Posts Tagged With: senate

A MUST READ BY EVERY RED BLOODED AMERICAN…..Expressing The Feelings Of Many….


I received the following from a reader. The author has signed his name at the bottom of the letter. He has done this country a service for writing it. The least I can do is pass it on.

If you know this gentleman, please thank him for me.

April 3, 2013Senator Patty Murray
Senator Maria Cantwell
Washington, DC, 20510Dear Senator:
I have tried to live by the rules my entire life. My father was a Sergeant Major, U.S. Army, who died of combat related stresses shortly after his retirement. It was he who instilled in me those virtues he felt important – honesty, duty, patriotism and obeying the laws of God and of our various governments. I have served my country, paid my taxes, worked hard, volunteered and donated my fair share of money, time and artifacts.

Today, as I approach my 79th birthday, I am heart-broken when I look at my country and my government. I shall only point out a very few things abysmally wrong which you can multiply by a thousand fold. I have calculated that all the money I have paid in income taxes my entire life cannot even keep the Senate barbershop open for one year! Only Heaven and a few tight-lipped actuarial types know what the Senate dining room costs the taxpayers. So please, enjoy your haircuts and meals on us.

Last year, the president spent an estimated 1.4 $billion on himself and his family. The vice president spends $millions on hotels. They have had 8 vacations so far this year! And our House of Representatives and Senate have become America’s answer to the Saudi royal family. You have become the “perfumed princes and princesses” of our country.

In the middle of the night, you voted in the Affordable Health Care Act, a.k.a. “Obama Care,” a bill which no more than a handful of senators or representatives read more than several paragraphs, crammed it down our throats, and then promptly exempted yourselves from it substituting your own taxpayer-subsidized golden health care insurance.

You live exceedingly well, eat and drink as well as the “one percenters,” consistently vote yourselves perks and pay raises while making 3.5 times the average U.S. individual income, and give up nothing while you (as well as the president and veep) ask us to sacrifice due to sequestration (for which, of course, you plan to blame the Republicans, anyway).

You understand very well the only two rules you need to know – (1) How to get elected, and (2) How to get re-elected. And you do this with the aid of an eagerly willing and partisan press, speeches permeated with a certain economy of truth, and by buying the votes of the greedy, the ill-informed and under-educated citizens (and non-citizens, too, many of whom do vote) who are looking for a handout rather than a job. Your so-called “safety net” has become a hammock for the lazy. And, what is it now, about 49 or 50 million on food stamps – pretty much all Democrat voters – and the program is absolutely rife with fraud with absolutely no congressional oversight?

I would offer that you are not entirely to blame. What changed you is the seductive environment of power in which you have immersed yourselves. It is the nature of both houses of Congress which requires you to subordinate your virtue in order to get anything done until you have achieved a leadership role. To paraphrase President Reagan, it appears that the second oldest profession (politics), bears a remarkably strong resemblance to the oldest.

As the hirsute first Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (1834 – 1902), English historian and moralist, so aptly and accurately stated, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” I’m only guessing that this applies to the female sex as well. Tell me, is there a more corrupt entity in this country than Congress?

While we middle class people continue to struggle, our government becomes less and less transparent, more and more bureaucratic, and ever so much more dictatorial, using Czars and Secretaries to tell us (just to mention a very few) what kind of light bulbs we must purchase, how much soda or hamburgers we can eat, what cars we can drive, gasoline to use, and what health care we must buy. Countless thousands of pages of regulations strangle our businesses costing the consumer more and more every day.

As I face my final year, or so, with cancer, my president and my government tell me “You’ll just have to take a pill,” while you, Senator, your colleagues, the president, and other exulted government officials and their families will get the best possible health care on our tax dollars until you are called home by your Creator while also enjoying a retirement beyond my wildest dreams, which of course, you voted for yourselves and we pay for.

The chances of you reading this letter are practically zero as your staff will not pass it on, but with a little luck, a form letter response might be generated by them with an auto signature applied, hoping we will believe that you, our senator or representative, has heard us and actually cares. This letter will, however, go on line where many others will have the chance to read one person’s opinion, rightly or wrongly, about this government, its administration and its senators and representatives.

I only hope that occasionally you might quietly thank the taxpayer for all the generous entitlements which you have voted yourselves, for which, by law, we must pay, unless, of course, it just goes on the $17 trillion national debt for which your children and ours, and your grandchildren and ours, ad infinitum, must eventually try to pick up the tab.

My final thoughts are that it must take a person who has either lost his or her soul, or conscience, or both, to seek re-election and continue to destroy this country I deeply love and put it so far in debt that we will never pay it off while your lot improves by the minute, because of your power. For you, Senator, will never stand up to the rascals in your House who constantly deceive the American people. And that, my dear Senator, is how power has corrupted you and the entire Congress. The only answer to clean up this cesspool is term limits. This, of course, will kill the goose that lays your golden eggs. And woe be to him (or her) who would dare to bring it up.

Sincerely,

Bill Schoonover

3096 Angela Lane

Oak Harbor, WA 98277

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The forgotten man who almost became president after Lincoln…..


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On April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died from his assassin’s wounds. But if John Wilkes Booth’s plot were entirely successful, a little-known senator may have been thrust into the White House.
Booth’s full plot included killing Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward. General Ulysses Grant was another possible target. But only two attacks took place on April 14, 1865, with Seward surviving an assassination attempt and Lincoln suffering from Booth’s single gunshot.
According to the rules of presidential succession in 1865, only Vice President Johnson, and not Seward or Grant, was in line to replace Lincoln if he died. If Johnson had died, an acting president would be appointed until a special election could be held to elect a new president (and not a vice president).
The acting president would have been the president pro tempore of the Senate, Lafayette Sabine Foster of Connecticut.
The Presidential Succession Act of 1792 controlled how the president was replaced if he died in office, quit, or was unable to perform his duties.
The act was changed in 1886 and 1947 to deal with different scenarios. The 20th Amendment addressed what happens if a president-elect can’t take office, and the 25th Amendment cleared up the succession of a new vice president and what happens when a president is temporarily unable to perform his or her duties.
Back in 1865, Booth had convinced George Atzerodt, an acquaintance, to kill Johnson by setting a trap at the Kirkwood House hotel where the vice president lived. However, Atzerodt lost his nerve and didn’t attempt to kill the vice president, even though he had a rented room above Johnson’s and a loaded gun was found in the room.
If Atzerodt or another assailant had succeeded, Senator Foster would have been acting president until March 4, 1866. And if Foster wasn’t available, Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax would have been next, and last, in line to succeed Lincoln and Johnson.
A special election would have taken place in November 1865, with the Electoral College convening in December 1865, and the presidential inauguration being held on March 4, 1866, with the new president serving out Lincoln’s term.
The person charged with the official notification of the states to start the special election process was the secretary of state. Luckily, William Seward survived an attack by assassin Lewis Powell.
If Seward had died, that power may have devolved on the assistant secretary of state, who could perform the duties as an acting secretary of state until a new president named a replacement who was confirmed by the Senate.
The assistant secretary of state on April 15, 1865, was Frederick W. Seward, the son of William Seward. Frederick Seward was also seriously injured defending his father during Powell’s assassination attempt. (He would recover after Powell pistol-whipped him.)
From what we know about Lafayette Sabine Foster, he was a conservative Republican who was named as the president pro tempore of the Senate about a month before Lincoln’s death. Foster only remained in the Senate for another two years, failing in a re-election attempt. He was later a judge in his home state until his death in 1880.
According to his obituary, Foster was “a prominent figure in congressional life, as a clear and forcible debater upon great public questions, and as an unsurpassed presiding officer in the Senate, that he was most widely known and will be best remembered.”
Foster also was cited for being above the politics that led to his Senate defeat in 1866.
“He was no seeker after popularity, certainly he never descended to any truckling arts to secure it, and probably to some extent he lost favor by the high tone of both his character and bearing, and by the selectness of his friendships,” the obituary said.
A New York Times article from 1875 sheds some more light on Foster’s loss of his Senate seat. The Republicans picked another nominee at a caucus in 1866, and Foster signaled his agreement to run as a rival candidate supported by Connecticut’s Democrats. Foster dropped out at the last moment to accept a judge’s position in the state.
The Times article said Foster remained bitter about losing his Senate seat.
“He does not appear to be have ever recovered from the disappointment of his defeat in 1866,” the article stated.
And what would have happened in the special presidential election of November 1865? The Republican Party was already split between its Radical and Moderate wings.
General Grant may have run for president as a compromise candidate, but other prominent Republicans included Seward, Colfax, Thaddeus Stevens, and Benjamin Wade.
The Democrats were also divided and had been badly beaten in the 1864 presidential campaign. Former New York Governor Horatio Seymour, the eventual 1868 nominee, was a key player in the party, as was George H. Pendleton, the 1864 vice presidential nominee. General Winfield Scott Hancock had presidential ambitions in later years, and he had personally supervised the executions in the Lincoln assassination case.
The former Confederate states wouldn’t have been involved, since they weren’t readmitted to the union.
Benjamin Wade replaced Foster as Senate president pro tempore in 1867 and nearly became acting president in 1868, when President Johnson avoided removal from office by one vote in a Senate trial.

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US To Hit $16.4T Debt Ceiling Dec. 31..


Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said his department will take “extraordinary measures” to postpone a U.S. default for about two months while President Barack Obama and Congress work out a deficit-reduction deal.
Geithner, in a letter to congressional leaders today, said the government will hit its statutory $16.4 trillion debt ceiling on Dec. 31. To avert a default, the Treasury will take action to create about $200 billion in headroom under the debt limit.

“However, given the significant uncertainty that now exists with regard to unresolved tax and spending policies for 2013, it is not possible to predict the effective duration of these measures,” Geithner said.

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Senate committee passes email privacy legislation….Cops need a warrant…


Over objections from law enforcement officials, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday that would require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge before they can review a person’s emails or other electronic communications.
The bill makes it slightly more difficult for the government to access the content of a consumer’s emails and private files from Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other Internet providers. Under the current law, the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a warrant is needed only for emails less than 6 months old.
The committee chairman and the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said digital files on a computer should have the same safeguards as paper files stored in a home. Americans “face even greater threats to their digital privacy, as we witness the explosion of new technologies and the expansion of the government’s surveillance powers,” Leahy said during the committee’s vote on the legislation. The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill early next year. A House committee hasn’t yet voted on a similar bill.
Passage of the bill comes just a few weeks after the stunning resignation of David Petraeus as the head of the CIA over an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The case focused the public’s attention on how easy it is for federal agents to access people’s email accounts.
Privacy advocates and civil liberties groups applauded the action, saying the law is outdated in an era of cloud computing, cheaper electronic storage, social networking and wireless phones. Such advances in technology have dramatically increased the amount of stored communications in ways no one anticipated a quarter of a century ago.
“We are very happy that the committee voted that all electronic content like emails, photos and other communications held by companies like Google and Facebook should be protected with a search warrant,” said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Justice Department and other law enforcement groups had resisted changes to the law.

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A Romney-Biden Administration? It Could Happen…..


It’s sounds crazy. It would be crazy. But it is possible that this election could result in a President Romney and a Vice President Biden.
Let me explain.

 
If there is a tie in the electoral college (and, as I explain below, there could be), it will be up to the newly elected House of Representatives to elect a President and the newly elected Senate to elect the Vice President.

 
The rules are all outlined in the 12 th Amendment to Constitution. Here’s how it would work:
1) In the House vote for President, each state delegation gets a single vote. So California, with 53 Representatives (majority of them Democrats), would likely cast its single vote for Obama. South Dakota with just one Representative (Republican), would get equal weight and likely cast its vote for Romney, and so on.
All told, in the current House, Republicans have majority control of 33 state delegations; Democrats control 14 and 3 are evenly divided. Even if the Democrats win control of the House, the Republicans would almost certainly still control a majority of the state delegations. Bottom line: Romney wins.
2) In the Senate vote for Vice President, each Senator gets a single vote. If Democrats keep control of the Senate, Biden would likely win (unless somebody crosses party lines).
If the new Senate is divided 50-50 (a plausible outcome), the sitting Vice President would cast the tie-breaking vote. That sitting vice President: Joe Biden. Yes, Joe Biden would be the deciding vote in re-electing Vice President Joe Biden. Bottom line: If Democrats keep control of the Senate, Biden likely wins.
Voila! You have a Romney-Biden Administration, the greatest political odd couple since the Adams-Jefferson Administration (now those two had real political differences).
Is this all just crazy talk? No.
There are a number of plausible scenarios which could result in a 269-269 electoral tie.
Here’s just one: Obama wins OH, WI, NH. Romney wins FL, VA, NC, IA, CO, NV (and all other states go as expected).
Result: a 269-269 tie.
I am not saying this is likely to happen. But it is far from impossible.

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Spot Where Julius Caesar Was Stabbed Discovered……


Archaeologists believe they have found the first physical evidence of the spot where Julius Caesar died, according to a new Spanish National Research Council report.
Caesar, the head of the Roman Republic, was stabbed to death by a group of rival Roman senators on March 14, 44 B.C, the Ides of March. The assassination is well-covered in classical texts, but until now, researchers had no archaeological evidence of the place where it happened.
Now, archaeologists have unearthed a concrete structure nearly 10 feet wide and 6.5 feet tall (3 meters by 2 meters) that may have been erected by Caesar’s successor to condemn the assassination. The structure is at the base of the Curia, or Theater, of Pompey, the spot where classical writers reported the stabbing took place.
“We always knew that Julius Caesar was killed in the Curia of Pompey on March 15th 44 B.C. because the classical texts pass on so, but so far no material evidence of this fact, so often depicted in historicist painting and cinema, had been recovered,” Antonio Monterroso, a researcher at the Spanish National Research Council, said in a statement.
Classical texts also say that years after the assassination, the Curia was closed and turned into a memorial chapel for Caesar. The researchers are studying this building along with another monument in the same complex, the Portico of the Hundred Columns, or Hecatostylon; they are looking for links between the archaeology of the assassination and what has been portrayed in art.
“It is very attractive, in a civic and citizen sense, that thousands of people today take the bus and the tram right next to the place where Julius Caesar was stabbed 2,056 years ago,” Monterroso said.

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