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Corporatocracy: A Revolution in Progress

Corporatocracy: A Revolution in Progress

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Corporatocracy: A Revolution in Progress

Longueur:
790 pages
13 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Apr 18, 2011
ISBN:
9781462002603
Format:
Livre

Description

With the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, a retired attorney and patriot began writing a collection of essays commenting on the problems he sees around him.

Lee S. Dimin, who served in the Army Air Force during World War II, shares how the growing power of corporations and governmental corruption is hurting American citizens. In this collection of essays, he examines issues such as

ways to bridge differences between Democrats and Republicans; Islams continuing quest to dominate the world; the intentions of the nations Founding Fathers in writing the Constitution, and how their ideals are being violated; the increasing deficit and its implications on every single citizen; the ways in which mounting divisions between the rich and poor are hurting the country.

The challenges that face the United States continue to grow in number, but they are not insurmountable. In Corporatocracy, youll learn equip yourself with the knowledge that will help you take the country back.

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Apr 18, 2011
ISBN:
9781462002603
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Lee S. Dimin served in the Army Air Force during World War II. He is a former agent for the Department of Justice, as well as a retired attorney. He lives in Albany, New York, and he enjoys reading and following world affairs.

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Corporatocracy - Lee S. Dimin

Corporatocracy

A Revolution in Progress

Lee S. Dimin

iUniverse, Inc.

Bloomington

Copyright © 2011 by Lee S. Dimin

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ISBN: 978-1-4620-0259-7 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4620-0261-0 (hc)

ISBN: 978-1-4620-0260-3 (ebook)

Printed in the United States of America

iUniverse rev. date: 04/05/2011

In Memory of my beloved wife Harriet,

Who never feared to voice her opinion.

Acknowledgement

The vast wealth of information and knowledge available on the Internet, without which this effort could not have been accomplished.

Prologue

These essays are one man’s opinions of a world led by the insane to satisfy the greed of a minority at the expense of the many. Humans are affected daily by this insanity: the need for power and control and the ability to obtain it at any cost. In the United States of America, this need lies primarily in the corporations, their wealth and the ability to purchase lobbying influence over government officials and legislators to become our absolute rulers. The democracy of the United States of America has, for years been in the process of being converted, or rather subverted, into a Corporatocracy. That is the dominant theme of these essays, but since much of that which affects the United States is reflected throughout the entire world, certain essays regarding foreign relations become a factor in discussing the corporate revolution taking place in the United States and its effect on foreign relations.

As the years pass, the intensity of this insanity grows, and along with it there is an increase in the emotion of hate. Hate groups have been growing in the United States at a rate of 4% a year, and as of 2009 numbered some 926 hate groups throughout the 50 States. They now number over 1,000. Many of these groups are armed and dangerous because of the power of the National Rifle Association and the support of incompetent legislators and judges. The decisions of the United States Supreme Court, do not consider the first thirteen words of the Second Amendment, A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State …; which is followed by the phrase the right of the people and their interpretation of the word people is synonymous with individual, when in fact it is the plural of the word person. The reference is to a group, the militia.

Of all animal life on planet earth, only the human is the most incapable of caring for its needs without laws, governments, corporations, prisons, police, buildings, cars, planes, tanks, guns, atomic bombs and other weapons of destruction. This says little of being made in God’s image. The ineptness of the human makes all of this unnatural control a necessity, but it only adds to the insanity of greed and amassing of power that the power and the wealth of the Corporatocracy takes advantage of. This also raises the question the morality of humans and is commented on.

In the entire Constitution, the word corporation is not mentioned. But their power comes from someplace, financial and mental corruption, with the support of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The corporate State considers that private enterprise in the sphere of production is the most effective and useful instrument in the interest of the nation. In view of the fact that private organization of production is a function of national concern, the organizer of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction given to production. - Benito Mussolini, probably the originator of Corporatocracy, which he called Fascism.

January 1, 2009

Today’s quote: - I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus or Gandhi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie? - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) - Paradoxa.

Dozens of the world’s wealthiest lost billions in recent months, but those herein named distinguish themselves for some of the biggest flops. It was a dreadful year for the world’s wealthiest as markets and currencies around the world tumbled. More than 300 of the 1,125 billionaires tallied on an annual list last March have since lost at least $1 billion; several dozen lost more than $5 billion. The 10 richest from 2008 rankings dropped some $150 billion of wealth, dragged down by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, estranged brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani and property baron K.P. Singh, who together dropped $100 billion. America’s 25 biggest billionaire losers of 2008 lost a combined $167 billion.

David Ross, one of the U.K.’s most successful entrepreneurs, earlier this month notified four public companies in which he was a major shareholder and director that he had borrowed against his shares to fund real estate investments that had soured. He will likely have to sell some of those stakes to pay off his debts. He has resigned from three of the four boards and stepped down from his post as an Olympics adviser. His fortune, which we estimated at $1.4 billion in March, is now worth about $150 million. Do you feel sorry for him? If you had $150 Million could you live in comfort for the rest of your natural life?

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, former chairman and a large shareholder in Landsbanki, Iceland’s second largest bank saw the firm seized in October as the worst of the credit crisis tore through the island nation. The failure wiped out his $1.1 billion fortune. He has since had to put his holding company, Hansa, into voluntary liquidation and is selling his U.K. soccer team, West Ham. He deserves no empathy, the liquidation of his holding company and the sale of his soccer team will enable him to survive comfortably, more comfortably than you or I.

Oleg Deripaska. In March he was the world’s ninth richest person and Russia’s richest man, with a fortune we estimated to be worth $28 billion. Since then Deripaska has been forced to sell shares in Canadian carmaker Magna International and German construction firm Hotchief, and had to borrow $4.5 billion from a state-controlled bank to hold on to his stake in Norilsk Nickel. He will likely sell off additional assets to avoid losing even more of his fortune, now estimated at $10 billion. Or less. If he’s wealthy enough to be able to borrow $4.5 Billion against his estimated current worth of $10 Billion, should we feel sorry for him? Hell No!

Anil Ambani is touted for having added $24 billion to his fortune in one year, Ambani has dropped $30 billion since then. But don’t worry too much. His Reliance Entertainment is investing $500 million in a new studio venture with Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks. Plus, he remains quite wealthy, worth $12 billion That’s something many others can’t claim. It is something 99%+ of the world’s population cannot claim.

Luis Portillo, in March had a net worth: $1.2 billion; his current net worth: $15 million. Spain’s short-lived real estate gold rush left one of its most visible speculators holding a nearly empty bag. Portillo—who acquired real estate firm Inmocaral three years ago, then led the takeover of the larger Inmobiliaria Colonial in 2006, personally borrowed a reported $1.4 billion from more than a dozen banks during boom times, using his stock as collateral. He resigned as chairman in December 2007 and then tried to sell his stake to a Dubai fund earlier this year. When the deal fell through, he had to sell most of shares to pay debts. Don’t feel sorry for him, he’s still worth more than most on my mailing list together.

Bill Gates (Microsoft), the world’s richest man is currently worth about $90 Billion. Forbes didn’t list many Americans has having been badly damaged by the financial turndown. The CEO’s of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford have agreed to take salaries of $1. for the next year, but I imagine that all their expenses will be paid for by the companies. Did you ever wonder that out of the $350 Billion in bailout funds, personally handled by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Saks, how much of it went into the pockets of the Executives of the bank executives? There has been no accounting, nor has any been demanded by Mr. Paulson, nor by any member of the Congress.

The United States of America, the world’s richest capitalist democracy can only claim 3 of the 10 wealthiest people in the world, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Sheldon Adelson. In May, 1947, it was reported that the total money in the world, $46.513 trillion, and the United States of America has a national debt of almost $11 trillion.

January 5, 2009

Today’s quote: - The Jew is the emblem of eternity. He, who neither slaughter, nor torture of thousands of years could destroy, He, who neither fire, nor sword, nor inquisition was able to wipe off the face of the earth, He, who was first to produce the oracles of God. He, who has been for so long the guardian of prophecy and has transmitted it to the rest of the world, Such a nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is as everlasting as eternity itself. - Leo Nikolaivitch Tolstoy, 1908.

Combat between Israeli troops and Hamas militants raged on Monday as Israel pressed home its ground assault in Gaza in the face of French-led diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire. The offensive will go on until communities in Israel become safe from Hamas rocket strikes, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said. But Hamas said militants were justified in attacking Israeli schools and synagogues in response to the Israeli onslaught, in which about 530 Palestinians have been killed in 10 days, but ignored the facts that Hamas was attacking Israeli schools, synagogues and cities for years before this current Israeli retaliation with rockets and missiles and kidnappings.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was expected to arrive in the region later on Monday in a diplomatic push for a truce, which Israel has so far resisted. Israel resisted the one-sided Hamas-favored cease fire because it contained no restrictions against Hamas, its firing rockets and mortars into Israel cities and its threats to destroy the State of Israel and wipe out the Jews. Sarkozy, I don’t believe is a stupid man, but he is either lacking knowledge of the history of the past six decades, ignoring them, or is just another anti-Israeli bigot.

Senior Hamas political leader Mahmoud Zahar urged Hamas forces to fight on in the name of God. Hamas must lay the foundation for a tomorrow without Zionists, he said. This is blasphemy in any religion.

Israeli troops were hunting Hamas members in house-to-house combat and that during one clash Palestinians attempted to capture a soldier. The military said six soldiers were wounded in fighting overnight. These responsible Hamas leaders, who have sent hundreds of their fellow Palestinians to their deaths in suicide bombings, ran for cover and hiding when the Israeli counter-attacks started. They are a bunch of cowardly bastards, and the people who sacrifice their lives for them have been proven to be fools and have been used and are still being used by these power-hungry megalomaniacs.

Israelis have been killed by rockets and mortar shells fired into Israel since the offensive began and an Israeli soldier was killed in fighting on Sunday and 48 were wounded after the Israeli invasion. Israel’s advances into Gaza have carved the 40-km long coastal territory into two separate zones and forces have surrounded its largest urban area, Gaza City

Sarkozy, will meet with Israeli leaders on Monday, before heading for Egypt for talks, to be followed by meetings in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Sarkozy said he condemned this offensive for distancing chances for peace and making it harder to get aid to Palestinians in Gaza. Gaza residents were in dire need of food, medical supplies and other aid but the hostilities were hampering relief efforts, aid agencies said. Freezing cold is compounding the misery of children caught in the conflict. The situation in Gaza…has become both chaotic and extremely dangerous, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a situation report. Israel cannot be blamed for the conditions in Gaza. Israel didn’t spend the moneys given them on rockets and mortars, the corrupt and criminal Hamas did. Israel did not order the Palestinians in Gaza to support Hamas rocket and mortar firing into Israel’s cities, these Palestinian puppets did. These people have dug their own graves and they want the Israeli civilians to pay for with their lives. This has been going on for six decades, and the only party that has made concessions in order to achieve peace has been Israel. When Ehud Barak was Prime Minister of Israeli, he agreed with then head of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat, to a two State solution, with Palestine sharing Jerusalem with Israel as their capitals. Arafat rejected it. It lacked a Palestinian right to return, although most who would have had that right were already dead, and if that right were agreed to The Palestinians would outnumber the Israelis 5 - 1, and it would mean the end of the State of Israel, which had always been Arafat’s primary goal.

Israel is seeking international help to bolster security along Gaza’s border with Egypt to prevent Hamas from rebuilding tunnels and rearming. It is clear Hamas cannot be allowed to rearm and we have to find workable solutions to prevent that rearming. And here our international and regional partners have a role to play, said Mark Regev, Olmert’s spokesman. Is this too much to ask? Hamas has always been the aggressor, even after all the Jewish settlements in Gaza were emptied and the people moved into Israel. When Hamas had it all to themselves, and had no one to fight with, it fought Fatah, Palestinians, and forced them out of Gaza. These are terrorists and until the Palestinian Authority recognizes it, and tries them for their crimes, there can be no trust, nor any chances for a prolonged peace. Hamas is a terrorist organization, backed by Iran, and the nations of the world must take note of it, because Iran is a trouble-seeker. Iran gives millions of dollars to Hamas and supplies it with its rockets and mortars, and Hamas and the Palestinian dupes residing in Gaza are fighting Iran’s war.

Muslim ideologues throughout the world are protesting the Israeli attacks, but never have they protested the Hamas rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian population. Is the entire Islamic world out of control? The Sunni hate the Shiite, the Shiite hate the Sunni, the Kurds are by themselves, and all seem have only one purpose in life, to end it.

Ex-Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox and other celebrities, including activist Bianca Jagger, comedian Alexei Sayle and former London mayor Ken Livingstone, held a news conference in London demanding Israel halt the onslaught. Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the leader of al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, an offshoot of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network, has issued a message urging Muslims to attack Jews everywhere. It appears that anti-Semites have found a cause. Morality and religion are not synonymous. Thank goodness there are so many animals in the world, wild and tame that, by their existence, prove that religion is basically evil in is administration and execution. That the few use the many to do their dirty work, while they live in comfort. Their people starve, but the castles of worship they build cost fortunes. Some of their leaders, of whatever title, drive Rolls Royce cars and Bentleys, while many of their faith languish in poverty. They are responsible for unnecessary wars for unnecessary reasons. Why did the Church back The Crusades? Create the Inquisitions? Why did the Russian Orthodoxy support the pogroms? Why did the Vatican close its eyes to the concentrations camps of the Third Reich? Why did the world not intercede at the initial aggressions of the Muslim Arab League against the infant State of Israel six decades ago?

We are a world of seven Continents; most of them have a nation that is currently engaged in a war to a degree. There is more humanity among wild animals than there is among mankind.

January 9, 2009

Today’s quote: - "Today, there are three kinds of people: the haves, the have-not, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-have. - Earl Wilson. Date unknown.

Today, President-elect Obama delivered a speech at George Mason University in order to make the case for urgent action on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, an economic stimulus package that could amount to $775 billion in government spending and tax cuts. I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible, said Obama. If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four. An economic recovery package is undoubtedly necessary, as reports indicate that the U.S. private sector shed almost 700,000 jobs last month alone. Former secretary of labor Robert Reich predicted that without a stimulus package, 3 million jobs will be lost in 2009, and unemployment will rise to 10 percent. The rescue package must be large enough to ensure that America avoids the nightmare scenario of Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman: the economy plunges for most of 2009, and when the plan finally starts to kick in, it’s only enough to slow the descent, not stop it. However, as the Center For American Progress’ Will Straw also explained, It must help those most affected by the economic crisis and build our future economic strength while achieving fiscal responsibility. There can be no place for special interests or ideological proposals. While quickly passing the stimulus bill is an absolute must, stimulus dollars need to be targeted toward those areas in which they will promote the most economic activity, and not be wasted on corporate handouts. As Yves Smith explained at Naked Capitalism, stimulus programs of various sorts are meant to compensate for a falloff in demand. Thus, the best forms of stimulus are those that start moving through the economy right away. According to an analysis by Moody’s Economy.com, the most fiscal stimulus bang for the buck comes from various forms of government spending, including infrastructure investment, aiding state and local governments, and securing the social safety net through increased Food Stamps and extending unemployment benefits. For every dollar the government invests in infrastructure, real GDP changes by $1.59, while a dollar invested in state aid changes GDP by $1.36. And as Krugman noted, public investment leaves something of value behind when the stimulus is over. Stimulus of this sort can help kick-start the economy, while putting the country on a track toward long term recovery and growth.

There are, however, limits to how much can be spent on infrastructure, state aid, and other initiatives, and therefore, some tax cuts should be part of the rescue package. But the danger with using tax cuts as stimulus is that the money may be saved instead of spent, thus diminishing the return. So, as the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Matthew Yglesias noted, if tax cuts are included, the idea is to put money in the hands of individuals with a high propensity to spend the money, thus giving businesses more customers and creating labor market demand so that unemployed people can find jobs. Obama is reportedly looking at making 40 percent of his package tax cuts, some of which are in this vein. His Making Work Pay proposal, which would give working individuals a $500 credit and families a $1000 credit, in the process helping about 150 million Americans making less than $200,000, is one. Another is lowering the income threshold for the Child Tax Credit, which would grant an estimated 5.5 million poor children access to the credit for the first time, and expand the tax benefit for millions more poor children who currently qualify for only a partial credit. These are the people most likely to immediately spend the money, and as Straw explained, If this money is spent, rather than being saved or used to bring down debts, then it will certainly have a stimulative effect.

There are, however, tax cuts that would be significantly less effective as stimulus, and Obama is reportedly considering such cuts in an effort to entice conservatives into supporting the rescue plan. One reported proposal would provide businesses with billions of dollars in refunds by enabling companies who posted a loss last year to get refunds for taxes paid as far back as five years earlier. Krugman called this tax cut a lump-sum transfer with no incentive effects, while Dean Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told The New Republic that the cut is simply a give-away to the financial industry and homebuilders. … This tax cut has nothing to do with stimulus. Baker also pointed out that really big losers, like Robert Rubin’s Citigroup, and other badly failing financial institutions, are losing much more money in 2008 and 2009 than they earned in 2006 and 2007 and stand to reap huge benefits from the cut. Another reported proposal, extending bonus depreciation, would allow business to write-off the cost of equipment faster. As Howard Gleckman wrote for the Tax Policy Center, Bonus depreciation in its many incarnations has been tried a half-dozen times over the past four decades and its benefits are, shall we say, hard to find. Conservative organizations like the Club for Growth and the Chamber of Commerce have both put forth stimulus plans with tax cuts that are far worse, such as cutting corporate income taxes or cutting the corporate capital gains tax, but the business tax breaks being proposed still amount to lots of buck, with not much bang, noted the Tax Policy Center.

The Democratic-led Congress is moving to assert control over President-elect Barack Obama’s plan to revive the U.S. economy, posing an early challenge that could define his relationship with Capitol Hill, where the resurgent Democratic Party has strengthened majorities in the House and Senate. The sweeping two year plan had been closely held. Top Obama aides, including economic adviser Jason Furman and National Economic Council director-designate Lawrence Summers, hammered out specifics with Democratic congressional leaders, amid hopes for a rapid vote this month, perhaps even by Inauguration Day. But the newly sworn-in lawmakers of the 111th Congress began questioning specifics of the plan, and dashed expectations for a quick vote. Some of the strongest objections can be found within Mr. Obama’s own party. Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) raised doubts Thursday about the job-creating value of Mr. Obama’s proposed $500 payroll tax holiday, which he scoffed would only put $20 a week in a worker’s paycheck. How much lift is that going to give? he said. I don’t think there’s much bang for the buck there. Sen. Conrad urged greater emphasis on initiatives that will to shore up the housing market, among other things. We don’t have unlimited money, he said. We’ve got to target.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) questioned Obama proposal to reward businesses with a $3,000 tax credit for every job they create. There’s just not a lot of history of that working very well, said Sen. Wyden, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which will be a starting point for the stimulus package on Capitol Hill. He suggested that infrastructure spending would have a much bigger economic impact, and cited a specific need for investments in high-speed rail. As concerns are coming to the forefront, the timetable for action on the broader plan is slipping, with party leaders and Mr. Obama now aiming for enactment by mid-February.

For Mr. Obama, who takes office on Jan. 20, the doubts emerging on Capitol Hill pose an immediate challenge, with somewhat conflicting goals. Not only must he rein in lawmakers who want to add potentially costly items to the package, as the expense of his own initiatives, but he must win over deficit hawks aghast at its cost and fearful of the long-term implications for U.S. fiscal policy. Over the long term, the unfolding fight could begin to define how Mr. Obama, the former Illinois senator, deals with his old colleagues in Congress. During much of his eight years in office, President George W. Bush sparred with Congress over which branch of government should set the national agenda, and Mr. Obama, who will enter office this with strong credibility, will likely be buffeted by pent up demand among lawmakers for more an assertive role in shaping policy. On Thursday, Mr. Obama dispatched Mr. Summers to the Senate to confer with rank-and-file Democrats, and Mr. Summers will return Friday to talk to House Democrats.

In an interview, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) said he called Mr. Summers early Thursday to give him a heads-up that there are some concerns that need to be addressed. The chairman played down the emerging the divisions, stressing there is broad support, across both political parties, for taking action to combat the recession. There’s unity on the objective, he said. Sen. Baucus added changes will likely be made to the Obama plan, he suggested energy-production provisions are likely to be strengthened, and said there’s likely some hard fighting ahead before the measure clears Congress. Clearly, it’s going to be difficult, he said.

There will continue to be obstructionist politics in the 111th Congress, for the ideologues, although smaller in numbers, still remain, among them Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. McConnell in the Senate, where two Democratic Senators have not yet been seated, Franken and Burris, and where filibuster is still a possibility. The filibuster (Rule XXII of Senate Rules) is a tactic used to defeat bills and motions by prolonging debate indefinitely. A filibuster may entail long speeches, dilatory motions, and an extensive series of proposed amendments. The Senate may end a filibuster by invoking cloture. In most cases, cloture requires the support of three-fifths of the Senate; however, if the matter before the Senate involves changing the rules of the body, this includes amending provisions regarding the filibuster; a two-thirds majority is required. In current practice, the threat of filibuster is of more importance than its actual use; almost any motion that does not have the support of three-fifths of the Senate effectively fails. Cloture is invoked rarely, particularly because bipartisan support is usually necessary to obtain the required supermajority, and a bill that already has bipartisan support is rarely subject to threats of filibuster in the first place. If the Senate does invoke cloture, debate does not end immediately; instead, further debate is limited to 30 additional hours unless increased by another three-fifths vote. The longest filibuster speech in the history of the Senate was delivered by Strom Thurmond, who spoke for over 24 hours in an unsuccessful attempt to block the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, in the Federalist papers took the following position with regard to Senate representation: The equality of representation in the Senate is another point, which, being evidently the result of compromise between the opposite pretensions of the large and the small States, does not call for much discussion. If indeed it be right, that among a people thoroughly incorporated into one nation, every district ought to have a proportional share in government, and that among independent and sovereign States, bound together by a simple league, the parties, however unequal in size, ought to have an equal share in the common councils, it does not appear to be without some reason that in a compound republic, partaking both of the national and federal character, the government ought to be founded on a mixture of the principles of proportional and equal representation. But it is superfluous to try, by the standard of theory, a part of the Constitution which is allowed on all hands to be the result, not of theory, but of a spirit of amity, and that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable. A common government, with powers equal to its objects, is called for by the voice, and still more loudly by the political situation, of America. A government founded on principles more consonant to the wishes of the larger States, is not likely to be obtained from the smaller States. The only option, then, for the former, lies between the proposed government and a government still more objectionable. Under this alternative, the advice of prudence must be to embrace the lesser evil; and, instead of indulging a fruitless anticipation of the possible mischief which may ensue, to contemplate rather the advantageous consequences which may qualify the sacrifice. Senate Rule XXII defeats the doctrine of EQUAL share in common Councils and is therefore, in regard to individual States undemocratic, and if undemocratic, unconstitutional.

The Constitution provides, where it deems necessary, a vote greater than a simple majority is needed. Where no such constitutional provision is made no Senate Rule can, by simple vote of its members, amend the Constitution, which is precisely what Rule XXII does.

January 13, 2009

Today’s quote: - When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a man’s moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say the best good of the country demands allegiance to party? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides? - Mark Twain.

We have seen this type of allegiance among Republicans for the past eight years, and we have witnessed it for a much longer time among the most of the Arab nations of their world. Despite their plea to Allah for the past sixty years, they have suffered defeats repeatedly and led their Palestinian people to live in despair, poverty and fear, more from their leaders than from their created enemy.

There are few who dare to speak of the folly of the desire of some for world conquest by the Islamic faith, World Conquest has never succeeded in the past and will never succeed in the future. Genghis Kahn tried it. The Holy Roman Empire tried it. The Catholic Church tried it with The Crusades. The Ottoman Empire Tried it. Lenin tried it! Hitler tried it. They all failed.

It has been almost 40 years since Egypt and Israel signed a treaty of peace, and it has not at any time been violated. Egypt is now engaged in attempting to end the conflict - not between Israel and the Palestinian people, but between Israel and an organization which is sworn to the destruction of the Israeli State and the killing of its Jewish citizens, Hamas.

The editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhouriyya, Muhammad ‘Ali Ibrahim, who is also an Egyptian MP, wrote a series for the paper titled Hamas, Damascus, Iran - The New Axis of Evil. In the series, he criticized Hamas, Syria, and Iran for their position vis-à-vis Gaza and the opening of the Rafah crossing. Ibrahim stated that Iran and Syria had conspired to keep the Palestinian problem unresolved and to take advantage of it to promote their interests in the region, and argued that Hamas was a tyrannical religious movement which was, like the Nazis in mid-20th-century Europe, pushing its people towards catastrophe by preferring Syria’s and Iran’s interests to those of the Palestinians. In a series of articles, Ibrahim came out against Qatar, accusing it of sympathizing with the Iran-Syria axis and of airing anti-Egyptian programs on the Qatari TV channel Al-Jazeera. A few days later, the editor of the Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yousef, Abdallah Kamal, wrote in a similar vein. Both editors called Qatar hypocritical for criticizing Egyptian policy while at the same time attempting to forge ties with Israel and the U.S. Ibrahim says that Teheran, and Hamas, in criticizing Egypt and accusing it of treason, feel compelled to offer some clarification, in order to help the public understand the facts… which the Persians and the Syrians have been trying to distort.

When it was mediating the negotiations (between Hamas and Fatah) for a truce, Egypt believed that the truce was the top interest of the Gaza residents… However, Hamas leaders, including Khaled Mash’al, Isma’il Haniya, and other Hamas members, did not understand the nature of the truce that Egypt was working for. These heroes believed that the innocuous missiles that they were firing at Sderot would compel Israel to agree to a truce. The Palestinian national dialogue failed, and Egypt halted its mediation between the Palestinian factions, destroying the hope of intra-Palestinian conciliation and exposing the political support that Hamas was getting from Iran and Syria. However, despite all Iran’s and Syria’s support for Hamas, everyone must know that in Hamas’s conflict with Israel, it was Egypt that was providing it with the strongest political leverage. Therefore, when Cairo halted its mediation, the main political buttress for the truce was shaken, and as a result, was never attained. The failure was Hamas’s refusal to make peace with Fatah and its rejection of the two-state solution to the Palestinian problem for which the entire world had been hoping.

Syria and Iran wanted the Palestinian problem to be gradually removed from the hands of the Egyptian negotiator, who had become familiar with its minute details and whose reputation inspired Arab, regional, and international circles with respectful admiration, so that it would become a bargaining chip for Syria and Iran. At the same time, Syria was trying to make the Palestinian problem part of a Golan Heights deal, meaning that the Palestinian people would be dependent not only on Lebanon’s wishes but on Syria’s as well. The outcome would be that Syria would bring the Palestinian problem back to its starting point. Ibrahim stated: It is in Iran’s interest to keep the Palestinian problem unresolved until the Iranian nuclear crisis is over, because Iran believes… that it can trade Hamas for political gain, while at the same time significantly improving its own image … We have before us a well-planned conspiracy, as well as an agenda, devised by Damascus and Teheran to pin the Palestinian problem to Iran’s and Syria’s interests, and for this purpose they have been using Hezbollah and Hamas to great effect…

Hamas’s statements and actions are characteristics of a group that is trying to bring destruction upon its people. Egypt is concerned about the Palestinians, while Hamas is not. Hamas is holding the entire Palestinian people hostage, saying: ‘We will live together, or die together.’ Hamas is imposing suicide ideology on the Palestinians, because it sees itself as their legitimate ruler. "For Hamas, it doesn’t matter that balance of forces is completely against them, they remain arrogant. The Palestinians did indeed elect Hamas; however, Hamas did not make Palestinian wellbeing its top priority, but rather chose to join the axis that is opposed to the moderate Arab countries. The Syria-Iran axis is anti-Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Hamas is pushing Gaza towards a massacre, while all the while shouting that the Arabs or the Egyptians have failed to come to their aid. Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al, in his folly, considers himself a hero, issuing orders from his hideout in Damascus or Tehran for his counterparts in Gaza to kill themselves.

The main impediment to Iran’s influence in the region is Egypt’s political prominence. This is why Iran has been trying to remove Egypt from the arena for the past quarter century or more, it is attempting to push it into a military confrontation with Israel that will undermine its economic and political stability for the next 25 years at least, and will trap it into a no-exit security situation by pushing the Palestinians into Sinai and making them a demographic time bomb for Egypt… Iran is even trying to topple the Egyptian regime, or at least to challenge its moral legitimacy, so as to exert every possible pressure on it, making it lose its political influence in the region. The optimal arena for accomplishing this goal has been Gaza… Iran has helped Hamas manufacture rockets, for example by smuggling warheads and missile guidance systems into Gaza, made in China, Korea, or wherever. Hamas manufactures the rockets with the gunpowder, pipes, and tail sections it receives.

Should Hillary Rodham Clinton be confirmed as Secretary of State for the Obama administration, she will have to deal with China, one of America’s most favored nation trading partners, to whom we are indebted in excess of $3 Trillion, and who is, apparently, a supplier of warheads and missile guidance systems being smuggled into Gaza. The evolving strategic balance of power in the Middle East seems to be headed towards reversion to the Cold War template. The two strategic camps that are unfolding are USA, Israel, Egypt and Turkey on one side and Russia, Syria and Iran on the opposite side. Bush made a serious error in diplomacy when he agreed to erect anti-missile basis in Eastern Europe, in defense of possible Iranian missile attacks. Russia no doubt felt these bases were directed at Russia, not Iran. Saudi Arabia and the other oil rich monarchial regimes of the Gulf Region can be said to be as fence sitters. Their strategic loyalty to USA is under strain and tenuous. But, Saudi Arabia recently signed a $4 billion arms purchase agreement with Russia following visit of Saudi Arabia by former President Putin. The strategic significance of the Saudi-Russian military deal is three-fold namely (1) A political and strategic message to the United States that Middle East nations have now alternative strategic options to USA (2) In this direction the Saudi have facilitated a Russians strategic and political presence in the Middle East and (3) In terms of regional impact of this development it can be stated that with the Saudi’s lead other loyal Arab allies of the US in Middle East could also diversify their strategic dependency. It is also a Saudi message to Iran that it has no exclusive strategic rights in Russia in terms of the Middle East strategic calculus.

Secretary of State designate Hillary Rodham Clinton has her work cut out for her, and that’s only one small area of this world.

January 15, 2009

Today’s quote: - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized. - Fourth Amendment, Constitution of the United States, Dec. 15, 1795.

The United States Supreme Court yesterday ruled that jurors may hear evidence discovered in a search based on faulty information in a police computer database.

The court ruled that the US constitution’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure do not exclude evidence gained through isolated negligence where there is no evidence of police wrongdoing. Nor does the Constitution provide for excusable negligence, isolated or otherwise. The Chief Justice, in his decision, amended the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States by adding the phrase, that where negligence was isolated and not intentional, it is to be disregarded. This is something Chief Justice Roberts denied he would at his confirmation hearing, legislate from the Bench.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court found that if police wrongly believe they have an arrest warrant because a computer database contains an incorrect entry indicated the existence of a warrant; evidence they discover upon making the arrest may be used to prosecute the defendant.

The decision could have far-reaching consequences, as law enforcement use of electronic databases grows.

In the case in question, an Alabama man, Bennie Dean Herring, was arrested when a police computer showed he was wanted on an arrest warrant in a neighboring county. An investigator then searched his truck and found methamphetamine and an illegal pistol. When officers sought to retrieve the initial arrest warrant just minutes later, they discovered it had been cancelled five months earlier, though the entry had not been removed from the police computer. Based on this fact alone, the police knew the wrong, that they had made a mistake, and that the evidence they found was not admissible. Chief Justice Roberts, and his four Conservative horsemen, should have known this as well.

In a federal court hearing soon after the arrest, Herring asked the judge to suppress the gun and the methamphetamine, arguing the search was illegal because the arrest warrant had been rescinded and police had no other justification for a search. A judge denied Herring’s motion, saying that exclusion of the evidence would do little to deter similar police errors in the future, and an appeals court later agreed.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts, a Bush appointee and conservative voice on the court, found that the mere fact of an illegal search does not necessitate throwing out the evidence obtained. He wrote that if evidence is to be excluded, the exclusion must effectively deter future illegal searches.

To trigger the exclusionary rule, police conduct must be sufficiently deliberate that exclusion can meaningfully deter it, and sufficiently culpable that such deterrence is worth the price paid by the justice system, he wrote. But in Herring’s case, the police error was isolated, so the gun and drugs may be used in court.

Roberts was joined in the opinion by the court’s conservative bloc, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and by Anthony Kennedy, once considered a swing vote.

Dissenting were the court’s liberal bloc, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Steven Breyer.

In the dissenting opinion, Ginsburg wrote that exclusion of evidence is a defendant’s redress for an illegal search.

The court’s opinion underestimates the need for a forceful exclusionary rule and the gravity of record-keeping errors in law enforcement, she wrote.

Ginsburg also disagreed with the majority’s assertion that the exclusion of evidence in this type of case would be unlikely to deter future police negligence. She wrote that the Dale County, Alabama, sheriff’s department, which made the mistake, could have an established a routine practice of checking the computer database for accuracy, and noted that the scope and influence of law enforcement databases has expanded dramatically in recent years.

By restricting suppression to bookkeeping errors that are deliberate or reckless, the majority leaves Herring, and others like him, with no remedy for violations of their constitutional rights, she wrote.

That Herring was in violation of the law, and probably deserved to be punished, was not the question before the Court. The question was whether or not the evidence presented violated the provisions of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. If so it was inadmissible. The law should be interpreted as it is written, not with permissive insertions of that which does not exist therein.

There is not a judge, or justice, in this country that does not, at one time or another, legislate from the Bench, some do it regularly, like Associate Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito (Republican appointees), but some Democrat Justices do it as well. To paraphrase and old saying, You can lead a Justice to the law, but you can’t make him follow it.

One of the key tasks facing Barack Obama in his coming White House term will be to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court. In recent years, the Supreme Court has decided some of the most ideologically charged cases by a 5-4 decision, with the nine justices split into reliable voting blocs. As many as three US Supreme Court justices are likely to retire in the next four years, giving Obama an opportunity to nominate justices that share his views on abortion, constitutional rights of terrorism suspects and criminal defendants, separation of church and state, and other contentious social and legal issues. Unfortunately, the three most likely to retire are Democrats; the three who should retire are Thomas, Alito and Scalia.

January 19, 2009

Today’s quote: - I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. - James Madison.

The significance of Jan. 20, 2009, and the end of the Bush administration:

• President George W. Bush’s failure to prevent the devastating attacks of 9/11, despite ample and explicit warnings.

• An unnecessary and illegal war, justified by lies and fear-mongering, that killed more than 4,400 Americans, wounded more than 40.000, brain-injured 320,000, and as a result there is an average of 18 veteran suicides daily. Illegal in that Art I, Sec. 8 empowers Congress to declare war, but not to delegate that power which it illegally did in authorizing action by the Bush administration.

• A country devastated and plunged into civil war and with millions of refugees driven from their homes.

• Non-existent WMDs.

• Nonexistent ties with al-Qaeda. Distortion and manipulation of intelligence.

• May, 2003 - Mission Accomplished, a premature ejaculation.

• Abu Ghraib. Gross violations of human rights, in direct violation of the Geneva Convention, including torture, enhanced interrogation techniques, indefinite detentions, special renditions, and other inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners.

• Illegal, warrantless wiretapping and spying on innocent American citizens.

• Repeated violations of the Constitution.

• Politicization of the Department of Justice.

• Cover-ups and retaliation against critics. Stigmatizing critics as unpatriotic and saying that they hurt the troops, while warehousing seriously injured veterans in squalid conditions.

• Failure to bring Osama bin Laden to justice and an abandonment of the "war against terrorism for seven years..

• Callousness and fecklessness as a major American city is devastated by a natural disaster.

• Appointing political hacks and inept Brownies to head important government agencies. Politicizing the Department of Justice and turning it into a gang of ideologue functionaries.

• Thwarting checks and balances on executive power. Nullifying laws with signing statements. Squandering billions of taxpayer dollars on faith-based initiatives, that is, fundamentalist evangelism.

• Leasing six major East Coast ports of entry to the United Arab Emirates, and doing nothing about the ort of San Diego, CA, being leased to the People’s Republic of China (Communist) while doing nothing but add sanctions against powerless Cuba.

• Gutting federal regulatory agencies by appointing industry hacks and lobbyists to head those agencies.

• Obscuring, obstructing and censoring science when its finding conflicted with ideology. Vetoing SCHIP health insurance for children.

• Doing nothing to address climate change.

• Promotion of worthless abstinence only sex-education programs.

• Thwarting vital stem-cell research.

• Cutting environmental rules and regulations. Unswerving loyalty to his base, the haves and the have mores.

• A total failure of leadership, leading to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

• An administration built on reign through fear.

Nancy Pelosi is now ready to support John Conyers investigations and will be aided by Henry Waxman’s recently released report about Bush administration secrecy: Rep. Henry A. Waxman has released a comprehensive examination of the secrecy in the Bush Administration. The report analyzes how the Administration has implemented each of our nation’s major open government laws. It finds that there has been a consistent pattern in the Administration’s actions: laws that are designed to promote public access to information have been undermined, while laws that authorize the government to withhold information or to operate in secret have repeatedly been expanded. The cumulative result is an unprecedented assault on the principle of open government.

People, working closely with Conyers on legislation to form a panel to investigate Bush’s policies, confirmed Sunday that Conyers office has contacted Obama’s transition team and discussed their intent to investigate. But the aides said Obama’s team simply listened to what they had to say and did not verbalize whether they supported the move. With regard to the politicization of the Justice Department, Pelosi made her strongest comments in support of continuing investigations to determine the role the White House played in the firing of nine federal prosecutors in December 2006. We have contempt of Congress against members of the executive branch who withheld information from us on the politicization of the Justice Department," Pelosi said during her Fox News interview. She said one of the 111th Congress’s first actions earlier this month was to revive subpoenas that expired during the last Congress when the President Bush asserted executive privilege to block Karl Rove, his Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers from testifying before Congress about the U.S. Attorney firings. The Justice Department’s inspector general issued a scathing report that found a former top official in the agency’s civil rights division lied to a Senate committee and broke federal laws by using a political litmus test to hire and fire employees, a violation of the very laws he was charged with upholding. One might wonder whether Speaker Pelosi, being 3rd in line for the presidency, might not have wished for the position had Bush and Cheney been impeached and convicted. Now that there will be a Democrat President, that elevation in position no longer exists.

Jan. 20, 2009: The nightmare ends. The recovery begins. Hope replaces fear. Intelligence replaces ignorance and insensibility. A return to governing of the people, by the people and for the people with proper regulatory control of the former Corporatocracy. At this point it is only the Audacity of Hope of President-to-be Barack Obama.

January 21, 2009

Today’s quote: - To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

For the past eight years this nation has been engaged in an attempted breakdown of the Constitution by an administration that Thomas Jefferson might well have termed sinful and tyrannical. An ineffective President, George W. Bush, appeared to be led by the nose by a pair of Svengalis, his Vice President, Dick Cheney, and his Character-Assassin-in-Chief, Karl Rove. This resulted in the appointment to positions of responsibility to ward-healers and political cronies, willing to sell out to the highest bidders among the special interests, the deregulations that allowed the financial collapse and mass foreclosures of people’s homes, as well as the endangering of the entire U.S. banking system.

The free trade agreements, started under the Clinton administration, became even more intolerable under the administration of George W. Bush. It was expanded, with closed eyes as to its effects, resulting in American industries moving off-shore to take advantage of cheap labor and cheap taxes, causing a loss of hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs, and creating a negative international trade balance in excess of $3 Trillion.

When we look at the policies of the Bush administration, it’s becoming more and more difficult to make the assumption that they had the people’s interests at heart, based on a simple cost benefit analysis of the Bush administration. Those with wealth and power reaped the benefits and we, the people, were left to pay all the costs. On Environmental issues and Federal Government policies, the winners have been: Big Oil and energy companies. The Losers have been: The planet Earth and the ordinary people who live and work there. In The war on Terror, the winners have been: Iran, who not only desires WMD, but are close to succeeding in possessing them - and hate U.S.; and North Korea, which has WMD - and hate the U.S.; Halliburton, KBR and other No Bid Defense contractors; Big Oil. The Losers have been Iraq, which had no WMD; the American taxpayers; members of the military and their families; Social programs that have been cut to support the war (Financial Aid, Food Stamps. etc.).

On Healthcare, the winners were: The healthcare insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical companies; the Losers were Poor and elderly who depend on Medicare and Medicaid, the uninsured children and the elderly. Rumsfeld has served on the boards of pharmaceutical companies Gilead Sciences, Pfizer Inc., and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, according to Open Secrets.

Government Accountability: Halliburton contracts, Abramoff scandal, NSA wiretaps and data mining, CIA agent Valerie Plame outing, Prison abuse at Guantanamo and Abu Graib, Secret prisons in Eastern Europe, No Defense spending oversight, Homeland Security inaction and monetary abuses, Unconstitutional Faith-based Initiative, Faulty intelligence leading to war, under-funding No Child Left Behind, Downing St. Memos, 2000 Florida vote fix, Staged town hall meetings with hand-picked dupes, propaganda ads here and abroad.

Domestic policy: Making FEMA part of Homeland Security and appointing a friend (a Horse Show judge) to run it. Attempting to appoint unqualified old friend to Supreme Court only to have the far right and his own party bully him into withdrawing her name and Social Security reform that was so ignored by the American people he just shut up about it, Terry Schiavo and the culture of life fiasco that highlighted the hypocrisy of the far right and this administration. The winners were: Bush’s friends, His critics, Right Wing Kooks, Terrorist recruiters. The losers were the poor and middle class who live in Louisiana and Mississippi, Federal Government credibility, Terry Schiavo’s family, people who voted for Bush and people who didn’t; and the Constitution. The reasons: Cronyism, hypocrisy and underestimating American intelligence, oil dependency, power, wealth, a blatant disregard for civil liberties here and abroad.

Foreign Policy: Confused form of bullying that requires a lot of explaining and apologizing. The winners: Iran and North Korea, Russia and China. India, and any Nation that hated us who’s reasoning has been validated. The losers: American people, our credibility, African nations we continue to ignore, Science and AIDS researchers and any U.S. group who denounces human rights abuse in other countries, resulting from a Foreign policy that is based on ignorance, fear and disrespect for the rest of the world

Why did Cheney hold such power over George W. Bush? Not only was he self-appointed as Bush’s Vice president, he was Bush’s principal advisor, most secretly. The Cheney factors:

• Cheney’s 2000 income from Halliburton: $36,086,635 and $20,000,000 golden parachute.

• Increase in government contracts while Cheney led Halliburton: 91%

• Minimum size of accounting irregularity that occurred while Cheney was CEO: $100,000,000 (One hundred MILLION dollars)

• Number of the seven official US State Sponsors of Terror that Halliburton contracted with: 2 out of 7 Pages of Energy Plan documents

• Cheney refused to cooperate with congressional investigators

• Amount energy companies gave the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign: $1,800,000

• Cheney claimed that he supported the U.S. sanctions on Iraq, but the Financial Times of London reported that through foreign subsidiaries and affiliates, Halliburton became the biggest oil contractor for Iraq, selling more than $73 million in goods and services to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy. - Cheney, in a speech in Toronto, Canada, May 1, 2001.

• Cooking the books apparently was, as done by Enron who helped develop the Bush energy plan, and whose CEO dropped dead of a heart attack and his next in command is spending some time in the federal pen.

• The ongoing fracas over Cheney’s Energy Plan ties together many of the themes of his working life: his corporate alliances, especially with energy companies; his view of oil as integral to U.S. foreign policy; and his insistence on secrecy for the activities of the Executive branch.

Chevron honored Rice by naming an oil tanker Condoleezza Rice after her, but controversy led to its being renamed Altair Voyager. She also headed Chevron’s committee on public policy until she resigned on January 15, 2001, to become National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. What makes the new Bush administration different from previous wealthy cabinets is that so many of the officials have links to the same industry - oil. The president, vice-president, commerce secretary and national security adviser all have strong ties to the oil industry. From BBC News: Dr. Rice, with a background in Soviet history was not qualified to be either National Security Advisor or Secretary of State, and she bears part responsibility for the disasters of 9/11/2001 because of her refusal to accept the counsel of a Clinton holdover, Richard A. Clarke.

On January 20, 2009, the air above Washington, D.C. started to clear and the winds blew fresh, driving out the corrupt neglect and incompetence that permeated the city for eight years was in its final pangs. And as the day shortened, the atmosphere brightened. In the twilight hours of the day a plane, formerly known as Air Force One, departed Andrews Air Force Base with the former President, George W. Bush, from the seat of government and lifting the stench he brought to that world capital eight years before, a stench that was finally removed by the election of President Barack Obama, and let us hope he can restore the respect this United States of America deserves, reinvigorate the Constitution that has been the rock of this nation for more than 200 years, and earn, not only the support of the people, but their love and respect and willingness to participate in whatever manner possible to achieve that which this nation is capable of achieving.

As I start this paragraph, it 23 hours and 55 minutes since President Barack Obama has taken the oath of office and has become the President of the United States. Since then, he has not only engaged in a Congressional luncheon, taken part in a parade and attended some ten inaugural balls, he has done the following: Ordered the U.S. government to suspend prosecutions of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay for 120 days, military officials said Tuesday. He has summoned his defense secretary, Robert Gates, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, to the White House, along with Gen. David Petraeus, who has responsibility for both wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) as Central Command chief. He has ordered work halted on all federal regulations left unfinished at the end of the Bush era until they can be reviewed by the new president’s team; but it does not apply to last-minute Bush administration rules that have taken legal effect, including a controversial one that went into place yesterday that allows healthcare workers to refuse to take part in medical procedures, including abortions, to which they object. The United States Supreme Court has held, in Roe v. Wade that

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