President Trump is expected as soon as next week to order the Environmental Protection Agency to rescind its Clean Power rule that is blocked by the courts. But the President faces another test of political fortitude on whether to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
That’s suddenly uncertain. Mr. Trump promised to withdraw during the presidential campaign, correctly arguing that the accord gave “foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use.” His transition team even explored strategies for short-cutting the cumbersome, four-year process of getting out of the deal.
But the President’s is now getting resistance from his daughter, Ivanka, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who are fretting about the diplomatic ramifications. No doubt many countries would object, and loudly, but this risk pales compared to the potential damage from staying in the accord. Continue reading
Most Americans are worried about our domestic crises. Obama left office after doubling the debt to $20 trillion. Near-zero interest rates over eight years have impoverished an entire generation of seniors — and yet remain key to servicing the costs of such reckless borrowing.
Over the last eight years, GDP never grew at 3 percent annually, the first time we’ve seen such low growth since the Hoover administration. Obamacare spiked health-care premiums and deductibles while restricting access and reducing patient choices. Racial politics are at a nadir and make one nostalgic for the environment before 2009.
Red-blue tensions are at an all-time high, and suddenly there is talk of 1860s-like Confederate nullification of federal laws. It’s now the norm for prominent commentators to call for the murder, forced removal, or resignation of the current president. A New York Times columnist asked the IRS to commit a felony by sending him Trump’s tax returns, and then he boasts by providing his own address. Continue reading
By Andrew C. McCarthy • National Review
In March 1993, Janet Reno began her tenure as President Bill Clinton’s attorney general by summarily firing United States attorneys for 93 of the 94 federal districts (one, Michael Chertoff, was retained in New Jersey, at the request of Democratic Senator Bill Bradley). That is more than twice as many as Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions fired on Friday.
Indeed, there were only 46 Obama-appointed U.S. attorneys left for Sessions to relieve because Obama appointees fully understood that this is the way things work. Many of them had already moved on, in the expectation that the president elected in November would replace them — an expectation that became a virtual certainty once it was clear that this change of administrations would be a change of parties, and visions.
It is frequently observed that, to be legitimate, law enforcement must operate independently of politics. It is an oversimplification, coupled with a misunderstanding of politics in its non-pejorative sense. Continue reading
By David French • New York Post
Lost in most of the coverage of President Trump’s decision to rescind the Obama administration’s transgender mandates is a fundamental legal reality: The Trump administration just relinquished authority over gender-identity policy in the nation’s federally funded schools and colleges.
In other words, Trump was less authoritarian than Obama. And that’s not the only case.
by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon
Agencies across the federal government reported at least 37 leaks of classified information in 2016, more than double the number of criminal leaks reported in 2015, according to new information from the Department of Justice that highlights the government’s inability to crack down on this illegal behavior.
The unauthorized disclosure of highly classified information has received renewed attention in recent weeks following what the Washington Free Beacon first described as a targeted campaign against Trump administration officials by Obama administration loyalists still operating inside the government. Sources in and out of the White House said this campaign began in late 2016, before Obama left office.
The ouster of former national security adviser Michael Flynn—who saw transcripts of his private phone conversations intercepted by the U.S. intelligence community leaked to newspapers—is believed to have been a central part of this campaign. Continue reading
Nancy Pelosi says Republicans have accomplished nothing in 2017, and no doubt she wishes that were true. But the House has already voted to repeal 13 Obama-era regulations, and President Trump signed his third on Tuesday. Now the GOP should accelerate by fully utilizing the 1996 Congressional Review Act.
Republicans chose the damaging 13 rules based on a conventional reading of the CRA, which allows Congress to override regulations published within 60 legislative days, with simple (50-vote) majorities in both chambers. Yet the more scholars examine the law, which had only been used successfully once before this year, the clearer it is that the CRA gives Congress far more regulatory oversight than previously supposed.
Spearheading this review is the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Todd Gaziano—who helped write the 1996 act—and the Heritage Foundation’s Paul Larkin. Their legal findings, and a growing list of rules that might be subject to CRA, are on www.redtaperollback.com. Continue reading
by Charlie Hoffmann • Washington Free Beacon
A Friday opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal has conservatives on Capitol Hill intrigued about the possibility of being able to roll back a plethora of regulations introduced during the Obama administration.
Kimberley Strassel’s column, “A GOP Regulatory Game Changer,” argues that the Congressional Review Act of 1996, or CRA, would grant congressional Republicans the ability to repeal onerous regulations passed by the Obama administration.
The accepted wisdom in Washington is that the CRA can be used only against new regulations, those finalized in the past 60 legislative days. That gets Republicans back to June, teeing up 180 rules or so for override. Included are biggies like the Interior Department’s “streams” rule, the Labor Department’s overtime-pay rule, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s methane rule. Continue reading
by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon
Former President Obama left office having added $9.3 trillion to the national debt, according to numbers from the Treasury Department.
When Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the outstanding public debt totaled $10,626,877,048,913. On Jan. 20, 2017, when Obama left office, outstanding public debt totaled $19,944,429,217,106, an increase of roughly $9.3 trillion.
Comparatively, former President George W. Bush contributed far less to the debt. When Bush took office in January 2001, the debt was roughly $5.7 trillion. That figure had swollen to $10.6 trillion by the time he left office, an increase of about $4.9 trillion. Continue reading
By Bre Payton • The Federalist
In his final few days in office, President Obama and his pals have been frantically spinning his tenure in the White House as a “scandal-free” eight years.
Just watch this exchange between CNN’s Jake Tapper and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough on Sunday in which McDonough claims the Obama administration has been free of scandal.
— CNN (@CNN) January 15, 2017
With mere hours remaining in his presidency, we can now return to the promises then-Senator Obama made as a candidate and see how he actually performed as president.
In reviewing his speeches the 2007-2008 campaign season, we’ve identified 13 promises that became regular features in his stump speech.
The record shows Obama failed to deliver on every one.
Here’s the tale of the tape.
1. To unite America in a new era of bipartisanship.
In his final “60 Minutes” interview as president, Obama lamented being unable to cure America’s “severe” partisanship. Continue reading
by Elizabeth Harrington • Washington Free Beacon
Director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter M. Shaub donated to President Obama before his appointment and defended Hillary Clinton’s decision to not disclose paid speeches to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state.
Shaub, the head of the little-known ethics office, has been on the attack against President-elect Donald J. Trump for months.
Shaub has called Trump’s plan to sign over control of his business to his sons “meaningless,” and engaged in tweet storms from the official ethics Twitter account encouraging Trump to divest. Continue reading
by Dimitri K. Simes and Paul J. Saunders • National Interest
One need not admire Benjamin Netanyahu or Vladimir Putin or, for that matter, approve of Israeli or Russian conduct, to see Barack Obama’s recent efforts to punish the two states for what they really are. Indeed, Mr. Obama’s efforts seem directed more at his successor than at any serious U.S. foreign policy objective. The outgoing president’s efforts to tie President-Elect Donald Trump’s hands in both domestic and foreign policy appear particularly un-presidential after his petulant complaints that America should have only one president at a time—a rule he apparently sees as applying in only one direction as he defiantly disregards the deference typically shown to an incoming commander-in-chief.
On Israel, Mr. Obama had to know that America’s abstention in voting on a United Nations Security Council Resolution critical of Israel would neither change Israeli settlement policy nor undermine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political standing in his country. Continue reading
by Justin Haskins • Philly Inquirer
Shortly after being sworn into office in January 2009, President Obama, along with Democrats in Congress, spent trillions of dollars on government bailouts, stimulus packages, and various social welfare programs – all passed with the promise they would reverse one of the most significant economic crashes the country has experienced.
After nearly eight years in office, though, Obama has failed to deliver on many of his campaign promises and has left America worse-off than it was when he entered the White House.
During the Obama administration, there hasn’t been a single year in which the nation’s gross domestic product grew at 3 percent or higher, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. That’s a first for a modern president. Continue reading
By The Federalist Staff
Federalist senior contributor and senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute Ilya Shapiro joined Fox News’s “Special Report with Brett Baier” on Monday to discuss the gloomy future of President Obama’s legacy. Continue reading
by Kathryn Watson • Daily Caller
President-elect Donald Trump’s administration should closely scrutinize any business-crushing “midnight litigation” President Barack Obama’s administration launches before Inauguration Day, taxpayer and free-market groups urge.
Obama’s agencies are poised to file economy-stunting environmental and other lawsuits for political gain in the waning days of the Democrat’s presidency. Trump’s incoming administration needs to be ready to halt any unnecessary and harmful lawsuits on Jan. 20, a group of 29 nonprofit and activist organizations wrote to Vice President-elect Mike Pence Wednesday.
“Everything should be suspect,” George Landrith, president of Frontiers for Freedom and the letter’s circulator, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Continue reading