Scalia’s Replacement and the Election

supreme court

Of course, the big news this past week or so is the very sad passing of a legal giant, Antonin Scalia, Justice on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

There’s a political knife fight brewing over replacing him, with Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell at this point vowing to block any Obama nomination because he has so little time left in office, while Obama and his minions – including a sycophantic mainstream media – are clamoring that to do so is to subvert the intent expressed in the Advise and Consent Clause of the Constitution.

Indisputably, the Republicans have the authority by virtue of their control of the Senate to proceed however they wish, including blocking Obama’s nominees from confirmation. It’s borkalso indisputable that the Dem/socialists’ ginned up “outrage” is laughably hypocritical. After all,  when Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to SCOTUS, his confirmation was blocked on purely political grounds by a Senate Dem/socialist lynch mob led by Ted Kennedy, and they thought that was just perfectly fine. In fact, they took great pride in it.

Even more hypocritical is that when Bush 2 nominated Sam Alito to SCOTUS back in 2006, a little known Senator from Illinois, one Barrack Hussein Obama, participated in a filibuster attempt to block the nomination. It sure seems to me that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

At issue is the fact that SCOTUS has been pretty evenly divided ideologically for quite some time, with many cases being decided by a 5 – 4 vote, Kennedy being a “wobbler” who vacillates between originalist (“conservative”) and living constitutionalist (“liberal”) positions. Scalia has always been a fervent originalist. In his absence the Court is evenly divided between the two camps (always with the caveat that Kennedy’s something of a wild card, and there’s the occasional Roberts hiccup, too).

So, the argument goes, in a year in which the presidential election is so contentious, particularly on divisive fundamental philosophy, and we’re so close to the actual election, any SCOTUS appointment should be delayed until the newly-elected President can make his or her own choice.

I think there’s merit to that argument, but frankly I don’t really care about it. As far as I’m concerned, the Constitution gives the approval power to the Senate, the GOP controls thecongress control Senate, and they don’t need any rationalization to block Obama’s appointments if that’s what they want to do. There’s plenty of precedent, as I’ve already pointed out, and there’s no way such a rabid leftist zealot as Obama is going to make any nomination that’s going to be any good for this country. Period.

But there’s another aspect I don’t hear anyone talking about when considering the upcoming election and SCOTUS nominations.

Scalia was 79 when he died. But Ginsburg, a hard-Left zealot, is 82. For that matter Breyer, another doctrinaire Leftist, is 77. It’s quite conceivable that either or both could retire or die during the first term of the next President. At 79, Kennedy could very well be in play, too.

That means, assuming that Obama can’t successfully replace Scalia, that the next President could very well be able to appoint four SCOTUS Justices. So let’s do some math and see how this could play out.

Let’s assume that over the next President’s first term three more SCOTUS seats open up, for a total of four. The current ideological split, in Scalia’s absence, is essentially 4 – 4. If the Dem/socialists win, they can appoint 4 leftists, giving them a 6 – 3 (Roberts, Thomas, and Alito) majority. If the GOP wins, they might also get to appoint 4 conservatives, giving them a 7 – 2 (Kagan and Sotomayor) majority.

Anybody have any questions about how important this election is? It’s way past time for the GOP to get its act together, stop screwing around, and – for once – get it right.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Published in my local newspaper, The Signal, on 2/26/2016: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/149114/)

 

 

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I Believe Hillary Clinton Is An Unindicted Felon… (For Now)

Way back in the Stone Age, when I was in the Army, I worked in Military Intelligence and had a Top Secret security clearance. Unless in the intervening decades the rules regarding the safeguarding of classified materials have become incredibly relaxed, there’s no doubttop secret in my mind that Hillary Clinton is unquestionably guilty of violating the applicable laws regarding the handling of such materials.

But I’m not interested in focusing in on that particular aspect of the matter. The news coverage has made much of the fact that the FBI and other investigative entities (inspectors-general, etc.) have been carrying out their own inquiries into these matters, and that the results may be referred to various prosecutorial bodies for criminal indictment and prosecution.

All of this has led to speculation of what would happen if the FBI (or another agency) made a criminal referral – meaning a submittal of the evidence with a recommendation that criminal prosecution take place – to the Justice Department (the appropriate agency as this is a federal matter), which is currently run by an Obama appointee, Attorney-General Loretta Lynch.

Clinton herself – a lawyer, it must be noted – has put forth two excuses for her actions. The first is that none of the material was “marked” with a classification when she illegally handled it through her private email server. This is legalese for saying “yes, I actually did it, but pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”, because in reality the law itself doesn’t make any such distinction. If material is even POTENTIALLY classifiable it must be treated as if it IS classified until the matter is clarified and ultimately determined.

vast right wing conspiracyHer second excuse is the hoary time-worn Bill Clinton Era “vast right-wing conspiracy” nonsense. According to her, unnamed conspirators are ginning this entire controversy up to derail her presidential aspirations. The problem for her again, just as it was when her husband was President, is that it’s simply an absolutely ridiculous claim that would require completely unrelated – and beyond improbable – groups of people to coordinate their efforts, all while operating sub rosa, none of whom actually know each other, involving the press, government officials, elected officials, the FBI and all the hundreds of agents THERE working on the case, to coordinate their efforts while making sure that there’s not one single leak about the existence of such a conspiracy. Not to mention that such a conspiracy would have to include such conservative bastions as the New York Times, LA Times, CNN, and USA Today.

And, oh yeah… Fox News.

Now that we can leave Fantasy Land behind, let’s take a quick look at what these investigations mean in the REAL world.

If, as I expect, the FBI refers the case to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, Obama and his minions will be faced with three possible courses of action.

1.  Submit the case to a Federal Grand Jury to secure an indictment, and prosecute Clinton on the charges. Perhaps appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case to avoid any appearance of impropriety. This would be the proper course to take, and regardless of thegrand jury outcome Obama would immunize himself from accusations of favoritism or corruption. As Clinton herself stated during her January 17th debate with Bernie Sanders, no one is “too big to jail”. Certainly David Petraeus can attest to that fact, and his offenses were far less egregious.

2.  Quash or ignore the criminal referral. Try to bury it. Exercise “prosecutorial discretion” and refuse to act on it. There are several problems for Obama and Lynch with this course of action. The most obvious is that it would rightly be seen as an act of pure politics, overtly corrupt in nature, and both Obama’s and Lynch’s reputations and legacies would be permanently tarred by such an act.

Had this scandal simply faded away over time, that tactic could have worked. As with other scandals in this administration, it would have become “old news” not worth pursuing, and it was “time for everyone to move on”. But that hasn’t happened, and at the rate the revelations just keep on dribbling out, I don’t think it ever will until some kind of action takes place as a result.

Further, there are a lot of people in the FBI, people of real principle, who won’t let the matter drop if the Obama people refuse to act on a legitimate criminal referral. I have no doubt that under those circumstances details would “leak” to the press and various congressmen. All of which would result in the sliming of Obama’s name along the lines of Nixon’s Watergate episode. Frankly, I don’t see an egotist like Obama allowing the actions of Clinton to affect his own perceived “legacy” in such a negative manner.

3.  Obama could issue a blanket pardon. This action comes attached with all the negativePardon 2 implications for Obama of the previous option, with no upside for him. I think that it could still allow Clinton to legally continue her run for office, but I can’t imagine her actually getting anywhere as a pardoned felon, or even misdemeanant. As outrageously ambitious as she is, I think even she would withdraw from the race at that point. Even for Dem/socialists there are some things impossible to overlook or ignore, and a blanket presidential pardon for crimes of this nature is one of them. Her dream of becoming President would be dead.

In my estimation the fundamental underlying issue that’s going to determine how this matter proceeds is Obama’s own overarching self-interest and egotism in preserving his goal of being viewed favorably by history. Far from being a man who takes responsibility for the failures of those in his administration, he’s known for being quick to throw anyone under the bus if their actions reflect badly on him. I fully expect a prosecution to move forward.

This doesn’t bode at all well for Clinton’s political ambitions, but for once – in this instance – Obama’s ego actually could work to the benefit of the country as a whole. Even if it’s in spite of himself.

 

©Brian Baker 2016

“The Donald” Is President… Now What?

The dog days of the Summer of 2017 have been especially brutal, with sweltering heat and humiditydc summer turning Washington, D.C. into a miasma.

The election of 2016 was one for the books. The expected “coronation” of Hillary Clinton never took place, her ambitions for election to the highest office of the land crushed when the FBI investigation into her emails resulted in her indictment on federal misdemeanor charges. Only a last-minute pardon granted by outgoing President Obama saved her from a lengthy trial and probable conviction.

When self-avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders became the official Democrat party nominee due to a rabid outpouring of support from the ultra-left fringe, the GOP – now insulated from the threat of a Hillary candidacy – reverted to form and coalesced around Establishment candidate Jeb Bush.

Defeated in the primaries, Donald Trump declared himself a candidate as an Independent. On election night this dynamic played itself out to its finale, with Sanders getting little support from other than the ultra-left, Bush getting little from any other than the GOP loyalists, and the remainder going to Trump. In an election cycle with a record-low turnout, that happened to be enough to give Trump the win.

trump in officeNow, six months after the inauguration, Trump sits at his desk in the Oval Office brooding over his next moves. He’d tried to push through his promise to build a border wall between the US and Mexico with the stipulation that he’d stick Mexico with the bill, but he’d immediately run into another “wall” he hadn’t anticipated.

Congress had refused to create any legislation authorizing such a project, and with no ties to either of the parties in control of Congress, Trump found himself with no leverage at all with which to proceed. His request for such legislation was simply DOA. The only thing he got was a gift from the President of Mexico of a bottle of fine agave tequila, with a sardonic note of congratulations.

Along similar lines, when he’d tried to find some way to suspend the automatic granting of US citizenship to “anchor babies”, there was no actual way to effectuate his efforts. He couldn’t do it by executive order, because citizenship is a state of being, not a document issued by a government agency to which he could issue orders. He again asked Congress for appropriate legislation, and ran into the exact same problem he faced regarding his proposed wall: Congress ignored him.

In August of 2015 he’d said that he’d support a tax increase on the “ultra-rich” – heresy to conservatives – and when he’d proposed the idea to Congress he got strong support from the Democrat side of the aisle, and strong opposition from the GOP, again with the same result: no action from Congress.

Last month’s meeting with Putin had gone badly. They didn’t click on a personal level, a problem right out of the box. He’d tried to insist that Putin call off his dogs, but the Russian just stared at him with those beady eyes. It was infuriating! “All right, so he got a little annoyed at what I said”, Trump thought. “But I was calling his actions ‘stupid’, not him personally. Can’t he tell the difference?”

He’d tested another policy initiative a couple of months ago, a sort of trial balloon. He’d instructed our ambassadors to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to present to those countries bills for our costs in protecting their countries militarily, including from the Saddam Hussein invasion. After all, they have virtually unlimited wealth from their oil production, and we provide their military support. It was for only $1.5 trillion! Who’d have thought they’d react the way they did? The Saudis even insisted Trump recall our ambassador to that country. Imagine! Looks like that balloon popped…

Which, Trump mused, means the odds of doing the same thing anywhere else look pretty slim…

The backlash from his announcement last week that he was sending the 82nd Airborne Division to the82 airborne Middle East to fight ISIS utterly confounded and perplexed him. If there was any actual personification of actual evil on this planet, they were it. So how could so many people – not only in the electorate, but in Congress – not see that we had to send in the troops?

“Quagmire?”, he grumbled to himself. “What does that even mean? I can tell those generals how to win that war. And anyway, if they don’t do it my way, and win that damn war, I’ll just fire them.”

Seeing that the sun was setting, he rose from the chair and left the room. Tomorrow was another day.

©Brian Baker 2015

 

(Published in my local newspaper, The Signal, on 3 Sep 2015: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/141834/ )

 

Trumpists = Clintonistas

The critics use terms such as “demagogic ideologue” with “no specific policy proposals”, while the cheerleaders say things like “savior of the country” and “America’s best hope”.

Name that candidate.

trump clinton

Yes, that’s right. As painful as it is to write, and maybe even more painful to read, I’ve come to the conclusion that all the rabid hysteria in support of Donald Trump reminds me of nothing so much as the same kind of rabid hysterical support Clinton gets from those on the Left.

In both cases, their supporters have to convince themselves that their candidate’s history is irrelevant. In Clinton’s case, a boatload of scandals, improprieties, and corruption. In Trump’s case a checkered past of being literally all over the map on the political issues, being a big monetary supporter of the “other” party, being a member of several parties other than the GOP, and always serving his own self-interest first and foremost, before any other consideration (in that respect being very Clintonian).

A couple of weeks ago I wrote my first essay on the Trump phenomenon, and I have to say that I was very surprised by the pushback I got from several fellow bloggers and web-friends whom I normally consider to be very reliable conservatives. In that essay, and the one I wrote on the night of the first GOP debate, I pointed out many of Trump’s flaws as a candidate, including his many character failings. Yet many of these people, whom I generally consider to be very level-headed, were willing to simply ignore all of this because they’d either fallen under his spell, or convinced themselves that his basic character – his nature – didn’t matter in this instance.

I remember the 1996 election cycle in which Bill Clinton ran for a second term, and how that was the first time in the modern political era that “character” became a notable issue. Since that time, it’s one the GOP and conservatives raise regularly in criticizing their opponents, but somehow, this time, in the case of Trump they’re more than willing to ignore that very same quality when the question is directed at Trump, while at the same time using it to disparage Hillary Clinton.

What is one to make of this… inconsistency?

Here’s my assessment of their characters: both are egotistical megalomaniacs with a strong sense of entitlement; both are populist ideologues – he allegedly on the Right, she clearly on the Left – who are long on populist rhetoric and short on policy specifics; both have histories of political expediency to advance their own self-interests; both have improperly exercised their personal power, at the clear expense of others and with utter disregard for the consequences to others, merely to further their personal positions and ambitions; both are cynical manipulators; both have flip-flopped on their professed positions on policy issues; and neither one is trustworthy.

According to reliable polling data (Quinnipiac) each of them enjoys broad support from their respective ends of the political spectrum, but that support is undermined by their low ratings for honesty, likeability, and trustworthiness. In other words, a mile wide and an inch deep.

Trump is the Right’s Hillary.

That’s my assessment of their characters; my opinion. Now, if you’re a Trump supporter, look deeply into your own heart of hearts, and ask yourself these questions: Am I wrong? Do you trust Trump? Is he someone you’d have over to your home for dinner? And if the answers to those questions are “No”, then how are you any different from a Clintonista?

If next November’s election night rolls around and we’re looking at a picture like the one at the top of this essay, this country is well and truly screwed.

©Brian Baker 2015

 

(Also published today at my local newspaper, The Signal: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/141085/)

 

Trump Himself Proves My Case!

The first GOP debate is still going on while I write this essay, but right out of the box, the FIRST question asked of the panel by Chris Wallace proves my thesis in my last essay about “The Donald”.

When asked if there was anyone on the floor who could NOT pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee, and forsake running an independent third-party campaign, guess who was the only candidate to raise his hand?

Anyone?… anyone?… Bueller…?

That’s right; gasbag Donald Trump.

It’s a-a-a-a-a-ll about him as far as he himself is concerned. He flat-out said that the only GOP nominee he could “support” was himself if nominated, even after Chris Wallace pointed out that a third-party campaign by him would almost assuredly end up in a Clinton presidency.

Does anybody doubt anymore what I wrote about this lunatic ten days ago?

trumpjackass

 

 

UPDATE: The debate is finished and Trump managed to live down to, if not exceed, my lowest expectations. When asked any questions, he had absolutely no specific answers, nor any actual policy proposals to put on the table, as opposed to EVERY OTHER CANDIDATE there on the stage. His only responses were his usual nonsense and bluster. It was actually pretty funny watching his face get redder and redder as the debate went on. This guy’s a nincompoop. An absolute imbecile.

 

He made Jebbie, Christie, Huckabee and Kasich look good by comparison, guys I actually usually can’t stand.

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2015

“The Donald”: Reigning Clown Prince of Politics

I’ll preface by stating that I’m not a member of any political party; I’m a Constitutional conservative, and if I were to be a member of any party, I suppose it would be the Tea Party, though they don’t actually have a formal “party” per se.

In this very blog, I’ve mocked and satirized Crazy Uncle Joe Biden several times as being the Clown Prince of Politics, but I think he’s now been deposed, proving the Left doesn’t have a monopoly on political lunacy.

trump2

Not very “presidential”. Is this why he wears a hat all the time now?

Exhibit A: “The Donald”, the guy with the world-class comb-over, proving one can be tacky and tasteless in appearance while at the same time exhibiting absolutely no discernible decorum or political acumen.

As George Santayana famously noted, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it”, and we can see that play out right now as Trump repeats the bombastic campaign of another eccentric billionaire with delusions of grandeur, Ross Perot, the guy who’s single-handedly responsible for us ever having to say the words “President Clinton”… at least, so far.

There have been other hyperbolic populists in the last few years who have enjoyed their moment in the sun before fading out of the limelight, Chris Christie coming immediately to mind. What is it about these guys that gives them such popularity – Trump currently being the GOP candidate with the highest individual poll numbers – in spite of their political record? Christie is a Northeastern “moderate” with a very mixed record on traditional conservative principles, who famously lauded Obama. Trump’s record on political contributions actually favors Democrats, including Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton; he’s been registered as other than Republican several times over the last couple of decades, even running for President as a Reform Party candidate. He’s advocated restrictions on “assault weapons”, and increasing wait periods.

I think it’s pretty clear that Trump has virtually no chance at all of ever being elected President. In fact, if he were to somehow miraculously win, and if he tried to govern as he claims he would, he’d be either the most ineffective, or the worst, President in American history, as his “style” would be more suited to a dictator than the President of a republic.

I also think it’s instructive that many of the same people who have been criticizing Obama for years about his lack of experience before being elected President would actually support Trump, a man with even less… in fact, none at all.

So why all the hoopla? I think it’s because Trump – and Christie before him – personifies an approach to the arena that they wish was more prevalent in the legitimate candidates of their party: a willingness to be confrontational with a news media that largely and openly supports their opponents; aggressive advocacy on certain hot-button issues of the moment; and a perception of independence from vested party interests.

That last is a very key element, I believe. Sadly, the GOP of the post-Reagan era has become infamous for claiming to support traditional conservative principles, and then promptly abandoning them as working priorities as soon as they win the elections. There was a brief resurgence of conservatism during the Gingrich era, but it very quickly dissipated.

Instead, we’ve seen a constant parade of lackluster “moderate” candidates who can’t generate anyth[7] (4) enthusiasm among the conservative base of the party. In fact, on a personal note, the 2008 nomination of John McCain was the final straw that caused me to renounce my own membership in the GOP of almost 40 years.

Even at the congressional level, we’ve see that same problem as recently as last year’s election, during which the GOP candidates ran on a platform of directly confronting Obama’s policies and fiats only to promptly abandon taking any real action as soon as they took office and the majorities of both chambers of Congress.

I think Trump has been imbued with a kind of representational fantasy, just as John Wayne was perceived as a “hero” because of all his exploits in westerns and war movies, though he never served a day in uniform or heard a shot fired in anger. He represents what they want that party’s legitimate candidates to do, and be like, and support.

All of which leads me to the conclusion that the fault for Trump’s current popularity can be laid right at the doorstep of the Establishment GOP itself, for failing to comprehend the unrest among its own claimed “base”.

©Brian Baker 2015

 

UPDATE: Recently released polling data by Quinnipiac shows Trump being the worst performer of any of the current Republican candidates in a matchup in the General Election, being soundly beaten by Clinton, Biden and even self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders. Not only beaten, but solidly thumped. To quote the poll: “Trump has the worst favorability rating of any Republican or Democrat”.

Read it all for yourself:  http://www.quinnipiac.edu/images/polling/us/us07302015_U645de.pdf

Second update: It looks like no less an intellectual illuminary than Thomas Sowell agrees with everything I said:  http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2015/08/04/the-trump-card-n2034124/page/full

 

 

 

The Witless, Gutless GOP

If you keep up with the political scene, you know that in the wake of the political massacre the Dem/socialists suffered in this year’s mid-term elections Obama has vowed to take unilateral action on Obama dictatorseveral issues, most notably illegal immigration, by granting illegal aliens de facto amnesty through Executive Order.

In spite of the fact that such an action is clearly illegal and exceeds a President’s constitutional authority – as noted by no less an authority than Professor Jonathan Turley, noted legal scholar and self-proclaimed “social liberal” (Newsmax article) – Obama seems determined to again ignore and bypass Congress on this (and several other) issues.

As I’ve discussed previously,  impeachment – though warranted – is impractical at this point. Obama’s in his last two years of office; it would be politically counter-productive in the extreme; and the net result, even if successful, would be at best a Pyrrhic victory, leaving Crazy Uncle Joe Biden in the Oval Office. It makes no sense to jump from the frying pan into the fire.

However, as a result of the mid-terms the GOP has taken control of the Senate, securing two of the three levers (House, Senate, President) of legislative control. Now that Harry Reid has been removed from the equation as the Despot Of The Senate, they can easily pass a budget that prevents Obama from spending any funds whatsoever to advance his unilateral actions. They completely control the power of the purse strings.

So, in light of this undeniable mandate given to them by the American people, what’s been their response, along with their bobble-head sycophants in the Establishment GOP?

scared childIt reminds me of a little kid scared of the Bogeyman and other monsters hiding under his bed.

Both Mitch McConnell, the new Senate Majority Leader, and John Boehner, the incumbent House Speaker, have already stated that they won’t allow a government shutdown in a budget war with Obama.

I hope that the next time I’m in the market for a new car my salesman has the negotiating skills of Boehner car dealershipand McConnell. I’ll end up owning the dealership.

They’re scared that any government “shutdown” will be blamed on them, and they’ll suffer politically in the next election. Well, first of all, we just HAD an election about Obama’s policies – as he himself stated – and it turned out GREAT for the GOP.

Secondly, who even worries about any such “shutdown”? Did anyone even notice the last time it happened? Thirdly, it takes two to tango, and any such impasse in negotiations is just as much – if not more so – Obama’s fault as it is the GOP’s… which after all, and again, controls two of the three levers of legislative power. Can’t the GOP find ANYONE who can clearly state that simple fact (other than me, and I’m not even a Republican)?

On top of everything else, we just had an election on these issues; it’s TWO YEARS until the next one; and no one’s even going to remember a “shutdown” that happens now when that time rolls around.

If these gutless GOPers aren’t going to stand up for what they were elected to do, what’s the point in even ever voting for them? How can they ever claim any justification for their very existence, if all they’re ever going to do is play patty-cake with Obama, and let him control the agenda and negotiations on his own terms?

After all, as Obama himself stated, “elections have consequences”.

Someone should alert the GOP to that, and send them a memo.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2014

Obamacare Strikes Again!

Over 23 times between 2008 and 2010 Obama promised that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your plan”. In September 2010 he said, “If you’re happy with what you’ve got, nobody’s changing it”. (News article)

Then he kept kicking the political can down the road, delaying enactment over and over again in order to try to avoid the electoral consequences. But that could only happen so many times, and as I’ve pointed out several times in various forums, the health insurance open enrollment period occurs every other year just before election time. At SOME point, the piper was going to demand payment.

Well, guess what? THIS is that year.

HMO0001 copyA few days ago I received notification from my health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, that the Medicare Advantage PPO plan I’d been a member of for many years is no longer going to be offered. Further, as I researched my options on Medicare’s website, it turns out that NO PPOs are authorized anywhere in Los Angeles County. The only options I have are for HMO plans.

In June of 2009 Obama also promised that “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” (Wall Street Journal article). This turns out to be another big, fat lie. In 1998 I had a heart attack, and since then my cardiologist has been my “primary physician”. He was part of my PPO network, which is no longer available to me (as I said), but he’s NOT a member of any HMO group, nor does he intend to join one.

That means that in order to “keep my doctor” I’m now going to have to pay for that myself, without benefit of my health insurance plan. Granted, I can negotiate a “cash price” with his office, which I have in fact done (a saving of 20% of the “normal” billing fee), and fortunately I’m in a position to be able to afford to do that.

But what about people who aren’t so fortunate?

I have no doubt this same scenario is playing out across the country, just in time for the mid-term election in about three short weeks. It’s time for the Dem/socialists who single-handedly foisted this mess on the American people to pay the price for their arrogance. I hope they suffer a solid thumping at the polls in November.

 

©Brian Baker 2014

 

Obama Caesar: The Runaway Presidency

ripcon 4

 

In my last essay I discussed the arrogance and lawlessness of the Obama administration and its bureaucrats, practiced on a scale unprecedented in American history. Now I’d like to address the ramifications, and what they might mean for the country.

Speaker of the House John Boehner is spearheading an effort by that chamber of Congress to sue Obama in federal court for exceeding his constitutional authority as President. Some – notably Sarah Palin – are calling for Obama’s impeachment. I think both approaches are doomed to failure at this point in time.

Both approaches require lengthy legal processes, and we’re less than four months away from the mid-term elections. As such, I believe they’re distractions that are red meat for parts of the “base”, but will prove ultimately futile, and may even be politically counterproductive in the GOP’s efforts to secure a majority in the Senate.

Any impeachment process that starts now would go nowhere, as when the current 113th Congress is replaced by the 114th in January, if Obama hasn’t already been convicted by the Senate – an impossibility as the Senate is currently controlled by loyal Democrats – the process wouldn’t carry over to the new Congress, and would have to start all over again.

A similar problem attaches to any lawsuit, in addition to which the courts are very leery of getting involved in matters of separation of powers jurisdictional issues. Further, the House may have a major problem establishing “standing”, or defining an actual tort damage, as they retain the power to address Obama’s excesses through their exclusive constitutional power of the governmental purse strings, whether or not they want to use it.

Let’s assume for this discussion that the GOP retains the House and takes control of the Senate. Then what?

At that point Obama would be the lamest of ducks, and there would be nothing at all to restrain him from indulging his imperial proclivities to their fullest extent; Obama Caesar.Obama Caesar If he’s ignored the Congress and the Constitution up to this point – and he has, blatantly – there would be no reason for him to hold back at all anymore.

Impeachment then does become a distinct possibility. But we should never forget about Obama’s anti-impeachment insurance policy: Joe Biden. Can you imagine HIM as President? Talk about hopping from the frying pan into the fire!

But there are also other avenues to explore. Attorney-General Holder is still under a contempt citation; he should be impeached. Lois Lerner of IRS scandal fame can and should be prosecuted. The Benghazi scandal should be aggressively pursued. Heads should roll over the scandalous and corrupt actions that have taken place within the Veterans Administration resulting in the deaths of vets. A GOP-controlled Congress can use the power of the purse strings to defund the EPA’s excesses (and they should).

Obama should be so mired in his scandals that his already dismal approval ratings plummet even further. Public opinion is the one sure way, at least at this point in history, to hobble a runaway presidency and will have the added benefit of tarring the Dem/socialist candidate hoping to succeed him in the 2016 presidential election.

A GOP-controlled Senate will also then have the power to prevent Obama from appointing activist leftist judges to the federal court system, maybe one of the most important reasons for the GOP to take the Senate in November.

What happens if the Dem/socialists retain a Senate majority, you ask?

Buckle up, because we’re looking at a potential catastrophe for the next two years as that lamest of ducks will have no restraints at all to keep him from indulging himself to the fullest extent, free from worrying about suffering any real repercussions at all, because his Dem/socialist abettors and enablers in the Senate will continue to insulate him from the consequences of his actions, just as they’ve already been doing for years.

I’m not overstating when I say that I’m not sure the country can survive that eventuality. I hope we don’t have to find out.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2014

 

(This column was also published in my local newspaper today. http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/124472/)

John Roberts: Poster Boy For “Moderation”

Now that the reality of Obamacare is setting in, we can all be mindful of the fact that we can thank Chief Judas John Roberts for the pain. To refresh memories, it was Roberts who cast the deciding vote when the law was facing its thCARLM0V0challenge at the Supreme Court, and who single-handedly imposed it on us by deciding that contrary to what even its proponents stated, the IRS penalty for non-compliance wasn’t, in fact, a “penalty” but a “tax”, and therefore constitutional.

Reportedly, he did so with his judicial legacy in mind, concerned that his Court would be treated by history as being too “ideological” or too “conservative”. Therefore, he found a way to throw the decision to the liberals.

In other words, he showed “moderation”.

And what was the result of that “moderation”? Well, the Left still hates him… but now the Right does, too.

What’s my point in revisiting this history? To underscore the magnitude of the mistake the Establishment GOP is making right now in pursuing the same “logic” in their approach to politics as Roberts did in his approach to his legacy.

I first started The Island in 2006, and in the lead-up to the 2008 elections I was vocal and vehement about my refusal to support any candidates who would knuckle under on certain fundamental principles. I don’t consider myself an “extremist” or “fringe wacko bird”. I’m a traditional conservative.

Now here we are, in 2013, with the Establishment GOP essentially at war with conservatives, castigating and denigrating the Tea Party and others who refuse to go along with their eternal “compromising” and “moderation”, even to the extent that Karl Rove and others are forming PACs specifically tasked with targeting and defeating conservative opponents in electoral primaries.

Who are they going to replace those votes with? They’re putting themselves in the position of relying on the same votes the Dems already have locked up. This is a strategic error of the first order.

Nowhere was this better illustrated than in last week’s gubernatorial race in Virginia, pitting uber-leftist Terry McAuliffe against conservative Ken Cuccinelli, a Tea Party favorite. The Democrat Party poured a tsunami of money into the race, while the GOP refused to give Cuccinelli anything more than token support. The result was a squeaker win by McAuliffe who managed to eke out a 2% margin of victory in a race Cuccinelli could have easily won, thereby assuring that the GOP was once again able to successfully snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Let me emphasize the point of that story:  THE ESTABLISHMENT GOP WOULD RATHER SEE A SOCIALIST WIN THAN SUPPORT A CONSERVATIVE.

th[2]Instead of busily “compromising” with the Dem/socialists, you’d think they’d be trying to find some common ground with conservatives. Instead, they’re setting fire to their own ship while they’re in the middle of the ocean.

Really, really stupid.

© Brian Baker 2013