President Obama promised to have the most transparent administration in history. He is working to fulfill that pledge with the appointment of far-left Center for American Progress (CAP) founder John Podesta as his high-profile congressional circumvention strategist.
As Podesta stated in a 2010 CAP report, executive power “presents a real opportunity for the Obama administration to turn its focus away from a divided Congress and the unappetizing process of making legislative sausage.”
Presidential press secretary Jay Carney makes no bones about that White House priority. The Hill reports him saying: “Podesta will help implement executive actions where necessary when we can’t get cooperation out of Congress.” Key priorities will expand climate and environmental regulations.
John Podesta clearly knows his way around Democratic presidential politics. He served as chief of staff to President Clinton during his second-term and has led President Obama’s transition team following the 2008 election as an “outside adviser.”
The Washington Post reports that Podesta remains to be“an influential voice within the Clinton political orbit, informally advising Hillary Clinton since she stepped down as secretary of state. In the past few weeks, he was in talks to help lead Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that supported Obama in 2012 and is positing itself to back Clinton if she runs for president in 2016.”
Last fall Podesta founded the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a group within CAP that will expand class warfare messaging directed to income redistribution. This can be expected to be a central Obama/Clinton theme going forward. His George Soros-sponsored CAP, a 501(c)(3) liberal think tank, serves as a driving force behind current White House agendas and messaging.
CAP is also the parent organization of Campus Progress, a progressive center which publishes a daily political opposition research email report. In 2009, CAP’s 501(c)(4) Action Fund and the Media Matters Action Network teamed up to launch a “Progressive Media” war room which coordinates with a “Common Purpose Project” to promote messaging discipline among pro-Obama organizations.
The New York Times reports that Podesta’s new White House role“will focus in particular on climate change issues, a personal priority of Mr. Podesta’s.” An article by Robert Semple, Jr. states: “Mr. Podesta’s main task will be to give the Environmental Protection Agency the support it needs to devise new rules controlling greenhouse gases from new and existing power plants.”
Never mind the past 17 years of flat global temperatures despite ballyhooed record atmospheric CO2 levels, he is hell-bent to reheat regulatory assaults on carbon emissions.
Podesta told New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza that climate-change policy through expansive use of executive power would serve as fertile ground if Obama wanted to get anything accomplished during his second term.
One important near-term climate-premised policy issue involves Obama’s decision regarding Keystone XL pipeline approval. Podesta, an outspoken Keystone critic, has aligned himself with other powerful pipeline opponents including billionaire Democrat supporter Tom Steyer.
His CAP and Steyer’s NextGen action political action committee co-sponsored a daylong December anti-Keystone conference in Georgetown, Md. And although Podesta will reportedly recuse himself from working on the Keystone pipeline decision, it’s implausible to imagine that his strong opinions as Obama’s influential climate science adviser won’t carry weight.
That political heft is also likely to be felt in other environmental policy arenas. As Clinton’s chief of staff, Podesta influenced the designation of several national monuments which put millions of acres of public land off limits to development.
In his new role he will advise White House decisions regarding leases and permits for energy development and mining projects on federal lands. This is not likely to bode well for securing approval of massive copper and gold mine near Bristol Bay, Alaska. CAP has voiced strong opposition to the project.
Most of all, John Podesta’s appointment carries clear and ominous implications for the federal political environment. At a time when Obama’s plummeting poll numbers and Obamacare debacle imperil continued Democrat control of the Senate, who does he choose as counselor? That pick is a person quoted by Politico saying: “They [the Executive Branch] need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress.”
In other words, the choice is someone who fundamentally disagrees with the need to abide by constraints imposed by a two-party system of government when Democrats don’t control both. The pick is a person who believes that the solution to inconvenient constitutional limitations upon executive branch prerogatives is to establish an imperial presidency and simply ignore the separation of powers altogether. In short, the selection is John Podesta.
Larry Bell is a professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston, where he directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and heads the graduate program in space architecture. He is author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax,” and his professional aerospace work has been featured on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel-Canada. Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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