Archive for the ‘Byrd’ Category

All The President’s Men: Where’s The Congressional Oversight?

March 11, 2009

On day one of the Obama Administration, we saw the Chief of Staff of the White House, the Chief of Staff to the President of the United States, make a gesture in public that we considered to be distainful, undignified and inappropriate.  But there’s no law against that.  Then we saw the same Chief of Staff to the President of the United States attack an individual American citizen: using a friendly and eager to please media as his assassin.  Rahm Emanual attacked Rush Limbaugh.

If any one of these actions had been carried out by a military officer serving any of the Pentagon’s Generals or Admirals, he’d be out of a job and on the way toward retirement.

Related:
The president may not have what it takes

This is more than inappropriate.  This is something Congress should examine.  Not after the fact: Congress should confirm presidential appointees that feel they have only one loyalty to one man — even as they serve all Americans (and take our tax dollars as their pay and influence the spending of trillions of our tax dollars).

When Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) pulled his pocket sized copy of the U.S. Constitution out to criticize the President of the United States for naming White House policy czars, he wasn’t just acting like a crazy old coot.  He was making a very important point; as reiterated below by  Bruce Ackerman in today’s Washington Post….
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For the first 150 years of our nation’s history, the Senate confirmed all leading members of the executive branch. But modern presidents have increasingly gained the power to make key appointments unilaterally — with President Obama taking this process to new heights. His White House czars such as Lawrence Summers and Carol Browner are likely to overshadow the Cabinet secretaries in their respective domains. Yet, as presidential assistants, they escape the need for Senate scrutiny. After the abuses of the Bush White House and the failed nominations in Obama’s own transition, this practice should be reconsidered.

By Bruce Ackerman
The Washington Post

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co
ntent/article/2009/03/10/AR2009031002
839.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Related:
Obama’s clumsy, smirky staff and unelected appointees are sinking him

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From Politico
February 25, 2009

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the longest-serving Democratic senator, is criticizing President Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.

In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd complained about Obama’s decision to create White House offices on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. Byrd said such positions “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials.”

While it’s rare for Byrd to criticize a president in his own party, Byrd is a stern constitutional scholar who has always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House.

Read the rest:
http://www.politico.com/news/sto
ries/0209/19303.html

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/11/te
rrific-tax-subsidized-acorn-mob-teams-up-
with-la-teachers/

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Inauguration Crowd on Steroids; Event Participants Needed Xanax

January 21, 2009

The Chinese would have seen so many bad omens they’d mostly call President Obama “Not Lucky” after yesterday’s Inauguration.

The oath was botched.

Two Senators needed medical attention before the end of lunch.

Rick Warren’s prayer was only applauded by his Mom, apparently.

The Speech? Gerard Baker of The Times in London was looking for some “Kennedy-esque, or Rooseveltian quotations for the ages.”

He was disappointed.

The crowd was on steroids.  The event participants needed Xanax.

But, like a family wedding that features a drunken uncle or broken china, the job got done.

So, enough fol-de-rol.  Let’s get to work.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES)

Byrd, Kennedy Taken from Luncheon with Obama By Paramedics

January 20, 2009

Sens. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., and Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., have been taken from an inauguration luncheon for President Barack Obama.

A Capitol police officer stood up at the luncheon and said medical attention was needed.

 
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Above: Senator Ted Kennedy at the inauguration.  Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

During a talk to members of Congress and others, Obama called attention to Kennedy, saying “I know that while I was out of the room, concerned was expressed about Teddy.”

Obama said that Kennedy “was there when the voting rights act passed, along with John Lewis, was a warrior for justice.”

“And so I would be lying to you if I did not say that right now a part of me is with him,” Obama added. “And I think that’s true for all of us. This is a joyous time. But it’s also a sobering time. And my prayers are with him and his family and (Kennedy’s wife) Vicki.”

–Associated Press

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CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/2
0/inauguration.kennedy.collapse/index.html

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Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., who is battling a brain tumor, was taken away from the congressional luncheon in convulsions.

Kennedy was at a table with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Vice President Mondale and Mrs. Mondale, and others. While at the table, Kennedy began having seizures that lasted for several minutes. As they were carrying Kennedy out of the room, he was still seizing. President Barack Obama went out of the room with him, but he is back in the luncheon room now.

We are also told that Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., the oldest member of the Senate, was so upset and distraught from what he had witnessed, that he needed to be taken out.  Byrd was conscious when he was taken from the room. The two have been friends for a very, very long time.

Obama just spoke to the luncheon about Kennedy, appearing extremely sober:

“First of all, I know that while I was out of the room, concern was expressed about Teddy,” Obama said. “He was there when the Voting Rights Act passed. And, along with John Lewis, was a warrior for justice. And so I would be lying to you if I did not say that right now a part of me is with him. And I think that is true for all of us. This is a joyous time, but it’s also a sobering time. And my prayers are with him and his family and Vicki.”

An ambulance could be seen driving from the U.S. Capitol.

–George Stephanopoulos

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl contributed to this report.