Judge reinstates federal kidnapping powers

NEW YORK  (Sept. 18, 2012) – A federal appeals judge restored the government’s alleged power to kidnap people on American soil and detain them until the end of an endless war.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest granted a permanent injunction on enforcement of section 1021(b)(2), which allowed the federal government to indefinitely detain virtually anybody for any reason without due process. The judge found  language in section 1021 overbroad and that it would allow for detention of those engaging in constitutionally protected free speech. She also said detention provisions deny prospective detainees basic due process rights.

The Obama administration appealed almost immediately and asked Forrest for an immediate stay. She refused. On Monday, government lawyers asked the Second U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan to issue an emergency stay, reinstating the power to indefinitely detain people on U.S. soil.

“The Justice Department sent a letter to Forrest and the Second Circuit late Friday night informing them that at 9 a.m. Monday the Obama administration would ask the Second Circuit for an emergency stay that would lift Forrest’s injunction,” lead plaintiff Christopher Hedges wrote. “This would allow Obama to continue to operate with indefinite detention authority until a formal appeal was heard.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier granted the stay Monday evening. It will remain in place until the appellate court rules on the case. The court is expected to take up the issue beginning on Sept. 28.

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Who May Tax and Spend?

by Walter E. Williams

Within the past decade, I’ve written columns titled “Deception 101,” “Stubborn Ignorance” and “Exploiting Public Ignorance,” all explaining which branch of the federal government has taxing and spending authority. So here it is again: The first clause of Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, generally known as the “origination clause,” reads: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” Constitutionally and by precedent, the House of Representatives has the exclusive prerogative to originate bills to appropriate money, as well as to raise revenues. The president is constitutionally permitted to propose tax and spending measures or veto them. Congress has the authority to ignore the president’s proposals and override his vetoes.

There is little intellectually challenging about the fact that the Constitution gave Congress ultimate taxing and spending authority. My question is this: How can academics, politicians, news media people and ordinary citizens continually make and get away with statements such as “Reagan’s budget deficits,” “Clinton’s budget surplus,” “Bush’s tax cuts” and “Obama’s spending binge”? I know that the nation’s law schools teach little about Framer intent, but I wonder whether they tell students that it’s the executive branch of government that holds taxing and spending authority. Maybe it’s simply incurable ignorance, willful deception, sloppy thinking or just plain stupidity. If there’s an explanation that I’ve missed, I’d surely like to hear it.

Seeing as a president cannot spend one dime that Congress does not first appropriate, what meaning can we attach to statements such as “under Barack Obama, government spending has increased 21 percent” and “under Barack Obama, welfare spending has increased 54 percent”? You ask, “Williams, are you saying Obama is without fault?” Let’s look at it.

Knowing which branch of government has the ultimate taxing and spending authority is vital.

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How GOP Freshmen Voted on Continuing Resolution

Last week, the House passed a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded for the next six months. Republicans and Democrats were eager to avoid a budget fight—and possibly a government shutdown—with little more than a month to go before the elections. With that potential distraction out of the way, the two sides can now focus on convincing voters that their brand of big government is the superior choice.

Politico has a good breakdown of the CR’s contents. Here are a couple of snippets:

[The continuing resolution] restores the higher spending targets set in the Budget Control Act—and with such haste and pique—that billions will go out without any distinction between the merits of different programs. Labor, health, and education spending that’s so often targeted for cuts by the GOP will grow by close to $1 billion. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission budget, the bane of anti-regulatory forces, inches up again, albeit far less than the White House requested…

The new top line for non-emergency appropriations will be $1.047 trillion, an $8 billion increase over what the Congressional Budget Office estimates is the current rate of spending… But in their desire to keep the bill simple—and move fast—Republicans opted to distribute most of the increase, $5.9 billion, through a mechanical formula that automatically ups most accounts by 0.612 percent.

As Roll Call noted earlier in the week, the CR vote represented a test for Republican freshmen, a.k.a., the “Tea Party Class”:

The defining narrative of this Congress has been deficit reduction, pushed mostly by an anti-government-spending class of 87 freshman House Republicans. But as November inches closer, Members will have to balance their promises to slash spending against the reality that a shutdown could be an irreversible gamble in their bid to win back the Senate and White House. For his part, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) seems optimistic, having recently said the group has “matured.”

After the jump, the table shows that only 28 of the 87 Republican freshmen—32 percent—voted against the CR. (A “yes” means they voted against the CR.) I guess that means that, per John Boehner, those 28 members have maturity issues.

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School’s Back in Session

September is here, and you know what that means.  We are, once again, just under two months away from the most crucial presidential election in our history…you know, just like we were four years ago.  And we buy what they sell us every time.  Republicans and Democrats alike are telling us how disastrous things will be if the other guy wins in November and occupies/continues to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC come January 20, 2013.  To quote Yoda, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

We in the Tenther movement, and in the liberty movement in New Jersey in general, have a lot to learn.  The core representatives in the New Jersey TAC are no exception.  We have admitted it among ourselves, and we admit it to our members and other groups in general.  We’re a smart crew (at least Brenda and Peter are), but we have a lot to learn about organizing.

In many ways this learning process must involve reaching out to other groups that know more than we do, especially if they are on the same page or at least the same chapter of the book as we are concerning liberty.  One group very familiar with that book is Ron Paul supporters.  While Dr. Paul ran for federal office, and while he didn’t win, his supporters at the state and local levels showed they learned a lot since 2008.  From navigating the local machines to fundraising, we need people like that to help the Tenther movement grow.

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