Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Sinking Ship Of Hillary Clinton

     This week's revelation that Hillary Clinton broke federal law by using a private email address during her tenure as Secretary of State, has riled up speculation as to whether this scandal will sink the SS Hillary For President. Even Democrats like former Obama administration press secretary, Robert Gibbs, have intimated that the practice of any federal employee, let alone a cabinet member, keeping a private email server in their home and using if for official correspondence, is highly unusual.
     As I have stated prior on this blog I do not think Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee in 2016, whether eamailgate has legs or not. My reason is simple: she is a lousy candidate. She has never had to run for any position in government she has ever held except Senator of New York, which was a gift to her from the Democrat Party for turning a blind eye to her husband's extra-curricular activities.
     Her un-electability is the reason that Democrat Party titans jumped on the Barack Obama bandwagon in 2008. It was of course the impetus for the now famous meeting between Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton where the latter was trying to convince the former to switch his support from Barack to Hillary. Bill Clinton in frustration finally said to Senator Kennedy, "Look Ted, you and I both know that a few years ago this guy would have been bringing us our coffee."
     Hillary Clinton's current email scandal, which after all was leaked by someone in the administration to the Democrat propagandists at the New York Times, is the Democrat Party's way of saying, "Thanks, but no thanks Hillary." They have continued to realize, as Ted Kennedy, et al did in 2008 that Hillary Clinton is not the skilled, polished, and appealing politician that her husband is. She is sure to lose to whomever the Republicans proffer against her.
     The flagrant disregard for the law exhibited by Hillary Clinton in the commission of emailgate has more to do with her inherent dishonesty as a human being, as opposed to any influence of the Obama administration. After all Barack Obama was barely a teenager when Hillary Clinton was being fired from the Watergate commission for ethics violations, lying, and law breaking. She had planned from the start on engaging in activity outside the course of law and common decency, it was why her email server was installed before she was even confirmed as Secretary of State.
     Hillary Clinton will survive emailgate, there will always be enough slobbering Clinton devotees to keep her in pant suits (though apparently not enough to buy copies of her book to cover her advance). But for those Democrats who wish for a Hillary run for the president, believe me your party is better off with someone else. And for all those Republicans who would rejoice in the dashing of a Hillary presidential campaign, be careful what you wish for, she may have been the easiest win for Republicans since Walter Mondale.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu: The Real Deal

     If one thing dominated Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech before a joint session of congress yesterday it was his unwavering love, not only for his own country of Israel, but for the United States of America. Even prior to Rudy Giuliani's recent comments about President Obama not loving America, there have been doubts among many in this country as to whether he does or not. I do not know the answer to that question, it is not for me to judge what is in any man's heart. One thing is clear though, Benjamin Netanyahu expressed more positive emotion for America in one speech than the current president has expressed in six years.
     The prime minister did what I wish this nation's politicians could do, express the facts without personal animus. He left not one shred of negativity in the well of the House chamber for anyone except Iran. He praised President Obama, Harry Reid, Republicans, and Democrats. He did a better job of weaving together the political factions of this country into a tapestry of resolve against a common enemy than anyone has ever done.
     The stark difference of the mature and reasoned words of a true leader like Benjamin Netanyahu, and the petulant childlike response to his words by Barack Obama, reminded me of the difference between gallery art and refrigerator art. President Obama could not even be gracious in the face of an ally's concerns just because he saw those concerns as a personal attack against the will and brilliance of Barack Obama.
     The antipathy towards Prime Minister Netanyahu exhibited by President Obama over the last six years is palatable. The reason is a matter of ideology, the Leftist ideology of Barack Obama. It is an ideology that sees evil in the existence of man as he relates to his environment, but not the evil that lurks in the hearts of real enemies. It is an ideology which informs its votaries that it is incumbent upon them to hate those who confront evil men, not the evil men themselves. It is an ideology that proffers the naïve notion that the words of smart, educated people will somehow trump the evil intentions of radical zealots.
     Mr. Netanyahu's speech was about the danger of a nuclear Iran, and how the deal currently being negotiated will ensure that status as reality in the next ten years. Benjamin Netanyahu's vision extends not only to the next ten years, but the next several generations. He knows that the responsibility of a world leader is not only to the current political winds, but to those generations to follow whose freedom, happiness, and prosperity depend on current challenges being met by men of rectitude and strength, not simply avoided and pushed down the road by paper men lacking depth. 
    

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Netanyahu Comes As A Fire Bell In The Night

     Today is the day that Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, speaks before the United States congress in a desperate attempt to sway the American political system away from the catastrophic deal that the Obama administration seems intent on making with Iran. The prime minister has a herculean task before him, having to explain why a nuclear-tipped Iran is a threat not only to the Middle East, but the United States, without being too critical of President Obama.
     One concept that is sure to reside in the context of Mr. Netanyahu's speech is clarity. Unambiguous, morally clear, and unapologetic clarity. The kind of clarity for which this nation has hungered, but has been left wanting for the last six plus years. The kind of clarity that tells evil it will be banished even if it requires every drop of breath that is domiciled in the lungs of liberty and justice. The kind of clarity that is not afraid of the alternative to the bad deal that Barack Obama and John Kerry seem intent on making with the radical Islamists that control Iran.
     The Obama administration has treated its "negotiations" with Iran as the Left treats all their negotiations with evil aggressors, with conflict resolution techniques that are not appropriate for the school yard, let alone international politics. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama, through recent comments, seem to be under the absurd assumption that a bad deal with Iran is better than no deal at all.
     As President Obama, as well as the entire Left, is so want to do, creates a false choice between a bad deal and war, many on the Right have suggested that a more extreme solution than a bad deal and less extreme one than war does exist. Severe sanctions would be that alternative, especially with oil prices at a multi-year low, the sanctions against Iran would never have more teeth than now. But just as the community organizer in chief has shown to be his modus operandi, any opponents to his deal with Iran currently in the works are characterized as war-mongers.
     Prime Minister Netanyahu has his work cut out for him in exposing President Obama's negotiations as a permission slip for Iran to develop nuclear weapons in the future. He will also need to gently illuminate the naïveté of the Obama administration in thinking that if they negotiate in good faith so will our enemies.
     There is no better friend in the Middle East, or possibly in the world, that the United States has than Israel. And although that friendship will have laid the foundation of Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech today, he comes as a fire bell in the night, as a harbinger of what could become of ignorance and naïveté. Bibi Netanyahu comes as Churchill, not Chamberlain, as Ronald Regan not Jimmy Carter, and as Pope John Paul II not Pope Francis. Let people of all good faith wish him well and pray for his success.
      

Friday, February 27, 2015

The U.S. Constitution-Long On Limits, Short On Remedies

     For anyone who reads social media, listens to talk radio, or scans the letters to the editor in archaic newspapers, the phrase, "Clean house" has been a repeating theme for as long as there has been public debate. The idea that we can somehow magically get rid of all the people in power in our government and replace them with angels is contradictory to what even our Founders believed. It is why they wrote into our founding documents the idea of limitations on government, and balancing the remaining power between three branches.
     So one might ask the salient question, "How did we get here?" Here being the place where laws are no longer made by the people's representatives in congress, but by bureaucracies under the control of the executive branch of government. Many are upset with Barack Obama for over-extending his constitutional authority, and they wonder why nothing has been done legally to stop him. The framers of the constitution created a beautiful document that relied heavily upon the honor of the men who took its oath.
     All presidents have wanted to extend their authority to implement an agenda, that is nothing new. But where past presidents have consulted legal minds in order to keep them in the good graces of the constitution, Barack Obama has consulted legal minds to allow him ways to operate outside those good graces. The constitution is loaded with limitations but very few remedies for those who exceed those limitations. Impeachment is about the only remedy, and it has only been used twice before in American history, both times without the ultimate success of removing a president.
     I suspect that the Founders deliberately left out remedies for constitutional limit breakers so that they could be judged by the people of the United States with their power of the vote. The unfortunate part in American modernity is that the culture which elects representatives has become corrupted in the sense that it no longer wants limits on government. Too many in the culture have willingly abandon those limits for the worthless bobbles of government largess.
     If we are to keep self-governance in this country, and we want also to have honest representatives, we must change the culture that produces our representation. A military coup (as some short-sighted persons have suggested) or term limits, are not going to solve the problem that the culture has created. To do that we must change the culture, then we can change our government. Trying to change the government with the current culture left in place is like attempting to bail the sewage from your basement without first repairing the cracked pipe from where the sewage is coming.
    

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Net Neutrality To Ruin Internet

     Today is the day that the Federal Communications Commission votes to increase its own power over the Internet. Which would be somewhat humorous in an Orwellian way if it were not so dangerous and tragic. As one of the Republican commissioners at the FCC put it, "This is a solution that will not work to fix a problem that does not even exist." Never is there so much repair of non-existent problems as there is in the big government model promulgated by Leftists like our current president, and those who have infested the bureaucracies of the federal government.
     The FCC's Net Neutrality regulations that will change the Internet for the worse comes in a 300 plus page document that is illustrative of Ronald Regan's characterization of the Left as "They see something moving and want to tax it. If it keeps moving they want to regulate it. If it stops moving they subsidize it." And in typical Orwellian fashion, the name Net Neutrality sounds harmless enough, but the devil, as they say, is in the details. 
     The primary argument against any further government incursion into the Internet is that it is not needed. The Internet grew to its current level of technological achievement and free market prosperity with very little government intrusion, and it certainly does not need it now. It was one of the few things that Bill Clinton got right, along with support from a bi-partisan congress, when in 1998 they decided the Internet should proceed unfettered by massive government regulation and control.
     Net Neutrality would allow the FCC to direct Internet traffic to particular sites, or away from particular sites, based on their definition of over-served or under-served segments. Additionally it would place so much regulatory burdens on providers that the incentive to improve speeds and services would be squashed under a mountain of government. The added costs to end users for slower speeds and mitigated content would spell a worsening of the Internet experience for most users. And all to fix problems that do not exist.
     The worse part is that this statist control of the free Internet would be decided by the 6 Democrat members of the 10 member commission at the Federal Communications Commission. To the extent that the internet must be regulated to mitigate restraint of trade and anti-competitive practices, current laws on the books do, and have done, a fine job. The new FCC regulations being voted on today are about limiting free speech on the Internet and giving government control of the greatest vehicle for Liberty, both political and financial, that the world has ever seen. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Ukraine-Russia-Iran Connection

     Many of Benjamin Netanyahu's opposition, both in Israel and the United States, have characterized his upcoming speech to congress and the American people as some sort of cheap election year parlor trick. The more likely truth is that the Prime Minister is giving his speech three weeks before the United States secret deal with Iran is signed. A deal, like the Democrat's health care law, that must be passed before anyone can know what is in it.
     From all accounts gleaned from previews of Mr. Netanyahu's speech, the Obama administration's deal with Iran will ensure a nuclear Iran and spell disaster, not only for Israel, but for the entire region of the Middle East. One may ask why the Obama administration is want to empower the original state sponsor of radical Islam. Some have postulated that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim and wants to destroy Israel, the United States, and all western values. The Answer is much more political than ideological.
     First, one must understand that the Obama administration's limp-wristed response to Russia invading Ukraine is directly related to the administration's deal-making with Iran. The Obama gang understands that to the extent that Iran has a nuclear program currently, the Russians have been a major contributor. Furthermore, any deal with Iran must receive the blessing, explicitly or implicitly, of Russia.
     The Iran nuclear deal is further complicated by the fact that Iran is Shiite, which comprises about 15% of the Muslim community, the Sunnis make up the rest. In the past, for the most part, the United States et al have aligned themselves with the Sunni majority. President Obama has turned this formula on its head by supporting the minority Shiite, which explains his soft response to Radical Islamists like ISIS.
     One may ask further why the Obama administration has chosen to side with the more radical aspect of Islam by tending to support the Shiite. We may never know for sure, but I think that is where the Leftist ideology of revering a minority, any minority, and rejecting the majority kicks in. In the Leftist world, minorities are always right and just and majorities are always corrupt and evil, accepting when that majority is Democrats in congress.
     When Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks before the United States congress and the American people, he will most likely not mention the connection between the Obama administration's eagerness to complete their deal with Iran and the danger it has caused to Ukraine and NATO allies in the region. Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned with the survival of his country and the continuation of the freedom they enjoy. A freedom that use to be supported by the United States government, but is now only supported by its people. The Prime Minister is hoping, through his speech, he can sway the U.S. government back to its principles of promoting Liberty and vigorously opposing evil. He has a tall order to fill with the Obama administration in control.   

Monday, February 23, 2015

Moral Clarity, Not Immoral Ambiguity

     When Rudy Giuliani had his moment of clarity about Barack Obama's love of this country, or lack there of, it was quickly followed this weekend by a back peddling demonstration by the former New York mayor that made trained circus bears look amateurish. The purpose of this post is not to litigate the decision of Mayor Giuliani to bow and crack to political pressure and walk back his comment about the president, but to examine his original statement.
     I have always felt that it is not so much that Barack Obama hates America as he does not love it as much as some. Barack Obama sees America like many women see their less-than-perfect boyfriends, a chance to change him into something with which they can peacefully coexist. Hence the remark by candidate Obama about fundamentally changing the country. That statement made by him just days before the 2008 election should have told anyone with half a brain his real intentions.
     To fundamentally change something, anything, one must have, if not hate for the thing as originally formulated, at least an extreme dislike. And America for Barack Obama, just like that less-than-perfect man for all those women out there, was and is an entity that does not live up to his standards and precepts. He runs around claiming that America falls short in being sensitive to his (and others) needs while trying to force sensitivity with outright aggression.
     Mr. Giuliani did not make a mistake claiming that Barack Obama does not love America, his mistake was in weakening his argument by seeming as to not believe it himself. This is an endemic problem in the Republican Party as of late. You hardly ever hear of a Democrat walking back any of the outrageous comments they make on a daily basis, but let Republicans support traditional American values and they fold like a cheap tent in a strong wind when they encounter the least bit of resistance.
     I have mentioned before on this blog the adherence to principles exhibited by men of principle, like Calvin Coolidge. President Coolidge believed in federalism, that federal money should not be used to the benefit of one group or another chosen by politicians in Washington. He took heaps of criticism and insults when he refused to call special sessions of congress so that taxpayer money could be dolled out to flood areas, first in Mississippi, then in his home state of Vermont.
     Coolidge knew that principles meant nothing if they were malleable and loosely defined. There are some on the Right, like Ted Cruz, who are devoted to the tried, tested, and true principles of values that founded this great nation. If those like Mr. Giuliani are not going to stand on principle it would be best if they kept silent and allowed men of principle to take the lead. The one thing that can save our country from the thousand years of darkness that Ronald Regan spoke of is moral clarity, not immoral ambiguity.