In the Beginning…

In the beginning, God said “let everyone have health care.” Ummm, errrhhh, well, no he didn’t. Contrary to the declarations of the United Nations (oh, the irony) and World Health Organization, (click here to read) the right to receive health care is not a God given mandate. Nor is the right to receive health care found anywhere in the United States Constitution. Now, does that mean that a Liberal (to refresh your memory on the difference between Liberalism with a capital L and today’s mind-numbingly inane American liberal-small case l-click here ) should not aspire to provide health care for the populace? I would argue that it does not. A Liberal (capital L) society should absolutely seek to protect and preserve the well being of its people. 

Here’s the rub; Obamacare was noble in intent, and horribly wrong ( by design-more on this to follow) in execution. Obamacare was dead on arrival because it was driven by liberals (small case l) who believe the government is the source of all solutions. If you took the time to click on the definition of Liberal you would know that original Liberals did not look to government to solve their problems. 

You could (with good reason) take me to task for declaring Obamacare dead on arrival, since as I type it remains the governing health care law of our land. But folks, it is failing, and it is failing because it was intentionally flawed from the outset. Here is the ugly secret no one discusses: President Obama intended for its structure to implode because from the beginning he wanted a “single payer system” (click here for more on that.) The only way President Obama could achieve his end game was to set insurance companies up to fail. By not allowing commerce across state lines, and by continuing to feather the nests of plaintiff’s attorneys from coast to coast (thus driving up health care costs because of runaway tort liabilities) the President knew that eventually Obamacare would be crushed under its own weight and the next step would be to oust the private sector and let the Government come running to the rescue through the single payer system!

Then we have the Republicans. What a nightmare. In the beginning, they promised to repeal this flawed law and replace it with a law that would work. In the end, they failed. Time will tell whether they revisit Obamacare, but what a mess they have made of what should have been a great success story. 

If the Republicans don’t learn from this debacle, they are in a world of hurt. I have said it before and I say it again. Compromise is not a dirty word. The fact that moderate Republicans thought the replacement bill was too draconian, and conservative Republicans thought it was too moderate probably means it was just about right; not perfect, mind you, but infinitely better than where we were and remain today. Shame on Republican obstinance. If this behavior is replicated in the upcoming discussions around tax reform, the Republicans will be signing their death warrant as a leadership party. I know I have been wrong ( with regularity!) on many topics in the past 24 months, but you can put that prediction in the books. 

In the beginning, there was hope. There is still hope, but the hill just got steeper and more obstacles are blocking the path. It’s time for leaders to lead. The next few months will determine whether the we have witnessed the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end. 

A Review of Trump’s Cabinet-Put Me Down as Pleasantly Surprised

General James Mad Dog MattisLet’s face it. No one knew exactly what would forthcoming from the Trumpster. I mean he is not exactly Mr. Predictable. But I have to say I am not just ok with the people he has chosen to help him lead our country, I am overwhelming supportive. Let’s take a gander, shall we?

Director of the Office of Management and Budget–Mick Mulvaney–a fiscal conservative. This guy will not condone wasteful spending or increases in our deficit.

Secretary of the Interior–Ryan Zinke–a former Navy Seal and professed lover of our land; he will be a champion of our national treasures.

Secretary of Energy–Rick Perry–former Texas Governor–I am no Perry supporter, but for a government agency we seek to downsize and simultaneously install someone who is not hostile to hydrocarbons, Perry is as good a choice as any.

Secretary of State–Rex Tillerson–ExxonMobil CEO–borderline genius move. Tillerson has met and negotiated with most leaders of rogue nations across the globe. Remember, God did not put oil and gas in very many nice places (Texas aside), and Tillerson earned his way to the top spot at ExxonMobil by demonstrating negotiating brilliance and a calm demeanor. I love this choice.

Secretary of Labor–Andrew Puzder–CEO of CKE Restaurants–a smart guy, and one who has experienced first-hand the negative impact of excessive regulation and the long arm of federal government over-reach. He is a great choice.

EPA Administrator–Scott Pruitt–Oklahome Attorney General–he can’t stand Federal Government intervention in matters that should be up to the states to decide, and he is openly pro hydrocarbon. After 8 years of an administration living on some cloud wherein they thought we could flip a switch and continue to drive planes, trains, automobiles, and industry on power generated by wind and solar, Pruitt will be a refreshing anti-regulatory new face at the EPA.

Administrator of the Small Business Administration–Linda McMahon–former CEO of the WWE–what an inspired choice. She understands what it takes to build a business, and she knows how destructive over-regulation can be.

Secretary of Homeland Security–General John Kelly–former Marine General–nuff said.

Ambassador to China–Iowas Governor Terry Branstad–he has been a China expert for decades and immediately received the plaudits of former President George H W Bush. Branstad is the real deal.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development–Dr.Ben Carson–can anyone actually say they dislike this guy? I mean, he is the personification of the American success story. Good for Trump for giving him a meaningful position where his philosophy around self-sufficiency can make a difference.

Secretary of Defense–General James “Mad Dog” Mattis–This guy is amazing. Smart, literate, a thinker, and most importantly, someone his troops always wanted to follow. This is another inspired choice.

Commerce Secretary–Wilbur Ross–Find a person who has worked with this man who does not respect him. I dare you. He is widely respected and will champion American business interests.

Treasury Secretary–Steve Mnuchin–former Goldman Sachs banker. Apparently that drives the liberals nuts, notwithstanding how many former bankers have run the Treasury Department for democrat presidents. But more importantly, since when does being an outstanding banker preclude one from being considered for running our top Treasury post? I suppose the left would prefer someone with no financial background?

Transportation Secretary–Elaine Chao–a seasoned expert who served George W Bush for 8 years. She will run the Transportation Department ably.

Health and Human Services Secretary–Tom Price–Congressman from Georgia–a great pick as we know it means the President will focus on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a market based program that actually works for the American people and does not lead inevitably toward a single payer system, run by the government, for the government and of the government.

White House Counsel–Don McGahn– a lawyer who has long championed conservative causes, this is another pick that silences those who feared Trump may be a democrat in Republican clothing.

Education Secretary–Betsy DeVos–a dedicated advocate for school choice, charter schools, and the voucher system. Ms. DeVos is a great pick and the polar opposite of what Hillary would have done on the education front. Those of you who follow this stuff will know that Hillary campaigned against all school choice, and like her buddy Bill de Blasio (NYC’s nutty mayor) she advocated the elimination of charter schools.

US Ambassador to the United Nations–Nikki Haley–South Caroline Governor–amazing that when an accomplished woman such as Nikki Haley is nominated for an important position the democrats find ways to criticize her. If the Republicans were to be so small, they would be accused of being woman hating bigots. Nikki Haley will serve us well in the UN.

CIA Director–Mike Pompeo–Congressman from Kansas–he has been outspoken in the matters ranging from Benghazi to the Iran nuclear deal. He is a no nonsense guy and that is what we need at the CIA.

Attorney General–Jeff Sessions–US Senator from Alabama–has outstanding credentials. The left is concocting rubbish about his allegedly racist past. Hogwash. The progressives will never quit.

National Security Advisor–General Michael Flynn–no nonsense straight talker who isn’t afraid to associate Islam with terror attacks around the world.

Senior Counselor to the President–Steve Bannon–former Breitbart Executive Chairman–a hardass, yes. but to listen to the left, you would think this guy is the devil incarnate. Simply not true. And no, contrary to current progressive speak, he is not anti-zionist.

Chief of Staff–Reince Priebus–former head of the RNC—we’ll see how Reince does. I think he earned the job. 

Bottom line? These are good picks. I am far more confident today than I was the day after the election. I actually think we can get some amazing things done in year one. Time will tell, but put me down as pleasantly surprised!

More to Follow-

Mr. President, You Just Don’t Get it!

Hillary and ObamaMr. President, if you want to search for reasons explaining the rise of Donald Trump, search no longer. You, sir, are the reason, and Hillary is hell bent on making sure the reason lives on! Events of the past few days provide a perfect illustration of how we find ourselves in this absolutely bizarre situation.

We find ourselves once again in the  familiar position where hands are wrung and souls are searched after the brutal attack on innocent civilians pursuing their individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. While both Republicans and Democrats decry one another for politicizing a horrible nightmare, the fact of the matter is that it is impossible to separate politics from the terror that took place in Florida. 

Once again, the Democrats wasted no time blaming guns on the calculated murder and wounding of over 100 American citizens. Republicans just as quickly pounced on the fact that guns don’t actually kill people; people kill people. All one has to do is look at Chicago as a case in point for the complete and utter failure of strict gun control laws in stopping criminals from using guns. Once and for all, we need to move past the rhetoric and acknowledge that taking guns away from law abiding citizens will never (ever) stop criminals from using guns!

But the whole gun control debate is a red herring. The issue at hand, folks, remains one that has been the case for years. We are in an undeclared war with radical Islam: an idea used by proponents of envy and hate who wish to kill everyone of us; full stop. To date, the Obama Administration (including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) has refused to acknowledge the enemy. Instead, they have referred to “terror” as the enemy. No, Mr. President, terror is the method; ISIL, ISIS, Al Qaeda, (the list goes on) are the instruments; But radical Islam is the enemy!

Today, the President, in as mocking and haughty a tone as imaginable, attacked his “friends on the other side of the aisle” and Mr. Trump as being simplistic morons who clearly do not grasp the complexities of modern statesmanship. You can hear (and read) for yourself how Mr. Obama addressed the nation by clicking here. The President brushed aside years of criticism regarding his unwillingness to call the enemy what it actually is by saying “There is no magic to the phrase ‘radical Islam’. It is a political talking point.” Well, there you have it. No Mr. President, it is not a “political talking point.” It is an ugly, malformed, abomination of a religion whose followers live solely to destroy all who do not bend to their will. We are at war with this thing called radical Islam and all who subscribe to its sick doctrine. You Mr. President, (and yes, you, Mrs. Clinton) even today refuse to acknowledge the enemy. It is nauseating.

The President and Mrs. Clinton say Donald Trump is fueling the flames of terror’s fires with his anti-Muslim rhetoric. You know what? They may be right. But what they don’t understand is that their tepid, politically correct, milquetoast, (dare I even say mamby pamby?) refusal to name the enemy is the very cause for the rise of Donald Trump! Oh, the bitter taste of irony’s pill! Donald Trump would not be the presumptive nominee if millions of Americans were not pissed off. Sorry, there is no other way to say it. 

So there we have it. The President and Mrs. Clinton are appalled at the behavior of their political love child. Perhaps if they would stand up and start telling it like it is, their creation would disappear into one of his many towers. But don’t count on it. Neither the President nor Mrs. Clinton  have a clue. And thus we will see this American tragedy continue to play itself out.

More to follow-

Where Am I?

You Can't Make This Stuff Up.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.

How many of you feel like you are channeling Rip Van Winkle? It’s hard to read or watch the news these days without shaking your head in bewilderment. I mean, maybe you fell asleep one night and missed fifty years, right? Surely our values and national priorities could not have devolved as quickly as it seems. Sadly, I regret to advise that the last time you went to sleep was most likely last night, and you awoke to the same increasingly chaotic world that existed when you went to sleep! Watch this brief video of a Trump rally by clicking here. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.

We are living in a parallel universe with all Democrats and, yes, quite a few people who call themselves Republicans. I make the latter distinction because there is no way Donald Trump is a Conservative or a Republican. Donald Trump is in a world of his own making. He is taking all litmus tests and burying them under one of his debt-ridden Trump Towers. As regards the Democrats, what more do you need to know than they actually think the last seven years have been good for our country? And if any particular ill cannot be concealed by manipulative statistics spewed forth by the likes of Paul Krugman, the Democrats invariably fall back to blaming W. President Obama took the oath of office in January of 2009! He owns it; all of it. Yet the party faithful stand tall and firm behind that mantra that all ills still belong to Bush. Amazing. 

Back to the campaign. Everything that should matter doesn’t. Who is to blame? What is to blame? Have we become so dumbed down that only raw, base political pandering hits the target? Are we so superficial that policies no longer matter? Mr. Trump appears to be able to avoid any questions regarding substance by telling people to “wait and see” just how good a President he will be. Click here to see a summary of some of his remarks when questioned about specific issues. Give him credit. He’s got cojones. 

At the risk of repetition, bear with me as I say again, “This election is ours to lose, and we seem hell-bent on doing just that.” Our economy is a disaster. We have excessive regulations, high taxes, and a broken Affordable Care Act. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is going well. We need to send the clear message to people concerned about their jobs, families, houses, and futures that we understand government’s role is to give them the opportunity to succeed. Notwithstanding the increasing ISIS threat (which must not just be “contained”-whatever than means-but eliminated) the November election rhetoric will be focused first and foremost on economic issues. People are scared. They need to know someone is going to help them.

I believe the majority of independent voters (and at least half of the hard working Hispanic Americans) have no interest in four to eight more years of Obama’s failed policies wrapped up in a dress worn by Hillary Clinton. All we need to do is nominate a proven fiscal and foreign affairs Conservative. Is it really that hard?

There have been a lot of articles written recently pondering the decline and even the possible end of the Republican party as we know it. I am not sure what is happening. I don’t believe we are on the precipice of self-destruction, but we surely are in uncharted political waters. The next couple months will be very interesting. 

Enough maudlin dismay. You know, this Republican vs Democrat thing has been going on for a while, and the contrasts were as stark sixty years ago. Just listen to Bob Hope trying to help clarify the situation here.  Then again, Ronald Reagan always had a way of bringing things down to earth. Go ahead and chuckle along with him by listening to this . The amazing thing about Reagan is that even when obviously reading that joke, he had a way about him that was disarming and flat-out likable. I miss him. 

Enjoy your playoff football and long MLK weekend.

More to follow-

Holy Hiatus!

The President does not lead because he does not believe America should lead.

The President does not lead because he does not believe America should lead.

OK, so those of you who profess to reading Pierce Wire from time to time might be wondering whether the author got in the way of one of the administration’s free speech purges. Remember Lois Lerner?

Do you know what is amazing? You probably had to scratch your head to actually remember Lois Lerner. You see, there have been so many improprieties in the past six years that they all tend to blend together. A scandal that may have shaken a Republican administration’s foundational tree at its roots is just another day at the office for the Obama regime.

 

This begets the question, “what hath we wrought?” Seriously, are Americans so immune to corruption and manipulation of fact that they simply don’t care anymore? Have years of distortion and progressive propaganda dumbed and numbed us to the point where we have made George Orwell’s 1984 a self-fulfilling prophecy?

There is a “glass half full” side of me that truly wants to embrace Jeb Bush’s contention that our best days actually can still be ahead of us. Jeb maintains there is no reason why our kids can’t have a better life than their parents. I want to believe that. But there are some things we need to do in order to create an environment for that aspiration to be given a chance to become reality. Namely:

–America’s teens and twenty-somethings need to wake up and realize no one owes them anything. This country’s meteoric ascent on this planet may have been a function of the right time, place, natural resources, and myriad other factors, but anyone who denies that the Protestant work ethic wasn’t the glue that held it all together does not understand American history. We have been a nation of achievers. In order to continue to be so we need yet another generation of Americans to achieve!

–We must halt the seemingly inexorable growth of wasteful social entitlements. This is not rocket science. Republicans must find a way (after fifty years of not being able to do so) to demonstrate that theirs is not a heartless creed. A true conservative is indeed compassionate, and part of that core value system is a belief in a social safety net. Alas, what we face today is something far different than a governmental safe port when elements of society are trapped  in personal storms. Democrats have hijacked the noble ideas that ignited the Great Society legislation and in so doing have created a permanent underclass in American society; one that is rewarded for not seeking employment! How ironic is it for President Obama to incessantly call out Republicans for their heartlessness when all data demonstrates unequivocally that the trillions of dollars directed toward entitlement programs have only caused more poverty and created an endless cycle of generational dependency? It’s about work, people, not handouts!

–American leaders need to lead. We may not have asked for our place in the world, but we own it. President Obama has spent 6 years trying to disown it. The President is ashamed of what he sees as our imperial past. He apologizes for the America we love. What he fails to understand is that without our hands on the helm the world will slip into anarchy. We are watching it happen right now. Putin is slowly clawing back what used to be the western perimeter safety shield for Russia. Putin is dumb like a fox. He sees the west as nothing more than a conglomeration of talking heads: all talk and too weak to take action. ISIS (the JV, as you will recall) continues to wreak havoc throughout the middle east, and their Boko Harem brethren threaten Nigeria and adjoining states. Mr. Obama continues to blame George W Bush for the evils that permeate the world. It is inconceivable in the world of realpolitik  to point the finger of blame in any direction other than directly at the President. His disengagement on virtually every front has left the world a far more dangerous place. And his obsession with doing a deal with Iran is simply mind boggling. In 2016 we must hope for a leader and a supportive Congress who will not hesitate to do the right thing when a situation arises in the world and America is the only country positioned to take action. The Bush doctrine, like it or not, is as applicable today as it was on September 12, 2001. If we don’t take the fight to our enemies, they will bring it to us.

–We need to stop being afraid to identify our enemies for what they are. ISIS is a loosely knit confederation of radical muslim terrorists. They want to plunge the world back into a darker than dark age. Should that be so hard to say? If there was a group of radical Christians intent on turning the world upside down and leaving a path of murderous destruction in their wake would anyone hesitate to call them radical Christian terrorists?

–We need to move beyond this horrible racial divide the current administration has legitimized. Do we still have racial tension in the US? Yes, of course we do. But the indisputable fact is that it is much worse today than it was in 2008, and that is because of a relentless focus by this President and his appointees to sow seeds of turmoil every time an opportunity arises. Who amongst us should not sympathize with police officers across the country? They have been vilified with the net result being that the same underclass that our Great Society created and perpetuated now considers police as the enemy. Whose job is it to get the underclass to take a step back and ask itself “what are we doing to lift ourselves out of this spiral? Is it possible we see police as the enemy because of something we are doing?”

–Stop treating business as the enemy! Success is not evil! Elizabeth Warren and President Obama represent a cynical populist brand of politics we may not have witnessed since William Jennings Bryan’s prominence at the end of the 19th century. It is so easy to attack success, and stir the passions of those less fortunate. It is also so wrong to do so. We need leadership to step up and make it clear that we applaud and reward success. We also must find a way to get people to understand that government does not make people successful. It’s government’s job to help create the environment for success. This current government demonizes success, and is predicated on the notion that people can only lift themselves up on the shoulders of government. One does not have to delve too deeply into world history to see that this thought process was also a common theme of many failed communist states.

–Embrace immigrants who come here for a chance at the American dream! We are a nation of immigrants and there is no reason Americans decades from now should not be saying the same thing. We are not a nation of xenophobes. Make the new generation of immigrants Republican by demonstrating to them that ours is the party of ideas and opportunity.

They say that blogs over 1000 words run the risk of losing the reader. And so I draw to a close. The list above is just a teaser. I could go on forever, as too, I am sure, could you. (If you have read this far, then you clearly care!)

More to follow!

 

Rudy Needs Nuance

The Mayor Wasn't Necessarily Wrong, But He May Have lacked Nuance

The Mayor Wasn’t Necessarily Wrong, But He May Have lacked Nuance

The mainstream media is having a veritable field day over Rudolph Giuliani’s refusal to backpedal from his assertion that the President does not love the United States. There are at least two conclusions drawn from this nonsense:

 — This non-news event is yet another example of our media’s fiddling while the real world burns, and

 — Giuliani has a point, but with the benefit of hindsight, he may have expressed himself in a more nuanced manner.

 

In case any American Thinker reader has been hiding under a rock for the past week, former mayor Rudy Giuliani attended a private dinner for Governor Scott Walker at the 21 Club in New York City. One of the dinner’s attendees decided to reveal a snippet of Giuliani’s remarks to the media. (Why some people like to wreak havoc for not particularly valid reason is a question for another day.) The tasty morsel for press consumption was that during dinner, the Mayor suggested President Obama does not love our country.

For the past five days, the outrage and vitriol from the left has only been increasing in its condescending vehemence. There is at least one confounding fact behind all this apoplexy; namely, since the Mayor is not running for office, who cares? Alas, since he is a Republican, he is fodder for the mainstream media and since he so willingly has made himself a target, they are quite happy to take their shots.  In the past week, Giuliani’s assertion has even been stretched into an accusation that his remark was a reflection of his deeply rooted racism!  (See interview here)  One thing is for sure; the left will never let an opportunity go by when there is even a possibility to play the race card.

 In May 2012 this author published a book entitled “Opine Needles”.  It was (still is) a compendium of blogs chronicling the first four years of the Obama administration.  In the Prologue is written:

 “…I am absolutely convinced that President Obama does not like the United States I love.  Allow me to be very clear.  I am NOT (no incredulity there; just a raised voice) suggesting that he does not love his country.  What I’m saying is not only does he not love but he does not even LIKE the United States that I love.  There is a distinction, and hopefully, with your perusal of Opine Needles, that distinction will become clear to you.” ( See Prologue Excerpt by clicking “Look Inside” on Book Cover)

 The point here is that anyone who has followed this President and his follies for the past six years can point to countless examples where Mr. Obama’s words and actions can only lead to one conclusion.  When he looks at our country, he does not see a pillar of freedom.  Nor does he see a bastion of hope and ray of light for all mankind.  Rather, President Obama is embarrassed by our heritage and more often than not wants to retreat from all that has made us an exceptional country. (See Excerpt from Mr. Obama’s “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that” speech)

If Mr. Giuliani had nuanced his comments to follow the Opine Needles thought process, (either that night or during the ensuing kerfuffle,) all this may have been much ado about nothing.  After all, even the nattering nabobs on the left cannot argue that beauty isn’t in the eye of the beholder. The real problem lies in the fact that the United States some of us hold dear and view as exceptional appears to be that which our President finds lamentable.

Many of us tell our children that while our love for them may be permanent and unconditional, that does not mean we have to like them all the time.  Mr. Obama would do well to apply that philosophy to the country that elected him (twice) to be its President.

 

The Illusory President

US relations with Israel have hit an all time low. This is not an accident.

US relations with Israel have hit an all time low. This is not an accident.

History is written by the winners. That is something one learns when reading about the eons. But even the winners can disagree. The pundits like to talk about the twentieth century as the American century. There is a sense of finality about that moniker; some think of the recently lapsed era with a nostalgic tinge of regret for the passing of a golden age, while others say “good riddance” to the imperial haughtiness that accompanied all things American in that last century. Our current President falls squarely in that latter camp.

This author does not believe that our best days are behind us. The world continues to teeter on the brink, as it bounces from one political and economic disaster to another. The United States, on the other hand, has managed to withstand six consecutive years of inept financial and political management. We are a resilient people. We are a resilient country. While we have nothing to apologize for when looking back, we should also feel no sense of loss as we look forward. We have greatness left in us. We only need to liberate the American spirt; one that has been pushed into a corner by repressive and misguided regulation and governmental malfeasance.

Some may argue use of the word “malfeasance” is harsh. To that I would only say that one man’s dishonesty is another’s truth. And there, in a nutshell, lies the conundrum that is the Obama presidency. It is important that you commit yourself to understanding the belief system(s) driving the behavior of our President and his kitchen cabinet.

President Obama has sought a legacy that revolves around his having been the catalyst for a permanent social, economic, and political upheaval in the United States. Cloaked by the lofty hope and change rhetoric (let’s face it, the man can read a teleprompter as can few others) the President set out to erase from existence the essence of a United States he had grown to resent and disdain. What some naively chalk up to incompetence is actually calculated and deliberate action. What may appear to be a White House lurching from one crisis to another is actually a White House whose progressive policies simply cannot keep pace with the real politic of today’s world.

There is a view that the President lacks a vision. I disagree. His vision from the day he took up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was to turn our domestic and foreign policies upside down.

At home we know more than we care to about the incessant class warfare and repeated calls for more and more taxes on our producers. The President has made it very clear that he thinks everyone is owed a “fair share” regardless of his or her contribution. He has made it abundantly clear that successful entrepreneurs are successful because of the infrastructure the government has provided, and that success should rightly be more heavily taxed so those less fortunate can also be rewarded. As the smartest guys in the room (I am always awed by the academic pedigrees flaunted by the purveyors of progressive policies) it boggles one’s mind to wonder how each and every one of them can possibly have missed out on the study of economic history! Surely this must be an amazing coincidence, as it is the only possible explanation as to how or why those on the left can stand up and espouse policies that have never (ever!) stood the test of time. (Click here to listen to Milton Friedman explain reality to Phil Donahue–succinctly and with humor)

Overseas, he made the famous Cairo speech, (thus signaling a dawn of a new relationship between the US and muslim nations) and pushed the reset button with Russia. Many of his most loyal supporters did not recognize what he was doing. He was bound and determined to befriend Iran, even it it meant abusing our two closest allies in the Middle East (Israel and Saudi Arabia.) The Middle East is complicated and there is no greater example of that than knowledge of the delicate relationship between Israel and Saudi leadership. All one really has to know is that the rhetoric may be all about those horrible zionists, but the real threat to Saudi leadership is Iran. The mullahs in Iran worry the Saudis far more than Israel. President Obama has tripped over himself every step of the way in the Middle East. He abandoned Mubarak in Egypt, and virtually invited the disastrous Muslim Brotherhood takeover. That was strike one with the Saudis. He simultaneously and repeatedly (and does to this day) reached out to the Iranians in a desperate attempt to change the paradigm. He drew and erased red lines. He refused to accept any responsibility for the disintegration of the gains made during the Arab Spring, even though his hasty withdrawal of all US ground forces created such a huge vacuum that anarchy was the only possible outcome.

In Russia, he was famously caught telling Medvedev that he was sure he could deliver a missile agreement, but he just needed to wait until after the 2012 election. He seriously did not see a threat from Russia. Remember the Romney moment in the first debate? (Click here to refresh your memory!) The President was condescending, and the President was dead wrong.

The President has stood unalterably and immovably by his position that he would withdraw our troops from the Middle East, close down Guantanamo Bay, and engage Russia and Iran. He refuses to accept the fact that the bad guys do not share his Kumbaya (See a top level White House strategy session regarding Russia here ) approach to foreign policy. Is he inept? Maybe. But his approach to domestic and foreign policy has been consistent and unwavering. He refuses to be accountable for any misfortune. If problems occur, they are the result of the incompetence of his predecessor. What is important to understand is that it’s not just politics with him. He actually believes he is not at fault for anything that goes wrong.

So as you look ahead to 2016, it is incumbent upon you to appreciate the fervor with which this administration has been pursuing a deliberate tactic to push the United States into full retreat. The consequences of our diminished standing in the world are manifested around the globe every day. The good news is that the illusion has a sell by date, and we will have an opportunity to put someone in the White House who is not apologetic and who understands that the world is full of bad guys; if we do not stop them, they eventually will kill us. We need an end to illusions. It is time for straight talk.

Blood on Their Hands

de Blasio and Sharpton“Obama has fundamentally transformed America, all right, but not as he intended.” So sayeth Victor Davis Hanson in an outstanding article about the tragedy and travesty that have become the hallmarks of this horrendous administration. I encourage you to read his December 16th article. You may access same here.

I am going to say what no politician on either side of the aisle will dare say. Two New York City policemen were murdered yesterday; gunned down for the sole reason that they wore the uniform. This heinous act occurred for one reason; our nation’s police have been unjustly vilified by national leaders and sycophants. They have been branded as racists, tried by the politicians, “reverends” and  media, declared guilty, and now two of them have paid the ultimate price.

The blood of those two public servants is on the hands of the President, the Attorney General, the not-very-reverend Al Sharpton, the main stream media (who give this cabal credibility and air time) and every other worm in this great country who have used the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner to pursue their own personal and political agendas. Shame on all of them. They will naturally reject any suggestion that there is a causal link between the murder of two on NYC’s finest and their hyperbolic rhetoric over the last five months. They will point to the clear and present danger they identify as the seething, boiling cauldron of racism in the United States. None of them will stop for a moment and wonder why the facts do not support their contentions, and why the vast majority of American citizens (black, white, asian, and hispanic) have had enough of all this jabber.

Is there one iota of evidence leading the objective enquiring mind to conclude that the police involved in the deaths of Messrs. Brown and Garner would have behaved any differently if the deceased had been white, brown or for that matter, purple? These two men broke the law, resisted arrest, (in Brown’s case, he attacked the officer) and paid a tragic price. Contrary to what thousands of protesters either believe or would have one believe, there was no hands up surrender moment in the Brown death, and there was no chokehold in the Garner episode. Any death is tragic; there are always aggrieved family members and friends who are left to deal with the trauma. But to have vilified the police for doing their jobs has created an atmosphere of distrust and tension from coast to coast. The agent provocateurs of this current stain on our democracy have stoked the flames of a fire that serves only their purposes. Has anyone stopped to think about how Al Sharpton remains relevant in a post-racial America? Surely he and other leaders (including our President) wouldn’t stoop so low as to manufacture a moment in time to pursue their respective agendas?

Our core value system has fallen so far so fast that white people actually think twice about stating the obvious; what is happening across our country is nuts, cra-cra, and bonkers all wrapped up in one tidy racial molotov cocktail. One is reminded of the silent majority of the 1970’s. Of course the progressive left called them racists too. Maybe we are just stuck in a time warp and anyone who believes in upholding the law and perpetuating the American exceptionalism upon which this country has been built must by association be some kind of racist!

I’ve written this before but it merits repeating; I was proud of the United States when Barack Obama was elected as our 44th President. I didn’t agree with his politics, and every concern I had then has been wholly validated (plus some I would never have imagined). But I loved the message we sent to the world. Yes, we can elect a man of color to the highest office in the land, so put your stereotypes back in their little boxes. Jim Crowe is dead and buried. Go figure out something else about which to denigrate the United States of America because we just put a stake in the heart of the racism card.

I would never have dreamed that the President and members of his cabinet and outside advisors would use their bully pulpits to actually create racial animus. But they have done so, and the New York City police department mourns today because of it. Shame on all of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guns!

Guns - Modern MusketAnd so we jump with both feet into the breech!

The gun control debate now rages, and once Vice President Biden pitches his pre-conceived soft (musket) ball to the President, there will no doubt be some form or another of an executive challenge emanating from the White House for Congress to act. The only real guessing game left is whether the President will attempt to usurp the balance of powers and issue an Executive Order. If his first four years are to provide us with a roadmap, I would not bet against such usurpation.

This is a thorny issue, so I am going to attempt to grab the stem of the issue by viewing it through a historical lens. In dialogues held with gun control friends and foes, this rancorous debate too quickly disintegrates into petty partisan political bickering. To my mind, this should not be yet another reason for Democrats and Republicans to sling mud. Yet that is what happens, day after day. So let’s take a step back in time and get into the heads of many of our Founding Fathers. Ours is a nation of laws. Our Federal laws are founded (and reviewed regularly) in the principles written in our Constitution. (You may peruse same on this website.)

The Second Amendment to the Constitution addresses the right to bear arms. It too may be found along with all other Constitutional Amendments on the Opine Needles website.

For more than two hundred years, scholars have debated the intent of the words behind the 2nd Amendment. Based on my reading of history, I think those who use the 2nd Amendment to argue for gun control are being disingenuous. The biggest debate revolves around whether or not the reference to “a well regulated militia” is separated wholly by the existing comma from the reference to “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Those in favor of gun control see the inextricable connectivity. They go further to then suggest that the arms of our forefathers bore little resemblance and a fraction of the killing power to those we see today. Ergo, the irrelevance of the peoples’ right to bear arms in the militia in today’s world coupled with the impracticality of referring to an 18th century document, (the authors of which could not possibly fathom the extent to which weapons would develop) makes reference to the 2nd Amendment in today’s gun control discussions all but moot. Those in favor of gun control say we must deal with the here and now, and stop hiding behind a 2nd Amendment which they say doesn’t provide anything to hide behind anyway!

I certainly wish the 2nd Amendment had inserted a semi colon instead of a comma. In point of fact, colons, semi-colons, and commas were used interchangeably during this time period. It would not have been at all unusual for a comma to divide two separate points. If the opinions of those who fought for our Independence were not so readily available, we could labor forever to determine whether “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” is an “independent” right within the overall meaning of the 2nd Amendment. As history makes very clear, however, there is little to no room for doubt as to exactly how they felt.

“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms…” – Samuel Adams, Debates of the Massachusetts Convention of 1788, printed in “Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts”, at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)

The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, … or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press. – Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Major John Cartwright (5 June 1824)

“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate Governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple Government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the Governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 46 (1788).

“The great object is that every man be armed” and “everyone who is able may have a gun.” – Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution. Debates and other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia,taken in shorthand by David Robertson of Petersburg, at 271, 275 2d ed. Richmond, 1805. Also 3 Elliot, Debates at 386

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” – Richard Henry Lee, Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII (25 January 1778).

“Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.” – “M.T. Cicero“, in a newspaper letter of 1788 touching the “militia” referred to in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.

This sentence comes from Thomas Jefferson’s three drafts of the Virginia Constitution. The text does vary slightly in each draft:

First Draft: “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

Second Draft: “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements].”

Third Draft: “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]”

This sentence does not actually appear in the Virginia Constitution as adopted.

The point is that before we even start any discussion about what to do on the gun issue today, let’s at least be intellectually honest and commence the dialogue from the baseline that any alleged ambiguity regarding our founding fathers’ views is nonsense. They wanted the people to be armed.

The bothersome thing to this author is the extent to which those in favor of gun control work to discredit those who point to the 2nd Amendment in defense of their right to bear arms. They do so with a resoluteness and condescending contempt. They do so as though they have the moral high ground. Well, views are views and one man’s moral high ground is another’s cesspool of sin, so all the vitriol in the world amounts to just that. Vitriol does not win arguments or further any viewpoint down a path to progress. Only facts will do that.

I do not write to embarrass those who are too emotional to think through this issue. As I said at the outset, it’s a tough one, and will no doubt end up somehow, someway back with the Supreme Court. All I implore you to do is to start the discussion based on historical fact. And folks, the fact is that our Founding Fathers wanted us to have the inalienable right to bear arms. Full stop.

“Let me put it this way; there are really only two ways to interpret the Constitution — try to discern as best we can what the framers intended or make it up. No matter how ingenious, imaginative or artfully put, unless interpretive methodologies are tied to the original intent of the framers, they have no more basis in the Constitution than the latest football scores. To be sure, even the most conscientious effort to adhere to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution is flawed, as all methodologies and human institutions are; but at least originalism has the advantage of being legitimate and, I might add, impartial.” – Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice

More to Follow-

Abuse of Power

Abuse of PowerIn the space of three working days in DC, we have witnessed no fewer than 3 scandals brewing:

    • Benghazi still boils because people are beginning to become genuinely
      angry about the distortions of truth. The President is doing himself no favors by playing at King: he who thinks thou doth protest too much, and is most sure that much is being made and done about nothing.
    • The IRS investigation of allegedly right wing 501 (3)’s was not an isolated case of a couple wayward IRS branches in Ohio; rather, this strategy was well known and directed in DC.
    • The Obama administration ‘s multi-month eavesdropping of the AP should shivers down their spine. In this case, wasn’t it a bit like inflicting outrage and hurt on one of your own?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Obfuscation leads to Prevarication, which inexorably concludes its vile path at the doorstep of deceit. Open the door and greet the red guy with the horns. It’s been true since God was a small child. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Have we not reached a T-junction in our journey down Obama Avenue? We’re on a pretty straight path: it’s paved with redistribution. Up ahead it bears left on to Obamacare Lane, and a sign says “must bring redistribution with you.” But to the right there is a road less traveled in recent years. It’s simply called “Truth”.

Are Americans so desensitized and polarized that they simply don’t care anymore? Can they really not see what is happening to them?

You may recall the furor over WMD in the buildup to the Iraq war. The best intelligence agencies in the world were convinced Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of WMD. Leading democrats and republicans supported aggressive action to remove these weapons from the hands of the murderous Hussein. Then slowly but inexorably, once it ensued that the stockpiles of WMD did not exist as had been believed, the entire left came down with amnesia and accused President Bush of lying.

The situations in which we find ourselves now are wholly different. These are cases of premeditated abuses of power. To this day there are talking heads proclaiming the Benghazi situation is nothing more than a partisan rant. How depressing. Can the Obama believers actually continue blithely along their course of complacency and not summon an iota of outrage over the dishonest manipulation of the truth during and after the Benghazi tragedy, IRS abuse, and illegal AP eavesdropping?

Americans have wallowed in self-doubt before. Perhaps this is one of those times. Throughout the annals of history, we have seen the impact of charismatic leaders on the mass of an affected populace. Suffice to say, the outcome hasn’t always been a win for humanity. In the United States and with the current administration, not only has the mainframe of our economic engine taken a massive hit, but we are now a toothless tiger in the eyes of the world. World leaders see what the majority of our own people cannot: a government that misleads its people cannot be taken seriously.