Posts Tagged ‘BARAK OBAMA – DIRTY’
By: Charles Krauthammer
6/21/2012 08:00 PM
“With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations [of immigrants brought here illegally as children] through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed.”
– President Obama, March 28, 2011
WASHINGTON — Those laws remain on the books. They have not changed. Yet Obama last week suspended these very deportations — granting infinitely renewable “deferred action” with attendant work permits — thereby unilaterally rewriting the law. And doing precisely what he himself admits he is barred from doing.
Obama had tried to change the law. In late 2010, he asked Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which offered a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants. Congress refused.
When subsequently pressed by Hispanic groups to simply implement the law by executive action, Obama explained that it would be illegal. “Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. … But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.”
That was then. Now he’s gone and done it anyway. It’s obvious why. The election approaches and his margin is slipping. He needs a big Hispanic vote and this is the perfect pander. After all, who will call him on it? A supine press? Congressional Democrats? Nothing like an upcoming election to temper their Bush 43-era zeal for defending Congress’ exclusive Article I power to legislate.
With a single Homeland Security Department memo, the immigration laws no longer apply to 800,000 people. By what justification? Prosecutorial discretion, says Janet Napolitano.
This is utter nonsense. Prosecutorial discretion is the application on a case-by-case basis of considerations of extreme and extenuating circumstances. No one is going to deport, say, a 29-year-old illegal immigrant whose parents had just died in some ghastly accident and who is the sole support for a disabled younger sister and ailing granny. That’s what prosecutorial discretion is for. The Napolitano memo is nothing of the sort. It’s the unilateral creation of a new category of persons — a class of 800,000 — who, regardless of individual circumstance, are hereby exempt from current law so long as they meet certain biographic criteria.
This is not discretion. This is a fundamental rewriting of the law.
Imagine: A Republican president submits to Congress a bill abolishing the capital gains tax. Congress rejects it. The president then orders the IRS to stop collecting capital gains taxes, and declares that anyone refusing to pay them will suffer no fine, no penalty, no sanction whatsoever. (Analogy first suggested by law professor John Yoo.)
It would be a scandal, a constitutional crisis, a cause for impeachment. Why? Because unlike, for example, war powers, this is not an area of perpetual executive-legislative territorial contention. Nor is cap-gains, like the judicial status of unlawful enemy combatants, an area where the law is silent or ambiguous. Capital gains is straightforward tax law. Just as Obama’s bombshell amnesty-by-fiat is a subversion of straightforward immigration law.
It is shameful that Congressional Democrats should be applauding such a brazen end-run. Of course it’s smart politics. It divides Republicans, rallies the Hispanic vote and pre-empts Marco Rubio’s attempt to hammer out an acceptable legislative compromise. Very clever. But, by Obama’s own admission, it is naked lawlessness.
As for policy, I sympathize with the obvious humanitarian motives of the DREAM Act. But two important considerations are overlooked in concentrating exclusively on the DREAM Act poster child, the straight-A valedictorian who rescues kittens from trees.
First, offering potential illegal immigrants the prospect that, if they can successfully hide long enough, their children will one day freely enjoy the bounties of American life creates a huge incentive for yet more illegal immigration.
Second, the case for compassion and fairness is hardly as clear-cut as advertised. What about those who languish for years in godforsaken countries awaiting legal admission to America? Their scrupulousness about the law could easily cost their children the American future that illegal immigrants will have secured for theirs.
But whatever our honest and honorable disagreements about the policy, what holds us together is a shared allegiance to our constitutional order. That’s the fundamental issue here. As Obama himself argued in rejecting the executive action he has now undertaken, “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am obligated to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that.”
Except, apparently, when violating that solemn obligation serves his re-election needs.
by Joel Durmon
Judicial Watch reports,
Judicial Watch, the organization that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it has obtained records from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) regarding meetings and communications between government agencies and Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award-winning director of The Hurt Locker, and screenwriter Mark Boal. According to the records, the Obama Defense Department granted Bigelow and Boal access to a “planner, Operator and Commander of SEAL Team Six,” which was responsible for the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, to assist Bigelow prepare her upcoming feature film.
The records, obtained pursuant to court order in a Freedom of Information Actlawsuit filed on January 21, 2012, include 153 pages of records from the DOD and 113 pages of records from the CIA (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:12-cv-00049)). The documents were delivered to Judicial Watch late last Friday (May 18). . . .
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote that the information leak was designed to help the Obama 2012 presidential reelection campaign: “The White House is also counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of Bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual. The Sony film by the Oscar-winning pair who made ‘The Hurt Locker’ will no doubt reflect the president’s cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 — perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.”
This story was broken last month by TradeAidMonitor.com but the Statement of Work (SOW) is published on FBO.gov.
Indonesian nationals will benefit from this proposal because they get free education! US educational institutions will benefit because they get a new flurry of funds. But how does the average Joe taxpayer benefit from this?
And to add further insult, these Indonesian citizens with Masters degrees will compete for the same jobs as Americans and have the potential to stay in this country after gaining employment. Would it be a stretch to say this proposal could wind up taking jobs away from the American people?
The Obama administration, despite the nation’s economic woes, effectively killed the job-producing Keystone Pipeline last month. The Arab Spring is turning the oil production of Libya and other Arab nations over to the Muslim Brotherhood. Iraq is distancing itself from the U.S. And everyone recognizes that Iran, whose crude supplies are critical to the European economy, will do anything it can to frustrate America’s strategic interests. In the face of all of this, Obama insists on cutting back U.S. oil potential with outrageous restrictions.
Part of Obama’s apparent war against U.S. energy independence includes a foreign-aid program that directly threatens my state’s sovereign territory. Obama’s State Department is giving away seven strategic, resource-laden Alaskan islands to the Russians. Yes, to the Putin regime in the Kremlin.
The seven endangered islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea include one the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The Russians are also to get the tens of thousands of square miles of oil-rich seabeds surrounding the islands. The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake.
The State Department has undertaken the giveaway in the guise of a maritime boundary agreement between Alaska and Siberia. Astoundingly, our federal government itself drew the line to put these seven Alaskan islands on the Russian side. But as an executive agreement, it could be reversed with the stroke of a pen by President Obama or Secretary Clinton.
The agreement was negotiated in total secrecy. The state of Alaska was not allowed to participate in the negotiations, nor was the public given any opportunity for comment. This is despite the fact the Alaska Legislature has passed resolutions of opposition – but the State Department doesn’t seem to care.
The imperiled Arctic Ocean islands include Wrangel, Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta. Wrangel became American in 1881 with the landing of the U.S. Revenue Marine ship Thomas Corwin. The landing party included the famed naturalist John Muir. It is 3,000 square miles in size.
Northwest of Wrangel are the DeLong Islands, named for George Washington DeLong, the captain of USS Jeannette. Also in 1881, he discovered and claimed these three islands for the United States. He named them for the voyage co-sponsor, New York City newspaper publisher James Gordon Bennett. The ship’s crew received a hero’s welcome back in Washington, and Congress awarded them gold medals.
In the Bering Sea at the far west end of the Aleutian chain are Copper Island, Sea Lion Rock and Sea Otter Rock. They were ceded to the U.S. in Seward’s 1867 treaty with Russia.
Now is the time for the Obama administration to stand up for U.S. and Alaskan rights and invaluable resources. The State Department’s maritime agreement is a loser – it gives us nothing in return for giving up Alaska’s sovereign territory and invaluable resources. We won the Cold War and should start acting like it.
The Obama administration must stop the giveaway immediately.
Author’s addendum, Feb. 17, 2012: This is not a new issue. In fact the Bush and Clinton administrations are directly at fault for the same inaction. A maritime agreement negotiated by the U.S. State Department set the Russian boundary on the other side of the disputed islands, but no treaty has ratified this action. Consequently, it is within the president’s power to stop this giveaway. The Alaska delegation’s failure to put pressure on the administration is inexplicable. State Department Watch, an organization that assisted with this article, has confronted each administration and is currently confronting the Obama administration — and has been met by silence. I’m hoping this piece will help reinvigorate efforts to stop this handover.
Joe Miller was the 2010 Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Alaska. He is a West Point graduate and decorated combat veteran from the first Gulf War. A former judge, Joe graduated from Yale Law School and was later awarded an advanced economics degree from the University of Alaska. He is presently chairman of Restoring Liberty Alaska PAC and Restoring Liberty Action Committee. Follow Joe at Facebook and Twitter.
By Peter Wallsten, Published: October 14
President Obama and his team have decided to turn public anger at Wall Street into a central tenet of their reelection strategy.
The move comes as the Occupy Wall Street protests gain momentum across the country and as polls show deep public distrust of the nation’s major financial institutions.
And it sets up what strategists see as a potent line of attack against Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, a former investment executive whom Obama aides plan to portray as a wealthy Wall Street sympathizer.
Many Democrats consider Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, the greatest threat to Obama when it comes to wooing centrist independents next year, and Romney this week has begun to present himself as a champion of middle-income Americans.
Obama aides point to recent surveys that show anger at Wall Street spanning ideologies, including a new Washington Post-ABC News poll in which 68 percent of independents and 60 percent of Republicans say they have unfavorable impressions of the big financial institutions.
But the strategy of channeling anti-Wall Street anger carries risks. Many of Obama’s senior advisers have ties to the financial industry — a point that makes Occupy protesters wary of the president and his party.
In recent days, Obama has ramped up his rhetoric. He took the unusual step of targeting an individual company when he attacked Bank of America for its new $5 monthly debit-card fee, calling it “exactly the sort of stuff that folks are frustrated by.” And his campaign and the White House have distributed messages blasting GOP candidates and lawmakers for wanting to repeal Wall Street regulations pushed by Obama and opposing the confirmation of a leader for the consumer protection bureau created as part of the overhaul.
“We intend to make it one of the central elements of the campaign next year,” Obama senior adviser David Plouffe said in an interview. “One of the main elements of the contrast will be that the president passed Wall Street reform and our opponent and the other party want to repeal it.”
“I’m pretty confident 12 months from now, as people make the decision about who to go vote for, the gut check is going to be about, ‘Who would make decisions more about helping my life than Wall Street?’ ” Plouffe added.
Romney, no doubt anticipating the White House’s new attack line, sought to show solidarity with the demonstrators during this week’s GOP candidates debate.
“The reason you’re seeing protests . . . is middle-income Americans are having a hard time making ends meet,” he said.
GOP leaders say the Wall Street law is government overreach, and Romney’s economic plan calls for replacing it with a “streamlined regulatory framework.”
Obama has tried this line of attack before, railing in 2009 against “fat-cat bankers” who he accused of taking excessive bonuses in the wake of the financial meltdown. But after complaints from Democrats on Wall Street and business leaders, the president has spent much of the past year courting companies — even hiring a new chief of staff, William Daley, from the banking industry.
And many on the left have attacked Obama and his administration for its ties to Wall Street, arguing that the financial regulatory overhaul fell far short of an industry makeover that many critics believed necessary.
Much of his top economic team has roots in the financial services industry, and in recent months Daley and top campaign aides have devoted much of their time improving the relationship with big-dollar donors on Wall Street.
That relationship helps explain the brewing tensions between Democratic officials and the Occupy Wall Street protests. The growing movement is adding new energy to a disaffected left that the party has been trying to excite — but it is largely separate from traditional party institutions.
“The fact that Obama has been so close to Wall Street makes this tough going for him,” said Van Jones, a longtime liberal organizer and former Obama aide.
Tea party echoes
The situation mirrors the choice Republican Party officials confronted in 2009 as the tea party movement found its footing and began challenging establishment figures in the GOP hierarchy. Over time, a series of establishment groups such as FreedomWorks began coordinating with the activists, and the tea party insurgency began to more closely resemble the energized GOP base.
Liberal activists, though, see the Occupy groups as a potentially more unwieldy phenomenon resistant to traditional politics and resentful of the Democratic Party’s reliance on corporate money.
That distrust was evident at an Atlanta demonstration last week, when Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a legendary protester in his own right, was denied the chance to speak. A video of the incident, in which Lewis looks on uncomfortably as activists rise to debate whether allowing a congressman to speak violates the spirit of the protest, became an Internet sensation.
Other disputes have been raging online and in person at demonstration sites across the country. At Occupy D.C., the McPherson Square encampment inspired by Occupy Wall Street, a shouting match erupted this week when a woman describing herself as a longtime Democratic campaign worker encouraged the young protesters to express their concerns by voting, only to be told that voting was not enough.
An Obama strategist from Florida, Steve Schale, posted on his Facebook page that “clamoring for change is hollow unless you vote.” He linked to an image from the liberal Think Progress blog calling on activists to “Occupy the Polls.”
A former Obama volunteer from central Florida, Madison Paige, retorted on Schale’s page that voting alone could not fix the system, saying, “We have to be willing to do the hardest work — and that means taking a look in the mirror when necessary.”
How demonstrators channel their activism could depend on what they see and hear from Obama in the coming months — meaning the protests present opportunities and perils for the president as he starts to strike a more populist tone on the campaign trail.
“It’s not a danger — if [Obama] handles it properly,” said Steve Hildebrand, an architect of Obama’s 2008 grass-roots organization who is not affiliated with the reelection effort. “I would encourage him to carefully listen to the people who are passionately protesting Wall Street, big corporations and CEO pay.”
Obama and his aides have been cautious in discussing the demonstrations. The president said last week that the protesters were “giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.”
But Obama also defended his support for bailing out distressed banks after the 2008 financial crisis, saying he “used up a lot of political capital, and I’ve got the dings and bruises to prove it, in order to make sure that we prevented a financial meltdown and that banks stayed afloat.”
Obama and his campaign are now ramping up efforts to portray the Wall Street overhaul he signed last year as a key rallying point. A campaign e-mail sent last week — as the demonstrations gained momentum — urged supporters to pressure the Senate to confirm former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created as part of the law.
“The goal of this campaign — and this President — is to make sure people who work hard and play by the rules get a fair shake, whether that means being able to get a loan to buy a house and send your kid to college, or not having to go bankrupt when you get sick,” the e-mail said.
Polls suggest that pressing such issues and going after the banks could be a winner, both with liberals and centrists. But it could also become uncomfortable next year — particularly if Obama continues to single out institutions such as Bank of America.
His party will hold its convention next year in Charlotte, a major banking city known nationally as the firm’s corporate home town.
Polling analyst Scott Clement contributed to this report.