Rule of Lawlessness
“They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.” –John Adams
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Rule of Lawlessness
For four and a half abominably long years, we have recounted Barack Obama’s lawlessness. He makes his own laws and ignores others, consistently showing an intractable contempt for Rule of Law. In a rebuke to the president, however, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals last week issued a writ of mandamus, an unusual direct judicial order for the government to satisfy its legal obligation.
The matter at hand is Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility. Long story short, candidate Obama promised to close the facility, and after he was elected his Energy Department attempted to revoke the Yucca Mountain license application. A U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) safety board ruled unanimously that he couldn’t do that – so Obama stacked the NRC with appointees who shared his opposition to Yucca. The NRC then refused to conduct a review of the facility for licensing, despite a 1983 law requiring the review and Congress appropriating money for said review.
Writing for the DC Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh said that “the Commission is simply flouting the law.” Hence the writ of mandamus. Not only that, wrote Kavanaugh, but the case “raises significant questions about the scope of the Executive’s authority to disregard federal statutes.” While a president may choose not to enforce laws on constitutional grounds, Kavanaugh added that “the president and federal agencies may not ignore statutory mandates or prohibitions merely because of policy disagreement with Congress.”
Obama enacted DREAM immigration policy without Congress, he delayed major aspects of his own health care law without Congress, he declared Congress in recess so as to appoint people to the National Labor Relations Board – and that’s not to mention his other “phony scandals.” We’re glad to see that, at least in this case, the Founders' system of constitutional checks and balances is still active.
‘Big Abortion’ Gets ObamaCare Money
The Democrats have a problem. After dreaming of government health care for 100 years, they finally rammed it through Congress after Barack Obama’s election. Now they have to sell their plan, and people aren’t buying it. Among their tactics is spending tremendous amounts of money to persuade people to sign up. Last Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $67 million in grants to more than 100 organizations nationwide to enlist the aid of so-called “navigators” who will provide assistance for individuals buying health insurance. Enrollment is supposed to begin Oct. 1 via state-created websites where people can compare and buy different plans, as well as check whether they qualify for subsidies. We’ll see if that deadline is met when half of all ObamaCare deadlines have not.
Big chunks of the $67 million will go to states, and smaller amounts are going to businesses and organizations such as the American Medical Association and the NAACP. In our view, however, one of the more egregious awards is $655,000 to Planned Parenthood affiliates in three states. The abortion mills aren’t exactly hurting for money, and, their howls about “women’s health” notwithstanding, we don’t consider the butchering of babies to be health care. The announcement isn’t surprising, however, coming from an administration with a sad record of trampling religious liberty in order to uphold the Left’s sacrament of abortion.
Department of Military Correctness: More Equal Than Others
How quickly the tables have turned. Several months ago, in the wake of the end of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era, proponents of same-sex marriage argued that the Department of Defense had to recognize military members' same-sex marriages because “we [gender-disoriented service members] should have the same opportunities as everyone else because we’re just like everyone else.” Now the Department – at the behest of the same-sex lobby – has announced a new policy that allows gender-disoriented service members to take uncharged leave (vacation) in order to travel to a state that allows such “marriages.”
While this change in tack from “treat us like everyone else because we’re just like everyone else” to “we need special rules because we’re different from everyone else” is not unexpected or without precedent, the speed with which this tiny-but-vocal special interest group achieved their goal is noteworthy and suggests that their disruptive activism is just beginning. We’re sure there are a number of service-members with unique locality-restricted lifestyle choices – gambling, gun ownership, affinity for a Big Gulp, etc. – who would love to have a few extra days off to indulge their interests.
But not only are same-sexers actively pursuing special treatment for themselves, they’re also moving to impose new restrictions on those who don’t support their warped perspective. As a senior Air Force NCO recently found out, you don’t even have to openly speak out against homosexuality. Merely recommending against punishing someone whose comments could be deemed offensive by homosexuals is enough for you to lose your job. The Airman observed, “Christians have to go into the closet. We are being robbed of our dignity and respect. We can’t be who we are.” So much for equality and non-discrimination.
Around the Nation: Michigan’s Right to Work Upheld
In March, Michigan became the 24th “right to work” state following last December’s vote to overhaul organized labor. Unsurprisingly, unions – infuriated by the state’s attempt to liberate workers forced to join their ranks – responded quickly by challenging the decision. On Thursday, an appeals court countered the bid by handing down another blow. “The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the [state] legislature had the authority to create the law that makes union fees voluntary,” reports Reuters, “because it has the constitutional right to ‘speak for the people on matters of significant public concern.’”
No doubt the ruling will further irritate organized labor’s man on top, Barack Obama. Recall last December when he said, “These so-called right-to-work laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics. What they are really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. … We don’t want a race to the bottom.” It was a cute choice of words coming from the man who claimed to have saved Detroit. As HotAir’s Erika Johnsen observes, “[U]nion clout is one of the major factors that pushed the city of Detroit into bankruptcy and helped the nation to realize what a ‘race to the bottom’ really looks like.”
But the fight isn’t over – unions still retain the right to appeal, and we have no reason to expect them to give up. But for now, as Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette affirms, “public sector employees will receive the same freedoms and choices as private sector employees. Everyone will be treated equally.”
Columnist Peggy Noonan: “What is privacy? Why should we want to hold onto it? Why is it important, necessary, precious? Is it just some prissy relic of the pretechnological past? We talk about this now because of Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency revelations, and new fears that we are operating, all of us, within what has become or is becoming a massive surveillance state. … Is it excessive? It certainly appears to be. Does that matter? Yes. Among other reasons: The end of the expectation that citizens' communications are and will remain private will probably change us as a people, and a country. … Privacy is connected to personhood. It has to do with intimate things – the innards of your head and heart, the workings of your mind – and the boundary between those things and the world outside. A loss of the expectation of privacy in communications is a loss of something personal and intimate, and it will have broader implications.”
Columnist David Limbaugh: “Contrary to establishment ‘wisdom,’ Republicans win elections when they contrast themselves with Democrats, not emulate them. You can’t inspire voters if you don’t offer them a different, superior vision. … Nor is making a strong case against Obama’s record ‘dirty campaigning.’ How silly. We have a duty to showcase his failures – unless we don’t really believe he or his policies are the culprit. But if anyone is so deceived, it’s time for him to come out of the closet and go to the other side, where he belongs. … Come on, guys, take off your pocket protectors and put on your fighting gear. Quit spending all your time calculating, strategizing, number crunching and hand-wringing. Let’s just start doing the right thing – standing for the right things, communicating our message and calling Obama out without pulling punches – and inspire voters to vote for us.”
Ronald Reagan: “For decades, we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children’s future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals. You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?”
For more, visit The Right Opinion.
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “Over the preceding two decades, the U.S. sent troops into harm’s way five times to liberate Muslim people – in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq – and yet America’s reputation generally worsened. And whenever Muslim fanatics launched horrific and brutal terrorist attacks – mostly slaughtering fellow Muslims – the supposedly vast reservoirs of moderate Muslims rarely voiced much outrage. Meanwhile, our supposed partners in Afghanistan and Iraq, never mind our allies in Egypt and elsewhere, didn’t express much interest in democracy that extended beyond saying the right words to keep the river of U.S. tax dollars flowing. … [T]here’s a growing – or, in many cases deepening – sense that we don’t have real friends in the Muslim world.”
This Week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ Award
Barack Obama: “[T]here’s … a group of Republicans in Congress working hard to confuse people, and making empty promises that they’ll either shut down the health care law, or, if they don’t get their way, they’ll shut down the government. Think about that. They’re actually having a debate between hurting Americans who will no longer be denied affordable care just because they’ve been sick – and harming the economy and millions of Americans in the process. And many Republicans are more concerned with how badly this debate will hurt them politically than they are with how badly it’ll hurt the country. A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they’ll somehow be sticking it to me. But they’d just be sticking it to you. … [I]n the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right. And we’re going to keep it that way.”
Sen. Mary Landrieu: “It’s embarrassing to me to go to places like France and Spain … and their workers all manage to have health insurance that can’t be taken away.”
Neither socialist paradise is a model we should aspire to.
From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File
MSNBC’s Ed Schultz: “They’re phony Christians … when they say that they are Christian but then they want to take away from their next door neighbor. They don’t want to be their brother’s keeper. … It is very simple. If ObamaCare is repealed, Americans will die. Children of God will die.”
Robert Gibbs: “I … am fairly floored that [Hillary Clinton] has decided to enter the public fray so quickly.”
Well, she is a Clinton.
Columnist Mark Steyn: “On the global scene, America has imploded: Its leaders have no grasp of its national interests, never mind any sense of how to achieve them. The assumption that we are in the early stages of ‘the post-American world’ is now shared by everyone from General Sisi to Vladimir Putin. General Sisi, I should add, is Egypt’s new strongman, not Putin’s characterization of Obama.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team