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No checks, no balances?

February 18, 2013

There was one very telling passage in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last Tuesday....

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Feb-18-13 10:53 AM

“Imperial Presidency” depends on which side of the aisle you are standing. When the minority party stops all action in congress, then the President has to act. As stated by the New Ulm Journal editor the current Republican Party is controlled by Mr. Norquist, and no longer stand for true “historical” Republican Party. Example the 85 true Republicans in the House stood up and votes to pass af bipartisan tax bill. Mr. Norquist informed them they would no longer get any of his money. It’s up to the true Republicans’ to stand up to Mr. Norquist, and take back our party. This can be done if true Republicans attends every county party caucuses and vote Mr. Norquist’s party chairman out. If Mr. Norquist and his money will not listen to us. The true Republicans, then true Republican has no chose by to vote for the Democrats.

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Feb-18-13 12:07 PM

Nusenior- I just hope your Democratic president takes the executive privlidge of balancing the budget. I don't see how spending more is going to balance the budget, raising taxes high enough to balance the budget will destroy the economy. What we have is a government out of control,needs everything at all costs , we are passing all this debt -that we accumulated - onto our children and grandchildren , the Republicans may be in the minority , but if they don't stand up for what they believe in and at least slow down the spending in Washington, you may be looking at a totally different country in the future then what you see now.Don't think we are too great or large to fail , I am sure the Romans thought the same thing. We need fiscal responsibility , if people keep depending on the government for their needs , we are surely doomed. Remember the government only gets its money by taking from others.

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Feb-18-13 1:19 PM

Oh my, the Democratic president did what all presidents do in the SOTU address and explained his priorities and agenda for his second term - and it's not a right wing Republican agenda! It's like he thinks he's "The Decider"!

Republicans demand he lead- but that word, like compromise, has a new definition. Bipartisanship is the last thing Republicans want. As soon as Obama moves in their direction they oppose their own ideas. They built the imperial, socialist, Marxist, Muslim, foreign, America-hating president myth, and now oppose and obstruct is all they can do. How do you work with the person you rally your party to not just disagree with, but hate and fear?

Every president has issued executive orders, but this “imperial president” must have outdone all the others… 144 in one term – wow! Another 147 and he’ll match Bush. Another 236 and he matches Reagan. Checks & balances still exist, and certainly Congress would have and will take action if a president ov

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Feb-18-13 1:21 PM

(continued) Checks & balances still exist, and certainly Congress would have and will take action if a president over steps his authority.

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Feb-18-13 2:12 PM

AuntyDem,maybe you should just make him king ,apparently you feel he is all knowing and can do know wrong. But remember anytime something gets too extreme one way there is a correction, if you are dependent on the government in any way I would be very concerned. He has pushed up the national debt 6 trillion dollars, you can blame who ever you want for the debt ,but we are running yearly budgets over a trillion dollars a year , that is unsustainable,it will eventually correct itself as evrything does. If you expect the government to take care of you -good luck. I was raised that if you want something you go out and work hard and you will get it. That does not mean working 40 Hours a week will guarentee you a nice home and early retirement. You may find out your emperor isn't wearing any clothes , good talk doesn't out do hard work. Great leaders bring people together in a time of crisis, I haven't seen that happen. There have been great leaders both Dem and Rep.

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Feb-18-13 2:16 PM

"apparently you feel he is all knowing and can do know (no) wrong"

That's some really creative reading comprehension....

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Feb-18-13 2:33 PM

If I am wrong about this president , life goes on , but if I am right we are looking at a second deppression coming , I am prepared for it.It will be those that depend on the government that end up getting hurt the worst, ironic. As far as my typing , I'll let you worry about that.

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Feb-18-13 4:39 PM

Still amazes me how little research the Journal does for its editorials. As one commented, Obama's total of executive orders during his first term numbered 144. That's the fewest in modern history by a US President. GW Bush/Cheney issued 290 over two terms; Clinton hit 363 (two terms); Bush I signed 165 (one term); Sir Ronald Reagan 380 (two terms); etc. While the US Constitution is somewhat vague about the use of presidential executive orders, it has been a standard practice used by this nation's top executive. Is it the fact that Obama suggested executive order on climate change, a pet conspiracy claim by the conservative right, that has bothered the Journal editorialist?

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Feb-18-13 8:43 PM

Imperial Presidency? Gosh, that has a familiar ring to it.

Oh, yes, Richard Nixon.

Let's see, was he a Republican?

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Feb-19-13 6:55 AM

The number of executive orders are irrevelant, it depends what they are for,could be for something as minor as declaring a special holiday or extreme as appointing persons to a office without conressional approval, it's a slippery slope , careful of what you want to defend , someday it is the other side in power and than you will be complaining.

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Feb-19-13 11:16 AM

Excellent point, deerhunt. Let's stay focused on the big stuff.

For example...

"In the name of waging war, Republicans supported massive expansion of government power, instituting new policies ranging from a national banking system and income taxes to conscription and emancipation."*

Oh, and the chief executive almost singlehandedly started a war that killed 700,000 Americans.

Who? The first Imperial President, Abraham Lincoln, Republican.

*Source: "LINCOLN: The Decision for War, The Northern Response to Secession" by Russell McClintock, 2008, The University of North Carolina Press.

Well now, how 'bout them there tax 'n spend liberals?

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Feb-19-13 11:28 AM

Svensota, so you were for the south succeeding from the union so they could keep slavery alive? I do not consider myself a Republican , just a person who is conservative-make the money before you spend it.

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Feb-19-13 11:50 AM

Deerhunt: You're confusing one argument and making another.

The point was: The Imperial Presidency is no new thing. It is not an Obama thing. It was not a Nixon thing. It was not a Roosevelt thing. It goes back 150 years.

That is the point. Period.

Now, to your new point:

What Lincoln did had to be done as far as the North was concerned. The South had, and still has, a different point of view. I think slavery is about the worst institution on Earth and there is nothing that can excuse it or condone it.

The argument for or against secession was complex and not at all clear at the time. Jefferson Davis, after being jailed for two years, begged for a trial to argue the right of secession. The Union told him to go home to Biloxi and shut up. They knew the legalities were fragile and at that point, moot.

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Feb-20-13 8:23 AM

Deerhunt: If you want to learn more about just how this imperial President is trashing the Constitution, I would suggest listening to Mark Levin. He is a Constitutional expert and served in Ed Meese's justice department during the Reagan administration. You can find the replay of his shows at w w w . MarkLevinShow . c o m. I would also recommend his books: Men in Black (on the Supreme Court), Liberty and Tyrrany, and Ameritopia. All are eye-opening.

I've been listening to his program for a while and have learned a great deal.

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Feb-20-13 12:29 PM


If you want to read something other than hysterical right-wing blather, try "The Imperial Presidency", by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. He essentially coined the term with his book in 1973.

Schlesinger expresses the same concerns about the presidency running out of control but, of course, he's much more...ahem...fair and balanced because of his infallible liberal background.

Mark Levin?! Cheese and crackers, get the bucket.

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Feb-20-13 1:28 PM

Or -

Read all of the above and make up your own mind as to what is reality-based and what is "blather."

Levin is concerned with restoring a constitutional form of government and stopping the current liberal push toward ever-increasing centralization of power in the hands of an elite few who claim to know better than the individual what is good for us.

Another excellent book that exposes the elitist mindset and tactics is "Vision of the Anointed" by Thomas Sowell.

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Feb-20-13 2:31 PM

Listening to Levin… helps explain the confusing bounces between complete opposites - the hateful words of right wing radio and The Word.

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Feb-20-13 6:28 PM

Oh, sure, go ahead and read Thomas Sowell. Why not, the great thinker Sarah Palin endorses him. She was probably deeply moved by Sowell's comparison of President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

Fair and balanced.

My kxmglinkle.

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Feb-21-13 12:51 AM

Sven: Your previous comment had no substance. It contained no information, but was intended purely to slander and defame. I realize that comments like yours abound in internet comments sections, but such comments contribute nothing to mutual understanding of the public issues before us. If you would like to make a positive contribution, perhaps you might focus on sharing some real insights into the topic under discussion. Unless you find some kind of joy in keeping public discourse at a low level....In that case, I guess my request is a waste of time.

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Feb-21-13 8:21 AM

Micheal T - unfortunately we seem to be in the minority in this country, will have too see how things play out in the future with liberals in charge . I may have to kick back and wait for somebody to take care of me intead of working 12 hours a day .

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Feb-21-13 8:29 AM

Deerhunt: It is very discouraging to see the direction things are heading in our country. Please don't give up the fight. One of our enemies' goals is to discourage us to the point where we give up on the political process. If they succeed in doing that, there will be no hope of reversing course.

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Feb-21-13 9:26 AM

I agree , they don't offer alternative solutions , instead poke fun of or defame the person.

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Feb-21-13 10:42 AM

The number of presidential executive orders is relevant in this discussion because of the original editorial, "No checks, no balances?" If one is debating the constitutional theory of executive orders, the magnitude of the substance of each order is insignificant. A president either has the right or doesn't, according to your consitutional philosophy, or more importantly, US Constitutional policy.

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Feb-21-13 12:13 PM

The purpose of an executive order is to carry out some aspect of a law that has been passed through constitutional procedure.

The problem with President Obama's use of executive orders is that he seems to view this as a method for enacting programs and policies that Congress will not pass. He reveals his thinking on this whenver he says, If Congress will not act on this, I will.

Anyone who is concerned about maintaining the balance of powers established in our Constitution must view President Obama's words and actions with concern. A President who views his own authority in this way is a threat to our freedom.

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Feb-21-13 12:50 PM

MIT: I know you'd like to make up the rules for everyone else, but it is your recommendation to read Sowell that has no substance.

Do you deny that Thomas Sowell compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler?

Here's the evidence: June 2010 editorial by Sowell in Investors Business Daily titled, "Is U.S. Now on Slippery Slope to Tyranny?"

Do you not think that this just might be something of note for our fellow readers to know about as you promote Sowell's gibberish, unchecked?

Or, do you think we should just accept your recommendations for further reading carte blanche because you are so all-knowing and your recommendations are beyond scrutiny?

I find joy in keeping your claptrap honest, bub.

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