Sunday, March 28, 2010

decider-in-chief bypasses congress, then visits his afghanisurge

obama bypasses senate process, filling 15 posts
obama bypasses senate process, filling 15 postsfrom nytimes: President Obama, making a muscular show of his executive authority just one day after Congress left for spring recess, said Saturday that he would bypass the Senate and install 15 appointees, including a union lawyer whose nomination to the National Labor Relations Board was blocked last month with the help of two Democrats.

Coming on the heels of Mr. Obama’s big victory on health care legislation, Saturday’s move suggests a newly emboldened president who is unafraid to provoke a confrontation with the minority party.

Just two days ago, all 41 Senate Republicans sent Mr. Obama a letter urging him not to appoint the union lawyer, Craig Becker, during the recess. Mr. Obama’s action, in defiance of the Republicans, was hailed by union leaders, but it also seemed certain to intensify the partisan rancor that has enveloped Washington.

The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disprove of my nominees,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.”

It was the first time the president has used his constitutional authority to fill vacant federal positions by making recess appointments, thus avoiding the requirement for the advice and consent of the Senate. Mr. Obama, who currently has 217 nominees pending and 77 awaiting action on the Senate floor, said Republicans had given him little choice.

obama rallies troops in afghanistan
obama rallies troops in afghanistanfrom wsj: President Barack Obama's unannounced trip to Afghanistan capped the most eventful week of his presidency, a week that saw victory on his signature domestic initiative, completion of a nuclear-arms accord with Russia and a night-time rally with thousands of cheering troops.

It also signaled that after a year mired in health-care politics, Mr. Obama hopes to turn to the multiplicity of issues—at home and abroad—that have languished in the shadows of his one huge domestic fight. Those include the war in Afghanistan, confronting Iran over its nuclear weapons, job creation and senior-level appointments.

Sunday's imagery could provide the "hard pivot" from health care that White House officials have been promising since December.

president obama visits troops in afghanistan (1/2)

4/1 obamessiah updates:
poll: US fumes over politics*
another poll reveals most americans oppose obamacare*
obama backs secrecy for bush pardon denials*
rasmussen reports™: 53% worry opposition to obama's policies will lead to violence*
obama just got his private army*
2nd tsa nominee withdraws his name*
drill baby, drill:
obama to open offshore areas to oil drilling for 1st time

obama's embrace of 'drill, baby drill' angers greens*
video: ratigan asks if obama is a democrat in name only*
gop leads dems in 32-26 sex scandal count*
gop, michael steele & the strippers*
rnc mailer solicited donations to phone sex hotline*

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