Those Boring Politics

Their 36-page complaint cogently and thoroughly makes the case that Obama’s military action is indeed a war, that it was undertaken and is being funded in violation of the U.S. Constitution, that the administration has failed to satisfy the requirements of the War Powers Resolution, and that therefore the court should order the President to “suspend military operations in Libya absent a declaration of war from Congress.”

The administration has maintained from the outset that its participation in the NATO operation in Libya does not amount to war. The White House reiterated this position in a June 15 report to Congress:

The President is of the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities” contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision. U.S. forces are playing a constrained and supporting role in a multinational coalition.

However, as the lawsuit makes clear,

U.S. operations in Libya now include all of the classic elements of a war, including but not limited to close combat support, bombing of Libya’s capital and key Libyan military assets, and commitment of U.S. personnel to ground operations to assist the rebel forces in the Libyan civil war.

Moreover, while Obama now claims that the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the Libyan operation, at the time the operation commenced he notified Congress that he had ordered the armed forces to undertake the mission, specifically stating that he was “providing this report as part of [his] efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution.” The President obviously wants to have it both ways: abiding by the law when it is convenient for him and ignoring it when it is inconvenient.

The bipartisan lawsuit, which also involves Ron Paul, makes the case of unconstitutionality in regards to the U.S. military action in Libya. See this post to see just how involved we are in Libya (as of late May); follow the links there to see the staggering cost of all of this as well. 

The War Powers Resolution forbids the President to take military action extending past 60 days without permission of Congress. We’ve been taking action since around the middle of March, and no efforts to withdraw forces from the area have been made. President Obama’s actions are defying the Resolution as he has not received the approval of Congress in committing the military to a third war.

Hopefully the lawsuit will force him to approach Congress, which will deny him military-action, or skip that step and simply abandon his position on the issue.

coeus:

Real spending per pupil ranges from a low of nearly $12,000 in the Phoenix area schools to a high of nearly $27,000 in the New York metro area. The gap between real and reported per-pupil spending ranges from a low of 23 percent in the Chicago area to a high of 90 percent in the Los Angeles metro region.

To put public school spending in perspective, we compare it to estimated total expenditures in local private schools. We find that, in the areas studied, public schools are spending 93 percent more than the estimated median private school.

Citizens drastically underestimate current per-student spending and are misled by official figures. Taxpayers cannot make informed decisions about public school funding unless they know how much districts currently spend. And with state budgets stretched thin, it is more crucial than ever to carefully allocate every tax dollar.

letterstomycountry:

militaristlibertarian:

fuck yeah!!!

now Canadian dope junkies can get their fix while you, the taxpayer, front the bill!!!

You are surely aware that Hayek and Friedman supported this policy, right?

Here’s Hayek:

I have always said that I am in favor of a minimum income for every person in the country.” 

-from Hayek on Hayek: An Autobiographical Dialogue by F. A. Hayek, edited by Stephen Kresge and Leif Wenar (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994)

And here’s the wikipedia summary of Chapter 11 of Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom:

[Friedman] advocates a negative income tax to fix the issue, giving everyone a guaranteed minimum income, rather than current measures, which he sees as misguided and inefficient.

This being the case, do you feel that this is something Hayek and Friedman got wrong? If so, I’m interested to hear your analysis of why you think they might’ve felt these policies were compatible with their otherwise free-market approach to economics, and more importantly, why they were wrong to do so.

Yes. I never liked Friedman much. Monetarism maims the free market and corrupts the banks. But I’ve always liked Hayek. 

However, seeing that he said this, I do indeed believe he was wrong. Setting a minimum income for people requires a bureaucracy to regulate the practice of thereof. It costs money to employ the people working there and to pay for the buildings, etc. It’s an extremely small part of a deficit but it’s a deficit nonetheless. It requires taxes.

It also raises unemployment. Employers will not hire workers to do a job for $7.50 an hour if the job is really only worth $6.00 an hour. Likewise, I will not pay a worker $30,000 a year if I think the job is really only worth $20,000 a year. It’s simply too expensive for businesses to employ as many people as they could.

Since they need employees, they’ll have to hire some workers to do the job. But the amount of workers they hire will be limited. Which means output will be limited as a consequence. This creates a lack of supply to demand, meaning for expensive goods for consumers. Output will always be limited and anchored the by the expenses of creating products. Always.

If the expense of creating products goes down, then the prices of goods will fall. Making it easier for consumers to purchase goods and making it easier for workers to find jobs. Not only this, but in a free-market, the demand for money will go down, restoring value to the currency.

The War on People Who Use Drugs, colloquially known as the “drug war”, turns 40 next week.  Although the U. S. government has criminalized various substances used for medicinal or recreational purposes for nearly a century, the modern drug war began during the Nixon administration, with his announcement that the U. S. government would actively prosecute a “war on drugs”.   This followed the passage of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970; Nixon then established the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1973 to oversee all of the government’s interdiction efforts.  Since then, the drug war has consumed more money, and more lives, than any of the drugs which the state has aimed to eradicate, and has completely failed to achieve any of its intended goals.  Drugs are more available than ever before, and although usage has gone down for some drugs (and increased for others), it can be attributed as much to changing tastes in recreational drug usage as to the state’s interdiction efforts.

And at what cost?

Even as the evidence piles up against the effectiveness of the drug war, the statist media continue to foment hysteria over the next grave danger facing American youths.  In the 1980s, it was crack, as alarmist government-led propaganda created a moral panic that raised crack’s profile and possibly fueled its rapid proliferation throughout American inner cities.  These days it may be salvia.  Or nutmeg.  You never know if your spice rack holds the gateway drug that enslaves the minds of your children.

This is not a “war on drugs”.  It is a declared war on the people by their government.  Even if one believes the state, at a minimum, is necessary to protect life, liberty, and property — a sentiment I don’t share but recognize that many libertarians do — once it begins attacking, killing, and imprisoning its own citizens for the non-crime of voluntarily selling or using plants or chemical substances, the state loses any moral authority to govern.

And now Russia is declaring a “total war” on drugs.  Either the Kremlin has developed highly selective amnesia, or just hasn’t paid attention over the past 40 years as other countries have tried, and miserably failed, to stem the flow of illicit drugs.  But given Russia’s historic tendency to totalitarianism, this just proves that the drug war isn’t about protecting innocent people from the evil purveyors of narcotics, but about extending and entrenching state power over everyone’s lives.

Until we assume responsibility for our own actions, and reject the state’s authority to rule over us, the drugs, cash, and blood will continue to flow unabated.

Private prisons keep people in jail for non-violent and victimless crimes. They lobby to the government to keep drugs illegal because private prisons are paid big by government to jail people. It’s a cycle of money starting from the taxpayers. 
The banks benefit from this war. They lobby to the government because the out-of-control fiscal policy (largely dependent on the most expensive war in United States history, which is the War on Drugs) keeps the Federal Reserve up and running. The fiscal policy allows the Fed to manipulate the money supply and keep Wall Street fat cats rich. It also continues the Fractional-Reserve system.
The CIA runs the drug market practically. They do business with the top guys in the cartels. The same head guys who are also politicians in Mexico and Peru and other countries that grow the illegal substances. It benefits the CIA to be able to keep drug-users down and in prison while also keeping the government big by enabling the Fed.
It’s all intricately connected, and there’s a lot of money in it. A lot. It’s one giant cycle of money coming from the pockets of citizens. Not only this, but the heads of cartels lobby to representatives here in the U.S. to keep the market illegal; it allows drug suppliers to charge whatever they want because they aren’t regulated by market forces.
Legalize the drugs. All of them.

Private prisons keep people in jail for non-violent and victimless crimes. They lobby to the government to keep drugs illegal because private prisons are paid big by government to jail people. It’s a cycle of money starting from the taxpayers. 

The banks benefit from this war. They lobby to the government because the out-of-control fiscal policy (largely dependent on the most expensive war in United States history, which is the War on Drugs) keeps the Federal Reserve up and running. The fiscal policy allows the Fed to manipulate the money supply and keep Wall Street fat cats rich. It also continues the Fractional-Reserve system.

The CIA runs the drug market practically. They do business with the top guys in the cartels. The same head guys who are also politicians in Mexico and Peru and other countries that grow the illegal substances. It benefits the CIA to be able to keep drug-users down and in prison while also keeping the government big by enabling the Fed.

It’s all intricately connected, and there’s a lot of money in it. A lot. It’s one giant cycle of money coming from the pockets of citizens. Not only this, but the heads of cartels lobby to representatives here in the U.S. to keep the market illegal; it allows drug suppliers to charge whatever they want because they aren’t regulated by market forces.

Legalize the drugs. All of them.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the real cost of the federal government guaranteeing the business of failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is $317 billion — not the $130 billion normally claimed by the Obama administration.

The total of those cash payments is $130 billion, and is normally reported as the cost of the bailout of the GSEs to date. However, the CBO said that merely counting the cash payments, and not the cost of federal subsidies granted to the GSEs, obscures their real costs.

Essentially, the CBO is accounting for the cost of the federal government guaranteeing the loans bought and securitized by the GSEs.

Currently, Fannie and Freddie rely on explicit federal guarantees to continue to secure below-market financing rates. Because Fannie and Freddie are insolvent, the federal government must make up their losses when the loans they have guaranteed lose money in default.

libertarians:

“Our Presidents can now, on their own:

And the Federal Reserve accommodates by counterfeiting the funds needed and not paid for by taxation and borrowing, permitting runaway spending, endless debt, and special interest bailouts.”

[See the 5-minute speech here.]

Everything in this post is great. Glad to have links going to everything horrible about this amendment. 

evilteabagger:

sunfoundation:

Nato operations in Libya: data journalism breaks down which country does what

Nato’s Libya operations are costing millions and involving thousands of airmen and sailors. But who’s contributing to Operation Unified Protector?  That’s the official name for the attacks on the Gadaffi regime’s bases  and tanks by Nato aircraft and ships, plus the enforcement of the no-fly  zone and the arms embargo.


In case anyone wondered what the difference between a US led military campaign and a NATO led, US “Supporting Role” looked like. Looks about the same thing with a different name to me. And oddly enough I can’t find anything in my 3 pocket Constitutions about NATO committing our armed forces to a war; so far all I’ve found was this thing about Congress being the body that declares war…

And the cost is staggering. That’s the first week, mind you. We’ve been doing this for quite a few weeks now. And even though our forces have been “targeting Gaddafi’s forces”, we’ve been killing innocent civilians. So this active involvement, neo-conservative consensus, and insane cost is in vain.
Now the U.S. is talking about humanitarian aid to the civilians. How about we stop bombing their homes and undo the sanctions on Libya that hurt the average citizen trying to eat and get by?
But at this point it’s too late to undo our actions. We’ve kicked the hornet’s nest. This situation escalated because of U.S. involvement in the first place; it’s a shame that we’ve come to the habit of policing the world.

evilteabagger:

sunfoundation:

Nato operations in Libya: data journalism breaks down which country does what

Nato’s Libya operations are costing millions and involving thousands of airmen and sailors. But who’s contributing to Operation Unified Protector? That’s the official name for the attacks on the Gadaffi regime’s bases and tanks by Nato aircraft and ships, plus the enforcement of the no-fly zone and the arms embargo.

In case anyone wondered what the difference between a US led military campaign and a NATO led, US “Supporting Role” looked like. Looks about the same thing with a different name to me. And oddly enough I can’t find anything in my 3 pocket Constitutions about NATO committing our armed forces to a war; so far all I’ve found was this thing about Congress being the body that declares war…

And the cost is staggering. That’s the first week, mind you. We’ve been doing this for quite a few weeks now. And even though our forces have been “targeting Gaddafi’s forces”, we’ve been killing innocent civilians. So this active involvement, neo-conservative consensus, and insane cost is in vain.

Now the U.S. is talking about humanitarian aid to the civilians. How about we stop bombing their homes and undo the sanctions on Libya that hurt the average citizen trying to eat and get by?

But at this point it’s too late to undo our actions. We’ve kicked the hornet’s nest. This situation escalated because of U.S. involvement in the first place; it’s a shame that we’ve come to the habit of policing the world.

cwnl:

  1. The prison system in the United States is a profit-making industry.  Private corporations operate over 200 facilities nationwide and are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
  2. Six corporations control virtually all American media.  News Corp. owns over 27 television stations and over 150 newspapers. Time Warner has over 100 subsidaries including CNN, Time Magazine, and The CW.
  3. The FBI admits to infiltrating & disrupting peaceful political groups in the United States.  The Women’s and Civil Rights movements were among those targeted, with their members being beaten, imprisoned, and assassinated.
  4. In 1977 it was revealed that random American citizens were abducted & tortured for research by the CIA.  Project MK Ultra was the code name for a series of covert activities in the early 1950’s.
  5. A plan to attack American cities to justify war with Cuba was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962.  Rejected by President Kennedy, Operation Northwoods remained classified for 35 years.

This website is dedicated to spreading five pieces of factual information (along with complete explanations and sources).  It’s got a very simple, easily navigated layout and the URL is simple to remember.  Spread it around, if you don’t mind- if everyone knew these things maybe we have a lot less blind nationalism and a lot more calls for accountability. 

What’s upsetting about number 1 is that not only would the politicians, drug cartels, CIA, and banks be after whoever tries to end the War on Drugs, but so too will the prisons and those who work within that system. People profit a lot from keeping others in jail cells for virtually zero reason; this is just another problem with government and how easily it’s power is corrupted.

logicallypositive:

antigovernment:

defendliberty:

I made this graphic today to show how disgusted I am with the Iraq war which has brought nothing but misery for the American and Iraqi people.  It is a war that should have never been and will have a negative impact on our nation for decades.  It is time for us to STAND UP to tyranny and demand that our brave young men and women be brought home IMMEDIATELY from this disturbing conflict… -Mike Zawadzki

Fuck War.

I’m a future sailor in the Navy. This is not the reason I want to enlist. This is a bunch of bullshit. And part of the reason I want to join is that perhaps I can work my way up the hierarchy, and become influential enough to tell the President one day, “No, you should not invade *insert third world country here* for resources, think of the blowback.” If that’s not serving your country, I don’t know what is.

People are saying that the troops are fighting for our freedom. However, in today’s military industrial complex, this is something I cannot agree with. The beginnings of Afghanistan were so, yes, but at this point, and the past few years, it’s been overinflated. Activity in Libya and nation-building in Iraq is a violation against humanitarianism, freedom, and security of citizens of those countries. It hurts these people, draws attention to, and raises issues that would otherwise not be imminent. 

logicallypositive:

antigovernment:

defendliberty:

I made this graphic today to show how disgusted I am with the Iraq war which has brought nothing but misery for the American and Iraqi people.  It is a war that should have never been and will have a negative impact on our nation for decades.  It is time for us to STAND UP to tyranny and demand that our brave young men and women be brought home IMMEDIATELY from this disturbing conflict… -Mike Zawadzki

Fuck War.

I’m a future sailor in the Navy. This is not the reason I want to enlist. This is a bunch of bullshit. And part of the reason I want to join is that perhaps I can work my way up the hierarchy, and become influential enough to tell the President one day, “No, you should not invade *insert third world country here* for resources, think of the blowback.” If that’s not serving your country, I don’t know what is.

People are saying that the troops are fighting for our freedom. However, in today’s military industrial complex, this is something I cannot agree with. The beginnings of Afghanistan were so, yes, but at this point, and the past few years, it’s been overinflated. Activity in Libya and nation-building in Iraq is a violation against humanitarianism, freedom, and security of citizens of those countries. It hurts these people, draws attention to, and raises issues that would otherwise not be imminent.