Tags: Biden | Impeach | President | for Attack | Bill Kristol | Sarah Palin | Republican nominee in 2012

Biden: Impeach President for Unauthorized Attack

By    |   Monday, 28 March 2011 02:35 AM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Biden: Impeach President for Unauthorized Attack
2. Bush 41 Still 'Quite Close' to Bill Clinton
3. Talk Is Cheapest in Oregon, and Spirits Are High
4. Kristol: Palin Shouldn't Be GOP Nominee
5. U.N.: One Quarter of North Koreans Face Starvation
6. Obesity-Mortality Link Called 'Significantly Flawed'

1. Biden: Impeach President for Unauthorized Attack

Vice President Joe Biden has a very clear idea of what should happen to a president who orders U.S. military forces to launch an attack on a foreign country without congressional authorization: impeachment.

With some voices saying President Barack Obama should face impeachment for attacking Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya, a videotape has surfaced from the 2007 campaign trail showing Biden threatening to impeach President George W. Bush if he attacked Iran without the approval of Congress.

"I have written an extensive legal memorandum with the help of a group of legal scholars who are sort of a stable of people, the best-known constitutional scholars in America, because for 17 years I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee," Biden said in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews on "Hardball."

"I asked them to put together [for] me a draft, which I'm now literally riding between towns editing, that I want to make clear and submit to the United States Senate pointing out the president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran.

"And I want to make it clear, I want it on the record … if he does, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and former chair of the Judiciary Committee, I will move to impeach him."

He went on to say: "I think the best deterrent is for the president to know, even at the end of his term, we would move and move to follow through with that so his legacy would be marred for all time if he acted in what was clearly, clearly an impeachable offense.

"In the absence of that, what happens is, and you're going to think I'm joking about this — I'm not. If you're going to impeach George Bush you better impeach Cheney first. Not a joke."

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2. Bush 41 Still 'Quite Close' to Bill Clinton

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton worked together on fundraising efforts after the 2004 Asian tsunami and they have remained close friends ever since, Bush discloses.

"Just because you run against someone in an election, it doesn't mean you hate the guy," Bush said in an interview with his hometown paper, the Houston Chronicle, published on Monday.

"Our friendship grew out of a shared belief you have to try to help whenever and wherever you can. So we have become quite close."

Bush and Clinton shared a 2 1/2-hour lunch when Clinton visited Houston earlier this month.

"I do think our friendship has sent a message around the world that just because you disagree on something doesn't mean you can't work together," Bush said.

Clinton also worked with Bush's son, former President George W. Bush, on fundraising efforts following the earthquake in Haiti. George and his brother Jeb were later interviewed by CNN and George W. said: "We're fond of Bill Clinton. He's been incredibly gracious to our dad. And if somebody is gracious to our father, he ingratiates himself to us. And we are grateful to Bill Clinton."

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3. Talk Is Cheapest in Oregon, and Spirits Are High

Motorists in New York State can save big time on gasoline taxes by simply driving to neighboring New Jersey to fill up.

New York has the second highest state gasoline tax rate, charging 47.1 cents per gallon, while New Jersey ranks No. 48 with a tax of just 14.5 cents per gallon, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation.

California has the highest tax, 47.7 cents, while other states with low gas taxes are Alaska (8 cents) and Wyoming (14 cents).

The Tax Foundation's report discloses wide differences in the state taxes imposed on other items including cigarettes, spirits, wine, beer, and cell phone usage.

In Oregon, the average state and local tax rate for cell phone usage is just 1.81 percent, in Nevada it is 2.08 percent, and in Idaho, 2.2 percent. Nebraska has the highest rate, 18.64 percent, followed by Washington (17.95 percent) and New York, 17.78 percent.

State taxes on cigarettes in New York amount to a whopping $4.35 per pack, followed by Rhode Island at $3.46 and Washington, $3.025. The tax on smokes is lowest in Missouri, 17 cents, followed by Virginia (30 cents) and Louisiana (36 cents).

While it may be cheap to talk on a cell phone in Oregon, having a cocktail while chatting can be expensive. The state excise tax on spirits in Oregon is $22.38 per gallon. Only Washington is higher, $26.03. New Hampshire and Wyoming have no excise tax on spirits, and in Vermont the tax is just 67 cents per gallon.

Wine is a different story. Alaska has the highest excise tax on wine, $2.50 per gallon, followed by Florida at $2.25 and Iowa at $1.75. There is no statewide tax on wine in Mississippi, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming, according to the Tax Foundation.

As for beer, the tax is highest in Alaska ($1.07 per gallon), Alabama ($1.05), and Georgia ($1.01), and lowest in Wyoming (2 cents), Missouri (6 cents), and Wisconsin (6 cents).

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4. Kristol: Palin Shouldn't Be GOP Nominee

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was an early admirer of Sarah Palin when she stepped onto the national stage, but he now believes she shouldn't be the Republican nominee for president in 2012.

During a panel discussion at Vanderbilt University on Monday, Kristol said the choice of Palin as the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2008 was "a reasonable gamble to take."

He also said Palin "did fine" in her debate with Joe Biden, and "held her own against the 30-year senator."

But he added that she is "unlikely to run" in 2012 and went on to say in comments reported by Politico: "She has a very shrewd judgment about politics and policy and very good instincts, but she hasn't done what Reagan did, which is really educate himself over a number of years.

"I think she's unlikely to be the Republican nominee, and to be honest I think she probably shouldn't be the Republican nominee for president.

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5. U.N.: One Quarter of North Koreans Face Starvation

North Korea's government food distribution system will run out of supplies in May and place a quarter of the nation's citizens at risk of starvation, according to the U.N. World Food Program.

Dire reports about food shortages in the communist country are not uncommon, but the current situation is worse than in recent years, the agency warns.

Floods and extreme cold this winter have devastated crops and an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has ravaged North Korea's livestock, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"Vulnerable members of society are currently facing increasing shocks to their daily coping strategies, leaving them on a knife edge," the WFP said in a statement.

Daily rations in the country have reportedly been reduced to 360 grams a day. At one hospital visited by WFP staffers, 136 children were being treated for malnutrition and 11 were in such poor condition that they were able to take only intravenous fluids and high-nutrition biscuits, none of which were available.

The United States and other nations are wary about rushing to North Korea's aid because previous food donations have been re-directed by dictator Kim Jong Il's regime away from ordinary citizens to the nation's military and elite, the Journal noted.

The WFP has proposed sending 297,000 tons of cereal products to North Korea. But that assistance would amount to only about 5 percent of the 5.5 million tons of rice and cereal grains North Korea needs to produce to feed its 24 million residents each year.

Newsmax reported in February that North Korea had ordered its embassies and diplomatic offices around the world to issue new appeals for food aid.

An estimated 1 million North Koreans died in a famine in the early and mid-1990s.

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6. Obesity-Mortality Link Called 'Significantly Flawed'

Amid anti-obesity campaigns — including first lady Michelle Obama's crusade against childhood obesity — comes a new report skeptical of assertions that weight problems are closely linked to early death.

The report states that there is little credible scientific evidence to support claims that being overweight or obese leads to an early death, and the science behind such claims is "frequently nonexistent or distorted," according to report authors Patrick Basham and John Luik.

Several studies support the authors' view, according to Basham, director of the Democracy Institute and a Cato Institute adjunct scholar, and Luik, a Democracy Institute senior fellow. Their report appears on the Spiked website.

For example, Katherine Flegal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that there were more premature deaths among Americans of normal weight than among the overweight, and in fact those who were overweight were most likely to live the longest.

An analysis by Jerome Gronniger in the American Journal of Public Health noted that men in the "normal" weight category had a mortality rate as high as men in the "moderately obese" category, and men in the "overweight" category had the lowest mortality risk.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at various measures of obesity, such as percentage of body fat and waist circumference, and found that those high in body fat percentage and waist circumference had lower mortality rates than others.

And a study published this month in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet "has driven an empirical stake through the heart of the conventional wisdom that being 'apple shaped' [with fat concentrated around the waist] increased one's risk of a heart attack," Basham and Luik observed.

The 10-year study involving 220,000 people found that waist circumference is not a reliable predictor of cardiovascular disease.

Basham and Luik, authors of "Diet Nation: Exposing the Obesity Crusade," state: "We continue to find that the case against obesity is significantly flawed.

"All of which should serve to remind us that the success of the obesity crusade rests not on the truth of its science, but on the way in which the obesity entrepreneurs use that science to change policy. Going forward, better policymaking will require, at a minimum, a far greater appreciation of the way in which science and its findings are both misrepresented and used by the obesity crusaders to distort the regulatory process."

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Insider Report Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Biden: Impeach President for Unauthorized Attack2. Bush 41 Still 'Quite Close' to Bill Clinton3. Talk Is Cheapest in Oregon, and Spirits Are High4. Kristol: Palin Shouldn't Be GOP Nominee5. U.N.: One Quarter of...
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Monday, 28 March 2011 02:35 AM
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