Views on the News

March 23, 2013

Views on the News*  

Barack Obama’s most dangerous talent is his ability to make people believe he’s something he’s not and he is effective because he has successfully hidden his true objectives.  He is not recognized for whom and what he is, especially the fact that he does not like the country he’s governing.  He has convinced his followers that he has their interests at heart, he cares about them; and he wants to help them, and the key ingredient in his power lies in his ability to deceive.  People do not want to believe that he does not like the country.  Our country is in collective state of denial.  Barack Obama is arrogant, intolerant, mean, dishonest, vengeful, and ruthless, and he does not wish us well.  The economy is operating far below its potential, and he doesn’t show the slightest curiosity about the causes of our economic distress.  He doesn’t know what he’s doing and he doesn’t care that he doesn’t know. He’s so incredibility arrogant; he doesn’t think he even needs to know.  Obama sees no difference between his opinions and the truth, and he assumes whatever he says is true simply by the act of saying it.  The reason he has to use a teleprompter is to keep him from expressing what he really thinks, because honesty or sincerity would lead to his undoing.  Obama despises his political opponents, and he shows no interest in compromise or negotiation and is not interested in debating or persuading.  Whenever he faces a choice between his interests and the country’s interests, he always chooses his own.  He is indifferent to the country’s pain.  In fact, he seems to relish seeing it happen. He wants the sequester to cause as much pain as possible.  He wants to maximize, not minimize, the country’s pain.  We have a President who has a profound conflict of interest with the country he’s leading. Economic growth is by far the most effective solution to many of our problems. But economic growth reduces the need for a large number of government programs — food stamps, housing subsidies, and unemployment compensation, for example.  He wants to pile on ever more growth-killing regulations and taxes. Economic growth is detrimental to his policy objectives.  He only wants to redistribute wealth, not create it.  He has stated that his desire is to “fundamentally transform” America, because obviously he does not approve of what America is and has been in the past.  In his opinion, the birth of our country wasn’t a blessing; it was a kind of original sin.  He does not like our history, our traditions, and a large segment of the population.  He has pitted citizen against citizen.  He has fomented class warfare in order to serve his own selfish ends.  Class warfare is good for Obama and his Democrat allies, but it’s bad for the country.  Republican senators and congressmen either do not see the real Obama or they do but don’t want to go public with their beliefs.  They need strategies based on who he is, not who he ought to be.  America has made a grievous error in electing and then reelecting a leader who hates the country he’s leading.  Everyone who loves the U.S., its history, traditions, and a free-market, voluntary exchange economy is profoundly disheartened by what’s going on before their eyes.  Barack Obama is doing profound and long-lasting damage to the United States, and he will continue to do damage until people finally recognize who the real Obama is.

(“Deceiver in Chief” by Ron Ross dated March 20, 2013 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2013/03/20/deceiver-in-chief )


Low Information Voters (LIVs) love Pop Media; Pop Media loves Obama; Ergo, LIVs love Obama - It is that simple.  Low information voters don't know if the national debt is 16B or 16T; they think Benghazi is a strip joint on K Street; and "they know that gay marriage is a good thing because all their favorite actors and musicians think it is so cool!"  The better-informed LIVs read “Us” or “People” magazines.  Most of an LIV's knowledge of economics, politics, and history comes from watching movies, television shows, The Daily Show, and stuff that one of his leftist friends posts on Facebook.  President Obama won the election because he was doing local radio shows and The View.  He was being promoted by rap musicians and actors.  Fast and Furious” is a movie, not a political scandal.  While the earnest Republicans were naively running political ads during campaigns, Democrats were running a continuous campaign through movies, television, news organizations, and entertainment media. That is where LIVs live and their knowledge "of economics, politics, and history comes from watching movies, television shows."  It is a slow process, but over time this approach alters the basic assumptions that many LIVs have about the world.  LIVs are a big chunk of the electorate, especially in the Democrat Party, but the Republican Party isn’t free of them either.  This President knows his Low Information Voters and plays down to their weaknesses.

(“Wrong Battle, Wrong Enemy” by Clayton E. Creamer dated March 17, 2013 published by PJ Media at http://pjmedia.com/blog/wrong-battle-wrong-enemy/ )

The exact time when the government ceased serving 'We the People' and became our master is impossible to pinpoint, with the best estimate coincides with the beginnings of the progressive movement and Theodore Roosevelt.  What TR started, Woodrow Wilson expanded exponentially and the movement was on.  The media spews Leftism, and that message affects many low-information voters who are more interested in the Kardashians than what is happening with the sequester or the budget process in Washington D.C.  After 100 years of varying degrees of oppressive rule by Leftists, America has sealed its own fate by selecting the most radical Leftist in the country's history to be its 44th President.  Woodrow Wilson started it all by expanding government and then getting us into World War I only months after promising the opposite.  Calvin Coolidge reversed the growth of government and balanced the budget leading to the Roaring 20's.  After the disastrous administration of Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt inherited the Great Depression.  FDR's New Deal statist agenda exposed the sophistry of socialism and prolonged the recovery.  The decade-long depression ended only after the unifying affect on the economy brought on by World War II.  FDR repudiated the Constitution and the rule of law by adapting a new Bill of Rights and a stacked Supreme Court, not to benefit America, but instead to promote his regressive statist ideology.  Government moderation allowed the private sector to expand for twenty years until Lyndon Baines Johnson reinstituted statist policies including civil rights legislation, immigration, the Vietnam War, and the government expansion of welfare included in his Great Society.  LBJ's unconstitutional welfare and redistribution policies have destroyed more than $15 Trillion in wealth and prosperity, while increasing poverty levels and unemployment, shrinking the middle class, and reducing opportunities for a better life. 100% of the blame can be put on secular regressive government policies.  Ronald Reagan temporarily reversed the trend of government intervention by conquering 'stagflation' (double-digit inflation and unemployment) caused by the economic slowdown of the Carter-era 1970's.  The 'Gipper' explained government was not the solution to the problem, but rather the cause of the problem and capitalism flourished for 25 years, finally ending with the housing bust after the post-9/11 boom of George W. Bush.  The primary cause of the banking scare, the housing bubble, and the deleterious effects on the economy was none other than overreach by the federal government.  Albert Einstein is attributed with defining insanity as doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.  We have reached societal insanity by re-electing the most radical Leftist of all, Barack Obama. The country is doomed to collapse, not if, but when.  It is inevitable, and the time frame is in months, not years.  This country can’t be sustained by more government, more debt, and destruction of the Constitution and rule of law, so perhaps it is time to starve the big government beast, throw it off, and start over?

(“Is It Time to Starve the Beast?” by Jeff Greenlee dated March 18, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/is_it_time_to_starve_the_beast.html )

Careening from debt-ceiling crisis to sequestration to a looming government shutdown, the nation is caught up in a historic debate over the proper size and role of government.  Another way to think about it is that we are caught up in a historic debate over free-market capitalism.  After all, if markets were making most of us better off, regulating their own excesses, guaranteeing equal opportunity and fairly dividing the economic pie, then we wouldn’t need government to take on all the things it does.  For most of the past 30 years, the world has been moving in the direction of markets.  The grand experiment with communism has been thoroughly discredited, a billion people have been lifted from poverty through free-market competition, and even European socialists have given up on state ownership and the nanny state.  In embracing welfare reform, Americans have acknowledged that numerous programs meant to lift up the poor instead trapped them in permanent dependency and poverty.  Regulation is an infringement of individual liberty, while income redistribution, in the form of a progressive tax-and-transfer system, is nothing more than thievery committed against the most talented and productive by those who are not.  Regulation and redistribution also undermine the vital incentives that drive capitalism, which throughout history has been the best system for freeing large masses of human beings from lives of misery and poverty.  The seeds of this moral defense of free markets were planted by John Locke, Adam Smith and Ludwig von Mises, but they blossomed in America in the writings of the Russian émigré Ayn Rand, whose novels “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” are mandatory reading among right-leaning intellectuals and politicians.  Where Rand saw a world divided between “producers” and “moochers,” today’s conservatives see “makers” and “takers.”  We should welcome this debate.  The conservative case against regulation is premised on the proposition that everything that has gone wrong with the markets is the government’s fault.  Free-market advocates have a stronger moral case against government “confiscating” the money earned by one person to give it to another.  The traditional liberal defense of redistribution, of course, is that a lot of what passes for economic success derives not only from hard work or ingenuity but also from good fortune, the good fortune to be born with the right genes and to the right parents, to grow up in the right community, to attend the right schools, to meet and be helped by the right people, or simply to be at the right place at the right time.  A market system should reward virtue, not dumb luck.  The American spin on the luck problem is “equal opportunity, not equal outcomes,” offering a leg up to those who are disadvantaged through no fault of their own.  One problem with liberals’ equal ­opportunity argument is that they have yet to articulate the moral principles with which to determine how far the evening-up should go, not just with education but with child care, health care, nutrition, after-school and summer programs, training, and a host of other social services.  Similar questions arise over safety-net programs for the poor, which all but the most dogmatic conservatives feel some moral instinct to provide.  What should be the height of the net and the tightness of its weave?  Who should be entitled to its protections and for how long?  Such questions get lost in today’s debate, which is focused on fiscal benchmarking against current spending rather than moral benchmarking against agreed-upon principles.  Middle-class entitlements, which include a big chunk of programs such as Social Security, Medicare and subsidized college loans, force us to ask: How much income redistribution is enough?  Must we keep redistributing until we reach the equality levels of the 1950s, which liberals seem to consider the golden years?  Or until the United States matches the income distribution of other industrialized countries?  Or until polls show that the middle class believes it has achieved economic security?  The common justification for middle-class entitlements is more political than moral: If we limit safety-net and opportunity-equalizing programs only to the poor and the disabled, over time these would suffer the fate of all welfare programs and gradually be starved of funding.  The only way to preserve widespread political support for them, liberals argue, is to extend them to the middle class.  Moral philosophers since Adam Smith have understood that free-market economies are not theoretical constructs; they are embedded in different political, cultural and social contexts that significantly affect how they operate.  If there can be no pure free market, then it follows that there cannot be only one neutral or morally correct distribution of market income.  There is no moral imperative to redistribute income and opportunity until everyone has secured a berth in a middle class free from economic worries.  If our moral obligation is to provide everyone with a reasonable shot at economic success within a market system that, by its nature, thrives on unequal outcomes, then we ought to ask not just whether government is doing too much or too little, but whether it is doing the right things.

(“Is capitalism moral?” by Steven Pearlstein dated March 16, 2013 published by The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-capitalism-moral/2013/03/15/a9ed66d4-868b-11e2-999e-5f8e0410cb9d_story.html )


President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways, which is his way of implementing climate change regulation without legislative support.  Obama plans to "expand the scope of a Nixon-era law," the National Environmental Policy Act, "that was first intended to force agencies to assess the effect of projects on air, water and soil pollution."  It's happening just as Obama threatened it would: If Congress won't pass the laws he wants, in this case limits on greenhouse gas emissions, he will just make law on his own, without constitutional restraint.  This reminds us of the hyper-regulating Food and Drug Administration, whose value as a protector of the public is far outweighed by its practice of keeping lifesaving and life-enhancing drugs off the market through its slow approval process.  The Obama economy, which is slogging through the weakest recovery in modern history, needs a jolt of commerce and industry.  This new red tape made inevitable by Obama's further appropriation of power will depress the capital that's needed for projects that would have otherwise been started.  Rather than liberate the economy, it appears that Obama wants another $2 billion from the taxpayers to pay for green vehicle technology, would rather have as many Americans as possible dependent on government, a government that he continues to expand and have greater executive power over.  By employing both his constitutional executive powers and his role as a leader Congress would follow, Obama could move government out of the way.  The next step is up to the Congress who owns the purse strings, and should defund agency over-reach such as this latest unconstitutional attack.

(“An Order from Obama Puts Another Boot on the Economy” dated March 15, 2013 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/031513-648254-obama-global-warming-rule-will-hurt-commerce.htm )

Declining national influence is a choice, and America seems to be making it, but the "churn" of events is beginning to look more like chaos.  Egypt teeters between the establishment of a democracy and the restoration of the caliphate.  Syria melts away as an organized state and perhaps as a geographic fact. Iran is on the verge of building the Shiite bomb and igniting a sectarian nuclear arms race. North Korea continues its bold experiment in proliferation and abnormal psychology.  Beneath it all, some large trends: in the Middle East and North Africa, a combination of economic stagnation, a youth bulge and a sense of historical grievance, all the preconditions for radicalism and terrorism; and in Asia, the rapid reversal of 250 years of Western economic and technological predominance, which is raising questions about America's future military predominance.  Barring the option of utter despair, these challenges would seem to require expanded, sophisticated American engagement in order to shape an economic and security environment favorable to our long-term interests.  But consider the actual American response: budgetary chaos and military cuts, ideological self-questioning and mixed leadership signals.  The sequestration of the U.S. military budget was a stunning geopolitical development with military leaders publicly predicting a serious deterioration of American capabilities.  One can only assume that allies and enemies are listening as well.  At the same time, American politicians have begun an ideological debate on the country's global role.  Constrained resources generally mean that interventions, when necessary, come at a later time, under less favorable conditions, from a weaker position.  Conservatives define the war on terrorism, particularly the use of drones, as the leading edge of domestic oppression. A campaign conducted by American intelligence services and military forces with exceptional patience, restraint and care in targeting is vilified for political gain and ideological pleasure.  The President occasionally talks as if security policy were a diversion from the real work of health reform, gun control and the rest of "nation-building at home."  In many regions of the world, the convergence of these fiscal and ideological developments is creating an impression of retreat.  America remains strong in absolute terms, but the trend is toward disengagement.  A nation that is economically stagnant, weighed down by debt, politically congested, militarily retrenching and conflicted about its global role is not becoming safer in the process because these trends feed our rivals' destabilizing dreams of global realignment which just invites further challenges we might have avoided.

(“The Risks of Retreat” by Michael Gerson dated March 18, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelgerson/2013/03/18/something-n1537609 )


* 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:

·  Foreign Policy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/philosophy.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY