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Obama and ISIS: a failure to grasp the obvious

A student mentality in a presidential suit

The day before soldiers of the radial Islamic Wehrmacht attacked innocent Parisian concert goes and diners, American college students, self-identified as the “Million Student March”, demonstrated on over 100 college campuses demanding free tuition, an annulment of all student loan debt, and a $15 per hour minimum wage for college employees (if you detect a non-sequitur, it’s because logic courses are no longer required at the collegiate level).  

No suggestions, however, on who’s picking up the tab.  Guess that’s next week’s assignment.

Immediately prior to this mobilization, you may recall, protesters at the University of Missouri, Yale, Ithaca College, and other assorted venues took to their meticulously manicured campuses to assert “their right to not be offended”.
Seems that an inebriated student voiced certain racial slurs at Mizzou and a Yale professor endorsed the idea that edgy, maybe even politically incorrect, Halloween costumes were “fun” and tolerable given the holiday.
For those demonstrating, this was simply too much to bear. 
Not since the carefree, willy-nilly days of the mid-70s streaker phenomenon have college youths exhibited such conviction to freedom of expression, self or corporate. Letting one’s feelings all hang out is an interesting twist to the previous generation’s physical manifestation of release.

Fighting for the right not to be offended, however, is not to be taken lightly.  

Many of today’s students were raised by parents who could not countenance failure in their lives and were educated in schools where standing up for yourself in the face of schoolyard insults and bullying brought suspensions and/or counseling.

Defending yourself was once expected.  Not today: doing so means redlining and attending sensitivity classes.  

These kids were taught to place blame for being picked on (race, religion, ethnicity, you-name-it) and take on the victimhood mantle. Any resolution required the hand of a third party, parents, school administration, government, victims’ rights group, but never their own.

They have been taught that there is power in victimhood for once so classified, some authority will back you up, like their parents did in grade school.  They are now enabled by the same college and university administrators who have pushed the victimhood paradigm in education for well over a generation

And so they demand their institutions of hiring learning create a “safe space”, a place where all is right and free, where there is no adversity nor diversity, and certainly no acceptance of individual responsibility. 

More succinctly, these college and university students demand protection from the world’s reality.

President Obama is today’s university student on a world stage. 

Beginning with his Apology Tour in 2009, wherein he assigned victimhood status to the Middle East because of America’s strength and exceptionalism, to his recent shameful press conference performance in Antalya, Turkey, Obama chooses, like today’s demonstrating students, to deny present day vicissitudes.
 
In Obama’s safe space, ISIS is equivalent to a “jv team” and is “contained” (he declared the day prior to the attacks in Paris). 

And then there’s “We have the right [ISIS] strategy and we’re going to see it through” (three days after said attack) but it is “shameful” for GOP governors to turn away Syrian refugees (at least one of which has been linked to the Paris bloodletting).

After all, the Parisian massacre is little more than “a setback” in the ISIS strategy. 

And, of course, “Climate change is the biggest threat to our national security.”

Aside from Jimmy Carter’s breathtakingly feeble response to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan by boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics, no American president has ever exhibited such weakness in the eyes of the world.

The protesting students have time to get it right; they have their lives ahead of them.  

For Obama, however, the sun is setting on his presidency.  It has already set on any illusion that he can lead the free world.
Cruz, Rubio and missed opportunities

Building a case one bill at the time

“But whatever you do, please don't throw me into that terr'ble briar patch!" cried Brer Rabbit.

You may recall Brer Rabbit’s attempt to get Brer Fox, in whose clutches he found himself, to do just that: toss him to the briars.  And being dared to do so, Brer Fox did just that thus becoming the agent of his own undoing.

It is a simple lesson in strategy based on opportunity, such as is now unfolding in Washington.

The House recently passed a budget reconciliation bill by a vote of 240 to 189.  The bill repeals key elements of Obamacare including the individual and employer mandates, the newly imposed tax on medical devices, and the “Cadillac tax”, a 40 percent, non-deductible tax on employer-sponsored health coverage.

The reconciliation bill also defunds Planned Parenthood for a year, preserving and diverting those monies to other women’s health programs.

The legislation now moves to the Senate and, as a reconciliation measure addressing only revenue and spending issues not subject to the filibuster, needs only a simple majority vote to pass rather than 60 votes.
  
It is a clever ploy by the GOP leadership to get the Democrats and the president to go on record opposing changes in a law that a clear majority of Americans want changed or repealed. And when the veto comes back to be overridden, the Democrats will find themselves once again on the wrong side of the issues.

But there’s a problem, well, three problems really: Sens. Cruz, Rubio and Lee, three of the 54 Republicans in the Senate, have said they’ll oppose the bill.  

This is political grandstanding and posturing at its worse since the reconciliation bill needs 51 votes to pass. Do the math.

They whine that the bill doesn’t “do enough” and have staked out an all or nothing position.  Such a myopic view is disappointing coming from, as it does, two presidential candidates claiming possession of a bigger vision for America.

The real question is whether or not it does enough to live up to a promise to defund Obamacare (it does) and at the same time define key issues for 2016 (it does).  

That the polling data suggests the three items specified in the reconciliation test through the roof as chief concerns of the American voter and they want something done about them is without contradiction. 

Any piece of legislation can always contain more but with that comes the risk of alienating needed votes for passage.  While the reconciliation could have included a roll back of the Medicaid expansion provisions, doing so might have endangered support from some senators in tight reelection fights in 2016.

It might have included elimination of all the boards Obamacare calls for but that might have forced the Senate parliamentarian to rule that the legislation didn’t qualify as a reconciliation and, therefore, subject to the filibuster (such had previously been suggested in earlier versions of the bill).

True, the measure doesn’t throw in the kitchen sink on Obamacare but, as Hillary might say, “What does it matter now?”

The measure, if passed by the Senate, will be vetoed by a Democratic president.  The Republican legislative leadership should immediately call for a vote to override the veto.  The veto will be sustained by Democratic votes.

And just like Brer Rabbit got his briar thicket, the GOP will get theirs.
Then on to 2016.

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Gary Wisenbaker (gary50155@gmail.com) of Valdosta, Ga., is a PR and political consultant.







Can government created problems be cured by the government?

Repeating the same mistakes is no solution to teen pregnancy 

General George Patton described his battlefield success as “not paying for the same real estate twice.” He believed doing so was a waste of time, money and, most importantly, human life.

Yet the “children having children” narrative segued into such a discussion recently—along with a possible entitlement expansion.  

It involves grandparents and other relatives who have become the “kinship caretakers” of the (possibly) more than 300,000 children of impoverished single mothers in Georgia.  

And that comes with a reverse price tag.  These care providers receive just half the amount paid to foster care (or state appointed) providers. The Georgia legislature is looking at resolving the disparity.

The problem is that the contemplated steps are aimed at treating a symptom rather than an underlying epidemic.
  
Many question whether paying the grandparents, aunts or other relatives, again to care for yet another generation of single parented children is the best public policy.

“The urgency,” state Rep. Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, explains, is the explosive growth in the number of children being reared by their grandparents, and that the answer lies in establishing “different gradations of legal authority” so that parents don’t have to forfeit their parental rights.  

“These children are our children,” Abrams said, adding, “We have to understand that our society has a very different approach to caregiving . . . and the person who is willing to take that responsibility should be supported by the state.”

In other words, it takes a village. And if that’s the case, then maybe their parental rights have already been forfeited.

There was a time when self-sacrifice and personal responsibility were hallmarks of caregiving in America.  One took care of their kin out of a feeling of familial duty.  Three generation households where both the oldest and youngest were cared for were not uncommon. These, however, were stable, two parent households.

The notion is now turned on its head thanks to the rise of the entitlement state.

There have always been teen pregnancies.  But prior to 1960, most teen mothers were married—an estimated 15 percent of births to mothers ages 15-19 were to unmarried teens. But since the War on Poverty began in 1964, it has flipped: now 89 percent of births are to unmarried mothers in that age group.

And it is this failure of the liberal, social engineering welfare state that must be acknowledged rather than creating yet another government entitlement to fix a government created problem.

This is nothing short of than paying for the same real estate twice.
That these innocent lives should not suffer because of the irresponsibility of their biological parents is a legitimate charge for any benevolent society.  In the long term, however, the cause should be targeted, not the symptom.

There is hope.

Recent data suggests that the percentage of never-married teenage females who ever had sex, declined from 51 percent in 1988 to 43 percent in 2006-2010. Abstinence clearly has a role to play.

And consider Colorado.  It instituted a program that offered women long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) free of charge that saw teenage birthrates drop by 40 percent and an abortion rate by 42 percent over a six year period, two highly desirable goals.

Unmarried teen pregnancy, however, does not occur in a vacuum and all the prophylactic measures in the world won’t end it.  It is the result of an activity the repercussions of which cannot be appreciated by most young minds.
Building families that engender responsibility and integrity in the home is the key to building a responsible teenager (both boys and girls) with the maturity to understand that actions have consequences. 

The state of Georgia doesn’t need 300,000 children, Rep. Adams, these children need responsible parents. 
 
And repeating the mistakes of 1964 is not the way to get there.





Regulation Nation in the courts

The will to flex GOP majority muscle...is it there?

While the GOP caucus in the House of Representatives plays leadership musical chairs and the same torch-and-pitchfork-mob that pushed them there turns its attention to the Senate for more of the same, a real fight with real consequences for all Americans is taking place in the courts.

The battle is over the “Waters of the USA” rule, first proposed last summer and which the EPA began implementing in August.  The rule redefines and expands the term “navigable waters”.
 
And the breadth of the EPA’s reconfigured rule is breathtaking. 

As originally intended when passed in 1972, the Clean Water Act authorized the EPA to regulate only those waters that were interstate in nature, not intrastate.

“Congress did not want EPA bullying farmers over small depressions in their land that occasionally hold rainwater [or] bullying people who dig a ditch to help drain their land, ” said Jay Lehr, science director for the Heartland Institute, adding, “ [The] EPA is attempting to stand the CWA on its head as it continues to seek more money and power.”

Imagine that.  A federal bureau seeking more money and power.

The revised rule redefines what bodies of water are subject to federal regulation and would now include “all tributaries, adjacent waters, wetlands and other waters.” 

The depression in your backyard that after a rain sometimes has enough water to flow into a ditch and then into a stream, which empties into a creek, and which runs into a river is subject to regulation under the rule. 
 
Get a permit before you fill it in.  Or else.

The CWA allows the EPA to issue administrative orders against violators, and seek civil or criminal penalties when necessary. Thus, one can be fined and imprisoned not for transgressing any law but an administrative rule.

This job killing regulation requires construction companies, farmers and other real estate intensive enterprises, the vast majority of which are family owned, to obtain expensive, time consuming permits not previously required. 

In Georgia alone, the rule puts an additional 40,000 miles of Georgia streams under federal control.  And that means roughly 57 percent of all Georgia waterways are now subject to direct federal regulation. 
 
That’s a lot of intrastate water controlled by an act intended to affect only interstate waterways.

And Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens recognizes it for what it is: a federal government effort to transfer more property rights away from the private landowner and states to reinvest those rights in the federal regulators.  He’s fighting it and recently allied Georgia with 33 other states in lawsuits nationwide to block the EPA from enforcing the rule.

This regulation, however, elucidates more than just a money and power grab by a federal agency, it illustrates the sheer arrogance of an administration and an agency. 

Obama’s EPA rule is in open defiance of two Supreme Court rulings in the last 15 years finding these new definitions overly broad.  That this administration chooses to disregard the rule of law comes as no surprise.

The House, for its part, has passed bipartisan legislation seeking to block the rule’s implementation.  Similar measures are moving through the Senate. Obama, of course, has vowed a veto.

Fine, let him have at it.

Come December, the Republicans need to flex their majority political muscle and debate and pass a budget reconciliation bill that repeals this outrageous EPA rule change, defunds Planned Parenthood, and bans abortion after 20 weeks.  Let the Democrats vote against it and the president veto it.

The House and Senate leadership must realize that their present penchant for inside baseball on leadership and legislation serves the country absolutely no purpose.  

They have a chance to do something worthwhile: stand up for principle and rein in the regulators.  

As the insurance spokesman says, “That’s what you do.”

 


Obama's capitulation to Putin

Leading from behind with weakness 



Forty three years after the world was outraged by the visual of a naked and terrified Kim Phúc fleeing her napalm-bombed Vietnamese village comes another conscience pricking picture: a Turkish policeman cradling the lifeless body of a three year old Syrian boy drowned while fleeing his war torn country.

Little Aylan Kurdi’s silent testimonial is the ocular proof of the miserably failed Middle Eastern foreign policy of the Obama Administration as hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are forced to take their chances on the Aegean and Mediterranean seas seeking asylum from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Obama, you may recall, instructed Assad back in 2012 and 2013 that there would be “dire consequences” if he used chemical weapons against his people, a dare Assad promptly called by gassing and killing millions. Assad crossed Obama’s “red line”; Obama did nothing.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  

Obama and Secretary of State Kerry were reduced to asking Russia to help corral their client Assad and extract a promise that he would destroy his cache of chemical weapons. He said he would then killed yet more civilians. 

So much for “dire consequences”.

Russia in now stepping up their efforts to help their friend and client Assad stay in power.

In a profound grasp of the realpolitik of the moment, Kerry declared, “"Clearly, the presence of aircraft with air-to-air combat capacity ... and surface-to-air missiles raise serious questions.”

“Serious questions”, indeed.  An astounding observation.

And this from the administration’s point man that gave Iran over $100 billion and the means to obtain a nuclear weapon while their leaders chanted “Death to America”.

But Kerry and Obama have a fix:  turn the region over to the Russians and take in nearly 200,000 refugees between now and 2017.

The details will no doubt be hashed out when Kerry, in an eerily déjà vu Chamberlain-goes-to-Hitler redux, meets with his Russian counterpart and, equally no doubt, will stamp Russia’s open-ended parking ticket in the region. 

In fact, this administration’s template for international negotiations begins with capitulation, the consequence of weakness, lack of political will, and any semblance of moral authority, as was self-evident in the Iran “negotiations”.

But not only do the Russians, Iranians and Syrians cow this administration, so do the Afghans, a country America liberated from the scourge of the Taliban.

Reports recently surfaced that Afghan commanders engage in a practice known as bacha bazi, literally translated as “boy play”.  It is an expression of a homosexual penchant which, according to the New York Times, is “a hallmark of Islamic culture” and “has long been a clandestine feature of life” in southern Afghanistan. 

When American soldiers noticed Afghan commanders bringing young boys and  teenagers to their base and observed (and heard) abusive behavior, they reported it but were told by their superiors to “look the other way” since the practice was part of their host country’s culture and reporting the activity might cause offense.  Whistle blowing soldiers were punished.

Directing American soldiers to ignore active and rampant pedophilia is nothing short of repulsive.

But those instructions had to come from somewhere.  And it is doubtful that they came from any source other than the top, the Commander in Chief.

The current administration’s foreign policy is rife with moral bankruptcy as it condones (by inaction) the death of women and children and (by silence) the practice of homosexual pedophilia.

And this bleeds into Obama’s domestic policy.  

Come December, Obama and his sycophants hopefully will have the opportunity to deny Planned Parenthood, the production source in the supply chain for the aborted fetus body parts industry, the use of federal funds. 

This they will not do. 

What they will do is side with the intentional destruction and mutilation of innocent life, as is their proven policy, and call those opposed “extremists” and, therefore, the cause for any government shutdown.

This is beyond repulsive; it is loathsome.