American Elephants


The House Will Sue The President For Failing To Observe The Separation of Powers. by The Elephant's Child

Budget Talks Deteriorate Amid Republican Identity Shift On Tax Increases
House Speaker John Boehner told his colleagues on Wednesday that the House of Representatives will sue the executive branch of the government to defend the Constitution’s separation of powers. The Speaker, said the Wall Street Journal, is showing more care that the laws be faithfully executed as the Constitution demands than is President Obama.

The Congress, Mr. Boehner said in his memo to the House, is suffering institutional injury  under Mr. Obama’s “aggressive unilateralism” which is a pretty fair description of his governing philosophy. When the president suspends or rewrites laws across health care, drug policy, immigration laws, and so much else— elected legislators are stripped of their constitutional role.

The basic reason behind this step is Mr. Obama’s flagrant contempt for regular political order. For example, he has unilaterally revised, delayed or reinterpreted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on his own thirty-eight times.

Everyone would prefer that the Congress and the President would settle their disputes through the customary political debates and arguments. House members represent the people of their district by population, and are closest to the public for they must face reelection every two years. A senator represents a whole state. The president represents all the people of the country. It was designed by the Founders to slow things down, so that poorly considered laws were not enacted in haste, in the hopes that would result in better law.

In the current climate, potential laws are not getting through Congress. The lapdog media would blame it all on the Republicans, but the blame lies directly in the hands of the Majority Leader of the Senate—who refuses to allow laws passed by the House to even be voted on. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

The Founders did not consider the possibility that a future president might pay no attention to his oath of office, or just take the law into his own hands. They assumed that a president’s honor and character would mean that even when he disagreed, he would abide by the rules.

“The major reason to involve the judiciary in this case is Mr. Obama’s flagrant contempt for the regular political order,” said the Wall Street Journal.

This president does not feel restrained by the Constitution that he swore to uphold. When Congress will not pass the laws that he wants, as he has said, “I’ve got a phone and a pen.” He will just take action on his own by “executive order.”All presidents have used executive orders from time to time, but none have ever used executive orders to rewrite laws duly passed and signed into law.

Far from a partisan caper, this implicates the foundation of the U.S. political architecture. The courts generally presume that individual Members of Congress lack the “standing” to make a legal challenge, but Mr. Obama is stealing inherent Article I powers that no party other than Congress can vindicate. Mr. Boehner said he will seek a House vote authorizing the lawsuit and put it under the direction of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.

A single Congressman may not have standing, but Congress has the institutional standing to sue the president and are thus asking a constitutional question that has not been joined at the courts. More than a few judges and Supreme Court Justices seem to be concerned that Mr. Obama’s conduct is undermining the rule of law and political accountability. Just this week, the Supreme Court slapped down the EPA for defying the plain language of the law in the name of anti-carbon policy. More rebukes may be coming with cases about recess appointments and the ObamaCare contraception mandate.

Last summer, Mr. Obama proclaimed that “in a normal political environment” he’s ask Congress to fix laws such as ObamaCare, but since the House disagrees with his priorities, he’ll just go ahead and fix them himself without legislative consent. But then again, the president can hardly get through normal comments to the press without proclaiming that he is the President of the United States or The Commander in Chief. President Bush often said that “he was the Decider,” but that was not a proclamation of his importance, but a humble expression of the weight of the decisions that he must make. There’s a significant difference.

Thanks to Mr. Boehner, the courts will get a chance to weigh in on whether Mr. Obama or his successors can exercise imperial powers.

 



Obama’s Scandals: Not Funny Anymore. by The Elephant's Child

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has chimed in on the IRS “Lost Emails Scandal:

  • Lew: “Sometimes a broken hard drive is just a broken hard drive.”

From Zero Hedge: “perhaps the NY Post put it best: The thing about dogs eating homework is, it could actually happen. This can’t. This is “The dog ate my hard drive, broke into another building, ate the backup of the hard drive, then broke into six other top officials’ offices and ate their hard drives also.”

20140624_IRS

 



The Dog Ate the EPA’s Homework Too! And the Evidence. by The Elephant's Child

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Now it’s the EPA!. The Environmental Protection Agency has joined the IRS is claiming they cannot produce incriminating information from their computers because of a 2010 computer crash. Hey, it’s working for the IRS. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) threatens to hold the EPA in contempt of Congress if it fails to turn over subpoenaed communications with the White House— subpoenaed in November.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that her staff is unable to provide lawmakers all of the documents they have requested on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, because of a 2010 computer crash.

“We’re having trouble getting the data off of it and we’re trying other sources to actually supplement that,” McCarthy said. “We’re challenged in figuring out where those small failures might have occurred and what caused them occur, but we’ve produced a lot of information.”

The revelation came less than two weeks after IRS officials told Congress that Lois Lerner, the official at the center of the controversy over the targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups, also suffered from a hard drive crash that makes it difficult to comply with records requests.

The House Oversight Committee has reason to suspect that Philip North, who worked for the EPA in Alaska decided in 2009 that the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay should not be allowed, before the agency even began to investigate if there were any negative effects on the environment. Committee staffers have been trying to interview North for over a year, but he has been in New Zealand and refuses to cooperate.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said the Federal Records Act requires agencies to maintain all records, which includes emails. Administrator McCarthy admitted “we may have some emails that we cannot produce that we should have kept.”

Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has questioned EPA Administrator McCarthy’s assertion that the debate on how much the climate is changing, the role of humans if any, is over, and no one should question her agency’s actions, or the “confidentail research” it uses to justify multimillion and billion dollar clean air rules. If you question that you are racist, a denier at war with science.

This should alarm every citizen. The EPA funds the scientific research it uses to support the regulations it issues. The EPA has issued 2,827 new final regulations since Obama took office on January 20 , 2009. The EPA picks the usually agency-funded, but supposedly independent scientists  who review the regulations. When the regulations are challenged, the courts defer to the agency on the science. But the agency refuses to make public the scientific research it uses.

The House Science Committee has passed The Secret Science Reform Act which requires that EPA regulation should be based on legitimate science and data that are open to the public.

Gina McCarthy sees this as a threat. Speaking to the National Academy of Sciences in April, she defended her agency’s need to “protect data from those who are not qualified to analyze it. So the EPA decides who get to look at the “scientific research they use, research paid for with public funds, appropriated by Congerss on behalf of American taxpayers.  Unbelievable.

In the announcement of the EPA’s 645 page Clean Power Plan, Ms. McCarthy claimed “The science is clear. The risks are clear. And the high costs of climate inaction keep piling up.”

The Institute  for Energy Research says “The EPA’s Power Plant Rule: All Economic Costs; No Climate Benefits.”

On June 2, 2014, at President Obama’s direction, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed rule mandating carbon dioxide emission cuts for existing power plants. This rule is designed to comply with the president’s plan to make electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket” by reducing the use of coal-fired electricity generation from existing power plants—one of the cheapest sources of electricity generation. While the rule will result in increasing electricity rates, the rule will not have any material climate benefit despite the fact that the climate is the justification for the rule.

Just one more crooked government agency, abusing the public trust, recklessly issuing regulations to accrue power to itself.

Being enpowered by Congress to keep the navigable waters of the United States clean, they have attempted to control any discharge of water in the drainage ditches beside the road, in the flow of rainwater as part of the “navigable waters” because that water would eventually flow into something navigable since all wates eventually flow to the sea.

President Obama’s misguided effort to shut down coal-fired  power plants will not only “skyrocket” electricity rates, but will make every product made in the United States cost more. These efforts will garner him Tom Steyer’s promised 100 million, but cost the American economy another lost 200,000 jobs.  And what happens when winters get colder and people can’t afford to heat their homes?

It is all about politics, and only about politics. Obama has brought Chicago politics to the federal government. Crony capitalism. Give your donors what they want, spend the money to stay in control and reward your donors and repeat endlessly, as it all slips gradually into totalitarianism and one party rule.



Obama Says Borders More Secure Than Ever, Ninety Thousand Unaccompanied Children are Republican’s Fault. by The Elephant's Child

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The Department of Homeland Security will not say how many illegals they are releasing into the U.S. What seemed like a good idea in advance of the election to please Hispanic voters turned into a flood of “unaccompanied children” that seem to be mostly not “unaccompanied children” but teen-aged young men, many gang members.

Ninety thousand young illegals are expected by the end of the year, and 150,000 next year. Major boo-boo by the Obama administration. Joe Biden was sent to Guatemala City to tell officials to stop telling people that kids or mothers with young children could get into the U.S. free. He got lectured on how U.S. immigration policies should be more accommodating, and don’t even think of returning them.  So far only 3 percent of OTM (other than Mexican) apprehensions are being repatriated to their home countries.

Many are being shipped to various military bases. Warehouses are being retrofitted. DHS is ordering large quantities of men’s underwear, mostly extra-large, destined for El Paso, Texas.

According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration has released into the U.S. over 40,000 illegal immigrant families. Officials directly familiar with the issue, including at the Department of Homeland Security, won’t say publicly how many they have released, though the government clearly knows the number. The Obama administration doesn’t want to reveal  “politically sensitive information” that might influence policy debates. That’s in addition to the 52,000 “children.’ The government cannot immediately repatriate them, so they have released them and told them to report back in fifteen days. The only detention facility for immigrant families, is in Berks County Pennsylvania, and houses only 100 family members.

On five separate occasions, administration officials have refused to answer questions about the number of families released into the general population, so they clearly don’t want the American people to know.

La Prensa Gráfica in El Salvador and La Prensa in Honduras have highlighted the Obama administration’s  announcement last week of additional “free legal services” for undocumented minors who illegally cross the U .S. border. “We’re taking a  historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said upon announcing the aid.

El Periódico, another Guatemalan newspaper reports that among the initial Central American minors housed at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, two-thirds are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, while 12% are Mexican. About 80% of the minors are male and 83% are over age 14.

None of this is Obama’s fault. After previously saying that America’s borders are more secure than ever, the White House blamed Republicans for “apparent holes along the southern boundary, evidenced by the flood of unaccompanied children streaming into the U .S. from Mexico, Central America and Elsewhere(?). New White House press secretary Josh Earnest challenged Republicans that if they are truly concerned about border security to back the comprehensive immigration reform package that passed the Senate last year and is strongly supported by President Obama. “Mr. Earnest also said the administration has made a “historic commitment” to border security over the past five years.” He may turn out to be even funnier than Jay Carney.




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