The fiscal security of the disability trust fund got rapidly worse as the unemployment rate rose. The number of applications has almost doubled in the last 10 years, from 1.5 million a year in 2001 to more than 2.8 million a year in 2012.
Obamalogic: Having a job actually masks disability and true social needs.
By design. When it all starts to come crashing down who do you think they media will cast the blame on? Why on 'Congress' (meaning the House who is supposed to create a budget) which hasn't passed a budget (at the time) for 6-8 years. (They will conveniently not mention that it's Reid who blocked each budget).
Three guesses who will be there to 'save the day'... if we would only give him a third term...
[SANFRANCISCO.CBSLOCAL] Lee said city officials plan to talk to small businesses in the Mission District and elsewhere that were most affected by the World Series violence starting next week. He also said bars need to be aware of how much alcohol they're serving. I assume that by "alcohol" he means "liquor" or "beer" or "wine," rather than some kind of solvent or an inefficient motor fuel.
Mayor Lee went as far as suggesting bars serve something other than hard alcohol during the game. Because nobody likes a beer while they're watching the biggest game of the year. Iced tea goes with pizza just fine, doesn't it?
"I suggest that they serve something (other) than heavy alcohol during the times of celebration cause [sic] that inebriation sometimes doesn't help with people who might go beyond the bounds of acceptability in their celebration," Lee told reporters Thursday. But if you deny them "beer" or "wine" or "liquor" they'll be just fine. But don't worry -- there's no way they're not gonna vote for you next time.
[GUARDIAN.CO.UK] A Liberal Democrat MP facing disciplinary action over comments about Israel's treatment of Paleostinians that he made ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day has said that he will defend his actions in front of his party's chief whip.
David Ward sparked a backlash after posting an item on his website about honouring those who were persecuted and killed during the Holocaust but also accusing "the Jews" of "inflicting atrocities on Paleostinians ... on a daily basis".
Despite coming in for intense criticism on social media and elsewhere, the MP stood by his comments and said later that that he would set out his case if he faced disciplinary action.
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Early in the 4th century, Emperor Diocletian issued an infamous decree to control spiraling wages and prices in the rapidly deteriorating Roman Empire.
As part of his edict, Diocletian commanded that any merchant or customer caught violating the new price structures would be put to death.
This is an important lesson from history, and a trend that has been repeated numerous times. When nations are in terminal economic decline, governments will stop at nothing to keep the party going just a little bit longer.
I thought of Diocletian's desperation a few days ago when I read about the recent sanctions imposed on US rating agency Egan-Jones. It's a similar story--
For years, major rating agencies (S&P, Moody's, and Fitch) have championed the outright fraud of our financial system by pinning pristine credit ratings on insolvent governments and their heavily inflated currencies.
In doing so, the rating agencies are effectively claiming that the greatest debtor that has ever existed in the history of the world is nearly 'risk-free'. A scam 50 years in the making
Clearly this is a ridiculous assertion. With a debt level over 100% of GDP, the US is so broke that the government must borrow money just to pay interest on the money it's already borrowed. They've lost over a trillion dollars a year since 2008, yet they still spend money on things like drones and body scanners. It's crazy.
As with any good scam, the government must maintain public confidence. The moment someone says 'the Emperor has no clothes,' that shallow, fragile confidence will come crashing down and expose the scam. Dissent must be vigorously and swiftly pursued.
So when S&P finally downgraded the US one notch in August 2011, the SEC and Justice Department announced that S&P was under investigation, just two weeks later.
Egan-Jones, a smaller rating agency, has been even more aggressive, downgrading the US credit rating three times in 18 months. And while the federal government may not have imposed Diocletian's death penalty, they are just as willing to squash dissent.
In a country that churns out thousands of pages of new regulations each week, it's easy to find a reason to go after someone. As you read this letter, in fact, you are probably in violation of at least a dozen regulatory offenses.
In the case of Egan-Jones, the SEC brought administrative action against the agency within two weeks of their second downgrade. And a few days ago, the case was settled.
I'm sure you have already guessed the ending: Egan-Jones is banned from for the next 18 months from rating US government debt. They've effectively been silenced from telling the truth.
The lesson here is obvious. Just as in Roman times, bankrupt nations today will stop at nothing to keep up the scam just a little bit longer.
Given that all this is happening at a time when Congress is voting to suspend the debt ceiling entirely, these actions are the clearest sign yet of just how desperate the government has become.
Could the warning signs be any more obvious? No. But as long as the bread and circuses keep going, the public won't care.
[WEEKLYSTANDARD] "Mrs. Feinstein's measure would exempt more than 2,200 types of hunting and sporting rifles; guns manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action; and weapons used by government officials, law enforcement and retired law enforcement personnel," the Washington Times reports.
A federal appeals court has ruled that President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit says Obama did not have the power to make recess appointments earlier this year to the National Labor Relations Board.
Obama claims he acted properly because the Senate was away for the holidays. But the court says the Senate technically stayed in session when lawmakers gaveled in and out every few days for so-called "pro forma" sessions.
GOP lawmakers used the tactic specifically to prevent Obama from using his recess power to fill vacancies in an agency they claimed was too pro-union.
The Obama administration is expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
Recess appointments expire at the end of the following session, right? So those NLRB seats should be vacant again about now, needing to be filled, either by confirmed appointment or another recess appointment at the next recess. As such, isn't this current case now moot? SCOTUS doesn't take moot cases, AFAIK, so wouldn't the Appeals Court ruling stand? And have no practical effect except as precedent, which can be ignored and then the next intrasession 'recess' appointees serve until THEIR case gets through the court system?
The point of the matter was that 'recess' appointments go back to a archaic time when Congress sat for only a couple of months of the year and then adjourned for many more months because business was done. Now that Congress is basically in continuous session, often missing deadlines for annual appropriations for the next fiscal year, they're not adjourning as taking an extended break from the Beltway reelection/graft farming daily grind. It's one thing when the members of Congress would literally saddle up to be back in the swamp lands of the Potomac, taking weeks in transit. It's another when you can jump a flight on be there in hours. So, other than the actually office of President, who needs to fill what position that can't wait a couple of weeks for a look at?
"you mean there was a time when being a congressperson wasn't a profession?"
Strange but true, grom. Waaay back in the olden days. (Some states still have citizen legislators - Virginia and Texas are two for sure. There are probably others.)
Posted by: Barbara ||
As such, isn't this current case now moot?
Well, no. The "recess" appointees are still in place aren't they?
Further if the recess appointments are unconstitutional, as the DC Circuit has determined, then questions arise as to whether the actions they've taken are legal nullities and whether parties negatively impacted by same have ongoing ripe causes of action as a result. Of course the D.C. Cir. ruling is precedential only in D.C. so a plaintiff would have to win in their home courts on the question of the unconstitutional nature of the appointments, the harm, their right to bring a resultant action and the damage they experienced. Unless of course these particular agencies or the statutes impacted are ones whose actions are appealable only to the D.C. Circuit. It's complicated.
SCOTUS doesn't take moot cases, AFAIK, so wouldn't the Appeals Court ruling stand?
Yes but I'd wager that the DC Circuit's overreach (though a proper originalist interpretation of the Constitution) will induce the S.Ct. to take up the matter. The D.C. Cir. found: 1) the recess appointments unconstitutional (so far so good); 2) for the reason that only the Senate could determine when the Senate was in session (potentially a failure as the S.Ct. may choose to avoid the issue entirely by calling this out as a "political question" and using that fig leaf to vitiate the entire D.C. Cir. decision); and 3) that recess appointments can only be made for vacancies that arise during a recess (danger Will Robinson, it was entirely unnecessary to set this forth in order to invalidate the improper recess appointments and, if the S.Ct. takes up the matter I'd not bet heavily on its survival).
And have no practical effect except as precedent, which can be ignored and then the next intrasession 'recess' appointees serve until THEIR case gets through the court system?
While not binding precedent in the traditional sense (I believe the D.C. Cir. has original jurisdiction here), the D.C. Cir. case would, if the S.Ct. declines to take the matter up, survive as a holding binding on the Executive & Legislative Branches.
The out for the Administration that would probably effectively moot the matter would entail quickly nominating new appointees who would, upon confirmation, quickly rubber stamp every action taken the the unconstitutional appointees. The matter of the unconstitutional appointments would then be moot and those affected would be left with causes of action accruing damages only from the date of the impactful action by the unconstitutional appointee until the date of the rubber stamp action by the proper appointee. That's far from an automatic win and given the temporal limitation it's probably something few, if any, would pursue.
AzCat, the DCCCA was not even briefed on this. So it's danger Will Robinson, from step 1. Reminds me of Erie v. Tompkins. But nobody could appeal Brandeis decision. Nonetheless, I suspect SCOTUS may sustain, just so they can watch the donks scream about judicial activism.
And the administration has no out. Appointments who would rubber stamp prior actions could not get through the Senate. And the CPFB appointment could be an even bigger deal.
I thought recess appointments only held for about a year, or until the next session started, so wouldn't these appointments, from January 2012 be about to expire? Or have already expired? They were appointed during the 112th Congress and the 113th is now seated...
their rulings would've stood, tho. Now anyone pissed at their outcome can sue to have them overturned. Also, he can only appoint people when the opening occurs DURING a recess. Future Presidents can thank Teh Zero for ruining this for everyone. Again - his reverse Midas Touch
Posted by: Frank G ||
you mean there was a time when being a congressperson wasn't a profession? criminal conspiracy.
Early on, I recall that BHO said he was going to try to find ways to go around Congress. It also occurs to me that he instructed his minions to do the same. Suppose SCOTUS interprets his actions, not as an emergency appointment during recess as claimed, but as an attempt to subvert the authority of Congress as he stated early on?