President Obama has once again circumvented the U.S. Congress as it stands in the way of his agenda — this time, by directly appointing four new U.S. ambassadors whose appointments were otherwise stalled by lawmakers for months, as well as the U.S. Public Printer and the Deputy Attorney General. Fox News writes, “The White House announced Wednesday that Obama would use his power to make recess appointments to fill envoy posts to Azerbaijan, Syria, and NATO allies Turkey and the Czech Republic.”
Left-wing blogs are fretting over the potential impact of the incoming new majority Republican House of Representatives upon federal regulations, especially possible Republican use of the “Congressional Review Act.” The law may allow Republicans to limit executive branch regulatory power without going through the ordinary legislative process.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) is considering a pilot program that would require gun dealers in the borders states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California to report each sale of two or more rifles. Jim Pruett of Jim Pruett’s Guns and Ammo in Houston considers such a move simply a back door to gun registration. “It [would go] on record with the ATF forever,” Pruett says of the reported sales. “There’s no mention of purging the system. So what you basically have is ad-hoc gun registration.”