Tag Archives: United States Congress

A Political, Not Constitutional, Crisis

By Joseph P. Williams – A constitutional crisis is often used [synonymously] with a political crisis. What people see as a confrontation between the branches is often defined as a crisis. The Constitution is designed to have a certain degree of tension between the branches. It is also designed to deal with confrontations between a president and both Congress and the courts.

This is not a constitutional crisis. It’s a political crisis.

The thing is, the FBI director is essentially an at-will employee. He serves at the pleasure of the president. That should come as no surprise to those familiar with our system.

Our Constitution is designed for bad weather, not for good weather. It has survived crises that would have reduced other countries to a fine pumice.

President Trump is allowed to exercise the authority that he used to terminate James Comey.

Congress is allowed to investigate the conditions or reasons of that termination.

The constitutional system is working just fine. more> https://goo.gl/3wRPHf

Liberals Will Not Like How This Revenge Plot Ends

By Megan McArdle – I thought Republicans should have confirmed Garland, and I’ve written before that the arms race to procedurally hack the U.S. government — via controlling the Supreme Court, or dreaming up ever-more-arcane uses of the parliamentary rules — is bad for the country and needs to stop. That doesn’t mean I think it’s going to.

The escalating tit-for-tat game over the Supreme Court has been going on at least since the 1980s, and arguably long before that, in the post-New-Deal era when courts began tilting noticeably leftwards.

Under Reagan, conservatives sought to reverse that by grooming conservative justices for all levels of the courts. Democrats tried to keep them from doing so, culminating in the disgraceful treatment of Robert Bork. Ever since, we’ve been locked in a spiraling cycle of payback.

Everyone understands that this is destructive; everyone wishes it to stop. The catch is, they also believe that it needs to stop after they themselves get last licks in. And so it continues. more> https://goo.gl/ZY6FYW

Updates from GE

Is Health Care Too Big To Fail? Or Is Failure Exactly What We Need?
By Sam Glick – There is a looming challenge facing U.S. hospitals, which are being forced either to reduce costs at the expense of creating potentially devastating impacts on their local communities, or take less aggressive cost-cutting measures and risk going broke.

The backdrop to this veritable Sophie’s Choice has developed through a series of public policy and market moves to shift financial risk onto local health systems that have little experience in such areas. When the hospital is the largest employer in many towns, with financing coming from insurance companies and mutual funds, we have the makings of 2008-financial-crisis-style systemic risk.

This year, nearly one in five dollars in the U.S. will be spent on health care. As a percentage of GDP, this is nearly twice the global average, yet we receive no clear benefit from a significant portion of this spending. The U.S. ranks first in per capita health care spending, but last in the Commonwealth Fund’s assessment of health system performance in 11 major developed countries. As a society, we have a health care return-on-investment problem. more> https://goo.gl/oedfxf

Seven Trump foreign policy assumptions

By Daniel L. Byman – Let’s consider some of the assumptions Trump and his team appear to bring to the table as they enter office. Some are about how the world works, while others concern the best way to design and implement U.S. foreign policy.

  • Assumption #1: Calling it “Radical Islam” Makes a Difference
  • Assumption #2: Foreign Public Opinion Doesn’t Matter
  • Assumption #3: Allies are Overrated
  • Assumption #4: Russia Is America’s Natural Partner
  • Assumption #5: Israel Can Do What it Wants
  • Assumption #6: The Rough Stuff Works
  • Assumption #7: Tough Policymakers Make for Tough Policy

In short: Trump’s foreign policy assumptions fly in the face of many traditional U.S. policy approaches and the preferences of powerful bureaucracies. We should expect international realities and bureaucratic obstacles to obstruct, or at least water down, some initiatives, while those that get through might not just fail but may leave the United States worse off for pursuing them.

As a candidate, Trump excelled at destroying truisms about how politics works; over the coming years, we will find out if this holds true for foreign policy as well. more> https://goo.gl/PVWnOe

Related>

Think Big. Accelerate. Transform.

(blueplanet.com)
Ciena – Blue Planet is purpose-built for network operators, automating
service delivery and reducing operational complexity to enable Scalable, =
transformation to more open and programmable networks.

Blue Planet serves these main use cases:
• Multi-Domain Service Orchestration
• NFV Orchestration Functions
• SDN Management and Control
• Open Network Operating System

It does this on top of a disruptive, next-generation software architecture that leverages open source elements, model-driven the definition and templates, and container-based micro-services. more> blueplanet.com/resources

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Library of Congress – S. 1982 [113th] Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 S. 223 [112th] FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act H.R. 4660 [113th] Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Thornberry Statement on Recent VA Scandal, US Congress Root Out VA Abuse – Mac’s Video Mailbox, YouTube [VIDEO 2:12]

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CONGRESS WATCH Terry Statement on President’s Announcement of Troop Reduction in Afghanistan, US Congress Chilly 1Q: U.S. Economy Contracts for First Time Since ’11, Reuters/Fox Business Our Nation of Builders Needs to Get Back to Work Terry Says, US Congress … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Rep. Ann Wagner demands an audit into the Missouri Veterans Commission, YouTube [VIDEO 0:30] Vets could see doctors in private sector under new proposal, Leisa Zigman, KSDK Wagner Calls for the Resignation of Secretary Shinseki, US Congress Wagner … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Impact of EPA’s ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Proposed Rule on Small Businesses Could Be Significant, House Committee on Small Business/US Congress How is Washington, D.C. Affecting Your Business? Open Mic, House Committee on Small Business/US Congress What Are … Continue reading