Shorter Question Everything
Enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution:
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
This has been a crazy-making point for me that keeps making me shout at my computer when it comes up. Congress IS responsible for authorizing war. Just because a bunch of presidents have made a point to move towards the polite-sounding “unitary executive” doesn’t change the simple fact that Congress has the authority in deciding whether or not the US goes to war. Of course, the US has been cagey about this by simply not calling it a war, but an act of war is an act of war nonetheless and the fact that the Congress has let this RESPONSIBILITY slip is something they should be ashamed of. So when someone – and I’m not just looking at you, FOX-addled folks – starts going on about how the president is somehow wrong in going to the Congress to seek authorization, you’re, well, wrong. That’s the polite word I’m sticking with. I’m also tickled by the amount of Tea Party idiots – you know, those people always yelling about the Constitution – that seem to have missed this point, or at least are willing to ignore it if it means they get to take a poke at Pres. Obama.
• “You can’t have 535 members of Congress making decisions that a commander-in-chief needs to make,” Rumsfeld said – obviously ignorant that Congress, those 535 members, are EXACTLY the people that are supposed to make those decisions. And Rumsfeld of all people has some damned nerve even piping up.
• Senators draft resolution to limit Syria action to 90 days, no boots on the ground: Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Tuesday they reached an agreement on a draft resolution to use military force in Syria, setting a 60-day deadline, with one 30-day extension possible for the intervention — while also barring the involvement of ground forces in the conflict. The draft could be voted on by the panel on Wednesday. If approved, it would be sent to the full Senate for a vote once members return from recess on Sept. 9.
• McCain To Fox: Muslims Praising Allah No Different Than Christians Praising God
• Israel confirms missile test: Israel has announced that it carried out a test of an anti-missile system, shortly after Russia announced that its defence systems detected the launch of two missiles from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea towards the eastern coastline. The Israeli army said it was “not familiar” with any missiles being fired in the Mediterranean, while saying that the missile that was tested – an Arrow 2 BMD system – is part of the Israel Hetz anti-missile system, a joint US-Israeli project. Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan, reporting from Jerusalem on Tuesday, said the acknowledgement by Israel was unusual. “Its is highly unusual that Israel should be involved in this joint exercise, as it could draw Israel into the conflict,” he said.
• Syrian Forensic Chief Defects with Evidence of Chemical Weapon Use: Syrian opposition officials announce the defection of the head of forensic medicine in Aleppo, claimed to possess evidence of the Assad regime’s past use of chemical weapons. The Syrian opposition has stated today (Tuesday) that Abdul Tawwab Shahrour, head of the forensic medicine committee in Aleppo, has defected to Turkey. According to Syrian opposition representatives, Shahrour is in possession of evidence pointing to the use of chemical weapons by the Bashar al-Assad regime in an attack that occurred earlier this year. More than 20 people were killed in an attack at the Khan al-Assal district near Aleppo on March 19. The Assad regime has previously denied allegations that it used chemical weapons during the attack.
In other news
• Boston Mayor Tom Menino apologized this week after saying that he would like to go to Detroit and “blow up the place.”
• 6.1 magnitude quake off British Columbia has no impact on land: A strong undersea earthquake followed by several aftershocks shook the Pacific seafloor off western Canada Tuesday afternoon. The first quake measured 6.1 on the Richter scale, strong enough to cause considerable damage to buildings near the epicenter, The Province reported. But it was deep enough and far enough at sea to have no effect on land. The epicenter was about 130 miles from Bella Bella, British Columbia, the nearest settled area.