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Rand Paul: Unconstitutional Saudi War in Yemen Is Not in Our Interest and Congress...

Sen. Rand Paul speaks at the 2015 Reagan Dinner for the Dallas County Republican Party in Dallas, Texas, January 30, 2015. (Photo: Gage Skidmore) Last...
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Video: Security vs civil liberties: Trump wants Congress to reauthorize surveillance law

Members of the Trump administration are calling on Congress to reauthorize a controversial surveillance law which is set to expire at year's end, RT's...

Anti-war argument 'winning' despite setback in Congress – Ron Paul to RT

Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) fight to repeal post-9/11 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) went...

Antiwar Organizations Urge Congress to Protect Iran Nuclear Deal, Prevent Backslide to War Under...

From NIAC Action: Trump Must Renew Waivers on Iran Sanctions on September 14th, Certify the Nuclear Deal to Congress on October 15th WASHINGTON, D.C. — In...

‘Go Congress, go!’: Trump pushes lawmakers to cut taxes

US President Donald Trump has urged the Republican-majority Congress to pass legislation that would substantially cut...

Bill in Congress to Fund CIA and NSA Outlaws Wikileaks

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The bill in Congress to fund U.S. intelligence services includes a provision, Sec. 623, which states: SEC. 623. SENSE OF...

Rand Paul threatens to hold up defense bill unless Congress votes to end wars...

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has vowed to delay a $700 billion defense bill until...

U.S. Congress and Media Push for War Against Russia

Eric Zuesse On Wednesday, September 6th, Reuters bannered "Facebook says likely Russian-based operation funded U.S. ads with political message”, and reported: Facebook Inc said on Wednesday...

U.S. Congressman Proposes $12 Million to Support Israel's Ethiopian Community

Amendment proposed by Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democratic lawmaker and a member of the House Rules Committee: 'The community faces a number...

Congress approves $15.25bn natural disaster aid package & raises US debt ceiling

The US Senate has approved a $15.25 billion relief package for areas affected by hurricanes and...

Health Coverage for 9 Million Children Will Soon Be at Risk — Unless Trump...

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on extending funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and for good reason: no additional CHIP...

States threaten to sue over DACA, as Trump tweets he'll 'revisit' policy if Congress...

As President Donald Trump vows to “revisit the issue” of granting legal status to “dreamer” immigrants...

1.4mn more bogus Wells Fargo accounts emerge with Congress asleep at the wheel

As the tally of fake Wells Fargo accounts balloons to 3.5 million, Congress has yet to...

Wells Fargo May Have Lied to Congress, Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform...

WASHINGTON - Congress must hold additional hearings to investigate whether Wells Fargo deliberately misled federal lawmakers during an active investigation, said 33 groups led...

‘Bring back Main Street’: Trump pressures Congress to unite on tax reform

President Donald Trump is counting on bipartisan support for his tax reform plan, which he says...

Trump blames Congressional GOP leaders for debt ceiling ‘mess’

US President Donald Trump has chastised Republican leaders in Congress, implying that efforts to increase the...

'Lying to Congress': Trump lashes out at former spymaster over CNN comments

Published time: 24 Aug, 2017 16:00 US President Donald Trump has fired back at former Director...

Congresswoman Barbara Lee: There is No Military Solution in Afghanistan

Congresswoman Barbara LeeCongresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement in response to President Trump’s announced plan to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan. “I am deeply...

Trump can strike North Korea without approval from Congress – Sen. Graham

President Donald Trump does not need Congressional authorization to carry out a preemptive strike against North...

How Congress ‘Learns’ About Russia

Hedge-fund operator William Browder helped plunder Russia’s riches – and renounced his U.S. citizenship – but is still treated as...

FBI raided Manafort’s home for documents he gave Congress

Published time: 9 Aug, 2017 15:10 Edited time: 9 Aug, 2017 15:43 The Federal Bureau of...

‘No US warplanes over Syria’: Congress & Pentagon hit with 68k petition signatures

A CIA whistleblower and ex-Marine Corps captain are among the outspoken leaders of a campaign to...

‘US-Russia relations at all-time & dangerous low. Thank Congress’ – Trump

Published time: 3 Aug, 2017 12:32 Edited time: 3 Aug, 2017 13:10 Relations between the US...

Trump Threatens to Attack Health Coverage of Congress Members and Low-Income People

Trump steps out of Air Force One on July 28, 2017, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) President Donald Trump...

Another brick in the wall: Congress approves funding for Trump’s Mexico barrier

Published time: 27 Jul, 2017 22:15 Edited time: 28 Jul, 2017 09:06 The House of Representatives...

House Progressives Call on Members of Congress to Sign Single-Payer Pledge

Less than 24 hours after the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act was defeated in the Senate, two progressive representatives challenged all...

Trump, Veto Congress

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Video: Criminalizing Critics of Israel: Congress Considers Sweeping Bills to Fine & Jail Backers...

https://democracynow.org - U.S. lawmakers are seeking to criminally outlaw support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. Via Youtube

Congresswoman Lee Blasts Dead of Night Removal of 2001 AUMF Repeal Amendment

Congresswoman Barbara LeeLate last night, Congresswoman Lee’s amendment to repeal the 2001 AUMF – which passed with bipartisan support in the House Appropriations Committee...

‘A civilization on Mars thousands of years ago’: Congressman stuns NASA scientists

Published time: 19 Jul, 2017 02:23 Edited time: 19 Jul, 2017 09:52 A California congressman baffled...

PEACE ACTION: Congress Votes Again for Unconstitutional Wars and Pentagon Pork

WASHINGTON - In response to the passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy...
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Video: From Welfare to U.S. Congress Rep. Gwen Moore’s Fight for the ‘Rise Out...

Rep. Gwen Moore tells Paul Jay of her journey from poverty to Congress, and how Bill Clinton's welfare reforms and corporate Democrats refusal to...

Will Congress Summon Its Courage and Restore the Voting Rights Act?

As the nation approaches Independence Day, many will reflect on Frederick Douglass's 1852 speech, "What to the Slave is the 4th of July" --...

Costly Representation: The Georgia Congressional Election

Tom Price’s vacating of a Georgia congressional seat set the scene for exactly what is darkly wrong with US politics. In the sprawling kleptomanic...

Why Wouldn't Peace Advocates Compete in Republican Congressional Primaries?

Let's assume that winning congressional votes is something that peace advocates care a lot about, enough that they would do things now that would...
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Video: ‘Stop arming terrorists’: Congresswoman urges US to stop its policy of regime change

Most media outlets and politicians often ignore the deadly consequences of US regime change policy, including the rise of Islamic State, according to ... Via...

'Is that guy OK?' Moment gunman opened fire on GOP congressmen caught on camera...

Published time: 14 Jun, 2017 22:03 Edited time: 15 Jun, 2017 09:19 Dramatic video has emerged...

‘Always angry’: Shooter who targeted GOP congressmen railed against conservatives

The FBI has officially identified the man suspected of shooting at Republican lawmakers during a practice...
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Video: Shooting Spree: Congressman, aide & police officers shot during baseball practice in US

A gunman has gone on a shooting spree in the city of Alexandria, Virginia. There are reports of over 50 shots being fired -...
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Video: Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) in Critical Condition After Being Shot at Congressional Baseball...

https://democracynow.org - Capitol Hill remains in shock after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and four other people were wounded on ... Via Youtube

Former congressional candidate gets 20yrs for plotting attack on Muslim community

Robert Doggart, a former independent Tennessee congressional candidate, has been sentenced to jail for 20 years...

Ron Paul on New Russia Sanctions: The Deep State Unifies Congress

When it comes to bad foreign policy, the House and Senate are completely bipartisan. Yesterday’s 97-2 Senate vote for more...

‘1 down, 216 to go’: GOP congresswoman receives threatening email after Virginia shooting

A Republican congresswoman and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump has received a threatening email following...

‘Sickened by despicable act’: Sanders condemns supporter’s shooting of GOP congressman

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) condemned the shooting of a Republican representative and several others by a man who volunteered for his presidential campaign....

Gunman Shoots Congressman, Police at Virginia Baseball Practice

A gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington early on Wednesday, wounding several people including...

June 12-18: Petrograd Congress of Factory Committees endorses Bolshevik resolutions

Encouraged by the Bolsheviks, and to the dismay of the Provisional Government and its opportunist allies,...

Trump’s social media director violated Hatch Act targeting GOP congressman on Twitter

An independent investigation has found that White House social media director Dan Scavino violated federal law...

‘Body-slamming’ congressman apologizes to reporter, donates $50k to media advocate

Newly elected Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Montana) has formally apologized to Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for assaulting...

Congresswoman Lee Leads Letter Demanding Long-Term Military Strategy from President Trump

Congresswoman Barbara LeeToday, Congresswoman Barbara Lee led 20 of her Democratic colleagues in sending a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to present...

US Congressman Calls for Holy War Against "Islamic Horror," Says "Kill All" Suspects

(Screengrab: Captain Clay Higgins' Facebook) A freshman lawmaker reacted to the attacks in London over the weekend with a threatening social media post, calling for...

Rep. Walter Jones to Congress: Stop Funding Afghan War!

Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC) has looked at war from both sides. As he has readily shared with us, he was hoodwinked by the...

Committee Should Reject Legislation That Opens the Door to Industry Promotion of Medicines and...

WASHINGTON - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee should reject two bills that would undermine regulatory standards for ensuring...
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Video: DEA misled Congress about deadly 2012 attacks in Honduras

An investigation has found that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration repeatedly lied to Congress about a series of fatal incidents in Honduras in 2012,...

GOP congressman confident ‘God will take care of climate change’

Published time: 1 Jun, 2017 12:00 As concern surrounds Donald Trump’s decision on a key climate...

$110bn US-Saudi arms deal sent to Congress, seen as way to protect Middle East...

The path for the US to resume its sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia has...

Republican Gianforte wins special congressional election in Montana

Published time: 26 May, 2017 04:35 Edited time: 26 May, 2017 04:52 Greg Gianforte, the Republican...

Congressmembers Speak Out for Getting the US Out of Afghanistan

Today a news conference was held by co-sponsors of HR1666, to prohibit funds for activities in Afghanistan, and the importance...

Trump's Immoral Budget Is 'Dead on Arrival' in Congress

President Trump’s budget proposal is an affront to decency, economics and, at a basic level, math. It is full of both broken and false...

‘I don’ know’ if there was Trump-Russia collusion, ex-CIA chief tells Congress

While arguing that Russia “brazenly interfered” in the 2016 US presidential election, former CIA Director John...

Congressional News Conference on Ending Funds for Afghan War: Wednesday 5/24

Wednesday, May 24: Congressmen Walter B. Jones (R-NC) and John Garamendi (D-CA), along with House cosponsors of H.R. 1666, will...

Medea Benjamin: Congress Should Halt Trump's $110 Billion Arms Deal Over Saudi Atrocities

In his first foreign trip abroad as president, Donald Trump traveled this weekend to Saudi Arabia, where he signed an arms deals totaling $110...
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Video: Medea Benjamin: Congress Should Halt Trump’s $110B Arms Deal over Saudi Atrocities in...

http://democracynow.org - In his first foreign trip abroad as president, Donald Trump traveled this weekend to Saudi Arabia, where he signed an arms deals...

Texas congressman threatened with lynching after calling for Trump’s impeachment

Published time: 21 May, 2017 11:10 Democratic Representative from Texas Al Green played recordings of racially...

Congress Wants to Cut Your Health Care — And Billionaires’ Taxes

Members of the House GOP were in a hurry on May 4 to pass their bill to gut Obamacare. They rushed it through before...

‘I have a sickness’: Ex-Congressman Weiner weeps, pleads guilty in ‘sexting’ case

Former US Congressman Anthony Weiner has pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of sending...
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Video: US congressman calls for Trump’s impeachment on House Floor

Representative Al Green (D-Texas) has called for impeachment proceedings to begin against President Donald Trump. His speech on the House Floor came as ... Via...

Congress Wants to Cut Your Health Care — And Billionaires’ Taxes

Members of the House GOP were in a hurry on May 4 to pass their bill to gut Obamacare. They rushed it through before...

Donald Trump Is Deep Into Watergate Territory Now: Former Congresswoman Who Probed Nixon Speaks...

Fallout continues to grow over President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey last week. The firing came just days after Comey requested more...
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Video: Donald Trump is Deep into Watergate Territory Now: Former Congresswoman Who Probed Nixon...

http://democracynow.org - Fallout continues to grow over President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey last week. The firing came just days after Comey...

Fossil Fuel Companies Spend Big to Boost GOP in Heated Special Elections for Congress

A Truthout investigation finds that among the biggest funders of the outside groups backing Republican candidates in Georgia and Montana are fossil fuel companies,...

Trump urges Congress to pass ‘very important’ school choice program

Published time: 4 May, 2017 03:57Edited time: 4 May, 2017 04:01 President Donald Trump campaigned on a...

Nearly 500K People Urge Congress to "Take Away Trump's Nuclear Football"

Close to 500,000 people have signed a petition, delivered to Congress on Wednesday, that urges lawmakers to take President Donald Trump's finger off the...

How Much to Buy a Congressional Vote? New Research Seeks Answer

While it is conventional wisdom that money influences politics, researchers released a report Tuesday aiming to answer the longstanding question of exactly how much...

Congress passes 1-week funding extension to avoid govt shutdown

Published time: 28 Apr, 2017 17:35Edited time: 29 Apr, 2017 19:00 Both chambers of Congress have passed...
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Video: Minus Gyrocopter: Anti-corruption activist Doug Hughes finally sends Congress protest mail

Getting your message across can be hard especially if you are an anti-corruption activist trying to get members of congress to listen. Doug Hughes...

Democrats seek to re-establish congressional war powers against ISIS

Ten Democratic lawmakers are backing a bill that would Introduce a new authorization for using military...

'We Reject Politics of Fear': Groups Urge Congress to Build Schools, Not Wall

More than 150 advocacy groups sent a letter (pdf) to Congress on Thursday urging lawmakers to reject President Donald Trump's proposal to build a...

Trump administration, Congress reach deals on Obamacare sticking points

The Trump administration has reached deals with a range of disparate factions in Congress to both...

'Medicare for All' Bill Reaches a Record-Breaking 104 Co-Sponsors in Congress

WASHINGTON - Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), a group of 21,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals, announced today that H.R. 676,...

Private Prison and Border Security Contractors Lobby Congress Over Trump's Border Wall

The border fence between USA and Mexico, seen from the Mexican side, where Mexico, New Mexico and Texas meet. (Photo: dawn paley / Flickr) Lobbyists...

‘Trump referendum’: Georgia special election for Congress goes to runoff

Published time: 19 Apr, 2017 04:19Edited time: 19 Apr, 2017 07:06 Despite a strong lead, Democrat Jon...

DHS chief tells Congress critics to ‘shut up’ or change immigration laws

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly chastised Congressional lawmakers critical of the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement, arguing...

Dem Congressman Floats A Conspiracy Theory On Live TV, Offers No Evidence [VIDEO]

Daily Caller April 11, 2017 Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton floated a conspiracy theory on national television Monday night. Appearing on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,”...

Trump in letter to Congress: US to take additional action in Syria to further...

Published time: 8 Apr, 2017 19:03Edited time: 8 Apr, 2017 19:05Trump's letter to Congress about Syria: "I acted in the vital national security and...

Retired Reps. Jim Moran and Nick Rahall: What it Takes To Beat the Israel...

Delivered to The Israel Lobby and American Policy conference March 24, 2017 at the National Press Club The Israel Lobby and American Policy conference was...

Congress Members Call Out Trump for Violating War Powers as He Considers Pushing Yemen...

A woman and children at the Majara camp for displaced Yemenis, north of Abs, in Hajjah Province, Yemen, October 25, 2016. Yemen is mired...
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Video: Protesters set Paraguay Congress ablaze, 30 injured in clashes over constitutional reform

Protesters in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion stormed the National Congress building following a day of rallies in anger at the senators' closed-door vote...

Congress Seeks to Penalize Peaceful Pro-Palestine Movement, Amid Annual AIPAC Lobbying Blitz

A banner calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions in opposition to Israeli abuses hangs from the Manhattan Bridge in New York, August 20, 2014....

Fmr Republican congressman and aide indicted on federal conspiracy charges

Published time: 29 Mar, 2017 01:21 Former Congressman Steve Stockman (R-Houston) has been indicted on numerous charges...

Internet privacy rules removed by Congress

Internet providers will not be required to ask permission to sell customers' browsing habits, including medical...

NYT Says Congress Has ‘Duty’ to Make War–Rather Than the Right to Reject It

The New York Times argues that Congress has a duty to authorize war–rather than a responsibility to determine whether war should be fought. As reports...

Congress Is Missing in Action as Trump Escalates War in Syria Amid Russia Probe

President Donald Trump speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 24, 2017. (Photo: Gage Skidmore /...

Congresswoman Barbara Lee: We Must Stop Endless War

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Lee led a bipartisan coalition of House members in demanding the Trump Administration halt escalating...

Congress Approves Drug Test Measure That Vilifies Unemployed Workers

(Photo: PublicDomainPictures; Edited: LW / TO) Congress has voted to jettison Labor Department regulations that limit who can be drug-tested before collecting unemployment benefits from...

Treasury urges Congress to raise US debt limit to avoid default

Published time: 9 Mar, 2017 22:36Edited time: 10 Mar, 2017 11:06 The US national debt will reach...

NY congresswoman seeks bodycams for ICE agents

A New York Democrat has proposed a bill would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents...

Congress passes NASA funding bill, Mars mission date set

A trip to Mars by 2033 is among the several long-term NASA goals included in a...

Trump asks Congress to probe ‘pervasive leaks’ of classified info

President Donald Trump has asked Congress to investigate the leaks of classified government information, the White...
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Video: Tapping Trump: White House asks US Congress to investigate power abuse by Obama

The White House has called on the US Congress to investigate whether the Obama administration wiretapped President Trump before the election. Former ... Via Youtube

Trump asks Congress to establish whether Obama administration abused investigative powers in 2016

Published time: 5 Mar, 2017 14:08Edited time: 5 Mar, 2017 15:50 The White House has asked the...

The Reality Show Comes to Congress

Let us tear through these Trumpland evocations, the business pitches of this show and publicity act that was the first address by the President...

Trump’s Speech to Congress

After struggling mightily with whether or not to tune in, I was able to overcome my fears and convince myself to sit down in...
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Video: Congress Sets Stage for Transfer of Public Lands to the Benefit of Extractive...

Alan Rowsome of The Wilderness Society says the recent change in a budgetary rule could see federal land handed off for logging and drilling...

Trump's first address to Congress (WATCH LIVE)

In President Donald Trump's first joint-address to the House and Senate, he is anticipated to cover a broad agenda. After just over a...

Congressman to Trump: If Your Healthcare Plan's So "Fantastic," Let Us See It

Speaking to the nation's governors on Monday, President Donald Trump mused that "nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated," while reiterating that on repealing...

Congressional Town Halls Become Forums for Anti-GOP Resistance

This week marks the first recess of the 115th Congress. Members typically use the breaks as a chance to return to their home districts...

The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump

The Trump administration and a Republican-held Congress appear poised to unravel the nation’s bedrock environmental laws and programs, including the Endangered Species Act (ESA)....
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Video: Advocate: Trump’s Deportations are Possible Because Obama & Congress Failed to Protect Immigrants

http://democracynow.org - The White House is moving to greatly expand the Department of Homeland Security's authority to deport millions of undocumented ... Via Youtube

16 CEOs urge Congress to pass ‘big & bold’ tax reform, including border tax

Top executives from 16 major companies joined together in a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill,...

Members of Congress Duck Constituents, Dodge Town Halls to Avoid Accountability

People's ActionMore than 40,000 people joined a call on Sunday night to find out how they can get the attention of their member of...

Senate Confirms Austerity Champion Congressman as Influential White House Staffer

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's pick to be next director of the Office of Management and Budget, testifies at his conformation hearing before the...

Congressional Dems Go Diverse on Their Classifed Data

While the MSM is still in full “attack Trump” mode, breathlessly reporting each of his tweets, attacking his cabinet picks, gleefully celebrating how the...
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Video: US Congresswoman calls for Trump impeachment because Putin’s attacking… Korea?

Representative Maxine Waters has argued that US President Donald Trump will inevitably be impeached because of his alleged ties to Russian President ... Via Youtube
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Video: Internal breach? Congress IT staffers fired for accessing data without permission

As a result of an investigation, three brothers – Abid, Imran and Jamal Awan – were fired from working on Congress's computer network. They...

White terrorists ‘different’ to muslim terrorists argues Republican congressman (VIDEO)

Republican Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI-7) has argued “there’s a difference” between attacks carried out by Muslim terrorists and those carried out by white supremacists...
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Video: ‘Beautiful sight’: Congresswoman hails Berkeley riot as media raises concern over free speech

An American congresswoman has dubbed the Trump protest in Berkeley a 'beautiful sight'. The riot against the planned event at the campus has raised...
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Video: ‘Legitimising genocide’: US congresswoman visits Syria, criticised for meeting Assad

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has called on the US to put an end to the “illegal war” she believes it wages in Syria after...

Locked doors, unhooked phones & cold shoulders: Congress-voter disconnects persist

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate, as the classic movie line goes. Some in...

'We have to deliver': Trump calls congressional Republicans to action

President Donald Trump urged the Republican members of the US Congress to help him deliver on...

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Returns From Syria with Renewed Calls: End Regime Change War in...

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) returned to Washington, DC after a week-long visit to Damascus, Aleppo, and Beirut to see and hear firsthand the impact...

Marc Short: Koch Dark-Money Operative Is Trump's Liaison to Congress

When the history of Donald Trump's administration is written, people may point to the appointment of a Koch brothers' operative to a little-known White...
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Video: Sent to the “Back of the Bus”? 3 Black Members of Congress Testify...

http://democracynow.org - On Wednesday, at the second day of confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Justice Department, ... Via Youtube

‘It’s over’: Desperate protests in Congress fail to prevent Trump presidency

Donald Trump has been officially confirmed as the 45th President of the US after a joint session of Congress certified the votes of...

Resisting the Congressional Watchdog

Not that political corruption doesn’t happen with divided government, but with Republicans controlling all three branches, the prospects for more...

As More Southerners Benefit From It, Medicaid Expansion Faces Congressional Death Threats

Date on which North Carolina's newly sworn-in Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced he'd take executive action to expand Medicaid, the public health insurance program...

‘Broken promises’ or ‘sick again’? New Congress draws battle lines over Obamacare

As the Republican leadership of the 115th Congress prepares to fulfill US President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign...
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Video: Congress Just Passed an Enormous Health Bill, And Few People Noticed

Last week, the Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act, a controversial bill that provides funding for NIH in exchange for the rolling back...

New Congress Prepares to Undo Obamacare, Weigh Trump Personnel Picks

A new, Republican-controlled U.S. Congress convenes on Tuesday eager to repeal major portions of President Barack Obama's healthcare law and roll back...

Obama, congressional Dems plot ways to keep Obamacare

Millions of Americans ‒ more than 22 million of them ‒ are wondering what will become...
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Video: US congressman calls for scrutiny of Le Pen’s Russian financial links

American intelligence has been asked to look into French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's links to Moscow, according to reports. This comes after she...

‘CIA provides info to media but not Congress’ – Homeland Security Committee on Russia...

The chairman of the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has slammed the CIA’s...

Congress demands answers from Pentagon on $125bn waste report

The House Oversight Committee wants to know why the Pentagon buried a proposal to save $125...

Anti-antisemitism, Thought-control Bill moves through Congress

Eight years of legislative constipation suddenly ends when it comes to Congress' preferred constituencyby Denis R. O'Brien / December 9th, 2016 To provide for the...

Critical band aid: Congress to vote on funding bill as government shutdown looms

A “continuing resolution” required to keep the US government operating for the next four months is...

Congress bans online store ‘gag orders’ on customers for bad reviews

Dissatisfied consumers soon won’t have to fear punishment from online retailers for leaving negative comments, if a newly passed law making it illegal for...

15yo grandson of Chicago congressman shot dead in dispute over shoes

The 15-year-old grandson of Congressman Danny Davis was shot dead in his Chicago home, reportedly in...

US servicemen may be charged for ‘aiding and abetting war crimes’ in Yemen –...

US military personnel may be subject to war crimes probes if the Saudi-led coalition hits civilian...

Obama trade chief says TPP may still pass Congress after elections – report

Although TPP has lost traction on Capitol Hill, a US trade chief indicates the 12-nation trade...

Environmentalists Want Your Help Building a Climate Congress

Faced with a presidential debate season that lacked any real discussion of an issue that the current occupant of the White House,...

'Outraged' Congress may intervene as National Guardsmen ordered to pay back bonuses

Almost 10,000 California National Guard troops have been ordered to repay their recruitment bonuses after an...

Congress Sinks to New Depths

The sad state of American democracy – from the presidential race to Congress – is easy to lament as something beyond correction, but change...
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Video: Putin speaks at Delovaya Rossiya business congress in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak at the Delovaya Rossiya business congress, which will mark the organization's 15th anniversary, in Moscow RT ... Via Youtube

Congress’s Take on the Heroin Epidemic

A heroin epidemic is on fire all across America. Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium...
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Video: Breaking Through Power: Joan Claybrook on How Congress Really Works

The Center for Study of Responsive Law held a four-day conference in Washington, D.C. on securing long-overdue democratic solutions by using innovative ... Via Youtube

Congressman Walter Jones on US Financing of ‘Ghost Soldiers’ in Afghanistan

Letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter: October 14, 2016 The Honorable Ashton B. CarterSecretary of DefenseThe PentagonWashington, DC 20301-1000 Dear Secretary Carter: I am responding...
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Video: LIVE: Leaders speak at World Energy Congress 2016 in Istanbul

COURTESY: RUPTLY RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday Like us on Facebook ... Via Youtube

Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC): Don’t Undercut the 9/11 Victims Bill (JASTA)!

Letter from Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) to Speaker Ryan October 5, 2016 The Honorable Paul D. RyanSpeaker of the House of RepresentativesH-232 U.S. Capitol BuildingWashington,...
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Video: Iraqi group demands payments for US invasion after ‘Sue the Saudis for 9/11’...

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, passed by the US Congress last week, has become a green light for the families of 9/11...

Iraqi group demands payments for US invasion after ‘Sue the Saudis for 9/11’ bill...

A US bill allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for damages has...

Stop-and-frisk ‘an important tool when used right’, FBI director tells Congress

Days after Republican presidential nominee praised the controversial ‒ and unconstitutional ‒ police tactic of stop-and-frisk,...
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Video: ‘Obama saying Assad must go is one of the dumbest statements ever!’ ...

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE: https://youtu.be/GtiVYA4Ayxo US President Obama's Syria policy has him caught in the crossfire between both allies and ... Via Youtube

Utah congressmen propose ‘modern-day Indian land grab’

Two Utah congressmen are proposing a piece of legislation that would set Native American land rights...

Congresswoman warns of ‘Alt-Right’ surge in hailing opening of African-American history museum this week

This coming Saturday morning, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. will open to the world, and Tampa area Congresswoman Kathy...
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Video: Congressman Shows The Dumb Democrat Logic

In this video Luke Rudkowski interviews the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district, John Conyers. Conyers actually voted against ... source

Clinton bought old BlackBerrys on eBay – top Republican congressman

Hillary Clinton bought used BlackBerry phones on eBay, as she preferred the older versions of the...

Congressional Black Caucus: Deep in the Israel Lobby’s Pocket

“ Wasser­man Schultz em­bod­ied the enor­mous in­flu­ence that Amer­i­can Jews have within the Demo­cratic Party. A Jew with deep com­mu­nal in­volve­ments who was a...

Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia

Last week, the Pentagon announced the approval of the sale of an additional $1.15 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia. The callousness of...

Congress Must Take Action To Block Weapon Sales To Saudi Arabia

Last week, the Pentagon announced the approval of the sale of an additional $1.15 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia. The...

Congress: AWOL and Out of Control

Taken as whole, with exceptions, the American people have the strangest attitude toward the Congress. Our national legislature spends nearly a quarter of our...

Should Citizen Juries Choose America’s President, Congress, Governors and State Legislators?

Many people think choosing politicians by popular vote is an essential part of democracy. Nevertheless, there is another way to choose politicians that is...

Hacker strikes again, posts congressional Democrats’ passwords

The hacker calling himself ‘Guccifer 2.0’ says he broke into the computers of the Democratic Congressional...

Ron Paul on Libya War Escalation – Congress AWOL

The Obama Administration announced yesterday that it would begin a sustained bombing campaign against ISIS in Libya. The Administration said...
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Video: Congressman Elijah Cummings on Freddie Gray Case: I’m For Accountability, Not Against Police

http://democracynow.org - As Democracy Now! broadcast from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Amy Goodman was on the floor when she ... Via Youtube

US Congressman "White People Have Contributed More to Civilization than Others," Guess the Reaction

Hey look, it's a White supremacists: Here's the story from Vanityfair.com: During a panel discussion on MSNBC on Monday evening, Rep. Steve...

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Bob Livingston
Personal Liberty

Government is force. When it finds that soft force doesn’t work, it becomes more aggressive.

Having found itself unable to scare and/or coerce all Americans into “voluntary” vaccination compliance, now Congress has before it a bill titled the “Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015.” Of course this requirement is being done “in the public interest” and “for the greater good.”

It would accomplish the task of vaccinating all children by withholding federal funds from public elementary and secondary schools that enroll students who are not vaccinated according to recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Of course, children are required by law to attend school, and most children attend public schools. And people are forced to fund those schools whether they have children attending them or not. Opting out of the public indoctrination camps passing as public schools requires jumping through special hoops and/or forking over large sums of cash to a private school.

And who sits on the Advisory Committee that sets the recommendations? Why, it’s health professionals who benefit — either directly or indirectly – from vaccination programs. And some get thousands of dollars from drug makers like Pfizer, Merk and GlaxoSmithKline for “consulting” and “speaking” fees. One member, Marietta Vazquez, M.D., pocketed more than $20,000 for three speeches.

Even if they worked and were without risk, vaccines only stimulate temporary immunity. By trading lifelong immunity for temporary vaccine-induced immunity, people become vaccine dependent. The winners of repeated mandatory vaccinations are the pharmaceutical companies. The losers are the people, who are first put at risk as children for vaccine adverse events and then put at risk as adults for repeated vaccinations that have already failed. The pharmaceuticals have discovered a money machine in mass vaccinations. But they need and have to have your body for the pretense.

The development of asthma, diabetes and autism in children has increased substantially in the last four decades, coinciding with the significant increase in childhood immunizations. People are finally recognizing the link and questioning Big Pharma, and more and more are beginning to “opt out.”

Public awareness has been manipulated. Why does no one question the authority of injecting agents of unknown toxicity into their body? Unbelievably, the general public is satisfied with the disinformation provided by the government. Unfortunately, now is the wrong time for apathy. We are on the verge of a vaccine mania and by the time our wakeup call comes, it just may be too late.

The worldwide market for human vaccine is now over $24 billion – and expected by the World Health Organization to rise to $100 billion in 2025 — with the underlying purpose cloaked by the guise of protecting public health.

The act of forcing people through intimidation and deception into dangerous medications is terrorism of the most malicious sort. This act by public authority constitutes assault, violating civil and human rights under national and international law.

There can be no “greater good” in this act of war against the American people.

© Personal Liberty Media Group

Obscenely Wealthy Republican Congressman Kicks The Poor While They’re Down

California’s Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, worth an estimated $500 million in personal wealth, says that poor people in America really have it good. In an interview with CNN, Issa actually said, “Our poor people are the envy of the world.” Issa is apparently more heartless, cruel and tone-deaf than the average Tea Party idiot. Or maybe he’s just stupid. Even if a public official believes that the poor are a privileged class in America, it is politically unwise to express it aloud. Much better to shut up, luxuriate in your millions, represent an all-white constituency, and quietly do everything you can to pass legislation which extends government handouts and tax breaks to the obscenely wealthy like yourself. But Issa is not content to be rich, smug and imperious; he has to rub the noses of the poor in it.

Issa is also the moron who has wasted taxpayers’ money for years trying to hang the blame for Benghazi on Hillary Clinton. Spurred on by the liars at FOX News, Issa’s committee tried desperately to found any evidence of Obama/Clinton incompetence or corruption in the deaths of U.S. embassy employees. The investigation has turned up absolutely nothing. But Issa did get the satisfaction of publicly grilling Hillary in his congressional hearings. In so doing, he proved himself to be a misogynist lout, treating our Secretary of State with disrespect, disdain, and derision. In the end, though, Issa’s work was eviscerated by a bi-partisan Senate Intelligence committee which found that the State Department was not to blame for the attacks on our foreign embassy and the deaths of American diplomatic employees. There was no stand-down order at the time of the attacks, and no cover-up of the facts ensued. To wit: "There was no singular 'Tactical Warning' in the intelligence reporting leading up to the events on September 11, 2012, predicting an attack on U.S embassies. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence review found that no specific warnings predicted the attack in Benghazi…[and]there were no efforts by the White House or any other Executive Branch entities to 'cover-up' facts or make alterations for political purposes…[and] there were no U.S. military resources in position to intervene in short order in Benghazi to help defend The Temporary Mission Facility."

Issa should resign in disgrace for wasting millions of dollars, money which could have been used to assist the poor. Oops, I forgot. American poor people don’t need our help because they already have it so good.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

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I'm not aware of a stronger statement from any candidate for Congress. 

Virginia's Fifth District is currently misrepresented by Republican Robert Hurt who on Thursday voted against blocking funds for a new war on Iraq:

Lee (D-CA)- Amendment No. 31 - Prohibits funds from being used to conduct combat operations in Iraq. – REJECTED 165 – 250

Twice:

Lee (D-CA)- Amendment No. 33 - Prohibits funds from being used pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution of 2002. – REJECTED 182 – 231

Prior to Hurt, VA-05 was misrepresented by Democrat Tom Perriello, an enthusiastic warmonger who recently moved to the State Department from the Center for American Progress, which is advocating for missile strikes on Iraq.

Prior to Perriello, this district was embarrassed and disgraced by Democrat turned Republican Virgil Goode.

When people voted for Perriello (and Obama) in 2008, many blindly followed a party line, and many fantasized that they were electing an anti-war representative. 

Many imagined Hurt was hopeless in this regard, although he did prove willing in the end to oppose missile strikes into Syria.

Now, as it happens, there appears to be an opportunity to vote for someone who is actually running on an antiwar platform, not just a platform of being from a different party than Bush and Cheney.  And what a platform!

It's quite common to say you'll only back wars when "U.S. national interests are at stake" or when the U.S. is threatened, but those phrases can usually be defined to mean anything at all, including U.S. troops halfway around the globe getting into a shoot out.  That's not what Gaughan has said.  He has said there must be a threat to the United States in the United States.  That's a rejection of at least the past 70 years of U.S. war making.

It's also common to claim that one will take a decent position against wars if asked by the President.  That's not what Gaughan has said.  He has said that he will abide by the Constitution, which does not allow presidents to make wars, and that he will not permit the executive to wage wars except under the narrow circumstances described.

We're not going to find better than this around here for a long, long time to come, and I doubt anybody can find better elsewhere in the country. 

I therefore suggest that wherever you live, you consider supporting putting this man in Congress.

read more

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The idea, briefly, is to take (through eminent domain) roughly 8,000 square miles of sparsely populated land bordering the Gulf of Mexico and give it to Israel as a second, non-contiguous part of the State of Israel. Israel would get the land only if it agrees to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders

I would be curious to see how Texans would react to a Jewish homeland in East Texas. Besides one of the largest pro-Israel organizations in the United States is located in San Antonio, Texas called ‘Christians United for Israel (CUFI)’ who wish to educate Christians on why they should support the State of Israel:

While millions of Christians support Israel, there are millions more who do not yet vocally stand up for the Jewish state. It is crucial to educate Christians on the Biblical and moral imperatives to support Israel and to build Christian support for Israel throughout America

If Levene’s plan follows through if he is elected to congress, Will Texans still support a state of Israel in their own backyard? But Levene says “everybody wins” if the US government agrees to partition the state of Texas:

Israel wins because it would gain a new, peaceful territory far from the strife of the Middle East, in a place where, as Levene suggests, “the climate is similar,” and Israel could “have access to the Gulf of Mexico for international trade.” The U.S. wins because it would no longer need to send Israel billions of dollars a year in foreign aid. Texas wins because of all the construction jobs from building an entirely new state within its borders. The Palestinians win because they get the West Bank, and because now Israel, too, gets to see just how fun it is to have a non-contiguous state. Everybody wins!

The father of modern-political Zionism and the founder of the State of Israel, Thomas Hertzl considered a number of locations including Uganda, Argentina and even Alaska to form a Zionist state of Israel. The Times of Israel also stated:

And, in fact, it’s an idea with plenty of precedent. Theodor Herzl temporarily embraced a British proposal to establish a Jewish homeland in Uganda (though the backlash against the idea almost destroyed the Zionist movement). And in 1938-40, various plans were floated to settle European Jewish refugees in the Alaska territories – a notion that later inspired Michael Chabon’s novel, “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.”

This idea of a Jewish State besides one based in Palestine is not new. An interesting event took place in Basel, Switzerland on August 26th, 1903. Before the British government offered the country of Palestine to the Zionist political movement in 1948, a country in Africa called Uganda was on the list of possible future Jewish settlements known as the “Uganda Plan”. Before Palestine was turned into the state of Israel, Uganda was seen as a possible home for the Jewish people who were persecuted in Russia. They were subject to anti-Jewish sentiments among the Russian population. Other areas in the world were also considered for a Jewish homeland including Patagonia in Southern part of Argentina. In Joseph Telushkin’s ‘Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History’ stated a historical fact that “Britain stepped into the picture, offering Herzl land in the largely undeveloped area of Uganda (today, it would be considered an area of Kenya).” The proposal was controversial to the Jewish community. The idea was rejected at the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905. It is interesting to note that a small number of Jewish families did immigrate to Kenya before and after World War II, mostly in the capital of Nairobi. Today, there are a few hundred Kenyan Jews living in Nairobi.

It is hard to imagine the state of Israel in Africa. Besides, racism in Israel is comparable to Apartheid South Africa in the 1960’s. With Ethiopian Black Jews living in Israel facing unprecedented levels of racism including the forced massed sterilizations on Ethiopian women according to a report conducted by Haaretz in 2012 reported that “Women who immigrated from Ethiopia eight years ago say they were told they would not be allowed into Israel unless they agreed to be injected with the long-acting birth control drug Depo Provera, according to an investigative report aired Saturday on the Israel Educational Television program “Vacuum.” According to IRIN, a humanitarian news and analysis service launched by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in 2012, racism against Ethiopian Jews in Israel does exist:

An estimated 125,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, but while they are supposed to be full citizens with equal rights, their community has continued to face widespread discrimination and socio-economic difficulties, according to its leaders. A recent decision – as reported by local media – by 120 homeowners not to sell or rent their apartments to Israeli-Ethiopian families has brought discrimination against Ethiopian Jews in Israel back into the spotlight. 

Hundreds of Ethiopian Israelis took to the streets on 18 January to protest the move by landlords in the southern city of Kiryat Malakhi – Shay Sium’s hometown.

It is an interesting part of history that forces to ask the question: What if Israel did make Uganda, a country in Eastern-Africa their home? If the Palestinians, Ethiopian and Sephardic Jews suffer from racism in modern-day Israel, imagine if Uganda was turned into a Jewish homeland? Would it have been another Palestine? “Shall we choose Palestine or Argentina? Thomas Hertzl wrote.  Argentina? That would have been interesting, but Eastern Texas as the ‘New Israel’? Would Texan’s then be the new Palestinians?  Creating a state through “eminent domain” would treat the citizens of Texas as such.  And it sure won’t be a good start to diplomatic relations.  What is interesting about Allan Levene is that he is running for a congressional seat in two states, Hawaii and Georgia under the Republican Party, but not in the state of Texas. Another very interesting note on Levene’s candidacy is that “He also wants to put conspiracy theories to rest by investigating national catastrophes with not one, not two, but three separate commissions.” I actually agree with his idea for new commissions, perhaps a new “911 commission?” Allan Levene’s proposal would not happen anytime soon, even if he is elected. But the real question we should ask is, would Washington and Brussels consider creating a ‘New Israel’ in Eastern Texas if a war were to take place in the Middle East resulting in the destruction of several countries including Israel?  It does raise a serious debate.

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by Stephen Lendman

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) calls itself "the nation's premier research group tracking money in US politics and its (corrosive) effect on elections and public policy." 

"Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry, and a more transparent and responsive government."

Doing so remains a major uphill struggle. It shows virtually no signs of success. Conditions are worse than ever in modern times. Washington's political establishment is ruthless, corrupt and lawless. 

Members infesting it are privileged. Most are very, very rich. Generous congressional benefits supplement their wealth.

A long ago discredited canard claims anyone working hard enough can get rich. Growing millions of poor, unemployed, underemployed, hungry and homeless Americans attest to the Big Lie.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote:

"Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early...They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we..."

"Even when they enter deep into our world...they still think that that they are better than we are. They are different."

Most House and Senate members for sure are. They live in their own world. It's light years from most constituents they serve. 

Inside their bubble, it's paradise. Outside it's dystopian hell. They barely notice. They're indifferent. They don't care. They ignore human suffering. They do so dismissively. They do it disgracefully.

The American dream for growing millions is nightmarish. Congressional members worry most about being reelected. 

They're beholden solely to wealth, power and privilege. They're mindless of constituent needs. Their voting record shows it. Public betrayal reflects it.

On January 9, CRP headlined "Millionaires' Club: For First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 million-Plus."

In tongue in cheek understatement, The New York Times said it's "hardly the kind of news that lawmakers in Congress would want to highlight during a week when unemployment benefits expired for (1.3 million) Americans."

Millions more will lose theirs before yearend. Congress won't renew benefits without offsetting social cuts. Whether December's dismal employment report changes things remains to be seen. 

A meager 74,000 jobs were created. Consensus expected around 200,000. Major media reports ignore mostly low quality jobs. It's the same story monthly.

Jobs created are largely menial, low pay, part-time or temp. They're poor or no-benefit work. 

They're largely jobs most Americans shunned decades earlier. Today they're grateful for any work.

The fake unemployment rate dropped to 6.7%. It's because hundreds of thousands of discouraged workers stopped seeking work. They can't find it.

Labor force non-participation hit a new all-time high. It's nearly 92 million adult men and women. 

They want work. Enough jobs aren't available. They're blamed for disgraceful government policy. Job creation isn't a federal priority. Pathetically little is done to help.

America's unemployed go unnoticed. They're nameless, faceless, out-of-sight, out-of-mind non-persons. They're unwanted. They don't exist. They don't count. 

They're growing millions of forgotten lost souls. Labor force participation is lowest since August 1977. It stands at 62.8%.

It's heading south to greater lows. It's a shocking indictment to bipartisan indifference. Protracted Main Street Depression  conditions go unaddressed. Pathetically little is done to help.

National resources go for militarism, imperial wars, corporate handouts, and tax cuts for super-rich elites. 

Social America is on the chopping block for elimination. Popular needs are increasingly ignored. Safety net protections are disappearing.

Real unemployment exceeds 23%. Numbers are manipulated to conceal it. Media reports don't explain. Misinformation echoes the charade. Fake excuses substitute for responsible policy.

Most House and Senate members are entirely self-serving. They're richer than ever. They live in their own world.

They're mindless of institutionalized inequality. America's poor ranks keep growing exponentially. 

In the 1970s, about one in 50 Americans were on food stamps. Today it's around one in six. Since yearend 2008, recipients increased about 50%. Their ranks grow monthly.

Over half of US households need some form of federal aid. Bipartisan complicity keeps cutting it when most needed. 

Most Republicans and Democrats want it eliminated altogether. They pretend otherwise.

A decade or two ahead, America will be entirely thirdworldized. Middle America is fast disappearing. Most children live in households considered low income or impoverished.

Over three-fourths of working people live from paycheck to paycheck. They're one missed pay period away from potential homelessness and destitution.

Most House and Senate members belong to America's top 1%. It has more wealth than the bottom 95%. Force-fed neoliberal harshness created this nightmare.

Class warfare isn't new. Today it rages. Private wealth benefits most. Popular interests aren't important. Increasingly they've gone begging. 

According to the Economic Policy Institute's research director Josh Bivens: 

"Congress not only seems more responsive to policy desires of the rich, but increasingly they are very rich."

Republicans and Democrats "know far fewer people cut off by the failure to extend unemployment benefits, and that makes them less sensitive to just how much damage that cutoff is going to cause."

Most congressional members don't care. Their voting records show it. So does their accumulated wealth.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP):

"Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed last year by all members of Congress and candidates."

Most congressional members are far wealthier than average Americans. "(B)ut the fact that now a majority…are millionaires represents a watershed moment..."

It's when lawmakers let unemployment benefits expire for 1.3 million affected people. They cut food stamps. Other social benefits are eroding when most needed.

Guaranteeing a living wage is shunned. Cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security matter more. 

So does benefitting America's super-rich like themselves. According to CRP's executive director Sheila Krumholz:

"Despite the fact that polls show how dissatisfied Americans are with Congress overall, there's been no change in our appetite to elect affluent politicians to represent our concerns in Washington." 

"Of course, it's undeniable that in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with."

Republican and Democrat median wealth is virtually equal. Senators on average are threefold richer than House members.

Their median net worth is $2.7 million. It's no exaggeration calling the Senate a multimillionaire's club. 

Around two-thirds of its members are super-rich. Some have enormous fortunes. So do super-rich House members. Congress' top 10 rank as follows:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R. CA) has an estimated maximum net worth of $597.9 million.

Senator Mark Warner (D.VA) has up to $418.7 million.

Rep. Jared Polis (D. CO) has $326.1 million.

Rep. John Delaney (D. MD) has $244.1 million.

Rep. Vernon Buchanan (R. FL) has $235.8.

Rep. Scott Peters (D. CA) has $197.4 million.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R. TX) has $183.8 million.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D. CA) has $174.9 million.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D. W VA) has $139.3 million.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D. CT) has $121.3 million.

Note: Former senator/current Secretary of State John Kerry is heir to the HJ Heinz fortune. It's through his wife Teresa. He's super-rich on his own.

Estimates of their combined wealth range up to $3.5 billion. Clearly he's in a class of his own. 

Congressional members are free from want. Halls of Congress don't echo brother can you spare a dime.

Harder than ever Main Street hard times go unnoticed. Republicans and Democrats never had it so good. They're richer than ever. 

They dismissively ignore America's most disadvantaged. They do so in their greatest time of need. 

They do it disgracefully. They do it shamelessly. They do it when wealth more than ever is disproportionately shared.

They do it when growing poverty, unemployment and human misery affects tens of millions. They do it because they don't care.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Congressional Budget Deal Betrayal

by Stephen Lendman

Days ahead of adjourning until January, bipartisan complicity struck a deal no responsible government would accept.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R. WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D. WA) were involved.

On Tuesday, Obama thanked them for doing so. He asked for swift congressional action "so (he) can sign it into law and our economy can continue growing and creating jobs without more Washington headwinds."

He's mindless of the harm it causes. Throughout his tenure, he's waged war on social justice. 

He wants America's resources earmarked for militarism, homeland repression, and generous corporate handouts.

Monied interests benefit enormously. Ordinary people are systematically denied. Budget terms hit them harder. More on that below.

Obama called Tuesday's agreement "a good first step." He lied saying it'll grow the economy and strengthen the middle class. 

He wrecked both throughout his tenure. He wants ordinary people hit harder going forward. He wants them increasingly on their own out of luck.

Budget terms replace a small portion of harmful sequester cuts. It's far too little to matter. Around $1.2 trillion over 10 years was agreed on. Well over $1 trillion remains. Expect lots more added later.

Cuts target vital social programs too important to lose. Deficit savings come mostly at the expense of Medicare providers. They've been hit hard before. They're targeted again.

Doctors and hospitals lose another 2% of their income. Doing so amounts to over $120 billion over 10 years. Social Security and Medicaid were spared.

Federation of American Hospitals president Chip Kahn criticized the deal, saying:

"America’s hospitals have grave concerns about the Murray-Ryan proposed budget agreement and urge Members of Congress to oppose it."

"The budget agreement threatens access to critical health care services for seniors by trading off Medicare cuts for increases in government and defense spending today." 

"Rather than providing relief to the arbitrary Medicare sequester cuts, this agreement maintains the current cuts and extends these cuts into the future." 

"It sustains bad budget policy under the guise of solving real mandatory spending issues facing this country."

Last spring, American Medical Association president Dr. Jeremy Lazarus said:

"Over the last 12 years, Medicare payments to physicians increased only 4%, while the cost of providing care jumped 20%." Budget cuts make it harder for patients to get care, he added. 

"One in five Medicare patients already (face) difficulties in finding a doctor to take them. If you cut their pay, this access problem will only get worse."

Federal law triggers annual Medicare cuts. Congress blocked a 29% provider cut last January. It blocked others over the past decade.

Deficit reduction is too meager to matter. A short explanation said:

"The budget proposal saves $28 billion over ten years by requiring the President to sequester the same percentage of mandatory budgetary resources in 2022 and 2023 as will be sequestered in 2021 under current law."

So-called mandatory budget resources refers mostly to Medicare providers. Budget deal terms are for two years. Government remains funded through September 30, 2015.

Cuts are about $63 billion in mostly domestic programs. FY 2014 spending increases to $1.012 trillion. In FY 2015, it's higher at $1.014 trillion.

This year's spending reflected compromise. Months earlier, Senate members passed a $1.058 trillion budget. House members approved $967.

Current fiscal year military spending is $520.5 billion. Generous off-budget add-ons and black budgets add tens of billions more.

Domestic programs are allocated $491.8 billion. Around $63 billion in new spending over the next two years provides somewhat more for Pentagon priorities than domestic ones.

Most sequester cuts are delayed. They'll continue annually through FY 2024. They'll be more later than now. Expect new cuts in the interim.

Social America is on the chopping block for elimination. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are prime targets. Expect stiff cuts later on.

Current ones affect Medicare providers. They hit newly hired federal workers. They'll pay more into their pension fund. 

Washington will contribute less. Effectively their pay is cut. It comes when inflation is far more than officially reported. Current federal employees aren't affected.

Military retirees under age 62 face a 1% cost-of-living (COLA) cut. They'll get less than they expected and deserve.

Selected government fees rise. Air travel got more expensive. One-way increases from $2.50 to $5.60. For round trips, it's $11.20. 

It's for TSA security. It's more illusion than reality. It enriches well-connected providers. They profit hugely. 

Scamming people to falsely believe they're safer pays well. Profiteers will earn more going forward. They'll do so at travelers' expense.

A dozen or more other cuts are imposed. They save a billion here, a  few billion there. Combined they decrease government services. 

They do so when increasing vital domestic ones should be prioritized. Regressive policies head them the wrong way.

Agreement terms don't raise the debt limit. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates it'll be reached between March and June.

In October, Congress agreed to suspend the borrowing limit until February 7, 2014. Emergency Treasury measures let Washington keep doing it short-term. 

They include suspending pension payments. Neither party said how they'll resolve the debt ceiling as next February approaches. Political brinksmanship may repeat. 

Congress never failed to raise it. Since 1940, they did so 79 times. It lets the Treasury borrow more money. It's needed to pay federal obligations on time.

In theory, the debt ceiling is supposed to control federal spending. In reality, it does nothing of the sort. Expect another increase before Washington runs out of money next year.

Democrats largely support the budget deal. So do most House Republicans.  Speaker John Boehner said:

"While modest in scale, this agreement represents a positive step forward by replacing one-time spending cuts with permanent reforms to mandatory spending programs that will produce real, lasting savings."

Some Republicans oppose it. Senator Rand Paul (R. KY) said "undoing tens of billions of this modest spending restraint is shameful and must be opposed."

Americans for Prosperity is a Koch Brothers affiliated group. AFP president Tim Phillips said:

"The American people demanded, and were promised, reasonable spending limits. Politicians choosing to go back on their promise will be held accountable for their actions." 

"Republicans should once again stand firm in upholding the modest sequestration spending cuts."

Budget terms delivered a lump of coal for Christmas. Around 1.3 million longterm jobless workers are affected. Their unemployment benefits expire yearend.

Republicans, Democrats and Obama agreed. They won't be extended. They'll be cut off. So will another 3.6 million unemployed in the first and second 2014 quarters.

By summer next year, nearly five million needy people will be dumped. They'll be ignored. So will their families.

Tax cuts for rich elites went untouched. So did generous corporate handouts. In 2014, they'll get lower tax rates. It's separate from the budget deal. It keeps America's war machine well funded. 

Vulnerable unemployed workers are on their own. It comes during protracted Main Street Depression conditions. 

Real unemployment tops 23%. Fake numbers conceal reality. So-called recovery is a convenient illusion.

Leaving five million unemployed workers and their families on their own any time is reprehensible. Doing it when hard times keep getting harder is unconscionable.

Doing it while generously funding corporate interests and war profiteering exceeds harshness. 

Imagine! The world's richest country doesn't care. Popular interests go begging. Others benefitting wealth, power and privilege matter most.

Budget deal duplicity continues force-fed austerity. Obama's tenure reflects multiple rounds of social spending cuts. Vital programs were slashed.

Medicare was hard hit. More cuts are planned. Other vital programs are targeted. They face major cutbacks or elimination altogether. 

Food stamp recipients were hit at the worst possible time. America's hungry face less help ahead. Homeless people are entirely on their own.

America's most disadvantaged face harder than ever hard times. Budget priorities increasingly ignore them. 

Millions needlessly suffer. Bipartisan duplicity force feeds misery. Obama mandates it. So do most congressional members. Washington wages financial war on its most disadvantaged. 

Neoliberal harshness is official policy. So is destroying America's social contract. I don't care defines Washington's agenda. Profiles in courage are sorely lacking.

Waging war on living standards reflects race to the bottom priorities. America was never beautiful. It's worse than ever in modern times.

Institutionalized inequality defines immorality. Future prospects look grim. America appears headed for third world status. 

Disproportionate wealth and poverty extremes reflect it. So do millions of hungry children. 

Leaving them on their own ill-nourished bears testimony to callous indifference. Bipartisan complicity assures it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour


http://www.dailycensored.com/congressional-budget-deal-duplicity/

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Confronting Neo-liberal Capitalism: SIGTUR’s tenth Congress in Perth/Australia, 2 to 6 December 2013.

Last week, I attended the tenth Congress of the Southern Initiative on Globalisation and Trade Union Rights (SIGTUR) in Perth/Australia, 2 to 6 December 2013. SIGTUR is a network of more militant trade unions from the Global South with a focus on South-South co-operation. In this post, I will reflect on SIGTUR’s achievements, problems as well as possibilities for the future on the basis of the exchanges at this Congress. I will argue that it will only be through joint campaigns against capitalist exploitation that relationships of solidarity can be established through SIGTUR more widely.

Since its establishment in 1991, SIGTUR’s membership has steadily increased. At the Congress in Perth, Latin America was represented by delegates from CUT/Brazil and CTA/Argentina. From Africa, the Nigerian Labour Congress and the South African Cosatu had sent strong delegations, complemented by a representative from Ruanda and a delegate from the ITUC-Africa. Unions from Asia included large delegations from CITU/India and the KCTU/South Korea. Smaller delegations came from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia. One delegate from the smaller Japanese union ZENROREN also participated. Finally, a large delegation represented various federations of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). The latter had founded SIGTUR together with Cosatu from South Africa against the background of Australian union solidarity with the anti-Apartheid struggle as well as Cosatu support for striking Australian dockers (see also SIGTUR – A movement of democratic unions of the Global South). In the following, I will first look at key differences between SIGTUR members, before discussing common challenges and the need for joint campaigns.


Australian unions and labour movements from the Global South

Although geographically located in the Global South, Australia is clearly an industrialised country unlike the countries of other SIGTUR members. Unsurprisingly, first differences emerged right at the beginning of the Congress. When the various delegations introduced themselves, the ITUC-Africa representative made clear that the capitalist system as such needed to be challenged. CITU from India identified capitalism and imperialism as the main target, while the KMU delegate from the Philippines mentioned monopoly capitalism as the main opponent. In general the unity of the working class was singled out as essential in the struggle to transform existing structures of exploitation.

By contrast, Ged Kearney, President of the ACTU, raised concerns about the recent change in power towards a Conservative government and the related attack on the welfare state and progress enacted by the previous Labour government. The Australian social and industrial compact around the welfare state and employment rights was under attack, she argued. At the global level, workers from different countries would be pitted against each other and a general increase in insecure work was noticeable. While the proliferation of free trade agreements endangered the environment and undermined workers’ rights, corporate power was globalised. Not capitalism as such, but unfettered capitalism was identified as the opponent. Decision-making at G20 meetings should be done in consultation with employers and trade unions, as unregulated free markets would not work. This resembles very closely the position of many European trade unions and their emphasis on social partnership with employers to ensure a capitalist system with a human face, in which economic growth is combined with fairness at work and throughout wider society.

Members at the founding meeting of SIGTUR, Photo by Rob Lambert

Trade unions and the position vis-à-vis political parties and social movements

Another area of differences concerned the relationship between trade unions and political parties and social movements. As the Argentinian CTA delegate outlined, instead of close connections with a political party, his union has emphasised co-operation with social movements. Individuals and social movements can even be directly CTA members without representing sections of the working class. This was the basis, he argued, on which the successful struggle against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) had been based. These sentiments were echoed by the delegate from the ITUC-Africa, making clear that unions can no longer be islands. They need to co-operate with progressive civil society and move from workplace issues to community concerns as in the successful global campaign for the rights of domestic workers. CUT from Brazil and the South African Cosatu, on the other hand, have close relationships to governing political parties with the PT and the ANC respectively, as had the Australian ACTU until recently with a Labour government. They would still emphasise their autonomy as trade union. Especially CUT emphasised its close collaboration with social movements such as the movement of landless workers (MST) as well as participation in various left networks, combined with critical positions on government policy, when necessary. Nevertheless, this strategy is clearly different from the CTA’s approach.

CITU/India, in turn, completely rejects co-operation with social movements, as 95 per cent of them would be funded by transnational corporations (TNCs) or governments and, therefore, could not be allies in class struggle. The South Korean KCTU, finally, had actually founded its own party, which even gained 10 per cent in elections at some stage. However, soon afterwards it split and one of the two resulting parties split yet further, so that the union decided in the end not to support any longer a specific political party. Instead, it joined the broad alliance People’s Power, which is currently the platform for the struggle against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Considering these differences over who the opponent actually is and whether to co-operate with political parties and/or social movements in the struggle, how can SIGTUR actually function as a coherent network?


Common challenges and joint campaigns

Despite these differences, it soon became clear at the Congress that the various SIGTUR members are conscious of the common challenges they face and the need for joint campaigns to confront them successfully. For example, the damage caused by the increasingly powerful TNCs are everywhere the same. Chevron, the global energy TNC, for example, extracts local wealth and undermines trade union and workers’ rights in Australia as it does in developing countries. Local communities suffer everywhere, as Chevron neither provides jobs with training opportunities for local people nor establishes sustainable infrastructure. The environment is frequently damaged too. Equally, the threat to the public sector through outsourcing and privatisation affects South Korea, where the KCTU is currently involved in a bitter struggle over the privatisation of the railways (see Korea: Support railway workers’ right to strike), as it does Australia, where austerity measures undermine the public provision of services, or India, where the government intends to privatise the system of food distribution to the poor. 

Delegates at the SIGTUR Congress in Perth.


SIGTUR members agreed that these common challenges required joint responses including global campaigns against specific TNCs, such as Chevron, Samsung or Suzuki as well as a joint campaign for the public sector and against privatisation. The current Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations were especially identified as dangerous. On the one hand, this agreement intends to strengthen TNCs further allowing them to sue specific governments, should they endanger their profits, on the other it pushes the privatisation of the public sector, opening it up precisely to a take-over by these TNCs.

In short, as clear as the differences over members’ position on capitalism and on co-operation with parties and social movements were, it was equally clear that these differences did not prevent in any way joint actions by SIGTUR. Throughout the Congress, Australian trade unionists discussed and worked with their fellow colleagues from other Southern labour movements on an equal footing.


The challenge of joint activities: What future for SIGTUR?

As it became clear at the Congress, the main challenge actually is not how to handle differences between SIGTUR members, but how to move towards joint actions. In individual discussions with various representatives, doubts were frequently raised about SIGTUR’s capacities in this respect. A Thai delegate, for example, told me that he had been at similar Congresses before, but was getting increasingly frustrated about the lack of progress. The CTA delegate from Argentina emphasised that SIGTUR was important for his union’s international activities, but ultimately the ITUC in Latin America was more active and the cultural similarities made it easier to organise joint campaigns regionally. Equally, a Cosatu delegate emphasised the lack of SIGTUR action between Congresses and pointed to the intensive activities by the ITUC-Africa, being a much more worthwhile international organisation to work with. CUT from Brazil still values SIGTUR, I was told, but less than in the past. In short, the next three years will be crucial for SIGTUR. Joint activities will be necessary so that members continue having faith in the network. Alternatively, SIGTUR and the idea of South-South co-operation could lose attraction.

Discussions at the SIGTUR Congress in Perth

And the potential is there. A new structure with four regional co-ordinators has been established and several targets for joint activities identified. The unique Global South dimension, the fact that SIGTUR members perhaps with the exception of the ACTU are not affected by the ideology of social partnership still puts it in a unique place for class struggle against capitalism. The presence of three trade unionists from Myanmar, where it has just recently become possible to form openly trade unions, and SIGTUR’s signing up to the initiative of Trade unions for energy democracyindicates that it remains cutting edge as an international labour organisation. The decisive task will be to translate this potential into concrete actions so that SIGTUR becomes more known internationally and its more militant outlook can provide a guiding example for others.

Solidarity and the overcoming of differences is ultimately always the result of struggle. The next three years may be decisive for SIGTUR’s future as a network. Either members are able to carry out joint initiatives against capitalist exploitation through SIGTUR, or they may well feel that their efforts are better spent elsewhere.



Prof. Andreas Bieler
Professor of Political Economy
University of Nottingham/UK

Personal website: http://andreasbieler.net

9 December 2013

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