Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last Call For Recess

George F. Will on President Obama's "unprecedented" recess appointments:

So the D.C. court said those three appointees were not rightfully in office. The NLRB said it “respectfully” disagreed with the court and went its merry way, without a quorum. Absent the perfunctory expression of respect, this was pretty much what George Wallace did 50 years ago this year when he stood in the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama to prevent two young blacks from registering as students.

Yes, because the word "recess" is pretty similar to the word "racist" so this comparison is totally apt.  Even though every other President in the last several generations made recess appointments, suddenly for some unfathomable reason I can't put my finger on, when Barack Obama does it, it's "lawlessness".  Bonus verbatim derpage:

Courts defeated Wallace’s lawlessness. Presumably the Supreme Court will defeat Obama’s by telling the NLRB that the D.C. court was right about recess appointments. By such judicial vigilance against the excesses of elected officials, democracy is disciplined and progressivism’s agenda — unchecked executive power — is understood to be unconstitutional.

Yeah, and during the last administration you cheered on every iota of that executive power as not only necessary but vital to a functioning democracy, Georgie.  Bite me.

Tancredo Junction

Back in 2010, Tea Party nutjob and anti-immigrant racist Tom Tancredo ran for Colorado Governor as an independent, got some 35% of the vote, and handed a 20 point victory to Democrat John Hickenlooper.  Apparently for an encore, Tancredo's going to try again in 2014.

Former U.S. Rep. , known for his strong stances on , said late Wednesday night he plans to formally announce a run for on a conservative talk radio show Thursday.

“This Dunlap thing is the last straw,” said Tancredo in a message.

Tancredo, a Republican, referred to Gov. ’s decision on Wednesday to grant a temporary reprieve on the execution of death row inmate . Dunlap was convicted of killing four people at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese in 1993.

Several Republicans castigated Hickenlooper on Wednesday for the move that halts Dunlap’s date with death that was scheduled for August. 

Now granted, we knew Hickenlooper was going to take a lot of flak for passing gun control laws after the Aurora theater shooting.  But Tancredo is a loser of a candidate and if his plan to win is to run to the right of where he was in 2010, all of a sudden Hickenlooper's re-election seems rather assured.

We'll see if Tancredo will go for a GOP primary bid or another independent run, but either way I fully expect him to alienate the hell out of most of Colorado.  This is a guy who tested the waters for a 2008 White House run by putting up an ad in Iowa depicting a fictional terrorist attack as assured if we didn't immediately militarize the borders.

Given Colorado's growing Latino population, Tancredo's virulently anti-immigration stance (not to mention his outright anti-Latino racism) will make it even harder for him to win in 2014.   Hickenlooper must be cheering this announcement on and for good reason...

Obama's Steep Lerner Curve

Lois Lerner's Wednesday testimony (or non-testimony) as she pleaded the Fifth on a number of questions after an extensive opening statement where she denied any wrongdoing, the practical upshot being that GOP Rep. Darrel Issa believes that the statement voided her right to take the Fifth and will subpoena her again until she answers his questions, has prompted a number of normally calm pundits on the left to call for her immediate firing.

Greg Sargent:

The constant media obsession with when, exactly, the White House knew of the pending IG report is deeply silly. And as Steve Benen and Jeffrey Toobin both point out, the big picture here is that White House officials did the right thing in not informing the president about the IG’s investigation, because the last thing you want to do is expose the president to accusations of interference. That’s important, and it’s irritating as heck that normally savvy reporters keep pretending not to know this to be the case. Press coverage continues to scurry down process rabbit holes in an effort to bolster a larger “White House on defensive” narrative, rather than level with readers about how significant the new “revelations” about who knew what and when about the IG report actually are.

But this is still very much a legitimate scandal. We still don’t have a full accounting of what happened. We must have one, and we must have accountability. If Lerner won’t — or can’t — answer core questions about how exactly these groups were unfairly targeted, then her remaining in her position is inconsistent with that.

Josh Marshall:

In the current political climate, that may well be good legal advice. And she has every right to take it and may be wise to do so. But that’s a decision that simply is not consistent with her remaining in her job. Whether or not she should be fired for whatever she did in the scandal itself, deciding to take the fifth means she needs to be removed from her position.

I was chatting with people yesterday who said that civil service protections may make this extremely difficult or even impossible. That’s something for the new interim director of the IRS to figure out. One way or another, under the present circumstances, someone who is taking the fifth can’t be in charge of the division at the center of this investigation. I hope the incoming interim chief gets that. 

Sarah Jones over at Politicus USA agrees, but for a different reason:  Lerner was a Dubya appointee and President Obama needs to clean house:

What I’ve taken from all of these scandals so far is that by Republicans refusing to allow Obama his own nominees, they’ve saddled him with their appointees, who may or may not have an agenda and may or may not be utterly incompetent. That’s a nifty game. So now Bush appointee Lois Lerner, who claims to be “nonpolitical” but yet donated the maximum amount to Romney if this Open Secrets note is the right Lois Lerner, is the Obama administration’s undoing according to Republicans.

I am only sorry Lois Lerner is pleading the fifth, because I’d really like someone to ask her why she “let this slip” at a Bar Association meeting, and upon what evidence she based this “slip”. 

My opinion is that Lerner's probably going to get canned for the reasons above.  We'll see.


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