Posts Tagged ‘George Washington University’

Imperial Presidency? Obama’s executive overreach must be stopped, say lawmakers

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, March 6th, 2014

This is article 177 of 184 in the topic US Constitution

U.S. House of Representatives GOP leaders on Tuesday introduced a bill written to stymie what is being called Executive Overreach by lawmakers, constitutional experts and civil libertarians.

Reps. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Bob Goodlatte on behalf of the House Judiciary Committee unveiled H.R. 4138, the Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law Act — or simply ENFORCE the Law Act — as a result of President Barack Obama’s past use of executive actions designed to make an end run around the nation’s legislative branch of government.

The congressmen are also anticipating more of the same since Obama has boasted he has a “phone and a pen” that he will use to push his agenda be it gun control, climate change, the U.S. economy and other issues important to the left-wing of his political party.

Issa, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, Goodlatte, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Gowdy who is a ranking member of those committees, all claim they wish to return to a government system that balances “the separation of powers enshrined in the [U.S.] Constitution.”

According to the three lawmakers, the law was written following the examination of Obama Administration‘s selective enforcement of federal laws and his Attorney General’s interference in the laws of individual states if the President and Attorney General, Eric Holder, oppose the law or disagree with its outcomes.

One of the witnesses, constitutional scholar Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, a self-described liberal, testified:

“President Barack Obama has crossed the constitutional line between discretionary enforcement and defiance of federal law. Congress is given the defining function of creating and amending federal law. This is more than a turf fight between politicians.
The division of governmental powers is designed to protect liberty by preventing the abusive concentration of power. All citizens –Democratic or Republican or Independent – should consider the inherent danger presented by a President who can unilaterally
suspend laws as a matter of presidential license.

“In recent years, I have testified and written about the shift of power within our tripartite government toward a more Imperial Presidential model. Indeed, I last testified before this Committee on the assertion of President Obama that he could use the recess
appointment power to circumvent the Senate during a brief intrasession recess. While I viewed those appointments to be facially unconstitutional under the language of Article I and II (a view later shared by two federal circuits), I was equally concerned about the
overall expansion of unchecked presidential authority and the relative decline of legislative power in the modern American system.

“The recent non-enforcement policies add a particularly menacing element to this pattern. They effectively reduce the legislative process to a series of options for presidential selection ranging from negation to full enforcement. The Framers warned us of such a system and we accept it – either by acclaim or acquiescence – at our peril.”

During one of the Committee’s hearings Turley and other witnesses explained the meaning of Article II, section 3, of the U.S.

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Boom! Romney Back Up 52-45 in Gallup’s Daily Tracking of Likely Voters

by Donald Douglas on Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This is article 1133 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

It’s been a week since the Hoftra debate — the “how dare you imply that my administration lied” debate — and President Eye Candy’s numbers are going in the wrong direction. Mitt Romney regained a point in the daily tracking, again up 52 to 45 percent in the presidential horse race. Somewhere Nate Silver is cowering in shame.

See: “Election 2012 Likely Voters Trial Heat: Obama vs. Romney – Among likely voters.”

RELATED: At Politico, “Battleground Tracking Poll: Mitt Romney takes lead” (at Memeorandum):

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Mitt Romney has taken a narrow national lead, tightened the gender gap and expanded his edge over President Barack Obama on who would best grow the economy.

A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll of 1,000 likely voters — taken from Sunday through Thursday of last week — shows Romney ahead of Obama by two points, 49 to 47 percent. That represents a three-point swing in the GOP nominee’s direction from a week ago but is still within the margin of error. Obama led 49 percent to 48 percent the week before.

Romney has not led in the poll since the beginning of May.

Across the 10 states identified by POLITICO as competitive, Romney leads 50 to 48 percent.

See also Ed Morrissey, “Romney edges into 49/47 lead in Politico/GWU Battleground poll.”

More later…

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The Obama/Holder DOJ: The move toward criminalizing criticism of Islam

by Douglas J. Hagmann on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

This is article 73 of 113 in the topic Free Speech

During the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution oversight hearing held on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Thomas Perez, refused to answer Congressman Trent Franks question whether the Holder Justice Department’s agenda includes the abrogation of a U.S. citizen’s right to free speech by making it a criminal offense to merely criticize Islam. The question stemmed from a meeting on October 19, 2011 at George Washington University between justice department officials and a group of Islamists. Speaking at the 2011 meeting was Sahar Aziz, a female Egyptian-American lawyer, who advocated the criminalization of any criticism of Islam by redefining criticism as discrimination.

The two-and-a-half minute exchange took place about 23 minutes into the hearing, when Congressman Franks asked Perez a simple, direct question whether his department was essentially considering criminalizing speech critical of a particular religion.

He prefaced his question by recounting Perez’ attendance at the meeting and his favorable response to Aziz’ prompts to make any critical talk or writings against Islam a criminal offense, despite American’s current enjoyment of such protection under the First Amendment.

“If the Department of Justice can’t even answer whether they will entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion, then it’s pretty late in the day.” –Congressman Trent Franks

It’s clear that the Obama/Holder Department of Justice has aligned themselves with the Islamist agenda, and is proactively attacking our freedoms under the First Amendment.

Peering behind the agenda

It is apparent that the Progressives, led by Obama, his appointees and czars, and using the Department of Justice as his personal army to advance the Islamist agenda in the U.S. and force Islamic Sharia law on the people, there is an even larger agenda at play. In addition to Obama’s ongoing war against America Christians and Jews, and our Judeo-Christian values, there is something even more sinister embedded within this agenda that transcends just the religious aspect.

The imposition of Sharia law, which encompasses criminalizing critical speech and writings of Islam, serves to incrementally erode other aspects of our Constitutional rights as well. Embracing Sharia and those who advocate it’s coexistence within our legal structure will have ramifications well beyond religion. Sharia is being used by the Progressives, the Socialist and the Marxists already in power to reformulate our educational policies, employment, and to a large extent, our national security policies.

Islamic Sharia law is a perfect companion to – and a tool of those wanting to eradicate our national sovereignty to usher in a system of global governance. The problem is that the Islamists don’t see it, most on the political right don’t see it, and the majority of the public certainly don’t see it and won’t see it until it is too late.

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The Fat Nanny State

by Daniel Greenfield on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

This is article 299 of 687 in the topic Healthcare

It’s easy to dismiss New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s latest nanny state hiccup as the control-freak antics of a powerful man –but that would be missing the point. Bloomberg did not come up with the idea of banning sodas during a spa session on his private island. His implementation of it may be more overtly obnoxious, but the idea that there is a national health crisis that can only be solved by getting people to stop eating sugary foods, is ubiquitous among social policy wonks and national experts on telling people what to do.

In 2007, a conference on obesity was held at George Washington University, sponsored by the Stop Obesity Alliance and the Obesity Association. The Stop Obesity Alliance may sound like a silly afterthought of a group, but its steering committee members include AHIP, the trade group for the health insurance industry; AMGA, the trade association for health care groups; SEIU, one of the largest unions in the country; and NBGH, a business health group representing major companies like Apple, FedEx, Kellogg, Unilever and Walmart.

It was no wonder then that virtually every Democratic and Republican candidate running for office either showed up in person, or sent a proxy to explain how their administration was going to fight obesity.

“The next president must commit to fighting America’s obesity problem and possess the experience to win the fight,” Governor Bill Richardson said, and vowed to make fighting obesity one of his top priorities.

You might be laughing, but don’t. The obesity epidemic buzzword has penetrated every major company, as well as every level of government and academia. That translates into a policy bulldozer with private-public partnerships that will control every aspect of your life.

When think-tanks convince corporations that they’re losing money because of obesity, they sponsor trade associations that invite politicians down to explain what they’re going to do about it. Health insurance companies have crunched the numbers and decided that they can save billions if the government manages to make people lose weight. Corporations that employ a lot of people and pay for their health insurance think they can save a fortune on health insurance if employee obesity is cut. They have their own employee incentives, but mostly they want the government to do something about it.

Why do you think the 2012 election came down to a race between ObamaCare and RomneyCare? Because the power players agree that we need national health care; they only disagree over what kind of national health care we need. Just like they agree that we need “immigration reform”, tolerance for Islam and a War on Terror that doesn’t disrupt international trade. We don’t need those things, but they do, and they are determined to force them down our throats.

To understand the genesis of Bloomberg’s lunacy, you have to go back to groups like the Stop Obesity Alliance. And it’s not the only such group. There’s the Campaign to End Obesity, whose board includes executives from major health companies and non-profits, including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Humana.

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Politburo Commissar Bernanke Gives The Pravda Version

by Thomas E. Brewton on Saturday, March 24th, 2012

This is article 32 of 56 in the topic Federal Reserve

Seeking to corrupt the minds of inexperienced students and others in the audience at George Washington University, Federal Reserve Commissar Ben Bernanke gave the official Keynesian-socialist version of the benefits of inflationary wrecking of people’s lifetime savings and standards of living.

Nowhere does he acknowledge that every major economic bubble-bursting since establishment of the Fed in 1913 has been funded by the Fed’s over-expansion of the money supply.  Our housing bubble and accumulation of crushing consumer debt was fostered and amplified by the Fed’s creation of fiat money.

The gold standard didn’t work, Commissar Bernanke opined, because it interfered with the Fed’s ability to play god with the economy.  It is apparently unimportant to him that the value of the dollar and prices remained stable under a gold standard, the economy boomed, and people’s living conditions improved rapidly.

If one is a liberal-progressive-socialist, this sort of thing is intolerable.  It stands in the way of reducing Americans to complete dependence upon our socialized government.

Read this New York Sun editorial for sunlight on the dark recesses of Commissar Bernanke’s speech promoting subscriptions to Pravda.

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Egyptian Christians abused and tormented by Muslims: U.S. lawmaker

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

This is article 442 of 1241 in the topic International

“The Egyptian government has failed to initiate credible investigation into the cases of the abducted women, and that does have perhaps the intended consequence of creating a climate of impunity for the perpetrators. If there is no penalty for this terrible abuse and violence, it only encourages more violence.” – U.S. Rep. Chris Smith.

Muslims are killing and injuring Christians in Egypt and the United States and other countries turn away from their suffering. Credit: Conservative Crusader

Although President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other members of the Obama Administration — through their rhetoric and actions — treat the Egyptian revolution as a positive movement, there is nothing mentioned by them or their supporters about the treatment of Christians at the hands of the Muslim population and government.

Dr. Michele Clark testified on Capitol Hill on Friday about the continued abuse of Coptic females in Egypt, a nation struggling to come together in the aftermath of this Spring’s Arab revolution.

The U.S. Helsinki Commission, formally known as The U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, held Friday’s hearing to examine the recent escalation of violence toward Coptic Christians in Egypt, as well as reports of disappearances, forced conversions and forced marriages of Coptic women and girls.

Clark, who also serves as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, told the Commission that there is no denying these reports.

“These reports are not allegations nor should they be disputed,” Clark said. “Coptic women disappear. Coptic women are forcibly converted, or converted under false pretenses, and Coptic women are forcibly married to Muslim men.”

In 2009, Clark was asked by Christian Solidarity International and The Coptic Foundation for Human Rights to investigate the issue. Together, Clark and Coptic women’s rights advocate Nadia Ghlay released a 42-page report that detailed dozens of cases of abuse against Coptic Christians in Egypt.

The Commission’s Chairman, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), said that lawmakers must focus their efforts on curbing the abuse of Coptic women in Egypt.

“The Egyptian Government has failed to initiate credible investigation into the cases of the abducted women, and that does have perhaps the intended consequence of creating a climate of impunity for the perpetrators,” he said. “If there is no penalty for this terrible abuse and violence, it only encourages more violence.”

Smith is the original sponsor of “The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000,” which provided U.S. officials with more tools to crack down on nations that are complicit in allowing the selling or trafficking of women to occur.

Christian Solidarity InternationaI-USA President and CEO Dr. John Eibner called the report’s findings “deeply disturbing,” and said that they “should challenge human rights activists and institutions…to undertake, as a matter of urgency, further research into this form of gender and religious based violence against Coptic women and girls in Egypt.”

During her testimony, Dr. Clark highlighted the discoveries of her report to members of the Commission. Among her key findings:

– Coptic Christian women and girls are deceptively lured into forced marriages with Muslim men and subsequently converted to Islam.

– The criminality of alleged forced marriages and conversions is generally dismissed by the authorities. Young women are presumed to be willing participants.

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Who Has the Best Plans to Rescue America from the Budget Crisis?

by John Lott on Sunday, May 29th, 2011

My newest Fox News piece starts out this way

Who has the best plans to fight the budget crisis? Well, it seem that the Democrats do not even have a plan, or perhaps they secretly have one but are embarrassed to release it. Either way, Democrats are stubbornly refusing to release any budget plan. Instead, they just complain about the two that have been presented so far.

Thus when the Senate voted on budget plans this week, Senators considered two options but neither one received a single yes-vote from a Democrat.

One proposal, the House Republican budget, the so-called “Ryan plan,” was attacked by Democrats as “draconian” or “unconscionable.”

The other option was President Obama’s plan from February. But as The Hill newspaper reported: “the Democratic caucus would not support the [president’s February] plan because it has been supplanted by the deficit-reduction plan Obama outlined at a speech at George Washington University in April.”

So why not vote on the April plan? . . .

 

 

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Senate Gives Ryan Budget 40 Votes. Obama’s Budget Gets Zero Votes.

by John Lott on Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The media might be focusing on Ryan’s budget getting only 40 votes in the Senate. But Obama’s budget got zero. Hours after the Hill newspaper has this headline “Senate votes unanimously against Obama’s $3.7 trillion budget,” the New York Times has this: “Senate Rejects House G.O.P. Medicare Plan by 57-40 Vote.” From the Hill newspapers: 

The Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject a $3.7 trillion budget plan that President Obama sent to Capitol Hill in February.

Ninety-seven senators voted against a motion to take it up.

Democratic aides said ahead of the vote that the Democratic caucus would not support the plan because it has been supplanted by the deficit-reduction plan Obama outlined at a speech at George Washington University in April.

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) demanded a vote on Obama’s budget to show that Democrats don’t support any detailed budget blueprint.
McConnell said Obama’s budget “continues the unsustainable status quo.”

He noted during a floor speech Wednesday that Democrats initially applauded the plan.

The president’s budget called for ending tax cuts for the wealthy and a three-year domestic spending freeze, saving an estimated $1.1 trillion over ten years. Democratic senators at the time called it “an important step forward”, “a good start” and a “credible blueprint”.

No Democratic senator was willing to support it, however, after Obama discussed a more ambitious plan at George Washington University to save $4 trillion over twelve years. Republicans criticized his speech for lacking detail.

The White House Office of Management and Budget declined to comment on the president’s budget receiving zero votes in the Senate. . . .

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The mean Obama

by John Lott on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

This is article 114 of 1004 in the topic Obama

I never thought that Obama was a nice guy when I knew him at the University of Chicago Law School. Possibly other Americans are beginning to see the same person that I knew. Some points:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin accepted Obama’s offer to attend Obama’s budget speech at George Washington University last Wednesday.
With Ryan in the audience, Obama made “false claims [that will] poison the debate and make serious budget cutting very difficult to accomplish.” Obama attacked George Bush, congressional Republicans, and businesses and taxpayers.
On Thursday, Obama attacked Ryan personally this way: “When Paul Ryan says his priority is to make sure he’s just being America’s accountant, that he’s being responsible, I mean this is the same guy that voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my health care bill — but wasn’t paid for. So it’s not on the level.”
Of course, all of Obama’s claims here were false. The deficit during 2007, the last year that Republicans had control of the Congress and the presidency was less than $170 billion. The prescription drug plan Ryan supported cost half as much as the Democratic alternative then on the table. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars under President Bush were regularly funded by Congress.

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When a Compromise Isn’t a Compromise

by Frank Salvato on Friday, April 15th, 2011

This is article 201 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

President Barack Obama took to the stage at George Washington University to allegedly lay out an argument for what he perceived to be a need for “compromise” where the current debt, spending and budget issues are concerned. In the end, the President’s speech turned out to be nothing more than a partisan approach to the launch of his 2012 re-election campaign. But Mr. Obama did highlight the need to employ true compromise in approaching the financial crisis facing our country. And while this may be a notion that many on both the committed Left and committed Right will not be wont to hear, it is the truth, if in fact we are serious about reforming the way our government utilizes taxpayer monies.

The key word here, however, is “compromise.” For there to be true compromise several realities must be present, including honesty among the participants, a commitment to statesmanship over political opportunism and a true middle ground, to name just three necessary prerequisites. Sadly, those realities – the people who hold those qualities – do not exist in the nation’s capitol in large enough numbers to create an atmosphere where “compromise” can be struck.

When one reads the text of Mr. Obama’s speech and examines it for inaccuracies there are myriad opportunities to spotlight his deference to political rhetoric and opportunism at the expense of fact and history. For example, in his speech, President Obama stated:

“…our leaders came together three times during the 1990s to reduce our nation’s deficit — three times. They forged historic agreements that required tough decisions made by the first President Bush, then made by President Clinton, by Democratic Congresses and by a Republican Congress. All three agreements asked for shared responsibility and shared sacrifice. But they largely protected the middle class; they largely protected our commitment to seniors; they protected our key investments in our future.

“As a result of these bipartisan efforts, America’s finances were in great shape by the year 2000. We went from deficit to surplus. America was actually on track to becoming completely debt free, and we were prepared for the retirement of the Baby Boomers.”

Two events that come to mind in hearing this portion of Mr. Obama’s speech are the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, or the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, and what many call the “Peace Dividend.”

Regarding the Welfare Reform Act, just like Mr. Obama has to have been dragged kicking and screaming to affect a Continuing Resolution extending the functioning of the federal government, then-President Bill Clinton reluctantly – and that’s putting it nicely – enjoined in advancing welfare reform. In fact, after vowing to “end welfare as we know it,” President Clinton then waited over a year before he proposed legislation that would have increased welfare spending by $14 billion over five years. In addition, Mr. Clinton vetoed welfare reform measures twice – first on December 6, 1995, and again on January 9, 1996 – before finally signing PRWOA on July 31, 1996, and then only under the spotlight of a re-election campaign. To the latter, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) said “If it were 14 weeks after the election, he’d say no.” Mr. Clinton also promised to undo many of the reforms.

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