“DC Circuit Overturns President Obama’s Power Grab” by Trevor Burrus (Cato at Liberty [blog], January 25, 2013)
“Today, in an important decision with far-reaching implications, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unconstitutional President Obama’s appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board.
“Slightly over a year ago, on January 4, 2012, President Obama appointed four people to high-level offices without the constitutionally required “advice and consent” of the Senate. Three of those appointees were placed on the NLRB, and the other was Richard Cordray, chosen to direct the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the “consumer watchdog” agency created by Dodd-Frank.
“The appointments were one of the most significant power grabs by a president in recent memory. The Constitution requires that certain “officers of the United States,” a category which indisputably includes NLRB board members and the director of the CFPB, be appointed by the president with the “advice and consent of the Senate.” Like many constitutional provisions, this is a “checks and balances” requirement that helps ensure the president does not unilaterally control the executive branch for his own purposes.
“As a precaution against crucial offices staying vacant while the Senate is not in session, the Framers included a clause that allows the president to temporarily circumvent the “advice and consent” requirement in order “to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” At the time of the framing, as well as for many decades afterward, senators would usually spend six to nine months out of Washington. In those absences, it was left to the president to keep the government going, and the Recess Appointment Clause gives the president the power to make temporary appointments during those long periods when the Senate was simply unavailable.
“Unfortunately, like so many constitutional provisions, the last 80 years have seen a gradual, bipartisan effort to whittle away the Recess Appointment Clause’s function and to concentrate more power in the president …
“Whereas previous presidents only had the gall to assert the power to determine what a recess was, President Obama’s innovation in executive power grabs was to assert the power to determine whether or not a pro forma session is actually a session for the purposes of the Recess Appointment Clause. According to the Office of Legal Council, the president has the “discretion to conclude that the Senate is unavailable to perform its advise-and-consent function and to exercise his power to make recess Appointments.”
“Director of IRS Tax-Exempt Determinations Office Is Obama Donor” by Eliana Johnson
(National Review Online, May 15, 2013)
The director of the Office of Rulings and Agreements, which oversees the determinatons of tax-exempt organizations, is a donor to Barack Obama. Holly Paz donated $2,000 to Obama’s 2008 campaign, according to Open Secrets, which maintains a database of individual political donations.
An inspector general’s report released yesterday concluded that the IRS improperly targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups for undue scrutiny, and Paz heads the office in which the wrongdoing is said to have occurred. National Review Online reported earlier today that agency officials are currently copying the hard drives of every employee on Paz’s watch. That data will be made available to investigators working on a second IG investigation into whether individual agency employees engaged in criminal activity.
The House Oversight Committee is requesting that Paz and four other employees be made available for transcribed interviews starting next week.
Data from the Center for Responsive Politics indicate that Paz’s donations are consistent with broader trends at the IRS, where agency employees donated overwhelming to President Obama in both the 2012 and 2008 presidential Elections.
“IRS Officials In Washington Were Involved In Targeting Of Conservative Groups”
by Juliet Eilperin and Zachary A. Goldfarb (Washington Post, May 13)
“Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved with investigating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
“IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea-party-affiliated groups, the documents show.
“IRS employees in Cincinnati told conservatives seeking the status of “social welfare” groups that a task force in Washington was overseeing their applications, according to interviews with the activists.
“Lois G. Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the IRS, told reporters Friday that the “absolutely inappropriate” actions were undertaken by “front-line people” working in Cincinnati to target groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names.
“In one instance, however, Ron Bell, an IRS employee, informed a lawyer representing a conservative group focused on voter fraud that the application was under review in Washington. On several other occasions, IRS officials in Washington and California sent conservative groups detailed questionnaires about their voter outreach and other activities, according to the documents.
“For the IRS to say it was some low-level group in Cincinnati is simply false,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote.
“Moreover, details of the IRS’s efforts to target conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency in May 2012, far earlier than has been disclosed, according to Republican congressional aides briefed by the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) on the details of their reviews.”
For anyone to suggest that there is a shortage of such intoxicants on either side of the aisle is in a state of delusion.
Alprova is convinced that not one iota of evidence has ever surfaced that the custodial staff has ever found anything other than gold bricks in the White House facilities after the KOTUS graces their doors with his departure. Not one ounce or shred of evidence has ever even been hinted at to convince him otherwise. This poor man (the KOTUS) has been harassed, abused, and tortured to an extent hitherto unrealized in all of human history. He could have absolutely and deservingly continued to walk on clouds of glory if he had so chosen, but instead he humbled himself and subjected his rightful authority to the approval of his subjects, who anointed him to a status beyond all criticism or questioning. No one can even remotely suggest that this is anything other than an absolutely factual state of affairs.
This is the dead-level, honest to goodness truth as Alprova sees it, and, contrary to the blasphemy of congressional committees and, unbelievably, reporters on whose toes the president has now allegedly stepped, he will never in a million years find credible any admission of oopsies by the KOTUS staff, or even from his own blessed lips. Were such ”confessions of wrongdoing”ever to come to pass and reported on in articles either read or left unread by Alprova, it would absolutely, positively be the horrible result of diabolical Republican minions (with whose legions Alprova once erroneously identified himself) somehow inserting such a ridiculous, illegitimate notion into his glorious head.
This is the way citizens should unequivocally exalt their KOTUS and anything else - anything whatsoever – is nothing other than infinite hate for his eternally blessed soul. Amen.
The President simply resents the fact that there is more than one branch of government, more than one political party, and media outlets that dare to challenge his arrogance, deceitfulness, and incompetence. The President’s power must be checked. That’s the way democracy rolls.
“Indifferent to the problem of radical Islam, desperate to win an election on the claim that Obama had routed terrorists, and eager to throw a critic of their favorite religion into jail for a YouTube video they deemed hate speech, his aides spun what happened in Libya according to these biases.
“Hillary Clinton was stomping around, raging about how that video had hurt the feelings of Muslims and how its creator deserved jail time. For two weeks, Obama treated a national humiliation at the hands of Islamic terrorists as an occasion to muse about the need for greater “civility” in the world.
“Obama is still struggling to line up his lies. If he knew, as he now claims, that it was premeditated terrorism from the beginning, why did he spend two weeks on that ludicrous “civility” tour, bouncing from show to show and speech to speech to denounce a video? Gregory Hicks, America’s number two man in Libya, called the YouTube protests a “non-event” there. Yet Obama was happy to leave the impression that Western provocation lay at its root, as that absolved him of responsibility and fit with his far-left ideology of a peaceful Islam that poses no threat to America as long as odious people aren’t antagonizing it.
“It is rich that journalists who didn’t mind seeing the creator of the YouTube video thrown into jail (on conveniently “unrelated” charges to his alleged abuse of artistic freedom) now discover their own First Amendment freedom violated. The Obama administration has been snooping on the phone records of reporters. Now that the far left hand of the White House is wiretapping them, it is suddenly okay to talk about tyranny.
“The far left hand of the White House also pushed propaganda that cast constitutional conservatives as “extremists.” The repeated refrain was that these hopelessly irrational Americans posed a danger to the common good. The Department of Homeland Security even wrote up a report about them. Is it any wonder that IRS officials, operating under this rhetoric, gave heightened scrutiny to conservative groups with Tea Party, patriot, and other terms deemed subversive by this administration in their names?”
"Obama’s Far Left Hand: He claims not to know what it is doing" by George Neumayr (American Spectator, 5.15.13) http://spectator.org/archives/2013/05/15/obamas-far-left-hand
“The administration opened the door for al Qaeda in Libya and opened the gates of hell in Libya. Arms were pouring in from Northern and Central Africa and spawning more and more problems for governments in the region. When it came out after the attack that there were deeper questions raised about the [Benghazi] mission itself that could have threatened the president’s re-election, then better to stick with fixing the inconvenient facts.” - Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich
“We’re getting a lesson in transparency from this administration. But it’s not the one we thought we were going to receive — the only thing transparently clear is that it’s not a transparent administration.
“We see their spin on issues from international to domestic — and there’s a lot of symmetry from one to the other. There’s a lack of disclosure, misdirection and a lack of confidence in the American people that they won’t understand if they are given full disclosure, and yet that was the basis of the contract this president had with the people in 2008.” - Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich
“Washington loves a scandal, even one so clearly egregious that the Democrats will be reluctant to mount a principled defense of the Obama administration. The situation is only worse because of the secrecy that surrounds all key decisions coming out of the inner group in the White House, so much so that no one quite knows why the administration took so long to release this story or to explain the role that the attorney general had in overseeing events or in approving the subpoenas.
“For the president and his aides, the first item on the agenda is damage control. The administration is likely in full-blown (but secret) polling mode, seeing how high the tides of dissent and resentment will rise, and who they will envelop. My guess is that Holder is history. Right now, it looks as if Obama will survive, though probably as a lame duck, just four months into his new term in office. It is a sad fall for an administration that has always prided itself as having escaped the muck of ordinary politics. But not this time. We are past the point where presidential protestations that the administration is innocent on all charges will be treated as evidence that it is covering up its own misdeeds. Cheap talk is dangerous in all professions, even in politics. The real tragedy is that the president and his attorney general believed overmuch in their own exalted rhetoric; the nation, and the world, is all the poorer because of their excesses.”