“Everybody was aware of who the potential beneficiaries were but nobody had really focused on the potential downside in terms of our international relationships, and I think it was just a ball dropped” - Mitch McConnell
First the Senate, and shortly after the US House of representatives voted overwhelmingly to override President Obama’s veto of a bill letting the victims of the 9/11 attacks sue Saudi Arabia, striking a blow to the president on foreign policy weeks before he leaves office. The vote marks the first time Congress voted to overrule Obama’s veto pen.
Seems that Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn is having a little "buyer's remorse" over his decision to vote in favor of confirming Hillary as Secretary of State back in 2009. “Once again the rules don’t apply to them like they apply to everybody else. Can you imagine if anybody else in the United States government had tried to get away with something like this?"
FBI Director James Comey got Hillary off the hook but wants to put you on it. He is pushing hard for warrantless access to all of your Internet activity. Comey, who would have fit in perfectly with Hitler’s Gestapo, tells Congress that the United States is not safe unless the FBI knows when every American goes online, to whom they are sending emails and from whom they are receiving emails, and knows every website visited by every American.
In the wake of the Orlando shootings, there has been a renewed push by lawmakers to show their constituents that they are actually working on strengthening gun control measures - now if only anyone could agree on anything. On the same day that the Supreme Court turned away two separate appeals challenging assault weapon bans in New York and Connecticut, the Senate rejected a total of four proposals centered around gun control... and Kim Kardashian is not amused.
"I'm greatly concerned about the reputation of the Justice Department, which is why I have stated that I think the proper and best course would have been to have this go to an independent prosecutor a good year ago. It was pretty obvious that to put these decisions in the hands of high-ranking political appointees creates a perception - valid or not - of, at the very least, unconscious political influence." - former DoJ official.
Saudi officials indicated they would sell its dollar-denominated assets if the law passed to avoid having those assets frozen by American courts. But does Saudi Arabia even have $750 billion of assets to sell? For the answer we go to Stone McCarthy who note that while they can't answer that question definitively - recall that the exact amount of Saudi Treasury holdings remains a mystery as it is not broken out separately - here's what they do know from the Treasury International Capital (TIC) data.
Following strong Saudi pressure to scuttle the Sept 11 Bipartisan Bill, the president made it clear on what side he stands when the White House threatened to veto the bipartisan bill to let families victimized by the 9/11 terrorist attacks sue Saudi Arabia while a GOP senator privately sought to block the measure. The White House and State Department are bluntly warning lawmakers not to proceed with the legislation due to "fears" it could have dramatic ramifications for the United States and citizens living abroad to retaliatory lawsuits.
Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"It's time to say no to professional politicians and yes to someone who has created jobs and grown a business," says Chris Collins, a Republican congressman from Trump's home state of New York, but he is among a quiet few among the entrenched establishment that is "confused and cowed" as The Donald soars to a massive lead at the bookies.
This afternoon Senate Republicans went "all in" on a Supreme Court gamble, in which they vowed to deny holding confirmation hearings for any nominee from President Obama. The unprecedented decision, made before the president has named a nominee, marks a new chapter in Washington’s war over judicial nominations according to The Hill. In a battle of superlatives, CNN adds that the "historic move outraged Democrats and injected Supreme Court politics into the center of an already tense battle for the White House."
The always shady Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving to fast track an Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) for the President that would allow for unrestricted warfare against ISIS. There would be no time or geographic restrictions on this authorization. Rather than being a favor to President Obama, this is primarily a means to ensure that whoever takes control in 2017 receives a blank check for unrestrained militarism with no expiration date. This is terrifying.
Given that self-regulation worked so well in the financial services industry, The United Nations, according to AP, has decided to allow Iran to use its own inspectors to investigate a site accused of being used to develop nuclear bombs. While the Obama administration was "confident in the agency's technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran's former program," John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said of the 'secret agreement' - since The UN normally does this work itself - "trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the U.N. in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless."