For fourteen years, congressional Democrats have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the chance to enact legislation which countermands our freedoms, demoralizes our military, puts our national security at risk, unnecessarily and unconstitutionally extends the reach and influence of the federal government, and pushes us further down the slippery slope to socialism.
I read yesterday that, before leaving the Oval Office, former President George W. Bush left a note for incoming President Barack Obama in the top drawer of the Resolute desk. Such is the custom as power transfers from one leader to the next.
In this case, however, I wonder how long it will be until the note is discovered by President Obama, as it likely lays at the bottom of fourteen years worth of pet projects, earmarks, proposed legislation and more. Today, the clock will begin to run for the Obama administration, and we can expect the 44th president of the United States to charge out of the gate quickly. Of course, just as it benefits a new inmate in a correctional facility to beat the ever-loving snot out of a fellow prisoner on their very first day behind bars, it would do President Obama a world of good to shoot down a few pet projects and manifestations of this pent-up liberal frustration as soon as he can. Still, the laundry list of troublesome programs and ideas is a daunting one.
While I am undoubtedly missing some key measures (the fate of the Tiahrt Amendment, as well as industry-crippling cap-and-trade legislation, which will inevitably be shepherded by John McCain, both come to mind), I’ve included a brief overview of what we’ll be seeing from the Oval Office in the days and weeks to come:
Get Outta Gitmo!
Prior to being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama promised that one of the top items on his to-do lists would be the closure of the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama views the detention center at Gitmo as the ultimate example of former President Bush’s penchant for “cowboy diplomacy,” and has said that the facility serves as a crucial tipping point with regard to the way America is perceived by those overseas.
So, in an attempt to force international goodwill, Obama will likely issue an executive order demanding the release of some (undoubtedly putting their lives in danger upon their return to home nations) and the remanding of others to custody in various facilities on American soil. For the first time in American history, an American president will confer the constitutional right of habeas corpus on foreign, alien enemy combatants originally detained abroad by our military forces during the course of the ongoing War on Terror. If this follows the precedent set by Boumediene v. Bush, indeed the rights granted to these terrorists when brought to American soil could be more broad than similar rights given to our own citizens.
These detainees were not caught merely delivering goat cheese pizzas to various caves and spider-holes along the Afghani-Pakistani border — these were people who at that time were actively trying to kill your sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and neighbors and would, if given the chance today, not hesitate for a moment to slit any one of our throats in the name of Allah.
Welcome to America, folks. Enjoy the food and shelter provided for you by the very nation you want to destroy. Try to avoid re-runs of “Jerry Springer” on the television in your cell, but we think you’ll find MSNBC to be of your liking. Be sure to explain your hateful worldview to the countless impressionable inmates who rotate in and out of the cells next to yours.
What’s Another $825 Billion Among Socialists?
If we learned anything from FDR and the New Deal, it’s that wasteful government spending is sure to catapult America out of an economic downturn. Oh, wait, silly me — I’ve been reading sixth-grade Social Studies textbooks again.
We cannot spend our way out of this economic crisis. Even spending on infrastructure will provide long-term relief, when we need short-term relief. What we must do is shed the encumbrances on American business and industry, allowing for investment, expansion and job creation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a few weeks ago, promised that the new so-called “stimulus” plan would be on President Obama’s desk before he and Michelle were done dancing the night away at the extravagant balls and celebrations, organized with blank checks in the middle of our fiscal crisis. Even though that goal was not met, expect it to happen soon, and expect the particulars of the plan to be glossed over by the mainstream press. Last I checked, the bill was still riddled with earmarks, including money dedicated to the construction of a “Mob Museum” in Las Vegas, Nevada.
We still don’t know entirely what happened to the $750 billion in TARP funds. We simply cannot permit our government to recklessly throw away $825 billion more.
Drill Elsewhere, Drill Later, Pay More
When gasoline prices began to skyrocket, finally reaching their peak over the past summer, former President George W. Bush was blamed [of course]. In July, when oil and gasoline prices slowly began the descent which has continued consistently since then, nobody was there to praise the former president — though the decline in the artificially inflated price of oil is largely due to his action. When he repealed the ban on offshore drilling, the rest of the world saw that we were serious in finally beginning to use our own natural resources, and prices adjusted accordingly.
Now, within the next few weeks at the most, expect President Obama to reinstate that ban, possibly with some concessions. Regardless, we absolutely MUST work toward energy independence. During those months with $4 per gallon gasoline, whenever a Republican would suggest offshore drilling, or drilling in ANWR, or exploration of our vast oil shale deposits, the Democrat in the room would reply simply that “any effect on gas prices would be ten years off.”
Well, let’s start that process. Let’s move toward true energy independence. It’s the key to everything — national security, economic prosperity, even environmental consciousness. If I’m right, and Obama reinstates that ban, it will be a sad day for America.
Do Ask, Do Tell — and I LOVE Your Boots!
Contrary to popular perception given my natural athleticism and keen fashion sense, I am neither well-versed with regard to the military, nor with regard to homosexuality. My gut instinct, however, tells me that in a situation where trust and comraderie can save lives, any sort of extraneous drama should be frowned upon.
Repealing the policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and subsequently allowing gay and lesbian men and women serve openly in the U.S. military seems to be inviting an unnecessary potential problem for morale. There’s more to lose here than to gain, but I don’t see it stopping the Obama administration. Look for the topic to be discussed at today’s meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, pending the outcome of that discussion, for an executive order to be issued soon thereafter.
Good Luck, Iraqis … See You Later
Speaking of today’s meeting with the Joint Chiefs, we may finally get to see the end result of Barack Obama’s evolution when it has come to the war in Iraq. First, it was an immediate withdrawal. Then, it was an immediate conditional withdrawal. Then, it was a gradual step-down. Today’s meeting, I’d be willing to bet, will reach a conclusion with a timetable in hand. Whether that timetable for withdrawal will be released publicly, thus giving the Iraqi insurgency a lovely date to mark on their calendar, is beyond me.
Either way, we invaded that country, deposed their leader, and bungled a good portion of operations until Gen. David Petraeus finally pulled our craniums out of our posteriors and lobbied for the “surge.” Regardless of the reasoning or intelligence which set us on that course, we started it and we must finish it. We still have troops in Germany. We still have troops in Japan. We need a continued presence in Iraq.
Embryos: America’s Littlest Tax Collector
Despite recent findings and advancing showing that adult and umbilical stem cells can be coached to act much in the same way as embryonic stem cells only without the destruction of embryos in the harvesting process, look for President Obama to lift the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
If we are destined and doomed to destroy life in order to perhaps have the chance of extending our own–I don’t get the selfishness–at least let such research be funded by something other than my tax money. I understand the need to foster progress, but we should exhaust our research on adult stem cells, umbilical stem cells, and current lines of embryonic stem cells before resorting to harvesting new ones. When in doubt, err on the side of life.
Yesterday, in his inaugural address, President Obama said the following: “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history.”
He could have been talking about the Democrats.
Nancy Pelosi and company will undoubtedly dust off the so-called Fairness Doctrine in an attempt to curb political speech on talk radio. While it may not happen right away, it will happen. Today, hippies nationwide are scouring their patchouli-reeking houses for straight razors, as they cannot scrape those “Dissent IS Patriotic!” bumper stickers off of their Subaru wagons quickly enough. Dissent, now, is fair game for government censorship.
I could spend hours on this subject alone but, painfully, I am kicking this proverbial can down the road. Instead, check with America’s Right in coming days, as we may have a tremendous interview which will shed some light on just what kind of threat the Fairness Doctrine presents.
The Freedom to Abort At Will Act
Several times during the course of last year’s presidential election, America’s Right pointed out that, when it comes to abortion, Barack Obama is left even of Planned Parenthood and NARAL. A vocal detractor of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, a piece of legislation which would have ensured that infants who survive botched abortions receive medical care instead of simply being left to die, Obama will likely champion the Freedom of Choice Act within the first few months of his presidency.
I wasn’t always pro-life. I was ambivalent to the issue, siding with lesser involvement of government and so-called “women’s reproductive freedom” until my own daughter was born nearly six weeks early at just over five pounds. Looking at the tiny infants next to my daughter in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it became apparent to me that, even apart from matters of faith and religion and looking at things from a purely scientific standpoint, we do not know just how early a fetus will become viable. Years ago, it was 31 weeks. Back in 2006, one of those kids in the NICU had been born at 24 weeks, was progressing nicely and apparently now is a bouncing two-year-old boy. Soon after my daughter was born, a baby in Florida born at 21 weeks had been finally sent home. Point being, we simply don’t know — and, in those cases, I feel it’s always right to err on the side of life.
FOCA is a nightmare. Even staunch advocates of the bill acknowledge that it will strike down each and every legal limit on abortion at both the state and local levels, including but not limited to measures which have been proven to reduce the number of abortions in the United States, measures like informed consent legislation, parental involvement requirements, and restrictions on government funding. I’ve read that pro-choice groups have been relentlessly calling and corresponding with the Obama transition team, providing a laundry list of goals and aspirations. Only through education and vigilance can this bill be stopped.
Other Congressional Highlights
So far this year, more than 700 bills have been introduced in the House and Senate. Some are innocuous, such as the bill introduced for the third time by a New York congressman hoping to rid America of the pesky term limits set forth in the 22nd Amendment. Others may be innocuous as well, but not all. That being said, here’s a smattering of what has been proposed so far:
- H.R. 15, by Michigan Democrat John Dingell, to “provide a program of national health insurance, and for other purposes.”
- H.R. 414, by New York Republican Peter King. Also known as the Camera Phone Predator Alert Act, this legislation would require integrated cell phone cameras to make an audible sound designed to inform others when a digital photograph is being taken.
- H.R. 390, by Texas Republican Joe Barton, addresses the need for a playoff system in Division I-A college football. As an Auburn University alum who spent much of January 2004 in a crappy mood after our undefeated team was denied a shot at the national title, I kind of like this bill. Still, it’s the unnecessary and unconstitutional involvement of the federal government. See the second-ever post here at America’s Right, On Baseball and Federalism, for a better idea why I begrudgingly think this bill is just another example of an overreaching federal government.
- H.R. 187, by New York Democrat Jose Serrano, seeking the waiver of prohibitions which enjoin Cuban nationals from playing professional baseball in the United States.
- H.R. 40, by Michigan Democrat John Conyers, explores the possibility of paying reparations to African-Americans, and “[t]o acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.”