MEDIA MATTERS

Hurricane Irma Exposes Cable News Networks

CNN and other cable news networks found that the worst Hurricane Irma devastation was not in Florida but in a worse place: their credibility.  After convincing the nation that Irma would devour the entire state of Florida, the hurricane fizzled in the Caribbean and left the hysterical media red-faced.  [More] 

IN THE TOILET

Houston Mayor Orders Residents to Flush More

In an executive order that conflicts with conventional wisdom and modern environmental ethics, Houston Mayor orders residents to flush their toilets more to help clear out floodwaters.  [More]

 

RIDE SHARING

The Top Ten Complaints About Uber and Lyft

With more and more people relying on so-called ride sharing provided by powerhouses Uber and Lyft, not all is perfect in the world.  The LBT's resident curmudgeon Charles C. Schultz sounds off on his top ten complaints.  [More]

RIGHTIST TRUMP

The Expert: Rumored Autistic Barron Trump Shakes D.C. To Its Core

Barron Trump, the 11-year-old son of the president, arrived in D.C. wearing a now famous T-shirt bearing the message “The Expert.”  D.C. watchers claim that this message was not a mere accident.  Barron may be bringing a powerful, far-right influence into the West Wing.  [More]

 

Obama To Relegate Congress To Advisory Body By Executive Order

During State Of The Union Speech Obama Will Announce Plan To Sidestep Congress To Counter Legislative Paralysis

Published January 27, 2014
By PETER HARTWIG

 

WASHINGTON — Aides to President Obama on Sunday confirmed that the president’s State of the Union address will include the announcement of a declaration to be made effective through executive order that Congress’ shall become “advisory.”  The purpose the executive order will be to counter Congress’ inaction on a number of legislative fronts.

Danielle Pfeiffer, a junior advisor of the president, said the speech on Tuesday would provide detail concerning the president's using executive power to legalize illegal aliens and waive certain requirements of Obamacare.  Such affirmative exercise of executive power would match the president’s tactical use of it last summer with his plan to address climate change.

“The president recognizes that the constitution is not a suicide pact,” Ms. Pfeiffer said on the CNS program “Washington Insiders.”  “If Congress does not act on important issues, President Obama refuses to stand on the sidelines and watch the nation suffer.”

Constitutional scholar and Harvard law professor Alvin Dershberg said that the president’s declaring Congress as merely “advisory” could have far-reaching implications.  “We would be moving from a government with separation of powers to a more dictatorial type regime,” he said.  “But this is not unprecedented, and we can see the power shifting to the executive branch in European democracies in the mid-twentieth century.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated later on Sunday that Congress would have to “wait and see” what a move to advisory status would entail.  “If Congress becomes advisory and the president listens and respects what we have to say, then we might have to live with that,” said McConnell.  On the other hand, if the president “acts like a total dictator and ignores our advice, that might be an issue for the voters in 2016,” he said.

One area in which Obama’s expansion of power could have the most impact is immigration.  An estimated 8 million undocumented immigrants continue to hide in shadows.  With a stroke of the pen, Obama could bring them into the vibrant fabric of American society.  McConnell said the GOP would not oppose Obama granting amnesty through executive order.  “Frankly, the issue scares me to death,” he said.  “Our donors want us to do one thing, and our voters want us to do another.”  Adding a dose of humor to the controversy, McConnell added, “People say I look like a turtle, and this issue makes me want to hide my head in my shell like a turtle.”