Netanyahu

Netanyahu

 

Not since January 17, 1952, when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill warned the United States of an Iron Curtain descending upon Europe, has there been a more important speech from a foreign dignitary to a joint session of the United States Congress. Yet, today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress in a speech as far reaching as Churchill’s in 1952. In it, he implored the members of Congress to think long and hard about the consequences of lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, which would be part and parcel of an agreement that President Obama is desperately seeking with Iran, in an inane attempt to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Specifically, Prime Minister Netanyahu took issue with two crucial elements of this nascent treaty, presently being negotiated in Geneva, Switzerland by Secretary of State John Kerry. The first, and by far the most important issue, is the “sunset clause” whereby Iran would only be held to its terms for a period of ten years, after which they would be free and clear to develop a stockpile of nuclear weapons. Secondly, Iran would retain its entire nuclear enrichment program and thus geometrically increase the amount of centrifuges designed to enrich uranium- a key component to the creation of atomic weapons. Quite rightly, Netanyahu warned the Congress that this treaty would not do anything to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but rather pave the way for Iran to become the latest member to the world’s nuclear club and, given the nature of a regime that has been in place for thirty–six years, thus create an existential threat to the survival of Israel, since it is this same regime that has publicly and repeatedly called for Israel’s annihilation.

Netanyahu documented the history of Iran’s hatred of Israel, recalling from ancient history the attempt by Persia’s Haman to destroy Israel- a plot that was thwarted by Esther, and to this day is observed in the feast of Purim. He recounted the history of Iran’s current regime since its inception in 1979 when the incumbent government, under Shah Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown by Islamic Radicals under the Ayatollah Khomeini- a regime that captured American diplomats and held them captive for 444 days in 1979-1980, and then a few years later was responsible for the death of 230 U.S. Marines in Beirut, Lebanon. He reminded the Congress that it is this Iranian regime that has extended its hegemony over four nations- Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon and that it seeks to expand its domination of the Middle East, vying only with ISIS for such control. Conversely, it is the Obama administration which naively believes that this rivalry with ISIS represents a signal of Iran’s willingness to take on ISIS as a pathway to friendlier relations with the Iranian regime, but it is indeed the exact opposite. As Netanyahu so succinctly put it, in this particular case, “the enemy of your enemy is your enemy”.

Asininely, fifty-four Democratic Representatives and eight Democratic Senators boycotted the address by the Israeli Prime Minister, in lockstep agreement with the Obama administration, who did not allow a single member of its team to attend the address by Netanyahu. All Americans must ask themselves the following question- “Why?”

Why is the Obama administration so resolutely opposed to Israel’s Prime Minister addressing our Congress?

Why is it more important for the Obama administration to so lamely and desperately seek such a bad deal with the Iranians- one that would imperil the survival of the world’s lone Jewish state?

Why would the President of the United States skip such an opportunity to sit down with Israel’s Prime Minister and discuss with him what he sees to be the advantages of such an agreement, when he will not even disclose to the American people the reasons he is pursuing this ill-begotten treaty, in the first place?

Is it because the narcissistic president is so consumed with his own legacy that he would wager the very survival of our closest ally in the Middle East just to be able to say, at the end of his presidency, “I got Iran to agree”?

We have seen the folly of such agreements in the past- most notably when Churchill’s predecessor, Neville Chamberlain boasted that he had negotiated “peace for our time” with Adolf Hitler, by wagering away a sovereign Czechoslovakia on Hitler’s promise not to invade eastern Europe- a promise broken when Germany invaded Poland less than a year later, touching off the Second World War. Twenty million lives later, the world learned the lesson of such folly, and why a bad deal is far, far worse than no deal, at all.

Or is it indeed the case that, in the long view of world history, we have forgotten this lesson?

-Drew Nickell, 3 March 2015

© 2015, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

Why the GOP must not be succored into the Trap of Negotiation

Why the GOP must not be succored into the Trap of Negotiation

 

With all of this talk concerning Republicans who, having recently won control of the Senate and broadening their control of the House, and how they should negotiate with President Obama, I am beginning to see a pattern here- a pattern of self-destruction, being promoted by the usual suspects in the media, based upon the supposed need for moderation on the part of the GOP, as though they should somehow be cowed by President Obama, and the illegal actions he has taken as president. They seemed to be almost psyched by his finaglings- as if Obama was the strongest president since FDR.

 

History has shown quite the opposite.   For instance, LBJ was far more effective at corralling bi-partisan support for his agenda, and so were his successors, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. All three of these presidents worked within, and not outside, the Constitution of the United States, and for the greater good.

 

Another problem is the inherent corruption of the Obama administration. Obama’s actions as president, and those on the part of his cabinet and administration are, by metes and bounds, far beyond anything, ANYTHING, that occurred during the Nixon administration- the only, ONLY difference being that Obama has had a complacent media covering for him, as opposed to Nixon having the media bound and determined to bring down his presidency.

 

This spirit of moderation and advocacy of cooperation that are presently being advocated, if so acted upon, are defeatist in the worst way- in effect having the GOP say, “We know the 2014 election was an anomaly and we know our positions on the issues are wrong, so we will just be placeholders and allow the Democrats to re-attain their rightful majority in 2016.”. This is the unintended effect of that for which these “pundits of moderation” are advocating- a go-along-with, get-along-with, restrained GOP which brought them to defeat with the nominations of Gerald Ford in 1976, Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012- all of whom were GOP moderates who went down to defeat with their own respective, all-too-tempered tone. Unlike Obama, who knows that politics is war, what they and the voices of moderation within and outside the GOP advocate, was and is a soft-spoken, well-thought-out, and oh-so-temperate strategy that will only serve to make people question what the difference is between liberal Democrats and moderate Republicans, of which there is absolutely none- and one which will assure a Democratic trifecta in the next election.

 

In order for negotiation to work, both- not one, but both- sides must be pragmatic, and thereby willing to negotiate on a bilateral basis. Such bilateral negotiations can and do work, to wit:

 

LBJ effectively negotiated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with Republicans, led by Everett Dirksen of Illinois. Ronald Reagan effectively negotiated the tax cuts of 1982 with Democrats, led by Dennis DeConcini of Arizona. Bill Clinton, once he lost both houses of Congress, effectively negotiated a balanced budget (in exchange of welfare reform) with Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997. All three of these presidents were, at day’s end, pragmatists of the first order- hence they were able to negotiate effective governance with members of their respective opposite parties.

 

Obama, on the other hand, is incapable of negotiation as he is neither a pragmatist, nor is he interested in the “pursuit of the greater good”, as the predecessors I have listed. He is a dogmatic ideologue who can’t even manage to negotiate with the hapless members of his own party, much less the members of the GOP. Our allies abroad don’t trust him to keep his word, our enemies abroad don’t fear his resolve (for there is none to be feared) and he cannot be trusted to keep his word with anyone, save for Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama. In essence, caving to Obama and his political operatives will never work, because there is no spirit of “give and take” in Obama- only take, take, take, ad nauseam. No one will ever negotiate anything with Obama, so it is pointless to try.

 

What Republicans CAN do, on the other hand, is to restrain the president through controlling the all-important purse-strings. For instance, if Obama signs an executive order on immigration- they can withhold funding for its implementation. They can do the same with ObamaCare, which may end up being skewered in the Supreme Court, anyway, due to pending litigation, now in the works. Social issues, such as gay marriage, are facing similar scrutiny in pending litigation, and may end up being decided on a state-by-state basis, which is where it should be decided, anyway. In the end, negotiation and compromise only work if there is bi-lateral cooperation, and Obama has not yet shown any penchant for either- hence such a naïve, and well-meaning approach will not work, not with this president- not ever.

 

-Drew Nickell, 10 November 2014

 

© 2014, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

The Midterms of 2014

The Midterms of 2014

 

With the mid-term elections of 2014 a week away, and control of the United States Senate in play, much has been made about the prospects of a possible shift in the control of that chamber. A shift of six Democrat-held seats to Republicans would mean that Harry Reid, the stubborn and constipative block to all things legislative coming from the House of Representatives, would lose his position as Senate Majority Leader, and thereby transfer his diverticulative functions to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where the President would rule by veto- as opposed to ruling by fiat, as he has done since being elected in 2008.

 

A harbinger of more and continued dysfunction in Washington? Admittedly, yes, and yet….

 

There are other, more far-reaching implications of a shift in the power structure of the United States Senate.

 

First, the president would no longer be unconstrained in his Chicago-style manipulation of regulatory control, as he has been with regards to the IRS, the Justice Department, the EPA and a host of governmental agencies that have become de facto extensions of his political machine. Republican control of both legislative chambers would necessarily constrain the continued abuse of power by this president and his operatives (Lois Lerner, anyone?)

 

Second, the Supreme Court would no longer be the inevitable heir to the Obama/Holder system of justice- a system where “equal justice under law” only applies to those in lock-step agreement with Barack Obama and his extra-Constitutional allies on the political left. A Republican Senate would surely keep the President from appointing judicial activists bent on curtailing free speech and tearing asunder the Bill of Rights that have served this country quite well for more than two centuries.

 

Lastly, a chastened Obama, if such a thing is indeed possible with regards to “His Arrogance”, would think twice before continuing his quest to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” a transformation that was neither needed, desired nor sought by a majority of Americans who were snookered by a complicit media in 2008- a media who, despite obvious political bias leaning left, really only wanted to harvest the news value associated with electing the first African-American to the nation’s highest office. This complicit attitude on the part of the media continued in 2012 (Remember Candy Crowley’s performance as …ahem…moderator…ahem in the decisive debate?) By the way, look for this same media to be “all in” for Hillary in 2016, who will no doubt drool at the prospect of electing the first woman to this same office.)

 

It never ceases to amaze me how many times Democrats will play the “let’s not play partisan politics” card whenever they find themselves in the unenviable position of having to defend the indefensible actions of their own party’s leadership. Here in Virginia, we hear the same old B.S. from Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) that our next-door neighbors to the south hear from Kay Hagan(D-NC): “that it’s time to reach across the aisle” despite the fact that both of these senators have voted lock-step with the President and Majority Leader Harry Reid 99% of the time. Surely, those who are in other states where incumbent Democrats are facing re-election are hearing the very same B.S. as we in the Old Dominion and Tar Heel states are hearing (note: PLEASE don’t believe a word of it.).

 

Meanwhile to our immediate north, there are stories that polling machines in divergent parts of Maryland are automatically changing Republican- cast ballots to Democrats in what officials are laughably blaming on “calibration issues”, which means that playoff losses by the Orioles and divisional losses by the Ravens aren’t the only thing plaguing voters in the Old Line state. This also begs the question “How is it that such machine malfunctions ALWAYS tend to favor Democratic candidates?” Answer?- the long line and standing tradition of Democratic political corruption going back to the days of Mayor Daley in Chicago and William Marcy Tweed (Tammany Hall) in New York City.

 

But, then again, that’s politics…

 

-Drew Nickell, 28 October 2014

 

© 2015, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

Magna Carta Revisited

Magna Carta Revisited

 

This coming June 15th will mark the eight hundredth anniversary of what was to become the first attempt by the English to evoke the concept of equal justice under law. On the fields and plains of Runnymede, near Windsor, England, Magna Carta came into being when the Archbishop of Canterbury attempted to make peace with the vastly unpopular King John, and a small group of rebel barons, who opposed the monarch for what they saw as an infringement of their rights. It also marked the first attempt to subject the English crown to English law. Though later nullified by Pope Innocent III, it was reinstated by King John’s heir, Henry III, the following year and its eventual progeny was the Constitution of the United States, which assured the young nation that no man nor woman was above the law- no one.

 

It is indeed ironic that, eight hundred years later, we are still struggling with the concept of who is, and who isn’t, subject to the laws of the United States. It seems that certain politicians of a certain political party manage to skate above the law, time and time again.

 

In the summer of our youth, twice-elected President Richard Nixon was forced to resign his office, because he lied about having knowledge, AFTER THE FACT, of the Watergate break-in. It is a matter of historical record that a young lawyer investigating the Nixon Administration for the Watergate Select Committee was summarily discharged from her duties, due to ethics violations on her own part. Her name? …Hillary Rodham Clinton- the same Hillary Rodham Clinton who later became the First Lady of Arkansas, the First Lady of the United States, a Senator from New York, and, under President Barack Obama, Secretary of State.

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton, and her husband, the former President William Jefferson Clinton, have amassed such a dubious record of achievement, and such a lengthy list of crimes and ethical violations as to make William Marcy Tweed of Tammany Hall , President Warren Harding of the Teapot Dome Scandal and Richard Milhous Nixon look like comparative angels…and yet, they have managed to effectively lie and dance their way out of legal jeopardy through means that have, at times, even become violent, but nevertheless very much aided and abetted by a complicit mainstream media. President Barack Obama, no REAL friend of the Clintons by the way, has taken a page from their own playbook, and has managed to remain in office, despite having presided over, far and away, the most corrupt and criminal presidential administration in U.S. History. Obama has managed to do this through threats, intimidation, use of governmental agencies like the IRS and the Justice Department, again with the unabridged assistance from an all-admiring mainstream media. His administration’s list of scandals, some of which also touch the Clintons, is indeed mind boggling- and yet….there he sits.

 

The list of crimes perpetrated by both the Clintons and the Obamas have, and would, fill volumes but somehow they manage to escape intact, due largely to the political party of which they are a part- had they been Republicans they would have summarily been impeached and imprisoned for high crimes and misdemeanors, but instead, they manage to benefit from a double standard that sows the seeds of our own undoing, and one that places the concepts of representative government, individual liberty, constitutional freedom and equal justice under law in grave peril.

 

So it comes down to one thing…do we as a nation, give a damn?

 

-Drew Nickell, 11 March 2015

© 2015, by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

Killing the Beast

Killing the Beast

 

Revelations that the IRS has supposedly lost Lois Lerner’s e-mails, and that her hard drive allegedly crashed and then was disposed of (along with seven others who were also subject to Congressional inquiry), not to mention that these instances occurred one year before Congress was notified last week, will prove to be the smoking gun of corruption that is the sine qua non of the Obama presidency- far and away the most corrupt administration in US History. Obama succeeded where Nixon failed, in using the IRS to target his political opponents (remember the second article of Nixon’s impeachment, which he avoided by way of resigning his office, accused his administration of attempting to use the IRS in this manner, which the IRS rebuffed at the time) and it is clear that Lois Lerner notified other agencies outside the Treasury Department of confidential taxpayer information which launched separate inquisitions by OSHA, the FBI and others on private citizens….and this much is what we know so far…..

 

The time has come for Congress, vis-a-vis Speaker John Boehner, to appoint a special select committee on IRS abuse and a Special Prosecutor to subpoena her and others to testify regarding these abuses. That much is certain.

 

Having said this, and very much aside this particular scandal, the time has come for the complete elimination of the Federal Income Tax as we know it, to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, completely, and effectively repeal the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This will require, in order:

 

  1. A Bill from the Republican-led House of Representatives to abolish the Internal Revenue Service in the Spring of 2015
  2. A Republican-controlled Senate to approve the bill and send it to the President for signature on January 20, 2017
  3. A Republican President to sign the bill on January 21, 2017

 

The Federal Income Tax Code, comprising all of 9,831 SECTIONS has become so inherently corrupt, so onerous, and so selective in its power to tax some and exempt others that the only real beneficiaries of these complex regulations are CPAs, tax attorneys and employees of the Internal Revenue Service, along with the lobbyists who fund the campaigns of politicians, to add to it every year.

 

This must end.

 

Since it is universally accepted that this country prefers to have a progressive tax system, where by the affluent pay more taxes than either the middle class who pay a substantial part of their income in taxes, and the poor who pay no income taxes, there is a very simple way to fund the federal government and that is to replace – not augment, but REPLACE the Federal Income Tax with a Consumption Tax (i.e. Sales Tax) on all products and services purchased. Since wealthy people spend more than middle class and the poor, taxing all consumption would necessarily mean that the rich would continue to pay more taxes because they spend more money…and the same would apply to businesses, as well. Hence, no more complicated tax code…… No more exemptions on anything….. No more write-offs… No more corruption and, by God, no more abuse by government employees at the direction of their President to use their power to harass political opponents.

 

Now it is clearly understood that such a measure would meet the ire of the CPA Lobby, the Tax Attorneys Lobby, and all such lobbyists who make their living by further complicating an already unworkable tax system. Let these lobbyists partner with their Democratic allies in the House and Senate to try and defeat this initiative, in the wake of the IRS Abuses taking place.

 

And PLEASE let the Republican Party- the same Republican Party that brought about the abolition of slavery 150 years ago- have the wisdom and the courage to say “no” to these special interests and become the Republican Party who will abolish the 16th Amendment to the Constitution and scrap the tax code in its beastly entirety. Nothing else would assure their winning the US Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016, more (what’s in it for them). Nothing else would jumpstart the economy more (what’s in it for us, with larger paychecks in the form of take-home pay). Nothing else would ensure that the Obama IRS abuses never ever happen again.

 

-Drew Nickell 23 June 2014

 

© 2014 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

Israel

Israel

 

First, please consider the following three passages, in the context of today:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a stone of burden for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it.” -Zechariah 12:3

“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land” – Joel 3: 1-2

“See the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near. Even so you also, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.”— Luke 21:29-33

The nation of Israel, with an area smaller than that of New Jersey, and a population less than that of Virginia, figures prominently in both the Old and New Testaments- particularly when it comes to Biblical eschatology. All of the Hebrew prophets, most all of the New Testament prophecies and, according to three of the gospels, Jesus himself, spoke of Israel in the last days. The first citation above refers to the nations of the earth coming against Israel, the second regards God’s judgment against these nations, and the third refers to Israel’s rebirth in 1948, indicating that the generation who was alive at that time to witness Israeli statehood, would not pass away, until all of these things had been consummated.

Sixty-six years later, what do we see? Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East, surrounded on three sides by nations committed to its destruction, and who stands beside Israel? No one, not even the United States under its present regime, supports Israel’s right to defend itself against aggression from without. Israel, far and away, the only middle eastern country that truly has freedom of religion, representative democracy and embraces the concept of tolerance- a concept unheard of in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Iraq (under ISIS), Syria and in the West Bank and Gaza strip, whose Palestinian authorities (Hamas) is unwilling to even acknowledge Israel’s very right to exist, and uses its own civilian women and children as human shields to protect the rockets that are used to bombard Israel.

Who gets the condemnation? Israel- from the United Nations, from the major media, and even our President and Secretary of State, who once again play the “Moral Equivalency” card, saying that peace must be attained by both sides, when knowing full well that one of those sides will not even acknowledge the other’s right to exist, and is wholly determined to annihilate the Jewish people.

While conservatives in the United States tend to back Israel and its efforts to survive aggression from all sides, liberals here, predictably, back the Palestinians and others who are dedicated to its destruction- liberals who pretend to be tolerant- except when it comes to Christianity anywhere and Judaism everywhere. Both of these two religions are under assault all over the Islamic world, but to even mention this is to bring on charges of Islamophobia- when, in fact, Islam is the most intolerant of the world’s monotheistic religions, which underscores liberal hypocrisy, yet again.

How much land will Israel have to cede to its enemies, once again, in pursuit of peace? Answer – “all of it”, say the Palestinians, who ironically are shunned even by their own Arab neighbors. Even then, if all of Israel were given to the Palestinians, the Jewish people of Israel would not have peace, but would instead have no homeland in which to exist. So, why should Israel cede a single acre to those bent on their destruction ? Why shouldn’t they invade the Gaza strip in order to destroy the tunnels with which Hamas smuggles its missiles and weaponry into Israel, to wreak havoc and destruction on Israeli civilians ?

More importantly, why should the nations of the world, including the United States under its current regime, condemn Israel for being committed to its own survival ? With anti-Semitism exploding all over Europe, once again, and the world aligning itself with those who seek the destruction of Israel, it seems that we are living out the script in a play written thousands of years ago- a play whose final act may only serve to bring about our own demise.

-Drew Nickell, 23 July 2014

 

© 2014 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

Immigration Reform and Congress

Immigration Reform and Congress

Much has been made about the effect that his stance on Immigration Reform had on Eric Cantor’s failed primary bid, and the media’s drumbeat on how this issue is splitting the Republican Party in half. Wishful thinking on their (the media’s) part, but that alone is not splitting the Republican Party, nor does it mean that Democrats will somehow prevail in November. Immigration reform is, at best, a tactical diversion on the part of politicos to dodge the central issue of this fall’s campaign- namely a referendum on the Obama Administration and how Congress will address the growing scandals within that administration, going forward.

Presently, the investigations into scandals ranging from IRS to Benghazi to VA to Fast and Furious to the Bergdahl Exchange (and the list grows) can be summed up into four parts:

1. House Committees investigate these scandals with Republican members of the committees asking questions, as their Democratic counterparts attempt to de-legitimize these investigations by inserting partisan counterstrikes on the questioners and providing diversionary cover for the Administration.

2. Administration officials appear before these committees, and answer with the following strategies, in consecutive order:

a) I don’t recall
b) We are investigating and will get back to you
c) It will take a long time to turn over the documents (which, when turned   over prove to be largely redacted or substantially incomplete)
d) Indicate that they have already answered the questions
e) Label the investigation as phony scandal or partisan witch hunt

3. The Attorney General, Eric Holder, refuses to appoint a Special Prosecutor

4. The Senate, under the auspices of its Majority Leader, refuses to investigate, period.

Taken alone, it could be argued that ANY one of these scandals involve more serious crimes, loss of life, and Constitutional breach, than Watergate or Iran Contra or the Impeachment of President Clinton. Taken together, it can be equally argued that we are faced with corruption and lawlessness not seen in any administration in US history.

While his media allies hope, beyond hope, that Democrats retain control of the Senate, President Obama continues to slowly unravel the fabric of our country, here at home, across our borders, and around the world. His latest attempt to import juvenile illegals across our borders, and thus creating a humanitarian crisis unknown in the United States since the days of Native American relocation in the 18th and 19th centuries, in an attempt to force upon the American people, provisions of the Dream Act which have not been legislated or adjudicated- once again flaunting the Constitution and diverting attention away from the mounting scandals that grow with every week.

To be clear there is not a single solitary Republican in the House or the Senate that is, or ever was, “anti-Immigration”.

Having said this, there must be a distinction made between LEGAL and ILLEGAL immigration, the latter of which has many opponents within and outside Capitol Hill. This is where the real debate lies on immigration reform but, thanks to the Democratic Party, the Obama Administration, the enabling lapdogs within the mainstream media, and what we’ll call the “Go-along, Get-along establishment GOP”, most Americans will never know this distinction- which suits Obama and his allies just fine.

–Drew Nickell, 12 June 2014

© 2014 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

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