The Most Anti-Business President Ever – David Limbaugh – Townhall.com

The Most Anti-Business President Ever – David Limbaugh – Townhall.com.

If I didn’t know better, I might conclude that President Obama is trying to validate my book. His personal attacks on Mitt Romney have been so harsh that Romney called them “beneath the dignity of the presidency.”

Not only did I devote several chapters to documenting Obama’s practice of bullying and attacking his political opponents but my final chapter, uncannily, details Obama’s “War on the Dignity of His Office.”

Having presided over 41 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent and possessing no arrows in his economic quiver besides deficit spending and raising taxes, it’s not surprising Obama continues to resort to these gutter tactics.

What finally drew Romney’s ire was Obama’s accusing Romney of committing a felony and then Obama’s refusing to apologize. This is simply Chicago Thug Politics 101. President Obama’s favorite whipping boy, President George W. Bush, would have never stooped to this level. Even in the face of brutal, scurrilous attacks, Bush refused to diminish the dignity of the office.

In recent days, Obama also provided supplemental material for my chapter detailing his “War on Business” by revealing, yet again, his attitude toward the private sector, entrepreneurship and business. He told a crowd in Roanoke, Va., “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

His apologists will say his remarks were taken out of context, but I’m afraid that’s not the case. Though no one can deny Obama’s assertion that all successful people have benefited from others — teachers and other mentors — the thrust of his remarks was directed at crediting government with having an indispensible role in the success of businesses.

Watch the video. He referred wistfully to the Clinton years as a period of unbridled economic growth — and he attributed that growth to tax increases on the “wealthy.” He said that during those years, “we created a lot of millionaires.” We? Created? In other words, government created a lot of millionaires; it wasn’t their ingenuity, and it certainly wasn’t their “hard work” — a point he made emphatically clear. The government’s infrastructure, its roads and bridges, said Obama, created the climate for businesses to thrive. Oh, boy.

This is Obama’s orientation. This is his mindset. He believes that government is the granddaddy of business and not the other way around. He was very explicit in his Osawatomie, Kan., speech that capitalism can’t work without extensive government regulations and that businesses don’t flourish on their own. They can only succeed when jump-started by infusions of government money and wisdom. Does it ever occur to him that there would be no government if businesses and individuals weren’t pouring their revenues into the federal coffers?

Despite Obama’s insistence that he is a fierce advocate of the free market and his fanfare about streamlining government regulations, he has amassed regulations at an unprecedented rate, dwarfing all previous presidents, including George W. Bush. Indeed, his burdensome regulatory and tax policies have businesses paralyzed in an anxiety-shaped straightjacket and scared to death to expand because of the stifling atmosphere of uncertainty.

During his term, employment at federal agencies has increased, while it has been abysmal in the private sector. He has demonized the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and savaged the private jet industry, causing major damage to that industry and costing thousands of jobs. He has inspired an adversarial, even hostile, climate between labor unions and management, exemplified by his National Labor Relations Board‘s trying to prevent Boeing from opening up a new manufacturing plant in another state.

Obama has few people with business experience in his administration. He has no former CEOs in his Cabinet, and there is almost no top-level private-sector experience among his inner circle of advisers. Time magazine’s Fareed Zakaria, a liberal and a big fan of Obama’s, admits that even the business leaders who voted for Obama believe he is, “at his core, anti-business.”

George Buckley, CEO of 3M, said: “We know what his instincts are. … He is anti-business.” Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts, said: “This administration is the greatest wet blanket to business and progress and job creation in my lifetime. And I can prove it. … Everybody complains about how much money is on the side in America.”

Even Obama’s attacks against Romney are mostly grounded in Obama’s antipathy toward Romney’s success in business and Obama’s innate hostility toward the private sector.

Obama’s punitively anti-business policies have made it very difficult for businesses to flourish and for job growth to occur. His anti-business attitude and rhetoric have poisoned the market that much more.

If and when Obama is defeated in November, we should anticipate an explosion in business and entrepreneurial activity among ordinary Americans who realize they’re about to be liberated from the most anti-business president in our history.

Obama Slams Supreme Court over Obamacare – Heritage.org

Senate Passes Insurance Industry Aid Bill

Senate Passes Insurance Industry Aid Bill (Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

Obama Slams Supreme Court over Obamacare – Heritage.org.

Mike Brownfield

The highest elected official in the United States dished out an extra helping of irony yesterday when, in speaking at a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, President Barack Obama slammed the Supreme Court as an “unelected group of people” who will have turned to “judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint” if they strike down Obamacare.

The President’s remarks imply that the Court, were it to rule the individual mandate unconstitutional, would be acting recklessly in undertaking judicial review of Congress’ unprecedented use of the Commerce Clause to force Americans to buy health care or pay a penalty. The irony in all this is that this President has presided over an Administration that is the epitome of recklessly abusing power, at times in flagrant violation of the Constitution, and has empowered unelected bureaucrats to write scads of new regulations impacting nearly every corner of American life.

Obamacare, of course, is a prime example of that unchecked and multiplying web of the President’s boundless dictates. The law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (otherwise known as “IPAB”) is packed with unelected bureaucrats who have the power to limit seniors’ treatment options and access to care, essentially ending Medicare as we know it.

On top of IPAB, Obamacare is rife with new regulations, all courtesy of unelected bureaucrats. Professor of law Gary Lawson writes that the implementation of Obamcare “will require many years and literally thousands of administrative regulations, and those regulations will ultimately determine the substantive content and coverage of the law.” In other words, the future of health care in America will not be determined by the people’s elected representatives, but by administrative rulemakings handed down by unelected and largely unknown agency officials. How’s that for a “democratically elected government”?

Obamacare, though, isn’t the only example of the Obama Administration imposing its will via executive fiat. In a new study, Heritage’s James Gattuso and Diane Katz detail 106 new major federal regulations that added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans. And those are regulations enacted not by elected officials who are accountable to voters, but by Washington bureaucrats who can wield their power without having to answer to the people.

While the President is throwing stones at the court, he’s living in a glass house from which he has exercised his tyrannical abuse of power. In January, the President cast aside the Constitution when he illegally appointed Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, all without Senate approval, as the Constitution requires. Former attorney general Ed Meese described the President’s actions as ”a constitutional abuse of a high order,” and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said it was ”a brazen attempt to undercut the role of the Senate to advise and consent the executive branch on appointments.”

And this is the President who said in December, “What I’m not gonna do is wait for Congress. So wherever we have an opportunity and I have the executive authority to go ahead and get some things done, we’re just gonna go ahead and do ‘em,” irrespective of whether the people’s duly elected representatives have a say in the matter.

Now that the President is seeing the potential for his signature legislation to go down in flames because of its unconstitutional individual mandate, he is lashing out at the Supreme Court. To date, President Obama has enjoyed ruling with impunity and has attempted to carry out his agenda without so much as a hat tip to the Constitution. But come June when the Court rules on Obamacare, the President might finally see part of his agenda stopped in its tracks.

PARISI: Non-response to non-recess appointments – Washington Times

PARISI: Non-response to non-recess appointments – Washington Times.

Where’s the lawsuit challenging their constitutionality?

By Peter Parisi – The Washinton Times

Now that the Senate has returned from its non-recess, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Senate Republicans will do about the non-recess recess appointments President Obama made in their non-absence.

Judging by what they have done thus far in response to Mr. Obama’s trampling of the Constitution – a whole lot of kvetching and not much else – it’s hardly encouraging.

Oh, wait. After fulminating at some length about it, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, did turn the issue into a soon-to-be fundraising pitch under the letterhead of his 2014 Senate re-election campaign.

In an email sent out Jan. 10 to subscribers to redstate.com and addressed to “Dear Fellow Conservative,” the Senate minority leader complained that Mr. Obama “arrogantly circumvented the American people with an unprecedented ‘recess’ appointment of more unelected, unaccountable, unconfirmed ‘czars.’ “

Calling Mr. Obama’s non-recess recess appointments an “outrageous affront to the American people,” Mr. McConnell inveighed that the move “ventures into uncertain legal territory, threatens the constitutional process for confirmation, and fundamentally endangers the constitutional role of Congress to provide a check on the excesses of the executive branch.”

“We can’t tolerate another Obama executive power grab,” the Kentuckian thundered. The emphasis there, apparently, was on “another,” as he clearly has tolerated this one.

When on Jan. 4, Mr. Obama made the appointments to the new Consumer Financial Protection Board and the National Labor Relations Board, Mr. McConnell complained, “What the president did today sets a terrible precedent that could allow any future president to completely cut the Senate out of the confirmation process, appointing his nominees immediately after sending their names up to Congress.

“This was surely not what the Framers had in mind when they required the president to seek the advice of the Senate in making appointments,” he said. He was right, of course, but when all was said and done, he had said much but had done little.

Then, on Jan. 12, the Justice Department of Mr. Obama’s lackey attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., issued an ex post facto defense of the president’s action. Did anyone seriously expect Mr. Holder – the most nakedly political attorney general since John Mitchell in the Nixon administration – to slap Mr. Obama’s wrist and say, “You can’t do that”?

Similarly, did anyone really think the president’s Senate handmaiden, Harry Reid, would object to Mr. Obama stepping all over the Senate’s prerogatives? To the contrary, the Nevada Democrat – who, after retaking control of the Senate in 2007, used the very same pro-forma-session procedures to prevent President George W. Bush from making recess appointments during his last two years in office – promptly did a 180-degree pivot and said he backed the president’s move, though, curiously, he didn’t explain what was different this time.

Giving the back of his hand to the quaint notion of separation of powers (specifically, concluding that the executive branch can unilaterally decide when the legislative branch is or isn’t in session) Mr. Holder’s analysis was rightly criticized by Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, who called on the Senate “to take action to check and balance President Obama’s blatant attempt to circumvent the Senate and the Constitution.”

Mr. McConnell should have picked up that challenge and immediately taken the Obama administration to federal court, challenging the constitutionality of the appointments and seeking an injunction. Had Mr. Bush done the same thing, Senate Democrats would have been in federal court the next morning.

Instead, Mr. McConnell, writing as “Team Mitch,” ended his email by urging recipients to “[m]ake sure your voice is heard by signing our petition – and tell Obama to stop playing politics with the Constitution.” Though it doesn’t expressly ask for contributions, the names of those who sign the petition almost certainly will go onto a mailing list for future reference.

Rather than soliciting signatures for a petition that has zero likelihood of persuading Mr. Obama to withdraw the appointments, Mr. McConnell would have been better served filing a petition of a different sort – namely, petitioning a federal court to issue an injunction blocking these clearly unconstitutional appointments.

Happily, two business groups, the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Right to Work Foundation, are picking up the slack. They have filed suit to block the appointments.

Meanwhile, one can only hope that with Republicans likely to take control of the Senate after November (because 23 of the 33 seats up this cycle are held by Democrats, and the GOP only needs to net four seats to assume the majority) the new GOP senators will be in the mold of the 2010 freshmen … Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio – and help elect new, less feckless Senate leadership in the 113th Congress.

Peter Parisi is an editor at The Washington Times.

What Are the Policy Implications of the President’s Appointments? – AskHeritage

What Are the Policy Implications of the President’s Appointments? – AskHeritage.

Last week, President Barack Obama took the latest step on his road toward an arrogant, new authoritarianism with four illegal appointments that entirely trampled on the Constitution’s requirements. More troubling still, the President chose to shred the Constitution all in the name of serving his Big Labor agenda while killing jobs in the process.

The President’s actions once again gave voice to his animating view of governing: doing so is much easier when one isn’t constrained by the Constitution and its checks and balances. “We can’t wait,” the President exclaimed after unilaterally appointing Richard Cordray as director of the newly inaugurated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). He also appointed three officials to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), two of whom had been nominated less than a month before.

The policy implications of the President’s appointments? The CFPB will now have unmitigated authority to issue regulation upon regulation, contributing to the already-crippling red tape that is strangling business in America. And the NLRB will have the power to advance the President’s agenda to bolster unions across the country at the expense of job growth in a smarting economy.

For what, exactly, can’t the President wait? Quite simply, constitutional republicanism — the system of checks and balances integral to American government and political freedom. He grew impatient with the delays that inevitably accompany any legislative action an acted outside the Constitution’s mandated process. But the American people should ask, “Is such action really preferable to a deliberative, if slower-moving, constitutional republic?”

The President’s appointments last week, troubling as they are, are but the next steps on the road to a despotic form of governance that has come to characterize his Administration — and all of liberalism in America today — what authors Fred Siegel and Joel Kotkin termed in City Journal this week Obama’s “New Authoritarianism.” Frustrated by the unwillingness of the people’s representatives to enact his agenda wholesale, Obama has, from early in his Administration, sought to enact a series of proposals through administrative fiat, not the legislative process:

  • The Democrat-controlled Senate rejected his cap-and-trade plan, so Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency classified carbon dioxide, the compound that sustains vegetative life, as a pollutant so that it could regulate it under the Clean Air Act.
  • After Congress defeated his stealth-amnesty immigration proposal, the DREAM Act, the Department of Homeland Security instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to “adopt enforcement parameters that bring about the same ends as the DREAM Act,” as Heritage’s Mike Brownfield explained.
  • When the woefully misnamed Employee Free Choice Act–explicitly designed to bolster labor unions’ dwindling membership rolls–was defeated by Congress, the NLRB announced a rule that would implement “snap elections” for union representation, limiting employers’ abilities to make their case to workers and virtually guaranteeing a higher rate of unionization at the expense of workplace democracy.
  • After an innovation-killing Internet regulation proposal failed to make it through Congress, the Federal Communications Commission announced — on Christmas Eve, no less — that it would regulate the Web anyway, despite even a federal court’s ruling that it had no authority to do so.
  • In its push for national education standards, the Education Department decided to tie waivers for the No Child Left Behind law to requirements that states adopt those standards, shutting Congress out of the effort.
  • Rather than push Congress to repeal federal laws against marijuana use, the Department of Justice (DOJ) simply decided it would no longer enforce those laws.
  • DOJ made a similar move with respect to the Defense of Marriage Act: rather than seeking legislative recourse, DOJ announced it would stop enforcing the law.

While these efforts are all aimed at circumventing the legislative process, none was so brazen as his four illegal appointments. Last week, Obama went one step further: He violated not just the spirit of the Constitution, which vests in Congress the power to make laws, but the letter of the law as well.

The move is “a breathtaking violation of the separation of powers,” explain former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese and Heritage colleague Todd Gaziano, a former attorney in DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, in a Washington Post column. “[N]ever before has a president purported to make a ‘recess’ appointment when the Senate is demonstrably not in recess,” they note. “That is a constitutional abuse of a high order.”

Dr. Matthew Spalding, vice president of American Studies and director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation, explains that this “new despotism” — a government where regulations and unilateral actions replace republican governance — runs entirely counter to the Founders’ vision of America:

The greatest political revolution since the American Founding has been the shift of power away from the institutions of constitutional government to an oligarchy of unelected experts. They rule over virtually every aspect of our daily lives, ostensibly in the name of the American people but in actuality by the claimed authority of science, policy expertise, and administrative efficiency.

If this regime becomes the undisputed norm — accepted not only among the intellectual and political elites, but also by the American people, as the defining characteristic of the modern state — it could well mark the end of our great experiment in self-government.

President Obama’s actions are exactly the kind that the Founders feared and sought to guard against. His illegal appointments usurp power from the American people’s duly elected representatives, and the regulations they will promulgate will, undoubtedly, contribute to the unabated growth of the undemocratic administrative state.

Now that the President has crossed the threshold of constitutionality, there really is no telling where he may stop. There is a clear trend here, however, and it leads further and further from the constitutional order. With these illegal appointments, the President has taken to new heights his disdain for the separation of powers. Whether it will stop here depends on Congress — Will lawmakers of both parties reassert the legislature’s constitutional authority and take a stand against Obama’s arrogant new authoritarianism?

It is time to stand up for the Constitution – Judson Phillips | Judson Phillips.com

It is time to stand up for the Constitution – Judson Phillips | Judson Phillips.com.

A few days ago, Barack Obama appointed Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  He also appointed three members of the National Labor Relations Board.

Appointments are not unusual.  This time, Obama used the process of “Recess Appointments” as provided in the Constitution.   There is one problem.  The Senate is not in recess.

The Constitution allows the President to make appointments that do not go through the confirmation requirement of the Constitution, if the Senate is in recess.    Barack Obama just decided he is going to ignore that inconvenient part of the Constitution

Barack Obama is frustrated.  He wants transform America into a socialist nation.  The problem is, the American people do not want socialism.  We do not want the radicals he wants to put into senior positions in the government.  Our Senators, at least some of them, are standing up to Obama.  This is what our founding fathers envisioned in the Constitution when they put in the requirement that the senior officials of any department must be confirmed by the Senate.

Obama, instead of accepting the Constitution has simply bypassed it.  If this is allowed to stand, it will set a precedent that allows a President to act more like a dictator than the head of a Representative Republic.

We cannot allow this to stand.

We need the Republicans and those few Democrats who still believe in the Constitution to act.

We the people must demand that our Senators stand up to this power grab.

How do we stop this?

We call our Senators and Congressmen.  We tell them one simple message.  Until these four appointees resign and are submitted through proper channels for a confirmation vote, nothing is going through Congress.

We need the Republicans in the Senate to unite and filibuster EVERY piece of legislation until those appointees resign and the President follows the Constitution.

In the House, we need Speaker Boehner and the rest of the Republican leadership to stop every bill going through the House until those appointees resign.

Stopping Congress for passing new laws may not be a bad thing.  Some times, success is simply measured by how many bad bills we kill.

The importance of standing up for the Constitution cannot be understated.  Barack Obama is a wannabe dictator.  He thinks the Constitution is just an old piece of paper that he can ignore.  If we let him ignore this part of the Constitution, what part of the Constitution is he going to want us to ignore next?

Could it be the 25th Amendment that will limit him to two terms (if God forbid he is reelected).   Could it be the 6th Amendment right to a speedy, public jury trial?  Could it be the 1st Amendment, stopping us from criticizing him?

Standing up for the Constitution is not optional here.   If the Democrat Party really still believed in the Constitution, Harry Reid and the Democratic Leadership would march up to the White House and tell Obama he is going to direct those recess appointees to resign or they will go along with an effort to impeach him.

Unfortunately for America, the Democrats no longer believe in the Constitution.  As long as they have power, they do not care.

It is up to the people and the Republicans to stand up for the Constitution.

Call your Senators today and demand they filibuster every bill that comes through the Senate until those appointees are removed.  Call your Congressman and demand that they pressure the Republican Congressional leadership to block every bill in Congress until these appointees are removed.

If we do not stand up for the Constitution this time, when will we?  If we do not stand up for the Constitution this time, the next time we have this fight it might be too late.

House to Vote on Blocking NLRB’s Pro-Unionization Efforts – Heritage.org

 

English: Color logo of the National Labor Rela...

House to Vote on Blocking NLRB’s Pro-Unionization EffortsHeritage.org.

What does it take to bring an airline to its knees? Uncompetitive union-negotiated labor contracts and a fundamental unwillingness to recognize that in a down economy, unions have a hard time raising wages without destroying jobs.

That was a lesson that unions refused to learn in the case of American Airlines, which yesterday announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the last large U.S. full-fare airline to seek court protection from creditors. American was forced to take that action when the airline pilots union refused to budge on its demands for massive signing bonuses and wage increases. The airline’s competitors are flying high in profits after restructuring union contracts in their own bankruptcy proceedings.

Unions also didn’t learn any lessons after taxpayers bailed out General Motors and Chrysler, and then-White House “auto-czar” Ron Bloom gave the UAW preferential treatment in the restructuring process despite their contracts being largely at fault.

And, this is a lesson that still has not penetrated the walls of the Obama White House. The President’s appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) want businesses to be unionized at all costs, even if it means harming both workers and the economy. They’re trying to make it happen by ramming through measures that would help expand unionization in America.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Workplace Democracy and Fairness Act, introduced by Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN). The bill protects the right of workers to decide whether or not to unionize. That’s a right that the NLRB would like to drastically weaken.

One tack the Obama NLRB is taking is implementing “snap elections” which Heritage labor expert James Sherk says are designed to prevent employees from making an informed choice about unionizing.

The policy shortens the election period from six weeks to as little as 10 days, depriving companies of their ability to explain to workers the darker side of unionization, including strike histories, dues increases, and union corruption. Meanwhile, union leaders would have months to try to sell workers on their side of the story through rose-colored glasses.

The NLRB is set to vote on the new rule today, but it’s possible that their efforts could be forestalled if the lone Republican on the board resigns or withholds participation in the vote, depriving the NLRB of the quorum it needs to issue regulations.

Their earlier gambit — known as “micro unions” — redefines who gets to vote on unionizing a particular workplace. Instead of workers with a shared “community of interest” forming a single bargaining unit and voting together on unionizing (think cashiers, shelf-stockers, and greeters at a grocery store), now the Obama NLRB has allowed unions to form cherry-picked bargaining units of their supporters. Sherk explains how the new rule would impact workers:

If most workers at a store oppose unionizing, but a union has majority support among the cashiers, it can now form a union of just the cashiers. The shelf-stockers and greeters would not get a vote.

Unionizing brings risks to the entire workplace. The Obama NLRB has allowed unions to selectively disenfranchise the workers who do not want to take that risk.

All of this is occurring despite the fact that only one in 10 non-union workers say they want to unionize. What’s more, unionized companies invest less, are less competitive, and create fewer jobs than non-union companies. Given these facts, it’s no surprise that union membership has shrunk to just 7 percent in the private sector. Likewise, though, it’s not surprising that the Obama NLRB is digging in and trying to foist unionization on all companies while it still can.

Kline’s bill attempts to prevent that from happening by guaranteeing that union elections are not held until workers have at least 35 days to hear from both sides, ensuring that employers have at least 14 days to find legal counsel before any legal proceedings begin, preventing unions from cherry-picking which workers can vote, and protecting privacy by letting workers decide which contact information to release to union organizers.

Kline says, “It’s very clear to me that we’re seeing the rights of employers and employees under attack.” And he’s right. Workers have a right to organize unions, but they should have a right not to organize them as well. Reforms like the ones Kline is proposing help protect that right.

Occupy Oakland’s Dangerous “Strike” Follies – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative

ILWU logo.

Image via Wikipedia

Occupy Oakland’s Dangerous “Strike” Follies – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative.

The next stage of the Aimless Occupation of America is upon us: On Wednesday, rabble-rousers in the San Francisco Bay Area will walk off jobs they don’t have and encourage everyone else around the country to abandon work to protest high unemployment.

The Occupiers are calling their organized day of inaction a “Mass Day of Action.” The Carpenters Local 713, the Service Employees International Union, the United Auto Workers and the Industrial Workers of the World have all endorsed the “general strike.” Longshore workers and their union agitators are rooting for the shutdown of the Port of Oakland. Teachers unions will push students and educators to play hooky. Their posters urge: “No Work. No School. Occupy Everywhere.”

A city suffering from chronic poverty, out-of-control crime, a $76 million budget deficit and a 15 percent unemployment rate (nearly 50 percent for Oakland’s youth) can hardly afford such social justice follies. But a pushover Democratic mayor and an overwhelmed police force have left what’s left of gainfully employed Oakland taxpayers at the mercy of professional freeloaders and anti-capitalism saboteurs.

Instead of unequivocally condemning efforts to paralyze downtown commerce, Oakland city officials have all expressed sympathy for the protesters. For a brief moment, the city council president fretted meekly about the city’s image after a violent clash between Camp Chaos inhabitants and law enforcement officers last week. Nevertheless, city leaders — or rather, city enablers — have informed public employees that they can use vacation or other paid time to ditch their offices and raise their fists in solidarity with the Occupiers.

Instead of targeting local bank branch managers and private-sector entrepreneurs, the protesters should be camping out at government offices and asking where all the tens of millions of dollars in federal Obama stimulus funding went over the past two years — including $40 million from the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly $30 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, $26 million from the Department of Justice, $24 million from the Transportation Department, $15 million from the Department of Education, and $5.3 million from the Environmental Protection Agency.

One local analysis found last year that the Oakland Housing Authority squandered nearly $11 million in federal project renovation and clean-up stimulus grants to create a measly 10.7 jobs.

It would all be an amusing object lesson on the impotence of the welfare state, if not for the looming shadow of violence that hangs like stubborn Bay Area fog over the movement. In 2003, a like-minded mob of police-provoking anarchists, anti-war organizers and progressive activists descended on the Port of Oakland to coordinate a “Day of Action.” They hurled concrete, wood and iron bolts at cops while attempting to block military shipments to soldiers in wartime — and then whined about police brutality.

Fast-forward eight years. This week’s “Day of Action” is spearheaded by the likes of Oakland rapper Boots Riley, a militant, self-declared “communist” who penned “5 Million Ways To Kill a CEO” (“Toss a dollar in the river and when he jump in/If you find he can swim, put lead boots on him and do it again”) and “Lazy Muthaf**kas” (“You ain’t never learned to drive or tie your shoe/I got my ear to the street and my eye on you/… You’re a lazy **********! Lazy **********!). After the 9/11 attacks, I reported on Riley’s appalling album cover depicting him partying in front of a doctored image of the World Trade Center being blown up.

Like fellow Occupier, 9/11 conspiracy theorist and Oakland community organizer Van Jones, Riley has long stoked anti-police grievances. In “Pork and Beef,” he rapped: “If you got beef with c-o-ps/Throw a Molotov at the p-i-gs.”

Add to this toxic mix the thugs of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The planned march on Oakland’s port is being billed as an expression of “solidarity with longshore workers in their struggle” against grain importer EGT. In Longview, Wash., wildcat union workers cut train brake lines, smashed windows, dumped grain and took hostages earlier this fall to protest the company’s decision to employ not non-union workers, but workers from a competing shop. A federal judge fined the ILWU $250,000 after it defied a court restraining order. Even Obama’s National Labor Relations Board was forced to issue a complaint against the union’s “violent and aggressive” actions.

The unapologetic local union president vowed: “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.” Mark those words.

Obama–The Numbers Don’t Lie – Lurita Doan – Townhall Conservative

Obama–The Numbers Don’t Lie – Lurita Doan – Townhall Conservative.

Listening to President Obama speak to the Congressional Black Caucus about his past 32 months in office, two bizarre facts become apparent. First, Obama seems to believe that his policies and efforts have been successful. Second, Obama thinks we need to continue down the same path, that he “stood up for a different vision and did what was right. The future rewards those who press on.”

Sadly, it would seem that our President is not merely wrong, but delusional. Let’s take a look at what Obama’s policies have actually produced.

Largest wealth destruction in American history: Net Wealth Lost 2009-2011 –$8.7 Trillion

Highest sustained Unemployment in decades: 9.1%

Brutal Unemployment for minorities: Black Americans : 16.7%

Unprecedented Unemployment: Black Teenage Americans :46.5%

Historic loss in American credit: U.S. Credit Rating drops to: AA-plus

Historic jump in Number of people in U.S. on Foodstamps : 45.8 Trillion

Quixotic investment in mythic Green Jobs : $80 billion

·Supposed Number of Green Jobs Created : 255,000

·Approximate Cost of each Green Job: $313,725.50

Stimulus Program: TARP : $475 Billion

Stimulus Program: Shovel Ready projects : $787 Billion

Stimulus Programs: Cash for Clunkers : $3 billion

Stimulus Programs: Cash for Caulkers : $10 Billion

Changes in Unemployment after $1.5 Trillion of government stimulus: +3% change

Averaged cost of a gallon of gas : $3.45 +$1.25 change

New Regulations 2009-2011 : 75 Major New Regulations, 1,827 Rules Amended

Executive Orders signed by Obama : 96

Cost of New Regulations : + $1.75 Trillion annually

Public Debt : $18.8 Trillion

2012 Federal Budget Proposed by Obama : $3.73 Trillion

Percentage of Americans that pay no taxes: 51%

Percentage of Federal Spending required from borrowing: 40%

Percentage of Government Spending on Entitlements: 60%

Number of Obama proposals to limit entitlement spending: ZERO

By any measure, President Obama’s economic policies and leadership have produced an unambiguous tale of woe. Not once has a single Obama policy produced the anticipated or promised benefits. Moreover, these many policies have made existing problems much worse.

During Obama’s presidency, Americans have lost a collective $8 trillion in national wealth. Even now, his policies continue to crush business development, rob the prudent of their savings, and continue the awful trend of blaming others for his own inexperience and his policy mistakes. Perhaps the saddest fact of all is that President Obama believes that these failures represent success.

As President, Obama Acts as Shop Steward in Chief – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative

As President, Obama Acts as Shop Steward in Chief – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative.

Barack Obama has been at pains to convince voters that he cares about jobs. It seems to be a hard sell.

But he certainly can demonstrate that he cares about certain jobs — the 7 percent of private-sector jobs and 36 percent of public-sector jobs held by union members.

During his two years and nine months as president, he has worked time and again to increase the number of unionized jobs. As for nonunion jobs, who wants them?

Some pro-union moves have a certain ritual quality. Democratic presidents on taking office seek to strengthen federal employee unions, just as Republican presidents on taking office seek to weaken them.

Other steps are more important. Fully one-third of the $820 billion stimulus package passed almost entirely with Democratic votes in 2009 was aid to state and local governments.

This was intended to keep state and local public employee union members — much more numerous than federal employees — on the job and to keep taxpayer-funded union dues pouring into public employee union treasuries.

It was just last year that, for the first time in history, public employees came to account for a majority of union members. This is a vivid contrast from the peak union membership years of the 1950s, when more than one-third of private-sector workers but almost no government workers were union members.

Which is not to say that the Obama administration has not looked after the interests of private-sector unions. In arranging the Chrysler bankruptcy, the Obama White House muscled aside the secured creditors who ordinarily have priority in bankruptcy proceedings in favor of United Auto Workers members and retirees.

That’s an episode that I labeled “gangster government.” Former Obama economics aide Lawrence Summers protested that his White House colleague Ron Bloom had made similar arrangements before. But in those cases, Bloom was working for the unions, not for a supposedly neutral government.

The 2009 stimulus package also contained Davis-Bacon law provisions requiring that construction workers be paid “prevailing wages,” which under the bureaucratic formula turn out to be union wages. That means the public pays a premium for government construction.

It also means that Labor Department bureaucrats must calculate “prevailing wage” rates for as many as 3,141 counties. That takes time, and it’s one reason there were not nearly so many shovel-ready projects as presidential rhetoric led some, including the president, to think.

In the meantime, the administration has gone to great pains to promote union representation in private-sector companies even where there’s no indication employees want it.

It appointed pro-union stalwarts to the board supervising airline industry unionization elections. That board changed longstanding rules on what counts as a majority in an attempt to get unions approved at mostly non-union Delta after it absorbed mostly unionized Northwest.

The problem is that the employees kept voting against unionization anyway.

Then there’s the Boeing case.

Obama has called for doubling American exports over the next five years. But when America’s No. 1 exporter, Boeing, built a $1 billion Dreamliner plant in South Carolina, Obama’s appointee as general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board brought a case to force it to shut down.

The theory is that Boeing needs to build the airliner in pro-union Washington state rather than in South Carolina, whose right-to-work law bars requiring employees to join unions. Maximizing union membership evidently comes first, before all other goals.

The Obama White House won’t comment on the Boeing case, just as Obama himself had no comment when Teamsters President Jim Hoffa, introducing him at a Labor Day rally in Detroit, said of tea party backers, “Let’s take these sons of bitches out.”

The president’s eloquent and apparently heartfelt pleas for civility voiced after the Tucson shootings apparently don’t apply to union leaders.

Obama’s partiality to unions is apparently rooted in a conviction that we would be better off if every employee were represented by a union.

The marketplace says otherwise. Private-sector unionism has produced the General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies, while states with strong public-sector unions, according to a Harvard study, have to pay higher interest rates to borrow money.

But unions do have one positive characteristic from Obama’s point of view: They funnel taxpayers’ or consumers’ money to the Democratic Party — $400 million in 2008. So they get one payoff after another in return.

KNIGHT: Obama tears up the Constitution – Washington Times

First page of Constitution of the United States

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KNIGHT: Obama tears up the Constitution – Washington Times.

The scope of his lawless disregard expands by the day

By Robert Knight – The Washington Times

The Constitution of the United States, whose adoption we celebrate every Sept. 17, clearly lists the powers of each branch of the national government. Let’s take a look at what Barack Obama, like any president, is empowered to do and see if it squares with his actions. In Article II, Section 1, he is sworn to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Section 2 names the president as commander in chief of the armed forces, grants him the power to make treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate and to appoint ambassadors, federal judges, Cabinet officials and other federal officers. Section 3 says the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

In his two years and nine months in office, President Obama has compiled a spectacular record of noncompliance with the Constitution. Here are just some of the ways his administration has failed to execute the laws while using raw, unauthorized power:

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): On Feb. 23, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that under Mr. Obama’s direction, the Justice Department would no longer defend DOMA, which is under attack in several federal courts. DOMA, which was passed by overwhelming majorities in Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, defines marriage for all federal purposes as the union of a man and a woman and allows states under the full-faith-and-credit clause not to be forced to recognize unions from other states that do not comport with their state marriage laws. Forty-five states have moved to strengthen their marriage laws, with 30 enacting constitutional amendments. Mr. Obama, who has played coy with the marriage issue while aggressively promoting the homosexual agenda, is violating his oath of office to appease the gay lobby.

The 15th Amendment: Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department has effectively become a race-based enforcement unit. After New Black Panther Party members were caught on tape intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place in 2008, the Justice Department declined to defend the convictions and thus sent the message that baton-wielding thuggishness on Election Day is no big deal. Former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams, who laid out the case before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, described the administration’s dismissal of charges as “lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law.”

Illegal Immigration: The Obama administration has ignored the illegal actions of “sanctuary cities” and sued the state of Arizona in July 2010 for enforcing federal law. Then, last month, the administration announced a new policy that, in effect, ends enforcement of illegal immigration, providing the illegal alien meets the requirements of the Dream Act, a bill Congress failed to pass. So, Mr. Obama is ignoring current federal law while creating rules based on a law that never passed.

“Cap and trade”: In 2010, the Senate rejected a sweeping environmental bill that would have created a massive federal carbon regulation system. Despite this, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would treat carbon dioxide (the air we breathe out) as a pollutant and begin cracking down on America’s businesses and power plants. The EPA has become a law unto itself. The Obama administration also has ignored a federal judge’s ruling that it acted illegally in prohibiting new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Obscenity laws: The Obama administration, like the George W. Bush administration before it, has ignored federal laws against selling obscene materials, prosecuting only a handful of cases. Even though the law is clear and courts routinely hand down convictions, U.S. attorneys don’t bother to enforce the law anymore, given the direction from the top. The result is that the Internet is awash in illegal obscenity and even mainstream hotels peddle obscene materials via pay TV.

The Fifth Amendment: The Constitution guarantees that no one is deprived of his or her property without “due process of law” or “just compensation.” The National Labor Relations Board’s absurd order to the Boeing Co. not to open a newly built $750-million Dreamliner facility in right-to-work South Carolina, because unions in Boeing’s home state of Washington object, violates that guarantee. Even liberal New York Times columnist Joseph Nocera commented, “Seriously, when has a government agency ever tried to dictate where a company makes its products? I can’t ever remember it happening.”

The First Amendment: The NLRB struck again this year, declaring two Catholic universities – St. Xavier University in Chicago and Manhattan College in New York – not sufficiently “religious.” If the holdings stand, the schools may see the NLRB assert jurisdiction and rope the faculty and employees into a union election.

While ignoring laws that he is obligated to enforce, Mr. Obama has added other duties that would leave America’s Founders scratching their heads. As columnist Don Feder notes, “Right out of the gate, there was his salaam to the Saudi king and his declaration in the course of a 2009 speech at Cairo University that ‘I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.’ That’s in the Presidential-Responsibility-To-Fight-Negative-Stereotypes-Of-Islam section of the Constitution.”

More frightening is Mr. Obama’s heavy-handed seizure of the nation’s health care system and Obamacare’s unconstitutional mandate for everyone to purchase health insurance. Nowhere, not even in the much-abused commerce clause, does the Constitution give the government the right to force citizens to engage in commerce. If Obamacare is upheld, government bureaucrats can pretty much order us to do anything they want.

This list, which could be longer, should include Mr. Obama’s failure as commander in chief to lead our armed forces with honor. Can you imagine George Washington’s or Gen. George S. Patton’s response to the Obama administration’s doctoring of results of a troop survey, leaking misleading “findings” to the press, ignoring strong opposition by combat troops and ramming through a policy of homosexualizing the armed forces? This violates 235 years of tradition in the world’s finest military.

Paraphrasing Ted Koppel’s comment about the Ten Commandments, the Constitution is not a set of suggestions. The Constitution’s enumerated powers and limitations ensure maximum liberty in a free republic. When the chief enforcer shows such profound contempt for the Constitution, he needs to be reminded that no one is above the law. Not even The One.

Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.

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