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Jonathan Turley

Rand Paul Calls For Congress To Demand War Powers Authorization . . . John McCain Says Paul Is 'Wrong' and Alone In The Senate

I have been discussing how the Congress is again willfully ignoring its constitutional duty on the declaration of war as our intervention in Syria expands.  Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have fallen over each other to praise the attacks even though Congress never authorized the action. Hillary Clinton was calling for attacks in Syria just hours before the attack, as she did in Iraq, Libya and other past conflicts.  The United States just attacked a foreign nation that had not attacked the United States.  It was done with little consultation and no authorization from Congress.

However, as with prior wars, the attacks remain politically popular so Congress is silent with the exception of a few members like Sen. Rand Paul.  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) however has gone further to denounce Paul as simply “wrong” and virtually mock him as a nonentity in calling for such congressional authority.  He is alone in the Senate, McCain insisted, in his demand that Congress fulfill its Article I duties. It is a sad moment for those who believe in a textualist or formalist approach to constitutional powers.  All of those textualists who proudly embraced Neil Gorsuch are now apparently living constitutionalists as the subject turns to yet another war.
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EU Chief Blasts The Very Notion Of National Borders In The Latest Call For Globalism

For years, European Union advocates denied allegations that they were trying to erase national borders and create a single country with a shared military. Then recently proposals for a single military emerged — just before Britain left the EU. One of the most effective criticisms made against the EU before Brexit was to challenge voters to actually name the people in charge of the EU and policies affecting their lives. Now, the head of the EU has gone out of his way to confirm the worst suspicions of critics. The much-maligned EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has publicly denounced the very concept of national borders as the “worst invention ever.
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Trump: Americans May Be Tried In Military Tribunals Under His Administration

I have long been a critic of military tribunals as constitutionally dubious and practically ineffectual institutions. The tribunals at Guantanamo Bay have resulted in few actual trials and undermined the standing of the United States as a nation committed to the rule of law. The principle rationale cited by former officials in defense of Gitmo has been that it would not be used to try citizens. Now in a deeply disturbing interview, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has stated that he might try citizens at Gitmo — maintaining a shadow court system for stripping citizens of basic rights of due process just a few miles off the United States shore.
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Clinton Admits That It Is 'Fair' To Question Her Truthfulness But Then Denies That The FBI Found That Any Of Her Emails Were Classified

Hillary Clinton admitted this Sunday that it is “fair” for voters to have questions about her truthfulness. However, she then proceeded to make the very type of statement that has undermined her credibility with voters. Despite the express statement of the FBI that her emails contained clearly classified information, including some with classified markings, Clinton insisted that there was no such finding and seemed to deflect blame for her conduct to subordinates. The Washington Post gave Clinton “Four Pinnochios” for her interview on truthfulness and the email scandal. Clearly, Clinton is right that there is “work to do” on the truthfulness thing.

The FBI was scathing in its view of Clinton’s decision to use an unsecure personal server for her communications as Secretary of State — a decision that clearly came from her and not her subordinates who raised objections. Despite her decision not to use the expensive, secured system at the State Department, Clinton insisted in her Fox interview that “I take classification seriously.”
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TSA Meltdown: Thousands of Bags Lost While Long Lines Push Passengers To Near Riot

We have previously discussed the meltdown at airports due to the latest failure of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Passengers are being asked to show up hours in advance and many are missing their flights due to endless lines. Now, thousands of bags have been lost due to a “technical problems” at TSA. The lack of any accountability for the ongoing failures at TSA is the latest evidence of the disconnect between citizens and their government.

At airports like Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina lines are now commonly three hours. It is a disgrace and, on one day, some 600 passengers missed their flights. In Chicago’s Midway airport, passengers faced a line that stretched beyond sight and beyond the time for their flights. The reaction was not pretty.
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'We Do Investigations Here At The FBI': FBI Director Reportedly Contradicts Clinton On Email Investigation

The FBI and its director James Comey have been careful not to be swept into the political campaign in comments about the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal server. The Clinton campaign, and the candidate herself, have repeatedly scoffed at any danger of an indictment and insisted that this is merely a “security review” or “security inquiry.” Indeed, close Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal was on CNN this morning stressing that this was nothing more than a security review. Now Comey is being quoted by Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge as directly refuting this core claim by Clinton and saying that this is a criminal investigation. He would also likely disagree with Bill Clinton’s recent claim that the investigation was just a “game” and nothing more.
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Report: Clinton Emails Contained Human Intelligence Classified At Highest Levels

There is another surprising report out today on the Clinton email scandal. Fox News Reporter Catherine Herridge is reporting that at least one of the emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server contained extremely sensitive information identified as “HCS-O,” the code used for reporting on human intelligence sources in ongoing operations. We previously discussed the disclosure that emails had been identified with Special Access Program information that even the Inspector General could not review without added clearances.

In the meantime, some in the Clinton camp may be singing “Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” The State Department is citing the winter storm for yet another delay in releasing the remaining emails — possibly pushing their release past the first primary contests. Any break would likely be welcomed, particularly after a growing number of people including Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have said that Clinton’s decision to use an unsecure private email system probably resulted in the emails being hacked by various hostile powers.
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Afghan Positions Being Overrun By Taliban Due To Nonexistent “Ghost Soldiers” Used To Funnel Money To Corrupt Afghan Officials

As the Taliban probes the strength of Afghan forces, they are finding it an easier task than anticipated with a sizable number of the Afghan force constituted of “ghost soldiers.” As much as half of the soldiers in frontline positions are missing. We previously discussed the same problem of “ghost soldiers” in Iraq who are paid soldiers but only exist on paper as part of the widespread corruption of that country.

Now Afghanistan’s ghost army is facing real insurgents. Senior policy and army officials who have been pocketing the money for these nonexistent soldiers have left their country. Estimates put the percentage of nonexistent soldiers at 40 percent of the Afghan army, a shocking level of corruption even for Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, a ghost army did not fare well and the Taliban has now seized some 65 percent of Helmand province — Afghanistan’s largest. The provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, could fall.
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Federal Court Strikes Down Federal Provision Used To Bar Trademark Protection For Redskins and Other Controversial Names

I have previously written about my disagreement with the US Patent and Trademark Office decision to rescind federal trademark protections for the Redskins as a racially disparaging name as well as the underlying law used to strip the team of its trademark protection. The law allows for a small administrative office to effectively dictate the outcome of a long simmering societal debate over the team name. More importantly, the standard for determining what names or words are disparaging remains dangerously undefined with striking contradictions as we have previously discussed in permitted and disallowed trademarks. 

One of the cases that I have discussed involves an Asian-American rock band called The Slants, which was also barred by the office. Now the band has won a major victory not just for itself but also the first amendment in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC The Court struck down the part of the law allowing the denial of the registration of offensive trademarks. The case, which is likely to appealed to the Supreme Court, will have a major impact on the Redskins controversy.
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Forty Percent of Millennials Favor Censorship of Offensive Speech By Government

We have long discussed the rapid decline of free speech protections in the West. I have long argued that the West appears to have fallen out of love with free speech, which is more often viewed as a rising scourge rather than a defining value in some countries. A recent poll of the Pew Research Center shows just how many people we have lost to those calling for greater censorship and criminalization of speech. It is not surprisingly more prevalent with younger age groups, though Democrats are almost twice as likely favor censorship that Republicans. The largest (and most alarming) group is the millennials — 40% of whom favor government censorship of speech offensive to minority groups.

Thirty-five percent of Democrats supported such bans as opposed to 18 percent of Republicans.

The least likely to support censorship were people who have lived long enough to know the dangers — only 21 percent of those 70 and older supported such censorship. The numbers go down by age (and experience).
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