Presidency

Obama: Stupendous Man! and Lawgiver

My all time favorite comic strip is Calvin and Hobbes. It is about a young boy and his pet stuffed tiger, and the adventures they have jumping between real life and a world ruled by his imagination. He escapes the mundane tasks of life by escaping into his alternate reality, where he can be anything he wants to be, from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, to the Intrepid Spaceman Spiff, from Stupendous Man!, to the Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life. Calvin always wins in the end because, it being his imagination, he controls the outcome. In a comic strip, this is great fun. In real life…not so much.

President Obama seems to have determined that he is the new Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life. At least, this is a plausible conclusion based on his actions since taking office. Our first real glimpse at his unbridled narcissism came at a rally in June 2008. Having won the Democrat Party nomination for president, Obama proclaimed to the adoring throngs that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.” Goodness, now all he has to do is cure cancer and raise the dead and he can call it a day!

The problem with Obama’s view of himself as a messianic leader is that he seems to feel not only that he is above the law, but that he is the Supreme Lawgiver. He sees himself as the voice in the burning bush, giving utterance to his subjects which has force of law by virtue of his having spoken it, and we are all commanded to obey.

What the Shirley Sherrod Episode Tells Us About Obama’s Administration

When he ran for president, Barack Obama did promise change. It looks like he has brought it to us.

There is one integral component to the Obama presidency that differs greatly from Bush. It was evidenced by the controversy surrounding Shirley Sherrod, who fell victim to the lies of smear artist Andrew Breitbart. Sherrod lost her job as the Georgia State Director of Rural Development with the Department of Agriculture after Breitbart’s false claims of Sherrod refusing to help a white farmer while working as a private advocate surfaced.

While condemning Breitbart, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center also condemned “the White House, which, apparently frightened of appearing in any way linked to black racism, stood by the essentially forced resignation even when it became clear that Sherrod’s speech was nothing like what Breitbart suggested.”

The administration’s knee-jerk firing of Sherrod is the other extreme of the stubbornness of the previous administration, which hung on to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for two years after the revelation of abuse at Abu Gharib and major public dissatisfaction with him.

This says something about the current administration, though it is not immediately apparent what it is. Whereas Obama explored race heavily in his memoirs, he has been running from the issue as much as possible since running for president. His unease with a political issue that is so integral to American life is disappointing, because Americans look to their presidents for leadership and if the president is afraid to talk about it, how will any progress ever happen?

Our Own Three Ring Circus

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Considering the most recent videos I’ve put up (here and here), I admit that I must be in a nostalgic mood.  But as they say, “oldies are goodies”, and this video does a great job of explaining the role of the three branches of government.  I think the correlating of our federal government with a three ring circus couldn’t be more perfect- DC certainly has its share of clowns and performing animals.

CNN Interview at CPAC: Dr. Paul for President 2012?

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Dr. Paul takes questions from viewers and answers with his usual candor, including criticism over Obama’s policy of removing troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, claiming it’s not really different from the Bush administration plan.  When asked if he plans on running for President again in 2012, Dr. Paul does not rule out the possibility.

Opposing ‘Stimulus’ — Hundreds of Economists Sign on to Cato Institute Ad

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This is a great video follow up to the full-page ad CATO published listing hundreds of economists who don’t believe that a “stimulus package” is the best option for American taxpayers.

The Issue of Race and the Presidency

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Race played a unique role in the recent presidential election and will continue to do so in the upcoming Obama administration.  David Remnick of the New Yorker magazine and Mark Whitaker of NBC News discuss race and the presidency on MSNBC.

 

 

 

Mitt Romney vindicates Gary Johnson’s choice of Bill Weld as running mate

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When presidential nominee Gary Johnson begged Libertarian delegates to choose his preferred running mate as the party’s vice president, his argument hinged on fundraising and media attention. Mitt Romney added a third plank to that argument on Friday - endorsements.

In an interview with CNN, the 2012 Republican nominee said that as an opponent of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, he’s now open to supporting Gary Johnson for president in November, and Bill Weld is the reason.

“If Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy for me to vote for Bill Weld for president,” Romney said. “So I’ll get to know Gary Johnson better and see if he’s someone who I could end up voting for.”

 

Republicans are right, Obama should be held accountable for his power grabs, but the problem didn’t begin when he took office

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) indicated this week that he’s preparing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama over his many abuses of executive power, which, he said in a memo to House Republicans, gives the executive branch “king-like authority at the expense of the American people and their elected legislators.”

Republicans, of course, have a legitimate complaint against President Obama, one that brings up very real concerns about separation of powers. This White House has run roughshod over the Constitution by ignoring laws passed by a duly elected Congress or enacting new laws through executive and regulatory fiat. But there’s also a hint of hypocrisy from the GOP.

Fox News host Neil Cavuto brought up the hypocrisy in a contentious interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Wednesday afternoon.

“Where was your rage when Democrats were going after President [George W.] Bush on the same use of executive orders?” Cavuto asked. “Because I think you knew then that was a waste of time then, and I think you know in your heart of hearts this is a waste of time now,” telling Bachmann that there are “more important things that you guys have to be addressing than filing lawsuits past each other.”

“Listen, I’m not the one — I’m not the one talking about that,” Bachmann replied. “What I’m saying is that what we have — what’s very important is this, the President trying to establish lawlessness in the United States. That’s a big issue.”

Barack Obama confirms that our long national nightmare will end in 939 days

OK, so, it was a given that he wasn’t going to be on the ballot in 2016, but President Barack Obama told a crowed yesterday in Minnesota that he wouldn’t seek a third term even if the Constitution didn’t prohibit it:

President Obama was asked Thursday if he would ever consider running for a third presidential term during a town-hall meeting Thursday in Minnesota.

But the president said even if the 22nd Amendment — which limits presidents to two terms — didn’t exist, he’d still be out of the running.

“Not only the Constitution bars it, but Michelle bars it — and you can’t change Michelle’s mind,” Obama quipped.

No one can be elected to more than two terms as a president, according to the 22nd Amendment. It also limits the number of years someone can serve in the office at 10, this assuming that someone (e.g. a vice president) enters the office to serve the remainder of a term. The amendment was ratified on February 27, 1951.

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish presidential term limits, but it has no chance of even getting a hearing, let alone passage. The proposed amendment led to criticism from some conservatives who said that President Obama wanted to seek a third term. Serrano, however, has introduced the measure in each Congress since 1997.

Today in Liberty: CNN stoops to a new low, our insurance salesman-in-chief

“The proverb warns that ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you.’ But maybe you should if it prevents you from feeding yourself.” — Thomas Szasz

— CNN apparently now run by Alex Jones: CNN has been following the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 almost nonstop for several days now, seeing it as ratings gold. But the cable network’s coverage, which had already jumped the shark, fell to a new low last night when host Don Lemon asked panelists “is it preposterous” to think a black hole caused the plane to crash? CNN is still relevant, they said. Give it a chance, they said. It’s like they’re not even trying anymore.

— Insurance Salesman-in-Chief: The presidency used to be considered a prestigious office with heavy influence and gravitas. But the influence of the office has been reduced to appearances on radio and television talk shows as President Obama tries to sell his healthcare law to a skeptical public, the latest of which will be a live interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The appearances are targeted to reach a certain audience and it’s probably a smart strategy to get a message to the crowd they’re trying to reach. At the same time, however, it’s just sad to see a president reduced to being a cheap insurance salesman. Well, that and a college basketball expert.


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