After coming under intense criticism for his decision to intervene in Syria, Obama stunned his aides by at the last moment deciding to consult with Congress after all:
After a 45-minute walk Friday night, President Barack Obama made a fateful decision that none of his top national security advisers saw coming: To seek congressional authorization before taking military action in Syria.
The stunning about-face after a week of U.S. saber rattling risked not only igniting a protracted congressional fight, which could end with a vote against strikes, but a backlash from allies in the Middle East who had warned the White House that inaction would embolden not only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but his closest allies, Iran and Hezbollah.
Aides said the decision was made by Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama alone. It shows the primacy the president places on protecting his hoped-for legacy as a commander in chief who did everything in his power to disentangle the U.S. from overseas wars. Until Friday night, Mr. Obama’s national-security team didn’t even have an option on the table to seek a congressional authorization.
The only real discussion was a plan to punish Mr. Assad for what the U.S. and others have called a chemical-weapons attack amid Syria’s grinding civil war. The final question, policy makers thought, was how many targets to hit and when to tell the Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean to open fire. Continue reading
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown who engaged in lese majesty against King Obama speaks out:
Tuffy Gessling has endured five death threats, numerous angry confrontations, and a woman who spit in his face, based on a routine that is probably older than most of the people offended by it. So what’s changed? Gessling figures that people have lost their ability to laugh, at themselves and their favored institutions, and a large amount of their perspective, too:
The kid of course is merely parroting what he has been told. The really pathetic thing is that his mother thought it would be great to post this to YouTube. The production values are very poor. The last time in western society this type of god-like adoration of a politician was attempted, the production values were much higher: Continue reading
That President Obama praised dead Communist dictator Ho Chi Minh will come as a surprise only to Americans who haven’t been paying attention, which, alas, is a large segment of the population. For the benefit of those people, historian Ronald Radosh in The Wall Street Journal gives some background to Ho:
During World War II, Vietnam—a French colony—was taken over by Japan, and toward the end of the conflict, with Japan in retreat, a power vacuum developed. Ho Chi Minh, leading the Viet Minh communist guerrilla group, saw a chance to seize power before the French could restore colonial rule. He needed allies and knew that the American president, Franklin Roosevelt, had a reputation for being anti-French and anti-colonial. Thus began Ho’s courtship of the U.S. by citing the Declaration of Independence and appealing to the American ideal of liberty.
In reality, Ho was a “disciplined Communist, who had “proved time and again his profound loyalty to Communism,” according to the ex-communist German revolutionary Ruth Fischer, writing in Foreign Affairs in 1954. She had known him in Moscow in the 1920s when he was receiving his training.
Ho didn’t get the U.S. support he sought, but he still succeeded in his national takeover, proclaiming himself president of a provisional government in what he called the Vietnam Democratic Republic. In October 1945, just how democratic the republic would be became clear: Ho ordered the slaughter of his political opponents, including 50,000 of the then-powerful Trotskyist communists. During a trip to Paris in late 1945, Ho told the French Socialist leader Daniel Guerin, “All those who do not follow the line which I have laid down will be broken.”
In his own writings during the war, Ho Chi Minh stressed that the revolutionaries had to have a “tactical, flexible attitude towards the national bourgeoisie,” but as for the Trotskyists, “there can be no compromise, no concession.”
Ho’s posturing as a Jefferson-inspired lover of independence failed to dupe the U.S. in the 1940s. Let’s be generous and assume that antiwar protesters in the 1960s and early 1970s didn’t know any better when they bought into his fiction. Let’s give President Obama the same benefit of the doubt. But let’s also retire the idea that Ho Chi Minh had the slightest interest in the Declaration of Independence except as a tool he once deployed hoping to achieve his communist goals. Continue reading
“There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start to think about robbery and then look around and see it’s somebody white and feel relieved.”
Jesse Jackson, 1998
Obama continued his attempt to pour gasoline on the Zimmerman verdict with his impromptu musings on the case before the White House press corps yesterday. The cynicism of this attempt to use the Zimmerman verdict as both a decoy from his manifest failings in regard to the economy, Obamacare and other issues, and to whip up the black vote in 2014 is breathtaking. This country does need an honest discussion about race, something that I have never witnessed in my 56 years on this planet, but Obama’s deeply poisonous playing of the race card throughout this case for crass political gain makes it likely that I will not see such a discussion while I inhabit this vale of tears. Continue reading
Palin would not have dismissed the Black Panther intimidation lawsuit that the government had already won.
Palin would not have seized two auto companies and give them to her cronies in and out of the UAW.
Palin and her supporters would not be claiming that her opponents were racists for disagreeing with her policies.
Palin would not have tried to block Boeing from building a factory in South Carolina as a gift to her union buddies in Washington state.
Palin would not have toured the world apologizing for America.
Palin’s Homeland Security Department would not have classified patriots as security threats.
Palin would have expanded oil and gas exploration on federal lands instead of reducing it, make the US even less dependent on foreign oil.
Palin would not have allowed the Pigford suit to be settled that gives billions of dollars to “farmers” that never farmed.
Palin would not have shipped thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels so that they could be found next to the bodies of murdered Mexicans and American agents.
Palin would not have encouraged the IRS to harass Tea Party groups.
Palin would not have encouraged the IRS to illegally reveal the names of contributors to conservative groups to Liberal organizations so that contributors could be harassed.
Palin’s IRS would not ask groups seeking 501(c)4 status about their prayer life.
Palin would not have passed a national health care bill that is a 2000 page “train wreck” and that threatens to destroy America’s health care system. Continue reading
“What manner of men had lived in those days…who had so eagerly surrendered their sovereignty for a lie and a delusion? Why had they been so anxious to believe that the government could solve problems for them which had been pridefully solved, many times over, by their fathers? Had their characters become so weak and debased, so craven and emasculated, that offers of government dole had become more important than their liberty and their humanity? Had they not know that power delegated to the government becomes the club of tyrants? They must have known. They had their own history to remember, and the history of five thousand years. Yet, they had willingly and knowingly, with all this knowledge, declared themselves unfit to manage their own affairs and had placed their lives, which belonged to God only, in the hands of sinister men who had long plotted to enslave them, by wars, by “directives,” by “emergencies.” In the name of the American people, the American people had been made captive.”
Taylor Caldwell, The Devil’s Advocate
Back in my mispent youth I read quite a bit more fiction than I do currently. (Lack of time and much greater access to more non-fiction works are probably the two chief factors in my changed reading habits.) I read several of the novels of Taylor Caldwell. She was a competent novelist, I can’t praise her novel about Cicero, Pillar of Iron, too highly, and she wrote from a distinct point of view. Her point of view was that freedom was a rare commodity in human history and that it perished quickly. I could call her a conservative, but that would be a bit weak in describing her. She wrote pieces for the John Birch Society for a time, but she probably regarded them as too timid in standing up for the liberty she treasured above all. She shared with them a conspiratorial view of the world, and her novels usually depict sinister behind the scenes forces plotting the end of freedom. However, even paranoids can have real people out to get them, and Caldwell was usually correct in her novels in her description of the desire of so many to escape from the need to make decisions on their own, and to leave everything up to a supposedly benevolent ruler, even though all of human history argues against the reality of such a pleasing fantasy.
In her 1952 novel, The Devil’s Advocate, Caldwell envisions an America where freedom is only a faint memory. America has long been ruled by a leftist military dictatorship. The Republican party has been outlawed and even mentioning the Old Constitution is a criminal offense. The protagonist of the novel is Andrew Durant, an official of the leftist government, but also a secret lover of the Old Constitution. He and other patriots within the government hit upon the plan of increasing repression until they trigger a revolution to reestablish American freedom. The rebellion succeeds and Durant is killed in it, his fate in history is to be damned as an official of the toppled regime, his role in the reestablishment of liberty dying with him.
Now let us consider the impossible. Let us think that Barack Obama is cast in the same mold. Secretly repulsed by the way in which the American people have been ceding liberty for security for generations he embarks upon a plan to become president and to implement a regime so oppressive that it will trigger a reaction that will safeguard traditional American freedom for generations to come. He is dismayed by how long the process is taking, and therefore he continually ups the ante:
Well, if sending a trillion dollars down a rat hole won’t do it, surely ObamaCare will do it. Obamacare didn’t so it is time to attack religious liberty through the HHS Mandate. Even that wasn’t enough so time to let good men die in Benghazi and lie about it. Still not enough? Time to move against guns. Still no reaction? Roll out the IRS. Continue reading
Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.
Richard Milhous Nixon
With the IRS scandal and the revelation that the current administration has been secretly obtaining phone records of the press, the Obama administration is taking on a distinctly Nixonian flavor, as I experience a feeling of deja vu from four decades ago. I am not the only one seeing it. So does a liberal Democrat Congressman from Massachusetts:
US Representative Michael E. Capuano on Monday said he was troubled by reports that the Internal Revenue Service had aggressively pursued conservative organizations, and called them reminiscient of the Nixon administration.
On the growing focus in Congress on the attacks on the US diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya last year, Capuano said the death of four Americans there raised “legitimate questions.” But he said, based on the information available, he expected the issue to end up becoming “the typical right-left type of nonsense you see on one station, but eventually falls off the others.”
He said the recent reports that IRS targeted small-government groups for extra scrutiny were in a different category. Asked to discuss the reports, Capuano said that if the accounts were true, “There’s no way in the world, I’m going to defend that. Hell, I spent my youth vilifying the Nixon administration for doing the same thing.” Continue reading
The most pro-abortion president in our history, Barack Obama, once again displayed his fealty today to Worse Than Murder, Inc, a\k\a Planned Parenthood:
Obama’s comments were the first by a sitting president before the abortion-rights group. He lauded its nearly 100 years of service to women, providing cancer screenings, contraceptives and other health services.
Obama asserted that “an assault on women’s rights” is underway across the country, with bills being introduced in nearly every state legislature to limit or ban abortion or restrict access to birth control.
“The fact is, after decades of progress, there’s still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st Century,” Obama said. “And they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.”
Leftists like the President usually accuse opponents of seeking to roll back the clock, even as they seek desperately, and futilely, to keep the clock frozen in a present they find desirable. The video at the beginning of this post is from the National Black Pro-life Coalition, a group dedicated to revealing that no group in our society has been ravaged more by abortion than blacks. Kermit Gosnell’s butcher shop is merely a particularly ugly manifestation of something that every one in the abortion industry knows and almost never speaks of: blacks are the number one targeted group for abortions in this country. In a country where blacks make up around 12% of the population, 35% of all abortions are performed on blacks. Worse Than Murder, Inc, a/k/a Planned Parenthood locates 79% of its abortion clinics in minority areas. Abortion, the Klan’s dream come true. Continue reading
The Internet is abuzz with the fact that Satan on the History Channel’s The Bible miniseries, which has gotten great ratings, looks a tad like Obama if Michele gets him to go on a veggies only diet. I really don’t see much resemblance but it does give us a good excuse to look at the top ten reasons why Obama is not Satan:
1. Hell has never run a deficit.
2. Satan, whatever his other manifest evils, has never voted present.
3. Satan resides in Hell and Obama resides in Chicago. (A small difference I concede.).
4. Satan is the prince of liars, while Obama is at most an archduke of liars.
5. Satan to my knowledge has never eaten dog. Continue reading
Ben Carson’s rousing speech at last week’s National Prayer Breakfast has garnered a lot of widespread attention. Depending on your point of view, this is either a heroic address that is proof that this man needs to be our next president, or it’s an insulting attempt to humiliate Barack Obama. You’ll never guess which side I’m on.
First, the speech for those of you who have not seen it:
Things get really interesting at around the 17 minute mark as he directly confronts Obamacare and economics more generally.
Actually, upon initial viewing, I did wonder if this was the appropriate venue for Dr. Carson’s remarks. After all, shouldn’t the National Prayer Breakfast be a time where we put aside partisan debate and concentrate on what draws us together? This is what Cal Thomas – no fan of President Obama – thinks:
His remarks were inappropriate for the occasion. It would have been just as inappropriate had he praised the president’s policies. The president had a right to expect a different message about another Kingdom. I’m wondering if the president felt drawn closer to God, or bludgeoned by the Republican Party and the applauding conservatives in the audience (there were many liberals there, too, as well as people from what organizers said were more than 100 nations and all 50 states).
If Carson wanted to voice his opinion about the president’s policies, he could have done so backstage. Even better, he might have asked for a private meeting with the man. As a fellow African American who faced personal challenges and overcame them, the president might have welcomed Dr. Carson to the White House. Instead, Carson ambushed him.
Carson should publicly apologize and stop going on TV doing “victory laps” and proclaiming that reaction to his speech was overwhelmingly positive. That’s not the point. While many might agree with his positions (and many others don’t as shown by the November election results), voicing them at the National Prayer Breakfast in front of the president was the wrong venue.
Leftists were much more vehement in their criticisms of Dr. Carson. Suddenly the very same people who think the entire concept of a National Prayer Breakfast is an affront to the sanctity of the separation of Church and State were howling at Dr. Carson’s impropriety on such a solemn occasion.
There are several reasons why this criticism is unwarranted, and why Dr. Carson should proceed with his “victory laps.” Continue reading
We at The American Catholic, among our many other missions, aim to translate Governmentese into English with color commentary. Herewith is an example of our service in regard to President Obama’s 23 executive orders on gun control, better termed edicts:
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
Do what the agencies have been supposed to be doing all along.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
The maze of laws and regulations belched out by Congress and the Executive branch each year, and which I have overwhelmingly supported, have a deleterious impact on background checks, as they do with accomplishing anything in these United States. Shazam!
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
Fall in line States or we will deprive you of Federal money. Federalism, what’s that? Continue reading
New York’s Trespass Act of 1783 offered relief for Patriots who had fled New York City during the time of the Revolutionary “by permitting them to recover damages from persons who had occupied or used their premises during the war.” Common law had typically required “that actions for trespass must be tried where the property was located, but the act allowed Patriots to sue in any court where the defendant could be found.” It also denied the laws of war by prohibiting the accused of arguing that they had been acting “under orders of the occupying British army, and the act also prohibited the defendants from appealing to a higher court.” (Citations from Forrest McDonald, Novus Ordo Seclorum.)
The New York Trespass Act was but one of many factors that led to the creation of the written United States Constitution. Under the Articles of Confederation government, the states had almost unlimited authority to pass any laws they pleased. The only check on the state governments were the citizens of the several states. Unfortunately, the people themselves were often the impetus behind the enactment of unjust laws.
Mark Gordon at Vox Nova explains why he is voting for neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney.
For my part, I won’t be voting for either Obama or Romney because both promise to pursue policies that violate my understanding of fundamental Catholic teaching. To invest my democratic franchise in either would, in my opinion, be an abrogation of my first responsibility, which is to to witness to the Gospel in all its dimensions. For me, there can be no disjunction between the two. To permit any other allegiance, identity, issue or ideology to trump the Gospel – even temporarily or provisionally – is, again in my opinion – a form of idolatry. Christian discipleship must be marked first of all by an unyielding evangelical integrity: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness …” (Matthew 6:6). And just as I would hope not to choose a “lesser” evil in my personal or business life, neither can I do so as a citizen. As I’ve often written here, when you choose the lesser of two evils, you still get evil. Christians shouldn’t be in the business of choosing evil.
Such is his right, and if he genuinely believes that voting for either candidate would involve cooperation with evil, then the choice is understandable and perhaps commendable. The problem with Mark’s analysis is that only one candidate affirms positions that are clearly in opposition to dogmatic Church teaching. Continue reading
Regular readers of TAC can probably recite most of the reasons, given in no particular order below, by heart, but I think this recapitulation prior to Tuesday is a useful exercise for casual or new readers of the blog:
1. Most Pro-abortion President in our Nation’s History-Obama opposes any restriction on the sacred
rite right to abortion. That alone is enough to make him unacceptable to anyone who cherishes the protection of innocent human life.
2. Debt-Obama, in four short years, has run up almost a third of our national debt. He is careening us to national bankruptcy.
3. Lousy Economy-Obama has given us the worst economic recovery in the post World War history of America, a recovery where 23,000,000 Americans are unable to find work.
4. Obamacare-The major initiative of the Obama administration, Obama has given us a national healthcare plan which will drive up costs, vastly increase the control of the government over our daily lives and add to the “entitlement” spending which is the main factor in our out of control Federal spending.
5. HHS Mandate-For the crassest of short-term political gain, Obama decided to give “free” contraception to women, religious liberties of those who oppose it be damned. Continue reading
Mitt Romney speaking last night before a crowd of 30,000 in West Chester, Ohio. Obama made his charming and unifying “voting is the best revenge” remark before a crowd of 4,000 yesterday in Springfield, Ohio.
The election is almost upon us, and many of us have made up our minds as to whom we are going to vote for, or whether we will even bother to vote at all. On the slight chance that someone from the ever-shrinking pool of undecided voters in a critical county in a vital swing state stumbles upon this blog post, the even less likely chance that they are Catholic, and the even less likely chance that their Catholic faith informs their political conscience, I’ll make one last appeal for a GOP vote.
I say a GOP vote, and not a Romney vote, because a) the most important issue at stake in this election really only depends upon which party, not individual man, is in power, and b) many people on the fence probably aren’t very enthused about Romney the man. I’ll admit that even as someone who has made up his mind, I am still not enthused. Granted, Romney isn’t as awful as many of us imagined him to be before he took Obama to the woodshed in the first presidential debate, it still isn’t easy to joyfully rally to his banner. He lacks the consistency and commitment to principle of the enigmatic Ron Paul, a pretty old guy who manages to get thousands of modern American 20-somethings to care about things other than themselves, which is nothing short of miraculous in its own right. Still, he has emerged as a capable enough candidate for the highest office in the land. But let’s return to the issues.