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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’
January 20th, 2015 at 5:23 pm
Statesmanship in Tonight’s State of the Union?

Writing at The Federalist, my friend Andrew Carico gives some good advice to President Barack Obama ahead of the latter’s seventh State of the Union address tonight.

After recounting the descent of the event into a Woodrow Wilson-inspired laundry list of to-do items, Carico distinguishes a statesman from a leader, defining the former as “someone who understands constitutional principles, leads by way of those principles, and seeks to make those principles work in political life. He seeks to achieve stature in public office through toning down divisions and appealing to reason, not simply attempting to win the fight of the day by practicing the little arts of popularity.”

Carico’s description of the statesman sounds arguably like what some people thought they were getting when they voted for the orator who said, “there’s not a liberal America or a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.”

It’s no coincidence that statesman-sounding Obama went from obscurity to the White House, while liberal demagogue Obama can’t crack a 50 percent approval rating.

For more of Carico’s excellent analysis, click here.

January 8th, 2015 at 2:10 pm
Rep. Roby Files Bill to Defund Obama’s Amnesty

If you want to know how Congress can stop President Barack Obama’s unilateral amnesty plan, take a look at Rep. Martha Roby’s (R-AL) new proposal – H.R. 31, the “Prevention of Executive Amnesty Act of 2015.”

Filed as a standalone bill, the measure could easily be rolled into the upcoming appropriations package for the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency that is tasked with implementing Obama’s decision to halt deportations for up to 5 million illegal immigrants and grant many of them work permits.

As Byron York explains, “Roby’s bill is essentially a ‘none of the funds’ clause, that is, it forbids the executive branch from spending money for a particular purpose.” In the so-called ‘crominbus’ bill passed in December to fund every other federal agency except DHS, Congress used the ‘none of the funds’ clause more than 450 times. Applying it to the directives that implement Obama’s amnesty is a simple, straightforward way for Congress to use its power of the purse to block the move.

Of course, Obama can veto any bill with Roby’s language. But since the president doesn’t have a line-item veto, refusing to sign the law would defund DHS.

For once, let this president get the blame for shutting down the government.

January 6th, 2015 at 4:23 pm
Senate GOP Eyes Keystone XL Approval

Now in the majority, GOP Senators are moving quickly to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a transcontinental project that would link Canadian oil to refineries in American Gulf states.

“The president is going to see the Keystone XL pipeline on his desk and it’s going to be a bellwether decision by the president whether to go with jobs and the economy,” Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), said on Sunday.

President Barack Obama has played games with the approval process over the past few years. Initially, his State Department supported the project and was ready to go forward until environmental activists successfully lobbied for delaying tactics, such as additional feasibility studies.

Without a Democratic Senate running interference, Obama will now have to govern. Though it prefers to partner with the United States, Canada has said it will export its oil to China if the Obama administration remains beholden to the environmental lobby.

The truth of the matter is that the oil is being pumped and its $3.4 billion economic contribution will have to go somewhere. Ultimately, Obama’s decision boils down to whether he wants Canadian oil to boost the American economy or China’s.

December 30th, 2014 at 4:17 pm
Gruber in 2009: ObamaCare Has No Cost Controls

Hat tip to the Daily Caller for unearthing yet another damning admission from ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber.

At roughly the same time in 2009 when President Barack Obama was telling the American people that passing his version of health care reform would lower costs, Gruber was telling an audience in Syracuse, New York it was all a lie.

“Why are we closer than we’ve ever been before? Because there are no cost controls in these proposals. Because this bill’s about coverage. Which is good! Why should we hold 48 million uninsured people hostage to the fact that we don’t yet know how to control costs in a politically acceptable way? Let’s get the people covered and then let’s do cost control,” Gruber told his listeners.

Thanks for the honesty, Professor Gruber, but it only counts if you say it before the damage is done.

December 29th, 2014 at 12:03 pm
Liberal Harvard Law Prof Calls Obama’s EPA “Lawless”

It’s not every day that the leading liberal law professor in America calls out the actions of the Obama Environmental Protection Agency as “lawless” and “unconstitutional.”

“After studying the only legal basis offered for the EPA’s proposed rule, I concluded that the agency is asserting executive power far beyond its lawful authority,” writes Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe.

The EPA is launching a “Clean Power Plan” that will require state governments to enact restrictions on local electrical power plants in an effort to fight global climate change. As Tribe sees it, the EPA “would effectively dictate the energy mix used in each state and leave the state with essentially no choice in implementing its plan.” Such an arrangement would violate numerous Supreme Court decisions that prohibit “federal commandeering of state governments” because it “defeats political accountability and violates principles of federalism that are basic to our constitutional order.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time President Obama has exceeded his constitutional authority to implement a controversial policy. It fits a pattern of executive action unrestrained by seemingly any qualms over violating clear statutory limitations.

And even though Tribe doesn’t make the obvious analogy to ObamaCare’s politically corrupt origin, he doesn’t pass up the opportunity to highlight what’s really motivating the EPA’s new regulatory scheme: “The brute fact is that the Obama administration failed to get climate change legislation through Congress. Yet the EPA is acting as though it has the legislative authority anyway to re-engineer the nation’s electric generating system and power grid. It does not.”

Change the author’s byline and this article easily could be written by any constitutional conservative. Realizing that it comes instead from one of the leading proponents of the “living constitution” school, and it’s obvious that Obama & Co. are far beyond the boundaries of what even the most celebrated liberal academic scholar considers lawful executive action.

December 17th, 2014 at 2:34 pm
Fed Judge Says Obama’s Amnesty Unconstitutional

A federal district judge has said that President Barack Obama’s amnesty program for illegal immigrants violates the U.S. Constitution.

The only question: Does it matter?

Judge Arthur Schwab, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a ruling yesterday saying that, “President Obama’s executive action goes beyond prosecutorial discretion because: (a) it provides for a systematic and rigid process by which a broad group of individuals will be treated differently than others based upon arbitrary classifications, rather than case-by-case examination; and (b) it allows undocumented immigrants, who fall within these broad categories, to obtain substantive rights.”

Unfortunately, however, Judge Schwab’s declaration may be little more than a non-binding advisory opinion. According to conservative law professor Jonathan Adler – one of the originators of the ObamaCare subsidies challenge now before the U.S. Supreme Court – Schwab’s ruling came after he requested supplemental briefing in a case trying to decide how to sentence an illegal immigrant for a non-immigration-related crime. Apparently, Schwab wanted to know if the defendant qualified for protection from deportation under Obama’s plan. Schwab then used the occasion to find the amnesty program unconstitutional.

While legal experts like Adler try to figure out how much to make of this opinion, Schwab’s ruling points to a larger issue. Namely, that major policy changes have major policy implications. For example, legal immigrants are finding out that creating exceptions for illegals increases the costs on the law-abiding.

Time will tell if Obama’s amnesty program has a negative impact on the federal court system as well.

December 11th, 2014 at 1:18 pm
Now, 24 States Are Suing to Stop Obama’s Unilateral Amnesty

Nearly half of the States in America are now suing the Obama administration to stop the president’s unilateral and unconstitutional directive to grant temporary amnesty and work permits to as many as five million illegal immigrants.

Current Texas Attorney General and incoming Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, announced four new states joining the coalition he assembled that is seeking to have the federal courts halt a Department of Homeland Security directive that violates both the U.S. Constitution and federal law.

The latest roster includes: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

If this trend keeps up, it won’t take much longer for a majority of states to oppose what to all reasonable observers is an unprecedented power grab by this president.

Hopefully, the federal courts are listening.

December 5th, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Obama’s Immigration Amnesty Is NOT an Executive Order

My hat is off to Jerome Corsi at World Net Daily for confirming that President Barack Obama’s unilateral and unconstitutional immigration amnesty that affects up to five million illegal immigrants was not, in fact, given as part of an executive order.

Instead, what Obama signed in Las Vegas on November 21 – the day after he announced his intent to grant a temporary halt to some deportations and provide work permits – were documents much different.

“One was a presidential proclamation creating a White House Task Force on New Americans and the other a presidential memorandum instructing the secretaries of State and Homeland Security to consult with various governmental and non-governmental entities to reduce costs and improve service in issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas,” reports Corsi.

As Corsi explains, “the only Obama administration document relevant to the plan announced Nov. 20 is a DHS memorandum signed by [Homeland Security Secretary Jeh] Johnson titled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children with Respect to Certain Individuals Who Are the Parents of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.”

Getting into the ramifications of this revelation probably merits its own column, but it should be mentioned here that the Texas-led, 17 state lawsuit challenging Obama’s immigration amnesty already knew about this legal technicality and focuses its fire on Secretary Johnson’s abuse of the notice-and-comment process required of any policy change. So far, Johnson’s memorandum implementing Obama’s amnesty has not appeared in the Federal Register, as required, and thus is in clear violation of the law.

Stay tuned. The games are likely just beginning.

December 4th, 2014 at 2:42 pm
Washington Post: Obama’s Immigration Amnesty “Unprecedented”

Add the editorial board of the Washington Post to the list of people who think President Barack Obama is setting a very troubling precedent with his decision to grant temporary amnesty and work permits to as many as 5 million illegal aliens.

Key to the Post’s criticism is the revelation that part of the justification for Obama’s amnesty has been completely falsified. Since the president announced his executive order, he and members of his administration have said that the percentage of people who will benefit from his amnesty are similar to an amnesty granted by President George H. W. Bush. Specifically, Obama & Co. claim that Bush’s order benefited 1.5 million illegals, while Obama’s would benefit around 4 million. In both cases, the beneficiaries are estimated to be around 36 percent of all illegal aliens.

But according to Post reporter Glenn Kessler, that assertion cannot be verified. At best, the total number of Bush beneficiaries was no more than a couple hundred thousand – far less of a percentage than what Obama is targeting.

It gets worse. As the editorial board notes, “Even the apparent original source of the 1.5 million figure – Gene McNary, who led the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the time – told Mr. Kessler he believes the number is false and was based on a misunderstanding from testimony he gave to Congress. And no underlying data or methodology to justify the 1.5 million figure has been uncovered.” (Emphasis mine)

The facts don’t lie. What Obama is trying to do with his unilateral and unconstitutional immigration amnesty has no precedent in practice and no place in a country governed by the rule of law.

December 3rd, 2014 at 5:27 pm
Texas Launches 17-State Lawsuit Against Obama’s Immigration Amnesty

Hello, Greg Abbott!

In my column this week I mention that Abbott, the newly elected Republican Governor of Texas, would file a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s unilateral and unconstitutional order granting temporary amnesty and work permits to as many as five million illegal immigrants.

Alone, Texas’ lawsuit would have generated more attention than most challenges to federal action. But with the inclusion of sixteen other states, it’s sure to get a very serious look from the conservative-leaning federal Fifth Circuit.

According to My Way News, “The lawsuit raises three objections: that Obama violated the ‘Take Care Clause’ of the U.S. Constitution that limits the scope of presidential power; that the federal government violated rulemaking procedures; and that the order will ‘exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education.’”

If the lawsuit can overcome an important legal technicality – and former Justice Department lawyers John Yoo and Robert Delahunty think it can – then this super-suit may, in time, serve as a Texas-sized roadblock to federal overreach.

December 2nd, 2014 at 6:33 pm
Obama’s New Defense Secretary Looks Like a Yes-Man

There’s no requirement that the Defense Secretary have actual military experience, but the selection of Ashton “Ash” Carter as the nominee to replace Chuck Hagel says a lot about what President Barack Obama wants from his next Pentagon chief.

“In addition to a broad understanding of the Pentagon bureaucracy, Carter is seen as a master of managing large budgets, a premium in the present era of continued belt tightening on Capitol Hill, as well as an expert on weapons acquisitions,” reports CNN.

“He also has a firm grasp on understanding the trends and technology of warfare in the future.”

Previously, Carter served as Deputy Defense Secretary – the Pentagon’s number two position – under Hagel and Leon Panetta. He’s bounced between academia and government with great success. Carter is apparently respected by the top military brass and is expected not to generate much controversy from Republicans when formally announced.

Yet for all the operational strengths Carter brings to the table – which appear to be considerable and surely appreciated on a day-to-day basis – missing from CNN’s bio piece is any mention of whether Carter as SecDef will have strong principles to guide his recommendations to President Obama regarding military strategy or foreign policy.

And maybe that’s the point.

From the looks of it, Ash Carter is a hardworking, intelligent man who knows how to get things done within a hugely important bureaucracy. Missing from his portfolio, though, is any indicator that he will be much more than yes-man.

Then again, maybe that’s the point.

November 25th, 2014 at 12:51 pm
Obama Won’t Extend Unilaterial Amnesty to Tax Reform

Sounds like no one prepped President Barack Obama for the obvious question posed by ABC’s George Stephanopolous: “How do you respond to the argument, a future president comes in and wants to lower taxes. Doesn’t happen. Congress won’t do it; so he says ‘I’m not going to prosecute those who don’t pay capital gains tax.’”

After dithering a bit, Obama replied with, “The vast majority of folks understand that they need to pay taxes, and when we conduct an audit, for example, we are selecting those folks who are most likely to be cheating. We’re not going after millions and millions of people who everybody knows are here and were taking advantage of low wages as they’re mowing lawns or cleaning out bedpans, and looking the other way.”

Stephanopolous pressed harder. “So you don’t think it’d be legitimate for a future president to make that argument?”

Without a hint of irony, Obama says, “With respect to taxes? Absolutely not.”

And yet the president has no reason in principle for limiting his successors in office from willfully disregarding whatever laws they don’t like. The former constitutional law professor seems to be completely unaware of the precedent he is setting by unilaterally suspending immigration enforcement. If left unrebuked, this action will teach future Oval Office occupants that the rule of law can – and at times should – be replaced with the whim of one.

The only saving grace in this interview is that the President of the United States seems genuinely clueless as to the logic of his own order. Such is the state of the chief executive.

H/T: Media Research Center

November 25th, 2014 at 9:38 am
Ramirez Cartoon: I’m Not an Emperor…
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 20th, 2014 at 8:19 pm
McCarthy on Amnesty: Obama Perverts Prosecutorial Discretion

Who better than a former federal prosecutor to judge whether President Barack Obama can unilaterally impose amnesty for illegal immigrants via “prosecutorial discretion”?

Andrew C. McCarthy, now a contributor at National Review, explains: “Prosecutorial discretion means you are not required to prosecute every crime”, but it “does not mean that those crimes the executive chooses not to enforce are now no longer crimes.”

Yet that’s just what President Obama is proposing.

“He is claiming not only the power to determine what immigration laws get enforced and which illegal immigrants get prosecuted – power he unquestionably has,” writes McCarthy. The president, “also claims the power to declare (a) that criminal acts are somehow lawful – that illegal aliens now have a right to be here – just because Obama has chosen not to prosecute them; and (b) that those who engage in this unprosecuted activity will be rewarded with benefits (lawful presence, relief from deportation, work permits, etc.), as if their illegal acts were valuable community service.”

In other words, Obama’s amnesty perverts prosecutorial discretion beyond recognition.

Next up: Consequences?

November 19th, 2014 at 7:52 pm
Obama Readies Immigration Announcement

Thursday, November 20, 2014, could be a day of infamy if President Barack Obama follows through on indications he will act on his own to give some form of legal status to as many as five million illegal immigrants.

Some conservatives say liberals can’t defend Obama’s lawless action, but there is no consensus among the former on what to do if the president intentionally violates his duty to faithfully execute the law.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) calls on his fellow Republicans not to “confirm a single nominee – executive or judicial – outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists.”

Charles Cooke of National Review cautions against adopting The Obama Rule – picking and choosing which law a president will enforce – when the GOP next controls the White House. Among other things, doing so would forever obliterate the Republican claim to defend the Constitution and the principles it preserves.

Of course, all of this could be avoided if a certain former constitutional law professor would step back from the precipice. A little self-restraint would go a long way toward reestablishing appropriate boundaries on what the most powerful man in the world can, and cannot, do.

If so, then tomorrow won’t go down as the day The Obama Rule officially replaced the Rule of Law.

November 17th, 2014 at 3:42 pm
Gallup: New High in Public Disapproval of ObamaCare

Fifty-six percent of Americans disapprove of ObamaCare, the highest number disapproving of the controversial health care law since Gallup began asking the question.

Approval of ObamaCare peaked just before the 2012 presidential election, but has cratered since then.

The culprit is reality.

The beginning of ObamaCare’s nosedive in popularity “occurred in early November 2013”, according to Gallup’s analysis, “shortly after millions of Americans received notices that their current policies were being canceled, which was at odds with President Barack Obama’s pledge that those who liked their plans could keep them. The president later said, by way of clarification, that Americans could keep their plans if those plans didn’t change after [ObamaCare] was passed.”

In other words, the law has continued to grow less popular with each new revelation that it was sold on a pack of lies.

Though completely repealing the entire law seems unlikely because the new Republican Senate majority is less than the number needed to overcome a certain Obama veto, the increasing levels of voter disapproval could convince some Senate Democrats to join Republicans in dismantling large parts.

Unless, that is, they want to risk involuntary retirement when their next election arrives.

November 13th, 2014 at 6:30 pm
Senate Dems Turn to Elizabeth Warren for Help

Expect to see a lot more of Elizabeth Warren over the next two years.

That’s the inescapable conclusion after the Massachusetts senator was presented by soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as the Democratic leadership’s envoy to liberal groups.

It’ll be interesting to see what Warren, popular with the party’s liberal base and thought to be considering a 2016 presidential campaign, will do with this newly created institutional perch. Some on the left fret that she’ll be coopted by the Democratic establishment and tone down her rhetoric in hopes of broadening her appeal.

Her fans, however, see Warren’s addition to the Senate Democratic leadership team as “a sign that her liberal agenda [is] winning the battle for the future of the Democratic Party,” reports The Atlantic.

If true, that’s good news for conservatives.

If losing eight Senate seats to Republicans in an election where, by his own admission, President Barack Obama’s liberal policies were on the ballot, means the Democratic Party needs to sound more like Elizabeth Warren, maybe there’s a chance the Republican hold on Congress will persist beyond 2016.

September 18th, 2014 at 1:41 pm
Gates: Obama’s ISIS Strategy Is “Unattainable”

Intentionally or not, President Barack Obama’s current strategy for defeating and destroying ISIS is “unattainable,” says his first Defense Secretary, Robert Gates.

“…there will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy. And I think that by continuing to repeat that [there won’t be troops on the ground], the president in effect traps himself,” Gates said on CBS This Morning.

“I’m also concerned that the goal has been stated as ‘degrade and destroy’ or ‘degrade and defeat’ ISIS,” because it sets an “unattainable” goal.

Gates is speaking from experience. As Defense Secretary for both Obama and George W. Bush, he saw the United States military inflict “some terrible blows” against al Qaeda – including the killing of Osama bin Laden. But even after 13 years of warfare, al Qaeda hasn’t been destroyed or completely defeated.

Ironically, Gates indicated that the bluster of Joe Biden may come closer to the mark. In a speech earlier this month in New Hampshire, the vice president said that ISIS terrorists should know that the United States “will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice…”

Meting out some measure of justice – be it death on the battlefield or convictions for war crimes – to specific ISIS members is a realistic goal, if ground troops are used.

The confusing aspect about Obama’s current ISIS policy is that it is both too little (no ground forces) and too much (complete destruction). Untethered from reality, it’s a strategy that looks like it is set up to fail.

H/T: Weekly Standard

September 1st, 2014 at 6:54 pm
Marco Rubio Evolving on Immigration

If at first you don’t succeed, pivot to the next best alternative.

That seems to be the strategy used by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) as he positions himself for a potential White House run in 2016.

Rubio, once the darling of conservatives and a top GOP presidential contender, quickly fell out of favor with the grassroots when he supported a version of comprehensive immigration reform championed by the Obama administration and some of the most liberal members of Congress.

After the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” bill was pronounced dead-on-arrival in the House of Representatives, Rubio has since modified his position on how to pursue immigration reform. Unsurprisingly, it now aligns with what conservatives have said all along: secure the border first, build trust in the federal government’s commitment to the rule of law and national sovereignty, and only then discuss how to integrate illegal immigrants into American society.

Last week, Rubio sent a letter to President Barack Obama warning against a unilateral executive action that would grant some kind of legal status to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. In Rubio’s words, such an act “will increase the perception of ambiguity in our laws, incentivize more people to immigrate here illegally, and significantly set back the prospects of real reform.”

It’s too early to tell whether Rubio’s repositioning will be enough to convince conservatives that he’s changed his principles instead of just his tactics. Until he can give a convincing explanation of why next time will be different, skepticism about his true beliefs will remain.

August 25th, 2014 at 7:06 pm
Pro-Amnesty Congressman: ‘Get Ready’ for Obama Executive Order

One of Congress’ biggest amnesty boosters is telling allies to “get ready” for a presidential announcement that could shield as many as 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), an amnesty supporter who called on fellow Hispanics to “sign up to vote and punish those who speak ill and criminalize children who come to our border,” expects to hear very soon that President Barack Obama will issue an executive order to effectively legalize half of the United States’ illegal immigrant population.

“It’s music to my ears that someone would have a source at the White House that say it’s 5 million,” Gutierrez said on MSNBC today. “Let me just say, tomorrow, the next day, and all of this week we’re getting ready.”

By “getting ready,” Gutierrez means preparing to process 5 million quasi-legal residents into semi-permanent status. The problem is, Gutierrez has no idea what those structures will look like – or how they’ll be funded – because Congress has refused to pass any type of immigration reform that includes amnesty or anything like it.

Perhaps President Obama will opt for the complex “Registered Provisional Immigrant” status outlined in the Senate Gang of Eight bill that died in the House of Representatives. After all, Gutierrez and other amnesty supporters have “urged Obama to legalize all of the illegal immigrants that would have qualified under the Senate’s amnesty bill,” reports Breitbart News. If Obama can achieve the same policy goal as Congress, why can’t he do it using the same policy means?

Besides, just because the legislative branch won’t pass a law doesn’t prohibit the executive from doing whatever he wants, right?

Today, Gutierrez may be gleeful at the prospect of Obama violating the Constitution to benefit his pet issue, but he should remember: Once you brush aside the separation-of-powers, there’s no check on tyranny. Tomorrow, you lose.