07 Oct 2011

Senate Democrats Overturn Parliamentarian & Precedent Thursday To Impede Floor Amending As They Further Entrench Supermajority Cloture

Compounding a track record of irresponsible and dishonorable conduct and historic levels of public disapproval, there’s a disturbing trend accelerating in the Senate, that’s further centralizing the power of our representatives in the hands of the few among them who control the two private, hierarchical, corporate-profit-funded Party organizations. A trend

25 Jul 2011

Former Rep. Mickey Edwards and Incumbent Sen. Mike Lee: Have Confidence In The People; Don’t Fear & Bypass Their Congress

A former member of the United States House of Representatives: On the day I was sworn in as a member of Congress, all of us “newbies”—including Al Gore, Dick Gephardt, Dan Quayle, David Stockman, and Jim Leach—were a single band. But moments after taking the oath of office, we were

04 Jul 2011

The Invaluable Attribute of Independence in Senate Incumbents in an Era of Top-down Backroom Control of Congress by Party & President

Freshman Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to Anderson Cooper of CNN, on Friday, May 20, 2011: Senator Rand Paul: “We go week after week in the Senate and do nothing. I feel like sometimes I should return my check because I go up, they do no votes and no

04 Apr 2011

The Constitution, The War Powers Resolution, & Libya: Rand Paul Defends Congressional Authority, Carl Levin Cedes It

Collected excerpts about the Constitutional war powers of Congress, in relation to the War Powers Resolution and the presidential attacks on Libya, including details of recent actions of veteran and junior Senators, some defending and reclaiming, and others trying to cede, those Congressional war powers.

25 Jan 2011

(Debating) Filibuster vs. (Optional) Cloture: The Self-Inflicted Catch-22 in Senate Rule XXII

Outlined below are a number of facts, about existing Senate rules and practices, which starkly contradict the conventional wisdom generated by reflexively-partisan Senators themselves – as uncritically accepted and repeated by the national media – about what existing Senate rules do and don’t “require.” As most of us recognize, members of the American media today who have relatively easy access to Senators, and to other powerful national figures, rarely meaningfully challenge those privileged to hold such power. That evidently goes double when simplistic, widespread partisan myths have come to predominate and obscure the inconvenient, unspoken truths about the non-partisan institution in which United States Senators serve.

11 Jan 2011

“Just Imagine”…Unchallenged, Government Tells Supreme Court While Torturing: “The United States Is Gonna Honor Its Treaty Obligations”

A comparison of the personal account of a Guantanamo detainee’s torture and abuse at American hands, with the personal assurances, at the same time, of the Deputy Solicitor General of the United States to the Supreme Court that the U.S. government fulfills its treaty obligations as they apply to Guantanamo detentions. To mark the ninth anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay prison camps, which were built to hold and to interrogate foreign citizens on a U.S. Navy Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; foreign citizens who are claimed without due process, in violation of Army Regulations designed to fulfill U.S. treaty obligations, to be law of war combatants.

12 Dec 2010

Lack of Public Debate in the House and Senate Threatens Democratic Self-Government; Will Republicans Revive It?

The case for public debate, and reform of floor procedures to promote public legislating and legislative independence, in both the House and Senate. Includes a lot of related context and links for future reference in an effort to debunk the misleading conventional wisdom about the modern ways of Congress, and clarifies the difference between cloture and filibuster in the Senate.

01 Oct 2010

Yemen’s Foreign Minister Al-Qirbi Admits Permission Granted, Withdrawn for U.S. Attacks on Yemen

The United States is clearly not at war with Yemen. Yemen is working to apprehend and bring to justice alleged international criminals on its territory, as the U.S. Department of Defense concedes (and apparently financially and operationally supports). And Yemen has now officially confirmed that it granted, but has since withdrawn, permission for selective U.S. bombing of its territory. In these circumstances, our government’s disproportionate targeting of Anwar Al-Awlaki for summary execution in Yemen, as publicly reported by multiple outlets, seems to clearly amount to an Executive attempt to “outlaw” Al-Awlaki – something that the U.S. President has no Constitutional authority or power to do.

17 Jul 2010

Supreme Court Friday: Secret D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals proceedings (overruling lower court), allowing Obama DOD to rendition Guantanamo prisoner fearing torture to Algeria, may execute before appeal is heard

The D.C. Circuit federal appeals court, backed by the Supreme Court’s inaction, continues to threaten the independent judiciary’s role in checking the Executive’s unilateral imprisonment of suspected non-citizen armed conflict participants – this time by allowing the immediate rendition to Algeria of an unlawfully-detained Guantanamo prisoner against his wishes, though he fears for his life if sent to Algeria, a nation he left behind more than fifteen years ago.

01 Jul 2010

“Hear me now”: Thank You, Senator Byrd, and Farewell

A farewell to the longest-serving federal legislator in American history, Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia. Including excerpts from the tributes of his colleagues, and recommending that certain modern abusive practices be ended to restore the true glory of the institution he loved, served, and defended so well for so long – the United States Senate.