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In an article reprinted in the June 2013 issue of Harper’s Magazine, former U.S. senator Jim Webb argued that Congress has in recent years not exercised sufficient oversight of the presidency on matters of foreign policy. Citing recent executive actions related to the conflicts in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Webb underscores the need for exactly the kind of decision President Barack Obama took last week in soliciting the approval of Congress for U.S. military action in Syria:
What we have witnessed is a breakdown of our constitutional process. Opinions will surely vary as to the merits of the outcome in each case, but this sort of disagreement is the precise reason each of these cases and others should have been properly debated and voted on by Congress. In none of these situations was the consideration of time or emergency so great as to have precluded congressional deliberation. In each, Congress was ignored or circumvented, while key congressional leaders were reluctant, at best, to assert the authority that forms the basis of our governmental structure.
Read the full text of Webb’s essay here.
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Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”