential hopefuls who promise: (1) to cut taxes on the rich; (2) cut regulations that protect us from corporate pollution and other abuses of the common good; and (3) to cut Social Security, food stamps and other safety-net programs that we un-rich people need. The great majority of Americans adamantly oppose all of those cuts — but none of us has a million bucks to buy an equivalent amount of political “free” speech.

It’s not just cuts to taxes, regulations and some good public programs that are endangered by the Court’s ridiculous ruling, but democracy itself. That’s why a new poll by Bloomberg Politics found that 78 percent of the American people — including 80 percent of Republicans — want to overturn Citizens United. But those 358 families, corporations and Big Money politicos will have none of it. In fact, America’s inane, Big Money politics have become so prevalent in this election cycle that — believe it or not — candidates have found a need for yet another campaign consultant.



Shaker Aamer Is Released From Guantánamo Prison After 13 Years

Source: NYT

WASHINGTON — Shaker Aamer, whose detention at the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba attracted the attention of human rights lawyers, political leaders and rock stars, was freed on Friday after more than 13 years in captivity, British officials announced. Mr. Aamer, a Saudi citizen and British resident, was flown to London.

Mr. Aamer’s transfer, which was confirmed by the British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, ends one of the best-known cases at the American prison.

At its center was a charismatic, English-speaking detainee who has been the subject of intense dispute. Military officials have portrayed Mr. Aamer, 46, as a dangerous Islamist leader, while human rights advocates see him as a victim falsely accused of ties to terrorism. Now Mr. Aamer will be free to speak his mind in public.

“We are, of course, delighted that Shaker is on his way back to his home and his family here in the U.K.,” one of his lawyers, Cori Crider of the British human rights organization Reprieve, said in a statement. “It is long, long past time. Shaker now needs to see a doctor, and then get to spend time alone with his family, as soon as possible.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/31/world/shaker-aamer-released-guantanamo-bay-cuba.html

Friday Toon Roundup 2: The Rest



Friday Toon Roundup 1: Trick, no Treat

Toon: The Other Government Blimp

Thursday TOON Roundup 4- The Rest



War Criminals

Thursday TOON Roundup 3- Wrong Lessons

Thursday TOON Roundup 2 - House of Horrors

Thursday Toon Roundup 1- Clowns Debating

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