Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Executive Privilege

June 20, 2012
Official photographic portrait of US President...

Barack Milhous Obama?

 

Oh, boy. President Obama is invoking executive privilege to avoid handing over documents related to Fast and Furious, and a House panel has voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

 

A Republican-run House committee voted today to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt after President Obama asserted executive privilege over documents in the “Fast and Furious” operation.

Holder’s Justice Department requested that Obama claim the privilege and withhold documents concerning the botched gun-smuggling operation and the death of a U.S. border agent.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines for the contempt citation, after a full day of sniping between folks on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

The “decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the Fast and Furious operation or the cover-up that followed,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “The administration has always insisted that wasn’t the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?”

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer shot back that House Republicans are on a “politically motivated, taxpayer-funded, election-year fishing expedition.”

Pfeiffer said Republicans should concentrate instead on extending federal funding for transportation projects and student loans.

 

I seem to recall another president who used executive privilege to perpetuate a cover-up. I don’t think Obama’s attempt will work any better.

 

Just after Obama became president his more enthusiastic supporters compared him to such presidents as Roosevelt and Kennedy, even Lincoln. More recently, Obama’s detractors have taken to comparing him to Carter and Nixon. I think he is worse than either of them. Nixon may have been corrupt, but at least he was an effective president. Carter may have been incompetent, but at least he was honest. With Obama we are getting the worst of both worlds, a president both corrupt and incompetent. And, of course, nobody was killed as a result of the Watergate scandal.

 

 

 

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Victory in Wisconsin

June 6, 2012

Very good news from Wisconsin last night. Scott walker not only won the recall vote, he won by a large enough margin so that the unions and Democrats couldn’t steal the election. Walker won 53% of the vote against his opponent Tom Barrett‘s 46%. This, despite all of the money and all of the attention they gave this race.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) survived a furious campaign seeking his recall on Tuesday, emerging as the victor in a bitter fight over state budgets and collective bargaining rights.

Walker prevailed over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, in the closely-watched campaign that stemmed from a fight in early 2011, when Walker drove a controversial bill stripping public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights through Wisconsin’s legislature. Walker won with 53 percent of the vote while Barrett received 46 percent, a slightly larger margin than when the two ran against one another in 2010.

Walker told a raucous crowd at his election night party that his survival was an affirmation of political “courage.”

“Tonight, we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions,” he said.

Walker’s win served as a symbolic victory for a generation of reform-minded conservatives; the crowd at Walker’s Waukesha election night party let out a large cheer when a local NBC affiliate showed the projection of Walker’s victory.

Conversely, the outcome in Wisconsin was a galling disappointments to Democrats and labor groups that had vowed to seek the Republican governor’s ouster over the collective bargaining law. Tens of millions of dollars flowed into the state both in support and opposition of Walker, reflecting the high stakes in the race.

Well, maybe it won’t be a day long remembered, but this recall election does have considerable significance outside the state of Wisconsin. Walker’s victory will embolden other governors top take on the public sector unions and this will be good for the Republican Party, by cutting off a major source of funding and  support for the Democrat. It will also be good for the country as a whole as governors will be able to enact badly needed fiscal reforms for their state.

I don’t know what this portends for the election in November and it would be imprudent to make any predictions at this point, but I don’t imagine that they are too happy about this in the White House. This is a major defeat for the Liberals’ agenda and they know it.

 

Liberals are such drama queens, aren’t they? No, democracy isn’t dead. This was a fair election and your side lost. I didn’t cry when Obama won.

I am sure that the unions and the Democrats will not be sore losers about this and certainly not resort to threats of violence like those awful racist teabaggers, right?

Well no. Actually they have been flooding twitter with death threats against Governor Walker, which is all of a piece with the lawless and occasionally violent manner in which they have been acting all along. If these thugs had been successful with their intimidation tactics and mobs, I wouldn’t say democracy is dead, but it might be on life support. But the good guys won this one, so I’ll be celebrating.

 

By the way, I can’t wait to read what the Democrat’s fund-raising emails say about this. We wasted millions of dollars in an ill-advised campaign to unseat Scott Walker. Please give more.

Some Political News

May 17, 2012

There have been one or two interesting developments in politics this week. First, there was an upset in the Nebraska primary.

Upstart state Sen. Deb Fischer triumphed in Nebraska’s bitterly contested Republican primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday night, winning the right to face Democrat Bob Kerrey in November.

The race had become a high-profile showdown among tea party leaders, who split their support among three candidates. The seat being vacated by Democrat Ben Nelson is considered the GOP’s best opportunity for a Senate pickup this fall.

Former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had endorsed Fischer last week, giving the little-known rancher from the Sandhills region a boost. “The Palins are in your corner,” the endorsement said. This week, former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain followed suit.

Fischer’s two main opponents, state Atty. Gen. Jon Bruning and state Treasurer Don Stenberg, had spent months battering each other.

Like the Mourdock victory here in Indiana, this is being played as a Tea Party victory, but really it is a sign of how tired voters are of an increasingly dysfunctional and unresponsive political class.

Speaking of which, the federal government still doesn’t have a budget after three years. President Obama submitted one but Congress rejected it unanimously. According to the Washington Times,

President Obama’s budget suffered a second embarrassing defeat Wednesday, when senators voted 99-0 to reject it.

Coupled with the House’s rejection in March, 414-0, that means Mr. Obama’s budget has failed to win a single vote in support this year.

Republicans forced the vote by offering the president’s plan on the Senate floor.

Democrats disputed that it was actually the president’s plan, arguing that the slim amendment didn’t actually match Mr. Obama’s budget document, which ran thousands of pages. But Republicans said they used all of the president’s numbers in the proposal, so it faithfully represented his plan.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, even challenged Democrats to point out any errors in the numbers and he would correct them — a challenge no Democrats took up.

“A stunning development for the president of the United States in his fourth year in office,” Mr. Sessions said of the unanimous opposition.

The White House has held its proposal out as a “balanced approach” to beginning to rein in deficits. It calls for tax increases to begin to offset higher spending, and would begin to level off debt as a percentage of the economy by 2022. It would produce $6.4 trillion in new deficits over that time.

By contrast the chief Republican alternative from the House GOP would notch just $3.1 trillion in deficits, and three Senate Republican alternatives would all come in below $2 trillion.

The Senate is holding votes Wednesday on Mr. Obama’s budget, the House GOP’s budget and the three Senate Republican alternatives. None was expected to gain the 50 votes needed to pass the chamber.

I gather that the president’s budget was not really a serious attempt to control spending but  more of a political gimmick.

I have been pessimistic about the Republican’s chances of defeating Obama in the coming election, especially after it was clear that Romney would be the nominee. I am beginning to think, however, that Obama’s days in the White House are numbered.

Camelot

February 13, 2012

The Camelot mythology regarding John F. Kennedy has to be one of the greatest humbugs ever foisted on the American people by the mainstream media and the liberals. The more we learn about John Kennedy, the more deplorable his actions seem to be. He and his father lied about his war record. He took sole credit for his book Profiles in Courage, even though Theodore Sorensen did the actual writing. His personal life was far sleazier than Bill Clinton’s worst fantasies. He was not as healthy and vigorous as claimed but may well have suffered from addison’s disease, which could have affected his judgement. And yet, according to the left, he was one of our greatest presidents since Obama.

In case you’re wondering, it was this article I read in Big Journalism that brought on that rant. Here are a few excerpts, but you have to read it all.

With the recent news of a 19 year old White House intern having her virginity taken by the 45 year old JFK, the apologists were lined up on NBC’s Rock Center (the show has now moved to Wednesday’s because the Monday ratings were horrible—perhaps they should bring Leno back to do it.)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy remains a mythic figure in American public life and in the memories of so many of us,” said host Brian Williams. Mythic? Is that the word you use after broadcasting an hour of Mimi Alford’s account of the trysts in the White House that included oral sex with at least one member of Kennedy’s Cabinet while JFK watched? “Mythic”? Perverted might be a better word (Alford also claims JFK wanted her to “service” little brother Teddy, but she said no to that; so at there was some decency here).

Say what you will about Clinton, but he never tried to share Monica Lewinsky with any members of his cabinet, or with his brother. And, I am positive that none of the women Clinton slept with was actually a spy.

The news that before the embargo of Cuban products JFK asked Pierre Salinger to buy him as many Cuban cigars as he could. Salinger got 1,200 of them and when they were brought into the Oval Office, Kennedy immediately signed the embargo that is still in place today. Quite the leader there, once he had his Cuban cigars, he was good to go. Regardless of what you think of the embargo, this is a classic abuse of power that is not surprising now that we know the real JFK. Maybe the Rushmore likeness can have him smoking one of those cigars.

Also, while we’re talking legacy here, did you know JFK was the guy who, with his brother Bobby, illegally wiretapped Martin Luther King and that both sat in the White House during the famous “I Have A Dream” speech because they were worried about the political ramifications had they gone to it? Probably didn’t know that, did ya? Hard to see through the aura of Camelot.

“He did what he wanted to do regardless of other people’s feelings and I think that made him strong,” added Matthews. Amazing, ignoring others feelings is now a sign of strength in a President. We’ll expect you to use that same standard on the Republican candidates during this campaign cycle when you spew your venom towards them on MSNBC. Ignoring others feelings is now a sign of strength (when it’s JFK.)  Brilliant. Love to see you mention that when you accuse Mitt Romney of being out of touch. Also—help me out here—were the Kennedy’s wealthy? I forget. Oh ya, that’s right, pops made money as an illegal bootlegger and passed it on to his boys. Camelot.

Yes, at least Romney made his money legally. By the way, why do we still have an embargo against Cuba? If we can trade with Communist China, why not with Communist Cuba?

In a way, being assassinated was the best thing that could have happened to Kennedy, in that it made him a martyr of sorts and beyond criticism for at least two decades. If he had survived, he almost certainly would have been re-elected to a second term and I have a feeling that some of the sordidness of Camelot would have leaked out despite the efforts of the media to protect him, not to mention the troubles that our increasing involvement in Vietnam would have brought.

Romney Wins the Nevada Caucus

February 5, 2012

Mitt Romney easily won the Nevada caucus with 48 % of the vote. Gingrich was a distant second 23% and Ron Paul was third with 19%. These results were expected and the large number of Mormon voters in Nevada probably supported Romney. I think that there is little doubt that Romney will be the eventual nominee, though Gingrich and especially Paul will continue the fight.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of voters are coming to prefer a third choice. As Reuters reports,

He won’t be in this Sunday’s Super Bowl and his Denver Broncos are already 50-to-1 longshots for next year’s National Football League title, but if Tim Tebow swapped the pigskin for politics, he just might be a shoo-in for the White House.

Asked which NFL playoff quarterback they would choose for president of the United States in the coming election, more than one in four voters go for Tebow, according to the results of a new Reuters/Ipsos poll of likely voters released on Friday.

Tebow’s success on the field in the past few months helped to make him a media sensation as he turned a struggling Denver Broncos team around. His open and oft-professed religious faith gained him huge support in the evangelical community.

Of course he has never run anything in his life and has no executive experience, but then neither did Obama. It would be hard to argue that Tebow could do a worse job than Obama, and he is certainly more appealing than Romney.

 

English: Tim Tebow, a player on the Denver Bro...

L’Etat, c’est moi

January 9, 2012

Or, “I am the state”. This remark has been attributed to Louis XIV, probably the most powerful king of France. During his long reign of seventy-two years, the Sun King, as he was known, systematicaly increased the power of the monarchy by reducing or eliminating any other center of power in France. The French legislature, the Estates-General, had already ceased to meet. The nobility was emasculated and made to serve as Louis’s personal servants. Louis revoked the Edict of Nantes, which gave some protection to French protestants, and made sure the French Catholic Church was under his control. By the end of his life, Louis could truly say that all of the functions of the state rested in him personally.

King Barak I

Barak Obama cannot truly say so much yet, but it would seem that that is what he would like, as this article by Fred Siegel and Joel Kotkin in City Journal suggests.

“I refuse to take ‘No’ for an answer,” said President Obama this week as he claimed new powers for himself in making recess appointments while Congress wasn’t legally in recess. The chief executive’s power grab in naming appointees to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board has been depicted by administration supporters as one forced upon a reluctant Obama by Republican intransigence. But this isn’t the first example of the president’s increasing tendency to govern with executive-branch powers. He has already explained that “where Congress is not willing to act, we’re going to go ahead and do it ourselves.” On a variety of issues, from immigration to the environment to labor law, that’s just what he’s been doing—and he may try it even more boldly should he win reelection. This “go it alone” philosophy reflects an authoritarian trend emerging on the political left since the conservative triumph in the 2010 elections.

The president and his coterie could have responded to the 2010 elections by conceding the widespread public hostility to excessive government spending and regulation. That’s what the more clued-in Clintonites did after their 1994 midterm defeats. But unlike Clinton, who came from the party’s moderate wing and hailed from the rural South, the highly urban progressive rump that is Obama’s true base of support has little appreciation for suburban or rural Democrats. In fact, some liberals even celebrated the 2010 demise of the Blue Dog and Plains States Democrats, concluding that the purged party could embrace a purer version of the liberal agenda. So instead of appealing to the middle, the White House has pressed ahead with Keynesian spending and a progressive regulatory agenda.

Much of the administration’s approach has to do with a change in the nature of liberal politics. Today’s progressives cannot be viewed primarily as pragmatic Truman- or Clinton-style majoritarians. Rather, they resemble the medieval clerical class. Their goal is governmental control over everything from what sort of climate science is permissible to how we choose to live our lives. Many of today’s progressives can be as dogmatic in their beliefs as the most strident evangelical minister or mullah. Like Al Gore declaring the debate over climate change closed, despite the Climategate e-mails and widespread skepticism, the clerisy takes its beliefs as based on absolute truth. Critics lie beyond the pale.

As his recess appointments made while the Senate is not recessed might indicate, Obama already seems to feel he can do without the legislative branch. He doesn’t like opposition very much either. These authoritarian tendencies seem to be getting increasingly prominent on the Left. There seems to be an increasing sense that the American people are just too stupid to appreciate the good that Liberal policies can do them and so maybe they shouldn’t be asked.

If Obama does win, 2013 could possibly bring something approaching a constitutional crisis. With the House and perhaps the Senate in Republican hands, Obama’s clerisy may be tempted to use the full range of executive power. The logic for running the country from the executive has been laid out already. Republican control of just the House, argues Chicago congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., has made America ungovernable. Obama, he said during the fight over the debt limit, needed to bypass the Constitution because, as in 1861, the South (in this case, the Southern Republicans) was “in a state of rebellion” against lawful authority. Beverley Perdue, the Democratic governor of North Carolina, concurred: she wanted to have elections suspended for a stretch. (Perdue’s office later insisted this was a joke, but most jokes aren’t told deadpan or punctuated with “I really hope someone can agree with me on that.” Also: Nobody laughed.)

The Left’s growing support for a soft authoritarianism is reminiscent of the 1930s, when many on both right and left looked favorably at either Stalin’s Soviet experiment or its fascist and National Socialist rivals. Tom Friedman of the New York Times recently praised Chinese-style authoritarianism for advancing the green agenda. The “reasonably enlightened group” running China, he asserted, was superior to our messy democracy in such things as subsidizing green industry. Steven Rattner, the investment banker and former Obama car czar, dismisses the problems posed by China’s economic and environmental foibles and declares himself “staunchly optimistic” about the future of that country’s Communist Party dictatorship. And it’s not just the gentry liberals identifying China as their model: labor leader Andy Stern, formerly the president of the Service Employees International Union and a close ally of the White House, celebrates Chinese authoritarianism and says that our capitalistic pluralism is headed for “the trash heap of history.” The Chinese, Stern argues, get things done.

Just like Mussolini got the trains to run on time, I guess. Actually he didn’t. I think though that it would be unfair to blame Obama too much for the increasing power of the executive at the expense of the legislative branch. Congress has a good share of the blame too, since too many Congressmen are simply unwilling to do anything that might jeopardize their chances of reelection and so don’t mind ceding their power. Whoever wins this year’s election, we have got to re-establish the principle that we are a nation,even the President, under the rule of law. Otherwise we might be living under our own Sun King.

There is a lot more to the article and I suggest you read the whole thing.

Obama Celebrates Hanukkah Early

December 9, 2011

Here is some more silliness from AP and Drudge.

President Barack Obama is marking Hanukkah as a story of “faith over doubt.”

Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden convened a Hanukkah celebration at the White House Thursday in an early celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Obama said the Hanukkah story was about “right over might, faith over doubt.” In the Hanukkah story, a small band of Jews rededicating a Jerusalem temple found that a one-day supply of oil kindled a flame instead for eight.

The president noted “our unshakeable support and commitment to the security of the nation of Israel.”

Hanukkah begins at sunset on Dec. 20. Obama joked that everyone needs to be “careful that your kids don’t start thinking Hanukkah lasts 20 nights instead of eight.”

I wouldn’t bother mentioning this, except that if he were a Republican we would never hear the end of this. The MSM would spin this as proof of the President’s stupidity. I know that being president, he has a lot on his mind, but isn’t someone on his staff responsible for making sure he celebrates holidays on the correct dates?

I had better get to work on my Hanukkah post, since it is arriving earlier than I expected.

Obama Kids

September 1, 2011

Here is a blast from the past

I don’t much care for the part at the end where the children singing praises for Obama are compared to German schoolchildren praising Hitler. Whatever his faults, Obama is not Hitler. Still, there is something creepy and unsettling about children singing the praises of politicians. I thought there was something creepy and unsettling about the whole personality cult that some of Obama’s more fervent supporters were promoting. I don’t know how much Obama himself supported this kind of over-enthusiasm or whether he ever tried to tone it down. I would hope so but maybe he believed the hype himself. This video suggests he did.

I have to wonder if the parents of these children are still so enamored of Obama, or whether the past two years have disenchanted them. I wonder if they are embarrassed by this video. I hope so. If you are looking for a messiah, the last place to look would be in politics.

Uncle Omar

August 29, 2011

One of the disadvantages of being the president is that you have to put up with relatives who do not always behave appropriately  Bad behavior that be overlooked in “normal” people becomes a national scandal or embarrassment if you happen to be the brother, or son or daughter of the President We had Billy Carter, Ron Reagan, Neil Bush, and Roger Clinton. You wouldn’t think that President Obama would have much of a problem with this, since his daughters are young and well behaved. He has a half-sister who is an educator and writer but who lives a relatively private life. But, then there is Uncle Omar. It seems that he in an illegal immigrant and a drunk driver.

The arrest ends a mystery over the fate of a relative that the US President wrote in his memoir had moved to America from Kenya in the 1960s, although the circumstances of his discovery may now prove to be an embarrassment for the White House.

Official records say Onyango Obama, 67, was picked up outside the Chicken Bone Saloon in Framingham, Massachusetts, at 7.10pm on August 24. Police say he nearly crashed his Mitsubishi 4×4 into a patrol car, and then insisted that the officer should have given way to him. A report filed with the Framingham District Court said that a breathalyser at the police station registered his blood alcohol at 0.14mg/100ml of blood, above the state limit of 0.08mg.

According to a local newspaper, Mr Obama was charged with driving under the influence and driving to endanger, as well as failing to use a turn signal. He was detained as an illegal immigrant because the US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has an outstanding warrant for him because he was previously ordered to be deported to Kenya.

The Times has established from his birthdate that Mr Obama is the Uncle Omar mentioned in President Obama’s best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father. In the 1995 book, President Obama writes of “the uncle who had left for America 25 years ago and had never come back”.

I am going to guess that they are not going to have a reunion at the White House.

It’s interesting that the link Drudge provided for this leads to The Australian.  I wonder if very many US newspapers have picked this story up.

It’s in the Washington Times where they include the detail that he tried to call the White House. I would love to be able to listen to a recording of that conversation.

Oil Pipeline Protest

August 21, 2011
Location of bitumen depoits ("tarsands&qu...

There's oil in them thar hills

From The Hill. Because $3.60 a gallon for gasoline is just not expensive enough. We surely don’t need any more jobs in this economy. That’s one explanation for these protesters outside the White House who do not want President Obama to approve a pipeline to bring oil from Alberta’s oil sands down to the Gulf Coast.

Police arrested 65 environmentalists outside the White House Saturday as they staged a demonstration urging President Obama to block a proposed pipeline that would bring oil from Canada’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.

The civil disobedience launched two-weeks of White House demonstrations – with more arrests to come – as activists seek to increase political pressure on Obama over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The Obama administration is weighing TransCanada Corp.’s proposed $7 billion, 1,700-mile line to bring crude from Alberta’s massive oil sands projects to the Texas Gulf Coast.

The pipeline needs State Department approval to proceed, and the Obama administration plans to make a decision by the end of the year.

The protesters recite the usual litany about environmental damage and global warming (I’m sorry climate change).

But environmentalists oppose the greenhouse gas-intensive oil sands projects due to concerns about global warming and the destruction of Canadian forests, and also say the pipeline could suffer from spills that pollute U.S. water supplies.

We have to get our oil from somewhere, and I like Canada a whole lot better than I like Saudi Arabia. Of course, it would be nice if these people would allow us to extract  more of our own supply, but that’s just crazy talk.

I like this comment toward the end of the article.

McKibben, a key organizer of the protests, calls the Obama administration decision a referendum on the president’s climate change record, noting the decision rests solely with the executive branch.

“He doesn’t have to go through the crazy climate deniers in Congress to be able to do the right thing,” McKibben said in Lafayette Square Saturday morning.

“If Barack Obama mans up, says no to this thing, it will send a surge of electricity through all of the people that voted for him three years ago. It will be the reminder of why we were so enamored of this guy in 2008,” McKibben said.

If Barack Obama really wants to be a one-term president, then by all means he should stop the pipeline. As I said, it’s not like we need to provide more jobs or something.

 

And, as always, thanks to Instapundit for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

 


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