Making their case
By Alan Wallace
Published: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
If you had a nickel for every time someone has said that President Barack Obama should be impeached, you'd be rich. If you had a documented, reasoned argument establishing a basis for impeaching him, you'd be Aaron Klein or Brenda Elliott.
That's what they present in their new book, “Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office” (WND Books, available Tuesday).
They already were well versed in criticizing Obama. Senior WND reporter Klein and historian/researcher/blogger Elliott have written hundreds of such articles, as well as the best-selling books “Fool Me Twice: Obama's Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed” (2012), “Red Army: The Radical Network That Must Be Defeated to Save America” (2011) and “The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists” (2010).
Now, their critical view encompasses scandals and events occurring since their prior book's publication and places them among earlier happenings in the context of potential impeachment. And in their view, according to the publisher, there are plenty of charges to level against Obama in that political process, which they liken to indictment in the criminal-justice system. Among their contentions:
• ObamaCare is unconstitutional because it bypasses Congress illegally, infringes on states' rights and expands IRS power without precedent or authorization.
• Releasing millions of illegal aliens via executive fiat has recklessly endangered the public.
• New evidence shows what happened at the U.S. outpost in Benghazi before the deadly attack there on Sept. 11, 2012, and Obama's personal role in that scandal constitutes “arguably impeachable activities in and of themselves.”
Klein and Elliott also are critical of Obama's “illegal edicts” on guns and his administration's Fast and Furious scandal; the threat posed to Americans by the “virtual surveillance regime” of data-mining and drones; the “rank corruption, cronyism and impeachable offenses” related to public funding of “green” ventures during Obama's first term; Obama conducting a U.S.-NATO military campaign without an OK from Congress; and his handling of unrest in Egypt, Islamic fundamentalism and America's stature abroad.
The authors recognize the gravity of their endeavor, writing that impeachment of a sitting president is “not a charge to be undertaken for what our Founding Fathers would have called mere ‘factional' advantage.” But they're convinced that Obama “has not hesitated to go beyond democratic, legal and constitutional means to advance his radical agenda” — and they're making the case for impeaching him.
KOREA, CONSPIRACIES & COMMONALITIES
“Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea” by Sheila Miyoshi Jager (W.W. Norton & Co.) — Drawing on what the publisher describes as “newly available diplomatic archives in China, South Korea, and the former Soviet Union,” this book covers Korea's story from mid-World War II debates about Korean independence among FDR, Churchill and Stalin to today's continuing tensions between North and South Korea and between North Korea and the West. The author directs the East Asian program at famously liberal Oberlin College. But a Wall Street Journal review says the author's “sympathies are clearly on the side of the U.S. and a free South Korea ... .” Neatly summing up the bottom line for her book and for Koreans, The Journal review noted South Korea's economic success, then said that “South Koreans lead lives of freedom and prosperity that their northern countrymen can barely dream of — indeed, may not be able to imagine.”
“The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory” by Jesse Walker (Harper) — Reason magazine's books editor offers what the publisher calls “a comprehensive history of conspiracy theories in American culture and politics” from Colonial times to the terror war, but he doesn't debunk particular theories; rather, he explores what people believe and why. If he debunks anything, it's conventional wisdom, by pointing out that conspiracy theories hardly are confined to the political fringes, a kernel of truth often lurks behind them, and people are more gullible than they think they are. He explains five recurring kinds of American conspiracy narratives and argues that conspiracy theories, true or not, are a sort of folklore that reveals truths about their adherents' anxieties and experiences. Enlivened by archival photos, cartoons and film stills, as well as the author's “deadpan sense of humor,” this book offers a distinctive, valuable perspective on an intriguing topic.
“Beyond God: A Scientist's Search For the Meaning of Life in the 21st Century” by Emmanuel Papadakis (Iff Books) — After earning a biochemistry degree, this British author, now a pharmaceutical equity analyst, realized he “had no idea of life's real purpose” and “had made no real effort to discover if there might be one,” he writes at beyondgod.co.uk. That realization prompted a decade-long exploration — while he earned a doctorate in cardiovascular gene therapy — of “every major religion and philosophy ... to understand what teachings they contained that could be reconciled with modern scientific understanding.” He calls the book “a distillation of that journey” — his own take on what's most useful for guiding one's life. His account of finding commonalities among the secular Western perspective with which he began and the Western and Eastern religions and philosophies he explored provides readers interested in matters beyond today's headlines with plenty of food for thought.
Alan Wallace is a Trib Total Media editorial page writer (412-320-7983 or awallace@ tribweb.com).
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