Archive for the ‘Democrats’ Category
Sean Davis’s article utterly demolishes the Left’s argument that the DC Circuit was willing to throw millions of people off health care because of a “drafting error.” Here’s a key portion of Davis’s demolition of that argument:
Let’s take a step back to see how plausible that explanation is. There are two types of exchanges: state-established, and federally established. The statutory authority for state-based exchanges comes in section 1311 of Obamacare. The statutory authority for a federal exchange in the event that a state chose not to establish one comes from section 1321(c) of Obamacare. Right off the bat, we have two discrete sections pertaining to two discrete types of health exchange. Was that a “drafting error”?
Then we have the specific construction of section 1321(c), which allows for the creation of a federal exchange. Nowhere does this section say that an exchange created under its authority will have the same treatment as a state-based exchange created under section 1311. At no point does it say that section 1321 plans are equivalent. Why, it’s almost as though the exchanges and the plans offered by them were not intended to receive the same treatment. Was that another “drafting error”?
Most important, we have the sections of the law providing for tax credits to help offset the cost of Obamacare’s health care plans: sections 1401, 1402, 1411, 1412, 1413, 1414, and 1415. And how do those sections establish authority to provide those tax credits? Why, they specifically state ten separate times that tax credits are available to offset the costs of state health exchange plans authorized by section 1311. And how many times are section 1321 federal exchange plans mentioned? Zero. Was that yet another “drafting error”?
Either these progressive pundits are the worst liars in the world or the person who wrote the legislation is the most inept person ever to draft legislation. I’m voting for the former, not the latter.
It’s obvious that the bill was written properly. It’s obvious that Democrats didn’t think 36 states would opt out of establishing a state-run health insurance exchange, aka HIX.
The media’s fiction that this was a drafting error is intellectually dishonest intended at painting the judges as hate-filled conservatives who don’t care about poor people. The truth is that it’s Democrats that intentionally played politics with poor people’s lives.
They’re the people who wrote the law to not include subsidies for people buying insurance through Healthcare.gov. They’re the people who didn’t see anything wrong with the bill until after it became obvious that they’d miscalculated the popularity of the HIXs. They’re the people who made faulty assumptions.
Mr. Davis has written and/or proofed standalone legislation and legislative amendments:
When I worked in the Senate, I spent countless hours reading through various appropriation and spending bills. I also drafted hundreds of amendments, as well as a standalone public law. During the years I spent reading through proposed legislation, it was not uncommon to find obvious errors in bills and amendments. Sometimes you would see a date written as 3015 instead of 2015. Sometimes a non-existent section would be referenced, or a section number in a table of contents might be wrong. Other times, you might see a dollar figure that had too few or too many zeroes (seriously, that happened). You might even find a misspelled word or an incorrect line number every now and again. Those were true “drafting errors,” the typos of the legislative world.
The deliberate creation of a separate section to authorize a separate federal entity is not a drafting error. The repeated and deliberate reference to one section but not another is not a drafting error. The refusal to grant equal authority to two programs authorized by two separate sections is not a drafting error. The decision to specifically reference section X but not section Y in a portion of a law that grants spending or tax authority is not a drafting error.
Simply put, the Left knows that they’re in real danger of having the heart of the ACA ripped from the bill. If the subsidies disappear, the ACA, aka Obamacare, disappears, too. They know that they can’t argue the law. Arguing that is foolish. Appealing to the judges’ partisanship is the only avenue they have for winning.
At the heart of this matter is the fact that Democrats made a faulty assumption. At the heart of this matter is the fact that Democrats thought this bill would be much more popular than it is. They wrote the law based on the opinion that the ACA would pressure Republicans into supporting a terrible bill.
Democrats were wrong about that.
I wrote this post to highlight Democratic senators’ biggest problem is Harry Reid, not President Obama. When I found out this morning that the RNC is starting a #FireReid campaign on social media, I got excited. This indicates that they’re aware that Sen.Reid is toxic. This article gives us some details into the RNC’s campaign:
A banner unfurled outside of the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington is providing an unsubtle hint about the GOP’s goals for this fall. In bold letters it reads, “Stop Obama” and “Fire Reid.”
In another sign that Republicans are trying to nationalize competitive Senate races in a political environment unfavorable to Democrats, the RNC on Tuesday announced the start of its “#FireReid” campaign, aimed at winning control of the Senate and thus demoting Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Beginning this week, we will launch robocalls in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Virginia,” RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said in a memo about the initiative.
The robo-call script will assert that a vote for the Democratic candidate, in many cases an incumbent, amounts to providing a “rubber stamp” for President Obama and Reid’s “partisan agenda.”
Additionally, the anti-Reid campaign will include “research briefings, social media, videos, interviews, and infographics” highlighting the Nevada lawmaker’s position on such issues as the Keystone XL pipeline and the Affordable Care Act.
It isn’t that Harry Reid is nationally well-known…yet. It’s that he’s said a ton of offensive and/or dishonest things that the RNC will use to paint Reid as the tyrant he is. My suggestion is that they highlight Sen. Reid’s dishonesty, his hyperpartisanship and his fierce loyalty to President Obama’s agenda.
Further, I hope the RNC shows how often Democrat senators vote with Sen. Reid, then quantify the impact they’ve had on families. Rattling off a string of statistics won’t cut it. Personalizing things is required. If the RNC does that, then Democrats will have a difficult time defending their rubber stamping the Obama/Reid agenda.
According to the RNC announcement, the GOP will also seek to depict Reid as obedient “to billionaire SuperPAC donors like Tom Steyer [who] have hurt our country and the democratic process.”
That campaign might not have the same impact as the #FireReid campaign but it might be helpful in the sense that it’ll portray Democrats as listening more to the special interests than to rank-and-file unions that want the Keystone XL Pipeline built.
The whining on the left hasn’t stopped since the DC Circuit Court’s ruling on Halbig v. Burwell. This article is a perfect example of the Left’s whining:
The Affordable Care Act was designed to offer premium tax credits (subsidies) to people to purchase private health insurance on government-run exchanges — at least those earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level. The belief among legislators was that the exchanges would be state-based, so the section of the law authorized subsidies to those enrolled “through an Exchange established by the State.”
Simply put, this is proof that the people writing the ACA wanted one thing but didn’t write the bill properly. If they wanted everyone “earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level” to get premium supports regardless of which exchange they bought it through, they should’ve written that into the law.
The assumption that “the exchanges would be state-based” is a sloppy assumption. Sloppy assumptions make terrible laws. It isn’t the judges’ fault that Max Baucus didn’t write the bill properly. Further, it isn’t the judges’ fault that the writing of the law was shrouded in secrecy.
Had this been a transparent operation, someone might’ve caught Sen. Baucus’s mistake. Had Sen. Baucus not made a terrible assumption, if that’s what it was, the bill might’ve been written with more clarity.
Blaming Democrats’ mistakes on Republicans is pathetic. Sen. Baucus, Sen. Reid and then-Speaker Pelosi made a series of decisions that produced sloppyily-written legislation. That’s on their heads, not the judges’ heads. It’s one thing to argue intent when the legislative language isn’t clear. It’s another to argue when the legislative language includes a straightforward, declarative statement.
At that point, that straightforward, declarative statement is what judges should base their opinion on. The Democrats’ attorneys argument is essentially that Baucus, Reid and Pelosi made a mistake in writing the bill, therefore the judges should clean up their mistake.
That isn’t the court’s responsibility. If Obama, Reid and Pelosi want to fix the law, the only constitutional remedy is to submit the correction to the legislative process. I wrote yesterday that the Democrats don’t want to do that because House Republicans might actually want to include other provisions in the bill that Democrats don’t like. That’s tough. If Obama, Reid and Pelosi didn’t want Republicans to have that type of leverage, they should’ve written the bill right the first time.
Their whining now just indicates that they’re looking for a skapegoat to blame for their mistakes. It’s time for them to put on their big boy pants and accept the fact that they put together a sloppy piece of legislation. It isn’t the court’s responsibility to clean up politicians’ messes. That’s the politician’s responsibility.
Technorati: Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, President Obama, Max Baucus, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Legislative Intent, Halbig v. Burwell, DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Democrats, Legislative Process, Legislative Branch
It would be wrong to blame the killing of 298 passengers on MH17 on President Obama. That blame should be firmly fixed on the Russian terrorists and the Russian military personnel who fired the surface-to-air missiles. This article, though, shows that President Obama could’ve done something that would’ve prevented that terrorist attack:
As the United States and NATO last month began to publicly acknowledge the sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft systems moving into rebel held areas of eastern Ukraine, the government in Kiev asked for gear that might be used to counter those weapons.
According to a former senior U.S. defense official who has worked closely with Ukraine’s military and a former head of state who has consulted with the government there, Kiev last month requested the radar jamming and detection equipment necessary to evade and counter the anti-aircraft systems Moscow was providing the country’s separatists.
It’s obvious that President Obama is a pacifist on the world stage. He likely said no to Kiev’s request because he didn’t want to do anything that might escalate the tensions between Russia and the Ukraine. That’s foolishness. President Obama keeps urging Putin to rejoin the community of nations. Putin keeps ignoring those pleas because he’s too busy rebuilding the Soviet empire.
It’s time President Obama to start dealing with the world that exists rather than dealing with the world he wishes exists. This isn’t a game of make believe. It’s a situation where Ukraine needs the world’s only true superpower to step up and act like the world’s only true superpower. It’s time for President Obama to stop acting like a naive child. It’s time for him to start acting like the leader of the free world.
Some senior U.S. officials asked about the Ukrainian request by The Daily Beast said they were not aware of it. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told The Daily Beast, “The Ukrainian government has requested support, but we’re not going to detail the types of support they have requested.”
How convenient. The most transparent administration in history won’t confirm what the Daily Beast has already reported.
President Obama’s pacifism cost those 298 people their lives. Because he wasn’t willing to deal with reality, those people died needlessly. Further, President Obama’s disdain for military action is getting people killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Had President Obama sent the radar jamming and detection equipment to Ukraine, the people flying on MH17 would likely still be alive. Had President Obama listened to his generals in Iraq and kept residual force of 30,000 troops in theater, he would’ve gotten a status-of-forces agreement with Maliki. That would’ve likely prevented ISIS from capturing a major part of Iraq.
I hope President Obama can live with himself knowing that his pacifism cost people their lives. More importantly, I hope President Obama will admit, at some time in the future, that he was wrong on most of his foreign policy decisions.
I’ve spent the last half of Tuesday illustrating the fact that Section 36B is clearly written. In this clip, Charles Krauthammer explains that the bill’s language is exceptionally straightforward:
The language in the bill simply states that the subsidies are ony available to people purchasing health insurance through state-run exchanges. This doesn’t require guessing. It just requires the ability to believe what you’ve heard.
After Charles’ explanation, Kirsten Powers argued that the language was ambiguous. She essentially said that the intent was clear if you read the entire section. This doesn’t have anything to do with reading the entire section. The only context that’s required is the simple declarative statement.
The statement isn’t filled with caveats. It’s straightforward. It’s declarative.
What the administration and its apologists are arguing is that we should a) accept their word that they really meant for everyone of a certain income level to qualify for subsidies and b) ignore the straightforward language of the bill.
My response to that is simple. I don’t read minds to determine legislative intent and I don’t trust liberals who say that federal statutes really mean whatever liberals insist they mean at any point in history. Liberal constitutional law Professor Jonathan Turley agrees with me on that. Here’s what he said:
I’d love hearing Kirsten Powers or Ron Fournier dispute Professor Turley’s explanation. Ultimately, though, Prof. Turley is right in saying that this is about more than the ACA. It’s about which branch of government has the responsibility to correct the law. Ultimately, the question is whether the executive branch can usurp the legislative branch’s authority to write new laws.
Dishonest progressives argue that the executive branch isn’t writing new laws. They’re lying about that. The plain language of the bill says one thing and they’re saying that the straightforward wording isn’t what they meant.
Let’s remember that the ACA was written by Max Baucus in Harry Reid’s office. Dishonest progressives want me to believe that Sen. Baucus was so inept that he accidentally slipped that language into the bill. He’s written dozens of bills and hundreds of amendments to bills. I’m supposed to think that he mistakenly put in a straightforward-sounding statement runs contrary to his intent into the most important bill he ever wrote. Why would I buy into that?
Further, even if I thought that was the truth, I’d still argue that the executive branch, in this instance the IRS, has the authority to rewrite that language to mean what it wants the section to mean years after the fact. The language is clear. When the language is clear, the intent is clear.
I don’t need a clairvoyant to determine what Sen. Baucus meant. I just need a little common sense, a little reading ability and the ability to ignore misinformed liberals.
Brian Beutler’s article attempts to make the case that Republicans might ultimately lose if the Supreme Court upholds today’s ruling:
An adverse Supreme Court ruling would throw the ACA into chaos in three dozen states, including huge states like Florida and Texas. The vast majority of beneficiaries in those states would be suddenly unable to afford their premiums (and might even be required to reimburse the government for unlawful subsidies they’ve already spent). Millions of people would drop out of the insurance marketplaces. Premiums would skyrocket for the very sick people who need coverage the most.
But that’s where the conservatives’ “victory” would turn into a big political liability for red- and purple-state Republicans. An adverse ruling would create a problem that could be fixed in two ways: With an astonishingly trivial technical corrections bill in Congress, or with Healthcare.gov states setting up their own exchanges. If you’re a Republican senator from a purple Healthcare.gov state—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and others—you’ll be under tremendous pressure to pass the legislative fix. If you’re a Republican governor in any Healthcare.gov state, many thousands of your constituents will expect you to both pressure Congress to fix the problem, and prepare to launch your own exchange.
Conservatives would like to believe that they could just leave something as deeply rooted as Obamacare permanently hobbled, or that they could use the ensuing chaos as leverage, to force Democrats to reopen the books, and perhaps gut the law in other ways. I think they’re miscalculating. Just as government shutdowns and debt default threats don’t create leverage because the public doesn’t support inviting chaos in pursuit of unrelated goals, I don’t think an adverse ruling in Halbig will create leverage for the GOP.
I think Beutler isn’t just wrong about the leverage. I think he’s kidding himself if he thinks this puts Republicans in a difficult position.
By the time the Supreme Court rules on this lawsuit, it’s quite possible that there will be Republican majorities in the House and Senate. If that’s the case, think of this scenario:
Congress might well change Section 36B as part of a bigger bill that’s sure to include other provisions that Republicans like and that President Obama doesn’t like.
For instance, a new bill might include a change to 36B along with a change that eliminates the medical device tax, another change that changes the definition of a Qualified Health Plan, aka QHP, and a change that reduces the penalties for the employer and individual mandates.
Employers and families would certainly love a tiny penalty for not obeying the law. Young people would love being able to buy a catatrophic policy with a HSA to cover other expenses. There’s no question that eliminating the medical device tax would make medical device manufacturers happy.
At that point, President Obama signs the bill that’s essentially a fresh start that dramatically improves the ACA or he vetoes a popular bill that forces families to pay higher insurance premiums, that doesn’t repeal an unpopular tax and he alienates major parts of his base. In my opinion, that’s ‘Rock meets hard place’ territory for President Obama. The good news is that it’s great news for employers, families and young people.
All that’s required is for Republicans to pass a bill that’s filled with popular provisions. Since a majority of people don’t like the bill’s specifics, that shouldn’t be that difficult.
Finally, Beutler insists that this is judicial activism. There’s nothing activist about the DC Circuit’s ruling. They said that Section 36B meant what it said. For the record, here’s the specific language of Section 36B:
monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311  of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The judiciary’s first responsibility is to determine whether a law is constitutional. If it passes that test, the next test is to determine whether the statute gives the executive branch the authority to take action.
In this instance, the DC Circuit ruled that the ACA didn’t give the executive branch, in this case the IRS, the authority to change a major provision of the statute.
It isn’t radical to think that the executive branch doesn’t have the authority to rewrite specific provisions of existing statutes. If the Supreme Court validates this ruling and if President Obama wants that provision changed, there’s a simple remedy: work with Congress to change that part of the ACA.
Technorati: President Obama, Halbig v. Burwell, DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Qualified Health Plans, Employer Mandate, Individual Mandate, Medical Device Tax, HSAs, Insurance Subsidies, Supreme Court, Republican Reforms
The illegal immigant crisis is still getting tons of attention, with Democrats looking particularly inept. According to John Sununu’s op-ed, this crisis has put Harry Reid in a box of his own making:
Harry Reid has a border problem. More accurately, America has a border problem that Reid, as Senate majority leader, will need to help solve in the next three weeks. The Nevada senator’s difficulties stem from his dislike of the bipartisan solution recently offered, disagreement with the approach suggested by President Obama, and disdain for anything passed by the House of Representatives.
Harry Reid’s biggest problem is that his actions are hurting his candidates in their re-election campaigns. The conventional wisdom is that President Obama’s unpopularity is hurting Democrats. In this instance, that conventional wisdom is right. There’s a new truth that’s emerging that should frighten senators like Mark Udall, Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagans.
That new truth is that gridlock will continue as long as Harry Reid is the majority leader. The emerging truth is that bipartisanship is impossible with Reid acting like a tyrant.
If you’re Mike McFadden, why wouldn’t you ask Al Franken why he’s consistently suppported Harry Reid’s my-way-or-the-highway tactics? If you’re Tom Cotton, why wouldn’t you question Mark Pryor about why he’s let Harry Reid run roughshod over bipartisan, bicameral legislation? If you’re Corey Gardner, why wouldn’t you ask Mark Udall to explain why he hasn’t stood up to Harry Reid’s anti-American diatribes?
Naturally, Obama tried to throw some of the blame onto George W. Bush. Citing a 2008 law designed to prevent human trafficking, the president argued that rules requiring court hearings for minors coming from countries other than Mexico, such as Honduras and Guatemala, were preventing him from taking faster action.
This is typical Obama tactics. That being said, let’s highlight the BS factor in the Democrats’ non sequitur response. The 2008 law didn’t cause the flood of unaccompanied youths and adults from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to the Tex-Mex border. That flood was caused by President Obama telling Central America that he wouldn’t deport people if they got to the US.
The White House called for changes to that law to allow for faster reviews and deportations. In response, a bipartisan bill introduced by Republican Senator John Cornyn and Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar, both of Texas, would change the law to address those concerns and would provide additional resources for border enforcement and immigration hearings.
This is where Reid’s problems begin. He likes the law the way it is, and views the crisis quite differently than most of his colleagues. In an interview last week, he stated unequivocally, “The border is secure.”
This is where the Democrats’ problems start, too. Being led by a tyrant isn’t the image they want to project to their constituents right before a tough election. Still, that’s the hand they’re being dealt. That’s the hand Democrats are getting forced to play.
Simply put, Harry Reid is the bigger nightmare for Democratic senators than President Obama. He’s the my-way-or-the-highway tyrant that’s preventing a solution from being reached. If I were getting paid to advise Senate Republican candidates, I’d have hired a staffer finding statements where my Democrat opponent said he/she supported Harry Reid, then turning that into a video with Harry Reid saying that the “border is secure.” I’d finish that ad with this question: Do you want someone who listens to you or someone that defends Harry Reid?
Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer promised to raise $100,000,000 for Democratic candidates who pledged to implement his climate change agenda. Apparently, he’s falling miles short of hitting that pledge:
Billionaire Tom Steyer pledged to raise $50 million to make climate change and opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline a 2014 campaign headache for the GOP.
It’s not going very well.
“[Steyer's] super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, has raised just $1.2 million from other donors toward that goal, according to still-unreleased figures that his aides shared with Politico,” wrote Politico’s Andrew Restuccia and Kenneth P. Vogel. “And he appears to be struggling to woo wealthy allies in his effort to compete with big-money conservative donors – leading some supporters to question whether his fundraising goal is realistic.”
“So far, the only really big donor to the Steyer cause is Steyer himself,” they added.
Apparently, Steyer’s agenda isn’t popular with Democrats. Apparently, Steyer’s agenda is about as popular with Democrats as cockroaches are with the public.
What this means is that Steyer is getting humiliated on the national stage. He deserves it. The environmental movement isn’t about saving the environment. It’s about controlling people’s lives. It isn’t a centrist movement. It’s a far left movement if it can be properly characterized as a movement.
At this point, I’d say that’s questionable.
Raising donations to oppose Keystone XL is especially difficult, considering only hardcore leftists oppose its construction, according to a Pew poll from June 26. Further, combating climate change consistently ranks pretty low on the list of Americans’ top priorities.
The question that hasn’t been determined is whether union rank-and-file will vote Republican this November. Democrats like Al Franken have voted against the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which means he’s voting against unions. The public chatter is that they’re upset with the environmentalists and Democrats who side with the environmental activists. We’ll see whether that’s chatter or if they’ll vote their wallets.
The bottom line is that Democrats should ignore Steyer. The oil companies are doing a great job of keeping people on their side. The environment isn’t a winning issue that’ll put them over the top this election. It’s a drag on Democrats’ electoral chances. The environment might help legislative candidates in a few states but it isn’t a winning issue in Senate races. It’s that simple.
This article is exceptionally insightful in that it exposes Vladimir Putin for who he really is:
Why do many Western analysts contend that Vladimir Putin is outsmarting everybody like a skillful chess master? Can it be a massive illusion fed by Kremlin propaganda and blindly supported by analysts and policy makers? I agree with Paul Gregory that Putin deserves a failing scorecard and would add that he is erratically moving his country towards disaster. A bully is usually far from intelligent; he can be dangerous and evil, he can possess powerful resources, but that does not make him the forward-looking strategist many in the West pretend he is.
Putin’s economic model prevents him from being the international superpower he’s pretending to be. It isn’t that Russia is a superpower. It’s that it’s acting like it’s a superpower. Thinking that Putin is a chess master because he’s having his way with President Obama is like thinking you’re a tough buy because you can beat up a 5th-grader.
Putin is delusional because he thinks that the former Soviet empire was a great federation of nations. The truth is that it operated as a great federation because liberals like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter treated it like a great federation.
Only President Reagan understood its fatal flaw. Only President Reagan exploited that fatal flaw. President Reagan out-strategized and outmaneuvered the giant Russian bear. He expanded the use of Radio Free Europe to talk with the citizens. He checked them militarily whenever they thought about fulfilling their expansionist ideology. Most importantly, President Reagan spoke to the dissidents’ hearts by telling them about the virtues of liberty.
Let’s understand something. Vladimir Putin is a thug. He isn’t as despicable as Stalin but he’s still a thug. Calling him a thug doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous to smaller opponents. It just means that he’ll suffer the same fate as Gorbachev if he’s confronted by another Reagan.
The only way to deal with Moscow is to act firmly and decisively, imposing sectorial sanctions and providing serious military help to Ukraine, sharply increasing the economic and political pressure. The faster the West acts, the more lives will be saved and more destruction will be prevented.
President Reagan understood the necesssity of economic and benign military confrontation. Technically, President Reagan didn’t fire a shot to defeat the Soviet empire. That doesn’t mean he didn’t sell military weaponry to the Soviet’s neighbors. He let them know that he’d checkmate them wherever their expansionist goals took them.
There’s no denying that Putin is a major player on the international stage. There’s no denying that his expansionist goals are real. That doesn’t mean he’s the unstoppable superman that President Obama is helping through his inactions.
President Obama’s policies just make a thug look like a superpower. That doesn’t mean President Putin’s Russia is worthy of superpower status. That’s just what happens when he’s matched against a lightweight US president.
While discussing the Russian seperatists shooting down the Malaysian airliner, Charles Krauthammer unloaded both barrels on President Obama:
Here’s a partial transcript of what Charles said:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: What is the president’s reaction? You said what matters is not where he is. He’s had no reaction. He’s had no reaction to anything that I can tell in the last six months. Look, it isn’t as if we’re going to go to war with Russia, but we’ve denied Ukraine lethal weaponry on the grounds that we don’t want to escalate the conflict. The rebels and the Russians are killing Ukrainians in large numbers, by shooting them out of the sky. The least the president could do is make a damned decision for once in his life and announce that we are now going to supply lethal weapons to assist the Ukrainians to defend themselves and to complete the offensive that is now going on in Eastern Ukraine to actually destroy the rebel insurgents.
President Obama is a pacifist. Thanks to his disdain for conflict, Vladimir Putin is revving up the old expansionist Russian bear. It isn’t that Putin wants to destabilize the countries surrounding Russia. It’s that he wants Russia to return to its glory days of dominating its surrounding nations and telling them what to do.
Simply put, it looks like he wants to resurrect the Soviet Union.
Charles is right. President Obama has voted present on hundreds of major foreign policy/national security decisions since he was elected. It’s his nature to avoid conflict. It’s his history to make the worst possible decisions on the international stage. Killing bin Laden is his only accomplishment.
Meanwhile, Putin is enjoying the free ride he’s getting from President Obama:
Security Services of Ukraine chief Valentyn Nalivaichenko, at a late night news conference, said the government is making all evidence in the investigation public, including intercepted phone calls between two members of the Russian military special services unit, known as the GRU, in which they discussed shooting down the airplane.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any involvement, saying Ukraine is responsible.
Putin knows he’s lying. That’s what KGB agents do. Further, Putin knows that he might get called out. That isn’t what’s important to him. His biggest concern, other than dominating Ukraine, is to prop himself up inside Russia. The more powerful he looks, the more political capital he accumulates.
Russian-backed separatist commander Igor Girkin, also known as Strelkov, initially claimed credit for the downing of a military transport airplane. He revised his statement later. “We did warn you – do not fly in our sky,” he wrote on VK.com, Russia’s version of Facebook.
It’s times like this that make me wish someone like Benjamin Netanyahu was our president. It’s depressing knowing we have a do-nothing president that won’t standd with our allies and who lets our enemies run free while terrorizing their neighbors.
We’d better elect a real president next time. If we get Hillary, we won’t call it “the former Soviet Union.”