Debt Deal Surprise # 1: Unconstitutional “Super Congress”

Unconstitutional body created by debt deal to get “even greater super powers”

Infowars.com
August 1, 2011

The so-called “Super Congress” that is about to be created with the debt ceiling vote will have powers far beyond just controlling the nation’s purse strings – its authority will extend to target the second amendment – eviscerating normal protections that prevent unconstitutional legislation from being fast-tracked into law.

As the Huffington Post reported last month, the debt deal that has already been passed by the House and faces the Senate tomorrow will create an unconstitutional “Super Congress” that will be comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats and granted “extraordinary new powers” to quickly force legislation through both chambers.

Legislation decided on by the Super Congress would be immune from amendment and lawmakers would only be able to register an up or down vote, eliminating the ability to filibuster. The Speaker of the House would effectively lose the power to prevent unpopular bills from making it to the House floor.

But far from just being a committee that would make recommendations concerning the debt ceiling, the body is now to be granted “even greater super powers, according to multiple news reports and congressional aides with knowledge of the plan,” writes Michael McAuliff.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled no punches in making it plain that the Super Congress would have supreme authority. “The joint committee — there are no constraints,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “They can look at any program we have in government, any program. … It has the ability to look at everything.”

That includes introducing laws to restrict the second amendment, states a Gun Owners of America bulletin, warning that the body would be “a super highway for gun control legislation”.

“Gun owner registration … bans on semi-automatic firearms … adoption of a UN gun control treaty — all of these issues could very well be decided over the next 24 hours,” states the GOA release.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) echoed Reid’s sentiment, asserting that the Super Congress was “not a commission, this is a powerful, joint committee.”

The Obama administration has already indicated that it will take the deciding vote as the de facto 13th member of the Super Congress. During his press briefing today, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the government would work with the Super Congress to hike taxes in 2012 and beyond.

Barack Obama has already exercised his fetish for executive autonomy by launching the attack on Libya without Congressional approval, bypassing Congress and having the EPA declare carbon dioxide a pollutant, as well as the appointment of ten state governors directly selected by him who will work with the federal government to help advance the “synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States”.

The administration’s zeal to target the second amendment “under the radar,” as Obama promised earlier this year, has also manifested itself in the form of ATF harassment of gun owners who purchase two or more firearms, despite the fact that the law to mandate such a policy failed to pass.

The establishment of a “Super Congress” will completely demolish the credibility and the authority of the system of elected representatives. It represents another final nail in the coffin of the American Republic and its replacement with an executive dictatorship run by the political elite.

US lawmakers call for end to Afghan war

PressTV

The Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called on President Barack Obama to provide Congress with a clear plan to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan.

The lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum called Thursday for an end to the Afghan war.

A group of US lawmakers said the war was a drain on US “blood and treasure”.

“Every dollar spent and every life wasted in Vietnam was just that: A waste,” said Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler.

The revolt against Obama comes as Washington is expected to pump another 37 billion dollars into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief, Leon Panetta, recently admitted that the Afghan war has proven to be much harder and longer than anticipated. He also alluded to serious problems in the US-led war, acknowledging that the Taliban are gaining an upper hand in the battle.

This is while Obama has promised to start withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan in July 2011.

The rising foreign casualties have sparked anger among the public in the countries allied with the US in Afghanistan.

In addition to the foreign troops’ casualties, thousands of civilians have also lost their lives either in US-led raids or in the Taliban-led militancy across the violence-wracked country. Rising number of civilian causalities is undermining support for the presence of US-led forces in the country.

The US-led invasion of Afghanistan was launched with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the country. Nine years on, however, US and Afghan officials admit the country remains unstable as civilians continue to pay the heaviest price.

The 2000-Page Power Grab any Dictator Dreams About

In the words of the very same legislators who created the new financial bill, ‘No one will know until this is actually in place how it works’…, said Christopher Dodd, democrat from Connecticut.  The new bill gives sweeping powers to the president, whoever it is, to determine what is done with many aspects of American citizen’s lives.  “…it deals with every single aspect of our lives,” added Dodd.

WSJ

After more than 20 hours of continuous wrangling, Congressional Democrats and White House officials reached agreement on the

Lawmaker Christopher Dodd (D), next to senator Richard Shelby.

final shape of legislation that would transform financial regulation, avoiding last-minute defections among New York lawmakers that had threatened to upend the bill.

After months of uncertainty about how the U.S. would craft new rules, the agreement offers the clearest picture since the financial crisis of how markets and the government will interact for decades to come. The common thread: large financial companies are facing a tougher leash.

he bill is expected to have enough support to become law. Both chambers plan to vote next week. The margin in the House and Senate will likely be close because most Republicans are expected to oppose the measure.

If the bill passes, President Barack Obama is expected to sign the package into law by July 4. Thursday’s agreement also gives the president leverage going into a weekend summit of world leaders in Canada, where he will prod other nations to rewrite their rules.

“This is about as important as it gets, because it deals with every single aspect of our lives,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), a chief architect of the compromise.

In two important ways, the agreement is tougher on the banking industry than officials in the Treasury Department anticipated when they first drafted their version of the bill 12 months ago.

Lawmakers agreed to a provision known as the “Volcker” rule, named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, which prohibits banks from making risky bets with their own funds. To win support from Sen. Scott Brown (R., Mass.), Democrats agreed to allow financial companies to make limited investments in areas such as hedge funds and private-equity funds.

The move could require some big banks to spin off divisions, known as proprietary-trading desks, which make bets with the firms’ money.

The bill also includes a provision, authored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D., Ark), which would limit the ability of federally insured banks to trade derivatives. This provision almost derailed the bill following vehement objections from New York Democrats. Ms. Lincoln worked out a deal in the early hours of Friday morning that would allow banks to trade interest-rate swaps, certain credit derivatives and others—in other words the kind of standard safeguards a bank would take to hedge its own risk.

Banks, however, would have to set up separately capitalized affiliates to trade derivatives in areas lawmakers perceived as riskier, including metals, energy swaps, and agriculture commodities, among other things.

A panel of 43 lawmakers spent two weeks reconciling differences between a bill that passed the House in December and the Senate in May. They concluded their negotiations along party lines at a little after 5 a.m. ET in a Capitol Hill conference room marked by tension, levity and exhaustion. Senior administration officials, including Treasury Department Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, arrived late in the afternoon to try and quell the feud between the New York delegation and Ms. Lincoln.

Major components of the bill, including the derivatives provisions, were negotiated in the hallway of the Dirksen Senate Office Building as the clock neared midnight. At one point, after hearing of an offer from Senate Democrats, Rep. Melissa Bean (D., Ill.) exclaimed: “Are you flipping kidding me? Are you flipping kidding me?”

Democrats hailed the agreement as a tool to prevent the kind of taxpayer-funded bailouts that stabilized the economy in 2008 but left divisive scars. Many Republicans said the bill could have unintended consequences, crimping financial markets and access to credit.

“My guess is there are three unintended consequences on every page of this bill,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) said of the nearly 2,000-page bill.

The deal comes as the banking industry is still struggling to regain its footing. Hundreds of banks have been dragged down by bad loans and investments. The violent restructuring of the U.S. banking sector two years ago has left just a few companies controlling a vast amount of the deposits, assets and financial plumbing of the country.

Government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain a multibillion dollar drain on the U.S. Treasury, and largely untouched by this proposal. And the banking sector in parts of Europe remains fragile.

The legislation would redraw how money flows through the U.S. economy, from the way people borrow money to the way banks structure complicated products like derivatives. It could touch every person who has a bank account or uses a credit card.

It would erect a new consumer-protection regulator within the Federal Reserve, give the government new powers to break up failing companies and assign a council of regulators to monitor risks to the financial system. It would also set up strict new rules on big banks, limiting their risk and increasing the costs.

The legislation gives the Securities and Exchange Commission new powers to regulate Wall Street and monitor hedge funds, increasing the agency’s access to funding. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission would also have new powers under the bill, which would try and force most derivatives to face more scrutiny from regulators and other market participants.

To pay for some of the new government programs, the bill would allow the government to charge fees to large banks and hedge funds to raise up to $19 billion spread over five years. The assessment is designed to eventually pay down a part of the national debt.

The broad contours had been set for weeks and mostly mirror a proposal the White House has pushed since last summer. But the last few days represented a mad dash of political maneuvering to iron out final details.

Negotiations went into Friday morning, with New York Democrats and White House officials meeting to address the bill’s potential impact on New York, which relies on the financial industry for employment and tax revenue.

To win broader support, Democrats softened the bill’s impact on community banks, auto dealers, and small payday lenders and check cashers.

From the beginning, lawmakers opted against a dramatic reshaping of the country’s financial architecture. Instead, they moved to create new layers of regulation to prevent companies from taking on too much risk.

For example, regulators decided not to order a sweeping consolidation of the regulatory agencies policing finance. They also decided not to bust up large financial companies, despite pressure from liberal groups.

But they did create a process for seizing and dismantling faltering companies, tools the government lacked in 2008 during the seemingly chaotic events surrounding Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and American International Group Inc.

Democrats are banking on stronger government regulators to constrain risk in the financial system and prevent a future banking crisis—or at least blunt its impact.

In the U.S., the Establishment is on the Run

The waking of the United States of America has begun.  All over the country, incumbents traditionally in bed with corporations have been voted out of office again and again and again.  Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania and other states saw the break of dawn with different eyes as grassroots supported candidates took over senate seats from Establishment candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties.  While only a few years ago people simply could not see through the smoke screen called partisan politics, it took many Americans only six months to realize that Obama was just another disappointment.  Therefore, many of the President’s allies are now being booted out of office.  The massive awakening has started.  May this awakening serve as an example for more Americans to keep on fighting for liberty and freedom.  May this movement infect patriots in other countries so they also defeat the tyranny of the Establishment, the Globalists and their conquest agenda.

Politico

Rand Paul, the first-time candidate for elective office who has emerged as a symbol of the national tea party’s clout in Republican politics, appears to have clinched the GOP’s nomination for this state’s open Senate seat – in a victory certain to jolt the political order in Kentucky and across the country.

The 47-year-old Bowling Green ophthalmologist – who until last year was best known for being the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), whose staunch libertarian views have spawned a national grassroots following – knocked off Trey Grayson, the Kentucky secretary of state who had been the favorite of this state’s political heavyweights, most notably Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“I have a message, a message from the tea party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our government back,” Paul, with his parents and the rest of his family by his side, declared to roaring supporters at a posh country club here in his hometown.

With his attention-grabbing views railing on Washington and its ballooning budget deficits, the fire-breathing Paul successfully connected with this state’s furious Republican primary voters, something that the more subdued Grayson was unable to accomplish in the fight to replace the retiring two-term Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.).

“The electorate is pissed,” said Mike Shea, a long-time political adviser to McConnell. “Rand did a really good job of tapping into those themes and tapping into that anger. Trey is a nice guy, but in his commercials and everything else, he seemed completely unable to generate any kind of dialogue to indicate he was tapping into that. If you meet him, he didn’t seem like he was angry.”

With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Paul appeared poised to seize a huge victory – leading Grayson by 59 percent to 35 percent of the vote. The Associated Press projected that Paul would win the race.

A packed crowd here at the Bowling Green Country Club let out a loud cheer when the AP projected the race for Paul, who was expected to address some 100 activists here later Tuesday.

But many of the Paul supporters had expected nothing less than resounding victory.

“I kind of expected it actually,” said Brent Young, a 45-year-old tea party activist who works with a local firm researching swine production. “I’ve really been a big supporter of his dad, and I really hope he can be elected in November. Time will tell but we really do think he’s a different kind of politician – and hopefully send a message to the GOP that we want something different.”

Paul is expected to face either Lt. Gov Daniel Mongiardo or state Attorney General Jack Conway, who are in the middle of a neck-and-neck battle for the Democratic nomination. Conway’s views are more in line with the Democratic base’s positions, and he is seen by national Democrats as a safer choice. But Mongiardo is seen as more unpredictable on the campaign trail, though his conservative views that break with the White House could appeal to rural and right-leaning voters. Conway is leading the race in early returns.

While polls showed Paul building a comfortable lead in the final weeks of the primary campaign, his win is still poised to send a shockwave threw the Republican establishment. It’s the first clear statewide victory by the disparate national tea party movement, which propelled his victory based on his calls for radical reforms to Washington, including imposing term limits on senators, mandating Congress be more sensitive to its constitutional prerogatives, constitutionally mandate Congress to balance its budget and force all legislation to directly apply to lawmakers. Absent from Paul’s campaign was much focus on socially conservative and national security views that have generated enthusiasm among tea party supporters in other states.

Conway was leading the race by just two percentage points with 92 percent of the precincts reporting.

“It’s not a real good time for any individual to be in a political position,” Republican state Sen. Carroll Gibson said simply.

Tuesday’s voting turnout appeared lighter than usual in much of the state, due to inclement weather and a lack of a presidential contest this midterm season. The day was colored by allegations from the Grayson camp that Paul’s supporters had been intimidating voters outside polling stations and had improperly sought to verify that voting machines were properly being used, allegations Paul firmly rejected.

Paul appears to have his work cut out for him uniting a divided GOP electorate here. A Public Policy Pollingmemo issued Tuesday found that 53 percent of likely Grayson voters had an unfavorable view of Paul, and 43 percent said firmly they would not vote for the tea party-favorite.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Paul said nothing about Grayson and declined to extend an olive branch to his opponent’s supporters. Instead, he launched a fierce attack on President Barack Obama, accusing him of “apologizing” to the dictators and running the country towards socialism.

Beyond that, he’ll have to face a newly energized Democratic Party, which views his victory as a bright spot in an otherwise dim election year since it puts the Republican-held seat immediately in play. Already, Democrats are planning to pounce on a number of Paul’s more politically controversial views, including his calls to eliminate the Education Department, severely cut agriculture subsidies to farmers here and his advocacy for increasing the age for Social Security eligibility.

“Sometimes people run primaries different than they run general elections,” Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of theNational Republican Senatorial Committee, told POLITICO when asked if he were concerned that Paul’s views would make him unelectable in a general election. “We’ll see what happens.”

But Paul said he will not “weave and dodge” from the tea party’s message, and he insisted that he will not moderate in the general election.

Grayson, 38, had been viewed as a rising star in the state’s Republican Party. Young, telegenic and seen as a pragmatic-minded conservative, he is one of only five living Republicans to win statewide here, where a majority of voters are either Democratic or independent. With the quiet backing of McConnell for months, Grayson was seen as the heir apparent to Bunning’s seat.

But in the final hours of the campaign that slipped away from him, Grayson’s allies began looking back at what went wrong – and the explanations ranged from failing to account for Paul’s rise early enough, a subpar advertising campaign and a failure to effectively communicate fiscal views to the electorate.

“It seemed to me that he got off to a slow start,” said state Sen. Tom Jensen, a Republican who backed Grayson. “We never really picked up the momentum. It seemed like Rand Paul had the momentum from the beginning and just didn’t lose it. They ran a good campaign.”

And several people here said Grayson failed to push back against the notion that he was the establishment choice, a politically toxic label this election year that he could have more forcefully sought to affix to his opponent.

“He accepted the mantle of being the ‘Washington D.C.’ candidate despite Paul’s obvious ties to his father, and he ceded ground on key fiscal arguments,” said Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist based in Louisville. “Grayson wanted this primary to be about national security because that’s where they thought they had the best opposition research. But this race was about spending and fiscal issues from the beginning, and Grayson’s lack of focus on that cost him early momentum which he never regained.”

As late as Monday, Grayson had complained that he couldn’t get traction on what he considered a key Paul gaffe: that a nuclear-free Iran wouldn’t be detrimental to national security. Paul had responded with a television ad calling Iran a threat, and the tit-for-tat never quite resonated with voters.

“We ran an ad and a quote from him saying that – I don’t know what else we could have done,” Grayson said. “On an issues discussion level, I’m not sure what more we could have done.”

In addition, Paul has positions that stray from the conservative line, including his hesitation over building a fence along the southern border with Mexico and for endorsing a federal ban on same-sex marriage; such positions didn’t seem to resonate with GOP primary voters in an election-year with many concerned about the budget deficit.

And Paul seemed to squash any momentum that Grayson seemed to muster. Last month, for instance, Bunning – who has a strong base of support in the conservative northern part of the state – grabbed headlines when he endorsed Paul, just a day after a new poll found the race tightening.

“I was very surprised because he had said to me straight up that he was going to stay out of the race,” Grayson told POLITICO about Bunning’s decision. “I was surprised. Based upon the things he said to me, I couldn’t reconcile that with what his actions were a month or so ago.”

But Paul benefitted greatly from his name identification as result of his father’s quixotic presidential run for the 2008 GOP nomination that spawned a buoyant band of libertarian followers. And he seemed to be doing something Grayson did not: speak directly to the mood of Republican primary voters angry at President Barack Obama’s agenda – and that anger seems to have cost Grayson his bid for the nomination.

“Obama is the best thing to happen the Republicans, but also the worst thing to happen to some Republican [politicians],” said Todd Inman, a Republican Party activist who supported Grayson.

But Paul credited a “nationwide movement” that helped him win his primary.
“What I say to Washington is, ‘Watch out, here we come.”