U.S. Constitution - Article 1 Section 8

Article 1 - The Legislative Branch

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Obama's Middle Eastern retreat was crystallized by his failure to enforce the "red line" he had drawn in Syria to prevent its dictator from using chemical weapons.  This capitulation allowed Russian to move into the region, replacing America as its dominant external power.  At the same time, Obama directed harsh diplomatic moves against Israel's leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, another American ally.  In the midst of public demonstrations against the Egyptian regime, he declared that Mubarak must step down, effectively driving Mubarak out of power while giving political support to the Muslim Brotherhood to replace him.  This reprises Jimmy Carter's attack on the shah of Iran, an American ally, which led directly to the creation of the first Islamic terrorist state.  The fall of Mubarak paved the way for the ascension of the e previously outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that had nurtured Osama bin Laden and provided the ideological foundations for the Islamic holy war.  When the Egyptian military toppled the Brotherhood, the white House cut off military aid to the new regime, driving the largest Arab nation into the arms of the Russians.

The Democrats' appeasement of America's enemies and betrayal of America's allies achieved an apotheosis in a nuclear deal with Iran, a nation that has been at war with America and the West since 1979.  Iran is the chief sponsor of international terror and directly responsible for thousands of American deaths, beginning with the massacre of 241 US marines in Lebanon in 1983 and including thousands of Americans maimed or killed by Iranian IEDs in Iraq.  Iran's fanatical leaders were regarded as so dangerous that an international sanctions regime was put in place to weaken Iran and prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.  Obama made it a centerpiece of his policy to lift those sanctions and bring an unrepentant and un-rehabilitated Iran back into the community of nations.

David Horowitz, Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America

Syrian Chemical Attacks Draw U.S. Threats

The attacks in Syria, and the U.S. threat – in the U.N. – to act.

Nikki Haley, United States' Ambassador United Nations, shows pictures of Syrian victims of chemical attacks as she addresses a meeting of the Security Council on Syria at U.N. headquarters. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

Nikki Haley, United States' Ambassador United Nations, shows pictures of Syrian victims of chemical attacks as she addresses a meeting of the Security Council on Syria at U.N. headquarters. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

Last week, the Trump administration was all about steering clear of Syria. This week, in the aftermath of a shocking chemical attack, the talk is of lines crossed and potential US action. Before he was president, when Syria used gas, Donald Trump told Barack Obama not to attack. No upside, he said. Yesterday, President Trump said “My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed.” Steve Bannon’s bumped from the NSC. Now what? This hour On Point, talk, threats, and potential action over Syria. — Tom Ashbrook


Sarah El-Deeb, Syria and Lebanon correspondent for the Associated Press. (@seldeeb)

Nahal Toosi, foreign affairs correspondent for POLITICO. (@nahaltoosi)

Robin Wrightjournalist and author. Joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center. Contributing writer for the New Yorker. (@wrightr)

Wa'el Alzayat, former senior policy advisor on Iraq and Syria for former U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power. CEO of the nonprofit, EmergeUSA. (@WaelAlzayat)

Latest On The Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack

"The latest we are hearing about the death toll is that it is likely to climb," Sarah El-Deeb told us today. "They have 82 names of people that were killed on Tuesday, and they are likely to see a climb. There are 500 people that are injured, at least 30 of those are being treated in Turkey, and three of the 30 who are in Turkey died from the impact. Turkish officials announced that the autopsies of the people that died in Turkey were subjected to some kind of chemical attack.  There is an official, there is an autopsy, and people in the town have to deal with it. We haven't seen any pictures of the warehouse they say they have targeted, and the rockets and the airstrikes happened in a populated area where a lot of the people of the town lived. This area is where the wheat silos of the town used to be, but the government had destroyed those in previous attacks on the town. We have not any evidence of the warehouse that was targeted. There's always a question mark in Syria — we don't have the ability to report directly on the ground. I'm telling you what we are able to rule out, at least."

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Nikki Haley Says U.S. May ‘Take Our Own Action’ on Syrian Chemica... — "Holding photographs of dead Syrian children after a suspected chemical bomb attack, the United States ambassador to the United Nations warned on Wednesday that her country might take unilateral action if the Security Council failed to respond to the latest atrocity in the Syria war."

Associated Press: Mounting confidence nerve gas was used in Syria attack -- "Diplomats at the U.N. Security council sparred Wednesday over whether to hold President Bashar Assad's government responsible for a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 people in northern Syria, while U.S. intelligence officials, Doctors Without Borders and the U.N. healthy agency said evidence pointed to nerve gas exposure."

POLITICO: Trump: Chemical attack in Syria 'crossed many, many lines' — " President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria 'crossed many, many lines' for him, and he said his attitude toward Syria and President Bashar Assad had 'changed very much' as a result."

This program aired on April 6, 2017.

National Security

U.S. Military Leaders Are Worried That A War With Russia Could Start By Accident


David Wood of The Huffington Post says Russian jets are playing "chicken" with U.S. planes in international airspace with alarming frequency, and that a rash response could lead to all-out war.


I have decided to stop writing about Donald Trump because he is merely a figure-head put before the public to distract Americans from the Deep State system that really is running the United States whose chief aim is to end what is left of the New Deal to an end and reestablish the Gilded Age, which by the way brought on the October Revolution in Russia.  These corporate entities do not believe that their power can or will be overthrown by the White middle-working class because they know that in the United States race outweighs any oppression that can be placed on White Americans.  And that the majority will settle for $7.25 per hour and three part-time jobs rather than face the fact that the saviors that the corporations sponsored as President and Congresspersons is better than facing the fact that White lives have not mattered since the 1980s.


Ronald P. Formisano in The Tea Party: A Brief History (2012) posits that on several occasions David Koch has denied that he or his brother Charles have been involved with the Tea Party.  Yet there is an internet video of an October 2010 AFP meeting with a smiling David Koch himself at a podium listening to reports from Tea Party officials on their activities and showing his appreciation by applauding.

Several other organizations funded by right-wing corporate money have cooperated with and sustained grassroots activities, including Americans for Limited Government, founded by Republican senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma.  Its leader is now a libertarian real estate magnate, Howard Rich, a Koch ally who has also poured millions of dollars over the past thirty years to limit government and promote an extreme free market ideology.  Americans for Limited government developed the database for the April 15, 2009, Tax Day rallies, and its thirty employees are supported primarily by funds from three large donors.

The Kochs are hardly alone as generous donors to right-wing think tanks, Astroturf organizations, political campaigns, and Tea Party activities.  Other prominent sponsors include the Coors beer family; the Waltons of Walmart; the Olin Foundation (one of the pioneers in creating a climate hostile to taxes, government, and all things progressive); Richard Mellon Scaife, banker, publisher, and heir to the Mellon fortune; Rupert Murdoch of News corporation; and Phillip Morris and Exxon Mobile.  Scaife, it should be noted, became well known in the 1990s when he funded any and all efforts to find damaging material on Bill Clinton's business dealings or personal life.


Jane Mayer in Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016) backs up Formisano’s thesis.  Mayer states that conventional political wisdom measured power [of the Koch Network/Kochtopus] on the basis of election outcomes, chalking up 2012 as a loss for the Kochs, 2014 as a win, and 2016 as a test whose results remained to be seen.  But this missed the more important story.  The Kochs and their ultra-wealthy allies on the right had become what was arguably the single most effective special-interest group in the country.

The Kochs hadn't done it on their own.  They were the fulfillment of farsighted political visionaries like Lewis Powell, Irving Kristol, William Simon, Michael Joyce, and Paul Weyrich.  They were also the logical extension of the legacies of earlier big right-wing donors.  John M. Olin, Lynde and Harry Bradley, and Richard Mellon Scaife had blazed the path by the time the Kochs rose to the pinnacle of their power.

During the 1970s, a handful of the nation's wealthiest corporate captains felt overtaxed and over-regulated and decided to fight back.  Disenchanted with the direction of modern America, they launched an ambitious, privately financed war of ideas to radically change the country.  They didn't want to merely win elections; they wanted to change how Americans thought.  Their ambitions were grandiose--to "save" America as they saw it, at every level, by turning the clock back to the Gilded Age before the advent of the Progressive Era.  Charles Koch was younger and more libertarian than his predecessors, but, as Brian Doherty observed, his ambitions were if anything even more radical: to pull the government out" at the root."

Much as they achieved by 2015, there was still a major item on the Kochs' shopping list: the white House.  Anyone paying attention knew that 2014 was just a trial run for the presidential race in 2016.  Phil Dubose, the former Koch Industries manager who spent twenty-six years working for the Kochs before testifying against them in court, had no doubt that they now had their sights on all three branches of government.  "What they want is to get their own way," he said.  "They call themselves libertarians.  For lack of a better word, what it means is that if you're big enough to get away with it, you can get away with it.  No government.  If it's good for their business, they think it's good for America.  What it means for the country," he added, speaking from his modest home in rural Louisiana, "is it would release the dogs.  The little people?  They get gobbled up."

Of course, money wasn't always the determinant of American elections, but there was little doubt that if the American presidency was on the auction block in 2016, the Kochs hoped to make a winning bid.

In an interview with USA Today, another instance in which he said that all he wanted was to "increase well-being in society," Charles Koch bristled at the idea that he was motivated by an interest in boosting his bottom line.  "We are doing all of this to make more money?"  He asked.  "I mean, that is so ludicrous."


Sheldon Adelson, whom President George W. Bush once reportedly described as "this crazy Jewish billionaire, yelling at me," wasn't exactly the Kochs' type.  He was a hard-right foreign policy hawk who was focused on ensuring the security of Israel.  He had been a Democrat, but he shared the Kochs' antipathy toward labor unions, Obama, and re-distributive income taxes.  "Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?" he once complained.  Perhaps more important, with a fortune estimated 2011 at $23.3 billion, the seventy-eight-year-old chairman of the Las Vegas Sands corporation brought a lot of chips to the table.  He could potentially increase the power of the Koch donor network exponentially.  The Kochs had repeatedly invited Adelson to join their group but gotten nowhere.  So when he finally showed up for the first time at their January 2013 summit in Indian Wells, California, they were not eager to trash his favored candidate, who happened to be Gingrich, [2016 Donald Trump].


Mayer posits that by 2009, the Kochs had indeed succeeded in expanding their political conference from a wonky free-market swap fest to the point where it was beginning to attract an impressive array of influential figures.  Wealthy businessmen thronged to rub shoulders with famous and powerful speakers like the Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.  Congressmen, senators, governors, and media celebrities came too.  "Getting an invitation means you've arrived," one operative who still works for the Kochs explained, “People want to be in the room."

In the view of the defenders, Citizens United and its progeny did not represent the black-and-white contrast of progressives' nightmares so much as it clarified gray areas.  But this alone was extremely important.  By flashing a bright green light, the Supreme Court sent a message to the wealthy and their political operates that when it came to raising and spending money, they now could act with impunity.  Both legatee fog and the political stigma lifted.

Soon, the sums pledged at the Koch donor summits began to soar from the $13 million that Sean Noble raised in June 2009 to nearly $900 million at a single fund-raising session in the years that followed.  "This Supreme Court decision essentially gave a Good Housekeeping seal of approval," acknowledged Steven Law, president of American Crossroads, the conservative super PAC formed by the Republican political operative Karl Rove soon after the Citizens United decision.

Another consequence was that the Citizens United decision shifted the balance of power from parties built on broad consensus to individuals who were wealthy and zealous enough to spend millions of dollars from their own funds.  By definition, this empowered a tiny, atypical minority of the population.

"It unshackled the big money," David Axelrod contends.  "Citizens United unleashed constant negativity, not just toward the president, but toward government generally.  Presidents before have been under siege, but now there is no longer the presumption that they are acting in the public interest.  There’s a pernicious drumbeat."  After the ruling he said, "We felt under siege."


How One Man Brought Justices Roberts, Alito And Gorsuch To The Supreme Court


New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Toobin discusses Leonard Leo, the conservative lawyer who is responsible, to a considerable extent, for one third of the justices on the Supreme Court.

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Comment by mary gravitt on April 12, 2017 at 3:01pm

Watch out for the Kochtopus.  It has taken over Iowa and your state too!


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