Seoul (AFP) – South Korean lawmakers on Friday passed an impeachment motion against President Park stripping away her sweeping executive powers over a corruption scandal that paralysed her administration and triggered massive street protests.
The National Assembly motion — passed by 234 votes to 56 — transfers Park’s authority to the prime minister, pending a decision by the Constitutional Court on whether to ratify the decision and permanently remove the president from office.
Update: South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment Friday means she has been stripped of power — but not the perks.
Even as her prime minister governs in her stead, Park gets to keep living at the presidential Blue House, using her official car and plane, collecting the same monthly salary (about $15,000 reportedly) and receiving round-the-clock security.
She also holds onto the title “President.”
But with nothing officially to do, it’s uncertain how she’ll spend her days during the up-to-six months the country’s Constitutional Court has to decide whether to accept the impeachment and formally end her presidency. Read the rest of this entry »
SEOUL (AP) — South Korean President Park Geun-hye will calmly accept impeachment if the opposition-controlled parliament votes for her removal this week, but prefers to resign on her own terms, lawmakers from her party said Tuesday.
Chung Jin Suk, floor leader of the conservative ruling party, said after an hour-long meeting with Park that she was willing to accept a now-withdrawn proposal by the party for her to voluntarily step down in April to set up a presidential election in June.
The party’s chairman, Lee Jung Hyun, who also attended the meeting, said it seemed that Park was hoping lawmakers would accept her resignation rather than push ahead with an attempt to impeach her.
Park has been accused by state prosecutors of helping a close confidante extort money and favors from large companies and manipulate state affairs.
WASHINGTON — Kristina Peterson and Siobhan Hughes report: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to win House Republicans’ internal election Thursday to be the next speaker. Then his high-stakes audition begins.
The California Republican will have three weeks to try to tame the conservative opposition threatening to block his Oct. 29 election on the House floor. The timing is tough. Congress this month could consider a rush of contentious legislation—including a possible two-year budget deal and a debt-ceiling increase—likely to spark some GOP opposition.
Conservatives have made clear they will be weighing how Mr. McCarthy acts as they decide whether to stage an insurrection on the House floor. On Wednesday, the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 conservatives, said at least 30 of its members would vote for Rep. Daniel Webster (R., Fla.) as speaker on Thursday and later on the House floor, unless Mr. McCarthy pledges to overhaul how the chamber is run.
“Whoever wins tomorrow has three weeks to make those changes,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R., Idaho) said Wednesday. This week’s vote, he said, “won’t settle anything.”
Mr. McCarthy, expected to easily win a majority of votes in the House Republicans’ secret-ballot election on Thursday, faces a higher hurdle at month’s end. To be elected speaker, a candidate must win a majority of all votes cast for individuals on the House floor, and almost all Democrats are expected to vote for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) as speaker.
Mr. McCarthy therefore can only afford to lose 28 Republicans, assuming all members vote, excluding departing Speaker John Boehner. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) is also running for speaker. If no one wins a majority, the House repeats the roll-call vote.
“You’re much more likely to get some changes in how things operate in this place when people are trying to get votes,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio.), chairman of the Freedom Caucus. Read the rest of this entry »
Hong Kong (AFP) – Hong Kong lawmakers rejected a Beijing-backed political reform package Thursday as pro-democracy legislators united to vote down the divisive electoral roadmap that has sparked mass protests.
Most pro-government lawmakers staged a walkout as the bill headed for defeat, with just eight casting their vote in support of the package and 28 voting against it.
Approves 8 Applications, Denies 11
Stephen Gutowski reports; The District of Columbia has issued its first concealed handgun carry permits. As of January 26, there are eight civilians who can legally carry a firearm in the nation’s capital. Currently, more permit applicants have been denied than approved.
“The City Council adopted a ‘may issue’ law which featured a myriad of restrictions, imposed 18 hours of training requirements, cost $110 in application fees, and required applicants prove to city officials their need to carry a firearm. It has been widely criticized by gun rights activists.”
“We’ve had 69 applications, of which 3 were canceled at the request of the applicant,” Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said. “So far eight licenses have been approved and issued.”
The District was forced to adopt a legal framework allowing civilians to carry firearms after a federal judge declared the city’s previous ban unconstitutional last July. The City Council adopted a “may issue” law which featured a myriad of restrictions, imposed 18 hours of training requirements, cost $110 in application fees, and required applicants prove to city officials their need to carry a firearm.
“So far eight licenses have been approved and issued.”
It has been widely criticized by gun rights activists. The city began accepting applications several months later on October 23rd but established a 90 day review period.
The eight people legally allowed to carry a gun within city limits represent about .00001 percent of the 646,449 people the Census Bureau estimates reside in the city.
The MPD did not provide any information about where the eight permittees reside, but there are non-residents represented among the 69 people who have applied for a permit. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Patrick Leahy writes: Conservative talkradio host Mark Levin made news Thursday when he addressed the annual conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a “non-partisan membership association of state lawmakers,” and it wasn’t just because he reiterated his call for an Article V “Convention of the States” to propose new amendments to the Constitution.
On Thursday, Levin framed the Article V Convention of the States as the beginning of the process in which state legislators can reassert their constitutional power and become, in effect, the kind of check on the out-of-control federal government the framers expected the three branches of federal government they created in the Constitution would be on each other.
“Take your power back,” Levin told the enthusiastic crowd of state legislators from around the country.
Watch Levin’s entire speech here:
Critics who claim an Article V Convention could become a “Runaway Constitutional Convention” miss the point entirely, Levin said. Critics think such a convention would have no impact, as the federal government is ignoring the Constitution already and would have little reason to observe any amendments, subsequently ratified by the states, that emerged from the Convention of the States.
“So if you ask me what makes you think the federal government will follow amendments to the Constitution if it won’t follow the Constitution today, then you don’t understand this process,” Levin told the audience.
“By giving the state legislatures the ultimate say on major federal laws, on major federal regulations, on major Supreme Court decisions, should 3/5 of state legislatures act to override them within a two year period,” Levin said, ” it doesn’t much matter what Washington does or doesn’t. It matters what you do.”
“The goal is to limit the entrenchment of Washington’s ruling class,” he stated. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Cuban Immigrant Manuel Martinez’s Challenge to Oregon Lawmakers: ‘Marxism is not Coming, Marxism is Here’Posted: February 10, 2014
This isn’t the first time Manuel Martinez, a man who fled Communist Cuba has voiced his concern to Oregon lawmakers about gun control. And he always seems to make the news because his words are so powerful. He knows that once the government disarms the people it’s over and he plainly warns Oregon lawmakers that Marxism isn’t coming to America, it’s already here…