Judge Says President's Executive Action on Immigration Unconstitutional
Judge Arthur Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled that portions of President Obama's unilateral action on illegal immigrants violate the US Constitution's separation of powers.
"The alleged grounds of prosecutorial discretion are inadequate to support the totality of what he has tried to do," Schwab said. "He can decline to prosecute these lawbreakers. That is the limit of his discretion. He does not have the authority to issue them identity papers that would make them eligible for employment or government benefits that existing law prohibits."
Democratic U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (Ill) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn) contend that Schwab is wrong. "The issue is one of human rights," Durbin argued. "It is because existing laws have neglected to fulfill these rights that the President has been forced to take the law into his own hands."
"The President could have, through a refusal to act, become complicit in Congress' failure to do the right thing," Blumenthal declared. "But he rose above obedience to the lesser authority of heeding the Constitution in order to meet his greater responsibility as a human being."
Both senators urged the President to "ignore this small-minded judge. He has no means of compelling the President to do anything. He only has power if we, ourselves, yield to his decision."
Joyce Branda, acting Assistant Attorney General, concurred in the senators' assessment saying that "the President has absolute discretion to interpret and enforce, or not enforce, or to modify the law as he deems fit."
Determined not to sit by idly while President Obama runs roughshod over the Constitution, Congress passed legislation (HR4681) that empowers the government to collect, retain, and disseminate all electronic communications including voice calls on all US citizens. "There are a lot of dangerous people with dangerous ideas out there," House Speaker John Boehner explained. "We cannot let these people hide behind the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution as a means of concealing their antipathy toward what those of us in government are doing for this country. The ability to collect information on what they are doing and saying is vital to defending the government's interests."
In related news, the Obama Administration demanded that a lawsuit contesting the President's executive action on immigration be dismissed by the court. The suit was filed by Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, "as a minor local official, Arpaio lacks standing to challenge an action taken by a president who embodies the supreme authority of the nation."
Sessions Will Not Be Senate Budget Committee Chairman
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) will not be the incoming chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. He has been pushed aside in favor of Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo) despite having served as the top Republican on the committee for the past four years.
"It came down to a simple question of who was acceptable to President Obama," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken) said. "While Senator Sessions has served competently while our Party was in the minority, the President has made it clear that someone more agreeable must man this vital post going forward."
"The time for contesting the priorities of the government must give way to a time of cooperation and compromise," McConnell explained. "Senator Sessions voted with Senator Cruz on the recent Cromnibus bill and against our Party's leadership. Senator Enzi supported both the Party's leadership and President Obama. He is the type of 'team player' this country needs if we are to efficiently conduct the government's business."
University Students Sign Petition to Deport Citizens
Two-thirds of the George Washington University students who were asked to sign a petition calling for Americans to be deported in order to make room for illegal immigrants to reside in the country did so.
"The ones we've labeled as 'illegal immigrants' have just as much right to be here as anyone," said political science major Adelle Pated. "I mean, as a nation of immigrants, the recent arrivals are probably more representative of what this country is all about than the people born here."
"Deporting anti-social segments of the citizenry to balance out the population flow makes ecological sense," contended environmental sciences major Fred Fowler. "I would hope that the people ejected to make room would include opponents of abortion. They're the ones who agitate against the needed culling of the species that must be accomplished if we are to achieve sustainability."
Sony Gives Sharpton Say So on Future Movie Releases
In an effort to undo some of the damage from the release of embarrassing internal emails by hackers angry over the movie "The Interview," Sony executive Amy Pascal agreed to let race expert Al Sharpton have the final say on any future movies the firm makes.
Although not a party to the hacking, per se, Sharpton castigated Sony for "it's extreme racial bias in the way this controversial film was made. Blacks were excluded from all the major roles. I don't buy the idea that a movie about a Korean dictator isn't a good fit for Black actors. If Jamie Foxx can play the Daddy Warbucks character in "Annie" he could certainly play Kim Jung-un. And why wasn't Chris Rock cast as one of the interviewers?"
In response to threats that movie theaters showing "The Interview" would be bombed, Sony pulled the film from distribution. Sharpton made it clear that "I don't endorse all the tactics of these cyber bullies. On the bright side, though, it gives Sony an opportunity to recast the film with a more racially balanced assortment of actors."
While some are calling the threat to bomb theaters "an act of war," President Obama struck a calmer pose. "The threat has been neutralized by Sony's decision to pull the film," the President boasted. "The loss of one film made by a racist corporation is damage our nation can easily shrug off. There are plenty of other movies for people to see. So for now, my recommendation would be: Go to the movies."
US Nuclear Disarmament 85% Accomplished
The State Department's Under-Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, proudly bragged to a Brookings Institution gathering that "our progress toward total nuclear disarmament is now 85% of the way there. If we can maintain the pace, our last nuclear device will be moth-balled before President Obama completes his term."
Gottemoeller asserted that "it is our fervent hope that our example will inspire others to follow suit" and maintained that "a nuclear-free world will be a safer world." Whether either of these aspirations would bear out is unknown. Prior to the dawn of the nuclear age less potent weaponry took the lives of 50 million people during World War II. It is also conceivable that the United States' leadership in disarming may be seen as an opportunity for aggression rather than a model to be emulated.
Homeland Security Advises Bigger, Stronger Fence
Citing the "dire threat" posed by uninvited intruders, the US Department of Homeland Security is recommending a substantial investment in improved fencing for the White House.
"As it stands right now, hostile elements can easily breach the meager barrier that the current fence around the White House presents," Secretary Jeh Johnson complained. "This is as grave a threat to our nation and its government as could exist. We must take steps to seal off the ease of ingress as a matter of national security."
Administration critics juxtaposed Johnson's alarm over the inadequacy of the White House fence with his more blasé attitude toward the border fence between the United States and Mexico. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) pointed out that "the Administration has deflected every effort to improve the fencing on our southern border claiming that 'fences are ineffective.' Why then does the White House, which has had far fewer intruders than the millions who have invaded our country from the south, think it needs a better fence?"
Johnson rebutted Stockman's argument saying that "a fence aimed at stopping a handful of intruders is a more manageable task than one aimed at stopping millions. Beyond the feasibility issue, is the fact that the President is the most important person in the world. No expense should be spared to insure that he remains safe."
"Besides, the President has determined that immigration to America ought to be welcomed rather than resisted," Johnson added. "Just last month he decreed that he will not deport them. Instead he will issue them papers so they may freely move about the country, get jobs if they so choose, and obtain the social services to which every qualified American is entitled."
President's Change in Cuban Policy Called "First Step"
Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) hailed President Obama's move to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba as "inspired leadership that has made me proud to be an American."
"For too long a succession of white presidents has oppressed this small, racially diverse island nation," Rangel contended. "It took a Black man to right this wrong."
Rangel said he hopes that "diplomatic recognition is the just the first step. We need to make reparations for the 50 years of suffering the US Government has imposed on the Cuban people."
The Congressman said he "would support legislation aimed at providing food, housing, and other amenities that the Cuban people have been denied. We should give them EBT cards. We should build them decent housing with air conditioning and satellite TV." Rangel, though, expressed pessimism that Congress would support such legislation and urged President Obama to provide these items "on his own authority."
Cuban President Raul Castro endorsed the "executive action" option arguing that "justice does not wait for legislative majorities. Justice asserts itself by the deeds of one man if that is what it takes."