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Sen. Ted Cruz Muddies Constitution to Push Treason Charge for Ed Snowden

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), quoted in the New York Times on Wednesday, says that whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who revealed the extraordinary scope of the United States government’s mass surveillance program, is a traitor who should be tried in court for the treasonous act of “giving aid to our enemies.” Cruz even declares that the United States Constitution supports this prosecution of Snowden.

It is not out of the ordinary for a senator to want Snowden prosecuted. But, can’t Cruz have the decency to just state his opinion without hiding behind and muddying the Constitution?
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‘Leaders’ McConnell and Ryan Support Unlimited War Power for Obama and Next President

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) like to portray themselves as strong leaders who act to protect congressional authority against Obama Administration power grabs. But, in regard to the ISIS War, both congressional leaders are happy to cede — year after year — power without limit to President Barack Obama and whoever the next president may be.

McConnell told Roll Call on Friday that he opposes the Senate voting on an authorization of the ISIS War until, if ever, sometime after the January of 2017 inauguration of a new president. Just let Obama conduct the ISIS War however he pleases for the remainder of his term, and do not dare impose any limits on the next president either: That is McConnell’s position.

Meanwhile, Ryan is expressing willingness to hold a House debate and vote on an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the ISIS War, but only so long as it is assured the AUMF in no way restricts what Obama or a future president may do.
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Do You Owe Taxes? Congress Wants to Take Your Passport!

In July, Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams warned that “[b]uried inside the US highways funding bill is a provision to revoke or deny issuance of a US passport to anyone who has a large outstanding tax debt to the US Internal Revenue Service.” This provision in the Senate bill, explained McAdams, is “threatening to imprison Americans within (or outside) US borders.”
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US House Resolution Calls For NATO Article 5 in Response to Paris Killings

On Monday, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced in the United States House of Representatives a resolution (H.Res. 525) calling on President Barack Obama “to work closely with other North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] members to invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty in response to the Paris attacks.”

Article 5 in the NATO treaty deals with member nations taking action in response to an attack on another NATO member.

Poe is chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade in the House Foreign Affairs Committee — the committee to which Poe’s resolution has been referred for consideration.
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35 House Members Ask Speaker Paul Ryan for ISIS War AUMF Vote

A group of 35 US House of Representatives members, led by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Tom Cole (R-OK), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Peter Welch (D-VT), and John Lewis (D-GA), sent a letter on Friday to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) expressing that it “is critical that the House schedule and debate an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) as quickly as possible” in regard to US government actions in and around Iraq and Syria.

Going to the heart of the matter, the letter states:
We do not share the same policy prescriptions for US military engagement in the region, but we do share the belief that it is past time for the Congress to fulfill its obligations under the Constitution and vote on an AUMF that clearly delineates the authority and limits, if any, on US military engagement in Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region.
The letter further notes the US government’s recently announced escalation of military air and ground operations in both Iraq and Syria.
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Ron Paul: New House Speaker Paul Ryan is ‘Almost the Opposite of a Libertarian’

Speaking this week with host Kennedy on Fox Business, Ron Paul Institute Chairman Ron Paul ridiculed the suggestion that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who became Speaker of the House of Representatives last week, may advance libertarian goals in the House. Instead, Paul declares “it’s going to be the same old thing” in the House with Ryan in the top leadership position.
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Rep. Peter Welch’s Short and Direct Answer to Obama Sending Combat Troops to Syria

In a short and direct statement Friday, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) presented the case for Congress debating and voting on the United States military intervention in the Middle East that the Obama administration has now escalated with the announced insertion of US special forces into the fighting in Syria.

“Make no mistake, this is war,” says Welch. “When will Congress finally accept its responsibility?” Welch asks. Welch follows his query by noting that “[t]he Constitution is clear that only Congress can authorize war.”
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Don’t Get Too Excited about Bernie Sanders’ Marijuana Legalization Proposal

Many marijuana legalization proponents are excited by the Wednesday announcement that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will introduce legislation in the United States Senate that would remove marijuana from the list of banned drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. Many people are jumping to the obvious conclusion that the legislation would thus remove the US government from the marijuana prohibition business altogether, leaving each state to do as it pleases regarding the plant. The press release of Sanders’ presidential campaign announcing Sanders’ marijuana law reform proposal, however, suggests that that conclusion is wrong.
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US House Resolution Seeks New Conflict in Ukraine

The US House of Representatives, which never ceases sticking its nose in other people's business, is tomorrow scheduled to take up H. Res. 348, a bill "Supporting the right of the people of Ukraine to freely elect their government and determine their future." The bill can only increase tensions in Ukraine and threaten the fragile eight month old "Minsk II" ceasefire agreement.

The "Minsk II agreement" continues to produce relative calm in eastern Ukraine -- earlier this month both Kiev and the breakaway regions of the east have agreed to withdraw remaining tanks, artillery and mortars from front line, in a move the Telegraph (UK) observed "could signal end of war."

The US was not a party to the Minsk II talks, which took place earlier this year between Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany. US involvement from the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine -- starting with open US support for the unconstitutional coup in 2014 -- has been to exacerbate tensions rather than to help ameliorate them.

It is a US position that continues in H. Res. 348, a bill scheduled on the House "suspension calendar" reserved for "non-controversial" legislation. The Resolution completely distorts objective reality in Ukraine to continue the discredited story that the Ukraine unrest began not as a result of US support for a coup in February 2014, but because of a Russian invasion.
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Rep. Jim McGovern: ‘Long Past Time’ for Congress to Stop Deferring to Obama on Afghanistan

In response to President Barack Obama announcing on Thursday that he will “maintain our current posture of 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through most of next year,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) issued a statement the same day calling on Congress to “take responsibility for this conflict and vote on an Authorization for the Use of Military Force that clearly defines the current mission and ensures that there is a clear strategy for withdrawal.”
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