Over the past several years, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has stepped up its courtship of America's state and local officials. A growing stream of Governors, Mayors, County Commissioners, school superintendents, college presidents and university officials have been making the pilgrimage to Beijing and other Chinese "sister cities," in efforts aimed at wooing Chinese investors to their communities and in search of export opportunities to China's growing consumer market.
The intense mutual lobbying between local U.S. and Chinese officials is expected to hit a new zenith in mid July, as our nation's state Governors gather in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA). Their Chinese counterparts will join them there at the NGA's first U.S.-China Governors Forum.
President Barack Obama could not ask for a more helpful “opposition” party in charge of the House of Representatives. For the second time this month House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has maneuvered to prevent Congress from demanding that Obama abide by the Constitution’s requirement that wars be initiated by the legislative branch, not the executive. Furthermore, in seeking a middle ground between the patently irreconcilable options of enforcing the Constitution and adhering to the bipartisan consensus in favor of untrammeled presidential intervention abroad, Boehner has ensured that Obama’s illegal war in Libya continues indefinitely.
President Obama addressed the nation June 22 to announce a gradual drawdown of the approximately 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan by withdrawing some 10,000 by the end of this year, and a total of 33,000 by next summer.
The President's announcement disappointed many congressional leaders. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the decision, stressing “it has been the hope of many in Congress and across the country that the full drawdown of U.S. forces would happen sooner than the President laid out — and we will continue to press for a better outcome."
UPDATE, June 22, 2011: Leon Panetta won unanimous Senate confirmation yesterday to become Secretary of Defense. On Thursday, June 9, the U.S. Senate conducted confirmation hearings on current CIA Director and former U.S. Congressman Leon E. Panetta (D-Calif.), who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Bush-era appointee Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. Obama's nomination of Panetta was originally announced on April 28, when the President announced that he would be making changes to his National Security team.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is building huge new storage facilities to store unconstitutionally gained data on the American people's telephone calls and Internet traffic permanently, located in new buildings in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah and San Antonio, Texas.
The USA Patriot Act could be used to target law-abiding gun owners. Section 206 of the Act allows “John Doe” roving wiretaps, which authorize wide searches of people without even providing the name of the target to a court.