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On October 1, 2013, a group of ultra conservative Republicans in the US House of Representatives orchestrated and launched the perfect plan to finally destroy the Patient Protection and affordable Health Care Act (ObamaCare). The masterminds behind this plan, despite a series of miscalculations, thought they had finally found the magic bullet to undo President Obama's signature piece of legislation. After all, under Article 1(8-9) of the Constitution of the United States, the House of Representatives hold the keys to the purse. Thus, the architects devised a plan not to temporarily fund the government or raised the debt ceiling unless President Obama agreed to defund or delay implementation of ObamaCare. Of course and not surprisingly, the President called their bluff and declared "".I will not negotiate over Congress' responsibility to pay the bills it has already racked up. I don't know how to be more clear about this: no one gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America just to extract ideological concessions." Majority leader in the Senate, Democrat Harry Reid, called the demand to defund ObamaCare a nonstarter "that would never happen". Even some Republicans duped the demand "a fraud". Unfortunately, on October 1, 2013, the government was shut down. We all know it took sixteen (16) days for the Senate initiated law to bring this self- inflicted wound to an end.
The Standard & Poor has estimated that the shutdown has cost the US economy $24 billion and "The bottom line is the government shutdown has hurt the US economy". This cost estimate is simplistic and incomplete. How does anyone put a price tag on the anxiety and mental anguish that this ill-conceived, structurally faulty and deliberately manufactured crisis has caused not only the American populace, but people all over the world. The American Dollard is the world standard currency. As such, international commerce all over the world is conducted in US Dollars. Consider a contract between the Chinese and Brazilian governments, the performance of which is based on American Dollars because of the universal acceptance of the the full faith and credit of the United States of America. Even the appearance, however remote, that the Dollar will lose its stability will negatively affect the transaction.
One of the most invaluable characteristic of the American system of governance is its stability in politics, ideology and policy making. Accordingly, the unnecessary and naïve shut down of the government and experimentation with the debt ceiling hurts both the American people and US world standing. One must wonder if the architects of this fiasco thought beyond their locale politics. Next time, they better because these antics are not good for America and by extension the world. The point is that there will be unintended consequences beyond American borders as a result of this reckless conduct. The absurdity of it all is that the so called fiscal responsibility advocates are at the root of this fiscal and political irresponsibility.
Logically, the first question people are asking is if we will be going through this again in three months? However, before we can answer this question, we must first answer the question, how did we get to this low point in the first place? Until we can effectively answer the later question, these manufactured crises would persist. Why would any American, let alone a law maker flirt with shutting down the government or full faith and credit of the United States? Yes, no one wanted to shut down the government, we are told, but the action says otherwise and this is unfortunate.
Some have argued that the problem is systemic. We summit that the answer straddles more than the Constitutional structure of the Congress. Although Congress is a decentralized institution, this is by design because of its deliberative role in a deliberative government. Thus, its strength becomes a flaw and inhibits consensus when politicians opt to advance their relationship with interest groups and local over national interests. Yet, this structure has served the American people for over three hundred (300) years and has become the beacon of inspiration and stability to the rest of the world. Therefore, there must be another explanation for the dysfunction that has engulfed the House of Representatives since 2009.
To answer the question how we got to this point, we must go back to November 6, 2008. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, we noted that the Republicans came out of their National Convention on September 4, 2008, with two divergent and incompatible messages. The dichotomy in their ideology was indicative of an identity crisis likely to torpedo their message. Regrettably, this split in ideology has been exacerbated in the Republican House of Representatives since the 2010 midterm elections.
Then on November 6, 2008, the unthinkable happened. The extreme right became witnesses to a sudden and transformational change which took the world by storm and for which nothing could have prepared them. Obama, a black man, was elected President of the most powerful nation on earth. As the majority of America rejoiced and celebrated with the rest of the world that historic event, to this minority group this outcome was devastation. Their world, as they have known it, has been turned upside down and their belief system was being tested to its limit. Hence, the pledge to make President Obama fail, make him a "one term President" and "take back our country". In short oppose any and everything this President does irrespective of consequences and collateral damages.
As the President and the willing members of Congress crafted policies that single handedly lifted America from the brink of total economic collapse into relative prosperity and world peace, this group spared no effort to undermine those policies. To further compound the problem, President Obama was reelected for a second term on November 6, 2012. The realization that they have to deal with the President for four (4) more years and beyond was further evidence that the obstructionist and contrarian positions, of the vociferous attitude of the new members of the extreme wing of the Republican House of Representatives, had failed. As a result, unjustified fear turned into anger and the anger into hate. The ultra conservatives began to view any policy initiative by the President through a broken mirror. No wonder, those views are driven by the politics fear and hate. Imagine if most of these efforts had been geared towards cooperation in solving America's economic and social issues. Instead, the politics of fear and hate have created a rift between conservative America and the ultra-right and the rift has widened even amongst Republicans. As a result, the government shut down crisis of October 1, 2013 is emblematic of this rift.
As nation guided by the rule of law, it is axiomatic that the Supreme Court has the "final word" in the application of the laws of the land and, as such, all citizens, including the executive and legislative branches of government too must act within the constitutional boundaries. On June 29, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of ObamaCare thereby making it the law of the land. In fact, on June 12, 2008, the Supreme Court had reaffirmed and validated the rule of law as the cornerstone of the American democratic system of governance. The LAKHDAR BOUMEDIENE case cited above teaches that in a democracy if the Congress does not like a ruling of the Supreme Court, they can change, modify or do nothing. Since ObamaCare was enacted into law by Congress, the extreme right has mounted at least 44 attempts and a multitude of legal challenges to the law and all of these attacks have failed. Indeed, it is questionable whether Congress can constitutionally vote to defund a law of the land where the political and legal processes have ran its course. Such a practice would engender a dangerous and slippery slope to anarchy. Above all, what message are these lawmakers sending to our kids and enemies alike and what does that say about their character to law abiding citizens?
There are merits to some of the Republicans' positions. Unfortunately, the madness is in their methods. In a democratic and free society, equal rights inextricably include the creation of the environment that delivers greater ascendant to economic equality. To advocate the extension of subsidies and tax breaks to businesses is good policy, but to concurrently refuse to raise even the minimum wages for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, who provide the labor utilized by the same businesses, is to undermine a fundamental end of society. To argue that the law of the land should apply with equal force to all citizens, is good policy; but to simultaneously seek to undermine the same law because it offers citizens access to affordable healthcare does not foster the human attributes that produce good citizenship and promote a better quality of life.
As these two examples illustrate, an inherent conflict permeates the Republican message and method. A principled stance is laudable as long as it is credible and grounded on intellectual integrity. Maybe the law will turn out to be as bad and expensive as portrayed; but to declare it a failure before its implementation and analysis of evaluation data, is a view through a broken mirror. Extensive policy analysis was conducted prior to the enactment of ObamaCare and there is no contrary and conclusive evaluation evidence to pass any sound judgment. Even if the law is everything claimed, where is the alternative solution and where are the efforts to make improvements and make it better? Imagine, that all the energy and resources spent in the last three years on a lost cause had been directed towards improving and making better ObamaCare.  In the end, unless the Republicans can eliminate the dichotomy in their ideology, their attempts to capture national office would remain an exercise in futility.
 2010. Mar 23, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119.
 Since the modern congressional budgeting process took effect in 1976, there have been a total of seventeen separate government shutdowns, http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/04/08/6432513-this-would-be-18th-government-shutdown-in-us-history.
 It should not surprise any international observer that the China has already called for the creation of a new reserve currency to replace the Dollar. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-shutdown-china-20131015,0,260996.story
 "Obama Grabs News Headlines Around The World - November 6, 2008", https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGNI_enUS541US541&q=November+6%2C+2008
 LAKHDAR BOUMEDIENE, ET AL., v. GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, ET AL. KHALED A. F. AL ODAH, NEXT FRIEND OF FAWZI KHALID ABDULLAH FAHAD AL ODAH, ET AL., v. UNITED STATES ET AL., 553 U. S. 41 (2008)
 Without defending the technocrats, a computer program failure does not equate to a failure of ObamaCare.
President Obama’s Decision to Consult Congress on any Military Action in Syria is Judicious Pragmatic and Astute
On August 20, 2012 President Obama said, "We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized,". "That would change my calculus. That would change my equation." The President left open what the United States would do, or how and when it would do it if "a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized".
Of course, as President of the United States, he has at his disposal an array of options to pick and choose as the circumstances require. If we have learned anything about President Obama, we know he loathes the use of unilateral action in international affairs. Libya is a classic example of his preference of collective international action over unilateral. Indeed, this preference extends to the manner in which he would prefer to conduct his domestic policy; in concert and not in confrontation with the Congress. Unfortunately, some have mischaracterized this judiciousness for weakness. Ironically, President Obama has been proven more correct that his antagonists in most major decisions.
There is no question that the Assad regime has utilized chemical weapons in an unacceptable scale against its own citizens. He controls access and accounts for the security of those weapons. True, Syria is not even a signatory to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. However, the international community has established a standard by banning the use of chemical weapons. That standard applies with equal force upon Syria, signatory or not. As the White House press secretary Jay Carney stated on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, "The options that we are considering are . about responding to the clear violation of an international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons."
Although a flagrant violation of international law is also an affront upon the interests of the United States, any response to such violation must not initially be unilateral by the United States. Of course, in the absence of an international consensus, the United States may have to act alone, especially in the face of an eminent humanitarian tragedy. In doing so and in the absence of a clear and present threat to the United States, the President must be mindful that he represents the entire government of the United States. As such and even though he has decided on an option to respond to Assad's violation of international norm, he cannot ignore the calls of some members of the other branch of government, the legislature, to consult with the American people. Indeed, House Speaker John, "called on President Obama to consult with Congress and address the American people if he pursues a response".
Accordingly, President Obama's decision to seek congressional approval before taking military action against Syria is the mark of an astute politician and not a retreat, reluctance or reprieve for the Assad regime. Anyone who focuses solely on the obvious reasons being propounded by the pundits, fails to understand the workings of the American system of government. After all, members of Congress are closest and by implication speak for their constituencies. Their vote in support of the President's decision to punish Syria for violation of international law would reflect the majority opinion and above all confirm that this President is not trigger happy, but rather judicious and politically astute.
Since the President has for obvious reasons concluded that "regime change in Syria" is not an option for the US at this time, a limited symbolic, but non-impactful missile strike should not be an option either. The Assad regime is a viper whose venom is chemical agents. He will continue to use it for self-preservation until stopped. Worse yet, if reports that Hezbollah fighters are already fighting side by with the Syrian Troops are accurate, let no one doubt that they will exit Syria with chemical weapons and we can postulate where the chemical weapons will be used.
Therefore, any option that the United states decides exercised must consider; 1) identifying, organizing and arming a viable opposition not link to any terrorists group; 2) identifying and establishing dialogue, if practical, with anonymous high ranking members of the regime who would be willing to work with the opposition after Assad; 3) severely punish and cripple the regime's ability to carry out another chemical attack and a protracted military campaign; and 4) excision of the venom even if it means boots on the ground for that limited purpose. The United States cannot protect these chemical weapons from use or from falling into the wrong hands from outside only.
 See, Senator McCain's criticism of the President at http://occupyamerica.crooksandliars.com/diane-sweet/john-mccain-obamas-red-line-written-di#sthash.PqeFnGWC.dpbs
 Chemical Weapon Convention, United Nations Treaty Collection, (2009)
 We are cognizant that Americans are weary of Middle East wars, but American's predominant position in world affairs dictates that in matters of peace and war America must be involved to ensure credibility.