Podesta Detailed Obama’s Power Grab in September

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

On September 4th at Sen Harry Reid’s “annual energy conference, where green-tech-industry players, environmentalists, and politicians” meet to discuss their agenda, ongoing or preferred, Center for American Progress founder and White House insider John Podesta blandly presented what may be the greatest presidential power grab in American history, but the media is only getting around to telling people about it now.

National Journal now describes it as Podesta “speaking as counselor to President Obama and the main force behind one the most aggressive policy strategies this White House has deployed”.

What it does is explain precisely the type of unilateral action we’ve been seeing from Obama, now escalating even more after the 2014 mid-terms. It also indicates quite clearly there is much, much more to come. Meanwhile, establishment Republicans in Washington seem more interested in making Christmas videos and rehearsing a chorus of Kumbaya in preparation for rolling over for Obama. When steelier opponents to Obama stand up and attempt to rein in him – as both Sen Ted Cruz, Sen Mike Lee and a few others did – they are summarily denounced by both the media and the establishment Republican leaders currently in control of the GOP.

The key phrase from below being, “It’s all part of the administration’s stated intent to go around Congress on everything from energy to immigration.”

His address was workmanlike. A briefing, really. Something no one would ever confuse with the speech-making of his presidential bosses—Obama and, before him, Bill Clinton, to whom Podesta was chief of staff. In 10 densely packed minutes of discourse about White House energy and climate policies, Podesta repeatedly glanced at his notes and blew right past chances to set up applause lines. Yet the performance was impressive in another way: as a review of the breadth of Obama’s second-term climate-change agenda.

The Environmental Protection Agency is at the center of that agenda, with its controversial rule to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants, but the strategy is much broader than that. The past year has brought a rat-tat-tat burst of environmental policy initiatives and reports from agencies that span the government: the Housing and Urban Development Department, the Council of Economic Advisers, FEMA, and others. Internationally, mid-November brought a surprise joint announcement with China on carbon emissions, the fruit of months of careful negotiations with Chinese officials. It’s all part of the administration’s stated intent to go around Congress  on everything from energy to immigration. And Podesta is elbow-deep in it.


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