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America's Impotence

America's Impotence
The last few days have demonstrated that the world no longer takes America very seriously. We are impotent, as was written in the Wall Street Journal. We lack the geopolitical juice to get things done on the world stage. With each day that passes, I'm afraid we are looking more and more foolish. Vladimir Putin has gone from thumbing our eye to basically flipping America the bird. In the Where's Waldo search for NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the latest we've heard is that Snowden is in the transit zone of the Moscow airport and will not be extradited. Putin says that Snowden has not committed any crimes in Russia and that he is free to travel wherever he likes. Earlier in the day, Russia's foreign minister called America's demands for extradition "ungrounded and unacceptable." Russia knows that the have nothing to lose, so long as Barack Obama is in the White House! Time after time, Obama's appeasement strategy has gained us nothing in terms of strength, credibility or cooperation. Just take the Eastern Europe missile defense shield, which Obama canceled early in his first term. The shield, to be built in Poland and the Czech Republic, was canceled in order to appease the Russians and gain their help in convincing the Iranians to stop their nuclear aspirations. Look at ho w well THAT has turned.

Torn on Snowden
Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent column out today: If Only Our Foreign Enemies Were Republicans. He's absolutely right. If you take a look at the rhetoric Obama has been willing to use about Republicans or conservatives in his own country, you'd think that some of that vigor would translate on the world stage when we are dealing with bad actors like Iran or North Korea or even China and Russia. But no. For countries trying to undermine us or even destroy us, Obama rolls out the red carpet and sugar coats his messages. He saves his talk of “enemies” for law-abiding Americans who are upset with the size and scope of the federal government. So that's the foreign policy side of this international hide-and-seek game we're witnessing. But let's talk for a moment about Edward Snowden. I am torn on Snowden because I am glad that the American people are now aware of the Prism program and th e government’s efforts to essentially spy on us. While I am glad that we know, I am not so thrilled that he has gone to China and Russia with this unbelievable amount of data and who knows what kind of information he has shared or is planning to share with these other nations. But that leads to my real frustration, which is this: How did a 29-year-old tech analyst manage to get his hands on the most classified documents within the United States government? How is that possible? Something is wrong with a system that allows that to happen, and I've yet to hear anyone explain the real, concerted efforts to fix that and make sure it can't happen again.

Voting Rights Decision
Today the Supreme Court struck down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The section struck down by the court was Section 4, which essentially forces certain cities, counties and states to seek Justice Department approval for any changes in their election laws. This was put in place in the 1960s due to poor voter registration and turnout among minorities and a general history of racial discrimination. Luckily, times have changed and I think this decision proves that it has changed for the better. Essentially the Supreme Court is saying that the formula established in the 1960s is no longer applicable, and Congress can now come up with a new pre-clearance formula that better reflects our current society. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion: "Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.” I've heard liberal pundits have described this ruling as “disgusting.” Chuck Todd of NBC News doubts the ability of Congress to deal with the issue (as the Court suggests): “Frankly, I think, all of us that watch Washington, I don’t think Congress is mature enough to do this right now. That the political, ideological, sort of the way some of these members conduct themselves, I am a pessimist on their ability to do something like this. But, they’re going to have to.” He says that Obama should be the one to lead on the issue as if Obama had any more credibility in Washington these days.

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