Sunday, January 27

Recess appointments

The Obama administration has repeatedly shown its utter contempt for U.S. law and the requirements of the Constitution.  To list a few examples:  the senate has refused to pass a budget for three years, in violation of the law, and Obama hasn't lifted a finger to enforce the law.  After an agency of the Justice Department was caught selling guns to Mexican drug cartels, and congress subpoenaed all the DOJ's documents about that program, Obama's hand-picked attorney-general (Eric Holder) refused...and asked Obama to invoke executive privilege to shield him from testifying.  Obama complied.

Obama overruled U.S. immigration law by executive order, in permitting illegals under a certain age to stay here indefinitely; and of course Obama directed that all employers must provide insurance that in turn must provide abortion-inducing drugs to employees.

But I suggest the blatant disregard for the law has barely started.

Specifically:  In January of 2012 Obama made four "recess appointments"--three to the National Labor Relations Board and one to head the newly-created Consumer Finance Protection Board.

One small problem:  the senate wasn't in recess at the time.

But of course, who would expect Obama would let such a trivial detail stop him from doing whatever he wanted?  And true to form, he went ahead with the bogus "recess" appointments.

A small-businessman (i.e. peon taxpayer like the rest of us) who had a case before the labor board and lost by the votes of Obama's recess appointees challenged the legality of the appointments, and the case went to a court of appeals.

Three days ago said court ruled--unanimously--that according to the clear language of the Constitution the appointments were indeed invalid.

Now, you'd think an administration that was slapped down so decisively would issue a statement along the lines of "Although we strongly believe the court's ruling is in error, and will appeal the ruling, we will abide by the ruling while the appeal proceeds."

But remember that we're dealing with a guy who has paid millions to ensure his records are sealed all the way up and down the line.  This is a guy who believes anything he does is right because he got elected.  (Nixon, anyone?)

So...here's what the guy Ogabe appointed to head the NRLB said about the court's ruling.  It was taken from the NLRB's website:

Statement by Chairman Pearce on recess appointment ruling

January 25, 2013

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a decision finding that the Jan. 4, 2012 recess appointments of three members to the National Labor Relations Board were invalid. In response, Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce issued the following statement:

"The Board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the President’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld. It should be noted that this order applies to only one specific case, Noel Canning, and that similar questions have been raised in more than a dozen cases pending in other courts of appeals.

In the meantime, the Board has important work to do. The parties who come to us seek and expect careful consideration and resolution of their cases, and for that reason, we will continue to perform our statutory duties and issue decisions."
Unless you're familiar with that strange language called political gobblespeak you probably didn't get what Chairman Pearce really meant:  He essentially announced that the board would continue to rule on labor cases before it as if Obama's recess appointments were legal.

Here's what the NY Times said:
The current dispute can be traced back to 2007, when Democrats took control of the Senate. Hoping to block Mr. Bush from making any more recess appointments, they didn't formally recess before going home for Thanksgiving. Instead they held pro-forma sessions, meaning a member came into the nearly empty chamber every third day and banged the gavel. The idea was that the novel tactic would legally break up the long recess into a series of short ones believed to be too brief for recess appointments.
Senate Democrats repeated the move for the rest of the Bush presidency, and Mr. Bush did not challenge it.
Under Mr. Obama, Republicans turned the tables by using the power of the House to block the Senate from adjourning for more than three days. But last January Mr. Obama decided to challenge the new tactic by declaring the pro-forma sessions a sham and appointing the three labor board members, along with Mr. Cordray [as head of the Consumer Board].
The court rejected the Justice Department’s argument in brief but scathing language.
“An interpretation of ‘the recess’ that permits the president to decide when the Senate is in recess would demolish the checks and balances inherent in the advice-and-consent requirement, giving the president free rein to appoint his desired nominees at any time he pleases, whether that time be a weekend, lunch, or even when the Senate is in session and he is merely displeased with its inaction,” wrote Judge David B. Sentelle. “This cannot be the law.” 
 Now:  When an opinion uses clear language to reject the act on constitutional grounds with a unanimous decision, that's normally a very powerful signal.  But of course in our time politics trumps everything.  And in this case one of the weaknesses of the decision is that the three judges on the appeals panel were Republicans.

A second line of attack is that reportedly the court's language can be interpreted as narrowing the use of recess appointments to only filling vacancies that occurred during the recess.  This has not been raised before, and heretofore presidents have made recess appointments for vacancies that occurred at any time, provided the appointment was made during the recess.

But in any case, the Obama administration clearly has no thoughts of putting the NLRB on hold while the case is appealed.

"A hollow, incompetent shell"

Blogger Richard Fernandez watched as communists came within a hair of taking over his native Philippines, so he has a special interest in politics.  He believes malevolent regimes and groups around the world are beginning to suspect that under the shiny facade the Obama administration is actually just a shambling, incompetent, hollow shell.

The U.S. can't even control its own borders.  In response, congresswhores are working to pass a bill by May that would officially legalize those who have entered illegally--just as Obama, by executive decree last year, declared that his administration would no longer deport illegal immigrants who were brought in while under age 15, thus effectively nullifying U.S. immigration law.

For the last three years the Democrat-controlled senate has refused to comply with U.S. law requiring that it pass a budget detailing how much the federal government can spend, and on what.  Rather than insist that his fellow Democrats in the senate obey the law, Obama responded by demanding that congress simply abolish any limits on his spending.

Now the world sees the Obama administration responding with a collective shrug to the murder of one of its ambassadors.  Oh, wait--the Obamites *did* take action: after initially selling the bullshit story that the attack on the consulate arose from a spontaneous demonstration about a video critical of Islam, they quickly arrested...the guy who made the video!
Hey, that'll show al-Qaeda.

Obama and company seem to have decided they don't want the U.S. to be either respected or feared.  The notion of "American heroes" is repugnant to them.  Thus it doesn't seem far-fetched to imagine that North Korea, Iran, al-Qaeda, China, Russia--once restrained by the memory of a powerful America from the past--are now going to be bolder after their probes have shown that Obama administration won't respond.

Today we're "defended" by people like Kerry, Hagel, Brennan, Holder, Napolitano, Jack Lew and Obama. Our opponents see Chris Matthews praising Obama as the greatest president we've ever had--as great as Lincoln or Washington.  But the results of probes by al-Qaeda, Iran, North Korea and others show Obama is worthless when it comes to defending the nation.

Fasten your seatbelts.

Saturday, January 26

Hillary's testimony on Benghazi

Can't decide whether America's self-proclaimed elite opinion-makers get funnier every day, or dumber.

Case in point:  Hillary's long-awaited testimony before the senate about the attack on the U.S. "diplomatic annex" in Benghazi.

As some of you hopefully recall, Hillary said at the time that this, um...incident arose from a spontaneous protest over a video some odd fellow from Cali had posted on the internet.  But the folks under attack said there was *no* "spontaneous protest" at all--nor had they ever reported that there was.

In other words, the "spontaneous protest" story was utter bullshit.  Had nothing to do with any video.  Zip.

So what led Madame Clinton to blame the attack on the video?  She refused to say.

Second: In the wake of that, um...incident...Hilly claimed that four State Department employees had been fired--fired, I tells ya!--for not doing their jobs...or something.  (No actual reason was ever specified.) Then determined bloggers discovered that the four allegedly-fired employees were actually still with the State Department, and had merely been transferred.

Say oops.

If Hillary had been a Republican that would have made headline news for a week.  But being a member of the MSM's favored party, she essentially got a pass.

Of course "everyone knows" that it's really reeeally hard to fire civil-service employees, so she was able to skate on this.  But I'm calling bullshit.  While some department head down the organizational chart would be justifiably scared to try firing some incompetent due to the threat of lawsuits and union bullshit, the person at the top of the chart--in this case Secretary of State Hillary Bullshit Clinton--has no such problem.

It should be obvious that the reason the low-level employees were merely transferred instead of being fired is because they didn't do anything they weren't told to do.  The claimed firings (later shown to be simply transfers) were announced to make it appear that Hilly and Obozo had "done something" to fix the alleged screw-ups that led to the deaths of four Americans--including two former SEALs who grabbed weapons and rushed a mile to the annex to save the trapped staff.

But of course the mainstream media has no desire to print this, or bring it to the attention of the public, since that would cut against their beloved Democratic icons.

And to complete the trifecta:  did you see how the Democrat senators completely fawned over Hillary?  From their glowing praise you'd think that she was the greatest sec-state ever.

With every day and every new perfidy I'm increasingly glad I don't have kids.  I shudder to think what this country will have sunk to within the lifetime of kids living today.

Oh, and remember:  "It's all Bush's fault!  President Dear Leader simply inherited this mess!"

Sunday, January 20

Total waste of your tax dollars, part gazillion

Head Start was one of the Dems' "Great Society" programs.  The theory was that many poor kids didn't get breakfast, so they didn't--couldn't--do as well in school.

And after just a year or two of impaired learning, they'd be more or less permanently consigned to be academic under-performers.

It was a perfect problem for a government-funded solution.

Initially liberals proposed to spend a paltry $50 million per year.  How could anyone possibly object?

That was 1965.

Thirteen years ago--after Head Start had been operating for 35 years--congress began to hear that the program wasn't resulting in any improvement in academic performance in participating students.  Accordingly, in 2000 congress directed the Department of Health and Human Services to do a comprehensive study of the program's impact.

HHS spent eight years collecting the data, finishing in 2008--but strangely, they didn't release a report as congress had ordered.  In fact HHS didn't release the report for four more years, until late December, 2012--specifically, the Friday before Christmas. 

One almost suspects the release was timed to get the least possible attention.

Why would HHS want the report to be ignored?  Because the study--of 5,000 kids--showed no positive effects.   In fact in some age groups kids in Head Start actually did worse than kids in the same income range who weren't in the program.

If the program wasn't improving academic performance--which was ostensibly its rationale for spending taxpayer bucks--you'd think congress would end it.  But logic loses to politics every time, and Head Start is one of those programs that lets congresscritters feel good by spending your tax dollars.  After all, it's--you know--fer the chillun, even if it doesn't do what it was supposed to.

And after all, it's hardly enough money to worry about, eh?  Allowing for inflation since 1965, the program now probably spends, what, $200 million a year?

Oh, wait...Head Start got $8 Billion of your dollars last year.

And since it began, it's spent $180 Billion.


Now, I mention this story not as a rant against wasteful government spending--after all, $180 Billion is barely a rounding error in a $3 Trillion budget--but to make two points:  First, government programs always expand--in this case by a factor of 160.

Second:  Government programs, once created, are virtually impossible to kill.

Dept of "Justice" asks judge to quash FOIA suit against Holder

Remember way back in 2012--a lifetime ago for most people--when it was revealed that Obama's justice department, headed by the weaselly Eric Holder, had been knowingly selling guns to Mexican drug cartels?

No? Well can't say I'm surprised, since it was barely mentioned on the nightly news or in the big papers.

In fact, the disastrous program barely got any mention when congress demanded that Holder's department produce documents that would reveal who approved the operation, who was briefed and so on.

The Lamestream Media didn't even take much notice when Holder responded to the legitimate constitutional oversight responsibility of Congress with a hearty "Fuck you, congress!" (or however they couch that in politi-gobblespeak). Instead, Holder asked Obozo to protect him from the eeebil Rethuglican congressmens by invoking executive privilege.

Finally, the MSM didn't take much notice even when, after Holder's "FU" to congress, the House voted to hold Holder in contempt. Which some might think would be a pretty big deal.

Anyhow, seeing as how many Americans still think the U.S. is "a nation of laws, not men," thought you might like to know how well those laws are working in this case.

First, in June of last year the watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all documents relating to the gun-running operation--and specifically for all records subject to the claim of executive privilege invoked by President Barack Obama on or about June 20, 2012.

The Justice Department--presumably at the direction of both Holder and Obama--refused to comply with Judicial Watch’s FOIA request, so in September the group filed a lawsuit challenging Holder’s denial.

Keep that in mind: they filed suit in September.

So last week the Obama administration responded...by filing a “motion to stay” the suit. If the motion is granted it would delay the lawsuit indefinitely.

Notice the delay: Judicial Watch filed suit in September, and three months later the Obama gang responds with...a "motion to stay"? Does this take three months to research and write? Of course not. What it does is simply "run the clock"--and at this rate King Barry will be out of office before the courts force his corrupt band of thieves to provide a single document.

You should also know that executive privilege is a legal theory used to shield employees in the executive branch from being forced to reveal advice they give the president. It's analogous to attorney-client privilege, and there are sound reasons for its existence.

Except that in this case Obama has already announced that he knew nothing at all about the gunrunning operation. Zero. Zip. Nada. According to Obama, Holder didn't give him any advice about the operation--no consulting. Thus no theory previously known would cover Obama invoking executive privilege for Holder in this case.

No. Theory.

Hey, but it's all good, right? I mean, progressives have already gotten you to accept the use of executive orders to ban certain weapons.  You accepted foreign donations to Obama's presidential campaign, and formally, explicitly refusing to enforce U.S. immigration laws.  So who cares about trivia like...laws?

This is law by imperial decree: The law means whatever the king says it means, citizen.

And really, what difference does it make to most of you? After all, how does it hurt you if the Obama administration sells guns to Mexican cartels? Okay, sure, one of the guns sold to a drug cartel by Holder's people was used to kill a U.S. border patrol agent, but he wasn't your son or husband or father, so it doesn't affect you a bit, eh?

As Hillary so eloquently put it:  "What difference does it make?"

Friday, January 18

"You know you live in a country run by idiots when..."

From a commenter:

You know you live in a country run by idiots....when you can be arrested for having expired tags on your car--but not for entering this country illegally.

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when your government believes the "solution" for trillions of dollars of national debt is to refuse to pass a budget for three years--meanwhile borrowing and spending trillions more dollars during the same period.

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when a seven-year-old can be expelled from school for calling his teacher "cute"--while the schools require every student to attend classes praising "sexual diversity."

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when the government forcibly removes children from parents who appropriately discipline them, while children of drug addicts are left to languish with their addicted, abusive parents.

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when government programs pay people more to stay home than they could earn working full-time in an entry-level job.

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when the government's most sophisticated plan for getting people back to work is to give them 99 weeks of unemployment checks conditioned on their not finding work.

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when politicians are brazen enough to tell you that taking away rights specifically set out in the amendments to the Constitution--in clear language--is actually "protecting the rights of the people."

You know you live in a country filled with idiots...when 40 percent of parents believe the government is responsible for providing for their children.

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when any level of government refuses to let you own a handgun and then has the gall to tell you you're actually much safer.

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when kids have to have a parent's written permission to go on a school field trip--but not to get an abortion.

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when 80-year-old women are stripped-searched by the TSA--but Muslim women in burkas effectively can't be searched.

You know you live in a country run by idiots...when someone in government makes up a creative cover story to deflect blame from Muslim terrorists after a mob of 'em kill four Americans, including our ambassador--and no one in the MSM bothers to ask the Secretary of State the exact, precise source of the false cover story.  Not just "Came from the intel community" but exactly--by name--who handed to you, and who handed it to that person, and so on.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Tuesday, January 15

The U.S. is a nation of laws, not...uh, wait...

If you're still laboring under the comforting delusion that the United States is "a nation of laws, not men," this should clear things up for ya:
Remember that election back in November? Turns out a certain senator running for re-election--a strong pro-immigration senator--had a volunteer male intern who turned out to be a sex offender. And also an immigrant.

Homeland Security agents were about to arrest the guy when a warning came down from an unnamed person in Washington that the arrest might have "significant interest" from news organizations. (Gee, ya think?)

Duly warned, DHS postponed the arrest until after the election. The senator was re-elected, as expected.

Now why would someone in DC intervene to delay that arrest? No one's telling, and DHS hasn't even revealed who ordered them to delay it.

And won't.

Reason: the senator in question is a Democrat, and the Dems didn't want to risk the guy losing. After all, you never can tell when one extra vote will be needed to pass a controversial bill, like...Obamacare.

Here's the AP article:

Federal agents ordered delay in Senate intern's arrest, documents show
--Associated Press, January 15, 2013

Federal immigration agents were prepared to arrest an illegal immigrant and registered sex offender days before the November elections but were ordered by Washington to hold off after officials warned of "significant interest" from Congress and news organizations because the suspect was a volunteer intern for Sen. Robert Menendez, according to internal agency documents provided to Congress.

When the AP first disclosed the delayed arrest last month, the Department of Homeland Security said the AP story was "categorically false."

***
After the AP story ran, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked the Obama administration for details about the incident.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Newark had arranged to arrest Sanchez [the intern] at the local prosecutor's office less than two weeks before the election.

Noting that Sanchez was a volunteer in Menendez's senate office, ICE officials in New Jersey advised that the arrest "had the possibility of garnering significant congressional and media interest" and were "advised to postpone the arrest" until officials in Washington gave approval. The documents describe a conference call between officials Washington and New Jersey to "determine a way forward, given the potential sensitivities surrounding the case."

The senators, in a letter to DHS, said the agency documents showed that Sanchez's arrest was delayed by six weeks, as AP had reported. [Remember, DHS had first said the AP story was "categorically false."]

In a letter Monday, Assistant DHS Secretary Nelson Peacock said an allegation that the government delayed Sanchez's arrest "for political purposes" was categorically false.

The documents provided to Congress do not indicate why the arrest should have been delayed or whether anyone outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- such as in the headquarters offices of the Homeland Security Department -- was consulted.

Menendez, D-NJ, who advocates aggressively for pro-immigration policies, was re-elected on Nov. 6 with 58 percent of the vote. Menendez said he learned about the case from the AP and knew nothing about whether or why DHS had delayed the arrest.

***
During the final weeks of President George W. Bush's administration, ICE was criticized for delaying the arrest of President Barack Obama's aunt, who had ignored an immigration judge's order to leave the country several years earlier after her asylum claim was denied. She subsequently won the right to stay in the United States after an earlier deportation order, and there was no evidence of involvement by the White House.

In that case, the Homeland Security Department had imposed an unusual directive days before the 2008 election requiring high-level approval before federal agents nationwide could arrest fugitive immigrants including [Obama's aunt]. The directive from ICE expressed concerns about "negative media or congressional interest," according to a copy of that directive obtained by AP. The department lifted the immigration order weeks later.
Interestingly, the AP article doesn't mention the senator's political party until the 9th paragraph.

Sunday, January 13

Stupid liberal ideas, part gazillion

Some ideas sound so beguiling, so convincing, so plausible, that 90 percent of people are convinced they must work.  But sometimes one can construct a hypothetical that allows "everyone" to see that some ideas are inherently ludicrous--that no one in their right mind could ever actually believe they would work.

Example: "Gun-free zones."  Libs believe guns are inherently bad, and kill people with no human intervention.  Ergo, if you want to make a library or mall or city hall or school safe from gun violence, simply put a sign on the door declaring that the place is "gun-free."

The fundamental assumption in this theory is that criminals and the mentally deranged will obey the order posted on the door and not bring a gun into the place.

Democratic political leaders loathe the idea of armed citizens.  They claim the Founders never intended the second amendment to allow individual citizens to own guns, but intended that right to apply only to members of an official (thus government-run?) militia.  And finally, they claim to believe that decreeing that a place is a "gun-free zone" will make those in the zone safe. 

But of course these same politicians--and in the case of the president, his children too--are protected by Secret Service agents armed not just with semi-automatic handguns, but fully-automatic machineguns.

So to Democrats: Since your leaders supposedly believe that simply *declaring* a place gun-free is enough to keep your children safe, we could save a lot of money by eliminating Secret Service protection for politicians, and simply declaring the area around them Gun Free Zones. 

Since they claim to believe that's enough to keep your kids safe, that kind of simple, elegant declaration should be good enough for them too, right? 

But of course, politicians are different. They're better than you, and their kids are more important than yours.

Much more important.  Which is why they need armed protection more than your kids do...because...because...LOOK! SQUIRREL!

Try asking them why they claim you don't need guns to protect your family, but they need armed guards to protect their magnificence from bad people.

But you don't.  Just ask them.

Marxism in Oakland teaching group?

Out in Oakland--just south of the Peoples' Republic of Berkeley--the "Occupy Wall Street" spinoff has been getting support from a group of public-school teachers.  The latter have now formed a group called "Classroom Struggle," and are calling on members to "Transform Education, Abolish Capitalism and Heal."

Yes, these brain-trusts have finally dropped the mask and announced that most of the problems in the U.S. are due to--wait for it--capitalism.

Yeah.  Who could have guessed, eh?

These enlightened theoreticians have noticed that the public school system is a...um...less than stellar:
With this blog...we confront the continuing destruction of quality public education for the working class and people of color in Oakland and across the United States and thus the elimination of our childrens’ right to learn and grow.
If you're wondering what role capitalism plays in this "continuing destruction," here's what the folks at Classroom Struggle say:
public schools have served a role in developing white supremacist, capitalist and imperialist ideology and social structure (for example through segregated schools, tracked programs, mandated pledge of allegiance, etc.)
Yeah.

But wait...aren't public school teachers in CA entirely unionized?  Surely the marxists at Classroom Struggle don't think California's teachers' unions are, um, terrible at teaching.  I mean, they do say "continuing destruction."

You really need to read their screed to get a sense of where they're coming from.  Classic class-struggle, marxist stuff.

Monday, January 7

Social Security analysts smoking crack?

Hey, remember when da eeeebil Boosh told voters what conservatives with math skills had known for years:  that the Social Security "trust fund" was in terrible shape, and unless something was changed it would go broke around 2030 or thereabouts.

Democrats and liberals reacted to this with utter derision.  "Scare tactics!" they said.

"He's just trying to divert public money to his friends on Wall Street!" they said.

"He's a dumb Texan so he doesn't understand the complex calculations underlying the finances of the Social Security system!"  (Okay, that's not a quote but you know that's what they were thinking.)

Well, now it turns out the retirement system is in even worse shape than the experts thought--because it turns out the SS administration has been estimating likely future lifespans of beneficiaries by throwing darts at a dartboard.  Or something equally goofy.

Click here to see four examples of the flaws in the SS analysts' methods.  Hint:  They're glaring, ghastly errors.  Either none of the executives bothered to read what their analysts were cranking out, or else we're looking at a huge fraud.

But hey, don't worry--this is prolly all just tinfoil-hat conspiracy stuff that only dumb wingnuts believe.  Source is prolly Faux News or sumthin' equally wacko.

Wait...was this actually in a New York paper that actually calls itself "The paper of record"?

Why yes, yes it was.  Oh, and make sure you read #4.

Wednesday, January 2

Wow! Disaster avoided! Obozo has *saved* us!!

Do you consider yourself both liberal and pretty well informed about the government, the economy and the financial conditions of each?

If so, try answering some basic questions.

First, what's the concensus estimate (CBO) amount of new taxes the shit-sandwich bill passed to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff is slated to raise each year?

Second: How much *more* cash did the Obozo administration spend in the most recent fiscal year than it took in in all taxes combined? (I.e. what was the "deficit" for the last year?)

Third: To the nearest one percent, the amount *predicted* to be raised by the income tax increase is what percentage of the most recent year's deficit?

Once you've tried answering those *very* basic questions, look at the graph below:

The left bar is the amount of the income-tax increase per year: $62 Billion.
The right bar is the federal deficit for the fiscal year just ended--something like a TRILLION dollars, which is one thousand Billions.

So if not a single "rich" person adjusts their situation to pay lower taxes, and the new "magic bullet" law does indeed collect the planned $62 Billion per year, we will knock that deficit down by...six percent.

Oh wait...that would also require that government *spending* not increase.

So...how serious were any of the people who passed this worthless piece of crap?