Two-term presidents entering the sixth year of their tenure in the Oval Office typically find their ability to influence the course of events increasingly compromised by their "lame-duck status."
They can't run for a third term and they usually face the prospect of serious political losses in the approaching midterm congressional elections, so senators, representatives and bureaucrats tend not to fear such a chief executive.
President Obama is approaching such a milestone in his presidency, and he is perhaps even more weakened by the failure of his signature program, Obamacare, to launch successfully.
Not your typical president
But Obama and his cabinet-level appointees show no sign of easing off their exercise of federal regulatory power to reshape America's political and economic landscape.
If anything, it's a pedal-to-the-metal surge to implement a host of new bureaucratic regulations that will inflict billions of dollars in damage to the economy and require years to roll back.
At the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, the New Source Performance Standards regulations are projected to force closure of hundreds of coal-fired electrical power generation plants.
The Perez Thanksgiving turkey
But the impact of the EPA's NSPS rules may ultimately be dwarfed by a proposed rulemaking quietly unveiled just before Thanksgiving by Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.
The Perez rule would revise DOL's definition of "persuader activity" by management under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.
Essentially, the narrowed definition would empower DOL to penalize a company that hires anybody to advise it on virtually any aspect of labor-management relations, thus putting managers at a serious disadvantage and inviting more labor strife.
But wait, there's more!
The persuader rule is scheduled to become final in March 2014, but it is just one of a host of new regulations in the offing from DOL.
Michael Lotito of the Littler Mendelson labor law firm, DOL has either recently proposed or is preparing 24 new final rules in coming months.
Plus, according to Lotito, DOL is "working on 31 rules at the proposed stage, 11 regulatory measures in the pre-rule category, and six long-term regulatory efforts."http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2539984