40 Years Later, a Resurgence of Presidential Powers

Last week, Obama debuted his biggest solo act yet, announcing rather politically that his Homeland Security Department would no longer deport younger illegal immigrants who haven't committed a crime.

The White House insists that the immigration order isn't a runaround of Congress.

"As the President said on Friday, these DHS enforcement directives are part of a progression that has taken place over the last three years, ensuring that the Administration is using our finite resources most effectively and not focusing on productive members of society who are here through no fault of their own," White House spokesman Luis Miranda said in a statement.

"This temporary solution is the right thing to do, but it does not replace the need for meaningful bipartisan Congressional action to fix our nation's broken immigration system, and the President continues to urge Congress to take action on this issue, including passage of the Dream Act with a path to citizenship," Miranda said.

In his standard weekly address, Obama didn't hide his public disdain for that lesser branch of government.

"There's no excuse for Congress to stand by and do nothing while so many families are struggling," he said.

This is also the president who has a personal "kill list" of terrorists, and the president who gave the order to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen in Yemen who was fueling propaganda for al Qaeda. Obama reportedly called the decision to kill the cleric "an easy one."

Wrote The New York Times, which in 1971 published the secret Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War: "Nothing else in Mr. Obama's first term has baffled liberal supporters and confounded conservative critics alike as his aggressive counterterrorism record. His actions have often remained inscrutable, obscured by awkward secrecy rules, polarized political commentary and the president's own deep reserve."

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