Shhh. Listen. Hear Anything?

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Serenity

Ah, the quiet serenity of Congress on adjournment. No more harsh screaming across the aisles. No more chest pounding as to who's more right wing that the next guy. No more useless repeal Obamacare votes.

During this month long break from the frenetic Congressional world of gridlock, I'm going to go out on a limb. I think Congress is actually going to get a lot done -- by leaving town.

Kreskin predicts

My prediction is --  think Kreskin Predicts for you old enough to remember the Amazing Kreskin -- that the next "scandal" in Washington is going to be Recessgate. It's going to be all about recess appointments and Article II of the US Constitution.

I predict that executive orders are going to be flying fast and furious a week after the last stragglers of congressional legislators have left town. Obama is going to use the powers that he has to make appointments, activate portions of stalled bills and he'll force the GOP's hand.

I predict Obama's going to silence his liberal critics by doing this and showing some balls. He's going to upset the apple cart called the GOP Congressional Quagmire (or business as usual). They've already threatened to shut the government down. I predict Obama calls their bluff.

I predict he announces limitations on the NSA's snooping domestically. He'll have his fingers crossed, behind his back when he says it, but he's going to look to appease the left.

I predict there will be some sort of jobs authorization plan, a liberal/progressive interpretation of his powers. Even if these are reviewed by SCOTUS when they return in October for their constitutionality, the effects will be felt immediately. And public opinion will trump the GOP's austerity program.

I predict judges -- at least in the District of Columbia. After all, the President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

I predict he's arranged, in a gentleman's agreement with a few resignations coming in soon that he'll fill in August. Their replacements are already standing by.

I predict that under the Article II of the Constitution, the president appoints ambassadors, ministers, consuls, and other officers as allowed by Congress. The president can fill vacancies in offices without Senate approval if the Senate is out of session.

I predict wherever necessary, the President will issue rules, regulations, and instructions called executive orders, which have the binding force of law upon federal agencies but do not require congressional approval. Every opportunity will be tapped. Look for some sort of global warming or infrastructure plan to be put into effect.

I predict none of this will happen. How's that for playing it safe?

Fortune teller

Obama's only got three years of his final term left. He squandered away the first year trying to work with the Obstructionist party. He has found that like American Express Cards, his political capital isn't accepted here. He's too proud and intelligent of a man to want "I Couldn't Get Anything Done" to be  his legacy. The man's not a quitter. He may not be up to all of our expectations, but who is? There's Catholics right now running around scared because Pope Francis dared to ask "Who am I to judge" when asked about gay priests. So there's no pleasing all the people, all the time.

Capitol Building at night

Obama is fully aware that we the people elected him on the promise of change. Well maybe we're on the cusp of seeing that -- starting with the flexing of the Chief Executive's powers during the congressional hiatus, when the capitol has gone dark.

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  • kentmueller

    The man actually has shown the ability to accomplish things quietly and without fanfare. Despite the GOP folding their arms and stomping their feet while yelling "No!" to any solution during the 2nd worst economic crisis in the nation's history, he managed to stop and slowly reverse an economic free fall [see "bikini graph"]. He oversaw the demise of Bin Laden, after W. and Cheney not only let 9-11 happen but said "Meh, so what?" to removing an anti-American boogeyman who won't haunt the nightmares of children any longer nor stand as the invincible symbol of AQ and its many diminished-in-power spin-offs, thanks to this guy in office. He saved what was left of the American auto industry and began a turn-around there. He did all these things in the face of headwinds not faced since the Lincoln administration or the early days of FDR, and worse than the worst days of Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
    That said, he's been too quick to compromise with the GOP, often surrendering points before negotiations have begun and giving them more credit than they deserve. He's been far too prone to buy into the ghost stories of the intelligence community without healthy skepticism, but I think his heart the whole time, and increasingly more members of the intelligence community, are geared to finding ways of winding back the more extreme powers of the NSA programs, i.e., turning around a a very large wayward battleship that starts on the wrong assumption (310 million Americans are potential terrorists) and runs amok from there. It may come down to the NSA's increasing inability to recruit talented people who aren't sociopaths.
    Obama hasn't been all I hoped and changed for, but when I think of erratic and aimless McCain (and likely Palin) or oblivious Romney administrations I'd vote for him all over again (no, not for a third term).