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|Obama versus 'We the People'|
|VOL. 44, NO. 1||P.O. BOX 618, ALTON, ILLINOIS 62002||SEPTEMBER 2010|
Obama versus 'We the People'
Americans were treated to welcome entertainment during the dog days of summer as we watched the Democrats wring their hands over Barack Obama's tone deafness about political reality. Their despair about Obama is so painful that they are even calling on George W. Bush to come back and rescue Obama from his own mistakes.
The Democrats are reluctant to admit the truth that Obama is not a smart politician (like Bill Clinton, for example). Obama is a radical ideologue determined to "transform" America into the socialist mold regardless of voter retaliation against Democratic candidates.
Let's tick off the issues where Obama staked out his lonely position at the same time public opinion polls showed that the majority of Americans lined up on the other side. Obama's determination to achieve "change" doesn't include obeying the wishes of We The People.
Take Obamacare, for example. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously declared, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." Ramming it through Congress, overriding regular legislative procedure and the opposition of the American public, Obama deluded himself into believing that once it became the law of the land, the people would dutifully support it.
But they didn't. Even after passage, the Rasmussen survey reports that 60% favor repeal of the Health Control Law, and 50% say repeal will benefit the economy.
On August 3, 71% of voters in Missouri, the bellwether state, approved a referendum to invalidate any Obamacare mandate to force individuals to buy health insurance. The same week, a federal judge ruled that Virginia may proceed with its lawsuit to overturn Obamacare's mandate on individuals to buy insurance.
The Democrats had hoped they could postpone Obama's commitment to Hispanic voters until after the 2010 elections by tucking the contentious immigration issue under the rug this year. But then Obama brought the immigration issue front and center by filing suit against the Arizona law.
A CBS poll shows that 57% of Americans think Arizona's law is "about right," and a Rasmussen poll found that 65% of Arizonans support the law. A Zogby poll found that 58% of Americans nationwide want their own state to adopt a law similar to Arizona's.
Then there's the matter of building the Mosque on the ground near the 9/11 attack on New York City. Obama supports it even though 61% of Americans are against it.
The Mosque raises another festering issue. The Pew Research Center reports that 18% (one in five Americans) think Obama is a Muslim, and Time magazine puts that figure at 24%. The number of people who think Obama is a Christian has been in a free fall since June 2007 when he said, "We're no longer a Christian nation." 43% don't know what his religion is.
Rush Limbaugh reminded us of Obama's statement quoted in the New York Times that the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth" and that he recited it with a first-rate Arabic accent. The translation of the prayer call is: "Allah is supreme. Allah is supreme. Allah is supreme. I witness that there is no god but Allah."
Obama chose the most leftwing Supreme Court Justice in history, Elena Kagan. He ignored the Gallup poll showing that 42% of Americans wanted a new Supreme Court justice who would move the Court in the conservative direction, while only 27% wanted it to move more liberal.
Obama is even pressing for Card Check, one of his many payoffs to the unions, even though 61% of Americans oppose this, according to Voter Consumer Research. Card Check would make it easier for unions to organize workplaces by getting rid of the secret ballot.
Obama is still pushing Cap and Trade, which the voters have dubbed Cap and Tax because it will make electricity and all kinds of energy cost every American thousands of dollars a year. CNN reports that 51% of Americans oppose it, and Democratic congressional incumbents who voted for it in the House last year are finding it a big negative in their 2010 campaigns.
Obama is still unwilling to face up to the American people's opposition to his economic policies of big spending, higher deficits, staggering debt, and redistribution of wealth. According to a Rasmussen survey, less than one in five voters is willing to pay more taxes to lower the federal deficit because they believe we are already overtaxed.
More than 8 in 10 Americans believe the deficit is the result of overspending, not a lack of tax revenue. And 58% believe that if Obama and Congress raise taxes to reduce the deficit, they will just spend the money on new (probably worthless) government programs.
When Gallup asked Americans to name the greatest threat facing our country, the national debt tied with terrorism as the top choice. No wonder Zogby reports that 52% of Americans say Obama's change has made the country worse.
Barack Obama has appointed another Czar from Chicago: the new Food Czar Sam Kass. Officially, he is labeled Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives, but he's joining the list of more than 35 Czars given broad and unaccountable power over our lives, habits and spending.
Everybody laughed when Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) asked Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan if it would be constitutional for Congress to order Americans "to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day." Kagan declined to give a straightforward answer, maybe because she knew that exactly that type of dictatorial mandate is coming soon, in both Obamacare and a ukase issued by the new Food Czar.
Far scarier is Obama's appointment of his new Health Czar, Donald Berwick, to be the top administrator over Medicare and Medicaid. The life-and-death powers he will exercise, the huge sums of taxpayers' money he will direct, and the dishonest way Obama evaded the Senate's constitutional right to interrogate and reject him, make this the most shocking of all Obama's appointments.
Obama told Joe the Plumber that he wanted to redistribute the wealth. We didn't realize what else Obama planned to redistribute.
Czar Berwick is on record as saying, "Excellent health care is by definition redistributional." He used this favorite Obama term in the context of praising Britain's socialized medicine system as "a global treasure" and "I love it."
Coincidentally with the announcement of Berwick's appointment, Britain's major newspaper The Sunday Telegraph uncovered widespread cuts in British health care that were adopted in secret and buried in obscure appendices and lengthy policy documents. These include restrictions on common operations such as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery, the closure of many nursing homes for the elderly, and a reduction in hospital beds and staff.
Berwick admits that redistributing health care means rationing health care, which is why he has been called a one-man Death Panel. Last year he admitted in an interview, "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."
Note the imperial "we." That's the way czars talk.
Like a typical arrogant totalitarian socialist, Berwick assumes that smart bureaucrats should make life-and-death decisions and spend the money belonging to those they disdain as dumb, ordinary citizens. Berwick said, "I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do."
Berwick even promises he will train young doctors and nurses to understand "the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy." To eliminate individual health-care choices, Berwick's bureaucracy will have a budget that is larger than the Defense Department and is 4% of our GDP.
Berwick's paper trail of "baggage" is why Obama gave him a recess appointment. He wanted to avoid the Senate's advice-and-consent power altogether and keep Berwick's damaging statements out of the news.
The term czar has come to mean a presidential crony appointee who was never vetted by the Senate and who exercises sweeping regulatory authority without congressional oversight. But let's not lose sight of the vastly increased regulations issued by established agencies.
Obamacare's 2,000-plus pages created about 160 new agencies and boards with regulatory power. The Department of Health and Human Services just published 864 pages of regulations to govern electronic medical records.
President Obama just signed the 2,300-page Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. Its implementation will require at least 243 new regulations by 11 federal agencies, several of which do not yet exist.
Obama's Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, brags that under his leadership, the Department of Energy (DOE) has "accelerated the pace" of regulation and "placed new resources and emphasis behind the enforcement" of new regulations which "increase the stringency" of "minimum conservation standards" for all sorts of home appliances. Look out! The energy police are invading our homes.
In April, DOE issued a new rule that gas fireplace logs cannot use more than 9,000 BTUs per hour, which is about one-tenth of what current gas logs require. This new rule will wipe out the gas fireplace industry, and the gas log in my home would become illegal.
In May, DOE effectively banned showerheads with multiple nozzles by ruling that all nozzles combined will be permitted to deliver no more than an anemic 2.5 gallons per minute. This rule will destroy upscale showers and hand-held sprays used by the disabled and elderly like the one I use.
Obama wasn't kidding when he promised to "fundamentally transform the United States." He has figured out how to bypass Congress and rule us by czars and a tsunami of regulations.
Just when we thought President Obama had reached the ultimate in seizing extravagant power by appointing a Health Care Czar (Donald Berwick) to exercise life-and-death surveillance over Medicare and Medicaid, Congress is now trying to give him a Czar with global powers. It would be a Czar over women's issues, worldwide.
Based in the State Department, her statutory title will be "Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues." Her task will be to assure a "gender integration" perspective in all State Department policies and programs.
The breath-taking reach of her powers is openly stated in the bill's first section: "The Ambassador shall coordinate and advise, and where relevant lead — (1) State Department activities and policies, including as they affect programs and funding relating to prevention and response, including gender integration and women's development internationally as relates to prevention and response."
And if that's not enough, the feminist Ambassador will also be responsible for the "allocation of State Department resources" to carry out the mischief.
Reinforcing her ukases will be a "Women's Development Advisor" with a desk in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This is the same federal agency that sent millions to a radical feminist group in India called Women Power Connect, which used U.S. taxpayers' money to lobby for a 33 percent female quota in the Indian Parliament.
The vehicle for this latest pandering to the feminist left is the International Violence Against Women Act called I-VAWA (S.2982 and H.R.4594). The lead sponsors are Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer.
The bill broadly defines violence against women to include non-violent "psychological harm," "intimidation at work," and "psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the government of the country in which the victim is a resident." Naturally, lots of taxpayers' money will be needed for so awesome a task, so the bill authorizes $1 billion over five years.
The global reach of this new Czar's activities opens the door for Obama's feminist constituency to dictate to other countries. The bill calls for a "comprehensive, five-year international strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls internationally" and to set up "gender-integrated, comprehensive, and holistic" plans in 20 countries.
This new feminist gestapo will support the "development and enforcement of civil and criminal legal and judicial sanctions, protections, trainings, and capacity." And there's more: the bill authorizes U.S. money to be spent to develop "programs affecting social norms, community attitudes, and male and female participation in violence and response to victims."
The feminist movement in the United States has never been only about changing laws alleged to be discriminatory. Feminists yearn to dictate norms and attitudes, too.
I-VAWA will provide "legal services for women" but not for men. According to the practice of our domestic Violence Against Women Act, which has been functioning in the United States since 1994, "legal services" are not just legal defense but also aggressive legal troublemaking such as getting a restraining order to kick the husband out of the house.
One important section of I-VAWA assures that the feminist left controls the flow of taxpayers' money. Section 112 provides for grants to "Women's Nongovernmental Organizations and Community-Based Organizations."
It's a no-brainer to predict what kinds of "organizations" will be eligible for those grants. You can be sure that non-feminist organizations will not be on any approved list of grantees.
I-VAWA requires the State Department to "prepare a public report on best practices for preventing and addressing violence against women and girls internationally." The feminist left has always been skillful and experienced in preventing grant money ever to go to any group or individual who might unearth scientific or statistical evidence contrary to feminist ideology.
Feminist orthodoxy teaches that there are no innate differences between males and females with one exception. Men are naturally batterers and women are naturally victims.
Does anyone dare to think that the State Department report will call for stopping the violence against women committed by mandatory abortions to carry out a government's one-child policy? Or report on sex-selective abortions to kill unborn girl babies because parents prefer a boy baby?
If our State Department wants to help women in other countries, how about reporting to the American people about the atrocities against women committed by Muslim countries that use sharia law. That includes forced marriages, child marriages, so-called "honor" murders, polygamy, and death by stoning as punishment for women who commit adultery.
The State Department could do something very useful by refusing to grant visas or immigrant status to anyone who supports sharia punishments or genital mutilation of women. That would be an inexpensive way to stop a lot of violence against women.
Would you be satisfied if your only access to a computer was to try to boot up one that hadn't been used or tested since 1992? That's the predicament of our nuclear deterrent on which we depend for our ultimate physical survival.
On April 8 in Prague, President Obama signed what is called the New START bilateral arms control agreement. It reads like it was written by the Russians and has nothing good in it for the United States.
Obama is demanding a rush to ratification, after which we can then discover the details of what the treaty requires. Does that remind you of the procedure used for Obamacare?
If there ever were a need for the Senate to read the bill and for the Senate to use its "advice" power as well as its "consent" power, this is it, including reading the treaty's protocols and annexes. Harry Reid's Senate promptly held one hearing, but heard only from treaty advocates, not from its critics.
In the globalist world that Obama inhabits, he dreams of a nuclear-zero world. But his "world without nuclear weapons" would be a world where the United States is a sitting duck for nukes fired by a rogue nation.
The treaty allows Russia to build new and modern weapons to reach New START limits, whereas the United States is locked into reducing its current number. That means Russia will have new and tested weapons, but the U.S. will be stuck with its current, out-of-date, untested warheads.
We live in a dangerous world in which bad guys respect strength and weapons, and disdain weakness and disarmament. Yet, Obama is already presiding over the steady obsolescence of our aging deterrent, a failure to test our weapons, and the phasing out of our skilled workforce to sustain them.
The fantasy that our abandonment of nuclear weapons will inspire other nations to follow our example is so foolish that it can only be described as nuts. When the Cold War thawed and the U.S. and the old U.S.S.R. dramatically reduced their nuclear warheads, that encouraged proliferation, with India, Pakistan, North Korea, Syria and Iran trying to join the nuclear club.
New START allows the United States to have only as many nuclear warheads as Russia can afford to build. And Russia gets to set the count of weapons.
Equal ceilings on warheads are ridiculous because, while Russia only has to defend its own people, our allies all over the world count on us for protection. If the treaty prohibits us from having weapons to fulfill those expectations, they will try to build their own.
The treaty does not limit tactical nuclear weapons, leaving Russia with a 10-to-one numeric superiority, which Russia has threatened to use in regional conflicts. We could build more tactical missiles, but there is no chance Obama will do that.
New START gives up the verification, on-site inspections and monitoring of production that were requirements of previous treaties. Whatever happened to Ronald Reagan's maxim, "Trust but verify"?
Obama has made it clear that his eagerness for a nuclear-zero world also means a world without any defense against nuclear weapons. He has cut spending for missile defenses and killed or moth-balled the few innovative programs we have to knock down incoming rockets in their boost phase.
Ever since President Reagan announced his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in 1983, the Kremlin has tried to ban all U.S. missile defenses. The Kremlin brags that it achieved this goal in New START.
This treaty gives Russia a veto over all U.S. defenses against incoming missiles. Article V contains a binding clause that we "shall not convert and shall not use ICBM launchers and [submarine-launched ballistic missile] launchers for placement of missile defense interceptors therein."
Article XIV confirms this prohibition, stating that any party can withdraw from New START if "extraordinary events . . . have jeopardized its supreme interests." Russia explained that this means it will stick with New START "only if the [U.S.] refrains from developing its missile defense capabilities quantitatively or qualitatively."
The wisdom of the Founding Fathers is available to save us from New START folly, i.e., the constitutional provision that ratification requires approval by two-thirds of Senators. That's the provision the globalists hate the most.
The Council on Foreign Relations complained in print on May 1, 2008 that "the separation of powers enshrined in the U.S. Constitution which gives Congress a critical voice in the ratification of treaties and endorsement of global institutions, complicates U.S. assumptions of new international obligations."
Our Constitution can save us from New START if 34 Senators will stand up for America.
President Barack Obama says he wants to "fundamentally transform the United States." I don't believe the American people want him to transform America into a land where our government —
Inform yourself about the issues. Sponsor House Meetings to inform your friends. Our Founding Fathers left us a great system of self-government, but it won't last unless good people get active in this important year, vote for good candidates, and encourage your friends to do likewise.