Tag Archives: President Obama

Perspectives on last week’s debt debate: two sides of the same coin

How the “left” sees the recent debt ceiling debate/crisis…

And how the “right” sees it…

Is it any surprise that the politicians had a hard time finding a middle ground? They don’t see eye to eye on what the problem is in the first place.

Also, what’s with this “super committee” that’s lacking any deficit hawks? Or Rep. Jason Chaffetz, for that matter? No, seriously. Why is he not on it.

In the meantime, Utah has its act together. Wonder if the feds might take a page from our book?

(h/t to Geeks are Sexy)

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Libya: Members of Congress Challenging Constitutionality of Military Action

(en) Libya Location (he) מיקום לוב

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It’s the American way. Got a problem? Take it to court.

Even if that problem is military action in Libya.

While Rep. Boehner is taking a more diplomatic tact by sending a letter to President Obama seeking clarification on Libya, others have had enough and are challenging him in federal court.

Is our continued military action in Libya legal? That is the question Professor Jonathon Turley, representing ten Members of Congress, is asking the court to decide.

This is an action for injunctive and declaratory relief. In addition to challenging the circumvention of express constitutional language, it will also challenge arguments that no one (including members of Congress) has “standing” to submit this question to judicial review. These members will ask the federal district court for review of the constitutional question and for recognition that the Constitution must allow for judicial review of claims of undeclared wars under Article I.

via Members of Congress Challenge Libyan War in Federal Court « JONATHAN TURLEY.

The Congressional members in the suit are from both parties and include Representatives Roscoe Bartlett (R., Md); Dan Burton (R., Ind.); Mike Capuano (D., Mass.); Howard Coble (R., N.C.); John Conyers (D., Mich.); John J. Duncan (R., Tenn.); Tim Johnson (R., Ill.); Walter Jones (R., N.C.); Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio); and Ron Paul (R., Tx).

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Entitlement Reform: Start with Social Security

INFOGRAPHIC - Why Social Security Needs To Be ...

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It is almost cliché for my generation to joke that  Social Security will be gone before we retire.  It may be a stretch, but it really is no joking matter. Social Security is in a bad way, and it is getting worse.

The number of Social Security recipients is  growing faster than the number of people paying into it. It is a likely scenario that the Social Security trust fund (which doesn’t really exist, anyway) will be gone by the time I stop paying in and start asking for it back.

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Terror Alerts in a time of elections

There are October surprises (“some unforeseen or otherwise dramatic development that prompts millions of voters to rethink their assumptions and allegiances“) and there are terror alerts.

During the Bush Administration, initially because of nationwide fears after 9/11, terror alerts began with corresponding increases in “chatter” amongst the terrorist networks, as intercepted by our intelligence agencies. Because it often seemed that the alerts increased in the month just before federal elections, skeptics questioned whether the terror alerts were legitimate, or whether they were manufactured to create a “rally around the chief” effect, bumping the President’s party a few percentage points.

Over at the fantastically fascinating blog Information is Beautiful, they’ve taken the data available from Google to examine this hypothesis, noting that the effect does not seem to have been limited to President Bush.  Indeed, it appears that we see it happening right now. Below, the graph shows how the key words “terror alert” and “election time” tracked on Google.  The key words increased as the events approached or occurred. As they explain “It tracks the intensity of keywords over time- an interesting barometer of the group mind.”

Ironically, the complaints–that the President is raising the threat level for political gain–are coming from Pakistan, asserting that intelligence cited by the Americans, and followed by the UK and France, is unspecific.

“I will not deny the fact that there may be internal political dynamics, including the forthcoming midterm American elections. If the Americans have definite information about terrorists and al-Qaida people, we should be provided [with] that and we could go after them ourselves,” Hasan, [a veteran diplomat who is close to Pakistan’s president], said.

What do you think? Are increased threats at this time probable? Are the threats spurious?

I personally don’t see how the increased threat level can help President Obama, or his party, nor do I think the evidence suggests that he is trying to levy a threat level to helping him politically.  If he was, I think we would see more talk about the treat of terrorist attacks, not the usual campaign fare that Democrats and Republicans are spewing right now. So while I see in the graph a correlation, I don’t think that it is convincing that there is causation.

If it is intended as a political bump to the President’s party, and right now the Democrats could use a bump, it’s getting lost in all the noise.

For more graphs, check out Google Insight, here.

(Thx to Information is Beautiful)

Utah still short a US attorney

Seal of the United States Department of Justice
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Utah is still short a US attorney since Brett Tolman stepped down at the end of 2009.  This blog has reported on this issue previously, noting that the Obama Administration has been looking at appointing a Republican in place of the Democrat proposed by Rep.e Jim Matheson. With Rep. Matheson failing to get any traction, and in the midst of a challenge for his seat, Rep. Jason Chaffetz has urged President Obama to act so that the seat does not remain empty.

“While the acting (now interim) U.S. Attorney has by all accounts done an admirable job filling in, the fact remains that the position is vacant and has been for nearly a year,” Chaffetz wrote. “Simply put, the people of the State of Utah need and deserve a U.S. Attorney.”

(thanks to Thomas Burr and the Salt Lake Tribune)