A few things I would ask you to consider this morning as I reflect on recent and upcoming issues regarding our President. While this is not a "political" blog, I did say from the outset that I would sometimes comment on politics, "For What It's Worth".
One of the most important (and long lasting) actions taken by the Chief Executive involve the appointment of Judicial nominees, especially that of the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Federal Judges serve for life. They are not elected by the people, and can only be removed from office by impeachment for cause. the Judicial branch of our Federal government (outlined in Article III of the U.S. Constitution) serve as an important part of the checks and balances, wisely written into the Constitution by it's framers.
As you know, Associate Justice David Souter has announced his intention to retire from the High Court at the end of this session. So, only four months into his first term, the duty falls to our new President to appoint his first Supreme Court Justice. Many commentators believe that appointment could come as early as today. Speculation is that Mr. Obama's appointment will likely be a woman, and possibly one of Hispanic descent. Common sense and experience would indicate that the candidate will also be philosophically aligned with the liberal political views of the President. I have no problem with any of this, because that is the way the system works. The President makes the appointment, and the Senate confirms or rejects the nominee under it's "advise and consent" responsibilities in the constitutional process. It should be apparent to the most casual observer, that a conservative President will appoint conservative judges, and a liberal Chief Executive will appoint liberal jurists. When Barack Obama was elected President, no one should have had any doubts where his priorities lay involving judicial nominees.
I personally would like to see a more conservative jurist appointed to the High Court, but one would only assume that the new nominee would be ideologically aligned with the opinions of Justices Souter, Stevens, Bryer, and Ginsberg. What does concern me more is what the President recently said that he is looking for in a Supreme Court Justice. He says he will nominate someone with "empathy".
Empathy? What the heck is THAT all about? Does "the boy president" even understand the constitutional duties of the Supreme Court? The American Heritage Dictionary defines empathy as:
1. Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives. (See Synonyms at pity.)
2. The attribution of one's own feelings to an object.
The duty of the Supreme Court is to interpret the law. The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the U.S. It's main functions are to interpret the Constitution and to examine every law passed whether federal or state and determine if said laws adhere to the Constitution of the United States. Empathy doesn't come into the equation. Applying the Constitution, and not one's feelings, opinions, and pity, is the criteria for the work of a Supreme Court Justice.
The statue of the "Lady Justice" at the Supreme Court building depicts our justice system as blindfolded to outside influences, judging only by the scales in her hand.
It is not that this President "doesn't get it". No, not at all. It is simply another glimpse into his strange view of what America is really all about.
It's been about 10 days now since Mr. Obama's much ballyhooed speech at the Commencement Ceremony at Notre Dame. The invitation to speak in South Bend was controversial because of his "Pro Choice" views on abortion and the traditional "Pro Life" stance of the Roman Catholic Church. The debate raged on for some time on the cable news networks.
Should Mr. Obama be invited to speak at Notre Dame?
Well, why not? He IS the President of the United States and the honor of having the nation's Chief Executive speak at a commencement is a major one. Obviously his appearance was popular with the audience.
Should Mr. Obama have been conferred an Honorary Doctorate? Absolutely not!
The former question speaks of respect for his office. The latter is an abominable decision that a Catholic university would confer an honorary degree upon a politician who has no respect for the basic human "right to life."
In his speech, the President made reference to the differing views on abortion. He made no bones about the fact that the two differing viewpoints are at polar opposites and that there are certain irreconcilable differences between the two camps. Duh! He certainly has a tremendous grasp of the obvious...
What is more amazing, however, is that he stated that both sides must find "common ground" on the issue of abortion. Pardon me for asking, but HOW in God's name can we find "common ground" on the matter of terminating a human life in what should be the safest place on earth - it's mother womb. The matter is a simple one. Abortion stops a beating heart. Innocent life is terminated - often under the oblique heading of "choice" or "reproductive rights". The practice is either right or wrong. Where, please tell me, is ANY possibility for "common ground". Unborn life is either sacred, or it is not. Try as hard as you like, straddling the fence on this issue is impossible.
The thing that amazes me, is that many of the same politicians who have decried the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" on terrorist prisoners, are the same characters who approve of inserting scissors into the base of the skull of a partially born baby, and sucking the brains out, all in the name of "choice". Talk about inconsistent... now THAT is torture.
Common ground, Mr. President? Impossible!
The final thought I want to share with you today comes from page 92 of the May 25th issue of "Newsweek" magazine. It is a telling graphic which shines a bright light on Mr. Obama's Three Trillion, five hundred, fifty Billion dollar budget he has submitted to Congress. In figures, that's $3,550,000,000,000.00! Seth Colter Walls did the research that appears with the illustrations by Peter Arkle in an eye opening picture of "What You Could Buy With Obama's 2010 Federal Budget". Here is a breakdown, without the illustrations:
With the money in President Obama's 2010 budget, one could buy -
- Everything produced in Italy in 2008 - PLUS
- A refund for everyone defrauded by Bernie Madoff - PLUS
- The International Space Station - PLUS
- An electric car for every 16 and 17 year old in America - PLUS
- All the oil in Saudi Arabia - PLUS
- The Big Dig, Boston's urban-infrastructure money pit - PLUS
- Full funding for the Krasnow Institute's project to map the Human Brain - PLUS
- All the tea in China - PLUS
- The treasure of King Tut's Tomb - PLUS
- Recession era bargain: an Upper East Side NY Condo on 94th Street - PLUS
- The 1909 mint condition Honus Wagner baseball card - PLUS
- A week long staging of Stockhausen's seven-opera series - PLUS
- One $.99 MP3 download from iTunes for everyone in America - PLUS
- A pair of Marc Jacobs 214S sunglasses, with dark gray lenses - PLUS
- A burrito at Chiptole in Manhattan.
Kind of puts it in perspective doesn't it? I would have included the dollar figures, but there are way too many 0's and my fingers are tired! You can look it up in Newsweek for yourself.
Enough of this for today.
How's that "hopey, changey thing" going for you?