>> Wednesday, February 2, 2011

...Of Jimmy Carter's second term.

Jimmy Carter backed the radicals rather than the Shah of Iran who, like Mubarak, was a corrupt dictator, but an ally of the U.S. all the same. The end result 32 years later? An Islamic state hell bent on acquiring nukes and threatening to wipe Israel off the map.

Today, we have Obama, backing the protesters over a dictatorial president who, despite being the bad guy, is an ally of the US, who also maintains a peace treaty with Israel. What happens if radicals take over? Controlling the Suez canal? This is Obama's Jimmy Carter moment.

Let's hope, however, that Obama fares better than did President Carter. The first thing Obama could do to save the day is shut up. What happened after he opened his trap last night, throwing his support to the protesters? VIOLENT protests today.

During his campaign for the presidency Obama chided the Bush administration for seeking to impose democracy on other nations. And yet that's exactly what Obama is doing now. Shut up, Mr. President, and you just might come out ahead, but as things now stand you own the growing turmoil in Egypt.

Just as much is at stake in this crisis as was in 1979. The security of Israel is at stake. The cost of oil, electronics, and food (to name just a few) is at risk. Can America survive... can OBAMA survive potentially $5 a gallon gasoline?

This is why it is best to elect leaders with experience in leading. This neophyte is destroying everything he sets his voice, hand and ideology to.

God help America!


Mark February 2, 2011 at 6:21 PM  

The Muslim Brotherhood has already called for war on Israel. This is a no-brainer for Obama.

The reason Obama backs the protesters in this case is because his love of Islam trumps his love for evil dictators. But not by much.

ELAshley February 3, 2011 at 9:52 AM  

I think Obama just wishes he had kept his mouth shut.

If the military is called in to quell the violence and people are shot, he becomes culpable somewhat in their deaths. Not that he personally killed anyone, but that he made a tense situation worse by speaking against the president of Egypt. Yes, the man is a dictator, but no situation is ever truly black and white. There is a right and wrong in any situation but deciding which course to take is never as easy as that. Words carry weight, and I fear Obama and his advisers didn't weigh theirs carefully enough.

I'm hearing on the news already: "this is Obama's 'Jimmy Carter' moment." I hope for Israel's sake it turns out better for president Obama. Praying for the peace of Jerusalem, today, necessitates praying for the peace of Egypt.

In this matter my concern for Israel far outweighs my dislike of president Obama.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM  

"In this matter my concern for Israel far outweighs my dislike of president Obama."

Or apparently any feeling for the citizens of Egypt. The populace of Egypt wishes government reform. That's one of the bedrocks of America.

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ..."

The Declaration of Independence makes it pretty clear where America should stand...even if the people of Egypt choose a government at odds with us.

Mark February 3, 2011 at 11:35 AM  

"The Declaration of Independence makes it pretty clear where America should stand...even if the people of Egypt choose a government at odds with us."

OK. This scares me, but I have to agree with Bent here.

Although, rioting and killing and injuring people in the process is not the first option. It should be the last resort as it was in colonial times.

In this case, however it ends, it will not be a good thing for Egypt, or for Israel and the rest of the region, for that matter.

ELAshley February 4, 2011 at 8:45 AM  

...and what Ben has said is right, at least in part.

Our own founding documents have no bearing or validity in Egypt; Egyptians won't adopt our ideologies, political or otherwise. As Americans, the Declaration of Independence is perhaps the grandest of social and political mission statements, but we are not locked into a "position" by simple virtue of that document. Egypt is not the United States of America, nor does it wish to be. Our focus should be on preventing, as much as is possible (if possible) a radical takeover of that nation. They do not believe in the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These are ideals are contrary to Sharia law.

Curiously, and rather hypocritically, the Left (and I'm not speaking to Ben. I've heard this argument time and time again from the Left, and recently!) loves to point to the Declaration of Independence in situations like this, while poo-pooing the whole document when it comes to over-reaching government control here. There is no such thing as Life, Liberty or the Pursuit of Happiness when government controls every aspect of your life... Obamacare, anyone?

If we sit back and say, "the Declaration of Independence ties our hands from any desire to see another nation not fall into radicalism," then that makes us fools of the highest order. But I have a question for anyone who recognizes God as having a higher authority than government: If you have an opportunity to do good; sparing life, limb, and personal freedom from tyranny, without firing a single shot, using diplomacy and guarantees, is it not better to try to affect positive change, rather than hide behind a document that has not social or religious relevance to the lives limbs and freedoms in question? It's not just Egyptian lives in the balance.

Hiding behind the Declaration of Independence as an excuse to not get involved is cowardice.

Obama should have kept his mouth shut, asking Mubarak to step down sooner. Now he and his advisers are hoping to save as much face as possible. And in this instance I hope they can.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 4, 2011 at 11:20 AM  

The only equivalency I can see to your argument Eric is if Christians thought the Ten Commandments only applied to their dealings with other Christians.

"Oh sure the Bible says not to kill or lie or adulterize, but that's only other Christians..."

that's exactly like you saying we can throw away the ideals of the Declaration of Independence when we interact with other countries. It doesn't matter what sort of government the people of Egypt might or will form. If you believe in the ideals expressed by the the Declaration, then those aren't considerations. The Egyptian people have the right to overthrow their government and establish a new one. No conditionals, no buts, no excepts.

ELAshley February 4, 2011 at 12:10 PM  

And I agree with you. However, if it's okay for Obama to stick his nose in and worsen conditions on the ground, it's equally okay to try to guide Egypt toward a more friendly outcome. If Obama can stir the pot, I can add a dash of salt.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 4, 2011 at 1:39 PM  

What Obama has said is that it is time Mubarak should leave. He has also said that the people have a right to overthrow their government. Both statements in line with America's founding ideals.

You have said that we should support Mubarak, because he has a cold peace with Israel. You placed the security of another nation above the ideals of your own. You've placed a dictator's government above the will of the citizens of Egypt, and still you're saying America should oppose the formation of a government representing the citizens of that county, if that government is hostile towards Israel.

From any way you look at it you are wrong. From an American perspective being opposed to a people establishing a representative form of government is unpatriotic. From a Christian perspective Israel has divine protection, or punishment, what happens in Egypt is meant to happen.

ELAshley February 4, 2011 at 4:26 PM  

Be careful what your argue, Ben. By your logic Obama should champion the Tea Party movement. He should champion the will of the American people, as expressed in last November's election, and stop fighting attempts to repeal Obamacare. He should further cease being in contempt of court for pushing forward the implementation of a law that has been declared unconstitutional.

Egyptians have a right to overthrow their government because Mubarak is a dictator? So too, then, do Americans have the right to overthrow their government because it has become dictatorial.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 5, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

I don't understand your logic. Barak Obama was elected by a majority of the citizens of the United States. He has pursued the policies he ran his election on. The health care overhaul was a signature part of his election campaign. After being elected he pursued his goal with his party allies in Congress. They wrote, rewrote, and compromised with other congressional representatives and passed a bill using the established procedures of the Legislature. Now that bill has been brought to the judicial branch for review where it is working its way through the process. There are multiple challenges to the health care overhaul law. At least 14 of them have been thrown out over technicalities like the plaintiffs not having standing to bring a challenge. In two the law has been affirmed, and in two others the law or parts of it have been rejected.

I don't understand how you can have the viewpoint that America has become dictatorial under Barak Obama.

I strongly oppose many of the security and civil liberty changes that happened under the Bush administration. I oppose them on the strongest grounds as being out of line with the ideals of my country. But George Bush was not a dictator, nor was his administration. Your grievances are no worse than anyone else's.

P.S. The two judges who saw the ACA as unconstitutional did not place a hold on implementation. Both issued only advisement ruling, because they recognized that the final fate of health care overhaul would be from a higher court and eventually the Supreme Court.

P.P.S. When you get warm fuzzies from those surveys showing how many people oppose the ACA, remember that about 30% oppose the bill because it doesn't go far enough.

WomanHonorThyself February 6, 2011 at 11:41 AM  

I posted on this as well ..great work..keep the faith!

ELAshley February 7, 2011 at 9:26 AM  

"The two judges who saw the ACA as unconstitutional did not place a hold on implementation."

Au contraire, mon frere!

The most recent ruling by Judge Vinson declares the entire act unconstitutional. Because there was no "severability clause" in the act, the entire law in null and void. To continue to implement a law that has been judged to be unconstitutional is to demonstrate contempt for the court. If this were George Bush's presidency the Leftist media would be all over this, and folk like Dan Trabue would be calling for impeachment proceedings. If a law has been declared null and void, no implementation can proceed until a higher court stays or reverses the lower court decision.

But this administration is so cynical that it intends to drag this case through every court it can, continuing to implement what's been deemed unconstitutional, in the hopes that the unconstitutional law will be in full force before the Supreme Court even gets the case. If Obama believed so much in his signature legislation why not send it straight to SCOTUS? Because he fears its decision. What Obama is attempting is an end-run around Inevitability in hopes he'll win in spite of his act's unconstitutionality.

Let me reiterate: If a law has been found to be wholly unconstitutional, it cannot be implemented. Period. Furthermore, it doesn't matter if two judges found the individual mandate to be constitutional. The very fact that one judge has judged the ENTIRE act unconstitutional supersedes ALL previous decisions. The very fact that the entire law was declared unconstitutional amounts to a cease and desist order.

That's simply the way it works.

And lest we forget, this is not the first time Obama flouted the court's decision. When the administration pronounced a moratorium on off-shore drilling they were overturned by the court... at which point the administration simply ignored the ruling and pressed on with their moratorium.

Obama is not a king. He must abide by the court's decision every bit as much as the rest of us. He seems to have forgotten that the Judicial branch of government is an EQUAL branch of government. The Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial branches of our government are EQUAL in power. No one branch can ignore the checking of another.

ELAshley February 7, 2011 at 9:34 AM  

We've had too many precedent-setting floutings and abuses of our Constitution already. It's time to get back to the Constitution. Fail in this, and America will slip further toward failure as a Constitutional Republic, becoming more and more a dictatorial democracy. After all, if Obama can force a single American to buy medical insurance, he can force EVERY American to buy broccoli... or an electric car...

How would such an America be different than, say, the Hosni Mubarak government? Obama has already won control of the internet. What's to keep him from shutting down the internet if Americans get "too rowdy." What happens to free speech if Obama (or ANY president for that matter) can force us to buy whatever the commodity du-jour may be? This country is taking a dangerous step in the wrong direction. And it doesn't help that much of the populace seems intent of destroying themselves just to get "free" health care. Trust me... nothing is free. We'll all end up paying for it. Through the nose and every other orifice-- savory and unsavory alike.

ELAshley February 7, 2011 at 9:38 AM  

From Judge Vinson's decision, page 42,

"It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting — as was done in the Act — that compelling the actual transaction is itself "commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce" [see Act § 1501(a)(1)], it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted. It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place. If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain for it would be "difficult to perceive any limitation on federal power"[Lopez, supra, 514 U.S. at 564], and we would have a Constitution in name only.Surely this is not what t"

ELAshley February 7, 2011 at 9:54 AM  

Here's a link to Judge Vinson's entire ruling.

Another excerpt illustrating the law of unintended consequences, beginning at the bottom of page 76.

"On this point, it should be emphasized that while the individual mandate was clearly "necessary and essential" to the Act as drafted, it is not "necessary and essential" to health care reform in general. It is undisputed that there are various other (Constitutional) ways to accomplish what Congress wanted to do.
Indeed, I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that "if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house." See
Interview on CNN’s American Morning, Feb. 5, 2008, transcript available at: In fact, he pointed to the similar individual mandate in Massachusetts --- which was imposed under the state's police power, a power the federal government does not have --- and opined that the mandate there left some residents "worse off" than they had been before. See Christopher Lee, Simple Question Defines Complex Health Debate, Washington Post, Feb. 24, 2008, at A10 (quoting Senator Obama as saying: "In some cases, there are people [in Massachusetts] who are paying fines and still can't afford [health insurance], so now they're worse off than they were . . . They don't have health insurance, and they're paying a fine . . .") striking down the "Violence Against Women Act" (before the case was appealed and the Supreme Court did the same): No less for judges than for politicians is the temptation to affirm any statute so decorously titled. We live in a time when the lines between law and politics have been purposefully blurred to serve the ends of the latter. And, when we, as courts, have not participated in this most
perniciously Machiavellian of enterprises ourselves, we have acquiesced in it by others, allowing opinions of law to be dismissed as but pronouncements of personal agreement or disagreement. The judicial decision making
contemplated by the Constitution, however, unlike at least the politics of the moment, emphatically is not a function of labels. If it were, the Supreme Court assuredly would not have struck down the "Gun-Free School Zones
Act," the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," the "Civil Rights Act of 1871," or the "Civil Rights Act of 1875." And if it ever becomes such, we will have ceased to be a society of law, and all the codification of freedom in the
world will be to little avail.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 7, 2011 at 1:52 PM  

"The most recent ruling by Judge Vinson declares the entire act unconstitutional. Because there was no "severability clause" in the act, the entire law in null and void. To continue to implement a law that has been judged to be unconstitutional is to demonstrate contempt for the court."

Here is the last paragraph from Judge Vinson's Ruling: In closing, I will simply observe, once again, that my conclusion in this case is based on an application of the Commerce Clause law as it exists pursuant to the Supreme Court’s current interpretation and definition. Only the Supreme Court (or a Constitutional amendment) can expand that. For all the reasons stated above and pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (doc. 80) is hereby GRANTED as to its request for declaratory relief on Count I of the Second Amended Complaint, and DENIED as to its request for injunctive relief; and the defendants’ motion for summary judgment (doc. 82) is hereby GRANTED on Count IV of the Second Amended Complaint. The respective cross-motions are each DENIED. In accordance with Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Title
Case No.: 3:10-cv-91-RV/EMT

He granted the plaintiffs (## states Attorney Generals) request for a summary judgment, but he DENIED their request for injunctive relief (i.e. stopping implementation of the law).

"If this were George Bush's presidency..." George Bush proposed every American be mandated to participate in a private retirement savings product. That was a part of the privatize social security drive. Where were all conservatives then? Oh yeah right they supported him wholeheartedly.

"If Obama believed so much in his signature legislation why not send it straight to SCOTUS?"
Because the government can't sue itself. Neither the President or Congress can take a law directly to the Supreme Court and ask for a ruling. There is a procedure and Judge Vinson's ruling is part of that, as well as the three other federal court rulings. Federal District Court Judge Roger Vinson has no higher standing than Federal District Court Judge George C. Steeh of Michigan who ruled in Ocotber, or Federal District Court Judge Norman K. Moon of Virginia who made a ruling in November or Federal District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson who also ruled on the ACA in January.

Neither of us are judges, lawyers or legal scholars. I won't pretend to be if you won't.

There are several democrats in Congress who would love to remove this issue, they have proposed alternatives to the mandate, but they can't get any republican cosponsors. Conservatives prefer to have this as a rallying cry rather than actually solve the problem.

Al-Ozarka February 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM  

To pretend that any election in Egypt would result in the peoples' true choice is wildly naive. An election in the midst of a brutal power struggle will only result in brutal dictatorship.

Stop pretending and face the facts, BenT.

Jim February 7, 2011 at 9:50 PM  

"To pretend that any election in Egypt would result in the peoples' true choice is wildly naive." Based on your erudite conclusion?

"An election in the midst of a brutal power struggle will only result in brutal dictatorship."

That is why the administration policy appears to be that elections should be held as scheduled in September so that all popular political segments have the opportunity to organize and campaign in order to have a fair and orderly election.

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Barry Obama : The Young Turk

Young Turk:
Date: 1908
Function: noun
Etymology: Young Turks, a 20th century revolutionary party in Turkey
:an insurgent or a member of an insurgent group especially in a political party : radical; broadly
:one advocating changes within a usually established group.

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