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It's Good To Be The Prez

Well, President Obama championed the DREAM Act (a plan to grant a form of amnesty to a whole host of illegal aliens), but it's gotten nowhere in Congress. Democrats say that it would be a move towards immigration reform and only fair and just; folks like me say "hell, no" and say it shouldn't be passed on its own, but part of "comprehensive immigration reform" -- throwing back in the liberals' faces their own rationale for shooting down increased immigration enforcement measures.

But Obama isn't letting that slow him down. What he can't get through Congress, he'll just do by proclamation.

This is hardly unique. Obama has previously ignored the law and the legal procedures for changing laws on several occasions. According to Obama:

The president can go to war with another nation without Congressional approval, as long as he says it's not a "war-war." The War Powers Act only covers wars where the president says it's a war -- so if he says it doesn't, then it doesn't.

The president can rewrite campaign finance laws by executive order, demanding additional reporting from recipients of government contracts -- but not government grants or government paychecks. In other words, businesses that provide goods or services, but not organizations that live off government money or unions. In even simpler words, from those who tend to give more to Republicans while exempting those who tend to favor Democrats.

The president (through his proxies in federal agencies) can actually coerce citizens into engaging in illegal activities to promote its political agenda.

The president (through his proxies in federal agencies) can ignore the explicit dictates of Congress and simply refuse to issue oil drilling permits, despite law saying he has to.

The president (through his proxies in federal agencies) can order a business to write off a several-billion-dollar expansion that would create thousands of good-paying jobs because the plant is in a right-to-work state if it means that they have chosen to not expand operations in a union state. Even though not a single union member will lose their job, it is still a form of "retaliation" and that business is now and forever hostage to its unions. In fact, they will even argue that union workers already employed by the company have more interest in the new plant on the other side of the country than those already hired to work at the new plant, and are now out of their jobs.

If one were so inclined, one could put together a fairly thorough Articles of Impeachment based on the six above counts.

But of course, I exaggerate. After all, President Obama, as we are often told, is a Constitutional scholar. He actually taught Constitutional law. If there's anyone who knows the Constitution and understands the scope and limits of presidential power, it's him. What may appear to us laymen as gross violations of the law and the Constitution are actually far more nuanced and subtle -- too nuanced and subtle for us to fully grasp.

At least, that's what we're often told. And we should not be so foolish as to question our betters. How dare we think we understand our on Constitution without the help of these intellectual giants?

Hey, Barack -- you were elected president, not emperor. And definitely not for life. Your contract is up for renewal in about 17 months -- and you ain't impressing a lot of us with your performance so far.

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Comments (39)

Jay Tea, you're hitting a t... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jay Tea, you're hitting a theme oft repeated on the right, so this piece really loses its sting. Can you hit something more creative? Can you distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack?

So James, the theme of blat... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

So James, the theme of blatant abuse of power and its misuse is just boring and passe to you?

If an elected official viol... (Below threshold)

If an elected official violates his oath of office and tramples on the Constitution on a weekly basis, I would hope that there would be "oft-repeated" criticism of his or her policies.

Your comment, James, makes no sense, unless your goal is to change the subject and divert the People's attention away from reality.

Bruce, Ryan: I think Jay T... (Below threshold)
James H:

Bruce, Ryan: I think Jay Tea can write something more creative, distinguish himself a bit more from the conservative pack, if he tries. My comment is a challenge for him to do so.

Did you hear that Jay Tea?<... (Below threshold)
LeBron Steinman:

Did you hear that Jay Tea?
James H.has determined that your not performing up to his standards and you must atone.He's watching you.
BTW ,H., you didn't answer Ryan M's question that apparently you find the subject of presidential abuse of power declasse and causing you great ennui.
Translation: "I'd like to change the subject."

James, there's power in rep... (Below threshold)

James, there's power in repetition. Especially when it's the theme and key phrases that are repeated; not so much when it's too blatant.

Also, I tend to put content above ego. I'd have more fun with different stuff, and have a few in mind, this one really, really unnerves me. It's my style to notice patterns, and this is a very, very bad one.

Folks, I'm asking a favor here. Just this once. Lay off James here, and focus on the topic. Not because I think he deserves it, or want to give him special treatment, but because I think the subject itself is too important to be buried in the "Kick the liberal" rush.

J.

You are, Mr-Tea, far too ki... (Below threshold)

You are, Mr-Tea, far too kind to the gangster government under which we presently labor.

Chances are that during the next year and a half the pretender and j\his "administration's" fascist gangsters and congress's and, particularly, those traitor-activists that own operate and control the feral gummint's every bureau, department, secretariat, agency, qango and institution and run every "election" will so damage our beloved fraternal republic's institutions we may never recover from their obscene and lawless depredations.

Obama is acting the Chicago... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Obama is acting the Chicago way. Laws are for the little people translated, anyone but dem's.

JT, I have to say I am surprised you even justified your post to James H. I would think you would either ignore it, or make fun of it but you bowed to it. Tsk! ww

JT, also don't forget:... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

JT, also don't forget:

The president can ignor the law and conduct fund raising activities in the White House.

The president (through his proxies in federal agencies) can turn a blind eye to federal law by refusing to pursue voter intimidation violations.

The president (through his proxies in federal agencies) can bypass congress by instituting cap & trade through the EPA.

And the list is just beginning!

We almost need to hold a co... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

We almost need to hold a constitutional convention to get all of the amendments necessary to rein in the abuses of power exhibited here. You can name one or two of these possibly for most presidents, but the combination of both variety and frequency of abuses here is breathtaking.

Well, on the topic...... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Well, on the topic...

It is worrisome when the President feels free to disregard the law completely. It's even more worrisome when those who criticized his predecessor for every perceived infraction stay silent when the President goes way beyond anything his predecessor did.

We're either a nation with laws that apply to all, regardless of class or influence - or we're a dual-class society where those who are 'elite' are exempt from laws that are aimed at keeping the proles under control.

If that's the case, we're a disaster looking for an impact point.

"Jay Tea, you're hitting a ... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

"Jay Tea, you're hitting a theme oft repeated on the right, so this piece really loses its sting. Can you hit something more creative? Can you distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack?"


In short, can you become Joe Lieberman?

OK, back to the topic.... (Below threshold)
James H:

OK, back to the topic.

To start with, it's worth pointing out that the expansion of executive power is at least a tripartisan effort. Alexander Hamilton's Federalists favored a strong central govenrment and a strong executive. Thomas Jefferson accreted power to the executive through the Louisiana Purchase.

Second, the executive has gained power in part through congressional inaction. Over time, Congress has delegated a great deal of its authority to the president through inaction or by empowering executive agencies to craft rules in the process of executing general legislation.

Against this background, you cannot credibly argue that President Obama is some kind of exception to the more general rule of presidents increasing executive power.

In point of fact, Vice President Dick Cheney is the most recent, most vocal supporter of a strong unitary executive.

Now, to your specifics.

In your first link, you aver that President Obama has enacted a policy by "proclamation." Unfortunately, this example fails. Krauthammer criticizes the president for urging agents to focus deportation efforts on those illegal immigrants who are not in school.

This action lies within a president's discretion. As executive, the president can determine, for example, that prosecuting drug crimes is more important than prosecuting white-collar crime, and direct his prosecutors to act accordingly.

I also see no allegation that this discretion has been abused to, for example, extend favor to family members or campaign donors.

In the second link, we see reporting that the Obama dministration is considering an order that would require contractors to disclose political donations. This is a gray area, but I believe that the authority to set contracting rules lays with the executive branch, though it would be subject to overruling by Congress should it choose to act.

In your third example, I request clarification. I see an example of officials creating a badly thought out program, but I don't evidence of coercion, as you allege.

In your fourth example, I still see a president acting within the scope of his discretion. As I understand it, Congress lifiting a moratorium on permits does not compel the administration to then issue permits. It simply allows them to be issued. And unless it can be shown the agency is acting arbitrarily and capriciously, I fail to see how the ordinary exercise of executive discretion constitutes an Obama power grab.

Your final example is misaimed. A court filing by NLRB's counsel is routine in these sorts of litigations. In particular, I see nothing extraordinary about a party in a case opposing a third party's attempt to enter the case as an intervenor. That's ordinary.

However, I am rather bemused that the NLRB is attempting to interfere in Boeing's business decisions on the basis of an impact on labor. This does seem to be something of an executive power grab. That said, there are procedures for appealing it, and those procedures are being followed.

In sum, Jay Tea, your saber-rattling regarding Obama fails. Of the examples you cite, only one seems an actual, bona fide executive power grab. The rest lie within ordinary executive discretion. Indeed, Congress has the power to intervene in these situations at any time, if it should so choose.

In your thesis, you accuse the president of arogating to himself the power to create laws. But if you rely on this evidence, you have failed to prove your thesis.

Let's stop kidding ourselve... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Let's stop kidding ourselves about obama being a serious constitutional scholar. He never was anything of the sort. He was a radical leftist who taught about racial inequality and advocated far left views of equality. He advocated Lani Guinier's reverse discrimination of giving blacks more than one vote.

He only ever taught 3 courses, Due Process, Voting Rights and one on Racism and the Law. All were perfused with bitter partisanship and racial stereotypes.

This man was never a scholar, but only a well paid ideologue.

http://sweetness-light.com/archive/so-what-did-obama-teach-in-law-school

"This is a gray area, but I... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

"This is a gray area, but I believe that the authority to set contracting rules lays with the executive branch, though it would be subject to overruling by Congress should it choose to act"

James H, the House appropriates the funds. Any restraints on the bidding/contracting process should be left up to the House. It isn't a gray area at all.

Remember when GW Bush fired 52 US Attorneys that was entirely up to his discretion. At least it is on paper but you and the left demanded, DEMANDED an inquirey. Your duplicitous nature is again showing and telling. Obama is in fact a lame duck president. He lost the confidence of the american people, the generals, the troops, legal citizens, you name the class and they oppose how Obama reigns.

Of course you had to mention Cheney. It is in the lefty playbook.

And I thought this post was beneath you. ww

Get proactive Obysmal, resi... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

Get proactive Obysmal, resign.

Venezuela has a health crisis, they need a new Generalisimo.

Obama is an un-and-anti-Ame... (Below threshold)

Obama is an un-and-anti-American Chicago gangster, pure and simple. His gang most forcefully demonstrated this fact when, during the days of continuing resolutions, he became the first besquatter of the office to which he pretends to ever use the threat, successfully, to get his way, that his very first cut should the house cut spending too deeply and/or hold up the continuing resolution, would be to not pay our overseas-deployed Military Forces.

Which threat, along with the threat to cut off all social security, medicare, medicaid and other welfare payments, America's gangster "administration" continues to this day.

I had but held the Obama Gang in contempt until recently but when those white house besquatting and bemanuring gangsters threatened, for political gain, to withdraw support from our nation's foreign-battlefield-deployed Military Forces, I began to fear for our nation's survival.

Even through January 20 2013. Let alone beyond that date!

James H, the House... (Below threshold)
James H:
James H, the House appropriates the funds. Any restraints on the bidding/contracting process should be left up to the House. It isn't a gray area at all.

Disagree. Congress can, and in fact does, delegate to executive agencies rulemaking powers in all areas, including this one.

Remember when GW Bush fired 52 US Attorneys that was entirely up to his discretion. At least it is on paper but you and the left demanded, DEMANDED an inquirey.

I don't recall that I "demanded" an inquiry, although I did find the dismissal of US attorneys to be a possible abuse of the president's discretion.

Of course you had to mention Cheney. It is in the lefty playbook.

I don't read from any "lefty" playbook, Willie. I bring up Cheney not as an attack, but because he is a notable Republican who strongly believes in a strong chief executive.

Well, I see our rogue schol... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

Well, I see our rogue scholar has tapped into the strategic reserves today.

What's the sudden emergency? We've been paying 2 and a half dollars too much for 2 years now. He must have a big golf week ahead to do this.


James H-

"But if you rely on this evidence, you have failed to prove your thesis."

Put the lime in the kookoo nut and swirl it all around!

James H: You claim that Ja... (Below threshold)
Hawk:

James H: You claim that Jay Tea has failed to make his point. I submit you have failed to make your point. You give the president a pass on his actions simply because "Congress has the power to intervene in these situations at any time, if it should so choose." This is a little like blaming a robbery on the cops that failed to prevent it, and then letting the criminal go free with the loot. Just because Congress has not lived up to there obligations does not mean that the president should be allowed an ever expanding interpretation of executive power.

I also noticed in your "analysis" of Jay Tea's post you left out his mention of the War in Libya. This is unfortunate because I would love to hear how this lies "within ordinary executive discretion".

WildWillie asks that we rem... (Below threshold)

WildWillie asks that we remember when the president Bush, for cause as I recall, fired a few United States Attorneys.

How about we remember instead that because the Intelligence Agencies were working with the Law Enforcement Agencies on the indictments/prosecutions of the treasonous recidivist lying looting thieving mass-murdering predatory indicted convicted fined and dis-barred co-serial-rapist Billy-Bubbah Blythe ("Cli'ton") and his unidicted co-conspiritor "spouse" and their Crime Family, that gang had another of their unidicted co-conspirators, the execrable Jamie Gorelick, build the wall to prevent all communication between and/or among Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies that facilitated the atrocities of September 11 2001. And -- also for the single purpose of stopping every action against the Cli tons and their gang -- fire EVERY United States Attorney. One Hundred Per Cent of them!

Obama is not the first "Democratic" potty gangster pretender to the "presidency." He's just the worst of them.

I also noticed in ... (Below threshold)
James H:
I also noticed in your "analysis" of Jay Tea's post you left out his mention of the War in Libya

Jay Tea did not mention Libya in this post.

It's good to be the king!</... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

It's good to be the king!

Odd that the Democrats didn't think to pass the Dream Act when they had unstoppable majorities in both Houses. Guess it's only a "priority" now. Must have something to do with those falling poll numbers.

You give the presi... (Below threshold)
James H:
You give the president a pass on his actions simply because "Congress has the power to intervene in these situations at any time, if it should so choose." This is a little like blaming a robbery on the cops that failed to prevent it, and then letting the criminal go free with the loot.

Not quite. My point is twofold: First, that authority was specifically ceded to the president, and second that the president does have wide discretion in executing his office.

But part of the problem here is that contra Jay Tea's argument, is that Obama's actions are not "criminal" or "illegal," but rather part of the natural inter-branch politicking between the executive and the legislature.

He did not mention Libya by... (Below threshold)
Hawk:

He did not mention Libya by name. But he does mention Obama's violating the war powers act by going to war without congressional approval. If he is not talking about Libya then I must have missed Obama starting another war.

You're right, Hawk. I miss... (Below threshold)
James H:

You're right, Hawk. I missed it while I was following Jay Tea's links.

It's a good point, and one of my central bones of contention with the Obama administration. The Libyan effort is clearly a reach for the executive. Obama would be on stronger ground if he insisted the War Powers Act was an unconstitutional restraint on the president's commander-in-chief authority. However, his "it's not war unless I say it is" position is disingenuous.

But it's up to Congress to get off its butt and reprimand him for it.

James H, I am still incense... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

James H, I am still incensed that you had the nerve to criticize JT's post as "beneath" him. You usually stay above the insults but come on. An apology is needed here. ww

James H: you contend "that ... (Below threshold)
Hawk:

James H: you contend "that authority was specifically ceded to the president". But he was never ceded this authority he took it. Congress has shirked there responsibilities and failed to prevent his usurping of there power. The Constitution grants certain powers to congress and certain powers to the executive. For Congress to cede authority to the president they would have to pass a Constitutional amendment, otherwise any attempt to do so would be illegal.

Next you contend that "he president does have wide discretion in executing his office." I agree with one point of clarification. The presidents only has wide discretion executing his office within his legal duties and authority. To do otherwise would again be illegal.

Finally you say that Obama's actions are not illegal but that it is "natural inter-branch politicking between the executive and the legislature." But to those not blinded by ideology it is clear that when the president violates the law and exercises authority he does not have it is obviously illegal. Just because Congress allows this does not in anyway mean that it is legal. It just means that Obama is likely to get away with his crimes.

Hank, @20,The closer... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Hank, @20,
The closer analogy is: "She was wearing a tight skirt..."

Willie: I just think Jay T... (Below threshold)
James H:

Willie: I just think Jay Tea has rehashed some points here without really introducing something new to the discussion. Part of the reason I don't blog much, BTW. I don't really have much to add. Repeating things ad nauseum is why I do comments.

Hawk: Mind clarifying for me your stance on the nondelegation doctrine? You've outlined what I think is a fairly broad stance on it. I'd be curious to see how far you go.

Also, ideological blinders can go both ways. They can also cause a person to see illegal activity where there is none. If I were, for example, to bring up the Bush-era wiretapping programs (continued under Obama), would you accuse me of wearing ideological blinders and seeing an unconstitutional act where none exists?

Note: Not interested in relitigating the wiretap program. Just want to know if you'd see ideological blinders there.

"But it's up to Congress to... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

"But it's up to Congress to get off its butt and reprimand him for it."

There to busy lining there own pockets. In the mean time don't expect us to accept this preposterous use of the military as 'legal'. Everything this clown does sets new lows as some kind of privileged precedent.

2012 he will try wagging the dog or enacting martial law over something. Count on it!

While I won't bash the libe... (Below threshold)
epador:

While I won't bash the liberal, I will divert a bit and note I sure hope this is a Mel Brooks and not a Tom Petty reference. However, in light of your recent "I'm not dead yet" title, one should note that "History of the World, Part I" was a reference to Sir Walter Raleigh only getting to Volume I of his tome before he was beheaded (and presumably really dead).

Back to the subject at hand, whether the legal system as currently in place will legitimately deal with the issues listed at all is the real frightening question. And the answer we see so far suggests as long as the current regime is in power, NO. Whether at a later date it can and will, will show whether our Republic can withstand such an attack on propriety.

James is absolutely right o... (Below threshold)

James is absolutely right on a few things. I didn't introduce anything new -- it was just a summary of various already-discussed things, tied together under a consistent theme. And yeah, I should have mentioned Libya explicitly.

The "coercion" is on the part of the gun dealers who were told to allow the straw buys they would normally refuse and report. They were told to go along with the normally illegal sales in order to maintain the good favor of the BATF, so they could... um... that part's kind of vague, but apparently they had a darned good reason to want to allow guns into the hands of the Mexican cartels, and it certainly was NOT for the purpose of supporting their cock and bull story about how the majority of their guns are from the US. Because that would be just wrong.

I reiterate: the majority of James' criticisms are entirely accurate. They just boil down to "I didn't do what he expects from me."

But in this case, that wasn't what I was aiming for. Nothing new, just a summation and tying together. In musical terms, a "best of" album with no original tracks. Kind of like how I have never bought a Weird Al collection, as I have all the original albums.

J.

Someone who understands the... (Below threshold)
jillosophy:

Someone who understands the workings of the human body is a more effective and efficient killer, too. So, Dr. Hussein Obama knows just where to apply his scalpel.

The gun owners make a littl... (Below threshold)
James H:

The gun owners make a little more sense now. This Fast & Furious bit stinks from the get go.

If you want to build your "Obama is a power-hungry weasel" thesis, take a trip through Greenwald sometime soon.

James H:... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

James H:

If I were, for example, to bring up the Bush-era wiretapping programs (continued under Obama), would you accuse me of wearing ideological blinders and seeing an unconstitutional act where none exists?

I think that would depend on how far you took the argument and how much (or little) evidence you were willing to consider.
IMO, there was enough potential for abuse that looking into it was a rational response. But then many showed their partisanship by refusing any argument or fact that didn't support that Bu$h == Hitler. ;)
And the irony meter nearly got stuck on 11 when the anti-Bush arguments came from pundits that years earlier ignored the FBI files that magically appeared in Hillary's closet.
I can deal better with folks that are consistent about their outrage re: government abuse of power and trampling of rights, no matter if I agree with the outrage or not.

Hullo, Wizbang! Hullo, Jay... (Below threshold)
BR:

Hullo, Wizbang! Hullo, Jay Tea!

Haven't been here since CBSgate and Plamegate.

Remember Newcomer?

'Rathergate' expert on birth certificate: 'Highly suspicious'

Typography pro played key role in ending career of CBS News anchor.

Good grief. Have you guys ... (Below threshold)
BR:

Good grief. Have you guys gone tame? Taking trolls seriously nowadays?

I remember when things got really hot for the culprits during CBSgate here with all the great Wizbang sleuthing, the troll seismograph readings shot up.

That is not a bill that som... (Below threshold)

That is not a bill that someone should be passing now … to take permission or not … to fund or not … the bill that should be passed right now collectively with all nations is “NO MORE WARS FOR MONEY”. That’s the bill they should pass right now. This bill should imply that the warring nations … this is the nations that are bombing the country should not in any way get involved in any kind of direct or indirect financial transactions with the victim country. That’s what we should fight for now … that’s the bill they should pass now.

After seeing what they have done in Ruka … what is stopping us from bringing about such a resolution?

Common sense!?

Read more:

http://godinthejungle.com/index.php/story-notes/395-saturday-june-25-2011.html




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