President Obama just admitted publicly that he "just took an action to change the law." So much for claiming that all that was happening was prosecutorial discretion.
"Listen, you know -- here. Can I just say this, all right? I've listened to you. I heard you. I heard you. I heard you. All right? Now I have been respectful, I let you holler. All right? So let me just -- nobody is removing you. I have heard you, but you have got to listen to me, too. All right? And I understand you may disagree, I understand you may disagree. But we have got to be able to talk honestly about these issues, all right?Just what conservatives have been saying all along. Obama was acting unconstitutionally to change the law without the action of Congress.
"Now, you're absolutely right that there have been significant numbers of deportations. That's true. But what you are not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law."
John Cassidy writes at the New Yorker that forcing Hagel's resignation raises questions about Obama's judgment.
Perhaps the move is a reflection of Hagel’s managerial skills and his occasional public stumbles, as some have argued. However, it also raises questions about Obama’s judgment in a number of respects: in hiring Hagel in the first place; in his Administration’s failure to foresee the series of challenges the Pentagon is now facing; and in the execution of its efforts to roll back the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.As Michael Crowley writes, Obama hasn't solved his problems with foreign policy with firing Hagel.
Both Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and The New York Times editorial page agreed that, in the words of the Times, Hagel “was not the core of the Obama administration’s military problem. That lies with the president and a national security policy that has too often been incoherent and shifting at a time of mounting international challenges” and “tightly controlled… by a small group of aides.”
....And while some say that dumping Hagel was intended, in part, to cool the criticism of Obama’s foreign policy machinations, the immediate effect has been to draw more attention to the way life-and-death decisions are made in the White House Situation Room — and why they’re not working out better in trouble spots like from Syria to Ukraine.
Some close observers say the responsibility is borne by a few key officials, including national security advisor Susan Rice and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, who have further centralized decision-making, cut midlevel officials out of the policy process and convened endless meetings before making decisions.
Well, now he tells us.
Sen. Chuck Schumer upbraided his own party Tuesday for pushing the Affordable Care Act through Congress in 2010.It would have been nice if he'd been that up front with his doubts back in 2009 and 2010. Conservatives were arguing at the time that, since the great majority of people were happy with their health insurance, any health reform should have been much narrower and targeted the people who honestly couldn't get health insurance instead of up-ending the entire health care system. Schumer is just being honest now because he's seen what the electoral results have been for his party. Perhaps, he argued differently behind the scenes and had to give in to Obama and Reid. You think he'll part from them at all in the coming Congress? No chance. He'll shut up and get in line next time just as he did back when Obamacare was passed.
While Schumer emphasized during a speech at the National Press Club that he supports the law and that its policies "are and will continue to be positive changes," he argued that the Democrats acted wrongly in using their new mandate after the 2008 election to focus on the issue rather than the economy at the height of a terrible recession.
"After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle-class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus, but unfortunately Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them," Schumer said. "We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem—health care reform."
The third-ranking Senate Democrat noted that just about 5 percent of registered voters in the United States lacked health insurance before the implementation of the law, arguing that to focus on a problem affecting such "a small percentage of the electoral made no political sense."
The larger problem, affecting most Americans, he said, was a poor economy resulting from the recession. "When Democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought, 'The Democrats aren't paying enough attention to me,' " Schumer said.
The health care law should have come later, Schumer argued, after Democrats had passed legislation to help the middle class weather the recession. Had Democrats pushed economic legislation, he said, "the middle class would have been more receptive to the idea that President Obama wanted to help them" and, in turn, they would have been more receptive to the health care law.
Schumer said he told fellow Democrats in the lead-up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act that it was the wrong time to pass the law.
"People thought—and I understand this—lots of people thought this was the only time to do this, it's very important to do. And we should have done it. We just shouldn't have done it first," he said. "We were in the middle of a recession. People were hurting and saying, 'What about me? I'm losing my job. It's not health care that bothers me. What about me?' … About 85 percent of all Americans were fine with their health care in 2009, mainly because it was paid for by either the government or their employer, private sector. So they weren't clamoring. The average middle-class voter, they weren't opposed to doing health care when it started out, but it wasn't at the top of the agenda."
Jack Dunphy is exactly right about the Ferguson rioters.
And as for the riot, that too was a foregone conclusion. Why? Because the rioters, many of whom came from far beyond the St. Louis area, were looking forward to it as a child does to Christmas. They don’t care about Michael Brown, and they don’t care what the grand jury decided. They just like to steal and break things. Indeed, for the rioters, from the common street thugs to the Occupy types in their ridiculous Guy Fawkes masks, last night in Ferguson was like Christmas, Mardi Gras, and New Year’s Eve rolled into one: a big party, after which you went home with stuff you didn’t pay for.And who cares if they burned down stores, the majority of which are owned by minorities.
This is the skewed perception that one Democratic congressman has of the First Amendment as Pennsylvania's Representative Robert Brady thinks that Jonathan Turley should be banned from appearing in the media because he's working with the House GOP on their suit against Obama's abuse of executive power.
As part of his contract with the House of Representatives, Turley agreed not to speak to the media about the case itself. But Brady wants to extend that to pretty much anything critical of Obama’s use of executive power — especially convenient given the uproar concerning the White House’s announcement of executive amnesty just last week.But, hey, what's a little freedom of speech when stifling criticism of President Obama can be done?
Noemie Emery reminds us of all those people who told us what a remarkable temperament Barack Obama had. Yet now we're not seeing any of that supposedly splendid temperament.
Obama's coalition exists only in memory. The glory days of 2008 and mass adoration are gone, and he seems unable to face this development. His main tactic now is to appear before small crowds of loyal supporters who roar when he unloads upon his tormentors. He seems now to believe those voting against him have let him down in his own expectations, and he seems determined to make them all pay.
Needless to say, this is not what was promised in those brave days of 2008. In October that year, there was a stream of defections from those connected by blood or by service to the Republican Party who threw in their lot with the bright new aspirant, using the idea of “temperament” to explain it away....
What these brains helped to give us was the worst presidential temperament since Richard M. Nixon, an under-experienced brittle narcissist, lacking in all the political skills save those of campaigning, whose main legacies will be an unworkable healthcare “reform” and a wholly avoidable Middle Eastern crisis. Obama's lack of political sense has gotten him into many disasters, which his lack of political temperament only makes worse.