Views on the News
Views on the News*
January 17, 2015
The most recent poll of party identification by Gallup has found an average 43% of Americans identified politically as independents in 2014, a new record for the polling organization. The uptrend in independents directly corresponds to the downtrend in Republican self-identification, both in the post-1990 period, and the post-2005 period. Both major downturns occurred while a Republican was in the White House. This independent analysis showed 45% are self-identified independents in October 2014, confirming Gallup’s result of 43% average for 2014. Any uptick in independents self-identification corresponding with downtick in Republicans indicates that new independents are more likely to be disaffected Republicans. The disaffection is real. Independents say they vote for a variety of candidates. They choose not to self-identify with the Republican Party so attempts to convince them to adopt the full Party platform will be unsuccessful. Instead, Independents are likely to support individual candidates with conservative views, allowing them to keep their preferred distance from a major political party. Considering the combined results of all the studies, Republicans risk extinction if they move too far off the reservation, particularly on issues like immigration and health care. The only way Republicans stop the migration to self identify as Independent is to reconnect to the conservative views of the voters.
(“The Rise of the Republican Demise?” by Robert Romano dated January 9, 2015 published by http://www.americanclarion.com/independents-rise-republican-demise-35624 )
Since Barack Obama first took the office of the President back in January 2009, our nation has been on continued free-fall like nothing we had ever seen before. Obama’s commitment to ‘fundamentally transform the country’ was no joke. It was an omen of things to come, as the country was transformed in the worst possible ways Americans could have ever envisioned. Nobody is to blame but the 52% majority who voted this man into office, not once but twice, so shame on us. The truth of matter is, Barack Obama has made Jimmy Carter’s presidency pale in comparison - it has been that bad. The fact that in its first two years as President, the nation’s unemployment rose by 1.1 million Americans; gas prices went up by 98%; food stamp recipients increased by 25%; Americans in poverty went up by 6.4 million; our national deficit went up by $842 billion dollars; and our national debt went up by $6.1 trillion dollars, up 58%, just to mention a few. There are also the pervasive scandals that have plagued the nation ever since Obama took over as President, such as was the death of four Americans at the Benghazi embassy in Libya; the infamous IRS scandal targeting special interest groups; the Veterans Administration shameful scandal where at least 40 Americans died while waiting for the services of this government sponsored organization. I am not talking about Obama’s pacifism, which has only diminished our role as the world superpower we once were making us, instead, the laughing stock of enemies and allies alike. There is also the systematic deterioration of our democratic system. This charlatan’s [Obama’s] willful gameness to desecrate our Constitution and our legal system, is repeatedly telling the American people, of his readiness to bypass Congress on issues such as our nation’s immigration policies and the like. Don’t forget the American Congress being ready, willing and able to shove down American’s throats, laws such as the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a ObamaCare. Whether or not we realize it or care to realize it, during the past last fifty years, the enemy has been relentlessly grinding away at democracy and capitalism in this country. They [the enemy], are utterly convinced that all of us, the American people as a whole are, as Gruber claimed, ill-informed and stupid, and while I can accept the former, I must strongly argue the assumption that we are all not as stupid as they would make us out to be. A highly unanticipated resurgence of Americans’ dire urge in returning their country to its former glories; a resurgence of Gruber’s “stupid” voters, made a “not-so-stupid” stand on what is best for America in 2014. The choice is ours and the time is now. It is up to all of us to decide what we want for ourselves; what we want for the generations that follow; and what we want even for the future of mankind. The importance of the 2016 elections is that they will go down in history as the year that made the difference, one way or the other.
(“2016 Election: America on the Precipice” by Obie Usategui dated January 11, 2015 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/68899 )
Congress might be tempted to ignore one of the most persistent problems in Washington: overspending. In 2014, federal spending reached $3.5 trillion, and the one-year deficit was $486 billion, and these huge numbers represent “a small and temporary improvement in the nation’s fiscal situation.” Without further spending reforms, rising debt threatens to impede growth, harm Americans’ economic opportunities, and even threaten the nation’s security:
· Washington spent nearly $3.5 trillion in 2014 while collecting nearly $3 trillion in revenues, resulting in a deficit of slightly less than half a trillion. In other words, 14 cents of every dollar that Washington spent in 2014 was borrowed.
· Over the past 20 years, federal spending grew 63% faster than inflation.
· Mandatory spending, including Social Security and means-tested entitlements, doubled after adjusting for inflation.
· Discretionary spending grew by 47% in real terms.
· Despite publicly held debt surging to three-fourths the size of the economy (as measured by GDP), net interest costs have fallen as interest rates have dropped to historic lows.
· Three major budget categories, major health care programs, Social Security, and interest on the debt, will account for 85% of nominal spending growth over the next decade. Entitlement reform is a must to curb the growth in spending.
There’s also far too much redundancy in the budget. According to a GAO report, duplication of federal programs and services could cost taxpayers $45 billion annually. Elimination of wasteful and duplicative spending is definitely a worthwhile task for the new Congress. New spending for the absurdly misnamed Affordable Care Act will cost more than $1.8 trillion over the next decade, because of its massive expansion of Medicaid and subsidies for those who buy health insurance in the new exchanges. Meanwhile, entitlement spending has been booming. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid make up 77% of mandatory program spending in 2014, and have no budget limits. Spending like this is unsustainable. Hopefully the new Congress realizes this, and acts accordingly.
(“The Unsustainability of Federal Spending” by Ed Feulner dated January 10, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/edfeulner/2015/01/10/the-unsustainability-of-federal-spending-n1941029 )
The MSM narrative provided by Obama and his Kool-Aid drinking fans is that the economy is doing great… GDP is up dramatically… unemployment is way down… healthcare costs are down… and Obama has lowered the deficit. These are the same lies told by every Democrat member of Congress, and the GOP lets them get away with these lies.
· First the economy is not “recovering” or “healthy” for anyone but corporate elite, billionaires, bankers and Wall Street. Main Street and small business are dying. For the first time in history more businesses are failing each day than opening. For the first time in history there are more people on welfare, food stamps and other handouts than working in the private sector. We have the lowest workforce participation rate in history.
· Obama’s supporters claim healthcare costs are down while GDP is up. Health insurance premiums have gone up more this year than in the 8 years prior to ObamaCare combined. Almost the entire increase in 3rd quarter GDP was fueled by the massive increase in healthcare costs due to ObamaCare. Obama's voters get "free" healthcare, while middle class America and small business gets bankrupted with the huge bill.
· The idea that GDP is rising because of higher healthcare costs that are bankrupting middle class Americans, is not a reason to celebrate. If the GDP increase for one quarter was primarily produced by increased healthcare spending, then how can Obama’s defenders claim that healthcare spending is down?
· Next Obama’s defenders claim unemployment is down. It can’t be down if workforce participation rate is the lowest in history. The government doesn't count the people no longer looking for jobs… or who don’t want a job. True unemployment is at Great Depression levels. Worse, the jobs being created are crappy, low wage, part-time jobs.
· Democrats also crow about the stock market under Obama. A rising stock market based on fake money printing by the Fed, misleading economic stats and massive debt is a tragedy. The $8 trillion in debt makes this the world's largest Ponzi scheme. We’ve printed trillions in fake dollars to make the stock market go up for the corporate elite, to prop up union pension funds, and to pay for 107 million Americans on welfare and food stamps. Debt is a cancer that kills every country it has ever touched.
· Finally there’s the lie that Obama has reduced the deficit. This fantastic “reduced” deficit is still higher than the highest deficit under Bush. Obama pushed through the highest tax increases in history. Middle class America has been fleeced so Obama can brag he’s reduced the deficit. Higher taxes have produced new government revenue, which has reduced the deficit. That’s not an achievement, it’s a rip off.
The entire Obama economic “recovery” is a lie. It’s all based on lies, misrepresentations, in some cases pure fraud, higher taxes, massive debt, and on the income redistribution of money from the middle class to the poor and the corporate elite. The rest of us are either drowning, or hanging on for dear life. Now it’s time for the GOP to go on the offensive. It’s time to debunk the narrative that Obama has produced a “recovery,” because If we don’t, get ready for Obama’s third term with President Hillary Clinton or President Elizabeth Warren.
(“Here’s How GOP Can Destroy Myth of Obama Economy” by Wayne Allyn Root dated January 13, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/wayneallynroot/2015/01/13/heres-how-gop-can-destroy-myth-of-obama-economy-n1942073 )
As we enter 2015, the politics of the President's health care law are little changed since it was passed. The details change with the calendar, but year after year, the law remains a major drag on President Obama's popularity and legacy. Defenders of the law commonly known as ObamaCare continue to believe the law will eventually become popular and point to a growing number of people with insurance as proof the law is working. People will dislike this law because the irritation factor has been and will continue to be far more significant than most advocates of the law want to admit. The next round of irritation is almost here and will directly impact the people that the President's team is hoping to win over. The law provides health insurance subsidies to more than 6 million taxpayers. In general, they are lower-income Americans who file the simplest tax returns, a 1040 EZ, but now all who received subsidies must file a Form 8962, which requires five pages of IRS rules to explain. Among other things, it requires a full accounting including the cost of their premium, subsidy and tax credit. Adding insult to injury, a substantial number of tax filers will go to all this trouble only to find out that their subsidies were too high and they owe the federal government more money. According to some estimates, more than 3 million people will learn they have to give back some of the subsidies they were counting on. If this were the only irritating aspect of the healthcare law, it might be able to survive, but it comes on top of a long list of other irritations. Some were temporary, such as the initial failure of the healthcare.gov website. Some were major one-time events, such as the fact that many people with insurance were not allowed to keep their insurance or their doctor. Some are ongoing: everybody who gets insurance through the exchanges will have to go back to the healthcare.gov website every year. Due to complexities in the formula for calculating subsidies, they will either have to select a new plan (meaning they might also have to switch doctors every year) or risk higher out-of-pocket costs. Changing insurance and doctors every year is a major hassle, to say the least. It's important to note that these irritations are forced upon the very people that Obama is counting on to make his law popular. There are plenty of reasons for people to oppose ObamaCare on policy grounds, but politically, the law's fatal weakness may be the irritation it delivers to those it's supposed to help.
(“Obamacare and the Irritation Factor” by Scott Rasmussen dated January 10, 2015 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/01/10/obamacare_and_the_irritation_factor_125206.html )
For New Yorkers, whose mosque was just blocks from the World Trade Center on 9/11, the terrorist attack in Paris this week brought back shuddering memories. Once again terrorists, saying they were acting in the name of Islam, perpetrated a horrific crime, which has rightly outraged the Western world and smeared the name of the religion I cherish. It gets harder and harder for me to convince my non-Muslim American friends that these crimes have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with terrorists trying to enhance their political agenda. While Western powers must track down and punish these terrorists any way they can, we must also smartly combat the terrorists' narrative. This requires us to do two things at the same time: First, highlight the fact that these attacks violate Islam. Prove that the terrorists are apostates. Second, work to remove the frustrations of Muslim people both in Europe and in the Middle East that are helping to fuel terrorism. The Koran would never condone the idea that lampooning Muhammad should be avenged by murder. It commands us not to insult the values of other people because that would cause others to insult our God. It teaches that libel is a crime, but not a capital crime. At the same time, Islamic law does not allow anyone to wrong another person more than he has been wronged. ISIS and Al Qaida claim they want to create a caliphate ruled by sharia law, but what they are actually creating is a perversion of Islam that violates that law. I believe the Prophet Muhammad would condemn their social and political structure. So many Muslims, in the Middle East and in Western nations, feel marginalized economically and politically. For generations, their own governments in the Middle East have suppressed them with policies that deny them freedom to grow politically or economically. When they flee to the West, they often find themselves marginalized again and viewed with hatred and suspicion. With no place to turn, they are susceptible to the siren song of vicious groups that promise to empower them in a noble cause. So I ask my fellow American Muslims to examine your religion; to teach the young its true values; to be aware of the insidious appeals of the extremists that seeps into our homes. We Muslims must create a counter narrative to combat the extremists' propaganda. We need to work hand in hand with law enforcement to prevent such crimes. We must also cooperate with other faith and sectarian communities to help solve conflicts throughout the Middle East. We have a big, positive role to play. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has also called for a “religious revolution.” I call on governments, both Western and Muslim, to understand that policy has consequences; that people cannot be suppressed and marginalized forever; that endless conflict will only lead to stronger extremists, more attacks on Westerners and many more dead Muslims.
(“After Charlie Hebdo massacre, Muslims must reject violence, and governments must correct course” by Imam Feisal Abdul Ralif dated January 11, 2015 published by New York Daily News at http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/abdul-rauf-muslims-challenge-massacre-article-1.2072553 )
When will America wake up to confront our enemies who are slowly invading our Country? When will we realize that it isn’t “global awareness,” “congenial compatibility” or as in this latest case, “religious pluralism,” but instead its conquest and we are the damn targets! These “politically correct” and asinine terms disguise the ongoing threat against our Country and our way of life. Make no mistake, we are under attack as much as were those who perished in those 9/11 twin towers. It’s just that at this stage of a minimal Muslim population percentage, it’s more polished, compatible and persuasive than what will follow. All one has to do is to look to France for an understanding of what is in store for America. Conversely, all one has to do is to look to Australia for an understanding of what needs to be done. Assimilate or leave! France has permitted the encampments known as “no-go” zones, and in doing so, it seems that France can’t get past being France. While we on the other side of the Atlantic we also fail to realize that this will occur here if we continue with our appeasements. Their beliefs demand capitulation of the infidel. There is no middle ground and once attained, their rule will be ruinous and bloody. Not to outdo the “no-go” zones of Europe but the “training camps” which have sprouted up throughout America foretells of a more severe and lasting calamity. If so, their infiltration is further along than we all dare to admit. This naïve approach of “religious pluralism” is the work of the protected, the guarded, those who are still free to spin and frolic within their preferred idealisms.
(“What Will Remain of America?” by Jim Bowman dated January 15, 2015 published by American Clarion at http://www.americanclarion.com/will-remain-america-35750 )
* 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:
· Bibliography at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/bibliography.php
· National Culture at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/philosophy.php
· Education at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/education.php
· Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/homelandsecurity.php
· Foreign Policy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/policy.php
· Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php