Matthew DesOrmeaux

Recent Posts From Matthew DesOrmeaux

Secretary Kerry’s Senate testimony basically undermined the entire Syria narrative

John Kerry testifies on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to justify the Obama administration’s proposed strike on Syria. Hagel was typically unclear and confused, Dempsey provided a few strategic details, but to nearly everyone watching, Kerry contradicted himself, tripped over his own feet, and significantly undermined most of the arguments for a strike.

One of the primary motivations Kerry gave was that a strike on Syria’s chemical weapons would help keep them out the hands of terrorists. Then when asked whether Hezbollah already had chemical weapons, he said he would answer in a classified briefing scheduled the next day. As with an invocation of the Fifth Amendment, this doesn’t necessarily confirm that Hezbollah already has chemical weapons, but if they don’t it begs the question why he couldn’t have just said so. He mentioned several other sensitive details about the situation on the ground in Syria, including composition of the rebellion and our tactical assistance to them, so I don’t see how the fact that terrorists don’t have chemical weapons would be classified. That is…unless they do. And if they do, then the primary situation the strike is supposed to prevent is already the status quo.

No, the War Powers Act does not authorize unilateral executive preemptive military action

After the recent chemical attack by the Syrian government on its rebelling citizens, the war drums in Washington DC are rumbling. Ships are positioned, missiles are pointed, sabres are rattled, allies are consulted, the UN is in motion (sluggish, corrupt, meaningless motion). But can the President alone make the decision to attack another nation’s government or military forces? According to the Constitution and the War Powers Act of 1973, the answer is absolutely NO.

After decades of war in Korea and Vietnam without congressional authorization, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution (commonly known now as the War Powers Act) specifically to make explicit limits on the President’s authority to engage in military action. It states that the President can engage in hostilities under only three conditions: a Congressional declaration, other Congressional authorization, or in retaliation for an attack on America.

Section 1541(c)

Scott Rasmussen leaves Rasmussen Reports

Scott Rasmussen

Rasmussen Reports, the Republican-leaning polling powerhouse, just announced that Scott Rasmussen, the company’s founder and CEO, left last month over disagreements on “company business strategies.” The polling company’s methodology looks to remain in tact through the transition, though.

The Company emphasized that Mr. Rasmussen’s legacy remains intact.  His polling methodologies and protocols, widely acknowledged as among the most accurate and reliable in the industry, continue to guide and inform the company’s public opinion survey techniques.  In addition, the editorial culture of excellence that he built is still very much in place.

This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Though it had some success up through 2010, Rasmussen’s findings in 2012 election cycle were some of the worst in the country.

Along with Gallup, Rasmussen’s polls were the only thing keeping Republican hopes for the White House alive for much of the campaign. State level results are more mixed, of course, but with this big a shakeup, there’s always hope that a more promising direction will emerge.

Obama lied, your privacy died

In his post-NSA revelations press conference recently, President Obama spoke often of “abuse.” Unfortunately,it was always a hypothetical (emphasis added):

“make sure they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the American people”

“I understand the concerns of those who would worry that it could be subject to abuse.”

“how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used”

“And we’ve tried to set up a system that is as failsafe as so far at least we’ve been able to think of to make sure that these programs are not abused.”

And even one time he was explicit that there wasn’t abuse.

“What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now, part of the reason they’re not abused is because these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC.”

Health insurance is a right? Nice try.

In President Obama’s weekly address delivered on Saturday, he regurgitated the many tired talking points about how smoothly the implementation of Obamacare is going, despite all evidence to the contrary. But the kicker came at the end when he made the claim, free of any previous argument or support, that “health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.”

What?

Liberals have long argued that health care is a right, but as they continue to nudge language and policy in the progressive long war, this may be the first time they’ve claimed that health insurance itself as a right. But how can it be? Health insurance is a commercial product.

In a free market we certainly have the right to acquire commercial products, but do we have a right to them on a fundamental level? Did we have the right to health insurance before it was created in the mid-20th Century? What if once we eventually are subject to a single-payer universal healthcare program, health insurance no longer exists? Will we still have the right to it?

Matthew DesOrmeaux

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married, father of two, atheist, libertarian, introvert.

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