Pelosi, Obama Hawaiian vacations end, but taxpayers left with the bill

Pelosi, Obama Hawaiian vacations end, but taxpayers left with the bill

Posted By admin On January 3, 2011 @ 9:53 pm In News | No Comments

BY MALIA ZIMMERMANNancy Pelosi’s final days as Speaker of the House were spent at the exotic Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu in Kona on the island of Hawaii.

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Obama ready to deploy executive powers against GOP Hill

Obama ready to deploy executive powers against GOP Hill

President Obama challenged congressional Republicans to embrace the “shared responsibility” of governance even as the White House appears ready to use unilateral executive powers to battle Capitol Hill. With Republicans taking over the House and increasing their number in the Senate, Obama faces the possibility of having his agenda stalled with limited room to maneuver — making for tough sledding in the two years leading up to his 2012 re-election bid.In response, Obama is expected to make more frequent use of executive orders, vetoes, signing statements and policy initiatives that originate within the federal agencies to maneuver around congressional Republicans who are threatening to derail initiatives he has already put in place, including health care reforms, and to launch serial investigations into his administration’s spending.

“There is going to be an effort on the president’s part to use [executive powers] to satisfy his base and institutionalize what he can,” said John Kenneth White, professor of politics at the Catholic University of America.

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency begins regulating greenhouse gas emissions at some energy plants and factories — a move Obama pushed for after his cap-and-trade environmental legislation stalled in Congress.

The move angered many Republicans, who are vowing to block the new regulations they say threatens the nation’s fragile economic recovery and who objected to an end-run around the legislative process.

“It’s unclear what recourse Republicans have, but I think you will see a lot of battles where Obama’s nominees are held up over regulatory decisions that are not directly related,” said Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist and former Senate staffer. “The legislative branch really feels they should control the laws that affect people.”

Obama said during his 2008 campaign that he wouldn’t use signing statements, codicils presidents can attach to bills challenging

or refusing to enforce parts of a law, the way his predecessor, President George W. Bush, did. But since taking office, Obama issued signing statements on budgetary matters, foreign aid, commission appointments and more — along with a memorandum promising to use “restraint” whenever exercising that power.

The administration defended Obama’s use of such powers, including making recess appointments, as a proper exercise of his authority and often as a response to Republican obstructionism. On signing statements, press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama used them to highlight “what problems might be inherent in a piece of legislation, without asking that the federal government disallow or ignore congressional intent.”

Obama also hasn’t hesitated to make policy through executive order, including freezing federal workers’ pay, launching an investigation of the BP oil spill and cracking down on Somali outlaws.

“He is the manager in chief, and things like signing statements and however you thwart the will of Congress, sure — there are lots of things that go on other than passing new laws and giving out money that are all part of managing this incredible enterprise,” said Stephen Hess, a Brookings Institution expert on the presidency.

L. Randolph Lowry, president of Lipscomb University and a national expert in dispute resolution, said the key for the administration and Republicans in balancing power will be a show of mutual respect.

“Power rarely stays with one side forever,” Lowry said. “I think the president and Congress will have to be cognizant of the fact that they will have a long and ongoing relationship.”

jmason@washingtonexaminer.com

Obama jobs death toll: Killing the drilling industry

Obama jobs death toll: Killing the drilling industry

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 3, 2011 10:31 AM


Grim reaper photoshop credit: Manly Rash

You already knew that the election-season “lifting” of President Obama’s deepwater drilling moratorium was a sham announcement. Loathsome cowboy Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and radical eco-czar Carol Browner have lied through their teeth from day one about the rationale and impact of their job-killing policies not only on deepwater drilling, but shallow drilling, tourism, and the entire Gulf Coast economy.

Here’s more evidence of their destruction via the WSJ:

More than two months after the Obama administration lifted its ban on drilling in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, oil companies are still waiting for approval to drill the first new oil well there. Experts now expect the wait to continue until the second half of 2011, and perhaps into 2012.

…the delay is hurting big oil companies such as Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which have billions of dollars in investments tied up in Gulf projects that are on hold and are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a day for rigs that aren’t allowed to drill. Smaller operators such as ATP Oil & Gas Corp., which have less flexibility to focus on projects in other regions, have been even harder hit.

The impact of the delays goes beyond the oil industry. The Gulf coast economy has been hit hard by the slowdown in drilling activity, especially because the oil spill also hurt the region’s fishing and tourism industries. The Obama administration in September estimated that 8,000 to 12,000 workers could lose their jobs temporarily as a result of the moratorium; some independent estimates have been much higher.

The slowdown also has long-term implications for U.S. oil production…

This is unconscionable.

As they return to Washington this week, House Republicans should be putting Salazar/Browner and the White House War on Jobs on the hot seat every chance they get.

Oops! Democrat Who Outed Obama’s “Death Panels” is Sorry You Found Out

Oops! Democrat Who Outed Obama’s “Death Panels” is Sorry You Found Out

January 3rd, 2011

Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com

The Democrat who started the latest national debate over the inclusion of so-called “death panels” by the Obama administration into federal regulations now regrets doing so.

The office of Representative Earl Blumenauer, an assisted suicide advocate from Oregon who works closely with pro-euthanasia groups like Compassion and Choices, alerted supporters of the change the Obama administration implemented and worked to ask them to keep the news quiet.

“We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists e-mails can too easily be forwarded,” his staff wrote. “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this [regulation] goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

The memo talked of a “quiet” victory and had the congressman worrying about how Republican leaders would “use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

But LifeNews.com reported on the new regulations and, weeks later, the New York Times got a copy of the memo Blumenauer wrote and the national dustup began.

Now, Blumenauer told The Hill that he regret’s the secretive language used in the email, which he says he did not see beforehand.

“If I had seen the memo, I would have suggested it be worded differently,” Blumenauer told The Hill. Still, he defended the controversial new regulation….

Read more.