Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Patrick L Young ~ US Sanctions Only Make Arab People Supportive Of Dictatorships

RT  September 9 2013

People march from the White House to the US Capitol in Washington against US intervention in Syria on September 7, 2013 (AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm)

The Arab spring has demonstrated that people are not craving democracy, they want to improve their lifestyles. And in that sense sanctions only alienate them from the US and its policies.

Overall the situation with sanctions being applied to any country by the US is driven by that country being perceived to have lost in the court of American public opinion. Therefore sanctions are applied to nations viewed as being pariahs, a view often manipulated by politicians, such as Joe Biden in the case of Serbia (where the Kosovo ‘war’ that resulted led to Al Qaeda training camps being established in Europe).

However on many levels sanctions simply do not work effectively. In an interconnected world where we have so much globalization it’s almost impossible for any single country, even a hyper power like the US, to be able to successfully stop trade and transactions happening with different countries from the nearly 200 in the world, many not even recognised by the UN. Leaders invariably get the products they want from a third party nation. Therefore the end result has only been to impoverish the ordinary citizens rather than really hitting the elite or ultimately endangering the power of the same elite.

Syria exemplifies the great power politics we’ve seen throughout history. Some countries are regarded as being allies or satellites of particular nations, while others are poorly regarded and often become pariah states. Indeed it’s very difficult sometimes to work out why in one case a particular country ends up being set on a sanctions regime. Frequently it is the degree of superpower comfort with the regime itself. The Shah of Iran was someone who the Americans saw as an ally, supporting them, giving them information. On the other hand the post revolution fundamentalist regime of Iran has clearly been in some degree of purdah pretty much all the time that they’ve been in power. Neither has treated Iranian citizens with equanimity.

Syrian army forces load a machine gun mounted at the back of a vehicle in the Syrian Christian town of Maalula on Septamber 7, 2013 (AFP Photo / Str)

Syrian army forces load a machine gun mounted at the back of a vehicle in the Syrian Christian town of Maalula on Septamber 7, 2013 (AFP Photo / Str)

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Congress Derails Obama Plans To Arm Syrian Rebels

RT July 10 2013

Syrian rebels patrol an area in the outskirts of the northern city of Raqqa during a lull in fighting against government forces on July 1, 2013. (AFP Photo / Mezar Matar)

Though the Obama administration has authorized military aid to the rebel opposition currently engaged in a civil war with the government of Bashar Assad, it now appears that the US Congress has essentially blocked that move over terrorism fears.

Members of both the House and Senate intelligence committees have moved to enact stringent restrictions on funding the Syrian rebels, a move sufficient to prevent the White House from delivering on arms shipments according to sources who spoke with The Hill.

In mid-June, following allegations from the White House that the Assad government had used chemical weapons against opposition forces moving to depose him, the Obama administration authorized arms shipments in a marked escalation of US involvement in the region.

“This is going to be different in both scope and scale in terms of what we are providing,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser at the time.

Now, according to sources familiar with committee activity, restrictions on that increased aid to Syria’s opposition may have essentially stopped the administration in its tracks.

According to The Hill, lawmakers moved to block the military aid out of fears that weapons would fall into the hands of terrorist groups. US analysts are in particular concerned over the strengthening of the Syrian al-Qaeda-affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front.

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Jonathan Turley ~ The Grand Theft Auto Tax: Biden Calls For New Tax On Violent Video Games

Jonathan Turley May 15 2013

Jonathan Turley

Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden stated publicly again that he wants violent video games to be taxed and sees “no legal reason” why we should not move forward with a new tax. The story was telling in two respects. First, there is no evidence that such games produce the type of attacks seen at the Boston bombing and school shootings. Yet, this was the first thing that various politicians grabbed to show a response to the killings — besides of course reducing our civil liberties further. Second, Biden again seems intent on fulfilling the stereotype of a liberal politician where the answer to every problem is a tax. There is no discussion of how such a tax would accomplish any economic or public policy objective beyond moving money from people Biden disfavors to people he favors.

Experts are divided on the impact of violent video games with some finding no real longterm impacts and others finding a contributing factor in violence or delinquency. Putting aside this debate, there is no discussion of why a tax would serve any purpose beyond driving up costs and of course producing more revenue for the government.

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William F. Jasper ~ Sheriffs and Legislators Are Acting to Nullify Obama Gun Controls

The New American February 4 2013

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” — 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights

State legislators, county sheriffs, and state governors are saying, “Enough!” Unconstitutional overreach by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., has set the stage for multiple showdowns with state and local government officials who vow to exercise their constitutional prerogatives to oppose usurpations of the federal government on issues ranging from the REAL ID Act and ObamaCare to infringements on the right to keep and bear arms.

President Obama’s release, on January 16, of his comprehensive plan for a new wave of national gun controls has made the Second Amendment the immediate flashpoint of the growing “nullification” movement in the states. Issued one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the president’s push for firearms restrictions clearly is an attempt to capitalize on public grief over that shocking massacre to jumpstart a moribund gun-control movement that has been unable to make any recent headway in Congress. Entitled “Now is the time: The president’s plan to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence,” the 15-page White House program proposes an array of executive and congressional actions that it says are “common-sense steps to reduce gun violence.”

Liberty-minded advocates, however, were quick to point out that what President Obama refers to as common-sense proposals, our Founding Fathers would have denounced as blatant usurpations by a dictatorial executive. On January 16, the same day that President Obama released his “Now Is the Time” plan, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced that he would be introducing legislation the following week to oppose any of President Obama’s executive orders that unconstitutionally attempt to implement new national gun controls.

Appearing on Fox News with Sean Hannity, Senator Paul pointed out that there are several of the president’s executive orders “that appear as if he’s writing new law,” which would be an executive trespass on the legislative powers of Congress and a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers. “I’m afraid that President Obama may have this ‘king complex’ sort of developing, and we’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen,” he told Hannity.

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Mollie Reilly ~ Rand Paul Plans Legislation To Nullify Gun Control Executive Orders

Govt Slaves | January 17 2013

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is proposing legislation to nullify President Obama’s executive actions on gun policy, claiming that the president’s actions are a breach of constitutional separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

During a Wednesday appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity,” the Republican senator outlined his plan to challenge Obama’s anti-gun violence package.

“Our founding fathers were very concerned about us having separation of powers. They didn’t want to let the president become a king.” Paul said. “In this bill, we will nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation.”

Paul continued: “I’m afraid that President Obama may have this king complex sort of developing … I think there’s a history of this arrogance.”

Talking Points Memo offered more details on Paul’s plan:

“We only have descriptions of the executive actions, yet many could be construed to describe an attempt by the executive to make laws in violation of the Article 1, Sec. 8 of the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment,” reads the one-page summary of the Paul plan shared with TPM by his staff.Paul’s bill will set out to nullify Obama’s executive actions, deny any federal funding for their implementation, and allow members of Congress and state officials to challenge the actions in court.

Paul acknowledged that he may have trouble garnering support for his proposal in the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority.

“This idea of checks and balances and separation of powers should be a fundamental one,” Paul said. “I’m afraid that there isn’t much support on the Democratic side, but we’ll see.”

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Alex Newman ~ Obama Executive Orders on Guns Would Spark Mass Resistance

The New American | January 10 2013

Larry Pratt

As the Obama administration openly vows to use unconstitutional “executive orders” to further infringe on the right to keep and bear arms, gun rights activists, members of the law enforcement communitymilitary personnel and others are pledging to resist. Everything from an armed uprising and nationwide civil disobedience to legal means of resistance like the courts and nullification is being openly discussed online and even in the establishment media.

“The president is going to act,” pledged Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading an administration task force to further restrict gun rights in the wake of the Newtown massacre. “Executive order, executive action can be taken, we haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the cabinet members, as well as legislative action we believe is required.”

The Constitution, of course, reserves all legislative powers to Congress — not to mention the specific prohibition against infringements on gun rights contained in the Second Amendment. But disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder, who is helping develop the “executive action” plot, was caught in the 1990s on video calling for a tax-funded campaign to “brainwash” people against guns. He was also held in criminal contempt of Congress for lying about Operation Fast and Furious, which saw the Justice Department providing thousands of powerful guns to Mexican drug cartels through the ATF.
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M. Frank Drover ~ Dem Senator: Anti-Gun Legislation “Not Going To Pass”

theintelhub.com | January 8, 2013

North Dakota’s Senator Heidi Heitkamp

She may have just entered Congress for the first time, and may be a member of the Democrat Party, but North Dakota’s Senator Heidi Heitkamp says the movement to ban guns, and especially the White House’s proposal, is “way extreme” and she’s not going to support them.

Moreover, Heitkamp says that she’s not the only one who rejects the plans, suggesting that the legislation is simply too extreme to ever pass Congress.

Host George Stephanopoulos asked Sen. Heitkamp: “Are you willing to sign on to some of the reforms that Vice President Biden and President Obama are already talking about?”

“You know, it’s unclear,” Heitkamp said. “I mean, you read Washington Post stories and you listen to what the administration says, and so I think what we need to do is we need to take a look at what happened at Sandy Hook.

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Matt Taibbi ~ Why the Government Won’t Fight Wall Street

RS_News | September 19 2012

The great mystery story in American politics these days is why, over the course of two presidential administrations (one from each party), there’s been no serious federal criminal investigation of Wall Street during a period of what appears to be epic corruption. People on the outside have speculated and come up with dozens of possible reasons, some plausible, some tending toward the conspiratorial – but there have been very few who’ve come at the issue from the inside.

We get one of those rare inside accounts in The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins, a new book by Jeff Connaughton, the former aide to Senators Ted Kaufman and Joe Biden. Jeff is well known to reporters like me; during a period when most government officials double-talked or downplayed the Wall Street corruption problem, Jeff was one of the few voices on the Hill who always talked about the subject with appropriate alarm. He shared this quality with his boss Kaufman, the Delaware Senator who took over Biden’s seat and instantly became an irritating (to Wall Street) political force by announcing he wasn’t going to run for re-election. “I later learned from reporters that Wall Street was frustrated that they couldn’t find a way to harness Ted or pull in his reins,” Jeff writes. “There was no obvious way to pressure Ted because he wasn’t running for re-election.”

Kaufman for some time was a go-to guy in the Senate for reform activists and reporters who wanted to find out what was really going on with corruption issues. He was a leader in a number of areas, attempting to push through (often simple) fixes to issues like high-frequency trading (his advocacy here looked prescient after the “flash crash” of 2010), naked short-selling, and, perhaps most importantly, the Too-Big-To-Fail issue. What’s fascinating about Connaughton’s book is that we now get to hear a behind-the-scenes account of who exactly was knocking down simple reform ideas, how they were knocked down, and in some cases we even find out why good ideas were rejected, although some element of mystery certainly remains here.

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Why There Are No Jobs

M.N. Gordon | theintelhub | May 4 2012

What a week. On Tuesday the DOW finished the day at 13,279, its highest close since December 2007. In terms of the stock market, we’ve crossed the great divide…December 2007, remember, was pre-financial crisis.

In fact, it was nearly a year before Lehman Brothers vanished from the face of the earth and black swans relentlessly descended upon the LIBOR like common ravens upon fresh Southern California road kill. If you recall, when the sky was falling in late 2008, spread movements that were statistically not possible in a million years, somehow, happened every day.

Money market shares of the Reserve Primary Fund did the impossible…they broke the buck – falling to $0.97 cents a share. Still, while the stock market may be back to where it was over four years ago, the world is dramatically different…

For one thing, back in December of 2007 you could buy a 10-year Treasury Note yielding 4.23 percent. Today the 10-year Note Yields less than half that. Of course, December 2007 was before TARP, CPFF, MMIFF, TAF, ZIRP, QE, QE2, Operation Twist, and all sorts of other harebrained schemes were put into practice to “reflate” financial markets.

But while the stock market may be back to pre-recession levels, one thing all the fiscal and monetary gas didn’t do…it didn’t create jobs. Moreover, it likely inhibited them.

Job’s Market Recline

By the time you read this the Labor Department will have released its jobs report for April. Maybe the 125,000 new jobs needed to keep up with population growth will be added…but we don’t expect many more than that. Obviously, the economy is not adding enough new jobs…

According to the Hamilton Project, “As of February, our nation faces a jobs gap of 11.4 million jobs, 5.2 million from jobs lost since 2007, and another 6.1 million jobs that should have been created in the absence of the recession.

“If the economy adds about 208,000 jobs per month, which was the average monthly rate for the best year of job creation in the 2000s, then it will take until February 2020 – 8 years – to close the jobs gap.”

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