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Monday, August 29, 2016

"The Constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates," James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1798, "that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war…. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature." As James Wilson had earlier explained to the delegates at the Pennsylvania ratifying convention: "This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it."

In the post-9/11 era, the United States has drifted towards a radically different regime. Two successive presidents have treated the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) as a wholesale, potentially permanent delegation of congressional war powers -- a writ for war without temporal or geographic limits.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Pentagon has said a U.S. Navy vessel fired three shots to warn an Iranian military boat off in the Gulf. Spokesman Peter Cook said it was one of several incidents of Iranian vessels harassing U.S. ships in the past week. Cook said the intention of the Iranian ships was unclear but their behavior was unacceptable, as the boats were in international waters. But Iran's defense minister, General Hosein Dehghan, said the U.S. ships were in Iranian waters. He said his forces would warn or confront any foreign ship that entered his country's waters. American patrol ship the USS Squall fired three warning shots after an Iranian craft approached it head on, coming within 200 yards before turning away, the Pentagon says. The shots, fired from a 50-caliber gun, caused the Iranian vessel to turn away, the spokesman added.

Friday, August 26, 2016

As the country confronts the arrival of the Zika virus and contemplates travel bans to Miami, it's time to have an adult conversation about the threats posed by biology. Biological, not cybernetic, developments will determine the course of the 21st century. Ebola, Zika and the emergence of antibiotic-impervious superbugs are just previews of the coming challenges. By the turn of the next century, most scientists believe biological technologies will introduce the most wrenching changes -- both practical and ethical -- in our daily lives. These technologies will include human and animal life extension, crop and livestock genetic manipulation and human performance enhancement, which together will begin changing the very nature of what it means to be human. read more

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have talked a lot about immigration. The presidential candidates have primarily butted heads over high-profile topics like border security, Syrian refugee resettlements, deportation policies and a pathway to legal status for millions of undocumented U.S. residents. But back in Washington, members of Congress have a longer list of immigration issues to tackle, which have received less attention on the campaign trail. Here are a few: Cuban migration, EB-5 investor visas, guest worker programs, biometric entry/exit system and special visas for Afghan allies,

Drew Pinsky's six-year-old HLN show, "Dr. Drew On Call," has been canceled by CNN, effective Sept. 22.

In a statement, CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz said he and Pinsky "have mutually agreed to air the final episode of his show on September 22″ but gave no specific reason for the cancellation.

CNN Money, in its reporting of the announcement, connected it to a broader shakeup at HLN, including the end of Nancy Grace's flamboyant show devoted to criminal court cases.

But the decision came eight days after Pinsky's comments on a radio show on Aug. 17 questioning the health and medical care of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president. After looking at bits and pieces of Clinton's health-care records she made public in 2015, he said he was "gravely concerned not just about her health, but her health care." read more


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