You may not realize it, but members of the House of Representatives can lease a car and have it paid for by you -- the taxpayer. And it's not just the car, but gas, registration, insurance … the works
According to the latest reports, 151 members of Congress invested close to a quarter-billion in companies that received defense contracts of at least $5 million in 2006. These companies got more than $275.6 billion from the government in 2006, or $755 million per day, according to FedSpending.org, a website of the watchdog group OMBWatch.
Congressmen gave themselves a loophole so they only have to report their assets in broad ranges. Thus, they can be off as much as 160 percent. (Try giving the IRS an estimate like that.)
In late 2006, Congress revised the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act to make it far easier for a president to declare martial law. Those changes were repealed at the end of this January as part of Public Law 110-181 (HR 4986), the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (signed into law by President Bush on January 28, 2008).
TESTIMONY BEFORE THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE ON IRAQ
By William E. Odom, LT General, USA, Ret.
2 April 2008
Good morning Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. It is an honor to appear before you again. The last occasion was in January 2007, when the topic was the troop surge. Today you are asking if it has worked. Last year I rejected the claim that it was a new strategy. Rather, I said, it is a new tactic used to achieve the same old strategic aim, political stability. And I foresaw no serious prospects for success.
I see no reason to change my judgment now. The surge is prolonging instability, not creating the conditions for unity as the president claims.
Last year, General Petraeus wisely declined to promise a military solution to this political problem, saying that he could lower the level of violence, allowing a limited time for the Iraqi leaders to strike a political deal. Violence has been temporarily reduced but today there is credible evidence that the political situation is far more fragmented. And currently we see violence surge in Baghdad and Basra. In fact, it has also remained sporadic and significant in
several other parts of Iraq over the past year, notwithstanding the notable drop in Baghdad and Anbar Province.
More disturbing, Prime Minister Maliki has initiated military action and then dragged in US forces to help his own troops destroy his Shiite competitors. This is a political setback, not a political
solution. Such is the result of the surge tactic.
John McCain is yet another republican former military veteran who likes to talk a big game when it comes to having the support of the military. Yet, time and time again, he has gone out of his way to vote against the needs of those who are serving in our military.
The 225-188 roll call Tuesday by which the House failed to override President Bush's veto of a bill that would have prohibited the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on terrorist suspects.
Voting yes were 220 Democrats and 5 Republicans.
Voting no were 3 Democrats and 185 Republicans.
With little discussion, the House late Monday dismissed Democrat Christine Jennings' claim that malfunctioning touch-screen voting machines in Florida cost her election to Congress in November 2006.
More than 18,000 eletronic ballots in Sarasota County failed to record a vote in Jennings' race against Republican Vern Buchanan, who won by fewer than 400 votes to replace former Rep. Katherine Harris, a Republican.
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