Congress & Netanyahu defy Obama

The Executive branch is supposed to conduct the nation’s foreign policy.  But the congressional Republican leadership i invited Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress.  President Obama was not so much as informed, so he refused to meet the leader of one of America’s top allies in the Middle East.  And Prime Minister Netanyahu took the occasion to try to go over the President’s head by asking Congress not to go along with President Obama’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, insisting that the proposed deal will mean nuclear weapons for Iran, threatening Israel’s survival.  (I suspect Israel is also nervous that the U.S. may be tilting to the Shi’ites in hopes they can stop the Sunni ISIS.)

What do you think about all of this?  Whatever you think about the issues involved and whatever side you come down on, is this not an embarrassing example of our government’s disorder and dysfunction? [Read more...]

Amnesty by decree

President Obama has issued an executive order protecting some 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.

On what authority, you may ask?  He is invoking the principle of “prosecutor discretion,” under which a law enforcement officer may choose, for example, which speeders to chase down.  So here the Executive Branch, charged with carrying out the laws passed by the Legislative Branch, is just choosing not to enforce the law against illegal immigrants unless they have committed other crimes.  (But in forbidding immigration officials from enforcing the law, isn’t he taking away their “prosecutor discretion”?) [Read more...]

Obama enacts carbon restrictions despite Congress

Congress has refused to pass legislation restricting carbon emissions, so President Obama is doing it on his own.  He has decreed what is being called a “war on coal”:

The Obama administration took aim at the coal industry on Monday by mandating a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions at fossil fuel-burning power plants by 2030 — despite claims the regulation will cost nearly a quarter-million jobs a year and force plants across the country to close. [Read more...]

Madisonian politics

George Will has found something that President Obama and the Tea Party have in common:  Both disdain Madisonian politics; that is, the checks and balances that require the different factions to compromise with each other, as built into the very structure of Constitutional governance. [Read more...]