This Is What Putin Learned From Obama

Vladimir Putin’s recent takeover of Crimea may be just the beginning of twenty-first century expansion tactics.  It’s conquering by stealth, done quietly, without gunfire and violence.  In plain words, if you want to march into a country or seize power, just do it.

Observers may wonder whether Putin learned this tactic from Obama.  After all, Obama’s political party, the Democratic Party of the United States, has used stealth tactics for the last 50 years or more.

There are several characteristics Putin’s expansion has in common with the Democratic Party’s expansion.  The major characteristic is that it is done quietly, without fanfare.

The Democratic Party has used this strategy in domestic policy.  When the major cities of the nation, controlled by Democrats, began to lose population, they took over the Congress’s power of naturalization and began to issue policies and pass laws to promote illegal immigration.  Chicago, Barack Obama’s political alma mater, has had an official Sanctuary Policy since 1985; and since 1990, the illegal immigrant population of the U.S. has exploded.

And what Obama just did involves a number of unprecedented actions, which have violated legislative protocol and the U.S. Constitution.  For example, he allowed his Attorney General, Eric Holder, to refuse to answer questions before the Issa Committee.  Holder was subsequently held in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions and turn over officially requested documents.  After disrespecting Congressional protocol, there were no serious repercussions; so it appears that President Obama’s advice to Eric Holder can be seen as another example of his policy to just do it.

Under President Obama’s watch, the Tea Party and other potentially troublesome political groups had their non-profit status delayed.  This was done by Obama IRS employee Lois Lerner.  Lerner then abused the protocol surrounding the use of the Fifth Amendment in Congressional Hearings.  She read a statement declaring her ignorance of the matter and innocence, and then pleaded the Fifth Amendment.  No doubt Eric Holder’s advice to her was to not worry about consequences; “just do it.”

President Obama’s other big move against his political enemies was in regard to seizing the Congress’s power of the purse.  For four years, he enlisted the cooperation of Senate Leader Harry Reid; and Reid refused to vote on a budget.  This gave President Obama the sole authority to spend money, something he does not have under the U.S. Constitution.  No one stopped him.  He just did it.

The difference between Obama and Reagan is that Obama is very aggressive at seizing the legislative power of Congress and using the IRS to stifle the campaigns of his political adversaries, while Reagan compromised with Tip O’Neill and the Democrat-controlled Congress to achieve his domestic policy.  Reagan’s aggression was used to pursue foreign policy, Obama’s to pursue domestic initiatives.

Putin may have first perceived Obama’s just-do-it political strategy as a sign of aggressiveness, and wondered if he would be as aggressive toward foreign nations as Reagan.  But after looking at Obama’s foreign actions, Putin may have quickly realized that Obama is the opposite with regard to foreign relations: that unlike Reagan, he will not intercede.  The tipping point may have been Obama’s flight from action after his “red line” threat delivered to Syria, his reluctance to save the four victims of the Benghazi attack, and the proposed Defense Dept. cutbacks.

When Secretary of State John Kerry remarked that invasions are no longer part of twenty-first century politics, that position was a curious contradiction to Obama’s domestic politics, which reflect the racial equality principles of the 1960s. Obama is very comfortable with maintaining twentieth century political perspectives—Republicans can go to the back of the bus– toward domestic politics, but not foreign.  No doubt Putin has noticed this as well.

It is interesting to point out that when the Soviet Union last held Crimea, President Ronald Reagan pressured them into giving it up.  Official KGB archives reveal that the Soviets thought Reagan was some kind of nut.  The KGB genuinely felt that Reagan was about to initiate a nuclear first strike.

Putin served in the KGB and must remember how the Soviet concern for Reagan’s threats motivated “the largest intelligence operation in Soviet history,”1 which sought to “uncover the West’s nuclear plot”2.   Their concern was motivated by Reagan’s strong anti-Soviet rhetoric conveyed through his Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative .

It’s also difficult to see how Putin thinks Obama worries over the suffering that may occur in Russia under his program of economic sanctions.  After all, under Obama’s watch, America’s unemployed population has skyrocketed, the welfare and food stamp rolls have climbed to unprecedented heights, and the median income of Americans has dropped to that of 1996. All of these signals teach Putin that Obama has no qualms about making the working class and poor suffer.

It would be difficult, then, for Putin to believe that President Obama expects him to fret about the economic consequences of Obama’s sanctions.

Reagan once called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.”  Subsequently, in 1989 at the end of Reagan’s second term, the Soviet Union released Crimea from its political control.   But now, Obama, through his weakness and attitude of ignoring protocol, the law, and the U.S. Constitution; has provided a precedent to Putin on how to achieve a political goal: just do it.

In the final analysis, Obama’s own policy of expanding political power by just seizing it may have been the strongest signal picked up by Vladimir Putin.  Putin is obviously very comfortable with the idea that the seizures of Crimea and Ukraine only require a pen and a phone.



1. Page 2.

2. Id.

Andrews, C. and Gordievsky, O. (1990).  KGB: The inside story of its foreign relations from Lenin to Gorbachev. New York: Harper Collins.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Are Both Political Parties The Same?

Photo credit: DonkeyHotey (Creative Commons)

American voters are pretty evenly divided between those who vote for Democrats and those who vote for Republicans.  Two political comments used by politicians and the media alike are the statements that “both parties are the same” and “both parties do it.”

Looking at the comment “both parties do it,” there are some interesting and amusing observations that can be made.  Republicans rarely defend themselves or their policy mistakes by saying “both parties do it.”

Democrats are far more likely to defend themselves by saying “both parties do it” whenever confronted by something unpleasant about their Party’s behavior in the Senate or the White House.  This comment has some interesting, if consistently avoided, implications.

Whenever voters defend Democrats by saying “both parties do it,” then one can reply: “then why do you vote for Democrats?”  Secondly, the political party that is most likely to say this is also the party that likes to say it is superior to the Republicans, that Republicans are only concerned about money and making the rich wealthier by taking money away from the middle class and poor.

As with any discussion, there comes a time to separate rhetoric from reality.  As noted above, if a Democrat responds to criticism by saying both parties are the same, then one should expect them to vote for Republicans for their rest of their lives, since they themselves have already admitted that there is no difference between the Parties.  After all, voting for Democrats shows a preference, not a concept that they are equal.  The only sure way to prove the voter feels both Parties are the same is to vote for both equally.

If they respond, “why vote for Republicans; they are the same?” then they simply state their preference over again.

An easy way to refute the claim that only Republicans care about the rich is to point out the fact that during President Obama’s first term, the wealthiest one percent of the nation’s voters gained 95 percent of the wealth created under his tenure.  This is a higher ratio than under President Bush.  So in reality, Obama is the President who grew the earnings gap between rich and poor most dramatically, not Bush.

And those who say that the deficit grew under President Bush at the same rate as under President Obama have to confront the fact that the deficit exploded only after Democrats took over the House – and therefore the budget – after 2006, under the leadership of the wealthy Rahm Emanuel, who served as Chief of Staff under President Obama during his first term (and who, by the way, earned $18.5 million during the housing collapse as tens of millions of Americans lost equity in their homes.)

But this doesn’t fit the official DNC self-made brand.  The highest deficit under a Republican-controlled House was $412 billion, far less than the $1.5 trillion passed by Obama, without the help of a Republican House.  In fact, the House had no say in the budget process, since Senate Leader Harry Reid wouldn’t allow a vote on the budget for four years.  So it’s simply incorrect to say the House Republicans are responsible for Obama’s deficits.  They had no vote on those budgets, whereas under Bush, the Democrats did control the House and write the budgets.

Add to the $7 trillion of national debt the $4 trillion of Federal Reserve debt that the President amassed by supporting Wall St.  Since this money was not part of the official budget, it is not part of the national debt, yet still exists as debt for future American taxpayers to deal with.  They will deal with it by paying more for everything they buy.

And lest anyone think the Republicans and the Democrats are the same with regard to campaign finance spending, the FEC (Federal Election Commission) reports that in the past 22 years, all of the top 16 heavy hitters – those who donated the most – gave most of their money to Democrats, not Republicans.  So it’s difficult to say Republicans are the moneyed Party.

Then there are the schools: public teacher unions are all Democratic in Party persuasion.  They teach children the latest taxation-enabling fad, whether it be saving the rain forest or global warming.  They get free teaching materials to teach these pro-progressive ideas.  It is difficult to find grant money going to university researcher proposals that are designed to disprove global warming – sorry, climate change.  Bureaucrats who hand out grant money are also in the Democratic Party.

And anyone who believes teachers will not willingly endorse the ideas of those who sign their paychecks is, well, someone who does not believe in corporate greed.  Corporate greed is based on the conviction that human beings will act in a way to maximize their own personal gain.  It is impossible to find a nationwide labor union whose members earn the money teachers do in their retirement plans.

So then given all these facts, one must conclude that the Federal government is run by a public sector shadow party that gives its money only to Democrats.  Even the current Federal Departments such as the EPA and IRS give their money to Democrats, which, in the private sector, would be seen as demonstrating a clear conflict of interest.

But never mind; this is not a conflict, since those who decide what a conflict is are working for Democrats.

All in all, the Democratic Party has all the policy makers and decision makers wrapped up into financial dependence upon their Party, another fact that makes it difficult to conclude that both Parties are the same.

Politicians and media commentators who want voters to believe both parties are the same may have a good reason to practice that strategy.  It is the Democrats who have created and promoted illegal immigration, black ghettoes, the growth of food stamp use, excessive government spending and debt, the subsidization of Wall St. through QE3, a public school system with sky-high teacher pensions and property taxes to support them, declining public school performance, and higher income taxes.

The only way for Democrats to flee responsibility for the economic and social damage they have done to the U.S. is to make gullible voters believe both parties are the same.

Photo credit: DonkeyHotey (Creative Commons)

The Anti-Federalist Origins Of Illegal Immigration

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The idea that southern states rejected Federal authority and sought to establish a separate Confederacy is well known.  This anti-Federalist sentiment led to the secession of Southern States from the Union and culminated in the Civil War.

The anti-Federalist sentiment of the South was primarily motivated by their desire to preserve the institution of slavery, which they felt was their right.  These sentiments were voiced at the time by Southern Senator John Calhoun.

What is not so well known is that illegal immigration has also been created and enabled by a very similar anti-Federalist sentiment and scofflaw attitude.

While these two movements share some similarities, they also share some significant differences.  In the South, slavery was established long before the U.S. met to ratify a Constitution.  Slavery began in the South in the 1600s, while it was not until the 1770s that the 13 colonies began contemplating breaking away from British rule.

Illegal immigration, by comparison, has only been established and defended by anti-Federalist sentiment for the past 30 years, 200 years after the U.S. Constitution became the law of the land.  It was established in direct defiance of existing Federal law.  These include a usurpation of Congressional powers of naturalization and a substitution of Federal documents by state-sponsored documents such as state I.D.s and drivers licenses.  All of the documents issued by pro-illegal immigration states are established by policies that not only defy Federal policy but are prima facie illegal, while slavery was legal at its inception.

Slavery was defiantly defended, while illegal immigration was, and continues to be, defiantly established and expanded.  Illegal immigration is promoted ad hoc while slavery was defended post hoc.

While the defense of slavery, which took place over many decades, has been documented by historians, the anti-Federalist sentiment that established illegal immigration as an institution is not as well known.  In fact, journalists and scholars of labor and immigration have taken great pains to avoid the topic of illegal immigration or have taken a position of support.

The anti-Federalist position of the South can be summarized with Calhoun’s theory of nullification. Crafted to enable the South to retain its institution of slavery, nullification was based on the idea that “the states possessed complete and undivided sovereignity…and that they were possessed of the final authority to interpret the Constitution.”  (Kelly & Harbison, p. 292).  In effect, it allowed Southern states to nullify the authority of Congress and interpret the Constitution to serve their own ends.  From 1830 to 1860, this concept became more and more widely accepted among Southern politicians.

The connection to illegal immigration is this: if Chicago and other sanctuary cities and states wanted to encourage illegal immigrants to settle there, they would then simply declare themselves sanctuaries to illegal immigrants, promote their areas to illegal immigration, and shield them from Federal law.  Sanctuary cities shield illegal immigrants from Immigration Law the way Southern states shielded the institution of slavery from Federalist intervention.  Sanctuary cities and states defy Federal laws.

The first city to formally declare itself a sanctuary to “residents” regardless of citizenship status was Chicago.  In 1985, Mayor Harold Washington issued Executive Order 85-1, declaring that all persons would be allow city benefits and jobs regardless of citizenship status.  In effect, the Mayors declared that Chicago, not Congress, would decide what immigrants could reside in the City and receive local, state, and Federal benefits.

New York City followed only months later; and from 1990 to 2000, the U.S. grew at a faster rate than it had during any decade of its history.  Most of the immigrants were illegal.

After declaring itself a sanctuary city, Chicago, Cook County – the County that contains Chicago – and the state of Illinois started to issue enabling resolutions and laws to facilitate illegal immigration, granting privileges to illegal immigrants that even citizens in the state don’t have.

For example, the State of Illinois declared the matricula consular card, a card issued by foreign consulates in the state, to be as valid a form of I.D. as an official State of Illinois I.D. card.  This is clearly anti-Federalist in nature; only ICE and the Dept. of Homeland Security can decide what form of I.D. a foreign national can carry in the U.S.  The state of Indiana follows Federal law and requires those applying for drivers’ licenses and state I.D.s to follow DHS guidelines.

In 2006, Chicagos Mayor Richard Daley II said that if Congress passes HR 4437, which made it a felony to be an illegal immigrant, he would “order his police to not enforce it.”  Of course, he already orders all City agencies to not enforce Federal law with regard to illegal immigration.

When the Federal government passed the first e-verify law, requiring employers to use the internet to verify the validity of social security numbers, Illinois had the chutzpah to attack the law, stating that it would not enforce e-verify until the Federal government could guarantee the program’s reliability. That illegal immigration is anti-Federalist in nature is proven by the fact that twice, Federal Courts have ruled that immigration is a Federal issue, not a local one.

And of course, most Americans do not know that during its pro-slavery years, the South was run by the Democratic Party, and that illegal immigration was created by Democrats. This not only illustrates the historically anti-Federalist attitude among Democrat-run states; but since both blacks and Hispanics live in highly segregated neighborhoods in the major U.S. cities, it reveals something about how Democrats treat minorities in order to gain their votes in major elections.

It’s a tragic and unfortunate fact that the Democratic Party has not only practiced a highly oppressive strategy to create segregated urban areas for minorities, but that this was done by flouting their Constitutional rights.

(Reference: Kelly, Alfred H., and Harbison, Winfred A.  The American Constitution: Its origins and development. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Fifth ed. )


Michael Bargo Jr. is the author of ‘Mexicago: How the Chicago Political  Machine created Sanctuary Policy to exploit immigrants and grow government.”


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Public Union Pensions May Be Unconstititional

On Obamas Watch Constitution SC Public union pensions may be unconstititional

Detroit’s bankruptcy status shares something in common with the bankruptcies of Stockton, CA; Vallejo, CA; Harrisburg, PA and others: that public sector union pension and benefit costs have grown to become an unsustainable burden upon communities and cities throughout the U.S.

Detroit is the largest city to consider bankruptcy. The defenders of Detroit’s public pension plans take the position that the pensions were established under state law. And states, according to the tenth amendment, have powers reserved to them to make laws. Once these laws have been passed, defenders argue, no modifications can be made to public pension systems. Illinois and Michigan also have provisions in their constitutions stating that public sector pensions cannot be altered. Defenders of their state pension plans argue that Federal bankruptcy court cannot trump state law.

While public unions in Detroit and CA insist that the dollar amounts of their lavish pensions cannot be reduced even by one percent, it is useful to look at how the average private working citizen in the U.S. is treated by the Federal government.

Consider the fact that while states insist on constitutional protection for their pension programs, the SCOTUS ruled in 1960 that social security is not a contractual agreement (i.e., it is not protected by law.) Similarly, many private pension plans have, in recent years, been reduced to accommodate changing financial conditions.

President Obama, while maintaining all the collective bargaining agreements of the Federal retirement system, suspended the payroll – social security – tax for two years, thus depriving the social security trust fund of $240 billion dollars. And the President violated Federal law by doing this.

This begs a bigger constitutional issue. No state may pass a law that violates the U.S. Constitution. The question can then be asked: if public sector pensions are guaranteed, and private pensions – even Federal social security – are not, have the states not set up a situation where public sector employees have one set of laws and the private sector another? This violates the fourteenth amendment’s equal protection provision. The fourteenth amendment states that citizens shall not be denied “equal protection of the laws”. Yet Obama has already done this.

And on the Federal level, the Federal pension plans appear to be an even greater violation of equal protection, since Federal collective bargaining was given not by an act of Congress but by Executive Order (JFK’s order 10988, issued in 1962.)

This seems even more unfair to private sector workers: that their taxes support a much more generous and more secure pension plan for Federal workers than they themselves are given through the social security system.

Democrats also objected when President Bush wanted to privatize social security, to avoid such abuses as the “payroll tax holiday” imposed by Obama. So public sector pensions exist in an interesting legal zone where they are treated as private accounts, owned by the union members, yet are enforced through state law and Federal Executive Orders.

That the fourteenth amendment can be used against cities and counties has a precedent. An example of a successful challenge to government action based on the equal protection provision occurred in Chicago. In 1968, Michael Shakman sued the Democratic Organization of Cook County, stating that it was an accepted practice in Chicago to require all employees of City Hall or the county to be members of the Democratic Party. This, in effect, subsidized one political party over all others.

The Federal court ruled that requiring employees to work for the Democratic Party was a violation of the fourteenth amendment’s equal protection clause, and the resulting ruling has been known as the “Shakman decrees.” To this day, the terms of the decrees are still being litigated in court.

The founding fathers definitely did not want a class of nobility entitled to seize the wealth of the masses merely because of their government status. But since almost all state lawmakers are in public unions and benefit from tax increases, this is exactly the type of arrangement that is now being practiced. And the money they earn, in the case of teachers’ union members, is paid by property taxes. It is, in principle, no different than a nobleman owning land and raising the rent the masses have to pay.

It would not be difficult for the Supreme Court to rule that public sector pensions are in violation of the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment since these pension plans treat government employees as a different class than private sector employees. It would also be relatively easy for the Supreme Court to require public pensions to be reasonable and follow actuarial rules similar to those followed by life insurance or the social security system. These rules would make such plans more sustainable. They can be modeled after IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k) plans, and so on.

And when government employees become obsessed with their pensions and benefits, they will violate rules and even take criminal action, using their government power, to reelect politicians they think will preserve their pensions. A perfect example of this occurred recently with the IRS obstruction of tax-exempt status of Tea Party groups. Tea Party candidates displaced many Democrats in the 2010 primaries and interfered with President Obama’s spending plans. IRS employees sought to maintain their retirement security, then acted to limit the free speech of Tea Party and other groups who wanted to run for election. Ninety-five percent of IRS lawyers who donated to candidates in 2012 donated to Obama.

The Judge in the Stockton bankruptcy hearing ruled that funds raised from bond sales that went into public pensions – CalPERS, the California pension fund – could not be touched. Traditionally, bankruptcy courts usually ordered the debtor’s assets to be redistributed to creditors. But in the case of California’s union pension payments, apparently a different standard is applicable.

Public sector unions want to claim tenth amendment protection: the reserved powers clause. They say that the state has the right to pass pension plans. But these pension plans clearly violate the Democrats’ campaign rhetoric: that they will only take money from the rich, and that the middle class and poor will be protected. Both Stockton, CA, and Detroit have chosen to cut city services rather than reduce their pension plans.

At some point, the Supreme Court may decide that these two classes of individuals (those in government pensions and those in the private sector) may be receiving unequal protection under the law. What may cloud their judgment is that they are public sector employees themselves.