Despite campaign promises to refrain from using executive powers to bypass Congress, President Barack Obama is increasingly doing just that, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
From helping rebels in the Libyan revolution to granting states waivers from the No Child Left Behind education act, Obama is finding it easier to push his agenda without asking for approval from elected senators and representatives, the paper said.
And that is not sitting well with either Republicans or Democrats who are keen to defend their own turf against what they see as an overreaching executive.
“When he ran for president, Barack Obama promised to roll back President George W. Bush's use of executive power, a defining point of the Bush presidency,” Laura Meckler wrote in the Journal piece. “The pledge was part of a broader pitch about Mr. Obama's governing style, which he said would focus on solving problems in a pragmatic, cooperative way.
Democrats are lashing out at conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for alleged bias during the Obamacare hearing, even though the court’s four liberal justices were generally seen as more effective in pushing for the law than the Obama administration’s own attorney.
Two comments Scalia made during the mammoth three-day hearing have been picked as showing he has allegedly already made up his mind and will vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
He used the term “Cornhusker Kickback” to refer to a $100 million Medicaid payment to Nebraska proposed to secure moderate Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson’s vote, and then said the justices could not be expected to read through all 2,700 pages of the law as they wrestle with its constitutionality.
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“What happened to the Eighth Amendment?” Scalia asked Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler, referring to the article outlawing cruel and unusual punishment. “You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?
“Is this not totally unrealistic?” Scalia added.
Nelson, who is not standing for reelection in November, said Scalia seemed not to know that the so-called Cornhusker Kickback was stripped from the bill before it went into effect. “I am concerned that Justice Scalia’s comments call into question his impartiality and instead suggest judicial activism,” he told The Hill.
Nelson was joined by other senior Democrats. Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Scalia’s comments were typical for him. “That’s the way he always is. This after all is the man who helped push through Bush versus Gore, which every historian is going to say was a crazy thing.”
And Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California called Scalia’s comments “flip and specious.”
It was Scalia’s use of the term “Cornhusker Kickback” that Democrats pounced on to claim Scalia was biased. The term was coined by Republicans to attack what they saw as an attempt to buy Nelson’s vote.
“The consequence of your proposition, would Congress have enacted it without this provision, okay that's the consequence,” Scalia asked Paul Clement the attorney representing 26 states challenging the law. “That would mean that if we struck down nothing in this legislation but the – what you call the Cornhusker Kickback, okay, we find that to violate the constitutional proscription of venality, okay?”
"You are telling us that the whole statute would fall because the 'Cornhusker Kickback' is bad? That can't be right," he added.
Scalia, 76, was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986. He has been on the high court longer than any of the other eight justices. He has often been attacked by the left and his friendship with former vice president Di--ck Cheney adds to Democrats’ distrust.
Before the case started it was the newest judge, Obama appointee Justice Elena Kagan, who was under attack for an alleged lack of impartiality. She was solicitor general at the time the Affordable Health Care Act was passed. However she refused to step down from hearing the case. If Obama had not have appointed her to the bench, she would have led the government’s argument before the court.
During the three-day hearing Kagan and the other Democrat appointees, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, asked questions that were interpreted as showing their support for the law, especially during debate on the individual mandate when current solicitor general Donald Verrilli was seen as being ineffective in making the case for keeping the law.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton blasted the Obama administration Wednesday afternoon for putting “just merciless” behind-the-scenes pressure on the Israeli government in order to persuade Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu not to launch an attack on Iran.
Bolton added that reported intelligence leaks by the administration could hurt Israel’s chances of successful knocking out Iran’s nuclear facilities. Bolton’s comments on Fox News followed revelations Wednesday that the Israeli government has made arrangements with the government of Azerbaijan to use its airbases, which it would presumably employ to help it attack Iran.
Landing jets in Azerbaijan would make an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure much more effective, military experts say. It would greatly reduce the flight time, and refueling requirements, for Israel’s F-16 and F-15 jets.
Foreign Policy broke the news of the alleged Israel-Azerbaijan connection. It attributed the report to a “senior administration official.” Another U.S. intelligence source said the administration is “not happy” about Israel’s efforts to strengthen its ties with Azerbaijan in order to defend itself.Bolton sees the administration’s leak of sensitive information as part of a larger problem.
“I think the Obama administration has long believed that an Israeli attack was worse than an Iranian nuclear weapon,” Bolton told Fox. “The president says that containment and deterrence of Iran is not his policy, and I think today that’s true. But it’s his plan B, it’s his backup plan when his current efforts at sanctions fail, diplomacy fails, and Iran gets nuclear weapons.
“And I think the pressure the administration has put on Israel has been just merciless behind the scenes,” he adds.
So far, Bolton says, Israeli officials show no intention of backing down from what they see as the existential threat of a nuclear-capable Iran. But the Azerbaijan leak indicates the administration is upping the ante.
“So the Obama administration has torqued it up a notch, and now they’re going to reveal very sensitive, very important information that will allow Iran to defeat an Israeli attack,” said the former UN ambassador. “I think that’s what’s going on.”
Last month, Israel inked a $1.6 billion arms deal for drones and an anti-aircraft missile defense system with Azerbaijan. Many foreign policy experts, however, remain highly skeptical that Azerbaijan would help Israel attack its powerful Persian neighbor to the south.
Bolton is the author of the Newsmax Magazine April cover story “Showdown: Iran’s Plan for a Second Holocaust Must Be Stopped.” He suggested he has no independent knowledge of whether Israeli has struck a bargain to use Azerbaijan’s airfields.
Bolton added that the leak could impair Israel’s ability to defend itself.
“Releasing this information, so that the Iranians now know about it, takes away a potentially very powerful mode of attack that hitherto the Israelis have been able to keep secret,” he said.
"Do you have an opinion? "
LOL....It seems that you are having problems comprehending the question posed in this thread.Read it once more then try to answer if you like.
Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly lambasted the media Friday night, singling out MSNBC and CNN, saying the media "is exploiting the terrible death of 17-year-old Trayvon by convicting the man who shot him, George Zimmerman, of wrongdoing on television."
"It was pathetic watching the prime-time cable programs whip up the Trayvon Martin case to dangerous levels," O'Reilly said in his Talking Points Memo. "The media exploiting the terrible death of 17-year-old Trayvon by convicting the man who shot him, George Zimmerman, of wrongdoing on television."
O'Reilly speculated on what would happen if the Florida special prosecutor decided there is not enough evidence to prosecute Zimmerman.
"What if that happens? It could, because Florida's complicated stand your ground law has muddled the case. MSNBC, and CNN to some extent, have a vested interest in seeing Zimmerman punished because they have already found him guilty on the air. So they are not going to respect any verdict but guilty.
"Therefore, those entities tell the American public that racial injustice has been done if there is not a conviction, and that could very well lead to violence as we saw in the Rodney King case."
O'Reilly, who said he covered the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, reported that 58 people were killed and $1 billion worth of damage was done. "That absolutely could happen in the Trayvon Martin case.
"Leading the charge to convict Zimmerman is Al Sharpton."
O'Reilly then cut to a video of the civil rights activist's speech earlier in the week. "This is not about self-defense. This is about a man deciding somebody, based on who he was, was a suspect and that he would take matters in his own hands," Sharpton said.
Sharpton said that if Zimmerman is not arrested in Trayvon's killing, he will call for an escalation in peaceful civil disobedience and economic sanctions, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Sharpton would not say what would be done against the city of Sanford, Fla., specifically, the Sentinel reported. A march at 11 a.m. Saturday is scheduled in Sanford, where the killing occurred, and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson is expected to join Sharpton at the event.
"Sharpton has, you know, a daily one-hour program on MSNBC and as I said has already found Zimmerman guilty on the air. Same thing with CNN commentator Roland Martin."
In a video on CNN, Martin says: "They gave George Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt because of who he is and they simply saw Trayvon Martin and I guarantee you in their minds they probably said, oh, young black kid, wearing a hoodie, George has got to be right. "
O'Reilly made a prediction, based on Martin's comments. "So you can see the racial animous is already being stirred up on MSNBC and that is flat-out dangerous.
"Pundits who have no blanken idea what happened that night are putting innocent people in danger by commentary based on emotion, not facts."
O'Reilly's commentary Friday night built on the theme of his Thursday night Talking Points Memo, where he said journalists are continuing to try the Trayvon murder case on television, regardless of the possibility that the coverage could spark racial violence.
“No media observer knows exactly what happened the night Trayvon Martin was killed,” O’Reilly said on Fox News. “Yet there they are, bloviating all over the place, exploiting the death of a young man, inciting violence against the system. Awful!”
O'Reilly said “many pundits” are demanding that Zimmerman, 28, be arrested for shooting the 17-year-old to death. “And we can now add Oprah Winfrey to that list,” O’Reilly began the Talking Points Memo.
O’Reilly cut to a short video, recorded earlier, of Winfrey comments.
“It is a tragedy and it is a shame. That we’re sitting here 33 days later and there hasn’t been an arrest or questioning of actually what happened. And it’s a tragedy and it is a shame and we all know it,” Winfrey said. “Black people, white people, yellow people and brown people all over this country and all over the world are saying the same thing: It’s a tragedy and it’s a shame and justice needs to be served.”
O’Reilly agreed that the case is a tragedy, but “Ms. Winfrey saying that there hasn’t been a questioning of what happened is simply absurd, and I’m surprised at her.
“Oprah is usually responsible and fair in her assessment and while you may not agree with her politics, her intentions are mostly good. But not on this one. The Florida special prosecutor is investigating this case and knows far more about it than Oprah or any other TV analyst who are demanding so-called justice.”
O’Reilly said Florida authorities will determine what happened, and take the appropriate legal action. “That could mean arrest and prosecution, or not. I don’t believe anybody’s corrupt here. When it comes to the pundits, I’m angry about the rush to judgment.”
But while he’s angry at the media, O’Reilly says Trayvon’s parents “should be cut some slack” and that they’re entitled to say what they believe.
Trayvon’s dad, Tracy Martin, pointed to racial profiling.
“I do know that my son was racially profiled,” Martin said, also in an interview recorded earlier. “I know that and the whole world knows that.”
O’Reilly said he respects Martin’s opinion and “the circumstantial evidence does point to racial profiling by Mr. Zimmerman, but that is not — not — a proven fact.
“And that’s what’s wrong with the media in this country. No longer do the facts matter. Accusations are enough to condemn folks. Press wants the story and doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. Allegations become front page news no matter how flimsy they are."
One sided facts..
According to a Suffolk University Poll. (one of the great bLiberal collegfes in Mass.)Bill O'reilly is THE most trusted name for NEWS in America!!! (Not just Cable)
God Bless Bill O'reilly!