January 31, 2011

THE EGYPTIAN CONSTITUTION

I have to write a post about a post I was going to write because I don't grok.

At a press conference on Friday, President Obama said the following:

The people of Egypt have rights that are universal, that includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny.  These are human rights, and the United States will stand up for them everywhere.

My first thought was that the president was nuts, that Egyptians don't have these rights.  Or at least they haven't secured them.  I was going to write a long post about how these rights are indeed human rights, inalienable, endowed on us.  Our Constitution does not give us these rights, it simply enumerates them.  Our government does not give us these rights, it is there to protect them.  And that our Constitution begins with "We the people" because it is unique.

So I looked up the Egyptian constitution and was surprised to read that it too begins with "We the people."  I read further about freedom of speech and opinion and individual freedoms and just got more confused.  Why was the president saying that Egyptians have these rights when clearly they do not?  And how can all these rights be enumerated in their constitution when it doesn't appear that they actually have them?

So where's the disconnect?

Was the president being lofty and speaking in idealistic generalities about humankind, or was he specifically stating that Egyptians are guaranteed these rights by their constitution and are being denied them unjustly?

And how can Egypt have a constitution that guarantees its citizens a "democratic, socialist state" and then have the same leader for 30 years?

I really don't grok.

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November 03, 2010

A WIN FOR THE COUNTRY

A European friend of mine was saying recently that she doesn't really understand how American government works because it doesn't make sense to her that our "parliament" could be of a different political party than our president.  She wondered how anything would ever get done.

I tried to explain that the Founders of the United States intended it this way, that our system was created under the assumption that government works best when it governs least.

This result from last night, it should ensure the least amount of government.  That's a good thing.

It's a win for the country.

Now leave us alone.

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October 22, 2010

WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE

I heard about this secondhand so perhaps I'm missing some nuance, but did Juan Williams just get fired for expressing basically the same thoughts that Barack Obama attributed to his typical white granny during the greatest speech on race relations since Martin Luther King?

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February 12, 2010

BARACK OBAMA HATES BLACK PEOPLE

R1 sent me a story that tears me in all directions: Freeze on HIV spending sparks concern in Africa

On the one hand, when we're borrowing so much money from China and we don't have any money of our own, we need to cut spending.  And cutting philanthropy to other nations ought to be, in my opinion, one of the first things to go.

On the other hand, I think Pres Obama needs to take some guff for this.  You know, because George Bush hates black people...even though George Bush did more for Africa than anyone else ever has.  And apparently more than the first black president plans to do.

So part of me thinks this program needs to be cut (though I am unclear if they're really cutting it or just diverting the funds in another direction) and the other part of me wants someone to slap Kanye West in the face with this article and force him to eat fishsticks.

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January 28, 2010

CHIN DOWN

I didn't watch the entire State of the Union speech last night; I only caught the last 20 minutes.  But what struck me the most in the instant I turned the TV on was something Mark Steyn mentions:

One problem, as Jay pointed out, is that upturned chin. Just as a matter of angles, it looks wrong on TV. So it would be a problem for Hillary or McCain or Ron Paul or whoever would have won. But it's worse for Obama because it plays into the aloof-and-arrogant meme. I don't know why he does it. Are the prompters notched up a hole too high? What's the deal? Why doesn't one of his supersmart advisers get out the wrench and lower them?

He looks like a pompous ass when he speaks.  That makes it hard not to hear everything he says through the pompous ass filter.

And I loved this Kevin Hassett idea:

Watching him list one costly agenda item after another, I couldn’t help feeling that we need a constitutional amendment that requires politicians to start promises with the words “I want to take your money and.” It might be that such a rule would constrain them, since I can’t imagine anyone having the courage to say, “I want to take your money and use it to pay off the college loan for that rich kid down the block,” and “I want to take your money and use it to help your plumber buy a new wrench.”

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January 27, 2010

BEYOND SILLY

I knew all the teleprompter jokes already and had just taken them as lighthearted ribbing, but this is getting ridiculous.  A teleprompter for the elementary school?  And now this...for a briefing with like 15 people?  Wow.  It's beyond silly now.  It's frightening how this man cannot speak without TOTUS.

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January 26, 2010

OBAMA'S HALLIBURTON

How's that CHANGE working out for you?
Democrats Can Dole Out No-Bid Contracts, Too

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January 21, 2010

BUT BUSH DID IT

Raise your hand if you're sick and tired of the Democrats using the but-we-have-to-undo-eight-years-of-Bush excuse for everything...  If we were playing a drinking game, we'd all be hammered.

I was too young to pay attention, but did Reagan do this?  Did Reagan gripe and moan about how he had to fix everything Carter had screwed up?  I mean, he campaigned right in the middle of a hostage situation, for heaven's sake.  Was his excuse for everything "but Carter did it"?  I don't see how Obama thinks we're buying his line that Bush doubled the deficit, so it's OK for him to quadruple it.

And then there's this, via Oda Mae:

And, it turns out that the president received a high-level briefing just three days before said crotch bomber attack about possible holiday period terrorist attacks against the U.S. I suppose we could say, “Give the guy a break. He’s only been in office a year.” Yet GWB hadn’t been in office a year, and he was relentlessly berated for not stopping 9/11 before it happened, with critics citing the fact that he received a briefing while on vacation a month before, warning that Osama bin Laden and company were planning on hijacking a U.S. airliner.

Bush was handed a mess in the Middle East by Bill Clinton, yet he didn't go on TV constantly after 9/11 and talk about how it was all Clinton's fault.  When we lost bin Laden, Bush didn't constantly remind the American public that Clinton had once had the chance to get him, so really it was all Clinton's fault.

Ugh, give it a rest already.  You've been president for a year; it's your show now.  Start acting like a grown-up.

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January 10, 2010

MALAPROPISMS

A good comment over at American Thinker:

I heard Obama use this phrase the other day: "intimately passionate".

Seems strange, as the accepted way to convey that meaning would be to say "deeply passionate", and the adjective deeply would be the proper one required by any copy editor.
And remember when Obama said "...calibrate my words". All the William Safire (RIP) types fell out of their chairs.

So, is Obama the master of malapropisms, the Norm Crosby of national politics?

I remember being completely befuddled by "calibrate my words."  Didn't Bush get an enormous amount of grief for every vocabulary misuse?  And even the invention of the word Bushisms?  Obama's just as bad.

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December 30, 2009

TRANSPARENCY

From the administration that pledged total transparency:

The Obama administration’s handling of the Christmas Day terror plot has been “schizophrenic” says [Rep. Peter King]. “It’s reflective of their handling of other incidents. They still haven’t given us any information on Fort Hood. Even with the gate crashers, they’ve refused to give us on information on communications between the White House social secretary and the Secret Service. They’re giving us nothing and Democrats in Congress are very reluctant to have any meaningful investigations.” Politics, not national security, is driving these decisions, says King. “They’re holding back because they don’t want to share embarrassing material.”

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November 05, 2009

DID HE WANT TO WIN OR LEAD?

I've heard and read many discussions on whether Pres Obama has got us in this handbasket on purpose or on accident.  But I think this is an interesting twist to the question:

Jim Vicevich at the link thinks that Obama has a core set of principles that run to the hard Left, but has kept them hidden thus far.  Why?  Jim argues that Obama couldn’t get elected on those principles, and so he has kept them hidden while pushing them through his legislative agenda.

Actually, I think Todd is closer to it.  Obama wanted to be President, not to lead, but just to win.  Now that he has won, he has no core set of governing principles other than what impacts Barack Obama.  He has offered no leadership on any part of his agenda all year long, content to have Nancy Pelosi run it for him.  His foreign policy thus far consists entirely of making himself personally popular with the world.  On Afghanistan, Obama has thus far allowed Robert Gates and David Petraeus to make his decisions, only balking at the moment because the McChrystal strategy puts him at odds with his base, which could erode his popularity.

Does Barack Obama have deeply-held principles that he wanted to apply to the country, or did he just want to be president?

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November 02, 2009

RESTORING ZELAYA

I think if I had to choose the most appalling thing Pres Obama has done since taking office, his insistence on the restoration of Manuel Zelaya would have to be it. It sickens me.

The essential elements of the agreement had largely been worked out months ago by other Latin American leaders. If Congress agrees, Mr. Zelaya will serve out the remaining three months of his term, and the presidential election scheduled for Nov. 29 will be recognized by all sides.

Mr. Zelaya and Mr. Micheletti, both members of the Liberal Party, are not candidates.

Some significant obstacles remain, not least of which is the approval of the nation’s Congress, which voted overwhelmingly to strip Mr. Zelaya of power four months ago and now has to decide whether to reinstate him.

“That is going to be the issue that is most provocative internally,” said Assistant Secretary of State Thomas A. Shannon Jr., who led the American delegation, “and probably where we in the international community are going to have to pay the closest attention.”

I hope the Honduran Congress sticks to their guns.

Can you imagine if in 2000, European countries had gotten together and decided that, despite the constitutionality of Bush's victory, Al Gore should've been the rightful president? And cut off aid and visas to Americans? (OK, aid doesn't really work as well, but for argument's sake.)  I mean really, can you imagine if the rest of the world told us that, our Constitution be damned, we had to do what they all said?

I love this sentence, about the immediate aftermath of Zelaya's booting:

Latin American countries, concerned about the precedent the coup had set in a region where democracy remained fragile, criticized the United States for sending mixed signals to Honduras.

Yes, I'm sure they did. Places like Venezuela would definitely be concerned about the precedent of following the rule of law.

Really, I think this is the most disgusting thing the Obama administration has done.

From the comments:

I wonder: If the people of Zimbabwe managed to throw out Mugabe, would the US also demand he be put back in power simply because it was a "coup"?

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October 25, 2009

THE BADNESS OF OBAMA JUST KEEPS GETTING WORSE

Powerline got an email from Kristofer Harrison, who helped with the Bush administration's Afghanistan review.  He says Cheney was right and that they did loads of work that they passed on, no strings attached, to Obama.

The Chicago mob's behavior is unbelievably unseemly. Here they were given an immense amount of material, a complete strategic review and plan with the author's heading left blank. President Bush felt it was his duty to do so. And all Obama can do is smear president Bush, even after he filled his own name into the author's column.

Read the whole thing.

P.S.  Yes, what airforcewife said.  See comments.

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HIS OWN WORST ENEMY

Victor Davis Hanson nails it in a short post on The Corner:
Whom is Barack Obama Afraid of?—Another Barack Obama

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October 24, 2009

"HOW COULD THIS BE THE SAME BUMBLING KLUTZ?"

Bush vindicated during visit to city

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October 11, 2009

HE WON WHAT?

While at my grandmother's, I had dial-up for a few days.  And then, we exhausted her monthly usage.  Take a moment and turn your mental clock back waaay to when you paid per minute and only got a certain number of hours per month.  On dial-up.  Oy.  We knocked it out in no time flat.  So come Wednesday morning, I had no more internet for the week.

Friday my husband called and said that he didn't have access either, though for a sadder reason than I.  He then said that he thought a buddy was pulling his leg by saying that Pres Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

I was at the lunch table with several relatives.  I could've asked them if they'd heard about this news, but honestly, I thought it was too absurd to repeat out loud.  I would've felt more serious asking, "Hey, have you guys heard that some people see Elvis at 7-11?"  I mean, I just thought it was too stupid to repeat.

Really.

I hung up the phone and everyone at the table wondered what my husband had asked me about.  So I had to say it.

And then found out it was true.

Let me repeat for emphasis: I thought the mere fact of asking my relatives if Pres Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize was too embarrassing.

Imagine my embarrassment when I found out he did.

Man, I missed a good day to be on the internet.  I hear people had mad jokes.

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October 02, 2009

"SPOIL THE IMAGE OF SUCCESS"

Krauthammer:

On September 24, Obama ostentatiously presided over the Security Council. With 14 heads of state (or government) at the table, with an American president in the chair for the first time ever, with every news camera in the world trained on the meeting, it would garner unprecedented worldwide attention.

Unknown to the world, Obama had in his pocket explosive revelations about an illegal uranium-enrichment facility that the Iranians had been hiding near Qom. The French and the British were urging him to use this most dramatic of settings to stun the world with the revelation and to call for immediate action.

Obama refused. Not only did he say nothing about it, but, reports Le Monde, Sarkozy was forced to scrap the Qom section of his speech. Obama held the news until a day later — in Pittsburgh. I’ve got nothing against Pittsburgh (site of the G-20 summit), but a stacked-with-world-leaders Security Council chamber, it is not.

Why forgo the opportunity? Because Obama wanted the Security Council meeting to be about his own dream of a nuclear-free world. The president, reports the New York Times, citing “White House officials,” did not want to “dilute” his disarmament resolution “by diverting to Iran.”

Diversion? It’s the most serious security issue in the world. A diversion from what? From a worthless U.N. disarmament resolution?

Yes. And from Obama’s star turn as planetary visionary: “The administration told the French,” reports the Wall Street Journal, “that it didn’t want to ‘spoil the image of success’ for Mr. Obama’s debut at the U.N.”

"Spoil the image of success."  Not real success, but the image.

Our president is a narcissist. 

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September 18, 2009

OBAMA THE UNILATERALIST

Barack Obama, 2008:

I want to use all elements of American power to keep us safe, and prosperous, and free. Instead of alienating ourselves from the world, I want America - once again - to lead. As President, I will pursue a tough, smart and principled national security strategy - one that recognizes that we have interests not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi, in Tokyo and London, in Beijing and Berlin.

What about Prague and Warsaw?

The Poles and Czechs are scared.  And mad.

An editorial in Hospodarske Novine, a respected pro-business Czech newspaper, said: "an ally we rely on has betrayed us, and exchanged us for its own, better relations with Russia, of which we are rightly afraid."

So we elected Obama to end the era of unilateralism, to mend fences with alienated allies and make the world love and respect us again.

Except for the Eastern bloc, who backed George Bush.  They can get bent.

[Polish Prime Minister] Tusk did not sound pleased with Obama's announcement, telling Polish radio on Thursday, "It was an autonomous decision taken by President Barack Obama" that did not involve the Polish government.

That sounds pretty unilateral to me.

I remain flabbergasted that my president keeps siding with people like Zelaya and Putin.  Unbelievable.

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September 15, 2009

IT'S ALL ABOUT HIM

At PowerLine: "Obama seems increasingly unable to resist the kind of specious arguments a fairly bright first year law student might make in a crunch."  Oy.

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August 15, 2009

WHAT A DIFFERENT WORLD WE LIVE IN...

A section at the end of the book Showdown:

The president should remind Americans that for over a century, the country somehow managed to survice without government regulatory oversight. It wasn't until 1887 that the first independent regulatory commission -- the Interstate Commerce Commission -- was established.

Congress authorized monies to extend the Cumberland Road, a roadway that ran from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, West Virginia. James Monroe, our nation's fifth president, used the only veto of his presidency to defeat the congressional bill, arguing that the road's extension should not be done by the federal government but by the states it passed through—present-day Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
[...]
Franklin Pierce, our fourteenth president, in 1854 vetoed a bill to help the mentally ill saying, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity," adding that to approve such spending "would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."

President Grover Cleveland, our twenty-second and twenty-fourth president, in 1887, said when vetoing an appropriation to help drought-stricken counties in Texas, "I feel obligated to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriate of public funds...I find no warrant for such appropriation in the Constitution."

We've come a long way, baby...

And what high hopes Larry Elder had for President Bush.  Would that he had been the man Elder hoped he was.

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