Tim Pawlenty: We Need More, Bigger Unconstitutional Wars!

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

In election years, candidates inevitably promise voters they will do more than their opponents. In practice that usually means increased debt-spending and expanding unconstitutional encroachments on liberty. Now one Republican presidential candidate has doubled-down on the most blatantly illegal action of this presidency, saying Barack Obama has not gone far enough in waging war-by-decree in Libya — and those who want to follow the Constitution are bead-wearing hippies bent on dragging America down in disgrace.

On Tuesday, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty gave what he dubbed a “major” foreign policy speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. In it, Pawlenty pouted, “parts of the Republican Party now seem to be trying to out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments.”

“America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment, and withdrawal,” he said. “It does not need a second one.”

He fleshed out what he meant in the speech — calling on Obama to “commit America’s strength to removing Ghadafi” and recognize the rebels as Libya’s legitimate government. During a question-and-answer session afterward, TPaw agreed with President Obama that the War Powers Resolution “does not apply” to the war in Libya.

In March, Pawlenty told students at Vanderbilt University that getting Congressional authorization for a war, as required by the Constitution and the resolution, is “a very complex matter and it’s not something that lends itself to an easy answer.” He added, “we need to make sure we don’t tie the executive or the commander in chief’s hands so tightly that he or she can’t respond in an emergency quickly or in a situation that deserves and needs a quick response.” Pawlenty told the CFR on Tuesday he would consult with Congress “as a courtesy and gesture of respect.”

His speech and his attack on his fellow Republicans raises (at least) 15 questions this author would like to ask Gov. Pawlenty:

  1. You have stated the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the war in Libya. However, the administration’s best lawyers disagreed with your assessment. Attorney General Eric Holder reportedly sided with them. The highest legal scholar in the administration to hold to your view is Harold Koh, who advocates “transnationalist jurisprudence,” who once branded the United States a member of the “axis of disobedience,” and who often co-authors articles with members of the Center for Constitutional Rights — a pro-terrorist legal house founded by Marxists. How can a self-identified “conservative” find himself to the Left of Eric Holder? If elected, will you rely on the advice of Koh or others of his ideology?
  2. The Founding Fathers clearly placed the war-making power in the hands of Congress alone — in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution as well as their deliberations before its passage and their practice following its adoption. Since the Constitution has not been amended, what legal precedent do you believe suspended and nullified the Founders’ intentions?
  3. Since you do not believe Congressional authorization is necessary to initiate hostilities, at what point, if any, would you consider Congressional authorization necessary to continue military interventions abroad in which American personnel or weapons were killing or attempting to kill foreign nationals (referred to as “hostilities” in the War Powers Resolution)?

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Admission: The Left Won’t Back Impeachment Because Obama’s Black

Philip C. Restino Jr., OpEdNews

Twenty years ago after U.S. forces had driven the Iraqi military out of Kuwait and back into Iraq, President George H.W. Bush as Commander in Chief ordered the U.S. military to cease-fire on February 28, 1991. Years later, in his 1998 memoir “A World Transformed,” Bush admitted that the reason he chose to order the cease-fire was because he understood that advancing further into Iraq, a country that had not attacked the U.S., and overthrowing its government could easily be seen as an illegal war of aggression and thus warrant a call from the American people for his removal from office by the Constitutional remedy of impeachment. It was the fear of a call for impeachment by the American people that in effect stopped the President from continuing the war.

Since the Presidency of Democrat Bill Clinton during the 1990′s, which immediately followed the Presidency of Republican George H.W. Bush, the American people have allowed a practice of the President acting as a “unitary executive” unaccountable to the rule of law in ordering the U.S. military into unprovoked, illegal wars of aggression and occupation.

During the Presidency of Republican George W. Bush, attempts were made to even re-define the office of the Presidency as a “unitary executive” with literally dictatorial powers beyond the rule of law. Now, because the American people have still not spoken up, the current Presidency of Democrat Barack Obama has allowed the President of the United States to order young Americans to war without consulting the American people’s representatives in Congress or even having to concoct a lie about the U.S. facing a “justifiable” threat to its national security.

President Obama’s ordering of the March 19, 2011, attack on Libya, without even consulting Congress, let alone getting a Declaration of War or other type of Congressional approval for the attack, has led to a good amount of discussion as to how the President could very well be impeached for having unilaterally ordered such an attack. People from both ends of the political spectrum, to include members of Congress, have been quite clear in publicly stating that the President’s attack on Libya is not only an impeachable offense, as per Democrat Representative and 2008 Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich from Ohio, but it also makes him accountable for war crimes, as per Republican Representative and 2012 Presidential candidate Ron Paul from Texas.

Notable legal experts and scholars from both the left and the right, including former Democrat U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former Republican Deputy U.S. Attorney General Bruce Fein, and Professor of Law Francis Boyle, have publicly offered their services to assist in carrying out impeachment proceedings against President Obama over his unconstitutional and otherwise illegal war on Libya to any member of Congress willing to step forward and introduce Articles of Impeachment.

Let us not forget that it was the former Constitutional Law Professor and U.S. Senator Barack H. Obama who said himself during a December 20, 2007, interview with the Boston Globe that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

The sovereign nation of Libya posed no such threat whatsoever to the United States, and Obama’s ordering of more than 120 Cruise Missiles fired into Libya on just the first day of his own March 19 “Shock and Awe” is nothing less than another outright illegal U.S. war of aggression similar to the illegal U.S. war of aggression on Iraq launched eight years to the day prior — minus the land invasion — which is the next step in the process if the American people don’t draw the line and call for a stop to it now.

With such a clear-cut case for impeaching President Obama over his war on Libya, along with the legal experts and political figures ready to proceed with a call for impeachment, why has there not been a call from leaders of the national antiwar organizations for impeaching Obama? It is obvious that making such a call now could actually prevent him from going ahead with a land invasion into Libya, and even be enough of a threat to force him to finally end the 10-year U.S. wars and occupations by using his unique ability as Commander in Chief to order a cease-fire.

People involved in national antiwar organizations have told me that the issue of racism is a major factor in their failure to call for impeachment of President Obama for what amounts to the same crimes cited in their former calls for impeachment and present calls for prosecution of President George W. Bush over his war on Iraq. If calling for the impeachment of the first Black American U.S. President for prosecuting illegal wars of aggression is racist, then that first needs to be squared with all the brown-skinned people being killed under his command….

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Golfing While the Constitution Burns

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

When Barack Obama and John Boehner played golf this weekend, they played on the same team. How appropriate.

Barack Obama has violated the Constitution’s war-making power – reserved by Article I, Section 8, to Congress – from the moment he sent American troops into harm’s way without Congressional approval. He has been violating the War Powers Resolution since at least the 60th day of that campaign. And he has violated the most liberal reading of that act – the one Boehner has adopted as his own – since this weekend. Yet despite the letter Boehner authored last week, which the media presented as an “ultimatum,” Obama has neither obtained Congressional authorization nor removed our troops. Boehner’s letter weakly supplicated “I sincerely hope the Administration will faithfully comply with the War Powers Resolution,” but at least it seemed to set this weekend as a definitive cut-off point.

The “deadline” has come and gone, and Obama has not answered the most burning questions of the mission’s legality to anyone’s satisfaction. Instead, the president has thumbed his nose at Congress in general, Boehner in particular, and the American people at large, and the Speaker-cum-caddy has made no meaningful response whatsoever.

Obama insists the American role in Libya is too diminutive to constitute “hostilities,” so his action is perfectly legal. White House spokesman Jay Carney repeated his boss’s party line at Monday’s press conference, stating, “the War Powers Resolution does not need to be involved because the ‘hostilities’ clause of that resolution is not met.” However, soldiers in Libya are receiving an additional $25 a month in “imminent danger pay.” American drones still rain missiles down upon military targets. NATO is alternately bombing Muammar Qaddafi’s home and killing the innocent Libyan civilians they are purportedly protecting. (We had to kill the civilians in order to save them?) NATO admitted (at least) one of its bombs went off target on Sunday, killing nine civilians in Tripoli, while allied bombs allegedly killed 15 civilians in Sorman on Monday.

Not to worry, though; Defense Secretary Robert Gates said over the weekend, in a confidence-builder worthy of Churchill, “I think this is going to end OK.” Gates, who once opposed the Libyan adventure, has pulled a 180 on the matter.

Even Obama’s short-term fellow Illinois Senator, Dick Durbin, agrees Libya more than rises to the level of hostilities.

So, too, we have learned, do the best legal minds of Obama’s administration (not a coveted nor much-contested title, I assure you). In overruling his own lawyers, Obama rejected the considered conclusions of Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon’s general counsel, and Caroline Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The New York Times reported it is “extraordinarily rare” for any president to overrule the OLC. “Under normal circumstances, the office’s interpretation of the law is legally binding on the executive branch.”

But then, nothing in the Obama administration transpires under “normal circumstances.”

Two former OLC lawyers outlined precisely how unusual the dismissal was….

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ObamaCare Ruins Medicare Deliberately — But Why?

Dr. Milton Wolf, The Washington Times

“We don’t want to take away people’s health insurance,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius so graciously declared earlier this year. But then she quickly qualified that with these ominous words: “before they have some realistic other choices.”

Americans have overwhelmingly, consistently and wisely been opposed to a European-style, single-payer, government-run, socialized health care system. So how might the big- government types who are hell-bent on forcing their will upon us attempt to implement this oppressive system in America? Simple. By creating medical refugees desperate for any port in a storm. That storm is coming and, unlike global warming, it’s actually man-made.

America somehow managed to survive for 189 years without Medicare or Medicaid and, in fact, became the greatest nation in the history of humankind. Established in 1965 – a mere 46 years ago – too many politicians today lack the perspective to understand this health care altar at which they worship. Instead of reforming the system to align it with American values, they abuse it as an eternal source of giveaways to buy votes. As for the politicians of the 1960s, except for the mop tops and go-go boots, they were very much like the politicians of today: They made a lot of empty promises.

President Lyndon B. Johnson promised that Medicare would cost about $500 million a year – yes, million. He even said that if costs went higher, then he was going to look like the “worst kind of damn fool.” Just a year later, in 1966, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated thatMedicare would cost about $12 billion a year by 1990. The actual 1990 cost was $107 billion – off by an order of magnitude but close enough for government work. And that’s when costs really took off. By 2008, annual costs hit $599 billion and the program for the first time went into deficit-spending mode.

For all the Democrats’ dishonesty and reckless spending, Republicans weren’t exactly blameless either. In 2003, President George W. Bush and a Republican Congress doubled down and ushered in the largest expansion in Medicare history with their senior citizen prescription drug entitlement program. They claimed the price tag would be $400 billion for the first decade but quietly adjusted that estimate upward to $534 billion just one month after passage.

Parenthetically, just three years later, in 2006, the free market roared as a private company in Bentonville, Ark. – without a single dime of taxpayer money or the compulsion from know-it-all government bureaucrats – lowered prices of the top 331 prescription medications to just $4 per month (and later to $10 per three months), not just for seniors but for all Americans. And equally importantly, Wal-Mart did not send the bill to our children.

Today we know that LBJ and a lot of other politicians indeed are the worst kind of damn fools.

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Obama to Tout Amnesty in Speech Near Mexican City That Had More Casualties Than Afghanistan

Fred Lucas, CNSNews.com

President Barack Obama’s commitment to providing legal status for illegal aliens is reflected in the time he has spent focusing on the country’s immigration laws in recent weeks, the White House said on Monday, one day before the president is set to deliver a national address on immigration in El Paso, Texas.

El Paso is across the border from Juarez, Mexico, a city where 3,111 civilians were murdered last year–more than in all of Afghanistan.

In recent weeks, Obama has met with current and former elected officials, business leaders and Hollywood celebrities – all of whom agree with his position on the matter – to promote comprehensive immigration reform.

Proponents call the proposal a “pathway to citizenship” for the roughly 12 million illegal aliens in the country, but critics call it “amnesty.”

“It will reflect his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. “We weren’t able to achieve it in the first part of the president’s term but it remains a priority of the president, even though it’s hard. He takes on hard things because he believes they’re important to get done. Hard things often need bipartisan support.”

“One thing I would note,” Carney continued, “is there was bipartisan support at the highest levels of the Republican Party – including the president, George W. Bush, including Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s nominee in 2008.”

The proposal has even less support today, however, with McCain and other Republicans having largely reversed themselves on the issue.

Obama is likely less concerned about pushing the proposal than about appealing to a political base in the lead up to his 2012 reelection campaign, says Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform, a pro-border enforcement group.

“If Bush couldn’t get an amnesty bill passed, any bipartisan consensus for an amnesty bill now is not possible,” Dane told CNSNews.com.

Dane wondered why the president has only talked about the matter with people who already agree with him.

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