House Rep. Paul Tonko and the Saratoga Congress on the Corner meet-up on Saturday.
Had the opportunity to attend Rep. Tonko’s Congress on the Corner meeting at the Saratoga City Center on Saturday.
Tonko handles himself very well; is very articulate; and provided the good turnout with detailed answers on several questions.
AARP shirted attendees were very concerned with Medicare and Social
Security cuts that may still be on the table in the coming budget
Tonko has been, and reinforced this Saturday, that he is opposed to
additional cuts in these entitlements. He is not in favor in privatizing
SS through any type of individual retirement option.
I had the opportunity to ask him about the POTUS’s upcoming visit to Israel.
Obama will be under intense pressure in Israel, both by right-winger PM
Netanyahu, and others in the Israeli national security apparatus, to
agree to a date for engaging in an aerial attack on Iran’s nuclear
development sites…either a joint Israeli/US attack; or a unilateral US
I asked Tonko if a Congressional Declaration of War should be in
place before this happens…a Declaration that is Constitutionally
required is we were to attack Iran. While this Declaration requirement
has not been really applied for over 50 yrs., it is still a power that
I also asked, in a linked question, if Israel should be pressured to
publicly announce that they, indeed, have a large stockpile of
activitated nuclear warheads. Also, should Israel be pressured to
announce they will dis-mantle, de-commission a small number of these
nukes, slowly and with Israel’s survival taking precedence.
Tonko’s answers were somewhat hazy. He favors negotiations, rather
than striking Iran. He really didn’t deal with the second part of the
(“..It is believed that Israel had possessed an operational nuclear
weapons capability by 1967, with the mass production of nuclear warheads
occurring immediately after the Six-Day War. Although no official
statistics exist, it has been estimated that Israel possesses from 75 to
as many as 400 nuclear weapons, which are reported to include
thermonuclear weapons in the megaton range. Israel is also
reported to possess a wide range of different systems, including neutron
bombs, tactical nuclear weapons, and suitcase nukes. Israel is
believed to manufacture its nuclear weapons at the Negev Nuclear