Nominations could provoke constitutional fight By Stephen Dinan and Susan Crabtree
Pushing the limits of his recess appointment powers, President Obama on Wednesday bypassed the Senate to install three members of the National Labor Relations Board and a director for the controversial new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — moves Republicans said amounted to unconstitutional power grabs.
Mr. Obama said the appointments, which he previewed during a campaign-style speech in Ohio, were necessary because Senate Republicans have blocked him at every turn. But in making the move, he rejected three precedents, including two in which he played a part, that would have blocked the appointments.
“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” Mr. Obama said in Shaker Heights, drawing applause from his audience. “When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.”
Mr. Obama tapped former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the consumer protection agency and named three others — two Democrats and one Republican — to the labor board. Those nominations had all been stymied by congressional Republicans, who said Mr. Obama was accruing too much power to himself through those two agencies.
The president acted just a day after the Senate held a session, albeit a pro forma one without any business transacted.
Senators from both parties — including Democrats in 2007 and 2008, when Mr. Obama was in the Senate — have said it takes a recess of at least three days before the president can use his appointment powers.
Mr. Obama’s move threatens to ignite an all-out legislative war with Congress, and Republicans reacted with strikingly sharp language.
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By Paul B. Farrell
Worst-case scenario’s closing fast: Occupy Wall Street growing. But no political power or allies yet. Feared yes, attacked by GOP proxy tea party. Soon the Occupation will explode into a new American Revolution.
When? A string of European bank collapses is dead ahead. And like the Arab Spring, they will trigger an economic disaster for American banks.
Click to Play The big picture for global banks Andrew Milligan, head of Global Strategy at Standard Life Investments, discusses the implications for banks as European officials try to hammer out a solution to the sovereign debt crisis.
Yes, coming soon says Martin Weiss in his “7 Major Advance Warnings,” which is “bound to have a life-changing impact on nearly all investors in the U.S. and around the globe.” His new Weiss Ratings warnings are the “most important” in a 40-year career. The stress on Wall Street banks will force them back to Congress for more bailouts.
Warning eight: No new bailouts. That will push the economy into a deep recession.
Then what? New Glass-Steagall? Not enough. Tax the rich? Not enough. Perp walks? Not enough. Presidential commission? Useless promises. Occupy Wall Street will fail without a fundamental constitutional change. No compromise. Or Wall Street wins, again. We go back to the same free market, deregulated, too-greedy to-fail, conservative Reaganomics policies that have been destroying democracy for a generation
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Col. David Crockett US Representative from Tennessee
One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:
“Mr. Speaker–I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.
“Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”
Read Entire Story in Junto Society http://www.juntosociety.com/patriotism/inytg
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By Peter Schroede
The current mail system of the United States is “no longer financially sustainable,” and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is looking for billions of dollars in cuts to its services.
The postal service announced Thursday it was considering closing nearly 250 processing facilities, cutting equipment by 50 percent and slowing mail delivery in an extreme cost-cutting effort. It is looking for $3 billion in annual savings.
And as the president and Congress search high and low for ways to boost job creation, up to 35,000 people could be laid off as part of that effort.
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Al Gore was beside himself when the Senate failed to ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994. Gore had spent the first two years of his vice presidency developing what he called his “Ecosystem Management Policy.” This new policy was nothing more than preparing the agencies of government to implement the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity and Agenda 21. These three policy documents were adopted in Rio de Janeiro at the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development.
Agenda 21 was the only document that was not an international treaty. It was, instead, a non-binding “soft-law” document that was designed to avoid the necessity of congressional debate or Senate ratification. Bill Clinton issued an executive order to create the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) especially to implement Agenda 21 administratively – without oversight or interference from Congress. The agencies of government have done a masterful job of infecting almost all urban communities with some form of government control under the guise of “Sustainable Development,” which is the objective of Agenda 21.
Now, the Obama regime intends to impose the same kind of control over rural America through his White House Rural Council, also created by executive order.
The rather bland 18-page Convention on Biological Diversity came with an 1,140-page instruction book called the Global Biodiversity Assessment. Page 993 of this instruction book says that the Convention’s plan for protecting biodiversity is “…central to the Wildlands Project recently proposed in the United States.” Page 15 of the Wildlands Project says
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Debt ceiling negotiators think they’ve hit on a solution to address the debt ceiling impasse and the public’s unwillingness to let go of benefits such as Medicare and Social Security that have been earned over a lifetime of work: Create a new Congress.
This “Super Congress,” composed of members of both chambers and both parties, isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, but would be granted extraordinary new powers. Under a plan put forth by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his counterpart Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), legislation to lift the debt ceiling would be accompanied by the creation of a 12-member panel made up of 12 lawmakers — six from each chamber and six from each party.
Legislation approved by the Super Congress — which some on Capitol Hill are calling the “super committee” — would then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it couldn’t be amended by simple, regular lawmakers, who’d have the ability only to cast an up or down vote. With the weight of both leaderships behind it, a product originated by the Super Congress would have a strong chance of moving through the little Congress and quickly becoming law. A Super Congress would be less accountable than the system that exists today, and would find it easier to strip the public of popular benefits. Negotiators are currently considering cutting the mortgage deduction and tax credits for retirement savings, for instance, extremely popular policies that would be difficult to slice up using the traditional legislative process.
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China pressed the United States to take “responsible” measures to boost market confidence in the dollar and U.S. government debt on Wednesday, underscoring investor worries that Washington could default on its debt.
The urging from China’s currency regulator came as U.S. leaders tried to hammer out an 11th-hour deal to raise a $14.3 trillion debt ceiling for the United States before it runs out of money to cover all its bills on August 2.
“We hope the U.S. government will take responsible policies and measures to boost global financial market confidence and respect and protect the interests of investors,” the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said.
The remarks, published on its website, were carried as a response to queries on whether Beijing will cut its investment in U.S. Treasuries following through from rating agencies saying they may cut the United States’ credit rating.
The agency, which manages China’s $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest, said its buying and selling of Treasuries were part of normal investment operations.
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WSJ’s Paul Vigna reports the nation’s nearly $14.3 trillion debt ceiling will be breached today. Also, NASDAQ withdrew its bid for the NYSE. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, file)
The U.S. government is expected to hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling Monday, setting in motion an uncertain, 11-week political scramble to avoid a default.
The Treasury Department said Monday it will stop issuing and reinvesting government securities in certain government pension plans, part of a series of steps designed to delay a default until Aug. 2.
The Treasury’s moves buy time for the White House and congressional leaders to reach a deficit-reduction agreement that could clear the way for enough lawmakers to vote to raise the amount of money Congress allows the nation to borrow.
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By Moshe Phillips The cliché goes that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. When one e,xamines the writings of Peter Beinart you have to wonder if Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach would have created that aphorism if she had lived in our day and witnessed the nonsense so many are saying in the aftermath of the slaying of Osama bin Laden.
Beinart’s recent rant “The War on Terror Is Over” should require no response and that it does — after all, no one would respond to a pundit writing in favor of the Flat Earth Society — is a sure sign of how many Americans live with short term memories and dangerous illusions.
“Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them. Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated,” stated President Bush in his address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001.
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By Richard Cowan and Rachelle Younglai
The Treasury has told lawmakers a roughly $2 trillion rise in the legal limit on federal debt would be needed to ensure the government can keep borrowing through the 2012 presidential election, sources with knowledge of the discussions said.
Obama administration officials have repeatedly said that it is up to Congress to decide by how much the $14.3 trillion debt limit should be raised.
But when lawmakers asked how much of an increase would be needed to meet the government’s obligations into early 2013, Treasury officials floated the $2 trillion working figure, Senate and administration sources told Reuters.
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