Posted by: Debby Durkee | May 6, 2011

Obama moves to punish his enemies –1.

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Obama moves to punish his enemies –1.

Obama has been just like a typical Chicago pol, and I certainly knew when he arrived in the White House that he would be bringing Chicago with him, but his latest move is certain to be the most Hugo Chavez-like political move yet. Obama plans to sign an executive order to force companies to list their political donations as a condition for doing business with the federal government. This is called pay to play, and this is crony capitalism at its arm-breaking worst. This is from Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal.

President Obama has officially kicked off his 2012 re-election campaign, and don’t Republicans know it. The president is expected any day now to sign an executive order that routs 70 years of efforts to get politics out of official federal business.

Under the order, all companies (and their officers) would be required to list their political donations as a condition to bidding for government contracts. Companies can bid and lose out for the sin of donating to Republicans. Or they can protect their livelihoods by halting donations to the GOP altogether—which is the White House’s real aim. Think of it as “not-pay to play.”

Whatever you call it, the order amounts to the White House brazenly directing the power of government against its political opponents—and at a time when the president claims to want cooperation on the budget and other issues. Senate Republicans from Mitch McConnell to Susan Collins are fuming, warning this is one political sucker punch too far, an unabashedly partisan move that will damage Senate work. Snip —

As the president has decided to win re-election by hook or by crook, he and his backers are focused like a laser on the money game.

Democrats are obsessed with the money game, in particular rubbing out any GOP opportunities that came with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision to restore some corporate free-speech rights. Democrats last year tried to ram through the Disclose Act, designed to muzzle those new corporate rights, while allowing unions to continue spending at will.

When the party failed to get the (Disclose Act) through even an overwhelmingly Democratic Senate, the White House stepped up. The draft order, which came out last month, would require federal bidders to supply a complete list of all political contributions made by the company, its political action committee, and its senior executives—going back two full years. (Richard Nixon would be impressed.) More astounding, the order requires the list to include donations made to third-party political groups—disclosure that is not currently required by law, and that is, as a result, surely unconstitutional.

Ever audacious, the White House is spinning this as “reform,” claiming taxpayers deserve to know how federal dollars being paid to contractors are being spent in campaigns. This might hold (a drop of) water if the executive order also required all the (liberal) entities that get billions in taxpayer dollars via federal grants and funding—unions, environmental groups, Planned Parenthood—to disclose also. It doesn’t. Snip —

Susan Collins, the liberal Republican senator from Maine called the wording of the order “Orwellian.”

The administration’s argument that this is about disclosure is “a fraud,” she declares. The very notion “offends me deeply,” she says, since the order undermines decades of work by her and others to ensure federal business is free of corruption of political influence.

The politics of the order have been so ugly that she argues the media has missed the equally profound policy implications. It’s the “equivalent of repealing the Hatch Act,” she argues, the seminal 1939 law designed to weed out federal pay-to-play.

It has taken decades to create a federal contracting system based on “best prices, best value, best quality,” Ms. Collins says, and the effect of the Obama order is to again have “politics play a role in determining who gets contracts.” Companies may choose not to bid, which will reduce competition and raise government costs. And the order puts “thousands of civil servants” who oversee contracting “in an impossible situation.”

Barack Obama got his start in Illinois politics by taking out his opponent before the election. He believes in running unopposed. To win his senate seat he somehow got the private divorce records of his opponent, Jack Ryan, leaked to the press. The ensuing sex scandal forced Ryan to withdraw at the last minute, leaving the sometimes bizarre Alan Keyes to run against him. Obama is the most frightening president we’ve ever had. He’ll take the whole country down if it means he can remain in power. This has only just begun. Oh, and is there ever a limit to “executive orders”? What the heck?

According to Wikipedia, presidents usually cite a law to make their executive order seem reasonable. I’m not certain which law Obama could possibly be citing.

Until the 1950s, there were no rules or guidelines outlining what the president could or could not do through an Executive Order other than, of course, the US Constitution which reserved all federal legislative authority to Congress. This issue was paramount in the Supreme Court ruling in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 US 579 (1952) that Executive Order 10340 from President Harry S Truman placing all steel mills in the country under federal control was invalid because it attempted to make law, rather than clarify or act to further a law put forth by the Congress or the Constitution. Presidents since this decision have generally been careful to cite which specific laws under which they are acting when issuing new Executive Orders.  Snip –

To date, U.S. courts have overturned only two executive orders: the aforementioned Truman order and Executive Order 12954 issued by President Clinton in 1995 that attempted to prevent the U.S. government from contracting with organizations that had strikebreakers on the payroll.[6][7] Congress may overturn an executive order by passing legislation in conflict with it or by refusing to approve funding to enforce it. In the former, the president retains the power to veto such a decision; however, the Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds majority to end an executive order. It has been argued that a Congressional override of an executive order is a nearly impossible event due to the supermajority vote required and the fact that such a vote leaves individual lawmakers very vulnerable to political criticism.[8]

 The fact that the courts have overturned a similar executive order by Bill Clinton seems to me to leave the Republicans with a little wiggle room. The problem is can anything be done in time to prevent harm to the Republicans’ ability to raise the cash they need? What a despicable group of people have planted themselves in the Executive branch. Oh, and I might say an equally despicable group of people have planted themselves in the media, those willing to look the other way while their country is being treated like Venezuela. Read all of the Wikipedia entry here:

A good quote to keep in mind here is from Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

Read all of Kimberly Strassel here:


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  1. This is all ” Boss Daley’s doing. ” We in Southern Illinois call him ” King Richard, the Monarch of Chicago & CROOK County. ” Illinois is one of the most corrupt states in the Union. After he sent his boy to Washington, he loaded it up wiith more Chicago politicians including his brother William. It seems that he has brought one of his boys back to sit at the bottom of his throne and be anointed Mayor. Oh well perhaps the electorate will awaken one day and kick them all out.

    • Yes, Bob, I know you’re well aware of the “Chicago Way” — it truly is frightening that they’ve brought their mafia-like tactics to Washington. Tomorrow I hope to post something about the way they’ve treated Texas and Arizona and now South Carolina — states that didn’t and probably won’t vote for him. He’s not president of the country, only certain parts of it. Just an extension of the “Chicago Way” ….

  2. […] Obama Moves To Punish His Enemies (Politically Empowered) […]

  3. […] at Politically Empowered, labels it “crony capitalism at its arm-breaking worst”, an apt description, though […]

  4. […] A few days ago I weighed in on how Obama punishes his enemies, and I don’t mean foreign enemies, I mean his political opponents. He will sign an executive order to force companies to list their executives’ political donations before they can do business with the federal government. You can read that here: […]

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