REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R-VA): Professor Turley, the constitution,
the system of separated powers is not simply about stopping one branch of government from usurping another. It's about protecting
the liberty of Americans from the dangers of concentrated government power. How does the president's unilateral modification
of act of Congress affect both the balance of power between the political branches and the liberty interests of the American
JONATHAN TURLEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The danger is quite severe. The problem with what
the president is doing is that he's not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He's becoming the very danger
the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power in every single branch.
This Newtonian orbit that the three
branches exist in is a delicate one but it is designed to prevent this type of concentration. There is two trends going on
which should be of equal concern to all members of Congress. One is that we have had the radical expansion of presidential
powers under both President Bush and President Obama. We have what many once called an imperial presidency model of largely
unchecked authority. And with that trend we also have the continued rise of this fourth branch. We have agencies that are
quite large that issue regulations. The Supreme Court said recently that agencies could actually define their own or interpret
their own jurisdiction. (House hearing, December 3, 2013)
What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria on
By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN Published: September
"...I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism,
stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.”
It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the
motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those
still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s
blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."
As Americans brace for across-the-board tax
hikes, President Obama is giving members of Congress -- and his No. 2 -- a pay raise.
Obama signed an executive order last week that will lift a ban on pay freezes for
So who benefits? Vice President
Biden, for starters. According to disclosure forms, Biden made $225,521 last year. After his raise which goes into effect
March 27, 2013, he’ll be taking home $231,900.
members of Congress, meanwhile, will see a $900 bump -- up from $174,000. Congressional leaders will receive a slightly higher
raise, with the House speaker receiving a $1,100 salary increase to $224,600. The top two Senate leaders will see pay rise
$1,000, to $194,400.
They aren’t the only ones
who will see a bump in their paycheck. Obama also OK’d raises for circuit and district court judges.
Some have questioned why the president would give Congress a pat on
the back at a time when neither Republicans nor Democrats have been able to come to a compromise on how to head off $600 billion
in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that will kick in Jan. 1, which could possibly drag the U.S. economy into another
NOV 26, 2012 • By Daniel
Halper (WeeklyStandard.com) Next week the United
Nations' International Telecommunications Union will meet in Dubai to figure out how to control the Internet. Representatives
from 193 nations will attend the nearly two week long meeting, according to news reports.
week the ITU holds a negotiating conference in Dubai, and past months have brought many leaks of proposals for a new treaty.
U.S. congressional resolutions and much of the commentary, including in this column, have focused on proposals by authoritarian
governments to censor the Internet. Just as objectionable are proposals that ignore how the Internet works, threatening its
smooth and open operations," reports the Wall Street Journal.
"Having the Internet rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius
to a gorilla. The Internet is made up of 40,000 networks that interconnect among 425,000 global routes, cheaply and efficiently
delivering messages and other digital content among more than two billion people around the world, with some 500,000 new users
for the new ITU treaty run to more than 200 pages. One idea is to apply the ITU's long-distance telephone rules to the Internet
by creating a 'sender-party-pays' rule. International phone calls include a fee from the originating country to the local
phone company at the receiving end. Under a sender-pays approach, U.S.-based websites would pay a local network for each visitor
from overseas, effectively taxing firms such as Google and Facebook. The idea is technically impractical because
unlike phone networks, the Internet doesn't recognize national borders. But authoritarians are pushing the tax, hoping their
citizens will be cut off from U.S. websites that decide foreign visitors are too expensive to serve."
And even Google has already come out against the ITU.
"The ITU is the wrong place to make decisions about the future of the Internet,"says Google. "Only governments have a voice at the ITU. This includes governments
that do not support a free and open Internet. Engineers, companies, and people that build and use the web have no vote."
"The ITU is also secretive. The treaty conference
and proposals are confidential," adds Google.
By George Russell (September 27, 2012)
The U.N. clearly hopes it
can find a way to move ahead. “ Politically, tapping revenue from global resources and raising taxes internationally
to address global problems are much more difficult than taxing for purely domestic purposes,” admits an ECOSOC document
produced last April. But, it summarizes, “the time has come to confront the challenge.”
[excerpt] "One of the issues that
I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner — especially from the elites
in every country," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her speech at the Clinton Global Initiative Monday.