Category Archives: Politics

Obama Arrogance?

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President Barack Obama: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” — January 21, 2009 (Oath of Office – the sequel)[/box]

ObamaI’m not normally one to take such an out-front position in a political arena. I just want a President that will do his job, serve the people, defend the constitution, balance the budget, and balance humility with strength. It’s been awhile sine we’ve seen one of those. I honestly don’t care if that President is black, white, green, male, female, republican or democrat. Just do the job and be an honest politician. (oxymoron?)

I want to see a President who will fulfill the promise made in the Oath of Office, be honest with the citizens of this country and follow the will of the people. That’s the kind of national leader I can get behind and support.

By now the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) battle of Obamacare has played out and the Justices are weighing the law before making a ruling. It’s really pretty simple. If the law is unconstitutional it should be struck down. If it is constitutional it should stand. That’s the simplicity of laws – it either is or it isn’t. (I don’t know if it is or not. It’s not my job to know, it’s their job to know.)

So the other day the President stands before a microphone and points a metaphorical pistol at the head of the SCOTUS and says, “I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

He seems to be inferring if the Congress passed the law it must be constitutionally sound and therefore the Court, being un-elected, dos not have the authority to overturn it. (He actually lied. Since the power was handed to the Supreme Court in 1803 they have on many occasions asserted their power to strike down laws interpreted as unconstitutional.)

The arrogance of that moment amazed me. Here’s a guy that taught constitutional law at one of the nation’s best law schools and he’s standing before the country thumbing his nose at the authority of the Supreme Court. He of all people should understand and embrace the legitimacy and authority of the court. But it seems he has other ideas.

The President’s words appear nothing more than an attempt to intimidate the court to side with his signature health-care bill, constitutionality be damned. It smacks of home-town Chicago “Thug” politics, which might work on Lakeshore Drive, but on Pennsylvania Avenue it’s divisive and has no place in the checks and balances of our Government.

The President is entitled to his opinion. He can even share his opinion publicly and does on a regular basis. What he cannot do is attempt judicial intimidation by laying a public gauntlet of Presidential persuasion that even remotely indicates the SCOTUS does not have the lawful authority to invalidate an act of Congress that the Court determines is unconstitutional.

For the President to attempt such a tactic is an indication of his arrogance. Without a strong opponent in the fall election Obama believes he will get a second term. His “Hot Mic” moment all but confirmed that. He’s probably right. But that belief is empowering the President to assert his arrogance and his true colors are in beginning to bloom in full spectrum.

The fallout of the President’s sucker punch to the Court is starting to fall. The judicial branch has asked for a formal letter from the Justice Department for a clarification of the President’s position.

Republication Senator Orin Hatch, Utah, made a stinging observation of Obama’s swing at the court’s authority. “It must be nice living in a fantasy world where every law you like is constitutional and every Supreme Court decision you don’t is ‘activist,'” he said in a statement. “Many of us have been arguing for nearly three years that the federal government does not have the power to dictate individuals’ purchasing decisions. After a national debate on the subject, more than two-thirds of Americans agree that the Obamacare insurance mandate is unconstitutional.”

Obama is a master at Presidential sleight of hand. His politics are very clear. His tactics are questionable and his goals are clear… or are they?

I don’t know about you but I am glad the Judicial branch has more power than the Executive Branch. I’d like to see Obama in his next four years get back to his oath where he promised to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and stop thumbing his nose at it. It just doesn’t look very presidential.

Obama Cartoon

Obamacare Turns 2

ObamacareOn March 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

“After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land.”
– President Barack Obama

The law and everything surrounding it is just way too vast and convoluted to go into here. Like many Americans, I’m not sure what’s in it or what it means to me. I do know this.

Health Care amounts to roughly 16% of the U.S. Economy. The idea that the Federal Government, with all its bureaucratic twists and turns could not effectively manage “Cash for Clunkers.”

Here was a simple rebate program designed to give citizens a financial incentive to buy new cars (our government just took over GM and wanted to sell some cars.) In the nine months of the active program the program cost three times the original government estimate. Lawmakers had to add over two billion in funding to cover the shortfall.

What happens to Obamacare if the cost estimates are low by the same differential? The Government Budget Office has already come out and said the original cost estimates were low by several hundred billion dollars.

You would think we would learn from our mistakes. When Medicare was passed in 1965 the federal government estimated it would cost $12 billion in 1990. Medicare actually cost $110 billion in 1990.

With the election battle in full bloom and Obamacare repeal efforts winding its way through the court system, there is no promise the health care reform will stand as is.

By the time Obamacare turns four we will finally know the truth… maybe.

Article from the Wall Street Journal – ObamaCare’s Costs are Soaring

Election Year 2012

Every four years Americans line up against each other and go to battle over who’s the best guy to put in the White House. You all know the drill. It’s the Dems versus the Repubs, the left versus the right, this guy versus that guy, and for 2012 it’s Obama versus who knows.

Is it just me or is politics in our country a cross between mass hysteria and situation comedy?

This year you are going to need a scorecard to keep up with all the players. It’s not just the candidates anymore. No, that would be too simple. You have all these peripheral players to contend with. Everyone lining up with their mud-pots and pundits ready to trash the other players field. It’s political war of the ugliest kind and the main victim is the truth.

Between Huffington Post and Fox News, The Tea party and Occupy whatever, this year is going to be N-A-S-T-Y. News travels faster than the speed of Facebook and in the social media age, John Q. Citizen is engaged with in-your-face political positioning as never before.

Just the fact I am sitting here blogging about politics should tell you something. I hate politics with every millimeter of my rather open mind. I consider myself just right of center and from where I sit I can’t even see to the outer extremes of the right and left where this game is being played.

So buckle up tight, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. The mud is going to be flying back and forth like a ping-pong match. Sorting out the lies from the truth is going to be nearly impossible.

I don’t know about you but I can say with much assurance,  I’ve had about all the change I can stand.

Separation of Santa and State

No SantaIt’s political correctness run amuck. It’s government idiocy and scrooge mentality at its finest.

Here’s the scoop.

Somewhere in the very blue state of Massachusetts a local school system banned Santa Claus from visiting elementary school children citing “religious” concerns. It’s the proposed separation of Santa and State.

Since 1960 firefighters in the town of Saugus would dress up like Santa Claus and visit every elementary school in the district handing out coloring books. But on Monday, the school superintendent put on his best Scrooge imitation and told firefighters that they would not be welcome this year. Santa Claus is banned.

“Certainly everyone acknowledges their holiday in a special way they want. But there is a conflict between the church and the state in that regard,” Superintendent Richard Langlois said. (Reports of the rattling of Jacob Marley’s chains clanging in the background cannot be confirmed.)

Whoa there Herr Scrooge, Santa Claus is not a religious figure. There is not one single mention of St. Nick, Kris Kringle, or Father Christmas anywhere in the bible. Santa Claus is a mythical legend, born from folklore and mostly perpetuated in the retail environment.

Regardless, the superintendent stood by his decision. That is until word hit the streets that some idiot was trying to keep Santa Claus away from the children. In this day and age of Facebook and Twitter you can’t hide from your stupid decisions. Common sense took hold and by the end of the day Santa was back on the agenda. The Saugus School Committee is likely to discuss the issue next month. Let’s hope Santa doesn’t get a pink slip.

“I couldn’t believe it,” one firefighter said. “There are so many things in the world going on – to see that all of a sudden Santa can’t go to the schools – what else are we going to give up?”

Superintendent Scrooge defended his Santa ban saying he was simply enforcing the rules. “I’m carrying out the orders of the school community,” he said. “I’m not overstepping my bounds.”

Stocking CoalI suspect the Superintendent probably based his decision on ignorance wrongly assuming anything associated with anything with the word Christ in it was overtly religious. I wonder what “Rules” he was referring to.

You have to wonder where does it stop? A few years back a ban on the jolly fat guy seemed as likely as people pitching tents in Manhattan.

Perhaps Superintendent Scrooge will wake up to a stocking full of coal on Christmas morning.

The appropriate song by the children of Saugus would be…

“We’ll have a blue Christmas without you…”

This whole affair is just another example of: You can’t fix stupid.

Barney Frank Throws in the Towel

Barney FrankBarney is calling it quits. He’s had enough.

What a coincidence. So have his congressional peers.

This guy always seemed a little sour but from what I’ve heard over the course of the morning.

His failures in congressional oversight of Fannie/Freddie is said to be at the root of failure for these programs.

Bill Wilson , Americans for Limited Government President, stated that Frank ignored all warning signs of Fannie and Freddie’s impending fall, defending the government sponsored enterprises even when he was well aware of the undercapitalization that was required for the loans they guaranteed.

“Frank leaves behind a disastrous record that will have consequences for years if not decades to come. His departure comes about 20 years too late,” Wilson said. “To his departure, American taxpayers say good riddance.”

Here, here.

I wonder if this is a photo of Barney Frank in his true comfort zone.

Barney

Unemployment Rate Stuck at 9.1%

I wish I had a solution.

I wish somebody, anybody had a solution.

The President says he does in the form of a “Jobs Bill.”

Hmmm…. I wonder what is in the “Jobs Bill?”

Well, if you want to read it you can find it HERE.

About all I could do is skim through the thing. It’s loaded with more legalize than a Yale/Harvard football game.

From what I can tell…

  1. It’s expensive
  2. It’s a gamble
  3. It could end Federal Unemployment Benefits as we know it.

Here’s the problem with the jobs bill. It’s on the verge of failing to pass vote in the Democratic lead senate. If the President can’t get his own party to back his bill the guy is in big trouble.

Surely the President knew what the bill faced. On the surface the bill is more of a political football rather than a real plan of substance that would put people back to work and get UE levels down to pre-rescession levels.

Let’s assume for a minute the Senate passes the bill and sends it on to the House. There’s pretty much no way the Republican lead house will pass the bill in it’s current form. The President knew this going in. What that would allow him to do, as he is already doing, is stand in front of a microphone and say, “I sent a job bill to congress that would send people back to work. (Which we don’t really know if it will or not. There’s not a good track record of these kinds of things working.) But, the republicans blocked it. They must now want American’s going back to work. They must like 9.1% unemployment rates.”

It’s misdirection − slight of hand. “These aren’t the droids you are looking for.”

Surely anyone of any kind of intelligence will see this for what it is. The only job President Obama is really concerned with right now is his own.

The Two Obamas

When comparing the words of Barack Obama you have to wonder where he really stands.

Senator Barack Obama speaking before the senate on March 16, 2006. – The debate… Raising the debt ceiling.

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s [George W. Bush] budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.”

That was a direct quote from Senator Obama in 2006. The vote passed and the debt ceiling was raised in 2006. The point is Obama in his speech painted himself as a fiscal conservative. There is some conjecture that Senator Obama knew the vote would pass anyway and used the forum as a platform to build his image.

Fast forward to the Debt Ceiling talks of the last several weeks. Where is the Barack Obama of 2006?

At a White House press conference back in April,  presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters when asked about the 2006 quote. “Obama thinks it was a mistake. He realizes now that raising the debt ceiling is so important to the health of this economy and the global economy that it is not a vote that, even when you are protesting an administration’s policies, you can play around with.’’

Other Obama quotes:

“We will raise the debt limit. We always have. We will do it again.”

“Well, no, I don’t expect the Republicans to give in and I get 100 percent of my way, and I don’t expect that we’re going to give 100 percent of what the Republicans want. I think what we want to do is make sure that we have a smart compromise that is serious.”

“It’s not going to get easier, it’s going to get harder. So we might as well do it now. Pull off the Band-Aid. Eat our peas.”

“I do not see a path to a deal if they don’t budge – period. I mean, if the basic proposition is, it’s my way or the highway, then we’re probably not going to get something done because we’ve got divided government.”

I don’t know about you but I did pretty good in math. I know you can only borrow from Peter for so long before Peter is broke or refuses any more loans and Paul still needs to get paid.

Someone explain to me how you solve a debt problem by increasing the debt? That’s like solving a drinking problem by switching from bourbon to scotch.

I don’t particularly like these political/economical blogs but when I see ignorance at all levels of government that would get normal people fired, I have to question who’s the fool? The ignoramus running the show or the ignoramus who put him there.

I do think Obama was right on one count…

“…raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.”

Next it will be… “Off with his head!”

Did you see this headline over the weekend?

“Biden Aide Apologizes After Reporter Kept in Storage Closet During Fundraiser.”

You can’t make that kind of stuff up. This VP is becoming the biggest national embarrassment since Dan Quayle. Locking away those pesky press people in broom closets? What’s next — the rack?

Scott Powers, a reporter with the Orlando Sentinel, was ushered into a storage space during a fundraiser last Wednesday for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. It seems the Biden staff was intent on preventing the reporter from speaking to people before the Vice President Biden made his appearance. More about this situation in the Orlando Sentinel.

I can only imagine the outrage had this been a member of the liberal press held against their will at a Republican event. Double standards is modus operandi in politics. It’s become laughable to those that get to watch it play out from afar.

In the meantime, here are the Top Ten Joe Biden gaffes by Time magazine to keep you entertained.

Joe Biden suffers from Foot in Mouth Disease

Congress: NASCAR vs. NPR

I love NASCAR; I write about it, read about it, and have been hanging around the sport for years. I also listen to NPR. I love the Car Guys, All Things Considered, Story Corps, and Fresh Air.

Battle lines have been drawn under the capitol dome; Republicans wanting to pull funding away from NPR and the Dems want to stop Motorsports sponsorships.  Wait, Wait – Don’t Tell Me!

As if Congress doesn’t have enough important stuff to do, they are fighting over pennies dropped into a sea of red ink.

This year the military will fork over nearly $40 million in sponsorship dollars to NASCAR and the NHRA, representing nearly 2% of the Air Force and 14% of the National Guards annual Marketing budgets. The Army has reduced its support by a third since 2009. (Source:MSNBC.com)

On the other side of the aisle, the fight for NPR dollars is much less significant. NPR only gets approximately $7 million from government coffers each year.

So what’s the big deal? Let’s put it in perspective. In 2010 Federal expenditures were in the $3.5 trillion range.  The Motorsports expenditures represent roughly 0.000011% of that total. NPR’s slice of the government pie is even smaller.

You have to remember, it’s not about the money. It’s about voter perspective. When the average voter hears “million dollars spent on NASCAR,” it sounds like a lot of money, and to people like you and me, it is. Stopping Motorsports and NPR funding both would do almost nothing to solve our fiscal situation, yet congress is wasting time and effort talking about it. Why? Because it makes headlines and costs the other party political stature.

The kind of spending cuts our government would have to make to turn this sinking ship around are ugly from the ground up. Defunding billion dollar programs to initiate the level of savings necessary would be very unpopular to the industrial/military complex. The legislative branches have neither the balls or political will to do the right thing.

The NASCAR/NPR debate is smoke and mirrors — it’s misdirection. It gets us looking at stuff that really doesn’t matter. “These are not the droids you are looking for.” Until our political parties come together in a meaningful effort to reel in spending, stop government waste, and pay down the debt, our country will continue to lose its footing on the global stage.

At least we still lead the world in Motorsports.

NPR should sponsor a car.

Happy Birthday Mr. President

Happy Birthday to you.

Our sixteenth President was born Feb 12, 1809, in a one-room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm in southeast Hardin County, Kentucky.(now LaRue County).  From these humble beginnings grew a politician and orator who would sit in the White House during the most tumultuous years since this country was founded – The American Civil War.

President Lincoln found a real strength in his humility and is credited with freeing the slaves, ending the war,  reconstruction and signing into law the Pacific Railways Act which ultimately joined both coasts by rail.

On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was shot by actor and confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth, at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. His death altered the course of American history. Many believe Lincoln to be our country’s greatest President.



“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” ~Abraham Lincoln