It sets a dangerous precedent and steals congressional authority. Will you sign on?
(8.2.2019) Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the situation in Venezuela:
“I support the decision of the National Assembly, Venezuela’s sole remaining democratic institution, to recognize Juan Guaidó, President of the National Assembly, as the Interim President until full, fair and free elections can be held.
„There’s been virtually no litigation in the 43-history of the National Emergencies Act about that statute,“ said Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.
President Trump on Feb. 15 declared a national emergency to allocate additional funding to build a wall at the southern border.
In fact, the US has been in a perpetual state of declared national emergency for four decades, and the country is currently under 31 concurrent states of emergency about a spectrum of international issues around the globe, according to a CNN review of documents from the Congressional Research Service and the Federal Register.
President Trump will declare a national emergency as early as Friday to bypass Congress and build his long-promised wall along the nation’s southwestern border even as he agreed to sign a spending package that does not finance it, White House officials said Thursday.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has a heated exchange with Elliot Abrams, the U.S. special envoy to Venezuela, highlighting his role in the Iran-Contra affair. She says, „I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.“ The exchange came during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.
(7. Oktober 1991) From July 1985 through 1988, ELLIOTT ABRAMS was Assistant Secretary of State and headed the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Inter-American Affairs.
As Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, MR. ABRAMS chaired a Restricted Interagency Group („RIG“) comprised of, among others, representatives of the United States Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Central Intelligence Agency („CIA“), the National Security Council („NSC* 1 ), and the Department of State. During 1985 and 1986, the RIG met regularly to coordinate the activities of these agencies in Central America.
(8. Oktober 1991) As the State Department’s point man on Latin America, Mr. Abrams headed the Restricted Interagency Group, a panel that coordinated the Administration’s Central America policy among officials at the White House, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon.
Other members included Mr. North, the Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and White House aide who managed the day-to-day operations of secretly aiding the Nicaraguan rebels, and Alan D. Fiers Jr., who supervised Central Intelligence Agency activities in Central America.
In this capacity, Mr. Abrams operated as a high-visibility figure who seemed to relish his combative public role in defending Administration policy in Central America, while at the same time working closely with officials who were engaged in secret efforts to supply the rebels with arms after Congress barred direct military assistance in late 1984.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) engaged in a testy back and forth on Wednesday with special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams, accusing the diplomat of being a liar and pressing him on his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair and killings in Central America during the Reagan administration.
“You can feel it now. In Congress, it has started to shift. It has started to shift. We’re not there yet. We’re not all the way there, but it has started to shift,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said at a presidential campaign event Sunday night in Davenport, Iowa, when discussing her support for the Green New Deal. “We’ve got new energy in this. We’ve got new blood in this. We’ve got new ideas in this.“
Consider the following:
Reuters poll: 70 percent support Medicare for all, including 52 percent of Republicans.
Fox News poll: 70 percent support raising taxes on those making over $10 million a year.
Bloomberg poll: 62 percent support tuition-free college.
Kaiser Foundation poll: 92 percent support having Medicare negotiate with drug companies to lower drug prices.
Hart poll: 63 percent support $15 minimum wage.
Yale/George Mason poll: 81 percent support the Green New Deal plan.
There is a wide gulf between the political center and the moral center.
The right will always use Israel and anti-Semitism as a tool to destroy left-wing movements, especially when they’re led by people of color.
Last week’s bipartisan Senate vote to rebuke President Trump for his decision to remove troops from Syria and Afghanistan unfortunately tells us a lot about what is wrong with Washington, DC. While the two parties loudly bicker about minor issues, when it comes to matters like endless wars overseas they enthusiastically join together.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls Out Dark Money ‘We have a system that is fundamentally broken.’
(10.2.2019) The Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives said he would take action against two Democrats who have sharply criticized Israel if the Democratic majority did not do so.
“If they do not take action I think you’ll see action from myself,” Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, said according to Capitol Hill reporters writing for a number of newspapers. “This cannot sustain itself. It’s unacceptable in this country.”
(6.2.2019) The US shipped weapons and secrets to the Saudis and Emiratis. Now, some are in the hands of fighters linked to al Qaeda and Iran.
(29.1.2019) Brazil, Rubio argued, can be a „force multiplier“ in addressing the crisis in Venezuela.
Rubio suggested that the US should support Brazil’s ascension to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and its space capabilities.
The US, Rubio said, should capitalize on Brazil’s new right-wing government, saying previous leftist governments in the country „undermined“ its economic and political stability.
During his address, the president acknowledged the number of women in newly created jobs last year, which led to one of the most memorable moments during the event.
The women leapt to their feet to cheer and high-five each other, which led to the rest of the House rising to clap them.
(10.10.2018) The United States marked a melancholy anniversary on Oct. 7 — 17 years to the day that we began offensive military operations in Afghanistan in response to the September 11 terror attacks. Someone born in early October of 2001 is now old enough to fight — and die — in the same war. And although the scope and shape of the conflict has changed in numerous, material ways over these 17 years, it is still being conducted under the same cryptic, 60-word statute Congress enacted one week after the World Trade Center collapsed — the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or “AUMF.”
(25.1.2019) „So it’s important for the left in the United States to stand up, not to say we love Maduro, but to say we’re against U.S. intervention. It’s important to call on our members of Congress. Where are they? Where are the progressive leaders? We’ve only had a handful, like Congressman Ro Khanna; Tulsi Gabbard; one of the new ones, Ilhan Omar; Bernie Sanders. But the rest of them have been silent.“
A longtime associate of President Trump is maintaining his innocence. Roger Stone insists he is not guilty of charges outlined in a federal indictment and he’s blasting an early-morning FBI raid on his Florida home. Stone spoke to CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues.
The government shutdown has ended… for now. Trump advisor Roger Stone’s home was raided and he was promptly arrested by furloughed FBI agents.
The one member of Congress who knew what was going on was Dick Cheney, a close friend and confidant of Bush’s from their days together in the Ford administration. In 1976, in the aftermath of the Church Committee’s inquiry into CIA abuses, standing intelligence committees had been set up in both the Senate and the House, charged with holding the CIA and other intelligence agencies to account. But it was understood by all those involved in the vice president’s secret team that these committees could be bypassed, even though the laws governing covert intelligence activities had been stiffened: there was now a legal requirement that all covert CIA and military intelligence operations had to be made known to the committees through a formal, written document known as a ‘finding’. But there was a big loophole in the legislation, in the view of the vice president’s men. ‘There was no requirement for a finding for merely asking questions,’ the officer said, ‘and so we’d make routine requests for intelligence assessments from the CIA through the Joint Chiefs and the National Security Council. Our basic philosophy was that we were running military’ – not intelligence – ‘operations and therefore did not have to brief Congress. So we could legally operate without a finding.’ He was describing an ingenious procedure for getting around the law: one that would be put into use again after 9/11, when Cheney, by then vice president, triggered the unending war on terror.
The Democrat-controlled House followed the Senate yesterday in passing legislation forbidding the president from withdrawing from NATO and affirming undying US support for the outdated Cold War alliance. Is NATO really about defense? Or is it a jobs program for the military industrial complex? On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
McConnell, who has been brutalized by Democrats for blocking votes to reopen the government, skipped his customary remarks as the Senate gaveled in, when he might have defended his decision not to allow votes until a broad deal is reached between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over border wall funding.
However, Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest U.S. Congress Member, was elected and also won the primaries for her activism and her work with grassroots bases, and also for not playing by the „normal“ corporate rules.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, if he wanted to, could probably end this shutdown easily. Instead, he’s actively backing Trump’s tantrum. On Thursday, McConnell refused even to bring a bill to the Senate floor that could reopen the government, holding to the line that he doesn’t want to pass something Trump will veto.
“I am proud to shut down the government over border security,” Trump said in the White House Oval Office meeting with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, the speaker-designate, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, the minority leader of the Senate.
“If you really want to find out how effective a wall is, just ask Israel,” Trump said in an extraordinary exchange in front of the press. “[It’s] 99.9 percent effective and our wall will be every bit as good as that, if not better.”
On December 3, freshman Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib bravely announced that she will be skipping the trip to Israel for freshman Congress members organized by the educational arm of the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC). Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American in Congress, will instead be leading her own delegation to the West Bank to focus on the issues of poverty, Israeli military detention of Palestinian children, unequal access to clean water, and possibly a visit to Tlaib’s grandmother’s village. On December 11, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez also announced she would be skipping the AIPAC-sponsored propaganda trip.
Tell all the newly elected Congress members to follow the lead of Tlaib and Ocasio Cortez and to skip AIPAC’s propaganda trip to apartheid Israel! #SkipTheTrip
(4.1.2018) A group of Christian clergy, including leaders in the United Church of Christ and United Methodist denominations, planned to deliver a welcome letter on Thursday afternoon to the two Muslim representatives signed by 7,000 Christians.
Suleman had a simple summation of what the moment represents:
“I think the message, really, is that this is America.”
Calling Ocasio-Cortez a „clueless nitwit,“ an anonymous right-wing twitter account shared a video of young people dancing, saying it showed „High School video of ‚Sandy‘ Ocasio-Cortez.“ The video has since been viewed more than 5 million times.
Democrats plan to tweak the rules so that a motion to vacate can only be offered on the House floor if a majority of either the House Republican Conference or the House Democratic Caucus agrees to do so. The change limits the ability of any one member to wreak havoc on the floor and ultimately bolsters incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., against potential agitators in either party.
Khanna and Ocasio-Cortez say they’ll vote against the rules package containing paygo on Thursday. A total of 18 Democrats would need to vote against the package for it to be defeated. A defeat would be an embarrassment for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to be elected House speaker on the same day.
Progressives who support programs like „Medicare-for-all“ and other policies likely to increase government expenditures worry that the rule would create a self-imposed obstacle with limited political upside — and come across as a sign that Democrats are committed to the austerity economics championed, at least rhetorically, by conservative groups.
Establishment Democrats do NOT care about what the people want. Cenk Uygur, John Iadarola, and Jayar Jackson, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.
(19. August 2009) The C.I.A. this summer conducted an internal review of the assassination program that recently was presented to the White House and the Congressional intelligence committees. The officials said that the review stated that Mr. Panetta’s predecessors did not believe that they needed to tell Congress because the program was not far enough developed.
The House Intelligence Committee is investigating why lawmakers were never told about the program. According to current and former government officials, former Vice President Dick Cheney told C.I.A. officers in 2002 that the spy agency did not need to inform Congress because the agency already had legal authority to kill Qaeda leaders.
(11. Juli 2009) The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
JOINT WITH THE
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT,
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
INTERVIEW OF: JAMES COMEY
Friday, December 7, 2018
The interview in the above matter was held in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, commencing at 10:12 a.m.
(29.11.2018) British intelligence agency MI6 is secretly pressuring President Donald Trump to avoid publishing classified information related to the Russia investigation and a surveillance warrant for his former campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, according to reports.
He didn’t seem to know that his own FBI was using No. 4 Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as a conduit to keep collecting intelligence from Christopher Steele after the British intel operative was fired by the bureau for leaking and lying. In fact, Comey didn’t seem to remember knowing that Steele had been terminated, according to sources in the room.
“His memory was so bad I feared he might not remember how to get out of the room after the interview,” one lawmaker quipped.
(17.11.2018) Nancy Pelosi has an unexpected (and unwelcome) ally in her bid to lead the incoming Democratic majority.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi touted her party’s vote to nominate her for speaker following a closed-door caucus vote on Nov. 28.
Rep. Ron Kind (D), an 11-term Wisconsin lawmaker, noted that he voted against Pelosi’s leadership bid on the floor two years ago, and he’s planning to do the same in January.
The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act paved the way for Defense to take back control of its own investigations—a job it held until 2005, when the program was moved to OPM in response to cost overruns, major delays, and a pervasive backlog. While Congress has already approved the workload shift back to Defense, members of Congress and other stakeholders have repeatedly questioned the possibility of redundancy with the two programs—OPM’s National Background Investigations Bureau and Defense—basically performing the same function, albeit for different government customers.
Now, Congress has the opportunity to make a real difference that will save Yemeni lives. But one of the main legislative solutions it’s considering contains major mistakes that would actually perpetuate Saudi and American fighting and Yemeni suffering, not end them. For that reason, the ACLU urged members of the House of Representatives to vote no on the legislation, commonly referred to as the Yemen resolution.
This echoes, if perhaps in even more dire terms, past reports that also claimed the constant fighting of several wars is eroding readiness, and that the US needs to spend even more money. The problem is, the increased spending has kept being approved, and every time, it leads to a new round of reports warning that they need all the more money.
Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Wisc) explains to SiriusXM radio’s Dean Obeidallah that despite Democrats winning the House on November 6 it’s still too early to say if Nancy Pelosi will be elected speaker, noting it will be about the final seat count of the Democrats victory. (November 7, 2018 show)
“We have 20 new people that we endorsed elected to Congress, and there’s still a few more that are coming,” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), said Monday at a press conference presenting the group’s new members.
Pocan added that the CPC will have more than 90 members in the next Congress, making it the “largest value-based caucus” on the Hill.
Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams, progressive African-American Democratic candidates, may not have won their races for governor in Florida and Georgia (both are still too close to call). But the strategy they followed is still the best strategy for Democrats to win: inspiring, mobilizing and turning out voters of color and progressive whites.
I’ve argued for this strategy for years.
Far more insidious is the corporate Democrat spin machine called Third Way.
To hear this band of Wall Street Democrats tell it, centrist Democrats had a great night, while progressives were losers. This selective use of statistics has all the intellectual honesty of an offering prospectus for subprime derivatives.
(9.11.2018) Numbers released Friday by the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections show that in the Florida Keys, Gov. Rick Scott actually lost his bid for U.S. Senate by 10 votes.
The initial tally after Election Day showed he carried Monroe County by exactly one vote. But an election summary report sent out Friday afternoon shows incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson received 18,036 votes to Scott’s 18,026.
History was made at the U.S. midterm elections when women, African-Americans, Native Americans, Muslims and LGBT minority candidates from both the Democratic and the Republican parties became elected to Congress.
„Ocasio-Cortez pulled off one of the biggest political upsets in American history and proved that America can still be a place where a working class woman of color can defeat a 10-term incumbent and his Wall Street-funded machine.“
(3.März 2015) REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY: [Netanyahu] made the same argument over the Iraq War, that it was time for the United States to not pay attention to any world opinion, but just to go it alone. What I heard today, felt to me like an effort to stampede the United States into war once again.
(3.März 2015) MSNBC’s Chris Matthews reacts to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Minister’s speech to a joint session of Congress. Matthews said Netanyahu was trying to „take power away from the president.“
„This was a takeover attempt by Netanyahu with his complying American partners to take American foreign policy out of the hands of the president,“ Matthews said.
(3.März 2015) „And I also resent the fact that he was telling us how to negotiate when the administration and their representatives have been at this for two years now with the cooperation, participation of five other major nations in the world. This speech was straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook. It was fearmongerring at its ultimate. Phrases like essentially saying nuclear war is inevitable if this deal were to be accepted, phrases like this would pave the way to Iran having a nuclear bomb, these are things that I think are, again, part of what Dick Cheney would have done and did. This has been the Prime Minister’s pattern. He’s gone to the U.N. and done the same thing. „
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today (Sept. 13) spoke on the House floor, calling on Congress to condemn the Trump Administration’s protection of al-Qaeda in Idlib, Syria.
#bluewave Ayanna Pressley Stuns Capuano in Massachusetts House Race in Upset for Insurgents
(14.3.2018) Warren followed up by describing an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition that struck civilians in February. The attack, in the northern Yemen town of Saada, killed five civilians. Medical staff who rushed in to help survivors were hit in a follow-up attack, Warren noted. (This is known as a “double-tap” airstrike.)
“General Votel, when you receive reports like this from credible media organizations or outside observers, is CENTCOM able to tell if U.S. fuel or U.S. munitions were used in that strike?”
“No, senator, I don’t believe we are,” he replied.
ON AUG. 9, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen struck a bus packed with young boys in the northern village of Dahyan, killing at least 51 people, including 40 children, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. As Saudi spokesmen defend this horrific massacre — one called the bus a “legitimate military target” — Trump administration officials are being pressed by members of Congress …
Ilhan Omar is humane where Trump is selfish. Ilhan Omar is high-minded where Trump is in the gutter. Let’s hope hers is the future — his the past.
Backed in her race by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Omar — who came to the US more than two decades ago as a refugee — would become the first Somali-American member of Congress if she wins the seat being left behind by Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for state attorney general, in November.
(8.12.2016) Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.
The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.
In other high-profile contests, former congressman Ed Case appeared to be headed back to Washington to represent Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, while Rep. Tulsi Gabbard easily won re-election in the party nomination to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District.
Hawaii is heavily Democratic, and like other areas where one party strongly dominates, the primary essentially functions as the general election.
Centrist politicians, Democratic Socialists, Never Trumpers — and lava. Hawaii politicians are fighting tooth and nail for last-minute votes in a primary election that reflects the divides seen within the Democratic Party nationwide.
The Sarah Smith results are finally in. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.
In addition to making an issue of Rep. Smith’s corporate PAC donations, Sarah Smith said she’d contrast her anti-war activism with Rep. Smith’s more pro-military stances. He’s the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee and in position to chair the panel if the party takes the House majority this fall.
Rep. Smith said that seniority is an asset. “It’s important to have a strong progressive person” to chair the Armed Services committee, he said Thursday
Help get James Thompson elected! Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, James Thompson, and Adrienne Lawrence, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.
(10.7.2018) He’d raised tens of thousands of dollars from liberals looking for their next cause, and finding it in the suburbs of Kansas City, with a candidate running proudly on “Medicare for all” and a $15 minimum wage.
“People keep asking, are these the kind of ideas that a candidate can talk about and be successful in Kansas?” said Welder, a 37-year-old labor lawyer. “What I’ve learned on this campaign is that the only way we can be successful is by talking about these ideas.”