Views on the News

Views on the News*

February 17, 2018


Thanks to the improving economy, something very unusual is going on in American politics: American voters are separating the personal from the political.  President Trump's overall approval rating in most polls is creeping up lately, and at the same time, voters are starting to become more positive about the economy and more willing to give Trump the credit for it.  The latest Quinnipiac College poll has Trump at a weak 40% approval rating, but 70% of respondents said the overall economy is "excellent" or "good."  Voters also said Trump was more responsible for the economy than former President Barack Obama, by a 48% to 41% margin.  This is indeed major news.  While it may seem like it a lot of the time, presidential campaigns are not literally popularity contests.  The candidate most voters find personally more likable does not always win elections, according to many scholarly studies on the subject.  Those same studies show that voters usually choose the candidate who looks and sounds the most competent to them on major issues.  Personality and personal delivery are still crucial, but likability is still not as important as at least a perceived position on the issues.  These polls show that the American people seem to be coming to terms with the fact that they may not like Trump personally, but they do like his track record on the most crucial issue: the economy.  The most dramatic positive move in the polls recently is not for Trump personally, but for his signature tax reform law.  Tax reform was suffering with just 26% approval in the Monmouth poll in December, but now approval has shot up to 44% and pulled even with those who disapproved of it.  This could start to accelerate even more as more Americans start to see larger paychecks this month.  The question is whether that will tip the scales in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.  Most midterm elections are usually seen as a referendum on the president and the job he's doing.  Meanwhile, the Democrats have long made it clear that they were going to do whatever they could to make Trump and his personal unpopularity their biggest issue in the midterms.  The downside for the GOP is that the economy can still slow down between now and November.  The stock market's intense volatility can burn a lot of investors, too.  If that happens, Trump and the Republicans will have nowhere to hide as they take more and more ownership for the economy, but slowdowns are always a danger threatening every incumbent president and party in control of Congress.  What is new is that the voters are showing that they don't need to like a president or a political party to support their perceived success.  That means the Democrats may be concentrating their fire on the wrong target.  Trump has endured maximum character assassination for years, but if his policies are soaring in popularity, it's going to be very hard to use him as a proxy to defeat his party in the midterms.

(“Trump isn’t getting more popular, but his policies are” by Jake Novak dated February 12, 2018 published by CNBC at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/12/trump-isnt-more-popular-but-his-policies-are-commentary.html  )

The deep state is trying to cover up a gigantic conspiracy involving senior members of our FBI, DOJ and intelligence agencies.  The epic Clinton scandals and cover-ups currently under investigation in Washington will make Nixon’s Watergate and subsequent cover-up look like kindergarteners playing in a sandbox.  Washington DC, under twenty-five years of neo-liberalism and the iron-fisted rule of the Clinton/Obama regime, have corrupted and weaponized senior members of Washington’s most bureaucratic law enforcement and intelligence agencies to act against the law and against the principles of democracy.  Making matters much worse, senior members of the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency have been operating a “shadow government”, which is only accountable to the “deep state.”  The Obama/Clintons’ shadow government operatives will stop at nothing to cover up their crimes against democracy, including the destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice.  Destruction of evidence has been a big theme throughout the Bill/Hillary Clinton era.  Just take a look at scandals involving the missing emails, Benghazi, and the Clinton Foundation.  Based on the recent announcement from the Department of Justice regarding the 50,000 missing texts written by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, it appears this trend is continuing.  We now know this statement is not true since the “lost” emails have now magically reappeared.  However, the DOJ has decided to withhold, for personal and other reasons, more than 85% of the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.  The DOJ has submitted just 7,000 of the over 50,000 found.  The total excludes many other emails and texts on numerous other personal devices that the two Trump investigators referenced on their FBI mobile devices.  However, Special Counsel Robert Mueller reviewed nearly all of the FBI lovers’ texts and redacted them as he deemed appropriate.  Seems like Mueller has been working with his comrades at the FBI to “disappear” evidence in a similar manner to which Hillary Clinton’s devices were destroyed with hammers and her hard drives permanently erased with BleachBit.  This is just further evidence of how the deep state is trying to cover up a gigantic conspiracy involving senior members of our FBI, DOJ and intelligence agencies.  Fortunately, the Clintons’ Teflon coating may have finally worn away.  A declassified top-secret four-page document, authored for the head of the congressional intelligence committee Devin Nunes, was released to the public on 2 February 2018. The memo outlines how senior FBI and DOJ officials used the Steele dossier, a bogus document the FBI Director James Comey characterised as “salacious and unverified,” to knowingly lie to and deceive a FISA judge.  This fraudulent dossier was used on four separate occasions in order to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to conduct illegal surveillance on American citizens and on an opposition political party in a presidential election.  While the Democrats have tried to downplay the importance of the Steele dossier, Andrew McCabe, in his testimony before Congress, stated, “No FISA surveillance warrant would have been sought without the Steele dossier.  The FBI and DOJ purposefully withheld from the FISA judge the fact that the Steele dossier was a British intelligence work product, funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and that British agent Christopher Steele was leaking contents of his own dossier directly to the media to be used as verification of his dossier.  Rather than allowing the public to decide, the partisan intelligence committee’s top Democrat Adam Schiff said the memo on the Steele dossier should never be released to the public.  Regardless of the Democrat protestations, it’s now clear that the FBI and the DOJ lied to the FISA judge in order to spy on a political opposition party using evidence paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  Predictably, as evidence of the Clintons’ guilt mounts around the Clinton Foundation and the real Russian collusion story, the Clintons resurrect their most famous excuse: “the great right-wing conspiracy”.  Their next play will be to convince “resistance” members that these prosecutions are politically motivated and blame it all on Trump.  It is extremely dangerous to our republic when politicians weaponize the intelligence agencies to spy on a political opposition party and then lie about it.  Rightly, this current scandal has shattered America’s trust in the intelligence agencies and the traditional media pundits who acted in the massive cover-up. America needs honesty, transparency, and accountability.  Sunlight is a powerful and necessary disinfectant.  Unfortunately, I wouldn’t bet on any of the above changing anytime soon because the swamp will stay the same and the deep state will keep the status quo: BOHICA. (Bend Over, Here It Comes Again!)

(“The Obama’s Hillary Clinton cover-ups destroyed DOJ and FBI” by Michael Feierstein dated February 10, 2018 published by Sunday Guardian Live at http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/12702-how-obama-s-hillary-clinton-cover-ups-destroyed-doj-and-fbi )

For law enforcement, Congress and even journalists, exposing misdeeds is like peeling an onion.  Each layer you remove gets you closer to the truth.  So it is with the scandalous behavior of the FBI during its probe into whether President Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia in 2016. One layer at a time, we’re learning how flawed and dirty that probe was.

·    A top layer involves the texts between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and her married lover, Peter Strzok, the lead agent on the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe.  They casually mention an “insurance policy” in the event Trump won the election and a plan for Strzok to go easy on Clinton because she probably would be their next boss.  Those exchanges, seen in the light of subsequent events, lead to a reasonable conclusion that the fix was in among then-Director James Comey’s team to hurt Trump and help Clinton.

·    Another layer involves the declassified House memo, which indicates the FBI and DOJ depended heavily on the unverified Russian dossier about Trump to get a warrant to spy on Carter Page, an American citizen and briefly a Trump adviser.  The House memo also reveals that Comey and others withheld from the secret surveillance court key partisan facts that would have cast doubt on the dossier.  Officials never revealed to the judges that the document was paid for by Clinton’s campaign and the Democrat National Committee or that Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier, said he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected.”

·    A third layer involves the revelations in the letter GOP Senators Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham wrote to the Justice Department.  They urge a criminal investigation into whether Steele lied to the FBI about how much and when he fed the dossier to the anti-Trump media.  The letter is compelling in showing that Steele said one thing under oath to a British court and something different to the FBI.  The contradictions matter because the agency relied on Steele’s credibility in both the FISA applications and its actual investigation.  Strangely, even after it fired him for breaking its rule forbidding media contact, the FBI continued to praise his credibility in court.  If that were all the senators’ letter accomplished, it would be enough. But it does much more.  It also reveals that two former journalists linked to Clinton, separately identified as the odious Sidney Blumenthal and a man named Cody Shearer, created and gave a State Department official additional unverified allegations against Trump.  The official passed those documents to Steele, who passed them to the FBI, which reportedly saw them as further evidence that Trump worked with Russians.

There are many more layers of the onion to peel, but here’s where we are now: It appears that the Clinton machine was the secret, original source of virtually all the allegations about Trump and Russia that led to the FBI investigation.  In addition, the campaign and its associates, including Steele, were behind the explosion of anonymously sourced media reports during the fall of 2016 about that investigation.  Thus, the Democratic nominee paid for and created allegations against her Republican opponent, gave them to law enforcement, then tipped friendly media to the investigation.  It is almost certain FBI agents supporting Clinton were among the anonymous sources.  In fact, the Clinton connections are so fundamental that there probably would not have been an FBI investigation without her involvement.  That makes hers a brazen work of political genius, and perhaps the dirtiest dirty trick ever played in presidential history. Following her manipulation of the party operation to thwart Bernie Sanders in the primary, Clinton is revealed as relentlessly ruthless in her quest to be president.  The only thing that went wrong is that she lost the election, and based on what we know now, her claims about Trump were false.  Of the charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, none involves helping Russia interfere with the election.  Neither the FBI nor Mueller has vouched for the truthfulness of the Blumenthal and Shearer claims or the Steele dossier. ­ Instead, the dossier faces defamation lawsuits in the US and England from several people named in it.  A full timeline convincingly points to Steele as the initial spark.  He was hired by a Clinton contractor in June 2016, and filed his first allegations against Trump on June 20.  Two weeks later, on July 5, he met with an FBI agent in London.  For Clinton, creating a cloud over Trump’s presidency and helping to put the nation through continuing turmoil is a victory of sorts. America is fortunate it’s her only victory.

(“Peeling back the layers of Hillary Clinton’s deceit” by Michael Goodwin dated February 10, 2018 published by New York Post at https://nypost.com/2018/02/10/peeling-back-the-layers-of-hillary-clintons-deceit/ )


There isn't much room in today's Democrat Party for independent thought or moderate positions.  Whether it's about the right of a fetus to live versus the right of a woman to choose, the inherent rights of American citizens versus the perceived rights of illegal aliens, or religious freedom and traditional values versus another new category of people seeking special protection, Democrats are of one mind.  They all stand together on the far left, a place where dissent is never tolerated.  Nothing unites Democrats more than their loathing of one man and their disdain for the American voters who elected him.  Donald Trump has succeeded in undoing much of the legacy left us by his leftist predecessor.  They call it "political opposition," but the nonstop venom spewing from liberal politicians and the media, Hollywood, and academia represents something much more dangerous to our republic than healthy political opposition.  Blinded by their own hatred, liberals can't see that they, not Donald Trump, are responsible for the deep division in the country.  Whatever Trump's flaws, those things that he stands for were never considered divisive in the past.  Republicans and Democrats alike once stood together for personal responsibility, religious freedom, national pride, border security, and prosperity for all, and they all stood for the National Anthem.  The emotional divide in this country, the polarization of America, long predates Trump and was seriously aggravated during Obama's administration, something that, many would argue, was deliberate and calculated for political reasons.  A Gallup Poll conducted at the end of Obama's term confirms that fact, showing that a record-high 77% of Americans that year viewed the country as divided.  Immediately after Trump's election, apoplectic Obama loyalists embarked on an odyssey of opposition, a pilgrimage of protest, and they still haven't come back.  They fully understand that if this president fails, the country fails, but they don’t care, and they are determined to oversee his downfall.  Their dour demeanor and deadpan expressions throughout Trump's State of the Union address last month showed that their contempt today is just as intense as it was during his inauguration.  When Trump referenced the more than two million new jobs created and rising wages, he drew not a hint of approval from Democrats.  When he addressed our national security and the threat from North Korea, Democrats showed no signs of support then, nor when he talked about restoring the bonds of trust between our citizens and their government.  Even when he took a moment to recognize those American victims of illegal alien gangs and talked about pride in our national anthem, the catatonic response from Democrats showed that their hatred of the president is more intense than any affinity they might have had for those values that made American great.  The State of the Union speech also offered a glimpse into Democrat plans for the future: blind opposition to the president and continued division for the country.

(“Divisive Democrats, United by Hate” by Peter Lemiska dated February 16, 2018 published by American Thinker at https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/02/divisive_democrats_united_by_hate.html )


Donald Trump brought the void to the entire liberal establishment, bringing it emptiness and confusion and, more importantly, bringing it fear of the American people.  The liberal sun is setting in the West, and all that remains for its worshippers is an unbearable sorrow for the power they have lost, of bewilderment and anger, a sense of the lengthening shadows of their irrelevance, and a gathering realization that, from having dwelt within the deep corruption of the Obama administration, they have nothing to offer the people but their old socialist handbooks, their consuming hatred for the new president, and a roiling temper of revenge.  The liberal mind is a dark place, an irrational, predatory, enslaving, and uncivilizing influence.  It has become its own refuge, its own closed system of thought and behavior, its own electric carnival of delusions.  It can switch reality on and off with the swipe of a finger.  It can turn wishful clay on a magic potter's wheel until it has made new creeds out of its own lies and new religions out of government.  Its proselytes have placed their left hands upon Marx and sworn an oath of fealty to a pernicious ideology of power. Not only have its priests and ministers raised society above the individual in their egalitarian rituals, but they have also elevated the state above society.  They eulogize "diversity" and "inclusion" in their propaganda, but when the diverse and the included have entered the great House of Liberal Thought, the wide doors close behind them, and they are not permitted to leave.  The liberal establishment is too much like this closed, unavailing, dysfunctional state following the Trump apocalypse.  Liberals have fallen into a slough of nihilism, for common sense has poured over their little castles made of sand; and now they must survive on the products of weak imagination and alternative certainties, on implanted memories of things that never were and on the futility of things that cannot be.  Their unreality, however, is a dynamic medium, changeable with art and perfectible with language.  To speak this language is to speak a terrible ignorance that misinforms with purpose, an ignorance that does not tolerate correction, a language that makes hatred possible.  If they can survive on the authorship of their own fictional reality, one can only wonder at their infinite capacity for self-delusion.  To lie and believe the lie is to forswear one's humanity; and one must ask liberals if they too think they are human.  It is a universal irony that the study of democratic societies should often prove a history of free peoples searching for tyrants to enslave them.  One has only to examine the bloody record of democratic origins and endings to understand the multifold opportunities available to radical interests for exploitation and overthrow.  Although America's republican form of government provides the greatest resistance to despotic methods, it cannot entirely escape the vulnerabilities inherent to the democratic process itself.  We now find our nation disturbed by the cultish and non-moral spirit of intellectual dishonesty, error and arrogance that defines the liberal problem in America, for although liberal activists have proven the perfect stewards of the nation's political and cultural decline, yet they scorn the world that offers no thanks for their instruction.  It is the definitive modern liberal conceit: that the world waits upon instruction. Liberalism is a mythos of political narratives in which the settled laws of human nature do not apply, thus allowing for an infinite range of social theories to flourish and multiply un-connected to reality.  Its poets do not answer to reason; rather, they are hard-wired to the sentiments that direct reason towards misshapen ends.  The ability to persuade oneself with one's own lies, to willingly forfeit one's conscience to the tribe, and to justify one's own corruption by teaching it to others is a genius discovered only in a truly liberal intelligence.  The modern cult of liberalism thus affords some gratification to the uncounted numbers of unfinished minds desperately looking for a great lie to believe in -- for the lie shall set them free of conscience, personal responsibility and the burden of defending freedom itself.  History is abandoned when social theorists believe they know all the answers.  According to the leftist handbooks, democracies are little more than precursor states with limited life spans, necessary procedural stages for a new authoritarian world order ultimately without political parties, without choice, without freedom, but with an absolute promise of social equality, reminiscent of the old Soviet bloc system. The prospect of eventual one-party rule is the reason why leftists regard democracy so highly; and that length of darkness is the path that liberal instruction is now taking the Democrat Party.  Every presidential election, from this moment onward, will represent a hinged point in the trajectory of historical freedom, an unequivocal turning towards or turning from the founding principles of our nation.  We should know by that time if progressive interests have recovered the political powers commensurate with their contempt for the American people, the great majority of whom, the left believe, are governable only by force in reliable plantations that have already been established by the left, outlining the prototype and purpose of a new dystopian form of liberalism for the 21st Century.

(“The Liberal Problem in America” by Philip Ahlrich dated February 12, 2018 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/02/the_liberal_problem_in_america.html )

Conservatives in Congress and in the hinterlands are bitterly complaining about the massive insult to fiscal sanity the budget deal passed represents.  Even worse, some Republicans are offended by the pushback, such as Senator Rand Paul who tried to stand in the way of the budget deal in the Senate.  GOP political analyst Susan Del Percio said that it was “the day the Tea Party died."  There’s no sense in saying you’re a fiscally responsible Republican when you vote for this budget, and especially when you don’t even take a stand on entitlement reform.  The Tea Party groups in the past exhibited a "take no prisoners" approach to politics. The Tea Party's real value to the country is that for the first time since the ratification debates over the Constitution, millions of people across the country were actually reading and discussing our founding document.  Everyone was walking around with pocket Constitutions, reading and trying to understand the relevance of that document.  What mattered was that ordinary people had taken a keen interest in preserving the spirit of the Constitution and the essence of our founding principles that are "self-evident" in that document at a time it has been under relentless attack.  This side of the Tea Parties was never widely reported on by the media, for very good reasons.  The left hates getting into a discussion about what the Constitution says because they can't defend most of their ideas.  Despite the fact that the founders wrote the Constitution so that anyone could read and understand it, the left keeps insisting the Constitution says things that it doesn't.  Any clever lawyer or willing judge can twist the meaning of the Constitution so that it says anything they want it to say to accomplish any end they wish to accomplish.  The budget deal may have killed fiscal sanity in Washington and perhaps the tea party's political power to some extent.  The GOP may have co-opted most of the larger tea party groups to do the party's bidding.  What remains of the Tea Party is the best part: The desire of ordinary people to govern themselves, to take personal responsibility for their own lives, and to try to do something about the denigration and increasing irrelevance of the Constitution, and if that spirit ever dies, America dies.

(“The Tea Party is Dead.  Long Live the Tea Party” by Rick Moran dated February 9, 2018 published by PJ Media at https://pjmedia.com/video/tea-party-dead-long-live-tea-party/ )


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:

·  Preface at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/preface.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY