Chad’s Morning Brief: Supreme Court Takes a Look at Obama’s Executive Actions, Iraq Slipping Away, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of January 13, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today on the boundaries of President Obama’s executive power. According to The Hill, the focus today is on recess appointments and whether the President violated the Constitution.
Nothing less than the boundaries of executive power are at stake Monday as the Supreme Court considers whether President Obama violated the Constitution during his first term.
Oral arguments slated for Monday will center on a trio of recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that were deemed unconstitutional by lower courts.
If they uphold the decision, experts say the justices could endanger hundreds of NLRB decisions.
Even more significant are the ramifications for future presidents, with the court poised either to bolster or blunt the chief executive’s appointment powers.
“Rulings like this have implications that last for centuries,” said Michael Lotito, an employment and labor attorney and co-chairman of Littler Mendelson’s Workplace Policy Institute.
Presidents have for decades used recess appointment powers when the Senate is away to install judges and fill top federal vacancies that ordinarily would be subject to confirmation proceedings.
But with the disputed NLRB appointments, Obama became the first president to appoint nominees when the Senate was in a “pro-forma” session, when the upper chamber is briefly called to order and adjourned every few days.
The sessions are intended to prevent recess appointments, and usually only a handful of senators are present for them. In filling the NLRB posts, the Obama administration claims that the Senate is generally not available to conduct business during the sessions, so the president’s recess appointment power is in effect.
“The sham pro-forma sessions are nothing more than that,” said Catholic University law professor Victor Williams, who filed a brief backing the government’s position.
The impetus for recess appointments has faded now that Senate Democrats have changed their chamber’s rules to allow for a simple majority vote on presidential nominees. Nevertheless, the case could stunt Obama’s and future presidents’ authority when it comes to staffing administrations.
Iraq Slipping Away
A story that most would think deserves more coverage than Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” is finally starting to pop-up in other places besides CNN. USA Today is reporting that al-Qaeda has taken over major cities in Iraq.
When the last U.S. combat troops departed Iraq in December 2011, they left behind a defeated al-Qaeda and an Iraq where traditional rivals Sunni and Shiite Muslims were sharing power in the world’s only Arab democracy.
Two years later, al-Qaeda has seized major cities where hundreds of U.S. troops died while fighting alongside their Iraqi brethren. The population once freed by the U.S.-Iraqi alliance has now watched those same jihadist insurgents return to command the streets and impose their will.
Indeed, Iraqis are threatened again by civil war over charges of treason and resistance to an authoritarian government. Many significant gains of the 8-year-long Iraq war in which more than 4,400 Americans died have been lost or are now threatened unless swift actions evict the insurgents.
“I fear it’s only the beginning and much worse will evolve,” says Fred Kagan, a military historian and former adviser to President George W. Bush and U.S. military commander David Petraeus. “And I believe it was avoidable.”
The reversal of fortune in Iraq could have a devastating effect on the battle to end militancy and conflict in the Middle East, say analysts and military experts, entangling the West in a new and dangerous front against emboldened jihadists who the U.S. has even recently declared were on the run.
The cities of Fallujah and Ramadi captured this past week by al-Qaeda had been liberated during the Iraq war in the bloodiest combat U.S. troops had seen since Vietnam. The victory left the Iraqi insurgency beaten and humiliated in Anbar province, the heart of the Sunni Muslim homeland that Osama bin Laden himself had claimed would be a graveyard for the hated Americans.
If al-Qaeda reasserts control of Anbar, it will be able to boast of defeating the “Great Satan” while establishing a haven from which to make more trouble: pouring fighters into Syria, threatening the borders of Lebanon and Jordan, and linking up with insurgents in Arab Gulf nations friendly to the United States.
U.S. allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia could quickly be engulfed in such an expanding conflict, analysts say, raising the possibility of a major war in the Middle East with untold death, global oil shocks and, eventually, U.S. military intervention.
“Iraq is not yet lost, but the victory that the United States, our allies and our Iraqi friends achieved at such high cost is now at risk,” says Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank.
Critics blame Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for mistreating Sunni political rivals, who in turn tolerate the Sunni terrorists they had turned against during the war. They also say President Obama’s pullout of troops made it impossible to lock in the war’s gains.
Those failures have emboldened an al-Qaeda that Obama said was “on its heels” and that is not only gaining ground in Iraq but extending its tentacles across the Middle East, according to numerous analysts of the region.
The Obama administration has acknowledged that the terror group responsible for the 9/11 attacks is stepping up operations, yet Obama insists it was time for the Iraqis to defend themselves.
“The president made a commitment to end the war in Iraq,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said this week. “He fulfilled that commitment.”
Carney said the United States will continue its “important relationship with Iraq” during this crisis and back it up with equipment such as Hellfire missiles and surveillance drones, as well as press Iraq’s leaders “to work together” to resolve their differences peacefully.
This is a major story and a sign of the continued failure of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. Will the media focus on this story the way they have on a bridge and Chris Christie? I seriously doubt it.
Other Top Stories:
9:35am- Matt Mackowiak, Republican Strategist and Co-Founder of MustReadTexas.com
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.