U.S. torture tactics have endangered relations with Great Britain in the wake of a decision by a British court to release a summary of the torture of British citizen Binyam Muhamad. “Diplomats and security officials said Wednesday,” Reuters wire service reported February 11, that “intelligence ties between London and Washington have been jeopardized by a British court's disclosure that a terrorism suspect was beaten and shackled in U.S. custody.”
The lead of the New York Times story February 13 proclaims: “With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.” But constitutionalists ask, what “executive power” to make law?
President Obama signed into law February 12 a bill that would increase the federal debt limit by $1.9 trillion to a total of $14.3 trillion. The legislation also included a restoration of the “pay-as-you-go” provision of congressional budgeting that requires new spending proposals in Congress to be matched by cuts or tax increases in order to prevent accelerating the already out-of-control federal budget deficit.
Newt Gingrich, architect of the “Contract with America,” and John C. Goodman, founding president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, wrote an op-ed column for the Wall Street Journal offering suggestions to President Barack Obama, who seems desperate to find ways to garner bipartisan support for his push for healthcare reform.
Patrick Kennedy's decision not to seek reelection to Congress will bring to an end, at least temporarily, his family's decades-long "dynasty" and his own turbulent political career. Barring an unanticipated fun by another Kennedy, next year there will be not Kennedy in elected federal office for the first time since 1947.