Archive for Democracy

Oliver Hussein Holmes

The eminent law professor (lecturer) in chief opines:

“I taught constitutional law for ten years. I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that were facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.”

I’ve been forced to ask this before: does he kiss his daughters with that mouth? Maybe all this severe weather we’ve been enduring is the Lord hurling a lightning bolt at each lie like so many Pedro Martinez fastballs.

But he’s got his posse:

The leftists on the new House Democratic “Full Employment Caucus” are planning to “draft” executive orders for President Obama to sign, according to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

“[W]e’ll give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign with pride and strength.

In fact, I think that should be our number one agenda. Let’s write up these executive orders — draft them, of course — and ask the president to stand with us on full employment.”

Did anyone have the heart to tell Rep. Lee that her Valentine to Obama is surplus to requirement? That “executive orders” come from the executive? That her branch of government is irrelevant to government, no matter how well-intentioned or supine? That he doesn’t need her to suck his…toes when he can suck them himself, thank you very much?

What would Alex Toqueville say of our democracy?

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Arab Fizzle

I know how unbecoming it is to look upon the abject failure of the so-called Arab Spring, which promised so much to so many, and laugh. But…

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Egyptians who voted in a referendum overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, official sources said, citing early results of a ballot that could set the stage for army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare his candidacy for president.

About 90 percent of voters approved the constitution, the state news agency and a government official said.

It comes as no surprise: the constitution won wide support among Egyptians who backed the army overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July, and there was little or no trace of a no campaign as the state presses a campaign on dissent.

The referendum is a key step in the political transition plan the interim government has billed as a path to democracy, even as it presses a fierce crackdown on the Brotherhood, Egypt’s best organized party until last year.

Oh yeah, democracy. Right, sure.

Sisi’s supporters see him as the kind of strong man needed to restore stability to a country in political and economic crisis for nearly three years. The stock market has rallied to three-year highs this week.

High turnout would be seen as a strong stamp of approval for the new, the army-backed order. A Sisi presidency would turn back the clock to the days when the post was controlled by military men – a pattern broken by Morsi’s one year in office.

“You could see the re-emergence of a domineering president,” said Nathan Brown, a professor of political science at George Washington University and an expert on Egyptian affairs.

At many polling stations across the Arab world’s biggest nation, the referendum at times appeared to be a vote on Sisi himself. Women chanted his name and ululated as they stood in line to vote, while a pro-army song popularized after Morsi’s overthrow blared from cars.

Sounds like the evening line-up on MSNBC and CNN.

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Good For You, Israel!

More of this, please. Much, much more:

British newspaper The Independent has reported that former British International Development Secretary Clare Short could be arrested the next time she lands in Tel Aviv, after the pro-terrorist organization she is a director of was declared an “illicit organisation” by Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on Tuesday.

Yaalon, a former IDF chief of staff, outlawed the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) – a Belgian non-profit organization that lobbies on behalf of the Hamas-led Gaza government – using emergency defense regulations.

Short, who chairs CEPR’s Board of Trustees, said she was unsurprised by the decision. She told The Independent: “As CEPR is Palestinian led, and given Israel’s track record, the Defense Minister’s action is not surprising, but it is yet more evidence that Israel’s claim to be a democracy is eroding very fast.”

In 2009, Yaalon turned down an invitation to visit Britain after he was warned he might face arrest on suspicion of war crimes.

He had been invited by the Jewish National Fund to an event in London to raise money for a group that supports Israeli lone soldiers – who have no family in Israel.

Israeli groups on the far-left and other global leftist organizations cooperate in an ongoing campaign to put Israeli officers and politicians on trial if they visit abroad.

I’ll take Israel’s democracy over Britain’s any day, Clair—and twice on Saturday.

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A Nation Of Laws, Not Men

Holder ignoring Supreme Court, going after Texas

A quick personal note: I still have house guests, back in full on Sunday.

Ok, this is what a nation of Men, Not Laws, looks like:

holder

There is one thing to be said about Attorney General Eric Holder. He has a way with words that makes conservatives furious — especially when he starts talking about race and the law.

There are many examples. Early in the Obama administration, Holder said that we are “a nation of cowards” when it comes to issues of race.
The conservative chattering class erupted.

Now Holder is at it again. He has fired up the right with his comments about the Trayvon Martin case, blaming “mistaken beliefs and stereotypes ” for the shooting of the Florida teenager.

Civil rights organizations have called on Holder and the Justice Department to pursue federal charges against George Zimmerman after he was found not guilty in the Martin shooting.

At the annual conference of the National Urban League in Philadelphia on Thursday, Holder renewed his attack on a recent Supreme Court ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“Despite the court’s decision, I believe we must regard this setback not as a defeat but as a historic opportunity: for Congress to restore, and even to strengthen, modern voting protections,” said Holder.

He then announced the Justice Department will “ask a federal court in Texas to subject the state of Texas … to obtain ‘pre-approval’ from either the department or a federal court before implementing future voting changes,” similar to a provision in the Voting Rights Act.

His remarks are the Justice Department’s first significant response to last month’s court ruling and seeks to address Texas’ controversial redistricting law that Holder filed suit against in 2012.

Holder said the state had a “history of pervasive voting-related discrimination against racial minorities that the Supreme Court itself has recognized.”
The attorney general previously has been accused by the conservative press of “abuse of power” and of “exploiting tragedies” by the National Rifle Association. Former U.S. Rep. Allen West attacked Holder for what he called “race-baiting” and “exploiting the law.”

Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, who mentions Holder several times in his book about racial profiling, “The Presumption of Guilt,” said the attorney general “has no fear or reticence to talk about race wherever he thinks it needs to be discussed and that leads to a host of reactions, usually negative, from people.”

“I think he is being very straightforward, and some people take it as being provocative. He is very honest about his views about race and justice,” Ogletree said.

Ogletree is correct. He is very straightforward. He is a straightforward bigot, and not deeply concerned about the law of the land. We elected this crew and we must live with it, but it is a darn shame.

- Aggie

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Carter: America Has No Functioning Democracy

Amazing. This is the first time I’ve agreed with Jimmy Carter in decades. We are not a democracy in the Age of Obama.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was in the wake of the NSA Spähskandals criticized the American political system. “America has no functioning democracy,” Carter said Tuesday at a meeting of the “Atlantic Bridge” in Atlanta.

The funky English is due to the fact that the statements were published in Der Spiegel (the German news magazine) and run through an internet translator. But he’s obviously correct. And the party that took our democracy apart, brick by brick, is the Democrat Party under the leadership of Barack Obama. I bet a nickel that Carter voted for him twice.

- Aggie

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Morsi Gone?

News reports say he is no longer part of “decision making”

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy “is no longer a part of the decision-making circle,” the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper said Wednesday, citing “a senior official source.”
“The president is no longer able to make any political decisions now and a decision has been taken to prevent leaders loyal to the current regime from traveling overseas until the General Command of the Armed Forces are finished formulating their expected statement,” it added.
The announcement came less than two hours after the nation’s first democratically elected president offered to form an interim coalition government and as one of his aides and a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman said it appeared that a military coup was under way.

I have to say this about the Muslim world: They’re so dramatic! Arab Spring! The Gates of Hell Will Open! We Will Push You Into The Sea!

Do these guys ever just pop a brewski and sit in front of the TV, or hang out with friends at a picnic? They’re like teenagers, constantly in crisis.

BTL asked who we were rooting for? Me? I couldn’t care less. I am horrified that the Obama administration and the State Department run by Hillary Clinton (who will probably be our next President) is so naive and inept and dangerous. The Muslim parts of Middle East are immeasurably more dangerous than in the Bush era or perhaps any other time in modern history. We have buffoons running the show here. A lot of protesters and one American college kid have died so far, but we can assume that many more will perish as Egyptian society continues to fall apart. We could see hunger there. It is their fault that they are so disorganized but it is the fault of this administration that they didn’t realize it.

- Aggie

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Democrats Rule Massachusetts

Gomez lost last night

Gabriel Gomez billed himself as a modern Republican – more moderate and culturally-savvy, the kind who could win in heavily-Democratic Massachusetts. Tuesday’s defeat showed that most Bay State voters didn’t believe the message.
Blue state voters rarely do. Democratic-leaning states have been close to off limits to most GOP Congressional candidates. In New England, there isn’t a single Republican representative in the House and only two GOP senators remain: Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Susan Collins in Maine. The West Coast is dominated by Democrats, and a winnable open Senate seat in New Jersey this year has been all but conceded to the Democrats.
That’s handicapped Republicans as they pave their path back to the presidency and, in the short term, hope to win back a Senate majority. The challenges have GOP leaders wondering whether, with a plethora of opportunities during next year’s midterm elections, they can crack the blue state code in time.
“It’s imperative for any candidate in any blue state, especially for federal office, to cut your own image or better explain why the party stands for certain things,” said Mike DuHaime, a GOP consultant based in New Jersey who advises Gov. Chris Christie. “I don’t think we’ve done a great job of that lately. It’s very difficult in blue states to overcome the caricature of the Republican Party right now.”

You know the caricature: Fiscal conservatism, equality under the law, respect for the constitution. Who would want that?

Oh, well. To quote Hillary Clinton, “What difference does it make!”

- Aggie

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Gotcha!

Ha! As if Argentina ever cared about democracy:

Residents of the Falkland Islands voted overwhelmingly to remain a British Overseas Territory, an official said late Monday.

The question put to voters was: “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?”

More than 99% of voters said yes, according to Darren Christie, public relations manager for the Falklands Islands government. Just three people voted no. Turnout was 92%.

“Speaks for itself, I think,” Christie said about the vote.

Sounds like one of Saddam’s elections. But I trust this one.

I know what I wrote above was unfair to Argentina, and I apologize.

Let them say it themselves:

But the Argentinian Embassy in London said Friday that the referendum had no legitimacy, characterizing it as “a further attempt by the British to manipulate the question of the Malvinas Islands.”

Because the area around the Falklands is the subject of a sovereignty dispute, it argues, “the United Kingdom has no right to alter the legal status of these territories, not even under the guise of a hypothetical ‘referendum.’”

I don’t know about the “legal status” of the Falklands, but the practical status is that they’ve been British for 180 years. Be careful what you wish for, Argies.

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“There Will Be Blood”—And There Was!

I mean, how did he know?!

As the Michigan House debated a right-to-work measure today, a member of that august body warned of–or perhaps threatened–violence. “We’re going to pass something that will undo 100 years of labor relations and there will be blood, there will be repercussions,” WWJ-AM quotes Rep. Doug Geiss, a Detroit-area Democrat, as saying. “We will re-live the battle of the overpass.”

The station offers a refresher in labor history: “The battle of the overpass was a bloody fracas in 1937 between union organizers and Ford Motor Co. security guards. [United Auto Workers organizer] Walter Reuther was famously thrown down a flight of stairs and another union organizer was left with a broken back.”

So far this time there are no reports of violence or threats by management (unless you count Geiss, who is after all supposed to represent taxpayers, as part of “management” vis-à-vis government employees). But union leaders have echoed the violent rhetoric. WWJ quotes Terry O’Sullivan of the Labor International Union of North America, as saying at a rally, in reference to elected officials who support the right to work: “We are going to take you on and take you out.”

At least he didn’t say he was “targeting” victory or anything like that. Liberals hate violent language.

What they don’t hate is this:

“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa said on CNN’s “Newsroom.”

The Obama administration came to the defense of democracy:

“The president believes in debate that’s civil,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today. “I haven’t seen those comments and I’m not sure that they mean what some would interpret them to mean. I just haven’t seen them.”

This regime was aware enough of a YouTube video making the Prophet out to be a pedophile to blame an entire failed Mideast policy on it, yet hadn’t heard—and then excused—a call for spilled blood?

Yup.

“President Barack Obama launched an assault Monday on Michigan’s proposed ‘right to work’ legislation.” [...] “These so-called ‘right to work’ laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics.”

Obama went on to laud Big Labor: “You only have to look to Michigan–where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry–to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger America.”

You mean Amerika, Mr. President:

MLive.com, a Michigan news site, reports that union thugs “tore down a large tent maintained by American’s [sic] For Prosperity Michigan, which reserved the space to support the right-to-work legislation”:

“We had been contacted by that group that they had three or four people that were actually trapped underneath the tent,” said Lt. Mike Shaw. “Two of them were in wheelchairs and there was also a propane tank in there. So we had to send troopers out, and naturally, the crowd was not too receptive.”

Well, if the El Presidente is against it (confession: I almost wrote “Der Führer”), and the rank-and-file are against it, it couldn’t have passed, right?

Right?

And the House just voted 58-52 for the bill affecting private workers.

So when Gov. Snyder signs the bills, as he’s promised he will do, workers in the public and private sectors will no longer have to pay to join a union unless they want to.

It will be the 24th “right-to-work” state.

So, the two elected bodies of the Michigan legislature passed the bill; the elected Governor of the state will sign the bill; Michigan will join almost half the rest of the country in such legislation… and Obama denounces it?

Isn’t this the same process that reelected him—by a lesser percentage, I might note?

Maybe this is why Aggie and I are so dispirited. In the rest of the country, people who share our politics still have a voice in their state and local elected bodies. Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, those bodies are cold and stiff.

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What Liberal Media?

Don’t believe me—ask Pat Cadell:

Pat Caddell is the founder of Cambridge Survey Research, a public opinion pollster, and an expert in analyzing public opinion. Many will recognize him from his frequent appearances on Fox News, and some of us—the older ones in here—will remember him from all the way back to the McGovern campaign. He also worked on the Carter campaign, for Gary Hart, for Joe Biden, and Jerry Brown.

Okay? Credentials accepted? Then watch:

I think we’re at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy or not. You know, when I first started in politics – and for a long time before that – everyone on both sides, Democrats and Republicans, despised the press commonly, because they were SOBs to everybody. Which is exactly what they should be. They were unrelenting. Whatever the biases were, they were essentially equal-opportunity people. That changed in 1980. There’s a lot of reasons for it. It changed—an important point in the Dukakis-Bush election, when the press literally was trying to get Dukakis elected by ignoring what was happening in Massachusetts, with a candidate who was running on the platform of “He will do for America what he did for Massachusetts”—while they were on the verge of bankruptcy.

There’s another 25 minutes of this.

Oh, and he gave this speech eight days ago. That silence you hear is the clamor of the press trying to cover this story.

I’ve echoed this belief for some time. The most serious problem facing us is not the cockamamie ideas of the Left, but their championing by the mainstream media. Some of us have the time and interest to read a little wider, but for many the liberal press is the lens through which they view the world. The number or people I know who think they are well informed by reading the New York Times and listening to NPR could fill the Grand Canyon (not a bad idea). Instead, they see a funhouse mirror view of the world in which Obama’s jug-ears are taken for normal. A toothless, flea-bitten, leprous serf in medieval Europe knew more about what was going on than anyone who watches George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning.

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Put Another Hebrew National on the Grill

I’ve stated and restated my thoughts on America’s Declaration of Independence over the years. You can find them if you care to look (which even I can’t be bothered to do).

Let’s hear from someone else (hat tip Yerushalimey):

Does my man-crush show?

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Obama, The Unilateralist

The NY Times notices that Obama is side-stepping Congress.

And they applaud it:

One Saturday last fall, President Obama interrupted a White House strategy meeting to raise an issue not on the agenda. He declared, aides recalled, that the administration needed to more aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism.

“We had been attempting to highlight the inability of Congress to do anything,” recalled William M. Daley, who was the White House chief of staff at the time. “The president expressed frustration, saying we have got to scour everything and push the envelope in finding things we can do on our own.”

For Mr. Obama, that meeting was a turning point. As a senator and presidential candidate, he had criticized George W. Bush for flouting the role of Congress. And during his first two years in the White House, when Democrats controlled Congress, Mr. Obama largely worked through the legislative process to achieve his domestic policy goals.

But increasingly in recent months, the administration has been seeking ways to act without Congress. Branding its unilateral efforts “We Can’t Wait,” a slogan that aides said Mr. Obama coined at that strategy meeting, the White House has rolled out dozens of new policies — on creating jobs for veterans, preventing drug shortages, raising fuel economy standards, curbing domestic violence and more.

If the Republicans win in November, they can do whatever they want. No need to follow any sort of pre-arranged, Constitutionally-based, protocol.

This highlights the cynicism of the Democrats:

The sharpest legal criticism, however, came in January after Mr. Obama bypassed the Senate confirmation process to install four officials using his recess appointment powers, even though House Republicans had been forcing the Senate to hold “pro forma” sessions through its winter break to block such appointments.

Mr. Obama declared the sessions a sham, saying the Senate was really in the midst of a lengthy recess. His appointments are facing a legal challenge, and some liberals and many conservatives have warned that he set a dangerous precedent.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate Democratic leader, who essentially invented the pro forma session tactic late in Mr. Bush’s presidency, has not objected, however. Senate aides said Mr. Reid had told the White House that he would not oppose such appointments based on a memorandum from his counsel, Serena Hoy. She concluded that the longer the tactic went unchallenged, the harder it would be for any president to make recess appointments — a significant shift in the historic balance of power between the branches.

All of this fits perfectly with the John Yoo video a few posts down, and backs up what BTL and I have been saying since early in the 2008 Presidential campaign cycle. I have concluded that the US deserves what we have elected and am at peace with it, but I wonder sometimes about the bitterness that people will experience as they understand that we really don’t have the rule of law any longer.

- Aggie

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