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Bill Jacobson’s op-ed for USA Today highlights in outstanding detail President Obama’s unconstitutional actions. Let’s start with this:

Three areas of the Obama administration going it alone stand out: Immigration, Obamacare and the environment. Immigration is perhaps the most dramatic example.

Legalizing and eventually providing a path to citizenship for the estimated 10-12 million illegal immigrants is a top administration priority. But that priority hit a roadblock in the form of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and soon, Senate. Out of frustration, Obama has taken unilateral action to evade the immigration laws.

Prior to 2014, the administration already had imposed non-repatriation policies at the border, and established the “mini-dream” policy, precluding deportation of people who were brought to the country illegally as minors and met certain other criteria. These policies, however, only applied to a relatively small portion of the total illegal immigrant population. So more was needed, and that “more” would not be coming from Congress.

It’s worth highlighting this first because it’s likely to get dealt with first. With the government funded for the year except the Department of Homeland Security, Republicans can play hardball on this issue. All they have to do is attach a rider to funding DHS prohibiting DHS from spending any money on documents that President Obama promised when he took this unconstitutional action.

That’s the short-term fix. The medium-term fix will come when the courts slap down President Obama’s actions in due time. The long-term fix will happen when a Republican president secures the Tex-Mex border, then signs one-piece-at-a-time immigration reform.

It’s worth noting that it’s Congress, not the president who sets immigration policy:

Congress’s legislative powers are enumerated in Section Eight:

The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence[note 1] and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Here’s the heart of Prof. Jacobson’s commentary on the subject:

This immigration end-run creates a class of people who effectively are exempt from the immigration laws, without Congress ever having recognized such an exemption. It is not prosecutorial discretion but a usurpation of legislative power.

The executive branch never is vested with legislative authority. The minute this gets to the courts, they’ll rule against the Obama administration.

Here’s Prof. Jacobson’s excellent closing argument:

The exploitation of environmental regulatory authority not to implement laws, but to create a regulatory equivalent of legislation, is an abuse of executive discretion. At every level, the Obama administration has signaled that going it alone is the only way to get things done.

But that is not how our constitutional system is set up. The Framers understood the threat of an overreaching executive who wants to be king not president.

When President Obama leaves office, the next president will have a lengthy list of things to clean up from President Obama’s assault on the Constitution.

If ever there was proof that Democrats hate the fracking boom, this article provide that proof:

Still, conservatives and centrist Democrats will be watching for several regulations the Obama administration is expected to propose this year so that they are finished before the president leaves office.

The first would be Interior Department rules on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that they call duplicative. “That will end up in legal challenge, but there may be legislative action or oversight there as well,” said Matt Kellogg, manager of government affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

It isn’t just the EPA that wants to abolish fracking:

The state of New York is officially moving toward a fracking ban.

After presenting the findings of an exhaustive five-year study on the potential environmental, economic, and public health effects of fracking, state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Joseph Marten said he would issue a “legally binding findings statement” seeking prohibition of the controversial process.

Fracking is the process of injecting high-pressure volumes of water, sand, and chemicals underground to crack shale rock and let gas flow out more easily.

DFL legislators in Minnesota tried imposing a moratorium on frack sand mining. During the debate on the House floor, one DFL legislator said that imposing the moratorium might stop oil production on the Bakken. That’s a silly statement but it’s a perfect illustration of the DFL’s opposition to fracking.

What’s ridiculous is that Democrats support the EPA’s rules that oppose fracking, then praise President Obama for increasing oil production. It’s the environmental equivalent of John Kerry saying that he voted to fund the Iraq War before he voted against it.

Let’s simplify things. First, it’s undeniable that Democrats support EPA regulations that would restrict oil production. Next, it’s verifiable that Democrats still want to take credit for the increase in oil production because cheap gas prices are popular politically.

In a startling event, President Obama said that the US had eliminated Afghanistan as a source of terrorism:

In addition to his Alice-in-Wonderland declaration, President Obama said that US combat missions have finished. This is additional proof that the fastest way to end a war is to lose it. Regardless of President Obama’s sunny talk, the reality is that the terrorists have adapted. They haven’t given up the mission of creating a worldwide caliphate. They’ve just moved their training and planning bases from Afghanistan to another location.

In the days after 9/11, someone stated publicly that 9/11 was the day that terrorists had declared war on the United States. Rudy Giuliani corrected the person, saying that the terrorists had been at war with us for years, possibly decades, and that 9/11 was just the day that we joined that fight.

Similarly, the terrorists’ threat hasn’t ended just because President Obama held a press conference saying that the terrorists no longer posed a threat. The terrorists have a say in the matter, too. In fact, they’ll have a bigger say in the matter than President Obama will have.

That isn’t meant as disrespectful. It’s just that President Obama leaves office in 2 years. At that point, he won’t play the role of principle decision maker. That said, many of the terrorists will still be around 3 years from now. They’ll still have a say in the matter.

President Obama’s statements are either proof that he’s exceptionally arrogant or they’re proof that he’s buried his head in the sand on this issue. That isn’t good. We need a commander-in-chief who is tuned into reality. We need a commander-in-chief who isn’t afraid to see what he sees.

Right now, we don’t have that type of commander-in-chief.

One question that Gov. Dayton and the DFL have continually refused to answer is where the proposed pipelines are. Gov. Dayton, the DFL and their allies in the environmental movement constantly cite the need for additional studies to make sure the pipeline won’t hurt Minnesota’s supposedly pristine waters.

Whatever their arguments, the truth is that Gov. Dayton, the DFL and environmental organizations don’t want pipelines built. As a result, farmers are getting hurt and cities along rail lines are at greater safety risk. The Anoka County Watchdog highlighted the problem:

One of the most prolific offenders in this regard is Governor Dayton, whose incompetence creates numerous problems he then attempts “solve,” mostly by wrongly blaming others for starting the fire.
Such was the case this week, when the Governor showed up in Coon Rapids for a roundtable discussion on rail congestion in the city and the attendant problems it is causing.

The city is home to two mainline tracks which carry a large volume of freight to the West Coast. These tracks have become congested, mostly because of oil trains, which is causing not only an inconvenience, but is creating safety issues as trains block intersections and the oil trains remain a risk for derailment.

I don’t often give advice but I’ll make an exception this time. If the GOP majority in the House of Representatives want to put the DFL in a difficult position, they should vote on legislation that puts a time limit on how long it takes from initial application to final up-or-down vote.

That doesn’t mean all pipeline projects be approved in that time period. It simply means the regulating bodies have to vote up or down. The regulating body would have to explain why they rejected a pipeline company’s application. For instance, the Public Utilities Commission couldn’t just call for examining different routes. If the PUC rejected the application, they’d have to give a substantive, point-by-point explanation for why they rejected a pipeline company’s application.

If the DFL majority in the Senate rejected the House bill, then they’d have to explain to voters why they voted against freeing up railcar space for farmers. That’d expose the DFL as being anti-farmer and/or anti-outstate Minnesota.

In 2014, the DFL insisted that they weren’t anti-outstate Minnesota. In 2016, they couldn’t make that argument because Republicans would have substantive proof for their accusations..

In 2012, the DFL campaigned on the promises of taxing “the rich” to pay for “middle class property tax relief” and to increase funding on education. By April of 2013, then-Speaker Thissen issued this statement. Here’s the heart of that statement:

The House DFL Education Budget invests in what works: fully funding all-day, every day kindergarten and investing $50 million in early learning childhood scholarships. All-day K and early childhood education are proven tools to improve test scores, close the achievement gap, and prepare students for future academic success. The House DFL Education Budget also increases the basic funding formula for K-12 schools by four percent over the biennium, an increase of over $315 million, or $209 per pupil. The school shift payback will be included in the House Taxes bill.

“The House DFL education plan will boost our economy for generations to come,” said Representative Paul Marquart (DFL–Dilworth), Chair of the House Education Finance Committee. “Building the world’s best workforce will bring jobs, new innovation and economic growth, but to get there we have to invest in efforts and strategies with a proven record of success, set benchmarks, and help our schools succeed while also holding them accountable.”

The House DFL Education Budget also contains a new strategy to close the revenue equity gap and reduce property taxes. The bill enhances the equity formula guaranteeing all districts at least $300 per student of equity and referendum revenue, and raises and indexes operating referendum levy equalization factors to reduce property taxes.

Notice how Rep. Thissen’s statement predicted that the DFL’s “education budget” would “reduce property taxes.” Thissen’s prediction was spin, a DFL specialty. I wrote this post to highlight how the St. Cloud School Board raised property taxes:

St. Cloud school district has imposed its largest tax levy increase in six years for 2015. The district’s property-tax levy will increase by $3.3 million, or 14.75 percent, to nearly $26 million. The school board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve the 2015 levy.

District officials say the increase is needed to pay for a spate of improvements to facilities.

I wrote this post to highlight the Princeton School Board raised property taxes:

The Princeton School Board, in a split vote on Dec. 16, increased the school district tax levy by 25.16 percent for taxes payable 2015 to fund the 2015-16 school year.

This was a departure from the board’s originally proposed 33.87 percent hike. The total levy will be a little more than $6.091 million, a $300,000 increase over this year’s levy. The original proposal would have increased the levy $724,000.

Taxing the rich didn’t provide middle class property tax relief. It just raised taxes on “the rich.”

Check back later today to learn more about how the DFL lies on other issues.

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While he didn’t call out President Obama and Al Sharpton by name, he still let both Democrats have it in this interview:

Here’s a partial transcript of what Giuliani said:

FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI: We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police, I don’t care how you want to describe it, and that is what those protests are all about. The protests are being embraced. The protests are being encouraged. The protests — even the ones that don’t lead to violence — and a lot of them lead to violence, all lead to a conclusion: the police are bad, the police are racist. Actually, the people who do the most for the black community in America are the police. New York City and elsewhere. They are the ones, not Al Sharpton, who are putting their lives on the line to save black children.

President Obama, Mayor de Blasio and Al Sharpton haven’t shown any leadership. They’ve thrown white gas on a difficult situation. As a result of their political pandering and spinelessness, 2 NYPD police officers were assassinated this weekend.

Thank God for Rudy Giuliani’s post-mayoral leadership. Rudy’s never been afraid to speak out against injustice. He’s never hesitated to do what’s right in terms of public safety. In fact, I’d love seeing de Blasio recalled and Rudy elected to fix de Blasio’s disaster.

Al Sharpton is trying his best to distance himself from the protests he incited:

Similarly, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has called for peaceful protests, condemned “eye-for-an-eye” violence and called it absurd to blame protesters or politicians for the officers’ deaths.

“We are now under intense threat from those who are misguided — from those who are trying to blame everyone from civil rights leaders to the mayor rather than deal with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight,” he said. Sharpton added: “There are those of us committed to nonviolence and making the system work. And there are those committed to anarchy and recklessness who could care less about the families of police or the families who have raised questions about police accountability.”

That’s an outright lie. Al Sharpton led a protest where protesters cut loose with this chant:

What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now.

It’s disgustingly dishonest that Sharpton would insist that he’s “committed to nonviolence and making the system work”, especially after participating in a protest that called for the assassination of police officers. Participating in a protest where killing police officers is encouraged isn’t the first step in showing your commitment to peaceful protests.

It’s how you incite the violence that got 2 NYPD police officers shot.

It’s time to usher Bill de Blasio and Al Sharpton off the political stage. They incite their followers, then pretend that they’re committed to nonviolence.

Here’s more on the subject:

Sharpton, De Blasio scrambling
Obama, MSNBC silent while NYC burns
Al Sharpton, racist provocateur

Mark Sommerhauser’s article is additional proof that the DFL was full of BS when they said that taxing “the rich” would provide property tax relief to the middle class:

St. Cloud school district has imposed its largest tax levy increase in six years for 2015. The district’s property-tax levy will increase by $3.3 million, or 14.75 percent, to nearly $26 million. The school board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve the 2015 levy.

District officials say the increase is needed to pay for a spate of improvements to facilities.

I’ll give it to the DFL in the sense that they come up with appealing chanting points. I just wish they put a priority on telling the truth. Unfortunately, they don’t. The DFL’s highest priority is to say whatever they need to say to win elections, then spin their asses off when they brake their campaign promises.

The DFL knew that they couldn’t stop property tax increases. The DFL knew it because property taxes are set at the local level. The DFL just used that excuse to raise taxes elsewhere.

This shows, too, that the DFL’s boasting about making “historic investments in education” were campaign spin, too. I’m not disputing that K-12 spending increased. That’s indisputable fact. What I’m saying is that the money didn’t get spent on things that improved educational outcomes. Most of the increased spending was Education Minnesota’s wish list. It won’t do a thing to close the achievement gap. In fact, the DFL’s “investments” will short rural school districts.

What’s worst is that the taxpayers who get punished by these property tax increases don’t have a say in the matter. The school board can write itself additional funding whenever it wants. That’s just wrong.

Board chair Jerry Von Korff said he doesn’t expect a taxpayer backlash in response to the increase. One taxpayer attended Thursday’s board meeting to protest the tax hike. “We always do everything we can to keep taxes to a minimum,” Von Korff said. “We’ve got a ton more students and we’re adding on to buildings. The vast majority of this increase is to pay for those buildings.”

Von Korff emphasized at Thursday night’s meeting that the increase isn’t covering operating expenses. Instead, it will be used almost entirely for the building projects, he said.

This legislature must repeal the law that gives school board virtually unlimited spending and taxing authority because it’s stripped that authority from the taxpayers. The taxpayers must have the authority to stop out-of-control career politicians from taxing the taxpayers into submission.

Taxpayers literally had a say in these decisions for decades. Now they don’t. That must change ASAP.

Next, it’s disgusting that Von Korff thinks that the school board can do whatever they want. It’s exceptionally disgusting that the school board doesn’t think that their first responsibility is to serve the people. With that arrogant statement, Van Korff told St. Cloud that he isn’t a public servant. Van Korff declared that members of the school board aren’t public servants.

Finally, it’s time that a) school board elections happen on election night in even numbered years and b) we make school board elections partisan elections. The DFL’s stranglehold on school boards isn’t a secret. It’s time to make these elections partisan.

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Allahpundit’s post about Rand Paul is a fascinating read, though I have a slight difference of opinion with him. Here’s what he wrote that I disagree with:

When I tweeted out my surprise a few hours ago, a dozen people tweeted back, “Maybe Paul’s just saying what he really believes.” No doubt. But the thing that distinguishes Rand from Ron and what makes him a legit contender for the nomination is that he’s willing to temper his foreign policy positions in order to make himself more appealing to mainstream conservatives. Remember when he complained earlier this year, as things got hairy in Ukraine, how certain Republicans (*cough*McCain*cough*) always seemed to want to “tweak” Russia? That was a fine libertarian/paleocon sentiment. A few weeks later, after Putin had gotten more aggressive and conservatives were demanding that Obama show some muscle, Paul took to Time magazine to demand “strong action” against Russia. Remember when he scoffed at the idea of intervening again in Iraq, with the U.S. effectively serving as “Iran’s air force” by bombing ISIS, only to decide a few months later as conservatives rallied for force that he would seek to destroy ISIS militarily as president? Last month he introduced a bill to formally declare war on the group that would even allow ground troops in certain limited circumstances. Remember when he seemingly endorsed containment of Iran on ABC’s Sunday news show, only to come back the next week after the predictable uproar on the right ensued with an op-ed insisting he was “unequivocally” not for containing Iran? It’s not just conservatives who’ve noticed these reversals. Members of Paul’s libertarian base like Jacob Sullum and others at Reason have noticed them too. And everyone understands what it’s about: Rand’s afraid that if he takes a traditional libertarian line on hot-button foreign policy matters, it’ll be too easy for 2016 rivals to convince tea partiers that he’s just like his old man after all and can’t be trusted to protect America. Watering down his libertarian impulses may be cynical, but it’s smart.

First, it isn’t smart staking out that many contradictory positions on foreign policy/national security issues. It makes Sen. Paul look like a reactionary, not a realist. We’re living with a reactionary foreign policy right now. It isn’t working out that well.

Second, offering that many contradictory positions on important national security issues opens Sen. Paul up to charges that he’s a flip-flopper. There’s little doubt that Sen. Paul would say that he changed his mind when confronted with additional information. That explanation won’t play because we’re looking for a president whose foreign policy is undergirded by intelligent underlying principles.

Third, Paul’s foreign policy instincts are exceptionally dovish. It isn’t just that he’s got libertarian leanings. It’s that he’s utterly reluctant to entertain the thought of force when initially figuring out the proper response to national security crises. It’s one thing to think of military options as the last option. That’s proper. It’s another thing to start from a default position that the use of military force is off the table.

I disagree with this statement, too:

Worst of all, perhaps, Paul’s devoted the past year to building the case that, as a “realist,” he’s actually the true heir to Ronald Reagan on foreign policy, not Rubio and the rest of the superhawks.

President Reagan wasn’t a realist. Period. President Reagan was a visionary. When he took office, the conventional thinking was that the Soviet Union was a superpower and that détente was the best policy. When President Reagan called the Soviets an “evil empire”, realists in DC criticized him, saying that he didn’t know what he was doing while accusing him of starting WW III.

Reagan was undeterred. In fact, he then proposed putting Pershing missiles in Europe. Realists tried repeatedly to sabotage President Reagan’s Tear down this wall speech but couldn’t.

The point is that President Reagan had a foreign policy vision. He also had a strategy to implement that vision and turn it into reality. For the last 2+ years, Sen. Paul has shown that he’s a foreign policy reactionary. It’s impossible to detect a President Paul foreign policy vision with the possible exception of him being a pacifist.

That won’t work in a terrorist-filled world.

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Dana Milbank’s article highlights the Left’s lack of intellectual gravitas.

Rubio’s emotional, and at times inaccurate, response to the policy change shows why Obama’s move to normalize ties to Cuba after more than half a century is both good policy and good politics. It’s good policy because it jettisons a vestigial policy that has stopped serving a useful purpose, and because it is a gutsy move by Obama that demonstrates strong leadership and will help revive him from lame-duck status. It’s good politics because it will reveal that the Cuban American old guard, whose position Rubio represents, no longer speaks for most Cuban Americans.

It apparently didn’t bother Milbank that President Obama didn’t negotiate a deal with Cuba. Apparently, Milbank likes the thought of giving up leverage without getting anything in exchange.

This wasn’t a negotiation. It was a capitulation. It sold out Cubans at a time when Cuba’s supporters were hurting and getting worse. Venezuela’s, Iran’s and Russia’s economies are tanking thanks to $60/bbl oil. That’s way less than they need to keep their economies afloat. Without Russia’s and Venezuela’s support, Cuba’s dictatorship dies the minute the Castros croak.

This paragraph is laughable:

But Rubio was responding with his gut, which has been seasoned by the unwavering dogma of Cuban exiles. He began his remarks with the phrase “As a descendant of Cuban immigrants and someone who’s been raised in a community of Cuban exiles,” and he observed that “Cuba is close to home for me, both because of my heritage, also because of the community I live in.”

Apparently, Mr. Milbank frowns on people with actual expertise, which explains his fawning over President Obama. President Obama didn’t bring expertise on issues. He just brought a cocky attitude and a certainty that, though he was devoid of expertise, he knew how to right America’s wrongs.

By comparison, Sen. Rubio understands the history and plight of the Cuban people. He’s gained valuable insight while sitting on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to supplement the insight he had before joining the Senate. This, in Milbank’s mind, disqualifies him from speaking intelligently on the subject.

This is the perfect illustration of the Left appreciating trash-talking narcissists more than they appreciate people with topical expertise. It’s the perfect illustration of the Left’s foolish priorities.

There was a time when Gloria Borger was a serious journalist. After this week’s lovefest, it’s clear that she should be shipped to MSNBC, where undisciplined progressive hacks go for their final acts. Check out this slobbering Obama lovefest:

In case you haven’t noticed, President Obama has been flexing his executive muscles lately. On paper, it’s a head-scratcher. After all, he lost control of the Senate in the last election. His popularity is hovering near an all-time low. And, of course, he’s a lame duck.

Only no one seems to have told him. It’s as if he has shed his Clark Kent-ish demeanor for the more flamboyant cape. He’s no Superman, to be sure, but he’s spending an awful lot of time lately trying to get off the ground.

If Ms. Borger lavishes more praise on President Obama, she’ll be in danger of reminding people of the Obama rallies of 2008 where people fainted from excitement while listening to him. She’s acting like a giddy schoolgirl when she’s around her first crush.

With an introduction like that, it isn’t wise to think we’ll get anything useful from the rest of her article. After reading this crap, it’s safe to say that she lived down to my expectations:

And all that pent-up energy, ambition and action, barely two months after losing control of the Senate. Can this be no-drama Obama? “Anyone would become annoyed and frustrated if you were accused of being a wuss,” says a senior Democratic policy adviser. “And it’s always better to be on offense than defense.”

Everyone knows the old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Actually, there is such a thing as bad publicity. Similarly, it isn’t always better to be on offense. President Obama’s actions have been exceptionally stupid from a political standpoint.

In the latest Fox News poll, 60% of registered voters surveyed disapproved of his handling of immigration, compared with 36% who approved. Apparently, the people polled didn’t get Ms. Borger’s gushy memo that President Obama is Superman. Further, it’s worth questioning whether doing things the people don’t like is helping the Democratic Party for 2016.

At this point, Republicans should pray that President Obama should continue acting this obnoxious. If he continues acting like a spoiled brat who thinks that this nation’s laws don’t apply to him, he’ll sink the Democratic Party for 2016.

It wasn’t exactly a state secret that Obama had a lot on his to-do list after the election. The thinking, according to a knowledgeable source: He felt constrained and frustrated by his tactical responsibilities to Democrats in trouble. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t make Democrats take hard votes. Don’t even campaign in red states. So he didn’t. And, as it turns out, the restraint helped not one whit.

So now, with the clock ticking, he’s moved from party cheerleader to the head of the executive branch. It’s Katie-bar-the-door, with or without the Congress. ‘Tis the season for a presidential list, and he’s checking it twice — as his legacy looms. Everything he is doing redefines the very notion of a lame duck.

The things President Obama is doing through executive orders will be immediately undone by executive orders when Republicans retake the White House in 2017. That’s if they last that long. It’s quite possible the courts will put a thumping on his most exotic executive actions long before then.

It isn’t like President Obama hasn’t gotten thumped repeatedly by the Supreme Court. At last count, they’ve ruled unanimously his executive power grabs 13 straight times and counting.

President Obama is making the 2016 election about him, mostly because he’s a narcissist. He can’t help himself. Little Ms. Borger apparently hasn’t figured it out that he’s toxic. People want him to exit the stage. It’s apparent that, in most people’s minds, the 2016 election can’t get here soon enough. It’s time for President Obama to go. While he’s leaving, I’d appreciate it if he took Ms. Borger with him. We need real journalists, not over-the-hill cheerleaders.

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