The Obligatory Obama Update

I so much prefer using this blog to showcase positive things, highlighting people like C. S. Lewis, Whittaker Chambers, and Ronald Reagan. But I feel I must continue to offer commentary on contemporary developments, both cultural and political.

I’m going to use the blog today to do a little catch-up. Lest we forget, we still have someone residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. doing his best to transform the country. I’ve avoided making him the focus of this blog for a while, but now it’s time to provide an overview of how his national transformation is working.

I’ll let political cartoons do most of my talking.

On the Obamacare front (yes, mainstream media, it’s still a relevant issue), more bad news for the occupant of the White House. State co-ops are folding because they are going broke, premiums are rising significantly (which anyone with any knowledge of economics predicted), and all those wonderful promises of state-controlled healthcare for everyone are wilting.

Co-Ops

Coverage

Tweaks

Then there’s Obama’s about-face on putting “boots on the ground” in the Middle East, specifically Syria. Now, I’m not an advocate of sending massive numbers of US troops into that quagmire, but if you’re going to do it at all, shouldn’t you send more than fifty Special Ops soldiers? Fifty? Yes, you heard correctly. Does anyone really believe that’s going to turn the tide there? And just what tide are we trying to turn anyway? Supporting the so-called “moderates” against ISIS sounds good, but how many of those moderates are there, and can they really be trusted?

One is tempted to view this action as just for show—no substance at all.

Limited Action

Flip-Flops

Squiggle

Then there’s his executive action to release a large number of drug offenders from prison. Now, I certainly can agree that some of them may have received sentences that didn’t comport with the offense, yet there’s significant testimony that many of those being released were not simply casual users but dealers. And now they are to be sent out into the general population again.

My cynical side will show here: how many of those released prisoners will now be allowed to vote in the next presidential election? Do you think they will vote for Republicans? Right.

Employers are also not supposed to be able to investigate the criminal past of applicants as readily as before. Well, that definitely helps one person in particular:

Criminal History

You are now updated. I’ve done my duty. Tomorrow, back to C. S. Lewis.

Constitution? What Constitution?

A week and a half ago, the Supreme Court of the United States took control of the United States. Not that this is anything new, but this time it was a giant leap forward (backward?). The Court’s decisions on Obamacare and same-sex marriage make a mockery of the whole concept of the rule of law. Why do we even have a Constitution?

Constitution Revision

In the Obamacare case, Chief Justice Roberts spoke for the majority when he said that the word “states” in the law could mean the federal government when it came to setting up Obamacare exchanges. Since when is the federal government one of the states? The Court seems to have a problem with understanding words.

Plain Text

Ah, intention. Pay no attention to what the law actually says, but go with what you think it intended to say. How would that work in other circumstances?

Home Run

Perhaps the Founders just got it wrong as well:

Typo

Then came the crushing blow, declaring that the Constitution requires recognition of same-sex marriage. Supposedly, this has to do with equal justice and fair treatment, but is this equal justice under law or something else?

Equal Justice Under Polls

Prior to both of these decisions, the Obama administration did its best to put pressure on the Court, which was as unprecedented as the Court’s decisions themselves:

Nice Little Court

To be fair, though, it didn’t take much pressure to get what Obama wanted. Four of the justices, two of whom he appointed, are lockstep progressives who have a different vision of America in the first place. All that was necessary was to get just one of the others to come over to the Dark Side.

Let’s be real. This is what we now have:

Three Branches

It doesn’t have to be this way. Congress could step up and be the Congress it was elected to be. But that takes leadership with principles, a trait that is sadly lacking.

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?

Obama’s Constant Flow of Silly Comments

I wasn’t going to write anything about President Obama today. Really, I wasn’t. But he’s just too hard to ignore when he’s so clueless and/or so ideologically blind that he almost forces me to address his constant flow of silly and destructive comments.

I’ve got three examples. First, the whole Obamacare fiasco. His administration continues to claim it’s a success despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Covering More People

The company running the website has withdrawn (the second one to do so). Hopefully, the Supreme Court will rule against the federal exchanges (since they were not in the bill at all) and some of those remaining state exchanges are in deep financial trouble.

O'Care Exchanges

Obamacare has not worked and never will. Don’t expect, though, that Obama will ever admit that.

He’s also constantly harping on the “privileged” in society who apparently got there only with government help and can take no credit for their successes. Then he rails against them for not helping society more, regardless of the fact that it’s those entrepreneurs that actually create jobs whenever the government gets out of the way and lets them. Above all, though, what strikes me is the utter hypocrisy of all his denunciations. Has he ever thought of applying his complaints to himself?

Private

What really tipped the balance today, though, and made me comment on him, was the disaster unfolding in Iraq and his misplaced focus. The city of Ramadi just fell to ISIS, meaning that three of the major four cities in that country are now in the hands of this terrorist organization. What does his administration say about it? Well, that’s just a little setback. Don’t worry, our strategy is working. You call that “working”? And then who does he reach out to for help?

Little Help

I don’t think insanity is too strong a term to use here. It’s truly insane to believe that Iran will be there to “help” us.

Then, to top it off, Obama spoke at the commencement for graduates of the Coast Guard and told them that the real national security threat is—get ready for it—climate change! Not a word about terrorism or the collapse of a regime that had, at one point, been stabilized. This is beyond clueless; this is deliberate and obstinate stupidity. He needs to realize one thing:

No Finale

Sadly, I don’t expect him to realize it. We are saddled with the worst presidential administration in American history.

Transparent Dishonesty

All the news and controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton, on the one hand, and the Iran deal and the administration’s loathing of Israel, on the other, have pushed other important issues to the background. You know, all that “old” news that we’re supposed to forget about, and how it’s time to “move on?”

As an example, when’s the last time you heard much about the IRS scandal? Did the mainstream media, for instance, pick up on this story?

Bonuses

Then there’s the case that went to the Supreme Court about Obamacare. A reading of the law itself would automatically destroy it because the government has illegally provided subsidies expressly forbidden by that law. Yet the outcome is in doubt because one Supreme Court justice should have recused herself but refused to do so. Elena Kagan, when she served as solicitor general, helped ensure Obamacare’s passage. Rules require that justices recuse themselves if in their previous capacity they served as “counselor or advisor” concerning a current matter before the Court, or if there is anything about the proceeding by which the justice’s impartiality can reasonably be called into question.

Justice Kagan, though, has made sure her “yes” vote for Obamacare is counted:

Recuse

And despite all the many scandals swirling around this presidency, we are told that the president has nothing to do with any of them. Why, he only learned about them the way we did:

Learned About It

All this from the self-proclaimed “most transparent administration in American history”:

Government Transparency

I guess that all rests on one’s definition of “transparency.” The only thing transparent about this administration is its dishonesty.

Obama the Christian?

ObamessiahThe mainstream media is making a big deal out of forcing Republicans to say President Obama is a Christian. As if they care. Surveys over the years have been consistent: the mainstream journalists that attempt to direct the thinking of the nation are overwhelmingly secularist; 90% or so seldom attend church, and when they do, one might question the choice of that church. What gospel is it preaching?

No, they’re not really interested in Obama actually being a Christian. They just want some Republican candidate for president to say he isn’t. Then they will have a sound bite to use against that candidate forever, painting him as a narrowminded bigot.

Fortunately, I’m not running for an office and never will be. I will say what I think. Let’s look at the evidence. Jesus did say you would know who is and is not His disciple by the fruit of their lives. He also said not everyone who claims He is their Lord is really part of His kingdom. Words are extremely cheap.

So, here is a partial list that might help us determine whether Barack Obama is a Christian. Keep in mind this is a partial list only, but pretty representative.

  • His biological father was an anti-colonialist Muslim. Obama, even though he never really knew him well, idolized him.
  • His mother was a radical leftist who wanted nothing to do with Christianity.
  • He was raised a Muslim, attending Muslim school in Indonesia. No child is responsible for where his parents school him, but it is more than obvious by his actions that he has a special place in his mind and heart for Islam.
  • He was sent to live with his maternal grandparents in Hawaii who were also radical leftists; his grandfather deliberately put Obama under the tutelage of a communist agitator, Frank Marshall Davis.
  • In both high school and at the various universities where he was educated, he involved himself in radical activities and was known to smoke marijuana, and who knows what else.
  • When he became a community organizer, he attached himself to a church because that would provide him an “in” with the community.
  • The “church” he chose was one that preached a “gospel” of Black Liberation Theology, which pictures Jesus as more of a revolutionary to bring heaven to earth rather than as the Savior of orthodox Christian belief.
  • In an interview with a Chicago newspaper when he was an Illinois state senator, he said he didn’t know if there was a real heaven or hell.
  • In that same interview, he clearly stated that Christianity wasn’t the exclusive way to God.
  • He is a radical as well on the issue of abortion, seeking to extend this “right” to every woman at all times. He has praised Planned Parenthood for its efforts to make abortion available to all.
  • As an Illinois senator, he even fought against a bill that would provide medical care to any baby “accidentally” born alive during an abortion. In effect, he favors infanticide.
  • We now know he lied about his support for the traditional Christian concept of marriage; he has favored same-sex marriage all along but hid his views for the sake of election and reelection.
  • His administration supports actions against Christians who hold to their belief that homosexuality is a sin. The Justice Dept. has repeatedly sought to take away tax-exempt status from Christian organizations that don’t go along with Obamacare mandates that violate their Christian faith.
  • He has stepped up the rhetoric against Christians lately, as he seeks to portray them as violent extremists as opposed to the actual Muslim violent extremists.
  • He won’t even condemn acts of Islamic terror by name when directed against Christians, pointedly refusing to even identify the victims as Christians.

Christians Do Stuff

I have no problem saying publicly that Barack Obama is not a Christian. In fact, he’s becoming more vocal about his true beliefs now that he won’t be running for president again.

I understand why Republican candidates have to be careful in what they say; the Obama media will scorch them if they come out too strongly with their real views. The wisest path is to redirect those questions back to the journalists. Why do they never confront Democrat candidates with the same type of “gotcha” questions? Republicans also need to focus on the positive agenda they would bring if elected.

But I’m just an academic and a blogger. I will say what I think—at least until the government stifles free speech on the Internet. I will stand firm for my Christian faith and all that implies in public discourse and public policy. If we stand together on this, we can still turn this around and make a difference. The nation doesn’t have to continue its descent into oblivion.

Our Predictable President

Everything I predicted yesterday about the State of the Union speech came to pass. It’s not that I’m some kind of great predictor; it’s that this president is so predictable.

The speech was mostly recycled from previous speeches. The tone was the same as previous speeches as well—supremely arrogant. It takes a lot of hubris to declare you’re going to veto a bunch of bills while simultaneously lecturing Congress on how to work with others.

It takes equal hubris to claim that Obamacare is actually lowering costs and that the slight uptick in the economy is due to your policies when all you have done is obstruct the economy. The workforce is at its lowest ebb since the days of Jimmy Carter. The falling gas prices stem from private industry, not the government’s policies.

And his claim to be the champion of the middle class could easily be made into a comedy routine. He wishes to be perceived as a kind of hero who is taking from the privileged (who got there by oppressing others):

Obama Hood

Meanwhile, back on earth, the reality is somewhat different:

Sending Help

He tries to portray those who have succeeded as the enemies of the people. This is a typical class warfare tactic, able to fool the simple-minded in a single bound. But when he places the rich in the crosshairs, he has a loose definition of “rich”:

American Sniper

Economics 101:

Sorry

Economics, though, is something of which President Obama is woefully ignorant—or willfully ignorant.

If you didn’t approve of his speech, he might have a remedy for that, in keeping with how he currently conducts business in the Oval Office:

Peachy

Republicans to the rescue? We’ll have to wait and see.