Sunday, June 29, 2014

Supreme Court Strikes Down President Obama's NLRB "Recess Appointees" - Told Ya So!

Probably one of the most important political news stories of the week (though not was well reported in the MSM as I would have thought..big surprise there), was the U.S. Supreme Court striking down President Obama's act of appointing of members to the National Labor Relations Board during a Senate recess well over two years ago.

At the time and to this day, President Obama claimed that while the Senate was holding formal meetings every three days or so back in 2012, they were REALLY in recess and thus he could appoint three new members to the NLRB as recess appointments.

Many folks (especially Republicans) immediately pointed out the rather radical idea that President Obama was ultimately making: He knows when the Senate is recess or not, not the Senate.

Heck, it was obvious that even a small-time blogger like myself pointed it out and openly denounced what the President was doing was wrong and illegal.

It took over two years, but the U.S. Supreme Court finally heard and decided this issue early this week:

"The court ruled 9-0 that Obama’s appointments were unconstitutional because the Senate was not truly in recess when he made them during a three-day break in pro forma meetings of the legislative body."
- Josh Gerstein of POLITICO
Sadly though, while the President was effectively "slapped down" in terms of what he can and can't do with his Executive authority, there is a catch to this ruling (isn't there always?).

While all nine justices agreed what the President did was an unconstitutional breach of authority, five of the nine justices decided to add something a little extra: a 10-day rule.

The majority decision found that any "recess" less than 10 days long was "presumptively too short" to allow an official recess appointment by the President. However, as the mores conservative wing of the court pointed out (led by Justice Scalia), this mention of an actual number of days could still be used for possible future abuse of the recess appointment authority of the President (regardless of who holds that office), and thus this mention of "10 days" effectively limited Congress's constitutional authority.

Regardless of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court's reservations, the ruling is still a major blow to President Obama and it could very likely put over 400 rulings/decisions made by the NLRB since 2012 in question.

The President, whether intentionally or not, greatly overstepped his bounds of authority in his actions over two years ago and now the Supreme Court has effectively "laid down the law"..But we'll have to wait and see if Justice Scalia's reservations over the majority's ruling come true..

It's too bad nobody warned the President about this possibility years ago..Oh wait, we did.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pathetic Partisans Are Taking Over, by the Numbers via Pew Research Center

In my seconding posting from the Pew Research Center, we feature an article concerning how politically polarized the nation has become over the last decade or so.

I will leave the exact numbers to the good folks at PRC, but here's the short version:

While we often hear a great deal in the news about how politically polarized the nation has become, but it's always nice to see some numbers to back up that idea, and the numbers are not good.

Overall, the percentage of Americans who identify as being strongly liberal and strongly conservative have grown over the last decade or so, thus reducing the percentage of Americans who are in the middle (specifically, folks who swing left & right on a fairly equal number of issues). See this great graphic below to illustrate:

Mind you, while having the numbers from the PRC is helpful, we've already seen the signs of this polarization for years now. Here are few examples:

1. Tea Party- The largely successful rise of the Tea Party movement has, for better or worse, forced the GOP to move farther to the right than they traditional were before and while there is some resistance to this (the current "Establishment vs Tea Party" battle we are seeing within the GOP).

2. Death of the Blue Dogs- "Blue Dogs" was the common name for members of the Democratic party that while being largely loyal to their party, had some conservative views (they were generally lock-step with the Democrats on economic issues, but were socially conservative to varying degrees). Before the 2010 elections, there 54 members of the House of Representatives that belonged to this congressional coalition, but only 26 members "survived" the election. This coalition was weakened further in the 2012 elections and whether this coalition will survive the next few election cycles is hard to say..

3. Death of Compromise- As any American with a basic knowledge of American history knows, this nation's government was founded on the concept of compromise and without compromise, the Constitution would never have come into existence. Compromise today however, is seen by both sides are simply giving in to the other side (even if your side is actually getting something out of it), and is often used as political ammunition by the extremes of both parties to squeeze out those who dare advocate such a thing.

Now this sentiment isn't necessarily new, but the strength and pervasiveness of it has grown a great deal over the years. Nobody likes to compromise, but in the past it was always seen as a "necessary evil" to keep the government functioning and get things done.

It's not to say that ALL compromises are good, but to say that ALL compromise with the other side is bad is not only infantile, it's caused our government to grind to halt more times in recent years that in the decades that preceded. Today, the Senate Democrats are afraid to compromise with the GOP because they think it makes them look weak, even if they are the majority, and the same is true of Speaker Boehner in the House. Because of this, it seems that every major piece of legislation is cause for a huge partisan battle that will literally drag on for weeks, months, and even years.

Further, the lack of will for compromise has caused the two major parties to resort to extreme tactics to get their agendas passed because they refuse to work with the other side. Harry Reid has made quite a career of circumventing his GOP counterparts in the Senate, and while this makes him an effective Majority Leader int he Senate, it grows distrusts and outright hatred towards him by the GOP (with good reason)..

So is there a solution to this increasing polarization? Personally, I suspect the answer is no. With both parties being dominated and terrorized by the "Pathetic Partisans" on their extremes (thus making them the majority in time), the likelihood of them cooperating for the better of the whole nation falls with every election cycle...

Kudos again to the Pew Research Center for these great numbers!


All comments and/or opinions expressed in the above work are purely those of the author unless otherwise noted and do not represent that opinions/positions of any political or non-political organization or the Department of the Defense. Any/all distribution of this work MUST contain this disclaimer. 

A dug-in electorate bodes poorly for the Democrats in November

Kudos to Pew Research Center's Andrew Kohut for this "numbers piece" on the growing challenges the Democrats will have to pull any sort of victory this November for the mid-term elections.

Without giving too much away from the article, the President doesn't seem to be doing his fellow members of the Democratic party in Congress any favors in the polls..

A dug-in electorate bodes poorly for the Democrats in November

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

You Know You're a Pathetic Partisan When: RedState Contributor Fails Basic Reading Comp.

Pathetic Partisanship can lead a person to do some rather strange things...including failing basic reading comprehension and make a rather foolish assumption for the sake of critiquing the President.

Case in-point:

Frequent RedState contributor Moe Lane posted a piece this afternoon that mocked a recent political ad piece/tweet by the White House concerning the Equal Pay Act titled Barack Obama: historically ignorant AND astoundingly hypocritical. In the piece, "Moe" poked fun at the President's tweet by pointing out two apparent (to him at least) errors: That the President seems to think man walked on the moon in 1963 (the year the Equal Pay Act was signed) and that he is being rather hypocritical concerning this topic since the White House doesn't actually practice what it preaches (let me pause a second to let you all be astonished for a moment).



Simple title for possibly the most earth-shattering political story this year...

Kudos to POLITICO's Jake Sherman for this informative piece on one of today's biggest stories..

There are many "lessons learned" floating around concerning Congressman Cantor's stunning primary loss, but I think the most striking to me is this: Just because you're the leader of the GOP and a former ally of the Tea Party movement, does NOT mean you are safe (at least politically).

Personally, I'm always a big fan of "political chaos" (events in American politics that defy the natural order of things and make career politicians sweat) and this is an EXCELLENT example of such chaos..

Definitely want to keep your eye on this story!


All comments and/or opinions expressed in the above work are purely those of the author unless otherwise noted and do not represent that opinions/positions of any political or non-political organization or the Department of the Defense. Any/all distribution of this work MUST contain this disclaimer.