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Views on the News

Views on the News*

January 30, 2016

 

Donald Trump's meteoric and sustained rise is a direct result of Obama's largely successful campaign to fundamentally transform America, and the establishment Republicans' unwillingness to fight back.  Grassroots conservatives have wanted someone to stand up to Obama and stand up for our nation, and they are sick and tired of Beltway politicians and pundits alike patronizingly assuring them that nothing extraordinary is occurring and to calm down.  It is important to review history because it is crucial in assessing and judging Ted Cruz's actions in valiantly trying to stand up for the people against Obama's tyranny.  The establishment has always been squeamish about standing up to liberalism, forever cautioning us not to sound too much like the conservatives we are for fear we will sound mean and alienate independents, centrists and other squishes we need to win national elections.  Never mind the only time we've resoundingly won these elections, Presidential and congressional, is when we've run decidedly conservative candidates or pushed strongly conservative themes.  The establishment's allergy to fighting reached its apex with the advent of Barack Obama.  Presumably because of his race, his initial popularity or his projected image as a uniter, their fear of resisting Democrats grew into full-blown paranoia.  This was most noticeable in the budget battles the GOP had with Obama.  They told us not to allow the government to shut down, because the people would blame Republicans, the party perceived to favor smaller government, and we'd lose the next election.  Even after we won the next elections our guys were no more emboldened.  Many of those elected on promises to stop or try harder to stop this nonsense were co-opted by the establishment or pressured into acquiescence.  Ted Cruz, along with a few others, rejected the conventional GOP wisdom and refused to take their orders to stand down.  The establishment uniformly pans his "doomed-to-fail" efforts and says he was only showboating in furtherance of his political ambitions.  These same people blister Obama for such feckless negotiating tactics and preemptive surrender with respect to Iran, but when dealing with Obama they fold like the crease in his pants.  The establishment has always justified their position by claiming that we didn't have the votes to override Obama's vetoes or overcome Democrat filibusters, or that we would be blamed for shutting down the government.  From one perspective we can't prove who was right, because Congress didn't often stand up to Obama and our idea was never tested.  That the establishment didn't sufficiently oppose Obama, reserving most of its angst for conservatives instead of the President, directly led to Donald Trump, who would not have resonated otherwise.  This is the big next election they never anticipated because they underestimated the degree to which they were disappointing and infuriating the base and frustrating their will.  I appeal to the rest of you to review recent history in this light and to reconsider the wisdom of Ted Cruz's approach, even though it was rejected by the majority of other Republican politicians, whose very party is on the ropes because of their conceit, arrogance and tone-deafness.  Cruz was right, and grassroots conservatives were right, that we should have stood up to Obama then and didn't, so Trump was born and is flourishing.  With Ted Cruz we know what we're getting and we know it's the reverse of Obama's infernal effort to fundamentally transform America.  

(“Cruz Has Been Right All Along” by David Limbaugh dated January 26, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/davidlimbaugh/2016/01/25/cruz-has-been-right-all-along-n2109774 )

It's ironic that America has grown up enough to distance itself from racism while electing its first black racially divisive President, Barack Hussein Obama.  Instead he subtly created negative race relations and incited the scorn of the Middle East, which considered him liberal, licentious, and weak.  Obama exacerbated the Henry Gates dispute, said that Trayvon Martin could have been his son, and agitated Ferguson, leading to the racist Black Lives Matter movement.  He spoke softly and antagonized only by innuendo.  I don't believe he wanted racial division as part of his legacy, but I think he was an accidental racist.  Obama led the blacks to fight against the police to their own detriment.  He sat there while thousands of young people killed each other by black-on-black crime in our own time in Chicago.  Obama's not protecting the cops against thugs has led to the murders of innocent people in poor communities.  He has been an inadvertent force for chaos, not order.  Most bigoted blacks voted for Obama; so did Jews and liberal whites, and all the fringe voters elected him in the hopes that he would lead to a less prejudiced country.  The country jumped above prejudice to choose a black president, and yet he has been the most racially divisive leader in our history.  So in being open-minded, we chose a black President who divided our country and spread prejudice like fertilizer in America's garden.  We never had a white President who was as harmful to the blacks as Obama.  He is too smart to be stupid... or is he too stupid to be smart?  If Obama were white, he might have been less divisive, but instead his blackness divided it, along with his negative attitude toward our traditions.   

(“Obama, the accidental racist” by David Lawrence dated January 24, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/01/obama_the_accidental_racist.html )

 

While America’s health-care system has long needed reform, President Obama unfortunately made many parts of it worse.  His Affordable Care Act is based on more federal spending, regulation and coercion, and Americans are now experiencing the many unhappy consequences.  These include millions forced out of their previous insurance plans and into new ones with higher costs and more-restricted access to physicians; premiums increasing by double digits, even for the lowest-price silver plans offered in states using the Healthcare.gov website; and insurance companies losing billions of dollars because many healthy, middle-class families want no part of ObamaCare.  More than half of the not-for-profit “co-ops” have failed.  Congress passed a bill on January 6th gutting the Affordable Care Act, which Obama vetoed two days later.  Change will have to wait until the next President and Congress.  Repealing the Affordable Care Act is not enough.  The country has been drifting toward full federal control of health care for decades.  What’s needed is a credible plan to reorient federal policy across the board toward markets and the preferences of consumers and patients, and away from one-size-fits-all bureaucratic micromanagement, which must include these important features:

·    Retaining employer coverage - About 155 million Americans get health insurance through their work. They should be left alone. The only change would be a new upper limit on the tax preference for employer-paid premiums, set so only the most expensive 25% of plans would exceed it.  Employers and workers alike would have an incentive to cut health spending and keep premiums below the limit to avoid triggering exposure to taxation.

·    Tax credits - Individuals without employer coverage would get an age-adjusted tax credit to help purchase health insurance.  These credits would be more flexible than ObamaCare’s premium subsides, because there would be no strings attached, i.e., none of the current federal law’s mandated benefits.  Consumers could pick any state-approved plan that meets their needs and those of their family.  Together with employer coverage, these tax credits would ensure that all have access to secure insurance.

·    Continuous coverage protection - Give people a strong incentive to stay insured: As long as they remain continuously insured, they cannot be charged higher premiums, have their benefits restricted, or be denied enrollment in a plan based on their health status.

·    Medicaid reform - This program would be split into two parts, one for able-bodied adults and their children, the other for the disabled and elderly. The federal government would give states fixed, per-person payments based on historical spending patterns for these distinct populations.  States could manage the program without federal interference.  Able-bodied adults and their children could combine Medicaid with the (refundable) federal tax credit to enroll in a private insurance option.

·    Medicare reform - For new retirees, Medicare would provide a fixed level of assistance, derived from bids submitted by competing insurance carriers and the calculated cost of staying in traditional Medicare, which seniors would use to purchase a health plan of their choosing.  Seniors could enroll in the traditional program, which would be modernized with a uniform deductible for hospital and physician services and more discretion for administrators to make distinctions among providers based on quality.

·    Expanded health savings accounts - HSAs today are used in conjunction with high-deductible insurance. They provide protection against high-cost medical events without forcing people to pay premiums for plans that cover routine care. If the owners of HSAs do not spend all of the annual contributions, the money rolls over—so they can build capital for the future. Under our plan, all Americans could open and make annual contributions to an HSA, even when they are enrolled in plans with lower deductibles.

An evaluation of our plan by the nonpartisan Center for Health and Economy showed that it would cover as many people with insurance as ObamaCare has, but without the same massive expense and high taxes.  The plan would dramatically improve the nation’s budget outlook by putting both Medicaid and Medicare on a solid fiscal footing.  The Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010 in part because Republicans failed to fix health care when they had the chance.  This election year is an opportunity to demonstrate concrete plans to reverse ObamaCare and implement reforms based on consumer, not government, control.  

(“Instead of ObamaCare: Giving Health-Care Power to the People” by Lanhee J. Chen and James C. Capretta dated January 24, 2016 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://www.wsj.com/articles/instead-of-obamacare-giving-health-care-power-to-the-people-1453502774 )

 

As Americans consider who ought to lead us out of the despair of Obama’s misrule, we ought to go back twenty-five years.  Reagan inherited an America as wretched as America is today.  Carter no more feared communism than Obama fears radical Islam.  Carter preached austerity as blithely as Obama's flacks soothingly tell Americans that we are really in good shape economically.  Carter, like Obama, leaves an America despondent and unsure.  What will the next President, as the revitalizer of our nation, need to do? 

·   First, we must call our evil enemies "evil."  This is not a question of being smarter or winning or showing finesse.  This is straightforward moral courage.  This means, also, identifying the greatest victims of this evil, the wretched people forced to live in the lands these control.  The Poles, the Balts, the Czechs, and all the other victims of Soviet Communist tyranny became our best allies.

·   Second, we should champion the true liberation of the various nationalities trapped in the wicked empire of Iran.  Recall when Obama took office that the Iranian subjects agitated for relief.  Obama made the same mistake that George H. Bush made in 1989, when the Chinese people sought freedom at Tiananmen Square.  Liberate the Syrians, by their own hands, not our hands, just as we liberated Hungary by the will of the Hungarians.  Few of these evil regimes have true legitimacy.  These are thugocracies, and we ought to destabilize the power of the thugs who rule them.  Create regimes that treat their people humanely and want our friendship and support.

·   Third, we must reclaim the mantle of Judeo-Christian superiority.  It was not "religion" that defeated the Soviets (Marxism is nothing if not a religion itself), it was showing which moral system deserved to win the Cold War.  If we are ashamed to say that the religions and moral systems of Jews and Christians are better than radical Islam, then how can we win?  Moreover, we are building our battle plans upon lies, because the religions of Jews and Christians are, quite clearly, better than Marxism and better than radical Islam. 

We can win this new cold war, and we can recover, out of the savings we now make for defense and the stabilization of the global economy, a new and happier world.  It requires clear moral vision and courage, and whichever candidate can give us that, can recover the victory of Reagan, should be our next President.  

(“Losing What Reagan Won” by Bruce Walker dated January 23, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/01/losing_what_reagan_won.html )

 

House Speaker Paul Ryan has been sounding out colleagues for a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was written in 2001 and targeted groups connected to 9/11, but had not been renewed.   Any new AUMF must be accompanied by a clear Declaration of War against ISIS, because we will never destroy them without an official war declaration.  Ryan is correctly opposed to the Obama White House ISIS strategy, which bars widespread use of U.S. combat troops in Syria and Iraq and would place limits on the length of military options.  It’s Iraq and Afghanistan all over again.  The White House wants to forbid “boots on the ground” and wishes to prohibit “enduring offensive ground combat operations.”  The use of Special Forces would be allowed, but that would expire after three years.  Team Obama would tie the hands of the U.S. military and send all the wrong signals to our enemies.  In his pursuit of a new AUMF, Speaker Ryan must seek a formal U.S. declaration of war against Islamic jihadists, such as ISIS.  The President has yet to call an emergency NATO meeting to declare war on the Islamic State, which has declared war on us.  ISIS attacks from Europe to California have tragically proved that again and again.  A formal declaration of war adds urgency, energy, and immediacy to the war.  A war declaration would also be a forcing device, outlining the American strategy with respect to the Islamic State and terrorism in general: What is it we want? How will we know when we get it? How does the war end? How long do we stay? What are our postwar intentions?  A war resolution will not only underscore the importance of this conflict, it also will help rally Americans to the cause.  It’s a question of leadership from the commander-in-chief, and it’s a question of congressional responsibility.  It’s also a question for the Presidential candidates in both parties.  The White House and Congress must be truthful with the American people.  No more pulling punches.  A war will be a war, with the availability of all of our resources on land and in the air, and with the unfortunate reality of collateral damage in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere.  The great American military understands that costs must be suffered if American freedom is to be protected.  So we must do whatever it takes to destroy ISIS. Right now, it’s not clear that the U.S. is winning.  This is both national security and homeland security, but we will not win this war unless we take the battle, in full force and without limits, to Islamic jihadists wherever they live.   

(“We Will Never Destroy ISIS Without a Full-Blown Declaration of War” by Larry Kudlow dated January 23, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/larrykudlow/2016/01/23/we-will-never-destroy-isis-without-a-fullblown-declaration-of-war-n2108777 )

 

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:

·    Politics at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/politics.php

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

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

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/