The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
In the course of Barack Obama’s more than five years in office, much has been written about his penchant for arrogating to himself legislative powers that, we were taught in school, have historically resided with Congress. While it’s true that some of his predecessors attempted at various times to push the envelope of presidential power – FDR, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush come immediately to mind – for the most part presidents have focused on military and foreign policy issues where they were accorded great leeway.
Mr. Obama’s latest “amendment” of the Obamacare law, however, has elevated the arrogation of legislative power to an art form. And he has done so for blatantly political reasons.
Most of us are familiar with the president’s reaction to congressional refusal to enact laws or amendments he had urged. The so-called Dream Act would have provided a way for illegal aliens to become citizens. When Congress balked, he simply ordered the Immigration and Naturalization Service not to deport them. Similarly, he ordered the Justice Department not to prosecute anyone running afoul of the federal law criminalizing the use of medical marijuana.
He acted in the same way with respect to the Defense of Marriage Act, ordering the Justice Department not to enforce it or to defend it in the Supreme Court. So too with regard to the No Child Left Behind Act and “cap-and-trade” legislation.
When the Senate wouldn’t confirm his picks for the National Labor Review Board under its “advise and consent” power, the president simply declared, in direct contradiction of Senate rules, that the Senate was not in session and appointed his choices through a “recess appointment” ruse.
And there is much, much more. But nothing can compare in sheer brazenness with last week’s announcement by the Obama administration that consumers would be allowed to keep, for two years, health insurance policies that do not meet the standards of Obamacare – in direct violation of that law.
As The New York Times put it in a March 6 news story,
The reprieve was the latest in a series of waivers, deadline extensions and unilateral actions by the administration that have drawn criticism from the law’s opponents and supporters, many saying President Obama was testing the limits of his powers….
The Times article also noted the political motivations behind the decision:
Under pressure from Democratic candidates, who are struggling to defend the president’s signature domestic policy, Mr. Obama in November announced a one-year reprieve for insurance plans that did not meet the minimum coverage requirements of the 2010 health care law.… Wednesday’s action goes much further, essentially stalling for two more years one of the central tenets of the much-debated law, which was supposed to eliminate what White House officials called substandard insurance and junk policies….
Leave it to the Times, however, to portray such developments in an astonishingly benevolent tone, as it did in an editorial on the subject the same day:
The Obama administration announced a new policy on Wednesday that will allow many people to renew their existing insurance policies for two more years even though the policies don’t provide the comprehensive coverage and consumer protections required by the Affordable Care Act. The move is designed to provide political cover for Democratic senators facing tough re-election campaigns in Republican-leaning states where the president is especially unpopular….
Ideally, President Obama would not have extended the period for retaining the less-comprehensive policies, but in the current political environment, he opted to take a step to protect healthcare reform against a Republican takeover in the Senate.
Granted, the Times is constitutionally incapable of finding any wrong in Mr. Obama’s policies, but it’s hard to recall such a lack of concern with a president’s utter subjugation of the public weal to his own ends. If this were Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, the Times would be calling for hearings of impeachment.
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During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/an-imperial-presidency-on-steroids/2014/03/12/
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