A frequent epithet thrown around on the right is “RINO!,” Republican In Name Only, meaning that the target calls themselves a Republican but isn’t ideologically or even tactically dedicated to the party’s platform. The irony is that the such intraparty purity tests distract from the real political target: DINOs, Democrats In Name Only.
Over the last few years, our friends on the left have become increasingly brazen about how little they value actual democracy. They may be called “Democrats”, but their latent fetish for (benevolent?) autocracy and fascism (minus the mass graves…mostly) belies the name. Just last night the President “joked” about eliminating the legislative branch of our government, and on cue his Volk brayed and whinnied at the idea:
Pres addressing DNC fundraiser at San Francisco Jazz Center. Some 400 supporters paying from $500 to $15,000 each.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 25, 2013
Pres Obama said he can’t sign an Executive Order to nullify Congress, though Dem donors applauded the concept that he should.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 25, 2013
President Obama clearly believes what Nixon once said, that if the president does it, it’s not illegal. Now, he’s trying to circumvent the law that helps protect patient privacy in order to restrict millions of Americans from buying firearms.
President Barack Obama said he wants to see state governments contribute more names of people barred from buying guns to the database, part of a sweeping set of executive actions he announced after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.
The database, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is used by gun dealers to check whether a potential buyer is prohibited from owning a gun.
States are encouraged to report to the database the names of people who are not allowed to buy guns because they have been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, or have been found to have serious mental illnesses by courts.
Many states do not participate. So the administration is looking at changing a health privacy rule - part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) - to remove one potential barrier.
Here’s the problem with that. You see, the law actually prevents people who have been adjudicated from owning firearms. It says nothing about specific diagnosis. It requires a court to determine an individual is unfit to own firearms.
President Obama seeks to skirt two laws in one fell swoop.
Unsurprisingly, gun rights advocates have reacted, sending thousands of letters to the Health and Human Services Department. However, the department also received a number of comments from health professionals.
The coal industry is a pretty big deal in several states that could serve as electoral battlefields next year. Kentucky is among them.
Even though Democrats believe that have a chance to pickoff Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell next year, President Barack Obama handed him a huge gift last week when he rolled out his anti-consumer energy plan, which is being labeled by opponents as a “war on coal.” Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, another coal producing state, took it even further, calling President Obama’s a plan a “war on America.”
McConnell is seizing on President Obama’s energy plan, which completely bypasses Congress. In an op-ed to the Hazard Herald, a Kentucky-based newspaper, the Senate Minority Leader slammed the “barrage of job-killing regulations” pushed by the Obama Administration and warned Democrats of alienating “entire regions of the country” with the new environmental regulations.
Earlier this week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), son of former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), slammed over the measures President Barack Obama planned to take in what the White House claimed was an effort to curb violence.
During the interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Sen. Paul explained, “I’m against having a king,” adding that a president who creates law by executive fiat is runs counter to the government formed by the Founding Fathers. “I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress — that’s someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch.”
Sen. Paul warned that the White House would have a fight on his hands if he signed any executive orders that bypassed Congress. On Thursday, the day after President Obama’s press conference where he announced that he would sign 23 executive orders dealing with guns, Sen. Paul announced that he would introduce legislation to protect the Second Amendment from executive fiat:
As published by Talking Points Memo, here are his intentions in what he calls the “Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act.”
Paul says his legislation will declare that “Any executive order by President Obama infringing on the Second Amendment rights of all Americans would be declared null and void” and “would prohibit federal funds to implement President Obama’s executive orders impacting the 2nd Amendment.”
Flanked by children during a press conference earlier today, President Barack Obama introduced a series of executive orders — completely bypassing Congress — that he says will reduce gun violence in the United States:
President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced what he called a “common sense measures” plan to reduce gun violence, including legislation for a universal background check and new bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
He also initiated 23 executive actions aimed at improving background checks, school security and mental health care, in an effort to go around Congress wherever possible.
“I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” Obama said in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, joined by survivors of gun violence and several children who had written to him after the December shooting in Newtown, Conn. “If there’s even one thing that we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we have an obligation to try. And I’m going to do my part.”
President Obama also on Congress to pass other measures, including the assault weapons ban and limited magazines to 10 rounds. All of the measures — executive orders and the legislation that will be introduced in Congress — have been outlined in a document from the White House, which you can read here.
The meeting yesterday between Vice President Joe Biden’s gun control task force and the National Rifle Association didn’t go that well. Biden is expected to hand his recommendations to President Barack Obama on Tuesday, who will, in turn, push for legislation from Congress to enact them.
In addition to reintroducing the assault weapons ban and trying to eliminate the so-called “gun show loophole,” Biden laid down some of the policies that will be pursued by the White House in Congress in the coming days:
Biden gave the most detailed description so far of what his panel will propose, telling sporting groups at the start of their session that there is broad consensus among those he has surveyed to require background checks on all gun purchases and to restrict the amount of ammunition that can be included in a gun magazine.
After the meeting the NRA issued a statement explaining, “While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.”
Some may be questioning why the NRA even entertained the White House when the outcome was so obvious. From a standpoint of public perception, it’s not like they had much of a choice. If they didn’t go, it would look like they weren’t even interested in a discussion. But if they did go, they provided the White House with a talking point that they had “met with the NRA.” It was a lose-lose for them.
So Senator Mitch McConnell has released a “solution” to the debt ceiling crisis. Jason has already jumped on this topic, but I feel the need to add my own two cents. For me, the crucial portion of this non-solution is that it gives additional power to the White House, and perpetuates a seeming tradition of Congress abdicating responsibility that we’ve seen over the past decade.
The entire deal punts the debt and spending over to the President. Essentially, he decides to raise the debt limit. While Congress can pass a “bill of disapproval” with a two-thirds majority, the President can simply veto, which would then require a 2/3 vote to override. The plan would also require the President to make spending cuts roughly equal to the increase in the debt limit (as I understand it.) Yet there is no enforcement mechanism that I can see to ensure he does so. What would Congress do if he raised the debt limit with no corresponding cut in spending? Stamp their feet? It might be all they can do.
Haven’t we seen enough power consolidated in the Oval Office yet?
I mean, the President can assassinate people with a drone without so much as a whoopsie-daisy; have anyone imprisoned on suspicion of terrorism and interrogated; can have a lovely jaunt off to war and only send Congress a politely-worded letter; formulate budgets and tax policy while merely requesting Congressional approval; through executive agencies and department make and enforce law without a vote; and now we’re going to give him the power to unilaterally raise the debt limit with requirements that are so wishy-washy they make Natty Light look good?
As much as President Barack Obama and administration officials don’t want to admit it, the Constitution established three branches of government, all of which have clear and defined roles and are independent of each other, but needed to keep the others in check.
Over the last several decades, the lines between the executive and legislative branches have become increasingly blurred. Presidents have consumed more power and Congress, especially when its controlled by the party occupying the White House, have set idly by while it happens.
But since 2011, when Republicans took control of Congress, President Obama has frequently used this claimed power to create law by executive fiat and, at times, ignore laws passed by the members of a duly elected, equal branch of government. It has created a constitutional crisis.
The latest example of this is President Obama’s “administrative fix” to deal with millions of health plan cancellations caused by Obamacare. Without any constitutional authority to do so, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced, at his direction, that the government would not enforce grandfathered plan regulations for one year, leaving it up to insurers to decide whether or not to participate.
During a recent townhall meeting, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told a room full of constituents that President Barack Obama is “getting perilously close” to the constitutional standard for impeachment, noted the Tulsa World:
As he has many times in the past, Coburn called Obama “a personal friend of mine,” but that did not prevent him from calling the president’s administration lawless and incompetent and “getting perilously close” to the Constitutional standard for impeachment.
He didn’t cite specific reasons for the comments, though at this point you can pick and choose from the scandals of the Obama Administration. Specifically, President Obama’s use of executive orders to enact laws — assuming legislative power, essentially, violating the Constitution’s separation of powers — is a real concern. Another is the NSA’s spying on American citizens.
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) recently suggested that there were enough votes in the House to impeach President Obama. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) also told constituents that impeaching President Obama would be “a dream come true.”
The Chicago Tribune, President Barack Obama’s hometown paper, slammed the administration’s efforts to implement ObamaCare in an editorial on Sunday and called for a delay and rewrite of the law.
Noting the recent delays of various provisions of the law — including the employer mandate, subsidy verification requirements, and consumer-cost caps — the Chicago Tribune explains that the Obama Administration had tacitly admitted that ObamaCare can’t work as currently written and that it has left both businesses and the American people reeling.
“The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a hugely complex law that sets up online health insurance marketplaces, requires people to have coverage or pay penalties, and doles out subsidies and incentives to nearly everyone in health care,” wrote the paper’s editorial board. “Doctors, hospitals and insurers have spent large sums to gear up for its requirements. Employers are mulling: Hire? Fire? Cut workers’ hours?”
“Millions of Americans, that is, stand to gain or lose from how this law is enforced — with the Obama administration bending that enforcement in ways that test, and arguably exceed, the boundaries of lawful conduct,” the paper explained, adding that each delay of a provision has a “massive ripple effect” on other parts of the law.