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“They eyes of the world are on Côte d’Ivoire,” President Obama says in a video message to the people if Ivory coast posted on the White House website on March 25. “You deserve a future of hope, not fear.” The…



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By Christopher Preble

I have an op-ed in Politico today that explores what I call President Obama’s power problem, a common theme in my work (my book is now in a Kindle edition!).

Simply stated, when a country has more military power than it needs to defend itself and its core interests, it will expand its definition of “the national interest.” This will, in turn, lead it to intervene militarily in places and disputes that have no connection to the country’s security. That certainly has been the pattern for the United States for at least the last two decades. The problem is nicely encapsulated in the famous exchange between Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, which Powell recounted in his memoir.

Madeleine Albright, our ambassador to the UN, asked me in frustration “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” I thought I would have an aneurysm. American GIs were not toy soldiers to be moved around on some sort of global game board.

This brings us to Libya, and to a new group of people who likely said something similar to Mike Mullen and Bob Gates. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s disagreements with Gates were on public display last Sunday, but reports of a whisper campaign within the administration, in which Clinton and her advisers were frustrated by President Obama’s unwillingness to deploy the U.S. military on yet another mission, have been flying around for weeks.

In the end, the Valkyries got their war. Clinton’s advice, along with that of Samantha Power and Susan Rice, who have all loudly called for U.S. military intervention in the past, convinced President Obama to override Gates and Mullen’s objections, and to launch what Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman aptly characterized yesterday as “just the most muddled definition of an operation probably in U.S. military history.” Anne-Marie Slaughter, who recently returned to Princeton after a stint at State’s policy planning staff, was sniping from the sidelines.  Pressure from our European allies, especially France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron in the UK, also appears to have been decisive.

This is not so unique a set of circumstance, however, as I discussed with Cato Audio’s Caleb Brown a few days ago. Near the end of the interview, I focused on the particular challenges that confront the leader of a country whose military capabilities seem almost limitless:

I agree that it is difficult, it is very difficult, for the President of the United States to resist the impulse to intervene when he has people, many people, calling on him to do something. But it’s precisely because we have so much power, and because the temptation to use it is almost overwhelming, that a president has to have extraordinary discipline and say: “No. I was elected by the people of the United States to protect them, to keep this country safe and security, and if a mission does not advance those ends I will not do it.”

That is not the counsel of despair, and the counsel of inaction. On the contrary, there are many other countries, especially those in Libya’s immediate neighborhood, that have both a compelling  national security rationale and a moral rationale [to intervene]. And it’s precisely the combination of those factors that we, the United States, should have encouraged in the past, and we could have encouraged in this particular case. Instead, other countries waited for the United States to act,…

Caleb Brown, Cato Audio: And just the possibility the U.S. will act probably puts a lot of countries on the sideline…

Me: That’s correct…. Because of the expectation that the United States will act, it causes other people to wait it out. And sometimes, tragically, they wait it out too long. Because, again, the United States does not always intervene. There are a number of cases where we have not. And I fear that we have set up a system where, if the United States doesn’t act, nothing gets done, and I don’t think that’s the right approach. I think there are alternatives that will use other countries’ legitimate security interests to advance humanitarian ends.

You can listen to the whole clip here.

Obama’s Power Problem, and Ours is a post from Cato @ Liberty – Cato Institute Blog


Cato @ Liberty

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President Obama had good reasons to welcome spring with a high profile energy policy address. The first anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig is just three weeks away. The President surely knows that this anniversary will give his opponents an opportunity to remind Americans of the unnecessary moratorium on offshore drilling. The President also knows that there is roughly a two to three months delay period before gasoline prices respond to increases in the price of crude oil. The recent spike in oil prices occurred about two months ago as riots began to spread throughout the Middle East so gas prices are expected to rise further. Anticipating these scenarios, the Obama team took preemptive action, launching a yawn evoking Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future. The 44-page document and the executive summary the president delivered before his Georgetown University audience has everything for everyone, from the drill-baby-drillers, biofuels producers, efficiency proponents and even T. Boone Pickens.

The President’s strategy of throwing bones to every base may be good politics but the content of his energy program is a testimony that while he understands the dangers of over reliance on oil, whose reserves are dominated by nasty regimes, he does not really grasp the true nature of the problem. His pledge to cut oil imports by one-third by 2025 is not much different from the type of hollow presidential energy rhetoric starting with Richard Nixon’s 1974 promise: “At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need.”

Like every presidential energy speech, Obama’s speech focuses on freeing ourselves from oil imports. Eighty percent of the world’s conventional oil reserves are controlled by the OPEC cartel. The past four decades show that whenever America either drills more or uses less, OPEC responds with quota cuts, essentially leaving the same amount of oil in the market and hence itself in control of the price of oil.

The security and economic vulnerabilities posed by oil dependence are not due to the number of barrels we import. Remember, in 2008, last time oil prices spiked, Britain’s truckers staged protests over high diesel costs even though the country was barely reliant on oil imports at that point. Oil is a fungible commodity with a global price. Our real problem is that oil is a strategic commodity due to its virtual monopoly over transportation fuel. As long as cars are closed to anything but fuel refined from oil neither solutions that expand supply nor those that shrink demand will suffice to ensure our security and prosperity. The cartel knows how to respond to those tactics.

What was missing from Obama’s message is a commitment to let the market take down the cartel and reduce the strategic importance of oil by opening vehicles to fuel competition, so drivers can on the fly decide to purchase a different fuel at the pump if it is less expensive on a per mile basis. The President should have called for an Open Fuel Standard ensuring that cars sold in the U.S. enable fuel competition. With a tweak which costs roughly $ 100 per vehicle new cars can be opened to run not only on gasoline but also on methanol – which is made from coal, natural gas or biomass – all natural resources with which the U.S. is well endowed as well as on ethanol. The current global spot for methanol made from natural gas is $ 1.25 per gallon, without any subsidy. Methanol contains about half the energy of gasoline per gallon, so this is equivalent in energy terms to gasoline at $ 2.50 per gallon. Add taxes and distribution and its still less than current gasoline prices. Indeed, there are fuels that are not only cheaper than gasoline on a per mile comparison but can also be made from America’s domestic resources. Unfortunately, by ignoring the urgent need for fuel flexibility and a competitive market Obama’s new energy plan does not offer most Americans with the opportunity to take advantage of them. To be sure, the President highlighted electric vehicles and rightly so. In many respects – say, acceleration – their performance is superior to that of gasoline cars, but electric cars are costly for now and mass market penetration will take many years. We should not neglect liquid fuel choice in the meantime.

Big Peace

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Welcome to Obama’s QUAGMIRE …

It is amateur hour in the White House and “We the People” are feeling the brunt of the inexperience. Obama truly is the worst President ever.

Thanks to Barack Obama’s “Kinetic Military Operation” WAR in Libya oil prices have climbed to their highest level since 2008. Obama claimed that the military operation in Libya would last days not weeks. The community organizer and “Ditherer” in Chief could never have been so wrong. Who but an inexperienced and completed over-matched individual could ever have thought that a any military action would have ended so quickly.

Instead of a quick outcome and slam dunk in Libya as stated by Obama, fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pushed back rebels from key areas in eastern Libya and have dealt the rebels a severe setback. Today, a spokesman for the Libyan leader said that Gaddafi will stay in Libya “until the end”.  The result … oil prices rose to a 30 month high and the pain at the gas pumps will be felt by American workers trying to get to work. More ‘Hope & Change’ from Obama … rising gas prices.

Battles between Gadhafi’s troops and rebels have seesawed back and forth in Libyan ports and towns since mid-February, with the price of oil rising more than $ 20 a barrel since then. Energy consultants Cameron Hanover said traders are beginning to view the Libya uprising as a standoff for now. ‘Without control of the air, Gadhafi’s troops have been unable to hammer home their gains. And, without strong and well-trained ground forces, the rebels seem incapable of holding onto their gains. Optimism that Libyan oil might return to the market, seen earlier this week, was dashed.”

Libya’s oil exports, which went mainly to Europe, are shut down. The rebels have said they plan to start shipping oil again, although how soon that could happen is unclear.

As per ABC News, the weekly national average gas price showed the highest price ever during the month of March and the seventh consecutive increase this week,

Under President Barack Obama, oil prices have doubled and are up 100%. THANKS BARACK. Not only has this President been a complete incompetent failure in creating a $ 787  billion stimulus plan that created no jobs, added a ridiculous amount to the federal debt with Obamacare and has hampered job creation by an over-reaching and over-regulative government … the “Not Ready for Prime Time” President has not got the US into a hornet’s nest in Libya as oil prices skyrocket.

According to the GasBuddy gasoline price tracking web site, the price of a gallon of regular gas was around $ 1.79 when Mr. Obama took office. Today the national average is $ 3.58. The lowest average price in the continental United States is $ 3.31 in Tulsa Oklahoma, the highest is $ 4.14 in Santa Barbara, CA.

Who would ever have thought that during the 2008 Democrat primaries in the run up to the 2008 Presidential election that Joe Biden would have been the sage of sages and stated the following regarding the rank amateur Barack Obama. Watch VIDEO.

Biden said that Obama was not ready for the job and the Presidency is not one that lends itself to on the job training. Biden’s reply, “I stand by that statement”. Looks like Joe was 100% correct. However, as we are reminded by the Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft, Peggy was wrong. Obama was not going to pay for our gas, he doubled it instead. I wonder what peggy has to say for herself today? Sadly, the Kool-Aide drinking Obamaite would blame it still on George W. Bush.

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Welcome to Obama’s QUAGMIRE …

It is amateur hour in the White House and “We the People” are feeling the brunt of the inexperience. Obama truly is the worst President ever.

Thanks to Barack Obama’s “Kinetic Military Operation” WAR in Libya oil prices have climbed to their highest level since 2008. Obama claimed that the military operation in Libya would last days not weeks. The community organizer and “Ditherer” in Chief could never have been so wrong. Who but an inexperienced and completed over-matched individual could ever have thought that a any military action would have ended so quickly.

Instead of a quick outcome and slam dunk in Libya as stated by Obama, fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pushed back rebels from key areas in eastern Libya and have dealt the rebels a severe setback. Today, a spokesman for the Libyan leader said that Gaddafi will stay in Libya “until the end”.  The result … oil prices rose to a 30 month high and the pain at the gas pumps will be felt by American workers trying to get to work. More ‘Hope & Change’ from Obama … rising gas prices.

Battles between Gadhafi’s troops and rebels have seesawed back and forth in Libyan ports and towns since mid-February, with the price of oil rising more than $ 20 a barrel since then. Energy consultants Cameron Hanover said traders are beginning to view the Libya uprising as a standoff for now. ‘Without control of the air, Gadhafi’s troops have been unable to hammer home their gains. And, without strong and well-trained ground forces, the rebels seem incapable of holding onto their gains. Optimism that Libyan oil might return to the market, seen earlier this week, was dashed.”

Libya’s oil exports, which went mainly to Europe, are shut down. The rebels have said they plan to start shipping oil again, although how soon that could happen is unclear.

As per ABC News, the weekly national average gas price showed the highest price ever during the month of March and the seventh consecutive increase this week,

Under President Barack Obama, oil prices have doubled and are up 100%. THANKS BARACK. Not only has this President been a complete incompetent failure in creating a $ 787  billion stimulus plan that created no jobs, added a ridiculous amount to the federal debt with Obamacare and has hampered job creation by an over-reaching and over-regulative government … the “Not Ready for Prime Time” President has not got the US into a hornet’s nest in Libya as oil prices skyrocket.

According to the GasBuddy gasoline price tracking web site, the price of a gallon of regular gas was around $ 1.79 when Mr. Obama took office. Today the national average is $ 3.58. The lowest average price in the continental United States is $ 3.31 in Tulsa Oklahoma, the highest is $ 4.14 in Santa Barbara, CA.

Who would ever have thought that during the 2008 Democrat primaries in the run up to the 2008 Presidential election that Joe Biden would have been the sage of sages and stated the following regarding the rank amateur Barack Obama. Watch VIDEO.

Biden said that Obama was not ready for the job and the Presidency is not one that lends itself to on the job training. Biden’s reply, “I stand by that statement”. Looks like Joe was 100% correct. However, as we are reminded by the Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft, Peggy was wrong. Obama was not going to pay for our gas, he doubled it instead. I wonder what peggy has to say for herself today? Sadly, the Kool-Aide drinking Obamaite would blame it still on George W. Bush.

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Coming at a time when some polls show President Barack Obama’s poll numbers taking a big dip, he has some good news: his numbers are up among young people, The Hill reports:

President Obama’s job-approval rating among young people has gone up, even as his overall approval rating has hit an all-time low in certain surveys.

A new poll
of 18- to 29-year-olds by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP) found 55 percent of so-called Millennials approve of Obama’s presidency — a six-point increase over a similar IOP survey in October. His approval rating is even higher among those attending a four-year college, where 60 percent back Obama. That was a nine-point increase from the last survey.

A recent Quinnipiac University survey found Obama’s approval rating at just 42 percent, but that survey was of registered voters. Harvard’s poll was conducted in online surveys of 3,018 18- to 29-year-old U.S. citizens, and has a margin of error of 2.4 percent. It was in the field from Feb. 11 through March 2.

Now the question becomes whether the Democrats will be able to get young voters to the polls in 2012 with sufficient enthusiasm so that these numbers make a difference. But if you add the young votes, the African-American vote, the Hispanic vote and — most likely now more than in recent years — voters from union households or people who have relatives in union households, then you can see the emergence of a potentially effective coalition for the Dems.

The findings are good news for Obama, who was propelled into the White House in 2008 with the votes and volunteer hours of millions of young people. Their renewed enthusiasm could help boost his reelection bid.

CNN’s Ruben Navarette, Jr. notes the GOP’s problem with Hispanics:

The Republican Party seized an opportunity to become the mouthpiece for the cultural anxiety that many Americans feel about changing demographics and the reality that the United States is becoming a Hispanic country.

But GOP leaders didn’t think about the cost. Republicans insist they are “anti-illegal immigration” but, in their rhetoric and legislative solutions, they come across as “anti-immigrant” and “anti-Hispanic.” And so, not surprisingly, most Hispanics wouldn’t vote Republican even if it were the last party on Earth.

This is NOT good news for the GOP — given numbers that indicate Hispanics are growing in population and potentially HUGE political clout in key states.

Navarette suggests Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio could help in 2012 if he’s the Republican Veep candidate. And that will be a delicate operation:

Given his Spanish surname, Rubio has to constantly reassure the conservative white voters of the GOP base that he is tough on illegal immigration. And yet, if he’s too tough, he’ll lose Latino support to the point where he becomes just another caricature of a turncoat, an Uncle So-and-So who can’t deliver his own community. Which, ironically, is one of the major reasons he’d be on a national ticket in the first place.

Marco Rubio is the Republican Party’s Superman. And, the immigration issue, if not handled correctly, is his kryptonite.

And what is Obama doing? Can you guess?

President Barack Obama, aware of news that the U.S. Hispanic population has hit 50 million, is turning his attention on issues key to Hispanics, including education.

Early this week, Obama held a town hall meeting at a D.C. high school, roughly three miles from the White House, where two-thirds of the students are Hispanic. The town hall, broadcast by the Spanish-language TV network Univision, overlapped with the president’s live address to the nation on Libya, but reportedly drew 2.7 million viewers.

Coalitions win elections. Are we seeing a Democratic one falling into shape — not so much because of how terrific the Democrats are, but because Republicans are now chasing groups away as Tea Party movement and anti-labor sentiment completely erases the last vestiges of “compassionate conservatism?”

And if there’s a government shut down, among these groups, which party is most likely to be seen to blame — confirming what seems to be a growing perception that they’re treated a bit better by Democrats?


The Moderate Voice

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It’s time once again for a trip into the very special mind of Congressman Louie Gohmert, who spoke on the House floor last night about the Libyan situation:

It’s a bad bill. And then when you find out that the prior Congress not only passed that 2,800 page bill with all kinds of things in it, including a new president’s commissioned officer corps and non-commissioned officer corps. Do we really need that? I wondered when I read that in the bill. But then when you find out we’re being sent to Libya to use our treasure and American lives there, maybe there’s intention to so deplete the military that we’re going to need that presidential reserve officer commissioned corps and non-commissioned corps that the president can call up on a moment’s notice involuntarily, according to the Obamacare bill.

The “corps” that Gohmert refers to is the new Ready Reserve Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, something that had been proposed back during the Bush Administration as a way to ensure that the Federal Government could organize immediate medical care in the event of a mass casualty disaster.




Outside the Beltway

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The Democratic Party has traditionally supported approaches to reduce American reliance on foreign oil favoring more expensive, less reliable, but “cleaner” energy solutions like wind and solar energy. Yet, in many cases, it has resisted increasing domestic extraction of oil and gas resources.

However, President Obama outlined a surprising new energy policy yesterday that appears on the surface to reverse this approach. At first glance, the policy rightly supports expanding domestic oil and gas development and production. Unsurprisingly, it also advocates traditional liberal boondoggles like high-speed rail. Given that the policy appears to adopt initiatives that conservatives have been advocating for years, the President can claim its alleged bipartisanship and that he is really sticking it to the sheiks in the Middle East.

The President claimed his new policy supports “finding and producing more oil at home” and “encouraging offshore oil exploration and production.” He further suggested his administration is “working to expedite new drilling permits for companies” and “exploring and assessing new frontiers for oil and gas development from Alaska to Mid- and South Atlantic states.” The President even asserted that clean coal and nuclear power would also be part of his solution.

Unfortunately, many of these claims appear disingenuous and aimed more at the President’s reelection prospects than any actual change in policy. As usual, the devil is in the details.

One sign of this is how the administration claims credit for oil production increase in America’s Outer Continental Shelf from 446 million barrels in 2008 to more than 600 million barrels in 2010. Of course, these claims have little to do with the Obama administration actions, since demand for oil was unusually low in 2008, because of the recession. In fact, the chart below shows that oil production in these areas dropped to near 1996 levels. In effect, the Obama administration is claiming credit for a rebound in oil production that started from a twelve-year low in a recession year and that ended only slightly above 2003 levels. Therefore, it is spurious to claim these increases had anything to do with the Obama administration’s actions.

United States Outer Continental Shelf Oil Production, Source: EIA

Given this whitewashing of the historical record, there are several other clues that the President’s claims are disingenuous. Especially once one reviews his more detailed policy proposal. In nearly every place where the President seems to adopt more traditionally conservative energy policies, there is an almost exclusive focus on reviewing and existing existing regulations. While the President pays lip service to more drilling in Alaska, his more detailed policy provides only for a “high-level, cross-agency team to access opportunities to coordinate and facilitate a more efficient offshore permitting process in Alaska, while ensuring that safety, health, and environmental standards are fully met.”

This Orwellian doublespeak seems to promote rule by committee and provides the administration with the ammunition it needs to stall future development, since it mandates that future permitting processes fully meet “safety, health, and environmental standards.” These standards can be anything the administration wants them to be. Therefore, do not expect drilling any time soon.

On Mid- and South Atlantic offshore development, the approach is, again, very bureaucratic. Rather than providing a timeline for awarding drilling permits, the administration focuses on “conducting environmental analysis on potential seismic testing in the Mid and South Atlantic planning areas, which would help determine the scope of potential recoverable resources in the region.”

What the heck does that mean?

The President’s public encouragement of increased domestic natural gas production translates into a laser-focus on examining the possible negative impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), a process for natural gas extraction. While public safety is important, the President’s policy focuses almost exclusively on this aspect of natural gas extraction at the expense of providing incentives to spur domestic natural gas production.

While the President’s speech had a superficial bipartisan veneer, it was all smoke and mirrors.

Big Peace

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As the Republican led House, and many Republicans, and some Democrats, in the Senate look to keep the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, Mr. Obama has quietly implemented his own rules

On March 4th, in a move surely designed to side-step Congress, Obama’s Council on Environmental Quality issued instructions to all federal agencies on how to adapt to climate change. All agencies, from the Food and Drug Administration to the Department of Defense, will be required to analyze their vulnerabilities to the impacts from climate change and come up with a plan to adapt. Thousands of governmental employees will be trained on climate science, like it or not.

The changes aren’t limited to just federal agencies. Countless numbers of private businesses that sell, build, provide logistics or maintenance, or anything else to the government will be forced to comply with new Federal climate adaptation guidelines—all because of Presidential Executive Order 13514.

Got that? Any company that has dealings with the Federal government will have to implement all the requirements of EO 13514, which include things like

  • Appoint a Climate Adaptation specialist
  • Establish an Agency wide Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Mandate by June 2011
  • Participate in Climate Adaptation workshops and then educate all employees throughout 2011
  • Identify and analyze climate vulnerabilities that would interfere with accomplishing the Agency’s mission by March 2012
  • Implement the adaptation plan by September 2012

No wonder Obama has avoided most talk about “climate change”: he’s stealthily implemented the Warmist idiocy.

Say, I wonder if this would apply to anyone paying taxes?

It also “requires Federal Agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target within 90 days; increase energy efficiency; reduce fleet petroleum consumption; conserve water; reduce waste; support sustainable communities; and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies.”

So, the power of the federal government will be used to push one product over another. So much for a fair and impartial government.

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU.

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We learned today that, when it comes to the mission in Libya, the Obama Administration doesn’t much care what Congress thinks:

The White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a classified briefing to House members Wednesday afternoon.

Clinton was responding to a question from Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) about the administration’s response to any effort by Congress to exercise its war powers, according to a senior Republican lawmaker who attended the briefing.

The answer surprised many in the room because Clinton plainly admitted the administration would ignore any and all attempts by Congress to shackle President Obama’s power as commander in chief to make military and wartime decisions. In doing so, he would follow a long line of Presidents who have ignored the act since its passage, deeming it an unconstitutional encroachment on executive power.

Andrew Sullivan is outraged and wonder if Congress will step up to the plate:

If the Obama administration is refusing even to abide by the War Powers Act, then the Congress really needs to vote to defund their adventurism at least or impeach them if it comes to that. Going to war outside even the War Powers Act qualifies as an impeachable offense, it seems to me.

But we are, it appears, in a particularly decadent moment in the decline of the American republic and its Congress. We are governed by an executive that goes to war in secret and at will, openly contemptuous of the democratic process and even minimal transparency. and when you realize that that executive actually campaigned against this kind of secretive, dictatorial presidency, you realize how this has become systemic, and the anti-democratic rot is deep.

Matthew Yglesias says don’t count on it:

Members of congress will complain about this, but they won’t really do anything about it, nor will next year’s defense appropriation bill (or the one after that or the one after that or …) contain any effort to constrain presidential warmaking power. That’s because members of congress want to be kept in the dark, they want to be able to complain if things go poorly without taking ownership of the situation.

Ygelsias goes on to argue that he doesn’t consider this a bad thing because “the level of uncertainty surrounding these activities is huge.” A good example of the risks that Yglesias talked about can be seen in the manner in which candidates like Hillary Clinton had their vote in favor of the Iraq War used against them in the 2008 elections. Politically, then, I suppose it is smart for a Member of Congress to avoid getting too involved in foreign policy matters because the possibility of being wrong is so much greater. However, that doesn’t make the abdication of responsibility proper. Largely though its own lack of willingness to act over the years, Congress has ceded vast discretion to the President when it comes to committing American military forces to overseas conflicts that don’t directly threaten the national interests of the United States. It’s no surprise, then, that a President like Obama would take advantage of those powers when the opportunity arises.

Congress is not without authority of course, at least on paper. The War Powers Act purports to limit the ability of the President to sent troops into coming without Congressional support. As I noted last week, though, the Act actually give the President a great deal  of discretion while simultaneously placing Congress in a near impossible situation:As summarized by Wikipedia, the Act “requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.” The advantages to the President here seem obvious. As long as he notifies Congress, the President has the legal authority to engage in virtually any military action he desires. If that action is still ongoing 90 days later, then Congress is left with the option of cutting off funding to troops in the field after they’ve already been committed — and if a President refused to withdraw troops does anyone really believe that any Court anywhere would require him to do it?

The Obama Administration, of course, is taking the position that they don’t even need to worry about the War Powers Act, which has Ed Morrissey wondering:

Isn’t he required under the War Powers Act to seek congressional authorization after 60 days of hostilities? Or is this guy so intent on waging war whether Congress likes it or not that he’d go to court to try to have the WPA ruled unconstitutional? Normally I’d dismiss that possibility as insane given that he did, after all, run in ’08 on his anti-war cred and that not even a Republican president would dare pull a move like that amid bipartisan clamoring for accountability, but I don’t know that anything can be safely ruled out at this point.

The reality, though, is that every President since Richard Nixon has taken the position that the War Powers Act is unconstitutional because is infringes on the President’s powers as Commander in Chief. Obama is merely adopting the position of his predecessors, and while it may seem odd that a President who ran against the Iraq War to be acting like this, it is not at all surprising. Once they have been asserted, Executive Branch privileges are seldom curtailed, and this is but one more example of how Barack Obama has presumed to protect Presidential prerogatives even if that goes against his previously stated principles. Truly, nobody should be surprised.

As for what will happen with regard to Libya, I think that’s pretty easy to figure out. Congress will do nothing. With American forces committed abroad, and the increasing possibility that ground troops may be necessary at some point, no Congress is going to step in and tel the President he can’t do this, no matter how much they believe that to be the case.

There is much to complain about in the fact that President Obama has continued the tradition of the Imperial Presidency that started to take root under Woodrow Wilson, but the reality is that none of this happened for nefarious reasons, it happened because Congress and the American people let it happen. If we’re ever going to bring things back to the way they are supposed to be, we’re going to have to follow the advice that Gene Healy laid out in his excellent book n The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power:

“Perhaps, with wisdom born of experience, we can come once again to value a government that promises less, but delivers far more of what it promises. Perhaps we can learn to look elsewhere for heroes. But if we must look to the Presidency for heroism, we ought to learn once again to appreciate a quieter sort of valor. True political heroism rarely pounds its chest or pounds the pulpit, preaching rainbows and uplift, and promising to redeem the world through military force. A truly heroic president is one who appreciates the virtues of restraint — who is bold enough to act when action is necessary yet wise enough, humble enough to refuse powers he ought not have. That is the sort of presidency we need, now more than ever.

And we won’t get that kind of presidency until we demand it.”

Indeed,

 




Outside the Beltway

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The busybody hand of Michelle Obama looms large. New target: Jell-O, Fruit Loops, and that evil of evils…Minute Maid Lemonade. Via the NYTimes:

After staunchly defending the safety of artificial food colorings, the federal government is for the first time publicly reassessing whether foods like Jell-O, Lucky Charms cereal and Minute Maid Lemonade should carry warnings that the bright artificial colorings in them worsen behavior problems like hyperactivity in some children.

The Food and Drug Administration concluded long ago that there was no definitive link between the colorings and behavior or health problems, and the agency is unlikely to change its mind any time soon. But on Wednesday and Thursday, the F.D.A. will ask a panel of experts to review the evidence and advise on possible policy changes, which could include warning labels on food.

The hearings signal that the growing list of studies suggesting a link between artificial colorings and behavioral changes in children has at least gotten regulators’ attention — and, for consumer advocates, that in itself is a victory.

In a concluding report, staff scientists from the F.D.A. wrote that while typical children might be unaffected by the dyes, those with behavioral disorders might have their conditions “exacerbated by exposure to a number of substances in food, including, but not limited to, synthetic color additives.”

Renee Shutters, a mother of two from Jamestown, N.Y., said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that two years ago, her son Trenton, then 5, was having serious behavioral problems at school until she eliminated artificial food colorings from his diet. “I know for sure I found the root cause of this one because you can turn it on and off like a switch,” Ms. Shutters said.

But Dr. Lawrence Diller, a behavioral pediatrician in Walnut Creek, Calif., said evidence that diet plays a significant role in most childhood behavioral disorders was minimal to nonexistent. “These are urban legends that won’t die,” Dr. Diller said.

The food police’s regulatory solution: More government-imposed labels, of course.

Can someone please slap a health hazard warning label on junk science queen Michelle Obama?

Michelle Malkin

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The busybody hand of Michelle Obama looms large. New target: Jell-O, Fruit Loops, and that evil of evils…Minute Maid Lemonade. Via the NYTimes:

After staunchly defending the safety of artificial food colorings, the federal government is for the first time publicly reassessing whether foods like Jell-O, Lucky Charms cereal and Minute Maid Lemonade should carry warnings that the bright artificial colorings in them worsen behavior problems like hyperactivity in some children.

The Food and Drug Administration concluded long ago that there was no definitive link between the colorings and behavior or health problems, and the agency is unlikely to change its mind any time soon. But on Wednesday and Thursday, the F.D.A. will ask a panel of experts to review the evidence and advise on possible policy changes, which could include warning labels on food.

The hearings signal that the growing list of studies suggesting a link between artificial colorings and behavioral changes in children has at least gotten regulators’ attention — and, for consumer advocates, that in itself is a victory.

In a concluding report, staff scientists from the F.D.A. wrote that while typical children might be unaffected by the dyes, those with behavioral disorders might have their conditions “exacerbated by exposure to a number of substances in food, including, but not limited to, synthetic color additives.”

Renee Shutters, a mother of two from Jamestown, N.Y., said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that two years ago, her son Trenton, then 5, was having serious behavioral problems at school until she eliminated artificial food colorings from his diet. “I know for sure I found the root cause of this one because you can turn it on and off like a switch,” Ms. Shutters said.

But Dr. Lawrence Diller, a behavioral pediatrician in Walnut Creek, Calif., said evidence that diet plays a significant role in most childhood behavioral disorders was minimal to nonexistent. “These are urban legends that won’t die,” Dr. Diller said.

The food police’s regulatory solution: More government-imposed labels, of course.

Can someone please slap a health hazard warning label on junk science queen Michelle Obama?

Michelle Malkin

Tagged with:
 

The busybody hand of Michelle Obama looms large. New target: Jell-O, Fruit Loops, and that evil of evils…Minute Maid Lemonade. Via the NYTimes:

After staunchly defending the safety of artificial food colorings, the federal government is for the first time publicly reassessing whether foods like Jell-O, Lucky Charms cereal and Minute Maid Lemonade should carry warnings that the bright artificial colorings in them worsen behavior problems like hyperactivity in some children.

The Food and Drug Administration concluded long ago that there was no definitive link between the colorings and behavior or health problems, and the agency is unlikely to change its mind any time soon. But on Wednesday and Thursday, the F.D.A. will ask a panel of experts to review the evidence and advise on possible policy changes, which could include warning labels on food.

The hearings signal that the growing list of studies suggesting a link between artificial colorings and behavioral changes in children has at least gotten regulators’ attention — and, for consumer advocates, that in itself is a victory.

In a concluding report, staff scientists from the F.D.A. wrote that while typical children might be unaffected by the dyes, those with behavioral disorders might have their conditions “exacerbated by exposure to a number of substances in food, including, but not limited to, synthetic color additives.”

Renee Shutters, a mother of two from Jamestown, N.Y., said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that two years ago, her son Trenton, then 5, was having serious behavioral problems at school until she eliminated artificial food colorings from his diet. “I know for sure I found the root cause of this one because you can turn it on and off like a switch,” Ms. Shutters said.

But Dr. Lawrence Diller, a behavioral pediatrician in Walnut Creek, Calif., said evidence that diet plays a significant role in most childhood behavioral disorders was minimal to nonexistent. “These are urban legends that won’t die,” Dr. Diller said.

The food police’s regulatory solution: More government-imposed labels, of course.

Can someone please slap a health hazard warning label on junk science queen Michelle Obama?

Michelle Malkin

Tagged with:
 

President Barack Obama’s poll numbers are tanking …

As Obama’s dithering continues so does the downward spiral of his poll numbers. Obama’s indecision and lack of a clear message in the “kinetic military operation” WAR in Libya, Obamacare debacle and additional waiver requests, continues poor economy and elevated oil prices have all added to Obama’s poor job approval numbers. According to the most recent Quinnipiac University National Poll, The One’s job approval rating is at 48% disapprove and only 42% approve.

Making matter worse for Obama, 50% do not believe that Barack Obama deserves a second term as President while only 41% believe he does. Hardly a good sign for an incumbent President seeking reelection in 2012. The lack of leadership and incoherent waffling message to the American people on any topic these days is wearing thin.

American voters disapprove 48 – 42 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing and say 50 – 41 percent he does not deserve to be re-elected in 2012,both all-time lows, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 
 
This compares to a 46 – 46 percent job approval rating and a 45 – 47 percent split on the President’s re-election in a March 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. In a hypothetical 2012 matchup, President Obama gets 36 percent of the vote to 37 percent for an unnamed Republican challenger.

Democrats approve 80 – 13 percent of the job Obama is doing, but disapproval is 81 – 9 percent among Republicans and 50 – 39 percent among independent voters. Men disapprove 52 – 41 percent while women split 44 – 44 percent.

 Why are these polling numbers so alarming? These are the lowest job approval numbers for Obama in the Quinnipiac poll, even lower than any in 2010. Obama even loses to an unnamed GOP candidate in this poll 37% to 36%. How can that be good news for any incumbent politician?

Barack Obama also failed miserably in this poll in handling the federal budget 64% disapprove – 30% approve, the economy 60% disapprove – 30% approve, foreign policy disapprove 47% – approve 41%, healthcare disapprove 55% – 38% approve.

More at Wake Up America with the trending downward polling data of Barack Obama. 2012 is right around the corner.

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