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Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Mitt Romney - the Dangerous Political Drone

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

( - A drone is a mechanical or virtual intelligent agent without a human pilot on board. Its flight is either controlled autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under or with guidance, typically by remote control. Drones can be dangerous weapons. Because their pilots are remote they cannot always identify and recognize their intended targets. Also, the collateral damage from a drone attack can be extensive. Drone attacks can result in the death of many innocent victims.
Mitt Romney’s European tour was intended to bolster his political bona fides but his gaffs are proving him to be a dangerous political drone. Romney’s first target was London.

Biography (Barack Obama)
Barack Obama
During his attempt to demonstrate his ability to represent the United States on the world stage he insulted the British by questioning whether they were prepared to host the Olympics. In an interview with NBC Romney said, "disconcerting” events surrounding Britain’s preparations makes it, “hard to know just how well it (the Olympics) will turn out." It is one thing for Romney to make these statements as the former head of the 2002 Winter Games in Utah but another to make them as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. London Mayor Boris Johnson derided Romney by saying to a crowd, “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready…? Others have compared him to Sarah Palin. Hey Mitt, here’s a newsflash, that’s no compliment.

Romney continued to politically misfire while in London. He held a London fundraiser that included employees of Barclay’s Bank, the first bank to admit that its employees were involved in the LIBOR rate setting scandal. According to MSNBC Romney also managed to insult American reporters traveling with him in London by taking questions from British reporters and ignoring the American press corps; proving that he does not understand protocol.
After insulting the people of London Romney flew to Israel. During a fund rising breakfast in Jerusalem Romney opined about the "the dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality" between the Palestinian and Israeli economies. Romney’s research and discussions with his chief donor (or pilot), Sheldon Adelson, have proven to him that Israeli accomplishments were down to "at least culture and a few other things" – oh, and also, "the hand of providence". Rachel Shabi of The GuardianUK has labeled this trip as “Romney's insult-the-world tour.” Shabi also reported that some Israeli’s were insulted by Romney’s remarks. "You can understand this remark in several ways," political scientist Abraham Diskin told the Associated Press. "You can say it's anti-Semitic. 'Jews and money.'"
Apparently the years of occupation, stealing prime real-estate to build settlements, ignoring numerous UN resolutions, unprovoked attacks on Palestinian farmers, and limiting exports of Palestinian produce have had no impact on Palestinian economic development. One can only wonder what Romney’s research has taught him about the impact that the vestiges of slavery and Jim Crow have had on African American progress. It must be “culture” and “the hand of providence.” Romney obviously subscribes to 19th Century columnist John O. Sullivan’s idea that America’s (Anglo-Saxon) success through expansion and exploitation is a result manifest destiny. He must also subscribe to terms like “American exceptionalism” and former President George W. Bush’s term, “American internationalism”.
The collateral damage from Romney’s attacks could be devastating and long-lasting. While in Israel, through his spokesman, Romney also gave tacit encouragement for an Israeli strike on Iran. His foreign policy advisor, Dan Senor said that Romney would back unilateral Israeli action to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. "If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability the governor would respect that decision," Senor told reporters.
Romney also mistakenly recognized Jerusalem as the country’s capital, “It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel," he said, while opening a speech in the Holy City. The reality is that this is in direct conflict with the fact that Muslim’s, Christians, and Jews all have ties to the Holy City, the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as such, and this conflicts with a careful US policy of maintaining its major presence in Tel Aviv. Once again, the political drone struck the wrong target.
When drones fall into the wrong hands they can be very dangerous weapons. On the domestic front, Governor Mitt Romney was “pro-choice” and led the way at the state level to reform healthcare in Massachusetts. Presidential candidate Romney is now controlled by the Christian Right and has flown off course and become “Pro-Life” and has vowed to do away with Planned Parenthood. Now, ultra-conservative ideological pilots have changed Romney’s course and today he is targeting “Obama-Care”.
As outlined above, Romney’s initial foray into international politics has proven to be his “insult the world tour.” In order to curry favor with the political extreme elements of his party Romney has become misguided, flown way off course, and is striking the wrong targets. Someone needs to tell Mitt Romney that the President is the Commander-in-Chief not the Panderer-in Chief.
He’s become a political drone and drones are dangerous. America does not need them hovering over its skies and does not need them hovering over its political landscape.
Dr. Wilmer Leon is a political scientist at Howard University and host of the nationally broadcast call in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon” on Sirius/XM channel 128.’s Prescription @ or
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III
By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Chief Justice Roberts, The Jury is Still Out

( - In a (5-4) decision, the US Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Dubbed “Obamacare” by its opponents, the ACA is the cornerstone piece of legislation of the Obama administration. Many were surprised that the Court did not overturn the individual mandate provision of the Act requiring most Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. Even more surprising to some is that it was Chief Justice Roberts who proved to be the swing vote, siding with the court’s four liberal justices.

As a result of this decision some conservatives are questioning Chief Justice Roberts’ allegiance to their cause. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said, "The Supreme Court has abandoned us…" and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said, “"Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States is simply disappointing…" The Wall Street Journal's editorial board wrote, “the Chief Justice had to rewrite the statute Congress passed in order to salvage it.”
Liberals and pro ACA advocates are praising Roberts for saving health care reform and possibly the 2012 election for President Obama. Howard Kurtz from Newsweek and The Daily Beast wrote, “The man who saved the president’s health-care law is the new liberal heartthrob.”

Well, the jury is still out.

The Obama administration’s primary argument in supporting health care reform legislation was that Congress had the power to enact the ACA based upon Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3, the Commerce Clause; Congress has the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States...” The Court held that the ACA was unconstitutional based upon the Commerce Clause. However, the court found that the ACA is constitutional based upon Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1, the power to tax, “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties…” By rejecting the Commerce Clause argument Roberts may not be as liberal as people claim. In fact, this could be Chief Justice Roberts acting more like the great magician Harry Houdini.

It is possible that in this majority decision Roberts has set the predicate to limit Congress’ power over state action under the Commerce Clause in future decisions. Roberts wrote, “Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority…They (the Framers) gave congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it.”

The Court has upheld Congress’ use of the Commerce Clause as a grant of congressional authority over the states’ in particular instances. The problem is that the Constitution does not define “commerce”. Some believe that it refers simply to trade or exchange, while others believe that the founders had a broader meaning that applies to commercial and social intercourse between citizens of different states. The latter has allowed the national government to exert a greater amount of power over the states in civil rights and voting rights cases. For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by Congress based upon the Commerce Clause.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Fisher v. University of Texas and will rule later this year. Fisher challenges the University of Texas’ ability to use race as factor in its affirmative action program. The Court is also expected to rule on a Texas voting rights case that will provide clarity about the role of the federal courts under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Could it be that by rejecting the Obama administration’s assertions under the Commerce Clause that Roberts is paving the way for upcoming conservative challenges to established civil rights legislation?

Most will tell you that Chief Justice Roberts is a brilliant man. He is playing three dimensional chess while most others are playing checkers. With this ACA decision Roberts may have engaged in a level of prestidigitation that even Houdini would envy. By giving the Obama administration its legal victory with his left hand (pardon the pun); he taps his magic wand (or pen) with his right hand and limits the power of the national government to regulate state action going forward.

At the end of the day, is this not what ultra-conservatives are after? They claim to want a smaller national government, returning power to the states, “states rights”. If this is Roberts’ true intention (and only time will tell) it will be harder for liberals to complain about his logic since he laid out the predicate for it in the ACA decision that they are now applauding.

Be careful who you applaud and why. Chief Justice Roberts may not be a traitor to the conservative cause. The jury is still out.

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