Archive for category Mike Lee

The War Power, The Sergeant, the Senator: Treason or Heroism

The Sergeant who some years ago left his post in that unnecessary and unwinnable war in
Afghanistan is either a hero, a traitor, or just a terribly young man in the wrong war at the wrong time. He spent terrible years of torture and probably said things he didn’t really mean.

Some years ago in Vietnam, Senator McCain was shot down over Vietnam, another unconstitutional war, and equally unwinnable war, confessed repeatedly to things he later recanted, once safely in the United States, and is, quite rightly regarded, despite his confessions to American war crimes, a hero. The two cases are not quite completely on all fours, as we say in the law. But the similarity is sufficient to compare with each other and with the undergirding of law.

Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, who are visited by war, either their own or, like Obama, inherited from another (in Obama’s case two other) fools who preceded them, have always had this power. While not yet president, and without this act may well not have become president, Ronald Reagan communicated with Iran, telling them, in effect, just to refuse to deal with Carter on releasing our citizens from the U. S. Embassy in Iran, and await his presidency. Their deal (which killed Jimmie Carter’s hope for a second term and by the way was treason, meriting a firing squad.)

The 30, 60, 90 day notification of Congress is also unconstitutional, but not for the reasons the Republicans and Democrats alike, trumpet. Saint Paul, as I recall, said “this trumpet has an uncertain sound.” And I know he said that some leaders have “zeal without knowledge.” This is Republican and Democratic leaders on steroids, just like my former wife.

The reason the War Powers Act is unconstitutional is not what is now said by either Republicans or Democrats, as I told Joe Biden when he was both Minority Senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and when he was chair. I testified before his committee a few times, and he called me at the law school sometimes to chat about this. The reason is simple. Due to both a few but very senior Democrats and almost all Republicans, Congress forced the Demo’s to give the president 30, 60, or 90 days to play with Congress’ army while he picked his nose. War has not been officially declared since FDR did it in WW2. George Bush (the first) and Colin Powell, in my opinion, got it right, constitutionally, by voting 50-50 in the Senate, and then the Dark Lord, Vice President Cheney, broke the tie and we went to war in Iraq the right way by law; and they had the smarts to stop when their limited mission was accomplished. And until this time, the President, as Commander in Chief, has no constitutional power to use the United States armed forces, save self-defense.

In the Framers’ mind that means only when the United States of America, not our allies, are attacked. For Utahns, the reason J. Reuben Clark, my hero and a great patriot, a rock-ribbed Republican who served under many Republican presidents, served variously as chief legal adviser to the Department of State (then, as an deputy Attorney General on loan from Justice to State,,,,,,now called Legal Adviser to the State Department; and Vice Secretary of State, and Ambassador to Mexico; and advised many presidents between world wars one and two, on all arms control treaties between those to dreadful wars) opposed NATO was because it delegated the war power to a generation not yet born and for the defense of people, and nations, not yet born. Neither the United Nations (Korean War) nor NATO (Ukraine?) can declare war for the United States of America. This is the statement of law, the War Clause, that makes this beyond debate. Remember, that it is also the sole right of Congress: not the President of the United States, nor NATO, nor the United Nations, that decides what constitutes International law, as well. So, both Constitutional Law and International Law, save an attack on the United States, inform us that Congress, not the president or these international bodies, who determines for war or peace.

So screw the people and the Congress and president now living. When the president, any president, has this army to use, that army will never return to Congress’ care. This is unconstitutional because it is an illegal attempt to delegate to the President a plenary power, given exclusively, textually, to the Congress. Like the power over interstate commerce (the road by which most civil rights legislation is constitutional), along with the equal protection and due process of law clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments. It’s as if Congress were to say to Obama, “Say, friend, we’re so damned tired of life in Washington, despite the cherry blossoms, we will do what the Supreme Court does, and reconvene when good weather returns. We’re going to go to Balboa Island, California, where it’s nice and sunny, in ocean or on the beach, and pick our nose and scratch our butts. And better yet, we have one in eight chances not to pick both with the same finger. Even though we’ve proven, time out of mind, that we in Congress cannot chew gum and pick our nose, simultaneously (a great blessing). So, pres., you now have the taxing and the spending power, and we’ll sweeten the loaf by throwing into the pot, since you do have to stick around in this shitty weather, and give you the power also to fund and provide for the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy. And don’t sweat it about financing things by the provision in the Constitution that spending bills begin in the House. Since you already have the taxing and spending power, do all this in the White House. P.S. please instruct the Treasury Department to deliver our checks, our salaries, and all the REALLY big bucks from the armaments industry and all those other lobbyists. We really have earned this right by selling our souls to the devil. Have a good life.

I say that both Senator and Soldier are bona fide heroes. Ed Firmage xoxox

3 Comments

Mike Lee Storms The Beaches of South Jordan

Mike Lee, sophomore senator from the embarrassed state of Utah, gets a full, ten minute standing ovation with chants of “we like Mike”, “we like Mike!

With children and mothers all around, this man, who stood up against labor laws which have prevented children from child labor got a longer standing ovation then president Eisenhower probably ever got at a speech.

Watch as much as you can stand:

The YouTube videos of Sir. Lee saying that anti child labor laws are unconstitutional no longer exist, but there are at least two websites that are trying to provide them:

Thinkprogress and Huffington Post.

I was present at a “tea party” “event” at the State Capitol, took pictures, and gave this account on this blog. Mike Lee was there, running for office. There was so much wind blowing and the dust was so thick that all of us almost choked and an American flag hit me so hard, I almost got knocked out.

Seriously!

But there is a better account of the scope of the deceit. I only observed three buses, but the original Tea Party, which was a TRUE grass roots movement, got the story right:

We should band together!

Update: The Deseret News had this story: Hundreds rally for Sen. Mike Lee despite low approval numbers
From the article:

“I do not approve of him and I do not think he is fulfilling the best interests of his constituents,” said Mel Walker, who held a sign that, at one point, was ripped from her hands by Lee supporters.

Sounds about right. I lost numerous “IMPEACH BUSH” signs in that manner.

8 Comments

Tea-GOP EPIC FAIL

Government shutdown epic fail

Well, the manufactured crisis is almost over. Republicans did real political damage to their party and will basically receive nothing in return. The American people still don’t know what they were trying to accomplish by this blatant act of economic sabotage. It’s a mystery why the GOP didn’t learn their lesson from the 1995-96 shutdown.

The reliance on crisis-driven governing since the House changed hands in the 2010 elections has already cost 900,000 jobs, according to a study commissioned by the conservative Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Austerity budgeting has also hampered the excruciatingly slow economic recovery from Bush’s Great Recession. I know, at election time the GOP strategy will be to blame “the Obama economy,” and hope low-information voters will buy that.

I think voters will remember the Republican Shutdown of 2013. Especially federal employees who got furloughed or forced to work without a paycheck. The whole fiasco was completely unnecessary, because there was always a majority of both houses of Congress in favor of avoiding a shutdown, and then for re-opening the government.

Speaker Boehner has relented, and will now let the House members vote – probably late tonight. FDL’s Jon Walker:

Boehner basically let the government shut down for three weeks, did significant damage to the economy, showed his own weakness and destroyed his party’s brand just to try to hold on to his position. A position that is almost meaningless because he has proved he has almost no actual power. He preferred to let all these things happen rather than stand up to the roughly 50 Tea Party members in his caucus.

Pathetic is too kind of a word.

22 Comments

To The ‘Barry-cades’!

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

When you shut down the federal government, that means the national parks will be closed. Duh. Senators Mike Lee and Rafael (“Ted”) Cruz were protesting against themselves. The funniest part was Sarah Palin screeching about the “barry-cades.”

19 Comments

You Know You’re Losing in American Politics…

LosingTonight, Lawrence O’Donnell observed that you know you’re losing in American politics when you see Sarah Palin standing right beside you.

Seventy-four percent of Americans disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling negotiations over the budget, the Washington Post-ABC News poll shows. This is up four points from last week’s poll and up 11 points since the start of the shutdown.

A plurality of self-identified Republicans are opposed to the Republican Shutdown and the even more appalling threat of a default on the National Debt that would plunge America and the world into another recession, or perhaps all the way to depression this time.

Allen Clifton:

Anyone who had heard about the Million Vet March on the Memorials knew this march wasn’t meant to be any kind of political statement.

…You also shouldn’t be shocked that Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Mike Lee decided to turn the march in Washington DC into a photo-op for their own political gains.

…This is just more of the same behavior from Republicans. They’re blaming someone else for a problem they caused. Their party is the one that’s not allowing the House to vote on the Senate’s clean continuing resolution that would reopen the government. We could reopen the government today if John Boehner would just let the House vote, but he won’t.

So when these people show up at the White House holding symbols of racism and shouting things which are racist, while blaming President Obama for the government shutdown, they prove one glaring fact…

That they don’t know a damn thing.

11 Comments

Senator Mike Lee To Protest Government Shutdown He Helped Cause

Right-wing radio host Glenn Beck will join Utah Senator Mike Lee and various tea partyers Saturday to “clean up” national monuments by picking up trash on the National Mall.

Basically, it’s an incredibly lame attempt to blame President Obama for the Republican Shutdown that’s in Day 11 now. The Republicans can’t even tell us what they want anymore, while half a million federal employees remain on furlough.

Now that the Koch brothers have waved the white flag, the Republican Shutdown of the federal government is expected to end by the middle of next week. Senator Lee’s career as a highly-compensated trash collector will be short-lived, but at least he will have accomplished SOMETHING during his time in Washington at our expense.

1 Comment

Website Gives Tea-GOP The Middle Finger

Mike Lee FU

Here’s the link: http://fuckyoucongress.com/

No Comments

Senator Mike Lee Brings The Crazy

Trickle-down

Via Think Progress:

Cloaking his predilection for the rich as concern for the less fortunate, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) argued Wednesday that raising taxes on the wealthy would primarily hurt the poor.

…“The reason we worry about raising taxes on anyone – even raising taxes on the rich,” Lee argued, is “that will hit the poorest among us the hardest.” Lest listeners get the wrong idea, the Utah Senator insisted, “it’s not that we’re looking out for the rich.”

No, of course not. The fact that trickle-down economic theory has never worked doesn’t mean that Republicans can’t keep pretending that it does!

The Congressional Research Service has documented what we know already: giving tax breaks to the rich helps concentrate wealth at the top, but it does not boost the economy.

32 Comments

Live Streaming the Utah State Republican Convention

Will Hatch survive?


Utah Republicans eat their own!

, , ,

6 Comments

CPAC Day One: ‘We Outnumber The Stupid People’

TPM’s Day In 100 Seconds: CPAC Day One

Utah Senator Mike Lee served up the Tea Party rhetoric (unsweetened). The National Debt is a “pit of despair,” he said, neglecting to mention that President George W. Bush doubled it in 8 years. Senator Lee held out the prospect of a Balanced Budget Amendment: “Get Washington to put down the federal shovel… The shining city on a hill should replace the city in a hole. Walk away from hole-digging hell.” Never mind the fact that economic recovery (which is necessary every time GOP ideology causes an epic recession or depression) requires deficit spending.

More: Herman Cain: Stupid people and ignorant people are ruining America’ (says the guy who proudly proclaimed he didn’t know the “President Of Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan” and couldn’t explain why our attack on Libya was a mistake because “I gotta go back to — got all this stuff twirling around in my head.”)

In today’s session, Newt Gingrich is slated to give more details about his plan to make the Moon our 51st state.

23 Comments

President Obama Calls Out Mike Lee’s Scorched Earth Obstructionism

Via Think Progress

Last week, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) announced he would take revenge for President Obama’s decision to make four recess appointments by engaging in a scorched earth campaign of obstruction against the president’s nominees. In his weekly address this weekend, Obama made Senator Lee the poster boy for Republican sabotage. While typically blaming both parties for bad behavior, the president called for a new rule requiring a vote on nominees within 90 days.

5 Comments

Mike Lee and The Tea Party Collective

A few short weeks ago, Senator Mike Lee of Utah proclaimed that his balanced budget amendment was the only solution for America’s fiscal problems.  Ultimately, when push came to shove on the matter he was forced to back down. Unfortunately for the nation, his refusal to compromise on a real working solution cost us our perfect credit rating. Tea Party principles and not the best interests of the country were in play until the very end.

The problem for Utah, however, remains. We’ve found ourselves within a void of no-return. We’ve aligned with the forces of Mike Lee without the benefit of a true leader.  Leadership can best be described as making decisions that benefit the most number of people, or making decisions that adversely affect the fewest. The credit downgrade debacle, no matter how you slice it, produced no clear leader within our Senate delegation. Taking a stand at any cost is not leadership.

What’s worse is that Mike Lee’s identity will slowly drift away from the Tea Party Collective and morph into something that defines most politicians — the desire to be re-elected. We see it happening with Senator Hatch this year while he attempts to party with the Tea Partiers.  It’s not about doing what is fashionable or following the trends. It’s about doing the right thing, for the right reasons, every time.

, , ,

3 Comments

%d bloggers like this: