Posts Tagged ‘Legislative Branch’
Last month, M. Stanton Evans pointed out that America’s demographics currently favor the Republicans in future elections:
As shown by demographer Eric Kaufman of the University of London, religious couples across all cultures are for obvious reasons (including but not limited to abortion) having more children per family than are the secular-irreligious, whose birthrates are below replacement — which means a declining population.
“After 2020,” says Kaufman, the devoutly religious of all faiths “will begin to tip the culture wars to the conservative side.”
The liberal-counterculture Democrats will of course continue fighting this war in the schools and through the media, but have only one major demographic weapon to counter the fertility gap that is working relentlessly against them.
That weapon is illegal immigration. As the population trends move steadily conservative, the liberals must bring into the country and enfranchise new voters who will reliably cast Democratic ballots.
That, and that alone, is the real issue in the battle over immigration and why the Democrats are so bent on gaining amnesty for illegals. All the rest is window dressing.
No wonder they’re pushing so hard for amnesty. The question is, why are Republicans so stupidly eager to help them?
The foundation for the housing crisis was laid with the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977, where the government took it upon itself to encourage home ownership by pressuring banks to lend to lower-income buyers, often to meet arbitrary racial quotas. Obviously they haven’t learned a thing from where that got us.
Would it surprise anyone to learn that as a lawyer, Obama sued banks to force them to issue subprime loans? He also worked for ACORN, which specialized in using the Community Reinvestment Act to shake down banks and pressure them to loan money to low-income minorities or face “discrimination” charges.
According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration is pushing big banks to make more home loans available to Americans with bad credit – the same kind of government guidance that helped blow up the housing market:
In response, administration officials say they are working to get banks to lend to a wider range of borrowers by taking advantage of taxpayer-backed programs — including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration — that insure home loans against default.
Housing officials are urging the Justice Department to provide assurances to banks, which have become increasingly cautious, that they will not face legal or financial recriminations if they make loans to riskier borrowers who meet government standards but later default.
Think about this statement. The administration is asking banks – banks that Washington bails out; banks that Washington crafts regulations for — to embrace risky policies that put the institution and its investors (not to mention, all of us) in a precarious position. So precarious, in fact, that banks have to ask government if they can be freed of any legal or financial consequences.
What could possibly go wrong?
These types of government policies initially emerged the mid-1970s, when “progressive” Democrats in Congress began a campaign to help low-income minorities become homeowners. This led to the passage, in 1977, of theCommunity Reinvestment Act (CRA), a mandate for banks to make special efforts to seek out and lend to borrowers of meager means. Founded on the premise that government intervention is necessary to counteract the fundamentally racist and inequitable nature of American society and the free market, the CRA was eventually transformed from an outreach effort into a strict quota system by the Clinton administration. Under the new arrangement, if a bank failed to meet its quota for loans to low-income minorities, it ran the risk of getting a low CRA rating from the FDIC. This, in turn, could derail the bank’s efforts to expand, relocate, merge, etc. From a practical standpoint, then, banks had no recourse but to drastically lower their standards on down-payments and underwriting, and to approve many loans even to borrowers with weak credit credentials. As Hoover Institution Fellow Thomas Sowell explains, this led to “skyrocketing rates of mortgage delinquencies and defaults,” and the rest is history.
The CRA was by no means the only mechanism designed by government to impose lending quotas on financial institutions. For instance, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) developed rules encouraging lenders to dramatically hike their loan-approval rates for minority applicants and began bringing legal actions against mortgage bankers who failed to do so, regardless of the reason. This, too, caused lenders to lower their down-payment and income requirements.
Moreover, HUD pressured the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest sources of housing finance in the United States, to earmark a steeply rising number of their own loans for low-income borrowers. Many of these were subprime mortgages—loans characterized by higher interest rates and less favorable terms in order to compensate lenders for the high credit risk they were incurring.
Additional pressure toward this end was applied by community organizations like the pro-socialist ACORN. By accusing banks—however frivolously or unjustly—of having engaged in racially discriminatory lending practices that violated the mandates of the CRA, these groups commonly sued banks toprevent them from expanding or merging as they wished. Barack Obama, ACORN’s staunch ally, was strongly in favor of this practice. Indeed, in a 1994 class-action lawsuit against Citibank, Obama represented ACORN in demanding more favorable terms for subprime homebuyer mortgages. After four years of being dragged through the mud, a beleaguered Citibank—anxious to put an end to the incessant smears (charging racism) that Obama and his fellow litigators were hurling in its direction (to say nothing of its mounting legal bills)—agreed to settle the case.
Forbes magazine puts it bluntly: “Obama has been a staunch supporter of the CRA throughout his public life.” In other words, he has long advocated the very policies that already have reduced the real-estate market to rubble. And now he is actively pushing those very same practices again.
The Senate voted earlier to block the U.S. from joining the treaty, but Obama is likely to sign it anyway.
He’s already heading out onto the never-ending campaign trail to stump for more gun control. He wants to stir up public pressure to force the Senate to ratify it. If they do, you can kiss your 2nd Amendment rights good-bye.
This morning, by a vote of 154 nations in favor (including the United States), 23 abstentions, and three against (Syria, North Korea, and Iran), the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty will be open for national signature on June 3, 2013, and will enter into force for its signatories when it has been signed and ratified by 50 nations.
Though the vote in favor of the treaty seems overwhelming, a closer look shows something different. Among the major exporting and importing nations, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Russia abstained. So did most of the Arab Group, as well as a range of anti-American regimes, including Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua, and a smattering of others, including Belarus, Burma, and Sri Lanka.
A further 13 nations did not vote, including some known opponents of the treaty, such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Finally, while Pakistan voted in favor of the treaty, its statement in explanation implied that it was voting for the treaty because it anticipated that India would abstain, and it wanted to look good by comparison.
Thus, what the U.N. vote amounts to is the tacit rejection of the treaty by most of the world’s most irresponsible arms exporters and anti-American dictatorships, who collectively amount to half of the world’s population.
Ken Klukowski warns, “What Americans Need To Know About The UN Gun Control Treaty“:
Today the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a global gun control treaty called the Arms Trade Treaty. Now the fight begins here at home. There are several things gun owners need to know to protect their constitutional rights.
Now that it’s been proposed, the treaty goes to all the member states to decide on whether to join. Per the U.S. Constitution, in America it must first be signed by the president (which it will), then be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate (which it won’t). The United States is not likely to join the treaty as a nation, though President Barack Obama will likely push for it.
The General Assembly can’t do anything at the United Nations except propose (not establish) treaties and admit new U.N. members. Most of the power at the U.N. is in the Security Council, which consists of five permanent members (including the U.S.) and ten rotating seats among all the other U.N. members. So the General Assembly did one of the only things it can by recommending this treaty to its member states.
However, the first danger is that U.S. courts have held we’re bound by “customary international law,” sometimes called the “law of nations.” If enough U.N. member states were to adopt this treaty, a liberal federal court could rule it has become customary international law. The current Supreme Court would never affirm such a ruling, but there is a real danger if Obama changes the balance of the Court over the next three years.
Because federal statutes and treaties are of equal force under the U.S. Constitution, whenever they are in direct conflict, the most-recently passed of the two prevails. So, if somehow this treaty were ratified by the Senate, if Congress were to later pass a statute taking the opposite position, it would trump the treaty.
Of course, you need a president’s signature to pass a statute or two-thirds of Congress to override a presidential veto, so we would need a president in 2016 who supports the Second Amendment to pass such a law.
[...] The dangers are obvious, however. If Barack Obama manages to get an anti-gun politician like Hillary Clinton or Andrew Cuomo to follow him in 2016 as president, and changes the balance of the Supreme Court over time, then the Arms Trade Treaty could open America up to a worldwide U.N. gun control regime. That could lay the groundwork and set up a system that a decade or two from now could restrict lawful firearm ownership in this nation.
In Europe, “green” policies to eliminate nuclear and coal power for “green” alternatives worked so well that desperate Greeks and Germans resorted to stealing firewood from local forests to keep warm this winter.
Sadly, it doesn’t appear that Obama’s nominee has learned from their mistake. He insists that skyrocketing energy prices are just what we need to force people away from fossil fuels towards a gloriously “green,” utopian future:
President Obama’s Energy secretary nominee regards a carbon tax as one of the simplest ways to move the energy industry towards clean technologies, though he notes that government would have to come up with a plan to mitigate the burden this tax places on poor people, who would pay the most.
“Ultimately, it has to be cheaper to capture and store it than to release it and pay a price,” MIT professor and Energy nominee Ernest Moniz told the Switch Energy Project in an interview last year. “If we start really squeezing down on carbon dioxide over the next few decades, well, that could double; it could eventually triple. I think inevitably if we squeeze down on carbon, we squeeze up on the cost, it brings along with it a push toward efficiency; it brings along with it a push towards clean technologies in a conventional pollution sense; it brings along with it a push towards security. Because after all, the security issues revolve around carbon bearing fuels.”
Moniz position is not far from that of Energy Secretary Steven Chu before he took a job in the Obama administration. “We have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Chu said in 2008. Last year, gas hit $9 a gallon in Greece.
As if poor and middle class families aren’t hurting enough trying to make ends meet as it is.
Four years of stalling on a budget (which is required annually, per the constitution), and THIS is the best they can come up with?
An exhausted Senate gave pre-dawn approval Saturday to a Democratic $3.7 trillion budget for next year that embraces nearly $1 trillion in tax increases over the coming decade but shelters domestic programs targeted for cuts by House Republicans.
While their victory was by a razor-thin 50-49 vote, it allowed Democrats to tout their priorities. Yet it doesn’t resolve the deep differences the two parties have over deficits and the size of government.
Joining all Republicans voting no were four Democrats who face re-election next year in potentially difficult races: Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., did not vote.
So what made them finally decide to pass a budget? Arnold Ahlert has a theory:
The impetus for passing a budget for the first time in four years was likely the passage of the “No Budget, No Pay” bill which suspended the current debt limit until May 18th, so the federal government could continue to pay its bills. One of the bill’s provisions prohibits legislators from getting paid if Congress doesn’t pass a budget by April 15. Salaries will either be held in escrow until they do, or resume being paid in January 15, when the current congressional session ends.
Considering the vast differences between this legislation and the House budget passed last Thursday that brings the budget into balance by 2023, but changes the nature of entitlement programs in ways completely anathema to Democrats, it is virtually certain that no budget will be reconciled before the debt ceiling showdown. On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) revived a rule ignored in January, stating that any increase in the debt ceiling must be accompanied by commensurate spending cuts.
Yet even leaving that rule aside, passing a budget by May 18 is still overly optimistic. Thus, the House also passed a continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, which lasts through September. The Senate approved that resolution, and it is expected that the president will sign it once he gets back from his trip to Israel.
In other words, the more things seemingly change, the more they remain the same: barring a miraculous spasm of bipartisanship, government will likely be funded piecemeal–and our unsustainable fiscal trajectory will remain unaltered.
The tyrants at the UN won’t be satisfied until every citizen capable of resisting them world-wide is disarmed into sitting ducks. If just 2/3 of the Senate votes to ratify this treaty, our gun rights will be in serious jeopardy.
The fact that Democrats are willing to take the side of other nations against their own fellow citizens’ constitutional right to self-defense reveals how traitorous they truly are.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there was not enough support to give Sen. Dianne Feinstein the stand-alone vote she demands on the “assault weapon” ban, but the upper chamber may soon be the deciding factor in whether the United States ratifies an international treaty that could strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
On Monday, the United States joined in the nine day conference in New York to finalize negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty is intended to regulate the global trade of conventional weapons, but depending how the final document is worded, it could put at risk Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
The countries were negotiating the draft last July, but stopped when the U.S. asked for a delay. Many believe Mr. Obama pushed the issue past Election Day in order not to further alienate gun owners. Now that he has more “flexibility” in his second term, the U.S. is back at the table.
Secretary of State John Kerry has encouraged reaching consensus by March 28. “The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability,” he wrote in a statement Friday.
[...] Mr. Obama will likely go ahead and sign the treaty as it is. Then the only thing standing in the way of the U.N. stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights is if he can get two-thirds of the Senate to ratify.
Certainly the ATT is controversial. Touted as a means of getting a handle on an international arms trade valued at $60 billion a year, its stated purpose is to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime at an international level.
Its vague and suspicious wording led some 150 members of Congress last June to send a letter to President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning that the treaty is “likely to pose significant threats to our national security, foreign policy and economic interests as well as our constitutional rights.”
We have noted that a paper by the U.N.’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) says that arms have been “misused by lawful owners” and that the “arms trade therefore be regulated in ways that would . .. minimize the misuse of legally owned weapons.”
Would defending your home against intruders, or U.S. laws permitting concealed carry, be considered a “misuse?”
[...] Last Thursday, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., introduced a bipartisan resolution opposing the treaty. The resolution states the U.N. proposal “places free democracies and totalitarian regimes on a basis of equality” and represents a threat to U.S. national security.
Our Constitution is unambiguous in its protection of gun rights. The ATT is not.
Interestingly, just as the world’s worst human rights violators have sat on and often chaired the U.N. Human Rights Council, Iran, arms supplier extraordinaire to America’s enemies, was elected to a top position at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty held in New York last July.
The U.S. is one of few countries that has anything like a Second Amendment, our Founding Fathers enshrining the right to bear arms in our founding principles in recognition of it being the ultimate bulwark against tyrannical government.
The fact that an organization full of tyrants, dictators, thugs and gross human rights violators wants to control small arms worldwide is hardly a surprise.
Somehow, administration assurances that the treaty won’t infringe on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms doesn’t reassure us.
UPDATE: Defeated in the Senate 53-46. We dodged a bullet…this year.
Just two weeks ago, Obama tried to explain away his disastrous presidency by saying, ’The problem is … I’m not the emperor of the United States.”
Poor Obama. If only he were emperor, he could get so much done. Now he’s blaming his failures once again on the fact that we have this pesky constitutional republic that won’t allow him to act as a dictator:
“I am not a dictator,” President Obama said Friday while defending his efforts to stop the sequester. “I’m the president.”
Obama said there are limits to what he can do to get a deal on the sequester during a press conference in which he blamed Republicans for standing in the way of a deal.
Obama also hilariously confused Star Wars with Star Trek while lamenting that he didn’t have mind control powers over his opponents:
President Obama yesterday outraged nerds everywhere when he committed sci-fi heresy by mixing up “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” in remarks about budget cuts.
Speaking at a White House press conference, Obama joked that he couldn’t use a “Jedi mind meld” to get Republicans to agree to his budget plan.
“I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that’s been floating around Washington, that somehow, even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable . . . the fact that [Republicans] don’t take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right,” the president said.Obama — a professed Trekkie — was conflating the “Jedi mind tricks” of “Star Wars” with the “Vulcan mind meld” of “Star Trek” lore.
The blunder set off a frenzy of ridicule across the Twitterverse.
President Obama wished he could alternatively do a Jedi Death Grip on Conservatives, but that power was also not his to use. He concluded the press conference saying, “May the force be with you so you can live long and prosper.”
Judge Napolitano: ‘Almost An Impeachable Offense’ If Obama’s Making Spending Decisions ‘To Hurt Us’
View on YouTube
Abdicating his constitutional responsibility to uphold the law and defend our nation against an invasion of illegal immigrants and criminals is grounds for impeachment, if not a charge of treason.
In one of the most politically despicable moves ever perpetrated by a sitting administration, federal immigration officials have released hundreds of illegal aliens from prison in anticipation of budget cuts produced by the sequester. “As fiscal uncertainty remains over the continuing resolution and possible sequestration, ICE has reviewed its detained population to ensure detention levels stay within ICE’s current budget,” said agency spokeswoman Gillian M. Christensen in a statement. Immigration officials further warned that even more releases are possible, if the anticipated cuts are realized.
In Arizona, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who revealed that more than 500 inmates were released in his county alone, put this ploy in the proper perspective. “President Obama would never release 500 criminal illegals to the streets of his hometown, yet he has no problem with releasing them in Arizona. The safety of the public is threatened and the rule of law discarded as a political tactic in this sequester battle,” he said.
[...] In a coordinated scare tactic, DHS Secretary Janet A. Napolitano on Monday warned that, if the sequester occurs, as many as 5000 border agents will also be furloughed, increasing the chances that even more, and possibly more dangerous, illegal aliens will be roaming the countryside. “I don’t think we can maintain the same level of security,” Ms. Napolitano contended.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) cut right through the manufactured hysteria. In a letter sent to Ms. Napolitano, he outlined a host of alternative cuts Ms. Napolitano could make. Yet the most telling part of that letter was the revelation that DHS will have approximately $9 billion in unspent funds by the end of FY2013, “raising the question of why we would not start reclaiming these funds,” Coburn wrote.
[...] Once again, the President of the United States has made it clear that he and his administration are prepared to implement their agenda by any means necessary. In this case, Obama, along with DHS and ICE officials, have now demonstrated that they are more than willing to potentially endanger American lives, rather than accept a “cut” that merely reduces the overall increase in government spending. The president undoubtedly sees such tactics as “negotiation.” Extortion is more like it.
The president is also threatening to drop our border guard. In a rational age, these acts would be impeachable. Not too many years ago Californians recalled a governor for offering drivers licences to illegal aliens, and here we have a president flagrantly violating his oath to defend the nation.
In a sane world, this would be considered treason.
While Barack Hussein Obama is firing 20,000 Marines as part of his massive purge of the United States military to “save money”, he’s also fighting to send $700 million to the terrorists of the Palestinian Authority.
On Feb 8th, Obama issued yet another waiver for Palestinian Authority aid, claiming that sending money to the corrupt undemocratic terrorist kleptocracy that refuses to negotiate a peaceful solution was “important to the national security interests of the United States.”
Unlike those 20,000 Marines who aren’t important to the national security of the United States.
And now the big push for terrorist cash in on with John Kerry leading the way, clutched medals in hand.
Republicans Promote Amnesty While Dems Refuse To Secure Border, Recruit Illegal Immigrants Onto Welfare
If you haven’t already, it’s time to read up on the Cloward-Piven Strategy to collapse the system with unsustainable demands. This is one of the ways it’s being implemented.
Hey, did someone set the clock back six years in Washington? Because today looks a hell of a lot like the dawn of the Bush-Kennedy-McCain 2007 illegal alien amnesty. Deja vu all over again.
Starring in the role of John McCain this time around? Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio. Standing in for George W. Bush? Barack H. Obama. The usual liberal Democrat and bend-over Republican suspects serving as the supporting cast? Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, illegal alien intern employer Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and freshman Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.
Here’s the gist of the new Gang-rene of Eight’s plan:
According to a five-page document provided to POLITICO, the sweeping proposal — agreed to in principle by eight senators — would seek to overhaul the legal immigration system as well as create a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s roughly 11 million illegal immigrants. But establishing that pathway would depend on whether the U.S. first implements stricter border enforcement measures and new rules ensuring immigrants have left the country in compliance with their visas. Young people brought to the country as children illegally and seasonal agriculture industry workers would be given a faster path to citizenship.
[...] Question: If GOP senators were serious about cracking down on the systemic, dangerous, ongoing, persistent problem of illegal alien visa overstayers and the failure to enact an effective visa tracking system since before and well after 9/11 (read THIS), why haven’t they pushed for fixing it SEPARATE AND APART from amnesty measures?
Answer: Because these cynical panderers are not serious about ending the backlog of more than 750,000 unvetted visa overstay records.
And another government “commission” to “ensure the new enforcement mechanisms take effect?” Spare us another phony, dog-and-pony Blue Ribbon Panel to Nowhere. Please.
Rubio is winning praise from some of my conservative friends for noting that we’ve been living under de facto amnesty.
The solution to the problem isn’t to throw in the towel and tie enforcement-in-name-only to a de jure amnesty.
It’s to turn back Obama’s systemic undermining of our existing immigration laws on their own merits.
Michelle Malkin further observes that these illegal immigrants are already being recruited into government dependency, which will make them likely Democrat voters:
Among the many self-deluded promises that GOP illegal alien amnesty promoters are making, this one is especially snort-worthy:
Those who have obtained probationary legal status would not be allowed to access federal benefits.
Oh, yeah? How, pray tell, do these capitulationist Republicans propose to ensure that shamnesty beneficiares don’t get access to federal benefits later when they can’t do anything to prevent the Obama administration from sabotaging existing federal prohibitions on welfare for immigrants now?
Remember: Back in August, several GOP senators wrote DHS Secretary Napolitano and Secretary of State Clinton requesting answers to questions related to the departments’ apparent waiving of the legal requirement that immigrants not be a ‘public charge’ (i.e. likely to be welfare-reliant).
Reminder: Obama’s USDA is actively recruiting Mexicans for food-stamp enrollment in direct violation of federal immigration statutes.
This deal is so beneficial to the Left that Democrats actually begged Obama to stay out of it and not mess it up, but he just can’t help himself. He is demanding amnesty WITHOUT securing the border (can you say “border rush?”):
Obama offered his own principles on immigration in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He pushed for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants that is faster than the one the Senate group proposed.
Rather than emphasize border security first as the senators want, he would let undocumented immigrants go ahead and get on a path to citizenship, if they first undergo national security and criminal background checks, pay penalties, learn English and get behind those foreigners seeking to immigrate legally.
Even more arrogantly, he is proposing his own legislation, even though the president’s job is to ENFORCE the law (which he refuses to do), not WRITE the law:
“I’m hopeful that this can get done, and I don’t think that it should take many, many months. I think this is something we should be able to get done certainly this year and I’d like to see if we could get it done sooner, in the first half of the year if possible,” Obama told Telemundo.
If Congress delays, he said, “I’ve got a bill drafted, we’ve got language” ready to offer Capitol Hill.
Republicans are caving and offering him 90% of what he wants, and it’s STILL not enough. Just wait until all those immigrants are added to the Obamacare rolls. Talk about hitting the gas on the road to bankruptcy!
Last year, Obama appointed three radical union hacks to the National Labor Relations Board to push a pro-union (and pro-Democrat) agenda. Knowing that they would never pass muster with the Senate, Obama declared that the Senate was in “recess” – when it clearly was not – and appointed them anyway, bypassing the constitutionally required vetting process.
Thanks to Mark Levin, a lower D.C. court has now recognized the unilateral appointments as blatant violations of the constitution and separation of powers:
Four days after President Obama pledged to “protect and defend the Constitution,” the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that he violated that oath in making several appointments last year.
The court said Obama’s three “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board weren’t recess appointments at all, since the Senate was still in session when he made them.
Assuming the Supreme Court upholds the panel’s ruling, all the decisions the board made over the past year will be nullified, since without those three there weren’t enough members on the board to make any rulings at all.
[...] Thankfully, there are still some judges around who see the virtue of protecting and defending our “messy” system, even if Obama and his sycophants don’t.
But the ruling has even broader constitutional significance, with the judges arguing that the president’s recess appointment powers don’t apply to “intra-session” appointments — those made when Congress has left town for a few days or weeks. They said Mr. Obama erred when he said he could claim the power to determine when he could make appointments.
“Allowing the president to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers,” the judges said in their opinion.
The judges said presidents’ recess powers only apply after Congress has adjourned a session permanently, which in modern times usually means only at the end of a year. If the ruling withstands Supreme Court scrutiny, it would dramatically constrain presidents in the future.
And the court ruled that the only vacancies that the president can use his powers on are ones that arise when the Senate is in one of those end-of-session breaks. That would all but eliminate the list of positions the president could fill with his recess powers.
Still, the appointees refuse to step down, and the NLRB appointees are continuing to push forward their agenda as if the ruling never happened:
Mark Gaston Pearce, chairman of the National Labor Relations Board…indicated that the NLRB will attempt to continue on regardless:
The Board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the President’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld. It should be noted that this order applies to only one specific case, Noel Canning, and that similar questions have been raised in more than a dozen cases pending in other courts of appeals.
In the meantime, the Board has important work to do. The parties who come to us seek and expect careful consideration and resolution of their cases, and for that reason, we will continue to perform our statutory duties and issue decisions.
Pearce, in short, is indicating that the NLRB’s strategy is to act as if the court’s ruling that the appointments were unconstitutional somehow only applies only to the particular case that went before the Appeals Court and hope that the White House can get the Supreme Court to quickly review the case.
Constitution? What constitution? Who needs a constitution or the rule of law, anyway?
The NLRB does not get to disagree with a Federal Appeals Court. It has already overstepped its jurisdiction infinite number of times. Its opinion of an Appeal Court ruling is completely irrelevant. It does not get to narrowly define the meaning of that ruling. It does not get to stay in business and declare that it will go on doing exactly what it was doing before because it is confident that the Supreme Court will rule in its favor.
But in ObamaTime that is exactly how it works. Powers are seized and the propaganda press starts screaming that this is the way it should be. Obama unilaterally declares the Senate in recess and appoints union lawyers to the NLRB. The NLRB ignores an Appeals Court ruling and declares it will go on functioning.
The rule of Obama is in direct conflict with the rule of law.
The Obama administration has been busy arming Mexican drug cartels and Islamic radicals that don’t hesitate to kill innocent American civilians. If that’s not the very definition of treason, I don’t know what is.
The next time some liberal asks, “Why on earth would anybody need an AR-15?” tell them “because our own president has given those weapons – and more – to our enemies.”
On Wednesday during a televised announcement, President Barack Obama dramatically unveiled his plan for new gun control policies that include assault weapons bans, more thorough background checks of gun buyers, limited ammunition magazines, and government access to mental health records of potential gun buyers. However, more than one law enforcement officer told Law Enforcement Examiner that the gist of Obama’s plan was begun long ago: Arm Mexican drug cartels (Operation Fast and Furious) while disarming law-abiding American citizens.
“In just one afternoon, the man who is suspected of green lighting the smuggling of guns into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels — known as Operation Fast and Furious — has ‘outed’ himself as the king of the gun grabbers. He’s also implementing the strategy of his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanual, by not allowing ‘a good crisis to go to waste,’” said police detective Jose Santos.
While the White House was busy drafting proposals to ban assault rifles, the last of the regulations imposed on Saudi travel to the United States after September 11 were being taken apart. While some government officials were busy planning how to disarm Americans, other officials were negotiating the transfer of F-16s and Abrams tanks to Muslim Brotherhood-run Egypt.
Obama is unwilling to trust Americans with an AR-15, but is willing to trust a genocidal terrorist group with Abrams tanks and F-16 jets. The F-16’s M61 Vulcan cannon can fire 6,000 rounds a minute and the 146 lb warhead of its HARM missiles can do a lot more than put a few dents in a brick wall. The Abrams’ 120 mm cannon can penetrate 26 inches of steel armor making it a good deal more formidable than even the wildest fantasies of San Francisco liberals about the capabilities of a so-called “assault rifle.”
[...] Based on his track record, Obama believes that it is safe to send weapons to Mexican drug lords, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda terrorists, not to mention the Muslim Brotherhood, but that it’s far too dangerous for an American to own a clip that can hold more than 10 rounds.
And that means that Obama doesn’t think much of the moral character of Americans, but thinks a great deal of Muslim terrorists.
Just when you think their power grabs couldn’t be anymore brazen.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has announced he will begin the new Congress today by violating Senate rules and forcing through a set of procedural changes that will undermine Senate conservatives’ ability to influence legislation. But the “Reid Plan” will have its most dramatic impact on presidential nominations, especially for the Supreme Court.
The Senate is a unique legislative body that protects the rights of individual senators both to debate and to amend. These rights are valued so highly that it takes a supermajority — today, 60 votes — to deny fellow senators those rights. This higher vote threshold and the prospect of extended debate encourage deliberation, compromise and moderation.
Many Senate liberals want to gut this long-standing protection for minorities. Buried in the Reid Plan is a new rule, the “standing filibuster requirement,” that will allow a partisan majority to shut off deliberation and pass legislation by a bare majority. Disguised as a debate-promoting measure, this new plan is actually just a mechanism to eliminate the higher vote threshold that has long been required to proceed to final passage of bills and nominations.
This spells the effective end to minority rights in the Senate. Today’s 60-vote bar to end debate will be gone, and the Senate will be transformed into President Obama’s rubber stamp.
PJTV: Afterburner: Rule of Lawlessness
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A sane congress would have impeached him years ago.
President Obama’s supporters love to call him the “cool” President, a “no drama” guy, and generally like to claim he is unflappable in office. Whatever the truth of that claim, there is one thing for sure: he doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Like following the law. During his four years in office this president has shown he couldn’t care less about the laws he’s supposed to be governed by as president.
This lawlessness started all the way back before he even became president. It was widely discussed in 2008 that he blatantly violated campaign donations laws by refusing to put in controls on his website that would prevent illegal, foreign donations. And we’ve only just learned as 2013 began that his 2008 campaign was levied the largest fine ever imposed on a presidential campaign for violations of campaign laws. In January the nation learned that the FEC fined Obama $375,000 for campaign reporting violations.
Once he became President, Obama immediately began misuse his powers to control Washington’s regulatory machinery to pay back pals and warp rules for ideological reasons. This president generally wields his regulatory powers with kid gloves to pay off supporters while at the same time that velvety hand holds a cudgel to smite foes.
One of his very first moves when he was swept into Washington, for instance, was to begin a program to give big payoffs to his union masters.
[...] Obama has also used Executive Orders to skirt both Congress and the law. Take for instance, Obama’s attempt to implement the Disclose Act through the back door using an EO. The Disclose Act was an effort that failed in Congress but Obama thought he could just ignore Congress and implement it anyway.
This fits with Obama’s announced policy that he would go around Congress whenever he feels like it.
Obama has also engaged in a strong campaign to misuse the Department of Justice for political purposes. His emplacement of Eric Holder as Attorney General was only the first move to turn the DoJ into a weapon against Americans he doesn’t like. Writer and former DoJ lawyer J.Christian Adams has chronicledthe extensive damage Holder’s DoJ has done to the country with his and Obama’s politicization of the department.
[...] Obama has used the Environmental Protection Agency as a weapon repeatedly, as well. In only the latest example we find that a federal court has determined that the EPA overstepped its boundaries by idiotically claiming that water is a “pollutant” in order to force its will on state officials.
Another example of Obama’s disinterest in following the law was his responsibility to report his upcoming regulatory changes, the last report of which was due in October but wasn’t bothered with until December — convenientlyafter the election. The earlier April report he never issued at all.
He’s by no means done abusing the rule of law and the constitution to get what he wants. And until the co-equal branches of government grow the spine needed to keep in him in check, he never will be.
Welcome to another installment of “Bureaucrats Gone Wild.” The EPA was originally created to advise congress and enforce federal environmental laws passed by congress (which constitutes a constitutional question in itself, since environmental issues, per the 10th Amendment, belong under the jurisdiction of the individual states, not the federal government).
Now, the EPA has become a monster that continually makes up its own rules and regulations – which are never voted on by the people or their representatives – and abuses its power to control individuals and their private property. Staying warm in winter is as much a matter of basic survival as food, water, and shelter – areas where it is incredibly dangerous for government to exert control at the expense of individual freedom.
So, you’re living in Fairbanks, Alaska, and it’s 45 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. The high today will be -39 degrees below zero. The weather services all project lots more double-digit minus numbers in the coming days and weeks, with dips into the minus 50s and 60s. Heating oil prices are killing your family budget, so you crank up the wood stove and start burning some of the firewood you collected last summer. Uh-oh! Now you’re in trouble!
Yes, you’re merely trying to survive economically — along with trying to keep the wife, kids, and grandma from freezing to death. Of course, that’s not a mere theoretical possibility in these temps — but federal EPA bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., have determined that fine particulate matter (soot) in your wood smoke is verboten.
Lying low in the Tanana Valley, Fairbanks regularly experiences temperature inversions that trap smoky air over the area. That means people with respiratory problems can have more irritation from increased soot content. The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s revised fine particulate matter regulations (PM2.5) have cut the annual level of allowable fine particulates from 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 12 micrograms.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough, a county area roughly the size of New Jersey with under 100,000 population, has been under the EPA gun since the agency ratcheted down its soot standards in 2008. Along with 14 other cities and 53 other counties that were not then on the EPA’s “non-attainment area” list, the Fairbanks North Star Borough is under orders to clean up its air or face fines and a “compliance plan” imposed by EPA. In efforts to meet the federal mandate, borough politicians attempted to regulate wood burning. That got citizens heated up.
“Everybody wants clean air,” state Rep. Tammie Wilson told the Associated Press. “We just have to make sure that we can also heat our homes.” Rep. Wilson sponsored a citizen initiative passed in October that bans the borough regulation of home heating devices. The borough, she said, has no business stepping in with restrictions when no one knows if they will work. “We’re still waiting here for a model, a model that shows us that if we do A, B and C, we can then get into attainment,” she said. “We have not seen anything from the borough, from the state or from the EPA showing us that that is even possible with the technology that is available to us.”
The citizens have spoken; they have told the local, state, and federal officials that they would rather not freeze to death to satisfy federal bureaucrats who are in a fretting frenzy over theoretical deaths from soot. The citizens are on firm ground, as it turns out; the “science” the EPA has based its PM2.5 standards on is shoddy at best. Like the “science” cited by alarmists who are all in a twist over global warming, the studies providing the basis for PM2.5 are based on computer models and hidden data, not actual measurements and peer-reviewed analysis.
[...] The EPA’s brazen overreach and flawed science have been flayed and exposed repeatedly (see: Here, here, and here), but the Obama administration has marched on, determined to impose its “green” agenda on the nation.
Of course, even if the people of Fairbanks were to cease all burning of firewood, there is no guarantee that they would satisfy the EPA standards. There is no viable source of energy that meets EPA approval. The EPA is down on coal and oil, and even clean natural gas, which for years was the darling energy source of the greens — until the recent natural gas boom began making it cheap and abundant.