Thursday, August 22, 2013

Just Sayin'

Yesterday In the Absence of God was ranked at #200,000 out of 8,000,000 books sold on Amazon. That puts us in the top 2.5% of all the books they're selling. If you haven't ordered your copy yet, what are you waiting for?

No Accountability

One of the reasons the Tea Party was birthed is that more and more Americans have less and less trust in their government and in the politicians who run it. The Obama administration seems to be doing everything it can to further erode what little faith is left. Not only have they stonewalled every congressional investigation into every administrative debacle (Fast and Furious, the IRS abuses, and the Benghazi attacks most prominently), but they've refused to hold anyone accountable for them which just gives the impression that the underlings were doing the bidding of the president himself.

Take, for example, this report on the fate of the four state department employees who were suspended for various derelictions related to the Benghazi affair:
When no one is held accountable, when no one can even be persuaded to honestly and forthrightly testify to what happened in these various scandals, citizens can't help but conclude that the administration is simply hiding what they know to be their own malfeasance and culpability.

Mr. Nixon and Mr. Obama

Washington Post columnist George Will fillets politicians with the deftness and virtuousity of a benihana chef. His latest subject is President Obama whose lawlessness and disregard for constitutional restraints Will subjects to a slicing and dicing which almost forces the reader to the conclusion that the extra-legality of Barack Obama is in fact worse and more brazen than that of Richard Nixon. Here's part of it:
President Obama’s increasingly grandiose claims for presidential power are inversely proportional to his shriveling presidency. Desperation fuels arrogance as, barely 200 days into the 1,462 days of his second term, his pantry of excuses for failure is bare, his domestic agenda is nonexistent and his foreign policy of empty rhetorical deadlines and red lines is floundering. And at last week’s news conference he offered inconvenience as a justification for illegality.

Explaining his decision to unilaterally rewrite the Affordable Care Act (ACA), he said: “I didn’t simply choose to” ignore the statutory requirement for beginning in 2014 the employer mandate to provide employees with health care. No, “this was in consultation with businesses.”

He continued: “In a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the speaker and say, you know what, this is a tweak that doesn’t go to the essence of the law. . . . It looks like there may be some better ways to do this, let’s make a technical change to the law. That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do. But we’re not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to Obamacare. We did have the executive authority to do so, and we did so.”

Serving as props in the scripted charade of White House news conferences, journalists did not ask the pertinent question: “Where does the Constitution confer upon presidents the ‘executive authority’ to ignore the separation of powers by revising laws?” The question could have elicited an Obama rarity: brevity. Because there is no such authority.

Obama’s explanation began with an irrelevancy. He consulted with businesses before disregarding his constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” That duty does not lapse when a president decides Washington’s “political environment” is not “normal.”

When was it “normal”? The 1850s? The 1950s? Washington has been the nation’s capital for 213 years; Obama has been here less than nine. Even if he understood “normal” political environments here, the Constitution is not suspended when a president decides the “environment” is abnormal.

Neither does the Constitution confer on presidents the power to rewrite laws if they decide the change is a “tweak” not involving the law’s “essence.” Anyway, the employer mandate is essential to the ACA.
Will vents much more of his displeasure with the manner in which Mr. Obama has conducted himself in office at the link. It causes me to wonder were Mr. Obama not the first black president, or were he a white Republican, whether he'd have been impeached by now. Is it unfair and/or unreasonable to think that his administration has been at least as incompetent and feckless as Jimmy Carter's, and at least as arrogant and corrupt as Richard Nixon's? Am I wrong in thinking that no president, absent a major war, has polarized the nation as much as has Mr. Obama, especially racially but also ideologically, and that no president since FDR has presided over such a weak economy with such high unemployment for so long a period of time? Am I wrong in asserting that no modern president been beset by so many scandals of so much magnitude, nor spent so much of the taxpayer's money on his own personal recreation and that of his family, a fact which is especially galling given the unprecedented number of people struggling to make ends meet?

Perhaps I'm being unfair. Perhaps if I knew more of the facts I wouldn't have arrived at these judgments, but until those facts are forthcoming I don't see how anyone who tries to look objectively at the current state of things can draw any other conclusion. Given that the Democrats hailed Mr. Obama's ascendency to the Oval Office as almost a secular second coming it's all very disappointing.