A May 7 Newsmax article by Cathy Burke touts how "Sen. Ted Cruz unveiled the fourth in his series of reports on what he has called the Obama administration's abuses of power – an issue that has dominated the freshman lawmaker's 16 months in Congress," noting that it "cited 76 instances of the administration's overstepping its constitutional authority, ranging from Obamacare to Benghazi." But Burke simply repeats Cruz's allegations and made no apparent attempt to delve into the veracity of the allegations.
By contrast, the Washington Post Dana Milbank reported that several of Cruz's claims are specious if not outright false:
Consider item No. 2 in the “Other Abuses of Power” section: “Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.” This does sound bad — and strange, given that Obama had publicly said he was “angry” about the release, which was “a bad decision.”
The footnote on Cruz’s allegation points to an article in the Australian newspaper, a curious source. I looked up the article, which stated that “the U.S. wanted Megrahi to remain imprisoned in view of the nature of the crime.”
Cruz, in a preamble to his accusations, writes piously of “the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.”
The evidence? The first item in the first category (“Governing By Executive Fiat”): ”Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.”
Such waivers were at the heart of welfare reform, which I covered. Ron Haskins, who drafted the law, told The Post that waivers made the law possible by giving states freedom to experiment.
A few lines down, Cruz alleges that Obama “extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages . . . even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.”
Cruz’s footnote for this allegation is to a February news article, which notes that the administration’s “changes were set in motion last year when the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to refuse federal benefits to married same-sex couples.” So Obama is being “lawless” by obeying a Supreme Court ruling?
Cruz alleges that the administration “ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.” In fact, Obama’s National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint — and any order would have been up to a judge, as the law requires. In the end, Boeing and the union struck a deal, and the complaint was dropped.
Cruz must have found some of his allegations too good to check — such as the charge that Obama “spent $205,075 in ‘stimulus’ funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.” Actually, the removal of the plant (which had been believed to be extinct in the wild) was part of a massive road project run by California, not the federal government. Like thousands of other projects, it got stimulus dollars — less than 10 percent of its total funding.
That's what a real journalist would do. What's Burke's excuse?