Obozo to continue bypassing Congress

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by 45nut, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/us/politics/shift-on-executive-powers-let-obama-bypass-congress.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    Shift on Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals
    By CHARLIE SAVAGE
    Published: April 22, 2012

    WASHINGTON — One Saturday last fall, President Obama interrupted a White House strategy meeting to raise an issue not on the agenda. He declared, aides recalled, that the administration needed to more aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism.

    President Obama speaking in Cleveland in January. Increasingly in recent months, the Obama administration has been seeking ways to bypass Congress.


    “We had been attempting to highlight the inability of Congress to do anything,” recalled William M. Daley, who was the White House chief of staff at the time. “The president expressed frustration, saying we have got to scour everything and push the envelope in finding things we can do on our own.”

    For Mr. Obama, that meeting was a turning point. As a senator and presidential candidate, he had criticized George W. Bush for flouting the role of Congress. And during his first two years in the White House, when Democrats controlled Congress, Mr. Obama largely worked through the legislative process to achieve his domestic policy goals.

    But increasingly in recent months, the administration has been seeking ways to act without Congress. Branding its unilateral efforts “We Can’t Wait,” a slogan that aides said Mr. Obama coined at that strategy meeting, the White House has rolled out dozens of new policies — on creating jobs for veterans, preventing drug shortages, raising fuel economy standards, curbing domestic violence and more.

    Each time, Mr. Obama has emphasized the fact that he is bypassing lawmakers. When he announced a cut in refinancing fees for federally insured mortgages last month, for example, he said: “If Congress refuses to act, I’ve said that I’ll continue to do everything in my power to act without them.”

    Aides say many more such moves are coming. Not just a short-term shift in governing style and a re-election strategy, Mr. Obama’s increasingly assertive use of executive action could foreshadow pitched battles over the separation of powers in his se cond term, should he win and Republicans consolidate their power in Congress.

    Many conservatives have denounced Mr. Obama’s new approach. But William G. Howell, a University of Chicago political science professor and author of “Power Without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action,” said Mr. Obama’s use of executive power to advance domestic policies that could not pass Congress was not new historically. Still, he said, because of Mr. Obama’s past as a critic of executive unilateralism, his transformation is remarkable.

    “What is surprising is that he is coming around to responding to the incentives that are built into the institution of the presidency,” Mr. Howell said. “Even someone who has studied the Constitution and holds it in high regard — he, too, is going to exercise these unilateral powers because his long-term legacy and his standing in the polls crucially depend upon action.”

    Mr. Obama has issued signing statements claiming a right to bypass a handful of constraints — rejecting as unconstitutional Congress’s attempt to prevent him from having White House “czars” on certain issues, for example. But for the most part, Mr. Obama’s increased unilateralism in domestic policy has relied on a different form of executive power than the sort that had led to heated debates during his predecessor’s administration: Mr. Bush’s frequent assertion of a right to override statutes on matters like surveillance and torture.

    “Obama’s not saying he has the right to defy a Congressional statute,” said Richard H. Pildes, a New York University law professor. “But if the legislative path is blocked and he otherwise has the legal authority to issue an executive order on an issue, they are clearly much more willing to do that now than two years ago.”

    The Obama administration started down this path soon after Republicans took over the House of Representatives last year. In February 2011, Mr. Obama directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, against constitutional challenges. Previously, the administration had urged lawmakers to repeal it, but had defended their right to enact it.

    In the following months, the administration increased efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions through environmental regulations, gave states waivers from federal mandates if they agreed to education overhauls, and refocused deportation policy in a way that in effect granted relief to some illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. Each step substituted for a faltered legislative proposal.

    But those moves were isolated and cut against the administration’s broader political messaging strategy at the time: that Mr. Obama was trying to reach across the aisle to get things done. It was only after the summer, when negotiations over a deficit reduction deal broke down and House Republicans nearly failed to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, that Mr. Obama fully shifted course.

    First, he proposed a jobs package and gave speeches urging lawmakers to “pass this bill” — knowing they would not. A few weeks later, at the policy and campaign strategy meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, the president told aides that highlighting Congressional gridlock was not enough.

    “He wanted to continue down the path of being bold with Congress and flexing our muscle a little bit, and showing a contrast to the American people of a Congress that was completely stuck,” said Nancy-Ann DeParle, a deputy chief of staff assigned to lead the effort to come up with ideas.

    Ms. DeParle met twice a week with members of the domestic policy council to brainstorm. She met with cabinet secretaries in the fall, and again in February with their chiefs of staff. No one opposed doing more; the challenge was coming up with workable ideas, aides said.

    The focus, said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, was “what we could do on our own to help the economy in areas Congress was failing to act,” so the list was not necessarily the highest priority actions, but instead steps that did not require legislation.

    Republican lawmakers watched warily. One of Mr. Obama’s first “We Can’t Wait” announcements was the moving up of plans to ease terms on student loans. After Republican complaints that the executive branch had no authority to change the timing, it appeared to back off.

    The sharpest legal criticism, however, came in January after Mr. Obama bypassed the Senate confirmation process to install four officials using his recess appointment powers, even though House Republicans had been forcing the Senate to hold “pro forma” sessions through its winter break to block such appointments.

    Mr. Obama declared the sessions a sham, saying the Senate was really in the midst of a lengthy recess. His appointments are facing a legal challenge, and some liberals and many conservatives have warned that he set a dangerous precedent.


    Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate Democratic leader, who essentially invented the pro forma session tactic late in Mr. Bush’s presidency, has not objected, however. Senate aides said Mr. Reid had told the White House that he would not oppose such appointments based on a memorandum from his counsel, Serena Hoy. She concluded that the longer the tactic went unchallenged, the harder it would be for any president to make recess appointments — a significant shift in the historic balance of power between the branches.

    The White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, said the Obama administration’s legal team had begun examining the issue in early 2011 — including an internal Bush administration memo criticizing the notion that such sessions could block a president’s recess powers — and “seriously considered” making some appointments during Congress’s August break. But Mr. Obama decided to move ahead in January 2012, including installing Richard Cordray to head the new consumer financial protection bureau, after Senate Republicans blocked a confirmation vote.

    “I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” Mr. Obama declared, beneath a “We Can’t Wait” banner. “When Congress refuses to act and — as a result — hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.”


    The unilateralist strategy carries political risks. Mr. Obama cannot blame the Republicans when he adopts policies that liberals oppose, like when he overruled the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to strengthen antismog rules or decided not to sign an order banning discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation.

    The approach also exposes Mr. Obama to accusations that he is concentrating too much power in the White House. Earlier this year, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, delivered a series of floor speeches accusing Mr. Obama of acting “more and more like a king that the Constitution was designed to replace” and imploring colleagues of both parties to push back against his “power grabs.”

    But Democratic lawmakers have been largely quiet; many of them accuse Republicans of engaging in an unprecedented level of obstructionism and say that Mr. Obama has to do what he can to make the government work. The pattern adds to a bipartisan history in which lawmakers from presidents’ own parties have tended not to object to invocations of executive power.

    For their part, Republicans appear to have largely acquiesced. Mr. Grassley said in an interview that his colleagues were reluctant to block even more bills and nominations in response to Mr. Obama’s “chutzpah,” lest they play into his effort to portray them as making Congress dysfunctional.

    “Some of the most conservative people in our caucus would adamantly disagree with what Obama did on recess appointments, but they said it’s not a winner for us,” he said.

    Mr. Obama’s new approach puts him in the company of his recent predecessors. Mr. Bush, for example, failed to persuade Congress to pass a bill allowing religiously affiliated groups to receive taxpayer grants — and then issued an executive order making the change.

    President Bill Clinton increased White House involvement in agency rule making, using regulations and executive orders to show that he was getting things done despite opposition from a Republican Congress on matters like land conservation, gun control, tobacco advertising and treaties. (He was assisted by a White House lawyer, Elena Kagan, who later won tenure at Harvard based on scholarship analyzing such efforts and who is now on the Supreme Court.)

    And both the Reagan and George Bush administrations increased their control over executive agencies to advance a deregulatory agenda, despite opposition from Democratic lawmakers, while also developing legal theories and tactics to increase executive power, like issuing signing statements more frequently.

    The bipartisan history of executive aggrandizement in recent decades complicates Republican criticism. In February, two conservative advocacy groups — Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network — sponsored a symposium to discuss what they called “the unprecedented expansion of executive power during the past three years.” It reached an awkward moment during a talk with a former attorney general, Edwin Meese III, and a former White House counsel, C. Boyden Gray.

    “It’s kind of ironic you have Boyden and me here because when we were with the executive branch, we were probably the principal proponents of executive power under President Reagan and then President George H. W. Bush,” Mr. Meese said, quickly adding that the presidential prerogatives they sought to protect, unlike Mr. Obama’s, were valid.

    But Jack L. Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the George W. Bush administration, said the Obama administration’s pattern reflects how presidents usually behave, especially during divided government, and appears aggressive only in comparison to Mr. Obama’s having been “really skittish for the first two years” about executive power.

    “This is what presidents do,” Mr. Goldsmith said. “It’s taken Obama two years to get there, but this has happened throughout history. You can’t be in that office with all its enormous responsibilities — when things don’t happen, you get blamed for it — and not exercise all the powers that have accrued to it over time.”



    He's just practicing for his first term as "Dictator in Chief", but middle America has a surprise for this Negro. He will be defeated in a landslide by Romney / Rubio.

    Peace my brothers
  2. Carne Frio

    Carne Frio Member

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    With the majority in the U.S. House, the Republicans
    can stop any of that nonsense. All they have to do is
    put a complete block on the effected agency's ability
    to spend money. Just stop the funding. That is one way
    that the DOJ can be halted from Fast and Furious type
    actions. They don't seem to have the guts to do it, though.
  3. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

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    That was tried, and Dear Leader just stated that he wouldn't let The House dictate to him, and he would find funding where he needed it. They need to defund the Presidency entirely.
  4. whymememe

    whymememe Former Guest

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    Apparently U.S. presidents can be dictators and it's not a new thing. Andrew Jackson did nothing to make Georgia abide by the Supreme Court's ruling in Worcester vs. Georgia in which the Court found that the State of Georgia did not have any jurisdiction over the Cherokees. Georgia ignored the Court's decision and so did Andrew Jackson. In 1838-1839 Georgia evicted the Cherokees and forced them to march west. About twenty-five percent of the Indians were dead before they reached their new lands in Oklahoma. The Indians refer to this march as the "Trail of Tears" and even though it took place after Jackson's presidency, the roots of the march can be found in Jackson's failure to uphold the legal rights of Native Americans during his administration
  5. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I listened to this garbage on the news this morning. bHo and his people are systematically doing away with the need of the constitutionally required congress.

    He wants to blame everything negative going on in the US on the Republicans. That's BS. When he can't get his own party to pass a bill for him, somethings dreadfully wrong. The same news report said many of the socialcrats are starting to back away from him...fear.

    The same story said he is quickly loosing his big-buck donations. Why? Because the serious money came from wall street. The folks he took the money from know he's now trying to crucify them.

    Did ya see the video clip of pelosi yet today? ( it had to be on Fox, because nobody else will run it ) Pelosi is standing at a podium speaking. Instead of addressing the fact that the real unemployment rate is at 15%, she said...I heard it..." I wish everybody in the country would get a raise, because WE need more money ". What a beeatch. Five trillion dollars in four years, an they need more money. One sick puppy.

    Not one word about creating jobs...nada.
  6. whymememe

    whymememe Former Guest

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    Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in 1861 and 1862.

    As the Civil War started, in the very beginning of Lincoln's presidential term, a group of "Peace Democrats" proposed a peaceful resolution to the developing Civil War by offering a truce with the South, and forming a constitutional convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to protect States' rights. The proposal was ignored by the Unionists of the North and not taken seriously by the South. However, the Peace Democrats, also called copperheads by their enemies, publicly criticized Lincoln's belief that violating the U.S. Constitution was required to save it as a whole. With Congress not in session until July, Lincoln assumed all powers not delegated in the Constitution, including the power to suspend habeas corpus. In 1861, Lincoln had already suspended civil law in territories where resistance to the North's military power would be dangerous. In 1862, when copperhead democrats began criticizing Lincoln's violation of the Constitution, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus throughout the nation and had many copperhead democrats arrested under military authority because he felt that the State Courts in the north west would not convict war protesters such as the copperheads. He proclaimed that all persons who discouraged enlistments or engaged in disloyal practices would come under Martial Law.

    Among the 13,000 people arrested under martial law was a Maryland Secessionist, John Merryman. Immediately, Hon. Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States issued a writ of habeas corpus commanding the military to bring Merryman before him. The military refused to follow the writ. Justice Taney, in Ex parte MERRYMAN, then ruled the suspension of habeas corpus unconstitutional because the writ could not be suspended without an Act of Congress. President Lincoln and the military ignored Justice Taney's ruling.

    Finally, in 1866, after the war, the Supreme Court officially restored habeas corpus in Ex-parte Milligan, ruling that military trials in areas where the civil courts were capable of functioning were illegal
  7. fullmentaljacket

    fullmentaljacket New Member

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    Welcome to America, comrades.
  8. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    he is getting trashed by the news more and more everyday
  9. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    Thank you for that little history lesson. I don't understand why freedom loving people go gaga over Lincoln, while I think he was an honorable man trying to do what he thought was right, he is responsible for the Death of The Republic as our founding father's designed us. Don't get caught up in the slavery issue, because when Lincoln freed the slaves, there were riots in Yankee land because northerners feared the freed slaves would compete for their factory jobs.

    Remember what Madison said about the powers of the new Federal government? "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

    Doesn't sound like what we have now does it?

    When Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, Lincoln had proven that the Federal Gov't could tell the states what they could and could not do so the idea of Sovereign States was no more. Goodbye 10th Amendment, hello democracy.

    The current usurper in charge wants to move past democracy into dictatorship.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  10. fullmentaljacket

    fullmentaljacket New Member

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    I would have said more of a Putin/Chavez-styled democracy, but I'd have to consider your suggestion, too. Please, don't let them get away with it.
  11. whirley

    whirley Member

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    Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation never freed any slaves. It only freed slaves in areas controlled by the Confederacy, and Lincoln had no control of that. His proclamation was strictly political, designed to keep the British from sending troops and munitions to aid the Confederates. It's as simple as that. The English were opposed to slavery after 1836, so once the war was put on an anti-slavery basis, the Confederacy lost most of it's support from the English government.
  12. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    For my part, I don't plan on letting them get away with anything. I am, however, just one man, and since I've been reading John Locke, de Tocqueville and Sir William Blackstone this past month or so, I am ready to charge hell with a bucket of water.

    I'd rather it were at least a 20 mike mike or a full load from spooky, but you give what you got!!!!!!!!!!!:eek: :D :D :D

    P.S.
    I have been to Canada only once, over around Lethridge, and thought it was beautiful. Also, my favorite outdoor writer lived in British Columbia, Roderick Haig-Brown and I would love to fly fish the Nimpkish River or Theimar Lake. The way he describes the countryside and fishing sends a thrill up my spine. ;)
  13. obxned

    obxned New Member

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    Constitution, Charmin, it's all so confusing to a boy from Chicago.
  14. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Since it's not a no-no to pick on Lincoln: The ongoing, never ending garbage about the Civil War was all about freeing slaves makes me ill every time some " historian " credits him with it. The civil war had nothing to do with slavery.

    The confederacy came within an inch of having the French on their side. The North would have lost and we'd all be whistling Dixie today.

    If the South hadn't have been starved to death, we would have won.

    On the other hand, you have four fingers and a thumb.
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