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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Dear Mr. President

During the State of the Union address, President Obama stated, “Americans understand that some people will earn more than others, and we don’t resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success” [1]. Now, while I don’t expect the President of the United States to respond to a mere plebian like me, I still have some questions about what he meant by this statement.

Mr. President, you state that Americans understand that some people will earn more than others. I assume that means that you also think Americans have at least a rudimentary understanding of skilled labor versus unskilled labor and the value of experience. Why, then, Mr. President, do you advocate for paying unskilled laborers in minimum wage positions the same wage as someone that has a job that requires a college degree? In your opinion, why should an unskilled 16-year old starting at McDonalds earn as much as a lab technician or Head Start teacher with a bachelor’s degree? How is it equitable to have someone invest in an education just to earn what a completely unskilled laborer can earn?

Mr. President, I’m also confused by your assertion that you don’t resent those who achieve incredible success. This seems to be quite at odds with some of the things you and your campaign said about your opponent, Mitt Romney, in the last election. If you don’t resent people for working hard and being successful, why would you try to bully them into releasing their tax information to the public to make them look bad? At the time, Mr. President, it sure seemed like resentment of Romney’s wealth and success played a big part in your strategy to win a second term. How do your friends in the Occupy Wall street movement feel about your newfound acceptance of people who are incredibly successful?

Maybe, Mr. President, if you get a minute, you could give us some clarification.

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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Economics

 

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Patience Smatience

If you’re a busy President whose nominees keep getting blocked by the Senate, what are you to do? I mean, your staffers did a lot of hard work coming up with that list of names and those jerks over in Congress keep shooting them down. You can’t be making a new list every time the legislators think your nominees are unsuitable because that starts to seriously eat into your golfing schedule, so in the interest of saving time, you just skip the step of finding candidates that are acceptable to all parties and just appoint who you want. Sounds, reasonable, right?

Well, that’s just what our dear leader did. The Senate wouldn’t allow votes on his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board, so he used the constitutional power of making recess appointments to fill the vacancies. The only problem with that is that the Senate wasn’t in recess when he did it. Recess appointments are a means to temporarily fill a position when the Senate is in recess, not to side step the system of checks and balances that allows the legislative branch some control over the executive branch’s nominees.

But our current chief executive doesn’t really think that that dusty old constitution applies to him. If Congress doesn’t like his nominees, he’ll just put them in himself. If Congress won’t play ball, then by golly, he’s got his pen ready to sign all the executive orders he could possibly need to push his agenda through, or as he puts it, “move the ball forward” [1]. There will be no “waiting for legislation” [1] for this president.

But this time, it looks like even his loyal supporters in the Supreme Court can’t justify his abuse of power in making recess appointments when there is no recess. When Justice Kagan won’t back him up, that’s when you know that he’s really crossed the line. All I can say it that it’s about time.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Corruption, Government

 

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