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Obama Defies Constitution With Power Grab

From Reuters:

Stymied by Congress, Obama to boldly seat nominees

By Dave Clarke and Matt Spetalnick
January 5, 2012

WASHINGTON/CLEVELAND (Reuters) – A defiant President Barack Obama on Wednesday took his boldest action yet to show voters he will confront Republicans, announcing he will bypass Congress and install nominees into politically sensitive jobs overseeing consumer lending and the labor force.

Obama will make recess appointments placing Richard Cordray in charge of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and to fill three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board.

The nominees were all facing drawn-out Republican opposition…

The announcement incensed Republicans who called the moves unprecedented and portrayed them as possibly illegal because the appointments were made while the Senate is still technically in session.

"Possibly illegal"? Well, only if words have meaning.

"This is an extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab by President Obama," House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. "I expect the courts will find the appointment to be illegitimate." …

Senate Republicans on Wednesday said they were not yet sure how or if they would retaliate…

Another senior Republican aide said it was unlikely that the appointments would be a setback to upcoming efforts to extend a payroll tax cut through December

This is the problem with the Republican Party in a nutshell. According to other reports, the GOP is not even going to take this to court.

Republicans are, however, likely to now block Obama’s picks for other high-profile financial regulators, with vacancies at the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency…

Which will be practically meaningless, except that it will give Obama something to point to as an example of their obstruction.

On Wednesday the president made a show of his decision to appoint Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general who frequently took on big banks

Last month, Republicans blocked a vote on whether to confirm Cordray.

"We know what would happen if Republicans in Congress were allowed to keep holding Richard’s nomination hostage. More of our loved ones could be tricked into making bad financial decisions," Obama told a cheering crowd

Once again, Obama is claiming that evil bankers tricked people into taking out loans from them that they could never repay. You know how banks love to do that.

By the way, notice how Obama is trotting out his favorite "hostage" terminology again. Of course this is how his mind works.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law, enacted in response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis, to police the market for consumer products such as credit cards and mortgages.

Democrats have heralded the bureau, which opened its doors in July, as a way to protect consumers from abusive lending practices like the type of home loans that were made in the years leading into the financial crisis.

Yes, the housing crisis was due to all of those banks tricking poor people into taking out mortgages they could not afford.

Republicans have charged the agency is a virtually unchecked government body that will hurt lending and put small banks out of business.

After all, small banks don’t give money to Obama and the Democrat Party. The big banks do. And they have to be protected from any competition.

Later in the day the administration announced Obama would use recess appointments to install Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin at the NLRB after the Senate failed to move on them

Hammering populist themes that show him to be a champion of the middle class, aides say, the president will keep taking steps to show voters he will make moves on his own to help the economy if Congress refuses to act

Obama is putting a leftist in charge of a newly created bureaucracy that will do nothing but make it harder for banks to make loans. He is putting two more Democrat labor lawyers (Block and Griffin) on the National Labor Relations Board, which is already trying to stop companies from moving to ‘right to work’ states.

And our news media and the rest of the Democrat Party machinery claim he is doing all of this "to help the economy." And they don’t stop there.

The DNC flacks at the Politico have even put on their Constitutional Scholar caps, and have decided that Obama’s outrageously illegal act is merely "murky":

Recess appointment power murky

By: Manu Raju and Scott Wong
January 4, 2012

What happens when the president makes a recess appointment when the Senate is not technically on recess?

Nobody knows

What a blatant lie. Everyone who can read the plain English of the US Constitution knows what this means. This is not complicated.

Obama is making recess appointments when the Senate is not in recess. Which is violating decades of precedent and even the findings of the Department of Justice.

The Constitution stipulates that the House and Senate can’t adjourn for longer than three days without the consent of the other body. They need an ‘adjournment resolution.’ Neither the House nor the Senate has passed an adjournment resolution. So they have been holding pro-forma sessions every three days.

Even the Department of Justice has found that Congress must be in recess more than three days before a President can make a recess appointment. And this, in fact, has been the practice for several decades. No modern President has dared to make recess appointments when Congress was in session. — Not even Richard Nixon or George Bush.

The Constitutional scholar Barack Obama is ignoring the Senate’s Constitutionally assigned powers to advise and consent. The man who used to teach the Constitution is flagrantly violating the Constitution’s most fundamental principle of ‘checks-and-balances.’

But the Politico says all of this is "murky." Meanwhile, just as a thought experiment, try to imagine what the Politico would say if President Bush had made such an unconstitutional power grab? Would they claim that Bush’s authority was "murky"?

No, the Politico and the rest of the media would be screaming bloody murder about about Bush’s abrogation of precedent, the Constitutional crisis he was creating for political gain, and the danger to the country of such an outrageous Presidential overreach.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 5th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

19 Responses to “Obama Defies Constitution With Power Grab”

  1. BigOil says:

    Our Constitution has a remedy for a President that blatantly violates the law – it is called impeachment. If the Congress continues to ignore its responsibility to properly check the power of the President – expect much more of this in the next year.

    Our tin horn dictator knows Boehner and company will not lift a finger to stop him…they fear being dealt the race card.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      It’s one thing to believe a black man will behave a certain way because he’s black. It’s entirely another when said black man actually does behave that way.

    • proreason says:

      It’s more than the race card.

      Something like 90% of congressional critters have increased their net worth in the last 3 years, amazingly during the same period that ordinary Americans have been plunging into poverty and/or teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

      It appears that amazing investing skills come kind of naturally to politicians whether they are Democrats or Republicans.

      Hear it now. proreason is making the astonishing prediction that if little lenin wins in 2012, the net worth of Republican congress critter will continue to skyrocket.

    • ezra says:


      This is just another act in the same tired Kabuki theater that is our modern-day version of “checks and balances”.

      For Mr. Gilbert to wet himself shows that he (a) hasn’t bothered to figure out what is going on or (b) is trying to keep us from figuring out what is going on.

      Plenty of useful information is available on the topic … only sadly not here.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. “I expect the courts will find the appointment to be illegitimate…”

    “Now, if you’ll excuse me”, he continued, “I have to go find my testicles.”

  3. tranquil.night says:

    Waddya think Mitt? This is the bunch towards whom we’re supposed to tone down our criticism so that we can form a consensus, yeah?

    • Petronius says:

      Now is the time for Newt to seize the offensive.

      Article II, sec. 2 of the US Constitution. It either means something or it doesn’t.

      We genuflect to the rotting corpse of the Constitution while Nerobama gathers all power into his own hands and the elites bow down to worship him.

      What a sorry country we have become.

    • BannedbytheTaliban says:

      In case you missed it Petronius, Genuflect has been replaced by “tebowing” in the proletariat parlance.

  4. BillK says:

    To me no one left in the race can take the high road on this – neither “No, RomneyCare is ObamaCare at the state level, that’s why it’s different” nor Mr. “Hey, this is my friend Nancy Pelosi and we need to do something about the hoax known as global warming.”

  5. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    That brings the list to at least four offenses for which he should be impeached:
    1. Firing of IG Walpin in violation of a law Obama himself voted for (probably the only non ‘present’ vote he made)
    2. Refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, since when can the President choose which laws are to be ignored.
    3. Violation of the War Powers Act in regards to Libya (which the act would probably be struck down).
    4. This gem

    I also enjoyed the blatantly biased language used in this article:

    Pro Obama:
    boldest action
    confront republicans (glad he knows who the enemies are)
    possibly illegal (possibly, who really cares anyway. Isn’t Obama dreamy?)

    Anti Republican (which is in a way also Pro Obama):
    drawn-out Republican opposition
    still technically in session (wasn’t a technicality when Reid did it in 2007)

    • Petronius says:

      … adding to Banned’s list :

      5. Fast & Furious
      6. ordering the Border Patrol to stand down
      7. ordering ICE to stand down
      8. threatening immigration judges who deny aliens’ applications and petitions
      9. ordering visas and citizenships to be granted without statutory background checks
      10. channeling public funds as payoffs to his supporters
      11. violating procurement statutes in order to funnel government contract awards to his supporters.

      And that’s just for this week.

      Another great photo selection by Steve.

  6. wiseguy says:

    Come on. Ever since Obama has been elected, the minority in Congress has
    done everything they can to stymie anything he tries to do. This is the most current example.
    The LAW got passed by Congress for consumer protection so that another financial crash will not be able
    to happen so easily. The repubs are purposely trying to circumvent the NEW LAW by preventing an appointment
    of a new head of the protection agency. I for one applaud Obama for exposing their shanangans for what they are.

    Another unconstitutional thing is the filibuster. That makes it so the majority vote does not count and is responsible
    for a huge waste of time and tax payer money! The founding fathers never intended that the Senate be controlled
    by the minority, which is what the filibuster does. Everything should be voted on and passed by a simple majority!!
    The authors of the Constitution would be flabbergasted to see that no contested bill can pass the Senate without a Super Majority.

    • JohnMG says:


      After a post such as yours, your screen name is particularly puzzling.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Sheesh. Apparently wg has been living in a cave the past few years. Probably also believes that republicans are “the party of no”. So, well, just keep with the batty leftwing talking points, as directed by your boiler-room supervisor so that us pedestrian, not-capable-of-thinking-for-ourselves righties will somehow “see the light” and come want to worship Obama in Chrissy Matthews style. I’m sure if you keep talking, your brilliance will eventually show.

    • BannedbytheTaliban says:

      They never intended for the Senate to be elected by the proletariat either.

      Though your most laughable assertions is: “The LAW got passed by Congress for consumer protection so that another financial crash will not be able to happen so easily.”

      Since when as a government agency effectively done anything? There are countless government consumer protection agencies, FTC bureau of consumer protection and FCC and the SEC…etc, that did nothing to prevent the financial crash. We need more government like a leaky boat needs another hole in the bottom. Also, the LAW is that the president (yes little p while it is still Obama) can not make a recess appointment when the Congress is still in session. But I understand, the LAW only matters when you can use it to punish your enemies.

  7. wiseguy says:

    RustyShac, is that the best you can do… figures … name calling. Got any ideas of your own?

    Bannedbythe T, not that long ago you were correct. The Senate was not elected by the people of this
    country, but by each individual State Legislature. The founding fathers wanted it that way too. They thought only
    ‘land owners’ (the ‘proletariat’) should be able to vote.

    You should also add that many corporations and ‘private’ watchdogs do not do things efficiently or effectively either … Teiko
    , Enron, etc, etc. But you’re not advocating we get rid of private enterprise and neither am I.
    Where inefficiencies exist they should be fixed whether it’s private enterprise or government. In a democracy, we are the government. When you rail against the government you’re railing against yourself . .. unless of course you do not vote. And of
    course if you do not vote, then you voted for the winning side whoever or whatever that might be.

    As far as the recess appointment goes, we all know that the repubs are just doing the ‘no recess’ thing to circumvent the newly passed Congressional Law by depriving it of a director. So Obama is fighting fire with fire. I applaud him for doing it. He’s called their bluff.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Aside from the fact that you don’t know where a response post should go, then yes, it’s the best I can do when it comes to people like you, though I really didn’t call you any names.

      You haver your convictions and I say you’re wrong. But, you would take any measured argument from me and try to cite more buillshit that isn’t true but merely subjected to your interpretations and call them “facts”.

      It’s a waste of time talking to you. You’re here to piss off conservatives. So, you’ve probably been successful at that. Additionally, you’re obviously an Obama fan. You’ll keep pushing until you see some reaction from one of us that will fit your template of “hater”.

      I don’t care for people like you. Mostly, people like you live insular lives and get their “facts” from the media that feeds them crap. You tend to think you’re a bright individual by making your “measured assessment” of what the media is telling you. But you really don’t know the facts. Calling the republicans bluff? Are you serious? As in, you get your rocks off at the gamesmanship of it? Wow.

      So, that tells me that you drag people into arguments and then play with them by manipulating the language and details and completely obfuscate the larger message. Obama is a socialist who hates this nation. If you can’t see that then you are as stupid as you are arrogant.

    • tranquil.night says:


      If our friend here is capable of adult discourse I’d love the answers to a few questions:

      – Do you really believe risk can be removed from the equation and failure preempted?
      – Do you not see that every new layer of historic effort to do so creates more problems for honest businesses and never stops the corrupt ones?
      – Ever consider that unelected bureaucrats have just as much incentive to break the rules and abuse their power as the corporate boards and executives? If not more because while the latter has to be accountable to shareholders (and the rule of law), the former are… unelected bureaucrats (who are the law)?
      – How do you square your assertion that we are a Democracy (wrong) with this very news item, where the Constitution is being skirted to appoint a bureaucrat to an agency with no Congressional oversight by a thousand page bill that wasn’t openly or properly debated.

      This certainly wasn’t the change I voted for, but knew was coming. I don’t believe the majority of Americans knew this is what they were going to get. For a radical minority this is exactly what they want.

      The Secret Society of Cynics tells me that with enough adult beverages you might catch a glimpse of their utopia.

    • proreason says:

      THEN-SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL): Recess appointments ‘the wrong thing to do.’ “‘It’s the wrong thing to do. John Bolton is the wrong person for the job,’ said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a member of Foreign Relations Committee.” (“Officials: White House To Bypass Congress For Bolton Nomination,” The Associated Press, 7/30/05)

      · OBAMA: A recess appointee is ‘damaged goods… we will have less credibility.’ “To some degree, he’s damaged goods… somebody who couldn’t get through a nomination in the Senate. And I think that that means that we will have less credibility…” (“Bush Sends Bolton To U.N.” The State Journal-Register [Springfield, IL], 8/2/05)


      There isn’t much he’s good at, but it’s unquestionably true that Obamy is the biggest hypocrite the country has ever had.

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