theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Obama sneaks new appointees in before January 1st with no confirmations.


Last Updated: 6:56 AM, December 30, 2010

Posted: 12:45 AM, December 30, 2010

 WASHINGTON -- President Obama yesterday bypassed the Senate confirmation process with six recess appointments, including Washington attorney James Cole for the No. 2 Justice Department post, which Republicans had blocked since May over his ties to AIG before its near collapse.

Rep. Peter King (R-LI), incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also objected to the Cole appointment because he said it continued the administration's "dangerous policies of treating Islamic terrorism as a criminal matter."

"I find it absolutely shocking that President Obama would appoint someone who has diminished the 9/11 terrorist attacks by comparing them to the drug trade and who believes that a civilian courtroom is the appropriate venue for 9/11 trials," King said.

"This may be one of the worst appointments by President Obama."

Cole, a close friend of Attorney General Eric Holder, is a partner at a private Washington law firm.

Like a theif in the night the illustreous King Obama adds new members to his administration while no
one is minding the store. This man has got to go.........................................theodore miraldi

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Obama's New Beginning?

i must admit that it's been a breath of fresh air watching Congress and the President working side

by side after nearly two years of extreme partisanship on both sides of the aisle. our republic is at

its best when opposing parties sit down together, and do the business of the people in an honest

and self-less manner. I applaud both parties, and the President for understanding what happened

in November's vote of no confidence to the policies coming out of the Oval office.

let's just hope the new membership catches the fever to work closely with the opposition to  put

our nation back on its feet by creating an atmosphere of cooperation. Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Health Care Ruled Unconstitutional in Va Court. NY Times 12/13/10.........

Published: December 13, 2010

A federal district judge in Virginia ruled on Monday that the keystone provision in the Obama health care law is unconstitutional, becoming the first court in the country to invalidate any part of the sprawling act and ensuring that appellate courts will receive contradictory opinions from below.


Judge Hudson’s Ruling.......

Judge Henry E. Hudson, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, declined the plaintiff’s request to freeze implementation of the law pending appeal, meaning that there should be no immediate effect on the ongoing rollout of the law. But the ruling is likely to create confusion among the public and further destabilize political support for legislation that is under fierce attack from Republicans in Congress and in many statehouses.

In a 42-page opinion issued in Richmond, Va., Judge Hudson wrote that the law’s central requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance exceeds the regulatory authority granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The insurance mandate is central to the law’s mission of covering more than 30 million uninsured because insurers argue that only by requiring healthy people to have policies can they afford to treat those with expensive chronic conditions.

The judge wrote that his survey of case law “yielded no reported decisions from any federal appellate courts extending the Commerce Clause or General Welfare Clause to encompass regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, not withstanding its effect on interstate commerce or role in a global regulatory scheme.”

Judge Hudson is the third district court judge to reach a determination on the merits in one of the two dozen lawsuits filed against the health care law. The others — in Detroit and Lynchburg, Va. — have upheld the law. Lawyers on both sides said the appellate process could last another two years before the Supreme Court settles the dispute.

The opinion by Judge Hudson, who has a long history in Republican politics in northern Virginia, continued a partisan pattern in the health care cases. Thus far, judges appointed by Republican presidents have ruled consistently against the Obama administration while Democratic appointees have found for it.

That has reinforced the notion — fueled by the White House — that the lawsuits are as much a political assault as a constitutional one. The Richmond case was filed by Virginia’s attorney general, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, a Republican, and all but one of the 20 attorneys general and governors who filed a similar case in Pensacola, Fla., are Republicans. Other lawsuits have been filed by conservative law firms and interest groups.

The two cases previously decided by district courts are already before the midlevel courts of appeal, with the Detroit case in the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati and the Lynchburg case in the Fourth Circuit in Richmond.

The Justice Department, which is defending the statute, is also considering whether to appeal Judge Hudson’s ruling to the Fourth Circuit, which hears cases from Virginia and four other states. That would leave that court to consider opposite rulings handed down over two weeks in courthouses situated only 116 miles apart.

The Richmond ruling is the latest in a string of recent setbacks for the Obama administration, following the Democrats’ loss of the House in the midterm elections and last week’s intraparty mutiny over Mr. Obama’s agreement to extend the Bush era tax cuts.

But administration officials, who have been bracing for an adverse ruling, emphasized that Judge Hudson’s opinion was just one among several. They said they maintained high confidence that the law eventually would be upheld, and expressed frustration that negative rulings were attracting more attention than affirming ones.

The officials stressed that the judge’s decision to not enjoin the law would defer any actual impact for years. They noted that the insurance requirement does not even take effect until 2014, when the Supreme Court presumably will have ruled.

The administration has said that if that provision eventually falls, related insurance reforms would necessarily collapse with it, most notably the ban on insurer exclusions of applicants with pre-existing health conditions. But officials said other innovations, including a vast expansion of Medicaid eligibility and the sale of subsidized insurance policies through state-based exchanges, would withstand even a Supreme Court ruling against the insurance mandate.

“It’s our strongly held view that those provisions survive” in judicial decisions invalidating the insurance requirement, one administration official said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

However, even state officials who support the new law said Monday’s ruling would reinforce calls by many Republican governors and lawmakers to slow down its implementation.

Read full story in NY Times 12/13/10

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Clinton steals show from Obama at White House, who's in charge?

WASHINGTON -- Bubba's back in charge!

President Obama brought Bill Clinton to the White House yesterday to drum up support for his tax-cut deal with Republicans. But it seemed like it was 1995 in the Briefing Room.

After making brief remarks in a joint appearance following their private meeting, Obama graciously ceded the microphone to Clinton.

Clinton grabbed it and proceeded to hold court for the next 30 minutes in a dominating performance, leaving Obama looking like a bystander, instead of the leader of the free world.



EXIT, STAGE LEFT: President Obama has apparently had enough of Bill Clinton’s scene-stealing performance at the White House’s press room yesterday and walks out. The engaging ex-president held court for a half-hour.



"I'm going to let him speak very briefly," Obama said, saying he had to go to "just one more Christmas party" -- and then looked on in silence as his Democratic predecessor expounded on a series of subjects.

Obama then literally looked at his watch and then left, leaving Clinton to soliloquize about taxes, Haiti, interest rates and community banking.

Clinton actually fielded over a dozen questions from the press corps.

"First of all, I feel awkward being here, and now you're gonna leave me all by myself," Clinton joked at the outset, as the pair surprised reporters in the room Clinton once commanded.

Clinton then lauded the tax deal as "the best bipartisan agreement we can reach," and sprinkled in deft lines that bested those dreamed up by Obama's speechwriters to sell the plan.

"I don't believe they can get a better deal by waiting," Clinton said of the deal.

When a reporter asked Clinton a question about what advice he offered Obama in the private White House meeting, he kicked it over to Obama.

But the president seized the moment to escape.

"Here's what I'll say. I've been keeping the first lady waiting for about half an hour. So I'm going to take off," Obama said while Clinton was in mid-sentence.

"I don't want to make her mad, so please go," quipped Clinton.

Mindful of Clinton's ability to talk and talk, Obama concluded, "You're in good hands. And [Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs will call last question" -- DC parlance for giving a speaker the hook.

Gibbs did try to cut things off, but Clinton kept fielding questions anyway, taking a total of 13.

Longtime White House observers were stunned as the former president spoke for 30 minutes with the podium to himself on live TV.

By bringing Clinton, Obama risked getting upstaged or looking desperate in his efforts to get his tax deal through.

But the extra assist could build support for the deal and steal attention away from a filibuster being waged against it on the Senate floor by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Reporters wanted to know what Clinton thought of the dissension within the Democratic party over extending the Bush-era tax cuts -- even for those earning more than $250,000 a year.

Clinton expressed empathy with House Democrats, whom he sometimes tormented while in office; but he pitched for bipartisan compromise.

"A lot of 'em are hurting now, and I get it," Clinton said. "We had an election. The results are what they are. The numbers will only get worse in January, in terms of negotiating."

Asked whether Obama had "caved" or would be a one-term president, Clinton said, "I just respectfully disagree about that."

When a reporter remarked that Clinton seemed happier giving advice than when governing, Clinton replied with a twinkle and smile: "Oh, I had quite a good time governing. I am happy to be here, I suppose, when the bullets that are fired are unlikely to hit me -- unless they're just ricocheting."

He stretched credulity on a question about the deficit when he called himself a "depression-era kid." (Clinton was born during the postwar baby boom in 1946).

And he showed his skill at portraying the political center as a sane refuge between extremes.

"The one thing that always happens when you have divided government is that people no longer see principled compromise as weakness," Clinton said.

He said it was "worth fighting" to avoid a Republican repeal of health-care legislation and worth a "ferocious fight" to avoid repealing student loan reforms proposed by Clinton and enacted under Obama.

Earlier in the day, White House aides wouldn't say whether Clinton and Obama would even appear, and the White House didn't make them available for even a photo op beforehand.  12/11/10

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bam's wage freeze: too little, too late. NYPost 12/4/2010

*    As Charles Hurt explains, this freeze only affects a portion of the total federal workforce; it does not cut

the size of the federal government ("Obama's Freezing Forecast," Nov. 30).

    This action took two long years, and it was made in response to a citizen revolt against federal spending.

 Now, President Obama is gaming the Democrats' loss of the House by proposing this modest freeze,

although he found it easier to affect the fixed income of seniors two years in a row.

This chameleon-like behavior is Obama's forte. When push comes to shove, government employees and big

labor unions will get one of his famous waivers.

theodore miraldi

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