Archive for January, 2011

Twelve Great Reasons to Love a Great Country

Twelve Great Reasons to Love a Great Country
An excerpt from the new revised edition of The American Patriot’s Almanac.

Why should Americans love their country? Here are a dozen good reasons to be grateful and proud to live here.  William Bennett

1. The United States was the first nation in history created out of the belief that people should govern themselves. As James Madison said, this country’s birth was “a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society.” The U.S. constitution is the oldest written national constitution in operation. It has been a model for country after country as democracy has spread across the continents.

2. America really is the land of the free. There are large parts of the world where people can’t say what they think, learn what they’d like, or even dress the way they want. There are places where people spend years in jail or disappear if they question their rulers. Less than half of the world’s population lives in countries where people are truly free. In this nation, as George Washington put it, the love of liberty is interwoven with every ligament of American hearts.

3. No other country has done a better job of establishing equal rights for all citizens. Certainly there have been times when the United States has fallen tragically short of its founding principles. But especially in recent decades, no country has worked harder to eliminate discrimination and protect the rights of minorities. There are plenty of nations where people’s ethnicity, religion, or gender defines them as second-class citizens. In contrast, America has been a pioneer in striving toward the ideal that all are created equal.

4. This is the place where dreams can come true. U.S. newspapers are full of stories that read almost like fairy tales: the son of a laborer who grows up to be a doctor, the stay-at-home mom who turns a hobby into a flourishing business, the immigrant who becomes a movie star and governor. The United States has long been the country people flock to for the chance to make better lives. No other country has built a sturdier ladder for people to climb to success.

5. We enjoy one of the world’s highest standards of living. Americans live longer, have better health, and enjoy safer and more comfortable lives than the vast majority of the world’s people. Ours is one of the most prosperous nations in history. U.S. companies provide some of the best jobs in the world. They have also built countless hospitals, libraries, and parks; created great universities; filled museums with works of art; found cures for diseases; and improved human life in countless ways.

6. No other country has welcomed and united so many people from so many different shores. From its beginnings, the U.S. has been the world’s great melting pot. Never before have so many people from different backgrounds, races, nationalities, and religions lived and worked together so peacefully. In no other nation has the spirit of cooperation and brotherhood accomplished more than it has in the United States.

7. The U.S. military is the greatest defender of freedom in the world. Twice in the 20th century, the United States led the way in saving the world from tyranny — first from the Axis powers, then from Soviet totalitarianism. Throughout history, other superpowers have used armies to conquer territory and build empires by force. America, with its unrivaled military, has chosen a different course. The United States has liberated more people from tyranny than any other nation in history.

8. America is a world leader in scholarship and invention. The United States is home to the world’s finest collection of universities and research institutions. Name just about any subject — from ancient philosophy to quantum physics — and chances are good that leading authorities work here. The record of American inventions and discoveries goes on and on, from the mechanical reaper to the microchip. American medical research facilities are among the best in the world. The United States leads the world in space exploration. The computer revolution started here.

9. Americans are among the most generous people on earth. The United States has built the most extraordinary collection of charitable, philanthropic, and civic organizations in the world, and this country is the planet’s largest source of humanitarian aid. American government programs and private giving constitute one of the greatest efforts to help people in history. In 2009, Americans donated more than $300 billion to charities. When disasters strike overseas, Americans are among the first to offer help and support.

10. The United States is the world’s greatest marketplace for the free exchange of ideas and information. In some countries, governments shut down newspapers and broadcast stations they don’t like, and limit access to the Internet. Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are bedrock principles of American democracy. The staggering volume of information traded here every day — via books, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, TV, and radio — makes this country the liveliest center of thought and debate in history.

11. This nation possesses an amazing capacity for self-renewal. Time and again, Americans have been able to address the country’s problems and flaws. Think of those Americans at Philadelphia in 1787 who devised the most miraculous political document in history just as the young nation seemed to be falling apart. Or think of those Americans in the civil-rights movement prodding the country to right the wrongs of segregation. The American people have a genius for self-correction. Sometimes it takes a while, but in the end we find our way.

12. America is a nation that looks to God for guidance. It was founded to be a place where all are free to worship, or not to worship, as they please. Amid a diverse array of beliefs, the vast majority of Americans draw strength from faith in God’s goodness and wisdom. “In God We Trust” is our national motto, and we have never had a president who has been reluctant to say, “Let us pray.”

We Won the Election

We Won’, Part One

By Arnold Ahlert

 

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |

63 House and 6 Senate seats later, “compromise” and “working together” have become the new memes for Democrat progressives and their media apparatchiks. That’s quite an amazing turnaround for those who, only a year ago, rammed a health care bill through Congress without the slightest concern for working together or compromise. It’s the very same bunch whose leader expressed his idea of compromise in two words: “I won.” Still, compromise sounds reasonable — until we get to the actual issues where progressives wish to “split the difference.” To wit:

How do we split the difference between bankruptcy and solvency? Without the slightest interest in compromise, progressive Democrats rammed Keynesian economics down America’s throat with one stimulus package after another. They treated us to “3 million jobs created or saved,” “Recovery Summer” and “Quantitative Easing, Part 2.” The only thing “stimulated” was the unionized public sector workforce and a bunch of state governments with a pathological refusal to confront their own fiscal profligacy.

Millions of ordinary Americans didn’t get off their Barcaloungers and show up at rallies, town hall meetings, and the mall in Washington, D.C. because they wanted to slow down America’s headlong rush towards bankruptcy. They want it stopped — dead in its tracks. And the overwhelming majority of them know the bottom line: it’s the spending, stupid. Or, more importantly, it’s the spending, period. Spare us all the nonsense that raising taxes is an indispensible part of the equation. It’s only part of the equation for those members of the ruling class who wish to be relieved of making tough, responsible decisions, explaining them to a skeptical public, and standing by them when the inevitable wailing and gnashing of teeth begins.

The progressives’ “your killing granny and small children” strategy is hackneyed and tired. Bottom line: out-of-control spending is killing the whole country, grandma and small children included. And for those Americans who will inevitably say “cut every program but the one I like,” I have four words:

Snap out of it!

Regarding war, what’s the middle ground between victory and defeat? Exactly what we’ve been witnessing the last eight years. Maybe the only thing dumber than fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda with one hand tied behind our back is telling them when we’re going to stop. Even the dimmest Afghani hillbilly can draw sustenance from that nonsense. And what does al Qaeda think when we allow them to remain open for business in North Waziristan, while were feeling up grandma and the kids at O’Hare Airport?

Memo to our clueless Commander-in-Chief: the last time we were faced with an enemy that used suicide to advances its political agenda, we nuked them. Twice. You want to “win hearts and minds?” Me too — right after we completely demoralize and destroy anyone unwilling to get with the program. In 1651, English philosopher Thomas Hobbs remarked that life was “nasty, brutal and short.” War should be an exponential expansion of that philosophy. If you can’t stomach it, bring our men and women in harm’s way home — or resign.

What’s the middle ground between national sovereignty and a defenseless border? Again, exactly what we have now. Millions of law-breakers who not only don’t fear being here illegally, but who are now demanding the right to stay. This is perhaps the biggest black eye in history for a country which has long prided itself as being a “nation of laws, not a nation of men.” Even as Mexican drug cartels run wild — on both sides of the border — Eric Holder’s Justice Department is determined to sue Arizona into surrendering its own sovereignty for nothing more than political correctness and the progressive hope they can Dream Act their way to a 2012 Hispanic voting bloc keeping them power.

Last week a report, “Broken Neighbor, Broken Border,” complied for the House Immigration Reform Caucus was made public. It was a sobering and scary look at what may be the hottest war in the world going on right now, right on our southern border — and beyond. Two of its principal recommendations? First, “Let the states secure their own borders.” Second, engage in a “long-term deployment of a minimum 25,000 armed troops with enforcement power… on our southern border to preserve U.S. sovereignty and the lives of American citizens from organized armed forces hostile to the United States.” (italics mine)

Question: when does the deliberate failure to enforce the Constitutional mandate to “provide for the common defense” rise to an impeachable offense? As for compromise, where in the Constitution does it say that national security is a part-time job, or a pick-and-choose affair?

What’s the compromise between free-market capitalism and all-out socialism? Thirteen trillion dollars of debt and an unemployment rate of almost ten percent. Millions of jobs outsourced to “business friendlier” locales. Out-of-control public sector unions pushing virtually every state and local government in the country to the brink of insolvency. Banks, car and insurance companies and a host of other crony capitalists who despise genuine competition, bailed out by taxpayers because they’re “too big to fail.” An ideologically-inspired and idiotic refusal to allow the housing market to find a true bottom, even as the concept of moral hazard receives a steroid shot, and responsible Americans are made to feel like fools for being responsible.

Once again for the terminally clueless: progressivism, and its redistributionist mantra, is the super-highway to sloth, serfdom and subjugation. Anyone who thinks “more government” is the answer is either a moron — or a public school and university graduate. And anyone who thinks someone will bust his butt strictly out of the goodness of his heart — as opposed to having an incentive to do so — is even dumber than that.

There are reasons the United States has long out-performed all of South America economically, despite being settled by the exact same groups of people. There are reasons one of the youngest nations in the world leapt to the head of the pack in less than two hundred years. All one has to do is cast one’s eyes towards the individual states where progressives have been firmly in charge, or to Eastern Europe, where they broke the Berlin Wall down from the inside, to understand what happens to people when the “beneficence of the state” replaces personal ambition, individual achievement — and human dignity.

For those of you who are still unconvinced, two simple questions will suffice: could socialism survive without capitalism? Not a chance. Could capitalism survive without socialism? Absolutely, positively. The former eventually “runs out of other people’s money,” exactly as it’s doing now. The latter made us the most prosperous nation on earth.

Americans have to be realistic. The rejection of progressivism is, at the very least, a two-election process. Getting a majority of Republicans in the House can only stop the progressive agenda. Rolling it back will require an equally determined electorate in 2012. Not just to put Republicans in the control of the Senate and the White House, but to put conservatives in control of the Republican party. Heaven help us all if 2012 turns into another choice between an aging squish with liberal tendencies, and a dedicated Marxist looking for four more years to undo everything this nation has stood for, for two-plus centuries. As for his partner in crime, our current as Secretary of State, anyone who thinks Mrs. Clinton is any better than Mr. Obama is kidding themselves. That’s nothing more than a choice between two deck chairs on the Titanic.

Between now and 2012, Americans need to pay attention. The Democrats are a known socialist/marxist commodity which was made crystal clear by their re-election of one of the least popular women in American politics, Nancy Pelosi, to speaker. What that means is simple: the most left-leaning conglomeration of Democrats in the nation’s history have decided to lean further left, despite a complete repudiation in the 2010 election. Does that sound like “compromise” to you?

Republicans? Perhaps all they can do for the next two years is stand on conservative principle — but they sure as hell better do that. Memo to the RNC: Americans didn’t elect Republicans, they tossed Democrats under the bus. And while some common ground with Democrats may be found, Republicans had better understand that people who put them back in power have little patience for those willing to “go along to get along” when it comes to the critical issues mentioned above. These are Americans who saw the true face of Democrat progressivism, and weren’t merely upset, but thoroughly appalled.

They don’t want compromise. They want a line drawn in the sand.

Two Californias

Two Californias

Victor Davis Hanson
Abandoned farms, Third World living conditions, pervasive public assistance — welcome to the once-thriving Central Valley.

The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation, along with an overregulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.

During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County. I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma. My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.

Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming — to such an extent that the 20- to-100-acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California, for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.

On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas — which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment — have largely shut down; their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border. Agriculture itself — from almonds to raisins — has increasingly become corporatized and mechanized, cutting by half the number of farm workers needed. So unemployment runs somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business — rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections — but apparently none of that applies out here.

It is almost as if the more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything but feel irrelevant. But in the regulators’ defense, where would one get the money to redo an ad hoc trailer park with a spider web of illegal bare wires?

Many of the rented-out rural shacks and stationary Winnebagos are on former small farms — the vineyards overgrown with weeds, or torn out with the ground lying fallow. I pass on the cultural consequences to communities from  the loss of thousands of small farming families. I don’t think I can remember another time when so many acres in the eastern part of the valley have gone out of production, even though farm prices have recently rebounded. Apparently it is simply not worth the gamble of investing $7,000 to $10,000 an acre in a new orchard or vineyard. What an anomaly — with suddenly soaring farm prices, still we have thousands of acres in the world’s richest agricultural belt, with available water on the east side of the valley and plentiful labor, gone idle or in disuse. Is credit frozen? Are there simply no more farmers? Are the schools so bad as to scare away potential agricultural entrepreneurs? Or are we all terrified by the national debt and uncertain future?

California coastal elites may worry about the oxygen content of water available to a three-inch smelt in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, but they seem to have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture, and often toxic substances throughout California’s rural hinterland. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike by a stopped van just as the occupants tossed seven plastic bags of raw refuse onto the side of the road. I rode up near their bumper and said in my broken Spanish not to throw garbage onto the public road. But there were three of them, and one of me. So I was lucky to be sworn at only. I note in passing that I would not drive into Mexico and, as a guest, dare to pull over and throw seven bags of trash into the environment of my host.

In fact, trash piles are commonplace out here — composed of everything from half-empty paint cans and children’s plastic toys to diapers and moldy food. I have never seen a rural sheriff cite a litterer, or witnessed state EPA workers cleaning up these unauthorized wastelands. So I would suggest to Bay Area scientists that the environment is taking a much harder beating down here in central California than it is in the Delta. Perhaps before we cut off more irrigation water to the west side of the valley, we might invest some green dollars into cleaning up the unsightly and sometimes dangerous garbage that now litters the outskirts of our rural communities.

We hear about the tough small-business regulations that have driven residents out of the state, at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a week. But from my unscientific observations these past weeks, it seems rather easy to open a small business in California without any oversight at all, or at least what I might call a “counter business.” I counted eleven mobile hot-kitchen trucks that simply park by the side of the road, spread about some plastic chairs, pull down a tarp canopy, and, presto, become mini-restaurants. There are no “facilities” such as toilets or washrooms. But I do frequently see lard trails on the isolated roads I bike on, where trucks apparently have simply opened their draining tanks and sped on, leaving a slick of cooking fats and oils. Crows and ground squirrels love them; they can be seen from a distance mysteriously occupied in the middle of the road.

At crossroads, peddlers in a counter-California economy sell almost anything. Here is what I noticed at an intersection on the west side last week: shovels, rakes, hoes, gas pumps, lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, jackets, gloves, and caps. The merchandise was all new. I doubt whether in high-tax California sales taxes or income taxes were paid on any of these stop-and-go transactions.

In two supermarkets 50 miles apart, I was the only one in line who did not pay with a social-service plastic card (gone are the days when “food stamps” were embarrassing bulky coupons). But I did not see any relationship between the use of the card and poverty as we once knew it: The electrical appurtenances owned by the user and the car into which the groceries were loaded were indistinguishable from those of the upper middle class.

By that I mean that most consumers drove late-model Camrys, Accords, or Tauruses, had iPhones, Bluetooths, or BlackBerries, and bought everything in the store with public-assistance credit. This seemed a world apart from the trailers I had just ridden by the day before. I don’t editorialize here on the logic or morality of any of this, but I note only that there are vast numbers of people who apparently are not working, are on public food assistance, and enjoy the technological veneer of the middle class. California has a consumer market surely, but often no apparent source of income. Does the $40 million a day supplement to unemployment benefits from Washington explain some of this?

Do diversity concerns, as in lack of diversity, work both ways? Over a hundred-mile stretch, when I stopped in San Joaquin for a bottled water, or drove through Orange Cove, or got gas in Parlier, or went to a corner market in southwestern Selma, my home town, I was the only non-Hispanic — there were no Asians, no blacks, no other whites. We may speak of the richness of “diversity,” but those who cherish that ideal simply have no idea that there are now countless inland communities that have become near-apartheid societies, where Spanish is the first language, the schools are not at all diverse, and the federal and state governments are either the main employers or at least the chief sources of income — whether through emergency rooms, rural health clinics, public schools, or social-service offices. An observer from Mars might conclude that our elites and masses have given up on the ideal of integration and assimilation, perhaps in the wake of the arrival of 11 to 15 million illegal aliens.

Again, I do not editorialize, but I note these vast transformations over the last 20 years that are the paradoxical wages of unchecked illegal immigration from Mexico, a vast expansion of California’s entitlements and taxes, the flight of the upper middle class out of state, the deliberate effort not to tap natural resources, the downsizing in manufacturing and agriculture, and the departure of whites, blacks, and Asians from many of these small towns to more racially diverse and upscale areas of California.

Fresno’s California State University campus is embroiled in controversy over the student body president’s announcing that he is an illegal alien, with all the requisite protests in favor of the DREAM Act. I won’t comment on the legislation per se, but again only note the anomaly. I taught at CSUF for 21 years. I think it fair to say that the predominant theme of the Chicano and Latin American Studies program’s sizable curriculum was a fuzzy American culpability. By that I mean that students in those classes heard of the sins of America more often than its attractions. In my home town, Mexican flag decals on car windows are far more common than their American counterparts.

I note this because hundreds of students here illegally are now terrified of being deported to Mexico. I can understand that, given the chaos in Mexico and their own long residency in the United States. But here is what still confuses me: If one were to consider the classes that deal with Mexico at the university, or the visible displays of national chauvinism, then one might conclude that Mexico is a far more attractive and moral place than the United States.

So there is a surreal nature to these protests: something like, “Please do not send me back to the culture I nostalgically praise; please let me stay in the culture that I ignore or deprecate.” I think the DREAM Act protestors might have been far more successful in winning public opinion had they stopped blaming the U.S. for suggesting that they might have to leave at some point, and instead explained why, in fact, they want to stay. What it is about America that makes a youth of 21 go on a hunger strike or demonstrate to be allowed to remain in this country rather than return to the place of his birth?

I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed “indifferent.” California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant — no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we overregulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd — to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta — that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.

Hundreds of thousands sense all that and vote accordingly with their feet, both into and out of California — and the result is a sort of social, cultural, economic, and political time-bomb, whose ticks are getting louder.

The Assumption of Imperial Powers

The assumption of imperial powers

Posted on October 8, 2010 by Ben Johnson

This morning, political commentators are paying a great deal of attention to one of the Los Angeles Times’ stories about Barack Obama’s plans for a Republican takeover of Congress. Unfortunately, they are focusing on the wrong one. Most commentators spent the morning quoting the president’s remarks on a black radio program that a GOP-dominated Congress will result in “hand-to-hand combat.” The reality is most of the action will take place behind their backs and over their heads. All indications are, if Obama cannot get his legislative agenda enacted by Congress, he will impose it by decree.

The evidence comes buried elsewhere in today’s L.A. Times in a piece by Peter Nicholas and Christi Parsons under the hum-drum headline, “Obama Reshapes Administration for a Fresh Strategy.” The story makes clear the “fresh strategy” borders on government by executive fiat. It begins, “As President Obama remakes his senior staff, he is also shaping a new approach for the second half of his term: to advance his agenda through executive actions he can take on his own, rather than pushing plans through an increasingly hostile Congress.” This rule by divine right of kings is confirmed by no less an Obama insider than David Axelrod, who said, “It’s fair to say that the next phase is going to be less about legislative action than it is about managing the change that we’ve brought.” The Times states candidly: This means more executive orders, more use of the bully pulpit, and more deployment of his ample regulatory powers and the wide-ranging rulemaking authority of his Cabinet members.   Nicholas and Parsons note how the president has replaced the few appointees with ties to Capitol Hill in place of Chicago insiders. They specifically state the “the Environmental Protection Agency is determined to use its regulatory power…to begin lowering [carbon] emissions, in the absence of congressional action.” In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the EPA could regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act, although the act did not have these “pollutants” in mind. Seizing on this ruling, an anonymous insider who “was not authorized to speak publicly” told the Times, “The ambition is to get a reasonable start” on implementing his extremist vision.

The plan fulfills a threat Obama made earlier this year. The Associated Press reported in June, “The Obama administration says it would prefer that Congress enact climate change legislation, but has used the threat of EPA regulations to goad lawmakers into action.” Within the last week, Congressional Republicans have called the regulations job-killers, and Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia has sponsored a two-year freeze on certain EPA regulations. Now it looks as though the president will run roughshod over Rockefeller, the Republicans, and the will of the American people. More concerning than the aims to which Obama plans to use unfettered executive fiat power is the circumvention of Congress, and the Constitution, in the first place. William Galston of the Brookings Institution took the LAT Obama will employ this strategy even if Republicans do not take back either House of Congress. “Whether or not the Republicans take over majorities in one or both houses, the margins will be so much narrower that the strategy of putting together a Democratic bill and picking off a handful of Republicans to push it over the top won’t be viable anymore,” he said. Rather than triangulate, repackage his radicalism, or take an electoral chastening, Obama plans to ram his agenda down the American people’s throats “by any means necessary.”

What will this agenda look like? In part, it is already in place. On illegal immigration, the president has already excluded Congress, several states, and the overwhelming majority of the American people to aggressively promote an Open Borders agenda. A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services draft memo that surfaced this summer contemplated ways to enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.” Shortly thereafter, an ICE draft memo appeared, instructing all law enforcement – including any “state, local, or tribal officer” – that no one “should not issue detainers against an alien charged only with a traffic-related misdemeanor.” Traffic stops have been one of the most fruitful ways of finding and deporting illegal aliens and make up the heart of Arizona’s S.B. 1070, allowing state and local law enforcement agencies to exercise their federally delegated power in arresting illegal immigrants.

When the Obama administration is not making law, it is busy ignoring it. The New York Times reported that the government simply stopped deporting young illegal aliens this summer – an exemption that applies to 726,000 people – because they may be eligible for the DREAM Act, which Congress has not yet passed (and probably never will). The administration began dismissing virtually all cases against illegals who had not committed any violent crime, letting a potential 17,000 illegals off-the-hook. Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security seems to have let a Congressionally mandated program to assure visa recipients leave the country slide – although overstays are the entry point for 40-45 percent of all illegal immigrants in the United States. That is how six of the 9/11 hijackers entered the country. Although Congress supports enforcement, the administration has simply shut down their requests. Obama has unilaterally decided not to apply equal rights to disenfranchised white voters, dropping all such lawsuits targeting minority organizations. DoJ appointee Julie Fernandez said, “the Obama administration was only interested in bringing…cases that would provide political equality for racial and language minority voters.” Two former, high-ranking DoJ voting rights lawyers have testified the racist arrangement is an official government policy.  The Obama administration has already begun to entertain aspects of the Green Left’s agenda, a trend it will increase in the second half of its first (and, we hope, only) term. The EPA considered, then rejected, banning fishing gear and traditional bullets this summer. Obama has taken steps toward nationalizing millions of acres of land in the American West. In July, the president established the National Ocean Council, staffed with 27 members, by decree. Rep. Sam Farr boasted at the time, “We already have a Clean Air Act and a Clean Water Act. With today’s executive order, President Obama in effect creates a Clean Ocean Act.” Some have written this panel will implement the never-ratified UN Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).

The danger is not merely that the president will enact legislation with the stroke of a pen, like Caesar. It appears likely he will accelerate his trend to pre-empt domestic political questions before the United Nations. I was the first reporter to discover that Obama hauled Arizona before the UN Human Rights Council this summer over the state’s aforementioned immigration law. Last week, the UN’s Global Migration Group issued a new report blasting opponents of Open Borders and welfare for illegal aliens as “xenophobes and racists.” Now, the Justice Department has solicited 11 Latin American nations to weigh in on its lawsuit stating the Arizona law violates the U.S. Constitution – as though any of the parties would know or care. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer called the foreign intervention “incredibly offensive,” adding,  “American sovereignty begins in the U.S. Constitution and at the border.” The Obama administration has already rendered one of these moot and is now working to undermine the other. He has appointed two Supreme Court justices who believe in supplanting the U.S. Constitution with foreign law.Obama used the same UN report to push a far-Left agenda (including card-check union organization, bilingual ballots, universal preschool, and gays in the military) under the guise of “human rights.” He likewise extended benefits to the same-sex “partners” of some federal employees in advance of a Congressional bill to do the same.

Where does the president derive these dictatorial powers? Simple: he claims them. Article II of the U.S. Constitution delegates to the president only the powers to act as commander-in-chief of the military, grant pardons, make treaties (which must be approved by the Senate), appoint ambassadors and Supreme Court justices, and give the State of the Union address.

And, if necessary, the “right” to be impeached.

If a system of unelected, sometimes unconfirmed czars does not violate the Constitution, the assumption of imperial powers by the executive branch should.

Barack Obama is dedicated to use whatever time he has in office forcing as much of his agenda on the United States – and so transforming the economic and electoral make-up of our nation – that his radical vision can be foisted upon Americans as a fait accompli.

Many Americans believed the velvet words of hope and change during the 2008 campaign. If the thuggishness of the past two years has not convinced them of his disregard for popular will, the U.S. Constitution, and the rule of law, two years of radical, royal decrees may.

If Congressional Republicans do their jobs in 2011, Obama may not fill out two more years in office.