2016 Is Not a Replay of 1980

So we now have the notes the FBI took when they interrogated Hillary Clinton about her e-mail server. What have we discovered? She is adept at blaming her staff for everything and protesting that she doesn’t “recall” almost anything having to do with training on how to handle sensitive documents.

This is after having signed forms that testified she knew the specifics of how to handle such documents. What comes across is that she is playing the “I just don’t get all this technology” card in an attempt to escape prosecution (which the Justice Department at the behest of the FBI has allowed her to do).

Don't Understand

And we’re supposed to believe this baloney. It’s about as surreal as it can get. Has there ever been a presidential candidate who has been exposed as this corrupt before?

Self-Inflicted

Yet she may be our next president.

With Donald Trump putting illegal immigration back in the news with his foray into Mexico and his speech on the topic afterwards, one might want to ask Hillary (if anyone is allowed to ask her anything) what her stance is on the subject.

Ready to Assimilate

I’ve read parts of the transcript of Trump’s speech and seen excerpts. While there are points in the speech with which I agree, I still can’t stand his attitude. This is the moderate Trump?

Earlier in the day, he was all sweetness and light with the Mexican president. Later, in the speech, he threw out the red meat to his followers, sounding like the “old” Trump. One thing his followers might have missed, though, is that he didn’t say what he would now do with those currently living here illegally. Wasn’t the big deportation thing one of the main reasons he amassed such rabid support at the start? Now he’s backing down on it (which only makes sense) and very few of his supporters seem to have a problem with his flip-flop on an issue that they considered a cornerstone.

Consistency

He’s been all over the place, trying to come up with something that can be called a genuine policy. He’s done the same with abortion in the past. He’s totally unreliable.

Back in 1980, we were in the throes of the Carter administration. That led to a revival of common sense under Ronald Reagan. Some people are seeing a historical parallel in that we are in dire straits similar to what we experienced under Carter, and that another Reagan is waiting around the corner. Here, though, is where the parallel breaks down.

Doesn't Cheer My Up

Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan and 2016 is not a replay of 1980. Sadly.

The Hillary-Donald Week in Review

This has been a bad week for both presidential candidates. Let’s begin with Hillary.

The evidence is piling up that the infamous Clinton Foundation is little more than a conduit to enhance Hillary’s climb to power, fueled by funds from foreign sources.

It's Set

I'm Bribing Her

Remember that kerfuffle back in 2008 about who would be most ready to answer a 3 a.m. phone call? Well, now we know the answer:

This Is Hillary

We now know that big donors to the Clinton Foundation got a fast track for meetings with the then-secretary of state and that really nice favors followed in the wake.

In most worlds, this is called corruption.

When a Clinton is caught in corruption, however, the response is classically Clintonian:

You Feel Terrible

All of this stems, of course, from the whole e-mail controversy. Hillary keeps trying to say that she only did what other secretaries of state, like Colin Powell, have done. Never mind that no previous secretary of state set up a private server and then attempted to delete everything that would be incriminating.

Powell Made Me

After months of using Powell as a cover, he finally came out and lambasted her this week, saying he never told her to do this.

And guess what? Another 15,000 “lost” e-mails were found. Now we’re told some of the contents of those will be made public by mid-October.

Another Cache

Forget the corruption. She should be denied the presidency due to complete incompetence. She can’t even delete e-mails well.

Then, in the last couple of days, Donald Trump has decided that his long-promised deportation of illegals just won’t happen. That would be unkind, or something.

His new position (subject to change daily, or from one interview to the next) is not much different than what Rubio and Bush have promoted.

Wait a minute, wasn’t this strong immigration stance the closest he’s ever come to having a solid policy position on anything? Wasn’t this the primary reason why so many people jumped on his bandwagon to begin with?

Poor Ann Coulter, who is now on a book tour for her newest offering titled In Trump We Trust. Set aside for the moment the attempt to make Trump into God’s replacement. She is in no small amount of agony because she has stated that a change in his immigration policy would be a betrayal. I wonder how the book tour is going now?

Trump’s attempt to be a rational human being is certainly laudable, but it also has to be genuine. I don’t see that happening.

Reboot

So where are we at this point in the race?

Reality Show Prank

Too close to the truth.

Priorities: The Obama Version

Four police officers have died from attacks in the last nine days. One was a particularly brutal attack from behind at a gas station, practically execution style.

Our president has said nothing publicly about any of those attacks.

The Kate Steinle family is now suing the city of San Francisco for the murder of their daughter by an illegal immigrant who was deported five times and ordered to be turned over to the federal government, but San Francisco officials allowed him to roam the city at will.

No one in the administration has ever contacted the family.

A black racist homosexual brutally murders a news crew in Virginia.

Total silence from our president.

Gun's Fault

Planned Parenthood videos continue to surface showcasing the depravity of the organization.

Obama can’t find any reason to defund those activities.

The pending deal with Iran gives that terrorist nation everything it wants and the world gets an increased nuclear threat in return.

Obama thinks this is the deal of a lifetime.

A Little Terror

Friends & Enemies

And while all of these things are going on, what is his priority? Traveling to Alaska to rename Mt. McKinley and talk of the “real” danger that we all face—climate change.

Yes, the world has turned upside down.

Only the steadfast prayers of those who seek God’s face—and the unmerited mercy of God—will get us through the nightmare known as the Obama years.

Sanctuary City Chaos

Kate Steinle-Francisco SanchezKate Steinle’s body has been laid to rest. Her family is still stunned by how she was wantonly shot dead on a San Francisco pier by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times and had been jailed on drug charges. Why was he still in this country? Why was he not in the hands of Immigration and Customs?

Ask Sanchez, and he will tell you—as he did when asked by authorities—that he went to San Francisco because it was a “sanctuary city” that would not question his immigration status or history of crime.

There are more than 200 such cities in the United States. Here’s a map that shows some of them.

Sanctuary Cities

What these sanctuary cities actually accomplish is the negation of the rule of law.

Sanctuary Cities

More Police Brutality

This has angered many people, and some high-profile programs on Fox News have taken up the challenge to change the way we deal with illegal immigration.

Kate Steinle-Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, for instance, is pushing Congress for a law, duly named “Kate’s Law,” so that “undocumented aliens who are deported and return to the United States would receive a mandatory five year sentence in a federal penitentiary upon conviction.”

Megyn Kelly also has taken up the cudgel, focusing on the disparity in reaction from President Obama in this case as compared with other cases in which he inserted his opinion immediately. He has made no public statement about the Steinle murder.

Kate Steinle-Megyn Kelly

Of course, the reason he is silent is obvious: this tragic event doesn’t fit with his agenda; it would, instead, undermine his lax immigration enforcement and his support for the sanctuary city movement. This president is complicit in destroying the rule of law in so many ways, I have lost count, but this is another example.

Deported Man

Obama is quick to call Obamacare and same-sex marriage settled law that everyone must obey, but not so much immigration law. It’s a pick-and-choose thing dependent on whether it advances his radical ideology.

America has always been the most welcoming nation in the world to immigrants, but always with a view to following the rules. There is no “right” of immigration to another country. Mexico’s laws against illegal immigration are harsh. Try to become a Swiss citizen and you will probably fail in the effort.

So I’m not making a case for hard-hearted rejection of immigrants, but for a thoughtful and fair system for allowing immigration to take place in an orderly manner. The rule of law must prevail or we will hasten our descent into chaos, which will then be “corrected” by totalitarianism.

The Week in Review

For today, how about a quick review of this week’s highlights? Or are they lowlights? You decide.

A Texas federal judge stayed Obama’s executive order granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. This was a jolt to the president, who has been very consistent throughout his presidency on this issue:

It's Illegal

Will he stand for this affront to his executive authority?

Banning Judicial

Then we had State Department spokesvalleygirl Marie Harf offering her solution for Islamic terrorism—all they need is jobs!

Root Causes

I can see the plea now:

Jobs

This “solution” appeared while President Obama was holding his “Violent Extremism” summit that never once acknowledged something called Islamic violent extremism:

Terrorist

Joe Biden couldn’t keep himself out of the news as he prepares his barrel-ride-over-Niagara Falls presidential campaign. Standing behind the wife of Ash Carter at his swearing-in as the new secretary of defense, Biden, shall we say, took the spotlight off the ceremony:

Joe Biden Awkward

I’m sure this has created a groundswell of support for him among the Democrat electorate:

Awkward

But certainly the most important event of the week—surpassing executive orders, jobs for jihadis, an extremism summit, and the latest Biden embarrassment—has to be this one:

Beagle

That has to warm the heart of every ordinary dog and/or person. There’s hope for us all.

Happy New Year? Will Government Help or Hurt?

The last two days I’ve looked at the role of Christians and the moral/cultural climate as we peer into 2015. I’ve said that the key to this being a happier year is whether real Christians take their task as salt and light seriously. Then I dissected the trend of the culture morally, showing the immense job we have ahead of us.

Today, let’s consider government’s role, and what it does, either to help reverse current trends or push us further along a wrong path.

Good & EvilUnlike some conservatives/libertarians, I don’t think that government is a necessary evil. Rather, it is established by God to bring order to society. According to Romans 13, it is to be a servant of God to protect those who do good and punish those who do wrong.

I can see why many chafe under civil government when it does the opposite of what it is intended by God to accomplish. I feel the same way. When I survey what our government has done in the past (and being a historian, I’ve done a lot of surveying), I can point to many times when it has deviated from God’s directive. Yet, in America, regardless of the failures, we’ve done better than almost any other nation on the globe, both currently and in the past.

Obama Arrogant LookI regard the ascension of Barack Obama into the presidency as a watershed in American history. His vision to fundamentally transform the country was not just rhetoric. He is the first president who, in the deepest part of his being, doesn’t really like and appreciate the nation he is presiding over. He doesn’t like its history, the way the government was set up in the Constitution, nor the free-market approach to prosperity.

In short, he is the antithesis of everything America was designed to be.

His election was supposed to heal the racial divide, but his words and actions have only widened that divide. He has put the federal government in charge of as much as possible, from student loans to the healthcare system. His outright support for homosexuality and same-sex marriage has encouraged our retreat from Biblical morality, and he is the first president ever to address Planned Parenthood—the foremost provider of abortions—and ask God’s blessing on their efforts.

Obama’s background is a deadly mix of anti-colonial resentment, Marxist ideology, and black liberation theology. All three fuel his drive to remake America in his own image.

During his tenure, we have seen one scandal after another—the IRS, the NSA, the VA, Benghazi, etc. In each case, he has swept the dirt under the rug, and the media has obliged by ignoring the potentially devastating nature of the infractions and the blithe dismissal of solutions.

Stymied by Congress, he has now decided to operate as a lone wolf—first by executive orders for which he has no authority; lately, by mere executive memos that even fall short of an official order. His word is all that is necessary to make law.

This is, in summary, the beginnings of a tyranny.

The Obama vision was rejected soundly in the 2014 congressional and state elections. As I’ve noted in previous posts, Republicans now control 70 of the 99 state legislative bodies and both houses of the Congress. Based on that, one might expect a genuine attempt at reversal. But will we see it?

Boehner-McConnellAlready, many suspect that Republican leaders, spurred on by the Chamber of Commerce, are in league with the president on the immigration amnesty. Will they do anything at all to counteract it? The next two months will reveal the truth.

Are Republicans truly committed to repealing Obamacare, step by step? Yes, they still have the hurdle of a presidential veto of anything they pass, but will they take a principled stand, at least? Again, we’ll see.

The Supreme Court may do their job for them on that issue: a case is going to be decided that could kill Obamacare for good. There is hope.

There are two opposite things that Christians must never do: we cannot believe that the government is our savior; neither can we withdraw from the political scene and just let things play out. We must have a realistic view of what government can and cannot accomplish, but then we have an obligation to actively work for the good it can accomplish.

Christians & PoliticsIt still comes back to what I said two days ago: the key for a happier New Year lies with those who are devoted followers of Jesus Christ. They are the only ones with the ultimate Truth to share, and they should be the ones who have the wisdom to apply that Truth properly to society.

Will we be wise? I wish I could be more certain of that, but that goal remains at the top of my prayers.

Cartoon Potpourri

This will be my last blog post until the new year, so let me leave you with a plethora (look it up) of political cartoons to help tide you over. Whenever you need a cartoon fix over the next couple of weeks, just come back here.

Let’s begin with a man who has made real news this year, probably the most honest man who has worked with the government (at least until he was put before a congressional panel to testify):

Architect

In the Senate, the Democrats gave the terrorists an early Christmas present:

Future Interrogation

And here’s one person’s creative idea on illegal immigration:

Sound Immigration Policy

Just kidding.

Of course, at the center of all things political is this man who has become a legend in his own mind, particularly on Biblical knowledge:

It Does Now

I must also add one for a political party that somehow manages to turn a major win into no advantage whatsoever:

Too Quickly

I have a number of cartoons that deal with the government’s lack of ability to do almost anything effectively:

Urge

Love Govt Work

Functional Government

Finally, I offer the true spirit of the season from our cultural masters:

Faith-Based

May we never succumb to that spirit. May the birth of Christ—and everything that flows from that—be the essence of your Christmas.