Pondering the President’s Policies

Some random thoughts today about the recent highlights of the Obama administration.

The Iran deal looks like it’s going through. This is the latest in a long line of great deals brokered by this president:

Really Bad Deals

Our president’s dubious accomplishments have spanned both the foreign and domestic realms, as the above cartoon shows. The economy has been moribund for his entire tenure in office, with a falling unemployment rate masking the fact that the labor force participation is at its lowest ebb in decades. More Americans than ever are on food stamps, etc. While a president’s policies need to have time to work, one can be excused for wondering why 6+ years hasn’t caused a turnaround.

No Idea

Then there’s this: fifty intelligence analysts have officially complained that their intelligence briefings have been altered by someone somewhere in the administration. While they have been brutally honest in detailing the rise of ISIS and other threats, the White House has been downplaying those threats all along. Again, one might be excused for wondering how that could happen without the approval of the man at the top:

Intelligence Briefing

Then there’s the other side of Washington dysfunction:

Do-Nothing Congress

If only things would change in Congress, there might be more confidence in the federal government. Even if Obama resists Republican efforts to reverse course, the public would be better informed as to the true nature of the problems we face.

Obama’s Iran Fantasy

When Congress reconvenes after its summer recess, the Iran deal will be front and center. We now know some details about a secret side-deal agreed to by Iran and the IEAE, which is supposed to be the international inspector of nuclear development. We now know that the IEAE is allowing Iran to conduct the inspections itself.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Inspected by Iran

How does this not defy all reason and logic? How can anyone believe it is wisdom to let the nation developing nuclear weapons be its own inspector? It will report to the IEAE what it “discovers.” Right.

Yet President Obama is relentless in his push to get congressional approval for this deal. Hey, he got Iran talking, didn’t he? Isn’t that a major accomplishment in itself?

Iran Finally Talking

He was counting on his party to back him, but some are balking, like New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

Enough About Him

Only one other Democrat senator has come out against the agreement thus far, but others are wavering, while Republicans are forming a fairly solid block against it. It may be that Schumer has come out simply because there are enough Democrats who will go along with it that he has been given permission to oppose it publicly for his own political gain. His character in the past shows that could be the case. We’ll see.

Obama’s people also have hinted that even if Congress disapproves and is able to override his veto, he will depend on the UN’s approval and proceed as if Congress is non-existent. Well, that’s been his pattern already, so it’s not too hard to believe.

It is obvious that our president is far more amenable to Iranian leaders who have pledged to wipe Israel off the map and who are in the process of figuring out how to hit America with nuclear missiles than he is to anyone who goes against him politically:

One Response

Combine this fantasy Iranian deal with his fantasy about Cuba, with whom he has now normalized relations while Cuban dissidents continue to languish in its prisons, and you have his worldview clearly on display:

Peace in Our Time

In the sixth year of Barack I, emperor of America, we are in grave danger. We need a radical regime change:

Voting for Trump

Is there anyone besides me who sees a problem with that solution?

Huckabee, the Iran Deal, & Reality

Mike Huckabee 2Mike Huckabee is being very vocal about the terrible consequences that will flow from this proposed deal with Iran. Both liberals/Democrats and some in his own party have taken him to task for his comments. For the record, here is what he said, in context:

This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It’s got to be stopped.

It was the phrase “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven” that has caused the consternation. The implication was clear; this deal is something Hitler would have approved.

Candidates should be careful not to use the Hitler comparison too often. One must be sure it really applies. In this case, though, I believe it does. The Iranians have made their position perfectly clear: all Jews must die. That’s not merely a sentiment expressed in private; they have boldly declared that goal to the world.

What could be more Hitler-like than that?

Some have accused Huckabee of being desperate, as he lags behind in the polls, and that he only said this to move up his numbers. On the other hand, I am convinced he really means what he says. He has been to Israel countless times—and not only when running for president—and is a genuine friend of that nation, concerned about its future survival. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I applaud him for being bold enough to say what needs to be said.

One wishes our administration had the same view. Instead, with this “deal,” Obama and Kerry have pretty much shown their true colors:

Surrender

Personally, I’m convinced both Obama and Kerry are deluded into thinking Iran is a potential ally. This delusion has led to the current deal:

Right Where We Want Him

Their willingness to give up the store, so to speak, is leading us toward nuclear disaster:

Loopholes

Iran’s rhetoric has not changed since this agreement was signed. Its government continues to declare its outright hostility to America and Israel, and even Kerry had to admit some of the billions of dollars to be released to the Iranians could lead to more American deaths. Tell me again: why would we ever want to ratify such a failed piece of diplomacy?

Kerry has said he is “disturbed” by some of the Iranians’ comments, but apparently he’s not disturbed enough to be snapped back to reality. What will it take?

That's Disturbing

Congress needs to take its responsibility seriously. It must defeat this deal with two regimes that cannot be trusted:

History of Deception

Indeed, there is nothing trustworthy about this president or any of his minions.

Needed: A Republican Spine

The new legislative session is underway. President Obama, even before any piece of legislation was introduced, already indicated his staunch position of using the veto for nearly everything a Republican Congress wants to pass. Should that be considered a preemptive strike?

The president doesn’t like the idea that Congress can have a say in things. That pesky Constitution just keeps getting in his way. His “Reagan Moment” is slightly different than the original:

Tear Down This Wall

The Republicans, meanwhile, had their own little scrape within: an attempt to deny John Boehner the Speaker’s chair. It didn’t succeed, and I knew it wouldn’t. Many on the Right are so disgruntled with Boehner that they almost can’t stand the idea of his continuance in that position.

Personally, I would like a different congressional leader as well—in a perfect world. However, the opposition to Boehner was disorganized and doomed from the start. It takes more than being a conservative firebrand to be put in charge. One also needs the organizational skills and the ability to project a vision and create unity. None of the challengers had those qualities, apparently. What’s even more interesting is that Boehner’s voting record is more conservative than some of those challengers.

Speaker Boehner, though, seems to have gotten the message, both by the election results and the abortive attempt to remove him. He allowed conservatives to shape the legislation to overturn Obama’s executive amnesty. It passed the House and is now before the Senate. The House also passed, with significant Democrat support, the Keystone pipeline bill. Both bills will probably be subject to a presidential veto, and it will be difficult to override the vetoes. What that does, however, is put Obama on the record as opposing measures that many Americans want to see made law.

Will Republicans in Congress continue to chip away at the Obama legacy? It will take real leadership based on principle:

Human Spine

Then, over the last weekend, we got the news that Mitt Romney might be running again. I made it clear last time around that he was not my choice, but that I had no real option but to support his candidacy—it was the only possible way to remove Obama from office.

Although I think Romney is a nice person, I’ve never trusted him to be consistently principled in a conservative philosophy of government. I still have a hard time believing he got the nomination after being the face of Romneycare in Massachusetts, which was the model upon which Obamacare was based. The now-infamous Jonathan Gruber was the architect for both.

If Republicans go for the squishy middle once again in 2016, I predict failure once again. This will be Romney’s third attempt for the presidency. If he falls short this time, does that mean he’ll finally stop trying?

Romney 2036

After a while, one tends to become a joke.

Whom should the Republicans nominate in 2016? Well, my thoughts on that will have to wait. We’re not close enough yet to know for sure who’s really serious about running. But when we get to that point, I promise I won’t stay silent.

Let the Battles Begin

Gas prices are falling. The unemployment rate is slowly dropping. If you don’t see the underlying problems that are ongoing, you might think things are turning a corner. Yet when an unemployment rate falls, is it because the economy is robust, or have people taken themselves out of the job market? Hint: it’s the latter. Our workforce is at its lowest ebb in decades. When you lose hope finding a job, you fall back on the government, which is exactly where this administration wants you.

But if you’re counting on always being part of the safety net, don’t get too comfortable:

My Plan

About those wonderful new numbers at the gas pump, ask yourself just what the president has done to achieve this. Has he opened up new oil exploration? Remember, this is the man who refuses to go forward with the Keystone Pipeline. What we have to realize is that even when the government does its best to impede recovery, there are times when market forces create a better situation anyway. Yet that won’t stop Obama from taking credit, despite the evidence to the contrary:

Policies Working

The new Congress meets today to get set up and running. Both houses are now controlled by Republicans. I’m withholding judgment on their performance until I actually can evaluate their performance. They need to remember their primary task:

Dusting Off

It’s time to start observing this document again, and by observing I mean following it. That’s going to be the yardstick by which I do my evaluation.

Obama is going to double down on executive actions, and he threatens to use the veto for anything that comes across his desk that he doesn’t like. Will Republicans pass decent bills and then get enough Democrat support to override his vetoes? The battles have only begun. Let them come, I say–let them come.

The New Congress

Bill CassidyThe 2014 Senate elections are now complete. On Saturday, Republican Bill Cassidy defeated incumbent Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu 56-44%. Landrieu had served as a senator for eighteen years; now she will have to find out what the private sector is like, pretty much for the first time in her life. Don’t feel too sorry for her, though; she comes from a political family with deep ties to the corridors of power. She won’t exactly go hungry.

Cassidy, who is currently a congressman and who is a medical doctor, in an interview yesterday, said his top priority was to do something about Obamacare, which he believes is a complete failure. His addition to the Senate now puts the new Senate, which will be seated in January, at 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats, a stark reversal of the last eight years.

Martha McSallyOne House seat remains to be called. In Arizona, Republican challenger Martha McSally is leading incumbent Democrat Ron Barber by a mere 161 votes, so a recount is underway. Barring any political shenanigans, it appears McSally, a retired Air Force pilot, will win. That would give the Republicans the greatest majority they’ve had in the House since the 1928 election.

Now, the real question: What will Republicans do with control of both houses of Congress? Will they stand firm on principle or cave? Will they show the nation they can lead in a new direction or will they go along with the occupant of the White House just to get along?

I never expect everything to go the way I think it should politically, but I do expect improvement after this last round of elections. Pray for wisdom and stiff spines.

A Year of Action?

Today’s commentary will be brief, and will serve as an addendum to yesterday’s concern over President Obama’s stated goal to act unilaterally to force through his agenda. He proclaimed this will be a “year of action.” Well, the cartoonists have picked up on that phrase rather quickly.

Executive Order

I love how the following cartoon captures the true spirit of the declaration:

Year of Action

Of course, Congress may not take this lying down. They may want a part of the action also:

Action Figures

“Sigh”