Deplorables: Making America Great Again

Back when Ronald Reagan was President the mainstream press hated him as much as they hate Trump now, and there was a joke that made the rounds that I think is just as applicable today. It goes like this:

If there had been a press corps a couple of thousand years ago like the one we have today, and they covered Jesus like they cover Reagan, the day after He walked on water the headline would have been: “JESUS CAN’T SWIM!!!”

To quote Yogi Berra, it’s déjà vu all over again. In fact, in the age of Trump, I think an updated version of that punch line would read: “JESUS IS AN ANTI-SWIMMER NAZI!!!”

The volume of the hysterical outrage from Dem/socialists and Never-Trumpers is a wonder to behold. Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is in full and marvelous bloom. The added irony is that as their outrage level gets cranked ever higher, Trump’s popularity simply seems to increase in direct response. It looks like we Deplorables just aren’t buying the snake oil. In fact, as of July 26 the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll had Trump’s approval rate at 46%, which is higher than Saint Obama’s numbers at the same point in his presidency.

Now, I have to admit that I had very grave doubts about Trump during the 2016 election cycle. If you’re interested you can go into the Signal archives, or my old blog entries, and read my columns from that time. I was a hardcore Ted Cruz guy. But as Election Day in November came rolling near, and it became clear the choice was a binary one between Trump and Hillary “Whiny” Clinton, I reluctantly threw my support to Trump, since I viewed Whiny as a disaster-in-waiting for the country.

Much to my delight, Trump’s turned out to govern as the single most conservative President since Reagan. Who’da thunk it?

I know, I know… I’m just a Deplorable who “cling(s) to guns or religion” per Saint Barrack; a racist, xenophobic, homophobic, gun-loving, small-government, nativist, greedy, ignorant Nazi. Bummer.

The problem for the TDS crowd is that we Deplorables just don’t care about the things that whip them into such a lather. Did Trump have girlfriends back in the day? Who cares? The guy was a rich guy in show biz. Didn’t they all? I voted for a guy to be President, not saint.

“But, but… Mueller!…” Yeah, what about Mueller? A year and a half of wasted time and taxpayer dollars on an “investigation” that’s wandered very far afield of what it was supposedly investigating; that’s lost any semblance of objectivity (Strzok, Page, McCabe); and has only managed to indict a bunch of Russian internet trolls located halfway around the globe. How utterly underwhelming.

“Treason!” That’s the latest meme from the loony left. They don’t like how he’s carrying out foreign policy, so now they’re accusing him of “treason”. Seriously! Check out the Boston Globe, Chicago Trib, Baltimore Sun, Congressman Ted Lieu, Anderson Cooper on CNN, among many others. Talk about unhinged. This is exactly why normal people can’t take TDSers seriously.

One of the most ironic “treason” accusations came from former CIA Director John Brennan. The irony stems from the fact that in 1976 Brennan voted for Gus Hall for President. Hall was the nominee of the US Communist Party. How this guy ever got a security clearance is beyond me. When I was in Army Intelligence that would have been an immediate disqualifier. Instead, he rose to become CIA Director.

Between that and the Mueller “investigation”, not to mention James Comey’s outright malfeasance with the investigation into Whiny’s home brew email rig, there’s certainly credence to Trump’s complaints about the operations and objectivity of the intelligence apparatus, at least to my mind. The Intel community sure has changed since I was a member.

Trump has a summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un? “Terrible” per the TDSers, though Saint Barrack bowing and scraping to every tin pot dictator in sight was a great thing. Trump gets Kim to make concessions? “Meaningless”. What did they expect? That Kim would ask to be annexed as a state?

Trump pressures other NATO members to start hauling their own weight? “Outrageous”, per the TDSers. But guess what? That sounds like a GREAT idea to us Deplorables!

Meanwhile, the economy’s cooking, people are taking home more money, they’re paying less in federal taxes, there are more jobs than applicants, unemployment’s at record lows, the stock market’s at record highs, we’ve pulled out of the Paris Accords “climate change” scam, we’ve had a great new Supreme Court Justice seated in Neil Gorsuch with another terrific nominee in Brett Kavanaugh awaiting confirmation, and we’re really on our way to “Making America Great Again”.

It’s time for the TDSers to grow up and put their big boy pants on. The election’s over. Whiny lost and is never going to be President (thank God). Trump’s not going to be impeached and removed from office.

That’s just the way it is.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Also published today in The Signal)

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Comey In The Tank For Clinton

 

Newest fledgling member of the Obama/Clinton corruptocracy

Corruption 2

 

Part 1 – Corruption

I just watched FBI Director James Comey make his announcement that his agency is NOT recommending that charges be filed against Hillary Clinton for her blatant “mishandling” of classified information on her home-brew email setup.

He confirmed that there were hundreds of such emails on her jerry-rig setup, with classifications ranging all the way up to Top Secret SAP (Special Access Program); that any and all people cleared for access to classified data are presumed knowledgeable about the requirements for how such data must be handled; that even unintentional security breaches can be considered criminal offenses; that she forwarded emails containing such information to people outside government employment; that she used her wireless devices while in venues and countries where they were extremely vulnerable to being hacked; that the feds had no idea if they were even able to review all the appropriate emails because of the “cleansing” to the hard drives done by her legal team before turning the drives over to the feds; yet he claimed that her political status had nothing to do with the decision not to recommend prosecution.

To quote Comey: “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences.”

Gee… I wonder what former General David Petraeus thinks about that last claim. I guess he must think it’s a real bummer he wasn’t a Clinton when HIS case was being considered…

Translated into the plain English normal people use, Comey’s saying that Clintons don’t have to obey the same laws as the rest of us mere mortals.

corruptionComey also claims there was “no political influence” on his decision. Um… yeah, right. Bill Clinton boards Attorney-General Janet Lynch’s airplane at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport and has a completely private “conversation” with her for 30 minutes, and we’re supposed to believe that was mere meaningless coincidence. At the exact same time that Comey’s making his announcement Her Royal Arrogance Hillary is on an airplane WITH OBAMA on a pre-announced campaign jaunt, and we’re supposed to believe that it’s not meant to be interpreted by Comey and his minions as a clear signal that he should leave her alone.

“Nothing to see here, folks. Move along”. Or, for fans of The Wizard of Oz, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”.

Take your pick.

Part 2 – Criminal Intent

As a person who held a Top Secret clearance, let me explain the requirements for how classified material MUST be handled by law, and the issue of “intent” Comey glossed over.

All classified material must be either in a person’s personal possession, and/or secured in an approved container or facility. It may not be taken from its normal facility except in certain instances, and then only with prior authorization. Period.

classified filing cabAny time you’re not actually using a classified document, it must be secured. That means returned to the safe or lockable file cabinet in which it’s normally stored, or in the case of certain types of documents, returned to the secure storage room.

Let’s say it’s the end of your work day and you’re going home. You forget to return a document to the secure safe and leave it on your desk. Guess what? You just committed a security violation, and you’re gonna be cited for it. I’ve known of people who lost their clearances just for doing that, and that’s CLEARLY unintentional, a mistake.

It’s the end of the workday, and you decide to throw that document in your briefcase and take it home to work on it there. That’s a HUGE no-no, and not only will you be cited and lose your clearance, but you’ll probably be criminally charged, too. And since you INTENDED to take it home, that was clear “intent” to circumvent the law.

Note that there was no “intent” to commit espionage by trying to give it to another entity. There was merely “intent” to circumvent the rules on how to handle documents.

Petreaus was criminally charged under circumstances similar to that last example. But Clinton did EXACTLY the same thing, INTENTIONALLY circumventing the rules on document storage and handling. It was her INTENT to ignore those laws. It wasn’t an “accident” that she had an unsecured server at an unsecured location; it was done ON PURPOSE. Whether or not she “intended” to give the data to other unauthorized people is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

That, friends, is the law on handling classified information and documents.

Those servers didn’t just accidentally fall out of the sky and set themselves up in her bathroom.

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

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/)

 

 

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

Sacrificed On The Altar of Political Demagoguery

Last week saw the worst Islamic terrorist attack on US soil since the Twin Towers went down on 9/11, and it creates a confluence of political issues of immense proportions: the national gun control debate and Obama’s foreign policy failures.

San Berdoo terrsTwo Islamic jihadists stormed a social services center in San Bernardino, California, at which the employees were throwing a holiday party, and opened fire with a variety of guns, both long guns and handguns, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others. They were also armed with pipe bombs, and when the police finally searched their house they found many more pipe bombs as well as a “pipe bomb factory”. The pair had acquired their guns legally; the long guns had been illegally altered.

Syed Rizwan Farook, the male, was a native-born citizen of the US of Pakistani extraction, and a Muslim. He had visited Saudi Arabia several times, as late as 2013. His wife, Tashfeen Malik, was a Pakistani citizen, in the country on a fiancée visa, and also a Muslim, with ties to terrorist organizations. Her visa application to enter this country listed a non-existent Pakistan address.

Those are the facts. Now to the issues.

Gun Control

Literally before the bodies had even cooled Obama was swooping down on this event, like some deranged vulture, to exploit it for political purposes, in this case to advance his agenda for further restrictive gun control laws. He was immediately and enthusiastically joined by his Dem/socialist comrades in Congress, as well here in California by the Dem/socialists who run the state legislature.  It’s been a morbid and disgusting display of cynical political manipulation, an attempt to exploit the nation’s natural revulsion to this horrific event in the hope of severely restricting gun rights.

But the policies Obama & Company have proposed – such as expanded background checks – are already in place in California where this event took place; in fact, California has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, and is often held up by Dem/socialists as the example to which the nation as a whole should aspire.

pipe bombOn top of that, Farook and Malik were also using pipe bombs, which are completely banned under Federal law.

So how would any new restrictions have prevented an attack like this? The plain and simple fact is they won’t, just as logic and common sense tells us, and just as this attack proves, as it took place in the state that has enacted the Dem/socialists’ wish list of gun restrictions, and included destructive devices already completely banned under Federal law.

This event simply proved the old maxim that criminals, by definition, don’t obey laws. Therefore further restrictive gun laws are only going to affect law-abiding citizens. Have drug laws kept drugs out of the hands of illicit users, or immigration laws kept illegal aliens out of the country? Of course not. Why would anyone with an ounce of sense think things would be any different with guns?

There’s another maxim that applies: the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

But laws that deprive the good guys of the tools they need to stop the bad guys are obviously only going to make the situation even worse. I know that if I’m at a party and some nut comes in shooting, I’d sure like something in my hand more suitable for defending myself than a Dixie cup full of beer.

There’s one law that would be effective in addressing the dangers of these attacks: a law that makes it mandatory that any law-abiding citizen who applies for a permit to carry a concealed weapon be issued that permit.

The plain fact of the matter is that the police aren’t bodyguards. Theychalk outline respond to crimes after they’ve already taken place. It’s up to each of us as individuals to protect and defend ourselves as well as we can until the cops show up. The cops are the ones who draw the chalk lines around the bodies; it’s up to us to determine whether it’s us or the other guy who gets outlined.

Will an armed citizenry absolutely prevent these occurrences in the future? Probably not all of them, but have you noticed that these things always take place in venues at which everyone is unarmed? Have you ever heard of a mass shooting at a gun range, or gun shop, where a lot of people are armed? Of course not.

And even if such an event does take place, I’m sure we could anticipate much lower body counts; fewer casualties. If only one or two of the people in San Bernardino had been carrying guns, and able to deploy them, the rampage would have been very quickly curtailed, either by the shooters’ retreat or deaths.

Foreign Policy and “Refugees”

From the Arab Spring to Benghazi to the rise of ISIS, Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East has been an unmitigated disaster. He seems to have absolutely no grasp of the issues or players involved, nor understand the consequences of his actions, or failures to act when appropriate.

He’s declared al Qaida as being “on the run”, and just recently characterized ISIS as the “JV team”. The reality is far different.

ISIS territoryNot only are both still active, but there are many splinter groups of both scattered around the world. ISIS alone has captured and consolidated enough geographical territory to qualify as a minor nation-state, though a rogue one. They’ve developed an economic infrastructure that revolves around oil exports as well as agricultural production. Contrary to Obama’s blind assurances, they’re developing into a regional power able to export their terrorism to the world stage.

For years there’s been a steady emigration from the region, primarily into Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, and Europe. But the recent intensification of the conflict with ISIS, primarily in Syria and Iraq, has led to sudden surge in the number of people—again primarily from Syria – seeking to relocate, and has been labeled by the media as a “refugee crisis”. There’s no estimated number of how many people are seeking to relocate, as it’s an ongoing situation. Several countries have pledged to take in varied numbers of these refugees, and interestingly enough several countries in the region have decided not to take in any: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Oman.

Obama has pledged to import 85,000 of these refugees, with 10,000 of them to be admitted this fiscal year. In all his grand pomposity, he’s lashed out at those opposing his scheme, using terms such as “offensive” and “hysterical”. The problem for Obama is that there’s plenty to oppose in bringing those people into this country, particularly in such large numbers, and so quickly.

First, the usual screening time for approval of an entry visa is anywhere from 18 to 24 months, on an individual basis. And as we can see from Malik’s successful entry into the country, even then it’s not a foolproof system (to say the least). But what happens when the system is suddenly jammed up with tens of thousands of applicants from the same region all being entered into the system at the same time?

Gridlock, that’s what. Even the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has admitted that this is going to be very problematic. And I think we can easily assume that if these “refugees” are being rushed through the system in order to meet Obama’s political agenda, that screening will be haphazard at best.

Further, the myth that radical Muslims are a very small minority is just that: a myth. Sources vary, but the percentage of Muslims who support radical Islam is anywhere from 10% to 80% depending on locale, with the worldwide average estimated as 10% – 15%: (Breitbart) and (Answers.com).

Using an even more conservative figure of 2% to represent those who would actively participate in, or actively provide support to, terrorist acts at some point, means that for every 10,000 “refugees” we let into the country, we’re also importing 200 jihadists. Obama’s complete plan for importing 85,000 of them means we’ll be bringing in 1,700 jihadists and spreading them all around the country, a very bad idea. It strikes me as being akin to playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded revolver.

There are those, starting right at the top with Obama, who call keeping those people out of the country “inhumane” and “racist” and “xenophobic”. Do those terms also apply to the six countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Oman – that are in the region and of the same religion that are also keeping them out? Or do they know something that Obama et al are simply failing to acknowledge?

Further, our legal immigration system has always used one primary guideline as the basis for admittance into this country: the prospective immigrant has to be able to positively contribute to our society. In whatCAIR way will these “refugees” do that? Since when did this country become a dumping ground for the planet’s dispossessed? Don’t we have enough balkanization at home already, with CAIR and #BlackLivesMatter and MALDEF other special interest groups raising a ruckus all the time at the drop of a hat? And what about the United Nations, that idol of the Left? Why aren’t they setting up some kind of “safe zone” for those people over there, in the region? Yet more proof of why they’ve earned the sobriquet “Useless Nations”.

Further, we as a country have to stop denying that Muslims as a group present a potential for violent activity unprecedented in our history. We have to face reality, and adapt to that reality. Muslims who are already in this country enjoy constitutional protections, and rightly so. Even then, as illustrated by the actions of Farook specifically, we already have a problem on our hands. The writing has been on the wall for quite a while; all one had to do was look at what was happening in Europe to see what was in store for us.

But why import even more in a large group that’s virtually impossible to screen properly? Does that make any sense whatsoever? Because once we let them into our country, they, too, enjoy constitutional protections. Better to keep them out as a preventive measure.

In Conclusion

It’s clear to me that the safety and security of this country and its people are under a concerted two-pronged attack by Obama and the Dem/socialist establishment. Whether it’s intentional or the result of sheer, willful blindness to reality I’ll leave for others to determine.

But for this country to be importing tens of thousands of people, among whom, without doubt, there will be Islamic fanatics intent on doing harm to us and our country, while at the same time crippling our ability to adequately defend ourselves, is a national disgrace.

 

©Brian Baker 2015

 

President Clueless

In a stunning display of utter cluelessness, while addressing the graduating class from the Coast Guard Academy Obama made the astonishing statement that “climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security…” and that disagreeing with him on the issue “… is a dereliction of duty … Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security.”

The DunceHis foreign policy initiatives are in tatters. Russia under Putin has essentially annexed large swaths of Eastern Europe. The Middle East is in flames, with ISIS controlling large areas and perpetrating mind-numbingly horrendous atrocities on everyone in sight. Iran’s on the verge of getting nukes. North Korea’s accumulating a respectable stockpile of nukes while rattling sabers at South Korea as well as us. China’s confronting the world in the South China Sea through their development of the Spratly Islands, and their expansionist territorial claims.

And Obama thinks the biggest threat we face to our national security is “climate change”? Folks, you just can’t make this stuff up.

It seems to me that the biggest “risk to our national security” is Obama himself.

Further, what exactly does Obama – and the rest of the climate change hysterics – think can actually be done? Do they actually believe that mankind can somehow stop the climate from changing for the first time in the planet’s entire 4.5 billion year history? Isn’t that the real “denial” in the issue? Denying that climate change is the natural state of affairs for this blue orb?

You may as well try to stop the tides with a kid’s sand pail and shovel.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2015

(Also published today in my local newspaper: http://www.signalscv.com/section/35/article/137645/)

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/)

Arrogance, Personified

Take a look at this man’s face.

koskinen

Is this Monte Burns from “The Simpsons”?

 

This is John Koskinen, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), arguably the most powerful and feared bureaucracy in the Federal Government.

Who does he remind you of? Doesn’t he bring to mind the character of Mr. Burns in the long-running TV series The Simpsons? Sure does to me. And like that character, he has the ability to destroy people’s lives through the wanton exercise of raw, sheer power, in his case via his agency’s ability to direct the force of government against individuals and organizations.

The only check against such naked power is the Congress.

We all know about the scandal surrounding the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative organizations for harassment, and the efforts by the House of Representatives to get to the bottom of that mess. And those acts took place before Koskinen’s assumption of the reins of that agency.

But when he took over the agency six months ago he vowed to be proactive “in restoring public trust” to that institution (businessweek.com/news/2014-01-07).

So… how’s he doing?

I think the latest development sums it up pretty well. It seems the IRS has “lost” several years’ worth of emails that Lois Lerner – the miscreant at the center of this whole fiasco – sent out to her minions, emails that anyone with half a brain realizes could prove to be very incriminating, not only to her but to others farther up the political food chain. Quite possibly as high as the Oval Office itself.

Bear in mind, this is the exact same agency that won’t accept YOUR excuse that you lost your receipts for some tax deduction you claimed.

And how has Koskinen reacted when asked about these “lost” emails by Darryl Issa’s House committee members?

With absolutely smug sanctimony, contempt, arrogance, and a rigid refusal to even offer any kind of apology for the malfeasance of his agency. Way to go in “restoring public trust” in the IRS, John-Boy!

This, my friends, is what the face of arrogance looks like.

When Nixon was President the Watergate scandal took center stage. Members of the House from both parties set aside partisanship to ensure the rule of law prevailed. Nixon resigned, and several members of his staff – including Attorney-General John Mitchell – went to prison for acts that were utterly benign compared to the level of outright corruption we’re seeing from this administration.

The ongoing IRS mess; Operation Fast & Furious; the Benghazi affair; the NSA spying on civilians; the illegal “rewriting” of laws, such as all the Obamacare extensions and exceptions; the imperial imposition of “rules”, such as through the EPA, that far exceed presidential authority; the failure of the Justice Department and the FBI to pursue action based on political considerations; the outright refusal to enforce immigration law and border security; the Veterans’ Administration letting vets die on secret “waiting lists”; the list goes on and on and on. This President and his minions have absolutely no regard for the rule of law that I can see. The level of corruption in this administration is simply staggering and unprecedented.

Koskinen’s is only the latest face in a Rogue’s Gallery of arrogance, personified.

Further, this corruption of our system is being willfully abetted by the Democrat members of Congress who are facilitating the destruction by not only standing idle, but actively supporting the administration’s efforts. I’m talking about people like Harry Reid, Elijah Cummings, Nancy Pelosi, and far too many others to name.

Jonathan Turley is a well-known professor of law at George Washington University Law School with a self-described “socially liberal agenda”, often seen on various news shows as a commentator and expert analyst, and has had many of his works published. On his own blog he’s written a couple of essays that are well on point. In one, “How Nixon Won Watergate”, which was also published in USA Today (how-nixon-won-Watergate) he states, “…the painful fact is that Barack Obama is the president that Nixon always wanted to be”. He expands on that topic in his essay “A Question of Power: The Imperial Presidency”, which was also published last month in American Legion Magazine (the imperial presidency), in which he writes, “The shift of power to the presidency certainly did not start with President Barack Obama. To the contrary, this trend has been gaining ground for decades. But it has accelerated under Obama, who has succeeded to a degree that would have made Richard Nixon blush.”

If Nixon would be blushing, Obama and his acolytes have exceeded all bounds. The scandals pile up so fast you need wings to stay above them. It’s absolutely dizzying.

 

©Brian Baker 2014

 

(6/30/2014: My local newspaper published an edited version of this essay today:  http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/122832/)