Fox In The Hen House Alert!

While the mice are away, the cat made a play today. Obama jammed his finger in the eye of American businesses again by recess appointing Craig Becker, formerly a radical Service Employees International Union lawyer, to the National Labor Relations Board. What could possibly go wrong? I’m sure he’ll be nothing but fair and impartial, right?

Obama Makes Labor Board Appointment During Recess Over GOP Objections

Despite intense Republican objections, President Obama on Saturday used recess appointments to fill 15 administration posts without Senate confirmation, including Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.

By filling the jobs while Congress is in recess, Obama gets around Senate confirmation. Obama justified the move by charging Republicans with playing politics with his administration nominees.

“The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees. But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis,” he said in a written statement.

All 41 Senate Republicans wrote Obama this week urging him not to use a recess appointment for Becker, a former top lawyer with Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO, whose nomination was rejected by the Senate last month, 52-43.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also wrote Obama on behalf of 20 business groups that opposed Becker’s nomination and decried the recess appointment.

“This recess appointment disregards the Senate’s bipartisan rejection of Craig Becker’s nomination to the NLRB,” Chamber Vice President Randel Johnson said in a written statement.

“Overriding the will of the Senate and providing this special interest payback contradicts the president’s claim to change the tone in Washington,” he said. “The business community should be on red alert for radical changes that could significantly impair the ability of America’s job creators to compete.”

. . .

“Craig Becker stands far outside the mainstream of NLRB nominees,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a written statement Thursday. “Given the bipartisan opposition to his nomination, the administration would be wise to not circumvent the will of the Senate by recess appointing him to the NLRB.

“There is no place on this powerful board for someone who believes that card check legislation — getting rid of the secret union ballot — can be enacted surreptitiously through regulation.”

Sen. John McCain said the Senate has already delivered its verdict on Becker’s ability to serve impartially on the labor board.

“If this administration chooses to recess appoint Mr. Becker, it would be just another example of putting the will of one special interest group over the will of the American people,” he said.

. . ..

Democratic groups, such as the AFL-CIO, have said Becker’s an experienced advocate for worker rights and have decried GOP “obstructionism.”

See also:
Obama issues 15 recess appointments
Obama Bypasses Senate, Makes Appointments to NLRB, Treasury
Obama bypasses Senate to appoint key nominees
Obama Uses Recess Power To Appoint 15
Obama to make recess appointments to 15 administration posts
UPDATE 1-Obama makes 15 recess appointments, blames Republicans
Obama announces 15 recess appointments, scolds GOP
Labor group praises Obama for appointing Becker, Pearce
If President Obama Cared About Jobs, He Would Have Tabled Becker’s Nomination
Craig Becker
SEIU – Service Employees International Union
US Chamber of Commerce
NLRB :: National Labor Relations Board

Can you say incestuous political payback for Obama’s union cronies? Sure, I knew you could.

/for someone who claims to be a pro-business free market capitalist, Obama sure as hell behaves like an anti-business big government socialist and actions speak louder than lip service

Enough Already!

It hasn’t even been 24 hours and this is getting way out of control.

Hatch’s Tribute to Kennedy in Song

Much has been written about Sen. Kennedy’s reach across the political aisle. One of his closest friends on the Republican side of that aisle, Sen. Orrin Hatch, posted a song he wrote as a tribute to Sen. Kennedy on his YouTube page today.

Chris Matthews Designates Obama as a Kennedy: ‘Barack Is Now the Last Brother’

MSNBC host Chris Matthews appeared three times on Wednesday’s Today show to lionize Sen. Ted Kennedy, and twice he promoted Barack Obama as the “last brother” of the Kennedy political tradition. He tried to clarify a little in his appearance in the 10 am hour: “I don’t mean that in an ethnic sense or a black sense. I mean a brother of the Kennedy tradition. And I think he’s the new brother, not that last brother.”

‘Win One for Teddy,’ Say Dems Pushing for Health Reform

Democrats are hoping that the memory of Sen. Ted Kennedy will revive the Democratic Party’s flagging push for health care reform.

You’ve heard of ‘win one for the Gipper’? There is going to be an atmosphere of ‘win one for Teddy,'” Ralph G. Neas, the CEO of the liberal National Coalition on Health Care, told ABC News.

Democrats are hoping that Kennedy’s influence in death may be even stronger than it was when he was alive as they push for President Obama’s top domestic priority. Democratic officials hope that invoking Kennedy’s passion for the issue will counter slippage in support for heatlh care reform.

Geez, from all slobbering on the TV today, you’d think that the Sea Lion of the Senate was the most wonderful, sainted human being ever to walk the earth. Nevermind that Teddy left Mary Jo Kopechne to suffocate in the back of his Oldsmobile at Chappaquiddick. And a couple other blasts from Kennedy’s past that you won’t hear a peep about in all the wall to wall, 24/7 sugar coated TV tributes are Teddy’s associations with the IRA and the KGB.

Some hero.

/RIP Ted, now get on with the funeral and bury him

Be Careful What You Wish For

So, does Eric Holder want to open this can of worms? Is giving a legal opinion now a criminal offense? Really?

Holder: Justice Department Will ‘Follow the Law’ in Probing Interrogation Tactics

The Justice Department will “follow the law” in investigating the Bush administration officials who cleared harsh interrogation techniques, Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday.

Holder reiterated his position a day after President Obama opened the door for potential prosecution against the lawyers who drafted memos that justified harsh interrogation tactics.

Obama has said the CIA operatives who employed those tactics using the legal guidance provided will be safe from criminal charges, but offered no such assurances to Bush administration lawyers.

“We’re going to follow the evidence wherever it takes us. We’re going to follow the law wherever that takes us,” Holder told reporters.

“No one is above the law,” Holder said.

Critics have said trying to prosecute lawyers for offering legal advice is a slippery slope toward criminalizing opinions.

“Will Democrats also investigate the members of Congress who were briefed on interrogation tactics in 2002 and raised no objection? If the lawyers are threatened with an investigation, why not the politicians who approved their actions?” asked Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas.

What about Congress?

Congress Debates Fresh Investigation Of Interrogations

Obama had hoped to put the whole matter behind him, first by banning those interrogation methods early in his presidency and then by releasing the memos last week with the proviso that no CIA official who carried out interrogations should be prosecuted.

Instead, the latest decision has stirred controversy on the right and the left. Obama has drawn sharp criticism from former vice president Richard B. Cheney, former CIA directors and Republican elected officials for releasing the memos. Those critics see softness in the commander in chief. He faces equally strong reaction from the left, where there is a desire to punish Bush administration officials for their actions and to conduct a more thorough investigation of what happened.

The controversy moved to Capitol Hill yesterday as lawmakers debated the wisdom of launching a fresh investigation into the Bush-era practices. Several top Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), withheld judgment, noting that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has begun an inquiry.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), however, endorsed the idea and said witnesses should not be immune from prosecution.

Even Speaker Pelosi is on the bandwagon.

Pelosi backs anti-terror ‘truth commission’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed today the establishment of a formal “truth commission” to investigate Bush administration anti-terrorism policies, including an examination of former top Justice Department lawyers who crafted the legal justifications for what critics say was torture.

Such a probe could target UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Bush Justice Department who was instrumental in crafting the interrogation memoranda, and his former boss, Jay Bybee, now a judge on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Pelosi’s endorsement follows President Obama’s signal Tuesday that he was open to the idea. Obama’s shift, in tandem with last week’s release by the administration of past memos describing brutal interrogation techniques on terror suspects, has touched a match to the seething controversy over whether there should be a public or legal accounting for Bush administration policies on torture and detention.

But wait Nancy, didn’t you approve of these interrogation techniques, are you going to investigate yourself?

Top legislators knew of interrogations

The CIA briefed top Democrats and Republicans on the congressional intelligence committees on enhanced interrogation techniques more than 30 times, according to intelligence sources, who said those members tacitly approved the techniques which some Democrats in Congress now say should land Bush administration officials in prison.

Between 2002 and 2006, the top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees “each got complete, benchmark briefings on the program,” said one of the intelligence sources who is familiar with the briefings.

“If Congress wanted to kill this program, all it had to do was withhold funding,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the closed-door briefings.

Those who were briefed included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia and Rep. Jane Harman of California, all Democrats, and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama and Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, all Republicans.

See also:
Holding Pelosi Accountable For Torture
Opinion: Nancy Pelosi encouraged CIA water boarding

Oops! Hey Obama, still think opening this Pandora’s box was a good idea? If this gets any real traction, it will surely scuttle your presidency and you’ll never be reelected. Emotions are that strong on this issue.

Presidential Poison

Mark down the date. Tuesday, April 21, 2009, is the moment that any chance of a new era of bipartisan respect in Washington ended. By inviting the prosecution of Bush officials for their antiterror legal advice, President Obama has injected a poison into our politics that he and the country will live to regret.

Elections settle those battles, at least for a time, and Mr. Obama’s victory in November has given him the right to change policies on interrogations, Guantanamo, or anything on which he can muster enough support. But at least until now, the U.S. political system has avoided the spectacle of a new Administration prosecuting its predecessor for policy disagreements. This is what happens in Argentina, Malaysia or Peru, countries where the law is treated merely as an extension of political power.

If this analogy seems excessive, consider how Mr. Obama has framed the issue. He has absolved CIA operatives of any legal jeopardy, no doubt because his intelligence advisers told him how damaging that would be to CIA morale when Mr. Obama needs the agency to protect the country. But he has pointedly invited investigations against Republican legal advisers who offered their best advice at the request of CIA officials.

“Your intelligence indicates that there is currently a level of ‘chatter’ equal to that which preceded the September 11 attacks,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, in his August 1, 2002 memo. “In light of the information you believe [detainee Abu] Zubaydah has and the high level of threat you believe now exists, you wish to move the interrogations into what you have described as an ‘increased pressure phase.'”

So the CIA requests a legal review at a moment of heightened danger, the Justice Department obliges with an exceedingly detailed analysis of the law and interrogation practices — and, seven years later, Mr. Obama says only the legal advisers who are no longer in government should be investigated. The political convenience of this distinction for Mr. Obama betrays its basic injustice. And by the way, everyone agrees that senior officials, including President Bush, approved these interrogations. Is this President going to put his predecessor in the dock too?

Mr. Obama seemed to understand the peril of such an exercise when he said, before his inauguration, that he wanted to “look forward” and beyond the antiterror debates of the Bush years. As recently as Sunday, Rahm Emanuel said no prosecutions were contemplated and now is not a time for “anger and retribution.” Two days later the President disavowed his own chief of staff. Yet nothing had changed except that Mr. Obama’s decision last week to release the interrogation memos unleashed a revenge lust on the political left that he refuses to resist.

Just as with the AIG bonuses, he is trying to co-opt his left-wing base by playing to it — only to encourage it more. Within hours of Mr. Obama’s Tuesday comments, Senator Carl Levin piled on with his own accusatory Intelligence Committee report. The demands for a “special counsel” at Justice and a Congressional show trial are louder than ever, and both Europe’s left and the U.N. are signaling their desire to file their own charges against former U.S. officials.

Those officials won’t be the only ones who suffer if all of this goes forward. Congress will face questions about what the Members knew and when, especially Nancy Pelosi when she was on the House Intelligence Committee in 2002. The Speaker now says she remembers hearing about waterboarding, though not that it would actually be used. Does anyone believe that? Porter Goss, her GOP counterpart at the time, says he knew exactly what he was hearing and that, if anything, Ms. Pelosi worried the CIA wasn’t doing enough to stop another attack. By all means, put her under oath.

Mr. Obama may think he can soar above all of this, but he’ll soon learn otherwise. The Beltway’s political energy will focus more on the spectacle of revenge, and less on his agenda. The CIA will have its reputation smeared, and its agents second-guessing themselves. And if there is another terror attack against Americans, Mr. Obama will have set himself up for the argument that his campaign against the Bush policies is partly to blame.

Above all, the exercise will only embitter Republicans, including the moderates and national-security hawks Mr. Obama may need in the next four years. As patriotic officials who acted in good faith are indicted, smeared, impeached from judgeships or stripped of their academic tenure, the partisan anger and backlash will grow. And speaking of which, when will the GOP Members of Congress begin to denounce this partisan scapegoating? Senior Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Richard Lugar, John McCain, Orrin Hatch, Pat Roberts and have hardly been profiles in courage.

Mr. Obama is more popular than his policies, due in part to his personal charm and his seeming goodwill. By indulging his party’s desire to criminalize policy advice, he has unleashed furies that will haunt his Presidency.

See also:
Obama’s torture memo two-step
Obama pressed to back torture investigation
Torture Cases Would Face Legal Hurdles
Prosecuting Heroes

And hey, what about our extraordinary rendition programs? You know, where we send bad people to countries like Egypt to undergo real torture. Are we going to investigate that too?

/wasn’t Bill Clinton the one who first authorized extraordinary rendition, are we going to persecute the Clinton administration too, as long as we’re at it?

Spending Priorities

Remember two weeks ago when Robert Gates announced major cuts to the U.S. defense budget, including canceling the F-22 Raptor program and slashing the spending for ballistic missile defense?

See also:
Obama Plucks The Raptor
Disarming America

Well, well, well, we can’t afford national defense but look at what Obama and Congress saw fit to spend $5.7 billion on.

Obama signs service bill, says volunteers needed

Calling on Americans to volunteer, President Barack Obama signed a 5.7 billion US dollar national service bill yesterday that triples the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years and expands ways for students to earn money for college.

“We need your service, right now, in this moment in history. … I’m asking you to stand up and play your part,” said Obama, a former community organizer in Chicago. “I’m asking you to help change history’s course.”

Joining Obama was Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who has been battling brain cancer. Kennedy championed the legislation with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and the bill was named in honor of the Massachusetts Democrat.

Kennedy told the audience that included former President Bill Clinton, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former first lady Rosalyn Carter that Obama’s efforts echoed that of his late brother, former President John F. Kennedy.

Obama signs national service legislation

President Obama signed into law Tuesday a measure designed to strengthen national community service efforts by boosting federal funding for thousands of volunteers in fields ranging from clean energy to health care and education.

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, recently renamed to honor the Massachusetts senator’s sponsorship of the measure, will more than triple the number of positions in the AmeriCorps program, from 75,000 to 250,000, by 2017.

“Our government can help to rebuild our economy … [but] we need Americans willing to mentor our eager young children, or care for the sick, or ease the strains of deployment on our military families,” Obama said.

“All that’s required on your part is a willingness to make a difference. And that is, after all, the beauty of service. Anybody can do it.”

Kennedy, his niece Caroline Kennedy, former President Bill Clinton, and former first lady Rosalynn Carter were in attendance when Obama signed the measure into law at a Washington-area school that encourages volunteerism as part of its curriculum.

The law creates four national service corps and launches several other initiatives, including, among other things, a “Summer of Service” program to spur greater community outreach by middle- and high-school students.

Older Americans will also be encouraged to volunteer more through the creation of a “Silver Scholars” program, under which individuals 55 and older who perform 350 hours of service receive a $1,000 award.

See also:
National service bill gets Obama’s signature
Service Bill Signing a Tribute to Kennedy
Obama Signs $5.7 Billion National Service Bill Into Law
H.R.1388
AmeriCorps

President Barak Obama Signs Historic Volunteerism Act into Law

Today, President Barack Obama signed into law the historic Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, heralding the next phase in the nation’s renewed call to service. With the signing, America’s local, regional and national service programs and nonprofit organizations are now poised to expand to further meet the nation’s most pressing challenges.

“We applaud Congress and President Obama on this important bi-partisan legislation that will change the course of history and civic responsibility in our country,” said Michelle Nunn, CEO, Points of Light Institute and co-founder of HandsOn Network, the largest volunteer management and civic engagement organization in the country. “Just as importantly, we applaud the countless volunteers and community organizers across the country that have supported the President’s call to service by advocating for this new legislation.”

Can’t you just smell ACORN? I’m all for volunteerism as long as it’s, well, voluntary. There are plenty of private organizations that do plenty of good volunteer work. Do we really need a quarter million person government “volunteer” force of “community organizers” or other make work jobs that aren’t really volunteers but paid/bribed with awards, stipends, or tuition, etc.? Just how coersive or mandatory this service is or will be in the future remains to be seen. This program is tailor made for political corruption, fraud, indoctrination, manipulation, and misuse. You need look no further than the government supported non-profit, non-partisan “community organizing” group ACORN to see where this is probably headed:

See also:
Criminals For Obama
Census Fun For Criminals
All The News That’s Fit To Hide
Rife With Bogus Idealism, Waste, AmeriCorps Doesn’t Need To Exist

I’m sure AmeriCorps has done some good work. But seriously, can you name one thing AmeriCorps has done? I can’t. So now, suddenly we need to throw $5.7 billion at a virtually unkown program and triple it’s size?

Instead of being wasted on a Democrat pet project that will inevitably be used to solidify their power base, that $5.7 billion could have purchased 32 additional F-22 Raptors, increasing the Raptor fleet by 15%, OR fully restored the $1.4 billion slashed from ballistic missile defense AND bought two dozen more Raptors! And, of course, that doesn’t even take into account the tens of thousands of high paying private sector engineering, manufacturing, etc. jobs that the F-22 and BMD programs support.

Spending priorities.

/all I can say is that, for all this wasted money, they had better be able to teach these 250,000 “community organizers” to fly so they can achieve air supremacy over the Chinese and Russians and protect American soil against Iranian Missiles and North Korean warheads