With the Stroke of a Pen

How Obama abuses executive power to make the law of the land

A Washington Examiner special series

Day 1: Obama illegally decrees amnesty for many illegal immigrants

By Conn Carroll | 09/16/13 12:00 AM

Locked in a fierce fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, President Obama promised Univision host Jorge Ramos, “I cannot guarantee that it is going to be in the first 100 days. But what I can guarantee is that we will have in the first year an immigration bill that I strongly...
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Day 2: Obamacare mandate is whatever Obama -- or any future president -- says it is

By Conn Carroll | 09/17/13 12:00 AM

“If Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case,” President Obama said about GOP objections to delay employer mandate. Part two of the 10-part series "With the Stroke of a Pen: How Obama abuses executive power to make the...
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Day 3: Obama ignored Congress before launching Libyan war

By Conn Carroll | 09/18/13 12:00 AM

President Obama made it clear in a Mar. 3, 2011, statement from the White House: "The violence must stop. Muammar Gaddafi has lost legitimacy to lead, and he must leave." Part three of the Washington Examiner's 10-part series.
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Day 4: Obama donor gained nearly $1b in tax credits in Solyndra bankruptcy

By Conn Carroll | 09/19/13 12:00 AM

Part four of the Washington Examiner's 10-part series "With the Stroke of a Pen: How Obama abuses executive power to make the law of the land." Most people who follow the news are aware that President Obama invested $527m in Solyndra, the now-bankrupt California-based solar panel manufacturing...
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Day 5: Obama rewrote federal education law as Congress napped

By Conn Carroll | 09/20/13 12:00 AM

President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind education law was the largest expansion of federal involvement in elementary education since President Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Part five of the 10-part series by the Washington Examiner.
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Day 6: Obama claimed unlimited recess appointment power in NLRB crisis

By Conn Carroll | 09/23/13 12:00 AM

NLRB officials filed a complaint April 20, 2011, against the Boeing Co., seeking to force the aerospace giant to build new 787 Dreamliners in the forced-unionism state of Washington rather than in its new assembly plant in the right-to-work state of South Carolina. Part six of the 10-part series...
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Day 7: Obama refuses to follow the law on nuclear waste

By Conn Carroll | 09/24/13 12:00 AM

Just months after announcing his candidacy for president of the U.S., then-Sen. Barack Obama wrote the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2007 seeking to clarify his position on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project. Part seven of the 10-part commentary series.
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Day 8: Obama edict repealed 1996 welfare reform's work requirement

By Conn Carroll | 09/25/13 12:00 AM

There were plenty of reasons why President Obama’s $787t economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, received no Republican votes in the House of Representatives. Part eight of the 10-part commentary series by the Washington Examiner.
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Day 9: Obama repeatedly defied federal court with Gulf oil policies

By Conn Carroll | 09/26/13 12:00 AM

Jacking up oil prices by ending energy production on federal lands has long been a top priority for liberal Democrats and their Big Green environmental movement backers. Part nine of the 10-part commentary series by the Washington Examiner.
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Day 10: President Obama, Julius Genachowski ignore law to regulate the Internet

By Conn Carroll | 09/27/13 12:00 AM

Soon after the AP first reported in 2007 that Comcast was blocking some customers from using the file-sharing program BitTorrent, a number of leftist activist groups filed a complaint with the FCC asking the agency to issue an order halting the practice. Part 10 of the Washington Examiner's...
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About this series

On Nov. 16, 2010, just days after voters gave Republicans control of the House of Representatives, the progressive think tank Center for American Progress published a report titled "The Power of the President."

Obama-Biden Transition Project Chairman John Podesta introduced the report, writing that "in the aftermath of this month's midterm congressional elections, pundits and politicians across the ideological spectrum are focusing on how difficult it will be for President Barack Obama to advance his policy priorities through Congress."

"Some debate whether the administration should tack to the center and compromise with the new House leadership," Podesta continued.

"As a former White House chief of staff, I believe those to be the wrong preoccupations. President Obama's ability to govern the country as chief executive presents an opportunity to demonstrate strength, resolve, and a capacity to get things done," Podesta said.

Not only did Obama almost immediately embrace the report's call for maximizing executive power to achieve progressive ends without Congress, it even branded the effort "We Can't Wait," thus advertising the fact that Obama had abandoned all pretense of following the U.S. Constitution's carefully drawn separation-of-powers doctrine.

In this Washington Examiner series, Senior Writer Conn Carroll documents the many times Obama has flagrantly abused executive authority to advance his liberal agenda without congressional approval.

The top 10 instances will be examined over the next two weeks, and more will come later.

Elements to come in this series

1. Immigration amnesty by executive memo

2. The employer mandate delay

3. War in Libya

4. The illegal Solyndra contract modification

5. Rewriting federal education law by waiver

6. Unconstitutional NLRB appointees

7. The Yucca Mountain delay

8. Gutting welfare reform

9. The Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium

10. Regulating the Internet