President Barack Obama
Yesterday President Obama went on a tirade about criticism for his unwillingness to use the term “radical Islam”. Striking his usual petty snotty brat pose whenever he responds to virtually any criticism, Obama wondered what good it does to use the term “radical Islam”. It recognizes reality, you churlish dolt, something that your administration has manifestly attempted to ignore throughout your term in office in regard to the Jihadist threat. Obama’s strategy, if one can dignify an abdication of responsibility with that term, has been to hope that Islamic terrorism would simply go away. As in so many areas, the administration’s policies came down to wishful thinking surrounded by lies. That is why the Obama administration described Major Nidal Hassan’s murderous jihad rampage on Novemeber 5, 2009 as “workplace violence”. Go here to read about it. That is why the Obama administration in 2012 attempted to blame the Benghazi attack on an anti-Islamic film, and left our men in Benghazi without military support, then lied about it to the families of the two heroes who were slain as a result. The attack spoiled the Obama re-election theme that the War on Terror had been won and was a thing of the past.
A prime duty of any President is to defend the American people from all enemies foreign and domestic, and in regard to that duty, Obama has been, at best, missing in action. Colonel Austin Bay at Strategy Page puts it well:
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the June 12 early-morning terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Terrorist Omar Mateen murdered at least 49 people and wounded 53. He held hostages for three hours, until a police SWAT team killed him.
Mainstream media have focused on Orlando’s proximity to Disneyland. A war is on, you idiots. Look toward nearby Tampa and MacDill Air Force Base, U.S. Central Command headquarters. U.S. CENTCOM is currently supporting anti-ISIS coalition forces in Iraq that are engaged in combat operations against the Islamic State. Welcome to Battlefield America.
The Orlando attack adds to the deadly list of Islamist militant terror attacks committed since 2009 on targets in U.S. territory. 2009 was the year President Barack Obama dispensed with the Global War on Terror and began describing U.S. counter-terror operations as an Overseas Contingency Operation. He was strategically stupid, but that was the political narrative he simply had to sell. Remember Bush Lied, People Died?
Well, Obama lied and Americans continue to die. At least the president didn’t call this slaughter “work place violence” or some other feckless politically correct euphemism. Though he called Orlando “an act of terror and an act of hate” he still can’t bring himself to name Islamist militant terrorism as the source, much less the cause of the attack. Instead, he insisted we have “no definitive assessment on the motivation” for Orlando’s massacre.
ISIS media arm AMAQ disagreed: “The armed attack that targeted a gay night club in the city of Orlando…which left over 100 people dead or injured was carried out by an Islamic State fighter.” On June 13, an ISIS radio outlet called Mateen “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America.” ISIS regards Mateen’s nightclub slaughter as an act of war — war as waged by the Islamic State. Remember, Islamic State thugs rape Yazidi women, execute Iraqi soldiers, behead Libyan Christians and burn Jordanian pilots alive.
Moreover, Mateen confirmed he fought for ISIS. Before attacking, he called Orlando’s 911 services and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader, Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He also mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers.
It takes narrow, politically blinded minds to believe Mateen perpetrated the Orlando slaughter because he’s suffered micro-aggressions dealt by Islamophobes or the U.S. Constitution gives American citizens the right to bear arms.
Mateen waged war on America. The Caliph was his commander. He was a traitor — use that word. An Orlando nightclub — down the road from CENTCOM headquarters — was his battleground. His premeditated massacre was another Islamist militant terrorist operation against America conducted with the same war aims as the 2013 Boston terror bombing. Continue reading
“For generations to come, all will be told of the miracle of the immense planes from the United States bringing in the materiel that meant life to our people.”
Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel during the Yom Kippur War
Well, if Bill Clinton could claim to be our first black president… Ben Shapiro at Breitbart gives us this latest example of identity politics run amok:
On Tuesday, former Obama advisor David Axelrod informed an Israeli television channel that President Obama considers himself “the closet thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office.” Obama’s deep and abiding connection to Jewish identity is obviously rooted in his ethnic background, connected to Jews via (?); his ideological ties to Jews, such as (?); and a profound connection with the state of Israel as evidenced by (?).
In actuality, Obama is about as Jewish as George Wallace was black.
But Obama spouted this drivel in order to whine about his treatment at the hands of commentators who, not having undergone full frontal lobotomies, can identify his animus for the Jewish state. “You know,” he allegedly told Axelrod, “I think I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office. For people to say that I am anti-Israel, or, even worse, anti-Semitic, it hurts.” Continue reading
In response to President Obama’s ignorant exercise in moral equivalency in invoking the Crusades and the Inquisition, ( as T.Shaw noted fewer people were turned over for execution by the Inquisition, actually Inquisitions, in all of history than die in American abortion clinics on any week day), go here to read about it, Jonah Goldberg quotes from his book Tyranny of Cliches which explains why such Catholic bashing is ahistoric and unfair:
As a fairly secular Jew I cannot and will not speak to the theological questions, in part because I do not want to. But mostly because I do not have to. The core problem with those who glibly invoke one cliché after another about the evils of organized religion and Catholicism is that they betray the progressive tendency to look back on the last two thousand years and see the Catholic Church — and Christianity generally — as holding back humanity from progress, reason, and enlightenment. They fault the Church for not knowing what could not have been known yet and for being too slow to accept new discoveries that only seem obvious to us with the benefit of hindsight. It’s an odd attack from people who boast of their skepticism and yet condemn the Church for being rationally skeptical about scientific breakthroughs.
In short, they look at the tide of secularism and modernity as proof that the Church was an anchor. I put it to you that it was more of sail. Nearly everything we revere about modernity and progress — education, the rule of law, charity, decency, the notion of the universal rights of man, and reason were advanced by the Church for most of the last two thousand years.
But isn’t the greater madness to make a real force for good the enemy because the forces of self-anointed perfection claim to have some glorious blueprint for a flawless world sitting on a desk somewhere? It is a Whiggish and childish luxury to compare the past — or even the present — to a utopian standard. Of course there was corruption, cruelty, and hypocrisy within the Church — because the Church is a human institution. Its dark hypocrisies are the backdrop that allow us to see the luminance of the standard they have, on occasion, fallen short of. The Catholic Church was a spiritual beacon lighting the way forward compared to the world lit only by fire outside the Church doors.
You know that you live in loony tunes times when a secular Jew like Goldberg has a better appreciation for the role of the Church in History than some Catholic bloggers: (Ahem, that is your cue Mark:)
“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ…
“So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today’s world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. But God compels us to try. And in this mission, I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe.
“And, first, we should start with some basic humility. I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.” (source)
Years of reading through and listening to debates on the internet and in other spaces is enough to make me yearn for mandatory courses in basic logic. In particular, it seems most people do not have even a remedial understanding of the difference between correlation and causation.
Enter President Barack Obama, who delivered remarks today at the National Prayer Breakfast. Meandering and condescending are but two of the words that come to mind after listening to this address. At one point the president lectures the audience on humility. Yes, Barack Obama was prodding his audience to be more humble. I’m just going to let that sink in for a minute and have you pause and reflect. Maybe you’ll even think about another concept: irony.
And no doubt many of you will need to take blood pressure medication after reading this part of the speech:
And this is the loving message of His Holiness, Pope Francis. And like so many people around the world, I’ve been touched by his call to relieve suffering, and to show justice and mercy and compassion to the most vulnerable; to walk with The Lord and ask “Who am I to judge?”
But that’s not what caught my attention, nor is it the part of the speech that has gotten or will get the most attention. After some discussion of the events taking place in the Middle East and in Paris, and the dangers of theocracy, he intones:
Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.
Yes, of course he went there, would you expect anything less? Now many will rightfully complain that he is dredging up events that occurred centuries ago in order to morally equivocate, and that is indeed happening. We’ve all heard this song before, and we have naturally become somewhat inured to it.
Without jumping into the Crusades and Inquisition and why using even these centuries-old examples is flawed, let’s look at the more recent American examples, and let’s talk a bit about cause and effect.
President Obama is, essentially, comparing Christians justifying slavery to Islamic terrorists burning people alive. He is saying, “You see, Christians did some terrible things in the name of religion, just like these people.” Again, let’s ignore that we’re talking about something that took place two centuries ago rather than two minutes ago, and explore the inadequacy of this analogy.
The thugs in ISIL, the theocrats in Iran, the butchers in France: all of these groups are comprised of individuals acting in the name of their interpretation of Islam. Granting for the sake of argument that they are all acting in a way that is contrary to the true meaning of Islam, however that is supposed to be defined, they are clearly and unmistakably acting in accordance with their religious dictates. Put more bluntly: their interpretation of their religion is causing them to behave in a specific manner.
Now let’s look at slavery and Jim Crow. Yes, it’s true that some defenders of each would use the Bible to defend these practices; however, did anyone ever pick up a Bible and, “Gee whiz, God is really talking to me, I’m gonna go buy me a slave.” To put it another way, slave holders and, subsequently, practitioners of Jim Crow acted on purely, dare I say, secular reasoning to engage in their behavior. Christianity did not cause them to own slaves, nor did it cause southern politicians to enact Jim Crow laws. The Bible was used as an ex post fact rationalization for what they did.
Some may try to argue that this is a distinction without a difference, and to them I’d suggest that they still do not understand the difference between correlation and causation. Take away the Bible and you’d still have slavery in the southern parts of the United States. Christian beliefs did not inspire slaveholding – economic self-interest did that, and the latter also largely explains Jim Crow (plus a whole lot of irrational racism that didn’t have a whole lot to do with the Bible and Christianity).
Take away the religious motivation and do we have gunmen killing members of the press? Do we have the beheadings? Contra the ramblings of certain atheists, not all or even most violence throughout history has been “inspired” by religion, but the maniacs in ISIL are undoubtedly acting upon religious motivations. It isn’t some ex post fact rationalization for their behavior; no, it is the primary cause of the behavior.
Much of President Obama’s address is an exercise in moral equivalency with some vague platitudes thrown in, so about what one would expect from him. Failures in logic are just a little bit of icing on the cake.
Incidentally, Noah Rothman at Hot Air makes a good point:
It’s strange that so few see the contradiction inherent in this assertion. The president, and many of his allies on the left, frequently trip over themselves to emphasize – correctly, as it happens – that ISIS’s acts of brutality are not archetypical Islamic behavior. The insurgency’s most recent atrocity, the immolation of a captured Jordanian pilot, is apparently a violation of Islamic norms according to even Koranic scholars in the Middle East.
But to assert this and in the same breath suggest that Christianity was also a violent, expansionist religion a mere 800 years ago is a contradiction. Why make this comparison if ISIS is not representative of Islam? Isn’t the concession in this claim that those who commit acts of violence in the name of their religion, regardless of whether those acts are supported by a majority of coreligionists, are representative of their faith? Therefore, by perfunctorily nodding in the direction of a moral equivalency between Christian and Islamic violence, isn’t the president invalidating his own claim that ISIS, Boko Haram, Ansar al-Sharia, al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiah, Abu Sayyaf, and a host of other fundamentalist Islamic terror groups are agents of a violent strain of the Islamic faith?
Chris Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so many times for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, watched the State of the Union speech last night so you didn’t have to:
Got started a little earlier than I thought I would.
2:34 I just got back from Freddie’s Market to lay in booze, er, supplies for tonight’s festivities. The more I think about it, the more I believe that Stephen Green may have had the right idea all along.
7:55 Gettin’ on toward that time so I’d better get the first vodka thing going.
8:02 – Let’s rock and roll.
8:08 – Himself is on the way in.
8:13 “Our combat mission in Afghanistan is over” Really?
8:15 “Growing economy?” I don’t have a job, dumbass.
8:18 “We are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very hard times.” Of course that’s never happened before.
8:20 “America is number one in oil and gas.” No thanks to your opposition to Keystone or fracking, thank you very much.
8:22 Dude’s just making crap up now.
8:23 My way or the highway, bitches.
8:25 Rebecca just isn’t asking for a handout. Except that she wants “affordable child care” at someone else’s expense.
8:27 You’re not just going to be paying for Sandra Fluke’s birth control. You’re going to be paying for Sandra Fluke’s birth control AND paid her affordable maternity leave.
8:29 “That’s why this Congress needs to make sure that women are paid the same as men.” Since they basically are right now.
8:30 Strengthen unions. Saw that one coming a million light years away.
8:32 Free community college. ‘Kay. Who’s paying for it, O?
8:34 Apprenticeships? You mean like going back to reading law again? Produced Lincoln, after all.
8:36 This is starting to sound something like a Nuremberg rally.
8:37 “Let’s set our sights higher than a pipeline.” See you, Keystone. And get used to paying $3.00 or more a gallon again.
8:40 “And where we too often run under the rocks is how we pay for all this” Here we go.
8:43 The top one percent. Saw that one coming a light year away.
8:44 He’s on to foreign policy now.
8:45 Barry thinks his “foreign policy” is making a difference.
8:47 America’s foreign policy has been forceful? Obama wants a Congressional resolution authorizing force against the “Islamic” State.
8:52 G0 ahead and take “credit” for Cuba, O. “Stands up for democratic values and extends the hands of friendship to Cuba?” Care to reconcile those two mutually-exclusive ideas, Barry?
8:53 Computer hackers now? This have something to do with the IRS scandal?
8:55 Climate change. Last year was the warmest year of climate change of record, Barry. Do you have any idea how old the universe is, dimwit?
8:56 Barry wants to go Luddite.
8:57 Dude had to work duh gaze in there. Pretty much de riguer these days.
8:58 O wants to close Gitmo.
9:00 “I still believe that we are one people.” Glad you do.
Sorry that things stopped early. Some kind of technical problem; I’m not quite sure what happened there. I’ll keep comments open a little while longer. Continue reading
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
If the Legislature shall fail to pass legislation that the President deems essential, the President shall have the authority to unilaterally pass such legislation via Executive Order. – US Constitution, Article II, Section 5, as envisioned by Barack Obama.
One would think that, having unanimously been rebuffed by the Supreme Court yet again for executive overreach, President Obama would be somewhat chastened. Of course the person who thinks that obviously doesn’t know Barack Obama.
President Barack Obama appeared equally annoyed and frustrated with House Republicans on Tuesday, dismissing their recent threat of a lawsuit and promising to continue with the executive actions that have so bothered the GOP.
“Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff,” Mr. Obama during a speech along the Georgetown waterfront. “So sue me. As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.”
Since there is no imaginary codicil in the Constitution that permits the President to act unilaterally, even if “middle-class families” can’t wait, President Obama is technically quite wrong. Leaving aside the dubious analysis that middle-class families are anxiously awaiting some kind of immigration reform, the President’s self-congratulatory statement about trying to do “something” is constitutionally and politically noxious.
The constitutional problem is obvious. We still liver under a republican form of government, one that is largely built upon the foundation of checks and balances and separation of powers. To concentrate powers into one hand is to set a course for tyranny. As our constitutional scholar of a President has no doubt read:
But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.
Reading a little further down, Madison writes, “In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.” Yes, the legislature is to be dominant, with the president afforded necessary checks to make sure that the legislature doesn’t get out of control. But that check on the legislatures comes in the form of a veto pen. The president’s power is essentially a negative one, ensuring that the Congress does not abuse its constitutional authority. Notice, however, that Madison does not prescribe an affirmative check to the presidency. He does not advocate – nor would almost any of the Framers – presidential ability to act outside of Congressional authority (save in times of rebellion) on his own initiative. The president’s job is to restrain Congress, not for him to get out hand himself when he doesn’t like legislative inaction.
The policy aspect of Obama’s arrogant message is that at least he is doing something. It doesn’t really matter what he is doing or whether what he’s doing actually works, but the main thing is he’s doing something. And that sums up the progressive movement in a nutshell. “Don’t just stand there, do something” has been the official motto of the progressive movement for the past century. The details are of niggling importance. That the proposal might, at best, be unhelpful and, at worst, deprive citizens of their liberty, is not given much consideration.
Of course Obama is merely treading in the same path as progressive presidents that have preceded him. Woodrow Wilson (aka the reason we shouldn’t allow Ph. Ds in the White House, says this Ph. D) wanted to radically re-orient the American polity towards a Prime Minister model. FDR threatened to expand the size of the Supreme Court until he got what he wanted. President Obama is simply acting out the aspirations of Wilson, FDR and their many progressive boosters. Congress? Bah, unhelpful. The Supreme Court? Bah, we’ll just ignore those old codgers.
Unfortunately the president’s arrogance is justified. After all, what is Congress going to do? Speaker Boehner’s going nowhere lawsuit is a futile and pathetic attempt to reign in Obama. Republicans may very well sweep the midterm elections, but we all know that this president is not going to be impeached, and assuredly will not be removed from office. No, President Obama will certainly still be in office until noon on January 20, 2017. So he can taunt Congress all he wants knowing full well that they can’t and won’t do anything to him, and that a large chunk of the public doesn’t even care that this is happening.
Please don’t take this as yet another criticism of those feckless Republicans. Admittedly their options are narrow, and they are narrow because of the reckless fecklessness of Congressional Democrats. There was a time in this country when it was thought that we had in essence four parties: Congressional Democrats and Republicans, and then the Presidential Democrat and Republican parties. All members of Congress jealously guarded their own powers and protected the institution, even when presidents of the same party were sitting in the Oval Office. Those days are gone. There is really nothing short of premeditated homicide caught on film that would spur Congressional Democrats to join in any impeachment proceedings, and even then it might only be a 50/50 vote in that caucus. This is a bipartisan problem to some extent, though the progressive left is even more invested in the idea of a single, centralized authority benevolently guiding us towards utopia.
That is why I think Jonah Goldberg’s criticism of Charles Murray’s piece, in which Murray tries to distinguish between the liberal left and the progressive left, hits the mark. Murray is somewhat right that there is a distinction to be made between “liberals” on the left who, while they agree with the favored policy choices of the progressive left, nonetheless deplore the tactics employed, especially as regards to the stifling of dissent. Yet these liberals don’t kick up too much of a fuss when those tactics achieve their preferred policy outcomes. I don’t see too many liberals complaining about executive overreach – well, not when the overreach is coming from the hands of Barack Obama.
And so here we are, with a president openly thumbing his nose at the republican form of government, and roughly half of the country is yawning at or cheering on this development.
Mr. Franklin’s sage wisdom echoes through the ages.
A poll by Quinnipiac finds Obama the number one choice for the title of worst president since World War II:
President Barack Obama is the worst president since World War II, 33 percent of American voters say in a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. Another 28 percent pick President George W. Bush.
Ronald Reagan is the best president since WWII, 35 percent of voters say, with 18 percent for Bill Clinton, 15 percent for John F. Kennedy and 8 percent for Obama, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Among Democrats, 34 percent say Clinton is the best president, with 18 percent each for Obama and Kennedy. Continue reading
At a recent event, President Obama was called the anti-Christ by a heckler. This is so unfair! Here are the top ten reasons why Obama is not the anti-Christ.
10. Obama can’t be the anti-Christ because he is a Christian…O.K., make that the top nine reasons why Obama isn’t the anti-Christ.
9. Obama fears that 666 is the number of daily calories that Michele will allow him on his next diet.
8. Satan has not taken possession of Obama, although some sort of lease arrangement is a possibility.
7. Elijah and Enoch haven’t been killed by drones. Yet.
6. The anti-Christ would never vote present.
5. Putin doesn’t fit into his Gog costume. Continue reading
President Barack Obama, National Prayer Breakfast, February 6, 2014
PopeWatch looks forward to the meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama in March. If PopeWatch may be so bold, PopeWatch suggests abortion as a topic of conversation. Yesterday the Pope tweeted:
President Obama observed the forty-first anniversary of Roe somewhat differently:
Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom. And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children. Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams. Continue reading
I guess leftists were right – we truly lived under a tyranny during the presidency of George Bush. After all, just look at how contemptuously he treated the legislative branch of government. In his first cabinet meeting after the Democrats took control of the House, Bush told his top deputies that his “agenda will move forward whether Congress votes for it or not.” Then he added:
“One of the things I’ll be emphasizing in this meeting,” he said, “is the fact that we are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need.”
“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” the president asserted, “and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating.”
“And I’ve got a phone,” he continued, “that allows me to convene Americans from every walk of life — nonprofits, businesses, the private sector, universities — to try to bring more and more Americans together around what I think is a unifying theme, making sure that this is a country where if you work hard, you can make it.”
It was a common lament during the Bush presidency that we were living under something resembling an imperial presidency. We were told that Bush’s advocacy of a unitary executive, as well as his penchant for issuing signing statements that added his gloss to duly enacted legislation, as well as his mere existence on planet Earth all signaled the end of democracy as we know it. Never mind that the executive branch was specifically designed to be unitary in nature, the Framers having decided against all alternative arrangements. And never mind that the signing statements were nothing more than inocuous expressions of how the executive bureaucracy would carry out legislation passed by Congress. No, we were truly living in Stalin’s Russia.
Thankfully Americans came to their senses and elected the wise and beneficent Barack Obama. Truly he was the change we were looking for. He promised us all a return to a more open administration that didn’t keep secrets, would restore competency to the White House, would be completely honest, and most importantly, wouldn’t disregard the other branches of government.
Alas, if wishes were trees, the trees would be falling.
You see, the above of course was not spoken by George W. Bush, but rather by President Obama on Tuesday.
Checks? Balances? Looks like the constitutional scholar residing in the White House is unfamiliar with such terms.
Hold it! Hold it! I thought that Obama caused depression!
Why am I not surprised?
President Obama said in an interview on Wednesday that he had been “hugely impressed” with Pope Francis, “not because of any particular issue” but because he seemed to be “thinking about how to embrace people as opposed to push them away.”
“He seems somebody who lives out the teachings of Christ. Incredible humility, incredible sense of empathy to the least of these, to the poor,” the president said in an interview on CNBC. “He’s also somebody who’s, I think, first and foremost, thinking about how to embrace people as opposed to push them away. How to find what’s good in them as opposed to condemn them.”
Pope Francis has given two interviews that were published in the last two weeks in which he has indicated that he wants to see a truce in the culture wars and that the church should put love and mercy above doctrine and judgment. On the issues of abortion, gay marriage and contraception, Pope Francis said, “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” adding, “We have to find a new balance.”
These words may offer a ray of hope to Mr. Obama, who has been locked in a standoff with Roman Catholic bishops in the United States. The bishops are suing the Obama administration over a mandate in the president’s health care law that requires Catholic colleges and hospitals to allow their employees access to free birth control, including morning-after pills that the bishops say are abortifacients. Declaring that President Obama is a threat to the church’s religious freedom, the bishops have mounted a major campaign to rally Catholics across the country to oppose the contraception mandate. Continue reading
The speech in the video is a section of Reagan’s Time For Choosing speech in 1964 that led to the beginning of his political career which culminated 16 years later in him being elected president. Reagan said of the Marines:
Some people work an entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. But the Marines don’t have that problem.
This is what we are saddled with today:
Often times the worst thing that can happen to any President is winning a second term, since most presidential second terms in American history have tended to be dismal. Ann Althouse enumerates the ways in which Obama’s second term is off to a miserable start:
1. It’s been so bad that the media dropped their erstwhile foible of talking about everything that happens in terms of what it means for Obama. And here it is, the first lap of his new term, when there’s more reason than usual to talk about how things are working out for the President.
2. Obama made gun control his big issue leading into the new term. He tried so hard to deploy his speaking skills to channel the nation’s emotion after the Sandy Hook massacre, and in the end he couldn’t even wrangle all of the Democrats in the Senate, and he was reduced yesterday to surrounding himself with human vessels of tragedy and “a scowling Vice President Biden” and pronounce it “all in all… a pretty shameful day for Washington.” The media offered weak support by describing him as passionately angry, but I watched the video and found it surprising dull. I couldn’t motivate myself to go over to my computer to blog about it last night. Obama knew he was going to lose. The theater of sympathy and outrage had gone on far too long, the show was a flop, and the leading man was obliged to take his curtain call.
3. North Korea apparently has a nuclear weapon and the nerve to use it (or to pose as if it does), and the new Secretary of State, the exceedingly dreary John Kerry, is sojourning in the general area nattering about global warming — “the Foreign Minister and I agreed to raise the initiative above the level that it is today” — and meanwhile, back in the United States, it’s really cold.
4. Obama’s efforts to get some lightweight good press over basketball failed. His bracket was busted, and a cutesy photo-op produced an embarrassing video in which he went 2 for 22. That he could play basketball was an element of his legend, and now it’s that video that comes to mind when we think of Obama and basketball. Does he even have another sport? Golf? Golf, unlike basketball, never worked as an element of the Obama legend.
5. He shut off White House tours, presumably on the theory that it would spark outrage at the sequester (and those terrible Republicans), but that gesture clashed with his own fun in the White House. Ordinary kids had their field trips canceled, while Obama’s daughters got Justin Timberlake to come to the White
House and perform right in front of them. It was another of the many parties. Wasn’t Beyonce just there? And then she and Jay-Z went to Cuba, and, when criticized, Jay-Z put out a pissy rap tune that (I
think) insulted Obama. Continue reading
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away
From Leon Panetta’s testimony yesterday on Benghazi:
Under questioning from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Panetta says that President Obama knew “generally” what US military assets were deployed in the region, but did not ask for specifics. He left the strategy, according to Panetta, “up to us,” meaning himself and military leadership. Panetta says that after the initial briefing, which took place at about 5 pm Washington time, he had no further communications at all with President Obama that night. The president never even called to ask how the attack was progressing. No one from the White House ever called later that night, according to Panetta, to inquire about the attack. President Obama went to bed that night not even knowing whether the Americans under assault had survived the attack. Continue reading