Tag archives: President Barack Obama

America’s Uncertain International Trumpet

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 8, 2014

A couple of days ago, President Obama commented to “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd that “There are days when I’m not getting enough sleep, because we’ve got a lot on our plate.” According to Jennifer Epstein of Politico, the President went on to say that “You know, when you’re … President of the United States, you’re not just dealing with the United States.” Citing various international military, political, and medical crises, he said, “You know, the inbox gets pretty high.”

Every President says such equally banal things, be he a Republican or a Democrat. What’s troubling is that throughout his presidency, Mr. Obama has repetitively emphasized the value of “partnerships” and international coalitions, as in comments he made during his first presidential trip overseas in 2009: “(America’s) leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can’t solve these problems alone.”

Aside from the rather baffling syntax of that sentence, Mr. Obama seems to miss a single, determinative point. America is unique not just because of our moral example or ability to marshal other nations into what President Bush called a “coalition of the willing.” Alliances, partnerships, coalitions, pacts, etc. can be important, even essential, in a number of contexts. Rather, America’s uniqueness is defined not by our being, as it were, first among equals, but the unique coalescence of our values, our power, and our resolve in a violent, unsteady world.

The President is a man of nuance. Nuance can be a valuable trait, insofar as it prevents one from making impulsive, reactive, or excessive decisions. But the presidency is not a graduate seminar in which to express ambivalent opinions in front of a closely-listening world, one that hungers for clear, confident American leadership. When he speaks almost simultaneously of destroying ISIS and “managing” it, the uncertainty of the trumpet Mr. Obama blows reverberates with a chilling echo around the world.

National security and vital interests should determine America’s engagement in given wars, hot-spots, and places of need. Historically, when our security has been jeopardized and our critical interests threatened, we have acted, often in tandem with friends and allies, to defend and secure them. But we have not failed to act alone when singular, bracing action has been needed. Consider Reagan at Reykjavik or Nixon’s unequivocal stand with Israel during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War: These things inspire those who long for our leadership and give great caution to those who wish to diminish it.

One of the paradoxes of American power is that to sustain our position of unique international leadership, our country must be prepared, always, to act promptly, wisely, forcefully, and alone. We are appealing to our friends precisely because we historically have been ready to stand by ourselves, bravely and powerfully. The very independence of our resolve is what has made other countries want to ally with us. When we make partnerships a precondition of bold action, we hem ourselves into a seam of international approval and mincing diplomatic etiquette from which it is hard to disentangle ourselves.

The stance our nation takes on the world stage is not developed to win friends and be well-loved. Of course, many of our actions, such as the Berlin Airlift and the Marshall Plan and our gifts of food and medicine to the developing world have wedded our interests and our moral convictions, which have won us friends and created loyalties from which we have benefitted greatly.

Instead, our objectives should be clear and never in doubt: We want to be respected by our friends and feared by our adversaries. Such respect is the foundation of the international affection for which some politicians seem to long as the chief end of America’s global involvement. Pursuit of “being liked” as an end in itself invites disdain from our enemies and doubt from our allies. As a result, such a pursuit creates the very acrimony and upheaval its proponents say they wish to avoid.

After the Bay of Pigs disaster, young President John F. Kennedy met with Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev in Vienna. Kennedy was candid about Kruschev’s behavior: the latter “thought that anyone who was so young and inexperienced as to get into that mess could be taken. And anyone who got into it and didn’t see it through had no guts. So he just beat the h**l out of me … I’ve got a real problem.” The Cuban missile crisis was not long to follow, as Kruschev had determined Kennedy was weak.

Would Vladimir Putin have dared to venture into the Ukraine, or would Hamas dared to launch its missile assaults on Israel, if they feared the reaction of the United States? Would ISIS have become so voraciously predatory if its leaders worried about anything but a tepid, slow response from America? Would China have hacked American corporations so assiduously if it feared truly tough retaliation from Washington?

Maybe. But maybe not. Whether a conservative or a liberal, the American president must be someone who realizes that the surest way to avoid having to use our power is a willingness to use it, prudently but decisively, when and where it is needed for the sake of our security and crucial interests.

Barack Obama and Constitutional Originalism

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 22, 2014

According to the Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism, “Originalism is the view that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with its original meaning — that is, the meaning it had at the time of its enactment.”

Yep — that’s what conservatives believe. The written text had and has a defined meaning, alterable only by amendment. As Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has written, “The Constitution itself is not a document of convenience. It specifies an onerous process — bicameralism and presentment — to pass legislation. It imposes a system of checks and balances among the branches. Perhaps most important, it limits the types of power the federal government can exercise.”

That’s not what President Obama believes, however. In his article, “A Brief History of Obama’s Biggest Constitutional Flops,” constitutional scholar Damon Root writes, “Despite his training as a former constitutional law lecturer, President Barack Obama continues to push dubious legal theories that fail to persuade even the most liberal justices to vote in his favor.”

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Mr. Obama expressed great frustration with the “constraints” of the Constitution, observing of the Supreme Court under the late Chief Justice Earl Warren, “… the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, as least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted in the same way that, generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.”

At least Mr. Obama admits, albeit grudgingly, that the Founders actually meant something definitive when they wrote the Constitution — even though the then-law school lecturer implies we need to “break free” of such limitations.

So it came as a surprise today when his spokesman cited original intent in chiding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for issuing a ruling stating that the wording of the Affordable Care Act does not give license to the federal government to “subsidize health insurance premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange.”

You don’t need a fancy legal degree to understand that Congress intended for every eligible American to have access to tax credits that would lower their health care costs, regardless of whether it was state officials or federal officials who were running the marketplace,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “I think that was a pretty clear intent of the congressional law.”

So, now President Obama is concerned with the intention of federal law? Well, that’s great news. I wonder how that will apply to, say, the First and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution, which he has, up to now, only applied at best erratically. Their meaning, and the meaning of the Constitution generally, can be known through the Federalist Papers, James Madison’s “Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention in 1787,” and the ratification debates held in the states as the early Republic wrestled with whether or not to affirm the Constitution itself.

However, the original intent of any document is expressed in its text, not in what we wish it would be. And the text of Obamacare provides no basis for the federal subsidization of health insurance premiums for, again, “people in the three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange.”

You can’t have it all ways, Mr. President — either originalism based on the clear meaning of the text matters or it doesn’t.

The Gettysburg Inversion

by Robert Morrison

November 19, 2013

President Obama has declined to go to Gettysburg for the 150th anniversary of the Emancipator’s great address. It is altogether fitting and proper that he should do this. The comparisons that would inevitably have been made with Lincoln’s elegaic prose would not have been kind.

This president has said that wherever he goes is Obama Country. So, for now, that hallowed ground will be spared. Lincoln spoke to the eternal verities of the laws of nature and of nature’s God when he described this nation as one conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Lincoln would later tell listeners in Baltimore, in a less noted speech, that the world stands in need of a good definition of liberty. He compared the differing views of the shepherd’s wielding his crook to drive the wolf from the sheep’s throat. The sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator. The wolf thinks himself deprived, his liberty infringed.

The world needs a good definition of created equal. To President Obama and his legions of supporters, created equal means, among other things, the right to marry whomever you love and to dispose of those unborn children whom you do not.

To President Obama, there is no necessary conflict between being created equal and this government-sanctioned, fully funded slaughter of innocents. Redefining marriage against the laws of nature and nature’s God is seen as a necessary evolution of an enlightened society.

Obamacare is intended to normalize abortion-on-demand. The president has internalized what NARAL founder Lawrence Lader said: “Abortion is central to everything in life and how we want to live it.” That is why Mr. Obama went to Planned Parenthood in 2007 — a year before he appeared before the famous Greek columns in Denver — to assure the world’s largest trafficker in abortion that he would never depart from their agenda.

If millions of Americans believe he deceived them about keeping their health insurance plans, Planned Parenthood’s minions are not among those feeling betrayed. The president told Speaker Boehner he would shut down the government rather than consent to one dollar being cut from Planned Parenthood’s appropriations.

President Obama became the first leader to address an abortionists’ convention, these shedders of innocent blood. He urged them to keep it up. He assured them of God’s blessing.

In the midst of the current political fight over his signature accomplishment, President Obama could ill afford to go to Gettysburg to explain how his philosophy and his actions are consistent with Lincoln’s government of the people, by the people, for the people. This is especially so when Obamacare may prove lethal to millions of those very people.

He would not want to answer a question unavoidably raised by Lincoln’s 1859 description of America’s Founders and their core beliefs. Lincoln said it was their enlightened view that “nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon.” The question the president would doubtless be asked: “Are not unborn children so stamped?”

Bill Clinton, Honor, and Obamacare

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 13, 2013

Even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they’ve got.” - Bill Clinton

Honor” is not the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Bill Clinton. It is thus not wholly without irony that the proclaimer of, “I did not have sex with that woman” talks about public moral obligation.

Substantively, Clinton has a point. The President made, repetitively, two promises: That those who want to keep their current health insurance could do so, and that they could also retain their current physicians.

One of three things happened: (1) The President lied. (2) His advisors misled him and sent him out with incorrect information. (3) The President didn’t take the time to read and grasp what was in his own mammoth proposal.

If the third option is correct, this makes Mr. Obama far from unique. Many Washington politicians don’t know the details of the bills about which they vote. They rely on aides to give them succinct summaries or quickly read “vote justification” sheets handed to them by leadership staff as they enter the House or Senate chambers.

This is troubling, but also understandable: The size and scope of the federal government and its laws and regulations is almost incomprehensible, and massive legislative tomes, many of which are written in technical legal language, frequently are too long and too dense for careful review prior to the time set to vote on them.

Yet this is a different case. The President of the United States put forward two essential un-truths about his signature domestic policy achievement, one that he touted as “a new season for America.” If anyone should have understood his law, he should have.

I take no pleasure in accusing Mr. Obama of either deliberate lying or disturbing inattention. It’s worth noting that such traits cut across party lines, political convictions, and status of office. Mr. Obama would not be unique among politicians or presidents in persistently telling a falsehood or trusting unwisely in the reassurances of unelected advisors. But this makes him no less responsible for his misrepresentations.

Christians should not gloat over Mr. Obama’s failures. We should, instead, pray for our President and for the other national leaders who now must sort through the devastation the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is wreaking.

The new season Mr. Obama promised is indeed upon us. The chill is penetrating to the national core.

We Must Act: Inaugural Address Falls Flat

by Robert Morrison

January 22, 2013

I was fourteen when I attended a family wedding. The morning after, I snuck into the reception area and took a sip of the champagne from the previous night’s revelry. It was warm and flat. It almost ruined my taste for the bubbly for the rest of my life.

And that’s how I felt about President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address. The Washington Post trumpeted the hortatory line We Must Act as if it was holy writ. Well, they had to write something in that pompous headline.

I remember Lyndon B. Johnson’s three-worder addressing a joint session of Congress after JFK was assassinated: “Let us contin-ya.” OK. What did we expect him to say? “I’m going to abandon all of John Kennedy’s policies”?

President Obama’s First Inaugural Address was witnessed by 1.8 million people on the National Mall in 2009. It was doubtless an historic occasion. But what did he say then? We struggle to recall a single memorable line. I looked this one up:

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

Is this what Chris Matthews considers Lincolnesque? Try this for Lincolnesque:

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

This was Lincoln’s State of the Union Message to Congress of December 1, 1862, now just 150 years past. Lincoln did not deliver this address in person; a clerk in Congress probably droned on.

But the words of President Lincoln have life, power, and purpose a century and a half later. Lincoln did not graduate from Columbia or Harvard Law School. Maybe that’s why he was such a powerful orator and rhetorician.

Also, Abraham Lincoln was an avid reader of Shakespeare. He knew long passages from the Bard by heart. We can hear echoes of Shakespeare’s mastery of language in many of Lincoln’s writings.

Yesterday was also the federal holiday dedicated to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

His famous 1963 “I have a dream” speech certainly inspired millions of Obama voters in 2008 and 2012. But that speech appealed to Americans of all races and political opinions when it was delivered. It reached out from “the red hills of Georgia” the mountaintops of New York, California and the Rockies. It was a generous, embracing speech, joining Americans together in a common affirmation of our founding ideals.

We are told over and over again that President Obama’s every act is historic. Well, yes.

We probably never had a president chew gum at his Inaugural Parade before (although I won’t vouch for Old Hickory, Andrew Jackson’s not chewing tobacco at his.)

Still, it’s hard to do something historic without saying something memorable. At Normandy in 2009, President Obama “hovered over the nations like a sort of god,” enthused Newsweek editor Evan Thomas. Okay, Mr. Thomas, so what did this sort of god say there? Even his most bedazzled admirers cannot tell you.

I remember Ronald Reagan’s 1984 “Boys of Pointe du Hoc” speech at Normandy as if it were yesterday. He pointed to the grizzled veterans seated before him and praised them for liberating a continent, for “leaving the vivid air signed with their honor.”

Presidents are judged by their words. We carve them in stone. We expect a president to offer us something better, finer, loftier than the humdrum of day-to-day utterance. This Inaugural Address sounded like a campaign potboiler, a harangue to gin up the base. There was not a word in it to appeal to me.

Mitt Romney was rightly criticized for referring to the “47-percenters”—those Americans he claimed were receiving or had received some form of payment from the federal government. It is hard to imagine how you could ever unite the country when you dismiss nearly one-half of it.

But yesterday’s Inaugural Address was just as narrowly partisan, just as dismissive. President Obama was saying: We won, you 48-percenters, so stand by for another round of liberal hope and change that will leave you gasping for air. We must act; you will be acted upon.

May I offer a suggestion to President Obama with all respect? Read Abraham Lincoln’s Bible. Read it daily. Millions of us revere the Bible as the Word of God, but even if you don’t believe that, the King James Version of the Bible gives us a style and a resonance that has never been equaled. In it, you might even read about what pride goeth before.

America’s Religious Heritage is not a “Patchwork,” Mr. President

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 16, 2013

In today’s proclamation concerning “Religious Freedom Day,” President Obama refers to America’s religious heritage as a “patchwork.”

This is revisionism, a conscious dilution of the historical record. The reality is that America’s religious heritage is grounded in the Jewish and Christian faiths. To maintain this is nothing more than a matter of intellectual integrity.

No serious scholar argues that every American alive in 1776 was a Christian, or that all of the leading Founders were biblical inerrantists. Rather, just about all of them had been drenched in the Bible from their youth. Their worldview was informed and animated by their belief in an infinitely wise, all-powerful, and personally intervening God – the God of the Old and New Testaments.

Consider the words of four respected American historians:

Daniel Dreisbach, Ph.D. (Oxford), American University: “the Founders … identified themselves as Christians, were influenced in important ways by Christian ideas, and generally thought it appropriate for civic authorities to encourage Christianity.”

Mark David Hall, Ph.D. (University of Virginia), George Fox University: “Christian ideas underlie some key tenets ofAmerica’s constitutional order. For instance, the Founders believed that humans are created in the image of God, which led them to design institutions and laws meant to protect and promote human dignity. Because they were convinced that humans are sinful, they attempted to avoid the concentration of power by framing a national government with carefully enumerated powers. As well, the Founders were committed to liberty, but they never imagined that provisions of the Bill of Rights would be used to protect licentiousness. And they clearly thought moral considerations should inform legislation.”

Ellis Sandoz, Ph.D. (University of Munich), Louisiana State University: “The Constitution owes a great debt to the spiritual convictions of the country and to its Christian traditions … It is primarily in terms of contextual factors that the spiritual aspects of the Constitution are to be sought.” A Government of Laws: Political Theory, Religion, and the American Founding: Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 2001, p.126.

Matt Spalding, Ph.D. (Claremont Graduate School): From the perspective of religious faith, the basic principles of the Founding, at the level of political principles, were understood to be in essential agreement with the core precepts of the Bible. That this is the case can be seen throughout the many church sermons published from the founding era.

The Judeo-Christian emphasis on personal moral accountability and liberty of conscience has allowed religions of all kinds to find a home in America. But all faiths have not been equal in the shaping of our Republic. This is not to disparage any faith other than Judaism or Christianity, but only to stand by a historical record that is clear.

Contra the President, our religious heritage is not a “patchwork.” It has been, rather, an almost seamless garment of biblical convictions and values. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “we cannot escape history.” Let’s not try.

See also FRC Senior Fellow Bob Morrison’s booklet, “Deeds Not Words: What the Founders Really Did on Religious Freedom,” and Dr. Dreisbach’s FRC lecture on “The Bible and the Founders.

Two paths diverge in a partisan town

by Jessica Prol

April 11, 2012

The poet Robert Frost once wrote of two paths diverging in a yellow wood. After pondering the merits of each way, he makes a choice.

While our Federal city isnt much of a yellow wood, there are two fiscal paths that diverge in front of our lawmakers. Based on projections from the Congressional Budget Office, President Obama’s budgetary path would substantially increase Federal social benefits as a share of GDPfrom about 16.7 in 2010 to 23.1 percent of GDP in 2085.

In contrast, the path proposed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would prevent such an increase by fundamentally reforming Federal health care programs.

In a recent interview with the Christian Broadcasting Networks David Brody, Chairman Ryan articulated the differences:

We want to restore the American dream for everybody in American society so that every person has a chance at equal opportunity to make the most of their lives. The presidents vision, I believe, is to equalize the outcome of peoples lives - not to promote natural rights and equal opportunity, but new government granted rights and equality of outcome. Its a very different vision of what it used to be, and I really think thats where the president is trying to take this country.

While we can assume that the President intends no personal malice towards the American dream, his budget threatens to curtail and redefine it.

Economist and author, John D. Mueller has crunched the numbers on the Presidents budget and compared it to Chairman Ryans alternative. He projects that the U.S. birth rate will fall significantly under current law, from about 2.1 to about 1.75 children per couple in 2085. He further projects that would remain almost exactly at the replacement rate of 2.1 under the proposed Ryan budget, approximating the Social Security Trustees’ Intermediate Assumptions.

Join us today for a lunchtime lecture as Mueller releases his original research and why these birthrate projections even matter.

Two budgetary paths diverge in a partisan town. Taking the one less traveled by might make all the difference.

Register here for the live event, or to attend by webcast.

It Has Been Worse

by Robert Morrison

October 19, 2009

I’ve been on travel the past week, visiting with college administrators, staff, and students. I’m often asked by concerned young people: “Has it ever been this bad before?”

Oh, my yes. When I was your age, I tell them, 300 American cities went up in flames after Dr. King was assassinated, riots in the streets turned huge areas of America’s cities into no-go zones. Bob Kennedy was assassinated en route to a likely presidential nomination. Three hundred young Americans were dying in Vietnam every week, with no strategy for victory and no end in sight. Inflation was rampant and few Americans could see our country healing after such terrible divisions.

But heal she did. Last week, I witnessed American troops coming home from Iraq in two of our major airports. Welcoming committees cheered them wildly. What a great improvement on the sullen indifference that greeted too many of our returning Vietnam vets. One of my pool pals—guys I swim with every morning—was one of those Vietnam vets who came home to no welcome. Today, he joins the welcomers in applauding our magnificent troops. God bless you, Bob Hogan!

Even worse than that “annus horribilis” of 1968 was Washington in 1861. A book by Ernest Furgurson, Freedom Rising, describes the scene in the Capital. “Panic seized the people and the previous emigration [from Washington] was child’s play to the present hegira,” wrote a young man of that time of civil war. He was obviously educated before we had a federal education department. Furgurson’s narrative goes on: “Property is valueless, business is dead,” wrote a 19th century observer. “To feed incoming troops, the federal government confiscated all the flour in the mills of Georgetown and aboard schooners about to sail. Residents of Georgetown were awakened by what they feared was cannon fire; it was [instead] 3,000 barrels of flour being rolled out of one of the town’s thirty-three canalside warehouses, to supply ovens being built for the army in the basement of the Capitol. Within fifteen minutes of the confiscation order, the public price of a single barrel of flour more than doubled.”

Check out your local super market: the price of bread has not doubled. Yes, it has been worse, much, much worse.

After Pearl Harbor, there was a real, sinking feeling that the West Coast of the U.S. was defenseless. With the Pacific fleet crippled, what was there to stop the Japanese from seizing Seattle and San Francisco? These fears, we now know, were exaggerated. And they led to the unjustifiable internment of thousands of Japanese-Americans. Nonetheless, they did not seem irrational or unrealistic then.

But because things have been much, much worse than now does not mean that we should relax our strenuous efforts one bit. What is being proposed —- and seriously planned in Washington today —- is a grave threat to our future. The health care takeover is menacing. Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s former labor secretary, and a real bellwether for liberalism, wrote boldly to seniors: “We will let you die.” Sarah Palin was publicly pilloried for saying they would do that. Reich, from Harvard, says it and gets away with it.

Rush Limbaugh was blackballed by the NFL over racist comments he never made. Yet Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg boasts about her lovely office at the Supreme Court. It faces an interior courtyard, where she won’t have to see or hear those raucous protesters out in front. She can don her $3.000 Paris-made judicial robes and never have to answer for her genocidal comments about public funding for abortions. She told the New York Times she thought the Supreme Court missed the whole point of Roe when it upheld the Hyde Amendment that bans federal funding of abortion back in 1980. She always thought, she confessed, that public funding of abortion was necessary to get rid of “populations we don’t want too many of.” No more heinous statement has been made by a Supreme Court justice since Roger B. Taney said “the black man has no rights which the white man is bound to respect.”

Another huge threat is the debt being piled upon our children’s generation and our grandchildren’s. The government announced on Friday that this year’s deficit had climbed to $1,400,000,000,000. President Obama has managed, in just nine months, to exceed the debt run up by all 43 of his predecessors. The media likes to print it as “$1.4 trillion.” Sounds small. There’s a decimal, after all. But it really should be reported as $1.4 TRILLION! George W. Bush is no innocent in this regard. But if he ran up a mountain of debt, Barack Obama has answered with a Mountain Range of debt. It’s Pike Peak versus the Rockies.

Can we survive? Can we come back? Yes. During that horrible year of 1968, many of us college students were pretty down. Our wonderful diplomatic history prof at University of Virginia—Norman A. Graebner—had not given up on this country. He concluded his final lecture of the year by urging us to understand the incredible unused resources of these United States. The U.S. was like the boxer, Joe Louis, he said. The Brown Bomber always had “power to spare.”

The man we called “Graebner the Great” was right. America does have power to spare. That power stems ultimately from the American people’s reliance on God. In God we Trust. As long as that is so, I say power to the people.

President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize for…funding abortions overseas?

by Cathy Ruse

October 9, 2009

It was announced this morning that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Reuters reports that The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for his

extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation

between peoples.

But this prize was apparently awarded *prospectively*, since the nomination

deadline for the prize came less than two weeks after Obama took office.

So what actions did Obama as President take before the February 1st deadline

that gave the committee such assurance of his future worthiness of the

prize?

On January 20 he called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and

declared his intention to give multiple rights and privileges to homosexual

couples.

On January 22 he issued an order announcing his intention to close

Guantanamo Bay.

On January 23 he issued an order authorizing tax dollars for abortions

abroad.

As Michael Novak wrote in National Review Online at the time: These first

steps were unworthy of a great nation and unworthy of a serious leader.

Mother Teresa called abortion the greatest destroyer of peace. But

according to the Nobel committee, forcing taxpayers to fund it gets you a

peace prize.

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