In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how the Biden Administration is inexplicably resurrecting…
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Image of the Day: Internet Speeds INCREASED After Repeal of So-Called "Net Neutrality"

In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how the Biden Administration is inexplicably resurrecting the zombie "Net Neutrality" that caused demonstrable harm to internet service during its mercifully brief lifetime at the end of the Obama Administration.  Once again, our friend economist Steve Moore illustrates one of the critical points in this debate well.  Namely, internet speeds shot back sharply upward after the Trump Administration FCC under Ajit Pai repealed the Obama FCC's Title II-Net Neutrality order:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="557"] Repealing "Net Neutrality" Increased Speeds[/caption]


October 03, 2023 • 09:14 AM

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Will President Obama Make Recess Appointments? Print
By CFIF Staff
Thursday, February 11 2010
For Obama, recess appointment negatives may be considerably higher. Poll numbers for the administration are tanking. There is considerable angst over existing appointments...

The President nominates.  The Senate confirms.  That is the schoolboy civics lesson regarding senior presidential administration officials.

There is, however, an addendum to the lesson.  What if the Senate doesn’t confirm?

That’s when things get even juicier than the typical leaks about the positions and proclivities of unusually controversial nominees.

Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states:  “The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.”

While in-the-weeds masochists may wish to engage in all manner of discourse regarding original rationale and intent of the Founders versus modern reality, they really should spare themselves the pain and us the verbiage.  Recess appointments are legal, a great deal more so than other controversial political machinations, being enshrined in the Constitution and all.

Rumblings of recess appointments have been gaining Richter for several months now, particularly after what some might characterize as the poor vetting of Erroll Southers’ nomination to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  Originally stalled because of concerns regarding Southers’ views on collective bargaining, the nomination hit a harder wall when it was revealed that Southers had suffered some memory loss regarding his ethical violation of wrongly using official resources to investigate Southers’ ex-wife’s boy friend when Southers was with the FBI (for which he was censured at the time).

Southers withdrew, but a week later, President Obama used his State of the Union address to pointedly say:  “The confirmation of well-qualified public servants should not be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual senators.”

The standoff got no more collegial when Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), in a bit of a porky fit, put a “hold” (which any individual senator is allowed to do under Senate rules) on more than 70 nominees.  Shelby dropped most of those this week, but is still blocking some nominees.

The current capper came this week when the Senate could not achieve the 60-vote minimum required to proceed on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  Conservatives, business groups and, disclosure here, CFIF oppose the nomination of Becker, a labor union lawyer, on the basis that the NLRB is charged with settling labor disputes, and Becker’s  pro-union bias wouldn’t pass a laugh test for “impartial.”

Labor is, shall we say, not pleased (there being nothing better for membership support than never being pleased), ranting against Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) specifically and Democrats generally.  At least Labor is always bluntly open:  We gave you money; we worked for you; you think that’s free?  We aren’t getting.  (Oh yes, you are, but that’s not this topic.)

The threat of unions sitting on their hands in an election scares the bejabbers out of Liberal Democrats, although the threat is generally about as empty as a Doritos bag after the Super Bowl.  More important in this context, it would surprise us not at all to learn that President Obama has “Solidarity Forever” tattooed somewhere on his person.

While the failed confirmation of Becker was not mentioned, the President did, at his impromptu “press conference” on Tuesday, threaten, “I will consider making several recess appointments during the upcoming recess.”

If he does, way too much of the ensuing verbiage will concentrate on what President George W. Bush did with recess appointments and what Democrats said then (bad, bad man) versus what they will say now (Obama is yea like a lion for his courage).  That will be a big waste of energy, which should be concentrated on the suitability of people for positions of public trust, but you can’t stop the dance.

The fact is that most recess appointments excite the hard base (see President Bush’s recess appointment of John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador) and infuriate the hard opposition (see President Bush’s recess appointment of John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador).  Fund-raising letters on both sides follow. 

The reaction across the fruited plain, however, mostly consists of:  “Who dat?  Oh.  We got any more beer?”

For Obama, recess appointment negatives may be considerably higher.  Poll numbers for the administration are tanking.  There is considerable angst over existing appointments,  some for their leftist bent (Attorney General Eric Holder) some for their incompetence (Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano) and some for their character (Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner).

Those are high-level, high-visibility perps, all requiring and receiving confirmation.

Then there are those nearly three dozen “czars,” many of them highly controversial, appointed to positions of some power defiantly outside the confirmation process, considered by many, including some Democrats, to be an arrogant violation of checks-and-balances.  It is not for nothing that Glenn Beck and others have incessantly hammered those appointments.  It is almost inconceivable, for example, that a Van Jones (now gone) could have been confirmed to anything (even when Democrats had the magical 60-vote majority) and over whom the President took a highly visible and deserved whupping.

It is against that backdrop an already weakened President Obama would make recess appointments.  And if those appointments are at all controversial (Craig Becker to NLRB, for example) and get the attention some undoubtedly will, then the entire recess appointment calculation may take on a different dynamic.

Your move, Mr. President. 

Notable Quote   
"In the three months since President Joe Biden decided to campaign on the glories of 'Bidenomics,' inflation started creeping back up, the unemployment rate rose, and his approval ratings on the economy have steadily dropped. Now, stagflation is back in the news. All of it is leading Democrats to urge Biden to ... shift his messaging.Stagflation -- the combination of rising inflation, high unemployment…[more]
— Issues & Insights Editorial Board
Liberty Poll   

Should any sitting president publicly pick either side in a private labor dispute?