United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art
National Security Advisor (United States)
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs referred to as the National Security Advisor or at times informally termed the NSC Advisor, is a senior aide in the Executive Office of the President, based at the West Wing of the White House, who serves as the chief in-house advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues. The National Security Advisor is appointed by the President and does not require confirmation by the Senate, but an appointment of a three or four-star general to the role requires Senate reconfirmation of military rank; the National Security Advisor participates in meetings of the National Security Council and chairs meetings of the Principals Committee of the NSC with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. The National Security Advisor is supported by NSC staff who produce research and briefings for the National Security Advisor to review and present, either to the National Security Council or directly to the President; the influence and role of the National Security Advisor varies from administration to administration and depends not only on the qualities of the person appointed to the position, but on the style and management philosophy of the incumbent President.
Ideally, the National Security Advisor serves as an honest broker of policy options for the President in the field of national security, rather than as an advocate for his or her own policy agenda. However, the National Security Advisor is a staff position in the Executive Office of the President and does not have line or budget authority over either the Department of State or the Department of Defense, unlike the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, who are Senate-confirmed officials with statutory authority over their departments. In times of crisis, the National Security Advisor is to operate from the White House Situation Room or the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, updating the President on the latest events in a crisis situation; the National Security Council was created at the start of the Cold War under the National Security Act of 1947 to coordinate defense, foreign affairs, international economic policy, intelligence. The Act did not create the position of the National Security Advisor per se, but it did create an executive secretary in charge of the staff.
In 1949, the NSC became part of the Executive Office of the President. Robert Cutler was the first National Security Advisor in 1953; the system has remained unchanged since particularly since President John Kennedy, with powerful National Security Advisors and strong staff but a lower importance given to formal NSC meetings. This continuity persists despite the tendency of each new president to replace the advisor and senior NSC staff. President Richard Nixon's National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, enhanced the importance of the role, controlling the flow of information to the President and meeting him multiple times per day. Kissinger holds the distinction of serving as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State at the same time from September 22, 1973, until November 3, 1975. Brent Scowcroft is the only person to have held the job in two non-consecutive administrations: in the Ford administration and in the G. H. W. Bush administration. Robert Cutler held the job twice, both times during the Eisenhower administration.
Henry Kissinger holds the record for longest term of service. Michael Flynn holds the record for shortest term of service. Three and four-star generals require Senate confirmation due to the statutory nature requiring Congress to appoint their military rank; the prior National Security Adviser, H. R. McMaster, is a three-star lieutenant general and his military rank was reconfirmed by the Senate on March 15, 2017. On Thursday, March 22, 2018, President Donald Trump announced, via Twitter, that McMaster would be replaced as the National Security Advisor by former U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, effective April 9, 2018. White House Chief of Staff Homeland Security Council Homeland Security Advisor 2009-02: The National Security Advisor and Staff. WhiteHouseTransitionProject.org. 2009. Www.whitehouse.gov/nsc
Deputy National Security Advisor (United States)
The Deputy National Security Advisor is a member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and the United States National Security Council, serving under the President's National Security Advisor. Among other responsibilities, the Deputy National Security Advisor serves as Executive Secretary to the National Security Council Principals Committee, as chairman of the National Security Council Deputies Committee; the role changes according to the organizational philosophy and staffing of each White House and there are multiple deputies to the National Security Advisor charged with various areas of focus. The position is being held by Charles Kupperman since 2019. Aside from the Principal Deputy, since the September 11, 2001 attacks, there have been some cases of other deputy-level positions created with an additional specifier title and alternate role; these include: Wayne Downing for Combatting Terrorism Ben Rhodes for Strategic Communications Dina Powell for Strategy Nadia Schadlow for StrategyAdditionally, during the Obama Administration, the Homeland Security Advisor was titled as a Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security: John O. Brennan Lisa Monaco
Presidential Service Badge
The Presidential Service Badge is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces, awarded to members of the U. S. Army, U. S. Navy, U. S. Air Force, U. S. Marine Corps, U. S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U. S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States. Executive Order 10879 of June 1, 1960 was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower establishing a White House Service Badge. President Lyndon B. Johnson retired the White House Service Badge and issued a separate Presidential Service Badge by signing Executive Order 11174 on September 1, 1964. Typical recipients include: Military aides to the President appointed from each of the services who, among other duties, rotate being the so-called "Emergency War Officer" with "The Football", a briefcase containing nuclear decision-making tools kept within ready access of the president at all times, The White House Naval Mess Facility Located in The West Wing of The White House and The OEOB.
White House military public affairs officers, Servicemembers assigned to the White House Communications Agency, which supports Presidential communications worldwide, Servicemembers assigned to the White House Transportation Agency, which provides motor vehicle transportation to the White House as directed by the White House Military Office, Servicemembers assigned to the White House Medical Unit which provides medical support to President, Vice President and their families as well as the White House Staff. "Air Force One" Airmen assigned to the Presidential Airlift Group of the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews AFB, Maryland Naval personnel assigned to the Camp David and Naval Support Center Thurmont, MD resort and facilities. Marine Helicopter Squadron 1 "Marine One" flight crew, Marines assigned to the Marine Security Company at Camp David. White House Marine Sentries The PSB is awarded after at least one year of satisfactory service "to any member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty in the White House Office or to military units and support facilities under the administration of the Military Assistant to the President by the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Air Force, or, when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Navy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, upon recommendation of the Military Assistant to the President".
It is accompanied by miniature lapel version. The PSB is recorded in the individual's military service records and is authorized for wear as a permanent decoration. Recipients are, other than the President and uniformed members of the U. S. Secret Service, the only Americans authorized to wear the "Presidential Seal or Coat of Arms" on their uniforms and civilian clothes. Since 1964, with the enactment of Presidential Executive Order 11174, over 20,000 U. S. armed services members and veterans have received the Presidential Service Badge for honorable service in the White House. A similar badge, the Vice Presidential Service Badge, exists for military personnel assigned to assist the Vice President of the United States; the Presidential Service Association is a non-profit organization for United States armed services personnel and veterans who have received the Presidential Service Badge by serving in the White House in Washington, D. C. United States; the organization was created to provide a network of personnel, to construct a history of their service and to demonstrate the traditions and pride of that service.
It furnishes scholarships, grants or crisis funds for United States armed services personnel and veterans who served in the White House prior to or after the creation of the White House Service Certificate, the Presidential Service Badge/Certificate or the Vice Presidential Service Certificate/Badge. President Dwight D. Eisenhower called the decoration a symbol of "...deserved honor and distinction." Each recipient has their name linked to a serial number held at the White House. The Presidential Service Center is a non-profit organization celebrating civilian aides and employees of the United States presidency, armed services personnel lawfully awarded a serial-numbered Presidential Service Badge by serving the White House and White House Military Office, it is jointly located with the Presidential Culinary Museum. The center displays glass case exhibits of the history of service, machines with facilities maintained and historical remembrances, it contains numerous artifacts and items sent by the National Archives and Presidential foundations supporting it.
The center and museum have been featured in over 130 newspapers, worldwide, as well as on CNN International and PBS television. The center contains numerous Presidential Service badges on display and one of the largest on public display, it is located in Grover, North Carolina, a town named after President of the United States Grover Cleveland. Vice Presidential Service Badge Identification badges of the Uniform Services of the United States Military badges of the United States Yankee White History of the PSB Presidential Service Association Presidential Service Center Presidential Culinary Museum
The Iran–Contra affair referred to as Irangate, the Iran–Contra scandal, or Iran-Contra, was a political scandal in the United States that occurred during the second term of the Reagan Administration. Senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo; the administration hoped to use the proceeds of the arms sale to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress; the official justification for the arms shipments was that they were part of an operation to free seven American hostages being held in Lebanon by Hezbollah, a paramilitary group with Iranian ties connected to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The plan was for Israel to ship weapons to Iran, for the United States to resupply Israel, for Israel to pay the United States; the Iranian recipients promised to do everything in their power to achieve the release of the hostages. However, as documented by a congressional investigation, the first Reagan-sponsored secret arms sales to Iran began in 1981 before any of the American hostages had been taken in Lebanon.
This fact ruled out the "arms for hostages" explanation by which the Reagan administration sought to excuse its behavior. The plan was complicated in late 1985, when Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council diverted a portion of the proceeds from the Iranian weapon sales to fund the Contras, a group of anti-Sandinista rebel fighters, in their struggle against the socialist government of Nicaragua. While President Ronald Reagan was a vocal supporter of the Contra cause, the evidence is disputed as to whether he authorized the diversion of funds to the Contras. Handwritten notes taken by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger on 7 December 1985 indicate that Reagan was aware of potential hostage transfers with Iran, as well as the sale of Hawk and TOW missiles to "moderate elements" within that country. Weinberger wrote that Reagan said "he could answer to charges of illegality but couldn't answer to the charge that'big strong President Reagan passed up a chance to free the hostages.'"
After the weapon sales were revealed in November 1986, Reagan appeared on national television and stated that the weapons transfers had indeed occurred, but that the United States did not trade arms for hostages. The investigation was impeded when large volumes of documents relating to the affair were destroyed or withheld from investigators by Reagan administration officials. On 4 March 1987, Reagan made a further nationally televised address, taking full responsibility for the affair and stating that "what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages"; the affair was investigated by the U. S. Congress and by Reagan-appointed Tower Commission. Neither investigation found evidence that President Reagan himself knew of the extent of the multiple programs. In the end, fourteen administration officials were indicted, including then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Eleven convictions resulted; the rest of those indicted or convicted were all pardoned in the final days of the presidency of George H. W. Bush, Vice President at the time of the affair.
The United States was the largest seller of arms to Iran under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the vast majority of the weapons that the Islamic Republic of Iran inherited in January 1979 were American-made. To maintain this arsenal, Iran required a steady supply of spare parts to replace those broken and worn out. After Iranian students stormed the American embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and took 52 Americans hostage, U. S. President Jimmy Carter imposed an arms embargo on Iran.:213 After Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980, Iran needed weapons and spare parts for its current weapons. After Ronald Reagan took office as President on 20 January 1981, he vowed to continue Carter's policy of blocking arms sales to Iran on the grounds that Iran supported terrorism.:213A group of senior Reagan administration officials in the Senior Interdepartmental Group conducted a secret study on 21 July 1981, concluded that the arms embargo was ineffective because Iran could always buy arms and spare parts for its American weapons elsewhere, while at the same time the arms embargo opened the door for Iran to fall into the Soviet sphere of influence as the Kremlin could sell Iran weapons if the United States would not.:213 The conclusion was that the United States should start selling Iran arms as soon as it was politically possible to keep Iran from falling into the Soviet sphere of influence.:213 At the same time, the declared goal of Ayatollah Khomeini to export his Islamic revolution all over the Middle East and overthrow the governments of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the other states around the Persian Gulf led to the Americans perceiving Khomeini as a major threat to the United States.:213In the spring of 1983, the United States launched Operation Staunch, a wide-ranging diplomatic effort to persuade other nations all over the world not to sell arms or spare parts for weapons to Iran.:213 At least part of the reason the Iran–Contra affair proved so humiliating for the United States when the story first broke in November 1986 that the US was selling arms to Iran was that American diplomats, as part of Operation Staunch had, from the spring of 1983 on, been lecturing other nations about how morally wrong it was to sell arms to the Islamic Republic of Iran and applying strong pressure to prevent these arms sales to Iran.:213 At the same time that the American
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military. Known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency, the agency was created in February 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik 1 in 1957. By collaborating with academic and government partners, DARPA formulates and executes research and development projects to expand the frontiers of technology and science beyond immediate U. S. military requirements. DARPA-funded projects have provided significant technologies that influenced many non-military fields, such as computer networking and the basis for the modern Internet, graphical user interfaces in information technology. DARPA is independent of other military research and development and reports directly to senior Department of Defense management. DARPA has about 220 employees, of whom 100 are in management; the name of the organization first changed from its founding name ARPA to DARPA in March 1972 changing back to ARPA in February 1993, only to revert to DARPA in March 1996.
Their mission statement is "to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security". The creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency was authorized by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 for the purpose of forming and executing research and development projects to expand the frontiers of technology and science, able to reach far beyond immediate military requirements, the two relevant acts being the Supplemental Military Construction Authorization and Department of Defense Directive 5105.15, in February 1958. Its creation was directly attributed to the launching of Sputnik and to U. S. realization that the Soviet Union had developed the capacity to exploit military technology. Initial funding of ARPA was $520 million. ARPA's first director, Roy Johnson, left a $160,000 management job at General Electric for an $18,000 job at ARPA. Herbert York from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was hired as his scientific assistant. Johnson and York were both keen on space projects, but when NASA was established in 1958 all space projects and most of ARPA's funding were transferred to it.
Johnson resigned and ARPA was repurposed to do "high-risk", "high-gain", "far out" basic research, a posture, enthusiastically embraced by the nation's scientists and research universities. ARPA's second director was Brigadier General Austin W. Betts, who resigned in early 1961, he was succeeded by Jack Ruina who served until 1963. Ruina, the first scientist to administer ARPA, managed to raise its budget to $250 million, it was Ruina who hired J. C. R. Licklider as the first administrator of the Information Processing Techniques Office, which played a vital role in creation of ARPANET, the basis for the future Internet. Additionally, the political and defense communities recognized the need for a high-level Department of Defense organization to formulate and execute R&D projects that would expand the frontiers of technology beyond the immediate and specific requirements of the Military Services and their laboratories. In pursuit of this mission, DARPA has developed and transferred technology programs encompassing a wide range of scientific disciplines that address the full spectrum of national security needs.
From 1958 to 1965, ARPA's emphasis centered on major national issues, including space, ballistic missile defense, nuclear test detection. During 1960, all of its civilian space programs were transferred to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the military space programs to the individual services; this allowed ARPA to concentrate its efforts on the Project Defender, Project Vela, Project AGILE programs, to begin work on computer processing, behavioral sciences, materials sciences. The DEFENDER and AGILE programs formed the foundation of DARPA sensor and directed energy R&D in the study of radar, infrared sensing, x-ray/gamma ray detection. ARPA at this point played an early role in Transit a predecessor to the Global Positioning System. "Fast-forward to 1959 when a joint effort between DARPA and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory began to fine-tune the early explorers’ discoveries. TRANSIT, sponsored by the Navy and developed under the leadership of Dr. Richard Kirschner at Johns Hopkins, was the first satellite positioning system."During the late 1960s, with the transfer of these mature programs to the Services, ARPA redefined its role and concentrated on a diverse set of small exploratory research programs.
The agency was renamed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1972, during the early 1970s, it emphasized direct energy programs, information processing, tactical technologies. Concerning information processing, DARPA made great progress through its support of the development of time-sharing. DARPA supported the evolution of the ARPANET, Packet Radio Network, Packet Satellite Network and the Internet and research in the artificial intelligence fields of speech recognition and signal processing, including parts of Shakey the robot. DARPA funded the development of the Douglas Engelbart's NLS computer system and The Mother of
Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to his presidency, he was a Hollywood actor and union leader before serving as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975. Reagan was raised in a poor family in small towns of northern Illinois, he graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and worked as a sports announcer on several regional radio stations. After moving to California in 1937, he found work as an actor and starred in a few major productions. Reagan was twice elected President of the Screen Actors Guild—the labor union for actors—where he worked to root out Communist influence. In the 1950s, he was a motivational speaker at General Electric factories. Reagan had been a Democrat until 1962, when he became a conservative and switched to the Republican Party. In 1964, Reagan's speech, "A Time for Choosing", supported Barry Goldwater's foundering presidential campaign and earned him national attention as a new conservative spokesman.
Building a network of supporters, he was elected governor of California in 1966. As governor, Reagan raised taxes, turned a state budget deficit to a surplus, challenged the protesters at the University of California, ordered in National Guard troops during a period of protest movements in 1969, was re-elected in 1970, he twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination, in 1968 and 1976. Four years in 1980, he won the nomination and defeated incumbent president Jimmy Carter. At 69 years, 349 days of age at the time of his first inauguration, Reagan was the oldest person to have assumed office until Donald Trump in 2017. Reagan faced former vice president Walter Mondale when he ran for re-election in 1984, defeated him, winning the most electoral votes of any U. S. president, 525, or 97.6 percent of the 538 votes in the Electoral College. This was the second-most lopsided presidential election in modern U. S. history after Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1936 victory over Alfred M. Landon, in which he won 98.5 percent or 523 of the 531 electoral votes.
Soon after taking office, Reagan began implementing sweeping new economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, economic deregulation, reduction in government spending. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, spurred the War on Drugs, fought public sector labor. Over his two terms, the economy saw a reduction of inflation from 12.5% to 4.4%, an average annual growth of real GDP of 3.4%. Reagan enacted cuts in domestic discretionary spending, cut taxes, increased military spending which contributed to increased federal outlays overall after adjustment for inflation. Foreign affairs dominated his second term, including ending the Cold War, the bombing of Libya, the Iran–Iraq War, the Iran–Contra affair. In June 1987, four years after he publicly described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire", Reagan challenged Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!", during a speech at the Brandenburg Gate.
He transitioned Cold War policy from détente to rollback by escalating an arms race with the USSR while engaging in talks with Gorbachev. The talks culminated in the INF Treaty. Reagan began his presidency during the decline of the Soviet Union, the Berlin Wall fell just ten months after the end of his term. Germany reunified the following year, on December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed; when Reagan left office in 1989, he held an approval rating of 68 percent, matching those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era, he was the first president since Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve two full terms, after a succession of five prior presidents did not. Although he had planned an active post-presidency, Reagan disclosed in November 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier that year. Afterward, his informal public appearances became more infrequent, he died at home on June 5, 2004. His tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States, he is an icon among conservatives.
Evaluations of his presidency among historians and the general public place him among the upper tier of American presidents. Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in an apartment on the second floor of a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois, he was the younger son of Jack Reagan. Jack was a salesman and storyteller whose grandparents were Irish Catholic emigrants from County Tipperary, while Nelle was of half English and half Scottish descent. Reagan's older brother, Neil Reagan, became an advertising executive. Reagan's father nicknamed his son "Dutch", due to his "fat little Dutchman"-like appearance and "Dutchboy" haircut. Reagan's family lived in several towns and cities in Illinois, including Monmouth and Chicago. In 1919, they returned to Tampico and lived above the H. C. Pitney Variety Store until settling in Dixon. After his election as president, Reagan resided in the upstairs White House private quarters, he would quip that he was "living above the store again". Ronald Reagan wrote that his mother "always expected to find the best in people and did".
She attended the Disciples of Christ church and was active, influential, within it.