Journalism in the Public Interest

Fight Over Obama’s Recess Appointments Puts Stranglehold on Key FinReg, Labor Nominees

As winter recess approaches, Senate Republicans have been holding up certain uncontroversial appointments as a bargaining chip to prevent President Obama from other appointments in recess.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images file photo


It’s no secret that Republicans don’t like the idea of President Obama exercising his power to make recess appointments. As we noted earlier this year, they’ve repeatedly used a procedural move to block the president from making this sort of temporary appointment, even though it’s a presidential power laid out in the Constitution. (Of course, the tactic isn’t specific to Republicans -- Democrats used it too under the Bush administration.)

But now, as winter recess approaches, Senate Republicans have been trying a different tactic: holding up other appointments as a bargaining chip. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to block the confirmation of three uncontroversial nominees for key banking regulator positions. Here’s how the Wall Street Journal described those nominees and what positions they’d fill:

The three nominees -- Martin Gruenberg, Thomas Hoenig and Thomas Curry -- would be charged with implementing last year's Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law, which imposes a raft of restrictions on the financial industry. They are expected to take a tough line on the nation's largest banks, in a climate where both political parties are increasingly embracing to efforts to rein in the power of the nation's largest financial institutions.

All three of Mr. Obama's nominees have long histories as regulators and there was little controversy at their confirmation hearings.

At the heart of the standoff are fears that President Obama will use recess appointments to fill key vacancies in the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- a consumer watchdog agency that the GOP believes has too much power -- and the National Labor Relations Board, the government’s independent arbiter of labor disputes.

Earlier this month, Republicans blocked the nomination of former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to head of the CFPB, though other Republicans have praised his qualifications. Keeping the agency without a director, as we’ve noted, limits its powers over payday lenders, certain mortgage servicers, and other under-regulated parts of the financial industry.

They’ve also asked President Obama not to use recess appointments to fill vacancies on the NLRB, which after December 31st essentially will cease to function because it will have too few members to issue regulations and decide cases.

Republicans have targeted the federal agency for the better part of the year, and a group of GOP lawmakers wrote a letter to the president this week, warning that if Obama makes recess appointments to the NLRB, it would set a “dangerous precedent” that could “provoke a constitutional conflict.”

But why that is isn’t exactly clear. President George W. Bush managed to seat more than a half dozen nominees at the NLRB through recess appointments. And overall, President Obama has made somewhat fewer recess appointments than his predecessors -- 28 so far, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report

Maybe the why is that during the Bush administration the partisan gridlock wasn’t as severe? Not sure, I just don’t remember the disputes being as polarized and inflexible.

It just mystifies me why the Democrats are so quiet about this non-stop effort to stop the President no matter the cost to the people of this country.

If ever there was something to campaign on, it’s the Republicans’ hatred of Obama beyond the point of it hurting the country in so many ways.

Gloria Grening Wolk

Dec. 20, 2011, 4:10 p.m.

I would like to echo the comment from Bob Burns.

Add to it, never mind campaign. How about keeping the public informed of the persistent gridlock that harms tens of thousands? I watch c-span, listen to each side distort issues to please themselves, and also wonder: What are they not telling us?

We should be able to trust our president, whomever it is, to tell us the truth. Big joke. Either he collaborates with cronies and cares not a whit for the public (GWB) or he suffers a want of gutsiness (Obama).

If Obama had the back bone to stand behind his promises, he would not compromise away our rights, as with the recent bill that demolishes habeas corpus. He would thumb his nose at those in Congress who refuse a single payor health system and choose to incarcerate any citizen on this soil who they deem a threat (perhaps also demolishing the First Amendment, thereby putting the staff at Propublica and me at risk). If he had nothing passed, tell it to the nation. Tell the whole story. Join the protestors of Occupy Wall Street. Get rid of Geithner and his cronies, be the president we need.

I truly believe if he was as courageous as we need and spoke directly to us frequently, laying out all the facts, voters would get rid of the bad apples in Congress. That would intimidate those not yet up for re-election. They would be forced to comply with the public’s needs instead of protecting their own fortunes—or they would be thrown out at the next election.

Trust the people, Mr. President, and help us restore democracy.


Dec. 20, 2011, 4:12 p.m.


Stephanie Palmer

Dec. 20, 2011, 4:18 p.m.

Why don’t we just get rid of Obama and proclaim McConnell king? That’s what he wants. The big jerk.

Glenn Arbuckle

Dec. 20, 2011, 4:38 p.m.

Trust Obama, a doctrinaire Progressive, in a center-right country?  Surely you jest.  He’ll put his party and political agenda ahead of anything that’s truly in the national interest.  Liberals my not like to hear the truth, but there it is.

Glenn Arbuckle

Dec. 20, 2011, 4:41 p.m.

Trust Obama, a doctrinaire Progressive, in a center-right country?  Surely you jest.  He’ll put his party and political agenda ahead of anything that’s truly in the national interest.  Liberals my not like to hear the truth, but there it is. 

Ps. I tried to post this comment but was advised you could not receive comments at this time.  Curious.

Barry Schmittou

Dec. 20, 2011, 4:44 p.m.

Neither party will allow the “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” to protect average citizens !!

They Have Enabled Murderous Drug Money Laundering and Including Wachovia Bank Laundering $378 Billion, and Bank of America Laundering $3 Billion and No One Was Prosecuted !!

NBC Links Prove A 12 year Old San Diego Boy Was Kidnapped and Forced To Decapitate Four People For the Cartels !!

40,000 Murders Have Occurred Since 2006 !! 35 Bodies Were Recently Dumped in Front of a Busy Mall !!

Many People are Disemboweled and Hung from Mexican Bridges !!

American Farmers on the Border Are Moving Their Families Off of Their Farms and Wearing Bullet Proof Vests !!

American Express Bank International and Western Union also laundered drug money and no one was prosecuted.

(2)  There have Been Multiple Counts of Bid Rigging By JP Morgan, AIG, MetLife, Prudential and Others That Are Seen By Pasting :

At the same time thousands of severely injured, disabled and dying patients lives are being destroyed because insurance companies openly commit crimes when claims are filed !

(3) WFAA - TV in Dallas wrote this about Workers Comp :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care. Some insurance companies send peer review doctors medical files “stripped” of records important to the possible approval of workers’ comp claims.”

During the time period of the suicides AIG rigged billions of dollars in bids to increase sales of Workers Comp policies; No one was prosecuted !!

(3)  Federal Court Judges and Treating Physicians Wrote That Doctor’s Paid By MetLife Ignored Life Threatening Medical Conditions Including Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer and Cardiac Conditions of Many Patients !!

Please paste :

Obama’s DOL Director Wrote Me Saying it is Their “Top Priority to Stop Violations, But They Have Done Absolutely Nothing !!

At the same time MetLife, Unum, and Prudential have all rigged bids to increase their sales of Health policies as seen at :

No one was prosecuted !!

Metlife Executive Vice President James Lipscomb gave President Obama $30,000 for his victory party.

On Page five of MetLife’s third Non Prosecution agreement you will see the signature of Mr. James Lipscomb.

A group of MetLife executives and attorneys gave President Obama $78,980 for his 2008 Presidential campaign :

A group of Metlife employees who gave $953 thousand dollars that went to almost every candidate for Congress and Senate :

A Metlife group also gave Hillary Clinton $57,830 in 2008 :

Plus MetLife spent $41 Million dollars lobbying over the last ten years !!

Attorney Bruce Yannett of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP/Attorney also signed MetLife’s Third Non Prosecution agreement.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to Obama by Debevoise & Plimpton in 2008 !!

You can see the full links to contributions by pasting the following website and looking at Exhibit C:

Insurance companies Also Destroyed the Lives of Many Injured War Zone Contractors !!

This Spring I was contacted by an Iraq War Zone Contractor who had his leg, fingers and toes blown off, and many other injuries from a car bomb blast. Here are exact quotes :

“The Sheriff repossessed my wheelchair because CNA Global Insurance stopped payment on the check that they issued to the suppliers and my life really started spiraling out of control”

“I am sleeping on the floor on a mattress in the living room with my Night care Assistant sitting on a chair next to my mattress. I have to use a bucket and a bottle to urinate in the evenings.”

Here are quotes from a ProPublica article :

“CNA’s failure to pay out benefits underscores the continuing problems with the Defense Base Act, essentially the workers compensation system for overseas federal contractors.”

“Workers fought long battles for medical care, including such things as prosthetic devices and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Labor officials can recommend cases for prosecution to the Justice Department–but have only done so once in the past two decades, according to Labor officials.”

I am certain Bush protected as many or more corporate crimes as Obama is doing now, but I had multiple surgeries and was unable to document as much about Bush’s Directors’ refusal to take action. I recently had another fall and two bloody accidents within about 15 days.

You can see links to all this evidence and more by pasting :

Barry Schmittou

Dec. 20, 2011, 4:49 p.m.

In addition to the evidence posted above, and the 32 Non Prosecution Agreements issued in 2010, numerous reports seen on, PBS’s Bill Moyers Show, PBS’s Now, and a report written by Joe Nocera, indicate the following :

(1) Multiple businesses bundled loans that were certain to fail

(2) Then resold the bundled loans as being top rated A+ loans

(3) At the same time they placed financial bets that these bundles would fail.

(4) They reaped huge commissions and/or profits from everything just mentioned!!

(5) This played a huge part in the U.S. and global financial collapse, and hundreds of millions of lives are being destroyed because of this.

No one has been prosecuted !!

Since the Feds are protecting these crimes I hope someone on a Federal or local Grand Jury will seek indictments on all this evidence and more that is seen by pasting :

@Barry- the reason we have not seen prosecutions is that Graham-Leach-Bliley along with lax oversight allowed the fraudsters in the financial services sector to wreck havoc without breaking any laws. Did they create devious loans and snooker borrowers into them while betting these very loans would fail, thus profiting on borrowers and investors pain? Yes! Did they purposefully create so called “liar loans” and fund loans to people who could not pay back their loans? Yes! Did they mislead investors as to the rating of the loans in question? Yes! They did all of them while pocketing massive bonuses for their efforts and when the whole Ponzi scheme collapsed, they pled the were not aware that real estate was in a bubble. Plausible deniability. This included Greenspan who continued to hawk subprime loans into 2006.

Why doesn’t someone just come out and write it: The reason Republicans oppose even the most simple nominees of Barack Obama is because he is black.  There is no logic involved.  There, I have called out the Republican leaders.  Appointment recesses only last for a year anyway.

Gloria Grening Wolk

Dec. 20, 2011, 8:15 p.m.

Tontis, I think that is one major reason—coupled with resentment because he is far more educated and more intelligent than many in Congress.

But there is another problem. The majority of GOPers kowtow to the tea partiers, and a good many Democrats are just as wimpy. Anything to keep their seats, and they think that’s where the votes are.

Then there are the lobbyists, and the money so many in Congress rely upon from corporations. In that regard, there is no difference between most Democrats and most Republicans. Most who are in Congress are not concerned about this nation or its people. And Barack Obama, with too few allies and too little experience, trusted advice from the wrong people.

If Democrats and Democratic leaning independent voters would write the White House and encourage Obama to use the ‘recess appointment’ power he has, maybe he will realize we will support him when he does. It won’t hurt to write.

Obama is half white, his mother was clealy white, Race is not why most do not like him. Most voted for him, his race did not change. It is his policies, lying and double talk people see through and dislike. Saying people do not like him because he is to smart is flt out wrong, he clearly is not so smart.. It is his policies people dislike, along with saying one thing in public and doing another when the cameras are gone.

It seems only Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky and a few other similar commentators really understand what we’re up against.  Hedges has given up on Democrats, universities, labor, the corporate media and the churches.

The only thing to do is what Mario Savio exclaimed 56 years ago atop a police car at U.C. Berkeley…sometimes when things are so odious the only thing you can do is throw your body into the machine and scream “stop”. 

That’s what OWS has done.  It’s the only reason there is significant movement among that faction of the Democratic Party which has been so corrupted by corporate money that you can’t tell the difference between them and the GOP.

It’s push and push and push from the outside until liberal institutions are forced to return to some semblance of sanity.


There it is! That’s the truth of the matter. Obama is hated because he is black. (BTW, in this country, having a black parent qualifies you as an Afro-American)

In my 50 years of observing politics in this country, I’ve never seen the degree and depth of personal hatred for a chief executive. It’s irrational and not rooted in anything resembling reason. For that reason, all these uber-conservatives are willing to jettison the health of this nation in order to keep Obama from even the smallest success.

Speaking only for myself, Bob, I dislike him (he starts with “hate” for being a politician) because he takes no responsibility for his mistakes or failures.  His failures are always someone else’s fault.  If he offends someone, he explains why he shouldn’t care.

I’m assuming it’s not racism, because I can’t think of another black person who I’ve seen act like that.

I know a lot of other people have problems with the people he associates with, especially Michelle’s comment about not being proud of her country until her husband got elected President or Reverend Wright’s…well, everything.  And I think that’s a sufficient non-race-related reason if one finds that offensive.

My mother does explicitly hate him because he’s black, though, to be fair.

(Somewhat related, I feel that the attention given to his election has set “race relations” back significantly, by implying that he’s a “special” black man to have been electable.  “Anyone can be President in this country, EVEN A BLACK MAN,” basically.)

As to the deadlock, what bothers me isn’t the conflict itself.  It’s that the conflict is over trivial matters, while clearly unconstitutional censorship bills get immediate bipartisan support and they’d all apparently just as soon hang Bradley Manning.  They’re divided on who should protect us but united that we have too many rights…

It’s difficult to understand the reason for the present gridlock. My ideas include the influence of big money;  the lack of interest of the general public; ignorance fostered by a media that is more focused on DANCING WITH THE STARS or LINDSAY LOHAN than on the workings and machinations of the politicians; racism; arrogant leaders who strut into Congress looking like a group of warriors; lack of responsibility for the job they were elected to do; career politicians;  making their own rules:e.g. McConnell’ strange goal of making Obama a one term president, which certainly mocks the oath he took when sworn in and total disconnect from average people across this land.

In my opinion, President Obama should sign an Executive Order, put all these people in place, and let the GOP/TP group battle it out!  This back-biting and partisan crap is beginning to get tiresome to most of us out here in the U.S.!  They are like a bunch of children on a playground….we didn’t hire them to be kids!!  Let’s GET IT DONE!!  And, if we have to step on some toes in the meantime, too darn bad!!

Robert DiLallo

Dec. 21, 2011, 12:53 p.m.

I love the right wingers who repeat the mantra that we are a center-right nation. The last 80 years? FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Carter, Clinton, Obama for a total of 44 years of the presidency. That would be 44 to 26 years. And, if anyone in the right wing is calling George W center-right they haven’t a clue about how much he expanded the role of the federal government.

In fact, when one reviews all of our elected governments, the country can easily be termed center-left. In my opinion, if the Republicans weren’t so political, and so stubbornly negative, right now we would be more (small d) democratic and decidedly more Progressive. It’s really hard to point at one real accomplishment of the right wing in the last 120 years, regardless of what party they planted their rumps in.

This phony idea of how great the right wing is, is just a myth, or more like a lie.

Robert DiLallo

Dec. 21, 2011, 12:54 p.m.

I love the right wingers who repeat the mantra that we are a center-right nation. The last 80 years? FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Carter, Clinton, Obama for a total of 44 years of the presidency. That would be 44 to 36 years. And, if anyone in the right wing is calling George W center-right they haven’t a clue about how much he expanded the role of the federal government.

In fact, when one reviews all of our elected governments, the country can easily be termed center-left. In my opinion, if the Republicans weren’t so political, and so stubbornly negative, right now we would be more (small d) democratic and decidedly more Progressive. It’s really hard to point at one real accomplishment of the right wing in the last 120 years, regardless of what party they planted their rumps in.

This phony idea of how great the right wing is, is just a myth, or more like a lie.

Robert DiLallo

Dec. 21, 2011, 12:55 p.m.

sorry I posted twice - had to correct my typo 26 versus 36 years for the Republicans

@John- I don’t understand Republicans “hate” for Obama. If anything Obama has frustrated most progressives and moderates by being “Republican lite”. He kept the war in Iraq going for too long. He kept Guantanamo open with no close-certain date. He allowed the extension of the Bush tax cuts. All of these cost too much. The majority of the debt we face over the next decade came from the GOP-controlled 108th Congress between 2001-2003. We cannot afford to spend on tax cuts that benefit the richest Americans at this moment in time and we need to stop try to police the entire World’s problems. This used to be a conservative belief. What happened?
Michelle’s statement was simply a result of her husband being nominated and elected. You have to admit, it was an astounding achievement. Just as Jackie Robinson was more than your average rookie when he became the first black major league baseball player, I am certain Obama will be seen in the future as a remarkably unique person. I think he has favored compromise with his opposition and tried to bring a little more civility to politics in DC, but he has to learn as with divorce, it only takes one person trying to sabotage a relationship to do so successfully. The House Republicans as just trying to appease their base by obstructing everything Obama calls for. They’re trying to make him look bad in order to win back power. Most of us see right through their efforts. Hell, the “tax holiday” was insisted on by Republicans as part of Obama 2009 stimulus bill!

@ John

The President does not operate by fiat. The fact is that he needs a Congress to work with him. The GOP has absolutely refused to work with this president in any way, shape or form. Their *stated* No.1 goal is to see that he’s a one term president - evidently at no matter the cost to the country.

In the worst economy in 80 years, this president has overseen the creation of more jobs in his three years than his predecessor has in two complete terms. He saved the American automobile industry. He tried to put money into the hands of people who could help jump start the economy. He at least got some improvement in the health care of 45 million Americans without.

He not without fault but he’s orders of magnitude better than anyone the GOP will put up for president in 2012. The alternative is unthinkable, especially in light of the fact that more members of the SCOTUS may be retiring.

No. Obama’s opposition has more to do with the color of his skin than with logic and reason. Every accusation, from his being born a non-citizen, to being a Muslim, to being understood in terms of “Kenyan anti-colonial behavior” (Gingrich) to being “a failure” is rooted in race.

Still the American Original Sin. And still emanating principally from the American South and rural Midwest.

Hal, please understand that I’m not a Republican or Democrat (or anything “left” or “right,” I think), so I can’t give you answers there.  I agree that his Presidency is…pretty much what Bush was doing, and it’s sad.  Heck, the only reason we’re out of Iraq is that the Wikileaks cables prevented the provisional government from granting us immunity for another year.

Or, sorry, I understand it like I understand professional sports.  People up here (lower New York) love Derek Jeter because he’s a Yankee.  In a couple of years, he’ll go to another team and the same people will have always hated him.

Pepsi drinkers hate Coke, even though most people can’t tell the difference beyond sugar content.

Since Gingrich was Speaker of the House (as I recall), politics has been about the same kind of (asinine) adversarial branding.  It’s been party first, country…I hesitate to say “second,” but you get the idea.

Regarding Michelle’s comment, I don’t care about her beliefs, myself.  She’s entitled to them as a human being, and I haven’t been particularly keen on the country’s general direction, myself.  My point was only that I’ve heard many people cite that as evidence of Obama’s potential poor judgement in surrounding himself with people who find this country odious.

I can at least see the point, even if I don’t identify with it.  Should Chinese-Americans not be proud of their country until we elect “one of them”?  There’s a lot of “types” of people we’ve never elected, and I can understand how drawing the line in the sand at blackness would ruffle a few feathers.

For much of Bill Clinton’s presidency, one or both houses of Congress was in Republican hands, just as now with Obama.  The Repubs didn’t treat Clinton as badly as they are treating Obama.  I stated earlier there is a racial factor, but, yes, it is more than that:  McConnell’s stated desire to make him a one term president, the Repubs not wanting to give any credit to Obama for anything and the list goes on.  But it still comes back to what I stated in yesterday’s post.

@John- You say, “I’ve heard many people cite that as evidence of Obama’s potential poor judgement in surrounding himself with people who find this country odious.” Do you mean Rev. Wright? Just because Obama went to a church that has a particularly outspoken leader, means nothing to most people. Every politicians has loose associations with questionable characters. There is a big difference to me when someone closely associates with, say Jack Abramoff, don’t you think?

You must be a Yankee fan, otherwise you’d recognize the courageous decision made by Branch Rickey back in the mid-40s to break the color barrier and introduce a black player into the major leagues. Brooklyn is not that far away!

Coke and Pepsi are Worlds apart and it’s more than just the sugar content. Either one of them could have chosen to run the “***** tast challenge” and garnered new customers.

@Bob Burns- I hold onto hope that Obama’s opposition is mainly ideological. Both parties are strongly committed to certain principles, although it seems easier to pick off just enough of them with a little money to destroy democracy. I agree that racism is a significant part of it, but Republicans have carried water for the rich and large corporate interests long before Obama was sworn in.

@ Hal

“...but Republicans have carried water for the rich and large corporate interests long before Obama was sworn in. “

Indeed, indeed.

Gloria Grening Wolk

Dec. 21, 2011, 3:47 p.m.

I am impressed with the comments here, far more sophisticated and thought-provoking than anywhere else—and I do follow the major media.

The reason I stated earlier my doubt that racism alone was the reason for so much hatred toward Obama is the many vigorous, nasty comments about Hillary Clinton. I think we would have the same scenario, if she were elected president. Those who believe we should have an elite class and serfs would vow to keep her a one-term president, and would come up with all sorts of substitutions for the ridiculous things said about Obama (i.e., the birthers).

Steven Kerens

Dec. 21, 2011, 4:58 p.m.

The President should clear the slate and appoint everyone who is on the dock to fill positions.  A curse on the Republican blackmailers.  The Republicans are supposed to be the constitutionalists when it is in their interest to be so…It is a very clear right if not responsibility for the President to get people into positions so that the government can operate efficiently.  OH!  that is the problem the Republicans do not want the government to operate efficiently or even at all.  They want it only to be there to dispense tax dollars to to the tax dodging oil, finance, and defense industries while allowing infrastructure to crumble, the poor to suffer, and the 99% get poorer (and the 1% that much richer).

With all this fol-de-rol with Boehner and the House doing a tax “increase” on wage earners and the fact that the GOP is looking pretty darned stupid as they fly off to their districts for Xmas, you can bet that the Democrats are going to surface the three years of this nonsense perpetrated on the President, including their term-long denial of the President to appoint people he wants.

I sense that all this is going to to blow up in the GOP’s face.

Hal, I don’t know why you’re trying to pile on assumptions about me merely because I’ve tried to bring forth non-racial reasons for not caring for Obama.

If you want to call me a “closet racist” just for being white and disapproving of a specific man who happens to have African ancestry (or associating with others who do), feel free to do so.  It would be more honest of you than trying to force me into the role of a Yankees fan and revisionist historian.

My point about brands is that, since the ‘90s (and I lay the majority of the blame for this at Gingrich’s feet), American politics has become increasingly about the party (or a more abstract red/blue) than about the candidate.  And every four years, we’ve ticked up a level in vitriol (and moreso every eight years when the incumbents leave).

My point about baseball was analogous:  We had eight years of people calling out Bush on everything he did, no matter how trivial.  Every policy decision was attacked by Democrats, even as they voted for them.  I agree with the majority of it, of course, because it was a disaster, but I think the force behind it was backlash from the Clinton years, which weren’t much better (if you factor out the dot-com boom, which he wasn’t involved with).  Obama is seeing the backlash of the Bush years, plus heat for not overturning Bush’s policies.

I don’t deny that some people will hate him simply because he’s black, of course.  There are racists.  I assume you wouldn’t deny that there are people out there who’d hate me just for being white, either.

But they don’t represent the majority.  And focusing on racism as THE reason for disagreeing with Obama ignores all his policy flaws.

Bob, my point about his placing blame isn’t that there’s no blame, but the fact that he’s quick to make sure it’s someone else’s fault.  A good leader accepts the blame and works to fix it.  A bad leader points fingers while things continue to go wrong.

Question, though:  If the GOP’s goal is to get Obama out of office, though, shouldn’t they be looking for a candidate that…y’know, can at least act like they know what they’re doing?  Maybe get at least one or two who don’t look like some crazy guy Captain Kirk would have needed to stop back in the ‘60s?  Oh, well…

Some very good insightful comments.  I’m an Independent (20 years and counting) but I did support and donate to the Obama campaign.  I am less enthusiastic about him now, but the opposition is so scary my sense is I will stay with him when I’m alone in the voting booth.  George W. Bush was a disaster and an easy act to follow politically but the economic problems Obama inherited were almost unsurmountable.  Regarding the blocking of appointments by the Senate, I worked for the feds for 30+ years and I have never seen anything like this.  The Senate is migrating from being useless to becoming dangerous for the nation.  Some of these jobs need to be filled for the general good.  I understand the issues with the House.  Boehner isn’t crazy or extreme, but he is stuck with 100 idiots in his caucus who could care less if they bring down the whole economy.  No reasonable actions will occur until enough of them are thrown out to allow Boehner to regain control of his caucus (unless the Dems retake the House - which is now possible).  The good news is many of these tea baggers will probably be thrown out in 2012.  Senator McConnell is another matter.  He has used every parliamentary tactic, filibuster, and political lie to cripple this administratuon and to weaken the economic recovery.  He may be the worst person to ever occupy a U.S. Senate seat although that honor would be hard to snatch from McCarthy.  I also blame our lazy corporate media for dumbing down the electorate and amplifying GOP lies about what “the electorate wants”.  If this were a center-right nation Obama would not have been elected by six points and outpolling every announced GOP candidate by a substantial margin.  I think the GOP will discover the electorate has finally had it with their obstructionism in 2012.  They are even losing the senior vote, and demographics in general is working against them.  They have boxed themselves into a political corner and the nuts in the House will keep them there until the election.

I want President Obama to make recess appointments.  The GOP has been terrible about him making sensible and reasonable nominees in recess because the GOP are just against everything the President does for the good of America.

Vicki Friedman

Dec. 23, 2011, 12:42 a.m.

I want President Obama to make recess appointments.  The GOP has been against him making sensible and reasonable nominees in recess because the GOP are just against everything the President does for the good of America.

McConnel says he will hold up non controversial appointments. All of the current people awaiting appointments are non controversial. The Republicans don’t get that the public is tired of these games. few Bush appointments were questioned by the Dems because they weren’t trying to play the stupid games

President Obama should fill as many vacancies as he can during Congress’ winter recess.  Average Americans want to be protected by the NLRB and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  It’s time for us to take our government back.

So maybe Obama finally grew a pair?  Let’s see whether he will prevail over the Mad Dogs on the far-far-Radical Right about the recess appointments.

These MDs are not your grandfather’s Republican Party, back in Eisenhower’s time, that was able to work across the aisle for the good of the country.  Their objective has always been to create a perment Mad Dog majority in the Congress; they have been working steadly toward that objective for 40 years or more.

With the result that the GOP has been taken over by our corporate masters, funded by the likes of the Koch Brothers, and led by Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, and their ilk, as well as their allies in the Supreme Court .  The Supremes’ 5/4 majority never saw a “pro-business” case they didn’t like—even the most anti-American, anti-people, immoral.

Now Gingrich, who led the 1994 revolution that ruined the GOP, still has the nerve to put himself forward as a political candidate?  The man can’t be indicted on chutzpah alone; he seems mentally and emotionally unstable.

Who knows what kind of cards Obama is playing. Certainly he got a big boost from the freak show the Evangelicals put on in Iowa.  Even the most hard-core Republican (other than the Mad Dogs in Congress and their paymasters) must shudder at the thought of any of these deeply ignorant political whores sitting in the White House.  Note that Huntsman, who alone among the candidates, resembled a thinking human being, ended up at the bottom of the pack.

One is reminded of the old Chinese curse:  “May you live in interesting times.”  Indeed!

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