No More Rule of Law?

The rule of law suffered another blow yesterday, as did common sense and the meaning of words. We owe this all to the United States Supreme Court.

John RobertsObamacare lives (sort of) still. In a 6-3 decision, as explained by Chief Justice John Roberts, the federal subsidies survived the legal challenge (sort of). Actually, the wording of the Obamacare law was disregarded and the federal subsidies were judged to be constitutional simply because Roberts and the other five justices who followed him, decided that exchanges set up by the states meant either the states or the federal government.

That’s right. We no longer worry about the words in the laws themselves; instead, we infer what the drafters of the law really intended. Surely they meant that all subsidies, whether state or federal, were intended, even though the law explicitly says only exchanges set up by the states are allowed to provide those subsidies.

Our topsy-turvy government world continues to amaze and confound us.

Antonin Scalia 2Justice Antonin Scalia, in a stinging dissent, took the Court to task for this violation of its constitutional role. Here are some quotes from his dissent:

“We should start calling this law SCOTUScare … [T]his Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years … And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and it prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.”

“Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’”

“Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.”

“Perhaps sensing the dismal failure of its efforts to show that ‘established by the State’ means ‘established by the State or the Federal Government,’ the Court tries to palm off the pertinent statutory phrase as ‘inartful drafting.’ This Court, however, has no free-floating power ‘to rescue Congress from its drafting errors.”

“Rather than rewriting the law under the pretense of interpreting it, the Court should have left it to Congress to decide what to do about the Act’s limitation of tax credits to state Exchanges.”

I could have included more, but you get the drift. That last quote points to the fact that this Supreme Court decision, despite what President Obama says, does not have to be the last word.

Congress, if it can garner the courage, can always overturn this despicable law and the equally despicable decision the Court announced yesterday. Now is the time—well past the time, really—to rally around alternative measures to ensure health coverage is available to all, at affordable prices, in a competitive marketplace.

Where is courage when we need it?

The New Weirdness Illustrated

In the spirit of my last post, “When the Weird Becomes Normal,” I’ve decided to dedicate today’s blog to a litany of weirdness, amply illustrated by some of our best cartoonists, political and otherwise. I’ll let the cartoons speak for themselves.

On the political front, there’s always the Obama administration to demonstrate supreme foolishness:

Cold-Blooded Killers

Never Felt Better

The sad state of education helps to show why we are in decline as a nation:

Enough Is Enough

As we move further into the culture, we see a radical feminism that has undermined men and the family in society and contributed to our redefining of terms:

Benevolent

Finally, there is the lethal combination of a depraved culture, redefinition of terms, and pure political opportunism:

Poor Progressive

That’s about all I can take for one day. Lord, give us Your strength and wisdom for how to respond to all that is happening around us.

A Potential Triple Feature

Let’s return to the amazing story of how an American president, after nearly two years of a terrorist threat in a country that was once stabilized, still hasn’t come up with a “complete strategy” for how to deal with this massive terrorist movement.

I see a movie in the works:

ISIS World

We wait with bated breath to see how this plot will unfold:

Details Coming Soon

And for another coming attraction, we have The Iran Agreement, a tale of intrigue, double-dealing, and incomprehensible foolishness:

If Iran Cheats

Perhaps we need a new book, playing on a former theme—but with a twist—that also can be made into a major motion picture:

Greatest Degeneration

Frankly, I don’t think there will be much interest in any of these. Far too depressing, with no redeeming qualities.

How the World Sees Obama’s America

I admit to being overwhelmed today. How does anyone write about the continuing dramedy that is the Obama administration and still find the words to adequately describe his Land of Make Believe?

Two of his recent statements have thinking people wondering if rationality has left the universe. First, he asserted that on his watch the United States has once again become the most respected country in the world.

Reaction from the political cartoonists reflects how the world is responding to that assertion:

Most Respected

Behind Us

Does our president even live on the same planet as the rest of us?

Alternate Universe

Instead of respect, would another word be more appropriate?

Neglect

Anyone remember Rodney Dangerfield, the comedian who always said he never got any respect? One cartoonist does:

How the World Sees

Then, as if he hadn’t lost enough respect, President Obama, at the G7 Summit, declared he still doesn’t have a complete strategy to defeat ISIS. He blamed the Iraqi government and the Pentagon. When one Pentagon official heard this, he was beside himself, noting that the military chiefs have presented Obama with a number of strategies. He just can’t make up his mind.

Another Beheading

He’s clear on one thing, though:

Met the Enemy

Even if I set aside all my disagreements with him on his worldview (pro-abortion, promoting same-sex marriage, taking over the healthcare system, etc., etc.) it is painfully obvious, purely on the practical level, this man is not up to the office he holds.

This is the worst presidency in American history.

Obama: Everything’s So Much Better Now

President Obama made some astounding statements in a speech yesterday, claiming that he has rescued the economy and that the United States is now the most respected nation in the world because of his foreign policy.

Well, that kind of covers the whole ground, doesn’t it?

It’s also ludicrous.

Yes, the stock market is booming, but keen analysts worry it’s another one of those artificial bubbles. When they break, things go sour quickly. And the GDP this last quarter actually contracted, meaning negative growth. Well, that had to be the weather that caused it. The Soviet Union used that excuse for seventy years.

Yes, the unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in the Obama years, but that doesn’t take into account the unprecedented number of people who have dropped out of the workforce (which naturally lowers the percentage of unemployed) because they can’t find the jobs they want. No worry, the government has taken measures to ensure they will be taken care of.

Obamacare is an ongoing disaster, hopefully to be put to rest by the Supreme Court very soon.

Then there’s that little matter of doubling the national debt in a mere six years, an achievement no other president has ever been able to accomplish. The fact that we have any economic growth at all is due to entrepreneurs marching forward in spite of this administration’s attempts to drown us in red ink.

Obamanomics

We’re no longer involved in wars? Fantasyland again. One can pull out troops and declare a war is over, but that doesn’t stop the other side from continuing the war. Iraq is ready to crumble; Afghanistan is heading the same direction; the entire Middle East is ablaze while our president does virtually nothing.

What is he bequeathing to his successor?

Laying the Foundation

By all rational standards of measure—which is not how Obama measures things—we are in far worse shape on his watch than we have ever been, both in domestic policy and foreign affairs. His stature in the world is not what it was when he began, when the whole world seemed awash in his “hope and change” rhetoric.

Stature

Another indicator that things are not as he believes is the rush on the Republican side to replace him. Republicans know most of the country now sees through his spin.

Presidential Derby

The choice to be made by Republicans for their presidential nominee is one of the most crucial in my lifetime. May wisdom prevail.

Degrading Iraq, not ISIS

I understand debate over whether military involvement in Iraq was advisable. Honest people can disagree over that. But making George Bush into some kind of bloodthirsty dictator is way over the line. He was responding to a threat that was growing in the region, and he took out a dictator who was hoping to rule the entire Middle East. Further, he acted on what was the best intelligence at the time with respect to chemical weapons, and he certainly didn’t lie so that American soldiers would die.

American soldiers did die, and the hope was that their deaths would be worth something in the long run, like a stable Iraq. Now, all of that has been overturned as ISIS has taken over most of those cities that Americans died to free. This is a travesty, especially when the Obama administration and the military brass say the taking of Ramadi is “no big deal.”

Pass It On

President Obama’s promise that he would “degrade” ISIS rings hollow. They are growing in strength and influence, making him and his minions appear to be no better than “Baghdad Bob,” the Saddam Hussein mouthpiece who said there were no American troops anywhere while the Hussein regime was, in fact, on the verge of being toppled. It’s not ISIS that’s being degraded; it’s something else.

Degrade Portion

No matter what credible criticism one can level at President Bush over his Iraq policy, he did achieve a fledgling Iraqi nation that was at least stable at the time. Even President Obama acknowledged this as he prematurely—and against the advice of his military commanders—pulled out the remaining American forces. The new “stability” is not something to be proud of:

Stable Iraq

So as Iraq descends into chaos and ISIS is poised to control the entire country, Obama wants us to believe he is not responsible for this turn of events:

Didn't Build That

Frankly, he really doesn’t care much what happens over there. He’s never considered a war on terror to be all that legitimate. Instead, he thinks global climate change is where we need to focus.

Biggest Security Threat

As I’ve said before, his ideological blinders have created a new territory called Obamaworld, a fantasyland of his own making.

Merely Tactical Setbacks

In a Memorial Day speech yesterday, President Obama said we should rejoice because for the first time in a long time American troops are not fighting in an overseas war. He even mentioned Afghanistan, where 10,000 Americans are still on active duty. The news report I was watching also commented that 3500 American military personnel continue to work with the Iraqi army.

So how is that a testimony to complete withdrawal from overseas conflicts? He did what he does so often—make a blatant statement of supposed fact that is at odds with the facts.

Even this late—more than six years into his presidency—he still acts like all the problems in the Middle East are due to George W. Bush. You can criticize Bush’s policies, and I think there is ground for criticism, but a direct comparison of the two presidents’ actions show rather stark differences:

Legacy

If you think Bush was mistaken in toppling Saddam Hussein, and that the aftermath of that was particularly messy, one thing to remember is that when he left office, he also bequeathed to Obama an Iraq on the verge of stability. Obama’s decision to pull out all troops, despite the advice of the military, has led to the chaos that is ISIS.

One wonders what, in fact, his overall strategy really is. Look the other way and pretend that everything is fine?

Strategy

Since he is so adept at comparing himself with his predecessor, here’s another apt comparison:

Success

At least George Bush recognized when his strategy needed to be altered, based on the situation. Obama just waltzes along as if all is great. Three of the four major cities in Iraq now under the control of ISIS? No problem. Our strategy is working, he assures us. The latest disaster is merely a tactical setback, not a failure of strategy. How long will he keep saying that?

Tactical Setback

Far-fetched? I’m not so sure.