Friday morning wrap-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesI’ve ranted here before about the fact that, when discussing the Left’s insistence that government should be able to give the Pill to young girls, no one mentions how dangerous hormone-based birth control devices are.  It seems, though, that people are finally waking up to the fact that there’s a price to pay for messing with women’s hormones.

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Walt Disney was a futurist because he believed that the future would be a wonderful time that would see Americans, and people around the world, enjoying better living through technology. Obama is a futurist too. He envisions a barren, parched wasteland with bazillions of starving people, among whom will be history professors passing judgment on today’s events — hence Obama’s perpetual concern with “being on the right side of history.” What Obama doesn’t grasp is that the world’s bad actors are not futurists. They are “here and now” -ists. Putin, in true George Washington Plunkitt fashion, saw his opportunity and took it, history be damned. What Putin understands, which Obama doesn’t, is that the victors get to write the history.

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Back in August 2008, David Goldman foresaw the Russian (and American and Israeli) future. George Bush is not without guilt on this one. America as a whole, has been naive and credulous in dealing with Putin. In 2008, though, no one could have envisioned an American leader quite as bad as Obama. Goldman’s 2008 article posited Russians playing chess and Americans playing Monopoly. Obama, however, has been playing Chutes and Ladders.

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In any event, whether the West is playing Monopoly or Candy Land, the Onion has a wonderful satirical piece in which Putin expresses his gratitude.

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We all know (and the Left knows too) that Paul Ryan is not a racist for pointing out exactly what Obama pointed out: that American black men live within a damaged and damaging culture. Where Ryan failed, though, was his decision to bob and weave when the usual race-baiters labeled him as a racist. He apologized for being misunderstood and met with black leaders and did the usual sackcloth and ashes routine. What Ryan should have done — what every person of good will should do when the race-baiters call him names — was to come out swinging: “I am not a racist. You are the racist because you refuse to allow anyone to talk about the welfare state’s massive failures. Etc.” The moment anyone apologizes on this one for anything, even using the wrong punctuation, the race-baiters win.

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On the subject of racism, affirmative action is one of those racist Leftist evils. While it may have had some merit in the first years after 1964 (and I doubt even that), it’s become poison in the decades since then. For more than fifty years, it’s told both whites and minorities that the latter need not try as hard because the system will raise them up anyway.  This is a terrible message. Up until affirmative action, disfavored American groups raised themselves up by working twice as hard and by competing head-on with the entrenched classes. That’s the way to break racism (or anti-Catholicism or anti-Semitism). You try harder; you don’t try less hard. According to John Fund, it might be that some people are finally figuring this out.

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Incidentally, affirmative action is why Obama got elected and it’s one of the reasons he will never be impeached. With that kind of job security, Obama doesn’t need to work hard and can, during the hours he does deign to work, go about freely de-valuing America.

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I liked 300. A lot. I didn’t get to see the end though. With only 10 minutes to go, the liberal friend with whom I was watching it said, “This is disgusting,” turned the TV off, took out the disk, put it in the Netflix mailer, and that was that. I liked the movie for precisely the reasons Andrew Klavan liked it. I also fail to see how any sequel could work. The Spartan stand at Thermopylae was a unique moment in history. Any subsequent film will just be about a battle, not about an idea.

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My son said that kids at his school are saying that the endless coverage about the missing Malaysia Airline is to cover for the debacle (from America’s viewpoint) in the Ukraine. Smart kids. The DiploMad says the same thing.

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Daniel Greenfield has an extended, thoughtful, detailed, accurate, depressing rumination on the death cult lying at Islam’s heart.

Even with a majority, it’s likely that Republicans will be too afraid to impeach America’s first black president

Arrogant Obama

Barack Obama’s lawlessness has become so obvious that even intellectually honest folks on the Left are sitting up and taking notice:

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a frequent guest of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow during the Bush years, described the situation in severe terms.

“I really have great trepidation over where we are headed,” Turley said. “We are creating a new system here. . . . The center of gravity is shifting, and that makes it unstable. Within that system you have a rise of an uber-presidency. There could be no greater danger for individual liberty. And I really think that the Framers would be horrified by that shift.”

The situation, Turley later said, is the “most serious constitutional crisis, I believe, in my lifetime.”

That lawlessness doesn’t just rest with Obama’s recent decision to ignore statutory deadlines regarding Obamacare and, instead, to impose his own deadlines in the hope that the worst of Obamacare won’t hit until after the 2014 elections.  (And you thought it was bad now….)  Instead, Obama’s lawlessness encompasses everything — the laws he refuses to enforce, the executive orders he uses with abandon to run around Congress, and his deep disdain for the United States Constitution.

It’s appalling (but, of course, not surprising) that congressional Democrats would rather see the country’s constitutional framework collapse than lay a finger on a renegade politician.  Indeed, they’re so excited about their agenda’s successes (despite the public’s increasing disregard for those same Leftist initiatives) that congressional Democrats openly support the way in which Obama is making Congress irrelevant.

What’s depressing (but, of course, not surprising) is that it’s unlikely that, even if Republicans control both houses in Congress (which is a possibility in Obamacare’s wake), they too will do nothing to rein Obama in.  Reining Obama in, of course, means impeaching the man.  There is no other way to put the brakes on his conduct.  Unfortunately, though, Obama has pretty much be inoculated against impeachment because of the “racism” charge that the Left uses to respond to every critique made against the man and his policies.

Republicans suspect — and are probably right — that no matter how dreadful Obamacare proves to be, and  how low Obama’s polling numbers go, the mainstream media will deliberately foment race riots should Republicans make any effort to impeach the first black president.  The fact that blacks constitute less than 20% of the population, and that not all will riot, is irrelevant.  Nationwide race riots would have a devastating effect on America’s fabric.

Sadly it seems, this crook is here to stay.

What authority does Obama rely upon to “improve” a law?

Constitution

The Constitution is very clear:  Congress writes the laws; the President enforces them.

In light of Obama’s announcement today that he was unilaterally “improving” a law by ignoring its terms (i.e., the time limits contained within Obamacare), Veronique de Rugy asks a good question:

What authority does the president of the United States have to decide that he will or will not enforce some parts of the law that have become inconvenient for him politically or that are proven to have been a terrible idea?

There’s a simple answer to this excellent question.  The limit to Obama’s authority lies in the Senate.  The only thing that can stop a rogue president is impeachment — and a Senate with a Democrat majority will not allow conviction.

The real power to control Obama’s unlawful activities lies with the voters. So far, though, they’ve chosen not to exercise this power.  Although Obama had been manifestly re-writing laws to suit his purpose before the 2012 election (e.g., immigration laws and Obamacare), the voters shrugged and kept the Senate in Democrat hands.

If voters in 2014 again return Democrats to the Senate in sufficient numbers to block impeachment, the voters have granted Obama the authority to ignore the limitations that the Constitution places upon him.  It’s obviously not an express grant of authority, because the president is still violating the Constitution, but it’s an implicit grant of authority.  Like the bribed police officer at the scene of a crime, voters will simply be looking the other way.

And speaking of 2014, there’s a Ricochet thread thinking about campaign slogans.  This is the top suggestion:  “If you don’t like your Democrat. you don’t have to keep him. Vote for ______.”  I think it’s on the right track, but somehow a little unwieldy.

Given the record on which Obama and the Democrats will be running in 2014, what catchy slogans would you guys and gals suggest?

Barack Obama’s biggest lie of all (if the number of people deceived is the yardstick) *UPDATED*

If you like the health care plan you have you can keep it.”

If you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”

If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

Every one of the above statements came directly from Obama’s mouth.  That is, they were not relayed by his press office or parroted through spokespeople.  Obama opened his mouth and there these words were.  These were fundamental promises that Obama made in order to convince Americans not to lynch the lawmakers who engaged in procedural chicanery to pass a monstrous bill that none of them had read.  (Or as Nancy Pelsoi explained, “But we have to pass the [health care ] bill so that you can find out what is in it.“)

Here’s another quotation, from Bob Laszewski, an expert in healthcare policy and marketplace review:

The U.S. individual health insurance market currently totals about 19 million people. Because the Obama administration’s regulations on grandfathering existing plans were so stringent about 85% of those, 16 million, are not grandfathered and must comply with Obamacare at their next renewal. The rules are very complex. For example, if you had an individual plan in March of 2010 when the law was passed and you only increased the deductible from $1,000 to $1,500 in the years since, your plan has lost its grandfather status and it will no longer be available to you when it would have renewed in 2014.

These 16 million people are now receiving letters from their carriers saying they are losing their current coverage and must re-enroll in order to avoid a break in coverage and comply with the new health law’s benefit mandates––the vast majority by January 1. Most of these will be seeing some pretty big rate increases.

For anyone paying attention (i.e., any who was not a member of the liberal elite with his body so contorted by leftist ideology that his brain was pressed deeply into his own inferior orifice), it was inevitable that almost every individual health insurance policy in America would have to be canceled, because almost none of them would have the exquisite balance of mandatory coverages called for by Obamacare (interesting things such as pregnancy care for 90 year old men, etc.).  For the insurers to add these things would (a) result in the cancellation of existing policies by operation of law and (b) inevitably force up the price of existing policies so that they contained things that aren’t insurance, but are maintenance.  Bye-bye, old policies; hello, new price increases.

And again, you don’t need an Ivy League degree to figure these things out.  Indeed, I do believe that an Ivy League degree impairs a person’s ability to figure out simple economic reality.

I’m running to pick up kids now, so I don’t have time to think about this question, let alone research it, so I’ll just ask it:  Can a blatant lie of this magnitude, a fraud on an extraordinary scale, justify impeachment?  (And I know this is theoretical, because no one would have the courage in Washington, even if they had a sizable majority, to impeach the first black president for fraud and deceit.)

UPDATE:  Daniel Henninger touches upon the much broader implications flowing from Obama’s lack of credibility.  As long-time readers know, I’ve been harping on Obama’s dishonesty since his 2008 campaign.  I was a cheerleader for this parade, not a latecomer.

If you want my opinion about Obama’s serial dishonesty, it’s because he’s a malignant narcissist.  Although these people have long-term goals, and long memories when it comes to holding grudges, one significant part of their brain exists only in the present:  Whatever they say is dictated by the needs of the moment.  There are no such things as absolute truths, incontestable facts, or binding promises.  When malignant narcissists open their mouths to speak, their “truth” is what will serve them best at that particular moment.  They’ll pass a lie detector test at that moment because, to them, absolute truth is identical to immediate need.  And when they blatantly lie about a lie (“I didn’t draw a red line; the world drew a red line”), they’ll pass that lie detector test too because their lizard brains are telling them “If you need to say it right now, then it’s the truth.”

I couldn’t agree more with Thomas Lifson regarding NOT impeaching Obama

The thought of impeaching Obama is emotionally satisfying, but Thomas Lifson is right that it’s a mistake.  I mean, think about it:  how good as a tactic if the best possible outcome is that Joe Biden becomes President?  Obama, meanwhile, will become a race martyr, and the country might be torn apart beyond repair.  What Thomas argues, instead, is that conservatives can play a much more strategic game, with great long term benefits.  Keep these scandals going, instead of turning the focus solely onto Obama the martyr, and we’ll have ever more evidence indicting American Progressivism as a failure that has corruption, abuse, and tyranny built within it.

Phone messages from crazy people

I was out this morning getting my oil changed — and learning that it will cost almost $2,000 to fix my car from its recent run-in with a low post.  When I got home, I found an interesting message on my answering machine.

It’s the recorded voice of Dennis Kucinich begging me to “Press 1 now” on my phone to be added to the “growing list” of people calling for George Bush’s impeachment.  I don’t know how to tell Kucinich this, but George Bush is leaving office, with or without impeachment, in six months.

Impeachment is, in any event, a dumb idea.  Even though Clinton used the White House as his own private cat house, committed perjury himself, and encouraged others to lie as well, I thought the impeachment against him was vindictive politics that would backfire.  I think the same holds true in this tit-for-tat attempt to dislodge Bush, or just to humiliate him, with the end of his presidency drawing near.

It’s also unusually stupid — and this is saying a lot even for Kucinich — considering the potential fall-out here.  Clinton’s crimes were his own.  In this case, however, any Democrat calling for impeachment should consider the number of Congress people (Democrats included) who had possession of precisely the same information as George Bush, and who were as gung-ho for war as he was.  Any attack on Bush is necessarily going to create a wide-ranging defense that attacks a whole bunch of Congress people as well.  (You know, thinking about it, that’s not such a bad thing, is it?)