Archive for Barack Augustus Obama

King Hussein

As the affronts and outrages pile up, it’s hard to remember which affront is the most outrageous.

This one is:

JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR: There is an issue whether the judge reached a bit too far from the case at hand. This really wasn’t a direct challenge to the immigration action taken by the president but it is scathing and the judge is touching on many complaints that have been raised in other lawsuits that do directly challenge these actions.

What’s a serious question here is the president’s decision to go it alone, not just in this area but other areas. We don’t have a license to go it alone in the United States. The scope of this type of action is legislative. It’s huge. It affects millions. But more importantly, it requires both the federal and state government to spend a great deal of money to support something that didn’t go through the legislative branch. And what people miss, and I think what this judge is trying to establish, is that that process of legislation is the very touch stone of our system, it’s what brings stability to our system. We have to agree, we have to compromise with legislation. When a president does it unilaterally, it takes that whole system off line. And that could be a dangerous thing.

I highlighted the main point. The Constitution assigns powers, not the president. Obama does not have the power to execute what he has so far merely spoken (but which is being executed nevertheless). How does that happen?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Congress may try legislative fixes and fiscal blockades, but the very act(s) itself is invalid. It does not carry the weight of law because it is not law. He has appropriated what does not belong to him, only unlike looters taking flat screen TVs or 12-packs of Miller, he has made off with powers assigned to the legislative branch of the government. And no one is lifting a finger to stop him.

TURLEY: The key to a Madisonian system is that nobody has enough power to go it alone, that was the genius of James Madison. But we’re seeing the rise of a new model of presidency and I believe that supporters of President Obama will rue the day when they stay silent in the face of this kind of concentration of power. This is the very danger that the constitution was designed to prevent, the concentration of power in one person’s hands or one branch…

Correction, Professor Turley. Supporters of President Obama will never “rue the day when they stay[ed] silent in the face of this kind of concentration of power”. If some day the tables are turned (as with the filibuster in the Senate), they will rue nothing. They will shout, declaim, cry, and caterwaul for “fairness” and “justice” until they get their way.

They believe in winning—even more, they believe in the other fellow losing. I thought the Constitution protected us against people like that, but I guess that’s where I was wrong.


See You in Court

You’ll be hearing from my lawyers:

President Barack Obama’s new plan to ease the threat of deportation for 4.7 million undocumented immigrants violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge found on Tuesday, handing down the first legal ruling against the plan.

The ruling has no immediate impact, with the government saying there was no reason for Judge Arthur Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania to address the issue in the case, which concerns 42-year-old Honduran immigrant Elionardo Juarez-Escobar.

Schwab is the first judge to rule on the legality of the plan Obama announced on Nov. 20. The executive action by the Democratic president is opposed by Republicans and is already subject to other legal challenges.

Schwab ruled that the executive action violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of separation of powers and the separate “take care clause,” which requires the president to faithfully execute laws passed by Congress.

So what if it’s non-binding? At least someone has the nuts to pronounce on the issue. Over to you, John Boehner (speaking of nuts, or lack thereof).


Aloha, Oy

It’s getting too cold for Obama’s regular weekend golf outings.

You know what that means:

The White House announced Friday that President Obama and his family will leave Washington, D.C. on December 19 for their annual Hawaii holiday vacation.

The First Family have been regular visitors to Oahu ever since President Obama first took office in 2008.

In recent years, the First Family has stayed in a Kailua beachfront home. The White House has not yet confirmed where they will be vacationing this month.

In years past, President Obama has done things like work out at the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base’s gym, golf with Punahou School friends, go out for shave ice with the family and eat at restaurants like Alan Wong’s in town.

Let me note for the record that the Obamas were not regular visitors to Hawaii or Martha’s Vineyard until we started paying for it. All those high school buddies he claims to want to see so badly had to make do with Christmas cards for years.

Judging by his early swing, I don’t think he even played much golf until on the public’s dime.

Maybe if you tried hitting right-handed, sir.


We’ll See You in Court

We’re going to need a bigger courthouse. Is Montana available?

Twenty-four states have signed onto the legal challenge against President Barack Obama over his executive action on immigration, incoming Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.

Abbott, the Texas attorney general who will assume his new role in January, is leading the coalition.

“The president’s proposed executive decree violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law, circumvents the will of the American people and is an affront to the families and individuals who follow our laws to legally immigrate to the United States,” he said in a written statement.

The Texas-led coalition of states in the legal challenge consist of: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Almost half the union is suing President Obama for violating the Constitution. Somebody has to.

PS: Of course, Obama thinks he has 33 states on his side.


Brisbane on $1.7 Million a Day

Not even a day: a night.

President Obama stayed only one night in Australia for the G-20 summit, but the entire presidential delegation required over 4,000 rooms costing in excess of $1.7 million for the entire stay. Rooms at three different hotels were reserved for the U.S. delegation, and due to the large number of countries involved in the summit, the Australian government parceled out available hotels to each nation’s delegation. The majority of the U.S. delegation stayed at the Brisbane Marriott, with the remainder staying at two other Brisbane hotels, the Urban and the Adina.

While the average room cost in the three contracts came to $423/night, the U.K. Daily Mail reported the president’s suite for his one-night stay on Saturday lists at over $2,000 per night. The Mail also reported on the extensive preparations to the president’s room and the entire floor of the hotel to secure the area for his stay, which included a complete strip-down of the president’s suite.

Just the price of doing business in Brisbane?

US President Barack Obama will stay in the presidential suite at the Marriott Hotel.
Cost – £1,370 (AUS$2,500) a night.

China President Xi Jinping will stay in the Stamford suite at the Stamford Plaza.
Cost – £925 (AUS$1,695) a night.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron will stay at a suite in the Treasury Hotel.
Cost – £690 (AUS$1,259) a night.

Burma President Thein Sein will stay at the signature suite at Gambaros.
Cost – £650 (AUS$1,180) a night.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will stay at the Hilton in a king suite.
Cost – £335 (AUS$615) a night.

Saudia Arabia King Abdullah will stay at the manor suite at the Gold Coast Sanctuary Cove.
Cost – £270 (AUS$495) a night.

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott will stay at a deluxe king suite at Rydges.
Cost – £170 (AUS$309) a night.

Prompting Mark Steyn to observe:

So, for the cost of Obama’s hotel room, you could put up five Saudi kings. The average cost of those 4,096 US hotel rooms was $423 per night. Which means that every single Deputy Assistant Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary of the US Department of Motorcades had a better room than the Aussie PM.

Yeah, so? What’s your point?


Hail to the Chief

There’s a philosophy in defensive football that committing penalties on every play pays off because “they can’t call ‘em all”.

It fits Obama’s MO. Break every law, flout every convention, break every tradition—they can’t call ‘em all:

On Thanksgiving eve, the Obama administration dumped reams of mind-numbing ObamaCare regulations into the Federal Register — including yet more unilateral rewrites of the Affordable Care Act.

Dropping the rules as most Americans were busy preparing for the holiday made a mockery (again) of President Obama’s promise to have “the most transparent administration in history.” The stunt has even worked to keep most of the media from reporting on the rules.

Yet the changes these regulations make in the health care law are substantial.

For one, the president is redefining what health plans are “adequate” for larger employers (100-plus workers) to offer under the Affordable Care Act. He’s also “asking” insurers to pay for new benefits — while warning that, if they don’t, they may be forced to.
Under the Constitution, Obama lacks any authority to make such changes to the health law, or any law. Only Congress has that power.

But he’s doing it, and not for the first time.

The president has made two dozen changes to his health law by executive fiat, from delaying the employer mandate to allowing people to keep health plans that don’t meet ObamaCare standards.

In fact, the House of Representatives is suing him (after Obama explicitly challenged it to do so) for making changes without Congress’ OK.


The basics:

Obama will require large employers to provide more coverage than the Affordable Care Act specifies. The move disqualifies plans now offered by 1,600 employers to 3 million workers, according to Kaiser Health News. Those employers will have to find a way to cover the higher costs — and some will surely do so by stopping coverage for spouses or part-time workers.

The new rules suddenly treat state high-risk pools as adequate coverage under the Affordable Care Act — a 180 from what the law actually says.

When the ACA became law, these plans for people with chronic illnesses were offered in 35 states. Winners will be those who live in the 10 states that haven’t yet phased out their high-risk plans. Losers: the many thousands in 25 states that already gave up their plans to comply with the ACA’s mandates.

The rules tell insurers to give new enrollees a 30-day grace period during which they can continue to use doctors not in their plan’s network. Winners: people who need time to switch to in-network doctors. Losers: taxpayers — who’ll be obliged to bail out the insurers clobbered with the extra cost.

Speaking of bailouts, Section 1342 of the law promises taxpayer-funded bailouts to insurers that lose money selling plans on ObamaCare exchanges. But the bailouts can’t happen unless Congress appropriates the money, something the GOP-controlled Congress won’t want to do. Yet the new Federal Register notices explicitly double down on the administration’s pledge to make insurers whole if losses are bigger than expected.

By repeatedly contradicting the letter of the Affordable Care Act, these new rules add to a pattern of lawlessness in implementing the health law — even as the administration’s boldest misreading of the law is before the Supreme Court.

The framers of the Constitution were terrified of creating a new king in place of the one they had just deposed. That fear ripples through every clause of the Constitution. But along with the “checks and balances” enumerated in the document, there is an implied good faith that each branch of government will abide by the rules, the President most of all. He is the individual with the most power, his removal is the most difficult.

With amnesty, ObamaCare, the IRS, and innumerable other violations, Obama dares us—the people—to try to call him on them with that ageless playground taunt, “what are you going to do about it?”

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L’État, C’est Barack

This has been well-covered, but I can’t let it pass without comment:

Obama was in Chicago on Tuesday night to tout an executive order halting deportations for the undocumented parents of children born in the United States. But — as has been the pattern in recent months — he couldn’t get through the speech without being heckled by protesters who want bolder action.

One called Obama’s claim that his immigration policies are focused on deporting felons, not families, “a lie.” Another said it’s “not just Republicans” who have called undocumented immigrants felons.
Obama told the protesters it “doesn’t make sense to yell at me right now,” given his immigration action last week.

“What you’re not paying attention to is, I just took an action to change the law,” he said as the crowd applauded.

Which is what we’ve been saying. Nice of him to admit it. Now, if he’ll only admit he doesn’t have the authority—no president does—therefore his act is invalid, its impact null and void, he can be that transformational president we were promised, one who can truly bring us together.


Huddled Masses Only Need Apply

The rest of youse can screw:

Last year, about 172,000 people filed for an H-1B worker’s visa, but only about 65,000 were accepted. H-1B visas let employers employ foreign-born, skilled workers, especially those with expertise in computer science, mathematics and related fields. Many foreign nationals who earn advanced degrees at U.S. universities find themselves unable to stay and work after graduation because of the cap on H-1B visas.

“We cannot find the qualified candidates to help drive our businesses forward,” entrepreneur and investor Trevor Klein told CNBC. Klein sold his company to Autozone a few years ago for $150 million dollars and is now betting on a start-up called TV Page that employs a Dutch foreign national in one of the firm’s key positions.

Kuijer has a J1 visa that has let him stay in the country for the past 18 months; however, it will expire at the end of November, and chances are high that he will be deported to the Netherlands.

“Lots of uncertainty in a start-up company, and (it) just introduces another element, which is very frustrating,” he said. “People depend on me. The company depends on me, and I have to physically be here in the United States.”

Investors have put about $3 million into the company to date and are nervous about losing Kuijer.

Suman Kanuganti, an Indian national, has a work visa through his current employer, Intuit. His real passion, though, is for a new company and technology he has created that he says will allow blind people to become more independent.

He used Google Glass to create a way for the visually impaired to be directed by a person in real time who live-streams where that person is going. The product was tested recently during an annual vision walk benefiting the foundation for fighting blindness in San Diego, which San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer attended.

Faulconer praised Suman’s idea, but if the technology takes off, it might not stay in the United States for long.

If Kanuganti wants to develop the idea and company further, he would have to go through the lengthy immigration process all over again in the hopes of obtaining another visa. That’s highly unlikely since there is no “founder’s visa”—for people who actually create companies in the United States—currently offered, attorney Shapochnick, who is currently representing Kanuganti, told CNBC.

“What happens if I don’t get it? Then I have to find another full-time job or go back to my home country,” Kanuganti told CNBC.

Some immigrants cure blindness Americans can’t be bothered to cure; others forge drivers’ licenses Americans can’t be bothered to forge. Obama favors only the latter group.

Besides, that hi-tech start-up you built from nothing? You didn’t build that.


Lost and Found

Lost: One Republic, 238 yrs old, fixer-upper; red, white, and blue; friendly, but do not abuse; answers to “America”.

Found: 30,000 emails (see above):

Up to 30,000 missing emails sent by former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner have been recovered by the IRS inspector general, five months after they were deemed lost forever.

The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed congressional staffers from several committees on Friday that the emails were found among hundreds of “disaster recovery tapes” that were used to back up the IRS email system.

“They just said it took them several weeks and some forensic effort to get these emails off these tapes,” a congressional aide told the Washington Examiner.

Just “weeks” and “effort”, huh? That’s all it took to recover the irrecoverable? On a Friday, the Friday before Thanksgiving week, no less? And they accuse us of cynicism!

The missing emails extend from 2009 to 2011, a period when Lerner headed the IRS’s exempt-organizations division. The emails were lost when Lerner’s computer crashed, IRS officials said earlier this year.

In June Koskinen told Congress the emails were probably lost for good because the disaster recovery tape holds onto the data for only six months. He said even if the IRS had sought the emails within the six-month period, it would have been a complicated and difficult process to produce them from the tapes.

The IRS also lost the emails of several other employees who worked under Lerner during that period.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee he chairs will be one of the committees that will examine the emails.

“Though it is unclear whether TIGTA has found all of the missing Lois Lerner e-mails, there may be significant information in this discovery,” Issa told the Examiner. “The Oversight Committee will be looking for information about her mindset and who she was communicating with outside the IRS during a critical period of time when the IRS was targeting conservative groups. This discovery also underscores the lack of cooperation Congress has received from the IRS. The agency first failed to disclose the loss to Congress and then tried to declare Lerner’s e-mails gone and lost forever. Once again it appears the IRS hasn’t been straight with Congress and the American people.”

I said the other day that Putin is to Obama as Obama is to Congress. Putin flouts the law, abuses norms, lies, justifies, and laughs in the face of argument or protest. Oh, did I write “Putin”? That’s Obama. Putin doesn’t even bother prevaricating; he just takes. It’s time for Ukraine—and Congress—to fight back. Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

In lieu of good men, we’ll just have to hope for the best from the Republicans—i.e. we’re hosed.


The Fascist President

Why be coy?

And why say it myself when I have my own liberal law professor to say it for me?

“No president can take on the power of all three branches and that’s what he seems to be doing. He certainly seems to be taking on legislative authority. He isn’t be particularly coy about this, you know he says ‘this is what I wanted to get out of legislation and I’m going to do it on my own’ and that does become a government of one.”

Actually, I have said that. Exactly that. But it’s nice to get the affirmation. But I then asked: what happens next? If the act is invalid—a president cannot make law—how is it enforceable? And if he violates the Constitution, isn’t his removal from office and deposit in the dustbin of history compulsory and inescapable?

Yet someone has to act to make these things so. Even an invalid, unconstitutional act by a criminal president has authority merely from the respect of the office (if not the man) from which it comes. How can a diktat with no legal authority be acted upon as if it were “the law of the land” (to coin a phrase)? As the old robot in Lost in Space used to say, “that does not compute”.

Anyway, Turley had more to say:

“It’s a very sad moment but it’s becoming a particularly dangerous moment if the president is going to go forward, particularly after this election to defy the will of Congress yet again. I can understand the frustration, these are two political parties that cannot get along but as you said, we have a Democratic process and a Congress that’s coming in with the full voice of the American people behind them, that’s what an election is, you may disagree with the outcome, but you have to respect the outcome,” Turley continued. “What the President is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the constitution. We have a separation of powers that gives us balance and that doesn’t protect the branches. It’s not there to protect the executive branch or the legislative branch, it’s there to protect liberty. It’s there to keep any branch from assuming so much control that they become a threat to liberty.”

“I always tell my friends on the Democratic side, we will rue the day when we helped create this uber presidency,” he said. “What the Democrats are creating is something very very dangerous. They’re creating a president who can go at it alone and to go at it alone is something that is a very danger that the framers sought to avoid in our constitution.”

Uber is German, by the way, as in deutschland über alles. Just pointing it out.

So, this self-described liberal says Obama’s behavior is a “threat to liberty”. I don’t want any harm to come to any of the Obamas—not George, way over there in his dusty hut, not even Uncle Omar, bagging six-packs of Coors up on the North Shore—but this man needs to be stopped.

Who’s going to do it, and how?

PS: I describe his behavior as fascistic, but any fascist worth his salt has the military at his beck and call. I don’t think Obama can count on that. Not when the going gets tough.


Noli Me Tangere

At least somebody gets news from MSNBC!

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd appear to have a much better relationship with senior Democratic leaders than President Obama does.

“I actually had a senator–and it happens quite a few times where senators will call us saying, what are you hearing over at the White House? What are they thinking on this bill?” Scarborough said. “I’ll go, are you kidding me?”

“I’ve had those conversations…” Todd said.

The distance between the president and senior Democratic leaders on the Hill is not a recent development, Scarborough said.

“One of the things that we’ve all heard from so many people–and it wasn’t like six years in–it was like two months in from the most senior Democrats–senators, on the Hill–‘He never calls; he never talks to us,’” Scarborough said.

To be fair to the big-eared galoot, you didn’t want him anywhere near you the past six months. Now it’s all “he never writes, he never calls”. He’s your goddamn president, you told us how dreamy he was! You don’t like him, vote to impeach. Then we’ll know you’re serious. Otherwise, shut up.


They Can’t Help Themselves

Didja catch the iconic image the media used in covering Obama’s latest about-face on Ebola?

No, that’s not the waiter at the upscale restaurant who told Obama his credit was no good; that’s Abraham Lincoln. Or, as his website would have been named, had he had one. (He tweeted under the handle @TheRealEmancipator.)

I suppose we should be thankful that Obama is now equated with martyrs, rather than saints and angels, as the aurae of his early days suggested.

Excuse me, however, if I would make a more honest comparison:

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.

PS: I say that they can’t help themselves, but so what? Do we let raging alcoholics drive school buses? Knowingly? For eight years?

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