Saturday, August 17, 2013

Is This the Government You Want?

* Obama. Before the Egyptian military deposed Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, many Egyptians had been protesting his rule, and his desire to move the country toward Sharia law. After he was deposed, pro-Morsi supporters took to the streets, with the military having to use force in order to maintain order. Our President has condemned the violence. Must the left condemn all violence all the time? The answer is yes; because, as noted previously in this blog, the left is unable to make distinctions. Violence by the good guys against the bad guys is always the same as violence by the bad guys against the good guys, in the eyes of the left. This inability to make distinctions led Obama to say this: "America will work with all those in Egypt...all parties need to have a voice in Egypt's future." And this: "We don't take sides with any particular party or political figure."

* Why not Mr. President? You failed to support the protesters in Iran when such support might have made a difference. Would you like to see radical Islam control the entire Middle East, and then Europe, and then the rest of the world, including the U.S.? Prior Presidents of both parties had no difficulty in understanding that Communism was bad for America and the world; and they took the side of those who fought against the communists. Yet Obama is unable to see that radical Islam is also bad for America and the world; and refuses to take the side of those who fight against the islamofascists. The Muslim Brotherhood spawned Hamas. The Muslim Brotherhood threatened an end to the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood was taking Egypt in the direction of being yet another Islamist state. And the Brotherhood supporters have now destroyed over thirty Christian churches in the last week. So why does Obama refuse to stand against them?

* Once again Obama passed on a teachable moment, one of many missed opportunities. This is what he should have said: "While it is true that the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate (Morsi) won the last election, elections alone do not make for a democracy; nor do they guarantee a free society. Hitler, Hugo Chavez, and Hamas in Gaza were all elected. Elections are a necessary but not sufficient element of any free democracy. For true democracy requires a belief in the primacy of the individual, including such basic rights as freedom of speech and the freedom to practice one's religion." Actually, I take it back. Obama does take sides. When he gave his speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, he invited the then-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to attend; a direct slap in the face to Hosni Mubarak.

* Harry Reid. Reid is perhaps the most smarmy Senate majority leader in our history. After saying the Republicans are doing everything possible to make Obama fail, he added this: "I hope that's based on substance and not the fact that he's African-American." What he really was saying is this: the Republicans are a bunch of racists; how else can one account for their opposition to Obama's policies? Remember, for the left, no honest disagreements are allowed. When you do disagree you are a hater or a bigot or a racist. Of course, I should not be surprised by the depths to which Reid will sink when spewing his vile. After all, he unabashedly stated on the floor of the Senate during the last campaign that he would like to see proof that Romney paid income taxes, because he (Reid) knew that Romney did not. It was, of course, a total lie; but Reid never saw any need to apologize.

* HUD. The Department of Housing and Urban Development apparently needs something to do. Therefore, they will be mapping every single neighborhood in the country in order to assess "the access African American, Latino, Asian and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and other important neighborhood resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class." For those of you who thought that getting a good education and then a good job was the path to the middle class, sorry. Under Obama's handling of the economy the opportunity to get and keep a good paying job has lessened; and under Obamacare the chances of keeping a full time job have decreased as employers attempt to avoid all the penalties created by the law. And let's be realistic - this policy is meant for blacks only. Asians do exceptionally well in education, and socioeconomically. Who are the "other communities?" No mention of poor whites. Obama has shown us his pro-black bias time and again.

* The real question here is what will HUD do with all the data they obtain from their neighborhood mapping. I can assure you it will not be for informational purposes only. Will they require that low-income subsidized housing be built in neighborhoods of million dollar homes? Or, when homes go on the market in the "better" neighborhoods, will they directly subsidize low income (black) families to buy expensive homes? What happens if they decide they can dictate where you may live? Can't move into that neighborhood, it already has its' quota of whites. Far fetched? At one time maybe. But now we have the NSA monitoring Americans' cell phones, we have the IRS monitoring conservative groups, and we have government control of your healthcare and monitoring of your medical records. And remember, for the left "equality" does not mean equal opportunity. It means equal results. The assumption in all this is that a neighborhood alone will dictate your outcome in life. Except there are still some of us who believe that good values and hard work will determine your success.

* Not your property - not your loan. According to the 8/7/13 LA Times, the City of El Monte is looking at eminent domain in a new way. The problem is that a number of homeowners in the city are underwater - with their loans being for more than the current market value of the house. According to the Times, the city is proposing that the holders of over 620 mortgages "sell the loans to the city at a discount. The city would then write down the debt and refinance the loans for amounts in line with current home values." So what's the problem? Doesn't it feel good to help those who are struggling with mortgages exceeding their homes' values? So what if the mortgage holders have to take a loss? Remember, the left never worries about potential consequences of their feel-good policies.

* However, the President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, was not a fan of the idea of forced sale of loans. No surprise there. But does he have logic on his side? In a letter to the editor in the 8/9/13 NY Times, he explained why shifting the risk of mortgages to the lender is a bad idea. Per David Stevens: "This risk would be factored into all future mortgages through higher interest rates and higher down-payment requirements, increasing the cost of a mortgage in that specific city or town." He goes on: "That town would then become less desirable for potential home buyers, and anyone who wants or needs to move wouldn't be able to sell. A result would be lower home values for all, even those who own their homes outright."

* Who follows the law anymore? This blog has previously argued that no branch of government has respect for your economic liberty. After all, it was only in 2005 that the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Kelo vs. City of New London. That Connecticut town used their eminent domain powers to take private property in order to sell it to a private developer. SCOTUS upheld such a taking by redefining "public use" to include "public purpose." "Public use" had always been considered to be a use by the government, such as for a school or library or road. By defining the term more broadly as "public purpose," the Court was rewriting the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The left wants the Constitution to be a "living, breathing" document. And this is what you get - when the Courts can rewrite the Constitution as they see fit, we are left with no Constitution at all.

* Then again, it was only June of last year that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare by rewriting the statute themselves. (See the July 1, 2012 post: "Obamacare Upheld a Flimsy - and Dangerous Theory.") You see, there was a time when it was understood that we had three separate branches of government, with each acting as a check on the others' powers. Our Founders knew very well the dangers of an all powerful central government. It was understood that Congress makes the laws, the President is tasked with faithfully executing the laws, and the Supreme Court interprets the laws. Now, both the Supreme Court and worse, the Chief Executive believe they get to make the laws.

* How else can you explain Obama declaring which sections of the Affordable Care Act he will enforce and which sections he will deny enforcement. Recently, his Administration announced they would "postpone" for one year, until January, 2015, the enforcement of the employer mandate, along with the imposition of any employer penalties. Obama has told us on many occasions that if Congress refuses to act, he will. Here is Obama's explanation for his unilateral action in delaying enforcement of the employer mandate: " a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the Speaker and say, 'You know what, this is a tweak that doesn't go to the essence of the let's make a technical change to the law.' That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do." Since when does the President get to declare we do not have a "normal" political environment such that he need not follow the Constitution? Anyone see the mainstream media complaining of an "imperial presidency?"

* Many Presidents did not have a Congress led by their own party. Many of us remember Reagan, a Republican, having to sit down with Democrat Speaker Tip O'Neill, in order to get legislation passed. But Obama sees no need to speak with Boehner. Then again, Obama felt he could decide when the Senate was no longer in session in order to make "recess" appointments that he thought the Senate might not otherwise approve. Thankfully, the Supreme Court declared those appointments to be unconstitutional. But acting outside of the law has been emblematic of Obama and his Administration; from selective enforcement of Obamacare, to the granting of exemptions from Obamacare to the special interests that supported him, to his selective enforcement of the immigration laws, and the rewriting of the welfare laws regarding work requirements.

* Should the next President be a Republican, I trust that we will hear no complaints from the liberals or the mainstream media if he decides he gets to make the laws he wants by bypassing Congress. Right? Just kidding - the complaints will begin long before any Republican President is even sworn in.