The Obama administration is facing complete collapse of its counterterrorism strategy in South Asia as it fails to ratify a new status of forces agreement with Afghanistan. Yet many intelligence insiders consider the failure to be a good thing.
The administration erred in constructing its capability to counter the terrorist threat largely around the use of drones, which are politically appealing in that they do not require placing soldiers in harm’s way and are relatively cheap. In order to be effective, however, drones have to be close enough to target areas to enable them to spend considerable time hovering, and they are dependent on their bases, a fact that produces its own logistical and political complications. The maintenance of the bases depends on the connivance of host countries in the region, and the security of the facilities has to be guaranteed by the presence of thousands of American soldiers, numbers that might not be available by the end of the year. There is also strong Pentagon opposition to stationing thousands of combat troops in a country largely to protect other U.S. government facilities. Read The Full Story
It’s finally happening. Several weeks ago, Georgia’s House voted for a resolution to bring about a “Convention of the States” to stop Obama and end the growth of federal tyranny. Now, the state has officially demanded that it does happen. This is the first official demand in American history.
This could be the great political shift that stops out of control federal taxing, spending, and regulating. Term limits, balanced budgets, tax caps — it’s all now possible if enough states move forward. Read The Full Story
Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has earned plaudits from civil libertarians for launching a class action lawsuit to roll back the National Security Agency’s snoop-fetish spying program. Owing to the heroic disclosures of former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden, the public is becoming aware that everything we say over the telephone, or write online, is subject to scrutiny by the spy agency.
The next time you pour yourself a cold one, give yourself a pat on the back in the name of patriotism. On average, 40 percent of the price you paid for that beer is going straight to Uncle Sam and the state.
Lobbyists in Washington are pushing to reduce those taxes, at least by a few cents. The Beer Institute is supporting legislation cleverly titled the BEER Act, which would reduce the federal excise tax from $18 per 31-gallon barrel (an amount that doesn't actually exist; a keg is 15.5 gallons) to $9 for large brewers. Smaller operations would pay nothing in excise taxes on the first 15,000 barrels they produce, while kicking in a mere $3.50 through 60,000 barrels. Read The Full Story
Congressman Jared Polis is calling on the Treasury to ban physical dollars in response to Senator Manchin’s plea to ban Bitcoin. “The exchange of dollar bills, including high denomination bills, is currently unregulated and has allowed users to participate in illicit activity, while also being highly subject to forgery, theft, and loss,” wrote Polis in a statement.
To be sure, the Congressman is being cheeky. “This is just a satirical version of Senator Manchin’s letter, meant to draw attention to the fact that BitCoins are not any more susceptible to the problems that the Senator points out than dollars,” said Spokesperson Scott Overland. “Congressman Polis is not actually calling for a ban on physical currency, but hopes this helps move the debate forward so we can come up with ways to improve BitCoins, not ban them.” Read The Full Story