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Grassley challenges U.S. Attorney to act independently, meet responsibilities in contempt case PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 02 July 2012 10:07

Grassley asks US Attorney Machen about independence in handling contempt citation

Senator says Deputy AG response is invalid without review of executive privilege claim

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley is asking U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. to explain whether he has had the opportunity to demonstrate the independence required of his position in handling the contempt resolution adopted yesterday by the House of Representatives, given that there has been no determination that every single document sought by the House subpoena is protected by the President’s claim of executive privilege.  Ignoring the contempt citation before even seeing it or reviewing the particular circumstances of this case would be a sharp contrast to the independence and integrity for which Machen has been praised by many in his assignment to investigate national security leaks that may have been politically motivated.

Grassley raised these issues and asked for responses to specific questions in a letter this afternoon to Machen.  Grassley’s inquiry follows last night’s letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives from the Deputy Attorney General stating that the Department of Justice would take no action in response to the House resolution.

“The Deputy Attorney General’s letter has put the cart before the horse,” Grassley wrote today.  Grassley also said that without a particularized description of the documents being withheld or a description of the documents over which executive privilege has been asserted, the U.S. Attorney cannot reasonably make an intelligent judgment as to the validity of any privilege claim and his duty to present the citation to a grand jury.

Last week, Grassley wrote to President Obama asking for a description of the scope of the executive privilege claim he made for documents in the congressional investigation of the Fast and Furious program.  He has not received a response.

Urging independence by the U.S. Attorney as the law and accountability in government demand, Grassley also wrote, “Your independence and integrity were cited as the reason that there was supposedly no necessity to appoint a special prosecutor.  This matter [the congressional contempt citation] gives you an opportunity to live up to that high praise and prove your independence.”

Click here to read the letter from Grassley to Machen.


 
Governor Quinn Signs Legislation Reducing Legislators' Compensation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 02 July 2012 10:02

Law instates furlough days, prohibits cost-of-living adjustments

CHICAGO – June 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to help close Illinois’ budget deficit by reducing state legislators' compensation. HB 3188 will instate furlough days and prohibit cost of living adjustments for legislators. Governor Quinn cut his own budget by nine percent this year. This is the fourth consecutive year the Illinois General Assembly has voted to cut its own salaries.ll

“We must continue our work to restore fiscal stability to Illinois," Governor Quinn said. "Members of the General Assembly made the right decision to cut their own paycheck and share some of the burden that working families are facing around the state."

HB 3188, sponsored by Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) and Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Mount Prospect), was introduced to the General Assembly as a cost saving measure. Under this law, legislators will have 12 furlough days a year, forfeiting one day of compensation each month during the first 6 months and second 6 months of the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012. These furloughs are equivalent to a nearly five percent pay cut, which is just over $3,000.

“This eliminates an unnecessary perk for politicians when everybody else in the state of Illinois has had to tighten their belts and do more with less,” said Sen. Kotowski. “Thank you Governor Quinn for signing this legislation and taking another important step to changing business as usual in Springfield.”

“As we hear from our constituents, people are struggling to do more with less,” said Rep. Gabel. “And I feel it is important for the legislature to do the same.”

The law also prohibits a fiscal year 2013 cost-of-living adjustment for lawmakers. This means that legislators’ salaries for the upcoming fiscal year will not be increased to offset the effects of inflation.

After inheriting a budget deficit from decades of fiscal mismanagement by previous governors and legislatures, Governor Quinn has taken many key steps to restore fiscal stability to Illinois. The governor has reduced discretionary spending to below FY 2008 levels, and recently implemented new laws to reduce the Medicaid liability by $2.7B and save the program from collapse. HB 3188 is yet another cost-cutting measure that is projected to save the state around $1 million.

The law is effective immediately.

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Braley Statement on House Vote to Hold Attorney General in Contempt of Congress PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 29 June 2012 10:17

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement after the US House voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress:

“I opposed the contempt of Congress resolution today because I don’t want political games or partisan politics to stand in the way of a serious effort to find the truth.

“The best place to resolve this dispute isn’t on the floor of the House in an election year, but in a federal court where both sides can present their cases and the debate won’t turn into a political circus.

“I’ve been disappointed by the failure of both House Republicans and the Justice Department to find a practical way to get the American people the full details of this tragedy without compromising existing court orders and other national security concerns.  An American was murdered and we owe it to his family and the public to get to the bottom of what happened.”

# # #

 
Internet Porn Ruining Male-Female Relationships, Studies Show PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 29 June 2012 09:28
Men Have Been in Decline for a Century, Author Says

These days, the glimpse of a naked body after being misdirected to a porn site is no shock to the average internet user. What may prove more surprising is the pornography industry’s statistics, compiled worldwide, wherein a second is worth 1,000 images -- or more:

• $3,075.64 is spent on pornography … every second
• 28,258 internet users view pornography … every second
• 372 internet users type porn terms into search engines … every second

“There have been several surveys about who’s viewing internet pornography and what consequences they’re experiencing, and the findings are disquieting,” says Jim Wysong, author of The Neutering of the American Male (www.TheNeuteringoftheAmericanMale.com).

“In a 20,000-person study recently conducted by TED.com, porn is the most prevalently cited obstacle for romantic relationships between men and women in their teens and 20s. Women say guys are emotionally unavailable, and men say porn makes them less interested in pursuing a relationship.

“In reality, men have been compromising their masculine nature for several decades.”

A lack of involvement by fathers in raising their sons; the overuse of prescription and illegal drugs; and uncertainty about their gender role have set American boys and men back, Wysong says.

“We all have a need to feel significant, to be accepted and loved, but those issues  prevent some males from developing fulfilling relationships,” Wysong says.

“Sexual intimacy is typically a byproduct of emotional intimacy. Unfortunately, when people don't have a fulfilling relationship, their sexual desires don't disappear.”

Men are often more visual and physical, so they’re able to use pornography to meet some of that need in the short term. But in the long run, they also need the emotional support, nurturing and deeper connection with a partner, he says.

“It becomes a vicious cycle: Males turn to pornography seeking to satisfy unmet needs, and pornography addiction makes it extremely difficult to achieve the balanced, loving relationship that would meet their emotional needs,” he says.

A Canadian study found that one in three teenage boys are “heavy porn users,’’ and an Italian study reveals that a large percentage of men there suffer from “sexual anorexia,” a temporary impotence, in their 20s because they were heavily into pornography in their teens, Wysong notes.

Parents, especially fathers, need to sit down with their sons and discuss sex. The lack of dialogue leaves young males to seek the answers to their curiosity on their own. Unfortunately, many turn to porn, which does not portray sex in a healthy and balanced way.

One of the most destructive things about it is that it portrays women as something to be used rather than valued and respected, Wysong says.

“Fortunately, this is something that can be remedied, both on a physical and a mental level,” he says.

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one is addicted to porn, Wysong suggests taking this self test from www.recoveryconnection.org:

1. Do you feel guilty or ashamed after looking at pornography?
2. Do you look forward to being alone so you can look at pornography?
3. Has pornography negatively affected your personal relationships, your job, or your finances?
4. Do you find that you have been looking at an increasing amount of pornography over time?
5. Do you look at pornography when you are bored, anxious, or lonely?

A yes to one or more of these questions may indicate a need for a quality treatment program.

About Jim Wysong

Jim Wysong is a businessman, contractor and real estate investor who spent more than 30 years observing and studying psychology and human behavior through workshops, seminars and textbooks. His efforts to better understand his own emotional discomfort led to theories that have universal applications in modern society.

 
Fast and Furious subpoena enforcement is necessary, Grassley says PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 29 June 2012 09:26
Thursday, June 28, 2012

The House of Representatives today voted to enforce a subpoena to obtain records on Operation Fast and Furious by holding the U.S. attorney general in contempt of Congress.  Sen. Chuck Grassley began investigating the circumstances of the death of border patrol agent Brian Terry 18 months ago after whistleblowers came to him with concerns.  Grassley made the following comment on the House action.

“When a person dies in service to his country, and his own government may have contributed to his death, covered up evidence about the circumstances, or both, the survivors’ families and the American people have a right to know the truth.  That was the case with Pat Tillman, and it’s the case with Brian Terry.  The government should own up to any policies and practices that led to the harm of Mexican citizens as well. Those who don’t seem to want the truth or accountability default to accusations of political motivation against those seeking answers.  Remember, the Justice Department insisted there was no gun-walking, then retracted that statement and reversed itself.  The Justice Department is proven unreliable on this topic.  The only way to try to get an accurate, complete account of what happened to Agent Terry and why is to obtain every possible record and account of the facts.  We can only draw fair, informed conclusions from the complete facts.  The fulfillment of the House’s pursuit of complete records from the Justice Department is necessary.  Without it, we might never know what happened to Agent Terry.  That can’t stand.”


 
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