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Views on the News

Views on the News*

March 15, 2014

                            

As we have seen for the last six to seven years, the liberal media have wholly bought in to being propagandists for the Obama administration.  Not only have they given glowing support of Obama whenever they can, they conveniently leave out, when they can get away with it, any news items that would put Obama in a negative light or contradict the false image of him that the media has helped create.  President Obama is the first President ever put in power by the media.  In 2008, while many of us were warning of the consequences of an Obama presidency, the dominant liberal media decided to pass on their part in vetting potential Presidential candidates.  It didn’t matter that for decades Barack Obama had been sitting under the teaching of a pastor who advocated Marxist liberation theology and who said the September 11, 2001 mass murder of 3000 people was simply “the chickens coming home to roost.”  It didn’t matter that Obama occasionally let slip his socialist ideology, like telling Joe the Plumber that a tax increase on his business was a good thing because “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”  It didn’t matter that one of his Chicago mentors was one of the founders of the Weathermen, a Marxist group that advocated terrorism and violent revolution against capitalism.  Then the scandalous behavior of the President and the Secretary of State in dealing with the attack on the Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was completely ignored by the media.  Four people died in the attack, including Christopher Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya, yet, due to the news blackout of it by the mainstream media, many people didn’t realize an incompetent Obama and his administration just let it happen.  The basic reporting of the facts of what happened in this tragic event would have derailed the Obama re-election campaign.  What can we do about this indoctrination that is at work by leftist political organizations and the pliable media in their control?  First, let us begin to make it a priority to challenge the journalism departments in our state colleges and universities that turn our children into sponges for leftist ideology.  Secondly we need to work to strengthen and raise up media sources across the county that haven’t been neutered by the leftist propagandists.

(“Indoctrination – our biggest nemesis” by Rolf Yungclas dated March 10, 2014 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/61659 )

The federal government has grown obscenely fat over the years, and under President Obama it's gotten much fatter, eating into our economy and the very foundations that made America great.  It has outgrown our incomes and now threatens us with suffocating debt, costly regulations, punishing mandates, and a punitive tax code that's invaded every nook and cranny of our society and our daily lives.  The national news media never saw a federal domestic program it didn't like, and certainly no complaint about Obama who rose to power on a lengthy list of big spending plans.  Obama worships at the altar of big government, except he thinks it should be a great deal larger and spend a lot more than it's spending now.  He doesn’t care about how much of our financial life blood he drains from a persistently weak and dangerously undernourished economy.  Exhibit A is the nearly $4 trillion budget plan that Obama sent to Congress for fiscal year 2015.  The national news media greeted his unprecedented budget wish list with a long yawn:

·    He calls for $76 billion more for a new nationwide program for early childhood education.

·    He asks for $70 billion more for highway construction.

·    He wants to expand the earned-income tax credit for the poor by $60 billion.

·    He wants to spend $56 billion next year alone for what he calls the "Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative." (a grab bag of cash for agencies affected by the sequester.)

·    He also wants new spending on pre-school programs, more job-training agencies and a new parental leave benefits program, apparently aimed at the middle-class.

All of this plus other spending in Obama's budget would allegedly be paid for from a long list of additional taxes on businesses, investors and wealthier taxpayers -- taxes that he's proposed many times before but have absolutely zero chance of enactment.  All of this and other spending will result in a bleak budget deficit of more than half a trillion dollars in added debt in fiscal year 2015.  This follows unprecedented annual deficits of $1.5 trillion in 2009, $1.4 trillion in 2010, $1.35 trillion in 2011, $1.1 trillion in 2012, more than $600 billion in 2013 and 2014.  To put Obama's deficits into some perspective, President Bush's deficit in 2007, just before the economy fell into the recession, was a tame $179 billion.  Obama, who is a master at class warfare and flimflam political rhetoric, tries to sugarcoat all this spending and added debt by saying "Our budget is about choices, it's about values."  It also includes a forecast that does not paint an overly optimistic picture of economic growth.  After trillions of dollars in new spending, the President's budget forecasts that the economy will slowly grow by a mediocre 2.6% a year over the next decade. That's not anywhere near the economic growth rate needed to bring the jobless rates down to normal levels, let alone keep up with worker population growth.  A federal budget that is growing by more than a trillion dollars every eight years is a prescription for economic disaster that needs to be fixed, and fast.

(“A Trillion Here, a Trillion There, and it is Still Mot Nearly Enough” by Donald Lambro dated March 12, 201 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/donaldlambro/2014/03/12/obama-a-trillion-here-a-trillion-there-and-it-is-still-not-nearly-enough-money-n1807324 )

ObamaCare is turning out like the nine-headed Hydra monster of Greek mythology, because every time President Obama tries to lop off one of its failures, two more emerge. Recent news provides a good case in point.  Obama decreed that those who had plans they liked before ObamaCare could keep them for two more years.  The move helped solve a huge political problem Obama himself created when he first made it possible for some people to keep plans they liked.  Obama had allowed just a one-year extension but in doing so, he created a worse political problem: Cancellation notices on these extended plans would start going out just before the November elections.  So, Obama extended the deadline to protect Democrats facing tough re-election bids.  Soon after Obama decapitated that problem, however, two more ObamaCare fiascoes surfaced.  First, hardly any uninsured are signing up.  A McKinsey & Co. survey finds just one in 10 previously uninsured people have signed up for ObamaCare.  What's more, it finds that the most common reason for not signing up was... affordability.  Since the justification for the "Affordable Care Act" was to make insurance available to those "locked out" of the market, this is a real problem for ObamaCare.  Amazingly, the administration can't even determine how many ObamaCare enrollees were previously uninsured because they forgot to include this question in the online sign-up form (it's in the paper version).  Second, a huge number aren't paying their premiums, which means they actually aren't covered.  The McKinsey survey found nearly a quarter of those enrolled haven't paid for their coverage.  Among those who were uninsured, the number climbs to 47%.  This fits with data from the seven states that are reporting nonpayment rates. Overall, 24% of those enrolled haven't paid their ObamaCare premiums.  Apply the 24% average nationwide, and the 4 million the administration claims have joined ObamaCare suddenly drops by almost 1 million, putting Obama still further from his first-year enrollment target.  In the myth, Hercules eventually figured out how to kill the Hydra monster, which had been terrorizing the countryside, and one can only hope Republicans find a way to finally kill off ObamaCare.

(“The ObamaCare Hydra-Headed Monster” dated March 7, 2014 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-obama-care/030714-692561-obamacare-hydra-monster-keeps-creating-new-problems.htm  )

The best interests of the United States demand that American diplomatic and defense policies be proactive and robust, and anything that smacks of isolationism is for losers.  A return to the conservative tradition marries a very strong military force with bold and assertive foreign policy; it also maintains a reasonable caution against direct military engagement unless other means prove ineffective.  Reagan’s insight that weakness and isolation invite aggression has been borne out again and again in hard experience. Today, the al-Qaeda ascendancy is proving Reagan’s point. Al-Qaeda’s growth in the 1990s owed as much to Clinton’s fecklessness as it did to bin Laden’s ability to convert ordinary Muslims to his brand of jihad.  The growing public aversion to military spending and diplomatic involvement is more than a little disturbing.  For decades, conservatives especially have understood that military penury and diplomatic weakness can lead to danger and tremendous expense later.  That view now is far from universal on the right.  Witness the widespread conservative complacence last year about the effects on the military of the otherwise salutary budget sequestration. Witness the January Pew poll showing that even among Republicans, only 52% now think the decision to evict Saddam Hussein from power was the right one.  There was a time when the American rescue of Iraq was supported by 90% of the GOP electorate.  Saddam Hussein was a menace who wanted to reconstitute a major weapons program; consistently fired on American planes; aided terrorists such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Ramzi Yousef, and Abu Nidal; trained terrorists at Salman Pak, near Baghdad; and emboldened Muslim extremists everywhere by continually roiling the waters in the Middle East.  It is good that he is gone.  Moreover, toppling Saddam also helped us in our war against al-Qaeda.  Remember that Moammar Qaddafi was so moved by the sight of Saddam’s fate that he decided to comply, for several years, with American wishes.  Qaddafi dismantled a nuclear program that turned out to be far more advanced than the world had known; he turned over huge caches of weapons to us; and he gave the West extremely valuable intelligence on al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, including the nuclear network of A. Q. Khan.  Saddam’s eviction increased the safety of the American homeland.  For a full century now, the United States has been an overwhelming, worldwide force for good, and while altruism has played a considerable part in American efforts, American interests, along with those of freedom-seekers everywhere, clearly have benefitted from our global engagement.  American military might protects the vast and essential operations of trade that enriches our lives and wallets, fills our tables with produce no matter what the season, and provides raw materials for an immense variety of American industries.  American diplomatic efforts helped free numerous nations from the yoke of oppression, Communist (too many regimes to mention) and otherwise (e.g., the Philippines, South Africa, Colombia, Thailand).  Again, the benefits here at home have been extensive: Virtually every time a nation becomes more free, its trade and alliances provide material support for our way of life.  The Cold War surely taught us that Communist ideology must be opposed and defeated.  We also should have learned an equally vital lesson: American leadership is necessary to fill voids that thugs will otherwise muscle in on, and there is no substitute for diplomatic and moral leadership, backed by the capability of military force, exerted by a stable, constitutional republic of the size, resources, and good will of the United States.  This is neither fuzzy-headed idealism, nor imperial arrogance, as leftists everywhere decry it.  It’s realism, informed by both human decency and common sense. When America withdraws, chaos will follow, and that chaos, inevitably, will one day harm America, so we must be smart enough and tough enough to avoid that fate, and instead to secure prosperity and freedom, and to exercise responsible stewardship of the common weal.

(“America Must Engage” by Quin Hillyer dated March 10, 2014 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/372994/america-must-engage-quin-hillyer )

The protests in Ukraine and Venezuela have laid bare a new fault line in the 21st century, that of an increasingly globalized middle class, eager to link themselves with the West and modernity, and a corrupt ruling class that seeks to maintain ill-gotten privileges that are vestiges of a discredited past.  No one should be surprised that Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed Ukrainian president, chose an authoritarian alliance with his overseers in the Kremlin instead of opening his nation to the European Union.  As the doors of his ostentatious mansion are flung open, and the extent of his ill-gotten gains is revealed to his impoverished people, it becomes clear just how much Yanukovych had to lose from political and fiscal transparency.  This same dynamic exists in Venezuela, where protests have pitted middle-class students and urban dwellers against the Chavez-inspired government of Nicholas Maduro.  Similar to Yanukovych and Vladimir Putin, Maduro and the heirs of the Chavez regime continue to enrich and empower themselves while the Venezuelan people suffer shortages of basic necessities, including food, medicine, and fuel, ironic for a hydro-carbon rich nation.  In both Ukraine and Venezuela, and Russia as well, the societies are thus divided between a political elite built around patronage and corruption, and an increasingly globally aligned middle class who yearn for economic reform and a voice in decisions regarding own destiny.  The great Cold War presidents would be clear that America must stand firm on the side of those seeking freedom and dignity.  Reagan understood the importance of balancing strength with the flexibility to exploit political openings presented by rivals.  Gorbachev presented an opening for reform and negotiation, Reagan seized the opportunity.  In doing so, he set in motion the events that led to victory in the Cold War, successfully breaching the divide of Reagan’s time that kept hundreds of millions of Eastern Europeans enslaved by Soviet tyranny.  In addressing the challenge presented by Putin, it is most important for the United States to reestablish its leadership.  Our allies do not want a return to Cold War geopolitics, but they still look to Washington as the one nation that can rally the West to collective action against a common threat.  The American people are tired of war and recession, but we cannot retreat from our responsibilities and our role as a global leader.  If the collective voices of our greatest Cold War Presidents could impart one lesson of history, it would likely be that when people anywhere stand up and fight for freedom and justice, the United States, and American power, must stand with them

(“Ukraine, Venezuela and the Lessons of History & U.S. Power” by David Abshire and Maximillian Angerholzer III dated March 8, 2014 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/03/08/ukrainevenezuela_and_the_lessons_of_history__us_power_121848.html  )

 

* 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 issue sections:

· Education at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/education.php

· Media at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/media.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com