Democrats irked by Obama signing statement

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Well here we go again, Obama doing something he said he wouldn’t do. Just as Bush, Obama ignores a part of the law he disagrees with and says he’s above the law. The Constitution doesn’t give him this authority. The Constitution says Congress makes the laws and if the president disagrees with them, he can veto it……….not ignore part of it. Obama was a “Constitutional lawyer” , I’m sure he knows this, but is ignoring it because of his position as president. So hypocritical IMO.

The House rebuked President Obama for trying to ignore restrictions to international aid payments, voting overwhelmingly for an amendment forcing the administration to abide by its constraints.

House members approved an amendment by a 429-2 vote to have the Obama administration pressure the World Bank to strengthen labor and environmental standards and require a Treasury Department report on World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) activities. The amendment to a 2010 funding bill for the State Department and foreign operations was proposed by Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), but it received broad bipartisan support.

thehill.com

Democrats Irked by Obama’s Signing Statement

President Barack Obama has irked close allies in Congress by declaring he has the right to ignore legislation on constitutional grounds after having criticized George W. Bush for doing the same.

Four senior House Democrats on Tuesday said they were “surprised” and “chagrined” by Obama’s declaration in June that he doesn’t have to comply with provisions in a war spending bill that puts conditions on aid provided to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

In a signing statement accompanying the $106 billion bill, Obama said he wouldn’t allow the legislation to interfere with his authority as president to conduct foreign policy and negotiate with other governments.

Earlier in his six-month-old administration, Obama issued a similar statement regarding provisions in a $410 billion omnibus spending bill. He also included qualifying remarks when signing legislation that established commissions to govern public lands in New York, investigate the financial crisis and celebrate Ronald Reagan’s birthday.

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“During the previous administration, all of us were critical of (Bush’s) assertion that he could pick and choose which aspects of congressional statutes he was required to enforce,” the Democrats wrote in their letter to Obama. “We were therefore chagrined to see you appear to express a similar attitude.”

The letter was signed by Reps. David Obey of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, as well as Reps. Nita Lowey and Gregory Meeks, both of New York, who chair subcommittees on those panels.

The White House said Tuesday the administration plans to implement the provisions of the bill and suggested that Obama’s signing statement was aimed more at defending the president’s executive powers than skirting the law.

“The president has also already made it clear that he will not ignore statutory obligations on the basis of policy disagreements and will reserve signing statements for legislation that raises clearly identified constitutional concerns,” White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.

Democrats, including Obama, sharply criticized Bush as overstepping his bounds as president. In March, Obama ordered a review of Bush’s guidelines for implementing legislation.

apnews.excite.com

Signing Statements Erode Constitutional Balance

Recently, the General Accounting Office studied nineteen instances where the president issued so-called “signing statements.” In such statements, the president essentially begins the process of interpreting legislation – up to and including declaring provisions unconstitutional, hence often refusing to enforce them.

The GAO study found that in nearly 1/3 of the cases studied, the administration failed to enforce the law as enacted. This approach is especially worrisome for several reasons.

First, these signing statements tend to move authority from the legislative branch to the executive, upsetting our delicate system of checks and balances. Next, these statements grant the president power not given by the Constitution, allowing him to usurp powers of the judicial branch. Finally, the idea of agencies refusing to enforce the law as enacted sets precedent for the type of run away administrative actions our constitution was expressly enacted in order to avoid. Contrary to the claims of those who raise this issue for purely political purposes, the most significant challenge to liberty presented by these statements is that they can serve to further erode our constitutional republic.

In his “Notes on Virginia,” Thomas Jefferson spoke clearly and directly about the idea of elected representatives delegating their responsibility to other branches of government, saying in no uncertain terms that since such representatives had received their authority by delegation from the people – expressly for the use as representative – the legislature had to choose to either use the authority granted or return it to the people. In other words, there is to be no delegation of authority from the representatives to the executive branch of government.

Concerns with signing statements ought to include a concern for the health of our constitutional republic, it ought not to be based upon the political battle of the day. Regardless of whether the president is named Bush or Clinton (or Obama I might add), and without respect to any particular political interest, we in Congress need to fulfill our oath of office and protect and defend the constitution and our republic. Our constituents deserve no less, and should demand it of all of us.

antiwar.com by Ron Paul


Obama Issues Signing Statement On Spending Bill

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Well Democrats were highly critical of Bush signing his signing statements on several of bills. (which is unconstitution…the president can’t just say he’s not going to obey part of a law because he doesn’t like it…..he can veto the entire bill only)…..now Obama is doing it and do we hear an outcry?

Democrats often criticized the Bush White House for its use of the presidential signing statement, a means by which the president can reject provisions of a bill he deems unconstitutional without vetoing the entire legislation. Now the approach is back.

President Barack Obama, after signing into law a $410 billion budget bill on Wednesday, declared five provisions in the bill to be unconstitutional and non-binding, including one that would effectively restrict U.S. troop deployments under U.N. command and another aimed at preventing punishment of whistleblowers.

The Founding Fathers provided in Article III of the constitution the president’s remedy. Under Article III, should the president disagree with provisions of legislation passed by Congress, he can veto the legislation, thereby challenging Congress to muster a two-thirds super-majority in each House to override the president’s objections.


The move came two days after Mr. Obama ordered a review of his predecessor’s signing statements and said he would rein in the use of such declarations.

Obama issues signing statement on spending bill

WASHINGTON—Two days after criticizing his predecessor for issuing guidelines on how to put legislation into practice, President Barack Obama issued such a directive himself.

Out of public view Wednesday, Obama signed a $410 billion spending bill that includes billions for items known as earmarks, the targeted spending that lawmakers direct to projects in their districts. Obama promised during the presidential campaign to curb such spending.

He also issued a “signing statement” in which he objected to provisions of the bill that he said the Justice Department had advised “raise constitutional concerns.” Among them are provisions that Obama said would “unduly interfere” with his authority in the foreign affairs arena by directing him how to proceed, or not to, in negotiations and discussions with international organizations and foreign governments.

Another provision, Obama said, would limit his discretion to choose who performs specific functions in military missions.

On Monday, Obama ordered a review of former President George W. Bush’s guidelines for implementing bills passed by Congress — the signing statements.

Bush often issued statements when he signed bills, objecting to parts of the legislation. Critics said the statements often showed government officials how to get around a law if Bush disagreed with it on constitutional grounds.

“There is no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused,” Obama wrote Monday in a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies. “Constitutional signing statements should not be used to suggest that the president will disregard statutory requirements on the basis of policy disagreements.”

At the same time, however, Obama did not rule out issuing any signing statements, which have been used for centuries. Rather, he ordered his administration to work with Congress to inform lawmakers about concerns over legality before legislation ever reaches his desk. He also pledged to use caution and restraint when writing his own signing statements, and said he would rely on Justice Department guidance when doing so.

“With these considerations in mind and based upon advice of the Department of Justice, I will issue signing statements to address constitutional concerns only when it is appropriate to do so as a means of discharging my constitutional responsibilities,” Obama pledged.

Read at Boston.com


Constitutional Crisis with Obama,McCain,Bush and Others

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Selective Constitutionalism
by Chuck Baldwin
December 9, 2008

Many conservatives are up in arms regarding the charge that President-elect Barack Obama may not have been born in the United States and is, therefore, not qualified under the U.S. Constitution to be President of the United States.

Article. II. Section. 1. of the U.S. Constitution states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President . . . .” Some accuse Mr. Obama of not being born in the State of Hawaii as claimed, but in Kenya, Africa. Several people have filed various lawsuits challenging Mr. Obama’s U.S. citizenship.

Historically, “natural born Citizen” has always been understood to mean someone born in the United States of America. If Barack Obama was not born in the United States, he is absolutely unqualified to be President. Hawaii’s secretary of state says Obama was indeed born in that state. However, to date, Obama’s actual birth certificate has not been publicly released, which only serves to add fuel to the accusations that he was not born in Hawaii.

Many conservatives seem to be obsessed with this controversy, calling it a “constitutional crisis.” The fact is, however, we have been in a “constitutional crisis” for years! The problem is, most conservatives only get worked up over a potential abridgement of constitutional government when it serves their partisan political purposes. In other words, when a Democrat appears guilty of constitutional conflict, conservatives “go ballistic,” but when Republicans are equally culpable of constitutional conflict, they yawn with utter indifference.

For example, the one man who has the notoriety and political clout to actually bring about some meaningful investigation and resolution to the Obama citizenship brouhaha is none other than Senator John McCain. After all, he was Obama’s principal opponent in the race for the White House. Plus, as the standard-bearer for the only other major political party, he has the attention of the national media, as well as the national legislative and judicial branches of government. So, why is John McCain not at all interested in the Obama citizenship issue?

Perhaps one reason that John McCain is so uninterested in where Barack Obama was born is because he, John McCain, was not born in the United States. He was born in the country of Panama. So, let me ask readers a question: Does anyone believe if John McCain had been elected President instead of Barack Obama that any notable conservative would have been distressed about a “constitutional crisis”? Get real!

Yes, I know McCain was born to a naval officer serving in Panama at the time. That fact changes nothing. John McCain was still born in a foreign country, and under a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, is not qualified to be President of the United States. Even our current State Department policy (7 FAM 1100) reads: “Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.”

Does anyone not remember the controversy surrounding the potential Presidential campaign of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? Born in Austria, Schwarzenegger is a naturalized citizen of the United States and is now Governor of California. However, since Schwarzenegger is a naturalized citizen, but not a natural born citizen, he is considered unqualified to run for President.

But, again, most conservatives care little about the Constitution’s requirement that a President be a “natural born Citizen.” Like liberals, most conservatives are afflicted with a very debilitating disease that I call Selective Constitutionalism. They only want to apply constitutional government when it helps Republicans or hurts Democrats. Most of them really could not care less about adherence to the Constitution. If they did, they would have been up in arms for the last eight years as President George W. Bush repeatedly ignored–and even trampled–the U.S. Constitution. (I’ll add a big AMEN ! to that !!)

Where were these “constitutional” conservatives when George W. Bush was assuming dictatorial-style powers and contravening Fourth Amendment prohibitions against warrantless searches and seizures? Where were they when Bush was ordering our emails, letters, and phone calls to be intercepted by federal police agencies without court oversight? Where were they when Bush was obliterating the Fifth and Eighth Amendments? Where were they when Bush overturned Posse Comitatus by Executive Order? Where were they when Bush dismantled the constitutional right of Habeas Corpus? Where were they when Bush lied to the American people about the invasion of Iraq and took the United States to war without a Declaration of War from Congress? Where were conservatives when Bush turned nine U.S. military installations over to the United Arab Emirates? Where were they when Bush ordered his Department of Transportation to open up America’s airlines to foreign ownership? Where were they when President Bush nullified (using “signing statements”) over 1,100 statutes he did not like? Mike says,(Unlike vetoes, signing statements are not part of the legislative process as set forth in the Constitution, and have no legal effect. A signed law is still a law regardless of what the President says in an accompanying signing statement.) Where were they as President Bush and his fellow Republicans reauthorized one of the most egregiously unconstitutional pieces of legislation in modern memory: the USA Patriot Act? Where were they when Bush signed the blatantly unconstitutional McCain/Feingold Act? I could go on and on.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican Party has been just as culpable in violating constitutional government as the Democrat Party has–maybe more so! If the Republican and Democrat parties had any allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, neither John McCain nor Barack Obama would have been chosen as their respective Presidential nominees.

While we are on the subject, if anyone cared about constitutional government, Hillary Clinton (or any other U.S. Senator or House Member) would obviously be determined as ineligible to be given any appointment in the Obama administration under Article. I. Section. 6. of the U.S. Constitution. Why? Because the Constitution prohibits House or Senate members taking Presidential posts if the salary of the job they would take was raised while they were in Congress.

However, several past Presidents have skirted this constitutional prohibition (including Presidents Taft, Nixon, and Carter) by lowering the salary of the job back to what it was so the nominee could accept the job without receiving the pay increase that was approved while the appointee was in Congress. In fact, this sleight of hand actually has a political name. It is called “the Saxbe fix,” after Nixon’s appointment of Senator William Saxbe to be attorney general.

Do we have a “constitutional crisis”? You bet we do; but it is not limited to Barack Obama or the Democrat Party. The real constitutional crisis is the manner in which the American people have, for years, allowed civil magistrates from both major parties to routinely violate their oaths to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. God help us!

© Chuck Baldwin

Read this great article @ Chuck Baldwin Live.com


U.S. Military Units Assigned Within U.S. Borders

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For those of you that aren’t aware of it on Oct. 1,  of this year the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, will  be operating inside America for tasks including “civil unrest and crowd control,” a detail that was later denied by Northcom despite the concession that forces would be armed with both non-lethal and lethal weapons as well as having access to tanks. As you read this article you need to be aware that the use of U.S. troops in law enforcement duties is a complete violation of the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act, which substantially limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. Presidential powers for law enforcement are limited and delayed.



One must recognize that through two World Wars, Civil War and well over a hundred of years of U.S. history, not one administration until recently moved to eliminate the key protection the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act  provides citizens of the U.S.
One must ask why this administration has setup the ability to impose Martial Law at the drop of a hat and why they have built Concentration Camps across the nation ? As ridiculous as this sounds, just click on the “concentration camps” above and read for yourself or just google it and see for yourself.



Under the John Warner Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Bush on October 17, 2006, the law was changed to state, “The President may employ the armed forces to restore public order in any State of the United States the President determines hinders the execution of laws or deprives people of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.” You must also ask yourself, do the governors of each state not have any say so in this anymore as they did in the past?
However, these changes were repealed in their entirety by HR 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, reverting back to the original state of the Insurrection Act of 1807. Despite this repeal, President Bush attached a signing statement saying that he did not feel bound by the repeal.

Unlike vetoes, signing statements are not part of the legislative process as set forth in the Constitution, and have no legal effect. A signed law is still a law regardless of what the President says in an accompanying signing statement.

Fears of active duty military assets being called upon to administer martial law in the aftermath of an economic collapse or a large scale terrorist attack were heightened after we revealed the existence of a FEMA-run program which is training Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to “obey the government”  (Romans 13) in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced relocation.

Enough of my ranting………here’s the article below:


U.S. Army Troops To Serve As U.S. Policemen?

by Chuck Baldwin
October 1, 2008

According to the Army Times (dated Tuesday, September 30, 2008), “Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT [Brigade Combat Team] will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.”

The article continued by saying, “But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

“After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.”

The Times column also reported that the Army brigade “may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control . . .” It seems that the Army’s new domestic duties also include “traffic control” as well as subduing “unruly or dangerous individuals.”

The brigade will be known for the next year as a Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

I am assuming that the planners and promoters of this newfound function for the Army brigade envision the Army assisting local first responders in dealing with natural emergencies such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and the like. Good intentions notwithstanding, to assign domestic police duties to the U.S. military is extremely disturbing.

To understand my concern for this new “homeland Army brigade,” it is important that we rehearse the principles of liberty as they relate to standing armies.

One of America’s most sacred principles has always been that the U.S. military was never to be used for domestic law enforcement. The fear of standing armies ran very deep in the hearts and minds of America’s founders. The tyranny and misery inflicted upon the colonies by British troops weighed heavily upon those who drafted our Constitution and Bill of Rights. In their minds, the American people would never again be subjected to the heavy weight of army boots. Furthermore, they insisted that America would have a civilian–not military–government.

And after the fiasco of the abuse of federal troops in the South following the War Between the States, the doctrine of Posse Comitatus was enacted into law. The Wikipedia online encyclopedia says this about Posse Comitatus:

“The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services … from exercising nominally state law enforcement police or peace officer powers that maintain ‘law and order’ on non-federal property. . . .

“The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the United States National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. . . .

“The Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act substantially limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement.”

The Posse Comitatus Act was passed in 1878 and was universally accepted as being a very just–and extremely important–law of the land.

But in 2006, President George W. Bush pushed a Republican-controlled Congress to pass the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, which included a section titled “Use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies.” This section provided that “The President may employ the armed forces to restore public order in any State of the United States the President determines….” In effect, this bill obliterated Posse Comitatus.

When the Democrat-controlled Congress passed the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, however, the restrictions of Posse Comitatus were restored. But when President Bush signed the Act into law, he attached a signing statement (Executive Order) indicating that the Executive Branch did not feel bound by the changes enacted by the repeal. Translated: President Bush wiped out Posse Comitatus by Executive Order.

Now, just a few months after expunging Posse Comitatus, President Bush has authorized an Army brigade to be assigned the new role of dealing exclusively with domestic law enforcement and related duties. This evokes serious questions.

Who will give the order to send U.S. troops against American civilians, and under what circumstances? What will the rules of engagement be? How will “unruly” and “dangerous” be defined? How will soldiers be asked to deal with “crowd” or “traffic” control? And perhaps the biggest question is, Once we begin to go down this road, where will it lead?

For several years, the federal government has been accumulating to itself more and more authority that was historically understood to reside within the states and local communities. More and more, our police departments have taken on the image and tactics of the armed forces. And to a greater and greater degree, the rights and liberties of the American people are being sacrificed on the altar of “national security.” It seems to me that to now ascribe law enforcement duties to the U.S. Army only serves to augment the argument that America is fast approaching police state status.

If Hurricane Katrina is the template that our federal government is using as a model for future events, Heaven help us! Do readers remember how National Guard troops were used to confiscate the personal firearms of isolated and vulnerable civilians shortly after that hurricane devastated the New Orleans area? Do you remember how representatives of the federal government were calling upon pastors and ministers to act as spokesmen for gun confiscation? Is this what the new Army brigade is preparing for? And do President Bush and his military planners envision an even broader role for military troops on American soil?

Add to the above rumors of thousands of plastic caskets–along with thousands of portable prison cells–being shipped and stored across the country, and one is left to ask, Exactly what is it that our federal government is planning?

I think there is an even bigger question, What exactly will members of our armed forces do if and when they are commanded to seize Americans’ firearms, arrest them at gun point, or even fire upon them? How many soldiers and Marines love liberty and constitutional government enough to resist such orders, should they be given? And how many officers would resist issuing such orders?

Remember, it is the job of the armed forces to kill people and blow up things, not to do police work. Then again, Presidential administrations from both major parties have been using the U.S. military as U.N. “peacekeepers” for decades now. So, was all of this preparation for what is yet to take place in the United States?

God forbid that any of the above should actually take place in our beloved land, but I believe it would be naïve to not see that the actions and attitudes of the federal government over the past several years do nothing to assuage such fears.

This article from Chuck Baldwin Live .com

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