Posts Tagged ‘ obama ’

A Man Of War: Obama Starts Fourth War In the Elitists Plan to Continue to Destablize The Mid East

U.S. Is Intensifying a Secret Campaign of Yemen Airstrikes

By
Published: June 8, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.

The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power.

On Friday, American jets killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel Qaeda operative, and several other militant suspects in a strike in southern Yemen. According to witnesses, four civilians were also killed in the airstrike. Weeks earlier, drone aircraft fired missiles aimed at Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who the United States government has tried to kill for more than a year. Mr. Awlaki survived.

The recent operations come after a nearly year-long pause in American airstrikes, which were halted amid concerns that poor intelligence had led to bungled missions and civilian deaths that were undercutting the goals of the secret campaign.

Officials in Washington said that the American and Saudi spy services had been receiving more information — from electronic eavesdropping and informants — about the possible locations of militants. But, they added, the outbreak of the wider conflict in Yemen created a new risk: that one faction might feed information to the Americans that could trigger air strikes against a rival group.

A senior Pentagon official, speaking only on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that using force against militants in Yemen was further complicated by the fact that Qaeda operatives have mingled with other rebels and antigovernment militants, making it harder for the United States to attack without the appearance of picking sides.

The American campaign in Yemen is led by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command, and is closely coordinated with the Central Intelligence Agency. Teams of American military and intelligence operatives have a command post in Sana, the Yemeni capital, to track intelligence about militants in Yemen and plot future strikes.

Concerned that support for the campaign could wane if the government of Yemen’s authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, were to fall, the United States ambassador in Yemen has met recently with leaders of the opposition, partly to make the case for continuing American operations. Officials in Washington said that opposition leaders have told the ambassador, Gerald M. Feierstein, that operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula should continue regardless of who wins the power struggle in Sana.

The extent of America’s war in Yemen has been among the Obama administration’s most closely guarded secrets, as officials worried that news of unilateral American operations could undermine Mr. Saleh’s tenuous grip on power. Mr. Saleh authorized American missions in Yemen in 2009, but placed limits on their scope and has said publicly that all military operations had been conducted by his own troops.

Mr. Saleh fled the country last week to seek medical treatment in Saudi Arabia after rebel shelling of the presidential compound, and more government troops have been brought back to Sana to bolster the government’s defense.

“We’ve seen the regime move its assets away from counterterrorism and toward its own survival,” said Christopher Boucek, a Yemen expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “But as things get more and more chaotic in Yemen, the space for the Americans to operate in gets bigger,” he said.

But Mr. Boucek and others warned of a backlash from the American airstrikes, which over the past two years have killed civilians and Yemeni government officials. The benefits of killing one or two Qaeda-linked militants, he said, could be entirely eroded if airstrikes kill civilians and lead dozens of others to jihad.

Edmund J. Hull, ambassador to Yemen from 2001 to 2004 and the author of “High-Value Target: Countering Al Qaeda in Yemen,” called airstrikes a “necessary tool” but said that the United States had to “avoid collateral casualties or we will turn the tribes against us.”

Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen is believed by the C.I.A. to pose the greatest immediate threat to the United States, more so than even Qaeda’s senior leadership believed to be hiding in Pakistan. The Yemen group has been linked to the attempt to blow up a transatlantic jetliner on Christmas Day 2009 and last year’s plot to blow up cargo planes with bombs hidden inside printer cartridges.

Mr. Harithi, the militant killed on Friday, was an important operational figure in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was believed to be one of those responsible for the group’s ascendance in recent years. According to people in Yemen close to the militant group, Mr. Harithi travelled to Iraq in 2003 and fought alongside Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian operative who led the Qaeda affiliate in Iraq until he was killed in an American strike in 2006. Mr. Harithi returned to Yemen in 2004, those close to the militants said, where he was captured, tried and imprisoned in 2006 but released three years later.

Even as senior administration officials worked behind the scenes with Saudi Arabia for a transitional government to take power in Yemen, a State Department spokesman on Wednesday called on the embattled government in Sana to remain focused on dealing with the rebellion and Qaeda militants.

“With Saleh’s departure for Saudi Arabia, where he continues to receive medical treatment, this isn’t a time for inaction,” said the spokesman, Mark Toner.  “There is a government that remains in place there, and they need to seize the moment and move forward.”

Muhammad al-Ahmadi contributed reporting from Sana, Yemen, and Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane from Washington.

10 Tipping Points Which Could Potentially Plunge The World Into A Horrific Economic Nightmare

The Economic Collapse
June 7, 2011

The global economy has become so incredibly unstable at this point that it is not going to take much to plunge the world into a horrific economic nightmare.  The foundations of the world economic system are so decayed and so corrupted that even a stiff breeze could potentially topple the entire structure over.  Over the past couple of months a constant parade of bad economic news has come streaming in from Europe, Asia and the United States.  Signs of an impending economic slowdown are everywhere.  So what “tipping point” will trigger the next global economic downturn?  Nobody knows for sure, but potential tipping points are all around us.

Today, the global economic system is even more vulnerable than it was back in 2008.  Virtually none of the systemic problems that contributed to the 2008 collapse have been fixed.

Mark Mobius, the head of the emerging markets desk at Templeton Asset Management, was recently was quoted in Forbes as saying the following….

“There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis.”

The “financial reform” law that Barack Obama and the Congress passed a while back was a complete and total joke.  They might as well have written the law on toilet paper for all the good that it is doing.

We did not learn from our mistakes and our future economic lessons are going to be even more painful.

The world is drowning in a mountain of debt, the global financial system is packed to the gills with toxic derivatives, everyone is leveraged to the hilt and the dominoes could start falling at any time.

I am not the only one that is warning that another financial collapse is coming.  In fact, a whole lot of people have been warning about the next financial collapse lately.

So what will the tipping point for the next collapse be?

The following are some potential nominees….

Tipping Point #1: Syria

Syria is a situation to watch very, very closely.  The Syrian government is in a lot of trouble right now.  Sadly, the instability inside Syria probably makes war with Israel even more likely.

Make no mistake – a war between Israel and Syria has been brewing for a long, long time and at some point it will happen.  When it happens, the entire Middle East may erupt in warfare.

(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)

Just the other day, a very troubling incident happened in the area around the Golan Heights.  The following is an excerpt from a report by The Daily Mailabout the incident….

“About 20 pro-Palestinian demonstrators were killed and 325 injured yesterday when Israeli forces opened fire on them as they crossed the border from Syria into occupied territories, according to reports.”

At this point, the Syrian government is probably glad that the attention has been taken off of them at least for a while.  The Syrian government has been getting a lot of bad press lately.  The following is an excerpt from a recent report by Human Rights Watch about the treatment of protesters inside Syria….

“The methods of torture included prolonged beatings with sticks, twisted wires, and other devices; electric shocks administered with Tasers and electric batons; use of improvised metal and wooden ‘racks’; and, in at least one case documented by Human Rights Watch, the rape of a male detainee with a baton.

“Interrogators and guards also subjected detainees to various forms of humiliating treatment, such as urinating on the detainees, stepping on their faces, and making them kiss the officers’ shoes. Several detainees said they were repeatedly threatened with imminent execution.”

 

So in light of the “precedent” that we recently set in Libya, does this mean that we will be “forced” to conduct a “humanitarian mission” inside Syria as well?

Syria is one tipping point that we all need to keep a close eye on.

Tipping Point #2: Iran

The Iranian nuclear program is in the news again. A new report by RAND Corporation researcher Gregory S. Jones claims that Iran could have a nuclear weapon within 2 months.  His report is based on recent findings by the International Atomic Energy Agency.  According to Jones, airstrikes alone would be incapable of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program at this point.  Instead, Jones says that a “military occupation” would be required.

It is a minor miracle that a war with Iran has not erupted yet.  It seems almost inevitable that at some point either the United States or Israel will use military force to try to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

When that happens, it is going to cause a major shock to the global economy.

Tipping Point #3: Libya

NATO has made it abundantly clear that Moammar Gadhafi will no longer be tolerated.  In fact, NATO apparently plans to reduce Tripoli to a heap of smoking ruins if that is what it takes to bring about the fall of Gadhafi.

What a “humanitarian mission” we have going in Libya, eh?  It turns out that NATO believes that the United Nations gave it permission to bomb television stations and to make attack runs with helicopters.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov recently said that by using attack helicopters, NATO has moved dangerously close to turning the Libya operation into a ground invasion….

“Using attack helicopters, in my view, is the last but one step before the land operation.”

So why is Libya a potential tipping point?

It isn’t because Gadhafi is a threat.  He is toast.

It is because the rest of the world is watching what is happening in Libya, and that is raising global tensions.

Even if Gadhafi falls, the Libyan operation will still be a failure because it has brought us all significantly closer to World War III.

Tipping Point #4: More Revolutions In The Middle East

The revolutions throughout the Middle East earlier this year sent oil prices absolutely skyrocketing and they have remained at elevated levels.

And in case you haven’t noticed, revolutions continue to sweep the Middle East.

Have you seen what has been happening in Yemen lately?

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has burns over 40% of his body and he has suffered a collapsed lung as a result of a recent attack.

If violence and protests throughout the Middle East become even more intense as the weather warms up this summer that could have a very significant impact on world financial markets.

Tipping Point #5: Fukushima

The mainstream news has gotten a bit tired of covering it, but the situation at Fukushima is still a complete and total disaster.

Japan’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters admitted on Monday that three reactors experienced “full meltdowns” in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in March.

Did it really take them nearly three months to figure this out, or were they lying to the rest of the world all of this time?

The truth is that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima is far worse than the mainstream media has been telling us.  If you doubt this, just check out this excellent article or this article by Natural News: “Land around Fukushima now radioactive dead zone; resembles target struck by atomic bomb“.

The economic impact of the Fukushima disaster is going to continue to unfold over an extended period of time.  It turns out that Japan is now officially in a recession.  Their economy contracted at a 3.7 percent annualized rate during the first quarter.

Look for more bad economic numbers to come out of Japan for the rest of the year.  Considering the fact that the Japanese economy is the third largest economy in the world, the fact that they are struggling so badly right now is not a good sign for the rest of us.

Tipping Point #6: Oil Prices

The price of oil is going to continue to be one of the biggest economic stories for the rest of this year and for 2012 as well.

The last time U.S. energy expenditures were over 9 percent of GDP was in 2008 and we quickly plunged into the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Well, we have reached the significant 9 percent figure once again in 2011, and many fear that once again high oil prices will cause another major economic decline.

Tipping Point #7: Government Austerity

In the United States, it is not just the federal government that is drowning in debt.

All over America, there are state and local governments that are financial basket cases.

I don’t always agree with the time frames that Meredith Whitney puts out there, but she is absolutely correct that we are going to see a massive municipal bond crisis. The following is an excerpt from a recent report about Whitney’s predictions on CNN….

“Meredith Whitney is issuing a fresh warning to mutual funds, banks, and politicians: The state of state finances is far worse than what you think, or at least than what you’ve been willing to tell the investors and taxpayers who will eventually carry the burden.”

Many state and local governments are attempting to get their budgets balanced by making huge budget cuts.  But most of the time these austerity programs also include the elimination of a lot of government jobs.

UBS Investment Research is projecting that state and local governments will combine to slash a whopping 450,000 jobs by the end of next year.

So where will the half a million good jobs come from to replace all of those lost jobs?

Tipping Point #8: The European Sovereign Debt Crisis

Greece is just the tip of the iceberg in Europe.

Moody’s downgraded Greek debt again last Wednesday.  This time Moody’s downgraded Greek debt by three levels all the way down to Caa1.  At this point, the yield on 10-year Greek bonds is over 15 percent.

The EU has been going crazy trying to deal with the Greek debt crisis.  The truth is that a default by the Greek government would be absolutely catastrophic. If you do not understand the kind of chaos a Greek default would set off on world financial markets, just read this editorial.

But Greece is not the only major European nation with a massive debt problem.

The government of Ireland is already indicating that they may need another bailout.

Portugal, Spain and Italy are also on the verge of collapse.

So will the EU bail all of these nations out for years and years to come?

At some point will the whole house of cards come crashing down?

Everyone needs to keep watching what is going on in Europe.  The status quo is not sustainable and it cannot go on forever.

Tipping Point #9: The Dying U.S. Dollar

The euro is not the only major currency that is in trouble.

The U.S. dollar is also slowly dying.

On April 18th, Standard & Poor’s altered its outlook on U.S. government debt from “stable” to “negative” and warned that the U.S. could soon lose its prized AAA rating.

The sad truth is that faith in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. Treasuries is rapidly declining.  The mainstream news is not reporting on it much, but right now the Chinese are rapidly dumpingU.S. government debt.

As the dollar declines, so will the purchasing power of average Americans.  We are already seeing a tremendous amount of inflation in 2011.

But this is just the beginning.

A lot worse is going to be coming down the road.

Tipping Point #10: Drought

A lot of people that read my articles doubt that we will ever see a major global food crisis.

But one is coming.

It is just a matter of time.

Even now, many areas of the world are experiencing very serious droughts.  The following is from a recent  Bloomberg article….

Parts of China, the biggest grower, had the least rain in a century, some European regions are the driest in 50 years and almost half the winter-wheat crop in the U.S., the largest exporter, is rated poor or worse. Inventory is dropping 8.8 percent, the most in five years, Rabobank International says. Prices will advance 20 percent to as high as $9.25 a bushel by Dec. 31, a Bloomberg survey of 14 analysts and traders shows.

Are you concerned yet?

You should be.

But if you prefer some mindless pablum that will make you feel better, we have some of that for you too.

Larry Summers, the former director of the National Economic Council under Barack Obama, recently told CNBC the following….

“We definitely hit a slower patch, but I think the basic fact that the terrible financial strains we had are abating, remains in place, and I expect this recovery to continue for a substantial period of time.”

Does that make you feel better?

Larry Summers says that everything is going to be okay.

It would be great if Summers was actually right, but sadly he is not.

In fact, the worst economic times that America has ever seen are ahead.

The following is a brief excerpt from a recent interview with Dmitry Orlov about the coming economic collapse that was posted on shtfplan.com….

First you have financial collapse, which is basically the volume of debt that has to be taken on in order for the economy to continue functioning, cannot continue. We’re seeing that right now in Greece, we’re probably going to see that in Japan, we’re definitely at a point now in the United States where even if you raised the income tax to 100 percent, there’s absolutely no way of covering the liabilities of the U.S. federal government. So, we’re at that point now but the workout of the financial collapse is not all quite there. We don’t quite have a worthless currency but that’s in the works.

That, of course, is followed by commercial collapseespecially in a country like the United States that imports two thirds of its oil. A lot of that is on credit and if a little bit of that oil goes missing then the economy starts to fall apart because nothing moves unless you burn oil in the United States and, of course, a lot of goods that are sold everywhere are imported again, on credit.

When the U.S. dollar dies and our financial system collapses we are not going to be able to get all of the things that we need from the rest of the world so cheaply any longer.

That is going to cause fundamental changes inside the United States.

Right now, the economic news just seems to get worse and worse, but this is just the beginning.

What is eventually going to happen in this country is going to be so nightmarish that most Americans could not even imagine it right now.

So are our leaders doing anything to prepare for the coming economic crisis?

No, they are too busy with other things.

The big political news of the day was U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner finally admitting that he sent out lewd photos of himself over Twitter to women that he was not married to.

We have become the laughingstock of the world and the economic collapse has not even happened yet.

McCain Dethrones the Rule of Law

Link to article

 

Sneering at the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Senator John McCain (R. Ariz.) bugled last week, “No president has ever recognized the constitutionality of the War Powers Act, and neither do I. So I don’t feel bound by any [60 day] deadline” to obtain congressional authorization to continue hostilities against Libya ordained by the Act.

The 2008 Republican presidential candidate effused over unlimited presidential war-making, insinuating that the downfall of the Republic would come from fighting too few wars, not too many: “Any President, Republican or Democrat, should be able to deploy armed forces whenever and wherever he deems necessary.” Earlier in his political career, Senator McCain admonished that Congress has no “right to declare peace,” and trumpeted: “[T]he fact is that the President of the United States is given the responsibility, the most grave responsibility of sending into harm’s way our greatest national treasure, our young men and women.”

Senator McCain’s blather betrayed a sub-literate understanding of the Constitution and infidelity to his oath of office. The latter requires him to demand the impeachment and removal of President Obama for the greatest usurpation of congressional authority in the history of the United States. Instead, the Senator is conspiring with the president to facilitate the usurpation.

On McCain’s gospel hangs an alarming tale. The rule of law has been dethroned and the president has been endowed with absolute power as the American Empire has eclipsed the American Republic.

Eleven score and fifteen years ago, our forefathers brought forth a new nation dedicated to the proposition that the law is king. They recognized that crowning the president with power to commence war unilaterally would be the death knell of the Republic. Thomas Paine sermonized in Common Sense, the Bible of the American Revolution, that “as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other.”

In times of war, the law is silent and the executive is omnipotent. The Founding Fathers thus erected constitutional barriers against fighting too many wars. None fretted about fighting too few. Arresting portions of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the explanatory Federalist Papers were devoted to safeguards against military supremacy and the overthrow of civilian government.

The most important check against gratuitous wars that squander the lives and limbs of brave American soldiers was Article I, section 8, clause 11. It fastened on Congress exclusive responsibility for commencing war. Legislative power diminishes in wartime. Legislators have no incentive to concoct danger or other excuses to abandon peace. The president, in contrast, is strongly tempted towards war to aggrandize power and earn a place on Mount Rushmore. James Madison, father of the Constitution, elaborated with signature genius in a letter to Thomas Jefferson: “The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the Legislature.”

Madison amplified in a written exchange with Alexander Hamilton under the pseudonym Helvidius:

In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department. Beside the objection to such a mixture to heterogeneous powers, the trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man; not such as nature may offer as the prodigy of many centuries, but such as may be expected in the ordinary successions of magistracy. War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it. In war, the public treasures are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war, the honours and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed. It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered, and it is the executive brow they are to encircle. The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honourable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.

James Wilson underscored at the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention,

This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large: this declaration must be made with the concurrence of the House of Representatives: from this circumstance we may draw a certain conclusion that nothing but our interest can draw us into war.

Abraham Lincoln exposed Senator McCain’s Orwellian warping of the Constitution:

Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose — and you allow him to make war at pleasure…. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after you have given him so much as you propose. If, to-day, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, “I see no probability of the British invading us” but he will say to you “be silent; I see it, if you don’t.”
The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have always stood.

John Bassett Moore, an authoritative scholar of international law, observed:

There can hardly be room for doubt that the framers of the constitution, when they vested in Congress the power to declare war, never imagined that they were leaving it to the executive to use the military and naval forces of the United States all over the world for the purpose of actually coercing other nations, occupying their territory, and killing their soldiers and citizens, all according to his own notions of the fitness of things, as long as he refrained from calling his action war or persisted in calling it peace.

Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson voiced alarm at presidential war-making in his concurring opinion in Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer:

[N]o doctrine that the Court could promulgate would seem to me more sinister and alarming than that a President whose conduct of foreign affairs is so largely uncontrolled, and often even is unknown, can vastly enlarge his mastery over the internal affairs of the country by his own commitment of the Nation’s armed forces to some foreign venture.

In sum, there is nothing in the text, subtext, context or judicial interpretation of the Constitution that empowers the president to initiate war without prior congressional authorization. Yet presidential lawlessness persists and metastasizes like a cancer without provoking congressional or public rebuke.

Executive branch violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Patriot Act, or the Convention Against Torture are ignored. The state secrets privilege is invoked to deny victims redress for torture or comparable constitutional wrongdoing. Suspected “enemy combatants” are detained indefinitely without accusation or trial. Military commissions supersede civilian courts. The United States claims unique authority to attack with predator drones or otherwise any nation on the planet to advance professed humanitarian causes, “regional stability,” or the credibility of the United Nations Security Council.

The Department of Treasury or Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve print or spend money without proper congressional oversight or direction. Annual Pentagon spending approaching $1 trillion is not audited.

Depend upon it. The day will soon come when the president usurps the congressional power to tax and to spend to address an asserted economic emergency with impunity. Most Members of Congress will meekly submit to vassalage and rejoice at their escape from responsibility for anything non-trivial.

The final destruction of the Republic can be prevented if the American people vote to oust every Member of Congress and every president unfaithful to their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution.

That would mark one of history’s finest hours in self-government.

Obama solicitor general: “If you don’t like mandate, earn less money!”

By: Philip Klein 06/02/11 12:52 PM
Senior editorial writer Follow Him @Philipaklein

President Obama’s solicitor general, defending the national health care law on Wednesday, told a federal appeals court that Americans who didn’t like the individual mandate could always avoid it by choosing to earn less money.

Neal Kumar Katyal, the acting solicitor general, made the argument under questioning before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, which was considering an appeal by the Thomas More Law Center. (Listen to oral arguments here.)  The three-judge panel, which was comprised of two Republican-appointed judges and a Democratic-appointed judge, expressed more skepticism about the government’s defense of the health care law than the Fourth Circuit panel that heard the Virginia-based Obamacare challenge last month in Richmond. The Fourth Circuit panel was made up entirely of Democrats, and two of the judges were appointed by Obama himself.

During the Sixth Circuit arguments, Judge Jeffrey Sutton, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, asked Kaytal if he could name one Supreme Court case which considered the same question as the one posed by the mandate, in which Congress used the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution as a tool to compel action.

Kaytal conceded that the Supreme Court had “never been confronted directly” with the question, but cited the Heart of Atlanta Motel case as a relevant example. In that landmark 1964 civil rights case, the Court ruled that Congress could use its Commerce Clause power to bar discrimination by private businesses such as hotels and restaurants.

“They’re in the business,” Sutton pushed back. “They’re told if you’re going to be in the business, this is what you have to do. In response to that law, they could have said, ‘We now exit the business.’ Individuals don’t have that option.”

Kaytal responded by noting that the there’s a provision in the health care law that allows people to avoid the mandate.

“If we’re going to play that game, I think that game can be played here as well, because after all, the minimum coverage provision only kicks in after people have earned a minimum amount of income,” Kaytal said. “So it’s a penalty on earning a certain amount of income and self insuring. It’s not just on self insuring on its own. So I guess one could say, just as the restaurant owner could depart the market in Heart of Atlanta Motel, someone doesn’t need to earn that much income. I think both are kind of fanciful and I think get at…”

Sutton interjected, “That wasn’t in a single speech given in Congress about this…the idea that the solution if you don’t like it is make a little less money.”

The so-called “hardship exemption” in the health care law is limited, and only applies to people who cannot obtain insurance for less than 8 percent of their income. So earning less isn’t necessarily a solution, because it could then qualify the person for government-subsidized insurance which could make their contribution to premiums fall below the 8 percent threshold.

Throughout the oral arguments, Kaytal struggled to respond to the panel’s concerns about what the limits of Congressional power would be if the courts ruled that they have the ability under the Commerce Clause to force individuals to purchase something.

Sutton said it would it be “hard to see this limit” in Congressional power if the mandate is upheld, and he honed in on the word “regulate” in the Commerce clause, explaining that the word implies you’re in a market. “You don’t put them in the market to regulate them,” he said.

In arguments before the Fourth Circuit last month, Kaytal also struggled with a judge’s question about what to do with the word “regulate,” to the point where the judge asked him to sit down to come up with an answer. (More on that exchange here). Kaytal has fallen back on the Necessary and Proper clause, insisting that it gives broader leeway to Congress.

Judge James Graham, a Reagan district court appointee who is temporarily hearing cases on the appeals court, said, “I hear your arguments about the power of Congress under the Commerce Clause, and I’m having difficulty seeing how there is any limit to the power as you’re defining it.”

Kaytal responded by referencing United States v. Morrison, in which the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Violence Against Women Act, and United States v. Lopez, which struck down gun free school zones. In those cases, Kaytal responded, the Supreme Court set the limit that the Commerce Clause had to regulate economic activities.

The health care market is unique, Kaytal insisted, because everybody will eventually participate. With the mandate, Kaytal said, “What Congress is regulating is not the failure to buy something. But failure to secure financing for something everyone is going to buy.”

Graham acknowledged Kaytal’s arguments, yet reiterated that he was “having trouble seeing the limits.”

The problem with the “health care is unique” argument – and this is me talking – is that it just creates an opening for future Congresses to regulate all sorts of things by either a) arguing that a particular market is also special or b) finding a way to tie a given regulation to health care.

For instance, the example that’s come up often is the idea of a law in which government forces individuals to eat broccoli.

During the Sixth Circuit argument, Kaytal said that such an example doesn’t apply, because if you show up at a grocery store, nobody has to give you broccoli, whereas that is the case with health care and hospital emergency rooms.

Yet that argument assumes that Congress passes such a law as a regulation of the food market. What if the law was made as part of a regulation of the health care market? It isn’t difficult to see where that argument can go.

The broccoli example is really a proxy for a broader argument about whether the government can compel individuals to engage in healthy behavior – it could just as well be eating salad, or exercising. There’s no doubt that a huge driver of our nation’s health care costs are illnesses linked to bad behavior. People who are overweight and out of shape cost more because they have increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and so on. Those increased costs get passed on to all of us, because government pays for nearly half of the nation’s health care expenses, a number that’s set to grow under the new health care law. Is it really unrealistic to believe that future Congresses, looking for ways to control health care costs, could compel healthy behavior in some way? More pertinently, is there any reason why that would be unconstiutional under the precedent that would be set if the individual mandate is upheld?

With most experts expecting the case to go before the Supreme Court, it seems the biggest obstacle for the Obama administration is figuring out where power would be limited if the mandate were upheld. Those challenging the law have made a clear and understandable limit by drawing a distinction between regulating activity and regulating inactivity (i.e. the decision not to purchase insurance). But simply saying the health care market is unique doesn’t actually create a very clear or understandable limit to Congressional power.

The 11th Circuit hears the case next week brought by 26 states led by Florida.

10 Reasons Why The “Economic Recovery” Is a Fraud

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
June 2, 2011

10 Reasons Why The Economic Recovery Is a Fraud 020611top2

Yesterday’s so-called “horror” show for the US economy with the release of new data illustrating how the economic “recovery” has all but ground to a halt was met with feigned astonishment and shock by the establishment media, and yet for the past two years the public has been continually deceived about the true state of the financial system.

All the hot air about an “economic recovery” has served to hide the fact that the United States is slipping back into a double-dip recession, if not a second “great depression,” as market strategist Peter Yastrow told CNBC yesterday.

1) In 2009, when the media claimed the economic “recovery” had begun, oil prices averaged $54 dollars a barrel. In the 24 months since, the cost has doubled. Americans are paying more and more to fill up at the pump with Goldman Sachs predicting that gas will hit $5 dollars a gallon by summer. This figure was already reached in Washington DC two months ago. Far from representing a “recovery” this is in fact another crippling expense that many Americans people simply cannot afford.

2) The housing market has shown no “recovery” whatsoever. The collapse in US house prices “is now greater than that suffered during the Great Depression.” Prices have plunged by 33 per cent since 2007. Home ownership is at its lowest level for 20 years.

3) The collapse in home ownership has flooded the rental market, leading to massive inflation “pushing up the cost of leases across the nation’s 38 million rented residences,” reports Bloomberg. Far from enjoying a “recovery,” US citizens lucky enough not to be stuck in underwater mortgages are instead paying through the nose for rental inflation that represents a huge chunk of the overall consumer price index.

4) Food price inflation is also savaging Americans who are being browbeaten by the word “recovery” while the cost of their groceries soars to unaffordable levels, forcing them to buy cheap unhealthy GMO crap or simply go hungry. Food prices in the US are climbing at the fastest rate since the 1970′s.

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5) While Americans were being told to jump on the “recovery” bandwagon and spend more money to reinvigorate the economy, their median incomes were plummeting. Americans are getting poorer. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009 and has been flat since, even as the cost of living continues to rise.

6) While the Federal Reserve points to GDP growth as evidence of recovery, citing figures of $700 million in growth from 2008-2011, the government had to borrow and spend $5.1 trillion just to attain that level. “The Federal government borrowed and spent $5.1 trillion over the past four years to generate a cumulative $700 billion increase in the nation’s GDP. That means we’ve borrowed and spent $7.28 for every $1 of nominal “growth” in GDP,” writes Charles Hugh Smith.

7) While the establishment media and the government pretends that US unemployment numbers are on the decline, the real unemployment figure stands at over 22 per cent. An even more alarming figure shows that fewer than 46 per cent of Americans actually have jobs, with employment rates in California and Arizona hovering around 37 per cent.

8) Along with almost all paper currencies, the dollar has drastically declined in comparison to commodities like gold and silver since the so-called “recovery” began in 2009. At the bottom of the economic slump in the middle of 2009, the greenback was hovering around the $950 dollar an ounce level – it is now well above $1500 and only soaring higher. A weakening dollar reduces Americans’ buying power and makes them pay more for staple necessities like food and fuel as the cost of living skyrockets.

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9) Far from staging a “recovery,” US consumer confidence is now lower than during all the financial crises or tragedies of the last several decades. From the crash of ’87, to Enron, to 9/11, to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Americans have never been so pessimistic about the economy.

10) Of course, the only people enjoying a financial “recovery” are the Wall Street bankers and the financial terrorists who pulled the plug on the economy in the first place. Since its 2009 low of 7062, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained by almost 6,000 points. This means little to the average American that can barely afford to put food on the table, never mind invest in the stock market.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.

U.S. Senate Obama Signs Last-Minute Patriot Act Extension Into Law

Heres to all your “Hope and Change” voters…Obama=No different than Bush. Congratulate yourselvess…Tyranny reigns!

Minutes before the midnight deadline Thursday, President Obama approved a four-year extension of the government’s Patriot Act powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.

The White House said Obama had signed the bill from France using autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president.

Following the 72-23 Senate vote, the House voted to approve the bill 250-153 with hours to go before the three terror-fighting tools were set to expire. The action comes a month after intelligence and military forces hunted down Usama bin Laden.

The measure extends the legal life of roving wiretaps, court-ordered searches of business records and surveillance of non-American “lone wolf” suspects without confirmed ties to terrorist groups.

The roving wiretaps and access to business records are small parts of the USA Patriot Act that was enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. But unlike most of the act, which is permanent law, those provisions must be periodically renewed because of concerns that they could be used to violate privacy rights. The same applies to the “lone wolf” provision, which was part of a 2004 intelligence act.

Earlier, the Senate struggled to find a way to stage a final vote in the face of continued resistance from a single senator, Republican freshman Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Paul argued that in the rush to meet the terrorist threat in 2001 Congress enacted a Patriot Act that tramples on individual liberties. He had some backing from liberal Democrats and civil liberties groups who have long contended the Patriot Act gives the government authority to spy on innocent citizens.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said the provision on collecting business records can expose law-abiding citizens to government scrutiny. “If we cannot limit investigations to terrorism or other nefarious activities, where do they end?” he asked.

“The Patriot Act has been used improperly again and again by law enforcement to invade Americans’ privacy and violate their constitutional rights,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington legislative office.

But intelligence officials have denied improper use of surveillance tools, and this week both FBI Director Robert Mueller and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sent letters to congressional leaders warning of serious national security consequences if the provisions were allowed to lapse.

The Obama administration says that without the three authorities the FBI might not be able to obtain information on terrorist plotting inside the U.S. and that a terrorist who communicates using different cell phones and email accounts could escape timely surveillance.

“When the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, we would be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot attacks against our country, undetected,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday. In unusually personal criticism of a fellow senator, he warned that Paul, by blocking swift passage of the bill, “is threatening to take away the best tools we have for stopping them.”

The nation itself is divided over the Patriot Act, as reflected in a Pew Research Center poll last February, before the killing of bin Laden, that found that 34 percent felt the law “goes too far and poses a threat to civil liberties. Some 42 percent considered it “a necessary tool that helps the government find terrorists.” That was a slight turnaround from 2004 when 39 percent thought it went too far and 33 percent said it was necessary.

Paul, after complaining that Reid’s remarks were “personally insulting,” asked whether the nation “should have some rules that say before they come into your house, before they go into your banking records, that a judge should be asked for permission, that there should be judicial review? Do we want a lawless land?”

In practice, law enforcement has used the three provisions sparingly. According to a senior Justice Department national security official testifying to Congress last March, the government has sought roving wiretap authority in about 20 cases a year between 2001 and 2010 and has sought warrants for business records less than 40 times a year, on average. The government has yet to use the lone wolf authority.

But the ACLU also points out that court approvals for business record access jumped from 21 in 2009 to 96 last year, and the organization contends the Patriot Act has blurred the line between investigations of actual terrorists and those not suspected of doing anything wrong.

Two Democratic critics of the Patriot Act, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Udall of Colorado, on Thursday extracted a promise from Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that she would hold hearings with intelligence and law enforcement officials on how the law is being carried out.

Wyden says that while there are numerous interpretations of how the Patriot Act works, the official government interpretation of the law remains classified. “A significant gap has developed now between what the public thinks the law says and what the government secretly claims it says,” Wyden said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., while supporting extension of the Patriot Act measures, also pushed for changes to make the law more transparent, including requiring the Justice Department to periodically report to Congress on whether the powers in the law were being used properly.

Leahy had also sought to require the government to show greater evidence of a link with a terrorist threat when it asks for access to business records such as library circulation records or book seller records.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Gun Control: An Attack On Our 2nd Amendment Rights-The War Continues……

Gun Control laws are in of itself unconstitutional according to the second amendment (“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED).  It is well known (And common sense) that people kill people not guns and that violent crimes decrease when civilians are armed.  The Government is secretly trying to disarm Americans. One of the most scary programs some communities offer is guns for cash programs. Trade in your guns (Your right to bear arms) for cash…it’s a way the government is trying to disarm Americans. Our constitution is under attack and we need to stand up to tyranny to protect these freedoms!

Our Second Amendment:

As passed by the Congress:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As ratified by the States:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Obama: We’re Working on Gun Control ‘Under the Radar’

AP Graphics

On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

Read more: http://nation.foxnews.com/guns/2011/05/25/obama-were-working-gun-control-under-radar#ixzz1NT5VSXcJ