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Obama Banana Republic

by Keith Koffler on January 23, 2012, 8:22 pm

Are we living in a Banana Republic? A place where laws are passed for fun and broken for sport?

That’s what Wall Street Journal Latin American affairs columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady, who covers Banana Republics for the newspaper, wants to know.

In a column published today, O’Grady accuses Obama of UNMITIGATED CYNICISM AND ABUSE OF POWER in his handling of the Keystone XL pipeline, suggesting his behavior is worthy of the Chavistas and likely to chill future investors in U.S. infrastructure.

I hereby proclaim, that Tuesday is the beginning of the week, and steak knives will be used for butter. Photo by Keith Koffler

Like all Banana Republic satraps, this one is claiming perfect adherence to the laws of the land, even as he bends them for his own political ends.

The White House has been piously intoning that the decision to reject the pipeline arises from nothing less than its fanatical devotion to proper procedure, preaching the line that the State Department must perform its due diligence and analyze the environmental impact of a new route for the project through Nebraska.

But . . .well . . . the State Department is only analyzing the new route because it decided it didn’t want to accept the results of its own three year analysis of the old route, which determined that it wouldn’t ugly up Nebraska a single bit.

This is exactly what happens in Banana Republics, where they say things like, “I don’t like the results of this election! Let’s have a new election!”

As O’Grady puts it:

State had already issued three environmental impact statements over three years finding that there would be “no significant impact” on the environment from the pipeline. But as it prepared to issue its final ruling, the environmental lobby descended on the White House with protests.

Within days, State announced that a rerouting in Nebraska was necessary, which implied yet another round of environmental impact studies.

Obama said well, we’ll just have to wait until the new studies are in before I make a decision. That would delay the possible disappointing of Obama’s peevish environmental allies and his deep pocketed Prius-owning crowd of donors until after the election.

So Congress passed a law, A LAW, MIND YOU, requiring Obama to make a decision a little sooner – like in two months – since State had already spent three years on the taxpayers’ dime a thinkin’ and a thinkin’ and it was time, you know, to move your bowels or remove yourself from the commode.

Now, the law, THE LAW, MIND YOU, required Obama to base his decision not on whether State should keep considering the matter until after Obama’s political problems were behind him, but to decide on the merits of the project. Not on its impact on the ozone layer, the temperature of the earth, rare species of mollusks, or any other issues related to The Great Outdoors.

The three bullet points that cover this point in the rider couldn’t be much clearer: First, “the final environmental impact statement issued by the Secretary of State on August 26, 2011, satisfies all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 . . . and section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.” Second, “any [my emphasis] modification” to the route “shall not require supplementation of the final environmental impact statement . . .” Third, “no further Federal environmental review shall be required.”

Congress anticipated that Mr. Obama would try to use the complex process of environmental study as a fig leaf for further delaying the pipeline.

And the Commandante – I mean, the president – decided to ignore all of this and reject the pipeline because, in his own words,

. . . the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.

Waiiiiit a second el Presidente. Are you rewriting laws by executive order? Like in Havana? You can’t decide this on the environment. According to the law, if you fail to make a “national interest” determination and instead make an “Obama interest” determination, the pipeline goes ahead as planned.

And so, mi amigos, we’ll see whether Sr. Boehner and his Sr. McConnell have the cojones to have the law enforced.

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Lizzy January 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Yes we are a Banana Republic only because of the later day Juan & Evita
that currently occasionally occupy the WH. There must be a shortage of
cojones in DC these days Obama must have put something in the water to
neuter the GOP cause they should be on him like well insert phrase here.
I think we woman should sommer up our inner Suffragette and march on DC
as(no offense guys)but the cojones seem to be ours so come on ladies let’s
get going!

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Chuck Thomas January 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Re: Boehner and McConnell. The answer is “no”. No tengan cojones.

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Rosie January 24, 2012 at 7:11 am

No tienen …

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Anonna January 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

why are we speaking spanish? did laRaza et al win?

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Star January 24, 2012 at 10:44 am

Yeah–for a sec I though you all were in AZ.

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rawheadrex January 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm

This man, who considers himself tsar, should remember what good if the tsar says yes and God says no? This Obama is transparent only because he is so shallow. The American electorate should deliver its decision to his overarching ambitions. He has brought America closer to its vulnerability. America must look at the EU and realize it cannot mortgage(death debt) its future to the sake of people who will do nothing to help themselves.
America must return to God because without His help it is lost.

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Susan January 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Excellent and funny article Keith. Hard to laugh about such a serious subject, but you sure did pull it off. As Mark Levin always says we live in a post constitutional society, so might as well call us a banana republic. I would hate to think the Republicans were savvy enough to make sure the legalese was included in the law, but too lacking in intestinal fortitude to enforce it. Unfortunately, it would be par for the course with the cowards in congress.

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Susan January 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Heard one of Granny Jan’s Bruins, Tim Thomas, refused to attend Obama’s photo op today. He issued a very short and concise statement…

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=613279

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William January 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Exercising his right as a Free Citizen? Sounds like he might get a little visit from the authorities

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Susan January 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm

An audit by the IRS at the very least :)

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Star January 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

Whomp whomp whomp — uh oh.

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MT for re-redistribution January 24, 2012 at 11:40 am

TT, he’s gonna make you kiss his ring. You better get back in line…

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William January 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Once again this president reminds me of the sheriff from “O Brother, Where Art Thou.”

Everett: It ain’t the law!
Sheriff: The law? The law is a…human…institution.

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karyn January 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

O stated would no longer defend marriage act, Congress did nothing. O spent millions on Libyan war, Congress did nothing. O has not had a budget in 1000 days, Congress does nothing but gives him money when he asks. O made unconstitutional appointments, Congress did nothing. O makes 3 appointments of men who have not ever been on appointment list, Congress does nothing. O’s DOJ runs illegal gun running, Congress does nothing. O gives healthcare waivers to his supporters but forces his beliefs on everyone else, Congress does nothing. O’s czars create over a 1000 new regulations, Congress does nothing. O has Secret Service for Jarrett, Congress does nothing. O creates one new commission after another, Congress does nothing.

O is right — this is Do Nothing Congress !

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Sara B January 24, 2012 at 8:16 am

Well said Karyn!

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Uncle Reggie January 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm

bravo

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srdem65 January 23, 2012 at 10:19 pm

We’ve been waiting for 3 years for someone to stand up and protect our rights, to call out the wrongs, and to return our country to one of laws.
When ol’Newt starts calling out the Obama MSM for their bias, we all cheered and we will cheer again when someone, anyone, who has a voice or public forum calls out this President for his lawless, anti-American acts.

We’re waiting for someone to defend “us” against the slurs, the name-calling that the left spews with every utterence or upon any act of the conservatives.
When we got tired of waiting for our elected officials to stop the freight-train of Democrat backed anti-contitutional laws, we sent a new, feisty team of legislators to Congress and they were able to slow the train.
This year we’ll send more to Congress who will try to put a stop to this anti-constitutional madness and bring back fiscal sanity to our great country.

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michal January 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

great reply.

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Cooper January 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

well said.

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MT for re-redistribution January 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

“Fiscal Sanity”… Like

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DMcG January 23, 2012 at 10:38 pm

What does the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” mean to you? To me, it certainly includes flouting Congressional mandates. He could be impeached on a list of counts longer than my arm. Which, I suppose, would be useless since Dingy Harry probably wouldn’t bother to schedule the Senate trial mandated by the Constitution in that event. We have totally lost control. Perhaps he can be tried and jailed after he is out of office next January.

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girly1 January 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm

In flagrante delicto comes to mind!

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sportinlife10 January 24, 2012 at 7:04 am

RE: “I don’t like the results of this election. Let’s have a new election.”
Can you spell W-I-S-C-O-N-S-I-N?

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Just2old January 24, 2012 at 7:33 am

Did he not take the oath of office?

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

He has flouted the constitution let alone done anything to preserve, protect or defend it…Impeach him!

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Anonna January 24, 2012 at 9:54 am

no. remember that the public path was botched so it was repeated, so we were told, privately later behind closed doors.

not that i thunk a silly old-fashioned thing like an oath would restrict obama’s actions.

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Tom Poole January 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

“Impeach him”. Wouldn’t it be nice. However, lets be practical. There are at least three reasons it can’t happen”
1. The house could build the best case in the world and the Democrats in the Senate would block conviction.
2.. First would be the cries “racist”, followed immediately by the race riots all over the U.S.
3. There would still be Joe Biden to cope with.
So, though it certainly is a reasonable desire, and has a lot of “misdemeanors” if not high crimes which would give the effort legitamacy, it ain’t about to happen.
Next best thing: Make darn sure we have a Republican House and Veto proof Republican Senate for 2013. Then we might want to re-visit this idea.

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Just2old January 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

Tom – agree….but we’ll hold that thought and work for the dual majorities!

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Susan January 24, 2012 at 9:11 am

Drudge is linking to an article that outlines how the denial of the pipeline benefits one of his major cronies — Warrent Buffett and his railroad.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-23/buffett-s-burlington-northern-among-winners-in-obama-rejection-of-pipeline.html

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MaryOhSoContrary January 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

Susan i have that Bloomburg linky on my clipboard and was going to post it myself. I can only add the old adage “follow the money.”

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AZ Granny January 24, 2012 at 10:06 am

So now we know why King Putt denied it. Thanks for the link!

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Just2old January 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

The ironic thing is that the unintended consequence of using rail to haul the oil is train engines produce air pollution….a pipeline produces none. Put that in your pipe and smoke it tree huggers!

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cheryl January 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

coal anyone? I remember Obama stating he was going to tax the coal industry into oblivion because they won’t or can’t meet EPA regulations….trust me this ain’t over yet.

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Susan January 24, 2012 at 11:49 am

Here in central Texas many major cities are seeing electric rates rising because coal-powered plants can’t meet new EPA regulations so they stop production. Not only that, water bills are hit with a new fee, courtesy of Obama’s EPA, to save the “rare” blind salamander that supposedly resides in the depths of the Edwards aquifer. Obama and his minions won’t be happy until we’re freezing in the winter and roasting in the summer without any water to hydrate our bodies. One way to cull the herd I guess.

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anneinarkansas January 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

Excellent characterization of Obama and his goals…most of us are not fooled by his actions…am afraid that many still are.

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Star January 24, 2012 at 10:54 am

I think bananas are very delicious. It’s hardly news that this guy will do anything he can get away with…all with his nose in the air.

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Shofar January 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

Keith,

I have to disagree with yours and O’Grady’s assessment of Obama’s political “style.” We have not become a banana republic, we are instead heading towards the national socialist model. It won’t belong before there is a Nacht der langen messer here in the US, and Kristallnacht will follow closely behind.

With the growing power of the Federal government, and its willingness to detain for an indefinite period potential terrorists (let’s translate that into what it really means – anyone who expresses descent to what the government is doing); the administration’s decision to rule by fiat; selective enforcement of laws so as to bolster special (and needed) interest groups and thugs; the mantra of “If you see something, report it”; illegal and immoral acts by the Federal government against the interests of the American people (no border enforcement, illegal gun running, blanket amnesty for illegals via fiat) and too many more to be listed here, I would say we are not a banana republic. We are heading towards something much more dangerous and sinister.

The proof will be in November, 2012. I would predict that if the polls show Obama winning, then the election will happen. If, on the other hand, Obama is going to go down in flames, I would lay good money that that the election will be “postponed” in the interest of “national security” for an indefinite time.

The tree of liberty has long been waiting to be watered, and this maybe the year.

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Shofar January 24, 2012 at 11:36 am

In today’s NRO, an interesting take on what is going on in Michigan and what may happen nationally.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/288949/rome-redux-michael-auslin

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cheryl January 24, 2012 at 11:23 am

You can’t make this stuff up. They either don’t know what people are saying, or just don’t care.

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karyn January 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Warren Buffet is making a profit on O’s denial of the pipeline. Here is an article that lays it out.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-23/buffett-s-burlington-northern-among-winners-in-obama-rejection-of-pipeline.html

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James Crawford January 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Of course Obama might have another motive to deny the Keystone pipeline deal.
http://www.dallasblog.com/201201231008717/dallas-blog/democrat-warren-buffet-profits-from-keystone-closure.html
A stupid decision to line Warren Buffet’s pockets to thank him for his political support and campaign contributions would not be so insane if not for the safety and pollution issues. Transporting Canada’s new crude production by rail would require about two dozen, one hundred car trains per day operating in sometimes brutal weather. The steel on tank cars is far thinner than the steel in a pipeline and far, far more vulnerable to damage. In the event of a rupture in a pipe, the nearest valves along the pipeline can be closed to limit the spill.
If Environmental activists had brains, they would be livid.

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veritaseequitas January 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I sure won’t miss looking up The Commnists’ nostrils come next January.

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Lanie January 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Obama is the law. He has made that perfectly clear. Doesn’t he always say “let me make this clear”? Besides, if the Department of Justice doesn’t like a federal law such as the Defense of Marriage Act or the immigration laws, they just ignore them. Kinda like that Constitution that he and his Socialist/Commie cohorts ignore.

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Jack January 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Directly to the heart Mr. Koffler, as it is Impossible to say it better than that.

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