Weekly Musing 9-1-13
Stay Out of Syria: NO one’s son or daughter is worth losing in a war over Obama’s arrogant and incompetent foreign policy mistakes. Mr. President, pretend you actually earned that Nobel Peace Prize!
Congress should vote NO on “authorizing” the use of “military action” in Syria. We have NO strategic interest.
I wish the Obama family would take another vacation…even at our expense! The country is normally better off while he’s on the golf course.
MI U.S. Senate Seat: Michigan Republicans continue to explore what their best option is to win the Levin Senate seat that is up in 2014. RNC National Committeewoman Terri Lynn Land, Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra, Judge Kim Small and several others are at different stages of becoming full-time candidates. This is an opportunity of a lifetime, we can make it happen!
College Football Starts: There is just something special about the start of College Football across the country. America comes alive, comes together and you see/feel what a great country we live in!
Obama Embraces the Imperial Presidency
President Obama, who taught about the separation of powers at the University of Chicago Law School, was quite clear on abuses of executive power when he ran for president in 2008.
“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” he told the Boston Globe in a candidate questionnaire in late 2007. He added that the president can only act unilaterally in “instances of self-defense.”
Suddenly liberals are comfortable with monarchical war-making powers.
The authors of the Constitution were explicit on this point. As James Madison noted, “In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department. . . . Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded.” Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist that there was a clear distinction between the U.S. president’s authority as commander-in-chief, which involved “nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces” and that of the British king, who could declare war unilaterally.
Iowa GOP chair opposes Syria bombing — I Agree!!!
“President Obama: We oppose the president beginning another war by bombing Syria. As fathers we believe our children’s lives are worth far more than the price you’ll pay for admitting you’re wrong when it comes to dragging us into war in Syria,”
“Syria is mired in a dangerous civil war and while the news of the conflict there is troubling, it does not present a threat to American security. In fact, American intervention is likely to make things worse and create new enemies,”
A Test of GOP Resolve on ObamaCare
Few things infuriate Americans more than special privileges for Washington. The public could not care less that insurance hikes might lead to a Washington “brain drain.” (Most would view that as progress.) Americans scrabbling for work, struggling to pay bills and facing soaring insurance premiums are not sympathetic to congressional complaints that the loss of their subsidies is unfair. As word has spread about the White House fix, a bipartisan fury has started to build at town-hall meetings, at rallies, and in letters and phone calls to Congress.
With a little fortitude, the GOP still has the opportunity to be on the right side of public opinion. The White House’s unilateral bailout is a tailor-made opportunity for the GOP to highlight, yet again, the administration’s unequal application of its flawed health law: waivers for Democratic union buddies, exemptions for big business, and now a special handout to Mr. Obama’s political class.
The special deal is also an opportunity to oppose, yet again, the White House’s extralegal actions.
Candidly Speaking: The implications of Obama’s failure
To date, US President Barack Obama’s efforts to appease or engage Islamists have either failed or backfired. US influence in the Middle East is at an all-time low and Islamic fundamentalism continues to gain strength at an alarming pace.
Egypt, which until a year ago was regarded by the US as an ally, is perhaps the most dramatic example of Obama’s complete failure to understand the nature of the region and the steps that must be taken to stabilize it. The current horrors and barbarism in Syria should not divert attention from events in Egypt, the outcome of which is likely to have a major impact on the entire region.
Obama’s first blunder in Egypt was the antagonism he displayed toward president Hosni Mubarak. Immediately following his first election, Obama insisted on inviting members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to his Cairo address. As a result, Mubarak boycotted the event
What Happened to the Rule of Law?
That leaves two possible national interests that the president’s lawyers are likely to invoke for the Syria attack, but that have never alone been the basis for unilateral presidential uses of force: the United States’ interest in regional security in the Middle East, and its interest in upholding a norm against the use of chemical weapons.
Many will rightly wonder how this twin rationale can be squared with the text of the Constitution. But its main problem is that it places no limit at all on the president’s ability to use significant military force unilaterally. Future presidents will easily be able to invoke regional stability and the need to protect important international norms whenever they want to intervene abroad with strikes like the one expected against Syria.
Mr. Obama came to office as a “rule of law” president who pledged to respect international and constitutional law much more than his predecessor did. As a candidate he said that the Constitution prevented him from using military force in situations like Syria, and in his Nobel Prize speech in 2009 he insisted that all nations must respect international standards on the use of force. Syria will not be the first time, and probably won’t be the last, that the exigencies and responsibilities of the presidency cause him to eat these words.
Lt. Governor Brian Calley Responds to MI Voters…
There are times when any family has disagreements. I have always been a principled conservative voice inside the administration, but when the Governor makes a decision I will support and help implement that decision.
Unfortunately, Obamacare is currently the law of the land and states have to decide how to make the best of it for working families and taxpayers. Conservative Governors such as Jan Brewer in Arizona, John Kasich in Ohio, and Rick Scott in Florida are all taking a similar approach to what we have here in Michigan – only our state added key personal responsibility reforms.
Although I understand the arguments that some people are making on the other side of this issue, the fact remains that there is a strong conservative argument for Medicaid Reform. By passing the Healthy Michigan plan, we will save hundreds of thousands of our friends and neighbors from being forced into the Obamacare exchanges, and it does so at a much smaller cost to the taxpayers.
I am very proud of our record of accomplishment in the last three years. We passed conservative budgets in record time, reduced debt, reformed the tax code, and have made the tough decisions to clean up the city of Detroit. Most importantly, we took on the liberal labor unions and won a major victory for hardworking taxpayers. Michigan is now a Right to Work state. Who would have thought that was possible just a few short years ago?
So although we as a family will have disagreements from time to time, I encourage people to remember that blood is thicker than water and we stand together fighting for our principles – lower spending, less taxes, less government regulation and interference, and a free market economy that can create jobs. Ultimately, we all need to decide whether we stick together through thick and thin, or whether we risk turning back to the failed policies of the past.
I am an unabashed, passionate Conservative, a team player, and I support our Republican family. I know you do too.
Much remains to be done, but thank you for all you are doing to help us move our State forward from the failed policies of the previous decade. I look forward to working with you to keep the Michigan Comeback alive.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
A Poignant Anniversary
The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and of the Reverend Martin Luther King’s memorable “I have a dream” speech, is a time for reflections — some inspiring, and some painful and ominous.
At the core of Dr. King’s speech was his dream of a world in which people would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by “the content of their character.”
Judging individuals by their individual character is at the opposite pole from judging how groups are statistically represented among employees, college students or political figures.
Yet many — if not most — of those who celebrate the “I have a dream” speech today promote the directly opposite approach of group preferences, especially those based on skin color.
What Happened to the Content of Our National Character?
As we honor King’s legacy on the 50th anniversary of his most important speech, indeed one of the most important public oratories in American history – it must be said that the nation still has a long way to go before his dream is achieved. Not because everyone still sees everything in terms of color but because now, inexplicably, the content of one’s character has ceased to be an important part of the calculation. Respect, he might tell us if he were still with us today, must be earned. It is not like grace, which is granted freely and given as a gift without expectation of reciprocity. Respect is indeed mutual, is not automatic – though the presumption of respect may be – and must be maintained through one’s actions towards one’s neighbors, one’s family, the community and the nation at large.
Lack of character, what we see when politicians accept bribes, when husbands cheat on their wives, when women terminate pregnancies for no reason other than they’re being inconvenient, when young men serially procreate with different women with no regard whatsoever for their subsequent obligations to the child of that issue, when people treat the English language – our means of common community – as some sort of conspiracy to oppress the disadvantaged, must be addressed head on. It is not an excuse, as uncomfortable as it might, to try and make it out to be about something else, especially race.
The end of race
So here we are, in the most advanced, successful, and powerful nation in the history of the world, and yet we continue to struggle to get past the color of each other’s skin.
There is no more shallow, hollow, or soulless way to think about human beings than in terms of their skin color. It is completely inane. Under what logic would any intelligent, logical, or decent person give any thought to the pigmentation of a person’s epidermis? It’s nothing short of immoral, not to mention stupid (oops…there’s that word again).
On the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech in August 1963, many are asking the question: Are we in a better place today when it comes to race relations?
Yes and no. On the yes side, consider the following:
Can Republicans Paint the White House Red?
Just as important, the Electoral
College, which throughout the years of Republican ascendancy from the late ’60s into the early ’90s tilted to the right, now leans to the left. This map of the United States, “The Big Blue Wall,” was put together by the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies:
The Citizen of the World Presidency
In Obama’s fifth year as president, it is increasingly clear these vague phrases were not mere rhetoric. They did, in fact, accurately reflect Obama’s thinking about America’s role in the world and foreshadow the goals of the foreign policy he has been implementing and will be pursuing for three more years. Obama’s foreign policy is strangely self-centered, focused on himself and the United States rather than on the conduct and needs of the nations the United States allies with, engages with, or must confront. It is a foreign policy structured not to influence events in Russia or China or Africa or the Middle East but to serve as a bulwark “against the habits” of American activism and global leadership. It was his purpose to change those habits, and to inculcate new habits—ones in which, in every matter of foreign policy except for the pursuit of al-Qaeda, the United States restrains itself.
A Truly Great Phony
A talented con man, or a slick politician, does not waste his time trying to convince knowledgeable skeptics. His job is to keep the true believers believing. He is not going to convince the others anyway.
Back during Barack Obama’s first year in office, he kept repeating, with great apparent earnestness, that there were “shovel-ready” projects that would quickly provide many much-needed jobs, if only his spending plans were approved by Congress.
He seemed very convincing — if you didn’t know how long it can take for any construction project to get started, after going through a bureaucratic maze of environmental impact studies, zoning commission rulings and other procedures that can delay even the smallest and simplest project for years.
Only about a year or so after his big spending programs were approved by Congress, Barack Obama himself laughed at how slowly everything was going on his supposedly “shovel-ready” projects.
One wonders how he will laugh when all his golden promises about ObamaCare turn out to be false and a medical disaster. Or when his foreign policy fiascoes in the Middle East are climaxed by a nuclear Iran.
Obama Administration: Its Incompetence Is Historic
Evidence of the astonishing incompetence of the Obama administration continues to roll in.
It started with the stimulus package. One-third of the money went to public employee union members — a political payoff not very stimulating to anyone else. Billions went to green energy loans, like the $500 million that the government lost in backing the obviously hapless Solyndra.
…Then there’s Obamacare. Barack Obama has already said the administration will not enforce the employer mandate, will not verify eligibility for insurance subsidies and will not require employer-provided policies to cap employees’ out-of-pocket costs.
The Constitution’s requirement that the president take care to faithfully execute the laws apparently does not apply.
Michigan Judge to Decide on U.S. Senate Bid Soon
Back in early July, the National Republican Senatorial Committee met with Oakland County District Court Judge Kimberly Small about the open Senate seat in Michigan, according to the Washington Post. A little bird familiar with Michigan politics tells me Small will make her decision by September 1, and is likely to run.
As a judge, Small doesn’t have the name ID in the political realm, but she has garnered some favorable coverage in her 17 years on the bench. Small currently is judge for a district that includes Michigan’s wealthier communities, including the Charter Townships of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield and the Cities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake Village and Sylvan Lake.
More on Kim Small:
After six budget showdowns, big government is mostly unchanged
Measured another way — not in dollars, but in people — the government has about 4.1 million employees today, military and civilian. That’s more than the populations of 24 states.
Back in 2010, it had 4.3 million employees. More than the populations of 24 states.
Today another budget fight looms. If Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on spending levels by Oct. 1, there could be a government shutdown. Followed, perhaps, by a national credit default.
That will be showdown number seven. To assess what the first six accomplished, The Washington Post tried to measure the government in four different dimensions: federal expenditures, federal workers, federal rules and federal real estate.
What Amazing Leaders Do Differently
As I’ve attempted to step into the role of leader myself (along with my two fantastic cofounders), and fumbled repeatedly along the way, I’ve come to appreciate great leaders who make what turns out to be a very hard thing look easy.
Amazing leaders often do things counter-intuitively. Here are seven patterns I’ve observed in the best leaders in my life, despite the natural pressure for powerful people to do otherwise:
Is Obama the worst president ever? Worse than Carter???
Since 1979 and the acquiescence of the transfer of Iran to religious zealots with world-enders and Hidden Imam-summoners among them, I didn’t think it was possible for an American president to be ranked below Jimmy Carter on the competence list.
But now we have Obama, with double the years that Carter had to more than double the wreckage of the Carter era. Obama is working on his place in history every day, and every day he is making that ranking more secure.
Stop privileges for government officials
All over America, government officials enjoy privileges that ordinary citizens don’t. Sometimes it involves bearing arms, with special rules favoring police, politicians and even retired government employees. Sometimes it involves freedom from traffic and parking tickets, like the special non-traceable license plates enjoyed by tens of thousands of California state employees or similar immunities for Colorado legislators. Often it involves immunity from legal challenges, like the “qualified” immunity to lawsuits enjoyed by most government officials, or the even-better “absolute immunity” enjoyed by judges and prosecutors. (Both immunities — including, suspiciously, the one for judges — are creations of judicial action, not legislation).
Lately it seems as if these kinds of special privileges are proliferating. And it also seems to me that special privileges for “public servants” that have the effect of making them look more like, well, “public masters,” are kind of un-American. Even more, I’m beginning to wonder if they might actually be unconstitutional. Surely the creation of two classes of citizens, one more equal than the others, isn’t the sort of thing the Framers intended. Why didn’t they put something in the Constitution to prevent it?
Well, actually, they did. Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution prohibits the federal government from granting “titles of nobility,” and Article I, Section 10 extends this prohibition to the states — one of the few provisions in the original Constitution to impose limits directly on states. Surely the Framers must have considered this prohibition pretty important.
A Discussion On Race, Crime And The Inconvenient Facts
The racial victimhood industry demonstrably cares little about the facts, for example, in cases such as Martin—Zimmerman. The ultimate legal and factual aspects, therefore, become peripheral to the larger societal issue because the race hustlers have been aggressing regardless of the still-opaque full truth.
Because of the roiling irrationality, America may benefit from one further word on the subject from a different perspective.
What of that larger race relations issue? It took zero lag-time after the original Trayvon Martin incident for race baiters such as Al Sharpton to accuse our country of engendering a climate of racist danger for black citizens.
This qualifies as anti-American slander of the first magnitude because the facts are to the contrary — if anyone still cares to know them.
The Digital Threat to the Political Class
The digital world is changing everything about politics. It has already changed the way that mainstream Americans get information, organize, vote, interact with each other and learn about alternative approaches to problem solving.
These changes empower the middle class.
The Political Class is trying to resist and cling to the status quo, but they will be no more successful than those in the wine, newspaper or polling industries. In the digital revolution, those defending the status quo always lose.
Michiganders sound off on “Obamacare”
The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010 and will find its way into people’s homes, businesses and communities in a matter of weeks.
The measure, known in many circles as “Obamacare,” is intended to lower healthcare costs and make it more available to people, particularly those with no insurance. The measure has lots of fans and critics across Michigan as detailed in the CBS 62 “Eye on the Future” prime time TV special “The Health Care Act and You” which aired 6:30 p.m. Sunday Aug 25.
Here is a smorgasboard of what leaders and everyday folks had to say about the ACA:
A Liberal Perspective: The conservative crackup: How the Republican Party lost its mind – Worth Understanding
The relentless radicalization of the Republican Party since 1964 is the most important single event in the political history of the United States since the New Deal. It has significantly shaped the course of our government and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But this means it has also shaped the individual life of every citizen— the complex amalgam of possibilities and opportunities available (or not) to each of us. The conservative visionaries of the ‘50s and ‘60s wanted a new world. We’re all living in it now.
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