Views on the News

Views on the News*

January 16, 2016


We have entered a most dangerous period of the Obama Presidency. It’s not just that every rogue actor from Kim and Putin and Castro to Maduro and Khamenei and Xi knows he has one last year to behave badly without fear of reprisal, but it’s that the President and his team are isolated, aloof, detached from reality.  They think a climate deal is a rebuke to terrorism.  They think the response to jihad in San Bernardino is to ‘close the gun-show loophole.’  They think a new communications strategy will convince the public that the war against ISIS is going well. I don’t question Obama’s sincerity; I question his sanity.  What actually results from a given policy seems no longer to matter to him.  His gun control executive order does little more than reiterate current law.  It wouldn’t have stopped the killing at Sandy Hook Elementary or in San Bernardino.  The Iran deal is another farce.  In recent months the mullahs have taken an additional hostage, convicted a Washington Post reporter of espionage, launched ballistic missiles, fired rockets near a U.S. aircraft carrier, and waged proxy war in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.  The President’s response: no sanctions for missile violations, promises to exempt Iran from a tough U.S. visa law, a hands-off approach to Saudi-Iranian conflict, and sanctions relief for not testing a nuke.  America has supported the Saudis for 70 years, but that’s changing, without public debate, without serious reflection on what the repercussions might be.  I wonder if the Clintons have considered just how big a liability Obama could be by Election Day.  It’s no mystery why Hillary Clinton has remained loyal to the President, she wants to reproduce the coalition that elected him twice, but Obama is going to make it terribly difficult for her.  It won’t be guns that decide the 2016 election but the economy and ISIS, and the President is powerless on the former issue and ineffectual on the latter one.  

(“The Lamest Duck” by Matthew Continetti dated January 9, 2016 published by The Washington Free Beacon at http://freebeacon.com/columns/the-lamest-duck/ )

One of the great lessons of the 20th century, paid for with the suffering and blood of hundreds of millions, is that communism was a failure in both economy and governance.  This was demonstrated repeatedly with the fall of the Soviet Union, the switch in China from communes and central planning to capitalism, the vast slaughter of the Khmer Rouge, the breakdown of the Cuban economy, and the starving prison house that is North Korea.  The one place that marxism has succeeded is in conquering academia in Europe and North America.  Marxism-Leninism is now the dominant model of history and society being taught in Western universities and colleges.  Faculties of social science and humanities disguise their marxism under the label “postcolonialism,” anti-neoliberalism, and the quest for equality and “social justice.”  While our educational institutions laud “diversity” in gender, race, sexual preference, religion, national origin, etc., diversity in opinion, theory, and political view is nowhere to be seen.  Our students hear only the Marxist view, and take it to be established truth.  Postcolonialism is the view that all ills in the world stem from Western imperialism and colonialism.  The hierarchical caste system in India, that disenfranchises half the population as “untouchables,” is, according to postcolonial analysis, and invention of the British while they governed India.  So too with tribes in Africa, allegedly invented by the British colonial authorities to “divide and conquer” the native African, who previously had all mixed together happily with no divisions and no conflicts.  So too in Central Asia, where, thanks to Soviet colonial authorities, “formerly fluid hybridities and contextual identifications were stabilized, naturalized, and set into a particular mold that gave each group a definitive history, physiognomy, mentality, material culture, customs, language, and territory,” according to one postcolonial author.  Apparently, according to the postcolonial view, history and culture in India, Africa, and Central Asia started with the arrival of outsiders in recent centuries.  In the Middle East, problems and disorder began, according to postcolonialism, with the Sykes-Picot arbitrary boundaries imposed by the West after WWI, and the imposition of the “foreign and colonialist” Jews on the “indigenous” Palestinians. Unnoticed by postcolonialists are the Persian, Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Mongol, and Ottoman imperial conquests that made up much of Middle Eastern history, or the unending tribal conflicts beyond the control of imperial authorities. Once again, for postcolonialists, local and regional cultures were benign, and history began with Western imperialism in recent centuries.  The dirtiest word in the marxist vocabulary is “neoliberal,” which stands for an economy based on capitalist principles and processes.  That half the world tried to replace capitalism in the 20th century, with disastrous results, they apparently had no idea. That capitalism has brought unparalleled prosperity, if not peace and happiness, is unknown to students.  They have been taught that the only products of capitalism are exploitation and oppression.  The great economic developments in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and the economic progress in Africa, is terra incognita to students, taught only problems but no successes.  Students are taught that the primary value is equality: not liberal equality of opportunity, but the equality of result idealized in marxist theory.  They are not taught, and give no thought to complementary values, such as freedom and prosperity. Equality of result is advocated under the guise of “social justice,” which means redistribution of wealth.  The marxism taught in colleges and universities is anti-Western, seeing the West as no more than a source of conquest, oppression, and exploitation.  Consequently, non-Western cultures are upheld as purer, more decent, and fairer than Western culture.  Students now see themselves as defenders of Islam, along with all other non-Western cultures, although they know little about these other cultures and their histories.  It has been imagined that the West would fall through materialist decadence; but now it appears that the West is most at risk from self-hate, fostered by the treason of the academics.

(“Marxism Failed in the World, But Conquered Western Academia” by Phillip Carl alzman dated January 11, 2016 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/11/marxism-failed-in-the-world-but-conquered-western-academia/ )


In what was one of the most political “non-political” speeches ever given, last night President Obama’s State of the Union speech attempted to define his legacy.  As usual, he chose to define himself more by what he is not than by defining what he is: he is not Clinton; he is not Bush; he is not “the Republican Party;” he is not Romney; and he is not Trump.  The problem with his strategy is he is exiting the office as not much of a President in the eyes of millions of Americans, and whatever he actually is, voters have had enough of it.  Obama leaves behind a broken and desperate country, once mesmerized by his promises of hope and change but today victimized by his failure and indifference.  His failure drives the Presidential politics we are struggling to understand today.  His goals were to unify the country and transform our politics, but America remains more deeply divided than ever and largely untransformed economically and compromised internationally.  Obama’s job approval rating on the economy is underwater.  Obama has added over $8 trillion to our national debt, possibly doubling it by the time he leaves office.  Wage growth is flat and five million jobs are unfilled.  Health care costs continue to rise and as payers and providers race to merge with each other in an effort to manage these costs, the end result could be fewer choices for consumers.  American businesses are forced to flee the unrelenting beast known as the US tax code in order to remain competitive in the global marketplace.  Americans are frustrated and scared by these changes, and the President has done little to nothing to address these fears, especially with the white, working class voters that are hurt by them most.  Americans think his foreign policy stinks, disapproving 57% to 37%.  Americans are growing progressively uneasy as Putin proactively wages a new Cold War to preserve and expand Russia’s client states, Iran and Saudi Arabia ease dangerously close to a proxy war, North Korea expands its atomic testing and, of highest concern to most voters, ISIS reaches silently into our streets with the poison gas of lethal hate, murdering innocent victims not just in the Middle East but on the streets of Paris and California.  Americans are: pessimistic on the economy; scared on security; and scared people get angry and defensive.  America’s mood on race now stands at a 20 year low, positive views on race relations plummeting 43% since Obama’s election.  This is a stunning collapse under our first African-American president, an extraordinary tearing asunder of the conscience of our country on the watch of a man once perceived to have such great gifts to heal.  Seven of 10 Americans believe the country is off on the wrong track. 73% of voters think the next president should take a different approach from Obama.  This is what two terms of Barack Obama has wrought.  In Iowa and New Hampshire, two Purple states, swing states that decide presidential elections, the Democrats want a declared Socialist and the Republicans want an angry Populist.  Desperation from Democrats; indignation from Republicans; that’s the Obama legacy. When you see the candidates Trump and Sanders, millions of Americans in both parties seem to be telling Obama to get the hell off their lawn.

(“Obama’s Legacy” by Bruce Haynes dated January 13, 2016 published by The Rambling Man at http://www.ramblingmanblog.com/obamas-legacy/ )


Bill Clinton unsealed an indictment against Obama’s economy on the campaign trail.  The former President remarked, “I think this election is about restoring broadly shared prosperity, rebuilding the middle class, giving kids the American Dream.  In Obama’s first or second year, Clinton might have managed to blame Baby Bush’s massive spending, red tape and nationalizations for America’s middle-class anxieties.  However in Obama’s seventh year, this excuse has rusted.  Obamanomics has narrowed prosperity, dismantled the middle class and snatched the American Dream from America’s kids.  On economic growth, private-sector job creation and income growth, the Obama recovery ranks far below average.  The Great Recession began in December 2007 under Bush and ended in June 2009 under Obama.  In the 25 quarters since the Great Recession, Obama’s average, inflation-adjusted annual Gross Domestic Product growth has limped ahead at 2.2%.  During Ronald Reagan’s equivalent interval, such growth galloped at 4.8%.  Reagan and Obama’s output gap is a whopping $10.6 trillion.  The average recovery’s 2.8% growth would have generated $4,551 more wealth per person.  Instead, Obama’s recovery has crawled at half the average speed, just 1.4%.  Under Reagan, private-sector jobs expanded 23.6%, versus the average recovery’s 17%, and 11.6% under Obama.  December’s 5% unemployment rate ignores the 94 million Americans over age 17 who abandoned the job market.  Labor-force participation is just 62.6% (down from 66% in December 2007), barely above 62.4% in 1977.  Under Reagan, real after-tax income per person grew 3.1%, compared to a 2.5% average, and 1.2% under Obama.  Obama’s 2.2% annual GDP growth has been just over half the 4.1% yearly hike in federal revenues.  Meanwhile, only 3.6% of Americans under 30 own private businesses, down from 10% in 1989.  Sentier Research reports 2015’s real median household income of $56,700 was where it was in 2007.  Effectively America’s middle class has wasted eight years on the road to nowhere.  For this anemia, please thank ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, the War on Coal, green mandates, a flopped $833 billion “stimulus,” the 35% corporate tax, class warfare and Obama’s 77% national-debt increase, from $10.6 trillion to $18.8 trillion.  America hired Obama to fix the economy, but he has basically accomplished nothing in seven years.

(“Bill Clinton’s damning indictment of Obamanomics” by Deroy Murdock dated January 8, 2016 published by New York Post at http://nypost.com/2016/01/08/bill-clintons-damning-indictment-of-obamanomics/ )

U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on 'anti-poverty' programs since President Lyndon Johnson announced a 'war on poverty' in 1964, and yet the poverty rate has not changed all that much, from 19% in 1965 to 14.8% in 2014.  It's long past time to come at the issue in a different way.  Real compassion helps people break their dependency on government and become self-reliant.  The key to unlocking the prison door that keeps too many locked in poverty is education.  Democrats have consistently stood against school choice for poor children trapped in failing public schools because teachers' unions often oppose choice and historically contribute to their political campaigns.  An educated child is more likely to find a job and be able to support a family.  An uneducated child will likely repeat the poverty cycle. That is a fact.  Growing the economy, a flat tax and other proposals are all good, but ultimately every poor person must come to embrace the prospect of success over failure, of optimism over pessimism.  They also must listen to the right voices, not the ones associated with the Democrat establishment, which preaches that racism is at the heart of poverty.  They must hear from black entrepreneurs and successful fathers and mothers who have emerged from poverty to build a life independent of government and of a Democrat Party that talks about poverty but has done little to eradicate it. Perhaps that's what Democrats fear most, that if the poor are no longer addicted to government they will be more independent in their political thinking.

(“Solutions to Poverty Not Posturing” by Cal Thomas dated January 12, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/2016/01/12/solutions-to-poverty-not-posturing-n2102987 )

When it comes to the connection between Islam and “anti-infidel” violence, one fact must be embraced: the majority of those in positions of leadership and authority in America are either liars or fools, or both.  The reason for this uncharitable assertion is simple: If Islam was once a faraway, exotic religion, today we hear calls for, and see acts of, violence committed in the name of Islam every day.   It’s no secret: Muslims from all around the world and from all walks of life, not just “terrorists” or “ISIS,” unequivocally and unapologetically proclaim that Islam commands them to hate, subjugate, and kill all who resist it, including all non-Muslims.  This is the official position of several Muslim governments, including America’s closest “friends and allies,” like Saudi Arabia and Qatar; it’s the official position of Islamic institutions of lower and higher learning, including Al Azhar, the world’s most prestigious Islamic university; and it’s the official position broadcast in numerous languages on Islamic satellite stations.  In short, there’s little excuse today for ignorance about Islam in America, especially for those in positions of leadership or authority.  Yet it is precisely they who vehemently deny any connection between Islam and violence.  Yet after showing a surveillance video of Edward Archer in Islamic dress shooting at Philadelphia policeman Jesse Hartnett, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney emphatically declared: “In no way shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you’ve seen on the screen….It is abhorrent. It is terrible and it does not represent the religion or any of its teachings. This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers. It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.”  Kenney’s assertions are either the product of an addled brain or calculated lies.  Most politicians, practically every Democrat but also a majority of Republicans, makes the same claims, beginning with President Obama who insists that the Islamic State “is not Islamic,” calls for the “rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror,” and classified the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence,” despite the overwhelming evidence that it was jihad.  In the context of the most recent violence and slaughter of Americans at the hands of Muslims, one last December and one last November, both in California, the usual chorus of politicians, media, and others made the same tired claims.  Despite the evidence that the Muslim couple that massacred 14 people in San Bernardino was motivated by Islamic teachings of jihad against the hated “infidel,” Obama claimed We do not know their motivations.”  Despite the many indicators that the Muslim student who went on a stabbing spree in UC Merced was motivated by Islam, he was described as a “devout Muslim,” had an ISIS flag, and praised Allah in his manifesto, “local and federal authorities continue to insist that Faisal Mohammad carried out the vicious attack because he’d been banished from a study group.”  It was one thing to be politically correct when it existed in a utopian bubble, but to be politically correct at this late hour when the tentacles of the global jihad are well entrenched in America is suicidal, literally.  Either way, “political correctness” is a convoluted euphemism that simply means “lying” bringing us right back to our question and a final observation.  It doesn’t matter if those running the show are liars or fools, for at day’s end, the result is the same: the world’s strongest nation lays paralyzed before an existential threat that grows fiercer by the day.

(“Liars or Fools: Which Govern America?” by Raymond Ibrahim dated January 14, 2016 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/article/78201 )


There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news.  I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning.  Updates have been made this week to the following sections:

·    Immigration at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/immigration.php

·    Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/homelandsecurity.php

·    Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY