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Friday, June 24, 2011

Cruising the Web

Charles Krauthammer acknowledges that the United States needs a new method of going to war. We haven't declared war since 1941. Instead of following George W. Bush's model of going to Congress for a resolution endorsing military action, Obama's prevarications on "hostilities" in Libya have destroyed the War Powers Act. As of now we don't have a procedure that reliably gives the elected members of Congress a role in going to war. He recommends some sort of commission to come up with a codified model.

Meanwhile Kimberley Strassel rightly criticizes the Republican political opportunism on using the War Powers Act.

What if a Bush Secretary of State questioned which side that opponents of an administration action were on?

Jay Cost does the math to demonstrate that Obama needs the Afro-American vote to turn out for him in the same numbers as they did in 2008 or he will lose about 3% from his popular vote total.

The director of the CBO has handed the Republicans an ad line when they start criticizing Obama's lack of leadership on the budget. When asked about the budgetary impact that Obama outlined in his April speech, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendor answered, "We don't estimate speeches." But that is all that Obama has provided since he's basically thrown his first budget proposal out of the window.

The administration wouldn't waive the Jones Act to allow foreign-crewed vessels to help in the clean up from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year. But this year, in order to speed up the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to lower gas prices and help Obama politically, Obama has waived the Jones Act.

The Obama administration interfered more than acknowledged in the daily running of General Motors. They gave GM officials instructions on how to eliminate the pensions of non-union employees while maintaining the pensions for UAW employees.

According to the debt projections of the CBO, even with the higher taxes of the pre-Bush era, we'd still have unsustainable deficits.

Treasury Secretary Geithner admits
that the administration wants to raise taxes on small businesses.

The administration deliberately leaked that Obama was going against the recommendations of General Petraeus, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in order to score political points in Obama's speech on withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Mickey Kaus admires the NYT's newest tool
for inserting its bias into its news coverage.

Chris Christie achieved a major victory in reining in the power of public employee unions by getting a Democratic legislature to approve pension reform and mandate that public workers contribute to their own health care. Despite allusions to Hitler, Christie was able to convince Democratic legislators that it was not new fascism to ask public employees to be part of New Jersey's fiscal solution rather than the recipients of money taken from poorer taxpayers to benefit middle-class public employees.

Mona Charen notes the importance of being the ones who write history. Ideological historians are responsible for some of the errors in our understanding of the recent past.

Ross Kaminsky explains all
the reasons why Obama's cynical release of money from the petroleum reserve is stupid and corrupt.

Jonah Goldberg makes the argument for a long GOP primary fight, even if it entails, gulp, a Pataki candidacy.

Obama mixes up a dead and a living hero. How does he make such an awful mistake?


LarryD said...

Er, the procedure is implicit in the Constitution, the administration goes to Congress and requests some kind of authorization, it doesn't have to be labeled "Declaration of War". The authorization Jefferson got for offensive operations in the Tripolian War wasn't. There is rather a lot of precedent on this.

I want to point out that even if the WPA didn't exist, Obama is still violating the constitutional separation of powers, and since he had time enough to get approval from the Arab League and the UN Security Council, he has no excuse for not getting approval from Congress.

LarryD said...

Aaron Worthing has an excellent post over at Patterco's which covers this among other things. I particularly commend the quote from Alexander Hamilton:

"The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies — all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature."

pumping-irony said...

"Obama mixes up a dead and a living hero. How does he make such an awful mistake?"

For someone who the media keeps telling us is brilliant, Obama does an awfully good job at hiding it. It's actually the only thing he seems to be good at.

Terrye said...

No Republican has ever acknowledged the constitutionality of the War Powers Act. Ronald Reagan was accused of being in violation of the WPA on no less than three occasions.

I think Betsy is right here. I am not condoning the way Obama handled the Libyan situation, but it is just bizarre to see Republicans invoking the WPA when they have never supported for Obama supposedly being required to go to Congress, well Congress has the power of the purse, they can always shut him down. And they have not done that. Instead the GOP largely supported going after Gaddafi and now many of those same people are saying we should abandon the mission.

That is just political, plain and simple. They were for it before they were against it..except for Ron Paul who is against everything.

And I also don't think we can call this a war. Hostilities, yes, but this is not the first time an American president has bombed Tripoli without a declaration of war. There was also Operation Preying Mantis back in the 80s when we sank a big part of the Iranian navy. There have been bombings or raids or troop placement in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, Lebanon, Honduras, Panama, and Bosnia as well as larger operations in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. I am not convinced that every military operation is a war.

Terrye said...


And Congress had plenty of time to ask for that if they wanted it before we started all this. Instead there were people on the right complaining that Obama had allowed Sarkozy to act like the leader of the free world instead of the President of the United States taking the lead. At no point, do I remember leaders of Congress demanding that Obama come to them for approval nor was there any mention of him breaking the law if he did not.