Posts Tagged ‘Executive Power’
January 15th, 2016 at 9:19 am
Obama’s Executive Action on Gun Control
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In an interview with CFIF, Cam Edwards, host of NRA News’ Cam & Co., discusses President Obama’s proposed executive action on gun control, how the president’s stated belief in the Second Amendment is inconsistent with his executive action, and why the executive actions will do nothing to stop violent crime.

Listen to the interview here.

January 16th, 2015 at 1:16 pm
Podcast: The Keystone XL Fight
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In an interview with CFIF, Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment, discusses oil prices, the status of the Keystone Pipeline vote in Congress, the history of presidential veto power, and whether the House and Senate will have enough votes to override a threatened presidential veto.

Listen to the interview here.

November 20th, 2014 at 10:50 am
In His Own Words: Obama Calls Executive Action on Immigration “Illegal” – 25 Times!

There has been no shortage of commentary in recent weeks and months addressing the illegality of President Obama’s planned executive action on immigration.  Even Obama himself, despite his plans to announce a sweeping new executive order on immigration tonight on prime-time television, has argued that circumventing Congress and acting unilaterally would be illegal.

In fact, Fox News’ “The Kelly File” dug up some 25 instances in which Obama said so on camera over the last several years. 

Watch the video here.

November 18th, 2014 at 9:12 am
Speaking of Illegal
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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 2nd, 2014 at 10:55 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Halloween Is Over…
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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.

May 7th, 2014 at 4:16 pm
Senator Cruz Documents Long List of Troubling Executive Actions and “Other Abuses of Power” in New Report

Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.

That’s the lead of a new report out by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) documenting what he argues are more than 75 legally suspect executive actions and “other abuses of power” by the Obama Administration.

The report, entitled The Legal Limit Report #4:  The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power, was first obtained by The Daily Caller and can be viewed below:

Ted Cruz: Legal Limit Report 4

September 13th, 2013 at 12:50 pm
Podcast: Executive Power and Syria
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In an interview with CFIF, Captain Glenn Sulmasy, Fellow for Homeland and National Security Law at the Center for National Policy, discusses whether President Obama has the constitutional authority to strike Syria without Congressional approval, the chances of an escalation of hostilities in Syria if America does strike, and Russia’s latest proposal regarding Syria’s chemical weapons.

Listen to the interview here.

June 26th, 2013 at 12:36 am
Obama’s Climate Change Condescension
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If you missed President Obama’s big climate change speech at Georgetown University earlier today, count yourself lucky. At this point, one has to assume that the White House speechwriters are making his remarks this dreary as an intentional means of keeping the public away from the content (in this case, a huge push to regulate carbon emissions from coal plants — the nation’s cheapest and most widespread source of electricity).

Two things stood out from the remarks:

1. Obama is all in on executive power. In the same week that the Supreme Court announced that they’re going to take up the President’s patently unconstitutional recess appointments to the NLRB, here he was once again bypassing Congress and the public. Obama is proposing nothing less than a reordering of our energy economy (let’s not forget his 2008 campaign trail promise to bankrupt coal producers) — and he’s doing it all through executive directives to the EPA. Congress had the chance to pass cap and trade back in the first two years of this Administration and they couldn’t get it done despite the fact that Democrats controlled both houses. Part of the reason: there was a Treasury Department analysis at the time that said passage would be tantamount to a 15 percent income tax increase. The people and their elected representatives have spoken. The President has ignored them.

2. Obama’s condescension towards climate change skeptics (such as yours truly) is astonishing. While the left has a tendency to boast about their reverence for science, they don’t seem to have much respect for the process of critical inquiry that the process requires. Obama today referred to climate skeptics as “members of the flat earth society” (ah yes, the man who was going to heal our national wounds). Just once, I’d like to see someone on the left acknowledge the fact that you can’t get to the virtues of widespread carbon reduction without going through a series of increasingly specific propositions, all of which are subject to some measure of debate:

— Climate change is occurring

— Climate change will produce significant negative effects on humanity

— Climate change is, at least in part, caused by human activity

— There are actions we can take to reduce the prospect of climate change

— The benefits of those actions outweigh the costs

— There are not other policies available with a superior cost-benefit ratio

Perhaps the president has already answered these questions in his own head, but he’s been remarkably mum about them publicly. My guess is that the glib insult is a way of obscuring the fact that he has no real responses.

October 28th, 2011 at 11:03 am
Podcast: Occupy Wall Street and the Obama Administration’s Double Standards
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Troy Senik, former presidential speechwriter and Senior Fellow at CFIF, discusses the double standard applied by the media with respect to the Occupy Wall Street rallies versus the Tea Party movement, and the Obama Administration’s double standard regarding presidential war powers.

Listen to the interview here.

May 20th, 2011 at 12:06 pm
No Extra FBI Time for Mueller

The more I think about it, the more it rankles me that President Obama wants to extend FBI Director Robert Mueller’s term by two years, and that the opposition to this proposal has been so muted. On principle, the extension is an awful idea (even apart from the bitterness of longtime agents, as reported in today’s WashPost), and principle should not take a back seat to admiration for the person of Mueller.

Here’s the deal: By almost all accounts, Mueller has done a superb job as FBI Director. Because of that record, Congress seems to be assessing Obama’s extension request in terms of whether Mueller should be kept on.  But that’s the wrong standard. The question should be not about Mueller, but about whether Mueller should be kept on. Or, better, whether an FBI Director — any FBI director — should be kept on beyond the statutory ten-year limit. So far, only Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, has spoken up from the Hill to raise this point. Ever so hesitantly, Grassley said the re-appointment might set a “risky precedent.”

Might? Try “would.” There are excellent reasons why, by law, the FBI chief is limited to a single, ten-year term. Those reasons are laid out in this statement by the ACLU (yeah, I know, an oft-suspect organization). Take out the tendentious second paragraph (except the first sentence of it, which is fine) of the official statement, and I agree with every word of what remains. This is the key point:

It was for good reason that Congress chose to limit the tenure of future FBI directors. By setting a 10-year term, Congress sought to protect both the FBI director from undue political influence and our democratic institutions from allowing an unelected official to hold the power to examine the lives of Americans, including political leaders, for longer than is appropriate.

The rampant abuses under J. Edgar Hoover showed the dangers of letting one, unelected man gain such a major foothold in a position with great power, and with so much public acclaim, that elected officials are loathe to dismiss him. Yes, of course there is oversight authority to which the FBI Director answers in theory, but congressional oversight can be notoriously weak and executive oversight can be obviated by the very fact that the director serves the executive and can therefore use his own accumulated power to the executive’s political (or other) benefit.

It made perfect sense to create a term of up to ten years for the director, so he would be semi-immune to the politics that comes with Cabinet-level appointments by every incoming president.  It made even more sense to limit that term, by law, so that the separation from democratic accountability would not be impregnable.

The CNN story linked above ends with the statement that Mueller is “on the cusp of being officially irreplaceable.” That statement should give every Madisonian cringe. One of the understandings that underlie a republic is that no man is irreplaceable. It is not merely a cliché to say that we are a nation of laws and not of men. Any time any man, even a Mueller or a Petraeus or a MacArthur,  becomes seen as irreplaceable, the dam against over-accumulation of executive power is broken. (I myself don’t worry much about accumulation of legislative power, because by its very nature it is dispersed and because frequency of elections allows the public to weigh in.)

Conservatives who do not object to Obama’s request for a new law giving him this “one-time” term extension for Mueller are failing to remember their basic principles.

Finally, on a practical level, allowing a potentially re-elected Obama to appoint the new FBI director right after his re-election could shift a huge power to a president newly unmoored from electoral pressures Do we really want to give Obama such carte blanche? Forcing Obama to appoint a new director this year, as scheduled, would ensure that he appoint somebody moderate and competent because he and Congress both would know that the public that will vote on their own campaigns just over a year later would punish anybody who had okayed the appointment of a political hack.

Mueller has been a wonderful director. Surely, though, he’s not the only person, among 300 million Americans, who can do the job.

January 14th, 2010 at 1:52 am
Who Are Yoo?
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Jon Stewart has been getting laughs at the expense of conservatives (many justifiably), then booking conservative straw men that he could easily knock down for years. Yet Stewart met his match on Monday’s edition of The Daily Show, when he interviewed former Bush Administration DOJ official John Yoo (author of the infamous “torture memos”).

If Stewart hadn’t been the one ginned up for a fight, it would’ve been appropriate to invoke the mercy rule. But it was hard to feel sorry for the smug, self-righteous (Stewart’s least appealing style) host when Yoo gently and subtly exposed his complete lack of even a basic understanding of the issues at play.

On the following night’s show, Stewart even had to cop to how badly he got owned.  See the full interview herehere and here.