Turley Takes Obama to Task + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 11/19/2014 by

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Turley Takes Obama to Task

Barack Obama claims to be a “professor of constitutional law,” but a genuine constitutional scholar, George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley, a self-acknowledged liberal Obama supporter, has offered severe criticism of Obama’s “über presidency,” his abuse of executive orders and regulations to bypass Congress.

When asked by Fox News host Megyn Kelly how he would respond “to those who say many presidents have issued executive orders on immigration,” Turley responded, “This would be unprecedented, and I think it would be an unprecedented threat to the balance of powers.”

In July, Turley gave congressional testimony concerning Obama’s abuse of executive orders: “When the president went to Congress and said he would go it alone, it obviously raises a concern. There’s no license for going it alone in our system, and what he’s done is very problematic. He’s told agencies not to enforce some laws [and] has effectively rewritten laws through active interpretation that I find very problematic.”

He continued: “Our system is changing in a dangerous and destabilizing way. What’s emerging is an imperial presidency, an über presidency. … The president’s pledge to effectively govern alone is alarming but what is most alarming is his ability to fulfill that pledge. When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger that the Framers sought to avoid in the establishment of our tripartite system of government. … Obama has repeatedly violated this [separation of powers] doctrine in the circumvention of Congress in areas ranging from health care to immigration law to environmental law. … What we are witnessing today is one of the greatest challenges to our constitutional system in the history of this country. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis with sweeping implications for our system of government. There could be no greater danger for individual liberty. I think the framers would be horrified. … We are now at the constitutional tipping point for our system. … No one in our system can ‘go it alone’ – not Congress, not the courts, and not the president.”

Turley reiterated this week: “[Obama has] become a government of one. … 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. … What the president is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the Constitution. We have a separation of powers … to protect Liberty, to keep any branch from assuming so much authority that they become a threat to Liberty. … The Democrats are creating something very, very dangerous. They’re creating a president who can go it alone – the very danger that are framers sought to avoid in our Constitution. … I hope he does not get away with it.”

Obama Flipped on the Power of Executive Orders

When speaking with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Barack Obama’s position on executive orders has not changed, even while the president prepares to announce a major executive action dealing with immigration. Earnest said, “We have been in a situation where the president has ordered a broader in-depth review of the existing law to determine what sort of executive authority does rest with the presidency to determine what kinds of steps he could take on his own. The other thing that we’ve seen is we’ve seen House Republicans refuse to act even on common-sense legislation that would fix so many of the problems of our broken immigration system.” Earnest is bending over backwards to explain how Obama could go from saying “I am not the emperor of the United States – it is my job to execute laws that are passed” to promising action without Congress. Obama has flip-flopped on the use of his own power because he deems it politically expedient. More…

Keystone Pipeline Fails in Senate

Sen. Mary Landrieu tried. It probably felt weird voting with Republicans in the Senate on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Landrieu has been pushing for the bill ever since she went into a runoff election for her Louisiana seat. Last night, the votes were cast and the Keystone pipeline was one vote short from ending up on Barack Obama’s desk – where it probably would have been vetoed. Never mind that all the senators but one from the states where the pipeline would run supported the bill. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “It certainly is a piece of legislation that the president doesn’t support because the president believes that this is something that should be determined through the State Department and the regular process that is in place to evaluate projects like this.” See? We have a process for these kinds of projects, and that begins with the president’s agenda. Oh well, the pipeline has another chance when the GOP takes Congress. More…

Will Darren Wilson’s Life Return to Normal?

In the court of public opinion, Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown, has been tried and found guilty. And Missouri Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill barely scrupled when she said the anger and death threats directed at Wilson were okay. She said on MSNBC, “Once their investigations are complete, Officer Wilson will either be indicted, and then of course he will be removed from the police department, or he will not be indicted, in which case Officer Wilson has to decide what the future holds for him. … The rush to judgment by some in the African American community is, in fact, understandable because in our country there are racial disparities in terms of how people are treated.” But when host Joe Scarborough pressed McCaskill, asking, “If he [Wilson] is acquitted, then does he get his life back?” McCaskill said she thought it was obvious: Of course Wilson gets his life back. Except he’ll have to leave the force and forever watch his back for fear of people who wish him and his family harm. More…

Gruber’s Research Swayed Obama on Mandate

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama attacked Hillary Clinton’s health care plan because “it forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can’t afford it, and you pay a penalty if you don’t.” Gee, that sounds familiar. Oh, that’s right – it’s a critical part of ObamaCare now. What changed Obama’s mind? Jonathan “Stupid American Voters” Gruber, of course. After adding Gruber to his transition team and meeting with him about health policy, Obama came out in favor of the mandate in July 2009. And, according to a 2012 New York Times report, “It is [Gruber’s] research that convinced the Obama administration that health care reform could not work without requiring everyone to buy insurance.” It’s no wonder Obama has tried to distance himself from Gruber, saying, “I just heard about this” kerfuffle, and, “The fact that an adviser who was never on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is not a reflection on the actual process that was run.” Sure thing. More…

And Don’t Miss…

Every Clip of Jonathan Gruber in One Place

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Leftmedia Blinders

The big broadcast companies, ABC and NBC, stayed silent as the story that Jonathan Gruber boasted of lying to get ObamaCare passed gathered steam in conservative media. Didn’t it matter that the person who Barack Obama claimed was one of the major minds behind the law lied to get it passed? But yet, as Newsbusters reports, the networks stayed loyal to the Washington establishment. Perhaps they hoped the Gruber story would just go away.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that what is news in Washington often only matters to the players of Washington. The Leftmedia don’t hustle for the stories that matter to the public because the media and the government are often bedfellows – literally. Mark Leibovich, in his book “This Town,” tells of the marriage between Andrea Mitchell, a reporter for NBC News, and Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve. During the financial collapse of 2009, Mitchell treaded a thin line to report on her husband’s economic policies. Talk about a conflict of interest.

It seems only when journalists are pushed out of the system do the most damning stories come to light. On Nov. 14, Melissa Francis of Fox Business Network told viewers that her previous bosses at CNBC told her not to report the hard numbers on ObamaCare because it was – get this – disrespectful to the president.

Here’s how Francis told the story: “I said on the air that you couldn’t add millions of people to the system and force insurance companies to cover their preexisting conditions without raising the price on everyone else. I pointed out that it couldn’t possible be true that if you liked your plan, you can keep it. That was a lie, and in fact, millions of people had their insurance canceled. As a result of what I said at CNBC, I was called into management where I was told that I was ‘disrespecting the office of the president’ by telling what turned out to be the absolute truth.”

To be fair, telling the truth is to disrespect this president.

Based on Francis’s account, the producers at CNBC don’t have a clue what journalism is. Disrespect? Good journalism is never awed by those in power. Not to mention, as in this case, Obama’s “you can keep your plan” comment was awarded the “Lie of the Year” from Politifact.

When the New York Post reached out to CNBC for response to Francis’s allegation, a representative for the company replied, “That’s laughable, but we take notice, because as the fastest-growing network in prime time, we’re always on the lookout for high quality comedy writers and actresses.” Instead of confirming or denying what happened, they just make fun of their old news anchor. That should prove their commitment to journalism.

But Francis is not the only journalist to be pushed from the mainstream broadcast news networks because of how she did the job. Sharyl Attkisson left CBS in March in what she called an “amicable” manner. But sources in the company allege that Attkisson, then an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter, left after months of disagreement with management. CBS wasn’t supporting as much investigative journalism as they did in the past, and it certainly didn’t want to go hard charging after Obama like Attkisson did with her reporting of the Fast and Furious scandal, or her proposal to further investigate the Benghazi attack and subsequent cover-up.

Recently, the most damning of Washington scandals have not originated from the top of the Washington media food chain. They have been sniffed out from the bottom, where independent journalists and bloggers discover the documents and the sound bytes. It wasn’t the mainstream media that dug into the archives of Obama’s comments to come out holding the one in which the president said he liberally stole ideas from Jonathan Gruber.

The Washington press corps is too close to the problem. They don’t see why Gruber’s comments are germane because such deceitful games are the modus operandi in Washington. As Obama said in denying Gruber’s comments, ObamaCare was “extensively debated” and “fully transparent” – by which he meant lying and obfuscation are just part of American politics.

The American voter needs to know what the swamp along the Potomac is really like. They need the information to decide whether to put their trust in such a government. But the Leftmedia wear blinders when it comes to the very power to whom they purport to speak truth.

Wealthy Are Indeed Paying Their ‘Fair Share’

For years, the leftist mantra when it came to taxes was basically “soak the rich.” The statement was always couched in the belief that the wealthy could afford it. But the so-called rich were never paying an amount these do-gooders (who, in a lot of cases, rarely paid income tax because they lived off a family trust fund) determined was the proper tithe to the state. Barack Obama called it the “Buffett Rule,” believing the proper amount the top 1% should be paying is 30 cents on the dollar.

So according to new figures released by the Congressional Budget Office, we should be in taxpayer nirvana – the top 1% now pays 24% of all taxes. Moreover, a further dissection of the numbers to account for government wealth transfers shows that the entire burden of paying for the government falls squarely on the shoulders of the richest one-quarter or so of taxpayers.

Mark J. Perry writes for the American Enterprise Institute, “In fact, the richest 20% of Americans by income aren’t just paying a share of federal taxes that would be considered ‘fair’ – it goes way beyond ‘fair’ – they’re shouldering almost 100% of the entire federal tax burden of transfer payments and all other non-financed government spending.”

Worth pointing out, too, is that the CBO was using 2011 data to determine these figures. Obama’s 2013 tax increases – moving the top 35% bracket back to the pre-Bush tax rate of 39.6%, and the next bracket up to 35% – have increased the marginal rate top brackets pay. And while the Left argues we’ve had much higher tax brackets in previous eras, such as the Jimmy Carter-era 70% bracket that Ronald Reagan eventually reduced to 28% before leaving office, other changes in tax law have eliminated many of the shelters that reduced the effect of these bygone punitive rates. We’re left with the most overly progressive tax system in the industrialized world, despite Democrat claims that wealthy Americans still don’t pay their fair share.

Many of those who fall in the high tax brackets have S corporations or other business entities that create jobs for millions of Americans – as opposed to the trust fund babies who openly root for higher tax rates. At some level, punitive higher rates reduce the incentive to make more money because it’s only going to be taxed away. Remember the promise that only those who earn more than $250,000 would see a tax increase? Many business owners took that seriously.

So now that we have numbers to prove the wealthy are paying more than their fair share, we can expect a tax break to level the playing field, right? Don’t hold your breath, because despite the shellacking the Democrats took in the midterms the class envy card still plays well. Note that four red states voted to increase their minimum wage in the same election Republicans took control of the Senate.

The math is simple: The top 1% may have a lot of money to spend, but there are millions more in the lower classes who will vote for what they think is their self-interest – wealth transfers from those who “can afford it.” And they wonder why they remain impoverished.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Scottish journalist B.C. Forbes (1880-1954): “The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.”

Columnist Ben Shapiro: “This week, America held its collective breath as it waited on the grand jury indictment verdict for Officer Darren Wilson. … [F]acts do not matter to those attempting to rectify what they perceive as an unjust universe. … Wilson was a white cop; therefore, he was the Racist White Establishment. Brown was a black teenager; therefore, he was the Innocent Black Victim. The parts have already been written; Wilson was merely unlucky enough to land the starring role. And so we expect riots no matter what the outcome of the indictment. Should Wilson escape indictment due to complete lack of evidence, the utopians and their rioting henchmen will attribute that acquittal to the Racist White Establishment. Should he be indicted, the utopians and their rioting henchmen will cite Wilson as merely the latest example of the Racist White Establishment. … [A] society that doesn’t value truth cannot survive. Calling out the National Guard in Ferguson while lending a sympathetic ear to the Ragers does little good, long-term. It merely staves off the inevitable surrender of the reasonable to the Ragers.”

Columnist Walter E. Williams: “The legislative branch is bound by Article 1 of the Constitution. Section 8 of Article 1 delineates the scope of congressional power to tax and spend. Nowhere within Article 1, Section 8 is Congress granted the authority to tax for at least two-thirds of the federal budget. The courts are bound by the Constitution’s Article 3. Part of the courts’ responsibility is to ensure that the executive and legislative branches of government uphold the Constitution. In that respect, the courts have been grossly derelict, particularly during and after the New Deal era. Seeing as all branches of federal government ignore most of the provisions of the Constitution, I think we can safely say that we’ve reached the post-Constitution stage of our history. Washington politicians are not to blame. It’s the American people who’ve lost their love and respect for our Constitution. Washington’s politicians are simply the agents for that contempt.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “The Weather Channel reported a brutally cold Arctic air mass swept across the United States, which set new early-season records for low temperatures. The wind made it even worse. It was so cold in Missouri that grand juries were speeding up their deliberations just for the fire.”

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