- It's present, hardening, and threatening to subvert all
constitutional and social rights. Among others, three previous articles
discussed the danger, accessed through the following links:
- The first article covered post-9/11 police state laws,
Executive Orders, Military Orders, as well as National and Homeland Security
Presidential Directives (NSPDs and HSPDs). It addressed George Bush granting
himself "Unitary Executive" authority to govern extrajudicially
(a virtual dictator) in the name of national security, though no constitutional
provisions permit it.
- The second article discussed "Continuity of Government
(COG)" authority under declared national or catastrophic emergency
conditions, defined as:
- "any incident (such as a terrorist attack), regardless
of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage,
or disruption severely affecting the US population, infrastructure, environment,
economy, or government functions."
- COG is then defined as:
- "a coordinated effort within the Federal Government's
executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to
be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency."
- In other words, COG authority gives the president and
DHS unprecedented police state powers to declare martial law without congressional
approval, and be able to rule extrajudicially, free from constitutional
constrains. It also lets the vice-president assume dictatorial powers:
- "implemented in a manner that is consistent with,
and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of the Constitution
concerning succession to the Presidency or the exercise of its powers,
and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. 19), with consultation
of the Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved. Heads of executive
departments and agencies shall ensure that appropriate support is available
to the Vice President and others involved as necessary to be prepared at
all times to implement those provisions."
- COG authority is renewed annually. Obama did it twice
and will again in September, letting him govern dictatorially if he chooses.
- The third article discussed how complicit Democrats and
Republicans plan to destroy America's social contract to transfer maximum
wealth to corporations and super-rich elites. Obama's out in front arranging
it in dirty back room deals. It's a take the money and run scam, hollowing
out America and impoverishing millions in the process.
- Now a new threat. Paul Craig Roberts mentioned it in
his article headlined, "Debt Ceiling Intransigence: Unintended Consequences,"
- The current debt ceiling/budget cutting debate conceals
a hidden issue - namely, that if resolution isn't achieved, Obama can use
extrajudicial "presidential directives and executive orders in place,
put there by (Bush to) declare a national emergency, suspend the debt ceiling
limit, and continue to issue Treasury debt. This is exactly what would
happen" to avoid default. If it occurs, it would create "a crisis
beyond anything the world has ever seen."
- Avoiding it extrajudicially, however, involves giving
the president COG authority by other means for a different purpose. It
would end congressional power, already surrendered on war and peace issues.
"Now Congress would lose its power over debt, taxes, and the budget
- In fact, it might as well close shop and leave if it
gives the president sole governing power on issues mattering most. Will
it happen? Perhaps with a looming August 2 deadline, but maneuvering could
extend it until September 30. The FY end may be the real drop dead date
by which the debt ceiling issue must be resolved.
- It will be now or weeks later. Default won't happen because
the consequences would be too catastrophic. However, popular interests
will be sacrificed to avoid it.
- At the same time, Senate party leaders have another solution
in mind, weakening constitutional power with it. Proposed by Minority Leader
Mitch McConnell (R. KY) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV), it would
establish a Super Congress, an idea a despot would love as one step from
a Super President, aka a dictator.
- The McConnell/Reid idea would empower 12 lawmakers, six
from each party, to fast-track legislation through both Houses without
amendments. In other words, Big Money-written bills would be voted on up
or down, no changes. It will facilitate ending social contract protections
and enact more police state enforcement laws, crushing opposition to transfer
all public and private wealth to capital interests running America, making
it more than ever unfit to live it.
- The deal is done, perhaps with Super Congress authority,
an idea House Speaker John Boehner (R. OH) endorses in two steps. In fact,
multiple steps will entirely destroy America's social contract, leaving
working households on their own sink or swim.
- All New Deal/Great Society programs will end. Privatizing
profits while socializing losses on steroids will accelerate more than
ever. Poverty, homelessness, hunger, depravation and despair will grow.
America will resemble Guatemala in the worst sense.
- Obama's duplicitous rhetoric seduces Americans to support
it, the same "shared sacrifice" baloney that's all sacrifice
and no sharing. His latest July 25 monologue dripped with cynicism, asking
Americans to endorse their own demise, at the same lavishing handouts on
corporations and America's super-rich, omitting details to conceal them.
- Last year, his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility
(NCFRF) laid the framework, the hellish Simpson/Bowles agenda, calling
- -- ending or capping middle class tax breaks, including
deductions for home mortgage interest and tax-free employer provided medical
- -- taxing capital gains and dividends the same as ordinary
income; long-term capital gains and qualified dividends are currently taxed
- -- lowering income tax rates dramatically to 9, 15 and
24%, down from six current brackets ranging from 10 - 35% for income over
- -- slashing corporate tax rates from the top 35% rate
to 26%, combined with eliminating some deductions, but creating loopholes
that more than make up the difference;
- -- making permanent the research and development tax
- -- making deeper Medicare cuts; increasing Medicaid co-pays;
slashing $54 billion from graduate medical education; and enacting "comprehensive
tort reform," making it harder for aggrieved patients to file malpractice
- -- raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 by
2075; reducing cost-of-living increases, now based on annual inflation
rates; raising the payroll tax ceiling to $200,000, letting million dollar
earners off the hook like now;
- -- cutting the federal work force 10% by 2015, adding
to unemployment rolls;
- -- raising the federal gasoline tax by 15 cents a gallon
and imposing "user fees" on motorists - to have workers fund
the federal transportation and highway spending program, not big monied
interests profiting most from them; and
- -- cutting $100 billion in military spending, including
administration, inefficiencies, "unnecessary" weapons (ones Pentagon
brass don't want in lieu of others they won't sacrifice), force contingents
on overseas bases, and healthcare benefits for military retirees through
enacted premiums and higher co-pays.
- Unmentioned were the Pentagon's open-ended black budgets,
supplemental Iraq and Afghanistan appropriations, added spending for Libya
and other operations, and commitment to permanent imperial wars. Also that
military spending will grow annually, unimpeded because America's business
is war, so working people have to sacrifice to fund them.
- Under COG, Super Congress, or other authority, Big Money
runs America. Obama serves it dutifully as a crime boss, subservient to
a higher power. A moral coward, he's also unprincipled, dishonest and corrupt,
a weasel impersonating a populist, a disgrace to his people and all working
Americans who deserve better.
- Never on his watch. He now even abandoned taxing the
rich, what he never had in mind in the first place, putting a lie to his
"shared sacrifice" deception.
- In Obama's America, only wealth and power interests matter,
everyone else abandoned on their own. Only a Democrat could pull it off,
a smooth-talking con man. Who better than a Black one.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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