Thomas R. Eddlem
The attorney for accused document leaker former U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning won a pretrial motion for full discovery of exculpatory evidence in military court June 25, according to various news sources.
“The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights,” former President Jimmy Carter charged in a June 24 op-ed in the New York Times, charging the United States government with assassination attempts through the use of drones and massive domestic surveillance against the privacy rights of American citizens. But Carter cited the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights rather than the U.S. Bill of Rights as the inspiration to follow and restore a respect for the inalienable rights of others.
With the 2012 political season heating up, many people are calling for a ban on the SuperPacs created in the wake of the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United decision. A few on the left have even called for a constitutional amendment to ban corporations from making political advertisements, for fear that corporations have come to dominate elections in the United States.
In one sense, they are right. But it's not the SuperPacs. The corporations that have been dominating the public debate for decades are the media empires. Right now, six corporations control most of the television, radio, and print publishing networks that Americans see on a daily basis. They drive the debate, and the social issues behind the debate.
Presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney recycled establishment Bush-era foreign policy neoconservative apparatchiks June 23-24 in a weekend retreat at the Chateaux at Silver Lake in Park City, Utah, where Romney feted some 800 of his top political contributors. The gathering featured addresses by former Bush administration officials Karl Rove and Condoleezza Rice, and highlights concerns non-interventionists have about what a Romney administration foreign policy would look like.
The U.S. Supreme Court definitively reaffirmed its 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision in a 5-4 ruling that struck down a Montana state law banning independent expenditures on behalf of political candidates by corporations. The Supreme Court ruled that the law violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly.
The Montana law the court struck down in the case American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock had required that a “corporation may not make ... an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.”
Many Americans are justifiably anxious about drone use by the federal government against the American people, but the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations says that concerns about our privacy are overblown.“While many are understandably anxious about the seemingly inevitable expansion of drones a cross the United States, I argue that many fears are either overblown or based on misperceptions,” wrote Micah Zenko on the Council on Foreign Relations website June 21.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along partisan lines to bring contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder June 20 by a vote of 23-17 over the Attorney General's refusal to conform with subpoenas related to the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking scandal. The Obama White House had claimed “executive privilege” over the documents earlier in the morning.
The recent public-employee union controversy in Wisconsin is part of a global phenomenon, and every U.S. government unit will face the same crisis. Governor Walker stood up to the teachers' union in his state by saying that he wouldn't back automatic pay increases for teachers and other public workers that had increased state costs.
The Wisconsin controversy is only a taste of what is to come, especially if this nation continues to pile on debt and pay ever-more in interest on that debt.
While all of the mainstream press focuses upon the phony horse-race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for president, many Americans may be surprised to find that they will have several choices on their ballots in November. One of those other choices is the Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil H. Goode, Jr. and his vice presidential running mate, attorney Jim Clymer.
Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul emerged from the Iowa state convention with a clear majority of the delegates being sent by the state to the GOP national convention in Tampa in August. Paul won 21 of the 25 contestable delegates, and will have 23 of the 28 total delegates Iowa will send to Tampa.