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Friday, February 21, 2014

Obama’s Incredible Shrinking "Empire"

Soon to shrink to the size of a prison cell

BOSTON HERALD
By Jonah Goldberg
02/20/2014

Of all the time-honored failings for which we criticize sitting presidents — by “we” I mean pundits, academics and other members of the chattering phylum — two charges stand out: imperialism and shrinkage. Usually it’s one or the other.
 
 
When the president is unpopular or when he’s lost control of his agenda or when he just seems inadequate to the demands of the job, the headline “The Incredible Shrinking Presidency” proliferates like kudzu. When the Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006, the Economist proclaimed “The Incredible Shrinking Presidency” of George W. Bush on its cover. Barack Obama has been diagnosed with presidential shrinkage many times, including in Politico, the New York Times and my own National Review.

 
The flip side of the shrinking presidency is the imperial presidency, something we’ve been fretting by name since at least Franklin Roosevelt and in principle since the founding.

Politically, what is remarkable is that Obama seems to be doing both at the same time. His “Year of Action” — intended to dispel that lame-duck scent — is simultaneously Caesar-like and pathetic. (Maybe the presidential seal should depict that dude from the Little Caesars pizza commercials?) Last week, he announced that he would unilaterally raise the minimum wage for federal contractors seeking new work. Only 1 percent of the workforce makes the minimum wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and vanishingly few of them work for the federal government. This probably explains why the White House wouldn’t give an actual number when asked how many people his bold action would benefit.
 
 
 
Yet, at the Democratic retreat last week, Obama threw cold water on the idea that he could do much more on immigration from the Oval Office, saying there are “outer limits to what we can do by executive action.”

Some of his unilateral actions are a bigger deal, of course. The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to treat carbon dioxide as a “pollutant” is an outrageous expansion of executive power. 
 
But Obama doesn’t tout that as a bullet point; he let the EPA take the political heat for that decision a while ago. His multiple unilateral revisions to Obamacare run the gamut from desperate tinkering to outright lawlessness. But flop-sweat panic to compensate for executive incompetence and to fend off a rout in the midterms doesn’t exactly project presidential boldness either.
 
 
The “Year of Action” should actually be seen as a replay of President Clinton’s small-ball comeback after the 1994 midterms. Clinton picked micro-initiatives — school uniforms, the V-chip, etc. — that poll-tested well but amounted to very little in terms of policy. 
 
The clever twist Obama is putting on his micro-agenda is doing it in a way that successfully baits opponents into making the case that he’s more powerful and relevant than he really is.
 


Substantively, however, the imperial presidency continues to metastasize. “The presidency,” the Cato Institute’s Gene Healy has written, “keeps shrinking, but — with an executive branch of some 2.1 million civilian employees and counting — it never gets any smaller.” 
 
As a branch of government, it has grown under Republicans and Democrats alike. Some curbs were put on the office under Richard Nixon because of Watergate, and because Democrats don’t like it when Republican presidents behave like Democratic ones.
 
 
Dope smoking not allowed in U.S. prison system, Barry
"Those who tried to warn us back at the beginning of the New Deal of the dangers of one-man rule that lay ahead on the path we were taking toward strong, centralized government may not have been so wrong,” Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston of California remarked in 1973 during Watergate.


That’s a lesson Democrats would do well to ponder, because they are rhetorically giving Obama license to do whatever he likes. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) recently declared that the priority for her and her comrades should be to draft executive orders — not laws — for Obama to sign. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) suggested on “Fox News Sunday” that the president could rewrite Obamacare at whim because the Constitution gives him the power to act during a national security threat. And of course, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blew up the filibuster rules for appointees.

They shouldn’t be surprised if the next Republican president takes advantage of that license.

Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and editor-at-large of National Review Online.





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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

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A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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