Unfortunately Murph it's called an "Executive Order" and it circumvents the checks and balances the US founders put in place to protect against abuse of power. Bushv1 first really started using it for circumvention of Congress and each subsequent president has stretched its intent further under their tenure; with the culmination of Mr. Obama. You are correct that he cannot pass most legislation, or go to "war", without Congressional approval, however the US Congress is filled with sycophants and milky-eyed monkeys awaiting their marching orders from the "guy citizens would like to have a beer with"; hence the 1.2 trillion dollar health care act which was 1,000+ pages long and passed within a week of him putting it out by Congressmen/women who openly admitted they didn't read it.
No, Obama has carefully crafted his positions to be able to hide his actions and make full use of his Executive power, creating "Czars" so he doesn't have to have Congress approve a cabinet member (not the first but has used it the most), redefining a "hostile" as male over the age of 13 so the drone civilian causality rate decreased and quietly collecting massive amounts of data on US citizens to stop "terrorists" which I guess we are by default without due process or reasonable suspicion; much like being frisked by TSA with no reason except having a plane ticket.
What the media and others aren't vocalizing is that the outrage stems from the basis that Mr. Obama was supposed to be "The Change" for the US. "No more politics as usual" in D.C. and promising complete transparency of government. Along with fixing the economy, shutting down Gitmo, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, cutting the deficit, and on and on. As one poster said, you see various media outlets who couldn't get their lips on to Mr. Obama's ass fast enough when he was elected, having some real dissonance issues right now.
An interesting game: Read US articles and see how many time you see the journalist report something negative about Obama and then quick reference how Bush did the same thing or worse, or how Obama was just continuing a Bush policy. Yes, he was elected in 2008 and is still rolling out Bush whenever he gets caught being incompetent. Welcome to America, it's never our fault...