Year Three Day 78 Obama Administration April 7, 2011 - History

Year Three Day 78 Obama Administration April 7, 2011 - History

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Year Three Day 78 Obama Administration April 7, 2011

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with Chief of Staff Bill Daley, left, and Senior Advisor David Plouffe in the Oval Office, April 7, 2011

9:30AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing Oval Office

12:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet for lunch Private Dining Room

1:00PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss ongoing negotiations on a funding bill

2:00PM THE PRESIDENT meets with Secretary of the Treasury Geithner Oval Office

3:45PM THE PRESIDENT meets with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Oval Office

4:20PM THE PRESIDENT and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will deliver statements to the press Oval Office

Merrick Garland

Merrick Brian Garland (born November 13, 1952) is an American attorney and jurist serving as the 86th United States attorney general since March 2021. He served as a circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1997 to 2021.

A native of the Chicago area, Garland attended Harvard University for his undergraduate and legal education. After serving as a law clerk to Judge Henry J. Friendly of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., he practiced corporate litigation at Arnold & Porter and worked as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice, where he played a leading role in the investigation and prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombers.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, nominated Garland to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in March 2016 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia. However, the Republican Senate majority refused to hold a hearing or vote on his nomination. The rare refusal of a Senate majority to consider the nomination was highly controversial. Garland's nomination lasted 293 days (the longest to date by far), and it expired on January 3, 2017, at the end of the 114th Congress. Eventually, President Donald Trump, a Republican, nominated and appointed Neil Gorsuch to the vacant seat. In March 2021, President Joe Biden appointed Garland as Attorney General.

Early life and education

Merrick Brian Garland was born on November 13, 1952, in Chicago. [1] He grew up in the northern Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood. [2] [3] His mother Shirley (née Horwitz) [4] was a director of volunteer services at Chicago's Council for Jewish Elderly (now called CJE SeniorLife). His father, Cyril Garland, headed Garland Advertising, a small business run out of the family home. [3] [5] [6] Garland was raised in Conservative Judaism, the family name having been changed from Garfinkel several generations prior. His grandparents left the Pale of Settlement within the Russian Empire in the early twentieth century, fleeing antisemitic pogroms and seeking a better life for their children in the United States. [6] [7] He is a second cousin of six-term Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. [8]

Garland attended Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois, where he was president of the student council, acted in theatrical productions, and was a member of the debate team. [9] He graduated in 1970 as the class valedictorian. [3] [2] Garland was also a Presidential Scholar and National Merit Scholar. [10] [11]

After high school, Garland went to Harvard University, where he majored in social studies. [3] [12] [13] He initially wanted to become a physician, but quickly decided to become a lawyer instead. [9] Garland allied himself with his future boss, Jamie Gorelick, when he was elected the only freshman member of a campus-wide committee on which Gorelick also served. [14] During his college summers Garland volunteered as a speechwriter to Congressman Abner J. Mikva. [14] After President Jimmy Carter appointed Mikva to the D.C. Circuit, Mikva would rely on Garland when selecting clerks. [15] At Harvard, Garland wrote news articles and theater reviews for the Harvard Crimson and worked as a Quincy House tutor. [16] [17] Garland wrote his 235-page honors thesis on industrial mergers in Britain in the 1960s. [14] [18] Garland graduated from Harvard in 1974 as class valedictorian with an A.B. summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Garland then attended Harvard Law School. [12] During law school, Garland was a member of the Harvard Law Review. He ran for the presidency of the Law Review during his third year, but lost to Susan Estrich, and served as an articles editor instead. [14] [13] As an articles editor, Garland assigned himself to edit a submission by U.S. Supreme Court justice William Brennan on the topic of the role of state constitutions in safeguarding individual rights. [14] [15] [19] This correspondence with Brennan later contributed to his winning a clerkship with the justice. [19] Garland graduated from Harvard Law in 1977 with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude.

Early career

After graduating from law school, Garland spent two years as a judicial law clerk, first for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1977 to 1978 and then for Justice William Brennan at the U.S. Supreme Court from 1978 to 1979. [13] Garland then served as a special assistant to Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti from 1979 to 1981. [3]

After the Carter administration ended in 1981, Garland entered private practice at the law firm Arnold & Porter. [3] [20] Garland mostly practiced corporate litigation, and was made a partner in 1985. [3] In Motor Vehicles Manufacturers Ass'n v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (1983) Garland acted as counsel to an insurance company suing to reinstate an unpopular automatic seat belt mandate. [21] After winning the case in both the District of Columbia Circuit Court and the Supreme Court, Garland would write an eighty-seven page Harvard Law Review article describing the way courts use a heightened "hard look" standard of review and scope of review when an agency chooses deregulation, with increasing focus on the fidelity of the agencies' actions to congressional intent. [21] In 1985–86, while at Arnold & Porter, Garland was a lecturer at Harvard Law School, where he taught antitrust law. [13] [22] He also published an article in the Yale Law Journal urging a broader application of antitrust immunity to state and local governments. [23]

Desiring to return to public service and do more trial work, in 1989 Garland became an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. As a line prosecutor, Garland represented the government in criminal cases ranging from drug trafficking to complex public corruption matters. [3] Garland was one of the three principal prosecutors who handled the investigation into Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry's possession of cocaine. [24]

Garland then briefly returned to Arnold & Porter, working there from 1992 to 1993. [14] [20] In 1993, Garland joined the new Clinton administration as deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. [3] The following year, Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick – a key mentor of Garland's [25] – asked Garland to be her principal associate deputy attorney general. [3] [26]

In that role, Garland's responsibilities included the supervision of high-profile domestic-terrorism cases, including the Oklahoma City bombing, Ted Kaczynski (also known as the "Unabomber"), and the Atlanta Olympics bombings. [3] [27]

Garland insisted on being sent to Oklahoma City in the aftermath of the attack, in order to examine the crime scene and oversee the investigation in preparation for the prosecution. [28] He represented the government at the preliminary hearings of the two main defendants, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. [28] Garland offered to lead the trial team, but could not because he was needed at the Justice Department headquarters. Instead, he helped pick the team and supervised it from Washington, D.C., where he was involved in major decisions, including the choice to seek the death penalty for McVeigh and Nichols. [28] Garland won praise for his work on the case from the Republican Governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating. [3]

Federal judicial service (1997–2021)


On September 6, 1995, President Bill Clinton nominated Garland to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia seat vacated by his longtime mentor Abner J. Mikva. [14] Justice Brennan, for whom Garland clerked, recommended Garland for the position in a letter to Clinton. [19] The American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary unanimously gave Garland a "well-qualified" committee rating, its highest. [29]

On December 1, 1995, Garland received a hearing regarding the nomination before the Senate Judiciary Committee. [30] In Senate confirmation hearings Garland said that the Supreme Court justices whom he most admired were Justice Brennan, for whom he clerked, and Chief Justice John Marshall. Garland also expressed admiration for the writing style of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.. [31] However, Senate Republicans did not schedule a vote on Garland's confirmation, [3] not because of concerns over Garland's qualifications, but because of a dispute over whether to fill the seat. [22] [32]

After winning the November 1996 presidential election, Clinton renominated Garland on January 7, 1997. [33] Garland's confirmation vote came to the floor of the Republican-controlled Senate on March 19, 1997. He was confirmed in a 76–23 vote and received his judicial commission the next day. [34] The majority of Republican senators voted to confirm Garland, including Senators John McCain, Orrin Hatch, Susan Collins, and Jim Inhofe. [35] Senators Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, and Jeff Sessions were among those who voted against Garland. [35] All of the 23 "no" votes came from Republicans, and all were based "on whether there was even a need for an eleventh seat" on the D.C. Circuit. [36] [37]

Service as chief judge

Garland became chief judge of the D.C. Circuit on February 12, 2013. [38] As chief judge, Garland announced in May 2013 that the D.C. Circuit had unanimously decided to provide the public with same-day audio recordings of oral arguments in the court. [39] [40] [37] As chief judge, Garland was an active member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, [41] and was involved in the formulation of new rules to protect federal judicial branch employees from workplace harassment, which were adopted in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Alex Kozinski. [41] [42] Garland's seven-year term as chief judge ended on February 11, 2020, with Judge Sri Srinivasan succeeding him. [41] Garland continued to serve as an active member of the court. [43] [44]

Notable cases

Garland is considered a judicial moderate and a centrist. [45] Garland has been described by Nina Totenberg and Carrie Johnson of NPR as "a moderate liberal, with a definite pro-prosecution bent in criminal cases". [3] Tom Goldstein, the publisher of SCOTUSblog, wrote in 2010 that "Judge Garland's record demonstrates that he is essentially the model, neutral judge. He is acknowledged by all to be brilliant. His opinions avoid unnecessary, sweeping pronouncements." [22] Garland has a reputation for collegiality and his opinions rarely draw a dissent. [46] As of 2016, Garland had written just fifteen dissents in his two decades on the court, fewer than his colleague Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who wrote some 17 dissents over the previous decade. [46]

Garland has tended to favor deference to regulatory agencies. [47] For example, in In re Aiken County (2013), Garland dissented when the court issued mandamus ordering the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to process the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository license. [48] In Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration (2013), Garland joined a divided court upholding the DEA's classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug. [9] However, according to Goldstein, in a number of split decisions on environmental law Garland "favored contested EPA regulations and actions when challenged by industry, and in other cases he has accepted challenges brought by environmental groups." [22] In Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton (2003), Garland found the arroyo toad was protected by the federal Endangered Species Act. [49] Circuit Judge John Roberts dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc, writing that Congress's interstate commerce power cannot reach "a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California." [50]

While on the bench, Garland has shown a tendency to be deferential to the government in criminal cases, siding with prosecutors in ten of the fourteen criminal cases in which he disagreed with a colleague. [51] For example, in United States v. Watson (1999), Garland dissented when the court concluded a prosecutor's closing argument was unduly prejudicial, objecting that a conviction should be reversed for only "the most egregious of these kind of errors." [51] In 2007, Garland dissented when the en banc D.C. Circuit reversed the conviction of a Washington, D.C. police officer who had accepted bribes in an FBI sting operation. [52]

Garland has taken a broad view of whistleblower protection laws, such as the False Claims Act (FCA), [53] which creates a private cause of action against those defrauding the federal government. [52] For example, in United States ex rel. Yesudian v. Howard University (1998), Garland wrote for the court in holding that a plaintiff alleging he had been fired by Howard University for whistleblowing could sue under the FCA for retaliation. [22] In United States ex rel. Totten v. Bombardier Corp. (2004), Garland dissented when the court, in an opinion written by Judge John Roberts, held that the FCA did not apply to false claims submitted to Amtrak because Amtrak is not the government. [52] [53] Roberts justified his narrow reading by citing a book by Circuit Judge Henry Friendly. [54] In dissent, Garland (who like Roberts had clerked for Friendly), cited Friendly's book as supporting the use of legislative intent, [52] writing that Roberts was relying on "'canons' of statutory construction, which serve there as 'cannons' of statutory destruction." [53] [55] Garland's dissent, expressing concerns that the court's ruling would impede the government's ability to pursue false claims cases against federal grantees, is credited with sparking the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, which eliminated the loophole. [53] During confirmation hearings in 2005, Senator Chuck Grassley sharply questioned Roberts on why he hadn't adopted Garland's reading. [52] Roberts replied, "Any time Judge Garland disagrees, you know you're in a difficult area." [52]

During Garland's tenure, the D.C. Circuit reviewed cases arising from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. In al Odah v. United States (2003), a panel that included Garland unanimously held that federal courts could not hear challenges from Guantanamo detainees. [22] In July 2011, Garland wrote for the unanimous panel when it rejected Guantanamo detainee Moath Hamza Ahmed al Alawi's petition for habeas corpus. [56] [57] In Parhat v. Gates (2008), Garland wrote for a panel that unanimously overturned the Combatant Status Review Tribunal's determination that a captured Uyghur was an enemy combatant. [58] In Saleh v. Titan Corp. (2009), Garland dissented from the court's holding that former Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison could not sue private military contractors who participated in torture and prisoner abuse. Garland wrote that the suit should be allowed to proceed because "no act of Congress and no judicial precedent" immunized the contractors from tort liability, the Federal Tort Claims Act specifically excludes contractors, and tort liability would not interfere with government operations. [59] [60] [61]

According to Goldstein, Garland has "tended to take a broader view" of First Amendment rights. [22] In cases involving the Freedom of Information Act and similar provisions related to government transparency, "Judge Garland's rulings reflect a preference for open government." [22] In ACLU v. CIA (2013), Garland wrote for a panel unanimously rejecting the agency's Glomar response and ordering it to process the ACLU's FOIA request regarding targeted killings by CIA drones. [62] In Cause of Action v. FTC (2015), Garland wrote for a panel unanimously overturning the agency's limitation on FOIA fee waivers to large news outlets. [62]

In Lee v. Department of Justice (2005), Garland dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc after the D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court's order holding reporters in contempt of court for refusing to testify about their anonymous sources during the Wen Ho Lee investigation. [61] [63] Garland wrote that the panel had erred in failing to "weigh the public interest in protecting the reporter's sources against the private interest in compelling disclosure" and that the decision "undermined the Founders' intention to protect the press 'so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people.'" [63] In Initiative & Referendum Institute v. U.S. Postal Service (2005), Garland wrote for the court, holding that a U.S. Postal Service regulation banning signature-gathering for petitions at post offices violated the First Amendment. [22] [63] Garland found the regulation to be facially overbroad and not narrowly tailored. [63]

In cases involving campaign finance reform laws, Garland has applied Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission when he believed that he was compelled to do so, but he has not sought to extend its holding. [61] In Wagner v. Federal Election Commission (2015), Garland wrote for the unanimous en banc D.C. Circuit in upholding a prohibition on campaign contributions from federal contractors because of the governmental interest in preventing corruption. [61] [64] In National Association of Manufacturers v. Taylor (2009), Garland wrote for the court in a decision upholding the constitutionality of lobbyist disclosure requirements under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. [39] [64] Professor Rick Hasen, an election-law expert, writes that Garland's opinions on election law are characterized by careful application of precedent and indicate that Garland believes in reasonable regulation. [64]

Garland has addressed a number of religious freedom cases while on the D.C. Circuit, although several of these have been decided on procedural grounds. [65] In 2002, Garland joined a unanimous court in ruling for two federal prisoners who were denied the right to consume communion wine. [65] [66] In 2010, Garland wrote the decision for a unanimous court in favor of an Interior Department employee who brought a religious-discrimination claim after the Interior Department refused to allow her to work weekdays rather than Sunday, when she wished to attend church and Bible study. [65] [67]

In 2007, Garland voted in favor of en banc review of the D.C. Circuit's panel decision in Parker v. District of Columbia invalidating the D.C. handgun ban. The Supreme Court subsequently affirmed this invalidation 5–4 in an opinion by Justice Scalia. [22]

In Alexander v. Daley (2003), Garland joined a decision (authored by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly), rejecting a challenge brought by District of Columbia residents seeking D.C. congressional voting rights. [24] [68]

In Hutchins v. District of Columbia (1999), Garland concurred with four other D.C. Circuit judges (en banc) that D.C.'s Juvenile Curfew Act of 1995 implicated at least some significant right of minors. [69] He joined parts of a plurality opinion written by Judge Laurence Silberman that upheld the juvenile curfew under intermediate scrutiny and a vagueness challenge. Garland also joined the part of Judge Judith W. Rogers's opinion (concurring in part and dissenting in part) holding that a fundamental right to intrastate travel exists. [70]


Garland retired from federal judicial service on March 11, 2021, to accept appointment as the Attorney General of the United States. [71]

Supreme Court nomination

Garland was considered twice to fill vacated seats on the United States Supreme Court in 2009 and 2010, before finally being nominated in 2016 by President Barack Obama for the seat left vacant by the death of conservative Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. [72]

2009 and 2010 considerations

In 2009, following the announcement by Justice David Souter that he would retire, Garland was considered as one of nine finalists for the post, which ultimately went to Sonia Sotomayor, then a judge of the Second Circuit. [73]

After the April 2010 announcement by Justice John Paul Stevens that he would retire, Garland was again widely seen as a leading contender for a nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. [74] [75] [76] President Obama interviewed Garland, among others, for the vacancy. [45] In May 2010, Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, said he would help Obama if Garland was nominated, calling Garland "a consensus nominee" and predicting that Garland would win Senate confirmation with bipartisan support. [77] [78] Obama nominated Solicitor General of the United States Elena Kagan, who was confirmed in August 2010. [45]

Scalia vacancy and 2016 nomination

On February 13, 2016, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died. [79] Later that day, Senate Republicans led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement that they would not consider any nominee put forth by Obama, and that a Supreme Court nomination should be left to the next President of the United States. [80] [81] [82] President Obama responded that he intended to "fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court," [83] [84] and that there was no "well established tradition" that a president could not fill a Supreme Court vacancy during the U.S. President's last year in office. [85]

In early March 2016, The New York Times reported that Garland was being vetted by the Obama Administration as a potential nominee. A week later, Garland was named as one of three judges on the President's "short list" (along with Judge Sri Srinivasan, also of the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Paul J. Watford of the Ninth Circuit). Obama interviewed all three leading contenders, as well as two others who were being considered: Judge Jane L. Kelly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. [86] Soon afterward, Senator Orrin Hatch, President pro tempore of the United States Senate and the most senior Republican Senator, predicted that President Obama would "name someone the liberal Democratic base wants" even though he "could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man." [87] Five days later, on March 16, Obama formally nominated Garland to the vacant post of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. [88] [89]

Garland had more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history, [35] and was the oldest Supreme Court nominee since Lewis F. Powell Jr. in 1971. [90] The American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary unanimously rated Garland "well-qualified" (the committee's highest rating) to sit on the Supreme Court. [91]

Under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate's Republican majority refused to consider Garland's nomination, holding "no hearings, no votes, no action whatsoever" on the nomination. [92] [93] [94] McConnell's categorical refusal to hold hearings on Garland's nomination was described by political scientists and legal scholars as unprecedented, [93] [95] [96] [97] McConnell's choice to lead a Republican blockade of the nomination was described as a "culmination of [his] confrontational style," [98] and an example of constitutional hardball. [99] Yascha Mounk called it a "blatant abuse of constitutional norms." [100]

After a period of 293 days, Garland's nomination expired on January 3, 2017, at the end of the 114th Congress. [101] It was the longest confirmation delay of a Supreme Court nominee in history, far exceeding the 125-day delay faced by the ultimately confirmed Justice Louis Brandeis in 1916. [102] On January 31, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Court vacancy. [103] On April 7, 2017, the Senate confirmed Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court.

McConnell went on to boast about stopping Garland's nomination, saying in August 2016, "one of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, 'Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.'" [104] [105] In April 2018, McConnell said the decision not to act upon the Garland nomination was "the most consequential decision I've made in my entire public career". [106]

Memberships and committee service

Garland served as co-chair of the administrative law section of the District of Columbia Bar from 1991 to 1994. [13] [107] He is also a member of the American Law Institute. [13]

In 2003, Garland was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers, completing the unexpired term of Deval Patrick, who had stepped down from the board. [108] Garland served as president of the overseers for 2009–10. [109]

Attorney General (2021–present)

Nomination and confirmation

President-elect Joe Biden selected Garland for the position of United States attorney general, with news of the selection coming on January 6, 2021. [110] [111] He was formally nominated by Biden on January 20, after Biden took office. [112] In Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, Garland vowed to oversee vigorous prosecution of those who stormed the United States Capitol, and other domestic extremists, drawing on his experience prosecuting the perpetrators of the Oklahoma City bombing. [113] [114] [115] Garland said it was likely the Biden administration would place a moratorium on use of the federal death penalty and expressed reservations about the death penalty in light of the "almost randomness or arbitrariness of its application." [115] He pledged to protect equal justice under law and reinvigorate the DOJ Civil Rights Division, which languished under the Trump administration. [114] [116] Garland affirmed that the Justice Department would remain independent under his leadership. [115]

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 15–7 to advance Garland's nomination to the Senate floor, [117] [118] and on March 10, the Senate confirmed Garland's nomination by a vote of 70–30. [119] [113] [120] He was sworn in on March 11, 2021, by Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus. [121]


In April 2021, Russia imposed sanctions against Garland, including prohibiting him from entering Russia. This was in retaliation for U.S. expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats, a sanction imposed by the United States against Russia for its SolarWinds hack, aggression against Ukraine, and interference in the 2020 U.S. election. [122]

During Garland's tenure as AG, the Justice Department has emphasized protection of civil rights. [123] Garland rescinded a Trump administration policy (imposed by Jeff Sessions) that curtailed DOJ investigations into police department misconduct ("pattern-and-practice" investigations) and restricted the use of consent decrees to reform police departments. [123] [124] [125] On June 11, 2021, Garland pledged to double the Department's enforcement staff for protecting the right to vote, in response to state voting restrictions passed after the 2020 United States presidential election. [126] [127]

Personal life

Garland and his wife, Lynn, have been married since 1987. Lynn Garland's grandfather, Samuel Irving Rosenman, was a justice of the New York Supreme Court (a trial-level court) and a special counsel to presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. [5] Garland and his wife have two daughters, Rebecca and Jessica both are graduates of Yale University. [128]

Garland is a resident of Bethesda, Maryland. [129] Financial disclosure forms in 2016 indicated that Garland's net worth at the time was between $6 million and $23 million. [15] Garland is partially colorblind so he uses a list to match his suits and ties. [15]

Selected publications

  • Merrick B. Garland, "Antitrust and State Action: Economic Efficiency and the Political Process", 96 Yale L.J. 486 (1987) doi:10.2307/1340869. JSTOR1340869.
  • ———, "Antitrust and Federalism: A Response to Professor Wiley", 96 Yale L.J. 1291 (1987) doi:10.2307/796386.
  • ———, "Deregulation and Judicial Review", 98 Harv. L. Rev. 505 (1985) doi:10.2307/796502.
  • ———, "Courts Give Deregulatory Policies New Hard Look", Legal Times, April 22, 1985. Vol. 8, no. 32.
  • ——— & Robert Pitofsky, "Federal Trade Commission Investigations", Antitrust Counseling and Litigation Techniques Vol. 4, Ch. 48 (J. O. Kalinowski ed. 1984). New York: Bender. OCLC917754819.
  • James F. Fitzpatrick & Merrick Garland, "The Court, 'Veto' and Airbags", The New York Times, August 20, 1983, at 21.
  • Student Note, "Commercial Speech, Supreme Court, 1975 Term", 90 Harv. L. Rev. 142 (1976).
  • Student Note, "State Action Exemption and Antitrust Enforcement Under the Federal Trade Commission Act", 89 Harv. L. Rev. 715 (1976) doi:10.2307/1340219.
  • Student Writer, writings, 1972–73. The Harvard Crimson.

See also


  1. ^
  2. Biographical Directory of the Federal Judiciary. Bernan Press. 2001. p. 511. ISBN978-0890592588 . Archived from the original on November 2, 2016.
  3. ^ ab
  4. Sweet, Lynn (March 16, 2016). "Obama Supreme Court pick: Chicago native Merrick Garland". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016 . Retrieved March 20, 2016 .
  5. ^ abcdefghijklmn Nina Totenberg & Carrie Johnson,
  6. "Merrick Garland Has A Reputation of Collegiality, Record of Republican Support". NPR. March 16, 2016. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016 . Retrieved March 20, 2016 .
  7. ^
  8. "Garland (obituary)". Chicago Tribune. November 27, 2000. Archived from the original on February 22, 2016.
  9. ^ ab
  10. "Lynn Rosenman is Married". The New York Times. September 20, 1987. Archived from the original on April 14, 2010 . Retrieved April 10, 2010 .
  11. ^ ab
  12. Nathan-Kazis, Josh (March 16, 2016). "Merrick Garland Offers Poignant Story About Anti-Semitism as Supreme Court Battle Looms". The Forward. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016 . Retrieved March 20, 2016 .
  13. ^
  14. Margolick, David (March 18, 2016). "What's in Merrick Garland's Name?". Tablet. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016 . Retrieved August 18, 2016 .
  15. ^
  16. McKinney, Kait (March 16, 2016). "Branstad Has Unique Connection to SCOTUS Nominee Merrick Garland". WHO-HD Channel 13. Archived from the original on March 21, 2016 . Retrieved March 16, 2016 .
  17. ^ abc
  18. Stolberg, Sheryl Gay Liptak, Adam (March 16, 2016). "Merrick Garland's Path to Nomination Marked by Deference, With Limits". The New York Times. p. A1. ISSN0362-4331 . Retrieved March 20, 2016 .
  19. ^
  20. "145 in Chicago, Suburbs Awarded Merit Scholarships". Chicago Tribune.
  21. ^
  22. "Nixon Urges Scholars to Take Active Role in Communities". Chicago Tribune.
  23. ^ ab
  24. "A Short List: Who Will Succeed Justice Stevens?". NPR. April 9, 2010.
  25. ^ abcdef
  26. U. S. Government Printing Office (2005). Official Congressional Directory: 109th Congress: 2005–2006. p. 836. ISBN978-0160724671 . Archived from the original on January 9, 2021 . Retrieved March 16, 2016 .
  27. ^ abcdefg
  28. Goldstein, Amy Hamburger, Tom (March 27, 2016). "For Merrick Garland, a methodical life of ambition". The Washington Post. p. A1 . Retrieved March 29, 2016 .
  29. ^ abcd
  30. Stolberg, Sheryl Gay Apuzzo, Matt Seelye, Katharine Q. (March 27, 2016). "Merrick Garland Is a Deft Navigator of Washington's Legal Circles". The New York Times. p. A1 . Retrieved March 29, 2016 .
  31. ^
  32. Parker, Claire E. (March 17, 2016). "Supreme Court Nominee Maintains Close Harvard Ties". Harvard Crimson . Retrieved March 20, 2016 .
  33. ^
  34. Rosen, Andy Ellement, John R. (March 16, 2016). "Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland has strong ties to Harvard University". Boston Globe . Retrieved March 20, 2016 .
  35. ^
  36. Garland, Merrick Brian (1974). Industrial reorganization in Britain an interpretation of government/industry relations in the 1960's (Thesis). Harvard University. OCLC76985796 . Retrieved February 22, 2021 .
  37. ^ abc Tony Mauro, How Merrick Garland Landed a Supreme Court Clerkship With Brennan, National Law Journal (March 26, 2018).
  38. ^ ab
  39. "Biographical Information on Merrick Garland, Federal Judge". ABC News . Retrieved March 16, 2016 .
  40. ^ ab
  41. Garland, Merrick B. (1985). "Deregulation and Judicial Review". Harvard Law Review. 98 (3): 505–591. doi:10.2307/1340869. ISSN0017-811X. JSTOR1340869.
  42. ^ abcdefghij
  43. Goldstein, Tom (April 26, 2010). "The Potential Nomination of Merrick Garland". SCOTUSBlog . Retrieved April 30, 2010 .
  44. ^ Merrick B. Garland, Antitrust and State Action: Economic Efficiency and the Political Process, 96 Yale L.J. 486 (1987).
  45. ^ ab
  46. Perry, Stein (March 17, 2016). "Merrick Garland and D.C. politics: His role in voting rights and Marion Barry's imprisonment". The Washington Post. Washington DC . Retrieved March 18, 2016 .
  47. ^
  48. "Washington Insight". Los Angeles Times. July 6, 1995. Archived from the original on March 23, 2016 . Retrieved March 16, 2016 .
  49. ^
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Further reading

    (2016). Report R44479, Judge Merrick Garland: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court, coordinated by Kate M. Manuel, Brandon J. Murrill, and Andrew Nolan (2016)
  • Congressional Research Service Report R44484, Majority, Concurring, and Dissenting Opinions Authored by Judge Merrick Garland, coordinated by R. Chuck Mason (2016).
  • Congressional Research Service Legal Sidebar WSLG1526, Vacancy on the Supreme Court: CRS Products, by Kate M. Manuel and Andrew Nolan (2016).
  • Robin Bradley Kar & Jason Mazzone, The Garland Affair: What History and the Constitution Really Say About President Obama's Powers to Appoint a Replacement for Justice Scalia, NYU Law Review, Vol. 91, p. 53 (2016)

External links

The News Media Can’t Possibly be Trusted

According to a Gallup Poll in September of 2011, only 44% of people say they trust the American media[i]. When it comes to bias, only 36% say the media is not biased.

It gets worse: according to a new July 2012 Gallup poll, just 21% of adults express confidence in TV news and only 25% of adults express confidence in newspapers.[ii] America is waking up and smelling the liberal bias! I finally woke up to the truth that American people are simply not getting the facts and straight news from most media outlets.

One of the most revealing polls during the 2008 Presidential election was a Rasmussen poll finding that by a margin of 10-to-1, the public said that reporters ‘T

ried to Hurt [Sarah] Palin’. I will never forget how the media treated a woman who did absolutely nothing to deserve the vitriol and character assassination they displayed toward her. It exposed the pure hatred toward a pro-life Christian conservative by elite liberals in the media and by many in the Democratic Party. Ten to one! They showed their true colors and embarrassed the journalism profession. Reporters are not supposed to have an agenda one way or the other but today’s news is being delivered through a progressive filter. Do we honestly expect the media to report fairly when they vote for Democratic candidates 94% of the time?

One thing that is slightly encouraging to me is that every day it seems that more and more people are getting the majority of their news and other information from the Internet through a variety of sources and web sites. With an average of just eight percent (8%) of journalists identifying themselves as conservative, I have a theory about why so many people in the media are liberals or oppose Christianity. One obvious reason is that they are simply trying to fit in with those they rub elbows with and I’m sure they want to please their bosses. It is also partly due to the fact that since grade school, kids form their opinions and world views while learning from mostly government-controlled curricula. The result is liberal indoctrination and for those youth who go into journalism, they are simply a product of their environment.

  • Ninety-seven (97%) believe in abortion – a woman’s right to choose
  • Seventy-three (73%) agree that homosexuality is just as acceptable as heterosexuality
  • Over sixty (60%) favor gay marriage
  • Seventeen (17%) of top journalists attend worship services almost every week
  • Twelve (12%) of journalists say they are Republican

It is simply naïve to think that the majority of today’s news media deliver important stories with no underlying opinion or without liberal bias. Witnessing what media minions did to Sarah Palin in 2008 compelled me to start writing regularly. I believe that the media is not even trying to cover up their liberal slant any longer. The press that used to be watch dogs have become lap dogs. They were supposed to hold government accountable, but who is holding them accountable? Journalistic ethics and standards are a thing of the past and we will address this important issue in two fact-packed, truth-filled chapters on journalism and media in my book ERADICATE: Blotting out God in America. We’ll reveal why Christians should be aware, informed, and concerned.

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Unlike myriad news organizations that deceptively slat or distort the news while claiming to be “objective”, we forthrightly acknowledge an editorial point of view that is guided by our support of the U.S. Constitution and the principles upon which our Constitution is based, and the personal responsibility a free people must exercise to stay free. But, that aside, we always approach the news honestly, relying on facts and reason and allowing the chips to fall where they may.

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An Operation Fast and Furious Timeline

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (left) hugs Josephine Terry, the mother of fallen U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry (Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic)

Below is a painstakingly detailed timeline surrounding the events and the people involved in the gun-walking program which leaves this author with absolutely no doubt that the purpose of the Operation was to justify a so-called “assault weapons ban.”
In the wake of the revelation that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was in possession of a .50-caliber rifle (that can “take down a helicopter“), a reminder is in order about the TRUE nature of Operation Fast and Furious.
This is re-printed from Broadside News.


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Obama Executive Order Will Nationalize the Demonization of US Veterans as Mentally Ill

The demonization of US veterans has been a reoccurring theme in mainstream media of late.
Last week, it was recounted by mainstream media (MSM) that Terence Tyler, former US Marine had opened fire on his co-workers at a New Jersey supermarket called Pathmark before turning the gun on himself.
Tyler was reported to have been carrying an AK-47 with several rounds of ammunition, as well as a handgun when he began “shooting seemingly at random” into the supermarket. The semiautomatic weapon Tyler used in the shooting is purported to be illegal according to New Jersey state laws if it is enhanced with elements that would raise the gun to the level of assault rifle.
Bruce Kaplan, Middlesex County prosecutor said that there were 16 shots fired in the Pathmark store at 4 am wherein 2 co-workers of Tyler were killed. Kaplan asserts that he does not “believe they were specifically targeted. I believe everybody in the store was a target. It appears he opened fire on the employees that he observed in the store when he entered the store.”
Richard Ulsh, Marine Corps Captain and spokesman confirmed that Tyler had been in active duty between March of 2008 and February of 2010 in California and was discharged as a lance corporal with a specialty as a rifleman. Ulsh also stated that Tyler was part of the “national emergency” unit that would be deployed in the event of a terrorist attack.
By using Tyler’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to demonize him, the MSM are claiming that Tyler was a depressed, ticking time-bomb just waiting to explode. By citing a post on his Twitter account (which has since been locked to public view) Tyler allegedly said three years ago: “is it normal to want to kill ALL of ur coworkers?”
This comment does not fit the facts begin reported by the MSM that Tyler began his employment with Pathmark only 2 weeks ago – when the Tweet about co-workers was stated over 3 years ago.
In case of former US Marine Brandon Raub , we witnessed the indefinite detention of a decorated solider under the guise of mental instability for speaking out against the US government on Facebook.
Many others, including a radio talk-show host and more former military have been forcibly removed from their homes and taken to VA psychiatric wards where they were sequestered and threatened with the intention to not only remove their guns, but also possibly use dangerous cocktails of psychotropic drugs to control their minds.
Last week, Obama signed an executive order (EO) entitled, “Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families” with the supposed focus on strengthening “support for the emotional and mental health needs of our service members and their families.”
In this EO, Obama takes control over the evaluation of the mental health of our returning service men and women by providing US government controlled “effective mental health services for veterans, service members, and their families.” Obama is authorizing the coordination of the Departments of Veterans and the Department of Defense (DoD), as well as the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense to “transition” veterans back into “civilian life”.
Keeping in line with touting all veterans as mentally defective, substance abusers and suicidal, Obama demands that the VA and the DoD collaborate to provide proactive measures and a psychiatric pre-screen of returning service men and women to prevent erratic behavior. The DoD will “review all existing mental health and substance abuse prevention, education and outreach programs” within the military services and access their effectiveness.
During a private “roundtable” discussion at Fort Bliss in Texas, Obama met with members of the military and addressed active duty troops. The Obama administration’s focus is on identifying and “providing additional support” to soldiers who have been diagnosed with “post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)”.
Previously, the DoD have come out publicly to state that US veterans suffering from TBI and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are considered potentially violent and dangerous.
Doctors for the DoD claim CTE is an incurable disease soldiers may develop after having injured their brain in battle. CTE is explained as causing large bursts of anger and depression while having their vital motor skills and memory impacted as well as being degenerative of whose effects can manifest themselves days, months or years after the initial trauma.
The DoD is tracking soldiers diagnosed with TBI/CTE because, according to the US government agency, they may display personality changes that could come on without warning and effect their ability to acclimate back into American society.
At Fort Detrick and Fort Bragg, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US military is conducting clinical trials on 2,000 solders to create a medical screen to detect a person’s propensity toward TBI/CTE by measuring biomarkers.
The Obama administration devised a report in 2011 entitled “Strengthening Our Military Families” that focuses on the mental stability of our US service men and women. It questions whether or not their exposure to battlefield conditions, TBI/CTE, and diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) is causing them to be a potential danger to society. Hidden under bureaucracy of promising to develop governmental systems to aid veterans, the document is directed at identifying all veteran’s potential to become mentally incapacitated due to some psychiatric disorder which would cause them to become violent, depressed, aggressive and inevitably dangerous to society.
The EO also allocates the US government-sponsored use of local community mental health clinics, community health centers, substance abuse treatment facilities, and rural health clinics to assist the DoD in identifying veterans who may be suffering from mental illness and would therefore have federal agencies working with private sector health providers to ensure veterans get the psychiatric help they need in “a timely way”. Obama has ordered 15 “pilot projects” to be established to create an integrated mental health system wherein the DoD would have complete oversight. The DoD would also be at the liberty of defining the parameters of the objective need of mental healthcare of veterans.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (SVA) will employ 800 peer counselors by 2013 that will be controlled and disseminated by the DoD under directives of the SVA. Collaborative tools and monetary oversight will remain with the SVA as an estimate 1,600 mental healthcare workers is expected to be needed to deal with the issue of mentally ill veterans nationally.
A National Research Action Plan will be established by May of 2013 that will be sponsored by the US government to use biomarkers for “early diagnosis and treatment” of veterans who tested positive for a propensity toward TBI/CTE. Obama wants to integrate electronic data sharing of information about veterans and their predetermined mental status between federal agencies, academia and state-sponsored research facilities to create pharmaceutical and psychiatric answers to this supposed burgeoning problem.
The goal of the Obama administration is to devise a “comprehensive longitudinal mental health study with an emphasis on PTSD, TBI, and related injuries” to identify mental health issues in veterans and enroll veterans in a long-term plan coordinated with the Department of Veteran Affairs which will be directed by the DoD.
The creation of a Task Force to advise Obama on how to deal with mental illness and veterans will be established within 180 days of the EO. This Task Force will alone define specific goals on how to best combat veterans alleged fall into mental illness with specific regard to TBI/CTE and post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).
The US government’s goal is to identify these veterans and label them with a progressive, unstable and degenerative disease so that they can refer them to mental hospitals for further evaluation and/or admittance.
The manufactured threat of US veterans stems from the 2009 Department of Homeland Security report entitled Rightwing Extremism. This report clearly outlined that veterans, because of their diverse training in tactical operations, would be a decisive threat to the US government’s plans to declare martial law against the American public in the near future. Defined in the document were domestic extremists, particularly white supremacists, were proposed to be the newest and most dangerous threat to the US since al-Qaeda.
The US Armed Forces have “discovered” that white supremacists have infiltrated the US military and will the assistance of the FBI-sponsored Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Zionist-controlled Anti-Defamation League (ADL), they are creating a training course to teach active duty military how to spot those infiltrators in their own ranks.
This new EO, the Obama administration’s focus on being able to label military active and former as mentally ill and detain them in psychiatric hospitals is happening right now. As we have seen in the recent weeks, many of our former service men and women are being carted away to mental wards because the indefinite detention provision in the NDAA has been ruled unconstitutional by New York District Court Judge Katherine Forrester.
However, committing an individual to a mental hospital is not illegal. Our veterans, under this new attack for their sanity is also weighing against their right to bear arms. In every case of detention by way of mental illness of late, those removed were also relived of their guns.
This kind of control over citizens by government was practiced by Mao in China, Communist Russia and Nazi-controlled Germany. As following in the footsteps of previous dictators, Obama is proving himself to be the next in a dangerous line of Fascist controllers who will imprison his own military if need be to accomplish his goals set forth for him by the global Elite.

Notes on contributors

Linnéa Gelot

Martin Welz


1 Kasaija, “The African Union” Sithole, “The African Union Peace and Security.”

2 Grovogui, “Looking Beyond Spring” Ping, “The African Union Role.”

3 Kasaija, “The African Union.”

4 Omorogbe, “The African Union” Nnaeme and Asuelime, “The African Union’s Questionable Legitimacy” Grovogui, “Looking Beyond Spring.”

5 Abass, “The African Union’s Response.”

6 Walt, “Learning the Right Lessons” Luttwak, “Libya” Kasaija, “The African Union”, explains the inability of African states to pursue collective positions as a reflection of capacity shortages and lack of political will.

7 Grovogui, “Looking Beyond Spring.”

8 Sil and Katzenstein, “Analytic Eclecticism.”

9 Sterling-Folker and Shinko, “Discourses of Power.”

10 Sil and Katzenstein, “Analytic Eclecticism,” 414.

13 Sterling-Folker and Shinko, “Discourses of Power.”

14 Der Derian, “Philosophical Traditions,” 192.

15 Ripsman et al., Neoclassical Realist Theory.

16 George, “Of Incarnation and Closure,” 221.

17 Ripsman et al., Neoclassical Realist Theory, 31–57.

18 Schweller, “Deadly Imbalances,” 17–18.

19 Morgenthau, Politics among Nations, 9.

20 Abrahamsen, “The Power of Partnerships.”

22 Foucault, “Omnes et Singulatim” Foucault, “What is Critique.”

23 Sterling-Folker and Shinko, “Discourses of Power,” 638.

24 Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 120–30.

25 Sterling-Folker and Shinko, “Discourses of Power,” 641–2. For the post-structuralist the productive possibility inherent in power use, such as resistance, can serve as a ‘resource’ to overcome or reconfigure structural constraints. We thank an anonymous reviewer for emphasising this point.

26 Ashley, “The Achievements of Post-structuralism,” 244.

27 Sterling-Folker and Shinko, “Discourses of Power,” 640 Kitchen, “Systemic Pressures.”

28 Schweller, “Deadly Imbalances.”

29 Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, 108 Nabers, A Poststructuralist Discourse Theory.

30 Hansen, Security as Practice, 17.

31 Lundborg and Vaughan-Williams, “New Materialisms.”

32 Milliken, “The Study of Discourse.”

33 Milliken, “The Study of Discourse,” 229 Ashley, “The Geopolitics,” 410.

34 Milliken, “The Study of Discourse,” 230.

35 Taliaferro et al., “Neoclassical Realism.”

37 David, “Explaining Third World Alignment.”

38 Sterling-Folker and Shinko, “Discourses of Power,” 639.

39 Kitchen, “Systemic Pressures,” 129.

40 Goetze, “Bringing Claude-Lévi Strauss” Devetak, “Post-Structuralism.”

41 Milliken, “The Study of Discourse,” 236 Campbell, National Deconstruction, 34.

42 Of course, the ontological assumptions differ starkly, not least on the existence of objective reality and the possibility of truth claims.

43 Zaller, The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion.

44 Kitchen, “Systemic Pressures.”

46 Ripsman et al., Neoclassical Realist Theory, 64.

47 Williams, The Realist Tradition, 32.

48 Ripsman et al., Neoclassical Realist Theory, 64.

49 Jacobi and Freyberg-Inan, Critical Investigations, 7.

50 Jacobi and Freyberg-Inan, “The Forum.”

51 Behr and Williams, “Interlocuting Classical Realism and Critical Theory.”

52 Sil and Katzenstein, “Analytic Eclecticism,” 414.

53 Obama et al., “Libya’s Pathway to Peace.”

54 UN Security Council, Resolution 1973.

55 AU PSC Communiqué of the 261st Meeting had strongly condemned regime crackdown on protesters.

AU Press Statement PSC/PR/BR.1(CCLXVIII), 23 March 2011 acknowledges the adoption of Resolution 1973.

56 Obama et al., “Libya’s Pathway to Peace.”

58 Deputy Ambassador of Libya Ibrahim Dabbashi had defected when he requested an emergency meeting of the UNSC, see UN doc S/2011/102. On the importance of defections from the Gaddafi regime, see Kasaija, “The African Union,” 119.

59 Obama et al., “Libya’s Pathway to Peace.”

60 Hallams and Schreer, “Towards a ‘Post-American’ Alliance?” 323.

61 Breeden, “Nicolas Sarkozy.”

62 Malloy and Treyz, “Obama Admits Worst Mistake.”

63 Confidential interview by Martin Welz, senior official of the EEAS, Brussels, November 2013.

64 Kasaija, “The African Union,” 123–4 McKaiser, “Annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture,” 151.

65 Ripsman et al., Neoclassical Realist Theory, 52.

66 Maasho, “AU Says Non-Africans.”

67 Ping, “African Union Peace and Security Council, “Statement”” Lamamra, 275 th AU Peace and Security Council Ministerial Meeting.

69 B⊘ås and Utas, “Introduction.”

70 Rossouw, “SA’s ‘No-Fly’ Vote.”

71 Confidential interview by Linnéa Gelot, senior AU official, Addis Ababa, April 2012.

72 AU, “Communiqué 595 th Meeting.”

73 Confidential interview by Linnéa Gelot, South African diplomat, Addis Ababa, April 2012.

74 Adebajo, “The Revolt against the West,” 1197.

76 Bellamy, “Libya and the Responsibility to Protect” for a critical position, see Hehir, “The Responsibility to Protect,” 39.

77 Pargeter, Libya, 1.

78 Obama et al., “Libya’s Pathway to Peace.”

79 Reus-Smit, “Liberal Hierarchy,” 72.

80 Bigo and Tsoukala, Terror, Insecurity and Liberty, 2.

81 Grovogui, “Looking Beyond Spring,” 569 AU, Communique of the 265 th meeting, para. 5.

83 de Waal, “African Roles,” 371.

84 Policymakers, academics, the media, etc. have played a role in fixing the discourse by reinforcing the representation of the intervention as necessary to ‘liberate’ a nation, and as a ‘universal’ success, see the description in Engelbrekt, “Why Libya?”

85 Joffé, “Libya and Europe,” 85.

86 Ogunbadejo, “Qaddafi’s North African Design.”

87 Vandewalle, A History of Modern Libya, 170.

88 Zoubir, “Libya in US Foreign Policy,” 34.

92 Vandewalle, A History of Modern Libya, 178.

93 Ripsman et al., Neoclassical Realist Theory, 64 Zaller, The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion.

94 B⊘ås and Utas, “Introduction.”

95 Weiss and Welz, “The UN and AU.”

96 Mbeki, “Union Africaine” Ebrahim, “Speech by Deputy Minister,” 134 Gelot, “The Role and Impact.”

Retrenchment fear grips miners on the Copperbelt

Fear and anxiety has gripped miners on the Copperbelt province following the decision by some mining companies to cut jobs due to the decline in Copper price that has drop by over 50 per cent at the London metal exchange in the last four months.

The mine workers unions, who have called for an urgent meeting with President, Rupiah Banda, have revealed that so far about 286 miners have lost their jobs at Mbwana mukubwa, 26 at Chambeshi Metals and another 50 at Kasanshi.

Speaking at a joint Press briefing held at Katilungu House in Kitwe today Mine Workers Union of Zambia, MUZ, President Rayford Mbulu and National Union of Miners and Allied Workers, NUMAW, Mudia Sikufele of the revealed that most of the mining companies that they were negotiating with had indicated that they intend to cut the labour force if the current fall in Copper prices continues.

Mr Mbulu said it was unfortunate that Government last week left them out of the meeting it had with the Chief Executive Officers of the Mining Companies at a time when the workers in the sector were not guaranteed of their jobs.

He said it could have been positive if Government had invited the Unions who were the workers representatives , Chief Executive Officers of the mine companies to dialogue with Finance Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane on strategies on best ways of addressing the problem.

He added that fear and anxiety has griped the miners over the impending retrenchments hence the need for Government to quickly intervene as dialogue was the only solution to the problems in the mining sector.

And Mr Sikufele emphasised the need for the mining companies to maintain the current labour force and use the savings made during the period when the Copper prices were high to make the wheels of the industry go on running smoothly.

Mr Sikufele added that there was no justification for mine companies to retrench workers because they had invested heavily in developmental projects at the time when the Copper prices were very high.

He noted that the current copper prices were not too low to force mine owners to take such drastic measures as retrenching the miners who had contributed greatly to the huge profits made during the time when the copper prices were at their peak.

Why is Obama holding America hostage just so he can browbeat the rich?

Why are Republicans holding it up just to appease their 2% masters?


Gold Member

Nothing is stolen from the rich.

They don't like the deal..they can leave.


Gold Member

THat was done today. Do try to keep up.
More Local News
GOP issues new 'fiscal cliff' offer to Obama
Dec 3, 2012 | 3:42:18
Andrew Taylor

Washington, D.C. - House Republicans on Monday proposed a new 10-year, $2.2 trillion blueprint to President Barack Obama that calls for increasing the eligibility age for Medicare and lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits.

The proposal from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republicans comes in response to Obama's offer last week to hike taxes by $1.6 trillion over the coming decade but largely exempt Medicare and Social Security from budget cuts.

The GOP plan also proposes to raise $800 billion in higher tax revenue over the decade but it would keep the Bush-era tax cuts including those for wealthier earners targeted by Obama in place for now.

Boehner said the GOP proposal is a ``credible plan'' for Obama and that he hopes the administration would ``respond in a timely and responsible way.'' The offer comes after the administration urged Republicans to detail their proposal to cut popular benefits programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.

``After the election I offered to speed this up by putting revenue on the table and unfortunately the White House responded with their la-la land offer that couldn't pass the House, couldn't pass the Senate and it was basically the president's budget from last February,'' Boehner told reporters.

The Boehner proposal revives a host of ideas from failed talks with Obama in the summer of 2011. Then, Obama was willing to discuss politically controversial ideas like raising the eligibility age for Medicare, implementing a new inflation adjustment for Social Security cost-of-living adjustments and requiring wealthier Medicare recipients to pay more for their benefits.

On Monday, Obama did not respond to questions from reporters on his reaction to the Republican counteroffer or whether he had seen the proposal. He was asked about the offer during an event in the Oval Office with the Bulgarian prime minister.

The clock is ticking closer to the end-of-year deadline to avert the fiscal cliff, which is a combination of the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that are the result of prior failures of Congress and Obama to make a budget deal.

Many economists say such a one-two punch could send the fragile economy back into recession.

GOP aides said the plan was based on a plan floated by Erskine Bowles in testimony to the special deficit ``supercommittee'' last year in effect a milder version of the highly controversial 2010 Bowles proposal that caused both GOP and Democratic leaders in Congress to recoil.

By GOP math, the plan would produce $2.2 trillion in saving over the coming decade: $800 billion in higher taxes $600 billion in savings from costly health care programs like Medicare $300 billion from other proposals like forcing federal workers to contribute more toward their pensions and $300 billion in additional savings from the Pentagon budget and domestic programs funded by Congress each year.

Under the administration's math, GOP aides said, the plan represents $4.6 trillion in 10-year savings. That estimate accounts for earlier cuts enacted during last year's showdown over lifting the government's borrowing cap and also factors in war savings and lower interest payments on the $16.4 trillion national debt.

Last week, the White House delivered to Capitol Hill its opening proposal: $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over a decade, a possible extension of the temporary Social Security payroll tax cut and heightened presidential power to raise the national debt limit.

In exchange, the president would back $600 billion in spending cuts, including $350 billion from Medicare and other health programs. But he also wants $200 billion in new spending for jobless benefits, public works projects and aid for struggling homeowners. His proposal for raising the ceiling on government borrowing would make it virtually impossible for Congress to block him going forward.

Republicans said they responded in closed-door meetings with laughter and disbelief.

The GOP plan is certain to whip up opposition from Democrats opposed to any action now on Social Security, whose defenders say should not be part of any fiscal cliff deal. And Democrats also are deeply skeptical of raising the Medicare age.

Both ideas were part of negotiations between Boehner and Obama in the summer of last year.

In a letter to the president, Boehner and six other House Republicans insisted that the November election that returned Obama to the White House and the GOP to majority control in the House requires both parties to come together ``on a fair middle ground.''

``With the fiscal cliff nearing, our priority remains finding a reasonable solution that can pass both the House and Senate, and be signed into law in the next couple of weeks,'' Republicans wrote.

One of the few things the White House and Capitol Hill Republicans can agree to is a framework that would make a ``down payment'' on the deficit and all or most of the extend expiring Bush-era tax cuts but leave most of the legislative grunt work until next year.

Republicans dismissed the notion of raising tax rates and said flatly they would oppose them. Instead, new revenue would come from tax reform, closing loopholes and deductions while lowering rates, according to the Bowles plan.

Signing the letter was Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and the unsuccessful GOP vice presidential candidate. Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Fred Upton, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican Conference chair, also signed the letter.

In a scathing attack, Republican leader Mitch McConnell said, ``if the president is serious about joining us in an effort to reduce the deficit and protect the economy, he'll get off the campaign trail, drop the left-wing talking points, and instruct his staff to negotiate a solution in good faith based on actual written proposals. In short, he'll begin doing what leaders do: Lead.''


Gold Member


Gold Member

How exactly does raising the marginal rate by 3% on incomes above 200,000 (250, if married filing jointly) brow beat anyone? Were their brows being beating in the 90's?

Won't the same folks benefit from the lower tax rates below 200,000 dollars?


Gold Member

Spending Reduction Act of 2011
January 2011
The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 reduces federal spending by $2.5 trillion over ten years. The bill will specifically hold FY 2011 non-security discretionary spending to FY 08 levels, hold non-defense discretionary spending to FY 06 levels thereafter for the rest of the ten-year budget window (the same level as in effect during the last year of GOP control of the Congress), and include more than 100 other program eliminations or savings proposals, consisting of proposals from the RSC Sunset Caucus, YouCut, or past RSC budgets. To cosponsor or for more information, contact [email protected]
&#61656 FY 2011 CR Amendment: Replace the spending levels in the FY 2011 continuing resolution (CR) with non-defense, non-homeland security, non-veterans spending at FY 2008 levels. The legislation will further prohibit any FY 2011 funding from being used to carry out any provision of the Democrat government takeover of health care, or to defend the health care law against any lawsuit challenging any provision of the act. $80 billion savings.
&#61656 Discretionary Spending Limit, FY 2012-2021: Eliminate automatic increases for inflation from CBO baseline projections for future discretionary appropriations. Further, impose discretionary spending limits through 2021 at 2006 levels on the non-defense portion of the discretionary budget. $2.29 trillion savings over ten years.
&#61656 Federal Workforce Reforms: Eliminate automatic pay increases for civilian federal workers for five years. Additionally, cut the civilian workforce by a total of 15 percent through attrition. Allow the hiring of only one new worker for every two workers who leave federal employment until the reduction target has been met. (Savings included in above discretionary savings figure).
&#61656 “Stimulus” Repeal: Eliminate all remaining “stimulus” funding. $45 billion total savings.
&#61656 Eliminate federal control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. $30 billion total savings.
&#61656 Repeal the Medicaid FMAP increase in the “State Bailout” (Senate amendments to S. 1586). $16.1 billion total savings.
&#61656 More than 100 specific program eliminations and spending reductions listed below: $330 billion savings over ten years (included in above discretionary savings figure).
Additional Program Eliminations/Spending Reforms
&#61656 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.
&#61656 Save America’s Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.
&#61656 International Fund for Ireland. $17 million annual savings.
&#61656 Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.
&#61656 National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.
&#61656 National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.
&#61656 Hope VI Program. $250 million annual savings.
&#61656 Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.
&#61656 Eliminate duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
&#61656 U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings.
&#61656 Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.
&#61656 Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding. $47 million annual savings.
&#61656 John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings.
&#61656 Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.
&#61656 Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.
&#61656 Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings.
&#61656 Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million annual savings.
&#61656 Essential Air Service. $150 million annual savings.
&#61656 Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.
&#61656 Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million annual savings.
&#61656 Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.
&#61656 Beach Replenishment. $95 million annual savings.
&#61656 New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.
&#61656 Exchange Programs for Alaska, Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts. $9 million annual savings.
&#61656 Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings.
&#61656 Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.
&#61656 Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million annual savings.
&#61656 Economic Development Administration. $293 million annual savings.
&#61656 Programs under the National and Community Services Act. $1.15 billion annual savings.
&#61656 Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings.
&#61656 FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.
&#61656 Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings.
&#61656 Economic Assistance to Egypt. $250 million annually.
&#61656 U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 billion annual savings.
&#61656 General Assistance to District of Columbia. $210 million annual savings.
&#61656 Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.
&#61656 Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.
&#61656 No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings.
&#61656 End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
&#61656 Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.
&#61656 IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 billion savings over ten years.
&#61656 Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.
&#61656 Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
&#61656 Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.
&#61656 Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.
&#61656 Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million annual savings.
&#61656 Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings.
&#61656 Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings.
&#61656 USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings.
&#61656 Subsidy to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). $93 million annual savings.
&#61656 Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.
&#61656 Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.
&#61656 Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million savings.
&#61656 HUD Ph.D. Program.
&#61656 Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.
TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

you also have $1.6T in new revenues due to taxes.

again this is a good starting point, however if the GOP is not willing counter offer anything, then how is a negotiation supposed to happen? Boehner keeps paying the current proposal on the table is inadequate, however he is unwilling to counter offer and negotiate.

fiscal cliff here we come, which is actually pretty funny because the so called fiscal cliff gives both sides exactly what they want. taxes increase and spending is cut.

Non-Fiction Book 1: The Democrats: A Critical History by Lance Selfa

Last year I made a list of nonfiction works I wanted to read this year. I just finished my first book from that list.

Lance Selfa details in eight chapters that any hope for American leftists (and he would argue, the average person in the U.S.) does not lie with the Democratic Party. His argument is not against the Democratic base (i.e., African-Americans, women, LGBT, poor, labor), but against its party leaders. Chapter one argues that Democrats are essentially capitalism lite. Chapter two chronicles the shift from Democrats being the “party of slavery” to the “party of the people.” Chapter three summarizes the rise of the “New Democrats,” or those organized after Carter’s fantastic defeat. Chapter four goes through Obama’s promises for change during his first term. Chapter five argues that Democrats, rather than leading progressive change, coopt and corral social movements. Chapter six shows Democrats to be just as beholden to American empire as Republicans, though with humanitarian justification. Chapter seven lists the many failed attempts of progressives to move the Democrats leftward. Selfa finishes chapter eight with an answer to the question of why there is no left alternative to the Democratic Party. Selfa pays primary attention to Democratic failures concerning labor, civil rights, and militarism. Let’s look at the indictments Selfa brings against the party by topic:

Poor (not a whole lot said about the poor or poverty):

  • the Social Security Administration gave retirement benefits to everyone (including the rich who didn’t need it) though workers subsidized it: it came out of payroll tax instead of taxes on wealth (51)
  • Clinton was the first president since the New Deal to cut one of its programs (welfare) (75-76)
  • Clinton didn’t move to raise the minimum wage when he had a Democratic congress (78)
  • Obama extended Bush tax cuts 2 years, even offering to end entitlement spending (107-08)
  • Obama offered a jobs bill in September 2011, long after having a Democratic congress for 2 years (108-09)

Ties to Capital Interests:

  • FDR ran in 1932 on platform of a balanced budget, 25% cut in federal spending, with no mention of unions or labor (126)
  • Carter cut capital gains taxes and boosted the social security tax on paychecks (66)
  • elections take a lot of money. House seats cost $1.3M in 2006 compared to $193K in 1986, and Senate almost $9M in 2006 from $1.4M in 1986. Democratic Party fundraising only saw a quarter of its contributions from labor while the majority from business (24-26). In the most expensive political seat, the presidency, Obama received .5M from unions but $42M from Wall Street during the 2008 election (10)
  • despite rhetoric, Obama was tied to big business: he led McCain in 8 out of 11 industrial sectors in the 2008 election (91-92)
  • Obama’s initial stimulus bill didn’t focus on job creation which ended up increasing unemployment (98)

Health care:

  • “Hillarycare” in 1994 sought input from insurance companies and large employers far more than health care advocates (30)
  • the ACA was so compromised, Selfa claims few Dems were happy with it it was a boon to insurance companies since everyone was required to have insurance (102)
  • industry stakeholders were involved in writing the ACA, not the persons whose health would be affected by it (103)
  • ACA didn’t renegotiate big pharma down (104)
  • Howard Dean said lack of single payer made ACA worthless, though he eventually voted for it (105)

Environment (not much in the book):

  • Clinton used his influence with environmental groups to gain their support for NAFTA, even as the legislation opened up the northwest to logging efforts (34, 73) (Selfa didn’t pay much attention to environment in the book)
  • everyday unionists in 1933 wanted a labor party separate from the Democrats and Republicans, especially since their strikes were suppressed by state militias, the majority of which led by Democratic governors (130)
  • FDR was actually anti-union until 1935 (the year before the election)àthe creation of Social Security and the National Labor Rights Act sealed his 1936 win (129)
  • CIO leaders had warned an FDR loss would bring a fascist reign contrarily, his election did nothing to stem a recession or decline in union power (50)
  • in a 1937 steel strike, strikebreakers with the national guard killed workers and ransacked homes courts ruled sit down strikes illegal in 1938 (50-51)
  • Smith-Connally Act of 1943 allowed the president to break strikes in war industries (133)
  • Dixiecrats dominated the Democrats even after the New Deal. This is part of why labor could not gain ground: Dixiecrats collaborated with conservative Republicans against labor. Labor never tried to organize the South, even in the 21 st century. Northern companies could thus threaten to move their operations to the non-union South (136-38)
  • the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act banned wildcat strikes, solidarity strikes, secondary boycotts, mass pickets, and legislated anti-communism pledges (54)
  • new union leaders in 1948 election sought to break from Dems/Reps, but Truman pledged to veto Taft-Hartley unions supported him, forgetting his antiunion record, and on his first year in his second term to break twelve strikes (134-35)
  • real median income peaked in 1973: Democrats controlled congress and most legislatures since 1973 without helping the falling real income of workers afterward (10, 64)
  • 1932-80, Dems held the presidency 32 of 48 years and both chambers of Congress for 46 years with repeal of Taft-Hartley (well, not before its existence in 1947) and national health insurance on platforms: they never passed (57)
  • Senator Hubert Humphrey (VP under Johnson) proposed placing communists in concentration camps in 1954 (57)
  • Communist Control Act of 1954 allowed government to remove union leaders or deny bargaining rights to “communist” unions (138)
  • Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959 allowed government to take over unions (138)
  • Carter used Taft-Hartley to force settlements (66)
  • Clinton pursued NAFTA despite outcry from labor and environment (73)
  • Clinton pushed OSHA to partner with (rather than give oversight of) business and only seek voluntary compliance (78)
  • while Obama bailed out banks, he restructured Chrysler and GM (100)
  • Obama attempted to co-opt Occupy rhetoric even as his Department of Homeland Security fought this movement with military police effort (119)
  • CIO has been involved in the main organizing, financing, and electoral support for Democrats since 1948, even though none of their broad aims have been met (138)
  • activist groups of the 1960s divided along lines of grassroots activists and lobbying, the latter being pulled to the Democrats the ERA’s failure was partly due to the National Organization of Women’s denial of its radical arm (including banning lesbians and radicals from ERA marches), in favor of lobbying (150, 152)
  • Democrats agreed to remove gender from hate crimes legislation (152)

Civil Rights:

  • civil rights was not carried out at first because of the Democratic need for the Dixiecrat coalition (58-59)
  • Robert Kennedy initially criticized the Freedom Riders as propaganda for America’s Cold War enemies (140)
  • JFK had promised to end housing discrimination by executive order in his campaign, but shelved the idea in office (141)
  • Kennedy brothers worked to make sure the March on Washington didn’t criticize the government too much, including coercing speakers to modify their speeches (142)
  • Johnson’s Great Society was to replace Dixiecrats with blacks while undercutting black militants (60)àwar on poverty empowered middle class black leaders (who hadn’t supported civil rights), thus betraying the rest of the community (61)
  • LBJ supported the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, but also supported afterward their segregationist opponents so he could win in 1964. Civil rights leaders created the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party as a delegation supporting racial integration. LBJ worked to have this group subverted (143-44)
  • Clinton’s Omnibus Crime Control Act saw highest executions in 1999 in four decades and prison increased by 1.3M to 2M inmates between 1994 and 1999 (79)
  • Clinton’s HUD one strike policy evicted whole families if one member was even suspected of drugs (80)
  • Clinton’s administration refused to alter crack laws that discriminated against blacks (81)
  • Obama increased war on drugs and decreased funding for drug treatment (111)
  • Obama increased deportations by 71% over Bush’s final year, increasing border patrol as well (113)
  • LGBT meetings with Clinton “demonstrated the administration’s symbolic willingness to listen backed by an intransigent refusal to act” (155, referring to a lack of action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”)
  • Kerry himself was publicly against gay marriage, and Democrats actively tried to suppress grassroots activism in the 2004 election (156)
  • Obama could have ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” when he had a majority in Congress, but waited until 2011 to mobilize the base (157)
  • every major military conflict in the 20 th century was begun by Democratic presidents (162)
  • Wilson deployed troops in “Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama, Honduras, and Guatemala.” He deployed troops in Haiti in 1914 that stayed until 1934, but leaving behind a U.S. trained military that ruled Haiti for the rest of the century (166)
  • Wilson ran in 1916 on an antiwar platform only to enter the war a year later (167)
  • German submarine attacks on U.S. ships was due in part to Morgan House bank loans to the Allies. Wilson admitted the U.S. would have gone to war with Germany even without the sub attacks (167-68)
  • Russia, as part of the Allies, underwent a revolution in 1917. Wilson supplied the counterrevolutionary White Armies in 1918-20 and sent in an invasion force in 1918 (168)
  • unlike before WW2, the U.S. didn’t demobilize the military Truman’s administration oversaw the creation of the Defense Department and the CIA (53)
  • the post-war economy was fueled (up to 50% of the federal budget) by defense contracts that created, and made possible, the American dream (53-54)
  • Truman sought to intervene anywhere he saw “communism” (162)
  • FDR’s “freedom” rhetoric during WWII was at odds with his domestic policy, including Japanese internment and racial segregation in the military (172)
  • FDR’s claim of fighting Germany over anti-Semitism was at odds with the coast guard turning away literal boat loads of Jews (172)
  • FDR’s brother considered halving the Japanese population acceptable, and Truman dropped the atomic bomb, something Eisenhower didn’t see as necessary for Japanese surrender (173)
  • George Kennan called NATO the insurance “against an attack no one was planning” (174)
  • JFK, while creating the Peace Corps, also created the Green Berets (165)
  • JFK’s actions did not diminish the U.S. role in Vietnam since he increased military presence from 800 at his inauguration to 16.7K two years later (178)
  • running on a peace platform, Johnson sent 25K troops in 1965 almost immediately after his inauguration there were 540K troops by 1969 (178)
  • money spent on Johnson’s broken promise of deescalating Vietnam couldn’t be spent on the Great Society (224)
  • Carter initiated war policies furthered by Reagan- increased military budget, reinstitution of the draft, the Rapid Deployment Force for the Middle East, and a “strike first” nuke policy (67)
  • U.S. anticommunist interventions in Asia was to give a demilitarized Japan viable trading partners to prevent the loss of Japan were countries such as Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia fall like dominos to communism, outside the U.S. sphere of influence (177)
  • Carter reinstituted the draft, built up the military that Reagan would run with, and developed a first strike policy for a limited nuclear engagement (179)
  • Carter’s interventionism took place on the rhetoric of humanitarianism, while supporting the dictators of Iran and Romania (179-80)
  • Carter’s CENTCOM was an occupying force in friendly states in the Gulf to hold things together until a full U.S. force could show up it worked in Desert Storm (181)
  • after the fall of the Soviet Union, Clinton inherited a military with no superpower opposition instead of decreasing military spending and spending it on social programs, Clinton boosted the military budget (182)
  • a Reagan era Pentagon official defended Clinton against George W. Bush’s attacks, stating that Clinton’s military budget was 40% higher per uniform than ever under his father (182)
  • Clinton dispatched troops worldwide 46 times, compared to 26 times for Ford, Carter, Reagan, and H. W. Bush combined (182)
  • Clinton invaded Somalia and Haiti, and bombed Serbia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq throughout his administration (182)
  • 2006 saw Democrats retake congress with a mandate to get out of Iraq: 71% of Americans wanted U.S. out in a year. However, Democrats approved more war spending in 2007 than Bush even asked for (14)
  • Obama’s “change” showed itself as mere rhetoric when he reappointed Bush’s defense secretary Robert Gates (193)
  • Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo, only to reverse course and claim its policies as his own roughly half a year later because of hard opposition including the Democrats (194)
  • though Obama critiqued Bush on the use of torture, he refused to try any of those involved in torturing (194)
  • Obama’s use of drone strikes denied Americans due process these strikes also went into allied territory (195)
  • amid the Arab Spring, Selfa contends that the U.S. maintained support of those such as Mubarak until almost the end (196)
  • Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 still left the world’s largest U.S. embassy there with tens of thousands of mercenaries (unrestrained by Geneva Conventions), but also essentially redeployed forces to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to keep presence in the region (197)
  • Populists formed the People’s Party in 1892 with platform of progressive income tax, public railroads/utilities, and labor organizing support. Democrats changed their rhetoric in response and coopted the Populist platforms (123-24)
  • Democrats pushed for voting rights to quell radical civil rights activists and get them in their camp (144)
  • LBJ’s War on Poverty and Great Society were copycats of the Black Panthers program, in order to divert their power, taking these leaders and plugging them in to the federal program (144-45)
  • The Progressive Democrats of America in 2004 claimed that if they could take over the party, they could institute progressive change (199)
  • for PDA’s grassroots rhetoric, it was completely organized and spearheaded by Dem leaders within the Dem party (202)
  • PDA had an inside/outside strategy: work inside, but also outside by lobbying, press conferences, rallies, and alliances with leftists, particularly the Green Party (202-03). However, “None of PDA’s leading ‘election reformers’ denounced the Democrat-funded campaign to force Nader-Camejo off 2004 ballots” (205)
  • progressives had a chance to do something progressive in the 2006 and 2008 elections when everyone was fed up with Iraq and Bush: in 2007, Democrats gave Bush $120B to continue Afghanistan and Iraq (207-08)
  • inside/outside strategists argue that it is more efficient to effect social change through the ballot (since it only takes a few seconds), though I agree with Selfa that change comes from a populace invested in change for themselves (218). Democrats use leftist groups like the Green Party, the Democratic Socialists of America, and labor for get out the vote work, but then give nothing to these groups (219, 222)

Selfa’s aim is not to critique Democrats as if the solution is to follow after Republican leaders. He goes off the assumption that the Republican Party is a no go this work assesses whether the Democratic Party is a viable left alternative. I share with him that it is not as leftist as it seems, though it moved more in that direction post-1965 (the shifting of Dixiecrats to the Republican Party). I also agree that the American people need to develop viable third parties (particularly leftist ones), but agree with Michelle Goldberg that this will not happen until our voting system changes: the two-party system is essentially guaranteed by the 12 th Amendment.

To be fair, the ACA did get more people insurance. This is indisputable. He was right, though, in that it hasn’t helped as much as it could. Is possessing insurance itself the solution to ridiculous medical and pharmaceutical pricing? That’s not so much an insurance problem as much as a capitalism-run-wild problem.

I think more needs to be said about the non-voting bloc of the U.S. While Clinton won the popular vote, she only won among those who voted. Voter turnout was roughly 55.3%, meaning roughly 44.7% of the voting public didn’t vote. So out of the total eligible voting public, Clinton garnered 26.65% of the total voting population (48.2% of 55.3) and Trump 25.49% (46.1% of 55.3). Discussion of the electoral college vs. popular vote aside, neither can be said to have a mandate at that abysmal of a rate. Selfa cited Walter Dean Burnham who argued that the non-voter bloc dwarfs Democratic and Republican voting blocs, and if they had a labor/people’s party to choose from, it would have a good chance of winning (36). Selfa also cited that the U.S. “regularly leads among advanced Western countries in rates of voter abstention” (221). Take the numbers into account: 44.7% of non-voters far outweighs Clinton’s 26.65% or Trump’s 25.49%. Think of the potential turnout if we had more representative parties.

I am curious to see if Selfa revises this work again after the 2016 election. A lot happened since 2012. Gay rights, which he barely mentions in his work, won a huge victory in 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges. He also hardly mentions the environment—he doesn’t even mention climate change—and doesn’t talk much about women. He doesn’t mention that the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 occurred under Clinton’s watch. It does read as a one-sided smack down of the Democratic Party. I do not think, however, that the strides gained under the New Deal and Great Society should be used as smokescreens for real injustices perpetrated under the Democrats. Change needs to happen lasting change comes from below, when the people are invested.

I would like some real engagement on this. As you can see, I come at this book with a sympathetic ear to Marxism, but recognize that the vast majority of my friends and family do not share this view. I want to hear your thoughts on what I presented here. Are there shortcomings you see in some of the charges Selfa brings? Do you think he left anything out? Do you wish we had more than a two-party system in the United States?

Next I will be reading Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. I have found recently that talks of morals and ethics tend to reference faith domains too much with not enough attention paid to what I guess I would call a public ethic, or a public forum. I am under no illusion that a neutral ethic exists. However, I wonder if there are other wells to draw from if we are to live in a multicultural state that is ostensibly secular (i.e., the Constitution is the highest law in the land, not one group’s sacred text) that would not benefit one group too much at the expense of others.

I’ve also started a video project with Sarah Neau Harris called 7M Connect on YouTube. Come check that out here. You can follow her on Twitter at @sarahneauharris or me at @MonteHarrisSMO.