Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Via NRA-ILA

It’s happening again— President Obama is using his imperial pen and telephone to curb your rights and bypass Congress through executive action.

Even as news reports have been highlighting the gun control provisions of the Administration’s “Unified Agenda” of regulatory objectives (see accompanying story), the Obama State Department has been quietly moving ahead with a proposal that could censor online speech related to firearms. This latest regulatory assault, published in the June 3 issue of the Federal Register, is as much an affront to the First Amendment as it is to the Second. Your action is urgently needed to ensure that online blogs, videos, and web forums devoted to the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition do not become subject to prior review by State Department bureaucrats before they can be published.

To understand the proposal and why it’s so serious, some background information is necessary.

For the past several years, the Administration has been pursuing a large-scale overhaul of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which implement the federal Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The Act regulates the movement of so-called “defense articles” and “defense services” in and out of the United States. These articles and services are enumerated in a multi-part “U.S. Munitions List,” which covers everything from firearms and ammunition (and related accessories) to strategic bombers. The transnational movement of any defense article or service on the Munitions List presumptively requires a license from the State Department. Producers of such articles and services, moreover, must register with the U.S. Government and pay a hefty fee for doing so.

Also regulated under ITAR are so-called “technical data” about defense articles. These include, among other things, “detailed design, development, production or manufacturing information” about firearms or ammunition. Specific examples of technical data are blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions or documentation.

In their current form, the ITAR do not (as a rule) regulate technical data that are in what the regulations call the “public domain.” Essentially, this means data “which is published and which is generally accessible or available to the public” through a variety of specified means. These include “at libraries open to the public or from which the public can obtain documents.” Many have read this provision to include material that is posted on publicly available websites, since most public libraries these days make Internet access available to their patrons.

The ITAR, however, were originally promulgated in the days before the Internet. Some State Department officials now insist that anything published online in a generally-accessible location has essentially been “exported,” as it would be accessible to foreign nationals both in the U.S. and overseas.

With the new proposal published on June 3, the State Department claims to be “clarifying” the rules concerning “technical data” posted online or otherwise “released” into the “public domain.” To the contrary, however, the proposal would institute a massive new prior restraint on free speech. This is because all such releases would require the “authorization” of the government before they occurred. The cumbersome and time-consuming process of obtaining such authorizations, moreover, would make online communication about certain technical aspects of firearms and ammunition essentially impossible.

Penalties for violations are severe and for each violation could include up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Civil penalties can also be assessed. Each unauthorized “export,” including to subsequent countries or foreign nationals, is also treated as a separate violation.

Gunsmiths, manufacturers, reloaders, and do-it-yourselfers could all find themselves muzzled under the rule and unable to distribute or obtain the information they rely on to conduct these activities. Prior restraints of the sort contemplated by this regulation are among the most disfavored regulations of speech under First Amendment case law.

But then, when did the U.S. Constitution ever deter Barack Obama from using whatever means are at his disposal to exert his will over the American people and suppress firearm ownership throughout the nation?

Time is of the essence! Public comment will be accepted on the proposed gag order until August 3, 2015. Comments may be submitted online at regulations.gov or via e-mail at DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, ‘‘ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.”

Opinion

Obama: Pass a bill or I’ll rip up the Constitution

The president does not have the right to overturn laws he does not like. The former constitutional law professor knew that in 2010. When asked why he had not pushed through a bill to legalize undocumented immigrants, Obama told Univision: “I am president; I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the executive branch to make it happen.”

On Nov. 20, when Obama announced the expansion of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to include undocumented adults, he said, “To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

George Washington University law Professor Jonathan Turley is an Obama voter who is appalled. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Turley charged that partisan “division is no license to ‘go it alone’ as the president has suggested. You have only two choices in our system when facing political adversaries: You can either seek to convince them or to replace them. This is obviously frustrating for presidents (and their supporters) who want to see real changes and to transcend gridlock. However, there is nothing noble in circumventing the Constitution. The claim of any one person that they can ‘get the job done’ unilaterally is the very Siren’s Call that our Framers warned us to resist.”

The Constitution charges the president to “take care that the law be faithfully executed”; Obamaland contends it is simply engaging in executive discretion. But Judge Hanen countered, “Exercising prosecutorial discretion and/or refusing to enforce a statute does not also entail bestowing benefits” — like Social Security cards, work permits and the ability to travel.

In supporting the president’s imperious go-it-alone approach, Democratic leaders have acquiesced to what Turley calls “their own institutional obsolescence.” They’ve handed a tool of mischief to the next chief executive.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has a chance to be relevant by pushing a bill that would grant legal status to undocumented immigrants brought here as minors. Such a bill also would continue funding for the Department of Homeland Security before a Feb. 27 budget deadline. The Senate and White House would bristle about a package less generous than the big bill passed by a Democratic Senate in 2013, but if enacted, such a measure would be the law of the land until and unless a new Congress and president overrode it. Unless, that is, Americans decide the Constitution doesn’t mean anything.

Source:

http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/saunders/article/Obama-Pass-a-bill-or-I-ll-rip-up-the-6088359.php

Obama compares pardoning turkeys to executive order on immigration

Posted: November 26, 2014 by gamegetterII in Obama
Tags:

At Wednesday afternoon’s White House ceremony for the traditional annual presidential pardon of turkeys from being served up for Thanksgiving dinner, Barack Obama likened the action to his executive order last week on illegal aliens. The president made the remarks before assembled press with daughters Malia and Sasha present before sparing the lives of turkeys Mac and Cheese, the beneficiaries of his latest order.

“Today, I’m taking an action fully within my legal authority,” the president remarked in a seeming mocking dig at critics of his policy of allowing federal law to be flouted and rewarding those who break it. “I know some will call this amnesty, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of turkey to go around.”

It’s instructive that Obama evidently deems it proper to joke about equivalency between “undocumented” foreign nationals and turkeys, or that it is within his purview to issue a blanket pardon on their behalf when none has been requested as per Justice Department requirements, and would be rejected by those who feel it is their right to live, work and vote in this country regardless of its laws. At this writing, there has been no reported reaction on social media feeds for immigrant activist groups on how they feel about the comparisons.

http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-compares-pardoning-turkeys-to-executive-order-on-immigration?CID=examiner_alerts_article


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