Search Results for: mitch mcconnell

Mitch McConnell Moves to Grant the President Unlimited War Powers with No Expiration Date

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The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.

– From George Orwell’s, 1984

This morning, I came across an extremely important story with tremendous long-term negative implications for freedom in these United States. It relates to the fact that the always shady Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving to fast track an Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) for the President that would allow for unrestricted warfare against ISIS. There would be no time or geographic restrictions on this authorization. Rather than being a favor to President Obama, this is primarily a means to ensure that whoever takes control in 2017 receives a blank check for unrestrained militarism with no expiration date. This is terrifying.

Before I get into the issue at hand, some background is necessary. Many legal scholars, and indeed, even many members of Congress have admitted that Obama’s war against ISIS is illegal and unconstitutional. One of the best articles I’ve read on why this is the case, was published in the New York Times in 2014, which I covered in the post, Obama’s ISIS War is Not Only Illegal, it Makes George W. Bush Look Like a Constitutional Scholar. Here are a few excerpts:

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GOP Establishment Queen Mitch McConnell Introduces Patriot Act Reauthorization with Zero NSA Reforms

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Late last week, I published a post about Patriot Act reauthorization that turned out to be extremely popular. It was titled, Congress is Attempting to Reauthorize Key Patriot Act Provisions by Sneaking it Into “USA Freedom Act. Here’s an excerpt:

June 1, 2015 is a very important day for American civil liberties and the Constitution. On that day, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, one of the most egregious pieces of legislation passed in U.S. history, will expire automatically without reauthorization from Congress. Naturally, this is causing a panic attack within the heart of the NSA, FBI and all the authoritarian lackey legislators in Washington D.C. With the chances of a clean reauthorization next to none, these crafty “representatives” and their puppeteers need to figure out a way to sneak it into another piece of legislation. What better way to do this than making it a part of something that ostensibly appears to be reining in surveillance powers. Enter the USA Freedom Act.

As mentioned, it is widely believed that there isn’t enough support for straight reauthorization unaccompanied by some sort of NSA reform, but that won’t stop GOP establishment queen Mitch McConnell from trying.

McConnell is amongst the most freedom hating, constitution trampling Republican members in the Senate, sharing this distinction with John McCain and Lindsey Graham. What makes McConnell far more dangerous is his position as Senate Majority Leader. Today, the Washington Post informed us how he’s wielding such power:

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Picture of the Day – Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid: Separated at Birth?

While we all know any transition from Harry Reid to Mitch McConnell as leader of the Senate will lead to absolutely nothing in terms of real policy change, did you also realize these two captured politicians also look like they had been separated at birth?

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Can’t wait for Bush vs. Clinton in 2016!  #AmericanOligarchy

Keep Calm and Slave On.

You may also be interested in the following posts:

Election 2014 – Why I Opt Out of Voting

90 Pounds of Cocaine Found on Cargo Ship Owned by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Father-in-Law

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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90 Pounds of Cocaine Found on Cargo Ship Owned by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Father-in-Law

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 12.00.10 PMThough Foremost has played a pivotal role in McConnell’s life, bestowing the senator with most of his personal wealth and generating thousands in donations to his campaign committees, the drug bust went unnoticed in Kentucky, where every bit of McConnell-related news has generated fodder for the campaign trail. That’s because, like many international shipping companies, Chao’s firm is shrouded from public view, concealing its identity and limiting its legal liability through an array of tax shelters and foreign registrations. Registered through a limited liability company in the Marshall Islands, the Ping May flies the Liberian flag.

From the Nation article: Mitch McConnell’s Freighted Ties to a Shadowy Shipping Company

Well this is interesting. Particularly with the Senate Minority Leader (and major Republican establishment crony) fighting for his life in the Kentucky Senate race.

From the Nation:

Before the Ping May, a rusty cargo vessel, could disembark from the port of Santa Marta en route to the Netherlands in late August, Colombian inspectors boarded the boat and made a discovery. Hidden in the ship’s chain locker, amidst its load of coal bound for Europe, were approximately 40 kilograms, or about 90 pounds, of cocaine. A Colombian Coast Guard official told The Nation that there is an ongoing investigation.

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As the Apple vs. FBI Debate Rages, Congress Plots to Mandate Encryption Backdoors

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The more I read about the very public fight between Apple and the FBI, the more I become convinced the case merely represents the Lexington and Concord moment in a massive new crypto war. The surveillance state panopticon is extremely concerned that strong end to end encryption is increasingly being used in everyday consumer devices and applications, and has been scheming for a long time to figure out the best way to manipulate the public into accepting backdoor vulnerabilities.

To prove this point, I want to turn your attention to a few excerpts from an important Bloomberg article titled, Secret Memo Details U.S.’s Broader Strategy to Crack Phones:

Silicon Valley celebrated last fall when the White House revealed it would not seek legislation forcing technology makers to install “backdoors” in their software — secret listening posts where investigators could pierce the veil of secrecy on users’ encrypted data, from text messages to video chats. But while the companies may have thought that was the final word, in fact the government was working on a Plan B.

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More Corporate Cronyism and Shadiness Revealed in Newly Released Obamatrade Report

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The good news is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently admitted that the TPP, aka Obamatrade, has very little chance of passing Congress before next year’s Presidential election. The bad news is the main reason for this is because the RINOs in charge don’t think it represents enough of a giveaway to multi-national mega corporations.

All that aside, David Dayen just published a very valuable piece detailing the findings of a 121-page report critiquing the TPP by the Labor Advisory Committee.

Here’s more from Naked Capitalism:

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office has been maligned for its network of Trade Advisory Committees, allegedly “independent” counsel for trade agreements. The Washington Post did the best work on the Advisory Committees back in February of last year, showing that 85 percent of the cleared advisors (meaning cleared to read the text of trade agreements as they are being negotiated) either worked directly for private industries or their trade groups.

But there’s another, more obscure group called the Labor Advisory Committee. Its 19 members are all the heads of major labor unions (Clayola Brown, president of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, I guess technically isn’t, but that organization is a constituency group of the AFL-CIO). And like all Advisory Committees, they are required by law to write a report to Congress expressing their opinions about any finalized trade agreement. That means we now have this 121-page document, giving labor’s full argument against the TPP, from the people who have been following it from the inside for several years.

It gets off to quite a start in the first words of the executive summary:

On behalf of the millions of working people we represent, we believe that the TPP is unbalanced in its provisions, skewing benefits to economic elites while leaving workers to bear the brunt of the TPP’s downside. The TPP is likely to harm the U.S. economy, cost jobs, and lower wages.

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Federal Judge of 17 Years Repents – Compares Damage Done by “War on Drugs” to Destruction of World War II

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The “war on drugs” is one of the most irrational, idiotic and destructive public policy failures in American history, and that’s saying a lot. I’ve covered this topic many times at Liberty Blitzkrieg, but nothing spells it out like the repentant words of a former federal judge, who admittedly ruined countless lives for no reason.

From the Atlantic:

ASPEN, Colo.—Former Federal Judge Nancy Gertner was appointed to the federal bench by Bill Clinton in 1994. She presided over trials for 17 years. And Sunday, she stood before a crowd at The Aspen Ideas Festival to denounce most punishments that she imposed.

Among 500 sanctions that she handed down, “80 percent I believe were unfair and disproportionate,” she said. “I left the bench in 2011 to join the Harvard faculty to write about those stories––to write about how it came to pass that I was obliged to sentence people to terms that, frankly, made no sense under any philosophy.”

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As the Senate Prepares to Vote on “Fast Track,” Here’s a Quick Primer on the Dangers of the TPP

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The United States is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven other countries. Who will benefit from the TPP? American workers? Consumers? Small businesses? Taxpayers? Or the biggest multinational corporations in the world?

One strong hint is buried in the fine print of the closely guarded draft. The provision, an increasingly common feature of trade agreements, is called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled. Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty.

ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws – and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers – without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions – and even billions – of dollars in damages.

If that seems shocking, buckle your seat belt. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges. Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next. Maybe that makes sense in an arbitration between two corporations, but not in cases between corporations and governments. If you’re a lawyer looking to maintain or attract high-paying corporate clients, how likely are you to rule against those corporations when it’s your turn in the judge’s seat?

– From Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Washington Post Op-Ed: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Clause Everyone Should Oppose

Trying to learn about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is like trying to walk through a minefield. The only information we really have is courtesy of leaks, and those snippets are definitely not encouraging.

Pretty much every piece of major legislation passed by Congress since 9/11 is either a taxpayer giveaway to mega corporations, or a major expansion of government power. The worst pieces of legislation are always marketed with positive sounding terms and soundbites. The latest swindle is no exception. At its core, the TPP appears to be nothing more than a ceding of national sovereignty to multi-national corporations. Then again, us skeptics could be wrong about that, but chances are we’re not. We just don’t know because the text is “classified.”

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This is What Happens When a Member of Congress Holds a Computer Science Degree (*Hint: Logic)

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When it comes to law enforcement and privacy: just follow the damn Constitution.

– Rep. Ted Lieu

I had never heard of Rep. Ted Lieu before a reader sent me an article highlighting his impassioned and intelligent statement in opposition to unconstitutional NSA surveillance. Mr. Lieu is a freshman member of Congress from California’s 33rd district, was born in Taiwan, and not only does he hold a computer science degree, but he is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserves.

In other words, he isn’t just another shifty lawyer trying to suck as much money as possible out of the system while pretending to play politician. This is what he had to say to Daniel Conley, the statist (or possibly merely clueless) district attorney from Suffolk County, Massachusett, in front of Congress recently.

*Warning: The following may prove shocking to the average American used to the deranged, crony, irrational, and incompetent ramblings of your average Congressperson. Remember, Mr. Lieu’s arrogance in speaking intelligently to an issue with which he has an expertise is inappropriate at best, terroristic at worst, and completely unacceptable in the Oligarch States of America. 

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This is Why Rand Paul is Hillary Clinton’s Worst Nightmare

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 11.44.02 AMAs Hillary Clinton starts to ponder the curtains she wants to hang in the Oval Office, there is only one person who can realistically stand in her way: Rand Paul.

Readers of this site will be well aware that I spend very little time focusing on Presidential politics. There are many reasons for this, but more than anything else, I believe there are two key components to genuine cultural change, and none of them have to do with electing a savior. These are:

1) Knowledge – Ignorance is not bliss. Particularly when it comes to the advance or decline of a civilization. Thomas Jefferson said it best:

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day. 

I am trying to do my own little part in that regard here at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

2) Internal Change – It is much easier to complain about others and the world at large than it is to improve oneself. I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but I am cognizant that you can’t change the outside world unless you have changed what’s inside. Gandhi said it best:

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