Tag Archives: Congress

Sanctions? What Sanctions?

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Donald Trump in the Oval Office the day after James Comey’s firing. Photo: YouTube,

In July of last year, Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill that put new sanctions on Russia. The support was as close to unanimous as you see in Congress these days; only three dissenting votes in the House and two in the Senate.

Facing sure backlash and a veto override if he either vetoed the bill or refused to sign (a pocket veto), President Donald Trump held off until the final day until signing the sanctions bill. Signed without the usual spectacle of a ceremony that the Toddler in Chief seems to thrive on, he called parts of the bill “clearly unconstitutional,” and went on to say they “displace the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments” while others exceed Congress’ authority by imposing time limits on the executive branch.

The Trump administration then raised the ire of Congress by missing the deadline for the first part of the sanctions to be put in effect. Which brings us to today’s deadline.

Today was to be the day that the Treasury Department was to begin imposing economic sanctions against people and businesses doing business with Russia’s intelligence and defense sectors. They were also supposed to provide a list of oligarchs maintaining close ties to Putin.

So what did the administration do? They said that they wouldn’t be imposing sanctions. “Sanctions on specific entities or individuals will not need to be imposed because the legislation is, in fact, serving as a deterrent,” said a State Department official.

When Donald Trump became President, he took the oath of office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Overriding Congress and unilaterally deciding not to enforce a sanctions bill that you yourself signed is not faithfully executing the office. It is not preserving, protecting or defending the Constitution. It’s the type of stunt you see in a third rate banana republic, and not in the United States – until now.

So, what happens next? Will Congress grow a spine and demand that he put sanctions in place? Will they finally admit to themselves that this overgrown toddler has no business being where he is? That every day he stays in office means further degradation of us as a nation? Will they finally figure that their Faustian compact isn’t worth the damage it does to the country? Or will they keep on making excuses for this wretched imitation of a human being?

 

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#MeToo Act: New Bill Aimed at Combating Sexual Harrassment on Capitol Hill

“The culture in this country has been awakened to the fact that we have a serious epidemic in the workplace in all professions, in all walks of life, and it’s incumbent upon those who are in authority to address it and address it swiftly.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 11-15-2017

Photo: Twitter

In the wake of widespread allegations of sexual harassment and assault across a number of industries, two members of Congress introduced legislation on Wednesday aimed at combating the problem on Capitol Hill.

The Me Too Act, named after the social media campaign that flooded Twitter and Facebook feeds in recent weeks and brought to light the frequency with which women from all walks of life cope with sexual harassment and assault, demands an overhaul of the complaint process women in Congress must navigate in order to report sexual misconduct. Continue reading

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New Report Finally Exposes Congress’ Secret Weapon for Insider Trading

By James Holbrooks. Published 9-27-2017 by The Anti-Media

Photo: Kevin Hutchinson (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s rare that we get a glimpse into how the machine actually operates, but POLITICO just gave us one. The findings of an investigation by the news agency, published Monday, reveal that congressional staffers may play a far larger role in greasing the engine of American government than one might assume. From the article by Maggie Severns:

“A POLITICO review of federal disclosures for 2015 and 2016 found that some senior aides regularly buy and sell individual stocks that present potential conflicts of interest with their work. A smaller number of staffers trade in companies that lobby Congress and the committees that employ them. In all, approximately 450 aides have bought or sold a stock of more than $1,001 in value since May 2015.

“That’s likely just the tip of the iceberg, since most congressional aides aren’t required to report their trades. Only those in positions earning more than $124,406 per year must reveal their investments. Of the 12,500 staffers working for lawmakers, committees and leadership offices, only about 1,700 make that much, according to data compiled by Legistorm and the Brookings Institution.” Continue reading

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Thanks to Congress, Trump Will Have Nearly Unlimited Power to Wage War

“Trump will have a free hand to use the law meant for the perpetrators of 9/11 to wage war around the world, fashioning it to different enemies at his command”

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-29-2016

“You could easily see him wanting to ramp up the war on terror and take it to new parts of the globe,” one US lawmaker said of President-elect Donald Trump. “There are few limits on what he can do.” (Photo: Debra Sweet/flickr/cc)

The failure of U.S. Congress to pass a formal authorization for the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) means incoming President Donald Trump—whose brash and impulsive approach to foreign policy has raised alarms—will have effectively unlimited war powers, Politico reported Thursday.

In the absence of such a resolution, President Barack Obama has relied on the existing Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as justification for military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Attempts to replace or rein in the AUMF have failed. Continue reading

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Not A Nuke Nuke Joke

Senator Tom Cotton. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Senator Tom Cotton. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

We at Occupy World Writes try to be apolitical as much as possible. We find both parties to be hypocritical to a large degree, and we’d rather remain equal opportunity critics. However, the chuckleheads who have taken over conservative politics are especially worthy of our scorn.

We could talk about their fiscal irresponsibility or their tone deafness in their statements about women, minorities and unions. We could talk about their denial of science, or their demonizing of intelligence. We could name many, many more examples why the Republican party of today is the most inept and derision worthy group of clowns we’ve seen in our lifetimes. However, their most obvious fault (and the most dangerous one at the moment) is their willingness to put party before the good and safety of their country. Continue reading

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Groundhogs Go To Washington

By Wobbyball (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Wobbyball (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

On February 2nd, 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for thefirst time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. America has continued the tradition ever since.

According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring or in other words, spring in six weeks.

We could not help but notice a few similarities between groundhogs and the United States Congress. Continue reading

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Truth in Advertising

By Gretschman for Occupy World Writes

Photo by Ted Van Pelt [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Ted Van Pelt [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In the past four decades, the world has become used to seeing athletes wear clothing that provides evidence of who or what sponsors their endeavors. From race car drivers wearing fireproof uniforms with sometimes more than twenty logos to extreme sports athletes with their branded t-shirts, ball caps and shoes; when we see these people at their events, either in person or via media coverage, we can feel confident in knowing who and what is paying their bills.

The citizens deserve to know who, or more specifically, what corporations and special interest groups are lining the pockets and campaign coffers of our politicians.

If there were mandates that would require politicians to wear the logos of their “sponsors” at all public engagements and while conducting the business of politics, the citizens could make a much more educated choice about the officials who are elected to SERVE THE PEOPLE – not SERVE THEIR OWN POCKETBOOKS.

“The Senator from Citigroup yields the floor to the Senator from Enbridge…”

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